January’s gone…with the wind, but it was a good breeze to start the year at least personally. I read three books, including my first book of the year. I also got a Mi Band 4, similar to a Fitbit, to help encourage myself to walk daily. And I found a new place to walk and read on Saturdays: the library at a local state university.
The three books I read (even though I inexplicably overlooked the second in a post about my second book of the year) were:
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard
- Over My Dead Body, the seventh in the Nero Wolfe series, by Rex Stout.
I joined, and then “unjoined” after talking two other people into it, an online Haruki Murakami Book Club. I also joined the Poetry Reading Challenge 2020.
- King in the Wilderness (HBO documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr.)
- The Librarians
- The Undivided Five by A Winged Victory for the Sullen
- Have We Met by Destroyer
February is starting slow and deliberate as I refocus my reading plans for the month and the year. I work two Saturdays this month, have off three Fridays (two before the Saturdays I work and another Friday, Valentine’s Day, as a vacation day) and am taking off Ash Wednesday as has been my custom for many years. My wife and I also will begin the month with our traditional watching of the movie Groundhog Day.
I think this year, though, while watching the movie, we are skipping the “sweet vermouth with a twist, please” and are going straight to “Jim Beam, ice, water.” We tried the drink Andie McDowell’s character Rita Hanson orders in the movie a few years ago and hated it, so we’re going with the first choice of Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors. Plus with the way, the month and year are starting politically, we believe we need a stiff drink. For that reason, we also are delaying our rewatch until Wednesday night – after the vote.
This photo pretty much captures how I feel about winter right now:
I’m feeling like Phil earlier in the movie:
It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be dark and it’s going to last you the rest of your lives.
But hopefully soon I’ll have his later perspective:
When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
Of course, the groundhog Phil today did predict an early spring, but as CNN noted: “Don’t get too excited, he’s usually wrong.”
- The Farewell on Amazon Prime Video (Feb. 12)
- Narcos: Mexico: Season 2 on Netflix (Feb. 13)
- High Fidelity, the TV series on Hulu (Feb. 14)
To listen to
- The Slow Rush by Tame Impala (Feb. 14)
- Miss Anthropocene by Grimes (Feb. 21)
Oh, and obviously I’m not watching the Super Bowl. I had loose plans to go watch the Super Bowl with a neighbor, but as I’m posting this as the game is beginning, obviously the plans were loose. No biggie. I’d rather be reading.