Today Annoys Me

I’ve written before about how used to love the Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day holidays because they were the times I was off work and the kids had school. It was nice to have a day off to do what I wanted and not what they wanted. Even so, when my work decided to change things and open on Columbus Day and move that holiday to Black Friday I was all for the decision. It made sense and still does.

What I didn’t realize was how much I needed that October day off. It was nice to have a holiday every month September through February. Losing that day in October meant a long stretch where you had to use vacation to get a day off. But that’s not why today annoys me.

Today annoys me because even though yesterday was a holiday for us we are open today. That means some people get a nice four day weekend and others have to work today. That means I have to work today. That means I have one extra day added into my Take This Job and Shove It countdown. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the four day weekend since we started this. We don’t alternate which people get the day. If it is your normal weekend to work then you work. That means one group might have several years of working Thanksgiving weekend while others have four days off.

Even though this is my last Thanksgiving working here today annoys me more than it has before.

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My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 11/27/20

I actually watched and remember two movie this week. I finished two books. That’s a banner week for me. Here’s the recap.

Movies – We watched two movies the first was To Hell and Back. It is the 1955 movie starring Audie Murphy as Audie Murphy. It tells the story of Murphy in WWII where he was the one of the most decorated combat soldiers. It’s always been one of my favorite movies. My wife had never seen it. I’m happy to report that she liked it and I also still liked it. We also watched The Hunt. The general plot – 12 strangers wake up in the middle of nowhere and discover they are being hunted. The twist – they are all “deplorables” being hunted by “liberal elites” It was 90 minutes of gore and satire. We all enoyed it.

TV – College basketball is back! This is good considering it is looking more an more likely that the Ravens game won’t be played this week. At least I have Kentucky basketball for now. We watched the first episode of Big Sky. I’m glad I didn’t see any spoilers for it. There was a twist at the end that I was not expecting. It got mediocre reviews, but I like the cast so I will give it a chance. Basic plot – two girls disappear on the way to visit one’s boyfriend. Boyfriend’s mom is a PI. She investigates with her partner and her ex. Her partner and her ex recently slept together. One note on people talking about TV – I’m tired of the trend these days of TV writers and others tweeting that they have anxiety when they watch non-pandemic shows and people are in crowds without masks. Either they have no ability to separate fiction from real life or they want to highlight how they are being so safe while others aren’t. Either way annoys me.

Books – I finished two books this week:

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly – A new Lincoln Lawyer book. In this one Haller is arrested for the murder of a former client and has to prove his innocence. Bosch joins his defense team to help. As always, Connelly doesn’t disappoint. I love his books. I love the characters of Haller and Bosch It’s fun to have them together. I was not fond of the pandemic starting to become part of the story. I need a break. I want my fiction to be fiction these days.

Junk Boy by Tony Abbott – A novel in verse about a boy who lives with his dad in a house and world filled with junk. People at school call him Junk. A chance meeting of a girl in his school leads him on a path of hope. It was a quick read. I liked it, but it did seem to be lacking something. Maybe verse was not the right format for the story.

On Deck – Movies will go back to being random based on what we find or holiday themed. Same for TV. We will be watching a lot of college basketball. I’m currently reading another Connelly book: Fair Warning. This one brings back Jack McEvoy from Scarecrow and Poet.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day we give thanks by stuffing bread up a dead bird’s butt. Seems an odd tradition, but it’s a good day.

Today I’m thankful that never travel for Thanksgiving or have people over. We had no decisions to make regarding changing our plans.

Today I’m thankful that my family is healthy.

Today I’m thankful that we have vaccines coming that will hopefully make next holiday season normal again.

Today I’m thankful that I am two weeks away from being free of a place that makes me profoundly unhappy.

Today I’m thankful that my wife is supportive of my decision to leave my job.

Today I’m thankful that college basketball started yesterday.

Today I’m thankful for the people who read my dumb little blog.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Christmas Viewing Musts

it’s that time of year again when we start scouring the TV listings to make sure we don’t miss one of our Christmas viewing musts. I’ve already recorded Year Without a Santa Claus. I think Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town is on this week. It looks like It’s a Wonderful Life is only on Christmas Eve. I will have to keep track this year to see if there are any to add to the list.

There are certain shows and movies that I try to watch every year during the Christmas season. Today’s post is just a list of these in order of importance:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

The Year Without a Santa Claus


It’s a Wonderful Life

Miracle on 34th Street

A Christmas Story

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Home Alone

Home Alone 2

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I guess that’s it. I don’t really care about Frosty, the Grinch or Charlie Brown. I’m sure they are all pretty high on other people’s lists.  I do consider Die Hard a Christmas movie, but I would watch that any time of the year, so it is not on this list. I will also watch other random Christmas shows if they are on, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed out if I don’t watch them.

Feel free to argue with my list and call me stupid in the comments.

We Need Diverse Books

An added bonus today. My latest and likely last post for the work blog. Long time readers might recognize this as I posted a version of it here a while back.


The book cover depicts three people in silhouette seated on a bridge, overlooking the water, with bright sunshine in the center behind a partially cloudy sky.

By Alan S.

I know that is a groundbreaking title there. Anyway, this post is a personal illustration of connecting with book characters because they are like me. Before anyone else can point it out – yes, I am a white guy. Yes, I am a white, heterosexual male. Yes, there are many books about people like me. This post is not about me wanting more books about me. I’ve always agreed that we need more diverse books. I can’t imagine why anyone would disagree with this. Kids need to be able to read a book about a person who reflects their personal experience. Intellectually, I always knew this. My last two books have been a good illustration of how a connection to the characters improves the reader’s experience.

I read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (also available in ebook and eaudiobook from OverDrive/Libby). It takes place in rural…

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A Collection of Thanksgiving Posts

I have discovered this morning that I do not have a new post in me. I’m still struggling with life in the in-between. I still have a little under three weeks before I can finally put the job behind me. The relief has not set in yet. The stress of what the job an bring is still there. It all makes it hard to wrote about anything else. Since this is Thanksgiving week, I decided to look back on all of my Thanksgiving posts from the past. Maybe I will write a new on this year.

First my pledge drive. Click here to support my writing or buy me a coffee

Thanksgiving – A collection of random thoughts about the holiday.

Christmas’s War on Thanksgiving – Where I write about how I used to be one of the people who hated Christmas stuff being out before Thanksgiving but now I’m good with Christmas now.

One of Those Sappy Thankful Posts – The year I actually wrote a post of thanks after I had a bad week and needed to remember the good things.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – In which I write about how in normal times this is my favorite time of the year. It sucks that I won’t get the happy, kinder holiday world this year.

Let’s Talk Turkey – Turkey is a mediocre meat and not the best part of the meal. I don’t understand why people want to have it again at Christmas.

My Quiet Thanksgiving – We never travel for Thanksgiving, so this year won’t be different from others. This post did remind me that I thought my daughter would be in Italy this year so it was possible we were going to have an even quieter year.

I’m not sure I will have much more to say about it this year. I might do one of those “what I’m thankful for posts” on Thursday. It will probably be good to reflect on the good.

What’s Good in Tater Town 11/22/20

It was a week where every day reminded me that I had made the right decision regarding my future. I still haven’t quite made it to the stage where I feel relief. I think that will come once I get past this week. Let’s see if I can remember the good from the week.

  1. I’m one week closer to getting rid of the biggest stress in my life.
  2. I saw my son this week.
  3. Free coffee at Wawa Tuesday.
  4. Our window installation is finally pretty much done.
  5. I’m reading more lately.
  6. I volunteered at a Toys for Tots event yesterday.
  7. They gave me free lunch for doing so.

That’s all I can recall. Looking forward to a holiday week and then the final stretch of my life at the terrible job.

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My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 11/20/20

While I till haven’t quite hit the point where I feel the relief of the upcoming change, I do feel like I’m able to focus more on my reading. Even so, it took a while to read an 830 page book on my iPad. Here’s my week:

Movies – I don’t remember watching a movie this week. I feel like I possibly watched some movie I’ve seen before at some point, but if I did I don’t remember what it was. My wife did watch Godzilla: King of Monsters while I was in the room, but I watched TV shows on my iPad while that was going on.

TV – The reason we didn’t watch movies was because we watched a lot more TV shows this week. We finished Cobra Kai. I really enjoyed the show and am glad the new season starts soon. We watched all of our regular shows. I started watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV. I didn’t really know much abut the show when I decided to start watching it. I expected funny and it is funny. What I didn’t expect was for it to be just the comfort TV I needed at a stressful time. If you have access to Apple TV you should watch it.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith – This is the new Cormoran Strike book from JK Rowling. Going in I knew that Rowling had been very publicly transphobic and I had heard that the book had a killer that dressed as a woman. Rowling is still a very good writer. I love the Strike books and this one is as good as the rest. I didn’t feel like the killer storyline was part of her views on the trans community. It was a very small part of the book and was not written in a way(in my view) was transphobic. But, I would love to hear thoughts from someone from that community.

Sanctuary by Paolo Mendoza and Abby Sher – This is a YA book set in a near future where the US is run by a xenophobic president who has been elected past the usual two term limit. All citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked. A deportation force is formed and undocumented citizens are being rounded up and forced into labor camps. Vali and her family are on their way to New York to get help getting to California where they ill be safe when her mom’s counterfeit chip malfunctions. Vali and her younger brother then have to try to make their way across the country alone. It is very good, but very dark and stressful.

On Deck – I have The Hunt on DVD. We have plenty of new episodes of TV shows on the DVR. Big Blue Madness(Kentucky basketball stuff) is on tonight. Kentucky football tomorrow. Ravens football Sunday. Actual UK basketball games Wednesday and Friday. I am reading The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly.

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Trading News for Nostalgia

For pretty much my entire adult working life I have had the same morning routine.

Wake up. Make coffee. Turn on the local news. Read the newspaper. Watch The Today Show. Go to work.

As the pandemic has dragged on, I started to adjust his a little. Coffee is a constant. The newspaper is still a constant, though I sometimes pick and choose what stories I read in detail now. Some days I spend more time on the comics than I do the rest of the paper.

I stopped my daily viewing of Today mid-pandemic. There was only so much news I could take.

I just recently started turning off the local news after the weather. I could get the weather from an app(and I do) but I still like to see what the local person has to say. Every other story is pandemic related. I just can’t deal with that right now.

So, here has been my new routine of late:

Wake up. Make coffee. Read the newspaper. Watch the local news until the weather. Turn the channel to the stations showing old shows. Watch The Partridge Family. Watch Gilligan’s Island. Go to work.

If I am working from home and need TV noise in the background I might turn back to Today for the more human interest type stories, but a lot of those are also pandemic related.

Trading news for nostalgia has helped my stress and anxiety levels.

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