It's been a relatively quiet week here on the Western front - the usual non-mountain weekend due to the damn crutches, some bad Cable TV, and the occasional walk/hop to the end of the street to look at the mountains. On the cancer update: I had my blood counts taken on Monday and the nurse was really positive about the results, not only am I on the high end (good) for a dude going through chemo, but the counts are as high as non-chemo people. So what does that mean? It means I've bounced back from Round #3 and am waiting to give the Cancer b*tch another slap when Round #4 starts next Thursday.
Now, for my personal ramblings about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness....
We were fortunate to have a friend from Cincy, Dave Schuster as a 'part time' houseguest over the past week during his post-college graduation quest to visit local microbreweries here in the Front Range. He's a home brewer, and eventually hopes to get into the beer brewing business back in the 'Natty (that's Cincinnati for those of you who don't understand) since he's graduated from UC. Best of luck to him, he'll do well.
His visit has me all lathered up with my cravings for a nice tall cold one (or two). As an individual who is primarily made up of Irish/French Canadian/Native American DNA (with a bit of England/Wales thrown in the mix) it's my genetic duty to drink beer. If you think about these three ethnic groups and their 'history' with grain-based beverages, it's a wonder I've never been to an AA meeting. In keeping with these genetic predispositions of the Baker (changed from Boulanger because racists in early 20th century Massachusetts wouldn't hire French Canadians) clan, I'll confess I do like beer.
My oncologist at Rocky Mountain Cancer Center, Dr. Hinshaw, is Romanian & really nice, but very stern in an Eastern European kind of way. If any of you traveled over to Eastern Europe in the first 5 years after the collapse of Communism, you know what I mean. When we first started the chemo regimen, she was VERY CLEAR that no alcohol or drugs (sorry all you Medicinal Mary Jane pushers) should be in my system during the entire 6 rounds. This fact, coupled with my new found (thanks Mom and Amanda) organic diet has led me away from the beverage I was born to love. So I've done my duty as a good order-taking WASP soldier in the fight against Cancer. Let me tell you, not having the occasional cold one has really sucked.
My love of beer isn't in an alcoholic "I'm shaking until I get my fix" way, it's more an appreciation of the tangy refreshing, hoppy taste that is SOOOO good on a hot dry summer day - which is most of them up here in Denver. Dave's visit reminded me that we live in one of the greatest brewing cities in the world and MY OH MY do I miss having a nice, cold Fat Tire courtesy of the artisans at New Belgium Brewing Company up in Fort Collins, CO.
Fat Tire is one of my favorite beers, and while I enjoy it I have to be in the right mood. The rest of the time (85%) my favorite is none other than the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life. Quit snickering you yuppie sons-of-b*tches, the High Life is where it's at. You won't admit it in public, but on every camping trip with your buddies or nights out with the girlfriends in the Midwest you've had the High Life and you've loved it.
You see, the High Life is a fine beer for those of us who were formed north of the Mason Dixon Line, west of Shittsburgh, and east of the Mighty Mississipi. It has great graphics, a not-too-filling taste, a cool bottle, and most importantly is a lot less expensive than just about every other beer except for Pudweiser, Natty Light, and the Beast. Besides, if you're a true M-Westerner you don't need to flout your bank with a nice expensive beer, 'cause you're a cheapskate at heart and would rather have the 'best crappy beer' on a regular basis than squeeze a few extra bucks out of the wallet.
Since it looks like my chemo treatments are stretching through the end of September I won't be able to have a real beer (O'Douls doesn't count- don't ask) until October or November depending on what the Radiation doctor says. But you can bet that when I'm done - I'm heading up to the High Life for some tangy refreshment. O'Douls? to quote the High Life Man "I DON'T THINK SO!"
The High Life has the best beer commercials on TV. Who doesn't love this guy and his anti-elitist beverage attitude? Now if only we could get him as our spokesperson for the fight against cancer?
Stay strong, hug your loved ones, go to your clubhouse for me, and have a nice tall High Life for this weekend.