Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No. 62

Beer: Yards Pale Ale
Date: August 22nd, 2009
Place: PHL, Philadelphia, PA

I don’t know if I’ve ever loved anything more that maps.

Absolutely love them. Parts of them and wholes of them. Moving, marking, finding, remembering them. The colors. The lines. Their impact they have on the world and space and time.

Don’t cross this map line or you can be thrown in prison. Don’t cross that map line or you will be free from communism. Don’t cross this color or instead of standing on land you are standing in a swamp, that line contains 9 million people, that line contains a mile. On that side of that line there is an opposite season even though it’s on the same line that’s a mirror image of this line.

See the map on the right? It’s there and I’m the only person who has clicked on it and that is fine with me because it’s my map and while I’m not Captain Cook and I didn’t ever draw a map and I never used a sextant I can fill it and fill it is what I intend to do.

So when I found myself with my bosses in the airport in Philidelphia, a city filled with love, not map love – but love nonetheless, I thought it fitting to have a beer and populate my map, blog, stomach.

No. 61

Beer: Beamish Stout
Date: August 22nd, 2009

Place: Daedalus, Cambridge, MA

The market finished up 4.23 points today.

It’s finished up over 3,000 points off its March lows. But it still isn’t finished making sure that the folks I know are all done chewed up and laid off and moving out.

I had a beer on Saturday night for Julie’s going away.

She was at a place working on some neat things that will probably be less neat now that she is headed back to Arkansas before ending up in South Carolina, and she was up here in the first place before the consumer confidence tanked and working in careers like fashion and advertising made sense.

But now they don’t make sense, like banking doesn’t make sense (although we can all see it now) and lending doesn’t make sense and real estate bubbles don’t make sense and the only thing that seems to make sense now is 70% off sales that the few who saved money can afford to frequent, yet those same people who saved are the same ones who didn’t really frequent those shops in the first place, so they are probably still saving unless they are getting televisions for cheap I’m talking.

So with Julie gone, Boston is seeming to be just a little more rugged, now that our community and our friends and those others are all someplace else and the winter isn’t here yet but New England already seems cold.

But there is a little spark on the horizon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No. 60

Beer: Bass Ale
Date: August 12th, 2009

Place: People's Republik, Cambridge, MA

I'm not a bar game kind of guy.

I lack the skills necessary for pool. I always feel my bravado isn't quite there and that everyone can see through me when they say You play pool? and I say Yeah and they suggest I break and then I'm found out when I can't just break already.

I don't do poker. I find it mind numbingly boring and I don't like to gamble. I have limited money as is, and prefer not to give it to the man with a mustache and sunglasses.

I watch the people who play the machine that uses the hand to pick up (not pick up) the stuffed animal/adult DVD and wonder where they get that many quarters. I never can find them when I need a laundromat.

I thought darts would be in the same category. But they weren't. I can get into darts.

With a few stipulations:

a) I can't be drunk (usually not a problem). My aiming ability is too low and my tosses too high when the beer is flowing.
b) I can't be playing anyone with swagger. And with swagger I mean someone who actually plays. And by someone who actually plays, I mean the old man with the mustache who has moved on from poker and is now trying to hustle a college kid in a graphic tee.
c) Best results come when playing someone like Tony - who is good enough to keep the game moving along but not great enough to leave me in the wings while he runs the board.
d) When the primary purpose isn't darts.

I'd met Tony for a beer and we talked about our wives (we met he and his at our pre-marital counseling), his career (Navy first, now several balls in the air), my blog (this one), the Red Sox (losing), and after two hours, we thought it would be a fine time to toss a few darts, talk a good game, drink a pint, promise to do it again.

I lost. But only by a single bulls eye.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

No. 58 & 59

Beer: No. 58, Smuttynose Summer Weizen; No. 59, Innis and Gunn Oak Aged
Date: August 5th, 2009

Place: The backyard, Somerville, MA

I was planning on having beer 59.

Bought it a few weeks back. Knew the wife had book club and I'd have some bros over in the backyard and we'd drink beers and talk about nothing and enjoy the summer that took far to long to get here and will be gone far before we wish and one of my favorite things in the world behind Jesus, my wife, and honest employment is a beer with buddies so I knew that 59 would be good. I got something special that I've been wanting to try that is aged in old Scotch barrels and I'd suggest you give it a swig before you judge.

The thing was, I completely expected it to be beer number 58. And it was going to be, until a car pulled into the driveway.

It was my landlord, Liam. He lives upstairs with Pete and owns the whole house and has to be about the nicest damn landlord in all of Middlesex county. I'm sure if it was up to him we'd lose the lord and replace it with some other word probably of Irish lineage - as he is - that still implies that he's in charge, but comes off a little less insistful.

Liam, you want a beer? I have some extra in the fridge is what my mouth said before I could even think about it and within five minutes I'm sitting in the yard with the man who's mortgage I half pay and I'm pregameing my oak beer with a wheat beer.

In the yard. Feet up. Talking about the garden. The past month of searching for housing to no avail we'll be sticking around. Renovations. Jobs. KFC, but only after the guys who I was having beer 58 (now 59) showed up with boxes of chicken.

Liam scooted out early, but it totally makes sense.

He didn't want to lord over my beer, his yard, or our conversation.