Updated the home page of this site today, adding prominent links to RSS feeds, a gallery of recent post images, and returning a link to the “Featured / Longer Things” post collection. Now I need to update the front matter of all the other missing posts that belong in that “featured” collection.
And with the images back I feel like I should start taking and posting more photographs of things other than just screenshots and shit I bought.
I had in mind a new reading update rule for 2022 - I wasn’t going to post a reading update about any book (neither here nor on Goodreads) until I was at least 10-15% of the way into the book.
But I forgot my rule, and now the books I barely started and haven’t continued to read are hanging over my head, and I hate all you big invisible jerks for holding me silently accountable for every random thing I post here.
I often find myself tinkering with already-published notes on this site. I initially thought of this as a confession, because at times I’ve felt that editing old posts (beyond fixing minor typos or bugs) is somehow cheating. But, no, revision is not cheating. There is no rule of any sort that I cannot change, improve, or remove old posts as I see fit. It turns out that this is my own website and I make the rules around here.
I’ve also been playing a bit of Pokémon Legends Arceus lately. Gave it to my son for his birthday recently and I guess I could say I started playing it at his urging, but truly I was just curious to try it anyway and I do kind of like it.
It’s not exactly Breath-of-the-Wild-levels of intricate open world, but I’m much more engaged by it than I was by Pokémon Shield. I probably will play some more of this game as well. (I think when my kids begged me to try Shield last year I stopped after 20-30 minutes, and I never went back to it.)
Started playing Gris tonight. Stunning and mysterious game.
There were a couple of points where I wasn’t sure if I was ‘going the right way’ or not, but it was so beautiful that I didn’t really care. So far I’ve ‘brought back’ the color red and I’ve gained the ability to make my dress into a stone block, which is super useful. Will definitely be continuing with this game.
Quick note about this site (joshuaw.xyz / jdwhiting.com)
This site is in more flux than ever at the moment, as I continue to rethink and evolve in how I want to use not only this site but also interact with others via the internet beyond this site.
I’m in the midst of making significant updates to the organization, flow, and functionality, all towards the end that I can start posting regularly again. I have a detailed list of tasks and ideas, but I’ll spare you.
I hope to make a lot of headway this week, but in the meantime some existing pages/links do not work, or do not work in the way I ultimately want them to work.
this winter break
I was going to
write a bunch
revamp my website
for the coming year
but I didn’t really do those things
and though I didn’t
do them I can’t seem to
let the idea of
so it may still happen
just not necessarily
in concert with
Gregorian year change
or an extended time
– so says my A.I. / algorithmically generated horoscope today, the notification popping up while I was mid-contemplating just how to curate collections and microthoughts such as these on this website, and whether to continue to do it just for myself or reconnect somehow with a social media network for the possible benefit or irritation of unknown others.
It seems like not many people are talking about this aspect of why Facebook is so horrible because it is also horrible in so many other ways. This is actually one of the main reasons I finally deleted my Facebook account, though.
I didn’t have a ton of “friends” (230ish, which I’m sure is below average for someone on Facebook for over a decade) and most of them didn’t share much that was real (or if they did, the algorithm didn’t see fit to share it with me), so my feed was filled with so much inanity and corporate stuff, and I still just scrolled through it compulsively, hoping something interesting would happen.
Loved this blog post that I happened upon today – being on School Library Journal’s network she’s kind of preaching to the choir, so I don’t know if this will convince or speak to anyone outside of libraries, but it’s honest and heartfelt and made me personally feel just a little bit better about my life.
Yesterday morning I finished reading All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. This morning I wrote six to seven pages of thoughts and notes about it, that I’m likely not safe to share anywhere right now, including here in unsyndicated nowhereland.
It’s a powerful book, though, if you’re willing to spend the time with it. And I’m afraid that fear of that power might be the true root and rot of the issue that seemingly requires me not to talk about it.
I filled up another ‘Field Notes’ notebook. I’m obsessed with these, and I already have too many, but I justify it because I do really like to write in them, I think I write more because of them. And now I even draw silly stuff in them sometimes. I’m sure I’ll use them all eventually.
Back in the spring of 2020 Mesita was writing, recording, and releasing the music of the pandemic in realtime, but I didn’t post anything about it at the time because I wasn’t really posting things, and I feel bad about that.
It’s an intended project of this website, but currently I’m not sure to what extent I want to re-share old photos and posts from prior websites, social media accounts I don’t use anymore, or just random things from my photo library or ideas and happenings noted down that I never got around to sharing in the first place. And if I do share them, should I have a system or chronology to the sharing, or just rely on randomness and serendipity? Re-post them now as fresh posts, or backdate them to when they occurred?
My wife jokingly asked my kids to figure out what I should be for Halloween, and my daughter quickly came up with this concept and then actualized it. So I wore it while I lurked out in the street behind my kids during their trick-or-treating.
I’m home sick with a cough/cold that isn’t COVID but seems contagious, but I’m behind on a lot of work, so I’m using what little creative energy I have to take care of a few things at work, rather than compose missives for or update the architecture of nowhereland. Other than that, reading or sleeping.
Attending the AASL national conference for the next three days, but I don’t play the edu/librarian twitter game anymore, so I’m only sharing anything about it here on my little site in nowhereland. I just hope to learn some things and probably not even talk to anybody? Not sure why I’m even sharing it here. #nohashtags
I’ve been slowly making my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. By “slowly” I mean I still consider it as a book I am currently reading, though I hadn’t read a word of it in several weeks until this morning.
![A Week](/notes/2021/10/A Week.JPG)
So it is taking me months to get through Thoreau’s week- it started on “Saturday” and I’m in “Sunday” still. But to be fair to myself, I think it took Thoreau years to write through his week.
So it looks like I finally have the syndication of short posts set up how I wanted (from my personal Hugo static site to Micro.blog, then to my more obscure Twitter account) at just the time I don’t think I care about doing such things anymore. Oh well.
Start of a new month and almost start of a new school year (I don’t go to school or teach but my work still goes by school years) seems like as good a time as any to restart on my blog and social media…
I’m reading Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri, and it is really good but it is taking a while because some nights I fall asleep while I’m reading it and then some nights I scroll through Facebook or web comics or websites about comic books instead of reading it. And then I feel bad, almost as if I, king-like, have killed Scheherazade by not continuing to listen.
So I have digital and physical notebooks and a phone and computer filled with photos and random things from the last year that I haven’t shared or done anything with, and I’m seriously considering just starting to go through and post backdated stuff on this website, and on the various social media channels. We will see if I have the guts to be that consistent and that obnoxious.
Coming out of social media retirement to tell you about the Tandoori Chicken Tin I had for lunch today from O’Falafel Etc. Wish I had taken a photo of this dish, because the picture on their website doesn’t do justice to the masterpiece of fresh take-out I received.
For nearly the past two months I’ve been tracking all my reading updates just in a OneNote page. Transferring it here for transparency/accountability, or just some form of conspicuousness. Think I’m about to go onto Goodreads and log all of this, get caught up, be a social human of some sort, &c. Maybe I’ll post specific things about some of these books on here as well if I have time and inclination.
My kids and I have been casually talking about turning our yard into an orchard, and re-reading this book in my backyard today inspires me to get completely serious about it. Impossible to read these poems and not want to start growing stuff.
I had a dream that I listened to this song on a different streaming platform and the guitar solos were missing from the track. I feverishly scoured the internet trying to find the original version with the guitar solos and figure out what was happening. Tabs kept closing on me and websites glitched into oblivion. I wasn’t sure if the streaming platform or record label had demanded their removal, or if she had somehow become ashamed of them and self-censored, or if it was the Mandela effect, or some other kind of weird conspiracy, but I was going to somehow get to the bottom of this cosmic scandal against musicianship and bring the lost guitar solos back to light.
The next day I had to listen to the song several times on different platforms just to be reassured that the guitar solos had not actually disappeared, but still remained on the track in their fulness.
Exceeded my expectations, and I can’t remember the last time a new album from an artist I already liked has done that. There is a warmth here that I haven’t heard in any of his work up until now. This is the electro psychedelic yacht rock I’ve been prepared for my entire life without realizing, every single track an absolute adult contemporary jam.
Don’t know much about this guy but I came across a couple of his guest spots and singles, most notably “Still Sun” and “God’s Own Children,” last fall, and have been anticipating hearing more of his Afrobeat/Afropop/electronic/soul/hip hop/? music ever since. This EP collects those great singles along with some new tracks, all of it extremely solid.
I read The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
Read: February 12, 2020
I want to give this all the awards. It probably should have gotten even more awards than it did.
(A little ashamed to admit that I’m just finally getting around to this, but I’m repenting of my unreading ways and doing what I can do now. And despite my claims to keep track of all my reading here in 2020, I’m back on Goodreads as well, I guess…)
I used to be meticulous about tracking even my most minute reading updates on Goodreads1, but I’ve fallen off in the past few months, and I’m not entirely sure why.2
In the meantime while I try to figure that out, I’ve decided to post random3updates4 about my reading on Twitter and also to experiment with creating a new thread/series here on this website that will serve as a running log of my reading life.
The other day at work I was going through some new MARC records for a school and came across this book they had purchased, and it covers the precise topics that I’ve been meaning to learn more about since a dog came into my life.
I forgot to observe Life Day several days ago, but I’ll observe it today on the Internet and on my website. I did share Life Day with my kids (just about 7 minutes worth) soon after when I had come to myself and realigned my priorities. They kind of loved it, and kind of thought it was terrible, which is just as it should be.
I’m retconning my website. I might as well be transparent about it. I feel like my lack of consistently sharing anything out from this site to the wider Internet*, along with the fact that it is my little corner of the Internet and I can do whatever I want with it (and that’s kind of the whole point) gives me the freedom to add, change, shuffle, and randomly publish new posts as though they were several months backdated, as well resurrect content from my old zombie websites, &c.
This site, https://jdwhiting.com, shall become the center of a new and expanded JdwhitingDotCom/Froz-T-Freez Drive-In Internetical** Multiverse. Will this center be a singularity? A black hole? I don’t know yet, it remains to be seen. It’s a bizarre exercise done in darkness, but nevertheless it is going to be an ongoing aspect of this project since I plan to use this site as my personal all-inclusive internet archive.
So years ago I remember coming across a thing called Digital Writing Month from some educator-writer type people I followed on twitter, and when seeing the usual pre-November hype for NaNoWriMo (which I always like the idea of but don’t actually want to do) I suddenly remembered it and thought I might try it this year, because it kind of fits with the project of this site.
If I had a ‘Favorite Albums of 2019’ list I’d be adding Big Thief’s new album Two Hands to that list.
I can’t think of a band that seems more devoted to the work right now than Big Thief. This is their second release this year, and it seems they’ve been touring and recording almost nonstop for several years now.
I’ve decided that I’m just going to start sharing more of my demos, drafts, fragments, and improvisations, so they are out in the world before they become irrelevant, instead of languishing half-finished in my notebooks as I wait for some mythical moment when I will have endless time and energy to create the thorough, perfect thing.
I wanted to write a full essay that thoroughly explores my thoughts about this album, Mesita’s Twitter song project, and how it all is actually impacting my views on life, art, &c., but since I already have notebooks and drives and clouds half-filled half-empty with so many other such good intentions that I never follow through on, I’m just going to post this now, and state that I think that Mesita’s You Are Beautiful is pretty much one of the most honest pieces of art I have ever encountered.
![Weird Little Robots - Cover (plus my daughter’s collection of dismembered lego minifigs)](/notes/2019/10/Weird Little Robots - Cover.jpg)
I’m reading Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi and Corinna Luyken to my kids right now, and so far it feels kind of like if Kate Dicamillo had collaborated with Stephen Spielberg on one of his 80s Amblin projects. In other words, I’m enjoying it. And my kids like it, too.