Pushing Forward Back August/September 2020


  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  • Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Powerful Tools to Cultivate Calm, Clarity, and Courage by Philip Goldberg
  • The Case of the Famished Parson by George Bellairs.


  • Teenage Bounty Hunters, Netflix
  • Brassic, Hulu
  • The Brokenwood Mysteries, Hoopla
  • Rifftrax: Birdemic, Amazon Prime
  • The Last Dance, Netflix

Listened To

  • folklore by Taylor Swift
  • Welcome to Conceptual Beach by Young Jesus
  • Source by Nubya Garcia

Highlights of the month

My wife unleashes a smile after being released from the ER.
  • In bold in the lists above are my picks of the month as must-read, must-watch and must-listen-to. I didn’t pick folklore because it was too obvious and I wanted to highlight an unknown.
  • But more important than any of the literary, cinematic, or musical highlights above was the news that my wife doesn’t have covid. On the morning of Aug. 19, she woke up with symptoms (a headache, high fever, and body aches) and that afternoon was tested and received the results within two hours that she did not have the virus. She had a staph infection, which an antibiotic is helping with.
  • Another major highlight was on Aug. 15 when my wife and I visited with my parents to celebrate belatedly my mother’s 76th birthday on Aug. 3. We also visited briefly with my sister and her two children, who live a few miles from my parents. It was good for us to be able to visit with all of them.
  • At the beginning of the month, I was able to score a Biden yard sign to go along with our Black Lives Matter sign. We felt the need to counterpoint all the Trump flags on our street.

Ahead to September

Here on the blog, I plan on continuing my new feature My Own Personal Sabbath that I started last weekend. Since mid-May, I have been taking a break every Sunday from news and work to focus on reading, journaling, listening to music, and watching what I want to watch. It’s been going so well that I’ve decided to share what I read, journaled about, listened to, and watched that day with a follow-up post.

Off blog, I have no major plans for September other than a three-day Labor Day Weekend to start the month. With my wife working all weekend, we’re not going anywhere, but it just will be good for me to have a few days off from work. As usual, I’ll plan on reading, but I’m not going to lie: I’ll probably only do a little reading and end up much of the weekend binge-watching some silly TV series or Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Rifftrax movies.

How was your month of August? 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 September? Share in the comments.

35 thoughts on “Pushing Forward Back August/September 2020

  1. Good for you to put up a Biden flag on your street. Will Pennsylvania go blue or red in November? Glad your wife is out of the ER and does not have Covid! wonderful.


  2. So happy to hear that your wife doesn’t have COVID! We got some good news, too. Hubby’s uncle Jimmy (he only has one uncle) was in hospice with COVID pneumonia but they’ve moved him back to a regular room . . . still isolated, but not hospice. So relieved. I thought he still had a while left in him.

    Glad you liked All Systems Red! Artificial Condition wasn’t quite as good, but I hope the next one will be an improvement. I still enjoyed it, but ASR was amazing.

    I enjoyed everything I read, this month but I think the stand-outs were Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (nonfic) and two children’s books I loved: The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay (which was, indeed, magical) and Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake.

    Hope you enjoy your 3-day weekend!


  3. Yay for the no COVID diagnosis. It’s always a good thing to take social media / online breaks. Especially these days.


  4. I’m glad your wife doesn’t have COVID! My grandmother had to have knee surgery on Friday in North Carolina and it took 4 or 5 days to get the results back from her COVID test. Maybe they just take their time because she’s asymptomatic? But she barely got results back in time for her surgery. Everything is so weird and disjointed across the country.

    My aunt has proudly sent me pictures of her Biden yard signs. She got hers on Etsy. They are quite clever! But there’s a lot of material to work with. One says something like, “Biden. He won’t inject you with bleach” and the other is “ByeDon 2020.” People ask to take pictures with them as they’re walking through her neighborhood!

    Enjoy your week and your time off!


  5. Whew. So glad to know that your wife did not have covid. Hope she is feeling better soon.

    My two sons both recommended Last Dance to us, but we have not gotten around to it yet. I was happy to see that the last season of The Good Place is coming out on video and will be at my public library soon. I found The Good Place to be quite diverting.

    Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times looks like something I should look for. Times don’t get much crazier.

    I hope you have a good week, Bryan.


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