Alec Bemis co-owns Brassland records, the record label thought to be at the center of New York's "other" music scene. On a Sunday, he's most likely to be at home in Williamsburg, cooking an elaborate breakfast and tinkering around on the internets.
What's the first thing you do?
Indulgent home-cooked breakfast. (Or, if I were to be honest, hit the snooze button numerous times, and then move on to the indulgent home-cooked breakfast.)
Are you recovering from anything?
What are your waking-up remedies?
Coffee. Usually mediocre homemade coffee. Which is a shame. I'm working on making it taste better. Any recommendations for a good, inexpensive espresso maker?
One of two main courses, one of which has several sub-categories. The same iteration of breakfast is rarely served twice in succession.
Iteration one Soaked oats & chia seeds
I add in one or two toppings. Ideally, there's by one nut (hazel-wal-, almond) and one fruit. My favorites from the latter are blueberries, bananas, or boiled, water-fattened raisins. Non-dairy milk is poured on too - almond & coconut are the favorite non-dairy milks.
Iteration two: Eggs
a) fried eggs over stuff - either rice, greens, or gluten-free toast (I'm not an asshat - I'm just allergic to wheat) b) Scrambled eggs with another discrete food item placed next to it - i.e. rice cakes with nut butter, gluten-free toast, fresh fruit, fried plantains, something like that c) Semi-soft boiled eggs with gluten-free toast
What will you plan for the day?
Often I remain a shut-in all day until I can't stand it. Sometimes I leave the house to get a good cup of coffee, run (or "run"), take a bike ride, or do errands. I look & listen to things on the internet a lot -- Rdio and YouTube for music (sometimes Soundcloud or iTunes). Podcasts (Radiolab, Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing, Freakonomics, whatever's on NPR in the morning because I'm old and lazy sometimes). Many pictures. Not what you're thinking! It's just that Google image search is one of my favorite things. I also enjoy falling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole as much as the next guy.
Here's the Thing....
I read in intense bursts. Usually (and increasingly) short texts. On the weekends it's blog posts, my Twitter stream, articles found via my Twitter stream & and articles that I've collected over the past week which I read on a tablet computer using the Pocket application. If, among those short bits, I get to read new writing by the programmer/venture capitalist Paul Graham or the poet/art critic Peter Schjeldahl, it's more satisfying. I love the extreme clarity of thought in their writing, even if I don't feel any particular allegiance to their aesthetics or beliefs.
I look & listen to things on the internet a lot - Rdio and YouTube for music (sometimes Soundcloud or iTunes). Podcasts (Radiolab, Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing, Freakonomics, whatever's on NPR in the morning because I'm old and lazy sometimes). Many pictures. Not what you're thinking! It's just that Google image search is one of my favorite things. I also enjoy falling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole as much as the next guy.
What to Read?
Here are some books I've read lately:
- Calvin Tompkins' Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews
- Clarice Lispector's Soulstorm: Stories
- The Best Australian Essays 2012 (edited by Ramona Koval)
- Robert Forster's The 10 Rules of Rock And Roll
- Andy Warhol's America
- Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness for Beginners
- Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art (edited by Vincent Katz) and
- Michael Lewis's Boomarang
It was awhile ago now, but John Green's young adult novel The Fault In Our Stars really made a big impression on me so that's worth mentioning.
Here are some books I've recently tried but failed to make much of a dent in:
- George Saunders' Tenth of December
- Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang
- John Dewey's Art As Experience
- Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
- and Writing from the Zen Masters (compiled by Paul Reps)
How will the day end for you?
Falling asleep, ideally without delay.
What's the mark of distinction of a Sunday?