A break from the little tedious things

This past week was the week of little things, one after another, many unexpected. Personally, I don’t like when things pile up like they did, so much so that I now have overflow into this coming week. I won’t go into the tedious details, but I will say this, and what I’m leading up to: I’m ready for this weekend’s version of My Own Personal Sabbath.

My Own Personal Sabbath #7

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’s Sabbath begins later today, about 3 p.m after work., and will go until Monday afternoon, at about 1:30 p.m. when I return to work. This afternoon, I plan on beginning with a little journaling, and light reading, among which I have a few choices:

  • Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld, a collection of his favorite material through the years that I’ve been making my way slowly through since the beginning of February
  • Gator A-Go-Go by Tim Dorsey, part of his Serge Storms series that I’ve been making my way slowly through over the last few years
  • Get Shorty by Elmore  Leonard, because a couple of weeks ago, while shelf-reading at the library, I got an idea to read a few of Leonard’s books that were made into movies, and this was one of them.

Tomorrow morning, I plan on continuing with a little more journaling and meditation, and a little heavy reading with Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh. Then in the early afternoon, I’ll probably continue with Seinfeld, Leonard, and/or Dorsey.

I also have a playlist of podcasts that I’ll be dipping into on both days, including a couple that I’ll listen to with my wife:

And one of the podcasts ties in with my reading, an interview with the late Thich Nhat Hanh by Krista Tippett in September 2003. Update: Saturday morning, after I drafted this Friday night, I’ve already listened to the first podcast with a reflection on March and I plan to continue to reflect and journal on last month this afternoon. I think I’m going to listening the interview with the late Mary Oliver, again with Tippett, included in the above playlist, as I take a trip to a nearby town to grab some wine that our local store doesn’t carry.

So, how was your month of March? What are you up to this weekend?

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?

Looking Forward: On The Camino de Seneca

In the Episcopalian tradition, of which I am a part, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Most years, in accordance with the invitation from the Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) to observe Lent “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word,” I make plans for those very things: self-examination, self-denial, reading, and meditating. This year is slightly different in that I am extending my Lenten journey, sort of, to the last week of April when my wife and I have a scheduled vacation on Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in upper New York State.

I was inspired to see this year’s Lenten journey as a pilgrimage after picking up an ebook, Are We There Yet? Pilgrimage in the Season of Lent, a devotional from Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church. One of the pilgrimages a few of the authors took, and reflected upon, was Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), an ancient route leading to the cathedral city of Santiago, Spain, the legendary resting place of the relics of James the Greater (one of the sons of Zebedee).” So, I am calling my own Lenten journey for 2022 the Camino de Seneca.

It also works because for the last couple of years, I have been making my way through the works of Stoic philosophers, of which Seneca was one. My journey is to the physical Seneca and the metaphysical Seneca.

In addition to the aforementioned book, I also have selected a few other books to serve as my guide on my journey/pilgrimage. To accompany Are We There Yet?, I also am using daily The Pilgrim Way of Lent: Meditations from Washington National Cathedral, another devotional from Forward Movement. And I have selected seven (possible) books for the seven Sundays from tomorrow through Easter Sunday:

  • Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg
  • Turning My Mourning into Dancing by Henri Nouwen
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Ordinary Life by Tisha Harrison Warren
  • Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
  • No Man is An Island by Thomas Merton
  • Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life by Wayne W. Dyer.

On the Stoic front, I also have been reading The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell, and The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “what I’m giving up” for Lent. Seneca Lake is known for its wines, one of the things to which Kim and I are looking forward. So, it only seemed natural that I should give up alcohol, especially wine, for Lent…and so I am…or, to be completely candid, trying to do so anyway.

Earlier in the week, I pulled a muscle in my back and took a day off work on Thursday because of the pain. So, this weekend, in addition to the start of my Lenten pilgrimage to Seneca (Lake), I’m continuing to recuperate and mostly resting in my recliner with a pillow propped up behind me. On Thursday, I bingewatched the rest of Season 1 of Doom Patrol that I have been slowly making my way through. I might bingewatch more tomorrow. We’ll see.

So, what are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, and/or listening to anything good? Please 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?