songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Traffic jam!

 The view from the driver's seat yesterday morning.

Had to wait for the traffic to clear.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lewis Black!

I never know what to buy for Drew.  I always seem to find something that I think he'll like, but that winds up on a shelf or in a I always ask him what he wants before getting him a gift...

(He doesn't have the same issue when it comes to me, as my jewelry and pewter figurine collections can attest.)

So when I asked him what he wanted for Hanukkah this year, he told me that he wanted to see comedian Lewis Black, who would be appearing at the Westbury Music, the NYCB Theater at Westbury...on February 17th.

If you haven't heard of Lewis Black, this is how he describes himself on his website:

Known as the king of the rant, LEWIS BLACK  uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world. 

His humor is very topical, very political, very liberal in his outlook.

And very, very funny.

His opening act, John Bowman, did a spot-on impression of Donald Trump -- worth the price of admission just to see that.  Then Black did his rants about politics, Long Island traffic, candy corn, gun control ... it was hysterical.  

At the end of the show, Black went "live", streaming a question-and-answer session to his audience on the web.

Great evening of comedy.

And we scouted out where we want to sit for Bill Maher -- he's coming to Westbury in August.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Songbird salutes the 70's: David Cassidy

It was 1970, and there was a new TV show called The Partridge Family.  Aimed at young girls like me, the premise was that a widow and her five children had formed a rock band, and traveled around the country in a brightly-painted bus.  The show starred Shirley Jones, an Oscar-winning actress and singer, and featured her real-life stepson, David Cassidy, in the role of the eldest son, Keith Partridge.

And like every other little girl of that time, I was instantly in love.

My sister and I watched the show, we read the articles in Tiger Beat, we collected the records and the posters, we wished we could go to one of his concerts...

And then, like most teen idols, he faded from view as his  audience moved on...

Years later I learned what had happened to him. Typecast, he was unable to find work.  He lost his fortune and descended into the same alcoholism that had led to the death of his famous father, Jack Cassidy...

And then, in the early 1990's ...there was a new musical on Broadway, Blood Brothers, starring real-life brothers David and Shaun Cassidy, and British pop idol Petula Clark as their mother.   saw the show in 1994, and I was very impressed.  What an incredible comeback for him, proof that David was much, much more than a teen idol.

And then, four years ago, Cassidy toured with Mickey Dolenz and Peter Noone, in a tour devoted to their days as teen idols.  Noone was added after Davy Jones (another of my idols) had unexpectedly died.  Jones apparently helped Cassidy embrace his teen idol past.

The tour came to Westbury, and I finally got my chance to see my David Cassidy concert.

Last Saturday night Cassidy gave a horrible concert performance -- slurring his words, forgetting lyrics, even falling off the stage.  With his history, everyone assumed he was drunk.

And then on Monday came the news:  it wasn't alcohol, it was dementia.  The same disease that claimed his mother and grandfather.    The disease that will now cause his retirement at age 66.

I know the horrors of dementia all too well.

Today I feel sad.  I feel sad for my idol, and for all the little girlswho once loved him.  another piece of our childhood is fading away.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Founder

Yet another movie based on reality, The Founder tells the story of Ray Kroc, who created the McDonald Corporation.

Kroc was a slick, fast-talking salesman, unsuccessfully trying to find the next new thing, when he happened upon a hamburger stand in San Bernadino, California.  McDonald's, run by two brothers, was new and different -- mass produced hamburgers in paper wrappers, and a family atmosphere so different form the then-popular drive-in restaurants.  He saw the potential, brought the concept to the Midwest under a franchise agreement, and began to build his empire.

We all pretty much know where the story is going, everyone is familiar with McDonald's, after all.    Still, it was interesting to watch Kroc go from a seemingly nice bumbler to a nasty backstabber...

Michael Keaton is amazing in the role, he really deserves an Oscar -- pity he wasn't nominated.

Definitely a movie worth seeing.

Friday, February 17, 2017

thinking about my dad...

Today would have been my father's 90th birthday.

My sisters were all "daddy's girls", completely devoted to him.  I had a more contentious relationship with him, we butted heads many times.  But he was  my father, I loved and respected him.

And I genuinely liked him, which is far different from love, isn't it?

Much of who I am today is due to my father's influence.

He didn't just earn a living as an educator, he was a natural-born teacher.

My father gave me an appreciation for literature, for theater, for Broadway, for Shakespeare.  Our family vacations sparked an interest in travel, in history.

And he was devoted to my mother, they were married for over 50 years.

And he was proud of his children and his grandchildren.

H loved female attention.  He was the youngest of 5 children, his four older siblings were all girls.  He had four daughters and two granddaughters, and he reveled in being surrounded by  us.

His favorite quote, one from The King and I, was "Among so many sheep I am the only ram, it's no wonder I"m the wonder of Siam".

I'm really missing him today.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

feeling old!

So my favorite radio station is WCBS-FM, a station that plays "oldies".

That once meant music from the 50's, 60's and 70's, but more recently has come to mean music from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

But yesterday...OMG, yesterday they played....they played...OMG, they played a song by Backstreet Boys!

In the late 1990's and early 2000's young girls -- like my twosome -- debated the relative merits of Backstreet Boys versus *NSYNC.  Which boy band was better?  I took the girls to see *NSYNC in 2002, we sat behind the stage, and my kids were convinced Joey Fatone winked at them. I took them to see BackStreet Boys.  We saw Backstreet Boys in 2005.

My music on an oldies station, that's normal.

My daughters' music on an oldies station??????

I feel old.

So here it is, the song played on WCBS last night.  From 1999, here are the Backstreet Boys with their hit song, I Want It That Way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day

Drew and I are a modern couple, we usually split the cost of going out.  But last night, for Valentine's day, he treated me.  And ... oh, wow.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot.  How can you go wrong with melted cheese and melted chocolate?

It was very festive  last night.

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And Drew really splurged, he ordered a package that included rose petals and candles on the table, a vase of roses, a coffee mug to take home, chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne.

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Loved the champagne. The strawberries came in a box.

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They  look so yummy!

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The mug was cute.

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Yes, that's a jar of their garlic wine seasoning in the mug.

The dinner came with cheese fondue, salad, main course and chocolate fondue.  Our main course included lobster tail, shrimp, chicken, pork and steak, all of which we cooked coq au vin style,

The dinner came with one glass of champagne for each of us, but the manager treated us to a glass of prosecco as well.  Two glasses of wine is definitely my limit.

Wonderful meal. We took half of it home, I'll have a nice lunch tomorrow.

We did have a near-disaster.  The candles were very small, low to the table.  I had to remind Drew several times to keep flammables away from the candles.  To no avail.  He set a paper napkin on fire!

And the funniest moment?  I gave Drew a humorous Valentine's card.  The same card I gave him last year.  I guess it really does fit his personality.

It was such  a lovely evening.

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