Well, I had been thinking about kicking the blog back to life. I never imagined that a global pandemic would be my restart.
My company has given employees the work from home option. I work by ground zero and the drop in the number of visitors has been obvious this past week. Seriously people? Grow a set.
As those of you who know me well know, I’m a movie, book and series binger guy. With so many public activities limited as of now, I thought I’d use this space to make some recommendations for your secluded entertainment. But as always, this blog is mostly about amusing myself.
To give you all a quick catch up on my year. I did have another great trip to Ireland in October and got some golf in back in Galway.
Christmas I crossed another state off the list. We visited New Hampshire. The Omni Mount Washington Hotel was the most Christmasy of Hotels and I had my first white Christmas. We walked snow trails and rode a one horse open sleigh on the day. I’m told the skiing there is excellent but I’ve never strapped on anything more than a shoe lace. In my continued pursuit of Americana and oddities, we found the Worlds Longest Candy Counter in Chutters General Store, Littleton.
I found out Christmas Eve that Mrs Santa may not be the loyal wife folklore leads us to believe.
I took a bit of a diversion on my way to drop off my car in Wellington for The Donkey Season. I stopped off and visited my recently moved friend Hannah in Knoxville, TN. It was a fast visit. It’s a happening town with a charming market square center, great restaurants and a lot of history. Knoxville hosted the 1982 Worlds Fair but most importantly, Quinten Tarantino was born there.
In my continued pursuit of sober entertainment , 2019 was a 37 concert year. Details later….
So business at hand. We all may have more time and less options for entertainment these coming days. My intention is to share some of my viewing and reading recommendations.
I have been accused, not unfairly, of having some dark Irish sensibilities. 50 shades of black I was once described for tastes. I’m not your Harlequin romance person for certain. Let’s use this discussion space to hear your recommendations too.
So, to contradict that opinion of me, I’m starting with two quirky, upbeat, funny recommendations from Director Taika Watiti. He’s known for this years Oscar favorite film JoJo Rabbit – which I will watch this weekend. Movie of the year for friend Ken.
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople : Its the story of a manhunt across the New Zealand wilderness, for a stepfather and his son. (Hulu/Amazon Prime).
What we do in the Shadows: The film documents four vampires sharing a house in Wellington. Lots of crossover from HBOs Flight of the Concords. (Hulu/Amazon Prime). My good buddy Brienne thinks the F/X series, set in beautiful Staten Island, is even better.
I’m a book a week person so my picks may come from any stage over the years. You got any particular preferences, ask me. I’m 70% Fiction 30% Non. And neeeeeeever short an opinion.
I just finished Mr. Clarinet, a multi award winning mystery set in Haiti. This is a full on hardcore , multi layered novel. I’d previously read The Verdict, a London set mystery/court drama also by author Nick Stone. Both are engrossing and very satisfying reads with excellent, flawed/very flawed, lead characters.
If you feel like one of the classics, The Quiet American is great Graham Greene. I read it again recently. It’s short. But if you only ever read one of his, Brighton Rock is my favorite. Then see the Richard Attenborough movie version (hey – that’s the guy from Jurassic Park). Brilliant black and white bleak.
On the binge viewing front, McMillions (HBO) is one of those “How did I never hear this before?” stories.
As an aside, I didn’t like Parasite. It lost me when it fell into that slapstick middle. I get it – I just didn’t like it. Reminded me of the over hype for Get Out. I’ve seen and enjoyed all of Bong Joo-Ho’s other films. Snowpiercer is a little seen sci-fi thriller masterpiece. You can watch it on Netflix.
What was the last truly great Best Picture winner? I’m going with No Country for Old Men. Tell me you’ve seen it.
Let the recommendations begin. And of course the selfies.