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Monthly Archives: November 2002
Thursday, November 28, 2002
First off…I hope each of ya’ll had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I did and my belly proves it…my pants however are not pleased. Secondly, Happy Birthday early to Miss M. You just don’t comprehend what joy you’ve brought into so many people’s lives. So thank you (Okay…I pretend she’s reading…LOL) Thirdly, I got some songs up for the next week. I included a rough cut of “Hello In There” that I recorded just recently. I was going to try and have it ready…just as a little gift to Miss M and her fans…hope ya’ll aren’t traumatized…:-) I have recently been blessed with having my leg almost fully recover so I started playing the piano again and singing. Barry made me sit down the other night to record this. but I never had time to go back and redo it…anyway, it’s just my piano and my vocal…nothing special. I hope to re-record it another day. Some of you I let hear early and I thank you for the feedback. I usually stay quite a distance from Miss M’s songs, but there are a few I do play with…. The rest of the songs are from For The Boys that Miss M performed on Johnny Carson plus one song that didn’t make it from the album. I guess the theme this week is intertwined with love and remembrance…a little sunshine with the rain….hope you enjoy… See ya’ll again Monday…be safe and have a Happy Holiday! Love, Mister D
=&0=&Some may find this too sad…it did bring tears to my eyes. But I just loved this article…lovingly, yet painfully written. It just made me realize how important it is to stay connected and in the moment…you never know what’s around the corner…I hope you get something out of it… =&1=& Richard E. Cosgriffe, my Daddy, is 76 and has probably had Alzheimer’s for 10 years. It’s difficult for his doctors to pinpoint. The disease doesn’t happen overnight. But looking back, we remember details and specifics that suggest the disease was beginning to erode his brain. Once at our Beartooth place, he accidentally broke the glass in a door, laughed and walked into another room. (“Bang,” he said, very unlike daddy. The old daddy would have removed the glass shards, put the frame in the car and handled the repair.) He once asked a sibling, “What’s this?” and pointed to a jar of mayonnaise. As doctors began diagnosis, there were other incidents, some when he was still driving (he hasn’t for several years). He once backed into a mailbox but had no recall of it. He put a porcelain dinner plate on the stove, turned the burner to high and tried to fry an egg. On his semi-annual trip to see our Atlanta sister Misha, he packed a suitcase of nothing but flannel shirts. One lovely autumn day, he overshot our cabin on a walk he’d taken along paths he’d known for 50 years. Good-hearted neighbors returned him, frightened and confused. =&2=& It reminded us of the scene in “On Golden Pond,” where Henry Fonda goes berry picking and loses his way back to the woodland cottage. Comforting him in his bewilderment and frustration, Katharine Hepburn’s character assures him: “You’re my knight in shining armor. And you’re going to get back on that horse and ride, ride, ride.” Daddy has his Hepburn now. He didn’t always. My folks were divorced when I was 17. Now, more than 35 years later, Richard and Ellen are living together again, in separate bedrooms in a lovely apartment at Rocky Meadows. No, they’re not remarried. But after several other marriages and divorces, my father was alone. The Alzheimer’s had contributed to the decline of his successful business, he’d given up his beloved airplane, and my last stepmother plundered the finances. My mother, never remarried, has a big heart. Her own health problems include osteoporosis, carpal tunnel and a seriously leaking mitral valve that may require open heart surgery. Still, she volunteered to be Daddy’s caretaker and suggested they become roommates. With characteristic humor, she handles the shank of the day’s doctor visits and appointments. She appreciates frequent visits and support from my sister, Olivia, and brother, Rick, and out-of-state help and concern from Misha in Georgia, Robbie in California and Patrick in Oregon. They host visits and call often. The extended family of brothers-in-law and partners are patient and helpful, at the ready with a lift somewhere, a walk, an errand, a back-rub. The grandchildren and favorite nieces cherish “Grandpa Dick” and “Uncle Richard,” finding ways to connect on a picnic or reunion. Daddy’s only remaining sibling, an older brother, is heartbroken. Our parents are ending their days as they began their marriage more than 50 years ago: together and surrounded by loving support, our home cooking, help with shopping and their greatest joy, trips to the theater. A vital part of that equation is mum’s high-school pal, Pauline Hartman, known to us as “Saint Pauline.” She loves theater, too, and chauffeurs my folks to the Alberta Bair Theater. As we grew up, our parents took us to the theater. Always. We studied piano, strings, brass, woodwinds and vocals. Now, the ABT, Billings Studio Theatre, Venture and college fare are highlights of my parents’ days. They dress up. They attend string quartets and “Snow White,” Shakespeare and blues concerts. The recent Metra circus was a huge hit with Daddy, a lifelong animal lover and music aficionado. Daddy is still a very social creature. He loves to dance, shake hands, play a game of cribbage, admire grazing angus or deer on the move. He loves to walk Robbie’s two black labs. His delight in the outdoors is enhanced through Olivia and Rick, who take him for long daily walks in Pioneer Park and on the Rimrocks. “Trees and sky and grass,” he sings, with gusto, to the tune of “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” Although a once brilliant pilot who can’t always find the word for airplane now, Daddy still plays “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on the piano, in six flats! Recently, he and mum won raves for their inventive Halloween costumes. They dressed as Queen and Royal Consort of an imaginary kingdom named after the family. It’s not surprising that music, theater and nature are Daddy’s balm. They’ve been part of his life for as long as we remember. Now that he is past the point of fearing the disease, we are grateful. It was torture to hear him say, “Kids, my brain’s going. If it’s Alzheimer’s, I’ll shoot myself.” At the ABT, still dapper and charming, he greets the ushers, starting with his favorite, Robert Bjertness, whose sweet nature is rooted in his role as longtime caretaker of his late mother. “We enjoy your dad,” says Bjertness. “What’s not to like about such a lovely guy?” All the ABT folk are friendly, gracious and compassionate. Fellow theater goers are generally agreeable if Daddy wants to say hello. By day, Daddy works out, plays elaborate card games and computer bridge, delights in company and would love to cultivate a walking buddy or “card pal” of his generation. “My friends have deserted me,” he lamented before we moved the folks to Montana from Oregon. With families of their own, jobs and classes, the siblings have developed a time schedule that allows my mother a break from her duties. It’s important to give the chief caretaker time to rejuvenate. So we took mum on a trip to Europe and she reveled in the recharge.
With the holidays approaching, Daddy will delight in the decorations and he’ll lend his sweet tenor to the Christmas carols. He may even hum to my favorite apropos song, Bette Midler’s version of “Hello in There”: “You know, old trees just grow stronger. Old rivers grow wider every day. But old people just grow lonely, waiting for someone to say, ‘Hello in there. Hello’.” We know there’s no getting better and that the final stage of the disease may mean intensive, around-the-clock assistance that the family can no longer provide. We’re studying the options, grateful for the support here. Our family is cutting its own trail, as we’ve done with all other disease, death and disappointment. We’re all aging. We’re all dying. Daddy’s illness is teaching us compassion, new ways to connect and invent. We’re dealing with the situation, looking for the silver lining, as another old song says. For now, it’s in the theater. And in the walks – the trees and sky and grass. If Daddy smiles and waves at you, do say hello. ...
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
As for Bette taking over the lead in UrineTown, the hit Broadway Musical, Mister V writes: i believe they offered it to her, but i doubt she’s going to do it. although it’s pretty hard to pass up the opportunity to sing “it’s a privilege to pee” eight times a week. And there you have it….as always…mucho thanks for helping to clear things up:-) Have a Happy Holiday….. Mister D
This link is kind of cool, because you get a peek at what things have to be done to pull things together…there’s also a link within this link that will show you last year’s “coming together” too. More than likely I will put up the Hulaween songs from one year I didn’t attend (thanks to a generous, sharing donator) and I may eventually post the songs that were asked to be taken down…afterall it was a gift and very much appreciated…but things don’t change because I’m not liked now. That is silly and petty. There’s a war going on for goodness sakes. Let’s get some perspective…. Guests Get Lei-d at Bette’s Benefit Sincerely, Mister D
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Bollywood is famous for borrowing from Hollywood. Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, the Indian remake of the 80s dark comedy Ruthless People, is the latest. WHILE the Hollywood version featured old timers Danny DeVito and =&0=&, the Hindi version stars bad boys Fardeen Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Aftab Shivdasani alongside good girls Twinkle Khanna and Sonali Bendre. With the tag line ‘Pyar Chahiye ya paisa chahiye’ (do you want love or money), the film promises to show exactly how far men are willing to go to obtain both. Music director Vishal, who previously composed the soundtracks to Kamal Haasan’s Chachi 420, Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya and Gulzar’s Maachis and Hu Tu Tu, returns to work his magic for Love Ke Liye… The title track opens the album with a bang. Its sassy lyrics and catchy tune make it a likeable number. Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan pair up and their voices compliment each other and the melody well. The Latin influenced Rama Rama follows, this time with playback diva Asha Bhosle and youngster Sonu Nigam working together to produce a lively number that makes you want to dance and sing along to it. Aslam Bhai is a comical track, which centres on comedian Johnny Lever character in the film. It’s amusing lyrics and western rhythm will undoubtedly make it popular amongst the Indian masses that are known to be partial to light-hearted comedy. Love x Crime = Fun, is an unusual qawalli featuring Farid Sabri, while Dil Mera Dil Hai Akela is a cheeky love song reminiscent of Lou Bega’s Mambo No.5 with it’s endless lists of girls names. Overall, Love Ke Liya Kuch Bhi Karega is an upbeat soundtrack that will appeal to anyone who is in love and understands it’s irresistible charm and mysterious effects. Directors: Vishal Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala Label: T-Series By Jaspreet Pandohar
CD Universe has it that Stella and Scenes from a Mall will be released on DVD April 8, 2003….but where is the “The Rose” dammit!!!
Warm Response To Local Troupe Several local dancers from David Sanders Dance Dynamics in East Islip and North Babylon performed at noted actress Bette Midler’s recent “Halloween” Bash at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan. Proceeds from the event went to the New York Restoration Project. Over $1.4 million was raised to improve parks. Sanders’ dance troupe was discovered by Midler last August as they performed at a benefit in Bryant Park in Manhattan for Dancers Responding to AIDS. Impressed, she later contacted Sanders and invited him to bring his group to her “Halloween” Bash. Sanders worked hard, perfecting his dancers’ talent. He revealed that his group, who range in age from ten to 18, travel extensively to compete with other dancers. This year, they won the coveted National Dance Championship title. Sanders, a graduate of North Babylon High School, choreographs all the troupe’s numbers himself. He has been dancing for 28 years. The Bette Midler special won enthusiastic applause from its audience and the young performers and their adult chaperones enjoyed meeting such celebrities as Katie Couric, Caroline Rhea, Rosie O’Donnel and psychic John Edward.
Monday, November 25, 2002
For more elite eating, there’s the Trustees Dining Room (open to members who contribute $3,000 a year). It has become a celebrity haven, where the likes of =&0=& and Michael Douglas partake of peeky toe crab salad ($12), goujonette of sole ($21) and crème brûlée ($8). And that’s just the lunch menu.
TODAY’S NOSTALGIA: On Nov. 25, 1977, CBS helped Rolling Stone celebrate its 10th anniversary with an hour-long special featuring =&0=&, Steve Martin, Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Dusty Saunders, RockyMountain News
Chrysler Presents: The Line on Design