My Week in Books, Movies and Television

Here it is. My new weekly report on what I am reading and watching. Try to contain your excitement.

Books – My reading pace slowed down significantly this week. I finished American Heart by Laura Moriarty(discussed in last week’s post) and read Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. I never read the original novel and it’s hard for me to go back and read older books I missed  because I have a steady stream of new books coming to me from the library. It was nice to have the graphic novel version arrive so I could finally read it It is very good.

Movies – We watched American Assassin. I have never read any of the books, so I can’t speak to how it compared. It was a good action movie. Dylan O’Brien seemed a surprising choice for the lead role, but he did a good job. I think his star will continue to rise and he will be our next big movie star. Of course, I once thought the same of Shia LaBeouf, so my judgment is suspect. It was one action movie my daughter willingly watched with us because she loves O’Brien. If you like action movies you should watch it.

Television – Another week of watching a lot of shows on the DVR. Nothing outstanding to report. I’m still, three episodes in, trying to decide if I like Bill Hader’s show Barry on HBO. I like the premise(hit man decides he wants to become an actor) and it has a good cast, but I’m still not sold on it. I recorded the HBO documentary on Elvis, but I want to wait and watch it when I can force my family to watch and understand why I like him so much. We are getting close to the network upfronts and the announcements of next season’s TV schedule. I will have full reports then. Two shows appear to be headed to cancellation. Both Living Biblically and Taken have been pulled from the schedule. Both are mediocre and likely won’t be missed by many.

Hopefully, I will have a report on Noir by Chris Moore in next week’s post. I need to read more this week.

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What’s Your Sign?

There are coupons in our staff lounge that are for one free child for each adult at the Baltimore Zoo. My first thought was that I don’t need another child, but then I wonder if they mean a human child or an animal child. If it is an animal child, I might reconsider, depending on the animal. One free child of any kind seems like a good deal, but possibly illegal. It’s an interesting promotion.

slowoutlet

The coupon made me think of other signs(I know the coupon was not a sign) that makes me wonder. There is the classic “Slow Children Playing” sign. I’m never sure if they mean slow mentally or physically but I see the “Slow Men Working” signs and I’m happy that the kids grew up and found a job. I see “No Outlet” signs on a lot of streets and I wonder how they use electrical appliances with no outlets. Maybe those are all Amish streets? One day I will go down one of those streets to investigate. There’s also the classic question of how the deer know that one particular location is where they are supposed to cross and couldn’t we make them cross the street at a more convenient location?

There was a daycare center on my route to my old job. The sign said it was MMA Daycare. I chose to believe that it meant it was a mixed martial arts daycare center and all of the kids were fighting every day after school. Someone I know shared the below sign. It sounds like an interesting fundraiser. I guess they want you to feel good about youself. I assume it can’t be too difficult to fight children with diabetes. diabees

Any funny or interesting signs you’ve seen?

Should I Write About It?

So, I’m sitting here again with an open laptop and a blank mind. There are some current event things recently that I could write about, but I’ve been hesitant. I make the mistake of reading comments on articles and Facebook posts and everyone is angry all the time – on both sides of the issues. I read Twitter and I see post after post of people saying why everyone else is wrong and there are no grey areas. You either agree with me on everything or you are the enemy. It’s tiring and depressing and makes me less likely to discuss anything of importance with anyone ever.

I could post my thoughts on Starbucks, but would that lead to people hating more than they already do because our views don’t match up? I could post about Roseanne and if ABC should have given her a show but, again, would that alienate more people? Is it easier to just keep quiet? That shouldn’t be the case. If everyone kept quiet there would be no possibility of change, but it is sometimes hard to speak up given this environment. I’m already tired, stressed and a little depressed about some things(college decisions, impending empty nest, travel, career stuff, etc). Do I really want to add to it with possibility of people yelling at me about political views? But, if I don’t write about current events what do I write? My life is way too boring to write about it on a consistent basis. I guess I will just have to get over it and deal with the negativity that comes from the posting of opinions.

A brief look at my views on the aforementioned topics:

Starbucks – Yes, someone being arrested for waiting for a friend at Starbucks is bad and people should be upset, but can you really blame all of Starbucks for the action of one manager? Especially when they are already moving forward with trainings to try to keep it from happening again?

Roseanne – I’ve watched three of the episodes. It’s OK, but not great. The first episode is the only one that mentions Trump, so the entire show is not a pro-Trump show. I don’t agree with the people who say ABC should not have given her a show. Her political views should not prevent her from working. You have the choice to not watch. You can’t make that choice for others.

 

Train Troubles

I will preface this by saying that I realize that the person who was hit by a train had a much worse day than me yesterday and that what I am going to write about was a very minor inconvenience. I just wanted to head off any of the people who tend to opine that I shouldn’t complain because my life is so much better than others. Me? Not complain? Have you met me?

Anywho, yesterday before I left work I saw new online that the Penn Line of the MARC system was shut down due to a train “striking a trespasser” That is the line my wife takes to and from work, so I texted her to let her know and to say to let me know if she needed me to pick her up at an alternate location.  Before she left work, MTA reported that trains were now running between New Carrollton and Baltimore, so she took the Metro(DC’s subway) to New Carrollton to get the train in to our local station. The problem – once she got there she realized that trains were not actually running from New Carrollton to Baltimore and no one seemed to know what was going on. We decided that it would be best for me to drive down to New Carrollton to pick her up. So, I jumped in my car, drove to the station and picked her up. As we were pulling in to our local station to get her car we notice a lot of cars leaving. It appeared that a train had arrived to go north from New Carrollton at around the time I arrived to drive her instead. I don’t know how a train could be on the way and no one knew to be able to announce it. Where is the communication?

None of this surprises me. This is the same system that routinely make me late/almost late to Ravens games because they don’t run enough trains on the light rail system on game days. It’s the same system that kept my wife trapped on a train on my son’s prom day because they hit someone and had no procedure for getting passengers off a train that would be stranded by police activity for hours. I guess it is still better than driving in DC traffic every day.

My Week In Books, TV and Movies

Since my last attemt at a weekly post didn’t work, I decided to try something new.  My new weekly Friday post will be about what I have consumed media-wise over the week.  We will see how long it takes for me to stop following through on this one.

Reading – I am reading American Heart by Laura Moriarty. I decided to read it after I read about the controversy surrounding the book. Kirkus gave it a starred review and then took it back after complaints. People are apparently upset that the story is what they consider an offensive white savior narrative. The basic story is that in a world where Muslims are being sent to detention camps a 15 year old white girl has to overcome her prejudices to help a Musim woman escape. I’m about halfway through and my main complaint is that the story is too slow. I don’t have a problem with people not wanting to read the book. I do have a problem with people giving it bad reviews on Goodreads without reading it. I also have a problem with Kirkus changing their review based on complaints, especially since they say the reviewer who gave it the starred review was Muslim. I see the issue with a white savior narrative, but I also see why a white woman would likely tell the story through the eyes of a white woman.

Movies – I watched Wonder with my daughter on my day off on Tuesday. I never read the book, but I knew the general story. A kid with facial differences goes to school for the first time after being homeschooled and deals with bullies and making friends. It was a good movie, for the most part. I liked that they told the story from the perspective of a few different characters. I didn’t think they needed to tack on to the end that the school gave him an award at the end of the year. Wasn’t it enough of a feel good story that he made friends and was able to make friends and overcome the initial bullying? Did anyone else who watched it feel like it was the school saying “look at us. we gave an award to the kid who is different. Aren’t we special”? Or is that just because I watch and love Speechless where they routinely bash schools and organizations who do that sort of thing?

Television: I watch way too much to talk about it all. I will say that I am really enjoying Alex, Inc, but I think you have to be a big Zach Braff fan to like it. I started watching Station 19(the Greys’s Anatomy firefighter spinoff) and like it a lot more than I was expecting. I am a fan of Grey’s though, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m also watching Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. It is Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in a sitcom where Barrymore plays a realtor who is now undead and has to eat people with Olyphant as her husband. It is very good and it’s fun to see Olyphant play a totally different character than his Justified tough guy.

Other media news:  I finally made the decision to change from the physical delivery of the Washington Post to a digital subscription with Sunday delivery only. I can still read the entire print version of the paper on my iPad, get my coupons, crossword and Sunday comics delivered and save several hundred dollars a year. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner.

The Retiring Type

I took the day off on Tuesday.  It was in the middle of what would have been my 7 day stretch at work. I’m old, tired and a little burned out and couldn’t deal with the thought of 7 days of work with no break. So, I did what I needed and took a break. This is unusual for me. I rarely just take a day off. I take vacations. I take time off at Christmas to spend time with family in Kentucky. I just don’t take time off otherwise. I rarely even call in sick. This time, though, I finally listened to my gut and took the day.

The problem with taking the day, though, is that it gave me a taste of what retirement will be. I had a day with no where I had to be. I went out in the morning to get gas and breakfast. I did a load of laundry. I did dishes. I watched DVR’ed TV shows. I went to the local library to return some books and for my daughter to browse. We watched a movie. It was a good day. Unfortunately, no one will pay me to stay at home, watch TV and post mediocre blog posts, so I have 7 years before this can be my normal life.

People think I’m weird for wanting to retire so early. They think I will be too young to retire when my actual retirement date arrives. I think I would rather retire when I am still young enough to enjoy it. I also feel like it is easier to retire when your identity is not completely ties in to your career. I generally like my job, but I don’t really feel like the essence of me is tied in to being a librarian. I could be a substitute teacher(and work only when I want to) and be just as content as I am now(am I ever content?) I would be happy to be home cleaning bathrooms and other housework all day.

I think it is more a “I don’t want anyone else to control my time” thing. I want to do something I enjoy without someone watching over me. I want to start and end when I want. I want to be in control of my own time. Since the odds of finding a job like that is low, I look ahead to retirement. Until that happens, I will need to learn to take a few more days for myself.

I Don’t Know What to Write

I planned to post today since I took the day off and have plenty of time to sit and write post. I opened my laptop and then sat here for a while trying to decide what I wanted to write and never could settle on an idea. I considered writing about the movies and new TV shows I’ve watched recently, but I’m terrible at reviews so I didn’t really know what I would write about them. I will leave a list at the end of the post if anyone cares.

I considered writing a post based on the lyrics a Patent Pending song where they say they’ve got no f#$%ks left to give and how sometimes I wish I could really say I have none left to give and my problem is I care too much about things that don’t matter. I have a f#$%k surplus, but I could never get it quite right.

I considered a post about the Roseanne reboot and the question of someone’s personal beliefs and how it affects your ability to enjoy their work, but I’ve written about that before. Or the question of should the network reconsider the show because of her beliefs(I say no, let the viewers decide). But once again didn’t feel like I could do it right.

My last real post was the one from my trip to Philadelphia, so the obvious answer is that I should quit my job and become a travel blogger. I will propose that to my wife tonight. I’m sure that will go over well.

As promised, the list of stuff I’ve watched/am watching:

Movies – Black Panther and Ready Player One – both very good.

Nw TV Shows – For the People, Rise, Alex Inc, Splitting Up Together, Roseanne, The Resident, Good Girls, Deception

I really like Good Girls, The Resident, For the People and Alex Inc. The rest are OK, but I wouldn’t be sad if the others went away.