Beer and Pavement

Hiatus from the Hiatus and other things

Posted in Life by SM on April 9, 2012

Not too long ago[1], my wife noticed that I know a lot of young women. She’s right. I probably know more ~college-aged women at this moment in time than I did when I was in college. When she made the observation, several of these friends and acquaintances had stopped to say hello while we were out on the town. I had been telling of other encounters in clubs and online with these women. So, she noticed a pattern in my social circle.

I’m not bragging. It’s just that when one partakes in oodles of social media socializing and goes out fairly regularly for beer and live music, it’s easy to know a lot of young[2] people (male and female). Also, there’s probably something non-threatening for these women about the married guy with a kid, talking music and such while not hitting on them. Trust me. I’m not bragging.

This is not about titillation or some adulterous contemplation. My partner is not jealous, nor should she be. This town is small enough that there may be whispers. I know I’ve heard them about other married guys my age or older who I see out and about, but that’s not me and that’s not why I’m writing this.

There are things that separate me from the young. These things might even be what make me such a nonthreatening novelty around town, but these characteristics clearly keep me from being seen as a potential suitor at best or stalker at worst[3]. Of course, these things are what I write about almost exclusively on this blog: craft beer and indie rock[4].

At times, there are things I do or preferences I have that can cause me to be perceived as cooler or unreachable than I actually am. For example, a few weekends ago, I participated in a casual tasting of beers that featured an extraordinary number of rare and insanely big beers. You can see for yourself on my Untappd feed for March 25th[5]. On a musical note, I just received the new Lee Ranaldo solo record[6], of Sonic Youth fame. What these two facts might tell people – particularly young, hip women – is that I’m on a higher plain with my consumption of beer and music.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. That Sunday afternoon of beer revelry nearly did me in. I didn’t wake with a hangover, mostly because I fell asleep before dinner. The fact that I’m so into Sonic Youth that I even buy their solo records is really pathetic in that the one time I had an opportunity to speak with Lee Ranaldo, I chickened out like a typical fan-boy. The point is that I’m not nearly as cool as the things in which I consume.

Conversely, I’m probably not as boring and dad-like as a few of my other choices would suggest. Alongside the Lee Ranaldo record, I’ve been listening to new records by The Shins[7] and White Rabbits[8]. One (The Shins) smells of dad-rock[9]. The other shows an aging hipster grasping at newer indie bands that aren’t all that new nor indie. Of course, I like variety and have followed these bands before they were ignored by the likes Pitchfork and Hipster Runnoff. These records making it to my regular rotation have less to do with me being an out-of-touch dad than they have to do with habits, loyalty, and a general interest in how music develops over time.

I also have some mainstream tastes in beer. There was a recent crawfish boil in our neighborhood. These gatherings are often an opportunity to pull out some nice beers to share. However, I opted to be one of the group[10], bringing a selection of a variety of APA’s, amber ales, and other less-extreme brews. It didn’t show me softening since that epic tasting the weekend prior, but it showed that I can have craft beer that fits any situation. Craft beer is for the people, not just the beer geek set.

I don’t know what I’m really trying to say here. It’s just an attempt to bust my slump and work out of this hiatus. I realize that the post comes off as conceited, but that’s not how I meant it. My point is that I am perceived a certain way that is both attractive and somewhat banal. The pressures of living up to perceptions that I’m something more than I am can crush my creativity at times. Additionally, the normality of drinking beer and listening to rock and roll isn’t always that inspiring, hence the hiatus.

Sorry for coming out of the hiatus with such a rambly mess. It can only go up from here. In the meantime, enjoy the return of footnotes. Look for some regular series[11] of posts and hopefully less rambly ramblings.

1 Yes, it seems the hiatus is over. There’s not much of a focus just yet, but I have ideas. I’m cutting back on beer and music expenses. so, this should be interesting. Stay tuned. And, yes, the footnotes are back for the time being. Also, as long as it has taken me to write this post, it has actually been a long time ago, but I digress.
2 Of course, “young” is relative. I’m 37 and anyone under 20 is young to me. Anyone under 25 is a kid.
3 I do worry more about being perceived as a creepy old guy more than a target of affection. The potential whispers about my fidelity do not bother me, but being seen as a stalker does. Hopefully, that’s not how anyone perceives me.
4 Yes, young women (and men) enjoy craft beer and indie rock. However, the craft beer of which I speak is often beyond the average income of a college student. So, PBR or their ilk are often the preferred option. Also, the kids don’t really call it “indie rock.” I’m not sure anyone really does anymore. Additionally, the particular brand of indie I discuss is more closely related to my college days than theirs. Go, back and quit reading the footnotes for more on this.
5 Again, not bragging. I just happen to know some incredibly generous beer enthusiasts in my own age group.
6 It’s poppier than I would have ever guessed. Plus, it sounds as if Ranaldo is trying to drop his deadpan, spoken-word-style vocals for singing. It actually sounds like he’s trying to sing. It’s a bit of a mixed bag overall, especially when he slips in some slide guitar here and there. It’s a fine record, I guess.
7 This record has been growing on me. It’s bigger and showier than past efforts. One can hear the difference professional musicians make. I suspect The Shins will improve as James Mercer figures out how to write songs for/with this new crew of Shins.
8 White Rabbits hail from right here in Middle Missouri, but they apparently didn’t learn to play instruments until they hit Brooklyn. They’ve moved from sounding like The Walkmen to Spoon, now they sound like themselves, perhaps. It’s a talented group, but I’m not sure I’m digging the bigger vibes at the moment. It might grow on me, but I have doubts.
9 Dad rock is basically anything that might have appealed to dads during their college days only it’s friendlier. See: Wilco.
10 Often, I show up to neighborhood parties and get-togethers with fancy beers that only I drink. So, rather than getting drunk in the afternoon sun, I opted for some safer selections that I could have left behind had the day gone too long.
11 For me, describing them as series means that I won’t have to post them on any kind of schedule. I’ve tried schedules and they just don’t work for me. The following are what I’m considering. You can decide what they mean: Indie-Craft Interviews, Stupid S*** I Wrote, BICTB&P Hall of Fame, Key Party, I Can’t Sing It Strong Enough…

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