Observations 2022-01-01

  • Starting 2022 with spicy Korean soup in my stomach (but, this time, not on my shirt).
  • The grocery store cashier’s almost cyborgian wrist brace and latex fingertip getup.

Observations 2022-01-02

  • The wide range of quality in snow shovels. You want one with a good scoop capacity, bucket strength, and striker durability.

Observations 2022-01-03

  • The flavor of the salsa at our local burrito joint, which changes subtly but noticeably every week.

Observations 2022-01-04

  • Painting over the old plastic bathroom countertop at the studio.

Observations 2022-01-05

  • The cats spilling a mason jar of tiny beads sometime around 7 AM.
  • Basil turning around to head back inside the moment he feels the howling winter winds. “Nope.”

Observations 2022-01-06

  • The second-floor apartment with a green fingerpainted tree (ish thing) in its window.

Observations 2022-01-07

  • Peering inside our walls with Jason’s new borescope.

Observations 2022-01-08

  • Stepping outside barefoot when Basil has to pee in this freezing weather, in solidarity.

Observations 2022-01-09

  • Buying smoked salmon at Hagen’s Fish Market with Sammy, one of Chicago’s oldest school, family-owned smokehouses.

Observations 2022-01-10

  • The only way not to waste time (in the long run) is to waste time (in the moment).
  • Sam Learner’s River Runner and Drumset projects.

Observations 2022-01-11

  • The breathing-like hiss of our gas meter.
  • Casey’s birthday!

Observations 2022-01-12

  • This awesome clip of The Pretenders “rehearsing” “Brass in Pocket”. [Via Dad.]

Observations 2022-01-13

  • Sewing a button back on to my pants. My first time sewing since kindergarten. [Update 2022-01-15: It’s kinda coming off again :/ I didn’t sew it well enough.] [Update 2022-05-09: I re-sewed it a month or so ago and it’s holding up, but this time it’s a little too tight!]

Observations 2022-01-14

  • The harmonic sequence emanating from my electric razor.

Observations 2022-01-15

  • Feeling anxious and sad regarding the hostage tragedy at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

Observations 2022-01-16

  • Sammy and me walking on oceanfront rocks, getting shooed away by the (self-appointed?) guard of an abandoned resort beyond the rocks. (Sammy had read online that this guard is known to hit disobedient tourists with a stick.)

Observations 2022-01-17

  • The beginning of Sky Blue Sky Festival. Drinking too-strong resort margaritas with Liam, Sima, and Macie by the ocean! Rehearsing!

Observations 2022-01-18

  • The lizard hanging out in our hotel shower skylight.
  • Playing a set with Ohmme in scorching sun, to mostly shirtless, happy people in wading-height lagoon water.

Observations 2022-01-19

  • Playing the Beach Stage at Sky Blue Sky with Dad, Sammy and the gang.
  • A beautiful band dinner.
  • Reading Wikipedia articles about warplanes till the wee hours of the morning. On “accident.”
    • Learning that the designs we think of as the epitome of modern war machines (namely, “semi-monocoque fuselage[s] with a large-cantilever, shoulder-mounted wing” like that of the F-15) were introduced in the 70s. Who knew!
    • We have spent so much fucking money on these things, but I’m not convinced that that’s wrong…. I don’t want contractors to rob the country, but I also don’t want to be vulnerable to insane, belligerent nations. The depressing, violent pickle we’ve been in for a century. (How about we spend more money taking care of each other at home in addition to maintaining strong defenses? The money is there for both. And leverage Boeing, Lockheed et al. into charging less?)

Observations 2022-01-20

  • Stephen Malkmus singing “Cut Your Hair” with Wilco!

Observations 2022-01-21

  • The semi wet sand that nicely crumples beneath your feet.
  • The sound of the tide tumbling dead coral pieces over each other.
  • Walking to a patio restaurant in the rain as a family. The tourists eyeing us with pity when we arrived, soaking.
  • Learning from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s I Asked For Wonder that writing is better with beauty, color, metaphor, and that it needn’t be any less intentional or precise when it has those qualities. (In other words, I’m still unlearning philosophy degree “unstyle” style.)

Observations 2022-01-22

  • The moonlight shining on the ocean. All-time classic!

Observations 2022-01-23

  • Swimming in the ocean right before dusk.
  • The tiny pool of toxic-looking, crusty seawater.
  • The ruby red sea urchin in the rocky shallows.

Observations 2022-01-24

  • A travel day home.

Observations 2022-01-25

  • Recording, diarrheaing all day.

Observations 2022-01-26

  • An amazing show by Lucky Cloud (solo), Lia Kohl, and Gerrit Hatcher at Constellation. Lia, playing cello plus keyboards (with her feet) plus modified radios, in an utterly unpretentious marriage of tech and melody.
  • The occasional gurgle of the humidifier.

Observations 2022-01-27

  • Sammy fooling me with an iPad shaker simulator app.
  • The drips of purple liquid in the alley snow.
  • The humongous electrical grounding stake in the earth beneath a beloved Chicago studio.

Observations 2022-01-28

  • Recording with friends.

Observations 2022-01-29

  • Two rehearsals and a haircut (a la two turntables and a microphone).

Observations 2022-01-30

  • Mixing a song while Mom and Basil watched TV on the couch together.

Observations 2022-01-31

  • Buying sheet aluminum at Metal Supermarkets. The stern but ultimately friendly employee who helped us.