Monday, December 31, 2007
happy new year

Hard to believe, 2008 is almost here! How did that happen? Well, no point in asking---it just did! So, open up the Champagne! Pour it generously.....Put on that Sparkly Party Hat, And......Grab a pretty party favor...... Or Two......




And start watching that clock, as it counts down the hours and the minutes....toI wish you one and all a very Happy New Year....Enjoy whatever it is you will be doing on New Years Eve, and/or New Years Day, too, my dears....And, I will see you next year!
And here is a little "rare" New Years treat, especially made for all of you......








More To Come.......





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Friday, December 28, 2007
christmas card photos

Tor over in Norway, posted some Christmas Cards that he and his wife Anna received this year from people in Norway showing typical Norwegian scenes....And I thought, what a fun idea....! But I decided that I will post some "photographs" that either came in the Christmas Cards or were the cards, themselves....And you may recognize some of these people...like in that top picture! That is the very dear and incredibly talented Tom Skerritt and his dear lovely wife, and their two 'loved ones'! Such a sweet picture! I have known Tom since 1963. Once again, it's the Theatre West connection. And by the way, Tom is not only a superb actor, he is a brilliant writer, too....! We became very good friends through this professional connection and back in the day, he wrote these two one-act plays that were done at Theatre West I (1968) which he asked me to produce....And I did. "The Piano Teacher" with Richard Dreyfuss and Ruth McDevitt, a truly lovely piece of work, was one of those two, one-act plays.....But I will save all this and more about dear Tom, for another post..... And in the picture above....The very incredibly talented Actor/Director/Writer/Teacher/Friend, Michael Kearns and his dear daughter Tia.....This actually is not from this year, but I loved this picture so much I had saved it! It is so truly sweet...Tia, IN the Christmas Stocking....! Indeed, what a dear and delightful Christmas Present this card was to me! And then there is this lovely picture below...... This is a very dear one that I had saved....Anne Leydon, (She was in a play of mine back in 1988, and was Wonderful.....) And her dear husband Bill Sehres--Actor and Teacher, (We have worked together too, only with Bill, he helped me with my Retrospective Art Show, in 1997. And maybe most memorably, I was the officiant at there wedding back in March of 1989.....) Charlie, Anne, Jack, & Bill....'With another one on the way in April'.......

So. Here they are below, in 2007, and there's little Seamus, the one who was being born in 'April', in the above Christmas picture...... Jack is standing next to his Mom, and Charlie in front of his Mom Anne, who has her arm around him, and Bill---his Dad, with his hand on Anne's arm, and dear Seamus ('and one expected in April..') in front of Jack...Really a sweet sweet picture.....

And here below, another very dear sweet special picture.....This too is from a number of years ago..... Annie Guilbert's two Grandchildren...Isn't this a fabulous picture? Taken by one of her son-in-laws who, it just happens, is a professional photographer.....I think this is just about as dear as it can be.....This, too, is a Christmas Card I saved because I just loved it so very much.....these two girls are teenagers now.

There are a lot more....and maybe I will do another post, if you all are enjoying these photo's....I LOVE looking at them and posting them, myself, but maybe this is boring to other people....For me...these are 'treasures', and I am trying to scan in and save, as many of these treasures, as possible......One More 'Teaser Picture'...... Dom & Carol DeLuise and Family, 2007! I've known Carol Arthur DeLuise since 1953....!

Yes, that's right.

You Do The Math....

I love continuity.......!

More To Come............


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Wednesday, December 26, 2007
oscar peterson 1925-2007

The very great great Canadian born Oscar Peterson, for me---one of the greatest Jazz Pianists of his generation or, for that matter, any generation, has died.....He was 'The Master'! He played with so much heart and extraordinary precision....his improvisational skills just took your breath away.....
I was lucky enough, through the largess of his long time manager Norman Granz, to see him in a small intimate outdoor concert in the South of France in the summer of 1969....Talk about sublime! I had been a big fan of his since 1960, and his recordings----well, I played them so much that they wore out and I had to replace them with new discs...! His virtuosity on the piano was more than astounding....it was magical in every way and his musicianship---his understanding heart, (Oh My) and his amazing fingers---were top notch. No one could touch him, to my way of thinking. His recordings with Joe Pass, the great great guitarist represented a marriage of musicianship that was quite extraordinary......The truth is, all of his musical collaborators had 'special marriage' written all over them, as in the original Trio---Herb Ellis & Ray Brown. Norman Granz discovered Oscar Peterson around 1949 and managed every aspect of his career from that time until he, Granz, died, towards the end of 2001.....And a fantastic career it has been, even beyond his association with Norman Granz.....Then, in 1993, the unthinkable happened. Oscar Peterson, The Master, had a stroke which weakened his left hand considerably. But he returned to playing within two years and one would almost never have known that this master had had a stroke....As I said, sublime, sublime, sublime....(Oh dear Lord...today is such a sad sad day, here in this last week of 2007.... Sad, for the music world and sad for all us who were touched by Peterson's musical genius. We and the music world have lost a true "Giant"!) (The above is a commemorative stamp which is a rare, almost unheard of honor, in Canada.....) Amazingly enough, after Peterson's 'recovery' from that stroke, his playing was pretty much as strong as ever, until these last few years....I guess today, on this deeply sad sad day, we should be grateful that we, the audience, had him in our lives for as long as we did.....there was no one quite like him. And thank God for recordings and DVD's, and for YouTube......
Here is a beautiful video of Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, and the great drummer Ed Thigpen playing something that is just called 'ballads' or 'love ballads'....It is, to me, an Elegy to this incredibly talented monumentally moving performer....The heartbreaking beauty of this brings me to tears......



Another amazingly beautiful video is this next one....Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass playing "My One And Only Love".....I don't know what year this is, but it is during the same "live" concert as the above video---maybe 1985?....(An aside: I met Joe Pass back in 1963 when he was at Synanon, in Santa Monica, CA. He was a recovering drug addict way back then, in this then amazing and unique place called Synanon....it was truly revolutionary at the time---Waaaay before The Betty Ford Center, or any other recovery-type places---Synanon was started and was run by recovering drug addicts specifically for other drug addicts trying to beat their addictions...

We had come out to Santa Monica to do one(1) performance of "Spoon River" before leaving for New York and Broadway....Joe Pass is the gentleman over on the far right in the first row in front of me....He certainly made quite a fantastic recovery, needless to say.....).

Here below is the very beautiful Oscar Peterson version of "My One And Only Love".....!


Farewell, dear Oscar Peterson....there was no one quite like you and we will not see your 'like', again.....This was what pure 'Jazz' was and is......He always established the 'tune' before taking off on his fantastic musical flights of fancy.....This, is actually real "music", people, not 'Your Beautiful', which is supposed to pass for "real" music these days....Pitiful, really....! This is the real deal.

So, here is one more example of what the late great Oscar Peterson was capable of creating, in a magnificent 'solo' performance of the classic "I Can't Get Started".....Just Oscar and The Piano. Oh, My!






More To Come......


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Monday, December 24, 2007
christmas cheer is here!









This Video above, is quite amazing and I think you will enjoy it....! It is a Christmas "Lights Show" like none I have ever seen....!This is by way of me wishing you all, The Merriest Of Christmases that you can have, and with all the 'trimmings', too.....! I hope Santa is very good to you and that your Day is absolutely fantastic! Filled with Good Food, Family, Friends, Frivolity and Fabulous Presents....the best of which will be lots and lots of love!And here is a really swell site where you can decorate a Fir Tree, among other fun things....It's kind of relaxing, so "play" and do enjoy this "Virtual" Tree Decorating Holiday!



http://www.firtree.ca

To one and all.....
A Very Very Merry Christmas.







More To Come.........


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Friday, December 21, 2007
keith olbrmann's oddball-year end extravanganza!

This is a lot of fun....Keith Olbermann "plays" Oddball, every night on MSNBC. This is a hilarious Laugh-Out-Loud clip from his Year End Oddball Extravaganza, with explanations......As we go into the final countdown to Christmas this will give you a laugh and/or a smile......ENJOY!

More To Come........


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
gone fishin'

Taking a little teeny tiny break....I'm all tuckered out....Be back shortly with the Shredding Saga....for now, I am metaphorically speaking, Goin' Fishin'.....

More To Come.....soon!


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Monday, December 17, 2007
patti lupone




This is one of the thousands of reasons why "live" theatre is the most exciting experience one can have.....Here is Patti Lupone, at a special tribute to Stephen Sondheim held at Carnegie Hall...(I think)...,singing "BEING ALIVE" from that great and innovative show, 'Company'....This is something to enjoy and be totally thrilled by while I am busy with The Shredder People, among other things. And here below is a photograph I took of Ms. Lupone on May 23rd, 2001, backstage at The Belasco Theatre, (The theatre we moved to waaaay back when we were doing "Spoon River"....this was the first time I had been backstage since January, 1964....) where Betty G. was playing in Mr. Sondheim's landmark revival of "FOLLIES". Betty's Dressing Room mate was Marge Champion and Patti Lupone had come backstage to visit them after the Matinee.... Three incredibly talented women......Brava!



More To Come.......


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Saturday, December 15, 2007
trash

I am closing in on all the trash.....It's why I haven't been around too much lately....Monday, the Shredder Truck comes and I need to be ready for them....Here below is a picture of the two major things I have been working on.... I am almost done filling my 2nd three yard dumpster and in the background you can see some of the bags full of paper stuff....Here is a fuller picture of all the paper.....It doesn't look like much in this picture, BUT, there are three plastic bins that are literally overflowing with all sorts of papers.....And there are four (4) big huge heavy duty trash bags full of papers, all of which I no longer need, and in fact, they are just taking up space.....I don't know what the tonnage is here, but I know I cannot lift any of this stuff.... This is a shocking statistic, isn't it? If true, it is pretty frightening. And I am certainly doing my bit to help that statistic.....Oy! Here below, another view of all the bins and trash bags...and I have more stuff in the house that hasn't been put out in the garage yet....But come Monday morning, it will all be out there for easy access by the Shredder Truck people.....
It is amazing the amount of paper 'stuff' we accumulate over the years....But also, there is other 'stuff'....and here below, a picture of the interior of the dumpster....the almost filled dumpster with some of that other 'stuff'! And there is a lot more where this came from.....Oy, Oy! And a slightly different view of all the trash in the dumpster, here below. This is my life right now and I think once the Shredder people have been here and destroyed all the papers---right before my eyes, and, I get rid of the 2nd dumpster, I will feel so much 'lighter'....though, I think I need to get at least one more dumpster, before I am through.....possibly even two....!

I have found some wonderful things along the way....all of which I am holding on to and hopefully I will be able to share some of it with you....Meanwhile, back to the grindstone.....And,

More To Come......




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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
a new house

This is kind of Unbelievable....! Some time ago, not quite two years I believe, I was walking up my hill, and noticed that a particular hilly parcel of land looked like something was going to be happening there....I had my camera with me and I took a few pictures....Here below, is another view...You can see how HUGE this house is when you see how small my buddy Glenn looks...... AMAZING! And below, here is what it looked like, almost two years ago...And, you can see why I thought something was going to be happening here....I saw those sand packs and that rather flimsy metal fence......and thought to myself....'Oh My! What is going to be happening here?'...Right! A lot was going to be happening here.....The next time I came by this way.....I saw this! No....not a lot different, but then....it was only a month later.....From another view, a bit later....I saw men building the retaining wall at the back of the property... This is the Upper Retaining wall just beginning...It almost appears as if it is going to be holding up the hill behind it. Let's get closer. Well, this is a little bit before...But the point is....They were working their As**s Off......And there is another picture..A closer picture of these fantastic workers, building this back retaining wall....It was a very very cold day, for Los Angeles..... I really felt for these guys...As I said....It Was Very Cold, for Los Angeles, mostly because of the wind-chill factor! So, okay. This upper retaining wall, it turns out, is behind the 6000 square foot house which will be built, as time goes by.... It grows and grows..slowly...s-l-o-w-l-y....but surely....
This was August, 2006. And they worked on this back retaining wall another couple of months. At this point, we have not seen the 'hope' of a house yet...But then, many months go by, and we see this.....!Seeing this finally gave me some kind of hope, that an actual house was actually being built here...Incredible....Truly, incredible. This is months and months later.....And then....And Then.......Here is where it was at, on November 19th, 2007. And another view below, of this immense house....This view, a close up of the part of the house that faces the city...A two story view of the windows......Two stories of windows will give the owner's a gorgeous view of the city....Amazing, indeed! All the other pictures are on an angle where the view from this house faces 'west-south west'...this picture is the view from this house that faces South, only......! A far away shot of those two story windows.....


Here is what is Soooo Sooooo Sooooooo amazing about this "Custom Built" house...It is being built "on spec".....ON SPEC, mind you! Hello? My neighbor, who lives across the street from this horrific two + years of building and who has been driven kind of crazy from the whole thing, told me that bit of information. This is progress? I do not think so......
I like the way this looks, so very much better.....And the Deer, and the Coyote's, and the Raccoons, and the Skunks, and all the other dear creatures of nature, liked it this way too!


I will continue to chronicle the progress of this new house as time goes by.....



More To Come.............



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