Sunday Update #2 | Arctic Monkeys, Writing, New Apartment

Hello! It is 9 pm local time. I hope I have caught you before the Monday morning dread has set in. Or before you have fallen asleep. I literally don’t know when people go to sleep anymore. I have friends who are always in bed by 9 pm (Grandmas!) and friends who are liking dumb Facebook memes at 3 am on the dot (How do you function!?).

If you have already fallen asleep by the time this has been posted (like a baby), please enjoy this post in the morning, as you sit at your desk—cup of coffee in hand—and not work.

 


 

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I’ve been enjoying the Arctic Monkeys’ newest album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, which came out on Thursday.

The Arctic Monkeys have been everything to me since I heard AM about five years ago, so I was excited to witness their first new release in a long time and catch them on tour this go-around. (I will be seeing them in Washington DC in July!)

Rolling Stone described Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino as a “space-lounge odyssey,” and there is really no better descriptor than that. The Arctic Monkeys are known for their genre-spanning evolutions between albums, and this is no exception. They have come a long way from the energetic Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not; the manic Favourite Worst Nightmare; the dark Humbug; the romantic Suck It and See; and the glam AM.

I’m starting to sound like a music critic and I really don’t want to, because this is meant to be a quick blog post and I am no expert. But I do like this new, risky direction that they’re going in as a band. Some of the songs sound too similar, and I miss Alex Turner playing the guitar, but I get that this is a piano-heavy concept album about a weary rock band playing at a hotel on the moon.

Songs I’ve been replaying, in no particular order: Star Treatment, Four Out of Five, The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip, Science Fiction, Batphone

In case you are new to the Arctic Monkeys, I made a Spotify playlist of my favorite songs that you are welcome to follow.

 


 

I pitched an article idea to one of my favorite publications, and it was accepted! In the next few weeks, you’ll probably see me posting it everywhere. This would be my first byline, and I can’t even couch the enthusiasm in jokes. I’m just happy.

Also, my best friend and I recently started our own two-person writing group, in which we exchange ideas and pieces we’re working on throughout the week. We’ve only been doing this for a couple weeks, but it’s already been so helpful for me to have someone read my writing and suggest feedback, offer encouragement, ask me to expand on ideas, etc.

In fifth grade, we used to write book-length novels together that were essentially fan-fictions of us (as teenagers) joining our favorite Christian pop band, so it has been fun returning to our roots as friends and as individuals.

 


 

I moved into my new apartment nearly two months ago, and it is finally starting to feel like a home. Here’s a picture, because I’m really proud of this corner. This is the first time where I’ve had full control over decorations, so it’s been rewarding to see this start to come together.

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I also love my neighborhood of Edgewater. I moved here because it was more affordable than Lakeview, where I had been living before, but I hadn’t known that I was moving to a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, filled with stunning homes built in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Surrounded by manicured gardens and young families, it feels a lot more like a community than when I lived a few blocks from Wrigley Field.

Here’s one of my favorites, to cap off the evening. If you are looking for a weekend trip this summer, I highly recommend Chicago! It is just starting to become beautiful and sunny again. My couch is always open, and my cat doesn’t bite (hard).

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Sunday Update #1 | Revisiting College, Sufjan Stevens, Queer Eye

Happy Sunday!

This is a new thing I’ve been trying to start for a while — an uncurated series of thoughts and happenings from the past week. I wanted a space where I can share bits from my life without the goals of “I need to think this through fully and form it into something” that a regular blog post comes with. So, please enjoy this new installation in the museum that I guess is me.

 


 

Last week, I visited my alma mater for its Ad/PR Senior Salute event, where I met up with old friends and professors and silently (and not silently) judged everyone’s outfits. Do people not know what “cocktail” means? I don’t consider myself a pearl-clutching kind of person, but I was honestly horrified at what people felt comfortable wearing around the people who will be serving as job references after graduation. *shudder*

On that note, it was strange not knowing anyone at school anymore. There were a couple people I had seen as freshmen that were now seniors, but no one I really knew. When I walked through the doors of Nicholson, I was half-expecting to see all of my friends and classmates from a couple years ago, not in their current state but frozen in amber, in that time.

It’s like when I visited my high school a couple years ago to have lunch with one of my teachers, and I was surprised to learn that they had paved over the retention pond near the senior lockers to make room for more parking spaces.

Driving away from campus, I couldn’t stop thinking about this pond. I had never had any particular attachment to it, and I’m not sure that I really missed it. But the simple fact that it had been there and now wasn’t was enough to rattle me — this inherent disconnect between memory and reality.

I suppose that’s what people mean when they say it’s “weird to be back.”

 


 

I’ve started to diving into the music of Sufjan Stevens, and it’s so dreamy and lovely. Why did I hop on this train so late? I first got into Mystery of Love from Call Me By Your Name, but now I’m going through his Illinois album. If you have any other song recs from him or someone like him, let me know!

 


 

My sisters Paige and Brianna and I cooked a Japanese meal from the cookbook I had given Paige for her birthday. We made okonomiyaki (a cabbage pancake) and gyoza (pork dumplings that I have now discovered are dually Japanese and Chinese?).

Making the gyoza was much easier than I thought until THEY STUCK TO THE PAN AND WE HAD TO SCRAPE THEM OFF. We tried cooking them with both metal and nonstick skillets, and the results were the same. What were once dumpings became a salad of pork, cabbage, and fried dough. The flavor was delicious though. I guess that’s what matters.

 


 

I went to Women & Children First‘s book launch party for Samantha Irby‘s essay collection Meaty. I had previously read her essay collection We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, and UGH, you guys, she is as hilarious in real life as she in her books. She is truly one of the funniest writers I’ve ever read.

I’ll repeat myself here: She is the best. I love her. Read her books and her blog!

 


 

I love love love Queer Eye, so please enjoy these interviews I’ve seen recently:

When Your Dad Is Queer Eye’s Karamo (Slate)

Jonathan Van Ness’ Favorite Things (GQ)

The Fab Five Insta-Stalk Each Other (Elle): Karamo, Tan, Jonathan, Bobby

 

That’s it for today! Have a great week!