novels, HVAC, pencils

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ “Things never sounded like what they were: guns, fire. Everything terrible sounded much more innocent.”

I finished Alison Stine’s novel Road out of Winter. I read too many books where plot takes precedence and there’s barely a memorable phrase. Stine layers description meaningfully. The above is a good example, in that the narrator (on the road during anarchic societal breakdown following intense climate change) herself employs description to communicate, not just to set to scene but to connect back to earlier moments in the telling.

▰ “I think it’s gonna be a long long time”

Nothing like being trolled by hold music.

▰ Quality customer service from Empress Effects:

▰ Only upon returning home did I fully appreciate how friggin’ loud the hotel’s HVAC was.

▰ Hears sound from other room.

Thinks, “Huh, I don’t listen to a lot of music with singers, but that sounds pretty great.”

Goes into room.

Learns the “singer” I heard was, in fact, an electric pencil sharpener.

▰ I’m fairly certain Silverview is the first John le Carré novel with a smiley face emoji in it. (As someone replied via Twitter, we’ve moved from George Smiley, who first appeared exactly 60 years ago in Call for the Dead, to a smiley face.)

▰ This week’s Disquiet Junto project is about, in a sense, serial composition, though not in the sense that we generally mean serial composition (that is, not in the Schoenberg sense). Instructions went out, as always, via

▰ Thanks to my friend Bart Beaty for having alerted me to this. I love when an Onion headline is arguably even more interesting when you get past the humor: “Composer Surrounded by Discarded Sheet Music Suddenly Perks Up at Sound of Rhythm of the City” (

▰ It’s barely rained in years here.

I’ve watched endless hours of YouTube videos of people walking around in the rain over the past few years.

It’s raining right now.

So, somewhere in the back of my head, I feel like there’s a large YouTube video shoot going on outside.

▰ Four albums you were obsessed with in high school: King Crimson’s Discipline, Fun Boy Three’s Waiting, Violent Femmes’ debut, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. Limiting to four was hard ’cause I was so obsessed. The pool for obsession was small compared to today. Those are what came to mind before bed. I slept on it before posting. Also: Let It Be, Double Fantasy, Face Dances, Security, Mr Tambourine Man, 90125, and on and on.

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