Wednesday, September 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:8

the month started with me thinking that the plans i had to return to live concerts for the month were going to get torpedoed by our perpetual state of pseudo-political pandemania. they did not, but i did spent a lot of the month wondering if they should've been. thusly:


aug 1: hate to start the month with this, but not gonna lie, it wasn’t a great day
aug 3: stopped to pet excited fluffy puppy as i left for work, then saw her again when i came home, and she remained both excited and fluffy, and either recognized me from earlier or just loves everyone equally, a lot. same human too, i think, who was fine
aug 4: billy joel 28, fenway park: i knew all the words to “a room of our own even though i never would've guessed that i knew all the words to “a room of our own
aug 5: self-care involved buying a different plane ticket instead of fighting with 2 airlines, and getting to have a killer celery-sesame salad at myers + chang before leaving boston as a result


 
aug 6: i don’t mind being patient, but i do appreciate it when it’s acknowledged 
aug 7: when i woke up this morning it never occurred to me that i would hear jesse lewis sing falsetto on the gilligans island version of stairway to heaven before the day ended
aug 8: i saw kara elder at the farmers market and she asked how i was. i said “ok and asked how she was. she said “also ok, and kara may be the only person i know that can reliably outsubtext me
aug 9: i needed some data and couldn't find it, then i remembered i'm friends with @dataeditor, so i asked him how i could find it, and he already had it
aug 10: “if its truth that youre looking to find, it is nowhere outside of your mind

aug 11: i always forget how much i love driving through the misty hills of virginia until the next time i’m driving through the misty hills of virginia 
aug 13: matt bolus and i almost skipped kings of leon show because it was raining so hard when we had to leave, but we went anyway and the weather was gorgeous for the whole show. also, “use somebody is amazing live
aug 14: ran errands in nashville, which really just means i bought booze at different places
aug 15: as a break during long drive home, had a business meeting over pasta with gochujang bolognese at casa de boden

aug 16: i brought 4 ears of corn back as a souvenir from the nashville farmers market and i am here to announce that it is the corn ive been waiting for
aug 17: my watch said i burned 300 calories walking to cheesecake factory, where i bought a piece of cheesecake that the menu said was 1,000 calories. i like the math
aug 20: there are very special hours in which my watch credits me for standing when i did no such thing

aug 22: my other nashville souvenir was a case of my favorite coffee booze, and i had it in my coffee this morning and remembered why it's my favorite
aug 23: had a sunkist orange soda for first time in forever and it tastes like baby aspirin and why has it been so long since i had one of these?
aug 24: cuban sandwich day (observed)
aug 25: my favorite office salad place that i heard had closed forever reopened

aug 26: it rained and the humidity disappeared 
aug 27: was told i caught 4 errors in a document that had already gone through 4 editors. i thought about it for a minute then decided not to challenge that statistic because that's probably about my average
aug 28: matt adlers birthday was coming up, so i let him cook for me
aug 29: i like randomly dropping lyrics that speak to me in the moment on a given day here. but today i heard “some nights” by fun, and pretty much that whole song
aug 30: fried green tomato pimento parm

aug 31: “you’ve already won me over, in spite of me”: alanis is fifth show of month and i feel like i’ve hit the ground running 

📸: michael schlow, tammy gordon

Sunday, August 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:7

i was thinking that next month's was going to be amazing. but right now i'm wondering if there will be one next month. so drink this one in


jul 1: have reached point in life where i sometimes just buy my preferred oat milk even if some brand of almond milk is on sale
jul 2: fried brussels sprouts are the very best expression of brussels sprouts
jul 4: we found an excellent spot to not see the fireworks. would go back
jul 5: 4k words

jul 6: instantly reacclimated to office culture
jul 7: i wore my favorite purple shirt for the first time in ... well, it has a collar and buttons, soo ... like almost a year and a half.
jul 8: “misery loves company, but she will never foot the bill”
jul 9: with return to office, popeyes is once again just a slight detour on my way home
jul 10: corn on the cob for dinner. this may show up again sometime

 

jul 11: walked 6 miles then went directly to roof of my building and soaked my feet in the pool
jul 12: got to work and courtney almost immediately said “where should we go for lunch” and that hasn’t happened in awhile 
jul 13: meditation app said “turn your awareness to your legs. let whatever is present be present.” what it didn’t know was that najah was splayed across my lap and i was very aware of it
jul 14: was watching some show of recent vintage and they dropped a survivor song in the soundtrack like it was just a thing to do in 2021 and i was left slack jawed (was not eye of the tiger)

jul 16: saw susan stanford for first time in technically forever and it was her birthday 
jul 17: slept till almost noon. which i recommend. tho not sure when i actually got to sleep, but whatever.
jul 18: lara: "did you see hanson retired?" me (long pause): "like, the mmm bop guys?" lara: "no, chris." me: "oh! that makes more sense. ... wait, isn't he our age?"
jul 19: met a new cat to catsit
jul 20: 2 chapters to go

r/TVDetails - S3E5 The Kominsky Method (Netflix): 65-year-old Paul Reiser’s character is watching the movie “Diner”, featuring a character played by 26-year-old Paul Reiser.

jul 21: there’s a 24/7 dateline channel on peacock, so i never have to look for something to watch again 
jul 22: watching paul reiser’s character on kominsky method watch paul reiser’s character on diner was ne plus meta
jul 23: had arancini at lunch and at dinner 
jul 24: because i am cat-sitting a cat that lives in a building that has a lobster roll place on the ground floor ... well, you know where this is going
jul 25: extra sungold tomatoes


jul 26: tomato sandwich on bread i made and corn on the cob for dinner
jul 27: walked home from work in the rain
jul 28: the return of indoor dining at bowerseseses
jul 30: why are chicken wings so good?

jul 31: woke up to text from my favorite egg farmer that she was already sold out but set aside 2 dozen for me



Thursday, July 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:6

there’s a lot of vaguery in here about how pleased i am with myself writing things. feel free to not care. 

jun 1: “leap, and the net will appear”
jun 2: toasted almond gelato with almond brittle
jun 3: decided not to walk today, then it rained
jun 4: probably should keep this to myself, but tfw you write something and hear second-hand that the second person to read it is an oscar-winning screenwriter (of a movie you definitely know) and her only note is that it’s “magnificent”
jun 5: air conditioning 



jun 6: new metric: i only walked about 1,000 steps (10% of goal), but i wrote almost 3,500 words (700% of a “good” day). will accept the tradeoff
jun 7: have been reading brandi carlile’s memoir and can't stop feeling like she and i could be pals
jun 8: bought concert tickets. relevant to my interests 
jun 9: “the daydream nations won’t come true. the ghosts you made up ghosted you”
jun 10: i’m a big fan of both amanda peet and christian slater, so imagine how pleased i was to find “dirty john” on netflix

jun 11: dinner on the roof
jun 12: was reading at the pool when an older guy sat near me. he started smoking, and i was going to move, but the i realized it made me think of my step grandfather, and i stayed
jun 13: bbq, in person, with friends
jun 14: “when i remember someone, i remember their dreams. in those dreams that no one know of, my destiny says that i’m destined to run”
jun 15: i hugged mollie moore and matt adler at exactly the same time, then saw all of gaby delgado’s face in person for the first time

jun 16: because i saw deb lindsay at nats game last night and we talked about bagels, i woke up and went to pearl
jun 17: it’s a comfort to know my intentions are good
jun 18: epic rooftop return of fried chicken friday @bowers superplex
jun 19: lap cat
jun 20: tfw you’re writing something and you don’t know where you’re going but then write a line that ties everything up in a way that makes more sense than you ever intended 
 
jun 21: having sushi with wayne at my regular restaurant, couldn’t remember the name of my favorite roll. waiter leans over from next table and says “candy cane”
jun 22: re-outline makes more sense 
jun 23: guy at knife shop saw my world central kitchen hat, asked me if i worked there, gave me a sweet discount when i told him i volunteered all last summer 
jun 24: ate inside a restaurant, with people, and there was laughter. and guinea hen
jun 25: secured lamb from craig rogers for 1 recipe test and realized i can do 3 with it, which is all of them

jun 26: we bought all the bourbon 
jun 27: vacation ends; my main plan was to write and i did about 12,000 words across 3 projects in 9 days. not shabby
jun 28: i sometimes put in commas for a pause, even if they are grammatically incorrect 
jun 29: it was hot, but not humid, so i read on the roof until it got dark
jun 30: the problem with opening a container of quicos is that it just results in an empty container of quicos because i can. not. stop

Monday, May 31, 2021

positivity journal 2021:5


 

may 1: during a phone call with lawrence, i made 2 batches of bagels, a gallon of chicken stock and did 2 loads of laundry. he inspires multitasking 
may 2: lymph nodes
may 3: i like the show roadies so much i’m mad there are only 10 episodes 
may 4: i had a print made with my grandmother’s recipe for dinner rolls, and woman at fedex said she looked at it while it was printing and it made her think of her grandmother’s dinner rolls
may 5: laughed pretty hard when i realized i typed “thrown” when i meant “throne” in a headline (no one else ever saw it)

may 6: i don’t know why the combination of cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn works but it definitely does
may 7: eating a lot of rice lately. i’m a fan
may 8: finished reading “a shot in the moonlight” by ben montgomery and am patiently awaiting the movie 
may 9: “sometimes i’m tired, sometimes i’m shot. sometimes i don’t know how much more i got”
may 10: wrote about 1,000 words after work

may 11: during a zoom meeting, secretly multitasked, clearing my email box from 1,500 to 47
may 12: my sleep schedule (like that's a thing) has been altered by najah, who has decided she wants to sit on my lap until at least 2:30 am every night all of a sudden. i. can't. say. no
may 13: cava y coffee con courtney
may 14: despite shortage, was able to fill tank w gas, which should last a couple months
may 15: dinner at bowerseseses. wait, what?

may 16: reading on the roof, catching up with laura and geoff without them being there
may 17: went out walking, holding a mask dangling from my fingers, in case i needed it. guy walking toward me starts laughing and says “hey man, what do you keep in that tiny purse?” “my makeup!” i said. and he laughed harder. then i put the mask in my pocket
may 18: closed exercise ring before work started   
may 19: fulfilled career goal to write a headline for a story with a picture of a naked person
may 20: delivery truck flew through crosswalk as i was walking, and driver slowed down to apologize. which was nice

may 21: laura hayes’ photo from dinner at caruso’s had so much joy in it, it gave me true hope 
may 22: started planning an epic return to concert-going
may 23: caramel swirl gelato 
may 24: have taken full advantage of the fact that my apple watch has been out getting repaired by hardly moving at all
may 25: sitting on a plinth in a park drinking coffee, and four dogs come running up to me at the same time

 
may 26: every time i hear rem’s man on the moon, i remind myself the movie was named after the song, not the other way around 
may 27: got watch back. guess i better start walking again
may 28: pre-work coffee and bagel with lockwood
may 29: the last 5 minutes of S2E6 of loudermilk includes a level of rationalization that has happened in my brain so many times, i am considering charging whoever wrote it rent for the time they've clearly spent hanging out in my brain
may 30: went for a 90-minute walk because i had a 90-minute podcast i wanted to listen to. stretched it into 100 minutes because after listening to the bill simmons podcast with adam duritz, i had to listen to mrs. potters lullabye

may 31: walked 7 miles and my hat did not deg saturated with sweat

Saturday, May 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:4


mostly cooking and cover versions

apr 1: it never gets easier, you just get better
apr 2: stevie nicks covered “free fallin,” and in it, she sings “he’s a bad boy, ‘cause he *doesn’t* even miss her,” and i was shook when i realized she was correcting tom petty’s grammar 
apr 3: went to store that sells my favorite soda and didn't buy any, displaying will power i didnt know i had
apr 4: i did not commit murder in my kitchen, i just made beets. reasonable mistake
apr 5: opened up the roof top to outdoor dining

apr 6: turns out i have complicated feelings about spam that i never wouldve guessed  
apr 7: the bluegrass cover of you shook me all night long is just a totally different experience    
apr 8: dose dos  
apr 9: learned you can stay in the room where billy joel wrote the turnstiles album. thinking about it 
apr 10: i had to test a french fries recipe for work so i spinach dip and dropped chicken fingers in the hot oil when the fries were done and turned it into a sports bar dinner 

apr 11: if you want to go look at cars, go right before the dealer closes   
apr 12:  ive been searching for a red wine that i can make good kalimotxa with, and i think i found it, and it is in a box and costs the equivalent of $5 a bottle  
apr 13: about a week before the anniversary of my first wck shift, went in for another. 
apr 14: if all there was was chinois chicken salad, i think i’d be ok with that

 
apr 16: takeout chicken wings
apr 17: im only selling these to people who will know what to do with them. update: this confidence was misplaced
apr 18: moments pass, and time moves on, but dreams remain just as long as they’re dreamers
apr 19: “did you intentionally write a teze to the hash story above the teze to the cannabis story?” update: it was not on purpose but i wish it had been
apr 20: i was thinking about tom rhodes and he texted me. i summoned him with my mind  

apr 21: matt adler showed me his not-yet-opened restaurant, and it felt like id already been there; in the best way   
apr 22: listened to nina blackwood on sirius, and to tease an upcoming song, she mentioned that it had been rated as the 17th-worst guitar solo of all time (def leppard, rock it)  
apr 23: dose dos + two weeks. i am invincible  
apr 24: made pizza from stuff in the fridge in about the time it would've taken to order one and pick it up  
apr 25: got all my work done on a huge section without working too late

apr 26: lara bush’s 13th anniversary of kicking cancer’s ass
apr 27: everybody wants to know you when you're the only one to know; new counting crows that i didnt know was getting dropped today!
apr 28: went on a 45-minute maskless walk that was officially ok as far as the cdc is concerned  
apr 29: the steelers top draft pick is a running back named najee jerome harris. so he shares names with two of my favorite steelers running backs, and almost with my cat. i approve  
apr 30: noticed gray water on top of sourdough starter, could not stop singing be our guest the rest of the day   

Thursday, April 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:3


 

evidence that positivity is contagious in the neighborhood, and watching a lot of tv

mar 1: a block and a half from my house, there is a gratitude mailbox
mar 2: finally started watching ted lasso after hearing how great it was, and so far so good
mar 3: finally watched promising young woman after hearing how great it was, and it was
mar 4: today was the day that wayne lockwood admitted that the farmers market eggs i got him ruined him for supermarket eggs  
mar 5: the wedge salad from la betty is an amazing thing and i look forward to eating it there in person again. but takeout will suffice for now

mar 6: was going to cook but lawrence hollyfield called so we talked about cars for an hour and a half instead 
mar 7: talked to kid at farmers market that seemed to legit freak out that he was talking to someone who worked at the washington post. “i’m a total writing geek”
mar 8: went on a failed errand but ended up across the street from dealer of car lawrence told me i should look at. so i did
mar 9: had leftover hot&sour soup and leftover pasta, so mixed them and invented a new thing

 
 
mar 11: i meant to send valerie panou a happy birthday in the morning but totally forgot. then i was out walking in the evening, and "valerie" came on spotify, so i got in under the wire. so that's steve winwood two days in a row
mar 12: noticed a gratitude garden on my block
mar 13: went to look at used cars but got a new burrito instead 
mar 14: new microwave i bought fits perfectly in the microwave spot in my kitchen, which was not planned at all
mar 15: saying happy birthday to ronnie perkins took 2 1/2 hours

mar 18: i doubt there is direct cause and effect, but scott drewno made pierogi for my birthday and i was smart enough to preorder them a week ago before they sold out
mar 19: gator hammock swamp mustard on popeyes fried chicken 

mar 21: went to 3 stores looking for ingredients for an indian dish, with no luck, then went to indian grocery and they were all there. told that to the guy at register, and his voice cracked a little when he said thank you
mar 22: najah is good at reminding everyone of her treat schedule 
mar 23:
gif via @cackhanded

mar 24: saw a woman wearing a cynar jacket. she seemed shocked i knew what cynar was. i was shocked there are cynar jackets
mar 25: made kung pao tofu because i hadn’t cooked all week 

mar 26: finished one section, took a walk, finished another section 
mar 27: passed a little league game while walking with melanie starkey. stopped to watch. it was fascinating 
mar 28: watching tennis and martina navratilova just keeps talking about how horribly hot it is in miami and i just keep feeling smug
mar 29: guy stops me on the street, says "i bet you've never heard this song!" it was a rap song that i have definitely never heard. "you'd win!" i said. he laughed, harder than i expected
mar 30: i really, really, really like earning a mention in acknowledgements. h/t john woodrow cox 

mar 31: got chicken wings, and one of them was so big it didn't fit in the cup of blue cheese

Monday, March 1, 2021

positivity journal 2021:2

a lot of najah and maggie rose, which are not surprising, and work, that is, but just kinda

 
feb 1: it is the second anniversary of the first installment of this list. so this is the first post of what will be episode 26 by the time you read it. i'm surprised too 
feb 2: decided to skip dinner because i didn’t feel like cooking when i realized i had everything in the fridge for a couple of decent tacos that could be done in 10 minutes
feb 3: brought nocino to spike hot chocolate at a meet-up in a park. it was so sketchy
feb 4: wondered if maggie rose would see i mentioned her in a story. then my phone pinged that she followed me on twitter. took that as a yes. then her mom emailed me. i haven’t heard from jakob dylan tho
feb 5: dave grohl: "if it gets any better, it's gonna get worse." h/t geoff edgers

 
feb 6: went for a walk after midnight. when i woke up, most of my exercise numbers for the day were already met
feb 7: it’s nice to see akbar & jeff are getting cameo appearances on disenchantment 
feb 8: turning leftovers into reubens
feb 9: “everybody wants to be a cat, because a cat's the only cat, that knoooowws where it's at”
feb 10: was downtown early, so stopped in at bakery near office to buy something in hopes of bakery still being near office when we go back to office. it was delicious

 
feb 11: my boss thanked me for requesting time off. this is among the reasons i work where i work
feb 13: proud to know tara salmieri and see updates on her great projects and wish i was in position to help more
feb 14: watching maggie rose show streaming from nashville made me hopeful that going to concerts is something that will happen again
feb 15: opened a writing vein

feb 16: i love it when a tiny dog aggressively loses its mind at a giant dog and the giant dog doesn’t even seem to notice. this might be a metaphor. but also literally 
feb 17: managed to avoid commenting on many dumb posts, crossing the political spectrum 
feb 18: watched a scripted, fictional tv show that namechecked dan lebatard
feb 19: najah has been sleeping on my hip on fridays lately. how does she know it’s friday? i barely know it’s friday 
feb 20: a friend called me to help him solve a writing problem and i knew how because i JUST had the same problem and solved it

feb 21: it was cold out, so when i took a walk i wore a double layer of fleece gym shorts 

feb 27: stopped for chicken wings at zaxby while driving through north carolina. there are several keywords there that could sparks notifications in various text groups i’m in, but i didn’t say anything. i mean, til now
feb 28: got home and najah watched to see when i was going to sit down, and as soon as she saw me heading to the chair, she followed me and fell asleep on my lap







Tuesday, February 2, 2021

positivity journal 2021:1

not gonna lie: this was the month it almost didn't happen, and i think it shows. what a seething hellscape.

anyway! onward!


 
jan 1: najah @ 20
jan 2: spotify shuffled three straight clare dunn songs and that feels right 
jan 3: i sorta burned some pumpkin seeds and they kinda taste like unpopped popcorn kernels, which are my favorite, and now i will only sorta burn pumpkin seeds
jan 4: watched video for billy joel's angry young man for the first time in years. i still can't believe how fast his hands move
jan 5: petsmart clerk told me to say hi to my cats, plural, based on how much cat food i bought. i didn’t tell him there’s just one. i know this one is a repeat. it happens every time

 
 

jan 6: the good bourbon. lots and lots of bourbon. and cherries. also the good ones. also lots. 
jan 7: calmed down before going to bed by queuing up three deliciously sedate sara bareilles songs: gravity, st honesty and orpheus. it worked 
jan 8: i love watching the charter buses leave town
jan 9: walked the mall from the capitol to lincoln memorial to reclaim it
jan 10: while walking, woman asked me about ucf shirt. said she graduated in 2012. which means she was probably not born when i graduated 

jan 11: bill ... bellchick? wait, really? (checks notes). yeah, bill belichick. huh. weird. who woulda guessed
jan 12: i burped out loud while waiting at a crosswalk because i forgot about being around other people 
jan 13: had potato chips and onion dip for lunch, then tortilla chips with bean dip for dinner. no matter how you look at it, that’s 4 servings of vegetables 
jan 14: started planning the fruit tart i hope to make tom rhodes for his birthday next year
jan 15: while walking, i met a 3-month-old pupper named rocco and the best way i could describe his general shape would be spherical

jan 16: stuffed crust pizza

jan 17: i did regular grocery shopping at publix in richmond just because i could and so i could write here that i did
jan 18: helped make 800 sandwiches
jan 19: helped make 1,100 sandwiches
jan 20: super quiet day. didn't see that coming

jan 22: it was 30 degrees, so wayne and i were able to leisurely eat our ice cream outdoors without fear of it melting
jan 23: listened to tom rhodes' "around the world" while cleaning the apartment. putting the ha-ha in housework
jan 24: the round trip to the krispy kreme shop is about 9,000 steps
jan 25: did not love the premiere of the second season of zoey's extraordinary playlist, but it reminded my how much i love the song "carry on" by fun

jan 26: drove three hours to sit in a restaurant. there was no food, but good, masked, distant conversation. baby steps

jan 27: accidentally got two story ideas in one conversation
jan 28: quality writing time
jan 29: it was a long day at work in which i barely left desk for almost 11 hours, but it eventually ended, and felt productive
jan 30: had probably best gyoza since i moved to DC. i made them (it was a recipe test, but still)

jan 31: watching snow out the window

Sunday, January 3, 2021

positivity journal 2020:12

year 2 of this list closes heavy on weird dairy references and a perhaps surprising amount of pork products


dec 1: went on a weird online shopping binge for my vacation. not sorry
dec 2: clerk at wawa called me sweetheart, which was nice, but it struck me that she seemed far too young to be calling random people sweetheart, then i wondered if it’s just that at some point i got too old
dec 3: delivered a whole lechon belly and omg my car smells good
dec 4: watched the live action “mulan” and it was great but could’ve used a wisecracking mini dragon played by eddie murphy
dec 5: got a new knife (see dec. 1) and it’s amazing. h/t quintin middleton

 
dec 6: finally got kitchen mostly clean from thanksgiving
dec 7: first day back from vacation is when i learn how smoothly things go without me and it’s liberating
dec 8: today is the first day i got an inquiry as to whether i expect to have leftovers of christmas dinner
dec 9: "i don't know why I go walking at night / but now i'm tired and i don't want to walk anymore / i hope it doesn't take the rest of my life / until i find what it is that i've been looking for"
dec 10: heard that najah sat on my hip at some predawn hour waiting for ... something. this makes me happy and sad, actually


 

dec 11: feed the good wolf
dec 12: went to whole foods and they had everything i needed
dec 14: i’m not all that into beef anymore (if i ever was), but jeremy gave me a chunk of brisket he made and it’s kinda great
dec 15: christmas card included 40-year-old photos i’d been missing. h/t linda fruecht

dec 16: when i text jay wang and look at the top of the screen and it says “jw” i always think i accidentally texted myself
dec 17: watched the losing my religion episode of song exploder and mentally made a list of about 100 songs that i’d love to see that thoughtful of a deep dive into the creation of
dec 18: made cookies
dec 19: i went to a new butcher shop and we hit it off well and the butcher gave me his cell number and that seems normal
dec 20: swapped cookies

dec 21: whenever i say the words creme fraiche, out loud or in my head, it's in the south park guy's voice
dec 22: mcrib
dec 23: i al
ways forget how much better homemade pasta is until i make pasta again
dec 24: 9 am text: “we got too many truffles. want some?”
dec 25: found a way to feed friends again

dec 26: i apparently thought allison brie and brie larson were the same person. turns out they are not. and that i like brie more than i thought i did
dec 27: was in wawa and trying to figure out what song was playing. thought it might be a matchbox 20 song i didn’t know. realized it was actually john legend. but the very next song was real world, which is a matchbox 20 song i totally know, and i think i just heard it before it started playing
dec 28: leftover porchetta sliders
dec 29: i ate a whole pint of ice cream because i didn't feel like getting up to put it back in the freezer
dec 30: rib wich

dec 31: this is my 731st post in this series. wow