Monday, July 29, 2019

Things That Are Making Me Happy

I saw another production of OTHELLO which I enjoyed. A really terrific Iago even though some of the other parts were not as strong. I think I have seen this play second only to HAMLET in numbers.

I got my garage cleaned out in anticipation of a new wall installed on the back. It will be nice to not have snow, leaves and dirt and most of all animals getting in there. Yes, the wrought iron gate is pretty but no practical.

Reading JCO's book about the death of her first husband, Ray Smith. Her second husband died in April. I have read it before but now it speaks to me.

Getting ready for the trek to Traverse City. We are seeing 14 films in the next week. Hope we are up to it. I am going with my friend Charleen who is so kind to be the driver. 

Watching BLACK SPOT on Netflix. Only two episodes in but I like it so far.

Kevin is reading ERAGON. Looks like he enjoys fantasy novels. Any suggestions for a 12 year old. Oh, and his voice has changed. Startling.

What about you?


Margot Kinberg said...

I like Black Spot, too, Patti - very glad you're enjoying it. And I hope you enjoy your trek!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Cool. Enjoy the film festival.

We put BLACK SPOT on our Netflix list along with four or five other new (or new to us) shows, but haven't watched it yet. We decided to start the second series of four shows we've been watching. Of those, so far I am most enjoying the Spanish El Ministerio de Tiempo (THE MINISTRY OF TIME). The others are the German DARK (so confusing and hard to keep track of the various time travel eras without very careful attention) and the Swedish THE RAIN, plus the American STRANGER THINGS, the one we are not enjoying much and are ready to give up on.

We finished the second series of the Israeli SHTISEL (yes, we really are enjoying all these foreign series, most in the original language with subtitles), and can't wait for them to make series three and get it to us. Also watching MIDSOMER MURDERS (series 18, so far a not very good one), THE WEST WING (series 3; of course, we've seen these before), and NCIS (series 8). On Amazon Prime we are watching THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES (series 2; it is sort of a New Zealand version of MIDSOMER, but we're enjoying it more) and LINE OF DUTY (series 3; British cops investigating corrupt cops), among others.

We're also watching (on PBS) what is sort of a Belgian answer to MONK - PROFESSOR T. And I am looking forward (sort of; it is very dark) to the final episode of YEARS AND YEARS on HBO tonight. And John Oliver is back with new episodes, yay!

WE did watch the interesting adaptation of Richard Ford's WILDLIFE, written by actors Paul Dano (who also directed) and Zoe Kazan. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, and is set in Great Falls, Montana in 1960.

Other than television and reading, not much going on in the dog days of summer. Doctors' appointments (everything OK so far) and lunches out. We do have three concerts in August after a concert-free July, and we are hoping to get to the theater too.

Jerry House said...

Watched the first episode of THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES late night and liked it. We've been on a WIRE IN THE BLOOD(based on Vl McDermid's Tony Hill mysteries) binge; we've seen them all before but the beauty of getting old is forgetting things -- each episode seems almost new.

Watched a preview of the high school band and color guard's 2019 program. Needs work, but at this time of the year it always does. And they always get it together. Erin (he said proudly) did great.

School starts in two weeks (they open early down here) and Erin will be a Senior. She already has enough credits to graduate and has taken several college course last year. (The school system allows this.) She'll be taking all college courses her senior year except for color guard, which is a credited course. This will allow her to get college credit while the high school pays for it. A money saver!

As I said, school starts soon and Christina is panicking. The work getting ready for school is overwhelming her. Not that she has much on her plate -- three kids (including Jack, who is a handful all on his own), three dogs, two cats, various reptiles, a husband, her job, the side business of making, marketing, and selling soap, college visits with Erin, a 3000 square foot house, keeping track of appointments, bookkeeping (household and others), worries about her sister (who is fine now) and her fuddy-duddy parents (who manage much better than she believes), and meeting her "new" sister-in-law and family (did I mention that Walt recently found out he had a sister and that Walt's father recently found out he has a daughter and that there's a whole new famdamnily grafted onto their family and that Walt and Christina and kids will meet them later this year? I didn't? Well, we learn something every day, don't we?) among other things. So for the past couple of days everybody had been helping Christina get organized. She's much happier now. A simple win.

Two major birthdays coming up in August and plans are being firmed up. For Jessie's birthday we are going ax throwing -- evidently that's a thing. And when I say we I mean all of us, including Jack. Handing a seven-year-old kid an ax and telling him to throw it could be a recipe for disaster, but I am told that the ax throwing place (evidently there is such a place) will have everything under control. Geez, I'm old.

Then later in the month, Ceili wants a high tea for her birthday. Although it's been years since I've had a high tea, that's something I definitely can handle.

Among the neat things I found on the internet this week was thousands of back issues of THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. A plethora of great short stories and serials are now available to me -- many never reprinted. I can locate the stories I want using the FictionMags Index and then go to the old issues on Internet Archive and voila! (Turns out there's also back issues of ESQUIRE and possibly others not listed in IS's Pulp Magazine Archive.) I'm as happy as a pig in what-comes-natural!

Luckily, none of us has to dip into what-comes-natural to be happy. May happiness and joy rain over you this coming week, Patti. I hope you have a great time in Traverse City.

George said...

Like Jeff, we've been going to our annual doctors appointments. My retina specialist told me, "You've got the best eyes I've seen today!" I also got the second Shingles shot so I should be protected now.

Diane is busy getting ready for a family reunion party she's hosting this coming weekend. We're expecting 14 attendees. Diane is working with a caterer so I'm basically in charge of the wine.

LEGION and AGENTS OF SHIELD have their finales this week so I'll have even less TV to watch. I plan to use that time to read more.

I liked Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. But at 161 minutes, the movie is too long.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I liked Once Upon A Time In Hollywood enough that I will probably see it a second time. It is nice having a big budget film that isn't about superheroes.
Watching little tv. Yellowstone and City On A Hill are only series I am watching right now.
Read The knife by Jo Nesbo. I enjoyed it but it could have been cut by 50 pages without any problem.
Going to the doctor tomorrow. I have constant pain in my left knee and I hope they can help without surgery or pain killers.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Kevin might like the Earthsea books by Ursula K. Leguin. Or something by Philip Pullman.

Hope you see a lot of great movies at the TCFF!

Jeff Meyerson said...

George, a good friend in North Carolina - a retired nurse, so she should have known better! - ignored my recommendation for the vaccine and just came down with shingles last week. She was convinced at first it was meningitis (a little knowledge is a dangerous thing), but after treatment she is recovering quickly. You can bet she will get that vaccine now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Steve-If you still want a rewatch when I get back I would be glad to have your company. I will be back next Monday.
I saw that movie, Jeff, (Wildfire) and liked it a lot. I read the book years ago.
In charge of wine, is a good thing, George.
Leguin is a good idea. I think he read the first Pullman.
Poor Christina. I would be panicking too.
Thanks, Margot.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Patti-I will hold off rewatching it until next week.

George said...

Jeff, the Principal that Diane worked with for 15 years visited Western NY last week. He's retired and battling some health problems. Diane and I met the Principal and his wife at an ice cream parlor and chatted for an hour or so. I noticed the Principal was very fidgety in his chair.

"Are you all right?" I asked him.

He looked chagrinned. "I have shingles all across my back and chest," he replied. "It hurts like hell."

"Why didn't you get the Shingles Shot?" I said.

"I had Shingles twice so I didn't think I could get it a third time," the Principal reasoned. "But I did."

Jeff Meyerson said...

Brilliant! Hers was mostly on the side of her face.

Rick Robinson said...

Patti, there are three Eragon books in the series, so that will keep him going. I liked them when I read them. I would also highly recommend the Perf books by Anne McCaffrey.

@George: we have tried for months to get the shingles shot, with no success. Every pharmacy has waiting lists months long, and isn't even taking new names. Our MDs say we need to go to the pharmacy, so it's no go. They say we need to get it but no one has it. Bah.

@Jeff: see above to George. We're not ignoring the need for the shingles shot, we just can't get it!

Thank goodness for air conditioning! It's climbed into the high 80s and 90s here and we run it every day. It's nice at night and in the morning, but by about the house really heats up on the SW side. We've been having dinners that don't require the oven. Our Daliahs are gorgeous this year; they like the heat.

George said...

Jeff, I don't understand people who could prevent the pain and anguish of Shingles, but choose NOT to get the vaccine.

Rick, I was on the Rite-Aid wait list for the Shingles shot for months. Then, when I was picking up one of Diane's prescriptions, the pharmacist said, "We just got 10 doses of the Shingles vaccine in today. Do you want your shot?" Of course, I said, "Yes."

Then, once you have the first Shingles shot, Rite-Aid moves you up the list so you can get the second shot in two months (which I did last week).

I'm hoping I never experience Shingles!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Rick, believe me, I get it. Luckily, Jackie befriended the pharmacist at Costco, so he put us on the list and as soon as the vaccines came in, he called her. And he had a very light touch with the needle.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I had two weeks left to get my third shot but luckily I did.
Thanks, Rick. I will keep a list for him.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Second shot excuse.

Todd Mason said...

There's so very much more YA fantasy published since I was reading it. What was big when I was 9-12 was Dodie Smith, Lloyd Alexander, Joan Aiken, Patricia McKillip, a bit of Jane Yolen. Of course, I was even more into reading horror short fiction then. The fantasy stories by the likes of Jorge Luis Borges, John Collier, John Steinbeck, Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, Robert Arthur, Stephen Vincent Benet, Shirley Jackson and Muriel Spark were often mixed in with the horror, or were borderline horror themselves.

By the time I was 12, I was reading mostly adult fantasy...Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, Ursula Le Guin and Jane Yolen's adult work, and was about to get deeper into it.

Obvious stuff: THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS by Tolkien; A WRINKLE IN TIME and others by L'Engle, which are science-fantasy.

Less obvious: THE WELL OF THE UNICORN by Fletcher Pratt, the fantasies of Lawrence Yep, Craig Shaw Gardner, Parke Godwin, Janet Fox.

Does he like short fiction?

Gerard Saylor said...

I took a 9 day trip to Montana and Yellowstone NP with my 16-year-old, 3 other Scouts and 3 other fathers. We returned last Sunday and I've been too worn out or aggravated by work to type anything.

A two day backcountry hiking trip. A sightseeing day. A horseriding day. A kayak and sightseeing day. Four days of driving and the entire trip was about 3400 miles.

Tomorrow we leave for central Kansas to visit family.