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.

Pushing Forward Back December 2018/January 2019

A look back at 2018 and a lot of Christmas.

I wasn’t going to do this post this month because of all the other posts I’m doing this time of year (best books, TV/movies, music of 2018 posts, plus two scheduled posts for tomorrow. But after reading Amanda’s December review post, I decided why not? So here goes:

Back at December

December came in like a lion and did go out like a lamb, as I predicted. It began with my working at the library during the annual Christmas event in our town, Dickens of a Christmas, where we had a book sale over two days. Not a lot of patrons came in, but a lot of out-of-towners, which wasn’t fun (apologies to the tourists). The next few weeks were uneventful as I thought too, with a staff Christmas luncheon the Friday before the second weekend. The highlight of the following week was a follow-up doctor appointment about my sleep apnea and my using a CPAP machine, with all my numbers still looking great: down from 87 events per hour to an average of 2 events per hour.

The month ended, again as planned, with a long series of days where I was on vacation and included my wife Kim and I visiting my parents (and sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece) on Christmas Day. Tonight, we’ll be going to the neighbors for a New Year’s Eve party, but will be back around 10 since they usually go to bed around that time. We’ll stay up to ring the new year in and then tomorrow I’ll be posting my first book of the year and my goals for 2019, the year I turn 50.

Since I already did my wrap for books, TV/movies, and music for the year, I’m going to keep it short on what I read, watched and listened to this past month. I don’t really have a choice with what I read since I read NOTHING this month. We discovered a couple of new shows: on Netflix, on our own, Derry Girls, which was really good, but sadly only one season; on Amazon Prime, thanks to my brother-in-law and sister, Corner Gas, which we have to watch together now. I gave a second chance to an album I dismissed earlier in the year, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino by Arctic Monkeys after seeing it on a lot of year-end best-of lists and now love it. Jeff Tweedy also came out with an new album, WARM, which we only have started listening to, but already love too.

Forward to January 2019

January begins…well, tomorrow, with a day off with my wife. No concrete plans, other than day drinking and binge-watching. Then this Saturday, weather permitting, I’m taking my father, who lives about an hour and half away out to lunch for his 75th birthday.

The month ends with the 24in48 Readathon and I have several books from which to choose already. On the TV series/movie front, we’re looking forward to watching more Corner Gas and as for music, I’m not anticipating any new releases. We’ll see what comes along…as we will with the rest of the month and the year.

We knew we’d love this right from the start.

So how was your month of December? 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 January? Share in the comments.