almost done (re-)reading The Silmarillion, but couldn’t pass up this lovely big illustrated hardcover at Half-Price Books today. the bigger, lay-flat map inside the cover (pictured with the less-good creased map in my old copy) is worth the price alone. Doriath > Driath
today’s beer: Thirsty Planet Brewing’s Smittlefest
I love a good Märzen, and this is a good Märzen 🍺
new post: Mary, in which I relate the most heartbreaking thing that’s ever happened to me (“…so far!”, I would have joked, before this)
And it probably won’t get easier
Just easier to hide
Prepare for an aching
The rest of your life
it was: she says this, or she does this, or she thinks this. she loves that or she hates that.
but now it’s: she said this, or she did this, or she thought this. she loved that or she hated that.
how the fuck am I supposed to be able handle that?
Saturday’s beer: Abbaye de Maredsous Tripel
This Belgian Tripel is delicious. In other similarly unexpected news: the sun is hot, and Lucy pulls away the football at the last second 🍺
Saturday beer: St. Arnold’s Old Fashioned
Stumbled across this at Spec’s today and wow is it good. I don’t remember ever having a tasty boozy beer like this from St. A’s before 🍺
beautiful night for a home game at McKalla Place ⚽️
clocked another good chunk of NaNoWriMo editing hours today, for a total of 12 so far. with lots of stuff on the work and personal calendars this month, I wanted to make a strong start 📝
so, one silly problem with tracking my 36-hour Camp NaNoWriMo goal as 36 “words” is that I can’t enter fractional values. I could change to 3600… but I think I’ll just remember that I have a bonus half-hour to log tomorrow (on top of 4(!) today) 📝
I started an editing project on my manuscript for this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo. they only do it by words, but I want to track by hours, so my goal is very modest. two down, thirty-four to go! 📝
I did it: I finished Bruce Tate’s Seven Languages in Seven Weeks. I even took a good-faith stab at the exercises. it would have taken me a damn sight longer than seven weeks, even if I hadn’t set it aside for long periods. an interesting survey of languages and ideas 📚
Happy Pride from the Austin FC game ⚽️
Saturday beer: Oskar Blues Brewery’s Verde S.M.A.S.H.
“The first in our rotating S.M.A.S.H. series celebrating the inaugural Austin FC season.” 😎🍺⚽️
Pregame beer: Austin Beerworks’ Peacemaker
A cold one before we head over to watch the first game ever played in Q2 Stadium: US women’s national team in a friendly against Nigeria (8pm CT on ESPN2 if you want to follow along at home). LFG 🍺⚽️
Saturday’s beer: Lakewood Brewing’s Double Chocolate Temptress
Says to serve at 50-55°, which makes me uptight, but its creamy deliciousness is worth it 🍺
My wife accidentally startled one of our high-strung cats who was on our bathroom counter and freaked out and knocked my beautiful red caseless iPhone onto the marble floor. At least the shattered side, spidered with cracks from edge to edge, is the back, not the screen.
Now I guess I’m in the market for a phone case. Also a door for this barn that the horses escaped from.
Wonder if the Apple Store takes dumb-ass cats in trade.
Saturday’s beer: (512) Brewing Company’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter (2021)
Tasty, and their pecan porter is a favorite, but somehow their barrel-aged versions aren’t the best 🍺
good post from Dan Pfeiffer on how to stop unwittingly boosting those you disagree with on social media
In other words, quote-tweeting or hate-sharing Cruz’s content is the same as contributing to his campaign. If you wouldn’t do the latter, don’t do the former.
Saturday’s beer: Celis Brewery’s Celis Raspberry
not always a fan of fruity beers, but this one’s more sweet than tart. wouldn’t want it all the time but it was good tonight 🍺
I doubt the brazen crooks trying to steal our democracy will be swayed, but I’m going to this voting rights protest at the Texas Capitol tomorrow anyway ✊🗳🇺🇸
Saturday’s beer: Celis Brewery’s Violet Crown Quad
Game day beer for the first Austin FC game in history(!) Not the best result in LA, but a very respectable showing
🌳 🍺 ⚽️
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee is really good; I recommend it. 📚 Al Franken also has a good interview with the author on his podcast, which introduces the main ideas of the book. find it wherever you get your podcasts (or on YouTube)
Saturday’s beer: Buffalo Bayou Brewing’s Comrade Cowbell
pretty tasty but sharper & hoppier than I prefer 🍺
a truly excellent judgement in today’s ToB matchup of James McBride’s Deacon King Kong v. Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown, one where the judge’s opinion is nearly as thoughtful, poignant, and beautiful as the books being discussed:
Reading this book was like getting to see the world in X-ray, where the underlying structure of so many things I’ve spent my life thinking about—human, historical, national—were suddenly at long last made visible.
ahhh, this week’s ToB matches have been back to their usual good level. yesterday saw Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown (which I really liked) knock out Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks (which I plan to read soon). today’s matchup was a thoughtful judgement of Percival Everett’s Telephone v. Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs. I haven’t read either – and don’t plan to – yet I still enjoyed the discussion.
Annalee Newitz on Substack’s scam: “They paid a secret group of writers to make newsletter authorship seem lucrative”. the deception is bad enough on its face, but, as she describes towards the end, “then things got really creepy”
Saturday’s beer: Saint Arnold Brewing’s Spring Bock
this is my absolute favorite local seasonal each year; bought every drop they had (a case, lol) at HEB the other day 🍺
Catching up on a couple of ToB match days, starting with Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind v. Kawai Strong Washburn’s Sharks in the Time of Saviors on Thursday. I read & liked Sharks a lot when I read it for Camp ToB last summer (which it won, thus earning its spot here in the main tournament).
And I don’t say this often, but I started and immediately stopped reading Leave the World Behind. The tone and style were just very very not my thing. Book people talk sometimes about disliking a title so much they want to throw it across the room, and, well, now I know what they mean. But that’s the one that won this round, and so there’s a chance someone will tear it apart in its next matchup.
Though maybe, I learned after reading the snarky, condescending judgement in Friday’s quarterfinal matchup of James McBride’s Deacon King Kong v. Bryan Washington’s Memorial, I wouldn’t enjoy that so much, after all. This judge apparently didn’t care much for either book, which made for a pretty dreary round. The Commentariat had a lot strong opinions, on both sides, of his final criteria:
I think it’s unlikely that these two books will be much read, loved, or discussed in a hundred years… 1920 produced one indispensable masterpiece, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, and hopefully whichever title takes this year’s Rooster incarnates even a fraction of that book’s invigorating brilliance and enduring virtuosity.
I suppose, as a tie-breaker, such a consideration might be valid, though I tend to agree with those who argued that one’s own reading experience – right now, in the present – is worth more than what imagined future generations will enjoy or be moved by or be inspired by. Not to mention the dubious logic of cherrypicking one masterpiece from a hundred years ago to compare, really, any modern book to. Anyway, it didn’t actually break his tie, as he deems both well below that measure. So I guess he just thought that was clever, or was showing off (as one Commentariat member succinctly put it, “Wow. MFA much?”), or just did it for the lulz.
The good part is that I’m convinced about Deacon King Kong; it’s added to my TBR list. To be clear, that’s thanks to all the folks who really loved it, not this judge finally, grudgingly picked it as the winner. Not the best matchday ever, but I’ll be here for the next one on Monday.