May: Month of Mental Health Awareness & Bad Movie Watching

I’ve seen a post or two acknowledging that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, with bloggers sharing about their own mental health. So I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon, but also to discuss my other focus this month, which is watching bad movies with my wife.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Like some other bloggers have chosen to do, I’m not going to go into real depth, here. Instead, I’ll just be honest about where I’m at and where I’ve been, which is taking Prozac for over 30 years. Only within the last couple of years, I’m not ashamed to say, I have gone into therapy. Both have helped, but that doesn’t mean everyday is sunshine and roses.

Also, over the last couple days of years I’ve gotten into meditation. I’m not sure where it started exactly. However, I think it coincided with listening to a podcast I found on Spotify at the start of the pandemic called Wake Up/Wind Down podcast with Niall Breslin. I would provide a link, but the show ended this past week. He still has another podcast that is continuing, called Where is My Mind?

I also use two meditation apps: Headspace and Shine. Each has been helpful. I highly recommend looking into one or the other or both. Another good one that has lots of free meditations is Insight Timer.

I’ll end this section by sharing a few podcasts from Breslin, Headspace, and Shine, all available for free on Spotify…and maybe other podcast platforms:

Bad Movie May

Last weekend, my wife Kim and I had a bad movie weekend in celebration of Mystery Science Theater 3000 dropping most of the episodes from its first 10 seasons. We also had a selection of movies we found on Tubi for free by a local director who has a cult following among bad movie enthusiasts from which to choose. We watched one.

Now, we have extended it into Bad Movie May. I’d like to tell you all the bad movies we’ve watched so far, but there were so bad we don’t remember them — and, in some cases, alcohol helped us forget them. Most, to be honest, were from MST3K. Tonight, we’re having a double feature: Noah’s Shark, followed by the Rifftrax version of M. Night Shyamalan’s Old. We purchased the latter through Rifftrax. Using their app, you just sync the movie with the Rifftrax and wa la, a way to listen to commentary, and laugh your way, through what might be, and often is, an unbearable movie to make it through otherwise.

I’ll leave you with the trailers for both, the first being Noah’s Shark directed by the aforementioned local director and available on Tubi:

I was unable to find the trailer on YouTube for the Rifftrax of Old, but if you follow this link, you can see the trailer there for yourself.

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?

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?

Three-day weekend at the Beach House…again, sort of

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. Sometimes I extend my Sabbath by a day or two, like this weekend since I am off Monday as well, so right now I’m doing the…

At the beginning of the month, I talked about how we were going to our beach house…well, sort of, anyway. Why was the band Beach House was expected to release its latest album Once Twice Melody that Friday. However, I had the release date wrong. It’s today…

…and it fits with another three-day weekend, at least for me. Besides listening to the new album, here’s what else I have planned:

Friday night (with Kim):

  • Burger night.
  • Watch The Afterparty.
  • Watch I Love You, Man, which was produced by Ivan Reitman who died Saturday. We watched Ghostbusters, which he directed, earlier this week.

Saturday:

  • Read Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  • Watch I Am Not Your Negro with Kim, who has been wanting me to watch this for awhile.

Sunday:

  • Read Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown.
  • Watch Animal House and Old School, both produced by Reitman, with Kim.

Monday:

  • Continue to read Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood, which I started Wednesday night and am enjoying thus far.
  • Bingewatch as much of The Good Place, that I borrowed from the library, as I can.

What are you up to this weekend? Whatchya got planned on the book, TV, and/or music front?

I’ll leave you with the aforementioned Beach House: