5 Friday Favorites – 5.26.23
1 – MY STOCK TANK POOL
Two summers ago I bought a stock tank pool, waited an obnoxious amount of time for it be delivered and then helped the delivery man roll it down my street and into my yard. Last year, I built a little pool deck around it and now it is a place of perfection. Mostly, I sit on the edge of the deck and swish my feet in the water, usually with a book and a beer and sometimes a dog named Claude by my side.
I’ve read a lot good books this year, but, poolside on Monday, I finished the Collected Regrets of Clover and it was brilliant. Maybe the best thing I’ve read this year so far, and it was my 24th read of 2023.
3 – A NOT AWFUL HALF MARATHON
In November, I ran the Richmond Half Marathon and it was maybe my most miserable half marathon experience to date. It was hot. It was humid. In November. The first half of it was good to great, I felt ok, and then it all fell apart. My time wasn’t awful – I ran a 1:55:31 – but I didn’t enjoy the experience.
In the months after that race, plantar fasciitis and nagging tendonitis made running – and existing – unpleasant and painful. I took February off from running, hoping a few weeks off would let some of my injuries heal and then I jumped into a gentle training plan and, on Sunday, I ran the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and while my time was about the same – 1:55:52 – it was a much, much better race. I wasn’t miserable! My pain was managed! I didn’t feel injured! I slowed down a bunch in the end due to some tummy troubles and a giant-ass hill, but my first 11 miles were solid, good, pleasant miles and I crossed the finish line in a much better head space than I’ve been in with running in a long, long time.
4 – THE DIPLOMAT
This show, y’all. It is so good. Over the course of eight glorious episodes, I probably screamed at the end of four of them, including and especially the season finale because HOLY HELL. The show is so good, surprisingly funny, and stars a delightful Kerri Russell and I cannot recommend it enough. I binged it all, devouring the episodes over the course of a weekend. Available on Netflix.
5 – THE NATIONAL’S NEWEST ALBUM, FIRST TWO PAGES OF FRANKENSTEIN
Featuring friends like Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers and someone named Taylor Swift, this album feels both like watching a thunderstorm from a front porch rocking chair under a cozy blanket and also like reemerging from a hibernation after dark winter.