Spencer Tweedy

Observations 8-16-18

  • Flying to San Francisco.
    • Feeling naked without my backpack.
    • The airport employee who emerged from a rolling overhead door, driving one of those three-wheel, electric carts, eating a banana.
    • The announcement over the gate PA, “Looking for San Francisco flight passenger Morrissey.” (Not that Morrissey.)
    • The older passenger who accidentally started playing music (Indian pop) through his phone speakers instead of the headphones that he had requested from a flight attendant earlier.
    • Having drink-cart Diet Coke and feeling like a debauchee for it.
    • Reading Neil Strauss stories about Mötley Crüe and Ozzy Osbourne’s pee-licking and Jack Daniels-chugging at the same time as feeling like a debauchee for the Diet Coke.
    • At the end of the flight, trying to get out of my seat with my seatbelt still on.
  • The SF MUNI logo (I had forgotten about it!). Almost illegible but worth it for the fun.
  • The startup billboards.
    • LA has Emmys, SF has startups, Chicago has pizza and lizard-like injury lawyers.
  • How, even though it’s also summer (and warmer) in Chicago, it somehow feels even more like summer in California.
  • The sun-faded Shen-Yun 2017 poster in the donut shop.
    • The name, “Happy Donut.”
    • The owner, recognizing a man who stole a dollar from her tip jar two days ago, annoying him into giving it back. Him, limp-running away afterward.
    • The awning, “21 Varicties.”
  • The man wearing a suit and a six-inch-wide, red button: “It’s My Birthday!”
  • Entering a weed dispensary for the first time, for an acquaintance’s comedy show.
    • The headlining comedian, a kinda melancholy, young substitute teacher, calling me “half Michael Cera, half Ichabod Crane” and “heroin-chic.”
  • The contractors installing new strands of crystals in the Swarovski store ceiling after hours.
  • The psychedelic Dee Dee TV public access show re-runs.
    • The Pride footage of lots of naked wieners and even people touching them.
  • The Wired story about how Cloudflare uses a 24/7 video feed of shifting lava lamps to generate random cryptographic keys for its cybersecurity tools (thanks Uncle Bruce).
  • Jenn Pelly’s great piece in the Guardian about the final traveling Warped Tour.
    • Wondering whether bands on the lineup like being described by the head of the festival as part of a “nostalgia tour.”
    • The two clear proposals she presents: keep Warped alive but make it more inclusive (Pelly’s preference), or “burn it to the ground and start something new” (a fan’s punk AF preference).
  • Paul Ford talking about web/app development as a reliable, old-school craft on his podcast, Track Changes.
  • The Ray Kroc quote about paper cups in that Atlantic piece about disposable straws: “I don’t know what appealed to me so much about paper cups. Perhaps it was mostly because they were so innovative and upbeat.”