Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Being sick and feeling "miz-ruh-bull," as a friend of mine puts it, inspires a great deal of mindless and/or inert activity. Between the naps and the occasional showers in an effort to purge the aches, as well as the consumption of tea and chicken noodle soup, there's a lot of time for mindless... no, wait. That isn't right. There's a lot of time for low-energy drivel. Television plays a starring role in the drivel. All you need the strength to do is operate a remote control.

Thus, this week alone, I have watched more television in the last three days than I've watched in the last year. Of course, it helps that on Monday there was a marathon of Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs. It was all going so well until he featured himself working in a tannery. That was enough to make me hurl what little I had in my stomach. Do you know this guy use to be an opera singer in Baltimore?! Yep, true story.

Then there were the episodes of Star Trek: Voyager with the lovely Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway--a scrappy, Katharine Hepburn-like character who inspires my beliefs about the ability of women.

Late one night I watched, for the second time, a documentary about primordial dwarfs and a wee little angel named Kenadie Jourdin-Bromley. If you haven't seen her story, check it out. She, and her peers, are amazing!

I know I'm way, way, way behind the movie queue, but I finally watched Sideways and loved it! Brilliant film. Ranks right up there with American Beauty in terms of great American films.

And, thankfully, there's Netflix, which brought me a crime drama from Britain called Blue Murder. I can't really compare this one to Prime Suspect, except that it bears a couple of similarities. Like its marvelous predecessor, this one also features a female detective chief inspector--DCI Janine Lewis. It's set in one of England's largest cities--Manchester. People get murdered. That's about where the similarities end, though.

Where Prime Suspect is edgy, Blue Murder is a bit softer. It isn't as dark as the former and the characters aren't nearly as nuanced or flawed. The biggest difference from Prime Suspect is, it's got some humor and lightness that the former lacks. Put more succinctly, if Prime Suspect is Homicide: Life on the Streets, Blue Murder is Law & Order meets Barney Miller. Regardless of the lack of edginess, I am enjoying it. (Only bugger: no closed captioning, which means I have to watch these twice, because the Manchester drawl is a bit mealy-mouthed and I miss stuff.)

And, I'm almost done with Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides. So far, I'm pleased. A decent story with picturesque writing. Having spent time in the Carolinas and Georgia, it isn't difficult to imagine the places and people Conroy is describing. All in all, a good read.

I'd been thinking I needed to see the movie, but now I'm not as inclined. I'm afraid Nick Nolte and Barbara Streisand will ruin it for me, especially since I've managed to get beyond picturing the two of them as the main characters.

There you have it.

Sidebar: As I type this, the Dirty Bastard Cat is lounging in the afternoon sun, snoring. Good Lord, but he's loud!


Jess said...

The only one of all those I've seen is Sideways. Which I also liked.

Feel better soon!

Di said...

Sideways - I just don't get it. I've tried to watch it thrice, and I've fallen asleep less than halfway through every time. And I am not one to fall asleep during films. I don't know why I can't get through it...??

If you like those other UK crime series, have you tried Wire In The Blood yet? Love that one. It's a few years old now, but soooo good.

I'm still a bit ill myself. I am a lazy, sorry-ass sick person.

Anonymous said...

Sideways: liked the movie,but the book is waayyyyyyy better. The writing is so economic yet descriptive. It gave me some great phrases to use while tasting wine, like:

"It's nutty yet conservative -- a little flirtatious."

Or such rot.

Love the "Dirty Jobs" guy!!!

- Phoebe

j.m. tewkesbury said...

Jess: Thank you! As for Sideways, makes me wish I was a wine snob so I could use all those great wines. Alas, I'm a cab and chardonnay user in cooking only. And, I'm known to utilize a good pinot in dessert sauces... What would Miles think of me?!!

Di: Interesting. I liked it because of the Paul Giamatti character. Watching him evolve and live in the present was heartening. Sort of live Kevin Spacey's character in American Beauty. As for UK crime shows, I'll check out WITB. Sorry to hear you're still ill. Bugger.

Phoebe: I'll have to check out the book, especially now that you've recommended it!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Whoops! That was suppose to say, "...makes me wish I was a wine snob so I could use all those great lines" not "wines." Oy. Freudian slip? Probably! LOL!

Liz said...

Sideways! I love that movie.

So, the question is: are you still going to drink fucking merlot?

Cele said...

Oh, I forgot all about Sideways. I am so not a movie connoisseur, I see something that interest me and voila! I've forgotten about it a week later. This is so true that I pulled out and watched Pride and Prejudice & Sense & Sensibility Saturday and Sunday. And yes I could have pulled out Emma and Manfield Park.

I loved Prince of Tides I thought it was one of Streisands best movies.

American Beauty failed to capture my attention.

Get well.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Liz: No! I am not drinking any f*cking merlot tonight! If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving!

Cele: You must be loving PBS' Jane Austen series over the next ten weeks. So far, I'm 1 for 2, having missed this week's episode of Northanger Abbey. I think next week is Mansfield Park!

I know what you mean about seeing and forgetting movies. I tend to do the same. Bee asked me last night about a movie we saw a couple of years ago and I couldn't remember a single detail. So few movies are memorable. As for The Prince of Tides, maybe I'll hold off for a few months and then see it. I'm afraid if I see it right now, it will ruin the book for me. (Truth is, I can't stand Nick Nolte.)

Cele said...

No I didn't know about it, oh I'm going to have to look into this.