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.

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.

My Own Personal Sabbath #11: Last Day of Vacation

This past week, I was off work along with my wife. I had planned to do a little bit of reading, but it didn’t happen. So, instead I will try to do a little bit of reading today before I go back to work tomorrow. Initially, I had planned to participate in today’s readathon. But just this morning, I decided I just want to read free of social media since tomorrow will be my first day back to work. I need the social media sabbath today and am doing My Own Personal Sabbath one day early.

I’m sticking with a few of the Elmore Leonard books I selected to read last week and maybe finally finishing Is This Anything? By Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years that I’ve been making my way slowly through since the start of the year.

Other than reading, we are having our “burger night” tonight. We have Impossible burgers and Alexia onion rings. Most likely, we’ll also have wine from our trip up to Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in New York.

We’ll probably watch something, yet to be determined.

So, that’s about it for me for today? What are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to, doing anything good? Share in the comments.

Photo above is where I’m posting this from, as I am starting my reading today. It’s almost noon and while it’s a late start, at least it’s a clear day.

Our Own Personal Sabbath: Vacation Mode

My own personal Sabbath this weekend extends from tonight into next week. It also becomes our own personal Sabbath, as my wife Kim and I are both off work for a week. So, starting tonight, we’re virtually going into hiding, with no notifications, no texts, no email, no news…

…but what we are saying yes to is life and laughter (and getting away and wine) especially in light of what happened last year this coming week. Kim “lost” both her mother and best friend all in the span of one week. It was, and is, as my wife described “the worst week of my life.”

That said, we want to celebrate both of their lives as well as stop and reflect (and being honest here, continuing to grieve) as this is the first year anniversary. To celebrate her best friend, we plan on watching a couple of Star Trek movies with the Rifftrax app, where three guys “riff” on the movies. To celebrate her mom, we plan on watching Mare of Easttown, because my late mother grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the show is set. Kim’s already seen it, but I haven’t yet. To celebrate both of them, we are getting away for a few days next week for a wine trip to the Finger Lakes, which is near where we live.

We also plan on visiting my parents, who also live nearby, and probably will see my sister and her two children, who live a few miles away from my parents.

We are easing into everything by taking it slow this weekend and I plan on ending the week off with a readathon next Saturday.

This week and next Saturday, I plan on continuing to read:

  1. Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh, which I’m also listening to on audiobook.
  2. Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years that I’ve been making my way slowly through since the beginning of February
  3. The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell
  4. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

I also picked up a book especially for vacation at the recommendation of Melissa Firman: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. Kim, likewise, selected a book especially for vacation: The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay.

On the fun side, I still have a few Elmore Leonard books I borrowed from the library that I haven’t gotten to and the next in the Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey that I’ve been making my way slowly through over the last few years.

I’ll leave you with the latest album from Sault:

See you next weekend.