just finished Anna Burns’ Milkman. haven’t enjoyed a book this thoroughly in a long time. the unique style might not be to everyone’s taste, but I fucking loved it. the story, the style, the characters, the insights… every page was a delight. a masterpiece. 📚
from a mosey today
@ Great Hills Park
Wasatch Brewery’s Bourbon Barrel Polygamy Porter
quite an article, too:
“a mechanism for considering… whether his continued tenure in office poses a threat to the republic. Trump’s actions during his first two years in office clearly meet, and exceed, the criteria to trigger this fail-safe.”
quite a cover on this latest issue
North Coast Brewing’s Old Stock Ale 2017
sadly I won’t be able to commemorate this Neko Case show with my usual grainy, low-light pic due to the strictest no-camera policy I’ve seen in years 😕
@help my last couple of posts haven’t gotten cross-posted to Twitter. I haven’t changed anything (afaik); is there anywhere I can look to try to troubleshoot?
listening to them discuss the 2020 Dem candidates on Pod Save America this morning, I had a thought. I bet that nominee will end up running not against a divisive, unpopular, & ineffectual President Trump, but a less problematic (to many conservatives) President Pence 😕
saw a limited-run showing of the anime film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas tonight. beautiful, funny, and heartbreaking
been watching old episodes of HBO’s Mr. Show, & here’s hoping nobody plays this sketch in the White House: “America can, should, must, and will blow up the moon.”
my talented & creative daughter, a junior at UNT, started this modest Kickstarter a few days ago, and it met its goal overnight! if you or someone you know are into Hunter x Hunter and/or tarot cards, check it out!
that list of suspected noncitizen voters in Texas was so sloppy that one of the people it flagged was an El Paso County elections staffer, whose naturalization party the county’s elections administrator recalled attending a couple years ago
No Label Brewing’s Perpetual Peace
Sunday evening of a pretty-good, not-bad weekend. I’m not sure if I’m following through better on my to-do list lately, or if I’m sandbagging more accurately, but either way it’s nice to feel like I did some stuff I wanted to, and not end the weekend with half a dozen things hanging out, unchecked-off. Not that that’s a big deal, either. But crossing off the last thing on the list is nice.
I don’t recall where I recently came across Jen Myers’ blog, someone from Micro.blog I think, but I really liked her idea of a simple, chronological media log, so I stole it. I like that it’s just a simple list, adorned only with a simple key. Though I couldn’t resist using emoji instead of plain letters for that, I am resisting links to anywhere, reviews, or stars. It’s there. If you come across it and wonder about anything or want to tell me about it, then please do.
Spent some time today loosely planning a trip to Montana this summer. We’re going for a nephew’s wedding, but weren’t sure how much more to make of it. We love Yellowstone, which is near where the wedding will be, so we considered making it a whole big trip: stay somewhere in the park, the whole deal. But instead we’re planning to take it easier than that, just staying in Red Lodge and Billings for a few nights. More relaxing and retreating than go-go sightseeing, and I’m looking forward to it.
Middleton Brewing’s Black Lab Porter
good morning, super moon
Avery Brewing’s Twenty Five
when you neglect to take any good pictures at the big official Major League Soccer team announcement event #AustinFC ⚽️
I don’t usually drink on Tuesday evenings, though then again I don’t usually start drinking at 2:30, even on weekends. But today was a special occasion – the official official announcement that Major League Soccer (MLS), the top soccer league in the country, is coming at last to my hometown of Austin, Texas. It’s been a long road, littered with the roadkill of multiple previous lower-league attempts (RIP, “Aztex”, a truly terrible name that we nevertheless supported wholeheartedly during its two brief incarnations). It was always clear that we wouldn’t get a top-flight team here until some rich person came to town and decided that’s what they wanted, and sure enough, here he is. It’s a couple more years until we’ll get to see them on the field, but that’s all right. I’ve been waiting, and I can keep waiting. I heard the league commissioner, the owner, and Austin’s mayor – plus gloriously ridiculous Alexi Lalas, as well – say this was going to happen, and though that doesn’t really seem like it could be real, it seems more like a dream or something I’d watch happen on a livestream from some other city, this swag on the table came from somewhere. I mean, someone was giving away Heineken (until thank god it ran out and they let us have non-MLS-sponsor but tastier beer, e.g., 512 Oatmeal Stout) all afternoon. So here’s to it actually, for real, can-you-believe-it happening. 🍺 ⚽️
Women’s March in Austin, Jan. 2017
We’re taking our daughter back to college today. She had an eventful winter break, featuring a ten-day study-abroad trip in Germany, with an added few days in Vienna for fun with a friend who also went. It’s been exciting, for us vicariously as well, but I’m also glad to return to normal, such as it is. Though my wife also starts a new job next week, so maybe I shouldn’t count my normal-returns before they’re hatched. Thankful that these are good things that are interrupting that normalcy. This year is getting off to a good start and I’m feeling pretty optimistic about what it holds for us. Though I’m superstitious enough about jinxing myself that it’s taking real effort to not delete that before publishing this, ha ha.
Middleton Brewing’s Pecan Amber
⭐️__ __ (1/3)
just think if these pics came close to reality
The Guardian, with six key things to know about Trump’s border wall speech. tl;dr – a border wall is a dumb thing that wouldn’t solve the non-existent problems he claims it would. lose-lose-lose. #trumpshutdown
apocalypse earlier this evening
The Bruery’s Bakery
Did some thinking this morning about what I want to do here, in my morning pages writing (a practice I’ve found to be valuable; I should write about that sometime). I was trying to understand a justification, a why, for this urge to write more personally and at more length. And the old “who cares what you had for lunch?” question came to mind.
One effect of that attitude was to dismissively discourage people from sharing anything mundane or non-fabulous. And another, further effect is the tendency to only post the good stuff, the living-my-best-life stuff. The artfully composed and beautifully filtered Instagram pictures of an amazing lunch. Now you’ve answered the question of who cares about what you had for lunch, because look at it, it’s a masterpiece!
But then people do look at it, among the dozens of other jealousy-inducing pictures of fantastic meals in their feed. And maybe they start feeling a little bad about their own plain, non-amazing meals. Which they’re certainly not going to share on social media now, it would be embarrassing. Next week, on vacation in Hawaii, there might be an Instagram-worthy lunch, but not today.
So the tendency drives what’s published to ever more rarified heights, while also keeping people from sharing their more genuine lives. But on the other hand, would I follow a random person who posted boring pictures of uninteresting lunches? No, probably not. It’s no strategy to increase social media “engagement” or grow followers or go viral, that’s for sure. But why do those have to always be everyone’s goals?
Because what I realized is that I would like to see my friends, the people I actually know, post more about their lives. Not every meal, not even every lunch, but the occasional boring, mundane glimpse would be great.
I’ve been thinking I’d like to write more, and more personally, here on my blog. I like Micro.blog, and I like having my tweets (most of them) originate here. But it’s still only been just tweet-style stuff: links with an excerpt, or a joke or pithy comment. I have some hang-up about opening up too much, but lately, at least, I’ve become so tired of nobody ever doing it that I guess it’s kind of getting to me.
I also have come to feel like writing anything online is a big effort, that requires a lot of work and planning and thought and polish. And the other side of that coin is how it may or may not be received – who and how many read it, like it, comment, retweet, etc. Which for me, somewhat to my dismay, is rarely ever many folks. So there’s high effort on one side, and low reward on the other. The result of that calculus is unsurprising: silence.
After hearing her on a recent Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, I listened to an old comedy album by Maeve Higgins on Spotify. It was odd and not super funny, but it had its moments. She admits right up front that her style is more rambling storyteller than punchline-joke-deliverer, and that’s accurate. But a turn of phrase in one of her stories stuck with me. She said that she and her sister used to think people who used potpourri were “try-hard losers”, and they laughed at them behind their backs.
I think the barb of the comment was directed at herself and her sister much more than it was at potpourri people. And it’s kind of muddled to me so I’m sure it will be to anyone who comes across this (I mean, talk about rambling), but something about that scoffing aloofism resonated with how jaded I feel – and think many of us have become – in particular as members of the online “communities” we’re in.
So. I’ve disconnected automatic crossposting to Twitter of everything I write here (or I think I have, anyway); going to try to get back to being a try-hard loser for a while.