Where I am right now

So, I just thought I’d give you a post, starting where I am right now and go from there:

It took my wife Kim and I about 20 minutes to find this, after surfing through various café jazz channels on YouTube. The coffee shops and houses in the visuals weren’t what I wanted, so my wife suggested a Studio Ghibli theme. We both find the movies strange and not particularly our cup of tea, but we like the animation and it is a nice place to start our Sunday morning.

For Kim, it is perfect after a 12-hour workday/night before a day off; for me, fitting as I ended my work week yesterday and because of a new part-time work schedule (by our choice), only working one day this coming week.

That said, what am I going to do with my time this week? Besides helping Kim here around the house and running errands here and there, I plan on catching up on some Tara Brach meditations and talks via Spotify, a little bit of reading, and a little bit of journaling. Amongst all that, we’ll take time to watch some fun things, including the Rifftrax version of Dune tonight:

As for what I’m reading, I have lots of choices from frivolous fiction to thoughtful nonfiction in print, ebook, and audio. I won’t recite them all here, but will let you know next week what I dipped and delved into.

How about you? Where is your head at today and where will it be this coming week?

The Books, TV Shows and Movies That I’m Looking Forward To in 2023

To start this year, I shared my favorite moments in photos from last year. Then I shared the 20 songs I had on repeat last year. Two weekends ago, I shared our favorite TV shows and movies that my wife Kim and I watched last year. Then last weekend, I shared my favorite books read in 2022.

This weekend I’m sharing the books, TV shows, movies and music I’m looking forward to this year, with the caveat that not all are being released this year:

Books

Continuing to read:

  • The Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey
  • The Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri

Reading for the first time:

  • Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters by Cassie Holmes Ph. D. (as heard on the podcast LifeKit)
  • The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron Ph. D. (as recommended by a friend years ago)
  • South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (as heard on Fresh Air)

TV

Continuing to watch and/or finishing, with Kim and on HBO Max unless otherwise noted:

  • Doom Patrol (by myself)
  • Eastbound and Down
  • Ghosts (the British version)
  • Hacks
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Hulu)
  • Shrinking (Apple+)
  • Stath Lets Flats
  • Starstruck
  • Trying (Apple+)

Movies

  • Creed 3
  • John Wick 4 (by myself)
  • Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part One – the seventh in the series
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (by myself)
  • Oscar nominees including The Banshees of Inisherin, Tar, and Aftersun, to name a few.
  • Catch up with some one-word movies on Hulu: Flee, Prey, Parasite, the latter by myself, as Kim has zero interest.

Music

  • boygenius – The Record
  • Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
  • The National – First Two Pages of Frankenstein
  • U.S. Girls – Bless This Mess
  • Yaeji – With a Hammer

Kim probably will be more interested in the Lana Del Rey albums than the others.

So, what about y’all? What are you looking forward to in books, TV shows, movies, and music this year?

What We’re Watching Wednesday: (Mostly) The Brits

We haven’t done this in a while, since 2019, actually, but I thought I’d restart it this year.

Each Wednesday either my wife and/or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.”

So since last Wednesday, we’ve watched a few movies and a few TV shows, with most of them being British. Here’s what we watched in the last week, with links going to trailers for each:

We had been wanting to watch Stan & Ollie for a while, and this week he had a 3-month trial of Starz (that ended today) so we decided to watch it finally. Both Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy were very good, but for me, the movie was so-so. Kim, what did you think? I thought it was very good. Also thanks to Starz, we watched David Crosby: Remember My Name, which wasn’t planned, but when we found out he had passed away, I remembering seeing something about the movie a few years ago and sought it out. Lo and behold, it was on Starz. We both enjoyed it and learned a little more than we already know about him. It definitely didn’t hide the flaws, though, and the ending was bittersweet with both he and his wife referring to his impending death.

I thought we might have a themed night on Sunday night of emergency services, but decided to start early with a trial of the British comedy Bloods (available on Hulu in the U.S.) about two ambulance workers. We liked it enough that we decided to watch more on Sunday with the ludicrous, but fun, Ambulance, directed by none other than Michael Bay. Monday, we tested out a couple of shows on Acorn TV: Balthazar, a French crime drama about an arrogant but loveable forensic pathologist and a new police commander, and The Other One, a British comedy about two sisters who discover each other after the death of their father, who was married to one of their mothers and who also had an affair with the other’s mother. We enjoyed both, but decided to continue with binge-watching the rest of Series 1 of The Other One on Tuesday. It was only six episodes in total and one of the things we love about most British series, but also dislike because they sometimes are so good, we don’t want to waste them in one sitting.

On Friday, we took a turn to England once again, where Stan & Ollie was set, as we finished the series, Friday Night Dinner that was on Channel 4 in the UK from 2011 to 2020 and which we watched for free on The Roku Channel. The show ended in 2020 after the actor Paul Ritter, who played the father, died in April 2021 of heart failure, with complications from brain cancer. In addition to Ritter, the rest of the cast included Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal, and Mark Heap, each hilarious in his or her own way.

So, what have you been watching lately? Anything good to recommend? Anything to avoid?

My Favorite Reads of 2022

To start this year, I shared my favorite moments in photos from last year. Two weekends ago, I shared the 20 songs I had on repeat last year. Last weekend, I shared our favorite TV shows and movies that my wife Kim and I watched last year.

This weekend, I’m sharing my favorite reads of last year. I read a total of 24 books:

I split evenly between fiction and nonfiction, 12 each, but my four favorites from the year were all nonfiction:

  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman, which I heard about first from fellow blogger Melissa Firman, and then on various podcasts so I had to read it.
  • Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years that made my way slowly through for several months.
  • Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath, the true story of a man who, over the course of more than twenty years, canoed solo thousands of miles of American rivers–and then disappeared near the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
  • Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono, to which I listened on audiobook, which for me as a U2 fan was the only way to experience it.

Next weekend, I’m thinking about adding the books, TV shows, movies and music I’m looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this year. We’ll see.

So, what were your favorite books read in 2022? Feel free to link to blog posts.