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August 25, 2020:

THE GAZELLE, THE GNU, AND THE AARDVARK – THE SHOCKING, SORDID TALE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is flying by, like a gazelle watching the gnu have an affair with the aardvark who, of course, is married to the gazelle.  Well, that was an outre beginning, wasn’t it?  And very fanciful.  We all know the gazelle would not watch the gnu having an affair with the aardvark, who’s married to the gazelle, because the gnu would most likely go public about it and then where would the gazelle be?  Thankfully, human beings never have these kinds of problems.  And I, BK, am sitting here like so much fish, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  I have no idea WHAT that means but do know you can keep the slings and the arrows and send me the outrageous fortune.  Otherwise, I’m listening to Mr. Barbirolli have his way with Strauss, namely Richard not Johann, namely Ein Heldenleben.  Now, say Ein Heldenleben in your best Jerry Lewis voice.  It really works, doesn’t it?  When I finish with the next CD, the Mahler 5, then the set goes back to 78s for about eight CDs because some genius thought it was a good idea to put all the concertos together, and then all the operas together.  I prefer my box sets in chronological order.  But there are several concertos in the 78s that I’ve never heard, so I will listen to those, presuming the sound isn’t too off-putting.  It was another hot day and the house has been very hot despite having the air on occasionally – it cools off then heats up all by its lonesome almost immediately.  I like Ein Heldenleben, if you must know.  It’s quite melodic and wonderful, all forty-nine minutes of it.  Wonderful sounding, too.  Recorded in 1969, a year before Mr. Barbirolli died.

Yesterday was a day I barely remember.  I did get eight hours of sleep, I did do things that needed doing, I did work on the Kritzerland show, and yet I barely remember any of it.  I do remember picking up a teeny-tiny package from the mail place and I also remember going to Gelson’s and getting a Wolfgang Puck chicken Caesar salad to bring home.  I do remember bringing it home and I do remember eating it and enjoying it.

Then we come to the part of the day I barely remember.  I know I did some work on the computer, I know it was hot, I know I ate a little ice cream, and I know I eventually sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched the last of the Hitchcock-directed Alfred Hitchcock Presents – actually only two episodes, as I’d recently seen the other two.  One episode was called The Horseplayer, kind of a comic tale, really, not very Hitchcockian, but with a wonderful performance by Claude Rains, who gave his finest performance in Mr. Hitchcock’s Notorious.  The last episode and Hitchcock’s final directed episode of the series is Bang! You’re Dead, and it’s pretty great – of course, the PC woke brigade would demand a disclaimer at the start these days, not for the plot about too easy access to guns, but for the attitudes toward Native Americans and Africa.  Anyway, it’s the only episode where Hitchcock’s credit is in the main titles rather than the end titles.  It’s brilliantly directed, hyper-suspenseful, involving a young by (Billy Mumy) who has a toy gun.  His uncle comes for a visit and says he has a present for the boy.  Later, the boy helps unpack while the uncle goes with the dad.  In unpacking, he discovers what he assumes is his gift – a gun, with cartridges.  The problem is, of course, that it’s NOT his present, it’s a real gun with real bullets.  He puts his toy gun in the suitcase and puts one bullet in the chamber, and then goes and starts aiming at people and pulling the trigger.  He eventually puts another bullet in, then another, and still on his travels aims and pulls the trigger.  At the supermarket, he puts the rest of the bullets in.  Meanwhile, uncle realizes what’s happened and he and the father and mother desperately try to find the boy before something terrible happens.  I’ll just leave it at that, but it’s a harrowing episode.

After that, I did some more work on the computer, had a telephonic conversation, took a break from Barbirolli and listened to some wonderful music by Karol Rathaus, part of the Entartete Musik series.  Three symphonies and a ballet, all great.  Looking forward to more that I grabbed on the Tube of You.  And that was about it.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat, I’ll do some Kritzerland show work, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, then she of the Evil Eye is coming on Friday rather than Saturday, and then I have no idea what the weekend will bring but I sure hope it brings something good and something positive because we could all use some of those things right about now, I’m sure.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up packages, eat, do some Kritzerland show work, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films featuring the great Claude Rains?  And what are your favorite Hitchcock movies?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall try not to think about the gazelle watching the gnu have an affair with the aardvark, who, of course, is married to the gazelle.  Only in the animal kingdom.

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