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Happy New Year!

Two years ago, at about 3:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day, my wife and I came home from a party in our neighborhood, within easy walking distance of our apartment. I maintain to this day that, while I had indeed imbibed, I was not excessively inebriated. It was a particularly cold night, with some precipitation, so there was some icy groundcover. But the chill was bracing, and the walk home was not unenjoyable. New York interiors tend to get uncomfortably warm during the winter, sometimes so much so that running outside in your shirtsleeves is a welcome relief. Having spent the night inside at a party, I was indeed warmish, and I’d had enough to drink that I was warmish inside and out; so this wintry walk home felt delightful. It was slippery, though, as there was already some packed snow on the ground, and a little frozen light rain on top of that. So, it was delightful but dangerous, like a cute little baby holding a weapon.

Anyway, we get home, and my wife got ready for bed while I took the dog out. My dog is a sweetheart, and she’s deaf. That means she’s distracted by everything she sees or smells, and she doesn’t listen, but she’s adorable while she’s ignoring you. We were about a block from the apartment when she did her second order of business, right on a really slick section of sidewalk. And somehow, when I went to pick it up, she pulled the leash, I lost my balance, and I cracked face-first into the pavement.

My first thought was that I’d gone straight into the poo. All at once, I was trying to keep hold of her, get to my feet on the ice, and make sure my face wasn’t smeared with doggie doo. I stood up, sufficiently convinced myself I was unbefouled, and bent down again to pick up the poop…and she jerked the leash in the opposite direction. I fell again, harder this time, on the other side of my face. By the grace of God, I missed the poo again. My face was stinging and throbbing. If I’d been in a cartoon, birds would have tweeted around my head in an orbit of stars. I pulled myself up using the wall of the building – this all happened on somebody’s doorstep – and staggered the long block home.

In the garish light of our bathroom, my face looked horrible. Worse than horrible. I probably should have gone to the hospital, but I was too embarrassed. I looked like a bloodied ThunderCat. I iced it for about an hour, took three or four Aleve, and went to bed. The next morning, it looked even worse. That was the beginning of 2010.

And then, not long after, I wrote a lyric about it. I think it’s one of the better things I’ve written, one of the things I’m not shy about sharing. It’s very much in my mind today, too, because 2011 was such a strange year, full of blissful highs and abysmal lows. It’s a way of reminding myself that there’s always something good ahead, I guess, and I need some good things to happen in 2012.  And it’s even better when you can hear Josh Freilich’s fantastic music for it, but I don’t have a recording, so the lyrics will have to do for now.

UP

THREE HOURS INTO A BRAND NEW YEAR,
I’M WALKING MY DOG, OOH,
WALKING MY DOG, AND SHE POOPS ON A PATCH OF ICE.
BENDING DOWN TO PICK IT UP,
I FALL ON MY FACE.
BOOM.
WITH INEBRIATE GRACE, I FALL TWICE.
BOOM. BOOM.
THE LEASH IS ALL TANGLED,
MY FACE IS ALL MANGLED,
BUT IT’S HARD TO BE MAD AT MY PUP.
WHEN YOU START OFF THE YEAR FALLING TWICE ON YOUR FACE,
THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP.

YEAH.

AND THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I’M GONNA GET ALL MY SHIT STRAIGHT.
I’LL PAY OFF MY DEBTS,
LOSE THIRTY POUNDS AND WORK OUT.
THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.
GOODBYE TO INSECURITY,
SELF-DELUSION AND DOUBT.
I’M TIRED OF THE DREGS,
I WANT TO SIP THE FOAM,
SPILLING OFF THE BRIM OF MY CUP.
WHEN YOU START OFF THE YEAR FACE DOWN ON THE GROUND,
THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP,
NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP.

THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I RECONNECT WITH ALL MY FRIENDS.
I’LL REBUILD THE BRIDGES
I SWORE I WOULD NEVER REBUILD.
THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I MAKE MONEY IN MY GODDAMN SLEEP.
I’LL GET CAUGHT UP ON MY TAXES,
AND MY BANK ACCOUNT WILL BE FILLED.
I’M TIRED OF BEING SHY,
STANDING OFF TO THE SIDE,
AFRAID TO STEP OUT AND SAY, ’S UP?
WHEN YOU START OFF THE YEAR SMACK KISSING THE DIRT,
THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP,
NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP.

OH, EACH SCRAPE WAS A RESOLUTION,
AN UNSPOKEN VOW,
WRITTEN AND SIGNED IN BLOOD.
OH, EACH SCAR MARKS MY EVOLUTION,
REMINDING ME HOW,
I’M RISING UP OUT OF THE MUD.

AND

THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I FINALLY LET MY DEFENSES DOWN,
LEARN ALL THE LESSONS
THE UNIVERSE WANTS ME TO LEARN.
THIS’LL BE THE YEAR,
I BRAVELY STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT,
EARN EVERY REWARD
OPPORTUNITY ALLOWS ME TO EARN.
AND EVERYONE I MEET,
THEY’LL SAY, “MY, YOU’VE CHANGED,”
I’LL WINK AND I’LL SMILE AND SAY, YUP.
WHEN YOU START OFF THE YEAR MAKING OUT WITH THE SIDEWALK,
THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP.
NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP.

IT’S NOT SO STRANGE,
END OF DISCUSSION,
YOUR LIFE CAN CHANGE
WITH A MILD CONCUSSION.
IF YOU START FEELING LOW,
LIKE YOU’RE STUCK AT THE BOTTOM
YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE PLANS,
‘CAUSE YOU GOT ‘EM.
YOU ALREADY KNOW,
YOU GOT NOWHERE TO GO,
BUT…
UP.

Happy New Year, y’all!

Earlier this week, I posted something about the right kerfuffle involving Warner Bros., Daniel Radcliffe, and the Broadway production of How to Succeed….

The theatre's a small world, isn't it?

Well, according to Playbill.com, the Warners won.

 

Victory calls for Comic Sans.

Actually, this isn’t that big a deal.  I understand it’s just business.  (Or maybe it is a big deal:  Is this equivalent to the film saying theatre doesn’t matter?)   But two things stick with me.  The first is that selling out three nights of a Broadway show is about $500,000, which isn’t a huge amount of money and yet still covers about a half a week’s salary for lot of actors, technicians, ushers, etc., plus running costs, royalties, and all that good stuff.  The second is that, in the film industry, that same $500,000 is a nuisance.  It’s mind-boggling.  You could probably add all the budgets of all the shows I’ve ever done, and it still wouldn’t add up to $500,000.  In this case, it’s just an obstacle to getting a star to do some press.

But I digress.  This post isn’t about How to Succeed…, Broadway, or even the Harry Potter franchise.  It’s about the Warner Brothers.  And their sister Dot.

 

The theme of today's puzzle.

It’s Yakko’s world.  We just live in it:

Not to be outdone, Wakko rules the country (and he starts with my favorite capital city):

And Dot’s cute:

So, if How to Succeed… is dark those nights, then WHO’S ON STAGE?

Hahaha!  I love that show. :)

This makes me extraordinarily happy.

 

 

She’s Sweet Emma Barrett, she’s old-school New Orleans, and she will make your day.

The real deal.

 

 

Too far from New Orleans to see the parades in person this year? Never been to Mardi Gras? From someplace where “parade” means a bunch of people walking and waving? Now you can watch the Uptown parades from a nice spot on St. Charles, live on your li’l computer! Yay! Throw me somethin’, mister!

UPDATE:  Oh, and here’s a link to the schedule, which also includes links to other parade cams!  Thanks, Nola.com!  Y’all check it out and pass y’all a good time.

UPDATE #2:  My friend Ricky just pointed out to me that that’s Fat Harry’s!  And wouldn’t you know it, Nola.com has a FAQ page that proves him right!  Click on the pic below!

Fat Harry's Parade Cam!

So, Warner Bros. is at war with the producers of the new revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, over their refusal to release Daniel Radcliffe to do press and red-carpet for the final Harry Potter movie.  Radcliffe’s contract keeps him in NY and in the show until November, while the movie opens in July.  Warner Bros. feels they can’t adequately promote the film without Radcliffe, but How to Succeed producers have held firm, forcing the studio to buy out the houses for the nights they want Radcliffe, to the tune of about a half-a-million dollars.

It’s chump change, really, when you consider that the Potter franchise has grossed over $6 BILLION WORLDWIDE. To put that in perspective, based on my salary last year, I’d have to have lived 600 million years to make that kind of money.    Are they really concerned that if Harry Potter himself isn’t there, the movie won’t open big?

Can you find yourself?

 

Are they seriously worried about this?  Between the books and films, HP is a phenomenon that we’re not likely to see again in our lifetimes (unless it involves some skeevy, sparkly vampire, and even then, only maybe).

 

HARRY POTTER TATTOOS!

HARRY POTTER FAN ART!

HARRY POTTER FAN FIC!

HARRY POTTER FOOD!

HARRY POTTER COSPLAY!

HARRY POTTER PICK-UP LINES!

HAIRY POOTER PORN!  (NSFW)

 

So, really, Warner Bros., thanks for “supporting” the theatre, and kudos to the How to Succeed producers for standing up to Goliath.  As for the show, it just went into previews, but the images I’ve seen from it so far are distinctive.  Here’s Hedy LaRue, on the left:

She does look great, though.

 

And here’s the Evolution of Bud Frump, from the 1960s to today:

 

From realistic nerd to fashion icon. See you in the Village, Bud!

 

The ad campaign and poster art are gorgeous, though, and another comparison leaps immediately to mind.

Hm. There are even faint buildings in the background.

 

 

 

I’m not imagining this, right?  You see this?

 

Palette, style, pose, truth, justice, and the American way.

 

And what’s amazing is you take the glasses off Clark Kent, and you get Superman; but if you put the glasses ON Daniel Radcliffe, you get…

The Boy Who Lived

 

Somehow, I think neither Warner Bros. nor How to Succeed have anything to worry about.

 

 

Monkey Hate Clean

News from New Orleans is that an autistic woman has had her “service monkeys” illegally confiscated.  Favorite quote:

You see all kinds of things on Bourbon Street during Carnival, including drag queens in costume, but what you don’t typically see is a woman in a pirate costume with four live monkeys, also dressed in pirate costumes.

“We were dressing up for the Mardi Gras and we dress up as pirates,” said James Poole, caretaker for Newberger.

Click the link.  Read the article.  Watch the video.  No, seriously.  Watch the video.

Did you watch it?

Am I a bad person because this story makes me think of the Bathroom Monkey from SNL?  (Watch that one, too.)

Bathroom Monkey. That funky monkey. Arr, matey.

 

CORRECTED:  Both links were going directly to Ebaumsworld.  Now you can see the actual news item from WWLTV.com, too.  Sorry about that.  Monkey hate proofreading.

DANIEL-SAN IS ALMOST 50!

This shocking scoop appears in the cast announcement for the latest installment of Dancing with the Stars, a show I literally have never seen.

Here’s the link: http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/02/28/dancing-with-the-stars-cast-ralph-macchio/?hpt=T2

 

I think it’s great that he’s being up front about it.  The Karate Kid was 27 years ago.  He’s not one of those people who has to hide his age, like some of the other gals.

He likes to stretch…

Sally O'Malley-san will show the way.

 

Kick…

Impressive extension, both of you.

 

And heeeee’s 50!  50 years old!

He still looks the same, though.

 

For perspective, also on this season of DWTS is 60-year-old Kirstie Alley, who made her movie debut in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982.  Alley was 31 then, and co-star Leonard Nimoy was 51.  Here’s a shot of them then:

Too harsh?

 

And here’s a recreation of that iconic pose today:

Again, too harsh?

 

I wonder who’ll sweep the leg to try to bring Daniel down.  Wendy Williams?  The wrestler?  L’il Romeo?  I’m breathless with anticipation.

But I’ll still probably never watch it.

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