Monday, June 10, 2024

Monday, Monday

 I will put an empty post up for next Monday so you can communicate while I am in NY.

Really liked THE GREAT LILLIAN HALL on Max. Jessica Lange was terrific and the story (based on Marion Seldes, who I bet Jeff has seen in plays) was sad but very well done.

Finished HACKS, which had a great last episode after a few middling ones. I would have written this season where she had already gotten the job hosting a Late Night show. Seems like they were treading water although Smart and the rest of the cast was great. Trying to watch WHITE COLLAR but boy, anything about finance, just shuts down my brain.

Saw a local production of SUNSET BOULEVARD. Is it me or does all of Andrew Lloyd Weber's music sound the same? Or else I saw this one before. This company did a great job with a not- so- hot screenplay. There is not very much plot in this tale. And I am not fond of singing the story. Write songs or write spoken dialogue. The actor who played Joe Gillis was an actor I saw last fall in THE MOUSETRAP at another theater. I spent the whole play trying to remember what I saw him in. Very cute guy and they had him parade around in a swim suit for a while.

Reading HORSE by Geraldine Brooks and PROVENCE, 1970 (Burr) Got TABLE FOR TWO (Towles) from library but it is too thick to take with me. 

Lots of rain here. Hoping it is not too hot in NY later this week. 

What about you?


Margot Kinberg said...

Glad you've been enjoying your viewing lately, Patti.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I'm sure you'll have a great short trip here next week. Yes, we've seen Marian Seldes on (& off?) Broadway, in things like THE ROYAL FAMILY and DINNER AT EIGHT, plus EQUUS and DEATHTRAP.

Saw our first concert of the year (so far, we only have two more, as people we like are dead or retired or just not playing New York) - Bonnie Raitt, who has been doing this over 50 years and even wrote a song once called, "The Road's My Middle Name." She complained again (as she did two years ago, when we last saw her) about being under "house arrest" the two years she couldn't perform during the pandemic. Westbury Music Fair (as they are again calling it) is a smallish (2,870 capacity) theater in the round with a slowly revolving stage. For performers who don't sell as well, they don't sell the seats in the back, and the stage doesn't revolve, but Raitt sold out. Good show, starting with the British soul & R&B singer James Hunter's 45 minute opening set. We'd seen him three times before, in 2006-2008.

We stayed at the Long island Marriott and discovered ourselves in the middle of the India-Pakistan World Cup cricket mania, as the hotel was filled with fans (judging by their shirts, more than 90% India supporters), as Eisenhower Park (the venue) is 5 minutes away. We'll be back in six weeks for a Santana/Counting Crows concert at Jones Beach.

Weather has been warm but not terribly hot.

We did enjoy this series of HACKS. Smart is superb in the role. Hal Linden looked pretty good for 93, I thought. We saw him on Broadway in a revival of THE PAJAMA GAME over 50 years ago.

I finished the first teddy Roosevelt biography and started the second, with his succession to the Presidency in 1901. Also reading short story collections by Carol Shields, Carson McCullers, and Stephen King.

Plenty of streaming shows, mostly British, Danish and French at the moment. We finally have the tenth and final series of SEASIDE HOTEL.

Jerry House said...

We have a new addition to the family -- a five-year-old beard dragon named (for the time being) Ben. A neighbor was selling him (her?) and Jack fell in love with Ben, so...Christina and Walt were determined not to bring any more animals into the house, but Ben was so cute and so friendly, and he came with this super-nifty decked-out cage...Jack is taking ownership of Ben very seriously. He has decided he will be the lizard person of the family, just as Mark is the snake person of the family. Speaking of Mark, he caught a garter snake by hand this weekend while leaving the house for work. The snake did not appreciate it and gave him a little love bite. Turns out garter snakes are mildly venomous. Who knew? Well, Mark did, but he's the snake person in the family. Not to worry, the venom is so mild that it only causes a mild and temporary irritation. After taking some pictures with his new buddy, Mark released the snake and headed off to work. Evidently Mark also caught a four-foot black snake in our garage a few days earlier but didn't bother to tell anyone.

A couple of months ago AT&T began laying fiber optic cable in our neighborhood, and Walt recently signed the household up for the fiber optic service. Evidently it gives us better service, or something. What it has done is cause my computer to go offline, needing to be rebooted -- sometimes five or six times an hours. (No other computer in the house appears to be affected.) In the meantime AT&T vastly underestimated the demand for the fiber optic cable and di not install enough whatever (connections to the junction box, I think), causing the neighborhood to lose cable service for five days while they installed another junction box or more cables or whatever. (I'm really good at explaining all this technical stuff.) We got our cable back last night, in time for me to post at least something on my blog for today.

With the internet dead, so too was our television service. I had hoped to finish my streaming of A TOUCH OF FROST, as well as AFTER THE FLOOD and OUTER RANGE this week. (I had only the last two shortened season of A TOUCH OF FROST to go.) I'll have to catch up this week. (If you want to have some fun, try explaining to kids today that once there was no internet, no computers, no cable, no video games, no portable phones, and for fun you actually had to go outside and play; your parents would let you loose in the morning and you were not expected back until meal times.)

With no television and no internet, I had a lot of time to read. (Time that was not taken up by Jack's summer activities -- Muay Thai boxing lessons, karate lessons, his basketball team, the twice weekly free kids movies at the local theater, and the season pass to a local trampoline park.) I used much of the time to finish Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller's 1001 MIDNIGHTS: THE AFFICIONADO'S GUIDE TO MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION. So as not to get overwhelmed, I'd read five or six reviews, take a break, then read another five or six reviews, eventually finishing the nearly 900-page reference book. It was great re-acquainting myself with so many of the great books I had read in the past and whetting my appetite for so many other great books.

[to be continued]

Jeff Meyerson said...

We saw SUNSET BOULEVARD in London in 1993 and didn't like it at all. But then, we saw EVITA in San Francisco in 1979 and disliked that too. Patti LuPone starred in both, by the way. If I had to pick a Lloyd Webber show to see, it would definitely be JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, which Jackie directed in her school using various grades and class levels to great effect. The show has a sense of humor and fun songs. Otherwise, Tim Rice's humor rarely gets a chance to be seen. I mean, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR does not have a lot of laughs in it. The only other Lloyd Webber we really liked was BY JEEVES, an adaptation with a book and lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn. CATS was a product of its time. I despised STARLIGHT EXPRESS - singing and dancing locomotives! - and was not a fan of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, despite having second row seats. Mostly boring. Actually, one more we did like, was the more recent SCHOOL OF ROCK, which was fun.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Oh, the weather is supposed to be HOT on Friday, but should improve after that.

Jerry House said...

[back again]

I also read five graphic novels (Alyssa Wong's DEADPOOL BY ALYSSA WONG, VOLUMES 1 and 2, Chip Zdarsky's BATMAN: THE BAT-MAN OF GOTHAM; Kyle Stark's WHERE MOSTERS LIE, and Nate Powell's FALL THROUGH. All were interesting, although the Powell -- a semi-autobiographical story about a punk rock band -- wasn't exactly in my wheelhouse. Other books finished included one anthology, Vic Ghadalia's one and done Sf/horror collection THE ODDBALLS, never reprinted; to collections, Erle Stanley Gardner's THE BIRD IN HAND AND FOUR OTHER STORIES and Alan E. Nourse's THE COUNTERFEIT MAN AND OTHER SCIENCE FICTION STORIES. (Nourse was a well-known medical doctor and his last name was pronounced "Nurse;" in my mind's eye, I keep picturing a hospital loudspeaker blaring, "Paging Doctor Nurse. Paging Doctor Nurse." Simple things amuse me.) I also reread Andre Norton's SF adventure KEY OUT OF TIME, which I had first read some sixty years ago -- it held up well and was still a great read after all these years. In the queue for this week are the latest John Connolly, Craig Johnson, and Stephen King books.

Enjoy your week, Patti. Have a great time in New York. Stay safe.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Packing, even for a short trip, is a nightmare for me. Although Megan assures me I can get what I need since NY is rather a big city and not in the wilderness, I feel compelled to pack an umbrella, a raincoat, a normal jacket, a sweater-on and on. Plus all of the charging stuff now. I am very worried my theater tkts won't turn up on my email (why do they come the day before and the day of and not when I ordered them) and the places I bought them from are bogus outlets. A NY trip is especially worrisome for me even though we will not take subways this time. The rush from behind me down those steps is too scary.
I don't worry about getting lost though-except if we go to the Village. I have been in NY probably 3 dozen times over the years.
When it comes down to it, I don't like being in charge of myself in these situations. Although Phil had a terrible sense of direction and knew less about technology than me and never packed for himself. Still...

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, chargers are the #1 thing to remember. We once had to buy a charger in North Carolina on the way to Florida because we forgot ours. Or maybe we left it in a hotel. Going overnight - and by car - is easier than flying, of course, but even so, Jackie was going to take a cane in case she needed it on longer walks, but she forgot it. She didn't need it anyway, at least partially because one thing the "sterile suburbs" has going for it is smoother paved streets. One year I had to go find a Walgreen or CVS in Las Vegas to buy her a cane. We now have three or four in the closet.

I know generally crime is down and the subways are (mostly) safe, but still, you read these stories every day. Too many people getting whacked int he head or shoved (or now, slashed!) by total strangers, many of who seem to be homeless mental patients hearing voices. But as long as you stay out of East New York or Brownsville, you should be OK.


Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Boring week here. Too cool or rainy to sit outside. Haven't seen a movie this week but watched a lot of tv. Just finished Under the Bridge on Hulu. I thought it very good. Not so much love for Eric on Netflix. Some good acting but I didn't care much for the story line and thought the ending week. Also watched the last season of Unforgettable on Amazon Prime.
Read The Last Murder atthe End of theWorld by Stuart Turton. A book I had a vhard time getting into. Also a reread-Reading Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson.
For some strange reason I have been suffering bouts of low blood pressure. I cut back on my Lisinopril but that doesn't seem to make much difference.
Hope you enjoy NYC.

Todd Mason said...

I've noted this before, but the only competent segment in the 1999 remake of THE HAUNTING was the introductory scene between Marian Seldes's caretaker and Lili Taylor's Eleanor:
Never had the opportunity to see her perform in person.

Enjoy the trip to NYC!

I now know why Jerry was so sparsely productive on his own blog this past a result of our just-under-an-acre back yard in Hazardville, abutting a corn field belong to the farm next to the one where the farmer shot in the general direction of my friend and myself for hand-feeding his mare wheatgrass she couldn't reach, we could always count on a few garter snakes in the yard, so I knew about the petty irritation from their bites firsthand (and -forearm). Enjoy the company of the lizard!

Back to the grind of getting the spare/cats' bedroom remade into Alice's office, while further things continue to break in and just beyond the house. Hiring someone to haul a ridiculously soft/heavy king-sized bed out (the mattress is filled with micro-springs, so it has the consistency of a not-stiff-enough pudding).

The passing of David Redd has me thinking I should read and reread some of his fine, sparse work.

Todd Mason said...

Tina Brown on Martin Amis in THE GUARDIAN:

TracyK said...

Patti, I am sure you will have a very good time in New York, but getting ready for a trip is not fun. I always overpacked, but I don't travel much at all now.

We have been watching: MURDER SHE WROTE, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, STAR TREK ENTERPRISE, and rewatching LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION. Also HARRY WILD and RESIDENT ALIEN. And others. We watched a COLUMBO episode last night: DAGGERS OF THE MIND, set in London, with Honor Blackman and Richard Basehart.

I finished reading THE LONELY HEARTS BOOK CLUB by Lucy Gilmore, which I enjoyed very much. I read it mostly for the book related stuff, but it had romance, dysfunctional families, and lonely people making friends, so ... a lot of fun.

Meanwhile I have also been reading TALES FROM THE CAFE by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, the second in a series of stories about time travel in a Japanese cafe.

Glen finished DEATH OF A BUSYBODY by George Bellairs, and he liked it... the mood, the tone, the characters, the picture of the village. He did not care for the use of dialect in much of the book.

TracyK said...

I left out this last paragraph at the end...

Now Glen is reading AT HOME: A SHORT HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE by Bill Bryson. I can tell he is liking that because he keeps sharing interesting things in the book with me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Blood pressure is so hard to regulate. Mine is too high at the doctor's but my lower number is often awfully low at home. In the fifties.
I dowloaded a Bellairs book but don't know when I will get to it. I always like Bryson.
Keeping up a house and yard was too much for me, Todd.

Diane Kelley said...

Another rainy week in Western NY! Diane and I watched HIT MAN (review on my blog tomorrow) and LET THE CANARY SING--a documentary about Cindi Lauper.

Diane continues packing for our upcoming trip to Ohio. Like you, Diane packs for every eventuality. I just have to decide which books to take with me.

Despite the D-DAY ceremonies in France, all the political shenanigans in the U.S. are depressing. A number of Republicans led by Marjorie Taylor Greene voted to defund N.A.T.O. Putin must consider them "useful idiots."

When events go south, gold goes up so I bought BARRICK GOLD as a hedge against chaos. Stay safe and have a fun trip to NYC!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It was easier when I took trips by car! Shocking elections in France. The world has gone mad not just the US.

Todd Mason said...

Well, the efflorescence of fascism isn't restricted to USians no...hence the greater problem. Macron's attempt to short-circuit their leverage in France seems a rather foolhardy choice, but, then, consider the source.

But, at least the post-election European parliament isn't Dominated by fascists, but instead by the kind of smug centrists who tend to think they can use and control the latter, that have helped bring about fascism's various heydays over the last century. So, there's that.

And at least most of the Nordic countries' delegations leaned into the democratic left (as if there is any other kind of genuine left).

Yes, there is less and less sense of accomplishment in finishing with the current household crises, when they simply don't stop coming. Life manages to recapitulate every other aspect of life.

Nonetheless, alternatives remain dire...happy reading!

Gerard Saylor said...

I've been thinking more and more about buying merino wool clothes for traveling. A variation on the Jack Reacher method of one pair of clothes and a toothbrush. Except I'll need regular medication, phone, toothbrush, books, and charging cords. Merino wool does not carry an odor, is easily hand washed, and costs 80 FREAKING DOLLARS FOR A T-SHIRT.

We just had a new mattress and bed frame delivered and installed yesterday. After it was all done I was thinking it would have been fairly easy for us to haul everything inside and assemble it together. Yet, I was quite happy I did not have to deal with it. The movers were much more efficient.

My library continues to push for a building expansion and the funding is always an issue. Our campaign planner says a big initial gift gets the ball rolling for other donors to sign on. We don't have that yet. I'm trying to get some City Council support and am worried they won't sign on, which I fear could scuttle a grant opportunity. Or, if the City cannot commit maybe the grant people will see the project as more worthy of fudning? I don't know.

I was excited to get the new Charlie Huston novel. I then promptly misplaced the damn thing.

Todd Mason said...

I certainly know how that last goes. And good luck with the funding.

Alice likes her Merino clothes, but machine-washes them with the appropriate detergents. One downside is that if one's cat climbs on one and begins to slip, as with one of her shirts awaiting professional mending, holes un-magically appear. I prefer to go vegan with clothing, though did make the mistake of not taking a closer look at a discounted pair of pants at Target the other rayon that is already falling apart at the belt loops. I do tend to wear cottons for the most part, and some denim.