Proposing “overwhelmth” (noun) as an addition to the English language.
Getting flirtatiously close to Inbox Zero.
Great Arthur Russell songs that I hadn’t heard: “Tell You Today,” “Instrumentals Volume 2,” “A Little Lost.” Like a dream.
From Our Band Could Be Your Life: “Mr. Ginn … was so proud of his son [Greg Ginn of Black Flag] that when he’d teach classes at Harbor College, he’d often have the Black Flag insignia painted on the pocket of his button-down shirts” (41).
How empathy is not always other-oriented; it’s also often a part of self-oriented things like avoiding embarrassment or influencing people. Imagining how other people feel doesn’t entail putting their interests first.
How the emoji clapping trope 👏fails to a👏ccount for 👏ghosted 👏syllables.
Mike Watt in Our Band Could Be Your Life: “We were music punk; they were social punk. […] We throw all this soft music, folk music, jazz, et cetera, not only to avoid getting caught in just one style, but also to show [social punks] that ‘See, you didn’t want any rules … this is what you wanted. You didn’t want to be told what to listen to’” (76).
The Flag Day parade in Appleton, Wisconsin, which a resident told me is the biggest Flag Day parade in the country.
The older people and families lining up early—with folding chairs—to watch.
The marching band marshal spritzing her high-school-aged musicians with cooling water.
Accepting a miniature American flag from a volunteer, carrying it a safe distance down the street, and then offering it to an older man, who interpreted it as a gift, whereas it was mostly a gift to me that he agreed to take it.
The U.S. Army missile truck, wowing spectators by lifting the missile on its hydraulic lift bed.
Going back to college to walk in our commencement ceremony.
The plastic ponchos administrators distributed to grads for the rain, and the dissident students who refused them.
The professor riding her bike in full academic regalia, sidesaddle, to meet up with the faculty procession.
The mom who ran ahead of the grads to wipe rainwater off our plastic folding chairs with a handkerchief.
Lee Shallat-Chemel’s awesome commencement address.
Describing her life as a “squiggly line,” giving us permission to be inefficient.
Telling the “don’t be afraid of failure” story in the least clichéd terms I’ve ever heard it, illustrating her life as an excessively careful, anxious twentysomething, and how hyper-vigilance can extinguish creativity.
The sickly sweet cherry smell outside—like Bottle Caps candy.
Laura Snapes’s interview with Bill Callahan.
How John McPhee (still) writes with a command line program that was custom-made for him by a fellow professor in the 1980s (New York Times Magazine).
McPhee describing how he puts all the pieces of a text into order before he even sits down to write, so that when he does start, he just has to connect them into prose: “Every organizational aspect was behind me. The procedure eliminated nearly all distraction and concentrated just the material I had to deal with in a given day or week. It painted me into a corner, yes, but in doing so it freed me to write.”
This tweet by @dontsave: “there should be a way to convey warmth in emails without using the exclamation mark. my proposal is U263C, unicode sun with rays / thanks ☼ / dave”
Almost getting caught in an ingenious Shopify scam: emails from alleged customers asking whether a (fake) exorbitant price on your website is a typo (with a link to spam).
Still thinking about the step-by-step example of product design thinking that Paul Ford gave in “Going Deep on a Checkbox,” an essay from his Track Changes newsletter (published in 2016 but read by me the other day).