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Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

The Guest House In East Syracuse

A few months ago my wife and I stopped at a place called The Guest House. She wanted to see the layout for how to present her dichroic jewelry for some kind of show where many people were going to be sharing their wares. I stayed in the car while she went inside, but within a few minutes she’d opened the front door and waved me inside and introduced me to Sharron Pearson, the owner.

The Guest House

To say I was astonished with what I was seeing would be an understatement. Both of us thought it would look like a lot of empty space. Instead, it looked likes the inside of a very nicely decorated house. Later on I found out there’s an upstairs that’s decorated and laid out nicely for larger groups and parties. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Takeaways From The Bruce Jenner Interview

Wow! Last night was something special wasn’t it?

For those not in the know, Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Decathlon champion of the Olympics, which made him the greatest athlete in the world, was interviewed by Diane Sawyer of ABC News where he announced to the world that he considers himself a woman. Goodness, just the topic was compelling enough to get me to turn on the TV to watch, as the only things I’ve watched on TV for the last bunch of months has been a couple of movies, some sports and WWE Wrestling. 🙂

theinterviewI decided to get my thoughts in early on this one because, I’ll admit it, I know that there’s going to be a lot of people who will write about this one later and I hope to beat a bunch of them to the punch; old expression but so be it. And, because I know people love list posts so much, I decided to give 5 things I got from this entire process. Here we go.

1. We got this response right from the beginning from Bruce: “I am a woman.” Wow! I was hoping we wouldn’t have to wait an hour for that one and instead we got it out of the way right from the beginning. That was smart because it allowed the two of them to talk about it without their being this albatross in the room about “Is he or not; let’s get to it already.”

2. As nervous as he seemed early on, you could tell that he had been prepared to tell his story for a long while. It was interesting to see how he’d kind of told his previous wives about his interest in wearing women’s clothing during a time when that would have been a major taboo. I like how he said he knew his first wife thought she could change him; wives, you can never change your men unless they want to be changed. lol

His second wife couldn’t handle it all that well, but after all she’d also been with but come on, Linda Thompson had to deal with the Elvis stuff and probably thought she had a good thing going with Bruce and then he started his first round of treatments; I don’t blame her for anything.

3. The family dynamic overall is an interesting one.

His older kids seem to be the most comfortable and openly supportive of it all. One of his sons even said “Now it all makes sense”. His other son is the coolest, mellowest guy I’ve seen in a long time. His previous wives had nice statements of support also.

His sister had an interesting first response. Seems he told her 10 years ago and she handled it well initially, cried while driving home, and never talked to him again about it, including reaching out to him, until recently, thinking that maybe it would just go away. He owned up to wearing her clothes as a child; that freaked her out. I could appreciate her response on this one, and was glad she owned up to it. I figure that most siblings might react this way, especially with the clothes issue.

The second family? Well, that was intriguing. Seems the only one who’s really come along was Kim Kardashian (whom I’ve always liked, even if others have tried to beat her down), and she came along because of someone I’ve never liked but have to give him his props on this one, her husband Kanye West, who said to her “I would never be happy if I couldn’t be myself.” The one he thought might be the most supportive was Khloe, and she seems to be the one with the most problems in dealing with it.

But the person who came off the worst in my opinion? Kris Jenner, the architect of the entire Kardashian franchise, the one who used to kind of berate him and beat him up here and there on the show (which I never saw an episode of but used to see clips here and there) decided to give a “no comment” when asked for a statement. Come on; her entire life has been commenting on things, living her life in the public, even having a talk show for a short period of time, and she couldn’t deign to give a comment? Is she that ashamed, or is it that she couldn’t give one because she wasn’t going to get any money from it? Sheesh!

Still, Bruce was gracious to each and every one of them, and you could tell that those were the people he was worried about the most, even more than himself. Class!

4. The thing about sex and sexuality came up a few times in the interview, and Bruce was probably more comfortable with it than most of us were. My issue with it is that I’ve never fully understood why people immediately feel like all these things have to do with is sex. I mean, when people think of homosexuals they immediately start thinking about how they have sex rather than what kind of people they are. I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about transgendered people but the thing furthest from my mind is their sexual preferences.

Even with that, Bruce started out saying he was heterosexual, but asked how he’d see himself after the sex change he looked thoughtful at first, then said he was 65 years old, wasn’t thinking about relationships at this point in his life and just wanted to be himself; I thought that was enough. It was also gracious of him to allow Diane Sawyer and the rest of us to refer to “him”, just to keep things going smoothly.

5. No one but Diane Sawyer could have done this interview. I was thinking that as we got close to the end. I couldn’t think of a single male interviewer other than Larry King who might have been able to pull this off, but I don’t think Larry would have asked the types of questions or gone into the type of research Diane did.

Also, I tried to think of which women interviewers who had enough cachet to handle this and Diane Sawyer is pretty much the only one. But there would have been some close contenders. I think Katie Couric would have done pretty well with it, possibly Meredith Vieira. Barbara Walters… nope. Lesley Stahl; not sure she’d have had the compassion to do it. Oprah… nope, I think she’d have injected more of herself into this one than Sawyer did, based on her interview with Lance Armstrong. If this was even 10 years ago I’d have said Connie Chung or Deborah Roberts could have pulled it off. But Diane Sawyer was perfect; great job!

That’s all I have. Actually, I have lots more, but this is long enough. If you saw it what were your thoughts on it all?  

A Saturday At Destiny USA

A few weeks ago I had an occasion to go to Destiny USA to see a movie. I was intent on seeing the movie Ender’s Game on the IMAX screen. What was supposed to just be going to see a movie turned into a little bit of an adventure.

IMG_20131103_193803The adventure started outside, where I actually had to drive around 25 minutes before I could find a place to park. I knew that the mall now had valet parking, but I’ve been away so long I couldn’t remember where it was. And when I found a place to park I pretty much had to wait five minutes for the person in the car to decide to finally start the car, pull out, and go home so that I could have her spot. That was miserable, but I can deal with that sort of thing.

I went to the box office to buy my ticket for the movie, and had to ask where the IMAX screen was, and it turns out that it’s on the opposite side from where the other theaters are, but not very far down on the left. It also turns out they have more than one screen; I hadn’t expected that. What I forgot to do, and the rest of you will have to remember this, is ask whether the movie I wanted to watch was in 3-D or not; turns out it wasn’t. IMAX works really well for 3-D, and even though I still enjoyed the movie it never occurred to me that something was missing until it was over. I probably need to find an occasion to go see the movie Gravity at some point and possibly see Ender’s Game again on a smaller screen for that 3-D effect.

IMG_20131103_194156When I came out, it just seemed like the place was packed with people everywhere. After I sat down for a bit to get my bearings, where I noticed that short black skirts with black stockings must be back in fashion, I took a walk around the new section, where almost everything is now filled in. I went into the new entertainment / restaurant place called Revolutions, where they have the bowling alley that has big screen TV’s over the bowling pins; that would take some getting used to after all these years of not having anything moving in front of me like that.

IMG_20131103_193911There was a concert going on downstairs, which is a new twist because there used to be small groups that would play in the middle section where the elevators are in the original part of the mall, but this was something different because they had flashing lights and you could hear the music everywhere. As a matter of fact, one of the differences between the new part of the mall and the older part of the mall is that music is consistently going, upbeat and frenzied, and it felt like a club atmosphere.

After stopping at a few restaurants and finding each of them had a waiting list of more than an hour, I eventually made my way back to the food court, which was also packed. I couldn’t figure out what was going on since the holiday wasn’t upon us yet, until one of my Twitter friends mentioned later on that it was Parent’s Weekend at SU and both the basketball team and the football team had played games that weekend, which I knew about but hadn’t made the connection. Still, I did have a chance to grab some food and sit down at a table as someone else was getting up.

IMG_20131103_193341Then I decided to take a walk down into the old section to try to get some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Unfortunately the line was longer than I wanted to wait, which was probably just as well because I was going to get a milkshake but it would have kicked my behind (literally lol), but what was funny is that only the ice cream place and the pretzel place next to it seemed to have a lot of people. I took a quick walk through Best Buy and was kind of stunned at how quiet it seemed. I was also stunned that Best Buy doesn’t carry the DVD TV recorders that we can buy to replace what we get from Time Warner; that was disappointing.

If the mall was this crowded while it was still October, I’m wondering what kind of morass it’s going to be after Thanksgiving. I can honestly tell you I’m not looking forward to going to the mall during the holidays, and if I have to do any shopping whatsoever I will probably go up to Great Northern Mall on Route 31 and buy whatever I need there. I love the idea of having the big mall in the Syracuse area, but the issues with parking are enough to make me a bit more selective.

What do you guys think?  

Could We Lose The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra?

You know, I’m of mixed emotions. I know our state is in difficulty. I know that the government either has to raise taxes or cut spending. I fully understand all the difficulties that everyone across the board is having as it comes to funding. And in the long run I believe everyone will do whatever they have to do, negotiating themselves into it I hope, and that we’ll squeeze by until the economy starts to turn around again, if it does.

Syracuse Symphony OrchestraThat’s why it’s so sad realizing that it’s possible the Syracuse Symphony might be on its last leg. The state is looking to cut funding to the symphony, and I really can’t blame them, even though I love the symphony. The issue is that it’s hard to take a look at culture and entertainment and put it on the same level as education and health care.

I love the symphony. I think the first time I ever went was to a production of The Messiah with a girlfriend of mine. Then it modulated (musical term) into all sorts of productions. My favorites have always been piano concertos, and I saw my favorite Andre Watts, perform Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto there and had a chance to meet him that I messed up; heck! I’ve seen a ton of piano concertos, including Prokofieff’s 3nd, which has a very artistic and showy presentation in the 3rd movement if you get the right pianist, which I did.

I’ve seen straight up classical pieces, orchestra and vocal, other types of concertos including Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and many modern works of art; I’ve hated most of those. lol I’ve also gone to quite a few operas. The first opera I ever went to had the lady to the left, Agnes Baltsa, singing the lead in Carmen. I had a box seat for that one, and man, did I feel like royalty. I’ve always said I wanted to get around to trying to purchase a box seat for a season one of these days, but those things don’t come up all that often and, if things go as they might, I may never have the opportunity to ever get it.

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra is one of the highest rated in the world. We’ve had top quality conductors, of which Daniel Hege is the latest. If you don’t know the name, you might have heard about a flash mob that popped up at Carousel last year; he led the group in a performance of Hallelujah near the carousel that made a major splash on Twitter. What, you didn’t see it? See below:

Wasn’t that fun? Anyway, look at the types of shows still available this year. On the weekend of March 5th there’s the performance of Liszt’s 2nd Piano Concerto & Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, the 6th. You have Bach’s Monumental Mass the weekend of April 15th (I love that stuff, but my wife won’t go so I’ll be missing that). And you’ve got internationally known cellist Yo-Yo Ma doing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto on April 27th. You just don’t get this kind of quality everywhere, and we have it right here in central New York.

It would be a crime to lose the symphony, which this year is celebrating its golden anniversary; that’s 50 years folks! Now you can help. They’re doing fund raising to try to keep it going, and you can access the link here. Help to spread the word if you can, and give if you care.

Copyright 2011