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November 15, 2008:

COMPLETE FEET

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write these here notes in a hurry for she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early and also early and bright. Thus, in a complete feat of legerdemain, I shall cut to the chase. Ta da – the chase. I wonder who came up with the word legerdemain. How did anyone create such a word, with so many letters just sitting there like so much fish? Whoever came up with did so in a complete feat of legerdemain. Or maybe they did so in a complete feet. I, for one, have complete feet. Speaking of complete feet, yesterday was a weird little day – in fact, I don’t know what to think of yesterday. I got up early, answered e-mails, did the long jog in the new shoes, then had to attend to several errands. As was my intention, I then mostly took the rest of the day off. Oh, I had many e-mails to respond to and I had a few telephonic calls and I booked a few meetings for next week. I wrote one e-mail that got a rather terse one-line response saying the person would call me this weekend. I don’t really know the reason for the call, and I really don’t want to have the conversation, frankly, so if all you dear readers could send most excellent vibes and xylophones for the phone call to not be unpleasant that would be wonderful. I don’t really need this particular phone call to be unpleasant, so do your best. I had two count them two tuna sandwiches for my meal o’ the day, and later I had two pieces of toast and jam for a snack. Other than all that, I sat on my couch like so much fish with a headache hovering near the front of my head – it never really arrived, but it’s still sort of hovering. The Hovering Headache – that’s the title of my next novel.

Yesterday, I watched one count them one motion picture on DVD, and several episodes of Route 66. The motion picture on DVD was entitled I Married A Witch, which starred Fredric March and Miss Veronica Lake, plus Robert Benchley and a very young Susan Hayward. The film was directed by Rene Clair. It’s an amusing film, with a fun prologue and some wonderful scenes along the way. Miss Lake, one of my favorite actresses, is scintillating and sexy and superb as the titular witch. Mr. March is terrific as the descendent of the man responsible for burning Miss Lake and her father at the stake. Cecil Kellaway plays the father and is very funny. Best of all, the whole thing clocks in at seventy-two minutes. The transfer on this region 2 DVD from Spain is dreadful. Good prints of this film are impossible to find (I had a decent 16mm), but this transfer looked like it was taken from a 16mm dupe of a dupe of a dupe. The film deserves better. I then began to get my kicks on Route 66. I began with another episode directed by Arthur Hiller, guest-starring Suzanne Pleshette, Claude Akins, and other good actors, including Emile Meyer. It wasn’t a great episode, but I enjoyed it anyway. Then came an episode directed by Jack Smight (he’d go on to make several excellent 1960s films like Harper and No Way To Treat A Lady). This particular episode turned out to be one of the best hour-long TV shows I’ve ever seen and it’s worth the price of the set for this episode alone. The guest-stars are the great Ethel Waters and the equally great Juano Hernandez, and it features several great jazz players, like Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, and Jo Jones. Miss Waters sings one song twice and it’s just magical. The episode is very moving and folks, they don’t make ’em like that anymore. The next episode was directed by Elliot Silverstein, who would go on to direct Cat Ballou. It was another outstanding episode, this one guest-starring Robert Duvall as a heroin addict. He turns in a fantastic performance, but stellar work is also turned in by George Maharis. He’s a major rediscovery for me – he’s really great in this series. Then there was a bad episode with Robert Redford as guest star – for some reason this particular episode ran only twenty-eight minutes – obviously something went wrong somewhere. Then there were a couple of other middling episodes, and then a real return to form with an episode directed by Sam Peckinpah, about a French singer and her abusive manager/pianist, played by Lee Marvin. It was quite an excellent show. I finished the evening’s viewing with an episode directed by Robert Altman – also terrific. It was about a con man played by Keenan Wynn and also featured a terrific turn by Lois Nettleton. This episode was quite amusing. The transfers have all been fine so far, save for the Peckinpah, which has some wear and very muffled sound. Martin Milner and Maharis have great chemistry together, even though I gather that they didn’t get along.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because my complete feet need to walk me into the bedroom environment so I can get my beauty sleep.

Today, I shall be getting up early, doing the long jog in the no-longer new shoes, then doing errands for a couple of hours until she of the Evil Eye has left. I then have some writing to do and some Bacharach business to attend to, and at some point, this telephonic conversation I’m hoping will not be annoying. Then I’m seeing the LACC production of Rabbit Hole, which I’m looking forward to.

Tomorrow, I shall try not to do too much, but I’m now only a week away from my New York, New York trip, and there is a lot to do, including booking transportation to the airport, sending ahead some clothes, and booking rehearsals and all that stuff.

This week, I have lots of meetings and meals and a lot of work to do.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, do errands and whatnot, do some writing, and do some Bacharach business and hopefully get this phone call out of the way (I suppose it could happen tomorrow if it doesn’t happen today) – again, please send STRONG excellent vibes and xylophones for a non-problematic call. And then I shall attend a play. Today’s topic of discussion: From the Golden Age of TV (say up through the mid-1970s), what are the most memorable guest shots you’ve ever seen on a TV series? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I take my complete feet and hit the road to dreamland.

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