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April 19, 2008:

THE SHIPPING NEWS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, holy moley on rye, my dining room is filled to the brim with boxes containing Evening Primrose CDs. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, somehow my helpers and I managed to package up every single preorder (along with about forty orders received during the day yesterday) and all that remains to be done is to get the postage stickers on them (this Pitney Bowes digital postal machine is going to make life much simpler, shipping-wise), and then lug many bagsful to the postal office. I’m hoping to have everything out of here by Tuesday, maybe even Monday. Speaking of Monday, yesterday began early in the morning with me having to have lengthy conversations with just about every department at Pitney Bowes because of their screw up in shipping us our starter kit and 600 postage labels. They were all supposed to be delivered with the machine on Thursday, but for whatever reasons the starter kit and supplies were shipped a slower way and weren’t scheduled to arrive until next Wednesday or Thursday. The first gal I got tried arguing with me but I was most persistent and finally asked the key question of why I would want the machine shipped to me via a more expensive expedited manner but not the starter kit and supplies. This seemed to make sense to her. In any case, she recalled the shipment and said I’d be credited when they got it back in a week or two, then placed a new order with overnight shipping. So, hopefully it will be here, as scheduled, today. I then decided that that gal hadn’t really understood that they were at fault, not me. So, I got another gal on the phone and this one apologized profusely, gave me a third free month (the first two months of the machine rental are free) then passed me onto another gal who instigated the refund for the original shipment now rather than waiting until the package came back to them. So, ultimately I was very happy with their customer service. Then the three helpers arrived and we dug in to addressing the boxes. It took from ten until about one-thirty, a lot faster than I’d have imagined. The helpers had Subway sandwiches for lunch, and then hung out until the CDs arrived at about three-twenty. It then took another ninety minutes to insert the CDs into the packages (these cardboard mailers are very simple to use). They’re a little more expensive than shipping in the padded envelopes I normally use (those go at letter rate, the boxes go at parcel rate) – the boxes cost about forty more cents to ship, but I’m not doing delivery confirmation on these, so it all comes out in the wash, although with helpers, supplies, and the postage machine, I’m perilously close to losing money on the shipping, so I can’t go above where we are now. Then the helpers left, and I was quite tired. I went over to Art’s Deli for my little tri-salad thing, which is all I ate all day. Then I had to go to Gelson’s for Diet Coke, and then I came home and sat on my couch like so much fish, a good day’s work (my day off yet) done.

Last night, I managed to watch two count them two motion pictures on DVD. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled Les Chansons d’Amour, une film de Christophe Honore. I’d read very nice things about the film, which purportedly was an homage to Jacques Demy and the French New Wave. Well, while the director may have thought that’s what he was aiming for, the results don’t quite get there because he doesn’t have the talent or vision of Mr. Demy and other New Wave filmmakers. Still, I always like a movie where people sing, but one of the big problems here is that he doesn’t have someone like Legrand composing the score. The songs here are not very interesting, unfortunately. The film is broken into the exact same three parts of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, with the same title cards and font used. And in the cast is Chiara Mastroianni, the daughter of Marcello and Umbrellas star Catherine Deneuve. I had a lot of trouble keeping track of who was who, there’s a lot of same sex coupling along with the straight coupling, and it just seemed more like Lars Von Trier’s attempt at a musical, Dancer In The Dark, than anything Mr. Demy would have done. There’s some nice shots of a blue/gray rainy Paris, and the lovely Ludivine Sagnier is along for the ride. Transfer is okay on this region 2 DVD. I then watched Mr. Otto Preminger’s first film as a director, Margin For Error, in which he also stars alongside Miss Joan Bennett and Mr. Milton Berle. The film is certainly no To Be Or Not To Be, and even at seventy-two minutes it wears out its welcome, but there are some nice things in it, chief among them Mr. Preminger’s wonderful performance (recreating the role he did on Broadway). His direction seems a bit by the numbers, Miss Bennett is lovely as always, and it’s quite obvious why Mr. Berle never clicked in the movies. For me, the most delightful performance (aside from Mr. Preminger) was given by someone named Poldi Dur as a maid – she was just terrific. The transfer was nothing to write home about and yet, just for the fun of it, I wrote home about it. I haven’t had any response yet.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button since we’ve exhausted this section with The Shipping News and other stories.

Today, I must get up early and head down to the Heim of Ana for a dry tech session. Then I come home and am being taken out to dinner, which I’m looking forward to. After that, I hope to perhaps watch a DVD.

Tomorrow, it’s another early day and a cue-to-cue and then tech run-through. And that continues all week long. As I’ve said, my hope is to get most of the CDs to the postal office on Monday.

I also have a few meetings this week, and I also must book an appointment with Teddy because my hair is an affront to anyone who looks at it. It’s really long and unkempt.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, attend a dry tech session and then sup and then watch a DVD. Today’s topic of discussion: What are the all-time most powerful moments you’ve seen on TV? Both fiction and non-fiction – those that you’ve never forgotten viewing. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we begin the long and arduous task of attaching postage stickers to boxes so we can wrap up The Shipping News.

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