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February 22, 2008:

PING-PONG

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, another week has flown by, like a gazelle playing ping-pong. Now, how many of you dear readers know that ping-pong has made a comeback with the hip and trendy butt cheeks of the world? Suddenly a game that young people wouldn’t be caught dead playing is suddenly all the rage. Why? Who was doing it on TV that people copied? These things don’t just “happen” and I’d like to know what caused this comeback. I have played ping-pong in my youth but I never liked it that much. I preferred playing either ping or pong, but not both together. Did you know that two Chinese people invented ping-pong? It’s quite true. C.Y. Ping was sitting around with his friend F.L. Pong, and Mr. Ping had picked up a wood stick and was hitting a chestnut with it. Soon Mr. Pong found a wood stick and before you could say egg drop soup they were hitting the chestnut back and forth. The chestnut, of course, was soon decimated, so they made a little ball out of sturdy material that Ping had laying around, and soon the were batting the ball back and forth like two crazy people run amok – since the ball was making a ping sound when Ping was hitting it, and a pong sound when Pong was hitting it, they named their game Ping-Pong and the rest is history. I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you find such information? Nowhere, that’s where. At this time I’d like to simply ask what the HELL I’m talking about. Speaking of what the hell I’m talking about, yesterday was a day that snuck up on me, like a gazelle in sucking on a Lifesaver. I got up early, and went right to work on the lyric I’ve been toiling over, finished it, and then began looking over the Nudie Musical adaptation, which was, I must say, in rather shockingly messy shape. So, I began cleaning it up. I then went and had some soup and french fries, which I ate whilst I proofed a couple of book chapters. When I got back home, I went right back to the Nudie Musical script and continued my clean up – fixing spacing and format errors, rewriting some lines, moving some things around, and putting in the new lyric for the new second song, and also adding a whole new musical sequence just prior to the audition scenes. I’m having a good time revisiting it, and some of it is very funny and some of the new material really works, especially a whole act two section in which one of the most famous scenes in the film (the stunt you know what) becomes a long and pretty amusing musical number. More than that I cannot say, for this is a family sight. That ended up taking most of the day. Finally, at about seven-thirty, I stopped and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled The Young Savages, the second film of Mr. John Frankenheimer, starring Mr. Burt Lancaster, Miss Shelly Winters, and an early performance of Mr. Telly Savalas. It’s a hard-hitting tale of New York gangs, and it’s beautifully directed, and has a terrific David Amram score. It’s really nice to finally have this on DVD, with a very nice anamorphic transfer. It’s part of a new Frankenheimer box set – the kicker is that the other three movies in the set have all been available for years, but the only way to get The Young Savages is to get this new set – it’s not available any other way.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst we ponder the comeback of ping-pong.

Today, I shall be lunching with Miss Lauren Rubin, who I haven’t seen in a ‘coon’s age. I’m not sure where we’ll be lunching, but she’ll call and we’ll figure it out. Otherwise, I shall continue proofing, and also continue working my way through the Nudie Musical script. I’ve already made the decision that the Where Is A Man song, which was cut from the film, but put back for this stage version, is going to go or get completely new music and lyrics. I also cut a huge chunk out of one of the other new numbers, as it just went on way too long. I’m sure that will take most of the day, but I also have to ship out a few things, although that may wait until tomorrow morning if things get to hectic.

Now, don’t forget that this Sunday is our annual Oscar bash, and let me tell you, there is nowhere else you’ll want to be. Last year, we broke every record, with over 2000 postings in one day. I wonder if we’ll beat that this year. I will be gone the entire day, but hope to be back by five – I think the Oscarcast actually starts at six, so I’d get to see some of the pre-show if I’m home by five. You won’t want to miss one minute of our Oscar discussion – there’s nothing like it on all the Internet.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, proof, lunch, work on the Nudie Musical script, and then watch a DVD or three. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, Kenyon Hopkins’ score to Baby Doll. DVD, next up will either be Frankenheimer’s The Train or the mini-series known as Masada. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all try to figure out just why the trendy and hip would suddenly take to ping-pong – what’s next for them, Mah Jong?

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