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January 18, 2008:

EIGHT COOKIES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I hate to beat a dead horse, but how can it already be Friday? Holy moley on rye, this week flew by like a gazelle in a mud bath. I wonder who the first person was to actually beat a dead horse. I wonder if they got some perverse pleasure out of beating a dead horse, or if they were just bored and trying to pass the time. Where was I? Oh, yes, it is Friday and can you believe it? I just ate eight vanilla Circus Cookies, which I gather are like Animal Crackers of old. I now want to vomit on the ground. The only other foodstuffs I had all day were a big ol’ bowl of creamy tomato bisque, two pieces of rye bread, and some fries. I got a little hungry a little while ago, but the only food in the home environment was Circus Cookies, so I ate eight cookies, or should that be I eight ate cookies? Speaking of eight cookies, yesterday was a day that took a while to get going, but once it got going it no longer took a while. What a surreal sentence that was. What am I, Samuel Beckett all of a sudden? Eight Cookies – that’s the title of my next novel. In any case, I got up a little later than planned, and then worked at the piano, then sat down and wrote a little over three pages of the new book. I then toddled off to lunch with Miss Juliana Hansen, and I gave her about ninety minutes worth of advice, and hopefully said advice will result in something interesting somewhere down the line. After that, I came back home and wrote another four pages, and at that point I was done with the writing for the day. I went to Ye Olde Maile Place and picked up a package, and then I came home to the excellent news that the DGA had concluded its negotiation with the producers and had settled on a new contract – six months before the old contract expires. I then sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a very interesting DVD entitled Aren’t You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye, starring Mr. River Phoenix, Miss Ione Sky, Miss Meredith Salinger, and a very young Matthew Perry. The film was written and directed by William Richert, who directed the strange and wonderful film of Winter Kills. That’s what was in the package that arrived today, along with a nice note from Mr. Richert. Now, you’re probably wondering, what in tarnation IS this film I never heard of? Well, what it is is a “director’s cut” of A Night In The Life of Jimmy Reardon, a film that Fox released as a teen comedy, a film that subsequently tanked large at the box-office. The problem was, that it was not shot as a teen comedy – it was shot as an adult film with maybe a little comedy. Fox, upon seeing Mr. Richert’s cut, which contained narration by him, a song over the titles by Johnny Mathis and a score by Elmer Bernstein, deemed it not what they were looking for. So, out went the narration, out went Mr. Bernstein’s score and out went Mr. Mathis. They added a bunch of 60s songs, a new score by Bill Conti, and narration by River Phoenix. Now, I confess to having never seen A Night In The Life of Jimmy Reardon – it has a small following, but it’s not well thought of, at least from what I’ve seen online. But even from this one viewing, I can understand why Fox’s decisions were idiotic – having a kid narrate a film whose point was having an older narrator looking back at his youth seems pretty misguided. I will be seeing the Fox version on Tuesday and I’ll do a comparison then, but for now I’ll just say that I enjoyed this version of the film (which is based on a novel Mr. Richert wrote at nineteen). It’s hard to tell how this version was created – but I suspect it’s a print that Mr. Richert kept of his original version, although that would not explain why the six-minute scene that was deleted from the Fox version is here in such sub-par-looking footage. The one comparison I could do was the score – the Bernstein score must have seemed to the Fox people too old fashioned for an 80s film – but since the film takes place in the early 60s what should Mr. Bernstein have done – he did what he should have done and scored the film he was given. It’s a very nice score, from the period when Mr. Bernstein was infatuated with the Ondes Martinot and its player. The Conti score, which was released on a Varese Sarabande Club CD, is not to my liking at all, but I’ll see how it works with the actual film when I watch it next week. Mr. Phoenix was an interesting actor, and the other kids are all fine. It was obviously a labor of love for Mr. Richert, since the story is semi-autobiographical, probably in the way that my Kritzer books are semi-autobiographical. I’ll have more to say, when I compare the two versions next week. Mr. Richert is an interesting guy – if you want to see what he’s about, check out his website, williamrichert.com.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because these eight cookies have caused me great nausea.

Today, I must write pages, then Mr. Cason Murphy and Miss Marlana Fillanino will be coming over to learn the finale of act one of the musical I’m mentoring. It’s one of those three part thingees where the three different melodies all come together at the end and work in counterpoint. Since it will be impossible for me to sing all three parts, I thought that in order to show how it works I’d have two people sing it with me. So, they’ll be taping the song, learning it, and then doing it with me come Monday night.

I will then attend an opening night at the Pasadena Playhouse. I usually get out to Pasadena very early, eat a leisurely dinner, pick up my ticket, and then walk over to the two nearby book shops to peruse. I will, of course, have a full report on the play, and I can only hope it will not be too long.

Now wait just a darn minute – let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s dance the Hora or the Fox Trot, for today is the birthday of Kentucky’s own Mr. Charles Pogue. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to the pride of Kentucky, dear reader Charles Pogue. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO THE PRIDE OF KENTUCKY, DEAR READER CHARLES POGUE!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write, write, rehearse, write, and attend an opening night. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in you CD player and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, Les Reed’s score to The Girl On The Motorcycle, and The Modern Jazz Quartet and Symphony Orchestra. DVD, more The Fugitive and Peter Gunn episodes. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and my recommendation to one and all and also all and one is a) don’t bother beating a dead horse, and b) do not eat Eight Cookies.

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