Monday, October 28, 2019

Things That Are Making Me Happy

A nice week. Went to an event at the best comic book store I have ever seen (Green Brain). (They even had copies of Megan's NORMANDY GOLD) The event included music, an artist with slides of her origami, a poetry and a prose reading. How nice to spend a rainy night with such talent.
Had a friend over to watch BILLY LIAR on Criterion, which did not hold up at all for me. I am doubtful I ever saw it before although I thought I had
Saw the movie PAIN AND GLORY, which was gorgeous to look at and Banderas was terrific. I have often found Almodovar difficult-a lot of subtitles to read quickly and not always clear what he's saying, but this one was pretty easy to follow. And ultimately extremely touching.
Reading NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney, which is very good. Did not finish 1222 by Anne Holt. About 75% through I realized I just didn't care about anything other than the protagonist, who was a great character. It was probably me but a hotel full of characters who were never drawn out enough to be real for me sunk it. 
Watched WATCHMEN a second time and am now up to speed.
Looking forward to Bouchercon although sad that I will be going alone for the first time.
So happy though to see some of you there. 



Margot Kinberg said...

So glad you're going to Bouchercon, Patti - wish I was. It does sound as though you had a good week, and that's great (I must see Pain and Glory if I can).

Jeff Meyerson said...

We found the second episode of WATCHMEN confusing as hell but will stick with it. We're finishing up various Netflix and Amazon/Acorn series rather than starting new ones as we'll be gone a week (though Jackie says the Hyatt has Netflix). One thing we did start was the intriguing Amazon animated series UNDONE. I like this one more than Jackie does.

We saw a very good concert last week - Steely Dan on a rainy night at the Beacon - and an OK but not great show off-Broadway on Saturday, Michael Tucker's FERN HILL. This was more notable for the cast than the show itself, about three aging Baby Boomer couples - long-time friends - exploring turning one of their homes into a commune to live and grow old in together. Jill Eikenberry, John Glover, Mark Blum, Mark Linn-Baker (looking uncannily like David Crosby), Ellen Parker, and Jodi Long made it worth watching.

We leave for Dallas tomorrow. Will see you on Wednesday.

PS - You should be talking about your new book! My copy arrives today.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I meant to mention, we saw the musical adaptation of BILLY LIAR - just called BILLY - in 1974 in London. It was the star-making vehicle for a pre-PHANTOM Michael Crawford, who made it worth seeing despite what I found to be an unsympathetic character.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I also enjoyed Pain and Glory. Watched the new 4K restoration of Casino. Great film. Also watched Mean Streets for the first time in years. Amazing how young DeNiro and Keitel look. Another great film.
Just finished The Night Fire, the new Michael Connelly which I found to be excellent. Next on my list Dry County by Jake Hinson.
I am enjoying the Watchmen series but found Catherine the Great to be dreadful.
Enjoy Bouchercon.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Glad you mentioned that, Steve. Seeing the 74 year old Mirren playing a 33 year old was definitely a Bridge Too Far for us. We didn't make it anywhere close to getting through an episode.

George said...

The Buffalo Bills lost in the hurricane that hit Western NY yesterday. Halloween decorations from my neighbors now litter my lawn from the 50 mph winds. Snow is forecast for the upcoming weekend.

Diane is packing for BOUCHERCON. Looking forward to seeing you, joining you on our panel, and taking you to dinner! Fun, fun, fun!

Safe travels!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Although I always did all the trip planning, it is still unnerving me this time.
Now I am worried about WATCHMEN. Why must they make it so hard to follow.

Jerry House said...

Enjoy Bouchercon, Patti! Old and new friends will abound! I attended one Bouchercon in the far distant past (Bouchercon 3, I think, in Boston) but that was back in the days when things were much less expensive and I was far more agile. I had a great time then (one of the many highlights was having drinks with Helen McCloy) and am currently very jealous of you.

After a few weeks of rainy weather, he finally renewed our Sunday morning beach time. The weather was perfect and we all found it a needed way to center ourselves for the coming week. Our crew was somewhat reduced: Ceili is off to Massachusetts for a week and Erin had something else going. Afterwards Christina went off to a birthday part for a co-worker, feeling weird because most birthday parties she get to go to nowadays involve second graders. Jack went off with Jessamyn to regale her with an afternoon of stories. Kitty and I stopped off at the Goodwill "bin" store where Kitty puttered and I watched the people (some strange and many normal). Very little is organized in these bin stores; merchandise is piled willy-nilly in bins (go figure) and most of the stuff is sold by the pound. Merchandise is constantly restocked through the day and people eagerly wait for new bins to hit the floor. A lot of customers appear to be re-sellers who will put their finds up on e-Bay and some similar place. It's a great place to people watch.

The girls are beginning to plan a summer trip to Scotland. Mark's old high school in Maryland sponsors a European trip every year and Christina has been along with one or both of her kids for the past four years. This year, Erin is going and Jessamyn and her two girls will join in. I think most of their planning so far is how to find (or, more likely, avoid) haggis.

Erin finished her college applications this week. She hopes to go FSU in Tallahassee next year. She's taking only one high school class her senior year -- something that I find strange. All her other classes are college classes at Pensacola State College, allowing her to get a number of college credits paid for by the high school. At the end of her junior year she was just one class shy of the high school credits needed to graduate so all these college classes are just pure gravy.

We tried to start a number of shows on television but there was little that interested us so we've fallen back on repeat viewing of old standards. Comfort food.

I'm reading John Connolly's latest Charlie Parker book and, while I'm enjoying it, it demands slow reading. There's always been a supernatural aspect to the series but now it is the main thrust of the plot. A complicated back story, a large array of characters, and a setting jumping from Mine to Mexico to Denmark to England all oblige a detailed reading. At nearly 700 pages of dense type, this is Connolly's most ambitious work since He, his biographical novel about Stan Laurel. As with any book by John Connolly, I highly recommend this one.

I get a year older this week and I admit that age is creeping up on me. Although I'm not as old as Rick Robinson, who, by being a year and four days older than me, is really, really old. Birthday plans include pie and ice cream and probably a nap. Did I mention I'm old? Isn't it funny how time works? I mean, Kitty and I will be celebrating our 50th next spring and yet she's only 28.

Behave yourself in Texas.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I envy their trip to Scotland, Jerry, as long as it includes one of my favorite cities, Edinburgh. And I have had haggis, and live to tell the tale.

Even though you are way (well, two years) older than us, we also have our 50th next year. Just had #49 last week.

Rick Robinson said...

I'm glad you're going to Bouchercon, Patti, and hope you have a wonderful time. In fact I'm SURE you will! I sure wish we were going.

I had a birthday on Saturday, and it was great. Great gifts (books!), good food, a beautiful day, a new puzzle, and the Ducks won. It was a nice relaxing day, and gifts and cards made it special.

My older brother's birthday is the day before mine, so growing up we had birthday two days in a row. In later years I always called him on my birthday and we'd talk for a while. He's now in the Alzheimer's wing of an adult care facility, and my sister-in-law told me a couple of weeks ago he is no longer able to operate a cell phone, so I couldn't call this year. It makes me very sad indeed.

It's gotten cold here, below freezing at night, so things are dying back and going dormant. Time for shrub and tree pruning!

Jerry House said...

Rick, Alzheimer's is a bitch. My best thoughts go out to you and your family.

Jerry House said...

Jeff, I have it on good authority that Jackie is forever young. So what happened to us old farts?

Gerard - who is not logged in said...

Enjoy Bouchercon. I attended the one in St. Louis a few years ago and made many poor decisions during a publisher's open bar. The next day was a bad day.

Son #1's mountain biking and cross country seasons finished on yesterday and Saturday. He had two successful seasons and I am glad that my weekends will open up a bit. The girl's cross country team had four runners in the top five of Saturday's sectional. Boy #1 would have advanced to state if he'd run closer to his best times from earlier this year. But, each course and day are different.

I finally finished the audio version of Max Hasting's VIETNAM: AN EPIC TRAGEDY, 1945-1975. That was a depressing and infuriating read even without drawing all the obvious parallels between Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Luckily, Gerard, you are young enough to still make many Bouchercons,
I know so many people with Alzheimer's you can't help but wonder how long you have. I keep counting backward by seven, just to be ready.
If I lived in Florida, I would probably have to travel a lot less, Jerry.
Happy birthday and anniversary. October is a popular month.

TracyK said...

I love to read this post every week, your thoughts and others. Going to Bouchercon sounds exciting, although I understand your concerns.

I have a hard time expressing what I am happy about. I am grateful for many things but that is not the same as happy.

Anyway, today I am happy that I walked down the hill to Human Resources to get a form filled out for my retirement and the walk back up the hill was not as hard as I thought it would be. I have always had problems with walking up hill or up stairs but more so lately.

I am happy that I am only eight weeks away from retirement. Even more so because I have to work on a complicated project up to the day I leave.

I am happy with my reading. Right now I am reading a book by Lars Kepler, The Hypnotist (Swedish), that is a long thriller, lots of violence, so not usually my kind of book, but it is keeping me engaged. Also reading The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tracy. In the distant past, I used to post every day, but now just Monday and Friday mostly. I am so happy that people I care about share their week with me.
I also have trouble with hills although we have few in Michigan. I am not sure if it dates back to the time I smoked (3o+ years ago now) or it's more about my legs.
I hope your retirement is a happy one. Most women seem to have little trouble with it. Especially most women who read!

Rick Robinson said...

@ Tracy: 8 weeks! Soon you’ll be FREE! Early congratulations are in order.

Todd Mason said...

As usual, I'm happy about my good friends at hand and more distant ones.

Including the feline an odd coincidence, both put their paws in my hand tonight as I was patting them. "Good boy" you could almost hear them say.

BILLY LIAR was a disappointment as a film in my first, early teens run through the Angry Young Man/Kitchen Sink films of the early '60s, and the accompanying comedies and foreign correspondents from the Continent and this continent (I think I first caught THE L-SHAPED ROOM and THE KNACK when I was about 11yo on the Kaiser station in Boston and was permanently hooked, caught not a few more between Channels WLVI 56 and PBS monster WGBH 2 with its pre-Criterion Janus Collection showcase); haven't ever tried the novel.

Glad you enjoyed Megan's graphic novel event! Glad also you're at B-con.

Todd Mason said...

Am not finding WATCHMEN particularly confusing; typical Lindelof attempts to maximize Misterioso, Man, learned at the knee of Chris Carter (of surfing magazines before THE X-FILES, etc.) and tiresomely overpraised whenever employed since.