Cloister Commentary, Day 159: How Many More, How Much More?

Finally, I weeded and trimmed around the front yard and sides of the house and hauled the detritus to the mulch site. I’m almost to sore to write this morning. Where is this sudden burst of diligence coming from? It scares me. I was accompanied by the neighbor’s passel of unfed cats, who were clearly entertaining me in hopes of morsels.

Nicole and I checked a few items off the get-‘er-done-‘fore-school-starts list: we set up a safety deposit box and corresponded again with two prisoners on death row in Missouri in league with the Missourians Against the Death Penalty program. It’s a trademark of the pandemic that two actions taking us a little less than an hour total felt like major accomplishments.

The NBA’s choice to suspend the playoffs was more inspiring than watching a great overtime game. It’s on the back of Dame’s and Donovan’s jerseys: how many more? And how much more?

We finished the first season of Unforgotten, which ended a tad soft with an overload of redemption. But I also found myself asking, from a critical perspective, what’s so wrong with that? Is it that much of a pipedream? Well, probably.

My English friend David requested Top 10 lists from some of his fellow music mavens, and rather than rearrange the same basic list I’ve probably posted for a decade, I decided to go off-canon. For your perusal:

  1. Carmen McRae: As Time Goes By – Live at the Dug
  2. Dead Moon: Trash & Burn
  3. Armando Garzon: Boleros
  4. Doris Duke: I’m a Loser (Kent UK Reissue)
  5. Jorge Ben: Africa Brasil
  6. Various Artists: It Came from Memphis, Volumes 1 & 2
  7. CH3: Fear of Life
  8. Sonny Criss: Sonny’s Dream (Birth of the New Cool)
  9. Johnny Bush: 14 Greatest Hits
  10. Lynn August: Sauce Piquante

Streaming for Strivers:

A taste? I have probably listened to this somewhat forgotten album 10-15 times in the last year.

Cloister Commentary, Day 154: Godawful Racket

Nicole and I are very well-suited to each other, or I don’t think we’d have lasted as long as we have. That harmony has been armor for us in this mess, but I’ve voluntarily made one sacrifice that at times has me chomping at the bit. Yesterday, she went out to school for a few hours to prepare her room, my reins were loosed, and I was spurred.

I happen to deeply enjoy quite a bit of music that some would find akin to sitting next to jackhammer while trying to pray. Nicole’s got terrific and pretty adventurous taste in music, but (particularly considering the stress of ‘rona mixed with schools opening) free jazz cranked up to about seven is not her idea of pleasure. I have good headphones, but I find it rude to don them if another human’s in the room, and I like to hear music in the open air (I admit, I’m fussy). About 0.5 seconds after she headed down the stairs to the garage, I’d slid the gnarliest record of the year, Neptunian Maximalism’s oceanic, Olympian, three-disc whale-mating makeout album ÉONS into the CD player and turned the knob seriously clockwise. Then I settled onto the couch and read meditatively for the duration. The record ended right as I heard the garage door open, but I can now go another five months relatively racket-free.

In other news, I’ve decided to pursue being a notary public, we made a Tropical Liqueurs run (Brain Freeze vs. 2/3rd Piña Colada 1/3 Rum Runner), and thanks to our show-finder Susan we found a great new show to chill out, too: Unforgotten.

Streaming for Strivers:

The racket I’m talking about ain’t rock and roll.