Wednesday, August 2, 2017

40th and Fabulous


One year ago, two of my friends from high school began discussing our 40th high school reunion.  The fact that I live farthest from Palo Alto, they really wanted my input on the date.  I always said that July is best because of the kids. The date of July 29, 2017 was decided upon. Committed to the date, no matter what.  Made hotel reservations at the location where the big event was, The Cabana Hotel, which is now a Crowne Plaza.  When I was a kid, it was the fanciest hotel around.  White, with fountains and statues leading to the front door, ala Caesar's in Vegas.  Beautiful and grand.  The only time I'd been there before was for our Tri-School Spring Formal.  My expectations and excitement would bubble up now and again waiting the long year until the event.

As the months got closer, my husband was kind enough to agree to fly with me.  (Whether or not he attended the weekend events remained to be seen).  Bought tickets for the dinner for both of us so we could hedge our bets, but as the time creeped closer, it all seemed good. He could come with me or not, come, meet, and leave. Anything.  Considering wardrobe is always challenging.  My favorite uniform is jeans and sneakers, but this occasion seemed to warrant a bit more thought.  I clearly was going to overpack so I could decide in the moments what to wear, but the day finally arrived.  We were both packed, woke up before dawn, took a car, and went to JFK for our flight.  Everything went easy.  The flight was on time. Luggage arrived. Got the rental car. Drove to my childhood fanciest hotel, only to be let down. It's a corporate hotel. Gone are the statues and fountains. Gone is the majestically painted white building. It's now a shade of earthtone brown. 

We arrived on a Thursday morning before noon and ended up roomless for hours. Went to breakfast, then drove around my old neighborhood. I wanted to see if Mark Zuckerberg (who bought my childhood home) had changed it or, worse, razed it.  Thankfully, it still's there. The entire neighborhood looked much the same, which warmed my heart.   Drove by friends old homes to see if there neighborhoods looked much the same and they did.  Our elementary school has long been gone with many houses replacing it, but that was no surprise.  Drove by the Community Center, the Main Library, the Palo Alto Children's Theatre, and parked at my high school, Palo Alto High to see the changes.  There are so many changes.  The Haymarket Theatre was open where all of my school shows and concerts occurred. It was wonderful to be able to share that piece of me with my husband.  It was open and we peaked around.  Then strolled around where the drama and music rooms were.  Saw the amazingly fancy and hi-tech Media Arts Center and Performing Arts Center from the outside.  WOW!  Don't understand how private money can go to one public school, but those kids should feel incredibly lucky.  So is true for the completely modernized and competitive athletic department and facilities.  WOW!  That night, met a dear friend of my sister's for dinner.  So fun and so yummy.  Off to try to sleep for night one.

Friday morning, made a plan to meet our closest P.A. friends at Peninsula Creamery.  Always good, never disappoints.  Caught up and chatted wildly about us, kids, the upcoming reunion events, theatre, travel, etc.  Holly and Billy adore spending time together.  We parted and Rich and I walked all around downtown to see the changes.  There are many.  Very many chain stores, but the architecture is much the same.  It still felt quaint and not the over the top wealthy that the area has become.  Still found comfort there.  The festivities began at 5:30pm for an impromptu gathering at a Mexican Restaurant called Vive del Sol.  There were at least 20 people there that I hadn't seen in years.  It was a perfect plan with people coming in and out.  The management was less than thrilled to have us paying customers staying on and on. They must've made money on our group, but their attitude sucked.  

Saturday arrived and the excitement really began to build.  I started seeing so many faces and friends in the lobby of the hotel.  Totally fun to see Pamela Gray, Kathy Gullixson, and Nancy Schreiner, all whom I've known since elementary school. I had brunch with Carolyn and Murdoch Perdue at Hobee's.  I had a midday afternoon with Karen Hughes at Mitchell Park.  So great to reconnect with her.  She is a very important part of my high school days. Mitchell Park blew my mind.  It used to be a sweet little park for kids and a little library and now it's a huge glorious activity center with a beautiful library.  The difference is incredible.  After that rendezvous, it was time to try to get gussied up.  I use that term loosely.  I took a shower, washed my hair, and got dressed.  It was still too early.  Always ready too early.  I was beginning not to feel my best.  Maybe a little dehydration, a little MS, a little hunger.  I wasn't going to let anything ruin this night.  It was time....I got there among the first, of course. I tried to shovel some food in before the people really began to float in.  The room was perfect.  Lots of light with an outside area for drinks and hor'doevres.  I can't believe all the people that started to come.  David Leslie, Adam Saunders, Xan Chamberlin, Pierre Tronik, Emily DuBois, Annabel Nunes, Mark Armstrong, Jim Donald, Eric Cretarolo, Natasha Kline, Debbie Sharpe, Carol Thuman, Laura Sprague, and more and more.  About a 1/3 of the class of 365 were in attendance.  

It was as if no time had passed.  How could it be 40 years since we all got our diplomas and went our separate ways?  We fell back into fun, laughs, and conversations. Even those that you weren't close to at the time felt like long lost friends. Hugs and dancing. Stories and catching up.  There were faces of joy and happiness everywhere.  Just to be there in the room was a high.  Now I know that not everyone loved their high school years and I'm sorry that you were unable to be with us.  I think we are a fantastic group of adults that still seem spirited and youthful in a room of our peers.  Sure there may be more grey hair, less hair, a few more pounds, a few less pounds, an inch or two shorter, but for one night again, we were 17/18 years old.  It was truly a magical night.  The hotel was cleaning up around us.  No one wanted to leave.  

We lost a few classmates along the way from illness, drugs, suicide, accidents, but for those of us that showed up, we remember the ones we lost.  We are a great group of 17/18 + 40 year olds.  I was proud of all of us but no more proud than all the work that Laurie Santos and Holly Liberatore put in to make the night so memorable. I look forward to your planning the 50th reunion.  You fine ladies worked like dogs and pulled off a night to remember.

Love to all the people that showed up.  Hope everyone makes it to our 50th healthy, wealthy, and more wise.

xoxo

Monday, June 12, 2017

All For One and One For All


This is going to be a long rant because there's been so much about the Arts to discuss, so here I go.  First and foremost, last night was the 71st Annual Tony Awards. I had so much invested in this Awards show.  The first time in years.  About a year ago, I went to see an Off-Broadway musical that my friend was one of the producers of, called Dear Evan Hansen.  Was thoroughly blown away by the story, the performances, the music, lyrics, everything.  I sobbed, laughed, and cheered.  I hadn't seen anything that thrilling since Hamilton, and before that it was way long ago.  I told everyone that I knew to get tickets.  They announced a move to Broadway and again, I told everyone to get tickets. Well, many listened and some didn't.  It re-opened for its Broadway run to more stellar reviews.  Tickets began to get more scarce.  I got my kids and Mom tickets for the Second Stage Production.  We got tickets for the Broadway run for Christmas Day matinee.  We all loved it.  It lost nothing in the move.  One actor was different, but it was still deeply moving and a sobfest.  

Tony season began and I had no doubt that it would sweep, just like Hamilton the year before, but people like the NY Post theatre gossip "king," Michael Riedel started banging the drums for Come From Away mightily.  He banged for Andy Karl in Groundhog Day over Ben Platt's breakthrough performance.  I started to get nervous.  I started to feel anxious as Tony night got closer and closer.  The Tony's have notoriously voted some odd winners that seemed monetarily propelled.  Did the "king" know something that I didn't?  I saw Come From Away and I wish it nothing but the best. I laughed, I cried, but what people are responding to is that it is a truly amazing story of humanity and kindness.  If you never read or watched the 60 Minutes piece on the generous people of Gander, it will effect you every time. As far as the music goes, it's nothing to hum.  So according to Riedel it was going to be a really tight horse race between Ben Platt and Andy Karl for Best Actor in a Musical and Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away for Best Musical.  Seriously?  Are you watching the same productions?  

Truth be told, I was in deep.  I listen to the original recording of Dear Evan Hansen all the time.  My dear, dear friend of 40 years, Steve Fickinger, is one of the producers.  This show hit me hard and in a good way.  I related as a parent and as a high schooler.  I was not sitting measured and impartial watching the show last night.  Steve Fickinger was going to win a Tony and it's for all of us in someway.  We started together at UCLA, moved to NYC, hustled, worked hard, and years later, the dedication pays off.  I am exceedingly proud of my friend.  Dear Evan Hansen won 6 Tonys last night!  For those of you who didn't get tickets yet, well good luck.  

Dear Evan Hansen's domination made the Tony's great, but as far as the Tony show itself, I give it a B/B-.  I, unlike many, am not a big Kevin Spacey fan.  I get his exceedingly huge talent, but so does he, so he doesn't need my support. I didn't like the opening number, it felt forced and only some of it was clever.  I wanted them to get to the Awards part faster.  I must say, Radio City Music Hall looked stellar.  It is a recognizable, one of a kind venue and am glad they're back there.  I do applaud that the playwrights each got their own moment to give a synopsis of their plays.  I found it far more affecting than showing oddly cut scenes and felt how much I've missed not seeing any of them.  In Memoriam was difficult for me. My dear, dear John McMartin was honored.  It is almost a year since he died and still can't get used to him not being there.  Always and forever, John. 

I'm not going to go through the entire show, but the one segment that many are applauding and many are criticizing is Bette Midler's Tony speech. I have been a diehard fan for 46 years.  My husband got tickets months in advance to see her star as Dolly.  We went Mother's Day and I was not disappointed.  I have seen Bette in concert halls, arenas, on film, TV, and now finally, Broadway.  She has been in this business for over 50 years.  She was in the original Fiddler on the Roof and then her own show, Clams on the Half Shell.  She hasn't been back for decades.  She was a shoe-in to win Best Actress in a Musical.  Her name was announced, she came on stage, and spoke a long time, thanking so many people, shut down the orchestra, and kept going.  Thanked the women that came before her, Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey.  She gave a long and gratifying speech.  Some criticized.  They didn't like it.  To me and many, it was her divine moment to shine.  This is most probably her one and only time to win a Tony Award for a role.  She's earned the time and respect. Don't ever forget...she is The Divine Miss M and there will never be another!

                                ***************************

The summer before I began 4th grade, we moved to a different neighborhood and a different school.  It wasn't that far away, but far enough that I was starting anew.  My mother encouraged me to audition for a play at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre. She thought it would be a good way to meet new people and make new friends.  The play was Cricket on the Hearth.  It was the holiday play.  I got in and never looked back.  I stayed and created a wonderful theatre family.  The woman in charge for 47 years, Pat Briggs, died last week at the age of 80.  When I was little, she was formidable, a bit scary, and ran the most magical place on earth.  As I grew older and went to college, I doubled down on my love and appreciation for Pat and the Children's Theatre.  I didn't realize how lucky and unique it was. I figured everyone had something like that in their town, but I soon discovered that we were beyond lucky to have a place to learn theatre craft, make friends, be safe, and be part of something bigger than ourselves.  My first real kiss was in the Secret Garden attached to the building.  My first play, my first musical, my first volunteerism, my first just about everything was because of the warmth and love that infused this venue.  My memories are vivid and some are dimming, but Pat Briggs gave generations of Palo Alto kids opportunities that we couldn't even imagine.  I hope that I told you that before you passed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

                                    **************************

Sidebars:  Okay, I never weighed in on Kathy Griffin and her "joke."  It was tasteless and not funny, but people, she always pushes boundaries.  She has said hilariously funny things and cringey things over the years.  I've read so much hate on her since she posted that unfortunate photo I was shocked at the vitriol  I am not one to ruin people's careers.  I don't like it. I think it's completely wrong to vilify and squash people.  I let my dollars speak for themselves.  That's how I protest.  I was deeply disappointed in CNN's precipitous firing, basically moments after the photo got slammed.  Why couldn't they wait until September to see if anyone cared.  I also thought the theatres that cancelled her were spineless and shameful.  Why couldn't they let the ticket buying public make the decision?  So afraid of protestors?  I doubt that her fans are the same fans that were demanding her head on the guillotine.  Let your dollars speak and let people soar or flop a natural career death.  ** Tonight is Game 5 of the NBA Finals.  I was so sorry that the Warriors didn't get the chance to break another record the other night and got whooped by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but hoping and expecting that the Dubs want to win at home in front of their loyal fans.  So tonight, Game 5, ABC, 9:00pm EDT, let's go Golden State Warriors!!!  I love ya!!  (No Bachelorette because of the game)  ** It's hotter than Hades in much of the Country.  Glad to see we have so many ignorant climate change deniers.  Enjoy your weather and be careful out there.

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.
@DianaPodolsky

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hollow Victories

Why do I feel like I am living in an insane asylum?  I feel Like I am a bobblehead, I shake my head all the time.  I can't get over the soullessness of the GOP in the House.  I truly don't get it.  And where is the outrage from those that supported POTUS and the Republicans?  Don't you  see what they are doing?  Do I think that Obamacare was the greatest?  Absolutely not, but the Republicans should have spent the past 7 years tweaking it and improving it, instead of just being obstructionist dicks.  There are some incredibly important items in the Affordable Care Act that voters take for granted or just don't understand.  Young adults can be covered until they're 26 on their parents' insurance plans. Pre-existing conditions are covered.  Does everyone understand pre-existing conditions?  Do you really?  Everyone that I know and everyone that I love over 40 has a pre-existing condition.  That's why ACA needed a lot of young healthy people to sign up.  That's actually how insurance works, which seemed to elude Speaker of the House Ryan.  It's true for home insurance, car insurance, liability insurance, etc.  It's insurance.  That means that you hope you never need to use it, but if you do, it's there.  If I pay $5000/year for car insurance and never have an accident, I am alleviating the costs for others that do get into an accident.  

So, yesterday, the thoroughly dark, soulless, and hypocritical GOP in the House passed a bill that will take away pre-existing conditions, hurt the poor and needy, help the rich, and hurt the elderly (and by elderly, I mean people over 50).  Now, if the members of Congress had skin in the game and were going to partake in their shitty, evil health plan, I'd be mad, but somewhat assuaged of anger, but....That's certainly not how this works.  Congress has incredible health insurance and so any decisions they make won't effect them in any way, shape or form.  It's f**king outrageous.  

Here's a list of pre-existing conditions lost under #Trumpcare:
AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer's/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, ipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities, Down syndrome, eating disorder, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues, migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, OCD, organ transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson's disease, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, ulcers. Pretty much everyone that I know. I have half of these, my husband the other.  It doesn't cover anything, so what's the point?  Really, sit down and read the list. Look around at your friends and family. Pretty sure you can tick a bunch of these off.

I don't understand their supporters at all.  Who do you think this plan will help?  Why would you cheer for this?  This will hurt you like everything else they have done since POTUS took office.  Nothing is hurting the rich. Nothing.  This will only take down the people that need assistance and coverage. Why don't you see it?  Again, it's indicative of their hypocritical feelings.  Many of these GOPers are "good" Christians, but they have no idea what Jesus would do.  Maybe that's what they should ask themselves when they vote.  What would Jesus do? Right now, you are doing the opposite in every way.  

And again, why are we allowing all the conflicts of interests to infiltrate our government?  Why don't the Republican voters/Tr**p lovers care about all the money that's being made by the First Family and friends?  Why don't they care to find out the truth about the Russia hacking and influence?  Why?  Shouldn't we know FACTS???  If we found out that there was no wrong doing, we, who feel that there has been and may continue to be, would have to move on and get over it.  If we found out there was wrong doing, shouldn't we know?  Aren't we Americans first?  I don't think either side of the aisle can be successful without total transparency, investigations, and facts. POTUS and Congress just wish to undo everything that President and Mrs. Obama did just because they did it.  It's asinine and B.S. that that's what's going on, but that's how it looks and feels.  Come on, rolling back healthy lunches for kids and school?  Really??  Why?  

My brain is imploding or exploding everyday, but writing all the time has felt redundant.  So much has been said and written, but I couldn't be silent anymore.  You can tell that this punched me right in the gut.

                                      ******************

Sidebars:  Happier things:  the NBA playoffs. Go Warriors!  Baseball:  early but still fun for distracting.  ** Amazing Race is back.  The Voice has only a couple more weeks to go. Survivor has been one blindside after another. More good distractions. **  Stephen Colbert is on fire in his late night monologues. DVR it every night for morning viewing.  Much better than any news.  Much better to begin the day laughing.  **  Tony nominations were announced this week.  No huge surprises that I am fully invested in all things Dear Evan Hanson.  Still the best show by far.  Great book, lyrics, music, cast, set design, orchestrations, and Ben Platt!!!  Can't say it enough. If you still haven't seen it, you best get tickets.  ** NYC is getting the Midwest rain.  Torrents and flooding all around. If you're in the Northeast, be safe.  We are going to have a very rainy weekend. 

Please feel free to re-post, re-tweet or forward to a friend.

@Diana Podolsky

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Getting Darker All the Time


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a very optimistic, positive person.  I was considered a sickeningly happy child.  I have maintained my "Pollyanna" core for much of my life, but recently I feel it's dimming.  I am feeling dark thoughts about the world more than I have ever felt.  It's causing me concern for my very soul.  Yes, I am a Democrat.  Yes, I lean Left. BUT, mostly I have always thought I was compassionate and sensible in all decisions and points of view.  I am able to hear an opposing view, think about it, and re-assess.  I am an equal opportunity critic.  My achilles heel is injustice and hypocrisy.  I am always able to admit it if I'm wrong. I am always able to apologize.   I never thought those were such special abilities, but clearly, they are.  

In our current climate, which started far before this current President, partisanship is extreme.  From my point of view, the people on the Right never criticize their own, until most recently.  While people on the Left, overly criticize their own.  From a person who sees things sensibly, I don't get it.  AND I really don't get it now.  In this current climate where there are so many unanswered questions, I do not understand how all the people in America aren't passionately crazy to know the truth about the President and Russian ties.  That is the very crux of our Democracy if foreign governments are trying to influence our Country.  That's it!  How is it even a Partisan issue at all?  How can anyone not want the truth on this?  I truly don't get it.  There should have been outrage and concern from the get go as opposed to getting the "win!"  If that doesn't shake your confidence in our Democracy, what will?  

We are not fighting over policy.  We are uncertain of the influence from outside our Country.  Why doesn't that make all Americans up in arms?  This isn't some movie; this is our Country, our Democracy.  This isn't healthcare or gun reform, this is investigating the evidence and the trail from Russia to the US government.  This shocks me that this is partisan at all.  Seriously, if the investigation is completed and the determination is there was zero collusion with the Tr**p campaign, so be it.  Then, it's our problem to re-align our thinking. BUT, what if they find that there was/is collusion, wouldn't we all want to know so we can protect our Democracy for the future?  I don't understand the partisanship when there is so much at stake.  My head feels like a bobblehead from all the head shaking.  Anyone out there want to tell me how anyone doesn't want the answers?
Congress acts like they just want to go on as if everything is normal.  

Until Comey testified in Congress this week, they did their best, though now they are covered in slime and still trying to move forward with their agendas.  How can you when the bread crumbs are looking seriously moldy?  This corruption possibility should be bipartisan all the way.  This should not be Republicans vs. Democrats.  This is a possible Constitutional crisis.  All of us need to know the truth, whichever way it may fall.  

I find myself wishing dark and ugly thoughts on people.  When the new wish list budget was announced, all I could think of was a pox on all their houses.  Let the First Family drink the water from Flint.  Let them get new and horrifying diseases that couldn't be identified because the budget for the National Institute of Health was slashed.  I want the First Family, his administration, and Congress to all have TrumpCare.  See how long they survive. I don't like these feelings, but they are creeping in more frequently. I have tried to decrease my reading and watching but it's hard.  Statements and accusations are firing rapidly throughout the White House.  Alternative Facts have become the norm and I don't understand how all Americans aren't more concerned or questioning the White House.  What's going on isn't normal.  This should not be Left vs. Right, Coasts vs. Fly Over, Rich vs. Poor, White vs. All Colors, Men vs. Women, Straight vs. Gay, this should worry ALL Americans.  Anyone know why it isn't?  The terrain here is new and scary.  We are in unchartered waters that are dark and deep.  I hate feeling so dark all the time.  I want a happy ending but don't expect to get it.  This is no Disney movie, but I will take truth and facts.  Let the chips fall where they may. 

                                                                         ____________

Sidebars:  Rachel Maddow got punked and, in turn, punked us.  I felt let down by her overhyped Tr**p taxes show which revealed nothing, but, and I can't say this enough, Rachel Maddow has been doing outstanding work on her show.  She has one misstep and everyone wants to erase all the other good work.  No, we can't do that.  We have to stay vigilant and keep listening and reading.  There's a lot to be answered.  So, one crappy show doth not make a total career. -- The Voice is always enjoyable but I am quite tired of Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton's love match.  Maybe they can't be on the show together anymore. It's tiresome banter. -- Tom Bergeron and Neil Gorsuch separated at birth? -- March Madness began last week and there is just too much talking during the games by the on air talent and too many long referee reviews.  Still too many game-changing calls made. I know the refs are human but it's hard when we all can see on the 85th replay that they called it wrong.  Here's to the Sweet 16 Thursday! -- NBA season is almost done with the regular season. Then the longest playoffs season begins. -- MLB begins in two weeks. Oh, joy! Go Giants!! -- Is there a reason that tax payers had to pay for the FBI investigation into where Tom Brady's Super Bowl jerseys went?  What an annoying waste. -- Speaking about tax dollars, I will keep shouting it and writing it; the First Family is costing the taxpayers far too much money on travel and security. Where's the outrage?!!? Three million dollars every Mar-a-Lago weekend. $300,000 a day to protect Melania and Barron in NYC. Saw a photo of the original spawn family on a skiing weekend in Aspen with their families.  How much did that cost? If they stopped wasting all that money, we wouldn't have to slash the NEA, Meals on Wheels, NIH, Education, after school programs, etc.  Seriously, where is the effin' outrage?!

Please feel free to re-post, re-tweet or forward to a friend.
@DianaPodolsky

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Head's About to Explode

I feel that I've said this before, but I am totally overwhelmed and getting paralyzed with the current and despicable political climate.  I feel assaulted from all sides on social media.  The Alt-Right and POTUS blow my mind every minute since Inauguration Day.  I can't believe what they are trying to do to our Country.  I can't believe how many elected officials are choosing Party over Country.  All the people on the Left are posting actions to call, protest, send postcards. Some seem repetitive postings and I have to figure out if I signed before or not.  I was trying to flush out the noise and try to filter the important things "to do," but so far that hasn't worked.  There are so many things on both sides flying around and it's gotten so challenging to know where to begin.  I read one post that we should focus on two important issues and place all your concentration there.  Sounds good and yet, still not easy to do.  

The whole #DeleteUber didn't feel right to me.  I do not use Uber but it felt very quick to judge and condemn, which is no better than many on the Far Right. Do I think they did something underhanded and sneaky?  I really don't know.  I was trying to think how I'd feel if I had flown in to JFK and stuck without a ride home or to a hotel.  Maybe inconveniencing travellers is all part of the protest, but I don't think that helps the issue of unfair immigration Executive orders.  Uber has often stood up in terrible times to give rides to people in need.  I'm just not sure they did anything really wrong.  Again, I don't use Uber, so I am not standing in defense of them, but I know so many are quick for a boycott and condemnation on all sides.  That's why we haven't seen Billy Bush or Dr. Nancy Snyderman and so many more.  Gone, banished.  I just want the protesting to be fairly focussed and not destructive.  I don't know the answer, though I've read both sides.  Look, it's easy to delete when there are many other car services out there, but it's not true throughout the Country.  It's a balancing act and the outrage needs to be directed squarely at the feet of the new Administration and the elected officials.

I am beginning to feel hopeless and helpless.  I don't like that feeling.  I will keep reading articles and postings. I will try to make the calls, send the letters, and protest where I can, but it all feels so big.  Why aren't there more Senators and Representatives standing up for Country over Party?  Maybe we should take away all the lifelong packages of salaries and healthcare and the job wouldn't be as cushy to keep.  Maybe we incentivize politicians to do the right thing and not worry about the next election. Again, always goes back to the money and public campaign finance.  At this point, that's gone way down the list.  Now, we are fighting for equal rights, the environment, and survival.  Yes, to all you Tr**p voters, many of us feel our mere survival is at stake as both a Nation and a world.  How do you Tr**p supporters feel?  Happy with your decision?  I don't get it.  Even the Pope is standing up for what's right.  The Pope!!  

One more very important point to me.  The media, other than Fox because that would be too much to hope for, need to call things as they are.  No more Obamacare!  It's the Affordable Care Act.  If the media hadn't called it Obamacare, maybe we wouldn't be where we are today.  Even Obama started calling it Obamacare.  The Republican marketing machine is stellar, so the media needs to be the ones to keep things clear and honest.  We are depending on your integrity during these unchartered waters.  Let's call things by their correct names and labels.  Call out untruths and lies.  This is really your chance to rise and shine.

Sidebars:  Watched the SAG Awards on TNT.  Quite fun but far too many commercials.  Always great to see actors supporting each other.  On a personal note, was grateful and thrilled, that my dear John McMartin was honored in the In Memoriam section.  The Emmys didn't and should be ashamed.  ** So sad about the passing of Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Hale, and John Hurt. Turned on the MTM marathon on Sundance and it was the episode "Mary Needs a Lawyer."  The lawyer was none other than John McMartin.  A beautiful and sad way to start Sunday morning.  **  Saw Arrival and not my cup of tea.  Saw Lion and thought it was so moving and compelling.  Definitely worth seeing.  **  Super Bowl Sunday coming up.  Oh, how I hope the Atlanta Falcons upset the Patriots.  That would make it a great game.  Not sure about Lady Gaga, but we shall see, won't we?  

Snowing here a bit. Stay warm and dry wherever you may be.  See you when I see you.

Please feel free to re-post, re-tweet or forward to a friend.
@DianaPodolsky

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Globes, With Love


The 2016 Golden Globes are over.  I await them every year, though they are a far cry from their earlier under produced years.  Still the best night.  The Hollywood Foreign  Press always makes surprising picks.  None greater to me than an FX series I never heard of until I studied the nominations, Atlanta, and Best Actress in a Drama, Isabelle Huppert for Elle.  Overall, it was a good show.  Jimmy Fallon did a great opening number with his LalaLand take off, but he also disappeared halfway through.  Thinking they had to cut his bits because so many speeches went long.  Maybe they gave him the boot, I don't know, but everyone was overshadowed by the incredibly moving speech by Meryl Streep.  

Ms. Streep was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award and she took the opportunity to speak volumes and move hearts.  Of course, on my Facebook feed everyone gave it kudos.  She spoke from the heart about our PEOTUS without mentioning his name.  She spoke of the importance of the Arts and that we, as Americans and Global citizens, need to be vigilant about Freedom of the Press.  She spoke eloquently and with grace and dignity.  You could hear a pin drop in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  I saw one person in the distance moving. Everyone was spellbound and hanging on every word.  It was a wonderful television moment.  It's one of those moments that only happens on the Golden Globes. 

Of course, PEOTUS had to tweet because he is a petulant child and say she's an overrated actress, among other things. His reaction was so predictably immature, but I always hope that he will rise and deal with the important issues in our Country.  He seems completely incapable.  Again, that's why "we" can't get over it.

But I digress, the Awards season is off.  LalaLand broke Globe records with the most wins ever.  I am very surprised by that, though I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be inventive filmmaking.  There have been so many magnificent movies over the past half century.  Anyway, no big faux pas made other than some of the men went the same color as PEOTUS.  There were a few that were on the orange-ier hue.  Unfortunate.  The women looked beautiful.  I love Goldie Hawn, but am sorry she has had so much work done.  Thrilled that Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston won for The Night Manager.  Loved Claire Foy and The Crown winning, too.  I wish that Hidden Figures got more recognition because it's a wonderful film, great acting, and needs to be seen.  So happy that "my" Dear, Evan Hansen guys, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, won for LaLaLand for Best Song! 

That's my very basic overview.  I am happy to have these distractions in the coming weeks.  I need some good Hollywood glamour and meaningless Awards!

Sidebars:  The Bachelor began last week opposite The Celebrity Apprentice and kicked its butt!  Apprentice will probably get killed tonight opposite the NCAA Football Championship Game. :-) -- If you haven't been watching The Crown on Netflix, it's well worth the 10 hours.  I love Peter Morgan, the writer.  I loved The Queen on film, The Audience on Broadway, and Frost/Nixon on TV.  He's a very thoughtful writer. -- Jenna Bush Hager got so much hate for saying Hidden Fences by mistake instead of Hidden Figures on the Red Carpet, but Michael Keaton said it on air during the show and crickets. Hmmm -- If you aren't a lover of our PEOTUS, turn your television on during the Inauguration to a non-Inauguration station: History Channel, Comedy Central, HBO, anything that's not that.  Keep it on, even if you're not home.  If you don't have the television on, it won't have the same resounding ratings result.  Something to think about.  Low ratings will create a tweet storm! -- NFL is down to 8 teams on the road to the Super Bowl.  Hope we get surprise teams. A girl can hope can't she? -- Hope the people effected by the massive rains are safe and dry.  Careful out there.  
Happy frigid Monday only to be in the 50's later in the week in NYC.

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.
@DianaPodolsky

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Lower the Lows

2016 has been an unbelievably shitty year.  I'm sure that at this time we always think that we've lost an enormous amount of famous and non famous people, but this year....It's not that I don't understand the life cycle, but these past 12 months have been peppered with too many gone too soon.  My closest and dearest of all, John McMartin, was chronologically not too soon, but his spirit was always young at heart.  I knew that I would lose him at some point, but still wasn't prepared for the deep personal loss.  (Read my blog Too Many Mornings, July 7, 2016). And then there were all the celebrities. Too numerous to even count, but so many too young: David Bowie, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Gary Shandling, and the gut punch was losing Carrie Fisher and then her Mom, Debbie Reynolds.  The In Memorium's on all the Awards shows could last an hour this season.  There were far more losses than I ever remember before.  It has felt like a sucker punch everyday.  

On top of that, the non-stop rancor and discord of our Country has taken it's emotional toll.  The far too long Presidential campaign and all the sordid ins and outs...it's worn away a part of me.  I don't think I can ever express or forget the feeling I had on Tuesday night, November 8, 2016.  I've never felt so sickened and disillusioned about anything like that before.  The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach still hasn't gone away.  I never saw this coming and, that night, hope faded to misery.  I know people who said get over it, but I can't and many can't.  Easy for white Christian males to say that. This PEOTUS is unlike any we've seen.  We may have had ideological differences with President-Elects before, but nothing like this.  The lessons we've taught our children is unfathomable.  Seriously, if PEOTUS was a 6 year old in school, he would've been expelled for his behavior, but now he will be the leader of the most divided Country since the 60's.  I don't think that he is up to the challenge.  I am absolutely willing to be proven wrong.  I'd be thrilled if all my fears and terrors aren't realized, but I've seen no sign of a grownup in the room.  

I have always been an upbeat, happy-go-lucky person, but this year has knocked me over repeatedly.  I know that I am not alone, but it doesn't mean I don't feel alone.  I don't want to be or even feel comfortable being Debbie Downer, because I've always been an optimist, but I don't see the bright future I used to see.  Our Millennial generation deserves so much more and I hope they fight for their future.  I have been using a word in the past few months that never even passed my lips or written before, but have used repeatedly now...bereft.  An old English word that has felt the most befitting.  

I am deeply disappointed with President Obama in his waning weeks.  I don't understand his motivations on so many issues, primarily the UN and Israel. Not going to argue about it here. It's a complex, layered issue. My only certainty is the UN always votes against Israel.  There's a great video trending about the Middle East conflict by Dennis Prager, Jewish conservative,  which is worth watching. Really wanted Obama to go out on a high note, but now....

Words matter. Feelings matter. Think twice in 2017 before knocking someone or mocking someone.  One stone, one brick at a time.  The schmaltzy "act of kindness" just may be the ticket, though with a PEOTUS tweeting all the time, it's hard to feel hopeful. We are treading in unchartered waters. We need to stand up. We need to keep raising our voices.  We need to write letters. We need to remember who we really are.  

People I am really trying, but I don't want to write all sad and depressed so my words may be fewer and farther apart. May we all make 2017 what we want it to be.  Stay strong. Stay loud.

Sidebars:  Things to look forward to in 2017...Awards season. Golden Globes are up first.  I definitely need them.  Distractions, talent, laughs, tears, and black ties.  Football season is winding down, thankfully. Four months until the first pitch.  Basketball season is heating up. Bruno Mars is going on tour.  New Broadway shows, television,  and movies.  My 40th high school reunion!!!  Go Vikings!!!!!  You can let me know what you're looking forward to in 2017, maybe we can buoy each other.  Health and love in 2017.  Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.
@DianaPodolsky