Monday, August 29, 2016

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING




I've been blogging far too often lately. Readers grow weary of persistent bloggers. It's kind of like a persistent rash. Or a guest who outstays his welcome.

I know some bloggers who refrain from writing until they have something important or profound to say. Hell, if I did that, you'd hear from me once a year. Importance is no longer in my repertoire.

I not only worry about boring my readers, I'm also concerned about plying them with too much of a good thing.
(you can't see my wry grin, can you?)

My recent post Sharing a Cher Moment

was slightly unpopular because I turned it into a rancid political rant. After I posted it I could feel the temperature suddenly drop 80 degrees - - and I could sense readers backing off like they had encountered a Quarantine notice.

An angry mob with torches and pitchforks is clamoring up the mountain path!

I do these rants deliberately - solely to annoy certain people, and it works like a charm. Being annoying is one of the few legal pleasures I have left. 
Anyone who knows me well, knows that my bark is far worse than my bite. Most of the time.
WOOF!!


 Butterfly photos taken today

Then I quickly posted a few of my piano videos (previous post) to impress certain people. And wouldn't you know these certain people didn't show up. 
I read all of your kind comments, but I didn't respond to all of them simply because I'm lazy.
And modest.

Hell, how could I respond?
"I'm even more talented than you perceived?"

I'm grinning again. I've had a beer (or two) to cut the nasty edge off the afternoon. The heat is intense and persistent - in the 90s with extremely high humidity.

 The humid jungle-like back yard

Last evening there was an extraordinarily horrendous thunderstorm. The lightning was sharp, but the thunder was so close I feared I might be struck and rumbled to death.

Another storm is predicted for tonight. By now the weeds on my property have assumed King Kong proportions. They're 15 feet high and impassable. It would take scythes and safari guides to get me the hell out of here.

I no longer give a shit (or a crap - if you want the Disney version). I've been in a severe depression for a very long time. I never write about it. Why should I? Heck, you're still recovering from my Cher rant.....


 View from the back porch this morning


I've been tossing a few recent photos into this post, simply to make it more interesting.

Of course, I'm damn interesting even without photos.  



Moon in the morning.
Can't remember what day I took these, but it was some time last week. 


  
  
 Check out my other blog - you won't regret it. Well, not much, anyway....
http://cabinetofcurioustreasures.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A MUSICAL INTERLUDE - PLEASE HOLD YOUR EARS

My long-time blog followers have seen these videos. Just be polite and pretend that you didn't.
This for for all the new victims of my blog who haven't seen them.

There are issues with these videos:

I was a professional pianist in California when I was in my early twenties.
These videos were made in San Angelo, Texas - over 25 years later, when I was over the hill and out of practice.

I used an El Cheapo camcorder propped up on a bookshelf. The video quality is extremely poor. And the mic was much too close to the piano, resulting in a loud, harsh tone.

Other than that, everything is perfect.

Make sure your volume is turned down slightly - I'm not joking
 


Clair de Lune 
by Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

I never think of "moonlight" when performing this piece. It was originally titled Promenade Sentimentale, which I think is much more appropriate.

Some critics don't like my interpretation of this piece. That's nothing. I don't like some of my critics. 


Music from the opera Turandot
by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Piano transcription by Jon V.

I wrote this piano "transcription" when I was an eighteen-year-old music student in Los Angeles, and I still like it. If I'm drunk enough, it can throw a mean punch.

It starts out kind of "slow". Be patient. It will get better.

The video quality is so poor that it's embarrassing, and the day I recorded this (in Texas) it was over 110 degrees.

Be kind with your caustic comments - - I'm extremely delicate and sensitive....

 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

SHARING A CHER MOMENT

  Warning:
parts of this post will offend sensitive liberals. That is my intention. Proceed with caution.

After I posted my previous blog tirade about Hillary's unbelievably atrocious designer outfit, and after I posted those weird photo ops with her and Cher...
I suddenly remembered something.

I've met Cher!!
No lie. I had completely forgotten about it (which just goes to show how memorable it was). 

Let's all pause and rewind the tape.

I was a nineteen year old kid (I won't mention the year - it would kill me).
I'm at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the L.A. Music Center, attending an event with a friend - who is a Hollywood set designer. We're having a drink at the private bar for the Founder's Circle patrons (that's the Big Shots, for those of you in Hoboken).

In walks Cher and Sonny (they were still married then). They recognize my friend and we exchange a few casual words. That's it. 
What? You were expecting more??

Hey, I'm not Hedda Hopper. I was a naive kid (well, sort of naive). I hadn't yet turned into Satan's accomplice.

So, what was my impression?

They were a nice couple. I only saw them for four minutes. Maybe five. Hell, everybody's nice for the first five minutes. Even the Hillside Stranglers.

Cher was wearing a slinky gold-colored gown. Her hair (wig?) was either pulled back or pinned up. Sonny had on dark trousers and a greenish Nero jacket. I think he had lifts on his shoes.

I always thought Cher was very tall. She's 5'9".....but Sonny was 5'5". I think Cher deliberately wore heels and high hair to dwarf him.

I met them during their Hollywood heyday. Later, Cher went crazy and Sonny went into politics. The rest is history.


 A very young Cher
before fame

Cher looked her best au naturel - before she completely ravaged herself with cosmetic surgery. According to a 1988 article (which I still have), she had surgery on her nose, chin, navel, butt, and breasts. And she had two ribs removed to make her waist slimmer. That was in 1988. Gawd only knows what she had done since.

She now resembles a gaunt, horse-faced zombie - with thick lips, chipmunk cheek implants, heavy-lidded eyes, and complete immobility of the face.
Typical Tinseltown makeover.


Cher in recent years

In my humble opinion, I always thought Cher looked great before plastic surgery. She didn't need it.


Cher in better days

One more thing before I forget. It's about the boob job. Cher didn't have her breasts augmented. She had them reduced. After her two pregnancies she thought her breasts were getting too big. She never wanted to have to wear a bra.

Now let's fast forward to the present

In typical Hollywood know-it-all liberal fashion, Cher made a complete jackass of herself last weekend when she addressed a mob of gays at Fire Island.

With absolutely nothing intelligent or enlightening to say, she compared Donald Trump to Hitler and called him "A fucking idiot who doesn't give a shit about work."

Her quote, folks. Not mine.

She didn't say anything positive about her hero Hillary, of course - mainly because there's absolutely nothing positive to say.

Cher claims that Trump wants to make America "straight and white".
Is that opposed to gay and black??

Her feeble political tactics are pathetic. She's a clone of Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, and all the other typical has-been Hollywood babes who hate the white male establishment but made their millions with it.
 

 Cher, with a mob of gays at the Fire Island Hillary Rally

Remember when Meryl Streep went to Congress and told us that poisoned apples were killing our children?

In my blunt opinion there are still too many kids alive. And I eat plenty of apples. Without washing them.

I lived in Hollywood but could never tolerate the Hollywood anti-establishment liberal agenda. Everything about it is fake, hateful, immature, biased, and infuriatingly hypocritical. 

You might be shocked to hear that I don't give a rat's ass about gay rights, women's rights, freeing the slaves, saving the whales and spotted owls, cleaning up the air, or holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

I've always been an independent thinker and I don't yield to any half-ass assembly line agendas.
I've learned from bitter experience that life is one cruel son-of-a-bitch that kicks you when you're down and laughs when you can't get back up. We have absolutely no one to depend on but ourselves and no amount of Marxist rallies or sob sister stories or freedom trains are going to help.

I wouldn't be presumptuous enough to think I deserved privileges or rights.

Well, you're not a woman or a minority, Jon.

I sleep with whom I want. I do what I want. I don't have agendas or requests for favoritism. I do my best to keep ticking and wake up to see another day.
That's not selfishness. It's survival.

Question:
Did this Cher post suddenly turn into biased political rant?

Hell if I know. I didn't notice.

A Cher look-alike at the Fire Island rally. Does he look better than Cher? You be the judge.
He certainly looks better than Hillary.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I COULDN'T RESIST




I've got far better things to write about than this, but I absolutely couldn't resist.

Here is Hillary's latest designer outfit, worn last weekend at a Cape Cod fundraiser hosted by Cher (who else?)

Top tickets for seats cost $27,000 a shot.....

..... and Hillary's outfit cost - get this-
OVER $12,000!!! 



My Big Question:
What the hell IS it?

A hospital gown?
An apron for the Ozark Possum Cookoff?
A reject item from Maternity City?
A gigantic toaster cover??

Twelve thousand buckeroos??!!?? 
I've seen better outfits for ten bucks at Walmart.

Jon, you're always making fun of people!

Give me a friggin' break. I seized a golden opportunity. This is the biggest laugh since Billyboy's tribute to her at the Democratic Convention.

You're not only voting for the most corrupt woman in the history of the United States, you're also voting for the most tasteless one.

But, of course, she's better than the Evil White Man.

Don't expect me to apologize. It's the grim truth.

 
A few more Hillary fashion statements.



(I won't give you my take on Cher....)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TANGO




     


  When I was considerably younger and a little more agile than I am now, and when I was living in the delectable State of Illusion - also known as Hollywood - somebody (names need not be mentioned) taught me to tango.

Yes, tango. The dance. Alle Argentina.

I was never a dancer, but a few glasses of sangria and a balmy summer night can inspire me to try just about anything. Old records on an antique Victrola. Candlelight. A smooth partner.
I learned the steps, the moves.
I tangoed. 

Tonight - a thousand years later - I'm remembering how the tango ignited my soul. And I'm lamenting that I was born in the wrong era. I need to be transported to the 1920's, languishing in a campy cafe somewhere in Paris or Berlin - smoking a cigarillo, drinking cabernet sauvignon. Immersed in  sensuality, exotica, and promises of passion....

Which is what inspired me to make my latest video today. A tango.

Por una Cabeza has always been my ultra favorite tango - for as long as I can remember. I love it. It is the essence of my soul.


 Carlos Gardel
(1890-1935)

It was written by Carlos Gardel (1890-1935)  a French-Argentine singer and composer, who died much too soon in a plane crash.

Por una Cabeza is a Spanish racing horse phrase, which means "By a head" - a horse winning a race by the length of a head. In the song, he compares his addiction to horse racing with his attraction to women.
Go figure. 

I chose the instrumental version for my video. The original version, sung by Gardel, can be found on YouTube. I'm too lazy to provide the link.

I threw this video together in less than an hour, published it on YouTube, then saw that I made a few glaring errors - so I had to delete it and do it again.
I think it's okay now.

Let's tango. 


Video best viewed full screen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

OLYMPIC OBSERVATIONS





Fair Warning:
I'm in a foul mood and this post is going to be brutal, ruthless, and offensive. If you can't handle it - leave now and go to the Disney Channel. 

I remember a long-ago time when I loved the Olympics and was completely caught up in the excitement and magic of the occasion.

Has the entire concept of the Olympics changed for the worst, or is it only me?
This time around - after two excruciatingly long and joyless weeks of unabashed athlete worship - I'm counting the minutes until the damn thing is over.

I no longer have a TV and now I know why.

I watched the Olympics via live stream (that's kinda like a steady piss) on the computer. Since American live stream isn't always reliable, I occasionally had to switch to the French sports channel.
You haven't lived until you've watched the Olympics in French.

Here are my random, haphazard, unedited observations of the Rio Summer Games:

The most disorganized, unappealing Opening Ceremonies I ever saw. It looked like an explosion at the Cirque du Soleil. 
The Save the Trees lecture on environmental awareness was annoyingly inappropriate. To hell with the trees - - why isn't something being done to clean up Rio's polluted water?

Since Brazil's female President Dilma Rousseff is in the process of being impeached (ya hear that, Hillary?), V.P. Michel Temer had to take her place. His bizarre, rambling speech at the Opening Ceremonies encouraged us to welcome and love all of the wonderful immigrants that invade our countries. 
Yea, that's exactly what the good ol' United States did, and the immigrants f*ked us over with such gratuitous acts as 9-11 and the Orlando massacre (to mention only two out of hundreds).

Here's a flash, Senor Temer: the Olympics isn't the place for political statements. 

And why all the news media adulation over the female athlete who wore the Burka? (Obama will undoubtedly throw a party in her honor).
I don't give a rat's ass if she wore Fruit of the Looms on her head.
 

I love the Olympic Hymn - but that church choir of children who sang it completely destroyed it. Their unemotional rendition was far too fast.

Give them a break, Jon. They're only children.

Yea? Well, maybe instead of using the Romper Room Brigade, they should have used some adults who could actually sing. 

And while I'm on a roll - where the hell is the Olympic flame???
They kept moving it from one place to another until, finally, even NBC couldn't keep track of it. It's probably somewhere in Guam by now, for all we know.

 Bob Costas

And while I'm on the subject of NBC - - did anyone notice that Bob Costas no longer has any facial expressions due to the face lift? I don't even think his eyes are able to blink.

Mary Carillo

And here's the burning question that I've had for years:
What is the deal with Mary Carillo???
Is she a man?
Transvestite? 
Transgender?
She has been on NBC for every Olympic Game since Euripides was molesting houseboys - - and I still can't figure out her gender.
My uneducated guess is that she's a Lesbian, taking male hormones. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Another (unrelated) question:
Are there any age requirements for the athletes?
Why do all the Chinese women look like they're six years old?

Did anyone notice that all of the announcers and commentators on NBC have high, shrill, unbearably annoying voices?
And those are the men. The women are even worse.
Except for Mary Carillo, of course.

In my humble opinion, just because you're an ex-athlete doesn't necessarily mean you'll make a great sports announcer.

While we're on the subject of ex-athletes, they dragged Tara Lipinski out of the dust bin to make a commercial for Subway.
Wasn't she a World Champion skater fifty years ago when she was three?

Hey, she was a sweet kid, Jon.

Sweet, my ass. She irked me back then, and she irks me even more now.

Isn't there ANY redeeming factor about the Olympics, Jon? Didn't anything inspire you or bring tears to your eyes?

Yea. I got tears this afternoon when I realized that I wasted two precious weeks watching this crap. 

Surely you jest.
  

Don't call me Shirley.
Okay, okay.  You broke me down. It was admittedly inspiring to see Michael Phelps win another fifty gold medals.

He has a total of 28 Olympic Medals, Jonathan. 23 are gold.

Whatever. After you win two or three, it sort of loses it's meaning.

Any other thoughts?

That girlfriend of his, with the baby, is hanging onto him like grim death. I saw the dollar signs in her greedy eyes. 

You're just a jealous bitch, Jon.

I probably shouldn't say this - because lots of people are listening - but (just between you and me) doesn't Michael Phelps look...a little bit....like Alfalfa?


 
 You're really brilliant, Jon, but very few people appreciate it.
Are you finally done with your Olympic Observations?

Not quite. There's one thing that REALLY pisses me off. Well, actually two things:

VOLLEYBALL AND GOLF.
They DO NOT belong in the Olympics!!!!

Golf is something you do in Palm Springs when you're eighty-five.

Volleyball is something you do in Venice Beach (California) when you're sixteen. 

The only reason they threw volleyball  in the Olympics was to kill time with an endless T and A Fest.

That's Tit and Ass, for those of you in Kansas.

Hours and hours and hours of clueless, sweaty anorexic babes in skimpy bikinis, batting that friggin' ball around over the net.....  

Calm down, Jon, and take a deep breath. I think your time is up.

Admit it, Kemo Sabe - this was one helluva entertaining post. And any sourpuss who didn't think it was funny is completely hopeless.

  

Friday, August 19, 2016

WEBS, GHOSTS, AND GOSSAMER WINGS

 
Every morning I wander outside to see the spider web at the edge of the forest. It's most clearly visible after the fog lifts and when a rare shaft of sunlight makes it glisten with dew. Yesterday I managed to take some photos before the rain came.



This morning, during a light rain, I happened to see this butterfly on a pink weed blossom. Butterflies and dragonflies are everywhere. It's a lazy time of year. Summer is slowly yawning to an end, the days are already getting shorter. The cloudy weather and perpetual rain have tempered the heat.


Late at night when I can't sleep, I enjoy scaring myself witless by turning out all the lights and watching  the most frightening YouTube videos I can find. Haunted houses, wandering ghosts, abandoned places, unsolved murders.

Imagine being in an extremely isolated area, at the edge of a forest, entirely alone at night.......my cats are asleep, coyotes howl in the distance, and then  thunder begins to rumble.....

I love it. I've always enjoyed pushing the limits. 

I had initially planned on doing a completely different post today. It was a long one entitled The Hollywood Pretty Boys and Me. Then I suddenly wondered if my critics are right. Do I write too much about myself? Are people tired of hearing about my sordid past? Am I stuck on myself?

To be annoyingly honest (which is one of my traits) I think I'm interesting and I enjoy resurrecting the ghosts of my past. My blog is definitely frivolous and self-indulgent. If you want valuable information or  redeeming life-altering experiences, you're in the wrong place.

I was going to mention my encounter with Rock Hudson. Is that self-indulgent? 
How many of you had an encounter with Rock Hudson?
I rest my case.

This rare moment of humility (?) won't last long. I'll be back to my old self soon.
I just can't live without me.


My other blog is intended as an antidote to counteract the poison on this one:

http://cabinetofcurioustreasures.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

THE BIG QUESTION



There's one thing that really annoys me.
Well, actually there are thousands of things that annoy me, but for now let's concentrate on one.

I'm in the checkout line at Walmart. The unenthusiastic cashier glances at me and says "How are you?"

It's not a question of genuine concern. It's a generic nicety that isn't intended to generate a response.

"Fine," I answer. 

"Fine", in fact, is a drastically contrived abbreviation, utilized solely for the sake of brevity and courtesy.

My genuine answer would go something like this:

"How am I? Have you ever gone three consecutive nights without sleep, the result of which has rendered you disoriented, dysfunctional, and disassociated with every semblance of reality? And when you finally do doze off one night for three minutes at 4:00 a.m. a cat suddenly makes a flying leap for the bed and lands directly on your chest? And while you're trying desperately to at least partially recover from shock and chest pain, another storm suddenly blows in with thunder so loud and penetrating that the bed shakes and I'm miraculously and inexplicably remembering Bible quotes that I haven't recited since I was six.

"Despite not having sleep for 72 hours I crawled out of bed right after the storm abated, and was struck with such agonizingly crippling back pain that I was hobbling like a bad imitation of Quasimodo while the cats clung to my ankles in greedy anticipation of breakfast. The word agonizing isn't sufficient to describe the back spasms that stunned me as I valiantly tried to fill cat dishes with food and clean water.
And if you think that's bad, it's nothing compared to lifting two heavy litter boxes loaded with cat shit that I seemingly clean every half hour.

"Despite my unappealing morning I somehow managed to get dressed and drive into town. The harrowing mountain road was so unnerving that my legs are still wobbling like a leftover jello mold and - despite ingesting four or five beers - my hands are still cramped with rigor mortis rigidity from gripping the steering wheel.

"I have heart palpitations, neuralgia, insomnia, paranoia, inexplicable momentary episodes of impending doom, massive migraine headaches, and panic attacks that would baffle Freud - - and that's on a good day. I won't mention the times when I happen to look in a mirror and go into debilitating regions of shock when I realize that I'm not twenty anymore and am starting to turn into  a frighteningly reasonable facsimile of Baby Jane Hudson.

"But despite the ancient mental baggage that I carry like a millstone and the few minor  physical maladies, I'm still a fantastic kisser and damn good in bed if I'm with the right person. Are you doing anything Friday night?"



That was supposed to be funny, but I can see that I'm the only one laughing. 
Humor obviously isn't contagious.

It's not easy being funny - - and it's even more difficult conveying it in a blog when you're drunk.

I had more than a few beers today. Drove into town. It was unusually crowded and the shoppers annoyed the hell out of me. I didn't buy half of what I needed. It was hotter than Hades but a beautiful day.
I wanted to stop and see my cousin on the way home, but I had frozen food and the interior of my car was 850 degrees.

Massive thunderstorms last night. More are predicted for tomorrow. And the weekend.

Is there any significance for the dog photo on your header, Jon?

Nope. None at all.
Dog days of summer......