Monday, March 08, 2021

Still Here

 Not a lot to say this week. I went with a friend to the Detroit Institute of Arts, which was so impressive in the things they had done to make it safe and contact-free. You stood on a special circle to check your temp and you reserved your tkts ahead of time and put your phone on an ipad. It was great to feel free for a couple hours. 

Got out to a meal twice this week, both restaurants were almost empty. I am more worried about eating spoiled food in them that anything else. Phil highly disapproved of bringing leftovers home from restaurants so twice I have left food behind. Do you bring leftovers home? No new books this week, no new TV shows. I could use some new ideas, preferably stuff in English because reading movies on a TV makes my eyes hurt after a while. Been trying to write a bit but I still lack focus.

So what's up with you?


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Glad you are getting out. I don't take home leftovers because I rarely ever have any.
Read Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman. Not one of his better books. Read some short stories by Lisa Tuttle and R.A. Lafferty. Am now reading The Lost Man by Jane Harper.
The only movie I watched this week was Nico 1988 about the last year of Nico's lefe. Not very good. A friend's neighbor recommended the Amazon series Mad Dogs because his nephew was in it. He plays the cat, a dwarf thug. I binged watched it and found it very entertaining. Based on a British series which doesn't seem to be available. Still watching, Bill Maher, John Oliver and The Investigation.
They opened up our exercise room starting last Monday. I've been doing about 45 minutes on the treadmill everyday.
Up to 62 degrees today. Nice walking weather.

Jerry House said...

Very quiet here also this week. It's getting warmer here and soon it will be warm enough to go into the water. We spent two hours at the beach yesterday and it was glorious. It had been a while since we spotted dolphins because the colder weather meant large waves that obscured our view. We thought we spotted some about a half mile down the beach but it turned out to be swimmers in black wet suits; the actual dolphins showed up shortly before we left. Those suckers can move fast when they want to.

Kitty's birthday was yesterday and it too was a low-key affair. Ceili had to work so the celebration was put off until this weekend when the whole family can get together. I met Kitty when I was 19 and she was 16 and working as a lifeguard at a local beach. Back then I could never have imagined myself lucky enough to have her by my side all these years later.

After months of work the Three Mile Bridge to Pensacola was due to reopen on the 22nd -- great news for local businesses here, which have been struggling to keep open. So, 19 days before the bridge was to reopen, they discover further damage to the bridge. The supports keep shifting and it looks like much or all the work they've done will have be torn down and rebuilt. The fact that the contractors became aware of it less than three weeks before it opened is disquieting. It also turns out that the 27 barges that tore loose during the hurricane and smashed into the bridge was the wrong number. They just discovered a 28th barge they did not even know they were missing! File this under Frick and Frack Build a Bridge. **sigh**

The Florida Panhandle seems to be getting wackier and wackier, due in no small part by the Always Trumpers that proliferate here. Polls are now showing that pout Trump-loving governor is currently one of the top two contenders for the GOP nod in 2024. And several of our county commissioners are still trying to rename a local bridge after Trump. I overheard a very disturbing conversation about "true Americans" and having guns ready from two men in front of me at a checkout line. Florida insanity seems to have crept over to neighboring Alabama. An Alabama woman who lives about half an hour from us got mad at her neighbor, so she painted the neighbor's goat, a bright red, I believe. It's the logical thing to do when you're mad at someone, I guess.

Watched and enjoyed WANDAVISION in all its strangeness. We also also watched Season 5 of LINE OF DUTY about an anti-police corruption squad in England. The twists just kept coming, although I sussed out this season's surprise villain early on. GRAND PIANO was far better than I thought it would be. It's about a classical pianist who must not hit any wrong notes during a major concert or he and his wife will be killed.

Still reading a lot of short stories from various anthologies, a mix of science fiction, mystery, and mainstream. I finished THE CHARWOMAN'S SHADOW by Lord Dunsany (my FFB, and a good one at that) and Charles Brockden Brown's WIELAND (1798), which, although a rather over-talkie book, is rightly considered an American Gothic classic. Having read the sequel novelette some years ago, I readily knew the solution to the mystery early on -- but this did not detract from enjoyment of the book. I also read Edmond Hamilton's THE STAR KINGS, a by-the-book space opera saved by the skill of the author.

The week ahead holds a passel of medical appointments and check-ups as well as our scheduled first vaccination shots.

Enjoy your week, Patti.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm glad you got the chance to get out and about a bit, Patti. That can be such a tonic.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, things are slowly getting a little better, but as long as there are states like Texas and Florida, the "back to normal" date will be delayed by their Governors' irresponsible, self-serving behavior. But enough of that. Spring is getting closer and we are (fingers still crossed they don't snatch their promise away) looking forward to four days in the 60s starting tomorrow. We've talked about eating in restaurants but still do not feel comfortable eating inside, so will go back to outdoor dining once it is warm enough. As for the question of taking home leftovers, what leftovers? No, seriously, obviously it's not an issue now, but "normally" there are places we would take stuff home, as long as we eat the leftovers within three days. As a matter of fact, we ordered fro one of those places yesterday, and saved half to eat tomorrow or the next day. But for the most part, we don't take many things home.

New TV shows? The one I'm enjoying the most right now is the French SPIRAL on MHz Choice. Parisian cops and prosecutors and lawyers and judges. The characters are interesting, as is the way they interact and the differences from our system. The "judge" is the examining magistrate who can determine what charges if any should be brought. He interviews not only witnesses but potential suspects. One case involves a clearly insane nanny who kills the baby in her charge. He decides the mother should have been suspicious of her - did she want her to kill the baby? - and, unethically, advises the woman's in-laws that the only thing they can do is hire a lawyer to sue their former daughter in law. Then there is the Police Captain Laure Berthaud (late 30s when the series starts). She is clearly tough and competent, protects the men under her (including the one who keeps screwing up because of his drug problem), and is frank about her sexual needs (in a way that would probably seem predatory in a man), whether with the young translator who helps on a case or the new prosecutor. It's one of the rare shows I would binge watch if we did such things, but Jackie doesn't like to watch more than one subtitled show in succession.

THE INVESTIGATION (HBO) is slowly wending its way to a conclusion. It is probably the way the actual case went in Denmark, but it isn't the most compelling viewing. More compelling is the English language mini-series about THE SPY (Netflix), real life Israeli spy Eli Cohen (an excellent Sacha Baron Cohen), who infiltrated Syria as Kamel Thaabet in the early 60s for Mossad. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.

Last night we finally watched a made for Netflix documentary that was on Patti's Best Movies list - DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD. Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson (whose mother died of Alzheimers in 2007) follows her retired clinical psychologist father as he starts hos own journey with dementia. He's a lovely guy, amiable and more than happy to film various scenarios of his possible demise (hit on the head by a falling air conditioner is one), even getting in a coffin to enact his funeral. Yes, it's an odd idea, but it works wonderfully well, and though he does clearly get more forgetful as time passes (she moves him from his Seattle home to her New York City apartment), as far as I know he is still alive at 88 (though now in a long-term facility, according to what I've found). It wouldn't work as well as it does if he was not the person he was. Recommended.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Never heard of MAD DOGS but there are several actors we like in it (Jackie is a big Steve Zahn fan - plus, Alison Tolman!) so will try it.

Happy Belated Birthday to Kitty!

Jeff Meyerson said...

If you have PBS Passport, there is:

Seaside Hotel (Denmark)
Thou Shalt Not Kill (Italy)
Before We Die (Sweden)
Professor T (Belgium)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I do have Passport. Will try some of these suggestions. THE LAST ROUND with Mads Mickelson was very good. It's on Prime for $6.99. The last scene is especially wonderful although hard to say if it's optimistic or pessimistic.
Yeah, Dick Johnson made that movie. GRAND PIANO would make me a nervous wreck.
Keep meaning to read Jane Harper. These darn book group books are weighing me down.
It must be fantastic to live that close to the beach.

George said...

We survived another frigid week in Western NY. But warm weather is on the horizon. We may hit 60 degrees by Wednesday!

I have my bi-annual dentist appointment today (mostly a cleaning) and Diane has her dental appointment tomorrow. Diane had routine blood work last week and meets with her doctor for their bi-annual checkup on Thursday. Diane can't believe that with all the stuff I eat--pizza, ice cream, cakes, pies, etc.--my cholesterol number is lower than hers!

Time to do taxes this week. I'll install TURBOTAX 2020 and see if we break even (my yearly goal) or do we have to pay a little or get a small refund.

Covid-19 shots are ramping up here. They're jabbing thousands of people per day. What a difference from just a couple weeks ago when vaccines were in short supply! Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I already have my small check paid to the Feds and small check back from the State. So fast this year.
And it was Another Round. I think there was a novel called LAST ROUND by Graham Swift. Will have to check.

pattinase (abbott) said...

LAST ORDERS by Graham Swift.

Jeff Meyerson said...

ANOTHER ROUND, not THE LAST ROUND, according to Wikipedia.

I've mentioned SUMMER HOTEL before.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL is set in Turin. The lead detective is Valeria Ferro, whose life was turned upside down when her mother (apparently) murdered her father. She gets out of prison after 17 (I think) years, and there is a running theme about the mother's actual guilt. Valeria is played by former Miss Italia Miriam Leone, 30 when the series started. Each episode is in two 45 minute parts, so we watch two at a time.

BEFORE WE DIE is Swedish. Hanna, a detective nearing retirement (58 in the first series) turned in her son Christian for using and selling drugs. He is out of prison after a couple of years. She doesn't know that he has gone undercover to help the police with a drug investigation that has him working as a busboy at a restaurant owned by the crime family. Meanwhile, Hanna's partner (and married lover) is murdered and, surprise! The cases are indeed related. There were 10 episodes in series one, 8 in series two (not watched yet), which continues the same basic story, and looks for the mole in the police.

Professor T has been successful enough that several other countries (Germany was the first, Britain will be next). An eccentric (to say the least) Professor of Criminology at Antwerp University works with the police (and a former favorite student) to solve murders. We've watched the first two of three series. Like THOU SHALT, each is two 45 minute parts.

Jeff Meyerson said...

That should have read...several other countries are doing remakes of their own.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Patti-You meant Another Round not Last Round.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yeah, thanks!

JJ Stickney said...

Weather has improved here in Coastal NC, fifties and above, great walking and running weather. My wife and I are three weeks beyond our second dose. I have an outdoor exercise class iI the AM three days a week. Reading Shakedown by W.C. Gault. Lots of poetry. We have hit a couple of restaurants. We live on leftovers. Watching Mr and Mrs Murder, Offsprings and Midsommer Murders (on season 9) on Acorn, random programs elsewhere. Highly Recommend Dickerson on Apple TV.

TracyK said...

I am still reading CARRY ME HOME: BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, and THE MEANING OF NIGHT, but I have other books going at the same time. I finished CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, another Hercule Poirot book, and I am now reading I HEAR SIRENS IN THE STREET by Adrian McKinty.

No shots here yet for us, latest I heard they are aiming at essential workers and health workers. We still stay home except for grocery store visits and picking up take out food occasionally, although I will have a mammogram (long overdue) this afternoon. We are pretty much caught up on medical appointments, except Glen will see the doctor for his blood pressure problems later this week.

The weather has been very nice, but it looks like we are moving toward drought conditions in California again with so little rain this year.

Rick Robinson said...

Weather in the 50s/high 30s here, rain, sun, clouds in a mix. Glad you got out, Patti. I don't understand what "put your phone on an ipad" means. I have been hearing so much about people being fed up with the pandemic and it's restrictions, and I don't get it. I guess I'm just not that social or something. I'm perfectly happy in my home and garden, I have books and there are movies to watch (though I rarely do so), and things to do. Except for an occasional breakfast, we don't dine out so I don't miss that at all, and there just isn't anything I'm dying to go out an do. I'm not in "lockdown", I'm just content at home. Maybe I'll feel different when we manage to get shots (the Oregon vaccine lottery is a nightmare), but I doubt it.

We watched the Murray The K music show on PBS, recorded in 1965, great songs but the sound was terrible. Too bad. Reading some Georges Remi books, may post later, haven't had much to post about lately.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You pull up your reservation bar code on your iphone and press it against an Ipad that is affixed to the glass. This is to avoid contact.
I would be out every day if I could be. I very much need to talk to other people, go places, see things. I have seen everything in my home long ago. Even when Phil was alive, we were both like this. We went to a movie at least once a week, went out to dinner at least once a week, saw friends about that often. Went for walks, went antiquing, saw plays regularly, went to the DSO, went to bookstores. These are the things I miss. My kids are the same too.
I have friends like you, Rick. And this has been a lot easier on them. I love to read but it not enough for me. Same with TV. I would far prefer to see a movie at the theater than on my TV. Other people laughing or crying with me, even strangers is great.
I have always needed to be around people.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Did you mean Dickinson, J.J.. I love that too.
I think the varying rate that they are getting these shots into arms isn't fair. We are down to age 50 in MI. And we are far from the best. CA and NY seem especially show. Megan thinks she won't get hers until June.

Jeff Meyerson said...

New York is a mess and it totally depends on where you are or who you know or getting lucky. In the city, I am sure things are affected by the Cuomo-De Blasio feud/competition. We were among the lucky ones in having a good health care provider (NYU Langone) which is on the case. They told us from the beginning they would let us know when we were eligible and when they had vaccines available, and they were as good as their word. And their process in getting the vaccine into people's arms is streamlined and efficient. But these "mass vaccination sites" are not efficient.

Todd Mason said...

Always bring any significant leftovers home, unless the meal was very poor. But, then, I don't eat in restaurants again all prepared meals are takeout. (Including from the supermarket take-out/eat-in counters.) I don't usually let anything rot in the fridge if I can help it.

I'm not as social a creature as you, Patti, but I will strike up a conversation with any willing supermarket cashiers or bookstore clerks, along with keeping up as much online conversation as possible.

The new Epix miniseries CONDOR, remaking THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR in series form, does some things right that the film didn't (haven't read the novel yet), mostly not making the relation at the core of the story a kidnapping/Stockholm Syndrome narrative in about five minutes, and if you have access to PENNYWORTH or the almost good but certainly amiable BRIDGE AND TUNNEL from Epix, they might be agreeable. Watching some of the ALLEN V. FARROW series certainly reaffirms, even if it might be somehow unfair to Allen, every bad thing I've suspected of him since well before his affair with Sun-Yi Previn apparently began.

So many things I need to do. So many people who need things done.

Todd Mason said...

Am reading Lawrence Block's forthcoming autobiography. It's unsurprisingly interesting. Should probably remind him that Nolan Miller also edited what I think was the first best-of series of books, not quite annually, devoted to NEW CAMPUS WRITING, starting in 1955 for Bantam and wrapping up with the 1966 volume for McGraw-Hill. (Miller is mentioned in passing.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I should get that!
I am not sure if I have Epix but my kids tell me I need to cut the cord. Why am I so afraid to do it?

Todd Mason said...

It's weird to give up on cable and pay for forty streams instead, and have the same amount of money going out...but...well, cable can surprise you, in terms of what might pop up. But if you get good reception for broadcast, as well (as we in the Philly burbs don't, since digital signals don't carry as far), it's possible that you would do better with just online access...till that bugs out on the rare occasions when the cable isn't also down...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am paying for both now. It is ridiculous. It probably weighs in at $350 a month. I need to hire someone to help me navigate it. Comcast is hopeless.

Rick Robinson said...

Yes, Comcast is hopeless. Barbara still cannot send email after they "reset" one of their servers, and they just shrug.

R's Rue said...

I love leftovers. Glad you got out.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

HARROW season three is on Hulu. We just found it last night.

Todd Mason said...

Ah, yikes, in re: Comcast. Verizon is pretty ridiculous if not quite fighting us that much...but when they knew in advance the Ion Plus and Qubo networks were going to be shut down by the Ion mothership, for a month, they couldn't get their acts together to run feeds of the channels, Grit and one other they can't seem to identify in the channels the dead networks were feeding into. The Grio TV (a repurposing of Roma Downey's inspirational network with her gameshow husband, and about as unwatchable as that might suggest) is not too bad, as a new addition, in some of the more obscure films it has dug up. They have also been following TCM around a little, not the worst idea, as the Movies broadcast network also tends to demonstrate (albeit on Movies! they pack everything with ads).