Last updated Saturday, June 10, 2023
Last year, I renewed multiple library cards in nearby cities and counties. I belong to a book club that meets every four to six weeks. So far this year, we’ve done Gaiutra Bahadur’s “Coolie Woman,” Tamsyn Muir’s “Gideon the Ninth” and Charles C. Mann’s “1491,” and are now on Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s “This Is How You Lose The Time War.” So far, the year’s highlights have been Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The High Sierra: A Love Story,” especially after visiting Mammoth last September and several southern Sierra Nevada locations last month, and China Mieville’s “The City & The City.” Other books I’m grinding on include Leila Mottley’s “Nightcrawling” and Laurent Binet’s “Civilizations.”
My “dry January” 2022 led to the following:
- Athletic Upside-Dawn Golden Ale
- Greenbar Distillery Earl Grey Bitters + Soda
- Hoplark Sparkling HopTea with Chamomile and Citra Hops
Since then, it’s been mostly:
- Bravus IPA (their Blonde is good, when I can find it; their Stout is YMMV)
- Hairless Dog Black Ale and Citra Lager (when I can find them locally)
- Two Roots Helles (solid)
- Heineken 0.0 (regular tipple) or Guinness (or Bitburger or Clausthaler when visiting bars)
- Greenbar Distillery UnRum & Cola
- Hoplark Hibiscus Tea
I was learning Spanish in Duolingo (after dabbling the last year and a half with Portuguese, French, German and Yiddish), but I’ve wandered this year: Swahili, Mandarin, Latin and, more recently, Arabic. The app seemed to think I was in its top 0.1 percent of worldwide learners for 2021. I only made its top 1 percent for 2022, so maybe I was slacking off some? I’m also trying to follow some social-media accounts by non-English speakers on a limited basis, and throw in translations as necessary.
A. and I moved in mid-2021 from Oakland, a few blocks east of Lake Merritt, about a dozen miles north to a city called San Pablo. Our place is one room smaller, but there’s more light and a little less noise. There are still boxes that need unpacking and a couple of big projects that want doing, but it’s home.
When not buying Bandcamp releases, I’m still using Last.fm to track streaming songs. You can usually find my recent albums on my solo project’s site or earlier versions, demos and experiments over on my SoundCloud. After some curating, most of those will end up on my Bandcamp). 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 …