The Business Backpack


My dad is kind of a weird guy. Last summer, when I was getting ready to move to SF, I spent a day basically tagging along with him as he wandered around Seattle theoretically “running errands” but mostly looking for an excuse to drive my GTI and go to Costco. 

That’s where I encountered The Business Backpack.

So, my dad’s number one hobby is hanging out at Costco, and I’m not making that up. I also love Costco so I didn’t mind going with him to see what weird ass adventure it would be.

I lost track of him for a while and just sat by the cart waiting for him to come back. And sure enough, my dad comes up and looks super stoked about a backpack he’d found, and put it in the cart.

Now… My dad has like a fuckton of bags and backpacks because he travels a lot, so I asked why he needed a backpack. He literally had a packpack with him while he was holding his next potential backpack. 

He said, as though it is the most obvious thing in the world, that it’s going to be his “business backpack.”

When I then asked what the fuck a “business backpack” is, he said “for when I need to go business backpacking, duh.”

He then wandered off, chuckling to himself and repeating “business backpack.”

CHUCKLING TO HIMSELF. 

He bought the backpack and later mailed it to me AT MY JOB because he “found a different backpack” and “thought I needed a professional backpack.”

I now own a business backpack.

Dank Meme Dad strikes again.

The Lonely Noldor Guide to Los Angeles

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I unfortunately left the Internet as a whole hanging when it comes to The Lonely Noldor Guide to Los Angeles, but I have been so busy recently that I just… Well, didn’t have time. You will have to take my word that the trip was very fun, Los Angeles is full of amazing food, and the weather was unbearably warm.

NOW THAT IT’S AUTUMN, HERE’S WHAT I DID DURING THE SUMMER

Spoiler Alert: I Went to L.A.

As you can see, Los Angeles has palm trees, just like in the movies! Unfortunately this means that it is the kind of environment in which palm trees grow, which is to say, it is oppressively baking hot. I’ll return to my hatred for too-hot weather, in a bit, but it is sufficient to say that I don’t believe it ever got below 80°F at any point in time, even at 2:30AM. Apparently that’s not something about which you can complain to A Manager™ because it’s Weather™ and not A Personal Attack™.

IMG_5964.JPGI GUESS I’LL JUST HAVE TO BASK IN THE HOTEL AC AND THEN GO TO A CONCERT
— Me, Probably

BLACKLINE … NO WAIT NEVER MIND GOTTA LOOK AT A DOG

Blackline, Ssleeperhold and Surachai @ Teragram Ballroom // Breakroom 86

I was interested to see Blackline, a project that is heavily associated with Nitzer Ebb, who I love, but the venue (Teragram Ballroom) was really, really warm and I ended up leaving early, despite the fact that Blackline was actually really good. I didn’t see the others, because…

…It was very important to go drink a fruity cocktail at Breakroom 86, which was this crazy secret and well air-conditioned arcade themed bar with an ice cream truck parked on the (third story) patio, where I met up with Eric, who’d been doing karaoke.

Eric’s brother showed me pictures of his dog. Success.

 

PLANET MYER DAY LOS ANGELES

Architect, Night Club, Philipp Strobel & Rhys Fulber @ Union

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Night Club is fantastic — I’m 100% here for more women in industrial/electronic music

Fun Fact: I didn’t realize Eric was in this shot because spooky goth people blend in to the dark background of any given nightclub (shocking, right?), but TA-DAAA! a little bit of Photoshop Magic (read: “I cropped it”) and suddenly I can pretend I’m a brilliant photographer and that this wasn’t accidental. BRILLIANCE.

This was a really, really fun event — I was shocked that I’d never heard of Night Club before that evening when they were so awesome, I enjoyed Architect as much as I did last time, while trying to round people up to drink shots of tequila I came around a corner too fast and literally ran into Rhys Fulber (of Front Line Assembly) who seemed amused by the whole thing, and meeting Daniel Myer (of Architect, but also Haujobb) was delightful. He’s hilarious and fun, which was a pleasant surprise; I’d always thought he seemed very serious. IT’S AN ACT, HE’S REALLY NICE.

Basically, I’d gone down to Los Angeles with rather little in the way of plans other than seeing a few bands at venues I had never been to with mostly people I don’t know. MOSTLY.

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Except Eric, who is clearly thrilled to be in my presence at all times

Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Happy Hour Glass

Nothing but high quality jokes from the Hero of Cocktail Time

Despite wondering whether Los Angeles is located on the literal surface of the Sun, I was able to handily distract myself with industrial music (as above) and a truly baffling array of actual speakeasies, but also a bunch of great happy hours.

Saving Hyrule, one daiquiri at a time

Since it was amazingly hot and I had nothing to do, I spent a bunch of time at various bars with sweet, sweet air conditioning, playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and day-drinking. I very much enjoyed the cool, dark interior of The Library Bar, which had a great happy hour and was very charming.

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Get it? It’s a library, but it’s also a bar!

Eventually I had to move on and was too lazy to do anything but go directly next door to have some iced tea while I wasted time running around Hyrule looking for Koroks instead of showing Fireblight Ganon what the deal is with him being Not Welcome in Hyrule Any More™.  One beer and several failed attempts later, the Hero of Time (that’s me, for those of you playing along at home) managed to get her act together enough to do some actual Saving of Hyrule.

The Hero of Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That and her Trusty Beer

HEY BARK BARK BARK WANNA TRY DRUGS

Wherein I ride the subway

It’s about to get weird on the Metro

I took the subway a grand total of once while I was in Los Angeles, and had the most baffling experience I’ve had in a long time. I sat down, and at the very next stop, a well-dressed, clean-cut dude in a very expensive suit carrying a Coach handbag that had THREE CHIHUAHUAS IN IT tried to sell me drugs. I declined his offer, and he was super polite and let me pet his dogs, then went to peddle his wares elsewhere.

I feel that was peak Los Angeles, and have included a representational picture of a chihuahua drug dealer to explain how this all made me feel.

THE LONELY NOLDOR PICTURE GUIDE TO THE REST OF LOS ANGELES

I did a lot of playing dress-up for no real reason. It was great.
Please enjoy a few pictures of  my Fluevogs 
and my eyebrows.

 

Coffee and Zelda, More Coffee without Zelda, and a random milkshake

 

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I don’t remember the name of this café, but their cold brew was stellar

 

Los Angeles, I’m not sure whether I was wrong about you — being from Seattle I will have to go to my grave saying Los Angeles sucks… But joking aside I had a good time, I’ll try to return when it’s not a billion degrees outside and I will leave you with a screenshot of a map that cracked me up.

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LOL WANGS AMIRITE

Hopefully it will not be months and months before I update again. It certainly feels good to have finished sharing the trip I took in JULY now that it’s ALMOST OCTOBER.

Doing Things

I exist, somehow!

Making an attempt to “leave the house” and “be social” and “see my friends” has been moderately successful. We shall see how successful I continue to be, but…

Went to a show with Starr, who looks like she’s scandalized by something I’m saying 

Serious Business Industrial Music Club

I met a tiny dog 

I read Tolkien and drank fruity cocktails 

Body Repairs


Starting physical therapy for my useless right arm. I’ve been basically incapacitated by RSI related pain and weakness in it for months. Here’s hoping that it will help!

Muscle work and stuff has been done and strange tape applied. It’s really achy but it doesn’t feel as impossible to use as usual.

Also this adhesive tape stuff is weirdly supportive? I’m surprised.

Bro Time at the Nail Salon

I got a pedicure today. At a nail salon full of bros who are apparently way more committed to their homies than they are to toxic masculinity culture, because they are, as a group, on a serious long-term Friendship Adventure.

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This a group of guys – like five burly, Latino dudes with a kind of cholo/bro/hip-hop aesthetic going on – in there who were all getting pedicures, as a group activity. And they were having a great time, chatting with each other and talking about their lives (you know, like friends do) and that kind of thing.

I overheard them explaining to someone who asked if it was for a special occasion that they want to “chill with the homies but doing the same shit every weekend was getting boring” so now they take turns coming up with stuff none of them have ever done and it’s “hella dope.”

They were totally into it, too; they even did the nail polish (black and orange for the Giants, naturally). Quote of the afternoon: “Bro this is dope. I feel fuckin baller right now.”

This was charming to me for many reasons: the excitement about the nail polish, the fact that they clearly didn’t even have an idea what a pedicure actually *was* but wanted to give it a shot, the fact that these guys have apparently got an ongoing thing where they find new and interesting stuff to do together (I wasn’t intending to eavesdrop, but the one guy was in the chair next to mine). And it seems like they’ve been taking turns at this for quite a while, apparently last weekend they went and played miniature golf and they also went to a dog show or something?

But the thing that made me feel really good about this (besides how stoked these guys were) was seeing a group of guys breaking out of the really stringent social posturing that men are forced into that keeps so many men from making and maintaining close friendships. But here these dudes were in all their cholo, butch glory, having a good time with the boys and realizing that this isn’t “women’s stuff” and not making jokes that say it is. 

A group of guys who want to have fun with their friends and have new experiences and not “just drink beer and watch the game”. A group of guys committed enough to actively seek out new experiences to have together just because having friends is fun and why limit yourself?

When I see guys who are getting comfortable with emotional availability and close friendship, it makes me hopeful that there are cracks forming in the culture of toxic masculinity that produces emotionally cut off men, especially in the US. And while many people might say it’s inconsequential, I think it’s important!

Baby steps are still steps, and they still count even if someone is not doing them as a statement or an intentional throwing of society’s strict gender role enforcement to the wind. Actually, I think it counts almost more; when men realize that what they want is friends and closeness and they just go with it, rather than seeming like they’re punching a time card labeled “did my part to dismantle toxic masculinity today” and sort of expecting praise.

I hope they keep up having adventures together. With their amazingly soft feet and hella dope team spirit nail polish.