Oktoberfest

 

 

Mister and I have a previous commitment and will be missing the Beer Clug’s Oktoberfest outing today.

 

I remember my first underage beer. I didn’t like it and thought all beer must be terrible. (I think it was probably a Bud or something along those lines.) As I grew older, I drank beer here and there, but not until I had my first Guinness did I know how truly good beer could be.

 

Now that I’m more adventurous, I try all kinds of beer. I’m not crazy about hops, but I do at least try things. Sometimes.

 

To my friends who will be enjoying Oktoberfest today – prost! I’ll catch you the next time around.

We Are Josh-toberfest

 

 

This painting has a crazy story. It was a commission, requested by a buddy in Beer Clug. When he first asked about my taking it on, I turned him down. I said I don’t do portraits (because I don’t). I told him it wouldn’t look anything like him. I tried everything I could to deter his enthusiasm. Nothing worked. Finally, I said I’d give it a shot, but that he shouldn’t expect an actual resemblance. I figured regardless of the outcome, no harm, no foul.

 

He got the idea from the movie Beerfest. In the film, there’s a German Bierhaus. On the wall of the bierhaus is a portrait of one of the main characters’ ancestors. My buddy wanted this painting, but with himself as the subject. Simple enough request, as he flippin’ loves beer and Beerfest. I took a few reference photos of my buddy and set to work.

 

Interesting note: while painting this one, I started doing P90X. One of the workouts (“Plyometrics”) features Erik Stolhanske. The portrait in Beerfest is based on Erik’s face. So every time I did that particular workout, I would laugh about the painting. Small world, I suppose.

 

Anyhoo, by the time I finished, I realized it actually looks a lot like my buddy. (Whether or not he agrees is another matter.) And the naming of the portrait was easy. Mister and I like to mis-sing an Oktoberfest song with the wrong lyrics: “We are Josh-toberfest.”

 

Because my buddy is super-nice, I’ll probably never know his true feelings about the portrait. But I can honestly say I’m proud of it. I think it turned out just as dorky as can be, and it’s pretty cool to boot.

 

Prost!

One, Two, Three, Drink!

 

 

A week ago, Mister and I joined Beer Club for a field trip to Oktoberfest. In Germany, they have Munich. In Southern California, we’ve got Alpine Village in Torrance. Six of one, half a dozen of another…

 

Sundays are “family day” at Alpine Village’s Oktoberfest. The kids were pretty danged cute, and some were dressed in their Oktoberfest finery…

 

 

Some big kids dressed in their Oktoberfest finery, too…

 

 

Anyhoo, our group enjoyed the food & drink…

 

 

…and authentic German music, played by authentic German musicians. Go figure.

 

 

There were a lot of games, including a chugging contest…

 

 

Our beer club president won that one. What are the odds?

 

 

There was also a contest involving weighted rubber chickens. Dudes had to hold them straight out, without lowering or raising their arms. The person lasting the longest took the rubber chicken honors. Mister thought for sure the dude on the left (in the photo below) would win. I put my faith in the dude on the right, because he was smiling and singing the whole time. I should have placed money on it, because the smiley guy won…

 

 

We were there all afternoon, and I was really glad I had volunteered to be a designated driver home, because friends, we sorely needed me! Any time alcohol is involved, the risk of over-imbibing is present. Our club was not immune, and one of our members paid the price. But we’re a friendly group. So we just offered support and won’t hold it against the guy. After all, next time it could be one of us…

 

 

Alpine Village’s Oktoberfest runs through October 27th. If you’re in Southern California, check it out. (If you’re in some other part of the world and have access to an Oktoberfest celebration near you, consider going.) It was a lot of fun and family day was the best. As for me, I plan on going again next year.