I am hitting the word processor keys for this blog on Christmas night… just an hour or so before a quiet holiday dinner with my spouse, the ubiquitous Sharon Gless… As I do so she is having her assistant, Deb Mosk, drill dialogue into her head for A Round-Heeled Woman. It is something less than a week before La Gless goes before a live Miami audience to continue the process of this work in progress. For more on that I refer you to the play's website.
There is no question that I have been remiss about keeping in touch. The world of blogging has taken a back seat not only to my own casualness about the medium, but also because of a lack of prodding from web master Jackie Danson. It is not, lest you think it is, because of a diminished interest on her part… far from it. Ms Danson has simply been buried trying to launch the site for Sharon’s aforementioned play while simultaneously preparing my own memoir, Cagney & Lacey… and Me (remember, that?) for distribution via Kindle and other such devices.
But, as stated… It is Christmas. I always reflect on Christmas. For 73 years it has been me and baby Jesus with me being born on the 23rd of the month and Him on the 25th. Even with a two day head start, I have always come in second. It gives one pause and, while pausing, why not reflect?
I am happy to report that my health is fine-to-excellent… especially if one is prone to disregard an arthritic shoulder condition that has the doctor du jour recommending a replacement. Excuse me? The doc claims it will help my tennis game. Who knew there was an Andy Roddick model? I am giving this thought, but not a great deal of reflection.
My children and grand children are all doing very well…. Unless you count as a negative the hip replacement my youngest has just endured. (Does it sound as if I am preparing a pitch for Network TV of the bionic family… one part at a time? Not true. I have lost the will to pitch.)
Back to reflecting: My wife’s career, as well as that of her erstwhile partner, is flourishing. Besides the play, Sharon is looking forward to a production start this Spring of season five of Burn Notice. The series has also been renewed for a season six as well. Meanwhile, Tyne Daly is prepping to return to Broadway in Terence McNally’s brilliant Master Class. She follows that with yet another interruption of her visits to her recently arrived newest Grandchild (courtesy of middle daughter Kathryne) for a return to the musical stage via a major revival of Queen of the Stardust Ballroom. I reflect on the high price of Broadway tickets and rejoice that, at least with Ms Daly being present, one always gets full value for money spent.
I am also moved to reflect on the novel I have been working on… toying with… tossing out… then working on again. I came to realize how little fiction I myself actually read and just how hard this can be… What a mistake it is to take on current political events as a sub plot when such events can change so rapidly … and often. And who reads anymore, anyway? Lots of good reasons not to finish, but I reflect yet again and will continue to try.
I reflect on the disaster that is Florida real estate and find that I don’t give much of a damn. If I won the lottery, I would not move from Fisher Island or the sweet ground floor apartment we call home. I think about the generous friends I have in New York who let me stay at their fabulous Gotham digs almost anytime I have a hankering to go to the theatre and delight on how, after many years of frustration as a LA USED TO BE, I have finally mastered the logistical nightmare of that sprawling megalopolis simply by acquiring the car of my dreams. Now I no longer mind the endless California traffic swirl between quality family time and USC football, as I cruise with top down and Randy Newman cranked at full volume.
I reflect on the world of entertainment and how much I enjoy The Good Wife and Fringe on TV and how a couple of books this season (Empire of Dreams and Every Last One) have knocked my socks off, while the movies and Broadway have mostly missed for me with the exception of the Swedish movie trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Social Network, but that is Aaron Sorkin and he delivers so consistently as to be taken for granted. I am all but addicted to the versions of the news given nightly by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow to the point where there is time for little else and I am grateful for DVR even as I nightly curse the DISH system my condo association got conned into purchasing.
And finally I reflect on just how many folks I have known in my life who breathed their last in 2010 and for how many their passing was… to me… a complete surprise. I read Jerry Weintraub’s book earlier in the year and attended David Wolper’s memorial service and was taken by how good both of these men were (and are) about keeping in contact and what a poor job I do of that. I attended the EMMY awards with my nominated spouse and my middle granddaughter, Greer, and found myself stunned by the IN MEMORIAM section at just how many of the honored who had passed were one time associates of mine with whom I had lost touch.
The thing about Christmas is this: it is very shortly thereafter followed by New Year’s. I think I should reflect on doing a better job in 2011 of keeping up with the business of keeping up.