5 Quick Things #280 ⛈
gardening, touching grass, flip phones, & thrift
Last night I (mostly) slept through a good old fashioned Texas thunderstorm and it was lovely. That means this morning’s humidity is off the charts, but because of the new growth spurt in my garden, I’ll take the inescapable greenhouse. As soon as I send this to you I’m going on a long morning walk, so we’ll see what I think then!
In other news, file this under Not on My Thursday Night Bingo Card: we’re watching a show in the living room, a typical family chill evening, when we hear a sudden kaboom! in the pantry. …Kyle makes fantastic homemade kombucha and always has a bottle or three brewing, and one finally exploded. A glass liter bottle full of sticky pineapple kombucha makes for one messy pantry, with glass shrapnel and treacly liquid hiding in corners you forgot existed. Cleaning it all up became quite the evening festivity, and this morning my kitchen island is now covered in pantry shelf staples. Good times.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. New episode of A Drink With a Friend! We've reached a fever pitch with smartphones. Is it time to throw them in a river and "downgrade" to older school flip phones? Some folks are. Autumn Kern is one such person, and in this episode, I chat with her about why she'll never go back. She makes the case that smartphones are turning us into gnostics, they're depleting us of our virtue, and they're depriving us of true community, instead giving us dopamine hits of a faux version of connection.
2. I love both spring and gardening so much, and this short essay describes it beautifully: “We who garden, garden because we hope. We hope in the seed and the labor and time invested. When winter is cold, we hold that hope that the truth of spring will still find us no matter how dark it has been.”
3. Somewhat tying together the two topics above, my concern for inventions like ChatGPT is rooted deeper than my annoyance at yet another new plagiarism foe as an English teacher. AI has the propensity to turn us into gnostics, believing that the real, here-and-now, analog life doesn’t matter because we can create a faux version that’s even “better” than the real thing. This piece posits this danger, along with our constant need to dig in the dirt and touch grass.
4. Thrift is the really romantic thing — I appreciate this perspective. “Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on the attainment of wealth, but little on the use of it, yet this is the essence of thrift: viewing our resources as gifts to be valued.”
5. And finally, I love Jonathan Roumie’s work, and his rendition of this haunting poem is stunning.
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📺
Limitless with Chris Hemsworth
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“Thrift is the really romantic thing: economy is more romantic than extravagance . . . Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste . . . If a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.”
— G.K. Chesterton #
Are You a Camping Person? 🏕
I obviously asked this last week because we were camping, but it was on my mind because whenever the topic comes up, people tend to self-categorize as camping lovers or camping haters. I’m definitely in the majority here, and a few years ago I decided to unapologetically own my need for good sleep. If it makes me someone who camps with my family, then so be it. When we exclusively tent camped, I slept with either an air mattress or a cot and shrugged my shoulders that I was the only one in the family with these bougie extras. …Now we have a pop-up trailer, and boy howdy, does that mattress make everything about camping better.
Find this week’s poll here.
Quick Links 🔗
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What’s one thing you can do this weekend you’ll be glad you did one year from now?
Have a good one,
p.s. I’m playing around with Substack’s new Notes feature. The verdict is still out whether it’ll be a net positive to a platform I already love, but so far it’s more pleasant than Twitter and definitely Instagram. …Come say hello if you’re over there!
Kombucha explosions! Yikes! Our family enjoyed Limitless, especially the final episode, which seemed to turn everything on its head in a really good way.
Yay! Flip phones!