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April 2, 2020:

THE POLISH NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to an excellent Polish composer called Jerzy Gablenz and I am finding that I like a good many Polish composers who composed from the 1920s through the 1960s.  And no, that is not a Polish joke.  In thinking about it, I don’t actually know any Polish jokes.  Are Polish jokes still a thing?  I need an example of a Polish joke right about now because I am in the dark, Polish joke-wise.  Oh, I just tried to find a Polish joke and guess what – it is considered in bad PC taste to tell a Polish joke.  Why I oughta…  I suppose next they’ll be telling us we can’t tell a funny Latvian joke.  I mean, where does it end?  No more American jokes?  No more Greek jokes?  No more Czech jokes?  The Czech is in the mail?  Guess that’s a no-go now.  I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot Pole.  Guess that’s a no-go now.  That’s Greek to me?  Guess that’s a no-go now.  Well, here’s an authentic Polish joke: How many Poles does it take to change a light bulb? Four.  One to put the light bulb in and three to turn the ladder.  I found it on the Internet so you can blame it on the Internet or blame it on the Bossa Nova or blame it on my youth or blame it on Rio or put the blame on Mame, but don’t blame me.  Well, if someone has a clew as to what the HELL I’m talking about, please keep it to yourself.  And to prove that I REALLY don’t know what the HELL I’m talking about, I just realized that Jerzy Gablenz is a Czech composer.  THIS is where were, dear readers, oh, yes, THIS is where we are – I call it Crazy Town.

Yesterday was yet another day of nothingness.  I did get eight hours of sleep, got up, and was out the door twenty minutes later to do the banking run.  The first bank of the three, all located in the City of Studio, was closed – that branch only.  Not very sporting.  The only other branch is in my neck of the woods, but if I went there then I’d have to go to my bank’s branch in my neck of the woods and I hate that branch.  So, on I went to bank two, which was the important one.  That was open, wasn’t crowded, and I was in and out of there in five minutes.  Then I walked to my bank and made a deposit and thankfully they took the other check, so no further bank trips were necessary.  I then came directly home.  And no, I did not wear a face mask.  Nor was I within thirty feet of any human being at any time.

Once home, I made some penne pasta with a pink sauce.  I sautéed up some red onion and mushroom, but once I tasted the mushroom it seemed like maybe it was past its expiry date, so I avoided the mushrooms like the Coronavirus.  It was easy to do as I hadn’t used many of them.  I made two and a half cups of the pasta, had two helpings and then threw the rest out.

Then I did some work at the piano, did a few things on the computer, was apprised that the essay did come through – have no idea if they like it or not and frankly do not care and they’re free to replace it with something they do like should that be the case.  No galley to approve showed up.  At some point, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday and last night, I watched two-and-a-half motion pictures on Blu and Ray.  The first motion picture on Blu-ray was entitled Bonjour Tristesse, a film I do enjoy revisiting every two or three years.  It’s one of my favorite Otto Preminger films, with a great cast, including a luminous performance from Jean Seberg, and terrific ones from David Niven and Deborah Kerr.  The film is gorgeous to look at, with all the scenes in the present being in black-and-white, and all the scenes in the past in color, and what color it is, a virtually perfect transfer from Sony via Twilight Time.  And a wonderful score by Georges Auric, 90% of which does not appear on the soundtrack album.  I wish I had the ability to put a score CD together for my listening pleasure, since there’s an isolated score, but the buy who set up my system here screwed up the CD burner and didn’t plug in one of the channels and I can’t figure out which wire it is nor can I really get back there to deal with it.  Anyway, that was a nice viewing.

That was followed by yet another motion picture that everyone seems to think is great, but I’d never seen – not when it came out and not in any home video format. I’ve had the Twilight Time Blu-ray but hadn’t even opened it.  I don’t know what it was about this movie that made me completely uninterested in seeing it, but I finally put it in and watched it all.  Julia is the name of the film, starring Miss Jane Fonda and Miss Vanessa Redgrave.  I had no idea this was the first film of Miss Meryl Streep.  It was a huge hit, received many Oscar nominations, and it was nice to finally see it.  I didn’t think it was a masterpiece or anything, and I thought the pacing and structure was weird, but the acting is terrific, it’s beautifully photographed, and that was that.

Then I watched half of another Twilight Time Blu-ray, Gun Fury, starring Mr. Rock Hudson and Miss Donna Reed.  This Blu-ray can be seen in three dimensions but not by me since my TV only has two dimensions.  The film was directed by Raoul Walsh.  It’s short – 82-minutes – and it’s not much of a movie.  Very low budget, a mundane script.  But if you read any of these idiot critics who think the auteur theory is infallible, they will tell you that this film is amazing and that the direction is perfection.  Not for me, I’m afraid, at least not the first half.  The transfer is fine, I suppose, but this film has some of the worst opticals ever, right up there with Giant.  And most of the shots are opticals, I’m afraid.  When it’s not an optical, it’s nice and sharp.  The whole thing’s a bit dark, too.  I don’t know if the 3-D version looks the same or not.  I’ll finish it up today, I’m sure.

Then I relaxed, had some pretzels and a bagel, not necessarily in that order, and then I listened to some Polish music, as you’ve already read.

Today will be more of the endless same.  I’ll get up when I get up, I’ll hope for a galley to approve, I’ll either make some tuna pasta salad or some Wacky Noodles or I suppose I might order in or just mosey on over to McDonald’s or Taco Bell, since those are just a minute from here.  We shall see.  Then I’ll watch, listen, and ponder the imponderables.

The rest of the week is that and nothing more, I’m afraid.  Weeks more of this and I think we’re going to start seeing some mental breakdowns from those predisposed to such things as mental breakdowns.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do more of the endless same, get up when I get up, eat, maybe go to the mail place if there’s something there, and then watch, listen, and ponder.  Today’s topic of discussion: Know any good Polish jokes?  Or, what are your favorite films of Miss Jean Seberg, Mr. David Niven, and Miss Deborah Kerr?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy in the knowledge that Polish jokes are a no-go anymore.

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