Monday, August 31, 2020

Still Here

 More gorgeous weather. So glad I can get a walk in every day. And out at 8 on a Sunday and the streets were filled with walker and runners. Everyone is getting into shape for the next round even though this one isn't over. Even the dogs look like they have muscled up. It is already fall here basically. The smell of it, the look of it, the temps. Early fall but fall.

Friends took me out to an outdoor restaurant this week and although it was a little iffy mask-wise, I really enjoyed it. First time since March I have been out to dinner. And other friends brought food in so it was a really good week. And then Josh and family brought takeout from Potbelly so boy, am I lucky. Of course, now I have used up all my friends' good will for a while.

Reading Easy Rider, Raging Bull about the changes in the movie business in the seventies, The Memory Police, which has a fascinating premise if she pulls it off, The Teagirl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See for my book group. The date is supposedly 1988-90 but it seems more like the 1500s. Is it invented
? I am not sure. 

Watching the old Morse's which seem better than most anything since. John Thaw is certainly a large part of it and certainly Dexter's writing but they allowed the story to unfold more gracefully, I think. They included art and music and architecture. Did Morse ever turn down a drink?

Watched a oldie-History is Made at Night with Jean Arthur and Charles Boyer. Very romantic but a really nasty villain that was bit over the top for the era. Tried The Vow on HBO but it is too dark for me. Watched Wild Bill (Brit Box) but there were only four episodes. That is too few. Maybe they got sidelined by the virus. Really enjoying The Last Dance about Michael Jordan. Don't know why it works for me so well. Well, yes I do. Because it tells stories. 

I am concerned about how seriously kids are going to treat school given the way it will be this year. Somehow they have to understand they just can't slide for eighteen months. Which is the attitude I am seeing. Like they are getting away with something instead of being deprived of something.

What about you?


Margot Kinberg said...

Just the chance to go outside is so nice, isn't it, Patti? And I'm glad you had the chance to go out to dinner, too. As long as the weather holds, it's a lot easier to connect with each other that way.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We've been walking more too as the weather this week was more temperate - 70s rather than 80s. We've been toying with outdoor dining but always shy away in the end. Today at lunch is a possibility, depending on how crowded the restaurant we chose looks. We'll see.

We finished watching the first series of THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, which we liked, and THE OLDENHEIM 12 (Dutch). Jackie liked it but I agree with you about the final episode. I don't buy it. Still watching SRUGIM (nearing the end of series two) and RITA (series one), and we started the next series of THE WEST WING (series 5 is probably the last we'll watch) and NCIS.

So far, we are not enjoyed the early INSPECTOR MORSE as much as you are. First series (all based on books I read but only remember vaguely) he falls for an inappropriate woman in each show and always plumps for the wrong murderer. Even MIDSOMER only has three murders (on average) per episode. SERVICE OF ALL THE DEAD had six, including a child. Incredibly predictable end: early in the episode, Morse and Lewis climb to the top of a church tower, where Morse is incredibly afraid of heights. At the conclusion, rather than calling Lewis who is stationed outside, Morse chases the killer up the same tower with predictable results, before Lewis appears and saves the day. Then Morse lies in court to get his crush a lighter sentence even though she was involved in the scheme.

One more point, which Deb pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago. Director Peter Hammond (this was his first Morse episode) seems to have a bizarre penchant for shooting scenes off mirrors and other reflected surfaces which, once noticed, you cannot miss. It is very intrusive.

I am enjoying the "spot the cameo appearance by Colin Dexter" in the episodes, though.

pattinase (abbott) said...

His falling for the women and having to drink are conceits I enjoy. He just has so much more personality than the actor who plays Endeavor, and Kevin Whately never worked as the primary character for me. Maybe I will tire of them too. Maybe we have all watched too many of this sort of show during this time. I have watched all of Rita but she has gotten tiresome, especially in the most recent season. The first few were good though. Am I willing to tolerate a flawed male character more than a female? I wonder.
One of my favorite series was George Gently. Perhaps I will watch that again.
Now that I have Brit Box a whole new world has opened. Ha!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, we love BritBox. We liked the GENTLYs too, even though that is a period I don't often enjoy. For a terrific mystery (usually impossible crimes), watch JONATHAN CREEK. The first series, however, made cuts to fit into an American time slot, so it took out the personal scenes between Jonathan and Maddie. We've been watching the British DVDs of series 1. I think VERA and SHETLAND are on Britbox. THE THICK OF IT and CRACKER and ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE are on Britbox. Also DALZIEL & PASCOE.

I've been reading more non fiction lately. CITY OF NETS (I have three or four years to go) and Arlene Alda's JUST KIDS FROM THE BRONX. Now it is the very enjoyable collection of Laura Lippman's essays, MY LIFE AS A VILLAINESS, which I started yesterday afternoon and will finish this morning.

Jeff Meyerson said...

While I agree in general on Lewis, he grew on me as the series went on. I love Morse's car and enjoyed certain tropes - always making Lewis buy his drinks, etc.

We did watch (again) BLACK PANTHER last night (on ABC, without commercials).

George said...

I survived a "medical" week that consisted of a colonoscopy, a yearly ophthalmology appointment, and an over-night Sleep Study.

All I have this week is a dental cleaning appointment that was postponed from May. Diane and I are trying to get as many doctor's appointments and procedures done before the Second Wave hits.

Colleges open this week in Western NY and public schools open next week. I'm pessimistic about the outcomes.

A CEO on CNBC said all the kids should repeat last year's studies. He's convinced last year was a Lost Year in Education.

Our weather has moderated so we're in the 70s this week. Very pleasant! Stay safe!

Jerry House said...

One of my daughters loves Potbelly and complains openly that there are none in our area.

The whole family went out Saturday to make our own sundaes at Wild Honey to celebrate Ceili's birthday. Some of the kids were really inventive. At least one of the adults (me) overindulged.

Christina started work Monday. She is a sign language interpreter for a sophomore in a local high school. She has worked with this girl for four years and has grown quite fond of her. On Tuesday, she happened to mention that members of her family had tested positive for COVID. That news threw the entire administration in a panic and the girl was told that she would have to stay home in quarantine for two weeks, leaving Christina to try to pick up interpreting jobs elsewhere in the system for those two weeks. On Friday we found out that the girl had tested negative and the school board is allowing her to return on Monday. Of course, negative does not mean asymptomatic so the school board could well be cting prematurely. We do live in interesting times.

The weather has been a mix of pounding rain and sizzling sunshine, the rain coming in mornings so we could not go to the beach. I'm sure the dolphins missed us.

Caught Season 10 of VERA which was very enjoyable. A lot of our television time this week has been with clickbait on YouTube. It's like potato chips...once you start, you cannot stop.

Reading this week has mainly been short stories, science fiction for the most part. I did, however, read F. Paul Wilson's SIGNALZ, the latest book in his Adversary Cycle. thoroughly readable, as expected, but inconclusive as it takes place just before the final book in the series.

I doubt very much that you have used up the good will of your friends for a while. I'm sure they will be there again this coming week and every week after, helping you have a safe, happy, and fulfilling week.

Gerard Saylor said...

I continue to listen to audiobooks and am on the 3rd Nick Petrie novel. I'm kinda split on this series. The lead guys are not exactly supermen but treated as though they are the bestest and greatest and can solve any problem. One of those solutions was to stick a pistol in the face of a 20-year-old motel clerk and then lock him in a closet. Yeah, I'm a bit conflicted over your hero's heroism...

My trip up North to go mountain biking was cancelled since both bicycles were out of commission and needing repair. That turned out okay since Boy #1 was able to finish re-sealing our big asphalt driveway, I was able to do some cleaning, and I took the dog on a long-for-us walk.

I too hope the children will stay motivated and working and not blow off the year. A few months ago I was thinking this would be a mostly lost school year with multiple disruptions and uncertainty. I am more positive about schooling but we'll have to see how everyone handles shutdowns to come.

Both my kids have been doing quite well in school. Boy #1's test scores and grades are quite good and the college mail keeps coming as he goes into his senior year. (Ivy League schools sure never sent me anything.) Boy #2 is capable of doing just as well and I hope he does not lose motivation and interest and slip in grades; class rank can mean a lot.

Positive news: garage door repair guys just left and we now have two working door openers. One opener unit broke a few years ago and since that was my side of the garage I just left it that way. I do look forward to not cleaning the van of snow and ice this winter.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Glad to hear you are somewhat positive on how the school year will pan out.
I had a salad from Potbelly, which was pretty good. Although I have never had a salad that knocked me out. There is always too much lettuce and not enough other stuff.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-the year we were in England was the year Jonathan Creek premiered (1994-95) and then we saw more the year we were in Amsterdam (97). Very enjoyable.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Also Jeff-did your edition of the Lippman book have missing letters. It was very distracting. Perhaps 100 of them.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Read Easy Rider, Raging Bull years ago. I still have a copy of the same author's follow up-Down and Dirty in Pictures if you ever want to borrow it. I bought The Memory Police but haven't got around to it yet. Right now I am reading A Private Cathedral by James Lee Burke. I'm enjoying it but find it amusing that his two main characters have vto be in their 80's by now but act like 50.
Lovecraft Country, Bill Maher and John Oliver are about the only series I have been watching. That and baseball. The Detroit Tigers are using mostly young prospects who are doing pretty well, which makes this season interesting.
Getting worried about the elections. The violence and looting by some protesters are playing right into Trump's hands. Biden needs to be more visible.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes! I didn't get how they put out that book like that. Were they in a hurry. Very distracting.

For those who haven't read it, the Lippman book would be..."...things from Waco I've carried, literally and fi uratively, across the decades."

Once or twice, OK, but as Patti said, it was throughout the book. William Morrow fell down.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Just finished the book and I think the final chapter, on THE WIRE, has as many omissions as the rest of the book put together (or nearly so).

TracyK said...

It is very cool here today and I think it will be that way through Thursday, then it is going to get VERY hot over the Labor Day weekend. It can get very hot here in September and October and sometimes even in early November. I am losing the sun in the small backyard area -- more every day -- because of the angle of the sun and the way the back faces and then I will see how my plants are affected.

We are still watching NCIS and Person of Interest. Person of Interest will not be on Netflix after Sept 22 so we may have to buy some DVDs. We started the George Gently series a while back and we need to get back to it. I will have to ask Glen about History is Made at Night. Jean Arthur is one of his favorite actresses.

Reading: The Way Some People Die by Ross Macdonald. Recently finished Clarkesworld Year 5 (short stories, science fiction) and Fall of a Cosmonaut by Stuart Kaminsky.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So true, Steve. They have got to stop protesting until after the election. I am beginning to think the police shootings are a set up.
Love Ross Macdonald but they all run together now for me. His wife's work is more distinctive, I think.
It must have been a printing error. And what to do once they've printed ten thousand copies? ( Megan is interviewing her on the St. Louis Library podcast tomorrow. Anxious to hear if there's any explanation but I bet they don't mention it.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Patti-It wouldn't surprise me if some of the more violent protesters are right wingers trying to make the real protesters look bad. This has happened at least once. A woman egging on demonstrators to attack the police is a member of the Michigan Militia. She's on camera.

Rick Robinson said...

Same old for us. I'm mostly ignoring the news, except what's happening here in Portland, where the Trumpsters are now stirring things up in a bad way. I've read a couple of ebooks, INFESTATION by William Meikle, recommended by James Reasoner, and THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE'S BRAIDS by Michael McClung. Both okay.

It's been hot, in the 80s, and dry, so we've had to water nearly every day, but the garden is pretty now, the Beebalm and Rudabeckia are especially good.

We watched MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE Saturday, and again I enjoyed it a lot. Barbara hadn't seen it before, and liked it too. Plus a great cast.

@ Jeff, that episode of MORSE and the following one had all that mirror and reflection stuff, yes, very disconcerting, then they seemed to drop that. We've enjoyed the ones we've watched, but maybe we're not a critical. Like that old Jag too.

@ George, you have to see an ophthalmologist instead of an optometrist? gosh. Do you need surgery? Hope not!

Nineties next week. drat!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. It never gets old.

Rick Robinson said...

@Jeff: By "critical", I meant discerning.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I happened to be up to Service for the Dead and it is very annoying. Too much fancy camera work!

Cullen Gallagher said...

I remember loving HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT, but then I'm a sucker for anything that Borzage directed. I'd like to give this another watch, as it's probably been at least 10 years since I saw it last.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It's on Criterion. Could use a new cut.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Still here as well....our hundred plus days broke with storms this week and flood watches and warnings. We missed the severe storms with hail and high winds and very glad about that.

Got all the plumbing leaks fixed and it took three days and 1800 bucks. Sigh.

Speaking of plumbing, I met with a new doc last Monday. I will now be scoped from both ends on October 9th and trying not to freak in the meantime. While there is cause for concern, we do not actually know anything yet so hopefully this will all turn out to be a false alarm.