Good morning peeps - all my best wishes to you for a wonderful, warm Valentine's Day - or as my pal Matthew calls it, Singles Awareness Day - aka SAD. LOL Back in college my friend Lisa would wish everyone "Happy VD" which I found funny in 1984 and I still find funny now because, well, I am eternally 13 year old (your tsk tsk at that makes it seem like that's a bad thing! lol).
Anyway, whether you're single or married or somewhere in between, rejoice. No, I mean it. Rejoice. You are alive. You are loved. You are here. And you have, no doubt, at some point, experienced love whether it be for a partner, or for a friend or family member (or maybe all three!).
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've chosen to post this video of "I Believe in You" sung by Michael Buble and featuring Derek Hough dancing and spinning his butt off. It's joyful and yeah, if you're single, it might make you cry, but worth it for the joy it inspires. And you know, you don't need to have romantic love in order to love or be loved. You can take that to the bank.
Happy Friday all! Today, a short blog in praise of my pal, A.B. Lugo, on his birthday which is this Sunday, January 21.
But first, a word about A.B. and birthdays. I've known A.B. since February 2004 and I still don't know how old he is. Truly. I have no idea.
I first met A.B. when I was producing and emceeing a talk show at a club in Chelsea in 2004. He was one of my first guests as a playwright and actor associated with Wings Theater, for which I'd done shows in years prior. A.B. noticed that I was trying to host the show AND take promotional pictures of the show at the same time. He offered to come back the next week and shoot for me in exchange for drinks. It wasn't a great deal for him but I was grateful to have a little help if only for the second week of the show.
Well, the second week turned into the third week and the first month turned into 12. The show got cancelled and I created a Bingo night at another club in town and A.B. followed. And then every week for the next ten years, A.B. showed up to shoot. I cannot over explain how valuable he was to the success of the show and how valuable he became as my friend.
In the 2 1/2 years since the end of the Bingo night, A.B. went on to produce and emcee a karaoke show in east Harlem, write a book of poetry when his parents died, meet a wonderful girl, move to Colorado to be with her, and they are expecting their first child later this year. He's back in town this and next weekend to perform his latest one man show, BBC, at JACK in Brooklyn. Click here for more info/schedules/ticket information
And I still don't know how old he is. One year, in defiance of this, I simply guessed and gave him a cake at bingo that celebrated his 50th birthday. I figured this would goad him into telling me his real age. No deal. Even when he left town, I expected to be finally rid of this mystery. But noooo! :) And the funny thing is, A.B. keeps track of what fictional age he'd be now (is it like 58 or something, I've forgotten! lol)
So here's to A.B. on his birthday. You are timeless. Ageless. and a real friend. All the best and Happy Birthday!
A common complaint about the new Star Wars flick, The Last Jedi, is that it has ruined people's childhoods. Apparently because Luke dies (sorry, spoiler) and has more or less failed to live up to the mantle of hero in the way that fans think he should have, this has ruined 40 years worth of devotion.
First, that's ridiculous. If 40 years can be rubbed out over the course of one movie, then I question what kind of fan you are.
Second, and most importantly, throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Luke is seen as a hero throughout the galaxy. His name is said reverently and apparently he has inspired others to tap into the Force. There is real beauty in his story - especially in his final sacrifice. I can't think of a better arc for him and I'm very happy with it.
Growing up I loved reading Harvey comics. Casper, Richie Rich, Wendy, etc captured my imagination. The stories were funny and fanciful and I loved them. But my sister thought that I, as a 12 year old, should be reading something more 'adult' in nature. So one day when my parents, she and I were traveling in our Winnebago, we stopped in to the Clock Tower Resort located in Rockford, IL In the gift store, they had a spinner rack with three bagged super hero comics. My sister liked the one featuring someone saying Superman was the pits (it was her 'catch phrase' at the time). So on the way home, I read The Flash, Action Comics, and Justice League of America. I was hooked and spent the next decade a very hard core reader up until the Crisis on Infinite Earths changed the continuity from multiple earths to one Earth. The 12 issue story was great but not really well thought out and post Crisis DC Comics has often been a muddle where creators have continuously tried to rework the revision. I stopped reading regularly in the late 80s although I have kept up with occasional stories now and then.
Along the way most of my childhood heroes either died (but came back) or their origins changed (how many versions of Wonder Woman's origin exist?) or they became 'grim and gritty' (I was bored with this direction as soon as it appeared). But at no time did I feel like my childhood had been diminished.
Out of curiosity, I googled the Clock Tower only to discover that it had fallen into disrepair and had been sold to a developer last May. Last report was that it was in the middle of demolition last month.
I should mention here that the Winnebago was sold in 1982 after my father died of cancer and we were basically broke. I should also mention that after another 30 years of living in her house, my mom passed away in 2012 and the house was sold. The new owners have made massive changes at least the exterior of the house and it looks amazing.
Is my childhood gone because fictional superheroes I loved died/got gritty? or that things from my growing up were sold, demolished, changed, upgraded?
Life is evolution and nothing can stay the same no matter how much we'd like it to. You can't keep your childhood in amber, bubble-wrapped from the rigors of the march of time.
And even if you could... would you want it to?
Tags: animation, art, childhood, Clock Tower, Clock Tower Resort, comic books, comic strip, Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics, Flash, illustration, Justice League, Justice League of America, Luke Skywalker, Rockford IL, Star Wars, Superman, The Flash, The Last Jedi
Good morning and Happy December 1st. Today is World AIDS Day. It is a day to remember those whom we have lost and those who continue to lead and participate in the fight to end AIDS.
Today's video is something I continue to be fascinated by - how masses move as one such as ant colonies, birds, bats, etc. How do they 'know' to move as a group unit?
Enjoy this 2 minute ballet of beauty ...
Tags: angie, close up, comic art, comic book, comic strip, connecticut, cosmonaut, edward rothenberg, hamhock retreat center, illustration, instagram, juniper bush, kitty coroner, magic, marriage equality, memo, reverend andrew, same sex weddings, saturn, space, tv guide, tv snide, wedding officiant, westport