Tonight was supposed to be Eastside Sing night for me—the Haydn—but instead I ended up meeting Tom Harpel for a drink at the Stumbling Monk. This is an obscure (in a more literal sense than normal—there’s not even a sign outside) bar in Capitol Hill with no food, no decor, and mostly Belgian and Belgian-inspired beers available. So naturally I had to go, and it was close to where Tom was so it was even convenient.
Tom brought pizza (see the part about not serving food) and we chatted for a while about various stuff—object oriented programming, SQL skillz, beer, east coast vs. west coast, celebrity spotting—and had a relatively conservative number of beers each. I had a Dick’s Silk Lady, an Oregonian beer that contrary to their claims is not exactly light but certainly carries the classic Belgian esters, though with little of the associated complexity on the palate. Better in that department was the Liefman’s Goudenband, the classic darker Flemish beer that is considered a classic of the Oud Bruin (Old Brown) style. It was good but sweeter than I remembered, though still sour enough to raise an eyebrow.
The real danger, of course, was the Monk’s proximity to Half Priced Books. Fortunately I escaped with self control mostly intact. (I couldn’t pass up the Ivor Noël Hume book about Martin’s Hundred, having grown up next door, and the illustrated Comus was a steal.)
Anyway, on the way out I thanked Tom and noted in passing that I would be at the Sonic Youth show tomorrow. “Oh!” he said, “I’ll be there too.” Apparently Rachel is quite the fan. So this is turning into Tandoku week—never a bad thing.