December 22, 2011:
Well, dear readers, I have just resigned myself that whatever ďvacationĒ time I will be getting will not be starting until Sunday. Thatís just the way it is and it can be no other way and therefore I shall accept it with good humour and a high heart and energized energy and the devil take the hindmost. I wonder if the angel ever takes the hindmost? And does anybody ever take the frontmost? Damn that devil! Hurl that bad boy to HELL where he belongs. This is not a time for devils, it is a time for the angels and I want only angels around me and I want to BE a living angel, to do good things and make people happy and dance about in pantaloons. Other than that, itís Friday, baby. HOW itís Friday is anyoneís guess. Oh, wait, itís not Friday, itís Thursday. Why did I say it was Friday when it is clearly Thursday. Iíll tell you why Ė the devil. It was the devil made me do it! It was beauty killed the beast. It was Adam who shtupped Eve. Damn them, damn them all to hell. I think this is called extemporizing. I think what Iíve been doing here is extemporizing and it all began with the devil take the hindmost. One can easily point to that as the beginning of the extemporizing. What the HELL am I talking about? And enough with HELL, letís have HEAVEN. And between heaven and hell lies Pacoima.
Well, that was a paragraph. And here, just in the nick of time, is another. Speaking of the nick of time, our very own Nick Redman stopped by to give me Blu and Rays of Rapture and the recently sold out Fright Night, as well as a few CDs. And I also got a sneak peek at the upcoming Blu and Ray of Picnic and Iím here to tell you that it looks great Ė better than it ever has on home video, and very much like the Technicolor release prints looked. And the sound in 5.1 is fantastic Ė that George Duning score (one of his sublime masterpieces) sounds amazing (and yes, Virginia, thereís an isolated score feature). Iím looking forward to watching it all the way through when itís released.
Other than that, I was up at nine-thirty after eight-and-a-half hours of sleep. I had to go right to storage, where I met the helper. We found ninety percent of the music we needed to find, which was better than I thought weíd do. After that, I came home, answered e-mails, printed out some orders, and decided to swap out a couple of songs for the Kritzerland shows. I finished assigning the numbers and will make CDs today and the cast will then come and get them and their sheet music today and tomorrow. Then I had a lunch with Alet Ė she and kiddies will be moving back to New York in July to join hubby Andy, who will be on Broadway co-starring in Once. Iíll miss having her here, but itís something thatís absolutely necessary, since Andy has signed on for a year. The good news is that Alet can teach at the New York AMDA, just as she taught at the LA AMDA. And Iím sure sheíll come back if thereís anything to do here. I also Xeroxed music and picked that up after lunch.
After that, I did some errands and whatnot, picked up one little package and no mail and then came back home. Then Nick stopped by, and by then it was simply too late to jog. I picked something up at the framers (the little Hitchcock/Billy Wilder note, which looks splendidly splendid in its frame), and then came back home once again. After doing more work on the computer, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled The Rocketeer. I have wanted to love The Rocketeer since seeing it at a screening back just before it opened. I was primed to love it, because I grew up loving Commando Cody and his flying rocket jacket. But the minute the leading man puts on the rocket pack, almost every flying sequence for the first half of the film (more, actually) was played like a slapstick Keystone Cops film or a Three Stooges comedy. It lost me within thirty minutes because there were too many villains (one great villain will always suffice, but here you've got Timothy Dalton's baddie, Paul Sorvino's baddie, the Rondo Hatten baddie and on and on) doing too many buffoonish things. Even though there's a lot of humor in Raiders Of The Lost Ark (which this film clearly wants to emulate), it never gets buffoonish and silly, which, for me, The Rocketeer did constantly.
The plusses are Jennifer Connelly and Alan Arkin, and Dalton is fun, but several of the supporting performances border on bad. I like the Horner score, but while itís pleasing to the ear, itís more than a little silly to have all this heroic, bombastic music playing while the Rocketeer is flailing about, crashing into things, sliding, banging his head, and whatever other ridiculous things that happen that are anything but heroic. The film was a box-office and critical failure; therefore I think the cult of this film consists of people who saw it at a young age. As with a lot of these eighties and early nineties films that I seem to have no affinity for that others who came of age back then love - like The Goonies, a film whose cult I will never understand Ė these mediocre films are nostagia nirvana to that generation and they live and breathe all of them, whether they are great or awful. For me, to enjoy a film is simple Ė all it has to do is tell an interesting story and tell it well. For me, this film just did not succeed in that department. I think the elements were there, but the screenwriters simply didn't fulfill them. But the good news is the transfer and sound are wonderful and so the people who love the film are going to be very pleased.
After that, I did some more cleaning up and organizing Ė I want the home environment to look clean and spiffy for our Christmas Eve Do. I also did my sporadic perusing on eBay first edition listings. I have to say the book collecting field has reached its nadir in terms of shady dealers, people who call themselves dealers but who are complete rubes, and people pricing things so outrageously that it simply makes them look like total jerks and amateurs. These people arenít real book dealers, but even real book dealers have been infected with this insanity and itís pathetic to watch. Book collecting used to be fun Ė the thrill of the hunt and the chase Ė going to small bookstores in search of finding something grand. Canít happen anymore. There are no real bargains to be had anywhere, unless one just happens to be at the right place at the right time. I luckily deal with dealers who are reputable, knowledgeable, and who, when I make the odd purchase, always make me a good deal. There are people listing books on eBay for 1000 times more than there value. Itís not real, and those items never sell, so one wonders exactly what these dealers get out of it, other than spending money on listing fees. Iím not talking about a few hundred bucks Ė Iím talking about someone asking $12,500 for a first edition in jacket of To Kill A Mockingbird that looks like someone put it in a meat grinder. A horrible copy, which they describe as very good plus Ė no. A copy that no discerning collector would ever have on a shelf, no matter what the rarity of the book. Junk is junk. I just sat there with mouth agape and a finally had to eat an egg in a tortilla so my mouth would no longer be agape.
Well, why donít we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must try and get some beauty sleep and dream of angels and goodness and right and exptemporizing.
Today, I shall hopefully print out more orders, I shall not have time to do the four-mile jog before lunching with dear reader Jeanne, but Iím hopeful of having time after I get home from said lunch. But then singers start showing up at three-thirty, so who knows. Tomorrow I will definitely do the four-mile jog or the damn devil can just take the damn hindmost.
Tomorrow, I shall not only do the four-mile jog, I shall go to Gelsonís bright and early and purchase all that I need for the Christmas Eve Do. Then again, I may decide to do that this evening to avoid any kind of rush. We shall see. Saturday Iíll be cooking all day and then itís the Annual Christmas Eve Do. Weíll have photographs to prove it.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a lunch, do banking, pay a few more bills (blechhh), make CDRs, and hand out those and sheet music. Todayís topic of discussion: What are your favorite Randy Newman songs? Letís have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, spent from all that extemporizing.