Another post on a little bit of everything

Last month, someone made this declaration here on this blog:

I’m doing away with the bullet point list posts. I will focus on one topic: reading, for example, with my Sunday Salon posts, and if I do other posts on TV, movies, music, or my personal life, they will just be on that topic.

Er, yeah, me

And then I ended the month with a bullet point list post as I usually do: Pushing Forward Back July/August 2019. And now, I’m reverting again to a bullet point list post, because…well, I’ve had a long week and I’m too tired to write a single-minded post. So here goes:

What I’m reading

On Friday, a day off from work, I finished a reread of Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck that I started during Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Readathon last weekend. As I wrote on Goodreads after finishing the book, “On a reread, maybe close to 30 years later, I still love this book, but in the time we are in now, it is sad too. As a nation, we have, and haven’t, changed that much.” Next up, well, at least in pieces, is the book at right:

I picked it up from the donation bin for our library bookstore and sale.

Incredible as it may seem, every entry in this book, even the most ludicrous, has been accepted a s a formal or legitimate English word by at least one major dictionary. Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary brings into view thousands of little-know curiosities that lie buried in specialized dictionaries and unabridged works too bulky for browsing. Although Mrs. Byrne’s dictionary has enough comedy in it to reward casual browsers, it is intended to serve as a supplement to a desk dictionary. A word not listed in either place is not worth having at your fingertips, unless, of course, you are an institution, a library, or a governmental body at the federal, state or municipal level.

from the introduction by Mr. Byrne

This afternoon I probably will continue with the Chief Bruno series by Martin Walker, with the third one, Black Diamond, especially since it is due back in only a couple of days.

What we’re watching

On a whim, I thought I’d try The Orville even though I’m not always a fan of Seth McFarlane’s other endeavors. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that I now have convinced my wife to watch with me. I also convinced her to watch Shazam, which she didn’t want to watch because she said she’s “done” with comic book movies. I really wanted to like the movie, but like my wife, I might be “done” with comic book movies too…yes, even Marvel (GASP!). This one, though, was DC and was horrible, at least from as far as we could get in it. It was a rollercoaster from dark to light and unlike Marvel, DC movies don’t seem to know how to balance the dark and the light. They go from one extreme to the other so awkwardly that it’s offputting, to say the least.

What I’m listening to

In that Pushing Forward Back July/August 2019 post, I mentioned that I was looking forward to the new Bon Iver album i, i, which was to be released on Aug. 30. However, it “dropped” early on Friday and it’s been on my virtual turntable almost non-stop. I love it.

On a personal note

  • I had my third gel shot for my left knee, which has a degenerative meniscus, and continued with physical therapy this past week. I think I’m improving, but some days it is hard to tell since I am in a bit of pain from the exercises. It might be just muscle pain, but I am to check back with the orthopedic physician assistant in six weeks, or a month if the knee isn’t improving significantly. I’m holding out hope.
  • As mentioned above, I had the day off Friday and in addition to finishing Travels with Charley, I also was able to pick up four pairs of shorts and three shirts for under $25 at thrift stores in a nearby town.
  • Yesterday, after work, my wife and I got together with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece, for a picnic in a park before they were going to a gospel concert last night, also at a park. We didn’t go because my wife had to work last night (8 p.m. to 8 a.m. this morning), but it still was good to see family, especially with my mother just celebrating her 75th birthday last Saturday.

So how has the beginning of August been for you? Any good books, movies, TV shows, music? Share below in the comments.

Pushing Forward Back February/March 2019

February started, as expected, with cold and it’s ending with more cold to end the month, plus more to come to start March. It also began with my not watching the Super Bowl and reading instead during The Big Game’s On Read-a-thon. I dabbled in a few books, finished two: All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot and Calypso by David Sedaris, both of which were excellent.

The following weekend, I said that I would try to read more political nonfiction this year, then the next weekend, because of the current political climate, I reneged on that and said I wanted to escape into fiction again. Since then, I finished one more book for the month: Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody, by Elizabeth Peters, which also was very good.  

Sandwiched between those two weekends, that week included a work week that was split up by two days off, one expected (Valentine’s Day) for a vacation day, the other unexpected as a snow day from work. Kim and I celebrated with wine, TV, and movies: Letterkenny, Drunk History, Orlando, Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge.

This past week, I picked up two books that I might read: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens that I own, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman that I checked out from the library. I probably will get to Eleanor Oliphant first since it is a library book. On the home and work front, changes are coming. At home, Kim and I are ditching Facebook and Instagram at the end of Lent, in April, which I might or might not write more about here this coming Sunday (I probably will touch on it at least, if not write a whole post on it). At work, all I can say at this point is that changes are coming and once they are publicly announced there, I will be at liberty to mention it here.

Oh, yeah, I also picked up a toilet seat at Lowe’s. 🙂 See photo above.

March begins with, hopefully, quiet contemplation as I am taking a vacation day Ash Wednesday that I plan, if it can be worked out, on bookending with a day off Good Friday. It also begins cold, at least according to initial forecasts for the weather, with temperatures dipping into the 20s and teens. I’m hoping by the end of the month it will warm out and that I’ll be able to walk to work on days where I don’t need to use the car for other things.

Books, movies, and music? To be honest, besides Eleanor Oliphant, I only have one other title, a movie, in my sights for March: Captain Marvel. Kim has zero interest in it, because she’s done with superhero movies, but I still plan on seeing it.

I’ll leave you with a little chill music from Guido’s Lounge Cafe on Mixcloud:

So how was your month of February? 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 March? Share in the comments.

Snow Day & Valentine’s Day Plans

Today, I have an unexpected day off work, because the library where I work is closed due to snow (we’re getting now as I write this) and freezing rain and ice (expected later). I also took a vacation day on Thursday for Valentine’s Day so I could spend the day with my wife who also is off until she goes to work later that night (11:45 for a midnight shift Friday morning). With Valentine’s Day, we already had plans, starting on Wednesday night, but now I “have to” have plans for today too. Sigh. 😉

So…”what are those plans for both days?” you may ask or maybe you don’t ask, but I’m going to answer anyway.

Today is a little more amorphous than tomorrow night into Thursday since it was unexpected. For me, it might be continuing to read White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg. It might not. It might end up me just staring at my navel. For my wife, it is writing letters as part of International Correspondence Writing Month, which Kim is doing as part of a Facebook group for Goulet pens. Later today, we’re also having tacos, but that already was planned for (natch) Taco Tuesday.

The plans for Valentine’s Day Eve and Valentine’s Day are more crafted than today’s plans, starting with a Letterkenny marathon, “nibblies,” and booze, specifically gin and whatever juice we choose to mix with it. You might ask or might not, but I’m going to answer the question anyway: “What is Letterkenny?” It’s this (incredibly crude at times, NSFW) Canadian TV show on CraveTV (and Hulu). So watch this clip at your own risk:

Then on Valentine’s Day proper, we’re going to be slightly more subdued with a trio of movies: the 1996 version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from Baz Luhrmann, the 1992 movie Orlando with Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane, and the 1987 classic Moonstruck, one of my wife’s favorite movies. I’ll leave you with the trailer for Orlando since that’s probably the one you haven’t heard of, but for some reason, we recently were reminded of it and decided we needed to see it again:

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Any special traditions you have? Share in the comments.