Make Dinner Lunch Again! And Two Other Etymological Anecdotes

1: These days dinner is supper, but dinner used to be lunch. We, collectively, should reclaim lunch for dinner. "How can dinner be lunch?" you might ask. "Supper and dinner are the same?" Not so dear boy! Back in ye olde days, when our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents worked from home in the fields to "feed themselves and their families," they used to get up really early and take time to eat their Big Meal in the afternoon so they'd be able to work more in the afternoon. Then everyone ate the small and informal "supper" before dark. A fun fact about supper is that it was usually soup and is thusly derived from the Old French word for soup. Anyway how did it become dinner? Not totally clear but it seems like it has to do with a) lighting, and b) capitalism—at various points in time in different places, folks stopped working at home and started working elsewhere, and were unable to come home in the middle of the day to make dinner (lunch) or even spend time eating a large meal since they were not getting paid for that time. Since gas and oil lighting also common, these folks were able to cook and eat later at night more regularly. The european royals who didn't have to go to work also moved their dinner to suppertime but only because the lighting let them party later. I think it would be nice if we went back to eating dinner for lunch though and supper later. Maybe even adopted the siesta. What's that? You want to know where "lunch" came from? Tough luck my boy, nobody knows! 2: A month or so ago I woke up in the middle of the night so I could type into google "is tissue names after sneeze sound" and immediately fall back asleep. Presumably earlier I had sneezed and gotten a tissue and thought, "tissue sounds a lot like my sneeze" which is kind of true in the sense thay my sneeze sounds less like "Ahh-Choo" and more like "(ah)Tschiooo" which sounds kind of like "tissue." Anyway it was all for naught because "tissue" comes from Old French "tissu" which means "woven" and comes from the latin word for weaving. And to make maters worse, tissues for sneezing only come about later in reference to "tissue paper" whereas before tissues were used for other things and handkerchiefs were used for wiping your nose. 3: On the topic of onomatopoeia, guess where the word "piss" comes from. Gross!

Lakhsa Learns to Cry

The following is part of a dream I had the night of Wednesday, January 24th. I go to the ice cream parlor near the beach with Sam, my friend from middle school (see the post entitled "bleach"), and his dad and brother. Sam has been depressed. When we walk up to the ice cream parlor he orders first and asks, “can I have a Lakhsa learns to cry?” The ice cream parlor attendants say, “what’s that,” and Sam goes on to describe a soft-serve swirl molded into the shape of a face with the mouth open, and with hot fudge poured into the mouth and eyes so that it melts the ice cream and drips down as if the face is crying. The ice cream people are on the verge of crying themselves from the sheer beauty of this conceptual ice cream is and they say of course you can have it we will make it for you. Then I am about to order and I want the same thing because it sounds good but before I get to say so Sam goes “everyone else will just have a big stick of vanilla with a tiny cone. They can’t handle too much flavor.” So we all are given ice creams that we have to hold by the cream since the cone is only a half-inch tall and sitting on the very top like a little hat. I am quite upset by this, and my hand is covered in vanilla ice cream.

What's the Deal with Websites These Days??

We value your privacy! We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze our traffic. By clicking "Accept All', you consent to our use of cookies. ☐Customize ☒Reject All ☑︎Accept All What's the deal with websites these days?? When did they become so awful?? Today I threw my phone across the couch because I was so annoyed at a shoe store website. We get it. You aren't here for the ads. But ads allow us to keep the lights on, and keep serving you more quality content. Please disable ad blocker or sign in to continue. Sign In | Disable Ad Blocker | Continue Without Disabling I feel like we went from windows 95 desktop with a bunch of malware pop up windows to something decent to a bunch of pop up windows again. Sign up for our mailing list and get $10 off your first order! Every single website is like this. How did we as a society allow this to happen. I'm starting an initiative. F U L L P A G E A D (WITH SOUND) An initiative to keep websites free of spam. Join me by reciting the following pledge: Uh oh! Looks like you hit your free article cap for this month. Subscribe to Moodring+™ to continue reading.

the zillennial pause

everyone talks about the millennial pause, when you wait for a half second before talking into your phone camera because you can't really trust any piece of technology and you never know quite if or quite when the phone will start recording, and when the phone now inevitably starts recording immediately and teenagers notice and make fun of you. however i'd like to introduce the zillennial pause, which has nothing to do with the actual age of zillennials really other than the fact that many of us feel the need to make a good impression in the remote workforce, but i thought it made sense as a name maybe. anyway the zillennial pause is kind of opposite the millennial pause—it is the one second that happens at the very end of every zoom (/meet/teams/webex/etc.) meeting when you've said goodbye and you are frantically looking for the "leave meeting" button (which then prompts the "are you sure you want to leave this meeting?" button) and you still have that goofy fake "i love my job" smile on your face before your computer finally turns off the camera and your face drops like a lead weight in a bubble bath back to your neutral-emotion-ass disinterested doomer screen stare. you feel a little awkward about it but it's ok because if you look you can see the other people on the meeting also rest their eyes not on you but on the bottom-right corners of their work laptops also trying to GTFO ASAP and get back to watching asmr youtube or cooking their rancho gordo bean-of-the-month or taking a nap or whatever else constitutes working from home. actually this also relates to the real reason i think this is specifically the zillennial pause and not the general WFH pause, which is that everyone above 40 on these calls doesn't do this, because either 1) they weren't smiling in the first place, work is a serious affair and it doesn't matter if anyone likes you, 2) as soon as they say goodbye their mouth opens and their face gets so close to the screen you can smell their breath, or 3) they never had their camera on because they were driving their kids to after-school circus camp and tesla hasn't added zoom as a supported app yet. don't be embarrassed everyone, keep it up and one day you'll also be your own CEO with no time for your family or the wellbeing of the planet <3 now get out there and endorse me on linkedin!

is confused ???

do you ever have a stretch of time where you're just like, """what's going on these days??? i feel like i used to know but now i have no idea???""" that's where i'm at right now, here are some things that have happened to me recently that help capture this feeling. - i told my boss i was going to berlin and he said "you have to go to this old bombed out department store. well actually it's not there anymore. but one time i was walking by and this guy came up to me trying to sell me drugs and said 'was wants toi, amigo?' he became my good friend" ??? - when i was in paris walking down the street i heard one person say to another person in front of me, in a very thick french accent, out of nowhere, "i do not want you to peepee your pants because then you will be stinky and i will not sit next to you." ??? - i got stuck in helsinki for 24 hours;; in helsinki i walked out of the train station at 9am and immediately saw a man skid on his bike on the icy path and flip over the handlebars; he fell into a perfect somersault on the ground and stood straight up; an old woman went up to him and asked if he was ok; he just patted her on the back and laughed. ??? - in philadelphia i called to order chinese food, clearly for a few people, and upon hearing my order, the guy from the restaurant on the other line just went, "wow that's a lot of food!!!" ??? - the other day after a camera-on zoom meeting i went to the bathroom and there was a bunch of dried blood on my face. i guess i had a nosebleed in the middle of the meeting and didn't notice and nobody told me ??? - today i woke up 15 minutes past my alarm and looked at my phone and the alarm was going off and the snooze button was there but there was no sound and no vibration ??? but i could not fall back asleep

two notes on manhood and a dream from last month

I went to cvs the other day to kill time and was there in the deodorant aisle smelling all the deodorants because I’m low and on the lookout for a new scent. And I was thinking Why is everyone so against Man Scents. Man Scents are the epitome of our triumph against nature. We all know and love the fresh odor of the eucalyptus tree, and the calm of lavender, and the warmth of cedar, but why stop there. How better can we dominate our world than by creating a New Nature of our own fragrant design? What could possibly be more masculine than the chemical chimera? The impossible composite deemed “Pure Sport” or "Arctic Edge" or "Dark Temptation" or "Captain" (all real body wash scents) ??? The Only True Masculinity is found not in Man but in the whole and utter emasculation of everything Non-Man: the sky, the sea, the senses, etc. etc. etc. People talk about the hormones women get in their late 20s/early 30s that cause them to suddenly want to have kids. I think I have the man version of this because I suddenly have been imagining myself owning a pickup truck. And not even one of those tiny italian/japanese minitrucks—a big, old, rust-covered, american-made chunker. Ideally with a big slobbery dog taking up the other seat in the cab. And if not a pickup then at least a 2000s subaru outback. Serious offer if anyone wants to go in on this with me please let me know. --- dream::: i am at summer camp sleeping in a dorm. i have a screening of a movie for a group of girls and they love it. then while walking around i discover that much of my hair is actually a toupee and i did not know about it——when i went to go get my haircut the haircut person must have put the toupee on without telling me. this makes me very distressed because i am just learning that i am super balding. a bunch of kids throw rolls of film into a fountain full of developing fluid. i have a bigger screening for the same movie for even more girls (specifically, a big group of lesbians?), but stop it early by accident. then when we watch the remainder of the movie it has an alternate ending that is terrible and has the opposite plot and moral as the original. the girls (lesbians?) hate it and beat me up. then there is a camp dance with a mac and cheese bar, but i don't go. the rolls of film are still in the pool of fluid. dream analysis::: - i recently hosted a screening for a movie - i recently got a haircut and watched a youtube video about toupees - i just found mac and cheese in my neighbor's box of free stuff

animal magnetism 2

a bird just pooped on me again!!! seriously what’s the deal here

animal magnetism (sunday august 13)

a bee followed me around at the bus stop! then a bird pooped on my back at the beach! then a wasp followed me around for 10 straight minutes! in the middle of the meditation at the ambient show on top of the crazy bushwick trash building! then mark and i saw two people fucking in maria hernandez park... right in front of the sidewalk... right in front of their crying baby... woof!

three stress dreams from the past few weeks

1: in which my friends accompany me to the hospital because i have a rash; the hospital is absolutely filthy, the walls are stained and the floor is covered in ashes or dust or something; i finally see the doctor who asks to see my rash and i remove my clothes to show him and my friends that my body is covered in patches of purple, oozing polka dots; the doctor insists i am fine and this looks pretty normal; i protest so he says i should put some cream on it and leaves; we are stuck in a disgusting hospital room. 2: in which i am signing a new lease on an apartment in prospect heights and my parents are helping me pay for it; while showing their friend the apartment i overhear the friend say to my dad, "guess you have one of THOSE kids who will never make it" or something about my lack of financial independence, and my dad laughs and replies, "yeah, he's definitely a net loss of a son;" i am furious and immediately confront my dad about this comment and he shrugs it off; i tell a lot of my friends how bad this has made me feel; i refuse to speak to my parents until they apologize to me. i wake up with tears down my cheeks. 3: in which i have built a website one way instead of another way and because of that i am told i am being sent to jail; i plead that i can just fix the website and build it the other way instead, but am told that since i already built it i have to go to jail regardless; the sentence is only 3-4 months which is really only 1 month on good behavior so it's not even that bad; i am confused why i have to go to jail for this in the first place; once again i ask if i can just fix it and am told i am definitely going to jail, which is conveniently just on the other side of the park from my house; my friends ask me what i'd like to eat as my last meal before jail.

6 month update

i have not used spotify private mode at all this year; to all my haters who thought i couldn't do it, think again before you underestimate me next time.........

Some of my favorite passages from "Orlando"

"The ceremony was always the same. On reaching the courtyard, the Janissaries struck with their fans upon the main portal, which immediately flew open revealing a large chamber, splendidly furnished. Here were seated two figures, generally of the opposite sexes. Profound bows and curtseys were exchanged. In the first room, it was permissible only to mention the weather. Having said that it was fine or wet, hot or cold, the Ambassador then passed on to the next chamber, where again, two figures rose to greet him. Here it was only permissible to compare Constantinople as a place of residence with London; and the Ambassador naturally said that he preferred Constantinople, and his hosts naturally said, though they had not seen it, that they preferred London. In the next chamber, King Charles's and the Sultan's healths had to be discussed at some length. In the next were discussed the Ambassadors's health and that of his host's wife, but more briefly. In the next the Ambassador complimented his host upon his furniture, and the host complimented the Ambassador upon his dress. In the next, sweet meats were offered, the host deploring their badness, the Ambassador extolling their goodness. The ceremony ended at length with the smoking of a hookah and the drinking of a glass of coffee; but though the motions of smoking and drinking were gone through punctiliously there was neither tobacco in the pipe nor coffee in the glass, as, had either smoke or drink been real, the human frame would have sunk beneath the surfeit." "Everything appeared in its tenderest form, yet, just as it seemed on the point of dissolution, some drop of silver sharpened it to animation. Thus it was that talk should be, thought Orlando (indulging in foolish reverie); that society should be, that friendship should be, that love should be. For, heaven knows why, just as we have lost faith in human intercourse some random collection of barns and trees or a haystack and a waggon presents us with so perfect a symbol of what is unattainable that we begin the search again." "He talked incessantly about himself, yet was such good company that one could listen to the story of his ague for ever. Then he was so witty; then he was so irreverent; then he made so free wit the names of God and Woman; then he was so full of queer crafts and had such strange lore in his head; could make salad in three hundred different ways; knew all that could be known about the mixing of wines; played half-a-dozen musical instruments, and was the first person, and perhaps the last, to toast cheese in the great Italian fireplace. That he did not know a geranium from a carnation, an oak from a birch tree, a mastiff from a greyhound, a teg from a ewe, wheat from barley, plough land from fallow; was ignorant of the rotation of the crops; thought oranges grew under the ground and turnips on trees; preferred any townscape to any landscape;—all this and much more amazed Orlando who had never met anybody of his kind before." "In short, he was preparing in the chivalry of his heart to forgive her and had bent to ask her pardon for the violence of his language when she cut the matter short, as he stooped his proud head, by dropping a small toad between his skin and his shirt." "Thus, stealthily, and imperceptibly, none marking the exact day or hour of the change, the constitution of England was altered and nobody knew it. Everywhere the effects were felt. The hardy country gentleman, who had sat down gladly to a meal of ale and beef in a room designed, perhaps by the brothers Adam, with classic dignity, now felt chilly. Rugs appeared, beards were grown and trousers fastened tight under the instep. The chill which he felt in his legs he soon transferred to his house; furniture was muffled; walls and tables were covered too. Then a change of diet became essential. The muffin was invented and the crumpet. Coffee supplanted the after-dinner port, and, as coffee led to a drawing-room in which to drink it, and a drawing-room to glass cases, and glass cases to artificial flowers, and artificial flowers to mantelpieces, and mantelpieces to pianofortes, and pianofortes to drawing-room ballads, and drawing-room ballads (skipping a stage or two) to innumerable little dogs, mats, and antimacassars, the home—which had become extremely important—was completely altered." "Must it then be admitted that Orlando was one of those monsters of iniquity who do not love? She was kind to dogs, faithful to friends, generosity itself to a dozen starving poets, had a passion for poetry. But love—as the male novelists define it—and who, after all, speak with greater authority?—has nothing whatever to do with kindness, fidelity, generosity, or poetry. Love is slipping off one's petticoat and— But we all know what love is. Did Orlando do that?" "At last the play was ended. All had grown dark. The tears streamed down his face. Looking up into the sky there was nothing but blackness there too. Ruin and death, he thought, cover all. The life of man ends in the grave. Worms devour us." I know this is supposed to be this nihilistic cumulation of Orlando's depressive episode, but when I read "Worms devour us" I felt really comforted—I, too, one day will be devoured by worms and return to the earth as fertile soil :)

Seven Related Thoughts

1. KMS I started using the term often. On one particularly bad day I said it to R— who replied, "kiss my self," and this became the new definition; KMS as in, "This awful thing just happened, I deserve to kiss myself for dealing with it." 2. Tattoo anxiety I got this big tattoo a month and a half ago. I did not want it to be so big... it has actually been very stressful, because I wanted it to be about half the size and quite different than it is, but I kind of freaked out big time at my freehand appointment and did not do a good job communicating... I've told a lot of friends about this stress over the past month and I've gotten a surprising amount of empathy about these feelings: "After I got these tattoos, there was a long time before I liked them where I was like, 'oh my god, what did I do to my body,'" said S— (I'm paraphrasing). "There's like a month long postpartum after every tattoo where you feel terrible before you like it," said J—, who has more tattoos than anyone else I know. I am simultaneously reassured and frustrated by the seemingly universal feeling of post-tattoo-anxiety. Why didn't anyone tell me about it earlier! Will mine go away? I think only in part. The feeling of "why did I not just say what I wanted?" might be there forever :) (though in some crude way it may be nice to have a permanent reminder that I need to express myself) but maybe the feeling of Vibe-Defining Paranoia will go away—that is, I'll stop thinking, "omg, now if I'm riding my bike/going to this show/ blah blah blah I'll look like such a Guy Who WOULD Be Riding A Bike/Going To That Show/Blah Blah Blah. omg, there are so many people around with these big arm tattoos, now I seem just like all of them." I mean.....yeah I am riding a bike/going to the show/blah blah blah..? Of course I look like I'm doing what I'm doing. And spoiler alert, there are a lot of people out here without big arm tattoos, and I also seem just like them. Am I being dramatic? Yes of course, what else is the blog for?? Eventually this will fade either into nonperception or into slow, soft regret. I think I should probably go get more tattoos I DO like so this one doesn't feel so dominating. 3. The Utensil Thief Last time I wrote about how my spatula was stolen. Now my scissors have mysteriously disappeared. I've looked everywhere! Who keeps taking my kitchen tools!? 4. Embracing my inner tech bro I signed up for the rock climbing gym, ok, sue me!! And I've been riding my bike all around!! I Love these Activities!! I wish they were not so stigmatized (maybe biking dude stigma is gone by now?) because they are really fun!! Climbing always seemed really popular in the bay area growing up—My dad used to belay me up the tiny route where all the holds were shaped like dinosaurs or letters of the alphabet, and afterwards I was treated with a clif bar or a vitamin water; my middle school crush would compete in tournaments and bring me to halloween headlamp night; almost all my friends at my (private) high school had stints going to planet granite or mission cliffs—but is definitely inaccessible: gyms are expensive(!) and uncommon, and California probably has more cool (outdoor) rocks and better weather than most places. In my head after ten million more tech dudes moved to SF and discovered how fun climbing was it became popular elsewhere. But after some halfhearted research it seems like the release of "Free Solo" was actually the big tipping point. Whatever! Running has always made me feel like my throat is full of acid and """Going to the Gym""" is the worst form of being perceived. But on my bike I am Hot Shit!! I can't pedal up a hill without stopping to catch my breath! I haven't been able to break the V3-V4 barrier since high school! But IDC because I am Sweaty and Having a Fun Time! I have a guest pass if you want to as well!! 5. What goes around comes around One of the worst trends of the summer is that all the people from online who i met in person seem to be popping up again. J— tells about a date he went with someone I also had gone out with once. Two people who I liked but didn't like me back are at the same show at public records; much later I show up to my friend's house show and one of them is working the door, she lives there. I stumble on my LOML's instagram page, where she has a photo with someone else I went on a date with, I click on her page and she has a photo with yet another person I went on a date with. K— and R— and I successfully connect ourselves in a cycle by linking people who we know have kissed. Oh what a tangled web we weave! KMS! 6. "The desire to buy a farm has never been stronger" I wrote this in a post last year, but the feeling is still very much alive: I spend a lot of time during the workday on;; In the line to get our photos taken A— and R— and I imagine dancing in our own barn with our own membership cards, we could call it "cowadays";; on the basement dancefloor on mushrooms I can't think about anything else so try to budget in my head for how much of a monthly mortgage payment I can afford. If anyone wants to go in on some land I'm down serious offer. 7. Vlog I've decided to make a summer vlog, after thinking a lot about R—'s end-of-college video. If you catch me trying to sneakily take a video of you, I'm sorry, I too hate living in the friendship panopticon, but please bear with me, I hope it'll be worth it

On facing your fears

The internet was out in Bushwick today. It was out when I came back to my apartment in the morning, and it stayed out after I showered and ate an egg sandwich. It was out at the cafe I planted myself at for the morning—the one with lots of seating that always reminds me of my college haunts. The one where, today, sitting at the communal table there, I was elated. (Never have I ever released so much serotonin on a workday. I watched folks walk by through the window and said over slack, "wow maybe u rly do have to love urself in order to love someone else" to A, who reminded me how that exact sentiment had been in the fortune cookie I had a week or two earlier.) The internet was out at the film lab on the way home, even though they run on the free, volunteer-run, community internet service provider! Who knew this even existed! It was out when I sat outside to squeeze the last few drops of bandwidth out of my iphone's cellular hotspot, and it was out when I locked myself out of my apartment. I had run downstairs after a meeting to switch my laundry, and once the dryer started spewing its familiar clank I went to open my door and could not. Uh oh! My recurring nightmare—the scenario I dread every laundry day, the fear that makes me pat my keys three separate times before checking my mail—had finally metamorphosed into reality. How stupid could I be?? Maybe the door was just stuck, I had really unlocked when I went out? Maybe my keys were just in my pocket and I didn't feel them? No, the rumors were true, I was locked out. No keys, no phone, just a pair of useless airpods, my wallet, and bright yellow crocs. By some bizarre miracle I did not spontaneously combust into a ball of pure anxiety and instead knocked on my neighbors' doors for a phone. 1F, no response. 2F, 2B, 3F, no response. Finally 3B, just finishing a work call, internet also out, opened up and called our Hasidic landlord, Sam, to see if he could let me in. I had often wondered how he'd react in this situation. Would he drop everything and rush to my aid or would I have to wait until deep in the night? Would he be available at all? It's always nice to find answers to those longstanding questions in unexpected ways. "I'll be there soon, but I'm not sure when," he said. Not exactly reassuring, but thank G–d I didn't get locked out on Shabbat! While I waited for Sam I tried to break into my own apartment. It's very easy to climb into my backyard from the street (something I had long since suspected and to be honest was quite eager to try) but surprisingly hard to get inside. Unluckily for me all our windows and doors were locked and I wasn't getting anything open without breaking it. This in itself was quite reassuring and kind of a nice assuagement of an unrelated fear. I could, however, see my work computer stuck on the google meet post-call splash page through the window, and I hoped nobody was frantically trying to get in contact with me (they weren't; nobody even knew I was gone). I had taken my watch off inside, so my only way of measuring time was by the roughly one-hour long dryer cycle I had started when everything began. Luckily, Sam came before that ended, and I made it back into my (still internetless) apartment just in time to run the dryer a second time because my clothes were still just as wet as they were when I put them in. What feels better than to shine the light on your fear and see that they are nothing more than 40-minute long inconveniences? To realize that you really are capable of calling your landlord from your neighbor's phone and waiting and this probably happens to a lot of people all the time and not just you? When he came, Sam pointed at the switch on the side of the door and said, "you know you can just flip this to unlock it, right?" And maybe that's true of more than just the door—maybe sometimes things feel impossible, overwhelming, but if you need to you can just flip the switch and solve them when you really need to. But just for the record, that switch is broken on my door. --- That same evening, I finally replaced the spatula I lost (it was stolen. how can you lose a spatula) with a nicer version. Then, while walking to my friend's apartment I ran into her ex on a citibike, and we chatted for a moment before he biked away. Half an hour later I learned that just after our encounter he biked straight into a taxi and shattered its taillight. At her apartment, my friend told me that my ex is about to move in with her boyfriend who I hadn't known about, and I couldn't help but imagine him for the entire train ride home. But the album I was listening to ended just as I stepped out of the train and into the languid spring air. Some fears are just not worth facing !

Vocab Lesson: The Transitive Vibe

We all know and love the word "vibe." It probably tops my list of most overused words of the present day. I don't actually have a list but often I do feel like I need to stop putting "vibe" at the end of my sentences all the time! I'd wager that every reader of this post is familiar with the various ways we can use "vibe," for example: - as a noun: "That last hungry post on was such a vibe!" "Idk, It was funny but it kinda gave me libertarian vibes." - as an adjective: "I miss Danny's, it was always so vibey in there." - as an intransitive verb: "My hinge date and I were really vibing last night! She had to leave after 30 minutes but I think it went really well!" But during my time as a Big Jazz Boy, I often heard another use of "vibe" that deserves a place in the lexical spotlight. When we take the happy, intransitive verb form of vibe and add a direct object, the meaning becomes more sinister... In the colloquial jazz world, "to vibe" means to be rude, or passive-aggressive, or condescending, or generally unpleasant to someone. Suppose you and I are at the jam, and every time you call a tune I give you the stink eye and audibly sigh before counting things off. Then after you say you'd rather not play Giant Steps I say "oh, I mean it's a pretty easy one..." You might go home after and think, "That drummer was really vibing me tonight! What was his problem?" Notice that "vibe" is now transitive—I am vibing you, not vibing with you. Each of these acts by themselves is me vibing you, and as a whole they are still me vibing you. This phrase often feels useful to me when I want to indicate that someone has been actively impolite to me, but not necessarily directly mean—"getting bad vibes" from someone is mild but passive, while "being a dick" to someone is active but extreme. "Vibing" someone fills a much-needed linguistic gap of mild and active disrespect. I hope you learned something today in this vocab lesson. Let's conclude with some more examples of the difference between the transitive and intransitive "vibe." Feel free to post your own for practice! Intransitive: "I was vibing with the bassist in rehearsal yesterday, I'm excited for our gig!" Transitive: "I was vibing the bassist in rehearsal yesterday, I hope she quits the weezer cover band!" Intransitive: "They and I always vibe! We spent the whole dinner laughing with each other." Transitive: "They always vibe me! They spent the whole dinner laughing at me for being in a weezer cover band." Intransitive: "Her new boyfriend really vibed with us last night, he seems great!" Transitive: "Her new boyfriend really vibed us last night, even though we were so nice when he showed us his rapey anime dvd!" (this one is real)

The Feeling They Don't Tell You About and Other Related Thoughts

Emotion—a topic as old as time itself. One can only imagine the feelings of the first protozoic slime molds to ever sit aimlessly on this bizarre rock we call Earth. Flash Forward. Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger; almost all of us experience these. We are taught about them in "school" and see them in media like "Caillou" and "Avatar: The Way of Water." Real blog-heads, and real therapists of said blog-heads, know of the Feelings Wheel (, which describes even more emotions than you might have ever known existed within you. Advanced, college-level feelings like "cheeky," "detestable," and "persecuted." Take a moment to look at the feelings wheel. How are you feeling in this moment? How have you been feeling today as a whole? What about this week, this month? Which feelings do you feel most often? Now take a step back and look at the feelings wheel again. Strike emotion from your heart and truly examine it. Upon doing so you may have some questions. Questions like, "Why is this a wheel? Do we rotate around all of these feelings?" or "Why are so many of the feelings negative? Why is it so much easier to pinpoint our bad, fearful, angry, disgusted, and sad feelings than our happy ones?" But today ask yourself this question: Is something missing? Today we are here to discuss the feeling they don't tell you about: Neutral Emotion. Next time you are sitting in your bed watching a YouTube video suggested to you by Big Algorithm™ and something jolts you out of your cocomelonesque trance, or when you are sitting on the toilet at work scrolling through instagram, take a pause. What are you feeling? You may say, "I am feeling nothing. But no, not nothing—I am still Feeling. And if I thought about it I could certainly find something to be emotional about in my current situation. But instead I am just kind of here." This is Neutral Emotion. The asymptotic center of the feelings wheel. Neutral Emotion exists most starkly for me on the joy-gratitude-ennui-despair axis of emotion. It is not really a reflection of circumstance but really only the feeling of being—of living but not Living; of passing time but not boredom; of presence but not focus. And it is not a Bad Thing—not every moment can or should be emphatic and passionate and intense. I also don't want to give the impression that Neutral Emotion is peaceful or meditative when in fact it is an unstable equilibrium; after a push toward emotion it is difficult to return to Neutrality. Although is returning to Neutrality ever really desired? Don't we truly want to feel content or accepting or resolute? In fact, how can we even know that Neutral Emotion is an emotion in itself and not just the total, abject lack of emotion? How can we even know whether there is a difference between those two ideas if annoyance can be promoted into anger which can be promoted into rage? How much Neutral Emotion is OK to feel before we should be concerned? Unfortunately I don't have the answers to these questions, and furthermore there is only so much I can say on this topic. I invite you, the reader, to explore your own unfeeling feelings. As a consolation, and given that this post is entirely disinterested, below are some thoughts I've had in the past week or two that might be more fun to think about. - I feel partially like I've been posting less partially due to an increase in Neutral Emotion. Like I am feeling less intensely about things overall so I'm less inclined to write about them. But not in a depressed way? - As I am writing this I am kind of worried that people will read it and think "this is such a dumb unaware 'boy' post. this idiot is just not in touch with his emotions." but in true 'boy' manner I am posting it anyway!!! - I am currently ghosting my bad therapist and honestly sometimes I feel like I should really be spending more time feeling my feelings instead of thinking about them. a loss for Neutral Emotion to be sure (and also for my therapist). Does anyone want to refer me to a good therapist - If you get hit by a city bus or fall through one of those sidwealk grates do you get a big payout?? I always assumed yes but maybe the answer is no now that I think about it - Last night I had a stress dream where I was hosting a music festival in a hotel room and famous people like thundercat and sandra bullock were coming but someone was supposed to bring CDJs and a mixer but they only actually brought 1.5 CDJs and no mixer and I couldn't figure out how to allow for DJing to happen and thundercat was already there but honestly was being so chill about the whole thing but I was still stressed. - Automatic toilets and the story of Orpheus are kind of the closest things we have to quantum mechanics in the macro-world

recent mundane dreams

- had a dream I redownloaded tiktok and felt bad about it - had a dream I saw my friend wearing the same pair of sneakers I was about to buy, and was relieved that I hadn’t yet bought them - had a dream I got the wordle on my first guess and texted my dad to tell him

2022 ins/outs - A Retrospective

in - banquets - what is a banquet? the bar is high here and I met it at most a couple times. would have liked more, but a small success nonetheless - still lifes - did a lot of craigslist searching to no avail, however some plans have been laid for future work - UV protection - spf moisturizer worn intermittently but relatively often - ergonomics - lol - ceramics - turns out to be way way harder than it looks. if anyone has recs for a studio in bushwick I’d like to continue - fishnet - maybe next year...... maybe next year - making (and sharing!!) art that feels genuine - keep ur eyes peeled for the half stop album 2023 baby!!!! - tajines - honestly. I don’t think I ate a single one this year. an abject failure here 0/10 - solo expeditions - still scary!! - 3/4 length clothing - still love it, didn't really wear it - generosity, especially as necessity - doing a bad job tbh - building things - photo booth shelves paper holder shoe rack bench!! - nice smells - eucalyptus, satsuma, vanilla, coconut, lavender; next year i'm finally changing deodorant - taking pictures of my friends - doing an ok job but getting better!! - bikepacking - let's be real this was a stretch goal. but maybe next year 1/10 - frogs, raccoons, skunks, geckos - love u little guys <3 never stop being you - communicating feelings - yikes!!! but also nice??? 5.5/10 - reading before bed - at least 2/365 - bluegrass - kind of 2021 tbh - london fogs - major yum moment! but they got kind of old. the new move is making a full pot of decaf black tea for everyone at nighttime out - guilt // shame - good luck to my therapist in 2023 - making like 7 servings of one meal for yourself and getting sick of it before finishing - 10/10 progress on this great job, only issue is that I just bought every meal instead - “productivity” - uhhhhhhhhhhh honestly not really sure what i wanted out of this - corporate slang - will not be circling back to this. - clout // prestige - still gross // I have none // not caring anymore !!!!! - economics - dead to me (except asking for a cost of living raise bc of inflation rip) 8.3%/10 - loafers - did not wear a single pair!!! great job me!!!! - unconstructive criticism - um idk you tell me how I’m doing here I think this is a potential area or improvement - collecting - ? - going out without earplugs - amazing job but I lost my earplugs twice bc they fell off my keychain 9/10 - complacency // apathy - woof - metallic-spiky-core and art that’s trying to be both cute and scary at the same time - honestly kind of coming around to this ngl - belts - still wearing one ugh - doomscrolling - happy to report I am blissfully unaware!! - feeling competitive at potlucks - very few potlucks this year, oddly enough. hopefully I will be able to continue working on this with more opportunities next year - brands, in general - uh yeah they suck haha - decision paralysis - not sure what I should write here - gadgets - ok let’s be honest. In what world were gadgets going to be out for me. Have u met me?? I love those little guys - using swear words when you don’t really mean it - fuck me I’m really trying!!! - rationalizing - no yeah I totally did a great job given the circumstances

What ever happened to the love of the game?

What ever happened to the love of the game? When did it all become about winning, huh? When did it become all about teams and nations and competition? When did everyone collectively decide to chant U S A U S A when our team does anything noteworthy? What happened to the peace? What happened to when we stopped wars to watch the olympics? What happened to unity, to love? What happened to the love of the game? When did we decide that arenas should be dark, looming, terrifying monuments to the hubris of our species? When did we decide we should be herded around and yelled at? When did we decide that it was ok to sell $10 slices of "paulie gee's" pizza and $6 water bottles to our own citizens who wait hungry in 30 minute long lines and get $5 off when paying with chase? Why do they have to take the caps off the $6 water bottles before giving them to us? What happened to reason, to trust, to brotherhood? What happened to the love of the game? Why is the man behind me yelling at the players even though they certainly can't hear us? Why is he yelling only when they are on defense? When did we decide that every stadium needs an organist? Why is the organist playing Montero (Call Me By Your Name)? Why is the game paused after two minutes so a fourteen year old DJ can perform? Why is the game paused again after six minutes so a bunch of other fourteen year olds can do a dance? Why is the actor who played a side character in friends here? Why is the man behind me singing along to the friends theme song? Who are all these men in suits that rush onto the court as soon as the game is paused? Why is piece of cake moving giving someone $5000 to throw a ball into a bucket? When did it become all about the ad time, all about the money? When did we decide to value ronald reagan aaron sorkin billy beane big data moneyball economics over athleticism, huh? What happened to good old-fashioned athleticism? What ever happened to the love of the game? Why is the announcer only yelling the names of players when they're on the home team? Doesn't that seem a bit rude? Why are the players getting so many whistles for traveling, don't they know the rules? Why is the organist playing Old Town Road? When did we decide we needed all these referees? What happened to respect, to morality, to handshakes, to fun? What happened? Why is the man behind me spilling pepsi max on my back? Why is everyone booing? No, seriously, why is everyone booing? Why is the fourteen year old DJ back? Why is the organist playing Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons? Why are the players fouling each other so often? Isn't that a bit unnecessary? Why aren't they lining up? Why aren't they high-fiving each other and saying "good game, good game, good game?" What happened to sportsmanship? Why is my uncle yelling at the man who's asking us to leave? Why is he yelling back? What happened to kindness, huh? What ever happened to the love of the game?

Epilogue to The Fly

The Month of The Fly is over. Moodring moved to “” and the flies have left my apartment. They have been gone for maybe 5-7 days, having dissipated as quickly as they appeared. Why were they here? What did they want? Maybe we’ll find out next October, but hopefully not.

Jewish Twilight Fever Dream

I went to bed sober last night at 5:45 am. This is roughly the dream I had: Bella from twilight is helping jacob and his dad and other members of the Quileute redistrict the city of seattle, which for some reason is an archipelago of rectangular islands with the public transit system of Chicago. At the redistricting meeting, bella picks a nickel up off the ground that has papier-mâché on its sides. It turns out that jacob dropped this nickel, and that it is what caused him to turn into a werewolf, and that every Quileute werewolf has a similar coin with papier-mâché on it. Instead of turning bella into a werewolf though the nickel just makes her very cold all the time, which makes sense because the papier-mâché on the nickel has snowflakes on it. Everyone is happy for her now that she can finally be let in on all their secrets, and they throw her a bat mitzvah quinceañera type party for her non-werewolf transformation. None of this is really important and is more just setup because most of the dream was about a cracker that she eats at her party. It looks and tastes kind of like those brown swedish wasa crackers. But bella recognizes the taste and talks to jacob's dad about them, who tells her they are crackers baked from fermented and extruded millet. That's crazy, bella says, because she's jewish and there's a traditional jewish cracker called kaschahasetz that's also made out of fermented and extruded millet. She then spends a long time at her own party explaining to her mom how kaschahasetz are made and how there must be some relationship between the jews and the Quileute, some anthropological reasoning for this confluence of cracker recipes. Her mom is not very interested. Neither this word nor these crackers are real I googled them when I woke up.

The Fly

October 2022 is the Month of the Fly. Why? Just as it happens. Last weekend we went to The Fly for dinner. I unwittingly wore my newly acquired shirt with Jeff Goldblum (star of The Fly) on it. It's day 8? 10? of the fly occupation of my apartment. I don't know when it started. I only know it was sometime between the acquisition of the Jeff Goldblum (star of The Fly) Shirt and dinner at The Fly. The night before dinner at The Fly I went with others to a concert at market hotel and when we came back the flies were rampant in my kitchen. I was on a little bit too much shrooms and I was reminded, again, of the first time I did acid, of coming back to our college apartment the day after the party during which almost all of us got way too drunk and seeing the yet-uncleaned remnants of the previous night on the floors and tables and feeling uniquely repulsed. The flies had the same impact. Flies are interesting because they are not actually bad roommates—they are, as far as I know, harmless, they never land on me or do much other than fly around. They are really just a signifier, a symbol of filth. Even if they were just projections my life would remain the same, the filth would still be there, somewhere (where????). Last time I was on a little bit too much shrooms I kept thinking the freckle on my right thumb was a bug (fly??). Actually if the flies were not real I would not be able to smack them. Does anyone remember that interview with Obama where he catches the fly? That probably won him the election. Back to the flies. It seems like every day their numbers double. The other day when I took a shower I think I counted 19 (19!!! this number feels perhaps too high in retrospect). If we've learned anything from that story about the guy asking the emperor for twice the rice each day, by the end of October (the Month of the Fly) there will be 9,278 flies in the shower. In third grade (our first substantial foray into multiplication) our curriculum was structured around the continent of Africa, and I learned then about the tsetse fly, which has been a boon to my NYT crossword vocabulary. Last Monday I solved the whole thing in under five minutes for the first time! Congrats to me! Also during our curriculum on Africa someone came in to tell us about clean water and building wells etc., and I volunteered to drink a cup of seemingly fine water instead of gross water with sticks and dirt in it. I was then told that my seemingly fine water actually contained a terrible parasite(!! it did not) and I ran to the stairwell and cried. At my housewarming (September 2022, B.F.E [Before Fly Era]) I left a conversation for a minute to use the bathroom and when I came back a man I had never seen before said "I want to find a therapist that will make me cry. I haven't cried in six years." What the heck did I miss while in the bathroom!!! I hope he's cried by now, I think about him often. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that man's therapy sessions. Speaking of the bathroom, and third grade, during which I also learned about the Gold Rush, because in California you learn about the Gold Rush at all times, flies are kind of like prospectors but for shit and dead rats and stuff. Back to Africa, and to flies, according to passover the fourth plague of Egypt was flies, but I haven't yet seen much blood, frogs, or lice. I have however been wondering if these flies are a curse of some sort. I wondered briefly whether my Jeff Goldblum (star of The Fly) shirt might be cursed. The flies are in my closet, where there is no food, no water, no drain, but yes Jeff Goldblum (star of The Fly) shirt. I had been invited to go see The Fly at Metrograph last night; I have never actually seen it but did not go; I could not bear to bring myself to think any more about the prospect of joining their ranks. How are The Fly and The Metamorphosis related? Has Jeff Goldblum (star of The Fly) ever starred in a stage adaptation of The Metamorphosis? I think he would do a good job. These are questions to which I could google the answers but choose not to. Last time I went to a movie I decided I have an astigmatism. Does anyone know how to get your vision checked somewhere other than the DMV? Instead of attending The Fly at Metrograph, I waited for The Exterminator to come to my home. The Exterminator, whose name I forget, moved to New York from Trinidad a month or so before 9/11. Awkward!! He sprayed all the baseboards and holes in the cabinets with something (but what???) that doesn't seem to have had any effect yet. While spraying our basement he commented on our music equipment: "I have to get a house, something like this." I'm paraphrasing slightly. "I'm also a handyman, I have tools. You're a musician, you know when you get one thing and then you're like 'ahhh but I could do that one too.' You have to keep it up, making art." "Are you a musician," I asked? "No, but I like to give motivational speeches. I like to bring people together and inspire them, help them out, you know. And I'm also a painter, and a handyman, and these things are all intertwined, they all lock together in my mind and I unlock them." Watch out, flies.

nice moments from europe only!

we walk back from the outdoor club under the bridge near midnight on the longest night of the year, with the sun dipping just barely under the horizon as if the night was only beginning. in the twilight we walk to the top of the hill to see the entire city, and are met by two drunk men doing squats, shouting at us incomprehensibly but probably to say that there's enough room for all of us on their bench. we sit and have a picnic in the lush, quiet park just outside the city. we stop at the dock jutting into the cove along the river, strewn with people our age laying and chatting in the afternoon sun. the dock is too high to test the still water, so we jump in without knowing how crisp and refreshing it will feel. a man on the train in front of us watches videos of a train on his phone for much of the ride; a girl at the station has "sufjan" and "stevens" tattooed above her knees. we wander unexpectedly into the backyard of a bar in the "cool" part of town. i feel transported to a brooklyn with no stakes. full of the stylish attractive crowd and tasteful dj sets but without the intimidation and pressure i normally feel. the bartender, smiling and leisurely, usually the graphic designer but filling in today, makes our pitcher of paloma and gives us towels when we spill. we sit and talk about our butts without fear. we run into friends from nyc, not knowing they'd be in the same place at the same time as us, on the street, and make plans for the next night. at four or five in the morning we enter tresor and dance and drink and explore. the shot we aren't sure we wanted turns out to be the schnapps we never got. we eat kebab in the park not long after the sunrise while waiting for the flea market to open. we stop to get ice cream while waiting for others to finish browsing the thrift store and split four scoops. they are cheap and all are incredible. the whiskey sour sorbet (alcoholic!) impresses us the most. the last place we stay has chickens and big dogs that pretend to act curious about us before flopping over expectantly. we cook dinner and watch movies in bed. it feels like we all regain consciousness on a bench in a beautiful park at the end of an exhausting day, and look at each other and laugh.

Pastoral Pitchfork

I sat on the 8 bus earlier on Friday morning than I had prepared for to meet Paul and Sarah at union station, and felt familiarly annoyed when it idled for a few minutes in the inset of the orange line station. We took the metra to Naperville, passing the eager teens on the other side of the track waiting for their ride to lolla. not to brag, but I felt proud for identifying the hidden door in Paul’s parents’ house while we loaded up. The drive up was largely uneventful, save for a successful trip to goodwill where I bought two pairs of good sunglasses that I immediate sat on and broke. We passed squares and squares of corn as we zigzagged through the empty Wisconsin roads. The infinite clouds on Friday looked like a Magritte painting, puffy and evenly spaced with flat bottoms. Turning off county highway E at the sign for post farm felt like passing through a portal. Between the acres of corn and prairie we found ourselves in a tunnel of arching trees, shaded but bright. Emerging, we circled past the red brick house and faded barn before parking and setting up our tents. The farm itself was secluded and segmented; wooded strips separated barns from grassy fields from huge prairies full of tall grass, sunflowers, and clovers. Seemingly endless paths through the idylls felt like they could each lead to a new secret area more beautiful than the last. Walking up to see V.V. I was hit with a wave of insecurity because everyone there looked so cool (it was later revealed that a lot of these cool looking people were musicians, which was a mixed bag: on one hand, it feels apt for musicians to be cool-presenting; on the other hand, when someone who already looks cool turns out to also be a talented musician they attain a new, soul-crushing level of coolness). But unlike the anonymous peering eyes of New York, this ubiquitous coolness did not feel judgmental. No one looked out of place. And for maybe the first time I had a thought I probably should have had a long time ago: “if everyone here seems cool, and I am here, then I must seem cool too.” Running into Ivan and familiar faces from my brief stint in the Chicago music scene, I felt a bit like a ghost, and could not help but wonder what would have been if I had stayed—how many times would we have run into each other at schuba’s or cole’s or sleeping village? would I be playing this weekend?—But even ghosts can have fun, and as I watched trio after quartet after trio, all of whom consistently impressed me, I was immensely grateful to be there. Bouts of incel mode (real blog heads know) permeated Friday and Saturday, prompted by the feeling that everyone else there was friends with each other (they were; I heard the word “incestuous” to describe this corner of the chicago music scene multiple times) and by my position in our group tricycle (I love Paul and Sarah and I am so glad to have spent this time with them, even the time we spent wading in the muddy creek on the side of the highway that was probably the closest I will ever come to being stuck in quicksand, but i have done a bit too much third wheeling over the past two weeks). However they were easily defeated anytime I talked to a friendly stranger. Despite my probably 30 mosquito bites, by Saturday night, watching the last acts in the dim barn, I could no longer imagine myself returning to New York; as if someone else had plucked a dream out of my mind and into this place and I had only now found out about it, as if we would bounce back and forth between these two stages forever. Once the bands finished, I sat in the net in the barn watching those still awake dance to mr fingers before eventually joining them and eventually heading to sleep in my tent. On Sunday afternoon we said goodbye to Ivan, and I reminded him of the time he invited me here at belmont snack shop at 3:00 am some warm summer night in 2018. Back in reality we stopped at culver’s, which Paul and I tried to do but could not in august 2020 when we said goodbye to Chicago. The Butter Burger honestly did not meet expectations, I could not taste the butter at all, and instead just felt gross after eating half of it. We sat in palmisano, much more full and beautiful than I remembered, with Zach and talked before eating dinner at potsticker house For those who don’t know, the potsticker house eggplant with garlic sauce is legitimately one of the best dishes in all of Chicago (Steve Dolinsky the Hungry Hound agrees!!). We sat in the backyard of Maria’s, which had inexplicably been decorated with cheugy signs and tiki heads, before trying to get malort at Bernice’s which was closed and cvs which did not have it, so we eventually settled on vodka with arizona at Zach’s. The next day we went to the point. It was hot and sunny and the water was clear. As we walked up I thought about when I did acid for the first time on that first nice day of spring, when coming out of the tunnel felt like walking into a movie, where we saw that cat with a leash and a bow tie and where we all sat and stared, transfixed by the calm water. The water today was surprisingly cold and none of us could manage more than a few minutes of swim time. The feeling of water in my ear I thought I had gotten out in Sweden somehow returned after taking a dip. Someone had asked, “what’s your favorite place?” as an icebreaker at work recently and I, unable to come up with a more compelling answer, said the point. We sat on the sun-drenched rocks and I looked at the other people around us as if I would recognize them from class. It was hard not to remember the serenity of Chicago summer at its best, and the chaos of New York social life felt indecipherable in comparison. Afterwards we walked to the Japanese garden in Jackson park that I had never been able to get to in college (although to be fair I had never tried very hard). I met up with some friends from my old job at the concert in millennium park, only one of which still worked there. The rest were going off to school, and it even happened to be Rachael’s last night in the city. It felt kind of like the day after graduation, seeing everything one last time; a more substantial goodbye to Chicago even though I had already said it before and I had only just said hello again. On Tuesday morning we met Sam for breakfast. He and I sat for a while longer after Paul and Sarah left. He talked about wanting to go to the festival, and we talked about how much we've both wanted to organize something like it for a long time. That transitioned into logistics, and possible locations, and I left with confidence that Sam-and-Xander-stock 2023 would (will?) happen. The desire to buy a farm has never been stronger.

Naked Coachella

I walked as fast as I could from herald square to the parking lot on 31st and 8th to just barely make the flixbus leaving at 4 to philly (after a train just got stuck ?? at parkside). J, an acquaintance from college, and I were on the way to rehearsal with his friends from high school and Ukrainian choir, M and A. J had asked me the week before if I was free to play drums in his psych-rock-covers-of-slavic-folk band at a naturalist music festival. It would not require nudity but would mean sleeping over in Philly on Friday night and camping at the fest on Saturday night. I, reluctant to devote my whole weekend to the cause but too curious to say no, agreed. We talked the whole bus ride, partially because J’s phone had just died. We talked about our love lives and the jazz scene and NYC high schools. He coincidentally knew many of my camp friends. He told me about how he had just confessed his crush on, and subsequently been snubbed by a professor at the after party for her work, and he was confused about how touchy and flirty she had been post-snubbing. He showed me her dissertation defense video of her in the bath. We got to philly and the rest of the band picked us up to head to rehearsal. What I had not know going into this weekend was that our other two bandmates, A and M, were dating. This fact, however, became very apparent as soon as we began rehearsal in a dim basement covered in acoustic foam (although I also learned it on the bus). It became apparent not because of pda but more because of the weighty undertone of the small disagreements they had about our set. Rehearsal was fun though, their covers were compelling and it felt natural to sit purposefully at the kit again for the first time in a few years. The nice thing about both psych rock and folk songs is that they are easy to pick up quickly. A, the director of the Ukrainian choir, gave fun snippets of context around each song and its associated season. The three would often slide Russian words and phrases into conversation, which J would sometimes translate for me. On Saturday we drove to the fest, which A and M had played duo last year—suspiciously, they had been cold called and asked to perform despite having no public recordings (the band had just returned a few weeks ago from “Russian burning man” upstate where they camped and performed as well, which sounded just as weird for other reasons). I thought I had been ready for the event but as soon as we pulled through the gate and passed the field of uncovered loins I quickly felt overwhelmed. Lesson #1 of the naturalist resort: Essential gear. Everyone had dark or mirrored sunglasses on. Was this because it was bright and sunny, or because they did not want you to know when they were looking a your junk? A question whose answer may be lost to the depths of time. It took me a very awkward hour or so but eventually I got pretty good at maintaining direct eye contact under pressure, a useful skill in both naked and clothed contexts. The second piece of required garb is a towel to bring around and sit on, because while standing around naked might be fine, even nudists get tired and nobody wants your bare ass to leave their chair wet and sweat-stained. It seemed like they made towels that specifically clip around your waist to cover your tucchus and leave the front exposed. Finally, the event page put the last item best: "Sun screen!!!! If your bottom has not seen sunlight in some time it would be a good idea to get some sunblock on that and some other key areas." One thing I also did not know heading into the weekend was that we were the first act, playing at 2:15 pm in peak 95 degree sun on the covered outdoor stage. The stage, and festival itself, was actually incredibly professional. Multiple sound techs helped us set up and soundcheck when we arrived late; the equipment was all very high quality; the audio engineer and MC were especially kind and encouraging to us. All of these people were completely naked. As we soundchecked, a woman waiting in front of the stage (the only spectator there) began to stretch by pulling her legs out and back and thereby pointing her perineum directly at the band, and we tried our best to ignore her. We played a decent set to an unseen crowd of people in the shade across from the stage. Lesson #2: Naturalists are not so natural! Someone had looked up nudist etiquette before the show and learned that it was common to shave your pubes. Not only was that ubiquitously true, but there was almost no body hair at all; many of the chests and armpits we saw were also shaven. Might be TMI but this made it awkward for the band to even consider donning our birthday suits. Also given the name "naturalists" one might expect some sort of body purity but there were a lot of tattoos and piercings abound. Some of my favorite tats I spied: a full chest piece of a bull that had just taken a steaming dump, the logo and scores and dates of every single pittsburgh steelers superbowl win, a full color tramp stamp of a license plate that said "FRESH" (owned by a man always on a one wheel holding the reigns of two well-groomed golden retrievers; he must have been from west philadelphia, born and raised). After the set we headed to the “green room,” which was actually just a tent with some seats and tables, and on one of the tables was a half-gallon mason jar full—full—of weed. J’s weekend goal had been to “green out” and it was unclear if the food and drinks and weed were our only form of payment, so he started smoking. We walked around the small grounds and eventually set up our tents in a calm field far from the action that in my mind was called “Gooseshit Field” because whenever the wind blew through it would smell like shit, and M remarked it was particularly goose shit smell. We heard the geese but never saw them. Back in the green room, I, despite chugging as much water as I could, felt pretty tired and out of it from the heat so I just sat there shirtless for most of the day. Every once in a while band would repeatedly tell me how good of a set we played for having only one rehearsal, which I think was supposed to be a compliment but still made me a bit confused as to whether they actually thought I did a good job. The couple left to go into the pool at one point which de facto meant that we couldn’t get up and walk around because the outdoor pool was very public and was nude only and we did not feel ready to go from bandmates to Bandmates. I don’t know why the pool is nude only if the rest of the place is clothing optional? Our best guess was to avoid getting microplastics from bathing suits in the water. The whole vibe of the festival was unexpected—Walking up to Gooseshit Field one passed through a corridor of let's go brandon flags (yuck, obv) on permanent residences, but the camping area flew the redesigned pride flag (and while i'm sure there are some gender-inclusive trumpers, it's not exactly my first thought). I had assumed the fest would be filled mostly by old grateful dead heads, and they were definitely there, but it was largely young people probably 5 or so years older than us. Lesson #3: Nudists love volleyball?? This festival was part of or connected to an apparently very extensive nude volleyball league. The season, as J and I were told while sitting under an active wasp's nest by two naked dudes standing next to us (sitting/standing is an important dynamic due to what ends up right at eye level) starts in the spring all the way down in Florida, and makes its way up north as things warm up, with multiple tournaments each month (although many people have "other hidden talents that we'll learn in time" as we were also told at the same time. Neither of us could tell what that was supposed to mean). One woman told us she got involved because her college dorm friend, the MC, asked her to come to a naked volleyball game freshman year. A result of the volleyball focus was that a lot of the people there were actually quite fit, which made me feel pretty awkward shirtless despite the intended body positivity of the culture. Guess I have a lot to learn from the nudists! I started to feel better on Saturday night and walked around for a bit. I got to the stage just in time to see the DJ, who had just been playing 2000s pop punk remixes, propose to his girlfriend on stage (she said yes!!!!!!!). "The hardest part is going to be explaining to your parents how I did this in front of 300 naked people," he said. The DJ before him had played saxophone during his set, and the band before that was a 60s rock shredfest comprised of berklee-freshmen-type kids. J had smoked enough to give himself a headache and I was still pretty tired, so as the party raged on at the indoor stage (kind of glad I did not go to that tbh, sounded sweaty) we laid in our tent, chatted, and listened to the roaring orchestra of crickets on either side of us try to sync up with each other. J left the tent early in the morning to go for a private swim, and a little while after he got back I had trouble falling asleep, so I decided to shower and get in the pool as well. Out of the tent, a person was sleeping in the sunny center of Gooseshit Field (this was an insane thing to do; it was covered in bugs), and I debated breaking the resort rules and taking a photo. There was no way to tell who it was or even really their gender, and no truly naughty bits were exposed. I eventually decided it still wasn't consensual and didn't take it, but in retrospect if someone took that photo of me I would have loved it. I made my way to the pool and scoped it out before stripping to get in the shower. Honestly, getting naked was the hardest part, and once I was I didn't feel quite so weird (I still felt super weird though, don't get me wrong). It felt so nice to wash the sticky sweat and sunscreen off my body in the shower, and the pool was cool and empty. I got out when people started walking by and looking at me, maybe because of my chest hair or maybe just because I was swimming by myself at like 7 in the morning. I thought it was a hilarious idea that instead of pranking your friend by stealing away their clothes while they swim, at the nudist resort you just leave a pile of clothes for them. When I got back to G.F. the guy sleeping had changed positions and the photo was no longer an option. Later on Sunday morning I sat with A and M by the small cafe area that was serving coffee and breakfast sandwiches. They were talking about the sopranos with two naked dudes they had met before somehow. A kept explaining bits of Tony's psyche. The dude with the pink and purple belly button piercing told us he used to be a hobbyist video editor and had edited together a video of tony's worst moments as a music video, and that he'd send it to us. J showed up, and he and I ended up sitting around while A and M went to the pool again. Eventually we saw A talking to a vendor topless, which we did not feel like we were meant to see, and tried to look everywhere but there. One guy who stopped to talk to us told us about the conversation he had with a bunch of others around the campfire the previous night. It was about everyone's favorite drug interactions. "Me personally, I like to smoke and drink during the day, and then take mushrooms at night. Then a little while after I've taken the shrooms I'll take a little bit of molly, and the molly makes me feel happy instead of anxious when coming up on the shrooms and then I have a great time," he said. The pack-up and the car ride back became somewhat tense, as everyone was sun-tired and irritable, and eventually J and I got on the flixbus back to nyc. Lesson #4: Maybe in the end the things that we truly bared to each other were not our bodies but our souls. Maybe the real nudists were the friends we made along the way. I'm not sure if I would go back to the nudist music festival, but if you want the details for next year, let me know.

beginnings of unfinished thoughts and posts from the past month-ish

I have become much better at estimating where the second door of the second car of the Q will show up on the platform. I want to be by this door because when the train pulls into prospect park this is the closest door to the stairwell, and I can run up the stairs before everyone else (few things make me grumpier than being stuck behind a slow stepper on the train steps!). It's always fun and validating to see someone else get out and onto the staircase with equal gusto. I feel like recently I've been in depression mode, where I am not necessarily sad most of the time (most of the time I am neutral emotion, the emotion they don't teach you about), but find it harder to wake up in the morning and harder to get excited about doing things and spiral more easily. depression mode also begets what I like to call "incel mode," which is when I start to argue with and shout at people in my head whenever there's a minor conflict or miscommunication. I think I've gotten pretty good at talking myself out of incel mode (tbh starting to call it "incel mode" really helped with this) but sometimes it worms its way in for longer than I'd like. Friendship in New York the past few months has felt quite political—where no one ever has all the information and people are edging in and out of shifting circles, sometimes by choice and sometimes not—but I don't know if this feeling is also just a result of incel mode. The small shell and rock that were gifted to me have been sitting next to my computer for the past week and I'm not sure what to do with them. It feels rude to throw them away but also seems weird to keep them around. I put them in my desk bowl with my other weird stuff, but that's only a temporary solution. Last summer my friend in Chicago asked, "What do people without anxiety think about all the time?" and I haven't been able to stop wondering since then. A woman on the B train is wearing the shawl you receive after finishing a marathon. But it’s 5:30 on a rainy Thursday and she is wearing slides and business casual and I am certain she did not just come from a marathon. Had she run one previously? Or just find this at L train and decide to wear it? Someone on the metro north is talking (shouting, really) about moving into the city: "I've never paid bills before" is uttered worryingly, a few minutes before "I go on a vacation every month." Someone else on the same train asks everyone in our car to like a photo of her friend on instagram and most people say they don't use instagram (often clearly lying), myself included. Is there a name for a breakup that isn't really a breakup because you were never really dating?? "Ending things" doesn't fit into the same spot. Paul and I mixed offhand a shot of vodka, a half shot of elderflower liqueur, and a half shot of amaro the other night, and it was surprisingly tasty; herbal and inoffensive. Sunday was my last day in the ceramics studio. There was no class but I'll be away for the last class. I haven't really made any friends in ceramics, and haven't really tried, largely because everyone seems much older than me and slightly solitary, but on Sunday I overheard some people in another class who were clearly closer to my age and much more friendly, and felt jealous. At the same time, I did an absolutely terrible job glazing the cup I was going to give to a friend (hopefully it fires better). If anyone was curious, I resold my flip clock. Hopefully whoever bought it saw the type C plug in the photos!


I just finished bleaching my shower walls and curtain. recent poor drying technique coupled with some longer-term neglect had invited bits of pink in between my tiles and black dots on my liner. despite its tendency to make my eyes water and skin tingle, bleach remains one of my favorite smells. it reminds me of the pool, and of Sam's house. one time at the pool in what was likely near the summer after fourth grade, William and I collected upwards of twenty bees—mostly dead, from the pool's gutter and the ground, but some alive—in a small plastic box. William and I were very close until he changed schools and we both eventually went off to high school. we used to make zombie apocalypse survival weapons, like dowels with nails protruding from them, and other pieces of wood with nails protruding from them, in the shed by his house. I thought about these on the train back from connecticut this weekend, when I was reading The Argonauts and Maggie Nelson said, "one night during our courtship, I came home to find the stump with bolts lying across the welcome mat of my porch. You had left town, and I had been baffled by your departure. But when I ascended my front steps and saw the weapon, shadowy in the twilight, I knew you loved me." William changed schools soon after he punched Sara, a girl on whom I had a massive crush which was not at all reciprocated. instead, Sara and I and another girl I briefly had a crush on started a band. I was also very close with Noah a few years earlier, who also punched someone (for saying christianity was better than judaism), and also changed schools (not because of punching). this was not a common occurrence. Sam's house was huge and fun and I was there often. when my brother did not take enough care of his frogs, my dad made him throw them into Sam's pond. his pool house (pool house!!), where we would sleep and play jak 3, had a tv so big it was made up of multiple smaller tvs. the youngest labradoodles his mother bred—some so small they had not yet opened their eyes—also stayed in the pool house. and to avoid tracking in icky ground bacteria that might upset the puppies, we had to remove our shoes and dip our feet in bleach water before entering. I did not do much bleaching in elementary school so the smell was mostly associated with sleepovers and video games and puppies. Sam was the youngest of three large boys and acted accordingly; he told me he picked out his airsoft guns because they shot the fastest and therefore would hurt the most. he was one of my best friends throughout elementary school until the other boys and I started to drift apart slightly in middle school. once in sixth or seventh grade, sometime after they built the new cafeteria, I left my calculator watch behind in P.E. class and couldn't find it in the gym. the next day I saw Sam wearing an identical watch. his dad had just given it to him, he claimed (I did not believe him, but did not press hard enough to get it back). Gina eventually gave me the same exact watch eight years later.

Some moments from the past week

- Went to the forest rave in identical painters tyvek coverall suits. O showed some new friends a magic trick. - J, R, and I played the same Mario kart track on 200cc five times in a row. One of the first times hanging out with J has felt like it did in college, which felt good. - I, H, R and I bought a baguette, sliced it in half, and made it into one extra-long Italian sub. - Tried to practice volleyball in the park with P, R, and C. Our forearms started to hurt so we just threw, kicked, punched, headed the ball however we felt. - Bought waffles again, after a long hiatus. - The nicest waiter ever offered to get H and I a non-spicy spicy pepperoni pizza from the bar that was closed for a private party after the other bartender snubbed us. The pizza took five minutes longer than expected so he gave us free shots. H doesn’t drink liquor so I took both. - Got a quesadilla with R and C after night moves. Not what I expected, more of a giant taco full of lettuce meat and cheese. Ebiked with my headphones in at 2:30 to meet A and A and her date at public records. It was perfectly misty and cool out, and I barely saw a single car on dekalb. Thought, “this is it. This is the youth A and I have been yearning for.”

hey stinky!

Yesterday morning at ceramics I forgot to wear deodorant. God help me. My deodorant was in my backpack and not on my desk where it usually is and thus object nonpermanenced away, out of sight out of mind. I hope they didn’t notice and think I was stinky. I hope that next time I go in they don’t say “hey everyone, stinky’s back! what’s up stinky” and make me sign all my pieces “stinky” instead of my name or initials from now on. Ceramics is fun but way way harder than it looks. Every time I see someone doing it I think, “wow, that looks easy,” but then I try and instead of a cup i end up with a bowl, and the bowl has one side much thicker than the other, and the bottom is an inch thick, and when I try to cut the bottom to be less than an inch i somehow poke a hole in it and it becomes a pot, but not a very useful pot because it’s too small. I mean even after that it’s pretty easy to make it look reeeeeally nice, like your bougie friend would buy in one of those weird boutique stores like the one at driggs and n 7th st for $14 even though it’s 4 inches tall nice. Artisinal. It’s a trade-off i suppose. Back to stinky, I don’t actually know if anyone in the class knows my name. I only know three peoples names and one of them is the instructor and I am not even 100% sure what to call them. But one time I saw them watching smash bros in class so I feel like we could be friends. One of the two people whose names I know actually has the same name as someone I went to high school with but I don’t think it’s the same person, although we all wear masks so I can’t really be sure. I originally thought she was my age but now I am not so sure because I think she is actually married and lives in park slope and has a dog. Today I went in again and sat next to someone else who I thought was my age who also turned out to be married. I am not really talking to these people they are more talking to their own friends and I am listening since I am too scared to put headphones in because I don’t get how I could take them out without getting them all covered in clay. Or what if one fell into my clay and then I would have a cup-turned-bowl-turned-pot with single AirPod Pro functionality. Anyway I got distracted writing this because two girls who were the exact same height with the same skin color and hair who were wearing the exact same outfit (white skinny jeans, blue shirt poking out of brown leather jacket, only distinguishable via sneaker color) just stopped in front of me on the path in mccarren and started making out. Do you think they wore the same outfit on purpose? I feel like they must have?? Like you wouldn't stop in the middle of the path to make out with someone that you didn't at least text a few hours beforehand and what's the point of texting other than to send fit pics to everyone in your contacts?? Or maybe they saw each other just a few minutes ago and thought the other had such impeccable taste in clothes that they decided to walk around kissing. who knows these days! Tangentially mccarren, and wburg in general, is a great place for lomls because many people look young and stylish and hot but not very many people look interesting. Like everyone could be your work friend that you never introduce to your real friends. I certainly don’t look interesting. In fact, the only interesting-looking thing about me is that a lot of tahini just poured out of my sandwich onto my pants and i couldn’t really get it out. This is ok though because i was just at ceramics and there’s also a lot of clay on my pants and they look similar. If anyone needs any plates or cups or bowls or pots or vases or generally conical concave items let me know because I don’t really know what to make anymore. as long as you are ok with holes in the bottoms.


I nearly cried on my bike on my way to the office this morning. At least three people have told me about crying at work in recent weeks. I considered crying partially because my legs and lungs were having trouble making it up the long incline on flatbush next to the park, partially because it was cold and grey* and my ears hurt, and partially because I felt the angst that has permeated the last few weeks and I did not want to go to work at all. The only reason I was heading to the office was to have a “donut^” meeting with someone in person. If I had ever downloaded slack on my phone I might have canceled right then and turned around under the guise of a sick day. Unfortunately my sick days are also my vacation days, so I will probably† never use one for actual sickness. Devoted readers may have read my previous post about going to the office and how much I hated it. Today was much better! I chose a seat in the last row where no one could look over and see my screen, which allowed me to look at farm properties for sale upstate; this helped immensely. During my donut chat I had a vegan gluten-free brown-butter coconut cookie and a london fog. I don’t know what brown butter means in a vegan context but I did think to myself upon arriving at the office, “I sure could go for a london fog right about now” and thought about the ones they make at the center for fiction, so that manifested itself well. Another coworker, who I had not yet met in person, and who was much taller in person than I expected, appeared briefly in the office. It’s so strange how much someone looks and dresses shapes how i think of them, and how largely unknowable those things are over zoom. Around 3:00 the fire alarm went off. But instead of a flashing light and ear-covering screech, it rang with a soft, almost meditative bell. Clearly the alarm was capable of flashing its light and screeching its screech, so why wasn’t it? Nobody knew what was happening but after it didn’t go away for a few minutes we all walked down the staircaseº (instead of taking the elevator) to the front of the building, just as firetrucks were pulling up. This didn’t seem like a big deal at first, because it’s just an office building, but as we walked out of the staircase I learned that our building is also the site of a puppy daycare, and the puppies and handlers were still inside. Furthermore, the puppies seemed to hate the various alarm sounds. The dog of the woman next to me¨ was standing up on its hind legs in between the legs of its owner, clutching one of her thighs with its forepaws and nervously looking around. Admittedly, this was too cute for any of us to feel that bad for it. I decided to just bike home, and by then the firetrucks and alarms were gone. On the way home I stopped at trader joe’s for some essentials.‡ By this time, it was actually a beautiful day out and my bike ride was sunny and pleasant and going down the flatbush slope was much easier. * I am not actually sure it was grey. it could have been sunny but I remember it as grey. ^ For the uninitiated, donut sends everyone on slack a message every three weeks telling them they should have a casual chat with another coworker, chosen randomly. † hopefully º painted a refreshing light blue and full of diffuse natural light! I imagined asking my coworker to take a new linkedin headshot of me there, but unfortunately there might have been a fire so it wasn’t the best time. ¨ not in puppy daycare ‡ “tea tree tingle” body wash, vitamins, and “happy trekking” trail mix

RIP Crystal

Yesterday someone asked a college-aged cashier at Out of the Blue Seafood in Hampton Bays, who was handing us live lobsters to take pictures with, "do you ever get attached to them?" He first thought we meant "do they ever attach to you" and turned his hand upside down to show how the lobster on it—technically in hibernation—would cling to him. Only after clarification did he tell us about Crystal, the seventeen pound bright blue lobster the restaurant received. Everyone was so awed by Crystal that they decided not to eat her, and instead kept her in a tank in the basement. Did you know that the oldest known lobster in history was named George and lived to be one hundred and forty years old? George weighed forty-four pounds! After a year in the tank in the basement, Crystal started to slow down, so the guys brought her out to the bay behind the restaurant to be released. They put Crystal in the water and she immediately died. Then they ate her.

In search of lost time

I bought this really cool old flip clock on Etsy last week for $48. Partially because I wanted a non-phone alarm but mostly because I really just liked how it looked. It’s from the UK which means it used 24 hour time and has the wrong plug. I did not think this was a big deal but when I looked up type c plug to type a outlet adapters (trying to figure out if I needed a voltage converter or not) I saw an article talking about another difference: since European power grids run at 50hz and US power grids run at 60hz, if I try to run this European clock in the US I may be running at 6/5 speed, i.e. it will flip 72 minutes every hour. This does not sound appealing to me. If anyone knows anything about vintage clock operation, or knows someone in Europe looking for a stylish clock at an affordable price, please let me know.

book report: uncle vanya

today after ceramics class i walked down vanderbildt to pick up lunch. i ended up at prospect butcher co, which was staffed by three particularly kind young women. this was surprising and pleasant to me because “butcher,” for some reason, feels like an especially gendered role played exclusively by gruff men. maya was just telling me about how her friend liz met her boyfriend at the butcher shop (he was the butcher), which we agreed was hot, as butcher is a decidedly hot profession. this also made me feel kind of topsy-turvy because i always think of hitting on a service worker as a big no-no (this may only be because i am a boy and i am straight?), and obviously hitting on a customer is also a big no-no (or maybe not? others please confirm/deny these statements) so how could that pairing have happened? it’s already so easy to have a crush on, say, your butcher, and when the mystery and imagination provoked by mask-wearing becomes involved those crushes come even easier. in my head these brief infatuations which i often call LOMLs (obv short for “love(s) of my life,” a term that i think came from one time i was at the dog park with my cousin or maybe from jake in college) are distinct from crushes in that they have no substance or possibility of working out. i got a roast beef sandwich from the butchers and ate half on the way to the park. it was delicious and included pickled green tomatoes which i can't say i have ever eaten before and were very tasty. i desperately wanted to sit in the park and read, but it was too cold and i didn’t have a book with me, so i just sat in the park to eat the other half of my sandwich. after one or two bites i realized i did not actually want to be sitting so i ate it on the walk back to my apartment. recently i had been thinking about how i enjoyed reading chekhov short stories in high school and wanted to read them again. at westsider books on saturday there was no book of short stories, but there was an old paper back of “chekhov: the major plays” so i bought that instead. today after class i decided to read “uncle vanya” solely because they performed it in drive my car. also it was only ~50 pages. the book i bought was from the 60s and feels like it, although seemingly uncreased—the edges have bleached (anti-bleached?) to burnt sienna (in crayola terms), the pages often cracked under the light pressure of my thumb, and the front cover nearly came off without me realizing just from holding it open. i also question the translation because on one line the first and last names of two characters were combined; i may never know who said “it’s a fine day today… not too hot…” one of my favorite things about this play is that the characters spend a lot of time talking about how hot the other characters are. everyone is decidedly ugly except the doctor astrov who was hot 10 years ago and now has “a tired, nervous[...] interesting face,” and 27-year-old elena, who is the helen of troy of the rural area outside of kharkiv. there’s also a guy who had such bad acne everyone calls him “waffles.” anyway. most of the play is about astrov and the titular vanya drooling over elena while she tries calmly and tiredly to shut them down so she can get on with her life with her rich(?) old husband, a successful but uninfluential ex-art professor (once hot, apparently). vanya is the type of edgelord peon to empathize with the joker and robert de niro in taxi driver and brad pitt in fight club, and early in the first act creepily pines over his dead sister (she was hot, rip). the two men independently come to the conclusion that elena must be a witch for being literally so hot that they are unable to do any work while she is proximate and instead just have to follow her around all day. it’s addressed how problematic this is for astrov, who is the only doctor in the area. unfortunately elena is also not totally redeemable because she is so out of touch with how not-hot people live that she refuses to work or help her community in any way. the professor, equally out of touch, wants to sell off the estate given to him by vanya’s family, where vanya and his mother and his niece (prof’s daughter w/ vanny’s dead sis) live, so they can live off interest from bonds and move to a villa in finland. this upsets vanya enough to shoot at the prof with a gun that, in very non-chekhovian fashion, never showed up on stage before, but tbh this all sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. like, you can’t go 30 pages talking about how unhappy you are and then get mad once someone suggests something new. eventually everyone leaves and they all go back to work. this all sounds a little ridiculous, and it is, but i was surprised how compelled i was when reading it. maybe this is why i enjoyed chekhov in the first place. vanya has worked hard and forfeited his inheritance to raise his niece and provide for his sister and her husband. it seems that only now that the professor and elena have moved in, well after the death of his sister, does he start to question how he should have spent his youth and whether his selflessness has been worthwhile, and this question is answered unsatisfyingly when the professor tells him he could have kept more money for himself, and could have been doing so for years. his whole arc is really just a catalyzed mid-life crisis. it’s easy, at least for me, to imagine myself as vanya in another world, having done what was expected of us or even more for years, and to hear, when we finally muster up the courage to demand a reward for our loyalty, that at any time we could have just asked (all in all i would much rather imagine myself as elena or the professor). i wonder if the stir-crazed emotional melting pot of my pandemic apartment might have shared some feelings with turn of the century rural russia. neither sound appealing. it also freaks me out that in this play from 1898 elena is already fully a climate nihilist and astrov, ever the dilf, spends his free time petitioning against deforestation and replanting trees. i guess nothing really is new. i don’t understand if sonya’s closing monologue (below, partially) is meant to be taken as satire or naïveté or genuine reassurance, but it sure doesn’t help with the sunday scaries. tomorrow the union bargains about layoffs again. “We shall go on living, Uncle Vanya. We shall live through a long, long chain of days and endless evenings; we shall patiently bear the trials fate sends us; we’ll work for others, now and in our old age, without ever knowing rest, and when our time comes, we shall die submissively; and there, beyond the grave, we shall say that we have suffered, that we have wept, and have known bitterness, and God will have pity on us; and you and I Uncle, dear Uncle, shall behold a life that is bright, beautiful, and fine. We shall rejoice and look back on our present troubles with tenderness, with a smile—and we shall rest.”

the thin green line

Today I went into the office for the first time since my first day almost two months ago. It was windy and wet and grey; I took three trains to go a little over three miles and nearly overheated on the way. I was the first person in so I sat at a random desk. This turned out to be a terrible choice because I could not see anyone else when I looked up but they could all see me. Most of the work I was planning on doing was postponed until tomorrow because my coworker didn’t have time to meet with me, so I spent most of the day trying to look busy. I had forgotten the feeling of captivity that offices evoke—that regardless of what I have to do or what I want to do or when I want to do it, I must sit in my chair looking at my work things until sometime after six PM but not right at six PM because then I look like a clock-watcher even though nobody knows or cares how long I have actually been here. If I had a lot of work to do this probably would have been a great, productive day, but instead I scrolled through the same three github pages over and over and looked for catchy disco songs on spotify. In my old office I used to drink lots of water and go to the bathroom extra often just for an excuse to get away from my chair. Occasionally I would even take the elevator down to the basement to sit in the far-away single-user bathroom. Today I went to the bathroom ten times (some trips required, some not) and filled up my water bottle three times. My new office isn’t big enough to have a defined social space and I am not quite outgoing enough to swivel my chair around and start talking to one of the five other people there who I just met. But luckily I had more or less one good face-to-face conversation, and this almost made up for the rest of the day. A week ago at all-hands meeting the general counsel/interim CEO shared the fact that we have fallen far short of our fundraising targets for the year, and that things were going to have to change and “everything is on the table.” I felt extreme deja vu to that exact same conversation at urban labs a year and a half ago. The difference this time was that the blame was not on the pandemic but on us—“we are not innovating,” “we are not working at our highest capacity,” “our funders can sense the tension and distrust in our organization.” I sat there feeling tired and dissociative and betrayed, but the kind of betrayed that makes you feel stupid for not expecting betrayal in the first place. Today in a meeting my manager said our project is probably safe (but not that layoffs are coming!) because we have the Important Data. My coworker said that we are in the union and so management has to negotiate before laying anyone off (but not that layoffs are coming!). At the end of the day I was talking to the general counsel/interim CEO in the office and I was, in a moment of idiocy, honest about my capacity and capability: “I am hoping I will learn much faster once there is more pressure on me,” I said. “That could be soon, don’t get too comfortable! It could be soon,” he replied, sipping a Tito’s and seltzer with two-year-old ice. “I’m glad you’re on the VIP project, because as the initials suggest, it’s very important.” I don’t know what this was supposed to mean, but I left work feeling sour. For the past three years I have been trying to live (read: work) in the intersection of morality and comfort. I have been lucky and privileged to get paid well to do work that seems worthwhile, even if only slightly, and to not overwork myself to the point of tears, or at least not on a regular basis. Many of my friends and coworkers have not been so lucky and so privileged. I do not always know what is my responsibility and I rarely know how to act according to my responsibility. I have not, for a long time, felt confident that the work is worthwhile enough to justify the harm that it—or not it but rather the imposition of it by its creators—seems to cause. I am less and less confident that I want to continue in this intersection. On Sunday when my Mom was in town she asked me “if you could do any job without having to worry about failure or money what would it be?” and when I told her I didn’t really want to do a job at all she didn’t seem to understand. “What would you do?” she asked. Then she told me a story about her friend who landed his “dream job” working at Les Claypool’s winery (??) almost entirely by chance and with very little effort. I don’t know if this story was supposed to have a moral, but if so I couldn’t figure out what it was.


i have decided to rebrand my blog persona. you might wonder "why is your new name 'hungry?'" and the answer is simple. i am hungry in real life, now i can be hungry here too

thursday march 10, parallel spaces, heights

I am waiting outside the elsewhere line for S at the crosswalk where, two nights ago, P was almost hit by a car turning left on red while I was on my way to S’s to watch Oslo, August 31st (which I did not like nearly as much as worst person). Tonight I am unexpectedly but excitedly accompanying her to see Ross From Friends. I have to pee. I have just finished a hot dog made for me by the worlds nicest hot dog cart vendor who offered me a hot dog at whatever price I feel like paying. The hot dog itself was utterly tasteless. It’s cold and refreshing out. As I write this paragraph, S bikes by looking for an open citibike dock. Elsewhere feels like a room from a TV set, or what I imagined “Glow,” that high school club night, might have been like—it is too loud and too bright to feel comfortable, with neon LED strips illuminating every exposed beam and pulsating shapes behind the dj booth and a comically large disco ball. It also feels rather dystopian in that the bar doesn’t take cash and only takes payment via RFID wristband you connect to your credit card in the entrance. The crowd seems abnormally short and young compared to the other shows I’ve been to in nyc. It’s interesting to think that a big crowd, on average, looks taller than a small crowd because it’s easier to see tall people and gets harder to see short people. S and I, both tall, lean on the left side for the duration of the opener. This turns out to be the stage for Ross and co., meaning we are suddenly at the very very front, a position we neither expected nor deserved. We discuss briefly how we both feel guilty about this—two nights ago with P a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to move to the back because “a bunch of people back there can’t see,” which I did—but this time we stay put. So I spend the majority of the show with my elbows on the stage (read: bent over to minimize blockage), feeling the subwoofer vibrate my shoulders and throat at a level that cannot be healthy, doing a dance that involves ducking in place of jumping (I think everyone who was tall and awkward in middle school probably knows this move). At some point I turn to the right to see a very short girl staring directly at me while her very tall, vampiric boyfriend puts his fingers in her mouth; I turn back to the left quickly. Someone standing behind us taps S on the shoulder—he (also very short) is her friend from somewhere, but she does not know who or from where. A girl behind me repeatedly seems like she wants to move up, and I keep moving to the side to make space but she never fills it. Overall the show is great and I am glad to be at the front because the crowd is annoying enough to make me question my taste in music and up there I don’t have to see or think about them as much. S tells me she can’t really enjoy concerts anymore unless she’s all the way at the front. Citibike happens to be unavailable from 2-4 am today so we say a rushed goodbye so S can sprint to catch the L home. Two nights ago I sprinted from hers to catch a bus that I didn’t realize was rerouted away from her stop, but that I miraculously caught down the street after I ran next to it waving for two blocks. When I get home I have already taken out the trash. I wash my face in the sink for the first time in recent memory. I try to make this feel symbolic, but it doesn’t. The next night I run into S’s friend on the dance floor union pool who I briefly exchange hellos with. Someone catches him say to his friend, “that’s S’s ex,” which is not entirely true and this confuses me. I like S’s friend but I do not like the dance floor of union pool, the patio is much more fun.

a quick note from friday morning

this morning i awoke suddenly after dreaming that the doorbell rang. i sat in bed thinking about how funny this was until realizing maybe the doorbell did actually ring in real life and i rushed to pull on my sweatpants and look out the living room window to see if anyone was outside (no one was). you can’t really see the door from the window so in retrospect this was a pretty poor strategy. in a way i will never know if the doorbell rang or not. just another one of history’s mysteries! but at the same time if someone really wanted to get me to open the door they probably would have rung it a second time. who would be ringing my doorbell at seven in the morning anyway. to be honest, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Four Weeks // Loose Thoughts on Agency

My favorite thing about February is that it’s short. I might argue that February is the Worst Month—winter is still very much here, but the afterglow of the holidays has long passed, along with the novelty of seeing my breath and walking in snow; the allure of spring slowly infiltrates my thoughts but without new leaves or flower buds to back it up; I have never been given President’s day off and have rarely wanted to acknowledge Valentine’s day so in my calendar this is a month with no holidays; to top it off it’s impossible to spell. On non-leap years, including this one, February exactly four weeks long. Today, this means I have been at my new job for exactly four weeks. I wrote earlier about how excited I was to quit urban labs, and how, at the time, I hadn’t yet felt excited to start a new role. I assumed that, at some point, I would, and I hoped that starting something new would feel different. Maybe not the starry-eyed enthusiasm I had in November 2018 when the prospect of being paid to learn and do “Good Work” and meet people was new and unthinkable, but maybe the adventure of learning a new skill and contributing to something better than the old “Good Work,” and just maybe something that replaces the out-of-body staring-into-the-abyss absence I felt when trying and inevitably failing to motivate myself to do the old “Good Work” and instead just sitting there looking at a blank screen or youtube or tiktok. Shockingly, things have not felt different. I have not felt more excited, or even really more obligated, to learn or to meet people or to contribute. I have not spent any less time daydreaming about walking down the street in the afternoon sun or window shopping for decrepit farms to spend a summer refurbishing. I am being a little dramatic—I make a pretty solid amount of money to sit and stare into the abyss and not be called out on it; the grass is always greener etc. etc. Maybe, also, I would feel differently were I in an office with distinct work spaces and shared morale and Real Human Contact. There is actually an office I went to once but it seems to average 0-1 person in there per day so I have not been back, although I certainly will one day because it’s very close to a laser tag arena (and believe me I have been absolutely fiending for some laser tag). I feel disappointed in myself for not feeling the excitement I should be, and for tricking myself into starting at an organization that seems to have the same issues as the last one. I am clinging to the idea that this can be a time to learn; a springboard; that if I dislike it I can quit at any time with a newly polished resume. I have been thinking often recently about agency and responsibility. Quitting felt like an act of agency but starting feels like the reverse—I would not have quit if I had not been offered another job, so who is the real agent of change? I talked a big talk about quitting WWOOFing if I hadn’t found a new job or if I didn’t like this one, but would I have done it? I’m not confident I would have. After watching Worst Person in the World I dreamed of scandinavia (my friend Mackenzie used to use the word “Norweeaboo” to denote an american obsessed with norway) partially for the aesthetic (this is silly—my life will never be as well lit and perfectly messy and tastefully curated as a movie set—but maybe maybe maybe it would be closer there than here) and partially for the health insurance. I have not been on my parents’ health insurance since I was 19 because they run their own small company and it was always a better deal for me to do something else, and recently I’ve been blaming my lack of adventure on that although it obviously was never the reason. I needed a Job job—not just any job—for that reason, and for the elder child expectation of responsibility that was never stated but that I think everyone understands. I talked with Maya and Paul last night after dinner, and Maya talked about how important people only really come into your life by chance and I argued that wasn’t true. That a lot of work goes into meeting those people and making them important. I often wish my brain would catch up to itself. Maybe it’s best to start small: I went on a date; I signed up for a ceramics class; I am growing flowers.

New York is full of people I think I know

Maybe they are people I went to school with but never met Maybe they are old camp friends disguised by age Maybe they are matches or missed connections on hinge Maybe they are niche-internet-micro-celebrities that look just a little different in person Maybe they are friends of friends of friends to whom I’ve apologized for drunkenly bumping into at a party Maybe I am just not used to being near so many people (so many jews?) that share haircuts, wardrobes, gaits with those I do know Maybe I’ll ask one of them one day. Maybe not

first half of tuesday january 11 // some reflections on quitting my job

today i had to mail back my work laptop. today being january 11 and not january 21. i had found the nearest fedex location with packing and shipping services a half mile from my apartment. it was a shipping store called, for some reason, “sandbox.” i also conveniently had to return some sneakers i bought online that i thought were kind of cool but ultimately weren’t that cool and also didn’t really fit me. i walked to ""sandbox"" at 10:45 with my latptop and oddly gigantic shoe box so i could call lindsey, my former office manager, at 11. turns out they did not have packing services so i bought a box and did it myself. while i was wrapping my laptop (ul-pc-151) in bubble wrap a man came in with a space heater and seemed to exchange it with the sole sandbox employee for a few crinkled dollars. it turned out sandbox also did not accept the qr code label for my sneakers or the fedex account for my laptop, and the closest place that did was in downtown brooklyn. so i got on the q with one large box in each hand and felt like eric andre in that sketch where he dresses up as a vaguely christlike centaur with an airbrushed six pack and drops two whole birthday cakes on unsuspecting subway passengers. i was glad i was just holding boxes. this girl my age on the subway kept moving closer to me and i was terrified that she was going to talk to me. i walked from barclays to the fedex store feeling rather unhappy that it was 15 degrees out and my grandfather’s old green gloves were not very warm and finally unloaded both my boxes to the fedex worker who had no idea why i was so grumpy. i was trying for a while to think of this experience as a metaphor for my job—perhaps full of tasks that should have been easy but were not quite organized well enough for their inevitable completion to happen without substantial behind-the-scenes intervention on my part—and while that may have be true at times, even often, it doesn’t feel very accurate. quitting felt a bit like an out-of-body experience. up until now, every major life change has appeared on the time horizon far before i’ve had to deal with it (in retrospect, notable exceptions include relationships, deaths, pandemics, and other things i have absolutely no interest in comparing to a job). but unlike an internship or graduation or quinceañera there is no premonition and no ceremony in quitting. i didn’t leave because i learned what i was expected to and it was time for me to move on (although this may have still been true in practice) or even really because my next obligation was starting. i didn’t leave because my projects were finished and my work was done. in fact i left while most were in their final stages. there was no party on my last day (there actually was but it was hosted only by two of my loving and kind friends and isn’t really what i’m talking about), no final project to hand in, no scramble to get as many signatures in my yearbook. save for a half-assed presentation in which i told my colleagues not to send themselves pii on accident and that “the real projects were the friends we made along the way” and a few kind emails and slack messages, no one might have known i was gone. instead i just closed my computer around 8 when i didn’t think i could feasibly finish anymore work and didn’t look at it again. i want to clarify that i’m not writing this because i wanted acknowledgement or feel disappointed by that i received (especially given that every zoom goodbye happy hour i’ve attended has been painfully awkward). it’s also not like my leaving was unexpected or unwanted. quitting has been on the horizon for a long time, ever since work from home began, ever since the veil of racial-socioeconomic-capitalist context was slightly peeled away by my less naive peers, ever since the departure of said peers. it has floated in the abstract for so long that it’s hard to even feel excitement or certainty about the job i took. applications had been submitted for a year or more, and my ex-official-boss-turned-unofficial-boss knew about them and even served as a reference. unquestionably, i was going to quit. it did, however, feel strange for the pace of change to increase so drastically, to know that my day-to-day life would be upended in a few hectic weeks. i have been thinking a lot about how my motivation in life has waned quite a bit since school and deadlines and summer breaks and horizons controlled my time; how i was trained for so long to respond to the goals of assignments and exams and semesters only to have that floor pulled out from under me right when i was supposed to have mastered it (see that tiktok audio that goes: “the world is dying and i hate my body / maybe i should go to grad school”). anyway, writing about this is starting to feel a bit too self-indulgent. this is something that people do all the time, it’s not a big deal. after fedex i was hungry and went to get a falafel sandwich nearby. i asked for pickles on the sandwich and the guy just put 5ish gherkins on the very top of the sandwich. when i ate the sandwich on the street on the way to trader joe’s i had to take the pickles off with my hand and strategically replace them onto the sandwich when i was ready to eat another pickle. i was telling katie and paul today (21st) that my favorite place to eat is on the street, but when it’s 15 and windy out it’s hard to convince people (myself included) of that. at trader joe’s they were out of the body wash i like but they had the shampoo and conditioner versions and i questioned whether this was an issue with “the supply chain” or whether everyone just likes that body wash. if so do we all smell the same, and is that something i would have noticed? when i checked out the man asked me if it was still cold out, and we bantered for a bit as one does at tjs. he told me he was considering picking up an extra hour at the end of his shift to stay in the warmth of the store (i could not tell if this was a joke or not). i ate my dark chocolate peanut butter cups on the street and wondered how many times he had asked that question today. i do not think i present as particularly attune to the weather. he must have known it was still cold out. i suppose it’s good to get multiple opinions. i wandered around in a nearby wine store baffled at its seeming lack of organization until realizing everything was divided by country. i walked from there to the out of the closet (has out of the closet been cancelled? i could not remember) that i passed on the way from the train and tried on three pairs of pants. someone mildly rich but with either poor taste or the inability to use scissors must have been in recently because there were three pairs of madewell men’s jeans (expensive!) in my size with the most atrocious crop jobs i can imagine (i tried on two of them). as if to the point where it would have been easier to do a good job than to do this. but honestly respect to whoever did this because they were really trying something new and not every experiment can work out, sometimes you have to ruin a few pairs of jeans before nailing that perfect crop (sometimes you have to quit a few jobs before you nail that perfect corporate satisfaction..? my similes are not flowing freely today). maybe it was a failed attempt at fulfilling someone’s artistic vision. feels unlikely though. did not buy any pants.

ins / outs

in - banquets - still lifes - UV protection - ergonomics - ceramics - fishnet - making (and sharing!!) art that feels genuine - tajines - solo expeditions - 3/4 length clothing - generosity, especially as necessity - building things - nice smells - taking pictures of my friends - bikepacking - frogs, raccoons, skunks, geckos - communicating feelings - reading before bed - bluegrass - london fogs out - guilt // shame - making like 7 servings of one meal for yourself and getting sick of it before finishing - “productivity” - corporate slang - clout // prestige - economics - loafers - unconstructive criticism - collecting - going out without earplugs - complacency // apathy - metallic-spiky-core and art that’s trying to be both cute and scary at the same time - belts - doomscrolling - feeling competitive at potlucks - brands, in general - decision paralysis - gadgets - using swear words when you don’t really mean it - rationalizing

friday december 31

woke up went to the grocery store, bought more rice chex and oat milk and chips and guacamole ate my rice chex and oat milk tried to do the work i had been putting off for the past week and mostly failed; watched tiktok, youtube, did a crossword, etc. ate guacamole and chips. the guacamole was disgusting. the texture of yogurt and the taste of vinegar powder paul came over. we went to buy drinks and snacks, including onion and tomato to improve guacamole played some video games improved guacamole slightly better, still very weird rubin and claire got back with korean wings and a bench they found on the street outside of claire's apartment. the legs were loose had 1/8 tab ate wings, drank beer, malort shot, oat milk white russian played smash bros for a while watched hackers. paused in the middle to drink champagne at midnight and chat finished hackers. such a good movie somehow afterward started watching music videos on youtube, then got into bardcore and bluegrass covers of songs eventually my computer died and we made shadow puppets against the blue projector background paul left and we all went to bed can't remember if i flossed or not. did not wear my retainer

the age of personal responsibility

The time between thanksgiving and new years always seems slightly dreamlike. When so much activity is crammed into so little time that it almost feels like nothing has happened at all. This year, amidst the tired panic of omicron, has felt especially so. Lately I have been thinking about the time it was so cold in Chicago that everyone had to stay inside. Before the novelty wore off, it was fun to work while huddled on the couch with hot chocolate. I have been thinking about when Paul took me and Zach outside to show us how bubbles would freeze in the air and shatter in your hands. I used to wish for snow days in college. I imagined waking up and being blinded, transfixed, staring out my window on Ingleside. I wasn't sure where one would best sled in a city so flat but I was sure we could figure it out. Six months and five miles later, the cold is the closest I ever got. I ran out of rice chex yesterday. Maybe tomorrow I'll buy some more.

greetings from isolation

this morning I ate rice chex and oat milk in my room. rice chex are not very filling and I was using a small bowl, so I poured a second bowl. I shouldn't have to justify this to you. I was still hungry after the second bowl but did not want to go out into the kitchen to get oat milk, and I had remembered someone saying eating cereal with water is just like eating it with milk, so I poured a third bowl with water from my water bottle. definitely not as good as with the oat milk, but not so bad either. is the main point of the milk the taste? or is it to make the cereal a little soggy? if the latter, water certainly did the trick. for some reason I love eating dry rice chex with my hands from the box, but eating dry rice chex from a bowl with a spoon feels decisively wrong. I guess I also wouldn't eat goldfish or trail mix out of a bowl with a spoon. but I definitely wouldn't eat wet rice chex in oat milk with my hands!

friday december 17

all my plans for friday and saturday were cancelled when i woke up did not eat breakfast anxiously scurried around the neighborhood trying to get a covid test. even the place that's always empty had a line a block long. did not get a covid test. came back and tried to do some work could not concentrate; scurried around neighborhood again. did not get a test again did some work. ate rubin's pasta got a call offering me a job! good thing I picked up my phone this week did not get an email about this job. hopefully they will still send it did some more work. quite a bit actually deliberated ordering ramen from the sushi place across the street. the online menu did not specify what the toppings were. i called to confirm the toppings ate ramen. maybe should have ordered from the actual ramen place instead found a guy's wallet on the ground. messaged him. no response played some video games finished watching the second half of jennifer's body, which i started on thursday. very confusing movie finished watching the second half of an episode of girls, which i also started on thursday. also confusing but less so flossed, etc.