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Misery is knowing there's a typo on my blog & I can't get Internet access to fix it. When that happens, I just go buy everybody's computers.
My doctor refuses to discuss medical marijuana. He did consent to medical munchies. I got a 90-day prescription for Doritos.
I had that nightmare again. The one where Wilford Brimley calls me "Sugar."
I complained about my pants being too tight. Turned out to be Donna's flannel jeans. Hope everyone enjoyed seeing them yesterday. *sigh*
Well, this cannot be good. The Copenhagen Climate Summit shut off Rudolph's nose.
True: 2:57 a.m. [Christmas morning] We looked out the window of our house in the woods. There was a gathering of deer. Unfortunately, I was the nearest fat guy.
Yipe! I may be begging out of the New Year's Eve bash. My Little Bo' Pee costume is damp.
Santa's bringing me SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS on Blu-ray. You know what that means? ... Pristine Grumpy!
I was gifted an all-new nightmare for Christmas. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad danced in my head and sang me "Santa Baby."
[Dec. 21] was the shortest day of the year. By dusk, my pants measured six inches too long.

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Big Weekend

Big weekend, browsing and squeezing, getting lathered up, at the Bath Pouf Boutique.

Oh, and there was something called, as the kids say, Christmas.



Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Christmas Eve.

Morty's eager to help decorate the tree and get on with the loot visit from Santa Cat.


Christmas Cartoon Carnival

Herman and Katnip in "Mice Meeting You" (Seymour Kneitel, 1950) via YouTube

"The Peachy Cobbler" (Tex Avery, 1950) via YouTube

Woody Woodpecker in "Ski for Two" (James Culhane, 1944) via YouTube


Christmas Memory 2009

100 Things About Me #175
Personal memories for this year's holiday season will be heavily infiltrated by my weeks spent on the crew of "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The novelty of mingling each day with Santa Claus and his elves and the Rockettes would be hard to forget.

All of that is special to me, but the big pleasure was the chance to observe and visit the animal actors from the show. The four sheep and the donkey were cute, friendly, and professional, as were the pair of Arabian camels. They enhanced and brought warm life to the nativity scene.

One night, after completing my contribution to the sequence, I hurried from a nearby cubbyhole to the edge of a backstage wing to watch the birth of Christ finale. Logistical obstructions provided zero visibility of the proceedings and the dozens of participants. I was disappointed and turned to exit, when I noticed a singular face under a bright light.

The visage belonged to the camel wrapped in gold. She stood motionless and gazed towards the baby Jesus. Majestic, attentive, and at peace, she was an image I will never forget and an inspiration I need to remember.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


Nat King Cole With Mel Tormé: 'The Christmas Song'

Every Christmas Eve, I am compelled to track down my favorite carol, "The Christmas Song." It's the law.

I love Nat King Cole's 1953 hit recording, but, thanks to boinx12 on YouTube, I've learned there are earlier versions, including the original audio recording below with an added duet of sorts voiced by the composer, Mel Tormé.

Mel Tormé didn't write a verse for his Christmas song until the 1960s, so Nat King Cole never recorded a version that included it.

Here's Mel singing the verse, followed by Nat's original recording, made at the WMCA Studios in New York City on June 14, 1946, but not released until 1989 on the Rhino album "Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits 1935-1954."

It features Nat on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar and Johnny Miller on bass.

The first released version was recorded the same year, with strings added, and again in 1953 (partly to correct the mistakenly sung "reindeers" heard in this version).


Top 10 Least Beloved Christmas TV Specials

10. "It's a Wonderful Pocket Lint"

9. "Santa Has a Hiatal Hernia, Charlie Brown"

8. "Deck the Halls With Brows of Holly Hunter"

7. "Silver Bells, It's Christmastime in R2D2's Pants"

6. "The Little Popeye's Chicken Drumstick Boy"

5. "Angels We Have Heard on Supermarket Radio"

4. "We Wish You a Marv Albert"

3. "I Saw Mommy Validating Santa's Parking"

2. "Rudolph the Red-Nose Hair Trimmer"

1. "Thumpetty Thump Thump, Thumpetty Thump Thump, Look at Frosty Go Poop"


Big Weekend

Big weekend, curious why anyone would want to smell like Britney Spears.

"Oh, Skeeter, you are so hot with a bitty stank of the tar barrel smolderin' behind the dub-wide."

"Bay-bee, why the quiet career desperation?"

"Me luvs it when you reek insipid and blank, doll."

"Can you lip-synch her lip-synching her horny breath, too?"



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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The PajamaGram ads are back.
News item: "Johnny Knoxville Promises AVATAR Technology In JACKASS 3D." ... Ahh, Christmas came early and squirrely.
Quote I Read: "AVATAR Is Like The iPhone Of Movies" ... What? Overly expensive and something I can easily do without?
I come to you today with an apology. For decades, I have confused the epiglottis with the uvula. Alas, I learn. My life is now blemished.
Heard on the Radio: How ugly is [this] Christmas sweater? ... "My German Shepherd is afraid of it."
To whomever invented lunch: My lap napkin is off to you.
Few people tell me, "I love you." The closest I get is an occasional "Tasty mango sauce."
Headline: "Man says image of Jesus appears on truck window." Obviously, we travel in different circles. I scrape Madonna off my shoes.
So far we've had zero inches of snow in Georgia. To help morale, a neighbor is buying everyone shakes at Sonic. I'll pour mine on our steps.
Headline: "Dunkin Donuts now serves tuna." ... Um, yes, I'd like a raspberry-filled fish, Dunkaccino with scales, and a bone in my cruller.

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Christmas Cartoon Carnival

"One Ham's Family" (Tex Avery, 1943) via YouTube

Popeye the Sailor in "Seasin's Greetinks!" (Dave Fleischer, 1933) via YouTube

Sniffles in "Bedtime for Sniffles" (Chuck Jones, 1940) via YouTube


Walk Like a Man, Talk Like a Man

Since 1933, a cornerstone of the Radio City holiday performances has been the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," shown in this promotional photograph. The Rockettes march about in tiny steps and precise formations to create the illusion of gigantic toys executing their military drills. For many viewers, it is the favorite sequence of "Christmas Spectacular," met with hearty applause of recognition as Santa winds them up to tippy toe onward.

The musical number is so iconic and beloved, I was highly tickled to round a corner after the cast had departed and behold the sharp uniforms congregating near the Fox Theatre stage door, apparently in anticipation of laundry day. I stopped and smiled.

I felt surprisingly paternal to the young ladies during our association, so it is with fondness and a gentleman's innocence when I claim I got into the Rockettes' pants.


Happy Hump Day 2

I have raved about the delightful catering provided for the cast and crew during the Atlanta run of "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" at the Fox. I couldn't have been more pleased and my tummy is humbled and grateful to the producers and the theatre.

Well, to be honest, the food improved after the first week. Initially, it was kinda bland, but I might have been in the wrong buffet line....


Say Wha'?

Fox Theatre
Atlanta, GA
November 2009

One evening, moments before the second act in a technical rehearsal of "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," I sat quietly at the video controls, listening over my earpiece to the Production Stage Manager chat with members of the crew. She noted several last minute preparations. Here's an actual conversation.

Stage Manager: "Are the elves all Miked up, yet?"

Long pause.

Me: "Um, I don't know whether I should take offense at that."

Stage Manager: "At what?"

Me: "All Miked up."

Short pause.

Stage Manager: "I meant 'microphone.'"

Me: "Oh-hhh..."


Big Weekend

Big weekend, pondering questions my parents never answered.

Friday: Mom and Dad are deceased. I am still waiting for The Sex Talk. I have been married nearly 29 years. May I PUHHH-LEEEEEEEZE proceed?!!

Saturday: Washer Woman's Elbow. They never explained Washer Woman's Elbow. And here I suffer suds and a clogged lint trap up my sleeve.

Sunday: Why is it guys go clueless at 55 and walk around with their zippers open?

Of course, I remain too pubescent and keen to have had any personal experience.


Double Feature Kitties: 'Cop 'N Kitty' and 'Cop 'N Kitty 2: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang'

Morty at the Movies with Morty the CatTelevision programs are not commonly defined as motion pictures, although they are certainly such. So, when Morty refers to them as "movies," please give him some space. He's a cat and he doesn't get out much, mostly, as we've learned before, because he's boycotting Fake IMAX.

Today's Double Feature Kitties are from a new show Morty and I enjoy watching together. I get hard-bitten detective action and Morty gets hard-bitten sympathy fleas.

Jay Leno 'n Kitty as "Cop 'N Kitty." Next.

Watch: "Cop 'N Kitty: Pilot" via Hulu

Watch: "Cop 'N Kitty: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang" via Hulu



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Sometimes my voice mail says, "Are you still there?" ... I hate it when the hired help gets snippy.
Attention Burl Ives, concerning HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS: I don't care if you've been dead 14 years. Quit singing through your nose.
Mrs. Woods going after Tiger with a golf club ... Now, THAT'S comedy!
On TV: BACK FROM ETERNITY. Great movie. At least, it didn't leave me dangling like UVULA FROM ETERNITY.
News item: "School bans word: 'meep.'" ... Theyep haveep gotep toep beep kiddingep meep.
I watched FOUR CHRISTMASES on TV, shown panned and scanned. It was more like THREE POINT EIGHTEEN CHRISTMASES.
Visited Laurel & Hardy Official Website. Now my foot's swollen, head in a cast, keyboard in molasses & wife is the wiser.
Rehearsals are over on Atlanta's RADIO CITY XMAS SPECTACULAR. No one's yelled at me &The Rockettes are wearing their antlers. Life is good.
Phew. Pirates showed up unexpectedly in my bathtub! They were hostile. I met their ransom demand. I slipped into a robe.
@RasmussenPoll survey: "77% say they're on Santa's 'nice' list... 9% say 'naughty.'" ... I called in "sick."

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Eating With the Stars

I've been finished with my commitment to the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" for five days and I am so hungry. Golly, did they feed us!

Thanksgiving weekend alone, we put on 11 shows (and untold poundage) in three days. We ate every three hours, following the Nativity finale. That's eight catered feasts in three days -- plus, snacks whenever we pleased.

To fit them all in, I had to schedule times to belch.

"I can erupt at 2:57, Intermission, which means I can Coca-Cola now and, maybe, THESE BROWNIES!... Nom. Nom. Nom. Nom. Nom...."

The crew always ate with the cast. Rockettes in their robes AND gravy!

For that I gave thanks.

Indeed, the Rockettes wore bathrobes to the buffets, before changing back into their work clothes. I simply continued to wear the terrycloth kimono while doing my job, strutting up through the Fox Theatre balcony crowds to the projection room.

Breezy! And more time for scarfing!

Santa dined in his red, fur-trimmed Slanket, which had to be altered after each slurp fest, while the Ensemble was seen in fleece Snuggies, which kept them warm and the sheep out of the commissary.

Say, for what it's worth, those Rockettes can pack away the food. I was astounded to see the girls' plates piled high with desserts galore. Of course, that's what abundant exercise can allow -- and exactly how I keep my figure, through vigorous exercise. I'm on The Burp Work-Out.

I stretched on a sofa after one humongous meal, stuffed, fulfilled, and happy, until some wag pointed at my tummy and asked if I were understudying the camels.


Nightmare Closet

Watching the performers behind the scenes was an education. They were forever rehearsing and keeping up to speed in their parts. The Dance Captains and other production personnel were relentless in their scrutiny of the toe tapping. Swing feet would be sent onto the stage on a moment's notice. This show is a meat grinder on dancers. The place was lined with severed heads.



Happy Hump Day!

Meet the actors (or, perhaps, I should say "actresses") I worked with during the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" engagement in Atlanta.

These are great gals. I visited each day in their dressing corral behind the Fox Theatre.

Yes, I know, ladies, you won't date me either.

The girls are from Kansas. That is correct: Kansas camels, named Missy and Laverne, not Laverne and Shirley, as I originally had been informed.

They'd eye me as I walked up and head bump each other and snort with glee. I believe that's ruminant quadruped for "Squiggy."

The camels tour and appear in the Nativity scene, but due to The Rockettes' strong bargaining position, my furry friends don't do any fancy footwork in the show. They walk on stage, chew the scenery, and pay their respects to the baby Jesus impersonator. Then, they are outta there, for a roll in the hay.


Big Weekend

My 3½ weeks on the crew of Atlanta's presentation of the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" concluded early Monday morning after the final show led to eight hours of striking the rental projection equipment for the ship out. Four of those hours involved heavy lifting and the other four involved heavy limping.

I also agreed to be fed twice. No Rockette agreed to pat me on the head and coo, "Poor baby."

The Fox Theatre's Production Manager told me I won the award for early exit. I left dozens of stagehands behind in my dust as they continued their massive 24-hour task to pack the sets, wardrobe, and technical apparatus onto anywhere between 17 and 22 huge trucks, depending to whom I talked.

Santa packed and flew his own sleigh. S'okay. He has a Teamsters card.

I knew the time had arrived for me to leave when the elf shoes were on the road to Dallas. They'll tinkle starting Thursday.

My new pals, the camels, donkey, and sheep, left after the curtain. They ate it and then clopped into a limo and sped away.

I heard a Rockette coo, "Poor ewe."


Glamorous, Isn't It?

After my 35mm movie clip insertion into the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" performances, I make my way from the projection booth, high atop the Fox Theatre, down through the vast balcony and lobby (furtively dodging snippy, power-hungry volunteer ushers), into and along the basement, up the stairs, treading the stage over to this ultra-tech video console, located in a utility closet across the hall from The Slop Room, where the big sink and mop reside, fester, and plot.

I feel so regal.

From this location, I await my cue to play and project an 89-second piece of video into the famous Radio City "Living Nativity" sequence, via the actual equipment used in Bethlehem on that fateful night.


Big Weekend

Another big weekend in the Atlanta Fox Theatre, where I'm surrounded by an amazing cast and crew on the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular." Plus, I have access to Santa Claus!

In fact, backstage, Santa spoke to me in a stairwell. He was wearing his robe.

Nice guy, but that is so wrong.

There I was with mixed feelings, my wish list, and an eyeful of The Knee.

Anybody know the zip code for North Pole?
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