With Cigarettes and Beer
How do you mark time? I’m not referring to time in the sense of major life achievements such as births, deaths, and graduations. I’m asking how you mark time during a day, an evening, or possibly a weekend? Is time marked by books read or shows binge watched? Is time marked by errands ticked off on a Saturday to do list? I’ve marked the passing of time by all of the above and by other means too. Marking time by cigarettes snubbed out in an ashtray (this is when you could still smoke in bars) and a row of empty beer bottles was common practice for me at one time.
I still drink my share of beer and smoke a cigar on occasion, but I don’t while away my time at bars like I used to. I look back to those afternoons and evenings at the local bar and can’t help but think about how that time was spent. Was it time well spent or was it time wasted? At first glance I could easily say it was wasted time and that I could have invested my time in something more productive. But a second, closer look reveals that I would not have memories of listening to my favorite songs on the jukebox, playing games of darts, and intense conversations with friends (that often included copious notes written on napkins) if I did not spend time at that local bar. It’s easy to get hung up on how we could have better spent our time when maybe we should try to truly enjoy what our time bought.
We may look back at how we spent our time and wonder if watching TV shows, reading books, ticking off to do lists, or knocking back beers was worth it. Time spent isn’t necessarily time gone. Before we think that time was misspent let’s take a moment to see what it bought, because good memories are investments that will always pay out sound dividends.
Last Call for January
January is about to make its last call. How about one more round before they close up the first month of 2020? I hope that you got off to a solid start this year. I mentioned setting realistic goals earlier this month. I’m moving toward mine, how about you?
I discussed the importance of place and having a point to your drinking this month. I stopped off at one of my favorite diners tonight, and I picked up a six pack of Abita at the corner package store. A good meal and a few Louisiana beers always go well with a Walker Percy novel. I hope you have a “clean, well-lighted place” of your own to frequent this year. If you decide to have one more round or two this month I hope you do it with point and purpose in mind. Place, point, and purpose can all help you achieve your goals.
Well, it’s last call for me (I just popped the top of my last Abita). If you are out there with a glass or bottle of your own, cheers. Keep moving toward your goals and don’t be too critical of yourself if you stumble from time to time.
A Drinking Man’s EDC
The one hundredth anniversary of the start of Prohibition is in a couple days (January 17th, 1920). Some consider it the starting pistol for our nation sprinting head first and hell bent into the Roaring 20s. In honor of speak easies, bootleg whiskey, hip flasks, and flappers I thought I would share my Drinking Man’s EDC (that’s ‘Every Day Carry” for those of you not in the tactical know).
As I’ve said before, if you are going to do any serious drinking then you should be serious about drinking. My EDC isn’t anything extraordinary, but it currently addresses my drinking lifestyle. What’s in your Drinking Man’s EDC?
Five Views of Drinking and Alcohol
• “Civilization begins with distillation.” -William Faulkner-
• “Good people drink good beer.” -Hunter S. Thompson-
• “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” -Dorothy Parker-
• “There is no bad whisky. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” -Raymond Chandler-
• “The light music of whisky falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude.” -James Joyce-
Reviewing a Year of Beer
New Year’s Eve is often a time of reflections and resolutions. I am a proponent of self-reflection and self-improvement, but too critical a view of one’s self and unrealistic goals are unhealthy. It’s important to take a long view of the year passes without being too critical of yourself and to set realistic goals for the New Year. I like to spend a moment on New Year’s Eve reviewing my year of beer. Digging through the stratum of bottle caps provides me with a picture of what the previous year was like (it’s a mini archeological dig into my own life).
There were days of cheap beer when the check lacked overtime. There were many days of quality craft beers when OT was flush, or maybe I just wanted to reward myself for a Wednesday well done. Some of the caps are from gifts and others are from beers brought back from microbrewery trips. Some of the caps are reminders of special events that called for good beer, like watching Episode One of The Mandalorian with my bruva, -J-. The caps reflect the seasons. There are the golden ales of spring and summer and the stouts of fall and winter. Prufrock may have measured his life in teaspoons, my days are measured with beer caps (and assorted empty whiskey bottles but that’s a different post),
So here’s to the 2019’s year of beer and to another round for 2020. I hope you weren’t too critical of yourself in 2019 and that you have reasonable goals for 2020. There was no better way for me to start 2020 than with “The Champagne of Beers.” Yes, I could have bought a more expensive beer to crack open at midnight (I’ve been banking the OT) but there is no beer that better reflects where I come from, who I am, and what I want for 2020 more than “The High Life.”
After work beer.
Satruday night in Jackson.