Lately — January 2024 edition


Movies & TV

I went on a bit of a cult documentary binge, watching Love Has Won, Holy Hell, and both docs about Twin Flames Universe — Escaping Twin Flames and Desperately Seeking Soulmate. These were all good — I think these types of docs are at their best when they treat their subjects with empathy and avoid sensationalizing. There’s a great interview at the LA Times with Hannah Olsen, the director of Love Has Won. She talks a lot about her approach, explaining that “My storytelling rule is you don’t really get to talk about it unless you were there.”

Reading

I’m trying to have a better balance of reading both books and long-form articles this year, so I set a very conservative goal of reading a book a month. So far so good — I read 2 books. Stories of Your Life and Others was fantastic, my favorite short story was Understand. I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a movie — apparently a spec script was written in 2014 but hasn’t been developed yet. Do Interesting was OK — super quick read and had some good practical advice, but I think I need to read it again in a more active mindset for it to be effective.

Two articles I read in January stood out. The Quiet Death of Ello’s Big Dreams by Andy Baio was a great story about startup idealism versus the reality of venture funding. A Second Life for My Beloved Dog (Apple News+ link) by Charlie Warzel is both a heartfelt remembrance of his pup and an ode to the unexpected ability of technology to bring gratitude to our lives. “The dynamic wallpaper offers something else: quiet moments in my day that stop me in my tracks and promote reflection, rather than engagement. My phone’s operating system has taught me how to grieve.”

Music

The Rural Alberta Advantage (that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) has dominated my playlist for the past month, I really dig their sound.

I saw Explosions in the Sky (fellas, gotta get that secure https link going) at The Wiltern. These guys never fail to blow the roof off the building. I love that they do a tight 90 minute set, no encore. All business!

Apps

My younger daughter is a birder, and I finally started using Merlin, the app from Cornell that helps you identify our feathered friends. The name is perfect — this app is straight up magic. You let it rip and it just starts listing birds it hears. Shout out to the Black Phoebes in my yard that we watched hatch as babies several months ago.

Miscellanea

On a personal note, I finally updated my design portfolio at Fallon Design with a better format for the project pages that hopefully makes it much more readable. At some point soon I’m going to retire that domain and bring everything over here.