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5/21/21 | 18 /52

As we move into summer and the sun rises earlier there's been a new development in our house. We've elected a town crier. I wasn't aware we were interviewing for the job but our cat, Stuart Gremlin, has decided to show us that he's ready to accept the position and start right away. Every morning he runs into the bedroom to make direct and bold statements about the sun coming up and stresses his urgency that we start the day. Some cats wake you up because they want to eat breakfast but his main concern appears to be getting the morning going and kickstarting the action. He also demands to be repeatedly rubbed on the rug. Please congratulate him on this recent promotion and get ready to make the most of this beautiful day.

brave capitaine

searching for a solid summer day

Summer is here! This weekend we’ll see some 90 degree temps so I’d like to start with reminder to drink more water. I know it’s possible to drink too much water but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten close. One of my strongest sense memories is drinking hot hose water on the side of my house when I was young. Anyone else? Am I the only person who wasn’t smart enough to let it run a little bit before taking a big drink? Well you don’t have to drink hot hose water but be sure to stay hydrated.

After keeping things close to home for the past year I’m looking forward to getting out and being involved with the world over the next few months. Determined not to let the days slip through my fingers I’ve started to plan with purpose and intention and with this groundwork laid I know I’m going to  have a kick ass summer. To do that I need to get out of my regular routines and be open to new experiences. I could mow the lawn and bike ride and smoke chicken and that would be a pretty OK day but my hope for this year is to branch out and be surprised. So I’m asking for your help. What would your perfect summer day be? Hopefully, I can get some good suggestions and try them out. I may not love every moment but there will be the excitement and energy of seeing something for the first time or trying a new place or activity. Look I know I’m wound pretty tight so this is as close to being spontaneous as I get. You know what I’m talking about, meticulously planned out and researched spontaneity.

Here are a couple parameters to help you out. It should only take a day so please be realistic about what can be accomplished in a day. I can’t start the day eating at 3 different small town southern Michigan breakfast spots. Pick your favorite 1, I can always try the other 2 in the future. While Chicago stuff is great I’m open to hikes, forest preserves, dunes, antique stores, small town museums, roadside oddities, sculpture parks and renaissance fairs. Don’t feel constrained. If you don’t live in Chicago tell me about your perfect day in your world. Maybe it’ll motivate me to head that way to check out all your amazing recommendations. If you do live in Chicago think about your neighborhood. I'm guessing I don't live there so there's probably some amazing places I'm overlooking.

Here is an optimistic example of my solid summer day:

The cats patiently let me sleep in. When I do wake up the coffee is already ground and ready to go and I just need to hit start to get it brewing. I remember to apply sunscreen. I Divvy to the train station and head downtown to push around. The Divvy is well maintained and rides smoothly. The train is mostly empty. There are no unexpected delays. The train is filled with quiet orderly commuters. I listen to a podcast that makes me laugh. Traffic is light downtown making pushing around a pleasure. Every spot I stop at is security free and mellow. Aware that my time is limited I give it all I can. I run into some good homies I haven’t seen in a bit and we film some tricks. Maybe shoot a photo. Having skipped breakfast I snack on dried mangos. I remember to reapply sunscreen. After my legs are loose I meet a friend at the Art Institute. The friend has a membership so we get in for free. We talk about art. We look at art. There are jokes and good natured teasing. We see something inspiring. I take photos. Because we got in on the membership we don’t try to overload and leave once our brain is art saturated. I hop on the bus to head to Evette’s for lunch. I make good choices, order sensibly and don't overindulge. Refueled I make a quick stop at the Lincoln Park Zoo to visit the gibbons and macaques before heading over to Lincoln Park Conservatory to breathe in the healing air and touch the sensitive plant. I take more pictures. I start making my way back home on a Divvy stopping for at the curbs for a few slappies. At home I take a very brief rejuvenating nap and drink some cold brew. I do laundry and work on art in the basement getting caught up in the work until it’s time to bike to the Music Box. We eat pizza at Coalfire before the movie. The movie is not crowded. The popcorn is well buttered. The soda is crisp. The film sparks lively discussion and debate. On the way home we ride past Mikos for ice. They have passion fruit and hibiscus. At home I end the day enjoying a cold beer as I sort the footage from earlier while The Dirty Dozen plays in the background. I go to sleep at a reasonable time. I sleep like a sack of potatoes.

I know that sounds like a lot but I’m trying to have the vacation mindset of doing everything I possibly can while I can. It doesn’t need to be so jam-packed. It doesn't even have to be a whole day. It could just be a town or a park. I know you probably didn’t open this email expecting homework but I’m honestly curious and excited to read the different ideas and have some awesome excursions! Thanks in advance! I can’t wait to make this the best summer yet!

Friend of the Week

After a lull in submissions I've got a full inbox and lots of work to do. This week's submission comes from Nick who went all the way to Texas to pet Cha Cha. I would say that's a journey worth making!

If you would like your best animal associate to be a friend of the week simply email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.

Thank you so much for choosing to spend these moments together. I wanted end this week with a couple things that may interest you. Jaimie Branch's "Fly or Die Live" comes out today. I plan to start my morning with coffee and headphones. I've been working on some larger thread pieces and Piz1's "The Thrift Store" has been in heavy rotation while I work. I'll be sharing some of that work in the next few weeks. I miss picking up the Chicago Reader to read cover to cover on the bus but I still like to keep up online. This week there's an excellent review of Kyle Beachy's forthcoming book "The Most Fun Thing." Get your pre-order in so you can get a copy hot off the press. There's also an outstanding tribute to Bob Koester, owner of the Jazz Record Mart. If you know me then you know I love obituaries and this is a masterclass in the art of the 'warts and all' end of life tribute. The last record I bought from him was Jimmy Smith's "Golden Archive" release. There is also a line in the article that spoke directly to me. I'm sure you'll be able to find it. If you ever miss an email you can always check out the archive link on the Serial Dispatch instagram. If you know anyone who might enjoy this weekly special delivery send them in that direction.


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