Raptitude on going phoneless, noting a thing I also still do a lot:

I take out my phone every time I finish doing basically anything, knowing there will be new emails, [mentions, etc.] I’ve been inserting an open-ended period of pointless dithering after every intentional task

Saturday’s beer: Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s Gulden Draak Classic 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️
no. 4 from this brewery’s sampler six-pack, as tasty as no.s 1-3

really enjoyed The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey, another ToB ‘22 book. a genre-spanning story, it starts from a wild premise & then uses it to dig in to some cool & interesting questions. it was a page-turner; I raced through it 📚

The Beths
Empire Control Room & Garage
Austin

Amanda Marcotte making the case that progressives must reclaim the politics of pleasure: “fun matters, beauty matters”, and

Expanding the imagination and exploring new ideas are antithetical to conservatism, and it’s a good time for the left to start talking about that again

Saturday’s beer: Monk’s Cafe Grand Cru, by Brouwerij Van Steenberge
⭐️⭐️⭐️
tart, but tasty 🍺

finished Libertie, by Kaitlyn Greenidge, a ToB ‘22 contender. excellent writing and fascinating historical setting (and characters) made up for a story that dragged a bit for me in the last third 📚

this Onion story made me literally lol: Archaeologists Discover More Old Shit That Sucks

Imagine wasting your whole life decorating some poorly made clay shit with drawings that look like the worst possible versions of gods or animals. What a bunch of utter garbage

I loved Lost & Found: A Memoir, by Kathryn Schulz. I considered this a “grief book”, and it is, but it’s also a love story, and a memoir, and a philosophy of life, as well. her wonderful, clever, & evocative writing shine in a smart structure that I really liked 📚

Saturday’s beer: Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️

not always a fan of parody/tribute comics, but this “Approved” version of Maus by Tom the Dancing Bug is good

blur effect, courtesy of the winter storm

watched I Care a Lot on Netflix tonight. despite the great cast, I can’t recommend this movie lowly enough. also, was it because (one of) the villains has my last
name that made it seem they said that character’s name SO DARN MUCH??

anyway. bad movie; thumbs down; do not watch

Saturday’s beer: Rahr & Sons Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer 🍺
⭐️⭐️⭐️

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 📚

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