Looks like a dorm room, doesn’t it? But instead it’s an artist’s studio, and it’s in a metro location, so I am no longer roaming the countryside like a nomad, my life in a knapsack heavy with pens, books, and blank paper. April was just moving, so, yes, I have been conspicuously absent (or not…depends on your dependence, I suppose), but this is a three-day weekend and I have some time and I have missed spending whole days reading and writing, so the NightStand returns, in the form of two wicker baskets at the head of a futon.
San Diego proper is still as sprawly as all get-out, but in the event of a natural disaster or extreme illness I could make my life continue in the span of a city block. It helps to live next to a grocery store. It also helps to have my gym across the street from the grocery store, and about four cafes in the area, and two ATMs, and you get the picture. For less needs and more wants I have to walk farther: library at 8 blocks, ballpark at 6 blocks, harbor lights at 6 blocks.
This is my first foray into living among skyscrapers; even in San Francisco I lived by the park and among buildings that topped out at 3 or 4 stories. Here I wake up in the morning and there are more than six buildings out my window that exceed 20 stories. Their placement is such that I feel I live in a city but they don’t block the sunset or the occasional fireworks from Sea World. The tallest of them, a condo building, has an art installation at the top; think of a lighthouse where the light runs a cycle of the complete spectrum of ROYGBIV. The colors fade into each other, and cycle and cycle until about 3:30 am. I know this cut-off firsthand; someone pulled the fire alarm in the building in error at that ungodly hour a week or so ago, and I got to meet a lot of neighbors. My neighbors are animal lovers and a lot of them have medical issues, so finding the silver lining in such a strange evacuation was a challenge that night, but still…community. Writers need community.
My day job is a bit of an attention hog these days due to the fact that I am often forced into the practice of metaphorically paddling a battleship with a toothbrush, but I’m working on that, too, now that I have personal independence. In terms of the arts and crafts, though, here are the latest indulgences:
- What I have been reading lately: on the Kindle I’m still trying (unsuccessfully) to get through The New Yorker as it comes in and reading a novel called Carrie Pilby. From that now close library I’ve been on a Toni Morrison kick (Beloved, which I have never managed to read, and God Help the Child, which is getting richer but isn’t my favorite work of hers), and from my personal paper library Moonglow by Michael Chabon. Chabon has flipped the “fake news” garbage on its head; he calls the novel a memoir that may or may not be reliably true, therefore removing all doubt by adding it.
- What I have been listening to lately: I’m apparently on a James Bay kick this weekend, but I also have the latest from Sia (her theme from the movie Lion) and the music of Chopin bouncing around in the earbuds, too.
- What I have been watching lately: continuing with baseball (my Giants suck, yes, I’ll say it), and West Wing (there are seven seasons, after all), as well as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher. In movies, I started The Secret Life of Pets, but that is going to be a long watch…not a great film. I binged on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt last Sunday; Titus is still in fine form with his Lemonade tribute. I haven’t seen many movies lately (it’s summer, not Oscar season, after all), but those that I have seen are a little French film on Netflix recommended by a friend called Blind Date (hence, my listening to Chopin) and I have the Oscar-nom film for Annette Benning on my iTunes rental.
For the time being, c’est moi. More, hopefully, barring any drama, in June. ✨