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July 9, 2018:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here listening to a singer named Della Reese, doing songs based on classical music themes – it’s amazing how many of these kinds of albums there are – I just heard Sarah Vaughan’s take on this stuff. Della’s great, this has great RCA stereo sound, and tasty Glenn Osser charts.  But I must say a little of it goes a long way, if you get my meaning and I know you do because you dear readers are smart as whips or crackers or Velveeta. 

Yesterday was quite a peculiar day.  I did get a little over eight hours of sleep.  Temperature was in the 90s, so that was better.  I answered e-mails, did some work on the computer, then went and picked up some packages.  What an exciting day so far, right?  Then I decided to chance In-N-Out so I went over there.  The drive-through line at two-fifteen was a block long, not that I would ever do the drive-through line.  So, I parked and went in.  It was jam-packed with people of all shapes and sizes and colors.  They move the order along usually but there were some awfully stupid people taking much more time than need be.  It took five minutes to get to the gal who took my order – she seemed very distracted the whole time and she had to think quite hard about giving me my change.  I got my usual two cheeseburgers but this time no fries. My number was 49.  I sat down to wait.  They were, at that point, at about 35 so I knew it would probably be ten minutes.  They got to the 40s and I waited.  Finally they got to 44, 46, 45, 47, 48, 53, 50, 52, 51, 54, 55, 56 – at that point I arose and went to the counter, found someone and handed them my receipt and said that something was clearly wrong as they were almost ten numbers past mine. He said he’d check and took my receipt. I never saw him again but about seven minutes later my number was called.  I was, at that point, completely irritated, so I just grabbed the bag and drove home.  That drive takes approximately ninety seconds.  I’ve taken the burgers home several times in the past two weeks, as you’ll remember.  They are always nice and hot. 

I got home, opened the bag and took out the burgers – which were ice cold.  I couldn’t believe it and I should have just driven back there, but I had an upcoming phone meeting to do, so I just ate them cold.  The good news is they were edible, if a bit odd with no heat.  Obviously, my order had been sitting somewhere for ten minutes, and rather than come to me and tell me there’d been a screw-up and that they would make me two fresh burgers they just gave me the cold food.  I will be making a visit there today and speaking to a manager, and we’ll see how they handle it.  If I don’t care for the way they handle it I can assure them and you dear readers that I shan’t return. 

Then I had my phone meeting to see where everything was for the Sherman event, and we were in slightly better shape than I thought.  So, we figured out stuff for about thirty minutes.  Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched the last of the Dietrich/von Sternberg movies, The Devil Is A Woman.  Within the first minute it’s hard not to know you’re watching a von Sternberg film, that’s how singular a filmmaker he was.  This is yet another one-off film and one that was a bigger bomb than The Scarlett Empress, and it ended his career at Paramount and he never again worked with Dietrich.  This one’s her favorite of their films.  Lionel Atwill is fantastic as the toyed with older man – he looks just like Mr. von Sternberg actually and I’m sure that was on purpose.  The very young Cesar Romero is dashing as can be.  Dietrich’s character is the ruination of all men she comes into contact with.  But the sets, the amazing costumes of Travis Banton, the photography (von Sternberg himself), and the direction – it’s just incredible to watch.  The transfer is very nice.  One can only imagine and drool at what this set would have been like had the studio not trashed the nitrate camera negatives.

Then I listened to more music, whilst I began the task of making a show structure and order for the Sherman event.  It took a while but I think I finally got one that should work – I’m sure I’ll finesse it a bit, but overall its structure is sound and always surprising, which is always my goal.  I didn’t hear any brilliant albums, but I did hear one of the worst – I don’t know that I’d actually played it before – a singer named Karin Krog from the Netherlands singing Michel Legrand with an orchestra.  Well, I don’t know what hallucinogens these people were on in 1972 when they made this album, but it plays like a bad acid trip – it’s worth hearing just to hear how insanely wrong creative people can go.  I couldn’t believe it really.  Then I had to give two of our singers who were only doing a duet solos – and of course that caused all kinds of problems because there’s a competitive thing going on.  In the end, I will create stuff so they both shine brightly.

Today, I will be doing more organizing for the Sherman Event, getting our rehearsals in order (this week’s are pretty much planned now and I’ve begun setting next week’s, too), I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, visit In-N-Out to speak to a manager, and also finish casting the Kritzerland show and getting everyone their music.  Then at some point I’ll relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same – organizing, rehearsals, meetings and meals, and writing the intros for the Sherman Event.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, organize, plan rehearsals, eat, hopefully pick up packages, visit In-N-Out, cast, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What is the weirdest and most surreal album you’ve ever heard?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping to never have another In-N-Out cold burger.

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