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May 9, 2008:

ONE ROLLER SKATE COVERED WITH 1000 ISLAND DRESSING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it’s Friday and that means only one thing: It’s Friday. Being Friday, that also means that The Brain From Planet X enters its second week of performances beginning with tonight’s, then continuing with a matinee and evening tomorrow and a matinee on Sunday. I know I’m attending this evening, but beyond that am not sure if I’ll see any of the other performances this weekend. We shall see. This week just flew by, like a gazelle in a chiffon nightie. It was actually a splendidly splendid and restful week until yesterday, when I had just a smidgen of annoyance – but other than that it was just what the doctor ordered (a salad, and meatloaf). Speaking of what the doctor ordered, yesterday was an okay day save for a smidgen of annoyance, but it passed quickly like so much fish. I got up early, did some work on the computer and packaged up five or six orders, then had a work session on the musical I’m mentoring, which lasted about an hour (the work session, not the musical). After that, I did quite a few errands that needed doing, and then I came home and did some more work on the computer. I also had a quite yummilicious meatball sandwich from nearby Quickie’s Pizza and Subs – I’d never had it before (I usually have the pizza or the Philly Cheesesteak) and I really liked it. And then, somehow, it was already the end of the day. Who knew?

Last night, I watched two count them two motion pictures – one that I’d TIVOd and one on DVD. The motion picture I’d TIVOd was entitled Cover Me Babe, a 1969 low-budget bombarooni from Twentieth Century Fox made by the director of Pretty Poison, a film I quite like. But Cover Me Babe is as bad as it gets – pretentious, overly-arty, some really bad acting and a whole lot of really bad writing from veteran screenwriter George Wells (the original Where The Boys Are). At fifty-seven, he was an odd one to be writing a counter-culture youth film about a student director making his personal films (more like reality TV of today). As played by Robert Forster (in a really bad performance), the lead character is loathsome, obnoxious, and a cretin – so, just who you’re supposed to identify with is anyone’s guess. Sondra Locke is along for the ride (sometimes quite naked) as one of his girlfriends – only no person in their sane mind would ever date this jerk. It just sort of ends after ninety boring minutes. The only redeeming thing about the film is that a lot of it was shot on location in 1969 LA. Therefore, you see some nice shots of Santa Monica, and, incredibly, shots of the Theater Arts building at Los Angeles City College, where the guy is presumably taking his film classes. It looks exactly as it does now, save for all the empty space around it, now no longer empty, but filled with buildings. I then watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Midnight, one of several screwball comedies released last week from Universal (other titles are Easy Living, The Major and the Minor, and a Mae West film). I’d never seen Midnight before, but with a script by Brackett and Wilder and a cast that includes Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, Mary Astor, John Barrymore and a whole slew of others, I knew that at the very least it would be enjoyable, which it certainly was. While Mitchell Leisen was a perfectly fine director of these types of films, I think it would have been better had Wilder directed it – his first film as director was still a couple of years away. While the setup takes a while to get going, boy does it pay off in the last forty minutes, which are just hilarious and wonderful. And any film that contains a line like Miss Colbert’s line describing why her “husband” is a little eccentric, “He gave me one roller skate covered with 1000 Island dressing.” It just comes out of nowhere and I think I laughed for about ten minutes straight – I had to pause the film. They don’t know how to write lines like that anymore – they’re too busy with the arc and the journey and what page act two begins on. Once again, thank you Robert McKee and Syd Field, two of the worst things to ever happen to the motion picture industry. The performances are sparkling, and the transfer looks fine.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst picturing in our collective minds one roller skate covered with 1000 Island dressing.

Today is actually going to be very busy with a lot of driving. I have to do an annoying errand first thing in the morning, then I have to drive to the CD plant in Valencia to pick up the new batch of Evening Primrose CDs – I completely went through the first batch I pressed (and that was a LOT of CDs). If you’ve been procrastinating about ordering, I shouldn’t wait too much longer. Then I have some work to do on the computer, then I must get ready for the drive to the Heim of Ana and some supper. We’re taking dear reader Jose to see The Brain and I think we’ll be having a leisurely early meal at Claim Jumper. And if he’s hungry after the show, there is a convenient In and Out Burger directly next to the theater. I’m looking forward to seeing him.

I also got a call from Mr. Walter Willison, who is also in LA, and I’ll be seeing him sometime on Sunday. And I hope to see Jose at least one more time while he’s here.

Tomorrow, I’m not sure what I’m doing. If, for example, dear reader Jose wanted to sit in with the band, then I’d go down to the Heim of Ana for both the matinee and evening and sup somewhere fun in between shows. If not, I’m not sure I’ll go down at all – maybe for the evening show. And then I’ll only be going back sporadically, mostly when I know people who are attending.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do an annoying errand, pick up a whole mess o’ CDs (I also have to re-press Skinner/Ripley, so I’ll be bringing the print for that down there), I must do some work, and then I must gather up dear reader Jose and make the trek south to sup and see The Brain. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, Elmer Bernstein’s The Caretakers, which I can’t seem to stop playing. DVD, next up is Easy Living, then The Major and the Minor. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we dream of one roller skate covered with 1000 Island dressing.

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