I have made a terrible mistake

Can I ever forgive myself?

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”

―John Greenleaf Whittier

Last summer we went on a mega road trip, which may or may not have been the best idea at the time. Nevertheless, it's what we did. 26 states, if we count North Dakota.

Last week, I wrote some things about sandwiches and how much I love them. A lovely person replied (hi, Pim!) with this thing of glory: the best sandwiches from every state.

I'm sure you understand now. You see it: what I missed. That glorious opportunity. The one I missed. We could have based a 26-state road trip on SANDWICHES. We could have traveled The Sandwich Route. I could have written The Sandwich Chronicles along the way. I would have gained 300 pounds from eating all those sandwiches but who the hell even cares about that, think of the sandwiches!

It's going to take me a while to recover from this.

Also I have decided I need to have an official weekly Sandwich Night, on which official night, dinner will be decadent glorious sandwiches. ALL THE SANDWICHES.

I need your input for this momentous decision.

Should Sandwich Night be Thursday night or Friday night or Sunday night? CLICK HERE TO VOTE.

Sorry I can’t embed a poll in here, you’ll have to take the extra step of clicking and loading the thing and then clicking the button and it’s stupid and what is technology even for if I cannot embed a poll about Sandwich Night into my newsletter.

👉 Now for something completely different, put this in your ears.

Reading Notes #19

Sword of Shanna-nanananah

“Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wishes to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.”

—E.M. Forster

I am upset about this book and you are going to hear about it now.

Here are the things I hate about it in no particular order:

  1. It's a NYT bestseller. That's upsetting because it's so terrible. Not surprising, just upsetting.

  2. The ADVERBS. The adverbs. I cannot handle the adverbs.

  3. The completely pointless details and descriptions. Here's an example:

"Hendel nodded faintly in the hushed silence that followed. Balinor immediately took command of the situation, ordering Durin and Menion to cut poles to make stretchers, while Hendel and he prepared hammocks to hold the Valemen in place. Dayel was placed on guard in case the creature shold return unexpectedly. Fifteen minutes later the stretchers were completed, the unconscious men were securely fastened in place and covered with blankets to protect them from the cold of the approaching night, and the company was ready to march. Hendel took the lead, with the other four carrying the stretchers."

Did you even read all that? Were you bored? I was bored typing it.

I am into setting the scene and I am into character development, both of which may require seemingly unneeded details and descriptions. But what the everliving fuck is this? I read it and wondered how the information on who cut the poles and who prepared the hammocks and who stood guard could become relevant in the next few pages. Or even in the next few chapters. 64 pages later (roughly 3 chapters) it still isn't relevant. It's just a boring detail, written in a boring way, an entire boring paragraph of boring description for no good reason.

It's the Dollar General version of LOTR. Allanon is a less wise and much more ragey version of Gandalf, Balinor is Aragorn, Shea is Frodo, Flick is Sam, and then we have a couple of elves and a dwarf, fill in the blanks, blah blah blah. I haven't even read all of LOTR (don't shoot me) and I'm upset.

Off they go on a perilous journey to retrieve (rather than return) an important relic that holds the power to determine the entire future of the whole world in an epic and suddenly urgent battle for good and evil that's apparently been building for a long time but nobody really knew what was going on except for the wizards, sorry, druids, and now the fate of the free world rests on the young, untrained, incapable shoulders of Frodo, I mean, sorry, Shea, who will somehow have to become capable enough to face and overthrow the great evil that is Mordor, oops, sorry, Bromine or Bardor or whatever the actual name of the Warlock Lord is. It doesn't matter. He's a super bad Power of Darkness. It's all going to hell in a hand basket. There are trolls. Wraiths. Souls of the dead. A weird flesh-eating machine monster with poison stingers. The hills have eyes. Etc.

I'm going to finish this 726-page enthralling Shannara epic and I'm going to be mad about it the entire time.

🔗 Here’s something that seems relevant. I like this song.

I love a good sandwich

More muffaletta please

“Downstairs, Angelina rummaged through Mrs. Capuccio's refrigerator and found some pumpernickel bread, the end of a smoked pork roast, and a half a pound of Swiss cheese. She started thinking of the kinds of food she'd miss making most if she were stuck in bed most of the day, and she immediately thought deli. She cruised the refrigerator shelves and found some India relish, which she mixed together with a bit of ketchup and mayonnaise to make an improvised Thousand Island dressing. When she found a little can of sauerkraut in the cupboard, she knew she had a winner. She cooked up a Reuben sandwich in a cast-iron skillet, brewed a strong cup of tea with two sugars and a drop of milk, and brought it up to the room on a tray with some dill pickle slices on the side.”

—Brian O'Reilly

Here are some top-notch ingredients:

  1. Our very own waking hours

  2. Covid Choices which really can be anytime choices

  3. Having a backup plan

  4. Long periods of thinking

  5. Becoming trustable

  6. Handwriting your own notes on things that interest you

  7. Ending it gracefully

🔗 SEND ME YOUR BEST SANDWICHES: Concepts and guidelines? Ingredients? Recipes? Where to get them? When you’re going to come over and make one for me? All of it. Like this muffaletta on muffaletta with a side of muffaletta.

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