Where I’ve been

Really, nowhere.

But my mind has been all over the place.

Mostly, my mind has been unfocused because of changes at work, but also the national, international, and even local news that has gone national. The borough mentioned is less than 20 miles from where I live. Of course, with the news, I have zero control; with work, I have a little control, mostly with how I respond or if I respond at all.

Which is why I haven’t been here on the blog or on Instagram, the last social media platform I’m on (at least for now).


I’m reading very little, finishing two books in the last couple of weeks:

  • Angelica’s Smile by Andrea Camilleri, which is part of the Inspector Montalbano series, and which I’ve been trying (and not trying) to finish for the last six months.
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness, a new interpretation of Epictetus’s Manual (or Enchiridion), by Sharon Lebell.

The Manual, as described by Lebell, is “a pithy set of excerpts selected from his multi-volume Discourses that forms a concise summary of Epictetus’s essential teachings.” Last year and the year before, I read a modern translation of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations by Gregory Hays and this year, I selected Lebell’s interpretation of Epictetus’s Manual, which I’ve been reading since January. Next up, I’ll seek out a translation of Seneca’s Letter from a Stoic — to complete the trilogy? the Stoic triumvirate?


I’ve been watching this and that, with the only movie of note that I’d recommend being The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent with Nicholas Cage. It lives up to its trailer:

Well, and Paddington 2, which Cage mentions as one of his favorite movies, and is one of our favorites too. No, really, watch it.

My Top 10 Summer Movies

On Friday, Erin from the blog Still Life, with Cracker Crumbs… shared her top 10 summer movies. It got me thinking about what mine would be. I also looked at two articles, one from Town and Country Magazine and Pure Wow, to trigger some ideas.

I share two with Erin with Stand By Me and The Parent Trap, sort of, except it’s the 1998 version with Lindsay Lohan. My other eight are, in alphabetical order:

  • 500 Days of Summer
  • Breaking Away
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Field of Dreams
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Moonrise Kingdom

My wife Kim shares five with me, Do The Right Thing, Field of Dreams, Moonrise Kingdom, and Stand By Me. Her other five are: Jaws, A League of Their Own Own, Mystic Pizza, Rear Window, and…one other to be determined, that I’ll add here later. She didn’t want to be pressured into a decision.

Instead of sharing the trailers from all of them, I think I’ll just share one of my favorite parts of Do The Right Thing, which probably is my favorite summer movie:

How about you? What are some of your favorite movies set during the summer?

(Birthday) Party like it’s 1999

Earlier in the week, I talked about my serious plans for my birthday, which is today and I’m celebrating with a four-day weekend. In that post, I said I’d talk about my fun plans for my birthday later in the week. This is that post.

The main two events that we have planned are tomorrow night, starting with the premiere of Episode 5 of Season 13 of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Doctor Mordrid. That will be followed by the airing on PBS of Prince’s live concert from The Purple Rain Tour at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. from March 1985:

I also have a YouTube playlist of a few hours of DJs spinning dance tunes on the turntables and mixing boards. I’ve already started listening to that. I have another playlist of music to wind down the party or the after party.

Other than that, we’ll see, as they say, where the spirit takes me.

My Own Personal Sabbath #15

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.

This weekend, my own personal Sabbath comes early, on Saturday, since I work on Sunday. When I last left you two weekends ago, I was planning on reading Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard, Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath, and Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. I finished both Get Shorty, which was good, and Riverman, which was, and will be, one of my favorite reads from this year. As I was reading, I kept reading passages to my wife. That is one way I know a book is good.

That leaves me with Under the Banner of Heaven still to finish, but I don’t know if I’ll get to that this weekend as I might need some lighter fare after the past week. Last weekend, my wife tested positive for covid and I took home tests Sunday and Tuesday, with both being negative. She is getting better –  like the end of a bad cold that keeps lingering- and I, to be honest, while so far physically well, need a mental respite from the world.

To that end, I’ve joined my sister in a social media break for a little bit. I’m really only on one, Instagram, as I “gave up” Facebook and Twitter several years ago. For me, it’s not “the feed” that is the issue but “Stories” where I hear about the latest news whether I want to or not. And it’s not that I necessarily disagree with what the person is posting, it’s just that sometimes it’s all too much. I need to get away from time to time.

While I don’t know what I’ll be reading, I do know what my wife, who is off all weekend, and I probably will be listening to and watching:

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 and/or Rifftrax movies (this past week, we rented the “riff track” for Ready Player One, which we had on HBO)
  • The Mission to Zyxx podcast,which we slowly have been making our way through over the last couple of months.

I also have set up a a playlist of podcasts for this weekend’s Sabbath, some of which I’ll listen during a walk:

Other than all that, we’ll see where, or if, I’ll land on any reading.