Monday, October 28, 2013

Round and Round

So I know I already went off last week about the 18 plus concerts, but I can't get over it.  Okay, fine, I know you are saying, "get over it," but I really can't get passed the hypocritical acceptance of illegal drug, alcohol, and sex abuse that is clearly the norm at these concerts by the artists and producers.  What got my goat again today is that I got an email from Madison Square Garden for all their upcoming sponsored events for ticket sales.  Today, it was for tickets for Armin Van Buuren.  I have no idea who that is but knew that he was one of the many DJ's on the Electric Zoo circuit.  I thought fantastic, Chanukah is coming and maybe this would be a fun thing for my kids.  I clicked on the link and it is an 18 plus concert!!!!!!!  Are you kidding me???  It's MSG!!!! I have seen everyone at the Garden and never has there been an age minimum. I find this an outrageous trend.  MSG has some of the tightest security.  They can't handle it?  I am really appalled and think that the promoters, producers, and artists have to step up and take control back.  The benign "head in the sand" is ridiculous.  As you can see, the evolution of Madison Square Garden supporting an age minimum really has gotten my dander up.  I think it stinks.  I can't believe that this is now going to be the norm for teenagers and concerts.  It sucks!  

Hypocrisy is all over the place.  Congressman Darryl Issa, head of the Oversight Committee, is leading another charge to take down Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.  She may be responsible for the debacle that is the website for the Affordable Care Act.  He loves to yell and swing is d**k around.  How can you be pissed that the internet site is problematic and vote against ACA each and every time the vote came around?  Class?  Hypocrisy!!  Totally full of it.  He loves to hear himself talk and throw his weight around.  He doesn't care about the truth.  The fact that he keeps getting re-elected in his district in Orange County blows my mind.  He is a blow hard.  He has no apparent interest in the good of all Americans.  Should Secretary Sebelius fall on her sword and resign?  Maybe.  I am not sure who was responsible for the hiring of the website builders.  I don't think that is she.  The first company hired was Canadian and that company was previously fired by the Canadian government.  Who made that hiring decision?  That worries me.  That's the person who's head should be on the line.  

For the local NYC community, is anyone else annoyed by the Mayoral commercials?  I hate the Chiara DiBlasio ad.  HATE it!  ( I think the Lhota black and white commercial looks incredibly desperate.  (  If you watch and have an opinion, let me know.  The last debate will be Wednesday night at 7pm.  I hope all voting NYers watch and listen carefully.  This isn't a Democrat/Republican battle but the future of NYC.  Let's put partisanship aside and vote for the best person. Of course, right now, I'd re-elect Bloomberg.  Sorry gang.  I don't like either of these choices.  

Sidebars:  Loved and hated The Good Wife last night.  The part that focussed on the law firm was great.  Any scene with Chris Noth sucked and annoyed me.  Getting hard to hang in but for 50% of the episode is keeping me returning.  The Cardinals and Red Sox are tied 2-2.  I am rooting against the Sox.  Not only am I a Yankee fan, they beat up Jim Leland and the Tigers, I can't support the beards.  Don't like the look.  There's something to be said for the Steinbrenner grooming code.  The Voice is tonight.  The Blacklist is still doing well in the ratings.  Hostages is not.  Should have been a planned 12 show arc and then done.  Probably doesn't pay on network, but would be so much better.  Revenge could have used that too.  Now in its 3rd or 4th season and it's tired.  Behind on Homeland.  Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.  The damage is still being felt all over the area. A personal note:  Neil Sedaka was on the Kathie Lee and Hoda hour of the Today Show promoting my husband's book, Neil Sedaka: Rock 'n' Roll Survivor.  It's in its second printing.  Great read and a great Chanukah, Ramadan, Christmas, anything present.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No More Bill Graham

When I was a teenager, we went to concerts as much as we could.  If we had the money, the ticket, the transportation, nothing stopped us.  Days on the Green, which were all day affairs at Candlestick Park with headliner after headliner were fantastic ways to spend Saturdays in the summer.  General admission tickets to the Cow Palace crushing person against person, all with the same focus, the talent on the stage.  Dancing, singing, feeling, screaming, laughing, loving, all for the common experience.  I have incredible memories of those teenage years.  

Today, the game has changed.  I'm not sure why, but it's definitely changed. More and more concerts are only for 18 years and older, which puts parents and kids at odds.  It actually pisses me off.  Why should it be that the venue operators, the promoters, and the talent can't make it "safer" for all.  It's not strip shows.  There's no gambling.  They are all worried about liability.  Why did this mutate into drug infested, drunken OD evenings and events?  Why can't the powers that be take back control?  Why is it just expected and accepted that tons of illegal drugs are going to make the rounds at concerts?  

Let me go back to my being pissed off.  The artists aren't denying the sale of their music to people under 18.  No, they are all collecting tons from high schoolers.  So, if their money is good enough for iTunes sales, why can't it be good enough for live concerts?  High schoolers are taking all sorts of risks to get to see their favorite artists live.  Fake ID's are the rage and it isn't necessarily for alcohol like in yesteryear, they just want to get into the venues that they are barred from.  

The focus could be changed.  There could be a zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use.  The performers could encourage it, the venues, and promoters could be vigilant and make it uncool.  Bracelets could be worn.  Parents could have to sign a release from liability, but ultimately it just sucks for all that are clamoring to see their favorite artists.  AND I know many of you probably think it's ridiculous and this is just how it is today, but I don't accept it.  If you have to be high and drunk to appreciate the music, maybe the "talent" isn't as good as all that.  

As I began, I went to many different venues, saw all kinds of artists, and never was age an issue.  Why should it be for our kids?  

Sidebars:  My baseball season ended over the weekend.  Really sad. The Dodgers and the Cardinals ended their seasons and so did I.  Jim Leyland pushed out of the manager's position with the Cards.  One of the great and last of the true baseball men.  Don Mattingly is having his doubts about staying with the Dodgers.  He should find a team that values him.  So, the World Series begins tomorrow night, I'm out.  Until April.  Basketball season starts soon and for the NY will be a very long season. The Voice still intrigues.  The Good Wife  still annoys. Yay to New Jersey for legalizing same sex marriages and Governor Christie for dropping his legal opposition to same sex marriages.  

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Helpless in Manhattan

I am feeling utterly helpless.  I can't do anything to affect change in Washington, D.C.  I really hate them all but no more despicable are the wolves in sheep's clothing.  The Tea Party Republicans fancy themselves "patriots."  Are you kidding me?  You are narcissist. egomaniacs, but ladies and gentlemen, you are not Patriots. You don't understand how government works.  You are willing to bring down the country for your own personal ideology.  You are completely misguided and leading your followers and us, educated bystanders, down a rabbit hole.  

When the Tea Party first reared its head, I thought good for you!  You are sick of all the wasted spending and bloated budgets in D.C., you stood up and shouted, but your original platform was hijacked.  You are now being led by people that don't get it, don't care, and are leading the Nation down with you.  The Tea Partiers are small but mighty.  I've never seen anything like it.  A marginal group holding the country hostage.  I mean, I can't understand how they can look themselves in the mirror.  Do they not understand that they don't live in a bubble?  We are all effected by their unyielding beliefs.  They have turned into a scared, religious, racist group of rabble-rousers.  

If you want change in D.C., do it through debate, deal-making, and compromise.  BUT do it after we take care of the business that keeps our credit rating, our markets strong, and keeps Main Street afloat.  It is no different than if you overspent on vacation and have to pay it off.  We have to pay off the money we spent.  If after we pass the Debt Ceiling bill, you want to butcher and hatchet a future budget, have at it!  Do not act as if you are doing this for America.  You don't care about America.  You care about taking down the first black President of the United States.  You keep singing the same tune and yet, everyone has already weighed in on the Affordable Care Act.  It's done. It's law. Move on.  But again, it's not really about that.  It's about taking down the first black President of the United States of America.  You are not a Patriot.  You are living in a past that doesn't exist and we won't go back.  

It's a very strange time.  In the State next door, they are voting today to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg.  Cory Booker, Democrat, Mayor of Newark is running (who happens to be black) and Steve Lonegan, Republican, Tea Partier, extremist, Palin loving opposes him.  On paper, there is no way that the people of Jersey would ever vote a crazy into the mix, but I don't take anything for granted.  I don't assume.  I'm not saying that Cory Booker is the end all be all, but he isn't a crazy.  He isn't.  That's not a choice.  Can't vote for the crazies.  

We had the first Mayoral debate last night in NYC.  We have two choices, but really it's going to be the lesser of two evils.  I don't like either of them.  I think I like DiBlasio less.  He seems slick and inauthentic. Lhota is dicey, sketchy.  It's so hard that those are our choices.  BUT neither are crazies so we are ahead of the game there.  

The crazies have taken over the asylum.  They have been allowed to.  Everybody is so worried about their own job security, they aren't worried about the whole picture.  Take away our elected officials salary and benefits.  Maybe the tune will change then. The South lost. We are one country.  It's time to act like it and stop fretting about your re-election!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Some Thoughts

I am having a difficult time writing because it's the same old, same old and though history keeps repeating itself, I like to avoid it.  So, I have been spending my time at a lot of children's sporting events.  It's a whole new life than the one I had in high school.  I am experiencing it much for the first time.  

When I was a kid, I was a thespian; a theatre queen, a choir kid, a die hard performer.  I rarely saw a high school sporting event.  The only time I clearly remember being a devoted follower was my senior year of high school and going to all the basketball games I had the time for because I loved the sport and loved the star player.  It was a fantastic time, but a rare one. 

I didn't even realize how myopic my youth was until Facebook.  I thought I knew everyone in my high school or at least, my grade, but as it turns out...not true.  I have friends that seem to know everyone.  It's so curious to me how my perception of a time is so different from the reality.  If I wasn't doing shows and choir at school, I was doing shows outside of school.  I had a fantastic group of friends and people that cared about me, but it wasn't all high school people.  I had a vast age range of friends and colleagues that didn't seem weird to me at all. It is unfathomable now as a parent, but living it was absolutely fantastic.  

I did miss out on some classic high school stuff.  Now, going to volleyball games, cross country meets, and basketball games as a parent is a wonderful community building event.  Even though it's high school and our school isn't focussed on the extreme competitiveness as other schools, it is often breathtaking, thrilling, and heartbreaking.  It's wonderful to watch your children soar and their teams come together.  It's wonderful to sit in the stands and root, root, root for the home team with all of the other parents.  

It's a camaraderie that is far different than the arts camaraderie. I'm not sure that I can find the words for the difference in support.  Clearly, there is a societal difference.  Sports are held far higher up than the arts.  I've pondered it for a long time why that is, but somehow seeing a show vs. a sporting event is not the same kind of crowd sensation.  There isn't a person in the bleachers that doesn't think his rooting and screaming and cheering didn't help the team win.  The reverse isn't true, by the way.  If your team loses, you can feel deep heartbreak and fill yourself with a lot of "what ifs." Going to see a choir concert is a passive, yet soul filling event, if you're lucky. Pride in your child's accomplishments and the choir sound can be unmatched by any other.
So, maybe that's it.  Sporting events can be like watching gladiator fights in the colosseum and sitting inside an auditorium hearing the angelic sounds of singing may be diametrically opposed but feed a part of all of our sense of community and belonging. 

All I know is that I am a proud parent.  Winning or losing I love watching my children and all their friends come together for a common goal.  

Sidebars: Sunday nights are for some reason the toughest night of television.  With the DVR going, it's not enough once the season is underway.  There's football, baseball, Amazing Race, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Revenge, Empire Boardwalk, Homeland, Masters of Sex, New Jersey Housewives, and I'm sure there's more.  It's ridiculous.  Why the programmers can't spread the wealth throughout the week, I don't know.  I don't watch all of that but that's what is going on between 8pm-midnight. I may be dumping The Good Wife soon.  It is unfortunately the most uneven writing of any "hit" show.   This season annoying is creeping back week in and week out.  I like inventive, unpredictable.  They are foreshadowing infidelity.  Cheap and uninteresting.  Homeland last night was deadly other than my friend, Marcia DeBonis, playing a nurse.  Anyone want to tell me how Brody got from Canada to Caracas?  Anyone?  Absurd and irritating.  That I had to tune into the Tigers/Red Sox in the 9th and it was tied was almost more than I could bear.  Actually, it was.  I couldn't watch and assumed that the Red Sox won.  Ugh!  Not my favorite team.  Rooting for the Tigers and Jim Leland.  

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Now that we are deep into this government shutdown, we can assess the situation.  The ridiculousness of it all.  The disgrace.  John Boehner is no leader.  John Boehner is a coward.  He won't even take a vote in Congress!  Seriously?  You are the "leader" of the House and your aren't leading?  You are being led by a small faction of the Party.  Do you hear me?  You are being led!!!  History will not be kind to you.  History will not be kind to the "do-nothing" Congress.  The truth is it really isn't the "do-nothing" Congress.  It is actually the do harm Congress.  

Today on the news, it was reported by Andrea Mitchell that fallen soldiers bodies can't even be sent home to their families.  The money to send the families to meet the coffins of their loved ones isn't available. Families usually get a $100,000 as a "death" gratuity.  Can't get that.  So we have brave men and women fighting in Afghanistan, risking their lives, and Congress isn't holding up it end!  Shameful.  There are a million stories of citizens of the "greatest" country on earth that aren't getting the services they are expecting or needing.

Congress is not suffering at all.  Each member is still collecting salary and benefits.  If they really want to stand on their principles, then don't take money.  Stand up for what you believe.  The slashing or freezing of government funding has zero impact on the lives of the elected officials. They can stand on their high horses and afflict pain and suffering on others without ever feeling it themselves.  It's shameful.  Have you seen the chart making the rounds on the internet about how much money our Congressman and Senators make for life?  It's shameful.  If you are only a US Representative for 2 years, you shouldn't make a lifetime stipend/salary.  If you are a Rep for 10 years, you shouldn't make a lifetime salary.  If you are lucky enough to hold office for 30 years, maybe if you are doing your job for the American people, then get a fat pension.  BUT the way things are going....

Being an elected official shouldn't be a stepping stone to a better job.  We have allowed our Senators and Congresspeople to have a way too cushy job.  They spend far too much time fundraising for the next election and not enough time working for the People.  This all makes me so crazy!  The hypocrisy is dereliction of duty. It's plain and simple.  It's shameful!

Sidebars:  Horrors upon horrors, NBC NY messed with the daytime schedule and moved Access Hollywood live from 11am (good for working out) until 2pm (bad for being near a TV). Instead, as I sit and write this, it's the Steve Harvey show!  Is this something permanent?  An experiment?  Yuck!  Don't like it at all.  Haven't seen Homeland or Masters of Sex this week.  Hated The Good Wife this week.  Don't like them throwing around wiretaps and FISA so liberally.  Loving The Voice!  Love The Blacklist! James Spader doesn't disappoint for a second.  Say want you want, but Miley Cyrus was triumphant on SNL and has definitely taken the mantle from Madonna. Tonight more Voice and NCIS.  Go A's, Rays, Dodgers, and Pirates!!!!  

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Friday, October 4, 2013


So, I am sure that you expect me to rant about the ridiculously, ignorant, narcissistic, egotistical, self-motivated, members of Congress, but I am going to give that a rest for now.  I am ranting about reviewers.  Last week, I was lucky enough to see a screening of the film Gravity.  It is a 90 minute thrill ride.  It is a game changer in filmmaking.  It is a masterpiece.  I've been telling everyone to go this weekend before you hear too much.  Hype can ruin so many things.  

I am someone who doesn't read reviews.  I like reviews that give stars, grades, symbols of any kind.  My experience with reviewers is that they tell too much.  Maybe they shouldn't get a 1000 words.  Minimize their reviews so that they can only discuss the acting, directing, script, filmmaking, etc.  Today Gravity opened nationwide.  Since I have seen it, I read the New York Post and the New York Times reviews.  The Post reviewer, Lou Lumenick, raved but was very careful not to spoil any plot points. The New York Times reviewer, A.O. Scott, always gives away plot points.  I read his review today and it made my blood boil.  He is a terrible reviewer because most of his reviews are spoilers on some level.  

If I were the Times Arts editor, I would re-train all of their reviewers. Even the theatre reviewers tell too much plot.  Really?  Is that all they've got?  It reminds me of being in school and before you are a strong analytical writer, you write reports/essays just re-telling the story to fill space.  That's the Times reviewers for sure. So, take away space from them.  When I haven't seen the movie, I read the first and last paragraph only.  Maybe cut them to 300 words.  Sure, that won't fly.  

Early this past summer, the Times theatre critic reviewed a new play called The Explorer's Club.  It was a fun, amusing romp. A fun trifle, entertainment.  Not going to revolutionize theatre, but the audiences were laughing all the way from beginning to end.  The Times reviewer gave away at least 3 of the big laughs in his review.  Really?  Is that the way to go?  I couldn't believe it.  It's as if you go to see Bill Cosby in the height of his career in concert and gave away the punchlines to his story telling.  It was wrong and poor writing.  Where are these reviewers getting their training?  It is far more difficult to write critically than to tell the story.  Ask any high schooler!

Don't read the Times reviews if you don't like spoilers.  They will do it every time.  How are the reviewers in your papers?   

Sidebars:  Okay, feel out of it because I didn't watch Breaking Bad.  I missed the second "phenomenal" season of Scandal so didn't tune into the much talked about 3rd season opener last night.  The Bridge ended its season this week.  I think it petered out.  Though they ordered a second season, I may not be in.  I am crushed that Chris Matthews show on MSNBC moved to a time that I have yet to see.  I enjoy him and his guests.  I know I can hear the people on the Right groaning, but he can be both engaging and annoying.  Tonight Bill Maher and Shark Tank. In NYC, we had a $13million run-off election for the Public Advocate position.  Waste of time and money.  200,000 people voted.  City election laws need to be changed.  Majority should always rule.  Okay, it's another beautiful, unseasonable day in NYC.  It's Friday.  TGIF.  Enjoy wherever you are.  

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No Respect!

I can't believe that we are here again.  A Government Shutdown! I can't believe that I have to write about this again.  Total Hypocrisy!! I can't believe that hubris takes center stage. I can't believe that misplaced beliefs are ruling Congress.  I truly can't understand how the American people can take this. Another slap in the face.  Congress' rating is only a positive 10%, so where are the 90%?  Where is all the shouting?  I feel completely impotent because I live in an area with a Democratic Congressperson and two Democratic Senators.  What can I do?  What can you do?  The President of the United States was re-elected and it has made no difference to many members of Congress.  We keep living on a loop.  It's the same battle.  It's the same unrelenting stubbornness.  The unreasonableness is unbearable.  I don't understand it.  It doesn't compute in my head.  

Can I say it again?  If 90% of Americans don't support Congress, then how can we be where we are?  John Boehner is the biggest loser ever.  No leadership skills.  Only worried about holding on to his title of Speaker of the House.  He is hardly in charge.  The Tea Partiers are.  If John Boehner had any balls, he would rally the 200 Republican members that aren't self-procalimed Tea Baggers and get something done. At least he'd go down fighting.  Now, he's just a spineless, wooden, puppet.  And again, I say, if they truly stand by their convictions, then don't take salaries or benefits.  Suffer with your constituents.  Maybe, just maybe, I could have respect for your actions, but elected members of Congress don't experience any discomfort.  There M.O. is to inflict on others.  Again and again, no respect for them or from them.  

Sidebars:  I saw Gravity.  Go see it as soon as it opens.  Don't read reviews. It is a masterpiece.  The hype will be huge.  Like no other film that I've ever seen before. It is not for the faint of heart, seriously.  Okay, more season premieres.  Homeland; thumbs up, but really missed Brody.  The Good Wife; promising. The Amazing Race; too soon to pick a team. Revenge?  I don't know.  As much as I like Emily Van Camp, I may be done soon.  Didn't get to Masters of Sex yet.  Sunday nights are ridiculous.  I find it so irritating that the CBS Execs think it's good to have premiere night in the East and a 4pm football game!  Throws the carefully DVR'd schedule off.  Everything is perfectly balanced and then the football game runs over and throws everything late.  I know, big problems.  Ha!  The Voice is so fun.  Shark Tank should be in everybody's scheduled recordings.  It is so good!  That's Fridays at 9pm.  Glorious weather here in the East.  Enjoy wherever you are.

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