You know, it’s been a while since I posted anything about the stuff I like. Except games. I suppose I HAVE posted a few things about the gaming phenomenon, but in those posts I really didn’t tell you anything about the games I’ve been enjoying of late. So let’s rectify that, shall we? Last week here in the United States we celebrated Thanksgiving, and during that slow and thank-filled day, I had time to reflect on some of the things I was enjoying. The things I am, in fact, thankful for. And now, whether you want to read all about it or not, I’m gonna share. Indeed, here are some of the things that Will Kenyon is digging these days- the things I’m drinking, watching, reading, playing, and listening to.
Beer and Booze
1) A few weeks ago, I was at Midway Pub in East Atlanta and got to hang out with some of the promotional reps of some of my favorite breweries, including Terrapin out of Athens, GA. That’s how I heard about the drop the next day of Terrapin’s So Fresh & So Green, Green. I really like fresh hop beers, so naturally I went to Green’s the next day and picked up a bottle. Holy shit. There are a lot of fresh hop beers running around on the market today, but the in-your face greenness of this beer’s aroma and flavor is the best I’ve ever had. If you want to know that the stuff you’re drinking truly comes from God’s green Earth, then this is your beer. Of course, it’s sold out across Atlanta, so that one bottle’s all I’m gonna get for a while.
2) I tweeted about this next one right after I had a bottle. And believe me, as good as it is, one bottle’s all you need of Southern Tier’s Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout. Hell, it’s like a dessert - you might not want more than a small glass. But you’ll want it, oh yes, you will. It’s in limited supply, and it’s probably gone by now, but if you see it anywhere, have some. Skip the tiramisu or the cake and have the crème brûlée instead. IT TASTES JUST LIKE THE ACTUAL DESSERT. And it’ll get you drunk, too, so that’s a bonus.
3) Eddie lives down the street. I’ve known Eddie for 10 years. Eddie and I have remained friends despite some trepidation and some serious falling outs. And now, Eddie has notched an enormous amount of respect from me, because Eddie is doing something I’ve only ever talked about. He’s opening his own store and selling something he has a passion for: beer. Eddie Holley is indeed one of the very few people I know who is more into beer than I am, and now, because of him, I have a new place to go for my beer adventures, and a new guide to show me the way. Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market opens this week, folks. I’ll be among the first in line. If not the first. You should be the second.
Books and Literature
4) Last June I met Colum McCann at a writing festival. He had just won the National Book Award for Let The Great World Spin, and he turned out to be a cool cat, so when I got back home to Atlanta, I bought his book and put it on my bedside table. It sat there through the summer while I finished up a few books already in the queue. Then, about a month ago I picked it up and started reading. Ironically, you’d think something so beautiful and rich would be like candy to a baby - that I’d read the whole thing in a couple of days. But no. It’s taken me over a month. This bothered me at first, but then I realized why I’m taking such an inordinate amount of time with this particular book.
I don’t want it to end.
5) I haven’t started Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book yet (see above), but it’s next in the queue and I’m giddy for it. I’m so ready to start Gaiman’s latest children’s book (although I’ve been told that some of the concepts are WAY above children’s heads, and that some of it’s downright scary) that I may start reading it alongside McCann’s book. I’ve been know to simultaneous read like that before. This might be a time for it. I love Neil Gaiman. He doesn’t know this, probably doesn’t know who I am from Adam, but he’s a friend of mine.
6) Twenty-two people are reading MY book right now. Some of those people are agents and editors. Most of them are my friends. I’m excited to hear what each and every one of them have to say about The Talented Boys. Is it as over-the-top as I think it is? Is it as quirky as David Wong’s John Dies At The End? Is it a page-turner? Did I get the characters right? How was that sex scene? Did my changes at the end work? Was it scary? Gross? Funny? Pins and needles, people, pins and needles.
7 & 8 ) I have some friends who play a lot of different games. In truth, I don’t actually play that many, at least compared to them - although the average person not initiated into the world of gaming might say my 300 or so games is a lot. Still, when I find a game I like, I tend to be loyal to it, and while I’m always looking for something new and cool to try out, I never fear busting out an old standby and playing the shit out of it. Many of my games are worn thin - I’m currently wearing out my third copy of Twilight Imperium.
Two newish games have emerged in the past weeks as being top of the heap for me, though. I’ll move on to my favorite standby in a moment. For now, allow me to introduce you to Glory To Rome and Innovation - two CARD games that hit that sweet spot for me. In Glory To Rome you’re a Roman Senator trying to rebuild burned buildings, all for the glory of Rome (and since you win the game by having the most influnce, it’s also for the self-serving purpose of asserting your power over your constituents and fellow Senators). In Innovation - which has, appropriately enough, a fairly innovative mechanic - you’re a society trying to build your scientific and societal strengths. I’ve heard it said that it’s Civilization stripped down to just the tech tree, and that seems accurate enough of a summation.
9) My favorite standby at the moment is Railroad Tycoon. I took it down to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving in the hopes of playing it with my brother and sister-in-law and… my daughter Madeleine. It didn’t get played, and the hole that omission left in me was remarkable enough to, well, remark upon. I DID get to play it this weekend with my friends Jim and Ken, and now I just want to play it again and again. I am really anxious to play it with Mad.
And… crap. This post’s already exceeding the word count I like to maintain with my posts. So I suppose I’ll have to sign off for now and hold my choices in Movies, Music, and Television (numbers 10 through 15!) until next time. Which will be soon, I assure you. Maybe tomorrow, probably Tuesday. In the meantime, digest what I’ve said - consider these things my recommendations, and if you think I might have any modicum of taste, check ‘em out. Except the Terrapin, of course. It’s sold out, so we’re all out of luck there.
Hmm. Maybe Eddie can hook me up.