Pushing Forward Back April/May 2018

Back at April

The month began with snow and ended with snow. At least, in both cases, it wasn’t an accumulating snow, but by this time, I’m usually mowing the lawn (not that I’m complaining, mind you). The month also had other highlights, for example, beginning with my wife Kim’s birthday and then ending this past Saturday with Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. I started two new features here on the blog: What We’re Watching Wednesday and Saturday Snapshots. I read six books for the month, with the best being All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Our favorite movie this month was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and our favorite TV show, Santa Clarita Diet.

On constant play on my phone was this:

Forward to May

I’m looking forward to warmer weather in May, which is supposed to start later this week, as early as tomorrow, getting up into the high 70s (Fahrenheit), and a four-day Memorial Day Weekend to end the month as I added on a vacation day to the end of the weekend. In the middle of the month, I plan on visiting my mother for Mother’s Day. As for books, I’m looking forward to continuing reading James Herriot’s works, with All Things Bright and Beautiful up next, and then All Things Wise and Wonderful. On Netflix, we have second seasons of Dear White People and Riverdale to look forward to and for movies, we both are looking forward to Deadpool 2. I haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War┬ábut hopefully will this coming weekend (Kim’s not interested). On the music front, I’m looking forward to new albums by DJ Koze and Beach House, a song from the latter which I’ll include to wrap up the post:

So how was your month of April? 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 May? Share in the comments.

Pushing Forward Back March/April 2018

Midway through the month, I said I was in a holding pattern and that pretty much was the theme for the month. It began and ended with Kim being away for a few days each week as she visited her sister and mother in Delaware, meaning that we put on hold a couple of shows we were watching on Netflix and Amazon Prime: the first season of Money Heist on Netflix and the fourth season of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime. Also on hold was, and is, the weather that just doesn’t want to seem to break into Spring quite yet and my reading, which is stuck in one series, The Lord of the Rings (on the third part, The Return of The King) while trying to start another, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

However, together Kim and I watched movies connected with this year’s Oscars, from I, Tonya, which Allison Janney won a Best Supporting Actress to Three Billboards from Ebbing, MO, which was nominated for Best Picture and for which Frances McDormand won Best Actress and Sam Rockwell, Best Supporting Actor to Lady Bird, which also was nominated for Best Picture. Personally, I liked Three Billboards, but Kim didn’t, and we both enjoyed I, Tonya and Lady Bird, the latter of which we knew was our kind of picture from the moment we saw the first trailer. We also watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was fun.

We also got a subscription to Britbox and I started watching A Touch of Frost and Dalziel and Pascoe, two British crime shows. I tried watching Scott & Bailey, but gave up after one season because it seemed more like a soap opera than a crime show.

On the music front, a few ditties caught my ear, but this one from February was still turning on my virtual turntable:

Pushing Forward

April begins with Kim’s birthday this coming Friday, which we’ll be celebrating Thursday night with a birthday dinner at a local pub called The Roost. We’re going then because work earlier that day than I am on Friday, giving us more time plus it won’t be quite as busy as it might be on a Friday night.

At the end of the month, I’d like to see the last Avengers movie, but I wanted to see Black Panther also and didn’t…yet. In between the beginning of the month and the end of the month, we have nothing planned, but if the weather warms up,maybe we can go out to the nearby Pennsylvania Grand Canyon for a hike. As with everything in life, we’ll see.

I’ll leave you with this funny clip from Seth Meyers (even though it’s two years old, I’m just getting to it):

How about you? How was your month of March? Any highlights with your reading, TV and/or movie watching, music listening? Any big plans for April?

Another trilogy, of sorts…

This past week I started another trilogy, of sorts…

The three books are the first in a series of five books, as published in the United States, with the last two being The Lord God Made Them All and Every Living Thing. However, I purchased these three together as a Kindle deal at the end of last year, so I’m counting them as a trilogy.

I also am reading The Lord of the Rings, still near the beginning of The Return of the King. I own that series in paperback, but started reading it in Prime reading and then purchased it in ebook in case the Prime deal ran out before I was finished with it.

I think I read at least All Creatures Great and Small when I was a teenager, because the stories so far seem familiar. I might also have seen some of the BBC series based on the books and the life of James Alfred “Alf” Wright, the British veterinarian who wrote as James Herriot. Needless to say, I am enjoying it so far and look forward to reading the rest.

With this week being Holy Week, I decided spontaneously yesterday to pick up some spiritual books yesterday on sale from Amazon — and also perhaps as penance for my not keeping to my planned Lenten fasts. The first three, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit, and Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, are all by Henri J.M. Nouwen. The other two are by two different authors: Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life by Wayne W. Dyer and Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg. All three authors are deceased, with the Nouwen books compiled from his coursework, journals, and unpublished writings by one of Nouwen’s longtime students Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird. Each are short, so who knows maybe I’ll even read a few over this coming week, especially since my wife Kim is away again for most of this week, visiting her mother and sister in Delaware.

This past week, though, Kim and I enjoyed watching a couple of movies together: Lady Bird, which we predicted correctly was “our kind of movie,” and the new Jumanji, which actually lived up to the hype from its trailers. Yes, it was completely silly and fluff, but it was good silly and good fluff, especially with all four of the leads: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, the last who was excellent as Nebula in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and who was a welcome surprise addition here.

So how was your week this past week? Been reading anything good, watching anything good, listening to anything good?