April 2023: In the rearview

Here’s where I’m starting my morning.

So today with this being the last day in April, I thought I’d look back at the month for me (and my wife, in a couple of instances):

Above is where we’re starting the last day of the month: in Tuscany with Flavour Trip. Click the link above to see more and be sure to check out the description where they give not only the playlist, but also what they are doing during the set.

It’s a good place to end the month as toward the end of the month (this past week), Kim and I were commemorating the two-year anniversary of the passing of her mother and best friend in the same week. We remembered them with fun TV and chill music, like that embedded above. The month began also with a milestone for Kim, albeit a happier one as she celebrated her 53rd birthday with my 54th coming up in June. Midway through the month, we went to Coachella (virtually) in California for two weekends. The highlights of Coachella for us were Rosalia, Bad Bunny, and the trio of deejays Four Tet, Skrillex and Fred Again…last Sunday. To be honest, most of the artists and bands we didn’t “get,” especially some of the names (kids, these days).

Since this blog started sort of as a book blog, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what I’ve been reading. I’ve been (continuing to) slowly make my way through The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D. I don’t relate to everything she rites about and think sometimes she leans too much on trauma, but overall, I’m finding it helpful in understanding myelf as an HSP. A friend recommended the book several years ago and only now am I finally getting to it after buying a copy. I decided to get a copy after realizing how dense the subject matter is. It’s not a quick read, at least, not for me.

I “need to” read some fiction, but nothing has been “grabbing me.” Mostly, we’ve been watching this and that on various streaming platforms, from Ted Lasso, Schmigadoon, and Shrinking on Apple TV to new discoveries for us like Bored to Death and old favorites like Robot Chicken on HBO Max (soon to be Max – eyeroll).

I probably could write more but since I’ve been chilling to the music and have been paused in draft for about half an hour, I guess I’ll end here.

How was your April? Any highlights in reading, TV/movies, or music? Feel free to share in the comments. (I’m also restarting to use my Substack. To see it – I’ll be updating the design soon – and subscribe, click here.)

Ah, poetry…

Even though next month is National Poetry Month, this month I am reading poetry. To start the month, I began reading Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World by Pádraig Ó Tuama and then the following week, I started reading The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón. As of this morning, I just finished The Hurting Kind and still am making my way leisurely through Poetry Unbound.

Earlier this week, I drafted a long post about blogging. Last month I was notified by WordPress that I have been on the platform for 15 years. This October, I will have been blogging for 18 years. Like other long-time bloggers, I have questioned why I am doing it. I dumped those questions on the pages of my journal.

I had planned on sharing all of that with you. However, this morning I don’t want to do that. You probably don’t want to hear it. I’d like to say that I do it for you, but that’s not entirely true. I do it for me, but that’s not entirely true either. I honestly don’t know why I continue to blog. I just do.

In June, I will be turning 54, and as happens with birthdays as one gets “older”, I will assess and reassess my life. I probably will assess and reassess the purpose of this blog, but for today I just want to read and listen to poetry, be content in the moment.

Lenten Plans 2023

In the Episcopalian tradition, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Because I am Episcopalian, at least in name, that is how long I will be observing Lent. In accordance with the invitation from the Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) to observe Lent “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word”, here is what I plan on doing for Lent:

As has been my custom for several years, I’m starting Lent with a day off from work on Ash Wednesday. This year, I didn’t have to take a vacation day as with my new part-time schedule, I just happen to be off that day. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even make it to my hometown church for ashes.

Giving up

  • Giving up alcohol, starting this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, until Holy Saturday night. Over the last year, I’ve probably consumed more wine than I ought, so this isn’t a bad thing – at all. Plus I’ve gained a lot of weight, thanks/no thanks to wine, so again this isn’t a bad thing – at all. (This was exactly what I wrote in 2021 and still true this year.)
  • Soda


  • Special reading: Reading from No Man is An Island by Thomas Merton and The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron Ph. D.
  • Walks

If you are a Christian and observe Lent, what are your plans for the season? If you belong to another faith tradition, do you have practices within it to reflect on your faith daily and/or periodically? Anything you read for your particular faith? If you have no faith tradition, how do you relax/meditate/stay calm?

As in the past, I used my post on my Lenten Plans 2019 as a template for this post.

The Books, TV Shows and Movies That I’m Looking Forward To in 2023

To start this year, I shared my favorite moments in photos from last year. Then I shared the 20 songs I had on repeat last year. Two weekends ago, I shared our favorite TV shows and movies that my wife Kim and I watched last year. Then last weekend, I shared my favorite books read in 2022.

This weekend I’m sharing the books, TV shows, movies and music I’m looking forward to this year, with the caveat that not all are being released this year:


Continuing to read:

  • The Serge Storms series by Tim Dorsey
  • The Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri

Reading for the first time:

  • Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters by Cassie Holmes Ph. D. (as heard on the podcast LifeKit)
  • The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron Ph. D. (as recommended by a friend years ago)
  • South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (as heard on Fresh Air)


Continuing to watch and/or finishing, with Kim and on HBO Max unless otherwise noted:

  • Doom Patrol (by myself)
  • Eastbound and Down
  • Ghosts (the British version)
  • Hacks
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Hulu)
  • Shrinking (Apple+)
  • Stath Lets Flats
  • Starstruck
  • Trying (Apple+)


  • Creed 3
  • John Wick 4 (by myself)
  • Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part One – the seventh in the series
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (by myself)
  • Oscar nominees including The Banshees of Inisherin, Tar, and Aftersun, to name a few.
  • Catch up with some one-word movies on Hulu: Flee, Prey, Parasite, the latter by myself, as Kim has zero interest.


  • boygenius – The Record
  • Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
  • The National – First Two Pages of Frankenstein
  • U.S. Girls – Bless This Mess
  • Yaeji – With a Hammer

Kim probably will be more interested in the Lana Del Rey albums than the others.

So, what about y’all? What are you looking forward to in books, TV shows, movies, and music this year?