I’m writing this from the first coffeeshop I ever worked at in Seattle, the Uptown Espresso on 4th and Wall.
It has, mercifully, not changed at all. The carpets are still putt-putt green; the tables are all scratched and ancient; I even still recognize a couple of the regulars from a few years ago (bearded man with a weather-worn fantasy novel; another bearded man playing CounterStrike in the corner.)
The coffee isn’t perfect, and the music isn’t perfect, but everything is pretty good. They got rid of some of the lamps and redid the chalkboard mural. Small changes, in the scheme of things.
This has been a week without through lines:
- I’m still thinking about The Good Place‘s season finale, which managed to be fun and optimistic and audacious and fan-servicey (and not just fan-servicey for fans of The Good Place, but for fans of the NBC television canon!) without selling out at all. The only finale that I can remember sticking with me for quite so long was the latest *Bojack * finale, which was powerful and durable for different reasons: for providing an effusive gem of light, for rewarding four seasons of cynicism.
- I watched Call Me By Your Name (also great!) which sent me tripping down a musical wormhole of my yesteryears, starting with new Sufjan Stevens and progressing to old Sufjan Stevens and then just sprawling out into the late aughts indie vanguard of Bon Iver and Iron and Wine and all that. There are not many times that I wish I had preserved my college playlists, but this is one of them.
- I’ve committed more code to Spoonbill in the past week than I had in the past six months beforehand, which certainly is something. It was mostly tech debt payoff and performance optimizations, both of which are easy ways to ease back into a codebase. It’s wild to see how much my architectural skills have improved in the past year (which I don’t mean as a boast so much as an insult to Past Justin); it’s also wild to see how poor my profiling skills are (it’s 2018, there has to be a better way to identify chokepoints than looking at a table in
- I’ve started rebuilding my site, because one must imagine Sisyphus happy. (My justification: I needed to mess with it anyway to rebuild my archives after my laptop got wiped, and might as well go whole hog.)
- I started playing Link to the Past. I thiiiink this is the last game I never beat as a kid.
- After keeping clean for a couple months, I’ve started indulging again in afternoon caffeination. It started off as one of those “order a cortado to be polite and not just take up space at a coffee shop” situations and then developed into the trademark deadening of the nerves right at 1.30pm. (The irony of me complaining about this while I sip coffee in the afternoon is not lost on me. One of these days I’ll just do the smart thing and switch to herbal tea.)
- I made an incredible shakshuka for brunch this morning.
Oh, and one last thing: it’s been beautiful this weekend. Cold and sun-drenched, with daylight creeping through the leaveless trees and cranes and same-y luxury highrises. I spent a couple hours shivering in Cal Anderson, grateful for the opportunity to watch my breath dissolve in front of me.
I hope you lose track of time (but, like, in a good way.)