Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am going to attempt to temporarily suspend fixation on the past atrocities associated with this holiday, the massive injustices being committed against the original inhabitants of this land as I type these words, and the systemic inequalities and divisions that plague these United States of America.

I am going to spend quality time with my family, enjoy the fruits of the harvest, and acknowledge the multitude of blessings that have fallen into my lap.

Tomorrow I will avoid rabid consumerism that only serves to feed the Beast.

Be grateful for the little things that we all tend to take for granted.  Seek contentment however fleeting.  Spread unconditional love.  Embrace humility.

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It’s Been Awhile

I have not blogged since October 16th, 2015.  The only thing that I wrote between then and now was an intervention letter for a close friend.

Life was kinda heavy this week.  Everyone goes through it, though.  I’m sure some folk would call it 1st World Problems.  That’s where I live.  I won’t apologize for it.  To do so would demean my ancestors whose footsteps made it possible.

This afternoon I wish to reflect on our GODS.  I was raised in the Jesuit Roman Catholic tradition.  I am no longer religious, but I am still seeking the truth when it comes to the Divine.  I would say that I strive to live the “Do Unto Others” tradition.  I can’t really argue with treating others how I would wish to be treated.  I realize that concept is not unique to Catholicism or Christianity, but it’s what I know.

The GODS I write of are money, career, lust, consumption, knowledge…whatever gets in the way of LOVE.

Modern life has become so complicated for the worse.  I check shit on my phone dozens of times per day compulsively.  I spend the majority of my day working.  I self-medicate.  I recognize all of these symptoms yet when push comes to shove most times I just can’t help myself.

At times I find myself wishing something would come and wipe it all out.  Then humanity could take it back to the essence.

My fantasy utopia harkens back to tribal living in many ways.  I would be perfectly content growing and hunting my own food.  I don’t need electricity.  Music can be enjoyed acoustically.  Beer has been brewed since the dawn of time.  Sport does not need Nike or ESPN.  I know I would miss the scratch of the Technics and Sportcenter round the clock, but something’s got to give.

Sorry for the rambling.  It’s kind of what I do.  I just feel strongly that we’re all kind of looking for something more right now.  Or at least something different.

The fact that I continue to seek the truth gives me hope at the end of the day.  Wish me luck checking myself, living deliberately, and loving unconditionally.

No edits.

#7: This Rule Is So Underrated

Good Morning internets!  I just realized that I remember more of the 10 Crack Commandments courtesy of The Notorious B.I.G. than I do the actual 10 Commandments.

For those not already in the know, the 7th Crack Commandment is “Keep your family and business completely separated.”  I’ll spare you the rest of the verse as it gets a bit graphic and homophobic, but there you go.  I bet you didn’t think you would read a sentence like that today!

Day 7 of the “Write Something Every Damned Day” campaign is off to a pretty great start.  I got to eat breakfast with all three members of my immediate family.  I listened to my daughter sing a made up song as my wife and I walked her to school.  I listened to an amazing new Run the Jewels record where Mike’s lyrics and delivery made me want to take the power back.  I read some negative stories that made me want to laugh and/or cry.  I read some positive stories that fanned the flames of my hope for the future.

I also bookmarked a story for future reading of a blog post that may perfectly describe the existential dread and anxiety I feel regarding climate change and its impact on the viability of my children’s future.

How about them apples?

It Takes Two

Yesterday I was privileged to enjoy a Battle of the Paddle India Pale Lager. A collaboration between Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, Oregon and Bitburger from Germany, this tasty beverage leaned more toward the lager end of the spectrum. I was not mad. It was the perfect pint for a warm spring day at just under 6% ABV. This would be great out of can on the river or the beach. Make it happen, Hopworks!

Yesterday I also felt badly for the citizens of Baltimore. While I cannot condone violence, I will not judge it. It also should not prevent protesters from gathering in public places. Nor should it result in discriminatory curfews and extra judicial renditions.

Apologies and A Course Correction

I realize that the majority of my posts have been all over the place these last few months. Although it may not have necessarily bothered my few readers, I am feeling the need to apologize and so to you few I humbly ask your forgiveness. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to read my rants, ramblings, and reviews. I want it to be worth your while to do so.

When I first started this blog a year or so ago, I decided that its main aim would be to share stories and commentary on the topic of social justice with a side of craft beer reviews every now and then. Along with Hip-Hop and Football (Soccer) those are my primary interests in life beyond my family and friends.

But little did I know, or more honestly I knew, but was unwilling to admit, that the injustice on Planet Earth would quickly overwhelm someone like me who did not have the deep roots of self and spirituality necessary to bear witness to the evils of the modern world day in and day out for more than a few months at a time before becoming despondent.

I can say with confidence that over the last several years improvement of self has taken up a lot of my time and energy. I firmly believe that in order to affect true change in the world you must start by becoming the best version of your self and that job will never and should never be complete.

At this time I am not a version of myself that is good enough to comment upon issues of justice. I must endeavor to become that version of myself before it is right to go beyond simply sharing stories that promote justice and awareness, which I will continue to do via this blog.

I am however, qualified to continue reviewing tasty craft beers every once in a while. I may also pepper in some stuff about Hip-Hop, footy, or anything else that catches my fancy. There is no need to limit myself to just two topics.

I will also be writing about my on-going journey to become the best version of myself in the hope that it may help others on the same journey. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments in the future.

With Love, Hope, and Humility,

Jake

Beer Camp: Across America “What about elevenses?” Edition

Sierra Nevada plus New Glarus equals There and Back English Style Bitter.

This one could have tasted like stale Newcastle (I have yet to taste an unsatisfying ESB) and it would still have held a special place in my heart.

I love Tolkien.  The reference alone gives merit to this collaboration.  I had never heard of New Glarus Brrewing Co. before now.  Sadly, they have not made it out to my neck of the west coast yet.  If I ever make it to Wisconsin, I will stop in to pay my respects as There and Back is evidence they know their craft.

I could drink this beer all day.  I’m a hop guy six days of seven, but the toasty nutterific malts used in this recipe go down so smoothly, I’d be willing to convert at least two days a week.

“It comes in pints?!”

#nodrones2iraq

Please, please, please dearest God, Allah, Jah, Buddah, Krisna, Vishnu, Yahweh, Nostradamus, Satan, Raptor Jesus, Kanye West…WHOEVER – do not let the United States of America authorize and execute drone strikes in Iraq.

We have done enough damage to that poor country.  Let us send humanitarian aid and no more.  Any three ways you slice it, if my country sends drones I am not paying my federal income taxes next year.

I will not tacitly support war crimes any longer.  It is as simple as that.