Monday, January 01, 2024

Monday, Monday


I forgot it was Monday until five minutes ago. So this will be brief. Had a nice time with the family. Saw Ferrari, Iron Claw and Poor Things. All three were good. Reading THE OTHER EDEN by Paul Harding, which is wonderfully written although sad. Two more good movies on TV Scrapper and Afire. Also liked the doc American Symphony. Finished Slow Horses and will have to look for something new to watch. What are you guys up to? I am sick of winter, how about you?


Jerry House said...

Welcome to 2024! I understand that 2024 plans to cancel winter in a couple of months and bring on Spring, so you're in luck

Christmas was a busy time with too much food, but we endured. Christmas activities included a gingerbread house making contest. I lost, big time. Also a Christmas cookie contest. My cookie somehow shattered in the oven and I had a hard time stitching (literally) it together. I lost that contest, too, but Jolly found the cookies on the counter and ate all trace of mine before they could photograph the evidence. We also painted nutcrackers and colored Santas with magic markers. Our family assembly line for making caramel snickerdoodles and Rolo cookies work out well.

We went beaching for the final time in 2023 yesterday. The water was beautiful, the sun warm, and opportunity to relax was much appreciated. I saw the New Year in the usual fashion -- by being sleep before !0:00. Some traditions are well worth it.

Mark is headed to Spain this month to visit a college friend. Walt will be headed to Thailand to photograph a mixed martial arts competition in March. Jessie and the girls will be headed to Birmingham to catch HADESTOWN. My travel plans include going up the street to our local convenience store.

My Apple TV doohickey is on the blink, buy Jessie said she could fix it. She couldn't, so she went to Plan B. Plan B didn't work so she went to Plan C. Plan C didn't work so now she's contemplating Plan D. In the meantime my life is going along happlily without television.

I read 402 books in 2023. (The number may actually be a little higher, but those are the ones I could document.) Recent reading includes Lawrence Block's THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC and HOPE TO DIE (Matt Scudder in both), Donald E. Westlake's DON'T ASK and THE ROAD TO RUIN (Dortmunders both), and two by "Murray Leinter, HER DESERT LOVER (a 1925 romance novel under his "Louisa Carter Lee" by-line) and THE MAN WHO FEARED (an early mystery published under his true name, Will F. Jenkins). I also read James Lee Burke's SUNSET LIMITED (I started his NEW IBERIA BLUES yesterday and that would have brought my reading count to 403 but I opted to go beaching), a late (and unfortunate) entry in the Tom Swift saga, TOM SWIFT AND HIS OCEAN AIRPORT, (ghosted by Harriet S. Adms), DANNY DUNN AND THE UNIVERSAL GLUE by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin, THORN HEDGE, a exquisite fantasy by "T. Kingfiher" (Ursula Vernon), Jesse Q. Sutanto's VERA WONG'S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS, and a small book of handy aphorisms, DON'T DIG FOR WATER UNDER AN OUTHOUSE AND OTHER COWBOY COMMANDMENTS by Texas Bix Bender. Coming up, besides finishing the Burke book, are the latest Reacher novel by Lee and Andrew Child and John Connolly's THE LAND OF LOST THINGS.

Hope you have fully recovered from your end of the year yuckies. Have a great week, Patti. Stay safe.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I know you don't want to hear it, but Happy Birthday! (And Happy New Year.)

It must be a little weird having a birthday on a major holiday, but at least it isn't Christmas Day. Mine has always been on or close to Thanksgiving (on it in 2022, Friday this year), but that adds to my enjoyment.

It feels a little churlish to complain about winter when this was the second warmest December on record here, but there was a lot of rain and the last week or so has been gloomy and overcast most days, despite being nominally above average temperatures. As long as it stays dry this week, it can do whatever it wants after that.

We're leaving for Florida on Thursday morning and will be there for over 11 weeks. Really looking forward to it, but really, really NOT looking forward to the packing and drive.

What we're watching? Jackie decided she wanted Paramount +, mostly for the final seasons of THE GOOD FIGHT and PICARD. It is $5.99 a month ($11.99 if you want Paramount + and Showtime, but we already have the latter). But she got two months for $1.99, so we can always cancel it then.

Also watching the Scottish CRIME (second series), plus RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service), VERA, SHETLAND, REACHER whenever the new episodes pop up. Finished JULIA. We watched IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS on Christmas, and TWO FOR THE ROAD and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... last night. Also various British series' Christmas episodes. Other than in Florida, we've been eating home a lot more lately.

I feel like all the online time, plus the addition of a bunch of daily games - Connections, Mini Crossword, etc. - has cut down on my reading time, but maybe it's just me, or the books I've picked. I was over 100 books, but Jerry reads that many in a month. Short stories down this year from 920 (a record) and 868 to 615, still higher than 2019-20. We're not taking any books to Florida this year (a big change from when we first went 19 years ago), but will rely on the Kindle and the Palm Beach County Library.

We'll be home March 30. Stay safe out there!

George said...

Patti, Happy Birthday and Happy New Year! You might be tired of Winter, but Winter hasn't really happened in Western NY. Last year at this time, we had 102 inches of snow thanks to a Thanksgiving Snow Event and the Christmas Blizzard. This year, we've had a mere 8 inches of snow! Incredible!

The weather guessers here predict a more Normal week of temperatures in the 30s--after a month of unusual 50 degree temps during December. The downside of warm weather is people want to go places! Covid-19, flu, and RSV is ravaging this area.

Patrick flew back to NYC and Katie flew back to Boston. It was great spending Christmas with them!

I bow to Jerry House and his 402 books read in 2023. I feel like a slacker with only 177 books read. I'll try to do better in 2024! Stay safe!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year, Patti.

I am just glad that, so far, there has not been any crazy cold or winter precip here in Dallas. We are still in drought, but have gotten some rain in recent days.

Scary times with all the Covid and other nasties. I know more folks who have had it or have it now than at any other time. That includes my brother and his stepdaughter who live near Cleveland and are trying to get over their two cases.

Hats off to Jerry on the reading count. I have no idea what mine is and have not even done a favorites of the year post yet.

Todd Mason said...

And in re: fave reading, NPR/Corrigan citing Megan in print format:

Glad for much good...waiting for plumber and gas-meter replacer in next couple of days, so anything not devoted to prep takes a backseat...and Alice's filling just fell out last night, so time to make her a soft brunch...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think the most books I ever read in a year would be about 125 and that was before the Internet where I spend way too much time. I am proud of you all for being so much more ambitious. There is no doubt I have a fractured focus now. Dental emergencies always happen on holidays. Sugarless gum over the missing filling I was once advised.
Josh and his family took me out for breakfast today and a friend is having me to dinner. I am so lucky with my friends and family.
Yes, it seems like COVID is making the rounds. Maybe not the worst it's been but I think too many people have not kept up with boosters.
I was disappointed in the last season of THE GOOD FIGHT. Just too silly. I do think restaurant eating is chancy, Jeff. Be safe.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, GOOD FIGHT definitely is over the top.

One year in college I read 333 books, but over 100 of them were plays. I'd love to get back to 200, but right now 150 in a year is my goal.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks for that tip! Alice wears Invisalign retainers (her experience with them has persuaded me I don't want them), and they cover the filling hole except when eating/drinking anything but water.

Improvised a new tipple: actual cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, watermelon seltzer (a Polar "seasonal" flavor) and sugarless tonic water...roughly in 1:1:2:2 proportions ...Alice, who is not required to avoid sucrose, pronounced it pretty good, and I like it even more than previous variations. Those who actually mix alcohol with mixers might like it thus.

TracyK said...

Sorry I forgot this was Monday. So, like Patti, this will be quick.

Happy Birthday, Patti. A New Year's baby, like my father.

We usually watch a mini-marathon of movies on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. And have Hoppin' John (with black-eyed peas for good luck) on New Year's Day. Our movies this time were GALAXY QUEST (1999), STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (1986) and STAR TREK (the reboot, 2009). Enjoyed them all. Especially Galaxy Quest, since it had been so long since I saw it.

Glen is reading: EIGHT DAYS IN MAY: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich by Volker Ullrich. I am reading CHILLED TO THE BONE (2013) by Quentin Bates. A Police Procedural set in Iceland.

Gerard Saylor said...

There has been little winter in Southern Wisconsin. Overcast and dreary lately. I've not tracked by book count this year and keep thinking how I oughta record the ones I've read over the past two years when I have a few days off. Well, I've had a few days off and spent it napping, house painting, and sitting around.
I have begin watching the YouTube archived episodes of ADDERLY. ADDERLY was a late night high school favorite of mine. A Canadian comedy-thriller production set in Sort Of Like America. It and another Canadian show used to on CBS Late Night. I used to enjoy the show quite a bit. I'm also glad to say that the production has held up after 30+ years.
I've been listening to a 2007 biography of actress Barbara Payton. An interesting enough story of a quick decline into booze and pills and an early death. The book has a lot of padding though with sidetracked mini-bios of her friends and acquaintances. Well researched. Author was doing the research at the tail-end of any of Payton's surviving contemporaries.
The biography is especially interesting to me in how those contemporaries still described her. They mention how she could be an amazingly charming and caring person and yet they still value her for her looks and camera readiness. After she became a full-time alcoholic she'd be described as a "fat pig" and what a shame she lost her looks. Women saying it was a shame because Payton was "such a great cook" and former boyfriends about how "adventurous" she was in bed.
Anyhoo. It's a bit of a bummer.
My mother visited over Christmas. Both children are home. We bought a new Hyundai electric car and the faster charger was installed on Saturday. Boy #2 submitted his first college application today. Things are well.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I used to make Hoppin' John. Not a dish for a single person though. Surprising how many things that turns out to be true with.
I seem to remember Megan reading that Payton bio and being fascinated by it.
There was a time when I could get a lot of Canadian shows but not since cable.

Todd Mason said...

I shall have to look up Hoppin' John. Your cable won't carry the Windsor stations? Cheapskates.