12/21/2007: Well, it is Christmas once again. Someone here asks: “hey Doc, I thought Christmas was December the 25th?”
Hey if you are a western Christian go for it, although the orthodox in the east keep it on January 6, what is called here Twelfth Night. But the Solstice, the Sun day, was celebrated long before it became the Son day. And just to keep it in perspective, today is Saint Thomas feast day, my birth sake name. So let the celebration begin…
I am reporting to you live from the Beer Doctor’s creative space: the basement. The place that is referred to with some affection, by friends and associates, as “the cave”.
The cave is all lit up with CFL bulbs and LED rope light (the mayor of NYC would approve). John Coltrane, Live At The Village Vanguard, plays on the CD changer, where if I am not mistaken, Elvin Jones has found the groove, right before McCoy Tyner provides bell-to-chime support on the piano. Dear John starts very smoothly, sailing away on soprano saxophone.
Beer? What will you find in the apothecary, also known as the ancient Norge refrigerator? I could not obtain my beloved Saranac Season’s Best (it just did not get shipped to the Ohio valley) but I have many other wonderful choices. How about a Goose Island Christmas Ale? Bottled on November 13, it seems to have reached a magnificent flavor plateau on this holiday. Want more of a hop kick? How about a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale? Want a robust porter? Try this Stoudt’s Winter Ale, it is brewed with cocoa. Or perhaps roddy, you are more interested in a wee heavy. Try this masterpiece of maris otter malt, known as Brooklyn Winter Ale. I should have baked up some shortbread to go with that one.
I do not know the weather forecast, but if things get harsh, I have some Old Man Winter Ale from Southern Tier Brewery, that will certainly help keeps things in perspective.
I noticed that the music has changed. Now it is the late great Junior Wells singing: “I should have been dead, just like my mama told me”. The blues harmonica is starting to get funky. Excuse me, I need to get up and dance a bit…
I recently had someone say to me: “you are going to be Big.” Of course the person who said this had no idea how vast the blogosphere ocean is, and what an insignificant drop I am in it. Some people are impressed that when they look up beerdoctor on google, they find I am listed. “My dear chap, I said, nobody pays much attention to what I do.”
And why should they? There are nearly an infinite number of entertainment choices available, and reading is not always a priority. I just write on subjects I care about. If others enjoy reading them, so be it. (In the cave right now, Junior Wells sings: “baby that’s the way I feel”.)
It is ironic that two of the most important Christmas calendar dates, December 6 and 21, are hardly ever acknowledged by most of my fellow citizens. And isn’t it strange that the Solstice is mostly associated with the New Age crowd, when actually it is one of the oldest Holidays on the planet. A quick note for religious fundamentalists, who always complain about putting the Christ back into Christmas: How about Caesar back into the New Year Holiday? (Meanwhile, Junior is singing: “give me my nightshirt, put on your morning gown”).
Later, several hours later, the internet radio is on, KNTU I think, beautiful, soulful jazz, simply flowing along. It would be grand if some folks stopped by for a cup of cheer, but everybody is so busy. Perhaps if I was driving an automobile, I would be occupied too. Instead of running around, I am culturally hunkered down, live in the cave, as it were. What have I to be thankful for? Why bloody everything! I have plenty of food, beer, clean water, and plenty of entertainment media, from DVD movies, to music from CD, internet and satellite. Being old school, I do not take any of this for granted, including this giant leap in publishing known as wordpress.com.
So now dear reader of this blog, I have a confession to make: I Am Happy. There are blessings within blessings. As always my only prayer is Thank You.
Merry Christ Ale and a Happy New Beer! The Beer Doctor