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August 5, 2017:

THE DAY OF THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it was a crazy kind of Friday, a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly – I got really tired of the latter two items but quick and turned it around so that the good outweighed the bad and the ugly, even though the good is on the same diet I’m on. The day began early – happily I actually fell asleep by one-thirty rather than this week’s usual four in the morning. Hence, I got seven hours of sleep before she of the Evil Eye arrived. I answered e-mails and then did a two-and-a-half mile jog, after which I went and did errands and whatnot for an hour, which was when the bad and the ugly was rearing its bad and ugly little head. I did pick up a couple of packages.

By the time I got back home, I’d had it with the bad and the ugly and began to knock the stuffing out of both. I also ate the first batch of today’s tuna pasta salad whilst listening to the symphonies of one Alexander Glazunov, yet another excellent Russian composer – they’re quite enjoyable and very tuneful. I had some telephonic conversations and then decided to do something fun and positive by having a weekend flash sale for Kritzerland. I mostly included titles where we have stock I’d like to get rid of, and orders started coming in pretty quickly. That cheered me up but good. I continued to listen to the symphonies until I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched a terrific episode of the Hitchcock Hour, entitled Ride the Nightmare – really kind of a little film noir and not creepily macabre as many of the Hitchcock shows are. Hugh O’Brien and Gena Rowlands starred, with a wonderful supporting turn from John Anderson. Bernard Girard’s direction was superb and the script by Richard Matheson (from his novel) was taut and very suspenseful. And the action-packed finale was great. That was followed by an episode that was literally unwatchable – a story about alcoholism starring Tony Randall and his 1950s co-star, Jayne Mansfield, here in an ugly short blonde wig. They’re fine, but the script was terrible and I shut it off and went to the next episode, something called Bonfire, starring Peter Falk, Dina Merrill, and Patricia Collinge. It had its moments, certainly, but ultimately it just meandered on to its conclusion. Then I began another episode, Tender Poisoner, with Dan Dailey and Jan Sterling, but I fell asleep, so I have to start over – the script is by Lukas Heller, who wrote several big hit films for Robert Aldrich, and the director is interesting – Leonard Horn.

After that, I finished the last of today’s portion of tuna pasta salad, listened to a few more symphonies, then switched over to Prokofiev conducted by Erich Leinsdorf for RCA. He didn’t record an entire cycle, just four of the seven symphonies, but I have to tell you these are wonderful performances – I think I like them best of all I have and I have quite a few. And they have that great RCA stereo sound. Richard Allen stopped by to write down a new intro vamp I’d come up with for one of the Mancini songs, then after he left I decided to do another two-and-a-half mile jog – so that was five miles yesterday, not bad, and it made me feel better.

After that, I took a nice hot shower, relaxed, and got through the four Prokofiev symphonies, my favorite of which of this batch of performances was the third symphony – just great. This box set also contains all five piano concertos – I’d already gotten rid of a box containing all the concertos that I really hadn’t cared for, so I’ll be interested to hear this – it also has the two violin concertos and if the sound as good as the symphonies (and I have no doubt they will and that the conducting will be great, and the pianist is one of the greats – John Browning), I shall enjoy them very much.

Today, I’ll probably try to do a jog before the stumble-through, just to get it out of the way. After the stumble-through I may or may not go get a chicken Caesar salad – I have stuff here to make tuna sandwiches and I may just do that. We shall see. Otherwise, I’ll just watch more episodes, listen to more music, and get everything ready for Sunday – printing out the commentary and all that stuff I have to do.

Tomorrow, I’ll relax, then jog, then get ready for sound check and then our show. Next week is heavy with meetings and meals and work sessions and, of course, finishing casting for our big seventh anniversary and eightieth show in September. I’ve already got one guy and one gal and the musical director, and I normally cast this one with more people than usual.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do a jog, have a stumble-through, eat, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite performances by Tony Randall and Peter Falk? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that there was ultimately more good than bad and ugly.

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