jesse leo dot com - 2018 edition
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Diving into the weekend like...
 
9/21/18 -- Your Friday afternoon Zen moment: a sea turtle settling in for a nap on a giant sponge thing.
9/13/18 -- Sorry for the radio silence of late, we've been visiting our favorite place on the planet, hoping for a bit of Blue Magic. Have I mentioned that a week is never long enough? Not even close.
9/6/18 -- Nifty. And depressing. How much hotter is your hometown now than when you were born?

-- Pro surfers and artificial wave pools. Discuss.
8/31/18 -- Apparently Neil Young and Daryl Hannah recently married. Wait... WHAT ???
8/30/18 -- If you're reading this, you're probably aware that we've had an 860 "home phone" for many years. Well, as of last month that number no worky, please call our mobiles. It had become the spam phone line, and whenever it rang Maria and I would glare at each other as if to say "your turn!". In reviewing my still absurdly high ATT bill, I estimate we'll save $287.64 per year by terminating that line. Think of the of coffees that'll get us.
8/29/18 -- If you ever find yourself cornered by a massive, snarling wolf, offer it a belly rub... might just save your life!
8/28/18 -- NPR may have outdone themselves (itself?). I give you Yo-Yo Ma, the Tiny Desk Concert.

-- Pleased to report that my beloved Spring House webcams are back online, after being out of service for most of August. I emailed the Spring House directly and asked that someone run up into the tower to jiggle the handle or whatever. I guess they got the message!

Being able to peek in on the Block Island shoreline sustains me in ways you can only imagine.


-- Got my pre-sale notification for Horseman's Hollow tickets - WHO'S WIT ME???!! Never too early to start siking up for the Halloween season.

-- ATTENTION SPIDERS AT OUR RESIDENCE: you are officially on notice. Vacate peacefully within 24 hours, or you and your web get the broom treatment.

I don't know if it's the humidity or what, but there are spiderwebs everywhere and it's like a goddamn haunted house around here...

8/27/18 -- On a *much* lighter note - drove up to the J. Edwards Winery last Thursday for Donavon Frankenreiter, as we intend to do every August in perpetuity. Such a mellow, fun, lighthearted show, every single time. We grabbed a bottle (or maybe two) of JE's surprisingly flavorful Chard, rolled out a delightful little spread of Havarti cheese, Triscuits, humous, and assorted other goodies. Took our usual place front & center stage, close enough to high five the band members. It was a beautiful summer evening and a much-needed diversion.

Each year we ask everybody and their mom to catch this show - if you're reading this...Join us! You don't know what you're missin'.

8/21/18 -- Tucked in bed, soulmate by your side, in a room filled with people who love you. 'Ripple' playing softly in the background. Sounds like a great way to go, right?

Well sure, maybe if you're 94. Certainly not when you're supposed to be at the halfway point. Not when you've spent the last few weeks in constant pain. Not when just a few months earlier you were taking care of yourself, in apparent fine health, and loving life.

I continue to grapple with the cruel, apparent randomness of this whole thing. And if you're a believer in the "phases" of grief, well, I've settled into the anger phase with no plans to move on any time soon.

8/8/18 -- How to bathe properly, brought to you by a bunch of hummingbirds.
8/7/18 -- Yes, it's true. Sir Patrick to reprise his role as Captain Picard. ENGAGE!

-- These people dance better than you.
8/6/18 -- The blue shirt: an exhaustive guide.

-- Some friends with beach rights have been letting us crash their scene on weekends, and Aidan couldn't be happier. Yesterday was a gorgeous gift of a summer day, and our boy spent the bulk of the afternoon splashing around the shallows and working up sufficient nerve to jump off the float. Big fun and not a computer or iPad in sight.

Perhaps our one modicum of parenting success with him has been instilling a love of the water.

8/3/18 -- In case you missed it - doggy stealing a GoPro is definitely good for a few lolz.
8/2/18 -- Some teachers went all out with the HP decor, essentially transforming their school into Hogwarts. Freaking awesome.

-- Holy smokes a live bear cam! Though I see none on there at the moment. Must be napping.
7/31/18 -- Oh, the indignity of sunscreen application...
7/30/18 -- FB and Instagram are inundated with photos and videos of people sharing their Block Island experiences, so much so that I've pretty much tuned them out. But this one here, posted by some guy named Shane, is well worth your time. Even if you've never visited the island.

-- What was Mister Rogers like as an actual neighbor? Read on...
7/29/18 -- Enjoyed this NYT bit about the way-cool uncoolness of cruises. Never been on a cruise myself - give me a sandy week in a crude Cinnamon Bay hut over "Shuffleboard at 2:00 sharp!" any day. But I wouldn't turn one down were it gifted to me, or if I won it by being the 9th caller on some radio show. No doubt I'd have a completely different outlook by the end of the trip.

There are parallels with the Disney experience. We've been twice, through the good graces of others, and both times it was the same story: landing in Orlando on day 1 I was a snarling hater... by day 4 I'm rockin' Mickey Mouse ears and begging for one more turn on Space Mountain. Embrace the hokiness. You'll be a better person for it.

7/28/18 -- Was perusing the new releases at The Hickory Stick this morning, and who walks in but Agador Spartacus, errr, actor Hank Azaria himself. Briefly made eye contact and I smiled, and he smiled back. That was the extent of my most recent celebrity run-in, and it took every ounce of willpower to not accost him and ask for a selfie.

Anyway, here's an Agador compilation for your viewing pleasure.

7/27/18 -- The Food Chain, in action: Phoebe, aka Mama Cat, snatched up a bird earlier today. I chased her down into the woods in hopes of prying the poor creature out of her jaws, but as I was clad in sandals she easily got away. Not to mention the fact that she's a cat, and so really what chance did I have of catching her anyway...?

Fast forward an hour later, while lunching outside of Clamp's we see a cute little inchworm hustling along on a nearby tree branch. A catbird swoops down and snatches it up in its beak, as we look on in horror.

So who gets eaten next?

7/21/18 -- This just in: eating beef jerky can turn you into a maniac.

-- Don't know about you, but I could watch old-school footage of Ronaldinho flukin' and jukin' and nutmeggin' all night long.
7/19/18 -- Sir Patrick's beekeeping dreams have come true. I'm hoping 2019 will be MY year to get a hive or two going.

-- Just announced: the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards winners. Beautiful birds get me every time.

-- Take a slow hike in the woods. Turns out it's really good for you.
7/11/18 -- Was having a lousy morning 'til I happened upon this tumblr, which is dedicated solely to vintage video game backgrounds.
7/4/18 -- Crikey! Has it been this long since I've been here? Work, kids, life, etc has a way of smooshing one's creative mojo. But it's 6:35am and I'm sitting out on the back porch with a steaming cuppa and a good book, and there's such a beautiful vibe right now... the brutal heat wave is on siesta for at least another hour or two, so I ain't gonna waste this everything's gonna be alright moment for all the tea in China.

More later. I'm gonna top off my cup and dive back into this trashy thriller. Have a great Fourth, y'all.

6/23/18 -- If you're one of the three people on the planet who hasn't yet watched Sir Paul on Carpool Karaoke, set aside 20 minutes or so and get to it. Truly special.
6/22/18 -- Self portrait by Aidan. His teachers swear on a stack of bibles that he did the bulk of this work on his own with minimal guidance. We're framing it and sticking it on the fridge for all eternity.
6/21/18 -- Well teased, Creed 2 trailer, well teased. I refer, of course, to that major reveal around the 1:48 mark. Holy hell!

-- An appreciation of VHS tape packaging designs.
6/20/18 -- Going back to 1999 - Anthony Bourdain's first published submission in the New Yorker, an essay which would vault his career into the stratosphere.
6/19/18 -- Everyone is still freaking out about Weezer's cover of 'Africa'. I'm failing to see what all the fuss is about. To me it just sounds like Weezer showing up at some bar doing karaoke night.

-- When I'm able to pry him off of the computer, Jake can still flex his creative muscles once in a while. Makes my heart happy.

-- How to properly announce dismissal on the last day of school. As for our kiddos they're still sloggin' away, what with all of the snow days and power outage days - they'll be in school damn near into July. He He He He...
6/14/18 -- So apparently there are stray dogs in Moscow who commute every day on the subway...
6/13/18 -- Attention distracted drivers everywhere (this means you) - this commercial is required viewing. Right now.

-- Ok gamers, and even non-gamers: We really need to have a conversation about We Happy Few. Release date has been set for August 10th, and if you're looking for me that day, well... don't look for me that day.

-- An overlooked old-school production masterpiece I'd all but forgotten about popped up in my Youtube feed. I've decided that what society needs right now is a resurrection of the roller rink. And that video, that vibe, uhh... talk about #summertimegoals
6/12/18 -- Love this - people reacting to seeing the moon up close through a telescope for the first time.
6/6/18 -- Gotta respect a man who still does his own stunts, in this day and age of CGI...
6/5/18 -- Aidan was on the computer last night and randomly started watching the video for Foster the People's Sit Next to Me. I'm guessing he googled the chorus and came to it that way. That boy loooooves his pop tunes, and I'll admit that one in particular has grown on me. Not enough, mind you, for me to forgive that band for the atrocious Pumped Up Kicks.
6/4/18 -- Absolutely fascinating story of a fake socialite (or would that be "fauxcialite"?) who gamed and Ponzi'd her way around NYC's upper elite - and damn near got away with it. I read through in one sitting, jaw agape.

-- Just some ducks eating watermelon.

-- The previous owners of our house must've had a green thumb, as we inherited the lovely shrubbery pictured here. I sure as hell didn't plant 'em. Every spring we're treated to a gorgeous fireworks display of red, white and purple. It only lasts about two weeks, but it reminds us that spring is here and there are pretty things to be found and admired, if we pause to look for them.

6/1/18 -- Obsessed. Completely obsessed. And who could blame me? That groove is beyond legit.
5/31/18 -- Patrick Stewart, errr - that's SIR Patrick Stewart to YOU - on retiring Professor X's wheelchair. I just love this man.
5/30/18 -- Yes, I went ahead and rebooted my router. I guess you should, too.
5/25/18 -- This will absolutely make your day. Week. Life. A 9-year old keeps a Twitter feed solely dedicated to dogs he pets.

-- Monopoly Cheaters Edition anyone? Come on, admit it. You are among the 50% who have cheated at one time or another.
5/20/18 -- My sis just turned fitty, and man is she witty. Pretty. Gritty. Hey, I'm trying my best here... Happy belated b-day, Kate. Glad we got to hang for bit at the White Horse and set aside the worries of the world, even if for only an hour or two.
5/16/18 -- Your daily pick me up: Pygmy marmosets eating grapes.

-- An author who wants to be rich, and makes no apologies for it.

-- A beautiful description of what the Internet was, and what the Internet has become for me. The thrill is gone. Indeed.
5/15/18 -- Aidan continues to impress me with his photography. He sees things.
5/11/18 -- Just flew in from Sarasota (and boy are my arms tired!), and you know what? As long and miserable as New England winters can be, I'll take our seasons up here any day over that year-round Florida heat. Your entire existence is based on AC - you crank it in the car, you run inside and crank it inside your home or place of work. Dusk and dawn are the only times anyone ventures outside. It's just... not for me.
5/8/18 -- Luke Cage Season 2 anyone?

-- Cousin Julia got hitched over the weekend, and it afforded me the chance to finally rock a navy jacket with tan trousers. Been waiting for at least a decade for someone to invite us to a spring wedding, for that very reason. And it was everything I'd hoped it would be.

And oh yes, the wedding was pretty nice too :)

5/3/18 -- That time Martin the "Love Doctor" inadvertently hooked up Tommy and Pam - especially the lean back around 2:59... Sometimes I do miss the 90's.

-- "Oooh look at you with your fancy J Crew trousers," they'll say. To which I'll cooly reply: "I pulled these off of a scarecrow last fall during a harvest festival in Ridgefield."

100% true story. They're my absolute favorite pants, and that's how I came by them.

5/2/18 -- Will I burn in Hell if I subscribe to Youtube Red juuuuuust long enough to watch the new Karate Kid reboot and then cancel?
4/27/18 -- Woke up yesterday with no water - no shower, no faucets, nuttin'. Was imagining how many years it would take me to pay off the plumber and/or well guy, but then I remembered Aidan had been messin' around in the basement the night before. Turns out he had flipped some switches on the breaker panel, one of which powered the pump. Disaster averted.

Never a dull moment...


-- I love this Ode to the Outdoor Shower. Yeah, I could totally do the every day through November thing. So exhilarating. And have you ever done it after the beach while drinking a Corona? Heaven. That is until some miscreant shows up with a bucket of cold water.
4/26/18 -- LeBron at the buzzer! This stuff never gets old. I love the crowd reaction, Ian Eagle goin' nuts... And to think I was watching that game last night and dozed off during the 3rd quarter.
4/24/18 -- Ok the Venom trailer really warrants a discussion.
4/23/18 -- Aaaaahhhh... Blue skies and 60's. After the longest winter in recent memory it seems that spring has finally sprung. With the gorgeous weather I'm reminded of how our cats truly feel about us - they disappear for long stretches of time, popping in once in a while for a bowl of kibble. Basically between May and November we feed feral cats.

-- You never knew about a group of South Korean old lady freedivers. And neither did I... but I kinda love them.
4/19/18 -- The little-known backstory behind Nothing Compares 2U. I never knew any of this stuff.

-- Saw Hamilton through the good graces of my sister (Kate: you're off the hook for birthday/Christmas for the next decade or so), and yeah... the Kool Aid has been drank (drunk?). How could it have possibly lived up to that impossible amount of hype? Somehow, yes, it's just that good. It's the music. Great number after great number after great number. And now, having returned to our dreary day-to-day post-Hamilton existence, we find ourselves using that silly lottery app in hopes of scoring more tickets.

Put it on your bucket list, folks. Even if you're not a Broadway kinda person.

4/13/18 -- Synchronized bedding is a thing.

-- Obligatory dance break!

-- The MLB fastball: it will probably never get any faster.
4/11/18 -- Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the El Mocambo (wherever the hell that is) on this night, way back when. My God... A Youtube commenter begged out loud "Please take Kim Kardashian and give us back SRV!" Amen to that.

-- Your first crush Molly Ringwald revisits 'The Breakfast Club' after I don't know how many years... Nostalgic, eye-opening, and extremely well-written.
4/10/18 -- OK, Han Solo movie. Now you've got my attention...

-- Fleetwood Mac has fired Lindsey Buckingham. Wait, what?

-- Leave Aidan alone on the computer for a while and you'll see him make his usual stops: Youtube for Super Mario videos (the tragically bad 80's cartoon starring Captain Lou Albano), and Google Images for photos of crows and lions, etc. And now there's a bizarre fixation on the Legend of Zelda cartoon (another late 80's abomination) - specifically video clips of Link begging a reluctant Princess Zelda for a kiss. Is this some awkward manifestation of our boy's sexual maturation?
4/6/18 -- A mystery at the library!

-- Apple reportedly starting over with its Mac Pro line... this isn't a machine that the average mortal like you and I would/could ever buy, it's targeted towards big-time design pros and film editing gurus. But it's fun to marvel and drool over them, and of course the Mac Pro frequently appears in my lottery fantasies. Along with that house on St John.
3/30/18 -- Duck!
3/29/18 -- Chickens can be beautiful. Even if they have large talons.
3/27/18 -- This person clearly has a problem. But great writing, though, eh? "For me, regret is baked into the gaming experience, right along with that sweet rush of anticipation I feel every single time I log on." Man, that's gorgeous. Tragic but gorgeous. I too have felt the overwhelming allure, back when WoW was at its peak. I stared down into the abyss, but thankfully was able to walk away.

I'll still casually game nowadays, of course. 9:58pm on a Friday after a rough work week, you just might see me blasting Nazis while nursing a Fresh as Helles. But by 10:14 I'm practically passed out at the keyboard. And at this stage of life, that suits me just fine.

3/26/18 -- He's TWELVE! He drives us nuts but we love him to death. Especially on his special, special day. He's fast on his way to becoming a hoodlum, but to me he'll always be little nakey-Jakey, wave-rider and zombie enthusiast.
3/21/18 -- And here we have a trailer for Won't You Be My Neighbor. #requiredviewing
3/15/18 -- Much-needed dose of warm & fuzzies: Steve-O adopts Wendy the street dog. If you're not familiar with him, Steve-O soared to fame during the 90's doing moronic stunts on the Jackass and Wildboyz MTV programs. I remember the disclaimer at the beginning of every Wildboyz episode, something like "... we love animals and would never hurt them." But still... Nice to see he's grown up a bit, gone are the days of dipping his testicles into a tank filled with electric eels.
3/13/18 -- The first Fantastic Beasts 2 trailer has dropped! Heeeeeeey Juuuude...

-- As if Black Panther wasn't cool enough on its own, black athletes have now made the Wakanda Forever salute into a thing. If you see me do it at you, please reciprocate - don't leave a brutha hangin'!
3/5/18 -- Bending over. You're doing it wrong .
3/2/18 -- Fascinating story of a retired couple who found a way to game the Michigan lottery (via Kottke). Long read but totally worth it.
3/1/18 -- Jupiter's big red spot is vanishing? I want my money back.
2/28/18 -- 2018 Underwater Photography Contest winners. Dazzling.

-- We blinked, and the boy turned 14. Typically this would be the age of the first girlfriend, a weekend schedule overflowing with soccer/football/basketball practices, gearing up for Friday night school dances, sleepovers at hooligan friend's houses, prowling the neighborhoods on his bike (way past dinnertime!), and so on. Maybe these things aren't in the cards for him, and that's ok.

He's golden. Just the way he is.

2/22/18 -- You can stop watching the Olympics now, the best moment you're likely to see in PyeongChang, or in any other Olympic games for that matter has already happened. Speakers up! Unlike glamorous (and dare I say underachieving?) downhill racers or too-cool-for-school snowboarders, this one isn't grabbing headlines due to the relative obscurity of the sport. But just... wow.
2/21/18 -- Played hooky and dragged the boys to the Museum of Natural History yesterday. In the span of a few hours you can only really scratch the surface, but man that stuff never gets old to me. And I even caught A and J enjoying themselves when they thought no one was looking. By the afternoon, temps were in the 60's (!), so how could we not throw in a Central Park walkabout? In moderate doses, a day in NYC ain't half bad.
2/15/18 -- Shaun White, three-time Olympic champion... and evidently just another pervy sleazeball.

-- Another day, another school shot up... Bring on the thoughts and prayers ... for all the good we've seen them do.
2/8/18 -- Trust me, you'll want to read this Quincy Jones interview.
2/7/18 -- Jessica Jones season 2 coming next month. Anything to make March less miserable than it usually is.
2/5/18 -- I'd had a bad day (week, month, year) and needed a quick & easy pick-me-up. I looked to Youtube, and it did not disappoint.
2/4/18 -- I guess Justin Timberlake is doing the halftime show today. But why bother watching? You've already seen the best damn halftime show you'll ever see in your life.
2/2/18 -- Something to ponder while watching the big game this Sunday.

-- If you've spent any time around Aidan lately, you know that his cursing has become a big deal. I'm remembering the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie's mom is on the phone with another mom, snitching about where Ralphie learned the "F Word".

Ralphie's Mom: Do you know where he heard that word?

Other Kid's Mom: Probably from his father!

I'm not entirely innocent here, I'll admit. But Aidan often uses words and phrases that I haven't dropped since grade school (though he's inspired me, I may start calling people "Jerkass" again). So I'm thinking he's picking a lot of this stuff up on the bus and/or school hallways. I guess it's inevitable. And next year he'll be at the High School, Lawd help us...

1/26/18 -- By now you're probably sick of me raving about all of the G Love performances we attend, but last year's show at the Brooklyn Bowl was such fun that we needed a repeat! So Saturday afternoon we're running into the city for a few hours of dancin' and maybe a cold beverage or two...

You can keep your stadium concerts - close up, intimate venues are where it's at.
1/25/18 -- Was debating the best all-time dunk the other day, and I've decided it was actually this Shannon Brown missed attempt back in 2010. It almost looks fake - instead of the normal downward arch, he just kept going up. And up. And up. Yes, the ball clanked off the rim, but he got the foul call. Not to mention my unending respect.

-- Tortured Faces of International Tournament Chess Players. Love this.
1/24/18 -- Reason #4,358 why we need In-N-Out Burger to come to the east coast...
1/22/18 -- A new space drama conceived by Apple and produced by Ronald D. Moore? Yes, please.
1/18/18 -- 8 second book review: The Midnight Line, by Lee Child. Compelling enough for me to forgive the stinker that was Night School. But after so many books, where are we going with this? I know Reacher ain't exactly the settle down type, but he can't just keep wandering around forever.

-- After I don't know how many years of exceptional writing (and annoying ads), The Awl is shutting down :(
1/17/18 -- Mother: if you're reading this, the Birthday Light is ON! We're treating you to lunch this weekend, whether you like it or not. Have a great day!
1/11/18 -- 3 Cheetah brothers vs a large flightless bird. This doesn't end well.

-- A few moments of jellyfish zen to start the day off properly.
1/10/18 -- First the Coffee House, and now the Bank Street Book Nook is closing its doors. Basically my two favorite downtown entities are both gone within a six month span... Hey don't look at me, I did my part - over the years I was constantly forsaking Amazon and shopping local, in fact did a large chunka my holiday shopping at the Book Nook. **SIGH**

And speaking of Amazon, Jeff Bezos is officially the wealthiest person in history. Remember back in the 90's when Amazon was just an online bookseller? Now you can click a mouse and two hours later a drone will drop a 4-pack of toilet paper and a Kindle on your doorstep. All the more reason to visit your local ma and pop shop. Jeff doesn't need your cash.

1/6/18 -- Barbara Dacey, the great MVY Radio DJ of the past 32 years, did her last show yesterday. WMVY is one of my go-to stations each and every workday, and Barbara's coarse yet somehow soothing voice has long been my comfort food.

-- Was bragging to anyone who would listen that I made it through 2017 without getting sick... nope, not once. An icon of health. Yep, that's me... and then of course I spend the first few days of 2018 sick as a dog and praying for my maker to end the pain... some virus or something has made the rounds in our house, cruelly picking us off one by one.

-- There's cold and then there's this... and if the weatherman is to be believed, tonight will be the coldest any of us have ever experienced in our lives. Is it spring yet?
1/3/18 -- Some genius redid the Kylo Ren / Luke Skywalker fight scene as a 16-bit Konami game. I'm kind of freaking out right now. Spoilers abound, obvi.
1/2/18 -- A David Bowie book club?
1/1/18 -- So here we are... a new year, a fresh start, a blank slate, blah blah blah... There were a lot of wonderful moments during 2017, but lumping it all together and examining the thing as a whole, the overwhelming sentiment is negativity. Forget eating better, quitting nail biting, or learning to play the harpsichord. Let's hope for a 2018 devoid of anxiety and despair, shall we? A reasonable and achievable resolution.
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