Hi everyone -- a very Happy New Year from London! I stood for 5 hours on Waterloo Bridge to get these shots, so I hope you enjoy them!
Friday, December 31, 2010
Hi everyone -- a very Happy New Year from London! I stood for 5 hours on Waterloo Bridge to get these shots, so I hope you enjoy them!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Parents, having trouble with whining kids? Arguing kids? Sibling rivalries? Good news. Today the solution occurred to me: Abandonment. No, you won't get away with it, but guess what? The kids cannot possibly join you in the jail cell. You will even have bars and guards keeping them away!
Hi folks -- I'm back in London. I exited a bus the other day in front of The Hop Exchange in the Southwark area. The Hop Exchange was supposed to be used for exactly what it says -- the exchange of hops -- but oddly enough, it never was.
Anyway, a few doors away I passed The Wheatsheaf pub. On the sidewalk in front of the store was a sandwich-board type of sign screaming to the world that Anchor Steam beer, made in San Francisco, was available inside.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Whipped Lightning is "the world's first alcohol-infused whipped cream."
Here's what Paste Magazine's Daily Awesome recently said about Whipped Lightning:
It comes in nine flavors, to boot, including German chocolate, caramel pecan, hazelnut espresso and strawberry colada.
Although the website stresses the perfect union of their Whipahol cream with cocktails, shooters and other drinks — we here at Paste think it’d taste dreamiest paired with today’s pumpkin pie.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Myrtle Beach / Grand Strand folks: Six-packs of Sam Adams Winter Lager have been running $8.49 at The Market Common Piggly Wiggly, Forestbrook Food Lion, and the Lowes Foods at S.C. 544.
Let me know if you see a sale on Sam Adams Winter Lager! Make a comment below.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Eva Moore, writing in the Free Times of Columbia:
Lawmakers are scrambling to figure out how a state law passed this year ended up barring businesses and individuals from serving beer and wine at special events.
Because of that law, starting in January, the Department of Revenue will only grant special-event permits to serve beer and wine to nonprofit organizations and political parties. They will stop issuing permits to businesses and individuals — promoters, caterers and other event organizers, for example — who must obtain licenses every time they want to serve beer and wine in a location without a permanent beer and wine license.
“Somebody screwed up,” says Tom Sponseller, head of the South Carolina Hospitality Association.
According to Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens), the bill’s sole sponsor, the law was just supposed to make it easier for nonprofits that frequently hold events to apply for multiple licenses at once.
Read the entire article here.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The Lowes on S.C. 544, the Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common, and the Food Lion on Forestbrook Road each were selling Sierra Nevada Celebration for $8.99 per six-pack of bottles. So it's a buck-fifty per bottle. Not the most affordable beer around, to be sure, but less expensive than Avery Brewing Co.'s Old Jubilation Ale. Just how much is Old Jubilation? Find out here.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I found it at the Forest Brook Food Lion -- a six-pack of bottles for $7.49.
Monday, November 29, 2010
From Adrienne R. Fairwell, public relations officer for the S.C. Department of Revenue:
Change in Law - Special Event Permits to Sell Beer, Wine, Liquor Amended
Changes to issuance of alcoholic beverage special events licenses effective January 1, 2011
Individuals and organizations will soon see changes in the way they apply for special event licenses and permits due to legislation passed during the 2010 legislative session.
In order to obtain a temporary beer and wine and/or liquor license, the applicant must be a nonprofit organization and must follow the below mentioned guidelines:
• The non-profit must be exempt from federal income tax pursuant to certain subsections of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code
• A criminal records check is required and must be conducted within 90 days prior to the date of the application
For purposes of this law change, non-profit organizations are those that are organized exclusively for social, benevolent, patriotic, recreational or fraternal purposes, and which are exempt from federal income taxes.
*Note: The new legislation applies to applications beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Therefore, New Year’s Eve events starting December 31, 2010 and ending January 1, 2011 will not be affected.
For a complete listing of ABL legislative changes please visit www.sctax.org and click on the Alcohol Beverage Licensing link.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
This afternoon, I found Avery's Old Jubilation Ale available in six-packs of bottles at the Piggly Wiggly (The Market Common) for $11.99. I also found a single bottle in the mix-and-match section. Thank God. A bottle at $1.99 is easier to buy.
Check out this recent column to see some of the winter seasonal beers available, or soon to be available, on the Grand Strand.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
From Donald Bradley, writing in the Kansas City Star:
As if a bell tolled a neighbor’s trouble, folks came running.
The first showed up before the sun Tuesday, huddling and shivering in the cold and the dark. Others soon came, and before long their numbers stretched a block on both sides of Mechanic Street in front of Harrisonville’s Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
People drove from three or four counties away. Buses arrived, bellowing exhaust into the cold, bringing loads of schoolkids and senior citizens. People took off work. Some brought dogs. Farmers parked pickups nearby.
It wasn’t a fire, but a burning sense of what was the decent thing to do for one of their own who had given his all.
By 9 a.m., an hour before the funeral of Army Cpl. Jacob R. Carver, an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people, many of them waving American flags, lined nearly a half-mile of the street in front of the church, making sure Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church/family congregation were crowded out, peacefully kept far from shouting distance of the funeral.
“This soldier died so (Phelps) could do what he does, as stupid as that is,” said Steve Nothnagel of Harrisonville as he looked at the turnout. “I’m so proud of what is happening here today. This is a community coming together. I know it’s not just Harrisonville; they’re coming from all over.”
The call had gone out by word of mouth and Facebook: Come to Harrisonville, line the streets. Let’s protect this family on this saddest of days.
Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/11/23/2467169/in-harrisonville-thousands-line.html#ixzz16JSSZHtU
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sam Calagione, founder of the Dogfish Head brewing company, has an interesting article in the Huffington Post on beer cultures around the world. Read it here.
Also, four months ago, I published a cover story on Pabst Blue Ribbon. If you missed it, read it here.
Friday, November 19, 2010
"Anapest" and "amphibrach" are pronounced as dactyls.
"Dactyl" is pronounced as a trochee.
"Trochee" is pronounced as a trochee, too, and so is its opposite, "iamb."
"Spondee" pretty much sounds like a spondee to me.
So what does all this mean?
Director Barry Edelstein, who has coached Gwyneth Paltrow and many other actors in Shakespearean matters, offered this explanation of poetic feet in his book Thinking Shakespeare:
The syllables go: Unstressed-stressed
The syllables go: Stressed-unstressed
The syllables go: Unstressed-unstressed-stressed
The syllables go: Stressed-unstressed-unstressed
The syllables go: Unstressed-stressed-unstressed
Elsewhere -- meaning, outside of Edelstein's book -- I found examples of the spondee that I put together as follows:
The syllables go: Stressed-stressed
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Last week, Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery in Myrtle Beach tapped a Honey Wheat. This beer was brewed with 55 pounds of local honey. It might be the best Honey Wheat I've tried: I could definitely taste the honey, but the beer was not sweet, and I thought belonged in the light-to-medium weight class. I'll be writing about it in my next column in the Weekly Surge.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Heard any music from the Pussycat Dolls lately? I didn't think so.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Thursday November 4 2010. Former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta enjoys an evening at the Verizon/HTC Incredible Launch at Voyeur in West Hollywood. Photograph: Josephine Santos, PacificCoastNews.com
Of course, the beer you serve at a party says a lot about you. Down-scale quality is the current token of hipness. Sometimes, you want to say you're one of the real, working, unpretentious folks. But you also want some quality.
Well, for quality, affordability, historical roots, and as much Americana as a trucker's cap, buy both of these for your next party:
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Within these two iconic brand names, you can go slightly upscale, or keep it real: Both are available in bottles and cans.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Lake Echo, Dear (animated)
Ted Kooser: Daddy Longlegs
Jane Hirshfield: For What Binds Us
Kevin Young: Aunties
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I have to admit, I never thought about matching one's shoes with one's tattoos.
No, I don't have any tattoos. Or decent shoes.
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: Kelly Osbourne attends the Jeremy Scott Spring 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images) Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
|This is roughly where the old bathroom downstairs used to be, looking toward where the laundry room used to be.|
|Looking from the far back corner of the old kitchen, where the smaller refrigerator was, toward the former laundry room entrance.|
|Looking toward the back corner; same spot for the oven, with a new microwave over top.|
|A view of our post, and my sister-in-law sitting at the new counter.|
|Looking toward the dining room and the old laundry room.|
|Back corner again; Maggie sits on a bench with storage underneath.|
|The old entrance to the kitchen, which will become a "powder room," with toilet and sink, eventually.|
|The old kitchen's sink, still usable, is on the right, and the big refrigerator and a laundry stack back up to the new wall.|
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tree of Heaven by James McKean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
May I'm biased; Jim was my thesis adviser in grad school. Then again, the Iowa Poetry Prize should indicate the power of "Tree of Heaven." I'm not sure I can give an adequate description. I'll just say, I finished each poem in amazement and gratitude for a new way of seeing.
View all my reviews
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tommy at Green's said the Magic Hat, along with many others, just came in today. Stay tuned for tasting notes!
|Magic Hat's "Hex," their "Ourtober" Beer and RedHook's Late Harvey Autumn Ale.|
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - Monday August 30, 2010. Lindsay Lohan, accompanied by her assistant Eleonore Lieven, multiple unidentified men and photographers, leaves a medical building in Beverly Hills. Lohan was dressed rather professionally as she wore a simple jacket, pleated shorts and black high heels. Photograph: Zico, PacificCoastNews.com
Content © 2010 PacificCoastNews All rights reserved.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Here's something that didn't fit into my new column on New South Brewing's upcoming brewery tours:
New South now sells six packs of its canned White Ale in 50 places around the Grand Strand, owner Dave Epstein said.
The brewery is pushing out 60 to 70 cases per week of the White Ale, which was already New South's most popular beer before they started canning it last year.
For now, White Ale is the brewery's only canned beer. Their other beers are sold in kegs to bars and restaurants.
Did you know New South uses a canning machine that was once used to package Dale's Pale Ale?
Visit New South online.
Friday, August 20, 2010
On campus today, I opened the door to exit a CCU restroom. The handle came off in pieces that scattered on the floor.
The door closed.
I couldn't re-open the door.
I wondered how long I would have to wait before someone else would have to go to the toilet, so I might be liberated from the restroom.
Eventually, I rigged the handle to work well enough to open the door.
I escaped the restroom.
I went to my office and sat at my computer. I wondered if someone else might be experiencing the same thing I just went through.
I called the Facilities phone number.
With a very friendly voice, the lady on the other end advised me with a few bureaucratic phrases.
I thanked her and hung up.
I still have no idea what she said.
If you're presently stuck in the restroom, I'm really sorry.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Dunkin' Donuts on U.S. 501: If you ask for the combo, be very specific about the temperature of the coffee
After waiting at least 5 minutes that feel like 15 in a three-person line at the Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins on U.S. 501, where four people are behind the counter, I ask for the Turkey, Cheddar, & Bacon flat bread combo with coffee.
The sign says, Anytime Combos, with small iced tea or iced coffee, $5.39.
I asked for the combo with coffee. I didn't say "iced." She doesn't ask me for clarification.
She says she needs to check if they have any Turkey, Cheddar, & Bacon
About three minutes later, she returns to say they have Ham & Swiss or Three Cheese ("Grilled" on the sign, actually) flat bread available.
She doesn't say they are out of Turkey, Cheddar, & Bacon. She says they have Ham & Swiss or Three Cheese ("Grilled" on the sign).
I say Ham & Swiss.
She gets my coffee, a hot coffee.
I still think I'm getting the combo for $5.39.
Another three minutes. My food is brought to the counter and placed in a brown paper bag.
She rings me up for $3.99 plus $1.69 for the coffee: $5.68, plus 60 cents for our politicians to play with, bringing the total to $6.28.
I look confused. The combo price is $5.39. I point out that the combo says it comes with a small iced tea or iced coffee. She says the coffee doesn't equal an iced tea.
She doesn't mention, as the sign does, iced coffee, which might stand a chance of being equal to a hot coffee. She just mentions iced tea.
Had she told me that hot coffee costs more when I order the combo? No.
I point out that I ordered the combo. She gives me the receipt and tells me I can look at how the price is broken down.
I ignore the tip jar.
Cast member Juliette Lewis signs autographs at the premiere of The Switch at the Arclight theatre in Hollywood, California August 16, 2010. The movie opens in the U.S. on September 2. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)Content © 2010 Reuters All rights reserved.
And there's always Jennifer...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: The Radio City Rockettes perform during the 2010 Radio City Christmas Spectacular Kick-Off at Radio City Music Hall on August 12, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 06: TV personality Kourtney Kardashian arrives to the Comcast Entertainment Group's Summer TCA Cocktail Party on August 6, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I put this down last summer because it was hard to read. Two brothers on the fringe of Mormonism really thought they were being led by God to kill a young mother and her baby daughter, and they did. Krakauer explores the roots of Mormonism, a uniquely American religion, to understand why the two men could wind up in such a mental, emotional, and spiritual place.
The book is almost too exhaustive at times: Krakauer just escapes overwhelming the reader with too much information as he takes us down through historians' discussions over specific events, and then offers lengthy footnotes, too.
Even so, Krakauer keeps the narrative tension, even when "what" happened -- the raw event he's exploring -- is already clearly stated. He keeps the narrative of the murder and narratives of the past moving along together, informing each other.
What bothered me the most is the way Mormon experience so closely matched my own experience in Christian neo-Pentecostal/charismatic movements: the continual emphasis on prophecies and new revelations. Bothered me, and proved instructive.
I recently saw a new Krakauer book on the shelves. I will most certainly read anything he writes.
Krakauer also references dozens of good books, most on Mormonism or specific moments in Mormon history, others on religion generally. I'm adding at least one of these referenced books to my own list: "Feet of Clay: Saints, Sinners, and Madmen -- A Study of Gurus" by Anthony Storr, the late British psychiatrist.
View all my reviews >>
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I recently saw him on stage in London as Mel in The Prisoner of Second Avenue, a comedy by Neil Simon.
In the first half of the play, Goldblum made Mel into a comic crazy guy; later, he made Mel into a compelling, quirky, renewed man.
Goldblum is a great talent, which might explain why the current London production of Simon's play has been extended by two weeks.
I'm surprised that Law & Order: Criminal Intent hasn't received better ratings with Goldblum in a lead role.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
To follow up on my column in today's new Weekly Surge, not all cask ales have been good.
I tried one at the Coach & Horses pub in London, not too far from Oxford Circus, at least as far as my long legs and fast walking are concerned.
Royal London Traditional Ale looked like a normal, copper-colored beer, but it tasted like some kind of fruit-and-vegetable health drink. I guess that's due to the yeasts. Maybe it was just the cask or the pour. Royal London Traditional Ale was the first cask pint I received that didn't involve a second pour to top-off.
The beer was so sour and tart, I wasn't sure I could finish it. But I did, and it felt nice in my stomach, and spiritually it was rather uplifting.
Well, tomorrow morning, at an ungodly hour, I'm flying back to Myrtle Beach. I'll miss this throne of beer, this land of ales, this ... England.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
At the Swan pub, near one end of Kennington Garden and Hyde Park, two by Fuller's: one is Chiswick Bitter, and the empty glass was Discovery Blonde. Both were hand-pulled; both were understated and good.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I liked it, a lot. Binx and Kate were real characters for me. I love the idea of the "search," what a person would pursue if not stuck in the everydayness of his/her own life. There's a sense of "becoming" that is still very much in play in Binx's search, in play even for an established, working, responsible citizen like himself.
I had some sense of the undercurrent of this book that others might not have had: Percy starts with a quotation from Kierkegaard's "Sickness Unto Death." I have read that book, which is most succinctly (if not best) described as existentialist philosophy and intuitive psychology -- not easy reading, but for a certain cast of mind and quandary of heart, it can hardly be called boring. "Sickness Unto Death" is an anatomy of despair, it's different forms and impacts, and it is quite thorough.
After I (finally finally finally) finished this book today on a train from Bath to London, I started re-reading it.
While in London, I've been trying to understand the mash-up of classical paganism and Christianity that is England. I'm also curious about architecture and how classical mythology emerges and re-emerges as an influence and decorative element. So my mind perked up when Binx is with Kate in Chicago and he passes some attractive young women and realizes he is not distracted by them. It's a rare moment; I think some of us understand. So unusual it is, Binx wonders about it. From there, he goes off on a tangent on how old paganism would have heartily engaged in sexual relations and how Christianity would have a firm prohibition against fornication. But for Binx, as he says, his American experience has been neither one of hearty sex nor one of firm prohibition -- a kind of mushy, tempting-but-uncertain possibility, weakly held out and glanced at askance.
Along those lines, on the train ride to Chicago, Binx struggled to become "intimate" with Kate on the train, and seems to chastise himself for his weakness, and somewhere along the way it is noted, following another Kierkegaard text, that moderns can't even sin anymore. It echoes another Kierkegaard text. In "Either/Or," Kierkegaard writes that his contemporaries are too spiritually paltry to sin, so he prefers Shakespeare and Old Testament, because in those texts, people hate, murder their enemies, and curse their descendants -- while these days, no one can even be fully bad, never mind good.
Binx's analysis of not being distracted by the attractive young ladies is really an amazing rendering of the existentialist theory of modern despair and spiritual malaise: the West is no longer old pagan or Christian, and it doesn't know what to do with itself. In their best forms, paganism and Christianity both presented integrated world views and outlooks on life -- certainties and philosophies and rituals and stories that under-girded existence and the destinies of entire nations and even cultures. With paganism and Christianity dispatched (and today we could add other grand-narrative views like Marxism), there is no longer a common understanding of the world, even within individual cultures and nations, and so modern humans are adrift. Or, at best, tribal within the dying culture and nations -- tribal as in, this works for us, that works for you, which sounds good, but at the cost of greater social and cultural cohesion. Set aside for a moment whether "this works for us, that works for you" is desirable (most of us probably think it is, at least politically and legally); at issue is the loss of a broader, common, world view. (This why Alan Bloom, in "The Closing of the American Mind," can advocate classical literature, Shakespeare and Rousseau as non-religious guides to tutoring young passions via tutoring young imaginations -- while also holding contempt for the pop music-obsession of college students, because pop music has become the replacement for deep, imaginative understandings of the world offered in older literature.)
I bring this up with my re-reading of the book because, early on, Binx says he doesn't like the old part of New Orleans, which I think might be analogous to classical paganism. He prefers his non-descript suburb (anywhere) to the located-ness and historically rooted older parts of New Orleans (somewhere). Binx is a man who is adrift and prefers being adrift, prefers that to his culture's and family's old-pagan (analogous) roots. Movies, in any theater, with no religious tradition (like the other side of his family) and no classical pagan stories, are Binx's preference.
Later, at the end, when Aunt Emily questions Binx about his becoming-intimate with Kate on the train, she questions him from the standpoint of old paganism, not religion. A sense of order and virtue, but not in a Judeo-Christian religious sense, has been violated. Aunt Emily thought Binx was more part of that neo-classical Southern culture than he actually was. She is disappointed. Binx doesn't seem to care. From beginning to end, Binx is adrift, with Aunt Emily as the classical pagan and his half-brother Laurence as the devout Christian.
Beyond that, I'm not sure of what to make of the ending, except to guess that maybe Kate's insistence on Binx's thinking of her -- while she's on the bus to run an errand -- is sort of her new way of experiencing a deeper love. Binx's thoughts of her are enough to keep her from becoming lost, as she has become time and time again throughout the novel. Even when Binx is not physically with Kate, Kate can be sure that she is in Binx's thoughts, and that validates her existence. She is located in Binx's mind, and therefore not lost. To know that one is loved might be the best way to no longer be adrift, the best way to find oneself -- in world in which, as Binx often notes, "somewhere" can become just "anywhere." This understanding of love -- being in Binx's thoughts during her emotionally perilous journey -- calls Kate from her anxiety and despair and into full being. At least I can hope, because the novel ends rather lightly and almost anti-climatically, so I guess Percy was teasing our thoughts in a direction without spelling them out for us. Considering Percy's future, more-religious works, he might be hinting in his first novel at a kind of remedy for despair and malaise. Maybe it's enough to know that one is in God's thoughts; love calls the individual into being.
View all my reviews >>
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
From the top of Saint Paul's Cathedral. How far up? The Golden Gallery. Check out the diagram:
Look at the dome itself. Now look at the little ring immediately on top of the dome. That's where we were in the photos in the posts below. It's called the Golden Gallery.
From this vantage point, there appears to be a ring immediately beneath the dome, the same size as the dome, and then beneath that, there is a wider ring. The wider ring is call the Stone Gallery. We also stopped there.
See how this all works out at: http://www.stpauls.co.uk/Cathedral-History/Climb-the-Dome