In The Rearview: February 2022

Today, with it being the second to last day of the month, I thought I’d look back at the month of February, in terms of what I read, (we) watched, and listened to this month. So here goes:

Read:

  • Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood
  • Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention–And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
  • Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The best of the three was Stolen Focus, with the other two, okay, and I might or might not continue each series. They both were okay, but nothing I felt like I had to get the next one right now.

Not Read:

  • Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown

In progess:

  • Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  • Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey

Watched:

  • The Afterparty (Apple)
  • Animal House (DVD)
  • CODA (Apple)
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall (rent)
  • Ghosts (the British version) (BBCAmerica, HBO Max)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Hulu)
  • I Love You, Man (rent)
  • Old School (rent)
  • The Righteous Gemstones (HBO Max)
  • Somebody Somewhere (HBO Max) with
  • The Seventh Seal (HBO Max, TCM)
  • Tacoma FD (HBO Max, TruTV)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (Apple)

All of the series, we’re in the middle of or at the beginning. The best two of the month were CODA, deservedly up for an Oscar, and I Love You, Man, which was, and is, a hidden comic gem with Jason Segel and Paul Rudd.

Not Watched:

  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • The Good Place

Sometimes with so many other things we want to watch, there’s just not enough time and with these two, that’s the case. Kim already has seen The Good Place and said it’s really good, as have many of you. I’m just not “feeling” it, I guess. *another shrug emoji* Same for Around the World in 80 Days (which Kim hasn’t seen yet either). Maybe some day, but not right now.

Listened To:

  • Once Twice Melody by Beach House
  • Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Various Artists

Out of the two, Summer of Soul is essential listening and is the documentary, essential viewing.

So to recap, my favorites from the month:

How was your February? What did you read, watch, and/or listen to? What were your favorites of the month?

Three-day weekend at the Beach House…again, sort of

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. Sometimes I extend my Sabbath by a day or two, like this weekend since I am off Monday as well, so right now I’m doing the…

At the beginning of the month, I talked about how we were going to our beach house…well, sort of, anyway. Why was the band Beach House was expected to release its latest album Once Twice Melody that Friday. However, I had the release date wrong. It’s today…

…and it fits with another three-day weekend, at least for me. Besides listening to the new album, here’s what else I have planned:

Friday night (with Kim):

  • Burger night.
  • Watch The Afterparty.
  • Watch I Love You, Man, which was produced by Ivan Reitman who died Saturday. We watched Ghostbusters, which he directed, earlier this week.

Saturday:

  • Read Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  • Watch I Am Not Your Negro with Kim, who has been wanting me to watch this for awhile.

Sunday:

  • Read Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown.
  • Watch Animal House and Old School, both produced by Reitman, with Kim.

Monday:

  • Continue to read Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood, which I started Wednesday night and am enjoying thus far.
  • Bingewatch as much of The Good Place, that I borrowed from the library, as I can.

What are you up to this weekend? Whatchya got planned on the book, TV, and/or music front?

I’ll leave you with the aforementioned Beach House:

My Own Personal Sabbath #3 of 2022

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.

I am extending this weekend’s Sabbath to start today, Friday, and go through Monday. Kim and I still are grieving the death of Seamus, our cat of the last 15 years. And the weather, with lows in the negatives and single digits (Fahrenheit) for this weekend where we live, is good for curling up under a blanket with a book and a hot beverage.

I plan on dipping into more of The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell. I also am planning on starting The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, which I picked up at the library after hearing how much a few patrons were enjoying the series. And for fun, I might dip into Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years.

Along with my reading selections, I have set up a playlist on Spotify of podcasts that I saved for this weekend:

I also borrowed The Good Place, The Complete Series, on Blu-Ray from the library, which I might watch some of. My wife already has seen it all and loved it, but it didn’t grab me when I first tried it. I’ll try again, though, and see.

So, that’s what I have planned for this weekend for My Own Personal Sabbath. What do you have planned for this weekend? Reading, watching TV, listening to music, spending time with family? Let me know in the comments.

Celebrating Go to an Art Museum Day

Alternate title: On grief, and listening to Radiohead and R.E.M.

In the summer I realized I had some time left I still needed to take off work so I’ve had a few random days off. At the time I decided to look at a calendar of national holidays to select my day off. My last one was October 28, National Chocolate Day, even though ironically I didn’t have any chocolate that day.

This Tuesday, Nov. 9, according to the website National Today, is Go to an Art Museum Day, and it is one of the days I chose to have off. Initially, I thought about going to the Corning Museum of Glass, which is about an hour away from where I live. But this past week some unforeseen vehicle repair expenses came up, so now I won’t be going. Instead, I’m going on a virtual tour of some museums around the world that I bookmarked yesterday.

That will be in the afternoon. In the morning, I want to catch up on some meditation podcasts with Niall Breslin on Spotify and journaling.

Last Tuesday, my wife Kim took a creative writing workshop so she could do something special on the birthday of both her mother and her best friend from high school, who passed away within four days of each other in April. This Tuesday, I’m doing something similar as with the meditation podcasts and journaling, I’m remembering not only their passing – and the passing of hundreds of thousands in our country and millions around the world in the last year and half from COVID-19 – but also the passing of a few patrons who have died as well in the last couple of months.

Even though I didn’t know those patrons well, I was used to seeing – and hearing – them at the library, a couple for many of the last 11 years I’ve worked at the library. And their deaths have hit me harder than I thought they would. So I want to acknowledge that grief – and the continuing grief that both Kim (moreso, understandably, her) and I are having for Kim’s mom and best friend – on Tuesday.

If I had gone to Corning, I wanted to listen to music on the way. Since I’m not going, while I am on my virtual museum tour, I’m going to listen to a couple of albums that were released last week by Radiohead and R.E.M., remastered editions of earlier albums. The albums are New Adventures in Hi-fi by R. E.M. and Kid A and Amnesiac by Radiohead.

I plan on ending the day by watching a movie with Kim that I’ve wanted to see for a while, but just haven’t gotten to. It also fits with the art theme. It’s called Loving Vincent and is about Vincent Van Gogh. Kim already has seen it, but she said she loved it so I don’t think she’ll mind watching again.