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Ballyhoo: The Winter of our Discontent

a drawing of a cartoon character

This feeling reminds me of that scene repeated so often in movies and TV shows… everyone stands motionless for the fear that the slightest noise will alert the big baddie. Except in this situation, we’re holding our breath wondering what happens next. Will it be a warmer winter? Will the dial go to a lighter color… or worse? Will the magic juice get distributed soon? Will I be able to buy toilet paper of good quality? We all wait for the news, to see what happens. And I’m here, with the attention span of a gnat, bouncing from idea to idea of things to do and try, second-guessing myself at every turn. I’m like Homer Simpson when the monkey is clanging cymbals in his head.

Get my mind off things
Time for Animaniacs
Zany to the max

But hey, I get to watch some shows again with all this “free time”. The second season of The Umbrella Academy was fantastic, and the show We Are the Champions was a nice light watch... I totally want to try cheese rolling. We just finished Lovecraft Country, which I enjoyed, but needed more occult and monsters. I’ve read too much of Lovecraft’s works, and played too many Fantasy Flight board games on the subject, so I expected a lot more… but it was still good. The Queen’s Gambit is our current binge. I’ve always appreciated chess. I’m terrible at it, but the level of dedication to master one game is incredible. I love board games, but not mass-market stuff, more of the hobby games you find in weird corners of the bookstore. People can get obsessive about those games, too, but I enjoy variety. A quick game of Exploding Kittens followed by a multiple-hour Twilight Imperium session and I’m a happy camper. One day, when the world puts itself back together, we’ll host some board game nights. It should be noted my likes are squarely in that intersection of beer nerds, board game nerds, and comic nerds. OK, I’m a nerd.

Enjoyment ends quick.
Told your favorite thing sucks.
All hobbies have nerds.

Speaking of obsessive nerds, I’ve really enjoyed reading about the search for getting your hands on the new gaming consoles. Especially the memes. Although I would like a PS5 as well, that’s something I don’t have the time for, even with it being slow at the brewery. No way I could get one, though. You have better luck getting toilet paper in April, unless you got in line at Costco. I remember when people would get in line for consoles, sometimes camped out for days. I suppose it still happens for, say, new iPhone releases, but I remember standing in line overnight for concert tickets. 1990, I was waiting in line for tickets to Phil Collins. Yeah, you read that right. The internet somewhat killed that phenomenon, didn’t it? I know ticket scalpers were rampant when a show went on sale, but convince me hackers aren’t scooping up XBOX’s when they become available. Just hit refresh a few times and maybe you get lucky. Now I sound old… get off my lawn!

Phil, locked out of home.
Refused to shower, how gross.
In the air tonight?

Speaking of lawns, I feel terrible for my lawn and the neighbors who had to look at it. It was always sketchy to begin with, but for the two summers before we opened the brewery, I really focused on giving it some TLC and got it turned around. This past year I’d rather not talk about. I was at the brewery all day, every day, and everyone else could afford the time to beautify their house since so many were working remotely. I could barely get the kids to mow and edge. You can imagine how it looked. The good news is everyone’s lawn looks the same now. The new challenge is the snow and a north-facing house. My kids shovel for a little spending cash, but their definition of “done” is a wee bit different than mine. Until it all melts, I need to enter my garage at an angle, with a controlled skid across the ice. It’s awesome that the brewery is south and west facing, we never have to worry about such matters. The parking lot in back is a bit of a skating rink, though.

Let it snow, You cry!
Sweaters and holiday cheer.
In March? Not so much.

OK, it’s good to have a little bit of downtime. We can refocus and fix some nagging issues from earlier this year. But the nervous energy and waiting is unbearable. This feels a lot like the time just a few months ago, when we were in the final push to get LUKI open. Here we are again, waiting to see what move to make next. Time to get creative under pressure once more. Let’s see what works. I hope to see you soon.

Set up a live stream.
Music guest, six people watch.
Awkward for all there.

Or maybe group games.
Among Us, Fortnite, Fall Guys.
Get ass kicked by tweens.

Or focus on beer.
A loud taproom will return.
We do miss you though.

December 3, 2020
Written while drinking I Dissent by Lady Justice Brewing, and listening to “Flow like Poe” by MC Lars.