Cloister Commentary, Day 350: THE 7TH AND FINAL SUSTENANCE AND SUCCOR AWARDS*

*not that we all won’t continue to need sources of both

Every 50 days of the pandemic, I’ve tried to highlight material that’s been helping Nicole and I up the mountain. I’m leaving off with this commentary on Day 365–a not-so-nice far-from-round year–so here end the awards. But I live to share on Facebook, so that doesn’t much matter!

BEST ANTI-COVID-BLUES RECORDINGS:

Wau Wau Collectif: Yaral Sa Doom
Dolly Parton: A Real Live Dolly
The Supreme Angels: Drinking of the Wine
Showbiz & AG: Runaway Slave

BEST ANTI-COVID-BLUES SHOWS:

Kim’s Convenience
Men in Kilts
Sweet Smell of Success
The Durrells of Corfu
All Creatures Great and Small

BEST ANTI-COVID-BLUES BOOKS:

Stephanie Soileau: Last One Out Shut Off the Lights
Ibram X. Kendi: How to Be an Anti-Racist
Hubert Selby, Jr.: Requiem for a Dream
Brian Coleman: Check the Technique–Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
Thich Nhat Hanh: How to Fight

BEST ANTI-COVID-BLUES EATS:

Barred Owl Butcher

Yes, I know it’s not over.

Streaming for Strivers:

Top of the line arrangements and sliding!

Cloister Commentary, Day 235: They Say It’s Been Her Birthday

Nicole and I celebrate our birthdays as weeks, not days. So since Sunday, that’s what we’ve been doing, COVID-19 be damned. We’ve had friends over for backyard firepit visits, we’ve Zoomed with some homies, we’ve sipped some cocktails, we’ve invested in some new tech, we’ve resisted feeling too much dread (definitely for the time being), we’ve cranked up some disco, soul, and jazz, we’ve indulged in our new culinary concoction (a German delicacy called “dipsundshit”), we’ve revisited the work of Merle Haggard, we’ve bought some presents for family, and we’ve strolled the neighborhood multiply. And we still have three days left!

Apropos of nothing (yeah, sure), here are my ten favorite books of 2020 (so far), in no particular order:

Louise Erdrich: THE NIGHT WATCHMAN
Peter Guralnick: LOOKING TO GET LOST–ADVENTURES IN MUSIC & WRITING
Ross Johnson: BARON OF LOVE–MORAL GIANT
Richard Grant: THE DEEPEST SOUTH OF ALL–TRUE STORIES FROM NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI
Lawrence Wright: THE END OF OCTOBER
Derf Backderf: KENT STATE
Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy, John Jennings: PARABLE OF THE SOWER (graphic novel)
Walter Johnson: THE BROKEN HEART OF AMERICA–ST. LOUIS AND THE VIOLENT HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
Fernanda Melchor: HURRICANE SEASON
David Zucchino: WILMINGTON’S LIE–THE MURDEROUS COUP OF 1898 AND THE RISE OF WHITE SUPREMACY

Streaming for Strivers:

I needed something leveling, something calming this morning. So far, so good.