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.”
But a Campfire Sent Me Looking for a Book
I’ve always been an avid reader, and books on various historical topics have always littered my bookshelves. I feel that it is important to view the world with one eye on the past. History provides perspective and perspective is necessary for understanding viewpoints (both our own and those of others). Books about history have helped me establish perspective and understanding, but many of those books were quite long (and some were also quite dry). This is why I enjoy historical reenactments and living history.
I attended a living history event a few weeks ago by a group representing French voyageurs. I already knew about the history of the French in Louisiana. I also knew that several cities, towns, rivers, and such near me have French names, but I did not know how far north France’s influence reached before I attended the event. Over the span of half an hour I learned about the lives of French voyageurs, American Indians, and how both impacted the history of the United States. Attending a reenactment and/or living history event may not make you an expert on a topic (neither does visiting a museum) but it is a great place to start learning. Standing next to a campfire learning about Nouvelle France and birch bark canoes was enough inspiration to send me to the library.
No game today.