Monday, September 18, 2017

Things That Make Me Happy

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, I struggled to get into this. Some books require a deeper focus than I have had lately to appreciate their worth. And this was one of them. But now I "get" it and am really enjoying it. The beauty of the prose and the deep rendering of a character and place really hooked me.

Really enjoyed watching Kevin perform with his Monday night School of Rock group. Amazing to see these elementary school kids, sing, keyboard, play drums and guitar. They have so much stage presence already. And they all love it. They performed at a bar at noon, which was an odd experience but the stage and lighting was terrific.

Enjoyed the first episode of THE DEUCE. We had some friends over and they didn't get it at all. Their only TV watching is sports, news and Downton Abbey. They also don't read novels. They have trouble with narrative and they have no historical context for what a show like this is trying to do. So they were mystified, but we loved it. 

The weather still rocks. Our new sprinkler system is keeping our lawn florescent green despite the lack of rain.

Phil has had the cataracts removed from both eyes. Glad that is over with. Certainly the year for doctors. Hope we get some respite from it.

What about you?


Margot Kinberg said...

So glad you shared that great 'photo with Kevin playing, Patti! And glad to hear Phil's eye procedure went well.

Jerry House said...

Yay for Kevin and woot for no cataracts and huzzah for good weather!

Since my local library, despite a good staff, is the pits, I finally got a library card from the next county over. Was able to get books I hadb't read before from Bill Crider, Ken Bruen, Lee Child, John Connolly, and Roald Dahl. Reading Nirvana!

Speaking of which, Ken Bruen's 2016 Jack Taylor novel had a shoutout (on page 183) to a certain writer named Patti Abbott. That really made me happy.

Binge watched two seasons of Jane Campion's TOP OF THE LAKE with Elizabeth Moss. Good (and somewhat quirky) stuff.

Eric Trump and his wife had a baby boy. I'm happy for them because, you know, babies are awesome. I am very sad for the baby, however.

Grandson Mark ran well in a meet this week, winning a tee shirt and a certificate. He missed the time he was aiming for (just barely) but secured his spot on the varsity team. He also got his senior pictures and they were fantastic -- he's very good looking with his sly smile.

George said...

Summer is still with us with sun and 80 degree temps every day! That's 10 degrees above Normal for this time in September.

I scored some good books at the Kenmore/Tonawanda Library Book Sale! This is the last Book Sale of the season around here.

Diane and her Book Club are reading A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, too. Diane likes it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Our library is pretty poor too but we are surrounded by better ones, thank goodness. I am going to find that Bruen book and copy the page. Or maybe just buy it. Jeff told me months ago but I forgot. He has been very supportive of my writing for a long time. I get message from him on Facebook. What a great guy.
I tried TOTL but forgot to tape the second night so now I am not sure if they will replay it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Everyone seems to like it and it is for my group too, George. We are off to DC this week where it will toy with 90.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I too loved that picture of Kevin. I wish I had any musical talent (I played the tenor sax for a couple of years as a teen), but sadly, I don't.

Yeah, I loved the Bruen line. His new one will be out shortly, as will books by Lee Child, Craig Johnson, Michael Connelly, and Allen Eskens. No shortage of good reading material.

It's a little humid but we've had a wonderful streak of late summer weather, so much better not only than the hard-hit hurricane zones but the Northwest. My brother and Rick have horror tales of almost unbreathable conditions.

Lots of good watching, still, mostly on Netflix and the like. I sort of like season one of TOP OF THE LAKE but we turned off episode one of Season Two. We found it unwatchable. I found episode one of Ken Burns's VIETNAM fascinating. I've read a lot about the history, as well as related fiction. Good to see Tim O'Brien at the end. (We recorded THE DEUCE.) I can't say I'm looking forward to much in the new network season, however.

It's been a few weeks since we've been to the theater, so I'm glad we got tickets for another J. B. Priestley revival this Wednesday, TIME AND THE CONWAYS. (I must admit I do tend to read it as TIM AND THE CONWAYS.)

Also enjoyed Melissa Landers's SF YA book, STARFLIGHT.

Steve Oerkfitz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Alto sax. Sheesh, I don't know what I was thinking up there.

Todd Mason said...

The tenor of your playing made everyone cry "Alto!" because saying "Stop!" in English was insufficient?
I was a trombonist of that quality.

Look to your Sundance Channel on-demand option, Patti...I suspect you have such. I haven't yet managed to get around to the new season of TOP OF THE LAKE, but soon.

I've been patting/skritching cats a Whole Lot of does improve the outlook. Good tv/film, literature and podcasting as well.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Todd.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You fooled me, Jeff. I don't know saxes at all.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Getting the same good weather as you Patti. In the 80's this weekend. Kind of disappointed in my new library but they have gotten me a lot thru inter library loan.
Avoided Top of the Lake-don't like Elizabeth Moss-find her kind of creepy. Besides she is a Scientologist which turns me off.
Saw Mother which I didn't like altho I am glad I saw it so I know what all the fuss is about.

Gerard said...

I had a mostly bleah weekend. But, I was happy to see Boy #2's Saturday morning soccer game and the family went out for lunch to celebrate my wife's birthday.

A colleague from another library has sold her house and is paring down all her possessions to move to the UK. Her husband teaches there and they have bought a new home there as well. It seems like an exciting move and she is able to bring her dogs over as well.

Chris said...

Regarding The Deuce, I appreciate what went into making it, but am not quite a convert yet. I was resistant to The Wire at first as well, so that means little. Loved Treme from start to finish.

I haven't really connected to any of the characters yet. And the dialogue can be hard to keep up with, even more than Simon's other shows.

And I question whether he's ever going to know any part of New York the way he did Baltimore. New Orleans is a relatively small city, with outsized personality traits, and the first season was set in Post-Katrina New Orleans, which provided a lot of focus.

Obviously The Deuce isn't about all of New York--just a small patch of it, and mainly just hookers, pimps, mobsters, pornographers, and cops. But that in itself may be too limiting. Or it may ultimately be liberating. I'll watch the whole season before coming to a final verdict.

I remember the titular street quite well, from the late 70's, before Disney cleaned it up. Used to go see movies there--not porn. Mainstream movies, at the end of their runs--plus an entire theater devoted to Hong Kong Kung Fu flicks.. The Deuce never changed with the times, in the Post-Psycho period--you could still walk in at any point in the double feature, and stay as long as you wanted. And audience participation was a major thing.

As hard as they've worked to get every last detail right--it still doesn't feel real to me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Well, Richard Price is a New Yorker and Simon has a residence there and Megan lives there too. So hopefully that will help its authenticity. I think you need to find a character to root for. And unlike his other shows, it is most likely to be a woman. With me, it's Darlene. And I think the reporter-barely introduced last week--will also be relatable.
Maybe using CC will help with the dialog. I use it almost all the time with shows like this. I had a hard time understanding the dialog on INSECURE so I know what you mean. Did THE WIRE seem real in the beginning? I had to work really hard to get with it. I came back to it more than once.