Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nature
Nurture's

Today I need to go back to the earth and look at all the nature that is around me and be reminded of how these things of nature, nurture me....and hopefully, nurture you, too... I cannot remembe the name of this plant, I'm sorry to say....These arms are about as big and round as a big fat cigar....and the intricate design of each of these arms just knocks me out...nature---in all it's beauty and geometry, too---creates things that are truly astounding....but, here is another look from a slightly different angle...same plant....a different day, too....more sun...so we see more of the exactness of that glorious pattern....this pattern that repeats and repeats hundreds of times in each little arm....BEAUTIFUL!




I have a couple of these plants and they are all related...they all came from one plant...and that one plant is in the ground...This one, in the photo, is in a pot because an arm or two got broken off and so we planted it in a pot just to let it root. But it looked so very pretty in that particular place that I decided to just leave it there and let it do it's thing....And it's thing is to grow and multiply! And it has been doing that very successfully for a couple of years now...so, unless something happens to the sister plant that is in the ground, we'll just leave this beauty in the pot exactly where it is right now. It sure is happy there and that's important for a plant, cause if they are happy, they are beautiful and they then nurture you!

Another wonderful plant is this beautiful succulent (Echevaria, I believe)....the color alone nurtures me every time I see it.....the shape, too. I don't even know how to describe this color---and I'm a painter and in order to mix these colors, you would have to use about 8 or 10 different colors, mixed very very carefully, and even then...this would be near to impossible to do...Oh, I know it can be done perhaps, by a De Vinci or a Rembrandt....masters of color, they were, but God's Garden....well.....almost impossible to duplicate. And that shape....my my my....so very perfect yet not, if you see what I mean. This plant is in a pot, too, out on my deck, which faces the city...but I have a few in the ground, as well....they are sturdy plants even though they have a delicacy to them....they look very delicate to me, anyway, and I think it's the softness of each leaf which gives one the feeling of delicacy....thick, but soft...I'm in love here!

And this is one of my very very favorite plants....I probably have 50 of them in various sizes, all over the garden. Many are 'volunteers'.
This plant is called a Senecio....(It has a second name because there are many types of Senecio's....and I use to know it, but I've forgotten it....sorry about that...) This Senecio grows like a weed....the little puffs of flower seeds fly off with a very slight wind and land on the ground and wherever they land, they root and grow. That's why I have so very many of these plants...and we've pulled up more than I can count over time when they were very very small cause in a day or so from that moment of pulling up, there could be ten or fifteen more little volunteers!



These next photo's give you a closer look at the bark of the Senecio....bark is really not the right word, and truthfully I don't know what the correct word is...but given that, look at the pattern on this....and it is so smooth. There are no little 'stickers' on a Senecio...nothing to hurt you in any way...Beautiful Beautiful Lush plant. And to the side there, by the way, is 'George' with the "buttons" that will be growing and that I am watching? And in fact there has been a little bit of growth since the first photo which was on that last "walking" post, as I recall...

I love the leaves on a Senicio....very long thin soft leaves....clean in a way, just like the stalk or bark. Smooth and clean, and BEAUTIFUL, Oh my....this plant nurtures me soooo very much and has since I planted the very first one's 20 years ago. I never tire of looking at them and they make me feel incredibly good every time I do look at them because they are like works of art; so very sculptural; such a lovely soft color, too! This plant feeds my soul.


Here's another special plant....strange and beautiful and, believe it or not, I believe, another type of Senecio! (Who would believe....?) Here are two photographs of this small plant that grows low to the ground. It is almost white in color because it creates this powdery stuff on each of it's thick juicy looking leaves to protect it from the sun, all the while, needing the sun...And you can see that on one of those leaves the powder got washed off and so you are able to see that underneath that powdery white stuff is a green leaf. These plants will do well in the ground if they are in the proper somewhat protected area where 'the elements' like heavy wind don't get at them. This next photo is a closer look at these very beautiful leaves. They are soft soft soft and it's the powder that gives them that soft look.

And again, you can see the light olive green of these leaves where the rain has washed that magical powder off....Isn't that amazing?


Once again, this nurtures me.




I saw this wonderful plaque many many years ago, in a friends garden in Sarasota, Florida....I was having a show of my Paintings there in a lovely Gallery which I think is gone now, called The Foster Harmon Gallery. Foster had been there in Sarasota for years and years and years. My friend Barbara had moved to Sarasota from Chicago after her dear dear husband, who had been my voice teacher in New York, had died. Barbara is originally from England and a Proper Garden was always very very imporant to her wherever she lived here in the states. She had this plaque in that sweet garden of hers and I saw it and knew I had to have one for my garden...And, luckily, we were able to find one right there in Sarasota...and here it is, a bit beaten by the elements, but still wonderful and so very very true.







I apologize for turning on the 'Comment Moderator' and the 'Registered Member' thing, but I've had a number of nasty mean spirited Anonymous Comments which I don't need and in fact, which nobody needs....So, if this very angry person wants to leave a comment, they will have to come out of the woodwork and not hide behind "Anonymous", anymore.


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

JUDY & SAMMY & ME


Of any given afternoon or evening, I surf around all these special movie channels I pay extra for with the digital cable box, and cannot find anything to watch. I’ve either seen the movies before and never care to see them again, (with a few exceptions) or I didn't want to see the movies in the first place and these are all shown all the time, over and over and over....ad nauseam, good and bad, included...! Then I go to Turner Classic Movies and I can almost count on finding something I’d really like to see again. These old films really are better to my way of thinking.

As a kid, I went to the movies all the time. I have always said, the movies saved my life, though MGM basically ruined my life, too, you know? I believed all the romance and ‘happy endings’ in those MGM films, because I needed to, (there were no happy endings in our house)… I could lose myself in those movies.
I could forget about all the bad things that were happening to our family and I could dream of all those wonderful romantic things that were happening to Lana, happening to me, and that helped me to survive. I was in love with Lana Turner and I wanted to be Lana Turner, too. (go figure!) I kept scrapbooks on many MGM Movie Stars....(don’t ask...it seems like a really strange thing to me now, too!) I was such a baby in so many ways back in those years; and in fact I was the baby of my family, and as I’m sure many of you know who are the baby's of your family's—that position never changes, no matter how old you get.


On the first day of Drama School in New York City, I met a beautiful young man from Alabama, named Sammy.
It was the beginning of a life long most loving and trusted friendship which ended only because he died much too young—we were truly soul mates in every sense of that phrase. The only thing we weren’t was ‘lovers’, though I feel if that had been in the cards we would have been….we skirted around that in conversations and decided it would ruin our friendship which we both felt was very important---too important to each of us to ruin it just for a ‘role in the hay’, as Mrs. Chisholm said, in “Petrified Forest”... So we always decided to maintain our friendship just as it was---and, he was, back then, sometimes gay, (eventually, pretty much all gay, if there really is such a thing---lots of debate about that one) and I didn’t really know what I was….that feeling of being ‘in love’ with Lana when I was 11, had confused me, even though I had been in love with Hugh, at 9....oy…and I certainly found out later, but during those first years, I was like a Nun who has taken a vow of celibacy.


One of the many things we shared was a passion for movies. He was just as much of a movie junky as I was, so we had a great time going to films together and both of us felt the same way about ‘heads’ in front of us at the movies. So, we didn’t care how many times we had to move our seats in order to avoid having anyone sitting in front of us---sometimes if the theatre was really crowded we would end up in the first row with our necks craning, but most of the time we just ended up sitting closer to the screen than anyone else, which we both loved—that connection to the movie screen—each film being shown, just for us. And we never talked during a film, ever, ever. It wasn’t something we even needed to discuss; it was just what we did from the first time we went to a film together.



When Judy Garland's “A Star Is Born” was going to open in New York City, we had to go see it the very first day it played. We both loved her and had both seen her at ‘The Palace’—a life changing experience, for me----I had seen a lot of wonderful performers even though I was very young because as I said in a previous blog, going to the theatre was something my family had always done on a regular basis as long as I could remember. But, I had no concept that the young woman in all those MGM musicals when seen ‘live’ was going to be so magnificently electric....that she would be such a powerful performer. But she was, because she reached into her guts and tapped into her own emotions and artistry, touching the audience in a way that I had never seen before. It was an awesome thing to behold and to feel, too. I saw her three times at The Palace. Thrilling, beyond words. I’d also never seen an audience respond this way to a performer. It wasn’t like Sinatra or later "The Beatles" and fans screaming through all of the songs so you never understood anything they said....No, Garland's audiences were worshiping at ‘Her Alter’, riveted to her every move and gesture and being swept away with the emotion she projected and in turn the emotions she made you feel….the screaming of Bravo would erupt at the ‘finish’, you know? It was much later when her die hard fans, (and I include myself), knew every note of every arrangement that people would scream at the first notes of the first 4 bars played by the orchestra---knowing what gem was about to be sung...but that's where the screaming stopped....or whooping at a crescendo reached during a song that they knew was coming…(think: “Rock A Bye My Baby”…YES! Or “Swanee”, just as she was changing keys to a higher register and slowing down the tempo---screams of recognition—almost orgasmic in nature…)then....quiet as we would let the performance sweep over us, savoring every moment of the artistry....She was something else.



So, Sammy and I met up on that very first day at The Roxy Theatre where “A Star Is Born” was opening, and sat through this masterpiece of a film, twice. And when we finally felt we had to go home…we truly hated to leave and swore we would come back. But as it turned out that was the first and last day anyone ever saw the uncut, unbutchered version of this fantastic film. It was pulled out of the few first run theatres across the country where it was playing and a shorter version was in order because of the money that was being lost with this longer version----(what a travesty)---and now, all these many years later with the magic of digital restoration, the original version can be seen, but not in it’s original state of course. With the use of photographs and ‘voice-over’s’, much has been put back---whatever musical numbers that still existed...were found and were lovingly put back---but, much was lost forever…..and so it will never be what it originally was....A true masterpiece of a ‘movie musical’. I remember that both Sammy and I were bowled over by the kind of performance that was captured on film of Judy Garland’s singing---it had the most ‘live’ feel to it of any musical film she had ever made up till that time. (Rent from Netflix: “I Could Go On Singing”; it’s the last film Garland ever made and her musical performances in that movie are superb, though the film itself is not the best of her career---but yet again, her acting is astounding--) And in “Star”, her acting is superb, too---truly riveting and heartbreaking.
That scene in her dressing room when she talks about her husband’s alcoholism and then proceeds to go out and sing, again, “Lose That Long Face”, which had been cut...(Give Me A Break!!! OY OY OY)…..Well, Garland was robbed that year at the Academy Awards…..and James Mason was robbed too…His thoroughly stunning performance didn’t even get a nomination!
THAT...I will never ever understand...his was a deeply layered and sensitive performance of a tortured man who's life and career are pretty much over, struggling to hang on to one last beautiful moment or two...

The last time I saw Judy Garland perform, was at the Hollywood Bowl…..There were times in-between, but, The Bowl was particularly memorable for various reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Sammy and I were sitting waaaay up in ‘The Peanut Gallery’....And it was memorable also because it was the same concert that she had sung at Carnegie Hall...that landmark concert that was recorded 'live'...some months before this concert. So it was pretty special. It was drizzling as it sometimes does in California and Miss Garland was late coming on, but she did come on—I think she was waiting for the rain to stop and when the audience began applauding almost as ‘one’ the show began.
What was remarkable about this performance was that even though Sammy and I were very far away from her, she owned that place and transcended that space which is huge, and it felt like she was singing just to us…as if this was a personal performance---just for the two of us. How she managed that, I’ll never know because any other performer would have at best—looked like a little ant up there. I cannot explain this—but she looked like she was 30 feet away, at most. No big TV screens on either side of the stage as they have now….just her 'there', looking big! Amazing! I’ve seen quite a few performers there at the Bowl, and very few can actually transcend that space. Very very few—I think that is why they have those screens now.

But this woman—this Judy Garland---was a true ‘force of nature’. No one like her before or since that I have had the privilege to see "Live & In Person"....to witness and be moved by….yes, there have been lots of very great performers, but no one quite like Garland…Thank God for the magic of film, and recordings, and Video Tape. And I will be grateful for all of my life to have been lucky enough to see her not once or twice, but many times....to be transported by a performer of this caliber stays with you forever, and inspires you forever, too....







In the interest of honesty, this piece was posted on my other blog, without photographs...and only about two people actually saw this...now that I know how to put the photographs on and having edited this just a bit...I wanted to re-post it, so I did! Hope you enjoyed it...


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Friday, February 24, 2006

PHOTO FRIDAY



This is a succulant that is no bigger than a slightly thick pencil...look at the piping...(Nature is simply amazing)....and you can see where clothing designers get their ideas...and check out those teeny tiny flowers, too....

I'm not a Photo Friday Regular but I haven't had time to do a nice long post, so...I hope you enjoy this....


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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

TIX!

So...we are on a two hour break here...and I'm checking on stuff...and going to begin getting my interim post ready...(which, as it happens, is this..)

Ticketing is going well...and it's just the wonderful Shawn & me today...which, as it turns out is better than if there were more people than us...My concentration is not as distracted by people talking, etc...so very many mistakes can happen...wrong tickets clipped to the wrong order form... forgeting to write down the Ticket Info on the ticket form and also on the Master Sheets and most important, making sure we mark off the seats as assigned on the BIG Master Map of the theatre Orchestra & Balcony...This is such a 'personal' event...so very many of the people have been coming for all of the 22 years we have been doing this...and, we all care about trying to take care of individual people's needs, you know?...Making sure they get to sit where they want, if possible...so it takes time to do this right, and hopefully both Shawn & myself didn't make a sh**load of mistakes!

We have to check everything and then double check everything...Shawn and I are not stuffing envelopes today...the 'guys' will do that on Friday & Saturday...we are seating all the packages for each performance and then have been doing all of my people for each performance...(Shawn had to go off to an appointment for a business thing so that's why I'm sneaking off to blogland--he will be back any moment...)

Later: So, Shawn returned and was pretty exhausted from his 'meeting'...(he is soooo busy with this Event---he is our Event Co-Ordinator--plus, meeting on another Event he is working on for the Make A Wish Foundation....a terrific organization, as many of you know, I'm sure...)...so he just stretched out on the floor for a moment or two before we went back to work...



Later, yet again: It turns out we DID have more help than just us! Hooray...Another person just appeared out of nowhere to help us! It was such a wonderful thing to have such a perfectionist helping us....Oh my, what a great help he was....I don't know what we would have done without this extra set of hands....well, not hands exactly....as you can see....such an amazing person, isn't he? Who knew?




And he was such an incredibly BIG BIG help...leafing through the ticket forms with his efficient paw-ways...straightening out a number of mistakes that Shawn and I had made...and then...he actually attempted to take the marker and correct a few things on the Master Map...What a special kitty Mr. Sweetie is... We couldn't have continued on without him...Bless his sweet dear dear heart...My little honey of a help-mate!

And then, there was this, too....Oh, My...this helped so that we could continue on and finish up for today...not a great photo I'm afraid, (too much sugar to see straight, I think), but I hope you can tell what this is anyway...it's pretty self explanitory, you know....Ohhhhhhh my Lordy, the sugar rush....


And, in case you can't read it...these are called: "Outrageous No Nuts Brownies"! Perfect, isn't it! Going to relax for a bit now....

....More to come, as always....

**Extra**-Go to this link: http://www.sonnyradio.com/chrisbliss.htm
This is Masterful....utterly and completely Masterful!!!

I've never seen anything like this, ever before...in my life!
Enjoy....


By the way, Sweetie has his own blog now...Why not go over and take a peek...he loves visitors...and comments, too....he purrs when visited.....




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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

MORE WALKING

When we left off, I think the last thing I showed you was Michael Jeter's house. This is was at the top of my hill, where three streets converge and my street goes on down to the far left...and straight ahead is another short steeet that goes down hill and ends in a cul-de-sac...and then the third street is a flat street, (Thank God) and it too, is a cul de sac but has some interesting houses on it and some amazing views, too...and the fact that it is flat is a great blessing after just about crawling up my steep street...so, that's where I continued my walk...

This is looking east, between two houses and seeing some of what they see from inside their house...that layer of gunk that looks like it is just atop the mountains in the distance is some of the disgusting air that we breath here in Los Angeles, and this was a pretty good day...It's pretty shocking to look out from my windows at times and see not a layer of tan-brown gunk, but a layer of brown-black gunk. Scary really.

If you remember from the previous walking post, I had turned around about 2/3 of the way up my street--looked up, and saw this guy painting the house up there? Well the particular house he was working on as he stood in that corner, was this one. It's an amazing Art-Deco home...very very big and it covers such a large amount of land for a hillside that you can see it from three different angles...I only have two angles in these two walking posts, (the one I just mentioned and this one)...but I will try to take the third angle on another walk...at a later time...(I would have done it for this post but I have not been able to go out and walk due to weather and other things...) It's hard to see the whole house, but the section that would be behind that big tree which is almost impossible to see, is part of what I was looking at from my street...


As I strolled along, I came to another place where one can see yet another view between houses...(continueing looking towards the east)...and if I am not mistaken, that tiny little white building at the top of the mountain in the distance is The Griffith Park Observatory...rather famous because it was included quite prominantly in the James Dean film, "Rebel Without A Cause"...You can't see the dome in this particular photo, but if you remember that film, a lot of action took place around the outside of the Observatory as well as inside, and when they were outside, you could see the very beautiful dome quite well. And right behind the mountain you can just barely see a bigger mountain in the background...but you can truly only see these kinds of things on a clear CLEAR day...which this day wasn't; it most likely would be considered a semi-clear day. And, given that, you actually can see quite a bit anyway...


As I was wandering along, I looked down and saw this little guy...he was really a baby person...
and I think because it was so very very warm that day, he was wandering around, too...only he usually wouldn't be found on the sidewalk, but in the dirt of people's gardens...I have hundreds of them down in my garden...I love these little guys...they are so prehistoric looking, aren't they? Hard to tell in this photo but I have some earlier pictures I have scanned in on my computer of a lot of the lizards in my garden...I will post those sometime soon....


As I continued on my way, I came to one of the older homes in this area...built around 1927-28, which I have heard had quite a checkered history...I don't know that all that I have heard is true, but it certainly makes for very interesting conversations among the neighbors. They say, (whoever thay are), that this was at one time a very high class Hollywood Brothel...lots of movie stars supposedly frequented this establishment during the late '20's and early '30's which was the time when it was supposedly 'in vogue'...later, a well known Movie Gossip Columnist owned this home until her death...and there have been many other owner's since that time...a major renovation took place about 15 years ago and I don't have a clue as to who lives here at the present time...but it is a huge house with a central staircase that goes down about four flights and a four car garage (Cars were a lot smaller when this house was built), two of which you can just about see...these hillside homes are simply amazing, aren't they?

The Spanish style house we just saw is at the end of that street---the cul de sac part....where there are actually only two houses that hug this 'end'...I cannot get a picture of the other house because...guess what....there is a big wall around it and all you can see is 'wall'. Oh, I did take a picture of that wall, but it was so boring I decided not to include it...
So I began walking back towards where I had come from, and saw this Palm Tree and because it is so very typical of so very many Palms that you see here in Los Angeles, I decided to take a picture of it, with it's very lush top and it's unkempt--no doubt Rat Infested beard! It is my understanding that the 'The Palm Tree' was never an indiginous tree to California and that ALL of the many types of palms that you find here were all imported from elsewhere...Pretty amazing when you think that all throughout L.A. the Palm, in all it's many types and all it's beauty, is everywhere! (I even have three types of Palms down in my garden; The King Palm, The Queen Palm and the so called Date Palm, that gives no dates!)


As I kept walking back towards Michael Jeter's house, I saw this man (who wasn't there when I passed by earlier), painting the trim on a garage....I said hello to him and would have taken a photograph of him but I didn't want to make him uncomfortable... so I asked him if he lived there and he said no...and then there was this barking over to the right and I looked over and saw this very scary looking dog...and the guy painting must have seen my fear and said..."Oh don't pay any attention to his barking, he is the the sweetest dog you'll ever want to meet..." So, I said 'hello' to this doggie and he just kept looking at me in this way that I couldn't possibly explain in words if I wanted to...but I actually caught this look with my camera, as you can see...I don't know what kind of dog he is, but I'm sure someone out there in blogland does know...and it looks like they've done something to his ears, or perhaps that's just how they grow...It's strange because he has this combination look of scary, sweet, and pained, all rolled into one...I mean, that's how he looked to me...and in all honesty his barking really did scare me when I first looked over at him...I've never seen a dog before that looks quite the way this little fella does...I'm glad he is so nice cause if he weren't, oh boy....

After getting back to where my street would be starting downhill again, I saw this bed of succulants....well, I should say of this one succulant...Beautiful color, I thought..and I'm pretty sure the color is partly because of the sun's rays...I thought it was so very very unusual and so very beautiful, too, that I took a photo of the whole bed and then a close-up of this gorgeous succulant...And here they are...

And, next, the close-up...which made me think that this plant looks almost good enough too eat!And then, I started down my street...a lot easier than going up, I can tell you...(lol). As I was coming down, I realized that while walking up the hill, I had taken photographs of that little hill...that was the one that had the chain link fence around it, remember? And now, I was looking at the other side of that hill, where years and years ago they built this little road (well, it no doubt will be 'The Driveway' to the house they have yet to build) which takes you up to the top and then....nothing. They never did anything! Then, some more years and years went by and there were problems with druggie people going up there and doing God knows what...so then they built a wall around it....And as I believe I said in that last Walking Post, there is something going on up there now, but it is not clear what, yet...As you can see, from this vantage point, they have a great view of the mountain across the way...(the same mountain again, that I see) plus they have a beautiful view of the city from up there as well...and this street is situated in such a way that it looks like it was getting dark...well, that's because it was getting dark right there, that is!

Okay. So now you remember that house up in the cul de sac that I didn't want to show because all you could see was this boring wall around it? Well, here it is from the other side...from my street, looking up...only now you can see the house and see how big it is! Then I took a closer look with my trusty zoom lens...Again, these hills are Amazing! Pay no attention to the monstrosity in the forground...this is a horrendously horrible house that was built badly, has little cells that they call 'bedrooms' and the maids quarters...I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It is the teeniest cell of all, and worst of all--this cell has no windows--not even one! Concentrate on the house above, if you can.... One more photo.

Back at my garden...In the front is this plant that we call George...too hard to explain, but...he is a very beautiful plant that gets the most amazing fruit...Here are the beginnings of the flowers that will turn into fruit...these little furry buttons will--believe it or not---turn into the most amazing flowers and fruit you could possibly ever see!....I will keep taking photographs to chronicle the growth of these amazing little button creatures...(I have an earlier picture but the growth would be barely perceptible...so I consider this, the first of the hopefully, many more to come as we watch these buttons grow and develop....)

As always....More to come...




**Just a little note about today and tomorrow...I will be working on the seating/ticket stuff for S.T.A.G.E., so I may not be surfing about everyone's blogs...except at odd hours...but I'll be back...off to Zzzzzzland now, but do keep a light in the window....**





















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Sunday, February 19, 2006

MORE AWARDS....

After going on quite a bit about the Best Of Blogs Awards on Annie's blog....it turns out that I have been nominated for the 'Share The Love Award' in the catagory of "Most Meetable, In Real Life". (These Awards were created by Heather at One Woman's World). There are so many irony's here....not the least of which is that I have no idea who nominated me...and I do thank you, whomever you are....!

I think this is a swell catagory, and that's an irony too, because when I started blogging I was trying to be anonymous...that didn't last very long at all, cause you really can't continually write about things that have happened in your life and make up names for so very many many people....at least, I couldn't....cause the truth of my life is whatever it is....let the chips fall...you know the rest...

But to go back in time a bit---Mamcita got really upset with me for the things I said on that particular BoB Award post of Annie's, but after a very good dialogue exchanged in emails, I think she understands where I am coming from and I certainly understand where she is coming from, too...But I do want to say I would not have known, nor would she, if I had not written her an email after she left this distressing-to-me comment on my blog....But see, I really felt that it was important to find out why she was so upset with me and to try and see if we could open up a dialogue to get past this...cause it made me feel bad that a fellow blogger was upset with me and in my view, had misjudged me...and so I couldn't just let it go without trying to communicate further....And I believe we did get past this particular upset. And that's a very positive outcome when basically we were 180 degrees apart to begin with...sort of....And I certainly hope that what I feel about Awards will not be upsetting to Heather....cause I think she is trying to do a good thing here with these awards in this month of Valentine's day...a month of love, as she so rightly stated.

So having said all that....I will continue and say that
though I am very very flattered to be nominated, I can't say that being nominated in the 'Share The Love Awards' changes what I basically feel about Awards in general...And what I feel about them is based on personal experience and being completely disallusioned about the voting processes of many Awards, some of which I've been involved with...and knowing and feeling that the very nature of Awards brings in a competitiveness weather you want it to or not, or weather you want to admit it or not...I also I think it stirs up lots of feelings that I sure don't enjoy feeling.....Like shaky feelings of self-worth if you don't win, hurt feelings, etc...none of which I want to be a part of my blogging experience...and, truthfully, I have been distressed with all these many many blog award things and felt like I couldn't wait till all that was over, please...enough already!! And then I became aware of these 'Share The Love Awards', and purely by accident found out I had been nominated.

And I do believe that One Woman's World's Heather is coming from a real place of love and care and from what I can gather the voting will be completely 'write-in' from other bloggers, if I am not mistaken...
Heather's idea of honoring women bloggers is a really really lovely one and I do think this is a really sweet sincere and loving idea. But it is still, a competition.

You know, going back in time a bit again, when I first read somewhere that there were these BoB Awards, (The first time I became aware that there were any sort of blog-type Awards at all!)...my heart kind of sank because I personally hated to see a "competition" occuring in the blog world as I understood it, (in my naivete, that is)....There are sooooo very many Awards out in the World-World....I thought at that moment...'Oh no, not the blog world, too....'

Is there no place in the entire world where this disease of competition, and "winning" doesn't exist? We are right in the middle of the Biggest Competition of ALL, The Olympics! The Olympics...where WINNING THE GOLD is everything! Where a Silver and/or Bronze Medal is like loosing!!! I mean, to me...if the Silver & Bronze (Oh Yeah, that's really lousy, isn't it...) is like loosing...well....this is sick. And there is even some kind of Blog Olympics now, too....Oy!


You know, I go to a great many blogs as you all do too...and each one is unique because each one is coming out of the heart & mind of that particular person...and that's so wonderful! Each and every one of these blogs that I go to touches me in some way---speaks to me, if you will, because each one is offering the uniqeness of the person who is creating it. How do you 'judge' that? How do you judge each of these blogs? How do you decide which one is 'The Best', when they are all so different from one another? You can't. And it is my belief, you shouldn't have to, so I probably won't because it then becomes some kind of popularity contest...you vote for your friends--you can't help it--it's human nature. You know even putting people on your blogroll, or not putting people on your blogroll is a statement of some sort, too...


Since October when I started my blog, I have not had a blogroll because I couldn't figure out how to do it...and truthfully, I still really don't know how...without the wonderful Craziequeen, I wouldn't have a blogroll at all...And frankly, I wanted one more to to make it easier for me to move around the blog world...(And BTW...it's not done yet cause I can only add a few every few days cause I make so many mistakes...but God knows, it will be easier for me to use my own blogroll to surf around to all the different blogs I visit than to go into 'my favorites' where I cannot find anything now cause there is too much there...and, not in any kind of order, either...anyway...my blogroll is still a work in progress....) And frankly, I wasn't that aware of weather my name was on someone's blogroll or not...till...TILL now.....
Yeah, now that I have my own blogroll...and when I see, perchance, that I'm not on a particular someones blogroll that I visit all the time and who visits me...I have this little feeling of hurt...OY! Who needs that? It's like not winning a prize, people....believe me!

The truth is...it doesn't take away from any of the enjoyment I get when visiting whomever...blogroll or no blogroll....it's about meeting people and enjoying an exchange of ideas and feelings; it's about being touched by people...about getting to know people....It's why All Things Michele is so pure and wonderful...she of the truly kind and generous heart and the deeply sweet nature...who's sense of humor is always in tact and yet who is incredibly sensitive to all who visit her pages being truly in touch with the needs of her visitors...this is a miricle and this is 'the best' because it is everything blogging really is about, to me...

And, another little irony regarding the Share The Love Awards....Annie, who has very strong feelings about the BoB's was nominated in the Best Design Catagory in these 'Love Awards'....I have always loved the way her blog looks...and it turns out she designed it herself...!
And now, here she is nominated and if you visit her blog, you'll see she is kind of happy about it and why not? I just don't want her to be hurt if she doesn't win...cause in truth, weather she wins or not, her design is absolutely lovely to my way of thinking and what I feel about it is not going to change if she wins or not! I am not going to use the word 'lose' because if I do it gives the whole thing much more weight than necessary...and in my view, she won the very first time I visited her blog and I went...'Wow, that is a really beautiful page!' Cause that was my honest---in the moment---response to what I saw. That's really all that matters....or should, don't you think?

I certainly hope that what I feel about Awards doesn't offend anyone and I hope Heather knows that I respect her and think what she's trying to do is truly terrific! Bless you Heather....

I guess, the bottom line is, I don't want anyone to be hurt or feel left out or feel 'not good enough', or whatever because of any Awards....and I sure don't want to feel any of those things either...been there, done that in the non blog world.

What do you feel about Awards?


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Friday, February 17, 2006

S.T.A.G.E.

2nd
Installment

Since the last time that I wrote about The S.T.A.G.E. Benefit, we are now less than one week away from doing our "seating" for the Producer's, Co-Chair's, and The S.T.A.G.E. Committee's blocks of seats....Each year those of us connected to any of the above, try to sell as many tickets as possible giving preferred seating to any and all people ordering these tickets in all the price ranges($35., $65., $110., $165,; $220...) So, I have been on the phone, a lot, reminding people of our deadlines and taking ticket orders and Ad Journal Orders as well as Memorials for the journal, too.... (Memorials are $10. a name, incidentally...) And I urge any of you who live in the Los Angeles area to avail yourself of the most amazing theatre experience you will ever have. Trust me!


On Tuesday (February 21st), I will be getting all my order forms 'in order', by the Performance Days and the Ticket prices, etc. This is so when we get to the actual seating the next day, (Wednesday) all of the preliminary sorting will have been done and any last minute orders on Tuesday can just be placed where they belong in the already sorted piles.


The people who buy the "packages" ($15,000. $10,000, $5,000, $2,700, and so on....plus a few more lower priced packages)....ALL get seated before the single ticket buyers....
the theory being that if someone spends $15,000 they deserve to be seated before someone who buys a pair of tickets in that same price range, per ticket...if you get my drift. And these larger amounts are considered "Sponser Packages" as I'm sure many of you are familiar with if you've ever worked on a Charity Event, or ever been to one of these kinds of events....


So....there is a lot of preparation involved with the actual 'seating' of people, which makes everything run smoother, you know?
I'm happy to say I've had a very productive couple of days, by the way, since beginning my 'reminder' calls...$5,835 as of tonight (and those are ticket orders and Ad orders directly given to me by phone here at home...I'm not counting everything coming in from 'my people' that would be going directly to the S.T.A.G.E. ticket phone lines)...and this day is now over!


I would hope that what I'm doing with all these phone calls, faxes and emails, could generate this kind of result, every day, right up until the actual event on March 10th, 11th, and 12th...cause we would be in great shape financially, if that would be the case....Unfortunatly that is not how it works...DRAT IT! (lol). But I'm pleased to say I have also been able to secure, once again this year, the fabulous Orso Restaurant here in Los Angeles donating food for the entire cast for the Sunday performance...(100 people!!!) And we are talking about a really fantastic HOT Dinner....(no cold cuts and cheese here)...with their unbelievable scrumptious bread and their special Olive Oil with Garlc....Ohhhhh my mouth is watering just thinking about it....! And Orso's donates all of this food to S.T.A.G.E. Yes, Donates It! And the food is quite spectacular: Grilled Chicken And Vegetable's....Yuuuummmmm!



There are quite a few restaurants that are incredibly generous to us...so that we are able to serve dinner to the cast on Dress Rehearsal night, (Thursday, Mach 9th) and the Friday & Saturday performances, as well...Some of these restaurants have been so loyal to us like Mark's Restaurant. Year after year they come up with unique and fabulous food.....Vermont Restaurant...has been very very generous, too, ever since they opened about 6 years ago...and then, we have a very generous benefactor...a family that has been so extremely generous to S.T.A.G.E. over the years, that it is almost overwhelming...they have their 'private chef'...(I know, isn't that something??) cook a fabulous dinner for the Dress Rehearsal night, for again, 100 people. I am not at liberty to say their name but suffice it to say, their generous hearts have not ever failed us for these many years with money for the charitys and food for the cast...and everything they do and give to S.T.A.G.E. is so deeply deeply appreciated--in all honesty, words fail me.


So, we are coming down to 'The Home Stretch' and things will get crazier as we get closer and closer to that weekend...I will keep trying to post about this super event and I do wish each and everyone of you could come and see this truly inspired evening. There is nothing else like it for an exciting, moving & funny evening in 'The Theare', and for such a much needed cause, too. If you do want to come please do email me: myrtillo1984@yahoo.com, or if you wish to make a contribution...and please know that no amount that you might be able to spare would be too small...

Detailing these photo's: First, The Fabulously talented Actress/Singer--Loretta Devine...a regular STAGE Performer when she is available, last year being her 8th STAGE Performance; Then the beautiful Actress/Singer Linda Purl, also a regular, when she is available--last year was her 13th appearance with STAGE...both these women always bring the house down, as they say... And next we have Robert Osborne, of Turner Classic Movies fame....Bob is one of the most learned men around when it comes to films and his passion for the movies is very very true and real and this last year when we honored composers Harry Warren and Marvin Hamlisch, Bob brought along a lot of fantastic film clips to go along with the 'live ' performances--a very special and different kind of thing for STAGE to do, and all thanks to the Great Bob Osborne....the last photo in this post is "Forty-Second Street" and this photo was shot at a Rehearsal...so no one had their Glittery costumes on....

And last but not least, by any means, is a photo of Petula Clark, who was in the 18th Annual STAGE Honoring Johnny Mercer, and Rod McKuen, who has partipated in STAGE 10 times...he is a most beloved performer...

Till next time...



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