September started off with some weather drama when the remnants of Hurricane Ida came through Philadelphia resulting, among other things, in the historic flooding of the Schuylkill River.
Luckily, the rest of the month was less dramatic. The weather started becoming a little more autumnal which led to some nice walks about town, as well as a pleasant Labor Day cookout at my brother’s.
Work was rather hectic with the semester getting into full swing and with the additional effort of trying to hiring a new member of the unit I lead.
One of our nicer walks was to Omoi Zakka, our local stationery store. They used to have a store within a few block of where we live but that location, unfortunately, closed recently. Their other location is just under 2 miles away which gives us a nice destination when we’re in the mood for a good walk. I bought a few more things for my Traveler’s Notebook, including a camera charm which I put on the strap that holds the notebook closed. I also changed the strap to an orange one to give the notebook a little additional color.
I like how scuffed the leather cover is getting already, and I haven’t even left the apartment with it yet. I’m curious to see how it looks after we get back from our California trip.
Speaking of which, we’re going back to California early in October so some of September has been spent preparing for the trip. We haven’t been anywhere since our Baltimore trip in October of 2019, and we haven’t been on a plane since our last trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea in June 2019. It’s going to feel weird to fly again, but it will feel great being somewhere else for the first time in 2 years.
I got a few rolls of film developed in September and already posted about most of them:
The one set of photos I didn’t post about was from a roll of Kodak Ektar I shot with my Flexaret VII. I wasn’t all that happy with the results so didn’t feel like posting specifically about them, but I can share them in this update. This was a situation when I went out during a lunch break and felt rushed to finish the roll and probably didn’t take as much care as I should have.
Drawing and Graphic Design
I started and finished a tutorial on SkillShare which was an Intro to Adobe Illustrator on the iPad. Illustrator on the iPad is fairly new, and I hadn’t taken much of a look at it so working through a tutorial was helpful. I like using Illustrator on the iPad mainly because of being able to use the Apple Pencil which is far better than trying to use it on my laptop with a mouse.
I also started a tutorial through LinkedIn Learning in InDesign, i.e. InDesign 2021 Essential Training. I had previously worked through an InDesign tutorial but that was a while ago, and I wanted a refresher. I’ve barely gotten started, but I’m glad to be revisiting this software since I like page design and layout.
The only short stories I read were from the month’s issues of The New Yorker, two of which were reprinted from their archives: The Year of Spaghetti by Haruki Murakami and Pnin Gives a Party by Vladimir Nabokov.
I’ve become a big fan of Murakami’s short stories, having read whatever has popped up in The New Yorker and his short story collection, Men without Women (Amazon | Bookshop.org).
This was the second short story I’ve read by Nabokov. The Year of Spaghetti was, of course, excellent, and I also rather liked Pnin Gives a Party, but I really want to get around to reading one of his novels.
The other stories from the month were all good, but none of them really resonated with me: The Monkey Who Speaks by Han Ong, Yente by Olga Tokarczuk, and Desire by Esther Freud.
Short Stories Read in 2021
So far in 2021, I’ve read 60 stories.
- The Rivals, Andrea Lee
- A Challenge You Have Overcome, Allegra Goodman
- The Wind, Lauren Groff
- Casting Shadows, Jhumpa Lahiri
- Good-Looking, Souvankham Thammavongsa
- The Case For and Against Love Potions, Imbolo Mbue
- Future Selves, Ayşegül Savaş
- The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- The Open Boat, Stephen Crane
- Paul’s Case, Willa Cather
- Hands, Sherwood Anderson
- Araby, James Joyce
- The Dead, James Joyce
- God Mother Tea, Selena Anderson
- The Apartment, T.C. Boyle
- A Faithful But Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed, Jason Brown
- Sibling Rivalry, Michael Byers
- The Nanny, Emma Cline
- Balloons, Thomas McGuane
- Children of the Good Book, J.M. Holmes
- A,S,D,F, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
- Before the Valley, Rachel Heng
- Foster, Bryan Washington
- The Coast of New Zealand, Cynthia Ozick
- The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
- A Hunger Artist, Franz Kafka
- Offside Constantly, Camille Bordas
- In the Event, Meng Jin
- Liberté, Scott Nadelson
- Howl Palace, Leigh Newman
- The Nine-Tail Fox Explains, Jane Pek
- The Heads of Dirty Children, Alejandro Puyana
- Octopus VII, Anna Reeser
- Enlightenment, William Pei Shih
- Kennedy, Kevin Wilson
- The Special World, Tiphanie Yaniquq
- My Apology, Sam Lypsyte
- Unread Messages, Sally Rooney
- Satellites, Rebecca Curtis
- The Theresa Job, Colson Whitehead
- Coda, Tessa Hadley
- The Rocking Horse Winner, D.H. Lawrence
- Miss Brill, Katherine Mansfield
- The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, Katherine Anne Porter
- Sweat, Zora Neale Hurston
- A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner
- That Evening Sun, William Faulkner
- The Circular Ruins, Jorge Luis Borges
- Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway
- Superstition, Sarah Braunstein
- The Iceman, Emma Cline
- The Mom of Bold Action, George Saunders
- The Year of Spaghetti, Haruki Murakami
- Pnin Gives a Party, Vladimir Nabokov
- The Monkey Who Speaks, Han Ong
- Yente, Olga Tokarczuk
- Desire by Esther Freud
I finished 4 books in September.
I read Brad Thomas Parson’s Last Call (Amazon | Bookshop.org) which I had mixed feelings about. In it, Parson’s interviews bartenders from across the country about what their end of the night drinks are as well as what they would want their last drink to be before they died. The interviews were interesting, but there were a lot of them, and the book started to feel a little repetitive. Since a lot of the last drinks were either classic cocktails or something rather simple, most of the drink recipes weren’t all that unique.
I also read Nella Larsen’s Passing (Amazon | Bookshop.org). I had been interested in reading it for a while, and it pushed its way up my reading list since there is a movie version coming out. I found it a little pedantic at times. It certainly was trying to make a point, but, overall, it was an engaging short novel about 2 light skinned African American women, one who dedicated herself to passing as white with dire consequences.
I continued working my way through Shakespeare’s plays by reading Much Ado About Nothing (Amazon | Bookshop.org) and Twelfth Night (Amazon | Bookshop.org). These 2 comedies are both clever and delightful. I had read both before and had fond memories so I was glad they lived up to my expectations.
Books Read in 2021
So far in 2021, I have read 36 books:
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
- Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes, Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau
- To Be a Man, Nicole Krauss
- Richard II, William Shakespeare
- Henry IV, Part 1, William Shakespeare
- Henry IV, Part 2, William Shakespeare
- Henry V, William Shakespeare
- A Promised Land, Barack Obama
- The Shadow Box, Luanne Rice (Kindle)
- The Ardent Swarm, Yamen Manai (Kindle)
- The Trouble with Being Born, E.M. Cioran
- In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri (Kindle)
- Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint, Simonetta Fraquelli and Claire Bernardi, eds.
- Minimal To Conceptual Art: Works From The Dorothy And Herbert Vogel Collection, John T. Paoletti
- This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Kindle)
- Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon
- The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
- Whereabouts, Jhumps Lahiri
- Where to Land, Hal Hartley
- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
- Aftermath, Chuck Wendig
- Aftermath: Life Debt, Chuck Wendig
- Aftermath: Empire’s End, Chuck Wendig
- Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Best American Short Stories 2020, Curtis Sittenfeld, ed. (Kindle)
- A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
- The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
- Seek You, Kristen Radke
- Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon
- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
- Dune, Frank Herbert (Kindle)
- Last Call, Brad Thomas Parsons (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
- Passing, Nella Larsen (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
- Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
- Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare (Amazon | Bookshop.org)
This Creative Midlife Posts in 2021
- December 2020 Update
- Canon AE-1 with Kodak Tri-X
- Minolta XE with Arista EDU Ultra
- New Photo Light Box
- Favorite Photos from the 2nd Half of 2020
- January 2021 Update
- Snow, the West, and Old Digital Cameras
- Testing My New Replacement Cameras
- Another Wine Label Tracing Project in Procreate
- One More Roll from 2020
- February 2021 Update
- Reaching One Year of Self-Isolation
- Two Cameras One Kind of Film
- Minolta X-700 with Kodak Pro Image 100
- Spring Walk with My Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- March 2021 Update
- Canon Rebel 2000 with Kodak Color Plus
- New to Me Olympus XA
- Spring Walk with Olympus TG-5
- April 2021 Update
- Testing My Pentacon Six
- Canon AE-1 with Lomography Berlin
- A Few Firsts
- Olympus Pen EE-3 with Lomography Color Negative
- Two Delaware River Walks
- Semeli Wine Label Drawing
- Staycation Visit to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
- Spring 2021 Staycation
- Camden Waterfront with Canon EOS Rebel 2000
- May 2021 Update
- Olympus OM-1 with Lomography Potsdam
- June 2021 Update
- Second Roll with My Olympus XA
- Trip to FDR Park
- Practicing with Longer Lenses
- Favorite Photos from the 1st Half of 2021
- July 2021 Update
- Flexaret Automat with Lomochrome Purple
- Canon AE-1 with Kodak Color Plus
- August 2021 Update
- Remnants of Hurricane Ida
- Minolta X-700 with Kodak Color Plus
- First Impressions of My Traveler’s Notebook
- Canon Rebel 2000 with Kodak Pro Image
Disclaimers: Comments are moderated. Some links, such as those to Amazon, are affiliate links, through which, I may gain a small commission.
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