Monday, August 02, 2021

Monday, Monday

 If this wasn't so high on the wall, I would have gotten a better photo of it but it's in celebration of THE TURNOUT debuting today. It's a signed print by William Gropper. I have four, which I got in an antique store years ago. Gropper did a lot of satirical political work but also a lot involving performance. Anyway congratulations to Megan on her 10th novel. This one is about a down- on- its-  heels ballet school, hence the dance picture. So far the reviews are very good.

A very unsettling week here in Michigan for sure. It's getting harder to believe we will ever be out of  Covid Days or the attempt to overthrow our Democracy. Or the horrific weather events.

Watching THE SINNER series, which I didn't catch on USA originally. I really think Bill Pullman is terrific in it. Enjoying TED LASSO (Apple). Still haven't decided about THE WHITE LOTUS (HBO). I don't think I am in the right frame of mind for a show about totally horrible people. Watched a movie called THE BEAST, which was compelling if unsettling too. I was trying to rewatch QUIZ SHOW last night but Prime kept going out. I can't watch any of the Olympics because my cable box is still out.

Read THE SILENT PATIENT and found it played a bit unfair. It kept me turning the pages though although I can't exactly say why.

I am gradually getting used to my hearing aids. But although I know it's not true, it seems like my hearing is getting worse since I have been wearing them. 

Three things to be thankful for: 

We've been having some lovely days, here and there. 

I lost eight pounds.

My library is open and I can get books more easily. I have never walked into a library without feeling better.

How's things in CA, NY, FL, MI, WI, TX, and elsewhere?


Todd Mason said...

In NJ, a number of us are getting by.

Harlan Ellison, who conducted the interview series HOUR 25 on the LA Pacifica Radio station after founder Mike Hodel's death, with a memorial for Charles Beaumont.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

I have Megan's book coming Tuesday from Amazon. I have just way too much to read. Finished The Cover Wife, a good spy novel from Dan Fesperman. Also read Shooting Midnight Cowboy from Glenn Frankel, which I found very interesting. Now reading the Good Detective by John McMahon. Waiting in the wings:The Heathens from Ace Atkins, Rovers by Richard Lange, Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon and new short story collections from Jeffrey Ford, Brian Evenson and Albert Crowdrey.
Watched Your Honor a series starring Bryan Cranston. Good but a bit far fetched. Watched The Father starring Anthony Hopkins. Well acted.
Weather a bit cool the last couple days. Not nice enough to sit outside which I like to do. Back into the eighties this week which is fine by me,

Todd Mason said...

YOUR HONOR was a bit of a hothouse disappointment, considering who was involved. Meanwhile, just saw the latest episode of WHITE LOTUS; I find Mike White's selfish caricatures somewhat more convincing than those of at least the first season of SUCCESSION...I haven't yet been lured in by the common raves for season 2 (particularly since there was the same level of praise for the well-produced and -acted, except by Hopkins and a very few others, but basically stupid WESTWORLD series).

Patti, do the hearing aids make listening to radio or podcasts any more pleasant? The guests on the Ellison show about Charles Beaumont included Richard Matheson and Beaumont's son Chris.

As I remember it, QUIZ SHOW put me off, not least by Rob Morrow's atrocious attempt at accent, but more core aspects of it, as simply isn't sufficiently tragic to justify the nature of the presentation.

Condolences to you and Witmer, among others, that you have as many voluble fools running around the Michigan woods and 'burbs and towns...local folks seem less organized, albeit most of them seem rather thin on the ground. Hope the House committee helps make it clearer for those teetering on the fool-fence to realize what's been what.

And glad the early returns on MA's new novel are positive!

Todd Mason said...

Oh, and am I the only person who, upon seeing WHITE LOTUS's Jennifer Coolidge at first in much of anything, have to remind myself that she isn't Karen Black? Probably.

Todd Mason said...

And apologies for misspelling Whitmer!

Margot Kinberg said...

Congratulations to Megan! I'm really happy for her, and I wish her well. And I couldn't agree more about libraries. I never go in one without feeling better.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oddy, I don't really need the aids for radio, podcasts or the telephone. It's my house that's the problem. It had arching ceilings and sound gets lost. And in restaurants and cars. Still I am wearing them most of the day to get used to them.
Love books about the making of a movie or TV show. Will look for that one.
I see a resemblance of sorts but BLack never played comedy so her face has a mote posed stance if that's the right word. A more fixed look.

George said...

Love that painting! Megan's book should arrive tomorrow. It goes to the top of the READ REAL SOON list.

We got another half an inch of rain yesterday, but our weather-guessers claim we're going to have five rain-free days in a row. I'll believe it when I see it. In July, we had 7 inches of rain! The Normal rainfall is 3 inches.

Somehow I'm behind on my Library books again. I take one back and there's two more waiting for me!

Patrick and Katie will be in Maine this upcoming Weekend. There was supposed to be a Marathon race, but it's been cancelled. They had booked hotel rooms so they decided just to go to Portland and sight-see.

More people in Western NY are getting the Delta Variant. Hospitalizations are up! We're wearing masks every time we leave the house--which isn't often these days. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is so hard to believe we are doing this again, George. Half the country is holding the other half hostage.

Jeff Meyerson said...

NY (at least our end of Brooklyn) is good. We ate our four times this week, including the last three, as the weather turned nicer - as much as 10 degrees cooler than the normal 85, with lower humidity. We only got to #3 on Rainiest July" but had over 11 inches (normal 4.6").

We watched the first two series of THE SINNER (I preferred the first) and have the third on the list to watch as soon as we finish some of the other stuff. We did catch up on BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES (last episode was weak), we finished THE KOMINSKY METHOD (series 3 without Alan Arkin not so good, but Kathleen Turner was good addition), series 5 of SEASIDE HOTEL (next series skips ahead 6 years) and are still watching PROFESSOR T, THOU SHALT NOT KILL, SPIRAL (series 2, too much about drugs), KAVANAGH Q.C. (finished series 3; big change in his life), MURDER BY THE LAKE, SCHITT'S CREEK (finished series 3), MIDNIGHT DINER, MONTALBANO (occasionally), plus the original UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS (up to WWI).

We've added some:

GAME OF THRONES - I know, finally watching it after all these years.
ONE MISSISSIPPI - Jackie likes Tig Notaro, but we gave up after 2 or 3 episodes. Not for us.
THE GULF - New Zealand. Another damaged female cop self-medicating (as in THOU SHALT NOT KILL), this after her husband died in a car crash where she was hurt. A boy was kidnapped 5 years ago and presumed dead, but now he turns up out of nowhere but isn't helping them find out where he was or who took him. The damaged cop is still in charge of the case, which seems a clear mistake. As in BROKENWOOD, some beautiful scenery, here an island near Auckland.
HALIFAX: REDEMPTION. Aussie. May have mentioned this. A shrink is brought in by the cops (a bloated, cliched Anthony LaPaglia) to help track down a serial sniper killing people in Melbourne, seemingly at random. But her husband, a singer, is killed in the car sitting next to her, so is this someone from her past? We'll keep watching but it isn't great.
THE HEART GUY (DOCTOR DOCTOR in Australia). Arrogant heart surgeon has cut too many corners, is disciplined by being forced to serve a year as a GP in his home town hospital, where his ex is now married to his brother. A lot of flying to cases in a small plane, and he is petrified of flying. This ran five years there, so I suppose he will lose some of his obnoxious, arrogant edge. Set in the outer area of New South Wales.
THE ATTACHE - Jackie picked this and likes it more than I do. Woman gets a job for a year as an attache at the Israeli embassy in Paris (she is French born), and drags along her extremely reluctant musician husband and cute son. Based (loosely, one hopes) on the writer's actual life. They get there just after the terrorist attack. I find him annoying and unlikable. He doesn't speak French, yet even though they will be there a year he is making no effort to learn it. Jackie blames the wife. Can this marriage (theirs!) be saved?
KATLA (Netflix - the others were Amazon and Acorn). Icelandic. Why is it always winter in this Icelandic series? In the Aussie series GLITCH, dead people start climbing out of their graves, somehow returned to life without knowing what happened. Katla was a volcano that erupted a year before this started and is still spewing ash. A woman is found, naked and covered in ash, who turns out to be someone who was there 20 years ago, working at a local hotel. And yet, she is also alive and well and 20 years older, back in Sweden! Then the heroine's sister, who disappeared a year ago in the eruption and has been presumed dead, returns under the same circumstances. And in episode three there is a third person. I really like this one. A lot of the same actors from the terrific TRAPPED are in it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Looking at the list, I'm sure Rick will say we are watching too much television. It does seem like a lot. we tend to watch from 7 to 11 most nights, and I do try and mix things up. For instance, Jackie doesn't like to watch two subtitled shows in a row.

What can I say, it adds up.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I probably watch that much too. If I read at night, I fall asleep. I am grateful for the suggestions. I watched LA PISCINE last night on Criterion. What gorgeous scenery and actors.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We watched FISHERMAN'S FRIENDS the other night (on Netflix, I believe). It has the dreaded "based on a true story" label, but is still worth watching. It is filmed in the same town in Cornwall where DOC MARTIN is filmed. Jackie bought the CD of their sea shanties.

Rick Robinson said...

In OR it continues hot (92 forecast for today), which affects me adversely. I'm hot, grumpy, slow, tired. Half the time it feels like my head is full of wool. I don't sleep well. I'm not reading much and it's slow going when I do. I'm about to cancel all my library holds (19 of them) and return all books and give up. I have plenty of books to read in the house. I quit watching the Olympics because for every minute of event we are shown ten commercials and I'm sick of sitting in front of the TV. I'm having problems with my glucose numbers and though it seems I eat little that's bad I have to supplement with Insulin Type R. I've gained weight for weeks straight, not enough exercise but walking is hard. We got The Crown from the library but haven't watched it yet. We had another power outage last week. I'm frustrated and angry at the anti-vaxxers, but fools will be fools and there's nothing I can do but stay home or wear a mask when out, which is rarely.

At least our garden is happy and everything is blooming. In the morning it's wonderful to sit out with coffee and watch the bees on all the flowers. We live in a beautiful place and I try to enjoy that. Just this instant, a Stellar Jay landed on the birdbath and is drinking. Beautiful bird.

TracyK said...

Right now I am reading LOCKDOWN by Peter May. It is a murder mystery (police procedural) set during a bird flu epidemic, in London, which he says would be much worse than the coronavirus pandemic.

I just finished WOMAN WITH A BLUE PENCIL by Gordon McAlpine, which was very very good, but complex.

It was cool here this morning. We were eating out on a patio, and in the shade it was very cool. Hotter in the sun. The temps are supposed to go up on Wednesday, then back down again.

I have been on Weight Watchers for about 6 weeks now and I have lost about 6 pounds. I am hoping eating less will help with my problems with digestion. Sorry to hear that the hearing aids are causing you problems. Glen needs more work on his eyes (or one of them) I think, so hearing problems are not high on my list for addressing right now.

Rick Robinson said...

@ Jeff: no, you don’t watch too much, you watch as much as you enjoy, and that’s great. I wish I had your energy for reading and watching it’s cool you both, and so many others who comment here enjoy so many movies and programs.

I wanted to watch the VERA series, which the library has, but Barbara says she can’t understand the dialogue with the Brit accent, so we watched one and quit. I have the first book, THE CROW TRAP, in ebook format, but I liked the cast in the video version.

Gerard Saylor said...

10 novels? I did not realize there were that many. And I've read them all, too.

I took my children to visit my mother over the weekend. My wife had to work. Because of a problematic cat my wife would not have been able to come along anyway. Nice weather and we drove to a neighboring town to visit a large used bookstore for Boy #2's benefit. #2 never buys anything but he never quite wants to leave. I mentioned to him he never buys anything, but as long as he enjoys visiting the stores I will keep taking him.

My mother has cable TV so I spent a decent amount of time clicking around the channels to catch different sports. I've been watching the 2nd and final season of HAPPY on Netflix and starring Christopher Melon and Patton Oswalt. Horrible people creating lots of violence and with a very dark humor and absurdity that makes it enjoyable.

Boy #1 finally heard about his dorm assignment for school. His roommate is from Bangladesh - still there at this time - and they spoke a bit today. He and I will be doing a backpacking trip in Northern Michigan's Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in a couple weeks. I was hoping we'd score a visit to Isle Royale in Lake Superior because of lower pandemic attendance. Nope, all booked up. The ferry from the Michigan side to the island is $140 a head round trip so at least I'm not dropping $300 for a boat ride.

Gerard Saylor said...

Todd's mention of the HOUR 25 radio show and a Mike Hodel reminded me of the LAPD Detective who wrote a book claiming his father was the Black Dahlia killer. Yep, same family.
I did not know the mini-series I AM THE NIGHT was based off the family. Or, I did know and that's why the show has been on an on-line to-watch list of mine.

Rick Robinson said...

47 days without any rain.

Jeff says they ate their four days a week. No wonder they’re so skinny, eating only four days a week!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Ate OUT is what it should have read


I know Maggie Mason uses "closed captioning" for everything, so that might help with VERA. We've used it on a few shows (HAPPY VALLEY was one) where the British accents were too hard to decipher - the worst I can remember was the original TAGGART - but we should probably use them more often, because too often Jackie says she can't hear or understand what someone is saying and asks me to interpret it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tracy-My digestion problems have been solved by the probiotic ALIGN-In the 8 weeks I have been taking it, I have not had a single stomachache. I had to be talked into it by several people but it truly has been a miracle for me.
Rick-I am so sorry. I know you moved to Portland for cooler weather. What a disappointment. You have to used Closed Captions. It makes all the difference with British or any shows.
I have never been to the UP, Gerard. A real shame, isn't it?

Todd Mason said...

My friend Laura (formerly assistant to Rochelle Walensky till the latter left to take the CDC job, Laura still at Mass General in Infectious Diseases) has been impressed by how effective Align has been for her...even if the first pharmacist who filled the scrip for her called it "Aligen" (I suggest he could've gone with "Aliggen"). Laura's my oldest friend of more or less continuous contact, Alice (a child and adolescent psychiatrist) and I have been living together for almost a quarter century now, my first serious ex is a biostatistician working and living in Western Mass, my second serious has just passed her therapist licensing exam; most of the key women in my life are in medicine in one way or another.

And when not doing tasks driven in part by the collapse of various pieces of this century+-old house, I've been watching a lot of DAVINCI'S INQUEST, THE GOOD WIFE, CAGNEY AND LACEY and HILL STREET BLUES repeats. Touching base with these again. Our slower project, Alice's and mine, has been watching the cop show LIFE, from about a decade back, off of, this following up PERSON OF INTEREST (as I think I mentioned, CBS made them rush the final season of POI pretty intensely). New stuff I like includes FLATBUSH MISDEMEANORS, which just wrapped its first season on Showtime.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now I am down to ten channels only and some streaming services. ALmost at once I regret being so churlish with the Comcast guy that I reverted to 1960s TV. Literally because I have ME TV and not much else.
Yes, Align has been terrific so far. Hoping my body doesn't evolve evil bacteria to counter it.
Don't remember LIFE at all.

Gerard Saylor said...

LIFE was with Damian Lewis before HOMELAND. I watched an episode or two and enjoyed the show but never returned to it. Lewis plays a wrongly convicted policeman who is exonerated and comes out from prison with a fully Zen approach to life.

TracyK said...

Patti, thanks for telling me about ALIGN. I will check into that option.

Todd Mason said...

Also, LIFE has an impressive cast all around, with Sarah Shahi as Lewis's character's reluctant but relatively gung-ho partner (and they partnered in part because, as their lieutenant warns them, certain influential people in the force want both of them Gone) (Shahi was a draw for me when the series was new, and for Alice as a Next Show to watch) Adam Arkin as Lewis's character's prison buddy and now his accountant/tenant--along with the Zen approach, Lewis's character was able to sue the city of LA for his false conviction and imprisonment and was left a rich man, owner of a mansion), et all. (The Zen engagement to help him keep his cool after a decade in prison and the type of treatment an ex-cop can expect in most prison situations.) It's a vastly better series than HOMELAND (after the first season) or BILLIONS (ever, despite the cast), among Lewis's subsequent work.

Yes, the broadcast commercial networks are Trying Real Hard to be nothing much at the moment...the two Dick Wolf FBI series on CBS aren't too bad (but repeats of the older one have been bumped for summer by one of the inanity-fests, I believe LOVE ISLAND), and the trio of crime dramas all stacked against each other, CLARICE on CBS, the Erin Brockovich series on ABC, and the new LAW AND ORDER: GRUMPY ELLIOT, seem to have shaken out with the L&O apparently triumphant, while also the least of the three (if also the least uneven). I find I look at Start TV, Retro TV and H and I at least as often as MeTV, among the little broadcast networks, though aside from the Canadian series, Retro's offerings tend to be scruffy...older repeats, a selection of low-budget hosted film packages...but MeTV's repeats menu outside of late-night tends toward series I never liked much, or, as with M*A*S*H, just got worse and worse after their good seasons (the unfortunately sexist but otherwise often actually funny first three seasons).

Any Verizon in Detroit? They seem, from all accounts, a fraction better, which is sad to think. (Even if CableTown did hire a bunch of my former TV GUIDE co-workers, doing a duller version of our former jobs...but probably paid at least as well.)