Monday, February 01, 2021

Still Here

Sick of snow and at least two months to go! It seems like every Sunday I am worrying about whether my snow removal place will come. I pay them $600 a winter and so far they have come twice this year. They only come if we have over two inches. I think I said all of this last Sunday.

Watching False Flags on Hulu, which may be more needful of close attention than I can give it. Also watching C. B. Strike on HBO Max, based on the Galbraith books. Awfully good atmosphere and acting but the first plot was sort of so-so. Also All Creatures Great and Small, which is a pleasant show but not very compelling. I guess the original was much the same. Not sure how many times I want to watch a vet put his hand up a cow. 

Watched a play called Lung from the Old Vic, starring Matt Smith and Claire Foy. Also listened to the NYT Book Club session with Claire Messud discussing Edith Wharton's The Custom of the County. Wharton certainly made her living off of books with similar plots.

Just finished two very mediocre books, which I won't name because maybe it's me. 

All my walking has been around the house. It is too cold and icy outside. Hard to get a decent amount of steps in circling my kitchen island but what else can I do. I have a lot of things that make me feel guilty and not getting any exercise is one of them, However, my grandmother, who never walked more than a block in her life, lived to be 91.

I have had a headache for two weeks, off and on. Not a bad one but an annoyance. It could be from grinding my teeth. It could be sinuses. It could be my glasses need adjustment. The most likely thing is stress. Trying to get the second shot before I do anything about it. Schedule for the 17th.

Rewatched Gregory's Girl last night. But the great movie of the week was Tavernier's The Clockmaker of St. Paul. Just terrific.  

What about you? 


Steve Oerkfitz said...

I have watched C.B. Strike from the start. Not great but watchable. Still liking the over the top 300 Coins on HBO. Just watched the first 2 episodes of the Lady and the Dale on HBO. Other than that it has been mostly true crime shows.
Rewatched Cinema Paradiso in 4k. One of my favorite movies. Also The Little Things, a new Denzel Washington movie on HBO MAX.I found it pretty mediocre.
Finished reading Grave's End by William Shaw. One of my favorite British crime writers. Also read The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli (Christopher in the Sopranos). It's told from the viewpoint of a 17 year old boy who moves into the same apartment building where Lou Reed lives. I liked that also. Now rereading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Had it on my to be reread pile than just saw that it' going to be a limited series on FX with all the episodes to be written by Scott Frank(Queen's Gambit). Wish it was on a station that doesn't have commercials though.
Getting another Covid test Tuesday and my second vaccine shot on the 18th.

Margot Kinberg said...

Glad you found some good TV to watch, Patti. This Covid thing has already had us spending most of our time at home, and bad winter weather just makes it worse. It's good to have books, TV and films to keep us contented...

Jerry House said...

The pandemic, with its accompanying isolation and stress, has a lot to answer for. I can see that the end is just around the corner, but it's a honking huge corner. **sigh** We will all muddle through this, Patti

It's been a cool week with occasional rain here. We were able to hit the beach yesterday afternoon. The Gulf waves, although wild and active, were calming and helped center us for the upcoming week.

Our youngest granddaughter, Erin, turns 19 on Wednesday. She had been due the day before, on 02/02/02 (which would have been both cool and symmetrical), but she decided to wait a day. We will be celebrating her birthday on Thursday.

After more than a week of normalcy from the White House, I fear I'm getting spoiled. The GOP, however, is determined that I won't be, circling the wagons, trying to protect Trump, placing petty politics over the nation, still fostering lies, and actively trying to scuttle the Biden agenda. This week it's been Ron Paul, Matt Gaetz, and Kevin McCarthy leading the charge but so many others are complicit. And don't get me started on Marjory Taylor Green...

Reading has gone apace. Thorne Smith's fantasy THE STRAY LAMB was dated but enjoyable. "Leonard Holton's" (Leonard Wibberly) A PACT WITH SATAN was a very Catholic Father Bredder mystery -- enjoyable but heavily telegraphed. My FFB, QUEEN CLEOPATRA, was a fascinating (and long) series of snapshops about the relationship between Caesar and Cleopatra, as well as a detailed take on the times. "Walter Bryan's" (Walt willis) THE IMPROBABLE IRISH was a warm and humorous look at the people and their land. 2021 started off slowly as far as reading goes, but I did manage to finish 14 books in January. I'm currently reading Sax Rohmer's BROOD OF THE WITCH QUEEN (on the computer) and John Collier's MILTON'S PARADISE LOST: SCREENPLAY FOR CIMEMA OF THE MIND (in the car) -- two very different and gripping books.

Television wtching has mainly been a rewatch od LAW & ORDER: UK. (Kitty has a thing for Jamie Bamber.) Also, the late night comics, news, and various Youtube clips on history, biography, old houses, and humor memes.

Still stuck with a bad cough, although my eye is back to its normal look. My coughing is less but still intense. A visit to the doctor shows that my heart and lungs are good so Covid has not affected either. Many drugs given and taken. I go back on Wednesday for a follow-up. Tuesday sees me with new glasses and hearing aids. I keep telling myself that I'm not getting older, I'm getting better. Usually I believe that.

I hope the coming week is better for you, Patti, with many interesting and rewarding things coming your way. Stay safe.

George said...

Temperatures have been under 32 degrees all week. We got a few inches of snow so I fired up Big Orange and snowblowed it away. If I lived in your neighborhood, I'd snowblow your driveway and sidewalks for free.

The Tonawanda Library suddenly called me to say FIVE books that I had put RESERVES in weeks ago were ready for pick-up. So now I have more stuff to read. One of my NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS is to buy fewer books. But that means using the Libraries more.

Diane has been baking up a storm. She made Apple Crisp--excellent!--and yesterday Diane made a fabulous Marble Cake.

I'm falling in love with Jen Psaki--a redhead--and watching less news now that Trump is gone. But now I have to fear those Jewish Space Lasers that Marjorie Taylor Greene keeps warning us about!

Stay safe!

Jeff Meyerson said...

My comment was apparently too long, so I have to break it into several parts.

Still not reading many novels (though I did read the new P. J. Tracy yesterday), but I finished January with 101 short stories read, the highest total by far in the last several years, other than July of 2019, when the 119 total was swollen by mostly very, very short stories by Peter Orner.

We only had 0.1 inches of snow in January (until yesterday), but we're in a major blizzard and nor'easter now that could dump 18 inches of snow on us. We did stock up on food yesterday. Still zero prospect of getting a vaccine any time soon, but I'm glad some of you (Patti, Steve, George) were able to get yours.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Still not reading many novels (though I did read the new P. J. Tracy yesterday), but I finished January with 101 short stories read, the highest total by far in the last several years, other than July of 2019, when the 119 total was swollen by mostly very, very short stories by Peter Orner.

We only had 0.1 inches of snow in January (until yesterday), but we're in a major blizzard and nor'easter now that could dump 18 inches of snow on us. We did stock up on food yesterday. Still zero prospect of getting a vaccine any time soon, but I'm glad some of you (Patti, Steve, George) were able to get yours.I couldn't read the C. B. Strike books (and we don't have HBO Max because our television is too old). They are way too long to hold my interest. There was one mediocre episode of 30 COINS, but the last episode was back on track (as Steve said). I'll be curious as to how they wrap it all up. Three episodes left, including tonight's. We've finished most of the series we were watching except THE BREAK (Belgium). I decided that in general, I prefer a shorter series, 6 to 8 episodes at most (as in 30 COINS). This one is 10 and it is too many.

I have to say I agree with you about ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, though I like the guy who plays James Herriot. Otherwise, everything (other than Mrs. Hall) was better in the first series. The latest episode shows Diana Rigg does not work as Mrs. Pumphrey nearly as well as Margaretta Scott in the original. And I find this Tristan almost unbearable.

Started a couple new ones (to us) last night, both on Acorn/Amazon Prime. First was THE SOMMERDAHL MURDERS, based on a series by Danish author Anna Grue (which I have never heard of). The star (as Dan Sommerdahl) was the actor who played the sleazy politician who became the sleazy tabloid editor in BORGEN. He's a detective in Elsinore (or Helsingor - site of Hamlet's Castle, Kronborg), a couple of miles across the sound from Helsingbord, Sweden. We've been there. It's a beautiful spot, and as Jackie pointed out today, unlike so many of the Scandinavian series it is not dark, snowy and wintry, but sunny and summer. It opens with Dan and his wife (also a cop, but in forensics) celebrating their love on their 25th Anniversary, but as one might expect, there is trouble in paradise. Dan is a workaholic and his wife feels neglected, with devastating consequences. Each two part story is, like show likes the Finnish BORDERTOWN, in two 45 minute parts. The mystery concerns a dead Russian illegal, hit on the head and dumped in the water to drown, and her missing newborn infant. As one of the reviews said, if you have a problem with coincidences, this might not be for you, but overall we enjoyed it.

The second was more problematic for me, the Irish BLOOD, with Adrian Dunbar (of LINE OF DUTY) as the father of troubled (we don't know why yet, as her flashbacks to childhood are incomprehensible so far) Carolina Main. She returns (after 10 years in Dublin) to her home when her sickly mother dies after a fall, and she clearly wants to find her father at fault. The problem for me is, she is a very unlikable, unsympathetic character so far. But we'll keep trying.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Also watched three movies this week. First was the very pleasant (fact-based) PENGUIM BLOOM (Netflix), with Naomi Watts doing a good job as a woman paralyzed from the chest down in a terrible accident, and how an adopted bird (a magpie her kids name Penguin) helps bring her back to her life. Next was ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI... (Prime), based on a play about a meeting (apocryphal) of Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown the night that Clay won the heavyweight title over Sonny Liston, just before he announced he was a Muslim and changed his name. Malcolm and Cooke seem more the central characters than Ali, in this interesting movie directed by Regina King, but I would say go into it without inflated expectations and you'll enjoy it more. Third (also Netflix) was PIECES OF A WOMAN, in which the Hungarian writer and director turned their own loss of a child in pregnancy into drama. Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret in the first two series of THE CROWN) and husband Shia LaBeouf chose to have their first child at home, with a midwife, but sadly, she dies shortly after birth. Kirby totally shuts down, LaBeouf wants to know why it happened, and Kirby's mother (an over the top and way too old Ellen Burstyn) wants someone (mostly the midwife) to blame. Months go by, the trial approaches, the marriage falls apart. It's mostly very sad, if well done. Jackie hated LaBeouf's awful beard and I could have done very much better without having to look at his genitals, but otherwise, as long as you don't mind a downer story, it is worth checking out.

Jeff Meyerson said...

The CLOCKMAKER movie (THE WATCHMAKER) was Tavernier's first film as director. It was based on the novel THE WATCHMAKER OF EVERTON by Simenon, one that he wrote in the years he lived in the U.S. It was set in New York State, but the movie was moved to Tavernier's Lyon.

JJ Stickney said...

Sinuses have been an issue for me the last two weeks. Hang in there.

Rick Robinson said...

Oh my, where to start. After reading your post, Patti, and then all the comments, it’s nearly overwhelming.

Since I got home, my walking has been in-house until yesterday, when I went out and down to the back garden. I realize we need hand rails on our wide garden path steps, something I didn’t want before. Also, while going down the stairs is fine, getting back up them is hard. Need more trips to rebuild leg strength lost over 5 days on back in Hosp.

It’s rainy and cold here, just one snow, about .3 in. But it’s damp and chill out. I’ve cut way back on news, tired of GOP boloney, I don’t understand the loyalty to the ex-pres, don’t understand why they won’t go for Biden’s 1.9 T relief when they happily screwed us all with the 3 T “tax cut” last year. Bastards & Bitches, the bunch of them. Grrrrrrr!

I do not think Jeff sleeps. How could anyone read all that, then also watch all that? Does he, do you all, watch these movies and series both day and night? If so, when is there time to read???

I gave up on the huge SF novel after 70+ pages. I decided to read the Obama book later time, I’m politicked out. I may finish the Matt Goldman mystery today. That means I finished just ONE book in January, plus a few short stories. Pretty miserable.

We made homemade beef-and barley soup Thursday, had it three nights and froze the rest, today we’re making a huge pot of kale soup (a favorite) which we’ll have tonight and tomorrow. I’m trying to eat less, healthy, avoid sugars and carbs. My blood pressure is down, and I’m off BP meds, which is great, but the pounds are stubborn about coming off. So the Girl Scout cookies came but are off limits to me.

I have had headaches for many years, have had CAT scans and MRIs and nothing. So I take Excedrin Migraine which works. Hope you feel better soon!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I had the MRI/MRA and will be doing a cerebral angiogram at the end of March. But it is because I have a malformation that they think is okay but aren't sure. Probably nothing to do with the headaches or dizziness, which mostly are under my eyes. Jeff lives in an apartment so he doesn't have the lawn care we do, but still I don't know how he reads that much. He must have eyes of steel. Superman, maybe. Or maybe a speed reader.
My eyes are tired by 7 so reading at night is out. Even TV is hard some nights. I listen to audiobooks then.

Jeff Meyerson said...

And I think how much more than me that George is reading! Generally, I get up around 6 or so (6:30 today) and spend the time until 8 on the computer reading the blogs and newspapers mostly. I make breakfast around 8, then after breakfast come back in here. If we're home (like now, with the blizzard) we eat lunch around 12:30-1:00 (most days we only eat two meals, with the big one at lunchtime), then back in here. If we have to go shopping we usually go around 11. On Costco days we have breakfast earlier so we can get to the 8-9 Senior Hour. Jackie records three hours of Morning Joe M-F (she usually watches up to two hours, skipping any Republicans), and watches Days of Our Lives (12-1) and Nicolle Wallace (4-6) on MSNBC. I read mostly in the afternoon, unless I am trying to finish a book or there isn't much to read online. I watch the 5:00 local news, then come back in here at 6 while Jackie finishes Nicolle, and we generally watch television from 7 to 11. Depending on if there is anything on networks that we watch, it gives us time to watch 4 or 5 shows most nights (unless we watch a movie).

That's it. Since last March there have been no concerts, no theater, no movies, no trips, no nothing. I feel like I should be reading a lot more than I am, but Trump filled a lot of pages and airtime last year.

Rick Robinson said...

Jeff, wow, yet I have about the same time, though up later, 7:30 ish, in bed earlier, by 10, I do spend time on blogs and news during the morning, though the news part is lessening sharply. Yet here it is 1:30 my time @nd I’ve yet to start on the book I thought I’d finish today...

Jeff Meyerson said...

I know. It happens to me too. In fact, it happened all of 2020. I think that's why I went to an almost all-short story and non fiction diet for a while. Easier to concentrate in small pieces.

I never watch television until 5 pm. But I know you watch a lot less than I do. When Jackie had her knee replacement seven years ago, I don't think I ever turned the television on at all other than the news and an occasional baseball game. But that was pre-Netflix...

TracyK said...

I could not sleep much last night so I finished another Hercule Poirot book, APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH. I am reading THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB, about 2/3 of the way through. I am still reading MEANWHILE THERE ARE LETTERS (letters between Ken Millar / Ross Macdonald and Eudora Welty). It is on kindle so can't read that at night.

We have been watching some movies from the Marvel Universe. THOR was the last one. CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER before that. And watching POIROT with David Suchet whenever I finish a Poirot book. And BABYLON 5 for the second time, which I am loving. And rewatching LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, which is creepier than I remember.

Glen finally got his Part B Medicare card after missing an appointment (for blood pressure problems) because he did not have the card. So all that angst is over.

Gerard Saylor said...

My part of Wisconsin had a lighter snowfall of 4-6" compared to a max of 13" in Milwaukee. Our snowblower was being serviced and I'm quite glad our neighbor offered us his to use.

My reading has been scant but I have been enjoying a standalone by Peter Robinson, BEFORE THE POISON, that my wife weeded from her library.

We are planning college visits during Spring Week at the end of March. Those plans can easily be cancelled. Boy #1 had a 6:30AM college interview this past Saturday. I was thinking, "Heck yeah. He must have passed several qualification tests to get this far." My wife later told me "Everyone who applies gets an interview."

There is so much TV available. I saw Netflix shows on the Yorkshire Ripper and the Night Stalker. Both were well done with interviews of victims and investigative participants.