A Case of the Mondays

It’s been too long.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. Or that I haven’t been writing. But I’ve spent too much time on an NHL preview for a season that has already started. I thought had a funny gimmick–predicting why all 30 teams would win the Stanley Cup.

I finished about half of the preview before realizing that it’s really hard to say something interesting about 30 teams.

I’m conceding defeat, and giving a stick tap to the writers who crank out hockey articles like clockwork. But, before I leave this thought, my pick for the Stanley Cup is the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Chicago Blackhawks.

This will be the first in a new series I’m tentatively calling “A Case of the Mondays,” because Office Space is a brilliant movie and my creativity has been sapped by my single-minded focus on hockey. Similar my old Friday Five, this is my forum to share what I did the week before, and what’s coming in the week ahead–music I’m listening to, books I’m reading, thoughts I’m thinking. I hope it works as well on screen as it does in my head.

This week, I’m cheating a bit by bringing up things from my trip to South America.

Song(s) of the week: Tycho, the entire Epoch album.

I was introduced to Tycho by 2010’s Dive. And it has been my go-to album when I need to relax and unwind ever since. Beyond that, I enjoy the origin story of a graphic-designer-turned-musician. Tycho’s fourth album–titled Epoch–came out at the end of September. I can pretty much guarantee it will be heard at my house every night this week for the hour before I fall asleep.

Purchase of the year(?): I was able to pull off a three-month trip with just two carry-on bags. One of my girl friends fainted from reading that sentence. The demands of a nomadic lifestyle require luggage that is at once compact and versatile. The Eagle Creek Catch-All Courier Pack was perfect. It’s a messenger bag with a zippered compartment containing backpack straps. It can be worn cross-body around town–better for security–then turned into a backpack for hiking and other excursions. Mine is sized for an 11″ laptop, and has plenty of room for all my electronics, plus my wallet and passport and a bunch of other small items. It made the village of Humahuaca more exciting when I broke into a panic-stricken 400-meter dash on realizing I had left the bag–and all its contents–at the bus terminal for half an hour. Fortunately, it sat undisturbed. The Eagle Creek website has a 13″ version.

What I’m watching: Auston Matthews wasted no time setting the hearts of Leafs’ fans aflutter. The 2016 first overall pick set an NHL record, scoring four (4!) goals in his debut last Wednesday. The long-suffering Toronto blogosphere predictably lost its collective mind. I particularly enjoyed going through the comments of the game-day thread on Pension Plan Puppets. Hope is a good thing… the best of things.

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