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You’ve seen them, at sporting events or in a parade, at a store opening or a theme park. Stilt walkers! They stand tall among the crowd and are definitely a festive part of any event.

At Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, stilt walking was part of the curriculum, as the Circus typically has a set of stilt walkers as part of the Opening and/or Closing Spec (short for “spectacle” – when all performers are greeting the crowds on the arena floor).

I'm not completely sure how...Collapse )
I was the ripe old age of six and living in South Jersey when I really understood how music could alter your mood. It was a pageant for the lower school, and my first grade class just sang a medley of “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land,” and then, as we exited the stage through the audience, something happened that didn't occur in rehearsal: someone played a recording of John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and I got it. I proudly marched off to the song and even got some impressed looks from parents who *weren’t* my own.

Coming back to New York City...Collapse )

Responding to hlewissmith's Missive on "Black Consciousness"

Obama For You
On the front page of LJ I saw the sponsored link to hlewissmith's entry about "Black Consciousness", which I guess is doubling as a place for him to plug a couple of books he has written on similar topics. I was going to just post a comment to him there, but I wanted to turn this into a thinkpost and open it up here because I had a little bit too much to say about it for it to just be an LJ comment.

To briefly sum up his statements, if you don't want to read through the piece, he is asking why there is no similar outcry from the black community when a black person kills/robs/brutalizes a fellow black person as there is when a white person has done so against a black person. He goes on to criticize gangsta rap and fashion, and state that these are the elements that are diminishing the community.

So, after reading through it, I wanted to respond.

And here's my response.Collapse )
The Antiquated Sundries Shoppe should have been easy to see, situated right in the middle of a block on Spring Street, but neither Eve, nor Adam noticed it until the glint of a streetlamp caught their eyes at the storefront.

In the main window was a pair of matched gold bands...Collapse )

Emmys 2014

There is something seriously wrong with the Awards Show format.

I think the concept is still okay - a bunch of celebrities get all dressed up for the event, walk the Red Carpet, talk about their designers and their work, find their seats in some venue with a beautiful set design, and then about 15 to 20% of the nominees win some hardware.

That worked very nicely for the many years from 1949, the year of the first Emmy telecast, to say, the mid 2000s, when social media began to take hold. Okay... maybe it never worked, but people were content to watch it anyhow, because it was different and maybe somewhat exciting.

Today, there are lots of celebrity events...Collapse )
If there is any positive that could come from the murders/executions of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, it’s that their deaths could be the potential spark to the discussion we must have about how we, in America, treat both our own citizens and how we must deal on the world stage with our international neighbors.

I say “potential spark” because it’s difficult to know if people are truly ready to have this discussion that has been postponed, fifty years since the Civil Rights Act, one hundred and fifty years since the Emancipation Proclamation.

Everybody who is a human being is...Collapse )

VMA 2014

Music's SECOND Biggest Night of the year is the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. It's kind of the Junior High School to Grammy University, let's be honest.

And YES! MTV *does* still play music videos. Just not on their main network. You have to go to MTV Hits to find the channel that does the music non-stop, 24/7, just like the original channel would do, only without the VJs, and only occasional reports from performers and artists. Apparently, MTV doesn't even think enough of this to even mention the channel (they could name an award for it to promote it slightly) during the ceremony.

The only thing worth watching...Collapse )

Who Dat?

I don't know if most of the fandom would agree, but I really didn't like the debut of the eighth series of "Doctor Who."

Spoilers!Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [18] - Not the Slavery

The history of the United States is filled with glorious stories and heroes, triumphs of the spirit and tremendous tales of overcoming obstacles to reach success. But it also has a terrible, horrible element as well.

We, as a collective society, need to talk about slavery, as it does have a continuing impact on the lives of Black Americans. As any businessman will tell you, to make the largest profit, you have to keep your costs low. Well, nothing is lower than slavery, that’s for sure. And large profits were made. Such current companies as Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Barclay’s and New York Life, among many others, are documented as having made money from the slave trade in some form.

The wages that should have gone for the labor that would have lifted Black families up to a higher standard of living, three to four hundred years ago, multiplied over time? The playing field today would have been at least somewhat more level. Slaves endured abuse, punishment (which sometimes took unspeakable forms), and the murders of loved ones.

There was also the deliberate separation...Collapse )


So, I wanted to send you some "New York" style treats, and I wanted to send a couple more different ones. Maybe in a future send?

In the meanwhile, You have this!

First is the Stroopwafels... and I know what you're going to say. This is a Dutch product made in Canada! How is that "New York" related?

As you might have heard,

even old New York was once New Amsterdam!

NYC is steeped in a lot of Dutch tradition. And these Stroopwafels are definitely something of that. There's a lot of history and tradition in such stuff, so that's pretty great. Maybe I should have sent you a couple of sets, since this is a smallish grouping. If so, maybe I'll include more in another package.

I hope you like the Stroopwafels!!

Next, and more currently, comes the Serendipity3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix!

Serendipity3 is a restaurant and general store situated on 60th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues. It was co-founded by the great Andy Warhol. As the name implies... you'll often find things you weren't looking for there, and everything inside the restaurant is for sale! Even the beautiful Tiffany Lamp fixtures that adorn the booths and tables throughout the dining rooms can be purchased!

To the treat: Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is truly a one of a kind New York Experience! Oprah (unfortunately) talked at length about it on her show before she left, and for about a year after that, the lines to get a table went out the door. Lots of celebs like to dine there, for the truly decadent desserts, but this is their signature treat.

My one note is that you follow the directions as suggested on the envelope with one exception: instead of using milk, replace it with half & half! It makes it even better than the version they serve in the shop! I didn't even ask if you had a blender. Do you have a blender? I hope you do, because you really need to experience this, correctly. If you don't have a blender, maybe you can visit someone who does?

I included two envelopes so you might try it, share it, maybe do a YouTube of it? Because nobody can have just one Frrrozen Hot Chocolate!

Okay, well, enjoy!
The 1995 romantic comedy “Before Sunrise” seems like a peculiar place to tell the tale of the end of a website that began more than a decade after that film. But it is, in fact, the perfect place to begin.

In that movie, American Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Frenchwoman Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train and they strike up a conversation that carries through an overnight stay in Vienna. Within their conversation, they discover elements of their personalities, their hopes and aspirations, their foibles and failings, their distinct world views, all with the backdrop of the Austrian capital as their playground, and they do it for each other in front of all of us in the audience.

Early on into the discussion...Collapse )
Jailee glanced around the area. She was supposed to meet Conroy quite some time ago. The Mannahatta Café was located on the top floor of a massive structure that was once reserved for people to buy and sell things. No Conroy. She scanned for any broadcast signals and looked for nanocams before she took a seat, placed her backpack in front of her, removed her shoes and rested her feet on her bag, ready to plot her next move.

If any cameras were there...Collapse )


LJ Idol - Week [15] - Trying Times

“Some say money is the root of all evil.” Frank Martin began, not waiting for the TED talk audience to end its opening applause. He posted a slide with stacks of Dollars, Euros and other international currency. Martin roamed the stage in his bespoke suit, and shoes that cost more than his first used car.

“Some say LACK of money is the root of all evil.” Martin changed the slide to a picture of himself being held on a sidewalk by two members of the NYPD. “Yes, that’s teenage me, ‘detained’ for suspicion of being a shoplifter in 1981. It got me my first appearance in the New York Post.” The audience laughed.

Seems like another planet.Collapse )


“Meredith, I want to tell you something. Last night, as I was thinking about the categories that might be used to stump me, one of the first ones I considered was ‘Classical Music.’”

Meredith Vieira smirked and nodded.

“Now, I have worked professionally as a DJ, so I own a considerable amount of music, but I don’t get to use much Classical in my line of work.”

Meredith gave a concerned look.

“However, there was a film soundtrack that I do own, for a fantastic motion picture starring Gary Oldman. It was called “Immortal Beloved.” It was the story of the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. And the very first track on that album is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony… in C Minor. Final answer.”

Well, no. Let's rewind.Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [13] - The End of Humanity

Humanity will end. And we just might live to see it.

Well, maybe that’s not phrased correctly. Maybe humanity has already ended. The elements that have, for so long, been the definition of that word, have eroded, evaporated, been excised.

The two most important planks that have been diminished in this way are so basic and so obvious, we have to wonder how we allowed it to happen. And yes, we are partners in our own demise when it comes to this. The first element is communication.

The simple act of expressing one's thoughts...Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [12] - A Monkey's Odyssey

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I had been through an endless parade of schools: a pre-k, a different kindergarten, three different first grades (as my parents arranged their divorce), the same school from second to fourth, a year of terror, verbal and physical abuse in fifth, a settled three years for junior high, an all boys school in ninth grade before moving to the high school I would graduate from in tenth, and then on to college, the first time I ever spent four years at the same institution.

Always being the “New Kid” taught me an important lesson: using humor can get people to like you quickly, assuming you were actually funny and assuming they didn’t hate you on sight. By the time I was eleven, my role was defined: comedian. Unfortunately, humor didn’t make for lasting relationships of any kind, either friendships or romances. Or, perhaps it might have, had I stayed in any one place long enough.

Though most of the schools I attended were small...Collapse )

LJ Idol - Week [10] - Not The Cheap Seats*

One of my favorite quotes from the infinitely quotable, brilliant philosopher/comedian George Carlin is the following:

“When you’re born into this world, you’re given a ticket to the Freak Show. If you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

To me, that quote makes three distinctive statements. The first, obviously, is that Americans get to observe a lot of ridiculousness: behaviors that are rooted in privilege, in wealth, in nonsense that could only be done if you don’t have to worry about having potable water to drink, proper food to eat, clean air to breathe, ground to walk on that doesn’t contain land mines. These are your classic #FirstWorldProblems. And wow! The nonsensical stuff happening is simply staggering, though, admittedly, we’re the ones frequently involved, which leads to the second statement.

As front row ticket holders...Collapse )
On the day in question, Mr. Tronald Dump had just fired the entire staff of the Dump Building Headquarters without warning. Security ushered the now former staff members towards the exits.

Dump himself had confiscated a box one of the middle aged middle managers was trying to take along. The box was now on his enormous desk.

“Office supplies,” Dump muttered, pulling out a legal pad from the cardboard cube. “What else?”

Dump dumped the contents out. A mug that said World’s Best Daddy on one side with a picture of a smiling girl about age six on the other. Some crayon drawings and more photos of the little girl, all of which went right in the trash. And a brass lamp. It resembled the sort of ancient lamp that people in ancient times used to provide light.

He picked it up and examined it...Collapse )
The 4th and final entrant in the CBS Sweepstakes to take over for Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show is


@aishatyler on twitter

As previously stated, all 4 of these people already are a part of the CBS family, and Aisha doubly so: she is the current host of The CW's "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and one of the hosts of the CBS daily gabfest: "The Talk."

What some people may not know or remember is that Aisha is the only one of the 4 who has already had her own late night talk show! She came in and hosted E!'s Talk Soup for a long run.

Additionally, when Craig Kilborn departed the LLS for wherever he wound up going, Aisha was one of the many people given a shot at hosting for one night, back about ten years ago. So, she's been talking for quite some time!

Aisha has been involved with a lot of varied productions - from a serious arc on Day 4 of "24" to voice over work for her wild comedy cartoon "Archer" to being "The Black Girl on 'Friends,'" it's all in a day's work for Ms. Tyler.

"Ghost Whisperer," "CSI," "Hawaii Five-O," is there a CBS show that Ms. Tyler hasn't hit up yet? Of course, I think she might have an inside track to getting the Late Late job if she wants it: she sits right next to Julie Chen every day on "The Talk," and Chen is, of course, the wife of Les Moonves, Chairman of the CBS Network. If anyone can get a meeting for a shot at hosting the gig, Aisha is the one.

As I stated previously, Women and Persons of Color have had a very difficult time finding a place in late night television. With Aisha Tyler, you get a twofer! Where she may not have been the right person to take over for Kilborn when he left, she is definitely seasoned and ready to handle the job now. Certainly after being part of the round table of "The Talk," where with that many hosts, it's difficult to get in a question or a joke, she manages to stand out, and always keeps it fresh and fun. Imagine if she gets a chance to do that on her own!

If you want star power, Aisha is the only one of the 4 that is currently in the Top 1000 on IMDb (but the other three are all in the Top 5000, so there's plenty of star power to go around). And she is the only one of the four to be a Celebrity Jeopardy! Champion! I don't know if that makes her more qualified to host, but it's a pretty impressive achievement.

With her vast talents, her experience with interviewing, her intelligence and her comedy chops, Aisha Tyler is a formidable contender for the job of Late Late Show host!
Forget the search... we already have someone who replaced Craig Ferguson as the host of "The Late Late Show." His name is:


On twitter, he's @DrewFromTV

And it's absolutely true. Carey has already taken over the LLS. On April Fool's Day of this year, The current host of "The Late Late Show," the very outgoing (and, of course, outgoing) Craig Ferguson (and his on camera staff), swapped jobs with the current host of "The Price Is Right," Drew Carey (and HIS on camera staff) for a very entertaining couple of hours of teevee.

Unfortunately, Drew's full episode...Collapse )

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