The Nation on replacing Breyer:

some people are going to say, “But Biden should just nominate the most qualified person possible, regardless of race,” & I welcome those people to kiss my black ass. White guys have accounted for 108 of 115 Supreme Court justices in history

Saturday’s beer: Epic Brewing’s Naked Baptist 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️

finished These Precious Days by Ann Patchett 📚 I really enjoyed spending time with these essays from a warm, charming storyteller. haven’t read any of her novels yet, but plan to now. (also glad to own the hardback, with its front-and-back covers)

finished a reread of Anna Burns’ Milkman 📚 I’m still sure some people won’t be into the style, but my god I love this book. quintessential, even, if that’s not too high-flying of that ‘over-the-water’ language

The Guardian: US faces worst blood shortage in over a decade amid pandemic. give blood. it’s safe, easy, and you get free Nutter Butters* (and recent vaccinations don’t prevent you from doing it) 🩸

* at least in Austin you do

Saturday’s beer: Celis Brewery’s Port-Aged Grand Cru
⭐️⭐️⭐️
tasty, if a little flat from a suboptimal growler fill yesterday 🍺

finished Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth 📚 it was good, though the disjointedness of these posthumous books of extra material can be slow going. now I’m as ready for the Lord of the Rings TV series as I’m going to get 📺

finished Susanna Clark’s Piranesi 📚 what an amazing work of fiction, and what a sui generis world she’s created. its utter bizarreness took me a little while to get into, but it became a page-turner soon enough. a masterpiece

finished Inland by Téa Obreht: it was good. it has an interesting structure, alternating between two separate stories – different timescale; one 1st person, one 3rd – that inevitably meet. I admit to almost putting it down in the middle, but I’m glad I stuck it out 📚

got through a couple of hours today driving to & hiking around Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge

Christmas Eve beer: St. Arnold Brewing’s Christmas Ale 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️

a favorite holiday album for years, this is about all I can stand to listen to this year: Over the Rhine’s The Darkest Night of the Year. happy solstice, &c.

Saturday’s beer: Vista Brewing’s “Lorenzo” (Mexican Hot Chocolate Imperial Stout) 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️

I want to like the micro.blog bookshelf stuff, but I don’t get it. the bookshop.org links never work, & I don’t know what I’d use WorldCat for. the Amazon links work, but: no thanks (plus isn’t being anti-Goodreads/Amazon part of the point?) what am I missing?

exciting show on the outdoor channel today

Saturday’s beer: Goose Island Beer Co.’s Bourbon County Cherry Wood Stout (2021)
⭐️⭐️⭐️
the first bottle from this year’s haul, it’s a little sharp, but it’s delicious 🍺

those last couple of books are thanks to my new alternating podcast-for-a-couple-weeks, audiobook-for-a-couple-weeks plan, which is working out great. the nonfiction book (Lafayette) was easier & faster to “binge” through than the short stories (Cleaning Women)

finished Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, read by the author (plus guest stars), whose style I’ve liked since I first heard her on This American Life. really enjoyed this light, fun dive into some history I didn’t know much about 📚

The Onion: Party Evacuated Following Reports Of Host Assembling Some Sort Of Activity

I even saw one guy go out a window.

finished Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women. her stories have an unusual (to me) level of autobiography to them, and many of these are almost just character sketches, rather than full stories. the writing is fantastic, and this collection was really good 📚

finished S3 of Detectorists today. what a sweet, charming, and truly funny show. probably not for everyone but I loved it 📺
(watched via Hoopla, thanks to Austin Public Library)

Saturday’s beer: Left Hand Brewing’s Black Forest Nitro Cherry Chocolate Stout
⭐️⭐️⭐️
smooth, sweet, & delicious 🍺

ABC News on at the in-laws’ with a segment on climate change, showing that Greenland’s ice sheet is disappearing & it’s raining there for the first time in known history — followed immediately by BLACK FRIDAY DOORBUSTER DEALS THAT CAN SAVE YOU 30% ON A SMART TV TONIGHT 😑

McSweeney’s: Announcing Mauve Monday. send them a receipt showing $100 or more spent at an independent bookstore Friday through Monday, and they’ll mail you a surprise gift 📚

this excerpt from Ann Patchett’s new book of the same name (These Precious Days) is a long one but it captivated me. she’s pretty good at the writing; I should read her stuff 📚

The Nation: Kyle Rittenhouse Has Gotten Away With Murder

Nobody honestly thinks a Black teenager who crossed state lines with an illegal gun to shoot up a MAGA protest would get a sympathetic Black judge, a predominately Black jury, favorable media coverage & then walk free

The Guardian: The forgotten oil ads that told us climate change was nothing

The fossil fuel industry has perpetrated a multi-decade, multibillion dollar disinformation, propaganda and lobbying campaign to delay climate action by confusing the public and policymakers

The Onion: NFT Investor Reminds Skeptics Everything Else In World Stupid and Meaningless Too

backlash directed at the waste of NFTs could just as easily be directed at… deodorant, Christianity, hamsters, the nuclear family, World War I, ice cubes, Europe, Thursdays, …

Saturday’s beer: Founders Brewing’s KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Stout
pretty tasty, very strong 🍺

The Big Tree:

The Texas Forest Service estimates the tree to be over 1,000 years old, while other recent estimates place it nearer to 2,000 years old

finished Joanne Cacciatore’s Bearing the Unbearable, a beautiful book. ideas about “stretching & strengthening the grief-bearing muscles”, plus kindness projects, stood out. if nothing else, the title encapsulates the experience about as perfectly as anything I’ve heard 📚

McSweeney’s: My Obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Totally Normal

My responses and attitudes toward Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez totally fall on a sane spectrum of human comportment, so there’s nothing weird, deranged, or dangerously repressed about me, no sir-ee!

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