© joseph ivan long 2015

1. Discovering that longtime fave British art-punk band Clinic somehow had a great little 2010 album, Bubblegum, that slipped past my radar.

2. Seeing our daughter's joy at getting a package in the mail today from a summer friend, and hoping that perhaps these friendships will help keep the U.S. Postal Service alive so that my children and children's children won't have to go to a museum to find out what a postage stamp is.

3. Watching children play with marbles.

The Decemberists' Wrong Year,
Colin Stetson's The Sun Roars Into View,
Sleater-Kinney's Hey Darling

4b. Janelle Monáe.

5a, I. My parents. Who have been married a hundred years as of today. The exact number of years escape me. If you were to round to the nearest hundred, it would technically be zero, but since that doesn't work we'll stick with a century. Today, specifically, I am appreciative for two things they have passed along:

5a, II. a willingness to laugh at themselves and not spend lives consumed with what others might think of them.

5b. an ability to give attention. Attention that is focused and veers between quiet and loud; the kind that makes you feel special. And always loved.

5d. a love that is sincere, vibrant, positive, often hilarious, and built around not perfection, but constant improvement. A model well worth observing and learning from.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.