Wednesday, September 10, 2008

See You in September...See You When The Summer's Through

I never much liked that song, as it represented -- when I first heard it -- the end of summer and the start of another school year. Nowadays it represents the end of abbreviated work weeks, light traffic, and lighthearted days and nights, so I like it even less! This was a particularly nice summer, so I'm bummed to see it end, but determined to keep the fun going not just all summer long but all YEAR long! Not a bad goal!

Let's last entry was July 1. The next day, my grandmother had a fainting spell and landed in Glen Cove Hospital. I spent the next couple of days with P, going to the hospital, going to follow up visits with the geriatric specialist, and so forth. Now in addition to the signs around the house reminding my grandmother to eat, there are hints that drinking water and remaining hydrated are good things. I went to BJ's and schlepped a new A/C unit to my grandmother's and hoisted it into the window of the kitchen to keep cool air circulating.My grandmother's latest Stupid Stubborn Person Trick? Not using her glaucoma drops for, oh, five or ten years or so, and being told by her eye doctor, "I'm going to be blunt. You're legally blind." Well, that scared her into using the new drops he gave her, and he actually saw improvement within a week, so I can stop looking up the seeing-eye-dog trainers, thank goodness.

Other than those events, the summer was a good one. I did not see either Rick Springfield or Pat Benatar in concert, but I did see Xanadu on Broadway twice in August, on consecutive Sundays. Why? In a word: Whoopi. Yes, while on hiatus from "The View," workaholic Goldberg stepped into the part of "Calliope" for a month. The show is fantastic without her, but sublime with her added little asides. I may see it again (that would be #5), as I'd like to now see it from the seats on stage. Yeah, that's the ticket, blame it on perspective! Seriously, it is the most fun you'll ever have on Broadway, so if you have the opportunity, see it. The original cast is signed to stay on through January 25, 2009. Everyone is fantastic, but Cheyenne Jackson, Kerry Butler and Mary Testa are particular standouts.

July also marked my second East Coast Press Tour up in New Hampshire, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I stayed an extra day and was glad I did. It turns out that Maine was but a 20 minute drive from where I was staying, so during a free afternoon, I took a ride and hit the outlets. I also spent a lot of time with Jerry and Kathie, hitting great restaurants every night save one. The All-Star Game was taking place while I was there, so Jerry and Kathie hosted dinner at their house, reasoning it was the only time we could watch a baseball game and root for the same side (they are Red Sox fans and I'm a Yankee). We barbecued and had a blast. The B&B I stayed in was as lovely as it had been the past summer, and I was sad to leave my New England friends.

At the end of the month, I interviewed John Bolger, an actor well known to soap fans. He also has extensive stage experience and shared some very funny stories with me, including a few about working with the great Harvey Fierstein in his "Safe Sex" trilogy. Bolger had me roaring, and the interview turned out to be one of the best I've done. I later spent time with my friend Nina, which is something I don't do often enough, and even bonded a bit with her teenage son (yes, I truly did!). Resolved to spend more time with friends like Nina.

August 4th was spent with friend Dianna, back to Broadway to see "Young Frankenstein," which was a hoot. It turned out to be Megan (Elizabeth, Dr. Frankenstein's uptight but sexy fiance) Mullally's last performance, so that was a bit of luck on our part. It was a lot of fun, especially if you know the movie as well as I do. Dinner was at my favorite French restaurant, Pigalle, then home to prepare for my long flight...

The next trip was my West Coast Press Tour, based out of Long Beach, CA, with my cohort Don. We had fun, too, and the weather was as perfect as you expect in Southern California. Long Beach is a strange city, mostly run-down except for a two mile stretch near the beach, which boasts a huge convention center, aquarium, the Queen Mary floating museum, a huge port, view of Catalina Island, and some lovely hotels and restaurants. The drawback is that if you head four blocks east of the waterfront, you're entering the danger zone. We didn't have any business in that particular town, but it has one of my favorite steakhouses, the 555, so we had dinner there twice. The rest of the trip was successful as well, and I had the opportunity to see Ray, the man who almost became my stepfather on more than one occasion. Don and I took him to dinner, and they hit it off, as I knew they would. It was a lovely visit.

Heading back to reality with a canceled red-eye (thanks, Jet Blue), my delayed return home was spent sleeping for about 16 hours with two very happy and contented cats. That was exactly what all three of us needed! I was happy to put the monster suitcase away for the next several months, as the only travel remaining this year will not require such a huge bag.

August was finished up with dinners with good friends, a trip to see "The Dark Knight" in IMAX, which was thrilling (both the movie and the late Heath "Joker" Ledger deserve Academy Awards), and the previously mentioned trips to Xanadu. One final long weekend -- Labor Day -- and it's time to start planning for a fun Fall!

So far, we've got a girls' weekend in NOLA with pal Kelly in mid-October, then a business trip to Indianapolis and Chicago in November. My last trip of the year will be to a favorite client in North Carolina, probably in early December. In between, I'll go see Danny in South Pacific at Lincoln Center and Tina Turner at Nassau Coliseum. I also think another IMAX viewing of "The Dark Knight" must be scheduled, and soon, before it leaves. It's simply the best of its genre.

I also resolve to try and let only weeks, not months, pass between blog entries! Oh, and remember that speeding ticket I got back in March? I fought it in court and won! Yes, this HAS been a stellar summer!


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