Welcome to December 2021’s Disappearing Moment, an inventory of opinions and experiences. I hope you enjoy it.
- An Absurd Result (I Liked It): Journalism as advocacy. As The Science improves, The Law has new responsibilities. In this instance, DNA analysis and the statute of limitations for rape.
- Generally Intelligent (Worth My Time): Sweet nerds getting excited about human and machine intelligence. Their kindness to each other gives me hope.
- Hope Chest (A Personal Favorite): Stacia Brown’s letters for her daughter to listen to when she’s old enough. The most beautiful podcast, bar none.
- Jainism for Everyone (Worth My Time): Come for the stories, stay for the discussions. Timir Chheda invites us to think about some ideas. Then he leads sincere, inclusive conversations.
- Kabbalah Revealed (Worth My Time). If we met, I would love for you to tell me all about the thing that most interests you. For Anthony Kosinec, it’s Kabbalah.
- Queen of the Ring (I Loved It): My great grandmother had little English and I had less Yiddish. Our naches (joy) was professional wrestling. Host Alexa Pruett helps me feel that again.
Hemingway is a simple app. It helps writers say what they mean. I use it a lot.
For over 15 years, my only hair product has been Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-In Conditioner. My hair looks, feels, and smells how I want.
Personal Finance and Investing
Review your auto and home insurance biennially. Your state’s Department of Insurance tracks all vendors and complaints. Consumer Reports and J.D. Power track satisfaction.
- Andy Corren, “Renay Mandel Corren” (I Liked It): Equal parts my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and Edith Massey’s Aunt Ida from Female Trouble. I wish we could have bowled or played cribbage.
- Geraldine DeRuiter, “Bros., Lecce: We Eat at The Worst Michelin Starred Restaurant, Ever” (I Loved It): “Amassing two-dozen (appetizers) together amounted to a meal the same way amassing two-dozen toddlers together amounts to one middle-aged adult.”
- David Gorski, “What the heck happened to John Ioannidis?” (Worth My Time): Ego! Like the When Genius Failed guys at Long Term Capital. He didn’t apply the rules to himself that he used to judge others.
- Shawn M. Jones, Martin Klein, and Herbert Van de Sompel “Robustifying Links To Combat Reference Rot” by (Worth My Time): Link rot is a real problem. I like this approach to solving it.
- Katy Milkman, How to Change (2021) (I Loved It): My catnip. Wharton professor. Behavioral science. Crisp storytelling. And she’s a favorite podcaster (Choiceology).
- Kanjun Qiu “Research as Understanding” (I Loved It): Most of us are capable of engaging in research. Let yourself ask questions you care about, then start looking for answers.
Not on Spotify: An Autoethnography
As of December 31, 2021, these recordings were not available on Spotify. Most of them are available on YouTube. If they aren’t, I’ve included a link or note.
Like anything related to my “taste” in “music,” my use of Spotify is an embarrassment. None of this is advice.
- Anarchy Song (Live) by Strike Under from the Busted at Oz compilation (1981). Chicago punks.
- Big Blue House from X’s hey Zeus! (1993). The best song on the worst album by one of the best bands.
- Boys Like Girls from Fluff Chick’s Pony Beach (2013). Featuring my friend Anne on vocals and guitar.
- Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover) by Kossan (2020). My meditation role model.
- Come Through Gently by Loose (1991). A New Brunswick favorite, featuring my friend Paul on guitar.
- Cop Killer from Body Count’s self-titled debut album (1992). Streisand effect. There are covers of the song on Spotify, and Spotify also has New York City Cops by The Strokes.
- Crescent by The Wrens from the Dear New Orleans compilation (2010). What might have been.
- Dance with Me from Lords of the New Church’s Is Nothing Sacred? (1983). Stiv Bators’s second greatest performance.
- Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins cover) by Calexico (2012). My favorite cover.
- Dead Rock ’n’ Rollers by Detention (1983). A friend put this on a mix tape for me in middle school and I didn’t know it meant she liked me.
- Ella James from The Move’s Message from the Country (1971). A frustrating band, either great or awful.
- Eternal Sunshine from Jay Electronica’s Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) (2007). Everything about him is confusing and interesting.
- Fillings from Grenadine’s Goya (1992). Whither Jenny Toomey?
- Good Morning, Bubblegum from The Harvey Girls’ Blabber ’n’ Smoke (2004). I spent a lot of time listening to this record soon after it was released.
- The Hard Part from Car Seat Headrest’s Disjecta Membra (2013). A study for Sober to Death.
- Heliophobe from The Wayward Wind’s Wait for Green (2005). Rick Hederson from Emma (see: Your Submarine Gown).
- Holes by Big Damn Crazy Weight (1992). An Albuquerque favorite. Not even their Sub Pop single is on Spotify.
- I Like Your Hair from The Nelories’ Starboogie (1994). A friend put this on a mix tape for me in 1995 and I thought it meant she liked me.
- I Smell Winter by The Housemartins (1986). A capella-style socialist dance music. Ah, 80s.
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For from Negativland’s U2 (1991). Streisand effect.
- If It Kills You from Drive Like Jehu’s self-titled debut (1991). Someone who no longer speaks to me put this on a mix tape for me in 1997.
- If We Can Dream Tomorrow from Urban Legends ‘ self-titled debut (1998). Hutch Harris from The Thermals.
- Jackrabbits from Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me (2010). My second choice is Good Intentions Paving Company, also from Have One on Me. A challenging, original artist.
- Kim Gordon’s Panties from Rapeman’s Two Nuns and a Pack Mule (1988). Great musicians and an “unconscionable and indefensible” band name.
- Le Grind from Prince’s The Black Album (1987). From that decade when everything Prince wrote was good.
- Less of Me (Studio) by Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (1978). Lydia Lunch’s second greatest performance.
- Mad Filippo’s Massacre from the Bouncing Souls’ Ugly Bill E.P. (1991). Another New Brunswick favorite.
- Maple Leaves by Jens Lekman (2003). Once upon a time, Beth took me to a bed and breakfast for my birthday and woke me up with this song, one of the inspirations for this list.
- Me, Myself, and I from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising (1989). Another inspirations for this list. I hear it will be available soon.
- Mr. Soul (Neil Young cover) by Bongwater from The Bridge compilation (1989). Ann Magnuson is the goods. Bongwater was unforgettable in concert.
- Needle in the Hay by Elliott Smith (Live, Electric) (2000). One of my favorite live recordings.
- Oh Bondage! Up Yours! (Studio) by X-ray Spex (1977). Ahead of its time.
- Omaha from Moby Grape’s self-titled debut (1967). Almost as frustrating as The Move.
- Oven Is My Friend (Church Police cover) by Sebadoh (1991). There, there, Lou, let it out.
- Please Read the Letter from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s Walking into Clarksdale (1998). Chicago punks.
- Popular Creeps from Chris Mars’s Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (1992). The most underrated Replacement.
- Queen of Disaster by Lana Del Rey (2011). I had no idea she was so prolific.
- Raceway from Pink Fairies’ Kings of Oblivion (1973). They rocked when they felt like it.
- See the Cheetah by Big Game Hunters (1967). Baby!
- Seven Years from Elephant’s self-titled debut (1992). Another Albuquerque favorite.
- Sequence 10 by Anthony “Shake” Shakir (1988). Everything I want to write about this song makes me sound even older than I am.
- Shocker in Gloomtown (Guided by Voices cover) by The Breeders (1994). A perfect music video.
- Sometimes I Cry from Guided by Voices’ Forever Since Breakfast (1986). Debut album as superhero orgin story.
- Take Me to the Other Side from Spacemen 3’s The Perfect Prescription (1987). Prepare for lift off.
- Une Very Stylish Fille by Dimitri From Paris (1998). It’s because I am older than I am.
- V.T.T.L.O.T.F.D.G.F. (Voyage to the Land of the Freeze Dried Godzilla Farts) from Fishbone’s self-titled debut EP (1985). The best live band I’ve ever seen. I wanted to be Angelo Moore.
- Valerie (’68 Version) from Amy Winehouse’s Lioness (2011). I believe her.
- We Must Bleed (Studio) from Germs’ GI (1979). I believe him, too.
- What’s in it for? by Avi Buffalo (2010). Yet another inspiration for this list.
- Where from Breaking Circus’s The Ice Machine (1986). Chicago punks.
- Xanaxstasy by Wednesday 13 (2010). Horror rock reminds me of my favorite hair stylist, Jeremiah Sisco, who owned The Alley in Philadelphia.
- Your Submarine Gown from Emma’s Garden City 44 (1998). A Philadelphia favorite.
- Z by The Wrens (unreleased). Only The Wrens get two songs. They’ll get theirs some day.
Thanks for spending a few moments with me. I look forward to corresponding again next month.