Monday, November 23, 2020

Still Here


Some nice weather that gave way to snow today. Just a dusting (I hope). Reading My Dark Vanessa still. It is so dark I can only read it for short spurts. But I promised a friend I would read it so we could talk about it. And it has sensational reviews so it must be worth it.  Gave up on the Fonda and Stewart bio. Unlike his bio of Cary Grant, this one was far too hagiographic. But reading a book by Matt Coyle, the sixth in his series.

Also reading William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade.

Listening to lots of podcasts on various topics. Including one on THE CROWN, which I am trying hard not to speed through. I love the way this is approached, where each epsiode deals with a topic as much as the chronology. I don't think I ever realized how emotionally needy both Diana and Charles were.

Also watching two HBO series. Murder at Middle Beach and Industry.

Michigan is in bad shape now. It looks like a lot of the trouble emanated from college campuses that didn't completely (or at all) shut down. It is very hard to keep people under 30 out of bars. 

More than one million people passed through airports on Friday.  Only a vaccine can save us. 

What about you?


Steve Oerkfitz said...

Finished The Book of Lamps and Banners by Elizabeth Hand. Grew tired of the main characters self destructive behavior. Now reading The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo.
Tried watching Murder at Middle Beach but just don't care for any of bthese people. The type of people who name their son Madison and vacation in the Hamptons. Still watching The Undoing, Fargo and Bill Mayer.
Watched a lot of movies this week. Rewatched Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut)and didn't find it as good as I remembered, and The Long Riders (Walter Hill).
Also watched some films for the first time. Beau Travail (Claire Denis)which was well reviewed but I found a monumental bore. Barking Dogs Son't Bite, the first film by the director of Parasite. I found it better than I expected.
Staying home for Thanksgiving. Got an offer from my oldest daughter but passed.
Got an eye dr appt this afternoon. Than got appts. with both my diabetes Dr. and podiatrist tomorrow. I can go without the boot now so I can drive which is a great relief.
Saw Megan's top ten choices on Criterion. I have seen all of them except Gilda. The only one I didn't care for was All That Heaven Allows.
Everyone have a nice Thanksgiving.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Besides the million who flew on Friday, I just saw an article saying there were another 900,000 on Thursday and just under a million on Saturday. We're doomed. People are so stupid sometimes, but you knew that by how many voted for Trump.

We're OK. Same old stuff here - grocery store, restaurants (pickup), library (ditto), hair and nail salon (Jackie). Since we've had Thanksgiving for Two for a number of years, this year will be the same. We have the food. Tomorrow is my birthday. No celebration, other than the one I have every day of being here.

I've read a bunch of recommendations for Matt Coyle, still haven't read one. Should I? Actually, with all my books, everything on Kindle, the library books, what am I reading? A book I found in the laundry room downstairs - Joan Didion, POLITICAL FICTIONS. These were pieces she did for the New York Review of Books on politics - the 1988 Presidential Election, Reagan's behavior in El Salvador (she has a very good analysis of him as President), the 1992 election, etc. About halfway through.

We're enjoying The Crown, but all through the last episode I wanted to shake Diana and yell, "GET OUT! DO NOT MARRY THIS MAN, you stupid girl!" After that lunch with Camilla, how she went through with it is beyond me. Charles was incredibly dishonest. We're watching the second series of MYSTERY ROAD (dark, and often hard to hear the dialogue), the last series of the German DARK (we are just letting it wash over us as it is impossible to follow the new stuff), MOSSAD 101 (almost like a reality show in that one person is dismissed at the end of each episode), etc. Enjoyed the "Masonic Murders" episode of MORSE, where he is framed for murder. Poor Morse never seems to get it right.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Back later but we are going to Senior Hour at Costco this morning.

Margot Kinberg said...

Here's hoping we get a vaccine soon! My husband's been watching The Crown, too, and really enjoying it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Also watching THE UNDOING, which is spending too much time in the courtroom considering what comes out of it. The interesting stuff happens at home.
I used closed captions for everything, Jeff. The tinnitus is getting worse. I saw that Morse recently. That is a good one.
Happy Birthday, Jeff. I know more people with November birthdays.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Our oddball movie of the week (courtesy of TCM) was Richard Lester's first, IT'S TRAD, DAD! (US title, RING-A-DING RHYTHM). Basically no real plot - two teens (Helen Shapiro was the big name) want to interest a DJ in coming to help them put on a "jazz" concert in their town. Meanwhile, you get to see performances - almost all of songs you've never heard before or since - by Chubby Checker, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Gene McDaniels, Del Shannon, and others. The better part was the instrumentals by Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk, etc. Shapiro was a huge star at 14 and 15 in Britain, with two #1 hits and several other big hits, and she was the headliner on the Beatles' first tour there. She had an amazingly deep voice.

I read THE OUTLAW ALBUM by Daniel Woodrell, which was OK but mostly did not live up to "Uncle" that you reviewed last week. Only one or two others came anywhere close.

George said...

Western NY had some Lake Effect snow over the weekend. It melted away with the rain. Patrick and Katie are into Baking Mode for Thanksgiving so we'll have plenty of cookies, cakes, and pies. Patrick baked a loaf of bread that was delicious! Diane will be making her traditional jello salad.

Like you, I'm concerned that Americans are not taking the right steps to deal with the coronavirus. Yesterday, protesters picketed the Erie County Executive's home because they don't want the restrictions of the Orange Zone. However, that decision is made by Governor Cuomo so they're picketing the Wrong Guy!

You're right about the vaccine! It needs to be made available as soon as safely possible. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

The idiot brigade will doom us all. Our hospital system here in Dallas is getting to the brink though we still are not as bad as El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo and elsewhere here in the state. Seeing so many clog airports and such is very discouraging.

I need to do some medical doctor visit stuff, but am now pushing everything back for a couple of months. Being at high risk, I am doing my part to stay the hell home. I wish other folks would too.

It has been considerably warmer than normal and dry. We are officially in a drought now and not just in Dallas but statewide. La Nina pattern and all that. If things do not get better, the ongoing wildfire threat will remain high and the Spring will be brutal.

My birthday was last Friday and it was another hard day. Not so much because I turned 59, but because Sandi was not here. It is the third one without her and this one was so much worse than the previous ones. Grief is a weird least for me.

Made a conscious decision a couple of weeks ago and one that I now kind of regret, to actually try to cook a turkey for the boy and I this year. Thanksgiving Day is always tough as it was in 2011 on that day when she was officially diagnosed. Except for that year and a coupe of others during her cancer fight when she just could not do it, Sandi always did it and my job was to lift the thing in and out of the sink, oven, etc. I heaved it out of the oven when it was done every year and went back to smashing potatoes. This year I decided to try to restore a little normalcy to our lives and cook one.

Time will tell if it worked.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We did watch the last episode of ROADKILL, a pretty unpleasant mini-series by David Hare. It seemed pretty clear at the end that they left it open for a second series. It started out like it wanted to be HOUSE OF CARDS (the far superior British version), but it was mostly just kind of nasty, and Laurie's partial transformation at the end is not totally believable.

I recorded the BELUSHI documentary and might watch it tonight.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Update: more than a million travelers flew on Sunday.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good thing only US celebrates Thanksgiving.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So sorry , Kevin. My twice a week therapy sessions help me a lot. Medicare pays for it.

Rick Robinson said...

We're in full "Pause" mode here, which works in - to me - a weird way. Hair salons can stay open, but the library is now closed again. That's a priority I do not understand. Restaurants are closed except for takeout. People are loudly complaining, but it's necessary. I'm not understanding why the he*l all those people feel the need to fly.

No paper products at all here, at Costco, grocery stores, anywhere. By the time we realized people were hoarding (last week), it was too late.

We watched REBECCA, which Barbara had not seen (or read) before, and she really liked it. I'm rereading a fantasy novel, then will go on to the sequel, which was just published. Barbara is just about finished with RAGE, by Bob Woodward and says it is very good.

Todd Mason said...

Canada's T-day is a Monday in October, albeit with less fuss.

IT'S TRAD, DAD was Lester's first UK feature film, after escaping Philadelphia in '53 where he had put together western film packages for WCAU-TV and CBS feeds before moving to Britain, doing more tv and getting to work with jazz musicians and the GOON SHOW folks, and a couple of notable short films with those groups before IT'S TRAD, DAD! rolled out. The protagonists are are a sort of mission from God, to anticipate (for more trivial ends than saving an orphanage) a certain other comedy with music some decades later.

Helen Shapiro's recording of "Just Walk On By", with the same arrangement as Dionne Warwick had, is perhaps my favorite of her recordings I've heard.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My book group just read Rebecca. Most of them didn't like it. They could not see the difference between it and a romance novel. I'd like to see the Hitchcock film but have not found it streaming.

Todd Mason said...

Well, REBECCA helped set the template for the category gothic, anyway. It's less dull than most of the supermarket gothics I attempted when looking consistently for horror in the early mid '70s.

Anyone else noting that between the co-productions and European imports and occasional GREAT PERFORMANCES stage episodes, PBS is providing more drama hours as a percentage of its schedule than the other US networks of late? Not counting the syndicated items from APT and such, which do even more to nudge them along. Perhaps except for the CW, among the US networks with predominately "new" programming in prime time. CBS slowing rolling out new seasons, but like the other bigger nets is running a lot of "reality" tv blather.

My other recent note similarly is that Starz channels love to run JACKIE BROWN and OUT OF SIGHT as close to each other as possible, as they did last night. Not yet seen them (sensibly) back to back yet, but why not? Both share not only Elmore Leonard source novels but also Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. Both made almost a quarter-century ago, which is almost the most remarkable thing about them, as we watch the time fly. Arguably the best films from either of their directors.

Kevin--I wondered if it could be appropriate to wish you happiness on your birthday. But glad you're trying something new for T-day.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Our PBS station seems to mostly do fundraising.

Todd Mason said...

The pledge weeks do seem to stretch, don't they?

Kevin R. Tipple said...

It is pledge MONTHS here in Dallas with KERA. I do everything they show that I am interested in by way of the library months later because they are always pledge driving. They, along with two different lawn service companies, are the only ones to violate the No Soliciting deal on our front door as well. They constantly have folks putting stuff on the door begging for money.