I feel like I rushed the production of this martini, and its quality has suffered noticeably as a result. It seems to be doing its job regardless.

This afternoon, while the guy from Charter was busy fixing my internet connection, I started bottling my beer. The final numbers are in, and damn am I ever pleased. This brew is a full-on unapologetic wheat beer, five percent alcohol by volume, and it came out to yield 46 twelve-ounce bottles.

Right before bottling I pulled a sample for my hydrometer, as well as for my own personal tasting, and I’m quite confident that this first batch turned out just fine. It tastes great, albeit flat at this point, and since I haven’t yet gone blind or witnessed the walls melting I’m going to risk calling it a success. In seven days I will have for myself some Proper Beer.

Some other uncollected thoughts:

I finally found myself a decent (actually, an amazing) haircut here in Hood River. I’ve been going to Hairmasters over near Safeway, and I can speak with absolute confidence that while they might be “masters” of something, it is certainly not hair. My hair is not complicated, and yet every time I go in there I walk out looking like I had a tussle with a weed whacker.

No, I finally gave up on the trans-global-conglomerate haircut chain and went straight to Cathy’s Barber Shop, where I found myself a Proper Haircut. I told Cathy I had this shaggy thing going on that I kinda liked, but that I was looking for a bit of a clean-up. While at Hairmasters my ambiguity has consistently resulted in disaster, Cathy did an absolutely wonderful job with it, and tossed in some nice texturing to boot.

We both waxed poetic for a spell regarding the life of the self-employed/independent, and just like that I was sold. No other barber shop will do. And mind you, what Cathy runs is a pure-bred barber shop, complete with an awesome old-school barber chair. She doesn’t run no hair salon or perm parlor or epidermal treatment facility, she runs a barber shop. Walk-ins only. No reservations. And I’ll go so far as to say that Cathy’s is a bargain at twice the price.

matt pond PA has a new EP coming out, the cover to which I was initially opposed but have since warmed up to. During my most recent exodus to Walla Walla I spun an MP3 CD with my complete collection of matt pond PA, and only after listening to Emblems again did I understand what he was doing with the art direction for his upcoming EP.

Honestly, I now consider the art for If You Want Blood to be a stroke of cross-referential brilliance, and it furthers my conviction that Matt Pond may perhaps be one of the most talented singer/songwriters alive today. The songs he writes, they weave a coherent tapestry of message, place and emotion. One could liken his works to the mythology of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, with their recurring, self-referential themes and characters.

Needless to say, I’ve pre-ordered my copy.