Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Billi Pod’s Columbia, SC, Update

Wednesday==>Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, your favorite blogger’s first full day back in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, hasn’t started well==>at 9:30am it is raining and the temperature is 44º, wind chill down to 38º. Nasty!!

Rain is in the forecast for the remainder of the day and into the evening hours. Not what I wanted because I have a long list of things and stuff that need to be done. Oh, well ... ain’t nuttin I can do ‘bout it ‘cept bitch and moan ...

So ... why don’t we just move on to Billi Pod’s update on the details of his AWESOME trip down to Columbia, SC, to be with family. We will do this in a summary fashion. Sorry if it becomes too detailed and/or boring but it is really a record for me ... ahem ... not you ... so ... 

April 25 - Thursday - My 9:45am flight departed on time out of LGA and arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule. I was picked up by my daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband Dr. John. We went back to their awesome condo building, Adesso, located in downtown Columbia. Their apartment is on the top floor, with the curved facade.
We then headed out to Elgin, which is about 20 miles NE of Columbia to see oldest grandson Alex Falletta aka Army Guy, his wife Gina, and their two darlings Saylor and the newborn Finley.

Yeah, I got to hold my newest great-granddaughter Finley, who was then 10-days old, in my arms for the first time. What an emotional experience that was.
We spent several hours out there alternating between holding Finley and playing with Saylor, who is a total bundle of energy. According to Alex: “Saylor is starting to realize that Finley is not going away.”
During my entire time with Saylor I never detected the first hint of jealousy.
We then returned to Columbia to await the arrival of my son Bill III aka The Bill and youngest grandson Chris Falletta aka Topher, who were driving up from Orlando. They arrived around 8:30pm.

The five of us had a great dinner at a restaurant called “California Dreaming,” a couple of blocks away from the condo. Way too much food.

The Bill and I spent the rest of the evening watching the very emotional Tom Hank’s film CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, which neither one of us had seen.

Yeah, it was an AWESOME day.

Friday - In the early morning Alex, Chris and Saylor went fishing. They caught several fish including a large striped bass, which was a “keeper.”

In the early afternoon we all went back out to Elgin for a late lunch that featured a great brisket prepared by Alex. We had tons and tons of food. Everyone had a great time eating, playing kickball with Saylor and holding Finley.
When we returned to Columbia The Bill and I had a great Dominos pizza and then he and I spent the rest of the evening watching the Will Ferrell movie ANCHOR MAN 2: The Legend Continues, which The Bill didn't like very much. 

Yeah, it was an AWESOME day.

Sunday - Alex and Saylor came into Columbia in the morning to say goodbye to The Bill and Topher. We had breakfast at a neighborhood iHop.
When The Bill and Topher left I went with Alex and Saylor back to Elgin where I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with some quality time with Alex and Gina, and, of course, playing with Saylor and holding Finley.
Was back at the condo around 6:00pm. For the evening there was another highlight, an amazing meal of lamb shanks prepared by Dr. John, who is a really talented cook. This is one of my favorite meals and it was outstanding.
Spent the evening just chilling and watching baseball.

Yeah, it was an AWESOME day.

Monday - This was basically a chill day. We didn’t go out to Elgin. Had some excellent time with Kathi and John.

During the day I did some serious walking, mostly on the campus of the University of South Carolina, which is adjacent to Adesso. For the day I logged in a total of 4.78 miles as recorded on my WeightWatchers Pedometer.

Dinner was the rest of the lamb shanks and I thought they were even better.

Yeah, it was an AWESOME day.

Tuesday - Got up at 4:15am so I could be at the airport in plenty of time for my 7:05am flight back to LGA. Dr. John took me to the airport.

Cleared security with no problems. The flight left basically on time. The plane was only about 1/2 full and that was great because no one was seated next to me.

We arrived at LGA on time, 9:05am. Had a 30-minute wait for the bus into The Port Authority Bus Terminal. Then it was a slow trip into The City due to traffic backups.

I opened the door to PHC at 10:45am, thus ending an AWESOME time with my family ... so ...

Alex, Gina, Saylor, Finley, Kathi, John, Bill and Chris==>It was GREAT being with you. Hugs and kisses to everyone.

OK, moving on ...

I have to report to you loyal and faithful readers and followers that last night the weather was nasty and cold and rainy. I immediately scratched any ideas of booking a show. Instead, I remained in the warm and cozy confines of PHC to watch ...

YANKEES/SEATTLE @ 7:05pm at Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built.

Dammit ... Seattle won 6-3 because our former ace CC Sabathia couldn’t hold a 2-run lead and our bats were basically limp.

The game marked the return of Robinson Cano to The Stadium and he was greeted with more boos than cheers, which was somewhat of a surprise to me. Oh well ...

Tonight, weather permitting, is game 2 of the 3-game series. On the mound for the Bronx Bombers will be David Phelps (0-0) vs. Roenis Elias (1-2).

Moving on ... I totally agree with the life suspension of LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Tonight’s entertainment event for your favorite blogger is ...

8:00==>17 ORCHARD POINT - “Lydia lives by her motto, ‘leave your baggage at the door, or it will end up on your face.’ A decade after fleeing Cleveland for one long night out in Vegas, leaving the family's apartment building under the management of her daughter Vera, Lydia returns to find a lifetime of ‘baggage’ waiting for her inside.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This so-called “dark comedy” in still in previews, is playing at the Theater Row Complex on my block, has a running time of 1:25, without intermission, and runs through May 24th.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, you are now up-to-date, so it is time to post this and then begin work on my errands and chores list.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.12 miles (or, 9,002 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>413.32 miles (average 3.47 miles per day)


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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SAYLOR and FINLEY and Billi Pod

Tuesday==>Your favorite blogger is back in the cozy confines of PHC after his AWESOME family adventure down in Columbia, SC, (4/25-29) with Alex and Gina Falletta and their darlings Saylor and Finley

Was with daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband Dr. John and we were joined by my son Bill III aka The Bill and youngest grandson Chris Falletta aka Topher

Too much wonderful stuff went on to permit any time to post plus the reasons are also in the photographs below (Finley, Saylor and us).

Will update everything tomorrow, hopefully.


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Thursday==>Yes, my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the hinterlands, wastelands and boondocks, yesterday your favorite blogger reached a “milestone” (at least it wasn’t a headstone) as he turned The Big Eight 0 and became ... gasp ... double gasp ... an octogenarian.

WOW!! It was a great day and I really really appreciate all of the calls, emails, posts and texts. They all meant a lot to me.

I hope you will forgive me for not posting yesterday but I just had so much stuff planned that I couldn’t find the time to sit down in front of this ‘puter and write ... sorry ...

So ... let’s bring you loyal and faithful readers and followers up-to-date ...

My birthday celebration actually began on Tuesday night with a totally AWESOME concert at Lincoln Center ...

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall - “A Night With Gershwin and Bernstein.” - The program was:
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris; and,
Bernstein: Candide Overture and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. (concert - full price ticket)

Folks, this was one of the best concerts of the season and I am so glad that I gave myself this birthday present.

The house was sold-out and the audience was really into the program and we gave the orchestra a roaring standing ovation at the conclusion.

This was just what Billi Pod needed to get into the proper mindset for the upcoming Big Eight 0.

As I had previously posted my plans for April 23rd were to walk at least 8-miles in two segments, one in the morning and one after my matinee show, LES MISERABLES. So ...

At 10:15am I headed out. It wasn’t the best weather day, unfortunately, because it was very very windy, gusts up to 35mph and chilly, the low 40s. I have to admit thinking along the way that it was kinda stupid for an 80-year old to expose himself to these weather conditions just to log in some walking mileage that no one else really cares about.

Did that deter Billi Pod? Well ... you know the answer ... of course it didn’t.

I walked over to 8th Avenue and then up 8th to 82nd Street. When I got to 82nd Street I went over to 9th Avenue and then down 9th back to 42nd Street.

It was 12:20pm when I opened the door to PHC. I had recorded 5.58 miles on my trusty WeightWatchers Pedometer.

Had time for a shower and then it was time for my entertainment event, Billi Pod’s second present to self, the Broadway show ...

2:00==>LES MISERABLES - “The recently opened revival of the musical about a Frenchman who steals a loaf of bread and lives to regret it.” (Broadway - full price ticket)

Billi Pod’s report card==>A++

This is one my favorite musicals of all-time. I have seen it numerous times on Broadway and in London. This revival is totally excellent even though it doesn’t have the usual turntable set. 

Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean is terrific. The role of his archenemy, Javert, was played by Will Swinson’s understudy, Adam Monley, who also did a terrific job.

My full price ticket was excellent, row K in the orchestra, house left.

The house was sold-out and there were a lot of young people in the audience. The audience was very much into the show and we rewarded the cast with a well-deserved roaring standing ovation at curtain call.

Yes, I left the theater with a huge smile on my face. Dammit ... it was still windy and cold ... but ... I had some more walking to do ... so ...

Billi Pod did a walk and wander session in his Hell’s Kitchen ‘hood. Not pleasant.

When I opened the door to PHC at 5:30pm I had recorded a total of 8.13 miles, so I had reached my walking goal for The Big Eight 0.

I do have to admit to being just a bit tired. Did my best to answer as many of the emails and texts as I could, including some missed phone calls.

I had decided to stay in for the evening to watch the YANKEES/FUCKSOX game, which turned out to be the only downside for the day.

As you sports fans know, The Yankees lost 5-1 as our starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning for having pine tar on his neck. How f**king dumb was that?

Oh, well ... let’s just say that The Big Eight 0 ended in a dramatic fashion.

Today I will begin the process of getting ready for my trip down to Columbia, SC, early tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see my new great-granddaughter and to finally hold Finley in my arms.

My entertainment plans for tonight are in flux. I might just stay in and watch the final game of the YANKEES/FUCKSOX series.

I want to close this somewhat belated posting by sharing with you loyal and faithful readers and followers some totally AWESOME walking stats ... so ... here they are ...

For the 12 months from April 23, 2013 through April 22, 2014, I walked a total of 1,333.63 miles (daily average 3.65 miles per day).

This amounts to a total of 2,916,649 steps.

Not bad, not bad at all, in my humble opinion ... but ...

I report - you decide.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>8.57 miles (or, 18,742 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>391.76 miles (average 3.47 miles per day)


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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thank You John Scott Reed and Bernard Lam

Tuesday==>A huge shout-out goes to my friend Bernard Lam who gave your favorite blogger an AWESOME TV stand for the 42” flat screen TV, my birthday present from John Scott Reed.
Not only did Bernard give me the stand but he and his friend Sam Liron came over to PHC and put the stand together and then got the TV up and running.
Everything is working fine. You know, in all honesty, there ain’t no way I could have done all of this by myself ... no way ...

So==>Thank You Scott, Bernard, Paul and Sam for bringing Billi Pod into the 21st century.

It is also your responsibility if Billi Pod goes on to become a total couch potato.

Moving on ...

Last night’s entertainment event ...

MASTERWORKS FESTIVAL CHORUS & NYC CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ Carnegie Hall, was totally excellent, especially the second half of the program which was Vaughn Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem.”

My comp. seat was terrific, in the orchestra level (parquet), row V. Perfect.

Yeah, I was in the mood for some classical music and this was just what your favorite blogger needed.

Tonight is a special concert at Lincoln Center ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall - “A Night With Gershwin and Bernstein.”
The program is: Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris; and,
Bernstein: Candide Overture and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. (concert - full price ticket)

Man, am I looking forward to this. It is the first of Billi Pod’s two birthday presents to self.

When the concert is over I will walk back to PHC, weather permitting, of course.

In closing ... a bit of sports for Marty ...

Tonight @ 7:10pm is the first game of the 3-game YANKEE/BOSTON FUCKSOX series from that fetid cesspool known as Fenway Park.

On the mound for The Bronx Bombers will be Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) making his first career start against the FuckSox vs. Jon Lester (2-2), our long-time nemesis.

Yesterday was also an excellent walking day and tomorrow I will share with you loyal and faithful readers and followers my AWESOME walking stats for the 12-months beginning on April 23, 2013.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.88 miles (or, 10,669 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>379.45 miles (average 3.42 miles per day)


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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thank You Michael and Dennis/Carnegie Hall Concert/Birthday Plans

Monday==>Yesterday was a wonderful day here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

The highlight was, of course, Easter Dinner with my dear friends Michael Pederson and Dennis Dohman, and 11 of our mutual friends, at their Chelsea apartment. I got to the apartment around 5:45pm and left at 10:00pm.

As expected, the food was awesome and the ongoing conversations basically involving the entertainment industry/scene were really interesting and educational for me.

Yeah, I left with a full stomach and a big smile on my face.

So==>Thank you Michael and Dennis for including me on your guest-list.

The other positive for the day was the exciting YANKEES/RAYS game from that junkyard known as Tropicana Field. The Yankees won 5-1 in 12-innings, splitting the 4-game series 2-2.

The Bronx Bombers have today off and then begin a 3-game series against The Boston FuckSox at that fetid cesspool known as Fenway Park.

Moving on ...

Tonight’s entertainment event is a classical music concert ...

Vaughn Williams - “Dona Nobis Pacem” and other choral classics (concert - complimentary ticket)

Billi Pod is really in the mood for some classical music.

Now ... as promised in yesterday’s posting ... some details ...

As most of you loyal and faithful readers and followers know, on Wednesday, April 23rd, your favorite blogger will celebrate the big Eight O, yeah ... he will be 80-years old. Totally unbelievable.

Here are his plans for this momentous occasion ...

On Tuesday night I have given Billi Pod a full-price ticket to the special New York Philharmonic concert called “A Night with Gershwin and Bernstein.”

Then, for the “big” day on Wednesday, I plan to do some serious walking, weather permitting, logging in at least 8-miles. In the morning I will walk up to 82nd Street and back, a distance of 4-miles. 

I have given Billi Pod an expensive full-price orchestra area ticket to the matinee performance of Les Miserables, one of his all-time favorite musicals.

When the show is over I will then walk from the theater East all the way to The East River and then back to my apartment on West 42nd Street and 9th Avenue. This total distance will be a little over 4-miles.

Unless something really spectacular shows up on one of my ticket services my plans for evening are to stay in the cozy confines of PHC to watch the YANKEES/FUCKSOX game. When the game is over I will grill an Allen Brothers steak on my George Forman grill and wash it down with my favorite libation - Fresca.

So, everyone, please cross your collective fingers that the weather will be favorable.

In closing ... as you know, today is Monday, meaning ... it is my errands and chores day ... so ... time to post this and get started ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.12  miles (or, 9,003 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>24.47 miles (average 3.50 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2014==>374.57  miles (average 3.41 miles per day)


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