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May 26, 2020:

WHAT THE WELL DRESSED PERSON EATS DURING A PANDEMIC

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music and trying to remember when the last time I actually sat in a restaurant and had a meal.  I believe it was closing day of In My Mind’s Eye at the Smoke House, which was almost completely empty.  I really miss my lunches out and I am so ready to get back to that.  I think that may happen soon but I’m going to hazard a guess and say that when it does the restaurants will be hugely crowded due to reduced seating and all that stuff.  But I do like to go at off times so that will probably be helpful.  The day they open (could be a week) I will be there to enjoy a meal out.  You would think that in the past ten weeks I would have tried all manner of new jernts, but the fact is I’ve tended to go to about five jernts over and over again.  I did discover a wonderful fried catfish place called Fish Bone and I’ll do that again this week.  I tried one pizza place and didn’t like it.  Otherwise, it’s been mostly Stanley’s, the Cheesecake Factory, Island’s, Jersey Mike’s, once from Talesai, and once from the Smoke House.  I’d go get Dino’s but there’s no real way it would stay hot enough until I got it home.  And I still want to do Barone’s and Casa Vega, but I’d much prefer eating there in person.  DoorDash has been the best way for me and I haven’t paid a delivery fee yet.  And of course, I’ve cooked more than usual, mostly Wacky Noodles, tuna sandwiches, and faux chicken Stroganoff.  And I’ve had the occasional foray to Jerry’s Deli to bring stuff home.  It’s hard to believe it’s been ten weeks of it, but it has, so I believe it.

Yesterday was a holiday.  I slept eight hours, got up, did stuff on the computer, and decided on Stanley’s Chinese chicken salad for the meal (all I ate for the entire day and evening, so that was good), then began the doing of the laundry – bedding, towels, and the usual socks and stuff.  Whilst that was going on, I ordered the food and it arrived twenty minutes later.  I unbox the salad and put it in a big bowl which is actually not big enough to hold it all, so I get two helpings out of it.  It was, as always, great and perfect, not necessarily in that order.  And it comes with a couple of pieces of their great bread, which I gobbled down happily.

After that, I finished doing the laundry (two loads), made the bed and put everything away, then did some cleaning.  I’m going to have the cleaning lady start coming again, maybe even this Saturday, but if not this Saturday then the following Saturday for sure.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched a horror double bill on one Blu and Ray from Mill Creek.  With Mill Creek you mostly know what you’re in for – old transfers slapped onto a Blu-ray.  All the new Sony transfers went to Twilight Time.  I bought this double bill horror thing when it came out, which was probably seven years ago.  I opened it but never actually even put it in the player.  First up was the reason I bought it – When a Stranger Calls, the fine horror film from 1979.  I don’t love horror movies and I especially hate slasher movies – When a Stranger Calls is really neither – it’s a scary movie with not much blood at all, just a couple of swift glimpses.  It’s an oddly constructed movie but it just somehow works.  The first twenty-three minutes are absolutely riveting and beautifully done.  Carol Kane is a babysitter, left alone with two sleeping kids. Shortly after the parents have left the phone rings and a creepy voice says, “Have you checked the children?”  And on it goes from there and there will be no spoilers from the likes of me, other than it’s really filled with tension.  The middle third of the film is more like a police procedural, seven years later, with a cop, now a private eye, finding out the lunatic who created the havoc has escaped from the loony bin.  In this section of the film we get Coleen Dewhurst and Rachel Roberts.  Those two ladies, Durning, and Carol Kane are all great.  The secondary roles are not cast that well and are pretty amateurish, none more so than the annoying actor who plays Ms. Kane’s husband in the final third of the film – he’s in full on John Rubinstein mode – it’s actually laughable.  As to the final third, there’s a fun scare that’s contrived but works and it wraps up as you’d expect.  The film is mostly well directed by Fred Walton and has a great score by Dana Kaproff, issued on CD, of course, by Kritzerland.  There is apparently a new transfer out now in the UK, which has the made for TV sequel and a bunch of extras, so I’ll pick that up and get rid of this.

The second feature is, unfortunately, a slasher movie in the Friday the 13th mode, with a lot of blood and gore and stupidly violent deaths.  Melissa Sue Gilbert stars, and second billed is Glenn Ford, and it introduces the young Tracy Bregman (Buddy’s daughter) – otherwise, you get a lot of second tier Canadian actors.  It’s called Happy Birthday to Me and is just a wretched excuse for a movie that of course folks LOVE if you take Amazon reviews seriously.  The reveal at the end is beyond stupid and I fast-forwarded through some of it.  The sad part is Glenn Ford.  Clearly hating every minute of it, almost choking on the terrible dialogue he has to spout; apparently, he was not a happy actor and gave everyone a hard time.  He’s one of my favorite actors and this is the only time I’ve seen him give a bad performance, although that is not his fault.  The director, J. Lee Thompson, had once been very good, but by the time of this film he’d hit rock bottom and made only terrible movies.

After that, I watched an hour of Jean-Paul Melville’s Leon Morin, Priest, probably my least favorite film of the director, mostly because it’s a gabfest and back-and-forth about religion.  It’s shot beautifully by Henri Decae and the Martial Solal score is nice.  Jean-Paul Belmondo is fine as the priest and so is Emmanuel Riva as a disillusioned woman.  It’s pretty frank for a film of its era with some lines that are actually shocking.  The best, for me, is that the film introduced the young actress Patricia Gozzi to the world.  Just a couple years later she’d make Sundays and Cybele.  I’ll finish it up tonight.

After that, it was relaxing and listening, and then, what do you know, it was time to write these here notes.

Today, for a change, I’ll get up when I get up, I’ll figure out food, and I’m hoping some very errant and truant packages arrive.  I also have to find out if my branch of Bank of America is going to reopen by the first of June.  Otherwise, I have to call and go through a whole rigamarole about going to the branch near me, which I hate because I don’t know any tellers there and the line is always out the door.  Otherwise, I’ll eat, do whatever needs doing, take a drive, and watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week will be Kritzerland show stuff and pondering a couple of ideas I have that would be fun to figure out.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get up when I get up, figure out food, hope that packages arrive, eat, do whatever needs doing, and watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What have you been eating for the past ten weeks – what you bring in or what you cook?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall probably dream of food and being well dressed.

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