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April 21, 2008:

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, at what point in time did the fast lane become the slow lane? I ask you, where else on all the Internet can you read such a question? Nowhere, that’s where. I have been pondering this question of the fast lane/slow lane conundrum for some weeks. In days of Olde, there was a slow lane (the lane furthers to the right) and a fast lane (the lane furthest to the left). It was very easy to understand – if you were a WUSSBURGER driver you stayed in the right lane. If you were s SPEEDY driver who wanted to get where you were going come hell or high or even low water, then you stayed in the extreme left lane. But at some point in the last few years the fast lane has frequently become the slowest lane on the freeway. How can life in the fast line suddenly be life in the slow lane when one is in the fast lane? And just as frequently, the slow lane is the lane that moves the fastest? I mean, this subverting of the lanes would be enough to drive Abbe Lane crazy. Lois Lane would certainly be upset. And Lane Bryant would certainly find it unfashionable. I don’t really have a point here, I just find it an odd oddity. If anyone has any explanations, I’m happy to hear them. Speaking of Abbe Lane, Lois Lane, and Lane Bryant, yesterday was a perfectly fine day. I got up early, then left for our first tech rehearsal. We did a three-hour cue-to-cue, fixed some stuff, then did a complete run-through (albeit missing two ensemble members), which we amazingly managed to get through without stopping. Oh, there are things to fix and futz with, but on the whole it went very smoothly as first techs go. Still, we’re still lacking a finished set, projections, and a few props, so it will be great to get those this week. We broke rehearsal about an hour early – a couple of cast members were a bit under the weather, so I’m glad they could go home and get some needed rest, because we’ve got a big, full week ahead of us. I then came home, then noticed that my car was smoking a little. I’ve told my car that smoking is bad for its health, but does my car listen? Nooooo. I then delivered 130 Evening Primrose CDs to a mail-order dealer. And I’m happy to say that all our preorders are packaged and have postage attached and they’ll all be going out tomorrow. After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled The One And Only, starring Henry Winkler and Kim Darby, along with such stalwarts as William Daniels, Polly Holliday, and Gene Saks. I’d heard it wasn’t very good, so I’d never had any desire to see it. But, I happened to get a copy on DVD and so I finally caught up with it. I’m afraid what I heard was correct – it’s not only not very good, it’s very bad. Really, really bad. It starts right with the first scene – one of the most excruciatingly charmless and unfunny meet cutes in the history of film. Mr. Winkler’s character is completely obnoxious and he embraces it so strongly that the movie has no chance at all, despite Miss Darby’s winning performance. It takes over fifty minutes to get to its point – that Mr. Winkler is going to find fame as, of all things, a wrestler. When he finally finds the wrestling persona that works, it’s a thinly-veiled version of real wrestler Gorgeous George. But we don’t get nearly enough of the wrestling world and we get way too much of Mr. Winkler’s selfish, unlikable character. Mr. Saks has some amusing lines that I’m sure were not written by the credited screenwriter – they sound much more like Mr. Saks and Mr. Carl Reiner, the film’s director, wrote them. Mr. Reiner really isn’t a very good director and the film just meanders along. It was grand fun to see the uncredited appearances of wrestling announcer legends Dick Lane and Jimmy Lennon (both mentioned extensively in Kritzer Time), and see a couple of great wrestlers of old. This film was a lost opportunity – someday someone will make a wonderful film about the golden age of wrestling. Certainly, The One and Only is not that film. The transfer is just okay. A company called Legend Films has licensed a bunch of Paramount catalog titles and has just put them out. Of what I’ve sampled so far, Paramount is just handing them whatever inferior masters they’ve got, so that we get an almost completely brown Papa’s Delicate Condition, but a somewhat better but by no means perfect The Pied Piper (the only Jacques Demy film I’ve never seen), and a decent The Optimists, starring Peter Sellers. I’m hoping for better luck on Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunty Jalopies, The Busy Body, and Villa Rides – we shall see.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because life in the fast lane isn’t what it used to be.

Today, I shall get up very early and call my car place and see if I can get in there this morning (IF they have a loaner for me). Whatever happens, I’ll go to the post office around ten and dump all these packages around back where they take pre-postaged bulk packages. I’ll then pack up a few International orders and our bigger orders so that I can get those out on Tuesday, and then I’ll be all caught up and my dining room can look normal again. I have several other things to do before heading to the Heim of Ana to dine and then have another tech run-through.

And the rest of the week will be the same – things to do in the morning and early afternoon, and then tech rehearsal in the evening. I can’t remember if we have Friday off or not this week.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, call the car place, hope I can get in and get a loaner, get the packages to the postal office, package up International and big orders, and then have a meal and a tech rehearsal. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Monday – the Initials Game day. Remember our simple rules: One name per post. Friends’ names don’t count. So, today’s initials are really fun – we got quite a bit of mileage out of these last week in the car – CC. I’ll start it off with Commando Cody, he of the infamous Benjamin Kritzer favorite, the flying Rocket Jacket. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we ponder the conundrum of the fast lane/slow lane switcheroo.

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