The more things change the more they stay the same.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

I sometimes joke that I am a Bad Woman. I mean, of course, that I sometimes often feel like I am bad at being a woman in the conventional sense: I don’t feel a strong desire to collect shoes, for example, and I’ve never understood the apparent necessity of manicures. I’m not especially fond of being overtly social. I am not especially drawn to children. I like being alone and thinking deep thoughts.

So the question of gender is a topic that I find both inscrutable and fascinating. What makes one person feminine and another person masculine? Is this something we learn or something we are born with? Can we choose? Is it necessary to be one or the other?

I happened across “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides on a list of “Top ## Contemporary Classics You Should Read In Your Life” (or something like that- I don’t remember the actual list title) and was immediately fascinated: a book written from the point of view of a character who changes from a girl growing up to a man? I especially liked that it was written in first person so that the personality of the narrator was more important than whether we were following a “Calliope” or a “Cal”.

Aside from being an interesting concept it is also an excellent story. It is a book I would like to own and might even buy in hardcover and, given the opportunity, might even stand in line to get it inscribed by the author. This is about as high of a compliment as I can pay to a work of fiction. In the meantime, however, here is a humble homage to this book in this Beer, Book and Blog.

The Beer: Unity by Eagle Rock Brewing Company

The Book: “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Blog:

“I’m getting a beer. What do you think?” 

She handed me a plastic cup. I could feel the coldness through the plastic and within a few minutes the cup began to sweat. The liquid inside was warm colored and foamy. 

“What is it?”

“It’s called ‘Unity’. The name always stays the same but the beer changes every year for LA Beer Week. All these people in the beer community in LA get together and figure out what kind of beer it’s going to be. ” She waited.


“Well? How is it?” She bit her lip. 

I took a sip. It was light and crisp and a little bit tart. There was a hint of some kind of tropical fruit in the smoothness. The beer was a Berliner Rye made with two different kinds of prickly pear (red and green), but I didn’t know that then. 

“It’s good.” I said. “Smooth- not too heavy.”

The Object turned away to pour herself a cup. It was fairly dark outside. As in most social situations, I let my hair fall into my face. I was standing behind the Object looking like Cousin It, when someone put his hands over my eyes. 

“Guess who?”


It was The Object’s brother. I pulled his hands off my face and turned around. 

“How did you know it was me?”

“The curious smell.”

“Ouch.” He said, then changed subjects. “I start filming tomorrow.” 

I looked blank. 

“My movie. My vampire movie. You’re sure you don’t want to be in it?”

“We’re going on vacation this week.”

“That sucks.” Said Jerome. “It’s going to be genius.”

We stood silent. I contemplated the beer in my hand. After a moment I said, “Real geniuses never think their geniuses.” 

“Who says?”


“Because why?”

“Because it takes a lot of people to make something like a movie. It’s a collaborative effort, haven’t you ever heard that? Like this beer is made by all these brewers getting together to make it. It changes all the time. If you think you’re a genius, you slack off. You think everything you do is so great and everything and it never changes or gets better.”

“I just want to make scary movies,” Jerome replied. “With occasional nudity.”

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 4, 2013.

One Response to “Middleunity”

  1. […] you’re a regular reader of my blog then you may have noticed that I haven’t written a Beer, Book, and Blog post for several weeks. Partly this is because I’ve given up beer until funds improve and […]

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