Monday, April 29, 2013

Shows and Shows...Does it Show?

Of course we are not surprised that the air traffic controllers are going back to work.  A few days ago I told David that as soon as the Congress and their friends were inconvenienced, they would find money.  Who didn’t know that?  Yet, the unmitigated chutzpah, of doing that and still not restoring funds for programs involving the elderly and children, is almost unbelievable.  But who didn’t know that?  Oh, and they also got rid of a law that prevents them from having to  disclose any inside trading.  Aren’t we all looking forward  to their return from their nine day vacation – to which they can travel because they brought the air traffic controllers back. 

Since we all know everything, let’s move on to something about which we can discover something new.  Maybe not. Oh, I know, let’s talk about the theater.  It’s my favorite non controversial topic.  In the last few weeks,  I saw “Lucky Guy.”  If you are or were a journalist this is an especially remarkable show. If you are not, it’s still well worth seeing not only for Tom Hanks, (who got nominated for a Drama Desk but the show didn’t) but the rest of the cast is terrific as well.  “Kinky Boots” is so much fun. The spirit and costumes reminded me of “Pricilla Queen of the Desert,” and that’s very good, especially for people looking for visitors looking for a real “Broadway” show.  “Matilda”, is beautifully stage and precise. The kids must have worked (all of them) 24/7, to achieve the perfection of what they did. It’s a show with a message and every once in a while the public needs that.  “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”  (I couldn’t remember the name unless I  thought of my mother and her sisters whose Jewish names were Basha, Sasha, Fasha, Rasha -- or something like that).  Which was not giving this incredibly hilarious show the notoriety it deserves. I usually laugh at a comedy, but I laughed so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath.  Next week we’re seeing, “I’ll Eat You Last” for which Bette got a nomination – no surprise.

It is seldom that I agree with the Drama Desk nominations, but that’s what makes the world go around – much like the truck in “Hands on a Hard Body.”  Which eventually made me sea sick.  To tell the truth, I didn’t make it through “Hands on a Hard Body.”  It has since closed. But Keith Carradine, who I worship, did get a nomination.  Which was not a surprise to me. However,  someone likes the show, the producers, the talent, whatever, because they got any number of Drama Desk nominations.   A year ago I was involved in producing a show based on the event, not the documentary, about these hold-onto-a-truck contests.  Ours was called “Slow Dance With a Hot Pick Up.”  It was much better.  So this hopefully will be like it the situation when the there were two “Wild Party” shows;  one went to Broadway, but the other was much more popular.  We never thought our show was meant for Broadway, but we did think it would be successful as a regional production.  Who said Washington is the only place where there are serious politics?  We’re just sayin’…. Iris

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Welcome to Our Own Millenia -- WJS # 1000

In a world with very few personal blob(g)s lasting more than a week or maybe a couple of weeks (kind of like Gym Memberships which start on January 1st).... we are proud to present Blob # 1000 of "We're Just Sayin' "   The editor acknowledges that a large majority of the entries have been penned by Iris (probably about 60-65% but who's counting!?)  but since April, 2006 -- 7 short/long/incredible/boring/amazing years we have struggled to maintain our editorial POV in an ever changing world.  If we had started Twitter or Instagram then, who knows what the world be like now, but instead, we just chose to share with our small, dedicated, vast readership, our views (and reviews) of what's doing.  Thanks for tuning into the Blob, and in honor of #1000, we'll first reprint #0001, April 19, 2006, followed by Iris' latest, penned, as many of them were, on a plane to NY this morning.

This is the first line of the first graf of the first post, and so far, blobbing has been extremely exciting. We couldn't just sit by and let all the other Blobbers just post blob after blob, and not react. I mean, what are we chopped Liver? (You CAN enjoy chopped liver during Passover, but somehow it seems to take a back seat to gefilte fish, but that's another story.) So we started blobbing, and it really seems easier than TYPING 101 Class: just let it flow, let it run, and you're blobbing. Wow, we're blobbing. Well, here we are, blobbers and happy to be here. This space in the future will be occupied by various observations, travel memoirs, rants, witticisms, and other wise uncorroborated opinion (apparently in blobbing, contrary to ACTUAL Journalism, you're not supposed to either verify information, follow up rumors by checking them out for veracity, nor be sure what you're saying is for real) which we hope will cause our readers and viewers (yes, as a photographer unleashed, images will find their way here too) to feel that Blobbing is the wave of the future. So enjoy We're Just Sayin, because, after all, I mean, you know, We 're Just Sayin.


Apparently it's supposed to be BLOGGING not BloBBing, however given what we've actually read online, we think BLOBBING makes a whole lot more sense (see the original film The BLOB, 1958 and you'll know what we mean). Come BLOB with us.

Iris Burnett ( political operative, novelist, world traveller, humorist, entrepreneur, mother, discount shopper  & now Musical Producer)
David Burnett (photojournalist, world traveller, beer gourmand, mimic, possessor of a keen eye and keen wit)

Flying is just not what it used to be.  On our trip to Palm Beach we discovered that
Mr. Bland, who was asked to identify himself, had been upgraded to 3A.  Wow, Mr. Bland is a lucky guy, he’s going all the way from 12 B to 3A.  In the short term this was good news, but in the long term, people like us felt only sorrow because he is stuck being identified as “bland”, for the whole of his life.  You can only imagine what that was like, which we did by imagining that people would shout, “try to be a bit more colorful.”  (Or you finish the shout with something equally smart.)

That was amusing, right?  Today we were flying back to NY on a plane that was crowded beyond belief, or maybe it just felt that was because we were sitting with our legs above our heads, in some kind of a distended yoga position.  In the middle seat of the row behind us was a big elderly woman.  The aisle seat was occupied by a portly gentleman and, briefly, the window seat was unoccupied.  When the passenger in 11A arrived, the gentleman stood.  Not so the woman in the middle.  There was a brief pause while Mr. Window seat waited for Ms Middle seat move.  After a few minutes and uncomfortable eye contact, the woman said, “Jump!”   She was not kidding and he was a bit bewildered, but he jumped.  It wasn’t pretty.  The only thing we hoped was that he would not have to go to the bathroom. Two Jumps might have killed him.  I was reminded that the mini-STOP signs at the club where we were staying (either meant for small dogs, or to make it clear the STOP sign wasn't for cars, just golf carts....)  would have been handy.

There was a horrific bombing during the finish of the Boston Marathon, about which I am not going to talk.  There really is nothing to say, since the media covered the news 24/7 and made sure to tell us over and over that there were arms and legs all over Copley Square and in front of the Boston Public Library.  Maybe we should change the name of our country to Americarnage.  Too long.  Australia is almost that length but seemingly with a few Alligator incidents, instead of violent attacks on children and people who like to run.

Speaking of Alligators (nice segue´ huh?), We spent the week in West Palm Beach, staying with cousins in their home, on a golf course where there are alligators, who don’t bother anyone, not even the Woodstorks  (who did not go to upstate New York to protest the war, and stay with hundreds and thousands of their closest friends listening to music. Nor did they smoke dope or bathe in puddles left by gargantuan rainstorms.) Did I digress?  One of the things I like about Florida is the tropical vegetation. For example, there are camellia bushes as big as trees, and some folks cut and shape them and use them as hedges. And there are palm trees and birds of paradise as well as lovely little birds, who, without an announcement, know enough to stay away from alligators.  I also like the weather, the fruit, and the shopping centers on every block.  You are never more than a half mile from any discount clothing shop. I could do without the people who drive their cars but who, at no time, can see above the steering wheel.

Anyway, it was a busy week for “Gefilte Fish Chronicles  - the Musical,” which has yet to find a tropical home, but there is certainly interest.  And the best news is that Zachy is six years old, cuter than any of the three cats in his house, and smarter than almost any other kids who are not my grandchildren.  It’s my blob, I get to say anything I want.  We’re just sayin’… Iris 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

About Passover

The writers of this blob take great pleasure in letting you know that, in a world of most blogs lasting  a week or maybe a month,   this entry is # 999, in the sixth year of running, and we salute the hard core followers of “We’re Just Sayin’”  for staying with us, through all the typos and trailing prepositions.  While it is unusual to begin a blob with a Youtube link, in this case you will be glad I did – or perhaps you won’t. 

What with the opening of ‘Gefilte Fish Chronicles - theMusical,’ followed soon after by  the actual holiday, the last few months have been particularly busy. Passover has always been one of my favorite holidays. When we were kids our mothers/aunts began the  special preparations weeks ahead of time. They scrubbed every counter in the house, washed the windows, shampooed the carpets and changed all the dishes to the glass dishes with little bubbles that could be used for meat and dairy (glass was cost effective and made my grandmother happy when she did her yearly list of questions.)  We studied the Four Questions, watched Aunt Peppy ferment the beets for the horseradish, and dream about the silver dollars we would receive from our uncles (who we were sure had a silver mine), for finding the treasured Afikomen.  Oh, and we were permitted to drink a glass of wine, which we knew was wrong – and that made it even better. It was always a joyous time, one to which we looked forward.

As I reflect on Passovers past, it seemed so many important things have happened to me on or around it. The most important of which was my first date with David in 1979. It wasn’t a particularly romantic evening (everyone invited was told to wear a colorful hat) but he schlepped a  half case of Manischewitz Cream Concord along with a few bottles of actually drinkable wine. The extended family Seder/reunion, was usually on the second night of the holiday, and for many years it was a holiday that was also a reunion.  Then it became a study of the Haggadah, which was interesting, but it was not easy to catch up.  So I had my own Seder on the first night. It was a real Seder, but since a number of people weren’t Jewish and I wanted it to be memorable, we did things like wear silly hats. It somehow made the Four Questions make more sense when read by someone wearing an Orioles cap.

As our Aunts got older and a little less likely to stay awake all night plucking chickens—they played cards instead— the next generation was called on to give a hand hocking the fish, making the sponge cake, assembling the cholent, and grinding the horseradish.  It took them six weeks to prepare for the holiday (we have since done it in 3 days), but they loved to be together arguing, remembering, crying and laughing.  What a gift they gave to all of us who were ready to unwrap it.

David – having been raised in Salt Lake City in what was definitely a “less Jewish” atmosphere, was fascinated by six week process which duplicated what the family had been doing every spring for a hundred years. “The GefilteFish Chronicles  started as a little family home movie to record for the kids as yet unborn, just what life was like, and became an award winning documentary. And now, to continue this celebration of family, it’s a musical show.

This year we hosted 62 people for the Seder.  We (I hosted, but it is not my Seder—it was a shared family project) cooked for 80 just in case, though once you’re over 50, it doesn’t really matter.  We celebrated the Seder the day before Passover because that was when most cousins and their children could come.  There was some controversy about having a Seder on a day that was technically not Passover—but it was Passover somewhere in the world and it certainly was in my house in Newburgh – with my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends.  They were all watching over us, and saying (to each other and in our minds) “…. look at the children.  They’re making an effort to do exactly what we wanted them to do – they are all staying connected.”   I feel sure they said this while they were playing cards, and I know it made them happy, because it sure made the rest of us enjoy the celebration. We’re just sayin’… Iris