Monday, December 06, 2021

Monday, Monday


Lots of good stuff to watch, read, listen to. Listening to a new podcast called Dead Eyes about an actor who lost his job in Band of Brothers because Tom Hanks claimed he had dead eyes. Of course, he goes on to recount other stories like his. Been watching and listening to a lot of stuff about Sondheim. I have to admit that I don't quite have an ear for him even after a lot of listening this week. 

Love Ann Patchett's essays in this new collection, These Precious Days

If you have never seen The Swimmer, based on a Cheever's short story and made in 1968 by Frank Perry, it is one of the most unusual films I have seen. (this was my second viewing) Starts out sad and gets sadder, but Lancaster is brilliant.  

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore is also an unusual film. Directors from that era seemed to feel freer to take their time and try out different sorts of shots. Jodie Foster just rips up the screen in her few scenes. A great loss that she no longer acts. And Ellen Burstyn, who got an an Oscar for this, is terrific.

Line of Duty is starting to bother me. You almost need to sit there with a list of police acronyms in your hand to follow the plot. I appreciate verisimilitude but they take it to a fault. Like The Long Call, another police story but the main guy comes from a religious cult background. And is gay. Found the exploration of the man this created interesting. 

First visit with the oncologist today. Wish me luck. I can only take so much more of this. The New Yorker has dubbed 2021 as Purgatory. I haven't managed to make my way out of hell. 

What about you.

Your favorite serial killer. Women crime writers weigh in.


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Read The Last Mona Lisa a pretty good thriller by Jonathan Santlofer. Now in the middle of Hail Mary by Andy Weir which has turned out to be quit a page turner. Also read a number of short stories.
Not watching a lot of series right now other than Curb Your Enthusiasm. Watched the first episode of Amazon's Wheel of Time and was very disappointed. Hoping for a Game of Thrones vibe but it is closer to Xena Warrior Princess.
Detroit Lions won their first game this season and in the last 4 seconds of the game.
My vision has been improving slowly after my cataract surgery.
They may not do my other eye since it is in better shape.
Weather is crappy. Raining now supposedly turning to snow later.

Jerry House said...

Luck. Lotsa luck!

Margot Kinberg said...

So glad your reading and viewing's been good, Patti. That's always a balm for those times when you need one. Thinking of you...

George said...

Hope your appointment goes well. I was just at Quest Diagnostics for my yearly PSA test. I meet with my new urologist next week. My old urologist retired.

Diane and I assembled our Christmas tree last night. Tonight, we'll put the lights on it and add the ornaments while we watch the Patriots vs. Bills game on Monday Night Football.

Diane is hosting her Book Club meeting on Wednesday. They'll discuss THE BOOK OF LOST FRIENDS, enjoy dessert (Diane ordered a carrot cake and an apple crumble pie from her personal baker), and talk about their Thanksgiving dinners.

Western NY Covid-19 rates are over 11%. We were below 1% just a few months ago. What a mess! Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hope you don't join us at 20% George. Although out shopping yesterday and almost everyone was masked. Of course these were shops for affluent people. Not sure what Target or Kohls would be like.
Been meaning to read the Santlofer book. I will put it on hold at library.
Diane has a good club. They read widely.
THanks, Margot. Hope I get to see you in SD.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Brooklyn is still at just over 2% positive, so that's good.

Very busy week for us. Last Monday we met George and Diane and their kids and niece for brunch at my cousin's restaurant on the Lower East Side. Had a great time. Had a few snowflakes when we left.

Thursday afternoon we flew here to New Orleans. The plane was full but no problems, no mask refusal or other issues. The weather here has been so much better - it's been mid-to-upper 70s (normal high 66) and beautiful, though rain is predicted for this afternoon, and colder weather tomorrow (we leave tomorrow evening).

Saturday we spent the entire day with Deb and John and the twins and had a terrific day. They made a leg of lamb and Jackie made roasted potatoes and a Greek salad, and brought a blackout cake from Brooklyn.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We're watching the last few Money Heist episodes, Hanna (series 3), Shetland (series 6, Acorn), Yellowjackets (Showtime). Finished Ragnarok (Netflix) and Before We Die (Sweden).

Watched Tick, Tick...Boom! Andrew Garfield did an impressive job, but...I was never a Jonathan Larson fan and found him self-important and annoying in his attitude.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Agree on The Swimmer, which we saw when we were dating, and Alice, one of Scorsese's early successes. The Long Call wasn't bad - gorgeous scenery- but so far I prefer her Vera and Shetland series.

We're still mostly enjoying Line of Duty, at least enough to keep watching it. We also watched Adrian Dunbar in the Irish series Blood.

I put off downloading the Patchett book just before we left, but will get it when we get home. I'm reading the new Michael Connelly book, which is kind of nasty about serial rapes. It's mostly about Renee Ballard, with Harry Bosch a decidedly secondary character, at least so far.

Rick Robinson said...

Hey ho, hello from cold (41), rainy Portland. Busy medical week for Barbara, bone density test Monday, sleep test Tuesday (no sleep apnea, which is good), gave blood at Red Cross Friday. I continued reading Camillari, finished DEATH AT GILLS ROCK and started WHITE CORRIDOR by Christopher Fowler. It’s the 4th Bryant & May book. The new, final B&M book is released tomorrow in the U.S. (the U.K. edition was out in July). It’s the 20th book, so you can see I’m way behind but I’ll get there as I really like the characters.

Watched football, Oregon Ducks got creamed by Utah so won’t be in Rose Bowl. Seahawks are in the cellar. Didn’t watch any of the many things you and the others did, as we don’t have the extra channels they are on. I got a Christmas novel from the library, on recommendation, but halfway through everything is sad. I guess that’s the buildup to the happy to come, but I’m unimpressed so far. More books than time to read them!

Our outside Christmas lights are up, but we’re still deciding what or how to do inside.

Luck, Patti, lots. You’ll be fine.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It's been cold and rainy here, Rick. Maybe we are the midwest Portland.
I am not sure where I left off with either Shetland or Vera. Had friends that raved about the Connelly book and I almost got it for Josh for Christmas but now I won't. He sees enough of that at work.
Everything went well with oncologist. Unless the report comes back saying it is a cancer that is troublesome I just do radiation for a few weeks and pill. And even if I have to do chemo it is just once every three weeks for four times. Not bad compared to what Phil went through. My son sat there and listened to me talk about the most intimate things about my body and never flinched. How lucky am I?
I found a guy that is going to drive me places too. No more depending on friends. It's been too long.

TracyK said...

Patti, very glad to hear that the oncologist visit went well. I am glad your son went with you. Support like that is important. And glad to hear you found someone to drive you, another thing not to worry about.

Glen's eye problems continue, I feel like we are on a roller coaster. He got new glasses but they did not work well and it seems that there is a new problem with his retina, probably related to the cataract surgery but who knows. So until that is resolved, we can't do anything about a new eyeglass prescription.

I read a Christmas book, THE LAST NOEL by Michael Malone. It was very sad and sentimental at the end but I liked it. Usually don't like books set in the South, but this one covered from 1963 through 1998 and handled race issues and politics of that time pretty well. Not totally realistic but it worked for me.

Now reading SPENCE AND THE HOLIDAY MURDERS by Michael Malone, which is totally different but I am mostly enjoying it. Written in 1977 and a bit old fashioned but that's OK.

We have been watching Brooklyn 99 (Season 4 right now), lots of science fiction TV shows, Midsomer Murders, Leverage: Redemption. So, the usual.

Todd Mason said...

Excellent oncology report, Patti! May all be as light as possible.

My folks could be uptight in some ways, but not so very much about health and sexuality. That both were off and on farm kids might've contributed, as perhaps did their young adulthood in the late '50s and early '60s (and their observation of their parents and peers not exactly following anything particularly straight and narrow...with the exception of my mother's father, killed when she was 7 or 8yo). Not so small favors. Also, I have been among the more open-minded opinionated blowhards from an early age. (I also fear that they felt less anxiety talking about such things with me from time to time than they did with most of their friends...I don't think they felt too comfortable at all talking about them with their siblings.)

Reading too many bits and pieces, as usual, rather than sustained reads of even those things I want to review. Happened to catch a number of documentaries about performing artists, mostly musicians/composers (did a late-night cooking and cleaning spree while listening to the BBC World Service memorialize Sondheim...that he was a formal student of Milton Babbitt as well as spending as much of his earlier youth as possible with Oscar Hammerstein's family both tell in his eventual work...there aren't Too many hooks in his musical compositions, and certainly some angular construction. The tendency for lachrymose readings of "Send in the Clowns" in my young experience certainly encouraged me to do some mildly rude rewriting of the lyrics when I sang it...which were still mostly in the spirit that Sondheim meant, more so than how, iirc, Jerry Lewis would butcher it on either talk shows or the Marathons. Among less dire others.

Glad that most of us are on upticks (hope you are, too, Jerry) and may the snows melt at least as fast as you desire. Glad you've found a chauffeur, Patti, and am curious as to which sf series you're catching, Tracy.

The most striking if by no means fully successful sf film I've seen in a while is TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN, which was one of the midnight movies on TCM the other week. Not often one sees a young Bill Paxton having actual sex with a young British woman doing her only credited film, one Judy Church. Film makes its points, but I wouldn't recommend it to more conservative or easily-irritated viewers. TCM on NOIR ALLEY offered up a Charlotte Armstrong adaptation that was less noir, as filmed, than mildly frantic Golden Age-ish amateur detective kind of thing, sort of Edgar Wallace gone less unlikely if only somewhat (shall have to dig out the Armstrong source story)...the shadows on the set were certainly noirish enough.

Not a woman writer, but can I nominate various World Leaders and their frustrated siblings in arms as my "favorite" serial killers?

Todd Mason said...

Bet you didn't miss this, over at THE RAP SHEET, but in case anyone else did:

"The latest publication to issue its assessment is Library Journal. Earlier today, LJ reviewers Liz French and Lesa Holstine posted online their 10 choices of 2021’s top crime reads. Listed in alphabetical order according to author names, they are:

"• The Turnout, by Megan Abbott (Putnam)
• Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)
• Clark and Division, by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)
• Lightning Strike, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
• Dream Girl, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
• Velvet Was the Night, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
• The Killing Hills, by Chris Offutt (Grove)
• Mango, Mambo, and Murder, by Raquel V. Reyes (Crooked Lane)
• Tricky, by Josh Stallings (Agora)
• Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)"

Todd Mason said...

Oh, Yeah dept:
At Wegman's, the most frou=frou of general grocery chains in the Philly-area New Jersey area, has in recent days, despite of Because of our high rate of vaccination, has not had too many folks with masks on. You tell me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Having trouble leaving comments myself. Thanks Todd

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Really good news, Patti. I hope it stays the course.