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July 20, 2017:

WHO PUT THE PEST IN PESTO?

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, the big question for today is, who put the pest in pesto? Yes, that is the question and I ask it because every time I am offered a pasta dish the sauce is pesto. Now, people profess to like this sickly green guck but I tasted it exactly once and wanted to vomit on the ground. Just looking at it makes me want to vomit on the ground. So, when exactly did pesto become a thing? Certainly it wasn’t a thing when I was a kid, nor a teen, nor a young adult, nor and middle-aged adult. One never heard the damn word pesto anywhere. Then suddenly from out of the blue this green guck becomes a thing and everyone must have it – pesto this, pesto that. If you order the pasta for a Kritzerland show at The Federal – pesto. At the luncheon event for Grant Geissman yesterday the pasta – pesto. And I wanted to dump it on the floor when I saw it at the buffet table, and that’s when the question came to me – who put the pest in pesto? Well, apparently the pests who brought pesto here did it in the late 1980s but more likely the 1990s, which explains so much. It’s no different than the sudden appearance of kale or quinoa. We never heard those words either, not before the past decade and probably not even that long ago until suddenly they were all the rage. I don’t like any of it, frankly, but I know others adore it. I don’t like new-fangled things just showing up out of the blue or green or gray. Lettuce and its various tried and true varieties I understand – kale, not so much. What the HELL am I talking about? I just spent the entire opening paragraph talking about pesto, which, in case you missed the point, makes me want to vomit on the ground.

Yesterday was a perfectly okay day. I got seven hours of sleep, answered e-mails, got ready, then Doug Haverty picked me up and off we went to the Catalina Bar and Grill on Sunset to attend an ASMAC luncheon for Grant Geissman. I knew only a handful of people there. The buffet was horrible, but Grant was delightful telling stories and playing various tracks. His part lasted about an hour and ten minutes, and then Doug and I beat a hasty retreat so we’d avoid the bad traffic that was about to come, which we did.

Once home, I answered more e-mails, had some telephonic conversations, then went and picked up this week’s three days’ worth of Freshly meals, along with a couple of small packages. I came home, refrigerated the meals, and decided that in order to have three complete days of them that I’d just make a bit of pasta and butter, since I hadn’t really eaten much of anything at the buffet lunch – literally a bit of salad with balsamic vinaigrette on it, literally one bite of taste-free chicken, and a couple of bites of taste-free, soggy vegetables. The pasta and butter hit the spot but good.

Then I finished the Kubelik Mahler cycle and moved on to finish the Alexander Tcherepnin box I was in the middle of, whilst I finished writing the commentary. I did adjust the show order, just flipping two songs because I had the same singer too close to their previous song. The Mahler cycle was really excellent, and I really am enjoying the symphonies and piano concertos of Mr. Tcherepnin. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the first three episodes of the multi-part Netflix documentary, The Keepers – very compelling, shocking, and aside from the endless rack focus shots of branches and flowers (it’s a trend, like pesto), it’s very well done. I’m not going to read anything about it, because I don’t want to know how the story or documentary turns out. Then I relaxed a bit.

Today, I have a lot of little things to do, and I’m working on a song for something Doug Haverty and I are working on. I’ll eat my two Freshly meals, hopefully pick up some packages, and then finish The Keepers – I actually have no idea how many episodes it is.

Tomorrow we resume performances of Dial ‘M’ for Murder and I’ll probably go down there to say hello to folks I know, and then maybe stay for some of the show. Not sure what Saturday holds, but Sunday I’ll be at the theater for a talkback and then Doug is having a big party for our cast and crew. Next week is all meetings and meals, a work session for the Kritzerland show, as well as doing some arrangement work on Levi, and lots of other stuff.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do little things, work on a song, eat two Freshly meals, hopefully pick up some packages, and finish watching a documentary. Today’s topic of discussion: Which of these new-fangled food things do you like and which do you hate? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, still wondering what the answer is to the age-old question, who put the pest in pesto?

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