Tag Archives: newtopic

New Topic: Belgium and its Beers

I should come clean. I haven’t given the topic of pilsners the due respect it deserves.  But honestly? I couldn’t think of anything to do with it aside from more taste tests, and since I’ve been overkilling on that idea with the gins, there was no clear path that I could go down that interested me enough to explore.  So I’ve set that topic aside for the time being, hopefully to revisit when it is appropriate to do so.

This leaves an opening for other topics to explore , and, thanks to the miracles that are frequent flyer miles, I’ve decided that I can afford a trip to Belgium, and that I should focus on Belgium’s beers in order to have more first hand experiences for the book I’ve been researching, writing, and trying to sell, over the past three years.

So, this means a new topic, entitled “Belgium and its beers”. I’ll try to keep you abreast of my behind the scenes experiences in covering this topic, and hopefully it will make for some interesting writing and reading.

And, as an added bonus, as I’ve already have tried what is arguably the best beer in the world, I’m under no pressure nor obligation  to focus my energy on that, although I’ll probably try to head their visitor center, if only to see what it’s like.

New Topic: Modern Art

Full Fathom Five - Jackson Pollock

It is time to move off of New York City as a topic for this blog, at least for the time being.  We went, we saw, we drank. It was good. It was very good. But if I’m going to set aside discussions on what makes New York City interesting for me, I need to replace it with something else. The question was what?

The answer came after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking into the Modern and Contemporary Art exhibit. We left feeling as if something was being said, and yet we were unable to understand what was being conveyed. This lead to visible frustration on the part of my friends and myself, and in talking afterwards, it became clear that we simply didn’t have the skill set to even begin to comprehend what was going on. And much like anyone who wants to know, but is continually frustrated in that  goal, we responded with anger.

This is a bias, pure and simple. We hate modern art, because we cannot comprehend it. Because we cannot comprehend it, we dismiss it as childish, with the phrase “my child could do that!” being uttered so often that it has become a cliché.

It was over drinks that we recognized this bias. We admitted that the fault in mis-comprehension may not be with the artist, but with us. As such, it was up to us to learn the “language” enough to come to an educated opinion, rather than a reactionary one. Thus, the new topic for Accidental Hedonist – Modern Art.

This is a big topic, one which may last longer than nine months. A good dollop of art history needs to be covered in order to set up the modernist movement. This is going to require time.

But it sounds like something we need to do. Anyone else want to come along?



And the Winner is…

Sure. sure, the website has been down for about half of the voting period. And the amount of people who voted could easily be counted in the dozens. But my word is my word, and I’m here to announce the winning topic. For the trip to Europe in September, I will research and write about …

Beer! Specifically Pils and Pilsners!

What this means is that I’m going to be taking a trip to the town of Plzen in the western half of the Czech Republic. Additionally, I’ll plan on some basic taste tests, and other plans that I will reveal at a later day.

So, more beer drinking it is!

New Topic: New York City

The next topic on the agenda is New York City, not coincidentally the city where my friends and I are planning on visiting over Memorial Day weekend.

As the Big Apple is notably huge, there is no possible way my friends and I could cover the topic and still do it justice. But as my English professor said, way back when, “When a topic is too large, pare it down, pare it down, pare it down.”

With that advice, we’re will be looking at more specific items, and trying to bring them into the grand history of New York City. Some of the topics include the American Museum of Natural History, Delmonico’s, Broadway, and other tidbits of information that are picked up along the way.


New Topic: The Martini

After completing the Whiskey book oh so many years ago, I found myself, quite frankly, burnt out on whiskey. I wouldn’t admit it to anyone at the time…after all, I had a book to promote. But in my heart, the aged spirit did nothing to lift my own. In an act more of rebellion than that of sophistication, I turned to the simple martini. And, with great intent, I went about learning absolutely nothing about the drink, other than to despise those who order Vodka martini’s.

Starting today, I go about seeking to right that wrong. If I’m going to consume this drink on a regular basis, then I should, by rights, know what the hell I’m drinking. Consider today the kickoff of the topic of the simple martini. The list of questions I intend on answering include (but are not limited to):

  • What makes a good martini?
  • What is its history?
  • Does the glass matter?
  • Why do martini connoisseurs chuckle at the folks who drink Vodka martini’s?
  • What the hell is gin?

I’ll admit upfront to another, less interesting goal that I wish to accomplish. With this whole new format of Accidental Hedonist, I want to have a topic that is somewhat less complicated than others, and can be accomplished in a short amount of time. I give this one roughly six months, and the final trip being a night of Taste Testing various martini incarnations at a local watering hole that has yet to be determined.

I also have plans to keep you, the reader involved. These are to be announced sometime relatively soon.

So get out your best martini glass, find your favorite gin, and let us have at it!