Observations 6-10-21

  • The five sewer maintenance workers standing on, kneading, a big vacuum-sealed sac of cleaning goop, pattering around in little circles, bumping into each other like a low-energy rave.

Observations 6-9-21

  • The sensation of déjà vu, recurring multiple times throughout the day.

Observations 6-8-21

  • The kid with tzi-tzi riding a Segway.

Observations 6-7-21

  • The contractors shaking their heads at the lumber prices at Menards.

Observations 6-6-21

  • This Annie Dillard quote, via Craig Mod. Oof!

    One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

Observations 6-5-21

  • Slathering my arms in glitter-infused sunscreen.

Observations 6-4-21

  • Playing a drive-in show in Bridgeview, Illinois, while the sun set behind the car-audience, a plane flew by in the cloudless sky, and a freight train accompanied us during “Love Is The King.”

Observations 6-3-21

  • Sammy’s last Tweedy Show for a while (he’s going away to work at a summer camp!).

Observations 6-2-21

  • Practicing for our drive-in show this Friday.

Observations 6-1-21

  • Getting my usual Jagger/Faces haircut: Summer Edition (slightly shorter). From Sheba.

Observations 5-31-21

Observations 5-30-21

  • The reopening of the Hungry Brain, beloved Chicago bar.
    • Taking an accidental flash photo during the band’s set.

Observations 5-29-21

  • The sadness of someone diligently keeping their white shoes clean.
  • The cuteness of adolescent robins in their nest, scruffy feathers poking out.
  • The mind-boggling creative genius of grelley.
  • The fact that there are species of superdense wood that sink in water (via Craig Mod’s newsletter).

Observations 5-28-21

  • First indoor show back! Playing drums for Sima Cunningham at Constellation.

Observations 5-27-21

  • The tow truck drivers, from different companies, waving to each other from across the intersection.

Observations 5-26-21

  • The semi-truck driving down our skinny city residential street, asking me for directions.

Observations 5-25-21

  • The needles on the bush in our studio courtyard, newly sprouted and soft enough to touch now.
  • Fred Neil’s self-titled.

Observations 5-24-21

  • A Tweedy Show episode dedicated to Bob Dylan, for his birthday.

Observations 5-23-21

  • The young boy with his parents releasing butterflies from a mesh cage in their front yard.

Observations 5-22-21

  • Buying firewood from a woman as she danced in her yard to a haunting, spacey, cumbia song with her toddler daughter.

Observations 5-21-21

  • Some vegan Korean soup… some tears… what better medicine is there?
    • The tears courtesy of Colette, an Oscar-winning short documentary about a former French resistance fighter.
  • The “PSYCHIC READER COMING SOON” sign in a former Catholic vestments store.
  • The two teen girls standing on the Metra tracks, filming each other flipping open a switchblade.

Observations 5-20-21

  • The return of soupy humidity.

Observations 5-19-21

  • The delight of watching whirligigs fall to the ground. (I had forgotten they fall in the spring and so I was a little freaked when I saw them all over the ground.)

Observations 5-18-21

  • Thinking about “the grind” versus work that feels easy, work that doesn’t feel like work at all. They seem contradictory but they’re just two different tools in the kit of making great stuff, I think.

Observations 5-17-21

  • The trauma of shoving Basil into his pet carrier, him fighting to get out fiercely but silently. Worrying he’ll never forgive us. (He did.)
  • The sadness and self-loathing and bad behavior and beauty in Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.
  • The Lyft driver to Casey and me: “I hope you guys are married 50 years.” (A counterpoint to the grocery store woman.)

Observations 5-16-21

  • Walking around the Melrose Trading Post flea market.

Observations 5-15-21

  • The best chile relleno I’ve ever had, at Nativo.

Observations 5-14-21

  • The tree branches swaying outside our second-story Airbnb bedroom window, with nothing but sky behind them, making the room feel like a rolling ship.

Observations 5-13-21

  • Finishing Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts on a plane (first pandemic flight), crying…!
  • Basil staring up at me from his pet carrier throughout the whole flight, eyes glistening.
  • The thin vines growing like hair beneath an underpass in LA.

Observations 5-12-21

  • The hostas at the studio, donated by Jason’s family and planted by us right before winter, shocking us with their full bloom.

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