Weeknotes #01

Borrowing the structure of a few other online writers whose websites I enjoy (Paul Robert Lloyd and Mark Boulton, among others), I thought I’d start weekly low-key look-backs on the week, bullet list-style. Perhaps weekly is aspirational. We’ll see.

  • Greatly enjoyed Emily Nussbaum’s long New Yorker profile of Fiona Apple, whose long-awaited record just hit my Spotify streaming today. After reading the piece, I’d been going back through Apple’s back catalogue, awaiting the new songs and relishing the old. That stellar start of “I Know”: “So be it / I’m your crowbar….”

  • Also in the New Yorker, I was moved by Alex Ross’s essay honoring his late mother, “Grieving With Brahms.” I admire Ross’s writing greatly.

  • Okay, one more New Yorker reference for the week: I was floored by Dan Chiasson’s review of Joyelle McSweeney’s new book of poetry that involves motherhood and tragedy.

  • I’ve been dabbling with Roam, which is getting a lot of indie attention as a networked-notes app. (See: #roamcult) At least for now, I’ve enjoyed reading in-depth use studies more than actually using it. Somewhat relatedly, it’s been a big few weeks for Notion, which I continue to use more as a work/life dashboard than a notes app. This general area of knowledge management is one I’m deeply interested in and will continue to be tracking.

  • Speaking of tech, I’m three episodes into “Devs” (Hulu) and plan on continuing. Intrigued. (I loved the look of Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina.”)

  • “Knives Out” was fun.

  • During quarantine, Pentagram’s Michael Bierut — one of my favorite voices on branding and communications — is offering a “Virtual Bookshelf Tour” on Instagram. Mouthwatering. Starts here.

  • On my family’s own isolation front, lack of options breeds ingenuity. Today Leo and I played driveway tennis over a rope tied between our basketball hoop and a locked stroller, followed by foam-ball lawn golf employing our Christmas tree stand as the hole. Worked surprisingly well.

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg