2018’s Afterglow; my writings & other things I enjoyed

It’s grey in Richmond. It’s been raining, cold, overcast, or all of the above for so long now that it’s hard to imagine that this exact landscape will regularly be sunny, warm and welcoming in just a few months’ time.

I flip through my Moleskine journal and laugh at the stuff I’ve jotted down in the last 12 months. It’s impossible to commit everything that happens in a year to memory, but keeping a journal helps me recall more than I would otherwise. For better or for worse.

I don’t know what I’ll do for dinner. I have stew in the fridge at home but a Cuban sandwich from Kuba Kuba sounds so much tastier.

I remember when my freshman year girlfriend Rachel suggested we go get Kuba Kuba one night in 2010. I said I thought I didn’t like Cuban food. There is absolutely no reason I should remember her suggestion from that night. I’m a regular at Kuba Kuba now. I’m nearly a decade late, but, Rachel, thank you for the suggestion.

2018 is over now. 2018 demanded a lot of patience from me. It was also the year I learned the delight of an afternoon espresso. Thanks, 2018.

This year I had to nurse a broken bone back to health. I had to learn how to recollect confidence after bottoming out. I had to learn that sometimes you’re just nervous about being nervous even though there’s nothing to be nervous about, and ALL OF THAT makes yours nervous. And I had to learn that that feeling will pass. I had to learn that more patience will be demanded of me going forward.

I need to get up and go home. My coffee’s gone cold and I’m starving. But I just don’t feel like packing up, putting on my raincoat and getting all damp. Some days I enjoy walking in the rain. Today ain’t one of those days.

The following are things that I wrote in 2018, followed by other things that I read or watched/listened to that I greatly enjoyed.

“Order for pickup please. One Cuban sandwich, extra plantains. Name is Mike. Thanks.”

Being anonymous in a new place remains one of the most effective therapies for me. If you haven’t traveled solo, no matter how brief, I recommend you try it.

Boy oh boy this was a doozy of one to articulate. As an update: I don’t feel too preoccupied with my body image lately. I feel good. If you’re feeling how I felt when I wrote this, keep your head up.

I can’t say I miss the nervous excitement that we call puppy love, but at least it’s fun to reminisce about now.

After I broke my arm, I wrote in my journal that, “I hate how I’m going to have to be so patient.” Just a couple days after walking out of the ER, I was already getting my head around it.

Bike racing giveth, bike racing taketh. More than anything though, it’s fun.

The way I felt last year holds true now: too much of what’s published online is designed to thoroughly chap one’s ass. This is me trying to fly in the face of all that:

This dispatch from the Tour de France is so beautifully written, and the format was so inspiring that I tried to employ it here. Chapeau, Caley.

This video gets heartwarming and funny at about 2:25. Explore for the sake of exploring, even if it’s purposeless and bizarre.

Speaking of exploring…The comedown after traveling is a uniquely somber feeling, and this story captured it.

This story is just like a big warm spoonful of honey.

Svein Tuft is the goddamn coolest.

I started listening to Neck Deep last year but have really sunk my teeth into their discography in recent months, particularly after seeing them live. Neck Deep are the modern torch bearers of pop-punk, and “Life’s Not Out To Get You” is a masterpiece.

The concept of The Anthropocene Reviewed is simple. In it, John Green reviews aspects of the human-centered planet on a 5-star scale, and its simplistic nature opens the door for him to explore everything from diseases to stuffed animals to video games. This episode, though, is a fucking doozy.

Writer, cyclist, often at the same time.