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April 9, 2020:

KILLING TIME

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music whilst typing these here notes.  This is about as exciting as it gets, folks.  This is the highpoint, this is the apex, this is the zenith.  Speaking of zenith, how many here owned a Zenith TV?  I think we did back when I was eleven.  I have a memory of the name Zenith.  I’ll tell you something, I just got very energized talking about old Zenith TVs.  That’s where we’re at right now, folks.  We are killing time is what we’re doing and how many deaths can time suffer before it kills us back.  Ooh, that was quite profoundly profound, wasn’t it?  Time is an enigma and an enigma is time and currently I don’t think many of us have much of an idea about the time or the day.  I think we are in some netherworld where hours go by and days go by and weeks go by.  I’ll tell you how bad it is: Tonight, I wore a mask when I looked in the mirror because I didn’t want to infect myself.  That’s how bad it is.  I tried staying six feet away from myself but that is really quite difficult at my age.  I am taking all precautions.  For example, when eating, I refuse to touch any food with my hands – I simply stick my face in the food and suck it in.  I wash my hands with great alacrity.  Maybe I should try soap?  I gotta tell you.

Yesterday, I got eight hours of sleep with very weird dreams – theater dreams.  I got up, answered e-mails, did a few things on the computer, and then I made myself two tuna sandwiches (no mean feat).  I had said sandwiches on onion bagels, and they were quite excellent.  Then I proofed and made corrections on a chart and went over them on the telephonic device.  I went to the mail place and picked up a couple of packages – there was no one there save for the employees.  I came right home, found a package at the front door belonging to the people across the street – this is about the sixth package that’s been left on my doorstep because wherever these are coming from these people wrote their address incorrectly.  This time I wrote a strong little post-it and said any more packages that arrive for them at this address will immediately be returned to sender, as I’m tired of having to walk these over there, especially now when you can catch the virus by simply breathing air.  Yes, I read that on Facebook today and let me tell you I took this idiot on quite vociferously and told him to link me to any article that had factual information that this was, in fact, a fact that was factual, an actual factual fact.  He then made the rather basic and stupid mistake of linking me to a whole page of articles.  I clicked on each and they were, of course, all the same, all conjecture, no actual factual facts, must words like “maybe” and “no proof” “we don’t really know,” etc.  I responded that none of these articles had a single actual factual fact.  He then made the mistake of responding with the fact that he never said it was an actual factual fact.  I then, of course, simply cut and pasted his initial post, in which he stated as fact that you could get it from just breathing air.  I said a few other things and I think he got the drift and he stopped.  In any case, as a precaution I am no longer breathing air.

I listened to music for a while, eight symphonies to be exact, these being fairly succinct symphonies of under thirty minutes duration.  I rather like the succinct symphonies because they are succinct.  Then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Two Rode Together, a film of John Ford, starring James Stewart, Richard Widmark, and Shirley Jones.  Let me begin by saying I am not the Ford FANatic that most people are.  I appreciate his films more than I love them, save for The Searchers, which I truly love.  Two Rode Together is a film I’ve never made it through, but I finally did last night.  It’s really not very good, although the actors all come through fine.  It just feels lethargic and flabby and, at times, like everyone is just making up stuff as they go, especially the dialogue.  There’s one master shot where James Stewart can’t spit out his line – he keeps fumfering in his style, starting over, and he cannot get the line out and Widmark actually starts laughing, but I guess Ford thought it was funny and left it in.  The plot meanders, some of the drama is hugely overplayed (Jeanette Nolan especially), but it’s always fun to see so many of the Ford stock company, especially Andy Devine, who is always devine – divine.  Apparently, Ford did the project for the money, hated the script, brought in the great writer Frank Nugent to fix it, he couldn’t, and Ford was, by all accounts, not pleasant to anyone on the film.

After that, I watched a bit of the Up the Down Staircase, a film I just love.  I cannot even imagine how hard it was for Tad Mosel to make a screenplay from the book, as the book is all comprised of notes, memos, letters, suggestion box notes – it’s all brilliantly done in the book and the fact that Bel Kaufman sustains it over a large number of pages is astonishing.  I loved the book and I was more than impressed with Tad Mosel’s script, wonderful direction by Robert Mulligan, a great score by Fred Karlin, and some really great performances – Sandy Dennis’ finest film role, amateurs as the students, but a host of the best New York character actors around, including Sorrell Booke, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White, Jean Stapleton, Roy Poole, Vinette Carroll, Frances Sternhagen, and most especially Patrick Bedford – they all do great work.  I only watched the first ten minutes but I’ll finish it up today.  Supposedly, Bud Cort is in this somewhere, so I’ll be looking for him.  And author Bel Kaufman has a cameo.

Then I made two small tortillas with cheese as my low-calorie snack.  Then it was music and the killing of time.

Today will be a Xerox of yesterday and the day before – every day feels the same now and I’m quite bored of it.  I may take a longer than usual drive just for variety.  I’ll eat something – not sure if I’ll make something or if I’ll have something delivered – I suppose I could also stop somewhere and pick something up.  I know I could call Jerry’s Deli, for example, and order some lox to bring home.  We shall see.  I’m not planning to go to the mail place unless there’s actual mail there.  Then I’ll do whatever needs doing and that will be that.  I think today is Thursday.  Is that right?  I no longer know anything.

The rest of the week will be the rest of the week and the days will go by and I’ll proof more charts and that will be that.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, maybe take a longer drive, eat, do whatever needs doing, and try to ascertain that today is indeed Thursday.  Oh, and yesterday was Passover, but it passed over my house.  Today’s topic of discussion: What was the first transistor radio you owned and the first TV you owned?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I’ll dream of killing time and getting away with it.

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