The Weekly Quarantine Rapport: Cleaning is a Fun Chore Now

Hi All,

Ok, I wouldn’t go as far to say cleaning is “fun,” quite yet. But god damn, at least it’s something to do…

Welcome to the Weekly Rapport. A weekly guide of things I’m reading, doing, and experimenting with. Enjoy.

Quote of the Week

Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.

— Benjamin Disraeli

What I’m Reading

The Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais

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When I’m not reading non-fiction (is that a double negative?), I prefer to read stereotypical Jason Bourne-esque, male-hero-with-a-gun-type novels. After I finished the Jack Reacher series, I geniusly googled “Books similar to Jack Reacher books” and up came a series of novels by Robert Crais. The main characters are Elvis Cole, a good-cop private investigator out of LA, and his bad-cop rebel partner Joe Pike. It was… ok. It was exciting and well-written but not my style. I need more badassery. I’d give it a 6/10.

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden

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My buddy Crow came through with another solid recommendation on a book I had never heard of. Stoned is about how jewelry in many ways shaped modern economics, politics, religious feuds and land boundaries. It’s a cool history lesson intertwined with the physical attributes of jewelry and details about the discovery and psychology of diamonds, emeralds, pearls and more. Really cool and much more interesting than I expected.

Proof that I Actually Am Reading All These Books

What I’m Watching

Middleditch and Schwartz: Completely Improvised Comedy Specials

I have been following Ben Schwartz’s comedy long before his days as Jean Ralphio on Parks & Rec. He was a regular on College Humor videos (which I also loved) but when I was like 15 I religously subscribed to Schwartz’s YouTube page, RejectedJokes. In high school, I would watch all of his YouTube videos interviewing athletes or just doing ridiculous things (here’s one of my favorites). He is an improv genius and alongside Thomas Middleditch (Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley), the show is belly-laugh funny. I legitimatley couldn’t laugh for the next two hours because my stomach and cheeks hurt so much. They just go onstage and improv and entire hour of comedy, which is unbelievably impressive in it’s own right.

Why I Love Slick Rick So Much

Children’s Story by Slick Rick is one of my favorite songs ever. But also one of my favorite things is is researching what songs were sampled for current hit songs. So many famous rap beats or lyrics were simply repurposed songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. This video just goes to show how influential not only Slick Rick’s beats where, but the simple lines he came up with that become iconic (see: Ricky, Ricky, Ricky can’t you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me).

Good Reads Across the Internet

  • The 100 Jokes that Shaped Modern Comedy [Vulture]: Bill Hicks, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Andy Samberg, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Chystal’s iconic jokes, bits, sketches and movie scenes that transformed humor.
  • Brittany Howard’s Transformation [The New Yorker]: The Alabama Shakes burst onto the scene in 2012 with such a unique sound, I immediatley had to research everything about Brittany Howard, their iconic lead singer. This New Yorker profile piece on her is a great glimpse into her rise to fame and current state.
  • To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past [Wired]: Running a marathon is really fucking hard. The editor and chief from Wired describes the mental and physical battle perfectly (although he’s a lot faster than I was).
  • A Closed Border Can’t Stop This Couple [New York Times] : An 89-year-old German man and an 85-year-old Danish woman are keeping their young romance alive after the border between their 2 countries shut. They set up chairs on the border each day to share coffee, schnapps, and laughs. Beautiful.

Video That Has Me Cracking Up

In Lieu of Live Music – this is the best musical performance I’ve seen in a while

Poem of the Week

Can I get used to it day after day
a little at a time while the tide keeps
coming in faster the waves get bigger
building on each other breaking records
this is not the world that I remember
then comes the day when I open the box
that I remember packing with such care
and there is the face that I had known well
in little pieces staring up at me . . .

—“Living with the News,” by W. S. Merwin

Thanks for reading

-KB

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