Weather Here

17 02 2008

I was walking home today from the library appreciating the beauty of a Midwest winter. I’m one of the first to bitch and moan about the cold, the slush, the snow and everything else. I like the summer more, simply because it’s easy to get out and do things. I can stay more active.

We broke the all-time record for most snowfall in Wisconsin, last set in the 70s. Since then (about a week ago), we’ve had about three more snowfalls. Late last night, it started raining, and the rain froze to everything. If you’ve never seen freezing rain before, it’s fantastic. Imagine everything outside covered in a half inch of ice.

I stepped out the door this afternoon, and I heard crackling. The wind was blowing the tree branches, and the ice was fracturing in thousands of places at once. On my walk home tonight, I looked up. In the orange glow of the sodium vapor lamps, all the trees looked like some cross between antlers and icicles. When a wind gust came up, instead of whipping, the branches swayed rigidly together.

After that, I smelled the smoke of a wood fire. I felt and heard the crunch of the snow, frozen in the tread of the tires that had run over it before. I stomped through five inch puddles of slush and enjoyed the cold air in my lungs. I remembered what it was like playing in the snow as a child. I smiled.

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Beer

17 02 2008

Just got done bottling my first batch of beer. It feels good, but damn, that’s a lot of work. There’s something to be said for economy of scale (and for beer that’s immediately drinkable). I’m going to aim to cut down on some of the time in some steps during my future brewing endeavors, especially the whole “cleaning the bottles” thing. That sucked. Beyond that, I’m hoping to develop a sense for what alters the flavor in each batch or recipe.

 This batch was a clone of Newcastle called Oldcastle, purchased from Midwest Homebrewing Supplies. Up next for home brewing is going to be Edwort’s Apfelwein.





Y: The Last Man

17 02 2008

Y: The Last Man, the masterpiece comic series by Brian K.Vaughan and Pia Guerra is done. How do I feel?

(I can’t hide clips, so unfortunately, there is one very key spoiler below. Don’t read on if you care about the end of it all).

I was just slightly less than satisfied with the ending. I’m glad it was left open, yet with a sense of ultimate resolution. I read a review from the Onion A.V. Club (is that national or by city?), and they effectively summed up my thought that there should have been more plot resolution in the flashbacks than was. I would like to have known exactly how the world accepted the return of men (via new Yoricks).

Overall, I think Vaughan did a great job conceptualizing a realistic response to such a population collapse, from doomsday naysayers, to political changes to exactly how anyone (women or men) would pull their heads out of their asses, work hard and make the best of such a situation.

You can’t tell me that if we found out we’d be out of oil in five years that we would be without sufficient energy ten years later. You change focus, bust out the big brains, conserve and labor to make things as easy as possible. But I digress…

I read the trade backs leading up to ~ issue 52 around a year ago, and I don’t remember everything so vividly, but one thing that I always remember is that Aussies owned the seas because they were the only ones whose country allowed women to command subs, thus they were the only ones who knew their shit on one. So sweet…

Anyone else have thoughts on the story as a whole?





lessons, headfirst, on February first

2 02 2008

I had a number of thoughts after leaving the bars tonight. They all kind of mishmashed for me, and what I convey next in my writings is what I best recollect.  These are my thoughts on such subjects:

humility – No matter what you do and how caring you are, there will always be someone who is more so. On top of that, the more you think you think of yourself, the less others (probably) think of you.

caring – I was walking down the street with a group of people leaving the bar tonight. It was two guys, two dolls and me. I felt kind of outcast because one of the two girls was my ex-girlfriend, ad I didn’t know the men. I kept getting ahead of the other four because they were having a snowball fight and laughing. I felt kind of shitty and not at all like laughing, but the other non-gf girl said it seemed like I needed a face full of snow. I smiled and said I thought I did, so she grabbed a handful and whitewashed me! I laughed, then told her I was really good at snowbanking and tossed her in. That was all I really needed to feel happy, and I was grateful for her thoughtfulness.

relationships – So I saw my ex and had a minor conversation with her. It was fine. I’m not angry, but I do finally see what dumpees mean when they don’t see eye-to-eye when the “let’s stay friends” statement is made.

self-esteem – A friend I hadn’t talked to for years said hi to me and admitted she had a crush on me all freshman year. She said that every time she saw me her sophomore year, it brought her spirits up. I was really happy to hear that someone felt that way about me. It kind of made my night! -)

love – I realized that love is so tough to attain. God knows I’ve tried to convince myself that I was in love so many times, and really, I only feel like it’s been about three times (out of three times as many relationships). I don’t enjoy looking for love, since looking seems to lead to dead ends. Instead, I’ll adopt the idea of going with the flow, and hopefully that will lead me in a more positive direction.

I do say that I have more than one model of the type of woman I’ll be keeping my eye out for. These women probably have no idea that I admire them, but I have mini crushes that I know won’t go anywhere, and I keep an eye on them to appreciate the way they handle themselves and their lives. They range in age from 19 to their 50s, and they’re all very cool women.

drunkenness – It’s fun and awful at the same time.

responsibility – I’m horrible at it. I wish I had more of it.