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June 30, 2008:

THE DEPTHS OF HADES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, here we are on the last day of June. Of course, June has flown by, like a gazelle eating grits, and tomorrow it will be July and then the next thing we know it will be Christmas. I gotta tell you. In any case, it’s the last day of June. June has been a topsy-turvy month, with some wonderfully wonderful things, and some horribly horrible things. However, we don’t like to dwell on the horribly horrible but we do like to dwell on the wonderfully wonderful, and we can only hope and pray that in July the emphasis will be on the former, the wonderfully wonderful, and the horribly horrible can just go take a flying leap into the depths of Hades. The Depths Of Hades – that’s the title of my next novel. Speaking of novel, yesterday was a day of rest, and true to my word I rested, only doing a smidgen of work, but mostly driving about in my motor car, having a nice lunch, and sitting on my couch like so much fish. The Kansas City Barbecue is in its new location so I stopped by for a brisket sandwich. Since I’m in my watching what I eat phase, I passed on the french fries (that was hard) and had a little tiny cup of baked beans instead. The sandwich was great as were the beans and I was quite full when I left. I jogged in the morning and despite my legs being very sore from yesterday’s jog, I did manage to go a mile and three quarters (instead of the full two miles). After all that, I came home, did some arranging work, packaged up a few orders, and then sat on my couch like so much fish for some viewing pleasure.

Yesterday, I watched a hodgepodge of programming. I began by watching about an hour of an English film entitled Vice Versa, that I’d TIVOd. It had its moments (it was written by Peter Ustinov) – you remember the body-switching run of comedies in the 80s (before, if you count Freaky Friday), like Big, and, yes, you’re remembering correctly, one called Vice Versa – well this late 40s film seems to be the grand-daddy of the genre. It stars Roger Livesey, and a young teenage Anthony Newley as the father and son who switch bodies, and a cute as a button young teenage Petula Clark. After that, I watched an Alfred Hitchcock Hour, one I’d always wanted to see, entitled The Life Work Of Juan Diaz, written by Ray Bradbury from his short story, and directed by Norman Lloyd. It was a terrific episode about a dying man and a greedy grave keeper. Best of all, it had a great original score by Bernard Herrmann. It wasn’t quite up there with my two favorite hour-long Hitch classics, An Unlocked Window and The Jar (the latter also written by Bradbury, directed by Lloyd, and scored by Herrmann, who also scored An Unlocked Window), but it was excellent nonetheless. Since I was in a Hitchcock mood, I then watched a DVD entitled The Trouble With Harry. I like but don’t love the film – it certainly has its pleasures, including droll performances from Edmund Gwenn, the two great Mildreds, Natwick and Dunnock, Shirley MacLaine, a precocious performance by pre-Beaver Jerry Mathers, and a completely underwhelming performance by John Forsythe, who is so irritating that I can barely stand to watch him. I’ve liked him in other things, but here he’s trying way too hard to play on top of already arch material – if he’d just done the part without trying so BE arch it would have been fine. The screenplay by the great John Michael Hayes has lots of laughs, Hitch’s direction is, as always, terrific, and Bernard Herrmann’s score fits the picture perfectly. Robert Burks’ autumnal photography is spectacular, but unfortunately the transfer on view is but a pale shadow of what it should look like. Make no mistake, the color on this second DVD release (in The Masterpiece Collection) is much improved from the awful yellow mess on view in its first incarnation on DVD – the colors are accurate now, but the element used for the transfer is way too many generations away from the camera negative, so nothing is ever sharp enough and the mid-to-long shots have no clarity at all. This was a VistaVision picture, printed in IB Technicolor, and those prints were stunningly stunning.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst we tell the horribly horrible to go take a flying leap into the depths of Hades.

I am currently drinking water. May I just say that I have never liked drinking water. In fact, drinking water is not pleasing to me in any way, shape, or form. I just don’t like the whole water thing – even though it’s flavorless I still don’t like the way it tastes. In fact, my stomach doesn’t like it either, as it reacts poorly to water. But, when I’m jogging, I know it’s healthy to dring water and also to drink it. You know, the “g” isn’t even near the “k” but I always type dring instead of drink. Anyway, I’m dringin’ it but I don’t have to like it.

Today, I have many errands to attend to, some annoying, some not. I must finish sending musical fixes today, and then I have to record the final song so a lead sheet can be created. Then I have to record the little fixes to an arrangement for Kevin and Sean’s show, so Kevin can get it to the arranger.

Tomorrow, more errands and whatnot, and then a two-hour rehearsal with Sean McDermott to go over his solo stuff. The rest of the week is more of the same, and then on July 4th I’m invited to neighbor Tony Slide and Bob Gitt’s annual partay. As you know, there are lots of interesting folks there, and I think I’ll bring my digital camera this time.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do errands, finish sending musical fixes, record the final song of the musical I’m mentoring, record the fixes to the arrangement, and then sit on my couch like so much fish. Today’s topic of discussion: Not only is it the end of June but it’s everyone’s favorite day, for today’s topic is The Initials Gameā„¢. Remember, you’re on the honor system – no looking things up. You must know who the person is and what they do. Celebrities, sports figures, characters from books, plays, and films, cartoon characters, political figures, anything along those lines. Today’s initials: G.S. Good luck to one and all and also all and one. Last week’s game brought over 240 names – will we top it today? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, as we get the horribly horrible to take a flying leap into the depths of Hades.

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