We need a pick me up. Me because the noisy sexist racist shitty secretary is singing and muttering to herself and has been for hours, and GT because it sounds like a lot of us have some shit going on right now. So what’s picking you up?

I got two: first, I DIYed some kimchi, using wild leeks rather than cabbage. And it WORKED. It’s spicy and sour as hell and full of fermentation bubbles and umami. I’m gonna do so more using wild garlic since the leeks are off season now and the garlic leaves are much broader and meatier, and maybe do this one with only a little bit of heat and some matchstick-sliced cucumbers. Not gonna lie, thinking about this future kimchi is practically a sexual fantasy at this point.

Second one: this week my band played a ceilidh night for a refugee welcome and support group in Scotland. And it was an absolute joy. Usually when we play ceilidhs, it’s for a function like a wedding or conference gala, and everyone is drunk and loud and can’t follow dance directions. This time, everyone was really interested and happy and wanted to learn the dances (and there were enough locals around who already knew them) and paid attention to our caller and were genuinely interested in the music we played. Also, such respect to the refugee trust - I realize it was just a snapshot impression of one good evening, but it looks like they’re doing things to be proud of. Basically, refugees and asylum seekers settling in Glasgow can get matched up with a local buddy who helps them navigate how to live here - where to get groceries, how the public transport works, how to get to other cities, where to find English lessons, where in Glasgow they can do stuff they’re interested in, etc. It really warmed my cockles that it wasn’t a one-size-fits-all pamphlet sort of program - every refugee got their own volunteer friend-advocate who helped them not only do the basics, but also to show them around the fun stuff and help find his/her footing as an individual. I may wind up volunteering for it soon. I witnessed a really heartwarming conversation between herr honk and a dude from Syria who was psyched about playing guitar but didn’t bring his to Glasgow - and herr honk was like, “call me, you can borrow my spare one as long as you want.” Another dude from Iran came up during the intermission and played piano and sang a beautiful song in Farsi - I have no idea what it meant, but it sounded plaintive and lovely. He asked me to dance too, so I took a turn off the stage. He tells me just about everyone in Iran absolutely LOVES America and American culture, which is hilarious. What is this world like.

What’s upping your uppers, GT?