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November 3, 2008:

THE HANDS OF TIME

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, the hands of time have been set back an hour and now darkness falls earlier and the daylight hours are shorter and the night is longer and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between. Yes, those fershluganah hands of time have done it again, albeit much later than they used to do it. I do hope you’ve all adjusted your various and sundried clocks – well, that was most unseemly – I typed the word clocks quickly, so quickly in fact that I inadvertently left a letter out of the word, and it suddenly became various and sundried c… well, you get the idea. In any case, I do hope you’ve all adjusted your various and sundried cLocks, for if you haven’t you will be very confused in your life. What the HELL am I going on about? Don’t I have notes to write? I do and I shall, not necessarily in that order. Speaking of that order, yesterday was a nice leisurely day. I began by getting up at nine-thirty, which was really eight-thirty because the hands of time had moved back one hour. I immediately set the clock on the stove and the microwave back one hour. The computer reset itself, which was quite thoughtful of it. I then did the long jog. My lower back muscles were really sore and I wasn’t sure I was going to attempt the jog, but in the end I’m glad I did because it worked out the muscles and I feel all better now. I then did the weekly weigh and found I’d lost two more pounds, so that was good. I then relaxed, sat in the Jacuzzi, and then showered and got ready to attend a matinee.

Yesterday, I attended a matinee of a play entitled Girl’s Room at the El Portal Theater. I’m told that attendance was very poor for the show, despite okay reviews. Yesterday’s matinee was, in fact, the closing performance, and it was a little over half full. I didn’t find the play very compelling and it’s one of those plays where the big dramatic scenes seem very forced. It does have a few nice moments, and the roles are fun for the actors, but I just never bought into it and given the silence which greeted seventy percent of it, I don’t think I was alone. But when you’ve got Carol Lawrence and Donna McKechnie you at least have good actors who know their way around a role and the stage, and these two give it their all and they’re really fun to watch. They even throw in a rather arbitrary but fun dance routine for them, which was actually the highlight of the production. Miss McKechnie handles her two big emotional scenes very well, and Miss Lawrence, when the script allows, gets some good laughs. The third actress actually has the least developed role and it’s one of those characters who behaves in certain ways because the writer needs her to, which can be irksome. The actress, Rebecca Mae Palmer, does as best she can with it. But here’s the thing: The El Portal is a 350-seat theater. The set is all the way forward in front of the proscenium. And yet, each of the three actresses is miked. What has the theater come to? I just don’t want to see those damned mikes in a play. Can actors just not project anymore? I know Miss Lawrence and Miss McKechnie can, so why mic them? Put some foot mics if you must, but it’s just creepy when stage actors have to be miked in a non-musical evening in a 350-seat venue. The play was an intermissionless one-hour and forty minutes.

After the play, I stopped at Gelson’s and got some foodstuffs – a couple of egg rolls, some lobster salad, and a little potato salad, as well as some cucumber roll. I ate the first three items right away, then ate the cucumber roll about three hours later. I also watched two motion pictures on DVD. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled Up The Junction. I never saw this film before – I think I stayed away from it because the ads made it seem like one of those cutesy swingin’ sixties films UK films. But it’s not that at all – it’s a slice of life drama about a rich girl who wants to live the real life rather than a protected rich one, and so she goes to work in a candy factory and takes an apartment in the very blue-collar town of Battersea. There’s not much plot, but I found the film very likeable and enjoyable, with wonderful performances from everyone, including Suzy Kendall and Maureen Lipman. The director, Peter Collinson, doesn’t get all mod and kookie – it’s quite well directed. The region 2 transfer from Paramount is, simply put, one of the best color transfers ever – someone ought to send this DVD to Warners and say, this is what 1960s color films are supposed to look like. Even though the film was shot on Eastmancolor stock, it was printed by Technicolor and this transfer replicates that look with astonishing perfection. It’s not that it’s a really colorful film or anything, it’s that the color that’s there is accurate and very IB Technicolor-like – with blue blues, red reds, and green greens, and no awful brown/yellow sucking the life out of everything. I then watched the second motion picture on DVD, which was entitled LA Confidential, starring Mr. Kevin Spacey, Mr. Russell Crowe, Mr. Guy Pearce, and Miss Kim Basinger, along with Jamie Cromwell and Danny DeVito. The film didn’t quite do it for me when I saw it on its original release. I found the LA-ness of it forced and, for me, everything was calling attention to itself, saying look how great we’re capturing the period. The role model for this sort of thing is, of course, Chinatown, in which Richard Sylbert’s production design never calls attention to itself – it just does what it needs to do and captures its period perfectly without announcing it all the time. I will say that I liked LA Confidential better this time around. The story is a good one, and movies have devolved so much in the last ten years, that this one has aged better than most. Jerry Goldsmith’s score has echoes of his superior in every way Chinatown, and the score’s main theme’s first six notes are exactly the opening musical phrase of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Waterfront. The acting is impressive from just about everyone, especially Mr. Spacey, who is terrific. I must say, the transfer is nothing to write home about – I don’t have the first release anymore, but I don’t think this is that improved.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button because the hands of time have moved way past the point when these here notes should be posted.

Today, I shall do the long jog, and then I have a lot of work to do on the computer, including some Nudie Musical writing, I have some errands and whatnot to do, some shipping to do, and then I shall find something amusing to eat. I’m going to try and be finished with my daily doings by three so that I can have the rest of the day to myself.

Tomorrow I’ll be addressing and stamping over two hundred boxes, and then I have a couple of lunches and meetings during the rest of the week, and several potential other plans that may or may not happen.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, write, do errands and whatnot, and eat. Today’s topic of discussion: Today we shall write a story on haineshisway.com. I’m going to give you the beginning, and then each of you can take it from there, always quoting everything that came before, so that you pick up the story from the last person. So, here is the beginning: Dr. Sherwood, who was seventy-eight and still the best damned brain surgeon at County General Hospital, spit out the bite of meat loaf he’d just eaten, saying, ” You pick it up from there. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all applaud the hands of time for giving us an extra hour’s sleep.

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