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October 18, 2008:

THE BIG YAWN

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am currently yawning. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, I, BK, am currently yawning. The reason for this is simple: I am currently yawning because I’m currently tired and therefore I must write these notes in a hurry because not only am I currently yawning and currently tired, but she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early, which means I must be ready to do the long jog at nine o’clock. I cannot, in fact, stop yawning – it’s one big yawn after another, rather like these here notes. Speaking of these here notes, yesterday was a day in which I felt better, didn’t feel better, and felt better. I got up, did the long jog, which, thankfully, was easier than the last few days, and then I had to quickly shower and be on my way to lunch with the beautiful Miss Susan Egan. We met at Hugo’s in West Hollywood, and once again, the traffic was unbearable, and this is not a long drive. Laurel Canyon was terrible, but once again, as soon as you approached Sunset suddenly there was no traffic at all. But even driving down Santa Monica Blvd. the five blocks from Crescent Heights to the restaurant was ridiculously slow. And then there was no place to park – at noon – in the Hugo’s parking lot. Why? Because everybody has taken a leaf from my book and now eats at noon. The restaurant was too crowded and we had to wait ten minutes to be seated. I’d parked in a space I wasn’t supposed to park in, so while we were waiting for our table I went outside and moved the car and happily just as I was doing so a space opened up and I got it. We had a delightfully delightful lunch and we laughed and laughed and just when we thought we could laugh no more, we laughed again. I gave her the music chart she needed, and she told me about a new act she’s preparing and she picked my brain a little. I then brought up something to her and I’m happy to say her reaction to it was really positive. So, we’ll see what happens. We were there for about ninety minutes, and then I had to hurry home for our LACCTAA meeting. That went very well – we discussed some ideas for our new set of events that will be starting in February. We’ll have some similar-but-different ones to what we’ve already had, and we’ll also have some completely new sorts of events. It’s actually like planning a season of events – once planned we’ll be able to do a flyer and really get the word out. We talked about the next issue of our newsletter and what it would contain, and spoke of a few other things. After that, I went to the mail place, where I picked up a big box of boxes and two small packages. Since I’d only eaten two poached eggs on an English muffin, I decided to get a foot-long Subway turkey sandwich for dinner. I got home, answered some e-mails, and then sat on my couch like so much fish and ate my sandwich all up, whilst finishing a motion picture on DVD.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled La Bete Humaine (The Human Beast), un film de Jean Renoir. It’s based on an Emile Zola story, and stars Jean Gabin and Simone Simon. The story is quite compelling, but it’s a really odd film. In fact, count me as someone who just doesn’t “get” Mr. Renoir. I know he’s a masterful filmmaker, and I know I’m supposed to love Grand Illusion and The Rules Of The Game and French Can Can and all the others, but the fact is that while I admire their craft, I just don’t respond to them. It happens, I guess. And that’s the way I felt about La Bete Humaine. I wanted to love it, but the music was so annoying and the tone shifts were so weird and some of it was so unnecessarily slow (and I like slow), that it just dissipated the power of the story. I much prefer the American remake of this film, called Human Desire, directed by Fritz Lang (a filmmaker I absolutely “get” and respond to), starring Broderick Crawford, Glenn Ford, and Gloria Grahame. The transfer was actually really nice. After that, I cracked open this really cheap set of public domain TV shows I got – the name of the set is something like TV’s Best Detectives or something (from Mill Creek label), and it’s twelve double-sided DVDs’ worth of stuff – about 800 minutes in all, and quite the bargain at just over ten bucks. I haven’t seen some of these shows since they were originally aired – Mr. and Mrs. North (which I remember quite liking), a whole bunch of the original Dragnets, an episode of Burke’s Law, Sheriff Of Cochise and on and on. I watched the Burke’s Law episode, which was actually sort of droll and weird – and what a cast of guests: Burgess Meredith, Joyce Jameson, Keenan Wynn, Oscar Homolka, Richard Haydn, and a few other interesting folks. It was fun. Then I watched about five Dragnets, which I really liked. They are so weird, and so interestingly directed (all by Jack Webb), with some great shots of early 1950s LA, and some incredible casts, actors just getting their starts. In the first episode I watched, about teens selling “obscene” material to school kids, the main teen doing so was played by Martin Milner (here billed Marty), and his girlfriend was played by a very young Carolyn Jones. Another episode featured Virginia Christine, Irene Tedrow, and Jack Kruschen. The quality varies, but it’s all watchable, and there are a bunch of shows I’ve never seen, like Code Three, about the LA sheriff’s department. I skimmed through one episode of that, and saw Whit Bissell and several other well-known character actors. And the director for that episode was Ted Post. I’m looking forward to watching Racket Squad and Mr. District Attorney and others.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I am yawning and yawning and yawning and must get my beauty sleep.

The Big Yawn – isn’t that a novel by Raymond Chandler? Today, I shall do the long jog, then I shall probably go to Amoeba to kill a couple of hours, and then I shall return home and address and stamp a lot of packages. That should take a few hours, but once that is done I intend to go out somewhere and have a good meal – I’ve just been eating the same crap all week and I feel after all this flu crap I deserve something nice. It will, of course, be my splurge meal, and so I can basically eat anything I want (without going completely off the deep end). I might choose pasta, I might choose a deli, but whatever it is I’m going to enjoy it.

Tomorrow, I may lunch with former dear reader Hisaka, who will be in my neck of the woods. We’ll have to see, because it’s almost impossible to get into any restaurants in the City of Studio from about nine in the morning until after two in the afternoon. Then you have a really short window until the early Sunday dinner crowd takes over. Starting on Monday, it’s non-stop rehearsing and doing for a week.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, kill a couple of hours, address and stamp packages, and then have a nice meal, followed by some motion pictures on DVD. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite crime TV shows – from the beginning of TV right up to now? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I stifle the big yawn and toddle off to the big bedroom.

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