Observations 2022-05-19

  • Gluing up some oak desktops.

Observations 2022-05-18

  • My nasal cavities are so much more accepting of foreign objects now, two years into covid swabbing.

Observations 2022-05-17

  • Watching playoffs hockey with Casey.

Observations 2022-05-16

  • Kevin Kelly’s hopeful and totally classic-sounding advice: “Whenever there is an argument between two sides, find the third side.”

Observations 2022-05-15

Observations 2022-05-14

Observations 2022-05-13

  • Putting my winter coat away now that Chicago has had several days of 90-degree weather.

Observations 2022-05-12

  • Sam Evian and Liam Kazar at the Hideout. Liam’s birthday!
  • The smoky smell of the Horween Leather factory wafting into the Hideout patio.

Observations 2022-05-11

  • Installing the DL signal switching panel at our studio.

Observations 2022-05-10

Observations 2022-05-09

  • Visiting Casey at her first bartending shift ever.

Observations 2022-05-08

  • Staying up all night post-show to make our 8 AM flight home.

Observations 2022-05-07

  • Night two at the Bluebird Theater in Denver playing with Liam Kazar opening for Fruit Bats!

Observations 2022-05-06

  • The deer casually walking through our friend’s backyard as we sat on the patio eating breakfast.
  • The wifi router on the green room ceiling, which someone had signed, discontent with merely signing the wall or the ceiling itself.
  • Bluebird Theater’s beautiful marquee.

Observations 2022-05-05

  • It still amazes me that airplane wings are meant to flex.
  • Thank god for medical researchers.
  • Watching the sun set over gorgeous Colorado mountains.

Observations 2022-05-04

  • Recording a choir of “mouth synth” (the band imitating a slowly sweeping sine wave) under blue lights, dimmed.

Observations 2022-05-03

  • The launch of Spoon’s General Store, an experimental online shop full of art and home goods made by artists I admire.

Observations 2022-05-02

  • Tussling with Hayden and Miron’s puppies at the farm.
  • Remembering when gas stations prohibited cell phone use because something about static electricity from their antennae could cause fires?
  • The only thing better than Wilc-os cereal is the new Wilco album, out May 27.
  • Concrete over Water” by Jockstrap.

Observations 2022-05-01

Observations 2022-04-30

  • That “optical second” New York Times article from the other day, yet another mental tool that helps me tolerate imprecision (my own and others’).

Observations 2022-04-29

  • Singing really does make work better. Having someone to sing with.
  • New York Times explaining some science behind the measurement of seconds (and weight and mass and just about every other unit): “We still tick through 1957-era seconds, even with our modern atomic clocks. That’s because the natural resonance frequency of cesium 133 was measured in 1957 and locked to the duration of the astronomical second in that year, a fact that will not change even when the second is redefined once more [by optical clocks].”
  • Crimping hundreds of microphone channel conductors.

Observations 2022-04-28

  • Cutting holes in the studio walls, preparing to install our DIY mic panels.
  • I’ve been surprised too many times to think I know everything.

Observations 2022-04-26

  • The communication success of Elon Musk’s annoying potential Twitter purchase. Driving around town, listening to the radio, I heard mainstream hosts on pop and oldies stations recite the three main points of the deal more clearly than any Democratic campaign since Obama.

Observations 2022-04-25

  • Putting a decently deep gash in my palm by holding a piece of wood as I tried to drill into a work piece on top of it. Kind of worrying, superstitiously, that the scar, a new palm reading line, would change my life in a freaky way.
  • Big Thief’s beautiful show at the Riviera Theatre, at which they felt around for the path in new material, letting everyone see their communication and trust in each other.

Observations 2022-04-24

  • The last of Wilco’s three Yankee Hotel Foxtrot shows at the Auditorium in Chicago. 😍

Observations 2022-04-23

  • Making our way through the Wilco crowd with my eighty-nine-year-old grandpa (zaid) and his girlfriend, Ellen, with multiple security escorts.

Observations 2022-04-22

  • A Craigslist buyer, throwing in this poetic if not dour gem as we figured out a time for him to pick up lightbulbs we were giving away: “As I said, my day depends a lot on other people and things are getting exponentially flaky and unreliable lately, ironically to the point where I can’t even make serious plans of my own, or make the kind of promises I used and would like to.”
  • The curtain operator at The Auditorium furiously pulling the ropes to open the curtain on cue for “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

Observations 2022-04-21

  • Standing, mesmerized by the new fountain at LaGuardia Airport in New York.

Observations 2022-04-20

  • Touring two boats from 1885, the schooner Pioneer and the tall ship Wavertree, at the South Street Seaport Museum (thanks Gabe).
  • The last of five amazing Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 20th Anniversary shows in New York, during which Wilco played the album with its original arrangements, with help from Total Pro Horns and Aizuri Quartet. Me, basically crying through each of the three shows I saw.

Observations 2022-04-19

  • The woman “walking” her dog in a stroller at midnight in Manhattan.

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