Observations 9-23-21

  • Tossing a baseball around with members of Shy Boys before our show at Lemonade Park in Kansas City.

Observations 9-22-21

  • The little lights blinking on the stationary barges on the Mississippi River.
  • The sweet Iowan couple dining next to us, a loud-ish band, on a patio: “Are you all a band? I can smell a band from a mile away.”

Observations 9-21-21

  • The teenager with a piece of “CRIME SCENE” tape decoratively attached to his bike seat.

Observations 9-20-21

  • Finding the only good use for a MyPillow charlatan pillow: dampening in a kick drum.

Observations 9-19-21

  • Birthday dinner for Zaid’s eighty-eighth birthday!

Observations 9-18-21

  • Casey’s and my revelation that City of Chicago Divvy e-bikes are super fun and practical.

Observations 9-17-21

  • At the Wilco show in Green Bay, WI, a guy looking for his wedding ring in the astroturf of Capital Credit Union Park. Bystanders turning on their phone flashlights to help him. More bystanders turning on their phone flashlights in an expanding ring of tiny search lights. I don’t think the guy found his ring. He was quite drunk.

Observations 9-16-21

Observations 9-15-21

Observations 9-14-21

  • Ruminating upon a friend’s comment to me about targeted ads. That without them, the only entities that could afford to advertise on the internet would be huge corporations.
  • The rabbit (or rabbit-adjacent animal) hole in the backyard that Basil monitors obsessively.

Observations 9-13-21

  • My friend Warner telling me that my jawbone looks like that of “some cool lizard skulls” he’s found.

Observations 9-12-21

  • The last day of the festival, and a swift, smooth load-out.

Observations 9-11-21

  • The absolute overrun of inchworms all over the festival park. Descending from the trees. Crawling on the tables.
  • Buzzcocks’ “Why Can’t I Touch It.”

Observations 9-10-21

  • The purple sunrise light seeping in the bedroom windows.
  • Speaking to a person who wants to teach peace through hacky sack.

Observations 9-9-21

  • Admiring a coworker’s pair of orange rubber boots.

Observations 9-8-21

  • One of the cardinal contradictions of slavery: enslavers deny the humanity of the people they enslave, calling them animals, while simultaneously treating them with more peculiar cruelty than they would ever treat animals. Doing things that can only hurt a being who has dignity and self-perception.

Observations 9-7-21

  • The woman pushing a baby in a stroller through the park bustling with music festival preparations: forklifts, trucks, golf carts.

Observations 9-6-21

  • Basil sunbathing.

Observations 9-5-21

  • George Saunders’ incredible, so freakin’ good, beautiful new story in The New Yorker. [9-19: Weeks later, still thinking of the floaters in the dog bowl as a symbol of all the things we do, you know, to feel like we’re trying…]
  • Spencer Wright in The Prepared: “More than almost anything else in my professional life, I enjoy the idea — the illusion, usually — that I’m doing a good job at a wide variety of things. It’s an elusive feeling, compounded by the need to continuously discover new and weird skills in order to maintain it. Each old skill then slowly atrophies, leaving me with only the vague sense that I’ve grown wiser from having learned and then forgotten something.”

Observations 9-4-21

  • The strata of years in my tour laminate memory box.

Observations 9-3-21

  • A pleasant day of renovation, delivering hot dogs to Zaid, cooking and watching Bachelor in Paradise with Casey.

Observations 9-2-21

Observations 9-1-21

  • One very loose formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative goes like: Do what you wish everyone else would do. And by the same token: If the world would be worse off if everyone were to do what you’re considering doing, don’t do it. But it’s kind of strange to make decisions based on notions of collective action without integrating ideas about how collective action itself works (e.g. how people influence each other, how the consequences of a Kantian “maxim” change depending on the specific quantity of people living by it). I suspect that Kant and many others have written about the interaction between his Categorical Imperative and group dynamics but I haven’t read them yet.
    • Cases that make me consider how the Categorical Imperative interacts with group dynamics: voting for third party candidates; participating in boycotts.

Observations 8-31-21

  • That diversity leads to security is one of nature’s most constructive, affirming statements.
  • The roadside advertisement for “iBaptism.”

Observations 8-30-21

  • Arriving at the venue early and waiting to go in until the prescribed load-in time, like a gentleman.
  • After driving all day, sitting down at my drum seat and wondering where the seat belt was.

Observations 8-29-21

  • Holding my neighbor’s newborn baby, George.

Observations 8-28-21

  • Wondering what the personal injury lawyers from billboards are like in-person.
  • Wilco at Millennium Park!

Observations 8-27-21

  • Swimming in the hot-as-air water in Lake Monroe with Charles, Malcolm, Macie, and Sima.
  • Playing a fun, loud show at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Our friends feeding the “pet” spider on their back porch, Jake, by tossing a moth into its web. All of us gathering to watch the ensuing nature process (wrapping, toting, slurping).

Observations 8-26-21

  • The daddy long-legs spider carcass in my snare drum case.
  • Playing Thalia Hall with Ohmme, their first live show back in Chicago post-lockdown — OHMMECOMING.

Observations 8-25-21

  • Dad’s birthday!
  • Playing drums with good posture in honor of Charlie Watts.

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