Side Table: July 19, 2019

Greetings from Houston: Sweltering Summer Edition

 

It’s summertime in Houston, Texas – and that means I don’t venture outdoors unless it’s an emergency, or something I can’t cancel or back out of in good conscience. In the latter case, I make a dash from the front door to the car and get the AC cranked up at full blast.

I’m already a heat-intolerant person, and although I’m a native Houstonian who has endured over 40 summer seasons so far – I will never, ever get used to it. I love my city, and would never willingly move- but from June through September, I stay indoors.

It’s been an interesting nine-ish months since I’ve posted here on my blog. In any case, I’m back, I’ve been holed up here in my cold-as-a-refrigerator-home* since June, my Etsy addiction has grown stronger, I’ve added to my crow and book collection, I’ve discovered YouTube horror channels, and have been reading some great stuff.

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My current reads as of today

 

Current Book & Reading List

Bird Therapy, by Joe Harkness

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In this book, Harkness details his personal journey of climbing out of depression, with the help of our avian friends. Discussed are the numerous benefits of birdwatching on our mental and emotional well-being, excellent tips and notes, and gorgeous art illustrations by Jo Brown.

 

New Ohio Review, Issue 25, Spring 2019

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New Ohio Review is a national literary journal produced by Ohio University’s Creative Writing Program. I’m finally diving into the spring 2019 issue of this year is and it’s packed with talent and grit.

So far, my favorite selections are the poems of Tony Hoagland: “Success,” and “Sunday at the Mall.”

 

The Diary of Anaïs Nin Vol. 4: 1944-1947

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I’m currently going through another phase of my Anaïs Nin obsession. I discovered her writing too long ago to remember, and while I’m not a big fan of her fiction style, I am deeply moved and shaken by her diaries. This volume includes her diaries from the mid-to-late 40s, and is jam-packed with her wickedly sharp observations, quips, vents, rants, waves of joy, sadness, bitter humor and every other emotion; and of course, many of her numerous letters to and from the movers and shakers of the literary world of that time.

 

Crows: Encounters with the Wise Guys of the Avian World, Candace Savage

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I am so in love with this book – I’ve been reading it off and on for ages – often re-reading the same passages repeatedly. It’s an exciting romp into the joyful, crazy, fun world of – as the back cover explains – “the wise guys of the avian world, the bright-eyed, black-winged members of the Genus Corvus, or Ravens and Crows.”

 

Etsy Mania

Did I mention I’m kinda going overboard with Etsy? Between eBay and Etsy, I’ve been adding to my book and crow collections these past few months. Also really digging some bohemian-style vintage decorative items†.

 

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Check out this gorgeous black and gold tray from the 60s – I’m in love!

 

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Itty-bitty Raven oil painting on canvas, with a tiny little art stand – squeeeeee!

 

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See the little crow on a log? Another Etsy find. I named her Colette. And yes, I need to fix Carlos’ beak – it’s in that brown pottery mug behind the itty-bitty painting

 

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Etsy treasure: an original, unopened package of retro-vintage invitations circa 1960s

 

Be still, my heart – I finally got my hands on a 1950 hardcover edition of Audubon’s Birds Of America!

 

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I keep this treasured book near me on another vintage tray (set of 4 trays from the 50s)  I found on Etsy. Whenever I flip through it, my heart feels lighter. 

 

That’s all for now, folks. It’s inching closer to midnight here in Houston – it’s a “cool” 83 degrees with almost 80 percent humidity out – so I remain indoors, as always. Time for my nightly treat of a YouTube horror story. I rotate between a few favorite narrators, which I’ll share more about some other time.

Farewell for now!

P.S. Bonus Pic!

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This is my big boy cat Kade – he’s 22 pounds of pure love and fluff. I took this pic earlier today when I was trying to write – he’s meowing at me while precariously perched on all my crap piled up on our fireplace hearth next to my chair. He wanted to get up into my lap, and of course I obliged. 

 


*Recently there was a Twitter kerfuffle when a nauseatingly smug Brooklynite proclaimed it was time to ban AC, that it was for babies, “and like, just get a fan” – I curse this person with an affliction in which they find themselves encased in an invisible sauna for a minimum of six months, or until they meekly apologize and recant – whichever comes first.

If you love the vintage-retro vibe as much as I do – you will definitely want to check out the Etsy store called TheBrooklynBoho. The owner, Sofia, is a lovely human being who is devoted to her store – and I will 100 percent vouch for the superior quality and customer service you’ll find there!