Thirty Miles for a Beer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Last night, Andy and I drove thirty miles, one way, for a beer. I’d say a pint of beer, but it wasn’t. It was a cup of beer. But all for a good reason.

Last night, one of the local bars hosted a Surly Darkness release party. Surly’s a fairly new Minnesota brewery based in Brooklyn Center, actually just a mile or two away from where I wintered last year. Over the past few years, Surly’s been gaining national recognition for its hoppy concoctions. Last night’s beers – Darkness and Wet – were served in 12-ounce glasses due to their high alcohol content. Neither beer is normally tap and after tasting Darkness – a syrupy coffee and chocolate inspired draft – last winter, Andy was hot to trot to get his hands on some more.

To have any sort of party here during November is somewhat laughable. It’s such a tourist economy here that few businesses stay open year-round and the months of November and April, which sit firmly in between nice weather and snow, are the months when business is at its very lowest and the locals all have to cook for themselves. Exactly why one ends up deep-cleaning cabins in November and traveling in April. Last night could have been any old night at the bar, but despite the somewhat frivolous nature of our trip to town (I did need gas and some oil) it was worth it to spend some time together and drink something you can’t find every day. Despite working at the same establishment, Andy and I have been ships passing in the night as of late.

In other news, the pine marten got the suet feeder the very first night the feeder was out on the line. I’m baffled as to how he got away with the clunky contraption, but not really surprised. I spend all the hours of daylight at work so I’m unsure if the birds have found the feeder yet. The only critter I’ve seen near it was a squirrel furiously cleaning itself about a foot away from the feeder over lunch break today.

March was the last time I consistently worked forty hours a week and now that I’ve had my first full week back in the forty-hour grind, I’m remember why I don’t necessarily seek out full-time employment and why I so prefer 10-hour days which lead to three-day weekends. If I can make enough money to cover my expenses, I’m happy to give up some profit to have time for writing, research and reading. Right now I feel like I’m constantly trying to squeeze extra time out of the day. I’ve adjust my sleep schedule so I have a half hour of writing time in the morning, but I know I should really tweak that so I have a full hour. More often than not, it takes half an hour to get the words flowing.

The house is a mess, I need to exercise more, I’m tired and a little cranky, but the November writing goals will get met one way or another. Even with arbitrary trips to town for a cup of beer.

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