Monday, June 07, 2021

Still Here


Although there were some men at the protest against gun violence on Saturday at noon, it was mostly women. And the approving beeps from passing cars were mostly from Black Americans or women.  Anyway, nice to see a racially mixed crowd supporting it.

Finally getting around to BERLIN BABYLON, which looks great although I do find it tiring to read on my TV. But the dubbed version was wretched. Couldn't they use people with German accents at least?Also still watching THE HANDMAID's TALE and IN TREATMENT. MARE OF EASTTOWN ended very well. I am tempted to rewatch it because it would have been a better show if watched more quickly than once a week. So many characters.

Also watched BELLS ARE RINGING on Criterion this week. Lovely little movie from 1960. Also watched MIDNIGHT RUN, which I remembered as funnier than it was.  

I have about given up on my book club book THE OVERSTORY. I am very sympathetic to its aims but it is too long for me and the characters too similar. I am also reading a book about the making of the film GIANT. Not sure I will stay with that either. It is not a movie I have much feeling for. 

Just seems to be one of those periods when I drift from book to book and don't finish a lot of them. 

Went for a walk at Cranbrook Gardens. It was gorgeous. Cranbrook has been a place where a lot of famous architects and designers have spent time. It is also a splendid school for the very wealthy. There is an art museum, a planetarium, a science building and lots of gardens and trails. It costs $35,000 a year for a sixth grader.

About 2o% of people in a upscale grocery story yesterday were not wearing masks. I guess we will find out if we are being to hasty in our retreat. It is more difficult to wear masks in 90 weather for sure. 

What are you all up to?




Steve A Oerkfitz said...

I liked Mare of Easttown although I thought the whole subplot about the daughters romantic problems turned out to not have anything to do with the main story. Have vyet to watch the new season of Handmaid's Tale. Watched a three part series called Des which starred David Tenant as serial killer Dennis Nilsen. It takes place after the murders and focuses mainly on the police work. Tenant was very good. Haven't been watching much tv. With the nice weather I have been mostly outdoors.
Been reading a couple of short story collections. One of which contained a fine story by Patti. Am now reading an early James Ellroy. Clandestine. Also read Blood Grove by Walter Mosley. Good but the story seemed to wander around a bit.
Went to a baby shower Saturday. Have a second great grandchild on the way. And spent Sunday at my oldest daughters. Her oldest daughter and my first great grandchild were there.

Margot Kinberg said...

I've had those times, too, Patti, when I drifted among books. Sometimes, I think we're just unsettled, for lack of a better word. Glad you got the chance to be at that protest.

George said...

Summer arrived in Western NY with 80+ degree temperatures all week long. It's getting Muggy, too. Where would we be without A/C!

I'm looking forward to seeing LOKI on Disney+ this week. Tom Hiddleston returns as the God of Mischief and I can't wait to see what this trickster is up to now.

I've been requesting books from my local public Library and last week a dozen books came in all at once! Now I'm reading frantically because some of the books are 14-day which usually means you can't renew them.

Our weather-guessers are predicting a long hot Summer. But, of course, there's no such thing as Global Warming...

Jeff Meyerson said...

We watched a couple of movies this week, first the Chinese THE FAREWELL (finally), which we enjoyed. Awkwafina was very good. Saturday it was the "comet is going to hit and destroy the world" movie, GREENLAND. This is one of Jackie's favorite genres. IT was certainly watchable but there seemed (to me, at least) to be something off. All I could come up with on thinking about it was Gerard Butler. I'm not a big fan but he's been OK in other action movies, but here seemed to be going through the motions for the most part. Or it's just me.

Jackie thinks John Thaw is better (certainly seems more involved, sharper) in KAVANAGH, Q.C. than he was as Morse. This series was made at the time he was doing toe last "series" of MORSE, but only one show a year in the latter. He's a Queen's Counsel (obviously) and each week is totally different, whether he is defending against criminal charges or, as in the case we just watched, suing a company after a terrible workplace accident. The victim was a very young (22) and skinny Kevin McKidd, one of his very early roles, the same year he did TRAINSPOTTING and long before his GREY'S ANATOMY days. His mother was the Northern Irish actress (and Sting's ex) Frances Tomelty, known more for her theater work.

Still watching the series as mentioned previously. I'm enjoying MIDNIGHT DINER quite a bit. We generally watch a half hour show at the end of the night, this or SCHITT'S CREEK or THE GOOD PLACE (nearly finished). Haven't started the new KOMINSKY METHOD yet, and the second half of LUPIN drops this Friday.

Books. Still reading mostly short stories and non fiction. Finished three collections the last three days, but had been reading each for more than a week. Don't know why no novels have grabbed my attention.

We're trying to get out and walk every day, though the heat doesn't help. We don't wear our masks outdoors or in this building anymore, but most stores still have a mask mandate and we haven't had a problem with that. Restaurants? Staff is still masked.

Jeff Meyerson said...

BERLIN BABYLON was a documentary about rebuilding after the fall of the Berlin Wall. BABYLON BERLIN is the series. Jackie didn't care for it so we stopped watching but I'd like to give it another try. Obviously, we don't have a problem with subtitles on the television, though it does make sure you are concentrating while you are watching. There is no way I can read and watch the way George does, but with a foreign language show, forget it. My only problem is occasionally - I remember it happening with the Spanish THE MINISTRY OF TIME - where there will be fast comments back and forth and the translator just skips it and goes on to the next line. Once in a while, though, I can rewind and play it again, and the subtitles are there! I don't get why that happens.

Gerard Saylor said...

$35,000?! Hokey-Smokes!

Boy #2 had his second vaccination on Saturday. In two weeks I figure to drive him over to Milwaukee's cat cafe and a couple book stores as celebration.

I rewatched MANDALORIAN last week and started THE KNICK. I've not seen any TV lately that lights my fire. With five streaming services I have trouble keeping track of all the offerings anyway.

Hot weather this weekend and I barely left the house on Saturday. At least I got a few things done around the home. Today's forecast is a high of 83 and I'm assisting at the high school conference track meet. Current humidity is 79%. Friday's 10-team track meet had Boy #1 getting second place in the 2-mile and his 4x800 relay team placing 3rd.

Jerry House said...

Sometimes I wonder if protesting against gun violence is in any way effective. I learned this week that an AR-15 is really just a Swiss army knife in disguise. And the National Rifle Association, now being more and more revealed as a criminal association, still has its financial grip on Mitch McConnell and his ilk. If Sandy Hook did not change things, I wonder what will? Now that a large portion of the GOP has ODed on the delusional Kool-Aid, whatbhpe do we have? Actually, the hope that we have is with you and others willing to stand up and cry out, "No more!" Protests may not be that effective nowadays, but they are a good start. I sincrely hope they lead to undrstanding, organization, and voting the bastards out. I applaud you for your stand, Patti.

Getting off my soapbox, I am happy to report (charlie /Weaver/Cliff Arquette-style) that things are fine in Mt. Idy. The weather has been a but muggy lately but I can live with that. The beach was warm and breezy yesterday and the zen-like rhythm of the waves was soothing.

The major frustration of the week lay in the lack of workers in many of the stores and restaurants. Arby's has a special on root beer floats for a dollar, making it a daily stop this week, but half of the time there were not enough workers to keep the fast food joint open. Grrr! Christina was in a drive-thru line at a different place this week when it was announced that the store was closing for day immediately because there was not enough help. Several other places had to close because they ran out of food due to delivery problems. Ah, first world problems...

School ends this week. To celebrate, the girls are heading to Dollywood this weekend. the great thing about Dollywood is the importance they place on local arisans rather than the typical plastic souvenir kitsch ordinarily found in such places. The world needs more Dolly Partons.

Still reading lots of short stories, both online and in anthologies and collections. I also read Three Invetigators juvenile for my FFB, as well as LATER, the latest Stephen King (highly recommended) and THE OTHER EMILY, the latest Dean Koontz (interesting but overy wordy and highly telegraphed and lacking the typical Koontz dog character).

Television? Watched and enjoyed the highly-panned THE COURIER, a violent crime thriller starring Olga Kurylenko. in which she is shot, beaten, and beaaten quite a bit more as she eliminates a gang of organized killers after her and an innocent prosecution witness. (Kitty hated it.) Binge-watched BIG SKY, basd on a C. J. Box series. Neat-O. With the Memorial Day some of our regular shows took the week off. Missed DEBRIS and some of the late night talk shows (we are addicted to Seth Meyers); luckily John Oliver was back last night. Anyway, we watched a lot of clips of Bill Maher, someone whom I appreciate in small doses but who is als the closest thing we have to Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl nowadays.

Today is Daniel Boone Day and I hope you enjoy it fully, Patti, just as I hope you do not bother to celebrate National Body Piercing Week. Stay safe and stay happy.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Loved Babylon Berlin. Have watched it twice. Hated Big Sky though. I like C.J. Box but this series was poorly written. The only interesting characters were the bad guys.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Even Jackie, who would normally love anything set in Montana, hated BIG SKY and quit watching after the first three or four episodes. But I know a few people who loved it.

Jerry, after Sandy Hook I opined that if they didn't do anything about guns after that massacre of children, they never would. Nothing has changed (including my mind) since. Interesting about the fast food places not being able to get enough workers. Maybe it is time to, oh, I don't know, maybe RAISE what they are paying? I know around here they are always hiring and offering all kinds of bonuses. Don't know if is working, as we don't eat at any of them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am probably going to have to watch it twice to get it all, Steve.
Very humid here today. I thought I could beat it by walking early but no.
I am sure peaceful protests do little good but man, this country needs to change so many things. And instead we're going the other way.
Nice idea to give him a present of your time for being vaccinated, Gerard.
Yes, I like to be able to look things up on a show like BB but I miss too much. Thankfully there are a lot of synopses online to help me.

TracyK said...

We have been watching the standard series we have been watching for a while... STARGATE SG-1 again, POIROT occasionally, LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. We are looking forward to the new season of BOSCH. Some MST3K episodes.

We watched a few episodes of BABYLON BERLIN and Glen really liked the photography and art direction but we felt like it was too brutal and disgusting and did not want to continue.

I am reading THE SMALL BOAT OF GREAT SORROWS by Dan Fesperman, and enjoying it so far. Finished THE BIRDWATCHER by William Shaw and will be looking for another book by that author.

We are going to the bookstore this morning. We haven't been in several months. I am sure masks are still required, but we hope it will be quiet and not too busy on a Monday morning.

Rick Robinson said...

We were supposed to get some much-needed rain yesterday, but only got drying winds. Still, it was cooler, in the high 60s, so that was nice. I'm still reading some short stories, and will have a post Wednesday. I did read a non-fiction book, THE PLACE TO BE by Roger Mudd, about his years at CBS News until Dan Rather took over the anchor slot. Interesting.

SF author Jodi Taylor, who writes the Chronicles of St. Mary's historical time travel series has started a new series, Time Police. The first book is DOING TIME which I started Saturday and finished yesterday, enjoying it very much. The next is due in January. I'll have a review up soon.

The garden is bursting with flowers, the Delphiniums, Foxglove and Roses are all in full go, as the Rhodies fade. Al of the latter need now to be deadheaded. This is a great time to sit in the garden and read.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never been able to sit outside and read. I end up staring at the landscape.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I was in a bookstore in Delaware two weeks ago but it was just a closet really.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--thanks for taking part in the demonstration. Every little bit can help, if its followed up with any amount of further networking and petitioning and all that can be exhausting. But, fwiw, the NRA is collapsing...sadly, other gun groups are more than ready to step into its place. MARE is definitely too overcrowded for its length...HBO ordering short seasons again, I suspect...and was indeed difficult to keep too many similar characters and situations straight from week to week. I mostly enjoyed it. Clearly, this town needs a larger police force...not true of most localities.

Jerry--a Hell of lot closer to Lenny Bruce these days is Maria Bamford; a Holy Hell of lot closer to Mort Sahl at his height is Jackie Kashian (Maher is a more whining and self-aggrandizing cross between Late Sahl and Jerry Seinfeld at their most self-indulgent).

I finally saw the Audience channel series pilot for ICE, now running on Starz, this past weekend...fine cast fighting with the director and/or writer being in love with their own cleverness, particularly at the end of the episode, where (spoiler of sorts) the two diamond-merchant thugs won't buy the diamonds they've been coerced to pick up for an improbably flamboyant bigger-time thug...but they won't tell the big boss's gunmen going along with them why not, nor will they tell the boss-woman thug till they are beaten up somewhat, that they've spotted the sellers as an FBI sting. Why not say at a sensible point? Because machismic bullshit. I might give this one a look at the second episode.

Alice now hooked on PERSON OF INTEREST.

Jeff--IT WOULD BE WRONG TO PAY PEOPLE SUFFICIENTLY TO RISK THEIR LIVES WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASE STILL FLOWING (to say nothing of grease splatters), doncha know? They should be grateful for all the greasy splatter! CEOs and boards of directors NEED all the money out of every corporation, and Deserve it! When a $300 check is a viable alternative to a week's wages, you know the minimum wage is, shall we put it, a joke.

New Jersey having lifted obligatory masks, it's notable that about 60% of the customers and most of the staff(!!!) at Target on Friday were barefaced, while very few of the customers were at Wegmans, the somewhat froufrou grocery chain...staff still masked, as they were at Barnes & Noble, and the B&N sign on the door still asking for customers' masks, but no one trying to enforce it.

TracyK said...

We love PERSON OF INTEREST. It will probably become one of those shows we rewatch every few years because we like the characters so much.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I keep trying to start POI. And then something without a million seasons comes along. Soon.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We loved Person of Interest. Great show.

Todd Mason said...

Five old-style seasons, of 22-23 episodes...not exactly LAW AND ORGER nor TATORT nor GUNSMOKE...imagine sitting through every MEET THE PRESS or every GENERAL HOSPITAL...I just saw one of the several early episodes I missed due to WGN's haphazard scheduling of early-morning repeats...