It’s been a hot minute since Ginger and I have posted, and this month we’d like to do something a little different: a joint post about what we’ve been up to, what we’ve been reading, seeing, listening to, and daydreaming about. A mix of all our guiding subjects.
Winter is always a big time for me to travel for work, which usually means adding on some extra days or destinations for a little fun too. This last November I was in Denver for both – a week of meetings and events in nearby Fort Collings followed by a weekend seeing old friends and visiting new parts of Denver. I’ve pretty much had steady migraines or headaches since my trip – hence my own lack of posting in November or December. My creativity and exploration have been dulled as of late.
That aside, I recently finished bell hooks’ book All About Love, which I learned is on Powell’s Books list of “25 Books to Read Before You Die.” After finishing it, I couldn’t agree more and have bought multiple copies as gifts for friends. I highly recommend this book if you’ve ever wanted to process your own relationship with love in many forms – friendship, romantic, community, and self.
I’m also about halfway through the amazing debut novel from Ocean Vuong (yes, the Ocean Vuong we were fortunate enough to publish a few years back with the Press). On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is painfully beautiful, every word dripping with something more than what’s on the page. Read. This. Book. But have some tissues standing by.
December is always a crazy month for me. I have double holidays and multiple work parties and birthday plans. I spend most of my downtime apologizing for missing additional holiday gatherings and rekindling my relationship with Netflix. This year I am also doing a stretch of house/dog/cat sitting gigs for friends, and desperately trying to stick to some sort of running schedule in order to stay in shape through the winter. I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining – I love my friends, family, and coworkers, and side hustle cash is always a bonus – but… I’m pooped just thinking about it.
Despite a busy schedule, I’m keeping up with my reading. I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately, powering through natural history, biography, and adventure memoirs. My recent favorite was “Born to Run.” It details author Christopher McDougall’s dive into the culture of the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico and their (insane) endurance running abilities. I also just finished “Florida” by Lauren Groff. It was a much-needed breath of fiction and a fantastic set of stories.
My music listening hasn’t changed much recently, though I’ve been throwing some old favorites back in the mix; namely Bob Dylan and the Beatles. I also caught my friend Michael’s band Pilot Star play at a great little pub in North Portland, which I suppose falls under music and performance. Due to a lack of paid time off (read: I used up all my vacation time over the summer) I’ve been sticking around Portland for the fall. But I did score my Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiking permit back in October so I’m on track for my next big adventure.
The next few weeks are going to fly by and the twenty-teens will be behind us. 2019 was a tough one for me but I also went on some magnificent adventures. I can’t wait for everything 2020 has in store for me, but for now, I’m going to do my best to live in the moment, continue eating endless holiday treats, and treasure time with my friends and family as we all slide into the new year.
We’ll see y’all in 2020! Happy Holidays from Ginger & Phillip.