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September 11, 2020:

MONGOLIAN CHEESE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we had us a fun one and only original  Facebook and YouTube Live test thing yesterday – had more folks in attendance than we’ve had heretofore, so that was fun, and it’s had a large number of views after the fact, on Facebook.  YouTube had about nine people in attendance.  It’s funny that YouTube has way more viewers than Facebook for the shows themselves, but it’s the opposite for the test.  I think it’s because I don’t really tout the test anywhere BUT Facebook (and here, of course).  I answered all the submitted questions, cleared my throat a few times, and that was that.  I think it lasted about fourteen minutes.  And then let me just skip ahead, if I may – after that, I had some Mongolian cheese.  What is Mongolian cheese, you might ask, and I might tell you – Mongolian cheese is when you watch a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Genghis Khan.  Not Genghis Cohen, mind you, one of my favorite Chinese jernts, but the 1965 film, directed by Henry Levin, who had a truly odd directing career.  Well, this movie, Genghis Khan was a fiction about Genghis Khan.  It’s fascinating that he’s presented as a hero, you know, a hero who conquered half the world.  The first third of the film is okay – setting up the villain of the piece and the “hero” of the film.  But enter James Mason as a Chinese ambassador and we get the whole cheese in one fell swoop.  Yes, James Mason plays a Chinese person, replete with fake teeth and attempting an accent that is somewhere between his own British accent and Jerry Lewis, but a voice that can only be described as fey – very fey – like give me a large plate of Mongolian beef fey.  And there’s plenty of Mongolian beef on display, between Omar Sharif and Stephen Boyd and Woody Strode.  Anyway, at that point in the film the movie not only is a cheese festival it devolves into high camp with the appearance of Robert Morley, playing the Emperor of China, with his very droll British accent.  At that point, it occurred to me that perhaps I was watching a comedy.  But no, it wasn’t a comedy.  Then there’s fetching Francoise Dorleac, dubbed by another actress, silent but strong Woody Strode, Omar giving and actually decent performance, and Stephen Boyd doing everything but twirling his moustache while pillaging and raping.  And then, about twenty minutes prior to the end of the film, suddenly top-billed Eli Wallach appears and is somewhat witty in his brief appearance.  The score is rousing (we issued it on Kritzerland), the transfer from Sony via Twilight Time is great, and if you like completely wacky movies or if you want to see James Mason give the funniest performance of his storied career, this might just be the motion picture for you.  Gee, I got ahead of myself, didn’t I?  But I wanted to write about it while it was still fresh in my fractured mind.

Yesterday was certainly a day.  I was up at noon o’clock after almost eight hours of sleep.  Once up, I answered e-mails and did things that needed doing.  Then I went to the mail place and picked up a couple of packages and came right home. The air outside is not fit for breathing due to all the smoke from the various and sundried fires and the sky was a blanket of brown/gray.  I couldn’t wait to get back in the house.

Once back in the house, I made the not so faux beef stroganoff, which took about twenty minutes.  I’ve been doing the faux chicken stroganoff for so long that it took me a bit of time to reacclimate the taste buds.  It was good, but I’m going to stick with the chicken version.  The Chicken Version – that’s the title of my next novel.  Anyway, I ate it all up and it was really filling, but the calorie count is the calorie count, right at 1000 calories.

After that, I did some work on the computer, then I got ready for the Facebook and YouTube Live test thing.  After Genghis Khan I had a yearning for Genghis Cohen – I assume they’re doing takeout so maybe one of these fine days I’ll mosey on over there and get some extra crispy orange chicken.  I listened to some music – another Mahler 10, this one also by Simon Rattle but his earlier version – I didn’t like his later version at all – the earlier version certainly sounds better – quite nice-sounding – but the performance just doesn’t grab me emotionally and it is, for me, perfunctory, and not very Mahler sounding.  For me, the gold standard remains Eugene Ormandy in that amazing Columbia stereo sound.  After I post these here notes, I think I’ll visit the Tube of You and try out some of those Requiem suggestions from yesterday.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll probably do a musical directors story, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something but I know not what – I haven’t ordered in in a week now, so I could do a salad or pasta papa – we’ll see how I feel.  Then at some point I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye comes and I will have to go kill some time while she does her thing, but once I’m back I intend to not do much of anything – just relax, watch a few things, and listen to music.  Sunday, of course, is our show day and I think we’re just about ready for it and I do hope for this one that most of you will watch it live.  I know we have our obstinate dear readers who’ve never watched it live, but this one will be much more fun live, you’ll just have to trust me on this.  But whatever works works.  And then I need a few days to recuperate, that much I can tell you.

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, do a musical directors story, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, Brahms’ first piano concerto with Rubinstein and Reiner.  Blu-ray, I’m thinking Strangers on a Train and The Stepfather, not necessarily in that order.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had fun doing the one and only original Facebook and YouTub Live test thing and then feasting on a big plate of Mongolian cheese.

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