Observations 2021-11-01

  • My first visit to Owl Hardwood. Walking through the aisles with wide eyes.

Observations 2021-11-02

  • Organizing the leftover floorboards, loosely by length, at the studio.

Observations 2021-11-03

  • Lane Beckstrom’s Elements of Style (Lane, Jeremy Cunningham, and Dustin Laurenzi)’s badass show at Whistler.

Observations 2021-11-04

  • Imagining the Agent Cody Banks-esque lab where Dyson [2020-09-30] invents new air-moving products.

Observations 2021-11-05

  • Seamlessly replacing the missing slats from our 1968 wooden feature wall at the studio, using a slab of poplar we milled down and a stain-match from Benjamin Moore.

Observations 2021-11-06

  • Casey’s baller fall stew.
  • Getting a booster COVID shot! And a flu shot!

Observations 2021-11-07

  • Resting post COVID vaccine booster.

Observations 2021-11-08

  • The recent (preliminary) discovery that some birds navigate by seeing the Earth’s magnetic field. That is, their eyes contain magnetic material that makes the planet’s magnetism visible, sorta, to them.
  • Tailgating in the Costco Niles parking lot with a lox bagel from New York Bagel and Bialy.

Observations 2021-11-09

  • Buck Meek and Kidi Band at Lincoln Hall. Nearly crying at Adam Brisbin’s tuned-in guitar-playing.
  • The spectrum of believing the world is full of assholes out to get you or sweethearts out to help you.
    • That where you sit on that spectrum affects how you treat others. Believe there are assholes, preemptively be an asshole. Believe there are sweethearts, be a sweetheart. Roughly.
    • How, in that way, your belief is self-fulfilling, since you too are part of the world.
    • That some people claim to know the true nature of humans, so they present their asshole-sweetheart belief as scientific fact.
    • How damaging that can be, when they influence other people with their beliefs, making the world a little bit more like the vision they claim is already reality.

Observations 2021-11-10

  • Seeing Finneas at the Vic. The screams of his fans, louder than screams I’ve ever heard in a theater.
  • Playing drums harder than I can remember playing them in a long time, scaring myself a little. (They sound completely different at those velocities.)

Observations 2021-11-11

  • Almost getting t-boned by a red-light-running pickup truck while I listened to the climax of Ornette Coleman and Pat Metheny’s “Endangered Species.”

Observations 2021-11-12

  • Craig Damrauer’s sweet zine of advice for his 18-year-old daughter, Stella (via Austin Kleon).

Observations 2021-11-13

  • Marginalia Search, a search engine that helps you discover “cool little websites made by people.”

Observations 2021-11-14

  • Inspired by 2021-11-09 and 2020-12-20: How shocking it can be when someone assumes you have bad intentions.

Observations 2021-11-15

  • Fiery Furnaces at Thalia Hall! Eleanor Friedberger, one of the greatest frontpeople.
  • Sipping Mom’s chicken soup; ascending.
  • Buying a bandsaw from a very friend-hungry-seeming macho securities trader.

Observations 2021-11-16

  • Cooking a tomato rice bake thingy.

Observations 2021-11-17

  • Noticing that I’ve started using my pinkies when I type, the proper way, after years of childhood World of Warcraft-adapted improper speed-typing.

Observations 2021-11-18

Observations 2021-11-19

  • Playing with Kelly Hogan (with Nora O’Connor and Joel Paterson!), opening for Mavis Staples, at Thalia Hall.
    • Mavis was so energetic and so hilarious on stage, even more than usual.
  • The respect I have for venues’ in-house lighting directors, who pay attention and instantly adapt to music they’ve never heard before.

Observations 2021-11-20

  • Mavis’s raucous, fun show at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. A small club for her!
  • Learning that the United States spent roughly $100 billion preparing for the Y2K bug.

Observations 2021-11-21

  • Wondering, how did wooden ships of antiquity prevent water from getting in between the boards? Finding the simple answer: shipbuilders tarred the boards or overlapped them.

Observations 2021-11-22

Observations 2021-11-23

  • Hot-tubbing in the moonlight.

Observations 2021-11-24

  • Watching ducks glide on the frozen river ice.

Observations 2021-11-25

Observations 2021-11-26

  • Visiting the Saint Louis Art Museum with Casey, Karen, Don, Kristin, and Kevin.
  • “By combining a deep reverence for history and text — one that can be drawn upon in times of catastrophe and rapid change — with the understanding that each generation needn’t be content with just revering the past, Jews have created a distinctive mechanism for creating while also maintaining” — Sam Arbesman on the fine balance Jewish culture strikes between tradition and progress.

Observations 2021-11-27

  • The smell of the Christmas tree lot.
  • John Lennon describing his novel plastics-based stage design ideas in episode one of Get Back. Also, everything about Get Back.

Observations 2021-11-28

  • Revisiting “Linda’s Birthday” by Jack Adkins.
  • May we all know the joy of Mal Evans playing the musical anvil in Get Back.

Observations 2021-11-29

Observations 2021-11-30

  • A ceiling light repair project involving a 2x12 wooden pirate’s plank, a 16-foot ladder jack, and a fall protection harness.