3 Mantras For Bev & Syd

20/10/2015 § 3 Comments

This past Sunday we had a celebration of life for our folks, Bev & Syd. When our Dad passed, Mom wanted to celebrate his extraordinary life and not mourn his death. So that is what we did a few years back. And she produced an affair with readings, and music, and food. After this excruitiating winter, and then a crazed summer, my brother, Phil, and I finally got around to booking Waveny Estate, the property that one of the muckety-mucks who started Texaco sold to New Canaan for a pittance in 1997. Yes, New Canaan is that kind of town, rich, and bucolic, and sedate. And then Syd Greenberg came to town. But, that’s later. For our celebration had BBQ catered in, Phil printed out hundreds of pictures from Bev and Syd’s excellent adventure; living through Brooklyn and New Canaan and that war to end all wars, WWII and through the lives of so many friends and he put together a video from home movies, slides, and this cool film he created for Syd’s 90th birthday. Since Phil lives a bit closer to New Canaan, he did most of the heavy lifting. All I had to do was write, and give, a speech. The writing part usually comes naturally, the speechifying not so. And this one? Most everyone’s folks are amazing in some way, but, and this is not bragging, my folks were phenomenal—though it did take me a long time to realize that. Just read this little bit about my Mom and this one about my Dad and you’ll get a better picture of what I was up against to get them down into a speech. As well, since this would be after the drinks and the food, I also had to be succinct and pithy. Terse is not in my toolkit, that’s for sure. And then still have some of their soul and joy seep in between the lines? A big task. Here is my take on Bev & Syd:

bev syd at 1955 floodbw

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Why I WANTED To Own And Operate A Small Seaside Cinema

03/08/2015 § 1 Comment

A few months ago, Cape Ann Cinema & Stage, was up for grabs. All you had to do was cram down into 250 words all your wishes and desires and dreams and hopes of owning your very own cinema and performance space. Anyone who knows me understands how hard that would have been and it was. I think the first draft was over 500 words and that was cutting out a ton, or maybe two tons, of verbiage. One of the stipulations was to “be creative.” Yah, cut that meat to the bone. Bone isn’t going to be real creative unless you find a way to scrimshaw on it. Precise incisions ensued and I excised more, as much as I could while still making some sense. With more rewriting and then some.


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Mom 1923-2015

25/03/2015 § 1 Comment

As soon as you found out Beverly was gone, I know the first thing many in this room thought: I didn’t see her enough. Or maybe, I didn’t talk to her enough. Didn’t stop by for a chat. I should have taken the time…should have this, should have that.

photo 1

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Talking To Strangers

23/02/2015 § Leave a comment

As a kid, I had always wanted to sell enough stuff to absolute strangers in order to get those amazing prizes as advertised lavishly in comic books. You know, sell an inordinate amount of Peony seeds, or magazine subscriptions, or wrapping paper, and obtain a shiny new Schwinn Stingray Bike with a banana seat. Unfortunately for both the seed company and my parents, I couldn’t walk up to strangers and sell them junk they didn’t need, even when I was desperate to have that very thing that would make me cooler than my younger brother. I had the dream but not the wherewithal, so I needed my folks to spend real money in order to get the bike.


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The Marketing Dance: Doing The Jerk part Two

15/08/2014 § 1 Comment

In The Marketing Dance: Doing The Jerk, our last bloggette, I dissected the wrong way to get anyone to be interested about you and your stuff on social networks; where you act like those cheap commercials on Late Night TeeVee with the announcer yelling at you: “Wait, WAIT, there’s more…”


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The Marketing Dance: Doing The Jerk

22/07/2014 § 2 Comments

Selling me crap in an email is justified, because I can label you junk and, hopefully depending on the reliability of my MacMail, never see you again. On TeeVee that’s a little different as I revel in a good advertisement, having been in that world for a bit back in the ’80s where I was even tapped to look at, and judge, animated commercials for the Clios. But sell me stuff on Facebook and LinkedIn, man, that’s like tossing a leaflet at my front door and having it end up on my lawn. I then have to go outside, take it off the lawn and walk to the back to throw it out. While I do need the exercise, is that anyway to get me to buy your stuff? By pissing me off? I don’t think you’ll find that method in any Dale Carnegie course.


So, why does anyone think they should advertise to me in social media? I’m not talking the soft-sell, like what I do (marketing, information, as opposed to lobbing a sales pitch over the bunker. “In-bound” marketing as coined by HubSpot, that “content marketing” thing.) Yes, there’s a potential world of goobers online who may possibly want to buy your–insert your “Hilary in 2016” and/or “Not Hilary in 2016” tstochke or some other equally appealing item–here. Or even how could you think someone would hire you with your plea to be considered hitting them at point-blank range? Especially if you inbox said someone, like me, who you have started to pester about a job without even asking if TKA has any jobs open! And, if we do, check the website.

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Here We Go Again

22/01/2014 § Leave a comment

To the cloud, again and again. When I first wrote this for MusicThinkTank, way back in 2011, Google was working on a hush-hush (though everyone seemed to know about it) service to shunt all your music up to a locker in the cloud. Since then, Apple has also pushed their iTunes up into the Cloud. The premise is you can play your music everywhere and anywhere on just about any device that the gods of I.T. can wrestle into submission.  Maybe.

Maybe not. You may not even own what you thought you bought. I knew the guys in Business Affairs at the labels wouldn’t let these kinds of services fly without some kind of hindrances, the weight of which could cause them to plummet to earth and die a slow but sure death. And here it is, a start of something sinister: be advised if you use the Apple service, iTunes Match, not all your iTunes tracks will stay as your iTunes tracks. Yes, those tracks you have purchased through Apple may disappear and you can’t get them back. “What?” you may be pondering, though with maybe an expletive sneaking in there. « Read the rest of this entry »