Monday, March 20, 2023

Monday, Monday


Had a very nice trip to Florida where both Jeff's drove me up and down both coasts. The damage from Ian was astounding. I took a lot of photos but I am not posting them because they are the destruction of people's lives on display. I had no idea how widespread the destruction was. It seems like you might wait years for a new roof based on all the blue tarp covering so many houses. 

Saw a lovely garden in Naples, the Baker Museum, and the Edison House in Fort Myers. Also the Flagler Mansion in North Palm Beach. 

Lots of good food on both coasts especially a Japanese buffet in Delray Beach (I think) and a fabulous Philly Cheesesteak spot in Naples. The nicest thing was seeing my great nephew and niece who seemed very excited to  have me visit them. 

Jeff and Jackie introduced me to FAUDA. I was able to finish off THE LAST OF US, which was exciting but touching as well. Also finished POKER FACE, which I also enjoyed. 

I am still floundering in finding a book to read. I am just not a kindle reader, try as I might. But I also don't care to hold a hugely heavy hardback. So it's paperbacks for me. 

What have you guys been up to?


Jerry House said...

It was cold over spring break so that put the kibosh on plans to spend most days at the beach, as well as a planned day at the zoo. Walt, Mark, Erin, and Jack spent the week in Virginia with his parents. They are just a few years older than I am but are definitely set in the old folk mentality; they spent most of the week just sitting and boring Mark and Erin to tears. Erin texted: "We are now 2 for 2 on the subject of ripped jeans" and I felt very sorry for her. Meanwhilke, back on the rather cold ranch, we had little to do except read.

Alphabetically: Your collection I BRING SORROW (good stuff), Lawrence Block's THE BIRGLAR WHO TRADED TED WILLIAMS, Ray Bradbury's collection ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD, Gordon R. Dickosn's early SF TIME TO TELEPORT (my FFB), Lee Goldberg's KILLER THRILLER and FAKE TRUTH (the last two in his Hollywood-writer-turned-spy-novelist series about Ian Ludlow -- very entertaining), the latest Grady Hendrix, HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE (recommended), Sam Johns's graphic novel HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER, Vol. 2: SCARLET (a subset of the SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN series, see below), Dean Koontz's latest, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD, James Patterson's autobiography JAMES PATTERSON (light on detail, heavy on anecdotes, held my attention, and -- in some spots -- made me admire the man), THE PERFECT ASSASSIN by Patterson and Brian Sitts (a Doc Savage novel featuring Doc's great-great grandson), E. E. Smith space opera FIRST LENSMAN (the second in the Lensman series but the last written, filling out the history of the saga), VOLUMES FOUR and FIVE in James Tynion IV's graphic novel horror series SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN, and Donald E. Westlake's BAD NEWS (a Dortmunder novel and another FFB). Currently reading John Connolly's massive SHADOW VOICES: 300 YEARS OF IRISH GENRE FICTION: A HISTORY IN STORIES (1045 pages sans appendices, 69 stories -- the name is a misnome, though; it covers only 291 years. Leave it to the Irish to embellish things just a wee bit. It's hard to say which is more entertaining, the stories themselves or Connolly's informative introductions to each tale. I'm currently up to 1884. A great book. highly recommended). Also on hand: another Lawrence Block Burglar novel and Patterson and Sitts's take on THE SHADOW.

After Tom Sizemore's recent death I watched an early flick of his, THE RELIC (with Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt, and James Whitmore), a by-the-books horror movie somewhat saved by Stan Winston's special effects.

Beyond that, it's been a pretty boring week, but boring is good. I'll take it.

Glad you're back. Glad you had a good time in Florida. Glad you didn't catch any diseases from our politicians. Stay safe.

George said...

Glad you had fun in Florida. One of our friends spent the month of February in The Villages and complained it was "too damn hot." Jeff Meyerson is a terrific chauffeur!

Snow and high winds hit Western NY last week. Let's hope Spring's arrival today brings some milder weather.

I have tickets for JOHN WICK, CHAPTER FOUR for later this week. Although not to everyone's taste, Bill Crider was a big fan of the JOHN WICK movies so I think of Bill every time I see one.

Patrick is in Washington, DC so if there's trouble in NYC because of Trump's arrest, he's away from the violence. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds like a good collection (Connelly) and I have not read many of the Burglar books.
It looks like it is warming up a bit here too, George. Not the worst winter ever but I am tired of it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

The Flagler Museum is in Palm Beach. That was, unfortunately, the one rainy day, so we just drove down a more crowded than usual Worth Avenue rather than parking and checking out the high end stores. We also showed Patti the outside of The Breakers and Mar-a-Loco. The Japanese buffet was in Boca Raton (Ichiyami), definitely the best we've found down here. Driving on 80 across Florida from North Palm Beach to Fort Myers (130 miles) is an easy trip because it is the flattest damn state in the East, at least, but not very interesting, unless you love farms and cows. I like the Edison & Ford Winter Mansions, but it was a very humid day when we were there.

We also drove down to Boca again yesterday for a last meal with five of my cousins, which was nice. And we had a dinner with Patti's brother and sister in law on the West Coast, as well as a fun seafood dinner (just the three of us) on the riverfront in Ft. Myers.

We're getting ready (not that we have a choice) to head back north on Wednesday. This is some of the coolest weather we've had since January.

Obviously, I haven't had a lot of time for reading or watching the last week or two. I did read the collection of John Dickson Carr's early stories put out by Crippen & Landru, THE KINDLING SPARK, and thought it was surprisingly good for stories written mostly by a teenager. The last, "Grand Guignol," was turned into his first real novel, IT WALKS BY NIGHT, the next year.

We finished the first series of ONE LANE BRIDGE (OK, but meh), notable mostly (only?) for the gorgeous scenery of the South Island of New Zealand. And we started another Aussie show, the amusing half hour comedy, CLASS OF '07. Picture a more comic version of YELLOWJACKETS, as a bunch of girls celebrating their 10th high school reunion are trapped by flooding and must deal with survival, as well as old grudges. Jackie doesn't love it so we may or may not watch the rest. We've started the second series of ASTRID.

Jeff Meyerson said...

George, we are big fans of the John Wick movies too, and I agree with your comment about Bill. Enjoy!

Steve Oerkfitz said...

How can Jerry read so much. I average about 30 pages an hour depending on the the author.
Glad you had a good time in Florida. Also looking forward to John Wick. Watched no movies at the theater this week. Watched a very good documentary on HBO-All the Beauty and Bloodshed about both Nan Goldin and the opioid epidemic. Finished Poker Face. Watching Perry Mason , Bill Maher and John Oliver.
Reading the Big Bundle by Max Allan Collins. His newest Nate Heller novel.
Weather looking milder this week after a cold weekend.
My blood work is showing show diminished function of my kidneys so now I have to go to a kidney specialist. Can't get in until June 20th. The good thing is I feel fine so I'm not too worried. My main problem has been insomnia. Sleeping about 3 hours a night, but I have no trouble falling asleep watching tv in the daytime. Thank God for DVR.

Todd Mason said...

Welcome home, despite somewhat less deadly weather in MI.

Having been reminded the nest of scams that is "time-sharing" still exists by John Oliver's series his morning (having fallen asleep before it aired/cabled), I hope none of your (or all of y'all's) various vacation getaways are nearly as problematic.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, the Meyersons and Nases knocked themselves out. I have never seen a John Wick movie but now I just may. I watched the first 2/3 of Nan Goldin before falling asleep. Hope I can figure out where I faded. Oh, jeez, Steve. I know how thin you are. This just seems unfair. Will look for Class of 07. I watched the second FAUDA last night and so far I think I am keeping the Israelis and Arabs straight. Thank god the women cover their hair.

TracyK said...

Glad to hear that your trip was good and also happy that you arrived back safely.

Our week was quiet, with rain and other interferences we haven't gotten out much. Glen did have an appointment to get his eye lasered (buildup around his lens implanted for cataract surgery) and the difference in his sight in that eye is amazing. I wish he had done it sooner.

Steve, I am reassured to hear you say you average about 30 pages an hour. I thought I was the only slow reader with a pace similar to that. My reading pace varies somewhat, based on print size and page size and type of literature, but I am getting through less books nowadays.

I also have problems reading on the Kindle, and that is frustrating because we have so many ebooks that I could read.

I finished the second Mitford sisters biography a week or so ago (THE SISTERS: THE SAGA OF THE MITFORD FAMILY). It had all the things I was looking for, more about each of the sisters but especially more about Jessica and Pam and Deborah. I was especially interested in knowing more about Jessica. I have started reading the 800 page book of letters between the sisters. It is long but a much easier read.

The last book I finished was THE MASK OF MEMORY by Victor Canning, part of a espionage series he wrote. I loved it; one description of the series made me think this book would be very dark, but it was not a downer at all.

It is getting warmer here but still feels colder than the norm. We will have rain tomorrow and Wednesday probably.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I doubt that I read 30 pages an hour because I am a dreamer and a cell phone checker. I am so sorry for my friends in La Jolla who have had so much bad weather and a such a high cost for their rental.
Our VRBO in La Jolla was a gem although pricey. And the hotel in FL was a suite, which I hadn't expected. So my good luck might run out should I plan another trip.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Glad to hear there are other 30/hr readers. My pace is more school zone than autobahn. Watched the new Hulu movie, THE BOSTON STRANGLER. Interesting story but a dull movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I still remember the Tony Curtis version. Odd role for him.

Todd Mason said...

The creators of the Hulu film were particularly interested in how much evidence there is that De Salvo, the character Curtis played in the '60s film, wasn't the Strangler, after all. Haven't seen it yet.

I think Curtis was in the market for a Serious Role at that point, and it was a good film as I recall it.

Gerard Saylor said...

My regular late entry.
I don't know my reading speed and would rather not know because it is likely sloooooow. I'm still not reading as much as listening. I struglled to finish ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE (1997) by Eddie Little. I couldn't get into the book and made myself finish it.
I've been watching Netflix series and just started season 4 of WALKING DEAD.
I started listening to Lauren Wilkinson's novel AMERICAN SPY and, so far, it was been very good.
I'm looking forward to the first half of next week when I take Boy #2 to IA for college visits. He has expressed no particular interest in any schools. Rather, we (his parents) found about the last two schools that still had Spring Break appointments available and booked him in. So on Monday and Tuesday we will visit U of IA in Iowa City and Grinnell College in Grinnell. That way he'll get to see both small and large schools. I'll just be happy to leave town.