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July 21, 2017:

AN UNEVENTFUL DAY FILLED WITH COCONUT SHAVINGS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, there is nothing really wrong with an uneventful day and yesterday was an uneventful day even though there were events sprinkled throughout the day like coconut shavings. One simply cannot have enough coconut shavings is the way I look at it and the way it looks at me. Yes, that’s an even better way of describing yesterday, a day of coconut shavings, in a non-literal sense of course, which is better than a non-literal cents. In any case it was an uneventful day filled with various and sundried coconut shavings. What the HELL am I talking about?

I did get eight hours of sleep, so that was nice. Once up, I answered e-mails, had telephonic conversations, did some work on the computer, then decided it was a good day to finish watching the multi-part documentary I’d begun on the Flix of Net. So, I made my first Freshly meal and sat on my couch like so much fish.

My first Freshly meal was some sort of vegetarian chili thing with some white rice for cooling the palate. One had to cool the palate because the vegetarian chili had quite a little kick to it. But I enjoyed it, nonetheless. I’d gotten to episode three the previous night, so I began with episode four of The Keepers, a documentary about sexual abuse by a priest in Boston as well as the murder of a young nun in the school where the abuse took place, Sister Catherine Cesnik. The theory is she was killed because she was about to spill the beans on the priest, not that it would have mattered, since the priest had a brother on the police force, was the police chaplain, and according to one of the abused, there were police involved in the abuse. The archdiocese, of course, is secretive and protective of people they know are guilty, at any cost. This was a seven-part documentary because today that’s the “thing.” But it didn’t need to be seven parts, it could have easily been anywhere from three to five. But not today – today we get movie scores and cliffhanger endings to get us to the next episode, which is not really the job of a documentary. That said, this one is very powerful, infuriating, will have you screaming at your TV – I mean, the FBI, after three years later, is still stalling on releasing records they have under the Freedom of Information act – someone ought to just sue them, frankly, or indict them or something. Evidence conveniently lost, files conveniently lost, no arrests ever made, keeping the priest under wraps, and on and on. Two amateur sleuths and some journalists have been keeping this alive and swear they won’t rest until justice is done, so if this documentary gets people angry enough, maybe something will finally be done. The good news is that the priest who first began one young girl’s decent into ritual abuse, died at a fairly early age, barely fifty. And the priest who was the real perpetrator of the abuse died at sixty-one. So, those two Catholics will never see the justice they deserve, although, I suppose, death is the ultimate justice.

The documentary takes unnecessary side trips that aren’t germane to the converging stories, and that doesn’t help matters – again, two hours could easily come out of this thing. I do recommend it highly, however. After that, I watched a brilliant hour of classic television – one of two Alfred Hitchcock Hours that I think are two of the greatest hours in the history of TV. This particular one-hour episode was The Jar, starring Pat Buttram, the unique Collin Wilcox, Jane Darwell, Slim Pickens, James Best, and other good folks. Adapted by James Bridges from a short story by Ray Bradbury and directed by Norman Lloyd, with a score by Bernard Herrmann, it’s completely unique, hypnotic, mesmerizing, and the fact that it got on the air is a miracle. I have this episode in 16mm and lent that print for a showing in Hollywood that Pat Hitchcock attended. If you’ve never seen this, find it, and you’ll be in for a real treat. The entire three seasons of the one-hour Hitchcock shows has been released in a region two DVD set and they’re well worth getting. The transfers aren’t anything to write home about, but I can’t really see these getting released here.

After that, I had my second Freshly meal – chicken parmagiana – like the barbecue chicken breast, this one was perfectly edible but I didn’t love it. It’s easy to weed these out and find other dishes that might be better. Then I listened to music – a little Martinu, a little Mahler (a wonderful first symphony in a classic Bruno Walter recording from 1961), and then a set of the Nielsen symphonies conducted by one of my favorites – Gennady Rozhdestventsky. I wasn’t even aware of this set when I ordered the budget set I originally got with Ole Schmidt. That set was wonderful and my introduction to this great music, and I had a couple of one-off performances of two of the symphonies, but this new set bests the Schmidt in both performance and sound – and I’m usually critical of the Chandos sound, but it’s fine and clear here. Later in the evening I got hungry as neither the chili nor the chicken parm were really that filling, and both totaled under 1000 calories, so I went to Gelson’s and got a small salad from the salad bar – just lettuce, tomatoes, and a few other things – virtually under fifty calories, and red wine vinegar. I did add a few candied pecan bits and some dried cranberries to spruce it up, and it was very good and more filling than I might have imagined.

Today, I’ll do things that need doing, I’ll eat one Freshly meal, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I’ll probably drop by the theater to see some folks I know who are seeing the show – not sure I’ll stay and if I do stay it won’t be for more than two of the three acts – last week I left after the murder. But we’ll have to see. Then I’ll eat the second Freshly meal when I get back home.

Tomorrow I’m not sure what’s happening other than eating my last two Freshly meals for this week. Sunday I’ll be at the theater for a talkback, and then Doug Haverty’s having a partay for everyone, and I’ll be there for a while. Next week is meetings and meals and doing quite a few things.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, eat, hopefully pick up packages, go to the theater, eat, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, more Nielsen, then more Rachmaninov piano concertos, and a disc of Kubelik conducting various things. DVD, more Hitchcock hours, beginning with my other favorite hour-long episode, the brilliant and truly frightening An Unlocked Window. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had an uneventful day filled with coconut shavings.

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