#Weeknotes S02 E17

This week, and maybe for the foreseeable future, I’m dispensing with the pretense of following any kind of structure for these Weeknotes. It’s kind of a reflection life in the time of coronavirus. Sure, there’s a loose structure (at least for those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home), but if I can’t keep up with other routines, there’s no point in being a stickler about something like a weekly blog post. I’m just not feeling it right now.

I haven’t had a haircut in 2 months now. This is a pretty good representation of my hair before and during quarantine.

My time is either working or not-working. And during not-working time, I haven’t been in a headspace to do much else except mindlessly read, write, and binge watch stuff and do all the things in DESTINY 2 that I never got do when life was more normal. I’ve got some Twilight Zone draft posts queued up that I never got to finish this week. I peruse the internet and social medias as usual, and even make note of the interesting stuff like I usually do. But collecting, compiling, commenting? Eh, if I don’t have the presence of mind to stick it on Twitter, then it just leaks out of my mental RAM.

Here’s one thing that’s stuck in my mind this week: How I’m the target audience for this commercial, featuring a song that’s been in my personal rotation one way or the other since it came out.

Anything else I’ve read, parts of different memoirs, chapters out of books on writing non-fiction, the occasional article? In one ear and — well, maybe not out the other, but stuck inside my head.

I’m not going to stress about it right now. And believe it or not that’s actually progress for me. I have a tendency to fight these things, solve for them, to take any situation where I’m not sure what to do next and take stock, see what I can crack, what I can hack, what I can turn into lemonade. What I haven’t tried in awhile? Just sitting with it and seeing what comes of it. It’s hard to do that and keep working at the same time; we do what we gotta do, I guess.


#Weeknotes S02 E16

It’s not like nothing report worthy happened this week. But I’m definitely experiencing that weird, distorted sense of time everyone’s been talking about. It feels like no time has past since last week’s Weeknotes. Yet, it’s seven days later. What have I been doing? I look back and, like the past couple of weeks, seem to recall only flashes.

Between last Sunday and this Sunday, it’s just been flat out at the work-from-home dayjob-in-exile. A couple of longish days in there that didn’t leave me with much left over afterward. Using my personal tools for work has been working just fine, with a few interesting issues here and there. I’m smugly doing everything my Windows-based dayjob requires using Ubuntu. But I’m balancing it out by being unofficial tech support for coworkers who aren’t as tech savvy. Makes you wonder just how much of the world continues to run thanks to Zoom’s remote control feature.

I eked a few more paragraphs out of some of the stuff in my reading queue…

  • Elise Collette Goldbach’s, RUST: A MEMOIR OF STEEL AND GRIT

I’ve gotten back into the (bad) weekly habit of livetweeting snark at the History Channel’s THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND and THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH. It’s a rabbit hole, to say the least.


I’ve got a To Be Watched queue, but I can be forgiven for this distraction in this time of coronavirus, right? (I mean, god knows I didn’t have an excuse any of the other times I’ve done this.)


You know, I think that’s all I have this week. Maybe I’ll get to bed early and tackle Monday fresh!

Yeah, I know: famous last words!

#Weeknotes S02 E15

Ultra-short this week, because hey, Easter!


I feel like I’m slowly adjusting to the new normal. No, strike that — I feel like I’m further along in the grieving process over the old normal. I’ve got something of a routine where working the dayjob from home is concerned. Aside from that, I don’t know if me and mine have a “new normal” yet, because things are still shifting. Well, we’ll see what happens this week.

Also, Thundercat’s new album IT IS WHAT IT IS is pretty great. I recommend!

I know, Mazikeen. I know…

Catch you on the flip.

#Weeknotes S02 E14

This week flew by. I know I’m not the only one working from home for 8 hours and yet somehow losing track of time. It feels like most of the week is a blur of work and… not work…? I think back over the week and see only flashes. In those flashes, I seem to remember spending too much time on Twitter. I remember moving my entire Windows-based work-from-home dayjob setup to Ubuntu, basically because I could….

Other than that — aside from a little stir craziness, and the cancellation of chiropractic and dentist appointments until further notice, I’m still employed, working at 100% capacity (per a recent dayjob evaluation of everyone’s remote work capability relative to productivity), with my peeps and my cats.

Thankfully, I don’t (to my knowledge, as of the moment I send this) know anyone personally infected with COVID-19, let alone died from it. I certainly didn’t know any of these fellows who have, even though their music has been woven through my adult life. Rest in power, Wallace Roney, Ellis Marsalis, and Bill Withers!


Longest Writing Chain This Week: 1 day for 1 days. No, no excuses but these days, thankfully, I’m not really required to have one.

When I had the brainspace, I gobbled up bits of the books I got a couple of weeks ago. I’ve also set Lydia Davis’s ESSAYS ONE down in the queue, but really to review and process all the writing process stuff she has in there. Just like her fiction, there are a lot of layers to her writing tips, and I feel like I need to read and ponder them another two or ten times.

And this week, I do mean “rotting.” Feels a little ironic that most of it has been on the History Channel. I finally managed to catch a new episode of THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND for me to livetweet my snark. The same with a new show called THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH. On the other hand, FORGED IN FIRE doesn’t let me down.

But, don’t get me started on EATING HISTORY. I made the mistake of keeping the TV on after one of the shows I was watching and caught this… this… this display of mediocre bros getting the kind of shot on TV that talented people of color work their asses off to get but hardly ever achieve.


The dayjob office-in-exile.

Stay home. Wash your hands. Flatten the curve.

#Weeknotes S02 E13

Doing things in a different order this week. Because I can, that’s why.

For as much bullshit as comes out of my home state of Ohio these days, I still get occasionally wistful. I was sent an article from SCENE MAGAZINE (oh, I still remember how cool I thought I was in high school carting one of these around every week), “An Oral History of WMMS, Cleveland’s Legendary Radio Station”

Legendary DJ Kid Leo — as famous to me and most Clevelanders as Wolfman Jack ever was — brings to mind the city I grew up in. (If it helps you get into my head, listen to “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders as you read this section.)

In those days, Cleveland was a joke to most in the national media and therefore to a lot of America. Our sports teams were inept, our mayors were fodder for late night talk show hosts’ monologues and hell, our river even caught on fire.

I only understood a fraction of the shit going on in Cleveland radio at the time, except for the big things like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the ROLLING STONES ballot box stuffing thing, WENZ “The End.” But names like Malrite, Ruby Cheeks, Jeff and Flash; the competition like WCNX, John Lanigan, the Stern show when it came to town — these are motes and flashes of deep, deep memories of good times I remember. (Yeah, I know it’s a Chicago song, shut up.)

Why am I waxing so nostalgic this week? Because this time period was on my mind anyway after reading this article, and others like it, on how Generation X came up with the skills to cope in this time of coronavirus.

Which, as I tweeted, wasn’t necessarily the most ideal situation. I’m not whining, though. Sure, an outsider’s picture of growing up in the ’80s on the “Mistake on the Lake” is probably close to how you envision it. But much like quarantine, isolation, remote work, fear, and uncertainty in 2020, it is what it is.

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 1 days for 2 days overall. What do you want, there’s a fucking global pandemic on.

I don’t need any more books, but I got them anyway. It’s been a long time since a writer’s stuff made me happy that they jumped their place in my reading queue like Osama Almoar’s.

I still think “Replay” is the best episode of Jordan Peele’s TWILIGHT ZONE so far, but I’ll be damned if “A Traveler” doesn’t come a close second.

I feel you, Asher. We’re all a little stir crazy. That… that’s my arm, though.

#Weeknotes S02 E12 (The Quarantine Episode)

Well, I don’t really have an excuse for this episode being a short one, do I? Between a root canal on Monday and setting up my mobile dayjob office-in-exile while making some desperate updates to my tech, it’s been busy.

I made my PodCastle narration debut reading Vida Cruz‘s “Odd and Ugly.” It was an joy and a privilege to read this! And yes, this was the “writing-adjacent” project I’ve been talking about the past couple of weeks.

I’d known something was up with my ThinkPad X1C Gen 6 battery since almost the day I got it, but I didn’t really register an issue until after my warranty ran out, ‘natch. But over the past 2-3 weeks, I suddenly noticed I was only getting two hours’ use out of it. Of course, I didn’t bother doing anything about it until I needed to use it to work from home and didn’t have the convenience of unplugging. Luckily, I decided fuck it, and got a replacement battery ordered before Amzn shut down non-essential stuff. So all’s well that ends well, although it looks like I probably shouldn’t have put it off for so long.

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 1 day, but for 3 writing days total. I know, I know. But I’m ahead of February so that’s a good thing!!

This was definitely not the podcast I should’ve put on late one night thinking it would help me drift off to sleep. Instead, I was up listening to this fascinating interview with Ezra Klein and labor organizer Jane McAlevey on how the left builds power all wrong.

Sorry I missed my weekly post of TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) reviews. I got my review of “Replay,” the third episode, up yesterday. I’ve had notes on several episodes, but just couldn’t find time to organize them during the Andromeda Strain breakout. I caught some shorter things though.

I’m convinced that if an ’80s song sounds good when you take away the ’80s production values, it’s a good song! (Though I do miss Chaka Khan singing back-up on this one.)

Also, I’ll listen to anything sweary Doctor Who Peter Capaldi says about surrealism..


The “Before” picture from my first root canal. I wish the drugs and pain hadn’t hampered my ability to take pics of that last tooth on the right during the procedure.

#Weeknotes S02 E11

Going to be a short one this week. Feels like I’ve been saying that a lot lately. Anyway, it doesn’t feel like I have much, if anything, to report but that’s not true. The writing-adjacent project I still can’t talk about yet is done. Just waiting on approvals and final sign offs, and then I’m sure every relevant announcement will be made.

Even though I’m a paper-pusher in the healthcare field by day, work was pretty hectic last week as you can imagine, what with the Andromeda Strain going around the world. Between that and the project I just finished, and yet another grab at another grad school opportunity… I’ve been tuckered out this weekend.

Depending on how long the Andromeda Strain lives, I may (or may not?) be at 4th Street Fantasy in June.

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 3 days, but for 5 days total! I’m on my way, I think.

I’ve been catching up on podcasts a bit, and caught an old (from about a month ago) episode of CONAN O’ BRIEN NEEDS A FRIEND with guest Keegan Michael Key. You should listen to the whole thing but if you do nothing else, do yourself a favor and listen about 18 min, 30 sec in when they get to talking about Billy Dee Williams. Trust me!


Oh, it’s on!


#Weeknotes S02 E10

The writing-adjacent project I mentioned last time? That’s what I’m working on now, so this will be another quick one. Contracts have been signed (by me, anyway); more details when all the Ts are dotted and the Is are crossed… or, whatever.

Slight hint at the very bottom of this post, though.

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 2 days, for 3 days total. Which, okay, isn’t a great start for the month but I still have plenty of time to outdo February. And that’s all I’m aiming for!

I debated which section to put this video in. I overthink these things, what can I tell you?

Anyway, I’m still on a Huey Lewis kick so here’s a “What’s In My Bag” interview Huey Lewis did at Amoeba Music on his favorite albums. I, of course, am fully behind his pick of BACK TO OAKLAND by Tower of Power!

I got a few more pages in from Lydia Davis’s ESSAYS ONE. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, but the best thing so far is knowing the variety in what she reads.

Oh, I just picked up this anthology today because (a) free (at least for a little bit) and (b) how awesome is an anthology based on…

Three short lines, fired over social media in response to questions of why Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate, for daring to read aloud the words of Coretta Scott King. As this message was transmitted across the globe, it has become a galvanizing cry for people of all genders in recognition of the struggles that women have faced throughout history.

Download the Nevertheless, She Persisted Short Fiction Bundle For Free, Starting This International Women’s Day.

Yes, she was my preferred candidate. Yes, I’m going to vote blue, no matter who. Don’t @ me.

Like last week, I didn’t have a lot of TV time. I only got in one episode of Jordan Peele’s THE TWLIGHT ZONE. Here’s my review of “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”.


Fulfilling my contractual obligation…

#Weeknotes S02 E09

A quick one this week. I’ve been a little scattered mentally and trying to catch up. So, remember that “writing-adjacent submission” I mentioned last week? Well, stick in a pin in that. Have to get my signature on some things first! That’s about the biggest thing to report this week. Here’s the other stuff….

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 1 day, but for 4 days total. What’s important here is that I ended February having put in more writing days in than I did in January. This month, all I have to do is one-up that!

You couldn’t have told me in the ’80s that I’d be reading about Huey Lewis in THE NEW YORKER.

Who doesn’t like free stuff like high quality images from The Smithsonian?

I only learned about poet David Lehman’s latest book ONE HUNDRED AUTOBIOGRAPHIES last Monday when I read that he was going to do a reading last Thursday. I went to it.

And of course as if I don’t have enough of a backlog, I stumble onto a book from an author I know nothing about but whose jacket basically told me I needed to read it, RUST: A MEMOIR OF STEEL AND GRIT by Elise Colette Goldbach. I’ll turn in my book report once I finish it.

Not a lot of TV time this past week, except for my slow binge of Jordan Peele’s THE TWLIGHT ZONE. My goal is to do a quickie episode review per week — here’s one for “The Comedian”. Next week will be one for “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.”

Could there actually come a moment when my parents’ naturalization certificates won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on?

I hate feeling beaten to the punch…

#Weeknotes S02 E08

Well, whatever Andromeda Strain I was fighting off for the past two weeks knocked me out last Thursday and Friday. Stayed home from work because I wasn’t capable of doing that much else except sleeping. I did get some writing in when I could; it was only a little bit but more than I’ve managed in awhile.

Still waiting to hear on an iron that’s been in the fire for a few weeks now. Added another iron in the form of a writing-adjacent submission. I don’t expect anything to come out of that one, but you never win unless you play, right?

Longest Writing Chain This Week: 4 days with 5 writing days total!

On track for my basic, ultra-low bar of “just write more days in February than you did in January.” Because that’s where I am right now. It’s keeping my fingers warm, looking over old projects, adding a little here in there just to keep myself writing. The important thing is to keep doing it daily. And I know, “You must write every day” seems prescriptive and ableist, and it is if you mean it as general advice for everybody, for all time. Still, I’m compelled to keep trying for that goal. The only difference is not judging myself as weak if I fall off the horse.

I forget exactly how I stumbled onto the Backstory Cleveland newsletter, wherein editor and writer Matt Winkam reads his way through every novel set in Cleveland. That alone made me bookmark the link. I have some of the material he lists, and I’m curious to see this take on it.

Wrote up a little thing on WEATHER, the latest album from Huey Lewis & the News

I’m also finding myself diving into my collection of Chick Corea Elektric Band albums, and hearing things now that there’s no way I could’ve comprehended when I pretentiously got these albums after college. I’ll probably distill some thoughts on them soon.



I’m ashamed that despite being the hard core TWILIGHT ZONE fan that I am, I didn’t shell out for CBS All Access to watch this, and so I missed out. But I’m rectifying that now! Episode reviews coming soon, rated with my customized “Jack Elam Score,” in honor of the actor in my favorite Twilight Zone episode ever, “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”

1: “And this lemon-sucker here…”
2: “Ain’t nobody been exonerated yet, that’s for sure!”
3: “Sharp boys, real sharp boys!”
4: “A regular Ray Bradbury!”