Friday, October 31, 2008

Beer and Philosophy

Lets just say that life while not always what you want often gives you exactly what you need. I have been searching for a new book to read for several weeks. I often Find myself reading books about obscure things that are important for my work as an artist but really are not "fun". Until this week. My colleges library had as a new offering "Beer and Philosophy". It is a collection of contemporary philosophers, brew masters, and beer enthusiasts writing essays about the finer points of one of the worlds greatest accidents, my friend and colleague the beer!

As many who know me will say I have over the last 5 years become increasinly choosy about my beer. It has become a hobby, Looking for the next greatest thing! I have become in some cases according to family members, a beer "snob". If wanting to look for something interesting and unique in a mass produced world is being a snob then guilty! And the more I read about macro brewery techniques the more I question that they are even beer at all! Most good beer is regional and has limited distribution so I have recently found myself in a new search for my beverage of chose her in NE Iowa.

Last night I found myself home with nothing to do?! My 2 year old had hit the sack, my 4 month old passed out in the swing, and my wife was off indulging her own nerdocity at a reading group about the cold war, (I have now idea what is interesting about this but she doesn't get Jackson Pollock either). I desided to endulge in a favorite pass time, the long soak in a very hot tub with a book, "Beer and Phiolosophy". I took 2 new beers I'm getting to know from a variety pack of a local Wisconsin Brewery and indulged! 2 beers and 2 essays later(the book provides you with a beer drinking schedule to follow as you read) my wife was home, my toes were wrinkley and I was excited about the new beers I get to try and a little homesick for those I have left behind. All and all an excelent experience!

It all reminded me that it is impotant to remember to indulge in moderation. To realize when you are indulging yourself and to enjoy the fact that you are.

So this weekend try and remember the thing you like most and do it! Just remember the thing that makes it so great is that you don't always get to!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The frost is on the pumpkin

Well fall is here and I actually know it this year! the frost on my car window this morning confirmed it. I have anxiously been watching the slow transformation of the landscape out my kitchen window. The entire state of Iowa looses 7 feet of elevation each year as the corn crop is drawn in and the fields are prepared for wintering.
For several weeks I have watched as the early corn is chopped for feed over winter as well as the nervious shuffling of grain wagons form here to there all in anticipation of the last efforts of another life cycle of our planet. It seem quaint and boring at times but it resets my internal clock and sense of place and time.

I realized the affects of living here while I was discussing living on the east coast at lunch with colleagues the other day. One of them said something about boring old Dubuque... I quickly found myself defended the "boring-ness" of our particular geographical region. I forgot how evident the changing seasons and cycle of life are here. Living in a thriving busy metropolis often found myself forgetting what time of year it was, what day of the week it was. Even in New England the fall foliage would sneak up on me all the time. Life in New Bedford ran by the banks clock and the tides.

My life was task oriented not life oriented.

I am now finally settling in to a new way of life where I drive to work and think about where I am and what I am doing. Listening to talk radio and thinking about what they are saying, not cursing at other drivers or pedestrians or old ladies crossing against the light in downtown Boston!!!
Instead of fussing i find myself focusing? No small task for a mildly ADHD 20 something. I see the crops harvested and the steam rising from the herds of cattle. Everyone busying with the task of harvest preparing for a long rest and anticipation of spring. Life is a race to the finish and I definitely think I am tortoise ready to pace my self for the long hall. I do miss the hustle everyone in a while but hey that's what vacations are for!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Black holes and North East Iowa

Last night I went to an African dance show at the collegeI teach at. First I should note my school is a Coolege for the brotherhood of the divine word, a catholic seminary and 4 year college for religious people to prepar for missionary work around the globe, it is also located in a town of 500 people in the middle of a cornfeild?. Everything here is in the middle of a cornfeild, the towns are like a series of islands floating in a sea of swaying carbohydrates!

Most of my students are from other countries and speak english as a second language. It is an annomaly as many may guess since Iowa might be one ot the most homogenous places in the US. The crowd however consisted of a good mix, I was impressed that in this very rural area there were 100+ people who treked to the school to see this event. It was excelent!!! We danced and clapped and listened to stories we couldn't understand. The over 80 crowd (approx 30% of the audience) clapped more than danced but by god they were into it! This was just another of the surreal moments I find myself experiencing everyday.

One Moment I am tooling down the road enjoying the country views the soft cent of cow flatuence in the air and the vext I am hob knobbibg at a gallery openning with other people like myself. This is a strange place where people park in the church parking lot to walk to the bar? Can't blame them the church has the only parking and the bar is the only one in the area , it works for them.

Well I should go church tomorrow, and someones holding my barstool for me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Every ones Blogging but me?

Day 1.

I am blogging...I'm not sure why I am here but it seems to me that everyone I know and most of the people I don't are now blogging. My wife is blogging, sharing here day with others. Mostly people we know maybe some we don't but I have to say it is interesting for me to read her memoirs. Its nice that we can sit on opposite couches at our seperate laptops and really connect.? We are a nostalgic species, reminicing over the events of earlier this week, earlier today.

Still cynisism asside it is nice to share stories and stay in touch on a regular basis. I hope in the future to bring something to this blog that helps someone, somewhere feel a little better about something. That should be vague enough to almost be imposible to not accomplish.