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March 23, 2008:

THE HARD-BOILED EGG

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, get out your gaily-colored eggs because today is Easter. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, today is Easter, a time for gaily-colored Easter eggs. Have you all hard-boiled your eggs? Have you colored them gaily? I, of course, AM a hard-boiled egg so I fit in perfectly with the day known as Easter. Furthermore, I am wearing my gaily-colored bunny slippers. I am, in fact, Easter personified, hard-boiled egg and bunny slippers-wise. Speaking of Easter, yesterday wasn’t Easter. Yesterday was a day that began and ended. I got up very early, she of the Evil Eye arrived and I headed to the Heim of Ana for our rehearsal o’ the day. This was the first time going down for a rehearsal in which there was not one iota of traffic – total drive time, thirty-eight minutes. Our mighty ensemble was there – well, four of them were there – we’ve just hired a new ensemble member but he can’t start until next Saturday. And another of our ensemble member’s family members got sick, so he couldn’t be there. I blocked all the newspaper/newscaster bits, all of the Feel-O-Rama bits, the opening of act two (the Narrator part), and I put Private Partz into all his scenes. It was a three-hour rehearsal and then I headed home. I heard there was bad traffic on the 5, so I took the 57 to the 60 because I was told it was a total breeze, according to the traffic size. The 57 was indeed a total breeze, but the 60 was very slow, stupidly so, since there were no problems or accidents or cars off to the side. We’d just come to a complete stand-still, the whiz along, then come to a complete stand-still, then whiz along – it’s just bizarre, really. Getting through downtown was equally slow, but then once past downtown it was a breeze. I did a couple of errands, then got some assorted foodstuffs from Gelson’s and came home. I made myself a salami sandwich (on an onion bagel), and also had some almonds and apricots (an Easter present), some low-calorie chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and some other snacks. It was actually a fun meal on a hot Saturday. I then sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched several episodes of a TV series on DVD entitled The Rookies. This was a show I only watched sporadically when it originally aired, and I didn’t care for it all that much, but watching it now is sort of a guilty pleasure. The first episode was not so hot, but the second and third episodes were really fun. I think part of that is because those two episodes had a really good TV director, Leonard Horn, while the others had really ordinary TV guys at the helm. Mr. Horn got them to let him off the back lot and into the streets. The show was a Fox show, so in his episodes we see a lot of West LA and Santa Monica locations circa 1972. In one of the episodes we got to see The Shores, the twin high-rise apartment buildings (built almost where my grandparents lived, and I lived in The Shores for eight years), as well as the last vestiges of the burned down Pacific Ocean Park (very sad). Just one or two years later that would all be gone as if it had never been there. And, as I posted yesterday, in that same episode there’s a long sequence at a place called Ringside Liquor. I kept thinking it looked really familiar. Well, of course it did – it’s three blocks from my house! It’s still there, still is the same color, looks exactly the same, both inside and out, but boy has Moorpark sure changed in the intervening thirty-five years. The cast is pretty strong, with Georg Stanford Brown, Sam Melville, and Michael Ontkean as the titular Rookies (Mr. Melville really doesn’t seem like part of the team during the first five episodes – I’m curious to see if that changes), Gerald O’Laughlin as their tough boss, and Kate Jackson as Melville’s wife and a nurse at the local hospital. What sets this slightly apart from other similar shows is the wonderful music of Elmer Bernstein, both the title theme, and his music for the episodes. I’m not sure if he did all of them, but so far he’s done all the ones I’ve seen. The transfers are very nice. I then watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Gone Baby Gone. Now, if you looked at the imdb comments on this film you’d think it was Citizen Kane, save for just a handful of naysayers. I’m afraid I’m with the latter – this was simply a terrible movie in just about every way. It’s terribleness started right on frame one, with that awful oh so courant and trite narration that is all the rage these days among bad screenwriters. I found most of the film completely incoherent in terms of Mr. Ben Affleck’s really mediocre direction, but mostly in his brother Casey Affleck’s performance – for my money, one of the worst pieces of acting I’ve ever seen, worse, in fact, than any of Ben’s performances, which I find pretty bad, too. I would say that I could not understand seventy percent of what he was saying – I had to rewind the DVD several times. You know, if you can’t speak and be understood, take up plumbing, don’t be an actor. Note to Casey Affleck: Just because you’re mumbling does not mean you’re being real. In a movie that is plot heavy, you really need to hear what’s being said. I’m not making this up – he needs a speech teacher. I don’t know if Dennis Lehane’s novel is any better, but the writing is just bad, bad, bad (that is three bads), and I must say that while I thought Amy Ryan was fine, the Oscar nomination seems a bit wacko to me. I barely recognized Amy Madigan. Her husband, Ed Harris, did his usual thing and he was fine. All the “twists” were very predictable, the score was another of those wretched droning things they call film music today, the lighting was so dark you rarely could tell what was happening, and I just found the entire affair tedious and frankly it gave me a headache. Anyone who thinks this film is a great film for a first-time director need look no further than the next film I began watching – Body Heat. That was Lawrence Kasdan’s first film, and it IS a great first film – with no nod to anything that was then current. Just a clean, perfectly directed film in which the director told his story clearly and you could actually understand every word every actor spoke. The transfer of Gone Baby Gone seems fine, even though the film itself is ugly to the eye. I think I remember some of our dear readers liking the film, and that is, of course, what makes horse racing.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst we hop around like bunny rabbits and find our gaily-colored totally hidden Easter eggs.

Today, I’m hoping to get a good night’s sleep, which I really, really need. The only plan I really have on this Easter day is a production meeting at three – so, another long drive for me. I’m hoping to only be there for an hour, and then I’ll think about what I want for my Easter meal.

This week is a heavy blocking week, in which we’ll finish everything except for the numbers that the choreographer has to do. For me, personally, this week is an important week. March has been very tough going for the likes of me, and I really need things to go well this week and I need some respite from the tension or I shall implode and leave sixty-year-old Jew guts all over the place. There are times when I do get weary of the endless horse manure one has to deal with, but I guess that’s life, as Mr. Sinatra said.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, relax, attend a production meeting, have an Easter meal, and even find some gaily-colored Easter eggs. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, whilst we pad around in our gaily-colored bunny slippers whilst singing gay songs of Easter, and telling wonderful stories like The Randy Vicar and the Egg Yolk.

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