Syl's Blog

☀︎ June Recap ☀︎


June was a busy month at work, and it definitely feels like that's what I spent most of my time and energy on. We migrated over to a new system, so I had to take time to learn it while attempting to stay on top of my regular tasks. It was a bit of a challenge, but I got through the month, and the new system should make things much smoother in the long run.


I've been swimming as much as I can, usually about four or five days a week. Being in the water is relaxing, but I also get an intensive workout from swimming laps, a dichotomy that makes my body feel great and is the best decision I've made in a while. I hope to keep it up throughout July.


I finished a couple of books. The first one was Man in Profile by Thomas Kunkel, which is a biography of Joseph Mitchell, a writer I very much admire. Mitchell wrote for The New Yorker during the 1930s-1960s. He's most famous for his (admittedly embellished) profiles of people in New York City. I like him because he focused his attention on folks that others overlooked. While his colleagues were profiling actors and politicians, Mitchell was writing about the downtrodden and extraordinarily ordinary, and those whose labor was often taken for granted. He painted a diverse picture of the city during the decades he worked. He's also known for having a long case of writer's block that plagued him at the end of his career.

The other book I finished was The Mayor of Maxwell Street by Avery Cunningham, which is the story of Nelly Sawyer, daughter of the richest Black man in 1920s Chicago. It's part mystery, part crime drama, part love story, and part historical fiction. I felt the mystery was underdeveloped and the ending left me wanting more, but I still enjoyed it overall. The setting was vibrant and detailed, and the characters were layered and interesting, particularly Nelly's friend Sequoyah. I'd easily read a 500-page book about her.


Of course, I started playing Shadow of the Erdtree, the Elden Ring DLC. It's keeping me on my toes. It's as challenging as the base game was when I went through it for the first time, which makes my accomplishments feel all the more earned. It's absolutely gorgeous as well, and there is so much content. The new map is huge. I'm loving everything about it.


Danny and I are making our way through Station Eleven. It has some key differences from the book, but I'm enjoying it so far. One thing I loved about the book that carries through in the show is that it's a post-apocalyptic story that focuses on the innate human desire for art and how that doesn't go away with the end of the world. Humans will still create, and they'll still want to share their creations with others.

I also watched Mikey and Nicky, an underrated 1970s gem of a film about two mobsters who are at odds but also happen to be best friends. The performances from Peter Falk and John Cassevetes are raw and affecting, and it's a lovely nighttime romp through a city that's still going about its normal business while these two friends tussle with each other.