Monday, November 06, 2023



I guess a movie (NYAD) with two older actresses (Benning and Foster) just won't get picked up by theaters anymore and maybe it is just too narrow a focus. But I enjoyed both performances, especially Foster's who played the more lovable character, I guess. Can't wait to see her in TRUE DETECTIVE in January. Sad to be finished with ANNIKA, great cliffhanger though. Finally figured out how to get rid of Peacock and Paramount and immediately subscribed to AMC and got LUCKY HANK and the last season of HAPPY VALLEY if I can manage to take Tommy Noyce for another season. I thought I would rewatch SIX FEET UNDER but then remember Nate died of an AVM and since I may have one, thought it best to forgo it.

Saw THE HOLDOVERs with a huge crowd at a large theater. It was pretty terrific. 

Did not care for the Meg Ryan movie (WHAT HAPPENED LATER), which seemed to have a budget of a few hundred bucks. A two-hander set in a deserted airport. 

Going to hear Stravinski's PETRUSKA today. (NOT FIREBIRD. Sorry)

Reading TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson. I chose it on the basis of the size of the font and the weight of the book. Listening to Minnie Driver's memoir. She is an excellent writer. 

What have you been up to? 

Why when we gain an hour am I more tired?


Jerry House said...

Happy Foul Up Your Circardian Rhythms Week!

Getting ready for a quick trip to Massachusetts this weekend to visit my brother and his family. Sadly, it may be the only time we have left to see Kenny while he is still Kenny.

Amy is back working at the animal shelter and is very happy. Her stint as an animal control officer did not involve as much direct work with the animals than she liked; she also did not care for working with angry and irresponsible pet owners. To celebrate her happiness, she went to Atlanta for a blow-out weekend. The sudden cold snap here meant that the zoo had to quickly winterize some of the housing for the animals. Mark spent two days insulating cages and doing other things to insure the animals kept warm at night. One animal that did not care to be sheltered was Louise, the macaw who lives on her own small island in the middle of the zoo. Louise is kind of a loner who does not like the other birds, so she highly resented having to be place with them in the maintenance area overnight -- the safest warm place for the birds. She also misses human contact. Louise flew onto Mark's arm and would not leave, saying "please" repeatedly. Mark spent the rest of his shift carrying Louise around and comforting her .

Beaching yesterday, there was a fever of rays swimming back and forth close to the shore, following the heavier waves in as they stirred up food for them. We had to look it up. It's not a school or a pod or a herd or a flock -- the collective noun is FEVER. (That's a little bit of knowledge to store away, like a murder of crows, a parliament of owls, a buffet of parrotheads, or a privy of MAGAs.) There were also several pods of dolphins playhing. We followed up the beaching by hitting Pensacola's annual Greek Festival and stuffing out faces with yummy homemade food, listening to Greek music, and watching the costumed folk dances. Opa!

In addition to the late night night comics, I watched A HAUNTING IN VENICE. A good, atmospheric, not-quite-supernatural, mystery. Poirot's complex solution seemed to rest more on intuition than ratiocination, though.

(It seems Blogger has realized that I have diarrhea of the fingers...More to come.)

Jerry House said...

I had to break up my comment.

I've been reading a lot of Lee Goldberg -- six books this week (with another five still left on Mount TBR). WATCH ME DIE (apa THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE) has a lot of fun with television detective tropes. McGRAVE was another fun read; it began as anunsold television pilot, I believe. And I read the four books in the .375 VIGILANTE series that Goldberg wrote under his "Ian Ludlow" pen name while in college. the protagonist in this paperback men's action adventure series is a reluctant assassin known as THE JURY. The Books were originally titled .375 VIGILANTE#1; .375 VIGILANTE #2: MAKE THEM PAY; .375 VIGILANTE #3: WHITWASH; and .375 VIGILANTE #4 KILLSTORM. (The publisher went bellu-up before book #4 could be released.) I also read three of the DANNY DUNN YA novels by Raymond Williams and Raymond Abrashkin: AUTOMATED HOUSE, SMALLIFYING MACHINE, and DANNY DUNN, INVISIBLE BOY. DEMOLITION ANGEL was a standalone by Robert Crais about a bomb squad member who had "died" for a minute following an explosion, then was brought back to life. Richard Chizmar's novel, CHASING THE BOOGEY MAN, is "presented" as a true crime book about real-life murders that happened in his hometown. CIMARRON ROSE was the first billie bob holland novel from Jame Lee Burke. Charlotte Armstrong's THE BLACK-EYED STRANGER features a man who has isolated himself from the world and who has to kidnap a young girl to prevent her murder. Paul Tremblay's THE BEAST YOU ARE is a collection of offbeat and strikingly effective short stories. William C. Anderson's PENELOPE, a romp about a friendly talking dolphin, was my FFB this week. Coming up: More Lee Goldberg (I have five books left, remember?), some F. Paul Wilson, a bunch of Erle Stanley Gardner's pulp short stories, and PENELOPE, THE DAMP DETECTIVE.

If you set your clocks ahead one hour tonight, then set then back tomorrow night, thenalternate this process repeatedly for one week, you will truly know the meaning of tiredness -- although I strongly recommend that you do not do so. Have a great week, Patti! Enjoy FIREBIRD.

Margot Kinberg said...

I wondered what Nyad was like, Patti. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I heard that it was good.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Books and the beach for Jerry. Do you read on the beach, Jerry? Always loved doing that back when.
It is very much centered on her swim from Cuba to Key West, Margot. I have to confess, that sort of ambition eludes me. It seems more of a stunt than anything else.

George said...

Bill Crider railed against time changes each Spring and Fall for years. You're tired because your circadian rhythms are messed up! Mine are too! I feel hungover and my thoughts are foggy. It will take a couple more nights of Good Sleep to fix that.

Diane and I have been winterizing our house: bringing in the hoses, leaf blowing the leaves, etc. Last year we invested in a system to make our gutters leaf-proof so I don't have to climb a ladder anymore to clean the gutters. No more ladders for me!

We had a few flakes of snow last week but we'll be near 60 degrees today. But both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are warm so if we get an Arctic Blast, we could get feet of Lake Effect Snow! Stay safe!

Todd Mason said...

Athletics do lend themselves to stunts. Marathons, etc. The mountain to conquer.

Am lurching toward normal health, more or less. Lost ten pounds in a week...not a recommended slimming program. Sunday is a big tv day in broadcast/cable-land...60 MINUTES, THE SIMPSONS, THE CIRCUS, ANNIKA, ASTRID, LAST WEEK TONIGHT, with a brief check-in on a vintage LAW AND ORDER episode during a slack half-hour. A slightly better menu of tv than I was able to enjoy in the hospital's system.

I'm not sure I've listened to THE FIREBIRD since the last time I ran it on my radio show a decade/2+ back.

Glad things are mostly on an uptick Jerry, with your family...though sorry about your brother's darkening prospects...and the poor macaw's temporary dis-acommodation.

Timechange hasn't really affected me in a notable way, given everything. Time to go vote tomorrow, though NJ's chiefest villains at the moment are in other districts.

Jerry House said...

I cannot read at the beach, Patti; I'm too busy with everything around me. Beach time is my time to let nature engulf me -- the endless variations of the waves, the pure beauty of the sea, the sky, and the sand, the quiet mysteries of the dolphins and other sea creatures, the scuttling of the sand crabs, the amazing diversity of the people walking by and their laughter as they enjoy the water, the sounds of the occasional planes overhead, the warmth of the sun and the (usually) gentle's a time for me to center myself and quietly appreciate my place in the world. Reading, for me, is more of a solitary thing; beaching (as vital to me as reading) allows me to take part in the universe on a completely different level

Jerry House said...

George...feeling hungover with foggy thoughts...reminds me of my college career.

Todd, happy you are feeling healthier! Keep it up.

Patti, sometimes stunts are the most important things people cling to. Can't fault them for that, although I find it difficult to grasp.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We've only had 4 episodes of ANNIKA so far, with two to go. Where have you seen the others?

Agree on NYAD. I give Annette Bening a lot of credit, though certainly Foster played the more likeable character, and I always like Rhys Ifans. She did all the swimming and trained 8 hours a day. (Sadly, the character Ifans played died a few months after her swim.)

We enjoyed LUCKY HANK and HAPPY VALLEY, despite Tommy Royce. Derek Riddell, who plays the ex-husband, has been in a ton of shows lately, as has Jamie Sives (Michael in ANNIKA).

Enjoying LITTLE BIRD, though it is hard waiting a week for the next episode. Glad she found her family.

Not enjoying BOSCH: LEGACY as much. First of all, these two cops - on the job - are not only crooked but extortionists, pimps, and now murderers, and yet no one else seems to have a clue what they're up to? They aren't exactly subtle about it either. Plus, yes, I am tired of the daughter. Maybe everyone was right about Bosch going to "the dark side" being a bad thing after all.

Other added shows:

ALIBI (2003) - 3 part miniseries. Michael Kitchen (FOYLE'S WAR) makes a lavish 20th Anniversasry party for his wife (Phyllis Logan of DOWNTON ABBEY), despite their money woes and despite the fact that it is only their 19th. Sophie Okonedo is a civil service clerk moonlighting as a caterer, and she sees Kitchen with the dead body of his partner, who is possibly his wife's lover, and she helps him cover it up for some inexplicable reason. I'll be curious to see where it goes from here. Acorn, I think.

THE VICTIM (2019; we saw the first episode on one of our PBS stations, but this 4 part mini-series might be on Acorn or Britbox or PBS Masterpiece). Fifteen years ago, Kelly Macdonald's 9 year old son was brutally murdered by a 13 year old boy, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 7 years detention. Now someone has told her that Craig Myers (James Harkness) is the killer, Eddie J. Turner). She posts it online, clearly encouraging a murderous attack. The police (led by John Hannah) say he isn't Turner, and an unrepentant (and unlikable) Macdonald goes on trial.

New series of one of Jackie's favorites, THE SOMMERDAHL MURDERS, on MHz Choice. He's a Danish cop in Elsinore, whose wife has left him for his partner. This is series 3.

I'm sure there are many more, as all we seem to do these days is eat, read and watch television.

I hate changing the clocks. They should leave it one way or the other (I prefer DST) and be done with it. Only 8 weeks and a couple of days until we leave for Florida.

pattinase (abbott) said...

If you donate to PBS here, you get many shows streaming in their entirety on their app. And many of their past shows as well. So it's basically a streaming service.
Sorry about being ill, Todd. A ten pound loss in a week is a lot.
That's a great way to experience the beach, Jerry, but I would need to have surfers to keep me busy. Which I do in CA. I saw one series of SOMMERDAHL.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We do have PBS Masterpiece streaming, but it only has up to episode 4 of ANNIKA and LITTLE BIRD.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Strange. It must vary. It's called PBS PASSPORT here.

TracyK said...

I feel very crappy today. Partly it is because I stayed up too late last night reading (I guess) but I am blaming it on the time change. I was worried about it in advance but it bothered me even more than I expected.

I read and enjoyed TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson. I was surprised that so many readers did not like it.

We watched two movies this weekend that we watch fairly often: DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, directed by Larry Blamire, with Jim Beaver and Daniel Roebuck, and STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Also watching the usual TV shows... POKER FACE, CSI, LONDON KILLS, LEVERAGE, THE INVADERS, and we will watch ENOLA HOLMES soon I hope.

Last night I stayed up too late finishing THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET, a space opera by Becky Chambers. I loved it. Science fiction of that type usually entertains me but this was even better than usual. The characters are great; the various alien species are interesting. I purchased the 2nd in the series and a standalone novella by the same author when we went to Chaucer's Bookstore this weekend.

I haven't decided what to read next. I did read a short story by Larry Niven for Short Story Wednesday this week.

Glen is still reading SHADOWLANDS: A JOURNEY THROUGH BRITAIN'S LOST CITIES AND VANISHED VILLAGES by Matthew Green. He is not really enjoying the book, even though the topic is one he is interested in. The writing style is too dry. He doesn't give up on books so he will continue reading it.

Todd Mason said...

Passport is a whole-network thing that Jeff might not have access to. FWIW.

Thanks for the good wishes, Jerry, and the condolence, Patti. Of course, I can lose ten pounds more readily than some people. The biggest threat I faced, aside from COVID as a whole, was getting dangerously low on sodium just before admission to the's brain functions even less well than being smashed/drunk, as I have these two experiences to compare (the alcohol-induced situation from the one time I seriously overindulged in my college days, and attempted a philosophical argument with a fellow-student about as drunk as I was), inasmuch as sodium is necessary for one's nerves to work. As most of my (slightly stooped these years) 6' 1" is torso (not particularly long legs, and little joy fitting through most car doors), my ten pounds was dispensable, but still not something to lose in a week. I must admit watching all the often-clumsy coverage of the slaughters getting a lot of attention in US media (Gaza) and those not so much (Armenian/Azerbaijan, among so many others, not least the continuing chaos in Africa) did make me a bit less game to engage with crime drama over the worst of it all.

Sorry you're feeling under the weather as well, Tracy...I haven't seen DARK yet, but the combo of Blamire and Beaver is promising (intentionally over-the-top fun?). Shall look forward to your choice of Niven story...for a while, Niven managed to eclipse Arthur C. Clarke as my father's favorite writer, but Clarke won out again in the end.

T Kent Morgan said...

Was catching up on Annika over the weekend, but still have to watch the episode that was on PBS last night. Finished reading a novel titled The River by Peter Heller that I found in a thrift shop. It interested me because the setting was a remote river in northern Manitoba that runs into Hudson Bay. Not an area of my home province that I had ever visited. Two Dartmouth students decide to paddle the river to Hudson Bay, but run into some bad people and a large wildfire that puts them in jeopardy. Despite so much description that usually turns me off a book, I enjoyed it. It was nice change after struggling through James Ellory's latest "big" book, The Enchanters, set in Los Angeles in 1962 around the death of Marilyn Monroe. Next up will be something light.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Patti, we have so many streaming channels I can't keep them straight. Probably PBS Passport here too. We can watch it - on the computer, on But we'll wait until it is on TV.

TracyK said...

Jerry, thanks for the information that a group of rays is a fever.

Todd, sorry to hear that you haven't been ill enough to be in the hospital and glad to hear you are better. Last summery I had about six weeks where my sodium was low and I was super fatigued but your experience sounds much worse than mine.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I read something by Peter Heller a few years back. Have to check him out on Amazon.
Sometimes you wonder if it was all easier when we had five channels and 27 minutes out of 30 without commercials.

Todd Mason said...

I always had at least six distinct broadcast channels (at least since being old enough to turn a dial), and when it was only that much in Hawaii, we had basic cable along with. Zero commercials always better, but we can't escape them on PBS and other public networks now...alas all systems. It was still entirely too easy to waste time in front of screens...

Todd Mason said...

Tracy, thanks...yes, I was at a blackout stage.

TracyK said...

Wow, I had a lot of weird typos in my last comment there, but I hope the sentiment got across.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Fingers crossed for the Tuesday voting. The NYT/Sienna poll is pretty terrifying.

Todd Mason said...

Polls are fairly useless at this point for next year's elections, as well as fairly useless always. Poll responses aren't votes.

Getting rid of the Electoral College remains something we need to do. Ranked choice voting, as well.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Saw The Holdovers. I thought it very good but not great. Rewatched One False Move. Terrific movie.Finished Holly by Stephen King. Good but not his best. Just started the new Michael Connelly.
Had blood work done again. I am apparently anemic. My iron levels are all fine. My eye injections are getting fartur apart. Up to 8 weeks now. Minght be done with soon.

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