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April 8, 2020:

WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN?

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, yesterday I did something I’ve never done before.  Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, yesterday I did something I’ve never done before – no, I didn’t wear a mask, although our panic-inducing mayor has now made it so that masks are “mandatory” starting Friday at midnight.  What I think of him and “mandatory” I shall leave for another time.  It means you can’t go in a store or essential business without a mask on.  Employees must also have them on.  You can still walk in your neighborhood without but I’m sure that story will change, as all stories change every two days.  Of course, he also admits that it’s not enforceable, and it’s not in a city of this size.  If one were cynical one might wonder if the city is getting kickbacks from all the masks being sold now.  In any case, not much of a change for me.  I can do Gelson’s delivery if I need to – it’s free and while there’s a lag time it’s not that much anymore.  I can still drive in my motor car sans mask.  And at the mail place I will simply call when I arrive and ask them to bring the packages or mail outside.  Problem solved.  When you’re claustrophobic you simply cannot cover something like your mouth and nostrils, it’s as simple as that.  Where was I?  Oh, yes, what I did yesterday that I’ve never done before.

It was suggested to me that I put out in the world my song Everything Is Gonna Be All Right, for its message, and so I did that in yesterday’s notes, along with posting Sami Staitman’s cast album recording.  But it was also suggested that the song’s message might be even more universal delivered by me, an adult.  And so, I sat myself down at the piano with my trusty iPhone, finally found a position for it that was at least not going to make me look too terrible, and I recorded the song with me playing and singing.  It took about eight times to get it where I thought it was good, and I did wear my new glasses – by “new” I mean the ones I got six months ago and have never worn once.  The glasses solved an immediate problem of my tired eyes, but also enabled me to see the lyrics better, on the two occasions when I had to reference them.  So, I’ll post that here for those who don’t do Facebook.  On the Facebook, I must say the reaction has been incredible, with many lovely comments.

I’ve been asked to do more of these, but I’ll have to see if I can find songs that I would enjoy doing, songs of mine, of course.  But it’s also a fun way to plug the new book.  And here’s a revelation for you, one I’ve never noticed before:  plug is gulp, spelled backwards.  Who knew?

Yesterday, I think I got seven hours of sleep.  Once up, I answered e-mails, did some work on the computer, listened to some music, and then food from the Green Apple Bistro arrived right on schedule.  The orange chicken was crispy, as requested, but I should have also requested that they include some flavor, but alas, there was little to no flavor.  The lo mein with chicken wasn’t much better, flavor-wise, but I put a little soy sauce on it and that perked it up a bit.  I’d ordered the small portions of each, which were anything but small.  They also included soup and salad for each dish, as they were lunch specials.  So, two salads and two soups, none of which was interesting to me.  So, I ate about half the orange chicken and less than half of the lo mein, and gave everything else to the fellow in the back house.

Then I began the recording ordeal, which took a bit of time, then I got that off the phone and onto Facebook.  Then I did a Gelson’s run – almost no one in the market – some with masks, some not, but no one near each other.  I was in and out in about six minutes.  I came home and put stuff away.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I found some DVDs in a box in the garage and took a few of them inside.  One of the DVDs was a region two UK DVD of Madigan, the movie I watched recently on Blu-ray and which I thought had a miserable brown transfer, looking nothing like it should have.  So, I wanted to see if they’d simply used whatever they’d used for the DVD.  Well, imagine my surprise to find that the UK DVD had great color and looked exactly as it should have and while it obviously doesn’t have the detail of the new Blu-ray, whose transfer was clearly taken from a fading internegative, it upscales very well and that’s how I’ll watch Madigan from here on in.  I will also say that having the color right helps the movie immeasurably.

Then I watched a 1970s TV movie on DVD entitled Pursuit, starring E.G. Marshall and Ben Gazzara, with a lot of the usual 1970s character actors one always sees.  This one is mostly interesting because it was adapted from a novel called Binary by John Lange.  The TV movie was, I believe, the first directorial effort by author Michael Crichton who, it turned out, happened to be John Lange, one of several pseudonyms he used back then.  It’s an interesting plot with a countdown to disaster ticker across the screen at key moments.  I do remember watching this when it was aired, and the ticker twist towards the end made it seem very exciting, and it still is.  That said, this is maybe one of the worst transfers EVER.  It is shocking that MGM/UA would have the chutzpah to issue something that looks like this, but they did, shamelessly.  What it looks like to me is that a 16mm print was used and the telecined very poorly.  In fact, it may have been a 16mm print transferred to one-inch or three quarter-inch video. But I enjoyed watching it again.  It’s set in San Diego, but most of the location work was done a few blocks from the Santa Monica beach at a very well-known apartment complex, where Point Blank was also shot.

After that, I listened to music and had some crackers for a snack.

Today, I think I’ll get up whenever I get up, I think I will not wear a mask in my house or in my motor car, I may or may not pick up some packages, I’ll eat something here rather than order in, as I really must get serious about losing some weight, which is really difficult to do when you keep food in the house, which normally I don’t – you just eat because what the HELL else is there to do?  Otherwise, I’ll watch stuff and listen to stuff and maybe write a bit.

The rest of the week will, I’m sure, be on repeat.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get up whenever I get up, I’ll hopefully pick up packages should there be any, I’ll eat, I’ll watch, I’ll listen, and I’ll do whatever else takes my fancy.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall ponder the age-old question: Who was that masked man?

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