Monday, April 01, 2024

Monday, Monday


I am ambivalent about PRISCILLA. It was so claustrophobic watching it, so dark, visually and thematically that I either thought it was great or I hated it. I had no idea why Elvis was the love of her life.  He borders on pedophilia for me. She was 14. Why do parents fall for these guys as much as their kid?

Also watched the fabulous SHALL WE DANCE (Japanese version) and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. Charles Laughton was terrific. So too Marlene and Tyrone Power.

Had an Easter brunch with the family. Very nice. I am lucky to have a son and his family 20 minutes away.

Reading ORDINARY LIGHT by Tracy Smith, a memoir of a poet who is coming to Detroit in two weeks to talk about her work.  

So gray here after California. This is supposed to be the place to live with the coming climate catastrophes but be sure you can stand gray skies seven months a year. 

Watched a four-part dramatization on LIFE AFTER LIFE (Kate Atkinson) and a 5 part series BOILING POINT. Both from the BBC but showing on KANOPY, which I get through my library. Both terrific. Still enjoying NORTHERN EXPOSURE and I found the Steve Martin 2 part doc really interesting.

What about you?


Jerry House said...

It's nice to spend Easter with family, isn't it?

For the umpteenth East, we rented a pavilion at Blackwater State Park. I brought lots of Peeps and jelly beans because I am that kind of Easter guy. Some years Jessie will grill up burgers and dogs and, because she is a real Peeps fan, she might be interested in cooking up a Peepsburger (and, of you grill a cheeseburger with a Peep, it would be a Cheepsburger), but she opted for all sorts of sandwiches instead: chicken salad, egg salad, cucumber sandwiches, plus spiral-cut ham and cheese, plus deviled eggs, potato salad, a fruit tray, cupcakes, cookies, three different flavors of chips, and candy, candy, candy, all served with various beverages. We ate a lot. We were soon joined by Mark and Trey, who were delayed because Mark is a church-going guy and Trey's mom is a church-going gal. Mark brought his snake hook just in case; he saw a couple of water moccasins but did not catch them. The weather was beautiful and the beach by Blackwater River was gorgeous. We had our annual Easter Egg hunt for the "kids" (four of whom are now college graduates) -- each person was assigned a different color and had to find the five hidden eggs of that color. There was one minor snag because Trey is color-blind. **sigh** We also had guarded art led by Amy; without letting us know she tried to get us to draw a Highland cow; no one did well on that one. Jessie and Amy had to leave a little after three because Amy was going to a Pensacola Ice Flyers game because Amy has been a rabid ice hockey fan for the past three or four years. (Don't know why; we don't ask questions.) It took a long while to get Jack out of the water when it was time for us to leave. Good time. Good people. Good laughs. Beautiful setting.

It looks like the kooks will no longer behaving sleepovers with Mark. They have aged out of it and are now able to eat on their own instead of being fed every two or three hours. they have their open now, are getting some muscular coordination, and are beginning to get strange little stubs on their wings and legs that will eventually become feathers. At this stage, they remain butt-ugly -- cute but ugly. We will miss their raucous cries during the night. If I can figure out all this high-falutin' internet technology, some day I'll post a video of Mark feeding them.

Good news this week: Bill's blog is back up. I know I'm not the only one who likes to stroll through the back pages of his blog when I need a smile.

Aside from yesterday, it was cool and breezy here all week. Just cool enough and windy enough to preclude beach-going. Friday afternoon we decided the heck with it and that we would do the beach anyway. We lasted twelve minutes. At least we were the long enough to watch a family attempt to play beach volleyball in semi-high winds -- it was not a pretty sight.

Continued on next rock...

Jerry House said...

Part Two:

Jack's soccer team had a rematch with the team the had trounced them 7-0 the other week. The sadness of beach volleyball on a windy day was nothing in comparison with this game. Christina keep us abreast with texting: "Spring break games are tough. We are short one player to field a team and it looks like Jack is goalie. There is no goalie pennie (which is illegal) and no goalie gloves, which is just unfortunate...( a few minutes later) Jack's team is neon yellow and the other team is neon lime green, which are ridiculously similar in color. With sunglasses on, it is virtually impossible to differentiate...Jack was scored on within the first 2 minutes of the game...2 score now...[Jessie: Oh, that is not a good start]...3 goals. I might just go eat pizza and come back in an hour...4 goals. Is there a mercy rule in this league and we can just go home?...5 Jack is not getting any help from his teammates, but goodness, still...6 That one took a minute or two, and was very hard to defend against...7...One of our guys just walked off the field injured, so I think we are down 2 players now...Jack is our of the goal, thank goodness. Score #8...Third quarter, Jack's back in goal...goodness...#9 But Jack has blocked3 attempts. Getting a bit better...Jack's team scored!...#10...#11...#12...#13 That was was almost undefendable" Final score: 13-1. At one point, the opposing team was scoring a goal a minute. In explanation, the coach was off on Spring Break, so one of the parents took his place, not knowing anything about soccer or even knowing the players' names. Not that either would have helped here. Jack, BTW, plays mid-field and know nothing about being a goalie; he kept trying to kick the ball out of the goal, instead of using his hands. **sigh**

Began watching the 1971 show THE RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, featuring episodes with The Thinking Machine, Romney Pringle, Dr. Thorndyke, Carnacki the Ghost Hunter, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, Max Carrados, Martin Hewitt, Eugene Valmont, and Detective Dagobert. I've watched 14 of the 26 episodes so far, with interesting but mixed results. Many familiar faces here from British television. No surprise that my favorite episodes feature Martin Hewitt, whose stories always seemed to me to be closest in feel to Holmes. Also this week, the penultimate Ralf Little DEATH IN PARADISE, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Colbert, and Seth Meyers *who threw us a ringer with episode 99.5 of CORRECTIONS0.

I'm reading a lot of John Creasey. This week it was THE DISSEMBLERS (aka PUZZLE FOR INSPECTOR WEST, INSPECTOR WEST TAKES CHARGE, HIDE THE BARON (as by "Anthony Morton"), and ALIBI FOR DEATH (a Patrick Dawlish thriller as by "Gordon Ashe'); currently reading HOLIDAY FOR INSPECTOR WEST. Lee Goldberg's THE WALK details one man attempt to walk home after the Big One hits Los Angeles; as always with Goldberg, a good read. MY FFB this week was a look back to my childhood with MISS PICKERELL AND THE GEIGER COUNTER by Ellen MacGregor; I'll be reading more of Miss Pickerell over the coming week. I read a 1923 collection of 22 of Arthur Machen's stories and essays (edited by Vincent Starrett), THE SHINING PYRAMID; four of the items, along with four items from Machen's THE GLORIOUS MYSTERY -- also edited by Starrett -- were published the following year under the same title, so the two books should not be conflated. I also read Christine Campbell Thomson's horror anthology SWITCH ON THE LIGHT, part of noted British NOT AT NIGHT series of anthologies she edited in the 1930s. In addition to more Creaseys, I hope to read Ray Naylor's THETUSKS OF EXTINCTION this week as well as catching up on a few books I had started-but-then-something-came-up.

What will come up is my hopes that you have a fantastic week, Patti. Take care,

pattinase (abbott) said...

Last time I tried Bill's blog, it almost shut down my computer so will hold off.
Sounds like a great Easter in FL!

pattinase (abbott) said...

You missed your calling as a sports announcer, Jerry.

Jeff Meyerson said...

NO interest in Priscilla (or PRISCILLA), who is actually "performing" (what, I don't know) at the St. George's Theatre in Staten Island. (We got notices in Florida from Ticketmaster, as if this was a big thing we wouldn't want to miss.) What is her talent exactly? What does she do, talk about Larry Hagman and Elvis? Hard pass.

The trip home wasn't bad for the most part, though driving five or six hours a day was a lot easier when we started doing this 19 years ago than it is now. Coming home, you really can appreciate how much better the roads are in Florida, as NYC streets all seem to be falling apart. Other than North and South Carolina, which were two lanes in I-95 nearly end to end, the roads were fine. Between all the big trucks and the Canadians going home for Easter, often in their giant RVs, those states were a real pain to get through.

I wouldn't say I am exactly happy to be home, but I'm not unhappy either. Florida has definitely jumped up in Jackie's estimation, though there is no chance we'll be moving there any time soon. The weather was great for us (if not for Jerry) - mostly in the 70s for January through March, with a handful of 80s each month and a few 60s thrown in. We aren't beach people, so this was perfect for us. There was a lot of rain, but only 3 or 4 days were bad enough to keep us indoors. The restaurants, the apartment,m the neighborhood, the access to stores (Publix, Trader Joe's, Costco, Target, even Walmart), all positives. Granted, Floridians do not know what a turn signal is, but .... We have this apartment locked in for the next two winters.

I read 27 books in the three months, not great but not bad. Seven were non-fiction, and 11 of the 20 fiction books were short story collections. I read 147 short stories.

Back with more later, probably.

pattinase (abbott) said...

If we go next year, it will be Florida and probably Sarasota. They have a lot of theater, lectures, etc there, which is what we like. We do like to walk on the beach but not sit on one.
Also it is close to a number of other places. Three weeks is very different than 8 or 10. Although we all read, not much on a 3 week trip. Your place functions as a second home-ours a vacation rental.
I am also signed up for a Road Scholars trip to Florence in May 2025. Only eight or so days. I was there once for two days but didn't see much and certainly not with an art historian giving me context,

Jeff Meyerson said...

We got lucky. We got off the train from Rome and got a room in a pensione down the street from the Duomo right in the middle of Florence. Beautiful city. Great food.

We watched NOLLY on Masterpiece, and it was OK. Helena Bonham Carter did a nice job, but as I didn't know a single person in the show, never saw Noele Gordon when she was alive, and never watched a single episode of CROSSROADS, perhaps I wasn't the ideal audience. There was one wonderful scene in part two, when Nolly and her best friend get on an ordinary London bus on the night her "death" scene is being broadcast, and all the women on the bus home from work make a big (if subdued British) deal over her. It was probably apocryphal but it was one of the few things that really engaged us.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I think three weeks is too short, especially going all the way to California. We liked Sarasota on our one visit and you're right, it is close to several other places. We were actually in Florida for 11 1/2 weeks this year and Jackie added a few days next year, until March 31.

George said...

Diane and I will be packing the Rogue for the drive back to Western NY in a few minutes. This was a whirlwind visit with Diane assisting her sister preparing two large meals for family members. Saturday was Polish night with all kinds of ethnic food. The traditional Easter dinner was just as much work. Plus two more family members decided to attend hours before the event so adjustments had to be made. This was not a vacation for Diane who was on her feet for about 12 hours per day in the kitchen. I spent time running errands for Diane and her sister when they discovered they lacked essential ingredients for their recipes.

Patrick left Brussels and is now back in Paris. He flies to Boston on Thursday. Patrick and Katie will drive from Boston to North Tonawanda on Friday. Out of the blue, my niece from Virginia decided she and her family would like to see the Solar Eclipse...from our house. So now we have to shuffle the sleeping arrangements around. Patrick was going to sleep the Guest Room, but now Kristin, her husband, and her two kids (3 and six months) will take over that room. Which means I have to clear out the Computer Room for Patrick. Katie will sleep in her old bedroom.

The forecast for Solar Eclipse Day in Western NY is...cloudy. Hope that changes or the 500,000 visitors who are traveling here to see the Eclipse will be bitterly disappointed. Stay safe!

Jerry House said...

Will Trump try to stare directly into the eclipse while stationed inside a NYC courtroom? One can only wonder.

Gerard Saylor said...

Am I still watching BLACKLIST? You betcha. Am I still complaining about BLACKLIST? You betcha.
An uneventful East for my family. I did a fair amount of cleaning and painting prep and there was plenty of left-over ham.
Have been listening to THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller. A well-told story with equally done narration. This, like the Elvis film, had creepy sexuality material. In SONG the protagonist and Achilles are in their mid-teens and sexually active. Plus, the accepted and expected rape of war slaves and servants. Both accurate and horrible.

Boy #2 received another rejection and another waitlist notice. Looks like he will attend Wisconsin-Madison. Madison in the flagship school and selective. He wanted to go to a larger city so I am a little bummed for him. He was rejected by the more selective schools and I am angry at those weasels for not recognizing his greatness.

Meanwhile, Boy #1 said he sent in his bio information to the Aerospace Department for the Spring newsletter, but the info was not included in their article about scholarship kids. Oh well.

Jeff Meyerson said...

George, I think that is pretty nervy of them calling at the last minute. But the Kelleys are always generous and accommodating. I hope those three minutes are worth it.

Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip.
Didnt see any films at the rtheater. On TV-American Rust season 2, Three Body Problem, John Oliver, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Reading The Tainted Cup by Robert Bennett Jackson. One of the few current fantasy writers I enjoy. Finishing up Ragged Maps the newest collection from Ian R. Macleod.
Baseball has started off well for Detroit. 3-0.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--I suspect your computer was locked up by the weird redirection Bill's blog would send us all to while it was down...try your regular link again (as I noted in a late comment on this blog last week, which perhaps only Tracy saw, Bill's POP C blog was back up under an umbrella identity of "mybillcrider" at its old address).

Priscilla's folks presumably saw dollar signs, and took in stride the packing off of their 14yo with the notion It Would Only Be A Year or 3 More, anyway...I think I might've recently offended a certain notable writer in making a thinly-veiled if passing critique of his highlighting in his memoir his nonchalance about an adult (late 20s+) male pal's years-long affair with a girl beginning at her age 13, with everything over between them by the time she was 19. Oh, well. (As a non-parent, I'm not sure I have a problem with similar-age adolescents voluntarily messing around w/each other, but adults seeking such partners should seek psychological help, at absolute least.)

George, further condolence on labor-intensive accommodations at the last minute...Jeff, on the Carolina driving particularly (I assume you didn't have to cope with the misfortunes of the Key Bridge)...Gerard, that your son is getting less credit than he's earned from Admissions Folk, but Madison seems like one of the better potential Safety schools anywhere in the US...and, Jerry, glad that kookaburras nursing has moved successfully to the next "Ooo-ooo-ooo Ah-ah-ah" step. Glad you had rather good weeks. Our younger cat is now back on her anxiety meds and feeling much better now, thank you, as the cardboard pet carriers used to (still?) read. We've kept Whiskers, as her previous, tragedy-ridden family called her w/justification (hers are Very long) for precisely a year today, as she was carried over to us 1 April '23, and proved to be a bad trick for our elder cat, as we have to keep them segregated and will indefinitely. (Ninja currently happily asleep at my shoulder.)

Most interesting random-pick film of the week has been THE KID DETECTIVE...Jerry, Mein Drumpf will compare the eclipse unfavorably to himself, almost certainly. And whine further about everything else.

TracyK said...

We had a good bit of rain Friday night through Saturday, and a bit yesterday afternoon. It has been lovely to get so much rain this year. I would love gray skies seven months a year in Detroit, we get way too much sun in Santa Barbara. But I would not love the cold where you are.

When I read about PRISCILLA, I was surprised that she was so young when they met. I have a two volume biography of Elvis that I should actually read instead of leaving it sitting on the shelf.

We watched the Japanese version of SHALL WE DANCE years ago and enjoyed it. I have not ever seen WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION but Glen has, years ago.

We are still in Season 3 of NORTHERN EXPOSURE and I am enjoying it; it is my favorite show that we are watching now. We watched the 7th episode of the current season of DEATH IN PARADISE. Also MURDER SHE WROTE. The guest star in the last one was Leslie Nielsen and before that was David Ogden Stiers. We also saw David Ogden Stiers in a LEVERAGE episode recently. Also finished watching THE COMPLETELY MADE-UP ADVENTURES OF DICK TURPIN. We watched a favorite MST3K show: TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST. And THE ADDAMS FAMILY, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.

I read two books in the last week: PLOT IT YOURSELF by Rex Stout and THE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel. I always love the Nero Wolfe books, and I very much enjoyed Mandel's book, so a good reading week.

Glen finished ENIGMA: THE BATTLE FOR THE CODE and started reading LOST HOUSES OF BRITAIN by Anna Sproule. It is more about the families than the houses. And it must be very obscure because it has no ratings or reviews on Goodreads.

Todd Mason said...

I think I have not yet seen the MST3K MOON BEAST treatment, Tracy...shall consider that now...thanks! Liked AMERICAN RUST's first season a lot, Steve...shall seek the new one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, yay Tigers. Mostly responsible for my son's happiness.
Wisconsin is on Kevin's list. Plenty big enough for him and a lovely city.
I am 50% sure I saw Larry David in La Jolla, going into a CVS. Definitely his loping walk.
Don't know why Northern Exposure is not more acclaimed. What other show spent so much time on indigenous Americans.
Will try Bill's blog again. I need to steal a review for FFB.
Covid shot on the list.

Gerard Saylor said...

I recall Priscilla's parents being concerned about Elvis, but trusting the relationship would be chaperoned since Elvis's family followed him over to Germany. Not a defense of the family, because chaperones or not, Elvis was 23-FREAKING-YEARS-OLD in 1958.

Meanwhile, Elvis was meeting up with as many women as possible from the thousands of women throwing themselves at him.

Todd Mason said...

Alas, for me, N EXP was always too Cute, and I did want to like it better than I did. It seemed, as I mentioned before, rather too akin to NEWHART (in re Vermonters) or the various pre-WALTONS "rural" shows about southern Appalachia, w/only ANDY GRIFFIH being relatively decent among them.

But, then, Falsey and Brand almost always rub me the wrong way. First season ST. ELSEWHERE, for example, which they also created and produced, was annoyingly cute, all too often, while from the second season on, after they were booted (along with David Birney), it improved enormously and stayed good (even when whimsical).

Todd Mason said...

I liked their I'LL FLY AWAY better. While they and Spielberg made mostly a mess of AMAZING STORIES.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can see the "cute" objection but the setting and its quirkiness works for me. NEWHART never worked for me but THE BOB NEWHART SHOW mostly did.

Gerard Saylor said...

Re: Elvis dating a teenager. WICHITA LINEMAN came on the radio just now. Reminded me of the songwriter Jimmy Webb and this snippet from Wikipedia:

Sullivan was 12 years old and Webb was 22 when they met on a photo shoot for the cover of Teen Magazine in 1968. Webb became romantically involved with Sullivan, the face of Yardley Cosmetics, a year later. She gave birth to their son Christiaan, the first of their six children, when she was 16 years old.

Todd Mason said...

"You see, Jerry's OK, if you're not already related..."

Todd Mason said...

Webb couldn't finish "Lineman" quickly enough for Glen Campbell because Webb needed to help his wife w/her algebra homework.

Todd Mason said...

Curdled quirk, for me. THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, BARNEY MILLER and WKRP easily among my choices for '70s sitcoms, then and still.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Newhart show where they get drunk and try to order Moo Goo Gai Pan is a standout.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Having the usual hard time with coping with life in general, but did want to duck in for a moment.....

Not traveling anywhere and don't expect to anytime ever.

Here in NE Dallas, we are in the alleged totality zone. I have said all along, for years now, we would never see it due to severe storms firing out west and thick cloud cover here. Figured we would be under a tornado watch too. Based that on being 62, living here all my life, April in Texas, and the fact that when the winds crank from the south and the Gulf of Mexico opens up, the clouds overhead are thick.

Well... lo and behold the tv kids that read the weather are now saying that we most likely will have thick cloud cover. Every forecast has gotten worse with the latest talking about how we will have showers that afternoon followed by severe storms Monday night and much of Tuesday. It is a messy low --which means it is wide and slow moving--- and there will be waves as the spokes of energy off the low come through.

We also get a storm system Saturday night into Sunday that may spark some storms and that deal will not clear out after it passes. As one put it last night--- from Saturday afternoon to maybe Wednesday, we are going to be socked in. He also said not to call the station with death threats as his powers were limited and he could not control the weather.

So, it looks like, at this point, we be screwed. I never did take any of the offers to rent my house from 300 to 1000 bucks for a night so I don't have to worry about dealing with angry folks missing the thing. Some of my neighbors are apparently dealing the cancellations and threats of lawsuits over failing to refund every penny.

Local media is now warning we could have issues at grocery stores, the DPD Police Chief was warning yesterday about traffic and road rage and not to pull over on the side of the road to see it, and ERCOT is warning we could have a massive power generation dip during totality and to conserve.

It all kind of reminds me of Y2K and the hype/panic then.

Gerard Saylor said...

Kevin, the Y2K comparison may be apt.

IL will likely be cloud covered as well but I plan to go anyway. With traffic concerns and the need to drive back to WI that day I don't know how far south I will go.
I've been planning to bring camping gear and extra food in case the traffic really is awful. I can then park for a few hours, nap in the van, and then drive home later in the day or evening.