Friday, September 11, 2009
Posted by Bull E. Vard
I know everyone has their own 9/11 story and for the most part they're not that interesting. But mine actually ties in to a different story so here we go. Eight years ago today I woke up late and heard on the radio that the second plane hit the WTC. I quickly got up and turned on the TV and watched it while I hurriedly got ready to make an appearance at work. I got into the office about 10 which was no big deal because I had an interview in KC for a job the next I was 90% sure I was going to get.
I was set to fly up to KC on the company's dime on 9/12 to interview and fly back in the same day. I spent a good portion of the day on 9/11 trying to figure out if I was going to fly or if I would just drive up. After talking to my future company's HR, I made arrangements to drive up and have a lunch interview so I could drive back and get back so I could work at the business that Wes Port and I owned.
The night of 9/11 Wes and I spent talking to people in the neighborhood who came by our store. It was unlike any night we'd ever had at our store and unlike any night I've had since. I'm sure most of you had similar experiences. The next day I drove to KC, nailed my interview over a ham sandwich and sweet potato fries at Jake Edwards BBQ and was offered a job by 9/14.
In the 8 years since, I've sold that business, moved to KC, bought a house, met and married my wife, had 3 kids, got my MBA and steadily advanced at my job. My worklife changed quite dramatically on Fat Tuesday last year when my company laid off about 10% of the workforce including my manager who hired me. For the past year and a half I was pretty much treated as the new guy even though I'd been there 8 years (I was the youngest person in my department, in IT and I'm not that young). Then finally a couple of weeks ago another round of layoffs hit and the glitch was corrected and I was let go.
In the couple of weeks since then, I've been trying to figure out this newfound free time. I've worked on my resume, tried to get unemployment figured out and tried to figure out how to handle sitting around my house and come up with a new 1:30 exercise routine instead of walking (though I won't be doing that exercise today). I did find some short term work that may or may not turn into a full time job. What I didn't do was drink any beer or give the beer blog much thought. Nor have I given much thought to the old job or the people there (though I have spoken to a couple of people still there including Buttery Nipple who I was almost positive was going to get laid off that day too).
Then a couple of days ago I decided to do some beer blog work and try to crack the mystery of why we don't have Boulevard Seeyoulator Dopplebock on store shelves in KC yet. As part of my sleuthing I ended up with a free bottle of Seeyoulator which I popped open last night.
Before we start on the beer I should note that I'm not a big fan of most German styles, my favorite is hefeweizen or Marzen and my least favorite is gassing Jews. I haven't been eagerly anticipating the Seeyoulator too much because I just don't care too much about dopplebocks.
I poured my beer into my sweet new Smokestack glass that I got at the Boulevard Brewmaster Luncheon a couple of months ago. It poured a dark coppery color with a small head that went away rather quickly. The aroma had a maltiness that I've really started to appreciate in the past year, with maybe some sugar cookie smell with a little smokiness. The flavor is what put me off though. It had the malty sweetness you would look for in a dopplebock but the spicy hop flavor and the trailing cedar flavor didn't quite mix in well. It tasted like 4 different beers poured into one glass. The experience was akin to tasting chili right after you added the tomato and spices as opposed to letting them cook together for a little while. Maybe the Seeyoulator needs to age a little more in the bottle or maybe it was aged too long in the cedar. I'm not a brewer I don't know, but the flavors didn't mix that great to me. What it did make me was hungry. Hungry for a BLT which I promptly made with some homegrown yellow tomatoes. Paired with the sandwich, the woodiness of the beer was muted a little and Seeyoulator became a little better balanced for me.
Stella had a glass as well. After her first sip she dug into some chocolate chip cookies. She thought the sweetness of the cookies made the malt sweetness pop just a little bit more. She really liked the Seeyoulator and it's right in her flavor profile so it was pretty expected that she would like it.
It really only took a couple of hours to get to the bright side of being laid off, not having to put up with losing the holidays every year, the massive amount of stress that I was going to be under in the next couple of months is now washed away and I have nearly a year's worth of pay to get us by while we work towards the next chapter. As for the past 8 years of my career it's a little weird that it's not there anymore. I went to the same place every day for 8 years (actually 2 places since we switched buildings a couple of years ago), I sat in the same place, in the same chair, talked to most of the same people. I did that job longer than I did anything else in my life which is weird to think about. I never really planned on staying for as long as I did and I'm kind of grateful that I've been given the kick in the pants I apparently needed. So, to the old job and the old lifestyle I say Seeyoulator.
As for the mystery of the Seeyoulator, I've never gotten a clear answer but it appears to be a distributor issue. The distributor wants to sell through Two Jokers before getting the Seeyoulator out there. I would look for Two Jokers to start being discounted by retailers in the area. For now you'll have to get your German Boulevard fill by drinking Bob's 47 which has been on shelves for a couple of weeks now. Seeyoulator will be on shelves by Tuesday.