We been here…
…before! Déjà vu all over again, as Yogi said. I hate it when my wife is right. She’s always right. Damn! I pride myself on a photographic memory. Ha ha! I guess taking a lot of photos does not count.
As we entered the Airbnb, Colleen exclaimed, “We’ve stayed here before. All they did was move the bed! The layout is the same! They just moved the bed around.”
I was stunned and disagreed. I was wrong. It was the same funky bathroom shower that leaked all over the floor. Sure enough, November 2017, same place, same building. Actually, it was the same building, different apartment. And they added a fence to the front. I believe now that we were in an apartment on a higher floor. … same damn leaky shower. Dammit, I got the pictures that prove it!! Ha ha, different camera.
Driving across the US is an experience. It eventually hit 108 degrees on this day, and 1000 cattle died of exposure and thirst. People out there got different ideas… if you can understand the meaning. The beer is essentially the same, but different. It got better with time.
We crossed the country. We will do it again. There are kids in states across the US – NY, WV, CO, CA, and one NKA.
Casablanca – “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” – Humphrey Bogart.
… she was right again. !!!
If you take enough pictures, a few will be good. It follows: Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. Selfies? The easy way or hard way? It’s probably not good to say I go both ways. Beer? I don’t drink beer! Heresy! As you can see, we do have some good times together.
Socks? Everyone needs socks. These days, I’m retired. My socks retired too. I wear ‘em about three cold days a year now. Colleen? – adores socks. And, she adores the Pemaquid lighthouse!
Sheeps? Why is it sheep? I did not go to Maine for the art. Did I? Spinning wheel? Colleen arranged to pick up a signature spinning wheel that I found online. She brought $$. And, now, I use this wheel. Was it a plot? Planned? I love this wheel – to use; it’s sweet! I love my wife … more!
We’re trying not to dwell… it’s hard not. Colleen has noted that Nutley, Ray’s brother, is grieving. I do believe she’s right. A cat? Yup. I apologize. I’m working out stuff myself. Ray was a cat. In perspective, the lives lost and property destroyed by Russia in Ukraine pales.
The Windows of the World – Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach
… The windows of the world are covered with rain
There must be something we can do
Everybody knows whenever rain appears
It’s really angel tears
How long must they cry?
Let the sun shine through
Keep busy: eat out, laugh with friends, do stuff. We will never forget. Each day I am working toward coping. This one time it has hit harder than ever before. I do not know why. Colleen comforts me as I do her. Photography has been a comfort. No, you cannot tell that it is Nutley; they were twins.
… doing the same thing over and over … hoping for a different result. We got another fleece to wash … spin. Yes, nuts! It’s spring, time to plant. Eating out is good. Colleen took flight on St Pat’s day. We had a reservation. 30 minutes later we were seated. It was a local place, definitely not worth the effort. Dinner with the cousins, priceless. And, the cats keep getting images into my camera.
Another random stroll through the catalog… I came across a biker on the road with a French road sign (Sortie). Oh!? Canada! Did we really eat in this place? Pop-up store in a truck? Gee, memories fade. My pictures are the anchors. I have forgotten a lot of stuff. This would all be lost without a record. It was not memorable? Enough?
… uninspired. I have not added to the posts for a few days. After the Maine trip I have been lax. I think this is Maine too, but, I am too lazy to search the database. Another outing in a restaurant. We were searching for a suitable place and ended up in a hotel. No! We never do hotels unless absolutely pushed. But this was a restaurant hidden in a hotel posing as a stand alone joint. It was ok. But then it was a hotel. There is something about institutional food like a cafeteria is always different than a free-standing restaurant. The food was forgettable. Take no chances, get something familiar. You can’t go too wrong. On this occasion we ate and fortified ourselves for the trip back to the place we were staying.
We are officially full – in this house. Carol makes fun how much “stuff” we accumulate. We are gonna need a bigger car – this thought occurred to me more than once during our trip. So, I/we shipped home three big boxes. Fleece and fiber compress. You can’t keep it compressed forever. Like a fart, it expands to fill the room it is released into. And the beer! It rode in the car. I don’t drink. Ha ha. The cats were happy to see us once again. Nutley settled into a basket of yarn. Spice got into a bin, too small, next to the beer. The living room shows a partial series of spinning wheels. How many does one spinner need? Another fleece(s)? Bags and bags covered the table. OMG. Good and rare one and all, we have a collection of fiber you don’t go and find easily, if at all. I suppose I will have to start spinning again… and drinking beer…. for the team.
Where do you go after LL Bean? To the beer store, of course. Well, it would be the brewery(s). We did the brewery crawl. Four were open, one was closed. Oh bother! It was somewhere here that Colleen (see?) lost her new earring while putting on and taking off her mask. Alas! (But, it’s only stuff.) Me? I got flavored seltzer – I’m the driver. How do they name these craft beers? Not a Bud amongst them. Red beer? And do you see the draft on hand? That’s a lot of pulls. Shiny!? That is a lot of stainless steel to shine up!
Pick a few… more
On 9/11 this year, we found ourselves at an Indian powwow. Symbolically? Symbolically, a flag had been raised over the venue – hanging six stories up from a hook and ladder fire truck. We remember…. Pageantry was mixed in with somber remembrance. I shot 3000 images that day. (Hmmm, another symbolic number.) Whoa! What an edit! Why? Photo ops were everywhere. I was not always in a good position to shoot what I wanted. I made do. The venue was loose and the crowd did not stay glued to their seats. I moved about with some freedom to get the shots I wanted. I listened to a photographer, a retiree now, describe how he shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom, to a woman who did not know what RAW was and who had proudly proclaimed she just found her camera yesterday to shoot images of her grandchild. Disconnected?
In this case I did a rough edit randomly gathering a few representative images to illustrate the day. There was joy and movement. The regalia was colorful and symbolic. Kids and adults participated. No sunglasses please, I was trying for authenticity. Surprisingly, there was a lot of plastic in the costumes I saw. I had not attended a powwow since 2014. It was nice to see another once more with Colleen. The price? … dinner out.
It seems a lost cause to try to limit myself to one picture and one story per day. Some days have too many – stories and pics. Sorry. How about an upside down dragonfly? ?? Really?! Yup! It flopped to the deck right in front of me with a thud. Truly! It was an act I did not realize until I did the edit. Later, it flipped and flew away. Relief!
The building – it was across the street from the restaurant – beer flight – inside on the wall was a black and white photo ala this view – for $700. Nope! I’m not kidding. Sorry, I would not pay that kind of money for that kind of shot. I have too many of my own in the discard pile. Really! Balls; ya gotta have ‘em to take that shot and price it like that.
Flight time? You can order a “flight.” This allows you to taste five beers as a sampler. Fun! Yes! Colleen loves dark beer. To me they all taste the same and are bitter. She can appreciate the nuance. I appreciate that she loves the experience. I’m still struggling to appreciate the BxW building on the wall next to me.
Still life – note the flattened peaches. I did it subtly so as not to squish out the juices. That is a large tomato for scale? – or small peaches. Watermelon in the background – I am in a watermelon eating stage right now.
The cat and sunset are throw-ins. It’s the end of the day. I keep a camera at hand all over the house. Ha ha! I have enough cameras to do this. And, sometimes you get the shot because things were there at hand and jumped onto the memory card – all by themselves. Gee, I’m lucky sometimes.
What do you do on a day you’d like to celebrate in an understated way? Head to the bookstore, antique store, and on to the favorite restaurant. Someone got a very nice day out of the deal. Pardon the out of focus shots – low/dim lighting. That would be crab imperial – pretty much straight lump crab meat. We got a teacher discount at Apple. And, “one thing” at Barnes and Noble – that’s the rule, just one thing. Happily married? I joke. But, it is not an oxymoron in our little house.
…a lot! She told me when we first emailed, before we ever met. The fact sailed over my head. Men! Then we met and she drank beer – dark beer! It tasted awful to me. I’m non-alcoholic. I indulged her. We bought beer. Recently I found a stash of empty cartons. ??? … we hoard. Who knows when you need an empty? (Actually, I put in bottles of coffee, juice, etc in the back seat while we travel. They are handy containers.) It’s another collection of clutter. Yeah… likes beer. I love her to pieces! Me? I downsized by photographing the collection…
This photo was from years back. Who knew it would be relevant. … and that I could find it. I have an eye for strange humor. Colleen indulges me. We laugh. We love. I would never make fun of her. Never! It’s just plain fun to be with her. She’s probably giggling right now while she hunts me down….
Dearest. It’s a slow day on quarantine. Good? You bet. Boring is good. No disease. It’s abstract. I choose to believe so. The map is abstract. Unfortunately, no. But, we talked of reading fantasy. Everyone has gone back to comfort foods – junk, but childhood security. Campbell’s soup? It does feel like Alice n Wonderland. Cheshire anyone? Sleeping cats, ours have a routine oblivious to the chaotic world outside. Innocence! Social distance. But, of course! Beer and spirits? Yes, to that too. We finished off the last of our personally imported Scotch straight from the distillery in Scotland. How’s that for dropping names? The beer? From Belgium imported and plucked from the sale bin at the local liquor store. Good stuff! Yes, indeed! This recalls the only French drinking song I ever learned in class: Chevalier de la table ronde. Gouton voir si le vin est bon? And so it goes… Pretty amazing! Seventh grade French -Msr. Steindler.
Note: I originally composed this post nearly two months ago. Not too much changed. It’s still apropos. What’s worse, we are now embarking on the second wave. This post is as though two months passed like it was merely yesterday. Damn!
Summer market, famer’s market, teeming with people out to get fresh produce or a good meal. Ya gotta love the kids. There’s nothing better than a hot ear of corn on the cob! And beer? We settled in at BBQ joint and Colleen got a flight (of beer). San Luis Obispo was such an exotic faraway city when I first came across the name back in the early ‘70’s while working in a publishing house. My niece later married here. And now, Colleen and I have dined. I never actually thought I’d ever be here. Funny how life intersects with my reality.
My cat drinks beer? That is a pottery beer stein/mug – or so I have been told. I don’t recall the name they called it. And, there is my nutcase cat – Nutley – drinking from it. There’s probably not enough beer for me to be chastened for giving beer to a minor (cat). Nutley, that’s his name.
The gloves are off. No more pretense. I was never one to frequent bars. Now I hang out in breweries. It’s not quit the same? You belly up and have beer. Not me. But, the idea is to try out the brewer’s brew. Then take some home. Or not. We used to frequent liquor stores. But breweries are much more scenically entertaining. It’s not Bud! Nope. No commercial. It’s crafted. Small batch! Good? Hey! I said I don’t drink. Sorry. I just don’t have the ability to appreciate the crafted stuff any better than a Bud light. We do see interesting stuff. Uranium glass? It’s called Vaseline glass. I’ve mused about this stuff before. This time I have a better image? It’s manufactured with real uranium and glows under a black light. Otherwise it’s not particularly dangerous. I don’t care for it too much. So, we have beer but no green glass. Our car has more than 100, 000 miles. It’s from all the beer tours. Ha ha. Maybe we will need to trade in for younger “wheels?”
I have been to a liquor supermart. They have some expensive bottles behind locked glass doors. Yeah, over $1000 pushing $2000 a bottle! Funny, too, they had expensive herbs and such in Chinatown when I was there. Hmmm is there a segue? We found… Boulevard Autumn Radler and Avery Tweak. The Radler was a remembrance of mad beer run in Kansas City. We got a growler but no cans. And the Tweak was our $30 bottle at a restaurant in Boulder. Don’t ask. That was a hell of an expensive bottle! $12.99 retail in the store. It’s aged in oak and they treat it like a wine. I was advised to age it for three years to let the taste mellow. Did I tell you I don’t drink? We got a couple. I’ll try to age it.
I’m not complaining. Well, I am. On Monday morning there is nothing open in Kansas City except the brewery tour. Museums are all closed – Art and Jazz. Darn! So we took a tour of the Boulevard Brewery. I don’t drink. Ha! I learned a lot about the history of craft beer. And I learned that some beers are made in small batches on occasion. That would be like a seasonal brew. Some of it is just for local consumption.
Wouldn’t you know it. (You can see this coming…) There was a very nice sample tasted but not available in the beer shop. Ah! It’s available in Target. Really? Off to the store…nope! Out. Not available. One liquor store told us to go to a competitor. No again. Well, we were on our way to somewhere else and passed one more liquor store. The video record shows me in about a dozen stores. Ha ha I was not casing them though most had lots of bars on the windows. Yeah, the neighborhoods were sketchy. Voila! Draft! Found some on tap and got it in growlers. I’ve never heard the term before either. But you can get it in containers. Yes, it’s very different from my adventure in the Middle East.
Bottle of Beer
I misread the menu. The symbol .30 was not alcohol content. The content was 17%. Yeah! It was the price! They served it up in a wine glass. It’s a craft beer brewed by Avery. I didn’t catch how special it was. It was served up in a wine glass because it’s “aromatic.” And, watch out for the “dregs.” To say the least, I was impressed by our bill at the end of a fine meal. And to be sure it was a memorable beer. If I had but known, I’d have taken a better picture. To paraphrase, “We drank our meal…”