Last updated Monday, January 10, 2022
I’m spending the next five or six weeks with Annalee Newitz’s “Four Lost Cities,” months after going to the Legion of Honor museum’s “Last Supper in Pompeii” exhibit last summer.
I’m taking a seasonal break from alcoholic beverages, most likely until spring. When I was drinking, I liked taking home some St. Bernardus Tokyo Belgian Wit Ale, Einstok Icelandic White Ale, or Ale Industries Town Beer Kolsch-Style Ale. These days, I’m cracking open an Athletic Upside-Dawn Golden Ale, a Greenbar Distillery Earl Grey Bitters + Soda, or a Hoplark Sparkling HopTea with Chamomile and Citra Hops. Looking ahead to warmer weather, it might be time to check out more local breweries.
I’m working on Portuguese in Duolingo (after dabbling the last year and a half with German, Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic). It feels pleasant after intermittent Romance-language exposure, and some of the lyrics to a few years-loved songs are slowly starting to make more sense. I didn’t think I was at it a lot, but the app seemed to think I was in its top 0.1 percent of worldwide learners for 2021. Bonus: one of my phone’s breaking-news apps (possibly noticing my use of certain keyboard letters) began offering notifications in it. Tudo bem!
Last July, A. and I moved from where we were in Oakland, a few blocks east of Lake Merritt, about a dozen miles north. Our new place is in the middle of San Pablo: one room smaller, but there’s more light and a little less noise. There are still a dozen or so boxes that need unpacking and a couple of big projects that want doing, but we’ve gotten the hang of getting around. It feels like home.
When not buying Bandcamp releases, I’m still using Last.fm to track streaming songs. For the third straight year, #Jamuary or #JamuarySongADay has meant making and uploading daft ditties and drooling drivel to my own SoundCloud. It still feels like a fun way to start the year off, and warms me up nicely for #FAWM aka my sixth straight February Album Writing Month (where the ditties and drivel end up on my own Bandcamp). Of course, doing both of those and then a Fifty/Ninety challenge meant accidentally writing over a hundred songs last year: oops? And I promised a friend we’d turn some songs we’ve written over the last decade or so into a streamable project: let’s see if it happens …