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December 20, 2008:

GUBMUH HAB

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I say bah humbug (gubmuh hab, spelled backwards – Gubmuh Hab – that sounds like a Bollywood movie, doesn’t it?) to anyone who says bah humbug during this rather delightfully delightful Christmas season. I’ve been enjoying each and every day in one way or another, and now I basically have the next two weeks all to myself, to relax and smell the roses or the coffee or the chorizo. Speaking of the chorizo, I really must write these here notes in a hurry, for she of the Evil Eye will be here both bright and early and early and bright. Yesterday, I got up and waited to do the long jog until it warmed up a little. Unfortunately, it didn’t warm up a little, but I did the long jog anyway. Prior to that, I spent quite a bit of time setting up the Mail feature on Ye Olde Computer. I’d never really done it or even investigated it, but I was able to set up all my AOL accounts in there, and now I never have to actually open AOL again, unless I need to find something in my filing cabinet or need an e-mail address from my address book. That’s the only downside, really – unless I download some third party software, I can’t import my AOL address book into Mail. But I’m already enjoying the ease of not having to toggle through all my AOL accounts, of being alerted that there’s mail waiting for me, and the ease of having everything in one easy to navigate place. Who knew? After the long jog, Ye Olde Darling Daughter came to visit, as she’s not going to be here on Christmas Day as she usually is. We had a lovelier than lovely visit and I took her to have an early dinner at Stanley’s after I ran two quick errands. I got a couple of my packages today, so that was nice. After dinner, she went on her merry way, and I returned to the home environment and did some work on the computer, after which I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching a motion picture on DVD entitled Cross Of Iron, a film of Sam Peckinpah, starring James Coburn, James Mason, Maximilian Schell, and David Warner. I’d only ever seen the beginning of the film and I’d found it difficult to follow and a bit strange. This time I toughed it out and I found to my surprise that it’s become my third favorite Peckinpah film, after Ride The High Country and The Wild Bunch. It’s a tough film, very violent, but very compelling. The main characters are German soldiers fighting in Russia during WWII. Coburn cares only about his men, his platoon, and hates all officers, the Nazi party and everything else. Schell plays an ego-ridden, self-obsessed officer who only wants the Iron Cross and will do anything, including ordering his own men shot, to get it. The characters are complex and well-drawn, the script has some absolutely brilliant scenes in it, and has great performances by all. Coburn has never been better – it may, in fact, be his best performance. Mason is, as always, perfect. Schell is right up there with them – it’s a mesmerizing and scary performance, and Warner is excellent, as well. Peckinpah’s direction is so visceral and in your face, that you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. And the score by Ernest Gold is fantastic. The transfer on this region 2 DVD from France is pretty good – sharp, reasonable color, and enhanced for widescreen TVs. Not really a holiday film, but I’m glad I finally saw the whole thing.

After that, I had a brief visit from friend, Mr. David Wechter, then I sent out an eBlast for the new Kritzerland release, so that loyal customers could pre-preorder their copies prior to the official 12/24 announcement, which many did – in fact, I’m really worried we’ll be sold out within hours. Most of the run was ordered by online dealers and I didn’t have that many left to sell. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve told my webgal to be ready with the “sold out” sign.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must get my beauty sleep before she of the Evil Eye arrives. And remember, if you’re feeling like you want to say bah humbug, just say it backwards and you’ll feel right as rain – gubmuh hab. Yep, that’s the ticket.

Today, I shall do the early long jog (or, I may wait until I return at 12:30 when it will be warmer), and then I have some work to do on the computer, and then I shall sup, and then I shall, I hope, see Milk at a friend’s screening room. If I don’t see Milk, I might just mosey on over to the Egyptian to see Scrooge on the big screen. We shall see.

Tomorrow I have no plans whatsoever, and I’m jiggy with that. I shall wrap some presents, I shall drive about in my motor car, and I shall do whatever else takes my fancy.

This week shall be very light and I shall enjoy all of it, I really shall. I have some errands and whatnot to do, and hopefully the rest of my packages will arrive, and then, of course, I must also shop for my Christmas Eve Do.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, drive about in my motor car, sup, and see a film. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s the end of the year – it’s time for our ten-best lists. So, for today, what were your ten favorite plays and/or musicals you saw this year? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we say gubmuh hab rather than bah humbug.

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