Monday, August 15, 2022

Monday, Monday

 Kevin at 15. Some day he will look up!

Nearly finished my rewatch of MAD MEN and watching Don Draper self-destruct is as powerful as watching Walter White do it on BREAKING BAD. What flawed men they both were. And I will add watching Saul Goodman (Jimmy) do it on BETTER CALL SAUL is also gripping. Can't wait to see its resolution tonight but I will miss it. There has to be a story of a woman self-destructing but I can't come up with one as dramatic as these. Well, perhaps the prime minister on BORGEN, whose name eludes me. But she steps back from the edge.

RESERVATION DOGS is as good as ever. 

Enjoyed THE TWELVE CHAIR, which I have never seen before. Boy, Frank Langella was a gorgeous young man. I think his looks may have handicapped him in a time when we liked craggy leading men (Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfus, Jack Nicholson). A very cute movie.

Rewatched CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD and again was struck by William Hurt's distinctive acting style. You never forgot his performances. 

Reading the Michael Robotham book, WHEN YOU ARE MINE. He writes females so well. And although the first scenes are very familiar, he makes them fresh. Next weekend 1.5 million people will be below my windows watching THE DREAM CRUISE. Hopefully, I will be in Grand Rapids looking at quilts! The noise was intolerable this weekend, as people are already tail-gating. Making your exhaust system make noise shouldn't be allowed. Crotchedy old lady says. This cruise goes on for sixteen miles and includes nine cities. Read about it here.

What about you? 


Steve Oerkfitz said...

At least I'm out of the way for the Dream Cruise, although we get a lot of traffic passing through.
Just watched HBO's great documentary on George Carlin. He is sorely missed, although he would have a hard time finding venues now. College's are passing on comedians who are edgy.
Watching Animal kingdom, Better Call Saul, John Oliver and Reservation Dogs. Also liked The Sandman, especially the episode with David Thewlis. Rewatched one of my favorite movies, Michael Mann's Heat. What a great bank robbery scene.
Finished Larry McMurtry's Folly and Glory. The lat of his 4 Berrybender novels. Also finished Friend of the Devil, a short novel by Stephen Lloyd and am now reading Rock of Ages by Timothy Hallinam. Also some short stories by Albert Cowdrey.

Jerry House said...

Numb. Slowly working my way back. My brother telephoned last night and we spent most of the time not talking because neither of us had the words to express how we were feeling.

Been driving Jack the fifteen miles to school every morning. Hard to believe he'sin the fifth grade already.

Harder to believe that Jessamyn is now 50. The entire tribe went out to celebrate yesterday. We went no Fudpucker's (no, not Fuddrucker's), a combination restaurant/alligator farm in Destin. And, yes, they do serve alligator, although they were out of alligator (evidently a very popular item on the menu) yesterday. Mark had a pork and alligator nurger but the rt of us avoided eating anything crocodilian. The food was good, the servings large, and we spent some time watching the hundred or so live alligators swimming the their large enclosure. A true Florida experience.

Have not been able to watch television, although there is a lot on that I should be watching. Maybe I'll try SHE-HULK when it starts this week. Maybe not.

Reading has also been sporadic and it takes an effort to concentrate. I have been slowly working my way through a number of stories by Grant Allen, written at the close of the Nineteenth century. I do have a stack of library books that had come in; some of these may interest me.

All of the above makes me sound as if I am a walking poster boy for depression. It's not quite that bad. I'm enjoying the quiet time while I get my thoughts and my life in order. Above all, I am very grateful to have been able to spend so many years with Kitty.

Hope you have the best possible week a crotchety old lady can have, Patti!. Qullts in Grand Rapids sounds interesting.

Roger Allen said...

The book, The Twelve Chairs, and it's sequel, The Golden Calf are very good.
The authors, Ilf & Petrov, died young, but wrote an entertaining book about their travels in the USA.

Margot Kinberg said...

So glad to see you mention Children of a Lesser God, Patti. I've always loved that film, but you don't hear about it a lot. And, yes, Hurt had a distinctive style. I loved him in The Big Chill, too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jerry-You are doing very well. As the witness to many women in mourning right now (as well as my own experience), it takes at least six months to regain focus. And their are peaks and valleys forever. I am glad you got through most of the pandemic without this happening. That was the worst.
You could really feel the book in the movie, Roger. I could feel the pages turning.
I think it's "politics" has hurt it, Margot. The Dead Community has gotten more adamant about not forcing deaf children to speak.
You may be closer than you think, Steve. You won't be able to cross Woodward that day from what I am told.

George said...

Western NY temperatures moderated last week so we enjoyed plenty of cool days in the 70s with low humidity. But now we need rain badly. Diane waters the lawn and shrubs but it's not enough.

Diane and I went to see MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON. Very odd movie.

I'm still mired in THE SANDMAN.

Like Jerry, I may give SHE-HULK a try later this week.

Stay safe!

Jeff Meyerson said...

15! I swear he was just 11 the other day.

Brigitte Nyborg. We're watching the first three series of BORGEN again before we watch the new one. We finished REDEMPTION, a show which annoyed me at times, but was worth seeing. I would guess there might be a second series. Watching for French shows on MHz (I think all of them) - SPIRAL, TANDEM, CHERIF, DEADLY TROPICS. The latter makes Martinique look beautiful, but ugly underneath, as there have been nasty murders about abortion and transgender people.

We're enjoying DARBY & JOAN (although I dislike the title) with Bryan Brown and Greta Scacchi on Acorn. He is a retired cop (Brown is 75). She is recently widowed (she is 62) and comes to Australia to investigate her husband's death. Seems he called her (in England) telling her that he was at their favorite tapas restaurant in Spain when he was actually in the Australian outback. The two drive around in her RV and solve crimes each episode, presumably on the way to see what happened to her husband. They are both good and work well together. Started series 3 of LONDON KILLS. Halfways through the Paul Newman-Joanne Newman documentary series. Still enjoying HACKS. Jackie finished OZARK and is watching VIRGIN RIVER.

Busy week, as we had two days (Tuesday and Saturday) out on the island of Long seeing concerts at Jones Beach - first Jimmy Buffett (34 years after our first one) and then a great show by Earth, Wind & Fire followed by Santana. We stayed in the Marriott both times.

The weather has finally cooled down after weeks of heat and humidity, culminating with 97 degrees on Tuesday.

Currently reading a book George recomended, A SECRET ABOUT A SECRET by Peter Spiegelman.

No big plans for the rest of the summer, though we might see another show if anything comes available for our price (on TDF).

Just watched Hurt doing his usual quirky performance (maybe toned down a little) in CONDOR. We're going to start series two tonight.

pattinase (abbott) said...

When my credit card was stolen last month, ACORN immediately canceled me. I have to join with the new one, I guess.
And he will be sixteen in two months and driving.
Tried SANDMAN but I only gave it five minutes. Patience is not one of my virtues.
I think I read a book by Peter Spigelman about a decade ago. Can't remember its title.

TracyK said...

I am a fan of Frank Langella. I haven't watched a lot of his movies, but have always liked him in what I have seen: FROST/NIXON, DAVE, ROBOT & FRANK.

Quilts in Grand Rapids sounds much better than the Dream Cruise.

Still watching watching STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and PICARD. Also DOCTOR WHO and the original PERRY MASON. SHAKESPEARE & HATHAWAY and the Michael Palin's HEMINGWAY ADVENTURES (we finished that last night). Occasionally we watch BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES or MIDSOMER MURDERS. We plan to give DARBY & JOAN a try soon. I agree, not a good title.

Only thing I have finished reading lately is THE LONG WAY HOME by Louise Penny, which I liked.

Our cat developed thyroid problems, don't remember if I mentioned that before. She is doing well on medication but the vet prescribed special food, and she won't eat that. We are not used to having problems with her eating, so my husband worries a lot.

Gerard Saylor said...

I've not a Robotham novel in a while. The novel LAWN BOY has had recent censorship attacks and I tried to listening to the audiobook. The novel is a about a 22-year-old skirting poverty and in search of work. The novel was quite entertaining and humorous but he freaking audio was all screwed up and skipping ahead, and over, sections. I'm going to read it instead.
A fair bit of driving for me last week and the upcoming weeks. I went to IL to assist my mother and then IA for a shooting competition. Coming up is Boy #1 to MN for school, Chicago Worldcon, and then Bouchercon in MN.
Currently listening to Deon Meyer's latest release, DARK FLOOD. I always enjoy his work. Most of my knowledge of South Africa comes from fiction and I wonder how much perception differs from reality.

Gerard Saylor said...

Boy #1 has his last day of summer work yesterday as a cashier at the grocery store. I'd never been in there while he was working so I went in yesterday. He asked if I wanted the Senior Discount. I was not amused.

Jeff Meyerson said...


Gerard Saylor said...

His mother would go to his checkout stations every time no matter if someone else was available. I am fairly certain he never tried that joke on his mom.
Related: it's always nice to have people say kind things about the children. One guy always went to Boy #1's line because Boy #1 was quick and efficient. A minor thing that made me happy.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Pretty much the same old same old here. Been trying to help my adult son money wise and have kind of put me in bind a bit. Nothing immediate and trying to not think about it too much. Thinking leads to worry and worry leads to gastric problems.

Used a q-tip on my left ear a bit too vigorously and have screwed it up. Did it before a few months ago and got things to clear up. Not this time. Been three weeks and I gave up this morning and made a doc appointment. Going to have to wait a week and am now on a waiting list in case a slot opens up sooner.

Gotta say, Jerry, you are doing far better than I did at the same point. It was six months before I was able to read much. Mostly I just laid in bed. A lot. At one point, I did not take a shower for a week. Might have gone longer if a friend did not call and say he was coming over, period, and my adult son who lives here, Scott, got very blunt about getting up and getting cleaned up.

I don't have any advice. I am still not dealing with my own loss at all well. It is what it is and it is horrible. I am so very sorry.

(Still cooking in Big D and not happy about that either)

pattinase (abbott) said...

We really recover at different speeds. Every time I think I am passed the worst of it, life deals me a new hand. So hot there. Could never survive.
Hope your son likes MN. Good timing for Bouchercon.
Half the women I know have thyroid issues but that is the first cat, poor thing. There is no doubt that appetite is linked to thyroid trouble.

Todd Mason said...

Took me forever to get the last bits of my father's estate paperwork, his insurance papers, squared away, and send along to my sister to sigh for her end. It's a mental block of a severity that is somewhat amazing to me. Also, the insurance people keep giving me different answers to my questions every time I call, which helps matters not one bit.

So, Jerry, it seems as if you're doing rather well, as dealing with this kind of thing goes. Not a single drop of fun in it.

Sorry about your cat's situation, Tracy. Been there too often. Some did recover from various things, happily.

On a somewhat happier note, it has always amused me a little that Mel Brooks has remade the best films Fred Allen and Jack Benny made in the latter's careers...Allen's IT'S IN THE BAG was a chaotic but amusing take on THE TWELVE CHAIRS with many side-routines, and a pretty good supporting performance by Robert Benchley; Brooks's version of TO BE OR NOT TO BE was the more chaotic one in that case.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Funny that 12 Chairs isn't streaming. We have to get a DVD from a neighboring library system.

Todd Mason said...

It was a commercial failure on release, and didn't even manage to inspire a broadway version...perhaps if someone makes ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE, a film Fred Allen's character and his wife (not played by Portland Hoffa) were attempting to see in one of the memorable setpieces in IT'S IN THE BAG, someone will stream both film versions of 12 C. I've caught both of them on TCM over the years, as I recall, after seeing both first on broadcast over the decades.

Todd Mason said...

As IMDb contributor signing themself PenelopeDanger notes:
?Allen's irreverent humor, wild tangents and complete disregard for film conventions (including the sacred fourth wall) inspired Mel Brooks, who, drawing from its source material, made a version of "It's In The Bag" as his second feature, "The Twelve Chairs"--although literary purists who love the original darkly satiric Russian novel by Ilf and Petrov, take note: you will likely hate both these movies with a fiery passion. Even faithful Russian screen adaptations of that extraordinary book have failed to capture its greatness, and "It's In The Bag" doesn't even try--it's merely a sardonically humorous sendup of 1940s Hollywood in general and Mr. Allen in particular. It's no intricate Russian literary classic, but if you love vintage Hollywood comedies with an edge, you won't be disappointed."

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sadly, I don't know Fred Allen at all.

Gerard Saylor said...

12 CHAIRS used to constantly run on HBO 40 years ago. I got sick of seeing it. I always enjoyed Dom Deluise though.
Handling estates is not easy. And relatives get mad at each other when it drags out.

pattinase (abbott) said...

At my husband's uncle's estate, eleven people evenly shared it--until a 12th person entered the fray. That held the settlement up long enough to incur penalties (PA). They were substantial for the small amount to be divided.

Todd Mason said...

Always the potential for someone to Trump it all up.

Had you been, say, ten years older, Patti, you might've caught Allen on WHAT'S MY LINE?, where he was pretty much the best panelist in his years on the series. Before he landed there, his huge success on radio, and modest success in film (his most-watched film is probably the anthology O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE, where he plays one of the hapless criminals in the adaptation of "The Ransom of Red Chief"; the famous and sustained "feud" he had with Jack Benny was the basis of a rather clunky film, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, that probably would've been a lot better if Allen had been able to write or co-write it; doubt Benny had much input, either.). I caught up with THE FRED ALLEN SHOW on radio as a kid, via cassettes at the Enfield Central Library, and the couple of pages devoted to the "feud" in the Time-Life THIS FABULOUS CENTURY 1930-40 volume, and as a teen read his radio, etc. memoir TREADMILL TO OBLIVION. I didn't get to see his WML episodes till fairly recently on YouTube; I posted the fairly remarkable episode they shot of LINE the night after Allen died, in 1954, wherein the famous "mystery guest", Cyd Charisse, is all but overshadowed to someone who's lived in the decades since by the not terribly well-known "regular" guests, jazz pianist and eventual orchestra leader/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi, "Ann Landers", and Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante, who (as I didn't know till recently) cemented his fame beginning at about that time not only by being an impressive and long-term goalie, but also in having just invented the first goalie's mask that might actually stop a puck--all three of the non-"stars" of 1954 near the beginning of their careers, more so than the still-young Charisse; Steve Allen, former regular panelist, subbed for Fred Allen.

In 1982, we didn't have HBO, as outside Honolulu proper, the cable monopoly was a spavined and overpriced thing called TVSI, which was eventually bought out by the better Oceanic Cablevision in the city, only after we'd all decamped to Virginia. TVSI didn't bother to have MTV, for example, which was only mildly annoying, since music videos were pretty easy to find in the early '80s, if not as readily as on their prime market. Endless runs on HBO probably got it slipped into a syndicated film package to broadcast, where I first saw it. When we lived in each other's pockets in a small one-bedroom Waikiki condo on FAA's dime in the summer of '79, we did have access to HBO, and endless repeats of everything pretty much summed its offerings.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You really do need to write a book on the history of television. I know there are many but you could find your own slant on it.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Patti! I might even manage to not lose the thread of my sentences in the plethora of side-note clauses--one might even have intuited that Fred Allen's tv career had been rather frustrating for him before settling in at WML...details, details!