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April 30, 2018:

GETTING THE SONG RIGHT

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, can this really be the final day of April?  How did that happen?  April flew by, like a gazelle reciting Val Kilmer’s Trees.  But that means tomorrow is a little month I like to call May, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that may will be a month filled with health, wealth, happiness, creativity, and all things bright and beautiful.

Remember how yesterday was supposed to be a ME day of relaxation and rest?  Well, that didn’t exactly happen.  I did get eight hours of sleep.  Once up, I did answer e-mails and print out a few orders.  Then I made the mistake of going to the piano to play through the song I’d finished the day before.  And I realized that it was much too sloppy for the likes of me, and had one melodic line that came out of four other lines that was just impossible – I literally could not sing it correctly no matter how many times I tried to make a recording of it.  Well, that told me I had some work to do, and that’s what I did for much of the day.  I rewrote the rhyme scheme without sacrificing the feel of what I’d done, and that cleared up a lot of problems in that section of each verse.  But that meant rewriting those sections of each verse – after doing that I was able to completely lose the line I could not for the life of me sing and once that was gone everything immediately made musical sense.  It seemed like that took hours, and then I kept finessing that all through the evening and I finally think it’s right now – maybe another little futz or two.  I tried to record it at the end of the evening but because I’d already sung through it about twenty-five times, I was thoroughly trashed and my fingers wouldn’t function properly even if I had a voice.

The sink man came, checked it all out, got it safe, and he’ll be back today to fix it, so that’s good.  I made a reasonable batch of Wacky Noodles – I used a measuring cup – three cups of pasta equals 600 calories, so no guesswork there. Other than that, I had a low-calorie fruit bar and an apple.  At some point, the old helper arrived to bring back stuff she’d tried to sell for me on eBay.  There was a lot of old stereo equipment and I just threw it all in the trash – who needs that junk?  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a couple more episodes of The Outer Limits, all but one of which were quite bad.  The nadir of the entire season one was an episode called Controlled Experiment, with Barry Morse and Carroll O’Connor.  It carried no writing or directing credit, never a good sign. It was a “comedy” episode and it felt nothing like any other episode and, as I later read, that’s because it was a pilot for a sci-fi comedy series that producer Leslie Stevens (who also directed) just decided to make part of The Outer Limits – bad idea and terrible episode.  But finally we got to one of the all-time Outer Limits classics – The Zanti Misfits, written by Joseph Stefano and directed by the underrated Leonard Horn. Bruce Dern was in it, and several other good actors, most especially Michael Tolan, an actor who I always enjoy watching. It was great.  Then I began another classic episode called Don’t Open Till Doomsday, directed by Gerd Oswald, but I decided to save that one for this evening.

Then I watched the American Masters show about Bob Hope, which I found really excellent.  It was very heartfelt and although it did include the ubiquitous Leonard Maltin, and also one of those talking heads from some university that I find totally uninteresting, the rest of the interviews were really fun and informative.  Also, the clips were fantastic.  I found some of it quite moving.

All during the above I was either at the piano or the computer futzing and finessing the song.  After all that, I took a hot shower, but other than viewing time there was no real relaxing going on.

Today, the Sink Man will come and fix the sink, I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, and then we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal, which I’m very much looking forward to.  After that, I’ll try to relax.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, our second Kritzerland rehearsal, booking people for the Richard Sherman event, then our stumble-through, then sound check and show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a sink fixed, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have a rehearsal, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite performances of Bruce Dern?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have hopefully gotten the song right.

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