The Thing Is, I Like It All

The other night after a long walk to see the festive grazing deer made of white lights and sparkly trees in the heart of downtown, we stopped at a bar for a holiday beer (as you do). I was all set for an Anchor Christmas Ale, or maybe even my yearly glass of Troegs Mad Elf. A quick skim of the menu, which was at least 8.5 by 14 inches with draughts on one side and bottles/can on the other, didn’t reveal much at all in the way of festive beer (my elf friend arrives next week according to the “coming soon” section) and so I started to read more closely for a second choice. Continue reading

I’ve Been Trying to Do It Right

Last Friday night Mike and I went to see The Lumineers. The show was at an outdoor amphitheater and the evening could not have been any more perfect. Just a little heat from the day rising from the concrete and a cool breeze blowing those little hairs at the back of my neck that always slide out of the pile on top of my head. And if the temperature wasn’t enough to make me believe in the promise of fall around the corner, the moon hung low and full and orange in the sky. The band was everything I hoped for when I snapped up the tickets months ago: harmonies, and cellos, and accordions, and suspender wearing drummers, and powerful emotive vocals. And stories. Man, I love it when the songwriter gives a little of the “why” behind their words. And then there was the beer … Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I listened to an interview with Jesse Browner on The Good Life Project podcast last week. Browner, a novelist, was talking about his recently released memoir HOW DID I GET HERE? The book is his reflection on his decision to leave the Bohemian lifestyle of Alphabet City in the 1980′s (think, RENT) and take a government job. It’s about how he questioned for years whether he would have been more creative and productive as an author had he not taken the “day job” and how he has finally made peace with his decision. This is something I think about all the time and his wisdom and insight helped me see some of my own choices from a different perspective. Pretty sure this is one I’ll need to listen to again. And maybe again. Continue reading

Books & Brews: All the Difference / Troegs’ Nugget Nectar

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a women’s fiction novel I love with the perfect pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

Up this month is Leah Ferguson’s debut novel, All the Difference. What struck me most about this book, even just reading the back cover description, was the unique plot structure. The story opens on New Years Eve with the main character Molly being proposed to by her boyfriend Scott. Earlier that day she learned she was pregnant. He doesn’t know about the baby and she’s not entirely sure how to answer his question. From that moment forward, in alternating chapters, we learn what happens if she says yes versus no to his proposal.You read that description and think, so the story moves forward but in two different directions? How does that work? All I can tell you is that is works really, really beautifully. And in the end Ferguson draws out some very poignant thoughts about fate, personal choice and resilience. Continue reading