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Showing posts from February, 2018

Block House Brewing Oktoberfest ale

Okay, I know what you're saying: "Why is he writing about an Oktoberfest ale when we are as far from the month of October as we can possibly be?"

Well, I answer you in the words of one of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut: "Why anything?"

I picked up a six-pack of this stuff on Super Bowl night, looking for something inexpensive but flavorful. Lo and behold I found this stuff on sale warm for $5.99 down at "It's Doggin It," down the street from where I live. A great place to shop for beer, incidentally, because they have deals like this. Even if it is six months old at this point, $5.99 for this tasty beverage was a steal.

A very "malt-forward" beer, I feel as though Block House Brewing could have done slightly better on this offering, but overall I enjoyed it greatly. Sometimes you want a rich, malty and uncomplicated beer. This beer suffers only from what I would call (as pretentiously as possible) a lack of "complexity," b…

Parties Without Music

Begin Rant: There is an epidemic in our society and it's not the flu or the Ebola virus. No. This, my friends, is far worse. What is the problem?

People these days have parties without music.

Yes, it is true. I've been to several over the past six months and it's starting to really, genuinely freak me out. And let me answer the question that's probably already popping up in your head: No, this is not some kind of new aged "fad" or trend. If that were the case then maybe it would be excusable, but still probably not.

The fact is, when you have a group of people gathered together in a room to socialize over drinks and food you must have music playing. This should be codified into federal law. It doesn't even have to be good music. But you must have something playing in order to provide atmosphere, fill in the awkward gaps in conversation, liven things up, and -- at the least -- provide a "background noise" to prevent everyone else in the room from …

New Yorker Fiction Review #194: "Fly Already" by Etgar Keret

Review of a short story from the May 15, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

I'm so far behind on my New Yorker short story reviewing, I'm close to being a full year behind, which is absolutely preposterous. I think if I get a full year behind, I'll have to think about whether or not this project is still worth doing. I'm going on year six after all, and nearing 200 reviews. But...to the story at hand...

I love, love, LOVE an Etgar Keret story. This guy is my kind of writer. He writes lean, direct, strong prose under-girded by a dark sense of humor but also by the persistent notion that, like Hemingway once said, "the world is a fine place and worth fighting for..."

Nothing could exemplify Etgar Keret's sort of cynically hopeful attitude more than "Fly Already," a short story (very short story) in which a young man and his son encounter a man standing on the ledge of a nearby building, ready to jump. As the main character tries to persuade the man n…