My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 10/11/19

I’ve not done any better with my reading this week. There’s just too much TV to watch and no book that is pulling me in enough to make me want to read instead of watching all of the new shows.  I’m going to be way below my goal for the year.

Movies –  We watched two movies last week: John Wick 3 and Dark Phoenix. I liked the first two John Wick movies so I knew I was likely to enjoy the third. I don’t really like the X-Men movies so I knew I was unlikely to enjoy Dark Phoenix. I was correct in both cases. Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. Was Dark Phoenix just a bad movie? Probably. Was John Wick violent but enjoyable? Yes. So, watch John Wick 3 and skip Dark Phoenix unless you are one of those weirdos that like the X-Men movies.

TV – I watched the Braves choke again in the postseason. I hate reruns.  I’m still enjoying the new show Emergence, but I don’t see how it ould be anything more than a 13 episode mini-series. The mystery surrounding the events of the show does not seem to be one that can last more than that and I don’t see where they can take it in a season 2 that makes sense. I’ve watched another episode of The Unicorn and I still think there is potential for a good show in there if they will stop leaning so hard on the thin premise of the main character not knowing how to navigate dating. They need to take a lesson from Cougar Town and move to make it an ensemble comedy about life and not episode after episode of awkward dates. I still think Prodigal Son is the best of the new shows.

Books – I finished The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. It is a mystery where Horowitz makes himself a character as the Watson to a detective named Hawthorne’s Sherlock. I liked the fact that it was a true mystery and that I didn’t know who the killer was until the reveal. That is rare. I didn’t like Horowitz as a narrator. I thought there was too much about all he has done to the point that it felt like I was reading his resume in parts. There was an unnecessary scene where he meets with Peter Jackson and Spielberg that thought was too name droppy. I think he made Hawthorne too unlikeable. A lot of promise for a series wasted. The real critics loved it.

On Deck – I have the new Spiderman on DVD. I’ve seen it, but my wife has not.  We will definitely watch it at some point this weekend.  I’m reading Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. It is a YA novel about zombies in 1800’s post Civil War America. My daughter is coming home next weekend so we will probably watch the new Nancy Drew show while she is here. I have a lot of new TV that I’m waiting to watch with her.

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I Wish I Was Anonymous

I think one of the biggest drawbacks of this blog is that a lot of people who read it know who I am in real life. A long time ago I created a Tater page on Facebook as a joke. I used it to sometimes post things that I thought might be too much for my general collection of friends on Facebook. My closer real-life friends knew I was creating the page and liked it. This lead to a few more of my Facebook friends liking the page. There was no anonymity. I eventually decided I might as well just post what I want on my personal page and people who didn’t like it could just hide or unfriend me. The page is active again as Facebook won’t allow WordPress posts to autopost to a personal profile anymore.

When I started blogging more regularly I turned on the auto-post to Facebook and Twitter. I never hid who I really was. I have scrubbed my Facebook clean of my workplace. It says I work for Tater World Headquarters and a Common Tater, but I share posts about classes at work, so I’m not fooling anyone. I would say half of the 20 or so people who read this thing are people I know in the real world. Even so, I still feel like I’m generally open about things. For the most part, I don’t hold back.

Unfortunately, there are things I really need to say that I can’t say because there could be repercussions. If  I were anonymous I think I could post a little about the stuff that is happening that is making my life miserable and be vague enough that it wouldn’t come back on me. I don’t have that option. There are some people who can apparently spend years doing whatever they want without any repercussions. I see it on a daily basis. I don’t think I am one of those people. I think I’m a person that people are itching to catch and punish. Getting rid of me would be a positive. I don’t live a Teflon life.

So, there are things that will be left unsaid. There are rants that will only live in my head while I increase my efforts to get to a place in life where I can spend my time at a place where I am respected and appreciated. I’m afraid I’ve reached a point where that will never happen and my only option is to retire to a secluded, hermit life.

Some Baseball Stuff

I’ve been watching the Braves playoff series against the Cardinals. I would love to also watch the Braves play in the next round of the playoffs, but I have a bad feeling about today’s game. I don’t see it going our way. During the series, there were complaints about the play of Ronald Acuna, Jr. The Braves people were upset that he didn’t hustle out of the box and a possible double became a single. The Cardinals people were mad about his reaction to his two-run home run later in the game. I have some thoughts:

On the hustle – yes, he would have had a double if he had not assumed it was a home run and watched it for a second. Yes, he has had a couple of hustle issues during the season. He needs to work on that. But, he’s also hitting .500 in the series and in the last loss he had a double and a triple and the “play the right way” guys behind him kept striking out and he didn’t score. I would love to have had a couple more Acunas at bat in the inning and then we wouldn’t be playing another game.

I also think the Cardinals should just shut up. I’m tired of “the Cardinal way” and the unwritten rules of baseball. We should be OK with players celebrating big hits, flipping the bat and just enjoying playing the game of baseball. Why do we hate fun?

I also have problems with other “unwritten rules” like not stealing when you are up big late in the game. In the days of the home run, no lead is safe. You should always be playing hard and if stealing a base will help hold even a big lead go for it. You should also steal bases when down big for the same reason. Why is it OK to stop playing hard because you are losing?

I also disagree with the no bunting to break up a no-hitter. As the batter, it is your job to get on base, not help the opposing pitcher feel good. If you can get a hit with a bunt, bunt. Getting on base is your job. Do your job.

I’m generally tire of old guys clutching their pearls over young guys who are different than them. Just let them play the game their way. It’s more fun that way.

Sometimes I Miss Jail

I know that might sound weird, especially for those who don’t know I worked in a jail library for 19 years. Jail was not always an easy place to work. Many days could be very stressful. I spent a lot of time trying to get out and was relieved when I was finally transferred.  There are things I miss about it, though.

I worked Monday through Friday and 8-4 when I was at the jail. No weekend work.

I worked alone. I could do things my way and not deal with anyone else doing it wrong.

I worked alone so my day didn’t depend upon others actually showing up for work.

I worked alone so there was no one around to micromanage me.

I worked alone so I could go on vacation or call out sick without worrying about my absence creating work for others.

I could have problem customers removed from the library.

Customers were only allowed in the library for an hour and then they had to leave.

Free lunch.

I worked alone. Have I mentioned that? I love some of my coworkers, but working alone can be very nice.

I was invisible. I mean, I am still basically invisible, but I suddenly become visible when someone wants me to do something they don’t want to do. I was always invisible in jail.

Maybe I can get them to transfer me back to jail…

Some Random Tater Ramblings

I still have nothing in my brain for a full post. Part of it is a change of schedule for my wife where she is working from home most Mondays. It’s hard for me to write with others around. Also, she doesn’t get why I bother. Part of it is my frame of mind of late and I worry that will not get better now that my day to day’s main negative force has returned. Let’s see what random thoughts pop up as I go with this post.

  • I think if you are an almost 80-year-old man and you just had a heart attack you should probably stop trying to be president.  Running for president is tiring, Being president should be even harder. Why keep going?
  • I can’t believe the Supreme Court is going to hear a case to decide if it is legal to fire LGBTQIA+ people. How is it 2019 and it is not already settled that this should be illegal? I know why, actually. Too much mixing religion with government. That’s why.
  • I don’t understand why anyone would want to micromanage people. My life is hard enough without looking over the shoulder of others while they do their work. I would rather trust that my employees are doing their jobs unless there is a reason to think otherwise. If you can’t do that you probably shouldn’t have employees.
  • One of the signs of me being in a bad place mentally is not being able to find music I want to listen to while driving. I love music. All kinds of music. If I flip through the music on my phone and am dissatisfied and then can’t find anything on Sirius either I know there is a problem. I’ve had a few days like that recently.
  • These Braves/Cardinals games are stressing me out. Why can’t we have one easy Braves win? Is that too much to ask?
  • I’m happy to have Braves baseball at least through tomorrow and then Kentucky basketball starts Friday with Madness, It’s a great time to be a sports fan.

I will stop there. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. My wife will be home again tomorrow and I work my first real full day at work for three weeks as not the boss anymore. That won’t be fun.

What’s Good in Tater Town 10/6/19

It was a week of feeling a little sick and a lot tired. A little sick and a lot tired but not able to take any time to try to get to 100%. There is always good to find.

  1. Both of my kids were home for dinner on Sunday night.
  2. My boss was still off all week.
  3. A meeting Wednesday afternoon meant a trip to the farmer’s market for gelato.
  4. It also meant a walk through my old branch to see friends again.
  5. Another out of branch meeting in the middle of the day on Thursday broke the day up and made it feel shorter.
  6. People at work who make a bad day a little better.
  7. Friday off meant a day of rest(after some cleaning) to watch TV and read.
  8. Playoff baseball on TV.
  9. The Braves won Friday so no sweep this year.
  10. I’m still enjoying doing the Saturday social media for work.

This week we go back to normal life at work with the boss’s return, I will likely get my rejection call from the promotion interview as well. I will have to work hard to find the good for next week’s post.

Challenge Day 8 is a Struggle

Updating an old post. This is still something I struggle with daily. My commute is half what it was before and even on a bad traffic day, I get home earlier than I did on a good traffic day before. I still get impatient and mad at people driving too slow.  I still hate being late or leaving later than I planned even if it doesn’t matter. I show up places early because I leave a cushion in case there is traffic. Maybe someday I will learn to relax. Maybe it will come when I retire and have nowhere I need to be.

 

Day 8 of the challenge asks me to share something I struggle with. The hard part of this one is choosing which of the many things that fit this category. I struggle with anger(especially while driving), patience, self-esteem, mild depression, math, and many other things. I have decided to choose patience.

As I said in my pet peeves post, I really hate when people are late. I really struggle with patience when dealing with these people. Unfortunately, I have these people in my family and my lack of patience with them can lead to a tense morning when we are preparing to go somewhere. I still submit that if we are going somewhere with a definitive start time that I am in the right and my impatience is justified. Where I need to relax is when there is not set in stone time we need to leave and I’m still extremely impatient with people who are not ready as fast as I am.

I also struggle with patience while waiting in lines. It doesn’t take long for me to start to fidget and look ahead to see why it is taking so long. Generally, that leads to me judging the people in front of me. “Why is it taking so long to order coffee?” “Have you never been to a Starbucks before?” Why did you wait until you were in front of the line to look at the menu when you had plenty of time to look while we were waiting?” Why the heck are you still writing checks?” “Why is everyone so dumb?” I don’t say any of this out loud(usually) but it is running through my head. Why does it make me so mad? I don’t know. Usually, I’m not even running late. I just hate waiting in line.

I’m not sure how to fix this. I would prefer to be calmer, to learn to relax a little, to be OK with reading a book while waiting in line, to maybe be able to have a nice chat with my fellow line waiters. I’m just not sure how to get there.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 10/4/19

It will be hard to condense the TV I’ve watched this week into one paragraph. I’ve spent a lot of time watching new episodes when I should have been reading my book for work. I will see what I decide to do when I get there.

Movies – We watched two movies this week. I watched Booksmart with my daughter and really enjoyed it. It was a good cast and was very funny. I especially liked Billie Lourd as Gigi and I’ve been a fan of Kaitlyn Dever since her days on Justified and Last Man Standing. She’s going to be a star. I also watched The Dead Don’t Die. It had a very good cast I like zombie movies. This movie bored me. Nothing happened and the cast was wasted. I would not recommend it. Very disappointing.

TV – With the new YV season going and a lack of desire to do much else, I’ve watched a lot of TV this week. I finally watched the last two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead. At one point I thought this was starting to be better than the original show. I liked the cast and the story was moving in interesting directions. Then they decided to move one of the most boring Walking Dead characters over to Fear and the show become all about boring Morgan. All of the interesting people are now either dead or in the background while we goe boring Morgan monologues on helping people.  The ending of the season left his fate up in the air. I hope he’s dead so the show can focus back on the people who made me want to watch the show in the first place. Otherwise, I might have to give it up.

Books – I finished the Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. I was reading this for my book club at work. Maybe the “homework” feel to it made me less inclined to read. Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the translation. I just know it took me forever to read it. I did end up liking the book and I will probably end up reading the sequels. I just need to match my mood with the books so I’m in the right frame of mind to read hard science fiction.

On Deck – We have John Wick 3, Triple Threat, Alita: Battle Angel and Dark Phoenix on DVD. I doubt we will get to all of them. I know we will definitely watch John Wick. TV shows will take a backseat to baseball until the Braves lose(which may be Sunday) so my DVR will start to fill up at an alarming pace.  I will find time to watch The Walking Dead. I think the whisperers storyline will get the show back on track. I still have homework books to read, The first up is The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. I’m halfway through now and have mixed feelings so far.

 

Stuck

I’ve written and deleted three sentences so far. I either don’t like the sentence or I can’t decide if I want to write about what I start to write about. I just deleted the rest of the paragraph I wrote after these two sentences. I feel like I want to write about the mental state that I think is responsible for causing me to be stuck, but then I delete it all when I type it.  The downside of most of my readers being people I know and see in real life. The question of how much I want to open up about things like my mental state. It seems today I’m struggling with not wanting to say much at all.

I will just say in general terms – I’m stressed, I’m sad, I feel alone, I have a general sense of impending doom. All of this has made it hard for me to write anything lately. It’s made it hard for me to focus on my Chinese sci-fi book(or is it the book?) for my book club. It’s made it hard for me to do much at all lately.

Hopefully, this mood will break soon and I will be back to my old self. If it doesn’t maybe I will finally do what I should have done a long time ago and find a therapist to help me through the stress, anxiety and occasional depression.

Here’s hoping a less depressing post is coming tomorrow.

Tater Through the Years

I’ve considered this one for a little while but never got around to it. Now that I can’t find words I figured it was a good time for it. Here is a photo progression of your favorite Tater through the years.

 

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Young Tater

One of those might actually be young married Tater, but close enough.

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Getting Married Tater

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First time professionally speaking Tater

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Young beardless Tater

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Axe murderer Tater

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The current state of Tater

I think multiple photos of me was a good way for people to start their morning.