Sunday, May 06, 2007

Conserve water; drink beer

I'm sick of the 2007 legislative session. This is my 11th session, although my first as a lobbyist, but survey says: this session is looooong. Everyone anticipated a slow start, with so many newly elected legislators needing to get up to speed about not only the issues, but about how a bill becomes a law.

But no, it slammed everyone, and now we're in the last two weeks, when stamina is needed most. Conference committees are wrapping up (or, in the case of the Education Conference Committee, just getting started). I worked almost 70 hours this week, including 25 in the last two days, and there's no sign of letting up until May 21st.


Thankfully I have a wonderful, understanding (sometimes) wife, and kids who still recognize me. Although I took Dylan to May Day today, and he definitely tested my tolerance and patience. Payback I suppose.

The parade, as usual, was inspiring. Paper mache, metal, and plastic bottles conveyed a positive message. Conserve water. Be raise awareness. Don't use bottled water. And, as usual, the sun came out and gave everyone the May Day they deserved.

Late nights in conference committees inevitably leads to closing out the evenings a local watering hole, which usually means the Muddy Pig, the Happy Gnome or Sweeney's .

One such evening landed me and a colleague at the G-nome, where they happened to have a variety of Big Sky brews left over from the beer dinner the night before. I had a version of their IPA, conditioned in bourbon barrels for 10 months. It really took the edge off of the hops--almost too much so. It was still interesting, and unlike any other beer I had had prior.

I wrapped the evening up with Flat Earth Brewing's sophomore release, Element 115, a California Common in the style of Anchor Steam. It's hard to compete with Anchor, but the 115 gives it a good run for it's money. I look forward to more releases from Flat Earth.

I'm sure the next two weeks with bring more late nights and more unique beers at one of St. Paul's top beer bars. It's a very small (molecular-sized) price to pay for missing my family.

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