Thursday, October 29, 2009

This is more like it! :-)

He's not joking about music classes (and similar arts programs) for that matter keeping kids in school, or helping to keep grades up. Formal music lessons, from the time I was in the first grade, made a big academic difference for me even though I'll never be a professional at it. Music was a way of clearing my head and taking a mental break (even if it was a class!) before finishing the rest of my work. It still is! Which is why my kids started music classes in some form already. Even the new baby is joining her big sister in a weekly music-play program. So as I have said billions of times since I started this blog, Barry and I are -->here<-- on that subject.

(And I'm really glad to hear that all seems to be going well at home on the left coast. ;-D )


Message from Barry 10/29/2009

Hi everyone!
I’m recuperating and doing fine.
Thanks for all good wishes.
The Hollywood Bowl show was a fantastic experience for all of us. The crowd was amazing and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra was magnificent. Hearing those beautiful arrangements and orchestrations made me want to stop singing and just listen to them!
The music was definitely a highlight of the night, but a close second was the knowledge that we were raising money to buy musical instruments for kids in the L.A. schools. As you know, because of budget slashes, the Music and Arts departments of the public schools all over the country are being cut.
And even the schools that still have music departments are struggling to keep them going. They’re running out of instruments and the ones that they do have are in terrible shape. They need music stands, sheet music, band uniforms – you name it, they need it. Music classes aren’t just for playtime. Music keeps the kids in school. Really. It keeps the kids coming back to school.
Ask any music teacher and they all say the same thing: when kids are in music classes their grades go up, they learn how to interact with other students and they stay in school.
The thought that the schools don’t have musical instruments or worse, that they may not have Music classes at all is just killing me.
I would like to ask you all to dive in and help me if you possibly can.
It would be so great if you could call your local high schools or middle schools and ask them what instruments they needed and if you could spring it, get the instruments for them.
I’m not suggesting anything near as large as what we’ve been doing of course. Just a trumpet or a clarinet or maybe even one of those Casio or Sony keyboards.
Maybe you’ve got some old music stands in the basement or a set of drums that no one is using anymore up in the attic. Just dust off Aunt Bessie, push her out of the way, and drive the set of drums down to the school!
If you guys could begin to help your local schools by keeping their music classes going, it would be the greatest Get-Well gift you could ever give me.
Once again, thanks for all the get-well wishes.
See you soon.



PS……If you don’t have an Aunt Bessie…..and want us to get instruments to schools in need… can also go to: then hit Donate Now………..

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Living Vicariously at the Hollywood Bowl

For those of us who live at opposite ends of the country (or the world) and couldn't make it last night.

Update 10/26/2009: Some really great pictures posted by a fan on the Ning Network (My God, the **lighting**!!! The Bowl must have had some incredible baseline capabilities to work with!) Anyone else think Barry needed a cigarette and a hot bath after the orchestra performed his arrangements?

As usual, I'll keep running updates. Dana, anytime you're ready, dear....


I hope we don't have to wait 30 years for this one to make a DVD!

From Twitter, courtesy of TPTB

Better late than never on TwitpicSNC rehearsing at the Hollywood Bowl on Twitpic


Barry Manilow PRESENTS LAUSD and GRAMMY Foundation with majordonation of $100,000 in musical instruments at Hollywood Bowl Concert

At the Special Pre-Concert Gala to Benefit The Manilow Music Project & the Los Angeles Unified School District, Manilow Delivers Gift of Instruments and Education

Los Angeles (October 24, 2009) –Pop culture icon and legendary showman Barry Manilowhosted his first-ever solo concert at the Hollywood Bowl on October 24th, 2009, with manyof the proceeds going directly to The Manilow Music Project and The GRAMMY Foundation®. Starting the evening with yet another act of giving to the Los Angeles community, Manilow surprised attendees by presenting the LAUSD with a donation of $100,000 worth of instruments for its underfunded music program. Manilow briefly spoke about the importanceof music in his own life before presenting yet another donation—two $5,000 Signature School Enterprise Awards to the GRAMMY Foundation®, also benefitting the LAUSD.

“It gives me great personal joy to be able to get these instruments into the hands of theLAUSD’s students. Music has been the foundation of my life and to be able to give that gift to others is both joyous and humbling,” states Manilow.

Superintendant Ramon Cortines commented, “Barry Manilow continues to show his tireless dedication and advocacy by extending the reach of musical education to the children in our community. We are profoundly moved by his continued generosity and support in such tough economic times.”

Manilow, who will end his 5-year partnership with the Las Vegas Hilton this year, regularly performs in arenas throughout the world. He recently performed to a record-breaking, sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans at the BBC Proms in the Park on the world-famous Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park, London. The event was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and BBCTV reaching an audience of countless millions.

In December Manilow together with the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, will present“A Gift of Love…,” a five-night holiday concert series at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA. The concert series, beginning on December 4th, 2009 and continuing on December 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th, will honor 25 local charities in Palm Springs, California,the singer’s hometown—each night benefiting five of the beneficiary charities tickets are available at

Earlier this year Manilow donated $500,000 in musical instruments to schools in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area.

The Manilow Music Project
Last year, in response to the needs of public schools and their severely depleted music programs, Barry Manilow gathered some friends and formed The Manilow Music Project as part of his non-profit, Manilow Fund for Health and Hope. The mission statement of the Project highlights the importance of music programs in U.S. schools and donates instruments and materials to school music programs.

The Manilow Music Project is sponsored by Yamaha and BevMo!

Proceeds from Manilow wine purchases at BevMo! retail stores in California go directly to The Manilow Music Project.

The GRAMMY Foundation
The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciationand advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artisticand technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of futuregenerations of music professionals. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. For more information, please visit

Friday, October 23, 2009

Radio Alert: Barry Hosting BBC Radio Show on Johnny Mercer

Reposted from Moonstone's Shadows of Manilow blog.
This is really worth repeating.

Mark your calendars on November 13, starting at 7:30 PM local (UK) time.
[BBC] Radio 2 to celebrate work of Johnny Mercer

Listen live on the internet here:
I'll try and calculate what time it will be on in the US time zones. Unless some kind soul would like to comment with that info?

Random Thoughts on a Friday Evening

To everybody working the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow night - break a leg. If the tweets I heard are any indication you're putting on one helluva show. Enough to make us east-coasters jealous.

Speaking of tweets, if certain twitterers/tweeps/whatevertheword is want to post those photos, I'll be watching. (You know who you are!)

We're getting ready for Halloween this week. I posted about this last year. I would pay to see Barry walk through trick-or-treating as himself. No entourage, bodyguards, etc. He could get away with it too - everybody staring at the decorated houses, people would think he was just another guy in a costume. Except for one neighbor on our street who is a serious fan. I'd have to find a way to shut him up.

Remember Dumbass from my OT post a while back? Well the chairman of the board finally neutralized him. (Think purple slime from Warehouse 13 - REALLY neutralized) I'm breathing easier tonight now that I can steer that ship without some mutant nipping at my heels.

My daughters' preschool music teacher is a Barry fan. And she was pumped to learn about the Music Project. Per my recommendation she's looking into using elements of Manilow Live for instruction for young children. My good deed for the day!

So for everyone going to the Bowl tomorrow (whether working or just having fun), have a good time for me while you're there. I'm going to settle in with Live at the Greek (maybe do the 2nd half of that POV review I've been threatening for weeks) and be with you in spirit.

Have a great weekend, gang!

ETA- can't believe I almost forgot this...
Barry, now that you have some time off, take some extra for some serious R&R, take care of whatever medical issues are hanging over your head, and get some "me" time before the Paris announcement hits the fan. ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Someone likes to be funny

Hardy har har har

GarryKief Exclusive. Behind the scenes at album cover photo shoot. -

And the cat-and-mouse game continues. But which is which?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big City Blues

This is a long couple of weeks and as I type this I am praying that my headache doesn't become a migraine.

It's ironic that life can be wonderful (it is!) but enough straws land on the camel's back that you're dragging through it. (See my old "Bananas" post.)

That's the case now. I have everything that I ever wanted in life, but there's a lot to handle and it gets us down around here. Pete has a chronic condition that flared up recently after all of the rain and flooding and the increased allergens that go along with it. (In life and death terms, it's not serious. No one has died from this condition in more than 50 years, but getting his medication straight is a PITA.) My work schedule is packed with one deadline right after another, with billing and meetings and political maneuvering on top of it all.

When you get stressed out, you lash out. Sometimes in a serious way, sometimes just by snipping at each other. That's what we've been doing here. Pete and I are biting each other's heads off over practically nothing and being really sensitive to any perceived slight.

On top of that, we have a built-in, 24/7 audience: the kids.

The infant isn't that big a deal. She's human so she can perceive stress and then get fussy. But as long as I can take a deep breath, give her a dry diaper, warm milk, and a gentle cuddle with smiles and cooing until she falls asleep, she's good to go.

The preschooler is another story. We believe that kids should not have to deal with adult problems or worries unless it's unavoidable and even then you have to make things real simple. She's constantly talking, wants to "help" and no matter what answer we give her, it's never enough. She'll keep asking. I think she just likes to hear the sound of her own voice and feel like she really knows what's going on when in fact we're keeping a lot from her.

When Pete and I are having a tough time - in this case, just not feeling well - the biggest help she can be is to just close her mouth, stop asking questions, and do what she's asked without having to repeat it 98987676 times. But no. She has to ask. And ask. And ask. And finally, we lose our patience and tell her TO JUST SHUT IT AND GO TO YOUR ROOM! We're not mad, just frustrated and tired about other things and we dont' have the energy to repeat ourselves. Plus, there are some things we do NOT want to explain to her. Of course, when that happens, she gets upset and cries and whimpers and thinks we're mad. Then needs reassurance that she's still loved. So I have to pull it together at a time when I can't and give her the reassurance she needs. Then I need to take care of myself.

But it's still not just myself. I have another half - Pete. He's not feeling well either. He needs the same reassurance and support that I do. And we can't give each other much when we're both running on empty.

I am the luckiest woman alive because I have a husband who is gentle, thoughtful, selfless, and doesn't believe in divorce. But when I'm about to take him for granted, I imagine what life would be without him. It wouldn't be a life at all. It is still frightening because I've seen what I thought were strong marriages fall apart when times got tough. Even after being together for 20 years or so. Pete and I have been married for 9 1/2. This is a tough time. I don't want him to second-guess our life together. I don't want to take him for granted, either.

So how are we getting through it?

To begin with, we alternate with the kids, our "built-in audience". Whichever of us is feeling stronger at the time plays with the eldest. I get the youngest most of the time because she has to be nursed, but that's not a problem. Even though it's effort to care for the eldest, it's a boost too. You never know when she'll say just the right thing to rejuvenate our spirits when we need it most.

When the kids are getting their usually scheduled "quiet time" or naps, that's when we both look to take care of ourselves. In the current situation, that's sleep or other kinds of rest. I plan on sleeping off the headache this afternoon. Pete is resting too, to get through his symptoms.
We also make sure there's time to just be alone and do what we want. For me, that involves cranking the iPod with a headset, writing on the blog ( :-) ) "retail therapy" and sometimes, just a good, serious, long crying fit. Crying is good for you in tough times.

Bottom line is, stress hurts. You can't heal if you don't take the time to do so. And if you don't heal, you won't be able to give of yourself to the people who depend on you in life.

I have friends whose relationships broke up recently. In the midst of feeling lost, they only start to recover when they focus on themselves. Sometimes the relationship can be repaired, sometimes not and they have to re-start their lives with a new direction. It's not being selfish; it's preparing yourself and gathering the resources you need so you can start contributing to others again. Every person in the world has to do this, no matter what they are relied on for. For me, it's my husband and kids. Thank God I have them.

Most of all, spend some time in your faith. It doesn't matter what you have faith in whether it's God, or gods, or goddesses, or the universe, or The Force. "Thou shalt sustain thy faith, for the day will come when it shall sustain thee."

Wow, when did I write all of this? I just noticed that my headache is fading. A quick nap and it should be gone. And the sun is finally coming out. Pete is out with TLF and he looks like he's feeling lots better. Maybe I'll play with the kids instead.

Even though your heart is breaking
In time, the sun will shine
And you'll begin again

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And still more...

That must be one busy office in LA today...


IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS Features 12 Yuletide favorites: “Silver Bells,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”), “Count Your Blessings,” “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,” and Manilow’s original “Christmas Is Just Around The Corner” (From Cranberry Christmas) AND MORE!

(OCTOBER 7, 2009– New York, NY) Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award-winning recordingartist Barry Manilow, has just announced that he has re-signed his recording deal withArista Records and will be releasing two new albums, one of seasonal favorites, ringing inthe holidays with contemporary and traditional yuletide repertoire on IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS and THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME scheduled for release in January, just in time for Valentine’s Day (track listing and details for THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME to be announced soon).

On the heels of the extraordinarily successful “decades” series (Greatest Songs of the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties), IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS¸ produced and arranged by Manilow, will arrive in stores on October 13th. A special pre-order campaign at the website and at Amazon will ensure that fans will receive IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS in its very first week of release.

Manilow, who has had a long-standing relationship with Arista Records and its founderClive Davis, now Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music Entertainment will be teaming up onceagain to record his forthcoming album THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME, setfor release in January. Davis has been a perennial collaborator with Manilow on virtually allhis recordings, since they first worked together on “Mandy,” Manilow’s debut #1 single asthe first artist signed to Arista by Davis in 1974, the first year of the label’s existence.Beyond the sensational “decades” series, Arista is the home to Manilow’s biggest hitsincluding “Mandy,” “It’s a Miracle,” “Could It Be Magic,” “I Write the Songs,” “Looks Like WeMade It,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Copacabana (At the Copa),” “Somewhere In the Night,”“Ships,” “I Made It Through the Rain,” and many, many more. Comments Clive Davis:“Barry and I have a mission to bring to a new generation the great songs that are thesoundtrack of our lives. This album does just that and Barry is sounding better than ever."

IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS presents a dozen holiday gems. Contemporarystandards include: “Silver Bells” (first recorded by Bing Crosby & Carol Richards in 1950);“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGMmusical Meet Me in St. Louis); “Christmas Time Is Here” (one of the instrumental themes composed by Vince Guaraldi for 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas); and “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire,” the Mel Tormé standard that became an evergreen after Nat King Cole’s 1953 recording).

More: “Violets For Your Furs” (a Frank Sinatra rarity from his album Songs for YoungLovers, 1954); “Toyland” (a perennial favorite from Victor Herbert’s 1903 operetta, Babesin Toyland); “Count Your Blessings” (by Irving Berlin, from 1954’s timeless film, WhiteChristmas); Johnny Marks’ classic “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” (popularized byGene Autry in 1949); and “Christmas Is Just Around The Corner,” composed by Manilowfor Cranberry Christmas, the ABC Family animated TV special first broadcast in December2008, based on the 1976 children's book of the same title.

IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS is actually the third album of holiday songs recorded byBarry Manilow during his career. In 1990, he released the 10-song Because It's Christmason Arista; and in 2002, Columbia issued A Christmas Gift of Love.

IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS is Barry Manilow’s follow-up to the mega-bestselling series of “decades” albums that he masterminded with Arista founder and co-producer Clive Davis. The series began in January 2006 with The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties,which entered the Billboard 200 album chart at #1 (his first #1 album since Barry Manilow/Live in 1977), and was certified RIAA platinum. The Greatest Songs Of The Sixties(October 2006) entered at #2. When the RIAA platinum The Greatest Songs Of TheSeventies entered at #4 (September 2007), Barry Manilow was distinguished as the onlyartist to chart three Top 5 debuts during 2006-2007. The most recent entry in the series,The Greatest Songs Of The Eighties was released November 2008.

With worldwide record sales exceeding 75 million, Barry Manilow is ranked as the top AdultContemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records); with no less than 25 consecutive top 40 hits to his credit between 1975 and 1983, on the Billboard Hot 100. Manilow has worked on over 40 albums over the course of his career as a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer.

Stay tuned for further information on THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME setfor release in January.

Barry Manilow: IN THE SWING OF CHRISTMAS (final track listing)
“Silver Bells”
“Carol Of The Bells/Jingle Bells”
“Joy To The World/It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
“Violets For Your Furs”
“O Tannenbaum/Winter Wonderland”
“Christmas Time Is Here”
“The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”)
“Count Your Blessings”
“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”
“Christmas Is Just Around The Corner”
1) "Re-signed" with Arista? Aside from 1985's Manilow and 2001's Mayflower, has he ever not been with Arista? Especially recently?

2) I admit I haven't heard any of his Christmas records yet, except for what was promoted on morning shows when he made an appearance. If anyone wants to comment, how does he handle a song like "Joy to the World"? It's a religious song, but he's not a religious guy - at least not in the same sense that the song was written in. Any commentary?

3) Thinking ahead to Greatest Love Songs...
Take a look at the tracks on this Christmas album. Some of the pieces are so traditional and so established, everyone knows at least part of them. Some are the kinds of things you know but don't realize (like the instrumental from Charlie Brown). Others, you've never heard of after they were recorded, so Barry can make them his own. (Think I Write the Songs.)

Not that my opinion means anything, but why not take the same approach w/ the new covers record? Sure, you need a couple of "number ones" but how about digging out and reinventing some really obscure works by those artists? The record's working title is "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time", not "the most famous".

Just a thought from a face in the audience.

Bary on KTLA this morning

Link to KTLA
Sorry, can't embed - the website doesn't have the capability.
Short and sweet - enjoy!
(And thanx Mick for posting on Twitter!)

Barry has left the building


LAS VEGAS — Barry Manilow’s record-setting five-year engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton will conclude on December 30, 2009.

“Barry Manilow is an exceptional entertainer and we have been extremely fortunate to have had him as our resident headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton for the last five years,” said Ken Ciancimino, Executive Vice President Administration of the Las Vegas Hilton. “Although this current engagement is ending, our friendship with him endures and we will continue to explore possibilities for future endeavors together.”

Barry Manilow began his long-term engagement with the Las Vegas Hilton in February, 2005 with “Manilow: Music and Passion.” His current show, “ULTIMATE MANILOW: The Hits,” debuted in July of 2008. By the end of the year Manilow will have performed well over 300 shows, to nearly 450,000 people with gross ticket sales of more than $70 million.“ULTIMATE MANILOW: The Hits” is packed with chart-topping music spanning his spectacular career, and gives fans an opportunity to enjoy decades of Manilow’s music and his amazing showmanship.

The remaining performances of “ULTIMATE MANILOW: The Hits” at the Las Vegas Hilton are October 1-3, October 8-10, November 27-29 and December 28-30. Show times are 8 p.m. in the legendary Hilton Theater. Stage seat tickets are $225 (plus tax and service charge). The seats are up close and personal with 34 located on each side of the stage and at the same level. Main orchestra tickets are $125-175 (plus tax and service charge); rear orchestra tickets $65-$85 (plus tax and service charge) and balcony $65 (plus tax and service charge). Tickets can be purchased at the Las Vegas Hilton box office, online at,, or by calling 702-732-5755 or 1-800-222-5361.
1) Did he top Elvis' attendance record?

2) Does he get his own statue in the Hilton lobby, now that Elvis' has been moved outside?

3) Who's going to report on what those last shows are like? Any speculation in the mean time?

4) How long will it take before the official Paris-Las Vegas residency is announced?

5) [insert the usual hints about having the final show or other special set lists included on Manilow TV here]

6) I am so glad I got to Vegas last year, you have no idea. I'm never sure when I'm going to see another show so I savored the ones I did get.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OT - It's Got to be 5-O'Clock Somewhere

Breathe...... breathe...... breathe.....

(long stretch)
(big yawn)

Feel better?

No, but I might make it up to human after a night's sleep. Night >= 5 hours.

For the past year I've had a major client doing a major online job for a major community organization. (Sorry to be vague, but I don't want this story getting back to the subject, or my name floating around.)

Problem is, the guy is a nut. Perpetual motion. Puts me in charge of one aspect or another (even the entire project) then changes his mind after I bust my ass to accomplish something in record time. Crappy job but great exposure for my freelance company.

He went through assistants like paper napkins at a barbeque. Of course, they were all little blondes half his age, then they'd quit at 90 MPH because they were so creeped out.

So his online project has all kinds of bells and whistles in his personal world. Fine, I think, I've done this. Who is the audience, what do you want to present, what do you want it to do, then make a list, decide what is critical for launch, what can be set aside as an upgrade and go from there.

Oh no. Too easy. Too sensible. Too much of a risk for it to work right the first time. Dumbass decides that he's going to put info up on a whim. Or more accurately, have me do it. Then, after cajoling me into staying up until 3 AM to meet an arbitrary deadline, he changes his mind 18 hours later and edits it according to his new tastes.

Multiply by 15 times, you'll get an idea of my workflow.

I get asked why I freak out at him over setting deadlines. Gee, no reason. Just being a bitch on general principle I guess.

Let's not forget the time he called me on NEW YEARS EVE. AT HOME. To launch a critical "opinion poll" on a non-important issue. ASAP, of course. Well I got it running. He was happy. January 2 it's down. Seems a couple of the entities involved wanted to wait a while so they could all display it at once. I swear, I wanted to buy him a hooker so he would leave me alone for a week or so.

What kills me is this guy can make a server sing. He can almost hold a conversation in assembler language. He can make a database whistle Dixie and do the Watusi, all while wiping your ass. That kind of natural gift for server administration is rare, I've only seen it in one other person. I can't do it. He has his uses, when you can keep him focused on a project. Other than that it's only amusing if you're not in the crosshairs. Or the same state.

IT committee chair appointed. Then removed. Then reappointed. Then reremoved. Then forgotten about. Then reappointed in an ass-busting panic. We started taking turns buying rounds of beer at committee meetings. Birthday in Vegas (the one I posted about here). That cleared my head. Then I found out I was pregnant. Damn, no more beer. I have to do this straight. The committee chair was the same age as my dad, has a daughter my age with a family so we got along great. Any port in a storm.

I finally gave up. I get professional acknowledgement for putting up with this yutz and some other business out of it. So I just let the thing slide.

Maternity leave over the summer. Not really a vacation, I'm fielding client calls. Giving birth after the anesthesia wore off was still less painful than working with Dumbass.

Back to work. What's this? Changes are afoot. There's a new board of directors and the chairman is the new sherriff in town. "Hey, Dumbass, where exactly is that $60K? And you have a top-of-the-line manager for the online stuff, why isn't it running?" Dumbass is no longer in charge.

So I thought.

Restarting the project. Salvage what you need, pitch what you don't. You're in charge run it.

Ummmmmmmmmmm............ still need my server guy, Dumbass.

I start a blog of changes and updates and plans. Dumbass does an upgrade while I'm editing content. Flush, down the drain. Blog it - "Hey people, look out, we had a wipeout so don't overwrite each other. We'll straighten out permissions later."

Phonecall from Dumbass: "Hey, let's keep things positive it's obvious that was my fault." No, Dumbass, it's business. That's a potential conflict for everybody and it doesn't matter whether it was you and me who found it, or Sonny and Cher. It's legit. And I'm POSITIVE of that.

Clearly someone pulled him aside and explained reality because he is the quintissential gentleman now. I call the shots, I set the priorities, he explains his end and I make a decision. Yeehah!

What's that, Board of Directors? You want this launched soon? No problem. Dumbass has been working for months and I can crack that whip. Monday is go time. And your three most critical needs are A, B, and C. Got that, Dumbass? Great.

Zero hour. The project is beautiful. Everything where it should be. But where's Dumbass? ON "sales calls". Ten minutes to the bomb drops and he FINALLY tells me he's finishing up the databases on his end. And repointing URLs. Everything works except the aforementioned A, B, and C.

Day 1 after launch. Still not working. So he twiddles with it. Then he twiddles some more. Then breaks it. Oops. Can't make his test sandbox run in production. Transfer info in database A to corresponding fields in Database B. This was supposed to be so easy even I could do it. So I am scrambling to get the stuff in the database into something temporary so we don't look like the Three Stooges. Too late.

So now that brings us up to one hour ago. The Board of Directors understands exactly what's going on so it will make my schpiel this evening a little shorter. We're lining up other IT guys and seeing how we can neutralize Dumbass. Neutralize: think Warehouse 13.

When this gets done I'm on to someting easier. Like swimming with a millstone.
And THAT is why I am freaking out at work here and why alcohol is looking really really good.

Thanks for letting me vent, kids. Please offer a prayer to whatever deity you may acknowledge that the rest of this week is less exciting.


A shout out and love to my visitors...

...who are experimenting with proxy servers or visiting from vacation spots.

So how is Aruba? I wouldn't take my laptop to the beach - it's impossible to get the sand out. But I'm glad that I'm part of your relaxation.

For what it's worth, yes, I peek at visitor statistics to see who is visiting. It is only curiosity. You're curious about me, I'm curious about you. But like you, there is only so much information I want to reveal. We both understand that. It's cool.

I've noticed lots of interesting people visiting and I'm flattered that you like to read what I wrote. Don't worry, I don't blab when I see you. See above - I like privacy too. I also believe in the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)

So if you want to use a proxy server to "anonymize" your visit, I won't stop you. Or get upset, or preach. But it's hard not to take it personally. If I've been anything on this blog, it's discreet. You don't see my name anywhere, do you? You won't. And you won't see yours.

Even if you decide to drop during your visits.

(I'm serious, there's a proxy relay called Hide My Ass!!! I spit out my coffee when I saw it!!)

Equally seriously, be careful of those proxies from Russia, China, and wherever. Like Spam and virus city. It's not worth it to FUBAR your computer over it.

Once more I'm flattered that you enjoy coming here. I started this blog as a way of venting my spleen and to heal from some tough times. Now it's a place to go and gab over coffee. That evolution did wonders for me and my well-being. If I can share that with whoever comes by, then we can all enjoy the good karma.

Have a great week - I have a doozy of an off-topic coming soon about the Tech Team Member From Hell that I am still dealing with. (Just got him off the phone.)


Monday, October 5, 2009

Let's Get On With It

OK, folks, we've all had a chance to vent our spleen about the cancellations and communication. EVERYBODY got a word in.

Time to let it go. No more antagonizing. Too much anger. Don't let it get worse. We all need a break. We all have issues to deal with in our lives. Let's just handle them and leave each other alone.


It's not about being perfect, it's about doing the right thing when you're not.

Half of talking is knowing when to shut up.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"It's a strange house. I don't want to run up a bill."

Personal Message from Barry
(Sunday, October 4, 2009)

Hi everyone

Well, things certainly have gotten exciting around here!

On the one hand, I'm really sorry to have caused so much pandemonium by postponing and canceling a few shows.On the other hand, I'm very glad that these shows mean so much to you.

Frankly, I'm not exactly sure whether the upset is that I cancelled a few shows or the way I cancelled them.

It seems to me that as soon as my doctors scheduled my surgery, I posted the rescheduling information with enough time for everyone to make new plans. After all, it's only a few shows, I thought.

The doctors tell me that I need between four and six weeks to recuperate so canceling six Hilton shows didn't seem like such a big deal and since the San Diego/Sacramento shows hadn't really been on sale for too long, it didn't seem as if that would cause too many people a lot of trouble.

But I guess I was wrong. So sorry if I was wrong. I really wasn't going to announce my personal, private hip troubles again, but I guess I have to since the freaking out seems to be getting out of hand.

You know, my friends, we're only human. I know many of you think I'm not, but stuff happens to humans. Deaths in the family, sicknesses, technical problems, late arrivals, etc. We all do the best we possibly can all the time to never disappoint you. But stuff happens to us humans. And as hard as we try, we just can't always be perfect.

Out of all the complaints there were only two people who wrote, "I hope Barry's okay". Only two. That was an eye-opener.

You must believe that when things like this happen- cancellations, postponements, delays - there is always a legitimate and unmovable reason for them.

You all must know by now, that me, Garry, John, Marc, Vicki, Kirsten and everyone at Stiletto take your loyalty and friendship very, very seriously and with the utmost responsibility.If things like this happen, you have to know by now that we have looked at every way to fix problems and that there is absolutely nothing that we can do before we make decisions like this. We all know that it's going to cause people to be upset and it kills us to have to change things.

Causing you guys pain and upset is awful for all of us. We would never make these decisions if there were any other way out.

Once again, my sincere apology to anyone who has been affected by my personal problems.I'll try to recover as fast as I can.

(Monday, September 28, 2009 )

Hi everyone,

Boy oh boy, this is a very busy and productive time in Manilow-land! I thought I’d bring you all up to date on what I’m working on since there is so much happening.

Manilow TV is a very exciting project and it’s just about ready to go. The videos that I’m about to share with all of you were never meant to be shown publicly. They were meant for me to study and for archival purposes, but I thought that some of you would find them interesting and entertaining, so I’ve decided to share them with you. It’s taken a huge amount of technical work to put them online. Many people have worked long and hard to put this project together, but I’m so grateful to all of you for sticking with me for all these years, I decided to let them out. I sincerely hope you enjoy them and that they bring back great memories for all of you and surprises for those of you who never got to see those performances.

The Hollywood Bowl concert is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’ve never performed an evening there and it should be thrilling for all of us. We’ve got the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra backing us up. Hearing all of these gorgeous arrangements and orchestrations finally being played by a 50 member orchestra should be fantastic. I can’t wait. Hope you can make it.

Now about the next few CD releases. My “Fifteen Minutes” CD isn’t ready to release yet. As I’ve told you, it’s more guitar driven and rock oriented than I’ve ever done Since I’m in uncharted waters, it’s taking me longer to create this one than I expected. I’m very proud of the 17 songs that Enoch Anderson and I have written. They’re emotional and edgy and they all tell a story. I think you’ll like it. However, it won’t be done until next summer. In the meantime Clive Davis has asked that I record a CD called “Barry Manilow Sings The Greatest Love Songs Of All Time”. I know I said that I was done with recording cover albums, but getting to sing and arrange songs written by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Burt Bacharach was a very difficult thing to turn down. We’re nearly done with this CD and I must tell you it’s turning out to be one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever made. It’s an honor to sing and arrange songs written by the greatest composers of all time.

Releasing three albums of music in 18 months is amazing. Lots of work, but very satisfying and creative. Between all of albums, Manilow TV and a brand-new live show in Vegas, I hope you don’t get sick of me! I’ve been getting comments about how thin I look these days. That’s me. Skinny guy. But I’m healthy and filled with energy and thank goodness, I still have my hair! So please don’t be concerned about me. As long as I have my music and all of you, I’m fine.

Thanks everyone for everything.


Friday, October 2, 2009

No Kidding, Kojak

(link in case the video doesn't play)

(Another link)

The worst kept secret in Las Vegas. As I said in a previous post, I wouldn't blame him a bit for foraging for greener pastures.

Just hang tight, kids. It's wait-and-see mode in the fan world. Enjoy what is there, do damage control if you have to. And be nice to the people on the phone at Stiletto if you must call. The people answering the phones are not the ones making the decisions.