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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.

Sarah J.

Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001

Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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May 11, 2007

Mother’s Day Friday

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Movies — J @ 4:39 pm

On Friday, Porter’s new school, BridgePoint Academy, held a special Mother’s Day event and invited all the Mom’s to come by in the afternoon.

Porter and Alice in the morning before school, dressed up to impress Mommy.

Sarah arriving to greet Porter at his school.

Inside his classroom, all the ids lined to sing their Moms a song.

Porter actually wanted to wear a tie for his Mom.

Though he kept playing with it throughout the song.

But he seemed very happy that we were there to watch him.

Press the play button to see Porter sing.

After the song, Porter ran to give Sarah a hug.

Then they both gave me a smile.

Then there were presents for the Mom’s to open.

Outside after the festivities, Sarah pushed Porter on the big boy swing.

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March 19, 2007

John Sr. R.I.P.

Categories: News, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 8:39 am

We got the word last night that John’s Dad, John Sr., who’d been battling a rare blood disorder for some time now, passed away in his sleep Sunday night. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to John’s entire family at this time of grief. John’s Dad was as much a part of the Big G as anyone and we will miss him terribly. Here are some photos from happier times. This is how I will remember him.

Trying to keep order at the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

Cutting a rug at John and Zenobia’s wedding.

Celebrating life, surrounded by friends and family, which is how it always seemed John lived his life.

Surrounded again by friends and family at Pebble Beach.

There are no details yet about the funeral. I’ll post details when I get them.

• • •

February 6, 2007

You Can Make It With …

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Friends — J @ 5:25 pm

At one point during the Super Bowl, Jen suggested to the kids that they all make play-doh. Porter and Alice excitedly agreed and Sarah and Jen worked the pots and pans on the stove until, like magic, there was play-doh.

Porter enthusiastically watches the play-doh factory ramp up production and get underway.

Pouring in the blue food coloring.

Mixing it up: red for Alice, and blue for Porter.

Ta da! Blue for me, and red for Alice!

Hey, what are you looking at?

C’mon Alice, let’s play.

I’m going to make a blob, what are you going to make, Alice?

Nothing, I’m just going to steal yours.

Inside, they mixed the red and blue together to make a purplish gray.

Where Alice found the one ring to rule them all.

Behold the ring! My preciousss!

• • •

February 4, 2007

Sarah Hoops

Categories: Photos, Sarah, Movies — J @ 6:02 pm

Jen had a hula hoop and so Sarah demonstrated it for the kids, who took a great delight in watching her. Of course, so did the rest of us.

Sarah takes her hips out for a little spin.

Will it go round in circles?

• • •

February 3, 2007

Wagnerian Partying

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice, Sarah, Friends — J @ 2:46 am

Today our friend Angie had a little end-of-the-holidays/Groundhog Day soiree at her place in San Francisco. We only knew the beer people there, but had a very nice time meeting everyone. The kids were reasonably well-behaved, at least, and no actual mayhem ensued.

Our host Angie getting slapped around by Porter.

Alice had a hard time keeping her hands off the food.

Porter plays with the spinning clown.

Alice shows off the wonderful spread of food.

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February 1, 2007

Bed Tricks

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah — J @ 10:10 am

After Sarah got home from work, the four of us played on the bed in our bedroom.

The calm before the storm.

Porter throws the world at me.

Sarah gives Porter an airplane ride.

Then it was Alice’s turn in the air.

Everybody wanted it to be their turn all the time, making it difficult for Sarah to keep them flying.

• • •

January 14, 2007

Fancy Dressing

Categories: Photos, J, Sarah — J @ 9:07 pm

The other night Sarah and I had a black tie affair to attend. One of the founders of Sarah’s new company is retiring and they had a big tribute dinner for him Friday night. We started at the Bubble Lounge (one of my favorite non-beer bars) with champagne and then dinner was right next door at the members-only Villa Taverna. It was the first I’ve met all of the people Sarah is working with at her new job, and we both had a great time.

Sarah and me in our fancy dress.

At our table.

At the end of the evening, hammered (we weren’t driving).

• • •

December 8, 2006

Anchor Christmas Party 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Beer, Food — J @ 1:08 pm

Last night Anchor Brewery held their annual invitation only Christmas party. As usual, it was a great time with good friends, good food and, of course, great beer. While the potato wedges were the most welcome addition to the evening’s food, the best combination was an all-meat chili made with Anchor Steam beer to which I added crumbled Maytag Blue Cheese and paired with Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale.

The leading lights at Anchor: Fritz Maytag, John Dannerbeck and Mark Carpenter.

Guests at Anchor’s annual Christmas party.

A self-portrait with my good friend Bruce Joseph, who does the distilling at Anchor Distilling.

Former Publican Judy Ashworth and Christian Kazakoff, head brewer from Triple Rock.

Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf and beer writer Angie Wagner.

Staff and writers of the Celebrator Beer News.

The beautiful, supportive and tolerant Sarah and me.

The lovely Jen Garris looking even more lovely than usual.

The gleaming copper kettles.

Caught enjoying the yummy frittes.

R.J. Trent, former brewer, who just opened the newest BevMo on Van Ness Boulevard and Jeremy Cowan of He’Brew, whose newest beers lately have been wonderful, especially the 10 Monumental Jewbelation and Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. (a rye-based Imperial IPA).

• • •

October 3, 2006

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Sarah, Friends — J @ 8:40 am

Today is our friend Corey’s fifty-something birthday. All that’s important is that there is someone among our friends who is older than me and Corey nicely stepped in to fill that role when he married our friend Nikki. Thanks for that Corey. Corey and Nikki also recently had a baby girl, Gianna. Happy birthday, old man … er Corey.

Corey and his son Tom at his Eagle Board of Review.

Corey and Nikki at home with Gianna.

Corey and Nikki with Kristine during a visit to Idaho.

Suzanne, Sarah, Corey, Nikki and Steven, at Suzanne’s housewarming party.

• • •

September 26, 2006

After the Beer Dinner

Categories: Photos, Sarah, Friends, Beer — J @ 11:14 pm

After the beer dinner, we stopped by the Toronado for a nitecap and to play some washoes in the backroom.

Where the beer was flowing once more. Happily, no driving would be necessary, only flying in the morning.

Natalie quenching her thirst with some Chimay.

• • •

September 25, 2006

Cannon Fodder

Categories: Photos, Porter, J, Sarah, Trips — J @ 11:48 am

After our pamcake breakfast, we packed up the car and headed for home. On the way we stopped at Fort Ross, a Russian settlement that lasted from 1812 to 1841. At first, Porter was very resistent about stopping at the old fort, but once he discovered a cannon, he was much more enthuiastic.

Porter in front of Fort Ross, with the Russian chapel in the background.

The Russian orthodox chapel.

Porter looking out a second-story window.

Hey look, a cannon!

So when they asked for volunteers to shoot off the cannon, Porter became one of them.

Porter and his cannon tool, to twist insude the barrel.

First the barrel is cleared out.

Then Porter twists in his tool to insure no embers or other material remains in the barrel.

He had a little trouble reaching, so he stood on me so that he could get a better angle into the cannon.

Afterwards, he wanted to critique his performance with the cannon experts.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of the Cannon firing. But be warned, this is a BIG file. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

September 19, 2006

The “Tion” Dinner

Categories: J, Sarah, Friends, Beer — J @ 11:22 am

Last night was Beer Chef Bruce Paton’s latest beer dinner, dubbed the Tion Dinner, because it featured Damnation, Temptation, Supplication, Salvation and Redemption from Russian River Brewing. The food was delicious, as were the beers, of course. Friends, food and beer: what more could you ask for of an ideal evening?

Bruce welcomes the diners holding a big bottle of Russian River’s Damnation.

Very tasty hors d’oeuvres. On the left is crab gazpacho soup and the right is melon wrapped in prosciuto and cheese.

Natalie Cilurzo arriving, arms laden down with promotinal materials.

The suffering women (from left): Tom Dalldorf’s wife Arlene, my wife Sarah and Natalie Cilurzo after putting promotional literature at every place setting.

While we mingled and drank Temptation. From left: Dave Suurballe, Peter Bouckaert (head brewer at New Blegium Brewing), Bruce Paton and Tom Dalldorf.

Jennifer from the Toronado with my wife Sarah.

Then Vinnie and Bruce went up on stage to introduce the first course. Each in turn talked about the beer and then the dish to be paired with it.

The next to last course, duck breast with Humboldt Fog flan, paired with Supplication. That red rose is actually a single tomato peel.

Our table. Clockwise from left: Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo, Chris and Peter (from New Belgium), John Mallet (from Bell’s), Dave Keene and Jennifer (from the Toronado) and my wife Sarah.

A kind soul at the next table insisted I get in at least one of the pictures.

Dessert was a delicious chocolate bread pudding paired with Salvation.

All of the brewers who attended the beer dinner.

Bruce with Russian River co-owner Natalle Cilurzo.

Chef Bruce Paton and Brewer Vinnie Cilurzo, our host for a wonderful evening. Thanks guys!

• • •

September 15, 2006

Group Photo Phriday #29

Categories: History, Photos, Sarah, Friends — J @ 11:59 am

A bit of leg from the gals at Chris and Katherine’s wedding, including Sarah, whose birthday was Wednesday, and Suzanne, whose birthday I tragically missed on the 2nd but will be making up for shortly.

From left: Michelle, Beth, Shmare (is she unzipping her dress?), Sarah and Suzanne.

• • •

September 13, 2006

Sarah: Funny, Part 2

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Sarah, Friends — J @ 4:00 pm


This is the second half of the humorous photos, and the last post for today. Yes, Sarah, I’m done torturing you now. Happy birthday.

Nice face, babe.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Karen and Sarah … well, I don’t know what they’re doing.


Swalley. Tailgating at the ‘Stick.

• • •

Sarah: Porter’s Mommy

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Sarah — J @ 3:00 pm


While there are plenty of pictures of both Porter and Alice elsewhere on the blog, these two were taken in the days before digital photography.

New Mom Sarah and Porter.

Sarah and Porter in San Diego.

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