Jun 30, 2009

The Wolowitz Rules

As I've mentioned before, Wolowitz is an interesting cat.

I figured that since I posted a pic last week of his sister and his brother from another mother (Gogo and Avery), it was time to give the odd boy his due.

He loves laundry-time.  I'm not so sure he is really interested in helping out or if he just thinks that the color of the laundry basket matches the color of his eyes.

He also loves the water fountain that we bought him.  Except he likes to come it from an odd angle.  The "up top" angle.  This leads to a slight bout of choking as the water goes down the wrong pipe, but he still does it anyway.  Notice the tongue.

Some of his other tricks in the bag that we have yet to capture on film:
  • He loves hiding in either the washing machine or the dryer when we turn our backs.  One of these day he is gonna get either soaked or fluffed if we aren't careful.
  • He has much too much fun with the changing of the sheets on the bed.  He likes to "help out" by hiding under the fitted sheet or the top sheet, basically preventing you from making the bed.  
  • Because of that, I had Gia gather them all up in the other room while I made the bed a while back.  She closed the door and I don't believe any of the kittens had ever seen a closed door before.  Gogo and Avery tried to get under the door, in vain.  But Wolowitz looks at the door, looks at Gia, then looks back and the door and figures it out.  He reaches up and puts one paw on each side of the door knob and, ya know...tries to fucking open the door!  I shit you not.  He was unsuccessful, by the way.  No opposable thumbs.
  • Wolowitz loves an empty box more than life itself.  Gia does a lot of internet shopping.  When something gets delivered he literally shivers in anticipation of the box being empty soon.  So he can hang in it.  And he just sits there and purrs.  Hysterical!
  • But his favorite thing in the world?  Bugs.  Spiders, flies, whatever.  He loves "playing" with them.  Earlier today he was going nuts over a fly that had got in the house somehow.  He caught it...in his mouth!  Then he walked into the living room and let it out, where it flew away in an erratic path.  All so he could catch it again.  You really haven't lived until you have seen a housefly escape your cat's mouth.
 And finally, he will often just get right in your fucking face.  Because he can.

In all honesty, that last photo might be Gogo.  From far away or really close up, they can be hard to tell apart.

Deal with it. - Earl


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Still trying to catch a photo of him in belly time.

Jun 29, 2009


The bacon-infused bourbon was even better this time around than the first time I made it.

I think the key was doing the fat infusion process twice. The first time around I wasn't getting that smoky bacon aroma that it should have had. I had reserved a few ounces of bacon fat just in case, so I did it again. That was the key, I believe.

Gia said the Old Fashioned I made with the bourbon tasted just like PDT's version. The rest of the gang at the party agreed that it was one of the coolest cocktails they ever tried.

I rock so very much. ;)


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Nice butt.

Jun 27, 2009

King of Rock

Fuck all this talk about the so-called King of Pop.

In 1985, it was all about Run-DMC and The King of Rock!

They called us ill, we're gettin iller,
There's no one chiller
It's not Michael Jackson and this is not "Thriller"

(Sorry for the commercial at the beginning.  Youtube had embedding disabled.  Sigh)


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. DMC stands for Devastating Mic Control!!!

Jun 26, 2009

What you need vol. IV - Lazy Friday Edition

I haven't done a bullet post in quite some time now. I don't want them thar bullets to feel like I am denying them a place in my life. So here you go.  A rose for the lonseome bullets.
  • I've been really into baseball this season.  Even more than usual, if you can believe that.  Maybe it's because I joined a couple of Fantasy leagues.  Maybe it's because the MLB Network is all baseball, all day long.  Maybe it's because the Yankees spent $400 million plus in the off-season and I was excited about the prospect of a dominant season.  Hasn't happened, by the way.  I blame M.I.A-Rod.  Douche!
  • I guess it's big news and all, but I'm not affected in the least by the death of Michael Jackson.  One less whack-job in the world.  Sorry if that sounds hurtful.  I just don't understand the cult of celebrity and the ups and downs that come with it.
  • Now Farrah Fawcett dying.  That's sad.  If only because I had a personal connection to her.  I had her poster in my room when I went thru puberty.  Let's just say that we shared a few private moments together and leave it at that.
  • I like facial hair.  You like facial hair.  Even the 15 Most Absurd Mustaches in Film History.  Sam Elliot may have had some absurd mustaches, but he fucking rules!
  • Son...I am disappoint.
  • I made some more bacon-infused bourbon today.  It's my brother in-law's 50th birthday this weekend.  He gets bacon bourbon and homemade chili from me.  Have I mentioned how much I fucking rule?  Just like Sam Elliot!
  • I've said it before, but I think that Saving Grace might be one of the most underrated shows on television that no one I know is watching.  Every single episode is breathtaking.  Absolutely amazing.
  • I watched an amazing movie a couple of nights ago called Tiptoes.  It starred Matthew McConaughey and Gary Oldman as twin brothers, but McConaughey is the only normal-sized person in his entire family.  The rest are dwarfs (dwarves?).  I thought it was going to be an oddball comedy, but it was played absolutely straight.  Oldman is amazing, and they way they film him is incredible.  The film also stars a bunch of real-life little people like Peter Dinklage and porn-star Bridget the Midget
That's it.  Go home and have plenty of sex this weekend.  Dr. Earl has spoken.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I like yer style, Dude.

Jun 25, 2009

"Beer me, Earl!" reviews - Part 4 of 4

Note: Most of the information gathered in these regional beer profiles has been gleaned from the the wonderful users over at BeerAdvocate. Their reviews are a must for any serious brew-hound. Also, I decided to exclude brewpubs from these profiles and just stick with actual craft breweries. Generally a brewpub makes beer that is only sold in it's own establishment. I wanted to stay with breweries whose product you could actually find at your local store/distributor/bar. Hopefully. And I'm only going to highlight 2 or 3 per region. Also, feel free to nit-pick. I dig beer and all, but I'm certainly not the absolute last word on it. - Earl

Finally winding this bad boy down.  Phew!

Heff - "I'm from Alabama.  Beer me, Earl!"
Heff requested a Birmingham-specific profile, but since there are only two breweries in the entire state, I thought I would talk about both of them.  Quick note first: Heff wanted to know about a Birmingham area beer called Vulcan that he used to drink a ways back.   Unfortunately for Heff, Vulcan Breweries/Little Star Brewery in Birmingham closed it's doors 8 or 9 years ago.  Sorry, dude.

Good People Brewing Company, however, is now brewing in Birmingham and they get some pretty good reviews on BeerAdvocate.  There are only a handful of reviews so far, but still.  They look like a small operation right now.  In fact, they are looking for guest brewers to give 'em a hand and they are offering a free t-shirt for the effort.  Hmmm.  Anyway, right now they are only brewing ales, but they hope to brew a lager or three in the near future.  Besides the standard pale ales, IPAs, brown ales and stouts they also make a Roggenbier which sounds interesting.  A roggenbier is a traditional German-style rye beer, and I love ryes.  All in all with knowing not a great deal about this brewery, I would still recommend it.  If only because they seem to earnestly care about craft beer culture and producing fine brews.

Olde Towne Brewing Co. in Huntsville is the other brewery in Alabama.  It's been around since 2004 when brewer Don Alan Hankins started selling his wares at Humphrey's Bar & Grill in Huntsville.  The first microbrewery there since the repeal of Prohibition.  The company has had a tough time of it in the past few years.  Lost the entire brewery to a fire in 2007 before re-opening a year later.  They make a nice variety of brews including Olde Towne Bock, Olde Towne Hefeweizen, Olde Towne Amber Ale and Olde Town Pale Ale.  I don't know if they have resumed bottling yet, but now that Alabama has joined the rest of the country in passing laws that allow breweries to make higher alcohol brews they should be notching their production up a bit.  So look for that coming from them soon.

Paticus - "I'm from Tallahassee, Florida.  Beer me, Earl!"
As Downtown Guy pointed out in the comments section, good luck with that!  Craft beer in that part of the state is as dead as disco.  So I considered my options and decided that writing about any other specific region in Florida doesn't help Paticus or Hank at all.  So I'm going to pick a couple of breweries that I hope are state-wide that I find interesting.  There are only 11 breweries in the state.  Maybe, just maybe they will be available in the Tallahassee area.  If not, there is always Pabst Blue Ribbon (do yourself a favor and watch that clip).

Saint Somewhere Brewing Company out of Tarpon Springs is a pretty interesting operation.  I wonder if they took their name from Jimmy Buffett's song "Boat Drinks" ("I gotta fly to Saint Somewhere!")?  They focus on Belgian-style ales only and I only see four beers that they have made in small batches thus far.  I think I've seen the bottles up here in NY, so I would assume that they are available all over Florida.  But you know what happens when one assumes.  The Lectio Divina is a highly rated Belgian Strong Ale with an ABV of 8.0%.  Nice.  Their Saison Athene is their take on the traditional Belgian Farmhouse Ale.  Still pretty strong for a farmhouse.  I love Belgian beers and Belgian-style beers.  So I would definitely give these guys a chance even though they probably are a bit more expensive than your standard beers.

Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa is slowly but surely making their way northward.  It's been spotted as far north and east as Jacksonville, so I assume they will be making their way to Tallahassee soon if they aren't already there.  Very, very prolific for a small, local micro-brewery.  Lots of British-style beers like Big Sound Scotch Ale (a wee heavy) and Chaveta India Dark Mild, an English-style dark mild ale.  Lots of American styles too.  Basically, a lot of styles.  31 in all.  That's a lot for a smaller-sized brewery.  And all of them get some fairly good reviews.  I'd give 'em a try if I could find 'em.

Limpy - "I'm from Connecticut.  Beer me, Earl!"
And he's right.  That statement does sound kinda gay.  I had no idea the Limpy lived so close by.  I can literally see Connecticut from my back yard as it is right across the LI Sound.  Now I'm thinking of moving again.  Hey-yo! Also from the fine state of Connecticut is another blogger friend who writes Always Home and Uncool.  A blog and a statement that I can relate to, even if I don't have kids.  I have cats.  What was I talking about.  Oh yeah...Connecticut beer.  There isn't much of it, to be honest.  They really need to step up their game if they want to compete with their New England brethren on the craft beer front.  But we will do our best with what we have.

The Olde Burnside Brewing Company in East Hartford seems like a very cool brewery.  They started out as an adjunct to their ice business, actually.  They noticed that some of their customers were coming in for large quantities of their water to home-brew their own beer because their water shared many mineral properties with the clean, crisp waters of Burton-on-Kent in the UK.  So they decided to brew their own beers in the Scottish tradition to honor their ancestors.  Pretty cool.  Olde Burnside Ten Penny Ale, a Scotch Ale, is their flagship brew.  They also make a Black and Tan called Dirty Penny Ale and an American Pale Ale called Highand Fling Spring Ale, which may be a seasonal.  The beers get a varitey of ratings on BeerAdvocate, but it seems like one of those things that I would have to try myself.  And the reviewers on that site are particulary snooty at times, so one never knows, do one?

Thomas Hooker Ales & Lager out of Bloomfield IS Connecticut's beer.  Well, according to their website at least.  I have tried a few of these and they do make some fine brews.  Originally Troutbrook Brewery, they were re-marketed as Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers in 2003.  I've tasted the Blonde Ale, the Oktoberfest and the Nor'Easter Lager from their line.  All solid offerings.  But it is their Liberator Dopplebock that really blows people away.  One of the best reviewed beers I have come across in a while.  Seems like they do well with all of their stronger alcohol brews.  Nice!  One strange offering from them is their More Than a Mouthful Watermelon Ale.  I don't normally do fruit beers, but that sounds pretty damned interesting.

And I'm done!

I hope y'all found that as fun and interesting as I did.

Cheers! - Earl

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. BEER!

Jun 24, 2009

Radio Fail

I'll get to part IV of my regional beer profile series tomorrow. Those things take a little while to do and I am sipping on a beer, watching the Yankee game right now. Not feeling like doing a damn thing. Which is nice.

But I have to quickly mention that I was listening to the radio in the car the other day. Regular FM radio. Weird because we usually listen to XM radio, but I hadn't done it in a while and I wanted to see what was out there.

The answer is nothing.

I couldn't find a single station worth listening to. So I started to play with the dial. I came across one station that was playing a song just beginning. It sounded really familiar so I hovered there for a moment. Turned out to be "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. Disgusted, I moved on.

Then I thought about it for a moment. Whoe the fuck are they playing "Eye of the Tiger" for in June of 2009? I mean, what exactly is that demographic*? I wanna know. What kind of retard is still groovin' to "Eye of the Tiger" in this day and age? Seriously!

*UPDATE: Apparently, just about everyone else but me, according to my comments. Sigh! - Earl

And I'm not just busting on the era. The next station I landed on I stuck with for awhile. The first song that was playing was Prince's "Raspberry Beret" and the next was Bon Jovi's "Wanted: Dead or Alive". And while those two tunes would never find their way onto my iPod, I had a decent enough time singing along to them by myself in the car. And I understand the chasm that exists talent-wise between Prince (and Bon Jovi, I guess) and Survivor. My point is that there are good songs and good artists from that era.

But "Eye of the Tiger" isn't that fucking song, and Survivor isn't that fucking artist! It was a horrendous song by a mediocre band only made popular by an overrated, popular film. Period.

I ask you, dear readers, what would anyone possibly want to listen to this crap today? Is there really someone out there that still digs this? I don't get it.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Survivor. On the radio. In 2009!!!

Jun 23, 2009

Quick Interlude

People, let me tell you 'bout my best friend....

(That's Avery on the right spooning with his girlfriend Gogo. She's just a little peanut!)

"Beer me, Earl!" Reviews - Part 3 of 4

Note: Most of the information gathered in these regional beer profiles has been gleaned from the the wonderful users over at BeerAdvocate. Their reviews are a must for any serious brew-hound. Also, I decided to exclude brewpubs from these profiles and just stick with actual craft breweries. Generally a brewpub makes beer that is only sold in it's own establishment. I wanted to stay with breweries whose product you could actually find at your local store/distributor/bar. Hopefully. And I'm only going to highlight 2 or 3 per region. Also, feel free to nit-pick. I dig beer and all, but I'm certainly not the absolute last word on it. - Earl

This has been a lot of fun, and informative for me as well. I am finding a bunch of beers that I would like to try myself, and I am giving the list to Gia to see if she can get a hold of them thru work. Here goes part III:

Jennifer - "I'm from Minnesota. Beer me, Earl!"
When I first saw Jennifer's beer profile request I thought "Blech...Leinenkugel! I hate that stuff." Then I thought "Hmm...Arcadia. I love that stuff!" Then I realized that Leinenkugel is from Wisconsin and Arcadia is from Michigan. I'm afraid my East-Coast bias is rearing it's ugly head once again in these profiles. Sigh. So it was off to BeerAdvocate for me to see if I recognized anything at all from Minnesota.

Nope. Nada. Zilch. Nothing out of the 11 breweries and 15 brewpubs in the state. But I did find the worst reviewed brewery I have ever seen, and another that was pretty close. Both in Cold Springs. Wow. Anyway, I have decided that I am going to pick a couple of them based solely on my interest in their beers. And based solely on that, I would love to try a bunch of the beers from Surly Brewing Company in Brooklyn Center. Check out the names of THESE beers. CynicAle, Hell, Furious and Tea-Bagged Furious. Awesome! And they come in cans, which I love. Double the awesome! I can't really tell you exactly what kind of beers they are because they brew them specifically so that they can be easily categorized into one style. As their head brewer says ""Surly Brewing Company's beers are NOT brewed to fit into ANY beer style guidelines. So please spread the word!" So I'm doing it. It looks like they are only available in Chicago outside of Minnesota. Pity. I would love to give them a try.

Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater is probably the newest brewery in Minnesota. They only have 6 beers or so in their stable, but they all sound interesting and their website is simple and informative. One beer that they brew, in particular, tickles my fancy. It's called Biscotti and it is a Belgian-style ale inspired by the biscotti recipe of one of the brewer's grandmother. Grains of Paradise, Vanilla and anise notes are present in addition to the traditional hops, oats, honey, malt Belgian yeast. Sounds sooo tasty. Since it is so new, I would assume that it is only available local, but you never know. Check it out.

Candy - "I'm from Boston. Beer me, Earl!"
What can I say about Boston? No seriously, what can I say about Boston that doesn't end with "sucks!"? Just kidding, Candy. I love Boston. Hate it's teams, but I love the city. It's so small and cute, it could fit into NYC's back pocket. There are 18 breweries in Massachusetts with 2 of them in the Boston. One of them, of course is the Boston Beer Company (Samual Adams). But they certainly don't need little ole me to huck their wares. They do very well on their own, thank you very much.

But Harpoon Brewery also makes some fantastic brew coming out of Boston. Their UFO Hefeweizen, along with the rest of their UFO line, was probably among the first American un-filtered pale wheat ales that I ever tried. And it always delivers. Nothing that will blow your mind, but some real solid beer. I also really dig their version of the Winter Warmer. Nothing better on a cold winter night than a tasty Winter Warmer. And the beer is pretty good too! ;)

I'm going to head out of Boston for the next brewery. Cape Ann Brewing Company is located in Gloucester, which is famous for it's fishermen. Fitting then that their flagship beer is called Fisherman's Brew. It's a great, drinkable beer that goes down really smoothly. This past October I wrote about Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout, the only pumpkin beer that I have ever had in stout form. It was easily one of my favorite pumpkins last year. A sweet change of pace. They also make a delicious kölsch-style beer called Fisherman's Ale. A kölsch is a German-style ale, much dryer and lighter than many of their European counterparts. I've tried a bunch of their beers as it is one of the brewers that Gia represents. But I can honestly say that I have truly enjoyed ever single one of them. Hmm...I wonder if there are any in the fridge right now?

Cisco Brewers Inc. out of Nantucket and Wachusett Brewing Company out of Westminster also make some really great beers. In fact, I'm having a Wachusett Country Ale right now. Very nice!

Sybil Law - "I'm from Ohio. Beer me, Earl!"
Ohio, surprisingly (at least for me), has a real decent craft beer scene going on. 16 breweries and 26 brewpubs in the state. That's pretty damned good. And let me tell you, they are some of the highest rated breweries I have seen on BeerAdvocate. I think I figured out where my next vacation is gonna be.

It was just prior to tackling this project that I first came across the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. It made a ridiculously strong showing in 2008's rounds of craft beer festivals. Just about everywhere you looked, Great Lakes Brewing was taking home another award. The Burning River Pale Ale, Edumund Fitzgerald Porter and the Eliot Ness Vienna-style lager all earn excellent marks. As do most of their beers, frankly. I just can't see how you could go wrong here. I'm itching to get my grubby paws on some of this stuff in the worst way. Went to the local distributor this weekend to grab me some, but they are waiting for their next order. I'm there when it comes in. With a bottle opener in one hand and a cold glass in the other. It's rare to see a brewery earn this much high praise. Must be wonderful. Can't wait!

The Buckeye Brewing Company in Lakewood is another local brewery that has some fantastic reviews. The Hippie IPA seems to be their flagship brew, and it is always a good idea to go with an IPA in my opinion. Their beer bar in Lakewood, The Buckeye Beer Engine, is dedicated to craft beers and good times. They serve a wide range of craft beers from around the world in addition to their own very fine selection. They also seem to host a great deal of beer tasting events featuring other breweries. Way to spread the cheer, guys!

OK...3 posts down, 1 to go! Phew!

More to come soon: Alabama (Heff), Tallahassee, Florida (Paticus), Connecticut (Limpy and Uncool).

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Want. Great Lakes. NOW!

Jun 22, 2009

"Beer Me, Earl!" Reviews - Part 2 of 4

Note: Most of the information gathered in these regional beer profiles has been gleaned from the the wonderful users over at BeerAdvocate. Their reviews are a must for any serious brew-hound. Also, I decided to exclude brewpubs from these profiles and just stick with actual craft breweries. Generally a brewpub makes beer that is only sold in it's own establishment.  I wanted to stay with breweries whose product you could actually find at your local store/distributor/bar.  Hopefully. And I'm only going to highlight 2 or 3 per region.  Also, feel free to nit-pick.  I dig beer and all, but I'm certainly not the absolute last word on it. - Earl 

Just a quick note from the last post.  Jimmy Bastard asked me to clarify the misconception between beers and lagers.  Here is the quick down and dirty.  All lager is beer, but not all beer is lager.  The two main types of beer are ales and lagers.  Lagers are newer, historically, dating back to the mid-19th century.  Lagers are made at colder temperatures using yeast that ferments at the bottom of the cask, while ales use a top-fermenting yeast at higher temperatures.  Lager also takes longer to make.  Anywhere from 2-3 times as long.  The term "lager" comes from the German word for camping or storage as lager casks were stored or "lagered" in caves to keep the temperature cool.  That's it!

Okay, boppers...back to the beer profiles.

Michelle - "I'm from NYC.  Beer me, Earl!"
More specificaly, Michelle is from Brooklyn.  And when you are talking about beers from NYC, you are probably talking about beers brewed in Brooklyn.  Which is quickly becoming one of the great craft beer regions in the nation.  The whole state, in fact, is enjoying the craft beer revolution.  New York is third behind California and Washington with 28 breweries, including my current favorite Southern Tier Brewing Company from Lakewood.  Every single beer they make is fan-fucking-tastic!  I give it my highest Earl review, whatever that is worth.

But back to Brooklyn.  Just about anyone from the East Coast or anyone into good beer already knows about Brooklyn Brewery.  They make some fantastic brews and they have been doing it for a while now.  But there are some lesser known breweries in Brooklyn that are making some waves and challenging the big boy in the bourough.  Sixpoint Craft Ales is one of them.  I was first introduced to this fantastic brewery by the lovely and talented Gia when she was working as a restaurant manager.  Sweet Action was the name of the beer, and although it is called an American Blonde Ale on most sites it is really so much more.  A hybrid of ale and lager yeasts combine to make "undefinable drinkable magic", as they describe it themselves. It's a bold and bright star on the craft beer scene and you should definitely check it out.  Bengali Tiger American IPA, Otis Oatmeal Stout and Brownstone, an American Brown Ale, are all just as delicious. They also make a bunch of seasonal and speciality brews.  Great, great brewery!

The other great brewery in Brooklyn is Shmaltz Brewing Company (He'Brew) out of Coney Island, although that could be disputed.  The main marketing offices for the company are in San Francisco and the beer is mostly brewed in Saratoga Springs, but fuck it!  It's Brooklyn that influences the styles of beers they make so it is a Brooklyn beer.  Harumph!  Talk about whimsical beers! They have two main lines of beers.   The Chosen Beers are brewed under the He'Brew flag and the Freak Beers are marketed under the Coney Island name.  Jewbelation, Rejewvenator, Genesis and Lenny's Bittersweet R.I.P.A (a tribute to Lenny Bruce) are all fantastic.  I just had the Rejewvenator last week and it was made with dates.  Last year they brewed it with figs, so it seems like they will change it every year.  Crazy, and crazy good.  Coney Island Lager, Albino Python, Sword Swallower and Human Blockhead are all great year-round beers from their Freak line.  But it is their seasonal Freaktoberfest that takes the cake when it comes to the weird.  It's actually a pretty light-tasting American Amber or American Red beer, but the coloring they put in it makes it come out blood-red!  A great beer to have at Halloween even if it isn't as tasty as the stuff from the He'Brew line. Bottom line?  The Coney Island beers are good, the He'Brew beers are great!  Give 'em a go.

Savannah - "I'm from Georgia.  Beer me, sugar!"
This is gonna be a tough one.  There are only 3 breweries in the state and only 11 brewpubs, and I have never tried any of them.  I kinda find that hard to believe.  I would have thought Atlanta itself would have had twice those numbers.  I guess Georgia has some work to do when it comes to craft brewing.  See what you can do about that, Savannah.  Okay, sugar?

Sweetwater Brewing Company out of Atlanta looks like they have an especially fine selection of brews.  The 420 Extra Pale Ale, Sweetwater IPA, Sweetwater Blue and the Happy Ending Imperial Stout (a huge, dry-hopped stiffy, for a full-figured beer, resulting in an explosive finish...yeah) all seem like fine offerings.  All have done fairly well on the award circuit as well.   In 2002 it was voted Small Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.  High praise, indeed!  They make a barley wine called Jack Ass.  Yeah, I would love to walk into a bar and order a Jack Ass.  But the bartender would probably just pour one and say "A Jack Ass for a jack ass."  So maybe I will skip on that one.  By the way, a barley wine is a beer that is so high in alcohol that they legally can't call it beer anymore.  Nice!  Well, that's not totally true even if it used to be, but let's stick with it shall we?

Terrapin Beer Company out of Athens is another highly rated and highly successful brewery in the fine state of Georgia.   Like most brewers, founders Spike Buckowski and John Cochran are big Grateful Dead fans.  So they named their brewery after one of their favorite songs, "Terrapin Station".  I'm a big fan of the use of rye in brewing, and they make a Rye Pale Ale and a Rye Squared (bigger booze) that I would love to try.  The Terrapin Rye Pale Ale was actually their first beer produced, and everything went from there. They make an entire line of high-alcohol beers that all look delicious, including the Big Hoppy Monster and a Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.  Yummy!

2abes - "What about gluten-free beer?  Beer me, Earl!"
Okay.  It's not a regional beer profile request, but some beer lovers prefer their beer gluten-free.  So let's give it a go.  Generally, beer is made with four ingredients.  Water, barley, yeast and hops.  The German purity law of 1516 made this so.  Nowadays, many brewers use other ingredients as described previously.  Rye, dates, figs, wheat, cranberries, blueberries, etc...  Now celiacs can rejoice that sorghum, buckwheat, rice and other gluten-free ingredients are being used to make beer.

Bard's Tale Beer Company makes a couple of really fine gluten-free beer.  Bard's Gold and Dragon's Gold.  These are the two that I see most often in the gluten-free section of beer distributors  The Bard's Gold is made mostly with sorghum malt and the Dragon's Gold is enriched with sorghum, buckweat, honey, corn and rice.  I've never tried either, but both are highly recommended.

Green's Gluten-Free Beers out of West Yorkshire in England are serious about gluten-free beers.  It's right in the name of their brewery, fer crissakes!  They really make some great variety of gluten-free beers.  They make an English Strong Ale, a English Bitter, a Dubbel, a Euro Pale Ale and a Tripel.  That's a pretty fantastic array of styles.  I'm going to be honest here.  None of the gluten-free beers are very highly rated on BeerAdvocate.  But they tend to get kind of stuffy about their beers on that site.  Put it this way, if you can't have gluten in your diet and you really want some beer, give Green's a try.  Or Bard's. 

Other gluten-free beers: Microbrasserie Nouvelle-France, Sprecher Brewing and O'Brien Brewery.

More to come soon:  Minnesota (Jennifer), Boston, Massachusetts (Candy), Ohio (Sybil Law), Alabama (Heff), Tallahassee, Florida (Paticus), Connecticut (Limpy and Uncool).

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. 2 down with 2 to go.  Phew!

Jun 21, 2009


Dad died 6 years ago this week.

The last time I saw him before his final heart attack was when I took him and Mom out to dinner for Father's Day. We had dinner at the house for actual Father's Day, but I always liked to take him out to dinner later on to celebrate as well. So we went to this Italian joint that he and I loved on Wednesday.

I remember that he asked Mom if he could have a martini. Made me laugh. He had a Sapphire Gin martini with onions, or a Gibson if you prefer. I followed suit. He had this way of enjoying every meal and every drink. You could tell that those were some of his favorite times. He started every meal with a prayer and the words "good to be together." And it always was.

The year before, I had Mom and Dad join me in Key West for a week. I had rented a house there for a month and I planned on having a bunch of friends and such come to visit. When I found out they were going to Disney the same month, I made some plans with my sister and they were able to swing down there for a week. This was special because my mother is deathly afraid of flying. But she flew down to Florida this time...the last time she has flown in her life. Now that Dad is gone, she is quite content to be where she is. But Dad told me that vacation was his favorite vacation he ever took. He loved Key West like I love Key West. He got it.

Two days after I took him out to dinner for Father's Day, he suffered a heart attack that would end his life. He had a great life. Long and with plenty of smiles. Tragedy also, but it was the laughs and the smiles that made it all worth while.

Happy Father's Day everyone.

Children, hug your fathers. Fathers, hug your children.

Jun 19, 2009

"Beer Me, Earl!" Reviews - Part 1 of 4

Note: Most of the information gathered in these regional beer profiles has been gleaned from the the wonderful users over at BeerAdvocate. Their reviews are a must for any serious brew-hound. Also, I decided to exclude brewpubs from these profiles and just stick with actual craft breweries. Generally a brewpub makes beer that is only sold in it's own establishment.  I wanted to stay with breweries whose product you could actually find at your local store/distributor/bar.  Hopefully. And I'm only going to highlight 2 or 3 per region.  Also, feel free to nit-pick.  I dig beer and all, but I'm certainly not the absolute last word on it. - Earl 

Well, I received a few more regional beer profile requests than I thought I would.  That's awesome, by the way.  So I decided to stretch it out over a couple of days to ease the burden.  So let's get retarded/started, shall we?

Callie - "I'm from Wheatland, California.  Beer me, Earl!"
What a way to start!  California, by far, is the craft beer capital of the country if not the world.  It boasts at least 94 breweries according to BeerAdvocate.  To give that some perspective, the next state on the the list is Washington with 30.  That's a lot of breweries.  So I'm going to try to pare it down some by focusing on the Wheatland area.  Having never been to California (yeah, I'm the only one), I have no idea where Wheatland is.  Frankly, everything west of the Hudson River is a mystery to me.  So it is off to Google I go.  I see that it located in Yuba County.  That doesn't help.  Let's see...it's located in California's Central Valley just north of Sacremento.  OK...that gives me something to work with.  Sacremento.  Nope...wait, nada.  No breweries in Sacremento.  Crap!

Let's just settle on San Francisco.  How about that?  San Francisco is home to two breweries.  Anyone who drinks beer should be aware of the Anchor Brewing Company.   It's been around since the days of the Gold Rush and it has been a leader since 1959 in the craft beer revolution in this country.  Whether you are having an Anchor Steam Ale, an Anchor Liberty Ale, an Anchor Porter or their yearly Anchor Special/Christmas Ale you are having a fine brew indeed.  You just really can't go wrong with any of the Anchor offerings.

The other brewery in San Francisco is Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.  I've never tried any of their beers, but their Big Daddy IPA and their Double Daddy Imperial IPA seem to be the most popular.  I love a good India Pale Ale.  I've got a thing for over-hopped beers.  And whenever you see the word "Imperial" attached to a beer, that usually means high alcohol level.  Sometimes 2 or 3 times the alcohol in your normal beer.  I like that too.  Speakeasy beers haven't made their way to NY yet, but it looks like the kind of beer company that I dig.  I'd love to try the Prohibition Ale, as it's their best reviewed beer.

Dave2 - "I'm from Washington State.  Beer me, Earl!"
Dave mentioned the wonderful number of beers available in his home state and he was correct in stating that it is a challenge to pick only a couple.  But I'm going to do my best.  As I mentioned earlier, Washington has the second-most breweries in the nation behind (far behind) California, but a lot of them are pretty small. They also have over 70 different brewpubs in the state, so they really appreciate their craft beer in Washington.  Along with the wonderful brews coming out of Oregon, I'd have to say the Pacific Coast is far ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to craft beer brewing.  I have to make it out there one of these days.

Alright, I said I was just going to stick with breweries and stay away from brewpubs, but some of my favorite beers coming out the great state of Washington come out of the Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle.  So I am going to make an exception. My only knock against the kids at Elysian are the somewhat goofy labels on some of the bottles.  Some of them look like something out of a bad comic-book.  But the beer inside is heaven!  (Get it?) Give The Wise ESB, The Immortal IPA or their Dragonstooth Stout a try.  All are wonderful.  But my favorite is their Avatar Jasmine IPA.  It gets some mixed reviews, but I love the inclusion of jasmine in the brewing process.  It takes the floral nose of your normal IPA and cranks it up a big notch.  Not for everyone, but Gia and I love it.  We bought a case of it a few months ago and it went way too fast.  Now we settle for a bottle here and there when we can find it.  Yum.

Another brewery in Washington that gets some pretty strong reviews is the Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company & Taproom in Snoqualmie.  Another one I haven't tried because it isn't available in my area, but they seem to have a nice selection.  Wildcat India Pale Ale, Steam Train Porter, Copperhead American Pale Ale, Spring Fever Belgian Style Grand Cru...they all sound good to me.  I'm a sucker for a good pumpkin beer in the Fall as well, so I would have to give their Extra Special Butternut a try.  If they ever make it again, that is.  It may have been a one-time deal only available at their tasting room.

Oh, and just for Dave.  Yakima Craft Brewing Co. made a Winter Belgian Ale last year called Bad Monkey.  I dunno if it is still available, but I thought you might appreciate that.

LegalMist - "I'm from Arizona.  Beer me, Earl!"
Arizona is a pretty decent state for beer in this country.  They boast 10 breweries and 25 individual brewpubs in the state.  Not bad.  I would have imagined that most of those would be in Phoenix, but I would be incorrect.  As usual.  My East Coast bias is showing again.  Gotta work on that.  No, they are spread across the state in Tempe, Cave Creek, Brisbee, Scottsdale, Williams, Tucson, Scottsdale and Flagstaff as well. With the exception of one very odd brew (I'll talk about that later), it looks as if most of these haven't made it across to the country to NY yet.  Sad. Don't they know that everything tastes better in New York?

Four Peaks Brewing Company is a brewery and beer bar located in Tempe and Scottsdale.  They make a wide assortment of beer year round with whimsical names like 8th Street Ale, Kiltlifter Scottish Style Ale, Hop Knot and The Raj IPA.  I dig it when breweries come up with imaginitive names.  I don't know where, and I don't know how, but I believe I have tried the Kiltlifter before.  The name is just so familiar to me.  Could be that I tried Kilt Lifter from Moylan's Brewery in California, but that bottle doesn't look right.  Weird, because I don't think they export to NY.  But I've found that some distributors specifically get beer they otherwise can't order through trades and the like.  Maybe that is where I tried it.  Anyway, It looks like a bunch of their beers are only available on tap at their establishments.  Too bad.  I'd love to give the Chipotle Stout a go.  Sounds delish!

Mogollon Brewing Company out of Flagstaff is another company that likes to choose whimsical names for their beers.  Horny Toad IPA, Donnybrook Irish Stout and Apache Trout Stout are just a few of their offerings.  According to their website, their beer is currently only available in Arizona.  They aren't bottling any beer, but they do can several of them.  They also claim that they are in the process of increasing their production so you may see them at a store near you sooner or later.

Oh, and the Arizona beer I mentioned earlier that IS readily available in New York? Cave Creek Chili Beer.  A truly awful beer with a chili pepper in the bottle to give it a spicy flavor.  It has it's fans, though.  I live with one of them.  Gia loves the chili beer.  Yikes!

Jimmy Bastard - "I'm from Glasgow, Scotland.  Beer me, Earl!"
I was hoping Jimmy was gonna ask to be included, because this whole idea started when I read about a local craft brewery in Scotland a couple of days ago.  Scotland has a proud history of brewing going back centuries if not millenia.  Belhaven is a Scottish Ale that most folks have tried at some point, and Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow is the oldest surviving brewery in Scotland.  They make Tennent's line of beers that are popular all over the globe.  McEwan's Scottish Ale out of Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh is another extremely popular export from Scotland.  I love a good Scottish Ale.  A bit more malty and sweet than their English counterparts.  Nothing wrong with that!

Jimmy was looking for beers brewed specifically in Glasgow, but as far as I can tell the aforementioned Wellpark Brewery is the only one.  There are, however, a couple of brewpubs that have recently popped up in Glesga, as he often calls his hometown.  The Clockwork Beer Co. on Cathcart Road serves a few of their own micro-brews in addition to a selection of beers from other breweries.  One misconception appears to be whether or not their brews are cask-conditioned.  According to one employee, all their draught beer is cask ale.  They use traditional Aiken tall fonts instead of the normal "pull" taps you normally see.  Sounds great to me! The West Brewing Company on the Glasgow Green is the other brewpub in town.  This one is fairly new and it looks like it brews mostly German-style beers.  St. Mungo is a German pilsner produced by them that I think I have actually seen or tried on this side of the Atlantic.  Hmm.

But it is BrewDog Ltd in Fraserburgh, one of the newer craft breweries in Scotland, that I really wanted to talk about.  These guys researched some of the classic beer styles from around the world and started what might be the fastest growing craft brewery in their home country.  Plenty of American-style beers show up in their stable as well, including Punk IPA, which they claim is the fastest growing alternative beer brand in the UK.  I'd love to get my hands on some of their Tokyo Imperial Stout or any of their whisky cask-aged brews like the Paradox Macallan Batch.  Big alchohol and big flavor, according to all the reviews.  I'll have to find out from Gia if any of them are available in our area.  The knock on these kids has been that they are a hip, new brewery for a hip, young crowd.  But sometimes it is okay to go with the hip, new thang.  That's what the craft beer revolution is partially about.  That and really good beer.

Bonus: Atlas Brewing LTD in Argyll and Traquair House Brewery LTD in Peeblesshire also did very well for themselves in last year's beer reviews.  So there ya go.

Phew!  That's it for now.  And only a third of the way through our reviews.  I'll finish them up over the weekend.  Hopefully.

More to come soon:  NYC (Michelle), Georgia (Savannah), Gluten-free beers (2abes), Minnesota (Jennifer), Boston, Massachusetts (Candy), Ohio (Sybil Law), Alabama (Heff), Tallahassee, Florida (Paticus)

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Wow, this is more work than I thought it would be.

Jun 18, 2009

Move along

Nothing to see here.

Gonna get a head start on those regional beer reviews/profiles so today you get nada.

Which is pretty much what you get everyday here at The Verdant Dude. Sigh.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. This post serves the same purpose as no post at all.

Jun 17, 2009

Beer Me, Earl!

Been trying a lot of new beers lately, thanks to the wonderful and beautiful Gia. Been reading about a bunch more. This hobby is becoming an obsession. I'm going to try to update the Beer-Eyed Blog a bit more often this summer, but in the meantime I am going to make a request of y'all. A little something to make me feel a bit more constructive with this undertaking.

Let me know where you are from and I will do a mini-review of the the craft breweries in your state/country/region.

A simple "Hey, I'm from {insert state/province/country here}. Beer me, Earl!" in the comments is all I am looking for. I know where most of you are from, but you might not be interested. So even if you are a regular reader/commenter, please mention where you are from. And remember, I'm not talking about any of the big name breweries like Coors or Miller or Guinness. I'm talking about some of the smaller craft beer breweries that are popping up all over the globe.

I'll keep it open until Thursday around noon-ish and then I will post all the mini-reviews here on Friday. And then I will try to do some more in depth reviews on the Beer-Eyed Blog in the next few weeks. On specific beers. If I can get my hands on them.

So if you are into craft beer or you would like to learn a little about the breweries in your area, drop me a comment.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. You know you wanna have a beer with me.

Jun 16, 2009

Spider Baby

...or, The Maddest Story Ever Told

I've had this movie on my Netflix queue for just about forever. Spider Baby is the name and it is a cult classic starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Sid Haig.  It supposedly was a big influence to a whole host of horror filmmakers including Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses).  I've always wanted to see it, but it was always a "very long wait" to get the DVD so I stopped moving it up to one of the top spots on my queue.

But last week Netflix made the film available for instant streaming so Gia and I were able to watch it this weekend.


It truly may be the maddest story ever told.  It's about a family of two sisters and a severely retarded brother who are in the care of the family's, um, caretaker.  At first we the viewers are unaware of what has happened to the parents of the children, but we soon discover that the entire family suffers from a rare disease that cause a social and psychological regression soon after the 14th year.  Eventually, each family member becomes something of a primordial beast with no reason whatsoever.

A couple of distant relatives decide that they want the family fortune so they hire a lawyer (awesomely named Schlocker) to determine if the children can be made wards of the state.  A night of wackiness ensues when they decide that they are going to spend the night with the creepiest family this side of the Borgia's. 

One of the daughters is obsessed with spiders, even acting like one on several muderous occasions.   That's her up top there in the picture.  If you can't tell, badness is about to happen.  You see, neither of the daughters or the caretaker want the general public to know of their "secret".  And their brother Ralphie isn't much more than a simpleton at this stage of his disease, but he has become sexually active.  Yeah.

Inbreeding, rape, murder, incest and cat killing are all part of the joy ride.  It's only that last one that really bothered me, but I heard they taste like rabbit so I guess it is okay.

One of my favorite parts?  The title theme, sung by Lon Chaney, Jr. himself.


The film has fallen into the public domain, so you can all watch if for free in a few places on the Web. Cult Reviews is a good one. Check it out, if you are in the mood from some schlocky horror/comedy fun.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. "This has gone well beyond the boundaries of prudence and good taste."

Jun 15, 2009


It was a long weekend in terms of activities, not days.

We like our Sundays to be of the low-key variety.  But yesterday we helped Gia's family cater a lunch for a bunch of nice folks at a beautiful estate.  Setting up, breaking down, preparing...all that fun stuff.  Yours truly was one of the beertenders for the shin-dig.

Then we had an after-party back at the house with a keg of beer, burgers, hot dogs, and chili (mine) for everyone who helped out.


I'm going back to bed.  See ya!

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the exhausted pandas are doing it.

Jun 13, 2009

Gimme Some of That Native Lovin'

I rarely post awards that I receive on this here blog.  I used to, in the sidebar, but then I cleaned up my layout and got rid of them all.  Then I started thanking folks for them, but then telling them on their site that I don't post them anymore.  Kind of a "thanks, but no thanks" situation. Eventually people caught on and stopped giving them to me.

Yeah...that must be it.

But I just had to mention this one because the lovely and lovely Faiqa (so lovely I had to mention it twice) gave me some Native Love, and in doing so summed up my relationship with Slyde ever so perfectly.  She wrote about the two of us, our blogs and our comments.  And as she was reviewing the content of  Slyde's blog, she very astutely observed the following:

"So, he’s the girl."

I couldn't have said it better myself.  Thanks, Faiqa!

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!.

Jun 12, 2009

Roger Corman knows

OK, I'm a big boy and there isn't a lot that scares me when I read a news headline. But tonight as I was checking my email, I noticed this story on Yahoo! News:

Here I am picturing a horde of gigantic wasps who have mutated into the size of ostriches (ostrichi?)*, ready to wipe out humanity as they cut a swath of destruction across the country from Washington to Florida.

But the story goes on to say that the workers are actually cleaning up old wasp nests that have been abandoned and may be "highly radioactive" given their proximity to the radioactive waste site.  And it is likely that most, if not all of the former tenants of the nests are long gone

Still, there is probably nothing more frightening that I can think of then a Radioactive Wasp.  That fucker and his ilk would be a killing force like we haven't seen since the days of Them! and Godzilla. Or what if one of them mutated with a beautiful woman.  What would that be like?

*I was trying to think of the biggest bird possible, as that would probably be the scariest.  But a flightless gigantic wasp is a little less scary.  I mean a wasp the size of an ostrich hucking along the ground at top speeds would still be scary, just not as scary.  Leave me alone.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I'll be dreaming of wasp women tonight.  Crap.

Jun 11, 2009

The Man of Your Dreams

I had started a long post about the responsibility of bloggers, in general and (to be more specific) how it pertains to my love of baseball.  Seems that Raul Ibanez of the Phillies, who is having a fantastic start to the year, ripped into a blogger for accusing him of using steroids.  Pulled out the old "42 year-old living in his mother's basement" routine to boot.  Never mind that the blogger in question was actually attempting to convince himself and his readers that Ibanez' improvement this year was due to several other factors not related to steroids.  But, like most fans, he is disillusioned by the times we are living in when it comes to believing any of these guys.  So he concluded that the speculation was warranted, because who can we really trust anymore?  Especially when it comes to a 37 year-old player who is suddenly showing increased power numbers.

But I'm feeling a little lazy, so maybe you will see that post on Friday.

Works out fine, because it gives me the opportunity to point out that fellow blogger Holly has been having dreams about me.  That is plural.  As in more than one.  I don't think that I even dream about me.  I mean, it is probably me in my dreams, but I don't sound like me or look like me.  That is pretty sad, isn't it?

Anyway, she is curious about her night-time fixation with me. She's a good egg, so I'm not gonna bust on her too much here.  But I'm going to guess that it has a lot to do with my dead-sexy tattoo over there on the sidebar.  And my love of bacon.

What are you dreaming about?

UPDATE: Phew!  Good thing I stopped writing that post I mentioned earlier.  You know...the one about bloggers and responsibility and baseball?  Because Joe Posnanski, a much more talented man than I, already wrote it. Thanks, Joe!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Dream a little dream of me.

Jun 10, 2009

Really Simple Stalking vol. II

A little over a year ago, I finally joined the rest of the Blogosphere and started to use a feed reader. I know most of you have been using one for years now, so you already know what a time saver it can be. One small disadvantage has been that I wind up visiting sites less often and thereby commenting less often. But I assure you, I am out there and I am reading your drivel.

I use Google Reader, as I assume a bunch of you do as well. I know there are others, but since I already use Google for Blogger, I figure that would be the easiest one to use. And it is. Very easy to use.

A topic of discussion that pops up every now and again between Slyde and I is the number of subscribers that each of us has. Not in a "Wow...isn't that cool" way, even though it is. And we aren't just comparing dick size, because that would just be embarrassing for the poor, little guy. No, what perplexes us is the large difference in number of Google Reader subscribers each of us has. As of right now, Slyde has 14 subscribers and I have 76.

This makes no sense to either of us. We have just about the same number of people reading us, we believe. He posts a little less frequently than I do and he is probably more interesting (but far less sexy), so he usually winds up with many more comments than my posts. But if you look at the number of followers on his blog, he has always had more (65) than I (47). And by following someone on Blogger, it usually automatically updates your Google Reader. Are the large majority of his readers using a feed reader other than Google? I dunno, so it makes no sense to us. We think it might have something to do with the trials and tribulations he went through converting his blog to Blogger, but honestly we have no idea.

Anyway, I am very happy with the 76 subscribers I do have and I thought it would be a fun little exercise to see who has the most subscribers on Google Reader out of those personal bloggers on my blogroll. Last year it was Avitable with 137 subscribers. Here are the Top 5 as of today:
  1. Miss Britt - 535 subscribers!
  2. Avitable - 379 subscribers (but 242 more since last May!)
  3. Blogography - 326 subscribers
  4. That Blue Yak - 312 subscribers
  5. Always Home and Uncool - 271 subscribers
That's a lot of folks reading your drivel, people! And that is only the subscribers using Google Reader.

If you are reading this, then you are probably already reading those 5 blogs. And you should be. They are consistently excellent. But so are the rest of the blogs on my blogroll*. Of course they are, I have excellent taste! So go take a look and give them a try as well.

Yeah...even Slyde.

*The blogs listed on my blogroll aren't the only ones I read. I read quite a bit more. I just haven't updated that widget in a while. I think that if I did, it would look so huge that I would probably feel better deleting it. So I've been putting it off. Sue me.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Today is old-timey baseball trivia day! And there was much rejoicing. yay.

Jun 9, 2009

Mint bitters

I forgot to mention one thing in yesterday's review of the Italian beer tasting we attended in NYC.

I began the evening with a lovely cocktail of Michter's Straight Rye, ginger ale, a wedge of lime and a few shakes of mint bitters. Yes, mint bitters. From Fee Brothers.

It was a most delicious cocktail.  Reminicent of a mint julep, but ya know...different.

And different is cool.  Especially when it comes to cocktails.  Give mint bitters a try if you wanna shake up your cocktail.  I thought it was pretty damn cool.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Don't squeeze, use Fee's.

Jun 8, 2009

Lusso - NYC

Gia and I had a lovely dinner out in NYC on Sunday night at an Italian restaurant named Lusso in SoHo.

We were there for a beer tasting dinner featuring a number of premium Italian beers.

What's that? Italian beer?
A new Italian restaurant in SoHo?
Sunday night, fer crissakes?

Well you can read all about it over at the Beer-Eyed Blog. My full review of the evening and the beers can be found there.



Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Go to this restaurant and drink this beer! Now!

Jun 6, 2009

A Meme (no, really)

I had a few drinks tonight, well...more than a few, but I decided to do this meme that Steph posted anyway. Should make for light entertainment for those with nothing better to do on a Saturday evening. Like me!

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Definitely Andrew Vachss. If you haven't read anything by him he writes hard-boiled detective fiction that deals with domestic violence. He is a lawyer in NYC who takes all the money from his writing and funnels it into his work. Not easy stuff to read, but brilliant.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I own two copies of "Dolores Claiborne" by Stephen King and I haven't read either of them.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not until you mentioned it, but yeah!

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I've always had a big thing for Belle. Probably not from anything you have read. See my answer to #1.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
Either "Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks or "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. No accounting for taste. I was a teenager when I read the Shannara series. Oh wait...maybe the first two Thomas Covenent trilogies by Stephen R. Donaldson. Read those alot.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle or the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I don't really know. If I'm not enjoying a book, I usually put it down and forget about it.

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
"World War Z" by Max Brooks. I'm so embarrassed.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I think the Foundation trilogy by Asimov is a must read for everyone.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
"Ender's Game" by Card. It's gonna happen soon, but I'm sure it is gonna suck.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
"American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. Film wouldn't do it justice. One of those reads that you need to immerse yourself into.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I had this odd little dream about Slyde and Legolas one time. I don't wanna talk about it.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Did I mention that I enjoyed "World War Z" already?

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
The one book that I picked up and put down a million times because it was so difficult was "The Silmarillion" by Tolkein, but it is more of a collection than an actual novel.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
I've seen a bunch, but none that were obscure.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I prefer wine to vodka, so I'm gonna go with the frogs.

18) Roth or Updike?
Updike, but I don't really enjoy him either.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
David Sedaris, in a big way. Probably because I've never read Eggers. But Sedaris is brilliant. I've given "Naked" to more than a few people to read.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
I've read most everything that each of these men wrote, but I enjoy Shakespeare the most. Not saying much. I have terrible taste in literature.

21) Austen or Eliot?
Ugh...I guess Austen, but I couldn't care less.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I can't seem to make it through "Moby Dick". It tasks me.

23) What is your favorite novel?
Anything by Vachss, really, but I have a lot of love for "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster for some reason.

24) Play?
Don't really have one.

25) Poem?
"Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Thayer? Just kidding. Maybe something by Frost. I dunno.

26) Essay?
"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex (Why can't Superman get laid?)" by Larry Niven.

27) Short story?
Either "Sandkings" by George R.R. Martin (although it is kinda long) or anything by Stephen King in the early "Night Shift" years.

28) Work of non-fiction?
Maybe one of about a hundred baseball books I've read. Can't pick one.

29) Who is your favorite writer?
Closely tied to question #1....Andrew Vachss.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
James Patterson. Fucking awful.

31) What is your desert island book?
Only one book? How about a collection? "The Lord of the Rings". Fuck it if I ain't original.

32) And ... what are you reading right now?
I'm currently in between books. Any suggestions?

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Maybe I will remember this in the morning.