Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Every other state that has horrible natural disasters at least get warnings, us Californians usually don't know it hit until it's over. For a minute you look at each other to make sure somebody else feels what your feeling and that it s just not the tacos you ate last night. Even after you both make eye contact and say, "maybe we should get under a doorway" by the time you get off the couch to do so, it' over. No big whoop. Not so much shaking as a gentle roll. As it happened I was driving by the Mormon space ship in La Jolla and I thought, "now that would be a funny way to die." But I was spared. I know deep in my heart I will be killed on my 80th birthday while running with the bulls.
I was once knocked unconscious during an earthquake in the 80's. My sister and I were asleep when the quake hit and I awoke screaming for my mom. Like a good sister she picked me up to take me down the hall to my parents room. I just wished she would have payed more attention as we turned the corner because maybe then my head would not have hit the wall. Since I stopped crying (you can't cry when your knocked out) she guessed my meltdown had passed and returned me to my bed. And that, boys and girls, is why I am the way I am: Earthquake related brain trauma.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 22, 12:37 PM PDT
Estelle Getty, the diminutive actress who spent 40 years struggling for success before landing a role of a lifetime in 1985 as the sarcastic octogenarian Sophia on TV's "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 84.
Getty, who suffered from advanced dementia, died at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at her Hollywood Boulevard home, said her son, Carl Gettleman of Santa Monica.
"Estelle always wanted to be an actress, and she achieved that goal beyond her dreams," former "Golden Girls" co-star Rue McClanahan told The Associated Press. "Don't feel sad about her passing. She will always be with us in her crowning achievement, Sophia."The Golden Girls," featuring four female retirees sharing a house in Miami, grew out of NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff's belief that television was ignoring its older viewers.
Three of its stars had already appeared in previous series: Bea Arthur in "Maude," Betty White in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and McClanahan in "Mama's Family." The last character to be cast was Sophia Petrillo, the feisty 80-something mother of Arthur's character.
"Our mother-daughter relationship was one of the greatest comic duos ever, and I will miss her," Arthur said in a statement.
When she auditioned, Getty was appearing on stage in Hollywood as the carping Jewish mother in Harvey Fierstein's play "Torch Song Trilogy." In her early 60s, she flunked her "Golden Girls" test twice because it was believed she didn't look old enough to play 80.
"I could understand that," she told an interviewer a year after the show debuted. "I walk fast, I move fast, I talk fast."
She came prepared for the third audition, however, wearing dowdy clothes and telling an NBC makeup artist, "To you this is just a job. To me it's my entire career down the toilet unless you make me look 80." The artist did, Getty got the job and won two Emmys.
"The only comfort at this moment is that although Estelle has moved on, Sophia will always be with us," White said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
"The Golden Girls" culminated a long struggle for success during which Getty worked low-paying office jobs to help support her family while she tried to make it as a stage actress.
"I knew I could be seduced by success in another field, so I'd say, 'Don't promote me, please,'" she recalled.
She also appeared in small parts in a handful of films and TV movies during that time, including "Tootsie," "Deadly Force" and "Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story."
After her success in "The Golden Girls," other roles came her way. She played Cher's mother in "Mask," Sylvester Stallone's in "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot" and Barry Manilow's in the TV film "Copacabana." Other credits included "Mannequin" and "Stuart Little" (as the voice of Grandma Estelle).
"The Golden Girls," which ran from 1985 to 1992, was an immediate hit, and Sophia, who began as a minor character, soon evolved into a major one.
Audiences particularly loved the verbal zingers Getty would hurl at the other three. When McClanahan's libidinous character Blanche once complained that her life was an open book, Sophia shot back, "Your life's an open blouse."
"I always told her she should be a standup comic. She was so funny in person," McClanahan recalled. "She would always say, 'Why couldn't we make these characters Jewish? Why am I Sicilian?'"
Getty had gained a knack for one-liners in her late teens when she did standup comedy at a Catskills hotel. Female comedians were rare in those days, however, and she bombed.
Undeterred, she continued to pursue a career in entertainment, and while her parents were encouraging, her father also insisted that she learn office skills so she would have something to fall back on.
Born Estelle Scher to Polish immigrants in New York, Getty fell in love with theater when she saw a vaudeville show at age 4.
She married New York businessman Arthur Gettleman (the source of her stage name) in 1947, and they had two sons, Carl and Barry. The marriage prevailed despite her long absences on the road and in "The Golden Girls."
Getty was evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was "under 5 feet and under 100 pounds."
McClanahan said her nickname for Getty was "Slats."
"Because she was so short, itty-bitty," she said.
In addition to her son Carl, Getty is survived by son Barry Gettleman, of Miami; a brother, David Scher of London; and a sister, Rosilyn Howard of Las Vegas.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Well, I do losers.
I bond better than Goop glue. And what has brought the bonding together? The Golden Girls. None other than Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Blanche Devereaux, Sophia Petrillo and Rose Nylund. Those sexy senior citizens bridge the age gap between me and my mom...and what about my dad? He bonds with us because he hates that show. It turns out Bea Arthur was on a show called 'Maude' a few years back which my dad did not agree with a certain episode so now every Golden Girl must now carry the shame and resenment of Patch. Good thing they have such broad shoulder pads.
The goodness that comes from watching the Golden Girls with my mom is that we can both laugh at old ladies saying dirty things but it's OK because it's on Lifetime and that's not naughty. My mom can say, "oh she's so bad" when Sophia says something inappropriate and I can silently agree with Sophia and wonder why my mom thought that what she said was inappropriate but be happy that she's mad at Sophia and not at me.
We can judge Blanche for being a swinging gal but then also judge Dorothy for judging Blanche for being said gal and feel good that we aren't as bad as either of them. And of course we all feel smarter than Rose who always seems to get the best lines and in the end is vastly morally upstanding than have the population of Miami.
The Golden Girls proves that at the end of the day Catholics, Lutherans and Baptists can come together and solve any problem that might come their way as long as they stick together and eat cheesecake.
Monday, July 07, 2008
But I was wrong. My mom simply found this brown sandal under our guest room (which we call grandma's room, even though grandma lives in heaven with Jesus and every dog I ever owned) under the bed. Just like every other thing that is found in our house that does not have a specific resting place it gets sucked into the vortex that is my room. "What's this Barbie head doing on the floor? Oh, must be Jude's." OK, bad example. But you get the idea, whatever s floating around eventually ends up in my space. My cell. My crib.
That is the main reason why I was scared when I gazed upon the shoe because I thought my mom might have found a homeless man and mistakenly put him away in my room.
So please, if you have stayed in our house in the last year and you have lost a sandal please inform us so it can leave my room. Even if you were not an invited guest and just happened to break in to take a nap let us know, that's not as creepy as coming home to articles of clothing, wigs and Barbie heads stacked up in my room.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Then the movie "Jaws" came on and well, I'm a sucker for Chief Brody and who doesn't like a young sexy Richard Dreyfus. Then "Jaws II" came on (Jaws II Electric Boogaloo) and once again that Chief Brody had to do everything himself and kill the giant fish all by himself with the help of a giant power cord. After two down I had to stay and watch "Jaws 3". That was a favorite of mine when I was little because it takes place in Sea World and the giant momma shark comes looking for her giant baby shark and eats water skiers, now you understand how a 7 year old would absolutely LOVE this movie. By the time "Jaws: The Revenge" came on I was just too stuck to the chair to physically get up. Michael Cane who appeared in this movie had the best quote when he said, "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." Silly Englishman.
By the time all the blood had cleared the water the local fireworks began and I was again reminded that my dog hates America. OK, he does not hate America, just fireworks. I guess if I had super hearing I would not be too keen on them either. It happens a few times a week because we live close to the Marine Base and when they practice shooting things with their tanks Mac goes from a tough 8 year old 70 pound golden retriever to a quivering little puppy who tries to get into any lap he can. This can be cute but also proves embarrassing at dinner parties. So tonight as I type this with a golden retriever on my lap I say, "Happy Birthday America and thanks for the great television programming for your birthday!" Amen.