Let’s start with a little background. You all remember your first crush, right?
Mine was Fred Savage, circa 1988. Every week, I stalked the TV listings for new episodes of The Wonder Years. I became obsessed with the movie Little Monsters and found a new appreciation for The Princess Bride. I daydreamed and schemed, concocting fantasies in which the object of my affection would move to Washington state, enroll at my school, and profess his love for me in front of my third grade locker.
A pipe dream, obviously.
Twenty-three years later, armed with a DVR, I can relive those formative years every single night.
I’ve known for a while that one of our odd little cable stations airs vintage sitcoms, often at weird hours of the day. (They also show Family Ties, which I also enjoyed…however, Alex P. Keaton was no Kevin Arnold. And by the time Leo DiCap came on there, I was over it.)
For some reason, it only recently occurred to me to unleash the DVR on this station, a veritable goldmine of quality eighties programming. The machine went to work, stockpiling episodes in its memory bank. And now, instead of spending my Monday night with that Bachelor crap (or whatever you kids are watching these days), I get to have my own little mini-marathon of this:
Eight-year-old me is extremely jealous.
Childhood crushes aside, though, The Wonder Years was fantastic television. It’s funny how elements of the show that I never noticed or paid attention to when I was a kid – like the relationship between Kevin’s parents, Norma and Jack – are now interesting and relatable.
And Winnie Cooper? Well, I pretty much wanted to be her.
It’s humiliating to admit this, but I insisted on wearing my brown hair long and straight, with bangs, because I seriously thought that if anything happened to Danica McKellar, maybe they would call me in as an understudy.
(Uh, yeah…not quite.)
When I was little, she could do no wrong. But watching now, I’m realizing: girlfriend could be a real bitch sometimes. And she was kind of (understandably, I guess, given her family drama) messed up in the head.
I’m still working my way through the episodes on my DVR, but I already know that they don’t wind up together in the end. I remember feeling outrage at the series finale when I watched it the first time around. I’m guessing I’ll probably feel a little differently today.
Anyway. That’s how I’ve been spending my free time lately.
How about a beer?
Peak Organic’s Maple Collaboration is an American Red/Amber Ale made with locally-sourced Maine oats and Vermont maple syrup.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. Would it be a pancake in a bottle? (And would that be a good thing?)
As it turns out, the maple flavor is understated, presenting itself briefly and pleasantly on the finish of each sip. And there’s not much bitterness here, for a red – perhaps another byproduct of the syrup. The oatmeal goes completely unnoticed. Some BA reviewers griped about noticing the alcohol, but I really didn’t. Overall, it’s an amiable beer with a little hint of something sweet. 6.7% ABV.
Bottom line: Nothing earth-shattering, but enjoyable. (Purchased at Tasty Beverage, $6.50/big bottle)
Ok, back to my DVR stash….