Good morning. Hello. How are you? #503

We have run out of bagels

Good morning! Greetings, hyoo-mons. Welcome, welcome. How was your weekend? Get anything done? I, myself, got very little done. I spent almost the entirety of the weekend playing my dumb video game, No Man’s Sky, and it was just lovely. I did go on a nice walk each day, and did a very small amount of gardening. The compost is lovely, I picked my first full-sized cucumber of the entire year, and got three nice tomatoes. I didn’t pick any peppers, even though there are so many. I still have enough fresh ones, and figured I’d give em all another week to turn more red. I like my Thai peppers red.

Anyway, yeah. No Man’s Sky. How do I feel about this? I mean, I am playing less of it than I was playing of Civilization VI at the peak, so, you know, it could definitely be worse. I don’t get to play much during the week, so it comes in bouts. It’s interesting, though, because I played Civ at my work computer, on work hours, when there was nothing to do. My PS5 is in the living room, so, you know, I play off work hours. Which feels… more honest but less productive? Ha. I do have a TV in my office, I could hook up my PS5 to that TV instead. I remember when I first started working at Timehop, there was a guy there already, and he played, like, Quake or something, at his desk, between his work assignments. Had never seen that before. But I’ve seen it now, so, maybe I do that? I don’t know. Perhaps. Not just yet though. I am already working an hour a day on the treadmill. There are limits.

Anyway, I got a freighter, that was exciting. But I messed up the “Alone Amidst the Stars” main storyline and had to restart it. I did about five of the Atlas Stations before I started wondering “wait a minute, how many of these things are there?” and found out there are eleven, which seems a bit much, so I put that aside for a while. But mainly I just like mining and scanning and refining ionized cobalt and selling it for a bunch of money. It is very satisfying. It calms me down. I haven’t fed any animals or pet them or ridden them or collected their milk or anything yet, but that sounds kind of fun I might do that next weekend. I can’t figure out how to get a second ship in my fleet. And I am very, very bad at fighting space battles. I don’t enjoy it. A wise man, Sean T Drinkwater, once said to me that video games should take into account the parts you don’t enjoy and let you not do them. I still think about this a lot. Sometimes the space pirates in No Man’s Sky will, like, ask for a bribe and leave. But other times they just shoot you for no reason. I do not enjoy that.

We have sadly run out of bagels. They lasted for two weekends and the week between, that was nice. It was very nice having a bagel breakfast sandwich every morning. I will miss it. Jane will miss it. She likes bagels very much. One morning I had a small square of her waffle then ate a small piece of bagel she didn’t want and thought oh my god bagels taste so much better than waffles it is just insane. Why do bagels taste so good? They have no business tasting so good. They’re just flour and water its crazy. Bagels.

I’ve thought more about this egg-cracking situation and I do not like the solution of using a plate to crack my eggs on a flat surface. Plates are loud and wobbly on my granite counters, and they’re ugly. The solution, obviously, is to obtain a small round piece of granite that exactly matches my counters — perhaps ground out of some countertop we discard when we redo a bathroom — and make a couple small, round, coaster-like egg-cracking plates that can sit on the counter next to the stove, and be invisible from afar, yet washable. This is what I want. I think every new countertop should come with these. I found these on Amazon but they’re not the right color, and they’re not round, but they’re close.

Oh Friday I watched the Peter Hook auction happen. They had a livestream and you could bid along with the livestream. It had started 6AM ET so I figured it would be done by when I woke up but nope, it went all day long. Oh wait I told you guys this on Friday. Anyway, after I finished with you guys I went to Walmart while listening to the auction and it reminded me of my old friend Seth who used to listen to sports games in his ear at band practice. The anvil, the celebrated star of the show, went for £18,000. Fantastic.

Did you guys know about optical telegraphs? These are visual beacons, like the Beacons of Gondor in The Two Towers. Only they are really a thing! Napolean had a whole network constructed, beacons up on hills that related messages. And they started bringing them to the US before the electric telegraph, as it was originally called. There was, in 1840, an optical telegraph between New York and Philadelphia, though it was for private use. I’m so excited about this, I had no idea that they were real. Fantastic.

Been reading these last couple days about the Mexican American War which was, to put it diplomatically, complete bullshit, America was just bad. Man they really gloss over this one in school, don’t they? They might mention the Alamo or the Republic of Texas and then boom, bang, America now owns Texas and New Mexico and California don’t you worry your pretty little head too much about how exactly we got them. Oh, what, a two-year long war that was one of the bloodiest wars America ever fought, and we marched all the fucking way to Mexico City? Because Mexico didn’t want to surrender, because they were upset about a war that we started, lied about, and we decided unilaterally to just steal half their country because they didn’t need it did they? God. James K Polk really was an evil mastermind.

Speaking of which, happy Indigenous People’s Day. We really fucked them up over the course of three centuries, here, have a holiday.

I’ve sort of been planning this trip to New York in December, to see a bunch of shows, including Genesis, and my friends, if COVID looks tolerable by then. My friends keep getting it, and it stresses me out. A friend this weekend went to a wedding with both required vaccinations and a strict testing regimen, and there was a little mini outbreak (the testing regimen was how they caught it). It’s crazy! But I will just keep planning the trip and make a gametime call. Got a lot of tickets to good shows, but, then, there’s this:

A post shared by Genesis (@genesis_band)

Man. I hope Genesis make it. They’ve been working so hard to get this reunion tour happening, they’re old, they don’t have a lot of time left to get this tour in, it’s supposed to be their big farewell and it’s just been a battle against COVID for two years now.

But the whole exercise — pretending I can go to New York, pretending that I will see my friends, pretending that these bands will play — it is helping me cope, and I am thankful for it. October is about coping. It is BS that there’s no holiday in October anymore. I couldn’t remember if Timehop gave today off or not. I had to look it up last night. Ha. We do not, alas. Emma was commenting on how they should give Halloween off, and at first it seemed silly but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. First off, awesome, yay witches. Secondly, every neighborhood and town in America has to, like, decide what day to observe Halloween when it’s not on a weekend. Making it a holiday would take care of this. I am into it. Next person who runs for president who has a platform of making Halloween a holiday gets my vote. Unless they’re a Republican. Or Andrew Yang. God, it does sound exactly like something he would do, doesn’t it?

Okay let’s do a mix. Just a mix. Old and new. Lot of the bands that have been going through my head this last week. Bongwater, cuz of the Ann Magnuson appearance in the New Yorker Richard Neutra article. Magnetic Fields, because my friend Katherine recommended giving all of 69 Love Songs a listen and, man, what a great album. We forget these days what a masterpiece it was. Concrete Blonde because XM First Wave played “Joey,” and for some reason it got a different song from that album stuck in my head. The hits on that album are fantastic and plentiful, but I find myself often having “Darkening of the Light” in my head for some reason. Maybe because I am a depressive, ha. But it’s a great song. Some late period Chain, the Wannadies classic that came on last weekend when I was making Bagels and experienced a moment of pure, simple happiness, thank you Wannadies. NEw Jeen, a great band called the Chats Katherine also alerted me to, some older Daddy Issues, a new Springsteen/Mellencamp jam, and an old British Sea Power song that I love. Oh and the new Robert Levon Been, of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fame. The Card Counter soundtrack is awesome. People told me that film was not amazing but now I think I might have to watch it.

Okay have a lovely, or at least endurable Monday!