Monthly Archives: March 2011

Beer Review: St. Victorious Doppelbock

After last week’s success with the Troegenator Doublebock, I decided to try a different one, this one the St. Victorious by Victory.

This one…not such a big fan. It’s a good beer: very sturdy tasting, kind of bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s not leadheavy and while it tastes a little bit belgiany, it’s not enough to turn me off from it.

Really, it’s just not what I’ve been to lead to expect of a Doppelbock. Which is to say, it’s not on the sweet side, like eating a beery chocolate bar. It tastes like a Killian or a Guinness: kind of bitter, not too complex, no real wow to it. It’s a dependable tasting beer with a bit of kick to it too. It’s the kind of beer you would call to help you move a couch, not the kind of beer you’d call to go on a crazy crime spree.

I give you a B St. Victorious, for your dependability.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Food: Cooking It, Eating It and Drinking It

Beer Review: Troegenator DoubleBock

I’m noticing a distinct trend here: almost all the beers I’ve chosen to review have been really dark. Generally speaking, that’s because I prefer darker beers. I still don’t know how to describe the flavor in Belgian beer (hoppy? yeasty? bad?), but I know I can safely avoid it if I get a beer too dark to see through.

Anyway, I bought this beer a few weeks ago to review. And then I drank it too quickly to write about it Undeterred, I bought it again. And drank it all again. So this is my third attempt to review, which I would consider a plus in its favor.

It’s sweeter, with a strong flavor without being bitter Kind of like drinking a beery molasses. It’s not too heavy either, somewhere between beers like Guinness and lighter, fluffier beers. It’s got a decent kick, without being a knock-you-on-your-ass beer. All in all, it has rapidly become one of my favorite drinkin’ beers.

So…A I guess. Do I do letter grades for these things?

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Food: Cooking It, Eating It and Drinking It

The Heart of Darkness

One of my (many) overly ambitious goals is to find the worst movie ever made. I hear at least one of you muttering to yourself, “But taste is a subjective thing, how can he possibly hope to find ‘the worst’ of anything?”

To which I reply, “Ah-HA, I have a foolproof system!”

I tell people the worst movie I’ve ever seen and wait for their response. If they blanch and turn white, then I know they haven’t seen anything worse. If, however, they counteract with their own worst movie, then I have a new lead.

For the longest time, no-one was able to top my worst film. There was agreement from all comers that what I’d seen was pretty reprehensible. I’d tell you what it is, but I’ll just link here instead and save myself the typing.

However, the other day, someone had a response for me. He told me about a movie that he hadn’t seen, but he’d heard about it. It’s a movie of almost mythical atrociousness, something only exists in legend. It sounds violent, disgusting and needless shocking. It sounds like a movie that would turn my stomach.

And I want to see it.

Understand this; I don’t think I’m going to get a single shred of enjoyment out of watching it. I think I’ll even end up feeling worse about myself as a person. But there’s a part of me that needs to see if it truly is THAT bad, if it is the worst movie ever made. Every time I watch a truly vile movie, I get a little more desensitized to that crap. Another tiny piece of me that can judge wholesome entertainment becomes necrotic and falls off.

So I’m a little worried about that. I’d tell you what movie, but I’m ashamed of my interest in it. I keep worrying at it in my head; it’s the loose tooth that won’t fall out and I can’t leave it alone.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Pop Culturing: Movies, Books, Comic Books and Other Arts

A Noir: In Three Parts

Part 1: Introduction

Our hero stands not so tall above the grime and grit of the City. He wallows in the gutterstench and he has a grease slick smile that spreads like spilled oil. His words burn spark and inflame the coming conflict. More than anything, it’s his ability to rub everyone the wrong way that opens up the case.

He moves in slow spirals toward the abyss, circling passed the bottle blonde with the pouting lips and the hair’s breadth dagger, passed the two-timing hood with the half-bent nose and absent heart, passed the reclusive old man who buries his dirty secrets in the City’s darkest chasms.

Down the detective moves, into darkness, where only the sound of his heart can be heard.

Part 2: The Conflict

It starts as a heartbeat’s slow thud rhythm. A steady punctuation mark, an ellipses between actions…waiting. Then a noise. Cloth rustling.

The beat speeds up.

Then another rapping. Footsteps tapping on concrete floor, hard shoes that run for cover, ringing out staccatto beats. Stutter step, a missed beat here, quick step slide. A beat with no rhythm now. Missed breath, catch in chest, ratta-tat-tat, quick, duck, down, low.

Silence.

Explosion of noise. Orange flame, dark night, sparks of light. Here, here, here. Flash and bang. Quick shots. Duck, roll, drop, spin. Violent percussion, cacophony. No beat.

Just noise.

Then the scream…the wail….break and silence looms.

Part Three: The End

A long whispered sigh begins to count out the evils that lead to this moment; to this point where the detective stands over the villain. A quiet thrum of dialog that explains everything. The gradual spilling of truth in a room heavy with copper smells and acrid smoke. The dead keep silent in the wings while all is revealed and they find out why they had to die.

An unfolding explanation that brings resolution to the reader and leaves the detective nothing but a mouthfull of ashes and a longing for the bottle.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Experimenting

Snowboardin’

I’m not especially athletic, so any thought of attempting anything resembling a sport always makes me break out into a sweat. And yet, I always go into a new activity with the dangerous assumption that learning it will only take, at most, ten minutes. That deep down inside, I’m a prodigy that will blow away the competition with a display of physical prowess that will make all the ladies nearby swoon.

Instead, I always find out that learning any sport requires a certain amount of willful stubbornness, the willingness to withstand painful falls and an unflappability in the face of perpetual humiliation.

I’m bringing all of this up because I went snowboarding a few days ago and I still emit a girlish shriek if I happen to sit on my tail bone. There was one point during my snowboarding career where I managed to fall down no less than five times in a five minute period. At that point, I was a few seconds from snapping my ‘board in half and running into the lodge in a fit of petulant rage.

Instead, I went back up the hill again with “Eye of the Tiger” running through my head. I got off the ski lift, bound and determined to get down the hill in one go. Instead, I continued to leave a series of splat-shaped holes in the snow. Riding up the lift, one could see the clawing marks I made in an attempt to keep myself from sliding down the slope after each of m spectacular falls.

And then, for whatever reason, I got it. There was no fanfare, no epiphany. I just…stopped falling so much. And then I was making it down the run at a brisk pace without falling at all. And I was enjoying myself! It had gone from a painful exercise in pain to being fun, so much so that I want to go back again.

And maybe next time I’ll try that toe-side thing that people keep mentioning.

Dylan Charles

 

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Filed under Sporting: Baseball, Boxing and Sports Not Starting with a B