Connecting

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Nature

I was fortunate enough to go to two outdoor trips this month. The first one was a weekend trip up in the Catskills for my friend’s bachelor party. I’ve admittedly never been to a bachelor party, so it was pleasant to know that it was very much unlike the alcohol-fueled parties that you see on TV.

This one was spent in a quiet town where people hiked during the day and made home-cooked meals at night. We also got lots of sleep!

Co-workers

The second outdoor trip that I went to was with co-workers in Palm Springs. Since we all work remotely, teams in the company get together once a year to get to know each other and talk about our plans for the next year. We got to talk about the future of the design team, and the future of our work.

On the side, we got to swim, hike on Mt. San Jacinto, hike with goats in Pioneertown (archive), and then hike in Joshua Tree National Park.

Family and friends

I also stayed for a few days in Los Angeles to spend time with tito and tita, grandparents, cousins, and my buddy Katherine before I flew back to Philly. I rarely get to make it to California (last time was 2017), so it was good to carve out some time to catch up with people.

Yurts and books.

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I’ve always had trouble reading fiction. Reading is often informational and a source of personal growth for me so I’ve had a tendency to reach for non-fiction books on my down time.

Reading non-fiction for me had made a lot of sense because it’s very relevant to my everyday life. Just take a look at the titles of the books that I’ve read recently:

But recently I’ve been thinking that it’s about time I read outside of my comfort zone. I felt like I was missing something because I didn’t know how to read imagined worlds and stories. Or at least I didn’t have the patience for it. I could watch movies and TV shows, but I couldn’t sit down and read. I think a part of it is that other forms of media are more attractive compared to a book:

There is no team of brilliant and vaguely sinister engineers, cooking up ways to get you binge reading. There is no auto-play technology frictionlessly delivering you from one chapter of the novel you’re reading to the next. There is only you, alone in the silence of your room with a chapter break before you and your phone cooing at you from the dresser. No one could blame you for putting “The Count of Monte Cristo” back on the bedside table where it spends its days. Maybe, like a long-forgotten glass of water, it will evaporate of its own accord.

Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now
Just the idea of a vampire running a suicide hotline was enough to engage me. There are bits and pieces of familiar vampire lore in the book, but the rest of it was unexpected and new to me. It’s basically about a vampire who took it upon himself to give advice because of his old age.

I appreciated that the book had a mix of both humor and dark themes like rape, murder, and, suicide. (Not for kids!)

Anyway, I guess I’m just happy that I’m starting to get into fiction. Next up on my queue is The Quelling.

Andrea and I stayed at a yurt in Connecticut last weekend to get out of the city. We mostly slept in and enjoyed the sound of rain falling on the tarp.

We stayed at a farm that had Scottish highland cattle roaming around. They were very cute.