Friday, December 30, 2011

Tandava's Guide to the Zone--2011-12 Version--Part III: New Year's Day 7pm to 5:30am

Moving right along, here is the third installment of Twilight Zone episodes to be aired on to be aired on SyFy from 7pm New Year's Day through 5:30am January 2nd.

This list continues from Part I (New Year's Eve, 9:30 AM through midnight) and Part II (midnight New Year's Day through 7pm).

First is the short list including the ever-changing Time Top 10, my personal favorites, and other noteworthy episodes. (By the way, you can go to Time's list and vote for your own!)

So, the categories are:

(1) Episodes on the Time Top 10 List – These are the acknowledged classics – in red.

(2) My Personal Favorite Episodes – These are underrated gems with strong scripts and beautiful performances – in green.

(3) Episodes Worth Watching – These have flawed scripts or execution, but often have strong performances and/or ideas – in blue.

Unfortunately, some of my favorites which were in last year's marathon are missing from this one, such as "A Quality of Mercy," "Mirror Image," "The Changing of the Guard" and "Nothing in the Dark." These were replaced with less-stellar offerings such as "The Jeopardy Room, "Caesar and Me", "Uncle Simon" (ugh!) and "The Brain Center at Whipple's." But at least SyFy did include faves like "The Silence" and "The Sixteen-millimeter Shrine" which were not in the 2010-11 marathon.

And, as with last year, Part III still has many gems worth setting time aside for. The run from 7:00 PM through midnight is particularly chock-full of classics.

Enjoy – and happy 2012!!

My Favorites  Short List
(Click the time to jump to the episode description.)

7:00 PM – The Odyssey Of Flight 33
7:30 PM – Living Doll
8:00 PM – The Obsolete Man
8:30 PM – Eye Of The Beholder
9:00 PM – Time Enough At Last
10:00 PM – The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street
10:30 PM – To Serve Man
11:30 PM – Nightmare At 20,000 Feet
1:30 AM – Mr. Denton On Doomsday
4:30 AM – Long Live Walter Jameson

Full List  With Descriptions

7:00 PM – The Odyssey Of Flight 33 – A 707 picks up a freak tail wind and travels back in time. Run-of-the-mill by modern sci-fi standards, but notable for its apparently realistic cockpit dialogue created by Serling's aviation writer brother, Robert Serling.

7:30 PM – Living Doll – "My name is Talky Tina – and you'd better be nice to me!" Telly Savalas takes on June Foray's creepy voiced doll. This one gave me nightmares. #1 on the Time list.

8:00 PM – The Obsolete Man – The superb Burgess Meredith is back to his book-loving ways, this time as a librarian in a dystopic totalitarian future, where both he and his books are declared obsolete.

8:30 PM – Eye Of The Beholder – A classic (#9 on the Time list) about the relativity of beauty, the lengths we will go to be beautiful – or to at least conform – and the dangers of conformity. Note: the girl at the end (Donna Douglas, of Beverly Hillbillies) is a different actress than the one under the bandages (Maxine Stuart), but she speaks in her own voice – doing a very good impression of Stuart!

9:00 PM – Time Enough At LastBurgess Meredith at his lovable best as a devoted bookworm constantly thwarted by his boss, wife, and everyone else – until a touch of armageddon gives him new lease on life. #10 on the Time list.

9:30 PM – A Stop At Willoughby – Beleagured exec finds himself in his childhood hometown. Similar to "Walking Distance" but trades insight for sentiment. Some people really like this one; I can do without it.

10:0 PM – The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street – #4 on the Time list. The text of one is included in grade-school anthologies. Beautifully written masterpiece about fearing thy neighbor. The brilliant Claude Akins is considered the lead, though it is a true ensemble piece. Don’t miss it.

10:30 PM – To Serve Man – Aliens come to earth offering solutions to all the world's woes; their trouble-entendre mission: "To serve man." An undisputed classic, #8 on the Time list.

11:00 PM – Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up – This was voted 8.5 on the IMDB, but I think it’s dopey and ridiculous. Bus passengers are stranded at a diner – but there is one too many. Oh, and rumor has it that a spacecraft crashed nearby. Give me a break.

11:30 PM – Nightmare At 20,000 Feet – "There's a man out on the wing!!" Shatner at his whiteknuckle best. #6 on the Time list.

12:00 AM – The Shelter – "Maple Street" meets the lazy grasshopper. The industrious ant of this tale has built a bomb shelter for his (and ONLY his) family, and his neighbors scoff – until there is an emergency... Bloated prose and one-dimensional characters make this a must-miss.

12:30 AM – Mr. Bevis – Loser gets all he desires (money, nice apartment), only to learn he can’t be his true whackadoo self and keep up appearances. Moral: Enjoy who you are.

1:30 AM – Mr. Denton On Doomsday – Touching old west tale about top-gunslinger-turned-town-drunk finding redemption. Fine performances by Dan Duryea, Martin Landau and Doug McClure.

1:30 AM – The Fever – Well-acted but ultimately hokey morality play about gambling addiction.

2:00 AM – Nightmare As A Child – Freaky, annoying brat spooks schoolteacher. Or does the marm have more to fear? Find out, if you can stay awake through this snoozer. Features TZ's favorite female child actress Suzanne Cupito (aka Dallas' Morgan Brittany); also featured in "Caesar and Me" 1:30 PM 12/31).

2:30 AM – What's In The Box – Lame and ridiculous episode about a couple’s bickering leading to accidental murder and capital punishment. Freaky TV predicts it all. There, now you don’t have to watch it and aren’t you glad?

3:00 AM – The Prime Mover – Compulsive gambler cajoles his telekinetically-enabled pal (an enjoyable Buddy Ebsen) into to helping him cheat Vegas. Doesn't work out too well, but could be worse. Moral: Be happy with what you have; know when to quit.

3:30 AM – Mr. Garrity And The Graves – A more humorous take on the “value of mortality” theme explored in "Long Live Walter Jameson," "Escape Clause," and others; add to this "be careful what you wish for” of "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain," "A Nice Place to Visit," etc.

4:00 AM – Perchance To Dream – Neat psychodrama with some freaky felinesque dream sequences. Not bad; not great.

4:30 AM – Long Live Walter Jameson – TZ's most successful working of the "morality of mortality" theme features fine performances, a strong script and a touch of righteous revenge.

5:00 AM – What You Need – Magical peddler who can give people exactly "what they need" moments before they need it is menaced by a small-time thug. Comeuppance awaits the thug, and the peddler reveals a refreshing hint of cold-bloodedness, uncharacteristic of the Zone. Mixed feelings about this one mostly due to the script's weak dialogue. Based on a superior short story by Lewis Padgett.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tandava's Guide to the Zone--2011-12 Version--Part II: New Year's Day Midnight to 7pm

Continuing the list from yesterday's entry, below is a complete list of Twilight Zone episodes to be aired on SyFy from midnight New Year's Day through 7pm.

A third entry will follow covering 7pm through 5:30am Sunday morning.

First is the short list including the Time Top 10, my personal favorites, and other noteworthy episodes.

So, the categories are:

(1) Episodes on the Time Top 10 List – These are the acknowledged classics – in red.

(2) My Personal Favorite Episodes – These are underrated gems with strong scripts and beautiful performances – in green.

(3) Episodes Worth Watching – These have flawed scripts or execution, but often have strong performances and/or ideas – in blue.

My Favorites  Short List
(Click the time to jump to the episode description.)

12:00 AM  The Midnight Sun
12:30 AM  People Are Alike All Over
1:00 AM  Walking Distance
2:00 AM  Two
3:00 AM  A World Of His Own
4:00 AM  The Lonely
5:00 AM  A Thing About Machines
6:00 AM  The Sixteen-millimeter Shrine
7:00 AM  Judgment Night
11:00 AM  King Nine Will Not Return
12:00 PM  The Grave
12:30 PM  Death's-Head Revisited
1:00 PM  One For The Angels
2:00 PM  It's A Good Life
3:00 PM  The Hitch-hiker
3:30 PM  The Dummy
4:30 PM  The Invaders
5:30PM  The Midnight Sun
6:00 PM  The Masks

Full List  With Descriptions

12:00 AM – The Midnight Sun – Earth has been knocked off its orbit and is gradually approaching the sun. Thermometers pop, a painting melts off its canvas (this is actually a painted wax tablet on a hot plate!), but this apocalyptic tale is most interesting for its relationships – an excellent script, beautifully acted.

12:30 AM – People Are Alike All Over – Astronaut Roddy McDowall crashes on populous Mars, and consoles his fears with the thought that Martians (who include the radiant Susan Oliver) and humans must be "alike" ...

1:00 AM – Walking Distance – I LOVE this episode, a classic (#2 on the Time list) about a frustrated exec who, longing for his boyhood days, visits his hometown – only to find himself a grown-up amidst his own childhood. Insightful lesson about valuing the present and not romanticizing the past.

1:30 AM  I Shot An Arrow Into The Air – Three astronauts survive a crash on an asteroid (where the atmosphere and gravity are the same as on Earth, but no one notices this). Limited provisions stir bloodthirsty behavior. Yes, Rod, people in crisis are just no darned good.

2:00 AM  Two – Apocalypse survivors Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery approach each other warily in this sparsely written, beautifully acted episode.

2:30 AM – Uncle Simon – Two despicable people in a screeching, unredeemable story. Sadistic eponymous Uncle berates greedy, gold-digging niece caretaker into an "accidental" (and fatal) lapse in care. Twist ending? Yeah, but who cares. By the time it's over you'll want to twist off your head. Geeks may get a kick out of the brief cameo of Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot; the ambulatory prop also appears on "The Brain Center at Whipple's" (6:30 AM 1/1) and in miniature in "One for the Angels" (1:00 PM 1/1).

3:00 AM  A World Of His Own – Sweet story about the reality of reality features the only time Serling interacts with his characters.

3:30 AM – Hocus-Pocus and Frisby – A braggart gas station attendant's tales of prowess are believed by some seriously gullible aliens who want to take him home as a specimen of Earth's finest.

4:00 AM  The Lonely – Convict Jack Warden spends lonely days on an asteroid until his supply ship pal brings him a realistic robot – in the ethereally beautiful form of a young Jean Marsh (best known as Rose from Upstairs, Downstairs). A touching, romantic story. Features Ted Knight as an obnoxious crew member.

4:30 AM – A Short Drink From A Certain Fountain – Here we go again with the be-careful-what-you-wish-for theme. Rich geezer wants to keep up with his greedy vain young wife; comeuppance awaits them both.

5:00 AM  A Thing About Machines – One of my all-time faves about a guy who beats up on his machines – which, in 1960, included his typewriter, electric razor, TV and car – and they gang up to have their revenge. The dawn of Skynet... ("Now, why don’t you get out of here, Finchley!!")

5:30 AM – The Arrival – Mystery plane lands itself at airport. Could it all just be an illusion? Ummm... maybe...

6:00 AM  The Sixteen-millimeter Shrine – Luminous Ida Lupino as a reclusive aging movie star, immersed in the films of her youth. Sunset Boulevard, served up Zone-style with a bittersweet dose of wish-fulfillment. Score is by Sunset Boulevard's composer/conductor Franz Waxman. Catch Lupino's deft direction in "The Masks" at 6:00PM.

6:30 AM – The Brain Center At Whipple's – CEO Whipple automates manufacturing with low-maintenance machines. Does he understand "the value of a man"? Go tell it to Skynet. Features the second of three cameos of Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot in the TZ; others include "Uncle Simon" (2:30 AM 1/1) and "One for the Angels" (1:00 PM 1/1).

7:00 AM  Judgment Night – Nehemiah Persoff just knows a nearby U-boat will blast his passenger steamer. But no one one board will believe him! (And exactly how does he know anyway...?) Excellent performances, great ending and a sweet cameo by The Avengers' Patrick MacNee

7:30 AM – The Last Rights Of Jeff Myrtlebank – Small-town good ol' boy James Best wakes up at his own funeral, and seems much improved by the experience! Cute, folksy tale.

8:00 AM – The Four Of Us Are Dying – Guy who can change his face learns he can’t change his scumbag nature.

8:30 AM – The Jeopardy Room – Defecting ex-KGB Martin Landau has three hours to find the bomb in his hotel room planted by his former Commissar, sniper-rifle-wielding John van Dreelen: If he tries to leave, he gets shot; if he doesn't find the bomb, it goes off (or is he supposed to get shot then, too?). Poor writing, overwrought direction and too many plot holes make this episode unsalvageable even by Landau's typically fine acting.

9:00 AM  Black Leather Jackets – Evil leather-clad alien (dressed this way to "blend") falls for local Earth girl in this poor man's Avatar.

9:30 AM – A Piano In The House – Enchanted ivories reveal uncomfortable secrets; akin to "What's in the Box" (2:30 AM 1/1) and "A Most Unusual Camera" (6:30 PM 12/31), and slightly better than either.

10:00 AM – A Nice Place To Visit – Another be-careful-what-you-wish-for morality tale about the true nature of Heaven and Hell. In 1960 it might not have been painfully predictable...

10:30 AM – Twenty-Two – Recovering dancer is troubled by prescient dreams. "Room for one more, honey!" Shrill performances, flat writing. Mediocre tale best suited to Internet urban myth.

11:00 AM  King Nine Will Not Return – WWII B-25 Captain Robert Cummings finds himself stranded in the desert with only the carcass of his King Nine, lost 17 years before. Is it a hallucination? Time travel? Both? The de rigueur twist ending is now a TZ cliché, but still worth watching for a strong script and Cummings' excellent performance.

11:30 AM  The 7th Is Made Up Of Phantoms – Spooked National Guard tank crew gets drafted into Custer's 7th Cavalry. Big whoop.

12:00 PM  The Grave – Spooky old west tale of a dare gone bad, featuring James Best, Lee Van Cleef and Lee Marvin. Also recycled on the internet.

12:30 PM  Death's-Head Revisited – Former Nazi captain's trot down memory lane via Dachau brings him to some unexpected denizens. Top-notch performances by Joseph Schildkraut and Oscar Beregi Jr.

1:00 PM – One For The Angels – One of TZ's more successful dark comedies features Ed Wynn as a fast-talking salesman who must use his skills to save a child's life. Features the third of three cameos of Forbidden Planet's Robby the Robot (miniature, in this case) in the TZ; others include "Uncle Simon" (2:30 AM 1/1) and "The Brain Center at Whipple's" (6:30 AM 1/1).

1:30 PM – The Old Man In The Cave – Confused story set in a post-apocalyptic future of 1974 (!!!). Town listens to the “old man” until soldiers tell them not to be superstitious – and it doesn’t work out well for anyone. What’s the message? Don’t trust your own perceptions? Ugh. Only worth watching for a young James Coburn.

2:00 PM  It's A Good Life – One of the most famous episodes (#3 on the Time list) featuring little Billy Mumy as a terrifying child who can create and destroy at will. The brilliant Cloris Leachman is his petrified mother. ("That’s a good thing you did… A real good thing… Now please wish it into the cornfield!").

2:30 PM  Dead Man's Shoes – Bum dons dead gangster's wing-tips and finds himself stepping into the thug's revenge-thirsty ex-life. You might feel bad for the bum if you find yourself caring about anything in this one.

3:00 PM  The Hitch-hiker – A driver keeps seeing the same hitch-hiker thumbing a ride as she heads west…. A deliciously Hitchcockian morality/mortality play about fear and acceptance of the inevitable. #5 on the Time list.

3:30 PM  The Dummy – Cliff Robertson as a troubled ventriloquist whose creepy dummy will simply not stay in the box.

4:00 PM – Third From The Sun – Trigger-happy world leaders have their finger on the button! Doomsday is near! Time for a select few to secretly gather their families to escape to a nearby planet. Hm... now what planet would that be..?

4:30 PM  The Invaders – Agnes Moorehead's virtuoso 25-minute wordless monologue; riveting with a slick twist at the end. #7 on the Time list.

5:00 PM  The Bewitchin' Pool – Worst. Episode. Ever. Even To Kill a Mockingbird's Oscar-nominated Mary Badham couldn't save this dismal excuse for a story. Spoiled brats escape manipulative divorcing parents by finding their way to SuperGrandma via an enchanted pool. Now, if Grandma dumped the tots in an oven, then we might have a story....

5:30 PM  The Midnight Sun – [Not sure if this is a schedule error; the episode is also listed at 12:00 AM.]

6:00 PM  The Masks – One of the GREAT underrated episodes, and the only TZ episode to be directed by a woman, Ida Lupino (she also stars in “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine” 6:00 AM 1/1 ). A crusty millionaire geezer tells his greedy family he will die before Mardi Gras is over – but they must wear freaky custom masks through the evening if they want to claim their inheritance. Gives the term "know thyself" new meaning....

6:30 PM – The Howling Man – A visitor to a monastery is disturbed to find the monks have a screaming guy locked up. Well, they must have a good reason… A lot of people like this one. I think it’s pretty meh. Features John Carradine as a monk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tandava's Guide to the Zone--2011-12 Version--Part I: New Year's Eve

Welcome back to The Zone!

Once again this New Year's Eve corks will fly and balls will drop, and we will all get a chance to spend some time in The Zone (at least those of us with basic cable...).

This year, SyFy (formerly the Science Fiction Channel, or SciFi) will air 81 episodes for its New Year's Twilight Zone marathon (down from 88 last year), starting 9am on 12/31 and ending at 5:30am on 1/2. So that's a lot of Serling for your dollar... but how do you tell the quality from the clunkers?

Unfortunately, SyFy is again not airing any of the beautiful hour-long episodes from Season 4, but there are still classics aplenty among the half-hour episodes. Just like last year, all ten of Time Magazine's Top Twilight Zone Episodes will be featured (they are in red, and alas there are none on New Year's Eve...), along with some lesser known beauties like "The Masks" (6:00 AM 1/1) and "In Praise of Pip" (9:30 AM 12/31), (in green), and finally a few that are not perfect, but have notable performances (in blue).

So what follows here is a short list of my favorite episodes which will be aired on Friday, December 31st, linked to a full list of all episodes, with brief descriptions and hopefully not too many spoilers. Celebrity names and other items of interest are bolded and linked.

In a few days, I'll post a rundown of episodes to be aired from 1/1 through the morning of 1/2.

Happy Zoning!

My Favorites  Short List
(Click the time to jump to the episode description.)

9:30 AM  In Praise Of Pip
10:30 AM  And When The Sky Was Opened
11:00 AM  The Silence
2:30 PM  Mr. Dingle, The Strong
4:00 PM  A Hundred Yards Over The Rim
4:30 PM  The After Hours
5:30 PM  A Game Of Pool
6:00 PM  Long Distance Call
7:30 PM  Number Twelve Looks Just Like You
8:00 PM  A Penny For Your Thoughts
9:00 PM  Night Call
9:30 PM  Five Characters In Search Of An Exit
10:00 PM  Nick Of Time
10:30 PM  Night Of The Meek
11:00 PM  Kick The Can
11:30 PM  Where Is Everybody?

Full List  With Descriptions

9:00 AM  Escape Clause – I only like this one because I like David Wayne, but it’s not a great episode, just a grim morality play about the value of mortality. *Yawn!*

9:30 AM  In Praise Of Pip – I LOVE this episode. I REALLY love this episode (and did I mention I love this episode?). Jack Klugman delivers a top-notch, tragic performance as a dying no-good trying to do right by his serviceman son, Pip (a much less fearsome Billy Mumy). Sweet, sad magical ending.

10:00 AM – Ring-a-Ding Girl – Medium episode about movie star returning to her home town and throwing a “celebrate me” party. Or is she? Even though it’s not great, I always find myself watching this one all the way through.

10:30 AM  And When The Sky Was Opened – Well played, creepy episode about astronauts returning to earth… or did they? Or were they ever here? Or were you?? TZ makes us question our grasp of reality.

11:00 AM  The Silence – Tense, beautifully acted study in interpersonal dynamics and irony. Based loosely on Chekhov's The Bet, there is no supernatural hocus-pocus in this one. And there is no need for any.

11:30 AM – The Hunt – This mediocre folksy tale by The Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr. has been recycled as internet glurge. Guy and dog have died and are walking along the road to heaven. Guy at pearly gate says, “No dogs allowed.” Guy says, “I ain’t going nowhere without my hound…” Sheesh.

12:00 PM – I Am the Night–Color Me Black  Murderous bigotry, hatred and fear are bad things. OK. We get it.

12:30 PM  The Rip Van Winkle Caper – It's Treasure of the Sierra Madre with suspended animation and blah writing. Good performances and a fun twist at the end make it sort of worth watching.

1:00 PM – Queen Of The Nile – Dopey episode about life-sucking millennia-old Egyptian queen. Blah blah blah. Skip it. "Long Live Walter Jameson" (4:30 AM 1/1) handles the material much more skillfully.

1:30 PM – Caesar and Me – Satan-spawn dummy drives hapless ventriloquist Jackie Cooper to a life of crime – matched in evilness only by tormenting then-child actress Morgan Brittany (later of Dallas fame). The same material is handled much better in "The Dummy" (3:30 PM 1/1).

2:00 PM – Probe 7 Over and Out – Stranded astronaut Richard Basehart, meets hostile alien female on deserted planet. She hurls rocks at him. Or maybe it's just foreplay. Now, what shall we call this place...? The same story is better told in "Two" (2:00 AM 1/1).

2:30 PM  Mr. Dingle, The Strong – Loud-mouthed salesman pisses away alien gifts on trivial feats. Worth watching for an adorable Burgess Meredith and amusing (and very young) Don Rickles.

3:00 PM – A Kind Of Stopwatch – Blabbering bore gets comeuppance via magical timepiece. Even The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything was better than this turkey.

3:30 PM – The Little People – Ego and physical relativity clash in this memorable (though mediocre) episode, which has been lampooned  in The Simpsons, South Park, and Futurama. Good performance by Claude Akins.

4:00 PM  A Hundred Yards Over The Rim – Underrated episode featuring a very young Cliff Robertson as a pioneer dad who will go yards, miles and years to heal his ailing son.

4:30 PM  The After Hours – Stunning Anne Francis finds herself wandering the non-existent floors of a creepy department store. (Wait... is that mannequin watching me??)

5:00 PM – Little Girl Lost – Little girl has slipped into another dimension. Can her parents and their conveniently present physicist pal rescue her before the portal closes forever? Decent script but bland acting. Tune in for the final 10 minutes for all you need to know.

5:30 PM  A Game Of Pool – Taut two-person drama about winning and losing, and what's really important in the game of life. Fine performances by Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters. Not crazy about the ending; the real (and better) ending was done in the 80s TZ version.

6:00 PM  Long Distance Call – Creepy dead grandma wants her favorite grandson to be with her forever, and conveys her wishes via a toy phone. (Now if only Billy Mumy – TZ's favorite child actor – could wish her into the cornfield!) Nice performance by Philip Abbott as the kid's dad.

6:30 PM – A Most Unusual Camera – Lame-assed episode about three greedy morons undone by a magic camera. Hokey, ridiculous, predictable ending. Skip it.

7:00 PM  Stopover In A Quiet Town – At least it was quiet until this nattering couple woke up in a strange house with no memory of how they got there, and no one to ask where they are, or why the grass is made of papier-mâché. And if they'd shut up for two seconds, we just might care....

7:30 PM  Number Twelve Looks Just Like You – Dystopic utopia where everyone is beautifully identical and lifts their pretty mugs with a glass of Instant Smile. Mediocre script saved by Collin Wilcox's terrific performance.

8:00 PM  A Penny For Your Thoughts – Not a classic, but one of my favorites, featuring a young Dick York (the first Darren from Bewitched.)

8:30 PM – I Sing The Body Electric – Sweet story about a robot nanny lovingly bonding with tots.

9:00 PM  Night Call – Originally called "Sorry Right Number," this careful-what-you-wish-for tale features calls from beyond and a beautiful performance by Gladys Cooper. It has also been recycled as internet glurge.

9:30 PM  Five Characters In Search Of An Exit – A soldier, a clown, a tramp, a bagpiper and a ballerina wake to find themselves in a doorless empty room. Well-played and engaging.

10:00 PM  Nick Of Time – A charming script and low-key performance by pre-Kirk William Shatner (yes, I used "low-key" and "Shatner" in the same sentence) grace this cautionary tale about superstition and self-determination.

10:30 PM  Night Of The Meek – Down-and-out department store Santa, Art Carney, loses his job but finds a bag of gifts and plays Santa one last time for the neighborhood kiddies. But is it just an act? Beautiful, touching episode.

11:00 PM  Kick The Can – Timeless story about rest home residents learning that you are indeed as young as you feel. "Look! Think! Feel! Doesn't that wake some sleeping part of you?!"

11:30 PM  Where Is Everybody? – Guy finds himself alone in an empty town, with hints of residents recently present (lit cigarette in ashtray, etc.). Eerie and amusing, most worth watching because this is the pilot that sold the series to CBS.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Post-Christmas Thoughts

A numbly sweet end to a challenging and transformative year.

I met up with my parents and other family at a Chinese restaurant in Flushing for dinner ... very different from the all-day home-hosted affairs of the past, but it felt right. We chatted comfortably while swinging the lazy Susan around, chowing down on vibrant, chewy meats, rice and veggies.

We were the only non-Chinese in the place and I had to wonder if anyone in the restaurant thought we were Jewish.

Afterwards, my cousin and his wife went for drinks with me and my parents at a little Irish bar a few blocks south of Roosevelt and caught up on family stuff.

I was tired and too mellow for any socializing beyond this, so it was good for me in many ways.

A nice way to end the year.

Thank you, 2011 ... You beat me up, burned me out and changed my life ... all to the good, I think. :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Catching Up... Footage of the Halloween Parade!!

I just got an email from Mama Donna with the below video!

For the past four years, Mama Donna, an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher and "Urban Shaman," has been specially requested to lead the Halloween Parade, blessing the Parade, spectators, the route itself, and the grand and beautiful city it calls home.

I have joined her as both a member of her Blessing Band and as a member of PURE, who for three years has livened the celebration with dance and music.

So, here is a camera copy (apologies for the background noise) of the start of the parade, where you can see Mama Donna and her Band, along with PURE following. There is some nice footage of Kaeshi and me at 1:47, and me doing a bunch of hip drops and a zaghareet at 1:50.

Funny thing -- I had to go to work later that evening, and went to my building in costume.

As I was signing in, the guard said, "Did you just come from the Parade? I think I saw you on TV!"

But I had to give him ID anyway.... :-D