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'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.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Not Getting Over It

I have definitely taken a huge soulful hit from the election results.  Something I knew was a possibility but not a probability.  It's been difficult to focus and accept.  I have found little comfort on the news, in the papers or online, but I finally felt the urge to vent a bit so here it goes....

I am sick and tired of people that are Tr**p supporters and voters telling me to move on, get over it.  That doesn't help and if you don't understand that, keep your words to yourself.  Of all the Republican candidates that I disagreed with, it was based on policy differences.  POLICY.  Our President-Elect is all over the place, but first and foremost, he has lit a fire under the asses of neo-nazis, KKK, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and all the other hate mongers.  That is something far different than a person elected to lead the United States of America and disagree on policies.  I read today that Drumpf has to take a look at the difference between his campaign and other candidates to see why he may have fired up hate.  Seriously?  You have spewed so much hate throughout your campaign and never denounced any hate speech, acts, or violence.  You have encouraged it at every rally with words and dog whistles.  Who are you, Drumpf?  

The supporters that don't understand the fear that many of us feel for the safety of ourselves and our children must be white male Christians.  You are safe.  No one is going to rock your worlds.  What bothers me the most, in this post election fog, is that you don't get it?  I haven't heard one Tr**p supporter denounce the swastikas written on buildings, walls, and playgrounds.  I haven't heard one voter scream out after violent acts on college campuses to Muslims or African-Americans.  Nothing.  Nada. Riente. Rien. Crickets.  

Our future President has only fanned flamed the flames with his choices for cabinet positions.  The choice of Steve Bannon does nothing to comfort any minority group in this Country.  The choice of Mike Flynn does nothing to make people feel heard.  The choices go on and on.  All are extremists.  All are scary to any group that isn't white.  The popular vote went to Hillary Clinton and not to the President Elect by nearly 2 million votes.  He is ignoring that and dividing this country even more.  

The fear is real.  I really don't understand Republican voters don't get the sickness and apprehension so many of us feel. Tr**p isn't the same as Romney or McCain or G.W. Bush or George H.W. Bush or any other Republican President or nominee.  He is a wild card.  His rhetoric has been divisive from the day he came down that damn elevator and insulted Mexicans.  He has thrown the playbook out. He has not been held to the same scrutiny as any other nominee.  The people, the media, the journalists, the RNC let him slide on everything.  He is like none other.  The Democratic leaders have also been too quiet with one exception, Senator Elizabeth Warren.  I hope that she can light a fire under other elected officials, but I think there are a lot of cowards. 

So, Tr**p voters, before you tell a heartsick American to get over it or move on, try to imagine the terror that so many are living with now.  Many of us feel very nervous about our future.  The silence from the "many" is feeding the fear.  Don't tell me to calm down.  Don't tell me that Clinton would've been worse and she's a crook and she should go to jail and so on.  She wouldn't have struck terror in people's hearts.  She wouldn't have been your choice, but you'd be safe.  

We, the many, the majority, are scared.  No one is doing anything to ease the fear. No one, so we have to be vigilant. We have to be alert, loud, and strong.  We march shoulder to shoulder.  We will not be silenced!

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Monday, November 7, 2016

I Figured It Out

Do you remember that I have often ruminated why the hate for Hillary Clinton is so deep? Well, I think it's far more simple than I ever imagined.  She's a woman.  That's it.  Watching the elevation and blatant misogyny has been extraordinary.  It's always been there, but the choruses have gotten louder and louder. We are a society who likes people in their predictable place.  It's why many white people went crazy that a black man became President.  It threatened their whole world view.  Now, a woman climbing the political ladder is hard to accept.  When Hillary commented that she didn't want to stay home and make cookies years ago, she took so much heat from women.  Wow, such an insult.  When she was first lady of Arkansas and fighting for women and children, a Republican opponent said she should be home with her daughter. I actually agree with Madelyn Allbright that women should vote for Hillary.  We should back the most prepared, intelligent woman or person that has ever run for the Presidency.  All the shit she has taken for years and she still stands.  Look at all the men that Drumpf took down and most of them haven't been heard from since the Republican debates and primary.  They crawled back in their holes.  

Maybe it's difficult to relate to a woman who keeps getting back up with every single punch.  We, and I use we meaning many Americans, can't figure out a woman President.  When Shirley Chisholm ran decades ago, no one took her seriously as a candidate and, on top of it, she was an African American.  When Geraldine Ferraro was chosen to run as Vice President, they dug and dug into her background and when they couldn't find something on her, they went to her husband to dig up dirt.  Doesn't that say everything?  None of these women crawled back. They continued on with their careers and their visions. 

There is terror in change and the unknown.  People don't understand what they've never experienced.  If Clinton wins the election, Congress will do what they did to Obama.  They will continue to obstruct and try to take her down, unless we pick up Senate seats.  Members of Congress have already declared their intent not to cooperate to get anything done.  Mitch McConnell had said that immediately upon the election of Obama and they did stop so many bills that could've helped the Country and middle class, because it came from Obama.  

So Ladies, I think that a vote against Clinton is a vote against ourselves.  We need a woman in the White House and we need this woman in the White House.  It takes a very strong and determined woman to survive the rough and tumble of politics and a campaign.  I am not settling.  I have been pro Hillary Clinton for much of her public life. She's a fighter.  To keep getting knocked around and coming back is an incredible character trait.  Not many women would have the stomach for what she's been put through by men her entire life.  Just think about that for a minute.  For all the hearings, investigations, slights, comments, derisions, and misogyny, she is still upright and strong.  I honestly don't know how, but that is even more reason for us to support her.  I have said repeatedly, I am not settling, I am for Hillary Clinton being our next President.  I am honored to be here and alive to witness another historic event.  I am proud that this is my children's first Presidential election. It's extraordinary.  

Sidebar:  Check your polling location, many have changed since your last election.  Mark out time in your day.  There could be long lines.  Take a breath and appreciate the historical moment.  Wanting a resounding, decisive election. Clarity.  One day more and remember, history has its eyes on us.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Teflon Don 2.0

I remember so distinctly when I moved to New York City in 1981 that organized crime families were still flourishing.  The Dapper Don, John Gotti, became the Teflon Don.  The Government couldn't nail him for crime after crime and he became the Teflon Don.  They finally got him and he went to jail.  The "glory" days of the mob were over and there was an opening.

Lo and behold, many years later, we now have the new Teflon Don 2.0.  I never could've imagined that from the very first descent on the Tr**p Tower escalator and he proposed the "wall" to keep out the Mexican drug dealers and rapists that his popularity would soar.  TR**p has insulted everyone.  He has taken a swipe at African-Americans, Hispanics, Veterans, Gold Star families, women, physically challenged, reporters, everyone.  His base loves him.  His popularity grows.  He has allowed anti-semitic slurs be chanted at his rally.  He has not disavowed racist, homophobic, xenophibic voices or quieted any reprehensible speech from anyone.  He has firmly proven time and again that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and his base wouldn't care, to be true. They don't care. 

But what say you?  The people that have been life long Republicans?  How do you come to terms with all the rhetoric?  I can't believe that the email "scandal" is worse than a man who has defrauded people out of hard earned money for his Drumpf University.  That he has been accused of assaulting at least 12 women who have come forward after his deplorable Access Hollywood tape came to public view and he called it locker room talk.  There is a trial on the horizon that he allegedly raped a 13 year old girl???!!!!!!  That he is the first President in my lifetime not to release his taxes and he just gets away with it.  His questionable relationship with Russia and Putin is troubling and yet doesn't resonate. There could be so many conflicts of interest and we just don't know and won't know. And yet, the email scandal is what's hanging people up and freaking people out? And did I say, he may have raped a 13 year old girl????!!!!!

If we get a President Drumpf because people are so sick of everything and stay home or hate Clinton too much to check the box or pull the lever,...we have changed the Country irreparably.  He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no sign of a plan to cover those of us who need health insurance, but just dump it.  He wants to appoint judges that will overturn Roe V. Wade and take away hard fought women's reproductive rights. I presume he will take away the Equal Marriage Act.  He doesn't believe in Global Climate Change. He thinks it's a hoax started by China. Say goodbye to the EPA.  Many economic scholars think his economic "proposals" will be terrible for America.  

There are so many wrongs with TR**p. I can't even list them all.  I won't even be able to say the name of our President, God forbid he wins. If Clinton, with all her baggage gets elected, it's the status quo. Nothing earth shattering to take us down.  If she turns out to be a great leader, then our Country will continue to move forward and evolve.  For all you people that say, "well, you're a diehard Democrat, of course you back your candidate as we back ours," but it isn't equivalent.  Look, if Romney or McCain would've won, I would've dealt with it. I wouldn't have been happy, but it wouldn't have been terrifying or calamitous.  This feels awful.  I have a pit in my stomach all the time.  You can feel the nervous energy in the air.  Tr**p and his Breitbart cabal are scary.  Their values aren't most of the Country's values.  They are a truly terrifying segment of our population. We need to stop them.  A vote for Clinton speaks volumes and we need a landslide so they can all crawl back in their holes and be gone.  No recounts. No close elections.  We need a large popular and electoral win.  We need to win back the Senate so we won't have to sit through hearing after hearing after hearing.  Stand up and make your V-O-T-E heard.  

Sidebars:  Carve out time in your day to vote.  It's one week from today, November 8, 2016.  Look at your calendar and block out time.  It's too important.  Clinton is the most vetted, investigated, and interrogated person ever in the history of our Country for a candidate and she still is standing.  Drumpf has gotten away with "murder."  -- Onto a little lighter topic...the World Series!  It's been great so far.  Killing in the ratings,  Cleveland Indians lead 3-2 against the Chicago Cubs.  Game 6 tonight in Cleveland.  -- There are some programs to help distract from the insanity still...The Voice always good and fun.  This Is Us is definitely worth watching, DVRing, catching OnDemand.  Samantha Bee was great again this week and did a great sit-down with President Obama.  Bill Maher finally was granted an interview with Obama after much begging and petitioning, which airs Friday night on HBO.  -- I am definitely trying to curtail my news influx to a minimal amount.  It is hard to do, but for the sake of my GI system and palpitating heart, it's a must. -- Halloween is over and November is already here.  It's already begun to look like Christmas, but Thanksgiving happens first.  Hopefully, we will have a lot to be grateful for this year.... 

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

"You've Got Mail"

Honestly, the drip, drip, drip of the leaked, hacked emails is enough to spike the rate of wine and xanax sales. I am with Hillary Clinton and have been for much of her career. I am sick and nauseous from all the innuendo, insinuation, gossip, and implication that Hillary Clinton has acted criminally.  Does anyone understand facts anymore?  Does anyone understand the bigger picture of what is at stake here?  Does anyone understand that the Republicans have repeatedly tried to take her out for her entire public life?  No one has been under fire or more scrutiny that Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She can't be bullied. She can't be put down.  She is a phoenix.  She keeps rising from the "ashes."  

If she were a he, she would be dead by now or locked up in a loony bin.  No one has had to endure what she has been subjected to repeatedly.  I know that there are those of you that hate her.  I've discussed it ad nauseum here, but much of the "hate" is misunderstanding fact from fiction.  The Republican machine is nothing if not focussed. If they keep repeating a statement long enough, it becomes a "fact."

So here we are, less than two weeks from election day and the head of the FBI, James Comey, has come out with murky, non-specific statements that just fuels all the mistrust for Clinton.  These emails were found on Anthony Weiner's computer.  They came across them during their preliminary investigation into his alleged criminal activity, sexting an underage girl across State lines.  Comey felt he needed to break protocol and regulations and alerted the Republican's on the oversight committee.  It was supposed to be on the downlow, but there is no such thing with the opposition. They can't keep secrets when it may work to their advantage.  The Republicans and media went whole hog on a partial, no information story.  All it can do is make Clinton look more dishonest.  She called for immediate release of any and all relevant emails.  Good move.  They will not be able to do that and Comey has, not only broken FBI investigative protocols, he has insinuated himself into an election for our highest offices.

I can't imagine what could be in any email that would be really concerning.  Many high ranking officials have deleted or "lost" thousands of emails.  Clinton isn't the first, ahem George W. Bush. Honestly, let's stop throwing mud and make clear and nonnegotiable guidelines for all future Secretary's of States, Presidents, government workers.  One rule for all classified emails.  One rule about cellphones, private servers, computers, emails.  Let's look forward and make sure that we elect Hillary Clinton and get a Democratic Senate. Let me paint a clear picture people, if we don't get a Democratic Senate and Clinton is President of the United States, we will spend her entire tenure in Senate hearings.  It will be a repeat of all the incredibly wasted time and money we saw in the 90's.  

We need elected Senators and Representatives that will work.  That won't just obstruct.  That will look at problems and solve them. That will care about all Americans.  That will show compassion and intelligence to the People of this Country.  At this point, we have a Congress that isn't interested in us, the People.  They just want to screw Obama and Clinton.  Congress has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act over 60 times and never, ever tried to make it better, tweak it.  They just want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are problems with almost every bill and law, but members of Congress are supposed to make things better, not just sit on their asses saying no. What are we paying for?  Why aren't they flipped out that Russia and Wikileaks are effecting our election?  It shouldn't be partisan. All should care, but all they care about is themselves and their re-elections.  Bigger picture, again, people.

Pay attention.  Don't believe all the bullshit that you are reading and hearing online, on television, or on the radio.  Our problem as a Country, we don't have a Walter Cronkite anymore.  There is no voice that we all can trust.  It's confusing.  BUT we need President Hillary Clinton.  Don't stay home.  Get out there and vote.  This election will have longterm ramifications no matter who wins.  I just can't stomach if it's President Drumpf.  Women will be the biggest losers.  Hispanics will lose.  African-Americans will lose. This isn't something to take lightly.  I will keep pounding this until November 9th.  Mark out time in your day on November 8th.  If you're lucky enough to live in a State with early voting, go.  Check your polling location.  It's easy, just copy and paste:  Ours changed, did yours?  

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Hip, Hip Hypocrisy

Okay, so when the unseemly Access Hollywood videotape was released on Friday with Drumpf and Billy Bush, I was nauseous but I also felt sorry for Billy Bush.  I've watched him on television for years and if there's one thing I thought about him, he was a suck up.  Whatever the situation he was never ever going to be contrary or combative.  He was an entertainment host and was going to play along in any situation.  Social media immediately called for Billy Bush' firing from The Today Show.  It was quicker than lightning and so predictable.  We, as a society, always want to make someone pay and swiftly.  

NBC, however, has an incredibly bad record. In the past decade they've messed things up and made someone take the fall, unless, of course, there's profit involved.  They messed up the Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno deal and Leno took all the heat.  Seriously, I never got that. From where I sat, Leno was a soldier in the NBC army and did what they told him to do, he's under contract.  NBC threw them both under and both struggled to regain their footing.  NBC let Lauer destroy and take the fall for the Ann Curry debacle. She was hired as his co-host and it was not the right fit.  It wasn't working.  NBC let him be scorched on that firing.  Now, with Billy Bush, there are thousands upon thousands of hours of tape that the Today Show execs could have watched, to see if Bush would be a good fit for the 3rd and flailing hour of The Today Show.  Now, whether they did or whether they didn't, Bush' participation in the now infamous and degrading video between Drumpf and Bush was theirs to seek and find.  Bush comes from entertainment not their precious news division, so wasn't it on the producers and heads to ask and vet?  

So this videotape is released on Friday and someone's head needs to roll.  Social media is asking for Bush' head on a platter.  It can't be Drumpf's, though after the pussyfooting he got from Lauer on the Commander in Chief discussion, it should be Lauer's, but he makes too much money for the network and himself. Don't for one second think that if Billy Bush had magically turned around the very problematic 3rd hour of the Today Show and was the saviour, NBC wouldn't have done things differently.  BUT after first announcing Billy Bush was going to apologize on today's episode this morning, they decided to suspend him indefinitely.  He, too, will go the way of Dr. Nancy Snyderman.  We will never see his face again on NBC.  

Now, to be fair, I defended Bush, initially, that he is just a suck up, but after watching John Oliver's show Sunday night on HBO, I can't.  Oliver did what NBC hire ups should have done before they hired Bush.  He found clip after clip after clip after clip of Bush being inappropriate, misogynistic.  Oliver eviscerated Bush.  If you take the time to watch, he won't be back.  BUT again, I say, NBC execs are always good at not blaming themselves.  I feel for Bush' wife and three girls, that's all on this.

Let's get to the debate or the bloodbath or the disaster we call the Presidential campaign.  I'm not going to go over the words, the manner, or the disgust.  What I do want to point out is how completely hypocritical all the shocked and holier than thou Republicans are.  They were okay to back and support Drumpf when he called Mexicans rapists, asked for a ban on all Muslims entering the country, insult the Khan family, tweet insults to Megyn Kelly, Alicia Machado, and so many other women.  He denigrated every group in this country except white men.  No one has been unscathed, but the video released on Friday saying he could freely grab a beautiful woman's pussy because he's a star, that was too far.  Really?  All the other insulting and heinous words didn't do it, but bragging about sexual assaulting women was just too far.  You are all hypocrites.  You have created this monster with recklessness to our country and your Party. You, Reince Prebus, allowed the "fine" men and women of your Party to fall in line until you heard the word pussy? Now your through?  Now all the spineless endorsers are falling out?  You are all a disgrace.  The only Republicans that can hold their heads up high, who never wavered or fell in with the Party line...Mitt Romney and John Kasich.  Integrity.  They're the only two.  

So, tonight, when you go home, take 5 minutes and look in the mirror.  Do you like what you see?  I am not even involved, except as a citizen, and I'm having trouble sleeping.  You?  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

For All the Girls I've Groped Before

Okay, I seldom write over a weekend but the latest video release of Drumpf's interaction with Billy Bush, over hot mics from Access Hollywood, raises a whole new level of ire and disgust on social media and television that I can't keep silent.  I have gotten into a comment argument about Billy Bush being fired from the Today Show on a friend's Facebook page. I don't agree at this point, but people, we have to stay focused on the real culprit.  Over the last year, we have heard incredibly disgusting racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic statements from the Republican Presidential candidate.  Every time many of us have said this is it, he's out. He's more emboldened than ever. Even the Republican party can't support him anymore and every time Drumpf has skated through.  This audio and video tape uncovered by the Washington Post, who, by the way, seem to be the only journalists left, is the penultimate audio to take him down.  Will it?  Well, at this point, I'd rather he ride this out through the election, but the Republicans should stop selling their souls and peel their shaky endorsements back.  

The outrage is well founded, but again, it is much from the never Drumpf or the #ImWithHer crowd.  I would like to hear from true Drumpf supporters.  Does this change anything for you?  I doubt it.  That's the real disgrace.  That's the real pill we have to swallow.  The people that love him no matter what heinous things he says or does.  Drumpf was right when he said in December that he could stand on 5th Avenue and kill someone and his people wouldn't care.  They'd probably give him a standing O.  That's the real terror we are going to have to face after the election.  Who are these supporters?  Where are they?  I have FB friends from the middle of the country trying to draw them out for a conversation, but there haven't been any takers.  I've seen them interviewed by reporters at rallies and horrified by their ignorance or hate for Hilllary.  

And again, I ask, what did she really do to gain such venomous hate?  Come on, the haters hated her before Ben Ghazi, before the emails, before any "scandal."  That just gave them justifications for the hate, but seriously, what is the reason?  Is it that she's a woman and not afraid to go up against men?  Could that be it? Is it that she wasn't a stay at home wife and mother trying to buck the system to help others?  Is that it?  I've never understood, but clearly, Hillary Clinton hits a nerve and always has.  

So this latest realization of Drumpf's misogyny and criminal behavior, does it matter to anyone voting for Drumpf?  Is this the last straw?  I don't know. I kind of doubt it, but as we begin to explain to our children that you can be a hate monger and a sexual predator and be running for the President of the free world, well, really how can you explain away all the loathsome words that Drumpf has said?  He always doubles down.  He just doubled down on the Central Park Five and they were found wrongly convicted, but he's not letting go of that.  He reiterated that he still thinks they're guilty. His apologies are never really apologies, they're just words that he is programmed to say to try to alleviate the pain and anger he's caused.  He has completely taken down his precious family, once unknown or unscathed publicly, now all tainted by his deplorable behavior.  

We need everyone to vote, men and women, to send a clear message that we are better than this man of questionable means and character.  Stop trying to equate Drumpf with anything about Clinton.  It's not the same. They are all false equivalencies across the board.  The Republican Party and their elected officials have made their beds and now trying to take us down with them.  We won't let them.  We can't let them.  VOTE for Clinton, it's the only answer in this election.

Sidebars:  If you want great political discussion on television, the best 4 hours are Joy Reid on MSNBC Saturday and Sunday mornings, 10-12pm EDT.  She takes no sh*t from anyone.  She would have been a great moderator, but the Drumpf camp would've never approved her. -- Don't miss the "Town Hall" from Washington University in St. Louis Sunday night at 9pm EDT.  Hopefully they will show what a beautiful campus it is on the way into the venue. -- We are currently in the thick of the post season for MLB.  To my delighted surprise, the San Francisco Giants made it.  Post season goes until the first week of November.  Ridiculous.  -- There are a lot of new shows on television but don't think any have hit it out of the ballpark. Hoping that the new HBO shows on Sunday night are the ticket: Divorce and Insecure. -- Bill Maher was great this week, catch it on replay or On Demand. -- Samantha Bee's show is always worth watching. -- Bruno Mars dropped his first new song, 24K Magic, in two years,  Thursday night.  Love him, enjoy the song, hate the video. He didn't need the objectification of women.  He's got too much talent. -- Times are tough, people, don't sit this one out. Vote! 

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Seriously, I am so bloody sick of the Millennials that are too ignorant about civics and how government works.  If you knew how things operated, you would know that it isn't just about you, it is about all of us.  Why do you think that so many people for decades have voted against their own interests?  Millennials seem to lack context.  Is it all your fault? No.  Education in school has lacked teaching about the foundation of this Country.  How did America come to be, how did our laws get created, and most importantly, how do laws get changed?  There are so many holes in education that social media trends and tweets get people riled up whether true or false.  

When Bernie Sanders was drawing huge crowds of Millennials, no one ever questioned how all his huge promises were going to happen.  Not once did I hear any young person question how.  The President can bring forth a bill for Congress to debate, change, and pass.  Did you know that?  Ask President Obama how many spending bills he put forth and Congress voted down.  Look it up.  He presented so many important bills that would've helped this Country, but Congress said, "f**k you."  Spending that helps all of us in this Country, not just the Me-llennials.  Obama most recently sent a bill for more money to research and create a vaccine for the Zika virus.  Congress said, "hell no."  Obama sent a huge spending bill for money for our crumbling infrastructure.  It would've not only helped all of us from crumbling bridges and roadways, but would've created a ton of jobs.  Congress said, "yeah, no."  

So, for the Me-llennials who look at the political landscape and hate Drumpf and don't trust Clinton, it's the future you are shaping.  It's not the now, it's the future.  You are already in college or in debt.  It's the future you are creating.  It's the elected officials in both the White House and Congress that shape the future.  It's not one or the other.  It's the elections in the so-called off years that Me-llennials must make time for and vote.  You can't just show up for the Presidential election years.  It doesn't work that way.  Again, maybe we, as parents and educators, didn't do enough to teach you how important all elections are.  How black people and women shed blood and fought for the rights the white men always had.  

I am way past childbearing so the right to choose has nothing to do with me, it has to do with all the women that come after me.  It is vital.  I haven't voted for the past 30 years for my right to choose, I have fought for your right to choose. I know that may not be the most important liberty for all people, but to me it is indicative of all liberties and rights.  It is the separation of church and state.  It is freedom of religion.  It is freedom of speech. It is all things our Founding Fathers so brilliantly, intuitively, and with great foresight fought for to create this Country.  It is foresight. It is not for now.  It is for the betterment of tomorrow and for our children and our grandchildren and so on and so forth.  Do you get that?  

So as you vote in this election, and I am sure this won't be the last time I say this, make a list of what matters to you.  If it's climate change, peace, the Supreme Court, a woman's right to choose, education, gun reform, etc. the media and social media fog should lift.  The choice should be clear.  But, seriously, don't vote for Gary Johnson and then be surprised and stunned that it is President Drumpf on November 9th.  It will be on you. It will be the future you create.  It's not about me anymore. I am thinking about you. I hope you will think about someone else, too.  Remember, democracy is messy.  It's not perfect. For the most part, elections are the lesser of two evils.  It's the world you want to create for others. It's the world you want to leave behind.  It's evolving our Country for the times and for the future.  

Monday, September, 26th is the first of three Presidential debates. Take the time. It's far too important and, please, don't get stuck on the fantasy of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  It's never going to happen in 2016 and all you will get is Drumpf. Think about it.  I really want to have faith in the Millennials.

Sidebars:  It was my birthday yesterday.  Facebook, honestly, has made birthdays far more fun and easy than ever before.  Hearing from friends from high school, college, and all over my life brings such joy and a wide smile.  Now, for me, birthdays are difficult.  It's not an age thing, at all, it's the expectation thing, like New Year's Eve.  With family and friends both near and far, it's joyous.  If for that reason alone, FB is worth it.  Though not having my kids with me is always bittersweet.  --  The Emmys were on Sunday.  I am not going to do a full review, but just to say how bizarre and disappointing "In Memoriam" was.  I don't understand why they can't get it right.  The omissions and the inclusions leave ones head shaking. -- Okay, the new television season has started.  The Voice began it's new season with Alisha Keyes and Miley Cyrus as new judges.  Looks to be another great season.  New series beginning tonight: Bull and This Is Us on different networks.  This Is Us has tons of buzz.  Will give both a try.  -- Looks like San Francisco Giants are pretty much done. I can't see a path to the playoffs.  They have the worst closers.  Can't collapse and lose in the 9th and see October. -- Fall begins this week and I am ready.  -- Life has been a gigantic roller coaster recently so my writing is suffering.  Stay with me and be patient.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Liars, Liars Pants, Shirt, Shoes on Fire

Honestly, there are so many lies in this campaign season between both Presidential candidates, it is certain to turn people off, but voters, there is so much at stake.  Don't listen to all the ups and downs and ins and outs.  Sit down and make a list.  Refocus what is important to you ideologically and plow through all the rhetoric.  See where each candidate stands.  Forget, all the noise.  There is so much.  

If pro choice is important, then there is only one person to vote for.  If global climate change matters, then there is only one candidate to vote for.  If equality for women is important to you, there is only one person to vote for.  If common sense gun laws matter to you, again, there is only one Presidential candidate to vote for.  I could go on and on.  We each have our own lists of what we care about, so take the time and make the lists.  Don't look me in the eye and talk to me about Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  Those are wasted votes.  Maybe someday we will have a strong multi party system, but we still only have two true parties that can win. So all the arguments that I hate T***p, I hate Clinton, I can't vote for either candidate is cowardice. Think about what is important for you.  Can't say it enough.  

We have the candidates "we" voted for and an imperfect system, but it is what we have.  I am completely passionate about politics and feel that this election may be the most important Presidential election in my life.  I am terribly fearful that voters are getting turned off and tiring of all the bulls**t, but don't sit this one out. The country is at a crossroads.  We are at the fork.  Which direction do you want to go?  For me, there is no choice than to vote for the Democratic candidate. I care about a women's right to choose and until the other side decides to get out of my uterus, I will never be able to support a candidate that wants to take away that right. Never. Since Roe V. Wade, that conversation comes up in every election.  If the Right could just stop talking about it, they'd be more palatable. That hasn't happened for 45 plus years.  

The utmost important issue in this election is the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court.  If Clinton gets elected, we will get a moderate to liberal Court.  If T***p gets elected, we will incur the most fascist and right wing Court. Our right to choose could certainly be lost.  Citizens United will remain in effect.  So the future is all of ours to choose.  There are issues bigger than either candidates faults and imperfections, so register to vote, don't sit this one out. If you were passionate for another candidate and bitter, I get it. If you're old enough, we've all been bitter before, but don't sit this one out.  There are too many life changing issues at stake for us, our children, our grandchildren, and so on and so on.  

I, clearly, stand with Hillary Clinton.  I haven't always in years past, to be honest, but I know that she will stand by and for all the issues that are most important to me.  No President can get everything they promise done because our system is built with checks and balances. We have the House and the Senate to help or block bills and laws.  Think about that when you go to vote.  I'd prefer that we have all Democrats in power for this cycle.  I'd prefer that the members of Congress actually work for their lifelong salaries and not obstruct and avoid.  I'd like the Democrats to succeed big time or fail big time.  

And again, make your list and check it twice.  This election is far too important. I will keep this mantra until November 8th.  Don't believe all the false equivalencies that the talking heads are spewing.  There are issues on the table that will have ramifications for generations to come.  Do not sit this one out.

Sidebars:  MLB season continues but for us, San Francisco Giants fans, it is getting harder to see a path to the playoffs. :-(  The US Open is midway and there have been some very exciting matches.  Sad to see Venus Williams out.  College Football season began and every year I die a little when it begins.  It is the longest and fully encompassing season.  What used to be a beautiful, fun Saturday filled college football day, now has turned into basically everyday with multiple games for viewing. NFL begins this week and it, too, has blossomed into far more days of the week than years gone by.  Takes the specialness out of all of it. Ugh! --  Rizzoli and Isles had their series finale last night.  Bachelor in Paradise ends its summer season tonight.  Must say the producers made a surprising misstep announcing Nick as the new Bachelor last week, so watching his storyline on Bachelor in Paradise is spoiled.  We know he didn't choose the girl.  America's Got Talent is winding down and it's still not too late.  Also, America Ninja Warrior is thrilling television.  If you haven't given it a go, it won't disappoint.  The athletes are amazing.  -- It's a blustery day in NYC.  Enjoy your week wherever you are.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Hard to Take

There are far too many days left in this Presidential election and the nasty rhetoric is making voters weary.  He said, she said.  Now, the Republican's are rabidly hanging on to the pay for play of the Clinton Foundation.  Wow, seriously?  You batsh*t crazy people!  Seriously??  How ridiculously hypocritical.  The Clinton Foundation has done so much good for people all over the world to help fight Aids, Ebola, and many other fatal epidemics.  Has anyone shown any proof that any leader, Country, or anyone else got special favors from the then Secretary of State Clinton from donations made to this non-profit organization?  Not a lick.  Not one shred of evidence.  

Let's take a look at the lobbyists.  Isn't it the same thing?  There is massive proof that lobbyists have had a huge impact on our elected officials.  Does the NRA ring a bell?  There are reams of paper linking donations to campaign coffers and votes in Congress.  The evidence is clear.  What about SuperPacs?  There is so much money influencing our government and laws, so why the hell is anyone giving any airtime and credence to the Clinton Foundation accusations?  What a waste of time.  There are so many clear violations of money corrupting our laws and regulations that we, the People, should be far more concerned with lobbyists.  Isn't that the whole problem with campaign finance reform? Nothing can get passed because there are too many special interests paying off the Senators and Congresspeople?  Look at any blocked vote or ill-fated bill getting passed or not getting passed, there's a money trail for sure.  

Isn't that what Woodward and Bernstein would've been investigating if this was 40 years ago?  Where are the intrepid investigative reporters?  They are fewer and farther away from any investigations we need today.  Did you see the movie, Spotlight?  I think that may have been the last fully researched and vetted investigative reporting.  What the hell has happened to journalism?  Are they just bloggers only shooting from the hip and taking people down now?  Is it just ratings and not quality?  Les Moonves basically let us in on the dark side of network news when he admitted Tr**p is great for ratings and shareholders.  Should there be more than that?  By the time the talking heads started to take Tr**p seriously, he couldn't be stopped and he took down possibly more prepared and "intelligent" candidates.  I mourn the loss of journalism.  Investigative reporting has come down to snippets and edits.  No one wants to read a long expose.  We are 140 characters and out.  

People, don't believe the tweets.  Take the time in this election season to find out truth, not truthiness.  This election is by far the most important election in my life.  I will keep harping on everyone to take the time to vote.  Don't get turned off of all the bickering and nastiness that highlights the internet and news everyday.  Take the time to read, watch, and listen for yourself.  Dig deeper than they do.


Okay, well for those of us that have lived with, admired, rooted for, was disappointed in, disgusted by, rooted for again, and then just completely done...Anthony Weiner is the greatest disgrace to all of us.  WTF?!?!  He sexted his dick to a woman, disgraced his family, apologized, resigned from Congress, hid away from the public for awhile, ran for Mayor, got caught again, stopped running for Mayor, retreated from view again, and then every so often popped up on talking shows about politics.  Most recently he was on The Bill Maher Show.  He was good, but of course, made me feel what a waste.  He could've been a contender if he could've kept his pecker private.  Most recently, the New York Post has caught him again. Now, to be fair, the NY Post is so right wing Republican that tearing down Democrats is an Olympic sport, but today's front page makes Anthony Weiner dead to me.  Children's Services should be paying him a visit!  He tweeted a photo of his hard penis to a woman with his little baby boy next to him!!!  Who does that??  What is wrong with him?  It sickens me and makes my head just keep shaking.  Clearly, the worst thing that happened to Anthony Weiner was a cellphone.  Made it all too accessible.  This latest photo is beyond the beyond.  He is done.  Breaking news here: his wife is leaving him.  I appreciate she gave him multiple chances, but she has to get her son and be done, too.  

Sidebars:  Watched the VMA's, which in years past have had some very memorable, talked about moments.  Not this one.  It was all Rihanna and Beyonce.  Poor Britney Spears, whom I don't get at all, seemed to be lip-syncing again.  Beyonce was the Queen Bee but I felt too old to thoroughly appreciate her.  For me, not a great show. Too many, stellar, I'm sure.  Sweet moment when Drake publicly pronounced his love for Rihanna since he was 22 years old. A letdown show for this older woman.  --  The Night Of concluded last night.  I have had love/hate feelings for this 8 part series on HBO.  Lots of good and lots of hard to believe conversations and events.  AND I have to find out the truth about Rikers Island so if there is anyone that knows anything, I need to know.  --
Monday night it's Bachelor in Paradise and American Ninja Warrior.  Both aren't for the entire family, but both have something to offer.  -- Kids are back again at college.  Another adjustment period for the parents and the dog.  We will get there. -- There's a lot of possible severe weather all over the country.  Be careful out there. 
Happy Monday wherever you are.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to Olympus, Please

I have the most fond memories of the Olympics.  Was it that I was young and idealistic or has it been compromised so much that it now is just annoying?  NBC has been the home of the games since 1988.  My most vivid memories are the ABC years.  Who can ever forget Howard Cosell's voice and the exquisitely painful coverage of the Munich games?  Not that NBC was the first not to broadcast events live, but they have taken it to ridiculous and annoying levels.  The manipulation is so apparent.  They show only what they deem worthy, edited and cut to the enth degree.  Tim Daggett, the male gymnastics analyst, almost single-handedly ruins the beauty and greatness of the athletes. I'm not even sure if his voiceover is in the actual moment or done in the studio after.  Swimming has been both great and has been deservedly criticized by much of its sexist comments by the NBC talking heads.  

What has really gotten my goat?  The USA men's and women's basketball teams.  Their ridiculous privileged accommodations is why people hate America.  Seriously?  You are all too great to stay in the Olympic village?  If you haven't read or heard, they commissioned the Silver Seas cruise ship for their stay.  Plush rooms, beds, food, air conditioning, spa, etc. If that doesn't give them an unfair edge, I don't know what does.  It's equal to me as taking steroids for athletes.  To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that they included the women's team on the ship.  This illustrates exactly why it should only allow amateurs in the Olympics.  If these professional athletes can't be equal to all the other players, they shouldn't be allowed to compete.  I think it is a disgrace.  Seriously, why in the world should they have fist class accommodations while other NBA stars from around the world are living in too short of beds for their countries?  I heard someone on ESPN say that they'd be swarmed in the Village.  Well, then don't compete.  Only amateurs.  I never liked the influx of pros.  Feels very unfair and egotistical or jingoistic.  Think about this a bit, and hey, what a global humiliation if the teams don't bring home the Gold.  You set yourselves up.

The USA Women's Gymnastics team is stellar.  Some say the best ever.  The talent and precision of each of these "women's" routines are at such a height of perfection.  What I can't believe or get over is that only the top 24 women get to compete in the much coveted all-around, but no more than two from each team.  That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  It didn't used to be like that and I'm not sure when it changed, but it now really isn't the top 24. I understand that the IOC didn't want all the top spots by a couple of teams, but you can't call it top 24 anymore.  That Gabby Douglas didn't make it because she finished 3rd in our team's scoring is ridiculous.  So, time to re-think or re-name this supposed and not top 24.  The women's finals are tonight.  It should be spectacular.  Don't miss it and remember, it's not technically the top 24 competing. 

There have been a lot of decries of sexism by the announcers.  Particularly by the swimming announcers.  Al Trautwig had to apologize for making comments that Simone Biles parents aren't her "real" parents because she was adopted.  Wow, it's 2016.  Tim Daggett and the NBC producers should not speak during the gymnastics routine and allow us, the viewer, to have the experience.  Way too much talking.  NBC needs to put tiny little flags in the swimming lanes so we can keep track of who is in which lane during the races.  They do it in rowing, so it's possible.  

I can clearly state that I don't like beach volleyball as an Olympic sport.  It should have stayed a fantastically fun recreational activity.  I think the big draw for many is watching women in bikinis jumping up and down. It began as fun at the beach and has continued to be the same at the Olympics.  I am not saying that the athleticism isn't great, that's not what I'm saying at all, but they don't give the same air time to indoor volleyball.  The men's beach volleyball team are not half naked, either, shorts and tank top.  I have a lot of problems with the dress code for many of the women's sports.  Just keep it in mind while you're watching.  We continue to live in a very sexist world. It may not be obvious, but it's there.  Just keep it in mind. The men are fully dressed and the women at every opportunity are not. I know, sex sells, it just shouldn't be at the expense of the incredible athletes.  I think it demeans and diminishes their greatness.  Be aware and come to your own conclusions.

Sidebars:  I can't handle all the politics so the Olympics with all it's flaws and annoyances are a great diversion.  I will still torture myself with politics, I can't help it, but this is a much needed break. It is revelatory to see how many stations NBC owns.  It becomes clear during these two weeks when they take over MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, USA, and I can't find a re-run of Law and Order.... -- It's that time of year again when the college kids are beginning to pack up and go to school.  My baby boy leaves this week and my baby girl in two.  Another adjustment period. To those of you first timers sending your kids to college, keep breathing.  It feels overwhelming but you'll get used to it.  When they transition, you can find satisfaction that you let them go.  Breathe.... -- Ah, those hot, muggy summer days.  We are definitely in August.  Stay cool, drink water, and don't over do it.  Enjoy!

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Monday, July 25, 2016

So Much at Stake!

I am feeling so disheartened by Bernie supporters.  Is your "self" so important that you cannot see the bigger picture at stake?  Angry, disappointed supporters can ruin this election and, in turn, ruin this Country for generations to come.  Can you think about something other than yourself because that's how this feels.  In the 2008 election, I supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.  I was hugely disappointed that he caught the wave and became the nominee for the Democratic Party, but you know what I did the next day?  I stood tall and re-assessed my choices and backed Obama all the way.  It wouldn't have occurred to me to buck the system and vote for a 3rd party candidate or vote for McCain/Palin. Never!  The bigger picture was far more important than my personal choice.  So why can't the Sanders supporters see it?  The danger on the other side is so uge that the most important thing is voting for the Democratic nominee.  For God's sake people, if the nominee would've been Bernie Sanders, I would've turned around and voted for him.  The big picture. The big picture.

I saw today on Facebook that Change.Org has a Sanders for the Democratic nominee petition.  I know someone who signed it which is why it popped on my newsfeed.  I am sick to my stomach.  Does the name Ralph Nader mean anything to you Sanders supporters?  His supporters or protest voters won the election for George W. Bush.  How did that go for the Country?  WTF are you people thinking?  I am all for civil disobedience, peaceful protest, disagreement, but it is time to stop giving the Republicans fuel and stand up for all not just the "self."  If you take out the name of the Democratic presumptive nominee and look at what is at stake if Drumpf wins, it's time to check in with reality.  The world that we know will be filled with hate, discrimination, separatism, etc.  Did you you take note that due to the success of Drumpf's rhetoric, David Duke, former KKK leader, is running for Louisiana Senator.  Doesn't that speak volumes???!!!  Scares the f**k out of me. 

The Democratic party has always turned the other cheek and it makes me crazy.  The Republicans don't let anything go if it could tear down the Dems.  Anyone curious about the timing of the Wikileaks email release?  If we were Republicans, we would be calling for a Congressional hearing to see if there is any connection between Drumpf and Putin, but we are Democrats and don't want to get down and dirty.  I say check it out.  Have someone investigate in the CIA, FBI, or Justice Department.  We know that the Russians hacked the DNC computers, right?  We know that Paul Manafort works for a high level Russian businessman.  We know that there is a love fest between Putin and Drumpf.  Would it behoove the People to know the facts and truth?  I know we live in a world of non facts and truth now, but maybe if the Bernie supporters listened, they wouldn't be so willing to throw this election away.  

I know that I went on a tangent, but why aren't people looking for the truth about everything.  Is Clinton a perfect candidate? No.  Is she qualified to run this Country? Yes.  Why don't all the voters make a list of issues that are important and go down a checklist of the candidates on the ballot?  If you still choose to throw away your vote on a 3rd Party candidate or stay home, then take responsibility for the outcome in November. Seems that people only hear or believe what they want to instead of facts and truths.  I am gravely concerned that millennials are only thinking about themselves and not the greater good.  The stakes have never been higher for minorities. The rise of open racism, anti-semitism, and sexism should scare everyone, but it doesn't. I just don't get it, people.  I will keep saying this forever...the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court.  

I hope that the Democratic Convention is brimming with hope not hate. I hope that Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks about the greater good and doesn't step foot on the DNC stage. I hope that Sanders supporters get over themselves and come together for the bigger picture at stake.  I hope that Sanders knocks it out of the convention center tonight and instills togetherness.  I hope the week in Philadelphia truly becomes the City of Brotherly Love and not just a slogan.  I hope that Drumpf gets his ass kicked in November and he will go away forever.  I hope that the next generation of Drumpfs don't run for any public office.  I hope that the DNC shows how Clinton has been maligned for decades by the other side and she's not the villain she's been portrayed for 30 years.  I hope that when Hillary Clinton takes the stage on Thursday night to accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America that young and old are paying attention to the historic moment. You were there when the first woman was nominated for President.  We have a chance to go so far. Take it in.  

Sidebars:  Tonight kicks off the Democratic National Convention.  Great speakers tonight from Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and First Lady Michele Obama!  Three great speeches to come.  If you are inclined not to watch, there's The Bachelorette and America Ninja Warriors. There's Rizzoli and Isles and Major Crimes.  There is Samantha Bee's political satire on, too.  Something for everyone, but for those who are still trying to sort things out, tune into the DNC. --  It's hotter than Hades in NYC and much of America.  Global Climate change?  Depends on which political party you ask. -- Thoughts and prayers to all the firefighters fighting a huge battle in soaring temperatures in Southern California.  Hope all stay well and the fires are out soon. -- Wishing everyone a very happy last week of July.  

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

NEVER Too Many Mornings....

I moved to New York City in 1981 and began working at a small boutique theatrical agency.  The client list was quite good but none better or greater than the actor, John McMartin.  For any musical theatre geek/lover, he was the creme de la creme, the king of the hill, top of the heap.  He was the original 'Oscar' in Sweet Charity on Broadway and the movie and 'Ben' in the legendary production of Follies. When I first started working at this agency, I was tongue tied and in awe of John McMartin when he came to the office. It took me 6 months to be brave enough to converse with him.  As my career continued, I had the distinct honor of becoming his agent and more importantly his friend.  Many of you are saying to yourselves, "who is this guy?" Well, he has had an illustrious career in the theatre, motion pictures, and television for over 50 years.  He has been nominated for a Tony Award 5 times.  He has worked with the best and been the best.  He has the honored position of being the only actor with a framed poster size photo on the walls of the famed Sardi's restaurant, above the bar. 

If you met him, you wouldn't believe the quiet, shy, gentleman that was bigger than life on stage.  There were those that thought he was arrogant or pompous or a snob, but he was the most painfully shy person in the world, but when he got on that stage...pure magic.  He had the dearest heart and sweetest manner.  He was my friend. I can't believe today I say goodbye to one of the best people I ever had the honor of meeting.  

When I got the call from my former business associate that he died, my guttural cries could be heard throughout the house. I knew that he had been struggling and the fact he didn't respond to my texts, gave me a clue that he wasn't doing well, but the reality is all too deep and painful. John McMartin was one of the last great true theatre men.  An actor that never missed performances until late into his career and that was upon doctor's orders.  He held the theatre in such high esteem that calling in sick was unimaginable.  John couldn't understand the younger actors that called in sick so frequently.  That was not how he was taught or raised.  Theatre was his temple, his place of worship. 

We stayed connected through lunches and texts over the past decade, after I wasn't his agent anymore. We appreciated each other's sense of humor.  We talked about current events and the state of the world.  We spoke of shows we'd seen and compared notes, though over the years both of our trips to the theatre got further and further apart.  We spoke of our families and how they were doing and what they were doing.  His pride in his two daughters was always palpable. They had something very special together.  I admired that always.  He had a gorgeous life partner that was his biggest champion and fiercest protector. We talked a lot.  Sometimes we were just still and quiet.  Oh, and he was a flirt.  He always was, I can't overlook that. He loved a pretty woman.  

Oh, and his singing voice. Silky and smooth. OMG. He never thought he was a singer, but he was so wrong.  Go youtube Too Many Mornings from Follies and tell me that isn't one of the most gorgeous sounds you ever heard.  Filled with heart and soul.  He was a champion in comedy and could rip your heart out in drama.  There will never be another because he was the anti-actor. Too humble. Never read reviews. Never thought he was good enough and always the best.  

I love this man.  I love John McMartin.  My heart is broken today and I will never stop loving him.  He is in my heart for ever and always.  I am one of the lucky ones to have had him in my life. All the Opening nights, the parties, my wedding, the lunches, and texts will be carried inside me and I will speak of him often to anyone who will listen. Broadway got a little bit dimmer today.  We all did.

PS:  This is a disclaimer because there are no words to truly express and do justice to the level of loss and pain or the amount of love and respect.  I am just trying to give a window into my perspective and writing something about this man is to try to help me process this great hole in my heart.  I am not an official family member but have been tethered to this man for my entire adult life.  I will always miss you. Goodnight, sweet John.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Does Anyone Have a Bot?

I am over 50 years old.  I have seen many changes over the years but one of the most staggering changes that I don't understand is what the hell a bot is?  All I know is that it has a huge advantage over me when I get on the phone or the internet to try to buy tickets for a concert, the theatre, a sporting event, etc.  When I was young, getting tickets for things was more a matter of do you have the money or how you would get there, not whether or not you could even get your hands on a ticket. Today, the bots are stacked against us.  The ticket sellers have screwed the pooch, so to speak.  

New Yorkers know that Billy Joel has been playing Madison Square Garden once a month for 18 months or more.  The Garden announces new dates, tickets go on sale and are immediately gone in minutes.  Seconds later they are listed on websites for inflated prices not face value.  That is 20,000 tickets per concert and tickets gone immediately.  

Hamilton, the hottest ticket in Broadway history, is also "trying" to stem the tide of price gouging and reselling by announcing that only 8 tickets per week, per week, can be sold to one credit card.  Seriously?  That's stemming nothing.  Who the hell needs to be 8 tickets per week unless you are making a career out of reselling tickets and own a bot?  They raised the cost of premium tickets to $850/ticket.  How does that stem the tide?  It just means that the resellers will charge $3200 or more a ticket!  None of these moves is helping the theatre goer.  

The ticket situation is a huge problem that I think can easily be stemmed, but the concert promoters and theatre producers don't really care as long as the tickets sell out.  Once in awhile a music group will try to help their fans by selling their concert tickets directly, which is fantastic, but that is few and far between.  

Taking out full page ads in The New York Times is meaningless now for regular ticket buyers.  Even special early ticket sales for different credit card promotions doesn't give you a leg up.  All good seats are gone instantly. So what's happening is the tickets again go to the mighty few, the 1%, the insiders.  It's angering, disheartening, and makes for a very unfair playing field, which always gets my goat.   

What can they do?  Well, one thing, concert performers should help take control of ticket sales.  They are making money on tour and could force the promoters to dismantle the bots somehow.  Theatre producers can do a lot more to keep tickets out of the hands of ticket brokers.  If you spend an afternoon at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, you can see all the brokers finagling more and more tickets.  One reader told me that the ticket brokers have multiple credit cards and keep sending people in with different cards for purchasing.  I heard from another that one person won lottery tickets 3 times for Hamilton.  That shouldn't be able to happen.  Clearly there is technology to keep track of names of winners and to lock them our for a certain period.  

Ticketmaster lost a class action suit recently and has to pay back $400 million dollars to customers that purchased tickets during a certain time period.  Well, instead of actually paying back the money, they are offering general admission tickets to concerts.  We had bought enough tickets during that time that we are due somewhere around 25 pairs of tickets to events.  My husband immediately went on line to buy tickets to concerts.  He checked NYC, laughable, nothing available.  Checked St. Louis, zero for anything.  San Francisco Bay Area, nada, rien, zilch. So WTF Ticketmaster?  You lost the lawsuit and still win?!!  We weren't looking for Barbra Streisand, by the way.  We were looking for anything that could be fun and palatable that maybe we would want to see or our kids or our friends.  There was nothing.  

The fix is in.  The whole ticket situation is a scam to the regular folk and no one wants to speak about it other than the NY State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, and it is a huge problem.  You have to begin to take a long view.  Seriously, if people can't afford to go to concerts or the theatre or sporting events, what happens to the product down the road?  Does it go the way of the movie houses?  Think about it, people.  Looking for answers.

Sidebars:  Things that one should be DVRing for both politics and humor:  John Oliver on HBO.  He is exquisite and concise.  Samantha Bee on TBS is soaring and well worth the time.  Yes, they both lean left, so if you are on the "right," you may not enjoy as much, but you also may be able to hear things you wouldn't hear anywhere else.   -- Pride Weekend is over and though I didn't participate in person, the news  and Facebook coverage was very well done and moving.  The events all over were fully shared in photos and quotes.  The beautiful highlights of a very colorful weekend.  -- Hope you saw Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren today. Fan-fucking-tastic.  She is truly the pitbull to take on Drumpf and it's hilarious.  She is fearless and gets directly under his skin and his nails.  -- Hear that Free State of Jones, the Matthew McConaughey movie, is surprisingly excellent and another slice of little known American history. -- Finding Dory is still killing it at the box office and I still haven't been. -- The Bachelorette is tonight!  America's Got Talent tomorrow night.  -- Would love to hear any descending voices so if you have friends that wouldn't agree with me on my rants and ruminations, by all means forward to them.  -- Enjoy your week!

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