If I had imagined that “A Tough Write,” the last four posts chronicling my relationship with my dad, was going to be cathartic, I was wrong. I do feel good about my honesty and my ability to get it down on ‘paper’, but I don’t feel much different than I did before I wrote the series. Presumably I’m learning a lesson that many people already know—time helps more than venting, however well written and honest that venting is.
Maybe it’s that I don’t feel as “light and airy” as I had hoped. Maybe it’s that I feel drained. Maybe it’s the countdown to Jewish Christmas (Chinese and a movie). But it’s one of those weeks where, as my friend Bruce Turkel put it, “I got nothin’.” (see: http://turkeltalks.com/index.
Rather than make something out of that nothin’, which Bruce already did so well, I’ve decided to let the week’s thoughts, ideas, insights, lack of insights, wishes, and experiences lope onto the page. Or at least some of them. I may be honest, but I do have some limits. (Where are they? Where are they?)
In no particular order:
NCIS, which has one of the highest television viewerships is my “comfort food.” And like mac and cheese or take-out pizza, familiarity is probably more important than quality, especially when you’ve had a bad day. Nothing on NCIS makes you jump out of your skin and the relationships between the characters never surprise—that’s sort of the point. Despite the above, Mark Harmon, in his role as Gibbs, has serious ‘duende.` ((P)RAISING THE DEAD): http://www.zacharykleinonline.
If you do want to jump out of your skin, Homeland, Showtimes’ series based on Gideon Raff’s Israeli Hatufim or Prisoners of War, makes that happen. Claire Danes, as Carrie Mathison, is terrific as a manic on a mission to prevent a major terrorist attack. Her intense mishagas is wonderfully offset by Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie’s calm, soulful, mentor who mostly believes her hunches, but spends as much time trying to keep Carrie’s head together as hunting down any potential attack. Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody (whose acting is also marvelous) is an American Marine held captive by Al-Qaeda for eight years, originally the object of Carrie’s suspicion but becomes…well, I’ll let you discover what happens.
If you have Showtime and On Demand, I suggest you start from the beginning. The show is that good.
Another pleasure on the television front is Starz’s Boss, which chronicles Mayor Tom Kane of Chicago (Kelsey Grammer, cast against the grain). Although the series takes place in the present, it’s really about how the first Mayor Daley ran his town. I think the series is worth watching, but I’m biased since I Iived in Chicago during three or four years of Daley’s term. Again, if you do have On Demand and Starz, I’d suggest watching the show from the beginning.
(If folk have different recommendations, please let me know in the ‘comment’ section. I’m always ready to hear about something decent on the tube. Grateful too.)
Books I’d like to read:
Coming through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje
House of War by James Carroll
Time Bites by Doris Lessing
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
On the recommendation front: But Beautiful (A Book About Jazz) by Geoff Dyer. Truly fabulous as he riffs about jazz greats, writing those riffs in the style of each particular musician he profiles. A stunning book for anyone who loves jazz.
Movies I want to see:
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocal.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. (LeCarre’s second best book next to The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.)
Dangerous Method (Viggo as Freud? He’s been great as everyone else).
My Week with Marilyn.
Documentaries I want to see:
Page One: Inside The New York Times.
Eames: The Architect & The Painter.
The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975.
Art I want to see:
Degas Nudes at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
Play I’d like to see:
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE at Club Oberon.
But mostly I want to finish the work of getting my Matt Jacob Mystery Series prepared for download. It’s been a hell of a lot more effort than I imagined and I’ve yet to even figure out how to cut through the noise of the Internet where the books will live. How to get the Matt Jacob series a following despite the overwhelming infoload of virtual reality? Of course, if anyone not on my mailing list wants to be, please let me know at email@example.com.
I want finish because I’m chomping at the bit to write new ones.
So I plan to take the next two weeks off of my Monday posts. I won’t finish my project, but it will give me an opportunity to do some catching up. It will also allow me to recharge my Monday post batteries. A Tough Write was tougher than I realized
I hope you all will return when I do. Have a great, safe holiday; then let’s meet up again online Monday, January 9, 2012.
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods. – Einstein