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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How To Succede At Failure ...

Those of you following my "life" on Twitter know of my recent pursuit of acting roles - you can blame B.Y.O.B. TV for that.  After doing that show, I figured it would be a small leap into extra work, and from there ... who knows?  Maybe a paycheck steady enough that I can stay on at The Brewing Network and keep writing scripts.  Anything to not have a 9-5 job again.  Not that my job was bad, because it wasn't.  It was great, and I was great at it.  Working from home just suits me better.

Today started out like many of mine do - lots of coffee, little food, pit of self-pity to roll around in. I happened to get a call around 3pm asking if I could be in Oakland by 4pm for a shoot.  "Um ... yes?"  And just like that, I landed a role.  Jason Petros would soon become ... "Bust Cop 2".  Villans, wet yourselves now.

The show is called, "I (Almost) Got Away With It, and I have no idea where it airs, or when, or even if it is good or not.  It's one of those re-enactment style deals, where they splice in interviews with the idiot criminal in between moderately acted flashback scenes.  Fuck it, it's a pay check, and who am I to disparage something for it's quality - I put out "Lunch Meet".

Firing along the 24, my head is swimming.  By the time I'm in Oakland on set, it's at the bottom of the deep end, being pulled down by the pool cleaner. So many emotions going through my head, it was actually hard to make sense of it.  I was - at the same time - confused, happy, scared, frightened, shitting myself, worried, anxious, tired, nervous, and maybe happy.  But I'm not sure on that last one.

The set was small - just some back alley in West Oakland.  The people were nice, and I had a few laughs with some of the other guys while we waited.  That's me though, Mr. Super-Eager-To-Meet-New-People ... Eventually I'm costumed to be a cop and again I am sent back to the RV to wait and pretend I wasn't packing a hot steamer in my shorts, laid sometime back between "Yes I can come in for the shoot" and "Yeah that's me - Bust Cop".

Blah blah blah and ... it's time for me!  Well, not really ME so much as "Any one of the cops that is dressed and ready to go, I need him out here now!"  I get rushed to the trailer, get fitted for my belt, and head to the set (the car across the street from the trailer) to walk through the scene with the Director, Evan.

"OK, Jason.  So you are really just going to pull the car here, get out, and just, you know, arrest Brian.  Ok?"

"Um ... sure, you got it."

"Ok great."

"Um ... what do - what do I actually SAY to him?"

"Just something like 'You are under arrest for DWI'.  Then cuff him."


At that point I realize I'm in over my bald head.  Unless I'm drunk, I don't know how to be dominate.  And I've never cuffed someone with anything that wasn't furry.  At any rate, we did the scene four times, and after some quick pick-up shots, I was cut loose.  The whole time I was standing there I felt like the biggest fraud in Oakland.  I was certain the cast and crew could see right through me, could see that I had never done something like this, and I was doubly sure someone on set was calling the casting director to ask what cruel joke it was they sent to the set in place of an actor.  Walking into the RV after my scenes was like facing St. Peter.  After all, here was this "guy", coming to their set, dirtying up their towels, stinking up the joint.  "Fraud", they thought.  "Waste of our time", they screamed at me with their averted eyes.  Ok yes I'm being very dramatic, but it's true - I felt like a total failure.  Not because I was told I fucked everything up.  And not that I was really asked to do things a different way.  I just hate anything that I do, and I hate it worse when I do things that people see.

Coming out of this, I really am not sure if I want to keep going down this road.  The time on set was great, and everyone was really very nice.  But I may just be too sensitive to be in front of a camera.  I feel much better hidden behind a mic, or a keyboard and screen.  Acting, especially your first time, can really be a mind-fuck if you are not secure in yourself and your talent.  You have to be ready to give everything you have and not hear one encouraging word when you are done.  You just have to pick up your guts off the floor, shove them back in, and ask "where to now?"

Even now, after my second Old Fashioned, I'm not sure if I went at all.  I mean, I'm just Jason Petros.  Clown.  Co-Host and Second Chair on the radio.  Neophyte screenwriter.  Chicken owner. Asshole.  That's hard enough to live up to.

At any rate, check out Season 4, episode 7 of "I (Almost) Got Away With It".  Airing Who-Knows-When, on channel Fuck-If-I-Know.  Look for the fat cop arresting the drunk guy - that's me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It seems like craft beer folk insist on doing things differently than other beer drinkers.  They have to have more of this, less of that, and do it in a different shaped glass than has ever been created ever in the world ever.  It has always amused me that the reason most bars will not go from the shaker "iced tea" glass to more nasal-focused bar ware is due to the general population that would steal this new, unique glass.  Once again, the swill drinkers are holding us down!  Whatever.

I agree with the glass shape debate - the shaker glasses are crap and I hate drinking out of them.  Personally, I really enjoy the Imperial Pint glasses, with the little bulge near the top. I don't care if it focuses the aromas, gathers the head,or gets me laid, I really just like it because it feels better in my gorilla-sized hand.  Fact. 

One thing that sort of blew my mind about glass ware is that many breweries in Belgium have different shaped glasses for each brewery.  Fucking nuts man.  Some breweries are doing it here, encouraging you to drink your beers out of a tulip glass for all of their beers, so you get the true and intended flavors of the beers. Which kind of goes against my core ideals.  I don't want you to tell me how I should enjoy my beer.  And it led me to this experiment: 

I love sour beers, and I have always been told to drink them from a tulip glass.  Some beers I have had this way have been remarkable, others not so much.  Some beers I have had in a shaker glass and have been wonderful.  So today I decided to start figuring out if different beers from the same brewery would do better in different glasses, in hopes of better enjoying my sour beers when I can afford to drop $20 on one.  

My first beer is Consecration from Russian River.  Batch 3. Bottled in 12/08.  Yeah. 

I chose this guy, because I have had it a couple of times before and I never really cared for it.  The currant flavors distracted from the sour notes - the thing I really love about sour beers. I thought this would be a good beer to begin my experiment with. 

I set up three different shaped glasses - a tulip, what I called a narrow glass (stolen from a tour of the AB plant), and what I called a wide glass. 

I filled them all with the same amount of liquid and smelled them all first, then tasted them all cold.  After, I went back and smelled/tasted again after giving them time to warm.  


The preferred glass for sours.  Cold, the aroma was of dark sugars, the currants in this beer really came through, but that's about it.  I got no sour or tart aromas, no malt, no oak - nothing of any interest.   When I tried some, there was a nice bright acidity and an unexpected fruit-forward-ness, mixed with some of those dark sugar notes from the aroma.  The tangy/sour flavors came out, with a light mouthfeel. 

As this beer warmed though, some of those nice funky aromas poked their heads out.  Still not much in the way of oak or malt.  Sipping this beer after a warming period, I got some of the barrel flavors, along with a pleasant jammy note and a moderate booze quality.  


Side note to this glass - it had the longest-lasting head of all three.  For whatever it's worth. 

Smelling this guy, it had a much brighter fruit aroma to it than the tulip glass had. I was even getting some malt notes.  No sour/tart aromas though.  Cold, it had a firm acidity with more barrel notes than the tulip.  The first sip out of this glass was almost puckering - a very strong sour flavor, which made my day. It had some good jammy qualities to it.  Just a very pleasant experience. 

When it had warmed a bit, there was some funk in the aroma, and the bright fruit only intensified.  The flavors changed, too.  The puckering sour gave way to a more balanced (and enjoyable) sour/tart combo.  I got more barrel tones, and no real booze qualities.  


BNA 4 glass.  I love these things, and sometimes I do drink sours out of them.  Cold, the aromas were of a sweeter fruit than the other two glasses.  More plum/tobacco notes than the others, with hints of oak and wine.  It had more tart than sour flavors, if that makes any sense.  Heavy, heavy fruit/currant flavors on the back-end, and  not much else. All-in-all, the most balanced of the three beers.  

Warm, this didn't change much.  It still had the deeper currant notes to it, but the oak and the sour/tart really balanced out to form this very complex beer.  I did get more booze out of it, though, which wasn't all that great.  

When all was said and done, I really enjoyed this beer out of the AB glass over the tulip or the wide.  I felt that for this particular beer, you should really be focusing on the currant and barrel notes, and the other glasses really didn't combine them for me in a way that was pleasant.  Try to get yourself a glass like this and see if I'm crazy or not.  I will say that while I was tasting the second glass, I ripped a nasty fart and had to leave the room for a bit.  Not saying it interfered with my tastings, just putting it on the record as an unknown factor. 

I will say that I'm still not a fan of this beer.  I don't like my sour beers to be dark fruit or boozy/hot like this one is, even after three years of aging.  Who is it going to piss off when I say that I drank half the bottle in the 20 min it took to do this experiment, and I totally dumped the other half down the drain?  

Did this help?  Was it interesting?  Did it maybe inspire you to try some glassware trials on your own?  I hope so.  Let me know what you liked, or didn't like in this, and any glassware you want to see tried out. 

Tulip glasses should not be the default glass.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

IPA Day is Here - and why you shouldn't give a hop

Ok, so maybe not the best title in the world, but oh well. Today's headache comes from my obsession with hating on IPA.  I don't really know what it is that makes me lash out at the most popular beer on the West Coast (or as I like to call it, the Hop Coast.  Because I'm clever), but I just can't help it.  To me, the style is just a bore.  You have a base malt and too many hops and I fail to see how that is an interesting style choice.  Sure, I have had a few good IPAs, and even fewer good ones, but I have never had one that makes me go all gushy for them.

That is just my opinion, and I realize that my views are probably bullshit to you hop heads out there.  I'm fine with that.  Honestly.  And I'm ok with everyone jumping on that IPA train, I suppose.   My issue stands with the #IPAday thing going around today.

Part of being craft beer drinkers is that we help to grow awareness of craft beer in general.  This silly movement today of celebrating one style over another serves to drive a wedge between fringe beer drinkers and the hard core foamaphiles that we craft beer drinkers like to believe we are.  Instead, why not just promote Craft Beer in general?  Why all this stylist garbage floating around Twitter today?   Is IPA really the style we need to promote?    Will that help us get more beer drinkers?

Everything you write, everything you promote matters.  It matters to the non-beer drinkers.  It matters to the fringe folks who get excited over Fat Tire.  You are a Craft Beer ambassador, not some style monkey.

So, that's my stance.  I'm looking to understand the IPA movement and this whole #IPAday thing.   I just don't get it.  Anyone else?