Observations 3-16-19

  • The kid crossing the street with a whistle in his mouth, as if he was ready to call for help at any second.
  • Sam Evian’s drummer, Austin, playing acoustic guitar via a sample pad for Sam’s song “Country.”

Observations 3-15-19

  • The Fast Company story about lobbyists using geofenced social media ads to target Trump and Trump aides (via Uncle Bruce).
  • The two massive raccoons on Casey’s back porch.

Observations 3-14-19

  • Stopping for avocado maki by myself at 3:30AM.

Observations 3-13-19

  • Answering questions from the Chicago Department of Public Health for fifteen minutes about my salmonella [2-25-19].
  • The miniature wine bottle on the ground outside the senior physical rehab center.
  • Watching Leroy Bach, Dan Bitney, and Ben Lamar Gay perform at California Clipper. They were great.

Observations 3-12-19

  • Zaid receiving a medical equipment delivery from the best-named company ever: Why, Inc.
  • Signing up to volunteer on Be My Eyes.
    • Its well-designed app.
  • Ornette Coleman’s albums with his son, Denardo Coleman, who was ten years old at the time of their first release (via Ridley).
  • Learning that Rufus is a band, not a person, from a Guardian article about Chaka Khan (via Jamie E.).

Observations 3-11-19

  • Watching the Bachelor finale (part one) with Mom and Casey.
  • My college diploma arriving in the mail.

Observations 3-10-19

  • A poem by Anders Carlson-Wee referring to boarded up houses as having been “signed by the high tide” of a flood.

Observations 3-9-19

  • The hand with an umbrella in it emerging from a minivan, popping the umbrella open, and only then being followed by the operator of the umbrella (and the hand).
  • Basil losing one of his baby molars.
  • Providing Casey with her first slurp of matzah ball soup.
  • The Joshua Virtue release show at Orotund Music.

Observations 3-8-19

  • Talking on the phone and conducting light business with my night retainer still in my mouth.

Observations 3-7-19

Observations 3-6-19

  • Sitting down to record a song but finding that I have no working microphone cables in the house, an ironic turn of events for an audio accessories small business owner.

Observations 3-5-19

  • Thinking of my late uncle Greg every time I see a Chevy pick-up truck.

Observations 3-4-19

  • Remembering the importance of exertion (versus effortlessness) in drumming practice. It’s true that if you can barely pinch an idea out, you’re not ready to play it yet. But you don’t ever become ready to play it if you don’t try pinching it out sometimes.

Observations 3-3-19

  • The chart by economist Mark Perry showing the growth of healthcare and education costs since 1998 versus the stagnation or decline in cost of cars, clothes, and consumer electronics (via Kottke[.]org).

Observations 3-2-19

  • Learning from my friend Michael that there is, apparently, an ignorance clause in kosher law—you won’t be repudiated for eating foods you didn’t know weren’t kosher. This, as they say, has huge implications.
  • The melody and consent-acknowledging lyrics of “Buy U a Drank” by T-Pain.

Observations 3-1-19

  • How when I look at young congresspeople like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I can’t believe how un-sleep-deprived they look.
  • Doing live sound for a band whose cellist had a headset mic on, and semi-accidentally turning it on while she seemed to be talking conspiratorially with her bandmate.

Observations 2-28-19

  • Mavis’s interview in Rolling Stone.
    • [In response to the question “Your old friend Bob Dylan also boxes. Do you think you could knock him out?”:] “I’d knock him out with one swing. He’s so little. It would hurt me to hit Bobby like that, but, oh, yeah, I’d take him out.”
    • “I told a friend of mine I want him to show me how to ride a skateboard.”
    • “If I had to talk to [Trump], if he wanted to talk to me, I would look him straight in the eye. I think he would see what I’m feeling from the way that I would look at him, and he might say, ‘Oh, this is a different one here. I’ve got to straighten up and fly right.’”
    • “You will just take yourself under if you keep being angry. […] It hurts, but you can’t hold hate and anger in your heart. You have to let it go. I have to let it go so that I can be free.”
  • Yet another latex glove on the ground [8-22-18, 10-5-18, 11-7-18].

Observations 2-27-19

  • Listening to the Michael Cohen testimony with Zaid in his room at the post-hospital rehab center.
    • How you don’t need to think Cohen is a good guy or fully reformed in order to see that Republican representatives were protecting Trump and misconstruing how witness testimony works in the first place.
  • At a fundraiser for Poverty Alleviation Chicago:
    • a playlist of Top 40 hits but with violin solos superimposed on them;
    • the biggest table of meats and cheeses I’ve ever seen, sweating.
  • Liam’s last shift at the Hungry Brain.
    • Jeremy Cunningham’s delicious, tasteful drumming.

Observations 2-26-19

  • The New York Times story about Candice Payne, who bought thirty hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness in Chicago during the cold a few weeks ago.
    • How the thirty rooms snowballed into sixty, plus donated food and goods, as people found out about the story and sent money to Candice.
    • “I am a regular person. It all sounded like a rich person did this, but I’m just a little black girl from the South Side. I thought it was unattainable, but after seeing this and seeing people from all around the world, that just tells me that it’s not that unattainable. We can all do this together.”
  • How my family has always been disgusted (and confused) that I say words like “important” and “often” with a hard T.

Observations 2-25-19

  • Finding out that my prolonged bout of diarrhea a few weeks ago was, in fact, salmonella [2-12-19].
  • Skipping through an annoying section of an Art Ensemble of Chicago song (via Sammy) and feeling like I didn’t deserve the (more palatable) remainder of the song.
  • At Zaid’s hospital room [12-2-18 et al.], listening to his stories about running a used car lot at age eighteen; buying a gas station just for the repair garage and making the gas so expensive that no one would buy it (so that they wouldn’t have to operate the pumps); the saga of trying to sell his patent for the world’s first cellular-connected burglar alarm.
    • Some people bought their expensive gas anyway, since, as Zaid learned, “some people really don’t give a shit.”
    • Zaid’s disdain for the exploitative asshole who got him into the business.

Observations 2-24-19

  • Watching a two-hour Bozo’s Circus retrospective with my parents.
    • The hellish footage of circus poodles wearing Victorian dresses, getting married, and marching to the Star-Spangled Banner.
    • Bozo and co. imitating The Beatles with a super rare National guitar.
  • Learning, maybe a little too late, that there’s a difference between “picturesque” and “picaresque.”

Observations 2-23-19

  • While checking IDs at the bar, two patrons asking if they could see my ID because I look too young to be checking theirs.
  • Getting into op-ed section newsletters.

Observations 2-22-19

  • Receiving two more Instagram DMs from students whose textbook lists me as an American teen blogger (these ones seemed to come from Brazil) [1-29-19].
  • Paying a parking ticket that the Blisters got on tour in Toronto in 2017.
  • Meeting a dog named after Bell’s Oberon beer (“Obie”).
  • The Deborah Boardman retrospective at Hyde Park Art Center.
    • Her work Silent Auction: “god might not hear.”

Observations 2-21-19

  • Eating Golden Nugget pancakes for breakfast and dinner (the same order).

Observations 2-20-19

  • Finding mouse poop in the yarmulke drawer.

Observations 2-19-19

  • The City Hall hearing about the Lincoln Yards mega-development [11-29-18, 12-2-18, 12-28-18].
    • Beach Boys playing on the chamber speakers before the hearing began.
    • The young Lincoln Yards supporter wearing Doc Martens.
    • The persistent feeling that supporters of the developer (most of whom are clean-cut, businessy) think that we Chicago Independent Venue League people are naive, that we don’t understand job growth or capital (because we’re wearing Doc Martens?).
      • Fantasizing about wearing a suit to the next hearing to somehow prove a point, but recognizing that it would really be a pathetic, self-undermining acquiescence.
    • Getting a little taste of miscommunication and misunderstanding in politics: the hearing was about the proposed $900 million tax package for the developer, but citizens’ testimonies focused on the merits of the development (or on job creation and the march of civilization) itself, taking it for granted that the development could not happen without the tax package. It seems so important in these circumstances to have people who can contextualize all of our reasoning and our feelings, to show how they connect and what they’re predicated on.
    • On top of everything, feeling mind-boggled that the city would pay interest to Sterling Bay for their upfront infrastructure investments.
    • Appreciating the alderpeople who make eye contact with testifying citizens.
  • Walking around Bucktown with dilated eyeballs from my optometrist appointment.

Observations 2-18-19

  • The trophies in my neighbor’s trash.

Observations 2-17-19

  • How there is a mayoral election in Chicago in a week and it feels like virtually nobody knows about it.
  • John Dingell in The Atlantic: “I know there are those who genuinely believe in privatizing everything. They are called profiteers.”
  • spoonplanet[.]com (via Ridley).

Observations 2-16-19

  • Keeping the fireplace continuously stoked.

Observations 2-15-19

  • Pink Navel rapping over samples of Disney movie previews.