Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

maternal grandmother

... grandma Lena, from Vilna, who made the best potato latkes in the world.

maternal grandfather

.... grandfather Morris, taken in about 1936... in Lakewood, NJ.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"All My Tomorrows" 2

(at the Latin Quarter) clockwise: Eva, Leo, Peggy, Harold, Milton, Ruthie, dad, mom

"All My Tomorrows" 1

"I may not have a thing at all"...

(at the Latin Quarter)

(no idea where)

private joke

"My name is Mr. Morgan but it ain't JP, there's no bank on Wall Street that belongs to me."
(these were taken at my sweet 16 party, at the Valley Stream Park Inn)

Hotel Ferndale

three shots: two of me with Mr. Morgan and one of me with Bessie and (the other) Max.

my parents, in the late 1950s

... and my mother wearing her best Kim Novak face. Doris Day?

Mr. Universe and Miss Legs

"Im too sexy for my shirt too sexy for my shirt
So sexy it hurts..."

paternal GREAT-grandfather, Abraham

... a silversmith from Minsk

paternal GREAT-grandmother, Goldie

... great-grandma Goldie, from Minsk, who raised (grandfather) Max who married Bessie.

in my own backyard

After I retired, I became obsessed with US travel. I went to Miami, Savannah, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans (before Katrina), Nashville, St. Louis, Charleston, Jacksonville, and San Antonio. I love visiting and touring historical homes. But one of the most interesting was to be found right in my hometown: Pagan-Fletcher Restoration.

Rubin Museum of Art

"Cabaret Cinema: Where Movies and Martinis Mix"
I live right across the street from this wonderful museum. Tonight the "Cabaret Cinema" is showing: "Chappaqua, " a film with Conrad Rooks, Jean-Louis Barrault, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, Ornette Coleman, Swami Satchidananda, Moondog, and The Fugs. The Rubin Museum of Art is my favorite museum. Make it yours.

Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered

from The Jewish Museum New York:
"Andy Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (1980) depict renowned luminaries of Jewish culture: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein. Warhol referred to this pantheon of great thinkers, politicians, performers, and writers as his "Jewish geniuses." Warhol's iconic portraits attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures. Originally published as a portfolio of silkscreen prints on paper, Warhol was so pleased with the commercial success of his Ten Portraits that he decided to create additional versions of the series as silkscreen paintings on canvas. The Jewish Museum initially showed three sets of paintings and an edition of prints in the fall of 1980. On view in this exhibition are one of the five complete sets of ten paintings, an edition of the final print portfolio, several sketches, a preparatory collage, and the photographs that Warhol used as source images, offering new insights into their development and historical context."
The museum is located in a beautiful area of the city, and it's a marvelous exhibit which I recommend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The House in Valley Stream

And in front of that house, my sister (who here minimally opts out) and I had similar dreams.

the great 70s

... acne gone: wearing tacky red fox (shame on me,) bigger red hair, and heading off to Studio 54.

in letters

The Stepford Teachers: here
The Spin Doctors: here
Dale Messick, RIP: page1here
The Reading Wars: here
A proud, traditional teacher: here

when "the maven speaks," Mr. Holland, Mr. Chips, and Miss Dove listen!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

1976, in some club

... "Waiting for Godot," and note the Louis Vuitton bag. I should have saved it, it would today be called "vintage."
(note those thunder thighs)

photo caption contest

photo of me, circa 1978

some early sockpuppet entries:
"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception."
"She got her looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon."
"Marry me and I'll never look at another horse!"
Sockpuppet1 is a fan of Groucho Marx.

Friday, June 13, 2008

no luck at all :-(

I just found out my collection of 12 Hallmark doll cards are not worth anything. Please cancel my trip to the Antiques Roadshow.

comedy calendar

Comedy show in mid-Manhattan tonight, Friday... please E-mail for details.
"DoubleHelix" is invited to introduce me to the stage with his line: "The sockpuppet comments are just the delicious cherry on this psycho sundae." If he is in Manhattan and wants to attend the show and be part of the show, E-mail for details. Drinks on me! I just spoke to the booker. She gave her OK. Yipppeeee, such fun!

In a little learning corner

... of my classroom during my last year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Safe" at Studio Dante

I saw "Safe" tonight at Studio Dante, which is Michael Imperioli's' little jewel box theater. from "The play concerns three relative strangers, Ginger, Van, and Muzzy, who are bound by their self-destructive tendencies, their common desire for a fresh start, and their will to survive." It stars Patch Darragh, Alfredo Narciso, and Jess Weixler. It is a terrific play, very well-acted and intensely structured. Try to get over there and see it. It has a short run, only until June 29th. It was a great night in the theater. I love Studio Dante. The playwrights never fail to deliver. And tonight, I sat next to Sharon Angela (Rosalie Aprile, from "The Sopranos.")

Startling parallels

In this alternate universe: hilarious
The members of a message board were discussing the reason for a TWoP banning: was the post for which she was banned "snotty" or was it a "boards on boards?" Was it some other form of nonsense the banned member wrote that would give her reply in the TWoP forum thread the status of a true font felony? Then, lo and behold, the mod who banned her appears on the scene! She had lifted the ban and removed all warnings but she arrives to explain why it happened. She argues and explains the important sequence of events like she is Clarence Darrow at at the Scopes Trial. It's a laugh riot. She sure "set the record straight." This snappin' activity could grow on me. It is an acquired taste. It makes me in my little saga look like a lawyer at the McDonald's scalding coffee spill case.
P.S. And who the f*$k is "Sasquatch?" Yikes, I would have an easier time following and understanding "Swan's Way!"
"snotty?" did I see that correctly?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign

Contest 2006
The Spot, directed by Stephen Gaghan:
We see a man in an open green field, sitting at a desk with an old-fashioned typewriter. The announcer says, "Blank. Nine dollars." Then, a gorgeous woman on a motorcycle rides into view. "Blank. Sixty dollars." The man seems happy and continues to type. "Blank. One hundred and ten dollars." Eventually, the man hops on the back of the bike and they zoom away, smiling, down an empty road together. "Blank," says the announcer. "Priceless."

The winning entry, by David Waage:
boy gets typing paper: $9.
girl gets tank full of gas: $60.
boy leaves typewriter behind in field: $110.
girl gets boy: priceless

Another entry, by Renee Zucker:
ink: $9.
desk: $60.
typewriter: $110.
the first good idea I've had all day: priceless.

My entry:
artificial tears for the dry eyes: $9.
shredder for all the stories never published: $60.
expandable nylon saddlebag and road atlas: $110.
having no second thoughts: priceless

My entry was the best. I should have won.

Smooches to "DAN," mwah!

DAN: "At least she's more interesting than Robert/Trent."
Thank-you. And if you come to my comedy show, I promise to buy you a drink!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

funny stuff

My friends at Comedysmack sent me an E-mail with information about their site.
Comedysmack: here
The JAP Show: here
"23/6": here
gigglechick: coming soon

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crazy Like a Fox

-- me "in retirement," 2008
"Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all."
-- Woody Allen

circa 1976

Comment: "Oh, and posting a photo of yourself from, like, 40 years ago on your blog? Is just sad and pathetic."
My response: "Check back later for photos of me from 60 years ago... my baby pics."

The Result

This photo of me gives a good clue that at any early age I was beginning to be filled with fears. Here I am at the age of 2 1/2 in a little kiddie pool that has hardly any water. And I am wearing a tube like I am prepared for a voyage on the Titanic.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My family dot com

hahahahahaha LMAO! I was just thrown off How funny is that? Here was my egregious post:
So where's my shiny new invitation?
I saw (QQ) so many threads about me... everything from "social outcast" to "total lunatic" to "borderline" to "I want to rip her heart out." Why ban the star of the show in the cyber-analysis party? Then it's just "lashon hara." With a little "Motzei Shem Rah" for good measure. :-D

I guess they couldn't take my self-effacing tongue-in-cheek humor. There was nothing going on there anyway. The site was better than a 10 mg valium. They moved all their real interactive banter to their private site in their parallel universe. I suppose it's OK to snark about somebody. It's even OK to snark about somebody and know they saw it. But if they reply... it's good riddance and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

They should retitle their members only site: "The Lashon Hara Breakfast Club."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Those who can, "do," those who can't...

I spent the years from 1970 to 1985 at PS 51. This had to be included in my blog:
I will be writing about my memories of my experience at PS 51, but first I need to.... breathe.

I taught a few years at PS 33. It was a bad fit.

I was a teacher at PS 97 from 1989 to 1999.

Friday, June 6, 2008

That's Life in the Theatre (TheeeAyTer)

I saw "In the Heights" on April 4th, just a few days after the first try when the show was canceled after the sound system went awry. It's a phenomenal show. One of the best I have ever seen. The following week I went to see a preview of "The Country Girl." About 20 minutes into the play, the show came to an abrupt halt. The curtain that was sliding from side to side to indicate a scene change was stuck! The lights went on. An announcement was made by Mike Nichols, the director, that due to technical difficulties, the continuation of the show would be delayed. It was a delay that lasted 40 minutes.
I attend the Tribeca Film Festival every year. My first ticket was for "Night Tide," a film from 1961 starring a very young Dennis Hopper. We had a pleasant surprise when Dennis Hopper entered the auditorium to join us for the screening. He sat right in front of me. So, the film began and about 25 minutes into the film, something in the sequence of events seemed very wrong to me. Well, soon Dennis Hopper shouted out: "They have the reels in the wrong order." Can you imagine that? There were four reels to this brand new print, and they showed them out of order: 1 3 2 4! At the end of the film, Dennis Hopper accepted the mix-up in good spirits and he stayed for an interesting Q & A.
A few weeks ago I saw: "A Catered Affair." It is a very heartwarming musical. When I left the theater, I was interviewed for a TV commercial for the show. I have no idea if it will be aired. Knowing my luck, it probably will not be... although in the year 2000, I was in an audience response commercial for the Dennis Quaid film: "Frequency." I also was on "Bloopers and Practical Jokes." In about 1984 when I was on a lunch break, I walked into The Market Diner and there was Robert Klein doing a bit with NYC cab drivers. I squeezed myself into the segment with some small talk by telling him I once taught in the same school as his sister, Rhoda. They kept filming as I talked to him and it made the show. I have the tape. Well, that's the long version of my recent theater experiences and my old appearance on a TV show.
Oh, I was also on Rudy Kazootie when I was about 5 years old.

Tales of a Cyber Lawyer

Case circa September 2007: In an AOL People Connection chatroom, an AOL member has been logging and copying the AOL chat dialogue and pasting it (with the AOL screen names attached) to her personal blog. I was informed that: "A chat log can be considered copyright content as long as it is the original chat communication that is being re-published without any changes or modifications to it."
So, if the chat communication is pasted without changes, the blog owner is in copyright violation. If she changes the chat communication and attaches an AOL SN, it is libel. I have asked to be removed from the owner’s blog and she has not complied. I do not want the material, comments, or jokes that I type in an AOL chatroom saved to her personal blog. I feel lines are posted at the blog which are out of context and not in a complete interactive frame of reference. You have to realize that when dialogue is copied for the purpose of pasting, comments can easily be altered, enhanced, and changed with no credible proof of the original typed comment as it existed in the original form. When an AOL SN is attached to the text without permission, this makes the AOL member responsible and culpable for the text, which in certain cases can be unflattering, humiliating, and even rather egregious. The agenda of the blog can fall under the umbrella of ridicule, intimidation, and bullying... especially since material appears in many cases without consent.
What do we have: plagiarism? copyright violations? invasion of privacy? libel? slander? none of the above? It's all moot. The blog owner took down the blog. It's my opinion that a blog should be created with mostly individual material. Who wants to read idiotic chat dialogue which consists mostly of roomies fighting and trying to get each others' goats. The highlight of their day is to type an insulting "comeback!" It's such a form of low level entertainment for people who have nothing else to do. I go in and enable them. They dance for me like my marionettes. They drink my special blend of Kool-Aid. I provide activity for bored people so I make them a tax deduction for my charity work. Who says I am self-involved?

Another bittersweet memory

Brian Koppleman and me: Stand-up NY comedy club: April 11, 2007: huge fight.
Nuff' said. In terms of reality "performance art," we could have won an Emmy! But, we did a kiss-and-makup. It's all good. Hey, Brian? I heard you audiotaped the fight. So did I. Funny stuff, huh? Ready for a rematch? I will verbally rip you a new one again. I am licking my chops.
How do I get into all this crap? He's off working on "Frankie Machine" and I am blogging about narisha zach. This is the hell that is my life. My life is "the null set."
I wait for a diagnosis. Until then, it's all about On Demand TV. "Rosie Phoner" is on Howard TV. They couldn't show some "Playhouse 90s?"

Rejected at Studio Dante

I auditioned in June 2006 for acting classes at Michael Imperioli's Studio Dante. I did one of Charlotte's monologues from "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." I was evaluated by Vincent Curatola and Nick Sandow. I think Mr. Curatola was undecided but Nick Sandow hated me. I knew I had done a damn good job. But, I was rejected. I left feeling like shit. In any event, I came home and wrote a letter to Nick Sandow. Here it is:

To: Nick Sandow
After my audition last Tuesday, I left knowing that I did not express why I really was interested in taking acting classes at Studio Dante.
I attended a preview of Dark Yellow on Friday, May 26th, and I thought the production was excellent. I had viewed (on the computer) several short films in “The Collection.” I admired your work in Stuck Together, Dog, and Good Morning Mr. Greenberg and I also saw Sharon Angela in The Interview, which was very funny.
I was a 6th grade teacher, in Manhattan, for 34 years and I am a stand-up-comedian... so I was surprised to discover I developed a case of lockjaw during the interview. It was you from whom I wanted to learn the craft, and all of the instructors at Studio Dante were very impressive.
I was unhappy with the flustered way I came across, so I am now writing to tell you what was left unsaid. If at a future time Studio Dante allows another opportunity to try to be accepted into the classes, my contact information is above.
Thank you.

Oh, kill me now, that was another desperate reach. Stick a fork in me, I am so done. What the fuck is wrong with me? Later that week I auditioned for classes with Austin Pendleton at HB Studio. I performed the same monologue and I was accepted. I declined the class because it began too early in the day for my night owl schedule. I never heard from Nick Sandow about a do-over. But, I see him all the time when I attend plays at Studio Dante. Next time I see him I am going to ask him if I was rejected because I am not skinny.

addendum: Days later, I did that same monologue for Sanford Morris at HB Studio and he thought it was excellent. I also did it as an audition piece the next month for Austin Pendleton and was accepted into his morning classes at HB Studio but chose not to register because I am not a morning person.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I look at this photo

and I remember the name Ash Resnick
I remember Ash because he was friends with my uncle Leo, whose photo hangs at this blog entry. It came around full circle. Vegas, Ash, Leo, poker. RIP Leo: "the best poker player in Las Vegas!"

Olfactory memories




And yesterday, Long Island residents reported a smell of burning tires in the area.

"The Girl Next Door"

my review of the Jack Ketchum film from 2007:

This movie is the one of the worst pieces of poorly acted garbage I have ever seen. Blanche Baker gives a performance that can only be described as "camp." I feel bad that it is based on the true story of Sylvia Likens. She deserved better than to have her tortures reduced to such a mess. At no time is it believable. This is because Blanche Baker appears absurd, a parody of the real criminal. This film makes "An American Crime" look like a masterpiece on the level of "Citizen Kane." I am now looking at Tommy O'Haver's film in a new light. "The Girl Next Door" is a disgrace.... I cannot even waste my finger energy on such an imbecilic waste of celluloid.
And you do not see any build up to a "mob mentality." You just see child actors who cannot act and they just stand there watching Blanche Baker camp it up. Then they go through the motions of kid actors pretending to torture a victim. This film could have been directed by Ed Wood.
addendum: I cannot compare which film is more brutal (this or "An American Crime") because in TGND the torture scenes are acted so badly. You have to believe what you are seeing in a good film, and I just never believed these actors. TGND is a classic example of poor filmmaking.


memories of The Hilltop Summer Theater

I found this letter I wrote on July 22, 2006 to Edward Seamon of the Pearl Theater Company:

"I was about fourteen years old when I went with a group from my summer camp (School of Creative Arts, Vineyard Haven) to see a rehearsal of a short scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire" at The Hilltop Summer Theater. It made a lasting and memorable impression, and I kept the program all these years. To this day, I remember your amazing and intense presence on the stage. So, please accept this fan letter... 45 years later. I have enclosed a copy of the program... and I will keep the origninal to remind me (every time I rummage through the things I kept over the years) of my first experience at the theater."

He never replied. Sometimes I think I reach...

Oh, blow it out of your toches, sir!

I found this letter I had written to "Vanity Fair" on June 12, 2006:

If the article "As American as Apple Pie" (Christopher Hitchens, July) was written by Al Goldstein, would it have been published in "Vanity Fair?" Mr. Hitchens speaks from an historical, artistic, and literary perspective about what he calls "the nation's signature sex act." He also carefully interjects some tongue-in-cheek humor regarding the pastime.
I finished the piece feeling like it could be described as "Anais Nin meets Dorothy Parker." After a few stiff drinks at the Algonquin, they create with wanton abandon what they believe to be a witty and sophisticated sequel to "Debbie Does Dallas."
Perhaps the act is an acquired taste which is necessary for full appreciation of Mr. Hitchen's work. But, I asked around in my America, and those who do not indulge as well as major c*cksuckers had the feeling the article was better than a 10 mg Sominex.

Letter not published.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's always all about Brooklyn

Columbia Silver Company

I found some silver collectors discussing (at an internet message forum) my father's long gone business. I am one of the daughters of one of the brothers who owned Columbia Silver Company. The silver company was located in Brooklyn on MacDonald Avenue. It went completely out of business in the 70s. No records remain. By 1994, all the three brothers had passed away. A photo of the three brothers, from 1916, can be found at this blog under "Genealogy."

Columbia Silver Company discussed at a message forum:

a VERY Art Nouveau style

"Ours to Fight For"

from the Museum of Jewish Heritage:
Ours to Fight For: American Jews In the Second World War
November 11, 2003 - December 31, 2006
"The inaugural exhibition for the Robert M. Morgenthau wing, Ours To Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War was named the grand-prize winner of the Excellence in Exhibition Competition at the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Citing the exhibition's use of the first-person narrative, the judges felt this approach engaged museum visitors and allowed them to make connections with the experiences of soldiers 60 years ago and troops serving today. The exhibition companion volume, Ours To Fight For: American Jewish Voices from the Second World War, chronicles the experience of American Jewish men and women who came together with other Americans to heed their nation's call to arms."
A photo of my father, dressed in his army uniform, was part of the wall filled with photos of Jewish soldiers who fought for their country during WWII. The display looked out to the Statue of Liberty. It was a very moving exhibit.

The mystery of Robert's death

Robert was my mother's brother. He died in 1929, at the age of 16. According to police, he died after accidentally drinking a chemical with which he had been experimenting in the basement of his building. He was experimenting with a glass of water and another glass contained a chemical, and upon conclusion of the experiment, he drank the chemical mistaking it for water.
I think about Robert from time to time. He was my uncle, and he tragically died about 20 years before I was born. The house in which this happened still stands on a Brooklyn street, and memories of childhood visits there appear in my poems and other works.

Charlie was here

... and in his day, he was the best ballroom dancer at Roseland.

Monday, June 2, 2008

This just in from Ebner

Dear Everyone:

I am hosting a gnarly new crime show for the newly-branded TruTV (formerly CourtTV) called "Rich and Reckless," and it premieres this Friday, June 6, at 10pm!

"Rich and Reckless" is produced by Left/Right (the team that brings you "This American Life"), and our pilot episode called "Muscle Bound" is unsurpassed in terms of gore and greed. So, please tune in - if only to feel better about yourselves!

With Love,

Mark Ebner

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Get lost, you stupid fool

I was looking over some old letters I sent, and I found this one I sent to AOL regarding a TOS violation I received for typing in a private IM to a man: "get lost you stupid fool."

The letter, probably from 2006:
I am a member of America Online. On the evening of March 15th, I was disconnected from the AOL service for a Terms of Service violation within an instant message. I followed the instructions on my screen and I called the Community Action Team at AOL customer service. A very polite representative explained the exact nature of my violation. He read to me what I had typed which resulted in the disconnection from the AOL service. I was astounded and argued the decision, but I went through the process he detailed and signed back on.
I also received an E-mail from the representative of the Community Action Team with whom I spoke. It contained the text of that exact phrase which resulted in my Terms of Service violation and temporary removal from the service. The comment for which I was removed was: “get lost you stupid fool.”
In fact, the entire IM contained only two lines:
SN 1: kisses
SN 2 (me): get lost you stupid fool
AOL’s Privacy Policy states:
"We do not read your private online communications. AOL honors the confidentiality of its members’ private communications in private chat rooms, e-mail (including downloads), and Instant Message™ conversations, as well as any profile data you may create, such as a stock portfolio. AOL does not read or disclose private communications except to comply with valid legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena or court order, to protect the company’s rights and property, or during emergencies when we believe physical safety is at risk. Of course, what you write or post in public or member chat rooms and message boards is available not only to AOL, but to all members."
After SN 1 reported the IM by activating the “notify AOL” button, the IM was read and the remark, "get lost you stupid fool," was evaluated. Then a subjective decision was made for a TOS violation. But, the comment was taken out of context in terms of the relationship and personal history of the two people involved in that IM. I can only speculate on the reasons why SN 1 reported my reply. But, it is absurd that the private IM comment “get lost you stupid fool” would be objective grounds for temporary disconnection from the service.
The content and dialogue in IMs is none of AOL's business unless a reply is egregiously inappropriate or I was using the service in an illegal manner. How is “get lost you stupid fool” serious enough to support a TOS violation?
AOL should have dismissed the report and not given it any attention or validity. I was informed the information regarding the incident would remain on my account. In my opinion, this was an error in judgement by those who make these TOS violation decisions and determine consequences. And it impacts AOL’s own privacy poilicy and speaks volumes about privacy on the internet.

and the addendum:
As a matter of fact, AOL has BUDDY ICONS in "WHAT'S HOT: CRAZY AND FUN SAYINGS." They say: “TAKE A HIKE” and “YOU ARE SUCH A JERK!”
If those Buddy Icon sayings, which are created by AOL, are acceptable... how is "get lost you stupid fool" a Terms of Service violation? I do not understand how AOL could support “get lost you stupid fool” as a reason for a TOS violation.