Serious Drinking

After penning the phrase “seriously drinking” last night, I started jotting down the beers I know I’ve had in my lifetime. It’s a pretty big list.  I haven’t enjoyed every one.  I haven’t had a second BOTTLE of every one, much less made it a “regular” in my purchasing.  And also, please bear in mind that this is over the course of at least a decade…so it’s not like I’m having a six-pack a day every day or anything like that.  (I’m not even having ONE a day, and frequently not even one a WEEK…so don’t go waving this list in my face and calling me an alcoholic, okay?)

Nevertheless…following is a list of the beers I know I’ve had over the course of my “serious drinking.”  Some of them are embarrassing.  Some of them are borderline pretentious.  But I’ve had each one, and I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting a few.  I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones I’ve enjoyed more frequently than others.  I’ve also put some parenthetical notes by a few of them, mostly noting if they’re no longer in production.  As you can see, I’m far from just being a loyal Bud man…in fact, if you’re serving me an A-B (or AB-Inbev, whatever) product, most of the time I’d prefer that you just serve me water.  Because hey, when you’ve had this many beers, you know what you like.

Enjoy!  (List is alphanetical.  Thanks a bunch “sort” button in Microsoft Excel!)

  1. Abita Amber Ale*
  2. Abita Restoration Ale (No longer in production. Limited time to benefit New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)
  3. Abita Turbodog
  4. AmberBock*
  5. Bass
  6. Beamish*
  7. Bellhaven Pub Ale*
  8. Bell’s Amber Ale
  9. Bell’s Java Stout
  10. Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout
  11. Boddington’s Pub Ale*
  12. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
  13. Bud Light
  14. Bud Select
  15. Budweiser
  16. Falstaff (No longer in production.)
  17. Fat Tire
  18. Foster’s Lager
  19. Guinness 250 (No longer in production.)
  20. Guinness Black Lager
  21. Guinness Draught*
  22. Guinness Stout*
  23. Harp
  24. Heineken*
  25. Killians Irish Red*
  26. Leinenkugel’s Red Lager
  27. Lemp (Possibly no longer in production? Haven’t seen it in a while.)
  28. Mackeson Triple XXX Stout*
  29. Michelob
  30. Miller Lite
  31. Murphy’s Irish Red
  32. Murphy’s Irish Stout
  33. New Glarus Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale (Regional.)
  34. Newcastle Brown Ale*
  35. O’Dell 5 Barrel Pale Ale
  36. O’Dell 90 Shilling*
  37. O’Dell Cutthroat Porter*
  38. O’Dell Easy Street Wheat
  39. O’Dell Isolation Ale* (This is one of my all-time favorite beers.  Easily in my top three.)
  40. O’Dell Levity Amber Ale
  41. O’Dell Red Ale
  42. Pabst Blue Ribbon* (Guilty pleasure.  Don’t judge me.)
  43. Red Stripe* (Regularly purchased by a friend during band practices a couple of years ago.)
  44. Sam Adams Boston Lager*
  45. Sam Adams Imperial Stout
  46. Sam Adams Irish Red
  47. Sam Adams Winter Brew
  48. Schlafly Coffee Stout
  49. Schlafly Double Hopped APA
  50. Schlafly Hefeweizen
  51. Schlafly Imperial Stout
  52. Schlafly Kolsch
  53. Schlafly Oatmeal Stout
  54. Schlafly Pale Ale*
  55. Schlafly Pilsner
  56. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  57. Smithwicks*
  58. St. Peter’s Cream Stout
  59. Stone Pale Ale
  60. Wexford Irish Cream Ale*
  61. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout*

I should really start a beer-blog.  Pretty sure I could get my brother and my friend Rick to contribute to it occasionally too…  Time will tell.

Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin…but what good does *that* do me?

(Post title is a Homer Simpson quote.)

I don’t know man…I just haven’t been very focused lately and the blog’s suffered for it. So for the sake of keeping this thing going, here’s another random post…

  1. I didn’t lead worship at church this week, but I did last week…and I forgot to post the song list, like I said a while back I would be doing… I think I forgot about it because I was a little disappointed in my performance that day.  It’s a boomy room to begin with and I mixed it all wrong, so it was extra-boomy…that’s the problem with being your own engineer.  Anyway, it worked out okay, and it was better this week…so now that I’m remembering it, this is what I played on 9/18/11:
    • Nothing But the Blood
    • Wonderful Words of Life
    • I’ll Fly Away
    • How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
  2. I’ve been doing some new stuff at work the past couple weeks, and I am having mixed emotions on how I’m doing at it.  Tomorrow may be a good test of my instincts, as I’ve got a couple of things on my calendar that are “let’s see how they work out” type things.  The results will either be just fine or a gigantic pain in the ass for all involved.  I’m hoping for the former, of course.  I like my job, and more than that I like being good at my job…so I hope I’m still good at it, come tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed.
  3. I think there’s going to be progress on my kitchen this week.  Fingers crossed on that as well.
  4. I’ve had a lot of Penn Station in the past week.  I like it…but man am I full.
  5. Thanks to anyone and everyone who heeded my request to keep my friend Jimmi in your thoughts last week during her son’s funeral.  I won’t go into detail because despite what the local news stations may think, it’s no one’s damned business…but it was a difficult, awful, kind of disturbing situation.  Jimmi’s coming through it like a champ, and I think the funeral was therapeutic for all involved, even if it was occasionally uncomfortable.
  6. Caught up on Doctor Who this weekend.  I was a week behind because of the super-awesome Foo Fighters concert last week.  This has been an intense, weird, fun season.  I’ve enjoyed it a lot.  Next week is the season finale, and I hope we get all the answers we need!  I love this freaking show.
  7. I recently realized that on the route I take to work every week, I can see the Arch in the distance.  I never realized it before, due to that dumbass building some jerk built in front of it a while back…but if you look, it’s there behind it.  I get to see the biggest landmark in St. Louis every day, if I remember it’s there.  And that’s kind of awesome.
  8. I bought a six-pack of Guinness Black Lager.  I’ve been a Guinness fan ever since I started seriously drinking.  (That may be the most depressing sentence I’ve ever written in my life…  “Seriously” drinking?)  I was excited to hear that they were putting out a lager in the US, and a dark one at that.  I snapped up a pack as soon as I saw it.  I got it home and opened it, expecting to have a new favorite lager.  And…  Not quite.  It’s a GOOD lager, but it’s ONLY a good one.  It tastes like a fizzy  Guinness…like someone poured Club Soda and barley into a Guinness Stout.  It’s an obvious attempt to sell more of the Guinness name in the United States…and it’s a big disappointment, if you were expecting more than that.  I guess it’s a good introduction if you’ve always wondered about Guinness but are gun-shy about it…but if you’re already a Guinness fan, pass it by and pick up a Draught or Stout.  Preferably a Stout.
  9. Due to a series of mishaps with my weekend, I’m not going to get a podcast recorded before bedtime.  I may take some time to record one during the week…but if not, my apologies to the Empty Checking faithful (if any).
  10. Got a nice complement at church about the New Year’s Eve project I put on the website for ABSOLUTELY FREE a while back.  That was cool.  I re-listened to it afterward, and good news!  I still stand by it.  🙂  Check it out if you somehow haven’t over the past couple of years.
  11. I think the change in the weather has been affecting/effecting/iffecting/offecting/uffecting/and-sometimes-yffecting me this week.  Not so long ago, St. Louis was suffering a heat-wave (100-degree+ for weeks).  Lately, it’s been getting up to only about 70-75-degrees.  (I can’t figure out how to make the “degrees” sign in Windows.  How is that not a button on the keyboard, but “~” is?)  I love autumn, and I love this kind of weather, but it’s a pretty major drop in a short time period…and I’ve been feeling it in my joints and sinuses.  Also, I am 76 years old.
  12. Note to self: Buy wine.  Delicious wine.

…and that seems as good a thought to end on as any.  I swear I’ll try to write more.  It’s just been boring lately.

————

Quotable Quotes:

  • My friend Doug: “Well, it was good to see you.  See you at the next funeral.”
  • Lucas (from church): “It’s great to see you brother! When was the last time you sinned?”
  • Anthony Jeselnik (comedian): “The only reason [Charlie Sheen] got on TV in the first place is because God hates Michael J. Fox.”

I suck at not not posting…

Sorry I’ve been writing so little lately.  I keep meaning to, but I keep forgetting.  So I’m going to do a random thing.  I meant to write a lot more about a lot of these subjects…but we’ll just do the short versions.

Let’s go.

  1. I saw the Foo Fighters on Saturday.  Went with my brother.  Neither of us had ever seen them before, and they’re touring behind a really great record, so this was a good time to go.  We were a little bit behind the stage, but still had a good view.  Grohl and company put on one hell of a good rock show.  It was fun and they showed off some pretty impressive musicianship that a lot of people probably didn’t realize they had going into the night.  Only bummer was that I couldn’t get the special t-shirt made just for St. Louis in my size…but when a band you like plays for three hours, it’s hard to be too mad about a shirt-size.  After the show, between getting out of the parking lot and taking a wrong turn downtown, it took us a LONG time to get home, and I didn’t crawl into my own bed until somewhere between 3-4 a.m.  That’s a successful evening in my book!  Fun night.  (And by the way…  My current theme song is “Walk” off of their new record.)
  2. The DC Comics people just did a relaunch of pretty much their entire universe.  Pretty much everything has gone back to “issue #1” and we’re getting a whole new look at the characters we’ve loved for years.  I think it’s pretty good, so far.  I’ve been happy.  But I’ll talk more about it in my Empty Checking podcast this weekend.
  3. My kitchen remodel hit a snag.  The place where we got the cabinets sold us a sink-base that was too small for the sink/the hole they cut in the counter-top.  They’re making it right…but it takes 5 days for shipping.  Disappointing, but at least it’ll work out.
  4. Two Hangmen have also been a little bit delayed, mostly due to pretty much everyone in Dave’s household getting sick for a couple of weeks.  But we’ve got some fancy plans for the near future.  If nothing else, I’ll at least have the website fully up and running soon and the EP fully purchase-able via PayPal and probably on iTunes too.
  5. My friend Jimmi’s son Clarence died recently.  The funeral is tomorrow.  I’m going…because that’s what you do.  Wish Jimmi well, if you think of it.
  6. The new Dream Theater record is not the statement they needed to make, and suffers from a fairly ball-less mix…but it’s a good record.  It sounds like a band that’s been together for 20 years releasing another record of new material.  It’s fine…but it’s not their heyday…  But considering the new drummer, the rush to get the record out, etc, etc…it’s a success, and I’m basically enjoying it.  I have absolutely no musical critiques.  Their performances are great.  (In fact, James LaBrie probably sounds the best he ever has.)  The mix just isn’t very good, and the songs are hurt by it, unfortunately.  But then again, I seem to be in the minority in saying that…so who can tell.  (More on this on this week’s Empty Checking podcast as well.)
  7. I ate at the Fountain at Locust for lunch last week.  Someone took our office out for lunch.  It was really good.  I highly recommend it.  If you can get by on a Wednesday, I recommend the Wednesday special, called the Thin Man.  It was amazing.
  8. I watched the Emmys.  I was very entertained, even though the winners were almost entirely predictable.  But according to the Internet, I’m wrong about that too…  Oh well…  At least it was cool to see Charlie Sheen come out and be EXTREMELY classy about the Two and a Half Men thing.  In fact, he was way classier than Cryer and Kutcher were later in the evening.  (But I’m sure their segment was scripted.)
  9. Work is fine…etc…

That’ll do it.  I’m going to bed.  Thanks for reading.  I’ll try to write again soon.

Music for Inspiration

I haven’t posted in about a week, so I wanted to get something on the page.  I’ve got a few things I WANT to write about that would take more focus than I have available at the moment…so instead, I’m just going to post a playlist I made.

These are all songs that kind of grab me and send an “it’s not so bad” type of message.  Some of them impact me pretty deeply.  Pretty much, I wanted to make a playlist full of songs that send a chill down my spine, in the good way.  And I soon discovered that apparently there are only about 12 of those…  So here they are!  The playlist title is based on how every church seems to label it in their bulletin when someone sings a solo.  It’s not a solo.  It’s not a song.  It’s not a performance.  It’s…

“Music for Inspiration”

  1. Storm (First movement, aka “”Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven…”) – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  2. Walk – Foo Fighters
  3. Hold Me Up – Live
  4. Some Lucky Day – Tom Waits
  5. Real Good Looking Boy – The Who
  6. Be the Rain – Neil Young
  7. I’m Amazed – My Morning Jacket
  8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones
  9. I Believe (When I Fall in Love it will be Forever) – Stevie Wonder
  10. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  11. Release the Stars – Rufus Wainwright
  12. Moment of Surrender – U2

…so there you go.  I’ll post something more elaborate before the week’s over.

Loose Ends

Just thought I should blog real quick to tie up a few loose ends…  Consider this like a mini-random post…

  1. The MDA Telethon was pretty successful.  I’m glad I was wrong in my prediction that it would be a record-drop in giving.  It out-did last year’s show by several million, raising $61.4 million+.  Way to go, America!  (And remember the thing I’m doing over at the website—lasts until the end of the month.)
  2. Blew out a tire on Sunday morning, right before church.  Took a turn to park at an awkward angle, hit the curb (possibly sewer) and blew out the tire.  A guy I’ve only met once or twice called Trey gave me a hand putting the spare on.  Nice of him.
  3. Congratulations to my dear friends Andy and Tara Black on the birth of their son Solomon!  Solomon Black.  He has to grow up to be a Soul singer.  I’m going to do whatever I can to make that happen.
  4. Kitchen’s at the “painting” stage.  Hoping to have cabinets in there very, very soon!
  5. I finally posted a new Empty Checking podcast.  (What?  Yeah!)  Worth listening to, if you like the nonsense on the blog, but would like it to be louder.
  6. With the MDA Telethon now behind us, my thoughts do drift to the other main “charity” I support.  (But I don’t like that word “charity.”  It’s more of a ministry, anyway.)  Amer-Haitian Bon Zami does great work with kids in Haiti.  I know a few people involved with the group, particularly House of Hope orphanage, where my old friend (who is young enough that it’s weird to call her “old” friend) Shara Lyn works.  Check them out at http://www.ahbz.org.  They’re worth your time.
  7. For a guy who doesn’t like kids very much, I sure do support a lot of organizations that do stuff to benefit them.  Irony…or something…not really irony…but thanks to Alanis Morrissette, we no longer know what that word means…so yeah…I’ll go with irony.
  8. Also, just a quick statement of disdain…  I’ve recently become aware of a professor at a college where I have some student-aged friends who is outright stealing his/her students’ work and putting it in his/her next book.  During the first week of classes, s/he told them s/he would be doing that by saying s/he “may use some of your papers in my next book, with MY permission.”  The college’s bylaws and student handbook are pretty clear about stating that anything a student writes for a class does become property of the college, so s/he is technically within his/her rights to do that…but as the Prophet Lemmy said, just ’cause you’ve got the power, that don’t mean you’ve got the right.  To those students who are my friends, and who suffer alongside them—stand together, or fall apart.  Don’t let your words and thoughts be stolen.  They’re all you have.  Write the college’s administrators, write the college’s board of directors and trustees.  Do not let this slide.  If you don’t stand up, no one will.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about it.  (Please note that for all due legal and ethical purposes, I will not be naming the institution or the professor in question.  If, however, you are reading this, Professor-in-Question, even though you have no proof that I am talking about you right now, the anger you feel is your conscience trying to illuminate your guilt.  Listen to it.  Especially being someone who is going to be making money off of those stolen words…wouldn’t it be more satisfying to do the work yourself?  Wouldn’t you hate it if someone copied something you wrote word-for-word and sold it as their own work?  Please consider this less condemnation and more a call to repentance.  You are sinning against these kids, against yourself, and against your god, if indeed you recognize one.  Consider who you are carefully, and act accordingly.  I want to believe that you are better than this.)

…and those are the loose ends I wanted to tie up.  Sorry that last one got a little heavy.

————

The Music or the Misery — 9/6/11:

  1. Centro-Matic — Candidate Waltz
  2. …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead — The Century of Self
  3. Lou Reed — Transformer
  4. The Henry Clay People — Somewhere on the Golden Coast
  5. Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean
  6. Jake Austin and the City Limits — Country Soul

Please Give

It seems somehow fitting that I’m writing this after the telethon has started, and some of you won’t even see it until after it has ended.  That’s okay though.  Even though the telethon is shorter this year, that doesn’t mean the need is lesser, and it kind of serves as a good object lesson that the need goes on even when the show stops.  Especially in a year when the show stops too soon.

But there are plenty of reasons to pick on the show.  There always were…  That’s not the point.  And besides, the hosts of the show are being VERY classy in paying tribute to Jerry.  Especially the weird British guy, whose name I don’t know.  We’re not here to speak ill…we’re here to speak about the kids and adults who need us.

So…why should you give to MDA?

Look…I can tell you the heart breaking/heart warming stories.  You’ve seen those, if you’ve ever watched the telethon.  They’re showing one right now, in fact.  (Oh…now it’s over…that was quick.)  I can tell you about the summer camps.  I can tell you about how much it means to the kids, how much it means to their parents…  I can tell you a lot of things.  But this is the bottom line.  Every day, people are dying from neuromuscular diseases.  A lot of them haven’t hit puberty yet, and they’re already planning for the grave.  And there’s no cure.  And that’s not right.

You have the chance to help.  If your heart doesn’t break for these people—so many of whom are children—I don’t know how to break it.  All I can do is ask.

Please consider visiting www.MDA.org and giving whatever you can—even if it’s a nickel.  It might be the nickel that saves a life.  You’ll feel good about it.  Trust me.  (And also please remember that if you buy a CD from www.derekbrink.com, I’ll donate 50% of the price to MDA, during the entire month of September.)

Thanks for your time.

Spend Money, GIVE Money

I’m still going to write a post about why giving to MDA is important, but I figured I should put this on the blog, since the announcement has already gone up on my website and on Facebook.

Throughout the entire month of September, if you buy any CD(s) from my website or from me personally, I will be donating 50% of the profit to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  So if you’ve ever considered buying a CD from me, now is a great time to do it.  I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, and I’ve realized that the only reason I haven’t is because—well—I haven’t.  So I’m doing it now.  Please click over to www.derekbrink.com and buy a CD or two or three (or more, but then you’ll have some duplicates), and know that you’re helping to make life better for people who need it.  And THANK YOU.

(A couple of legal things:)

  • I am unable to track my sales via iTunes/Rhapsody/Napster, so any purchases made via those services won’t work out—this deal applies to physical products ONLY.
  • Please note that your purchase will NOT be tax-deductible, because I’m not a non-profit organization.  You’re just buying a CD, and I’m telling you what I’m doing with the money—but that kind of thing shouldn’t stop you from being generous.)

Hope to hear from you over on the website soon!  Hopefully you’ll enjoy the music you buy…but even if you don’t, you’ll love the feeling you get from knowing part of the money went to a good cause.  I’ll be autographing/numbering each one sold, so if you want anything specific written on it, let me know.

Talk to you tomorrow about why I (still) support MDA.  Until then…courage.