Thursday, April 30, 2009

Still Thinking about Vegas
I know now where all the extra coins go in Vegas since the slot machines don't take them anymore. As I walked around the various hotel extravaganzas most have at least one fountain in the lobby. They are all filled with coins that people have thrown in wishing for good luck. To me this is the ultimate scam. They have found a way in Las Vegas to get you to literally throw your money away.

It reminds me of my goddaughter. When she was four she went to Disneyland with her folks. She had a penny and stood in front of Snow White's wishing well for a long time. She was thinking hard about her wish when she threw the penny in. She was all smiles when she walked away. Her folks said, "What did you wish for Eva?" She said, "I wished for a penny." That's when reality suddenly dawned on her.
As you were,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Episode #2 (CONTINUED)

A shot rings out….


The sound of the shot was close, but was it intended for Jam?
Jam can't help but be scared... this is just the way Delancy got it.


What the fuge ....?


Jam drops his gun and reaches for the Radio
to return fire. This was a mistake…. The Radio
was out of bullets.


The radio crackled, Jam missed…

Damn those long life batteries.

In the panic of trying to replace the batteries,
Jam got a good look at the source of the near
fatal SHOT ... Yes… there was no doubt about it
it was…..

To be

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vegas Memories
Being in Vegas over the week end reminds me of the great times I have had there over the years. Years ago, perhaps decades, Sandi was dancing in a Ford Industrial show and I was there with her just to hang out by the pool on her days off.

My sister had just gotten a divorce from a guy who showed up in Vegas while we were there. He seemed to think that because I had been there so many times before I had the key to the city. He had never been to Vegas and wanted to "get together" to "paint the town". I really didn't want to deal with him, but didn't have an excuse not to see him after he had made the trip. Sandi had the excuse of working and being tired, but I was stuck. I was obligated to show him an evening on the town.

I decided he should see a Vegas "tits and feathers" production show figuring that would keep him occupied for the evening with very little involvement from me. I picked the "Lido de Paris" show at the Stardust. It was a good show with pretty girls. It fit the bill perfectly. We tipped the captain a lot and got a seat right on the edge of the stage.

It was a typical Vegas spectacle full of topless girls, flash and feathers. As the show progressed my plan was working very well. At one point a topless girl ended up dancing right in front of me and I recognized her. We had been kids, years before, in a show at the Carrilon Hotel in Miami. We corresponded for a couple of years before I got married. It could have been more serious if we had lived in the same state, but we lost touch over the years. She recognized me as well and actually whispered, "What are you doing here?". It was not the place for a conversation nor could I really explain my situation between dance moves. However, later on when she was again in front of me in during a number, she whispered, "Back stage after the show." I told my ex-brother-in-law that we would go back stage after the show. He was very excited.

I met up with Joanna backstage. My ex-bro was a deer in the headlights looking around so Joanna and I had a moment to talk. We determined we had too much to catch up on for only a few minutes backstage so she said, "Why don't we go to Cukos". Cukos was at the time a 24 hour Mexican restaurant just off the strip that was a local hang out for Vegas performers. I said it would be great, but I had my ex-bro-in-law with me who would have to come along. She thought for a moment and said, "I'll take care of that... just be there."

Joanna showed up at Cukos with five of the dancers from the show still in full showgirl makeup. They were very hot looking. She introduced them to my ever present companion. They immediately grabbed him by the arm and started flirting with him. They surrounded him at the end of a large table. Joanna and I sat at the opposite end. The dancers kept him occupied for two hours while Joanna and I had a chance to catch up. It was as if he was not even there. He picked up the check and told me later it was the best evening he ever had.

It was the last time I ever saw my ex-bro-in-law. I don't think he ever caught on that Joanna had engineered the whole thing to get some time for us to talk. It was a brilliant plan, a mass of female diversions.

I later found out that Joanna quit the Lido and with the money she had saved enrolled in a school to become a holistic healer. The Stardust is now gone, so is the Lido show and probably Joanna has moved away. The only thing left is the memories which can be brought to mind by just going to Vegas. Perhaps that is the attraction and the magic that makes it continue to attract the masses.

As you were,

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Stays in Vegas
I was in Las Vegas over the weekend. If the country is in a serious bail out/tarp fund recession, you wouldn't know it in Las Vegas.

The traffic slowed to a crawl 45 minutes out on interstate 15. It was bumper to bumper until I pulled into my hotel.

I have been coming to Vegas since I was 19. It never changes but it is never the same. That is not as much of a contradiction as you might think.

I can't remember the last time I drove to Las Vegas. It has to be seven years. What I remember as landmarks on the strip are dwarfed by new hotels. The end of the southern strip used to be Cesars; it is now almost lost in the middle of the strip.

You don't notice it as much if you are in a cab coming from the airport. The cabs usually avoid the strip as much as they can.

The strip never really looks the same to me from one time to the next. I am rarely at the same hotel visit to visit. They are always tearing down or building up and constantly re-decorating. Some of my best memories are in hotels that don't even exist any more.

What never changes is the product. Gambling, drinking, and sexy entertainment have always been on the push list. They just keep building bigger and fancier boxes to lure you into purchasing the product.

I watched the gaming tables give way to more slots. The slots went from mechanical bandits to digital video robbers. Keno was gone from the coffee shops many trips ago. And now coins are gone.

The new slot machines don't take change. The least amount you can invest in a machine is a paper dollar. If you win, you don't get that rush of hearing coins clanging into the tray below. What you get is "credits" in the form of a paper receipt, like what you get at a grocery store. You can cash them in at the cage or use it like paper money in another machine. When it prints out, the machine plays the "sound" of coins hitting the tray. Even in this digital age it is virtually not the same.

The big scam is the odds on forgetting to cash in a 3 dollar receipt or losing it altogether. They are absolutely in favor of the house. The phrase "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" is never more true than for your cash. In fact, I found a two dollar coupon hidden among my travel receipts. It says in bold letters that it is only good for the next 60 days and only at the same hotel. The odds must be very long on me remembering to bring it back in the next two months.

Las Vegas used to be a romantic dream to me. Performing there was the apex. Early on it was like a Sinatra fantasy. People dressed up after dark. There was a ketchy class to it all. Everyone could pretend to be a high roller. You could get a good table for a show by tipping the right amount. Now it's over priced cover charges and tickets. (The cover for the Lounge at the Wynn is $100.00 per person. The only entertainment inside is a DJ, and call drinks are $20 bucks each.)

Now days you see guys walking around the casino at night in "wife beaters", flip flops and a bottle of Bud dangling from their hand. It isn't what Frank had in mind when he opened Cal Neva.

The dream ended for me in 1978. I was booked as opening act for Donny and Marie at the Hilton. They couldn't have been hotter then. They had their show on TV and even installed an ice rink on stage for the "Osmond Ice Dancers" also on there television show. We did two shows a night seven nights a week, no day off, for three weeks.

I learned then that Vegas is a two day town. Like dead fish it begins to smell after three days. I still think of that time as the longest three weeks of my life. Las Vegas was never the same for me after that. I have made countless visits since, and had some great times, but from 1978 on it was just a job, not a dream.

I know I am a romantic at heart. Elegant Las Vegas was then and is now an oxymoron. Now I leave Las Vegas with a paycheck not winnings and I write off expenses not losses. But there is something in me that misses the Rat Pack, or knowing that Sinatra and Elvis might be in town.

Perhaps it is the curse of age. I remember a different world. The twin towers were majestic, Iran was Persia, Russia was the only evil empire, no one blogged or Twittered, and the mob ran Vegas. Maybe those were the good old days maybe they weren't. The only thing for sure is: that's not the way it is now.

Donny and Marie were back in Las Vegas last weekend. Their picture is ten stories high on the side of the Flamingo Hotel. They are hot again because Marie was on "Dancing with the Stars". They sell expensive pictures of the Rat Pack at the gift shop. There is are fourteen performing Elvis impersonators, and Sinatra songs play over the Muzak system. Go figure.

That's what I am thinking....twitter that.

As you were,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Aquarius – Since there is no end to your service to others, you need to find time for yourself. You do not need to make sure the entire world is happy before you smile. It is the reverse, smile and the world is more likely to become happy. You need to be of service to yourself as well in these times.

Pisces – Some things that make you mad are but sheets in the wind. They billow, snap and wave for your attention, but they are not taunting you. It is but movement trying to make you charge. It is but an illusion and like a fog on the water is not aware its movement taunts. Dismiss it.

Aries- The world will not come to you so you will have to go to them. Keep pushing no matter how many people try to distract you. There are those who will poke at you and tease you but you will soon leave them behind. Push forward, stand your ground if that doesn’t sound like a contradiction to you then you have found the way.

Taurus – The self-analyzing you are doing is not just looking into a mirror. The very act of observing changes the experiment. What personality is it that looks at you? They are both you but both different. Be yourself and know that we are all complicated combinations.

Gemini – Tough Love is sometimes required and necessary. However, don’t forget that you can catch more flies with honey. There are times that you just need to acknowledge that someone is hurting. They will correct themselves if given enough positive love. Why do you always need to be the one who pushes the lessons in their faces?

Cancer – Your visions are coming together and the future you see is happening. It has become obvious the last couple of years that you can affect your future so always see the good and prosperous, not the shadow and unhappy. Come out of that shell and become your future now.

Leo – It is a roller coaster or maybe a yo yo. Just about the time you are feeling that life has hit bottom there is a new light. Things change and the way to be happy is to fall in love with change. Nothing lasts forever good times will be followed by tough times, but the good will be here again before you know it. Love the ride.

Virgo – Always being ready to pounce is exhausting. You can keep a look out; protect your family and yourself while relaxing at the same time. Your experience will see you through. Even with your guard down you are shielded by what you know.

Libra – Maybe you should move from your comfort zone and stretch a little. Look into another career while you have this job in hand. It is not that this job is bad it just may not be sustainable. It might not be the future that you want.

Scorpio– The idea of embodying angelic qualities may not appeal to you, but that is who you are. Acting out in denial or trying to show that you are something you are not leads nowhere. You will never be fully realized until you embrace the spiritual side of existence.

Sagittarius – True friends are always there. Others who are not true friends will try to confuse you. Don’t worry, the truth will always come out, and the more you do not resist the truth, it will come out faster. Parasites usually flee from the light. Once you have cast a light on them they will evaporate.

Capricorn – Your worry is that you are simply running around in circles. You think you are just chasing your tail but perhaps you are catching up to your own goals. Action is good and motion creates more motion. Keep going don’t slow down. Even if you have been down this road before you can always notice something different in your mindset journey.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Twitter Quest
So I hear someone is Tweeting the Bible, or the Bible is being Twittered, which ever is correct. I did the math. If the Bible tweeter starts today, he/she will finish Revelations in 2090. It will take 81 years to Twitter the Bible. Eighty-one years 140 characters at a time.

I can't stay up that late anymore... Will someone let me know how that turns out.

As you were,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twitter Dee and Twitter Dum
I am disappointed that the Twitter haiku idea has already been done. I'm not disappointed that someone else thought of it before me. I'm disappointed that the idea didn't catch on and we still have people using the Ethernet as 140 character stream of consciousness.

Here is to the people who Twitter haiku's. You all are definitely on the top of the Internet intellectual food chain. "Three Tweets" for your work. Examples at the address below courtesy of Dave Robinson (who is evidently Twitterpated*):

So, Here is my new Twitter idea. Twitter sized literature. I think I will call it Twitter-a-Ture... (I'm sure I am the last one to think of that name.) (And another thing, every time I say Twitter I sound like I'm doing a bad imitation of Sylvester the Cat.)

Back to the concept of Twitter-a-Ture...
If I tweet 140 characters a day of Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick" starting tomorrow, I wont complete the entire book until Tuesday, March 22, 2012. I did the math. If you figure that a Tweet is around 20 words it takes 1064 days to tweet the 212,758 of Moby Dick. That's 35 months. Who can keep up with a story for that long, especially since we all seem to be getting Internet induced Attention Defect Disorder.

Unfortunately there won't be time enough to Tweet another novel after finally finishing Moby Dick. According to Nostradamus, Mayans and the History channel, that's just eight months before the end of the world on 12/21/12.

Here is the question of the day. If I only get one crack at Tweeting literature, is Moby Dick the right choice? What is the quintessential novel/book to read for end the world? It needs to be the ultimate bed time story for human existence. What should be the last book ever Tweeted?

I'll start soon as I am certain what book that is.
As you were,

*Twitterpated - From Disney's animated movie "Bambi". The term twitterpated was used by Thumper Rabbit to explain the feelings he, Flower and the other animals were having toward the opposite sex. Twitterpation causes mental confusion and physical weakness brought on by adoration, blind affection and hormones. It is perfect use of the word to describe people who have become addicted to Twitter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Episode #1INTRO MUSIC –

Welcome to the continuing adventures of
Jam Shade!


Decetive Dyslexic!

We find Jam Shade working the beat of metro Carnaldale. He has
risen to the rank of Dectective after the death of his mentor Dectective Delancy, who was murdered. Jam is caught between the desire to keep Carnaldale safe for its citizens and the need to solve the cold case murder of his friend Delancy. His dyslexia gives him a unique insight into crime. What is black is white and what is up is down for Shade; he can't spell the difference. But Delancy's murder takes a backseat today. In the town of Carnaldale there is never a normal shift. Working his beat he has just received a radio call from dispatch.


Join us now as we enter an upside down world, the twisted under belly of Carnaldale crime with Ace Crime fighter and very poor speller.

Jam Shade!


Decetive Dyslexic!


Now let me get this straight – did you say that was a
five-eleven at 8:01 by a male suspect 6’4” on the corner
of 5th and 7th? Or WAS THAT… an eight-0-one at 5:11
By a male suspect 5’7” on the corner of 6th and 4th? OR
was it a sixty-four at 5:07 by a male suspect 7’5” on the corner
of 8th and 1st? OR was it……

To be

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Solution to Twitter
Since I am sure that Twitter is lowering the IQ and killing conversation as we know it; I have an idea for a better site. The attention span of humanity is getting so short that 140 characters may be more than some can process. But at least let's make everyone work at the 140 characters and not fill in with ;) xoxo :( a bunch of crap.

So here is my solution. A site like Twitter in every way. However, instead of the limit of 140 characters, you have to write your Tweet as a haiku. Like:

"Today I did go.
My Blackberry I did take
This message I wrote"

The site will be called "HI, Ku You".

At least we will know that someone spent more than stream of consciousness time to create it. Perhaps they have to think. Quality would go up and crap messages would go down.
As you were,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter This!
I think the first time I heard about Twitter was on CNN when Rick Sanchez was reading some of the Twitter comments he received. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about the comments and I didn’t care about Twitter. To me it was yet another way to feed the great Internet with more useless information.

Then came President Obama’s State of the Union Speech and several congressionals were criticized for “tweets” they had written during the speech. Yes, during the speech. They weren’t listening they were Twittering. And not only were these notable statesmen not listening to the President’s speech, there were great numbers of “followers” reading the twitters who were also not listening to the President’s speech.

Twitter had once again tried to find a home in my consciousness but I again dismissed it as an annoyance. For me it was a high tech way of passing notes in class. Being punished for that in third grade, I have a bad memory of the idea.

Then Ashton Kutcher becomes the self-proclaimed king of Twitter. It is suddenly news worthy that one million people are “following him”. One million? That got my attention. Not that a million people were Twittering but that a million people would give a shit about Ashton Kutcher. I decided it was time to look into this Twitter.

On the Twitter site home page there is a quote from Eric Nuzum, Author of “The Dead Travel Fast” who attempts to explain twitter.

“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? If you aren't familiar with Twitter, it is one of those things, like MySpace, that sounds totally ridiculous and stupid when you first hear about it. But once you start using it, you realize how much fun it is”.

So as I understand it, Twitter is an instant 140-character message that goes out to whom ever wants to “follow.” The message is supposed to be in response to the Twitter – question: What are you doing? For me that question begs two more…. Who wants to know? And Why? But in 140 characters you really can’t respond with intelligence, just speed.

In fact, just explaining what Twitter is, in the quote above, Nuzum has used two-hundred and eighty-five percent more characters than Twitter allows for a response.

On the main Twitter page there is also a video explanation by Lee LeFever of the CommonCraft show. The video is called “Twitter in Plain English.” I watched it. It isn’t a video it is a power point presentation. And of course it takes more than 140 characters to present.

I picked out some actual quotes from the video/power point. They get lost in the presentation, but singled out you have to think about them a little more. I’ve added my thoughts but I encourage you to consider what is being said for yourself.

Unfortunately most of our day to day lives are hidden from those who care,”
JJ: This is not a bad thing. Most of my day-to-day life is really nobody’s business. More importantly it is probably very boring even to those who do care.

“Real life happens between blog posts and emails. Now there is a way to share. This is Twitter”
JJ: No, blogs and email happen between real life. Blogs and emails are only reflections of what is going on in Real Life. There is a subtle idea creeping in here that implies that Real life is only what you have told someone about.

In the presentation we get to me the fictitious Carla, a new Twitter subscriber. Here is the description of Carla. “Meet Carla, she is addicted to her mobile phone, reads blogs everyday and has contacts all over the world. She heard about twitter but she was skeptical.”
JJ: Addicted to her mobile phone? Could it be that Carla is more interested in telling people about life than living it?

“Carla started seeing a different side of the people she chose to follow. She didn’t know that Stephen in Seattle was a baseball fan, or that Julia in London was reading an investment book. The little messages from Twitter painted a picture of her friends, family and coworkers that she’d never seen before. It was the REAL WORLD…”
JJ: The Real world? This is not the real world. And I am sorry for Carla if she finds being a baseball fan and reading a book fascinating facts. The reality is Carla could be attending a baseball game or reading a book, but she is doing neither. She is “following” people by reading their 140 character mental hick-ups.

But Carla’s saga continues: “Soon she became a fan of Twitter and posted updates every day. Soon her friends could follow her life between blog postings and emails. Carla found that Twitter brought people she cared about closer to her….140 characters at a time.”
JJ: Sorry. Bull Shit. Daily 140 character postings do not bring you closer to the people you care about. They are too busy writing their 140 characters about what they are doing to really be interested in what you are doing. And ultimately does any one care? As far as I am concerned they should change the name “follower” to “stalker”. This is high tech stalking and voyeurism in the clothing of being closer and better informed. I say Bullshit again.

So after all this research I signed on to Twitter. I twittered one post that was exactly 140 characters long. It was: “Will anyone ever really have conversations again? Is our interaction now only worth one hundred and forty virtual keystrokes in cyberspace?”
In twenty seconds I had two “followers”. Bite that Ashton. I checked on my followers. Turned out one was an advertisement for an oil and lube service and the other a link to a virtual casino. Yes... Twitter commercials. The first official Twitter announcement I got said that the Twitter people were combating the attack of spammers over the week end.

This is Real Life? I suggest that a million people waiting on Ashton Kutcher to “tweet” should get a life of their own. Start doing something interesting and stop living through someone else. And by all means unless you discover cold fusion or a solution to climate change…. Keep it to yourself.

As you were,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Aquarius – Give out of your abundance and not out of your lack. Do not see it as the depletion of a limited amount but the flow of an infinite source. You are just the gate through which eternity flows. Share with no thought of running out and no thought of getting it back. It will always be there.

Pisces – Your worry is that you are simply running around in circles. You think you are just chasing your tail but perhaps you are catching up to your own goals. Action is good and motion creates more motion. Keep going don’t slow down. Even if you have been down this road before you can always notice something different in your mindset journey.

Aries- Be proud and stand tall but do not give in to stubbornness. You can lower your head and try to break through an obstacle, but you are guaranteed to get a headache. Think of the horn of a ram, it curves and bends and makes a point in a round about way. Use your head in a different way than as just a battering ram.

Taurus – Some things that make you mad are but sheets in the wind. They billow, snap and wave for your attention, but they are not taunting you. It is but movement trying to make you charge. Stand fast, know that you are strong and do not take it personally.

Gemini – The self-analyzing you are doing is not just looking into a mirror. The very act of observing changes the experiment. What personality is it that looks at you? They are both you but both different. Be yourself and know that we are all complicated combinations.

Cancer – It is a roller coaster or maybe a yo yo. Just about the time you are feeling that life has hit bottom there is a new light. Things change and the way to be happy is to fall in love with change. Nothing lasts forever good times will be followed by tough times, but the good will be here again before you know it. Love the ride.

Leo – Always being ready to pounce is exhausting. You can keep a look out; protect your family and yourself while relaxing at the same time. Your experience will see you through. Even with your guard down you are shielded by what you know.

Virgo – The idea of embodying angelic qualities may not appeal to you, but that is who you are. Acting out in denial or trying to show that you are something you are not leads nowhere. You will never be fully realized until you embrace the spiritual side of existence.

Libra –Even when you are right it may not be correct to point that out. You have the ability to see things in a balanced way. Not every one sees the world through your scale. Do not judge but give everyone safe passage through your life.

Scorpio – It is when you are still that you find your greatest awareness. In movement you are briefly blind. Move forward with time planned to be perfectly still and understand your surroundings. It will help you avoid your enemies but it will also help you find your path.

Sagittarius – Caught between the warrior and the worker you tend to buck with the forward motion. You are both warrior and worker equally and both sides of your ego much be acknowledged. Know that weapons of war can be used as tools of peace with a correct thought. Pick a tool that can be both.

Capricorn – You sometimes think it is wishy- washy to stop and think for a moment. You are so accustomed to charging ahead, a moment’s pause is to you a sign of weakness. It is not. Stopping and kneeling in prayer can sometimes be the very best action to take. Try finding that meditation time you have neglected.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"The World is a Stage" is proud to announce :
Coming Soon to this Blog!
In an exclusive arrangement, Jaysons Visual Arts and NVR are proud to present "The Adventures of Jam Shade- Dectective Dyselix" the continuing and compelling police drama . Check here every Wednesday for:

Look for Jam Shade- Dectective Dysleic starting
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And Don't forget that tomorrow is the premier of the new Look and new astrological forecasts
for Medium Rare.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who are those Guys?
I just got this picture from my producer and friend Dan Whitten. He snapped it the last time he was at Sardis. That is my official Sardis Broadway Star caricature on the wall right next to Bee Bee Neuwirth.

I remember the day of the unveiling ceremony. Sardis is next door to the Helen Hayes so it was pretty easy for me to pop over for the event just before work. Liz Smith, show biz writer, conducted the official ceremony. She made comments about our mutual Texas heritage. It was a funny introduction. She is a very charming lady.

Then all the cameras got ready for the unveiling. No one had seen the picture which was covered with a cloth until the final moment. As the cloth was taken off I remember a sound coming from the crowd that started as an excited cheer and floundered into a distinct "huh?". Along with everyone else, I was not sure who it was pictured with Bob. I thought they caught a very good likeness of him, but confused me with Pat Sayjak or Robert Wagner. From this caricature I think I have a good idea of what I would look like if I had a massive face lift, Hollywood style.

It is still a great honor to be displayed on the wall of a legendary Broadway haunt. It is one of the few "double" caricatures on the wall. Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney being the one of the others. New York has always been really nice to me. I miss it.

Thanks Dan.
As you were,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Deadline to Pay your Income Taxes is Today.

Do you know what the future holds?
What direction should you go?

Medium Rare
has the answer


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Too Unbelievable?
There has been some discussion about the authenticity of the Bruce Lee video published yesterday.

Sandi works on the show "Big Bang Theory". The cast and crew are obsessed with Ping Pong. There are now three Ping Pong Tables permanently on the Warner Brothers studio set with tournaments being played continually. How do they get the quality show that they do when their day is actually spent playing Table Tennis? That question is not for discussion here.

The director of the show (avid Ping Ponger) said he has seen the Bruce Lee video before and it is not legitimate. I'm not sure if that means it is trick photography or some other trick of perception. Is he is coming from his Ping Pong knowledge or film directing expertise? He didn't elaborate.

There is a moment seen with multiple viewings when the ball seems to hang in the air a little longer than normal so as to defy the law of physics. (Not unlike the magic bullet in the Kennedy assassination which people seem to have no trouble believing). It is subtle but one of my sons noticed the "magic ball" on the first viewing. I have looked at that moment over and over and I still can't make up my mind.

I have personal knowledge that Bruce Lee was not above using well crafted tricks in his movies to simulate magic Kung Fu moves. Before his death I had the occasion to be around his son Brandon Lee and would even call him a friend. He talked about his Dad from time to time.
Brandon was well on his way to claiming his birth right as Martial arts guru before he was shot and killed by accident on a movie set. That accident happened 16 years and two weeks ago today.

Brandon talked about some of the tricks he used that his Dad had devised. One was the simple use of an invisible fishing line attached to a cigarette. On camera a kick looks much closer to a persons head than it is in reality. Timed with precision a person off camera would hank the line making it look like a fancy kick had dislodged the cigarette.

It is perhaps a case of illusion that makes Bruce Lee's ping pong match so unbelievable. However, I like my heros to be greater than life size. Legend has it that Bruce Lee could knock a grown man to the ground with a punch from only one inch away. There are still people who believe he was killed by a deadly punch from a Ninja as punishment for trying to teach secret martial arts techniques to Westerners. Perhaps it was a deadly curse from the Samurai that did both Bruce and Brandon in. I know... I know and Elvis is still alive working in a fast food restaurant with Jim Morrison.

So, is the Ping Pong film really great martial arts technique or was it really great cinemagrahpic technique? Remember, this was done long before the availability of YouTube photoshop tricks. Since Bruce Lee was both a great martial artist and film maker it doesn't really matter. I will appreciate it on both levels of his talents.

In the words of Randy Jackson... "Just keeping it real"
As you were,

Monday, April 13, 2009

My friend Jeffery Ernstoff sent me this video of Bruce Lee. Jeffery is always on the look out for people who do astounding things. I happen to be a Bruce Lee fan and I never even heard of this film clip.

I have no idea how you even begin to work out this kind of control and concentration.
Thanks to Jeffery I can share it with you. It is only two minutes long but it will amaze you.

As you were,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009
Medium Rare is taking the day off.

Look for your Zodiac forecast next week at this same site with a NEW LOOK, better predictions AND... YOUR COMMENTS.

APRIL 18, 2009

Remember, you make your own future by what you do right now. Medium Rare only charts your progress.

As Always
Astrological forecasts are provided for entertainment only. Please no wagering or gambling based on Rare Zodiac statements.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday?
Why not make it a great Friday?

Happy Easter

Happy Passover

Happy belated Vernal Equinox
to the Druid Community.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Medium Rare's
Astrological Projections

Those who follow this blog know that Saturday is the day for "The World is a Stage" publication of the Astrological Forecast for the week. Medium Rizza Rare's weakly projections have largely been overlooked and misunderstood. Some have even thought of the service as a weekend filler.

Rizza Rare has been consulting the Astral plane for our readers only for the last 8 months. The Medium's predictions can be found no where else on the web. For that tireless work on our behalf the editors would like to say THANK YOU and, WELL DONE MEDIUM RARE!

There will be no forecast this Saturday, but beginning Saturday, April 18th Rare's Weakly reading of the stars will be back with a NEW LOOK and better predictions.

This time we encourage your comments. If the prediction is relevant or even if it is totally wrong for your journey, we want to know. Leave a formal comment below. NO NAMES are needed just your Zodiac Sign.

A few of the faithful have left comments in the past but we now encourage all to join in. Your comments will help Medium Rare with new predictive and cognitive services.

Tonight Thursday, April 9, 2009 is a full moon which intersects the celebrations of Two major religions and even ancient pagan rites. It is a time for NEW BEGINNINGS... and what better place to start than with the New -


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Real Two and Only......
John Kenley

My friend David Sinkler sent me an article about John Kenley who turned 103 years old on Feb 20th. If you don't know that name you don't know one of the most interesting people in the history of musical theatre. There are millions of stories and rumors about John Kenley, most are true and most were started by John himself.

Since John has by now out lived anyone who can separate veracity from rumor, all stories about him must now exist as the truth. It is hard to know how to start talking about John Kenley, but here is what I know. I have gathered it from rumor, recollection and personal experience.

From roughly the late sixties through the mid-eighties John Kenley produced summer musical theatre in the Ohio area. The shows toured Akron, Flint, Daton and Columbus in what was called the Kenely Circuit. It was very successful and attracted big name celebrities at big time salaries. The season provided work for hundreds of repertory cast members during the summer. A lot of young performers got their Equity card working a Kenley show.

John has worked in theater all his life. On stage as a young chorus boy in the Ziegfeld Follies, he danced his way up the show business ladder, eventually working with and ultimately out living many of the biggest names in show business. His memory of events and actors is sharp, precise and wickedly retold with the skill of a master thespian.

However, his career was always overshadowed by the fact that he is a registered hermaphrodite. He is one of the few people in the United States registered with legal identification as both a male and a female. Rumor has it that he lived the summer in Ohio producing shows as John, and spent the winters in Florida living as a woman named Joan. The two identities rarely intersected with mutual friends.

A director I know claims John recounted in detail a conversation between the director and a lady sitting next to him at a bar in Las Vegas the winter before. He did not realize at the time that the lady he had briefly befriended was the female identity of John Kenley. The director remembered the encounter well because the lady seemed to be very knowledgeable about the theatre .

I don't know anything about Joan, but I did work a couple of summers for John. My first Kenley show was one the afore mentioned David Sinkler co-wrote. It was the early 1980's when Kenley was a mere 78 years old. The picture above with his dog is probably him eight years earlier. Although, for some reason he always looked the same no matter what his age.

I took an immediate liking to John Kenley. I thought he was charming, funny, smart, gentlemanly and elegantly flamboyant. He was royalty but certainly not a queen. John Kenley is just one of those rare people you can never forget. I love great story tellers and he is one of the best, with a century of personal material to draw on. I was always trying to coax another story out of him.

The first time I met John was in the rehearsal hall at the theatre in Akron. On the first day of rehearsal I was the only one who had not worked with John Kenley before. The director said we were to start with our table reading and John would join us shortly. I believe we were several scenes into the show when the double rehearsal doors flew open. In walked a frail man in a cranberry vest, white shirt and black pants. A navy blue tie was folded around his neck like an ascot rather than tied in a traditional knot. He was not young but it was difficult to guess his age. His skin was almost iridescently pale without a trace of a wrinkle like the face of a porcelain doll, smooth and almost translucent. He wore makeup, but he was not "over done". His thinning hair slicked back on his head with the color of silver fading through the reddish-orange tint. He certainly was not macho in his ways, but comfortable and confident with his own sexuality, whatever direction it went.

The rehearsal stopped as every eye was on John Kenley. Silently he walked the long side of the table opposite where I was sitting. As he rounded the far end I stood up to shake his hand since it seemed he was coming around the table to greet me. He did not look at me nor even stop. He glided passed my outstretched hand without saying a word, then exited the double doors.

In a dramatic move he grabbed the frame with his hands pulling himself backwards through the doorway. Posing in an Erte´-esque back bend with his head arched toward the table he said,

" Once I was meeting a man in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. On the phone before the meeting he said, 'I don't know what you look like, how will I know it's you...' " John paused then quickly added, "I said to him.. you must be kidding ", and with that he disappeared through the door.

That was my official introduction to Mr. Kenley. From that moment on we were friends. He made everyone laugh and would without provocation occasionally kick his leg high above his head with balletic precision.

Being around when John would tell stories about his career was the best treat. We all told him 25 years ago to write it down in a book. He said he would think about it, but he would want to tell the "really juicy" stories if he wrote a book. We thought the ones he casually recounted were fantastic.

I haven't seen or talked to John in a long time. I can't believe he is 103. In the article about his birthday he credited his longevity to a couple of stiff Vodkas every night. I don't know how to get in touch with John to tell him happy belated birthday. If the Internet works like it should, somehow this will get to him.. but here is what I would tell him if I could.

Thanks for being my friend, John. And thanks for all the stories. I am still waiting for the call to do another season. It was always fun, which is what the theatre should be.

As you were,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Airport Hang Time
I don't know why transportation companies want to get you to the airport so early. If there is a trans company involved with one of my corporate shows and I didn't make the reservations, I spend a lot of extra time at airports.

My experiences flying on and off cruise ships has taught me that the smaller the airport the longer the wait. It is the paradigm of Murphy's law impacting the road warrior. I have therefore become adept at renting airport space/time.

This is my very situation now as I cool my jets at the Puerto Villara airport. In spite of my insistence that three hours before my flight was too long to be at the airport, the ground trans company was equally insistent that the luggage search they do by hand was a long and tedious process. It took about 15 minutes this time. Most of that spent trying to explain ventriloquism in Espanol. So I am called upon once again to rent some airport space/time.

If you are hungry the best place to rent space/time is at the airport restaurant. But if you've already eaten lunch that is not an option.

Second best place for space/time is Starbucks, but alas here in PV the coffee tables and chairs have all been taken.

The last option is the airport bar. Because the clientele at an airport bar is usually the nervous kind of drinker, they tend to pound down liquid courage very quickly and with a focus of purpose. So the bartenders seem to be a little more pushy at the airport. Make the sale before they call the flight, is the general rule. This makes it harder to nurse a brew for a long time without skill and technique.

It is problematic If you have an early morning flight and you choose to rent space/time at the bar. You tend to get looked on as either an alcoholic or a southerner. Morning stradegies for airport rental of space/time is more refined. That will be covered during another blog.

So here is my secret method. Since I found out my Amor All and gaff tape hint was common knowledge to Texas art directors, this may be old news, too, but here goes any way.

Find the least busy bar if there is more than one. Order a drink (the least expensive. No call brands, no specialty drinks, local beer on tap is the best) and tell the bartender to run a tab. Flash a credit card, sometimes they hold it, usually not. Drink the first few sips quickly. This will encourage the bar keep to assume you are a southerner. Then milk it. Get involved in the newspaper, your book, your sketch pad or cell phone. (Faking a phone conversation is acceptable, and done more often than you suspect. Just remember that if you get a real call during a fake one say loudly, "hold on.. Another call is coming in).

When you get to the last sip of beer the bartender will say, "how about another?" Think about it for as long a period as you can pull off, then say, as if you are distracted, "Yes. In just a while". Now comes the hardest part. Wait on taking that last sip as long as sanely possible. I have found as a rule of thumb: wait a percentage of the time you have left until boarding the plane. ie, If you have an hour left. Try to wait fifteen minutes, or roughly a quarter of the time. If the bartender gets distracted and doesn't come around for longer go with it. If you can stretch it to 30 minutes before boarding you can look at your watch in total shock and say, "Geez look at the time, I have to go I better settle up". In that case you have won.

However, the absolute best way to pass the time in my experience? Find a corner of the airport and write a blog about renting airport space/time using your Blackberry. Thumb typing can use up a lot of time. "Geez, look at the time, I have to go. I better settle up."

Thanks for helping out.

As you were,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Here is the great thing about my job (besides the obvious advantage of neither breathing coal dust nor wearing a hair net at work). One day I'm in Rochester, NY where Springtime means the daily snow melts by noon; two days later I'm at the Grand Vela Resort Hotel in Puerto Villarta where the temperature is "el perfecto". (Check out the enclosed picture)

In both cases I get to perform for a great bunch of people on a beautiful stage. Well, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it

I did have a little excitement at the airport. My excess baggage caused a commotion. I told them it was professional equipment which triggered a customs inspection. I don't know what the young officer was expecting, since I don't speak Spanish and he didn't speak English. I will probably never know. Safe to say he was not expecting "munecas".

I had to wait for him to fill out a form to sign. It was in Spanish and he explained it to me in Spanish. Perhaps I agreed to become a drug mule for the "munecas" cartel but I doubt it. Most of the time was spent trying to come up with the English word for "munecas" which would probably be puppets. Every time I offered that suggestion they shook their heads. One girl came into the office and offered the word "muppets". That is what went down on the form. So, officially I entered the country of Mexico with three "muppets". I will claim from now on that I immigrated with Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy. Where they went once we landed is not my responsibility.

As you were,

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Medium Rare Zodiac
More from Rizza Rare and the cosmic message. The planets are moving and so is our fate. Find out what this week has in store for you.

Astrological forecasts are provided for entertainment only. Please no wagering or gambling based on the information contained here in.

Saturday - April 04, 2009

- The number eleven is important this month. Follow where it leads it is a sign of direction. There may be several blocks in your way, but there is a path. Look for the signs which are sometimes not written in stone.

Capricorn - You have not been lucky recently, but it has not come to harm you. Something has kept the flow from running out. You will continue to be filled and soon the luck will turn around. It will be tempting to take the lid off, but remember it is what keeps the inner live safe.

Aquarius - It may be time to take on a cause. Help someone or some group who needs you. Your talents can make a dramatic change in the lives of others. It is time to show your light and let it shine for others.

Pisces - There is something about the East that compels you life right now. It is a good thing. East is where the sun rises and this is the time of a new beginning for you. Where you were struggling to breath only months ago, now you are looking for a fresh new day and new way.

Aries- You need to spend more time with the ones you love, particularly your number one lover. You are so comfortable with them it seems that you take them for granted. Love more, there is an economic swing coming soon.

Taurus - Drama seems to be unavoidable, but it is not. Like a Greek tragedy on the stage it is just an illusion. Learn what you can from observing it without getting involved in it yourself. Have discussions not debates.

Gemini - Your love life is front and center as you are looking to complete the circle with romance. Don't rush head long into a dark place. The rule for success is gentleness and grace.
Try that instead.

Cancer - The fountain is flowing forth more than you can accept. Do not wish for abundance when it is pours out more than you can accept. Do not water down your ideas, stay single minded and strong.

Leo - Try to bridge the gap between what seems to be two entirely different ideas. One looks like the beginning the other an end. You are the connection that will make them both one. Focus on the center.

Virgo - It is a roller coaster ride for you. There have been ups and downs happening so fast you can't keep track. In fact sometimes you have mistaken a valley for a hill. Don't worry the struggle is always followed by a hill to coast down. Save your strength for the next hill.

Libra -The path is straight and swift for you right now. Use the strength you have now to see the goal. Become one with your goal as the arrow becomes one with the target. Celebrate.

Scorpio - Some of your plans have not worked out like you thought. But stay in the moment. What you are doing now is preparing to make your future mark. The two actions are concurrent and you will soon see that this is the time you saw the target. Be free and fly.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Strange Travel Tip

I have these road cases that travel with me. They are black with aluminum trim. The hasp latches sometimes get released by accident as they are being loaded and unloaded on a plane. That's why I used to lock them. However, the TSA doesn't allow that these days. If the cases are locked and TSA needs to get inside they will break the latch, lock or do anything they need to just to open it. And they are not responsible for any damages.

I found a solution to the problem by using gaffers tape to keep the latches down in transit. I thought it was an original idea but see the same method used for similar cases as I wait for my baggage at the airport.

Well, the road cased get dirty and from time to time I feel the need to clean them up. Formula 409 works just fine. However, yesterday I decided that I could shine up the black vinyl with Armor All. And it worked the cases shine like new.

However, when I placed the gaffers tape on the latches it wouldn't stick. I tried several times. I used a different kind of tape and it wouldn't stick either. The oil in the Armor All that makes it so shiny eats away the sticky part of the tape. Who knew?

I tried to wash off the oily film but nothing worked. I even let the case sit out over night but the tape would still not stick.

I found a belt to tie around the case so it won't accidentally come open. I am hoping the TSA monkeys will know how to undo a belt.

So if you don't want tape to stick to something use a little Armor All. However, if you need the tape, opt for a case that is not as shiny as it could be.

Don't you just love traveling. It is so romantic.

As you were,

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Adventures in my Wonderland
No time to rest as I am off to Puerto Villarta to perform. I shall return for the Blog on Monday. In the mean time enjoy this creature. I don't think I have posted him before. It is my take on the character from "Alice in Wonderland"

WHOoo ARE YOUoo......

As you were,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Geva Ghost
I took a few pictures backstage at GEVA and just transferred them today. This is the stairway that leads to both stages and down to the prop shop. It's where I would see the Sweeny Todd cast at various times.

I don't know if it was the angle of the flash or just the way the plaster has fallen off the wall, but it looks like a face on the wall. Something akin to the picture of the face on Mars.

As you were,