The Final Curtain

In October 2011, I retired this blog and then later that year, in December 2011, I resurrected it. You can read the reasons why in each of those posts by clicking on the hyperlinks or you can read my summary here: life changes precipitated the initial closure of this blog and then I returned because of numbers. In the first post, I also talked about splintering myself into different blogs and different places and that is still occurring: Facebook profile and page, Twitter, Google+, GoodReads, Pinterest, Listography, Instagram, Riffle, SparkPeople plus another blog. I am literally all over the place and can’t keep up with myself.

All that said, now is the time to refocus on not only where I am, but who I am. By no means is my journey complete, but the initial reason that I started blogging on this blog is. I realize that what I wrote in March of this past year when I closed this blog again is still true: I have closed chapters on each of the three themes of body, mind and soul with which I started this blog. You can read the reasons why in that post by clicking on the hyperlink or you can read my summary here:

  1. When I began blogging with the blog Just A Running Fool in late October 2005, my goal was to chronicle my journey to reach a marathon by the time I was 40. In September 2007, I finished the 25-mile Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect, which while short of a marathon, was at least as exhausting physically, mentally and spiritually as a marathon, and in essence completed that goal.
  2. Then in late April 2008, I began another now defunct blog Just A (Reading) Fool to  keep track of what I had read, was reading and wanted to read. Yes, I still keep track of what I have read, am reading and want to read, but I am not strictly a book blogger and is why I ended that blog also. That chapter of my life, strictly as a book blogger, is over, even though I still am in contact with many book bloggers and I will continue to remain in contact with them.
  3. In December 2007, I began the now defunct blog Journeying with the Saints to chronicle the rest of a journey through The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius of Loyola that began in September 2007 and ended May 2008. There, I reflected on the Exercises first and then, after I was done with them, on other devotions with a special emphasis on the works of the saints– from Ignatius to St. John of the Cross and St. Benedict, to name a few– as well as sharing resources for devotions and the Exercises. I still find Ignatius’ Examen a worthwhile exercise to reflect on the week or even the day. However, within the last month, my wife and I both have decided that the Catholic Church to which we converted isn’t for us anymore. Thus closes another chapter.

So who am I? Yes, I still am an unfinished person in this unfinished universe, as  I believe all of us are. I was, as I put in my description once at about.me, a blogger extraordinaire and still am a library assistant ordinaire. However, I want to be just a blogger ordinaire and a library assistant ordinaire. For that reason, I now can be found at only one blog, Still Unfinished, where I chronicle what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m listening to and what I’m photographing under my blog persona Unfinished Person and on one Facebook profile under my real name. This blog will remain as an archive until I can figure out what else to do with it digitally.

In the near future, I also will be suspending my Facebook and Google+ pages, my GoodReads, Pinterest, listography and Riffle accounts as unfinished person. I am keeping myself on SparkPeople and Instagram (body and soul, if you believe that with taking a photograph, you can capture someone’s soul) and might reopen an account on listography under my real name (I love lists, but don’t necessarily need all the pictures like on Pinterest). As for Twitter, I’m   leaving that up in the air until a later time, but will post an update here when, and if, I do make a change.

I still will be splintered, but in a lot less places and, for the most part, under my real name. For those of you who have regularly followed this blog, I hope you will continue to follow my other blog and if you can’t figure out how to comment there, please feel free to comment on my Facebook profile where I will put up links to each post. I still plan on participating in The Sunday Salon (perhaps the one carryover from this blog).

Sincerely yours,

Bryan G. Robinson

December 7, 2012

At 70 and counting

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve now read 70 books this year, and that’s as of last night. On Sunday, I was at 60, but since have finished two more:

  1. Unwanted, the first Fredrika Bergman, by Kristina Ohlsson.
  2. The Black Box, the 18th Harry Bosch, by Michael Connelly.

Out of the two, the Connelly one was the better book by far, but I almost always enjoy Connelly’s books, especially the Bosch series. In this one, Bosch returns to a 20-year-old murder that occurred during the riots in 1992. Next up, as mentioned on Sunday, are these three first:

  • Whose Body?, the first Lord Peter Wimsey, by Dorothy Sayers.
  • The Man Who Went Up In Smoke, the second Martin Beck mystery, also by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
  • Monster by A. Lee Martinez.

The last two, which will make my count 75 for the year, are:

  1.  The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2 by Arthur Conan Doyle.
  2.  1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

I’ve had the latter on my list –and my Nook– since the start of the year. At 1,000-plus pages, it was inevitable that it would be waiting for me at the end of the year. I have several days off for Christmas and plan to tackle it then. I already have completed half of the Sherlock Holmes collection and will get to that after these three books.

At the beginning of the year, I’m issuing my own reading challenge, as well as continuing two challenges in which I have participated in the past. I’ll talk more about that toward the end of the month. Until then, I’m going to focus on these last five books to make my goal.

How are you doing on your reading goals for this year? Getting any closer to the number you set for yourself? Any books you must read before the end of the year?

Reminder: If you haven’t updated the feed for this blog, please do so. It now can be found here: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/unfinishedpersonThose of you following by e-mail should already be receiving my new updates.

My favorite albums of 2012 so far…

Well, it’s that time of year when critics are making “best of” lists. I’ve started my own list on Spotify of my top albums of 2012. I probably also will put it on Mog (and will add the link here later). If you don’t have one or the other of these services, you need to get one. Personally, I highly recommend Mog.

So far this is the list:

  • 17. Jack White – Blunderbuss 
  • 16. Fiona Apple - The Idle Wheel Is Wiser…
  • 15. Grace Potter – The Lion, The Beast, The Beat
  • 14. ZZ Ward – Til’ The Casket  Drops
  • 13. Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven
  • 12. Grimes – Visions
  • 11.  Tame Impala – Lonerism
  • 10. Grizzly Bear – Shields
  • 9. Passion Pit – Gossamer
  • 8. Baroness – Yellow and Green
  • 7. Death Grips – The Money Store
  • 6. The Weeknd – Trilogy
  • 5. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
  • 4. Miguel – Kaleidescope Dream
  • 3. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
  • 2. The Shins – Port Morrow
  • 1. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

That last one is far and away my favorite album of the year. It immediately hit me when I first heard the first note on the first song. Not many albums do that. As for the second one, The Shins’ Port Morrow was one of the first albums to which I was introduced through Pitchfork, which is one of the sources I’ve been finding new music. Most all of these bands with a few exceptions were found either using Pitchfork or AllMusic or both.

 So what are some of your favorite albums from this year?

Another long weekend (of reading)

The Sunday Salon.com

As mentioned yesterday, I am in the midst of another long weekend, thanks to not using my vacation hours at my part-time job until the end of the year. As a result, I was able to go see my aunt, who is in the hospital, yesterday and today, tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, plan to catch up on some reading. Mainly, the books are leftovers from Thankfully Reading Weekend, in which I participated over the Thanksgiving Week.

The books are:

  • Whose Body?, the first Lord Peter Wimsey, by Dorothy Sayers.
  • The Man Who Went Up In Smoke, the second Martin Beck mystery, also by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
  • Unwanted, the first Fredrika Bergman, by Kristina Ohlsson, which I already have started.
  • Monster by A. Lee Martinez.

If I finish those this week, that will leave me just three short of my goal of 75 books for this year, with two major ones left on my list to attempt to finish before year’s end. Those two are: The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2 by Arthur Conan Doyle, which I have partially finished, and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. What will be the other book? Most likely, it will be The Black Box, the 18th Harry Bosch mystery, by Michael Connelly, which I have on hold at our library. I’m second on the list and I know the first person already has it. I hope that the person returns it soon (might even check on Monday afternoon to see if it’s been returned and go in to work on my day off – the horror, the horror! – just so I can get it while I’m still off).

To what books are you looking forward to finishing before the end of the year? What about movies? To what are you looking forward to seeing before the end of the year? Besides the obvious of The Hobbit, Django and Les Miserables, I’m actually looking forward (maybe, please don’t laugh) to this one, for which my wife and I saw the trailer the other night:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXu3nfQ5qTE]

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Barbra in a movie. Last good one I remember: Nuts.

Reminder: If you haven’t updated the feed for this blog, please do so. It now can be found here: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/unfinishedpersonThose of you following by e-mail should already be receiving my new updates.

For a trailer for a movie that my wife and I watched earlier this week that we loved (I, a little bit more than she), visit my secondary blog, Still Unfinished.

Given Time

Each Friday (or sometimes even Saturday), I post Flashback Friday, where I use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen as a guide and usually ask the following questions: For what are you least grateful this past week? For what are you most grateful this past week?

Least grateful

My aunt is in the hospital. She went in one hospital late Wednesday night, then was transferred Thursday to another. Initially, she was taken in for high blood sugar, but then the doctors learned of further complications, namely that her heart is weakening. Friday, we learned that she had a heart attack, although they’re not sure when it happened.

As a result, a niece, one of my cousins, is flying up from N.C. to see my aunt, because she doesn’t know if this might be the last time she sees her. Unfortunately, my aunt has had a heart attack before and many diabetic episodes, so I also am going over to visit her sometime soon, because of that. One never knows.

Most grateful

With the above in mind, I am most grateful for time off from work, thanks to vacation hours still at my part-time job. Even though I don’t always work on Saturdays, today is an annual special event in our town and as Fate or Providence would have it, I didn’t schedule to work today, allowing me not only a break from a busy day at the library, but also an opportunity to go see my aunt later today if I so choose. I might go tomorrow, but I really don’t want to wait too long. As a result of my long weekend, and not having to go back to work until late Wednesday afternoon, I also have the opportunity to see my cousin possibly on Tuesday. She’s supposed to arrive then and stay with my sister, to start, who lives near the hospital where my aunt is, so depending on when she arrives, I might be able to go over to see her.

Initially, I had planned to spend much of this weekend reading, and I still intend to do some reading. Tomorrow, during my regular Sunday Salon post, I will talk about that, but I will just say that my reading this past week has been slow and I hope to be able to read a book or two during the break I have been afforded, inasmuch time I am not on the road to see my aunt or visiting with her. That still should leave me at least two relatively uninterrupted days (Sunday and Monday) of reading, which, with any time I can spend reading, I am indeed most grateful. I say “relatively uninterrupted” not only because of potential circumstances changing with my aunt, but also because of, on a lighter side, fantasy football.

For what are you least and most grateful this past week?

Those of you who subscribe to this blog might have seen a different version of this post in your feed. I deleted that one because upon a short reflection, I decided that the way I juxtaposed my aunt’s illness with my opportunity to read this weekend might come across as insensitive. I didn’t intend it that way, but after reading it after I hit “Publish,” I realized that could be the case. I only hope that I worded it right this time around.