Cloister Commentary, Day 324: Books for Groceries

Yesterday was a long march to a disappointing Super Bowl. Mom is a big Patrick Mahomes fan but it was not a good evening to be that (though he did prove tough). In other sports news, I finally had a chance to watch Luka Garza play on the tube, and that, too, was underwhelming.

While visiting here, I bought groceries and dinner for us, and Mom was concerned about paying me back. I told her that wasn’t necessary, but we worked out a deal. She “bought” me some books for about the same amount, thus allowing me once again to get around violating my resolution (which I actually violated the day before–see Commentary 323). I know you’re on tenterhooks needing to know what tomes I chose: U. S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s new anthology of Native Nations poetry, Drs. Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain’s “community history” of African America (titled 400 Souls), and New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s new book The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto.

I also researched ways I can get Nicole and myself vaccinated against COVID-19 since, as Missouri teachers, and according to state leadership, we are not considered in urgent need. Governor Deputy Dawg: friend of public education.

Streaming for Strivers:

Bird lives. As does Black excellence.

Cloister Commentary, Day 283: I Will Buy No More Forever

As New Year’s Day approaches, like a dork I’ve been considering resolutions. But I’m very serious about this one, and maybe if I make it public that will add to my resolve.

It will come as a surprise to no one who knows me that our house is teeming with books and music. Some who know me are also aware that I struggle with this, suspended between the desire to own every great album there is (and many of the great books, but that’s different) and the clear awareness that my life is finite, the rage to “possess” is ridiculous and very likely colonial residue, and I can enjoy so much great music and literature without having the concrete thing.

So. I’m going to try not to buy a single piece of music next year. My fortune is such that I have enough records here (beyond 10,000) to enjoy for the rest of my life. What about things that aren’t streaming, you wisely ask? I have a network of friends who are adepts and might be persuaded to swap. If that doesn’t work? It won’t kill me. Books: if I can’t find ’em in a library‚ĶI’ll live. Maybe, just maybe, if I learn about a great book that’s out of print and can find a cheap used copy, I’ll buy it. But isn’t that like that ONE cigarette that won’t hurt?

Wish me luck. Nicole and I had a great, relaxing day, got a neighborhood walk in, and discovered a “new” food show called “TrueSouth,” which was executive produced by Wright Thompson. Beebs seems to be feeling better. I drank a porter and it didn’t mess with my stomach. And my new nerdy Inspire watch revealed that my previous night’s sleep was “excellent.”

Streaming for Strivers:

A great singer whose life was cut terribly short, as was Sam Cooke’s, his boon companion and artistic admirer.