Saturday, June 09, 2007

magic, originally uploaded by stgermh.

A short film by Chad Rees

Shot in Seattle at the Pike Place Market and the Alki Beach Magic Studio

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Marjorie Kathleen Porter

A short tribute video

Yesterday was my sisters Margie’s birthday. She’d have been 40 if she was alive. She died when she was 18.

I liked my sister very much and tried to be a good big brother to her. We went to Hyde Park Elementary School in Cincinnati after moving back from Europe in 1976. My folks divorced, when we got stateside my Dad moved to Atlanta and we moved to Cincinnati, all very foreign after six years of being little kids in Europe.

Margie loved to talk and talk, her family nickname was Motor Mouth. She had an old raggedy ass stuffed Steiff Bunny Rabbit named Frau Hassa.

We chummed a lot when we were kids, the two youngest of 4. Once she rode her Tricycle down a steep hill, ran into a telephone poll, beaned the fuck out of her head, had an egg size protuberance from her forehead and needed to be hospitalized. Of course this was on my watch. . .hell, I was six years old. . . shit, my nickname was “ding a ling”, and you’re gonna leave a kid 2 years my junior in my care. I probably thought it looked cool to see her speeding past me like a comet, little plastic shit flapping in the wind from the red, sparkly, rubber coated handle bar end covers.

We grew up fast in our house. Too fast. Not a whole lot of happy childhood in Cincy. High school, I dropped out, moved to NYC, to street perform. Margie, married with a kid by the time she was 17. I didn’t approve and I told her. She invited me to her wedding. I was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, she was getting married in my mom’s home to a guy older than her who I didn’t like. How could my mom let this happen, or Norm for that matter. Were their no fucking grown ups around. Sadly, no. We ran a muck not giving a fuck.

I thought by not showing up for her wedding, I was making a statement about what was right. 2 years later, she’s dead, and we’re all asking ourselves, what really matters with family and life.

I thought that if there was something positive that could come from this, that it might be, that our family, that was so splintered, tormented and pained with the fall out and reality of divorce, death and failure could come together as a family and reunite in the spirit of love and moving forward.

Fuck that, My older sister Caryn had already joined the Moonies (Unification Church) and was distant at best, like we didn’t know where she was for years, My brother Mike in some nut house (this was before the days of rehab).

If I had it all to do over, I would have gone to her wedding, and shared that happy day with her. I think she would have liked that.

I saw her 6 months before she died. She looked so happy, the new mother. She was loving playing grown up and her husband had joined the Navy. They were moving to Sardinia in the Mediterranean. She was killed in a car crash, survived by her baby daughter and husband.

My Mom and Norm took Nikki, as Gerry tried to figure out his life and make some sense of it all.

This was two years after I lived in NYC. I had spent a year in New Orleans and another in Boston when this all went down. I moved back home for 9 months before moving to LA (the first time). Trying to get a grip with the conflict and pain in my mind.

All of her stuff was shipped and stored in my old bedroom for a year before my mom could open the door. I on the other hand was not so patient. I opened a few boxes and looked at some stuff. I found a large envelope and on it was my mom’s handwriting and a date. I reached in and pulled out a large braided ponytail.

It hit me, all at once, my baby sister is dead and I’m never gonna see her again. I remember writing a poem about that room. All those boxes, all those painful memories.

But that’s what makes us human and unique. Our feelings and experiences. I got a lot of love in my heart and a lot a really good memories of more innocent times. I’m talking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a kiddy pool in the back yard on a hot day.

Margie was born in 1967. I can’t even imagine what she might be like at 40. In my mind, she is as young and beautiful as she was the last time I saw her at an airport with her infant in tow.

When I wanted to rip my fucking teeth out, from pain, confusion, grief and sadness; people told me “Time heals all wounds”. It took years and years, but in the end. . . . I guess. . . I don’t know.

Happy Birthday Sis, say hi to Mom for me. I love you both so very much.

I guess your having the last laugh as I enjoy a good cry.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Looking for a place to live

Sitting here in the office, side by side with my girl. Both of us at our computers, looking at houses to rent. LA is a crazy fucking housing market. We just looked at a listing for a 3 bdr. house right next to the Burbank Airport for $1,800 who are they kidding? Another beautiful beach house in Hermosa Beach for a mere $17,000 a month.

Our landlord was here today with a few real estate agents. Polly overheard them talking about listing it over 600K that will never happen in the soft market we have now. Not with 8 other houses for sale in a 2 block area.

We looked at a couple of houses near us yesterday. They both had a pool and were not much more than what were paying now. One looked nice, the other not for us, with no garage for storage and the landlord living in the back yard.

We love where we live and don't want to move, but all things move forward and so must we. So, I guess we'll start collecting boxes and the packing process. We'll find a place that we'll be happy to call home. We've been so happy this last year, it's been great. I love my girl.

Here are a couple of pics of where we live now

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ahmanson Theater at the LA Music Center

Los Angeles Music Center, originally uploaded by Richard-.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oh What A Night

This evening Polly and I attended the LA opening of Jersey Boys at the Ahmanson Theater downtown. It was nice of Ruth to invite us to the show and opening night party at Our Lady Of Angeles Cathedral.

Polly looked good enough to eat, all dolled up in a black evening dress. I was in jacket, tie and a fabulous disposition. We had some time before the show so Polly gave me a tour of the area The Los Angeles Music Center, a complex comprising several venues, Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theater with a central fountain with outdoor dining.

Sunshine, wine, the cool california air and a nice cigar all made the pre show people watching a memorable affair. We saw Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Melina Kanakaredes (CSI:NY), Kate Burton (Greys Anatomy).

With show time approaching we made our way to our seats. While waiting for the show to start we talked about our early training on theater etiquette from our old principle, Bill Dickinson at the School for the Creative & Performing Arts where Polly and I met 25 years ago. He was passionate about instilling a strict set of values concerning behavior at the theater. Needless to say Polly and I were well behaved.

The show started on time. In a nutshell, Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. 4 guys from Jersey singing beneath a lamppost and their journey from that street corner to international stardom. You got to like a good rags to riches story and where that takes a guy. How it effects his family life and relationships. The story well told and the music, singing and dancing top notch.

Very entertaining. I laughed, I cried. A touching scene where Frankie takes a phone call to find out that his 23 year old daughter just died. A lot of silence and his back towards the audience created dramatic tension.

I love musicals. It doesn’t make me gay. A cock in my ass. . . that would make me gay.

The sets were simple, versatile and did what they needed to. From night clubs, to street corners to bowling alleys there was a cleverness of less is more in the set design. It was a strong story with interesting characters (like a teenage Joe Pesci). The story interwove the lives of driven artists, wives, mothers, daughters, drinking, gambling and womanizing.

A ton of music and nostalgia. I told Polly about an record album (remember them?) that my folks had, called Sing along Rock n Roll. Do Wop songs from the early years of rock.

At the end of the show, the real live, Frankie Valli and other remaining band mates came on the stage along with Joe Pesci, the writers, producers and the director for a nice LA showbiz warm and fuzzy.

After the show we met Ruth backstage. Here she is in her portable office. These are all the wigs from the show. Polly and Ruth both went to CCM (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music) getting their degrees in theatrical hair and make-up. Guess we all knew what we wanted to do with our lives and did just that.

We went to the after party and had a great time.

If your not familiar with the music in question, check out the video below. This is from a few of months ago when the cast was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This is the same show that Ruth hooked me up to see VIP style at the NBC Studios in Burbank. To read that post Click Here

"Jersey Boys" on The Tonight Show

The Four Seasons • Big Girls Don't Cry


Octopus, originally uploaded by stuartjudah.

Tim Hawkinson
American, 2006
Photographic collage mounted on foam

Friday Night

Last night went from bad to worse. First at work, my mic craps out on my and I have to leave an hour after getting there. They pump in loud music everywhere at the City Walk making difficult to work without amplification. On the way to Guitar Center I call Chris Karney to ask him about headset wireless mics. Frustrated with where my Friday night was heading I pound a few cocktails at home and pay for it severely the next day.

Oy! What a morning. Blew off work today. Feeling better tonight. Polly took me to lunch at Jerry's Deli on Ventura. Some good chicken soup, Polly got the matzoh ball soup, the matzoh ball was the size of a newborn's head. I helped her eat it.

We may have to move, Our land lord wants to put the house were renting on the market. We'll see how things develop. It would be nice to stay where we are, however if we had to move, I'm game. Polly doesn't want to move to Dubai, so I guess we'll stay here in LA.