3 things for today

I just deleted a whole snotty post so it’s only one thing: my brother Kyle sent me a mix tape for my birthday and he printed out his own CD cover and everything and then labeled it “Driftless Winter,” which is just about perfect, the effort and the caring that went into a detail like that. Good ol’ Kyle. It’s the second really nice, thoughtful, personal gift I’ve gotten in the mail in the last week and together they made me remember that even the smallest things are vital.

Oh! There is one more thing: go to Twin Anchors & get them ribs, stat.


Watching Catherine O’Hara play the leader of a murder (heh) of mutant crows is one of the best things I have ever witnessed in my very long and eventful lifetime.

Your explanation of benefits

I hate to be that person who blogs when she’s crabby but I’m crabby most (94-9%) of the time so if not now when? My fingers still work so what’s the holdup? Sometimes I try to convince myself that I should only blog when I’m in X mood or have Y important things to report or Z thoughts on important world topics but let’s get real. I have zero thoughts on important world topics. I blog because I have a keyboard and some free time and otherwise I’d just be talking to myself. Which I also do, all day long.

Anyway, Tim Carmody has a long post at Kottke about social media and the state of blogs today and it’s smart and recommended by me, although he’s mostly writing about Important Blogs with many readers that helped to shape lives and careers and media ventures and this has never been and will never be that. Ho ho hooooooh no this will never be that. I started this blog to talk to (well, at) my friends and because I can say any stupid thing I want knowing most of them will get it or at the very least roll their eyes and shake their heads and forgive it and frankly that’s what kept it going the whole time I was in New York, although if I’m really being honest, I mostly kept it just for me. Just to say here, this is what’s happening, this is what I’m thinking about, this is my voice. This is what I’ve got.

At the end of that post, Tim Carmody asks: “Was it just a place to write and be read by somebody, anybody?” Yes. Yes it is.

I Worried

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

— Mary Oliver

Bday girls

Beware the mighty Capricorn trio!

Likely to confuse the elderly

My father watches three things on the big TV on his sun porch: Wisconsin sports teams, YouTube shorts about Hitler, and anything on Netflix. Also Fargo, I guess. He has a thing for Fargo in any format. At Thanksgiving my brother Kyle introduced him to The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and he’s been watching it on a loop ever since, except for the last episode, which he doesn’t like. Too chatty, maybe. Too “woo-woo.” But the rest he knows practically by heart.

Anyway, when I went back for our second Christmas on the 29th, we all crammed into the sunroom to watch Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas on the big TV (our only true annual tradition), and we followed that up with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs because somehow the dudes always get to choose what we watch, which I object to vocally and repeatedly and usually storm out on. I was mad about having to sit through a boring bloody macho Western but I was wedged into the sofa in the corner so I just sighed out loud for a while, like a grownup, and then finally, begrudgingly, paid attention because there was nothing else to do.

I’m sorry to say this, because I hate admitting I’m wrong about these dudes’ suggested viewing, but I really loved it. I dreamed about it all night long and then I drove home on Sunday and watched the whole thing again voluntarily, after True Grit, which I also love. Damn Coen Bros! The Zoe Kazan episode broke my heart in 95 different places and the last one, the Tyne Daly one, the one my father doesn’t watch, it reminded me immediately of Lincoln in the Bardo even before I knew what was going on, and I loved it even more for that. (I suppose that could be considered a spoiler but this is no safe space.) The whole thing was weird and rewarding, is what I’m saying, and it caught me by surprise, which all things considered was not a bad way to end a year or even a weekend.

Also: I watched my first episode of Bob’s Burgers tonight (“Topsy”) because it was on before The Big Bang Theory and I was toooo lazy to change the channel, and long story shrt I now have a new favorite TV show.

In summary: congratulations! We are all winners!