Tuesday, January 31, 2012


One of the best kept television secrets is a series called The Shark Tank.  When it first promo'd two years ago, I thought it was about sharks, as in Shark Week. Boy, was I wrong.  It's an incredibly interesting and educational form of entertainment.  Five unbelievably successful business people (Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec) listen to business pitches from individual people that need money to take their start up companies to the next step.  It can be as little as $10,000 or millions of dollars.  The sales pitch is very important and for anyone who is interested in business, it's an incredible way to learn what to do or, more importantly, what not to do.  The "Sharks" listen to the pitches, negotiate money and percentages, and either make a deal or walk away. Their line is "I'm out."  Some of the items that have been pitched have become successful to the inventor/owners.  

This past Friday night's episode was different.  A man had invented a retractable rack for pick up trucks.  He was from North Carolina and he was determined to manufacture in his State. Keep the jobs local. Help his community grow the economy.
The Sharks all liked the invention, but felt strongly that they couldn't commit to manufacturing in America.  They are all about the money and the business model.  The young man wasn't giving in, it meant too much to him to make his product in America.  All the Sharks passed.  It was a very stark reality of the global economic conundrum.  I was disappointed that the Sharks didn't just give him the money, even out of charity.  I totally understood that they are investing their own money, not ABC's money, so value and wise investing is imperative, but....The message boards lit up over this segment.  Maybe he will get the money elsewhere.

Another man came out and pitched his company.  He began by professing that he is the best salesman in the world.  He proceeded to pitch his idea, that I didn't get at all.  The Sharks thought it was an interesting idea but didn't like the prospects. One by one, they were "out."  Down to two Sharks, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.  Mark accepted the exact terms of the salesman's proposal if he would close the deal right then and there.  He didn't. He wanted to hear what Barbara wanted.  She wanted out.  So, he went back to Mark and Mark taught him a very expensive and valuable lesson.  In so doing, hopefully, taught a lot of people watching the show.  You know the saying, a bird in the hand....Mark told him in no uncertain terms that he blew it and he was out.  Sad and stupid.  

It really is a fascinating show and great to watch as a family.  So give it a go sometime.  DVR it or just sit around together on a Friday night and watch.  Not only is it entertaining, it is eye-opening about the world of business.


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Monday, January 30, 2012

Man's Best Friend

I have been mulling over a story here in NYC a lot. It's about a man and his dog.  This man, named Nick, rescued a pitbull, named Rocco. Rocco became Nick's best friend.  The condo that Nick and Rocco lived in changed the dog rules two years ago.  Really nothing that objectionable.  No big dogs (which would include pitbulls), dogs can't use the passenger elevator, and dogs can't be alone for more than 9 hours.  None of those rules seem too harsh as a fellow apartment dweller.  For some reason, which is unclear to me, Nick and Rocco felt harassed and tortured by the board.  Even if Nick felt that Rocco had to leave the building, how can you explain what was to follow?  Nick took his beloved dog to the vet on Nick's 47th birthday and had the vet put him down.  Nick went home and took his own life. I have thought about this all weekend.  I can't understand how it all played out in his head.  I can't understand why a vet would put down a healthy dog. I can't understand why Nick didn't look for another home for Rocco, if he felt so threatened, or moved for that matter.  The whole scenario is painful and inexplicable.  

The NY Post has highlighted this story for 3 days now.  A friend of mine told me to read the comments on the internet because he was so astonished by how anti-semitic the remarks were.  I looked through the comments and thought it takes so little to reveal their ugly sides and at the same time say they aren't anti-semites, while they write egregious statements about Jews. I believe that some of the condo board members are Jewish which is where the hate speech was directed.  There isn't a time or a place for hate speech. There is no justification ever. I digress, I am not doing this entire story justice because I think I must be missing something. It doesn't add up. It is a tragedy but wasn't it avoidable?  Wasn't there another way?  If any people reading this and have an explanation, please let me know.

Sidebars: I can't believe that for 18 years, Screen Actors Guild actors have been congratulating themselves with awards. I am not saying it isn't enjoyable, but I have never felt it necessary. There are too many awards shows which has almost made the Oscars irrelevant. We've heard the speeches so many times by the time the never-ending Academy Awards Show airs.  The whole self-congratulatory thing makes me feel uncomfortable. Did anyone hear Alec Baldwin's less than humble acceptance speech?  Yuck! The beloved Mary Tyler Moore seemed a bit off her game, which I found disconcerting. Dick Van Dyke was stellar. He makes me happy. I can't shake off the Governor Jan Brewer finger wagging.  I can't believe that we have gotten so off course, that there wasn't a cacophony of outrage by everyone.  Not only was there silence from the right, Governer Brewer's moderately sold book soared into bestselling status.  Really?  That's where we are? Insult the President and get 1.5 million book sales overnight????!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012


A wise woman, I know, read in The Reader's Digest in the early 50's that cigarettes could cause lung cancer. That's all she needed to hear. She quit immediately.  So why is it that she is the exception to the rule?  When I was in college, I started to smoke. I knew about the health risks, but felt invincible, I guess.  I panicked as a I watched actors on stage having to smoke for their characters and so obviously not smokers.  It looked stupid, probably would've been better not to smoke at all.  I thought, what if I have to smoke for a role?  I learned how to smoke and kept smoking.  Of course, I never had to smoke for a role.  Smoked with my friends.  How dumb, huh?  

Now almost 35 years later, a non-smoker for 20 years, and walking around the streets of NYC, I am stunned by all the smokers.  The smokers I see are not old, weathered, long time smokers.  The smokers I see are young people.  Really?  Young people??  How much more scientific evidence do people need to not smoke?  Researchers have proven that there isn't a cancer not increased by smoking.  When I was a kid, it was lung cancer. Now, it's lung, breast, pancreatic, stomach, etc. and so forth.  It increases diabetes, ulcers. I don't think there is a health issue that isn't negatively affected by cigarette smoking. So how is it that people keep starting to smoke?  In NYC, cigarettes cost around $14.00 a pack.  Really?  That is a bloody fortune and for what?  Inhaling poison and carcinogens into your system?  It makes no sense to me.  

I am too frugal to smoke today. I would never spend $14.00 for a pack of cigarettes. That alone would've kept me from ever starting to smoke.  Now, some of you may tell me that cigarettes are only $10.00 where you live, but whatever the cost in your community, it is an obscene amount for an item that has no redeeming value.  

Sidebars:  Governor Jan Brewer cannot be excused for wagging her finger in the President's face.  It can't be excused. It was completely disrespectful and would be if she wagged her finger in anyone's face, but the President? How far we have fallen as a civilized people. The fallout for Paula Dean's three year late admission continues.  Did anyone else hear she smokes a pack and a half a day?  Heard it as a throw away on one show, that's it.  And for those of us over 50, Robert Hegyes died in Metuchen, New Jersey of a cardiac arrest at the age of 60. He played Juan Epstein the Jewish/Puerto Rican sweathog on Welcome, Back Kotter.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The State of the Union?

The State of the Union.  I always try to watch, no matter which party is in the White House. I have mixed feelings about the speeches. First off, they are always sunnier than I feel.  The President can't get up there and say, "things really suck and we are screwed."  Even if that's how I am feeling.  The speech writers always put their best foot forward and look at the glass half full.  Where are we? Where can we go from here?  Etc., etc., etc.

Last night's speech by President Obama was no different, not really. It was a speech full of hope and pulling together.  About being Americans, not Democrats and Republicans.  Though still Republicans sit when Democrats stand.  It's so immature and I am not sure when that began.  We try to teach our children better.  We tell kids there's no "I" in team.  Somehow, that gets left at the proverbial door of D.C.  It is "us" against "them."

It makes me sad because by nature I am a very idealistic and optimistic person. I want to believe in what our leaders stand up before me and say. Then, half the audience stays seated. I wish that they would discourage applause and standing ovations for all State of the Union addresses.  First of all, it would shorten the speech.  Second, it would take away a layer of B.S. 

When the President spoke about being a team and the brave soldiers do what they are supposed to do, no matter their background, I found it moving and hopeful. That lasted about as long as the commercial break. As soon as Mitch Daniels came on for the Republican rebuttal, it was over.  So the greatness of the prose gets twisted and turned back in as if evil abounds. 

Sidebars:  One of the great results of the State of the Union address, was a one hour episode of The Biggest Loser, instead of the usual over-inflated two hours.  They should really consider that forever. Poor Demi Moore. Checked into rehab for possible substance abuse or exhaustion. Time will tell. 

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Monday, January 23, 2012


This was one of the toughest weekends that I can remember from all directions.  Starting with the news that Heidi Klum and Seal are getting divorced, only to be followed by Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. Are no Hollywood marriages sacred or real? Come on, now I have to root for Angelina and Brad and Julia and Danny.  Please let them make it.  Please keep a bit of the fairy tale.  

Then Saturday night there was a news alert that Joe Paterno died only to be taken back in error.  Sunday morning, the family announced that they took Joe Paterno off all machines so it was only a matter of time. Not much time. He had died by 10:30am
Sunday morning with his family by his side and his heart broken into a million pieces.  

If you didn't feel sad enough about that, maybe this will do it....Newt Gingrich trounced Mitt Romney in South Carolina.  Really?  I mean it shouldn't be surprising when they still proudly fly the Confederate flag all over the State, but Newt Gingrich?  Poor Mitt Romney. The religious right will do anything not to vote for Romney.  Anything or anyone!  That is abundantly clear.

To continue through Sunday, we had the AFC and NFC football games.  The first game was New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens at New England.  I was rooting for Baltimore.  New England has won a lot and the coach of the Ravens is John Harbaugh (brother of Jim Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers). Also, Michael Oher, the subject of The Blind Side, is a Raven.  But it wasn't to be; the Pats won. Up next, 49ers vs. New York Giants at Candlestick Park.  Perfect weather conditions for the Niners: windy, rainy, and chilly.  Not so fast, the Giants had something to say.  Went into overtime and, as I have hated for as long as I have watched football, the Giants won by a field goal!  Both games were less than stellar. Any of the teams could have won and it just swung the way of the Giants and the Patriots. A hard pill to swallow for us, 49er fans. 
How would you want to be Mom Harbaugh????  

So, it's Monday morning. My eyes feel swollen and tired. I feel as if I am "hungover," but without the alcohol. It can only go up from here, right?

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Peace

It's Saturday, January 21st and we are having the first snow of this winter.  It's the first snow since the freakish winter storm of October.  It's beautiful. For some reason snow stills the city. Normally you have to be up at 4am to hear the stillness of NYC, not when it snows. There's an inner peace that pervades the entire community.  There is a quiet beauty that envelopes Manhattan and it is a very short window because the doormen and store owners are shoveling the sidewalks and the sanitation workers are clearing the streets immediately. Watching the tiny specks of white blowing every which way outside the window does feel like we are all living in a snow globe for a short time. 

It's curious to me that snow takes on a whole different character than rain in terms of sound or lack there of.  It can be snowing and if you didn't hear the snow plows or look out the window, you'd never know it.  Rain is loud here. I can here it on the wheels of the cars even on the 12th floor. If it's windy too, it is slapping up against the windows. I have the dirty windows to prove it. There is an inner peace to snow.  The whole city shifts and changes. On a weekday, the kids are all praying for snow days, the parents are all praying for school. When it falls on a weekend, it is particularly relaxing. No time constraints or commitments. Tranquil. 

Sidebars:  One of the best and most fascinating shows returned last night: Shark Tank.  If you haven't watched it, it is both entertaining and educational.  5 incredibly successful business people are the "judges."  People with business ideas and innovations pitch to the judges and ask them to invest their money to help get their businesses to the next level.  The art of negotiating is well worth the viewing.  The judges are cutthroat to the entrepreneurs and to each other, but also the products and ideas are worth the time.  Tomorrow are the two final football games to decide which teams are going to the Super Bowl. Go Niners!  Go Ravens!  Here's to a Harbaugh brothers Super Bowl!  

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sk not Sh

If you are reporting on a news story or any story for that matter, isn't it incumbent upon the newsreaders to ask how to pronounce foreign words?  With the tragic cruise ship disaster this past weekend, there has been a plethora of mispronounced words.  Wouldn't you think with the much maligned and mocked Jennifer Lopez movie that the newsreaders could pronounce Giglio correctly?  No, that is too much too ask.  I heard the anchor on WABC say off the shore of Geelio. (Should be Jeelio) Come on, really?  Couldn't you ask if you weren't certain?  Couldn't you use your Google translator?  And then horrors upon horrors....Ann Curry co-host of the Today Show began the broadcast today with the English translation between the ship's Captain and the coast guard.  The Captain's name is Schettino which in Italian is pronounced Skettino not Shettino.  It's like bruschetta which is wildly mispronounced by order takers and orderers alike in America.  That, too, is pronounced brewsketta not brewshetta. So, producers everywhere help your "talent" get it right. Help them pronounce proper nouns correctly.  There are no excuses anymore with the world just a keypad away.

And while I am on the subject...Ann Curry.  Ann Curry replaced Meredith Vieira as Matt Lauer's co-host on the Today Show.  She was the newsreader and substitute host for years.  I like Ann Curry, but she is out of her element.  Being both a serious news person and a funny, spontaneous ad libber is not her strength.  There is a definite level of discomfort and sometimes phoniness.  I don't know what the ratings are for the new CBS Early Show with Charlie Rose and Gayle King, but I would be worried if I were NBC and the Today Show producers.  My finger is itching to switch and it may just happen.  

Sidebars:  Big surprise that Paula Deen has diabetes.  Lots of criticism about her holding the news for three years and still making her cheese and bacon burger between krispy kreme doughnuts and the like.  I love Paula, but no one could be surprised that if you eat what she makes on any regular basis that your health would suffer. Glee was much better than the Christmas episode.  A little bit moving even. Royal Pains begins again tonight, as does American Idol. Enjoy the snow Washington State. 

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tebowing Out

Okay, now that the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow are out of the playoffs and their season is over, can you hear all the Republican candidates fluttering around him?  They all want Tim Tebow's endorsement.  The candidates all think that Tim Tebow's endorsement will really impact the religious right.  I hope and "pray" that Tim Tebow doesn't endorse any candidate.  He would get my respect if he stuck to what he knows, football and Jesus.  That's not to say that he is a dumb jock.  On the contrary, if he doesn't endorse a candidate, I will think he smarter than many.  

All the Republican candidates want his endorsement and exploit his religiosity.  I want Tim Tebow to hold his beliefs near and dear to his heart.  Don't stump for a Presidential candidate.  Don't let them take what is pure and turn it into their gain.  Clearly, Tim Tebow has a lot of people that love him in the evangelical world and any candidate would be thrilled to gain a nod from him.  I am just hoping that "Team Tebow" talk this through thoroughly before making a decision.  I am hoping the decision will be to enjoy the off season, make some money through marketing endorsements, and go to the gym.  If there is a God, let him keep his mouth shut.

Sidebars:  Not sure that I will ever get used to George Clooney with Stacy Kiebler. Really? And Jennifer Lopez, just when you are back on top, do you have to publicly date a "child?" You are a Mom.  Date whomever you want to but don't date a boy in his 20's and be photographed by paparazzi.  Life needs to be different this time around. The Bachelor...it's hard to keep watching.  I really hate women bashing women.  It's the lowest common denominator.  In last night's episode, a woman from two seasons ago showed up to try to win Ben, the bachelor, The women sharpened their knives and were so nasty and hateful.  They blamed her when, ladies, it's all on the producers.  

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Appraisal

The much anticipated Golden Globe Awards.  A week long "pre-game" fete with interviews and anxiety about the uncontainable Ricky Gervais.  I have personally been touting it all week.  The excitement built up all day long on Sunday.  The countdown began in the morning hours, then the red carpet interviews (which I find thoroughly annoying), then 4-3-2-1, take it away Ricky.  He was funny, but the producer clearly marginalized him this year. I am sure someone knows the answer to his actual airtime minutes.  Ricky didn't have a chance to have all the cutting zingers of yesteryear.  I was disappointed.  He was damn funny when he did get airtime, but I wanted more, more, more.  

The overall show was a bit dull.  Maybe that's because it's been a lukewarm year. Kelsey Grammer??  Come on. That Kelsey Grammer beat Damien Lewis from Homeland....I had to leave the room so I didn't have to hear his blowhard speech.  Madonna?  I know there are just certain people that the Hollywood Foreign Press loves, but seriously?  I actually think that the songs were scraping the bottom of the barrel this year, but Madonna?  If The Artist didn't win best score, no way it could be consider best film.  It's a silent movie.  Music is the end all and be all to communicate the story.  I could go on, but by now you have probably heard a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking.

Speaking of quarterbacking, go Niners!  What an incredible game!  One of the best playoff games in NFL history. Four touchdowns in the last couple minutes.  Facebook pages and Tweets blowing up the cyber world.  Giants in a heartstopper to beat the Packers and now they have to face the 49ers next week.  The much ballyhooed Tebow vs. Brady fizzled fast with the Patriots crushing Tebow and showing who's boss. The Ravens beat the Texans with incredible plays and exciting interceptions.  So next Sunday the Patriots play the Ravens at New England and the Giants play the Niners at Candlestick Park.  Big Sunday!

Take a moment and remember why today is a National holiday.  It's not just a day off from school and work.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Boosters in Training

Can't stop ruminating about parents and sports.  This week my son had three basketball games at three very different private schools. Two were away games, one home. The first game was at our school's biggest "rival."  Very apprehensive about going and incredibly difficult because a really close friend is on the other side.  It's always tough, but this year the stands were less crowded and the intensity had definitely decreased from past rooter years.  The second game was at an all boys school.  Been in existence since the 1800's and their court looks like it.  For a rich private school, the court is crowded, small and short.  We are sitting up against the wall with our toes touching the line. There was a father and a young woman who spent the game screaming at the refs and the players.  It was shocking.  Their attitude was not the attitude you would want the children to model.  The coach of the opposing team was not much better and the ref had to speak to him. I can't believe that the refs took so much verbal abuse from the "stands" and the coach without calling a technical.  I would've called them out every time.  It was a brutal game.  Reminded me of the Pistons with Laimbeer.  Very physical.  For God's sake, it's JV.  No matter what happened during the game, these particularly boisterous spectators thought it was wrong. They were "victimized" at home.  This school has a history of bad sportsmanship.  It's astonishing to me.  It's no wonder that kids grow up to be just as horrible.  "Masters of the Universe."  By the way, we won! Yesterday, we played the 3rd and final game of the week. It was on our court against a Jewish day school.  It was a very close game the entire time.  We were ahead most of it and then in the end, they pulled it out in the last seconds.  At the end of the game, unlike anything that I have experienced in student sports, the parents of the other team all said lovely things on the way out.  It was as gracious as any loss could be.  

Kids sports for parents are complicated.  I am still maneuvering the waters.  A win is easy.  It's the losses that make it more difficult.  I mean, clearly, we know there's nothing to say at the end of a loss.  The kids know they lost.  It's like telling someone they're overweight.  They know.  So what's to say? I am still searching for the balance.  Showing the love and compassion without being patronizing or trite.  It is a delicate balance.  Sometimes, silence seems to be the best thing.  Any one who knows me, knows that's against my natural grain.   I am sure many of you have swam these waters before me.  Any thoughts?  Feelings? Still a month to go this season.

Sidebars:  How crappy it must feel to be Mitt Romney. Even when you win, the people don't want you.  I have never seen such a lackluster feeling for a frontrunner.  The "party" keeps looking under other rocks to see if anyone else could possibly run and beat Obama.  Bill Maher returns tonight to satirize current events and politics.  AND Sunday, Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globes.  If you want to get all the jokes for the upcoming year, don't miss it.  The insults both fly relentlessly and are funny.  It's as if he is watching at home without censorship and we are listening.  Take a moment to think about why Monday is a holiday.  Happy weekend!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Public restrooms.  Ahhhhhh. Brings about a lot of feelings. Some people refuse to use them, some people manage.  I am in the latter group.  I don't have a choice for numerous reasons.  What really gets me, though, are the pigs that have used the bathroom before me.  I worked in an office building for many years. Many different offices shared the bathroom in the common area.  It was often so challenging and disgusting.  A woman would post a sign on the inside of each stall which read, "if you sprinkle, while you tinkle, please clean up after yourself."  Really?  That has to be written?  Apparently so.  I am certain that women in their own homes don't pee on the seat, drop toilet paper and towels all over the floor, leave the faucets running, forget to flush, etc.  What happens to women in public restrooms?  If everyone sat their precious rears down on the seat covered in tp or not, that would solve some of the problem.  Ladies, can you treat public restrooms like you would treat the bathroom in your friend's home?  Is that too much to ask?  Come on ladies!

In New York City, public restrooms bring their own challenges.  Try to find one.  It is a big problem in this town which hasn't been solved yet.  Starbuck's doesn't want people anymore to use their bathrooms unless they're patrons.  Can't really blame them, but there must be a way.  In these troubled economic times, charge a dollar to use the bathroom.  It helps defray costs and makes it still accessible. There are areas of this city, that are bathroom free.  I always threatened to write a book with where the W.C.'s could be found in this town, but then an app was made called "sit or squat" for your phones. Many stores in NYC do not have bathrooms.  Don't know how employees manage that.  In other US cities, it seems much easier to find bathrooms.  Here it is a challenge for tourists and dwellers alike. 

Of course, I have friends that I lovingly call, "camels" because they have never even been to a public bathroom.  Some of those same friends have never been to a bathroom outside their homes. It is absurd to me.  This may fall under TMI, but I am a "just in case" person so, though medical conditions do dictate, I would never think of leaving somewhere without visiting the powder room.  Wouldn't happen ever. Now, that I have railed against the messy, selfish women and the lack of restrooms in NYC, I have to excuse myself.

Sidebars: The first primary is finished and Mitt Romney won handily.  Now they are all off to South Carolina.  It looks like Mitt.  It's all depressing.  Suze Orman said today, it doesn't really matter who will be the President if Congress continues to remain deadlocked.  Ugh!  The Biggest Loser is quite amusing now that Bob Harper is feeling very competitive and threatened by Dolvett, the new trainer.  It's cracking me up. Dolvett has gotten under Bob's skin.  Hilarious!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Go NY, Let's Go!

The NY Knicks won last night but had to find that information out online.  Here in NY after suffering at the hands of the NBA and the Players Association, we have another situation.  After the NBA strike was settled and we finally had the first tip off on December 25th, on January 1st Time Warner, our cable provider, and Jim Dolan/MSG Network are having a pissing contest.  Again, who gets screwed?  The fans.  Always and forever, the fans get the short end.  We are locked out of seeing the games because these two moneygrubbing profiteers are fighting over dollars.  Really?  Good timing.  Let's just alienate all the NY Knicks fans some more, as if watching them play isn't enough!  It's unfathomable to me that it's been over 20 years since Knick fans were thrilled with the Ewing years.  Honestly, still living off it.  

We have suffered with the indignities for so long once Jim Dolan and Cablevision bought the Knicks.  We had to suffer through Isaiah Thomas. Once a beloved player with the Detroit Pistons, the sub topic of an ABC Afterschool Special: The Mary Thomas Story, the snappy dresser, the charmer, came to GM the Knicks and brought the class level down to the gutter. The culture of the Knicks went so far downhill.  The class that Pat Riley, Bob Gutkowski, and Dave Checketts brought in the 80's was destroyed as soon as the ink was dry when the Dolans bought the team.  

The NY Knick Fans have tried desperately to hang in there, be patient, understanding, but after all we have been through....So here we are January 10, 2012. Ten days into the New Year and no settlement insight between two greedy, money grubbing sides. How long can the fans be screwed before they don't come back? I don't have a clue. I love the Knicks but they aren't making it easy to hang in there.  Really, I still long for Ewing, Oakley, Starks, Smith (yes, I may be in the minority there), and Mason.  Having had that exhilarating experience, keeps me and all Knick fans on the hook. We long for that feeling again, but it feels so far off. I wonder if this season will be for Knick fans a virtual season only except for the "lucky" few who pay overinflated prices to sit in the Garden....

Sidebars:  It's the New Hampshire primary and then off to South Carolina.  Survived another night of The Bachelor.  If you haven't experienced Downton Abbey, do not miss it.  It is absolutely delicious! Season 2 just began and you can rent or watch online Season 1. The much promo'd The Firm on NBC started slowly and then ended with a bang, we shall see if they can keep it up. I may be too big a prude for House of Lies on Showtime.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Theatre Weekend

It's Monday and my husband and I had a very theatrical weekend.  First up, Lyrics and Lyricists at the 92nd St Y highlighting the work of Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson.  This is a very New York series that has been produced for 40 years.  For five weekends a year the Y produces a musical review and commentary on a specific lyric/lyricist.  Sometimes the shows are great and sometimes the shows seem tired, even though they are produced in a week. Unfortunately, the average age of the audience is around 78.  That is terrible because the music needs to live on through the generations and if the Y audience is any indication, the music will stop.  I am a huge believer in through lines.  If you are a musician/singer/athlete/politician/author or whatever, you must know where it all began.  We didn't just wake up and here we are; there is history, people!  So, again, I digress.  The show we watched this weekend was fabulous. Well produced, great cast (Jason Graae, Christina Andreas, Laura Osnos, Howard McGillan), great narrative, and the spectacular big Band, Vince Giardano and the Nighthawks.  What a wonderful way to begin the year! If you ever have the chance to see a Lyrics and Lyricists evening, it's worth it.  I wish all communities would do this and keep the music playing.

Yesterday, we went to see a new musical, based on the movie, Once (produced by New York Theatre Workshop who did Rent).  It was Sunday and if my husband had waivered for one second, I probably would have bailed out.  The subways were being worked on so we had to get out early and hop a cab to get to the theatre.  I had never been down there and when the theatre doors opened, it was so welcoming.  The cast of the show was all on stage playing and singing pre-theatre music and songs.  It was the perfect setting.  When the show began, I was transported to an extraordinary musical place.  The music was definitely soul grabbing and soothing. It was interesting because there was no applause during the show and at the conclusion the entire audience lept to its feet.  It was thrilling.  Moving.  The cast is exceedingly talented called onto play guitar, cello, piano, violin, accordian, plus more while singing and moving.  This beautiful show is moving to a Broadway theatre.  I can't imagine it in a big theatre.  NYTW is probably a 199 seat house.  The Bernard Jacobs Theatre has over 1000 seats.  Big difference and the transfer may lose some of the specialness.  The current space is so intimate and it feels like you walked into a coffee house or bar. How will it work?  I wish the cast and the entire company nothing but success and I am very happy that I saw it downtown!

Sidebars:  Beyonce and JayZ had their baby girl at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC.  In the news today, there are a lot of criticisms that they kept other families away from their family, friends, and babies in the NICU. They are putting the blame on the wrong people.  It is the hospital and the hospital board that let them take over.  Lenox Hill wanted to say they were the hospital of record for Beyonce's baby (named Blue Ivy, unfortunately). Don't blame the celebrities. They are just doing what they do.  It's all on the hospital administrators!  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie Going

Ah, the movies.  The experience that has been diminished each and every year. I have the old romantic feeling for the movies: meeting friends, birthdays, dates, memories galore.  The reality today is nothing like that.  Years ago I stopped going to the movies at night because in NYC it was such a hassle getting tickets, getting seats, getting food, seeing over the people, etc. Don't think for a minute that there are bargain matinees, just a hassle free experience.  I find that you can see almost any movie without a wait if you go during daylight hours.  

Now, going during the day has pluses and minuses.  The pluses are obvious because there are no crowds and all that goes with it, but the minuses....Sometimes it is too empty and that can be a tad creepy.  I sit and wonder who the other people are in attendance and what their story is.  Playing hookie from work?  Retired? Day off?  Sick?  

There is no bargain in NYC.  We pay $13.50 for adults.  That's a lot of money and forget about the concessions.  Ridiculously overpriced and now I skip it.  Wouldn't movie theatre owners make more money if they sold more in quantity (numbers) and charged less? I know so many people that would never buy food at the movies and sneak in their own because the mark up is sickening.  And again, I digress. So now I am in a movie theatre with few people spread about and yet clustered.  The previews begin at the movie "start" time.  Used to be it was fun and over in 5 minutes tops.  Now, the movies show twenty minutes of trailers.  It is irritating and detracts from the experience.  

Okay, so have I painted the picture?  Ten people spread out, though clustered together. The movie is about to begin.  Even with the few people in the theatre, there are always talkers or whisperers. Pisses me off. I have paid my money, gotten comfortable, suffered through the never ending trailers and then people talk.  Really?  

So the fabulous days of movie going from yesteryear are over.  Movies were cheap, food was reasonable, people were polite and knew how to behave at the movies, and there were ushers walking up and down the aisles.  Not to forget, the theatres were movie houses with big screens and not multiplexes with variable sizes throughout.  I am off to the movies shortly, always hopeful that the experience will be like the olden days, but sadly, always disappointed.  

Sidebars:  Sunday night TiVO and DVR alert. Downton Abbey Season 2, The Firm new series, Absolutely Fabulous new season, and a new Good Wife.  After a television draught, it's too much.  All great, all on at the same time. Saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and give it too big thumbs up! Off to see The Artist today.  Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not in the Majority!

Really as I sit here watching the last ditch efforts for Iowa Caucus voters, I am feeling so utterly uncomfortable and dismayed.  How is it okay to invoke Jesus Christ during a political campaign?  I feel so unwelcome at times in my own country.  I do not believe in "our Savior, Jesus Christ."  I am not sure what I believe, but I know that I am not a Christian.  With each and every Republican candidate pandering to their constituents, it has become a revival meeting.  

There is a reason that our founding fathers wanted a separation of Church and State.  It makes complete sense that reason would lead the country not beliefs.  Clearly, over the past few decades, this has been challenged and whittled away. The more that "God" is invoked the more uncomfortable I feel.  Look, I don't care what anyone believes, but I do want people's beliefs to be a private thing.  Religious beliefs are so deeply personal and when the believers start spouting and using their religion, it feels so misused.  There is an air of those big huge multi millionaire Televangelists running for President. It feels like the exploitation of power and love. I am not that comfortable with Tim Tebow's public display of prayer during a football game.  Regardless of his personal intent, the people take it, trash it and distort it for their own purposes. It sells newspapers and bumps television ratings. 

Though we are supposed to have Freedom of Religion, it really isn't.  I was shocked to find out that Christians don't trust Mitt Romney because he is Mormon.  We spent years hearing that Obama is a secret Muslim.  Really?  What difference does it make?  If everyone just lived by the Golden Rule, the country would be so much healthier.  The hypocrisy among the  religious right is palpable.  I know that I live in the big city and may be out of touch with the "heartland," but I know how it makes people feel not to be included.  Being left out is a terrible feeling and I will say it again and probably again and again: Get the Jesus out of politics!  This is the United States of America

Sidebars:  The Iowa Caucus results are in: a dead heat between Romney and Santorum.  How decisive.  The Bachelor began it's 31st season on Monday night with another group of gorgeous and whack job women.  Even a possible lesbian subplot!  More later. The Biggest Loser began again and even I, a devotee, thinks that sometimes the producers are just mean.  I love the transformations but I am really tiring of the challenges/temptations. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It's a new year.  The page turned. The calendar changed. It's January 2012.  First off, are you going to say twenty twelve or two thousand twelve.  It's a hot button issue for some.  For me, not so much.  As long as I am still here and kicking, you can call it anything.  

Now, with all the hoopla of December 31st, it's so funny waking up on January 1st.  Everything is still the same.  Nothing really changes, not overnight.  The Sunday morning shows are saying the same things that they were saying the week before.  Republicans are on the forefront of all politics right now.   

My brain is like mush.  I am not sure why.  Too much chilling out over the Winter break?  I enjoyed every moment with my family, but as I sit down to write, I feel at a loss.  I know things will kick in because that is definitely my nature, but right now everything feels bizarrely at peace.  I am guessing with the kids back to school and schedules back things will start to gurgle and annoy once again, but now the brain is marshmallow.  

Can anyone relate?  I am struggling communicating or writing today.  Since I have been so quiet for the past ten days or so, I had to take a step back into the world.  I wonder if anyone nodded out while reading this....

Happiness to all in this change of number. 2012.