Monday, April 15, 2024

Monday, Monday


Been trying hard to produce a new piece of writing for my group on Thursdays. What was once so pleasurable is agony now. But there's no point feeding them old stories twice a month.

Watching a lot of movies lately. I especially enjoyed UNDER THE SAND from 2001 with Charlotte Rampling and THE AMERICAN FRIEND with Dennis Hopper and Bruno Gantz. But the best movie of the week was FRIDA, a film using her own words and artwork. Just gorgeous. Although it is streaming, this was as part of the Detroit Free Press Film Festival.

Also watching RIPLEY, SUGAR, and still NORTHERN EXPOSURE.  

Starting THERE, THERE by Tommy Orange. And the new book by S.J Rozan is waiting at the library. 

What about you?


Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Watching Sugar, Fallour (goofy fun), The Sympathizer. Rewatched To Live and Die in L.A. on 4k.
Reading Ghost Station by A.S. Barnes and How to Draw a Novel by Martin Solares. Not finding the latter very interesting. Probably won't finish it. Have City In Ruins by Don Winslow waiting in the wings.
Went to Detroit Institute of Arts friday. No special events this time. Last year was the Van Gogh exhilit.
Really nasty weather here friday. 79 and sunny today, although still a bit on the windy side.

Jerry House said...

After a lot of unseasonably cool and raw weather, Spring may have finally hit the Florida Panhandle. Mr. Weatherman tried to scare the bejeezus out of everyone with threats of a storm this Wednesday that would bring hail the size of Volkswagens and a tornado on every block. In response, schools closed early or were cancelled altogether, government office closed, we stored the patio swing in the garage, and everyone hunkered down for the Apocalypse. But, like a Trump rally, nothing important happened that a sane person could talk about. There were (I think) two minor tornados on the Panhandle, a couple of branches blew down, and some minor power shortages. I took advantage of Armageddon to sleep in late. Then came the beautiful weather, and it's supposed to keep on coming throughout the week.

We took advantage and went beaching yesterday. Evidently the entire Florida population was doing the same. We got to watch a bunch of idiots attempt to put up a beach tent without reading the instructions, and saw a woman under another beach tent in the shade attempting to get a tan. And there were dolphins -- ten to fifteen of them playing in the distance. And there was some parasailing fool who surprise us by not crashing. We relaxed and had a great start to our week.

And what a week it has been. Absolutely nothing happened. Didn't go anywhere. Didn't do anything. Learned that both boredom and vegetating is underrated. I could on doing this for a long, long time. Well, yeah, O.J. died, but he had been dead to me for a long, long time.

I rounded up the usual suspects on television: John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers (Mother of God, is this the end of CORRECTIONS?), and Colin Jost and Michael Che. Who needs newspapers when you have these guys. Watched and really enjoyed RETURN TO PARADISE. Spent the last three days binging on twenty episodes of WILL TRENT -- not the greatest show, but I found it very addictive.

Between the television binging and spending a day readying today's post for my blog, my reading dropped off considerably. I did finally read the classic science fiction fixup THIS ISLAND EARTH by Raymond F. Jones. I had previously read just one of the three stories the author ha incorporated into the book, and was glad to finally read the full work. Impressive late Forties-early fifties SF. Also completed Forrest J Ackerman and Jean Stine's anthology REEL FUTURE, covering stories that had been made into films. My Robert Crais kick continued with two standalones, HOSTAGE and THE TWO MINUTE RULE, both very enjoyable. I also had a good time with a Murray Leinster western from the late Twenties, OUTLAW GUNS (aka WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE!); the author is always a good read and, since he published over 1700 stories in his career, I'll never run out of things by him to read.

Looking forward to another blissful, boring week, although next Sunday we'll be celebrating Amy's birthday and the following week will be jaunting to South Carolina to visit a massive book store.

Hope you have a blissful and (if that's your thing) boring week, Patti! Take care.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We watched THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (which George recommended the other day) on Netflix Saturday night. Well done movie. Who knew there was a Homeless Soccer World Cup and it's been going on for 20 years? Not me. I liked the way that, rather than the usual exposition you'd expect in one of these movies (anywhere from half an hour to an hour to 90% of some movies), this got right to it. The World Cup is next week, we're going to Rome, you're on the team, let's go. Of course, Bill Nighy was very good as the coach.

Actually, I don't think we watched a NORTHERN EXPOSURE episode (we're on season three) this past week, as we added a bunch of other shows. Even though it seemed to get pretty mediocre reviews, Jackie wanted to watch the fourth series of TRUE DETECTIVE (subtitled NIGHT COUNTRY), starring Jodie Foster and Alaska, and we've been enjoying it more than I expected to so far. The setting is not all that different from northern Lapland in ARCTIC CIRCLE, though the cases are very different. The harsh landscapes do play a major role in both.

The weather has been changeable. And when they say it is 74 in Central Park (as it was yesterday), it might feel very different down here along The Narrows, with clouds and wind making it feel a lot colder. Still, we're slowly improving. Jackie is putting more and more pressure on about (eventually) leaving permanently for Florida, as the negatives do start to pile up, starting with the horrible condition of the streets, and the awful Mayor.

George reviewed a Peter Tremayne book about the 7th C. Sister Fidelma last week, and it reminded me that I've enjoyed those of his short stories I've read, so I got two collections - one Fidelma, one other historical mysteries - from the library, and I'm alternating them now. Good stuff. I like the ones set in Shakespearean London. Also reading the latest (#26?) of Steven F. Havill's Posadas County (NM) books, a series I've followed from the beginning with enjoyment, PERFECT OPPORTUNITY.

My sister Lisa and her husband and son will be coming for a visit in June, as her son CJ has never been to New York and they want to visit Gettysburg too. They'll be staying in a hotel near us for three days, renting a car for their trip, then coming back here for a few more days. We'll even visit the old neighborhood. I don't think she has been to New York in a long time. She visited us here before she was married (25 years ago!), and we once met her in the city when she was on a work trip. Mostly, we've seen her in Arizona. A couple of weeks after they leave, we'll have our annual trip to New England with my cousin Nancy and her husband. It's back to Mystic, Connecticut this year. That will pretty much be our travel (other than a few day trips to Long Island if we have concerts) until Florida in January.

Have a good week.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think Night Country would have been much better for me if I had streamed it rather than had to remember what happened week to week. I have started THE SYMPATHIZER but that looks to be even more difficult to remember streaming.
We rented a house in Sarasota for three weeks next Feb-March but I could never live there with its politics. And it used to be a purple if not blue state. The thought we might be living under another Trump presidency by then is terrifying.
Steve-you should have stayed for Frida. The third episode of SUGAR left me cold-too much shifting around plus throwing movies in. I really like narratives that have one time line-THE SYMPATHIZER was also guilty of that "two days later, one week before, the next hour" stuff.
I didn't know there were massive bookstores anymore. I have only been to SC once-Charleston.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We recorded THE SYMPATHIZER (having read the book, I'm not sure Jackie will like it) and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. I agree, it's better to stream it or wait until you have several (or all) episodes rather than watching one a week. We will probably do that with THE SYMPATHIZER.
Of course, sometimes when we do that, we end up disliking the first episode and deleting it all. Since we missed it in Florida, we're watching NIGHT COUNTRY On Demand, so can watch an episode every two or three days.

Jackie wondered why you don't visit your brother while you're down there to extend the trip.

Diane Kelley said...

Glad Jeff and Jackie Meyerson enjoyed THE BEAUTIFUL GAME on Netflix. Bill Nighy and his homeless team really struck a chord in me! And, I'm glad Jeff is enjoying Peter Tremayne's 7th C. Sister Fidelma mysteries. I still have a number of them to read, but I'm pacing myself to make them last.

Diane and I are going to see THE PIANO GUYS later this week. Today, Diane is hosting her Book Club. I'll be during wine and brewing coffee for the members.

It's been raining in Western NY for days! Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I may do that. Or at least go down for a day or two in the middle of it. Something for sure.
Our group meets tomorrow. What did Diane's group read? This will be the first time we met in person in a while. We have one or two people that can only join us on zoom but zoom really changes the dynamics. Although I was really grateful to have it the last few years.
My State of Michigan tax return for 2023 has already been audited. Can you believe it? Thank God, for my brother helping to determine what I need to send it. The package is about forty pages. Eeek. There is never a day in my life when some technology or bureaucracy demand doesn't grab me. You who have partners be very grateful you have someone to consult with.

Diane Kelley said...

Diane and her Book Club read The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. They seem to prefer historical fiction and non-fiction. I did persuade them to read an Agatha Christie mystery years ago: THE ABC MURDERS.

Gerard Saylor said...

Nuts. I need to submit my tax extension. There has been too much going on over the past two weeks for me to get the work done.

I read one of John Connolly's sorta-supernatural mysteries featuring CHARLIE PARKER. Not reading Ken Bruen's GALWAY GIRL. GALWAY seems to have even more literary recommendations than usual and had me wishing that Charlie Stella was able to publish more frequently.

My in-laws, mother, brother and sister-in-law all visited over the weekend to see Boy #2 in the school play. We received compliments on Boy #2's performances. The play traditionally has one performance each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm not saying I fell asleep during Sunday's performance. But, if I had, it was only when Boy #2 was not on stage.

Next weekend looks to be hectic with a hoped for trip to Chicago to hear a band. Assisting at the post-prom party on Saturday night into Sunday AM. On Sunday splitting my time between a fundraiser and a work event.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, George. I have been trying to get my group to read Sandra Day O'Connor's bio "FIRST" but so far no luck.
Have never read Connolly. So many left behind.

Gerard Saylor said...

I see I wrote "not" instead of "now" for Bruen. I do enjoy his character's literary asides. The last one I read referenced how great Sara Gran is and I nodded my head in agreement.

TracyK said...

Sorry to be so late in commenting. We went out this morning to pick up a package that the post office had supposedly been unable to deliver, then found out that it had been sent out for delivery today, although that is kind of iffy too. Oh well. We did other errands and ate breakfast out too.

This week we watched MILLIONS LIKE US, a film from 1943 about those on the home front in the UK during World War II. The only actors we recognized were Gordon Jackson (UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS) and Charters and Caldicott who were also in THE LADY VANISHES and NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH. We enjoyed the film.

Also watched our standard shows like MURDER SHE WROTE, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, and CSI, plus BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES. We gave up on SHERWOOD, too grim and started watching STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE with Scott Bakula.

Last week I read THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB by Karen Joy Fowler. I don’t remember when or why I bought it but I did enjoy it. It was less about the Austen books than I would have liked, but I enjoyed the individual stories about the members of the book club. And it did make me want to reread one of the Austen novels. Has anyone read any of Fowler's other books. I am now reading THE HUMANS by Matt Haig and enjoying it.

Glen is still reading CHECKMATE IN BERLIN by Giles Milton which is about the years after the end of World War II.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I read WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, which was strange but interesting. Will look for MILLIONS LIKE US. Sounds good. SHERWOOD was indeed grim.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think Bruen mentioned my name in one of his books. He is good about doing that, helping out so many minor writers over time. Not that Gran is a minor writer.
He also wrote me a great blurb. A very nice man.

TracyK said...

Based on THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB, I can believe that WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES would be strange. Thanks for that suggestion, I have added it to my list.

Todd Mason said...

SARAH CANARY is a fine Karen Joy Fowler, as well...and THE SWEETHEART SEASON.

Began a comment early Monday morning, but fell asleep after typing a few sentences...I'll lick this yet (Long COVID?).

Very glad to read of that about Bruen...who clearly finds your work worthy...

My few sentences did manage to mention liking THE SYMPATHIZER's pilot, finding PARISH still interesting, noting that FIRE COUNTRY is probably a series that wouldn't exist without YELLOWSTONE's success, but FC is the better series, less stupid than all the YELLOWclones from its producers as well as the mothership. Tried STAR TREK: DISCOVERY when Showtime began running it, and was underwhelmed. Mean to look at A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, albeit its premise strains credulity, much as does that of SIGHT UNSEEN, another Canadian import on CW, which I have caught the second episode of. My current favorite TV music series might be MY MUSIC WITH RHIANNON GIDDENS (PBS). I enjoy WILL TRENT's first season a lot, but the bomb-disposal expert episode was idiotic/forced-tragedy and all the other episodes this season feel Off, if less egregiously than the bomb one, compared to the fine season one. Likewise, SO HELP ME TODD seems excessively cute this season so far in a way it managed to avoid last season. ELSBETH doing OK by me, albeit she has less to play off of in this series than in the GOODs.

Jerry--Unless Seth Meyers has said he's giving up on CORRECTIONS online in favor of his podcasts, I'd suspect there simply isn't one up this week (and for some to come) because of the stand-up tour he's on, which Patti's younger relations enjoyed (and I probably would as well)...LATE NIGHT is in repeats this week as a result. Meyers amusing on KIMMEL LIVE last night, as well.

Yours in narcolepsy (hey, if it works for Drumpf...)

Gerard Saylor said...

Nuts. I forgot about Bruen mentioning you, Patti.

If Meyers retires CORRECTIONS that'd be okay just because the ending of the most recent one was very well done.

Bruen's Galway always sounds like contradictory place; A fun place to visit with the murder tally of Cabot Cove.