The Merit of Lists

December 24, 2008 at 3:48 am (Beer, Our Favorite Things, Uncategorized, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , )

(I suppose lists have been on our collective Lush mind … I actually started writing this a few days before Jane’s post on lists, and am finally getting around to finishing!)

About one year ago, I decided that I was going to start a little project in my beloved Moleskine: each day, I would write a list, with themes dependent only on my whim that day.

As many small projects in this vein will do, it failed miserably. I’ve still an only partially-filled notebook, with a few random lists from the experiment, titled things like “Kitchen Equipment I Should Get Some Day” and “Children’s Authors I Should Check Out More” and “Good Dog Names”. I had a separate notebook for the restaurants I wanted to visit, with space for reviews of each as I finally checked them out, and the back entries I need to do for that one are astounding: I went to Schwa back in May for pete’s sake, and still haven’t gotten around to that writeup. I have the menu in my room to jog my memory of that great night, but there is always another task–another list to write, perhaps–that gets in the way of completing it. Some day!

The lists I mentioned just now are personal: the enumeration of pleasing objects and ideas is for me a pleasure unto itself, and the purpose of the project was solely based around the fact that it would make me feel good to do it, and would be something to flip through years later and remember what 2007 was like. That said, I also enjoy other people’s lists as modes of windows into their inner selves. Just earlier today, I was checking out the list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth off the Beer Advocate website. Granted, no single entity constructed this list; it’s a result of compiling all the ratings on the site, and then ranking the beers by sheer numerical hierarchy. Now, I know that such lists are always controversial, and that statistics and ratings–particularly in relationship to alcohol–can often be misleading, or at the very least, misused. How many Parker numbers have been used to sell a bottle of wine? The number as a glorified marketing tactic is not what interests me in the Beer Advocate list, although as a good Lush employee I should note that we carry a sizable chunk of the beers mentioned.

And so begins the new enumeration project for 2009: in addition to homebrewing, my beau and I will attempt to drink and document the drinking of the beers on Beer Advocate’s top 100 list. We’re still working on a blog title, but this promises to be an interesting, idiosyncratic new list. Will I actually get to try every beer on the list? Likely not, although I am armed with an arsenal of awesome beers I have been cellaring that I can use for trading for brews not currently available in Illinois. I look forward to questioning and then changing around the BA rankings, and determining my own personal top ten..

This might even call for a new notebook.

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