25 Things Before I Turn 50

Today, I turn 49. As I approach half a century of life, here are 25 things I want to do before that milestone:

  1. Lose 40 pounds.
  2. Walk.
  3. Walk to work at least once a week during summer, fall, and spring.
  4. Run in one 5K.
  5. No food after 9 p.m.
  6. Go to bed by 11:30 p.m. each night.
  7. Wake by 8 a.m. each day.
  8. Alcohol only once a month.
  9. No soda except when having alcohol once a month.
  10. Read a book a week.
  11. Read 10 nonfiction books.
  12. Continue to play Solitaire and listen to chill music before going to bed.
  13. Sleeping with Bread daily.
  14. Along with SWB, photo a day of what most grateful for that day.
  15. Go to church once a month.
  16. Go on day trip once a month.
  17. Date night every pay week with Kim.
  18. Visit parents/sister once a month.
  19. Keep to blog schedule. Wednesday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday.
  20. Practice what you preach.
  21. Be quick to listen.
  22. Slow to speak.
  23. Slow to anger.
  24. Talk less.
  25. Smile more.

A few explanations:

Sleeping with Bread is a book by Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Linn. It starts with this story:

During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, “Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow.”

From there, the Linns show how to set up a way of using The Examen from St. Ignatius each night by asking two simple questions: For what am I most grateful? For what am I least grateful? Those questions can be worded in other ways too, but the idea is each day to examine your day.

The “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” is inspired by my mother who often quotes this from the Book of James in the Bible, Chapter 1, Verse 19:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

The “talk less, smile more” is from the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” from the musical Hamilton:

Pushing Forward Back May/June 2018

If you are reading this in a feed, please go to my blog to see my featured image of the highlights from May 2018.

Back at May

Like April, the month began and ended with similar weather, but instead of snow, it was late summer-like weather for Pennsylvania with highs in the 80s, almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In between, we had a visit from my ex-college roommate, I visited my mother for Mother’s Day, we went to see Avengers: Infinity War. I ended the month by going to a fly-in breakfast with neighbors, and then we celebrated Memorial Day with a picnic with the same neighbors.

I read three books:

  1. Pago Pago Tango by John Enright
  2. Pines, the first in the Wayward Pines series, by Blake Crouch
  3. Still Life, the first Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, by Louise Penny.

The best of the lot was Pines, which also was a TV show that was just canceled this past month. I’m already looking forward to the next two books in the series, which I already bought on ebook.

Kim and I watched a lot of this and that this past month, some of which can be found on our What We’re Watching Wednesday posts. The highlight TV-wise, far and away, was this:

Movie-wise, and no, I’m not kidding, the highlight for me was this (as suggested by my sister):

You don’t have to see the first one either. It was okay, but this second one was classic, and again, no, I’m not kidding.

On the music front, this was my favorite album from May:

Forward to June

June has a lot happening, including my 49th birthday on June 9 and one of Kim’s sister’s is getting married June 23 in Ohio and we’re going. In between is Father’s Day, and my sister and I are planning to take my father to a car museum that isn’t far from where he lives and to a diner in the same town. I live about an hour and a half from my parents, and the museum is about another hour away.

Books? As I mentioned in my last Library Checkout post, I have several books on hold and actually since that post, I’ve discovered at least three others on hold at another library (our home library where I work). TV and movies? We’re looking forward to the second seasons of Glow and Luke Cage on Netflix; the movie Lady Bird on Amazon Prime, which we already have seen but would like to see again. Music? Yesterday, already were a few big releases with Father John Misty (Joshua Tillman), Kanye West, and Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin) all dropping new albums. So far, I’ve heard Father John Misty’s album and liked it on a first listen, but want to hear Ye’s and Lopatin’s album. I am no fan of West’s politics, but I loved Yeezus, because it was unlike anything I had heard up until then and am willing to give anything he puts out a listen.

Along with my birthday, I’ll be doing some special posts, of course, including a “bucket list” of things I want to do before I turn 50. So stay tuned for those in the next month too.

So how was your month of May? 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 looking forward to in June? Share in the comments.

Here is the caption for the photo in the featured image: From top left, and then clockwise to right, my neighbor Mike at the grill on Memorial Day; Kim, my ex-college roommate Joe, and I play a card game; I grab Deadpool’s butt; Blake Crouch’s Pines was my favorite book of the month; my sister’s family’s new dog Zooma, whom I got to see on Mother’s Day at my parent’s; and Paddington 2, my favorite movie of the month, as recommended by my sister.

The Four-Day Memorial Day Weekend Post 2

So instead of doing several posts today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I’m incorporating all into one post. It will be kind of like a readathon post, with updates throughout the weekend. I will start with the plans, and then update with the reality. – This is exactly what I said last Memorial Day Weekend and what I am saying again this Memorial Day Weekend, hence the 2.

Speaking of reading, I plan on reading one book a day, each the start of a different series either that I’ve been wanting to read or that I’ve recently discovered. I’ll mention each one on the day that I plan on reading it.

Friday night

Tonight, the plan is simple: eat burgers, drink booze, listen to music, and watch whatever the hell tickles our fancy. Kim won’t be drinking because she has to work tonight at midnight, but she will be eating burgers, listening to music and watching whatever the hell tickles our fancy.

Two minutes later: We’re watching Season 2 of Riverdale on Netflix. We really enjoyed Season 1 and are hoping the second season is just as good.

riverdale

Update: We watched only the first episode of the second season. We didn’t stop because it wasn’t good, but because we were listening to music.

Saturday

No. 1 on the agenda is reading. The first book up is A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, the first of the Harlem Cycle. I’ve heard of Chester Himes mainly because of Luke Cage and thought I’d give him a try.

My sister told me that I need to see Paddington 2, because it’s “for all ages,” so I borrowed it from the library, and even though I don’t know if I need to see it, I’m going to watch the first one, which is available on Netflix. I’ll be watching on my own because Kim said she isn’t interested in watching, plus she’ll be sleeping as she has a 12-hour shift Saturday into Sunday and then Sunday into Monday.

Update: Sadly, A Rage in Harlem is yet another DNF for me, but I did watch both Paddington movies, with the second one being the better of the two. Even Kim watched some of the second and liked it. It actually made me cry. No kidding.

Sunday

Again, and this is going to be a theme here, No. 1 on the agenda is reading. The second book is The Rosary Girls by Richard Montanari, the first in the Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne series. To be honest, I never had heard of these, but it is set in Philadelphia and I picked it up on ebook via the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The other “big event” for the day is the annual fly-in breakfast at our local airport, which I’ll be going to with our neighbors, Mike and Kathy. Kim might go along, depending on how her Saturday night at work goes (she’s a 911 dispatcher, so some nights are rough and she doesn’t want to go anywhere but to bed).

I plan on drafting a post for Library Checkout, a monthly meme the last Monday of each month where we talk about what we have checked out from the library, and then publishing it on Monday.

I also might watch the Coca-Cola 600, a rare night race, with Mike — in his “ManCave” – a garage complete with classic car and big screen TV that is behind their house.

Update Sunday morning: I went to the fly-in breakfast with the neighbors. Kim didn’t go because as usual with a holiday weekend, it was busy. Now, time to kick back with some music and play a little Solitaire, and then later some reading.

Update Sunday night: I did get a little reading in, starting Still Life by Louise Penny, which is good so far. I completely forgot about the Montanari book, to be honest. Ooops. Maybe I’ll try it another time. I then went to watch the Coca-Cola 600 with Mike. We made it to about lap 380 before Mike had to go to bed. I’ll probably listen to rest on the radio.

Monday

Yep. Reading again. The third book is Still Life, the first in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, by Louise Penny. This one, I have had on hold for—ever at FLP, but this past week, I found a copy in our library bookstore, so I picked it up. I have no idea why this is so popular (the hold at FLP is several months long), but I guess I’m going to find out.

In the afternoon, we are going to a picnic at our neighbors. Kim’s making deviled eggs and we’re bringing potato chips. Of course, there should be burgers and hot dogs too.

We were looking forward the fifth season of Arrested Development, but after recent…well…developments, we’ve decided…

giphy

Update Tuesday morning: I finished Still Life and we did go to the picnic at the neighbors, which was good. Late last night, we started watching The Americans as recommended by Michelle of the blog That’s What She Read. We like/liked it and will watch more, but not sure when. Maybe today, we’ll see.

Picnic at the neighbors.

A post shared by Bryan G. Robinson (@stillunfinished) on

Tuesday

Hmmm. I guess, reading will be at the top of the agenda. Shocker! The final book of the weekend is one I think I’ve tried before but didn’t finish for some reason, Death at La Fenice, the first Commissario Brunetti mystery, by Donna Leon.

Watching? I don’t know yet, but with Kim off, maybe it will be something we both want to watch.

How about you? Do you have any time off this weekend? What are you planning to do this weekend?

Friday Finds | DJ Koze & Jon Hopkins

Each Friday I’ll share what I find myself listening to. It might be new. It might be old. This week it’s new, with two of my favorite electronic musicians releasing new albums today: DJ Koze, the moniker of German producer Stefan Kozalla, with Knock Knock, and Jon Hopkins, a British producer and musician, with Singularity.

Here’s a song from each:

So what is on your virtual turntable to start this weekend?

Pushing Forward Back April/May 2018

Back at April

The month began with snow and ended with snow. At least, in both cases, it wasn’t an accumulating snow, but by this time, I’m usually mowing the lawn (not that I’m complaining, mind you). The month also had other highlights, for example, beginning with my wife Kim’s birthday and then ending this past Saturday with Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. I started two new features here on the blog: What We’re Watching Wednesday and Saturday Snapshots. I read six books for the month, with the best being All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Our favorite movie this month was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and our favorite TV show, Santa Clarita Diet.

On constant play on my phone was this:

Forward to May

I’m looking forward to warmer weather in May, which is supposed to start later this week, as early as tomorrow, getting up into the high 70s (Fahrenheit), and a four-day Memorial Day Weekend to end the month as I added on a vacation day to the end of the weekend. In the middle of the month, I plan on visiting my mother for Mother’s Day. As for books, I’m looking forward to continuing reading James Herriot’s works, with All Things Bright and Beautiful up next, and then All Things Wise and Wonderful. On Netflix, we have second seasons of Dear White People and Riverdale to look forward to and for movies, we both are looking forward to Deadpool 2. I haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War but hopefully will this coming weekend (Kim’s not interested). On the music front, I’m looking forward to new albums by DJ Koze and Beach House, a song from the latter which I’ll include to wrap up the post:

So how was your month of April? 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 looking forward to in May? Share in the comments.

Trying a couple of new things

Starting this week, I am trying a couple of new things:

  1. With this post, I am going to add a photo collage from each day of the week, Monday through Friday (to start), pulled from an app I use called Journey.
  2. A new blog schedule that will include posts on Wednesday, for TV and movies that we watch, and Fridays, for music that I listen to.

The photo collage is in the featured image for today’s post. The week began at top left with snow on Easter Monday, with Alexandra providing a nice foreground; at bottom left, on Tuesday, Kim and I watched a video with a happy lady from China that made our week; at top center, on Wednesday, two suspicious packages were found outside our county’s courthouse, the next block over from where I work, but luckily were found to be non-dangerous; at bottom center, the week ended on Friday with snow, just a dusting, but still…; and at far right is my wife, who celebrated her birthday one day early Thursday with dinner and a drink, a Moscow Mule, at our favorite pub, The Roost. All in all, a good week when all was said and done.

What I’m reading: I just finished The Return of the King yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, I made no progress with All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot this week. I also did pick up a few books of poetry and a novel, Tangerine by Christine Mangan, which Chris from Wildmoo Books recommended, from our library. The books of poetry, which I picked up after being reminded also by Chris and her friend Emily (known collectively as The Book Cougars) that it is National Poetry Month this month, are:

  • Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate
  • Unknown Friends by Carl Dennis
  • Colosseum by Katie Ford
  • Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet by Joseph Mills.

What we’re watching: We finally finished Season 1 of Money Heist on Netflix, which was brilliant, and are into Season 2. We stopped watching the second season of Santa Clarita Diet for now, not because we didn’t like, but because we can watch when we need to watch a shorter show, for example, when Kim has to go to work early for a 12-hour shift on Saturday and Sundays.

What I’m listening to:

If that doesn’t make you happy, I don’t know what will.

How was your past week? Reading, watching, listening to anything worthwhile? Let me know in the comments.

Pushing Forward Back March/April 2018

Midway through the month, I said I was in a holding pattern and that pretty much was the theme for the month. It began and ended with Kim being away for a few days each week as she visited her sister and mother in Delaware, meaning that we put on hold a couple of shows we were watching on Netflix and Amazon Prime: the first season of Money Heist on Netflix and the fourth season of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime. Also on hold was, and is, the weather that just doesn’t want to seem to break into Spring quite yet and my reading, which is stuck in one series, The Lord of the Rings (on the third part, The Return of The King) while trying to start another, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

However, together Kim and I watched movies connected with this year’s Oscars, from I, Tonya, which Allison Janney won a Best Supporting Actress to Three Billboards from Ebbing, MO, which was nominated for Best Picture and for which Frances McDormand won Best Actress and Sam Rockwell, Best Supporting Actor to Lady Bird, which also was nominated for Best Picture. Personally, I liked Three Billboards, but Kim didn’t, and we both enjoyed I, Tonya and Lady Bird, the latter of which we knew was our kind of picture from the moment we saw the first trailer. We also watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was fun.

We also got a subscription to Britbox and I started watching A Touch of Frost and Dalziel and Pascoe, two British crime shows. I tried watching Scott & Bailey, but gave up after one season because it seemed more like a soap opera than a crime show.

On the music front, a few ditties caught my ear, but this one from February was still turning on my virtual turntable:

Pushing Forward

April begins with Kim’s birthday this coming Friday, which we’ll be celebrating Thursday night with a birthday dinner at a local pub called The Roost. We’re going then because work earlier that day than I am on Friday, giving us more time plus it won’t be quite as busy as it might be on a Friday night.

At the end of the month, I’d like to see the last Avengers movie, but I wanted to see Black Panther also and didn’t…yet. In between the beginning of the month and the end of the month, we have nothing planned, but if the weather warms up,maybe we can go out to the nearby Pennsylvania Grand Canyon for a hike. As with everything in life, we’ll see.

I’ll leave you with this funny clip from Seth Meyers (even though it’s two years old, I’m just getting to it):

How about you? How was your month of March? Any highlights with your reading, TV and/or movie watching, music listening? Any big plans for April?

The Extra Time That Wasn’t

For most of this past week, my wife was away visiting her mother in Delaware, and I was on my own. Theoretically, that meant I should have had extra time to read, watch, and listen to what I wanted. In reality, it meant I read nothing while she was away, started watching one show and then deciding that I needed to stop watching until we could watch together, and listened to very little.

The show, the title of which is badly translated according to my wife, is Money Heist, a Spanish series originally titled La Casa de Papel, which literally means “paper house.” I am only a few episodes into the Netflix show, and all I can tell you is that it is a must-watch:

After she got back, I started my reread of The Return of the King, we watched Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri, and she “forced” me to listen to this:

The video was made in 2013, but became popular on YouTube only last year, garnering 3 million views. The son Brian Owens also has made a tribute album to Johnny Cash titled Soul of Cash:

We also continued watching the fourth season of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime:

Since the show is only 10 episodes and about 25 minutes each episode, we have decided to watch only a couple at a time, especially since it’s such a beautiful show. This is one show we didn’t want to binge-watch but savor as fine wine, sipping in each sweet moment.

Which books, movies, TV shows, or music have you been grooving this past week?