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Writer's Block: Love Me Tender

Wow. LJ. Haven't written anything in this journal in I think a year--mostly because my writing time goes to Superconductor, my classical music blog.
Favorite Elvis song: "Kentucky Rain." The combination of lyrics and delivery (with that big baritonal voice going up into the chorus--fantastic. Elvis was at his best when projecting misery into his singing and the subject matter here was pretty miserable. It comes from what's also my favorite Elvis period--the 1968 comeback when the TCB band jelled.

What is your favorite Elvis Presley song?

Writer's Block: Universally speaking

If you could have a conversation with any animal in the world, living or dead (such as a childhood pet), which animal would you choose?

Richard Wagner's dog, Robber, who travelled with the composer from Dresden to Riga, and then by boat via Norway. Robber accompanied Wagner and Minna (the composer's first wife) on the legendary cross-European journey that saw the Wagners visit London and Paris.

Here it is. My bucket list.

LJ UserPic Meme

An LJ user-pic focused meme. Images chosen by Pete Mosq. Feel free to pick some more images to ask me about--this is kind of fun!

* Reply to this post with ICON ME! and I will pick five of your icons.
* Make a post (including this info) and talk about the icons I chose.
* Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
* This will create a never ending cycle of icon glee...


This is art by pop-artist Coop, whose images often include male and female devils. The cigar is obvious. I am actually going to delete this one as part of my quitting smoking last year.

ego critic

Taken from the Pixar film Ratatouille. Parisian food critic Anton Ego (played by the great Peter O'Toole) is one of my favorite Disney characters and I have a small stuffed version of him (where else) in my living room next to the stereo. I tend to use this for posts related to or "review" posts in general.

uncle pennybags

A little S and M imagery and my second-favorite board game. Used to indicate money problems or financial issues. The character is Rich Uncle Pennybags™ from Parker Brothers' classic board game Monopoly.


I am aways looking for owl related imagery. And this art is from a recent album, Pray for Villains by metal band DevilDriver.

wing lohengrin

A swan's wing, and nother image I use for writing about opera. This was actually on the show-curtain for the Metropolitan Opera's controversial 1998 production of Wagner's Lohengrin by minimalist director Robert Wilson. As the Wilson production was hated (by most critics, but not by me) at its premiere. Putting this on my LJ for me is a statement of artistic independence in the face of criticism.

Déjà vu...All Over Again

Last April, on a beautiful Spring day, I went to my regular barber for a haircut, a shave and a beard trim. I grew the 'stache and the beard in last year after several years clean-shaven, and have come to like the Art of Shaving on Madison Avenue for their man-pampering customer service and their superior razor skills.

While getting man-pampered, I began a conversation with the gent in the next chair. We had both been to the same opera the night before (Hamlet at the Metropolitan Opera.) I looked at him carefully in the mirror. It was Alfred Molina. Yep, Doc Ock was getting his head triple-shaved (he was in the middle of playing Mark Rothko on Broadway in Red) and having a Royal Shave from Boris (I think of him as "Boris the Blade") the senior barber. (His daughter, Luda, is the other chair, and also very skilled.)

We had a nice, affable conversation about opera and the perils of filmmaking in Canada. And I gave him my business card. Nice man. I was so happy from that encounter that I went over the Metropolitan Opera and bought a "rush" ticket to see Die Zauberflöte, the perfect ending to the perfect day.

Today, it was time for another shave-and-a-haircut. By coincidence, the Met happened to be doing their shortened, English-language version of The Magic Flute and I figured I'd try to make lightning strike twice and get a rush ticket for the performance. I'm at the Art. I get a haircut from Luda. A shave from Boris. I tip. I pay, and then I'm having a pleasant conversation with the girl who works behind the register--her name escapes me at the time of this writing.

The Art has a "back" door in the barber spa proper. It opens.

In walks Tony Shalhoub. Star of stage and screen. Star of Monk.


I didn't get a ticket for the opera, but lightning sorta struck twice. Déjà vu, all over again.

Meme 4) Post a Photo of Your Night

I promise this picture is better-looking than the last one I posted.

Going tonight to see La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera with Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta.

Review to follow on Superconductor, my classical music blog, Writing it is why I never have time to post here anymore.

Meme 1) Ten Facts and A Photo

1) I really like what I do for work.

2) I am from Brooklyn, New York.

3) I quit smoking in 2010.

4) I love Emily, opera, symphony, and the Rangers in that order of priority.

5) I live in the same building that I came home from the hospital to with my parents, with a few of the same people who'ved lived there that long.

6) I like snow but hate lousy snow cleanup jobs.

7) My favorite NFL team is Green Bay, because I went to Fordham.

8) I've never been to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

9) I know all the words to "The Devil Who Went Down to Georgia."

10) I have wide feet.

A DVD Christmas Carol

The Twelve Flix Of Christmas
Edited for brevity.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My NetFlix Gave to Me
Twelve Angry Men
Eleven's Danny Ocean
Ten with Bo Derek
Nine District Aliens
Eight Million Ways to Die
Se7en murdered sinners
Six Star Wars® Episodes
Five Easy Pieces
Fo(u)r Your Eyes Only
Three French Flicks
T(w)o Be Or Not to Be
And One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Now that's a Christmas movie list!

Writer's Block: It's a wonderful life!

Oooh a list! This sounds like an excuse for a list post.

Top Five Holiday Movies (unconventional)

1) On Her Majesty's Secret Service--Only Blofeld would try to wipe out humanity as a Christmas present. Has the worst Christmas song of all time, the execrable "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?" wonderful skiing sequences and a dude in a bear costume not played by Nicolas Cage. And it's SET IN THE FRICKING SWISS ALPS! How picturesque!

2) The Godfather--Has a Christmas sequence. So it counts and it's my favorite non-Bond movie--which is to say my favorite movie!

3) Batman Returns. The Nightmare Before Christmas is the best of Tim Burton's holiday efforts. But this one puts Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken down my chimney, whatever that means.

4) Scrooge--Wrote about this the other day. A Dickens of a musical with a 37-year old Albert Finney as Ol' Ebenezer--in very heavy makeup. This was my first version of Christmas Carol and while the Alistair Sim version is the best, this is still my favorite.

5) Die Hard--The greatest Christmas story of them all, described by the director on the DVD commentary as a remake of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." (I know, cool huh!) It's an action film, a romantic drama, a family reunion drama and it has the best use of the word "Mo--erf--ker" NOT said by Samuel L. Jackson. And it's Alan Rickman's first movie!

Top Five XMas TV specials
1) A Charlie Brown Christmas--The holiday classic with great music by Vince Guaraldi and Linus reading from the Gospel. Classic.

2) Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire I'm tempted to give this spot to "Grift of the Magi" (with a cameo from Gary Coleman) but this is also the FIRST Simpsons ep aired--tho not the first produced. It's a classic.

3) XMas Story: Futurama episode with a psychotic Robot Santa who goes around slaughtering the naughty--that is, everybody. "A Tale of Two Santas" wasn't bad either.

4) Christmas on Sesame Street--Has great songs, subplots, and Big Bird trying to prove Santa is real and nearly freezing to death. I used to imagine him sitting on the roof of my apartment building.

5) Rumpole and the Case of Identity--A Christmas Rumple Episode, complete with carolling. I watch it every Christmas along with the amazing "Sherlock Holmes in the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"--a Holmesian holiday story.

What's your favorite holiday TV special or movie, and why?

Writer's Block: Welcome home

Brooklyn is where I'm from and Brooklyn is where I own my home and that's where I prefer to live. I actually like cold weather and cold cities but they have to be on a river or on the seaboard. New York, Boston, Montreal. But Brooklyn is home. I'm hoping for a white Christmas this year.
Do you prefer to live in a region with a temperate climate or four seasons, and why?

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January 2012



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