What I’m Reading: The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Picked it back up, and am just reading a chapter a night. Being a dog lover, it’s nice to read from the dog’s point of view, but also a bit sad given the context.
What I’m listening to: Camp Red Moon on Audible, from RL Stine and other authors. Fun fireside ghost stories, geared towards a younger audience. But I did grow up reading Goosebumps, so I don’t mind it at all.
What I’m spending time with: The Witcher III: Wild Hunt on Nintendo Switch. Started down the deep dive of the Witcher franchise last week, and wanted to give the game a go. Pretty good so far. I like the open-world environment, as well as multiple quests to accomplish. A little glitchy at times, which I heard is a flaw in the Nintendo conversion. But otherwise, a grade of A- so far.
What I’ve shared:
What I’m reading: I read very little this week. Best of intentions and all, but time slipped away. I did start perusing An Innocent Abroad, compiled travel wisdom by Don George and published by Lonely Planet. But, not enough to actually call it reading.
What I’m listening to: Die Winterreise by Franz Schubert. I learned of this song cycle five or ten years ago, and I listen to it every winter. It’s 24 pieces, poetry set to music, following a man’s journey into the snow to rid himself of his departed, lost love. Quintessentially German.
What I’m spending time on: The Witcher on Netflix, starring Henry Cavill. I hadn’t followed the phenomenon that is The Witcher, from a fantasy franchise based on the series of books from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. But the show has garnered some attention, and I wanted to see what it was all about. A man fighting monsters in a world with wizards, elves, and dragons.
What I’ve shared:
The wasting of potential through unthoughtful and unaccounted for hours in the day. Nearly anything can be a time suck if allowed to be. Some things I’ve noticed – video games, email, social media, Netflix. While none are inherently time-suckers, using them in an unmindful way will suddenly resulted in wasted hours.
When used to distract from something else, they merely sap your attention. These diversions can take many forms, but they all will waste the most precious commodity that we only have so much of – time.
Mindfully approaching your day-to-day experiences will eliminate the need for diversion, and give you control over more of your time.
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 Corpses, Stranger 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.
Some of the things that caught my attention over the past few weeks.
- How to use a knife. One of the things I picked up in Alaska was a scrimshaw knife carved on fossilized moose bone. It’s ended up being my favorite souvenir, I suppose in part because I get to carry it with me every day. But also because it feels like I’m in touch with the land. This video popped up a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was kind of fun to watch, even if it’s about kitchen knifes…
- Quit drinking altogether? Sarah Sloat’s article on casual drinking gave some interesting stats, like, “On average, the mental well-being of the women who quit drinking approached the level of lifetime abstainers within the four-year period. There was, however, very little change in the mental well-being of the men who quit. These results were persistent even after the scientists adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, and smoking status.”
- The NYTimes mapped the major American artists of the past century, and it’s pretty damn neat. I also have an affinity for maps.
- Where are our Park Rangers? I briefly considered taking a Ranger job at a National Park. The salary was $22,000/year. It wasn’t feasible at the time. Upper management in some larger parks can make close to $100,000/year, which is comparable for Government positions. But with budget cuts and increasing park attendance, make sure you’re staying safe.
Watching: Stranger Things
Reading: Call of the Wild
Listening to: Oklahoma! 2019 Revival Cast Recording
Well, my Netflix was hacked. Not a big deal, and with as little as I’ve been watching tv over the past month, it was a while before I really noticed.
Now Netflix had been sending me email alerts, but the culprit was in Mexico and had changed the language preference to Spanish – and thus each email alert that Netflix sent was non-English and I mistook them for spam.
I’ve recently spoken with my friend and IT cohort, and he scolded me for not utilizing two-level authentication on all of my accounts. Now, I think I’ll have to be more diligent about my security.
The early days of film showed us new possibilities in the world of reality. Images that moved as in real life – no longer just things of fanciful imaginations.
Now, the experience has evolved. And the way that we were cultivated to view cinema is changing as well.
Netflix came under attack recently from industry elites, such as Steven Spielberg, who said that Oscars should be limited to cinema releases, not the Netflix brand of entertainment. (I can’t help but imagine the discussion surrounding film as it related to theatre when cinema began its rise in popularity.)
The joke is, it is industry elites vs. streaming elites, when the real change is through the democratization of entertainment. What will make the most radical difference is how user-uploaded streaming is going to continue to change the face of moving image-making, and what that will mean for the industry.