They Still Make You?

I love working the bar at special events. It means I get to be part of something really special, minus the oppressive need to small talk. I also like getting to work with a different crew almost every time–that ADHD brain need for variety satisfied in every way.

But there’s always the risk of bad eggs when the cast of characters rotates that much. Continue reading

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Movers and Shakers: The Blog!

For the past two years, I’ve been hustling around the country, trying to connect with some of the most interesting personalities in the beer, wine, spirits, and bar industries. I’ve done interviews with master distillers, upstart brewers, winemakers that defy all limitations in funding and latitude, and bar managers working toward a more sustainable industry. To say I was inspired was an understatement: I am, and remain, awed.

BTW, all of the individuals referred to above are women. It’s kind of my thing. It’s not that I don’t think men(cis, gender conforming, typically white dudes, specifically) are capable of being awesome, it’s just that I feel like they get plenty of cred for their accomplishments. They don’t need me to add to the chorus.

I wrote a book about these women and non-gender conformists. It’s called Movers and Shakers: Women Making Waves in Spirits, Beer, and Wine and it’s coming on on October 9, 2018. Order yours today if you’re curious! Here’s a colorful graphic with a picture of the book cover on it! Huzzah!

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As much as I loved writing about this and as exciting as it was to finish a project of this size, I was a little bummed when the chapters had all been compiled. Not just because potential success is as terrifying as failure, but because I felt I’d only scratched the surface. Every time I told someone new what my book was about, they pointed me to a fantastic woman making her own vermouth from locally foraged plants, or a boss lady running an international liquor conglomerate. Even some of those I had interviewed along the way hadn’t made it into the final volume because of time, space, or continuity. I wanted to meet all these women. I wanted to tell their stories, too.

Welcome to the Movers and Shakers Blog. It’s my ongoing attempt to shout out the accomplishments of cool women & nonconformists in the booze fields.* Stay tuned.

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*If you want to know why I focus on the booze fields, you’ll have to buy the book. I can’t give everything away…

 

 

ISO Perfect Punctuation

For a long time, I have had an em-dash habit. I use them a lot–perhaps too much–when I need to make a parenthetical or emphasize a clause. My theory is that since I gesticulate when speaking–hands and face, with funny voices–I feel the need to make certain phrases jump out–as if animated.

Recently, though, I’ve taken up with the semi-colon. I tutor several AP English students and make them do the editing exercises at the end of The Elements of Style. It’s then, after I beat them about the shins with far, far, too many commas, that the chimera mark starts cropping up. It’s insidious; there’s little I can do but wait it out.

It’s Beer Garden Season!

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I know it’s still snowing in the northeast, and that sucks! But form my vantage point, it’s April, the sun is out, and those crisp/hoppy/malty/sour/but most of all fizzy cravings are in full effect. The brewery tasting room not only has the advantage of having the freshest drinkins possible but has a family and pet friendly license for its space. Bring your dog, set your kids loose on the giant Jenga (but watch them, duh), grab a pint, and spring the f* out of this joint.

For my Angelenos, it’s a great place and time to be at/in: Here’s a list I wrote about it a few months ago.  

To update this, I’d have to throw in the  Modern Times “Dankness Dojo” and the new Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown.

Middle School Math

One of my jobs right now, aside from authoring which is–at present–unpaid, is tutoring K-12 students to take standardized tests. It’s true: there’s viable paying work teaching the one thing I was REALLY good at in school, test taking. Most of the tests I’m teaching, however, were not around when I was a student. I can still ace them, because frankly standardized testing does not require you to actually know very much about the topic at hand, only the psychology of people who write test questions. But in a spirit of solidarity with my students and good faith to whatever education we are trying to give them, I’ve gone back and learned some stuff. Here are some observations. Continue reading

Scientist and Alchemist

Sometimes you have to post about things you tried that you like, because your friends will find them boring.

This here tea, for instance. I love tea. Tea is what my friends and I would hunker over late at night in high school, dishing gossip and making fun of people and pointedly not mentioning how none of us had the wherewithal to procure a fake ID. Tea: the thing I do when I want to stand up and take a break from writing but don’t want to admit that that’s the plan. Tea: the source of many of my calories when living in England on precious saved dollars when the pound was soaring.

A recent crackdown on caffeine use led to this revelation:

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Sunshine m-f-ing dust

Continue reading