Woody Allen

Woody Allen on a variety of topics including Moby Dick, shower singing,  myths, actors and Diane Keaton


Reasons To Be More Stressed


Thanks to an article from Woman's Day online, I now have nine more reasons to be stressed. I might feel better if I can pass them on to you - if you believe in the misery loves company theory - but I'm also passing on some suggestions to help alleviate the stress.

The pain in your neck that you attributed to long hours at the computer could actually be a symptom of stress. Try this exercise: Take 5 to 10 deep breaths and focus on relaxing the tense area of your body, try gentle neck rolls or try to get a quick shoulder rub.

Eye twitching, or blepharospasm, is also a sign. If you are a computer-starer (like right now!) give them a break every 20 minutes by looking out the window at a larger landscape. No view? Close your eyes and imagine a panorama.

Stress can sometimes come from the stress that leads to grinding your teeth at night or during the day can erode dental work, damage your teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities. Sublimate your stressors by literally writing about them (journal, diary, poetry) and if the teeth grinding is severe, see a dentist about getting a mouth guard.
Stress can upset the stomach, and nausea can be a byproduct of worry. Here's a new one for me - if anxiety is causing nausea, try this trick - let tepid water run over your fingers. It seems to keep nausea at bay.

Stress can cause sleeplessness, memory loss and general confusion. Concerning the latter, it seems that stress hormones lodge longest in the brain, so to restore focus, take a walk and move the stress out of your body by exercising large muscle groups like the legs. Also, the sunlight helps the body release serotonin to improve mood, and vitamin D helps you improve your immune system.

 stress relief
 stress management

Oldies Television

Maybe all this old video footage is available in other places, but I came upon a treasure chest of oldies at http://xoteria.com/OLDIESTV.html

Despite the annoying Happy Days theme playing (which is not vintage at all), I sifted through the long list and found a bunch of oldies that were worth a viewing. being an oldie myself, a lot of this is REviewing, but...

The video quality is sometimes lousy (kinescopes recorded off a TV screen)but it probably wasn'y much better in 1955 originally (move those rabbit ear antennas!)

 James Dean Movie (Topless) Poster Print - 24" X 36"
James Dean's last TV appearance being "interviewed" on THE GIG YOUNG SHOW (1954)

Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen And the Original Tonight Show
Steve Allen's rock and roll poetic hate reading of "Be Bop A Lula." Steverino was no fan of rock and had no rock acts on his show - until he needed them to get better ratings. I love rock, but I loved Steve too. (NBC 1957)


The Honeymooners - Classic 39 Episodes
The Honeymooners in color? Sort of... when Jackie Gleason decided to move his CBS hour long show to Miami in 1968, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph did not want to leave the East Coast, so...


The Sid Caesar Collection - The Buried Treasures - 50th Anniversary Edition
Your Show of Shows, Caesar's Hour and Sid Caesar Invites You were shows that brought together some of the greatest comic talent of the day, including Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris and writers like Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Mel Tolkin, and Larry Gelbart - and, of course, Sid Caesar..

The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
There's a full episode of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW which is still one of my favorite shows of all time. man, I had a crush on Mary Tyler Moore. This one has Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore with special guest Bob Crane.

That last one is via HULU which actually offers lots of high quality oldies - including others on my top 20 list like a bunch of Van Dyke episodes and other classics like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Addams Family.

Oldies Television also has things like highlights from that historic championship boxing match in Philadelphia September 12, 1952 - a KO comeback in the 13th round by the original Rocky - ROCKY MARCIANO vs. JERSEY JOE WALCOTT.

DVDs, NetFlix, cable? I think it'll all be online eventually.

Classic TV shows on DVDs
Classic TV stuff
Books on classic TV  

Presidents and Bank Notes

How well do you know your Presidents (and a very few non-Presidents) and their appearances on United States paper currency?

George Washington ..........$1
Thomas Jefferson ..............$2
Abraham Lincoln ...............$5
Alexander Hamilton ...........$10
Andrew Jackson ................$20
Ulysses S. Grant.................$50
Benjamin Franklin ..............$100
*William McKinley ............$500
*Grover Cleveland .............$1,000
*James Madison ................$5,000
*Salmon P. Chase ..............$10,000
*Woodrow Wilson .............$100,000

*  These notes are no longer in production.


The Wilson $100,000 bills were produced 1934-35 and were issued by the Treasury to Federal Banks based upon held gold bullion stocks. They were used only for official transactions.


Obverse of $10,000 bill featuring Salmon P. Chase

Here's one person on our money that you probably don't know, probably haven't seen - and probably don't own.

Salmon Chase served as Secretary of the Treasury in President Lincoln's cabinet from 1861 to 1864, during the first three years of the Civil War. That period of crisis witnessed two great changes in American financial policy, the establishment of a national banking system and the issue of a legal tender paper currency.

The first U.S. federal currency, the greenback demand note, was printed in 1861-1862, during Chase's tenure as Secretary of the Treasury. Thus, it was his responsibility to design the notes. In an effort to further his political career, his own face appeared on a variety of U.S. paper currency, starting with the $1 bill—so that the most amount of people could see him. Salmon P. Chase was instrumental in placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on United States currency and was also honored on the $10,000 bill, printed from 1928 to 1946.

Surf's Up (Somewhere)

Ron Jon, NJ - 1961
If everybody had an ocean
Across the U.S.A.
Then everybody'd be surfin'
Like Californ-I-A
You'd see 'em wearin' their baggies
Huarachi sandals, too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin' U.S.A.

Just a few warm days so far here in Paradelle, but I came across a box of old surfing magazines in my garage and so my thoughts went to waves.

In my youth, one of my summer hangouts was the Ron Jon Surf Shop on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. The shop was only a few years old then. The Beach Boys were big and everyone was into surfing even if they weren't actually surfing.

Surfer Girl/Shut Down, Vol. 2

LBI conditions aren't very good right now - flat and water at 43 degrees. It's about the same at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, but check out the conditions elsewhere - the surf is always up somewhere...


Surfing Long Beach Island
Surfing Long Beach Island



A Jersey curl



Surfing at the Wooden Jetty in Holgate, NJ on Long Beach Island 9/09

Surfing: The Manual: Advanced
The Encyclopedia of Surfing
Surfing: Mastering Waves from Basic to Intermediate
Fierce Heart: The Story of Makaha and the Soul of Hawaiian Surfing
Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: Dropping In on the Unexpected

A Damp November in My Soul

Three more rainy spring days had me feeling glum and achy. Spent a few days in & out of doctors' offices seeking yet another white whale.

I'm reading a book about Orson Welles. I was a big Welles fan in college. Loved the movies he directed. Read a lot about him and found that he was not a nice person in real life, so the shine dulled somewhat.

Net surfing last night I searched Moby Dick and Orson Welles and turned up a clip of Welles reading the opening of MD which is a passage that always comes to mind this time of year. I still love his voice.

I'm rereading Moby Dick again this year and I find that I am not alone.

I would watch the old film version of Moby Dick too, but, alas, I have it on VHS tape and no more VHS player. Maybe a DVD of it will turn up in my easter basket.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.




Slowly crossing the deck from the scuttle, Ahab leaned over the side and watched how his shadow in the water sank and sank to his gaze, the more and the more that he strove to pierce the profundity. But the lovely aromas in that enchanted air did at last seem to dispel, for a moment, the cankerous thing in his soul. That glad, happy air, that winsome sky, did at last stroke and caress him; the step-mother world, so long cruel—forbidding—now threw affectionate arms round his stubborn neck, and did seem to joyously sob over him, as if over one, that however wilful and erring, she could yet find it in her heart to save and to bless. From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such wealth as that one wee drop.

Starbuck saw the old man; saw him, how he heavily leaned over the side; and he seemed to hear in his own true heart the measureless sobbing that stole out of the centre of the serenity around. Careful not to touch him, or be noticed by him, he yet drew near to him, and stood there.

Moby-Dick: or, The Whale(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)


What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid...

Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without...
And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?



RELATED (sort of)

About a new book I am also reading, THE WHALE

Moby Dick - the drum solo


Orson a bit drunk doing a Paul Masson champagne commercial (too many sips in between takes?)