Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday - West Side Story At Last

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers. It is a hot and muggy afternoon in The Big Apple and I have the AC on for only the second time since moving into 420 W. 42nd Street, Apt. PHC, in the Greatest City in the World, back on June 2nd.

Have so much on my entertainment schedule that I don’t know where to begin, so ... what about beginning with tonight, Tuesday? OK, here goes - I am finally getting to see the highly regarded revival of West Side Story, one of my favorite musicals.

I have previously posted about my unique experience involving this show back in 1957 when it was in its out-of-town previews. I will again share the story in the form of a verbatim copy of a posting I made last year to the New York Theater Chat Board called “All That Chat” --

“In the summer of 1957 I was coming to the end of my tour of duty in the Army and was stationed in Washington, DC, living off-base with a bunch of army buddies, including one, Dan Hoik, who had a part-time job with the afternoon newspaper (the name escapes me).

One night Dan came in from work and told me that his Editor had given him two tickets to a musical that was finishing up its out of town tryout and would soon open on Broadway. He asked me to go with him because he knew of my interest in the theater, even back then, and, also, the tickets included an after-performance party with the creative team, cast members and the press.

I asked him about the show and he said all he knew about it was that it was a musical based on a modern version of Romeo & Juliet. To this I replied - “no f**king way am I gonna see something like that, no f**king way.” Dan begged me and begged me to go with him and kept emphasizing the party afterwards. Finally I gave in and said I would go. According to some old notes I have the date was August 19, 1957 and it was the opening night at The National Theatre in Washington, DC.

Well, we were both blown away by the show. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, or, frankly, since. I remember though that some of the older people (I was all of 23yrs. old then) seated around us were horrified by the “coarseness” of some of the lyrics, especially in “Gee, Officer Krupke,” and there were audible gasps with the final line:

“Gee, Officer Krupke, Krup You!”

I don’t remember too much about the after-party other than it was at one of the posh hotels and had plenty of free booze and food. Someone pointed out a person named Leonard Bernstein and a very young looking guy named Sondheim, but neither name registered with me at the time.

The rest of the story is history, of course. I don’t know how many times, thousands I am sure, that I thanked the Gods of the Theatre for making me go to see a musical of a modern version of Romeo & Juliet.

Bottom-line I count this as the highlight of all of the theater experiences I have ever had.


Yep, I am very charged about tonight.

My schedule for the rest of the week looks like this:

Wednesday - 8:00 - Mostly Mozart Festival @ Avery Fisher Hall. The program is: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor; Haydn: Berenice, che fai?; and, Mozart: Symphony No.41 in C major, K.551 ("Jupiter"). (discounted TDF ticket)

Thursday - 7:30 - “Departure Lounge” - Spring Play Festival @ The Public Theatre. The press notes are: “It's the end of vacation as four guys wait for their flight home in this testosterone-driven new musical. With time to kill they recount the hilarious antics of the week, and as secrets tumble out we learn more about the lads than they know about themselves.” (full price $10 ticket).

Friday - 8:00 - Mostly Mozart Festival @ Avery Fisher Hall. The program is: Mozart: Overture to Die Zauberflte; Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings; Mozart: Piano Concerto No.18 in B-flat major; and, Mozart: Symphony No.39 in E-flat major. (discounted TDF ticket).

Saturday - 8:00 - “Al’s Business Cards” - Off Broadway. “When New Jersey gaffing assistant Al Gurvis accidentally gets his new business cards swapped with those of real-estate agent Eileen Lee, he's mildly annoyed. Little does he know that this tiny mix up has sparked a chain reaction, which will ultimately ruin his life. A comedy about waking up from the American Dream. (discounted TDF ticket).

Sunday - open at the moment.

I am happy to report that I was able to spend some quality time with student/bartender/manager Scott Reed and with attorney Dwight Wells and his wife, Joanne, who were in the city staying with one of Dwight’s law school buddies.

It looks like The Yankees are on a roll since The All Star Game break, having completed an excellent home stand where they compiled a record of 9 wins and 1 loss. They now lead the AL East by 2 1/2 games over the FuckSox. And, speaking of baseball, I have scheduled my first visit to the new Citifield for August 19th. I was able to score a discounted ticket to see the Mets/Braves game.

I am also very happy to report that Sandy Mullon of Anna Maria, FL, will be my first out-of-town guest in PHC. She will be visiting The Big Apple from August 11 to 14 (barely long enough, but ...) and I have already scheduled us lots of things and stuff, the details of which I will share with you later.

In closing I want to wish my daughter, Kathi, and son-in-law, Dr. John Bendeck, bon voyage as they depart tomorrow on an awesome 10 day trip to Northern New England. Just sorry that The Big Apple couldn’t be worked in but I know it will be, sometime soon.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

420 W. 42nd Street in Hell's Kitchen

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers. I hope each of you had a great weekend, I know that I certainly did, but more about that later in another posting.

Today, Tuesday, began as a wet and dreary day and it rained for most of the morning. It is now in mid-afternoon and it is still dark and gloomy but the rain has stopped. More rain is forecast for the remainder of the afternoon and into early evening. So, what better time for me to finally get around to finishing my posting on not only the details of my new apartment building, 420 W. 42nd Street, but also some of my thoughts about my new ‘hood in the Westside, known as Hell’s Kitchen.

420 W. 42nd Street -

This modern high-rise building opened in 2001 and is located between 9th and 10th Avenues, on the south side of 42nd Street. It is actually on the corner of Dyer Avenue, which is an exit road from The Lincoln Tunnel and dead ends on 42nd Street.

The building is 41 stories tall and is composed entirely of rental units, numbering 264. Most floors have 8 units, 2 2-bedroom apts. and 6 1-bedroom apts. The penthouse section on the 41st floor (where Billi Pod lives in PHC) has only 6 apartments, 2 2-BRs and 4 1-BRs. The 2-BRs located on the penthouse floor are awesome with lovely large terraces and rent for a meager $6,500. per month. There are 8 studio apartments located on the lower floors and they rent for $2,300. The 1-BRs start at $2,700 and increase as you move higher up the building. The 2 BRs start at $4,200. Keep in mind that these rents reflect the downturn in the rental market. Take a deep breath and remember we are talking about living in Manhattan.

The amenities in all of the apartments are: heater/AC units in each room; stainless steel appliances, including a microwave and a dishwasher; granite countertops; heat and water included in the rent; “ample” closet space - with walk-in closets in some apts. (not PHC-dammit). The apartments are cleaned, painted and refurbished for each new tenant.

The amenities for the building are: live-in Superintendent; concierge desk in the lobby; 24 hour doorman and security; complimentary fitness center with state of the art equipment; sun deck adjacent to the fitness center; valet services; huge laundry room; bike room (but no extra storage facilities); ATM machine; pet friendly; and Wi-Fi Zone (not free but only $29 per month for up to 3 devices). The valet services available include: apartment cleaning; dry cleaning including wash and fold; and, pet sitting and apartment sitting. The building is managed by The Brodsky Organization, which manages 41 other properties in Manhattan.

My observations and thoughts - I am most impressed with how well maintained the building is, including the apartments. The staff seems to be very friendly and attentive. I discern no attitude whatsoever. The Super, Fred Lumej, in his late 30s, seems to be very competent and in-charge. I was told that there are approximately 530 people in residence and that includes some children. Most of the people I see coming and going are young singles and couples in their mid 20s and early 30s, which is interesting because the one thing that is totally 100% nonnegotiable is the verifiable income requirement of 40 times the monthly rental, meaning for a 1 BR you need a minimum annual income of $108,000. If you need a guarantor (meaning Mommy and Daddy) they are required to have income of 80 times the monthly rental.

The apartment windows are double-paned meaning that when they are closed I hear very little street noise, with the exception of police, fire department or emergency vehicles. I keep the windows open most of the time and thus far I have encountered only one fly, which I quickly dispatched ala BarackO. Since I am so high there is not a dust/pollen problem either. I turned the AC units on for the first time last week when I was expecting out-of-town company.

My apartment has very high ceilings and the windows in the living room are almost floor-to-ceiling. This means the apartment is very very bright, maybe even a bit too bright, especially in the bedroom. I will probably get some shades/blinds for the bedroom but not for the living area. Trust me on this - I will not, repeat NOT, attempt to install them myself or use anyone other than a professional to do the work.

I have gushed before about the views from PHC, which faces North but as a reminder - I look down on the intersection of 42nd Street and 9th Avenue and my Northern views includes the Hudson River, New Jersey in the distance, and Hell’s Kitchen directly North. It is truly fucking awesome!!

As you no doubt can tell - I am very very happy to be in this great apartment. One caveat though - the 2 BR next door is vacant and the occupants of the 1 BR on the other side of PHC are away for the summer, so I have had no interaction. Please God, don’t let the 2-BR be rented by a garage band and/or the 1-BR have a small yappy dog, PLEASE!!

Now - The Neighborhood - Hell’s Kitchen

Background -- “Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City that includes roughly the area between 34th Street and 59th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River.

The neighborhood provides transportation, hospital, and warehouse infrastructure support to the Midtown Manhattan business district. Its gritty reputation—which led to its portentous name—gave it depressed real estate prices relative to much of the rest of Manhattan until the early 1990s.

Throughout its history, Hell's Kitchen has figured prominently in the New York City underworld, especially in Irish American organized crime circles. Gangsters like Owney Madden, bootleggers like Bill Dwyer, and Westies leaders James Coonan and Mickey Featherstone were Hell's Kitchen natives. The rough and tumble days on the West Side figure prominently in Damon Runyon's stories. Various Manhattan ethnic conflicts formed the basis of the musical and film West Side Story.

Once a bastion of poor and working-class Irish Americans, over the last three decades of the 20th century and into the new century, Hell's Kitchen has undergone tremendous gentrification as a result of its proximity to Midtown. The 1969 edition of the Plan for New York City book authored by the City Planning Commission stated that people of modest means were being driven from the area by development pressures due to the Midtown location. Today, a great number of actors reside in the neighborhood thanks to its proximity to the Broadway theaters and Actors Studio training school.” (source: Wikipedia).

My thoughts and observations --

Today Hell’s Kitchen is a bustling area of new restaurants and businesses with at least one of every kind of store that you would ever desire. I have found everything that I need/want to be within easy walking distance of PHC. I have to admit that 42nd Street is a bit grittier than my former Midtown East location on East 51st Street. During the day there is a steady stream of tourists heading to and from the Circle Line Pier located at the end of 42nd Street but I knew about this before I moved. It is offset by my proximity to multiple Broadway and Off Broadway theaters and the transportation hub located in the Port Authority Terminal.

I am still getting acclimated to being a Westsider and living in Hell’s Kitchen. I do kinda miss Midtown East and I guess if I had my druthers I would have preferred this building to be located over there but, it ain’t, so ...

Billi Pod is very very happy in PHC located at 420 W. 42nd Street, in Hell’s Kitchen, in the Greatest City in the World.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

William S. "Moon" Mullon (1927-1998)

Eleven years ago today one of my dearest friends, Bill Mullon, of Anna Maria, Florida, died. I have gotten permission from his wife, Sandy, to re-post this email I sent to friends and family eleven years ago after I had returned to NYC following his memorial service. This is it in its entirety --
"RE: William S. "Moon" Mullon (1927-1998)

Hello everyone:

I was first introduced to William S. "Moon" Mullon in 1973 by Capt. Frank Cavandish, the owner of the Rod & Reel Pier, which is located diagonally across the street from the house I once owned in Anna Maria. Bill and I became friends and this friendship spanned 2 1/2 decades. Bill had just moved from Cocoa Beach where he had been employed with Boeing and then Tropicana. He had been a member of the City Commission there and a political activist in the Democratic Party.

In the ensuing years as a resident of Anna Maria Island Bill's career path took him from Tropicana to Manatee County government, where he was the County Purchasing Agent, back to Tropicana where he retired about 6 years ago as a Certified Purchasing Manager. He remained politically active in the local Democratic Party. I think the phrase "Yellow Dog Democrat" was coined with him in mind.

In 1976 I was asked to preside over the wedding ceremony uniting Bill and Sandy Gilmore. Sandy is a career upper-level manager/executive with HRS. Their vows were jointly written by Bill, Sandy, and Bill's eldest son, Bill, Jr., aka "Buns." The ceremony took place at daybreak in the surf adjacent to the City Pier in Anna Maria. Honestly, I doubt anyone in attendance expected that union to last more than a couple of years, if that. We were wrong - man, were we wrong. Sandy and Bill had a unique relationship, in that not only were they husband and wife, but also, they were truly best friends. They were a house divided on one issue, however. Bill was a Gator and Sandy a 'Nole.

Bill and Sandy lived in a series of places on the Island, each of which they named "The Digs," and finally settled in and purchased "Digs IV" in Holmes Beach. They were famous on the Island for their open hospitality with many many parties commemorated by special T-shirts designed by Sandy. Sandy is an accomplished artist.

I sold my Anna Maria house in 1991, however, shortly thereafter Bill and Sandy made the back bedroom in Digs IV available to me and I would guess that in the ensuing years, whenever I was in Florida, I would spend 3 out of 4 weekends with them. It was my home away from home away from home, it was my refuge. They became my best friends, my extended family, Bill the older brother I never had.

When the phone call came at 12:30am on Sunday morning, July 19th, that Bill had died, I called the airlines and was on a flight down to Anna Maria at 8:55am the same morning. I got there in the early afternoon. Nancy Rhodes, one of Sandy’s oldest and dearest friends was already there.

Family and friends quickly gathered in support of Sandy and Bill's children by a previous marriage, Bill, Jr., Patrick, and Lynn, and their children. Moon was the consummate planner, so I was not surprised to learn that he had planned to the last detail how he wanted things handled when he passed away, I mean, he had scripted his wedding, why not his final memorial services as well? And that he did, down to naming the song to begin the services - "We Have Just Begun" by the Carpenters - and "Margaritaville," by Jimmy Buffett to end the services, which MUST conclude in one hour, max!!!!

The service was held in the Chapel of an Island funeral home on Tuesday evening, July 21st. The chapel was filled with photos and objects covering all aspects of Bill's life, including almost a dozen photo albums recording the social activities of 22 years of Digs Parties. The standing room crowd included local Islanders, executives from Tropicana, county officials, a local Judge, and just plain folks, all joined to remember, to cry, and especially to laugh. I was honored to have been asked to preside. In addition to me, others who shared their life experiences with Moon, were: his sister Ann; his children Bill, Jr. and Lynn; Bradenton attorney Donald Hadsock; and, Island resident Fred Adkins. As I said, Moon had directed (or perhaps ordered is the operative word) that the service last no longer than one hour, so, at the end of the hour, as the sounds of "Margaritaville" filled the Chapel, we all stood and sang along with Jimmy Buffett ......

When the song ended, I concluded the evening by saying ....



Yes, it has been eleven years but in many respects it feels like it all happened yesterday and I still miss him as if it were yesterday. He will never be forgotten by his family and friends. There is a void in our hearts and on Anna Maria Island that will never be filled.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday - Update on Billi Pod’s Schedule

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers. It is a beautiful day in The Big Apple, pleasant and breezy. As soon as I post this update I will head out and walk over to the Hudson River and then walk south along the river for a mile or two.

First, a quick update on the HSBC commercial - I haven’t gotten a call, which means, obviously, that I will not be at the shoot tomorrow. No matter, it really doesn’t bother me although I would have loved to have been part of the “process.”

Yesterday, Tuesday, I spent most of the day and early evening stowing stuff in the new 6-drawer IKEA chest, throwing stuff away, mainly old and ratty T-shirts I finally admitted I would never ever wear again, and then setting aside some stuff to take over to The Salvation Army Donation Center located on 46th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, an easy walk from 420 W. 42nd. I also hung the rest of my art work so PHC is now 99.5% complete and it looks and feels great. I am sooooooooo happy about this new space and the new adventure that comes with now being a Westsider.

Last night I stayed in to watch The All Star Game on Fox and it turned out to be a very fast moving and interesting game with the AL winning for the 13th consecutive year, giving the league home-field advantage in the World Series.

Speaking of World Series - who would I like to see in it, you are breathlessly asking? I think The Yankees vs LA Dodgers would be awesome with Joe Torre returning to The Bronx, where, in my honest opinion, he should never have left. The Yankee front office fucked this one up, big-time, they really did. Will they ever admit it? Never!!

On to other things - my entertainment schedule for the next 12 days is basically a combination of Yankee games and Off Broadway shows --

Wednesday - 8:00 - “ A Bicycle Country” - Off Broadway. “Cuba, 1993: the disillusioned people are imprisoned by the sea. With the revolution crumbling around them, three very different individuals the pessimistic Julio, his spirited nurse, Ines, and the resourceful Pepe risk everything on a tiny raft to escape. East 3rd Productions presents the New York City premiere of Nilo Cruz's haunting play.” (discounted TDF ticket).

Thursday - 7:30 - “Whore” - part of the Summer Play Festival @ The Public Theatre. “Sara just wants to be interesting, and an unexpected one-night stand propels her into a high stakes relationship with worldly Tim. As they are drawn into the fringes this thriller exposes a world of greed, lies, and fear which threatens to break the rules that hold them together.” (full price $10 ticket).

Friday - 7:30 - “Wildflower” - Off Broadway. “A woman and her troubled son look to escape their past in Crested Butte, a small town with its own share of secrets. They encounter a curious girl, a forest ranger, and an ex-drag queen. The five collide in a summer of botany and sexual awakening. This comic drama explores the discovery of desire and its unexpected consequences.” (discounted TDF ticket).

Saturday - 1:05 - Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers.

10:30 - “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” - Off Broadway. “An ever changing attempt to perform 30 original plays in 60 minutes. Off of sold out performances in Chicago since the Reagan era,Too Much Light...invaded New York and has continued to entertain late night audiences around the boroughs with its critically acclaimed energetic show of random original short plays. For each performance the audience chooses the order and the New York Neo-Futurists create a non-illusory collage of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, and the visceral and experimental while embracing chance, change and possibly a little chaos.” (discounted TDF ticket). This sounds like a lot of fun. I have been intending to see this show for a long time and have finally gotten around to it.

Sunday - 8:00 - “Hiding Behind Comets” - Off Broadway. “Although twin brother and sister, Troy and Honey, share an unusually strong bond, they seem as different as night and day. One late summer evening, a stranger wanders into their family-owned bar. When he starts asking personal questions, it soon becomes clear that his visit to this small-town dive has not been purely coincidental. The extent of his journey, its underlying motivation and the past horrors that have directed it provide a roller coaster of surprises that keep audiences on the edge of their seat until the plays final moments.” (discounted TDF ticket). This show is by playwright Brian Dykstra, who is known for his cutting edge work. I think it will be in the “love-it” or “hate-it” category.

Monday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles.

Tuesday - open at the moment

Wednesday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles.

Thursday - 7:30 - “The Happy Seed” - part of the Summer Play Festival @ The Public Theatre. “Finding love is easy. Defining love is not. New York City provides the backdrop to a contemporary comedy of sex, love, and dating in a city where there are too many options and not enough time.” (full price $10 ticket).

Friday - open at the moment.

Saturday - 1:05 - Yankees vs. Oakland

Sunday - 4:00 - “Live From New York It’s Jonathan Prager” - Off Broadway. The very brief press blurb about this show is: “New York Times featured Jonathan Prager's insight into families, relationships, politics and life's incongruities as both touching and hilarious.” (discounted TDF ticket).

So, there you are, my loyal and faithful readers. I think you will agree that Billi Pod has a very eclectic entertainment pallet for the next 12 days in The Greatest City in the World.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: I have received several emails asking where the name “Billi Pod” came from. I will give the answer in a later posting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, this afternoon was the taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I was able to get a ticket back in early February and I was really looking forward to the event.

In an earlier posting I had described my experience at a taping of The Colbert Report, with Stephen Colbert.

The Jon Stewart studio is located on 11th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets, an easy walk from 420 W. 42nd Street. My confirmation email contained instructions and a recommendation that it would be best to arrive at the site between 3:30-4:00, even though the doors wouldn’t open until shortly after 5:00. I knew from my experience with The Colbert Report that the earlier the arrival the more likely one is to actually get in. I later learned that this studio seats 216 while the Colbert studio seats only 106.

So with this is mind I arrived at 3:15 and discovered a line of approximately 100 people. I felt rather confident though that I would be admitted. I got in line and then the long long long wait began. I did have several nice conversations with people around me, including 2 60ish ladies from outside Philadelphia who were making their 5th visit to the show.

At 4:15 a young lady with a clipboard began checking names and handing out passes/tickets. At this point I knew that I would get into the show. We were allowed into the studio to use the restrooms. A security person then explained the rules of the studio: no food, no drink, no gum, no bathroom breaks, no standing, no heckling, no talking, no phones, no cameras, no inappropriate questions, etc.

About 5:15 they began letting people in, the VIP line of about 25 folks went first. They ushered us through security which was as tight, if not tighter than some of the airport security stations I've been through recently.  I think I removed everything except my shoes. My messenger bag was completely searched and I went through a metal detector.

I was inside the studio at 5:45 and was directed to an excellent seat in the center section, aisle seat, row 7 (of 10). Once inside we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited. Some unseen sound engineer  blared pop/rock music from speakers above.  I do mean blared too, it was hard to talk to the person next to you.

Finally the warm-up comic, Paul Mecurio, came out, and he was very entertaining (and better than the warm-up comic for Colbert). He picked on the audience a little while and tried to get us involved.  Halfway through the routine he had the fortune of finding a mature gay couple in the audience and they had a funny back and forth.

Immediately following that, Jon Stewart came out and did a short Q &A with us which was mildly entertaining. Then around 6:30 the show began and it zipped through. There were no re-takes. There was a funny bit about Sarah Palin and then it was time for the guest, Congressman Barney Frank, who is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. He and Jon bantered back and forth about the economy and whether the stimulus package(s) were doing what they were planned to do.

The show was over a few minutes after 7:00 and we were ushered out after receiving a brief “thank you” from Jon for being a loud and receptive audience. Despite the long wait to get in, it was well worth it.

Interestingly, as I was walking south on 11th Avenue back to PHC Congressman Frank walked in front of me to get into his limo. I told him how much I appreciated his efforts during these difficult times and he said thanks and shook my hand. How about that?

Anyway, I look forward to watching the show tonight on Comedy Central at 11:00. They rarely pan to the audience on this show so I am rather certain Billi Pod will not be on TV tonight.

Lots of other stuff to report on tomorrow.

Go Gators and Go Yankees!!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: Over the weekend I was able to fully assemble all of the IKEA stuff, on my own. I swear to the Gods - I will never ever ever do this again, ever ... but at least it is done.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The TRUE Story Behind Sarah Palin’s Resignation

OK, my loyal and faithful readers, I am now able to share with you the “real” reason(s) behind Sarah Palin’s decision to resign as Governor of Alaska, even though she had almost 1/2 of her term in office remaining.

I am going to break this gently to you since it is so utterly bizarre that even I, hardly a Palin fan, found it difficult to accept. I have taken great efforts to verify the information from my various sources buried deep in the bowels of The Republican National Committee and even deeper into The Fox News network.

OK, the following is from a document which analyzes Sarah’s personality characteristics and determines whether they are masculine or feminine:

1. Her fascination with hunting - masculine.
2. Her fascination with fishing - masculine
3. Her record for killing and then gutting a moose - definitely masculine.
4. Her obsession with hockey - masculine
5. Her propensity to swear - masculine
6. Her repeated use of slang - masculine
7. Her use of the phrase “you betcha” - definitely masculine.
8. Her use of the phrase “aw shucks” - masculine
9. Her position as a point guard in High School - masculine
10. Her High School nickname of “Barracuda” - definitely masculine - have you ever seen or heard reference to a female Barracuda?
11. Her desire to turn household chores over to her spouse - masculine.
12. Her ill-disguised hatred for her daughter’s boyfriend - masculine.
13. Her inability to remain focused on any subject for an extended period of time - masculine.
14. Her need to always be in the “limelight” - masculine.
15, Her decision to be the breadwinner in the family - masculine.
16. Her inability to find humor in anything directed at her, regardless of the source - masculine.
17. Her inability to accept constructive criticism - masculine.
18. Her decision to put the responsibility for raising her children in the hands of her spouse - masculine
19. Her tendency to go “wink-wink” - gay
20. Her lack of interest in books - masculine
21. Her lack of long-term memory - masculine
22. Her aversion for details - masculine

And the list goes on and on and supports the real reason for her resignation - TA DA -


But, wait - I have further information to share with you. She will undergo the procedure in about 2 weeks and when it is completed she and Todd will divorce. The terms of the divorce settlement have already been agreed to and Todd will receive full custody of all of the children and will receive a healthy amount of child support from Butch.

And it goes further - once the divorce is final Todd will marry Tina Fey and they and all of the kids will move to Hollywood.

There are two conflicting reasons given for her decision to become a him, and, frankly, I have no idea which one is more credible than the other. I will just report both of them and you can decide.

Reason #1 - The sex change procedure is necessary in order to reach out to the core conservative groups who secretly could never bring themselves to commit to supporting a WOMAN for President in 2012.

Reason #2 - The sex change operation is a result of Sarah’s infatuation with actor Neil Patrick Harris (who is gay - "I am a very content gay man.”) who would not agree to a continuing relationship unless she became a he. They have pledged to each other that their “relationship” will remain a deep dark secret until after the 2012 elections.

Reason #2 is very troublesome because Republicans are known for their family values and their leaders would never ever think of maintaining a clandestine sexual relationship with anyone, would they? But, I guess, who am I to Judge?

So there you have it, my loyal and faithful readers. I hope you understand why it took me so long to get enough corroboration to feel comfortable in making this post. OK, OK. I know this is a lot to digest so please don’t shoot off any emails and stuff until at least 24 hours have passed.

I am advised that Fox News will probably break the story on Sunday.

Remember, I only report - you decide ... you betcha.

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: I received my IKEA furniture (in multiple boxes, of course) at 6:10. Tomorrow afternoon I will begin the process of putting things together. Pray for me please.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Running late?????

Well, as I sorta expected, things haven’t gone as I had hoped they would. At 2:00 I got a call informing me that the delivery truck was running an hour behind schedule but they would arrive PHC no later than 4:00.

It pissed me off, but what could I do about it, right? I told the harassed-sounding lady that the building would not accept deliveries after 5:00 and she promised me that they would be here way before then.

It is now almost 4:00 and ... nothing. I had hoped to get the bed set up for tonight but I doubt I will be able to do that since I have a major event scheduled for 7:30, the benefit performance at The York Theatre described in an earlier posting.

The Palin bomb-shell disclosure is also on hold because I haven’t received my confirmation email from my source at Fox News.

Billi Pod

Wednesday - perceptions of time

Have you noticed over your life that your perception of time varies depending on what you are involved with? For example: if you are waiting for something to happen within a particular window of time, the clock slows down and barely moves, making the whole process akin to a root-canal procedure or self-circumcision.

But, if you are having to perform a certain task or tasks within a pre-prescibed time-frame, the clock begins to race immediately upon inception and then gets faster and faster and faster as the project progresses, ending with your lunge toward the finish line just as the bell rings?

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, I am in the first mode as I await the delivery of my furniture from IKEA. Yesterday they called to advise me that the “window” for the delivery would be 11:00-3:00. So what happened this morning? Well, I woke up at 7:00, before my 8:30 alarm, and couldn’t go back to sleep.

Other than the coverage of Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service, it was for the most part a slow news day for all 3 of my morning papers, making the morning move even slower. I want the stuff to be delivered NOW and it is only 11:45 and my ordeal has just begun.

Of course my mind is awhirl with the question of whether I can assemble all of the stuff, over time. Those of you who have known me since childhood know that my inability to follow printed directions to their conclusion is legendary. I was never ever able to finish making a model airplane, for example.

I do have to admit, however, that I was able to assemble the computer desk that I am correctly working from, with only one minor glitch. I can still feel the elation over that event even though 7 years have elapsed.

On to other things and stuff. I know you will be happy to know that I have just completed an amazing bit of online research regarding the “real” reason(s) behind Sarah Palin's resignation and will post my findings just as soon as I receive a confirming email from a certain unnamed talk-show host from Fox News.

Will post this now and then spend some time lying on my nice leather couch while sucking my thumb.

Help ..........Me..........Please!!!!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday - Updates and HSBC stuff

Good afternoon everyone.

I hope everyone had a very Happy 4th of July weekend. I know that I did, starting on Friday with a very well written and performed play called “The Rivals,” about the 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.

On Saturday, the 4th, was a 1:05 game between The Yankees and The Toronto Blue Jays. The weather was excellent. Luckily my seat is in the shade. The row right in front of me is in the sun most of the time. It was a very exciting game that went into extra innings. The Yankees finally won 6-5 in the bottom of the 12th inning.

When I finally got back to PHC I just chilled until it was time for the Macys Fireworks Show in the Hudson River. It began at 9:20 and lasted 26 minutes. I took a bunch of pictures, one of which I have previously posted. I think I need to clear up one thing - my building does not have a “roof deck” as such, rather there is a “sun deck” on the 4th floor adjacent to the gym. This is where I expected to watch the show because there is a good view of the river.

But, just as I was leaving PHC to go downstairs to the 4th floor I noticed a group of people going upstairs in the stairway. Long story short ... at the last minute the building super permitted access to the roof. I joined the group of about 50 and that is where I took my pictures.

When the display was over I came back to the apartment, grilled a great steak on my George Foreman grill and ate it while watching the Fireworks Show from Boston with the Boston Pops. A great day!!

On Sunday I stayed in during the afternoon to watch the Yankees/Toronto game, which the Yankees won, making it 3 straight over the Blue Jays. Then in the evening I left the apartment and walked for the 6 minutes required to get me to the massive theater complex (25 screens) at 42nd and 8th Avenue to see “Year One,” starring Jack Black and Michael Cera.

I was in the mood for a funny, profane, gross-out, frat-boy humor movie and this certainly fit the bill. Black and Cera are two primitive pals roaming the Earth circa the year 1 B.C. If you are in the same mood see this show, if not, stay as far away as you can.

Yesterday, Monday, was very very interesting. My entertainment event was the final Yankees/Toronto game at 1:05. Just as I was about to leave for the game the phone rang and it was a representative from the casting agency for the HSBC commercial. Wow!!

In her words: “...we are very very interested in you, William.” She then asked for some personal and background information (I remember being a bit surprised at the “audition” when they didn’t want my resume) and asked for my permission to do a background check. Now, the reason for this is that they don’t want a commercial featuring a convicted child molester, etc, and I certainly understand. Of course I said OK and she said she would email the application form and I could complete it after I got back from the game and fax it to her.

I know I should have asked more questions but I didn’t. I do know that the shooting is still scheduled for one-day on Thursday, July 16. If I get cast I will be paid for the day and then will receive “residuals” every time the commercial is aired world-wide.

I went on to the game, which, dammit, the Yankees lost 6-7, partially as a result of several blown calls by the umpiring crew. Again the weather was awesome and I was in the shade. The home-season is now half over and the record for games I have seen is: 10 wins and 10 losses. Damn!!

When I got back to PHC the email from the casting agency had arrived. I had a bit of a problem formatting the application since it was a Windows (barf) document and I am, of course, a Mac. I finally did it and filled out the information. As I was completing it, the phone rang ... and ...

It was IKEA calling to arrange a delivery date for my bed, 2 night stands, and 6-drawer chest. We agreed on Wednesday with the exact time to be determined today.

I finally found a place with a fax machine and sent the application materials to the casting agency. By this time it was almost 8:00 so I decided I would stay in for the rest of the evening and watch the Braves/Cubs game on ESPN.

I am assuming I will hear from the casting agency later in the week if I am selected. Will keep you informed, my loyal and faithful readers.

I have some errands to run and other things and stuff, so I will post this now.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: Ahem ...you still have time to volunteer to help me assemble my IKEA stuff.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!

Taken from the roof deck of 420 W. 42nd Street, facing West toward the Hudson River at 9:45pm on July 4, 2009.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Friday, July 3, 2009


This is breaking news that I must share with you, my loyal and faithful readers. I have just been notified via the internet that I am about to become a rich man, and I am soooooooooo excited that I can hardly breathe.

Just a few minutes ago I received the following email, shown in its entirety, notifying me of a possible scam to steal my lawful inheritance of $20,500,000 US dollars being held in an International bank located in Nigeria. This is the email --



Dear Sir:

Good day , This is to inform you of your Long overdue Payment outstanding our Banking records. I saw your name in the Central Computer among list of unpaid inheritance claims individuals and have to update your informations through this email contact for immediate confirmation .Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$20.500,000 million (Twenty million and five hundred thousand United State dollars) and it has been approved already for payment months ago. However we received an email from one Mr. D. A. West who told us that he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last two months back .
He has also submitted his account informations to the office department for transfer of the fund to him as your inheritor. We are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Bank records before we can make the transfer into his account and for us to conclude confirmation if you are dead or not.

Please, confirm response immediately before our action release of the outstanding payment against your name listed out. Upon this, i request you send your full personal information as soon as possible to enable this department finalize the transfer of the fund release to your nominated foreign Bank Account.

This department needs the following informations from you urgently.

1.Full Names
2.Telephone Or Fax Number
3.Contact Address


This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged,confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of International Monetary fund Agency towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive. Make sure you reply to my alternative mail address (amos_badejo@in.com)


Yours Sincerely
International Monetary Fund Agency

Needless-to-say my heart began to pump and it is still racing. OMG!!! Billi Pod is a rich man.

Now, as required by fair and impartial reporting I have to state that I have no idea who died and left me this amount of money but I am certain I will soon find out. It will be either a long-lost family member, or more likely, one of my loyal and faithful readers who wanted to acknowledge the influence I had over his or her life.

One thing bothers me, however, and that is the identity of the scumbag who is attempting to steal my inheritance. Who is he? I am troubled that he is identified in the email as D. A. West and that the name of my former roommate and now overseas resident is: David A. West. I was with David in Paris in late April and remember that he asked me a lot of questions about my family and stuff like that. At the time I thought it was highly unusual. I hope I am wrong.

Well time will tell, I guess.

How do I know that the email isn’t a scam? Easy. If it were a scam, in addition to the above requested information, they would have requested the last 4 digits of my Social Security Number (6666) and my Mother’s maiden name (Maurice). There, you see?

I wanted to share this great news with you and now I must prepare the email providing the requested information. I will do this ASAP.

I guess the old saying: “Good things happen to good people” is true after all.

Will I continue to post to this blog, you are no doubt asking? Of course. Money, even millions, will not cause me to abandon you, my loyal and faithful readers. I am acutely aware of the impact these postings have on your otherwise mundane lives. Billi Pod will not leave you.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!! (maybe I can get them to re-name Florida Field).

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: On a different topic - please please disregard what I know will soon be vicious stories in the media and on the internet about me - “I did not have sex with that woman, Governor Palin.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 2009 Was An Awesome Month!!

I have finished collecting the stats for June 2009 and they are as awesome as I expected, especially when you take into consideration all of the time-consuming requirements connected with becoming a Westsider by moving into Penthouse C on the 41st floor of 420 W. 42nd Street, in The Greatest City in The World.

After checking my daily log (log, not diary - real guys don’t keep diaries), I find that during the month I saw/attended/did the following:

1 Broadway show (the disappointing “The Philanthropist” starring Matthew Broderick); 12 Off Broadway shows; 3 classical music concerts (all by The New York Philharmonic, including the final concert in the tenure of conductor Lorin Maazel); 7 Yankee baseball games (their record for those games - 5 wins and 2 losses); and 2 movies (“The Hangover” and the disappointingly unfunny “The Land of the Lost” with Will Farrell).

Of course the highlight of the month was moving into PHC on June 2, with a 1 year lease and then getting the leasing agency to agree to an amendment making it a 2 year lease. I need to thank, again, student/bartender/manager Scott Reed for helping me hang some of my artwork. I spent a lot of free-time just wandering the ‘hood, checking things out and learning about the culture of being a Westsider. It is different from Midtown East, that is for certain.

During the month I was able to spend some quality time with: Scott, including my first exposure to the newly opened High Line Park in Chelsea; and, Gina Falletta, wife of my oldest grandson Alex Falletta, and her posse for dinner at Angus McIndoe and then a visit to PHC. I also had my audition for the HSBC commercial and renewed contact with Scott Wojcik and Michael Rodriguez. Great seeing you guys again!!

You know what is also kinda amazing? Well, with all of the entertainment activities listed above I also discovered that I had spent a total of 6, yes, that’s the correct number, 6, days/nights in PHC without attending some sort of event during either the day or evening. The majority of which were a direct result of either moving stuff and/or the weather and/or The Subway Series with The Mets at both Yankee Stadium and Citifield.

Yes, the weather during the month was majorly weird and nasty and it seemed as if it rained at least once in every 24-hour cycle, almost like living in Seattle or South Florida. The rain kept the temperatures down though and I didn’t turn on the AC in PHC a single time during the month. I know I saved some big bucks electricity-wise.

July will be interesting, too, because I already have scheduled 6 Yankees games and the taping of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on July 13th.

I also kinda got back to blogging - I posted 9 times. Yes, you are welcome, my loyal and faithful readers (even those of you who write nasty emails when you think you have caught Billi Pod in a mistake. Well, you didn’t. Too fucking bad you fucking douche bags!!!).

Oooooopppps - sorry about that - my bad.

Anyways ... where was I ... Oh, yes ...

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

OMG!! Did Billi Pod Make A Mistake????

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. The following excerpt from the June 30th posting --

“Saturday - July 4th - 1:05 - Yankees vs. Toronto.

In the evening I will watch the Hudson River fireworks from the roof deck of 420 W. 42nd Street. Awesome.”
has generated a firestorm of rather nasty emails from readers in the hinterlands and elsewhere who believe they have caught Billi Pod in a massive reporting error. For example:

Gavin (gavhall@yahoo.com) writes: “yo bro. the 4th fireworks show is in the east river, not the hudson...”

Fred S (frederick345@aol.com) writes: “You call yourself a New Yorker. Do the research. I have seen the Macy show and it is in the East River....”

Janet (janandphil@msn.com) writes: “you reported and we decided you were WRONG!!! just because you moved to the west side doesn’t mean the fireworks moved with you. get real ...pleeze,,,”

Oh my goodness. Has Billi Pod’s reporting credibility taken a potentially fatal hit? Is this blog doomed? Have I failed you, my loyal and faithful readers?

NO!! NO!! NO!! and TRIPLE NO!!

Yes, the Macy 4th of July Fireworks Show is “usually” held on barges located in the East River, south of 42nd Street, but this year, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the Hudson River, the 5 barges will be located in the HUDSON RIVER from approximately 23rd Street to 59th Street. The last Hudson River show was in 2000.

For your further information: this is Macy’s 33rd show; it begins at 9:20 and lasts 26 minutes; 40,000 shells will light up the sky; and they will go as high as 1,000 feet in the air.

You will notice, I hope, that I never even "suggested" that there was a connection between my moving from the Eastside to the Westside and the relocation of this year’s show, although one could ... naw ... I won't go there.

Anyway, my loyal and faithful readers, I report - you decide.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: Ahem ...thus far there has been a dearth of volunteers to help me assemble my IKEA stuff, however, plenty of time remains.