Today Marshall is making a Sierra Nevada pale ale clone brew.  I love it when he gets into stuff like this.  He’s been rushing around from the apartment to the store, getting his bucket, carboy, and ingredients in order, cleaning out the tubes, tying up cheesecloth, etc.  Yesterday he got the grains, malt powders, and hop pellets he’s using, and the long thermometer is now clamped to the pot on the stove, hovering at 140 degrees.  It’s getting serious.  He’s in the kitchen saying things to himself like “…gallon of water…gallon of water…gallon…let’s see…shit.”  This guy is such a funny combination of hippie and nerd.  He wears cords and button-up shirts with holes in the armpits to his programming job, and is the only guy there with a beard or long hair, but drives a zippy little Honda Fit and can be obsessive about timelines and details.  Washes that car like once a month.  Scatters socks and boxers around the bedroom willy-nilly, but cannot stand the slightest smell of garbage.  Listens to Mark Kozelek while writing code.  These things all merge and mix in him, and I’ve never met a man like him before.  He is now opening hop packets with his teeth.

— thirty minutes later —

And, since I got those Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch cake pans for Christmas, I’m pepped about cake-baking, and am making a chocolate raspberry type thing for Josh’s birthday gathering tonight.  Have three chocolate layers baking as we speak.  And I’m going to make this intense Martha Stewart cake tomorrow for the New Year’s Eve thing.  Which sounds like  it will also be intense.  As in, we have to dress up in black, green, or blue hues.  Semi-formal.  Can I just say that obsessing about my looks is so yesterday?  I’ve heard marriage does this.  Being so accepted tends to relax one’s inner tensions.  Therefore, in order to actively resist turning into a bag lady in twenty years, yesterday I ordered an Anthropologie catalog.  I think that should work pretty well — it always does.  It fights bag lady like nothing else in the world.  That, and hanging out with one’s beautiful single female friends.  I come away from people like KG and Carla feeling like a dump/recycle station, most times.  Har har.  Anyways, I just pulled the cake out of the oven and it looks and smells like the Ghirardelli boxed brownies.

In other news, I’ve got to get out of this apartment.  You know what I mean?  It’s cozy and warm and immensely friendly, but I need a beautiful place to live.  I don’t ask for much.  This place is just so ugly, and is in such an ugly place.  My fondness for its pug-like ugliness vaporized during my first week of occupancy, and all my decor really does is hide aspects of the apartment … not accentuate them, bring them out.  I figured I’d have a whole month to look at places over winter break, but Christmas kind of bulged itself into all my free time.  Now I have one week before school starts to write wedding thank-you notes, submit poems to Michael, and find a new apartment.  And move into it.  So, I guess it might not happen, after all.  Which is so depressing, oddly, that I cried about it last night.  Man.  Oh if only.  But we are going to look at a house on Midlake tomorrow morning, and another one on Monday — so.  There is hope.

OH GOSH!!  I just turned the cake layers out of their pans and they smell SO good, oh my gosh.

Now things in the kitchen are heating up again.  We just added malt and maltodextrin to the wort, and Marshall put in the hop bag and is rifling through the kitchen looking for a teaspoon for the Irish moss.  This is exciting stuff.  So, I just realized that I’m going to make a photo blog after I post this one.  So hang on a sec.