Liner Notes (October 5th, 2018)

Well, this week has been a real piece of work. All this stuff in the news is overwhelmingly depressing on a level that’s hard to find the words to describe. The impact the 2016 election will have on our country’s courts will be felt for a good portion of my life. Next time someone tries to tell you voting doesn’t matter, smack them upside the head. It’s been a trying week. I just feel overwhelmingly tired.

Along with this week’s media diet I include some thoughts on the “dynamic desktop” feature of macOS, baseball, and a playlist of ten songs that got me through the week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Four Things

Note: I plan to get back to ranking catalogs of different artists next week, I just ran out of time today.

  • I really like the new “dynamic desktop” feature of macOS Mojave. The wallpaper changing throughout the day with the sunrise and sunset is quite cool. The app “24 Hour Wallpaper” has a bunch of cool scenes that do this for you. I’ve been using the “waterlogue mojave” version over the past week and find it very comforting. While on the topic of wallpapers, I made an iPhone X wallpaper for the upcoming Spider-Man movie. It looks great on the lock screen.
  • I’m extremely excited for playoff baseball. As I’ve written about before, I re-discovered baseball this year. It’s been a very calming and relaxing way to spend my evenings. Just having it on in the background in the afternoon as been great for my mental health. I like having a sport where, sure, I care about the outcome, but I don’t feel the same pressure and nerves that I feel when watching something like basketball. That’ll probably change as the stakes get higher throughout the playoffs, but, even watching two teams I don’t know much about has been a lot of fun and totally worth it.
  • I really enjoyed this podcast interview with Matt Damon. All the information about Good Will Hunting, his early career, and getting that movie made was fascinating.
  • I updated my TaskPaper theme on Github to automatically detect if you’re using Dark Mode or not and switch the color scheme. I still need to tweak a few more things in it, but it’s a nice simple theme if anyone is interested. Oh, and with that, I also put up a few custom made macOS icons. They are the ones I use for Things, Spark, TaskPaper, and Ulysses. There’s a bunch of similar themed icons here, but I make new ones pretty frequently, and I’m going to start putting them on Github when I do.

Music Thoughts

  • I finally listened to the new Against the Current album. I like it for what it is. It didn’t knock me on my ass, and I don’t think as the weather changes I’ll be listening to it much in the fall, but it’s enjoyable.
  • The new Andrew McMahon single is fantastic.
  • I like this new LANY album, Malibu Nights, but it really starts to blend together for me. The songs don’t differentiate themselves enough, musically, and especially lyrically. But, at only 33 minutes, that’s not the worst thing. Pretty solid break-up pop album. It kinda reminds me of the latest album from Lauv, stylistically. Which is also worth a listen if you like that sound.
  • I spent lots of time with the new mewithoutYou album this week. I still really like it, despite my problems with the production. I wish it sounded better. It would take an album I really like into the “this is one of the best albums of the year.” Alas.
  • I still don’t think I “get” Twenty One Pilots. I gave the new album a spin and … this band still isn’t for me.
  • Not sure who recommended it to me, but I enjoyed my listen of Bats by Cub Sport this week. A nice breezy pop sound that I could see myself coming back to again. It got me to add their discography to my collection. I’ll be diving into all of it this weekend I’m sure.
  • The new Matt Nathanson was more immediate for me than I expected. I’ve always liked him as a songwriter, but it’s always taken a few listens. This one hit me right away.
  • I still listen to and really like the new one from Hellogoodbye.
  • I don’t go back to the Coheed album very often, mostly because of how dense it is and I need to be in the right mood for that kinda sound.
  • The first spin of Cursive was just a little while ago. I am going to need more time to figure out how I feel about this one. I liked a lot of it, but this has always been a band that demands more than one listen.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • This week was mostly the Harry Potter marathon continuing. We watched Goblet of Fire (pretty good), Order of the Phoenix (one of my favorites from the series), and Half-Blood Prince (another very good one, although dark). By and large, these all have held up pretty well. They’re a whole lot of fun, at the very least, and really that’s what I want most from these films … a feeling of comfort and enjoyment.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp was simply … ok. There’s some fun stuff in it, Paul Rudd is great, but I never really felt any stakes in the movie. The antagonist and main story just felt … fine. It was better than some of the Marvel movies, but also nothing to really get excited about.
  • Loved The Good Place and Always Sunny episodes this week. Charlie running into the bike-thief kid had me rolling with laughter.
  • I’m 85% of my way through 11/22/63. I’ve got most of it all figured out now, just need to see how it gets wrapped up. It’s been a good book, definitely enjoyed reading it, and I’ve come to really care for a couple of the characters.
  • Hannah is in Alabama for the next week in performing, so I don’t really know what I’m going to watch at night over the next few days. Nothing I have queued up is really grabbing me at the moment. I want something like Cobra Kai that I can get invested in and binge for a few days, really something that feels kinda low stakes but fun. Everything on my “to watch” list seems too dramatic at the moment.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Officially 26 lbs down now. I’ve started adding more calories to my Friday/Saturday and a few more throughout the week in an effort to find a good “maintain” intake. That’s a good feeling.
  • My mom just completed her third of four chemo treatments. She remains a champion. The worst of it usually hits on Sunday night, Monday morning, but I’m extremely glad to know that she’s in the final stretch now.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. LANY – Through These Tears
  2. Young the Giant – Heat of the Summer
  3. Fickle Friends – The Moment
  4. Andrew McMahon – Teenage Rockstars
  5. Matt Nathanson – Back Together
  6. mewithoutYou – New Wine, New skins
  7. Cub Sport – Good Guys Go
  8. Lauv – I Like Me Better
  9. Days Away – Gravity
  10. The Midnight – Explorers

The playlists are also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Sigh. Tough week. Sorry for getting this out a little later than usual today. I took Hannah to the airport this morning and it basically tossed my entire day and schedule out of whack. I don’t know where my day went. I hope everyone has a great weekend and can find something to lift your spirits over the next few days. I plan to buy a six pack of beer, order a pizza, and turn on some baseball. And, on that note, I leave you with some Calvin and Hobbes:


Previous editions of this roundup can be found here.