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 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 3-3-19

  • 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 3-4-19

  • 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 3-5-19

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

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 3-7-19

Observations 3-8-19

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

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 3-10-19

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

Observations 3-11-19

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

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 3-13-19

  • 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 3-14-19

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

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 3-16-19

  • 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 3-17-19

  • Basil smelling like a french fry.
  • Misunderstandings that are too tiny or inconsequential-seeming to address but which you worry could lead to a big change in the way someone else perceives you.

Observations 3-18-19

  • Pan Amsterdam rapping about Firefox being better than Chrome [12-17-18].
  • Resolving not to work on any petty to-do items until the art-making at hand is done.

Observations 3-19-19

  • Casey’s debut full band show (as Case Oats), at Crown Liquors.

Observations 3-20-19

  • The New Yorker interview with Donna Brazile about her new position at Fox News.
    • Isaac Chotiner, the interviewer, seeming to pin Brazile for equivocating on Fox’s depravity, but then kinda getting his ass kicked right back by Brazile: “Don’t call me and act as if you are somehow appalled that a black woman, or a woman, or a liberal progressive, would go, ‘Hell, yeah, I want to go in that den.’ And I want to fight from inside and fight from the outside. I may be naïve in my judgment, but I am wise in my view that, long term, we are not going to make progress by simply being out throwing rocks.”
    • Seeing Brazile’s point, but still wondering whether it’s possible to fight behind enemy lines, as she says she’s doing, without being a collaborator or an accomplice to terrible stuff. She’s gathering info and trying to use Fox’s influence for good, but she’s also building their product and helping their bottom line. Trusting that she knows more about this biz than I do.
  • Chemi Rosado-Seijo’s Whitney Biennial 2017 piece, in which a classroom from Lower Manhattan Arts Academy traded places with a Whitney gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

Observations 3-21-19

  • The impending announcement of the Mueller Report tormenting artists with upcoming Friday release dates.

Observations 3-22-19

  • Assuming that someone has done a thoughtful Marxist analysis of Queer Eye. [I googled it; it looks like there are a few.]
  • Walking to Autozone to pick up some car light bulbs I bought online, only to find that I walked to the wrong Autozone.

Observations 3-23-19

  • The tiny little remote on the ground stuck in the post-winter mud.

Observations 3-24-19

  • The cat being walked on a leash.
  • Getting hassled at a bar by an adult Frenchman.

Observations 3-25-19

  • Learning that Irwindale, California has public healthcare, and that insurance companies act as “shadow regulators” of municipal police departments, via Planet Money.
  • The woman who tried to light a cigarette on my flight to Los Angeles.
    • Earlier in the flight, the commotion that followed her getting melted chocolate all over her clothes and hands.
    • At the end of the flight, her asking a flight attendant whether she had ever seen “Trump’s plane” on the tarmac.
  • The older man welding in his open garage.
  • John Carroll Kirby’s awesome, sad, restrained, spacious organ music at Zebulon in LA.

Observations 3-26-19

  • The Hasidic Jewish man riding a Lime electric scooter down the street.
  • The awesome sign for Carl’s Custom Lamps & Shades in LA.
  • The bag of trash someone threw on the slanted roof of Denny’s on Sunset Boulevard.
  • This message on the US Patent & Trademark Office’s website: “Please logout when you are done to release system resources allocated for you.”

Observations 3-27-19

  • The gaggle of people all wearing leopard-print dresses in our hotel lobby.

Observations 3-28-19

  • The relative innocence of left-wing rumors (e.g. Gun Girl pooped her pants, Chuck C. Johnson pooped his pants) versus right-wing conspiracy theories (e.g. all progressive protesters are paid by Jewish billionaires). (Is this confirmation bias?)
  • Sammy and me getting outfitted in Big Bud Press jumpsuits by Mom.
    • Slightly regressing in my jumpsuit because it feels like footsie pajamas.

Observations 3-29-19

  • Releasing my second EP, Sleep Is My God.
    • The really nice feedback from family and friends and social media strangers.
  • Discovering that I’d never listened to Neil Young’s self-titled record apart from the hits. Listening and loving it (duh) (via Colin).
  • The person on the plane home from LA wearing one of those designer bulletproof vests.
  • The person on the plane with football rings on every finger of his right hand.

Observations 3-30-19

  • Eswatini’s beautiful flag (via Sammy).

Observations 3-31-19

  • The boil-ish thing on Basil’s shoulder popping like a big pimple.