Monday, June 30, 2014

Billi Pod Marches In The 2014 Gay Pride Parade==>AWESOME!



Monday==>Yes, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, yesterday was an AWESOME day for your favorite blogger as he had the honor of participating in the 2014 GAY PRIDE PARADE as a member of the FacebookNY team ... so .. let’s get started with the details ...

I left PHC at 11:00am to walk over to our staging area on 39th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. We had been asked to show up not later than noon, so I left a bit early just to be safe.

I got there at 11:30am and then the long waiting process began. We were toward the rear of our section, #6, which was about 1/2 way into the parade. We were behind Bank of America and ahead of Spotify NYC. I won’t bore you with the details of our long long waiting period. It just happened and there was nothing we could do about it. It did give me an opportunity to meet and talk with many of the more than 100 members of our team, and that was nice. I was told that 90% of the group were Facebook employees. The rest were friends and family.

Of course I took a lot of pictures.

This is John Scott Reed, me, and our mutual friend law-student Justin Allen Pifer.
The banner was handled by a group of interns, which I was told is a Facebook tradition to have interns handle "chores" like this.
Finally @ 2:30pm our section began the slow move along 39th Street to 5th Avenue to take our place in the parade. Yeah, it had been a long wait ... but we were underway ... and ... 
WOW!! What an experience! The energy from our group was matched by the extremely positive energy coming from the masses of people lining the parade route.

There was a huge roar when they recognized our group. We, in turn, interacted with them, including passing out the following ...
Interestingly, I had 3 people who basically asked me the same question: “Do you really work for Facebook?” Of course, I responded to each with: "No, I am here with a friend who works for Facebook." On reflection, I wish I had said: “Yes, I am the head janitor” or, “Oh, I’m Mark’s grandfather.” Oh well ... maybe next year.

The march down 5th Avenue was very slow due to cross street traffic stops and performances ahead of us. Each time we stopped the teamleader, Matt Bush, joined by John Scott Reed, lead the group in some pretty amazing dance steps. The crowds totally loved it.

Yes, it was hot but about 1/2 way down 5th the right hand side of the avenue was in the shade and that’s where I was for most of the rest of the parade. Water was made available on several locations and that helped a lot.

Also, about 1/2 way down, at a stop, my friend Dian Crystal aka My Lady was in the crowd. She got my attention and Scott and I went over to give her hugs and kisses. AWESOME!!

When we reached 8th Street down in The West Village, we turned West and marched over to Christopher Street and then on Christopher Street to Greenwich Street where the parade officially ended.

The crowds down in this area were massive and very very vocal. It was jam-packed.
I noted that it was 5:05pm when our team reached its final destination. Yeah, it had been a totally AWESOME experience. I was soaked in sweat, hot, tired and pretty emotionally drained.

Now about the mileage. Well, my Pedometer had recorded 3.25 miles, which was more than the 2.0 miles that I had estimated from some calculations on a map. I thought that perhaps I had made an error. Then, I realized that every time we stopped along the parade route we all kept moving, up, back, and across to the viewers on either side etc. etc, and, of course, those activity steps counted on the Pedometer.

We all said our goodbyes and then Scott, Justin and I walked some more, up to 14th Street and took the subway up to midtown.

It was 5:40pm when I opened the door to PHC. I had recorded a total of 5.74 miles, plus hours of just standing, and I was tired and my legs were sore ... so ... I took a nice hot soaking bath and that helped a lot.

Yes, this 80-year old man had a great time ... so==>Thank you Scott for letting me be a member of your FacebookNY team.

I had the usual fruit and cheese plate and then settled in to watch my evening’s entertainment event ... tada ... the YANKEES/FUCKSOX game @ 8:00pm from Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built.

Well ... as much as the parade had been a major upper, this woeful game was a major downer as The FuckSox (38-44) beat The Yankees (41-39) 8-5 as rookie Chase Whitley had his second consecutive shaky outing.

We did get solo homers from Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran but that wasn’t enough. With the win The FuckSox won the 3-game series 2-1. Barf!!

Tonight at 7:05pm is the first game of a 3-game series against the last place Tampa Bay Rays (35-49). On the mound for The Yankees will be David Phelps (3-4) vs. Chris Archer (4-5) for The Rays.

When it was time to finally crash I did not let the baseball game detract from what had been a totally AWESOME experience.

Moving on ...

At the moment my entertainment plans for tonight are in flux. So far nothing of any interest has shown up on my ticket services so it might be a movie. I have no desire to stay in to watch the game.

So ... just stay tuned ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>6.54 miles (or, 14,306 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>34.72 miles (average 4.96 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2014==>702.12 miles (average 3.90 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 GAY PRIDE PARADE and Other Stuff


Sunday==>HAPPY GAY PRIDE WEEK to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers.

At noon today I will join John Scott Reed aka Fabson and a team from FacebookNY at 39th Street between Madison and Park Avenues to take our place in the 2014 Gay Pride Parade. This will be the first time FacebookNY has participated in this annual parade. I have been told that our team will be in the 100-150 person range. I am rather confident I will be the oldest person in our group.

The parade will travel south on 5th Avenue down to Christopher Street in The West Village. I estimate the distance to be in the 1.75-2.0 mile range, which won’t be any problem for your favorite blogger.

The weather is decent, sunny with some clouds and 74ยบ at 9:00am. It is forecast to be in the low 80s at parade time. I will be dressed in the orange Facebook T-shirt Scott got for me, black jeans and my Gator cap (remember, I always wear my Gator cap on weekends). I will have plenty of water and sunscreen in my backpack.

I am REALLY charged about this event and that is putting it mildly and I am sooooooo grateful that I have been given the opportunity to participate with the FacebookNY team.

Now ... I need to get this posting completed and posted so I will have plenty of time to walk over to the parade staging location.

So ... let’s begin with Billi Pod’s report card on yesterday afternoon’s Off Broadway show ... 

ENTER AT FOREST LAWN, the “darkly comic” peek inside the not-so-funny world of network television. When America’s favorite TV uncle heads into a downward spiral of drugs, prostitutes and criminal activity, how far will the show’s megalomaniac producer go to cover up his star’s debauchery, keeping the laughter coming and the money train on the tracks==>B

This “dark comedy” started off kinda funny and then it got darker and darker and darker until there was absolutely nothing to laugh about in the final 15 minutes of the show. I won’t say more because to do so would be major spoilers and Billi Pod tries to avoid spoilers in his report cards, if at all possible.

The story line is interesting but highly convoluted. My major quibble is that the actors spent most of the time yelling and screaming and cussing at each other and that gets old after awhile.

The acting is uniformly excellent, especially Mark Roberts as Jack, the rich and famous megalomaniac Hollywood producer. 

Is it worth seeing? 

Billi Pod says==>yes, if you want something different and kinda weird. If not, then stay far far away.

The show, a production by The Amoralists, is playing at Walkerspace on Walker Street down in Tribeca, has a running time of 1:10, without intermission, is general admission seating and runs through August 9th.

I got down to the Tribeca area a bit early so I could have a walk and wander session before the show. When the show was over the weather was still nice, so I walked through SoHo up to The Village where I then subwayed back to the apartment. 

This helped me record another 6+ mile walking day.

When I got back to the apartment I had my usual fruit and cheese plate and then settled in to watch the YANKEES/FUCKSOX game at 7:15pm from Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built.

What a game!! Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka were locked in a classic pitcher’s duel with the game tied at 1-1 going into the top of the 9th inning. Then, Mike Napoli belted a tie breaking HR off of Tanaka, who gave up to 2 HRs during the game, and The FuckSox ultimately won 2-1. Man, this hurt big time. It was, however, a very exciting game to watch.

Tonight at 8:05pm on ESPN is the final game of the 3-game series. On the mound for The Yankees (41-38) will be Chase Whitley (3-1) vs. John Lackey (8-5) for The FuckSox (37-44).

Yes, I will be in front of my TV for this game, too.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, it is time to post this and then get ready to head out. You can expect a lot of parade pictures in tomorrow’s posting.

HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>6.50 miles (or, 14,209 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>695.58 miles (average 3.89 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Great Walking Mileage - Yankees 6, You Know Who 0!! - ENTER AT FOREST LAWN


Saturday==>Your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, needs to get this posting started because he has a 2:00pm matinee this afternoon way downtown in the Tribeca area ... so ...

First, yesterday was an excellent walking day. During the afternoon I had a nice walk and wander session down in SoHo. With this mileage and my “during the baseball game” walking I was able to log in just over 6 miles, which isn’t bad, IMHO.

I guess you can say I have gotten back into my walking groove.

Of course, the highlight of Friday was the 6-0 ass-whipping The Yankees (41-37) gave the loathsome Boston FuckSox (36-44) out at Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built. Our bats came alive with HRs from Kelly Johnson, Brett Gardner and Brian McCann.

For a change our starter, the struggling Vidal Nuno (2-4), pitched an excellent game, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up only 2 hits and striking out 5. Our bullpen gave up only 1 hit in the remaining 3 1/3 innings.

It was a fun game to watch, something I haven’t said very often thus far in the 2014 season.

Tonight at 7:15pm it will be game 2 of the 3 game series. On the mound for The Yankees will be our ace Masahiro Tanaka (11-2) vs. Jon Lester (8-7) for the bottom-feeding FuckSox.

Of course, Billi Pod will be in front of his TV for the game.

Now, about today’s matinee ... the Off Broadway show ...

2:00==>ENTER AT FOREST LAWN - “ A darkly comic peek inside the not-so-funny world of network television. When America’s favorite TV uncle heads into a downward spiral of drugs, prostitutes and criminal activity, how far will the show’s megalomaniac producer go to cover up his star’s debauchery, keeping the laughter coming and the money train on the tracks?” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is playing in repertory with THE QUALIFICATION OF DOUGLAS EVANS as part of a work called The Gyre, that explores man’s vicious cycles. It is playing at Walkerspace on Walker Street down in Tribeca and runs through August 9th. I haven’t been able to dredge up the running time.

This is a production by The Amoralists, a theater company with a reputation for producing weird and off-beat stuff.

OK ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers, it is time to post this and then get ready to head downtown.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>6.03 miles (or, 13,184 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>689.08 miles (average 3.87 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

PASSING SHOW - Boston FuckSox - Gay Pride Parade


Friday==>TGIF to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace.

Let’s get today’s posting underway with Billi Pod’s report on last night’s entertainment event, the special workshop production of ...

THE PASSING SHOW - “Hard-boiled Broadway agents, tap-happy temps, deliriously lustful in-laws, a pair of celebrity-crazed theatre producers, and some new material, results in an outrageous fun-fest.”

This event was==>totally enjoyable

As most of you loyal and faithful readers and followers know, Billi Pod usually doesn’t assign letter grades to staged-readings or workshop productions unless they totally suck.

There were a total of 18 sketches and musical numbers performed by a stellar cast of 7 actors/singers/dancers.

The 1:15 running time flew by. The general admission seating in the performance space was full, with a lot of obviously theater-involved people in attendance.

Billi Pod says==>worth seeing.

This show is playing at the MTC Creative Center on West 43rd Street and has a running time of 1:15, without intermission. The remaining performance dates are: Friday @ 7:30; Saturday @ 2:00 & 7:30; and, Sunday @ 2:00.

When the show was over it was only 9:00pm. I felt the need to walk ... so I walked over to 8th Avenue and then up 8th to 57th Street, West of 57th Street to 10th Avenue and then South on 10th back to 42nd Street and my apartment. The mileage was 2.25 miles. It felt really good.

This additional mileage helped me return to the 5.0 mile level following my “day-off” on Wednesday.

Moving on ...

As I mentioned in yesterday’s posting ... tonight I will remain in the comfortable confines of PHC to watch game 1 of the YANKEES/BOSTON FUCKSOX series @ 7:05pm from Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built.

On the mound for The Yankees (40-37) will be the struggling Vidal Nuno (1-4) vs. Brandon Workman (1-0) for the loathsome FuckSox (36-43).

My schedule for Saturday will be ...

2:00==>ENTER AT FOREST LAWN (Off Broadway); and, 
7:15pm==>YANKEES/FUCKSOX - stay in to watch.

At noon on Sunday I will join John Scott Reed and a team from Facebook to march in the 2014 GAY PRIDE PARADE that starts at 36th Street and 5th Avenue and ends at Christopher Street in The West Village. I am really looking forward to this.
For the evening it will be - 8:05pm==>YANKEES/FUCKSOX - stay in to watch.

Oh ... Billi Pod’s profile views just hit the 20,000 mark. WOW!!

So ... hope everyone out there in the hinterlands, boondocks and wastelands has a GREAT WEEKEND.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.51 miles (or, 12,058 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>683.05 miles (average 3.86 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

PIECE OF MY HEART==>A


Thursday==>Well my loyal and faithful readers and followers, let’s get started without all of the usual weather reports and stuff and get right to the important things ... like ...

Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s AWESOME new Off Broadway show ... 

PIECE OF MY HEART: The Bert Berns Story, this new musical is based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, who died tragically at the age of 38, leaving behind his children, his legend, and music that would live on forever, including “Twist and Shout,” “I Want Candy,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and the immortal title song, “Piece of My Heart”==>A

This was the first preview performance and the show is in amazing shape. It doesn’t officially open until July 21st.

Twenty-six songs from Berns’ song catalog are interwoven into an emotionally involving and thought provoking story line that traces his rise in the often troubled world of song-writing and producing. He produced 51 hits in just 7 years

The focus is on the efforts of one of his daughters, Jessie, impeccably played by Leslie Kritzer, to learn the truth about  the life and times of a father she never knew.

Zak Resnick does an amazing job in the role of Berns, creating a character who is fanatically driven to reach fame and fortune while being emotionally and physically fragile.

The rest of the cast is stellar, the dancing and choreography is terrific, and the sets are great, especially the ones set in Cuba.

The house for this first preview performance was sold-out and everyone around me was really into the show.

Billi Pod says==>you gotta see this show.

Now ... in the name of fair and unbiased reporting I have to reveal, as I did in yesterday’s posting, that the Executive Producer of the show, Jack Thomas, is a friend. I talked with Jack briefly before the show and then in more detail after the show. You know, honestly, had it not been for my connection with Jack and this being the first preview performance Billi Pod would probably have given the show an A+.

Remember, your favorite blogger is not, repeat, is not, a shill.

This show is playing at The Signature Theatre Complex on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 2:20, with intermission, and runs through August 31st.

Moving on ...

Tonight’s entertainment event is an Off Broadway show ...

7:30==>THE PASSING SHOW - “Hard-boiled Broadway agents, tap-happy temps, and deliriously lustful in-laws raise a racket in this outrageous fun-fest filled with an exciting nod to the British music hall, a pair of celebrity-crazed theatre producers, and all-new material.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is playing at the MTC Creative Center on West 43rd Street and runs for only 5 performances through June 29th. I have been unable to find the running time.

Moving on some more ...

You know, my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace, Billi Pod has long believed that one must listen to one’s body when things just don’t feel right. Well, yesterday Billi Pod’s body suddenly spoke up and said: “Hey, old man, I’m kinda tired ... it’s time to give me a break.” And ... that is just what I did. No walk and wander sessions and only a meager 1.52 miles on my Pedometer.

Never fear ... today I feel great and my body has given me the OK to return to my usual walking schedule.

Just thought you would like to know this ... now ... on to the sports scene ...

Last night in Toronto The Yankees (40-37) broke out of their slump by beating AL East leading Toronto (44-36) 5-3 to avoid being swept. We got a decent outing from Hiroki Kuroda and a critical 2-run homer from Mark Teixeira.

Interestingly, the losing pitcher, Drew Hutchison, is from Lakeland, FL.

Anyway ... The Yankees have today off. On Friday they will return to Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built, to begin a 3-game series against the loathsome Boston FuckSox

This is advance warning ... your favorite blogger will be ensconced in front of his new (to him) 42” TV to watch all three games.

Man ... I really feel the need for a major walk and wander session so ... time to post this ...

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>1.52 miles (or, 3,332 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>677.54 miles (average 3.85 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

THE ZOMBIES: A MUSICAL - PIECE OF MY HEART - The Wankies


Wednesday==>Good morning to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the morass known as cyberspace.

It is a kinda gray and overcast morning here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, which matches your favorite blogger's mood following yesterday’s rather disappointing night.

Yes, I know you are all asking your inner selves ... disappointing??? ...  WTF does he mean by that? Well ... calm your inner selves down and just continue reading.

It all started with Billi Pod’s entertainment event for the evening ...

THE ZOMBIES: A MUSICAL - “The Zombie Apocalypse has arrived and everybody's hungry. This world premiere comedy is set in a small town in middle-America, where the cast of characters face issues like the apocalypse, racism, gun control, religion and conspiracy theories.”==>C+<==giving it the benefit of the doubt.

I really really wanted to like this show because the press blurb predicted just the type of humor that I am into. Well, it was a major disappointment because the story line plodded along too slowly as it tried to deal with some major social issues such as racism, religion and drug and alcohol abuse, among other things. It switched back and forth from zombie-induced belly-laughs to WTF are they talking about now and why.

By plays end I was more on the side of the zombies than I was for the uninfected so-called “normal” humans.

The songs were decent, including: "I’ll Be Chillin/Killin," "This Place Is Filled With Zombies (And It’s So Fucked Up)," "I Will Be Next," and, "The Zombie Shuffle." However, IMHO, each song was at least 2-minutes too long, which adds up when you have 16 songs.

Now, on the positive side ... the cast is absolutely terrific, especially Alex Parrish as Little Pete and Philip Akogu as George, the One Armed Zombie. The singing, and especially the dancing, is totally excellent.

The house was about 3/4s full but at intermission about 50% of the audience fled and that really felt awkward for those of us who stayed, hoping the show would improve in Act II. It didn’t. I felt bad for the cast who were working their collective asses off.

Billi Pod says==>you are warned.

This show is playing at Playwrights Horizons on West 42nd Street, right next door to my apartment building, has a running time of 2:00, with intermission, and runs through July 13th.

I was in a downer mood when I got back to the apartment, which is just next door to the theatre, and it wasn’t helped by the results of the puke-inducing YANKEE/TORONTO game, details below.

Oh, well ... let’s move on to something much more positive ... like ... Billi Pod’s entertainment event for tonight ...

7:30==>PIECE OF MY HEART: The Bert Berns Story - “A new musical based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, who died tragically at the age of 38, leaving behind his children, his legend, and music that would live on forever, including “Twist and Shout,” “I Want Candy,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and the immortal title song, “Piece of My Heart.” (Off Broadway - discounted ticket)

Tonight is the first preview performance of this show playing at The Signature Theatre Complex on West 42nd Street. It has a running time of 2:20, with intermission and runs through August 31st.

The Executive Producer of this show is my friend Jack Thomas who has been involved in the production of numerous shows, including: Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally; Ann by Holland Taylor; Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain; Almost, Maine by John Cariani; and Our Lady of 121st Street by Stephen Adly Guirgis, dir. Philip Seymour Hoffman.

So ... Jack and your cast and crew==>BREAK A LEG!!

We will close this out with the usual sports report ... for you Marty ... and ... Marty ... ahem==>what’s the use of having a blog site if you don’t post in a timely fashion? Jus’ askin.

Now ... the sports scene ...

Last night up in Toronto The Yankees (39-37) lost to the AL East leading Blue Jays (44-35) 7-6 in the bottom of the 9th inning on a throwing error by our rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte. It was a sloppy game for both teams.

Tonight at 7:07pm The Blue Jays go for a sweep of the 3-game series (and getting revenge for being swept at Yankee Stadium last week). On the mound for The Yankees will be Hiroki Kuroda (4-5) vs. Drew Hutchinson (5-5).

OK ... your favorite blogger feels the need for a major walk and wander session ... so will post this and then head out somewhere ... maybe down to The Lower Eastside, for a change.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.50 miles (or, 7,660 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>676.02 miles (average 3.86 miles per day)

GO YANKEES!!

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