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October 7, 2020:

FORCE QUIT

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, here’s the problem: Overtired to begin with, with all good intentions I get to bed by twelve-thirty knowing the tree people are coming at seven-thirty and that I desperately need sleep.  So, do I fall asleep?  I do not.  I toss, I turn, but my brain is on overload (ABS – Active Brain Syndrome) and I cannot shut it down.  I try to “force quit” and even that doesn’t work.  Nothing works.  Now, maybe I’m sleeping five minutes here or ten there and not realizing it, but that’s not really sleep.  I finally can stand no more and get out of bed and check out stuff on the computer, finally getting back to bed at seven and hoping the tree people aren’t too loud.  I finally fall asleep and sleep until ten, about three hours.  The tree people are actually in front of the house feeding all that tree crap into their machine that pulps it.  That stops and I sleep for another hour, so four hours.  Clearly, the tree people did not come at seven-thirty or anywhere near seven-thirty and I think had that not been planted in my head I might have fallen asleep.  But I can’t have any more of this, I need several nights of good sleep, starting here, starting now.  If I don’t get them, I will definitely get sick and I have no time for that nonsense. I’ve been fighting something for five days, but I seem to be past whatever it was, but another night of losing sleep and I know me well enough to know it will go right to my throat.  Wouldn’t it be loverly if there was a way to “force quit” Active Brain System so one could just relax and fall asleep?  Can someone please invent that so I can click on it prior to getting in bed?  Otherwise, I’m sitting here like so much fish, listening to music, namely George Szell doing the Dvorak seventh, the best I’ve heard that symphony, and a superb The Moldau.  He really was a wonderful composer.  Now I’m listening to the Henry Mancini Orchestra Institute – student players who are amazing, doing various things, a lot of them conducted by Patrick Williams.  Currently, they’re playing my absolute favorite Mancini film theme after Moon River and Days of Wine and Roses, but not one that ever got any traction at all – very few know it, but it’s a stunner – Soldier in the Rain.  I always wanted to write a lyric to it, but unfortunately the Bergmans did just that a few years ago, and it’s maybe the worst lyric they ever wrote.  They chose to go literal and call the song Soldier in the Rain, rather than coming up with something wholly other that would be moody and evocative like the tune.  Maybe I will write a lyric and we can compare and contrast as well as contrast and compare.  Meanwhile, the heat continues, although today it’s supposed to be significantly cooler and I hope that ends up being true.

Yesterday, once it actually began, was not the disaster I feared because I refused to let it rule me and the day, my overtired crankiness.  I spent three hours doing everything I needed to to make sure everything is coordinated for our Backstage at Kritzerland show on Sunday.  It’s wrangling all the interviewees, it’s coordinating photos and one performance from one of our normal live Kritzerland shows and making sure all my questions are done.  And because Hartley is not doing the tech on this, we’re doing lots of in-house tests to make sure nothing goes wrong.  So, that took up a lot of the day.

Then I went to the mail place and picked up some packages and came right back home.  I decided to have a splurge day but not a crazy splurge day – I mean, I didn’t eat an entire cake or anything, although I could have, easily.  No, I ordered from the California Pizza Kitchen – years ago they removed from the menu my favorite thing there, there roasted garlic chicken pizza, but they recently brought it back.  So, I ordered that and a small Caesar salad.  I checked the calorie count of the pizza, which was under 800 calories, so with the Caesar it was probably somewhere between 1200 and 1400 calories, which is perfectly fine.  The food arrived and it really was excellent and a treat.  After that, I finally sat on my couch like so much full fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled The French Connection.  I have only seen the film five or six times, so it’s always fresh when I revisit it eight years down the line.  This is the second Blu-ray release – the first had a screwy transfer where director William Friedkin completely changed the color palate of the film, much to the chagrin of cameraman Owen Roizman.  Friedkin never really apologized or actually owned what he did – he fumfered around it but then did this new transfer that looks like – The French Connection.  I’m not a huge Friedkin fan, I must say, but I do love this film, even though its structure is a bit weird.  Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider are great and the film’s iconic moments have never been bettered, although lesser lights have tried.  Anyway, I really enjoyed it.  I think there are some extras, so I’ll watch those tonight, perhaps.

After that, I had a long telephonic conversation, and then I checked out a tiny bit of one of the copycat shows from last weekend, because someone wanted my opinion about one specific singer’s performance, as to whether said singer was lip-synching.  And of course, said singer was indeed lip-synching to a track said singer had gotten from somewhere – voice processed and mixed into the track like the recording it was.  I find that reprehensible, actually, when that’s not what you’re selling – they try to be us but we would NEVER do that because it makes hash out of it being real.  Lip-synching is not real, sorry.  And that performer wasn’t the only one – at least two others did the same thing and it was obvious because they, too, had orchestral tracks.  That’s just a big no for me, but no one cared, and they all drooled over it.  For me, that’s amateur night.  The other copycat show was, from what I heard, a complete and utter disaster from start to finish.  They watch us, think hey that’s easy, and then try to emulate us without having a clew as to what makes our shows tick – and I’m not talking about the technical prowess that Hartley Powers brings to the shows, I’m talking about what makes our shows tick – the prep, the fact that I rehearse and direct the performances, the structure, the pace – if that’s not in your bones, then find your own damn way and do your own damn show, or at least have the common courtesy to acknowledge you’re emulating.  Well, what are you gonna do?  Imitiation is, after all, the sincerest form of imitation. It’s funny to watch, actually.  We do group opening numbers, they do group opening numbers.  We have drop-in guests for the anniversary show, the one of these has drop-in guests.  Then I relaxed and listened to music.

Today, I will hopefully arise after a good night’s sleep, then I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something light but fun, I’ll try to lock in some guests and choose more songs (the main business of the day), and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is getting ready for Sunday’s show.  We won’t do a test this time, as we’re doing them privately for this one.  Then I’ll try to relax on Saturday, and then on Sunday we take you Backstage at Kritzerland and we hope you’ll all watch live, as that’s the most fun way.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, hopefully arise after a good night’s sleep, do whatever needs doing, hopefully pick up packages, eat something light but fun, lock in guests and choose songs, and then watch, listen, and relax.  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, hoping I can force quit the ABS for tonight.

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