Monday, November 20, 2023

Monday, Monday

 Loved both May-December and Killers of the Flower Moon at the theater. Strange because both films made me very uneasy, queasy. But the acting, directing, score, set design and everything about them just sang. I especially admire Charlie Melton in May-December who managed to steal the show from two terrific actresses (Moore and Portman).

Also The Killer (Netflix) a David Fincher film was pretty good although it may take a second look to get all the references. Michael Fassbender was away too long.

Liked the series Better on Hulu. Great ending for me, but I see other people didn't agree.  Lessons in Chemistry (Apple) changed so many things from the book, I am not sure why they bothered making it. Watching For All Mankind on Apple. And rewatching Six Feet Under (Netflix). I had forgotten how strange it was. 

Still working on the Tana French book, The Searcher but boy, it is a slow one. Beautiful writer though. 

Went to a Brunch with Bach today which was terrific. They played Beethoven's late quartets.

The Detroit Lions are 8 and 2. The first time they have had that record since 1962. What a game. 

How about you?


Todd Mason said...

Lovely array of good experiences, even when the films were discomfiting! KILLERS certainly dovetails with LITTLE BIRD.

Nothing nearly as diverse, just returning to recent-normal, which feels pretty good in comparison...even when it means cleaning litterboxes and the like. Happily, intermittently too cold for the lawn to grow much.

CBS, PBS, and the CW packed up viewing on Thursday about as much as PBS, HBO, Fox and CBS did last night: Noted on Fb: "Maria Bamford and Jonathan Karl both booked for tonight's THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT (CBS); perhaps both will be encouraged to state opinions of Donald Trump.
"For that matter, at 9p ET/PT, CBS will broadcast episodes of the original UK version of GHOSTS. Between the Canadian sitcoms on the CW, Brit MARRIAGE and Canadian LITTLE BIRD on local PBS, and this, I will feel very Anglophone Cosmopolitan after tonight's couch-ride.
"Interesting (to me) that the female lead in GHOSTS UK, Charlotte Ritchie (who reminds one of the more recent ghosts of UK singer Kim Wilde), looks to me remarkably like Margot Kidder (one of my earlier childhood adult-woman media crushes, in the mid '70s); part of the LITTLE BIRD cast is her niece, Janet Kidder (who also resembles her, less remarkably). GHOSTS UK is unsurprisingly much more clever than GHOSTS US (not so much naturally as too often the case)." I remember that one of the (sorry, late, IIRC) occasional contributors here was a personal friend of elder Kidder, and my inability to trigger names in memory (sometimes it'll take an hour or two, if I can't find a reference to them...) continues.

Ah, well. At least Trump has never actually won an election (the Electoral College needs to go, National Ranked-Choice Voting needs to be brought forth), so the polls that keep suggesting he's Leading are alongside polls that suggest RFK, Jr. might pick up 20-something percent of the vote. That won't happen, either.

Hope we've tended to have had good weeks...

Jerry House said...

Sounds like you've had a fairly busy week, P_atti, although Brunch with Bach sounds a bit iffy -- I've heard he eats like a pig.

Things have been hectic here. Jack was hospitalized for three days. Nothing major or long-term, just a bit disconcerting. He got out in time for our (me, Christina, Jessie, and Amy) trip to visit my bother and his family in Massachusetts, which went extremely well. Kenny's dementia is progressing slowly and he is doing much better than we expected. He is not as open and lively as before, but he still follows things well and has maintained his wonderful sense of humor. The major problem is that he forgets to eat and has to be constantly reminded and prodded to do so. He was always lean but now he's rail-thin, but not in an obsessivelty unhealthy way. There's other minor things, too. He no longer knows how to use e-mail, for example. On the bright side of things, his family (wife Carmen, daughter Julie, and son-in-law Tom) are taking excellent care of him, and the presence of Lily (now six months old) is a blessing. Kenny plays with her, sings to her, reads to her (their favorite book is titled GRANDPA HUGS), and gives her all the love in the world. While we were there, we helped babyproof the living room because she is about two weeks away from crawling. Our short visit included lots of laughs, lots of memories, lots of love-the-baby, and lots of food. We feasted on pizza, barbeque, sea food (fried Ipswich -- whole belly clams, yum! Can't get those in Florida), and Christina was able to eat TWICE at Potbelly's, her favorite sandwich shop (the nearest one to us is hundreds of miles away, in Tampa). A great trip, with (bonus!) no problems with our flight! We are hoping to go back there sometime in March or April.

We got home in time for Christina, Walt, Mark, and Jack to prepare for their Thanksgiving vacation in the Everglades. They left yesterday and Mark brought along his snake handling tools -- just in case. Erin opted not to go, because bugs. She's staying here and taking care of all the animals (and, presumably, me). The two of us will spent Thanksgicing with Jessie and her girls. I've picked up a lot of pies for the feast because we hold to my brother's maxim of at least one pie per person at Thanksgiving. Erin is a great person but she must be an alien or a Communist because she does not like pie, leaving all the more for the rest of us. (Erin also does not eat onions or bacon. Like I said, either an alien or a Communist.)

Today, I'm heading over to Jessie's to housesit while a crew comes in and removes a jungle of bamboo from her back yard. Chicken Nugget (the dog) will be at doggie day care, so it will just be me, six cats, and the latest Stephen King.

(More to come...)

Todd Mason said...

Or perhaps Erin is a Bach going incognito...glad to read of the mostly positive news among your family.

Jerry House said...

(Part 2)

I've begun watching THE FALLOF THE HOUSE OF USHER (on Netflix?), with mixed feelings. As am homage to Poe, there's something lacking, despite all the references and names from the canon. Sometimes updating and reimagining something is not the best way to go. Also Jack has been having me watch his programs with him. G-r-r-r. I can see how Disney's JESSIE and it s sequel BUNK'D can be popular with kids. They both have stupid plots, show little respect for adults, and prove that children do not need any acting talent to make it on television. DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, at least, shows a self-deprecating sense of humor and some originality. And there's always the late night comics. (Yes, we voted for the puteketeke as New Zealand Bird of the Century -- how could we not?)

Still catching up Lee Goldberg books. I finished his DIAGNOSIS MURDER series with WAKING NIGHTMARE (#5) and THE LAST WORD (#8). I also read FAST TRACK, which novelised on of his movie scripts. I read two more Dave Robicheaux novels by James Lee Burke: CADILLAC JUKEBOX and PURPLE CANE ROAD; they are always a treat. Pete Hamill's GUNS OF HEAVEN was a fast-paced look at the Irish Troubles. Dean R. Koontz's ANTI-MAN was an early SF novel (from the days when he still used his middle initial) that showed his still-developing talents as a writer. I've often criticized his approach to his more recent, best-selling, novels, but the guy knows how to make you turn a page. THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS (original title THE WITCH IN THE WOOD) is the second book in his THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING and covers (in a very off-handed way) Arthur's consolidation of power, establishment of the Round Table, and the planting of the seeds of his downfall. Very readable and entertaining; I'll probably get to the last two book before the end of the year. I also finished two Donald A. Wollheim-Terry Carr best-of-the-year anthologies, WORLD'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 1970 and WORLD'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 1971. Erle Stanley Gardner's HONEST MONEY was a collection of his stories about Ken Corning, a young, crusading lawyer going against a powerful and corrupt political machine. I,m currently reading Jpohn Scalzi's STARTER VILLAIN and (as noted above) Stephen King's HOLLY. Up next is the new Richard Osman Thursday Murder Club novel, a multi-author collaboration between Kevin J. Anderson, Janet Berliner, Matthew Costello, and F. Paul Wilson, as well as Cullen Murphy's political discourse ARE WE ROME?

Even though dark political days are approaching us, there is still much to be thankful for. Here's hoping you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, Patti! Have some pie.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm glad you thought May December and Killers... were well-done, even if one couldn't talk about enjoying them in the usual sense. I'd been wondering how they were.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Overnights is probably the most enjoyable movie I have seen lately, Margot.
I saw some of the UK GHOSTS a year or two ago. Lots of fun.
Kevin is a great Potbelly fan too. Been debating watching HOUSE OF USHER. I tried THE CURSE last night but could not get into it. I give up too soon, I am sure.

George said...

Western NY was under a threat of a snowstorm this week but the Weather Gods smiled on us and it looks like we've escaped any blizzards for Thanksgiving.

Looking forward to watching FARGO, Season 5 on FX tomorrow. The past seasons of FARGO varied in quality, but kept me interested.

The Buffalo Bills fired their Offensive Coordinator after the miserable loss on Monday Night Football...and ended up with a win in a must-win game against the Jets. Things get a lot tougher next Sunday when the Bills travel to Philly to take on the Eagles. We'll miss that game because we'll be on Broadway watching MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

pattinase (abbott) said...

And to you, George!

Todd Mason said...

Happy T-Day and all to everyone, even if not celebrating it (this week or otherwise!).

Patti, I made it about 40 minutes into THE CURSE's pilot before the immediate precipitating event that leads to the Curse proved that this was a simon-pure idiot-plot narrative...James Blish and Damon Knight credited each other with inventing the term, for a story that can only happen if every character in it is an unadulterated idiot. Sometimes this works in satire, but when the characters are tired-stereotypical idiots, not so much.

Jeff Meyerson said...

About 30 second, then.

pattinase (abbott) said...

From Jeff
All those shows on all those channels that we don't have - Hulu, Apple, etc.
Best show of the week is series two of JULIA on Max. Everything about it is delightful. My favorite so far was probably Avis (Bebe Neuwirth)'s day out in Paris with Jean-Paul Sartre, with him trying to seduce her into a threesome with Simone de Beauvoir, and telling her, "You don't understand existentialism!" Three episodes, and the Childs are still in Paris.
We didn't see C. B. STRIKE when it first ran, as the first three series were on Cinemax, which we don't have. But now they are all on HBO/Max so we started watching the first show last night and it is pretty good so far. I couldn't get into the 900+ page book, but this way works.
Really liked the end of LITTLE BIRD. Such a well done series. We'll watch the final ANNIKA episode tonight. We watched the second two part MURDER IN SWEDEN (aka MARIA WREN) last night, which for some reason starts in the middle (PBS Masterpiece) with series 5, so other than the star we really don't know who anyone is or their relationships. I think there are 9 series so far in Sweden.
Still watching the late Victoria Wood's DINNERLADIES, JONATHAN CREEK, THE GOOD LIFE, and MI-5 (SPOOKS) on Saturday night, with SUSPECTS if there is time. Nicola Walker joined MI-5 in series two.
Looking forward to Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, if not my birthday, which immediately follows it. It's turned colder again, but that is late November.
After JULIA, I've been reading AS ALWAYS, JULIA: THE LETTERS OF JULIA CHILD AND AVIS DEVOTO. They're great! They started corresponding when Julia wrote Avis's husband a letter in 1952, and by the end of the year they were fast friends, already talking about publishing her book here. And they wrote such long, chatty letters! Avis was in Cambridge and Julia in Paris at the time. Check your library, I'm sure they have it. I have always enjoyed books of letters and these are fun.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am watching Julie too. And it is charming. I have not seen MURDER IN SWEDEN on PBS PASSPORT TO THE ARTS. How strange its content varies. I saw the first two seasons of STRIKE and then that disappeared.

Gerard Saylor said...

I started watching BODIES on Netflix and have enjoyed it so far. Six episodes in and they have not gone crazy with time travel anomalies and paradox. Unlike 1994's TIME CHASERS of which I watched the RiffTrax version over the weekend.

I started listening to THE UNLOCKING SEASON by Gail Bowen. I got 38 minutes in and bailed out. One of those books where everyone seems to be famous or rich or super talented artists. And, all the series characters were given long introductions and backstories from previous stories.
Do. Not. CARE.

After quitting UNLOCKING I found that DUNE was available. Great luck for me since I'd not read DUNE in decades.

This Wednesday I drive over to Minneapolis to pick-up Boy #1 from college. Round trip is about 8.5 hours so we should be back before midnight unless we hit a lot of traffic. We then get up early for a local Thanksgiving 5K. But, the 5K has all the coffee I can drink.

TracyK said...

Today we went to Costco to buy ham and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (and other things). From October through Christmas, we have several pumpkin pies from Costco; they are delicious. We were supposed to have rain here in the latter portion of last week, but got very little and it was disappointing.

Watching our usual shows: CSI (in season 7), LEVERAGE, THE INVADERS, STAR TREK: VOYAGER. Watched a COLUMBO, with Robert Culp. We finished LONDON KILLS and don't know if there will be a season 5 ever. We watched the first MALLORCA FILES episode and liked it. Also the first episode of CSI: SYDNEY. Liked that fine too but we will see how it progresses.

I have read several novellas this month. The most recent one was WHERE THERE'S LOVE, THERE'S HATE. It was written by Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, Argentine writers, and originally published in 1946. The introduction describes the book as a "tongue-in-cheek mystery somewhere between detective spoof and romantic satire." A light-hearted story that does not take things too seriously. What I really loved was all the asides about books and writing and even book translations. The narrator, a doctor, considers himself an investigator, but really no one seems to be very good at that. The characters were all fun and sometimes not what they seemed.

Glen finished reading reading CITY UNDER ONE ROOF by Iris Yamashita, and I started reading it almost immediately. I liked it a lot, the different points of view, and the secrets everyone was keeping in this isolated Alaskan city.

Now I am reading DRACULA. I am about 25% done and enjoying it a lot. Never read it before. I saw BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA with Gary Oldman at least four times over the years.

Glen is currently reading DOUBLE CROSS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE D-DAY SPIES by Ben McIntyre. It was published in 2012. As usual, he is enjoying it. I like to read about D-Day, so I probably will be reading it too.

Todd Mason said...

Tracy--as you probably know, Bioy Casares and Ocampo were great friends of, and occasional collaborators with, Jorge Luis Borges...all three worked together on an anthology published in English as THE BOOK OF FANTASY (at least one edition in English translated a few of the texts that the editors translated into Spanish back into English, rather than dig out the original English texts...about as clumsy as Penguin's current Andrew Hurley Borges translations). Borges and Bioy Casares even had a satirical crime-fiction series character, Don Isidro Parodi, with his last name a bilingual pun on "parody", among other relevant work.

CSI: SYDNEY struck me, at least in the pilot, as not necessarily more intelligent but at least livelier, less hidebound than its sibling series set in the US. I might give it at least an occasional view.

Gerard: Good luck with the 5K! You do OK with caffeine and a long run?

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Spent Sunday at a birthday party for a great grandchild. He turned one. Lots of screaming kids.
Saw nothing at tghe theater this week. Watched the new Criterion 4k of The Last Picture Show. Great film. On Tv-Bill Maher, Late Night With John Oliver, 300. Finished the new season of Bosch. Too much daughter.
Reading Leech by Hiron Ennes. A SF horror novel. Very well written. Reminds me a bit of Gormenghast. Also reading Vamp by Loren Estleman. Reading a lot of short stories by various writers.
Go Lions. They used to lose in the final minutes. Now they are winning in the final seconds.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Can't tell you all how many ideas I get for reading and watching every Monday. And it is true, Jeff, we all seem to have different outlets for what we watch.
I read Dracula years ago and found it scarier than the movies.

Todd Mason said...

Or, as I should've typed, NCIS SYDNEY. Looked today at episodes of the '60s Ben Gazzara tv series RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, including its pilot as an episode of KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATER. As with other reasonably thoughtful '60s espionage/crime drama, such as DANGER MAN or I SPY or THE THIRD MAN, the past is another country not least in default gender relations, but still an interesting thing to take in.

TracyK said...

Todd, I had that title wrong too, of course.

Thanks for the information on Bioy Casares and Ocampo, I think I was vaguely aware of the friendship with Borges but really don't know much about them. You reminded me that I have not read the introduction to the novella. I never read the introduction first, and then often forget to go back to them.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Until this year I would have turned it off when they were 12 pts behind with minutes to go. So exciting.

Brian Busby said...

Because I'm a fan of both, I tried twice to watch Tina Fey and John Hamm in Maggy Moore(s), but fell asleep both times.

I'm currently reading the 1914 novel You Never Know Your Luck by Gilbert Parker. He's pretty much forgotten today, but was a big thing back then. I understand why! Though not a mystery novel, I'm caught up in its mysteries, much of which has to do with a letter one of the characters cannot bring himself to open.

On the sporting front, I'm pleased to report that yesterday the Montreal Alouettes of my hometown won the 110th annual Grey Cup, defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28-24 with a play that took place in the last two minutes. Canadian football is the best football.

Todd Mason said...

Though Gaelic football, Australian football, and the varieties of rugby alongside Yank football all have their passionate fans, as well. Leaving aside any consideration of soccer. I think Australian football might have the floppiest ball.

Todd Mason said...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have no idea of how Canadian football differs from US football. Nice to hear from you, Brian. Also unfamiliar with Maggy Moore.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Canadian football has a larger field, for one thing.

Todd Mason said...

And some rule variations. Doug Flutie and others have moved from one to the other without too much difficulty.

Maggie Moore(s):

Maggie Moore(s) is a 2023 American black comedy film directed by John Slattery and written by Paul Bernbaum. It stars Jon Hamm, Nick Mohammed and Tina Fey.

T Kent Morgan said...

Gerald mentioned Gail Bowen. I have have read all her mysteries set in Regina, Saskatchewan and my reaction always seems to be to question the number of prominent people who get murdered there. The series must be getting close to 20 books. In regard to Canadian football with a larger field, a team has 12 players, which is one more than the US game. The local fans are unhappy after our Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost on Sunday on almost the last play of the game. They were heavily favored to win. I didn't watch the game, but opted to watch Unforgotten on BritBox. As for reading, I have started book three of Neil Lancaster's crime series set in Scotland. So far it's almost as good as book two that I read a couple of weeks ago.

Gerard Saylor said...

I had not known Bowen had so many books in her series. Regina sounds as dangerous as Cabot Cove.
Also did not know Canadian rules allows 12 players. I recall they only have 3 downs as well.

Continuing the football topic: University of Illinois is 5-6 after Saturday's loss in Iowa City. Their next game at Northwestern is the final chance to be bowl eligible. After last year's bowl entry I was feeling good about this year. IL has had trouble putting together consistent winning seasons.