Review the World and I Chat about Root Beer and C.H.U.D. 2

It all began in a far away land called Moscow, Idaho. I was a stressed-out student in a medical program the University of Idaho had just flung together called Neuro Applied Science and it took every inch of my soul. Not to mention working full-time at a sales job with a boss that was more of a kid than a leader. The year was 2009 and it was a cold and snowy night. I sat at my kitchen table taking a break from the madness I called “Tuesday” and escaped to the wonderland of a site that was X-Entertainment. A site that was full of humor, nostalgia and news on what Slurpee Kmart had available. Completely me.

There was a small community of people who would comment on various posts and articles and link their own sites to share. That is where I found Brian from Review the World dot com. Immediately I was blown away. Brian’s positivity, sense of adventure and zany trips to explore just about anywhere had me entertained for years. It is impossible to be in a bad mood after a trip with that guy.

Over the years we became pretty good pals taking part in joint reviews and even some projects with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula (X-Entertainment). Then, last month, Brian came down to North Carolina to visit and it was beyond a treat to have him over. Such a genuine dude of character and soul. It is great to know there are truly good people out in the world and it makes the trips on YouTube with Brian even better now that I know him.

So here is a part one of “Beers with Movie Sauce” featuring Brian from RtW. We chat about CHUD 2 and my favorite root beer, Abita. I had a few beers since we just returned from a party/BBQ so ignore my rambling and the way I say “like” every other statement.

The Move

So I moved this past week and it was quite they event. Of course it was an event! If I am involved, it’s going to be an event. So let me start this epic tale of how I moved an entire apartment alone in under two days. I know that might not seem like much of a feat but to a person like me it was so BACK OFF! ….sorry.

I live, as many of you know, in a small town in the northern sector of Idaho that is home to a huge University. During the summer months the town drops in population by about….everyone. The only ones around are the locals and the neurotic students who live in academia and refuse to accept that summer can be for fun too. I fall into the latter. But balancing a full-time job and research doesn’t leave much time for beer drinking and river floats. I am okay with that because really, summer vacation died years ago as well as it should have. If I am drunk at noon on a Tuesday sitting on a raft I need to reevaluate my commitments.

So, since there are not too many people around that means there are not too many people to help me move. No matter. I found a better place closer to campus and that’s a good thing since the 2010-11 winter forecast for the Northwest calls for something like an apocalypse of snow and my Georgia driving skills still don’t cut it for such weather. I can literally hit the campus with a football from my front porch. However…I must have been high when I toured the inside completely over looking the pink carpet and a wall color that brought up images from a Beatles song lyric “…yellow custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye…”. I get to that later.

Whenever I tackle a large project I tend to stand in a spot and stare, not knowing where or how to start. I know that things go in boxes and boxes go in a truck but the details overload my brain and if you stand close enough to me, I have been told, you can faintly hear the same alarms that a 737 has before it slams into the ground after being batted down by windsheer.

I do everything wrong while packing, like stack all my books in one astronomically heavy box and this is only after I get distracted halfway through by reading one of them because I forgot I owned it. Then I will pack another box with tissues and my collection of helium balloons. There is a reason I was never a bagger at the grocery store growing up. Guaranteed I would bag your milk, cat litter and eggs together and then tell you to go long.

I will say that I had help with the boxing of stuff and if I didn’t have that help, well, I would have a lot of broken shit. I even learned through observation how to do it! It’s somethin’ to add to the resume’. I am pretty grateful for that but unfortunately the hardest part was yet to come because the new place was not yet available and I would be on my own.

The day of the move was here and I was strategically set to transfer my stuff from apartment one, to truck, to apartment two without total confusion and minimal hernia. I really felt the only problem that would occur would be navigating the two section couch out the front door because it requires a certain angle and twisty motions to make it fit. While I was contemplating this geometrical dilemma there was a knock at the door. Peeking through the peak(p?)-hole I saw the type of visitor I really didn’t have time for: Jehovah’s Witnesses. Cheesus! It was 9am on a Saturday so who else could it be? I reluctantly opened the door and was greeted with a, “hello brother, do you have a few minutes to talk about the Word?”

“What word?”, I thought. I came so close to replying, “yep, I know the bird is the word, everybody knows that the bird is the word. Don’t you know that the bird is the word?” But instead I stood there and patiently listened to their mission and looked at their pamphlets. And then it hit me that perhaps there could be a barter between us.

I did this. As if I learned nothing from karma lessons in life, I conned the Jehovah Witnesses into helping me move my couch in return for a bible discussion later on in the week. Oh, and I gave them a made-up number too. Double farts.

Well, retribution was swift and immediate because when I went to move the Uhaul truck later in the day it completely died and I had to wait the next day for a replacement truck. Boppa Ooma Mow Mow.

Without going into a novel about the two-day war against gravity, stairs and knuckle-smashes I will just highlight a few key issues that will haunt me for time to come and why my next place with be a purchased ranch-style home and include professional movers.

My TV

I was given a TV from possibly one of the greatest people I have met during my time here in Idaho. It was a very generous gift but for a brief period of time I was certain that this gift was not out of love but sheer hate. The TV is an older model that has a 52″ screen give or take a few. But I don’t know what goes into the construction of this piece of technology because it’s 200 lbs of awkward weight displacement leads me to believe that it is full of water, lead and a dead midget that used to power the reception before everything went digital. It is quite possibly the worst thing to move in the history of pushing, pulling, lifting or setting down and doing it by one’s self up stairs is what I could only imagine to be like reverse child-birth. Once I have this thing set up in the den I think the first thing I am watching is porno because I feel that this TV needs to give me something back.

Futon

The funny thing about a futon is how many moving parts the frame has to make it transform from couch to bed. No matter which way you turn the damn thing to negotiate an obstacle, a lever or panel will come crashing down on a finger and cause you to involuntarily speak in tongues. I think I made noises similar to beluga whales mating because on my way up the stairs to my new apartment I heard two girls say “Oh my god, let’s take the other stairs. Something is wounded down there.” Remind me to light dog shit on their front door later, will ya?

Odds and Ends

When all the big items and boxes are finally moved, the little details are left in the old place and I have come to find out that this is the part that will cause fist-itches. I never knew how many pennies one can collect in a year but they are everywhere. God I hate them so. Because of the Uhaul dilemma I found myself in a race against the clock to do one last clean before the landlord showed up to do a final walk through. I was vacuuming like Charro on a four-foot coke rail. Right up to the point the vacuum found a penny causing the vacuum to go from “VROOOOROOOO” to “VROOOREEEEEEE”.

There is nothing like sacrificing a late move-out charge of $100 over one cent. But I made it just in time. I even got the deposit back too. I guess they where surprised that I was a neat tenant since this place was full of college kids that treat these units like Motley Crüe treats a Hyatt room.

So getting settled a new place is taking time. Well, that’s not true because I have collectively been in the place for a day since I have been on business trips since I dragged in the last piece of furniture. But yesterday I was able to come home and begin the second phase: unpacking. This is when I find out that little things like the stubby leg of the coach actually is important and not to be discarded. Oh and wires for all electronics shouldn’t be thrown into one box and tied in a knot. And that in a rush, I probably should have just thrown away my bananas rather than placing them in a box marked “random” and forgetting about them.

Also, dimensions are not always universal. Take my drawers.

HAHAHAHA! *shoots self*

For about 6 hours yesterday I painted the place because living with the current color is like living with your high school science fair awards displayed on the wall; people will notice and most likely not tell you there is a problem. I went to Home depot and $200 dollars later I have a weekend project. The pink carpet however will be a fight worth fighting. I just need to be in the same time zone for one fucking day to do it.

Oh! One more lesson I learned. No matter how careful you try, you will get paint on yourself so don’t wear your favorite pants. Actually, if it’s a latex based paint, do it in the nude. It washes off skin but clothing gets screwed. If you need me I will be freaking out the neighbors while painting with my windows open. Chao’!

Ginseng Cola and Watermelon Beer?

I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of soft drinks (or anything for that matter), but every so often I am tempted to try something and yap about it on here as if I know what I am talking about. Sort of like my annual Autumn beer review. While it is fun to get a buzz and carve Jack-O-Lantern faces in various items, the review should not be taken as a serious beer taste-test. I just needed a vessel for my shenanigans. So here is a quick article that will fill  my time off as a facade for being productive.

Tonight, I am going to review a few items that I picked up at the local Food Co-Op. To me, the Food Co-Op of Moscow, Idaho is a slice of heaven. There are so many international items, odd vegetables, organic anythings and hundreds of micro brews in the beer aisle that to shop there is less of a chore and more of a trip. Sure there are some die-hard organic-loving hippies but for the most part, there are people like me who just want to load the cart with oddities and spend $1.30 on a root beer. Maybe I am the weird one and the hippies are normal? Hmmm. No, I smell much better.

As you can see, the selection of the beer and sodas from around the US and world is pretty extensive. The really cool thing is the box full of old 6 pack holsters so you can create your own beer box of goodness. As a person who has an average appreciation for fine beer, much is wasted on me because one man’s heavenly nectar is another man’s bottle of yak piss and if it is less than pleasing, I have a habit of making this face. So, don’t expect me to be agreeable over a $10 bottle of beer when I am the type that has recently ordered a Happy Meal and an orange soda. But I did end up with a few gems and here they are.

Lola was promised a part in this review.

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer from 21st Amendment Brewery was something that I just could not pass up. I can’t tell if it was the watermelon flavor or the fact the can spoke to me through its impressive designs and company’s mission statement. Whatever the reason was, it ended up in the basket.

The can posed this beer to be simple in ingredients but shocking in originality. Both hold true from the weird combination of wheat and watermelon to the warning stating “Agitate before opening. Yeast inside”. Being the type of person who ignores words and warnings, I popped this can and drank it down as if it was a Bud Lite. Not a  Bud Lite!

The first thought I had, was eating a piece of watermelon and dropping it in a bag of day-old grass clippings. And then, instead of leaving the watermelon in the bag, you just pick it back up and keep on eating, rhine and all. It definitely is a wheaty, yeasty beer but after a few more sips, that taste subsides and a dry watermelon flavor permeates allowing the main attraction of this beer to be shown. I don’t know what I was expecting. Perhaps a Zima with a watermelon Jolly Rancher inside? No, but definitely not a medium body wheat. I love it for what it is; a cool concept in cooler packaging. Check them out here!

The following two are the colas that I needed to try. That is pretty much because the only three colas I have ever had were Coca Cola, Pepsi and R.C. and to me, each are only separated by a few varying degrees. I know the difference, but I am not the type to spit one over another out in protest.

I needed to try the organic and micro brewed type just so I can really define what cola is. In the past, I have been let down by most anything cola flavored just because it all tastes like soda burp. Whether it is gum or candy, I leave it up to major corporations to tell me what real cola is supposed to taste like.The homemade version intrigue me.

The one on the left is from the soda micro company Natural Brew and from the picture, its label seems to read “Band Crapter”. That can’t be right. Anyway, it’s defining feature is the Chinese ginseng root that promises sharper memory and motor skills. I don’t know. The taste however, was much like RC. No, it tastes exactly like RC. To the Royal Cola haters this might be a deal breaker but the ginsing…uh..”zing”, helped me learn French in a night. And I built a fort from the couch cushions, invited the neighbors and pelted them with rolled up socks.

The cola to the right is from Virgil’s Micro Company and this one was a little more pleasing. Perhaps it’s the 64 grams of sugar? I have really become a fan of Virgil’s anything. The root beer is the greatest root beer you will ever have. While the cola is just like Coke, the root beer is like an acid trip to Candy Land by way of Chutes and Ladders. Unbelievable. If I had ten they would probably be consumed so fast I would slip into a diabetic furry of zombie-like coordination and absurd statements like “I lost my January” or “Beanie Babies for President! Four more days! Four more days!” It’s better if I just stick to one a week. Here is what I am talking about.

This was perhaps the most in-congruent review I have ever done. I just needed an excuse to spend stupid money on stuff that economically sound folks would scoff at. I suppose that is why we have blogs. It is a great excuse to do most anything. I can’t tell you how many stupid things I have done, not because it was for the reasons of writing, but just because I wanted to do it. The blog only justifies my actions to others.

In other news, I saw Trick r Treat finally. I liked it. Not so much for the quality of the movie but for what it was trying to do. I loved The Creepshow feel and even more so, I absolutely loved the Halloweentown feel. Did I really just give props to a Disney movie and in the same sentence with The Creepshow while describing an R rated film? Bet your booberellas I did. If I keep going I might just throw a bone to Are You Afraid of the Dark from the ancient world of SNICK.

If you guys have nothing going on tonight, check out Stacie Ponder’s relatively new radio show, The Scare-ening that is live at 8:00 Pacific. It’s a horror-fun-good-time.

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