Taylor Swift dropped a new album on Friday and it is amazing and devastating all at the same time.
So much to unpack. This is an album created in quarantine. Both a return to her earlier pre-pop roots and an exploration into new territory for Taylor. It is a reflection of the strange times we find ourselves in. A time when “the lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible.”
I have many thoughts after having listened at least a half dozen times already. Those however are for another day, time, or person.
Last Book Read: 30. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe. A telling of history during the troubles in Northern Ireland. Specifically, the story behind one of the “disappeared.” 464 pages. (Finished 26 Jul 2020).
Last Book Read:
22. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. A thirties-ish painter is left by his wife and leaves his past life behind in the aftermath. Eventually moving into the house of his friends father (a famous painter in his own right), he discovers a never seen painting as well as his own desire for painting again. What happens afterwards is pure Murakami. 688 pages. (Finished 29 Dec 2018).
This year is the first year I’ve been excited about the holidays since 2015. The first year I’ve put up a tree since then. It’s been nice to have a little more Christmas spirit this year. A couple of my friends and I journeyed up into Mt Hood National Forest to find Christmas trees this year. I only managed to get my truck stuck a couple of times in the snow before heading down to a lower elevation where I found this lovely tree.
All in all 2018 has been a pretty good year. I’m really enjoying my job (even if it means I have way too many shoes now). I got a promotion in April and then in November got a temporary promotion while we work on a systems upgrade at work. Personally I’ve really focused on cultivating good friendships and letting friendships that were not as healthy fall away. It hasn’t always been easy and I’ve definitely had some missteps on the way, but I feel good about where I am emotionally as well.
I was able to do a few trips this year which were a great blessing. In July, I was able to travel to Los Angeles (proper) for the first time in probably 5 years and visit my old neighborhood. I went to watch the Timbers play LAFC in their new stadium. While there I got a great behind the scenes tour of the stadium from my friend Jimmy who has a concession stand at the stadium.
Other Timbers related travel included two trips to Vancouver BC. The first one was on official Timbers Army business as there was a possibility we’d have to hand off the Cascadia Cup to ECS (alas Seattle beat Vancouver in that match and as a result won the Cup). I also made it up for the last game of the regular season at the end of October.. The Timbers lost that match, but as always a great time was had in Vancouver (as well as lots of great food). There ended up being a little playoff magic again this year with an unexpected run to the MLS Cup. I traveled up to Seattle for a fun playoff matchup (we lost the game, but won the series in penalty kicks). I also traveled to Atlanta for the final. The Timbers didn’t get the result we wanted, but I had a great time eating my way through Atlanta with good friends.
Like you’re walking along as always, sure you’re on the right path, when the path suddenly vanishes, and you’re facing an empty space, no sense of direction, no clue where to go, and you just keep trudging along. That’s what it feels like.