Old Houses New Apartments

September 2021 Update

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.

Traveler's Notebook with Camera Charm
Traveler’s Notebook with Camera Charm

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.


Short Stories

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.


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.

September 2021 Reading Update
September 2021 Reading Update

Books Read in 2021

So far in 2021, I have read 36 books:

This Creative Midlife Posts in 2021

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