Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Seventies are Here


Tonight at 8.

Celebrate the 70's
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Celebrate the 70's


Music from a looser time. 16 great hits.

Wednesday Night, April 30 @ 8PM

2538 Hyperion Avenue
Silverlake 90027

20 bucks

To benefit the West Coast Ensemble

It's going to be foxy fabulous. So come to it.
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Until then:

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Beatles Medley

Cher, Tina Turner & Kate Smith? Doing the worst medley in the history of music?

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25, 1974

I figured out now that I want a girl. You know what I mean? I sort of like Nancy Haggerty. Her brother’s name is Kevin and Sally likes him. I still love Sherrie. Mommy is going to a wedding so Nanny is babysitting.

We moved to Suffern July 10, 1973 and Sherrie Thompson, one year older than me, lived in Spring Valley, where we lived before the move. I had this endless crush on her, for almost a year, even though it was all fantasy and we never talked too much. It was that exciting time of life when you are heading into sixth grade and you just think, “Well, I’m a man now and life is so pulsing and exciting and I want a hot girl with a lot of personality to add to this cool and happening time. Look how great the evening sky is. Orange and purple. It’s all coming!” We did write letters back and forth. It was five miles away. She was lively, leggy, Jewish and smart. I saw her a few years later and she had become a bit bedraggled. I think people try to smooth out, they try to come back to center. She was full of excitement when she was about twelve years old. Maybe that was too much for her so she found a way to bring herself down.

Nancy Haggerty ended up dating my best friend, Chris Poole. I followed them around like a beagle. Sally, my sister, never did date Nancy’s older brother, Kevin.

I have no idea what wedding my mother was going to and I can only assume my father went, too, since my grandmother stayed with us overnight.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Slice It

No matter how you slice it—Hillary is actually the leader in this race, if you go by how people voted.

Look, of the big, important states she has California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida. Sure, that’s right, the last two don’t count. But in the presidential election, they will.

I think super delegates are going to take Michigan and Florida into account. And…they’ll have to side with Hillary.

I might be old fashioned (pre-2000) and like my election results to reflect the actual election. So pre-Gore.

Or, as many predict, they could team up. But if they do, he should be chivalrous and let the lady go first. Besides, he’s younger. He could be the V.P. for eight years and then do eight years as the President.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Escape from New York


Park Avenue, around 68th Street. Look, it's amazing that New York has so many trees. But they all exploded about a month earlier than I ever remember. Sure, you have the flowers and the flowering trees, but to have all the other trees spark so fully so early? Lots of rain. Lots of mighty tree pollen.

It was quite something to have such an attack of irritants. But what is pretty cool about the human animal is, even though you may feel like you are being killed, you just keep living. We really are the cockroaches of the mammal world.
I mean that in the good way.
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Monday, April 21, 2008


I searched for joy today in New York.

I saw it in my friends’ faces at dinner at The Jackson Diner.

If you want to eat, try Queens. There is a ton of food here.

Jackson Diner

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Serious City


What is constantly remarkable to me is the lack of joy in New York. Something about the weather? I don't know. I feel remarkably happy when I am here, running around.

It's a curious city, has so much to offer and you wonder if anyone is really enjoying it.

They are happier in Paris.

I think I have to pay closer attention. People in LA can certainly be blamed for trite happiness connected to nothing more than a recently acquired expensive haircut...

Is that so Rawng?

The next three days that I am here, I am going to keep my eyes peeled for light hearted people.
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Friday, April 18, 2008



It closes soon. So go see it. Pure joy. Nothing else. Well, smart, too.

And well acted. And charming. With hilarious show numbers.

I guess the musical theatre format doesn't go away because when done well, it is so pleasing.

Go on. See it. See David Hyde Pierce. See it before it closes. You want to.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here He Comes Just a Walking Down the Street

The pope arrives tomorrow. Will he come on a rope?

I was out in New Jersey tonight having dinner with my sister and her family and the local news was all about the pope coming to town.

Children were being interviewed. They exhibited the behavior of kids awaiting Santa Claus. Of course, their parents did this to them.

Earlier today, I was walking down the street in Queens to the subway station and in the last block, coming down the steps from one of the many dentist and doctor offices of brick row houses, was an older man with a cane and he started to fall off the steps onto the sidewalk. My stride was such that I was placed right next to him as he was falling. I caught him, easily (he was a little man) and he was so appreciative. He had lost his balance, terribly, his cane not placed correctly on the step beneath him, in the opposite direction of my approach, so he didn’t see me coming. He was very surprised and relieved and so happy to be captured before he landed on the sidewalk. He lovingly said, “Gracias amigo.” And I squeezed his shoulder and he squeezed my arm. It was human warmth as it needs to be.

And I thought, with my sinus infection, “We are all falling off stairs all the time. And it just seems so normal to catch people as they are going down.”

And so tonight, I was thinking, while I was driving back to Queens from New Jersey in Megan’s car Stan (Thanks Megan), why the hell do we need a pope? Or anyone like that?
Sure, people need to be reminded. But why? Why aren’t people just naturally caring? It seems absurd that there needs to be a leader for this kind of thing.

We are animals, sure. And we will do anything to insure our own survival, and even more, our own pleasure, which, in practice, does include enslaving and mistreating others, wittingly or unknowingly. So, consciousness had to be raised. And religion of yore did some of that. But still? Now? After Voltaire?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sulfur Poison

After watching American Idol (for the first time) at Vlada, listed as a “Gorgeous gay lounge designed to look like a railroad car w/ 15 special infused vodkas and the only ice bar in the city, plus a full menu”, (I had club soda), I felt like how someone must feel after watching their first snuff film.

Look, I’m all for talented singers from the heartland getting their chance to shine. It’s fabulous. But it’s the lack of originality that makes me want to put an ice pick through someone’s something.

And that panel with the commentary? A nice happy black man, a nurturing middle aged woman and that snarky Brit? Really? That’s the shtick? Give me Lawrence Welk.

Anyway, the bar was kind of cool and I left about 9:00 and got on the subway back to Queens. Lying on a seat was a homeless guy, ass to the aisle. But not the smelliest homeless person. So, everyone is sitting on the train when suddenly there is a smell of sulfur that was so strong it reminded me of Seacaucus in 1971. I thought it just couldn’t be the homeless guy, could it? The entire car was loaded with the stench. Passengers from end to end pulled their shirts over their noses. It was so strong, I figured it had to be some sort of chemical fire somewhere that wafted in, or even, and this is when my heart started fluttering with some panic, some sort of Sarin or something even worse that someone let loose to kill us all. Shit. Death was near.

A lovely looking woman across from me, looking a bit like my ex-Sister-in-law, who looks a bit like Cher, walked over to the slider door to get out to go to the next car. She waited until we pulled into a station (the first one in Queens, so it was a bit of a haul under the East River) and she bolted to safety. I followed into the car wanting, of course, to live. She looked relieved. I felt the same way. I asked her, “What was that?” And she said, “The homeless guy was farting.” “Really? Really?” I was incredulous. She said, “He was farting.”

He filled up the car with his colon’s effluvial. And I did think, for just a few moments, that we were all dead people.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Queens Explodes-- So Everything is Possible


You walk around in April in New York, especially in the parks or along the tree lined streets of the outer boroughs, and there are flowering trees everywhere, daffodils, tulips on the rise, the forsythia crop half over, and you just feel joyous.
Of course.
Nothing new here.
But you get older and these occasions are even more joyous. It never ceases. Year after year, it comes around. The eternal redo. The ready when you are. The simple truth that nature is bigger than you are, bigger than a big city. No amount of garbage or dried urine stench wafting off a homeless man's trousers can stop it. No ego driven, fearful little bald man or angry lady with a purpose can do anything about it.

Welcome. Everything.
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Starbucks is Here! Um...


Jackson Heights is the new Jackson Heights. Starbucks is all moved in on 37th, the main village road. It's great. Oh wait, it's awful. Oh wait---it increases my property value. Oh wait, it's another corporation taking over a mom-and-pop-coulda-been. Oh wait, it's great, because maybe next we'll get a book store. Oh wait, it's awful, because Queens is like something out of 1979 and that's being infringed upon. Oh wait, it's great because I can get some ass kicking tea and hang out with the locals. Oh wait, it's awful--just turning Jackson Heights into another mall-location. Oh wait. Wait. Wait. I don't know!

Okay, I like it. Does that make me a pig?
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Friday, April 11, 2008



As Adam, my Recognized-by-the-State-of-California-Domestic-Partner, and I were walking down the street to go to our friend Jeff's house to play Carcassonne, we ran into a fig tree. It was planted in the strip of grass, often called the parkway, which I think is inferior to simply calling it what it is, a strip of grass, between the sidewalk and the street.

Beautiful night. So I snapped with the camera phone. Adam and I yacked along as we walked down the street. He had lunch with someone today who left Los Angeles years ago but has returned, temporarily. She said, "When I left Los Angeles, I never gave it a thought. In fact, there was really nothing about it that I liked. But when I came back here in January, I fell right back into the reason why it's great, and it's really the only reason--the weather."

Of course, the weather is not the only thing that is good about L.A. But it is the best thing about it.

Figs, lemons, oranges and avocados grow all over the city. There are flowers all year around. The Pacific Ocean keeps a steady, moist current in the air most of the year. During the day, it averages all year long about 72 degrees. It's ridiculous.

I have a friend in New York who has lived there most of her adult life. She does not like Los Angeles. I tell her how much I love the weather. She responds, "You can't live somewhere for the weather." But you can.
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Short Time Father

During dinner with friends, the twenty-two year old turned to me and said, “Don, I wish you were my father.”


But immediately, it felt exactly right. I never thought that would sound like a compliment. The young person added that it was because his own father was cool and all but that it would have been better for him to have someone like me.

I was being gruff and I was turning ideas over, for fun. No sacred cows. Everything worth skewering. This kid would have loved to have had that growing up.

At the end of the bit he closed with, “You would have made a good father.”

I was father enough. In his mind. During a short section of dinner. I felt proud. Fathers are prone to pride.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Deck Show: The Stills


That's, from left to right, Tecia, Bradford, Don, Adam and Karen. This was our opening and closing formation. You know, it was cold out, but we did it. Mary, Anne, and Danny joined us. Hosted by Luke. There was quite a bubble machine at the end. It was actually a blast. The crowd was with us the whole time. And, you know, it was on the deck.

Our original closing number: The Deck Show Song

Bradford had a big idea, He bought a new Guitar

Guess what Karen, Out in Burbank, She jumped in her car

Adam baked a tasty cake and Tecia dropped her Broom

Don sat his ass in butter, cackling, this taint come too soon

It’s the deck show
What the Heck show
Here we are

Now don’t be impolite and throw your garbage on the floor

Cause cleaning up tomorrow, is gonna be a chore

You’re always welcome back to this old half a party house

And if you leave behind your buds, we might scrape up an ounce

It’s the deck show
What the Heck show
Here we are

We just knew there was no way we'd ever see this night,
But the unemployed got nothing else to do but get it right, Right now

Well we just rocked the house like Fleetwood Mac in 83

And you just stood there loving it and drinkin Pabst for free

We’ve had our fun, now you have yours, and don’t be feelin blue

Cause soon enough we’ll be announcing deck show number Two

It’s the deck show
What the Heck show
Here we are

Deck Show 2008

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That's a Potato Chip

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dig It

I keep reading about this silly wall they are building at the border between The United States and Mexico. I imagine someone will invent fascinating tunneling machines. Perhaps they will be portable and will run on solar energy. As long as you build it, they will come. It doesn’t matter what you build, people come to it.

And in this case, they will dig right under it.

I imagine this will choose for, perhaps, even heartier, smarter immigrants dying to work for the minimum wage (not that I don’t think our current millions of immigrants aren’t all bright, hard working, amazing human beings, I do, I do!)…but I need something more than a reliable house cleaner and an enterprising man to mow the lawn. I need someone to answer all this fucking email.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Pecking Order Interests Me

The pain is real. The pecking order.

What if there was no pecking order? Would pain be worse?

It is normal to try to push toward the front of the chicken line. We all do it. If not at work, then at home. If not at home, then in the world of leisure.

The greatest pecking order people of all: The English. They brought pain and pleasure to all corners of the globe. The pain of subjugation. The pleasure of organized society.

One fantasizes, while dining in a Thai restaurant, there are places on earth where people approach each other with great respect and an instant positive regard for others. Because of the gentle nature of Thai restaurant workers?

I enjoy an orderly community. I would perish as a meter maid.

What does the meter maid think? Does anyone care? I usually just want her dead.

Maybe less pecking and more order?

Deck Show is Nigh

Deck Show

Saturday, April 5.

It’s free.

It’s on a deck.

Send a message for directions.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

High Desert

Push back, away from that wretched computer screen, and GET OUT, far, INTO NATURE. Please carpool.

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