November 25, 2008

Evenings spent with the Queens and the famous...

Queens, Divas and the Famous……

About 2 months Greg and I were invited to take a ride on a tugboat called the “Pegasus”.

This came about because our very good friend Lou’s very dear friend Pam owns the Pegasus and extended the invite to us through Lou.  Did you get that?  Needless to say we fell in love with Pam and consider her one of us now.


 Anyhow, the evening Pam took us out was not just any evening.  It was the last time that the QEII, (Queen Elizabeth 2) and the QM2, (Queen Mary 2), would leave NYC together.  The QE2 was on her final voyage as a passenger ship.  Her destination was Dubai, , where she is slated to be turned in to a floating hotel.

Another one of Pam’s guest that evening was a gentleman by the name of Ian.


Ian was an original crew member aboard the QE2 on her maiden voyage to NYC back in the 60’s.  What an awesome experience to be there as he witnessed her departure for the final time half a century later. We are so grateful to Pam for the opportunity she gave us to witness the Queens leaving together for the final time.


Of course it was probably the closes we will ever get to Dubai.

This next brush is a touchy one for Greg for very good reasons and with his permission I will be brief in sharing it.  Our friend Brad Caswell directed a play called, “Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens” during a recent benefit to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing fight against AIDS.  So before I continue I want to say congrats to Brad for such a successful benefit and on an AWESOME job he did.  We are very proud of him.


Now back to the story.  Greg was supposed to attend the dinner with me along with our friTim Gunn and Bradend Kim.  Unfortunately something came up with work at the last minute and he could not go.  Among other guest attending the benefit was one of Greg’s most favorite people in the world, Tim Gunn.

When Kim and I arrived we were greeted by Brad.  We told him Greg had to cancel so we were now a party of 2.  It just so happened that there were exactly 2 seats open at Brad’s table so he moved us to sit with him and my very dear friend Rick-Brad’s partner.  So during dinner Kim was on my left with Rick to her left then Brad to his left.  Now here is where my tale becomes bittersweet.  Guess who was sitting to my immediate right as my tablemate......TIM GUNN!!!!!!!!!!no

Tim Gunn and Tony 

Somebody pinch me…….I’ll wrap this up to end Greg’s misery.  What an absolute delight this man is.  I told him all about Greg and what a huge fan he was.  Tim heard about our Trading Spaces episode and said he would love to see it.  And I told him that before Greg had to cancel Greg said, and I quote, “ that before We leave the dinner I am going to meet Tim Gunn and make him my new best friend” unquote.  And Tim told me to tell Greg and again I am quoting, “I am sure we will meet very soon and become very good friends.  He even autographed his book for Greg.  We love Tim Gunn.


Ok, so a few weeks ago Greg and I went to dinner with a work collegue of Greg’s, Tracy, for her birthday.

Greg and Tracy

After dinner we went to comedy club to see Joan Rivers.  We mentioned at the door that it was Tracy’s birthday so they seated us so close to the stage our knees were on the stage.

Joan Rivers

On several occasions Joan and Greg bantered.  And if you know anything about Joan Rivers and you know anything about Greg Gude you can only imagine the chemistry between them.  It was actually amazing the energy she pulled from him.  Can you say J & G Comedy Hour?

Our most recent experience was just last night.  Greg took us to see the play EQUUS.  All I have to say about EQUUS is, WOW!!!!!


I don’t know if Greg had been looking forward to it as much as I had because I am a huge fan of Daniel Radcliffe.  For those who don’t recognize his name he plays Harry Potter.  Once we got into our seats, which were awesome seats, Greg opened the playbill and became very excited when he realized Kate Mulgrew was one of the cast members.  Point of reference if need, she played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.  Needless to say EQUUS is a must see.

So after the play T. Ryder Smith, one of the cast members comes out to speak to the audience about a completion each theatre has to raise money for “Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS”.   He said that they were so close to beating all of the other cast and theatres and were going to hold a one-time-only auction to try to seal the deal as to the most funds raised.  To do that they were auctioning off a script of the performance autographed by all of the cast members with frued notations by some.  You need to see EQUUS to appreciate the notations.  The auction was to last only 90 seconds.  Again, if you know Greg you know nobody runs up an auction better than he.  And mind you Kate Mulgrew is on the stage about 20 feet away from us so Greg starts the bidding at $100 to get a feel for the competition.  The next person bids $150 so Greg steps it up to $250.  The next bid is $300 so Greg bids $500.  The next person bids $550 so Greg bids $1000. We’re about 60 seconds into the auction and Kate has moved directly in front of Greg keeping and eye on him.  Greg has the entire cast and audience in a frenzy.  All of a sudden this lady bids $1500 so Greg bids $1750.  Kate Mulgrew looks and points directly at Greg and says I love this man.  We thought we had it then at the very last possible moment the woman bid $2000 and the auction closed before Greg could open his mouth.  So we can say Greg helped raise $2000.00 for “Broadway Cares”.  Actually $2250.00 because he did get a poster signed by all of the cast.


After the auction I waited out front of the theatre to try to get a glimpse of Daniel as he came out to sign autographs and Greg went on across the street to Sardi’s to wait for me.  He could actually see me from upstairs.  I did not get his autograph, but I did get this photo

Daniel Radcliffe

Only in NYC


September 29, 2008

Jospeh Petcka, the "Cat Killer": A Tony blog

I know I keep saying I am going to keep this up and then like everything else I get lazy and let it go so here is my most recent attempt at blogging. I am a news junkie. It's an addiction and I am not proud of it. After each broadcast I watch I swear I am never going to watch the news again, but I am weak and can not help myself. My morning-fix today was the "Today Show". The lead story was of course the $700 Billion Economy Bailout Plan (or as I like to call it "Bush's $700 Billion Bend over and shut up Plan") followed by the NYPD Taser case, the Terror Plot on Fort Dix, the Mets unfortunate season-ending game (sorry David Wright) and then at 7:45am came this story. Joseph Petcka the "Cat Killer".

This man needs to be removed from society, neutered and retrained before returning. This is a 205lb former minor league athlete that hit, kicked and threw his girlfriend's 7lb cat because it woke him from a nap by biting his finger. AND THEN he left the cat to die a drawn out and agonizing death. Joseph claimed that his reaction was just unfortunate. I sensed no remorse in the interview only relief that one stupid juror held out to cause a hung jury. Now that's UNFORTUNATE!!! Oh, and I think he is not entitled to have the word pet in his last name. I think part of his punishment show be that his last name should be changed to Jercka. What do you think?

February 17, 2008

Disenfranchising National Committee or Democratic National Committee? Petition

Hey All:

Please do not ignore.  Here is your chance to help secure the democracy
 the Founding Fathers intended. The fundamental Right to Vote.

This link will take you to an online petition to the DNC.  Let
 them know that the voters in Florida and Michigan deserve to have their
 votes counted.  Remind them we live in the US.  Whether you are Democrat
 or Republican you are an American Citizen first.  Please sign the
 petition and pass it along to as many people as you can.  Next time it could
 be your vote that is not counted.



January 19, 2008


WOW! Who knew my political opinion could catch some of the attention I got.  But now that I have it I want to keep it.  I received some very passionate responses.  As I read through them I am more sure now than ever before of one thing. Our values that we hold near and dear are basically the same. 

 What differentiates us is how we prioritize them.  And those differences are what determines which side of the isle we sit on.  And unfortunately the passion that erupts from our deep rooted beliefs and values creates a rift called "Partisanship"  One response I got accused me of Bush bashing because of my party affiliation. 

First I was expressing my American view of a Presidency gone wild. Secondly I have voted across party lines because that's my right as an American who happens to be a registered democrat.  And to address the response I got that I think all republicans are evil, well you're wrong.  I have much admiration for Colin Powell and William Cohen. 

 I have much respect for Newt Gingrich for the redeeming comments he made last year about the Clintons.  While I don't agree with the former speaker on all issues it takes a true man to speak as kindly and highly of former President and Mrs. Clinton.  In a podcast after the Iowa Caucus the The leader of the 1994 Republican revolution — who as House speaker in the mid 1990s clashed fiercely with then-first lady Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton — attributed her surprise victory in New Hampshire to the Democratic presidential candidate’s courage, integrity and openness. Gingrich went on to say it would have been easy for the Senator to admit defeat. “Instead, starting on Saturday night, she fought back with greater and greater intensity, and she opened herself up," He went on. “She talked as a person, without all the protection, without all the discipline, and she became more and more appealing.Gingrich said that shift demonstrated “the courage to learn” and enabled the New York senator to grow “in the space of three or four days to a much more attractive, much more aggressive and much more appealing candidate.” Well Mr. Gringinch your words demonstrate your ability to talk as a person, without all the protection, and without all the discipline.  And I admire you for them. If you decide to run for office again one day let's talk.

And in my mind one of the greatest politicians who ever occupied the Oval Office did so with such selflessness and disregard to political and national backlash. And he was a republican. President Gerald Ford.  My first memories of politics began with the resignation of President Nixon.  This country owes so much to President Ford.  And it is ashamed that his ability to look beyond what the country wanted and to see what it needed caused him the presidency.   Looking back we all realize that he earned the title the "THE GREAT HEALER"  Although at 7 years old I did not understand what the nation was going through I know now what a sacrifice President Ford made in 1974.  And we are a grateful and better nation for it.

So you see I don't think all republicans are evil.  And I don't think all democrats are good or saintly.  My priorities are more democratic than republican.

In conclusion I am glad that I got your attention and I welcome your comments, but don't waste them all on me.  Don't loose that passion.  Put it to good use.  Get behind a candidate and support them.  Like I told Greg after reading some of the responses, "I feel like I am in a fight for Hillary Clinton's political life".  While that statement holds some truth the stakes are much higher.  It's a fight for our American way of life.  And to me that is well worth the fight.



January 17, 2008


Hello All:

It had to take something that I feel extremely passionate about and something that affects every one of us to make me start a blog.  For my Republican friends who are in denial I want you to wake up and take a long and good look out of your windows.  We have problems.  Why is it that it takes a recession to make you believe we MIGHT be heading into a recession?  Come on.  And for the life of me I can not put my head around why no one in the Bush Administration does anything about it until it is too late. The one thing I can say in President Bush's defense is, he got it honest. Well I am going to do my part to get my message across.  Not only am I going to use my right as an American to vote I am going 1 step further.  And I feel it is a huge step.

I wanted to let you know that I have signed on with Team Hillary.  Why you ask?  Because there are 2 things that Hillary Clinton and I know that our nation needs.

Change and Common Sense

Americans have become so discouraged by this current administration.  Americans know that the Bush administration’s values and beliefs are not representative of the United States'.   And that is because the “Bush Agenda” is missing one very important factor. “COMMON SENSE”  It’s almost as if on the day President and Mrs. Bush moved into the Whitehouse they laid a welcome mat at the Whitehouse entrance that reads Leave common sense here and Pick it up on your way out. 

I’m sorry I’ll get back to my point.  Just like you I am apart of a class that is on the verge of extinction.  The Middle-class and we know what is contributing to our demise. 

Unemployment, Devaluation of the US dollar, Tax increase after Tax increase on the lower and middle classes and Tax Incentive after Tax Incentive for the rich of America and a healthcare system in desperate need of reform, and a welfare system that needs a complete overhaul.

I could keep going, but I am only repeating what you and the rest of America already know.  Which leads me to ask, why President Bush is so clueless to our plight?    It is because President Bush does not have the common sense to realize America needs change nor the ability to bring about change.

Now is our chance to inform President Bush and the Republican Party that we want change.  Let’s send them their pink-slips.  Let them join the ranks of America’s unemployed.  I know that in Hillary Clinton America will get the Change it has repeatedly been denied.   Help me send Hillary Clinton packing for the Whitehouse.  Become apart of Team Hillary and see how you can help change the direction America is heading. Help turn the United States into the great nation it was intended to be.  Time is running out so join now.  I’ll sleep better knowing one of the first changes Hillary makes will be to change the locks on the Whitehouse front door. 

Now for you “Clinton Haters and Morality Preachers” sit up and take note because I have my own sermon to preach and it is intentionally directed  because I am sick and tired of your 2-faced, double-standard and your holier-than-thou attitude (because you’re not)


Let me start by saying when Bill Clinton was president you had him to thank for an economy that flurrished.  When he left office he left a budget with a surplus. $230 Billion to be exact.  When President Bush leaves office there will be a deficit of about $175 Billion.

 And for those of you want to bring up the morality factor, you don’t want to go down that road.  I suggest a self-moral check because none of us want to play that card. NONE OF US….And for those who are not sure what qualifies  as immoral let me give you a quick list for clarification


If you preach pro-life that means abortion is immoral

If you preach adultery then infidelity is immoral

Pre marital sex-self explanatory

If you preach Christianity-then practice it.

Gay Marriage-come on, look within your own marriage (oh yeah, for some of you look within your 2nd marriage, 3rd marriage) Get my point? Maybe there should be a 3 Strikes rule to marriages.  Or is that infringement on one’s rights? Sorry if I step on any toes on this one, but it’s true.  I have no tolerance for anyone who thinks they are so morally superior than everyone else, but have their own definition of what is immoral. 


So in conclusion, if you want to continue living in a country with an out of control government then do nothing and you will reach your goal.  If you don’t like the direction the nation is heading, but do nothing to invoke change, shut the hell up. You lost your right to bitch.  For those of you who get the message and want to do something to make a change then it is time to step up to the plate and hit one for the country.