59. A little slapdash
Last day of vacation
What I’m up to
Today is my last day of vacation. Work starts tomorrow.
I have been so committed to enjoying every last minute of vacation, I completely forgot about this newsletter. (This one might be a little slapdash, I’m afraid.)
We went to the beach on Tuesday for one last hurrah before the end of break (a semi-annual tradition). The beaches were practically empty and the water was abnormally calm. It was a glorious goodbye to summer.
What I’m reading
Finishing Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Whitehead is a genius. There are times when I get so immersed in the feel of someone’s writing that I start dreaming in their words. It’s taken me a while to read this and I’m glad.
Also beta reading a novel for a friend; all I can say at this point is that it’s very, very good.
What I’m thinking about
In the car today we had a silly conversation about our “aesthetics.” We agreed Anna’s is “grungy academia,” Paul’s is “lumberjack tradesman,” and Lucy’s is something like “sporty pop.” Mine is “city nerd” or “minimal NPR.” Agree/disagree? Let me know in the comments. ;-)
I’m thinking about how we change and how we don’t. I would say Paul’s “aesthetic” or taste hasn’t changed much at all in the time I’ve known him, although he has more of an appreciation for the experimental folk rock I’m always forcing on him. :) I, on the other hand, am more susceptible to trends — I enjoy noticing what other people are wearing and how they’re decorating their homes; I like trying new things that appeal to me but are just a little outside my comfort zone.
Paul and I are 90% aligned in our tastes, our political positions, our hopes and dreams. It makes it so easy to share a life the majority of the time, but sometimes our similarities makes our differences that much more stark. When you’re on the same ten centimeters of a meter-long spectrum, you start looking at things in millimeters. (Wow, that is really lame metaphor sorry.) In that way, when one of us changes (and the other doesn’t), it’s almost like we can measure our change by how much more we deviate from the other.
That said, we started off about 90% overlapping and are probably still… at 90%, so clearly my math is faulty. :)
What I’m learning
Brooklyn Public Library no longer offers out-of-state paid memberships (most libraries don’t). I’ve since learned that Queens Public Library does, but its circulation is not nearly as impressive. The real takeaway here is that most states offer free memberships to any state resident, so if your local library is not that great, I highly encourage you to look into getting a membership at a big city library in your state. Take a few minutes to compare, too. I learned the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is more extensive than the Philadelphia Free Library (and both are free for Pa. residents).
Overseas friends — Queens Public Library is no Brooklyn, but it’s still worth it IMO.
What I’m doing
We are still plugging away at setting up our new house. With the delivery of a fold-out couch today, our little office is almost done… we just need to hang art. (Perhaps I’ll post a photo next week.) Besides that, we still have to reinstall our dishwasher, buy new plants, work on the balcony, hang living room art…
Making fish stick tacos (better than it sounds and super easy).
Watching Invincible and Only Murders in the Building.
What I’ve saved
Clever: Greek Minister only uses Greek words. (TikTok)
Speaking of aesthetics — like many, I’m increasingly drawn to colorful, maximalist interiors (especially if they contain many books!). (The Design Files)
Here's a good list of sci-fi stories “everyone should read.” (Interesting Literature)
Until next week,