Thank you for your support.

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How do you decide what you support? How often do you demonstrate this? How much of it is inspired by unconditional support, vs. a sense of obligation or resignation? And when, if ever, do you reconsider those choices, whether about causes or candidates, businesses or brands?

Here I’m referring specifically to patronage — shelling out some cash — and not the sympathy, agreement or other “I support our troops!” bumper-sticker-level results of commitment.

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Facebook (and other social media) fatigue

[Sammitt says: I wrote most of this post back in November … then sat on the draft for half a year before I decided to refresh and publish. The new content is the italic stuff bookended at the beginning and end of the post. In between there’s probably more swearing than you’re used to seeing here, but I was grumpy when I wrote it.]

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I feel you, Judy.

Two weeks ago when I was putting the final touches on the 2017 holiday discs — the 19th annual! — I realized that I didn’t have a lot to say in the liner notes. So for the first time ever, I assembled the discs without them.

I find myself with less to say more these days. I’ve rolled back my Facebook usage tremendously, under the principle that it’s possible to know too much about what’s going on, everywhere, at all times.

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Killing the bottles

When Helmut Lang released his first eau de cologne for men in 2000, the press release said that it was designed to evoke the scent of a man after he’d had sex.

I bought a bottle on the internet based off the description alone.

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Post-Diary brain droppings

I almost skipped the final show of Arizona Theatre Company‘s 2017–18 season. Sitting through “The Diary of Anne Frank” was not my idea of a fun Friday night; even if the acting was good, the tale itself is so bleak. 

I did go, though, and between the show and the informative kiosks in the lobby, I left with a few thoughts:

Making the holiday cards: 2017 version

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My 2017 letterpress cards, created with the help of
Nancy Hill at Hazel & Violet in downtown Phoenix.

I’ve realized that in a lot of my life, I’ve kind of stumbled into good things.

  • My editing career began when I found a part-time job to cover living expenses during college, and what started as an obit clerk/editorial assistant gig slowly morphed into where I am today.
  • I had two sets of really good friends move out of Phoenix, which was a little devastating, but then on vacation this March I got introduced to two different sets of guys who were moving to Phoenix—within weeks of each other!—and they’ve turned out to be wonderful friends. (Added bonus: When they moved here I got to play tour guide, which I freaking L-O-V-E doing.)
  • And most recently, every time I’ve created my own holiday cards, I’ve made them better/more challenging … but learned a way to make the following year’s card easier.

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My favorite songs of the year (aka ‘the liner notes’)

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This year’s discs are already in the mailstream!

This is the 19th year in a row that I’ve assembled year-end music compilation CDs as presents for my friends. It’s also the first year that I didn’t include liner notes.

For one thing, I realized that I didn’t have a lot to say about some songs, other than “Yup, I liked this song.” There were a few tracks that I heard about all from the same place, and it felt weird to write that phrase over and over again, or to attempt to extract some new related tidbit of knowledge.

But I’d already started writing the notes, and I knew some people really liked them. My proof came this morning, when I handed my friend David his copies and the first thing he did was put on his glasses and open the cases to start reading. I had to bust in with an, “Oh, no — I didn’t do those this year” and watch his face fall.

Then I came up with a new plan: I’d put them online for reference. This way, when I make a reference to a YouTube video or a cool website, I can link straight to it — and links to the music videos for each song are here, too, for people who didn’t get a hard copy of the discs. (Or who did, but are interested in what the videos looked like. I spent few hours going through and watching them all, and it’s surprising how few I’d actually seen before year’s end.)

So, here goes. As always, the only rule for inclusion is that I must have downloaded the song during this calendar year. Many were released one or two years before I found out about them or finally decided to spring for the download — and for some reason or another, there’s usually one or two songs that are a decade or two old, too. Continue reading

Blowing past deadline

A few weeks ago I finished a big freelance assignment — at 1:45 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning, and several days behind schedule.

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