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March 28, 2020:

THE DISTURBING MEATLOAF

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I shall now pass on very important information to you, the kind of information only available here at haineshisway.com: Never eat a Stouffer’s meatloaf dinner.  I learned this the hard way last evening, when I microwaved such a thing as a Stouffer’s meatloaf dinner.  It looked good on the cover of the box and it was described in loving terms.  The part they left out was that this lumpen thing they call a meatloaf tasted and rather looked like wet dog food.  I didn’t want to feel like a chump, so I actually ate it, drenching it in ketchup and I have been nauseous ever since.  I didn’t touch the mashed potatoes after trying a teeny-tiny bite.  I wish I could adequately describe to you the various flavors that burst forth like living vomit as you bite into the thing, which is swimming in some kind of gravy I don’t ever want to know about.  The aroma of shoe leather coupled with the taste of the living dead is how I’d describe it on the box.  This thing was rank – in fact, it gives rank a whole new meaning, and try as I did to rid myself of the flavors by eating a half a box of Milk Duds, it did not work.  This has been a haineshisway.com public service announcement.

Other than that lovely experience, yesterday was simply more of the same.  I never got around to continue writing the little essay, but I’ll finish it up over the weekend for sure.  I got a whopping three hours of sleep, got up at seven for three hours or so, did a few things on the computer and then went back to bed until the doorbell rang at 11:55 – so almost five hours of sleep, although it sure did not feel like it.  I’d had several morning alerts that the Instacart delivery, scheduled to occur between eleven and noon, kept getting pushed later, but it arrived just before noon, hence the doorbell.  It was mostly frozen foods (the meatloaf was from my first delivery – I also got a Lean Cuisine meat loaf in that delivery and THAT is going directly in the trash), two cans of tuna, a little snack pack of salami and provolone, and the frozen stuff.

Then I had some telephonic calls, I did some work at the piano, I went to the mail place and picked up two packages, but there were actually four there, so back I must go today.  Then I sautéed the rest of the chicken filets and made a chicken sandwich on a bagel with onions, cheese, and pickles.  It was weird.  I also had an English muffin with the rest of the cherry preserves.  Then at some point I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the gabfest known as Ship of Fools, an overwritten and overlong Stanley Kramer picture that would perhaps be a classic if it were shorter and they cut out the endless and horrible George Segal and Elizabeth Ashley characters – they are asked to basically play the same scene six times and you just want to throw your shoe at the TV after the second time.  It’s a large, fun cast, but the film belongs squarely to four people: Simone Signoret, Oskar Werner, Vivien Leigh, and Lee Marvin.  Signoret and Werner are perfection together – their scenes are beautifully written and played.  Vivien Leigh, whose last film this was, is shattering and great – very moving, brave, unafraid – her eyes are miracles of expression.  There is one sequence where she’s tipsy and walking down the hallway when she suddenly breaks into the Charleston – and she’s incredible.  Somewhere on the Tube of You is an Ed Sullivan Show number from Tovarich, where she also dances and she’s really fantastic there, too.  And Lee Marvin – there has never been another actor with his presence and personality and voice – a totally one-off great actor who is hilarious in this film in his quest to bed someone.  It goes on for two hours and thirty minutes – at two hours and ten it would move along much better.  Oh, and Michael Dunn is also wonderful.  The score by Ernest Gold is quite good but it’s mixed so low in the film it might as well not be there.  It’s an older transfer but not terrible.  It’s on a double bill Blu-ray with Robert Rossen’s film Lilith, which I’ve never seen, so that’s up next.

Then I watched some stuff on YouTube, listened to a marvelous German composer called Franz Schmidt, had another telephonic conversation and then a nice text volley, and that was about it.  And I ate a few crackers in the hopes that they’ll help settle my disturbed stomach.  My Disturbed Stomach – that’s the title of my next novel.

Today, I’ll sleep in, and once up I’ll do the usual things and then continue writing.  I’ll go get the other two packages and whilst I’m out I may just stop at Jerry’s Deli and maybe get some lox, then again, I may have something delivered, as I don’t really want to make anything here – I need a break and it’ll be easier to get something delivered on Saturday than it will be on Sunday.  We shall see.  Then I’ll watch Lilith and what else is there to say other than cabin fever is becoming an issue and the doom and gloom brigade, I think, simply don’t want us to ever walk out of our houses, which is inane and stupid.  One must be able to leave one’s house and take a walk, a drive, as long as one stays six feet away from everyone.

Tomorrow, yes, will be more of the same as will every day next week.  I did approve the galley yesterday morning after they absolutely assured me that the printed book’s odd numbered pages would be centered properly.  Now it will go to the printer and a test soft and hard cover will wing their way to me.  How long THAT will take is anyone’s guess, but I’m hoping not too long.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, do the usual things, write, pick up two packages, figure out what’s what for lunch, eat, watch, listen, and have cabin fever.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films of Mr. Lee Marvin and Miss Vivien Leigh?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have issued a warning about the disturbing meatloaf.

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