My Own Personal Sabbath #8

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 on Sundays or Saturday and Sunday. In the interest of full disclosure, I do use my phone to listen to music and podcasts, and check out e-books from the library. Before, during, or after my Sabbath, I share what I am reading, listening to, or watching for that day or days.

Two weeks was the week of little things, one after another, many unexpected, that led into last weekend’s sabbath. This past week, it was, without going into details and being admittedly cryptic, one big thing (don’t worry, my wife and I and our families are all okay) that led into this weekend’s Sabbath, which already is in progress.

I’m writing this Saturday morning. It’s about 10 a.m. I’m listening to the soundtrack for the movie Drive My Car by Eiko Ishibashi. My wife is also off from work this weekend and she is in the next room, journaling and listening to the music with me. Her birthday was this past week and we had a pre-birthday celebration earlier in the week. Last night, we had a post-birthday celebration with dinner and a movie, popcorn and wine. The celebration will continue throughout this weekend and the month.

Besides journaling and meditation this weekend, I also plan on continuing to read the devotional books I chose for Lent last month, and reading and listening to Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh and narrated by Dan Woren. I only have about an hour left in the book and probably will finish it this weekend. As usual, I set up a playlist of podcasts set up that includes the 100th episode of Niall Breslin’s podcast, Where Is My Mind?:

On the fiction front, I have several books from which to choose, but I’m not sure yet what I’ll read, if anything this weekend. Among my choices are books by Elmore Leonard and Tim Dorsey.

Tonight we’ll probably watch some fun TV, with a bevvy of choices, including Tacoma FD, The Righteous Gemstones, and a Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie. We’ll see what we are in the mood for tonight. Tomorrow, along with my reading, I’ll be chilling out in the 21st edition of The Chill Out Tent, which is celebrating its second birthday. I’ll leave you with a sample from a recent session:

Pete and Repeat…

…were sitting on a wall. Pete fell off. Who was left?

Pete and Repeat were sitting on a wall…

My Own Personal Sabbath #6 (Redux) of 2022

So, last weekend’s mostly digital sabbath didn’t go as well as planned, because of a combination of unforeseen circumstances (everyone is okay now), technical difficulties (stupid cell phones), and self-sabotage (stupid me 😉). So I’m calling a do-over starting late tomorrow afternoon to late Monday morning when I return to work. And my wife Kim is joining me.

This time the phone is literally going in the drawer with all notifications shut off and only phone calls allowed from immediate family. We’ll be listening to podcasts and music on Spotify through our Roku Streambar. I have a playlist of podcasts already set up:

The music is yet to be determined, but the movies we plan on watching are Oscar nominees for Best Picture:

  • Belfast
  • Drive My Car
  • Licorice Pizza

We already have watched:

  • CODA
  • Dune
  • King Richard
  • West Side Story

Out of those four, without having seen the other nominees yet, CODA would be the winner for me. Kim is split between Dune and CODA.

We don’t have Netflix so we won’t be watching Power of the Dog and Don’t Look Up, and we have no interest in Nightmare Alley even though it is available on HBO Max and Hulu, both of which we have.

And bonus, maybe we’ll watch Flee, maybe The Worst Person in the World, both up for Best International Feature. However, we might not watch them this weekend.

As for what we’ll be reading, I have a list of a few things that I am reading daily for Lent and just throughout the year:

  • Are We There Yet? Pilgrimage in the Season of Lent, a devotional from Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church
  • Meditations from Washington National Cathedral, another devotional from Forward Movement
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell
  • The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

I also have others that either I already have started or want to start:

  • Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
  • Nuclear Jellyfish by Tim Dorsey.

Kim also said she’ll be doing some journaling and not sure what she’s reading.

So there’s our weekend…what about y’all? Whatchya up to this coming weekend?

Celebrating a Que Sera, Sera Sabbath Weekend

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 wife is joining me for My Own Personal Sabbath. As she is off Saturday and Sunday, we’ve extended the phone Sabbath from Friday night, last night, to late Sunday night, tomorrow night, when she goes back to work. We are literally putting our phones away in a drawer for the weekend so we can focus on reading, journaling, listening to music on Spotify through our TV and watching a little bit of TV and maybe a movie or two.

The only thing we had planned so far to watch was the last three episodes of Our Flag Means Death on HBO Max, which we did last night. As for reading, I have Nuclear Jellyfish, the 10th in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey on tap as well as sipping a little bit of Is This Anything?, a collection of his bits over 45 years, by Jerry Seinfeld. I’ve been slowly making my way through it and enjoying it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll be picking up my phone Saturday night, tonight, to talk to a friend for a previously scheduled phone call. We were neighbors years ago and talk to each other about once a month.

I’ll also be resting my back once again. Two Tuesdays ago, I hurt my back at work (long story short, not covered by workers’ compensation) and yesterday, after missing two Thursdays of work, I finally went to a doctor and he told me that most likely I strained my trapezius muscle. He prescribed me prescription strength Ibuprofen and Baclofen, a muscle relaxer. I started taking them last night and I am feeling a little better. I also am using a combination of heat (a massage cushion) and ice, as I already had started doing this past week. He also gave me some exercises to try after five days. Beyond that, if it doesn’t heal by next week, then I’ll return and go from there.

We also are in the middle of a snowstorm, with anywhere from six inches to a foot expected, depending on which weather provider you look at, plus winds gusts as high as 45 miles per hour. It is 6:30 a.m. as I continue this draft started Thursday while I was off and it’s snowing now. We’re not going anywhere, so as Doris Day sings:

What are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, and/or listening to anything good? Feel free to share in the comments.

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?