Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No. 77

Beer: Three Philosophers
Date: October 25th, 2009
Place: The shores of Wangunbaug Lake, Coventry, CT

We have six months of cold in New England and six months of less cold and as we head towards either end of that spectrum there are two other seasons that makes themselves known and both expose explosions of color – reds and whites in the spring, oranges and yellows in autumn – that show we are not yet where we are going but that’s exactly where we’re headed, and we’re all going that way together and it’s going to be.

So we embraced that truth, or half-truth, loaded up the wagon and drove to Connecticut to see John and Stephanie and their newest addition, Arabelle, who came much as the seasons – to fanfare, anxiety, and the promise that tomorrow is better than today even if today was perfect. We wanted to make the trip before the oranges were brown, the ground was white. And as New England is compact, we were in the countryside of central CT in an hour and a half.

We toasted the seasons, life, as the sun dropped behind us and the trees were ablaze on the opposing shore.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No. 74 & 75 & 76

Beer: No. 74, Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, No. 75, Unknown, No. 76, Lone Star
Date: October 17th, 2009
Place: No. 74, Fette Sau; No. 75, Spuyten Duyvil; No. 76, Unknown

This night was not about beer (thus the lack of proper notes or camera equipment).

It was about people.

I took the bus to New York City to have dinner and drinks with friends.

We met freshman year in the dorm, in Oxford, MS. We lived together sophomore year with Train. In a house called the Velvet Launchpad. It was great and it was drunken and it was fun and it was hard and tumultuous and we all were looking for ourselves and who were we and that made for friction and it made for growth and it made us grow closer in some respects and further apart in others.

I'd not seen Taylor in six years and it was amazing to sit with him and drink a beer and feel like whatever was in the past was in the past and we are both now different people, yet the same, but the things that bothered us before (money, girlfriends) have been taken cars of (jobs, wives) and that makes it easy to look past and to just spend time together and laugh and hope that it won't be another six years before we do it again.

I met Scott one of the first days of my job in North Carolina. It took me no fewer than five weeks to remember his name. I kept describing him as the dude with blond hair. We flew up to New York to see Train a few years back. We drove up to Vermont and went snowboarding. Scott had never been to New York until then. He then said he was going to move up. I don't know if I believed him or not, but within a month he was gone. We still spend time together frequently, primarily when there is snow on the ground and boards in hand.

Daniel R & Daniel B:
It isn't fair to lump these guys together as if they are the same person. But I met them together, see them each time I visit the City together. They are roommates and bandmates and became fast friends when they met and they were in a band with Train when he lived up there. Daniel B and another Daniel (F) wanted to start a band and Daniel (Train) answered an ad and they were a threesome of Daniels, and they one night, at a bar, started talking to a nice fellow and when they found out his name was Daniel they asked him to join and then it was four Daniels in one band.

R & B are guys who in four years will be famous beyond belief and will be known not only for their celebrity but also their gentle spirits and their down-to-earthidness and I will, for the next twenty years, refer people to this blog to prove that I know them, that I count them among my friends, and their bigger than life personas will not overshawdow their sincerity and their drive.

They will start a chidrens home in India and teach music when they are not touring.

I've already talked about how great Charlotte and how fortunate I am to know her. The newest development is that she moved from Boston to NYC and she came out to meet these guys who I care so much about.

I continue to wish her well and only now realize how much more I wish we would have spent time with her while she was in Boston.

UPDATE: The Lone Star was at the Levee, and the unknown beer was, indeed, Blur Point October Fest. Later corroboration with Daniel and Scott put the final pieces into the puzzle.

No. 72 & 73

Beer: No 72, Sam Adams October Fest, No 73, Shipyard PumpkinHead
Date: October 15th, 2009
Place: Coogans Pub, Boston, MA

A Thursday night in October in Boston. I'd not had any seasonals yet and I didn't know that it was to snow later that night and signal a certain end to our summer and a temporary end to autumn.

It was October and I met a hearty group of gentlemen out where we proceeded to tie for 2nd place in trivia and were only one point off the leaders and had we the wherewithal to know that Sumo Wrestlers toss salt into the ring before they enter we'd have been tied for first and if we kner that Mt Fuji was the world's most summited mountain we'd be sitting in first place.

Instead, our Japanese culture was not polished up and we played the roverbial second fiddle, a team of nine of us, which was split in two due to rules but acted like one giant team, a thinktank with three architects, a Microsoft computer programmer, three graphic desgigners, a medical resident and a grocery store manager, who evidently know a good amount across a breadth of subjects, in a town of great thinkers, present and past.

The regret I have is not in being unable to answer a question or two, but in trying the Shipyard OctoberFest beer in which was given an F rating, an avoid at all costs, and it was my second beer of the night, my second-place celebration ale, the close of our gloomy summer and a welcome to another gloriuos New England fall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

No. 71

Beer: Fat Tire Ale
Date: October 3rd, 2009
Place: San Antonio Taco Company, Nashville, TN

Day three.

Subtract Blair.

Add an Ole Miss victory over Vanderbilt.

Continue with the revelry.

Five beer in three days with four friends makes me feel like it's oh eight again.

The most beer I've had all year.

The most I've seen these guys in a decade.

No. 69 & 70

Beer: No. 69, Corona Extra; No. 70, Guinness 250
Date: October 2nd, 2009
Place: No. 69, Rhythm at Music Row; No. 70 Dan McGuinness, Nashville, Tennessee

A continuation of the previous post. Save this time two days in.

Add Matthew.

Continue with the revelry.

No. 67 & 68

Beer: No. 67, Heineken; No. 68, Sweetwater 420
Date: No. 67, October 1st; No. 68, October 2nd 2009
Place: No. 67, Rhythm at Music Row; No. 68 Tin Roof, Nashville, TN

The last time I was with these guys and the purpose was to celebrate these guys and these guys all came out I got black-out drunk.

It was bad.

We were in Mississippi and Daniel was going to get married the day after the day after and it was my fifth year senior year. Or my forth year junior. Either way. But all the guys made it to town and it was Daniel’s bachelor party and I hadn’t seen the guys much over the last two years, as I had found Jesus and they had found what they usually found and I’d made other friends and they, too, and we were getting together to drink and get rowdy and make it like old times.

The thing I’d forgotten was that my liver and my tolerance were in new times, and those times and the old times weren’t on speaking terms but I was drinking like they might be, or at least should be acquainted. And the college buddies from sophomore year were there, and I was used to pounding brews with them, and Bofel and Train were there, and I was for sure used to the drinks with them, from Penny Pitcher nights freshman year A Penny for a Pitcher of Beer and I never even had a fake ID and I was in a bar drinking at eighteen and the night started with a happy hour at 5pm with a Rogues Beer $3 for whatever you want at the bar. Well, then I want that pint and a half of strong beer, kind sir and ended it at 4am sitting in a parking lot across from Willie’s house, head in hands, thinking nothing but thinking something about where I’d gone wrong.

My family had come in town and I was to take them out to a nice lunch the next day, and they came to spend time with me and I was burrowed into the couch and I could hardly move and in my haze I wasn’t sure if I saw hunger in my mama’s eyes or if I saw disappointment and even though she doesn’t judge I knew I’d let her down even if it was beyond her to tell me.

And then Daniel’s rehearsal dinner that night was me walking to the bathroom and back to the table and to the bathroom and I didn’t touch a lick of what was on my plate. Not a bit.

The third day I arose from the grave.

That day, Daniel was wed and he said that he’d take all his groomsmen to Nashville at some point in the future, and we’d have a big time of it.

And while it was not all his groomsmen and we didn’t all make it Daniel held true to his word and six years almost to the date later we were as we were then – sans wives, ready to see where the weekend might take us - but knowing it was going to be markedly less rowdy and knowing these times would only roll along once every decade.