Looking Forward (February 2019 Update) — Happiness Is . . .

I don’t make New Years resolutions anymore. Instead, I generate lists of goals I plan to achieve, or things I’m just looking forward to. The plans don’t always stay the same, and the goals aren’t always achieved. It’s the planning that’s the important part. That, and the looking forward. Which I’ve become convinced, more than ever, is the secret to happiness.

The majority of my goals have been entertainment-oriented, because that’s what I do. I allow myself to be entertained, and then write about it here.

Since my last update in October 2018, I’ve crossed a few goals off the list. I finished watching Season 3 of Daredevil, which has now officially been cancelled by Netflix. I’m in the middle of watching the fourth season of Supergirl, and the fifth of The Flash. I have, however, stopped watching Black Lightning to move on to things that capture my attention better. As with Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, I reserve the right to double back and watch this series later. After a promising start, Lightning failed to get better during its second season, and my patience ran out. Life’s too short, and there are too many other entertainment options.

There’s no lack of superhero television in my life, however. I’m now in the middle of watching Season 2 of The Punisher, and it hasn’t been cancelled by Netflix yet, as far as I know. I watched all of Season 1 of DC Universe’s Titans, and loved it. There’s a forthcoming Doom Patrol series that I intend to give a shot; the first episode airs later this month, I think. The third season of Jessica Jones should be coming out soon as well.

I’m also about to finish watching Season 2 of The Gifted. I’m looking forward to finishing the season, but I’m on the fence about continuing to watch if it gets renewed. The finale would have to be something special to keep me as a viewer, I think.

Gotham is finishing up its fifth and final season now, and I’m watching those episodes, although I’ll admit that I rarely look forward to it. It’s been a weird series, often difficult to watch, and I’m looking forward to it ending. I must have a masochistic streak to continue watching, but I can’t quit when the finish line appears so close.

I finally finished watching all of the Star Trek series except for the original 1960s series now stylized as Star Trek: The Original Series. I am about halfway through my rewatch of the third, and final, season. Since I’m watching only two episodes a week, I won’t wrap that goal up until mid- to late-March.

The Boldly Going project still continues, and I’m writing about every episode, and I’m just now probably only a third of the way through Season 2. I’ll probably still be working on those posts until after my next update. Because I’ve been struggling with a bit of writer’s block, I’ve decided to relieve some of the stress I was creating for myself while attempting to stick to a one-episode-per-week schedule. I feel like I’ll reach the end of the series during this calendar year, but if I don’t, I’m not going to sweat it.

The 15-Minute Force project is currently shelved as well. At this time, I don’t plan to continue with Solo (haven’t watched it yet) or the upcoming third sequel until I complete my new 15-Minute Federation project, in which I’m giving the same 15-minutes-at-a-time dissection of all the existing Star Trek movies, from original cast to the J.J. Abrams reboot. I am finishing up Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with one final post, and then moving on to one of my faves, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Again, to keep things stress-free and casual, I’m not pushing myself to write one 15-Minute Federation post per week, so it may take more than two years to get through all of the movies. I’m enjoying the process so far.

Within the next couple of weeks, I will have completed watching the entire series New Girl. I still have some season reviews to write here. This has been a fun sitcom diversion. Prior to this, I caught up on the first two seasons of The Good Place, and may wait to watch Season 3 on Netflix.

Since my last update, I also finished watching Season 3 of The Expanse, and the first two seasons of Riverdale. Season 4 of The Expanse will be out on Amazon Prime sometime this year, after being cancelled by SyFy. I’ll continue watching. I probably won’t watch Season 3 of Riverdale until it’s released on Netflix.

I did watch the entire Season 1 of Hulu’s Castle Rock since October as well. I enjoyed it, and look forward to Season 2. Season 1 of Mayans MC was also good; I’m not sure when to expect Season 2.

Since last time, I’ve started watching the series Supernatural and Vikings. I guess I still have more than a decade’s worth of seasons to watch of Supernatural and at least three or four more seasons of Vikings, since I’m currently watching the third seasons of both. These are great shows. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to finishing them any time soon, since both are still on the air, but I am looking forward to watching more of them.

Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville have both begun their second seasons as well, and I’m staying current on them.

Television choices that I’m looking forward to beginning prior to my next quarterly update include the eighth, and final, season of Game of Thrones. This has been a great series, and I know I won’t be the only one watching. It kicks off in April, I believe. The fifth, and, again, final, season of iZombie begins in May. This series has been fun. The next season of American Gods will begin airing next month, in March. I’m not sure if it can maintain the momentum of Season 1, but we’ll see. I remain optimistic.

Other series I have watched and loved will be returning as well, but I don’t know their schedules yet. While I look forward to them, they probably won’t be coming back during this next quarter.

There are some new series that I want to begin watching soon. Maybe not before June, however. Among these are Marvel’s Runaways and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So many others, to be sure. We’ll see what happens.

That takes care of television and movies for now. Let’s move on to what I’m reading. I’m still reading Caliban’s War, the second novel in the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey, and a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel Bloodletter, by K.W. Jeter. For some reason, I’m reading Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely at extremely slow rate. I may still be working on that next time. Since the sun went away, and I liked reading it outside, I’ve kind of stopped reading it. The other two will be finished long before my next update.

I have three novels on deck to begin next. I think I’ll take a one-book break before I order the third novel in the Expanse series. The next three novels I intend to read (although I always reserve the right to change my mind) are the following: Mass Effect Andromeda: Annihilation, by Catherynne M. Valente, which will complete the ME Andromeda trilogy (I doubt there will be more); Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt, by Chuck Wendig, the second in his Aftermath trilogy; and, Supernatural: Nevermore, a tie-in to the television series by Keith R. A. DeCandido. The Supernatural novel was the first expanded universe book published, way back in 2007. It’s set in the second season, which I’ve already watched, so I consider it fair game.

I realize that all of these books are media tie-ins. Considering my choices in entertainment, you really weren’t expecting something more highbrow, were you?

I’m still playing the Spider-Man video game, and will be for a while yet. It’s beginning to look like another platinum trophy may be within my grasp. We’ll see if that happens. All of the games I was looking forward to playing last time, I’m still looking forward to. I’m waiting for the prices to drop still. I am also playing Need for Speed: Payback and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, plus several sports titles. These include new sports, such as soccer, hockey and tennis, in addition to baseball and basketball. Football has been shelved for another season since the Steelers dropped out of the race to the Super Bowl.

Enough with the entertainment, that embarrassment of riches, that veritable cornucopia of content. What about real life events I’m looking forward to?

Well, in March, Sharon and I are flying to Puerto Rico to spend a few days. I lived there for three years as a child, and Sharon has never been. We’re celebrating Sharon’s birthday at the same time. So, that should be fun.

We haven’t heard any updates about our Wisconsin granddaughter’s wedding plans. I believe it was changed from May 4th a while back, but we’re not sure if they’ve actually settled on a new date. I haven’t asked for any time off for it, and don’t know if I’ll get any approved when the date is set. I will try.

I’m about to celebrate my fourth anniversary at the Post Office in April. The last four years have gone by quickly.

I’ve also been having some wacky and surprising medical issues recently that I’m having looked into. Nothing life-threatening, as far as I know, but concerning. I have Degenerative Disc Disease, which is pretty common as you get older, and apparently a bulging thoracic disc is turning my lower extremities into a carnival ride with some unexpected dips and mechanical failures. At least, that’s what my family doctor thinks. I’m going back to see the neurosurgeon who operated on a different disc (with great success) about six years ago for a consultation in a couple of weeks. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to whatever comes next, but I am looking forward to getting my issues taken care of, as best as I can.

On that note, I’ll end this long mission statement with the usual sentiment.

Forget “Eat, Pray, Love.” It’s “Read, Play, Watch,” and then “Write About It.”*

* Okay, the “Eat, Pray, Love” part is in there, too. I just don’t write that much about it.

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