On The Screen: King Corn & Girls

I got sucked into watching King Corn and episode one of Girls last night instead of writing a post… so today you get the quickest of quick blurbs about both.

The short version: Watch King Corn, prepared to feel a bit fatalistic about farming and food production in America. Watch Girls, if only to formulate your own opinion (there’s plenty of cultural criticism pieces on the internet if you’re so inclined).

The longer version:

I really enjoyed King Corn. The two film makers leave Boston and travel to Iowa to raise an acre of corn and follow it through the industrialized farm/food system. There was very little new information I learned in the film and it only furthered my insistence that we need new (less?) farm policy in this country.

I also liked Girls. It is an interesting take on people who are supposed to be my contemporaries. While my life looks nothing like theirs (aka no parental support, decent job, rural vs New York) there are certain things I relate to in the post-college I’m supposed to be an adult but don’t really feel like one sense. I’m interested to see how some of the characters develop over the season.

Edit: I wasn’t completely unproductive yesterday. I had a Skype date with lovely friends. I washed the wheels on my Jeep (Forrest changed his mind about what tires he wanted on there again). So not completely wasted….

On The Page: Travels With Charlie

Being one for travel books, I recently consumed Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck. Published in 1962, the book recounts Steinbeck’s  cross-country journey with his poodle Charlie. While Travels with Charley in Search of America did not supplant Blue Highways as my favorite travel book, I was enamored by some of his thoughts on travel and how it becomes a part of your soul.

The very first paragraph of the book drew me in (and was read aloud to Forrest):

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked.

Continue reading “On The Page: Travels With Charlie”

Bodegas Zugober Belezos Joven Rioja

In January I ordered a case of wine from our local wine and beer store for the wedding. (Local is all relative here…they’re about 70 miles away, but still.) In order to get the best price on the case, I signed up for their wine of the month club. I figured I buy at least a bottle of wine a month anyway, so I might as well put the purchase to good use.

My February selection from the Enoteca wine club was a Rioja (95% Tempranillo, 5% Viura). The wine was well, yummy. It had great mouth feel and was really drinkable. I’d spent a long time thinking I didn’t like tempranillos or tempranillo heavy wines but as it turns out I dislike Western Oregon tempranillos. I tried a few in the Walla Walla area last fall and they were quite good and this cemented the grape’s redemption for me.

I’m really excited about the wine club because when I buy red wine I tend to reach almost exclusively for pinot noir. I grew to really like it when I was in grad school in the Willamette Valley but sometimes I need to branch out. European varieties and styles tend to be intimidating because I don’t know enough about them to just pick one off the shelf.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep my membership in the wine club beyond the minimum period (I totally used it for the discount on wedding wine) but for now I’m really enjoying trying something new.

APW Book Club: How To Be A Woman

Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman showed up in my mailbox today after a long trip from England.

So far, I’m really liking it. It’s a mind stretch in places, in the best of ways. I spent the evening on the porch basking in the evening sun with a glass (or two) or wine and making notes in the margin of the book. (I haven’t made notes in the margin of a book since I was at Bates.)

Although Sprocket was good company to discuss feminist ideas:

“Uh, guys? I’m like, totally a feminist. For real. I love you ladies. We can talk about feelings, and stuff, anytime.”

he’s just not much of a match for wonderfully smart women. I’m really looking forward to book club next month. (P.S. Missoula girls! You better be up for something or I’m going to Seattle!)

Now, back to my book.

Sunset Grill Beer Tastings

  • Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot (Petaluma, California): tastes like a Lagunitas just stronger
  • Sixpoint Bengali Tiger (Brooklyn, New York): strong wheaty-hoppy flavor, clean finish
  • Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree (Marshall, Michigan): sweet, strong, has a barleywine or Belgian like flavor
  • Left Hand Chainsaw (Longmont, Colorado): solid IPA, fruity taste
  • Cotrell Mystic Bridge IPA (Pawcatuck, Connecticut): pretty yummy, totally worth a pint

6-Pack from the South

Sweetwater IPA (Atlanta, Georgia): We were pretty impressed with Sweetwater’s 420 and the IPA did not disappoint!
Highland Brewing Co. Black Mountain Bitter (Asheville, North Carolina): We found this pretty thin and not too amazing for a pale ale.
Cottonwood Brewing Endo IPA (Mooresville, North Carolina): It was pretty unremarkable. Once I looked up their website and found that Cottonwood had been bought out by Carolina Brewing I had to wonder if it had once been good…
Yazoo Brewing Pale Ale (Nashville, Tennessee): Drinkable. Nothing special.
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery’s Milk Stout (Farmville, North Carolina): Milk stout is a unique drink. I wonder how much my opinion of Left Hand’s milk stout was affected by it being on nitro?
Terrapin Beer’s India Style Brown Ale [apparently now known as Hop Karma IPA] (Athens, Georgia): Honestly, I don’t remember having an opinion on this one.

Beer Notes

Barley Brown’s Brewpub; Baker City, Oregon:

  • Shredder’s Wheat: Won an award at the World Brew Cup last month. We thought it was pretty sweet but it was yummy!
  • Tumble-off Pale: Hoppy and fabulous
  • Hot Blond: A jalapeno ale. It was interesting, I kind of liked it. Maybe for a glass (10oz), maybe a pint, not a six pack.
  • Golden Ale: Forrest said, “You could drink this all summer” but that it had an aftertaste that reminded him of how the Budweiser factory smelled.
  • Tankslapper Double IPA: Fruity smell, pretty strong, and yummmmmmyyyyy.

Pinnacle Brewing Company; Price, Utah:
“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Oregon anymore.”
The beer was okay, but we’re just so so spoiled from drinking Oregon beer.