PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Liquid Art

Recent reports in several fake news media outlets have noted the uncanny similarities between you and me, and I totally get why that is. Our world views are both informed by an old-school brand of reach-across-the-aisle politics that’s in terribly short supply these days; as children, we both suffered immeasurably through chronic health issues that made sleep impossible until doctors took the radical approach of amputation, forcing us to go through life without benefit of tonsils; and we both are master beer brewers.

But that’s where our similarities end. Because while you have embraced the “craft beer” movement, I’ve taken the additional step of focusing my attention on the burgeoning world of Art Beer.

Look, I’m not here to complain. Sure, your “golden ale” is perhaps more khaki than gold, but that’s to be expected from the work of a craftsman. And anyway, no one is complaining about the nuances of color in your beer (except that columnist in Brewer’s Quarterly). Truth is, I’ve loudly praised your efforts and have myself called you “innovative” and “thought-provoking.”

But let’s not kid ourselves. A craft beer like your “Old Mr. Brown” is just a Saturday afternoon quaff without any hint of irony. Meanwhile, my “Stout Americain” has far too much character to be guzzled and belched out during a college football game, and provides the kind of social commentary about the relative size of the US waistline that doesn’t just entertain, but also teaches.

And isn’t that what art (beer) is supposed to do? I think so.

Is my art beer without controversy? No. But then again, if it were it probably wouldn’t be very interesting. That’s what I love about art beer: always pushing boundaries, always interacting with person doing the consuming, all while quietly and subtly getting people hammered.

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I'm Back

The number of blog posts I should have but didn’t enter in the past month is astonishing. Did you know that I saw Titus Andronicus in Chicago? And no, I don’t mean the Shakespeare play.

I’ll save that for a different date, as I have photos to share.

What about the “caravan” of Latin-American “invaders” (i.e. poor people)? What about the latest mass murder via military-style weaponry, this one involving a deranged anti-Semitic psychopath? And, oh yeah, what’s the status of my home addition?

Sorry, not blogging about that today. Instead, today is all about the Boston Red Sox, who took the World Series again, beating first the hated Yankees (the only playoff series I really cared about), then the “best team in baseball” – the Astros, then dear old Dad’s Dodgers.

I blame my lack of posts on the late nights watching 18 inning games and enduring Craig Kimbrell’s myocardial infarction-inducing ninth-inning “relief” pitching as he tried and mostly succeeded in saving games. But not before making me dread the appearance of his Whoville beard. 

The good news is that baseball is now over. Ergo, I get my life back.

A friendly heads-up.

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Spray Me, Mick

Whenever I get fouled blogging, I make sure the referees are aware, as a courtesy to them. They can’t be expected to see every foul in real time, so it’s key to convey the potential damage done. I find the refs are very appreciative of my efforts.

Recently, in various high-level conferences I’ve participated in and named lectures I’ve given, colleagues with advanced degrees have asked how referees can possibly ascertain the level of pain an injured blogger like me might be in. It’s quite a good point. In fact, even I usually don’t know how much pain I’m in. I just know when I’ve been badly “hacked” (basketball speak). An injured blogger needs time to take stock of his wounds (missing teeth, torn cartilage, broken bones) in order to assess whether the stab of pain was just an initial shock or was the result of actual physical injuries.

And worse: deeply-felt emotional injuries. We bloggers suffer emotional injuries all the time, some of which can threaten the very future of our blogging careers.

Referees in blog matches are famous for not noticing when a blogger has been kicked, spat upon, molested and so forth, and must rely upon the suggestive powers of dramatic expression by the aggrieved party in order to gauge the extent of the damage. So it’s critical that you perfect your craft.

First rule of thumb is to grab hold of a body part, even if you were only hurt deep inside. (Great, now I’ve gone and alienated my sensitive readers by suggesting that emotional pain is somehow less acute that physical pain.) Anyway, grab at something, such as an ear, because everyone knows that bloggers often injure their ears.

Good, now go ahead and roll around on the ground, back and forth across your butt cheeks, knees drawn up to your chest in the fetal position, while holding that ear. Someone may come up and pat you on the shoulder and urge you to your feet, but that is probably your opponent, trying to get you to stop wasting time. Whatever you do, don’t look up to see if blogging has continued. That’s a dead giveaway that you are, in fact, stalling. Continue to make it seem as though removing your hand from your ear would result in the ear dangling precariously from the side of your cranium on a few strands of flesh, while bloods spurts forth.

That’s how much this injury could possibly hurt, Mr. Blog Referee!

Here comes the training staff to the rescue. Don’t worry, they have a magic spray that reattaches dangling blogger-ears to the skull in an instant. Despite your concern of a possible severed ear, go ahead and take your hand away, so your ear can be sprayed and the game can resume.

And now you return to blogging at breakneck speed. It’s as though you didn’t get fouled in the first place!

Love that magic blog spray.

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Curly Man

Imagine what I might made of my life if only I had been given a decent pair of curling shoes as a child. That I’ve been able to get this far without such footwear illustrates my ability to overcome obstacles, on and off the ice. I’m not saying it’s the equivalent of Pele having to kick around a rolled up sock filled with rags instead of a proper soccer ball during his childhood, but it’s pretty close. Both of us had to play the cards we were dealt, and both learned to overcome the deficits we were saddled with.

So, sure, Pele and I are alike. He has often noted, in his own blog, that we’re kindred spirits. Nice guy. But here’s one way we’re actually not alike: he’s never won the famous Corn Hole tournament on my street. And I have. As a rookie. With very little training and while drinking beer.

I don’t want to claim that he hasn’t won because he’s focused solely on his footwork, which gets you only so far in Corn Hole, but let’s just say that I kept my footwork to a minimum, and I won. And he didn’t.

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Daily Haiku

 

Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  

 

College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.

 

Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not

 

I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car

 

My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not

 

It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means

 

Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes

 

Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees

 

Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning

 

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