Saturday, February 14, 2009


Today is indeed Valentine's Day--the day for lovers. My John surprised me with a singing plush dog singing a rock tune and a big box of sugar free chocolate (as a diabetic) I can't have the regular stuff. The plush is adorable. It rocks and moves and its ears go up and down in time to the music. I gave John some beautiful Pavarotti long stem roses. This is our ninth Valentine's day together and our ten year anniversary comes yp on April 11th. Today would have been John Barrymore's birthday and it also the day that dear old Jack Benny was born Walkgigan, Illinois. Jack Benny had to be one of the funniest men who ever lived. I still laugh at his old re-runs. Most people don't know that Jack Benny in real life was a very kind and generous man unlike his on screen image of being a world penny pincher. Two of my favorite Benny moments was the time that a robber approaches him with a gun and says "Your money or your life. There is a huge pregnant pause that you could drive a truck through and the robber says in a much louder voice "I said your money or your life!"--to which the tightwad Benny says "I'm thinking it over!" The second episode is when the IRS comes to visit Jack and is escorted down in the crocodile infested basement to see where Jack keeps all of his money. Guarding Benny's huge stash of money is a guard in a Revolutionary War outfit named Ed. Benny says hello and Ed quips: "Is Mr. Washington, still president up there, Mr. Benny?" Funny! Funny! Funny! The honesty of the moment wins again. Speaking of Valentine's Day This day was originally a pagan festival that was renamed after two Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Of course we all know that the day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines". Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th century America was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States.
Amazingly, The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend on average twice as much money as women. There is one more noyable event. On this day in 1995 Terrence Mcnally's Love! Honor! Compassion!" opened on Broadway directed by Jope Mantello-- yes, the same fellow responsible for a little mega hit a few years later called THE WICKED. Lots of letter and promo packages are going out this weekend to about seventeen Broadway producers. We will raise the flag and see who the hell salutes

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