Raise a glass of Monkey Knife Fight Pale Ale

One hundred and fifty miles.
It might as well have been 15,000 miles.
I got out of town this past weekend, and headed south to Sacramento to watch football, drink too much and eat too much.
It was glorious.
Exactly what this boy needed.
My friends, Tom and Karen, are fantastic hosts, but first and foremost, they are fantastic friends. They didn’t ask about my situation – and did act all weird around me. It was nice.
We started Saturday with a hike through the Cosumnes River Preserve south of the city. We took in the three-mile river walk, where we get to see some fantastic birds, including a huge blue heron and a green egret, with its funky yellowish-green feet.
Then we started drinking. And eating. Like professionals.
“You up for the Rubicon?” Tom asked. “It’s pretty funky. Lots of characters.”
The Rubicon Brewery is on Capitol Avenue and has that Cheers feel to it. Everyone who walks through the door is a regular (besides, they’ve got really cool names for their beer; a featured brew was Monkey Knife Fight Pale Ale).
Tom and I quaffed two pitchers (!) of excellent IPA – and Karen ended up driving us home (but not before we stocked up on salty snacks and more beer at Safeway for the Eagles/Saints game).
A couple of Tom and Karen’s friends came over, and we just chilled and watched football. After that, we watched a couple of episodes of HBO's "Deadwood," where we played "cocksucker." Every time a character said "cocksucker," we had to drink (and if you've seen the show, you know we got pretty hammered).
We slept in – and I awoke in the couple’s sunroom to watch a silhouette of a tree filled with tiny finches. Just about that time, the couple’s dog, Lucy, came in to make sure I didn’t have anything to eat. Coffee and the Sacramento Bee came next, then a shower.
“Let’s do this, let’s get some breakfast,” Tom said.
So we headed back to the Rubicon for eggs, breakfast meats – and hard ciders (apple for Karen, pomegranate for Tom and I).
Then we walked 16 blocks over to Hanger 17, a really cool bar/restaurant for a couple of bloody Marys and the end of the Bears/Seahawks game. They call it an upscale dive bar. I’d have to agree. The bloody Marys were fantastic.
We walked back to the car and drove home to watch the featured matchup (for us) of the weekend:
Chargers vs. Patriots.
I was rooting for the Chargers; Karen, having grown up in Massachusetts, was solidly behind the Patriots. Tom “just wanted a good game.”
It was. Plates of cheese, sausage, olives and bread were put out. We still had beer left over from Saturday. We chilled. We cursed the Chargers. We tried to figure out how to console our good friend David, a loyal Chargers fan (and former team beat writer) who we knew would be very, very upset at the outcome (and left our football plans for this Sunday in limbo; we were thinking of meeting up in Chico for more football and suds).
After the game, I decided to get on the road and got back to Redding at a decent hour (even took Trin for a nice, long walk).
I feel refreshed. I feel like I can get through whatever comes this week, this month, this year.
I know I have friends who will be there and care for me, even when the going gets tough.
That feels pretty good.


Anonymous said...

The partial beefalo reunion sounds like a blast man!