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August 11, 2017:

NOT LETTING THE CLOVEN HOOF OF NEGATIVITY GET ITS UGLY LITTLE FOOT IN THE DOOR

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we need some more excellent vibes and xylophones right about now – and some miracles. So much happening that’s good, can’t let any negativity in even though negativity is trying to get is ugly little cloven hoof in the door. But we can’t and shan’t let it so send ‘em along and make ‘em strong. End of preface to the Notes. Or would that be a Foreword to the Notes? Or would that be a preamble to the Notes? Well, it’s one or all of those things. As I sit here like so much fish writing these here notes I am listening to American classical music. I just finished the marvelous William Levi Dawson Negro Folk Symphony – conducted by Stokowski – a classic piece and a classic performance. Listening to it reminded me of another wonderful African-American composer named William Grant Still – we released a CD of his music on Bay Cites back in the day. So, I looked to see what CDs are available of his music – and turns out budget label Naxos recorded all his symphonies. So, I’m going to get them – they’re all well reviewed and the samples sound great. Still was a great melodist and his symphonies are brimming with wonderful tunes and even some Broadway/jazzy stuff thrown in.

Yesterday was a perfectly okay until the negativity reared its ugly little cloven hoof late in the day. I got almost eight hours of sleep with occasionally interesting dreams. Once up, I answered e-mails, had some telephonic calls, and then went over to Gelson’s and got some hamburger patties and fixings to make burgers. I came home and rustled up two and on one of them I used the Big Mac sauce that dear reader George had mentioned. It was quite good, I thought – on the second burger I just used a bit of ketchup and mayonnaise to make a 1000-Island kind of spread – it, too, was good. I cook the patty in the frying pan – on the bun I put whatever sauce or spread I’m doing, shredded lettuce, pickles, chopped onions, pickle chips and one slice of low-calorie (25 calories) no-fat American cheese. I love these little homemade hamburgers – they’re very reasonable, calorie-wise, at 400 each and very filling, too.

After that, I did more Levi work on the computer and I believe the script is now completely up to date and I’ll proof it today and then make a PDF to send to the creative staff. Then I also did some work at the piano and somehow the day flew by and I did a two-and-a-half mile jog. Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched more episodes of the Hitchcock Hour – some full and some I watched a bit of and then skipped. The first season, especially the final third of it had way too many soap opera-esque episodes that just weren’t in the spirit of what the original thirty-minute show was and what the hour show should have always been. So, you only occasionally get a great episode in season one, but none really have the macabre, gallows quality of the best of season two and three. I watched part of The Dark Pool but it became very tiresome despite a wonderful performance by the very underrated Lois Nettleton. I watched the entirety of Dear Uncle George starring Gene Barry, a very young Dabney Coleman, and Lou Jacobi as a rumpled detective in a rumpled raincoat. Since it was written by Levinson and Link, yes, the detective is kind of a precursor to Columbo, even though the Columbo character had actually been introduced in 1960 in a live TV drama. What’s interesting is that Gene Barry would guest in the first Columbo. This episode was fun and well directed by Joseph M. Newman. The final two episodes of season one were pretty bad and I shut them both off after a few minutes.

Then I began season three, whilst eating my evening snack – a few chocolate-covered cherries made by Dove. The first episode of season three was okay – I skipped through it – Peter Fonda starred. But the second episode was much better and very much in the gallows humor mold – called Change of Address, starring Arthur Kennedy, Phyllis Thaxter, and Tisha Sterling, who is the daughter of Ann Sothern and Robert Sterling. Not a great episode, but enjoyable nonetheless. But the next episode was a Hitchcock Hour classic that starred Trisha Sterling’s mom, Ann Sothern and John Cassavetes. Entitled Water’s Edge, it’s from a Robert Bloch story with a script by Alfred Hayes, and directed by the man who probably did the most of the hour shows and who’s probably the best the series had in terms of consistency, Bernard Girard. The plot is nothing to write home about, but the last ten minutes is so creepy (involving some disgusting-looking rats and plenty of ‘em) – and you can’t do better than Miss Sothern and Mr. Cassavetes.

After that, I relaxed, listened to music, had a long telephonic conversation and took a shower.

Today, I shall try to keep the negativity’s cloven hoof on the other side of a closed and locked door – hopefully I’ll be able to and then I’ll begin to deal with it on Monday. I’ll have my second burger day (four patties to a package), and I’ll use that Big Mac sauce again on one, and instead of the 1000-Island spread on the other I think I’ll do a combo of ketchup and mustard. But who knows – I might opt for the 1000-Island again – it’s just really tasty that way and I may, in fact, be out of mustard. I’ll proof the Levi script and then PDF it and send it out, and hopefully I’ll pick up some packages. We resume performances of Dial ‘M’ for Murder, of course, but I think I’ll stay home this evening unless I get a sudden urge to go down there.

Tomorrow, I’ll relax during the day, then I’ll see the evening performance of Dial ‘M’ and will be going out for food afterwards with friends. Sunday I’ll see our closing matinee, and then I think Doug and family and I will head over to Genghis Cohen for a little closing day celebration. Next week is mostly Robert Yacko’s act rehearsals, including a run-through for some friends on Tuesday evening. Then I head to Coachella on Friday around eleven, will look at the tech stuff and hear how the sound is, then he opens his show. If it ends early enough I may just come home that night – if not, he’s arranging a hotel room for me to stay in and I’ll hang out the next day and see the evening show or perhaps just come home in the mid-afternoon. We shall see.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, try to hold at bay any negativity so do send those excellent vibes and xylophones, won’t you, I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, jog, proof, 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, listening to some Walton at the moment. DVD – more Hitchcock Hours. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, determined not to let the cloven hoof of negativity get its ugly little foot in the door.

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