Basil playing along with Casey’s and my singing by squeaking his pizza chew toy.
On top of a van on the highway, a canoe with Stewie from
Family Guy painted on it. The flowers that smelled startlingly like Italian pizza seasoning.
Thinking of broken drum sticks left on stage from a previous set as the scary, cautionary bones of a past expedition.
Sinking knee-deep into the mud of a creek.
The teenaged guitarist playing a lefty guitar but right-handed.
The spider crawling into frame in my car’s back-up camera.
The metallic balloon flying away, seen through the studio window.
On the contact page of a small-town Wisconsin news website: “Promotions DePartment.”
Imagining a non-profit that soundproofs musicians’ apartments so that they can make music without neighbors’ complaints.
Nerd alert: Wondering if wireless headphones will ever be high-enough res and low-enough latency for studio monitoring.
The spider that infiltrated our house via a direct mail ad for a taqueria.
The gargantuan plastic foot on the ground in an alley.
How every individual canker sore reminds me what it’s like to suffer. (The mark of privilege.)
Thinking of sleep as “getting reps [of rest] in.”
Playing the “Out of Space” series in Evanston with Dad, one of our only shows of the year!
Dad reading David Berman lyrics aloud in the dressing room before the show.
At the dog beach, the tiny, hairless chihuahua with such a disturbingly large penis and ballsack that it had difficulty walking.
The translucent pink plastic Kraft Singles container from my childhood.
Lately, feeling surprised that older people see me as an adult, someone to whom they can talk. I’ve appreciated that for a while, but it’s striking me as weird and partly undeserved recently.
Listening to the earliest Raccoonists recordings for the first time since my dad and I recorded them directly onto a CD-R recorder.
This Mister Rogers quote, from
You Are Special, via Cool Tools: “I’ve often hesitated in beginning a project because I’ve thought, ‘It’ll never turn out to be even remotely like the good idea I have as I start.’ I could just ‘feel’ how good it could be. But I decided that, for the present, I would create the best way I know how and accept the ambiguities.”
The twelve-year-old-looking kid expertly checking up on a car — opening the hood, revving the engine — near Casey’s.
The orange latex glove floating by on the highway.
“Give The Baby Anything The Baby Wants” by Joe Tex.
The piglets on Avrom Farm — so cute I could cry.
Buying a reach-in cooler off Facebook Marketplace from a mother and daughter in Wisconsin. Their living room, absolutely full of Packers memorabilia. And, when we needed a piece of duct tape, the immediacy with which the mother was able to procure it. As if in a holster on her belt.
George Jones records reverberating through Avrom Farm’s field at night.
Co-running the second annual Avrom Farm Party with my bandmate Hayden, on his farm.
Beautiful sets by Al Scorch, Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Jenny & The Hog Drovers, Henry True, and Glass Mountain — and a surprise set by my dad.
Jess Sah Bi & Peter One joyfully yet seriously sharing stories about their experiences in apartheid South Africa. (Listen to their album
Our Garden Needs Its Flowers.) Hundreds of pounds of Avrom Farm’s beans, greens, and pasture-raised pork.
Resolving to do less prefacing and more cutting to the chase.
Identifying as a Yeti Coolers bitch.
While taking Basil for a walk, realizing the terrible truth that if someone is bigger or more coercive than you, they can make you go anywhere they like. I had unconsciously thought that everyone has a physical trump card, in that they can plant their feet and refuse to move. But — obviously — it doesn’t work like that.
The dad kneeling on a sidewalk corner, feeding his baby from a bottle.
Playing (drums) with Henry (True) at Sleeping Village.
Glimpsing a TSA agent’s pen doodles on her passport-checking desk.
The Linux system error screen scrolling rapidly on a plane’s flight attendant control panel.
Since I’m traveling to work on a book project, I put back on my mildly corrective glasses, as is required by nerd law.
The ancient-seeming shuttle bus shutting down in the middle of the street, and the driver restarting it.
While falling asleep, this phrase: “a glass of water juice.”
The little paper doilies on which this farm restaurant served its sandwiches.
Gently slipping on a rock and falling into Sam Owens’s (Sam Evian’s) creek. Sam felt bad; it wasn’t his fault.
Blow-drying my shoes when I got back to my hotel.
Driving through torrential rain in a rented lime green Kia Soul.
How creepy it is that, in the Petco logo, the dog’s ear is basically penetrating the cat’s head.
The drunk patrons helplessly watching dogs fight at a dog-friendly bar in New York, hoping they’d work it out without human intervention.
The exceptionally dirty latex glove on the ground.
How my perception of New York City is permanently infected by the Gotham City ride at Six Flags: Great America.
The bird tracks in the sidewalk cement.
The huge, metal plates on the street, with patina’d yellow-green paint on them, like moss.
Sitting in front of the New York Public Library, transcribing an interview.
Taking a family walk along the Chicago Riverwalk.
Watching the “Art on the Mart” projections on the Merchandise Mart, where my grandma Judy worked for decades.
The guy wearing an NRA shirt in line at the library. Thinking,
You’re in the wrong line, buddy. But maybe he was in just the right line.
The cicada that flew in the window of my car (while parked). Thinking that a neighboring parked car had thrown something at us — a spitball? — before I found the invading culprit.
Going back to AutoZone [
3-22-19], this time for a fuse. The clerk didn’t want to help. Sammy said Hank Hill would have been ashamed of the service.
The Magic of Believing What You See, a beautiful new album by Star Moles and produced by my friend Kevin Basko. Listen to “Slime,” at least (starmoles.bandcamp.com).
Basil wearing his new raincoat.
Posing for a photo in front of the site of Cicero’s in St. Louis, Uncle Tupelo’s former regular club.
At the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Festival, the mom encouraging her young son to take a photo with a cosplayer whom she must not have realized was a “furry.”