One Foot In The Grave, but I’m still reading

Last weekend, I joined the “My Own Books Reading Challenge,” which started Friday, which I also happened to have off from work, and ends May 15. So….I read and finished my first of 10 books that I selected for the challenge. The book was Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan and while it wasn’t as good as my first seven books read this year, it still was a pretty good mystery by a first-time novelist, who is an award-winning short story writer. I’d be interested in seeing his next work.

My next book for the challenge is The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle, which my friend John highly recommended. After that, I have six others that I mentioned last week and two others: Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, which I’m reading every Sunday during Lent, and Now and Then: The Poet’s Choice Columns, 1997-2000, by Robert Hass. I am planning to read those two periodically over the next two months. I did start on Leaving Church, but as I’m only two chapters into it, I can’t tell you much about it yet. I haven’t delved into the Hass book yet, but might do that this afternoon, I’m thinking.


Besides reading, I’ve been watching One Foot in the Grave on Britbox. The TV show, which aired mostly in the 1990s, is a British comedy about a man who is forced to take early retirement at age 60 and thinks his life is over. I find it kind of funny that I am discovering this right before I am turning 50 and feel a little (okay, a lot) like Melissa Firman, another Sunday Saloner, who wrote how she feels about turning 50 this year that ti-i-i-ime is (not really) on my side. My sister thinks I’m being dramatic about it, and to a certain degree, she is right, but I also understand and empathize with what Melissa says in her blog post.


Last weekend I also received a lot of feedback and comments on my decision not to read one book for the challenge and read another instead. To see what prompted the discussion, scroll down to the end of the original post and then read the comments, if you want. I always encourage comments and do my best to respond to each and every comment. When you sign in, leave a link to your blog or edit it so there is a link and I will visit your blog if I don’t already have your blog in my feed reader.

In other blog-related news, I updated my theme so if you are visiting from a feed reader, come visit my blog on a browser on your desktop, laptop or mobile device. I used a photo from a vacation to the Bahamas (our only vacation to the Bahamas) in 2006 for the header as I did with my old Facebook page. I think with that, I’ll leave you, thinking warm, happy thoughts of being on a beach in the Caribbean (which I just learned I didn’t know how to spell).

So how was your week? Reading, watching, listening to anything good? Share that and any thoughts on this post in the comments and if you have a blog, share your link to the linkup for the Sunday Salon over on the group administrator’s blog. If you wish to also post a link at Facebook, you can also do that.

Snow Day & Valentine’s Day Plans

Today, I have an unexpected day off work, because the library where I work is closed due to snow (we’re getting now as I write this) and freezing rain and ice (expected later). I also took a vacation day on Thursday for Valentine’s Day so I could spend the day with my wife who also is off until she goes to work later that night (11:45 for a midnight shift Friday morning). With Valentine’s Day, we already had plans, starting on Wednesday night, but now I “have to” have plans for today too. Sigh. 😉

So…”what are those plans for both days?” you may ask or maybe you don’t ask, but I’m going to answer anyway.

Today is a little more amorphous than tomorrow night into Thursday since it was unexpected. For me, it might be continuing to read White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg. It might not. It might end up me just staring at my navel. For my wife, it is writing letters as part of International Correspondence Writing Month, which Kim is doing as part of a Facebook group for Goulet pens. Later today, we’re also having tacos, but that already was planned for (natch) Taco Tuesday.

The plans for Valentine’s Day Eve and Valentine’s Day are more crafted than today’s plans, starting with a Letterkenny marathon, “nibblies,” and booze, specifically gin and whatever juice we choose to mix with it. You might ask or might not, but I’m going to answer the question anyway: “What is Letterkenny?” It’s this (incredibly crude at times, NSFW) Canadian TV show on CraveTV (and Hulu). So watch this clip at your own risk:

Then on Valentine’s Day proper, we’re going to be slightly more subdued with a trio of movies: the 1996 version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from Baz Luhrmann, the 1992 movie Orlando with Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane, and the 1987 classic Moonstruck, one of my wife’s favorite movies. I’ll leave you with the trailer for Orlando since that’s probably the one you haven’t heard of, but for some reason, we recently were reminded of it and decided we needed to see it again:

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Any special traditions you have? Share in the comments.

The First Sunday Salon of the Year

Reading: Nothing yet, but I have selected what will be my first book of the year.

Watching: The highlight of this past week was a rewatch of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so much of which I had forgotten.

Listening. Nothing new. I’m still listening to my top 25 albums of 2018

Blogging: A lot:

Celebrating: My dad’s 75th birthday (yesterday). We went to lunch at a place near where he lives. He had cheesesteak macaroni and cheese and I had a maple bacon cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and cinnamon honey. The food was amazing; the company was good too. 😉

How was your first week of 2019? Read, watch, listen to anything good?