Summer Songs, Suds, and Skinny Jeans…

 

I never judge where I make new friends, find new music, or any other of life’s pleasant discoveries. I tend to let serendipity take its course. This week I was blown away by a new track at the clothing store, H&M. Okay, maybe you can judge me for that, but this wasn’t the typical pulsing E.D.M. soundtrack that makes you feel your brain feel like you’re stuck inside Candy Crush.

Allow me to frame the scenario.

While my wife auditioned new threads for her wardrobe. I perused the men’s section. For those of you who have never entered H&M, it is the type of clothing store that doesn’t carry loose fit or boot fit jeans. There is one size: skinny. Like twelve-year-old boy-who-hasn’t-gone-through-puberty-yet skinny.

I’d never tried on skinny jeans before. And now I know why. These pants fit me like someone tried to put eight ounces of toothpaste back into a seven-ounce tube. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say getting out of those jeans was time-consuming and messy.

I placed a modern-day corset (At least this torture device is unisex. Yay, progress!) in the hands of my retail associate without making eye contact and with my tail between my legs. While I licked me wounds, my wife  laughed at me and continued to shop. When I had given up hope that this trip would be in any way redeeming for me, this song came on: “Shake it Loose” by Astronauts, etc. As the reverb-soaked guitars slithered in, my shame began to slither out. Shimmering, delicate downtempo funk melted on my musical palette. P.S. the rest of their first album, Mind Out Wandering, is pretty great too.

Immediately, I felt better, at least until my wife came out of the dressing room still laughing with a heap of clothes that fit her like joy fits a child. Her wardrobe passed the audition. My attempt to find a decent pair of jeans failed in the same dramatic, let-it-all-burn-to-the-ground fashion that finding a date to Homecoming junior year did. That, my friends, is a blog for another day.

I’m pairing “Shake it Loose” with Ballast Point’s Calico Amber Ale, or California Amber Ale. The label is a bit misleading because it’s a hybrid between an American amber ale, and an English ESB. The color is a reddish, amber color, with a nose that is surprisingly spicy and floral. The initial flavor is like a sweet, velvety biscuit, but the hops provide the perfect amount of balance and bite.

This song and this beer are perfect for setting up a comfortable evening. Whether you are starting the grill, heating up leftovers and watching Netflix, or putting on clothes to meet up friends for dinner (preferably jeans that don’t make you feel like cheese melting out of a fresh-pressed Panini.), this beer and song combination offer a great start to the evening. These selections aren’t anything too frantic or overpowering because no first song or beverage of an evening should be. The pairing is simple understated elegance—what every good weekend night should be.

Cheers. Prost. Salud.

Blog 2 entry

Salutaria: To beginnings!

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” ~Oscar Wilde

Perhaps it’s because I just finished re-reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, but celebrating art in all its forms has recently dominated my thoughts. I fear that the effect that art has on a person’s senses as a means to awaken the soul doesn’t get the credit it deserves. We rush through life, hopping from one moment to the next, via tweets and texts, Google calendar alerts and alarms, and Facebook and Instagram posts. Instead we should leisurely peel life’s layers back, peer in and savor them.  I’m not saying anything revolutionary. Basically, let’s enjoy stuff while we’re here!

In Barbery’s novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, she refers to this way living as finding, “the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same… [searching for the] always within [the] never.”

Beer Post 1.jpgThrough this blog, I mean to do that, by pairing pop culture and other of life’s events with life’s little luxuries, such as beer. For instance, if you’re going to listen to album (X), it should be paired with beer (Y) to best enjoy the experience. Think of me as a Cicerone for life’s little moments. After all, items should be taken in twos: peanut butter and jelly, dinner and a movie, the beach and a sunset, the animals on Noah’s ark, an audience and an artist (Even if it is an audience of one!). Perhaps the most important pairings are food and/or beverage with an experience. We often use meals and beverages as a way to celebrate major events: a promotion, a birthday, an anniversary, hump day (Hey, sometimes making it through half of the week is an accomplishment worth celebrating!).

In the spirit of this blog, and to celebrate this moment, which is very small for all of you, but gut-wrenching and soul-bearing for me, I’ve paired my first entry with Eliza5beth by Prairie Artisan Ale Company. Most people toast with champagne, so for the first pairing, I’ve chosen a beer that shares many components with champagne. This farmhouse-style ale smells of apricots, honey, and Belgian yeast. The beer is surprisingly effervescent, with hints of grass and a mellow tartness to compliment the Belgian yeast, apricot, and honey flavors that come through as clearly in taste as they do in smell. It finishes very dry, like a Brut champagne. While not quite champagne, it is beer worth popping for a special occasion, especially on a sweltering summer day.

In short, I hope to help you celebrate some of the smaller events in life, and look at them as art instead of a means to pass the time, and maybe, along the way, introduce you to a new beverage or two. Because, let’s face it. Beer is good, and we all enjoy having a good time.

As we celebrate America’s 240th birthday, I celebrate my first entry out int0 the cyber cosmos.

Cheers. Prosit. Salud.