Yesterday I did exactly what I set out to do: visited three pubs and read an entire book.
The book, David Frum's Trumpocracy, should be required reading by Republicans. Frum is a Republican, don't forget; he's trying to put his party, and his country's shared values, back together. As a Democrat, I found his critique of President Trump and the current GOP's policies insightful and well-written. I don't agree with Frum's politics entirely, but I do agree with him fundamentally: disagreement between the parties is healthy when we agree on the fundamentals of what it means to be American.
The pubs were entirely less controversial.
First: The Anglesea Arms, Hammersmith, where I had a St. Aubell Tribute Cornish Pale Ale. Second: The Dove, also in Hammersmith, where I had a Hammerton N1 American Pale Ale and some foccacia with olive oil. (I'm trying to appreciate some pubs, not get sloshed.)
Both pubs were comfortable, classic English pubs. The Dove was more classic (it opened in the 17th Century), but the Anglesea Arms was more comfortable. I'd go back to either in a minute.
The third pub, where I read about half of Frum's book, is my third-favorite pub in the world*: The Blackbird in Earls Court. Over three hours, I sipped a couple of Fuller's ESBs and had their amazing steak and ale pie.
I may post some photos when I get back, but the glass over my phone's camera is all jacked up and I didn't bring my real camera.
Today I also plan to read a book and visit three pubs, and for the entire trip (including the flight home), I aim to finish four books and visit 10 pubs. And as it's already 11:30, I should get cracking.
* After Duke of Perth in Chicago and Southampton Arms in Gospel Oak, London, which I plan to visit tomorrow.
I spent over 3 hours in my car today in principal because there were no public transit options to my remote, suburban destination. That, plus all-day meetings, means that instead of outlining what I'm planning for the weekend—I'll do that tomorrow—I'm just going to line up some articles I want to read:
I now have to pack. Parker will be unhappy with this.
As a choir nerd, I encounter all kinds of interesting arrangements of music. Take this, for example: "Hide and Seek" by British songwriter and experimental musician Imogen Heap:
It turns out, she made a choral arrangement. Here she is with the London Contemporary Voices:
This makes me and my fellow choir nerds so happy.
Thirty-five years ago, this was the trailer for one of my favorite movies from childhood:
This is what it might look like today:
(h/t Deeply Trivial)
Photographer Mark Holtzman flew a Cessna 206 over the Rose Bowl on Monday—and captured one of the coolest aerial photos I've ever seen. He explains the shot in The Atlantic:
I’m always talking with them. It’s run under the Pasadena Police, so I get a clearance. They don’t want anybody just flying around during a big event like that, even though you theoretically can. So I was on a discreet frequency, the same frequency as the B-2, talking to them. They know me now.
Unlike film, the way you shoot digital is you shoot wider and crop it in. It’s hard. Things are happening really quick. It’s very fluid. I’m flying at 100 miles per hour. They are flying 200 miles an hour in the other [direction]. So, that’s 300 miles per hour. Things happen really quickly.
For me, my goal was to put the B-2 inside the stadium, preferably in the grass. And I don’t want to block any of the names or other stuff. For this picture, if you block the flag, it takes away from it.
So, first you’re trying to find the B-2 as it is flying toward you. Everything is fluid. I am moving around. They have to be on their target and you have to be on yours. There are no shortcuts. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
You have to see this photo.
James Fallows points out the alarming parallels between sexual harassment in Hollywood and President Trump's manifest unfitness for office:
In the very short term, a few people reflexively offered “open secret” as an explanation, even a rationalization. Of course everybody knew that Harvey/Roger/Kevin was this way (the reasoning went). If you were smart, you kept your distance, and you’d never take the bait of going for “a meeting” up in the hotel room. Want to give, or get, a “massage”? No way!
But you rarely hear rationalizations of that sort any more. Now the open-secret premise usually leads to a follow-up question. If “everyone” knew what was going on, why didn’t anyone do more to stop it? And this in turn has led to institutional and personal self-examinations.
Based on the excerpts now available, Fire and Fury presents a man in the White House who is profoundly ignorant of politics, policy, and anything resembling the substance of perhaps the world’s most demanding job. He is temperamentally unstable. Most of what he says in public is at odds with provable fact, from “biggest inaugural crowd in history” onward. Whether he is aware of it or not, much of what he asserts is a lie. ...
This is “news,” in its detail, just as the specifics of Harvey Weinstein’s marauding were real, hard-won news. But it also is an open secret. This is the man who offered himself to the public over the past two-and-a-half years.
This is scary stuff. It's bad enough when you're talking about a powerful entertainment executive; quite another thing when talking about the most powerful office on earth.
I will not be doing this (though I am taking it easy this month):
After a week or so, I’m sleeping better and have noticeably more energy. However, because my job is literally to go to bars and clubs, I can’t board myself up in a room, “Trainspotting”-style, to avoid temptation. I still go to cocktail bars and check out DJs and bands — I just don’t drink while doing so. Thankfully, with the explosion of the District’s drinking scene, more bars are putting an emphasis on house-made sodas and fresh juices, which can usually be consumed on their own, without alcohol. The Columbia Room, 2 Birds 1 Stoneand Hank’s on the Hill are among the best at this, though I’ve noticed more bars and restaurants adding nonalcoholic sections to their menus.
While approaches may vary, there are some general tips:
- Drinking a soda water with lime looks makes it look like you’re drinking a gin and tonic, which may help avoid questions.
- Tip your bartenders for sodas and water the same way you would for a beer or cocktail.
- Talk to people.
- Remember: There are other places to have fun in January outside of bars, too.
Most of all, don’t worry if you slip up, or decide to change the length of your hiatus. I know I’ve ended a few days early because there was a beer tapping I really, really wanted to attend. “It doesn’t matter,” [Columbia Room owner Derek] Brown says. “It’s not a religion; it’s a practice.”
I'll drink to that. But just a little bit.
Today is the last work day of 2017, and also the last day of my team's current sprint. So I'm trying to chase down requirements and draft stories before I lose everyone for the weekend. These articles will just have to wait:
We now return to "working through lunch," starring The Daily Parker...
Watch the "Half in the Bag" review of Last Jedi:
The first proto-blog post on braverman.org hit the Internet on 13 May 1998. (And it was a joke. Literally.) This is the 6,000th since then.
And every single one of them is here.
(The count of actual blog posts is now 5,804, starting from this site becoming an actual blog on 9 November 2005.)