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April 23, 2019:

THE COUGHERS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I happened to be listening to some classical piece of music, a live recording – a modern work by Gorecki, his fourth and final symphony.  I’m not going to discuss the symphony itself, other than to say it’s interesting.  What I’m going to discuss is the audience. The work has some very quiet passages. And every time there is a quiet passage what do you think happens?  Someone coughs.  Then someone else coughs.  Then someone else coughs.  I hear it all the time in live recordings.  In the live recordings we’ve done it doesn’t happen very much and if it does we’ve been lucky in editing it out.  But this seems to me to be a classical music concert thing.  I’ve been to classical music concerts and I’ve seen and heard it happening.  I’ve followed the coughers at intermission and watched them.  I’ve followed them into the lobby after the concerts and watched them.  And I’ve come to the following coughing conclusions.  These people haven’t coughed all day.  They haven’t coughed at dinner. They haven’t coughed in the lobby of the concert hall, and they haven’t coughed in their seats, waiting for the concert to begin.  But as soon as the conductor gives the downbeat, they suddenly have to cough, mostly in the quiet sections of the music.  They can’t help it – something makes them cough where they haven’t coughed probably for days.  Then the intermission comes.  And miraculously they do not cough in the lobby or when they come back to their seats for the second half.  THEY DO NOT COUGH.  Until the second half begins and the minute there’s a quieter section, they cough. It is a phenomenon like no other, these coughers.  And of course, it’s catching.  So, one person coughs, and someone else thinks, “Ooh, someone is coughing, maybe I have to cough, too – I haven’t needed to, but now I need to cough.”  I swear, it’s just so nutty to me and I’ve heard it in so many live recordings and in concerts I’ve attended, and you want to just say, “What the HELL is wrong with you and shut UP with the coughing already.” But that would just make them cough more because people are, for all intents and purposes – NUTS.

I will only say that I did not cough once while writing the paragraph above.  Yesterday, I did manage to get eight hours of sleep but it was a rough night.  I had a bad allergy attack, which hit at around two-thirty, just before I was going to go to bed.  So, I took a Claritin-D and had to stay up until it began kicking in. So, I didn’t get in bed until almost four o’clock.  I fell right asleep, but then I also had some bad acid reflux and kept waking up.  I took a Pepcid at six and that helped.  I was up at ten, then eleven, then finally got out of bed at noon.  Once up, I did the usual morning things even though it was the afternoon.  I answered e-mails, had telephonic calls, and then I moseyed on over to the mail place and picked up one small package and no mail. I’d already decided on the meal o’ the day, so I drove the four blocks and went to Popeye’s.  Hadn’t been in quite some time.  I got my usual thing – two mild breasts with the biscuits that come with them.  Total cost: $6.11.  That is a nice cost.  When I get my three items at McDonald’s, it’s sixteen bucks.  And total calorie for the two breasts and two biscuits, is just under 1200 calories.  And I was determined to lock the day at 1200 and I did.  That’s all I had to eat.

After I came home and ate it all up, I listened to music for a bit, did some work on the computer, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Three Coins in the Fountain in Cinemascope and color, the new Twilight Time disc.  I can’t find the DVD to compare, but I’m sure this is quite an upgrade.  While I don’t think the color is quite perfect (skin tones seem a little pasty-brownish to my eye), it’s very pleasing with about as much detail as you get out the early scope films.  The cast is great, the film is basically a soap opera but it moves along, the scenery is lovely, and then it’s over.  The title song, which won an Oscar, is really a fine song (by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn).  It will be interesting to see if the usual suspects, who I call the Blue Brigade, thinks this transfer has too much blue.  It doesn’t, of course.

Then I watched the first hour of the 1966 remake of Stagecoach. I remember hating it when I saw it when it came out.  But seeing it all these years later (I haven’t seen it since 1966), you do get beautiful Ann-Margret, Bing Crosby is pretty amusing as a drunk doctor, Mike Connors is Mike Connors, and Bob Cummings does a lot of comedy mugging, Slim Pickens is fun, Alex Cord is certainly not John Wayne, and the best performance in the movie comes from the always great Van Heflin.  The Jerry Goldsmith score is typical of his 60s western output.  I’ll write more after I’m done, but the transfer seems fine and better than the DVD by miles.

After that, I decided to shave so I wouldn’t have to do that this morning, I listened to more music, and not once, not ONCE did I cough. I also proofed the booklet for Ballet on Broadway – just a couple of minor fixes and that can go to the printer for printing.

Today, I’ll just do work on the computer and catch up on things, and I’m actually trying to figure out the June Kritzerland – I already have half the cast, so that’s good.  I’ll hopefully pick up some packages and mail, I’ll eat no more than 1200 calories – whether I split that into two meals is unknown at this time.  Then at some point I’ll relax and watch the rest of Stagecoach.

Tomorrow, I think I have a lunch meeting, Thursday is a work session for the May Kritzerland, and then I’m not sure what’s going on for the weekend.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, work on the computer, figure out the June Kritzerland, hopefully pick up packages, eat, then relax and watch and listen.  Today’s topic of discussion: Aside from coughing, what’s the worst audience behavior you’ve experienced in the theater, movies and legit?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall not cough.

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