Monday, July 22, 2019

Things That Are Making Me Happy

My book group makes me happy. Between the seven of us we were able to suss out some stuff about EUPHORIA, which made me appreciate it more. People I know who don't belong to book groups always say 1) I don't want to read books other people choose 2) it just ends up being a social gathering 3) There is always someone who talks too much.

But my group always reads and mostly discusses the books. And they often choose books I would not read on my own. And being social for 30% of the two hours is fine with me On our own here in blogland (except for George who reads widely) we all tend to read the same kind of books--fiction. Especially since we all like genre fiction that narrows it more. My book group alternates fiction and non-fiction. Like next we are reading a book about the Flint Water Crisis. We read books written by men and women. So I think it works well. We are all Dems so we don't argue about politics. But we do discuss them.

Enjoyed somewhat THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE, but I think it went off the rails a bit the second half. The degree of violence wasn't necessary to my mind although Steve O. might think differently. Mixing humor and violence is hard to pull off. Especially extreme violence and deadpan humor.

I thought the second season of BIG LITTLE LIES was awful. Flat, ill-thought out, redundant. Sure the acting was good but when they are given little of substance to act on, ugh.

Still debating Bouchercon. I signed up for it and reserved at room somewhere but am not sure I want to wander around alone. Dallas seems like an awfully big city to do that in. I like panels but cannot do them all day. And finding people to have meals with was tough even with Phil along.Hopefully Megan will be able to go.

I am addicted to PROJECT RUNWAY. There is something soothing about it and most of the seasons are on Hulu. Other than that I am not finding much else to watch. I need shows that don't require much concentration. So too, books. Maybe I should sign up for Britbox. A lot of their shows seem simpler than series on Netflix and Amazon. Hope I get some focus back soon. Hope I get myself back soon. This mourning is a real roller coaster ride. Just when you think you're past the worst you realize there is a lot of worst ahead.


Jeff Meyerson said...

Patti, we are looking forward to seeing - and eating with - you in Dallas. Please come.

I did a lot of reading this week (see Rick's blog), what with the heat keeping us inside for several days.

Typical Hollywood - if something is a "hit" they cannot resist doing a sequel or a second (or third) series, even if they have nothing else to say. I've heard the third STRANGER THINGS series is not great (we'll get to it). We just watched a British series - so many things I can't remember which it is - where the creator said, this was created as a mini-series, period, and that's it. No sequel. I applaud him.

We quit watching THE ROOK (Starz) after last week. Myfanwy (rhymes with Tiffany) is a bore and a cipher and we don't care about if or when she will wake the heck up and do something.

And speaking of ciphers, I know FIRST MAN was highly praised by critics last year, but we found it disappointing. Maybe Neil Armstrong was indeed the silent type in life, I don't know, but Ryan Gosling played him so low key as to be nearly catatonic. You never really know what he is thinking. Critics had it in their top 10s but not me. And have you ever seen a space launch where Mission Control says so little to the astronauts? Weird.

We're watching season three of LINE OF DUTY, the tough British police show, and we're three episodes from the end of season two of (the Israeli) SHTISEL, which we are happy to hear will have a third season. Jackie is watching JACK RYAN on Amazon. I'm not.

Episode five of HBO'S YEARS AND YEARS tonight. (Maybe that was the show where he said it is one and done.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

So is YEARS AND YEARS all doom and gloom? Been wondering...

Margot Kinberg said...

My daughter and I used to watch Project Runway - we enjoyed it together, which was great. And I'm so glad you have a local group of bookish friends. There's something about discussing a book with friends, isn't there?

Steve Oerkfitz said...

just finished reading Nothing's Bad Luck a biography of Warren Zevon. So I have been playing a lot of his records lately. He also had a connection to Ross MacDonald.
Starting The Knife by Jo Nesbo next. Of course all my holds at the library came in at once. I know have 5 library books sitting here and 2 more waiting to be picked up. Guess I know what I'll be doing the next 2 weeks.
I liked The Art of Self Defense. Not a perfect movie but better than most fare this summer. Looking forward to Once Upon A Time in Hollywood this weekend.
Didn't care for the third season of Stranger Things. And Winona Ryder is a terrible actress. I enjoy the heat but some pretty nasty storms this weekend.

Jeff Meyerson said...

It's interesting. YEARS AND YEARS is up to 2027 so past Trump, but yes, there is a lot of dark stuff. But the four siblings and their grandmother (and children) remain very close, even though they don't agree politically. But Emma Thompson is scary as a politician of the near future.

My sister has always loved PROJECT RUNWAY too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, this summer has been awful for movies. Waiting for THE FAREWELL to come.

George said...

I'm happy that Angela Crider Neary, James Reasoner, and Joe R. Lansdale agreed to join Art Scott and me on a BOUCHERCON #50 panel.

The Heat Wave is over (for now) but the last few sweltering days were No Fun.

Like Steve, I'm looking forward to ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I know what you mean about book groups. Sounds like yours works for you, a group of compatible people who actually read the books (which many don't). But I have that Groucho Marx "I don't care to belong to any club that would have me for a member" thing, to some extent. Most of the ones I've heard about are not for me (and wouldn't have me as a member).

Jerry House said...

I'd gladly let Jeff be a member of any Club I belonged to but I don't belong to any. Sorry, Jeff. (I belonged to four different mystery books clubs in the past and enjoyed them all; maybe it's time to start one here. If so, I'm sure Jeff would be willing to commute.)

Granddaughter Amy (evidently she's spelling it Ammy now, but I'm not) is in Boston for two weeks prior to her move there sometime in August. She and two friends have got an apartment on Tremont Street lined up. Hope she has a fantastic time.

Kitty has one more chemo session ahead of her, then a decision will be made whether to continue the chemo and when (perhaps every other month, perhaps two or three times a year, or perhaps just as needed depending on her bloodwork). Her medi-port has always bothered her since it was installed, so in anticipation of much fewer chemo sessions she had it removed this week. It did not go well and the pain relievers they gave her for the operation did not work. (Her body seems to have an ongoing hate/hate relationship with operations.) But she made it through, the damned thing is out, and she continues to be my brave little soldier. Much better days ahead.

Jack turned seven and got a lot of neat seven-year-old stuff. Time just goes zipping by and kids grow up too fast and you just have to take the time to enjoy the moment.

Unlike others, I enjoyed season three of STRANGER THINGS. It took a slightly different turn but I'm glad it did not remain static. The kids are growing up and that change was well reflected in this season. We've started binging on FATHER BROWN and finally finished Season 20 of MIDSOMER MURDERS. (After some difficulty. We signed up for Acorn and then had a !@#$% of a time finding the shows -- sometimes we could get them and sometimes not. I know Kitty and I are technical Luddites, but this was ridiculous. We're cancelling the service.) Started the new season of Veronica Mars and we're enjoying it greatly.

Despite the heat, we're making an effort to get out more. I am extremely happy that we do not have the killer heat most of the country now has.

To help me cope in the past I read a lot about grief. Two quotes stood out. "The deeper that sorrow carves itself into your being, the more joy you can contain" (Kahil Gilbran) and "Next person that minimizes my grief is getting a swift kick to the shin" (anonymous).

May this week and every following week be better than the ones before.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Jerry. I think it comes in waves and the wave is big right now. Not sure why.
I am not going to ask for a panel since I am not sure I will go but Megan says she is going if I am maybe I will and get to see George on a panel.

Rick Robinson said...

Your book group sounds efficient, and also enjoyable. So many are ill-disguised social groups with much yapping and little book related activities. Do you meet round robin, or always at the same place?

Not being a moviegoer nor much of a TV watcher (other than PBS), I have no comment on all those series you and Jeff mention. As for B-con, you should go, there will be tons of people to visit with, friends of yours will be there, the panels are often interesting. When I go, it's the panels I plan around. I've found many new to me authors that way, and enjoyed the conversations in them.

Barbara used to watch Project Runway, there was a young woman from Portland in it who came close to winning her season. It didn't interest me.

Yesterday we had 90, the hottest day this month, but it will drop to the low and mid 80s this week, which is fine. I don't do heat well.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Very few men seem to be in book groups although our library has one where there are a lot of men. Maybe I will join that one too.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Thanks, Jerry. I appreciate that. And hope Kitty is feeling better this week. The truth is, I have always been something of a loner and not a joiner.

We get Acorn through Amazon Prime and have had no problems with it. We're watching Midsomer on Netflix. We're halfway through season 18.

George said...

Patti, if you decide to attend BOUCHERCON #50, Diane and I would like to take you out to lunch or dinner (whatever works with your schedule). And Megan's invited, too, if she wants to spend time with the Kelleys!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, George. Count me in.

Todd Mason said...

Much better days ahead, Patti and Jerry. And that sounds like a good panel, George...hope it's recorded.

Some old friends are trying to help out of my funk (not the good kind). That doesn't hurt. Makes me happier.

I don't always write about what I read, but probably should emulate George's example...and Rick's. Might make the blog live up a little more to Matt's flattering default description.

Hope you do choose to go, Patti...I suspect many will be very happy to see you there, and Megan as well, of course.