EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, I AM NOT ACCEPTING E-MAIL WITH ATTACHMENTS. PLEASE ADVISE ME VIA ATTACHMENT-FREE E-MAIL IF YOU WANT TO SEND ME SOMETHING, EVEN IF YOU ARE A "TRUSTED CONTACT". THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE PROLIFERATION OF THE "MYDOOM" E-MAIL VIRUS DISGUISING ITSELF AS FAILED E-MAIL MESSAGES. I GOT 36 OF THESE MOFOS TODAY. THANK YOU,
The last standing of the great big band arrangers, Billy May, has died at the age of 87. Billy May was most closely associated with Capitol Records, producing the soundtracks to records for both adults and children (including those featuring Bozo and the Warner Bros. characters). He was a trumpeter and arranger for Charlie Barnet and Glenn Miller. His first work with Frank Sinatra was the album "Come Fly With Me", later migrating to him with Reprise for some great sides including his great arrangement of the Frank Loesser song "Luck Be A Lady", and he worked with many other great singers. He also scored television shows to magnificent effect, including "Batman" and "Emergency". He even supervised the music for Stan Freberg's comedy records. As Freberg's co-star Daws Butler once attested to, he imbued his sessions with much alcohol-induced jocularity, but he got the job done and delivered some great tunes.
Boy, did he get it done. And now, sadly, Billy May is done.
That description suited Ann Miller to a T, right up until her passing this week. Although she made lots of film musicals (and literally had million dollar legs, the value of RKO's insurance policy), Ann Miller will probably be best remembered for a Heinz Soup commercial. That genius of the black art known as advertising, Stan Freberg, engineered a commercial in which a husband (played by Dave Willock) comes home and asks his wife what's for dinner. (So PI!) Ann Miller breaks into a choreographed dance routine and the kitchen splits apart to reveal a dance stage worthy of Busby Berkeley himself. Once she's sang and danced and spread the message about Heinz' soups, Willock deadpans, "Honey, why do you always have to make dinner into a big production?"
Classic Freberg... and the dancing wasn't bad either. Ann Miller kept active in films until last year; her last film role was in "Mulholland Drive" a few years ago. Ann Miller's status as retired dance queen was the parodic source for a mid-90's SNL sketch called "Leg Up!", featuring Molly Shannon as Ann Miller and Cheri Oteri as Debbie Reynolds.
Not since Max Fleischer was left out in the cold (warm?) in Miami and his studio pulled back to New York by Paramount Pictures has Florida experienced such a sad day in animation history as this past Monday, when Walt Disney Feature Animation closed its Orlando, Florida unit, part working facility, part tourist attraction. The studio started small in the early 90's with a couple of Roger Rabbit (remember him?) shorts, then about a reel or two of "The Lion King", then eventually complete features, up to and including the just-completed "Home On The Range". On Monday, the studio employees were given their pink slips and severance, some being shipped out to Burbank to continue their work, others wondering if they can get a job wearing a Mickey suit around Epcot. Anyway, Jim Hill Media has a great series of articles about the studio and its closure, including this one which includes a charming little anecdote about Frisbees being launched onto Sunset Boulevard from the fourth floor of the animation studio, when who should happen by but Mr. Eisner.... read it for yourself to find out what happens next!
Just heard the news (confirmed by two Philadelphia TV stations, WCAU and KYW) that former Met and Phillie great Tug McGraw has passed away. He had been fighting cancer, and was apparently stricken while visiting his son and daughter-in-law, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, in Tennessee over the weekend. He was one of the great relief pitchers for both those teams and coined the rallying cry - "Ya gotta believe!" during the 1973 season that saw the Mets win a National League championship for the second time in four years. Tug was 59.
No, Sesame Street is not brought to you by the number 368.
Well, let's backtrack. Remember Dave and Robair's Blood Sugar Challenge? Well, we discontinued it a few months back. Not coincidentally, I was getting a little lax in my blood sugar readings and thought I was doing fine until this number was quoted to me by a nurse at the emergency unit at Florida Hospital in Celebration, FL, in the early morning hours of December 31, 2003.
I had a buffet steak dinner and was shopping for souvenirs when I began feeling funny. I went outside for some air, and then went back to my hotel, where I didn't feel any better. After about a half hour of feeling this way I was convinced I was having something... a heart attack, a stroke, a diabetic coma, who knows what.... I had my wife call the paramedics.
It turns out that when I was at the hospital, my heart and lungs checked out fine, but my blood sugar had been an impossible 368. Any higher and I would have checked out for a while. The ER doc gave me a saline IV and I was home within hours, and the following morning my sugars checked out normal, where they have been since.
I don't know if it was the cumulative effect of the various foods I had eaten since on vacation, or perhaps one cookie too many for dessert - but I am now going to be ever more vigilant about the blood sugar readings, and this time I won't have to put them on public display to do it.
I want to thank the paramedics of the Osceola County Rescue department and the staff of Florida Hospital in Celebration for their care. And hopefully my appetite won't get me into more trouble in the future.
We try desperately to steer away from blogs that take excessive liberties with language as I am, after all, a teacher of very small children who should not be exposed to bad language. A bad word once in a while isn't going to kill an otherwise entertaining blog. However, should one of these blogs ever turn into a filth-fest, it will be removed... and it has happened in some cases. Just be warned, fellow bloggers. Language originating from this blog will be always on the safe side. Thanks... --DM