Going to the Korean market with Casey — our anniversary tradition.
Starting 2020 with spicy Korean soup in my stomach and on my shirt.
My neck hurting from rocking [
Reading weightlifting advice on a fitness site for women because the writing on fitness sites for men is so unbearable. And because: who cares?
The street cleaning vehicle parked in front of the liquor store.
The emergency siren that climbed in chromatic steps like a synthesizer.
The used car lot that plays a recording of seagulls in distress to deter them from pooping on the cars.
A film studio’s floor-to-ceiling rack of carefully organized C-clamps.
This super haunting song, “Potter’s Field,” by Alice Swoboda.
The sounds on
3:47 EST by Klaatu (via Dad).
The study that shows a sample of women’s voices lowered by 23 hertz since 1945, possibly as a result of changing social roles.
Hearing Mavis (“Ain’t No Doubt About It”) in the grocery store.
Kyle Chayka’s awesome essay about minimalism, “Being in Nothingness,” in
Harper’s Magazine. The
NYTimes short doc about the Liverbirds, an all-women Liverpudlian rock band from the sixties.
The elementary school student riding home from school on a hoverboard.
Feeling pathologically incapable of listening to board game instructions.
How there’s often graffiti even in fancy restaurants’ bathrooms. (Life finds a way.)
Casey refusing to dance to “Don’t Stop Believin’” at a holiday party, affirming my love for her.
Trying to express
this idea more clearly: When you consider how many people there are in the world and how much stuff is going on in their heads, it’s amazing that you could ever look out on a night in a city and hear silence.
A mountain to move: getting everyone to back up their data and switch to persistent file formats [a la
The deliciously 1950s type on the cover of
Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a self-help book by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.
Two transcription software error gems: “a squirt for my friends,” “pumpkin hardcore.”
Alain de Botton’s
A Week at the Airport’s awesome middle ground between austere, concise writing and ornate, clever writing. Turning into a restaurant’s parking lot and someone — maybe a security guard — shining a green laser into my eyeballs. I was so mad. It felt violent!
The tall, tropical plant in the window that flailed so wildly in the wind at night I thought it was a peeper.
Casey’s special ability to name stray lizards on the fly.
The handwritten set lists, Corvette-shaped pool table, ceiling-mirror bed, sticky pleather pillows, and signature hat display of the Bret Michaels suite at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
Baffler article about the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Playing at Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky Festival in Riviera Maya, Mexico!
While sea kayaking, Casey and me scooping up a bug from the ocean surface onto our kayak, letting them hitch a ride to shore. Hoping that they wanted to be on shore, that we hadn’t scooped them away from home.
Walking around Mexico City.
The impossibly sad-sounding organ grinders.
The denimed-out teenagers playing metal guitar to a track.
The moms with blankets, breastfeeding and changing diapers.
The blues bands.
Lots of open making out.
Burning my tongue on street elotes.
Ordering horchata at the cafe on the eighth floor of the Sears across the street from the Palace Museum, just to get a view of its golden dome.
The air trapped between two glass panes in a signage panel at the Palace Museum looking like a Rorschach test.
The zillions of business-to-business stores selling construction tools, emergency vehicle lights, and restaurant refrigerators in Mexico City.
The gondolas at Xochimilco.
Ordering full meals and gallon-sized micheladas from vendor gondolas that sidled up and docked next to ours while they prepared our stuff.
The pulque bars, serape sellers, mariachi bands, and marimba players on their own floating stores and stages.
The high school students dancing and drinking mini bottles of SKYY vodka with straws on a party gondola.
The Venus flytraps and reptile riverside attractions we elected to skip.
Buying a shirt from the Scouts de México store with Mom. Then, running into a Scout meeting in a park, feeling grateful I wasn’t wearing my new uniform (lest I get mistaken for an eight-year-old Scout).
The street quesadilla seller making tortillas from scratch with gray putty-like dough dug out of a bucket.
Doing the accidental-flash-photo thing at a show (a Wilco show!) for maybe the first time ever, and the Hubble Telescope-esque red-hot photo of the inside of my hand I have to show for it.
How the term “conscious hip-hop” seems super offensive.
The grocery store employees having a hard time moving a giant potato chip display, bickering like an Abbott and Costello skit.
How a solar energy company moved into the former Standard Oil building (via
Folded Map Project, which shows images of mirror addresses on Chicago’s north-south axis (e.g. 6720 S. Ashland and 6720 N. Ashland) to “reveal the inequity … how Chicago’s legacy of segregation has impacted the neighborhoods.” And her “map twin” portraits, which “introduc[e] people living on different sides of the city and ge[t] them to really talk with each other — that’s how the map becomes ‘folded’ and ‘touches.’”
Buying a lightbulb, a washboard, and a plunger at CAS Hardware, a neighborhood hardware store going out of business after 41 years.
The brightly colored packaging and amazing typography on all the new old stock in its aisles.
Putting a hat on a pile of clothes and worrying that the pile would come alive… because I put a hat on it.
Starting a whole new skincare regimen under the supervision of Casey, a specialist.
The joy of using keys made out of high-quality, non-bendy steel (cut by CAS Hardware [
1-29-20]) Another day, another stranger who says I look like Toby McGuire.