Because Tinyletter is mostly for mail, it’s nearly impossible to find old newsletters. So I’m posting all my old newsletters here so they can be searched, indexed, all that. You’re still better off just subscribing.
Edward Albee died on September 16, 2016, at the age of 88.
September 16, 2017.
On Sunday, I’m finally going to see my friend A.J.’s
and Julieanne’s son, Ozzy. I’m flying to Los Angeles for the week —
I’ll be at the Chargers game at their weird temporary soccer stadium
Sunday afternoon — and the most important thing was to make sure I saw
AJ’s and Julieanne’s kid, who was born in June and is thus way too old
for me not to have met him yet.
I don’t miss much about being younger — mostly I miss the easy-to-process hangovers and having my joints not scream at me the rest of the day after a run — but I do miss the special occasions. Once you reach a certain age, and particularly when you hit that special age with children, you just don’t get that many special occasions any more. There was a time when the entire April-October schedule was littered with weddings, and book parties, and more weddings, and graduations, and bachelor parties, and 30th birthday parties, and 40th birthday parties, and even more weddings. Then the weddings started to taper off a little bit, but that was OK, because there were baby showers to travel to — much more fun for men than women, mostly because we don’t actually have to go — and a stray wedding here or there. I’ve never understood why people complain about having to go to weddings. You get to celebrate people you care about, usually in a new place, see a bunch of old friends, dress up nicer than a guy who has worked at home since 2005 usually does and drink as much as you want and still have transportation home. I’m not sure I see the downside here.
But that was a while ago. I haven’t been to a wedding in two years, and there are none upcoming on the schedule. Book parties are mostly just private dinners with friends anymore. Most of the parties I go to these days involve a trampoline. There is a threshold you pass — a valuable threshold, a vital one — in which your celebrations cease to become about you and your milestones. I am 41 years old: There are not many milestones left for me to pass or, more to the point, there are not many thresholds for me to pass that anyone else would give a silent crap about. I assume the next celebration in my honor will either be for my 50th birthday or a dinner party to celebrate a new book with my wife and a few friends, whichever comes first. Most of my friends are the same way. Maybe they’re married, maybe they have kids, maybe they’re single but settled comfortably into their life, whatever it is, it’s just past the point of celebration. When you hit a certain age, celebrations seem self-indulgent, almost churlish. Congrats, you made it this long: Way to go. To paraphrase Patton Oswalt, hey, great, you’re having a birthday: Now go to work. Who gives a shit? Most of my friends have reached this point. I think it’s probably a positive place in personal development.
I still miss those big moments, those times when you get together with people you’re close to, people with whom you’ve spent hours upon hours of pointless, just-hanging-around hours, and celebrate something huge happening for them. I’ve always joked that at every wedding I’ve been to, it’s the closest I come to celebrity worship: I always treat the married couple like Brangelina and just can’t believe they’re taking time out of their life-changing day to talk to me. Now, as someone who has had a wedding myself, I know intellectually this is not how it works: I couldn’t tell you a single person I talked to on my wedding day other than my wife, the judge who married us and the bartender. But I suppose that’s true of all celebrities. Who can remember the little people when there are so many of them?
Anyway, the point is that as you get older, you take your big moments when you can get them. And for me, meeting AJ’s son is a big goddamned moment. I might not get my late-night drunken weddings, but this will happily suffice. I can’t wait to meet that kid. I bet he’s got a hairy chest and mustache already.
Here is a numerical breakdown of all the things I wrote this week, in order of what I believe to be their quality. (This is an attempt to have an objective look at the value of my work in a way that I suspect will be difficult to sustain.)
1. Review: “mother!” Paste Magazine. I’m the biggest Aronofsky honk there is ... but this is where I get off the train.
2. The New Home of the Falcons Is Impressive, Sports On Earth. Clearly, Atlanta United likes it, yikes, 7-0. Seriously, though, this place is truly great, taxpayer boondoggle aside.
3. Get Excited About Illinois Football, Smile Politely. Ahem.
4. Jennifer Lawrence Movies, Ranked, Vulture. It’s a lot easier to rank the movies of starlets who aren’t old enough to have been in that many movies than dudes in their seventies.
5. Trying to Find Any Logic in ESPN Suspensions, Sports On Earth. It’s hard!
6. Predicting MLB Clinch Dates, Sports On Earth. I’m trying to emotionally disconnect myself from the fact that the Cardinals are in a pennant chase this year. This is also hard.
7. The Weekly Guide to MLB’s Recently Eliminated, Sports On Earth. Taking a cue from Jay Jaffe’s discontinued series.
8. Week Two Confidence Pool, Sports On Earth. I’m not getting any better at this.
9. Dive Dive Dive, Sports On Earth. Dive Dive Dive.
As I say every week: If you are the sort to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, I would have to think it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to subscribe to one of the three podcasts I do. You don’t even have to listen to them! Just download them. Here they are:
Grierson & Leitch, we dug deep into “It,” as well as “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Next week’s show we get to do in person, which is always fun.
The Will Leitch Experience, the power was out in Athens until Wednesday, so no show this week.
Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, Notre Dame wrapup. That was really fun.
I’m off to the Georgia-Samford game tonight, then California tomorrow. I actually love Los Angeles. Is that bad? I don’t think that it is bad.
Have a great weekend, everyone.