With a long week behind me, I was thrilled to get cocktails and German beer with a few friends on Friday afternoon; rounding out the evening with rockfish tacos. COVID islp a fearful specter, but the dance of “mask on for the bathroom, mask off outside with friends” feels much more normal now. I even rode my bike to get these drinks, which felt very much like old times.
This weekend is a race-heavy one, with Vuelta A Burgos Feminas, the Giro, and a Monaco Grand Prix filling my hours with rubber on the road. The skies are blue, so I plan to spend a bit of time relaxing in the sun, but in the meantime, a few hours on the trainer inside, watching these races.
Is it sunny where you are? Are you starting to get those “summer vibes”? Ready to be young, dumb, and full of antibodies? I felt like the predominantly queer bar we sat at Friday night included many more lingering glances than in the past year. Nature is healing/horny.
First, let’s remember the satanic toaster of yore:
YouTube is a delight and a horror in equal parts, but the ease of finding strange videos and old commercials on it is unparalleled. If you’re struggling to remember if a toy or snack advert from your fevered childhood memories was all in your head, a quick search can disabuse you of that doubt. Speaking of childhood snacks, when did you first enjoy a Flaming Hot Cheeto, and when did you learn to eat them with chopsticks? For whatever reason I think I had a lot more of Andy Capp’s Hot Fries then Flaming Hot Cheetos￼ and preferred my Cheetos puffed. We ate a lot of chicharónnes in my house as well, but not a spicy varietal. If you were a snack family, did you inherit your junk food favorites from your parents, or did you boldly branch out, insisting on Cracker Jack’s with a complete disregard for how disappointed they are?
Did you see the cursed chair this week?
At least when we were kids, we didn’t have to perform every interest and action out of a sad desire for engagement and fleeting financial gain. In the 90s, it felt like the height of “15 minutes of fame” was being on Legends of the Hidden Temple, or GUTS, but now you can dance with other youth to no purpose 15 seconds at a time. There are hilarious videos on TikTok, but in general the whole thing reeks of “influencer” in a way Vine didn’t. Vine felt like a everyman’s video service, singularly focused on the bizarre, human, and micro-cultural. Unlike the strange ads on YouTube, which delight in spite of their desire to sell us something, TikTok feels like all it offers is a desperate hope to sell the creator, with little-to-no lasting power of the produced content.
man look at what people are doing from their homes. pic.twitter.com/1x0K17S2Iy— Tobi (@TheTobiSmith) May 21, 2021
If you’re wondering, “is there ethical consumption under capitalism, the answer is “no,” but this book tries to explain why. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my to-read shelf for when I need a dose of non-fiction to wash down a series of sci-fi and mystery novels. If you do read it, I’m curious what you think, so let me know. Regardless of my socialist ideals, I can’t lie: I’m eagerly anticipating my new remote.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about how writing impacts perception, and attempting to remove passive language from a six page document, and this is the best exploration of that language I’ve read.
Let’s close out this week’s newsletter with jazz:
June is nearly here, and I need a vacation! At work, my intern starts soon, and I’m mentally preparing for the next quarter’s planning, but in life friends are moving, and adventures are being planned. I might get to swim in a pool next weekend, and am even charting a course towards backpacking with Drew and Christine. Drew hasn’t backpacked before, but having hiked and biked with him, I’m somewhat afraid he’ll climb like a goat and leave us in his dust. We’ll find out. With Europe opening-up to American tourists, are you planning to visit Berghain, or party on the Amalfi Coast? I don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable being in a sealed metal tube with other people again, but I do want to hit up Germany and Sweden soon.
Wherever this summer takes you, I hope you join me in appreciating this crawl out of the pandemic fear cave we’ll all be making. I hope I don’t have to commute again any time soon, but I do hope I can treasure at least a few common experiences for a while. However long it takes to take the world for granted again, I’ll keep writing these missives throughout. Keep reading, and stay safe, space cowgirls~