Hi there! It’s been a while. To dust off this corner of the internet, I’m starting a series of posts highlighting notable things (well, notable to me) I loved, hated, and ate in a given month.
Yes, I know it's already Christmas! But work's been crazy, I'm literally relearning how to be a person as I'm typing this (it sucks lol), and I already have so many posts in my drafts I can't bear adding another one to that forgotten pile.
I’ve spent a decent chunk of this year as a digital nomad, and in October, that meant several weeks in Serbia. While helping my mother organize a flat she wants to sell (which was mainly used as storage for boxes from three previous properties for the past ten years), I came across a box of audio cassettes.
As a kid, I was OBSESSED with recording everything. My mother would work in radio here and there, and the first time I ended up behind a microphone at a local radio station was when I was 14. (That started a long and winding path that led to my current career.)
Some audio tapes I recorded as a child are invaluable now.
Some of them have voices of relatives and family members who passed long ago.
Some are material evidence of long-gone friendships that have, with time, turned into sweet nostalgia as the people they were comprised of grew up and apart.
Some, unfortunately, contain Nickelback.
But which ones were which, I couldn’t tell as I didn’t have anything to play them on, so I grabbed a handful and boarded a plane. Back in Holland and impoverished from five weeks on the road, I got a second-hand cassette deck off of Marktplaats (think: Craigslist, but Dutch, and until recently owned by eBay).
It’s a gorgeous Technics RS-M240X, and, of course, it needed some tender love and care. Now it needs some rough love and care. As you can imagine, finding anybody who repairs vintage audio equipment in a 20km radius is also an adventure.
But anyway: on those rare occasions when you're playing a tape that's not busted on a working deck through an amp and a decent set of speakers... audio cassettes sound awesome.
If my music project ever releases a proper EP, there’ll be an audio cassette.
In the meantime, listening to bands like Gunship on a cassette just makes sense!
HATE: ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA CRAP
Elon Musk took over Twitter, and it’s been going great.
And while it’s still online, the social network has been riddled with questionable business decisions and a complete lack of moderation. Some users left, some loud right-wingers became louder, and some more users left. It's a vicious cycle.
In the meantime, Mastodon (or Fediverse) gained traction. It’s like distributed social networking, where anybody can host a server and set its own rules for moderation. Servers can talk to each other unless administrators set restrictions.
It’s all fine and dandy but complicated. I found a server called is.nota.live so that I could call myself GREGORY IS NOT ALIVE, but that server doesn’t talk to a photography server that I find cool, and I’m not ready to move there (you can move your account between servers at will!) since I’m not just a photographer, and making multiple accounts on multiple servers was the one thing thing I wanted to avoid.
At the same time, I’m seeing a new exodus from Instagram, which I stopped actively posting to a while ago, but I’m still keeping it because of DMs.
And I don’t know what to make of it.
I mean, even UK's Aldi dropped their "endless table" Instagram feed after six years :(
I’m mentally ready to go back to what came before - a blog and a Flickr account. The blog is also a mailing list, and Flickr is not in vogue, so I’m using Glass.
Am I regressing or just getting too old?
AND WHAT I ATE: Cider snacks, cheese fondue, and this lovely cake
After a long traveling stint came a long month of working seven days a week, I completely understand why my mother used to say her favorite food was the one she didn’t have to cook. Luckily, there’s been some great food around!
The Cider Bar finally opened a couple of months ago, and it’s not far from my house. They serve predominantly Spanish or Spanish-inspired snacks (cider-braised chorizo is something I never knew I needed), alongside homemade, local, and imported ciders.
Aloha hosted Cheesy Wednesdays - days where the only thing on the dinner menu was a cheese fondue, and it was great. But what stole the show was this sea buckthorn tart:
At the moment, I'm looking forward to cooking again, and I hope to have more time for it over the holidays. I might even get back to my food account on Instagram!