Monday, April 08, 2024

Monday, Monday

Takoi is a fabulous Thai restaurant in Detroit. Tres elegant. We celebrated Josh's birthday here on Saturday night although his birthday is the 9th. Thai food is his favorite.

I don't get down to downtown Detroit very often and I am astonished at all of the new hotels, restaurants, businesses, shops, etc. And all of the people on the streets. We came here (1970) at a low point for Detroit. It was still reeling from the riots. There are still many areas that are poor and dangerous but the good parts are spreading.

The only thing that hasn't changed is the lousy roads. 

Loved the British series BOILING POINT, which I got through Kanopy (from my library). It's somewhat similar to THE BEAR but the restaurant is in London. It's based on the characters in a movie of the same title and starring Stephen Graham.

Also loved OF AN AGE, an Australian movie on Amazon Prime. Hoping to find more movies from this director.

Only watched the first episode of RIPLEY (Netflix) but it looks promising. So too SUGAR (Apple). Thinking of reading another Ripley book. I have only read THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY.

What about you?


Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Watched the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Wow-did Richard Lewis look awful . He died shortly after filming this. Watched the first 2 episodes of Sugar. Rewatching a lot of Seinfeld. Holds up very well. Plan on watchimg Shogun, and The Regime. Rewatched To Live and Die in L.A. One of William Freidkin''s best.
Reading Ghost Station by A. S. Barnes and City OIn Ruins by Don Winslow. Supposedly his last novel. And the short story collection Ragged Maps by Ian R.McLeod.
Getting up to 70 this week. Time for shorts.

Jerry House said...

As much as I appreciate Highsmith's writing, her constant theme of moral ambiguity allows me to read her only sparingly. My loss, I guess.

A quiet week here. School's back after the Spring break so the house is quieter during the weekdays. There's a lot of eclipse talk and a lot of warnings about pulling a Trump and burning your eyes out. The eclipse will hit here just as the middle school kids get out so I'll be in the car rider line waiting for Jack. I'll have the windows down so I can yell at the kids, "Don't look up!" And they will all think I'm a crazy old man. Which I am. The last eclipse was on a rainy overcast day so no one really saw anything here. There was a major eclipse when the girls were in high school. We didn't bother with special glasses. I took a large dinner plate. filled it with water, and put it in the parking lot; we saw the eclipse clearly through the reflection in the water with no distortion. Easy peasy.

There is some concern about how the eclipse will affect the animals at the zoo. Some will become very confused nd some circadian rhythms may be thrown out of whack. There is currently a zoo mystery that may never be solved. They lost a baby lemur. There were three baby lemurs in the enclosure and a couple of hours later there were only two. Mark and another zookeeper searched the enclosure thoroughly but there was no sign of the lemur. The enclosure was completely locked with no way of escape. There was no sign of predation -- just the missing lemur. They called the manager of the zoo and the three of them searched again but there was no sign of the lemur and no clue as to what had happened. Cue an episode of UNSLOVED MYSTERIES or THE TWILIGHT ZONE...

Meanwhile a the zoo, Sheila the Kookaburra, back from her two-day escape, remains as feisty as ever. She constantly attacks Mark and Mark is the zookeeper she likes; she has an absolute hate for another of the zookeepers and goes after her with a vengeance. When Mark enters the bird's enclosure, she flies directly at him in attack mode. Mark has learned to brace himself and grab her seconds before she reaches him. He then tucks Sheila safely under his arm while he continues with his work. This has become the new normal and I think Sheila is beginning to appreciate it.

In other animal news, dogs are a-holes. Because there are three dogs, there are many balls around the house. Jolly the golden retriever had one ball and Happy the neurotic herding dog wanted it. Happy then started a fight which became a knock-down, drag-out affair that took three people and a well-swung lawn chair to stop. The end result had Happy with a mangled ear and an evening trip to the emergency vet. They kept Happy overnight and stitched her up the next morning. Now Happy is wearing the cone of shame, which makes it awkward when she is chasing a ball. Too often you hear people say, the cat's an a-hole, but really it is the dogs who own that title.

A beautiful day at the beach yesterday, Clear skies, warm sign, gentle breezes, and the soothing sounds of the waves lapping at the shore.. and there were dolphins. The girls all saw dolphins several times although I didn't; my eyes are at the age where dolphin spotting from a distance is difficult. But just the sure knowledge that they were there was comforting and brought a sense of peace. I have determined that there are some women who really should not wear tiny bikinis. A lot of women, really. Also, there are a few -- bless them -- who should. Strangely, I paid no attention to what the men were wearing, if anything. Sexist of me, I know.

As usual, I go on way too much. More later...

Jerry House said...

[Moving on...]

Not much television this week, just the usual...Oliver, Stewart, Colbert, Kimmel, Meyers, and Weekend Update. All the news one needs in an easily digestible format.

As for reading, this has been a John Creasey week. I read eight books by him, all Roger West mysteries. Have I mentioned I can be a tad OCD? HOLIDAY FOR INSPECTOR WEST, SO YOUNG TO BURN, MURDER LONDON--NEW YORK, THE FIGURE IN THE DUSK (also published as A CASE FOR INSPECTOR WEST), DEATH OF A POSTMAN (apa PARCELS FOR INSPECTOR WEST), SEND SUPERINTENDENT WEST (a minor update of SEND INSPECTOR WEST), THE BEAUTY QUEEN KILLER (also Known as A BEAUTY FOR INSPECTOR WEST and as SO YOUNG, SO COLD, SO FAIR), and the multi-titled INSPECTOR WEST MAKES HASTE (also published as MURDER MAKES HASTE, THE GELIGNITE GANG, and NIGHT OF THE WATCHMAN). My FFB was another Miss Pickerell adventure from my youth, MISS PICKERELL GOES TO THE ARCTIC. )"Artic" comes from the Greek word meaning "bear," in other words, there are bears there; "Antarctic" means there are no bears. I wonder what those areas would have been called if the they had been named for penquins/no penguins?) Currently finishing THETUSKS OF EXTINCTION by Ray Naylor and am about to begin THIS ISLAND EARTH by Raymond F. Jones. I'm hoping to avoid more Creaseys this coming week, but who can tell?

Have a great eclipse, Patti, hopefully without bears or penguins, and a fantastic week. Take care.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My friend who is a docent at the zoo (she minds the giraffes) is so eager to see the animals reaction to the eclipse I am worried she will not mind her own eyes, which already have vision issues.
Yeah, I can't take too much Highsmith myself.
Richard Lewis did look awful, he must have known it was coming. Even last season he seemed sick. Was it Parkinsons? I know he died of cardiac arrest but I think he had Parkinsons which so many seem to have now. My son can't wait to wear shorts either but I know few women over 40 that wear them. I understand I can get SHOGUN dubbed so I may watch it that way. I really hate watching subtitled TV shows.

pattinase (abbott) said...

BTW, I saw an American movie this weekend that has closed captions. I didn't even realize it at first.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I see my comment disappeared. I hate when that happens. I could repost it, but once it starts happening, it usually keeps happening, so I will send it to Patti.

Books. Reading A collection of French oddball mystery stories from 1937, reprinted by Crippen & Landru, THE SECRET OF THE POINTED TOWER by Pierre Very. Also NORTHLANDS by Amy Pease, set in northern Wisconsin. It's a first novel. I like the writing, but opioids is getting old as a subject for me, though not as bad a human trafficking. I have 4 library books to pick up today - now that we're home I don't have to get ebooks only - including books by Ken Bruen and Steven F. Havill, plus two short story collections.

Now that we're home, we started the latest TRUE DETECTIVE series: NIGHT COUNTRY. Jackie liked it a lot. It reminded me of a lot of northern Scandinavian series - ARCTIC CIRCLE, TRAPPED, FORTITUDE. We didn't care much for THE REGIME. It's no MARE OF EASTTOWN.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Patti, we have our subtitles on most of the time these days. Jackie's hearing is not what it was, and some of the British accents in particular are tough to follow otherwise.

pattinase (abbott) said...

from Jeff
The lack of originality in Hollywood is dismaying to me. DO we really need another RIPLEY? Well, I don't. Remember the reboot of THE IN-LAWS? No, nobody else does either.
I know it isn't cheap, but this might be a time to consider MHz Choice. They just merged with/absorbed the similar Topic, which also has mostly European (and mostly foreign language, though many have dubbed versions for those who prefer it) series. We now have access to 100 new shows. We've added 9 to our list so far, and have started watching three:
ARCTIC CIRCLE (Finland). In Lapland, near the Russian border, dead prostitutes turn up with a deadly virus in their bodies, apparently deliberately infected. Tough cop Nina Kautselo has to work with a German scientist to contain it.
COMMANDMENTS (Israel). This was fascinating to me. We all probably know that Orthodox men are exempt from otherwise required military service in Israel. But what if you want to serve anyway? I don't know if it is based on reality, but here there is a platoon of Orthodox recruits. There are two main viewpoint characters, particularly the thief Amram, who gets on the recruit bus and joins up to hide from the guys he robbed. So he is more aggressive and forceful than the other recruits. There is comedy involved - flirting with young women - and so far we're enjoying it.
TEMPLE (UK). This is based on a Norwegian show that ran one season and may be on Topic too. This has had two series (so far?). Mark Strong plays a top surgeon who discovers that his wife (a researcher of some kind) is dying of a rare disease, and he'll do anything to save her. As the series starts, we see her memorial service after she (supposedly) killed herself. But wait...not so fast. They really just faked her death, while they try anything to find a cure. The get the money he needs, Strong has set up - with the help (which presumably will be explained in later flashback scenes) of a doomsday prepper played by Daniel (LINE OF DUTY, etc.) Mays - an underground surgical suite below the Temple underground station in the middle of London! Crazy, but a great conceit. Criminals who don't want to go to a hospital for gunshot wounds they don't want reported can come there.
What else are we watching? We started the second 3 episode series of WHITECHAPEL, but if it was more than 3 episodes we'd have quit watching, as instead of Jack the RIpper, this series's copycat is following the evil Kray brothers, identical twins who ruled London until they were arrested in 1968. I must say, Rupert Penry-Jones is much better (as well as a tougher, more impressive character) in MI-5 than he is here. The real stars are his sergeant, played by Phil Davis, and the civilian "expert" played by Steve Pemberton.
We went to the city (express bus, no subway) on Friday, so Jackie could get one of her cataracts cleaned up, and we enjoyed the old-fashioned Sarge's Deli on Third Avenue.
Too cold here for my taste, still, and we're still getting days of torrential rain - one this week and possibly another at the end of this week.
Have a good week.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Haven't tried THE REGIME although I have a friend who really enjoyed it.
Someone else just mentioned NORTHLANDS to me so I will put it on hold at the library.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Even with hearing aids I have my closed captions on all the time although I still have trouble reading an entire show. It must be in my head. And funny that I have to have the sound at a certain decibel whether I am reading it or hearing it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We've noticed the sound can differ wildly from channel to channel. For instance, when we watch PBS Masterpiece, we have to turn the sound way down as it is much louder. Don't know why.

Diane Kelley said...

We have a hause full of people visiting to watch the Total Solar Eclipse. Patrick and Katie arrived Friday. My niece from Virginia, her husband, and her two children (3 and 6 months) showed up a 4 A.M. Sunday morning. Right now, the skies in Western NY are a bit cloudy. Hopefully, the clouds will part around 3:18 P. M. today.

As soon as we arrived home from our Easter trip to Ohio, Diane started the cleaning and cooking process for our guests. I was running errands and trying to "baby proof" our house as much as I could. It's been a long time since we've had infants staying in our house.

No reading, very little writing accomplished the last two weeks. I can't wait until things go back to NORMAL. I did get my Covid-19 Booster thanks to the Meyerson's timely heads up. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Diane is the hardest working woman of our age I know. She is always cooking for some group of friends. Hope you enjoy having such a nice family group to share it with.
Yes, PBS is the loudest. Must be they think their audience needs a little help.

TracyK said...

We are having plumbing problems today, the plumber is coming midday. Fortunately we have used this plumber for years and he is (almost) always on time.

This week we watched THE SILENT PARTNER from 1978 with Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, and Susannah York. The week before we watched EMMA with Anna Taylor-Joy, Bill Nighy, and Johnny Flynn. We watched the first two episodes of LOOT and will continue for a while to see what we think of it. Also the last episode of season 13 of DEATH IN PARADISE and the first episode of the new season of BEYOND PARADISE. And continuing NORTHERN EXPOSURE, MURDER SHE WROTE and LEVERAGE.

Last week I read THEY FOUND HIM DEAD by Georgette Heyer. This was one of her mysteries that feature Inspector Hannasyde and Sergeant Hemingway. After that I started THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt. This is the first book I have read by that author. It is a Western, and I have not read much in that genre.

I also have been reading a Dan Rhodes mystery by Bill Crider, WINNING CAN BE MURDER, which has a High School Football theme. It took me a while to finish because I was reading it on the Kindle. It was a good read as usual.

Glen finished LOST HOUSES OF BRITAIN by Anna Sproule. He is about to start CHECKMATE IN BERLIN: The Cold War Showdown That Shaped the Modern World, by Giles Milton. He has read two other books by this author and likes his writing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I enjoyed THE SISTER BROTHERS. There is a film of it but I have never seen it. Have never read Georgette Heyer and, in fact, thought she only wrote romances.

TracyK said...

I have read a couple of her Regency romances in the last few years. One I liked a lot; one was just OK. They do have a good picture of Regency England, which I did not know much about. The mysteries (there are about 12) are fun and do have some romance, but it is not the central element.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Patti, Georgette Heyer wrote a dozen Golden Age mysteries, and she had a couple of police detectives in most of her books, as I remember. I read two or three, I think, back in the '70s, after reading about them in A CATALOGUE OF CRIME. Of course, she is known for her Regency romances.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Amazing output from some of these Golden Age writers.

pattinase (abbott) said...

There is not much too much cloud cover here. I think those gathering outside will have a good show.

Jerry House said...

Georgette Heyer has her own fandom separate from "regular" readers of romances:

Todd Mason said...

Indeed, Heyer fans used to have Heyer Teas (nudge nudge) at fantasy/sf conventions before romance fiction began developing its own convention fandom. She was the Louis L'Amour of Regenvy romance, but it was her mystery novels that were coming back into print in bulk when I began bookselling...

Jerry, puffins really are at least 60% penguins...

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said...

Let's try that again:

My sleep patterns not quite back in line, as I've now slept through the local partial eclipse as well as small earthquakes, but smaller, younger, more neurotic inherited cat is doing well on her new medical regime, as she skitters into her second year with us.

Highsmith and Roald Dahl are indeed best taken in doses. Marijane Meaker and Particia Neal take on added points when one reads of how things went away from the writing desk.

Sorry for the troubles, as always...glad most seem fixable or alloyed.

Traci, I'm a fan of THE SILENT PARTNER, which my father and I saw at the Kailua Drive-In in Hawaii in 1980 as the second and better feature with THE SHINING (Dad was a Kubrick fan, but also liked the Canadian film better).

PARISH on AMC is more stylish than actually good, so far, but interesting enough--the title, being the surname of the New Orleans-based auto mechanic/high performance driver/fringe-criminal Dragged Back In, is a bit indicative of the too clever by half aspects, given the county-equivalents in Louisiana and the homophony with "perish"...haven't tried Showtime's A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW on Showtime yet, nor the newly-cabled GANGS OF LONDON, but will. OUR HOUSE (syndicated to PBS stations) is brief but interesting enough so far, as I await the probably unlikely conclusion to pop up. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE (PBS doc series) started well.

I sent out via email to those I could reach thus a heads up on Jackie Kashian's new DON'T TELL-series video (various comedians doing sets in odd venues), which engendered a response recommending WEEKEND UPDATE news-parodies on SNL on one fannish list, which inspired my list of further recs almost identical to Jerry's:

On 04/06/2024 11:18, Todd Mason wrote:
Just released (some joking about sexuality involved, for those who'd rather not). A very good set.

It's supplemented for me by THE DAILY SHOW, LATE SHOW/COLBERT, LATE NIGHT/MEYERS and LAST WEEK TONIGHT/OLIVER and the better monologues/sketches on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE. And I enjoy AFTER MIDNIGHT, which follows Colbert's show on CBS (Kashian, a friendly acquaintance, was just on AFTER with Maria Bamford and Laurie Kilmartin). Would that primetime was so fully populated with such programming (and I still miss ZIWE on Showtime and OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT/TOONING OUT THE NEWS [further Colbert productions] on on Comedy Central, Samantha Bee and Conan O'Brien's series, et al). While I need never waste my time on TONIGHT SHOW/FALLON, GUTFELD! nor Bill Maher's ego self-pleasuring.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My son and family saw Seth Meyers perform in Detroit and greatly enjoyed it. I watch no late night TV since the eighties. It usually served as souring me on all the guests just pushing their projects although the monologues, which I sometimes catch on you tube can be fun and clever. Will seek out Silent Partners although I have the feeling I've seen it fairly recently. Didn't start using Letterboxd soon enough.

Todd Mason said...

THE SILENT PARTNER is flawed but good (and of modest ambition), as opposed to the wildly uneven (and at times not-well-edited) THE SHINING.

The plugola interviews do tend to be dispensable at best, and some hosts (Colbert) are a Lot better interviewers than others (Meyers when he isn't talking to old friends). Notable also how much Colbert interacts with his band more or less as a whole, while Meyers will barely interact with a guest drummer, or run usually rather weak improv bits with Fred Armisen when he's back behind the drum set.

Todd Mason said...

Todd Mason said...

What the opposite of self-awareness results in:
(from Twitter)

Geraldo Rivera

After 12 seasons, many viewers lament the passing of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Larry David’s sour, pseudo bio-series. I’m not a fan, because Larry truly is the self-righteous, snobby, self-loathing, narcissistic ass he portrays. That opinion is informed by an outdoor afternoon Martha’s Vineyard birthday party at the home of retiring Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz.

I spotted Larry in the crowd and walked toward him. Instead of making at least nominal polite contact, Larry ostentatiously avoided even looking in my direction. He actually scurried about in theatrical panic, ducking behind other guests Groucho Marx-style as he made sure to keep a safe distance.

I later found out from Dershowitz that it was because I worked at the time for Fox News, and was generally supportive of my old friend President Trump.
Larry, who I’ve never met, apparently was taking his cue from the famous Fox-hater renting the big place next door.

Visible through the bushes separating the properties, President Barack Obama refused to make the two minute walk over to Dersh’s place for the same reason, Fear of Fox.
Now, every time I see Larry being rude, crude and intolerant on television, I say that’s him, that really is Larry David, and he’s not acting.

11:10 AM · Apr 8, 2024
from University Heights, OH·

Gerard Saylor said...

Coming in late and reading fresh evidence of Rivera's dirt-bag attitude and cluelessness.

Monday was spent in Chester, IL at the home of my sister-in-law's mother. The mom's sister had owned the place for a couple decades until her passing a few years ago. A really nice, old house on the high bluffs over the Mississippi. My original plan was to visit Champaign, IL and leave early on Monday to drive South as far as traffic allowed. With my mother catching the flu we stayed at a hotel, masked up, and visited very briefly before heading South along with Sister-in-law and my brother.
I fell quite fortunate to have had that arrangement fall into my lap. Especially since Boy #1 and I were able to spend time with his uncle and aunt.
Re-read DRIVE by James Sallis. I'd forgotten a lot about DRIVE, the sequel DRIVER, and the film version and conflated them.
Meanwhile, at work we are gearing up for a capital campaign on library expansion. Everything costs more and construction seems to cost extra. We can raise money, but will have to scale back original plans to meet a budget.
Meanwhile on the meanwhile, I've not yet finished reading THIN RED LINE. I'm thinking I should get the easier to hold eBook version.