Monday, July 27, 2020

Still Here

Lots of good weather, a little dry though. It feels like summer is ending. I have lost the little interest I had in my garden. It is all about weeds by now. And the Rose of Sharon is all about bees. Hard to get near it.
Finished the second season of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND on HBO, which was gorgeous and decided I wanted to read the next book in the series so I downloaded it. Finished Swanson's THE KIND WORTH KILLING. Very clever but like EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS gets by too much on twists for me. I guess if you like books for the puzzle, you would like it more than I did. Still I finished both these books so that says something about them.
Finished both the Dutch series on Acorn. THE SCHOUWENDAM 12 ended badly for me but I guess seven good episodes is enough. Landing the ending is tough.
Reading THE STAR MACHINE about how Hollywood groomed their stars of the golden age.
A lot of my friends can't read at all, but I find I am reading more than ever. How about you?
Several porch visits. Went up to Josh's on Saturday where we played Boggle, which I was lousy at. Their swim club had to close because they had an employee with Covid. Kevin is playing a lot of tennis and still taking the guitar lessons.
They are watching THE SIMPSONS from the first to the last. I have never watched it so I am going to try and watch it with them.
Friend bringing Chinese food over for dinner and we are going to watch THE FISHER KING or SNOW WHITE. Haven't decided which yet.
What's up in your neck of the woods?


Steve Oerkfitz said...

Love this weather. Don't feel so cooped up from the covid when I can get outside. I have no trouble reading. Finished Like Lions by Brian Panowich. It's country noir, a genre I like. Also read a lot of short fiction in various anthologies. Mostly rereads of stories I last read years ago. Also read Greybeard, a 60's sf novel by Brian Aldiss.
Not a lot of series tv. Line of Duty, Perry Mason, John Oliver and I'll Be Gone in the Dark (which seems a bit longer than it needs to be). Watched a lot of movies. Mostly ones I have seen before. The Virgin Spring and Shame from Bergman. The new 4k edition of Spartacus. The Good, the Bad and The Weird-a sort of Korean spaghetti western which is a lot of fun.
Miss going to movies and live music. There is usually a lot going on outdoors in downtown Royal Oak in the summer. But nothing this year. But at least some baseball on tv.

Jerry House said...

My reading has sharply declined during the pandemic; don't know why. I find myself veering to older pulp stories than anything else. I did read three old volumes of the EDGE adult western series (my FFB this week) and enjoyed them; I have a number of other books in the series buried somewhere around here and I'll have to dig them out. Currently reading an old SPIDER pulp masked hero novel. I have had the new Stephen King collection for a couple of weeks but have not been able to start it.

The effect of Hanna here has led to some angry waves and occasional storms. It is still relaxing to go to the beach and watch the relentless Gulf. Hanna turned south after landing on Texas, so we were not impacted. We may not be so lucky with Gonzalo.

Florida has delayed it's school opening for a couple of weeks, but they still have no idea what to do with the coronavirus. A lot of anxiety over Jack, who enters third grade this year. **sigh**

We are still puzzling over the German series DARK. We started watching RAIN and it appears interesting. The Canadian series SLASH has been keeping us guessing. That's a lot of violent TV shows -- maybe we are projecting our feelings about COVID.

We had planned a trip to Cape Cod in August, but the pandemic has squashed that idea. The girls are planning to beach every day instead. So many things we have had to cancel -- Fourth of July outing, celebrating Kitty's mother's birthday, various trips...but we all still happy and healthy so we will not complain. Kitty and I both tested negative this week, so that's a blessing.

And the damncat is getting more and more needy as she gets older. She just turned fifteen. Come to think of it, I was pretty needy when I was fifteen.

Speaking of needy, I need to wish you a fantastic week ahead, Patti! Stay safe.

Michael Padgett said...

A lot of people, including me, seem to be reading much less during the pandemic. One major reason, at least for me, is that not having library books available goes a long way toward cutting off my supply of the sorts of books I'm likely to read quickly, leaving me with the sort of books I tend to buy, which are less quickly read. Although this past weekend I read the first book in Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series and zipped right through it.

Last night I watched the usual HBO stuff. Patti, I think you're right about "I'll Be Gone in the Dark". If it had more than one episode to go I'd definitely give up.Last week I got an email from my cable company, Comcast, telling me that as an HBO subscriber I could get HBO Max for no charge. I'll look into that but I've read that Amazon has not yet made a deal to put it on their streaming platform, so I'll have to check that out. I was given very complex instructions on how to convert to HBO MAX. Nothing in the streaming world is simple.

The highlight of the weekend was having baseball back. Love the new extra innings rule where teams start each extra inning with a runner on second.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have not figured out how to get HBO MAX on my TV and I think it is because of the actual TV, a Samsung which has give me trouble before. Luckily our library is open for curbside pickup. Having a beach to go to would be such a wonderful thing, Jerry. I really miss water and in a state surrounded by it.
It's funny how if you have a lawn and plants that need water, you watch the lack of rain very differently from someone in an apartment.
Watched THE FISHER KING last night and although I know I saw it in the early nineties, I remembered not a single scene in it. Ever happen to you.

Jeff Meyerson said...

It took me a while, especially with recovery from the surgery, but the last week or two I do find I have been reading more, especially short stories, shorter books (like the new Lee Smith, BLUE MARLIN), and non fiction like SCANDINAVIAN NOIR and Heather Lende's IF YOU LIVED HERE, I'D KNOW YOUR NAME.

We haven't started the two Dutch series yet, as we try and finish the ones we're in the middle of first. We did start season two of SRUGIM (Yifat and Amir's wedding). We went back to season one of the Finnish DEADWIND. We quit watching after 4 or 5 of the 12 episodes the first time, can't remember why, but this time we will get through it. We are definitely enjoying the Norwegian NOBEL. Part of it is in Afghanistan, part in Oslo. We started with the first episode of JONATHAN CREEK (the first two series are the best), and will see how far we get with rewatches. Saturday night is our British Night - we are up to the final series of LEWIS, and will probably start rewatching MORSE next. We are also watching VERA and SHETLAND, both from the mind of Ann Cleeves. Lighter fare? Jackie is enjoying the pleasant chick lit show THE SWEET MAGNOLIAS. We are nearly done with season 9 of NCIS.

Jackie is a huge fan of THE FISHER KING. She loves the scene in Grand Central.

No end to summer here. We're in our second "heat wave" (which they characterize as at least three consecutive days of 90+) and no end in sight yet. Had doctor and dentist appointments the last two weeks. Jackie had a tooth extracted. Otherwise, it is the supermarket or picking up food at restaurants. I really like the way they have set up the outdoor dining at so many restaurants, but I am not ready to eat there yet myself.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We did watch the first two series of DARK and RAIN. Much prefer the former, despite how confusing it is at times with all the back and forth time travel and same characters at different times of their lives.

We did watch the first episode of series 9 of VERA, which Jackie swore she remembered but I had virtually no recall of at all. It took me until the second episode of DEADWIND before I remembered that we'd seen it before, so yes, it happens.

We have had the same issue with HBO Max on our Samsung. Haven't been able to figure out how to get it at all.

When is the next series of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND going to be ready?

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Patti- with help from a HBO tech I got HBO Max for about 2 weeks. Now when I try to access it it says I need a subscription. I didn't find enough on it to watch to make it worthwhile to pay for. Very little original programs and those mostly kid shows. A lot of movies but mostly overly familiar ones. I can fins enough stuff to watch elsewhere.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-They just finished Season 2 so I am thinking it will be quite a while but they did renew it.
I am hoping they make a deal with Roku soon. That would be my best bet. I know that there is not much on there but I pay for it so I want it. I just read it again today, it you pay for HBO you should get MAX/
That was a beautiful scene, Jackie. Magical. Glad you remember it.

George said...

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, I've been doing more reading. Like reading Megan's wonderful book review in yesterday's NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW.

July here has been hellish: heat and humidity. We may be in the 90s again today. Will our A/C hold up to all this heat?

Our local coronavirus testing numbers are under 1% positive. But Florida, Texas, and California look like they're out of control!

Diane just loaded up our DVR with HALLMARK movies (mostly Christmas). She claims they relax her.

Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It does seem like every Hallmark movie I flip by has Christmas decorations up. It must be soothing for people. We all have our comfort tv. I am watching INDIAN MATCHMAKER, which I find strange but deeply interesting. Those Indian men are certainly coddled by their mothers and probably then their wives. More than one has said they want a wife just like their mother.

Rick Robinson said...

It's hot here, looks like we're going foe our third day at 100 or more. Thank goodness we put in new HVAC in March. We're having to water every day, in the morning. Those bees won't sting you, Patti, unless you swat at them.

I've been reading about the same as always, which means I always have a book going, sometimes more than one. Lately I've also been trying to read some poetry each morning, which I find soothing, or thought provoking or confounding or sometimes all three.

The kitten, Pongo, is growing and has so much energy! Constantly on the move. The older cat is not happy with being constantly harassed. Last night was the first time there were no closed doors so both could be throughout the house as they desired. We wound up with both on the bed this morning, one at foot, one at shoulder. The second Barbara got up, they both left, and I got an extra half hour of sleep.

All the problems with streaming and special channels makes me glad I don't have that stuff. About the only movies I watch is on TCM, though nothing lately.

TracyK said...

We have had thyme in the back area for 20 years now since a friend gave me some plants when we first moved in and I let them go wild. I was try to cut them back after flowering because they looked like weeds to my husband, but the bees were constantly on them and I gave up. Unfortunately now they have a terra cotta pot upside down under them. Maybe this fall / winter they will die back a bit and I can pull it out.

I am reading just as much although the recent gardening has cut into the time I have in the day. I find my choices for reading are more varied now and I stick less to the loose plan I have for reading. And I am buying more books and I have plenty already.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I know you were hesitant about watching LENOX HILL (and there is a lot about brain tumors and surgery), but it is very well done. When one of their colleagues (I GUESS I SHOULD SAY SPOILER ALERT HERE) develops cancer himself, they all pull together even more in order to help their friend. But it is not all cancer, by any means, as there are any number of babies delivered (one of the OB doctors is pregnant herself, and one of the ER doctors gave birth in the episode I just watched) too.

This is Netflix, by the way.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yeah, I watched two eps but it really takes me back to spending most of two years at the hospital. I have never been much of a medical show watcher anyway. No ER, and especially no
HOUSE. " I have lots of things that might be weeds but might not be. I really need to get someone with some expertise. My friend in Savannah would normally be helping me but she is stuck there this summer.
Do you read modern poetry, Rick? I used to read a lot but somehow it drifted away.

Gerard Saylor said...

I've been listening to more audiobooks. I play a mindless computer game on a tablet while listening to a book. Our internet service has been spotty and I have read reports from others in town with the same trouble. I've mostly been rewatching shows and movies or watching programs they don't require much thought. Case in point: Yesterday I watched the 4th MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

I got to go out a few times this weekend for mountain biking and the grocery store. Dane County, WI is next to us and requires masks indoors. My wife and I went to a grocery store there after I exchanged the cable modem in an attempt to improve service.

Our most pressing concern is how the school district will operate. The most recent outline says they are offering in-person or virtual in September. But, a very big but, the online program is through their virtual charter school. I checked the school website and cannot even see course offerings. We have both a senior and freshman and I want to make sure they get the classes they need. The older kid is signed up for 2-4 AP classes over the entire school year and has a high class rank. I want him to get those classes and also not slip in rank because of big changes.

Todd Mason said...

Folks working indirectly for Alice's home and car insurance company are currently cleaning up from tearing out some of the walls in two rooms on the second floor. And part of a closet. (Don't get Amica homeowner's insurance.) A roof leak week before last. Last week we euthanized our tomcat, who was, like Jerry's, 15yo, but with suddenly failing kidneys. Amino-acid med AminAvast helped keep him vital longer than the vet expected. Our vet's pessimism has been temporarily foiled for two of our cats, but only for a fairly precious short run in both cases. Dad's ashes are with Jeri, and soon Domino's will be with us. Smaller crises, and the fun of getting the roof replaced, loom.

I try to read, and am tempted again with unboxing/reboxing some more of my books from storage (the roof leak destroyed a few precious items, such as vintage Robert Bloch paperbacks and a less elderly Lawrence Block...most of the damaged items less building blocks of a good library. And today, a kind gift of the hc of THE CLEFT AND OTHER STRANGE STORIES by Gahan Wilson, from one of my closest friends. (I might have the paperback Somewhere, but I wouldn't lay heavy money on it.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a nightmare that must be. I just ordered two books on the 1918 pandemic and must have been in a fog when I did it because do I really want to read them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Really worrying to have a senior this year, Gerard. Maybe things will normalize more by January.
I am listening to more audiobooks too since I discovered I can get them through Hoopla for free.