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July 23, 2017:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it was a Saturday like any other Saturday and yet it was a Saturday unlike any other Saturday, because how could two Saturdays be exactly the same? These are the questions that are permeating the windmills of my mind. I’ll tell you one thing, it was a Saturday where I did not arise until eleven-thirty, but then again I didn’t fall asleep until after three-thirty, so just about eight hours of sleep. Once up, I answered e-mails and did some work on the computer, but only after unplugging and plugging in the router because Spectrum had clearly gone down during the night – this has been happening two or three times a week now, and it’s completely tiresome. And as soon as I got back on the Internet, the computer wanted to do a Safari update – so, that required restarting the computer, a complete pain, and then it took fifteen minutes to do the damn update. During that time I did some work at the piano.

Then I did some more work on the computer, then had my first Freshly meal, steak peppercorn. It was pretty good. Then I went and picked up a couple of packages, did some banking, and came back home. I’m beginning to question the veracity of the Freshly calorie count, because frankly I should be losing weight and frankly I’m not – at all. And I’ve been very good during the days when I’m not doing Freshly, eating only 1000 calories, so something’s screwy somewhere. I’m gonna do this week and then maybe cancel if there’s no weight lost.

I listened to lots of music – more Boulez conducting Mahler. This is a very interesting set – the playing and sound is very beautiful, but some of the stuff is so low key as to be soporific – on the other hand, some of it works splendidly and they’re certainly valid interpretations. I read that people think he’s too cold and analytical for Mahler. I think these people read this stuff in a book and just assume it’s true because one person thought it – it’s just stupid. I have found not one of these performances cold – I don’t know from analytical but they don’t sound overthought to me, if that’s what they mean. I’ll tell you one thing – he brings out incredible orchestral detail – I hear things I’ve never heard before. On the other hand, in his sixth symphony, which I was kind of enjoying, got to the slow movement and the big, emotional music that happens about three minutes before the end of the movement – a gloriously moving moment that includes cowbells and the cowbells make it even more emotional – well, they may as well not have shown up in this performance because they’re completely buried. On the other hand, in the Kubelik performance they’re there but fighting the orchestra and it’s just a cacophony rather than emotional. I listened to the Von Karajan performance, a performance that some critics and listeners think is one of the finest sixths ever, and other critics and listeners who think it’s one of the worst sixths ever – well, gee, maybe it’s neither? Maybe it’s just really good? But I’ll tell you one thing, at the cowbell moment, it’s absolute perfection – the balance is magical and the emotion bursts through. I swear, if you put some of these people on a couch without a score in front of their eyeballs, and did a blind test, I guarantee you they would end up loving something they said they hated, and hating something they said they loved. After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two more episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. These are very enjoyable, even the ones that aren’t great. One starred Stephen McNally and Robert Keith and wasn’t that interesting, but had a good ending, and the other starred John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, along with Murray Matheson. That one was written by James Bridges and Levinson and Link – very good. And directed by the great John Brahm. During the viewing, I had my second Freshly meal, baked penne with Eyetalian sausage – excellent. That’s probably my favorite of all the dishes I’ve had thus far.

After that, I listened to some Tcherepnin music, a ballet – wonderful, wonderful music – tuneful, beautifully orchestrated – this guy is the berries. I think I have all the significant pieces now, but I’m going to double check. I was told sound worked fine at the theater, but the curtain and its rod fell after the murder. So, the set designer’s coming in the morning and will secure it so it can absolutely never happen again. And the bannister on the stairs has come loose, so he’ll fix that, too. This stuff should not be happening.

Today, I’ll be going to the theater – not sure I’ll see the entire show, although I may, just to make sure no one has veered off track – if that’s happened, then I’ll send out notes via e-mail. I believe I’ll know some folks in attendance, and then after the show we do a talkback, which I’m looking forward to. Then there’s a partay at Doug Haverty’s – they’re bringing in Sharkey’s – I don’t think I like that food much, so I don’t know how much I’ll eat – but maybe I’ll like it better than I think.

This week is all meetings and meals and going and doing and doing and going, having at least one work session, and then we being our fifth week of Dial ‘M’ for Murder. This run is flying by, like a gazelle eating fried clams.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, go to the theater, do a talkback, attend a partay, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, secure in the knowledge that it was a Saturday like any other Saturday except that it wasn’t.

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