Weekly Rundown

I’ve not been wholly satisfied with the Weekly Rundowns, so I may be changing them a bit here in the near future. Still playing with form, so we’ll see how it lands. But for now, here’s some stuff for you:

Reading: Locke & Key Vol. 1 from IDW Comics, written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. And there he was again, this Joe Hill. Son of Stephen King, and prominent storyteller himself, has created a lot of buzz with Netflix’s adaptation of Locke  & Key. I think I became familiar with the series while reading the recent Hill House collaboration with DC Comics: Basketful of HeadsDaphne Byrne, et al. NOS4A2 was on AMC last year, and now Netflix has Locke. I watched it, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to see how close it got to the source material. I read Volume 1, and it’s close enough to be familiar, but different enough that I enjoy reading the comics even after watching the series.

Listening: Honestly, nothing with any repetition. No new music this week, though Flora Cash’s Somebody Else and Fun.’s 2012 album Some Nights have been in my head this past week.

Doing: Packing. With my months away quickly approaching, it’s been important to put as much as I can in storage, free up space around the house. I wanted to have a yard sale before leaving, but it’ll have to wait until I get back.

Sharing:

Weekly Rundown

And here it is, my Black Friday edition of the Weekly Rundown. As no one will be reading this today I’ll go ahead and post at 2 am. Good morning!

This Black Friday I’m taking REI’s suggestion of getting out into the wilderness. #OptOutside. I’m up in Pennsylvania, hanging out with the Amish. No, really I am. I’ll put up some pictures later this week. But here we go!

What I’m reading: Not Dracula! Finally finished it. After finishing it, I spent some time with Austin Kleon’s Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. I’ve had the book for a while but hadn’t finished it. I dug it out while putting my notebook together, and figured I’d finish it.

What I’m listening to: Audiobook version of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. I listened a lot of the way up to PA. The author’s first book for adults, we have occultism and Ivy League, homicide and mystery. I’d read at least one of Bardugo’s Grisha books before, and this one has much the same flow and tonality; if a bit darker.

What I’m spending time with: Routines. If you’ve read this week you’ll notice that it was a theme. I decided to fix my routine earlier in the month, and as a result I had a few thoughts that popped up. Four posts later, I’m not sure I’m done talking about routines. But that’ll be for later entries.

Other things of interest:

In case you don’t believe me about my skill, here’s one example…

IMG_3538

…and it’s one of my better sketches. But, as I always say: Fail again, fail better! 😉

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.

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.

Week’s Highlights

Some of the things that caught my interest this week.

If you’re thinking about how you’ll make it to retirement, here are six suggestions from NBC’s Kelsey Butler in January of last year. I’ve been thinking about retirement accounts a lot over the past couple of months, having blown through three of them over ten years.

The Tim Ferriss podcast with my hands-down favorite author Neil Gaiman. I first read Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek last spring (listened to the audiobook, twice in a row on several trips across Florida). Gaiman’s Neverwhere I read as a high-schooler, and that was my first introduction to the author. I’ve since read just about everything he’s written, including the Sandman series (straight through and then with the annotated editions from Leslie Klinger), American GodsStardust, and The Graveyard Book, to name a few.

If you have an Aubible subscription, get Sam Shepard’s True West, the West End production featuring Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow) & Johnny Flynn. It’s a free download for subscribers (up to two Audible originals each month), and it’s really good.

Unroll.me. I was slow to get this one, but it really works! I’ve gone from a couple hundred emails a day down to less than 30. I’ve still got some clearing out to do, especially across multiple email addresses. but thus far, this has been an amazing help. Plus, its single daily email with previews of each email you’ve rolled (not unsubscribed but not individually let in) gives me one place to see if there’s anything there that I need.

 

I’m 35… Now what?

For starters, here’s the chestnut from back in May: “By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts”

Huh… Click the link to read all the Twitter responses. I don’t even know what to say to that.

What I do know is that, no, I don’t have twice my annual salary saved. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually cashed out two retirement accounts in the last ten years. One was to help pay for my M.A., the other to fund my first international travel excursion. (And marriage, but that’s a whole different saga…)

I am rebuilding my retirement accounts, utilizing Acorns and Stash. Is it a lot? No. But do I set aside money each month for my future? Yes. And that’s an important distinction.

There are many issues with growing up, being an adult, and living life nowadays. I’m not saying that there haven’t always been challenges. I know there has been. Parents having to walk up hill, both ways, in the snow to get to school.

But seriously, we now have more access to just about everything. Health care, fresh produce, jobs, instructional videos, housing, distant friends and family, etc. We gave up degrees of privacy, downtime, upward mobility, living within our means, and community.

Being 35 in 2018 is almost science-fiction compared to being 35 in 1918. Imagine what a 35 year-old in 2118 will experience!

So I’m left with the question – what will I do? What will I do with the next 35 years of my life? What will I become? What do any of us do with the time we have?

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”

– Martha Graham

The Art of Stopping Time

I’m often contemplating the lack of time that I have. Mostly I believe it’s self-inflicted. For instance, I’ve signed on to two new shows over the coming six months, and I’m currently working up in Georgia.

For starters, we all have problems. Little foibles that make us who we are, the struggles that define us. Or, that we assume define us.

In some of my recent reading, I’ve found that we can exert more control over how we spend out time. Get off the social media (I barely use it myself now). Quit checking email (but what if I miss something?). We’re all guilty of time-wasters. The things that we tell ourselves are important, when really it’s just FOMO: fear of missing out.

I like this tale from Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

-found on BeMoreWithLess.com