My kids get facetime calls almost every day, but I answered my first facetime call late last night and I took it in true old man fashion. I put the phone to my ear and said “Hello… Hello! … Then I looked at my phone and I saw someone smirking at me. The face in the phone told me that I should write something because it’s been a long time. I said. “I wrote something today, but it was bad.” Then the face said, “sometimes bad writing is better because it’s more honest.” It was more of a drunken’ mumble than a profound statement, but I decided to take inspiration from it.
Much like you wouldn’t value past sexual experiences based solely on the attractiveness of your partners. There are many more important factors than just quality brewing that can lead to a great beer experience, and most of it has to do with what is going on in your own brain.
I had an amazing beer high at New Helvetia Brewing. I had a couple of heavy beers before I got there. I ordered their best beer, the Rough and Ready Red, and then followed it up with really good strong ale, at a table, staring out the window, it catapulted me straight into a state of pure drunken transcendence. I thought a long time of my dad dying, realized my own spiritual being, the afterlife, and my space in the universe. I was practically floating in perspective. Then I glanced down to write a few notes and it started to slip away. So I looked back out the window into the horizon to hold onto the feeling as long as I could. Then I stepped out of the brewery onto Broadway and my friend’s mini-van pulled up with their kids and my whole family inside and I jumped in with my growler and we went to a little party. It was a nice day.
The art on our wall segment for this post features two photos by Michelle Barnhardt. One is a poster-sized print of the Tower Theater on Broadway in Sacramento. I couldn’t see the tower out the window of the New Helvetia Brewery, but it is only a couple of blocks away. Then the other is a framed wedding reception photo of my young self, a scant 15 years ago.
I joke about getting old a lot because it happened to me quickly, both physically and mentally, and it took a few years to figure out. When I entered my early 40’s I still felt strong and resilient. I was about the same as I had been at 30 years old, but within just a few years I felt much more like a 58 year old man than someone in their 40’s. The downfall began with a simple but unremittant shoulder injury, then the domino effect of afflictions buoyed by a lifetime of poor health practices forced me to adjust my approach to life. I eventually realized I would never “get better”, but I was able to put the breaks on my decline. I do 45 minutes to an hour of physical therapy every morning (elastic bands, 10 lbs. weights etc.) I can still feel pretty good. I don’t feel young again, but I’m good enough. The key is that when I start to feel better I still need to keep up the process. Lazy Saturday mornings only lead to unpleasant Sundays. It’s ongoing. Now, I just need to figure out a process to deal with my brain.
The YouTube post this time is from Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz because that’s mostly what I’ve been listening to these past months. It’s a free download album from her website, but I paid $7 for the double CD version, not because I’m old school and don’t understand I can play music from my phone, but so I can play it in the car on long solo trips. I usually start my trip on Disc 1 with “Space Boots” and then just play through both discs until I reach my destination.