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Happy Saint Yodelers Day

March 15th, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

Frankly, I’m jealous. Why do the Irish get to have Saint Patrick’s Day, while I, of Austrian descent have no day to commemorate my heritage? austrian yodelerWhy, think of the possibilities.
Cute little yodelers dressed in fetching alpine outfits marching down Fifth Avenue with their accordions. A float depicting famous classical composers. Couples waltzing dreamily to Strauss. Einstein dancing in lederhosen while reciting the theory of relativity. Julie Andrews floating down with her umbrella. Ooops, wrong movie.
And then, after a long day of singing “the hills are alive” we can all sit down to a hearty dish of schnitzel and noodles with a generous helping of Mom’s delectable apple strudel. Beats corned beef and cabbage with soda bread.
Don’t you think a pretty girl dressed in her dirndl with each of her ten fingers hooked around the handle of frothy dripping beer steins is a whole lot more appealing than…..green beer??? Or….a leprechaun??? Which of the two characters produces the better gold?
Oh sure, I can always lay claim to my American status, but honestly….couldn’t they have dreamed up a handsomer figure of Uncle Sam? He’s as gaunt and gangly as Saint Nicholas on my Austrian side. In fact, I’d say they could very well be one and the same, posing as an interchangeable icon clothed in different costumes. Hmmm…….interesting observation. Where are Uncle Sam’s switches with which to thrash the naughty politicians? Or have the Irish fairies spirited them away? Always getting into the act.

So……whadayathink? As long as we’re contemplating shining a spotlight on other cultures, what about yours? Why don’t we have one big Melting Pot Day so we can be politically correct? We can fondue our favorite politicians, uh, foods.

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I Will Never Be Able To See Another New Phillip Seymour Hoffman Film Ever Again!!!

February 6th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

The finest and best American actor I’ve ever had the great pleasure of seeing was far and away, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’m a Philip-Seymour-Hoffmanpicfilm aficionado, and I certainly have a plethora of awesome talent on my list of immortals e.g. Robert De Niro & Al Pacino before they sold out, John Cazale, Newman, Hoffman, Brando, Redford, the amazing Jack Nicholson…. on & on.

However, here was Phillip Seymour Hoffman whose nuanced acting ability, subtlety, and range just simply swept you away, making it impossible to become unglued and detracted from the always-stellar performance from this rather short, overweight, unattractive and certainly non – leading man appearance.
When I Netflix a film, the most important variable I look for is “who directed the film ??? ….” 9 times out of 10 the director is the “Man” – he or she is essentially the author (auteur) and driving force behind any film or movie. Occasionally an actor can steal the show and turn a horrible movie, script, etc. into a classic or even a masterpiece. Two films come to mind (not classics but most definitely cult) 1. Al Pacino’s remake of the classic ‘Scarface’, – completely over – the – top, but Mr. Pacino made Brian De Palma’s film an all – time classic cult film (Incidentally, Mr. outrageous – over – the top, Oliver Stone wrote the script – lol) 2. There is absolutely no movie what so – ever without Jack Nicholson in ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ & even ‘The Shining’ (although the most brilliant and genius director – Stanley Kubrick directed this).

I can hardly compile a list of my favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman films, because he was brilliant in all of them but I’ll attempt to give you my top 3:
1. “Doubt”
2. “The Savages”
3. “Capote”

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Thank you Phillip Seymour Hoffman for forever enriching my life and R.I.P. July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014.

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Why Joe Rogan is Better Than Howard Stern

January 9th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

Many people have compared perhaps the latest recent media sensation in Joe Rogan to Howard Stern. I was a regular Howard Stern fan back in the 1980’s and now that it’s 2014 and I’m 50 years old, I’ve now moved on (Listen, I’m really an NPR, WNYC geek, but I still like Rock ‘n roll, sort of down – to – earth radio or pod casts, so ….) I suppose the comparison is made because they curse, stand for the common person, and are both in tune to the world of comedy and relief in this unfair and hard world.

Well for starters, much to my dismay, Howard Stern has blatantly revealed to all that he’s a fake/phony/fraud!!! Howard stern came from a world of privilege and wasjoerogan raised by caring, loving, and educated parents. That non-sense about having to “tough” it out in Roosevelt, on Long island is a joke – please !!! I live on Long Island, I’m familiar with Roosevelt and though yes, there are minorities I doubt he had any more problems than your average High School kid. Joe Rogan on the other hand came from the school of real hard knocks – being raised only by his mom while dad took off (BTW, Joe has not been in contact with his biological dad since he was 6 years old) in Newark, NJ.

Howard Stern’s father owned a radio studio, sent his son (Howie) to Boston University, and the spoiled, rotten, rich kid – Daddy got him a gig on radio and the rest is history. Joe Rogan came from absolutely zero, never went to college (though he’s incredibly brilliant less the grammar – lol) and studied martial arts and stand – up comedy (BTW, Stern doesn’t even know how to do stand – up – WTF???). Joe is now the regular color commentator for every major UFC event (at which he’s absolutely stellar), has his own Podcast, and still does stand – up.

Joe Rogan doesn’t have guests who are strippers or porno stars but rather – scientists, psychiatrists, some hippie – potheads – lol (but they’re smart), and any other person who has something interesting to say (not just celebrities).
This is just part 1, but I just want to get your initial thoughts. WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?

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The Secret of Fox News Success: Beautiful, Tough, Smart, and Angry Right – Wing Women

December 18th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

I hate to blow the whistle on the fact that Ann Coulter in real life is slightly to the left of Karl Marx. There are approximately 60 + extraordinarily attractive looking women working for Fox ( I will insert the FOX girls website @ the end, so you will read my little blog here).

Yep, Fox News has hit the jack – pot in terms of what will get ratings. It seems natural and normal that most sane and rational women would most certainly be liberal when one considers” Free Choice, Equal Pay, Sexual Harassment, on & on, but here you see on the prodigiously successful cable news network show, scores of women touting and advocating the most outrageously ridiculous right – wing nonsensical propaganda .

Adding insult to injury, is the fact that these FOX broadcaster/models are half – naked when they’re slamming you in the face about anything remotely fair, compassionate, and liberal. Another matter to consider, is though they’re barely wearing any clothing (how short can a mini – skirt be in December???) they’re not stupid – far from it !!! Rich mommy and daddy have ensured that their Barbie doll daughters have been raised properly and have gone to the most pedigree and ivy – league schools on the planet.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? What I find most entertaining, is the fact that they’re so angry – lol. Okay, here’s the the FOX women list http://www.foxnewsgirls.com/foxgirls

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The Joe Rogan Podcast !!!

November 10th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

joerogan

Bar none, the greatest, most interesting, entertaining, educational, eclectic, thought – provoking radio talk show (terrestrial or satellite) is and has been for decades, The Leonard Lopate show formerly New York and Company on WNYC and NPR. There is simply not a talk show host, nor has there ever been a host for decades now that could even come remotely close in terms of the aforementioned superlatives (except for Brian Leher, Lopate’s colleague, who has his own show on WNYC from 10 am – noon, just before Leonard’s show) than the masterful  – Leonard Lopate. The only criticism some people may have about Lopate’s show , is that it is prodigiously “brainy” and yes that is awesome, but sometimes we just want to kick back and take in some good old entertainment, educational or not & take it easy; after all learning is essentially work (though I personally don’t see it as such).

However, I am not blogging about Leonard Lopate today. I am here to spread the word about a podcast that is so interesting and an absolute gem … I could listen to it all day and never, ever get bored and unlike listening to Leonard’s show – perhaps a lecture of sorts (admittedly, you do feel like you are in graduate school when you tune into Leonard). Joe Rogan (BTW, yes it is the same Joe Rogan who did that insanely dumb show ‘Fear Factor’ but obviously this is not “that Joe Rogan” – hey we all have to eat, so….) is relaxed, unpretentious, comfortable, extremely intelligent and informal as one can be (Joe curses a lot & I mean a lot) and he talks about the most interesting stuff imaginable & has great guests. Even if the guests aren’t great, Joe Rogan makes them sound great. As a matter of fact, Joe Rogan is such an awesome entertainer, he even makes the commercials fun.

For example, I just finished listening to one of the latest Joe Rogan podcasts with the lead singer of the band – Tool (incidentally a band I don’t even care about in the least), Maynard James Keenan, and I, quite frankly, can’t imagine having had been more glued, entertained, and more fun … well !!!

In a nutshell, here is a list of topics they talked about: Holy moly it’s a lot in 2 hrs. mind you:

The very weird music of Tool (BTW, it’s for the most part heavy metal music, but the lead singer is a genius – really, there is a lot of tongue in cheek & satire)

The meaning of life.

Jaguars migrating to the U.S. (yikes, how scary is that folks ???) You think a pit bull or a Wolf is frightening, just youTube a jaguar, it’s not even close.

Winemaking – I didn’t think I would enjoy this portion of the show, because I don’t drink wine, but WOW!!! What an interesting and fascinating process the making of wine is  – wow !!!

Jiu – Jitsu  & Mixed Martial Arts

The unfathomable mystery of why we become so immersed in a particular hobby.

The absolute drudgery and loneliness of being on the road & having to stay in motels/hotels if you’re a musician, comedian, entertainer, etc.  

Getting old

Getting sick

The creeps in N. Arizona, specifically in Sedona.

Sedona, AZ has more new – agey people who are into their crystals, chakras, & energy pathways than anywhere else in the country….weird!!! 

The cult hangouts in Los Angeles  

Those idiots who knocked over 100 million + yr. old rocks for s**ts & giggles …almost like knocking over Stonehenge  

Dumb people

The incredible wonderment of the desert.

  Just taking stock of the incredible rocks and weird formations out west in the desert e.g. wind and sand erosion structures that look like unimaginable forms.

Fascinating landscapes in the U.S.A.

Running out of gas in the desert (good luck – lol)

Following your bliss

Life is too short to not create with every breath you take.

Artists and motivated people.

Work ethic

Reality food shows                

The underrated sense of smell.

Evan Tanner – MMA fighter who died in the desert.

Self – discovery journeys.

Constantly testing yourself and pushing yourself to the limit.

Nature and living off the land.

Nature does not care about you – respect that !!!

The 10 – 80 – 10 rule: 10% of any given community is kind, caring, giving, and productive. 80% are mindless knuckleheads who are neither good nor bad and 10% are slime who firstly ought to be tarred and feathered and then be summarily run over by a heavy vehicle. 

Exotic meat restaurants e.g. lions, javelinas, etc.

The meanest, most conservative sheriff in the nation – Sheriff Arpaio who insists that all the county inmates wear pink underwear in order to humiliate them – lol.

Jan Brewer: The dumbest governor in the country – even stupider than our former president – George W. Bush.

Yoga

Bad movies/Good movies

Gender identity and transvestites

Stupid TV

Actors unraveling   

Art for art’s sake … doing something without any thought of being compensated.

Opiates/painkillers and the epidemic we have on our hands.

Kids and the internet.

If you live on the east coast and you’re a kid, there is nothing BETTER than a snow day …..YAY !!! NO SCHOOL – MAGICAL !!!

Being born rich is perhaps the worst curse in life.

Los Angeles is without question the most fake & unreal city in the country and perfect for movies and TV.

Psychedelic drugs e.g. peyote, mushrooms

Fasting

Zen

Physics/geometry/angles/molecules

Words

Samurai swords … the tradition, the process of manufacturing them with honor, etc.

Indigenous tribes that still exist

Soft life=soft people …answer, we must reset or reboot

The earth is a living entity.

We’re now dependent on everything either digital (0’s & 1’s) and electrical.

How about not even having a hard drive, just clouds….life in the near future is truly spooky !!!

We’re living in unfathomably strange times.

Does anything we do really mean anything in terms of the larger picture???

Microcosm vs. macrocosm ….we are all in our little universes e.g. making money, martial arts, the gun range, cooking, etc.

Seeking a higher truth from the seemingly trivial.

Vinyl records, books, etc …can we retrieve them if there is some sort of digital disaster???  

Edward Snowden – it’s so funny that we make fun of him for not having an advanced degree, yet we hear him in the news everyday & the NSA allowed him to have access to all this incredibly top – secret info.

Privacy issues.

Depth/movement/passion/uncertainty/fear  

Tattoos …who would have guessed what an incredible industry it has become now???

Japanese tattoos  

The military today.

Liberals and conservatives.


WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Joe Rogan is simply off the charts great!!! The topics I brought up are unbelievably from just one show!!!

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What About Arts & Letters Daily as a Homepage???

September 14th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

arts&letters2I’ve had Yahoo as my homepage for more than a decade now because it’s light and breezy, it’s indeed a search engine though not as good as Google, right on the mark with timely  breaking news, and basically everything important that’s going on in the world can be found right there on the site. It’s 2013 and there’s essentially not a single piece of information that exists that cannot be found at your fingertips – both classified (WikiLeaks) and certainly all unclassified stuff .

Obviously , today we can find out anything about anything, anywhere – anytime and it basically comes down to what we want thrown in our face, first thing i.e. Justine Bieber and some real news – Yahoo, your basic no- nonsense best search engine that there is in Google, your work address (yuck, don’t bring work home), or something a little different such as a web portal which happens to be in my opinion the greatest place on the net, especially if you’re interested in an absolute treasure trove of scholarly information and beautifully – written essays of everything under the sun including: philosophy, aesthetics, language, literature, trends, breakthroughs, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, disputes, and of course it includes a tad of gossip.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? If you haven’t visited Arts & Letters Daily http://www.aldaily.com/#google yet, take a look and enjoy !!! This morning I read a little something on Thomas Pynchon, Franz Kafka, Picasso, Shakespeare, on & on … life is short, art is monumentally long.

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Rush (The Band, Not the Fat Conservative Blowhard) Circa 1978

September 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

rush2Is it Possible to Get Better Than This???

I had the great pleasure of seeing Rush again this year (VIP tickets  – a birthday gift from Magdalena) for the amazing Clockwork Angels tour at the beginning of this summer at Jones Beach on Long Island. They were just fantastic as they have always been every time I have seen them play live. I’ve seen Rush in person I believe six times now and the one instrumental, which is a masterpiece among masterpieces, they didn’t play this time however (the concert was so great anyway, it didn’t matter) was ‘La Villa Strangiato’.  Check out this old 1978 clip I found on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB4uwO1Dmf4  

I’ve written plenty on this site about my favorite progressive rock group but I just wanted to throw this re-mastered version of ‘La Villa …’ (it’s a live version of the song but they  re- did it in the studio, note for note, which makes it that much more remarkable – wow !!!) I haven’t seen before. Enjoy and check out the comments from fans who are just as fanatical about them as I am.. here are just a few:

 

“Absolutely incredible. Amazing. Fantastic. A masterpiece. A classic. Perfection beyond perfection. 3 geniuses at their own instruments.

I look forward to seeing them again this year.

Muchas gracias”

 

“Now that’s how you make love to your guitar”

 

“masters of progressive hard rock, best band ever”

 

“I remember seeing them twice in this era. Just a little after this, actually. Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres tours I think. Mind blowing perfection”

 

“Nothing better…I saw this era of Rush in concert”

 

“Just totally mind blowing. God I love this kind of music. So technical and so masterful. Just fuc%$* narly in every sence of the word. RUSH truly means perfection.”


So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? You can search this site if you want to see what else I’ve written about ‘Rush’ in the past.

 

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Tyler

July 8th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

tylerThe long awaited TYLER is finally here! Tyler is our new cat flown in from Texas Siamese Rescue located in Corinth, Texas. He’s a two year old Snowshoe Siamese and is, as you can see, just adorable. We picked him up from  Bradley International Airport which is just outside Hartford, Ct, a 3 hour drive from Long Island. Because he had to pass through security and be removed from his cat carrier, he was harnessed and leashed prior to departure to prevent any mishap. Barbara, who personally transported him on flight in cabin, reported his excellent behavior during the hours long trip. In fact, during the drive home he retained his calm demeanor. Not a peep out of him. However, upon arriving home to Tyler’s designated room for his period of isolation from the rest of the house, he immediately sought refuge under a small loveseat, and aside from hiding behind the TV in the corner, he has remained there ever since. That was two days  ago. In short, he is still harnessed but I managed to snip off his leash with a pair of scissors. Shy and distrustful, Tyler will eventually allow said harness to be removed which we’re certain will add to his overall comfort. Here is Tyler’s take on the story. Please forgive his spelling:

My nayme  is Tyler from the Lone Star state and I haf bin kitnapped. I am stil waring my paratroopers gear I was given for the jurney frum the land of snaykes and scorpeons. I reefuse to let my captors remove it as Im serten I will need it to escaype frum the windo. The Human Beans have locked mee in a rume but I do not beeleeve it is jail beecawse its too nise and soft otherwise I wood bee serving “hard” tyme. LOL. Hey, even a cat has to keep his sense of humer in tymes of stress.

I am hunkered down under the bored walk where the Human Beans like to sit sumtimes. Im as kwiet as a mouse so I do not beeleeve they know Im heer. They cut off part of my paratroopers gear so Im not shure it stil werks but thats the chanse you haf to tayke. I must say tho, the food is pritty gud. I even get Fancy Feets but theres nuthing fancy about it. There are no mice feets as one wood expect. The Beans are getting trickee tho, placing my food farther and farther away so that I haf to come out if I want to eat. Thats not fair.

Im afrayd I may be getting to like it here and want this stoopid paratroopers thing off but I am not reddy to give up the ship. I am stil playing at beeing invisibull. When they tawk to mee I just look the other way. If I dont see them they cannot possiblee see mee.

So……………………whadayathink? Tyler will be helping us out with his own blog spot from time to time to give you the inside scoop on what goes on around here…..from his perspective of course. Please check out Texas Siamese Rescue where all the cats are free to roam and maybe pick one for your own. If you can’t adopt, please help by donating. We need your support. Thanks! And thank you, Alisa, for all that you do.

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When A Door Closes: Ray Manzarek 1939 – 2013

May 22nd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
If, as many say, there would have been no Doors without Jim Morrison, the same can be said of Ray Manzarek. He co-founded the band along with Jim and brought in the two remaining members. With Jim as the exceedingly intriguing and controversial frontman, it was Ray’s keyboards that would weave like pipesmoke through Jim’s unusual lyrics giving the music its unmistakable sound. A sound that would transcend time.
I can’t seem to remember a time when there were no Doors, a staple throughout my adolescent foibles, and later what would become the hallmark of what it was to identify with “cool” and undoubtably thoroughly American, right alongside Mom’s spiked apple pie and our irreverant Bible of verses.
When Jim died, the Doors didn’t. Ray saw to that but he didn’t have to. They commanded the airwaves for years to come, time receding and yet remaining as though (almost) nothing ever happened. We refused to bury our Mojo. After all, rumor had it, he could well be alive in Paris. If this is true, then poor Ray plays alone and somehow I just can’t fathom that.
Ray Manzarek had a tale or two to tell. But the real story is in the music. I hear the opening strains of a familiar tune. You know the one. The keyboards are like the Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending with time eternal. They say when a door closes, another one opens. Ray closed the door and Jim just opened one for him. You know they couldn’t get much higher. Ya hear that Mr. Sullivan?
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Alvin Lee – Gone Home

March 8th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
By now I’m sure you’ve heard, another rock legend has joined the band of angels. The great blues/rock guitarist, Alvin Lee, died yesterday  (March 6th) at the age of 68 in Spain while undergoing some routine surgery.
What I knew about Alvin Lee is probably what most people knew him for; his American debut at the Woodstock festival with an 11 minute performance of I’m Going Home and some of the most incredible guitar playing anyone had ever heard, earning him the title The Fastest Guitar in the West. And of course, his contribution to the band Ten Years After. But what I didn’t know before today are some noteworthy facts such as, he was just 13 years old when he picked up the guitar and a short 2 years later founded the crux of what would become Ten Years After. His love of music came from his parents who collected blues and jazz records and although he went on to become a rock hero, it wasn’t what he wanted. Alvin Lee simply wanted to be a “working musician” who preferred small venues with that of large stadiums which is ultimately where he had to perform once fame took possession. And he thought of his other most recognized big hit “I’d Love To Change The World” as pop, refusing to ever play it live. Through it all, he tried to stay true to his roots. In doing so, he gave us, the baby boomer generation of rock, our roots. We, never realizing what we believed to be a new British sound, is something he borrowed from American blues artists, and he said so. You might say Alvin showed us where we came from, no small gift in exchange for wanting to change the world. I think he succeeded in changing ours, encapsulating it in a very intimate way….
It’s 1971. I’m in my room back home listening to WNEW. Alison Steele, The Nightbird, spins a new record. Its melancholy bluesiness  rides the airwaves and puts me in another world beyond the boundaries of my postered walls, with no inkling of what lay ahead, the twists and turns of my life’s travels obscured by teenage bliss. The power of a rock superhero is as limitless as the imagination. If I heard that song this minute, that’s where that sound would place me. Right back there in my old room with a grin on my face, because all my old friends, the ones that are gone now, are still there. So, you did it Alvin. You changed my world while I still get to keep it the way I remember it.
Sadly, his April 7th Paris gig with rock legend Johnny Winter will never be. It seems he had a prior engagement with a certain Beatle. If there’s a Ten Years Afterlife, there are two guitars gently weeping with joy. Well, maybe not so gently.
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