Pushing Forward Back June/July 2019

June flew right out of the gate, as predicted, and never let up until this weekend. The first week started with a bang: work on the first Saturday, my first physical therapy session for a bruised left knee on that first Monday.

The second weekend, my wife Kim and I got away as we went on a self-guided two-day wine tour of Seneca Lake in upstate New York, as planned, in celebration of my 50th birthday on Sunday. The second week, I also was approved for for an MRI that I got at the start of of the third week. The MRI was negative for a torn meniscus, but I have a frayed meniscus and bad osteoarthritis for which I already got a cortisone injection and might be getting a gel injection in a couple of weeks when I have a follow-up appointment.

The fourth weekend, on Saturday, I worked, but then on Sunday, I visited my mother and father, the latter of which I went with to a car and plane museum, also with my 12-year-old nephew.

This weekend, I plan on chilling both days, maybe going to a nearby town for the birthday breakfast on Saturday I had planned to start off the month with but then had to cancel because I was scheduled to work at the library. Update: I did go out for breakfast Saturday morning. I also forgot until I read my last Pushing Forward Back post (did I reference that yet? hmmm) that I also planned on starting Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, another of my all-time favorite collections of poetry. So I’ll still do that as I thought, and still think, it would be good to celebrate America with the Fourth of July coming up this week.

AND lest I forget, I promised a giveaway of books at the end of my birthday month. I am doing that today from midnight today, Sunday, June 30, 2019, to 11:59 a.m. tonight, Eastern Daylight Time. Go to this post to find out how to enter for the giveaway. I am posting it at the same time as this one.

As for what books I finished this month, I read Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport and Ratking by Michael Dibdin. Both were okay, with Ratking being the better of the two. On the TV/movie side of things, the best thing we watched all month was Springsteen on Broadway, available on Netflix. Music-wise, the best music I heard all month was Prince’s Originals, a mostly previously unreleased collection of songs he wrote for others.

If you’re skimming this, the short takeaway from June is this: My wife and I celebrated my 50th birthday with a wine trip and visiting with my mom and dad, my MRI turned out negative for a torn meniscus, and I read two books.


July begins sort of oddly as I work the first three days, have a day off (thank you to our Founding Fathers), then work Friday before having off again for the weekend. I thought about trying to take off Friday, but a coworker beat me to the punch and got that day off. However, I’m not sad as she does a lot and deserves the time off and I had a long weekend for my birthday in June.

The rest of the month work-wise settles into a routine of six days in a row, as I work the two middle Saturdays, the 13th and 20th. Lest you feel too badly for me, I don’t work eight hours any day, with some as little as 4 and 1/2 hours…

So in other words, I’ll have time to read as many books, watch as much TV and movies, and listen to as much music as I want.

Reading: In June, I planned on finishing the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot, with The Lord God Made Them All and Every Living Thing. I also planned on reading All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, one of my all-time favorite collections of poetry. But as with a lot of things in June, those didn’t happen, so I’m putting on hold (figuratively, not literally) the Herriot series until later in the year and yet still plan on reading the Carver collection over this coming month. Other than that, the only thing on my radar is the second Aurelio Zen mystery by Michael Dibdin, Vendetta, since I enjoyed the first one.

Watching: In July, Kim and I only have one major thing we want to watch together: the third season of Stranger Things. Other than that, I am interested in seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Lion King, and Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, although really with my working two Saturdays this month, I might only get to one of the trio in the theater. On the minor front, we’re looking forward to watching the second half of the sixth season of Drunk History.

Listening: Just doing a quick search online, I only found one album that I’m really looking forward to: EGOLI by Africa Express. The group is “a UK based non-profit organization which facilitates cross-cultural collaborations between musicians in African, Middle Eastern, and Western countries” and was started by Blur and Gorillaz lead singer Damon Albarn and journalist Ian Birrell. I loved their album, Terry Riley in C Mali, and am very much looking forward to this one:

If you’re skimming this, the short takeaway for July is I plan on reading poetry, watching Stranger Things, Season 3, with my wife, and listening to cool world music.

How was your month of June? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you most looking forward to in July? Share in the comments.

21 thoughts on “Pushing Forward Back June/July 2019

  1. I am just now catching up on my blog reading so that tells you how my June and July are going. It’s been a bit much but it’s getting better by the day. I really can’t complain.

    I finished Stranger Things. I am conflicted over that ending. I am trying to finish a book club book which is very readable so I should be able to do it before I host the darn meeting on Wednesday. I also need to plan the meal. The book I am reading is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which is about the Golden State Killer. True crime. Well written but I feel like it’s a little glamorous with the writer’s Hollywood connection.


  2. No on a torn meniscus is good news. Sounds like you had a good birthday month!

    My two favorite June books were Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde, And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer by Fredrick Backman. As far as movies I saw Captain Marvel, Aladdin, & The Secret Life Of Pets 2, all were very good. We were going to see Toy Story 4 but my DIL’s grandfathr passed away last week so they had to go to PA. On tv, I watched Free Solo and Worlds Busiest Cities & liked them both.


  3. That sounds like a great birthday month… lots of fun events and more good news than bad about your knee. June around here was mostly spent getting this place back in order after being away for the winter, and now we’re ready for summer. My month was outstanding readingwise with a couple of 5-star books. On to July!


  4. I’m glad it wasn’t a torn meniscus, not that osteoarthritis is pleasant either. I’ve had surgery on one knee twice (I was a basketball player in my youth), and now have osteoarthritis in it, Occasionally, especially when the weather is cold I have to wear a nylon brace.
    It looks like your dad enjoyed the car show, (at least I assume that’s him in the photo) I hope you did too.

    Have a great reading week


  5. I’m turning fifty in a few weeks myself, and have started the celebrating early with a long weekend with friends up in the mountains. I love Herriot’s books as a kid, and read a lot of Carver’s short stories in college, though not his poetry. I hope you enjoy all of that.


  6. June went by quickly but I think I’m prepared for July which will be even busier. I didn’t meet all my reading goals but I’ve made room for freer reading which will help get back on track. My weekly update


  7. Sounds like a busy and great birthday month for you! We are going to watch season 3 of Stranger Things too. I hope July is a good month for you! Have a great week!


  8. It sounds like you had a great birthday month!

    I guess that’s good news/bad news on the knee. I hope the PT helps. As I told you on other social media, my sister gets those gel injections for her arthritis and they make a huge difference for her.


    1. I see the PA on July 9. So will see about the gel injections there. But did learn PT actually is covered for us, with a copay, so might go that route too. It WILL get better.


  9. Sounds like your month was just as busy as mine! I hope all this work on your knee is helping you to feel better. And that your birthday month was awesome through and through.


    1. Well, re: my knee. I did get some good news. Due to a coding error, we were billed for physical therapy that we shouldn’t have been. We’re covered up to 60 visits with a copay. So if I get an order for more, I’m definitely going to do.


  10. It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday month. I watched a lovely documentary yesterday called Minimalism and I was reminded of how much I love simplifying my life. Coincidentally, we had a garage sale yesterday and I bravely rid myself of all the accoutrements of my librarian life (though I couldn’t bear to part with my fortune teller costume and a couple of tiaras). Digital minimalism might be too much for me; I’m still feeling the loss of all my cool librarian things.

    Watching the documentary was the best tv of the month (well, I did enjoy finally watching Solo, too).

    I am more and more interested in rereading the James Herriot books. I have a new friend who is a retired (American) vet and she has written a memoir she’s calling Frogs in the Mailbox. I’m going to be reading her memoir soon, and I’d like to compare it to the Herriot stories.

    Are you feeling the release of the fifties? It certainly feels easier for me to travel downhill after that long climb up.


    1. Solo surprised me. I didn’t think it was going to be that good, but it was.

      I’m not feeling the release of the 50s yet. It’s only been 21 days. Give me a little time. 🙂


Comments are closed.