Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday, Monday

Has been a rather strange week. Very hot for June. I had dental surgery and had a bad reaction to the antibiotics. I have also had periods of dizziness. I think I may have that issue with ear crystals again. Or a sinus infection. I hate to try and fix it alone because you have to do things with your head hanging off of the bed and I am always afraid I will do damage. Or fall on my head. 

It seems somewhat better today. 

On the plus side I got out quite a bit to restaurants and my son's house so I was never alone for a whole day. Kevin finished eighth grade and will be playing tennis every day this summer. And taking driver's ed. Gulp. As an incoming freshman, he reads three books over the summer: ANIMAL FARM, INTO THIN AIR and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME. He had choices on the second two.

I am really in the doldrums on finding a good book for me right now although three await me at the library. On TV, LUPIN is back and I have been watching SWEET TOOTH. Finished HACKS, which I liked a lot. I rewatched Alda's THE FOUR SEASONS and found it horrible. I remember liking it at the time but now it was unconvincing that these people would be friends or married. It was just so dull. The only interesting character was Sandy Dennis' because she was not such a generic forty-something.

I finished my story for Lawrence Block's anthology on stories with games in them. He accepted it and now I have to find something else to write. If my head stops spinning that is. 

What about you? 


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

I don't mind the heat. I sit outside on our back patio and read.
I finished Clandestine by James Ellroy which I liked a lot. Am finishing up Dust Off the Bones by Paul Howarth which is a sequel to last years Only Killers and Thieves. Both terrific books. Very reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy. They are historical novels taking place in Australia's outback in the late 1800's. Also been reading stories in a couple of anthologies.
Rewatched a few movies. Joe Kidd-probably Clint Eastwood's weakest western. And Carol Reed's The Third Man. Not watching much in the way of series.
Would like to go to more movies at the theater but it's been pretty slim pickings.
Kevin's 3 choices are all pretty good books.
Sorry about your health issues. Hope you get better.

Margot Kinberg said...

Sorry to hear about the bad reaction, Patti. That's no fun, and I'm glad you're feeling a little better now. I hope it's temporary!

Jeff Meyerson said...

My brother has had ear problems like that too. Hope it improves soon. Last Saturday to Tuesday we were hot - 90 four days straight - but the end of the week was cool (upper 60s), which I much prefer.

Watched two documentaries this week - a 2003 PBS doc about Sam Cooke, SAM COOKE - LEGEND, that was mediocre, though he was an interesting guy. The other was better, if infuriating - THE LAVENDER SCARE, about the Federal government's war on gay employees, started by Eisenhower.

Still enjoying SEASIDE HOTEL (finished series 3) and MIDNIGHT DINER (just discovered there are two more series beyond the three currently on Netflix) and the last few THE GOOD PLACE episodes and MONEY HEIST (closing in on the end of the first heist) and RITA (series 4, about how Rita got the way she is). Haven't start SWEET TOOTH yet, but we did start BLACKSPACE (Netflix) and BLOODLANDS (Acorn), as well as part two of LUPIN.

In BLACKSPACE, a high school senior assembly is invaded by four people in unicorn masks with guns, who shoot and kill a few of the students. The damaged cop in charge (flashbacks indicate that he lost an eye when he was attacked as a student in the same school) quickly realizes that the attack was not Palestinian terrorists but rather an inside job by some of the students. Very tense so far.

BLOODLANDS is from Northern Ireland. James Nesbitt is a Chief Inspector assigned to the case of a man kidnapped, where the kidnappers use a code previously used by the IRA. This last happened 22 years ago, just before the peace deal, when four people were taken and never seen again (and their bodies not found). One of the four was Nesbitt's wife.

A book I'd recommend, Patti, is Jon Talton's CITY OF DARK CORNERS. It's a stand alone set in 1933 Phoenix, with a former cop (he was pushed out because he wouldn't go along with the department on the Winnie Ruth Judd case) turned PI investigating a woman murdered and dismembered, whose body parts are dumped near the railroad tracks. Real people (including a young Barry Goldwater) mingle with the fictional characters. Talton must have done a lot of research and the picture of Phoenix 90 years ago was fascinating to me.

Todd Mason said...

Glad you had the Block acceptance, and some company at hand...and I've been meaning to watch HACKS, but took in the short HBO Max import ADULT CONTENT (a Good Try, alternating between condescending to and humanizing the work cultures it explores) and most of the first episode of VINYL (which I'd missed on HBO back when...more than a little self-indulgent--rather in tune with the subject matter--if fitfully interesting, hence going to sleep rather than finishing the two-hour pilot yet). Still rewatching and catching the occasional missed episode of PERSON OF INTEREST with Alice, who's seeing them all for the first time. I still haven't seen more than an episode or two of the fifth season, which I stopped watching when Alice decided to check the series out.

Concerned about the crystals (I have some ear weirdness myself of late...audiologist appointment was mostly encouraging, except no real advice on my tinnitus and a seeming misunderstanding of the new drainage of my ear canals...probably related to newly expressed apparent pollen allergies (or, at least, newly potent allergies). Wonder if you can try the exercises when some family or friends are visiting.

I agree, Kevin could do worse. THE FOUR SEASONS always was kind of sitcom horrible for me; Simon seemed to have a grasp on the shallower end of life in COME FLY WITH ME and THE ODD COUPLE was pleasant enough, but by PLAZA SUITE they were dead, flat attempts at farce by me. Enough so that his more autobiographical scripts I also gave a pass to as they emerged. Likewise, MIDNIGHT RUN wasn't as funny for me, either, as it seems to have been for many, if interesting enough to watch...the verging on Christlike trickster of the Grodin character getting hit in the face so many times by the lunkheaded De Niro character, if suitably self-righteously trying to assuage his guilt in sentencing his charge to death upon delivery if not sooner, is almost as Not Funny as the 48 HRS parade of facial contusions delivered by Nick Nolte to Eddie Murphy.

Hope the ears/sinuses/balance issue clear up sooner rather than later.

Todd Mason said...

Also, HBO Max does like to misbehave whenever it can on both the App (which we use to watch on Alice's PlayStation) and on computer (when I'm watching alone). They clearly need more servers, which dovetails nicely with PERSON OF INTEREST...which in its turn does explore some of the same matters that CONDOR does.

Todd Mason said...

Since it's also misbehaving on your Roku, apparently...

Jeff Meyerson said...

I always thought THE FOUR SEASONS was way overrated (Jackie liked it a lot more than I did). Although I like most of the actors, I never believed them in the roles.

George said...

Diane and I are visiting Diane's sister in Ohio. We went to a Graduation Party on Saturday (Diane's nephew's son graduated from High School and is headed for the University of Kentucky in August). Tonight, we're going to another swanky restaurant for a 5-star dinner. We pack up tomorrow morning and drive back to North Tonawanda under the threat of "pop-up" showers.

Diane reacts to anesthesia and antibiotics whenever she has a medical procedure. Glad you're feeling better! I've enjoyed several of Block's anthologies.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-Don't know if you read Megan's fictionalization of the Winnie Judd story-BURY ME DEEP.
Thanks for the words re: ears/sinus stuff. I am hoping its not Meniere's Disease.
We had an awful storm here this morning. It got as dark as night. Hope you miss that, George.
Someday I will get to POI.

MP said...

Odd that so many people are suddenly watching MIDNIGHT RUN, and I'm another. Agree that it's not as funny as I remembered but the chemistry between De Niro and Grodin still made it quite enjoyable for me. I've been watching quite a few old movies I originally liked and find that I still do. THE BIG LEBOWSKI is just as much fun as ever, and Paul Thomas Anderson's BOOGIE NIGHTS is just as depressing as I originally found it. HBO Max has both the original and extended versions of Kenneth Lonergan's MARGARET, and anyone who hasn't seen at least one of them is in for a treat.I'm halfway through HACKS, in which Jean Smart is just as wonderful as she always is. The series takes quite a serious turn in episode five, but I'm betting it'll still be funny the rest of the way. Up next are two Paul Newman favorites, HUD and COOL HAND LUKE.What with watching all these movies my reading has been pretty spotty.

Rick Robinson said...

I'm sorry to read of your hearing problems and other health issues. It's so irritating to be unwell in any way!

We have had, happily, two days of rain, which is badly needed, and it's been wonderful reading and sleeping weather. I read two books by Jodi Taylor, DOING TIME is the first of her new Time Police series, and THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT is a short story collection. Enjoyed them both. I also enjoyed the SF book of short stories I reviewed for last Wednesday.

After reading some reviews of THE BIRDWATCHER, I got SALT LANE by William Shaw from the library and read it. Though I didn't like the main character, Detective Sgt. Cupidi, much the setting in SW Kent coast was interesting. I may try the next in series, DEADLAND, if I can find a copy, none of the libraries seem to have it. Today I'll start on M. L. Longworth's THE VANISHING MUSEUM ON THE RUE MISTRAL, which just came from the library. It got interesting reviews.

Hope your week improves, and you find something you enjoy reading.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Rick, I had that problem too with William Shaw's book. In the end, I had to buy a paperback copy of DEADLAND through ABE Books. Of course, I haven't read it yet. Real Soon Now. I did like THE BIRDWATCHER.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think it is because Charles Grodin died and that is the film they cite most often.
I am not sure if I have seen Margaret or not. Will check it out.
We have had enough but not a lot of rain. Lucky we. Wouldn't want to worry about fires all summer long.

TracyK said...

Sorry to hear about your head spinning. That can be very discouraging and especially when you are alone. Good to hear all the good news about Kevin. And that you have gotten out so much.

Today we are going to eat out for the first time in 15 months. Outdoors I hope. We are meeting a friend who lives in Stockton and is driving through Santa Barbara on her way home from the Riverside area; we haven't seen her in 18 months. So it should be fun.

I just finished reading THE TRAVELERS by Chris Pavone. Very good but not as good as his first two books, which I loved. Now I am reading THREE STATIONS by Martin Cruz Smith. Also doing more gardening and weeding.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Boy, do I need to weed. Between the heat, the rain and the spinning, it is awful. At least it is mostly behind the house and only I have to look at it.

Jerry House said...

I had inner ear/balance problems a couple of years ago and had to do that hang your head off the bed thing, Luckily I had Kitty with me so that if I fell off the bed she could pick me up after the third bounce.

I'm also due for dental surgery mid-August and your tale now has me semi-anxious. But, again I will have Kitty and she will make sure the doctor behaves and that I will come ut okay. It's good to have a Kitty around. If you have any more upcoming doctor appointments, I'll let you borrow her to protect you.

Great beach weather Sunday! A mild breeze, a warm sun, and perfect water...This morning, not so much -- no breeze and a scorching sun made us curtail beaching afer forty-five minues. The Gulf of Mexico, though, was smooth as glass and hypnotic in its calmness.

Amy got us HBO-Max and we've been like a fox in a newly opened chicken coop. Finally got to watch DR. SLEEP, IT, PART 2, DUNKIRK, C. B. STRIKE and lots more. We'll be playing wiyh this toy for the next few weeks.

Read a couple of books by Forrest J. Ackerman (my FFBs), finished a disappointing Dean Koontz (THE OTHER EMILY), and am currently reading an early Thomas M. Disch SF novel, ECHO ROUND HIS BONES.

Enjoy your Flag Day, Patti!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Of the streaming channels I have, HBO MAX is the most troublesome to get to play on my ROKU. Not sure why. Maybe I need a new Roku.

Todd Mason said...

Nope. HBO Max has poor connectivity compared to most. Presumably, AT&T was skimping on hosting. (They have not been known as the most reliable of cell nor cable support over the last decade or so.)

R's Rue said...

Praying your health issues get better. Have a beautiful day friend.

Gerard Saylor said...

Congratulations on the Larry Block story. Very impressive. I have ALIVE IN SHAPE AND COLOR at home. But, I started the book, set it down somewhere, and need to find the damn thing.

I was at Boy #1's final track meet of high school last night. I brought a novel along but with the wind and awkward sitting position of the bleachers I ended up downloaded an ebook. For quite a while I've been kinda fascinated by Montreal and it's true crime stories and I downloaded a book about the biker wars of 20 years ago.

I've read a couple of Jon Talton's mystery novels set in Phoenix and enjoyed them quite a bit.

Boy #2 is playing tuba in the City Band for the first time this year. I'm impressed with him joining the band. There are usually a few high school students playing - after all the students still have instruments, recent practice/instruction, and spare time - but he is the only tuba player. They perform six times this summer and their 1st performance was last Wednesday with very nice weather.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Really admire how active your family is, Gerard.
Thanks, R's Rue.