Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday, Monday

 I am coming up with surprisingly little to say. I saw and liked THE CARD COUNTER with Oscar Issac. This is Paul Scrader's new film and continues the themes from FIRST REFORMED.

Too soon to say what I think of SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, which also stars Issac and Jessica Chastain. Having trouble investing myself in a number of series I have tried. HIT AND RUN for one and GONE FOR GOOD for two. Reading a movie on a TV is not much fun. My facial recognition issues require me to watch the person and not the closed captions. Sometimes the dubbing is good enough to use that but they have to at least provide them with the appropriate accent. Which is why Lupin didn't work well for me.

Instead I am watching a British show on a Portrait Painting competition. Have I lost my focus completely?

I went to see a new high rise apartment complex near me. It has some really great features but it looked like a place where everyone would be under thirty.  

This week a toilet and the garbage disposal broke. I was able to fix the disposal but had to pay to have the toilet fixed. I really don't remember having weekly repairs when Phil was here. And I know he was not handy so what's up?

Not reading anything particularly good. Although I have now read THE FRIEND three times (Nunez) Maybe I will just reread rather than read anew. Three books await me at the library. Maybe one of those will capture my attention. 

I was supposed to get to see Kevin play tennis this week but they had to forfeit because they had no bus driver and parents are not insured to transport kids to sports activities. This pandemic has cost all of us so much and still people are not getting vaccinated. The numbers are flat in Michigan. Anyone not vaccinated now, if not for medical reasons, is just plain selfish and evil.

What about you?


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

I didn't like The Card Counter as much as you. It's a bit slow which doesn't usually bother me. Maybe I was a bit tired. Rewatched The Shawshank Redemption on 4k blu ray. Great transfer of a great movie. Probably the best adaptation of a Stephen King work. Also watched Theater of Blood, an entertaining film with Vincent Price and Diana Rigg. Not watched much tv in the way of series. Watched the Detroit Tigers play some good baseball against Tampa Bay. Also watched part one of the Muhammed Ali bio on PBS.
Read Revelator by Daryl Gregory. Excellent novel. Reread The Goodbye Look by Ross MacDonald. I have read all of his novels 2 or 3 times over the decades. Right now I am finishing The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin. Bought a copy of Montana 1948 by Larry Watson which I hope to read soon if I don't get too bogged down in library books.
Enjoying the last of the warm weather. Lot of rain in the forecast and a big dip in temps.
One of the advantage of apartment living is that i don't have to worry about repairs.

Margot Kinberg said...

Sorry you had to deal with home repairs, Patti. What a pain to have two in the same week! Glad you enjoyed The Card Counter, though.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Sounds like it was a tough week. Friday was Jackie's birthday. At this age, I (not speaking for her) just celebrate every day here, but birthdays (other than milestones, I guess) are no big deal. We did go eat at one of her favorite places. Since there are now big blue signs on every restaurant requiring vaccination to eat inside, we feel somewhat safer, though we've noticed some places seem to be on the honor system and don't ask to see the proof, which we don't like.

Watched a downer but well done movie we missed last year, THE FATHER. Anthony Hopkins upset predicted winner Chadwick Boesman for the Oscar, but honestly, Boesman's was a Supporting role. This one did require your careful attention.

Finishing up several series (like POST MORTEM: NOBODY DIES IN SKARNES, which was darker and less humorous than it looked to be at the beginning) and haven't added anything new this week. The new Fall network series start this week but I'm not expecting much. Jackie wants to w=tch ORDINARY JOE tonight. We'll see.

Sports not looking good here. The Yankees followed their 13 game winning streak (longest since 1961) by losing 7 in a row and there is a very good chance they will not even make the playoffs, and the Mets are worse. Don't even talk about football, as the Giants and Jets both suck big time.

Weather is good.

Did get some good reading in - MIDDLE ENGLAND by Jonathan Coe, MOON LAKE by Joe R. Lansdale, plenty of short stories (several a day). Now reading the first of Paul Doiron's series about Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch, THE POACHER'S SON, which is very good so far. It was nominated for a Best First Edgar and won several other awards. I think there are a dozen in the seines now.

George said...

Diane's sister, Carol, is visiting us. She and Diane went to see the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit and loved it.

Our weather is about 10 degrees above Normal. Later this week, we should be back in the 60s...where we're supposed to be.

Household repairs usually happen in threes. I have no skill at fixing stuff so we've cultivated friendships with a plumber, an electrician, and a general fix-it guy to help us when things break.

We're keeping up with TED LASSO (which won some Emmys) and ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 35-0 so Western NY fans are rejoicing! Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Reservation Dogs on Hulu is very good if you want to get some insight into rez life.
I like Ted Lasso and Murders too. I have tkts to the Van Gogh thing in October. Every time I think I have someone who can fix whatever, they let me down. An older woman alone does not get the best service, I think.
My biggest issue is driving though. I have to figure out a ride to somewhere almost every week. You can't count on uber showing up either. Biggest mistake of my life: not driving.

George said...

Patti, Patrick is moving to The Big Apple to work out of the NYC GOOGLE Office this Fall. He's looking at condos and apartments in Brooklyn. Once Patrick gets settled, he's going to get rid of his Nissan Juke and will just use the subways and Lift.

It took some time to find a competent plumber, electrician, and fix-it guy. But, if you're going to own a house, they're necessary. Stuff just breaks down today, nothing lasts.

We have friends who have moved to communities where everything is done for them: yard work, snowplowing, maintenance, etc.

TracyK said...

Ever since we have owned our condominium (23 years), we have had a hard time finding someone to do repairs. We have a great plumber, and a good backup option for plumbing needs, but anything else is a real pain. I don't think of Santa Barbara and Goleta as small towns, but there are many less options than a big city.

Right now the driveway in front of our row of 16 condominiums is being replaced with pavers. The work started today and is loud and we will have limited access to the driveway (no driving on it) for weeks.

Friday and Saturday we went to the Planned Parenthood book sale and I found way too many books. I always say "this year I will cut back" but it never works. My husband and son both found good books too.

My last read was A SIEGE OF BITTERNS and I enjoyed it very much. It is a "birder mystery featuring DCI Domenic Jejeune." Rick read it and reviewed it a few months ago. I will getting the next one to read. I checked at the book sale, none there.

I am now reading a book I bought at the book sale, THE STRANGER DIARIES by Elly Griffiths. I have read some books from her other series and I like them but I am not wild about them. For one thing they are written in present tense. This is the beginning of her newest series and so far I like it much better. This one is also written in present tense though.

I am glad to hear that Jeff is reading THE POACHER'S SON by Doiron. I have had that book forever (10 years?) and never read it. I would like to read it by the end of this year. I think Kevin has read a lot of that series.

Rick Robinson said...

Too bad about the need for repairs, good for you fixing the garbage disposer. The old reset button on the bottom, eh?

We tried to watch the Emmys last night, but they were awful. I remember when the big award shows were fun, glamorous and entertaining. No longer. Plus we'd never even heard of most of the shows. We look at the listings to see what's on, but don't see the shows we saw on the Emmy broadcast. I guess they are all on the "special' channels, like the Plus ones, and Hulu, Acorn, etc. Another weekend during which we watched no football, college or pro. I read that the Seahawks lost, which is too bad.

Not reading anything. I have plenty of books sitting here, but no interest in picking any up and reading. Don't know why. Instead, I feel lackadaisical, so a certain amount of staring out the window or idly browsing the internet occurs. We were promised a couple of inches of Very Much Needed rain over the weekend, but got only a little drizzle early Saturday. We're in deep drought, over 10 inches below normal.

George says "Stuff just breaks down today, nothing lasts". That's what they said 50 years ago, too.

Hope you have a great week, Patti.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Tracy, I think you'll like THE POACHER'S SON. I read a very good review of his latest one and finally decided to try it. I read two series set in Vermont (Archer Mayor, Paula Munier) and one other (Gerry Boyle) set in Maine, but this one is really in the back country.

Rick, we haven't watched the Emmys in years. This year we never saw most of the shows that were nominated as we don't get Hulu or Apple + or whatever. We did see THE CROWN and MARE OF EASTTOWN, both deserving winners.

pattinase (abbott) said...

No, I had to use an allen wrench this time. Of course, I tried a million other things first. Don't know what I would do without you tube to have demonstrations.
I love THE CROWN but it won way too much. Not as bad as last year when Schitts Creek, which I loved, won every comedy award.
So many Black nominees and none of them won. It was embarrassing. Of course, most of what won was pretty darn good if you compare it to 20 years ago when TV was mostly awful.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have pavers in front of my house and in the back yard and need to find a way to keep weeds out. I could spend a day a week pulling out weeds. Of course in a condo they probably maintain them for you.

TracyK said...

I had wondered about weeds, but like you say, Patti, the home owner's assoc. will handle that. We have friends (in Stockton, CA) who recently put in a large patio with pavers in the back. I will have to see if they have that problem.

Jerry House said...

First off, happy birthday, Jackie!

Second off, have a great visit Diane's sister Carol!

Third off, home repairs -- brr! Luckily our landlord is a plumber/electrician and doesn't mind showing up.

It's been a pretty good week, despite the inundating rain most days. My mouth is feeling better and seems to be healing on target. For some reason, I've been getting occasional "phantom" toothaches. Didn't know that was a thing. Still cannot chew or speak coherently. **sigh** This, too, shall pass.

Kitty has been having a problem getting into our Nissan Rogue; she has to lift her leg a bit too high to get in. (Her replacement knees don't work 100%.) So we looking for cars on Saturday and ended up picking up a used Mercedes SUV. It rode like a dream and was very comfortable for her. Yay! We drove around for about two hours Saturday on errands and were greatly pleased. Didn't go out on Sunday due to the rain.

This morning went to drive Jack to school. We were about a mile from his house when the warning lights came on -- Adjustable Brakes and Electronic Steering Control went wonky. Then the brakes came on and we couldn't drive the car. The owner's manual (incredibly thick because, well, it's a Mercedes) was of no hope whatsoever. Either I did something wrong, or pushed something wrong, or the car just decided to hate us. So we called AAA and also had Mark take Jack to school. AAA needs some improvement. Their automated calling system kept sending us to the wrong departments, but we finally got through and were told a tow would be there at 9:40. Around 10:00 we found out the tow company cancelled the call because they couldn't find us. (There's only one main road in town and we gave very specific details of where we were.) Triple A had also given the tow company the wrong phone number for us. A few more calls ("We are experiencing heavy volume; your call will be answered in (tke your pick: ten to thirty minutes."), a few hang-ups, and multiple service people, we were finally told a tow would be there in 30-40 minutes. It wasn't. Clicked for an automated response call from a real person and eventually got a recording touting the advantages of AAA and an immediate hang-up. Then out estimated wait time was one hour. Then it was just fifteen minutes. Then hald an hour later we were told it would arrive by 12:15. At 12:30 we were told it would be 30-45 minutes. After an hour, we were told it would be 10 minutes. Half an hour later we were told it would be 15 minutes. The tow truck finally came about 3:00. We had been on the side of the road for seven hours. We then tried to rent a car because Kitty has chemo scheduled for Wednesday and I have an MRI on Thursday, but no cars were available anywhere in the area until late Wednesday. **Sigh** So I called AAA a total of routeen times in seven hours. What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. That, or makes a want to take a flame-thrower to everything. So I'm a bit late responding to your post, Patti, and will be more than a bit late on my own blog posts. **double sigh**

On the plus side, Mark is a great and patient man and is very innteresting to talk to for almost seven hours.

Not much on TV. We watched (or re-watched the three CRIMINALs -- England, France, Germany). Watched an enjoyed would-be comic book superheroes in SECRET ORIGIN, as well as the latest WHAT IF? and TITANS and the usual late night talk show monologues.

Reading was mainly short stories again, both from anthologies and on-line.

Enjoy your week, Patti. I hope you find a reliable handyman/men. And avoid AAA until they solve their labor shortage, train employees properly, and fix the whacked-out part of their computer system.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yikes, Jerry, another horror story! I have never had problems like that with AAA, at least not around here. But then, I haven't called them in a few years for service so I suppose it is possible they have such shortages here too. But I doubt it. Did you ever find out why the car hates you? Why did the brake came on? Jackie didn't have a problem after her knee replacement getting into our Subaru Forester. Didn't know that the Rogue was higher. We rented one in Tampa for Bouchercon a few years ago and found it fairly similar to the Subaru.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Movies: Saw “Cry Macho” the new Clint Eastwood film. We enjoyed it, but we’re long-time fans with the ability to suspend disbelief. I mean, a 90-year-old sent down to Mexico to rescue a teenager? Really? But if Clint makes a movie, I’m going to see it.
Books: Reading a Dana King, read an Elmore Leonard, and a WWII novel called COMMAND DECISION (it was made into a movie). Next up, FIRST FRIENDS, the new, non-fiction book about the best friends of U.S. Presidents.
Repairs: It’s the cars, for us. Both machines are past their prime.

Todd Mason said...

I'll take issue with that one statement, Patti...20 years ago, broadcast and cable were probably their best ever, on average. They fell apart again (certainly by 2003 or so) after the sudden influx of no-budget game shows (in the wake of WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE and SURVIVOR...and 9/11?) and a slow and happily not complete retreat from ambitious programming.

on broadcast, from brilliant to pleasant enough, in 2000:

on cable, THE SOPRANOS, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, FARSCAPE, OZ, HOME MOVIES, BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS, G VS.E, SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST, THE CORNER, THE HUNTRESS...and no doubt others slipping my mind...and this not even taking into account late-night programming and other bits and pieces...

Todd Mason said...

Jerry--wish I had a good alternative to suggest among AAA-like services, but ours has been similarly wonky. Job-like patience and/or cursing time, clearly...and speed in healing with the gums.

Patti--we have been growing luckier with our repair people, but no one's what you'd call cheap. Glad you were able to get the garbage disposal going. Will try RESERVATION DOGS.

Better times, everyone...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Reservations Dogs is terrific.
The best service we ever got from AAA was in England. It was NYE and our car was dead around eleven pm. They were there in ten minutes. No car now so I don't know how they are in this area.
I guess you are right, Todd. Maybe thirty years ago.
What a nightmare, Jerry. I had a horrible problem getting in and out of our Jeep in the nineties. We had to trade it in because I was ruining my hip.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Eastwood must be the oldest guy to both star and direct a movie.

Jerry House said...

Jeff, shortly after Kitty had her left knee replaced she fell and shattered her thigh bone. The surgeons had to create a new type of knee for her (it took three days for the orthopaedic to improvise one that would work); the operation took at least three times longer than a normal knee replacement and it took several months of wound therapy for the scar to heal properly. Her left knee does not work as well as her right (which had been replaced a year earlier). For a couple of weeks after my oral surgery she had to drive because I was on pain medication. Getting into the right side of the car turned out to be very difficult because of her left knee. She also had trouble getting in to the left side of the car because of her right knee, which is still troublesome, but not as bad as her left. After two weeks of this, we said the hell with it and went on a search for a car that would be easier for her to get into.

Our new Mercedes was eventually towed to the dealer (at a cost of $120, which the dealer will cover. We will hitching a ride to the dealer tomorrow morning to see what's happening but we've pretty much decided that this was not the car for us.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Remember when we just talked about books and your hostess didn't complain about fixing things. Those were the days.

Todd Mason said...

Blogposts about life have their place!

Trivial good news: overnight, my blog exceeded a cumulative two million hits. How much of this is due to robots flensing material for photocopied books on sale on Amazon or for websites that sell off-brand ED drugs, I can't really know. Too many, to be certain.

But, thanks, folks!

Todd Mason said...

Jerry...and further better luck with all things jointed and automotive...

Jeff Meyerson said...

Hi Jerry,

So sorry you guys had such a horrible experience. I had a knee replacement 8 years ago after suffering for 10 years. I learned early on to open the car door, turn so that my back was facing the car and sit with my legs hanging out the door. Then I turn my legs forward and voila, I'm sitting correctly without pain. To get out I swing my legs out again. Your Rogue should work fine. We have a Forester.

Good luck


Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said... comment written a few minutes after Jackie's keeps disappearing after posting on the blog, much as Jeff's did the other followL:

Todd Mason said...

Wow, Jackie...I foresee doing something like that after my own eventual knee surgery. As it is, I have to do it to a degree with Alice's Lexus, much as I had to a little less with her previous Toyota, as most of my height is in my torso rather than my legs (among other things, putting more weight on my knees even if I was a trim 6' 1", which I am not).

continued in next message

Todd Mason said...

Something in the second half of my previous message keeps triggering some sort of deletion/suppression.

Todd Mason said...

Perhaps there was some similar Forbidden Word or Phrase in Jeff's the other day.

Gerard Saylor said...

Books: I listened to THE KING IN YELLOW and the stories hold up for being published in 1895. I started one of Sallis's Lew Griffin novels and have been enjoying it. Sallis sure does enjoy skipping forward in big leaps of time.

Home Repair: I've been planning to replace a tub drain and also clear a blockage. Instead I tried clearing a blockage in a 1st floor bathroom sink. I kinda got it clear and broke for dinner. With dinner over I stepped into the bathroom to find 2-3" of water pooled up. I was highly dismayed and quite perplexed to the cause and cursed frequently and loudly.

I went to the basement hoping to do - something - and yelled for everyone to not run any water. It turns out the blockage was likely right by the vertical iron sewer pipe and the shower drain was overflowing with water and food debris from the kitchen sink.

All I could do was open up the clean-out valve by the pipe junction. Fortunately we do not have a finished basement. Fortunately I don't wear clothes that need dry cleaning because I was sprayed with non-fecal sewage and spent two hours cleaning up.

TV/Film: I think ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING has been very well-done.

Todd Mason said...

There's a Fun Plumbing Adventure, Gerard. My parents' last house had PVC pipe connecting them to the sewer line, and tree roots broke through the pipe as it decayed a little less than halfway through, but before the downstairs (washing machine/bathroom) and upstairs plumbing converged, after about thirty+ years of service. They didn't have that much fun, but were washing their dishes in the downstairs bathroom sink for a month or so, while awaiting the digging up and replacement of the pipe out of the upstairs sink and dishwasher...happily, the toilets were apparently on their own egress pipes. Perhaps the panoply of piping was the driver of using substandard, then-relatively-new PVC piping.