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What a Month! It’s Ben (August 2023) — San Diego, Chicago, and a Move

Published 6 months ago • 3 min read

It’s been an eventful August! I kicked off the month with back-to-back trips to San Diego and Chicago and closed it out with a move. For more, read on below!

San Diego

On August 1st, 16 people from my mom’s side of the family packed a beachside Airbnb in San Diego to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. It was really special to get the whole family together to celebrate the occasion, as our extreme geographic spread causes it to be quite a rarity for us (my grandparents live in Scottsdale and their three children are spread out between Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Hampshire; plus there’s me in Austin and my sister whose moving back to Scotland in October).

We had a great five days of eating, drinking, lounging on the beach, and jumping the waves (with my grandpa leading the charge there). Beyond that, we played board games (with Exploding Kittens being my 8-year-old cousin’s favorite) and Spikeball, I attempted to surf, and a crew of us got some beachside yoga in as well.

I feel blessed to have such vibrant grandparents and I can’t imagine how incredible it was for them to see their legacy — three children and seven grandchildren (ranging from 8 to 28) — all in the same place. It was certainly a week that the whole family will always remember 😊

Chicago

After that, I popped back to Chicago. I was overdue for a visit home — plus, Chicago in August certainly beats Austin in August.

Overall, it was a pretty low-key week. I popped all around the city and saw tons of family and friends, with highlights including a night of bar trivia and an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ dinner. A couple of pics from the week can be found below 😊

Moving

Two of my good friends moved back to Austin after a year away. When they told me they got a three-bedroom house on the east side of town and were looking for a third roommate, I initially told them I wasn’t interested. I was comfortable and in a great part of town and had recently re-signed my lease and had a good amount of space and moving is such a hassle and I went on and on and on.

But despite the numerous reasons why it made no logical sense, I came around and decided to go for it. So I broke my lease and today am moving into my new spot!

I ultimately just kind of felt like it was time for me to mix things up a bit. I think it will be good for my soul to live with friends. Plus, the house is beautiful and it’s in a good location (for those that know Austin: it’s on East 6th Street, a mile further east from where I was before) and we’re talking about getting chickens (if the HOA will allow it) and a cold plunge and converting the garage into a guest house for friends.

I’ll share more about it all next month once I’m moved in and (hopefully) settled!

General Life Updates

Other than packing and moving, I had a pretty low-key month in Austin. I saw a friend's band perform, spent a Saturday on a barge on Lake Travis, and went bowling with some friends 😊

Monthly Favorites

🎵 Music: Post Malone: Tiny Desk Concert — I forget how many hits Post Malone has. This set is fantastic, with Post Malone on the acoustic guitar accompanied by a 12-piece band. And in between tracks, he comes off as such a genuine, likable guy.

Since I’m already on a Post Malone kick here, I might as well share two other pieces of Post Malone content that have stuck with me throughout the years:

  • Here’s Rich Brian surprising Post Malone with a mariachi band for his birthday (from 2017)
  • And here’s an article from The Ringer called The White Rapper Roundtable with this take that I found to be particularly novel (from 2022)
White rappers, historically, have made at least grudging efforts to reckon with their own white guilt/privilege—to prove themselves worthy of rap superstardom despite it (Eminem) or play it up so egregiously they neutralize it (Asher, briefly)—but Macklemore performed his guilt so, uh, performatively that he exploded the whole concept. Fast-forward to 2017 and you got Mr. White Iverson saying, “There’s great hip-hop songs where they talk about life and they spit that real shit, but right now, there’s not a lot of people talking about real shit. Whenever I want to cry, whenever I want to sit down and have a nice cry, I’ll listen to some Bob Dylan.”
I realize that was 50 years ago in the Post Malone discourse, but I still think of him as the famous rapping white guy who’s guiltier about the rapper part than the white part.

😂 Comedy: Raza Jafri: A Few Funny Ideas — My friend Raza released his comedy special on Tuesday! It's wickedly funny and you should all check it out 😊

📦 Product: Homer Simpson Stan Smiths — I love a good collab. Last month was Barbenheimer, this month it’s Adidas x the Homer Simpson Bush Meme. Feel free to send more of these my way so I can keep my wacky brand collab purchasing streak running!


Thanks for reading! As always, if anything I shared resonated with you, I’d love for you to shoot me a reply 😊

Til Next Month,

Ben

Hey there! It's Ben

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