03.Read.Look.Drink.Listen

I am in the middle of wrapping up my finals at BC so I was unable to find the time to record a full-length podcast episode for this week. In lieu of a normal episode I will try another post in this series based on an idea from Good Beer Hunting, who in turn built on Jessica Stanley, “a master internet curator.”

Read: This one is from a couple years ago and might seem random, but hear me out. I very much could have used Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom for the “look” section, but I’ve repurposed it for the “read” section. Richard Brody, a beautiful writer and fantastic critic, wrote “Loving ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ for the Right Reasons” in 2012 and it resurfaced for me as I re-watched Moonrise Kingdom a few days ago. I included Brody’s piece and the film in a final paper for one of my theology classes. I get so much joy from watching Anderson’s films and Brody’s writing helps put the emotions into words.

Look: I wanted to include something else but I couldn’t keep myself from talking about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I saw the film last Thursday and I was incredibly moved by it. I wasn’t expecting to connect with the movie on an emotional level, but I did. The action was incredibly exciting, the new characters intriguing, and the reintroduction of one or two old characters is breathtaking. I highly recommend seeing this movie. It’s flawed in several ways (some of the storytelling–especially in the 1st act–isn’t great, didn’t love all the new characters, CGI pretty wonky in one case particularly) but still fantastic and, after having only seen it once, I currently like it more than Force Awakens (that’s it, that’s my hot take). See it for yourself and then catch Mr. Sunday Movie’s recap of the Easter Eggs missed and check his full review with his co-host Nick Mason on one of my favorite podcasts The Weekly Planet.

Drink: Farmhouse Pale Ale by Oxbow Brewery. Funky, crisp, refreshing, wheaty. I’ve had this beer before but I had it last night at Otto’s Pizza in Coolidge Corner. I had a slice of margarita and spicy pulled pork with scallion, both of which were delicious. The Farmhouse was a perfect beer for the evening and I was happy to get the chance to get away from campus for a quick meal with my wonderful friend Jules.

Listen: I feel a little obligated to put in another plug for Tyler Coyne’s new album, which you should definitely listen to, but one thing that I keep recommending is another podcast, Comedy Bang Bang. Specifically, I’d give a listen to the 2016 Holiday Spectacular featuring a wide range of guests. Jason Mantzoukas and Rhea Butcher stop by as themselves but plenty of regular characters pop in and it’s absurd and painfully funny. There are a lot of inside jokes from previous episodes but if you embrace the weirdness you’ll get so many laughs out of it.

Featured image “Moonrise Kingdom poster” via ga3lle/Flickr.

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In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Hello all and welcome to the third official post of People & Pints. I was incredibly lucky to have my lovely girlfriend Rosa come to Amsterdam earlier this week and spend a few days exploring the city. We had a busy few days: visiting museums, trying to find the best stroopwafel and apple pie in the city–all while dodging the rain. Rosa captured part of the weIMG_2891ek in her own blog and I would certainly suggest giving it a read. We had a great time and I was sad to see her leave.

However, the weather finally cleared up as Thursday and Friday were warm and sunny. I allowed myself to get a little lost while biking around the city, enjoying the wonderful temperature and the beautiful views of the canals. As the day passed into evening I tried to make plans for this post. I picked a bar that was only a short walk from my apartment and began to invite some friends. There was one person in particular, though, with whom I wanted to chat.

I asked Elise, who is another student from Boston College, to join me for the evening. I admitted the night might not be too glamorous and that, beyond trying this bar, I didn’t have any real plans. Elise sounded happy to join nonetheless and we were both excited to finally meet each other.

I had contacted Elise by way of a mutual friend, Maddie, but beyond the fact that we were both studying in Amsterdam I didn’t know much about her. Elise is an International Studies major and is studying in the Social Sciences while in Amsterdam. I shared that I am an English major but the revelation that I am also an Ancient Civilizations minor caught Elise’s attention. I was happy to hear Elise had studied Latin in high school and was excited to talk about the Classics. The similarities continued from here.

The bar I had picked was Delirium Cafe, which has over 700 bottles of beer and 20 on tap. The options were endless and it was hard to narrow down selections; to be honest it was a little overwhelming. However, what caught me was a comment Elise had made, “beer is beer.” I was taken aback; she had just challenged everything I stood for. Luckily, Elise understood my sarcasm, amid my gasps, and explained that, for her, beer was too similar to make significant distinctions. I said that beer, like anything, is an acquired taste and I’m sure it takes time to be able to tell the difference between great and mediocre beer. I had ordered an 1858 Saison from Brasserie Du Bocq, which was quite underwhelming. It was easily drinkable but lacked a definitive or unique taste. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that was developing.

IMG_2926Elise and I began to reminisce about life at Boston College. We agreed that autumn in Boston was wonderful and it would be a shame to miss football season. Still, I was happy to hear that Elise was enjoying life in Amsterdam just as much as I was. She is from St. Paul, Minnesota so I’m sure she is well prepared for the cold and she shared that she really enjoyed the atmosphere of Amsterdam. We also talked about different classes back at BC and Elise recommended a professor for when I return.

We didn’t truly get to know each other until a little later. We began to discuss our preferences in film and comedy. I shared my love for shows like the Office, Parks and Recreation and Arrested Development. Elise also likes Amy Poehler and we started to talk about her brand of comedy. The conversation bounced around between Bill Murray, Quentin Tarantino, Steve Martin, Leonardo DiCaprio until we finally landed on the real connecting point. Elise admitted that her childhood was largely ruled by Star Wars and Winnie the Pooh–and I nearly jumped out of my chair. Those who know me well will understand that these two vastly different things were staples of my youth. Between my oversized plush Pooh Bear and my frequent lightsaber battles with siblings and friends, Elise had struck a deep nerve. I was thrilled to continue our evening talking about our silly, exciting childhoods.

MECWe took turns discussing the positives and *cough* negatives of the more recent Star Wars movies and hopes for the future of the franchise. As well as making one or two Mos Eisely Cantina references. I reassured Elise–who said she was quite nervous with the idea of new movies–that Star Wars seems well protected in the hands of J.J. Abrams. We continued for some time revealing our more nerdy stories related to the films. I had one more beer at this point: Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Ales which was infinitely better than my previous one. Rogue is an American brewery and I was surprised to see this beer made it to the Netherlands but I was happy to try it here. It was a complex Helles Bock with incredible flavor that lingered long after a sip. IMG_2931

As the night was drawing to a close Elise shared her love for the Harry Potter universe and I compared that to my soft spot for Tolkien and Lord of the Rings. There are plenty of differences between the two but we had fun comparing them. As we left and walked home Elise and I discussed relationships and of course continued to talk about Boston College. I suppose that no matter where in the world one goes, Boston College will always follow. As I said goodbye, I was happy that Elise and I had the chance to meet and even happier when Elise said she would want to talk more Star Wars or even watch the movies. Although Elise had said that “beer is just beer,” I hope she enjoyed the night that resulted.

Come back next week for another People & Pints post!