Monday, December 09, 2019

Things That Are Making Me Happy

I got the tree up this week, which was very difficult. I couldn't bear to open any of our boxes of ornaments (things we saved over 50 years)  so I got my cleaner (friend, really) to drive me to get new ones. It's not the most interesting tree but who ever really notices more than the lights. 
Saw Honey Boy, which I thought was quite good. Also A Winter's Tale, broadcast from London. I have never seen that Shakespeare play before and although it was odd, it was well done.
Went to a Christmas lunch with my book group and we blew a fuse so it was dark and some of the food was lost to us. Then I went out with friends for dinner and their car was towed away. So a strangely nice but unlucky day. 
Watched The Irishman on Netflix, which was certainly good enough, but I didn't see it as the best movie of the year. I don't know what I would pick though.
Reading Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur, about a daughter who aids her mother in conducting an affair. A strange book, which reminds me at times of CONCRETE ANGEL. 
I miss The Crown so have started Victoria. I have no idea if it's supposed to be good or not. I have never been fond of the monarchy but I am fond of history.  Still amazed at the British series Line of Duty, which is so complicated I can barely follow it. Perhaps six episodes is too many for one crime. It leads the writers down the path of many, many twists and turns. 
Speaking of following plots, my focus is still not what it was. I am hoping it will return to me and I will not lose whole parts of movies where I must start thinking of something else because I am not wholly there.
What about you? 


Margot Kinberg said...

I like the idea of getting new ornaments, Patti. Hopefully, that will help you get through this time. And I heard Honey Boy was good; glad you enjoyed it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Margot.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We liked THE IRISHMAN a lot, sat through the whole thing Saturday night. I was especially impressed with Joe Pesci, who commanded the screen whenever he appeared, and who I missed when it went to other characters. I didn't think the thing with the daughter worked at all as there was just no real explanation or payoff to the buildup. I thought Scorsese did a great job, though.

We remembered to go back and watch the third of four Maigrets (DEATH AT THE CROSSROADS) with Rowan Atkinson as no one's idea of Maigret. I've found these to be fairly well done overall, but not Maigret. I spotted the murderer early on, by the way.

Jackie prefers VICTORIA to THE CROWN, has all along. I really like the duo who play Victoria and Albert, and they are quite good together. I thought the last series was much less interesting than the first two, however. We are watching THE CROWN, along with THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, THE RESIDENT (Jackie loves her medical shows, and we are watching series two on Amazon while recording season three), THE MINISTRY OF TIME, a few other things. Haven't started the new MRS. MAISEL yet. We tend to watch three or four different shows a night rather than binge watching.

Sounds like you had a busy and productive week, much more so than we did. The weather has been mostly a downer and we are just hanging out, reading and watching television, while we count down the days to Florida.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I think you liked Honey Boy better than I did. I thought it lacked structure and I didn't buy the character of the young prostitute who befriends him. Plus it looked like everything was shot at dusk. Well acted though.
So far my favorite movies of the year are Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Parasite, The Irishman, The Lighthouse, and Ford Vs. Ferrari. Still a few I haven't seen yet.
Almost done with The Man in the High Castle. Enjoying Watchmen. Couldn't watch the Maigrets with Rowan Atkinson. I kept seeing Mr. Bean.
Rereading The Painted Bird. A very powerful but grim novel. Watched the trailer on you tube for the movie.
47 and rainy right now. Better than the cold which is moving in later this week.

Gerard - who is not logged in said...

I did not know a film adaptation of PAINTED BIRD was coming out. I read that Kosinski had a lot of Poles angry at him for writing about the anti-Semitism in Poland.

My wife and I went to the touring production of HAMILTON on Saturday afternoon. I was annoyed by the soundtrack that is often playing in our house, but the show was quite good and enjoyable. I hope this means the schmaltzy schlock of Andrew Lloyd Webber will be going away. I got to wondering how long it will take until high school versions of HAMILTON will be produced.

Finally finished off a couple books and started a couple more. I need to schedule a time to watch IRISHMAN all the way through when family members won't be making noise, walking in front of me, or otherwise disturbing the experience. Boy #1 still has a habit of walking right in front of the TV and stopping there to see what is one. RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DANG TV! "Quentin! Move!"

This weekend is a Scout campout that I look forward to. We will be staying at a cabin but I am going to try out some outdoor sleeping gear. That way I can go right inside if I get too cold.

Jeff Meyerson said...

As for HONEY BOY, given my feelings about Shia LaBoeuf, I'd be equally as likely to go to a MAGA rally as watch it.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I forgot to mention The Joker as one of my favorite films this year. Wish there was an edit icon here.

George said...

Enjoyed KNIVES OUT. We have tickets for JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL for this week and tickets for the Star Wars movie next week.

The Buffalo Bills lost a close game to the Baltimore Ravens. Next, the Bills will be on SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL against the Steelers.

Diane and I put up the tree last night after going to a wake. Today, we'll put the lights on and the ornaments. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Patti – I think you could use some classic comedies right about now. I recommend “Some Like It Hot,” “Sabrina” (the Hepburn original), “Roman Holiday,” Preston Sturges’ “Christmas in July,” “His Girl Friday,” and “The Lavender Hill Mob” (with Alec Guinness).

Rick Robinson said...

It's been in the high 30s and 40s here, with some rain and some sun. We had a stunning sunrise this morning, clouds piled high over the Cascades to the SE while the sun was coming up and bathing us with a peachy glow.

We watched a movie (!), HIDDEN FIGURES, on DVD, and enjoyed it in spite of the sound being messed up for the first 5-6 minutes. After cancelling our Netflix DVD plan and going to streaming, it turned out with Comcast we had to sign up for a separate Netflix streaming plan, so we canned that and went back to the DVD plan (which had the movies we wanted to see), so we made a commitment to watch the DVDs when they come and not let them sit. Next up is THE POST. Over the weekend we watched CIMMARON on TCM, and will watch HIGH SOCIETY tonight, an oldie which most here dislike, but for which I have a soft spot.

We also just got the 4 DVD set of VERA from the library and will be watching that.

I just haven't been in the mood to read, maybe the damn video watching and reading is an either-or for me, but we have been watching sports: the Ducks won and will be going to the Rose Bowl, and the Seahawks got creamed last night and who knows where they will wind up.

We've decided not to put up a tree this year, it's just too much trouble and bother. We'll decorate the house otherwise, the mantle and the dining table, and we have a little tree, just three feet high, that we put in the front window. We did pay to have lights put up along the gutter line (expensive!) and they look nice, but we're trying to cut back on the whole holiday thing this time, going for simple and easy. It's a relief come New Year's Day and the takedown. It will still look festive.

We hope you have a simple, happy holiday season, Patti.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-when you see what his childhood was like, it does make you more sympathetic. How he could play his rotten father in the movie was amazing. He didn't give him an ounce of humanity.
I have never seen Christmas in July, Elgin. I will look for it.
I no longer get TCM unless I buy a sports package, which is not bloody likely.
I cannot imagine sleeping outside in WI this time of year. Good for you, Gerard.
I too will be glad when the holidays are over.

Rick Robinson said...

Same here with TCM, but Comcast said we can have it for $10/month, which is cheaper than many movie channels, so we're doing it for a year and will decide then. We don't use the rest of that sports package.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I guess we just have most channels. Every time Jackie calls and asks about cutting down the pay movie channels to one or two, it always turns out that we won't save any money so we end up keeping all of them - HBO, Showtime, etc. We do have TCM too. The only things that we watched regularly that we lost when we switched from Time Warner (now Spectrum) to Verizon Fios were The Weather Channel (a favorite of mine, especially during big storms) and NY1, a local news channel covering only the five boroughs.

Jerry House said...

Christmas decorations are just about done, until kitty changes her mind and rearranges things. I've mention before that she is trying minimalism so her Christmas village is three small white ceramic houses. Christina, on the other hand, has a Christmas village that takes up three large tables; it's so big that it should have it's own zip code. The cats got on one of the tables and knocked off her firehouse, breaking it. She thought she had another one somewhere (she has many duplicates; i.e., three lighthouses, several general stores, and more than one church) but could not find it. So if the Christmas villages catches fire, there's no firehouse to save it. **SIGH** We've dithered back and forth about what sort of tree we would like this year: artificial or live, big or small, etc. Today I picked up a small tabletop rosemary tree (bush?) so we'll use that. It smells great and doesn't need too many ornaments.

What else makes me happy this week? Naps. Naps make me happy. In fact a nap is the reason I'm responding so late to your post. A good motto for any of life's turmoils is, 'It doesn't matter; take a nap."

Since Jack spends at least one night a week with us, I've picked up some graphic novels and books from the library to read with him. This gives me a chance to enjoy some children's books without feeling too childish. This week I picked up a couple of odd books by the great Shaun Tan (an artist I love) and three Babysitters Club graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier (another artist who greatly impresses me); the Babysitter Club books are filled with pre-teen angst but are so spot-on about pre-teen relationships and so well-drawn, I can't help but enjoy them. I also devoured (and definitely did not read to Jack) the latest Reacher novel by Lee Child. Fast-paced and completely over the top...I loved it.

Binged on NOS4R2 this week, the series based on Joe Hill's book. Both book and series are heavily influenced by Hill's father, Stephen King. The series began slow but soon picked up to a rapid pace.

Some sad things this week. The shootings at Pensacola NAS has affected many in this area. One of the wounded was a coach at Erin's high school. The three dead sailors each had a lot of promise and should not have been killed. The response from the emergency responders and, indeed, the entire West Florida community has been heart-warming. On the other hand, I'm upset by knee-jerk politicians spouting off before facts are known. The FBI is operating under the assumption that the attack was terror-related; but they quick to acknowledge it is only an assumption and not a proven fact. Not so our Senator Rick Scott (he who oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in history), our Governor and Mueller Report critic Ron Desantis, and Representative Matt Goetz (he for who the term "showboating" was coined) -- all of whom are jumping on the premature bandwagon. They all may well be right, but I'd rather have the facts before passing judgment.

Impeachment hearings are going apace, with Republicans doing their best to muddy the waters. (Have I mentioned that Matt Goetz is a showboater? He's also a Trump sycophant and a bit of a dim bulb.) Trump will probably be impeached but getting a conviction from the Senate is a longshot. At least democracy still works (barely) in the House. Scary times ahead.

And this week we lost both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Goodbye, Caroll Spinney. For fifty years you've taught kindness and compassion and that even grumpy people deserve to be loved.

May kindness and compassion reach out to you this week, Patti, even from a grumpy grouch like me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jerry-you are such a great writer. Funny, sad, insightful. I really enjoy hearing about your life in FL.

Todd Mason said...

Jeff--check the HD array of news channels...that's where Verizon slipped the Weather Channel in without any notice, after not carrying it down here in south/central (Phi area) NJ.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Thanks, Todd. Will check.

Jeff Meyerson said...

It is Channel 611.

Todd Mason said...

Patti, all sympathies with treating with how one's brain is challenging to, shall we put it, keep up took me till now to realize why Adrienne Brodeur's name was so familiar, yet I couldn't place it (not that I'd do something so sensible as to look her up, of course...what fun that?). She was the founding editor of ZOETROPE ALL-STORY, having since stepped down perhaps because the magazine publishes so few stories that it challenges THE STRAND in non-publication, though ZAS still looks purty. (TS still looks nice as far as it goes, too. The slick heavy paper does draw some ads.)

Hope things keep on the mostly up-tick. Lots of odd little mysteries in my life of late. DUBLIN MURDERS, which I've barely started, seems to be trembling on the edge of good. Peak TV means lots of things which approach good. Better than the periods when everything strove to be suitably bland (with the all but inevitable exceptions).

Todd Mason said...

Weird of them, eh, Jeff?

pattinase (abbott) said...

I started DUBLIN but it seemed so static. Maybe I needed to try longer.
Yes, she did edit that for several years.