1. Wild Flag, “Romance” video
Wild Flag is Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss (formerly 2/3 of Sleater-Kinney), Mary Timony (Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders). Besides being indie-rock royalty, these four women can crack you up and and kick your ass at the exact same time. The new album came out yesterday. Catch them on tour this fall if you can.
2. William Gibson, Zero History (2010)
Gibson made his name in sci-fi: thirty years ago, he famously coined the term “cyberspace” (a Wikipedia albatross if there ever was one). His current project is to bring all his futuristic, visionary prowess to telling stories about the present. This, the final volume in a sort-of trilogy Gibson began with Pattern Recognition (2003) and Spook Country (2007), is the most pleasurable, challenging thing I’ve read in a long time. Though each book in the series can be taken separately, together they form a fully-realized world that exists alongside our own. You’ve heard of political thrillers and techno-thrillers; I think Gibson is writing aesthetic thrillers. Who else could spin up-all-night, global-intrigue suspense out of “locative art,” PR firms and boutique denim?
3. Extended warranties
Last Sunday night I was up late, goofing around on the internet, when my computer screen went black. It didn’t exactly go kerplooey; it just ceased to be. The next day I took my Macbook to the Apple store. Three days later, I had it back with a new logic board, hard drive, and display. Total cost of repairs: $967. Total cost to me: $0. Moral: buy the three-year plan. Back up your shit. And don’t get too attached to your machine.
4. Growing your own
This past spring we put in what I often referred to as a quixotically large garden. It was an insane amount of work digging up the yard, putting in raised beds, building a fence enclosure, and preparing the soil. We planted onions, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, hot peppers, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatillos, asparagus, peas, lotsa herbs, and tomatoes. Boy, did we ever plant tomatoes! Now they are peaking, and it’s more than you could ever imagine coming from a backyard plot. This, my friends, is one of the great joys of life.
What’s rocking your world right now?