Sometimes when you can’t sleep…

I bought a memory foam pillow because I thought it was time for a change. So far, so good. I think I might want to buy another. Maybe upgrade from this WalMart brand eventually? I’m open to suggestions. I’m more of a side sleeper if that helps. I threw out some sheets because I wanted something new. Of course, I didn’t come to that realization until after washing them. What a waste of water, time, and dryer sheets. I guess I’m open to suggestions regarding queen size sheets, too.

September 1 came and went without me counting the months since my mother passed. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time that’s happened. I consider that to be progress. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

The seasons are changing. Between that and pillow talk in the most literal form has set this collection of thoughts into motion. Maybe that coupled with the Cubs’ sweep of the Cardinals.

A Cubs win on a Sunday plus an off day on Monday means the W flag that flies in our window gets another full day of glory. “The Cubs won their most recent game. People need to know that,” I would argue when mother wanted to take it down on an off day.

It’s one of those rare arguments I am proud to have won.

Once upon a time, before I got into advanced metrics and other fancy stats, Javier Baez would’ve been the prototype for my favorite baseball player growing up. Yours too, probably. He plays flashy defense at shortstop, swings hard, and hits the ball hard/far when he connects. It ain’t pretty when he whiffs, but I’ll be damned if that swing-and-miss doesn’t remind me of a younger me during my Little League years.

Baez plays with flair. As does Francisco Lindor of the Indians. I’m admittedly a hipster for Jake Arrieta and I’ve been a Kris Bryant guy ever since a wise man told me over tacos about a player worthy of being selected before any of the pitchers in his draft class. But I can’t help but to gravitate toward Baez, Lindor, and Carlos Correa. I’ll gladly take all three playing in the LCS this October. Please and thank you.

It’s not just baseball. Things in my life are changing.

I’ve re-connected with an old friend. Things are great. I’m experiencing new and different things. My social life has found new blood. I still have good taste in people. Mom would co-sign on that in a heartbeat. In fairness, I get it from her.

Over the weekend, I checked out the Ravenswood Art Walk – something that’s been going on in my neighborhood for years but has never even been on my radar. It probably had something to do with the fact I was working those crazy newspaper hours on the weekends. Oh well. No regrets. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the experiences of my past.

I started reorganizing my music collection. I’m one of like three people who still listens to music on iTunes instead of a streaming service. I’ve long been a music collector (hoarder?) and still don’t feel the need to dive into subscription streaming services. Though, I’m always open to check out what my friends are listening to. However, I’ve pretty much lost it for country music. Ironic that people’s criticisms of hip-hop are similar to my criticisms of new age country music. Music can be cyclical in that way. Also, who am I to criticize what’s making people money? Get that cash. I’m sure there will always be a place in my heart for the stuff I listened to while at SIU and working in Southern Illinois, but it’s stored in a little corner in a place I don’t often visit.

Speaking of visiting and Southern Illinois, it’s been on my mind since the eclipse. Part of me regrets not checking it out. But a bigger part of me wants to visit the 618 without being bugged by tourists. I want to visit my spots without being bothered. The Cellar. Pags. Quatro’s. 17th Street. Giant City Lodge. Pinch. Yeah, Pinch. And others…

I still haven’t had a pizza like the double-decker thin crust at Walt’s in Marion. And I’ve been thinking a lot about the winery scene. I could use an afternoon at the Von Jakob winery. I used to dream about getting married at a winery back when I was in college, but I’ll settle for an afternoon of drinks with friends.

I’d like to return to the 618 soon. In fact, I think this fall would make for nice timing. As long as it doesn’t conflict with playoff baseball, of course. I’d love to catch up with some old friends who are still in the area. I’d also like it if my old college friends and I could figure out timing for a trip. It’s hard. I get that. I’m rambling. I get that too. I’m probably better off trying to visit my friends in their current cities than trying to get everyone to Carbondale. I could max out frequent flier miles if I did it that way.

Or I could rock out to some sweet road trip playlists. As part of reorganizing my music, I put together some playlists based on set lists for some of my favorite concerts. John Mayer. Kanye. Taylor Swift. Blink-182. It’s a decent start, but I’ve got a long way to go.

I had an online dating profile in which I noted I had 69 Taylor Swift songs in my iTunes collection and that my collection of Kanye West music represented 6.9 percent of my computer memory. That’s an odd bit of symmetry considering those are two of the last three artists I’ve seen live.

I didn’t do an addendum to the annual summer playlist. That is to say, I didn’t publish it. It’s been saved as a draft and I’ve never got around to publishing it. No, it’s not Despacito on repeat … but it probably should be. Ha. Maybe I should do it before summer technically ends? It’s almost fall. Whoops. Guess I should start taking suggestions for a fall playlist? My friend Christian hooked me up a few years ago with a quality collection of suggestions. Pretty sure that’s a playlist somewhere in my iTunes library.

I do not like the new edit function for iTunes playlists. It’s tedious.

It’s September 18 and I think my mother would be pleased with my recent run of life decisions. Maybe not the fact that I wrote this on my phone when I should’ve been sleeping at 2:11 a.m. But everything else is probably good with her.


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