June 11, 2006

I am bagged

So the last two days of decent running - and all the other running around - really kind of caught up with me today. Feeding in to my sudden crash was the last three weeks of non-stop work. The work isn't over, but at least I've had this weekend. Unfortunately, between having too many items on the to-do list and today's sudden "bleh" mode, I didn't get everything done. Well, the only thing critical is getting a Powerpoint lined out for my Apple Store presentation Wednesday and I'm still working on the outline of the presentation anyway. Guess it will be some late Monday and Tuesday nights.

I slept late today, took a nap in the afternoon, and am going to bed early. Days like this don't come often!

Anyway, I did accomplish my big goal for the weekend: go trade beer for bags. I traded a couple cases worth of Cooper's & Leffe's beer for some nifty - and otherwise very expensive - Crumpler messenger bags, at least one of which will become a Christmas gift in due course. I'm still trying to decide which one to keep. I figure that I paid approximately 50% of what the bags usually cost, figuring in sales tax; I'm pleased with that. I skipped the party, though, as they scheduled it for 8 p.m. tonight. A Sunday night; what were they thinking? I've got to work tomorrow! Oh well, I'm not a fan of Cooper's, the Leffe's wasn't Leffe's Brown, which I prefer, and 90% of the other beer dropped off was Brooklyn Lager, Corona, and Sapporo, all of which I consider inferior to Guinness, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Kirin, and Red Stripe.

This little trade was not easy. While I know of at least three Manhattan bars with Leffe on tap, finding it in a bottle was wickedly difficult. In fact, I called 23 stores before I found a place that carries it. Same story with Coopers. That store is American Beer Distributing, located in Cobble Hill. I went there and though the store is fairly small, the selection is outrageously extensive, widely varied, and comparatively cheap. I found one six packof Leffe's and asked if they had more. The guy went downstairs and reappeared fifteen minutes later, having moved half his stock to get to what he said was his last case of Leffe's. I felt pretty good about that! Now I know where to go for some unique beers and may have to reconsider my no-alcohol-at-home policy. Perhaps trying one new beer per week won't hurt me as a runner. Hell, if I find even one beer that holds a candle to Brooklyn Chocolate Stout every six months, it'll be time and money well spent.

Getting the beer from ABD to Crumpler was not easy; I had to call a car. The driver was very nice, rather chatty, and handsome in an Italian way. He was still outside after I'd made the beer/bags trade and I thanked him once again and went to shake his hand. As he looked up, I could see some white powder in a little folded paper... and he didn't exactly open his hand, I sort of awkwardly shook his fist. Hm. Then he offered me a ride back to Brooklyn, gratis. Now I'm thinking to myself, "maybe it's not such a good idea to ride around with somebody who's just done a noseful of coke," but a ride's a ride. I get in and we go. He was even chattier on the way back to Brooklyn and he revealed the differences between livery cars and TLC cars, which was quite an education for me. He also revealed his status, that he'd lost his TLC license after failing a drug test and that after he gets himself a new SSN, he hopes to get another TLC license, since next February, the city will restrict all cars in the 5 boroughs to TLC plates - no livery except what has come in from outside the boroughs for a drop-off. Turns out he's Palestinian, too. The guy was nice, I guess, and his troubles are his own; but it was quite a wakeup call as to who the locals drivers may be! (And how could he have been so free with his information...I mean, how could he be sure I wasn't a cop?)

By the way, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout is a seasonal beer, only made in the winter. It is usually gone a few weeks after the bottling stops. I asked and found out ABD still has several cases, so I may have to go liberate a case this week and have it shipped ahead to Philadelphia, where I am to join the Long Reach Long Riders on their cross-country motorcycle ride in June. Oh, and if you'd like to sponsor my ride and thereby donate some bucks to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS or to Behind The Scenes, I'd be honored. Just follow the donations link at the site.

And yes, I'll be taking my running gear in my left saddlebag. :)

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