Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend of Love

Ahh Valentine's Day!! The one day of the year when people believe you should show how much you love someone. I know I'm not alone when I say that you should show how much you love someone every day of the year. I did, however, have a good time with Whitney the whole weekend to "celebrate" Valentine's Day.

We started the day by waking up and watching some TV. I knew I had to go to work later that evening, so we couldn't just stay inside until I had to leave. It was also a nice day outside. The first place we decided to go was to Dreamcakes. They had so many flavors available. Two flavors I saw they usually do not have often. Those flavors were the Irish Carbomb and Good People Coffee Oatmeal Stout cupcakes. You know I had to get those!!!

After we got the cupcakes and dropped them off at the apartment, we went back out and headed to HopCity to get some beer. Whitney had the great idea of sitting at the bar for a beer to drink. She knows me too well that I would not say no to that. She got a Belgian Pale Ale from St. Bernardus, and I got Ballast Point "Victory at Sea" Coffee Vanilla Porter. We made some good decisions.

It was starting to get late, and we had not eaten anything yet, so we went to Melt for lunch.

One of the servers at Melt gave me this with some Pop Rocks!!

Whitney got The Flash!!!

For me to say that they were busy would be an understatement. Luckily we decided to get our food TOGO. I got the Mac Melt with some bacon in it(cause bacon makes everything better), and Whitney went with the Meatloaf Melt. I have to say that the Meatloaf Melt was not that bad. I have to make a trip back this week for one of my own.

After a long night of work and deciding not to go out for dinner(both of us were tired by that time), I fixed some Jambalaya and had my cupcakes from earlier.

Now it's Sunday morning. We had talked earlier in the week about going to Alabama Biscuit on Sunday. That's exactly what we did. If you never been, you really should try to go out there. It's a small place, but I liked it that way.

 Whitney's fresh squeezed Orange Juice

 My Hot Chocolate looks nice and pretty, huh?

 Best Ham and Cheese Biscuit Ever!!!

Whitney's Crispy Pancetta looked awesome!!!

I can't believe that we got filled from just those biscuits and had no sides to go with them.

After eating some brunch, we made a quick stop to Target for some grocery shopping. We also went to GameStop and got some new games. Whitney got Bully and I got Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Since we was around the area, we went to make a trip to Heavenly Donuts for a quick treat(many thanks to Magic City Bloggers for this idea).

Now that we doughnuts, games, and groceries, it's time to go home and relax before we make dinner that night. We played our games and ate our doughnuts. They were so delicious.

Oreo Doughnuts are nothing to play around with.

We decided to fix the Beer Enchilada Dip that we love so much. If you never had it before, you should try it out(click here for the recipe).

 You know you want this!!!

Had this delicious beer to go with it.

Even though we might not have had a big, fancy Valentine's weekend, I have to say that it was one of the best weekend I've had with my wife. Just being able to spend time with her means the world to me. I will take games, doughnuts, beer, and grilled cheese with my wife over anything any day of the week.

Hope your Valentine's Day went well, and hope everyone stays warm and dry this week!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love for All

I can tell you from experience that being able to marry the person you love is awesome. Knowing that you will spend the rest of your life with your best friend is the best feeling. Well this past Monday in Alabama, some couples were able to experience that as well. You are probably wondering what makes this any different. Well these couples are of the same sex. I know right?!?!

Same sex couples in the state of Alabama can actually get married. This is a huge(and I do mean HUGE) thing for this state. For a state that is known for behind on the times and for what its past use to be, I am glad to see this finally happen.

Now, as many of you know, this amazing thing was not left behind without some controversy. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued the night before that judges should not grant marriage license to these couples. He was trying his best to make this not happen because he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. He even said that if the Supreme Court of the United States still wanted same sex couples to get their license that judges in Alabama should still say no to them. That the state doesn't have to listen to what they say.


Let me get this right Roy. You're telling me that what the federal court system says means nothing to you. Am I correct? This means that even though the drinking age is 21 across the country, you want to make it 18 in Alabama. Come on man!

Look, I understand clearly. To Christians, marriage is between a man and a woman. Trust me, I know this. I am a Christian too. There is one thing though. This isn't about religion. What happened on Monday was about equality and what is right. I should know something about equality as well. Remember people that I am a black male is now married to a white female. 50 years ago, this would not have happen. If I did get married to Whitney in the 1950s, who knows what kind of backlash I would have gotten.

I remember seeing a tweet that said they enjoyed seeing all the same sex wedding that happened on Monday, but after a while it became normal to see. That's great to hear. It should be that way in the first place. I want to be one day where we don't worry about people sexual preference or who someone gets married to(no matter of race, religion, sex, or whatever).

I want people to learn that equality is not just for talks on race. It's a talk that should be for everything and everyone. We should learn to love one another and learn that love is for everyone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Up

There are very few reason why I would go down Highway 280. If you live in Birmingham, you feel my pain. Especially if it's during rush hour, you damn near want to pull your hair out. Well I decided yesterday to travel down 280 for the Magic City Bloggers for the Brainstorm Meet Up.

Some of the bloggers that are apart of MCB came to Heavenly Donuts and just talked about blogging. Stuff like how to get more readers, how to come up with content to write, and everything else. It was cool to see what others thought and how they came up with things for the blog.

Something else I noticed about the evening is that there are very few male bloggers. I was one of two guys at the meet up. I kind of had a feeling that it would be like that. Lets be honest. Most bloggers in the world are females. Its not just a female thing though. Guys can blog too.

I did learn a lot while I was there. I also learned how good of donuts Heavenly Donuts have there. They had a Oreo and Red Velvet donuts. I will make special trips now to go down 280 for some of those delicious pastries. Whitney told me they was good, but I didn't want to believe that something was better than Krispy Kreme. She was right(like how she is most of the time).

All in all, last night was fun to be around local bloggers and good donuts. I hope that this won't be the last time I meet them and talk more blog stuff.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tell My Story

Since the beginning of this year, my blog has been doing well. People are reading it and telling me how they enjoy it. I love that I'm getting people to check this out, but I feel weird about it. I feel that people are getting to know me, but I still feel there is more than I am leaving out. You are probably wondering what I mean.

I am not saying there is a deep, dark secret I am hiding from the world. I am not living a secret life. I just feel like this blog is like my book. You are opening up a book of my life. This book goes through all of my thoughts and activities, and that is what I feel I am leaving out. My thoughts on some stuff are not being brought out in this book.

I feel like with me being a male blogger, I have to stick to a certain style. You know what I mean. I should write about sports, music, men's fashion, food, beer, or stuff related to guys. Now do not get me wrong because I do like most of the stuff I mention, but I am not your average everyday guy that you society thinks a guy should be like.

I am a guy that thinks somewhat differently than most. I am not the most macho man in the world. I am not fixing cars or shooting guns. I am nowhere near a handy man, and I can't say that driving a pickup truck is my thing. Then again, that is thing. I am my own type of guy. That's my story I want to share to the world.

Maybe this will mean I will rebrand this blog. Maybe this might mean that Ralph's Birmingham will be no more. I don't have all the answers now. I do have one answer though. I will be sharing my world and my side story to you more. I want to talk about things that happen in my life that not everyone understand. I know there are other folks in the world who understand my points, and others who might not. At least we can have conversation and build a community around these things.

Tell me what you think about this idea. Do you understand where I am coming from, or do you think I am just loosing it? I want to know should I tell more about what I am thinking and how I feel about things, or should I just stick to what I have been doing the past. I would love to hear your advise and suggestions.

Many thanks to you all for sticking around for this long. More of my life will be coming to you soon. Just stick around to see what comes around.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Out With The Wifey

Last night was one of few times I get to have a night off during the week. Usually I get only one night, but this week I have three(CELEBRATION!!!). With this night off from work, I decided that Whitney and I should have a date night. We hardly go out, so why not do it this time.

I wanted her to choose where we would go, but she didn't want to choose(this is how our relationship works). I gave a list of places we could go. They included J Clyde, Paramount, Jack Brown's, and The Southern Kitchen. Since we never been there before, she wanted to go to The Southern Kitchen. We have heard mixed reviews, so we wanted to see which side we would be on.

I got home first and changed into some more comfortable clothes(this just means changing shirts and shoes). She got home and completely changed clothes, and then we were off to Uptown.

Once we got into the restaurant, we had to walk to the front of place to the host stand(we entered from the back). He asked if we wanted to go to the bar because it would be quick service. We thought that would be a okay with us. We sat down at the bar and waited. And waited. It was about three to five minutes before the bartender came around. It looked like she didn't want to be there. :(

We looked around on the menu to see what we wanted. It broke my heart to see that they didn't have any beers on draft. Come on now!! This place is still fairly new, and there were no beers on draft. Anyway, I got me a Good People Brown and Whitney got some kind of strawberry cocktail(I forgot the name of it).

Once we looked around the food menu, we decided to get some of the Cajun Angels. It was an app with blackened shrimp that was wrapped in bacon with a BBQ sauce underneath. For what it was worth, I thought we would get more than what we got.

In my opinion, it was good but felt like something missing from the sauce. I know it was under Small Plates, but it was smaller than what I thought it would be.

Well our entrees should better, right? Ehhh. I got The Jackson, which was blackened shrimp with gouda grits topped with a cajun hot sauce and greens. Whitney got the Pimento Cheese Sandwich that had jalapeƱo honey fries.

 Just liked the appetizer, we felt like something was just missing from both of our meals. Now let it be clear that I am not saying that we did not like the food. We enjoyed it, but it felt like there was something missing from the whole experience.

Once we left there, Whitney had the idea of going to J Clyde for some dessert. YES!!! After a not so exciting dining, we know we could get some awesome beers and desserts from our favorite pub in the city.

We walked in and saw Amanda was working behind the bar. We sat in the back bar and started off with some beer. I got the Merry Widow from Fairhope, and the wifey got a tripel from Straffe Hendrik. Made both of our souls happy.

Then our dessert came around. We got the Young's Double Chocolate Stout Brownie that came with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Dear God!! It was soo amazing!! What did I decided to wash it down with? I got a Cappuccino Stout from Lagunitas. This was good as well.

I can say that we might not have started the night on a good foot, but it definitely ended the way it should. Will I go back to The Southern. We shall see, but it will be a while before I go back. J Clyde, on the other hand, I will see you later this week.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Favorite Ads from the Super Bowl 49

Did you watch the Super Bowl last night? What a game!! Coming down to the last play to decided a winner. No matter what, it will go down in history.  Even though the game was good, the commercials(in my opinion) were okay

In the past, there have been plenty of commercials that stole the show. I don't know if anyone else felt the same as I do or not, but I didn't see any commercials that just really got my attention. Okay, so there was a couple that did. I would like to show you which ads I enjoyed from last night game.

To start off the list, I want to show you that maybe the the Boston Tea Party could have been different if only the British had just given the Americans the chance to file their taxes for free. Watch this ad from TurboTax.

Next up, Jeff Bridges wants you be able to sleep better. Watch how Jeff can get you plenty of ZZZZ's with this commercial from Squarespace.

You remember the days when your mom used to pick you up from school right? Well what if Lindsay Lohan picked you up. This is how Esurance believes it could be like(well sort of).

Do you have haters? Are trolls ruining your life? Well Coke is trying to #MakeItHappy with this year Super Bowl Ad.

Going to McDonald's and don't have any cash? Don't worry. You can your meal with love. See what I mean here.

The last commercial I liked from last night was from Bud Lite. If you're a Pacman fan, you will love this commercial.

Now I have one more commercial. This is (Dis)Honorary Award goes to the people of Budweiser. They decided to take a stab at folks who drink craft beer(like me). See what I am talking about below.

Yes Bud, I will continue to sip and drink on some Pumpkin Peach Ale and leave your stuff alone. :-)

There were more ads I like, but I want to hear from you. Did you have any favorites from last night Super Bowl commercials. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

28 Random Facts

I have been blogging since about April and May of last year. You have gotten to know some stuff about me and read what I am thinking, but you really don't know too much about myself. That changes today. I want to let you know some random things that some of you may or may not know. I think 28 facts will be okay(since I am 28yrs old).

1. I was born with six fingers. Yep. Six! Now the extra fingers were mainly just cartilage, so I would not have been able to use them.

2. I am the oldest of two kids in my family. My brother, Ryan, is 23yrs old.

3. I have a large collection of t-shirts. I am not kidding you. These shirts include Snoopy, Birmingham, Beer, and Wrestling themed shirts. I have more shirts than my wife has clothes in our closet.

4. Half of my family lives in Birmingham and the other half lives in Detroit.

5. I grew up a Alabama fan; however, I forever will be a UAB Blazer!!

6. I am a picky eater.

7. I have been a wrestling fan since I could even remember. I still watch it to this day. Favorite wrestler of all time would have to be The Undertaker.

8. When I watch TV, I usually watch Cooking Channel or Food Network.

9. I have never lived in a city other than Birmingham, AL. I have lived in different areas of the city, but Birmingham has always been my home since I have been alive.

10. I didn't have my first for real alcoholic drink until I was 22yrs old. Drink of choice at that point was half a bottle of Patron.

11. I wear a size 15 shoe. Yes, finding shoes has always been a problem for me.

12. Rafael is my real name. My mom got the name from a Atlanta Braves' baseball player.

13. During middle and high school, I lived in the same house with three different generations of women. My mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother all lived under one roof with me.

14. I have never in my life been in a physical fight.

15. People always say that I have a nice smile, but it's one of the things I am self-conscious about myself.

16. I didn't have a Twinkie until the made their return about a couple of years ago.

17. My last year in the marching band at UAB, I had an award named after me. It was an award my fraternity(Kappa Kappa Psi) created to honor the person that particular year who showed what it meant to be a true brother.

18. I love anything and everything Charlie Brown and Snoopy related. I watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when I was in middle school, and then I got hooked on everything with Peanuts.

19. I can make my hand pop and crackle almost anytime I want. I have been able to do that since high school.

20. I can be a pretty shy person when I met new people.

21. I can stand country music. I mean the "my dog died, my girl left me" kind of country music.

22. I am a city boy all the way. I can't live in the country or near the woods, and I don't want to.

23. Christmas is my favorite holiday of all time. Once I hear Christmas music, I get in the mood. I just love when the holiday season comes around.

24. The person I call dad is not my biological father, but he is the only man I will ever call dad. He has taught me so much about life and how to a man.

25. I have never been fired from a job that I have worked out.

26. I used to be a ballroom dancer. I hope to one day(maybe in the near future) get back into that.

27. Even though I have a fear of heights, I want to sky dive one day.

28. I have never been on the west coast before. I know people tell me that it's fun over there, but just never had a reason to go there. Maybe I might change that this year.

Wow!! That was a lot. Now tell me one random/interesting fact about yourself.

Hope you have an awesome week!!!
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