A snowy, icy waterfall in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Hi Observer Valentines.

I hope this newsletter finds you warm, well, and ensconced. Whether that’s ensconced in love, ensconced in blankets, ensconced in scones… As long as it’s a comfy ensconscement, I wish it upon you.

Here are the highlights from January’s OBSERVATIONS.

To the U.P.

  • Kitch-iti-kipi spring. 1-12
    • The crystal-clear, still turquoise water.
    • The sharp fallen trees in the water’s rim, like pirate ship bowsprits.
    • The huge, prehistoric-looking trout in the basin’s depths.
    • The sand swirling around the bottom of the spring.
  • The volcano mouth-esque ring of ice around the bottom of a waterfall, built up over the course of winter, one droplet freezing atop another. 1-13
  • The rocks suspended in ice at the lakeshore, as if the waves picked them up and froze in place. 1-14
  • Stars seen through the little rectangular window in our rented cabin bedroom. 1-13
  • Casey and me replacing lightbulbs in the cabin with warmer ones, because we’re Like That. 1-10
  • Walking on a frozen lake with Casey while I carried Basil in a doggie backpack. 1-10

  • At 6AM: Basil peeing outside with light fluffy snow falling all around him. Angelic. 1-3
  • Accidentally staying up long enough to watch the sun rise, and then to watch Trump leave, flying off into the clouds — grotesquely, relievingly, finally — to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. 1-20
  • My neighbor’s advice to me about our newly purchased table saw: “Never lose your fear of it.” 1-27

Basil, a chihuahua, at the Kitch-iti-kipi spring in Michigan.

  • A delicious meal from Liam’s new food project, Isfahan. 1-24
  • The little actor monkeys in Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus. 1-28
  • Love Is The King sitting next to Harry Styles on the Billboard vinyl chart (and at number one on the indie music chart). 😱 1-27

  • The meticulous phonetic accuracy of Jar Jar Binks’s subtitles in the Star Wars prequels. 1-13
  • The massive TV playing a Spanish-language game show in the closed, otherwise dark panadería. 1-16
  • The diehard forum users who, fifteen years into the reign of social media, still visit their favorite e-bulletin homes every day. Respect. 1-17

  • Paying my union dues. 1-26
  • Buying $1,000 of flooring glue. 1-26
  • Taking my pumpkin pie fate into my own hands — finally eating some after a holiday season without any. 1-10

  • The electricians who, in response to each of my questions, seemed only to grow in their dull, effortless hatred for my existence. 1-25
  • The neighbor cross-country skiing in the falling snow. 1-30
  • The thrill of reading “Wilco” in Bob Dylan’s Chronicles. 1-14

  • The high-pitched patter of rain falling on ice. 1-1
  • Digging my car out of the snow with my bebooted feet. 1-31
  • Mom, spontaneously: “I love the word pizazz.” 1-18

A printed paper receipt featuring excerpts from the Observations blog

Thanks for reading. 😊
And Happy Valentine’s Day! 💘


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