Looking Forward (June 2020 Update): The Pursuit of Happiness

Welcome to FirewaterCorp’s quadmonthly “Looking Forward” happiness report for June 2020.

Our abiding philosophy is that happiness is derived from always looking forward to something. And, in our world, where quiet contemplation isn’t really something desired during the waking hours, most of what is looked forward to are our choices in entertainment, pleasurable ways to pass the time when we’re doing nothing else.

Our mission statement is, as always, “Read. Play. Watch.” And then: “Write About It.”

READ”

Since the February update, the following books were completed:

  • The Last Sword of Power, by David Gemmell (novel)
  • Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours, by David Mack (novel)
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle, by George V. Higgins (novel)
  • Horns, by Joe Hill (novel)
  • Supernatural: Bone Key, by Keith R.A. DeCandido (novel)
  • The Forgotten Man, by Robert Crais (novel)
  • Nameless: In the Heart of the Fire, by Dean R. Koontz (digital novella)
  • Wired for Story: the writer’s guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence, by Lisa Cron (nonfiction: writing)
  • The Walking Dead: Compendium 2, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn (comic)
  • Batman: Vol. 3: Death of the Family, by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion (comic)
  • Superman Vol. 2: Secrets and Lies (The New 52!), by Dan Jergens, Jesus Merino & Keith Giffen (comic)
  • Saga: Vol. 2, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (comic)
  • The Cartoon History of the Universe, Volumes 1-7, by Larry Gonick (comic)

Currently reading:

  • A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet Book 1), by Daniel Abraham (novel)
  • King Con, by Stephen J. Cannell (novel)
  • To Fear the Light, by Ben Bova and A.J. Austin (novel)
  • Nameless: Photographing the Dead, by Dean R. Koontz (digital novella)
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos, by Brian Greene (nonfiction/physics)
  • Up in the Old Hotel, by Joseph Mitchell (nonfiction/fiction collection)
  • Y: The Last Man: Book Four, by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., and Goran Sudzuka (comic)

Looking forward to reading:

  • Cibola Burn (The Expanse Book 4), by James S.A. Corey (novel)
  • Nameless: The Praying Mantis Bride, by Dean R. Koontz (digital novella)
  • Wolf in Shadow, by David Gemmell (novel)
  • The Walking Dead: Compendium 3, by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard (comic)

PLAY”

Since the February update, the following video games were completed (or abandoned):

  • Horizon Turbo
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 + Arcade Game Series
  • Elite Sniper 4
  • God of War
  • Far Cry 5
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Monster Energy Supercross

Currently playing:

  • NBA 2K17
  • NHL 18
  • FIFA 19
  • The Show 19
  • Minecraft (building, always building)
  • BioShock (replay)
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Mafia III

Looking forward to playing:

  • Arkham Knight (replay)
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (replay)
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (replay)
  • Destiny 2
  • Far Cry: New Dawn
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Watch Dogs: Legion

WATCH”

This category gets subdivided into “TV” and “Movies.”

Since the February update, the following television series were completed:

  • Shameless: Seasons 1 thru 3
  • Agents of SHIELD: Season 6
  • Dracula: Season 1
  • BoJack Horseman: Season 6 (final)
  • Nova: The Fabric of the Cosmos (documentary)
  • Harley Quinn: Season 1
  • Fresh Off the Boat: Season 6 (final)
  • Arrow: Seasons 7 & 8 (final)
  • Peaky Blinders: Seasons 1 thru 3
  • Star Trek Picard: Season 1
  • Stumptown: Season 1
  • Modern Family: Season 11 (final)
  • Locke & Key: Season 1
  • The West Wing: Season 3
  • Better Call Saul: Season 5
  • Ozark: Season 3
  • Dispatches from Elsewhere: Season 1
  • Westworld: Season 3
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (BBC)
  • The Masked Singer: Season 3
  • After Life: Season 2
  • Community: Season 1

Currently watching (TV series):

  • Supernatural: Season 15 (final)
  • Peaky Blinders: Season 4
  • Harley Quinn: Season 2
  • The West Wing: Season 4
  • Twin Peaks: Season 1
  • Shameless: Season 4
  • GLOW: Season 1
  • Community: Season 2
  • Agents of SHIELD: Season 7 (final)

It looks like the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed Supernatural for a while. It may not be back on until the fall. This has been the longest Apocalypse ever.

Looking forward to watching (TV series):

  • Shameless: Seasons 5 thru 10
  • The West Wing: Seasons 5 thru 7
  • Peaky Blinders: Season 5
  • Twin Peaks: Season 2
  • Star Trek: Discovery: Season 3
  • The Orville: Season 3
  • Doom Patrol: Season 2
  • NOS4A2: Season 2
  • Lucifer: Season 5 (final)
  • Vikings: Season 6 (final)
  • Outlander: Season 3
  • Community: Seasons 3 thru 6
  • Supergirl: Season 5
  • Flash: Season 6

There are other television series that I’m looking forward to, but I’m not certain they’ll be on before October.

Since the February update, the following movies were completed:

  • Yesterday
  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
  • Unknown
  • The Big Sick
  • The Invention of Lying
  • The Clapper
  • Overlord
  • Louis C.K. 2017 (standup special)
  • Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (standup special)
  • Chad Daniels: Dad Chaniels (standup special)
  • Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (standup special)
  • Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping (standup special)
  • Tom Segura: Ball Hog (standup special)
  • Misery Loves Comedy (documentary)
  • We Are Twisted Sister (documentary)
  • Classic Albums: Black Sabbath “Paranoid” (documentary)
  • Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (documentary)
  • Colin Hay – Waiting for My Real Life (documentary)
  • Cracked Up: The Darrell Hammond Story (documentary)
  • Star Trek (2009) (XI) (rewatch)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (rewatch)

Currently watching (movies):

  • Star Trek Into Darkness (XII) (rewatch)

Looking forward to watching (movies):

  • El Camino
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Star Trek Beyond (rewatch)

We took a cruise to the western Caribbean at the end of February. I’ve already written about it here, and don’t care to rehash it. Not the best experience this time. I’m waiting for time to mellow my memory, so that I’ll remember only the good parts.

A little over a week after we returned to the US, on March 11, 2020, our home state of Arkansas recorded its first known case of COVID-19. It escalated from there. You can probably tell by the heft of my watched-list this time that we’ve been on self-quarantine for a while. Arkansas is going through another peak since the social-distancing restrictions were lifted. With Sharon on immunosuppressant meds for her MS, this is a scary time. We haven’t seen friends or family face-to-face in two months now. At least we have each other.

April 20, 2020, was my five-year anniversary with the U.S. Postal Service. I was at home under self-quarantine for weeks prior to this date. It’s hard to believe I’ve been away from retail management as long as I have. I still dream about it.

I’ll keep you updated with our next quadmonthly report in October.

Until then . . . (with apologies to the late Walter Cronkite) And that’s the way it is.

BE

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