this is my wife. that woman up there in the photo, yeah, she married me. she hasn't figured it out yet, so don't tell her. i've kept her fooled for this long. ooooowwww!
i've known latonya for 11 years. 10 of those years we've been good friends. 4.5 of those years we've been spouses. and, in all this time, my wife and i have viciously disagreed on a few things: neil young, long camping trips, guns, jason vorhees, and beer. i'm sure there are other things we have disagreed on as well, but these few pop into my mind immediately.
actually, we went on a 24 hour camping trip with our homechurch last year at easter, and now latonya's talking about cabins in the woods and building fires. also, for valentine's day, she took me to see the new FRIDAY THE 13th in the theater, on friday the 13th. it was magical. she only watched about 20 minutes of the film, but she claimed to have good time hearing me have a good time. she's hot.
nearly three years ago, the wife and i toured boulder brewing company in boulder, colorado. standing as friends of sir jason scott, who built the boulder beer website, we walked through the underbelly of my favorite brewery, dodging frozen and boiling pipes, holding handfuls of dry hops, served a table full of pitchers filled to the rim with free boulder beer. dan, the bigwig at boulder, left eight people and eight pitchers at the table saying, "whatever beer you leave gets poured down the drain." my wife single-handedly downed over half a pitcher of mojo IPA, announcing to everyone at high volumes by the third glass that the grapefruity flavor in the mojo was "freaking good, y'all." we split several six packs of mojo in our remaining kansas city days.
last year, at a flogging molly concert, the wife and i met this really sweet couple near the pit who bought us cans of shiner bock. latonya drank her entire can. i tried to take the can from her, thinking she wouldn't like it. she held it strong, drank the whole thing down. later she said, "it was okay, kinda like drinking iced tea." even though it was shiner bock, i thought it was kinda hot.
two weeks ago my friend josh rolled in from san diego with a growler of stone russian imperial stout. amazing stuff. creamy, mild, sweet where imperial stouts are usually bitter but still concrete where it needed to stand. the coffee and anise simmered into the background enough for a mellow dark chocolate sensation, and the 9.4% alcohol remained deeply secretive. josh and i realized the hidden message later, but only after the second glass.
the growler sat on the table when latonya rolled into town from kansas city two days later. she asked what it was. i told her it was stone russian imperial stout. she said, "would i like it?" i thought about her love for chocolate, for coffee, for root beer that rings of anise, and i said, "actually, you might." she drank two full pints.
then she asked if they sell this stuff around here. i said no. she asked if they sell anything like it. i poured her a glass of north coast old rasputin russian imperial stout. she sipped it, scrunched her face and said, "i like it, but the alcohol is a bit heavy." i kinda thrilled when she said that. just the night before, josh marion, felix landry and myself did a side-by-side tasting of stone russian imperial and north coast old rasputin, and we all labeled the stone drastically more mellow, and drinkable, primarily due to more chocolate and less alcohol burn. i still enjoy old rasputin, but it decidedly pales in comparison to stone. this was the opinion of me, josh, felix, and my wife - latonya: the sudden beer snob.
the same day she did a side-by-side tasting of boulder's mojo IPA and o'dells IPA. she said that, for her, mojo was the superior IPA because the grapefruit overpowered the alcohol and floral flavors. in her opinion, the o'dells taste like some odd concoction of botanical flowers, mulched and fused into a therapeutic iced tea. also, she said she could taste the alcohol in the o'dells, which, obviously, is a turn off for this lady. so hot.
two days ago we hit up a flying saucer in austin. i asked the waitress to bring her a sample of left hand milk stout. she loved it. she bought a bottle tonight. she's sipping it right now out of a wine glass. i mean, this gal went from white wine to IPAs and imperial stouts, pole vaulting over lagers, pilsners, wheats, wittes, hefes, pale ales, porters, stouts, and bocks along the way. and she was able to say why. seriously, my wife is cooler than most of the dude's in this quaint texas town, including myself. keep your paltry shiner bocks, bros, i'll be sipping imperial stouts and grapefruity IPAs with my lady. with my lady. after the valentine's vorhees' ticket, the week in the woods, and all these beer tastings, we might be sipping cheap domestics at neil young's parting show.