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December 26, 2008:

TWAS THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, twas the day after Christmas and all through the day, not a creature was stirring because all the utensils were put away. And besides, who can eat anymore food? No, the creatures are sitting there like so much bloated fish, or, to put it in a more Jewish way, they have plotzed. Even though Christmas is officially over, I’d like to say that we should all try to extend the Christmas spirit for as long as we can – that way, the days and nights will be ever so festively festive and gay. Did you know that gay spelled backwards is yag? Just asking. In any case, twas the day after Christmas and I, for one, am happy to have seen so many nice people on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In fact, it was a really nice Christmas this year, and for that I am both grateful and grateful, not necessarily in that order. Speaking of that order, yesterday was a very nice Christmas Day. I slept very well and arose around nine-thirty. I traipsed into the living room where I opened my presents. I always find it a little pathetic to open my presents alone – normally I wait until my darling daughter arrives, but this year for the first time she didn’t come on Christmas Day. We had our lovelier than lovely visit last Friday. I got some very nice gifts – several books, including one of those giant books filled with coupons for free meals at restaurants and all sorts of other deals, two very nice shirts, a lobby card from the 60s Batman movie, a stapler with a fish on it, several CDs, a calendar of movie musicals, a book about vintage LA, and a few other nice items. I then did the long jog (the rain abated long enough for me to do it, and, best of all, the sun was actually out for the entire jog – and then promptly disappeared). After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish, and watched a few episodes of Mannix.

After the disappointment of the first episode on disc 2, the show got back on track with an excellent episode guest starring the beautiful Barbara Rush. Then there was another good episode with guest star Fritz Weaver. The direction on that episode was perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen – one of these fools who was all about foreground set pieces and weird angles. In other words, it was all about him and not the story. This and other series of the time usually had very good workman-like directors who just got the job done and told the story. A few times you’d get the hacks who just weren’t very good, and then other times you’d get the show-offs. The final episode on disc two was also very good, written by the terrific Daniel Mainwaring. In fact, this was Mainwaring’s final writing credit. It’s amazing he was doing episodic TV after writing some incredibly great film scripts, such as the classic Out Of The Past, based on his novel Build My Gallows High (as by Geoffrey Homes), the original Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Big Steal, The Phenix City Story, and many others. Appearing in this episode was a very young Dean Stanton, who would, of course, go on to a very successful career as a character actor named Harry Dean Stanton. I’ve become very good at identifying who the scores are by, too. In the third episode, as soon as I heard the first cue I knew it was George Duning – and I was right. It’s just amazing they got these guys – the Dunings and the Jerry Fieldings and the Lalo Schifrins to write these great scores. It really elevates these shows. Transfers are fine, but not nearly as good as the ones from The Mod Squad, which are basically from the same year.

I then got ready, and toddled off to Miss Cissy Wechter’s Christmas Day partay. I knew most of the people there, and she always throws a faboo partay with incredible foodstuffs. I was a pretty good boy, food-wise, but still managed to eat enough food so that I felt absolutely stuffed. I had two platefuls of turkey, stuffing, kugel, and a peas and mushroom dish, but they were fairly small portions each time. I had a small piece of pumpkin pie for dessert. The food was very yummilicious. I hung out with David Wechter, who will be finishing up his changes to the second act of Nudie Musical in the next few days. Then we’ll get together next week and read through the new version and do a polish together. And that’s the script we’ll use for the staged reading. Cissy gave everyone a wonderful gift, a special and very limited two CD set of rare Julius Wechter tracks – she put it together herself and I cannot wait to listen to it. I was there about three hours and then took my leave and came home and sat on my couch once again, like so much stapled fish.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because twas the day after Christmas but let’s still spread joy, and for those who overate, you can simply say “Oy.”

Today, I shall do the long jog (weather-permitting), and then my helper is coming over to help put postage on packages, which should only take about an hour. Then I may go to the Gap and see if they’re having a fifty percent off sale – if so, I may buy some pants. If not, I shan’t. I do have a couple of errands to do, but mostly I think I’ll stay in and catch up on my DVD watching and perhaps make a small batch of spaghetti so I can use up some of the leftover sauce – hate to let it go to waste.

Tomorrow, I’ll drive about in my motor car, maybe have a visitor, and then I’ve been invited to some screening – I think it’s the movie with Dustin Hoffman. I’ll probably go.

Sunday, I have absolutely nothing planned. I’ll see if there’s anything at the DGA – if not, I may go to a theater to see something. I want to see The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, and a couple of others.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, put postage on packages, do an errand or three, visit the Gap, and then watch DVDs and perhaps eat a nice helping of spaghetti. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, Benjamin Button, A Tale of Despereaux, and several others. DVD, Mannix, and then I’m digging into the big Studio One box – I’ll start with Twelve Angry Men, and then watch 1984, which I’m most interested to see. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and remember, twas the day after Christmas and we’re feeling our oats, and that’s because we have all finished the notes.

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