Day 146


I stayed in, got (mostly) caught up, and watched Groundhog Day and drank a winter warmer spiced ale home brewed by my classmate, Ben.

The view from the front window.
The view from the front window. Blech.

Elvis Night

They’ve been sitting there for a while. Months maybe.

Elvis and Elvis-inspired

The DVD was still in its shrink wrap, gathering dust on the Blue-Ray player that doesn’t get used anymore now that we have Netflix. The bottle had been pushed over time to the very back of the fridge; every now and again I’d see a flash of pink between the orange juice jug and the pickle jar and think, I really need to drink that someday.

Well that someday was last night. It was the kind of night where unplugging from the internet and curling up solo on the couch with a good movie and a good beer seemed like a good idea.

I just want to state right here, that I am not a huge Elvis fan. Or even a medium-sized one. We got married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator because it seemed like something silly and fun. Neither of us took it seriously. So I unwrapped Viva Las Vegas and cracked open the Rogue Voodoo Donut Memphis (peanut butter, chocolate and banana ale) with no expectations of anything serious.

Good thing, too. When my beer friend on Twitter asked me later what I thought of the Memphis Donut, my response that it’s a good match with Viva Las Vegas; both are so all over the place it’s hard to figure ’em out.

So true. I know I’m not going to watch an Oscar winner when I see an Elvis movie, but this was so disjointed I had to pay attention just to figure out what was going on. Cars and swimming pools and talent shows and musical numbers and drunken Texans and Italian race car drivers and boat interiors in the middle of the desert. So confusing. But then again, it was fun and now it’s done.

And the beer. It’s one of those beers that when I take the first sip, I think, hmm, that’s interesting! By the 10th sip however, I’m becoming much less interested in it. Bananas and chocolate and peanut butter and dark sweet malts. So confusing. But then again, it was fun and now it’s done.

And when they were done, I re-watched the Elvis-inspired Bubba Hotep. Because an aging Elvis battling an ancient Egyptian zombie was slightly less confusing.



Take the Black

It’s back!

I admit it; I am addicted to Game of Thrones. It first came to my attention just before Dance With Dragons came out in 2011, and I spent a summer inhaling all five books.

I had been waiting with great anticipation for Season 4 of GoT to start. I couldn’t watch it on Sunday when it premiered (no cable) and stayed away from social media spoilers until I could settle in on Monday with an appropriate beverage to take it in.

The Show (Warning: spoilers)

The Red Wedding is over, and the Starks are either dead or scattered. I tend to zone out on scenes with Sansa; her passivity grates on me. Her sister Arya’s fierceness and anger is a sharp contrast. The last scene where Arya dispatches Polliver with the same words he said while killing her friend is chilling. The Lannisters are united physically but still more fragmented than ever. There’s a new player on the board as Price Oberyn from Dorne arrives for Joffrey’s wedding. Danerys’s dragons are growing and are showing signs of becoming independent and rebellious, as are some of her admirers. Tyrion is still trying to do right for everyone while still getting crapped on. And no one but the Watch (and not even all of the Watch) seems to take seriously what is coming from the North.

Death, intrigue, revenge, struggle for power. Complex story lines with more players added to tangle the strings even more. No happy endings for anyone. So in other words, same old. Gods, how I love this show.

The Beer

It seemed appropriate to drink a Take The Black stout from Ommegang Brewery. Judging by the updates on Untappd and Beer Advocate, I wasn’t the only one.

Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ. Etc.

The stout poured a deep, dark chocolate brown with a thick cafe-au-lait coloured head that took quite a while to recede. It had just come out of the fridge so there weren’t many aromatics at first, but strong coffee and dark fruit became more prevalent as it warmed.

I think I may have winced at my first taste; it was thinner and more effervescent than I was expecting. A bit sour, but mostly offset by the caramel and coffee in the malts. Some licorice as it warmed, but more bitterness and acidity as well.


Would I watch Game of Thrones again? Yes, in all likelihood I will. The story is just too complex to pick up all the nuances the first time.

Would I drink Take The Black again? Likely not. It’s good, but my tastes in stouts run to the more robust and complex.