Friday assembly

…Sounds like I’m in school. Okay, maybe not this one either. But here we go!

What I’m reading: Joyland by Stephen King. Another (quasi-)carnival tale, of murder, ghosts, and the shine. Just happened to dig into it, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t the longest Stephen King novel by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t the shortest either. All in all, however, it flowed quickly and kept me engaged to see what would happen next.

What I’m listening to: Longform’s interview with Rolf Potts. When I went looking for the first interview I heard, I found a collection of interviews over at Rolf Potts’s website.

What I’m spending my time with: The AFI 100. They’ve been on my list for a while, and I’m checking them off. So far I’m fifteen films in. I’m planning on getting them all watched by the end of the year.

Other things of interest:

  • It’s fall! (Here in Florida that means it’s in the 80s… most of the time.) Here’s a recipe for slow cooker mulled cider. It’s delicious, and you can spike it per the recipe. I find brandy works well also. The last recipe I used also suggested 1 qtr. cup of maple syrup.
  • Minimalism is overrated. This article from the Wall Street Journal mentions moving past the fear of overindulging in buying.
  • AltNYC Opera’s in-development production of The Halloween Tree. Synopsis and excerpts from workshop included in the link. After reading Something Wicked &  Halloween Tree, I did a good amount of Bradbury investigating and discovered this.
  • I was introduced to this financial blog – Our Next Life. Not just about budgeting, but long-term travel and early retirement.

My Friday roundup

mmm… Friday Roundup. It sounds a lot like the 1A Friday News Roundup. Not sure that’s going to stick.

What I’m reading: From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury. Plunked out Something Wicked and Halloween Tree. My deep dive into Bradbury continues with more fiction. I don’t know why I didn’t read more of his stuff when I was younger. Hard-headed, I guess. After having to read Fahrenheit 451, it was a matter of principle to not read him. A mistake. Also, found this interview from NEA’s Big Read which I enjoyed.

What I’m listening to: Miss Nelson is Missing: The Musical. My next theatre project, and I’m getting a head start on the material the best I can. I never thought I’d be one for TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), but I like it. It tends to me much lighter, and therefore you can have a lot of free-spirited fun with it. Also, the kids usually are more appreciative than adult audiences. (Not always, but usually.)

What I’m spending time with: My dog. Having a light month of work means more time at home, so he gets the benefit.
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Other things of interest to me this week:

  • Research on the Wendigo. I was captivated by the native Alaskan people, and some of the tribal myths I heard. I did a little research on Alaskan culture, and progressed some into Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Where, according the legends of the Algonquian peoples, the Wendigo lived. A few links, if you’re interest: Backstory Radio; Extra Credits Animated; How Stuff Works.
  •  The painting style of Bob Ross. I do recall watching the show on PBS in the late 80s, early 90s. I was young, but that voice is hard to forget. You can also find a selection of episodes on Netflix or YouTube.
  • American Horror Story: 1984. More in the horror genre, and in the vein of the 80s, I watched the first episode of AHS 1984 this week. Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve been excited for a season of AHS since the first season. I haven’t even watched all the previous seasons. But resonates, as I grew up watching Friday the 13thNightmare on Elm StreetSleepaway Camp, etc. And actually, my cousin was the real horror-buff in the family. He had all the toys, the movies, and the spooky knowledge. The family even lived in this two-story cabin in the woods, and I’d go visit and watch scary movies, or Star Wars or Masters of the Universe, and we had a lot of fun. Anyway, this is a nice throwback – so far.

Friday…

I’m considering what to call this weekly post. I used to post a poem a month, and the reading/book list every month. When I switched to daily, I left off the poetry – more or less. I still try and post my monthly books lists. But as to Friday, and what I’ve been spending time with…

What I’m reading: Draft No. 4 by John McPhee. I purchased this sometime in the past six months. Not sure it was included on a monthly list. Trying to focus more on getting books read, posts published, decluttering, organizing, etc. I’m liking this book so far. It’s giving me a little insight into forming story, at least from McPhee’s perspective. You can learn more about McPhee and read some of his writing over at the New Yorker website. Coincidently, I was subscribed to the New Yorker around 2013-2015. I may have read some of his writing before and not even known it.

What I’m listening to: The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. Something Wicked has led me down a deep dive of sorts, including checking out From the Dust Returned from the library, and watching a bit of The Ray Bradbury Theater on Prime Video. Halloween Tree, read by Bronson Pinchot, is a history of Samhain, just in time for the Halloween season.

What I’m spending time with: Halloween Horror Nights. I’ve gone nearly every year for the past 26 years. My mother took me when I was a child, and I have fond memories of it. I still enjoy the spectacle and design of Horror Nights, though I no longer feel frightened in their scary attractions. This year includes houses on Universal Monsters, House of a Thousand CorpsesStranger Things, Jordan Peele’s Us, and Ghostbusters, as well as non-licensed houses. I know some of the actors as well from working around the area.

◊ Also on Universal’s monster franchise, I received this article from Hollywood Reporter  this week, speculating how Invisible Man and Dark Army will usher in a potential new wave of horror genre goodness.
◊ This old Thrillist article on why Netflix sometimes has terrible movies in your suggestions. (I’m cleaning out my reading list – finally – and this has been in there since 2016.)
◊ YouTube video of Tao Chi Kai massage on busy street in UK. I like massage and chiropractic videos, and routinely do adjustments to myself. There’s also a link in the video notes for Tiger Balm.
◊ One more YouTube channel to check out: And You Films. Their most popular videos are Diary of a Wimpy Alien and you can start with episode 1. I’ve been friends with this group for fifteen years, and they are nearing 100K subscribers. Follow them if you’re interested in updates.