My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 2/15/19

This week I actually have a movie, a book and a new TV show to write about. It’s been a while since that’s happened. One of the benefits of a three day weekend.

Movies – I didn’t watch any new movies this week. I have a couple of DVDs of newer movies but instead of watching them I watched random movies on cable. Friday I watched Footloose again because it was on IFC. I still love it. Saturday, I found Cooties and HBO. I always meant to watch it, but never did so I was happy to stumble across it. It’s a horror comedy set in an elementary school where a virus turns all the kids into crazed cannibals. The teachers, including Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson, fight to survive. I enjoyed it.

TV – I spent a lot of time watching my normal shows and The Walking Dead returned, so there was a lot of TV this week. The one new show I watched this week was Miracle Workers on TBS. It is based on a book by Simon Rich. I really like Simon Rich. The show stars Steve Buscemi as God and Daniel Radcliffe as an angel in the answered prayers department. A young, idealistic angel is transferred to the department and wants to answer bigger prayers. Her conversation with God leads to his decision to destroy Earth and then to a bet. If they can answer an impossible prayer, Earth will be saved. I really liked it. I laughed several times. Buscemi is really good as God. Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan are good as the angels. It’s a good cast with good writing. I say watch it.

Books – I finished On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. It takes place in Garden Heights, same as The Hate U Give(the events of THUG are mentioned), but with new characters. This one is the story of Bri, an aspiring rapper who lives with her recovering addict mom and underemployed college graduate brother. They struggle financially and Bri dreams of making it big to help them pay the bills. Her first song goes viral and attracts a lot of attention from bad places. I don’t know if I liked it as much as THUG, but it was close. Thomas is very good. I do think Bri’s story was more interesting and the stakes were higher when it came to her decisions. That might resonate more with some readers.

On Deck – I’m reading The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams. I might need to take a break from this one because I need to finish An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon by next Friday for book club and I haven’t even started it. I don’t think I will get to the movies I have on DVD, so I have no idea if I will watch a movie this week. Maybe I will get to True Detective at some point.

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Tater’s Wednesday Morning Off Thoughts

Wednesday is the day I don’t start work until 1. That means I have time in the morning to do housework, run errands or, like this morning contemplate life while I’m waiting for the laundry to be ready to fold. The contemplations are not always fun. Today’s contemplations are brought to me by the increasingly clear signals that it may be time for me to move on. As I think about moving on, I think about some of the lessons I need to learn before I make a jump.

Look before you leap – I practiced this one recently when I opted against taking a new job. I won’t rehash the details as I’ve written about it already. In short, I took the time to consider the pros and cons of the job and decided that is was not the right move for me at the time. Change for change sake is not the right decision. Really investigate the jump before you take it.

The greener grass might be misleading – The grass might be greener on the other side, but that might just be due to a lot of bullshit. It’s easy to clean your house and threaten the kids to behave when company is coming. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking everything is great somewhere because of this. It’s similar to the social media effect. You think everyone’s life is better than yours because of the fake snapshot they post online. Before you consider jumping to a new place, look below the surface. Is it a healthy work environment? This might be hard to know for certain, but try to find out what you can.

Jumping is scary, but staying put might be worse – I’ve been with the same employer for 24 years. The thought of leaving is scary. The thought of giving up the comfort and security of being a long time employee could easily keep me from considering making a move, What’s scarier, though, is the thought of watching everyone around you move up and move on while you remain stagnant. Sometimes, the only way to move up is to move out.

It doesn’t hurt to look – Even if you are happy where you are right now, it never hurts to look to see what’s out there. You might miss out on the perfect job for you by not even knowing it’s an option. It doesn’t hurt to look, apply and even interview. You don’t have to take the job if you decide it isn’t the right fit, but how will you know if you don’t try?

You don’t owe anything to anyone – Do what’s best for you and your family. That is all that matters. You don’t owe anyone else anything but ample notice that you are leaving. That’s all.

All that being said, even when it likely becomes clear to me in the next few months that it is my time to jump, it will be hard for me to actually do it.

Tater Talks Blogging

I will begin this by saying that I am a nobody when it comes to blogging. I have no following. I feel like it is a success if I average 20 views a day. That is peanuts when it comes to blogging and I don’t see it ever changing. So, what I’m saying is that I’m the last person you should ever go to for blogging advice. Good news! I’m here to tell you to stop looking for blogging advice. I’ve been there. I’ve read posts about being a successful blogger. I’ve written a post about how to fail at blogging.  Guess what? I’m still lucky to get 20 views a day. I don’t think there is a formula for being a success if you want to maintain your individuality. I’ve seen so many different takes on how to be successful:

Don’t write too much. People will get tired of you and your posts will not be quality posts – Everyone was tired of me before I started blogging and my posts have never been quality posts.

Write every day or people will forget about you – I could write every day or stop writing and still be invisible.

Find a niche. Only write about one thing – I am not an expert on anything. I write whatever pops in my weird little brain.  A niche would be forced and artificial.

Post pictures, post videos, promote your old posts! Self-host! Learn how to maximize your random acronyms I can’t remember! That sounds exhausting.

In theory, I would love to have hundreds of views a day or more. In theory, I would love to be so popular that I could make money doing this. In real life, making money or even getting more views than I do is not something that will ever happen for me. I don’t have the skills nor the energy to get there.

I guess if there is a point to this post it is to relax, write what makes you happy and if you have the time do what you need to do to increase your numbers.

Drive Angry: Nic Cage Movie or the Story of My Commute?

I’ve written about Traffic before.  Here as well I once even wrote about traffic for our local Patch back when we had local people running the local Patch. I just did a google search and it’s still out there. Click here if you want to read that one. Guess what? Traffic still really irritates me.

I suffer from road rage. I don’t go as far as trying to fight someone for doing something that makes me mad, but on really bad days I yell a lot and say some not nice things. The furthest I go in interacting with other divers is usually honking the horn. If it is really bad there might be some sort of gesture trying to relay how stupid I think they are. I try to focus on music or a book, but the stupid usually distracts me from it. Today, for example. Every time it rains here traffic grinds to a halt. My 12 mile, usually 20-25 minute drive doubles to at least 45 minutes of following Waze trying to route me around the standstill traffic on my normal route. On these roads, I run into so many people driving way too slow, not going when the light is green and refusing to turn right on red unless they have no traffic coming for a mile. I’m already irritated because my commute is messed up and now I have to deal with this. It drives me crazy. I have serious issues. I still haven’t found the music that will relax me.

I thought it might get better when I started driving home to an empty house and most days it does I just don’t get why any rain destroys the commute. It’s not like it never rains here. We should all be used to driving in the rain. It shouldn’t take 45 minutes to drive 12 miles because it’s a little moist outside. I know it will be a bad drive when it is wet. I need to find the music that will calm me on those days. I also need the other drivers in the area to stop being so stupid.

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What’s Good in Tater Town 2/10/19

This was not a great week. I’m not sure I can make it to ten good things today. Let’s see what happens.

  1. My wife and I went out to dinner Monday night after work. We don’t go out enough. We tend to do carry out if we get food out. It was a nice change.
  2. It was really warm Tuesday and I was able to eat lunch outside.
  3. We had several really nice weather days this week.
  4. I had a meeting out of branch Thursday afternoon. Meetings aren’t necessarily great, but getting out of the branch is.
  5. The meeting was at my old branch so I got to see some friends I don’t see every day anymore.
  6. I took my birthday leave yesterday and Friday was my normal day off, so I had a three-day weekend.
  7. After a few errands and some cleaning Friday morning, I’ve been able to just relax so far this weekend.
  8. My free birthday stuff has been coming in via apps and emails. I had my free Mission BBQ sandwich last night.
  9. Kentucky won both games this week and now have a 10 game winning streak.
  10. I have one more day off today before I have to go back to the real world.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 2/7/19

I’m back to spending a lot of time alone, so I’m back to watching more TV and reading a little bit more. I still need to work on balancing my time between screen and books, but after my day at work, it’s much easier to veg out in front of the TV than focus on a book. On to the review…

Movies – We watched Tag this week. It is based on a Wall Street Journal article about a group of guys who have been playing a game of Tag for years. In the movie, Ed Helms, Hannibal Burress, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner are childhood friends who have been playing for 30 years. Renner’s character has never been tagged and the movie revolves around the others using his wedding as a chance to finally get him. It will never be nominated for an award, but it was fun and I would recommend it.

TV – I still didn’t watch anything new again this week. It was still a catch-up week for me. I watched multiple episodes of A Million Little Things and Suits. I stayed current on Grey’s Anatomy. We caught up on New Amsterdam and The Resident and now I have their storylines all mixed together and I can’t remember what story matches which doctor show. I was happy that A Million Little Things was renewed this week. I really like it. So far the only show I watch and care about that has not been renewed is All American. I don’t get how Dynasty was renewed and this one is still awaiting its fate. The big TV news this week was that Modern Family will end after next season. It’s probably past time for that to happen. I wonder if they will consider a spin-off like they did with The Middle before opting against it.

Books – I finished three books this week:

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina – The Newbery winner about a young girl who is dealing with being the poor kid at a private school and also her grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is a very good book aimed at upper elementary and middle school readers.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – The Printz winner about a high school girl who is a poet writing about her life living with a very religious mother, first love and reading her poetry aloud for the first time. I listened to the audio read by the author who is a former National Slam champion. If you can, do the audio for this one. It is very good and only three discs if you are old like me and use CD’s still.

Damsel by Elana Arnold – Ama is a damsel who is rescued from a dragon by the prince. She has no memory of anything before this and is told that this is the way of life. The damsel is rescued, marries the prince, has a son and then that son rescues a damsel and the circle continues. Ama resists not having a choice in life. It was good, but I hope the author didn’t think the end was a shock. I saw it coming almost from the beginning. This was a Printz Honor book.

On Deck – I’m reading On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. I have Mid90’s and Halloween on DVD from the library. Odds are my wife won’t want to watch them. Maybe this is the week I finally watch True Detective.

I’m Tired

I had a big rant planned for today’s post. I could still do the rant. I’m still in a ranting mood, but more than that, I’m just tired.

I’m tired of dealing with people who inspire rants.

I’m tired of people who don’t care how their actions affect other people.

I’m tired of people who are assholes who take advantage of other people.

I’m tired of feeling sad about leaving the house in the morning.

I’m tired of everyone being outraged about everything all the time.

I’m tired of the country being run by rich people who only care about power and reelection.

I’m tired of people using religion as a reason to hate people not like them.

I’m tired of people hating people not like them even when they don’t use religion as an excuse.

I’m tired of having a president who encourages people to hate those not like them.

I’m tired of the world being a terrible place with terrible people.

I’m tired.