Quarantine Blog: Perennially August

Talk of the Times: New 'Wicked Tuna' Season Starts Sunday ...

As we’ve all come to realize, it’s a worthless task to count the days of quarantine. This is especially true when most of us don’t even know when we’re going to get to go literally anywhere again. But, according to my work Moleskine, it’s day 55.

Boredom has set in. It’s a strange boredom because with us all living at home, it’s sometimes hard to recognize that we are actually bored. For those of us who have been fortunate to keep our jobs, we spend 9 to roughly whenever we tell ourselves to stop working, occupied with something. And then we have to spend the remaining time awake finding ways to entertain ourselves. We should all applaud ourselves. We’ve been very creative in finding new ways to keep ourselves entertained. I personally have no inclination to make bread, but if that keeps you from twiddling your thumbs or fretting  about the news, then good on you.

You might be asking, well, how have you kept yourself occupied if you’re not making bread?

Well, the one time I truly had to be creative was when my girlfriend turned to me and told me she was feeling sad and bored. I took some inspiration from TikTok and Instagram and we had a bar crawl in our apartment. We turned the living room into a sports bar, my desk area into a work happy hour, our bedroom into a speakeasy and our patio into a country club. That’s a one-time solution but it made for a fun afternoon. Pro tip: maybe don’t go over three stops. It turns out a bar crawl contained in an apartment is a roughly as exhausting as one over multiple city blocks. We did have enough drinks to admit to ourselves that we don’t really like Westworld anymore. So that is a plus.

However, I have found my tried and true solution. It’s copious hours of reality television. Now, I don’t mean shows where people’s lives are manipulated to make everyone overly vindictive (so The Bachelor is out). I’m talking basic-cable-fill-the-hours-between-10am-and-8pm television.

So, naturally I’ve been watching a lot of Wicked Tuna. This incredible program can be found on Disney+. It’s a show that truly should not have any appeal to me as someone with an office job who does not even own a boat, but that’s also exactly why it appeals to me. Wicked Tuna could really be called The Bachelor with Fish. Each season takes place over the 15-week Bluefin Tuna fishing season off the coast of Glostah, Massachusetts. You get to experience the weekly lives of these loveable lots of Tuna fishermen. I’m currently in the middle of the fifth season, here are a few of my favorites.

  • Dave Carraro (Tuna.com) Dave is no nonsense, overly competitive and he’s crushes the Tuna. After researching this gentleman, it appears this is basically a hobby for him as he spends most months flying planes for JetBlue.
  • Dave Marciano (Hard Merchandise) – Other Dave is basically if a cigarette was a person. He’s a very angry Boston fisherman. He spends his entire summer in jeans and a hoodie, while he is on a boat.
  • Tyler McLaughlin (Pinwheel) – Tyler clearly loves the sea and his parents were willing to front him the money to start his own boat. He is in his mid-twenties, like myself, and he and his crew are decked out constantly in red, yellow, and green hoodies and board shorts. I’m like sixty percent sure the boat is a front for a sea-based dispensary.
  • TJ Ott (Hot Tuna) – Tyler looks like if Chewbacca got compacted by a foot. He is a very chill fellow, but also on a moment’s notice he can go from lounging to reeling in a 500-pounder.
  • Paul Hebert (Boat TBD) – Paul is really the hero of Wicked Tuna. He’s not my favorite character, but he has so much heart and passion for Tuna fishing. In the beginning of the series, Paul works for Dave C. Throughout the series, he gets opportunities to captain different boats, working his way up the Tuna ladder. He’s incredibly earnest and you really wish him success.

Each season, these five and two or three other forgettable fishermen compete to earn the most Tuna money. That doesn’t mean who catches the most Tuna. It doesn’t necessarily mean who catches the heaviest Tuna. Which brings us to my favorite part: when the fishermen go to market.

The fishermen will catch a giant Tuna and occasionally a shark by mistake, bring to a person whose job I can only describe as a Tuna evaluator. These Supreme Justices of Tuna will core the Tuna and cut a chunk out of it to evaluate the fat content and then pull a price per pound out of their ass. And the fishermen just trust these guys! I have yet to see a dispute over fat content but I’m counting down the seconds until I do.

My other program of choice is somewhat of an American institution: The Guy Fieri Food Network Television Universe, or GFFNTU. Specifically, Guy’s Grocery Games, and the only show that is truly GFFNTU canon, Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives, often known as Triple D.

Guy Fieri is a good person. Just listen to this joke by Shane Torres. I’m not here to defend Fieri and honestly, he doesn’t need anyone to defend him. He’s doing just fine. I’m here to talk about the food that he puts on television.

The Guy Fieri School of Cooking has one central tenet and that is “more is always better.” Guy Fieri rarely goes to a restaurant where there’s chef making the best possible food by finding the best ingredients and perfecting a craft. Guy Fieri finds restaurants where chefs are just combining flavors from across the globe and making portions the size of a Honda Element. If you watch enough Triple D, you begin to notice that Guy Fieri just wants big, greasy, meals that somehow means Lo Mein on a plate of nachos.

Guy’s Grocery Games, which I guess could be called Triple G, takes these same chefs and makes them compete with the ingredients of Guy’s choosing. Sometimes these people end up doing really clever things, but sometimes you see people season shrimp with Hot Cheetos powder. It’s a real abomination.

All of this mindless reality TV is just a way of me getting around to a point I’ve been discussing with my girlfriend for the past two weeks.

It’s August. Not actually, it’s May, but when you think about it’s been August for bordering on two months in the middle of spring.

Every day feels like you’ve spent enough time at the beach and now you’re sitting in front of the TV watching the first thing that doesn’t require you to focus on a plot. There’s no sports, and unlike August, there’s not even baseball. You’re just sitting there waiting for dinner and then after that, you might watch a random movie and then you go to bed. You’re realizing you want to go back to school, not exactly because you’re ready to learn again, but because at least your day has some structure and you’re not constantly having to find new ways to keep the clock moving.

But while it feels like August in our minds, do not fight the ordinances in place. They’re there to protect you. Do not go to the beach and start a protest. Do not overtake a park. Go outside and get a walk in while practicing social distancing. Be smart, please.

It feels to me that this situation is getting worse because we’re now distracted from COVID-19 by those who think we should reclaim the Baskin Robbins for the sake of “freedom.” I don’t recall seeing any sign that this situation is improving. Please just stay inside and try to remember why this is happening rather than planning a march on a swing set because you can’t find what you want to watch on Netflix. If you’re interested in Wicked Tuna, just let me know, I bet I can sneak you onto my Disney+ account. That’ll keep you entertained for a few hours.

What I’ve Been Listening To

Am I A Wilco Guy?

  • Ok, Being There (5/5 )
  • Yeah, Summerteeth (5/5)
  • Hell yeah, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (5/5)
  • I’m still here, A ghost is born (4/5)
  • Fuck Yes, Sky Blue Sky (5/5)
  • Uh huh, Wilco (The Album) (5/5)
  • Sure, The Whole Love (3/5)
  • Yep, Star Wars (4/5)
  • Shmes, Schmilco (4/5)
  • This is some of what I want, not all of it, Jeff Tweedy – WARM (4/5)

Non-Wilco music

  • 22Gz – Growth & Development (3/5) – I read this whole long piece from Complex on Brooklyn Drill, I think it’s exciting and hope it survives. However, this record did get tired.
  • Air – The Virgin Suicides Score (4/5)
  • altopalo – farawayfromeveryoneyouknow (3/5) – Meh record, fitting title.
  • Ambar Lucid – The Garden of Lucid (4/5)
  • Bladee – Exeter (3/5)
  • Car Seat Headrest – Making a Door Less Open – I love CSH and how sporadic the emotional notes one of their albums can be. Their latest album didn’t feel like it was their own.
  • DaBaby – Blame it on Baby (3/5) – Three albums is just over a year is overkill. DaBaby is no longer impressing anyone.
  • David Byrne and Brian Eno – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (5/5)
  • Default Gender – Pain Mop Girl 2020 (3/5)
  • DJ Python – Mas Amable (4/5)
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (4/5)
  • Drake – Dark Lane Demo Tapes (3/5) – Drake can still surprise me. I think “Nice for What,” is an awesome song. This felt like he was phoning it in because he knew he could get another #1 without trying.
  • DVSN – A Muse in Her Feelings (3/5)
  • Erika de Casier – Essentials (4/5)
  • Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutter (5/5) – I love a record where I can clearly hear how it was recorded, which was in a bedroom. I think I’m going to need to listen to it a few more times to truly get it.
  • Fivio Foreign – 800 BC (3/5)
  • FMB DZ – The Gift 3 (3/5)
  • Hamilton Leithauser – Loves of Your Life (5/5)
  • Headie One & Fred Again… – GANG (3/5)
  • Jackboy – Jackboy (2/5)
  • John Prine – John Prine (5/5)
  • John Prine – Sweet Revenge (5/5)
  • Kari Faux – Lowkey Superstar (4/5)
  • keiyaA – Forever, Ya Girl (5/5)
  • Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter (3/5)
  • Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia (4/5)
  • Lorenzo Senni – Scacco Matto (4/5)
  • Purity Ring – WOMB (3/5)
  • Quelle Chris – Innocent Country 2 (3/5)
  • Rina Sawayama – SAWAYAMA (5/5) – I love subversive pop music
  • Rio Da Yung OG – City on My Back (3/5)
  • Sam Hunt – Southside (2/5) – I read three different pieces about how Sam Hunt used hip-hop aesthetics in country music. Look, he did a whole “Marvin’s Room” thing on one song, but this is still country music and it fucking sucks.
  • The Strokes – The New Abnormal (4/5)
  • Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – What Kind of Music (4/5)
  • Trouble – Thug Luv (3/5)
  • Uncle Tupelo – No Depression (4/5)
  • Uncle Tupelo – March 16-20, 1992 (4/5)
  • Uncle Tupelo – Anodyne (5/5)
  • Westside Gunn – Pray for Paris (4/5)
  • Wifigawd & Tony Seltzer – Heat Check Vol. 2 (4/5)
  • Wiz Khalifa – The Saga of Wiz Khalifa (3/5)
  • Yhung T.O. & DaBoii – Demon & Mufasa (4/5)
  • Youngboy Never Broke Again – 38 Baby 2 (

What I’m Reading 

  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan – I enjoyed this book and how it used surfing as the guiding activity of the writer’s life. I kept getting lost in certain parts, the surfing ones…
  • Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides – I don’t think this book belongs in any genre. It’s kind of numb to any feeling.
  • I’ll Have What She’s Having, by Erin Carson –  I had actually only seen When Harry Met Sally when I started this book, but then I watched You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless In Seattle, and they were just delightful.
  • Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) by Jeff Tweedy – I loved this book. Jeff Tweedy has a lot to teach us about being vulnerable and creative.
  • A Very Stable Genius by Phil Rucker & Carol Leonig – I’ve read five or so of these Trump books because I might be a masochist. The Trump Presidency has such a bed of nails effect with the undying surge of bad news. I’m surprised we all don’t think about Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts of America once a day.

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