Friday Inspiration 374

I remember when Joey Badass’s “1999” mixtape came out in 2012, and how many times I played it over that summer and fall. I haven’t kept up with his music that much over the years, but when this cover of him singing “Umi Says” popped up on my YouTube feed, I had a pretty good feeling about it. Nothing beats the original, but this is a wonderful tribute. (video)

screen capture from Joey Bada$$ covers Mos Def 'UMI Says' for Like A Version

I spent about 36 hours with a pretty gnarly digestive bug this week, which definitely sucked, but it gave me a chance to finish watching Season 4 of Atlanta, which I think was one of the more delightfully weird shows I’ve watched. And, it allows me to finally read all those “Atlanta was ______” retrospectives people wrote when the show ended last November. These two essays in The Ringer, ‘Atlanta’ Was Donald Glover’s Masterwork and ‘Atlanta’ Was an Attitude, had a number of great lines from the show’s creators, including this one from Ibra Ake, one of the show’s writers: “You nerds gotta stop watching Atlanta like it’s the NYtimes crossword you gotta solve.”

Like Doug Mack, who writes the brilliant Snack Stack newsletter, I grew up eating pizza rolls, or at least I have memories of eating them several times throughout my youth (I can’t imagine my health-conscious mom looking at the box in the freezer section of the grocery store and saying, “Pizza rolls? Sounds like a good idea”). The recent installment Doug wrote is a history of pizza rolls (and also a “what are pizza rolls anyway?” explainer), and maybe you, like me, would enjoy finding out the story behind them, which starts with … Americanized Chinese food.

The closest I’ve ever come to having an art car is when I let my friend Jackie paint the outside of my Astrovan and just said, “Do whatever you want,” and it came back with blue flames on the hood and several lightning bolts. I’d love to to a proper one someday, but it’s a big commitment to take a functional vehicle and basically make it into a, uh, much less functional but more interesting vehicle (especially if you don’t have a place to park it out of the elements). But damn if these photos of the soon-to-open Art Car World in Douglas, Arizona aren’t just downright inspiring.

A video of a skier digging a snowboarder out of a tree well has been flying around Twitter this week, but it’s four minutes long, and really intense, so instead of sharing that, I decided to share this very short, much more chill video of mangalicas, pigs with curly wool coats. I think it’s much less stressful just watching some cool pigs doing their thing and being cool pigs.

I read something about less-celebrated animal species last week, about how we only look to tell stories about the big, majestic animals like bears, lions, dolphins, bison, etc., and thought about how true that is, and how you much less often see a great essay about a small animal. Well, that problem has been solved, with this wonderful essay about pikas, a species I’ve spent way more time with than, say, grizzly bears.

Sometimes I think about how to define “art” to someone, and how that definition changes based on what you’re looking at—graffiti, recipes, TikTok, etc. And then other times I see something and am 100% sure, and I just say, “THAT’s art.” Which is what I said when I saw these photos of Parn Aniwat’s chiseled renderings of animals and humans (and a burger and fries), which the Colossal headline accurately describes as “charming.”

If you missed my newsletter yesterdaynewsletter yesterday, here’s the TLDR version: I made stickers for Uphill People and Downhill People, and they’re for sale in my (new!) shop here:

Uphill Downhill stickers photo

Longer story about the shop: After years of managing my own shop and using a print-on-demand and warehousing service in North Carolina, I am excited to have signed with DFTBA, a local company here in Missoula started by Hank and John Green. It’s going to make possible a lot of things, namely freeing me from doing customer service every day. But even better is that we’ll be able to do limited pre-orders and product launches of all kinds of cool stuff, and in the coming months we’ll be putting together some fun stuff, including water bottles, posters, and some other apparel. And maybe a welcome mat? Anyway, stay tuned.