Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Night - Billi Pod Is Staying In!

Good evening my loyal and faithful readers. Why am I writing on this blog on a Thursday night in the Big Apple, you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, it begins with W and ends in WEATHER. Let me explain ...

When I woke up this morning around 7:30am it was gray and ugly out and it shortly got even worse. It began to snow. Damn, I had a 10:00am followup appointment with my eye doctor at his office at 49th Street and lst Avenue. I bundled up and headed out and it was every bit as nasty as I anticipated. I walked very carefully to and from the subway stations because the snow was forming ice after it hit the ground.

The eye doctor session went very well and he cleared me to return to normal activities, including bending and lifting. Yeah! I hope to schedule the surgery for the right eye within the next two weeks. Will keep you advised.

It had stopped snowing when I left the Dr.s office but it was windy and very cold. I did make a quick trip to the grocery store. Later in the day the sun came out and that lasted until sundown, then it started to get really ugly again and the wind greatly increased off of the Hudson River.

My entertainment event for tonight was a “dark comedy” Off Broadway show called “Rough Sketch” @ 8:30pm at the 59E59 Theater on the Eastside. The weather forecasters said it would be in the low 30s (18 with wind chill) around the time I would have to head out. I was really torn about what to do until I actually went outside of 420 W. 42nd around 7:00pm just to check things out. OMG!! The wind cut like a knife. I mean it was howling like a storm. The saner side of Billi Pod stepped forward - no way was I going to brave the cold for this show, no way. My ticket was purchased through TDF for only $9.00 so I had no problem about skipping the performance, and I did.

So, it is around 9:15 and I am nice and cozy in PHC and I will alternate writing this posting and re-reading “The Catcher In The Rye” by J. D. Salinger, who died today at the age of 91.

I had my first physical therapy session on Tuesday and it went very well. My therapist is Joe, in his early 30s, with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from NYU. His initial thoughts are: “Possible Distal Bicep Tear,” depending, of course, on the results of the MRI. The only 100% cure is surgery. Ouch!! His description of the post-surgery rehab with cast and sling etc. didn’t make me very happy either. I see my orthopedic doctor, Peter Tang, on Friday, February 5th.

We did about 30 minutes of exercises and massage and you know what? The forearm feels a whole lot better, it really does. My next session is at 10:00am in the morning and guess where it is located - about a block from the 59E59 Theater. The forecast is 18 degrees and wind chill of 9 degrees. Rather ironic don’t you think?

Q: “And my dear Kathi, how did your esteemed and universally beloved Father contract the fatal pneumonia that brought about his much too early demise? Sob. Sob. Sob.”

Kathi: “All I know is that he was outside in the elements on his way to a physical therapy session to rehab his right forearm. Sob. Sob. Sob.”

Anyway - on to other things --

Monday night’s play “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” which I described in an earlier posting, was excellent. I vaguely remember reading the book in High School but had never seen it on stage.

“Happy Now?” on Tuesday was very well performed but ... damn ... isn’t anyone happy anymore? I mean, come on, aren’t there people out there who are happy with their marriage, their kids, their parents, their jobs, the world? I guess not from most of the shows I have seen lately.

Which brings me to last night’s disaster, a so-called “dark comedy” titled “Mazeltov Cocktail,” previously described in the last posting. First of all, it was anything but funny. It was 90 endless minutes filled with every dysfunctional-family cliché known to man. It was more like the playwright/performer's attempted exorcism of past and current family transgressions. It ... oh fuck ... no need to take any more time ... it just sucked.

I added a Saturday evening show performing at Playwrights Horizons, a theater immediately next door to PHC. The show is “Clybourne Park” in very early previews and this is the edited press blurb: “Who are the people in your neighborhood? In 1959, a white family moves out. In 2009, a white family moves in. In the intervening years, change overtakes a neighborhood, along with attitudes, inhabitants, and property values. Loosely inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, Bruce Norris's pitch-black comedy takes on the specter of gentrification in our communities, leaving no stone unturned in the process.” (discounted TDF ticket). Yeah, that’s right, the playwright’s last name is also Norris - how about that? And, oh yes - we have those dreaded words "black comedy" again.

Well, my loyal and faithful readers and Facebook friends, thanks for sticking with me for this long. I think I will post this and get back to reading “Catcher.”

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, January 24, 2010

Sunday - An Update on Billi Pod in the Big Apple

Hello everyone. I am happy to report that the cataract surgery on my left eye on Tuesday, January 19th, was successful even though it was delayed by almost 2 1/2 hours as a result of a communication problem between my surgeon and me about not eating anything the morning of the surgery. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that we were both pissed. No matter, it is over, it is in the past. I have had two follow-up appointments and everything is going as expected and I am faithfully following his postoperative instructions of: no bending down, no lifting over 15 lbs, no rubbing, and sleep with an eye cup. We haven’t yet scheduled the surgery for the right eye.

I want to take this opportunity to make a public THANK YOU to student/bartender/manager Scott Reed who agreed to spend most of his day-off with me, first at the hospital and then afterwards back at PHC. The photo is one he took of me in the recovery area at the hospital. Anyway - Thanks again Scott - you are a true friend.

I spent the remainder of Tuesday and all of Wednesday in PHC, bored out of my skull. Then, Billi Pod got back to his entertainment routine by seeing 3 Off Broadway shows: “The Myopia” on Thursday; “The Accidental Pervert” on Friday; and “Most Likely To: The Senior Superlative Musical” on Saturday. All 3 shows were excellent. Details about these shows have been posted on my Facebook Wall.

OK, two final health notes and then we move on: (1) I am happy to report that my daughter Kathi Bendeck of Columbia, SC, has had successful surgery on her left knee to repair a problem; and (2) Unhappily, I continue to have discomfort and some residual pain in my right forearm and have an MRI scheduled for Monday afternoon.

I am writing this way-too-long posting on Sunday, January 24th, while watching an afternoon and evening of football. The Jets just lost. Damn, but the Colts are a better team. The Vikings/Saints game is everything I expected and the Saints just won in overtime to move on to the The Super Bowl for the first time in their franchise history.

So, my loyal and faithful readers - thanks for sticking with me this far and now I am happy to report to you Billi Pod’s entertainment schedule for the next 10 days in The Greatest City in the World:

Monday - 2:45 - MRI on right forearm.

8:00 - “The Picture of Dorian Gray” - Off Broadway. The press blurb for this show, which is playing at a theater on my block, is: “Adapted for the stage from the classic Oscar Wilde novel, the young, impressionable, and stunningly beautiful Dorian Gray sells his soul for eternal youth. Convinced by the dangerously clever aristocrat Lord Henry Wotton that youth and pleasure are to be valued above all else, and supported by the devotion of the artist who painted the fatal portrait Dorian Gray dives into a life of hedonistic abandon, falling in love with and then quickly abandoning young actress Sibyl Vane, and poisoning the lives of countless others, leading them down to darkness with his strange and dangerous charm. While his body is immune to the ravages of time and sin, his soul is not, and by the end Dorian is faced with the ultimate choice: does he save the picture, or save himself? Or have the two become inextricably linked?” ($9.00 TDF ticket).

Hummmmmm ... selling one’s soul for eternal youth? Where, I wonder, is the sign-up sheet?

Tuesday - 11:00 - is the first physical therapy session on right forearm. It was scheduled with the permission of my eye doc but with the limitation of no lifting of anything over 15 lbs and no twisting and/or bending. It should be an easy session, don’t you think? God, I hope so.

7:00 - “Happy Now?” Off Broadway. “A chance encounter at a hotel plays upon Kitty's mind as she struggles to balance personal freedom with family life, fidelity and a demanding job. Her husband is more interested in misplaced apostrophes than in their marriage, her parents are looking down the barrel of oblivion, and although she toys with the idea of joining a gym, Kitty's running out of time for big changes.” (discounted TDF ticket)

Wednesday - 8:00 - “Mazeltov Cocktail” - Off Broadway. The edited press blurb for this show is: “This dark 90-minute comedy, written and performed by Jamie M. Fox, follows a Jewish woman as she juggles her job as a personal assistant, her cocaine addicted (and recently jailed) brother and the neurotic parents who spawned them.” (discounted TDF ticket).

Well, as I have commented many times on this blog, so-called “dark comedies” are usually much more dark than comedic. We will see.

Thursday - 10:00 - another followup appointment with eye doctor. The evening is open at the moment (gasp).

Friday - 8:00 - “Mr. and Mrs. Fitch” - Off Broadway. “John Lithgow and Jennifer Ehle star as a pair of gossip columnists who become enmeshed in a scandal of their own making “ (discounted TDF ticket).

This show is in very early previews and has already generated very favorable buzz. I am a big fan of John Lithgow’s work.

Saturday - 4:30 - “Play” - Off Broadway. The edited press blurb is: “This is a performance by David Greenspan (who stars in “The Myopia”) of a lecture given by Gertrude Stein. A whimsical, irreverent and insightful lecture on theater as only Gertrude Stein could have given. She prepared it for her celebrated 1934-35 lecture tour of the United States and then only delivered it twice. It was never given in New York City.($9.00 TDF ticket).

The evening is open at the moment. I am rather confident I will find something to do.

Sunday - January 31 - I want to wish a very Happy 69th Birthday to my fraternity brother Bob Kent aka BK of Jacksonville, FL.

7:00 - “The Pride” - Off Broadway. “Oliver, Philip, and Sylvia are caught in a kind of erotic time warp. Their complex love triangle, replete with conflicting loyalties and passions, jumps from 1958 to the present and back in a maelstrom of fantasy, repression and rebellion.” (discounted TDF ticket)

Monday - February 1 - 7:00 - “A Gift to the People - Victor Herbert 150th Birthday” concert by the Little Orchestra Society at Alice Tully Hall @ Lincoln Center. “This unique concert will be an evening of Victor Herbert’s stirring marches, brilliant orchestral works, soaring waltzes, rhapsodic love songs, and selections from his popular Broadway operettas” (complimentary ticket)

Tuesday - 7:30 - “The Sleeping Beauty” performed by the New York City Ballet @ Lincoln Center. “A cornerstone of the ballet repertory, this charming fairy tale is also one of the grandest spectacles of classical dance. Choreographer Peter Martins’ streamlined story focuses the audiences attention on sensational choreography, combined with Tschaikovsky's glorious score, lavish sets and costumes, and a cast of fanciful characters.” (discounted TDF ticket)

Yeah, I know, two ballet programs within a month.

Wednesday - February 3 - A very Happy 55th Birthday to my daughter Kathi Bendeck of Columbia, SC.

8:00 - “A Lie of the Mind” - Off Broadway. “In Sam Shepard’s new play Jake believes he may have murdered his wife. While seeking refuge in the home of his abusively unstable mother, his brother Frankie goes to investigate and finds himself caught in the confusing currents of revenge and longing. The all-star cast is headed by Keith Carradine.” (discounted TDF ticket)

Ah yes, a new play by Sam Shepard. It will be either a Love It or Hate It event I am 110% certain.

So my loyal and faithful readers, this pretty much brings you up-to-date on Billi Pod’s upcoming entertainment schedule. I continue, of course, to make regular, daily, postings on my Facebook Wall and if any of want to join my ever increasing number of “friends” just go to: and follow the instructions.

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, January 17, 2010

Don't Worry - Billi Pod Is Alive!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers, who have been no doubt wondering where in the Hell I have been and what is going on in Billi Pod’s life.

Well, a lot has been going on and I will try to bring you up-to-date without burying you in too many details.

Let me give you a quick overview of what has been consuming me, ie: (1) health issues and (2) Facebook. Now, the details ...


First, on a positive note I am happy to report that the results of my semi-annual finger-up-the-butt examination aka Digital Rectal Examination aka DRE went fine and my PSA result was 1.0. I will see my Urologist again in 6 months.

Second, is my continuing problems with my declining vision. Oh, yes, old age does bring problems even to those of us with the Peter Pan Syndrome. Anyway, I have glaucoma in both eyes and also cataracts. On Tuesday, January 19, I will have cataract surgery on my left eye and if all goes well then about 3 weeks later surgery on the right eye. I will report to the eye hospital at 8:30am and should be able to leave around 12:30pm, hopefully. The hospital requires that I have someone with me at checkout time, so student/bartender/manager Scott Reed stepped forward. We will cab back to PHC and then I expect his duties will be over, God willing. Thank you in advance Scott.

Am I antsy/concerned about the surgery? Honestly, yes I am but I have done all of my research etc and I have complete confidence in my Doctor, Scott Weissman, who I have been seeing for about 7 years.

The next issue has to do with a recent problem with my right forearm, which started on January 9 when I injured it while moving around some furniture. I was in a awkward position and something went pop and I had a lot of pain. Thought I had things under control through ice and rest but I re-injured it on January 13 while trying to scratch my left underarm pit - yeah - I know - but that is what happened....pop and more pain. Damn, this wasn't something I wanted to deal with at this particular time, obviously.

But, at this point I knew I had a problem I had to address, so, luckily, I was able to schedule an emergency appointment with an Orthopedic MD for 8:30am on last Friday, the 15th. After completing a ton of paperwork, which no one paid any attention to, I had a very unpleasant examination by Dr. Peter Tang. Twist, turn, squeeze. probe ... ouch and double ouch. Very emotionally and physically draining. Bottom-line - it is probably ligament damage which can be treated with physical therapy and ice, depending on the results of an MRI scheduled for Monday, January 29, subject to approval by my eye doctor.

Right now I am virtually pain free in the forearm but I am being very careful because I know how easily it can be re-injured.

Well keep you advised on both situations.


Now, about the vortex known as Facebook. I have avoided becoming part of this networking “community” for a number of reasons, the major one being my recognition of my obsessive/compulsive personality. Facebook seemed to me to be Twitter with a few more characters permitted in the posting, 420 on Facebook versus only 144 on Twitter (I think those are correct numbers).

Well, long story short - for a number of reasons I established my Facebook account on January 7th and quickly determined that it was as time-consuming and addictive as I feared. Yes, I have made frequent postings on my Wall. Many of you loyal and faithful readers are now my “friends” and I am amazed at how the number grows on a daily basis. If you want to check out my Wall you go to: You will receive a prompt that you will need to establish an account, If you don’t already have one, but that is no big deal, it will take only a couple of minutes. Follow the instructions on how to become my “friend” and away we go.

Will I continue with this blog you are no doubt breathlessly asking, especially those of you who will never ever, under any circumstances, join Facebook? Yes, you may relax - Billi Pod Blogs will continue.

Now on to other things - that is, what I have been doing recently entertainment-wise. My daily log (log, not diary - well you know the rest) since the last posting on January 6, reveals that I saw/did/attended: 2 Broadway shows (“Fela” and “A View From the Bridge”); 4 Off Broadway shows (I also canceled 2 shows due to my arm problems); and, 2 New York Philharmonic concerts. I was also able to spend some quality time with Hank and Susan Campbell, visiting from FL, and student/bartender/manager Scott Reed.

As might be expected my entertainment pallet for the next 10 days is open due to the cataract surgery on Tuesday.

In closing, let me wish a Happy 41st Birthday to my son Bill, who lives in Orlando, FL, where he is a High School math teacher, avid golfer, dog lover, Crimson Tide fan and a GREAT son, pal and buddy. Love ya Billyboy!!

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, January 6, 2010

December 2009 - A "Musicalitious" Month

Good morning everyone. It is bright and cold out this morning in The Big Apple. I have a show scheduled for this afternoon, the Broadway musical, “Fela,” which I described in an earlier posting and then nothing, yet, for the evening. Meaning, I have no excuse for not posting the stats for the month of December 2009, which was an interesting and somewhat different month, a month I will label as “Musicalitious.”

Yes, the month was a bit different from most of the others, primarily because of the number of classical music events I attended, but more details on that a bit later. First, the raw stats ...

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

1 Broadway show (“A Steady Rain” with Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman); 10 Off Broadway shows; 11 classical music concerts (details below); 1 dance recital (“The Nutcracker” - performed by the Joffrey Ballet Company); and, 2 movies (“Up In The Air” and “Me & Orson Welles”).

I was out of town for 5 nights for my trip down south to Columbia, SC, for Christmas with family. Was able to spend some quality face-time with student/bartender/manager Scott Reed.

On the downside - December marked 3 years since my dear friend Randy Bentley left us. The weather was generally cold and nasty. Also, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting, was the major ass-whipping The Gators received from The Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game, losing by the humiliating score of 13-32. That loss required me to wear ‘Bama stuff at Christmas dinner. Barf, barf and double gag!! Anyway ...

Now, about the concerts - and I think you, my loyal and faithful readers, will agree that the diversity of events is sufficient to label this month as “Musicalitious.” What do I mean? Let me explain. During December I attended 7concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra @ Lincoln Center (3 regular subscription series and 4 special events: “The Concert to End Polio” with Itzhak Perlmen; “Holiday Brass with the U.S. Military Academy Band;” "The Messiah;” and, “The New Year’s Eve Gala”).

These performances alone are enough, in my opinion, to earn the title “awesome,” but then add the following 4 other special event concerts: "The Vienna Boys Choir" @ Carnegie Hall;” “Mozart’s ‘Great’ Mass” @ Carnegie Hall; “The New York Gay Men’s Chorus” @ Town Hall; and, “The Complete Brandenberg Concertos” @ Symphony Space, and then ...

I humbly suggest that my use of the description “Musicalitious” is proper, but ... it is up to you loyal and faithful readers to decided, because ...

I only report - you decide.

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, January 3, 2010

Thirty Five Years Ago - WOW!!

As a follow-up to the posting I made on December 19, 2009, I found this in Saturday’s online edition of my former hometown newspaper, The Polk County Democrat, Bartow, Florida:


History From Our Files

Compiled from the files of The Democrat by Loyal Frisbie

35 Years Ago

"County Judge William A. Norris, Jr., has been appointed by Gov. Reubin Askew to succeed Circuit Judge Allie H. Lane on Jan. 15."


Yep, as I said - time does indeed fly.

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.”

University of Florida Zombie Attack Preparedness Manual

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. I have just received one of the most important emails of the new decade from Jeff Reddout, of Imperial Polk County, FL. I am compelled to share it with you ASAP so you can become prepared for the battles that face the human race in the coming years. The threat no one wants to talk about is real. I have no doubt about the authenticity of this material since it was produced by my alma mater, The University of Florida. This is the email in its entirety --


Zombie Attack Preparedness Manual

Done by the University of Florida, this one is quite detailed and has many links to scholarly references from Harvard, Stanford, and Syracuse Universities (among others) and even includes forms to fill out if you need to kill one of your co-workers who has become zombified or is exhibiting symptoms of zombie behavior spectrum disorder (ZBSD) (see especially the "Infected Co-worker Dispatch Form" on pages 5 and 6).

The discussion of whether or not the viruses in "28 Days Later" or "I Am Legend" actually turned people into zombies is very informative and thought-provoking.

Make sure to follow up on some of the great links including this one, a statement from the Boston Police:


To fully understand the depth of the threat and what we, the human race, must do to protect ourselves, you MUST click on both of the links above - YOU MUST!!

Thank you Jeff and thank you University of Florida for this and for giving the World Gatorade, Tim Tebow, Billy Ball, Billi Pod, and Gator Growl.

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, January 2, 2010

It's Great To Be A Florida Gator!!

Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators put on an awesome performance tonight in the BCS Sugar Bowl by putting a major ass-whipping on No. 4 ranked, and unbeaten, University of Cincinnati. The final score of 51 - 24 doesn't really convey how outmatched the Bearcats were.

Tebow set a BCS record for total yardage, passing for 482 yards, running for 51 yards, for a total offensive performance of 583 yards. He passed for 3 TDs and scored 1 running. Wow!!

He ended the Tebow era at Florida as a record-setting winner, making all of us proud to be a part of his Gator Nation.

I don’t know what the future holds for Tim or for Urban Meyer but one thing for certain, their legacy will live forever in the history of Florida Gator football.

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.”