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 but 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.

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Zombies

Last week, I started a new feature here on the blog called “What We’re Watching Wednesday,” (graphic to come later), where I’ll be sharing what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week. This week, it’s zombies.

Kim and I aren’t really into zombie TV or movies, but for some reason, I thought I’d give Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix a try anyway when it first came out last year. The trailers actually looked good…and I was surprised to find that I did like it. After only a few episodes, I stopped watching to wait for Kim to catch up. The show, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, is now in its second season. Yes, it starts with a bit of gross visuals: vomit and blood (hit fast forward or do the fake lookaway), but after the first few episodes, it hits its stride with the interplay between Barrymore and Olyphant’s characters at the forefront, with Barrymore playing a newly-discovered undead person and Olyphant, her ever-supporting husband. And by then you’re hooked, or at least we were.

Last night in anticipation of this theme, I watched the South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan, also available on Netflix. Kim had no interest in this so I decided to watch it while she is away for a few days this week, visiting her sister and mother in Delaware. Unlike other zombie movies that we both have liked, such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, which were comedies, this one isn’t a humorous romp. This one is more akin to 28 Days Later, although not quite as bleak and with some surprisingly poignant moments within it (not shown in the trailer below). At the center is a father accompanying his daughter to his ex-wife’s, which is set up with a backstory at the start of the movie that makes one wonder at first if the movie ever will pick up. But believe me, it does…and once it does, it never lets up until the very end.

So what you have been watching lately? Movies and/or TV? Anything worth sharing? Share away in the comments.

Pushing Forward Back: June/July 2017

48June was the month of 48 as I turned 48 on June 9. I celebrated with burgers, fries, and booze on the day of, with a drinkalong movie the next night (Hunt for The Wilderpeople) with a group of friends online, and then with three special blog posts throughout the rest of the month:

  1. My 48 Favorite Books For The 48 Years Of My Life
  2. My 48 Favorite Movies For The 48 Years Of My Life
  3. My 48 Favorite Albums For The 48 Years Of My Life

As for the rest of the month, the breakdown is as follows:

  • I read two books: Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø  and Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane, with both being good, if not great. That brings me to 25 books read for the year, which puts me on target to read 50 for the year, which has been about my average for the last few years.
  • Kim and I watched a few new shows, with the highlights being the first seasons of Santa Clarita Diet and GLOW, both on Netflix. The documentary on GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) also was very good. Mostly on my own, I watched a show from the Ukraine called The Sniffer, which while it sounds ridiculous, a detective who sniffs out clues, is actually surprisingly good and not without a sense of humor either.
  • I listened to a lot of new music during the month of June as usual, with two albums especially catching my ear: the self-titled debut of Colter Wall, a Canadian country musician, and Dust by Laurel Halo, an American-born, Berlin-based musician. I haven’t listened to Halo’s album too much yet, but so far, what I have heard, I have loved.

The highlight of the month was meeting Richard Petty:

The lowlight of the month was the limited rerelease of a classic:

Thanks, Jenn, for letting me know of this, but unfortunately, it just gave me heartburn and wasn’t as tasty as I remembered.

Forward to July

This coming month starts off with a bang, with a four-day Fourth of July Weekend as the library is closed Tuesday and I took a vacation day Monday (Kim is off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as well). Starting tonight, every other day will involve grilling:

  1. Tonight, with steak wrapped in bacon on our own grill from a box of Omaha Steaks we got from our landlord for finding a tenant in another one of his properties in our town.
  2. Sunday, with burgers and chicken at my parent’s.
  3. Tuesday, with burgers and hot dogs with our neighbors Mike and Kathy with members of their family and other neighbors.

On Saturday night, I plan on catching some, if not all, of the Coke Zero 400, the first part probably with Mike and the second part probably by myself as Mike goes to bed early and probably won’t make it until the end. Also later Saturday night, Kim and I will be joining our usual drinkalong gang for this week’s movie: Addams Family Values. On Monday night, after getting back from my parents, we are going to watch the 300th episode of NCIS on Netflix. We probably will celebrate with club sandwiches as Kim seems to remember that is what Gibbs orders when he goes to the diner.

Reading? Hmmm. Maybe Saturday during the day and Tuesday if I’m lucky. And no, I don’t know what I’ll be reading if I do. I’ll find something on Overdrive probably from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Expected highlights from the rest of the month include having a new schedule at the library that gives me one less night to work, thanks to a new coworker, and a series of radio plays that my wife is in the last two weekends of the month. My sister mentioned that her husband’s vacation is in mid-July too so they might come over to visit with their two children, my nephew and niece.

How was your month of June? Favorite book read, movie/TV show/series watched, album listened to? What was the highlight for you? What are you looking forward to in July?