"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's that time of year again

And by that time, I mean October, that magical month of Oktoberfest, Halloween, and a few things in between.

I'm not a horror writer, and not a big fan of over-the-top horror books or movies, but I like the stylish, intelligent, psychologically creepy stories that are probably not written anymore. My goal is to blog every day or at least every other day this month, just because it's so chock full o' stuff.

Let's start with a little beer and Bradbury. First, the Bradbury.

I love this book. Bradbury starts ominously, with a storm on the horizon and a stranger's arrival. Here's the first bit:

The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.

Don't you just know that trouble is following that storm?

The book is still available in paperback and ebook (you might find a hardcover in a used bookstore), and the 1983 movie is available on DVD (or maybe Netflix, etc). I'd prefer curling up with the book for an evening, but the movie will do in a pinch.

But what kind of October refreshment goes with Ray Bradbury?

I happen to know he was a big fan of red wine, but this is beer month. I'm not much of a beer drinker, so when I went to Scotland and they served half-pints, I was thrilled. A half-pint is just enough beer for me, and it stays cold the entire time. In ten short days, I became a beer drinker, half a pint at a time.

I like ales, red and hearty, but nothing beats the beer I had in Lexington, Kentucky. Bourbon barrel ale. Ale that's been aged in a bourbon barrel for a few months.

And it's served in the sweetest little goblet.

It was full of that red ale flavor, with the hint of bourbon sweetness - and a higher alcohol content. Man, it was good. If I could get that in California, I'd drink a pint.

Next up: Another classic book/film, and more great libations.

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