Monday, October 15, 2007

Can't really complain about my life these days...

Q: So what did you do on Monday, man?

A: Well, I gave a canned lecture on political parties, followed by a class period devoted to the relationship between presidents and rock and roll.

Q: What does that mean, exactly?

A: That means, I sat around in front of my class, playing various songs on my circa-1992 CD player that directly or indirectly concerned presidential politics.

Q: Ahh, I see. And they pay you for that?

A: Technically, yes, but don't get me started on salary issues.

Q: Then what did you do?

A: Oh, well, then I sat in my office, wrote a faculty development memo stating my expected academic activities for the next 12 months, did a little bureaucratic this and that, then went over to the university's monthly food fest, which in this case was Soul Food Day.

Q: Cool! What did you have?

A: Look at my gut, man -- I had a little of everything, from cheese grits and collard greens to fried catfish and chicken & waffles.

Q: How was it?

A: Good.

Q: And then what, Mr. Excitement?

A: Then I did a little errand-running up and down Euclid Ave., before catching the Red Line home.

Q: And then?

A: Well, I came home, fed my dog-der, drank a beer and watched the end of "10 Things I Hate About You."

Q: What is it with you and waste-of-time movies?

A: I can't really explain it, but you might forgive me if you heard what happened next.

Q: Interesting. What happened next.

A: Oh, nothing ... just that I went and drank bourbon with Freddy Noe.

Q: Cool! How did that happen?

A: Well, the Great Lakes Brewery was having an event celebrating the release of their 2 new bourbon barrel-fermented beers: the Rackhouse Ale and the Blackout Stout. As part of the celebration, they invited Fred Noe, aka Frederick Booker Noe III, the 7th-generation scion of the Jim Beam distillery operation, up to host a small bourbon and beer tasting. In addition to plentiful samples of the two GLB brews, we were also talked through a 5-stage tasting of Mr. Noe's finest, ranging from Jim Beam black label at the low point to Booker's, the world's first ultra-premium bourbon and arguably still the finest, at the high end, with samples of Basil Hayden's, Baker's, and Knob Creek (named after the childhood hometown of Abe Lincoln) in between. I favored the Basil Hayden's, but also agree with Mr. Noe's claim that the Knob Creek makes a mighty fine Manhattan.

Q: Sounds awesome! Learn anything new?

A: Oh yeah, a bunch. Fred told a bunch of great stories, but also, in response to a question about whether mixing bourbon with mixers is taboo, told a story about his mother. He said, "My mother drank Knob Creek and Ginger Ale her whole life and I never heard my father, one of the world's leading makers of bourbon, say a single bad thing about it. In fact, I asked him once, and he said, 'Listen, son, if you take one of the finest bourbons in the country and mix it with coke, you have one of the finest bourbon-and-cokes in the country." I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. Noe said folks that claim to be purists are full of "bullshit" and that what is important is enjoying it however you most enjoy it. In fact, he freely admitted that most bourbons, especially the best and most expensive, are made BETTER with a little water and/or ice. I'm going to extend that to scotches, as I've taken untold shit from scotch puritans about liking my whisky on the rocks or cut with a bit of aqua. So Cary, Bettina, take heed. I win.

Q: My, you haven't matured much since moving to Cleveland, have you?

A: No, not at all. It is possible I may have actually back-slid.

Q: Anything else to report?

A: Sure! I met this cool couple, up from Dayton to attend the tasting. They were really interesting folks and hopefully we'll hang out again, next time they visit the Land of Cleve. Hopefully, the chick brings a friend or, even better, a sister, as she was pretty darn cute.

Q: OK, I'm going to end this fake interview now, before it devolves any further. Besides, I'm not exactly sure what the mental illness implications are for interviewing yourself on a blog that nobody reads.

A: I'm not sure, either. Take it easy.

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