My binge-reading disorder

You have a binge-reading disorder.

That quote was from my wife earlier this week about the way I read. I can’t (or haven’t learned to) read in short bursts which she does in her job as a rural 911 dispatcher. She can read 20 minutes at a time, be interrupted, and then read for 10 or whatever between calls.

Which leads me to…

My Own Personal Sabbath #14

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

Since I am off work today and tomorrow, I plan on some binge-reading. Like last weekend, I plan on on starting with Get Shorty, and then maybe over this weekend, I’ll also get to Be Cool, and Out of Sight, all three which were made into movies. I’ve seen all but Be Cool, but plan to watch all three when I’m finished with them. Maybe Kim and I can have a mini-Elmore Leonard filmfest on Memorial Day Weekend.

If I don’t finish all three this weekend, maybe I’ll try some reading in short bursts, as recommended by my wife. I also have two other books checked out from the library that I want to get to, but I’m in no rush to read: Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer and Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath. My wife and I started watching the Hulu/FX adaptation of Under The Banner of Heaven. She had read the book and recommended it to me. I’ve read a couple of other Krakauer and liked them, both Into Thin Air and Into the Wild. Riverman, according to the book jacket, is “the riveting story of Dick Conant, an American folk hero, who, over the course of more than twenty years, canoed solo thousands of miles of American rivers — and then in 2014 disappeared near the Outer Banks of North Carolina.” I thought it might be interesting.

Other than reading this weekend, we have no big plans this weekend. Today, since it’s supposed to be in the high 80s and low 90s (not normal for us, usually in 60s and 70s in mid-May) we’re getting Chinese for lunch and dinner. The portions are quite large so we’ll have enough for both.

Update, 7:30 p.m. Saturday night: I finished Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard and then Kim and I watched the movie. It was interesting to see the differences between the two, but I liked both, maybe the movie a little more.

So what are you all up to this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything good? Please share in the comments.

My Own Personal Sabbath #13: The Pruning

Subtitle: The Slow Burn

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

If you could look at my history on Libby of books I’ve checked out and not read just from this year, it probably would be at least 50 books. Likewise, I’ve probably checked out at least a dozen physical books from the library where I work (and have worked for the last decade) that have gone unread. Others, I have checked out and returned a few times but not read yet. However, in total, I’ve only read just under a dozen at 11.

So I’d guess you could say that I have an omnivorous appetite but only a small “stomach” for reading. In a way, it’s similar to pruning in that I let lists build up, then I borrow too many books, and finally I cut back to what I really want to read.

And sometimes I digest books slowly. For example, the last book I finished was Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years. I’ve been making my way slowly through it since the start of the year. Then the two books previous to that I finished were two short devotionals read over the 40 days of Lent.

Out of the other eight books, only three were read in less than a week, with two, both nonfiction, taking about a month. The other three, all but one nonfiction, were read at about a week. So I guess you also could say that I like the slow burn when it comes to my reading, especially with nonfiction.

All of the fiction I’ve read this year (all FOUR of them) were all crime fiction, and the next fiction books that I plan to read are all crime fiction, all by Elmore Leonard. They are Get Shorty, Be Cool, and Out of Sight, all three which were made into movies. I’ve seen all but Be Cool, but plan to watch all three when I’m finished with them.

So, this afternoon, I plan on starting with Get Shorty and then reading Be Cool next Sunday afternoon and Out of Sight on the last Sunday of the month. Maybe Kim and I can have a mini-Elmore Leonard filmfest on Memorial Day as we are both off work that day.

This morning, I’d like to start Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep by Tish Harrison Warren. I bought a copy but I also have it in audiobook on loan from our library consortium’s electronic resource collection. I liked Warren’s book, Liturgy of the Ordinary, which I read earlier this year, so I thought I’d give this one a try.

As for what we’re watching tonight, I’ll refer to yesterday’s post, where I mentioned that.

May: Month of Mental Health Awareness & Bad Movie Watching

I’ve seen a post or two acknowledging that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, with bloggers sharing about their own mental health. So I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon, but also to discuss my other focus this month, which is watching bad movies with my wife.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Like some other bloggers have chosen to do, I’m not going to go into real depth, here. Instead, I’ll just be honest about where I’m at and where I’ve been, which is taking Prozac for over 30 years. Only within the last couple of years, I’m not ashamed to say, I have gone into therapy. Both have helped, but that doesn’t mean everyday is sunshine and roses.

Also, over the last couple days of years I’ve gotten into meditation. I’m not sure where it started exactly. However, I think it coincided with listening to a podcast I found on Spotify at the start of the pandemic called Wake Up/Wind Down podcast with Niall Breslin. I would provide a link, but the show ended this past week. He still has another podcast that is continuing, called Where is My Mind?

I also use two meditation apps: Headspace and Shine. Each has been helpful. I highly recommend looking into one or the other or both. Another good one that has lots of free meditations is Insight Timer.

I’ll end this section by sharing a few podcasts from Breslin, Headspace, and Shine, all available for free on Spotify…and maybe other podcast platforms:

Bad Movie May

Last weekend, my wife Kim and I had a bad movie weekend in celebration of Mystery Science Theater 3000 dropping most of the episodes from its first 10 seasons. We also had a selection of movies we found on Tubi for free by a local director who has a cult following among bad movie enthusiasts from which to choose. We watched one.

Now, we have extended it into Bad Movie May. I’d like to tell you all the bad movies we’ve watched so far, but there were so bad we don’t remember them — and, in some cases, alcohol helped us forget them. Most, to be honest, were from MST3K. Tonight, we’re having a double feature: Noah’s Shark, followed by the Rifftrax version of M. Night Shyamalan’s Old. We purchased the latter through Rifftrax. Using their app, you just sync the movie with the Rifftrax and wa la, a way to listen to commentary, and laugh your way, through what might be, and often is, an unbearable movie to make it through otherwise.

I’ll leave you with the trailers for both, the first being Noah’s Shark directed by the aforementioned local director and available on Tubi:

I was unable to find the trailer on YouTube for the Rifftrax of Old, but if you follow this link, you can see the trailer there for yourself.

The short of it

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

My Own Personal Sabbath #12

This weekend, my wife Kim and I are having a bad movie weekend in celebration of Mystery Science Theater 3000 dropping most of the episodes from its first 10 seasons. We started last night by watching The Mad Monster from Season 1. Tonight, we plan watch another one or two, and tomorrow night, watch more. We also have a selection of movies by a local director who has a cult following among bad movie enthusiasts from which to choose. We found several on Tubi.

Among our movie watching, we also are doing some house cleaning, reading, journaling, and Kim went to see one of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania, who’s visiting our town today. I have a few choices for reading, including Is This Anything?, a collection of his favorite material through the years that I’ve been making my way slowly through since the start of the year. Maybe/maybe not I’ll finish it.

Kim finished The Book of Delights by Ross Gay book, which she liked, but has no plans on what she’s reading this werkend. She said the book was a great recommendation from the newsletter The Marginalia.

So what are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything good?