Hops. Yeast. BAC. All good things. This blog examines the subculture of fine ale and the discerning, whimsical palette. You don't have to be over 21 to enjoy these postings, but I do recommend you play along at home.


Sadness and Confusion

Things are about to get a little serious here. On Friday, February 17, 2006, my Auntie Judine was murdered in her home. She lived in a nice neighborhood in an even nicer North County town of San Diego, where violence that is this shocking and permanent is rare. The suspect was a tenant of Judy's, a 26-year-old "man" who was nabbed by the authorities on Saturday. No motive. At least none that I'm aware of yet. What I am aware of is that her son, my childhood buddy, is hurting right now. I know that my parents, who recently moved back to that same town, were counting on Judy finishing the interior design of their new house, and then sitting down for meal after meal together, enjoying each other's company. My sister will never get the recipe to her famous Yiddish treat, but that was only available if she married into Judy’s family anyway (but we somehow knew Judy would give it up one of these days). Judy beat ovarian cancer three years ago... and some desperate fool killed her anyway. I'm not exactly handling the "death" part of this tragedy well, but the "murder" part of it is unreal. It's like every time I break from whatever everyday activity I'm doing, my mind wanders to Judy and there is an awful pang that then follows. I don't know she died. What she was feeling. What her last thoughts were. Did she feel any pain?

My earliest memories in San Diego had me across the street, playing with Sean in the backyard, while my mom and Judy cooked/chatted/cleaned in the kitchen. Sean was an inventive kid, always making tire swings, wood swords and pulley-things. Judy was a designer, and would always go to fairs and shows, displaying her work -- I/m sure many of her friends and colleagues are touched by her passing. I've thought more about her the last three days than I have in months, when I saw her during a Christmas Day party at my parents’ new house. Obviously, I didn't say "goodbye" to her in any dramatic or spectacular fashion, heck, I'm not sure we even had that meaningful of a conversation. But I know how meaningful she is to me now. I took for granted the influence she had over my earliest years, and now that she's been taken from us, the world is a sadder, lonelier place without her.



Been reading a great series recently. Yeah, I know, it's technically a comic book, so it's not nearly as academic or intellectual as it could be, but as far as comics go, it's pretty edgy, heady and "mature." The book is FABLES and is released by the "mature readers only" imprint of DC Comics. This is the same imprint that brought comic fans Sandman and Hellblazer, so they've been doing this sorta thang for a while. The concept is simple and cool. Fairytale characters have been expelled from thier world and now live, in hiding, among "Mundanes," or as you've guessed it, human beings. Mundanes and muggles, eh? And while we're blogging about Harry P, did anybody have a problem with the Hogwartian boys' hair length in that last film? Did anybody even notice the hair length? How could you not? Is it going to get even longer? Where do we go from here? Check it out on video (good movie, so even if you don't care about teenage boys' haircuts, you'll get something out of the 2+ hour experience) and just look at all the moptops. Totally British. I guess. Stupid wankers. Am I scraping the surface on some hostility here? All I know is, and I don't quite know why, I haven't cut my hair since I saw that movie and i can only pray that it will be long enough in time for the the next film. I may not always now why, but i follow the pack when I know it's time. Go read FABLES!


Street Cred

What does it take to get it? Who awards it? What does one wear or display to illustrate that one has achieved it? Does it ever expire? And if so, can one get it back? If times change, which they do, does that mean street cred of, say, the 1980s corresponds to street cred of today? Does street cred only exist in the urban slums? What about "white flight" from the urban centers in the late forties, did street cred leave with the Prohibition-Era mobsters? If so, when did it come back? If not, why don't we associate street cred with the Al Capones of the world and related racketeering ethusiasts? Is organized crime devoid of street cred? Who decides that a person is no longer worthy of having it? If a rapper moves away from the 'hood and into the hills, but continues to make albums about "tha life" and sport a flak jacket at public appearances, does he or she still have street cred? Is that converted into hills cred? Is that just as good? Is it better? Is street cred merely a state of mind? What happens when we replace all instances of "street cred" in this article with "green beans," "my one-eyed panda," or "shoe leather?" Suprising isn't? Isn't it remarkable that a series of questions can be full of answers?



Meat and potatoes. It's the American Way. Burgers and fries, steak and baby goldens, turkey and mashed russets. Potatoes are a gift from God. A pot of creamy riches at the end of an Irish (or Idahoan -- Idahoan? Is that a word?) rainbow. One problem, though, and it's a big one - out bodies aren't really intended to eat potatoes, and certainly not in conjunction with meat. Whether you're a subscriber to the low-carb craze or not, there will always be validity to the idea/argument that your body is a fuel-burning factory. And like a factory, what you put in it determines how it operates and the results it produces. And I'm not just blogging about getting fat or staying skinny, the food you put in your body and when you put it in your body can determine your lifelong health (by warding off heart disease and diabetes), influence daily emtional health and affect mental clarity. Hardly an approach with only superficial wants in mind. Check out here or here or here. These sites are only three of many that can aid you in making some decisions that could possibly change things.