Monday, December 04, 2023

Monday, Monday

 Did not care much for SALTBURN. It was just too cruel for me although the acting and look of it was good. I did enjoy rewatching MANSFIELD PARK on Paramount. Also started THERAPY by Sebastian Fitzrek on PRIME, continuing with JULIA, FOR ALL MANKIND, FARGO. And about to begin SLOW HORSES. 

So much rain. Should be grateful it's not snow but the fog is scary. 


Not a bad year for TV. Nor for movies. It's books I have been hard pressed to find. I am reading Dwight Garner's book on READ, EAT, EAT READ. 

How about you?


Jerry House said...

I don't mind rain. I actually don't mind cold. But when they get together and decide to throw a party so I am not able to beach, that's where I draw the line. Stupid, stupid, stupid rain and cold!

Not much happened this week, activity-wise. Christina and Walt have begun to put up their Christmas Village, moving furniture to clear a space large enough to fit a village that now takes up two zip codes. (Christina says she has not added much to the village over the past year -- HAH!) The cats love this time of year. They to stalk through the village like 1950s B-movie monsters, knock a few odds and ends off the tables, and drape themselves over the general store and other buildings.

Did most of my Christmas shopping online. Maybe it's old age, but it seems to be getting harder to pick out meaningful gifts for everyone.

Not much television watching. Several of the late-night comics had the week off and Stephen Colbert was tied up with that appendix thing. To get in the holiday mood, I did watch a Christmas not-on-Hallmark-or-Lifetime movie. VIOLENT NIGHT stars David Harbour as the TRUE Santa Claus -- a drunken and dissillusioned Santa with a homicidal past. This is probably not a movie you would want to watch with the little kiddies.

Read a few books. Three story collections from Erle Stanley Gardner: THE DANGER ZONE AND OTHER STORIES (various tales -- mainly non-series -- from the detective pulps), THE BLONDE IN LOWER SIX (a collection of stories about Ed Jenkins, the Phantom Crook), and WHISPEING SANDS: STORIES ABOUT GOLD FEVER AND THE WESTERN DESERT (nine stories, seven of them featuring Bob Zane, Gardner's desert rat). I still have ten more ESG collections on Mount TBR, plus a gazillion stories buried in the old pulps available online. I read two more Dave Robicheax novels by Jame Lee Burke: JOLIE BLON'S BOUNCE and CRUSADER'S CROSS. Two collections from Lee Goldberg: THREE WAYS TO DIE and CROWN VIC A Roger West novel from John Creasey: INSPECTOR WEST AT HOME (my FFB this week). A graphic novel by Kazu Kibuishi: THE AMULET, BOOK ONE: STONEKEEPER. I also read an Amazon story by Grady Hendrix, ANKLE SNATCHER, for my Short Story Wednesday post. Currently reading Creasey's WWII thriller THE WITHERED MAN and Lee Goldberg's THE WALK. Coming up: THE LONGMIRE DEFENSE by Craig Johnson.

Have a great week to help start off this holiday month, Patti! Stay safe.

Margot Kinberg said...

You know, I was wondering if Saltburn was good, Patti. Maybe I'll skip it... I'm glad you're enjoying the TV you're watching.

George said...

Western NY is basking under sunny skies and 50 degree temperatures. Last year at this time, we were on the cusp of a Blizzard that shut down the Buffalo Airport for five days and killed 40 people. Big difference!

Love SLOW HORSES, Season 3. Season 4 got the Green Light so I'll be eagerly waiting to see that in 2024!

I feel the same way as you about fiction in 2023. My favorite books this year have been Non-Fiction titles.

Katie is going to London, England with a friend and then flying from London to North Tonawanda for Christmas. Patrick may be on a cruise before Christmas and would fly into Buffalo from Fort Lauderdale.

Diane is hosting her Book Club today. I'm in charge of making coffee, pouring wine, and crowd control. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ask Diane to recommend a few books her group has liked. We have hit a quagmire. Your kids always managed to get there no matter from where.
I just can't imagine reading that many books in a week. In fact, I can't imagine reading much of anything right now. I need to live in a sunnier state.
Yes, give it a pass, Margot. It was a real downer.

Todd Mason said...

Do you foresee relocation at this point?

Given how much of everything in the current money-pit keeps breaking, we keep mooting selling the house as is and possibly relocating to a state with less ferocious property taxes, though practically that would mean moving back to Pennsylvania (where Alice is licensed to practice). Dunno what we would find for the money we would clear. Fun. I am sneakingly fond of NJ at this point, but perhaps I simply have tired of moving so much and so frequently in my life, albeit most of it in my youth.

I haven't been fully exploiting even the limited resources in streaming open to us at the moment, but my favorites these months also include FARGO (albeit the odd-episodes, vs. the even ones, have been weaker/more presaging payoff, so far this season), ANNIKA, LUCKY HANK...and the new to me MARRIAGE and PROFESSOR T, LITTLE BIRD once I steeled myself for it, CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING and to lesser but real extents BUMP and SON OF A CRITCH among the CW imports from Canada and Australia, the revival of QUANTUM LEAP despite its rather goofy premise (which it overcomes a bit better than the original did), ANIMAL CONTROL, THE LAST OF US, and such continuations as WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, PARTY DOWN, BARRY, SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE and the various PBS documentary series. And the weeknightly chat and humor shows THE DAILY SHOW, COLBERT, SETH MEYERS, to some extent JIMMY KIMMEL, and the weekly LAST WEEK TONIGHT and usually SNL...while, say, Bill Maher and Jimmy Fallon remain annoying at best. As does Showtime, for cancelling so many of their better series, including the weekly humor/chat ZIWE. Still plugging away on a number of radio series and podcasts, including THE JACKIE AND LAURIE SHOW, NEVER NOT FUNNY, TROUBLED WATERS, THE LONG SHOT, WAIT, WAIT, DON'T TELL ME, LE SHOW, etc.

Time for ophthamology, as I find myself more dependent on my reading glasses for my paper goods.

Todd Mason said...

Should mention ASTRID, too, as another tv series I came to late.

George said...

Diane's Book Club will show up here today to discuss Kristen Hannah's COMFORT & JOY. And eat the apple pie, brownies, Peanut M&Ms and guzzle the wine that I'll be pouring for them. I have the coffee maker ready to go, too!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have watched many of those shows, Todd but there are few new to me. I dread moving again but it may come to that.

Gerard Saylor said...

Wife and I just bought a new car. Glad to get the process over. Not glad of the new monthly payment.
Been watching FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER on Netflix and enjoying. Have about half of last episode left.
Listening to the third IQ novel by Joe Ide. A strong series. Young PI protagonist in Long Beach.
HOUSE OF GHOSTS by WC Ryan was an OK espionage/murder/ghost novel.
Anthony Neil Smith has been sharing links to his recent short stories and I e read those. Still moving through ebook of FEAR by Gabriel Chevallier.

Jeff Meyerson said...

OK, we're home. Busy weekend. I feel like we're getting a little old for so much activity on one weekend, but that might be partly because of all the rain we had Sunday, which (literally and figuratively) put a damper on things. We took the express bus to the city on Saturday afternoon and stayed at a Marriott on 37th Street between 5th and 6th. I don't know why, but that block has two Marriotts - a Fairfield Inn and a SpringHill Suites next door - plus a Marriott Vacation Club, and there is an Embassy Suites down the block. Otherwise it is mostly clothing boutiques.

Our two concerts were at Town Hall, on 43rd Street between 6th and Broadway. We were able to get TDF tickets for PURLIE VICTORIOUS for the Sunday matinee at 2:30.

Saturday was the 43rd Annual (yet, the first I'd ever heard of it) John Lennon Tribute, a benefit for Theatre Within. The honoree was Graham Nash. Each guest sang two John Lennon-written songs: Judy Collins (sadly, we thought no longer at her best), Israeli musician David Broza (playing Spanish guitar), Rosanne Cash, Lisa Fischer (who toured with the Stones for 25 years and sang "Gimme Shelter" with Mick), The Kennedys (don't know them), blues singer Bettye LaVette, and Willie Nile. Nash did a few songs at the end, ending with his "Teach Your Children" (joined by everyone), followed by "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" and "Give Peace a Chance." Good show.

PURLIE VICTORIOUS, written by Ossie Davis, is having its first professional production since the original one in 1961. Leslie Odom Jr. (of HAMILTON) played the lead role, but the show was stolen by Kara Young as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins.

Last night was Steve Earle's 9th Annual Benefit for his severely autistic son's school, The Keswell School, which provides one to one teacher to pupil instruction. Here each performer did four songs - Amy Helm, David Bromberg, John Mellencamp (bizarrely, in paint-spattered overalls). Then Earle did 45 minutes of his songs, and they all ended - again - with "Teach Your Children."

pattinase (abbott) said...

No car for me. Keep meaning to get to House of Usher
Sounds like a great weekend, Jeff. Way better than mine.

TracyK said...

Glen and I had doctor's appts this morning. Annual Wellness visits. Then we went to the Harbor for breakfast, so we just got home.

We are watching lately: LEVERAGE, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, CSI, NCIS: SYDNEY, and THE MALLORCA FILES. Plus, BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES. We also watched ENOLA HOLMES 2 and MURDER MYSTERY 2 and liked both of them very much. Now we will cancel our NETFLIX subscription after about 20 years.

I would have to think about my favorite TV shows this year. We certainly have tried a lot of new ones this year.

Last week I had started reading FAVOR by Stanley Parnell, the third book in the Stanley Hastings series. Stanley is a private investigator (sort of) who works for a lawyer who is an ambulance chaser. The setting varies from the usual, because Stanley has an adventure in Atlantic City. I liked the book, it was light and humorous and just what I needed.

Next I read THE LAST DEVIL TO DIE by Richard Osman and I finished that last night. It was a lovely book, number 4 in the Thursday Murder Club series. But if you haven't read the series, start at the beginning for sure.

Glen finished reading PREQUEL: AN AMERICAN FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM by Rachel Maddow. He gave it 5 stars so he had a high opinion of it.

Now he is reading THE BORDER: A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and the Northeast Passage. The book sounds so good, I want to read it, but it has 584 pages (excluding any extras) and that would be a daunting task for me.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Parnell Hall, Tracy, of course is the author of the Stanley Hastings books.

Jerry House said...

Tracy, I'm a big fan of the Stanley Hastings series, as well as Parmell Hall's Steve Winslow books (which are an homage to the Perry Mason series); I haven't read any of his Puzzle Lady series, but I suspect I'll love them when I do. The Thursday Murder Club just keeps rolling along, getting better and better. Rachel Maddow's book may be one of the most important post-Trump books yet. You and Glen have great taste in books.

TracyK said...

Jeff, thanks for that correction, I will confess to mixing the names of the series character and the author of this series in multiples ways all the time. I will have to be really careful when I do a review of the book.

Jerry, thanks to you too. Glen has read the first Steve Winslow book and liked it and has a couple more of those. I am interested in trying that series and also the Puzzle Lady books.

pattinase (abbott) said...

How I wish I knew all of you across a table sometimes. You are giving me solace in a very hard time. Thanks.
Read the first Osman but mean to get to the rest.
Love, Patti

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I don't say much here as I think my tastes are a bit different than yours, but, I always read the posts and the comments. Wanted to second Patti's comment about getting solace in a hard time. The same is very much true here.

Thank you all.