My favorite things

October 13, 2007 at 11:13 am | Posted in sloppy drunk | 2 Comments
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A portrait of heaven: Black Butte Porter, by the Deschutes Brewing Company.

This is the beer love of my life. When I started undergrad in Portland, OR, I was the polar opposite of a beer snob, thanks to my parents’ unspeakably horrible penchant for Natural Ice and Old Milwaukee. I was raised on piss beer. Awful. I began my college drinking career by carrying on the family tradition of filthy-brew loyalty — Natty Ice, Old Milwaukee, Olde English 800 — and then I was exposed to the wonderful world of microbrews (THANK GOD).

Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I genuinely like beer. Aside from its ability to get me drunk, I like the taste. Fortunately for me, I went to college in a beer-lover’s paradise. There are a bunch of breweries in the city, brew festivals, brew festivals, and brew festivals, several versions of the movie-theater-slash-brew-pub (See a movie. Drink a beer. LOVE IT), and the beer store.

Anyway, Black Butte Porter was my perennial favorite. It isn’t available here, and that American microbrews are missing from the shelves of the Beer Store and the LCBO is probably my single greatest complaint about Canada. Say what you want about the US — and there’s a lot of bad stuff you can say — our microbrews kick ass. So, when I went to San Francisco last week, I made sure that Aundra got me a sixer of my favorite beer. (Similarly, when my friend Paula visited me in Miami (again, the lack of BBR was depressing), I made her bring me a six-pack, too.) Mmmm….delicious.


Tripping down memory lane

August 17, 2007 at 1:23 pm | Posted in life | 4 Comments
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There are several people that I keep in touch with from undergrad — Aundra is one of my closest friends in the world, and I love her to pieces.  Javad is someone I will always be friends with, no matter how far apart we are (China, Macau, Toronto, Miami; to name a few of the places we’re living in/have lived in).  I’ll be attending Kristen and Drake’s wedding next summer.  I met Ninon on our trip to Scotland, and I credit her with saving my life the summer after I graduated.  She and her mom gave me a place to live, and hers was the shoulder I cried on when Vito and I broke up.  We haven’t seen each other in years, but thanks to gmail chat we’re sometimes able to catch up.

We were chatting today, about people we have in common, and I had this enormous pang of missing Portland and Lewis & Clark.  LC is this small liberal arts college, smaller than my high school, perched on Palatine Hill in southwest Portland.  The campus is gorgeous — a wooded ravine, old brick buildings, a perfect view of Mt. Hood from the reflecting pool.  My freshman year was mainly a whirlwind of drunken nights in the dorms and nighttime missions to the indoor swimming pool and the football field to haul leftover Astro turf back to Copeland Hall.

I have this one memory of wandering down one night to the flagpole on the lawn that overlooked the rose garden, where you could see Mt. Hood and catch a glimpse of the city.  I don’t know who I was with, maybe Vito, and I think Brad was there too.  I put one foot into the loop of the rope and hoisted myself up; the boys ran with me until I was virtually flying around the flagpole.  I could see the lights of the city and the stars and I was drunk and happy and I cannot even imagine being that person again.  Not that I can’t imagine being happy again, but that I can’t imagine being 18 years old again and throwing my head back joyously as I swing around and around a flagpole in the dark.  I can’t imagine dorm life.  I can’t imagine caravaning down I-5 to spend spring break in Mexico.  I can’t imagine the keg parties and dorm parties and celebrating 21st birthdays.  I can’t imagine walking home from the “rat house” in the fog and rain… I can’t imagine an entire life that I once had.  Sometimes I miss college and Portland so much that it physically hurts, in my chest.  I will not attend my high school reunions but I can’t imagine missing my college ones.

I love Toronto, I love my apartment and my friends here and I enjoy my job.  I’m an adult here (well, except for my amazingly incompetent dating history).  Still, I think about Portland a lot.  It’s like a love affair that I never really got over.  Isn’t that so rainy-day melancholy?  That no matter how much you like who you are and where you are, you can miss the people and places from your past so much?

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