Weekly Rundown

The week that passed was a long one, I’m not going to lie. The fourteen-hour car ride back to Florida was a bit exhausting, and the trip itself wasn’t as restful as I would have liked. Nonetheless, here’s some things that I spent some time with this week.

What I’m reading: Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams. Just cozying up to this book as the weather is getting cold. Thinking about this past summer in Alaska, and what the future may hold.

What I’m listening to: Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. Also known as the New World Symphony, this makes me feel like it’s Thanksgiving. I enjoy this recording from the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.

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What I’m spending time on: Dog training.

My 60 lb. boxer is nearly seven years old, partially blind and deaf from an invitro stroke, and ultra-hyper. Breaking him of some bad habits will take a good deal of time, but I’m certain that he and I are up to the challenge.

 

Other things of interest:

  • Knives Out, written and directed by Rian Johnson. Wow, I loved this movie. I thought it was well-written, well-directed, and well-acted. With names like Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Christopher Plummer, it was an excellent ensemble movie. The premise – wealthy suspense novelist dead by apparent suicide following birthday party with suspicious family members – may seem trope, but it leaves you guessing until the end.
  • Where to buy books online from a website that isn’t Amazon. From Anya Zhukova, here are seven recommendations that include B&N and BAM. I also like AbeBooks and Easton Press for more obscure or special edition volumes. And I go to eBay as well. As I was linking Tip of the Iceberg, it occurred to me that I didn’t want to recommend Amazon for every book I like. So I went with GoodReads, though it is owned by Amazon. Its positives include that it links to retailers other than Amazon,  and is enhanced by its users and readers.
  • Why can’t every workweek be four days? I mean, seriously?
  • Nat Geo story on the death of the male white rhino, and the species’ coming extinction… An extinction brought about by man’s overhunting of the animal.

“Watching a creature die—one who is the last of its kind—is something I hope never to experience again. It felt like watching our own demise.” – Ami Vitale

Sleepy Nights

One dog beneath my feet, another to my right on the couch. The third is loudly drinking water from the container in the kitchen. He had been moving discreetly about, his nails lacking on the linoleum. I’ve just updated my OS with a new app that alters the lighting of the device, the intent to aid in my sleep.

Not that my sleep has been suffering. I’ve just been mindful of my sleep quality since returning from a cruise nearly two weeks ago.

The ship voyage gave me ample time to read, to rest and to recover; to eat good, healthy food; to use the gym on a daily basis, increasing my activity levels. Upon returning from this trip I’ve been intent on maintaining that quality of life.

There have been some challenges. One is in the preparation of my own food. Another has been work, which isn’t consistent in location. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been at no less than three locations, one of which was nearly five hours away. Making that drive twice left me drained and uncomfortable.

Still another has been my rehearsal schedule, very nearly every night. I’ve added another production to the two I already have scheduled, so that I’ll be quite busy now until the middle of May.

Handling the stress of an ever-growing schedule isn’t always the most sustainable activity. However I do believe that it is doable, and that I have been doing it.

Full nights of sleep are the most enjoyable aspect, and finding ways to hack my sleep have become my nighttime ritual. I’ve dimmed or covered as many of the LEDs that I could in my room. The one I haven’t brought myself to put any tape over is on the smoke detector on the ceiling. Though, I am able to turn my head away from it in bed.

Several apps come in handy, providing soundscapes for my sleep. Waking rested in the morning, I am able to write and prepare for work efficiently. No dragging ass to the kitchen for that first, and second cup of coffee.

I’m writing by candlelight, reading some as well. While flipping through the book of Sontag essays, I had the sudden urge to write. Reading good writing makes me want to write.

And sitting in twilit lighting makes me ready to sleep.