Friday, December 31, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!!!

Happy New Year’s Eve to each and everyone!!!!

In response to your emails and texts ... no, Billi Pod will not be in Times Square tonight for the dropping of the ball, saying good riddance to 2010 and ushering in 2011 - been there done that. Instead ...

8:00==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Lincoln Center - New Year’s Eve Gala - featuring pianist Lang Lang - works by Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Polonaise from Eugene Onegin; and The Nutcracker, Act II. It will be broadcast live on PBS.

I have done this event for the past 6 years and it has always been a very enjoyable evening.

When the concert is over I will come back to warm and cozy PHC, grill a steak (with baked potato and grilled onions), watch everything on the tube and then toast the New Year with my favorite libation==>Fresca.

Billi Pod’s report card of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS 3D==>C<==actually pretty disappointing and this comes from a mega-Jack Black fan. It simply is not very funny and 3D added nothing. Sorry folks, but you have to man-up when your mantra is fair and unbiased reporting.

Some other things and stuff ...

In Thursday’s New York Times was an article called: “The 110 Things New Yorkers Talked About in 2010.” To give you a flavor, this is their first 5:

1. Bedbugs.

2. Pee-wee Herman’s comeback.

3. Larry King’s farewell.

4. The best campaign slogan of 2010: “I am not a witch.”

5. Ricky Martin comes out.

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, as much as Billi Pod admires The New York Times, in this instance they are 110% wrong because the truth is, there are only 5 things real New Yorkers ever talk about, and they are:

1. How much better New York used to be.

2. How much better New York is than anywhere else.

3. Rent.

4. Food.

5. Yankees vs. Mets.

You are so very welcum.

One more observation==>The State of Florida is the college football mecca because 6 state colleges received invitations to play in Bowl games (albeit all could be classified as Toilet Bowls): Florida International; Central Florida; South Florida; Miami; FSU; and U. of Florida.

So, my loyal and faithful readers, this will be the last communication for 2010, so let Billi Pod close with ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Meaning bush when you say Busch is bushwhacky.”


Billi Pod

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>Oh The Drama!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers from the still frigid Big Apple.

Progress has been made snowplow-wise but the anger in the outer boroughs is still bubbling and the papers have been relentless in their criticism of Mayor Mike and the Sanitation Workers Union.

Why the union? Well, stories are circulating that they staged a slowdown in protest of the massive job cuts earlier in the year. Oh the drama.

I also understand that the airports are still jammed and that there has been up to 3.5 hour waits at JFK for a cab into the city. Oh the drama.

Anyway, this is Billi Pod’s report card on the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC concert==>A<==a revised program because of rehearsal cancellations due to the blizzard.

A wonderful evening, ending with Ravel’s Bolero, which got a roaring standing ovation.

At the moment Billi Pod has nothing scheduled entertainment-wise for today. Unless something shows up on one of his ticket services he will catch a movie - GULLIVER’S TRAVELS 3D - “Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.”

Yeah, I know that it has been almost universally panned by the critics, but I like Jack Black, so ... screw the critics.

Before closing I want to respond to a recent comment on this blog asking what “PHC” means ...

Billi Pod lives in a 1 bedroom apartment in a high-rise rental apartment building on West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. The top floor is 41 flights up and is designated the “Penthouse Floor.” Billi Pod is in unit C, so ... tada ... PHC is apartment C on the “Penthouse Floor” with awesome northern views of Hell’s Kitchen.

So, in closing, my loyal and faithful readers, we will have ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“A Bear is barely naked”


Billi Pod

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday==>Mayor Mike Is Taking Heat!!

On this Wednesday morning it is bright and cold in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

There is still lots of snow and ice on sidewalks and roads and there is major anger in the outer boroughs over the failure of the city to bring snow plows into the areas. Of course, the Mayor is taking the heat (no pun intended) and the headlines are pretty brutal:

“SNOW EXCUSES! - Mayor Mike defends plowing amid outrage.” The Daily News.

"COLD COMFORT - Mike finally mad over blizzard blunders.” New York Post

"CITY STRUGGLES AS STORM IMPACT CHASTENS MAYOR - Many Streets Unplowed-the Council Will Hold Hearings.” New York Times

In Manhattan the major thoroughfares are passable but vast stretches of the outer boroughs remain untouched, leaving tens of thousands of residents unable to get to work etc. If I lived out "there" I would be upset too.

Last night Billi Pod stayed in and watched pro and college football involving teams he cared nada about - oh well ... at least he was warm and back home.

Tonight’s entertainment event --

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Lincoln Center - works by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Vivaldi, DeBussy and Ravel (Bolero). Really looking forward to this.

Just renewed my 41-game Yankee season ticket package even though I am still pissed about their decision to reduce our right(s) to purchase the same seat for all post-season games. Oh well nothin’ I can do about it ... so ...

Now, to close with what you loyal and faithful readers are doubtlessly anxiously awaiting ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“From outer space Illinois looks like chewed tobacco.”


Billi Pod

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Billi Pod Is Back In The Big Apple==>WHEW!!

Oh the drama and the nail-biting times leading up to Billi Pod’s successful return to The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

I spent most of the day and evening yesterday trying to access the Delta website to checkin for my “confirmed” 6:05am flight this morning and to get a seat assignment. Man, was it frustrating because the site was obviously overloaded and it just didn’t work. I even had the help of my trusted Travel Agent, Blanche Bryant, but she was unable to gain access even though she tried until her 11:00pm bedtime. Thanks, Blanche, you are indeed a professional and a friend.

Finally around 1:30am I was able to checkin but was unable to get a seat assignment. Was advised that I would have to see an agent at the airport.

Finished packing and got about 90 minutes of sleep. When I woke up I checked the flight status and it was a go for the scheduled 6:05am departure. At 4:15am son-in-law Dr. John drove me to the airport, only about a 15 minute trip at this time of the morning. Thank you Dr. John!!

I wasn’t surprised that there were already lines at the Delta checkin area but it didn’t bother me because all I had to do was print out my boarding pass and baggage ticket at one of the self-serve kiosks - no problemo, right? WRONG!! None of the machines were working, none of them, so everyone had to check in with a live (and obviously stressed-out) agent.

Nothing I could do about it and, fortunately (ahem Dr. John) I had gotten there a bit early. When I was finally checked-in I wasn’t given a boarding pass with a seat assignment, rather, it was called a “seat assignment request” to be given to the agent at the gate. OMFG!!!

This made my heart begin to pump. Had no problem clearing security although the lines were again long. Was at the gate at 5:00am. When I presented my “seat assignment request” to the agent she told me that she hadn’t figured out yet what to do with the 9 of us who were booked on this flight following yesterday’s cancellation and would I ... “like to volunteer for a later flight?” I told her no and then she said she would get back with us once the boarding process began. Now my heart was really pounding. But, nothing I could do about it.

Well, let me make this a bit shorter ... in summary, all of us were given seats and I had an excellent one, 1A. The plane was full, of course. We were delayed in taking off in order to de-ice but were airborne at 6:40am.

The flight up was uneventful and we made-up time. As we were approaching the New York area we could see the results of the blizzard.

We touched down at LGA at 8:10am, or only 15 minutes past our scheduled arrival time. Man, LGA is still covered with snow as the picture taken from my window shows.

The terminal was packed. Picked up my duffle and got in line to catch the next “express” bus into the city, with stops at Grand Central Station and then Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is only 1.5 blocks from my building. It is not a bad deal at only $10.00. The lines for cabs were unbelievably long and out in the blowing cold. I was on the bus at 9:20am.

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting I have to state that from this point it took as long for me to get to PHC as it had for me to fly from Columbia to LaGuardia. The Delta terminal was the first pickup and we had 4 more and that took forever. Then when we finally were headed into the city the traffic was very heavy and very slow moving, but, honestly, I was expecting that, so ... I just sorta relaxed.

Then came the killer -- when we finally got to Grand Central the driver announced that this would be the last stop for this bus, that the dozen or so of us headed to The Port Authority would have to wait for a shuttle bus. Man, everyone was really angry, including moi. Lots of cussing and yelling, to put it mildly. We huddled together in the freezing cold. No one would tell us how long we would have to wait for the next shuttle bus to arrive.

At this point Billi Pod said Fuck It and went out to 42nd Street and hailed a cab, which cost an additional $9 with tip.

Anyways ... it was 10:51am when I opened the door to PHC. I silently thanked my Higher Power for bringing me back to The Big Apple.

Was hungry, tired and just a bit out of synch. Unpacked, checked the mail, paid the last of the first of the month bills and then went to the grocery store for fruit and stuff. Man, it was/is very treacherous walking in the snow, ice and slush, especially at the crosswalks. I was very very careful.

Bottom-line==>Billi Pod had an awesome time in Columbia with family: Kathi and John, Bill, and Alex and Gina.

A special shout-out to Kathi for hanging-in-there despite some major pain and discomfort from her slip and fall on Thursday.

Now Billi Pod can return to his Big Apple life-style, despite the nasty weather, so he will end this much-too-long posting with the highly anticipated ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“A platypus never puts the seat down.”


Billi Pod

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>I Wantta Go Home!!

On this Monday morning it is bright and cold in Columbia, 32º, but not as cold as The Big Apple, 21º, where 21 inches of snow fell.

It is reported that LaGuardia will reopen around 2:00pm this afternoon. Keeping my fingers crossed about tomorrow’s 6:05am flight.

Have been attempting to checkin online but Delta’s website keeps going down, something, I guess, to be expected.

Dinner last night, with Alvin and Linda Strasburger, was totally awesome.

Dr. John’s lamb shanks (and also lamb chops) were fantastic, reflecting the hours and hours of prep time.

Thanks Dr. John!!

Gonna spend the rest of the day just chillin’ (pun intended), so let me close, my loyal and faithful readers, with ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“I also save souls,” said the Jewish cobbler.


Billi Pod

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday==>It Is Snowing In Columbia

Well, my loyal and faithful readers, it is snowing here in Columbia, SC, as it is in most of the East Coast, up to and past New York City.

As a result of the snow, dammit to Hell, my return flight to NYC, scheduled for Monday morning at 6:05am has been canceled.

Delta rebooked me for the same flight on Tuesday morning, so we will just have to wait and see what develops. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Bill III opted not to stay for the anticipated snow, so he left yesterday and is now back in Orlando.

Tonight our friends Alvin and Linda Strasburger are coming to dinner to partake of Dr. John’s divine lamb shanks. Of all of John’s gourmet dishes, this is my absolute favorite. It takes a long time to prepare, so he’s working on it now. Yummy yummy!! Can’t wait!!

Will spend the afternoon and early evening in a couch-potato mode watching pro-football.

So ... let me close with the highly anticipated ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Betcha didn’t know that Viagra was originally developed to treat horn dysfunction in male Unicorns.”


Billi Pod

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

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Billi Pod wishes for each and everyone of his loyal and readers, their friends and family, a Very Merry Christmas.

Last night’s family dinner here in Columbia SC was awesome. Son-in-law Dr. John fixed an unbelievable array of gourmet dishes, featuring a mega-delicious beef tenderloin. Everyone, including moi, ate way too much.

After dinner we had our present exchanges and that was a lot of fun. Grandson Alex performed the role of Santa and he did a great job.

Today will be a day of relaxation for us. Kathi is still experiencing pain and discomfort but, trouper that she is, she hasn’t let it interfere with this wonderful family event in any way.

Snow is due here tomorrow and son Bill III considered extending his visit because he has never seen snow. After some reflection, however, he decided against it and is now on the road back to Orlando.

I have a gut feeling I may have trouble with my early Monday morning departure - hope not, but their ain’t anything I can do about it. Will just have to handle it One Day At A Time.

Let me close by again wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and then ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Campfires and Holy Water and Hot Chocolate are usually comfort foods reserved for the super-rich.”


Billi Pod

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Billi Pod Is In Columbia, SC.

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers.

Yesterday LaGuardia airport was an absolute nightmare. The lines for security were very long and it took me 45 minutes to clear and, no, I didn’t get picked for a scan or a pat-down.

Happily the flight down to Columbia, SC, went OK and we were only 30 minutes late.

As I was waiting at LGA I got a call that made my heart run cold ... my daughter Kathi had a slip and fall as she was leaving a church following a funeral service for a friend. She was in the ER. OMFG!!

Long story short ... thankfully, she is OK, at home and mobile. She is, however, badly bruised in unmentionable places and in pain and discomfort.

It could have been so much worse. Bless her, she is determined that this “glitch” (her words) will not interfere with her/our Christmas plans, and so far it hasn’t.

Son Bill III aka The Bill of Orlando arrived OK.

We will do our family Christmas dinner and present opening tonight ... so ...


I will close with ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Forget about it,” said every Tom, Dick and Harry.


Billi Pod

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Billi Pod Is Counting Down!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers.

Billi Pod is counting down to the 4:00pm car service pickup to begin his trip down to Columbia, SC, for Christmas with family. Not packed yet, of course.

Stay away Norris Travel Curse - Stay Away!!


Billi Pod's report card on last night’s ANGELS IN AMERICA-Perestroika==>A+<==mesmerizing and attention grabbing.

The 3 hours 40 minutes flew by. Seeing the two shows back-to-back was awesome!!

BREAKING NEWS==>apparently Jets coach Rex Ryan has a foot-fetish. What am I talking about you are no doubt breathlessly asking?

Well, foot fetish videos featuring his wife have gone viral on the Internet, leading to the following headlines in this morning’s papers:

“AGONY OF DE-FEET. Private Ryan humiliated by fetish secrets.” - front page of the New York Post

“REX’S AGONY OF DA FEET. Rex episode makes Jets look like heels again.” - The Daily News

Ah the drama of coaching in The Big Apple.

On that happy note, let me close with the anticipated --

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Bardon me, but 72.3% of those who say they “love” Shakespeare are lying.”


Billi Pod

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>Let the Festivities Begin

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. I hope each and every one of you have completed all of the tasks necessary to insure a wonderful Christmas.

Thankfully, Billi Pod’s to-do list is now all checked off, so ... let the festivities begin. Will be heading down to Columbia, SC, tomorrow afternoon, hopefully without incurring the wrath of the legendary Norris Travel Curse.

Billi Pod’s report card on ANGELS IN AMERICA-Millennium Approaches==>A+<==theater drama at its very best. The sets and staging are awesome. Acting top caliber. House sold-out.

It has been extended a third time through March 27, 2011. If you are a theater-buff this is a MUST SEE!!

Tonight’s entertainment event is ... tada ...

7:30==>ANGELS IN AMERICA-Perestroika. “The lives of the disparate characters from Part 1 intersect, intertwine, collide and are blown apart during a time of heartbreak, reaction and transformation.”

The running time is 3 hours 40 minutes, with 2 intermissions. Thank God the theater is only 1.5 blocks from my building, so I should have the physical strength to make it back to PHC. I know, however, that I will be emotionally drained.

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“No one has ever re-read Jane Eyre.”


Billi Pod

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Spider-Man Troubles

BREAKING NEWS==>another Spider-Man injury: “...Spider-Man’s stunt double fell about 30 feet into the orchestra pit during the closing minutes of the show last night and was rushed to a hospital...” Oh the drama!!

There is a great article in Gawker that sets forth all of the reasons why the show should be immediately closed. It is well worth the time, so read it ...

It is my understanding that Actor’s Equity has stepped in and shut down performances until the “safety” issues are resolved. Stay tuned ...

On to other stuff -- just got back from having brunch/lunch with Scott Reed and we touched a lot of bases. Tons of good things are going on in his life right now and he is about to start on a new adventure beginning in January ... so stay tuned my loyal and faithful readers.

Report card on MUMMENSCHANZ==>A+<==first preview. The start was delayed 30 minutes due to tech problems. No matter, because once they got underway it was a massively entertaining evening.

This is a show for all ages, so ... see it NOW!!

Tonight’s entertainment event:

7:30==>ANGELS IN AMERICA-Millennium Approaches. This critically acclaimed revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning two-part drama is set in late 1985 and early 1986, as the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in America is escalating and Ronald Reagan has been elected to a second term in the White House. It is playing at The Signature Theatre, 1 1/2 blocks from PHC, and the running time is 3 hours.

I will see the second part, Perestroika, tomorrow night and it also starts at 7:30pm and clocks in at 3:40.

So, let me now close, my loyal and faithful readers, with the highly anticipated ...

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Harry Potter’s wand is wee.”


Billi Pod

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

From The Supreme Court of The Clan of Norris

From The Supreme Court of The Clan of Norris

To: Kathryn N. Bendeck aka Kathi; John Bendeck, MD aka Dr. John; William A. Norris, III aka Billyboy aka The Bill; Alexander Falletta aka Army Guy aka Lex; Gina Falletta; and, Christopher Falletta aka Topher (should he change his plans).

From: The Supreme Court of The Clan of Norris - Chaired in absentia by the Beloved Ruby Morris Norris

Re: Order and Directions for Time Frame December 23 to 27, 2010

Based on past history and other considerations and in order to maintain the integrity and reputation of The Clan of Norris, it is hereby:


1. If one William A. Norris, Jr., DOB 4/23/34, aka Dad aka Granddaddy aka Billi Pod utters the phrase :


or any similar phrase, at anytime, under any circumstances, you, individually and/or collectively, MUST immediately and without hesitation respond loudly and directly, with:


2. You must continue with the above response until the aforesaid William A. Norris, Jr., does indeed SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Herein failith not under dire consequences only the undersigned can and will administer.

Signed: The Supreme Court of The Clan of Norris - Chaired in absentia by the Beloved Ruby Morris Norris

Billi Pod Reports on Dracula

It is a bright and very cold errands day in The Big Apple, the Greatest City in the World.

Have only one more item to purchase for Christmas and that will be no problem at all. This afternoon I will do the rather boring job of preparing the individual gift cards for the staff here at 420 W. 42nd Street. This is a large building so, as might be expected, the staff is rather large too:

1 Superintendent

7 Concierge/Doormen

1 Handyman

4 Porters

2 Part-time Staff

The “expected” tip(s) ranges from $50 to $100 - do the math. Oh well, it is one of the realities of living in a large doorman building in New York City.

Billi Pod’s report card on DRACULA==>C<==story line is kinda clunky in parts. Sets excellent. Cast OK except for Dracula, who sucked. He was about as scary as Grandma on a walker.

I think the critics will drive a stake through its heart.

And, speaking of sucking and stakes through hearts==>The Giants were unbelievably bad yesterday, blowing a 21-point lead with 8 minutes to play, leading to what one the papers described as: “ of the most humiliating collapses in the 85-year history of the franchise.”

Tonight’s entertainment event --

7:00==>MUMMENSCHANZ - “the world famous Swiss performance troupe returns, with dazzling non-verbal theater where ordinary objects such as toilet paper, wires, tubes, and boxes spring to life to become fantastical characters.”

I absolutely LOVE this group and it is always a “must-see” for Billi Pod when they come to The City.

OK, got things and stuff to do, so let me close my loyal and faithful readers with:

Musings from THE MIND OF BILLI POD (a memoir in progress):

“Your wife/girlfriend will never appreciate a Xerox toner cartridge for Christmas.”


Billi Pod

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

Condom on the Sleeve - NYC 12/22/95

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. Several people have again emailed about the classic and true “Condom on the Sleeve” story back from the winter of 1995, my first December in the Big Apple following my retirement on December 31, 1994, so here it is again in the original form, totally unedited:


Date: Fri, Dec 22, 1995 11:53 PM EST

From: Wanjr

To: Email list

Subj: December 22 - Only in the Big Apple

Fellow cyberpersons:

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

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

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

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

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

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




Billi Pod

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