30 Things

by mark neely

1. Pandora.

2. Though I do miss the DJs. Industries like music and journalism have decided to get rid of anyone they might have to pay.

3. Typing “Gillian Welch” into Pandora seems to work for me.

4. Though sometimes it’s best to fuck with the algorithm, show the machines they haven’t taken over yet.

5. “The Roots” + “Superchunk” for example.

6. “I Hate Music” as a song and a song title and an album title.

7. Watching my son’s first Tae Kwon Do class.


8. Children treating adults with respect.

9. And (an even more unusual occurrence) adults treating children with respect,

10. Jim Harrison’s food writing.

11. “In both writing and cooking, you’re a dead duck if you don’t love the process.”

12. The fact that, despite everything, Harrison is still kicking.

13. Listening to Tobias Wolff read Stephanie Vaughn with my students.

14. Getting ready to read Cathy Park Hong with my students.

15. Knowing some of them will hate it. But some won’t.

16. A real gutter-pounding rain after a month of drought.

17. Abrupt transitions.

18. Serena, again.

19. Nadal on the one hand and Federer on the other.

20. The cruel stunted version of mortality suffered by top athletes.

21. Though they say physicists and mathematicians also produce their best work by age forty.

22. Hopefully writers are a different breed.


23. Saban.

24. Being on the right side of an evil empire.

25. Cribbage. The pegs. The winding board.

26. N + 7.

27. The required hard copy of a dictionary.

28. Knowing nostalgia for such quaint old things is a really a perfectly transparent wish to turn back the clock on my own dying animal.

29. My daughter reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

30. “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.”