Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Dawgs Go Down

I spent most of this game pacing back and forth because it was much closer than the final score, 41-17, indicates. According to the papers The Gators were favored by 14 points.


Tebow was Tebow when it counted, passing for 2 TDs and running for 2 and in the process, breaking Herschel Walker’s all-time SEC rushing TD record and also setting the record for career rushing yards by a QB.


Go Gators!!


Now I will have a short break and a return to thumb sucking as I anxiously and nervously await the first pitch of the Yankees vs. Phillies game.


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.”

Saturday - Thucking My Fumb

Yes, I know that I should have something more to do than sucking my thumb but that is what I am doing, mentally and physically, as I am in limbo-land waiting for the 3:30 kickoff time for the Gators vs. Bulldogs game.


When the game is over, with a Gator win - Oh Please Big Gator in the Sky! - I will resume my pacing and thumb sucking until the 7:57pm first pitch of Game 3 of the World Series, Yankees vs. Phillies in Philly.


There is so much I could/should be doing to help pass the time, such as finish unpacking, arrange my sock drawer, clean out the ‘fridge, answer emails, write a timely blog about all of the interesting things and stuff that have occurred since my last posting, such as: the “happening” last night at Avery Fisher Hall before the NY Phil concert; or the closing tomorrow of Brighton Beach Memoirs after only a one week run; or my time with student/bartender/manager John Scott Reed; or my amazing research findings via the internet regard Tim Tebow, and ... or ... but, I can’t ... I f**king can’t ...


Oh God, the clock has stopped moving.


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.”



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday - Game Two

Wednesday was ugly, nasty and rainy. Today, Thank God, is a bright and sunny fall day and I hope and pray that the change in the weather will awaken the dormant bats held in the hands of the over-matched Yankee batters in last night’s embarrassing ass-whipping.


It was as cold and ugly last night as predicted. It lightly rained several times during the game, requiring me to put on and then take off my flaming orange-colored poncho. The first time brought about a lot of pointing and laughs from my seat mates as I inadvertently put my head through one of the arm holes rather than the hoodie-hole. The more I struggled the more tangled up I became. I was finally rescued by the 13 year old boy seated to my right. Nice. And then, to top off the forgettable evening - I left my poncho behind, underneath my seat. Oh well ...


CC pitched a decent game but he was no match for Cliff Lee. CC pitched 7 innings, leaving the game behind 0-2 but then the bullpen imploded, giving up 4 more runs. It wasn’t pretty.


Tonight AJ Burnett goes against Pedro Martinez. It is early in the Series but this is a must-win game for the Yankees.


I am nervous and antsy again. Gotta get ready. Will head out to the stadium at 6:30.


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.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday - World Series, Game One

I am soooooooo nervous. Waiting for the game. Walking around in circles. Can’t sit down. Can’t bring myself to do anything except look out the window at the gloomy weather and praying that the game will be played tonight.


The forecast is for light drizzles at the beginning of the game. Cold. Oh God I so sooooo antsy.


It’s gonna be a nail-biter of a series and it will go 7 games, with the Yankees winning, of course.


I wantta suck my thumb. This is like waiting for the BCS National Championship Game, only done in 14 halves.


I can’t sit here in front of this ‘puter any longer.


I will head out at 5:30pm because of an email telling us to get there early due to “heightened” security because The First Lady will be in attendance.


Oh God!!


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.”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday = Blah!!

As the time drew nearer for me to head out to Yankee Stadium for Game 6 of the ALCS the weather got nastier and nastier but did this stop Billi Pod? You loyal and faithful readers know the answer to that question - “No, of course it didn’t” - even though it was raining pretty heavily in Midtown.


I dressed warmly and headed out at 6:45, after sending Grandson Topher a text message to check his email regarding his assignment to keep me up-to-date on the Gator/Mississippi State game, via texts.


I got pretty wet just walking the block and a half to the Port Authority to catch the uptown A train (an express). I get off at 145th Street, where I then transfer to the D train to 161st Street in The Bronx and Yankee Stadium. I made excellent time.


Got to the 161st Street station in The Bronx at 7:15. As the rather anxious and somber looking crowd was headed up and out of the station we were told by an MTA employee that the game had been postponed until tomorrow. I actually didn’t get out of the station but was told that it was really raining hard.


About all I could think of as I retraced my steps back to the platform was that if it had to be postponed I was glad “they” called it early-on rather than having us wait for a couple of hours and then calling it, as “they” are want to do.


Tomorrow is supposed to be a typical fall day and no rain is in the forecast. I will be there for the game.


It was about 8:15 when I got back to PHC where I immediately took off my wet clothes and turned on the TV to watch the rest of the Gator game.


I have to tell you that the game did absolutely nothing to bolster my spirits. Yes, I know that a win is a win and the Gators are now 7-0 but they didn’t look anything like what you expect from the Number 1 team in the country. And, Tebow’s 2 interceptions returned for TDs probably took him out of the running for another Heisman.


I don’t want to rant too much but it seems to me that the Gator offense lacks the killer mentality that last year’s team displayed. Oh, the defense is outstanding, Thank God, but the offense often seems to be almost sleepwalking. Hey Offense Guys - there is no such thing as “entitlement” in college football, you gotta earn everything in every game and if you don’t understand this, then some Podunk program like Mississippi State or South Carolina etc is gonna sneak up on you and shit all over your plans/dreams for another National Championship. Now, dammit, get with the program and play like mean angry Gators!! And, I/we mean it!!


Whew - I feel somewhat better.


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.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday - A Gloomy Day in The Big Apple

For most of last week the weather in The Big Apple was awesome. The Yankees were on the West Coast playing the LA Angels in good weather, too. As a result of the Yankees failure to put the Angels away the ALCS returns to Yankees Stadium at 8:00 tonight, Saturday, for Game 6 and then Game 7, at 8:00 on Sunday, if necessary.


And what has happened? Well, yesterday the weather began to get nasty. It rained a good part of last night and it is gray and ugly this afternoon as I am writing this post. The forecast for game time tonight is dismal --


Saturday: 63 degrees - 80% chance of rain - wind 15 mph.


Sunday it is somewhat better: 53 degrees - 0% chance of rain - wind 4 mph.


Monday is: 58 degrees - 20% chance of rain - wind 4 mph.


What all of this means is - if there is major rain at the start of the game tonight MLB and Fox will postpone it until Sunday.


If I had my druthers I would opt for tonight’s game, with a clutch win by Andy Pettitte, of course.


Regardless of the dates and the weather I will be there for each game from beginning to the very end.


Now on to another topic. Penthouse B, the mega-expensive 2-bedroom apartment next door to PHC has just been rented. I briefly met 2 of the 3 new tenants, very preppy looking guys in their early 30s. They are: Folkert, Phung and Oyush. No, I am not making these first-names up. I met Folkert (who has a girlfriend - I don’t know if she will be living with him) and Phung and they seemed to be very nice and in complete awe of the breathtaking North, East and South views from their apartment.


I am very happy to report that they are not members of a garage band and that they do not have dogs or any other pets.


Last night was “Made in Heaven” the very very funny comedy about conjoined twins Max (straight) and Benjie (gay) and their “relationships” with Max’s fiancé, a rotund Jessica, and Benjie’s crush, a hustler name Gilbert, who was formerly married to Jessica. Yeah, I know, but it was one of the funniest shows I have seen in a while and it was amazing how realistic Max and Benjie were as conjoined twins.


So, my loyal and faithful readers, this is Billi Pod’s schedule for the next 10 days (much is dependent on the Yankees advancing to The World Series):


Saturday - 10/24 - 7:30 - Gators vs. Mississippi State (ESPN). I will be headed out to Yankee Stadium at 7:00 so I have mandated my youngest grandson, Topher Falletta, to give me timely updates via texts. Don’t fail in this task, Topher, or Granddaddy will have to come down to G’ville and spank your butt till it gets red.


8:00 - Yankees vs. LA Angels - Game 6 of the ALCS. (full price ticket) (Fox).


Sunday - 3:00 - “Embraceable Me” - Off Broadway. “Edward is smart, shy, and quirky. Allison is sexy, dramatic, and vulnerable. This comedy is a "He said-She said" story that traces the journey of these unlikely friends along many surprising detours and byways.” (discounted TDF ticket). This show is in a theater on my block.


8:00 - Yankees vs. LA Angels - Game 7 of the ALCS, if needed. (full price ticket) (Fox).


Monday - 8:00 - “The Starry Messenger” - Off Broadway. “Two-time Tony Award-winner Matthew Broderick and Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno star in this new work, written and directed by two-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Lonergan. The Starry Messenger follows an astronomy teacher whose carefully circumscribed world is upended by an unexpected encounter that changes everything.” (discounted TDF ticket). This show is at a theater on my block.


Tuesday - 7:00 - “In the Next Room or the vibrator play” - Broadway. “This new Broadway play is set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity, when some doctors utilized vibrator therapies on their female patients in the name of medical treatment. And what did the women think was happening to them when doctors allayed their so-called 'hysteria' with a very personal newfangled machine? That is what playwright Sarah Ruhl wondered when she set out to write this play. Hysteria was a real diagnosis, and a quite common one given to women in the Victorian age. Just as common was medical treatment with electrical stimulating machines, the vibrators of the day, to ease their condition. It is the provocative, funny and touching story of a young doctor and his wife. Dr. Givings (Michael Cerveris) is obsessed with the marvels of technology and what they can do for his patients. His wife, Catherine, (Laura Benanti) is only a bystander in her husband's world - listening at the door from the next room as he treats his female patients. Dr. Givings is not sure exactly how the vibrators help the women he treats - but they do keep coming back. The only woman whose problem is not helped by the doctor is his own wife who longs to connect with him - but not electrically.” (discounted TDF ticket).


Wednesday - 8:00 - Yankees vs. Phillies @ Yankee Stadium - Game 1 of the World Series. (full price ticket) (Fox)


Thursday - 8:00 - Yankees vs. Phillies @ Yankee Stadium - Game 2 of the World Series. (full price ticket) (Fox)


Friday - open at the moment


Saturday - 3:30 - Gators vs. Georgia at Jacksonville. (ESPN).


8:00 - Yankees vs. Phillies @ Philly - Game 3 of the World Series. (Fox).


Sunday - 4:00 - “Circumcise Me” - Off Broadway. “Yisrael Campbell is just your average Irish-Italian Catholic kid from Philly, comic actor, sober alcoholic, recovering drug addict, husband, father, Reform, Conservative, Unorthodox, Orthodox Jew. His name is Yisrael Campbell, (the artist formerly known as Christopher), and this is his story - a spiritual journey stretching across four decades, two continents, and three circumcisions.” (discounted TDF ticket).


8:00 - Yankees vs. Phillies @ Philly - Game 4 of the World Series. (Fox).


Monday - 11/2 - Yankees vs. Phillies @ Philly - Game 5 of the World Series (if needed) (Fox).


It is now 3:30 and it is lightly raining - F**K!!!


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: A big shout-out to student/bartender/manager John Scott Reed - “so glad we were able to finally have some face time on Tuesday.” Scott has a lot to deal with now because he is balancing increased responsibilities at his job at Spitzers (the trendy LES watering-hole) and his school schedule. He has just won a grant for a movie he is working on. More details about that later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Unusualality" In The Big Apple

One of the many reasons I love living in The Big Apple is the diversity of the almost limitless entertainment opportunities that are available 24/7, especially as it relates to the theater scene - Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.


As I was looking at my daily log (log, not diary - real guys don’t keep diaries) I was struck with the, let’s say, "unusualality" (I think I just coined a new word) of 3 upcoming shows I have scheduled, one Broadway and two Off-Broadway.


Now, my loyal and faithful readers, I’m not making up what follows because even Billi Pod’s rather warped sense of humor could never have conceived the story-lines/plots of the 3 shows that I will describe for you below, so please keep reading ---


Tomorrow night (Friday) is:


“Made in Heaven” - Off Broadway. These entire advance blurb for this show is: “Conjoined twins Max and Benjie share everything -- a life, a career, even a penis. But when they plan to propose to their mutual girlfriend, Benjie reveals a secret so big it threatens to tear the brothers apart. Family ties are put to the ultimate test in this irreverent comedy about love in all its various forms -- and the messy complications that invariably get in the way.” (complimentary ticket).


I have learned that the “secret” is - Benjie is gay. The show had a sold-out run at the recent Midtown International Theatre Festival.


Now the Broadway show on Tuesday the 27th (and this is the entire title) is:


“In the Next Room or the vibrator play” - Broadway. The press blurb, somewhat edited for length, is: “This new Broadway play is set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity, when some doctors utilized vibrator therapies on their female patients in the name of medical treatment. And what did the women think was happening to them when doctors allayed their so-called 'hysteria' with a very personal newfangled machine? That is what playwright Sarah Ruhl wondered when she set out to write this play. Hysteria was a real diagnosis, and a quite common one given to women in the Victorian age. Just as common was medical treatment with electrical stimulating machines, the vibrators of the day, to ease their condition. It is the provocative, funny and touching story of a young doctor and his wife. Dr. Givings (Michael Cerveris) is obsessed with the marvels of technology and what they can do for his patients. His wife, Catherine, (Laura Benanti) is only a bystander in her husband's world - listening at the door from the next room as he treats his female patients. Dr. Givings is not sure exactly how the vibrators help the women he treats - but they do keep coming back. The only woman whose problem is not helped by the doctor is his own wife who longs to connect with him - but not electrically.” (discounted TDF ticket)


There’s not much I can add to the above except to remind you that it is being produced on B R O A D W A Y!!!!


And then my trifecta is completed on Sunday, November 1, with:


“Circumcise Me” - Off Broadway. “Yisrael Campbell is just your average Irish-Italian Catholic kid from Philly, comic actor, sober alcoholic, recovering drug addict, husband, father, Reform, Conservative, Unorthodox, Orthodox Jew. His name is Yisrael Campbell, (the artist formerly known as Christopher), and this is his story - a spiritual journey stretching across four decades, two continents, and three circumcisions.” (discounted TDF ticket).


Again, there’s nothing I can add to the above except to say that it sounds like it should be a lot of fun.


So, my loyal and faithful readers, I hope you agree with me about the “unusualality” of these three shows. Only in New York!!


Now, briefly on to other things. All of this is being written on Thursday afternoon as I anxiously await the 5th and hopefully final Yankees vs. LA Angels ALCS series game. I want the Yankees to win tonight so they can have plenty of rest before facing the Phillies in Game One of the World Series on Wednesday the 28th, at Yankee Stadium (and, of course, I will be there).


I had a great time last night with Michele Purcell and her friends Mary Ann Pipping and Mayme Clark of Polk County, FL. They saw the wonderful musical “Billy Elliot” and when the show was over we met up at Angus McIndoe for a great after-theater dinner. When our meal was over we then walked over to 420 W. 42nd Street so they could check out Penthouse C. Thankfully, I hadn’t left anything embarrassing laying around. I can report that they liked my new pad, especially the awesome views. So, Gals, it was great being with you and enjoy the rest of your time In The Greatest City in The World.


Before I end this posting I want to recommend a very funny, albeit risqué, movie called “Zombieland” starring Jessie Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. This is the synopsis:


“The entire world is hit with an apocalyptic infection that turns people into zombies once they have been bitten by an infected zombie. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a young geek who has a lot of phobias about almost everything from clowns, to bathrooms, to checking the back seat of cars. Being alone and scared of the outside world has kept him alive. His new fear is being eaten by zombies. To survive, Columbus has begun making a long list of rules to survive. Each time he gives you one of his rules, you see an example of his rule in action. Columbus explains to the audience in a background voice such as wearing your seat-belt, or the double-tap rule after you shoot a zombie make sure he is dead by shooting him in the head again. This is not a wasted shot. The number 1 rule is to be sure that you can outrun the zombies, because the overweight and slow people were caught first. He decides to go home to Columbus to see if his parents are still alive. Along the highway, he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a redneck zombie killer who loves Twinkies and misses his puppy Buck. They team up and head for Tallahassee. On the way they meet and join forces with two girls, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abagail Breslin). They may be the last surviving people on earth, and they must rely on each other to survive.”


If you need a laugh or are in the mood for something bizarre and funny, then I highly recommend this show. If not, stay the Hell away because you will hate it.


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.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ten Things to Know About Tim Tebow

1. When the bogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Tim Tebow.


2. Superman's only weakness is kryptonite. Tim Tebow laughs at him for having a weakness.


3. Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.


4. Tim Tebow counted to infinity. Twice.


5. When Google can't find something it asks Tim Tebow for help.


6. Tim Tebow is the reason Osama is hiding.


7. Tim Tebow can dribble a football.


8. Tim Tebow sleeps with a flashlight. Not because he is afraid of the dark. The dark is afraid of him.


9. Tim Tebow doesn't do push ups. He pushes down the earth.


10. If at first you don't succeed, you aren't Tim Tebow


For many many more Tebowisms check out: www.tebowisms.net/


I report - you decide.


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: Hopefully tonight the Yankees will win game 4 and advance to The World Series.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Memphis - Break A Leg Tonight

Tonight at the Shubert Theatre it is opening night for “Memphis,” the first Broadway musical to open for the new season. This is the synopsis:


“From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a new Broadway musical that focuses on two young collaborators: a black female singer whose career is on the rise but who can't break out of segregated clubs and a white radio DJ whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves. When the two work together, her soulful music reaches radio audiences everywhere, and the Golden Era of early rock 'n' roll takes flight. But as things start to heat up, whether the world is really ready for their music - or their love - is put to the test.”


One of the Producers of the show is Randy Adams and his company Junkyard Dog Productions (don’t you just love that name?). I met Randy back in September through my friend Sarah Koeppe.


I saw this show in early previews on October 4th and loved it and I thought I had posted my thoughts about it, but for some reason I hadn’t. My bad. This is a fun show and is well worth the time and money. I recommend it highly


Also, the advance “buzz” for the show has been very favorable and is probably best summarized in a pre-opening review posted on “All That Chat” www.talkinbroadway.com/allthatchat/d.php?id=1784518.


So guys - live long and prosper.


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.”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday From The Big Apple

I am happy to report that I survived the arctic winds at Yankee Stadium last night as the Yankees won Game 1 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) by defeating the Los Angeles Angles 4-1 as a result of a stellar pitching performance by CC Sabathia and sloppy play by the Angels. It was as cold and nasty as I anticipated but, thankfully, it stopped raining after the first inning. Yes, I was cold and uncomfortable but it was something I could handle. It is also rather amazing how much you can endure when your team is kicking butt. Hopefully, the weather for tonight's game will be somewhat better.



As you loyal and faithful readers know, in the last posting I gave a “shout-out” to Erik to alert him about the possibility of abuse from the guys seated around him for Erik’s unfathomable decision to leave the stadium early in Game 2 of the ALDS. Well, unfortunately, Erik (who claims to be a diehard reader) failed to read the post so he was totally surprised and unprepared for the intensity and depth of the abuse he received, some coming from people sitting as far away as 3 rows. True Yankee fans are tough. We were vile and relentless and continued for the entire game. Erik, in an effort to regain favor, made a promise on the lives of his wife and children that he would never ever leave a game early, regardless of the score or other circumstances. Hope you have learned from this Erik - seeya tonight.


Now, on to what Billi Pod’s entertainment schedule is for the next 10 days --


Saturday - 10/17 - 3:30 - watch Gators vs. Arkansas - CBS


7:30 - Yankees vs. LA Angels @ Yankee Stadium. Game 2 of the ALCS. (full price ticket)


Sunday - (assuming Game 2 isn’t rained-out) - 3:00 - “The Thickness of Skin” - Off Broadway. “In what ways are we responsible to help our fellow human beings? Laura chooses to help the displaced and out-of-work Eddie. A relationship blossoms and blurs the lines of charity and manipulation. Meanwhile, Roanna and Michael are struggling to understand their son Jonathan, who's on the cusp of adulthood, and his friendship with their eccentric neighbor, Imogen. Laura and her family must decide to what lengths they will go in order to 'help' their fellow man.” ($9.00 TDF ticket).


7:00 - “Nightingale” - Off Broadway. This is the press blurb for this show which has received excellent reviews: “Tony Award and Academy Award nominee Lynn Redgrave stars in her new play inspired by her need to create a life for her maternal grandmother, a woman she barely knew. Nightingale is a play about a promising woman stymied by society and all but erased by history, a touching personal tribute and a resounding song for all those people whose voices we've lost, or never known.” (discounted TDF ticket).


Monday - 4:13 - watch Yankees vs. LA Angels @ LA. Game 3 of the ALCS (Fox)


Tuesday - 7:57 - watch Yankees vs. LA Angels @ LA. Game 4 of the ALCS (Fox).


Wednesday - at the moment I am trying to decide between a concert by The London Philharmonic Orchestra @ Lincoln Center and staying in to watch The Dodgers vs. The Phillies in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS). OK, now, no snarky emails - I know how dumb this sounds, but ...


Anyway, after “whatever” is over I will go to the Theater District to meet up with and host Michele Purcell, of Bartow, FL, and her two friends for an after-theater dinner at my favorite restaurant, Angus McIndoe. They will be seeing “Billy Elliot.” Michele is the widow of attorney John Purcell who was one of my law school classmates. Michele’s two daughters live in The Big Apple and have each established successful careers. I will give much more detail in a later posting.


Thursday - 7:57 - watch Yankees vs. LA Angels @ LA, Game 5 of the ALCS (if needed - Fox).


Friday - open at the moment (gasp).


Saturday - 4:07 or 8:07 - Yankees vs. LA Angels @ Yankee Stadium. Game 6 of the ALCS (if needed - full price ticket)


7:30 - Gators vs. Mississippi State - (ESPN).


Sunday - 8:07 - Yankees vs. LA Angels @ Yankee Stadium. Game 7 of the ALCS (if needed - full price ticket).


Monday - 10/26 - 8:00 - “The Starry Messenger” - Off Broadway. “Two-time Tony Award-winner Matthew Broderick and Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno star in this new work, written and directed by two-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Lonergan. The Starry Messenger follows an astronomy teacher whose carefully circumscribed world is upended by an unexpected encounter that changes everything.” (discounted TDF ticket)


This show is in early previews at a theater on my block and I am really looking forward to seeing it. I hope Matthew Broderick makes a bounce-back from his tepid performance last year in “The Philanthropist.”


If the Yankees make it to the World Series, then Game 1 will be at 7:57 on Wednesday, October 28th @ Yankee Stadium, and, of course, I have tickets to each of the 4 home games.


OK, my loyal and faithful readers, it is now time to post this and then turn on the TV to watch the Oklahoma/Texas game.


So, in respect to my son, Bill (who can't bring himself to say either Go Gators or Go Yankees), I will close by saying - GO SOONERS!!


Billi Pod

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday - Billi Pod Reports

Hello my loyal and faithful readers. When I woke up this morning at the usual 8:00am it was ugly and nasty out. The temperature was 37 degrees and it was lightly raining. It didn’t bode well for tonight’s American League Championship Series, Game One, Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels, game time @ 7:30pm.


My mood darkened even more when I checked the 3 daily newspaper for their forecasts because this is the consensus for game time --


Friday night - “41 degrees - feels like 26. Chance of rain - 60%. Winds NE 22 mph.”


Saturday night - “43 degrees - feels like 35. Chance of rain - 80%. Winds NE 11 mph.”


If either game is postponed then the makeup game will be sometime on Sunday (time to be determined by MLB and Fox) but the forecast isn’t much better - “48 degrees - feels like 38. Chance of rain - 70%. Winds NNE 20 mph.”


This put me into a major funk, but nothing I can do about it. I have a ticket to each game and I will be there regardless of the weather. One good thing, I have a new heavy duty Yankee jacket that I will wear under my poncho. Bring it on!!


Well, it is now 11:00 and guess what? Why, it has stopped raining and has cleared up a bit and the temperature is 41 degrees. Oh, I know, we’ve got a long way to go but it has put me in a somewhat better mood.


Enough about weather - on to the postseason. The Yankees played excellent ball in sweeping the Division Series against The Twins and it appears as if A-Rod has broken out of his postseason miasma. The starting pitching and bullpen was excellent. There was a lot of excitement in the stadium for each of the home games.


I need to send a “shout-out” to Erik (a full season ticket holder and a professed reader of this blog) who was sitting to my left for the second game, won by the Yankees 4-3 in the bottom of the 11th. “Hey, guy, you left in the bottom of the 8th, something you never ever do. What gives? It didn’t go unnoticed. The 3 guys seated right in front of you are going to give you a world of grief tonight. Actually, include me in, too. So, buddy, you are forewarned. Seeya tonight.


I personally think that The Angels have the second best team in baseball, second only to the Yankees and that the series will be excellent baseball, with each game a nail-biter to the very end. The winner of the series will advance to The World Series and will be the odds-on favorite to win. Please Dear God, in the name of GeorgeS, please let it be the Yankees. Please Please Please!!


Since my last entertainment posting most of my time has been involved with baseball, of course, but I also have seen a couple shows, which I will comment about now ---


Monday - 10/3 - “Brighton Beach Memoirs” - Broadway. “BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS centers on young Jewish teen Eugene Morris Jerome and his extended family living in a crowded home in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in 1937: his overworked father, Jack; overbearing mother, Kate; his older brother Stanley; Kate's widowed sister Blanche and her daughters, Nora and Laurie. As Eugene spends his time daydreaming about a baseball career, he must also cope with his family's troubles, his awkward discovery of the opposite sex and his developing identity as a writer.” (discounted TDF ticket).


I saw this revival of the 1966 Neil Simon comedy/drama in early previews. It will run in repertory with “Broadway Bound” which begins previews in mid-November. The set for the Jerome house was terrific. I wasn’t blown away by the performances but overall the show worked well for me, so I will give it a rating of “B.” I really am looking forward to “Broadway Bound” with Josh Grisetti (Enter Laughing), playing the role of the adult Eugene. The rest of the cast remains the same.


Thursday - 10/8 - “Oleannna” - Broadway. “David Mamet's Oleanna is an account of a power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students. Starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles and directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes, David Mamet's incendiary play is regarded as one of the most provocative dramas of our time dividing audiences into heated debate by compelling them to side with either character. This new production marks the Broadway premiere of this visceral, modern-day classic.” (discounted TDF ticket).


OK, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting I have to admit that David Mamet drives me fucking crazy with his 150 mph dialogue, profanity and characters, who no one can identify with, screaming at each other from opposite ends of the stage. I usually leave the theater angry, but ... then ... I can’t get the show out of my head. And I guess this is what being an awarding-winning playwright is all about, isn’t it?


In this performance the actors, Bill Pullman and Julia Styles, do an adequate job with the very difficult material but my problem was that when the show was over I didn’t give a rat’s ass for either character - I just wanted both of them to go the fuck away. So, my loyal and faithful readers, on the Billi Pod scale this show gets only a C+


Tuesday - 10/13 - “Finian’s Rainbow” - Broadway. This is part of the press blurb for this show: “The acclaimed City Center Encores! production of this beloved 1947 musical returns to Broadway. With a lush score of standards (“How Are Things In Glocca Morra?” and “Old Devil Moon”) and a whimsical story that dances between romance, satire, and fairy tale, Finian's Rainbow features a large cast headed by Tony Award® winners Jim Norton and Chuck Cooper along with Kate Baldwin and Cheyenne Jackson.” (discounted TDF ticket).


The easiest way for me to discuss my feelings about this show is to post on this blog a posting I made right after I saw the show on the chat board called All That Chat (www.talkinbroadway.com/allthatchat/), in response to a poster, whose opinions I respect, who said, in part ---

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“Don't read on if you don't want to hear what I didn't like about this production - which was everything except Kate Baldwin, Jim Norton (kinda), and Rob Berman & his band.”

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and my response posting was ---

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“Thank you for your straightforward observations.


You know, I saw it last night from the second row of the mezzanine and I have to agree with 98.25% of your comments. Bottom line - I was underwhelmed, to put it mildly.


I had not seen the movie or any stage production that I remember but I like most of the musical score, so I went into the show with rather high expectations, bolstered in part by the generally favorable “buzz” generated on this board.


Throughout most of the show I found myself asking my inner “me” ... “Is this show not working or am I just in a blah space/mood for some reason?” The 30s guys sitting on either side of me seemed to be very non-involved.


Walking back to my apartment after the show I was hit by the thought that I was very glad I had seen it with a TDF ticket rather than paying full-price.”

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So, this show gets a Billi Pod rating of only a C.


OMG!! - It is noon and it has cleared up a lot. Folks, let’s keep our finger’s crossed for tonight.


I know, I know, it seems as if I have fallen into the slime pit of negativity but I haven’t because I now want to share with you my thoughts on a show I saw last night that I really enjoyed --


Wednesday - 10/14 - “The Understudy” - Off Broadway. This show is part of my Roundabout Theater season subscription series. This is the press blurb: “Behind every great star, there's a great actor hoping he'll get sick. The star he's working with doesn't get the play. The disgruntled stage manager happens to be his bitter ex-fiance. The set technician is high. Just another day in the life of an understudy. The most thankless job in theatre takes center stage in this new comedy which looks at the underbelly of the acting world. Through the course of a dress rehearsal, we glimpse all the genius, bitterness and ridiculousness that underscore a life in showbiz. Tony Award winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) returns to Roundabout alongside Mark-Paul Gosselaar (TNT's Raising the Bar) and Justin Kirk (Showtime's Weeds ) in this New York premiere” (subscription series).


OK, now I have to admit that there were parts of this show that didn’t work, but, for me it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it, especially Julie White. I guess also that my acting experiences (way back when) contributed to me really getting into the moments on stage. I needed a good laugh and this show gave me what I wanted/needed, so it gets, tada, an A-


On to a totally different subject. What will it be you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, this it is the Homecoming Weekend for the Florida Gators, who play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday at 3:30 (CBS). The Gators are heavy favorites.


On Friday night at The Swamp is Gator Growl. What is Gator Growl? “Gator Growl 2009 is in its 86th year at University of Florida. Hosted by Florida Blue Key, Gator Growl is produced by more than 500 student volunteers, making it the largest-student run pep rally in the world. Each year, Gator Growl is held the night before the Homecoming football game. World-renowned musical and comedic talent such as Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Jay Leno and Lynyrd Skynyrd have performed for the University of Florida community. Performing for the 2009 show will be comedian Dana Carvey.”


50 years ago - the Director of the 1959 Gator Growl was a 25 year old soon-to-graduate Business Administration major, Florida Blue Key member, UF Hall of Fame inductee, Kappa Alpha brother, named BILL NORRIS.


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.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Night - Ah, Yes!!

It is 10:38PM on Sunday night and all I can say is:

IT IS GREAT TO BE A YANKEE!! AND,



IT IS GREAT TO BE A GATOR!!


Both of my teams won when it counted and their future for the remainder of their seasons is totally in their control.


I am exhausted!!


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: Before I forget:



I

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Helping You Understand Baseball

My most cherished responsibility in writing this blog is the opportunity to spend my free time researching the internet for items to share with you, my loyal and faithful readers, in order for you to become fully informed members of cyberspace. As you know, I have been deeply involved in baseball this season, something that may be difficult for some of you to understand.


Well, this morning I found another brilliant article written by my hero David Barry, which I know will help you understand baseball fever. I am sharing it with you in its entirety (I did add the artwork, however) and, hopefully, without running afoul of his agents and attorneys. So here it is:

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"This is the time of year when Americans make a sincere effort to care about the World Series, which determines which baseball team will be the champion of the entire world, except for the part of the world located outside the United States and southeastern Canada.


But the heck with that part. This is OUR national pastime, and that's why the World Series arouses our passion, even if we stopped paying attention to pro baseball some years ago, when it started adding mutant teams with names like the Tampa Bay Area Fighting Seaweeds. Why is baseball our national pastime? Because it is a metaphor for life itself.


As George Will put it: "In life, as in baseball, we must leave the dugout of complacency, step up to the home plate of opportunity, adjust the protective groin cup of caution and swing the bat of hope at the curveball of fate, hoping that we can hit a line drive of success past the shortstop of misfortune, then sprint down the basepath of chance, knowing that at any moment we may pull the hamstring muscle of inadequacy and fall face-first onto the field of failure, where the chinch bugs of broken dreams will crawl into our nose."


Yes, baseball is very deep, although this is not obvious from looking at it. If you don't grasp the nuances, baseball appears to be a group of large, unshaven men standing around in their pajamas and frowning, as if thinking: "My arms are so big that I can no longer groom myself!"


Yet show the same scene to serious baseball fans, and they will see a complex, fascinating, almost artistic tableau. Why? Because they have consumed huge quantities of the drug Ecstasy. No, seriously, it's because these fans appreciate the subtleties of baseball. To help you perceive these subtleties during the World Series, here's a quick "refresher course," starting with:


THE ORIGINS OF BASEBALL: Mankind has played games involving sticks and balls for hundreds of thousands of years. Meanwhile, Womankind had her hands full raising Childrenkind, but whenever she asked Mankind to lend a hand, he'd answer, "Not now! We have a no-hitter going!" That was true, because numbers had not been invented yet. Then, in 1839, along came a man named Abner Doubleday. He invented a game that included virtually all of the elements of modern-day baseball, including Bob Costas and the song "Who Let the Dogs Out." This led to the Civil War.



BASEBALL TODAY: Baseball today is very much the same as it was 150 years ago. The rules are simple: Each team sends nine players onto the field, except for one team, which sends one - the "batter" - plus two elderly retired players called "coaches," who constantly touch themselves on various parts of their bodies to communicate, via Secret Code.


The object of baseball is for the "pitcher" to throw the "ball" into the "strike zone." This is almost impossible, because the only person who knows the location of the strike zone is the "umpire," and he refuses to reveal it because of a bitter, decades-old labor dispute between his union and Major League Baseball. On any given day, the strike zone may not even be in the stadium; there's simply no way to tell. Eventually, the pitcher throws the ball at the batter, in case the strike zone is located somewhere on his body. This is the signal for all the players to run to the middle of the field and engage in a form of combat similar to professional wrestling, except that sometimes professional wrestlers, by accident, actually hit each other. This never happens in baseball, where the last player to land a punch was Babe Ruth, who in the 1921 World Series, knocked out his own self. Instead of punching, baseball players fight by grabbing each other's shirts and exchanging fierce glares, as if to say: "You're gonna get a PERMANENT WRINKLE IN YOUR PAJAMAS, BUSTER!"


After nine "innings" of this, the team with the most "runs" wins. I don't know how the runs happen, because by then I'm asleep. But I sleep in front of the TV, in a rooting position. My body language clearly says: "I may not know who's playing, but if they don't win, it's a shame."


DAVID BARRY - October 3, 2009

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Yes, you are very welcome. I report - you decide.


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.”


Friday, October 2, 2009

OMG!! - September Was Totally Amazing!!

Yes, my loyal and faithful readers, the statistics have been collected and I can honestly say that the month of September 2009 has to go in the AMAZING column, not only for the number of things I did but also for their diversity. This is one of the many things that makes living in The Greatest City in The World such an interesting experience - there is so much to do and all you have to do it get off your butt and do it


So, let me lay out for you the raw statistics and then you can decide whether my use of the word “amazing” is justified. In checking my daily log (log, not diary, real guys don’t keep diaries) I find that during the month of September I saw/attended/did the following:


3 Broadway shows (9 to 5; The Royal Family; and Superior Donuts); 12 Off Broadway shows; 2 classical music concerts by the New York Philharmonic, including The Opening Night Gala; 14 Yankee baseball games; and, 2 movies (500 Days of Summer and I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell (pass on this disappointment). Amazing!!


The 14 games at Yankee Stadium included: seeing Derek Jeter tie and then pass Lou Gehrig for the most base hits in franchise history; 2 out of the 3 games the Yankees swept from the Boston FuckSox; and, clinching the best record in baseball, thereby insuring home field advantage in all of the post season series for as far as they go (hopefully to The World Series). I have my same seat for each of the home post season games. Amazing!!


For these 14 games their record was 10 wins and 4 losses, or a winning percentage of .714 and for the season their record for games I saw was 31 win and 17 losses.


On September 22 I had another baseball first for moi - a tour of the new Yankee Stadium and it was very interesting and informative.


The highlight of the month was the opportunity to spend time at PHC with my friends actor David Huddleston and his wife Sarah Koeppe and to meet their friends Randy Adams and Joel Elins. Randy is the Producer of the soon-to-open Broadway musical “Memphis” and Joel is a veteran stage manager for Broadway and touring shows. The 4 of us later had dinner with Katie Cronkite who was in the city for the memorial service honoring her late father Walter Cronkite.


I was also able to spend some face-time with student/manager Scott Reed, who is in the process of moving up the management ladder in the Lower Eastside restaurant scene. Way to go Scotty!!! Amazing!!


In September by sister Ann Parker, now living in Indio, CA, celebrated her 72nd birthday and my oldest grandson Alex Falletta celebrated his 29th.


On the downside, it was also 6 years ago that my dear friend Ray Coker of Lakeland, FL, left us. My thoughts and prayers go out to Hack, Sarah, Bud and Louise and Ginger.


I have to confess to being slothful in one area - and what is that you no doubt are breathlessly asking? Well, I only posted 8 times to this blog. My bad!!


When I account for all of these activities I find that there was only 1, repeat 1, day/night that I stayed in the apartment without attending some entertainment event. Totally Amazing!!


September marked my 4th month in Penthouse C at 420 W. 42nd Street and I love this place, I really do.


Now, perhaps a bit of retrospection is due - before the creation of this blog I wrote a newsletter to friends and family wherein I detailed my activities in The City, the good and the bad. I have tried to do the same since creating this blog in April 2008. It is important for me to be open and honest about what is going on in my life.


I know that my life-style is sometimes very difficult for others to understand but I am what and who I am.


What I don’t want, however, is to be viewed as writing and posting for the purpose of saying ... “Hey, Look At Me, I Am So Much Better Than All of the Rest of You Retards.” That simply is not me. That is not why I write and blog.


I know deep in my heart that I have been blessed beyond my ability to comprehend for the past 14+ years. For that all I can say is ... Thank You My Higher Power!!


And on that note I will post this and leave it up to you loyal and faithful readers to decide whether the use of the word “amazing” is justified.


I report - you decide.


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.”