Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Night at the Magic Castle

Okay, The Blog lied last night. You're getting a post tonight, whether you want one or not.

Because, this evening, The PC accidentally got hit in the face with a great big 2x4 of nostalgia. And, he has to share it with you.

Way back in 1987, when The Blog Jr. was only a year old, your old Uncle PC did his very first feature film as "Make-up Department Head."

Department head? Hell! I was the only make-up artist on the film.

It was called "A Night at the Magic Castle."

Artie Johnson (Laugh-In) starred as the ghost of Harry Houdini, Blackie Dammit (Lethal Weapon and a slew of 1980s movie villains,) as the bad guy Blackstar, and "Children of the Corn's" Jonathan Franklin as his sidekick.

And that cute kid in the lead, Matt Shackman? By the time this movie was made, he had earned enough money to go to any university he chose, costarring as Wilfred Brimley's grandson in a bunch of Quaker Oats commercials.

Today, Matt is a prolific television director. Just this week, his work was seen as director of the 100th episode of "Psych."

It's not a great movie.

Who am I kidding?

It's not even a good movie.

But, it is far from the worst that I have ever worked on!

In fact, if it feels like this is an '80s porn movie without any porn, you are very astute.

The film's producer/director was Icak "Jerry" Tennenbaum an '80s porn producer/director who second mortgaged his home to do something for his kids.

It's a blatant rip-off  homage to "Peter Pan."

In case you don't catch on...

Houdini = Peter Pan

Max = Wendy

Blackstar = Capt. Hook

Twit = Smee

The Cellar Beast = The Crocodile

For all of it's not very goodness, it is a bit historic.

Before this movie was made, no film crew had ever been allowed inside the walls of "The Castle."

Back in the late 1970s, Bill Bixby starred in "The Magician." A magician/detective who lived above "The Magic Castle." The young PC loved that show. But, truth be told, aside from some exterior, establishing shots, the show never entered the castle, itself.

Over the last couple of posts, I have mentioned, in passing, the fact that I have, in my younger days, been a magician.

So, you can imagine the nerdgasm I got having the run of the castle after hours.

Tonight, while I was catching up on Matt Shakman's resumé, I discovered that the movie, in it's entirety, has been posted to YouTube.

I am watching it as I write this.

And, here's the thing...

I have NEVER seen this movie in it's completed form.

Until tonight.

So, The PC is feeling a little bit emotional, right now. But, I've just got something in my eye.

Not a good movie.

But, a sweet movie.

Produced with the best intentions.

The Blog doesn't know what became of Icak Tennenbaum.

He has heard rumor that this movie bankrupted him.

And, that's sad.

But, I am pretty of proud of Matt's success!

If you have just short of two hours to kill, you can watch "A Night at the Magic Castle" here.

And a message to "Invisible Irma" and "The Cellar Beast..."

It's been a while old friends!

Hopefully, I will snag some passes, soon, and come by to say "Hi!"

A postscript...

The video quality isn't great on this. The rather gnarly X shaped scare on Blackstar's cheek is virtually invisible here. I had originally pitched a more gruesome scar in pre-production, but was asked to dial it back. So, fine.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March Maddening (and Other Random Thoughts)

The PC likes his quiet.

Oh sure, he loves his rock music loud. (Wouldn't have it any other way.)

And, a Michael Bay movie had better shake the floor.

His morning commute requires the sound of Stephanie Miller and The Mooks and his drive time home is not complete without Randi Rhodes.

But, mostly, he likes quiet.

Mrs. Blog tends toward the opposite.

As in, the constant drone of the television, even if nothing is on.

Like late night infomercials and sports.

Oh, the sports.

Of all the noises The Blog hates the most, (besides the low frequency rumble of a truck idling outside a building or the high frequency "beep, beep, beep" of the same truck backing up,) it is the white noise caused by sports broadcasts.

And so, for the past few weeks, once we have run out of reruns of "Castle" on the Tivo™, the drone of sportscaster's babble, roaring crowds and the pounding of rubber against hardwood drill into The Blog's brain like a swarm of killer bees.

March is two days away from being over.

Please assure me that the madness is about to end!


The Blog has never been a huge fan of Starbucks Coffee. Nothing major, just personal taste. Just as, in my not so humble opinion, "Tall" should not mean "Small," they should be honest and admit that "French Roast" means, "Burnt Coffee."

But, The PC  has long been an admirer of Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz.

(And he does love their "Artisan Breakfast Sandwiches." Like "Egg McMuffins sprinkled with awesomeness!)

Schultz is that rare rich guy who has never forgotten his less than modest upbringing. He pays his employees a better than average wage, provides health insurance for virtually all of his workers and he supports progressive causes.

So check out this video from a recent shareholder meeting, where he, as, puts it, "Serves a Grande Cup of 'Shut the Hell Up'" to some of his anti-gay marriage shareholders.


There has been a whole lot of noise, over the past few days, about something some are calling the "Monsanto Protection Act," supposedly signed by Pres. Obama last week.

It's all nonsense and The PC would politely ask his fellow Liberals and Progressives to get a grip and just chill.

Here are the facts...

Here, too...


A couple of months ago, The Blog shared an hilarious video called "Gay Women Will Marry Your Boyfriends."

Because I am not about to search my entire archive to find that post, I just went to YouTube and found a link to it. You can watch it here, if you missed it the first time.

It is beneath The Blog to make any mention of the fact that this video is now sponsored by "Friskies" Cat Food and a campaign called "Will Kitty Play With it?"

But, *snork*


In the interest of equal time, The PC will now share a video called "Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends."


No post tomorrow night.

So, Happy Ishtar!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good News for Christian Homophobes!

On all matters Biblical, The Blog defers to his old friend, "The Ecclesiastical Mook," Mr. John Fugelsang .

If you are not familiar with John or his highly unusual parental upbringing, go check out his web site devoted to his one man show "Guilt: A Love Story."

There is a lot of cool stuff there, but all you really need to see is the graphic at the top of his page. His youth is summed up there, in three sentences.

Did you check it out?


Now, listen to what he had to say tonight on his Current TV show, "Viewpoint."

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Confession

If you know me, or follow me on Facebook, or have just been paying attention here on The Blog's blog, then you know that I have been a loudly outspoken advocate for equal rights for all.

And on this night, as the United States Supreme Court adjourns to chambers to make, possibly, historic decisions regarding California's Proposition 8 and the "Defense of Marriage Act," The Blog is going to tell you something that you will find shocking.

Here we go...

Your Old Uncle PC harbors a deep, hardwired distrust of gay people.

The more out, in your face, flamboyant, a gay person is, (Gay men, mostly. I don't know why, but lesbians don't seem to have the same quirks as gay men,) the less likely I am to trust them when I turn my back.

Before I go on, let me make one thing clear...

Some of my best friends, as they say, are gay.

They are people that I have known for a long time and who I love like brothers and would trust with my life.

Those aren't the people I'm talking about.

I'll get back to that, shortly.

But, as someone who works in a gay adjacent career, I have seen far too many gay men who seem to be devoted only to their own self interest.

They will hug you and kiss you on the cheek while sharpening the knife to put in your back.

I have even seen gay men fuck over their own best friends for their own advancement.

Too often.

Too many gay men are textbook sociopaths.

There. I said it.

"So," you ask, "if you are such a homophobe, why are you such an advocate for gay rights and acceptance?"

The Blog is not a psychologist. His two year long college minor in psychology hardly qualifies him to draw conclusions, but his 53 years of life and 30 years of observation of the human condition does, in my not so humble opinion, allow me an hypothesis.

The PC advocates for full acceptance of homosexuals in society because...

It is the very vilification of gays by our society that causes gay sociopathy.

Imagine spending your developmental years being told that people like you (because, no one at that point knows that you are one of those people) are perverts, abominations in the eyes of God, sick, Hell bound sinners.

Imagine spending your youth in an abyss of closeted self loathing.

Imagine being ostracized by your friends, and worse, your family, for being who you are.

Imagine being told by society that you are less than human.

God damn how that must suck!

When a gay boy becomes a gay man, is it any wonder if he says to himself, "Fuck it! I'm going to look out for 'number one,' because nobody else will."

I think that I have shared this story, before, in an earlier post.

(It's just too late at night for me to dig into the archives to find the post.)

Gary B. the kid from The Blog's childhood who first hung the epithet "sissy" on the young, skinny, bad at sports, good at art, bloggling, who, when not beating the crap out of me was goading others to do so, his snarling, hate filled visage still burned into The PC's psyche... at the age of 22... came out.

If he could have only, honestly, told his bigoted father, early on, that he felt different from other kids, maybe my own life would have been different.

Am I making my point here?

The problem, as The Blog sees it, isn't gayness.

The problem is a hateful and bigoted society that forces gays into the closet and a potential sociopathic future.

The answer, in my not so humble opinion, is not "tolerance," because tolerance suggest a superiority over lesser human beings, but rather, full acceptance.

It is high time that American society understands that.

Here is what Jesus had to say about the evils of homosexuality...

"...                                                                                        ..."

Oh, and about those gays that The PC loves and trusts implicitly...

Just a guess here, but I'm thinking that they had great parents and supportive families and friends.

Which just proves my point.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Keep Calm and Read The Blog

Two posts in one night!

Yes, it's a "Two-fer Tuesday!"

A year or two ago, the "Keep Calm" thing became an internet meme.

But, do you know it's origin?

The PC sure didn't.

Would it surprise you to learn that it began during WWII?

Because, it did!

Watch the video about it here.

Once again, thanks to Kim Komando for sharing this!

If You Have a Mind, This Guy Will Blow It

Okay, the title of this post is a variation of a tag-line for the movie, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," a movie that, apparently, no one, including The Blog, has actually seen.

But, The PC loves the line. So, whatever.

A couple of posts back, The Blog confessed to having spent some time in his life as a magician.

He still considers himself a member of "The Circle," even though it never actually came to pass and he has not practiced the art in several decades.

Again, a story for another time.

The Blog just saw the most amazing video.

A magic trick that has The Amazing PC totally stumped.

I'm thinking that this is a geometry thing.

But, since nothing math related has ever been The Blog's strong suit, he can't be sure.

Check this out!

A Tip O' the Hat to tech guru Kim Komando for sharing this video.

If anyone can explain how this works, post it in the comments section.


Monday, March 25, 2013

The SCOTUS Could Go Both Ways

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court of The United States of America will hear testimony regarding the constitutionality (or un-) of California's Prop. 8.

And on Wednesday, they will do the same for the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act."

In recognition of the next two historic days...

And, in support of my LBGT friends...

The Blog would like to share a couple of songs from his favorite folk singer...

(Okay, in fact, the only folk singer that The PC actually enjoys.)

Give it up for the Clark Kent of folk music,

                                                                Mr. Roy Zimmerman.

"I Want a Marriage Like They Had in the Bible"

"Defenders of Marriage"

You're welcome.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Catch Me If You Can

These days, everything is digital.

Photos, music, video.

Digital copies of digital copies of digital copies are just as perfect as the original, no matter how many times they are reproduced.

But, back in the day, copies of such things were made by photocopy or magnetic tape. With each copy of a copy, the quality declined a bit. Until a copy of a copy of a copy was an imperfect, blurry shadow of the original.

This afternoon, Mrs. Blog and I went up to The Pantages in Hollywood to see the musical production of "Catch Me If You Can."

And, for all of the show's energetic, candy colored exuberance, The PC's mind kept wandering to the "copy of a copy" analogy.

But, let me back up to the beginning, of sorts...

At a certain age, every kid, (every boy, anyway,) tends to favor the outlaws over the heroes.

Pirates, old west train robbers, original gangsters and such.

While his friends were into Blackbeard, Jesse James and Al Capone and Bonnie and Clyde, the young Bloggling didn't really care.

The argument could be made that The Batman was an outlaw. And, The PC has always been fascinated by The Joker.

But, his real interest in the flip side of the law wasn't sparked until 1973, at the age of fourteen, when his grandmother (aka: Nanny) took him to see "The Sting."

Henry Gondorff and Johnny Hooker.

They didn't shoot people. They didn't break and enter. They didn't hold up trains or pillage ships and villages.

They didn't even carry guns.

They were just wayyyy smarter than their "marks."

While his friends got off on violent, bloody battles...

The young PC was into "The Long Con."

During that time, The PC sublimated his interest in the con by delving into a world where the con was legitimized and people actually paid to be conned.

He became a magician.

That is a story for another day.

But, in 1977, when he was 17 or 18, he was watching, as he did every afternoon, the TV game show "To Tell the Truth."

And it was there that he was introduced to a real life Henry Gondorff, Frank W. Abignale, Jr.

Rather than lay out his story here, allow me to direct you to a YouTube clip of the very show I'm talking about.

Watch it here.

Illegality, immorality and ethical bankruptcy aside, The young Blog concluded that this guy was the coolest!

Frank W. Abignale, Jr. was The young Blog's own, personal outlaw.

It wasn't until the year 2000 that Abignale finally published his autobiography, "Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake."

As with any memoir, especially one written by an outlaw, you can bet that no matter how accurate the telling, the author will work hard to make himself the protagonist. And, Frank's book did that well. The PC recommends it.

Returning to the "copy of a copy" theme, the book is, no matter how true, very likely an imperfect reproduction of the original life.

Two years later, no less than Steven Spielberg directed the movie version, starring Leo DiCaprio as Frank and Tom Hanks as FBI Agent Carl Hanratty.

A great film. But, much of the darker stuff in Abignale's book was glossed over, in favor of making the film something of a "cat and mouse," buddy comedy.

A less perfect copy of a copy.

(Do you see what The Blog is doing here?)

Which brings us to "Catch Me If You Can: The Musical."

Entertaining for about two hours.

But, in the end, a copy of a copy of a copy.

Real life people rendered as broad cartoon caricatures.

A real life, nail-biter of a story reduced to high camp silliness.

Certainly, The Blog had more fun this afternoon than he had last month at "Jekyll & Hyde."

But, unlike "J&H," which, at least, made enough of an impression to disturb his sleep for nights afterward, "Catch Me..." was little more than chewing gum for the eyes and ears, discarded and mostly forgotten as soon as it lost its favor.

Bottom line...

If you are looking for a fun, frivolous afternoon or evening, by all means, go see this show when it comes to your town.

As for The Blog...

He's going to re-read the book and reconnect with the better quality copy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Changes of Perception: Part Two

If you haven't read Part One yet, go ahead and catch up. I'll be here when you get back. 
(I don't have to link to it for you, do I?) 

I, like most American's, have been a "Consumer of Entertainment" pretty much my entire life.

As such, I, like most American's, have long held perceptions of how certain aspects of the entertainment industry works.

But, thirty years ago, I joined the other side.

The "Producers of Entertainment," if you will.

And, over the years, I have had the opportunity to observe from the inside. And from that perspective, I have learned that while many things that "Consumers" perceive are truth, many of them are not.

I could probably devote an entire book to the many facts, myths and assumptions about the entertainment industry.

Maybe someday.

But tonight, I want to focus on a single topic. One that bothered me for years and without realizing it over a long, gradual period of time, I observed up close with a sense of bewilderment and fascination without ever being able to explain it.

Until the answer hit me suddenly, a couple of weeks ago.

The issue is the entertainment industry's practice of trotting out it's aging celebrities, it's legends, for one more performance (or ten) long after it appears that their bodies and/or minds have begun to fail them.

I'm thinking, off the top of my head, of Frank Sinatra being walked out onto a stage by a handler and singing from a TelePrompTer so as not to forget any lyrics.

Or Bob Hope, doing commercials for (if my own suspect memory serves) Denny's and KMart, dutifully delivering his few lines while his eyes seemed to be wondering where he was.

My perception of this was that someone, their heirs or managers or someone, was trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of them before they died.

And that, I perceived, was outrageous. There aughta be a law!

Over the last few decades, I have had the opportunity to meet and, sometimes, work with some great "old-timers." Actors, performers and personalities whose heyday was during my youth (or earlier.) And I have often observed a phenomenon that I found baffling. And for the longest time, I never connected that phenomenon to the topic that I mentioned, above.

Not neccesarily in the grip of full dementia, but well into their dotage.

Performers who had to be escorted to and from the make-up trailer for fear that they would become confused and get lost. Or, who exhibited difficulty tracking their thoughts in regular conversation. Their voices shaky, there bodies feeble.

And yet, if I asked them about a movie they stared in forty years ago, they would regale me with stories.

And, when they got in front of an audience or a camera, they would suddenly be in full form, playing the role, delivering their lines, professional as always.

And, when the director yelled "Cut!" Or when the talk show was over, the performer would be met by his/her escort and helped back to their dressing room or into their car.

It was the damnedest thing.

A few examples...

The soap opera Grand Dame who, in an interview a few years ago, spoke in a quiet, unsure voice, unable to complete sentences.

But to this day, on a daily basis, she portrays the imperious family matriarch, doling out wisdom to her heirs as they tremble in her presence.

The television personality who was ubiquitous on game and talk shows in the 1950s and '60s who, in the late '90s, was prone to wandering off and getting lost in the location base camp of the TV series she was making a cameo on. But, delivered her lines in a single take in every shot.

The 1960's and '70s action star who, in 2012, appeared to be frail and slightly confused.

But, when the talk show host rolled the clip from his latest movie, his performance was as powerful as if it was shot thirty years ago.


Which brings us to about a month and a half ago.

In that time, I had the opportunity to observe, up close, an elderly actress who was a comedy legend on television and film in the 1970s, (and still works a lot, today,) not once, but twice in a one month span.

The first time, she was such a loose cannon that she left us all wondering, "Is this shtick? Or, has she (and this is a medical term) lost most of her marbles?"

The audience loved it. And she clearly loved that the audience loved it.

But it was a bizarre performance.

A few weeks later, an unexpected circumstance made it appropriate to have her back on the show.

This time around, knowing what to watch for, and being able to observe more closely, it became clear that the actress had very little idea of where she was, except that when she got on the stage, she knew she had an audience. And, in that moment, she knew how to play it.

I also got to observe her handler, her daughter, it turns out. She had the frazzled air of a mother chasing a sugared up toddler.

And, that is when it all came together.

My epiphany.

This actresses daughter was not squeezing extra dollars out of her, clearly, not present on the same plane as the rest of us, mother.

Because God knows there must be easier ways to make money.

When she takes her mom to a shoot, she is giving her a great gift.

The same goes for the Sinatras and the Hopes and others who have held their famous parent's hands as they set out to perform a few more times.

Here is the conclusion that I have drawn from my years of very unscientific observation.

That part of the brain that drives a performer (and I have always believed that everyone in entertainment is driven by a part of the brain that most never access. Even me. Which would explain a lot,) remains strong, even after the rest of the brain begins to betray it's owner. That lobe gives the performer, even in the grip of Alzheimer's disease, a point that is as focused as it always was. For a bit, the confusion that comes with dementia can be escaped while the performer performs, safe in the knowledge that the script, or the audience, or the memory of days gone by will give them something to hang on to.

To be clear, not every octogenarian, performer or otherwise, is doomed to dementia.

Off the top of my head, Betty White and Dr. Ruth Westheimer (not to mention, my own mom and dad,) come to mind. I wish I was as sharp as either of them on my best days.

Which brings me back to President Ronald Reagan.

The story I told last night suggests that he spent most of his presidency in a steady descent into dementia.

The unasked, unanswered question of that story is this...

Reagan was "The Great Communicator." A man who could orate with the best of them, tell a story, and ad lib a witty remark. (Even as he was wheeled onto an ambulance after being shot.) How could he have spent most of his two terms descending into Alzheimer's?

I think that this explains it.

Reagan was, first and foremost, a performer.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if science could figure out how to locate the part of the brain of anyone suffering from the ravages of Alzheimer's that informed the core of that person, the way I think the "performer lobe" defines a performer?

It could, truly, be a gift.

Tomorrow night...

Something lighter, I hope.

Funny would be best.

Something that would allow me to return to referring to myself in the third person without seeming inappropriately flippant.

I'll figure something out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Changes of Perception: Part One

Allow me to tell you a story.

It was a story that I was told many years ago.

It is pure hearsay. Some of the details are a little fuzzy in my memory. I can prove none of it. I don't even remember the name of the person who told it to me.

I want to tell you this for two reasons.

One, A couple nights ago, a friend mentioned something that reminded me of it and I promised I would tell the story because I think he will find it interesting.

Two, it ties in nicely with something that I realized, recently. Something that completely changed a belief that I had long held.

An epiphany that I would like to share with you.

I am going to split this post into two parts.

Part one, the story that I was told, tonight.

Part Two, tomorrow night.

Tonight's post will probably seem to you, my blogglitts, to be politically motivated.

I assure you that it is not.

It will all be clear, tomorrow night.


A number of years ago, somewhere around 1990, I was working on a film production on location at a nice house in an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood. The location's owner was a retired LAPD detective.

Throughout the house were photos of the owner (and sometimes his family) posing with former President Ronald Reagan. They were the sort of presidential "grip and grins" that are usually purchased with generous campaign donations.

Every time my eyes landed on one of these photos, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and sigh.

One day, the location owner caught one of my eye-rolls and read my mind.

"Oh, I've never voted for him, if that's what you are thinking. I am a lifelong Democrat for one thing. And I couldn't vote for him during his re-election, knowing what I knew."

He began to explain how a president is protected when he travels to various cities.

Everyone knows that protecting the president is the main job of the Secret Service. But, what most of us may not realize is, wherever he goes, the local police provides a security detail, as well. 

The person in charge of that detail is usually a long time officer or detective who is on his way to retirement. It is a prestige position. A reward for a job well done.

And this man was the LAPD's liaison to the president for Reagan's first term in office.

He told me that whenever Reagan came to L.A. he liked to stay at the Bonaventure Hotel, downtown. Partly because it was the place to stay in L.A. in the '80s. But mostly because his favorite barber had a shop in the hotel's basement.

To clarify...

The basement of the Bonaventure is not a creepy storage area and furnace, but rather a well appointed shopping mall.

One morning, during the second year of Reagan's first term, the detective and the Secret Service agent arrived at the Presidential Suite and told the president that it was time for his haircut appointment.

They got in the elevator and headed down.

As they stepped out of the elevator, the president turned to his two escorts and said, "So boys... Where to?"

"At that moment," the detective told me, "My stomach fell. In the minute or so that it took to travel from the top floor to the basement, the President of the United States forgot where he was going."

This man was a detective. He immediately grasped the implication.

Over the next three years, the detective told me, Reagan showed increasing short term memory loss, difficulty tracking and confusion. And, unless he had a written speech or was regaling listeners with anecdotes of his days in Hollywood, he had difficulty stringing complete sentences together.

The detective retired at the end of Reagan's first term. He did not personally witness Reagan's second four years. But, he had been told by his successor that the president continued to decline, rallying only when speaking to the public or reminiscing about the old days.

So, it came as no surprise to the detective when, just a few months before our conversation, well after Reagan had left office, the public announcement about the former president's decline was made.

A chilling thought.

And, as I said earlier, one that could be construed as a politically motivated story.

But, tomorrow night, I will tell you another story. One that changed my perception of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

See you tomorrow.

Steubenville. Wrapping Up.

Well, it's official.

The Blog has misplaced the the link to the video of the comments by the judge in the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial.

The outrageous sympathy shown to the convicted rapists by CNN's commentators and other mainstream media outlets has been thoroughly and properly addressed by now.

If you have not caught up with that, you really need to get yourself better informed.

Google, Bing and YouTube will help you get up to speed with that.

The Blog will not bore you with it here.

Judge Thomas Lipps (Oh please, feel some empathy for the poor child who grew up with that name!) rightly found the two youths who committed the vile acts against a 16-year-old girl guilty.

And indictments are coming for 16 or so "good kids" who stood by and did nothing (except tweet the videos of the acts) rather than step up and protect the young victim.

So, His Honor, Judge Lipps (Fuck! I hate how that name makes my inner adolescent giggle!) did the right thing.

But, when he was done with that, he felt the need to speak further.

And what he said made The PC scratch his bald head.

*Wait! I may have found a link! Sit tight while I check it out. I'll be right back.*

Okay, I'm back.

This is not the link to the actual video, but blogger Amanda Hess heard the comments from Judge Lipps that caused The PC's jaw to drop.

Her reaction was exactly the same as mine.

So go read what she has to say and get that is exactly what The Blog wanted to say.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We Interrupt This Blog For Another Damn Eulogy

Once or twice, in past posts, The Blog has mentioned the fact that, in his lifetime, he has called a number of people "friend" that polite society might, politely, call "unsavory."

Not "evil" people, (Although, there is no denying that I have known more than my share of evil people. But, I have never called them "friend." Kind of a deal breaker there.)

Not even "bad" people.

Rather, rascals and rapscallions, libertines and swashbucklers, who have chosen to buckle their swashes outside of societal norms.

The Blog got news today that one of those rascals, one of the best of them, in fact, died yesterday at the age of 65, from pancreatic cancer.

Herb Streicher served his country, in the early 1970s as a Marine. He spent the last couple of decades of his life as a very successful real estate agent in Park City, Utah.

"Wow!" I hear you saying. "What do the first couple of paragraphs of this post have to do with the ex-Jarhead, Utah realtor you just described?"

Trust The Pc.

You have probably never heard the name Herb Streicher. If you have, it probably didn't make much of an impression.

But, you may recognize another name. The name Herb took in the late '70s and continued to use, professionally, for the rest of his life.

Herb Streicher was better known to most people as...

                                                                     Harry Reems.

The porn legend who starred in "Deep Throat."

The man whose '70s porn-star 'stache gave all other '70s porn-star 'staches inferiority complexes. (See image below.)

                                              The only adult film performer to ever be
                                             tried and convicted on obscenity charges.


A couple of years ago, Harry was portrayed by actor Rick D. Wasserman in an episode of the short lived CBS dramedy "Swingtown."

And yes, that is Lana Parrilla, "Once Upon a Time's" evil queen, Regina.

And, yes, I will get around to writing about why I love "Once Upon... etc..." one of these days.

*End Digression*

When The PC first met Harry in 1985, he was already considered an elder statesmen of the "adult industry."

The Blog vividly remembers Harry watching some young stud (Tom Byron or Peter North? Okay, maybe the memory is not so vivid,) pop off his third "money shot" in less than 45 minutes.

Harry shook his head and muttered, "Ah. Youth."

Harry was a great guy. Intelligent. Witty. Generous to a fault.

Did I mention witty?

Goddamn he had a great sense of humor.

Especially when it came to his own, strange, place in the world.

*Another Digression*

Do you remember when charities would send out bundles of pencils with your name embossed on them, in the hope that you would send a contribution, in return?

(If you do, then you are as old as The Blog.)

For some bizarre, never explained reason, some charity sent Harry a bunch of pencils with his nom-de-porn embossed on them.

He never did figure out how that came to pass.

But, he was so amused by it that he sent the charity a check for an undisclosed amount of money, and passed the pencils out to his friends.

The PC is a proud owner of one of those pencils.

For several years, that pencil lived in the elastic band in the lid of my make-up case.

Around that time, The young PC got hired to work on a television awards show, the animal actor's equivalent to "The Oscars."

Knowing that The Future Blog would be working with a bunch of television stars, he scrupulously removed all porn video continuity Polaroids™ from his case.

But, he forgot about that pencil.

Around ten minutes after Betty White sat in his chair, that long yellow object caught his eye.

At about the same time, that same object caught the eye of Ms. White.

"You know Harry?" she exclaimed. "I just had lunch with him at Jerry's Deli last week! I have one of those pencils, too!"

Betty White and The Blog belong to a rather exclusive club.

*End Digression #2."

Harry managed to avoid some of the common pitfalls of celebrity status in the 1970s and '80s.

Namely, cocaine and heroin.

But, he fell victim to a much more classic demon.


By the late '80s, Harry was drinking.

A lot.

And the more he drank, the more the funny, charming Harry disappeared.

As he became more volatile and less employable, some of his friends convinced him to check himself in to rehab.

Almost a year later, I got a call from Harry.

He told me he was clean, and was moving away and starting a new, sober life.

That was the last time I spoke with Harry.

I learned a few years later, (through a piece in "People" magazine) that he had moved to Utah, (probably a good place for a dry drunk to go,) found God, and had gotten his real estate license.

And at that point, he did something that was either genius or crazy...

He opened up shop under the name "Harry Reems Real Estate."

In Utah.


I guess that, even in Utah, a familiar brand is a good thing.

The last image I have of Harry, in my mind, is the photo that accompanied the "Whatever Happened To...?" piece in "People" magazine.

Harry, relaxed in a rocking chair, a Bible on the side table, and a beatific smile on his face.

A good man, with a turbulent past, at peace, at last.

Rest in Peace, Herbert "Harry Reems" Streicher.

I am proud to have called you a friend.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Last night, when The blog promised to say a thing or two about the Steubenville, Ohio rape convictions and the insanity from the, "Mainstream Media," tonight, he forgot that he has to be at work at Insane-O'clock tomorrow morning.

Add to that that it looks like he is going to have to spend the day bailing out some overpriced, Beverly Hills, make-up con artist, who bit off more than he could chew when he agreed to do some television make-overs.

Word to "fashion" make-up artists...

Television is no place for pussies.

Besides that, The Blog may have misplaced the link to the quote from the Steubenville judge that The Blog found so worthy of comment.

Hopefully, I will find it again before tomorrow night. And, while it will be old news by then, I will comment on it, anyway.

Until then, The PC has learned an interesting thing tonight.

If you search the word "Oops" in Google images, with "safe search" off, you will be presented with, literally, hundreds of photos of "nip-slips" and "lip-slips" before you ever find a graphic that, simply, says "Oops."

The things you learn on Google.

No Post Tonight (Except This)

Still trying to wrap my head around the media's bizarre, football hero worshiping, reaction to the conviction of two Steubenville, Ohio rapists, and the odd take away that the judge shared when it was over.

See you tomorrow night.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Deer Crossing Lady Returns

A couple of posts ago, The Blog shared the rantings of a blogger from his hometown of Avon Lake, Ohio.

This blogger, one Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm, wrote a blog post so laughably ignorant that within a week of it's posting, it had gone viral.

If you didn't see it, you can catch up here.

I'll wait.

Thanks to alert reader "VamonosPest," for giving The Blog a head's-up about America's favorite deer shit crazy lady's latest spew.

If you must, you can go to the Avon-Avon Lake Patch's web site and read it, here.

But, since The Blog hates directing traffic to such awful pages, you can read the whole thing right here, with annotations by yours truly.

So, here we go...

America needs another holiday--Voter Day for the Presidential election. One day, and perhaps a Saturday.

Okay, The PC is on board for making the presidential election day a national holiday.

But, why Saturday?

No federal holiday has ever landed on a Saturday.

Federal holidays, for the most part, land on Mondays.

Even the observation of president's birthdays.

So, why Saturday? A day that most people with normal jobs already have off? 

On this day, a photo identification with one’s social security number and photo provides the voter the right to vote.

Um. no. The Constitution of The United States of America provides the voter the right to vote.

Voting for the President of the United States is a privilege...

No, Ms. Wilhelm, voting for the President of the United States is a right. (See above.)

Voting has become marred with Black Panther’s threatening voters...

Two poll watchers in Pennsylvania, in 2010 happened to be large, black men. Dubbed "The New Black Panthers" by Fox "News," the right-wing blatherers ran with the story. The DOJ investigated and found no such thing was true. 

...and a great deal of voter fraud.

"A great deal" meaning, statistically, none. 

Illegal aliens...

Who tend to not try to call attention to themselves by attempting to vote, for fear of deportation...

... nuns...

Yeah, because why are nuns voting?

...the educated...

Ah! There's the problem! The educated, (people unlike Ms. Wilhelm) have the gaul to vote! Because, fuck the educated! Where do those elitists get off?

...those unregistered, and dead people --all voting many times, many days.

Well, yeah. In deep red Florida, where dead people are famous for voting for Republicans. Otherwise, not so much.

Recently, a poll worker and Obama supporter admitted voting twice in the presidential election. She also was indicted for allegedly voting at least six times. Besides voter fraud, this poll worker also is charged with voting in the name of five other people in various elections. In an interview she said, "I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States."

An 86 year old woman with dementia who considers herself a proud American voted twice. The criminal complaint shows she voted absentee ballot and at the polls. She asked of the poll workers, "Why didn't they tell me to go home?“ One can only hope voter fraud and any harassment or dishonesty at the polls is discovered and the criminals jailed forever, but voter fraud is not rare.

A quick search of Snopes, Politifact and FactCheck suggests that none of this ever happened. But, why let facts get in the way of a good ideological rant?

Since Ms. Wilhelm neglects to source these claims, The Blog has to assume that she is getting her information from Fox "News," the right-wing blogosphere, or the voices in her head.

Voter fraud is not new, and it is becoming more. It’s often a laughable cliché that many dead people vote in Chicago.

*Begin Cheap Shot*

"Becoming more" what? Just "more?"


*End Cheap Shot*

Yes, a "laughable cliché." Sixty years ago, maybe. Ancient history. But, not relevant now.

America’s vote has become tarnished? [sic] It was bad when women and Blacks were prevented this right, but the US Constitution resolved this injustice. It is time something be done to protect America's vote.

Yes... but, um... what?

Ms. Wilhelm blathers on for a couple more paragraphs. So much more nonsense that The Blog has no more energy to comment on them.

For the purpose of completion, here they are...

Why are there so many days to vote? We appear to have no problem with jobs, plans and all that is life when it comes to December 25. That’s the date for Christmas without any wiggle room (If you celebrate this date and have children, you know). With early voting, in many U.S. states, the period varies between four and fifty days prior to Election Day. Can you imagine any other holiday you celebrate given this length of wiggle room?

Okay, I lied. I'm back. At this point, I feel like that guy in the ATT cell phone commercials, listening to feedback from kindergardeners. 

                                                                                           This guy.

Yes, early voting allows voters who might be unable to vote on election day to vote. Yes, early voting relieves congestion at the polls, accommodates those with scheduled medical procedures, vacations and other, but does early voting need to be four to fifty days? One Saturday or an absentee ballot should accommodate all of these concerns.

Right now, government workers receive 10 paid holidays. Substitute or add Voter Day to this list. If Voter Day prevents voter fraud, I would welcome the expense.

She seems to have answered her question before she asked it. But, since I'm here...

What states, exactly, allow fifty days to vote? 

Besides Voter Day, Americans must preserve the vote with voter identification. A voter’s social security number with a photo is the answer. It is the perfect identification for all; as how does one receive his or her benefits, entitlements, or passport if not with a social security number?

America must have identification to vote. America must take responsibility and claim our right to vote in a fair and honest election. Our soldiers have sacrificed for our freedom; we must protect our vote.

Yes! Oh God, Yes! Our soldiers died and were maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan protecting our freedom to present a government I.D. to exercise our Constitutional right to vote!

God bless George W. Bush!

Once again, Ms. Wilhelm has proven herself to be the stupidest woman in America who has never served a half term as Governor of Alaska.

                                                                 Can you smell what The Blog is cooking?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another Bumper Sticker

The Blog is pretty lenient when it comes to typos and misspellings. Especially on Facebook posts or Tweets or IMs.

The young PC's fifth grade teacher once described the PC as a "creative speller."

But, if you are going to commit a criticism to a sign or a bumper sticker...

                                                                      Like this one

Double check your spelling.

Otherwise, The Blog is going to post it and make fun or your ignorant ass.


And, Happy St. Patrick's Day (or, rather, weekend.)

Remember that it's amateur night.

So, be careful out there!

Sen. Feinstein Pwns Sen. Cruz

The PC promised, a while back, to refrain from posting anything more about the gun debate, for a while.

So, how long has it been?

A month?

Maybe longer?

It's time.

Yesterday, while the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which has, over the last few years, devolved into an "SNL"  caricature of itself, paraded a cavalcade of right-wing losers across their stage...

                                                          Donald Trump one ups Clint Eastwood and addresses 
                                                                            a whole house of empty chairs.

Back in Washington, Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas) a freshman, back bencher, had the giant, shiny, brass balls to lecture Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D - California) a senior senator and really old lady, on what he considered the finer points of The Constitution.

Not surprisingly, Sen. Feinstein (who, The Blog sometimes supports, but also has a number of problems with, [probably a post for another time,] ) handed said shiny ones back to the little whippersnapper on a silver tray.

You can watch the exchange, here.

Much to The Blog's disappointment, the Senior Senator from his home state took the high road.

Here is what The PC wishes she had said...

"Look here, Skippy! You were seven years old on the day that I discovered the bullet ridden bodies of Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk!

So, pull your wet behind the ears head out of your ass and learn a thing or two about the world.

Until then, get down off of your high horse and and take some time to actually develop a world view based on experience rather than ideology."
 That is what The Blog wishes she had said.

It's a funny thing.

There is an old-fashioned, "conservative," concept that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur and dial telephones.

Respect for one's elders and an acknowledgment of their life experience.

Sen. Cruz tried to hand a great big "Fuck You!" to a woman who has seen more in her lifetime than that little asshole has seen in his few years.

Sen. Feinstein handed it right back to him. And, good for her!

The PC knows where Sen. Feinstein is coming from, where Sen. Skippy is concerned.
The new, young, conservatives have no respect for those who have experienced the world before them.

They know it all. And, we belong on Alaskan ice flows.

What a shame. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Where No Man Has Gone Before

The Blog has, for many years, identified himself as a "recovering Trekkie."

In his youth he was, in fact, so much a dedicated "Trekkie" that he preferred to be called a "Trekker."

Because, "Trekkers" are "Trekkies" who take themselves way too seriously.

You are shocked to learn this. I know.

The PC can't go more than two weeks without a Batman reference. So, who would have guessed that he would be into "Star Trek" as well?

The Blog was in his mid-teens when he discovered "Star Trek."

Not during it's original, network run, but a few years later.

"Star Trek" reruns ran on one of our UHF channels, (61? 45? I don't remember.)

While the young blogling was very much into TV and movies, in general, and was determined to pursue a career in show biz, the BlogMom and BlogDad were determined to steer him away from that.

To that end, they gave him a book for Christmas.

A "warts-and-all" look at the production a a television show, "The Making of Star Trek," by David Gerrold, the writer of, arguably, the most famous and popular "Star Trek" episode ever, "The Trouble With Tribbles."

The BlogParent's ploy backfired. The young, future PC became a rabid "Star Trek" fan, and, as it happened, so did the BlogParents. For a couple of years, the family meal wound up being served on TV trays in front of the television, so we could watch the "five year mission" of James Tobias Kirk and crew.

The PC has never attended an actual Star Trek convention. Or ComicCon for that matter. Part of me has always wanted to attend both. But, The Blog is sort of crowd adverse. Especially if the crowd is sweating in costumes.

Besides, Star Trek conventions were for the "cool kids."

I know, the irony is deadly.

Which brings me to the thing that inspired this post.

A couple of nights ago, a FOTB, Teresa, posted a "Next Generation" blooper reel on Facebook.

You can watch it here.

Virtually all of the classic "Star Trek" blooper reels are available at YouTube. Look them up, yourself.

This got The Blog thinking...

"Is there anything more entertaining than a 'Star Trek' gag reel?"

The Blog may be wrong.

Maybe "Star Trek" gag reels are only entertaining to Trekkies.

But, I kind of think that James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock are iconic enough that anyone would get a kick out of seeing the self-important Kirk/Shatner slamming into a non-operating sliding door or the emotionless Vulcan, Spock cracking up, would be entertaining.

And, how can one not be amused when Patrick "I am a Shakespearean actor, dammit!" Stewart loses his shit after another forgotten line?

In the 1980s, virtually every comedy movie included a "blooper" or "gag" reel after the end credits.

In the late '80s there were at least two television shows dedicated to bloopers.

People who work in television and film have a love/hate relationship with gag reels.

They are a staple of Christmas and Wrap parties. We laugh hysterically.

But, when an actor blows his lines and unleashes a string of obscenities, on the set, after 15 takes, we cringe and think about how long our day is going to be.

But, way back in the 1970s, before blooper shows, and before YouTube, "Star Trek" gag reels were a thing of legend. The Holy Grail of gag reels.

We all knew that they existed. But, the only people who got to see them were the true believer, die hard Trekkers, who attended the conventions.

Virtually all of the classic "Star Trek" blooper reels are available at YouTube. Look them up, yourself. 

And in the summer of 1978, the future PC and his girlfriend attended a packed house at Cleveland's Richfield Coliseum, a venue that usually only sold out for arena rock rock gods like KISS or Queen, to hear a talk from "The Great Bird of the Galaxy" himself, Gene Roddenberry, where the young PC not only got to hear Mr. Roddenberry's stories, and see the original "Star Trek" pilot, but also, the elusive gag reels.

Trekkie Nirvana!

When all of that was done, Gene made an historic announcement.

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was in development.


I was there.

And it was a true geekgasm.

Granted, the movie that was made turned out to be kind of awful.

But, many of the sequels that followed were pretty darned good.

Not all of them. But, most.

Two of those better movies were shot on the very stages that The PC currently works at.

Not that that means much, but the PC's inner 17-year-old enjoys that fact.

A couple of years ago, the brilliant J.J. Abrams rebooted the original "Star Trek" and this recovering Trekkie fell off the wagon.

Abram's next "Trek" is imminent. and The Blog can't wait!

And the same J.J. Abrams is now poised to breath new life into the "Star Wars" saga.

And now, after decades of nerd-dom, The PC feels like one of the cool kids.

Vindication, at last!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Post Tonight

My promised Star Trek post will have to wait until tomorrow.

The Blog is trying to get six other things done before bed.

Multi-tasking is not really my thing.

See you tomorrow night.

I Got Nothing, Tonight.

But, tomorrow night...

A couple of thoughts about "Star Trek," "Trekkies," and "Trekkers."

And what was the most cool thing about being a Trekker, and the future of Trekdom. 

Come back tomorrow night.

It's only logical.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So My Alarm Goes Off At 8:00 AM

I wake in a panic.


I'm late for work. I have overslept.

I tear off my pajamas on the way to the bathroom.

I turn the shower on and sit on the toilet while the water warms up.


I don't even know who to call to let them know that I am running late.

Damned weekend "Loft" shoots.

We aren't at the stage. So I need a producer's cell phone number.

Sitting on the toilet, waiting for the shower to warm up.

There must be a call sheet with someone's phone number in my email.

I check my iPhone™.


Only a call sheet for Saturda..............


Today is Sunday.

My "Loft" job was yesterday.

I was there on time and worked for six hours.

My alarm wasn't set for work.

My alarm was set so I could take Mrs. Blog to breakfast.

I turn the shower off and put my PJs back on.

Mrs. Blog is sound asleep on the couch, in front of the TV, which is displaying the Tivo™ screen.

I go back to bed.

An hour later, I get up and we go to breakfast.

After that, a sleepy, lazy day.

What's my point?

No point, really.

That is just how my Sunday went.


One last shameless plug for my show...

Watch "The Doctors" today. (Monday.)

One of the most moving and uplifting hours of television that I have ever been a part of.

The PC says, "Check it out!"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shameless Plug

                                                                                       Shameless Plugs
Tune in to "The Doctors." on Monday.

Or, Tivo™ it and watch it at your convenience.


Some of the best daytime TV you will ever watch.

Here is a preview.


And, if you didn't do it before you went to bed tonight...

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Stand Corrected

A couple of errors in last night's post have been brought to The Blog's attention.

First.) The PC's sister has informed him that Monica and Ross were brother and sister.

I probably meant Ross and Rachel.

She is probably right. I will take her word for it.


The PC has never seen one single episode of "Friends."

Not one.

The fact that The Blog even knows these names or that there was an "on again, off again, on again" relationship between two of the show's characters can only be attributed to a quirk in The Blog's DNA that causes him to absorb certain elements of popular culture through osmosis.

*End Confession*

B.) The Blog also received a comment from some nice person at The Cleveland Plain Dealer informing him that the headline The PC remembers was not from The CPD.

You can read the comment in the "Comments" section of last night's post.

The Plain Dealer person even took the time to find the front page of the paper from the day in question, to prove it.

                                                                        Here it is.

The PC is being, only, a little bit sarcastic when he says that he is pleased to learn that, in this day and age of newspapers struggling to even employ actual reporters, The Plain Dealer still manages to pay someone to keep tabs on mentions of the paper on the internets.

And, sincerely, person at The Plain Dealer, I really do appreciate the time you took to do the research that I should have done. Thank you for your feedback, and for making The Blog question the very fabric of the memories of his youth.

But, I have to ask...

No mention, at all, of the wedding in your October 29, 1974 edition?

Not even in the Entertainment section?

The wedding episode did break ratings records.

It was a long time ago. So, I don't know. Maybe "Overnights" hadn't been invented yet?

The PC does, in fact, remember the headline.

Maybe it was a couple of days later?

Or, maybe, The PC is getting his papers confused.

Maybe that headline was on the front page of The Lorain Journal.

Anyway, as The PC's bloglitts understand (at least, I hope that they do) the post was reminiscence, not reportage.

On the rare occasion that The Blog attempts to commit actual journalism, he will identify it as such.


A quick shout out to two new followers of The PC!

Anne Flanagan and the single named Nancy...

Welcome, new bloglitts!!!

Enjoy your time here!

Tell your friends!

(And your enemies.)

I'm easy, that way. 



Don't forget!

Tomorrow night we "Spring Ahead" one hour.

Sinister forces will rob us of one hour of precious internet Facebook Plants vs. Zombies blogging sleep time.

I blame Obama.

The Blog Can't Stop Crying Long Enough to Come Up With a Clever Title for this Post.

Things aren't like they used to be.

Take television, for example.

Mismatched couples kiss, fall in love, end up in bed together, or whatever, often before the first or second or fifth season is over.

                                                              Castle and Beckett.

                                                                 House and Cuddy.
                                                                    Nick and Jess.
                                                                Shawn and Juliet.
                                                                Leonard and Penny.
And, viewers are okay with that.

They keep tuning in.

Back in my day, if a man and a woman costarred in a television show, their characters would spend, sometimes, years pretending to barely tolerate each other, bickering and fighting, always leaving the viewer wondering, "Will they? Or, won't they?" Slowly building sexual tension for dramatic or comedic purposes.

Sam and Diane.

Sam and Rebecca.

Monica and Ross.

                                                               David and Maddie.

(If you are too young to recognize any of the names on this second list...

...Welcome, my very young blogglitts!)

And, in those days, once the couple did (kiss, proclaim their love, marry or "unleash the beast with two backs" [a classic David Addisonism],) it was like an overdose of television heroin.

One night of blissful, off the charts ratings Nirvana...

... followed by an ugly, tragic ratings death.

(Okay, the Sam and Rebecca thing actually pulled "Cheers" from the brink of the potential TV suicide that could have been brought on by the Sam and Diane thing.)

Once the sexual tension was alleviated, the very thing that viewers kept hoping for, those same fickle viewers instantly lost interest.

The PC isn't sure what changed.

Maybe the world is just different, today.

Maybe television writers have gotten better at making post kiss, post coitus episodes more interesting.

Surely, in the case of House and Cuddy, we fans just knew that things were only going to get weirder and more uncomfortable from that point. And, we were not disappointed.

Which brings The Blog to the most famous, most disastrous, and possibly, the first, example of how "They did!" could go, oh so horribly, wrong.

                                                   Rhoda Morgenstern and Joe Gerard.


The next couple of paragraphs are for the benefit of the readers who know who Nick and Jess are, but have never heard of David and Maddie.

You are welcome to read along. But, The Blog will be talking about things that you already know.

Once upon a time, there was a TV show called "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

The MTM show was one of the best sitcoms of the 1970s. Even today, weird '70s fashion aside, the show still holds up and is still funny.

Mary Tyler Moore played Mary Richards.

Valerie Harper was her best friend Rhoda Morgenstern.

And in those days, if Mary Richards was America's sweetheart (and she was,) Rhoda Morgenstern was America's wacky best friend.

While Mary was the '70s embodiment of (relatively) self-confident feminism, Rhoda was the defiantly hippyish connection to the pre-feminist '60s, Jewish guilt ridden, shlubby (by Hollywood standards, but cute enough that any one of us normal people would have given any left extremity to date her) perpetually dateless, doomed to cat lady spinsterdom...

...Crap! I have no idea how to end this sentence...

Anyway, Rhoda was to the '70s what Lena Dunham is to the second decade of the 21st Century. (Which takes us back to how much things have changed.)

And, in 1974, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show's" loss was Rhoda fan's gain.

"Rhoda" became the first of several "MTM Show" spin-offs.

Rhoda left MTM's Minneapolis and moved to New York. And for several seasons, her show was as nearly as big a hit as MTM's.

And, not only did Rhoda gain her semi-independence, (living with her sister, played by Julie "Marge Simpson" Kavner, and under the thumb of her mother, played by Nancy "The Quicker Picker-upper" Walker,) she also, finally, landed a serious boyfriend, David Groh's Joe Gerard.

For three seasons, Rhoda and Joe played the "will they, or won't they?" game.

And then it happened.

A few weeks into the fourth season, Rhoda and Joe, finally, got married.

And, man! It was huge!

America's best friend married her true love, and we were all invited to the wedding.

The Blog vividly remembers the front page of The Cleveland Plain Dealer on the day after the wedding.

Front page, above the fold, bold print.

A space usually reserved for headlines like...

"Neil Armstrong Walks on the Moon!" or "Nixon Resigns!"

"Rhoda Marries!"

The headline shouted.

Yes. Rhoda's marriage, the wedding of a fictional television character, was headline news.

Because that is how much America loved Rhoda.

The wedding episode earned ratings that would not be topped until the series finale of M*A*S*H.

And then, something weird happened.

People stopped watching "Rhoda."

The goal had, evidently, been reached.

Rhoda finally married. End of story.

There was just no reason to watch, anymore.

The viewers were satisfied.

Then, in what The Blog has to assume was a hurricane of blind panic on the part of "Rhoda's" writers and producers,

The Rhoda/Joe marriage became stormy and dysfunctional.

Leading to a quick divorce.

Which did nothing to play into the fan's "happily ever after" expectations.

At this point, everything that the die-hard "Rhoda" fans wanted from the show was gone.

And what remained of the series was ratings suicide.


What does any of this have to do with anything?

Well, it doesn't, really.

The above paragraphs are really The Blog's way of avoiding the topic that he actually set out to talk about, tonight.

It all ties in, relevancy-wise.

Sort of.

But, it is really a matter of procrastination.

If you have not turned on the TV news in the last 48 hours, or listened to the radio, or seen the newest cover story of People Magazine...

You may not know...

Valerie Harper, best known as Rhoda Morgenstern... dying.

An incredibly rare cancer has infested the fluid that surrounds her brain.

It is inoperable and incurable.

The best estimate from her oncologist is that she has about three months to live.

And, not 24 hours after The Blog learned of this...

... He met Valerie, for the first (and probably last) time.

Valerie is 73-years-old (!?!) and still, stunningly, beautiful.

And, while all of us tried, futilely, to hold back our tears, Valerie is living for the moment. And, using her last days to spread hope and positivity to the world and the fans who love her.

The Blog got to chat with her for a bit.

The PC passed on a message from a friend who was a fan.

That message was, "Thank you."

Valerie took my hands in hers, and asked, "What is your friend's name?"

"Mickey," I answered.

"Well," she replied, "Tell Mickey 'Thank YOU!' from me."

I mentioned that we had a mutual friend, David Groh.

(Rhoda's misbegotten husband.)

David passed away a couple of years ago from pancreatic cancer.

We reminisced, for a bit,  about what a great guy and consummate professional he was.

And, about how he kept is illness a secret. And, how stunned we were to learn of his death.

And then...

Valerie hugged me.

And I lost it.

Your Uncle PC, a mature, 53-year-old adult...

... began sobbing like a baby.

I excused myself to the men's room, to try to pull my shit together.

There, I discovered one of our producers, another full grown man, splashing water on his face, while choking back the tears.

Valerie said something amazing on our show.

She said, "Don't go to the funeral one day before the funeral begins."

God knows we are trying.

But, we are grieving the immanent loss of our America's Best Friend.

The PC uses his blog to complain about the things that he hates about the world. And, in the near future, he is bound to continue to do so.

But, he hopes that he can take one thing away from his short time with Valerie.

The Blog has no right to complain about his life.

Things could be worse.

And those things can be confronted with positivity and a sense of humor.

So, Thank you, Valerie Harper, for touching my life with your humor and with your amazingly positive outlook.

I hope that the doctors are way, way wrong and that you will out live us all.

It could happen!

The Blog doesn't usually do this...

But, here is a shameless plug...

This coming Monday, March 11th, tune in, or set your Tivo™ for "The Doctors."

A full hour with Valerie Harper.

The most amazingly moving show we have ever done.

You won't be sorry!