Beer Reviews – New Section

That’s right. The long awaited new section of the blog is finally ready to begin posting.

I’ve mentioned once or twice or three times that craft beer is HUGE in Michigan. I swear I read somewhere recently that said we have 444 breweries in Michigan, now that I’m googling it again it’s saying 122 craft breweries. We’ll go with 122 but that was from 2012, five years later and we can probably safely round up to the 200 marker. Practically every city is sporting it’s own personal brewery. The city I live in has two and Ann Arbor right next to us has six. I should notate that I’m only counting actual breweries, not brew pubs, tap houses or taverns. As our friend from New York who is in town as we speak says, “You Michigan people take your beer seriously.”

It’s true. In fact, it is so true that no one I know even drinks anything else besides craft beer. I personally do not drink beer, carbonation hurts my tongue, I’m weird. However, as someone who doesn’t drink beer, I know far too much about craft beer. My husband loves it, my uncle brews his own, and if you bring Coors, Miller or Pabst to a party, well you’re a dick. You’ve just become the pariah of the party.

We have craft beer festivals, home brew competitions, beer guilds and beer guides.

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http://www.michiganbeerguide.com

All of that being said, my husband will be providing beer reviews. Mostly Michigan craft beers, but you know, one or two other states hit the nail on the head when it comes to beer too. Each review will be of a specific beer, and once in a while, when we actually go to the brewery itself, we’ll review our experience as well.

To gear you up for future reviews, the next post in this section will be a beginner’s guide to styles of beer. Yes you heard me right, styles. IPAs, stouts, lagers, we’ll learn the differences between them all. Not every style is for everyone, just likes genres with books.

Do you see how much I care about you dear readers? Not only do I guide you to awesome reads and awesome eats, now I’ll guide you to awesome (and warn you away from not so awesome) beers as well.

Read, eat, drink and be merry!

Cannibalism – Book Review

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

4 out of 5 stars

“I also learned that normal behavior or not, sometimes cannibalism in the animal kingdom can get downright weird.”

Is anyone else a little hungry right now?

No?

Hmm.

Ninety percent of my reading is fiction but every once in awhile I get an intense itch to learn something and the weirder, the better. Problem is, sometimes I know way too much about the weird things to learn anything new. When it comes to cannibalism, this was not the case.

While highly informative, I was never bored and for me, that is an important factor in a non-fiction novel. I enjoyed the scientific research in every aspect of the book, even when bringing to light that sometimes, scientists can be a little too close-minded.

This probably isn’t for the queasiest of stomachs, I’ll admit to only getting nauseous over one section, human placenta eating. To be fair though, I have a pretty iron stomach and the subject matter doesn’t skeev me out like a lot of people.

So the moral of the cannibal story is, if you like facts and taboo subjects, this is definitely for you.

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Strawberry Crinkle Cookies

Cheap, easy, delicious! The whole batch was gone in less than 24 hours. (It made a good amount of cookies too.)

I calculated, this cookie recipe cost me $3.50 to make. Prepare for a very sticky dough, but if you quickly drop it into the powdered sugar and roll it around, it becomes much easier to handle. Based on the ingredients, you could easily switch up the flavors.

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Left side no sprinkles, right side sprinkles. (They didn’t stick very well.)

Recipe Here

Daydreaming

I really try not to write whiny posts but damnit buying a house is frustrating! I suppose if it were easy, more people would do it. When I’m completely done with the process, I’m going to have to write Cupcake’s Guide to Buying Your Dream Castle. I feel like I could better guide and inform people of the process than the banks or realtors do. Every time we meet/talk with the bank we’re blindsided with yet a new obstacle to overcome to get the house. Emotionally, every day is a surprise in the sense that I’m either totally relaxed and convinced that it’s going to work out OR freaking the fuck out and convinced that it’s never going to happen. You really test the quality of your deodorant on days like the second option.

Which leads to daydreaming. I sit and daydream or research fun things to do in our new town on my down time. The options are fantastic. The library looks killer from the outside. The amount of hiking trails, parks and dog parks are splendid. I hear new amazing things about the town all the damn time.

Which leads to WHAT IF WE NEVER GET TO LIVE THERE?! Que anxiety on the borderline of panic attack.

I made it to 30 without developing any gray hairs but that may be changing soon.

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Belated Birthday Haul

I’m spoiled rotten by the ones that love me and I’m not afraid to admit it. I had a fantastic birthday and decided I should flaunt some of my gifts.

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Flowers from my husband (he really knows how to pick the right ones for me) and my favorite chocolate milk. (Not pictured.)
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Birthday orchids from my uncle. I only recently have been able to keep indoor plants alive. :3
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My coworkers know me well.
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The most important! Birthday book haul. ^.^

 

AAANND, I hit 200 followers! I could just pinch your adorable little cheeks! Thanks for hanging out, talking about books, eating tasty treats, and ranting about anything and everything!

A Closed and Common Orbit – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

This was a masterful study of artificial intelligence and for that reason alone it was beguiling.

If you noticed that it took me a little longer than usual to finish, it is not the book’s fault. Life has been hectic and that is the only reason I didn’t sit down and devour it in one go.

Here we follow Lovey after she has made the transition into a body kit and scrubbed her previous memories clean. Now Sidra, she finds discovering her new purpose difficult. Adapting to other cultures, lacking the ability to lie about ones origins, and trying to find a way to connect with her new body has been a bit of chaos for someone used to being in total control.

At the same time, we explore Pepper’s peppered past. (Yeah, I went there.) Raised by an AI on an unfair planet, she struggled to rebuild a broken ship and get herself far away from a dying planet who had been nothing but unkind to her.

The two stories intertwine and dance apart across the novel and blend back together in a wholly satisfying ending.

I look forward to many more space operas to come from Becky Chambers. (Secretly, or not so secretly, hoping to see into the past and present of other characters from the Wayfarer in future editions to the story.)

Life in Light of Death – Book Review

2 out of 5 stars

We deny the need to look at death honestly, and we even deny that we are denying death.”

Turning 30? Read a book designed to make you more comfortable with dying!

The first half of this book contains very valid points that really do make you take another look at dying. For example, let’s pretend you gain immortality, then the planet dies. Let’s pretend science becomes advanced enough that you can just move planets, but now the sun is dying. Move to another galaxy (if feasible), but eventually the Milky Way galaxy and Andromeda are going to collide. You can try to keep running but eventually death will claim you one way or another.

Then, about half way through the book, the author decides to attempt to explain away ethical vegetarianism. I was immediately skeptical of why this was even brought up, and it turns out I was right to be. In a nutshell, in his reasoning, animals don’t experience existential dread and what is more cruel, a bullet in the head (quick death) or nature’s way of starvation, injury or old age? Here’s a short list of why these points are fucking stupid:

1. Science has not proven, in any shape or form, that animals do NOT experience existential dread.

2. He clearly doesn’t understand factory farming because the animals are not simply put out of their misery with a quick bullet to the skull.

3. He doesn’t know anything about hunting either because you don’t shoot animals in the skull.

The point of ethical vegetarianism is to not cause unwarranted suffering to animals for the purpose of one’s food. Even this isn’t 100% ethical because anything to do with the dairy industry produces suffering and death. Nay, the only people who can truly claim to be innocent of causing any animal suffering and death are vegans.

But I digress, because I still don’t understand why the author bothered to bring this up except maybe perhaps to try to make himself feel better about not understanding vegetarianism/veganism whatsoever, despite his attempt at being both.

The last half of the book is redundant. He essentially goes, YOLO, YOLO, YOLO, YOLO, YOLO, YOLO. (You may only live once but you can repeat the same shit until the end of the book.)

Dirty Thirty

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, no? Between the holiday and putting an offer in on a house, I’ve been severely lacking in the blog and reading departments. Hopefully, that will change soon but this past week has just had too much excitement to sit down on the internet.

I turn 30 today! My husband is already complaining about the smell of moth balls and icy hot and handing me coffee mugs with ‘OLD’ written on them. I expect a full week before the old jokes die down.

My birthday present to myself? Buying a house. We found THE house. The offer has been accepted and now we enter the closing process. It’s a double learning experience because we are buying directly from the seller and have to do all the work ourselves. Thankfully I have an awesome bank (and an aunt who’s a lawyer) to guide us through the process. Once all the major hurdles have been crossed, I’ll post pics of the adorable new dwelling of the infamous Cupcakes and Machetes.

As for the rest of the day…

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