Posts Tagged Hoperatives
Imagine my complete and utter disbelief when I realized yesterday that it’s been an entire week since I posted anything here. Quite frankly, I should be ashamed of myself. I mean, going a full week without so much as a stick figure drawing or a haiku is a level of laziness tantamount to hiding in bed with the covers drawn up over me as if the Boogeyman—no, wait, make that the Evil Lunch Lady—is waiting beneath my bed, ready to steal away my soul or, worse, force-feed me soggy school spinach until the End of Days.
But, honest, I wasn’t that lazy
Some people get to travel to interesting, exciting places for business. New York City, Paris, London, New Orleans, Las Vegas. I also get to travel for business from time to time. And when I do, boy, do I ever get to go to some, um, smallish, largely unknown places. Places that occasionally might appear as a word a on a map between two bigger slightly more interesting places.
Like Carroll, Iowa.
And Wallingford, Connecticut.
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…
After writing a brief look ahead at 2013, I realized that the ridiculously rambly spiel about my Exciting! New! Plan! for glassware in 2013 would make an excellent post for Hoperatives. You know, because that blog over there is about the beer, like, 24×7. Of course, as with any post I’ve written, you can rest assured that I wandered off topic and had a few words unrelated to the size and shape of glasses I’d be drinking from in the coming year.
So! If you’re the slightest bit curious about my official position on New Year’s Resolutions, and why I tend to play along these days when I might not have been much of the joiner in my youth, you should click through this link and read along to find out.
With that out of the way, there was one other piece of business to cover today. Well, that and a warning.
Before I get to that rather ominous bit, though, someone (and by someone, as is usual, I mean the voices in my head) asked me to list my three favorite posts from 2013. Honestly, that was a tough one.
Well, after much consideration and wading through the 200+ posts I wrote over the course of the year, I think I’ve settled on the three that meant the most to me.
- There’s the one about the pine wood derby tank, which I love because it demonstrates that even fumbling, craft-less hands like my own can help produce great things with the proper motivation.
- There’s the one from Valentine’s Day, because I’m a huge sap at heart, yet am still immature enough to giggle at the fact that I spent my Valentine’s Day evening doing some plumbing. No, seriously, actually toilet repair.
- The one about the seemingly never-ending little league baseball game, because it starts with me complaining and ends with the realization of why we spend our lives playing games we aren’t very good at in the first place. For an author querying his first novel, it was a particularly pointed conclusion.
Are these the best posts I wrote this year? Probably not. I’m not even sure they’re really any good. But each one entertained me in a certain way, and each of these also meant something to the Puddinette. And as we all know, entertaining her is why I do this in the first place.
Then again, odds are good that if you take my opinion and add a $4, you could buy yourself a small decaf, non-fat, no-whip latte.
Oh, and as for the dark and scary warning I mentioned above? I’ve got an itch to mess with the blog’s theme and some of the underlying mechanisms for How Things Work around here. So keep an eye out for new stuff, and don’t freak out if one morning nothing looks quite familiar – that’s just the man behind the curtain mucking things up.
And if there’s one thing we all need, it’s a little stirring up the pot from time to time.
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
When I was kid, “fall down, go boom” was a commonly used phrase around the house. I’d spin around until I couldn’t see straight, and end up splayed out on the floor like the Vitruvian Man. And with three siblings, two of whom being younger than me, there was no shortage of the falling or the going boom.
Coincidentally (which, by the way is not the same thing as “ironically“), I have a hockey game tonight. Guess who’s got two thumbs and is likely to “fall down, go boom” when he takes the ice?
*points to self*
Yes, well, Moving on. All this “fall down, go boom” shtick was supposed to lead directly to a bit about beer. As I’m gotten older, it seems that as much as I still very much enjoy having a few tasty craft beers from time to time, I don’t always enjoy the weight and high alcohol content one usually finds in the more innovative of today’s brews. Which, of course, got me to thinking about session beers.
What’s a “session” beer, you ask?
According to Wikipedia,
“Session drinking” is a chiefly British term that refers to drinking a large quantity of beer during a “session” (i.e. a specific period of time) without becoming intoxicated. A session is generally a social occasion
While you do that, I think I’ll spin around in circle a few times and see if I can make myself hurl.
Because, you know, why not?
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 guess it was last Saturday night, during SNL, when I saw the commercial. It immediately made me scratch my head and mumble, “Whizza whazza whozzit?” into my beer. I’m speaking, of course, of the new James Bond Skyfall-related ad for Heineken.
That is, this one:
Now, I heart me some Bond and, honestly, I have absolutely nothing against this spot as a piece of advertising itself. Unfortunately, though, I do have a problem with Ian Fleming’s most well-known secret agent pimping a Dutch beer. Of course, as it’s both Thursday and this is a beer-related rant (totally a coincidence, I assure you), I climbed up on the soapbox the Hoperatives leave out for me on Wednesday nights when they put out the dog.
Never you mind that the dog and I both end up outside for the night. Just…shh.
Anyway, I wrote a bit about Bond and British Beer Betrayal today in a Hoperatives post. Maybe you’d enjoy reading it?
Speaking of beer…just, you know, on a more personal level, it appears that I’ve finally come to the crossroads I’ve been both expecting and fearing for the past 6 weeks or so. It’s time to pick a priority: either the running, or the beer.
For the first few weeks, I intentionally tried not to have to make a choice. I figured that if I could have my cake and drink it up on Thursday nights after completing the week’s workouts, I’d both be more inclined to stick to the running and also have some kind of reward to offer myself. If this all sounds a bit familiar, yes, I did, in fact, ramble on about this exact topic a few weeks ago.
The thing is, though, schedules sometimes have to be tried and erred before you know what’s really going to work. And at this point in the game, it turns out that I really need to run more often in the morning than in the evenings. That is, unless I want to do it after the kids go to bed. But honestly, the thing is that the Puddinpop became my running buddy in the early stages of this thing, and I hate telling him I’m going for a run alone. Also, I keep my pace better when he’s with me, since I intentionally don’t try to dash through it since he’s got long-for-a-kid-but-still-shorter-than-mine legs.
Left to my own devices, see, I usually end up not so much jogging as running like the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse is finally upon us and there’s a host of grey-skinned meat-sacks shambling after me moaning, “Braaaaaaaiiins.” In other words, I’m gasping like a goldfish in the hands of that mean kid from your old neighborhood, Jimmy “The Fish Asphyxiator,” after barely half a mile.
That’s not really, you know, optimal.
So, long story short, mornings are better for running. The problem, then, is that come Friday morning, I’m going to have a run to get in. And as much as I hate to admit it, there’s just no way that enjoying myself thoroughly through Beer Drinking Thursday is going to lead to anything positive on Friday morning.
Here I am, then, finally forced to decide between my comfortable, well-established, Thursday beer traditions and a run that won’t have me hating my feet, legs, lungs, the pavement, and the stupid air for playing so hard to get tomorrow morning.
Believe it or not, I’m putting the easier run before the more awesome Thursday night.
And if that’s not a sign of the Apocalypse, I just don’t know what possibly could be.
Hopefully the world doesn’t end right away, though. Because otherwise I figure I can make up for it with a newly instituted Beer Drinking Friday.
I guess I’ll survive until tomorrow.
So, yeah, I’m being all responsible and making decisions like, you know, “a grown-up.”
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
In fact, let’s never speak of this again.
If you happened to be a particularly mean and/or nasty person, you know, the sort of type-A, it’s-all-about-me, shaking-a-finger-while-wagging-your-head-on-camera-doing-your-Bridezillas-thing, you probably wouldn’t be able to restrain yourself from pointing out, potentially loudly, that I’ve been a terrible blogger recently.
I expect it’d be something like, “Mmmm-mmm, my baby-daddy blogs more than you do, and he’s all locked-up for some B & E charge he didn’t even do. Now, get over here and tell me how smokin’ hot I look in my wedding dress or you’ll be ruining my wedding!”
Or at least, that’s what Bridezillas seems to be like. I only catch snippets of it when I cross the room.
Annnyway…the fact is I have been a not-so great blogger-type lately. I danced around it on Monday in the Great Pumpkin Debate, which itself is Exhibit A of my recent bloggery sloth*. Not to mention that I haven’t written a post since that one on Monday, and here we are, smack in the middle of Thursday.
I’d like to tell that my recent promotion up the ranks in the often dangerous but always suave world of international espionage has kept me from doing my thing at the keyboard. You know, because scaling skyscrapers in Dubai with suction cups can make it difficult to type.
Alas, the truth is sadly much less interesting. The fact is, what you’re seeing is the beginning of an unavoidable trend. I’m going to be going light on posts around here for a little while, probably until about the end of the year. See, the thing is, I’ve been working a second book, a non-fiction one (which I’ve mentioned before). But…
The time, however, has come to stop the dragging of my feet. So for the next month or so, I’m putting the full-court press on Mr. Non-Fiction. I’ve given myself a deadline for a Draft Zero, and I damn sure intend to meet it one way or the other. And unfortunately, if that means that many Bothans have to die to make that possible, that’s the price you pay. Err…wait, I guess no one’s actually in peril here. But, whatever. You know what I mean.
The bottom line is, the book’s gotta get done. Especially because I’m starting to get itchy to work on the novel after it.
So, before the end of the year, I want to finish one book, start and finish** a second one, all while keeping up my regular contributions to other outlets like Hoperatives.com and Daugherty’s The Morning Line. Speaking of which, I have a new post over at Hoperatives today about something very exciting happening next month at Arthur’s Cafe in Hyde Park. Oh, and I did forget to mention my new gig as one of Daugherty’s beer guys? For at least the rest of the Bengal’s season, I’ll be offering beer weekly suggestions related to that weekend’s opponent. For instance, in this morning’s TML, I take a look at what to quaff in honor of the upcoming game Sunday against the Redskins.
Oh, and I’ve got this whole running thing too…
The long and short of all this is not to be a Whiney McWhinerson who’s all, “Dude, I am, like, soooo busy here.” Because, seriously, I love all this stuff I’m doing. It makes me feel like maybe I’m not wasting my one rollercoaster ride on this little blue planet on mindless nonsense interrupted with the occasional mouthful of processed cheese-paste from a squeeze can. However, there are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes a fellow has to set some priorities.
So, for the next few months, I’ll be posting a little more sparsely around these parts. It’s not like I’ll go a whole week and nothing but tumbleweeds will roll across the page like a deserted western town. I mean, we’ve done this thing before, right? You’ll still get the errant thought or commentary, and I’ll be sure to post links whenever I’ve whored myself out contributed to someone else’s blog. And I’ll definitely be keeping up with the Weekend Debate. Not that they every really espouse any actual, you know, debate, but they’re fun for me and it seems like you guys do enjoy answering the weekly nonsense poll.
To sum up: Whew! Busy busy! Not much time for posting these days. Will catch up soon! Look for more haiku. Maybe some recipes too. Because, well, why not? In the meantime, go have some fun. Enjoy the upcoming fall.
Just, you know, maybe try to stay away from the can of squeeze cheese. That’s really not going to help your confidence much, is it?
*Totally an epic band name. Some kind of speed metal, I’d think, but you know, lazy speed metal.
**No, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. More on that, later on. Maybe in a month or so. Plans are still percolatin’