Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Billi Pod’s 60th Class Reunion Schedule

Well, my loyal and faithful readers ... the countdown has begun for Billi Pod’s next adventure ... The 60th Reunion of The Summerlin Institute Class of 1952, in Bartow, FL.

My car service will pick me up at 6:45am and we will head out to the Delta Terminal at Laguardia for my 9:45am flight down to Tampa. Yes, it is a bit early but I want to get to the terminal in time to have a light breakfast.

My flight is scheduled to arrive in Tampa at 12:58pm. I will pick up my rental car, hopefully another VW Beetle, and head over to Bartow, where I will be staying at The Holiday Inn Express.

Assuming everything goes as anticipated, in the early evening I will head over to Gina Falletta’s dad’s house in Winter Haven to see my darling great-granddaughter Saylor. I am taking Gina out to dinner and, hopefully, we will be joined by my son Bill III aka The Bill, who lives in Orlando, and my youngest grandson Chris aka Topher. This should be awesome.

Friday, noonish, I will head over to Lakeland to the trendy Fresco's Bakery & Bistro on S. Kentucky Ave. to meet up with Jim Vandewalker and some of our friends.

Then that evening is the first of the reunion events - 6:00pm==>Dinner with classmates at The Peace River County Club. My date for the evening will be Jennie Swearingen Humphrey ... yeah, we dated back in HIgh School.

Saturday - 8:00am==>Classmates only breakfast at Bartow Golf Course.

Then in the evening will be the final event - 6:00pm==>Dinner with classmates at the posh residence of Sonny & Joyce Griffin.

As I have previously posted, the class of 1952 numbered only 72 at our graduation date. I have no clue how many will attend this reunion.

For your information, Summerlin Institute, named after Jacob Summerlin, was founded in 1887. In 1970, when Polk County schools were totally integrated, the name was changed to Bartow Senior High School.

I will head back to The Big Apple on Sunday. My flight leaves Tampa at 2:10pm, arriving at LGA, hopefully, at 4:58pm.

Will use the express bus service from LGA to The Port Authority and I know the ride will be nightmarish with all of the incoming traffic from the weekend. Oh well ... ain’t nothing I can do about it.

So, my loyal and faithful readers, this is what my next several days will be. I will have my trusty, but now aged, iBook with me in addition to my iPhone, of course, so I will be able to keep you up-to-date.


Billi Pod

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


2011 Was An AWESOME Year==>check it out!!

Good afternoon all of my loyal and faithful readers out there in the hinterlands and boondocks ... and ... yes ... I know that I fervently promised to post the 2011 entertainment stats yesterday ... but ... sorry ... it just didn’t happen ... but you can calm down now ... because ... tada ... here they are in all of their awesomeness ...

In checking my daily log (log, not diary - real guys don’t keep diaries) I find that during 2011 Billi Pod attended/saw/did the following:

48 Broadway shows; 182 Off Broadway Shows, plus 8 New York Fringe Festival events; 57 classical music concerts (including my 3 series subscription to the New York Philharmonic); 1 Opera; 1 rock concert (Sir Paul McCartney @ Yankee Stadium); 15 movies; and, 42 Yankee baseball games (23 wins - 19 losses. Kinda barfy).

I was away from The Big Apple for only 14 nights.

Perhaps one of the most amazing stats is the fact that during the year there were only 27, repeat, 27 times that I stayed in PHC without attending some entertainment event during either the day or evening. The majority of these were due to either terribly bad weather and/or some important sporting event on the tube.

This means, my loyal and faithful readers, that Billi Pod remained on his frenetic Big Apple schedule of attending some entertainment event 9 out of 10 nights. Actually for you number crunchers the percentage is 92%. AWESOME!!!

During the year I was able to have time with a lot of my friends, including: John Scott Reed; Justin Allen Pifer; Lance & Joan Smith; Dwight & Joanne Wells; Hank Campbell; Gordon and Carole Warner; Sandy Mullon; Dennis Dohman and Michael Pederson; David Huddleston and Sarah Koeppe; John Horne and his posse; and, my AA buddies (you know who you are).

During the year Billi Pod was admitted into Dian Crystal’s posse, along with Marty, Vera and others. Thank you so much, My Lady!

On March 18th I celebrated 21 years of continuous sobriety and on April 23rd turned, gasp, 77 years old (God ... I hate being old). I renewed my lease on PHC at 420 E. 42nd Street for an additional two years, effective June 1.

Of course, any year has its downsides, the major one for me being the passing of my dear friend Gil Goshorn of Gainesville, FL. I was honored that Linda asked me to participate in the family ceremony.

Another downer was, of course, the deployment of my oldest grandson CWO2 Alexander Falletta aka Army Guy overseas to Iraq. I was down in Columbia, SC, to be present when Army Guy and his unit actually headed out. Very very emotional.

As you loyal and faithful readers know ... Army Guy is now in Kuwait and we are hoping and praying his unit will return home around the first of May. Please Higher Power==>let it be so!!

OK, so there you have it ... I personally think that these annual stats are pretty awesome, especially for a 77yr old guy ... but ... remember ...

I only report ... you decide.

Let me close this posting with my brief review about last night’s entertainment event, which was ...

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall==>A<==as usual, even though they began the evening with another piece of atonal dreck from Steven Stucky.

It is 1:00pm as I am completing this posting and I haven’t anything scheduled entertainment-wise for this evening. Will probably catch a movie and then stay in for the evening, hopefully to be able to crash a bit earlier than my usual 2:00am time because my car service is picking me up at 6:45am in the morning as I begin my 60th High School Class Reunion adventure.

I have just reviewed the stats again ... and all I can say is they typify why Bill Norris aka Billi Pod lives in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, and why he plans to remain here for the remainder of his life.


Billi Pod

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


PS: If I omitted any thing, event, happening, person, activity or individual==>I am sorry!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Billi Pod Says==>Happy Tuesday Everyone!!

Happy Tuesday to all of my loyal and faithful readers out there in the morass known as cyberspace.

I hope your week is going well ... mine certainly is, despite the mental gyrations going on in my head in preparation for my return to Polk County, FL, aka PFC aka Polk F**king County, on Thursday. I mean ... I was just there yesterday ... or anyway ... it seems like yesterday ...

Oh well ... you gotta do what you gotta do ... and ... attending one’s 60th High School Reunion is, in my humble opinion, a “gotta-do” especially when your class was as small as ours ... only 72 in number way back in June 1952. More details about the reunion will be posted tomorrow, I promise ...

And speaking of promises ... I do fervently promise that I will, finally, post the awesome entertainment stats for 2011, later in the day ... I promise. You’ve waited this long ... so just take a deep breath ... they are finally on their way for you to savor and analyze.

Anyway ... let’s move on to other things ... like Billi Pod’s thoughts and comments on last night’s entertainment event ...

The NATIONAL FESTIVAL CHORUS @ Carnegie Hall was a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment, with a multitude of different choruses from around the country.

My comp. seat was awesome - in the 1st tier, box seating, and the face value on the ticket was ... tada ... $110.00. Now that is really awesome.

Seated in the box with me was a family from Piedmont, CA, whose daughter was performing with the Piedmont High School Acapella Choir (for your info ... Piedmont, CA, is next to Oakland). And, yes, Acapella is how it was spelled in the program and all of the supporting documents. My research does reveal that acapella is the latin version of the more comman Italian a cappella.

Anyway ... We had a nice running conversation and they were sooooooo excited, something I can certainly understand. The Piedmont High School Acapella Choir was excellent and the parents had every reason to be proud. It made my evening even more enjoyable.

Billi Pod’s entertainment event for this evening is his fourth classical music concert in a row (perhaps a bit much, he will admit) ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall - “The program is: Steven Stucky - Son et lumiere; Berlioz - Les Nuits d’ete: and Musorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition.” (season subscription series).

OMFG!! Steven Stucky is the same guy whose work was on the program at the PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA concert on Sunday. I’ll be willing to bet it will be another atonal piece of dreck. OMFG!!

Oh well ... ain’t nothing I can do about it ... so ...

Speaking of so ... I soooooooo want to finish the draft of the entertainment stats posting ... soooooooo ... I will post this by ending with another thing for you loyal and faithful readers to ponder ...

Think about it!!


Billi Pod

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


Monday, February 27, 2012

OSCARS 2012==>big whoop!!

OK ... let’s get right to it ... and by it I mean last night’s Oscar 2012 ... which I can sum up with this statement ...

THE ARTIST, a slight black-and-white French movie that almost no one saw but beloved by cinema snobs won Best Picture==>big whoop!!

It was another circle-jerk by the Oscar voters in their vain attempt to separate their “art” from the perceived backwater tastes of their ticket-buying audiences.

And, how come it took longer to award the Best [whatever] Shorts than it did to award the Best Picture? Boring!!

Thought Billy Crystal did an adequate job, much better than the disaster last year.

I got back to PHC last night around 9:00 so I was able to watch most of the program and I have to say that a majority of that time the mute button was on and I was doing crossword puzzles.

Yeah, without a doubt my doubleheader was way more entertaining than this piece of donkey-dung ...

So ... why don’t we get right to Billi Pod’s report cards ... starting with ...


The performance earns this high grade despite starting the program with the NY premiere of an atonal piece of dreck by someone named Steven Stucky.

This transgression was quickly corrected by violinist Hilary Hahn’s epic performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1. It was sublimely beautiful and that is putting it mildly.

The orchestra’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 put the finishing touches on a wonderful afternoon’s entertainment.

When the concert was over it was way too cold for Billi Pod to walk all the way over to the Eastside for his evening’s entertainment event, so he took multiple subways instead. Had plenty of time for coffee and something sweet.

Then it was the second part of the doubleheader ...

NOW OR NEVER, exploring the musical career of writer/performer Peter Land==>A.

The show was extremely well written and performed and I learned a lot about Land’s star-studded career here in the US and in London. This was the final performance of his 3 weekend run.

Yes, Billi Pod’s Sunday entertainment doubleheader was indeed stellar, in my humble opinion.

This posting is a bit later than usual because I opted to get my errands and stuff done before sitting down in front of this ‘puter.

I am also getting into the mental countdown for my Thursday trip down to PFC aka Polk F**king County for my 60th High School Class Reunion. Will post more info tomorrow.

Tonight’s entertainment event is yet another classical music concert ...

8:00==>NATIONAL FESTIVAL CHORUS @ Carnegie Hall - “Works by Handel, Whitacre, Puccini, Prokovfiev, Dvorak and others.” (complimentary ticket)

This choral group usually does outstanding work, so I am looking forward to this evening.

So ... let me close with the following for your further thought and consideration ...

Think about it.


Billi Pod

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


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Internet Research, Report Card and Today’s Doubleheader

Good morning everyone out there in the hinterlands and boondocks.

It is a bright, cold and windy Sunday morning in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World==>31º @ 7:30am. Burrrrrr!!

I hope each of my loyal and faithful readers are having a great weekend and that today will be an enjoyable Sunday for you, even those of you out there who are sending me snarky emails and texts about the lack of meaningful reporting and research in my recent postings.

Yes, you know who you are and so does Billi Pod. Have you forgotten the thought-provoking items that now appear at the bottom of each posting (with a couple of exceptions)? Where do you think they come from? Hum ... the answer is ... Billi Pod had to find them through his tireless internet research, that is where ...

Anyway ... I will take a moment to share something with you ... and that is the results of a recent survey by The Public Policy Polling Firm (I didn’t make that name up) regarding the most unpopular state in the Union ... and the results are that California is the most unpopular state. Wow, who would have thunk that California was more unpopular than that cesspool known as New Jersey? The top 5, in descending order, are ...



New Jersey



The most popular state is Hawaii ... the ranking is ...



Tennessee (what??)

South Dakota (what again??)


So there you have it my loyal and faithful readers ... you are so very welcum ...

Moving on to my report card on last night's entertainment event ...

MANHATTAN CONCERT PRODUCTIONS: Debut Ensembles @ Alice Tully Hall==>A.

It was a totally enjoyable evening and each of the 3 performing groups, one chorus and two orchestras, did excellent jobs. Had an awesome seat in the 3rd row, house right.

The final number was Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, performed by the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, and it was sublime.

Interesting side note - I was seated next to this couple, a bit younger than me, whose grandson, Zachary, a violinist, was performing with the Buffalo Orchestra. They had driven down from Buffalo to see him perform and they had an unobstructed sight line to him. The couple’s pride was palatable ... they were glowing ... and that made my experience even more enjoyable, it really did.

Billi Pod has yet another entertainment doubleheader scheduled for today ...

3:00==>PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall. “The program is: Steven Stucky (who??) - Silent Spring (New York premiere); Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 1; and Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 5.” (discounted TDF ticket)

When the concert is over I will not come back to PHC, rather, weather permitting, I will leisurely walk from the Lincoln Center area in the Westside to the Midtown East area for my evening’s entertainment event, which is ...

7:30==>NOW OR NEVER - “Featuring the musical career of writer/performer Peter Land in music and words.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is playing at The York Theatre, one of my favorite venues, as you know.

I should be back in PHC around 9:30, with plenty of remaining time to watch, I guess, the 84th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony, hosted by Billy Crystal. You know, my loyal and faithful readers, I really don’t give a flippin’ f**k who wins in any of the multitude of categories. I really could care less about this year.

Up here in The Big Apple the media buzz is that THE ARTIST is gonna be the major winner. Big Deal. Outside of New York and LaLa Land, who else saw this movie? Yeah ... I know ... I rest my case ...

And, as is his custom ... Billi Pod will totally use the mute button for each and every acceptance speech.

So ... now ... everyone ... Billi Pod will close this Sunday posting with something for you to ponder ...

Think about it ... seriously!


Billi Pod

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


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday Was A Great Day

Man ... Friday was a terrific day here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World as both parts of Billi Pod’s doubleheader were more than excellent ... but first ... just a bit of mundane stuff ...

Like a report on my two routine doctor’s appointments. The 10:45am one with my dermatologist was about a thingy on my back. He took care of it and it is fine. The second was supposed to be at noon with my cardiologist but I got a call informing me that Dr. Fred wouldn’t be in the office, for personal reasons, so the routine appointment was rescheduled. No big deal.

In fact the cancellation allowed me to catch an AA meeting held in the same area as the York Theatre where my 2:00pm entertainment event, as a part of Dian Crystal’s posse, was scheduled.

So ... that leads to ... THE GIG, a staged reading about 6 nonprofessional musicians who land a two week gig in the Catskills==>totally enjoyable, funny and well performed for a reading. Thank you Dian for including me in your posse.

The house was full with a lot of industry-connected people in attendance. Interestingly, the playwright/composer/lyricist was seated right behind us and we had an opportunity to tell him how much we enjoyed the show.

When the show was over I came back to PHC for my usual fruit and cheese snack and then it was time to head down to Union Square for my second entertainment event. It had begun to rain and it was really nasty, cold and windy.

Billi Pod’s report card on ...

TRACES, about a group of friends who leave their mark in a run-down warehouse through acrobatics, music, and dance, fusing the traditions of circus with the energy of street performance==>A.

WOW!! This is a terrific show and the performers are utterly fantastic, exhibiting amazing physicality from start to finish.

As I posted yesterday, this show has received very favorable reviews and Billi Pod totally agrees. There were a lot of youngish kids in the audience and they were having a ball.

Folks in the Tri-State area, if you haven’t seen this show ... Billi Pod says==>see it now!!

By the time the show was over the rain had stopped, thank God!!

Interesting thing when I got back to the apartment building ... I was in the elevator with a late 20s/early 30s really nice looking girl, Emily, who I had previously learned is in the cast of Voca People. What is Voca People you are no doubt wondering? Well ... this is what I posted about it back in June 2011 ...

VOCA PEOPLE - “A spaceship from Planet Voca crashes when its fuel, musical energy, runs dry. The Voca People must refuel by performing the music of Earthlings, in a musical theater event that bridges languages, cultures, and planets.”

It had a very successful run at a venue on 43rd Street. Billi Pod gave it a grade of A. It has now transferred to The New World Stages and is building a following in that venue.

I had met Emily earlier in the week and had told her that I was a fan of her show. Last night she told she had mentioned me to her cast members. I should have given her one of my new Billi Pod Blogs business cards but I forgot to. I think I will leave one for her at the desk.

Billi Pod’s entertainment event for this evening is ...

7:30==>MANHATTAN CONCERT PRODUCTIONS: Debut Ensembles @ Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Will include works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

This is the first of 4 consecutive classical music concerts on my schedule.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Will close this posting with some advice to my older loyal and faithful readers ...


Billi Pod

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


Friday, February 24, 2012

A Friday Doubleheader For Billi Pod

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers out there in the vast wilderness and hinterlands.

Happy Friday!!

Well, the Spring-like weather in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, is now a thing of the past. It is back down to Winter-like temperatures==>37º @ 7:30am, rainy and majorly nasty.

Yeah, Happy Friday!!

This will be a somewhat briefer posting (OK ... hold the f**king applause) because I have a jam-packed day, starting with two routine doctor’s appointments in the morning and then two entertainment events ... so ... let’s get right to it with ...

Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s RATED P FOR PARENTHOOD, a series of comic and musical vignettes chronicling every stage of modern-day parenting==>A.

This show, in early previews, is extremely well acted and performed by a talented cast of 4 playing multiple roles. It is funny but also very thought-provoking regarding the sometimes uncertain journey down that bumpy road known as parenthood.

The house was 90% full and everyone seemed to be having a good time. If you need a smile-inducing entertainment event then this the show for you.

As I said ... I have two routine doctor appointments, the first at 10:45 and the second at noon. Then begins my Friday entertainment doubleheader ...

2:00==>THE GIG - “A used car salesman, a dentist, a real estate agent, a financial advisor, a deli owner and a music teacher, who get together once a week to play jazz, land a two week gig in the Catskills.” (Off Broadway - free ticket)

This show is another part of the York Theatre’s Developmental Reading Series and I will be attending, as usual, as a member of Dian Crystal’s posse.

Then for the evening is a show that I have been wanting to see ever since it opened in August 2011 ...

8:00==>TRACES - “A group of friends leave their mark in a run-down warehouse through acrobatics, music, and dance, fusing the traditions of circus with the energy of street performance.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show has received very favorable reviews and I am really looking forward to seeing it.

What about the Oscar Awards Ceremony on Sunday night, you are no doubt breathlessly asking? ... well ... bottom-line ... Billi Pod could care less and has no intention of watching the entire boring and egomaniacal program - he has a show scheduled for 7:30 that night. Now you know ... you are so welcum ...

OK ... it is time to do some things and stuff and then head out ... so I will close with ...


Billi Pod

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


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Terrific Time With John Scott Reed

Man, I can’t believe it ... it is a beautiful morning in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World==>56º @ 10:30am. Will definitely do some walking around this afternoon.

I am happy to report that yesterday afternoon’s staged reading of LUNCH AT THE PICCADILLY, about the rowdy residents of Rosehaven Convalescent Center, was totally enjoyable.

The reading was part of the York Theatre’s Developmental Reading Series. I hope the show finds a life/producer.

Attended the reading as a member of Dian Crystal’s posse, which included Marty Kosarik, Vera Olichney and moi.

Then for the evening I went over to The East Village to check out John Scott Reed’s (aka Fabson) new pad, located on 10th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

He is still in the process of getting settled into his new space, which he shares with a roommate of the opposite sex, but it already has that “Fabson” feeling.

Frankly, with so much going on in his life work-wise (Fashion Week, Sundance Film Festival, Red Carpet etc etc etc) and otherwise, I am amazed he has survived the past 3 weeks.

The apartment has access to an outdoor courtyard and that will be nice come summer. Bottom line==>Billi Pod likes his new pad.

And speaking of likes ... Billi Pod also likes his new ‘hood, which has a young and energetic feeling that was definitely lacking in his former ‘hood in Brooklyn.

When we finished the tour of his new pad we went to a terrific restaurant called Frank, located on 2nd Avenue @ 6th Street. Dinner was super excellent and we were able to do a lot of catching up. He even let me talk a bit about me ... and that was nice.

So, Fabson==>welcome back to The Isle Of Manhattan==>where you belong.

Tonight’s entertainment event is ...

7:00==>RATED P FOR PARENTHOOD - “A series of comic and musical vignettes chronicles every stage of modern-day parenting, from conception to college.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This is playing at a theater in my ‘hood and is in previews with little advanced buzz.

The upcoming weekend is going to be basically a classical music frenzy, with concerts on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. In fact, I am considering adding another for Friday night ... we will see about that.

So, my loyal and faithful readers ... I really feel the need to get out of PHC and wander ... so ... I will close this posting with yet another thing for you to consider/ponder ...


Billi Pod

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