Orange Day Lily

June 2024 Journal

posted in: Drawing, Personal Essay, Reading | 0

June was an exceptionally quiet month. We had taken a long trip to California in May. It was an incredibly fun vacation but expensive so we’ve been keeping a low profile this month.

We spent a leisurely afternoon with a friend at one of our favorite wine bars. We attended an happy hour for a work colleague who is moving on to a new position. We also had a great time one Saturday grilling at my brother’s. We brought up some bronzini that we got from a local fish seller (who actually works out of a van but it’s much less sketchy than it sounds), some bread and tomatoes for bruschetta, and an apple pie from Frecon Farms. My brother provided veggies and a meat and cheese plate. He has a lovely yard and it was a perfect weather day for eating and drinking outside.

Later in the month, we experienced a week long heat dome. Although it wasn’t quite as bad as expected, it was still a little too hot to go for any of our usual walks around the city.

Between the summer heat and continuing to pay off vacation, I expect the next couple months to be similarly quiet.


Photography

I’ve been posting my film photos from our vacation. I’m holding onto my digital photos for my narrative posts about our trip.

So far, I’ve posted about 3 of the rolls I shot:

I still have 2 more rolls that I finished during our vacation, and I have 2 that I started while away and finished after we returned home. I should be posting all those in the near future.


Drawing

I got back into drawing a bit during the month. I have a thing for frog and decided to try my hand and drawing a couple. I particularly like the one with the little frog sitting on mushrooms.


Reading

Not doing much during the month had the upside of my having finished reading 3 books and nearly a 4th.

Back in April, I read Sherwood Anderson’s Certain Things Last which I really enjoyed. Reading that made me want to revisit Winesburg, Ohio, which was among my favorite books ages ago, but I probably haven’t read it in decades. I’m happy to say that I still love it after re-reading it after all that time. I find the structure fascinating, especially since it’s from 1919 and quite experimental for its time. It’s a collection of related short stories with a certain character often appearing as a secondary character in other people’s stories. But he appears more frequently as the stories progress culminating in a story where he is the main character. Although there is no overarching plot, it feels like it builds up to something. It’s a shame Anderson wasn’t a more consistently good writer. He was at his best with Winesburg, Ohio and some of the stories in Certain Things Last.

At the very end of our trip, I started reading Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers which I had read when it first came out. I put it aside after we got home because I was eager to read Cannery Row after our visit to Monterey. After finishing that, I resumed The Flamethrowers which I consider to be among the best books of the 21st Century. The main character, who picks up the nickname Reno (we never learn her real name), is an artist and motorcycle enthusiast who begins dating the son of a motorcycle manufacturer. It is set in the 1970s and moves from the deserts of the Southwest U.S. to the art scene in New York City, to Italy where striking workers cause chaos for the manufacturer’s business and family. Reno is such a unique and fascinating character and the people she crosses paths with are all vivid and memorable. Kushner excels at weaving Reno’s personal story with the grander happenings in the world, some based in history.

Finally, I continued my ongoing Shakespeare re-read by finishing The Tempest. I started my re-read back in 2019 and am winding down. I think I only have King Lear left of the plays I want to re-read. I had read Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, but I’ve never been as interested in those Roman play so I’m not sure I want to go back to them.

I’m not exactly going in chronological order but have trended that way. I bumped The Tempest ahead of King Lear because the Criterion Collection will be streaming some Shakespeare movies including a couple versions of The Tempest. I also want to see Julie Taymor’s version although it wasn’t all that well-received. I love her version of Titus Andronicus as well as her other films: Frida, Across the Universe, and The Glorias.

The Tempest remains among my favorite Shakespeare plays, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the film versions.

Books Read in 2024

So far, I have read 17 books in 2024:


Being and Formulating Posts in 2024

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