Remember when you were in grade school and one of the first assignments upon starting a new school year was to compose a short essay on how you spent your summer vacation? Well, this is like that. Except it’s about Christmas. And I’m not in grade school anymore.
How I Spent My Christmas Vacation
by Anderson Campbell
I spent my Christmas vacation sick and on the couch. Some evil infested my lungs. I’m pretty sure it was either a barbarian horde or Cylons. Every time I coughed, it sounded like I had an elephant seal trapped in my lungs, begging to be set free. Poor seal. This internal battle between sea mammals and jilted cyborgs continued until my fever broke one night. I woke up covered in sweat, pajamas drenched, sheets drenched, pillow drenched. The seal had escaped.
When one is ill, what does one do with oneself? Read and watch TV, of course. That’s what took up most of my time. I read Mitch Steele’s excellent new book, IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes, and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. For a beer geek like me, it was a great read. There is a deep history to the style and Mitch does a great job excavating that history. I’m sure that many homebrewers are disappointed with his recipe formulations, however. Instead of scaling them to a typical 5-gallon batch, he lists ingredients proportionally by weight. I didn’t find this to be a big deal, though. Why? Because I can do math. It’s really not that hard or mysterious. It’s just math.
I watched a number of different things. TV shows: Battlestar Galactica, Twin Peaks, Mythbusters, and Oddities; Movies: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, A Christmas Carol (the animated one with Jim Carrey as Scrooge), The Muppet Movie, The Secret of Kells, Glengary GlenRoss, and The Way; A bunch of documentaries: Deep Water, How Beer Saved the World, Beer Wars, Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Ride the Divide, Boys of Bonneville, and 10 mph. Praise Jebus for Netflix.
I’m on the mend now, just when my vacation is nearly over. What about you? How did you spend your holidays?