Weekly Rundown

Another week has come to an end, and before you know it the first month of 2020 will be over. New Year not so new anymore? I understand. But here’s what I’ve come across this week.

Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I’m about half-way through, so it should get wrapped up, maybe this weekend. There’s a familiarity I feel when reading this. I’ve only done one solo hike – the Wicklow Way just south of Dublin – and that was mostly accidental. Much like how Strayed went from concept to hike in, I believe, six months. Becoming found by getting lost is a concept I think many, perhaps all of us are familiar with.

Listening: Let the Games Begin by Aloe Blacc. I heard this at work one day, and it ear-wormed itself into my head so I had to track it down. It’s uplifting while at the same time being catchy. I hadn’t really listened to Aloe Blacc since 2010 and his Good Things album.

Spending time: Watching a lot of Jeopardy. I’ve taken the test twice – once in 2016, and again last year. Neither time I was satisfied with my performance, and, since I’ve not been called by the show’s producers, I’m guessing they weren’t either. But I’ll try again next week, and testing is January 28-30.

Sharing:

2019 year in review

To start the year, I had two focus words I wanted to spend my time with: Harmony & Success. I made some progress with harmony, but not so much with success.

I began the year working as a development director for a nonprofit, as well as working two gigs. My contract with the nonprofit ended in April, but I hadn’t been enjoying the work all that much anyway. I went into a sales position after that ended, and picked up a couple more gigs along the way.

When I had another sales job lined up, I left the first one – only to have my new job placed on hold. So I bounced around a lot. From August to October, I was only working gigs and relying on savings to get through. By November I was worrying about what kind of work I’d land. Then in December, I added two more jobs, one in retail and one in a restaurant. And most excitingly, a tour guide job I could line up for March – in Alaska.

As to achieving harmonious living – I believed it would take meditation, yoga, writing, and soul searching, all of which I did to some degree over the past year. I’ve been more consistent with my writing, and up until the end of November, I had been doing a lot of yoga.

Am I more harmonious? I don’t really know. But I usually feel pretty relaxed and even-keeled.

This past year had some highlights – my summer travel to Alaska; joining the improv troupe; a few really exciting gigs. But overall, it was a quiet year. A time for restructuring and decluttering. Much more harmony than success.

With 2020 mere hours away, I’m focusing on two new words to guide me through the coming year: Adventure and bravery. Tomorrow I’ll dig into my plans and goals for 2020, but for now, here’s to a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve!

 

 

Weekly roundup

Well, here we are again. Another week down, another week closer to 2020. And what the hell have I been doing with my life?!

Not important…. Here’s my week:

What I’m reading: Still on Dracula. I’m about two-thirds of the way done. I only read for about an hour before bed, because I’ve been hard at work on a few other projects. Dracula has stood out to me for some time – a book that I should have read. I’m glad I’m finally getting it done. I also found my paperback edition, purchased in the early-nineties for fifty cents. I’ve seen the theater where Bram Stoker worked, for God’s sake. And I’m just now reading it. Sometimes I question my priorities.

What I’m listening to: La Nozze di Figaro. The opera by Mozart. I’m going to be in New York and Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks, and I thought it would be fun to see a show at the Met. Because, in all the times I’ve been to New York, I’ve never been to the Met for a performance. I’ve toured it. Had my photo taken in the lobby. But, you know… Priorities. Anyway, this production brings back Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka, reversing the roles of Figaro and Count Almaviva. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.

What I’m spending time with: This acting workbook my friend Anthony and I have been going over. I took a lot of time over the past two days to look through it again. I’ve got maybe a couple hours worth of work left, but I’m excited that it is so near completion. I’ll post links once I can get it up for sale.

Other things of interest:

  • Why retiring might mean never having to grow up.
  • As only a random watched of Courage the Cowardly Dog, I do recall laughing. A lot. But I don’t remember it being overly scary…
  • HBO’s His Dark Materials. I hate to say that I’m mostly waiting for the armored bear, but I’m mostly waiting for the armored bear. And Lin Manuel. But I really want him to finish his work on the Name of the Wind adaptation!
  • Speaking of Lin Manuel, the Drama Book Shop is set to reopen in the spring!
  • And lastly, because this was heavily slanted towards performance and acting, something that caught my eye dealing with none of that! Yoga… the cure for insomnia.

Election day

For being the year after a presidential election, this past Tuesday was pretty hopping on the national political scale. Special elections and combative party politics left the people wondering if a message had been sent to the presidential administration or not. If you’re Republican, you’re probably thinking not (especially if you’re a Trump-supporting GOPer). If you’re Democrat, much of the day may have left you hopeful for next year’s midterms and the coming 2020 election.

But ultimately, what does it mean? When is our Country going to find its leadership again? The politicians fight and jockey for favorable position, seeming more interested in staying in power (or gaining more) than in fixing broken systems.

They call out to their prospective sides, bell ringing the “major issues”, and practically ignoring all others.

I heard a very interesting perspective the other day, regarding immigration. One person described it not as an issue of illegally crossing a border, but rather an economic issue. Here are people of South American cultures, growing up in tight-knit family units. The land they live on is fertile and usually quite gorgeous, and yet they can’t make a living wage working in that area. And that’s even taking into account the dramatic reduced cost of living in those areas.

So what option do they have to leave their homes, and their families, hoping to safely cross borders and make enough money to send back home, either to bring family here or to help them live down there? An issue of economics. Rather than increasing the money spent on detaining immigrants, on border patrol and on some kind of Great Wall of America, invest in means to provide South American countries to promote living wages.

Certainly there are those that would argue for the same in the US. And I agree. When families can’t afford to live by working full-time, the capitalist system is just as broken, especially when stocks markets continually break records, in earnings reports, valuations, and sales targets.

So many issues to tackle, and the nation’s leadership can’t seem to find ways to cooperate. Hell, we’re lucky when the majority of them are being civil.