Week notes 2020-02

  • We got a dog this week! Actually we’ve been looking to adopt a rescue dog for over a year now, but it’s not the easiest of processes. But, after a few false starts, we finally found Buster, a six-year-old mixed breed dog from the streets of Romania. Buster was delivered to our door at 4:30 am this Saturday morning, very nervous and dirty (and smelly!). Since then it’s been a slow process of acclimatising and settling in, as well as getting him to trust us. Needless to say we are totally besotted already. (No photos yet, there will be plenty of time for that.)
  • Only one film watched this past week: Mystify: Michael Hutchence. I dont’ have any strong affinity with INXS or anything, but this is a pretty solidly made documentary, and there’s a lot I didn’t know about his story. Plus, 90s Kylie MInogue is The Best.
  • Got 2020 reading off to a flying start though. Finished The Topeka School by Ben Lerner and went right into A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hammill. Difficult to descibe this one, but it’s horror-ish with a real family element thrown in that makes it feel more grounded… until the monsters show up. I read it in record time and was both entertained and genuinely disturbed by it.
  • I’m on to Little Faith by Nikolas Butler now. My wife rattled through this over the Christmas break so I’m hoping it will keep my reading momentum going at pace.
  • Read quite a few articles about death and dying this week it seems: Commentary: John Simon, Clive James and the future of criticism in our culture from the LA Times is about dead critics and the next wave of them; while The Art of Dying from The New Yorker is written by a critic who is quite literally dying (of lung cancer), and he writes about it here with amazing beauty and clarity. The Lingering of Loss (also from The New Yorker) is subtitled ‘My best friend left her laptop to me in her will. Twenty years later, I turned it on and began my inquest’. But it’s less about the laptop and more about the friendship.
  • An article I read this week that’s not about death or loss: Lived in Bars from Good Beer Hunting is about giving up alcohol but still frequenting and trying to enjoy your favourite bars.
  • Below is one of the tunes that’s caught my attenton in the first couple of weeks this year:

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