Okay, so clearly this experiment has not gone incredibly well. But it’s summer and I’ve had a hard time sitting down to write. (Excusesssss) I may still try to keep it up and just try to get a few prompts in here and there. Some of these words really are too vague and better meant for photos anyway. Anyway, today the word is red, which is perfect. I happen to be a tad obsessed with red pandas. They’re adorable. It was a big deal this week with the red panda that got lost from the National Zoo in D.C. Luckily the little guy was found, and this post reminds me about the greatness of red pandas. There’s even a website to locate where red pandas are near you. I’m not saying I plan on stealing a red panda some day, but I probably will. My cat would love having a new friend.
When I was heading back to California for the wedding last month, I knew I would need a good book or two to get me through the long flights and connections. I ended up getting through almost the entirety of Marian Keyes’s The Brightest Star in the Sky over the trip. The second book, however, I only am just getting into lately. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper seems like a solid book so far. I’ll admit that I first heard about this book via movie casting news. I love browsing bookstores. Usually. But then sometimes I get caught up in not knowing what to get and you can only base so much on pure guesswork or past references. I really loved Chuck Klosterman’s “The Invisible Man,” but another book of his I picked up at the time just didn’t speak to me.
Anyway, I’m getting through this new book slowly. I tend to keep my current reading underneath a pillow on my bed and read a bit before falling asleep. This makes for a very slow process. I love the act of reading books though, which is why I don’t listen to audio books. Also? I’m lazy. And way too into podcasts. As I’m starting to try and write more, I know that reading more is just as important. When I saw Junot Diaz speak at SUNY Albany last year he emphasized that aspect, as I’m sure many authors do. Reading how other people craft words and worlds is important to figuring out your own writing and process. I really love to read but I find it hard to fit in among all the other things I don’t seem to manage to get around to doing. Reading several pages a night or every few nights is definitely not enough.
The above picture is my block last year when it was being repaved. Pretty cool looking. Despite the building I live in being kind of “eh” in the looks department, my neighborhood is full of pretty streets. I’m not sure I have much to say about this topic really, but I guess I have some thoughts. Like, moving to Albany, the streets very much have meanings, or have had meaning ascribed to them. Hudson is the location of my friend “crew” – or at least it was for a time. That could change. But it held a great deal of power, in the sense that you could just say, “Hey, what’s new over on Hudson?” And of course there are the bar streets, Lark and Madison. I have a better knowledge of the order of our US presidents thanks to the street layout in Corvallis. The last time I was in Portland I saw all kinds of streets that served as inspiration to Matt Groening for the Simpsons (or vise versa?), such as Quimby and Flanders. And those are my thoughts on “street.”
Oh hey. Remember that time I spent a month doing a photo-a-day challenge? And that other month where I did a daily post about what I’m thankful for? Well, I’ve been meaning to try to combine to two. See, I like the idea of a vague prompt for the photo challenge, but I also enjoyed the thankful posts where I had plenty to say. Basically, I miss flexing those free-for-all writing muscles, so I’m creating a hybrid challenge for myself. At halfway through June, there’s less commitment so I can find out just how well this works.
Family. Today is Father’s Day. I can’t tell you the last time I was actually in California for this holiday. Maybe 2005? I think that was the summer I actually came back from Oregon. As my brother and I have gotten older and less available with our super cool busy lives, my family has adapted by getting into video chatting. It started with FaceTime but that only works through two people. (Right? I could be making that up.) When I happened to be home for Mother’s Day last month the three of us FaceTime’d with my brother. This time we got into the Google Hangout thing and had a fancy chat time. I tend to call my mom relatively often to stay in touch, but there really is something different about being able to see someone. I think it helps with being far away and the fact that I almost never go home. Of course, there’s sharing of random stuff and trying to get cats in frame to say hello (yes, we are the crazy cat family). My mom is headed to Hawaii with an old friend in a few days so it’s extra nice to get to see her before that send off. Video chatting, so hot right now.