Well, dear readers, let’s just get this out of the way right now: Today is election day. And as Doris Day sang – Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be. I myself am hoping for sanity and we’ll just leave it at that. There, now that we’re past that, I am sitting here like so much late fish due to late-night long telephonic conversation that happened late at night and involved the telephone. And I think you already know that I am listening to George Szell do stuff – right now Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, a lovely performance of very well-known and iconic music. Would you like to know my very first exposure to Grieg’s music? Good, because I’m going to tell you. In November of 1957, on November 26 to be precise, just a week-and-a-half before my tenth birthday, I saw a film made especially for airing as a TV special on NBC and in Living Color, even though we watched it in Living Black-and-White. This TV special was entitled The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and it starred Mr. Van Johnson as said Pied Piper, and also featured Claude Rains, Lori Nelson, Doodles Weaver, Jim Backus, and Kay Starr. And like Wright and Forrest did with Kismet and Borodin, this was a musical which used the music of Grieg, with lyrics by Hal Stanley and Irving Taylor. I liked it very much and even made my parents buy the soundtrack album. It was then syndicated to every station in the country and shown ad nauseum and I watched it any time I knew it was on. And from then on, I’ve always associated much of Peer Gynt with The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Mr. Johnson in tights, as the majority of the songs used Peer Gynt – one used one of the Norwegian Dances. It’s out on DVD in a not so hot transfer, but I have it and enjoy watching it every now and then. It would be nice to have a great transfer, but the movie is in the public domain and who knows if the negative even exists, let alone prints of the film. I’m pretty sure it’s easy to find on the Internet and you should watch it. Well, that was what we call a little detour, a little side story. But perhaps we should just move on because these here notes should have been posted four minutes ago.
Yesterday was a thoroughly annoying day for many reasons. The really annoying stuff happened early. I was up at eleven after seven-and-a-half hours of sleep. I got ready and went to the local branch of my bank. I was happy to see there were only two people waiting in line, so that was nice. What wasn’t nice is that the bank has changed its system – normally, I cash my pension check, which is made out to me, and put it in the business account. We’ve done this for three years and up until earlier this year it was never a problem as long as there were some funds in my personal account, even a few bucks, which is all I ever keep in that account. But this year, the “system” wouldn’t allow the cashing of the check but the tellers had a way around it by doing “less cash” and putting ten bucks in the personal account, which allowed them to cash the rest and put it in the business account. Well, not anymore. Too many people doing that very thing but the checks they were depositing were no good. So, because of cretins like that, we all have to suffer. I was really upset because I knew what I was in for, day-wise. I left there and drove over to the Studio City bank that the check is drawn on. They reopened that branch about three months ago. Well, it’s closed again – I later found out that it was because they’re doing a little construction and rewiring for their lights. Now, more irritated than ever, I had to drive all the way to the Sherman Oaks branch, which I could have done in the first place – it’s not that close, all the way at Ventura and Sepulveda, and not easy to park there. But I found a space and went in – not a soul inside, so that was good, and I cashed it quickly. Of course, I then had to go back to the local branch of my bank and deposit it, which I did – thankfully, there was only one person in line. I told the teller I got what had happened and she, who’s cashed for me a lot, commiserated with me, saying a lot of customers are really upset and so are employees, who are also impacted by it. But at least next month I know what I’m in for. And so, what should have taken ten minutes took ninety minutes.
I went from the bank to the mail place and picked up one little package and then decided I was not making food at home and went to this little pizza jernt in the same strip mall as the mail place. I have been seeing this jernt for as long as they’ve been there and have never had a desire to try it because it’s one of those wood-fired places and for reasons unknown to me I just don’t like “wood-fired” in a place’s name. Irrational, I know. But I read some good Yelp reviews, looked at their menu online and they had a sub sandwich that sounded great. So, I got that – ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, and Eyetalian dressing. I also got a slice of pepperoni because the sandwich wasn’t all that big. I came right home and had the pizza slice first and surprise of surprises it was quite good. The sandwich, on the other hand, was great, and I do mean great. A perfect size and everything in proportion. I’ll be getting that quite often. Both items probably took me right to 1000 calories, but they were calories well spent, I must say and have said.
After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon getting our two new releases ready for announcing, made the eBlast, which is ready for midnight tonight when we officially announce, hearing from the one performer who has no communication skills whatsoever, who told me she wouldn’t be able to take part in the show because she severely underestimated her time. I could have used that information a week ago, not six days before we air, but it is what it is. I did only a little work at the piano because the other stuff really took quite a bit of time. After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I finished watching Warning from Space, the Japanese sci-fi movie from the mid-1950s. It was slow going for its eighty-seven minutes but it’s fun in a certain way. The transfer is certainly not stellar but I’m sure they had to deal with what they had. Also included is the US version, which is basically the same movie with English inserts and dubbing. They did rearrange a couple of scenes, basically the opening and closing of the film. I can’t swear to it, but the US version might have been slightly better looking.
After that, I did a quick Ralph’s run and got some tortilla chips for use with all this Gelson’s salsa I have, got shredded cheese for the stuff I’ll make today (Taco Bell’s brand), and some apples and grapes. Once back home it was the long telephonic conversation, and then listening to music and writing these here notes.
Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll make the rest of the ground beef and either do tacos again or, if I’m feeling it, I might make some nachos – I think if I put chips on a plate, put the shredded cheese on them liberally, and heat them at 400-degrees, that would give me warm chips with melted cheese, to which I’d add the cooked ground beef and onions and some salsa – that sounds pretty good to me. After that, I’ll work at the piano for sure, mosey on over to the mail place, and I’m going to try and stay away from Facebook, which I’m sure will be a madhouse during the day but especially in the evening. Then at midnight we’ll announce our first new releases since March.
The rest of the week is Kritzerland show stuff, piano stuff, and the December Kritzerland show.
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, eat, hopefully pick up packages, stay away from Facebook and announce two new Kritzerland releases. Today’s topic of discussion: What were your favorite TV spectaculars and specials from back in the day? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as I hope for sanity and positivity whilst remembering whatever will be will be.