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September 25, 2021:

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to conductor Roland Shaw and his big band do the music of James Bond. I can’t remember, but this may have been a Phase 4 album – it’s certainly on London Records and is of that time period. It sounds great no matter Phase 4 or not. As you know, I like cover versions of movies and shows and had tons of them back in the day. This music makes me feel like having a vodka martini – shaken, not stirred – but since I can’t stand alcohol, I’d just vomit on the ground and that’s not good. I don’t have a Walther PPK so I can’t whip that out and shoot anyone, nor would I, for shooting someone would be unseemly and would also make me vomit on the ground. I’m not wearing a tuxedo as I type these here notes, so whilst I’m listening to James Bond music, in life I am the anti-Bond and I don’t care who knows it. But the music is great – nothing like the title tunes from From Russia, With Love (Lionel Bart) or Goldfinger (Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse) or the great John Barry stuff. I don’t really care for any of the nouveau Bond movies, and I can’t stand Daniel Craig’s tortured and truly irritating Bond. For me, there will always be only one film Bond, Sean Connery. My first Bond was From Russia, With Love, which I saw during its final neighborhood run at the Del Mar Theater on Pico Boulevard, where I was working at the time, very briefly. I saw it about six times and absolutely loved every second of it. that was the first week of July in 1964 – I had no memory of the second feature – Some Like it Hot! And the week after, I saw The Pink Panther about eight times. I think that was probably the final week of employment there, or maybe I lasted another week. Let’s see. Nope, that was it. Two weeks, in and out. My next Bond happened just four months later, when I saw a sneak preview of Goldfinger at the Village Theatre in Westwood. Remember, sneak previews were carefully guarded secrets – no one knew what movie it was going to be. Well, the minute the famous Bond opening thing came on the screen, the place went crazy. And the movie got one of the greatest reactions I’ve ever seen at any preview – we all knew it was going to be a huge hit, and so it was two months later when it opened just around Christmas at the Chinese. The subsequent films were enjoyable, but frankly nothing could top Goldfinger, and, for me, none of the Bond films that came after did. I didn’t catch up with Dr. No until the 1970s, but faithfully saw all the Connery films on opening day, right through Diamonds are Forever. I enjoyed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but the Roger Moore Bond films were not to my liking at all. In fact, I haven’t really liked any of the other Bond actors. Now, I’ll have to take out From Russia and Goldfinger and make a double bill of it.

Prior to the Bond music, I turned on the Firestick, went to Amazon Prime and watched I’m Not Here, which I’ve been wanting to see as it’s a Todd Haynes film. I had no idea what I was in for, other than I knew various actors were playing various personas of Bob Dylan, one of them being Cate Blanchett. The film is fascinating on any number of levels, and it’s wonderfully directed and photographed. But it’s just so weird and outre that in the end it doesn’t quite connect emotionally. It’s also too long at two hours and fifteen minutes. The Cate Blanchett section of the film is the best – it’s all shot in the style of Fellini’s 8 1/2 – glittery black-and-white and duplicating tons of shots from the Fellini film. Each sequence has its own photographic style, which is fun. I just wish it had engaged me more than it did, but once again Haynes proves himself to be the best director working today, at least in my opinion.

Yesterday was another rough night – I’m quite over these rough nights if you must know. I fell asleep around 3:45 and woke up a little nauseous at 7:05. So, I took a Pepcid and sat at the computer until 8:30. I went back to bed, fell right asleep and woke up at noon o’clock. But that wasn’t enough sleep, so I happily slept another hour – so eight hours but I wished I’d had another hour or two.

Once up, I answered e-mails and did some stuff on the computer, then I moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up a package and no important envelope. At that point, I’d had it – three e-mails unanswered – so, I just called Vitello’s, where the check is coming from, and got the manager on the phone. He informed me the check has been sitting there for over a week, awaiting pick up. Since no one had told me that little bit of information, I’m not sure how I was supposed to divine that. I told him I’d pick it up tomorrow. With the previous check, I’d actually told the gal I deal with that I’d pick it up because I was lunching there. She did not relay that news to anyone, so a about an hour before I got there for lunch, they’d already mailed it. So, I finally got my gal to respond, and she apologized profusely, and I said from now on I need to be alerted when the check is ready and I’ll always pick it up. We also finally set the date for the holiday show in December – the twelfth – it should have been the first Sunday, the fifth, but despite my asking about these dates weeks ago, she’d given the fifth away. It doesn’t really matter which Sunday it is, but I like it when it’s before my birthday rather than after it. I think we’re going to do the all young people show in January and that one will have to be the second or third Sunday as it can’t be too close to New Year’s.

I got some chicken filets and ingredients for faux chicken stroganoff, which I haven’t had in quite some time, came home and made a batch, which I had over rice. I buy those Uncle Ben’s microwave rice packs. I’ve never ever had an issue before, but I forgot to tear open the top, which you’re supposed to do. Five seconds before it was done, the side of the bag burst open. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad and most of the rice stayed in the bag. Anyway, it was very tasty and good.

Then I listened to another Giordano opera, this one entitled Fedora, and I enjoyed it very much. Then I watche I’m Not Here, and for my evening snack, I made another of the small chicken filets and put it in a hot dog bun – it was kind of good. So, not a humungous amount of food. Then I did stuff on the computer until it was time to write these here notes.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, then I’m meeting Robert Yacko at Vitello’s, where I’ll pick up the envelope that’s been sitting there for over a week, and then we’ll have food. I’m probably going to be good and have a large Caesar with chicken. After that, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow, I’m not doing much of anything, and I don’t care who knows it. Then come Monday, it’s another busy week of meetings and meals and going and doing and rehearsing and Zooming, not necessarily in that order.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, have lunch and pick up an envelope, hopefully pick up packages, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What was the first James Bond film you saw, and what are your favorites of the long-running series, and what is your favorite Bond song? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall hopefully be neither shaken nor stirred.

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