Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Aging Ladies' Man is Doin' Alright

I just can't get it off my mind. Leonard Cohen.... cheerful? My friend Bhumi sent me a Leonard Cohen interview published over the weekend in Saturday's Toronto Globe and Mail that sounded like a visit with your favorite uncle. You know, the one who gave you your first beer, or talked to you about the birds and the bees when you didn't want to ask your mom. Just hanging out with Leonard, talking about anything you want to, drinking wine, eating good bread, looking at art... I could, well, really dig this. Can I come over, too?

I came away from the interview with a nice, warm feeling. That, despite all the dark songs and poetry, despite his loss of millions of dollars recently, despite what looked like an endless quest--the longing and yearning, somehow, we overlooked the Hope.
Leonard is gonna be all right.

Perhaps there is a lesson in all this... that even in the darkest mind there may be a slight crack where the light gets in. ( trite, I know, but it works) Sheesh, maybe dogs and cats are sleeping side by side, perhaps peace in the Mideast will spark. Who knows what else is possible?

Sara Hampson writes, "Cohen, now 72, novelist, poet and singer/songwriter, is a cornerstone of Canadian culture, but he dances in our heads mostly unseen, like a beautiful idea. "
And she ends with this passage below:

Earlier, he had explained that even if despair has lessened, challenges remain. “This isn't very different from the monastery,” he says, referring to his current situation. “It's the same kind of life, which is sometimes difficult, like everybody else's. It's a struggle for significance and self-respect, and you know, for righteous employment, to be doing the right thing.”

Part of that, clearly, is inviting people, strangers even, into his house of unadorned walls, simple white curtains and old wood floors, nourishing them with food and ideas and hours of delightful conversation, and then sending them back out into the world, the one with the smokers and the drizzle and the pain.

Charles Nelson Reilly Dead at 76

"When I die, it's going to read, 'Game Show Fixture Passes Away'. Nothing about the theater, or Tony Awards, or Emmys. But it doesn't bother me."-- Charles Nelson Reilly

Saturday mornings were bliss for me as a kid--beginning with the Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons in the early morning. Then I watched some of the Sid and Mary Krofft cartoons, like Land of the Lost, and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, and occasionally Lidsville. Charles Nelson Reilly was Hoodoo the Magician. Even at age 7, I was a little too intellectual for Lidsville. The land of Talking Hats didn't hold my attention much.

BTW, Butch Patrick, who played Eddie on the Munsters, was the boy who fell into the hat and ended up in Lidsville. If you really want to visit memory lane, there is a YouTube right here of the Lidsville opening theme.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tony Soprano as Hemingway? It's a Stretch

I wonder what is the latest on the Hemingway project? As of March, I read it wasn't even in Pre-Production. It may be something to look forward to after The Sopranos is over.
If it falls through, there could always be a Frank Cannon movie, or.... uh... Mr. French? Well, maybe not that.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Start of the Summer Walking Season

Summer driving season is here. Not much to laugh about with these gas prices, but the comedians are still trying. (below)

I did hear on the radio today that it's only a myth about shutting your air conditioning off to save on gas. Actually, opening up the windows creates more "drag" and THAT would use up more gas.


"The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that oil companies are not gouging customers. They say, technically, they're screwing customers." --David Letterman

"President Bush spoke with the Amish. He didn't want to, but it was the only group he could find that wasn't upset about the high price of gas." —Jay Leno

"The average national price of a gallon of gas hit an all-time record high of $3.15 this week. Meaning that wherever you're going this summer, it might be cheaper to mail your car." --Amy Poehler

Monday, May 21, 2007

Slouching Toward Bethlehem?

I talk to myself a lot. I'll admit that. So as I watched Second Coming, (this week's episode of The Soprano's) this Little Voice in my head kept nagging at me.... The Second Coming? So... who is our Savior here? Can he wrap this up in two more episodes?

M.J.: Well... it must be Tony... right? He said he... "Get's It." He told Dr. Melfi, "All I can say is, I saw, for pretty certain, that this, everything we see and experience, is not all there is."

Little Voice: Somehow I don't think this is leading to his repentance. And just what does all
this gibberish mean as Tony rambles on? "Maybe...This is gonna sound stupid, but I saw at one point that our mothers are the bus drivers. They are the bus. They are the vehicle that gets us here. They drop us off and go on their way. They continue on their journey, and the problem is, we keep trying to get back on the bus. Instead of just letting it go. "

M.J.: Livia Soprano, rest her soul. That horrible, nagging, guilt machine of a mother. I wonder what path this show would have taken, had she lived?

Little Voice: What about the Poem? Any clues to how the show will end there? (They teach College students this? haha). In the poem William Butler Yeats warns us that:

"Things fall apart...The centre cannot hold...Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere..The ceremony of
innocence is drowned."

M.J.: Aha! It's entropy! Just as I said after the last episode. Things fall apart. That is it. Nothing Gold Can Stay. This show is not going to end on a happy note, no matter who slouches into Bethlehem. But I can end this post on a happy note. How about MY favorite Yeats poem?

( P.S. I learned it in College!)


Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Billions and Billions- Support the Space Program

Coffee in hand, I perused the headlines this morning .... Paris Hilton going to jail... Congress cracking down on smuggling of Cubans, more deaths in Iraq, and then this...

"Scientists have pinpointed the precise locations of a pair of supermassive black holes at the centers of two colliding galaxies 300 million light-years away." (that's my high-lighting in bold.)

It's amazing how casually a number like that is thrown around. Why not just 300 light years.... or 200 thousand light years? Wow. We, as the human race... we can SEE THAT FAR. It's the PAST. 300 million light years away this is/was happening.... and if you are just a casual reader... not even reading the whole article or even understanding it, --don't you feel a sense of.. well, I felt a certain awe... and then I read this part...

Our own Milky Way galaxy is expected to collide and merge with its neighbor Andromeda in a few billion years to form a large elliptical galaxy some scientists jokingly call "Milkomeda" or "Andromeda Way." When that occurs, a black hole merger similar to that of NGC 6420 could occur.

... Hmmm.. So life WON'T just go on and on here on this little planet. Even if a comet doesn't obliterate us; even if we don't blow ourselves up out of stupidity; we see our fate in front of us.... albeit billions of years away. Unless we get out there and go boldly where no man has gone before...

Edith Keeler: I think that one day they're going to take all the money that they spend now on war and death...

James T. Kirk: And make them spend it on life.

Friday, May 18, 2007

All I Need is the Air that I Breathe.... and

Well, the latest air quality survey is out from the American Lung Association, and to the dismay of my dear friend in Chicago who wants to move back home to Pittsburgh, it still ain't good. Or as she put it..."Oops it did it again," since the region was #4 in 2005 in this category.

(Okay, it is not as bad as Pittsburgh- 1890, pictured at the right. . . but there is plenty of room for improvement.)

Metropolitan Areas Most Polluted by Short-term Particle Pollution (24-Hour PM2.5)
2007 Rank

1 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA
2 Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA
3 Fresno-Madera, CA
4 Bakersfield, CA
5 Logan, UT-ID
6 Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL
7 Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield, UT
8Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI
9 Eugene-Springfield, OR
10 Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH

I'll reprint a few highlights from the same site:

Outdoor Air Basics

Two types of air pollution are especially dangerous to breathe—ozone (smog)
and particle pollution (soot). The American Lung Association State of the Air 2007 report grades communities across the nation based on the number of days they have unhealthful levels of air pollution. The grades come from the color-coded alert system called the Air Quality Index, which may be familiar from newspaper, radio, television and on-line weather forecasts.

Particle pollution (soot) is the most dangerous, and deadly, of the widespread outdoor air pollutants. Soot is an old name for particle pollution. Particle pollution comes from many sources. The particles are usually a complex mixture that can include ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals, and aerosols. In the eastern U.S., many particles come from power plants that burn coal to produce electricity.


If you have read this far and want to know more about how breathing all this causes a variety of health effects, do not click here, because it will only further depress you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell: 1933- 2007

Reviled or Revered, everyone had an opinion about him. That's what the newscasters said when news of Falwell's death spread over the airwaves.
My friend Tulsa sends along this little picture to the left- from TMZ.
Sorta speaks for itself. Sorta.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kennedy and Heidi--Sopranos Episode # 18

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -

Lao Tzu

This quote came to mind today while thinking about the latest episode of the Sopranos. I can still remember my one and only acting class, when the professor looked hopelessly at me and said that I was too busy being myself to be anybody else. He was probably right.

There's been a lot said already regarding Christopher's demise... perhaps some of it a bit too esoteric, like this in depth analysis of the song choice for that fatal ride, "Comfortably Numb."

Okay, "I get it!!!!" --(with regard to the lyrics)-- "The child is grown, the dream is gone... I have become comfortably numb. " You don't have to PLAY IT LOUDER.

I can easily see the "child" connection to Tony and/or Christopher, and the obvious drug reference. I started to drift into the great performance by Van Morrison, Roger Waters and The Band with only a surface level appreciation of what grander scope that song takes in, sung in that particular venue in Berlin, after the fall of the Wall.

Here's my take:

Tony Soprano's epiphany at the end is open to interpretation. I choose to think he uttered those words "I get it," in his drug induced state, because he finally felt free of his own delusions of who he is, and now understands he could become the great leader he might be.
Perhaps it wasn't his first dabble with drugs, given his lifestyle, but this time the experience freed him from the "paranoia," and from the constant chatter of thoughts in his head, and that need for approval. His mental problems stem from trying to straddle two worlds, and be the best at each one. With the collapse of his organization, money problems, marital strife, kid problems, problems with his earners, his associates, etc., he is not making it in either world.

You see, from the very start, this show was about the dichotomy of those two worlds and the tensions which resulted from straddling them. (Meadow's College visit episode comes to mind.) Now I believe the end of the show will reveal how he will ultimately be caught up in the entropy of this downward spiral.

Update: 5/17/07

If you still haven't had enough analysis of the Sopranos... read on... You could probably OD reading Sopranos analysis here. You want to look on the list down the right hand column till you see SOPRANOS. There are a bunch of posts to choose from. Thanks JT for the link. Wish I had this weeks ago.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Little Trouble Beaming Back Down

Remember last month when some of Scotty's ashes were blasted into outer space? Well.... they were supposed to come back....and now they are lost in mountainous terrain somewhere in New Mexico. You can't make this stuff up.

- - - - - -

"Not one hundred percent efficient, of
course ... but nothing ever is."

Captain James T. Kirk


UPDATE: 5/18/07 --They found the rocket... the ashes are safe.

TV Moms, Part Two

I got to thinking about Ginny Sacrimoni of The Sopranos as one of my TV Mom picks for my Mother's Day post here on the Goosepath. But when I tried to research Ginny, there really wasn't much information about her.

For example, when I tried to find a nice portrait or photo.... I did a Yahoo- Image- Search and ... I got this response:

We did not find results for "Ginny Sacrimoni". Also try: Check your spelling.- Try more general words.- Try different words that mean the same thing.-

Yet --GO FIGURE....when I Yahoo- Image- searched Meadow Soprano, (not as a Mom... but just as another cast member)..... sheesh.... well.. look for yourself HERE.

One of the sites I did find (on just a regular search) for Ginny Sacrimoni was a short interview excerpted below--- talking about how she got onto the show, and a little about her. Her real name is... Denise Borino Quinn. I found out from the IMDB she had been a manicurist and legal secretary before she landed the Sopranos' part. And she is a Jersey Girl... and of Italian decent.

On July 23, 2000, Denise and her friend were one of the 15000 people
who descended upon the town of Harrison, New Jersey for the open casting call held by The Sopranos. She didn't have much hope that she'd be picked, and basically ended up there to support here friend and watch the antics of the crowd, who patiently waited in line for hours, hoping for a chance to score a role on the HBO show..

Well.. the rest is history. Or almost history. There are only four shows left. :(

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day--- My Favorite TV Mothers

THELMA (reading from a tabloid): "Psychic predicts world to explode by Christmas." Well, then why the hell am I dusting?!

LOUISE: Lionel, you'd better go to your room. I don't want you to get hit by your father.
LIONEL: Why would Dad hit me?
LOUISE: Because I'm not sure just where I'm going to throw him!

Debra Barone: A clean house is not the most important thing in the world.
Marie Barone: You know who says that? A messy person.

Eddie Haskell: "Gee, your kitchen always looks so clean.''
June Cleaver: ''Why, thank you, Eddie.''
Eddie Haskell: ''My mother says it looks as though you never do any work in here.

Roseanne: When my Husband comes home, if the kids are still alive, I figure I've done my job.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Looking for Music on a Sunday Afternoon

I can remember in the late 70's wandering around flea markets and old record stores "fishing" for music. I stuck pretty much with what is now Classic Rock--- with an occasional venture into a few favorite folk musicians, and some old blues. You never knew what you could find in some of those dusty bins. I would pick up a Leonard Cohen Album still sealed in plastic (Songs of Love and Hate) and then debate on whether to even play the damn thing because "it may be worth something some day." (Funny but last week Cohen's first three albums were remastered and re-released on CD, but I digress.)

Today, just surfin' the net instead of fishing through dusty bins, Ry Cooder's Paradise and Lunch caught my eye. Don't even remember if my friend "Bum" shipped a Cooder CD down here from the Monastery at some point... (???) Van Fans know that Van Morrision gave him a credit for Slide Guitar on Full Force Gale-- a song on his 1979 CD Into the Music. But that isn't my reason to buy. I'm just looking for something different to listen to in the car. This Review at Amazon says:

"ask yourself whether you like old country blues, old gospel, calypso, street-corner a capella singing, or any pre-commercial American roots music. No? OK, forget it then."

It's the kind of record that you mention to that new friend you discover whose taste is broad, deep and solid, who would recommend a record to you and you would just buy it unquestioningly because of the respect you have for the person's discriminating taste, and that person will look you in the eye with a knowing respect and say, "You know about 'Paradise and Lunch'?" And it will turn out to be on both your top 10 lists.

Hmmmm. Okay I'll reel it in and see what shows up in the mailbox.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Just Horsin' Around

I'll probably never get rich on horseracing. But every year I try, as I go through each horse in the Kentucky Derby and make my picks. After 10 years of this, I know a couple of things:

1. I can spend 3 hours reading the race forms and handicapping the race, and in the end, playing my lucky numbers would have put me further ahead.

2. The Tony Soprano method -- (seeing your daughters name on a horse in the race) is also

an effective betting method. Many a bet has been won simply by a serendipity-type hunch like this. As a matter of fact, that is the first thing I do. Glance over the whole list.... clear my mind completely, and see what name "jumps out at me."

3. My personal history, is out of a race of 20 horses, I can narrow down the field well, but where I lose is how I bet. So this year I intend to pick a few horses and box them, wheel them, do anything I can to make sure that if the horses I like win or come in the money, I will have the
proper bet to cover it.

4. Also, as a final note. It is always prudent to pick a horse at the last minute that is a longshot and throw a couple of dollars on it. A long shot ( 50 - 1) won in 2005 and the superfecta paid
$10,000 dollars.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Borrower Nor a Lender Be

Is it really fair to torture yourself wondering who is going to be dead when this series turns out the lights? Is it possible to just let it unfold and let it go gentle into that Good Night? Not for me.

I thought Tony and Hesh were friends. Yet it got to the point where even Hesh wondered if it would be easier for Tony to settle his debt by killing him. Hesh. Of all people. He is one Soprano's character who was always in the background, under the radar, quietly supportive and under-utilized. Maybe Hesh will come out alive, I don't know, but if I were Hesh, a lack of real sympathy on Tony's part over Renata's death, and the Attitude of that "Pork Chop" from Jersey would be enough to make me want to knock him off. People die in this show for less cause. Maybe Hesh will be Tony's killer. Or this show may have been the last of Hesh. Sitting alone with the gold records from the music business hanging on his wall and a bag of money on the livingroom floor.

Or maybe that Crazy Russian guy from the woods will come back and kill Tony:

(From the Episode guide) -- As of the sixth season, the whereabouts of Valery, the
Russian remain unknown, despite demand for continuity from many fans. David
Chase has said in the past that the episode was not intended to evolve into a story arc. HBO's promotional material lists him as dead, although it does so with a
question mark.)

I wouldn't bet on Phil killing Tony at this point. Too bloody obvious. (Pardon the pun!)

Favorite Line in this week's show:

(Setting it up)--Vito's son is accused of hanging the neighbor's cat. Tony tries to comfort the kid's mother, Marie Spatafore..... saying that it's to be expected "with Vito passing and all that that entrailed."

Music Note:

I wish Southside Johnny (who made a guest appearance) would've sang instead of Nancy Sinatra.... Give a listen!

PS.... Here is a cool list of all the deaths in the Soprano's Series ---by Wikipedia.