Sunday, March 5, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 03/04/17: Reading, IPA Memories, On the Phone with Mom and Christy

1.  Ever since burglars broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in 1972, I have found it difficult to keep up with and digest news on a day to day basis -- and I've been skeptical about breaking news stories. I read daily news, but I am slow to accept the day to day accounting of things.  I prefer retrospective looks at events -- that is, I prefer to let the cake bake and look at news stories after time has passed and errors made in the heat of the reporting moment can be corrected, as much as is possible. Today, I did some catching up reading the New Yorker. I read, and need to go back and review, a long article looking back at Vladimir Putin's coming to power in Russia and at the arc of his political career the last sixteen/seventeen years -- which is also the story of the long aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  I also read a profile of Michael Flynn and his impressive and maverick career.  As a subscriber to the New Yorker, I could have read both articles on my computer, but I enjoyed holding the magazine, turning the pages, and being free of my laptop's unyielding rectangle of light.

2. While I read, the Deke sorted and organized yarn and listened to a variety of videos on her laptop -- some conspiracy theory stuff here, CSI Miami there. Absorbed in my reading, I didn't always keep up with what she was listening to next. We decided around three o'clock or so that it was time to split a beer and we denied ourselves delayed gratification -- what I mean is, on Friday, I had bought a bomber of Ninkasi's Tricerahops Double IPA and we could have let it sit for a while, but we didn't do that. We savored it this afternoon, slowly.

I remembered back a few years ago in Eugene when I crossed over to full IPA enjoyment. It took me a while, but two IPAs, both grapefruit-y, turned out to be my gateway to loving IPAs: Hop Valley's Citrus Mistress and Deschute's Fresh Squeezed. I went back into the archives of my blog this afternoon while sipping on my Tricerahops and read about the afternoon I strolled over to Growler Guys for the first time because I'd read an article by Seattle's Steve Body in which he raved about this new IPA called Fresh Squeezed. I had looked online and saw Growler Guys had Fresh Squeezed on tap. I loved that pint of beer. I started ordering more IPAs at 16 Tons and Billy Mac's and Cornucopia and at Ninkasi's and Hop Valley's tasting rooms and I developed an increasing appreciation for IPAs, but not at the expense of my enjoyment all the other styles.

This reminiscing about IPAs coincided with the arrival of an email from Dan in Eugene. He read that I had purchased a bottle of Tricerahops and wrote me about his love of this beer and I enjoyed sharing in his enthusiasm. I suddenly felt especially grateful that a few of Ninkasi's beers have made their way to Maryland, giving me a chance, from time to time, to take a break from the East Coast beers I love and buoy my spirits with some nostalgia drinking of Ninkasi's Total Domination or Dawn of the Red or, as happened today, Tricerahops Double IPA.

3.  The Deke drove over to the Diazes to be with Olivia, David, and Ana while Molly and Hiram enjoyed a rare date night. I stayed home, still in my Friday night sleepwear, worked puzzles, popped a bowl of popcorn, checked basketball scores, and put clean sheets on the bed.

I fell asleep thinking about my telephone conversation with Mom this morning. We talked about people we knew in Kellogg who died recently and about the snow in Kellogg and how she's feeling pretty good these days. Her leg infection has healed. She told me her energy has been pretty good. Best of all, when she fell backwards at Carol and Paul's a couple weeks ago, it was apparently a slow fall, thanks, I think, to the fact that she was gripping her walker.  She didn't really bruise herself and she told me she hasn't been too sore from the fall. I'm really relieved. As a bonus, Christy was over at Mom's helping her get Mom's day started and we talked for a while, too.  Christy loves her part time work at the Kellogg Public Library and it's fun to hear about what happens there day to day and how important the library is to so many people who wouldn't otherwise have computer access or be able to watch tons of movies or read their favorite books.

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