more sensational susan

Now that most of the world, at least the parts with Internet, has heard Susan Boyle do her remarkable thing, the press has done what it does and tried to dig deep enough to find something that would make us feel duped, then hate her. What they found though was more wow.

Evidently, several years ago, an aspiring, single, virgin Susan spent all her savings on a two song recording. She said she didn't have enough money to make a lot of copies, so she gave just a few close friends and neighbors an opportunity to discover her before the rest of us. They obviously dropped the ball, and evidently so did some other deaf talent scouts across the pond. The rejection letters arrived soon after she mailed her demo. Not being mean, but knowing how the entertainment world thinks, they prolly looked at her pub-shot and tossed the tape.

If you want to read about it go here.


i'd read that book

I am a big, big fan of the theater, especially musical theater. I've lived the life of a professional singer. For a lot of years I did my thing in the very controlled environment of the studio, and in some of the most unpredictable stage environments you could imagine. I used to tell people, the real talent of a traveling performer is not as much being able to deliver an effective song, but making it work under just about any conditions. But even so, all I had to do was add my part and blend with the guys. No scripted speaking parts or hitting the mark or singing upside down. (Although there are a few Gospel groups out there who can make some really cool steps.)

I did some musical theater when I was in high school. In Oklahoma I was supposed to have a bit part, and did until the night of the opening. Then the guy playing Judge Andrew Carnes got sick and I was asked to step in and save the show. OK, I exaggerate. But I did memorize the lines and the marks with only about an hour and a half or study time. Then there was The Sound of Music. My original casting was a bit more significant this time. Friedrich was the oldest of the Von Trapp sons, and his part was fairly significant in the musical telling of his family's life. I was dashing in my little sailor scrubs and curtain clothes. I decided to retire from the stage after that. I thought it best to walk away while I was still on top. I've actually been approached about doing some local theater close to home, but I worry about having the time.

There are a slew of actors who've crossed into TV and movies who owe their start to the stage. But it is the legends of the theater, names like Carol Channing and Mary Martin and Patti Lupone that still give me chills to this day.

Another name that could be added to that legend's list is Elaine Page. She's more famous in the old country than she is here. There she is considered the First Lady of British Musical Theatre. Her voice and her interpretations bring her characters alive. She is the model for everyone who wants to do music and the stage right.

Then there is Susan Boyle.

You may be familiar with the TV show America's Got Talent. You may not know that the US version is not the original. That would be Britain's Got Talent. Some familiar faces sit in the English version of the judges chairs. The ever-so-critical Simon Cowell who blurts out painful but honest criticism on American Idol is one of them. Celebrity Apprentice and all around TV show host Piers Morgan is too. Amanda Holden is the pretty one.

About Susan, the frumpy little 47 year old woman from somewhere in Scotland, West Lothian I believe, wants to be a singer. Her hair is sorta unkempt. No performer would wear that dress to the stage. Absent any makeup to speak of, and a walk that looks a bit awkward, it's the perfect scenario for a reality TV show. The producers had to be giddy with this character. She was the perfect goof to make fun of. As a matter of fact, all of the footage of her eating a sandwich and shuffling around and tripping over her words proved that she was there only to be crushed in front of millions of people. And to make it worse, when she was asked who she'd like to emulate, her answer was that remarkable Elaine Page. When she said it some smirked, some rolled their eyes, everyone laughed.

Now, please, please take about 7 minutes and watch this.


In a remarkable and pleasant way, this book doesn't even resemble its cover.



I was born on a Friday 15,706 days ago. I've lived 516 months or 2,243 weeks or 376,944 hours or 22,616,640 minutes or 1,356,998,400 seconds from the moment of my birth to exactly 43 years later. And I still can't hold my breath any longer than 90 seconds. If I were a dog I'd be 185 years old. (using the old conventional wisdom of dog/human years I'd be 301.) I don't know how old I'd be if I was a cat, or an elephant or llama or cock roach. I've always wondered how otter years work.

I was born the Zodiac year of the horse in a small Kentucky town in a rural Catholic hospital. That's back when it was run by nuns in their full nun garb. I don't remember a thing about that day, but I do remember being back there when my little brother was born. Those sisters were bitter. It was a mission work that served lots and lots of families in the hills and hollows of the area. We lived in Richmond, which really wasn't a hill or a hollow, but it was only a half hour or so away and Mom liked the care she got from the sisterhood. So my very first breath was Catholic air.

On that day Lyndon Johnson lived in the White House. He was a Democrat. Ned Breathitt was my governor. He was a Democrat too.

The big international news on the day I was born was about Buddhists in South Vietnam protesting that the new government hadn't set a date for free elections. I'll bet Walter Cronkite didn't break in for that one.

1966 and MCMLXVI are one in the same. A lot happened that year.

Adam West was Batman. Star Trek started. So did Hollywood Squares, The Monkees and Mission Impossible. The Sound of Music was hitting big.

Man of La Mancha owned Broadway and the Tonys.

Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, the Mamas and the Papas, Ray Charles and Porter Wagoner racked up at the Grammys. Two days after I was born Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Scofield were crowned queen and king of the Oscars. The blowout movies were A Man For All Seasons and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

My team, the Kentucky Wildcats, faced Texas Western for the NCAA basketball title in College Park, Maryland. UK Coach Adolph Rupp started five white guys. TX Western's Don Haskins started five black guys. The Miners beat the Cats by seven points. Sad for us UK fans, but great for African American athletes since the upset motivated colleges to start more aggressively recruiting racial minorities.

Depending on who you ask, Notre Dame was the school to beat on the football field. Baltimore was the World Series champ, Boston took the NBA, and Green Bay won the Super Bowl. (Vince Lombardi's third straight win!) Kauai King wore the Derby roses.

There were lots of famous people born in 1966. People like Patrick Dempsey, Cindy Crawford, Stephen Baldwin, Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), Janet Jackson, Mike Tyson, Matthew Fox, Martina McBride, Halle Berry, Lee Ann Womack, Tim Hardaway, Adam Sandler, Curt Schilling, Troy Aikman, Sinead O'Conner, Kiefer Sutherland and Crazy Legs the Puerto Rican breakdancer.

Walt Disney died. (but Mickey lives!!) George Harrison and Patty Boyd tied the knot. Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and a Muslim. That evil Daylight Saving Time was instituted. That evil church of Satan was formed. The St. Louis Arch was opened. The National Organization for Women was founded. Ronald Reagan became CA governor. John Lennon says he's more famous than Jesus, then says he's not. The US Dept. of Transportation started up. The Grinch stole Christmas. Kwanzaa kicked off. The FDA said yes to the "Pill". (Not to be confused with the little blue one men take these days. The two do completely different things.) The Pope released Catholics to eat meat... except on Fridays. (I heard that somewhere.)

The US was $328.5 billion in the hole. A nickle would send a letter to any of the 196,560,338 documented peeps in the US. Out of every hundred workers, four and a half were jobless. $23,300 would get you a new house. A gallon of milk (.99) cost more than a gallon of gas (.32). If you had sixty cents you could own a dozen eggs.

In: mini skirts, bell bottoms, haircuts that didn't look like haircuts (men only), black power, Captain Kangaroo, flower children, the Temptations, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Cher (timeless!), astrology, the Vietnam War, anything Batman, LSD (same as anything Batman), the draft, The Beverly Hillbillies, Ouiji boards, hippies, party lines, the space race, Red Skelton, Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, the Smothers Brothers, Yogi Bear and Martin Luther King. Oh yeah, and Jerry Lewis started his Labor Day telethons.

Not yet: Cable TV, cell phones (or cordless for that matter), microwaves, The Internet, computers to get to the Internet, hybrid cars, rap music, cruise control, American Idol, MRIs, face transplants, CDs, FedEx, global warming, about 80 million new people, VHS or DVDs or HD or Tivo or DVR or home satellite dishes, body wash, digital clocks, Hannah Montana, smart cars, those tube things that suck the money holder things at the drive-thru at the bank, GPS, the "Moral Majority", text messaging, Fonzie, JJ Walker, George Foreman grills, karaoke, plastic shopping bags, Google, a black president...


mark 9:38-40

John: Jesus! Jesus! You would've been proud of us. We saw this strange guy using your words to do miracles and round up converts. No worry though, we put a stop to it.

Jesus: Whadya stop him for?

John: He’s not one of us.

Jesus: But he’s not against us.

John: But he’s not one of us. He doesn’t look like us. He doesn’t talk like us. He doesn’t act like us.

Jesus: Is he supposed to?

John: Come on, Jesus. We don’t know anything about him. We don’t even know where he’s from. He might be preaching the wrong stuff. He might be using you just to make money. He might give you a bad rep. We’re already having it hard with the religious police.

Jesus: I’m not led by the legal opinions and hypocrisy of shallow spirits. They don’t get my stuff anyway.

John: We have to set some sort of rules. We can’t just let anybody get up and spout your name.

Jesus: Why not?

John: It’s bad for business. It confuses people. It just looks bad.

Jesus: Whatever made you think this was a business?

John: You know what I mean. He’s not in our group.

Jesus: That’s not for you to decide.

John: There has to be a standard.

Jesus: John, here’s the way I see it. I don’t care what your skin, your hair or your clothes look like. I don’t care how you talk, where you’re from, how important you are or if you’ve got talent. Famous people, common people, people big and small, bold and shy, jailed and free, old and young, I don’t care. I don’t care who you love, as long as you love me. I don’t care if a chauffeur gets you here or you ride the bus. Jeans, shorts, a suit and tie don’t even figure in. Doctors and drop outs fit in just fine. Believe me, in a few years there’ll be a million different pods of people getting together every week sure that they’ve figured all this stuff out. Most of them though will only accept a seat next to a look alike. Every one of them will be wrong about something. But I’m not concerned with their mistakes as long as they believe in me. As a matter of fact, the way I see it, whoever is not against us is for us.