A Look Back - October 2017

October may be the shortest update I've done in the 6+ months I've recapped months. This is one of the only months of the year we haven't gone somewhere, and nothing major really happened. But that's not to say it wasn't a great month, it was just a busy one! 


One of my goals with these monthly updates is to not only cover the exciting, but also the mundane and normal. October 2017 was both mundane and fantastic. It's a month where we spent time at home, watching TV, enjoying this beautiful apartment community we live in, and working harder then I've seen us work in a long time. I'd say more often then not this month one or both of us had to work in the evening and/or on the weekend. 

In early October we did finally trade in Jenn's old iPad Mini for a 10.9" iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. In the morning Jenn likes to use her iPad to surf the web, check her favorite clothes and home decor websites and plan the next 5, 10, and 20 years. We love the new iPad Pro and it will be especially useful on our upcoming trip. 

Speaking of which, in the middle of October we spent almost an entire day in a conference room in our apartment complex doing last minute trip planning. It was quite the endeavor. Because we've booked our entire Grand Adventure on our own, there are a ton of moving pieces that we've been trying to get ironed out. This was our attempt to put it all together, develop a full-blown itinerary and fill any gaps we found. It was both a fun yet an excruciating process that makes me even more excited for November 1st to roll around. 

The following weekend we went down to Burbank with all of my siblings and Ryan and went on the Warner Bros studio tour. I honestly didn't even know it existed until Amy got a gift card to go there. Jake came down the night before where we enjoyed another insanely delicious meal at North Italia with a great bottle of wine and a rather intense political conversation. The next morning we stopped at Blk Coffee in Irvine, got Vietnamese Ice Coffee and were off to Burbank. The tour itself was really good. I know Ally was slightly bummed the area of the Gilmore Girls set was closed for a Halloween attraction, but otherwise, it was pretty fun. They had quite a bit of Harry Potter and DC Comics stuff which was fun and I love old-school Hollywood trivia. The main attraction for us though was to take a picture on the set of Friends. Really that's the only reason Amy wanted to go, and we went in line twice to take pictures. 

After the tour; Ally, Amy, and Ryan headed back to Riverside when Jake, Jenn and I headed back to Orange County. On the way home though we stopped in Redondo Beach and went to a restaurant called The Hudson House. It's owned and operated by a Top Chef contestant that we were rooting for on a season we just watched, Brooke Williamson. The restaurant did not let us down. Whether it was the insanely delicious pretzel bites or the spicy chicken sandwich, or the crown jewel fresh chocolate chip cookies with bourbon milk to dip into, it was all amazing. 

The closer to the end of the month we got the more busy Jenn and I got. The last full week of work before our big trip was non-stop 10-14 hour days at work, with more when we got home. Luckily we had a slight reprieve over the last weekend of October to get ready, start packing and get the last minute planning done for our trip.

Before we did that though, it was time for a Szerlip household tradition, Pumpkin decorating/carving. We were able to get some simple carving designs and on Sunday before Halloween carved two awesome pumpkins. Jenn made an owl, and I did a bat. I'm so glad even with how busy we've been we were able to still keep the tradition alive. 

And so just like the month began, the month ended with us getting a ton of work done and getting ready for our big trip, which begins tomorrow! 


After finishing Seinfeld last month, we were on the lookout for new short comedies to use as our nightly ritual. We used Netflix's Atypical and NBC's The Good Place as those shows. We went through the first season of Atypical and liked it, even though it was predictable. We both fell in love with The Good Place, a simple comedy about what happens to us after we die. It's simple, witty, and poignant. 

We finished the latest season of BoJack Horseman which continues to be a powerhouse of a show, and we're slowly making our way through Orange is the New Black. We sort of just stopped halfway through the season. It's gone off the rails. I only have a couple of episodes of The Denders left as well. 


I could not have read any more different novels this month. Starting with We Were Eight Years in Power, an insightful look at the last eight years with Obama as President. Although I had already read some of the essays before, the connections between them were insightful and it made for a great read. The second book The Wicked + The Divine is a comic book I read for GamersRead and was far and away the worst thing I've read all year.

The book that stole my heart was Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. A book that takes place in Italy during WWII is not only the best book of this month but it might be the best book I've read all year. I adore it. 


Sadly we didn't see any new movies this month. Like I said before, its been really busy. But I will say that I did re-watch two movies I saw by myself over the summer with Jenn. Those were Wonder Woman and Baby Driver. Both of which I still love. 


October was one of the biggest months in video games in a long time. In one day we saw the release of Assassin's Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein 2, and Super Mario: Odyssey. I have Assassin's Creed: Origins but sadly my Xbox One died the day before I got it. I also have Super Mario: Odyssey but I'm saving it for my trip. 

The only new game I played this month was Shadow of War for the PS4. I'm loving it but I haven't had as much time to sink in as I'd like. Really I've been playing Madden 18 and NBA 2K18 on my 15-30 minute breaks from craziness. 


We saw one show this month. It was at South Coast Rep and was Gem of the Ocean. It was a powerful 3+ hour play that was both powerful and emotional. We sat in the second row for what turned out to be a truly inspiring and moving performance. I just wish we weren't as tired as we were from the week when we went to go see it. 


Avg Daily Steps for the Month: 14,481 (-510 steps a day from September)

Avg Hours Slept for the Month: 6 hrs 26 minutes of sleep a night (7 hours September)

Avg Miles Run per Day: 3.35 miles (-.09 from September)

Avg Weight: 135.17lbs (-.56lbs from September)

Total Miles Run for the Month: 104.04 miles (+.016 from September)

Total Steps Taken for the Month:  448,901 (-811 steps)

PersonalJoel SMonthly Recap