The first real newsletter! Hot 'n toasty, right in your inbox 🔥 🍞
Hello from an increasingly dreary Brooklyn, pals 👋
Is it weird to start with some year-end ruminations? I'm terrible at consistent mindfulness, and I'll lose track of what I did even yesterday and fall back into existential FOMO. Honestly in some ways this newsletter is an exercise in "hey dummy, you did things."
And I'm tickled pink—touched—flattered!—that you're here to read it.
2022's been a disorienting whirlwind: a second cross-country move just eight months after the first, three different startups (including one spectacular implosion), too many Sunday afternoons at Public Records, cute new friends, my first ultramarathon, and a lil skeptical toe-dipping into web3.
I'm hoping 2023 brings consistency & community. So much has been in flux since I left Providence in July 2021 that I'm really craving not just stability but familiarity. I wanna have a routine—places I go, people I see—that I can rely on. Constant discovery and exploration are wonderful! But gosh I am tired.
This week I've been digging back into some older favorites. Julia Jacklin's "Don't Know How to Keep Loving You" is forever somewhere near the top of my "emotionally devastate yourself for no reason" playlist, just beneath Big Thief's "Not" but slighly above iamthecoffin's "Happy Valentines Day."
We've got every shade of grief.
Harakiri for the Sky released re-recordings of their first two albums (their self-titled and Aokigahara) this month, and I'm surprised how much I'm not digging them. Their last new album, Mære, really spotlit how much their technical mastery & vocal range have grown, but it's not backwards compatible with their earlier work. Their previous albums were elevated by their limited, abrasive quality: all distortion, grit, and jagged edges. That palpable sense of anguish ends up buffed away by hifi polish—raspy wails replaced with a more melodic bellow, cleaner guitars in lieu of the bone-numbing distortion. They lost a lot in the process.
Fuck me the original tracks slap hard though.
My current job's web3-y (it's complicated), and one of the gnarliest challenges I'm trying to navigate is figuring out how make web3 community concepts (e.g. DAOs) intelligible to people whose entire experience of web3 has been watching crypto markets self-immolate for the last 18 months. This flows into the tension of wildly disparate levels of user participation, different degrees of interest in the functioning of the DAO and contributing to it, versus more passive observation. Designing communities and ramping up people into complex organizations is fresh territory for me, and I'm grateful to have a problem space I can really sink my brain teeth into.
I have nothing constructive to offer with this entry—but highly, highly recommend reading Ed Zitron verbally disembowel Silicon Valley.
I have a theory that prestige fantasy streaming is rapidly devolving in an aesthetic singularity. From Disney+'s Marvel movies and strip-mined Star Wars nostalgia, to Amazon's Rings of Power and Netflix's otherwise delightful The Witcher, it's increasingly difficult to visually distinguish them. Whatever unique art direction might differentiate them gets smeared away by an overreliance on weightless, depthless set CGI, lighting that seems to come from nowhere, costume design with just enough budget to fish old styrofoam blocks out of a dumpster. At least there's no suspension of disbelief to be broken—everything's too rubbery and indistinct to care in the first place. Everything feels safe, and nothing matters
This is an unnecessarily oblique way of saying I hated Andor.
Oh! I'm still figuring out what this newsletter is gonna be. I've got some loose ideas, things I want to write longer bits on, but it's 50/50 if I'll get them into a coherent state. Who knows! Shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got an idea for something you'd like to read or want me to share more of ✨
That's all for today, pals! I’m grateful to have reached a place where I don’t feel an obligation to do holiday things at all and can try to focus on rest and reset for a bit—wishing you the same if that’s what you’re needing right now.
I’m gonna go boop around on my microKorg and pretend I know how music theory works. Stay safe, stay cozy, and see you next week 🖤