My Week in Failing at Reading and Watching

This is the time when I usually post my week in movies, books, and TV.  Last week was a good week. I actually finished two books and had a movie to talk about. This week I’ve got a whole lot of nothing.

I had no new movies from the library. I didn’t watch any of the random movies we have on the DVR. I didn’t watch any of the movies available on Netflix, Amazon or HBO. I didn’t even scan the TV listings and stop on a random old movie that happened to be airing.

I did not finish the book I started last week. It’s not a bad book, but I think it is suffering from being “homework”. I’m a facilitator at Books for the Beast, a teen literature conference, tomorrow and Orphan Monster Spy is the last book I need to read before the discussion. I find myself doing everything but reading the book. I’m like a kid avoiding homework. I have the audio now so I am listening on 1.5 speed on my drive to and from work. That should get me to almost the end before tomorrow.

I have watched a lot of TV but nothing really of note. My daughter was home this weekend so I caught up on The Good Place and watched some episodes of other shows we watch together We finally watched last season’s finale of The Flash. I’m going to be way behind on watching the crossover this year. Otherwise, I’ve been trying to keep my DVR from filling up by watching the handful of shows I watch alone. My wife has worked late all this week so I ran out of those and watched a few episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I probably could have used that time to read.

I do have Toy Story 4 and The Lion King on DVD so I will have movies to talk about next week. I need to find a fun book to read after my homework reading is over tomorrow. I hope to watch Watchmen sometime this weekend.

Advertisements

My Long History of Stalking Christopher Moore

I went to my Facebook page and requested ideas for a blog post. One suggestion was to write about Christopher Moore. So, here is the tragic(for him) story of how Christopher Moore ended up my Facebook friend.

A long time ago I read a book called Practical Demonkeeping by the aforementioned Christopher Moore. I could lie and say that the book stuck with me and that started my love of the books, but I won’t. I apparently forgot I read it because a few years later I was working at the library here in Maryland, stumbled upon the book and thought it sounded good. I checked it and started reading it. I thought it seemed familiar at first but it took about half the book before I realized I had read it before and had liked it.

Flash forward a few years and I pick up a book by the same author called Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story. I really liked the book and noticed when I looked at the author page he had his email address listed. I decided to write him a note to tell him I enjoyed the book. I wasn’t expecting an answer, but I got one. I have no idea how or why I ever emailed him again, but I do know we exchanged a couple of emails before I ever met him in person. I eventually went to a signing he did in Baltimore. At the signing, he asked if any of us were people he had talked to via email. I raised my hand, he actually remembered me and then I was very awkward when I actually talked to him one on one.

Apparently, I was not the only weird person who had started emailing him. There were so many of us that he set up a bulletin board on his website so we could talk amongst ourselves and also to him. This coincided with me working alone, so the board was a place I used to have people to talk to on my breaks at work. Eventually, there was another Chris Moore signing in the area. I picked up one of the strangers in Catonsville and we drove down to northern Virginia together for the signing. Several others from the board were there/ It became a regular thing for a group of us to meet for dinner before a signing. Chris started saving seats for us at some of the venues. He gave us all Fool hats at one of them.

The last signing I was able to attend was in Baltimore. I was lucky to be friends with people who had a much closer friendship with Chris and they had made plans to meet him for lunch and I got to tag along. We had a nice lunch and then drove up to the signing. As far as I know, he has not come back to the area. I’m not sure if these two things are related.

So, from a random email to an author I am now friends with him on Facebook, have had lunch with him and have made friends with other people via our love for his books. NOt a bad outcome for a simple thing like an email.

 

Some Thoughts On Some New TV Shows

I’ve watched a few episodes of some new shows now so I thought I would write a few thoughts on what I think about them and what could make them better.

The Unicorn – I really like the cast and I think they are talented enough to make this show really good. I like it OK the way it is. The last episode didn’t lean to hard into the dating life of the main character too much, The sooner they realize the dating part is the weakest part of the show the better.

Mixed-Ish – Another show with a great cast. Gary Cole is always good and is once again the best part if this show. I think it has the potential to be really good. They need to cut down on the narration, It is annoying and distracting.

Evil – There is not a lot here to fix. Very well done show with a good mix of scary, supernatural forces and cases that are not caused by real evil. The cast works well together. If anything, maybe give the grandmother a bigger story if she is going to keep popping up.

Emergence – Another good cast. I’m glad they answered some questions early instead of dragging out the secrets. I just don’t see how this story can go for more than one season. They need to give me a reason to think I should get invested.

I’ve watched a few more but not enough episodes to give an opinion yet.

 

Fake Back Stories For Some of My Fake Bands

In a blogging group on Facebook Lorna from Gin & Lemonade suggested we post a link to our blog so others could read a few posts and suggest a topic. When I posted min she suggested I write about two of the bands on my fake band name post that is pinned to the top of my blog. I haven’t updated in a while, but it is where I list phrases I hear in life that I think would make a good band name. I never really thought about a story for the bands, but I will give it a try.  I will start with the two she mentioned, but I will try a few more. Also – I would love to see these used in real life. If you know a band who needs a name, please use them..

Hipster Dude Ranch – This is a group of guys who thought it would be fun to “ironically” sing new versions of the old cowboy music of people like Roy Rogers. They soon had a following of other hipsters who love things that are done “ironically”. They perform at local craft breweries and coffee shops. They are universally hated by everyone outside their loyal following.

Tuesday Night Cake – A Sacramento based Cake cover band, They love Cake and love the fact they are from Sacramento. Unfortunately, there is not a high demand for a Cake cover band, even in Sacramento. They only play once a week – Tuesday nights at the bar at the Holiday Inn. Thus the name.

Transient Anus – Death metal band. They produce a lot of shitty music, but only on demand.

Unclean Widow – A band that formed at a grief support group when several members realized they all were musicians. The music is angry and sad and helps them process their grief. It’s also a good way to pick up guys who can also help them forget their grief for a while.

Amish Kindergarten – Acoustic band made up of friends who have known each other since they were 5. They all hate each other now, but they stick together in the hopes of making it big.

I guess i should go cook dinner now, so I will stop there.

What’s Good in Tater Town 10/20/19

I don’t really have much to say in a lead up to today so let’s just get to it.

  1. We went to the Ravens game on Sunday. The Ravens won and the trains ran consistently enough to get us in and out without a problem.
  2. The weather was perfect for watching a football game.
  3. My son came home for dinner and Spiderman Monday night.
  4. My new person started at work on Tuesday so we are back to full staff again.
  5. We got some much-needed rain on Wednesday.
  6. My son came back Thursday night to go to food truck night with me.
  7. Friday was my day off from work so I got to rest a little.
  8. My daughter came home for the weekend on Friday.
  9. Kentucky basketball’s Blue/White scrimmage was Friday night.
  10. That means we’ve reached the point of Kentucky basketball being on regularly.

It seemed like a long week. Probably because I worked Columbus Day for the first time in 25 years. I still think it is a good idea to open that day and close on Black Friday, but I did miss a random day off in October. Looking forward to the post-Halloween lead up to the holidays.

My Week in Movies, Books and TV 10/18/19

I did a little better reading this week. It helped that I decided to take Saturday to just relax and recharge and spent some time reading on my deck. My daughter is coming home for the weekend today so I likely will watch a lot of TV and not really read at all.

Movies – I only rewatched the latest Spiderman this week. It was the only movie I got from the library last week. My wife and son had not yet watched it. I still enjoyed it the second time. Marvel has done a good job with the character. I’m glad they have him for at least one more movie.

TV – I always watch a lot of TV during the regular network season. It’s hard to decide what to talk about I watch so much. There was the series finale of Ballers on HBO on Sunday. I watched it and I enjoyed the show, but not so much that the end of the series seemed like a big deal to me. We had our first cancelation of the new season this week. Sunnyside was canceled after three episodes. I had planned to try it. I had recorded it, but I thought my daughter might want to watch so I was waiting for her. No need now. I got a little space back on my DVR. I watched Grey’s Anatomy last night. I like the new storyline with Karev and Weber at Pac North more than the main hospital storyline. I would watch a whole show set with them and the bad hospital.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – A YA book set after the Civil War where the end of the war brought zombies. The main character is from KY but is sent to a Baltimore school to train to fight zombies. African Americans are trained to fight to act as attendants to protect the wealthy white people. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading the inevitable sequel.

A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais – The latest in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series. I love this series. Cole and Pike are great characters. In this one Pike rescues a bank teller when he witnesses her being kidnapped Soon, the kidnappers are found dead and she is missing again. Pike and Cole investigate to find and save her. It would make a good movie.

On Deck – I have no movies from the library this week.  Toy Story 4 will be available on Monday at the library, but I have to time my check out to have it when the kids can watch. I’m looking forward to the HBO version of Watchmen premiering on Sunday. I was already interested before I read the positive review in the Washington Post this morning. I need to read Orphan Monster Spy before next Saturday but can’t start until I retrieve it from work tomorrow.

 

This Post Might Lose Me Some Friends

I thought of this one when there was yet another police shooting. We are nearing the time of year when we are supposed to feel sorry for people who feel persecuted because someone used the wrong holiday greeting while they still seem to think that some people don’t deserve basic human rights.

The World's Common Tater

But the topic of this post is something that really bothers me and I decided not to keep quiet. I am appalled that the same people who are all over the internet loudly proclaiming that they are being persecuted because people are saying Happy Holidays are the same people who don’t understand why people are so worked up over police killing unarmed men and the US torturing people. I will loudly proclaim my Christianity and show how Christian I am by demanding that everyone recognize my personal religion by greeting me only with my personal preference during the holiday season. Human life and dignity? Meh. What’s the big deal? They probably deserved it and even if they didn’t, doesn’t mean anything to me personally. Why do I care if some criminal is dead? Someone wished me a Happy Hanukah! That’s what matters! Why do I care if some mooslim from…

View original post 66 more words

Pessimism

giphy

I am starting my day today in a meeting that I am sure will not be a positive one. I am prepared for it to be negative and all of my plans for what to say revolve around that. People try to get me to think about a possible postie outcome for the meeting, but that’s not how I work. When I was in an interview recently they asked me about unexpected setbacks and I truthfully said that it is hard for me to have an unexpected setback because I operate in the mode of expecting setbacks and planning for what to do when they occur.

This is probably an unhealthy way to live. I’m sure being more positive and assuming good things would be better. I’m sure it’s a more pleasant way to live. What I’ve found, though, is that for me expecting with worst is better. I feel much better going into a situation expecting the worst and then being pleasantly surprised when it is positive. That seems much much better than being positive and expecting good things only to be disappointed over and over again. This is especially true in situations that are almost always far from positive. Why would I expect the results of this meeting to be positive when history shows me that it will never be positive? All thinking positive does it get my hopes up. It makes me think of the possible good things to come when deep down I know it isn’t going to happen. Why go through that? It seems like a bad plan.

One weird side effect to this – when I am publicly negative about my sports teams, especially Kentucky football and basketball. I call it the power of positive negativity. It is one of my weird superpowers.

So, I will continue to expect and prepare for the worst and be occasionally pleasantly surprised when I am wrong.

Why I’m Not Writing…I Think

You’ve probably noticed that not been writing a lot lately. You might be happy that I’ve not been writing a lot lately. Maybe you didn’t notice. I don’t know what you do with your time. In case you missed it – I have not been writing a lot lately. Lorna over and Gin & Lemonade asked on Facebook who was up for a blog a day challenge and I decided to join in. The problem is – I still don’t really feel like writing. So, I decided to use the first post to try to write about why I’m not writing.

Part of the problem is as simple as a change in schedule. Not my schedule. My wife’s schedule. I was in a groove of writing after work instead of in the morning. I would come home, change clothes, take the dog for a walk and then watch a TV show while vomiting up a blog post. The last few weeks my wife has been home on Monday and Tuesday so I didn’t come home to an empty house. That’s a positive for the most part, but it is not conducive to writing. I find it hard to write when others are here. She’s here now, but she was on a call, so I had time to start this. Now it sounds like she is done, so who knows when I will write the rest.

The bigger problem is frame of mind. My days can be mentally and emotionally draining. Part of it is the public. Most of it is a particular person who makes my days more stressful and toxic than should be allowed. It’s hard to come home and do anything after dealing with a toxic person who has control over your days. I just want to watch TV and not think. This is also a hard time of year for me. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mom’s death. This time of year was when I was driving home a lot to see here when I knew my time with her was limited. I still struggle with my decision to not go home to be there at the end. I wanted my last memories to be better and I’ve always felt bad about that. Like I failed her. So, depression, grief, and mental exhaustion makes it hard to feel like vomiting words on a blog.

Finally, I’m boring. I don’t have the type of life that gives me a lot of stories for a blog.  It’s hard to be a blogger when you’re boring.

So, that’s why I’m struggling to write. Who knows if the blog a day challenge will work. We will see,

Why I’ve Always Loved Columbus Day Until Now

I wrote the below post last year about how I’ve always loved the federal holidays when schools were open. It was nice to have a holiday when the kids were in school. I didn’t do anything fun, but it was nice to have some hours of my own. When my job announced that we were going to open on Columbus Day and replace that holiday with the day after Thanksgiving I thought it was a good idea. I would rather have that day anyway. Then I realized I work the Saturday after Thanksgiving and had the Friday off already. So, all I get this year is an extra day of work and a day of vacation added to my bank when I work the day after the new holiday. If you read my blog regularly you probably know how I feel about another day at work. I could really use that lost holiday today.

 

It has nothing to do with Columbus, though it is fun to celebrate by going out, getting lost, invading someone’s house and declaring it my own I do enjoy that, but that’s not why I’ve loved Columbus Day.

My love of the day came late in life. I didn’t care anything about it until I got a job where Columbus Day is a day off. Even then, it didn’t become one of my favorite days off. It was in October and the weather was cooler, but it couldn’t compete with some of the other days off.

Once I had a kid in early elementary school it became a holiday I spent volunteering at the school. With both of us having full-time jobs, we weren’t able to do much more than chaperone a field trip here and there, so we used Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day as a time to go and volunteer in the classroom. That’s not when t became my favorite holiday. Honestly, there were plenty of times I was annoyed at spending my day off at school.

This is my admission that Columbus Day and Veterans Day became two of my favorite holidays when the kids got older and they no longer wanted us in the classroom. It is one of the few days off we had where the kids still went to school. I didn’t have to spend my day off entertaining kids I didn’t have to spend my day off watching bad children’s television. I could spend my day off relaxing(assuming my wife didn’t give me jobs to do). We never did anything really fun. I wish we had spent some of the time going out and doing a “date day” but it was nice to have a few hours off.

Now, here I am on my first empty nest Columbus Day. We are both still off. The kids aren’t here. It seems like a normal Columbus Day, but it isn’t. The kids won’t be coming home from school this afternoon. It’s not any different from my standard Friday or Saturday off. We still won’t do anything fun outside of the house. I might do yard work. I might clean a bathroom. I will watch the Braves game this afternoon.

Apparently, the moral of the story is that I am, and always have been, boring.