Monday, January 04, 2021

Still Here

                                        This is just one side of the sidewalk I have to shovel.

For six  years, we headed out to CA about now. I heard from a friend yesterday that San Diego County had 4500 Covid cases on January 1. My friends that we went out there with cancelled their trip their this year and I am sure we would have had to. Despite getting to FL last  year, it seems  like a very long time since I've been away. And, of course, I was sick almost the whole time in FL. MY DIL's uncle died of Covid this week. He broke his hip and contracted it at either the hospital or the rehab place he was sent to. The number of deaths that have occurred in nursing facilities is staggering.

I am having trouble right now finding books I like. The one I am reading for my book group is awfully dull. (THE BOOKWOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK) I ended up not like Bryan Cranston much after reading his memoirs. He was too full of himself and confident he knows everything there is to know about stagecraft. Funny how often that happens in a memoir. I have two books coming from a gift card. Maybe one of them will work. My library card has expired and they are open so little I have trouble renewing it. So I can't borrow anything from them. I have about 1000 books in here I haven't read but I just can't seem to land on a good one. And I am trying hard not to use Amazon, which eliminates a lot of options. When I read what Bezos took in last year, it made me sick. As basically a shut- in, I have to use Amazon for some things, I need, but I won't use them for books if I can help it. 

Saw two old movies. I had never seen HAROLD AND MAUDE before and I enjoyed it. Did Ruth Gordon ever play anyone but herself? Not that herself wasn't a good character. I also watched STARTING OVER, which I thought held up well. Jill Clayburgh was such a great actress and Burt managed to mug his way through it. Lots of good scenes and lines. 

Enjoying watching DARE ME on Netflix without commercials. It does make a huge difference. BRIDGERTON is very junky. Maybe it's just I never read or watch romances but it seems like every scene is about sex. I really don't think a comparison with Jane Austen is apt. However, I continue to watch it. 

So what's up with you guys?


Steve Oerkfitz said...

I have the opposite problem. Too many books at the top of my to be read pile (including a Willy Vlautin). Reading John Connolly's The Dirty South and liking it but I always like his books.
I have a hard time finding new series. Got hooked on a Danish show on Netflix called Equinox, only to be let down hard by a terrible ending. Watched some good movies. The ne 4k remaster of Mad Max which looks better than ever. Also Christopher Nolan's Tenet which I liked a lot despite a confusing plot. Want to see Promising Young Women and News of the World.
Off to the eye doctor Monday for another eye injection and two more weeks for another in the other eye.
Hope that the dems can pull one off in Georgia. That would cause more charges of fraud by our unhinged President.

Margot Kinberg said...

I always loved seeing you during your visits, Patti. I hope the time will come again... In the meantime, it's better to stay safe and where we are, if that makes sense.

George said...

The Buffalo Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins 56-26 to clinch Second Place in the AFC Playoffs. The Bills will be playing the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. Bills fans are giddy about hosting a Playoff game for the first time in 25 years!

My brother got vaccinated last week (he's a Physical Therapist) and Katie will get her Covid-19 shot this week. I'm hoping Diane and I can get vaccinated in February.

Patrick is now in Miami, Florida. GOOGLE is everywhere!

The eyes of the nation will be on Georgia tomorrow. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I watched one episode of Equinox and decided to find some reviews before moving on and was tipped off to various issues. I do need something new though Some friends yesterday recommended Silent Witness, which has like 17 seasons so maybe I will try that. Yes. Margot, would so love to be looking forward to meeting you on Pearl Street. Maybe next year.
Thanks for the goodie box, George. I am running out of space. Usually I pass books on to the library once read, but they aren't taking things right now. Also my CD player isn't working and I have no way to get it fixed. I can used the boom box though.
Does Patrick enjoy moving around,George, or does he prefer to be in one spot.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We re-watched a bunch of movies in the last week or two - TO CATCH A THIEF (pretty boring, actually, other than the gorgeous scenery), TWO FOR THE ROAD and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... (our usual New Year's Eve fare), MY BLUE HEAVEN (Nora Ephron was a real loss), GUYS AND DOLLS, and finally THE GODFATHER SAGA, which clarified and solidified things for us. Seeing it in chronological order is definitely the way to go (for us, at least), and the De Niro parts are the best by far. As Jackie pointed out, Michael was a cold fish from the start. I enjoyed seeing it with all the stuff that had been cut out (it was easy to spot most of it). Brando was good but way too mannered, especially compared with De Niro, who was so much more subtle then than he is now. Watching the last 2 1/2 hours last night - GODFATHER Part II without the flashbacks was almost a chore because Michael is just so awful, though there were plenty of good things.

We finished The Queen's Gambit (excellent, overall) and the first series of MOSSAD 101 (good twist at the end, though I predicted it). Still watching SCHITT'S CREEK and THE GOOD PLACE and DERRY GIRLS and RITA. Looks like we're going to have to pick out a few new shows from our extensive lists to start. Jackie has also been buying DVDs of old concerts, and we watched the Eagles' reunion Hell Freezes Over tour as well as Queen Rocks Montreal. We never saw the latter in concert, but they were definitely something else.

No problem finding books lately. If anything, it is an embarrassment of riches.

My brother works for a health care company and got his vaccine yesterday.

We got our so-called "stimulus" check in our account over the weekend.

We would have left for Florida on Saturday, Jackie tells me. Next year. There is no way in Hell that I'd risk it with De Santis's behavior as Governor.


Jerry House said...

Kitty is watching BRIDGERTON and recommends strongly that I not watch it -- she says it is not anything I would care for. I trust her judgment.

I, however, am binging on SCHITT'S CREEK and loving it. My bride, however, is not so enthused, although she has begun to chuckle through the latest episodes we watched.

It's been the season for yuckie-yuckies. The day after Christmas Jessie came down with Covid. Then a few days ago, Christina's husband Walt started showing symptoms. Because Florida is such a FUBAR state, it's been difficult to get tested. You need to set up an appointment, stand in line from 5:30 am (often in the rain), only to find the testing place closed with no notice. Christina, Walt, and Erin finally got tested after four frustrating days; they should hear the results today or tomorrow. In the meantime, Jack is staying home from school until the protocols are a bit more finalized. Last night, I got his by the yuckie-yuckies -- constant bad cough, wooziness, chills, headache, etc. Time will tell if I -- despite using all the precautions in the world -- have Covid. Poor Kitty is freaking out. And I may not be able to put the time in to finish today's blog. Oh. well.

Just to add icing on the cake, I took a fall the day before Christmas in the Target Parking lot in the rain. twisting my foot. The kind people in a car in the parking lot stopped so they wouldn't hit me; then they came out and helped me up. Did I mention I landed in a puddle? I wasn't able to walk for a few days. Now, nearly two weeks later, the bruising has gone down and I can move (though not well) without my canes. 2020 was the year that just kept giving and appears to be oozing into 2021.

We're now four days into 2021 and I haven't finished a single book. I have been working my way through some short stories and I may finish a pulp novel today or tomorrow.

The clown car that is the Republican Party continues to amaze and horrify. Every time I think they have reached the epitome of evil, they prove me wrong. Attempts to overturn a legitimate election and threat of violence in the street scare me. Trump and Cruz and Hawley have no problem with destroying the country. (Moscow Mitch, the man who has done the most to undermine the country, is staying out of the bro-ha-ha. He knows a bad scene when he sees it and is trying to stay above the fray. This is not a compliment to Mitch -- just a note on his duplicitous behavior.) Fingers crossed that the two current senators from Georgia are booted on on their respective corrupt asses.

Despite all the above, I'm pretty upbeat and happy. I hope you will be the same during the coming week, Patti.

George said...

Hope you find some of the contents of your BIRTHDAY BOX entertaining. I don't plan to visit the Post Office for a least a couple months (until I get the Covid-19 shots and they take effect). The boom box should work for music CDs and audio books.

Patrick has always liked to travel. Obvious, the pandemic shut down most of the GOOGLE trips so Patrick decided to become a nomad and travel around the country. He has friends everywhere!

Katie is getting her Covid-19 shot today at 3:30 P.M.! Diane and I wish we could get shots today, too!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I doubt I will get mine before April or May at the rate they are going. Yes, love a lot of that music, George. I have a list of things that need fixing after this is over and I really need a new computer. I know I can order one online but I need someone to hook it all up. I spent a lot of time yesterday hooking up a second Alexa and knocked my internet out for a lot of the day. Megan wants me to be able to yell out "call 911" from all over the house. Also spent a lot of time inching along my sidewalk outside trying to push the snow onto the grass. My lawn service only does over two inches. I need a backup kid, I guess. I have so much sidewalk living in a ranch house on a corner.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I just got two notices from the library (one last night, one just now) about books to download, so I am more than set. Plus I have three more "real" books in transit to the local branch. Jackie has three or four downloaded from the library too. It never rains but it pours.

To lighten up after The Godfather, we watched ANIMAL HOUSE again last night. As Deb said, a classic. It can always lighten my mood. Can't believe poor Flounder died so young.

TracyK said...

My reading is going well. I have enjoyed all the books I have read or started lately. (But I don't read so much variety as you do, I don't take chances.)

Reading: Another Hercule Poirot book, THE HOLLOW, but Poirot does not show up until the middle and hasn't done much so far. I like the book anyway. I started MASTER AND COMMANDER by O'Brian. It is supposed to be a slow read, part of a read-along, but I may read it faster. Finished two books by Louise Penny in the last week: THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY and HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN.

We watched lots of movies over the Christmas and New Year's weekends. THE FIFTH ELEMENT, TOWER HEIST, HOT FUZZ, DR. NO, GOLDENEYE, and THE BOY FRIEND. Watched more of SCHITT'S CREEK. Finished THE GOOD PLACE.

Despite all this good entertainment, I have been a bit down in the last few days, for no good reason. Probably just normal for now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

There is always a January letdown, isn't there. But especially this year, I think. I feel no compunction to finish books I don't like, so I am really not taking chances.

Gerard Saylor said...

I've had middle-of-the-nigh anxiety wake-ups over the past week or two. Today I woke at 3:50AM and could not get back to sleep. After a time I showered, dressed, and then tried again to get some sleep at about 6AM. I had 30-45 minutes and woke up groggy and exhausted. This is likely stress related as Boy #1 is having to do multiple different essays for college applications for applications he is turning in right at the deadline. I'm really hoping he gets into his favored schools but the two he has in mind are very selective.

I finally watched the 2012 prequel to the ALIEN films, PROMOTHEUS. I enjoyed it enough but the film had a massive budget and the story was expected to match the price. I've seen a few other things but nothing I liked enough to really remember.

I have started reading some print books again and restarted THE LIGHT FROM THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. A library customer gave the novel a very positive review but the first 20-30 pages are not that compelling. My wife has been weeding a bunch of thrillers and mysteries at her library and I added even more books to by TBR pile.

I decided to try a Steven King audio novel and have finished 28 hours of the 34 hour novel. King really is a great writer, but does the dude ever write concisely?

Gerard Saylor said...

Re: "call 911!" from anywhere in the house. Yes, that is a good idea. My brother has been urging my mother to finalize getting an emergency dispatch service.

Todd Mason said...

I think part of a letdown this year is that the problems of last year aren't going too many places, even if we'll eventually have a more typically bad rather than insanely awful administration in place in DC. (And with luck, the Democrats will have won both Georgia seats before disappointing those of us who want serious beneficial change.)

On that happy note, glad things aren't depressing Jerry too badly, and I hope we can all find our ways out of whatever degree of slump we find ourselves in...

Films I've seen in the last week include two starring actors I'll always give a chance to, first Gillian Jacobs in I USED TO GO HERE, which deals with a slightly younger and less successful woman writer than YOUNG ADULT from a few years ago did, but clearly indy films want women writers to be arrested development cases. Then Brit Naomie Harris doing a N'Orleans accent reasonably well in the slightly older BLACK AND BLUE, which is reasonably good if overlong and consistently trembling on being better than it is, as a hardboiled cop against corrupt cops SERPICO-esque kind of story, only mostly in terms of a day's violence rather than a mix of legal as well as face to face conflict.

After recommendations from my friend April and Joan Armatrading (on France24 no less) in the last week, I can agree with Jeff Meyerson that THE BOYS is worth seeing as well...but as I approach the end of the first season, it won't lift your spirits too much more than, say, THE SHIELD did...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow, Jerry's post just showed up. I wondered what people were talking about. I am so sorry for such an awful post from such an optimist. Hope it's just allergies or a cold.
And Gerard, I hope this period of night terrors leaves you soon. I remember worrying a lot about where my kids would go to college. They both went to Michigan and loved it and went on to great graduate programs.
I will think about all of you as I toss and turn tonight. My therapist tells me I need to limit my worry to things I have some control over. Do I have control over you, dear friends.
PS I will watch the Jacobs movie soon. I do like her. Is The Boys about superheroes? My tolerance for that genre is pretty low. I will check it out.

Todd Mason said...

Patti, THE BOYS is about a single corporation somewhat improbably having a monopoly over representing very GOP-esque costumed heroes with various familiar sorts of unlikely abilities, and the Boys (and their occasional women confederates, including some highly-placed Feds) who are out to expose that hidden-in-plain-sight corruption. As I noted at George's blog, 'Have another 2019-20 tv series to rec, Amazon’s THE BOYS, about the corruption of “super-heroes” and of anyone and everyone driven tor justice tempered by revenge.'

The Jacobs film is mostly pleasant if less than superb, and annoying to a slightly greater extent than YOUNG ADULT as the emotional stakes are somewhat lower but it's also somewhat less overheated as a result...a woman writer who wasn't in need of a maturity boost might be a refreshing change of pace in indy films about blonde midwestern women writers in their 30s sometime soon.

Gerard's post came through after I finished writing mine, and I've just seen it now...good luck to your son, G, and I'll echo that state schools offer excellent opportunities at times, and certainly my friend Keiko left the University of Hawaii, where we had both been elected to the Associated Students Senate in 1983 as Greens (Keiko more amusingly as a very centrist Democrat), to transfer into Barnard College at Columbia U, so that option is always there if he ends up at a "safety" school at first. (Hell, I dropped out of UH and attended three different state schools so far, but I've always been an eccentric student. Made the Dean's List at the one Jill Biden apparently teaches at, NVCC/NoVa.)

And Stephen King can and does write succinctly and vastly better thus when he chooses to, usually but not always in his short fiction (some of the short fiction is as much bloviation as most of his mid-career novels--and some of that, such as "The Cat from Hell" or the original form of "The Gunslinger" as published in F&SF in 1978, some of the worst fiction I've read and wildly overpraised by some people with otherwise good taste, and then we get the occasional excellent and concise "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" or "The Children of the Corn" ((NOT the films)), apparently at least some of his Hard Case Crime novels I haven't tried yet, and definitely the autobiographical part of ON WRITING...or, for that matter, CARRIE).

We have little control over each other, Patti, and sometimes no more over ourselves or at least our fates, but companionship and care is (almost!) always appreciated!

Todd Mason said...

Keiko was also a punk rock and new wave music enthusiast (and still is if less intensely), whom fellow student senator Steve Nakano, who had attended Pearl City HS with her, noted had helped, through her music writing for the HS paper and such, "shake up the haze of disco" that had definitely settled over that school, and most of Oahu if not the whole state, in the latter '70s/early '80s..."disco sucks" had never gotten much of a foothold in Hawaii (no great loss, particularly since that sort's preferred alternatives were Journey and Molly Hatchet) and local disco tv series HAWAIIAN MOVING COMPANY outlasted the nationally syndicated DANCE FEVER and the like for at least a season or so, iirc.

Gerard Saylor said...

I recently read how either Bowie or Iggy defended disco by arguing that all music is good and should not be dismissed. More a critique about critiquing art and artists.

I occasionally recall MRS. TODD'S SHORTCUT. I'm not always sure what always prompts the memories but there are two for sure.
1. County roads in WI use letters. Around here are county highways V, B, BB, S, Q, and A. The odd naming of roads in the story will sometimes to mind when driving around.
2. When cleaning one of our showers at home I keep thinking I need to re-grout parts of the tile and how one of the main characters in the story is grouting Mrs. Todd's shower and, at one point, dances a spontaneous jig amidst the dust.

Todd Mason said...

There's a fair amount of good late '70s disco--much of Donna Summer's work, Chic, Gloria Gaynor, et al. I'd much rather listen to those performers and tracks than the typical work of Journey (certainly at its commercial peak) and most contemporary AOR acts or Molly Hatchet and most typical "southern rock" of the time or such fellow travelers as Charlie Daniels and his bands. And dance music kept developing, and much house, acid jazz, techno, some EDR and the more danceable ambient music is often quite good. Or so I say. Thievery Corporation alone would justify their genres.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

We very much enjoyed THE BOYS.

Binged on Young Wallender via Netflix last week and enjoyed it.

Currently reading FATAL DIVISIONS by Claire Booth. Fourth book in her Sheriff Hank Worth series. Am enjoying it.

Dallas County is out of vaccine and has more than 50K folks on the waiting list that started yesterday morning. Had 20 ICU beds this morning which were more than any of the surrounding counties. Texas Health, one of the two major hospital chains here has now shut down --statewide--all elective procedures and a lot of other services. Scary times.

Gerard Saylor said...

I heard an interview with Chic's Nile Rodgers in the past few months. He was likely featured on one of BBC 6 Music's documentary programs. Rodgers had a story of not getting into, or kicked out of, Studio 51. Nile and the other guy from Chic were angry, went home, and started to sing "fuck Studio 51" and that morphed into either LE FREAK or GOOD TIMES.
-Scratch that- I just found a print interview with the same story.