So tomorrow starts my personal winter countdown.
For me, winter has no festive holidays.
It’s cold and raggedy.
Icy and slippery.
And no end in sight.
It starts when the holiday season ends and it ends at Valentine’s Day, a festive holiday.
And when that day is put behind us, the days are substantially longer than in December.
The cold weather will release its grip in a scant three weeks.
And we were fortunate with a terrific December which although cold, was steady, day after day of sun and cold and no wind.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
My 264th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Tuesday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 58*.
Dinner is Lobster Fra Diavolo.
264 posts to date.
The 5.28% mark of my commitment.
A different way of looking at the passage of time: a 13.69-year calendar.
That there’s a year change today is not relevant to our computing.
We count by posts, 5,000 being the number that on the day of the start of the blog seemed safe to predict.
So far away.
Question of the Day:
Any good ideas for TV series?
Love your notes.
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommie Toner has a New Year’s thought to share:
As we approach the end of this year and the beginning of 2019, I wish you much joy and happiness.
We just lost a very good friend, Dr. Benjamin Wirt Farley, a professor, scholar, author, father, grandfather, husband, and lover of life.
We learned of his death as we were landing in Atlanta after having spent a wonderful holiday with Leigh, Chris, the girls, Jake and Lena.
It was a jolt since Ben had just visited us a few days before our departure to Seattle along with his beautiful wife and long-time friend and colleague of mine, Alice Anne.
He seemed vibrant and joyful - full of needling for me, the ultimate leftist with beliefs diametrically opposite his as far as the nature of man and the universe - he was a John Calvin scholar.
In saying all of this, life is very tenuous, very precious, very fleeting. . . . I have learned that happiness is something one chooses. . . it is the great choice in life.
I don't mean to be simplistic, but all that I have read about the Holocaust and other horrible episodes in history, there is the will to choose, under the most dire of consequences and conditions, to be happy even if in fleeting moments.
This is my yoga mantra . I think it is grounded in Buddhism and it is my "prayer" for you in the new year, Dom:
May you be free from danger,
May you be happy,
May you be healthy,
May you live with ease.
Answer to Question:
Any good ideas for TV series?
To answer this I looked up Metacritics.
They ranked the 23 best.
We’ll present their top five.
#1 is no surprise:
Metacritic's Best New TV Shows of 2018.
#1: My Brilliant Friend
To watch this year's best new series, you'll have to read subtitles (or speak Italian)—but you shouldn't let that deter you. HBO's first foreign-language original series is adapted by Paolo Sorrentino (The Young Pope) and Jennifer Schuur (Big Love) from Elena Ferrante's acclaimed four-book Neapolitan series about an elderly woman who chronicles six decades of her friendship/rivalry with another woman after the latter mysteriously disappears. That lengthy timespan means that multiple actors will be portraying the main characters, but critics raved about the young leads in this lavishly staged first season, which is set in the 1950s.
This surprisingly dark and occasionally violent HBO comedy from Bill Hader and Silicon Valley's Alec Berg stars the former as a depressed hitman who attempts a career change after discovering the joys of performing after an assignment brings him to an acting class where an Emmy-winning Henry Winkler plays the instructor.
Hader also won an Emmy for his performance and was nominated for directing the pilot.
Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, and Glenn Fleshler also star.
Though the finale would make a perfect series-ender, Barry will return for a second season in 2019.
#3: Killing Eve
One of 2018's buzziest newcomers, BBC America's breezy, action-filled thriller Killing Eve finds Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge writing (but not starring) in an adaptation of the books by Luke Jennings about a cat-and-mouse game between a formerly desk-bound MI5 agent (an Emmy-nominated Sandra Oh, in her first regular role since leaving Grey's Anatomy) and a female assassin (a widely praised Jodie Comer, previously seen in The White Princess).
The series will return for a second season in 2019.
#4: Random Acts of Flyness
This unconventional late-night HBO series from artist/filmmaker Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty) blends scripted segments, documentary, musical performances, and animation to paint a picture of "the beauty and ugliness of contemporary American life." Guests include Whoopi Goldberg, Gillian Jacobs, Paul Sparks, and Dominique Fishback. HBO has renewed the series for a second season, which is due in 2019.
Based on the hit Gimlet Media fiction podcast of the same name, Amazon's psychological thriller about a secretive, experimental program for American war veterans comes from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and stars Julia Roberts in her first regular TV role.
The strong cast also includes Sissy Spacek, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Dermot Mulroney, Stephan James, and Alex Karpovsky.
A second season—which will take the story in a new direction, given that season one mostly exhausted both seasons of the podcast—will stream in 2019.
Good morning on this Tuesday, first day of the new year.
We shared a secret of how to approach the winter’s season.
We read a thought from Tommie Toner.
And then presented five of the best TV series of 2018.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.