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February 2, 2021:

WHY ANIMALS LOVE OPERA

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, February is flying by, like a gazelle performing the songs of Kurt Weill in the key of C, which is interesting for the songs written in a minor key, but, you know, the gazelle goes its own damn way and always has. Otherwise, the suspense is mounting for the completion of a major miracle, so please keep those most excellent vibes and xylophones coming, please. I began to worry yesterday that things might not pan out, but late last night I got an e-mail that led me to believe things are still alive, major miracle-wise. It could be two or three more days before I know what’s what. At this moment, I’m sitting here like so much fish having just finished listening to a delightfully delightful Richard Strauss opera called Arabella. It’s kind of in the Der Rosenkavalier mode but not as good. But it’s fun and tuneful. This recording is from the 1960s and is live and I’d like to hear this recording’s leading lady, Lisa Della Casa in the studio recording of this, with Solti conducting. But the performances are good and so is the live stereo sound. Prior to that, I heard another delightfully delightful opera entitled Albert Herring, by Benjamin Britten. I was worried that Herring would smell but it was like a lovely puff pastry and funny and tuneful, as well. Performances were tops in the Britten-conducted album on Decca. And coming up momentarily is the Puccini Manon, Manon Lescaut, with Mirella Freni, Pavarotti and others. I know I’ve heard it before but have no memory of it, but it’s just begun and I’m already hearting it big time. I tell you, put orchestra bells at the start and I’m yours. Speaking of things at the start, that hideous movie I spoke of yesterday, Malcolm and Marie, begins with the title characters entering the house where the entire film will take place. They are gabbing, but she immediately goes to the bathroom, doesn’t close the door so that we can see her pull down her pantyhose and sit on the toilet. Open a movie with that kind of image and you’ve lost me, it’s that simple. We just don’t want to see that on the screen. And given the length of time she sits there it’s not too hard to figure out which number she’s supposed to be doing, so doubly disgusting. And one other terrible movie I watched also had a sitting on the toilet scene. Just say no. Manon Lescaut is really tuneful. Did you know that dogs and cats love opera? It’s true. I mean, there’s a pooch in Puccini and a cat in Catalani, after all. We don’t allow groaning here at haineshisway.com

Yesterday was a pretty fine day as pretty fine days go. I had a bit of a rough night, tummy-wise – up several times to pop a Pepcid, which helped. But I do think I got seven hours of sleep. Once up, I quickly answered e-mails, then got ready to go bank. I thought maybe the Sherman Oaks branch of the bank where I have to cash my check would maybe be less crowded, so I tried that. I shouldn’t have. Temporarily closed. So, I quickly drove to the Studio City branch and was delighted to find only three people ahead of me in line. That delight turned to disgust because the two elderly people with the one and only teller had already been there for twenty minutes and it would be another ten until they finally left. After that, it was probably another ten for me to get in and out, so not so terrible.

I then walked right over to the Bank of America to deposit the cash. Last time I was there, the line was out the door and I left. This time there was no line out the door, so I went inside and went right to the business window where there was no one in line. I was in and out of there in about three minutes, so that was great. I then came home and finished entering fixes in the new book. Then I went to the mail place and picked up a few packages and the second important envelope, so that was good. From there, I drove to Dino’s Pizza and got a large and small pepperoni to go. Then I drove to Doug Haverty’s home environment and gave him some CDs he needed along with the large pepperoni – a little gift and thank you for all his hard work. Then I came right home from there.

I put all but two of the tiny pieces in the oven to warm up and ate two of the lukewarm slices. Those were great, and so were the warmed-up slices. It was a very small pizza, and the slices were two-bite affairs. But it was great, as it always is. After that, I got the book to proofer one. Then I listened to some music and did a few things on the computer.

After that, I streamed another DGA movie, this one called On the Rocks, directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. I spent half the time wondering who Rashida Jones was and why I thought her mouth was so familiar looking – then I read that she’s Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton’s daughter – she’s got mom’s mouth. Anyway, Sofia Coppola tries mightily to be Woody Allen but she isn’t the writer he is nor the director. Murray and Jones are fine and so is Marlon Wayans, but aside from a few sequences, it’s just not very good. The attempts at comedy from anyone other than Mr. Murray don’t work at all, especially one cliched character at Jones’s kid’s school. But of course, Coppola is a critics’ darling so most of the reviews will try to tell you how profound it is. It’s anything but profound. But thankfully, no one sits on the toilet, so that was a big plus.

After that, I listened to music, had some popcorn, and relaxed.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll keep working on the March Kritzerland show, I’ll decide whether I want to do a little introduction to project one aka Tonight’s the Night – if I do, then I have to write it – it would be short and sweet. I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, I’ll eat something light, and then at some point, I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same and sitting on pins and needles about the completion of the major miracle.

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, work on the March Kritzerland show, decide about doing an introduction to project one aka Tonight’s the Night, hopefully pick up some packages, eat, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: When the pandemic is over, what are you most looking forward to getting back to? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as we ponder why animals like opera.

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