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July 4, 2017:

BEING INDEPENDENT ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, here it is, the fourth of July, a day of Independence and barbecues and pool parties and wieners and fireworks, not necessarily in that order. And of all those listed items the only that I’m doing is Independence. I shall be independent all the livelong day and night – I shall do what I choose and what I choose is not to have a barbecue, pool party, wiener, or fireworks. Being independent, I can choose whatever I damn well please. But before we start the festivities, perhaps I should talk about the day I like to call yesterday.

I got up after eleven hours of sleep, I answered e-mails, saw two count them two lovely Dial ‘M’ for Murder reviews, and did some work on the computer. I heard from the Darling Daughter that her day had gotten complicated, so I went and had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and side Caesar salad, both very good. The cough is still with me as is too much damn phlegm. I picked up one tiny package, then came home. I listened to a marvelous recording of Rachmaninov’s third symphony conducted by Rachmaninov himself in 1939. I must say it is now certainly at the top of my favorite performances of that symphony. He is no-nonsense – he just gets it done – faster than every other recording I have, and it’s just right. The sound is surprisingly excellent – it’s out on RCA/Sony here but that version didn’t get very good notices for its sound so I got the Dutton Laboratories version (cost – a whopping $3.00), which basically took that recording and cleaned it up beautifully. Also included are earlier Rachmaninov-led performances of Vocalise and The Isle of the Dead, both great. I listened to a few other things and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled The Autopsy of Jane Doe, a horror picture from late last year. I’d read good things about it and decided to give it a chance. It stars Brian Cox. Right off the bat it began with a crime scene in which someone was taking crime scene photos with the flashbulbs going off as if it was World War III. I hate that stuff – sorry, idiots, they don’t make that kind of noise – never have, never well. They do it so you’ll be jolted. And soon after, when the movie kicks into gear, literally every scary scene in the film is accompanied by ear-piercing music cues – after a while it just becomes ridiculous. But I went with it for about two-thirds of the short eighty-seven minute running time (really eighty-one sans end credits), even though its autopsy room stuff is pretty disgusting. Then when the explanations for why what’s happening is happening finally start coming it just becomes ludicrous and then it just ends. So, even though the imdb is loaded with “new classic” comments, it’s hardly a classic. It’s okay – some good moments but that’s about it.

After that, one of the Sharkansas actresses was supposed to come sign booklets (they arrived today), but alas, she never showed up and I said we’d have to do it another time. The other actors and the director and composer are all meeting me for lunch on Friday so hopefully she can come to that. Then I listened to more music – string quartets of Shostakovich and Borodin – I keep trying to get with string quartets but it’s just not my favorite thing to listen to. That said, the two Borodin quartets I have are quite lovely.

Today, the Sprinkler Man is coming in the morning because there is seriously something wrong out there. He’d fixed a little leak and replaced eight or nine sprinkler heads last week. He told me about bad pipes but said those valves had been turned off. But a day or two ago I began hearing a weird noise and traced it to those valves, so something is screwy. And there’s a big puddle of water by the street corner, so that’s not good. I may have him just shut the entire system down until I know whether I’m moving or not – I’m really thinking moving is a good idea but I have to come to terms about what that cost is. Otherwise, I’ll relax, I may see the Darling Daughter at some point, I’ll eat, watch a motion picture or two, and listen to music.

Tomorrow it’s back to work – casting, preparing for the reading, and then resuming Dial ‘M’ performances come Friday night. Sunday we do a talkback and I always enjoy doing those. Then Monday we do our little private reading of Levi.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hope the Sprinkler Man can solve whatever the problem is out there, I must eat, maybe see the Darling Daughter, watch a motion picture, listen to music, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: Most memorable fourth of July experiences. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, ready for all the things I’m not going to be doing because today is a day of Independence and I am independent.

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