Monthly Archives: March 2019

Beer Review: Wormtown Brewery’s Sweet Tats

Hello Again,

So I have a weird relationship with porters and stouts.

A lot of the time, I’ll try, say, one of the many variations of Guinness and it’s…empty. There’s some flavor at the front and some bitterness at the back and there’s just nothing holding up in the middle.

But! With Imperial Stouts, there is something in the middle. There’s a little more oomph. Now, a lot of that is probably the higher alcohol content, but usually they’re richer, fuller and more flavorful and you’re drunker much faster.

And Wormtown Brewery‘s Sweet Tats is no exception.

Unlike a lot of imperial stouts I’ve had, which can be almost viscous and overpowering, Sweet Tats is less dense, less heavy, but still flavorful with a bit of a punch.

I will say that the label says it’s been flavored with coffee beans, cacao nibs and vanilla beans, but I’m not really picking any of those out. Sometimes I’ll hit a glimmer of coffee or maybe a hint of vanilla, but that’s about it.

However, if the alternative is aggressive vanilla flavor hitting me in the face like a wet sock soaked in vanilla extract, I think I’d rather have this. I swear to god, there are some brewery’s that don’t think people can taste something unless the beer is saturated with spice. I’m looking at you, Shipyard and your cinnamon obsession.

Anyway, if you want a lighter Imperial Stout that’s not too aggressive, but also isn’t like drinking bitter air, Sweet Tats is the way to go. It’s smooth, nice and doesn’t reek of vanilla beans.

I give it five out of five dinosaur pepper shakers.

Also, they have really nice glassware, so if you’re ever in Worcester go buy some. I think I’m using the “wrong” glass, but my one rule for glassware is: does it hold a pint of beer?

I don’t need to be told that I should use tulip glasses for IPAs or shot glasses for stouts or martini glasses for Coors Light.

-D-

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

An Update

Hello Again,

Whenever I do one of these insane writing challenges, I feel the need to beat myself up about not meeting the self imposed rules that are, often, brutally unfair.

That being said, I am going to say that as a result of this challenge (one blog entry, one five hundred word story per day) I do feel that I’m finally rebuilding writing muscles I used to have, but I’ve now let atrophy.

Atrophy.

That word seems pretty goddamn pretentious.

I think it’s important to challenge yourself as a writer, but I also think it’s important not to let the failure of those challenges discourage you. Things like NANOWRIMO are meant to be hard, meant to be tough and are meant to push you passed limits. The only way you grow stronger is to test yourself, constantly. If you just do the same thing, in and out, day in and day out, you will never get better, you’ll just plateau.

If you fail, keep going and try and do better next time. You won’t win every race, won’t win every match. The most important thing is that you pick yourself up and you keep going.

The people who persist are the people who are more likely to succeed, even in light of failure.

Persistence is what matters, even over basic talent. If you have basic talent, but don’t have the ability to persevere, you will not succeed. Always keep battering against the wall, always keep fighting. And learn from the people who have broken through.

I have a story to write.

And I know you do too.

-D-

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing: Novels, Stories, Blogs and Comics

Be Superman

Hello Again,

One of the most important lessons that we can learn from superhero comics is the idea that we should be like Superman.

Superman is the purest distillation of what a superhero is: someone with abilities decides to use those abilities to help others.

Its not just about fighting crime, because Superman does a lot more than that. He saves towns from floods. He puts out fires. He catches airplanes. He destroys tenement housing to force the government to build brand new housing in its place. He destroys automobile factories in an attempt to promote auto safety.

Sometimes his methods aren’t the best way to tackle the situation, but he does try.

The point is that Superman uses his abilities to help everyone around him. He does not question whether they deserve it or if he should. He has an innate understanding that because he can, he should.

We are all capable of being Superman in some way or another. Because the point isn’t that he’s almost godlike in his strength and speed. The point is that he is able to do something that others cannot. And we all find ourselves in situations where we are stronger, more knowledgeable, have access to more resources, where we can DO something.

If we can help, we should help.

Because that’s how society gets better. That’s how everything gets better. Because we all say that when we see someone in pain, or in need, or struggling, we help.

And this does not diminish when the problem scales upward, if anything our responsibilities grow more when we stop thinking ourselves as individuals and we start thinking of ourselves as a country, a society.

We have so much money.

We have so much power.

We have so much to give.

And our initial response to refugees at our doorstep appears to label as them as enemies, to call them an army, to say they’re diseased, to say they’re rapists, to say they’re killers.

And those are the arguments of the villains. Those are the arguments of cowards. Those are the arguments of people so blinded by their own hate that they refuse to see anyone else’s pain.

We should be better than that. We are better than that. We should be stepping up and opening our doors and leading the way to a better, kinder, stronger world.

What we need to be is Superman.

-D-

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

Scary Fear

Hello Again,

I think about horror a lot. I think about horror movies, horror short fiction, horror novels, about the things that terrify us day-to-day.

Horror is a vital thing, an important thing and a thing worth studying.

I’ve had a project in the back of my mind, something I’ve been thinking about working but it’s a daunting project.

I think that I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t care about how daunting it is. I think it’s an important thing to work on.

I want you to watch this space because I think I’ll be announcing something in the next few months and it will be pretty intense.

At least, if you’re me.

-D-

Leave a comment

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

An Education in Cruelty

Hello Again,

I am pretty angry about Betsy DeVos and her decision to cut federal funding to the Special Olympics.

I believe that the responsibility of the government is to take care of its citizens. That is its sole function. It takes care of the citizens. We may disagree on the best way to do that or the focus of how to do that, but in the end, that is the government’s job.

It builds roads. It builds hospitals. It supports a police force. It provides schools. All in the service of the public good, because that is the primary goal of the government.

It also funds programs that, while they may be privately run, continue the government’s mission to protect and support its citizens.

The Special Olympics does this. Our society used to be such that the mentally disabled were locked away, shunned, hidden, locked up in institutions and forgotten. We have grown and progressed as a people to the point where we realize that this is unacceptable. You cannot lock up a human being just because they make you uncomfortable.

The Special Olympics provides a way for people with mental disabilities to be seen, to be heard and to be out there excelling.

Here’s their Mission Statement:

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

These are good works. They are doing good works. They are continuing to provide what our government should be providing: support for all of its citizens.

Secretary DeVos is showing that, once again, the Trump Administration does not support good works. The Trump Administration is not interested in supporting all of its citizens and given that President Trump mocked a disabled reporter while on the campaign trail, this is not surprising.

Once again, the Trump Administration proves it is an administration of cruelty and indifference. There is no argument that either the Administration or its supporters can put forward that will not convince me that they genuinely do not care about other people. To allow this, to put this forward as a valid way to save a few dollars, is vile and indefensible.

To agree with Secretary DeVos and the Administration is to agree that people who are disabled do not deserve a place in our society. It is saying that they should go back into the dark place, the secret places where they can be easily forgotten. Because this is just one more step backward, one more step away from the progress we have made to being a better society.

One more step in a continued march backward into history.

-D-

1 Comment

Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

Writing On Writing About Writing for a Writer

Hello Again,

I’ve been going back and forth on what I want this blog to be and that’s just given me plenty of great excuses to not write anything.

And, if there’s anything I excel at, it’s creating excuses.

In an attempt to make sure that I write something, anything, in this space, I’m freeing myself from any and all restraints. I’m not going to try and make this some politically intense blog or  a blog about just horror or pop culture or dinosaurs or whatever else I happen to be interested in. I’m going to come here, once a day and just write whatever I feel like. I spend so much time, so much energy, in just finding the best possible way to limit myself that it’s time to loosen up and see what happens.

In that vein, I’m also bringing back an old writing exercise I used to do on a now defunct blog. During the month of October, I used to write one complete story a day, no shorter than 500 words in length. One of the biggest problems I have as a writer is just finishing a story. I’m going to go back to basics and relearn some skills I know I’ve forgotten.

I won’t be publishing those stories here. I’ve learned from other mistakes in the past when I just had stories published on websites and they’ve now migrated all over the internet. But maybe one or two of these new stories will see the light of day.

I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Not sure what we’ll be talking about then, but I’ll be here.

-D-

2 Comments

Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things