Thursday Required Reading

1. Hiking Is an Ideal Structure for Friendship. Love stories like this.

“As soon as we complete one hike, we immediately establish when the next will be. We rotate the organization and planning duties, eeny-meeny-miny-moe style.

That person has complete authority and responsibility to organize the hike, select the location, provide the beer and other refreshments, and make any other side-trip plans. We’ve done breakfast, dinner. We sometimes hit various local watering holes, or we just plop down with a cooler in the woods somewhere. The organizer is responsible for setting up all the logistics, soup to nuts, and is not questioned on the decisions made.”

2. This game has surpassed League of Legends, Fortnite and Valorant as the most-watched gaming category.

3. 2021’s Best States to Retire. I know, I know, how can any state known for the blog ‘PressingPause’ be ranked 31st? Spurious methods.

4. Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College. Don’t know where to start on this one.

5. Mean tweets may take down Biden nominee. If only Neera Tanden had shown the same tact and diplomacy as The Former Guy. Has nothing to do with “civility” and everything to do with political power. It’s a tad bit ironic that the R’s are channeling Malcolm X. “By whatever means necessary.” (credit: DDTM)

6. The most important Western artist of the second half of the twentieth century. (credit: Tyler Cowen)

Meet Kidd G

My morning reading included this New York Times profile of Kidd G., a 17-year-old from a small Georgia town who built an audience as a rapper on TikTok and SoundCloud before pivoting to country music.

Still processing these sentences:

“Before committing himself to making music, most of Kidd G’s attention was devoted to sports, particularly baseball and fishing. (He received two college scholarship offers for fishing.)” 

Wut?

 

A One Act Play

The setting: Jeff Bezos’s and MacKenzie Scott’s Medina, WA kitchen. After working together to make Kraft macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, they serve themselves, grab two cans of Mountain Dew, and sit down at their formica dinner table. It’s one of their last dinners together as a married couple. A few days following this meal, they decide to pull the plug on their marriage. 

Jeff: Mac and cheese with dogs never gets old. [laughs uncontrollably] 

MacKenzie: No, it doesn’t. [inner voice. . . but your laugh has sure started to] 

Jeff: What did you do today?

MacKenzie: I spent most of it journaling. Which helped me realize I don’t want to help you turn Amazon into the world’s retail store anymore. I think $182 billion is enough money. I want to make the world a better place through writing and giving my share of our money away.

[All the while, Jeff texts Lauren Sanchez under the table.]

MacKenzie: [Softly, sadly, and with a deep sense of resignation.] Did you hear me?

Jeff: Yes, you said you want to help me make Amazon into the world’s retail store. 

[MacKenzie stares at Jeff in silence]

Jeff: [Head in his lap.] Can you pass the applesauce? 

 

Laugh To Keep From Crying

Alternative title, “The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction”.

Unless you’re a MAGA True Believer, it’s impossible to read this Politico piece, “‘Every Day Was Like a “Veep” Episode’: The Veepiest Moments of the Trump Era” without at least smiling if not laughing out loud.

Nice framing:

“When House of Cards debuted on Netflix in 2013, Americans were shocked and a little thrilled to imagine that its sharp, murderous plotlines might reflect the real Washington—a sinister place where calculating, ruthlessly effective pols achieved their dreams by shoving reporters in front of Metro cars. But the people who actually work in D.C. were quick to log a correction: The day-to-day experience of politics in the nation’s capital is really much more like HBO’s Veep—a constant near-train wreck of bumbling, improvisation and profanity.

Presidents have generally succeeded in keeping that aspect of the job well-hidden, managing to project an image of executive competence no matter how absurd the backstage dynamics.

And then came Donald Trump.”

The anecdotes are especially funny, if like me, you savored every episode of HBO’s Veep staring Julia  Louis-Dreyfus. Who I’ve had a thing for ever since Seinfeld. Please don’t tell the Good Wife. 

The Best NBA References in Rap Lyrics

Pre ‘rona I’d prob be in church right now. Instead, another slow rehab run. This time with the boys—Jack Harlow, Dababy, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne. 

This is the shit:

“What’s poppin’? (Pooh, you a fool for this one)
Brand new whip just hopped in (just hopped in)
I got options (oh Lord, Jetson made another one)
I could pass that bitch like Stockton (it ain’t nothin’)”

Which, lucky for you, got me thinking, what are the best NBA references in rap lyrics? Here’s one person’s opinion. Apologies for not having explored this previously.   

News Alert: Grand Designs Is On Netflix

Four plus years ago I made my case for this British series about couples determined to build their own homes in What I’ve Learned From Grand Designs.

Now Natalie Rinn of The New York Times has three reasons she loves Grand Designs. Welcome to the party.

When I recommended it, it was probably hard to find, not any more though thanks to Netflix.

download.jpg