Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Love Me Some Osmonds

Yes, I admit it. I was a major Osmond fan back in the day (early 70s), and remain so to this day. They represent a more innocent time, in my life and certainly in this country. I am thrilled that I grew up with them, rather than what preteens are exposed to these days. No contest.

I've also been thrilled that Marie Osmond was one of the competitors on this season's "Dancing With The Stars," a show I love. To make it even better, she's done very well, and still remains in the final five out of the original 12 or 13. That could change tonight, but my fingers are crossed. A week ago today, family patriarch, George Osmond, passed away at the age of 90, the day after Marie and her professional dance partner, Jonathan, performed a 40s-style dance tribute to her parents (she even wore her mother's hairstyle!). Somehow, and I don't know how they got through it, the entire family flew to Chicago on Thursday to tape a segment of Oprah that had been in the works for months. Marie's parents had nine children, who had 55 children, who had 48 grandchildren. All of them were there except for the parents of this incredible family. (The funeral was held on Friday, and the emotions and logistics of it all just amaze me...then again, they are an amazing family.)

It was magical. I had found out about it that morning, and alerted Benny, who recorded it onto DVD. The show started with Donny and Marie trading songs, as they'd done on their late 70s variety show. They then had separate segments with Oprah. Then the Osmond Brothers sang, Marie and Jonathan danced, and all of the 100+ Osmonds closed the show with "May Tomorrow Be A Perfect Day," in tribute to George Osmond. (Throughout the program, old film clips of the performing Osmonds were shown, which really took me back.) In fact, when asked how they could have managed not to cancel the appearance on Oprah, the family's collective response was that it was what their father/grandfather/greatgrandfather would have wanted.

I'm not going to go into more detail about the show except to say it moved me to tears on more than one occasion. It brought back lots of wonderful memories. The performing Osmonds will be embarking on a 50th anniversary tour of England next year, and I called Benny to tell him that if they come to New York, we're going. No question. There came a time in my youth when it was embarassing to admit you were an Osmond fan, but I no longer care. They're up there with The Police, The Who, Elvis Costello, and everyone else I love. There's no shame in appreciating great performers...and good people.

Tonight we'll find out if Marie survived the dance competition this week. I'm pulling for her, of course, and even signed in online to give her some extra votes last night. This woman has eight kids, just pulled off a major appearance on Oprah, buried her father, and learned two new dances, all in one week. Did I mention she's 48 years old? Oh, and that she CAN dance? I don't think she'll make it to the finals, but this lady has my vote. All of them, in fact. And so does her entire family,

I feel very blessed to have the Osmond family still performing and making people happy. May they continue to be blessed.

Busy Times, Mostly Good

November is turning out to be a great month. Coming on the heels of a lousy October, what with Scraps being diagnosed as less than healthy, I needed some good times, and by gum, I got them! First, and most important, Scraps has been his normal lovely self, scrapping, playing nuzzling, eating, cuddling, purring and loving. He sometimes breathes a bit more heavily than I'd like, but it subsides quickly and has not been enough to subject him to another vet visit. All seems well, and we're spending lots of quality time. I've taken to watching television in the media room, which they love, as it has a gorgeous leather recliner that they fight over. It's nice to relax in that chair with two cats in my lap, another across the top, and a glass of home brewed iced tea or good red wine at my side, depending on the occasion. A little slice of heaven, really.

To complement this slice of heaven, I've been treating myself to some special things. November 2 found me and pal Diana M. at Madison Square Garden, rocking out to The Police, one of our favorite bands ever. We met for dinner right outside the Garden at Cafe 31, which turned out to be wonderful and not overly priced. What was even cooler was that my friend Benny insisted on driving me in, picking up Diana at work, then bringing us right to the restaurant. We had a lovely meal -- we hadn't seen each other in a couple of years -- then went across the street to the concert. I was so jazzed that not only did I buy a t-shirt but a tour jacket as well. What the hell. How often do you get to see The Police?

Opening band Fiction Plane, led by Sting's son Joe Sumner (on bass and vocals), was much better than either Di or I expected. At times Joe sounded either like his father or Bono, which is not bad at all. Then slightly before 9, the main event took the stage.

Wow. Sting was in incredible voice (there must be something to all that yoga he does; he also looked incredible) and the band was as tight as ever. All three are exceptional musicians, and when joined together, every little thing they do is magic. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) At times it seemed like all 18,000 happy concert-goers were singing along. And it was just the three of them, no supplemental musicians or background vocalists. They rocked, and I was sated and happy when it was over (though you never really want it to end). To make things even nicer, I was able to just walk downstairs to the LIRR, buy a $5 ticket, and hop on the 11:19 to Bayside. I arrived at that station at 11:49, grabbed a taxi, and was home by midnight. Faster and cheaper than any other mode of transport, save someone else sending me in a limo. That will be my preferred way to go to events at MSG.

I slept late and then my Dianna with two "n"s buddy came by and we partied until dawn, alternating between Yahtzee and Crazy 8s while consuming much good wine. Fortunately, the next day was Daylight Savings, so we gained an hour, always nice. I spent much of Sunday snoozing with the kitties.

Other than that, I have tickets to see "Xanadu" on Broadway this Sunday (fortunately one of the eight Broadway shows NOT affected by the stagehands' strike) with some dear friends, then dinner at Virgil's BBQ afterwards. The next week is Thanksgiving, which I like because it means a good long weekend. Dinner at Patricia's, always a cornucopia of delights. Then tickets to "The Brian Setzer Christmas Extravaganza" at Westbury Music Fair on Saturday.

Life is good.