This Is the Good Stuff Vol. 6

Hi there. I love you. You should know that.

Let's see... What else?

Oh yeah, I've got some stuff to recommend. It's good stuff. Similar in quality to the stuff I recommended in previous editions of this important blog series. Stuff like that.

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What's Good in Mid January 2020?

My interface with the world outside of myself has changed considerably over the last several days. As you may have read in previous blog posts (such as this one, which sings the praises of drinking NyQuil straight outta the bottle), the beginning of 2020 has been characterized largely by sickness. That is beginning to change. I'm noticing things that aren't my congestion and sore stomach. Things are good and getting better.

Here are the things I can recommend this week:

The Outsider on HBO

This show is a vibe. A dark, haunting vibe. So naturally, it's right up my poorly lit alley.

Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider miniseries is HBO's Big New Sunday Show. It started airing last week with the first two episodes. I have to be honest: I have not made it all the way through the second episode on account of my sleepiness and sickness. Nevertheless, I am eager to recommend this show to anyone who loves supernatural stories that somehow feel more grounded in reality than actual real life.

Snow

People are often surprised by the accuracy, power and precision with which I am able to recreate the chorus of the classic 1990s white-boy hip hop track "Informer" by the artist known as Snow.

What a banger, right?

Anyway, no, I am not recommending this artist. Even though I'm trembling with curiosity about where his career has led him and plan to spend the rest of my day researching him once I'm done writing and publishing this blog post.

I just want to recommend the meteorological phenomenon of snow. Being in it. Walking on it. Feeling it land on your body. Watching it fall through the window while relaxing next to the Netflix fireplace. Stuff like that. Go play around in the snow if you can. That's what I did yesterday. Of course, it snows, like, twice every 18 months where I live. But that's a lot more than some other places. Right now it's sunny again. I miss the snow already. A licky boom-boom down.

Using the Desktop Version of Spotify to Spy on Peoples' Listening Habits

I use Spotify constantly. One of my favorite things to do on the platform is to pull up the desktop app and check out what my friends and family members are listening to. People have some interesting tastes and habits:

  • There's the local music manager who listens to their partner's album on repeat nearly every day. I find it sweet.
  • There's the classical-guitar enthusiast who listens to tons of hair metal.
  • There's the young midwesterner who listens to workout playlists more than any human could possibly exercise.
  • There's the popular rock-music writer who listens for the purposes of "research" into their guilty pleasures.
  • There's the family member who only ever listens to the "Feel Good Dinner" playlist.
  • There's the psychologist who was seemingly more excited than anybody for the new TOOL album that came out last year. They are still EXTREMELY excited about it, I'm happy to report.
  • There's the person who performs in popular tribute bands who listens repeatedly to the tracks and artists to which they pay tribute.
  • There's the young single parent who alternates between listening to lullabies and escaping into the raunchiest 90s-era hip hop.

Fun stuff!

Blue Dream

I am a patient in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. I have been trying to find the strains that work best for me and believe me, I've tasted them all. Lately, I've realized that my favorite strain is one of the all-time classics: Blue Dream.

Saying Blue Dream is your favorite strain is like saying Bud Light is your favorite beer or that Olive Garden is your favorite restaurant. It's not a super-sophisticated or hip choice. It just does what it's supposed to. And it doesn't encourage anxiety or paranoia like so many other Sativa strains. Crucially, it also doesn't put me to sleep. So I can do stuff on it. Be creative. Make music and write stuff. Be focused while doing it, too. The strain goes down smooth and has a delicious flavor. I've been getting mine from Albuquerque's High Desert Relief dispensary. Where do you get yours?

I should shout out Snoop's Dream, too, which is a cross between Blue Dream and Master Kush. Probably my second favorite. It's similar, just more relaxing and less energizing than Blue Dream. And yes, it gets its name from the notable rapper. Cannabis is great!

By the way, you may be wondering why I'm writing more about my "drug" use lately. A big reason is that I want to eliminate stigmas around peoples' use of substances. I want people to expand their idea of "drug user" to include productive, active people who have loving relationships, participate positively in their communities and engage in ongoing personal development. People like me. And like lots of other people you probably know whom you would not necessarily expect to use "drugs," which I think is a dumb word. Anyway, people should be more open about their "drug" use, I think. Everybody's doing it. And don't sit there sipping your coffee or wine while alphabetizing the dozens of prescriptions in your medicine cabinet and tell me you're against "drugs."

So yeah. In summary, Blue Dream is the best!

Circles

I'll leave you with this one.

Mac Miller left his body last year before people were ready. It seemed like he had a lot more to say. A lot of it was said, though. Just not heard yet.

Now we have a "new" Mac Miller album. It's called Circles, and it's really enjoyable to listen to. Not a classic. Not his best work (that would be Swimming, the 2018 album he released shortly before his passing). But it's really, really good.

The thing I love about Mac Miller is the sheer musicality he brought to his work. So much more than he had to. He had a preternatural feel for timing and rhythm. Plus he's the best, most hookily melodic singer there ever was, even though he really couldn't sing. He just brought such a charming vibe to everything. He also worked with the absolute best musicians on the planet. Check out his Tiny Desk Concert if you don't believe me.

I'm sad I didn't get into his music sooner, but I'm grateful for the fact that I did at all.

Here's the album. Enjoy!

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