Friday Inspiration 376

A friend recommended Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer to me back in 2016 or 2017, and I finally read it last year, and was blown away by the complexity of the plot and characters and of course, the writing—which is I guess not surprising, since it won the Pulitzer for fiction in 2016. Somehow last week The Algorithm served up the trailer for the upcoming HBO series based on the book, and it looks as wild as the novel is. (It isn’t out until 2024, so you have plenty of time to read the book beforehand if you’d like)(video)

screen capture from The Sympathizer trailer


If you have three or four minutes, I highly recommend you spend them scrolling through this “space elevator,” which is a fun visual rendering of what it’s like to go from the Earth’s surface into space. Did I say fun? I mean delightful. (via

Spanish mountaineer Beatriz Flamini spent 500 days alone in a cave in Granada, 230 feet underground, read 60 books, lost track of time, apparently had a blast, and upon coming out, described the experience as a dream fulfilled. 

Someone linked to this tweet about Carhartts somewhere, and now I’ve forgotten who/where, but I have to say, I agree.

If you’re in or near Chicago tomorrow (April 22), I’ll be co-leading a trail run at Fullersberg Woods at 3 p.m., and then hanging at an afterparty at the new Arc’teryx store at Oakbrook Center until 8 p.m. You can try out Arc’teryx Norvan LD 3 shoes on the trail run, and there will be DJs, giveaways, and free food and drinks at the afterparty. 

I think probably very few people will click on this link, and even fewer people will read through the entire paper, but I wanted to include this link because of how much I appreciate the level of food geekery in it. And, isn’t it just great that human beings chose to dedicate what looks like many hours and lots of math to studying the physics of wok tossing fried rice? 

One time on a flight from Denver to Portland in 2009 or 2010, I started chatting with the guy in the next seat, and it turned out he was a musician, and played in a bluegrass band called Trout Steak Revival. At that time, I was working at a nonprofit and supplementing my tiny income there with whatever freelance writing I could get, including a $100/month gig reviewing “media” for the Mountain Gazette. I reviewed the band’s first album, and I think it’s probably the only music review I’ve ever written. I later saw the band play a very early gig at the Buck Snort Saloon in front of maybe 20 people, and I swear it was the most fun I’ve seen a group of musicians have (the cover they played of Toots and the Maytals’ “Pressure Drop” has lived in my head ever since). Well, after five albums, the band is on hiatus, and the guy I sat next to on that flight, Travis McNamara, has a new album coming out. You can listen to the new album here, and get tickets to his album release show in Denver on May 5th here.

The folks at Huckberry have a series called “Morning Person,” in which they interview someone about their typical morning. I was flattered that they asked me, a person who has nothing resembling a “morning routine,” which is detailed in the Q&A. Also, the morning this went out in their email newsletter, I was up with Jay at 4:00 a.m., which felt quite fitting. 

Also: Coffee mugs are back in the shop!

hope according to my dog mugHope, According To My Dog Mug


woo work vs skiing mugWoo, Work Vs. Skiing Mug

Practice maximum enthusiasm mugPractice Maximum Enthusiasm Mug

this fucking sucks mugThis F—ing Sucks But I’m Doing My Best Mug


uphill downhill stickers

Uphill + Downhill Stickers