Posts Tagged beer
Have you ever noticed that everybody nowadays seems to have lists and lists of stuff they’re actively checking-off to feel like they’re, you know, accomplishing those ever important “life goals”? There’s the pile of books you just have to burn through because everyone says that they’re each, respectively, the best thing since Snooki’s book*; there’s your “Bucket List” (which is currently the length of a elephant’s trunk and growing), that compilation of everything you simply must experience before your number comes up and it’s time to exit the Ride of Life at the back gate; there are all those movies you have to see and all the places you need to set foot in just so you can say you were there; all the stupid little repairs you need to do around the house because that dumb toilet keeps overflowing…
It’s early afternoon on January 1, 2013. After another raucous celebration to usher in the next 365 days, people everywhere are a slowly, determinedly getting themselves into motion, while trying very hard to ignore that splitting headache and the fact that vampires have, in fact, been correct about that annoying daylight all this time.
Luckily, I managed to avoid the dreaded New Year’s Hangover myself. I didn’t it the sauce too hard with the kids last night, but maintained myself in a mature, dignified manner. Well, or as mature and dignified as one can be wearing his pjs and a bluish, sparkly hat.
Since we’re all slowly getting started along the path of a whole new calendar, in keeping with tradition, I figured today for a good time to take a quick look back and a somewhat more detailed look ahead. To sort of get our bearings before we stomp off into the uncharted wilds of 2013 like a drunken mountain dwarf with a bad eye.
I probably don’t need to say to much in the way for review, though, of course. Since this is a blog and all, the point of which being to chronicle my daily adventures (or lack thereof), the archives can provide plenty of review of 2012 without much intervention from yours truly. Last year, I learned a pretty important lesson S.C.U.B.A diving for the first time, starting sending out queries for my first novel, Famine, did a piss-poor job of getting started on the next Big Project: a non-fiction book, reconsidered (and revised and revised and revised) my query letter, turned 40-1 years old, learned quite a few things from little league baseball, started the ridiculous Weekend Debate feature around here (which I’ve grown to love), also started the equally ridiculous practice of writing movie reviews in 100 words or less, took a vacation to the beach, had a bad day, decided it was time to start running, learned quite a lot about querying over the course of a few months, decided I want an agent who really does love my work, and spent November writing a second novel as part of NaNoWriMo, and (finally), paid good money to see a Bengals’ game, because I’m a parent, which apparently is equivalent to “sucker”.
Whew, what a year!
Oh, and what was the most visited post of the year? You’ll never guess. Hands down, it was this one, a REPOST of the Green, Tasteless Beer poem I originally wrote and posted in 2011. Since St. Patrick’s Day, it’s gotten more than 10% of this blog’s total number of hits in 2012. Which just goes to show you, you never know what the Hell the internet is going to do.
So, what on tap for 2013? Well, more writing and more querying. In the next month or two I’m going finally start revising my NaNo novel in hopes of having it ready to query come spring. Also, remember that non-fiction book? Yeah, it’s still not done, and it’s blocking me up worse than a four-person dinner at The Melting Pot. That’s got to be finished soon, because I’ve got ideas for two more adult novels that I’d like to write, this year if possible.
I’m also going to extend my experience running in the coming year. On November 2, 2012, I ran 5 kilometers, on purpose, at all once, without stopping to die or suck oxygen like a lineman after running back a fumble. Running has been difficult to get in consistently since NaNo, then the holidays, and now winter arrived in devious succession, but one way or the other, I intend to run a 10k in the spring. And then it’ll be time to seriously start work on the that half marathon.
My feet are going to take quite a betting this year.
My liver, however, is going to get a bit of a reprieve. Now, don’t get silly, I’m not planning to give up the sauce altogether. Where’s the fun in that? I am, however, going to change how I consume it a little bit. See, over the past few years, I’ve been drinking out of these quite a bit:
In case you don’t immediately recognized that, it’s a 22-oz beer glass. I use them frequently because, well, I often find myself cracking open a bottle like this:
No, I don’t mean a Bastard, necessarily, but a 22-oz bomber full of beer. The thing is, though, I really don’t need to be drinking 22 oz of beer at a time. Kind of the same way no one really needs to eat at the Chinese Buffet, and doing so will inevitably lead to shame and self-loathing. Luckily, though, through a happy accident, I just happened to receive a box of brand new glasses for Christmas. To be more specific, 17-oz pilsners. If you ask me, a 16- or 17-oz glass is just about perfect for filling with 12-oz of beer and leaving just the proper space for an inch or two of frothy head. See? So for 2013, I’m going to be drinking from the somewhat more reserved smaller glasses.
And that means no more 22-oz bombers for me, at least not on a regular basis. Bottles of that size should be shared, so unless I plan on sharing, I’m going to leave them right where they are on the shelf.
I fully expect my liver, by midsection, and my head to thank me come Jan 1, 2014.
That’s my look ahead. What are you looking forward to in 2013? You know I’d love to hear it. Oh, and if you happen to be a writer trying to find your way into an agent’s good graces, drop me a line and say, ‘Hello!’ We’re all in this together, I’d like to get to know as many of you as I can.
Happy New Year, my fine readerly folk! Now, get out there, kick some ass and take some names.
As I said on twitter last night, I plan to kill it for the next 365 days. So let’s all crush it, together!
Being Christmas day, the Puddinette are I, and of course all the puddinlings, are hanging out with extended family and making quite merry. Santa was very good to everyone, and there’s been quite a flurry of gifts changing hands all afternoon. A fabulous dinner is in the offing, (one of those belt-busters, if you know what I mean) and A Christmas Story is on every TV screen I see.
Which is to say, Christmas has been just as merry and all-around Grade-A as one could hope. In other words, I’m feeling pretty blessed at the moment. With the exception that I could use a little sleep right now, there’s not a whole lot to complain about.
I hope your holidays are every bit as awesome, too.
On another holiday related note, I kept up the now-annual tradition of adapting a well-known Christmas story for Hoperatives.com to make it relatable for craft brew lovers. After the success of last year’s A Craft Beer Christmas Carol*, I wasn’t sure how I’d follow without looking like a fool. So I dug deep and picked one of my all-time favorites, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Without further adieu, I am proud to present How the Grinch Stole Beermas for Hoperatives.com.
*In case you missed it last year, A Craft Beer Christmas Carol was reposted in its entirety today, all five parts, on Hoperatives.com for your reading enjoyment. Hope you enjoy it!
A Craft Brew Christmas Carol: The Ghost of Jackson Merrill
A Craft Brew Christmas Carol: The First Spirit
A Craft Brew Christmas Carol: The Second Spirit
A Craft Brew Christmas Carol: The Third Spirit
A Craft Brew Christmas Carol: The End of It
I’ve made little effort to hide the fact that among all the various holidays recognized, celebrated and or honored by various cultures, social goups, etc, on Earth, Halloween is totes my absolute fav!
Yeesh! You know what… I’m sorry, I can’t even leave that alone. Sure, I might have only been trying to be silly there, but just writing the end of that sentence made me cringe. So, let’s try it again, but with 100% less annoying high-school girlspeak:
As of this moment, we are also within 72-hours of designated Trick-or-Treat time in my neighborhood, which, thankfully, observes real, genuine Trick-or-Treating rather than the more convenient yet utterly obnoxious practice of scheduling the annual costumed candy-grab the weekend before the Official Day. If you really want to know, I’ve got more reasons why that gets my crotchety inner old guy’s temper up than reasons why you should never get involved in a land war in Asia. Heck, if you ask me, even scheduling Trick-or-Treat times is Wrong, Wrong, WRONG! But I suppose I’m in the minority there. At any rate, you’re in luck, because all that grumping is another post.
Anyway, as we are t-minus three-days and counting to Go Time, I figured this might be an auspicious moment to quickly run down a list of misconceptions about how I’ll be spending my Halloween night. Thus, I proudly give you Five Thing I Will NOT Be Doing on Halloween Night.
- Wearing a costume – Yes, yes, I know…how terribly lame of me! How can I claim to have more love for Halloween than your average Labrador Retriever has for his/her owner if I’m not even willing to deign to dress up. Well, look, first of all, the modern definition of a Halloween costume for adults apparently includes the obligatory modifier “sexy”. You can’t just be a nurse or a devil or a sanitation worker, oh no! You have to be Sexy Nurse or Sexy Devil or, um, Sexy Sanitation Worker (yeah, I’m not really sure how that last one works either, but let’s just go with it). At any rate, you don’t want to my see Sexy Zombie costume, and, trust me, because that probably includes short-shorts and an cleavage-bearing shirt. Believe you me, that’d scare the kids out begging for Tootsie Rolls to the tune of about 10 years of intense psycho-therapy. Oh, and a secondary reason for the “no costume” assertion: I’m not Trick-or-Treating; my kids are. I’m just in this for the creepy factor. Allegorical converse: Kids (aka high-schoolers) not in costume sure as HELL better not expect to get any candy. I have an air-horn for those rotten no-good bastids.
- Drinking as we go – I guess it’s become part of the tradition for Dads to take part in a kind of beer relay when one’s out going house-to-house with the kids. And goodness knows that trying to traverse a neighborhood with four kids (ages 9-4) on foot is enough to make one want worship at the altar of Jim Beam, but the fact of the matter is that I’ll be trying to traverse a neighborhood with four kids (ages 9-4) on foot. At four different lengths of leg, meaning four different paces of chaotic dash between houses, Trust me, it’ll be all I can do to keep my young ‘uns within a loose 10-foot diameter circle of pandemonium that I’ll be at the center of. Accomplishing this will require a feat of focus and concentration I’m not sure even that NSA code-breaking computer could accomplish. Clearly, alcohol will not help assist said mental challenge. Besides, there will be time for beer later.
- Watching the usual TV shows – I, for one, will definitely not be watching my usual Wednesday night shows this week. Well, to be completely honest, I have no Earthly idea what my “Wednesday night” shows are. Keeping track of “what show is on when” is sooooo TV Guide circa 1987. I can’t be bothered to have to think about all that nonsense these days. My DVR handles all the drudgery of keeping track of it for me. Which is lucky, since obviously every ounce of my brain-juice is necessary to produce such witty and insightful posts as well, this one. At any rate, regardless of whatever my DVR records Wednesday, you can bet that I’ll be up late instead, watching creepy movies with questionable production values, because that’s what Halloween is all about. I’m thinking this year I might have to see if Sleepy Hollow is available on Netflix. Why, you ask? Because Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci and Ichabod Crane and a ridiculously silly Headless Horseman adaptation, THAT’S WHY! In other news: The Headless Horseman from Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been my favorite Halloween scary thing since I was, well, old enough to be scared of things.
- Eating ludicrous gobs of candy – Because candy’s totally not good for me and at odds with my new running lifestyle and oh, HEHEHEHEHEHE Hahahahaha LOLOLOLOLOL seriously, I can’t even do this with a straight face. What a complete, utter, pile of rubbish. On Halloween night, you can rest assured I’ll be stuffing handfuls of fun-sized candy bars into my gaping pudding hole with all the careful reserve of one of the Three Stooges. In other words, All Your Snickers Belong To Us!
- Writing anything – I don’t often take a day where I don’t write anything. In fact I generally keep the old writer’s adage about writing something every day very close to my heart. But for one thing, Halloween is a special day for me, and for another, on the day after Halloween, the starter’s pistol goes off on NaNoWriMo. In other words, as soon as I’m done stuffing chocolate covered goodies into my yapper, I’m on the hook to produce 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days. I think maybe a day of rest for the word-making muscles before the crazed sprint through November get under way isn’t the worst idea ever. I guess we’ll see.
So, there you have it. I think that somehow those five, well, four things I won’t be doing on Halloween offers some pretty solid insight into what I will be doing on Wednesday night. Which is to say, hopefully, enjoying myself immensely.
What about you, though? What kind of Halloween tricks do you have up your sleeves?
Well, no so much for me, at least from a consumption perspective, because I have to run early tomorrow morning. And if there’s anything I’ve proven to myself so far, it’s that late night beer drinking + early AM running = Massive Ugh. But that’s okay! Because what I really meant was that today’s a good day to write about beer. At least, if you’re me. If you’re not, then, yes, drink some too.
Why do I always write about beer on Thursday, you ask? Because, um, obviously, uh, yeah, I don’t know. Maybe some week I’ll choose to write a post about beer on Wednesday, or perhaps even Tuesday. I mean, beer doesn’t haven’t to be the topic of the day only on Thursday, right? I could totally pick a different day to vomit out some word ramblings on the subject.
Goodness know I have ramblings every day of the week.
Anyway, protestations about my self-assigned weekly schedule notwithstanding, today is Thursday, and not surprisingly, also the day I’ve written about beer, again.
This time, though, it’s not just beer I get to rambling about! What with the national election nonsense machine running in high gear now and just under three weeks to the Big Day, I thought it might be a worthwhile endeavor to highlight how each of the candidates from the two major tickets seem to feel about craft beer.
You know, because, really, a) craft beer, b) having more well-written sci-fi shows on TV (that don’t get cancelled in the first four weeks), and, oh yeah, c) improving reading and overall literacy are, you know, the “big” issues for me.
I’m kidding of course. At least about the sci-fi thing. Also that those are the only things I care about.
Point being, I conjured a little post on Hoperatives today (one that amuses me, at least) about the candidates and their respective relationship with beer. What I realized first is that this is an odd foursome. But then something surprising happened. In all this thinking about politics and craft beer, I stumbled right into a realization about economic policy that’s probably going to stick with me for a long time.
And people say spending all my time thinking about beer isn’t healthy.
So! Here’s the new post. I’m pleased with it. If you like beer and/or politics, read it, maybe?
Also, I should mention that my weekly football/craft beer blurb was posted in Paul Daugherty’s blog on Cincinnati.com, The Morning Line today. In case you’re not sure what to drink this Sunday during the Bengal’s game, I have a few suggestions of what to consider, and conversely, what to avoid like the plague (hint: it rhymes with Iron Kitty).
All right, that’s enough silliness from me. Happy Thursday, everyone. Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this beer talk has me a tad parched. Oh, right. Running.
I have to admit that I’m a little taken aback by the remarkably temperate weather currently favoring us here in eastern midwest, or whatever largely inaccurate geographic designation is current in use for the Ohio valley. Regardless, it’s like, cool, you know? As if maybe fall this year isn’t only going to be this 10-day period of moderate temperatures in early November bookended by an “Indian Summer” notable for the heat of a thousand suns and the arrival of pre-winter bringing with it the bleak bone-chilling cold of a Kardashian heart.
Indeed, it’s a reminder that although summer technically has another 10 or so days to hang on, Labor Day has come and gone, all the kids are back in school, and it’s time for my white capri pants to go back into winter storage.
That also makes it a pretty good time to reflect on the events of the summer, which got me thinking about our family vacation to the beach this year. It was a good trip, and I hope it gives the kids plenty of memories they’ll hold on to for years.
Of course, that’s not all it was. The trip was also an excuse for me to visit brewpubs in strange and foreign places. Places like Knoxville, Tennesee, home to the Downtown Grill and Brewery. If fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that of the three beer-related locations we visited this summer, it was definitely my favorite.
Because I’m am not much with the Captain Subtlety, I hope that by now you’ve all hipped to the realization that this is obviously all just rambles and meanders leading up to the part where I link to a newly published Hoperatives post by yours truly.
Yeah, this is that link. Go read about Downtown Grill and Brewery, because it’s a place you should want to visit someday. Also, check out a completely new set of poorly photographed pictures.
There will be nachos, I promise.
I saw a link this morning to a NY Times Wellness blog post that talks about a study on the long-term benefits on aging of starting the kind of middle-aged running program I’ve
foolishly enthusiastically committed myself to. Well, I guess it’s not specific to running, but rather any kind of aerobic fitness in general which I suppose could include skipping down the street while muppet-flailing and chirping like a cuckoo for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
Whatever works for you, I’m not here to judge.
Anyway, the gist is that the study shows that getting fit in middle age, even if you’ve spent the better of your adult life rounder than pre-Subway Jared and solely dedicated to leaving a wide, deep imprint of your, um, dark side on your couch, can have significant longevity and quality-of-life benefits down the road. In other words, if you pry yourself off the couch now, you’re more likely to have more enjoyable time with said couch when the Golden Years show up and convince you the 4:30 PM dinner buffet is a good thing.
Indeed, that’s kind of the same thing I wrote I was hoping for in my running post. I have to admit, though, it’s nice when something you sort of just believed turns out to be supported by actual, you know, science, eh*?
Anyway, it got me to thinking (no, you don’t smell anything burning…just, shush you.) about the myriad other benefits of a middle-aged running/aerobic fitness program. So, here’s five:
- Me Time – Seriously, you love your spouse, significant other, kids, mom, boss, extended family, friends, cats, and fish. We all understand, really. So it’s okay that sometimes you just need a half an hour to yourself when no one’s asking you if “these pants make me fat”, or telling you to unclog the toilet, or complaining that your personal couch-crease is embarrassing when their parents come over. When you’re out there getting a solid aerobic workout by yourself? It’s just you, fresh air, and your incredibly labored breathing.
- New Clothes – You can’t exactly get out there in a pair of decade-old denim jeans and your favorite 1994 Metallica “Ride the Lightning” concert tee, now can you? Absolutely not, if for no other reason than because unless you don’t want to end up as flat as that toad you found when you were riding your bike in the fifth grade. You need something drivers can actually see. Black t-shirts don’t work well, fancy lightning graphics or not. So you’re going to have to get some new stuff. Preferably something lightweight and reflective. For instance, I just bought a shirt this week that’s apparently the color of nuclear fusion. It may be the first article of clothing I’ve purchased for myself that I didn’t absolutely have to have since before we had kids.
- Shoes like a Peacock’s Plummage – Admit it, you’ve always wanted to strut your stuff in a set of footwear that would make both Huggy Bear and Bootsy Collins quiver with technicolor envy. Problem is, you’re kind of, well, you know, the lamely-dressed middle-aged dude who’s idea of flashy is intentionally mismatching your tie and your belt. In other words, you and electric green shoes go together about as well as fish sauce and cottage cheese. But workout shoes, man? All the rules are off! So get that pair of neon purple kicks and show them that you’re not always the same boring color grey.
- MOAR BEER! – You’ve always enjoyed kicking back with a couple, er, um, perhaps more, Thursday evening beers, right? Unfortunately, no matter how much you might wish you could drink the beers and leave those several hundred extra calories in the glass, you can’t really have one without the other. But wait! Beer is apparently a sports drink these days. So, if you want to keep your Thursdays sudsy, just get a workout in first. Can you say, “guilt free?”
- Zombie Apocalypse prep - So, you’ve seen Zombieland? What? No?! Ok, first things first: you gotta fix that. Go watch Zombieland. Yes, now. You can get it from Netflix or from some on-demand service or probably stream it from Amazon. Whatever. Go watch it, we’ll wait. *whistles* *looks around* Done? Awesome. Good flick, eh? Too bad about [redacted for spoilers], though, ya know? Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, the Zombie Apocalypse. Obviously, Rule #1: Cardio. So, when the zombies come shambling after you, all a-groanin’ and a-moanin’ for your sweet, tasty grey matter, it’ll be good to know you can lead them on a merry chase and possibly even outrun them, and not end up zombie meat because you stopped to the puke in the bushes and found a hider.
*I feel bad the Creation Museum people will never have this feeling. But then, I suppose they have their self-righteousness and—inexplicably—several large piles of Kentucky tax dollars to console themselves.
As a rule, I try to keep my keel pretty even. You know, because not only is having a “warped keel” not a particularly fun way to go through life, it always sounds like something they’d have to amputate. Thus, I don’t generally get irked up about stuff unless you a) suggest I haven’t got the wit God gave the common volcanic rock, d) intentionally take advantage of someone in my presence, 7) disrespect my family (not including me…stuff rolls offa my back like it’s covered in Crisco), or Q) forget to turn off the bathroom lights.
That last one is mostly just my kids. Seriously, it’s like they think we own stock in the electric company!
Anyway, I saw something yesterday that managed to rather uncharacteristically get my irk up. Specifically, this:
Surprisingly, it’s not that fact that BW3 is intentionally mocking home brewers here that gets me riled up, it’s that the whole thing seems kind of a stupid approach when you’re attempting to get more beer drinkers into your establishment to, um, drink beer. Why is it stupid? Because, Oppenheimer, home brewers drink beer, making them a member of the demographic the company is theoretically advertising to.
You know you want to read it now, right? So go for it!
It’s Thursday here on Earth, or at least in the American part of it. I suppose it’s probably Friday already is some other places, but we don’t like those places with their snooty, Ooooo, I get my Friday’s before you attitude, so let’s just assume it’s Thursday everywhere for now.
Being Thursday, I’m conditioned to look forward to this evening, because Thursday nights are when I usually try out a new beer for the week. It’s a good night for it for three reasons:
- because I’ve been conditioned since college to expect Thursday night to be a little bit laid back,
- because tomorrow’s Friday, and if you can’t sample a new beer or two in pre-celebration of the last day of the work week, what are you holdin’ on for, and
- Untappd (a web service where you check-in the beers you’re enjoying to keep track of ‘em) has a badge for “New Brew Thursday”, which appears to derive from these guys. I like earning badges.
So I’m looking forward to my Thursday night beer, but there’s a new hurdle this week. You know, that whole running thing. Tonight I’m planning to complete the last of my first week’s worth of workouts.
One could probably argue that I should perhaps set aside my usual Thursday night new-beer tradition for a while, since the idea here is generally improve my health. But fie on that, I say! In my opinion, the point of the running business is to get healthier while still living life as if I’m, you know, living my life.
In other words, I wouldn’t be expecting me to hunker down with a case of power bars, a feverish obsession for austerity, and dollop of self-denial any time soon.
Tonight, then, New Brew Thursday will continue as usual, assuming I complete my training workout as expected. See, now it’s a reward for dedicating some time to self-improvement. Just like that, a weekly vice has become a end-of-the-week carrot.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, I can pretty much rationalize just about anything. I’m thinking about offering a webinar on it.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll go lace up fancy new jogging shoes. This beer’s not going to drink itself!