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January 10, 2021:

HALFWAY HOME

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, remind me to never watch another motion picture written and/or directed by Charlie Kaufman. I truly cannot stand this man’s work and I should have known better than to watch his latest, I’m Thinking of Ending Things. It’s based on a book, but Mr. Kaufman goes his own way, and so it’s filled with his usual overwritten, overstuffed blather (he does love to hear himself talk – this movie has so much talking), and it’s so obtuse as to be laughable at times. Of course, it’s been “explained” by various sites and even Mr. Kaufman a little and that’s lovely and now there are YouTube videos where amateur pontificators pontificate all that they’ve read on the Internet. Let me be clear: I had no trouble understanding the intricacies and oddities of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, but this thing? I didn’t care enough to WANT to understand anything about it. By the end, some of it had come clear, and apparently in the novel it’s all explained and makes perfect sense. I just really don’t care for these kinds of movies and it goes on for two hours, and the final twenty minutes will have you just scratching your heads and wondering what kind of hallucinogens were involved in the writing phase and what Oklahoma! has to do with the price of rutabagas. The leading lady is new to me (Jessie Buckley) – well, she was in Chernobyl but I don’t remember her – she’s very good. The leading man is played by someone else new to me (Jesse Plemons) – well, he was in The Irishman and The Post and I have no memory of him in either film. Toni Collette and David Thewlis are fine but have to play weird constantly. I really loathed it, I must say, but I’m sure all the auteur theory kiddies LOVE it and tell all those who don’t that they just don’t “get” it – we “get” it – we just don’t like it. Otherwise, I’m sitting here like so much fish listening to Massenet’s Manon. I had two different recordings coming, and I’m playing the first of them to arrive, which is a more recent recording from 2000, conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring the wife and husband team of Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna. They’re both fine, I suppose, and the band is okay. I don’t love the sound, frankly, and I’m thinking I should have waited and listened to the other version first, since that stars Beverly Sills and is supposed to be excellent with excellent sound. So, I’ll listen anew when that arrives. The music is lovely, but I think Ms. Sills and company will be the better bet. We shall see.

Yesterday, I was up at six-thirty after three hours of sleep – have no idea why – I got up and did stuff, then got back in bed around eight and slept until around noon, so almost six hours of sleep, I suppose. Once back up, I answered e-mails, then I futzed and finessed the previous day’s sixteen pages and I think they came out pretty well after the additions, subtractions, and smoothing. Then I wrote about a half-page, after which I picked up some packages and once again they almost didn’t give me the package that they’d not given me the day before, but thankfully I checked what was in the packages before leaving and so they found the other one. Then I came home, I ordered a Stanley’s Chinese chicken salad, which arrived about twenty minutes later, and which was excellent.

I wrote another ten pages over the next few hours, so that was good, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish and watched the movie I’ve already spoken about. After that, I wrote another two pages, so I only really have two more to do tonight, which I’ll do after I post these here notes.  I may have a tortilla with cheese, since I only had the salad and one piece of bread. Why not? We’ll see how I’m feeling after the shower.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, then I’ll futz and finesse and write new pages. I do have to finish up a set of liner notes, so if I finish these notes in a few minutes, I might have time to do that before I post the notes. Otherwise, I have to do them tomorrow for sure. I’m not sure if any packages are coming, although I kind of doubt it, I’ll eat something fun, perhaps from Gelson’s, I’ll write more pages, I’ll take some music breaks and perhaps a movie break, and then I’ll write more pages, hopefully the fifteen I’ve been doing every day. I will say that I’m probably halfway through now.

Tomorrow will be more of the same and we’ll be getting ready for the first filming day for project one on Tuesday. And that will be the rest of the week – writing, filming, and getting everything to our editor, Marshall Harvey. So, a busy week and I hope to get at least another 100 pages to Muse Margaret, after which I’ll be in the home stretch of this new book.

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, futz and finesse, write new pages, eat, write new pages, take music breaks, write new pages, maybe watch a movie, write, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, so happy to be halfway through the new book.

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