Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31 2008 - Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!!

It is early afternoon on December 31st and it is lightly snowing, a rather fitting way to usher in the end of 2008, a year of mixed blessing, to say the least. Oh, it was a great year for me entertainment-wise but so many other things were going on that I feel strange about even reporting all of the good things and stuff I did during the year. None-the-less, for you loyal and faithful readers, I am working on the 2008 statistics and will post them in the next several days, I promise. First the month of December, then the year 2008.

Tonight at 7:30 I have a special concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center. This is the program: “Ring in 2009 with an evening of festive music perfect for the occasion: overtures by Rossini and Verdi, dances by Brahms, Saint-Saens and Offenback, and popular arias by Mozart, Lehar and Bizet’s Carmen featuring opera superstar Susan Graham. It’s New York’s most glamorous New Year’s, and you’re invited.”

This special New Year’s Eve concert has become a tradition with me. When the concert ends around 9:30 I will come back to the apartment and settle in to watch the ball drop in Times Square. No way will I brave the crowds and snow to be there in person, no way. It is predicted that the wind-chill will bring the temperature down to -4 degrees. Nope, been there, done that, and each time I almost froze to death. The last time, I think, was in 2001, something I just had to do following the horror(s) of 9/11 2001. So, I will bring in 2009 in front of my TV while enjoying a Fresca and noshing on fruit and cheese.

Had a wonderful Christmas in Columbia, SC, with daughter Kathi and son-on-law Dr. John, son Bill and his 165 pound Rottweiller Zeko, and oldest grandson Alex and his wife Gina. Unfortunately, youngest grandson Chris and his girlfriend Sally were unable to join us due to work related issues. The Norris Travel Curse reared its ugly head on the return trip, however, when my flight was delayed almost 2 hours due to weather conditions.

I got back very late on Friday the 26th. Of course, for the following week I returned to my usual entertainment routine, as follows:

Saturday - 2:00 - “The Black Monk” - Off Broadway. “A stunning new musical inspired by Anton Chekhov's story, The Black Monk, follows the life of a gifted young artist. After five years at school in Moscow, Andrei returns home to his adopted father Igor and childhood love Tanya. As his artistic talent blossoms, will Andrei be able to hold on to love, family, and his sanity or will the power of the mysterious Black Monk drive him into the unknown?” (complimentary ticket).

Well, The Black Monk did indeed drive Andrei into the unknown and the show almost drove me crazy. Music and Chekhov? I should have known better.

8:00 - “Pig Tale: An Urban Faerie Story” - Off Broadway. “Set in the wilds of the East Village, Pig Tale is a witty, sexy urban faerie tale with a twist. When the handsome love interest suddenly turns into a real pig one night, his boyfriend has to wonder: doesn't that break all the rules of casual dating in the city? A look at what it takes for some humans - and especially some New Yorkers - to come to terms with commitment, cuddling and settling down together in that mythical house upstate.” (complimentary ticket)

This is a funny and very well performed show and it saved my day.

Sunday - 7:30 - “The Day the Earth Stood Still” - Movie. This is a remake of the classic 1951 movie, this time starring Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, who is on a mission to save earth by eliminating its destroyer, the human race. I really wanted to like this movie, which opened to very mixed reviews, but it just fell short. For example, they omitted the classic line “Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!”

Monday - 8:00 - “My Sinatra” - Off Broadway. “Cary Hoffman turns his highly-rated PBS Special and concert show "My Sinatra" into a musical play about his obsession with the legendary Frank Sinatra and the affect it had on him, a Long Island teenager growing up after losing 2 fathers and moving in with his 3 studio musician uncles, who played on some of Sinatra's ground breaking records. Using his strong, surprising Sinatra-like voice and over 30 Sinatra songs, Hoffman creates a musical score to his and his hero's life by weaving them into a compelling story of how an exquisite vocal obsession affected his life.” (complimentary ticket)

I had very mixed emotions about this show but the options for Monday night are pretty limited, so I decided I’d give it a shot and I am so glad I did. It is a very well written and performed production and if you close your eyes Hoffman’s voice will bring up the picture of Sinatra singing into your head.

Tuesday - 7:30 - “Striking 12” - Off Broadway. The press blurb is: This Zipper holiday tradition returns! Take a hip trip with the indie pop-rock band GrooveLily as they spread some holiday warmth on cold winter nights performing their critically acclaimed musical, Striking 12.  Combining pop-rock, musical comedy and old-fashioned uplift with a healthy dose of 21st-century skepticism, Striking 12 is the story of a Grumpy Guy who decides to avoid the hectic, loveless world on New Year's Eve, until he’s visited by an incandescent salesgirl with the promise to chase away his winter doldrums.” (complimentary ticket).

The house was sold-out for this performance, which was excellent. The 3 member group is extremely talented. This was a very enjoyable evening of theater.

OK, this is the past - what about the rest of the week? Well, tomorrow I have nothing planned by design. I intend to spend the entire day/evening watching bowl games.

On Friday I have a Broadway show, in early previews, called “American Plan.” The press blurb for the show is: “Lili Rabe and Mercedes Ruehl head the cast of this Broadway revival of Richard Greenbergs acclaimed play set in the Catskill Mountains in the early 1960s. Lili Adler and her mother Eva are spending the summer across the lake from a bustling hotel where comics entertain and buffets overflow. When a handsome young stranger enters their world, the emotionally fragile Lili finds herself falling in love. But once her imperious mother learns of their relationship, lies are exposed, alliances are forged and Lilis one chance to escape her mothers control may be lost forever.” (discounted TDF ticket).

At this moment Saturday and Sunday are open but I know I will spend time watching more bowl games.

Speaking of bowl games - I can hardly wait for the BCS Championship game on January 8th. My son Bill, who is a longtime Sooner fan, and I have made a very interesting bet on the game, the details of which I will post later.

Closing on a personal note - today my favorite doorman, Jorge Ramirez, (I call him Georgie) retired after over 20 years of service in the building. It is both a sad and joyful occasion. We will all miss him. Be well, Georgie, and have a great time in your new life!!

Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday - the Big Apple is freezing

It is very very cold in the Big Apple at the moment as a result of the snow we got on Friday afternoon which accumulated and turned the streets and sidewalks into accidents waiting to happen.

I had a show scheduled last night downtown in The East Village. The show, “Here Comes the Change,” was at a venue I like, Theater for the New City, and the press blurb is: “The premiere of award-winning playwright Bina Sharif’s hilarious and timely new play is a satirical look back at the recent Presidential Election. We are taken on a whimsical journey to the Presidential debate, where Senator McCain appears more worried about losing his own house than winning the White House. His opponent, cool, collected Senator Obama, calls for both social and economic change, in an effort to win over his most ardent opponents.” It sounded very interesting and I had a complimentary ticket, meaning I had to go or face problems with the ticket service, so I headed out.

Well, first of all, it was very windy and bitterly cold and the sidewalks were covered with slush in the process of turning to black ice, the most dangerous kind because it is so difficult pick up. I walked very slowly and made it to the theater OK, and the use of OK about arriving was the only OK thing about the rest of the evening. It sucked!!

There were 8 people in the cast and 10 people in the audience, one of whom made a very noisy exit during the show. I have to say that the show was one of the very worst, writing and acting, that I have seen this year, bar none. It was worse than TERRIBLE. It was 90 minutes without intermission and the clocK stopped moving. I seriously thought I had died and was in purgatory. When it was finally over everyone bolted for the exit.

I put on my coat and gloves and headed to the bus stop where I had a long wait for the bus, of course. When it finally arrived there was another one right behind it, something that always drives me crazy and one of the reasons I rarely ride buses.

When I got back to the apartment and thawed out I checked the weather forecast for today, Saturday, and the projected high was 23 degrees. I had nothing scheduled for either Saturday or Sunday so I decided that unless something really really good turned up on my ticket services I would opt to stay in Saturday for sure and maybe Sunday too.

Well, nothing showed up so in I stayed. I don’t think it has gotten over 23 degrees all day. I had a couple of errands to run, picking up my ‘scripts from the Duane Reade drug store on the corner, picking up the laundry from the laundry across the street and getting some fruit from the grocery store on the next block.

When I first went out the sidewalks were still very icy and on each of the 2 trips (I combined the ‘scripts and laundry) I slipped and almost fell even though I was walking as carefully as I knew how. That was it - no fucking way was I going to go out for the evening, no way. And I didn’t.

Not sure about tomorrow. Time will tell. It is supposed to warm up just a bit but probably not enough to take care of the accumulated ice and snow.

On to other things.

I will be heading down to Columbia, SC, on Tuesday to spend Christmas with my daughter Kathi and son-in-law Dr. John Bendeck. We will be joined by my son Bill, who lives in Orlando, and oldest grandson Alex Falletta and his wife Gina. Unfortunately youngest grandson Chris Falletta and his girlfriend Sally will be unable to be with us and they will be missed. I will come back to the Big Apple on Friday evening, the 26th.

Have lots to report about the shows and stuff since the last posting and will probably do that tomorrow, so ...

Go Gators!!

Merry Christmas.

Billi Pod

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To Each and Everyone:

".......and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty GOD, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."THE MESSIAH, G. F. Handel

Yes, I am still alive and well in New York City, the greatest City in the World. I pray that 2009 will be as wonderful for you, your families, and your loved ones as 2008 has been for me.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Condom on the sleeve - NYC 12/22/95

Several people have emailed for the now almost classic, and true, “condom on the sleeve” story back from the winter of 1995, my first December in the Big Apple, so here it is in the original form:
Date: Fri, Dec 22, 1995 11:53 PM EST
From: Wanjr
Subj: December 22 - Only in the Big Apple
To: Email list

Fellow cyberpersons:

This is just too good to wait until the newsletter. It just happened to me.

Picture this - coming home from the theater at about 10:45 and riding the E train to the Lexington Avenue station. It is very crowded with a lot of shoppers and a lot of women. At the station there is a long escalator ride up to the exit and transfer platform, I would guess it to be about 3 stories. People are crowded onto the escalator and no one is racing up the steps due to the crowded conditions.

To my left, dressed to the nines in a very expensive fur, is everyone's matronly Grandmother. Immediately in front of us is a very very blond young man of about 20, I would guess. Very Nordic looking and rather tall. He has a large back-pack and a very large duffel bag which he puts down beside him. About 1/3 of the way up, he bends down very awkwardly and opens the duffel bag, reaches in and starts to pull out a scarf, which apparently is stuck on something. He gives it a tug and when he does, out fly two condom packages.

One of the condoms lands at my feet. The other one lands on, and sticks to the right sleeve of Grandmother, who does not appear to be aware of what happened because she is staring straight ahead with that far away look only New Yorkers can get. The kid turns ten thousand shades of red, as only blonds can do. I reach down and pick up the one at my feet and hand it to him with a smile but without saying a word. He mumbles something. Grandmother, however, is still staring straight ahead, with the condom on her sleeve, so the kid just turns back around facing up the escalator.

Nothing is said and I decide that silence on my part is the better part of valor. When we get about 20 feet from the top, Grandmother reaches over with her left hand and takes the condom off of her right sleeve. She holds it in her left hand and taps the kid on the shoulder. He jumps a foot. Just before we get off, I hear her say, with the sweetest Grandmotherly smile: "You forgot this one young man, you may need it in this city." She gets off the escalator and walks to the exit without looking back, the kid heads to the transfer platform, still red in the face, and I can hardly walk because I am laughing so hard.

Only in New York, folks, only in New York.


Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Thursday, December 11, 2008

“WHAT I SAW IN ATLANTA" - by an Alabama fan

This is making the rounds on the internet, so I thought I would post it here for you, my loyal and faithful readers --
“I saw the third quarter. I saw Tebow get sacked. I saw Florida go 3 and out. I saw the Tide go 91 yards in workman like fashion. I saw a helpless UF defense. I saw Bama tie the game. I saw UF respond by missing their only FG of the season. I saw Bama march again. I saw a UF team that was beat. I saw a defense with hands on hips gasping for breath getting absolutely trucked. I saw an Alabama team rolling downhill through Gator players. I saw the UF players give all that they had left to keep Bama out of the end zone. I saw the Tide take the lead heading into the 4th quarter. I saw the end of a championship dream.

No way could the UF defense recover from the extended pounding they had just endured. With two DTs out there was simply no reserve left to call upon to stem the Tide. All that had been claimed pregame by the Crimson and White faithful about how their lines would wear UF down and control the game had come true. There was no hope.

And then things changed. I saw Tebow rally his offensive teammates and take them down the field. Run after run after run after run after run and they had Bama on their heels at their own 27. A throw a run and a throw and Tim has UF on the doorstep. Two more runs and Demps is leaping in the end zone. Florida has wrested the lead away and hope is reborn, dreams live again.

But this was not enough. Tebow leads this team, this university, not just its offense. He comes down the sideline toward the end zone where the Gator fans are thickest and exhorts them to cheer, to roar, to believe. He turns and runs to the special team players huddled for the upcoming kick. He slams into their huddle like a bowling ball knocking aside so many pins. He urged them to make the stop, to finish the play. And they did. He turns to the bench and gets in the face of his defensive teammates and makes his will theirs. He inspires them, he challenges them, he leads them. They face the same Bama players who had owned them in the third quarter, who had worn them down and controlled them. They faced those same Bama players and they stuffed them. Julio Jones who had tormented the Gators all afternoon saw a pass come his way only to have Joe Haden drill him so that the ball fell harmlessly to the ground. Julio would never see another pass (Mark’s editorial note here…I was amazed a 5’11” guy could take on a guy 6’4” and beat him). They held the line and stopped Coffee for a short gain. They crushed the line that had moved them at will and finally sacked Wilson. With the game on the line they had stuffed Bama for a 3 and out.

Then Tim Tebow went out to win himself and the University of Florida a championship. Two runs and it was 3rd and short. Tebow keeps it, meets Mount Cody in the hole and carries all 360 pounds of him for the first down. Tebow thr ows for 33, Tebow throws for 15, Tebow runs for 5. Bama is done. Tebow throws the last five yards to Riley Cooper on a pass that had no room for imprecision resulting in the TD that made dreams into reality. I have never seen a single player so impose his will on both his teammates, his opponents and the crowd as Tim Tebow did in that fourth quarter. I am in awe. His teammates understand. Carl Moore: "You knew he was going to lead us to victory," Louis Murphy: "I have never doubted him. He's our quarterback." Jeff Demps: "That's Tim Tebow. That's what he does, He's been putting us on his shoulders ever since the Ole Miss game, but I've never seen him like he was today." His opponents understand too. Rashad Johnson: "He kept those guys motivated. He kept them in the game when they had the opportunity to give up and wouldn't let them." Terrence Cody: "You give him a chance, and he's going to beat you,"

He's not Superman. He's not unbeatable. But he will never give less than everything he has and he will never shy away from a challenge. He is the best team leader I have ever seen in college sports.

He willed a victory for UF, not on his own, but by giving his teammates the strength to believe and an example to follow.
And that they did.”
Does he deserve to win The Heisman Trophy for the second time? Remember, it is supposed to be awarded to the best "overall player,” not just the best quarterback.

I report - you decide.

Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Sunday, December 7, 2008





Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Awesome Upcoming 14 Days in the Big Apple

Yes, yes, I know - there is that overused word “awesome” again but my dear faithful and loyal readers what else can I say about an upcoming 14 days that looks like this already --

Friday - 8:00 - “We All Fall Down” - Off Broadway. “Written as a reaction to the unnecessary drama created out of boredom in the stale and sterile existence of office life, We All Fall Down is an existential comedy of epic proportions. The plot follows the downward spiral of Galahad A Smith who takes a nothing position in a mysterious corporation for an inexplicably large salary. Before long Galahad finds himself trapped as a pawn in a twisted game with life and death stakes and no discernible rules. If Galahad survives the game there is just no telling who he's gonna kill. What happens when money and power fall overwhelmingly into the hands of perverted psychotics The title pretty well answers that question.” (complimentary ticket).

Saturday - 4:00 - Gators vs. ‘Bama for the SEC Championship on CBS. The winner of this game will more than likely play in the BCS Championship game on January 8 2009.

I feel so antsy about this game. Have been wearing my Gator clothes wherever I go and I have been amazed about how many guys make some comments, not about the upcoming game, but about how much they admire Tim Tebow.

Regardless of the outcome of the game I knew I would have to get out of the apartment, so I scheduled something a bit different for later at the 59th Street theater --

9:30 - “Jeff Harnars The 1959 Broadway Songbook” - Off Broadway. “A musical revue celebrating the 21 musicals running in New York during the Golden Age of Broadway. From Gypsy, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Bells Are Ringing, The Music Man and more, a cast of four toasts this pinnacle of The Golden Age of Broadway.” (complimentary ticket).

On Sunday my dear friend and mega-Bull Gator Stumpy Harris and his wife Dottie, of Orlando, will arrive in town so Stumpy can attend various events involving The Football Hall of Fame. They will be coming from Atlanta after, hopefully, witnessing the Gators kicking ‘Bama butt. I will have some face-time with them.

7:00 - “The 29th Annual Lennon Tribute @ The Ailey Studios” - Off Broadway. “A stellar line-up of singer-songwriters: Rosanne Cash, Cliff Eberhardt, Vance Gilbert, Carrie Rodriguez, The Kennedys, Erin McKeown, Karlus Trapp and a surprise guest! Plus two acclaimed NYC dance companies -- Wendy Osserman Dance and Dietz Marchant Dance -- will present new Lennon-inspired works. And comedian Joe Raiola will bring his special brand of humor and satire.” (complimentary ticket).

This was a last minute addition to my schedule because it sounds so interesting.

Monday - noon - I will meet Dottie Harris and her friend Sue for lunch.

8:00 - New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Avery Fisher Hall. The program for this non-subscription concert will be Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.,” performed with the Westminster Symphonic Choir. (extra full price ticket in the rear orchestra).

This concert will be 100 years to the day after Mahler himself conducted the NY Phil in the US premiere of this work.

Tuesday - 8:00 - Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Spectacular @ Carnegie Hall. (full price orchestra ticket).

This has become part of my holiday tradition and it is always very entertaining and a lot of fun.

Wednesday - 8:00 - “Spring Awakening” - Broadway. “Winner of 8 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, this Broadway musical is based on the 1891 Frank Wedekind play, a frank and challenging take on adolescents grappling with sex and death.” (discounted TDF ticket).

I first saw this wonderful musical in early previews when it was Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. After it moved to Broadway I went back at least 3 times. It will close (much too early in my opinion) in January 2009 and I just had to see it one last time.

Thursday - 8:00 - “Shrek the Musical” - Broadway. This, of course, it a musical version of the 2001 movie and it is in previews. I have a discounted ticket. There is interesting buzz about the show with the online commentators falling basically into two camps - “I Love It” or “Shrek is Drek” - with very little middle ground. I am looking forward to seeing it and forming my own opinion.

Friday - is open for the moment because I have so many options that I am having trouble making a choice this far in advance.

My friend John Horne of Anna Maria, FL, and his posse of 19 will arrive in the Big Apple today and will be here until the 15th. John is the owner of several highly successful restaurants in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. I look forward to seeing him.

Saturday - 11:00am - The Little Orchestra Society Presents “Babes in Toyland” @ Avery Fisher Hall. “Just in time for the holidays, The Little Orchestra Society celebrates Victor Herbert's 150th Birthday with the world premiere of a new version of this classic, including musical favorites March of the Toys and Toyland. An eccentric toymaker with a struggling business receives unexpected assistance from mysterious investors. But, when the toymaker's new partners try to make some unwelcome changes, can the toymaker's young apprentice and the shop's collection of toys save the day?.” (complimentary ticket).

This should be fun. I have several options for the evening that I am mulling over.

On Sunday afternoon is the event that really starts my holiday season --

3:00 - New York Philharmonic Principal Brass with the Canadian Brass @ Avery Fisher Hall. “A New York tradition! The Philharmonic’s Principal Brass and the Canadian Brass present their annual Holiday classic, filled with wit, virtuosity, and the glorious music of the season.” (full price orchestra ticket).

Monday - 8:00 - “The Who’s TOMMY 15th Anniversary Benefit Concert.” Broadway. “This is a reunion of the original cast and band. The proceeds from the concert will go to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Broadway Dreams Foundation. The production will be presented concert style with the cast and band on stage during the entire performance. Projections and photographs from the original production will be used to express the design elements and feel of the show.” (expensive full price ticket).

I love The Who and I loved “Tommy’ when it was originally on Broadway so this was a no-brainer when tickets became available.

Tuesday - 7:30 - “Streamers” - Off Broadway. “In this powerful American masterpiece, four young soldiers fresh from boot camp wait anxiously in 1965 Virginia, watching the Vietnam conflict escalate. As they struggle to make sense of their new life in the army, tensions rise over race, sexuality, and class, culminating in an explosive act that changes them forever.” (Roundabout Theater subscription).

This drama has gotten excellent reviews and I am looking forward to seeing it.

Wednesday - 7:30 - New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Avery Fisher Hall. The program is: Handel’s “Messiah,” performed with the Westminster Symphonic Choir. (series subscription).

For me there can’t be a holiday season with Handel’s “Messiah.”

Thursday - 8:00 - “Pal Joey” - Broadway. “This revival of the 1940 Rogers and Hart classic is about a scheming nightclub gigolo with romantic and financial headaches. Joey dumps his wholesome girlfriend, Linda, to get in with wealthy older lady Vera Simpson.” (Roundabout Theater subscription).

So there you have it my loyal and faithful readers. I have reported, now it is up to you to decide whether “awesome” is an appropriate description for the upcoming 2 weeks.

Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

FLASH!! - Breaking Economic/Travel News

As you know, my main purpose in life is to keep everyone informed regarding current news items before they hit the mainstream outlets, so that you, my faithful and loyal readers, may remain ahead of the herding masses in these difficult economic times.

I don’t know why what I am about to provide you hasn’t been the topic of anything on the AP, or MSNBC, or CNN, or my favorite news outlet Fox News, but so far nothing. So, I feel honored for the privilege of being able to share this information with you, in a condensed form --
AMERICAN AIRLINES NOW CHARGING FEES TO NON-PASSENGERS - Seeking New Revenues From Regular Customers and Everyone Else.

FORT WORTH, TX - Cash-strapped American Airlines announced a new series of fees this week that will apply to all customers not currently flying, scheduled to fly or even thinking about flying aboard the commercial carrier.

The fees, the latest introduced by American Airlines in a continuing effort to combat its financial woes, will take effect on Monday, December 15th. According to company officials, these charges will include a $25 tax on citizens traveling with any other airline, as well as a mandatory $30 surcharge for passengers who decide to just stay home for the holidays instead.

“Tough times unfortunately mean tough measures,” American Airlines president Gerard Arpey said. “It’s never an easy decision to ask our loyal customers, as well as thousands of people chosen at random out of a telephone book, to pay a little extra, but that’s just the reality of today’s economic climate. We hope all Americans will understand this when receiving one of our new bills in the mail. These charges will be incurred simply by being a citizen of the United States and having a valid Social Security Number.”

“We are confident that these new measures will not discourage customers from flying with American Airlines,” vice-president Margaret Wilkinson said, “However, we’d like to remind our customers that there is a ‘discouraged-from-flying-with-American-Airlines charge if they do in fact choose not to fly with us.”

It is also reported that the Bush Administration will codify these additional charges by the end of the month, making the likelihood of repeal by the incoming Obama Administration extremely difficult, if not impossible. (source anonymous - believed to be VP Cheney)

In response to American’s move, other airlines have begun offering more competitive rates. United this week unveiled a new $99 “spend the weekend quietly reading indoors” offer, while Southwest is introducing a $125 round-trip fare for those walking to their corner store for some groceries.

JetBlue, a commercial carrier known for its thrifty rates, has come out ahead of the pack, however, and is being lauded for its decision not to charge non-passengers not to fly.
Source: The Onion - Vol. 44, Issue 49

Well, there you have it my friends. I have no clue how this can be avoided and I hope my reporting it doesn’t dampen your Holiday Spirits or interfere with your holiday travel plans.

Please remember - I report and you decide.

Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday's Report

I just got back from seeing the very first preview performance of an Off Broadway play, “Beasley’s Christmas Party,” and this is the press blurb: “A new holiday classic full of humor, heart and hope! From the American author of The Magnificent Ambersons comes this story of a curious journalist and his extremely unusual next door neighbors - a turn of the last century midwestern gubernatorial candidate, his amazing house guests, and their wide circle of very special friends (but are these house guests and friends real or imagined?).” (complimentary ticket).

I found the show to be charming and just the right touch for this time of year. Not sure if the critics will feel the same way but it worked for me.

Last night was a staged reading of a dark comedy - “Grand Delusion” - Off Broadway. “This brand-new, biting black comedy from playwright David Rock, imagines a secret confab of world leaders in the days immediately preceding World War I. The zany cast of historical and fictional characters includes a paranoid and narcissistic Kaiser Wilhelm; his foolish cousin Czar Nicholas II; and an Austrian foreign minister hungry for a war that will suitably impress his beautiful girlfriend. It's a dark and hilarious depiction of how the gears of diplomacy just might have turned to alter history forever.” (complimentary ticket).

The Off Broadway venue called The Zipper (because it was once a zipper factory) was full with lots of theater-type people and almost everyone seemed to enjoy the outrageous and very risqué material, even though the results would lead to World War I. I enjoyed it too.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, should be an interesting day. As I have previously posted I will go up to Lincoln Center for the 3:00pm annual meeting of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, to be held in the Helen Huntington Hall on the 4th floor of Avery Fisher Hall. This should either be very interesting or a complete waste of time. When I get bored or the meeting ends, whichever comes first, I will then catch a movie, either the recently opened “Milk” or “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” Then at ...

7:30 - The New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Avery Fisher Hall. The program is: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6; Schumann’s Symphony No. 4; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. (series subscription).

Yes, I know, to those of you who carefully read these postings, both the Schumann and Beethoven symphonys have been parts of recent concerts but this sometimes happens when you exchange tickets like I do and I certainly don’t mind hearing them again.

Strangely, at the moment both Thursday and Friday are open but I am certain I will book something for both days. Saturday, of course, will be devoted to the SEC Championship game.

Speaking of which - I am nervous as hell about the game and I wish it were tomorrow. I have a prediction - yes, this is it - are you ready, my faithful and loyal readers? The game will be tied at the end of the first half and then the Gators will win by a score of ... tada ... 35 - 21 ... and advance to the BCS Championship to play Oklahoma.

Oh, for this entire week when I go out for whatever reason, I intend to shelve my usual black outfits and wear instead blue pants, blue shirt, blue Gator sweater and, of course, my Gator cap.

Go Gators!!

Billi Pod

Monday, December 1, 2008

November 2008 in the Big Apple

Now that the books are closed on November 2008 I am most happy to report that it was another terrific month for me in the Big Apple.

Before I begin the numbers report I think it only proper to acknowledge that the highlight of the month had nothing to do with entertainment - it was, of course, the bordering-on-a-landslide win by Barack Obama and the defeat of the woeful McCain/Palin ticket. As a yellow-dog democrat I can only hope and pray that Madame Sarah “Wink-Wink” Palin is the Republican nominee in 2012. Yeah, keep on giving us the benefit of your words of wisdom and inspiration, Sarah --- oh yes!!

Now, on to other things, that being, what I did during the month. In reviewing my daily log (log, not diary - real guys don’t keep diaries) I find that during the month of November 2008 I saw/attended/did the following:

6 Broadway shows (A Man for All Seasons, Billy Elliot, Monty Python’s Spamalot, All My Sons, Dividing the Estate, and The Seagull); 16 Off Broadway shows; 6 classical music concerts (mostly with the New York Philharmonic); and 4 movies (Sex Drive, Role Models, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Slumdog Millionaire).

I had a great Thanksgiving dinner with Scott Reed, his mother Donna of Lakeland and Scott’s friend Ava, at the trendy Lower Eastside bar/restaurant Spitizers Corner. Thank you Scott.

Kept in contact with many of my AA buddies (you know who you are) and we are maintaining our sobriety, together, during these extremely difficult financial times. Proud of you guys, I really am - just keep on keeping on - “One Day At A Time.”

Even with all of these activities I was surprised to find that there were 2 days/nights during the month without some entertainment event (gasp). I think I will blame it on the nasty weather - yes, that’s what it was.

I was also a bit surprised to find that I only posted 12 times during the month and I consider this to be a broken promise I made to you, my faithful and loyal readers, to keep the blog current. In defense, it isn’t that I failed to report about everything I had done during the month, it was that the postings weren’t as timely as they have been since the blog was created on April 6, 2008. I will do better, I promise!!

In that regard I will give an update on things and stuff I did since the last posting on Wednesday in a later posting, either tonight or tomorrow morning.

In closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on how great it is to be a part of the Gator Nation. The ass whipping we put on the ‘Noles during the rain at Doak Campbell Stadium was awesome. During the month of November the Gators won 5 games, with a combined point total of: 262 - 64. Now, it is on to the SEC Championship game on Saturday against the number-one ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama. It should be a nail-biter of a game.

Oh, before I post - let me make a prediction - not about the game - about who will win the Heisman Trophy - it will be Oklahoma Quarterback Sam Bradford. I want it to be Tebow again but I don’t think it will happen.

Go Gators!!

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