Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Learning lessons and moving forward

It's been a month since I've posted here. I'm at a very different place today--emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. I never really thought taking a vacation from all of the Manilow drama would make such a difference in my life, but it has. I've avoided the Manilow Network, the Barrynet, and the other places on the internet where fans spend hours upon hours bashing each other and bickering about things that aren't really important.

While I was gone, Barry visited the UK, appeared on numerous shows as part of his media blitz for his 80's album, released a Christmas single that has climbed to number 6 on the charts, had a Holiday Bash with the fan club and is closing out the year with two marvelous shows. Not to mention numerous fan-related dramas that I happily missed. And believe it or not, life continued as it always does.

I learned a few lessons during this time away. The most important one was that when you strip away all the drama and don't get involved in any of the bickering and mud slinging, you're left with only two things that matter: the music and the friends you've made because of the music. Everything else is temporary and will eventually pass away. When Barry is gone (hopefully because he finally decides to have a life apart from this crazy world he's in right now) his music will be there forever. He's left all of us with a legacy that will unlock emotions and stir our memories and give us joy for the rest of our lives. And even longer if we pass it on to our children [I've done my part there :>)] and our grandchildren. He's given all of us "the time of our lives" and we really do owe it all to him because its been the gift of his music that has done it for us.

Everything else drowns out the music: the jealousy, the envy, the hatred, the bickering, the gossip, the negative fan behavior. It drowns it all out and after awhile you forget why you were drawn to him in the first place. You forget that your very first Barry friend was a 27 year old fan that introduced you to an entire catalog of music you didn't even know was there and has since become like an adopted daughter. You forget that you spent 2 years waiting to meet a friend from Australia, thinking it might never happen, but it did and you made some wonderful memories together. You forget that you traveled to Canada to spend a week with a friend that you bonded with over Barry's music, a scrapbook, starting a fan club and so much more. You forget that you met a fellow blogger through the music and even when your life felt full, she brought so much more into it that you can't even begin to explain. You forget the generosity of a couple that has given and given and touched your heart in ways that you can't even begin to express. You forget about meeting someone from the UK and listening to her tell you about her most agonizing year, and how Barry's music helped her through it all and knowing at that moment that she really got "it" and hoping you could become friends. You forget the friends who you have laughed with, and cried with, and talked hours and hours about that very music that brought you together.

And most importantly, you forget why you were instantly drawn to someone because you felt a common bond and you couldn't explain it, but it was there. You forget you have been to hell and back with her and still standing in spite of it all and that bond, no matter how much has happened, can never be broken or severed because of the music--when we "listened" and let it speak to our hearts we took hold of a dream that some day we will see fulfilled because we refuse to let go or give up or stop believing. And one day, that mountain will move.

I don't want to forget any longer, and I don't want to let anything drown out the music. It's the music that has moved me, healed me, brought me joy, opened the floodgates of tears, and brought me some of the greatest memories and life experiences I could have ever imagined. It's the music that has enriched my life and given me friends that I turn to when I'm hurting, or lost, or even just need somewhere to vent life's frustrations.

Of course I still have opinions and I still find some fan behavior reprehensible, but it's not why I'm here. I'm here because of the music...and I always will be.

To 2009 and moving forward...
Texas Fan


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just a Word

For those of you who are interested, I've set up another blog where I'll be posting some thoughts unrelated to the Manilow world:

My Mortal Musings

Back to my vacation,
Texas Fan


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taking a Break


For those of you who follow my blog, I am taking a break from the Manilow world. I need some personal time, spiritual renewal and much needed distance from the drama.

Have a great holiday season. Hope to be back in 2009.

Texas Fan


The 80's Album-ALL about the LYRICS

I spent my Thanksgiving holiday listening and re-listening to the 80's CD. Musically, for me, it's a home run. The orchestrations in each of the songs are stupendous. The way Barry takes each one of the songs and makes it his own always amazes me. I feel in love with "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and I absolutely detested the original version of that song. There isn't a song on the CD I skip over. They each have their own flavor and appeal and I would have to agree with YBA that this is more than a remake of 80's songs--it's an original work for all intents and purposes. I have my favorites for different reasons, most involving memories that they evoke. Many because of the uniquely genius arrangements.

But for me, this work is all about the lyrics. When he was being interviewed on QVC, Barry mentioned how important the lyrics were in these songs. He commented on how he looked for the lyric to define the arrangement and the orchestration of each of the songs. So, in that vein, I'm going to do something unusual with my review--choose the lyric that spoke to me. It might be possible the same lyric spoke to Barry (emphasis on the "might be").

Islands in the Stream
"Everything is nothing if you've got no one, and you're just walking the night, slowly losing sight of the real thing ."
One of my favorite lines of all time is "To love is to live." Having someone to love is the real thing.

Open Arms
"Living without you, living alone; this empty house seems so cold."
Loneliness plagues all of us at one time or another. We can even feel lonely when we have someone. We can feel lonely surrounded by people. My father used to say that even though I lived within a few feet of him, he was so lonely without my mother.

Never Gonna Give You Up
"We know the game and we're gonna play it."
I have a friend who is playing games with a guy. They are both adults, and yet they can't seem to tell each other how they feel. It's sad to me, but I guess we all play those games with the people we care about.

Have I Told You Lately
"You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness; ease my troubles, that's what you do."
Kindness is something we all need and something we should all be willing to give to others. When we receive kindness, it eases our pain and trouble and brings happiness to our hearts.

I Just Called to Say I Love You
"But what it is, is something true--made up of these three words that I must say to you..."
Some of us find it hard to say those three words: I love you. We all need to hear them, however; and those three words can make all the difference in someone's life. I say them as often as I can to the ones I love.

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
"You're the only one who really knew me at all."
We all wear masks. Usually, there aren't many people who know us. If we find that person we can trust with the good and the bad of who we are, we should never let them go.

Careless Whisper
"Tonight the music seems so loud, I wish that we could lose this crowd."
Sometimes it's hard to get lost in a crowd, and then sometimes you are never truly seen.

Right Here Waiting
"I wonder how we can survive this romance...but in the end if I'm with you I'll take the chance."
Any relationship involving love requires work. It requires commitment and perseverance. It's so much more than just romance.

Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
"When you get caught between the moon and New York City..."
New York is one of those places that evokes the best of emotions and the most pleasurable memories for me. I'm a city girl at heart and New York brings out the best in me. While this song is about finding love in the most unusual place; to me it is about the love affair I have with New York.

Hard to Say I'm Sorry
"It's hard for me to say I'm sorry..."
It really is hard to say I'm sorry. And honestly, those two words are the most healing words anyone can hear. It means you recognize that you've hurt someone and you want them to know that you are repentant. Hopefully, with that comes forgiveness.

Time After Time
"You're calling to me, I can't hear what you've said..."
I find myself finding it hard at times to express what I'm feeling. The person I am speaking to is not hearing me because they have either closed themselves off to me or they aren't listening. It's frustrating and leaves me feeling like my words (and my feelings) don't matter.

(I've Had) The Time of My Life
"I've had the time of my life...and I owe it all to you."
There are people in my life that have touched me in ways I can't begin to explain. Some are no longer living; some have come and gone; and some still continue to do so every day. This song reminds me of all the wonderful times I've had with the music. I owe that all to Barry--in the good and the bad, I've had the time of my life!


Listening to the lyrics,
Texas Fan

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Story


(Disclaimer...those with weak stomachs might want to stop here)

About six years ago we had a full house for Thanksgiving. That rarely happened since my brother and his wife usually traveled to my sister-in-law's family's home in Dallas. My father and great aunt with Alzheimer's were both still alive. For those of you who haven't lived with an Alzheimer patient, it's always a challenge and you never know what to expect. This day was like every other day--the unexpected happened.

We were all sitting around the kitchen table after a huge feast. I had gotten up to prepare the whipped cream for the pumpkin pie. I'm not sure when it happened without anyone noticing, but my great aunt got up from the table and wandered off. I guess everyone was talking and since I was busy she was able to slip away.

I digress for a moment. When I got cancer, my friends got together and bought me a bassett hound named Lightning. Lightning was my great aunt's baby. She fed him everything. One Christams she received a box of Godiva chocolates and sat it on the floor. When she went to eat one, the entire box was gone. You guessed it...Lightning actually lived up to his name. He could steal food so fast you never knew he was there.

Back to the story...my great aunt had gotten up from the table. She had decided to avail herself of the ladies room. Not a good thing. Why? Alzheimer's patients frequently lose control of their bowels. So my aunt was wearing a diaper. She got into the bathroom and neglected to shut the bathroom door. When she removed the diaper, Lightning was right there to snatch it up.

Everyone is sitting in the kitchen talking and Lightning comes charging around the corner with my aunt's diaper and slams through the dog door as fast as he can go. And right behind him comes my great aunt, unclothed from the waist down, chasing him and yelling for him to "bring that back!"

After a satisfying meal, some good conversation, and some live entertainment, we thanked God for the blessing of family and a sense of humor that found us laughing at one of life's most embarrassing moments.

Here's hoping you have some wonderful (diaper-free) Thanksgiving memories,
Texas Fan

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Happened to the Music?

I was in my car today driving from store to store and put in the one Barry cd I have in my car. It's a cd that I made after the Dallas concert. The first song that came on was Weekend in New England and I recognized a feeling that had long since been forgotten. The feeling that I used to get when I listened to him sing. I sat in the parking lot and closed my eyes and listened to the music. And as I listened, I wondered what had happened to take away the joy that I once had at the shows in Las Vegas, at the arena concerts, and at home simply listening to the music.

What happened to the music? Simple. It got drowned out by the drama. At some point about a year ago I realized that for so many, it's so much more than the music. It's about vying for attention. It's about jockeying for the number one spot in line. It's about sitting as close as you can as often as you can. It's about stalking not only Barry, but the fans. It's about harassing those who voice their disdain for this type of behavior. It's about name calling, and all kinds of vicious hateful emails and inuendos. It's about grabbing, and pulling and stretching to try and touch the one who so graciously gives and gives of himself for the music. Knowing all of this and witnessing it first hand, tends to detract from the music.

This kind of behavior offers such a negative connotation of fandom. Now, when someone says, "Oh, you're a Barry Manilow fan", it's not uncool anymore, it's downright humiliating. When a group of concierges witness this behavior can you imagine what they are telling their guests when they ask about the show? When the press witnesses this type of behavior, the fans become a cult-like following. When other fans (those who have some sense of balance in their lives) witness this over-the-top behavior they leave the theater in shock.

All of this drama not only distracts Barry, and causes everyone to have a less than positive concert experience; but it causes turmoil in the audience. And when turmoil and dissent occur, the drama overpowers the music. A week of shows always brings new drama from those fans who consistently insist on letting their obcession motivate their actions. What will it take for them to stop?

I don't know about you. But I miss the music.
Texas Fan

Thursday, November 20, 2008

QVC-My Review


Last year during the QVC special, a friend and I spent the entire hour yelling at the television for "Chatty Kathy" to stop talking. I'm unhappy to say, this year I was yelling alone. I understand that it's her JOB to sell the product. But seriously...does she have to inform us about every little detail of the song. "Don't you just love Jeff Bridges???" Are you kidding me? We all saw Barry's look on that question.

For some reason, however, he always seems to love these QVC sales events. He loves previewing his new album and singing those songs for the first time live. This time, he got an audience full of fans. And you could tell he was enjoying himself and keying off their excitement.

Now for the important stuff....the songs.

My favorite of the evening was Arthur's Theme. That song was made for him. I won't ever think of the original version again. It was pure heaven listening to him weave those lyrics and that melody. Not only was the performance exemplary, but the arrangement shined. The sax solo blew me away (kudos to Brandon).

I thoroughly enjoy hearing these cover albums when they are first debuted. Barry takes someone else's song and makes it his own. He listens to the lyrics to understand their meaning or the story they tell and he uses that to arrange the song musically to do what he does best, tell a story in the song. Many times, you don't realize what the original song was about until you hear his rendition. It's truly remarkable each time he does it and so many times the songs take on new meaning for me.

For those of us that haven't heard the entire CD, it will be a few more days of waiting. Then, I'll pop it in and begin another journey of "listening" to the music and discovering the absolute genuis that is Manilow.

Right Here Waiting,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WANTED

WANTED: 200 STRAIGHT JACKETS
Must be various sizes
Will pay for shipping to maximum security facility

WANTED: MAXIMUM SECURITY FACILITY
Must be isolated--at least 2000 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada and Palm Springs, California
Island preferred
Full time security trained to respond to group riots and uncontrollable, unexplained behaviors
Facility must be ready for immediate occupancy

WANTED: Full time Psychiatric Professional
Must be well experienced in psychotherapy and cult deprogramming
Previous experience in addiction intervention and gang behavior a must

Please respond by email to: lockthemupnow@fansforsanity.com


Sometimes life is stranger than fiction,
Texas Fan

Monday, November 17, 2008

Terror in Las Vegas

A special report on fan gang behavior at the Las Vegas Hilton--

Fueled by money, online internet groups, celebrity worship and easy accessibility to said celebrity, fan gangs have flourished at the Las Vegas Hilton and spread across the Atlantic and beyond, thanks to inadequate intervention strategies and frequent gang meetings and strategy sessions online.

In the face of those tepid efforts, fan gangs have exploded, manifesting themselves in the evening hours within the Hilton Theater and at the small, yet intimate bar Tempo adjacent to the theater. Some gang members have also been seen in large groups following, threatening and harassing others on the casino floor. At the same time, gangs have grown more brash and outspoken in a level of obsession that holds many concert goers and non-gang fans in a state of shock and disarray—not to mention fearful for the safety of the celebrity.


GANG CHARACTERISTICS
Most members are proud of their gangs and freely admit membership. Many dress in a style identifying their particular gang and use hand signs or signals. Personal belongings are frequently covered with graffiti and bear the gangs’s logo and the member’s gang name. Individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members. They often state that their friends are gang members but they are not. However, rival gang members make no distinction between a gang member and his associates.
Gangs frequently gather in dark areas to avoid being seen. In these locations they will often drink, stalk and harass those who are not like them.

CLOTHING
While clothing alone cannot positively determine individual membership in a gang, color and style serve to identify each gang. Preferred clothes include sparkly tops, evening dresses, clothing brandishing cleavage.
Gang graffiti, gang symbols, messages or names are written or embroidered on jackets, pants and baseball caps, belt buckles, key chains, t-shirts, starter jackets (team jackets).Expensive or gaudy jewelry like heavy gold rope chains, earrings and large rings are favored.

GRAFFITI
Used to identify gangs and mark their ‘turf’ or territory. Can indicate status or power.Many include gang name, nicknames, declaration of loyalty, threats against rival gangs or a description of criminal acts in which the gang has been involved.

RECRUITING

Signs that fans may have joined gangs include crude and elaborate tattoos, females wearing heavy eye makeup and dark lipstick, females congregating in large crowds outside certain areas of the theater, harassing and pressuring those who are not in the gang to join because they are the most influential and powerful.

GANG BEHAVIOR
Fan gangs tend to develop a sense of power manifested by large numbers.These gangs are empowered by secret signs, private telephone conversations, and sticking together to fend off those who try to attack the gang or its leaders.They tend to be rowdy, disrespectful, rude, and generally brash in their fan behavior, especially when spending hours together prior to the scheduled gang activities.

COMBATING GANGS
Success has been achieved in combating these gangs by employing extra security, identifying the gang members by their photos, tracking through use of the internet and other security measures, and utilizing non-gang members who are also fans to apply pressure during gang-related activities. While fan intervention and psychiatric treatment is recommended, it has been found that most will not admit this behavior and claim normalcy.

What we have is a situation out of control. It's like entering a danger zone. Not just for the non-gang fans, but for the celebrity who has become the target of their dangerous behavior. While everyone wants to get rid of these crazy psychopaths, the consensus is that the more they gather together, the more they draw strength in numbers. These fan gangs have become a security issue, a celebrity issue, and a threat to the enjoyment and safety of non-gang fans.

**a parody of an online article on gangs and gang behavior**

Educating the public,
Texas Fan

(special thanks to YBA, Peachy, Just Life, and Redcat for the being the voices of sanity in this crazy world of fans)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have the fans gotten out of control?

Last night I got a phone call from a friend of mine who hadn't seen the new show and hadn't been to see Mr. Manilow since April of last year. She was sitting next to a nice British lady who hadn't been since 2005 and shared her absolute shock. What was she shocked about? Big surprise here...the behavior of the crazy fans. She proceeded to tell me how out of control the women were and how one woman in particular was making a huge scene about sitting on the front row and not being dressed appropriately. She was loud and brash and stirring all the other fans into a frenzy. This phone call was prior to the start of the show.

In about two hours I received another phone call from her swearing that all sense of decorum and reason had left the theater last night. It's her theory that it's a "gang mentality". I rather agree with her. There is strength in numbers. And the more of them there are the more out of control they become. Apparently last night one of them charged the stage, only to be intercepted by security as Barry gave one of his "I'm not pleased with this" looks. You can tell when he's not happy with the fan behavior. We've all seen it too many times recently. And true to form, there was no fan interaction again last night on either side of the stage.

So here's my question: have the fans gotten out of control? I think they most definitely have. I think the easy access and the frequent shows have created a rare form of fan. I don't think these existed in the days prior to his Vegas run. Why? Most of the fans were confined to local fan clubs. They received their news via these clubs and the fans were a close knit group that lived within driving distance of each other and saw one another often and the "frenzy" was contained in living rooms and fan club get-togethers in basements.

Since the widespread use of the internet, the fan base has changed. While it's brought people together that might not have met otherwise, it's also created a much larger "club" that only sees each other in Vegas. The hype and excitement over the shows, the friends and the Tempo visits has created a different type of fan. One that obsesses over much more than the music. One that lives and breathes bamms, ass shakes, hip lunges and the like. One that wants to sit on the front row every show just on the off chance that they will get a handshake. One that can't wait to get a glimpse of him as he enters Tempo and leaves, and one that follows him into the theater area as he exits. This type of fan keeps score and considers it a competition of sorts with notches in her belt as to the number of hugs, handshakes, dances, smiles, looks, and photo ops, meet and greets, and Platinums they have either received or experienced.

All this hype has almost obliterated the shear pleasure of enjoying the music at the shows. When you can't hear the music over the talking that goes on or the yelling that comes at the most inappropriate times by overzealous fans, it's out of control. When there is always someone behind you singing so loud you can't even hear Barry, it's out of control. When you have a woman literally knock you over on the stage trying to get a handshake, it's out of control. When he can't have any interaction with the fans on the stage (mind you--those seats were created for that specific purpose), it's out of control. When security has to sit in the corners of the theater and run across the front at the end of the show to protect him, it's out of control. When fans are at the Hilton so much they might as well take up residence there, it's out of control.

One has to wonder how much is too much? Because right now, I've reached my limit. And honestly, I can't help but wonder if Barry has too. No wonder he stays in the shadows.

Wishing for the "good ole days",
Texas Fan

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some Thoughts

I was sitting outside enjoying the cool breeze this afternoon, reading a magazine. I've been in an introspective mode today so I thought I'd post two quotes, and a third that I thought we could ponder on this Veteran's Day because today is about freedom and the price we pay to have it.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Voltaire

A government big enough to give you what you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
Gerald Ford

I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody is going to come and save you. You've got to save yourself. Nobody is going to give you anything. You've got to go out and fight for it. Nobody knows what you want except you, and nobody will be as sorry as you if you don't get it. So don't give up your dreams.
Barry Manilow in "Sweet Life"

Pensive,
Texas Fan



Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Memories of our life

Tonight my daughter and I went to the late night showing of Mamma Mia at the dollar cinema. She hadn't seen it yet and since we saw the play together I wanted to see the movie with her as well.

On the way home we were listening to her new favorite radio station--the oldies. They play Barry, Johnny Mathis, Abba, the Carpenters and many others. The people she car pools with every day cant understand why someone her age listens to this music. She told me tonight its the music she grew up with and all her best childhood memories are tied to those songs. It's the music of her life. Every song has a memory...a moment she can recall a feeling.


Tonight they played 'Knock Three Times' and she reminded me of our recent trip to Vegas and walking along the strip singing that song together one night on the way back to our hotel. From now on, that song will remind her of our wonderful trip together and all the great memories.


Tonight the muisc made a memory again,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Give Us a King

Straying off topic for tonight...some somber words:

I Samuel 8:4-10, 19-21
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up over Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king...But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."

Feeling a bit tenebrous tonight,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why I'm Proud to be a Barry Manilow Fan

On February 14th, Barry is doing a concert in NYC at Nassau Coliseum:

The proceeds from the concert will be donated by Stand Up for a Cure to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993. The foundation is credited for creating the infamous “pink ribbon.”

This cause, hits home for me. Why? My mother died from breast cancer in 1986. And in 1997 I found a stage 2 lump in my breast. It's been 11 years in September and every day I feel blessed that I was a survivor. I'm hoping and praying they find a cure for it for my daughter's sake and for every woman who wakes up one morning and finds her life turned upside down. So many have battled it and lost their lives. But all the recent medical advancements and the detection techniques funded by these charities have made a huge difference in the mortality rate.

Barry just gives and gives. He doesn't have to give any of his hard-earned money or his valuable time away. But he does. He doesn't have to care about cancer victims, but he does. He doesn't have to care about people with cystic fibrosis. But he does. He doesn't have to care about aids victims, but he does. He doesn't have to care about students who need instruments, but he does. He sets the bar high for all of us to give our time, our support and our money to those who need our help.

And that, is why I'm proud to be a Barry Manilow fan.

Grateful,
Texas Fan

Footnote: You've got to read YBA's blog on this...the medical perspective!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The 80's Album


I've just spent the last few minutes listening to "Islands in the Stream". Boy, did that bring back some great memories from the shows I attended last month. That song just makes you smile ear to ear and you can't help but get excited toward the end of it. Barry outdid himself with this one. He took a country song and amped it up 1000 percent to give us a rocking rendition that keeps running around in your head weeks after you have heard it. I think seeing Barry do it with the girls just made it even more special and now when I listen to it I can't help but remember all the fun they were having with this song; along with audience who couldn't possibly stay seated during the performance.

The other song he sang in the show was "Never Gonna Give You Up". It was tons of fun as well. Uptempo and true to the Manilow magic, the arrangement made you want to stand up and sing along. He used that song on several nights for the "fan interaction" and it seemed to be the perfect moment to insert a little snuggle during the song.

When I heard "Open Arms" in June, it moved me beyond belief. I know it wasn't polished but even in its raw state it gave me goosebumps. When I listen to that performance now it takes me back to that night in June and I remember every emotion I had when I heard the first few chords of that song. The arrangement of it leading to the crescendo at the end shows that Barry knows how to build a song and deliver at the end. I've watched Journey's version online and it can't compare to Barry's in my opinion.

I've heard three songs live from this new album. And I have to say if the rest are that good he's going to have another hit--maybe his biggest decade album yet! I truly can't wait for the release of this one.

Waiting for the 80's,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"ULTIMATE MANILOW"-My Review


After seeing four shows last week from absolutely fabulous seats I have only one word to describe the new show: FANTABULOUS! Each and every night was more exciting than the next to end the week on Saturday with a rip-roaring performance from Barry and everyone involved in the show. Of course, the crowds play an integral part in the performances and Saturday night's crowd was exceptionally pumped up and on their feet for a huge portion of the show.


The "new" opening
I was a bit hesitant because I LOVED the "right here-right now" opening. It always got me pumped up for the show. The YMCA song is gone as well. However, the new opening fits the new show. The titles of his songs flash on the screen after Ultimate Manilow circles and then the silhouettes of the musicians playing jazzy upbeat music setting up the entrance of Monica, Melanie and Keely singing a somewhat jazzy version of "It's a Miracle" (as best I could tell). When he steps out on stage out o
f the "M" and the fog it's always a dramatic, much-anticipated entrance.


The "decade" segment
This part of the show happens almost immediately after the opening. I have to say, after all four nights, I love this portion. The snippets of each of the songs tend to crescendo into the 70's and set up the finale song from the new 80's album-"Islands in the Stream". This song is a showstopper. Barry and the backups LOVE singing this song together. They have as much fun with it as the audience allows. And the more into it the audience gets, the more into it Barry gets. It's an absolute heartpumping, handclapping, sing-along moment and for me, this time, the highlight of the show all 4 nigh
ts.

The "fan" interaction
Since the dance has been removed for obvious reasons, Barry has attempted to add some sort of fan interaction on the side stage. He has completely stayed away from the right side of the stage (those of you who have read my previous blogs know why) and has moved to the left side where he's sitting on the railing singing briefly to someone. Of course, as always, some overzealous fan had to yank and pull at him one night, so the next night it was gone. Thankfully, he reinstated it on Saturday and my friend Tammy was the welcome recipient. (Kim, however, was treated to a very nice dance with him during the Copa segment on Friday night). I was happy to receive a few handshakes!


The "hits"
This show is jampacked with his hits. He picks the best and pours his heart into all of them. My personal favorite, however, is "Memory". Before he sings it he stands with his back to the audience directing the orchestra. It's one of those moments when he exudes his passion for the music. It gave me goosebumps each night and the set up for the song is gorgeous. Next to that song, "Weekend in New England" always blows me away. The first night when someone responded to "when can I touch you", he responded, "my hands are kind of busy right now". The next few nights, you could tell he was into the song and not into joking around. You can tell..when someone yells, he completely ignores it. Of course h
e obliged the "sexual fantasy" aspect of the crowd with "Looks Like We Made It" and his provocative hand movements. The bamms were gone this week, but honestly, I can take or leave them. The intensity of the music and the passion he portrays when he sings is what brings me to the shows. "Somewhere Down the Road" and "Ships" have to be the most intensely emotional songs of the show. He crawls so deep into them at one point it seems like he disappears into another place with each song.


The ending and Copa
Not much has changed here except the fact that Barry comes down the stairs from the back of the stage and then ascends up the catwalk. YBA had a bird's eye view se
at of the catwalk ending on Thursday night and got an eye full (to say the least). It's always fun when he does that gratuitous grab for the crowd. I was sitting directly below the catwalk and experienced his wave through the glass as he bent down to say hi to the crowd below. As always, that song gets the crowd pumped up.

The lighting and videos
The new lighting, set decorations and videos are amazing. The last night I spent some time watching all the spotlights, the screen presentations during the songs, and the lights all around the stage and the side of the theater. It fits him and it fits the feel of the show.


The "new" confetti and mylar
The 1-2-3 count he gives before the mylar explodes is now more of a 1-2-3 DUCK! That stuff comes out hard and hits hard as well! However, it goes along with the set and the new show and everyone seemed to love it. The confetti blowers are a great added touch as well. Seems like everyone was tangled up in it while leaving the show, stepping on each other's souvenirs so to speak and having fun with it all.

I have to say that I love this new show more than Music and
Passion. I didn't think it would be possible, but I do. Even though I loved the Mayflower segment in the old show, I love how the new show flows and how we get to hear more of his signature songs. And I love the 80's songs he has added in and the decade segment is tons of fun. I can't ever remember the song sets or the order in which they come. I rarely remember the jackets he wears, although it seems there was a new one with a solid white stripe down one arm I hadn't seen before.

I'd also like to tip my hat to Kye. That man is a true professional with the choreography and stage presentation. Not to mention his singing and dancing capability. I spent a great deal of time during the show watching him on Saturday and noticing how he makes everyone look great and how he seems to be the glue that meshes the show together.

"Ultimate Manilow-The Hits" did not disappoint. If anything, he made me want to come back for more (he always seems to do that to me!)

Until the good times come again,
Texas Fan


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The ULTIMATE week

Just a few observations before heading out for a day of shopping:

1. May it never be said that I can't keep up with the spring chickens
2. Grown women lose all sense of reason when they enter the Manilow zone
3. Civilians need to go to Cirque shows and NOT ruin our fun
4. Kim is the real deal and has made this trip unforgettable
5. A bitch is a bitch no matter how much money they have or how much war paint they put on
6. Barry always puts on a great show...even if he has to deal with rude, disrespectful octopii women
7. There is always someone singing louder than Barry sitting behind you
8. Friends make those unbearable moments bearable
9. Grab those barf bags when you fly because you never know when someone's behavior might make you hurl
10. You can't buy acceptance, respect or love


Heading out for some more human theater,
Texas Fan


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10 Things I learned today in Vegas

Some mental notes to keep in mind:


1. Watch out for large luggage in the dark placed near the door by an unthinking daughter.
2. Don't drink four bloody marys without eating beforehand.
3. Sitting in a bar is a great place for human theater.
4. Texting is best done while sober.
5. Don't send emails in the morning before you are fully awake.
6. There is too much new merchandise in the M store for one shopping trip.
7. Time flies when you are having great conversation along with fabulous cuisine.
8. Trying to come up with just the right text message to send someone can be exhaustifying.
9. After spending the day walking the length of the strip, that wheelchair suggested by my friend looks pretty good.
10. Loud music at 2:30am is NOT appealing if you are sober.

Off to bed,
Texas Fan


Monday, October 20, 2008

The best laid plans...

First, let's just get this out of the way. The Red Sox lost. Top of the 8th, bases loaded, two outs, down by two runs and the batter strikes out! What a disappointment. However, we did get to watch the game at the ESPN Zone in the NY NY Hotel. That was a treat!

Second, Kim did not arrive as planned. Her flight out of Melbourne was cancelled and as of yesterday at 2pm she had not even boarded to fly to New Zealand. We have not heard from her since, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that she made her flight and is on her way as we speak. Talk about being bummed, nervous, scared, frustrated...the gammit of emotions.

We had a wonderful brunch yesterday, spent many hours watching human theater and paid another visit to Barry's house where my daughter received the 4 star tour of the place. Then we headed over to Harrahs and their piano bar for a late evening of tunes and more mother/daughter bonding.

Today--the Venetian, the Palazzo, the Wynn and a chocolate martini and hopefully, fingers crossed, picking up Kim and the late show of Phantom of the Opera!

Fun times,
Texas Fan

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a Day!

Yesterday was a FABULOUS day and a great way to start off this adventure!

First: shopping. As always, shopping with my daughter is an adventure in itself. You never know what bargains you will find and what surprises await. Yesterday, we stumbled on the most gorgeous dress quite by accident. This dress was a designer dress that was on sale and my daughter looked absolutely stunning in it. It was one of those "had to buy" moments. She "had to have it" and I "had to get it for her". Isn't that what mothers are for?

Second: the Red Sox game. Can we get a HALLELUJAH! My beloved Sox won the game last night pushing the playoff series to a final game before they move on to play the Phillies in the World Series. We had the privilege of sharing some of the game with other Red Sox fans as well. That is always fun. And yes, there was a Yankees fan in the bar telling us there was no hope. There's ALWAYS a Yankees fan...ALWAYS. And..oh yes...we bet on the game and WON some cash!

Third: Johnny Mathis. This concert was in the Hilton Theater. It was strange being in there without Barry, but it was a packed crowd and boy can that man sing. I sat there reminiscing about the many hours spent with my mother listening to his music. She would have loved to have been there. Chances Are, The 12th of Never, and It's Not For Me to Say (the Holy Trinity as he called them) brought back so many wonderful memories. Enjoying the music with my daughter: priceless.

Today--champagne brunch at the Bellagio, the Red Sox playoff game, and the piece de resistance, Kim arrives from Australia!

Enjoying another day in FABULOUS Las Vegas,
Texas Fan

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Here's To Las Vegas

Today is the first day of my Las Vegas adventure. On the agenda: breakfast at the Paris Hotel, shopping, the Red Sox playoff game and the piece de resistance-Johnny Mathis tonight.

Enjoying the time with my daughter,
Texas Fan

P.S. Haven't been to Barry's house yet...that will be tonight!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's not over til it's over...

Amazing comeback

(Globe Staff Photo/Barry Chin)
It's the second-largest comeback in postseason history. Down 7-0, the Boston Red Sox came back to win, 8-7, on an RBI single, walk-off single by J.D. Drew in the bottom of the 9th that scored Kevin Youkilis. It's now 3-2 Rays with Game 6 Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

My beloved Red Sox just pulled it off AGAIN! Down 7-0 in the 7th and they came back to win 8-7 in the 9th. They are the COMEBACK KIDS!

I know what I will be doing in Vegas on Saturday afternoon. What a way to start my trip!

Vegas here we come..GO RED SOX!!!
Texas Fan

Hello Gorgeous!

Wowser! What a way to kick off my upcoming trip with a Hotline release of the new album cover and a track listing. Since I'm not an 80's music officianado most of these songs will be new to me, but if "Open Arms" is any indication of the quality of the song choices, I know this could very well be his best decade album yet.

And..oh yes...ONE MORE DAY UNTIL IT'S VEGAS BABY!
Texas Fan

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Countdown Continues

It's getting closer to my Vegas trip and some have suggested I start counting the hours, but I have a better idea. I'm going to count the specific days:

3 days


until I get on the airplane to Vegas and see my daughter

5 days


until I meet my Australian friend for the first time

8 days


until I experience the all NEW Ultimate Manilow: The Hits

9 days


until my other friends arrive in Vegas

10 days

until our official Fan Club Bash begins with dinner at Bennihanna's


11 days


until our official Fan Club luncheon at the Hilton Buffet

Let the adventure begin...
Texas Fan

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slipping through my fingers...

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for awhile.

The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
The funny little girl.

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's' in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time.

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone, there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny.

What happened to the wonderful adventures?
The places I had planned for us to go?
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why, I just don't know.

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind?
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time.

Sometimes I wish I that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time.

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...

In a few days I'll be blessed to spend some time with my daughter again. And although I'm looking forward to the "friend" time I will have in Manilowland, I have to say I miss my little girl and I can't wait to see her again. And this song by ABBA says it all. The time goes by so fast, literally slipping through our fingers, and I treasure every moment we spend together. Just yesterday I was holding her in my arms and now she's a beautiful young woman who makes me proud every single day. She brings me unspeakable joy and is God's greatest blessing in my life.

5 days and counting,
Texas Fan

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Time for the Countdown

Today broke the TEN DAY mark for my upcoming trip to Manilowland. It's going to be 10 days of a wild ride with my daughter (the first part of the week) and my friends (the second part of the week) and my very first "Barry friend" (to close out the 10 days). My friend Kim is traveling all the way from Australia to join us and we have a rip-roaring time planned of sightseeing, shows and getting acquainted. So today, I'm posting my TOP TEN list of things I wish for on this trip:

10. Some much needed relaxation and rejuvenation
9. Getting to know some friends that I have never met in person
8. Taking in some absolutely fabulous human theater
7. Indulging in some "Vegas only" epicurean delights
6. Spending some much needed quality time with my daughter
5. Enjoying the night life that is only found in Vegas
4. A "drama free" pre-and-post concert experience
3. Rediscovering the great sights and sounds of the strip
2. Some "girl" time with my best Barry buddies
1. Finally getting to enjoy the new "Ultimate Manilow" with my friends

10 days and counting,
Texas Fan

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hope for Harmony


This new news came from a UK Blog in the Entertainment business who recently met with Barry in Las Vegas:

But if Manilow - who at 65 years old still cuts an impressively slim and athletic onstage figure - is sometimes in reflective mood onstage, I also found him in reflective mood offstage, when I went to meet him privately after the show. While fellow pop singer-songwriters like Elton John, Paul Simon, Phil Collins and now Dolly Parton with the aforementioned 9 to 5 have gone on to write musicals for the Broadway stage, Manilow is yet to reach it with one of his own shows; in the West End we’ve had Copacabana (at the Prince of Wales in 1994), and right now Bill Kenwright is touring Can’t Smile without You, a new show that cleverly folds the Manilow back catalogue into a new story, with the engaging Chesney Hawkes providing a terrific stand-in for a Manilow-like (or maybe Manilow-lite) himself. So Manilow is still holding out hopes for his original musical Harmony, co-written with Bruce Sussman, that was aborted on the eve of its Philadelphia try-out in 2003 when its then-producer failed to raise the full investment to take it forward, even though the cast were in the midst of rehearsals already.


Right now he’s in serious discussion with a leading West End and Broadway producer about reviving it again - and I, for one, can’t wait to see it come to reality. Nor, I’m sure, can the Fanilows - as Barry’s legions of fans are sometimes known - and I met two of the youngest on Saturday at the show: Grace, 6, and Ella, 4, were brought to the show by their parents, who revealed that their kids listen to him every day - and that when asked which song is their favourite, one replied, “They all are!”


Hopes and prayers that Barry finally realizes his dream!

Texas Fan


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Poet Among Us


Take a side trip to this post on YBA's blog. It will be worth the trip!

Cracking up in Texas,
Texas Fan

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Kind of Guy

Here's my NEW favorite pic of Barry. Starbucks in hand and IPhone clipped on his belt. Truly my kind of guy. You can't get much better than that in my estimation. He has GREAT taste. Of course...was that ever in question?

And the icing on the cake is he was at a school giving kids instruments for their music program.

Loving the fact that I'm a Manilow fan
,
Texas Fan

Photo Credit: www.blogilow.com (Thanks Terry!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Every Fan Needs a Fantasy


fantasy [fan-tuh-see, -zee] noun, plural -sies, verb, -sied, -sy•ing.–noun
1.imagination, esp. when extravagant and unrestrained.
2.the forming of mental images, esp. wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
3.a mental image, esp. when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.
4.Psychology. an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.
5.a hallucination.
6.a supposition based on no solid foundation

I've been thinking this week about the song, Shadow Man and what it says about not only the celebrity but also the fans that follow his career. While the song gives us great insight into what it feels like to have your life on parade every day and followed with scrutiny, I believe the song is just as riddled with insight into how some fans are perceived and seen through the celebrity's eyes. And after hearing about last night's show and the "ass grabbing" that went on during the dance segment, it just drives home the point.

It never ceases to amaze me how some feel the need to touch, grab, grope, yank, pull, hold on to, rush, stare incessantly, and pull him aside when he's obviously trying to give the gift of himself as he does in the dance segment or during Platinums. Even after the show is over it continues when he's trying to spend some time with his friends.

Remember these lines from the song?

No one knows you but they all love you
Look how many believe they need you
Look how many have tried to read you
Every fan needs a fantasy

Maybe "every fan needs a fantasy", or maybe some fans can't separate their fantasies from reality. Either way, I wish they would keep their fantasies and their hands to themselves.

Appalled,
Texas Fan

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The New Vault Song


Barry has struck a chord this time. A deep-seated chord. Who among us hasn't felt betrayed by someone we trusted? How do you put it into words? I think it's impossible. Enter the musician/composer. The one who feels the music and knows how to use that music to express gut level emotion.

"Friend of the Devil" does just that from the strong bass and minor chords throughout until the very last note. It takes the words that Adrienne Anderson wrote down and it carries them into the depths of the soul of the listener. The melody and the lyrics combined go around searching for that feeling; that emotion that has long since been stuffed down into the corners of the heart. It's a feeling that only the music can find. This song makes its way like a surgeon into the hidden parts and seeks to cut out the cancer that has been festering there, undetected and unnoticed until the music finds it--hiding and hoping to continue growing until it destroys its host.

This new vault song is pure genius. And not only is it genius, it's new and fresh and different. It's what draws us in and keeps us wanting more. It's why we keep begging for original music. It's where his heart comes out and its in his music that we truly see his passion.

Whoa...wow...kick ass awesome. Powerful and daring--damn straight!
Texas Fan

Friday, September 19, 2008

Half-Price Manilow Sale

If you're in the market for some "vintage" Manilow memorabilia, here's the link for you. This is all Manilow memorabilia that "Scooter" has collected over the years and is selling to the fans. If you're a collector or you know someone that is, pass this link along.

Let's keep it all in the "family"!
Texas Fan

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two Unique Points of View

A good friend sent me an email today of an interview that had some insightful things to say about the purpose of life. When I read it, I thought about Barry's answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?"

First, here's what Barry had to say:


"So you want to know the meaning of life, you’ve come to the right place. I know the meaning of life. And here it is: the meaning of life is to have fun. Hope that’s not a let down, but that’s what it is, it’s to have fun and to learn that we create it all, we create everything, no asterisk, no parenthesis and no fine print. Overall I think it’s to realize that we are good enough, that our essence is beautiful even though our actions sometimes aren’t. I think by our actions we prove that we are human beings, and by our essence we prove that we are spiritual beings. I think that overall we are here to learn how to love and how to receive love and that’s difficult. That’s difficult for a human being. It’s not difficult for the spiritual being in us but the human being part resists that all the time. That’s what I think the meaning of life is. We all have to keep working on that. So here’s my advice. Let someone pick up the check and just say thank you when they do."

Here's what Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life", had to say:


People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body but not the end of me.I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and
at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or
am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know = You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.
He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That''s why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD
.


If you read both you will see some similarities and some differences. The key similaritues are that they both believe we are spiritual beings and that we are here to grow in character.

Now that's some food for thought,
Texas Fan


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today

Seven years ago today...I was sitting in front of my television watching the Today Show with Katie Couric and what I saw happen live would change our lives forever. I know that everyone has a story about that day: where they were, what they were doing, what they felt, how it touched their lives. Mine is no different, but somehow it helps me to remember how blessed I was that day and how frightened I was when I watched that plane crash into that building.

My daughter was in Boston waiting to fly to Paris to study abroad. She was scheduled to take a plane to New York City and then fly on to Paris with her friend. Her flight was to leave Boston. My instant thought was panic when I heard the plane that crashed into the tower was from Boston. My heart stopped. I called her on her cellphone immediately and she answered. You can't imagine the relief I felt when I heard her voice. She had not even heard about the planes or the attack. She had heard, however, that her flight was canceled and was upset about it until I called her. And then, she panicked. Her friend's father worked in one of the towers. One of her sorority sister's father worked there as well. Several of the people she knew that graduated from Bentley College worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. She began to cry, as did I. It was one of those moments that we would never forget.

As it turns out, both of her friend's fathers were safe. They had gotten stuck in traffic on the George Washington bridge that morning. The graduates who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald (who had only started after Labor Day) died that day. The college campus was in mourning for months afterwards. My daughter somehow mustered up the courage to fly to Paris after the flight groundings were lifted. In retrospect, I don't know how she did it. When she arrived in Paris there was an outpouring of support for the United States. Memorials existed all over the city. Church services were held to pray for those families who were affected by the attacks. The Paris police stood guard with machine guns all around the city and in the airport and subway system.

Our lives have gone on since then, just as they did in the days after the attack. But somehow I think people have forgotten how they felt about their country and about their fellow man. We may always remember the tragedy of September 11th, but it's unfortunate we have forgotten the unity we all felt as Americans and as human beings that day and in the days that followed.

Today I'm trying to remember the overwhelming love and compassion I felt for all human life that day, even my enemies....
Texas Fan

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Here We Go Again...


Here we go again. This time, it's name is IKE. And the projected paths do not look good. So today we are boarding up and trying to make a decision whether to stay or go. I've lived here for 35 years and this is never pleasant. I believe we have left every single time and come home to minimal damage. The question is: will this be the one? It's hard to know what to do. Leaving is such a pain in the neck, but I'm not sure I want to stay and gamble with a Category 4 hurricane.

I really hate living in the path of these storms. I'll take a Boston blizzard any day of the week. Now all I have to do is move there...sometimes dreams actually do come true. Perhaps some day.

Bracing for IKE,
Texas Fan

:::UPDATE::: All indications are that the hurricane is heading north of us. The poor people in Galveston and Houston will most likely get the brunt of this storm. Pray for them! They are predicting MAJOR damage from the storm surge and the wind.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Good Rationalization

"You can go a week without sex; but try going a day without a good rationalization" (The Big Chill)


Stalking is often subtle, yet pervasive. In fact, the stalker is counting on you feeling as if her actions are ordinary demonstrations of affection or admiration.


The intimacy seeking stalker

Classification is based on the desire for intimacy with someone that the stalkers had identified as their true love. Half believed that their love was requited. The other half were termed to have morbid infatuations, in which they recognized that their love was not returned but “insist(ed), with delusional intensity, on both the legitimacy and the eventual success of their quest.” This group tends to be the most persistent over time.


Some Things Stalkers Do

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are with consistent regularity;
  • Repeatedly call you or contact you;
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or emails;
  • Monitor your phone calls, computer use or every day activities;
  • Threaten you or someone close to you;
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work;
  • Find out about you by using public records or on line search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers;
  • Repeatedly show up for no legitimate purpose at places where you are; and
  • Other actions that control, track, or intimidate you.


Common Characteristics of a Stalker

  • Jealous
  • Narcissistic
  • Obsessive and compulsive
  • Falls “instantly” in love
  • Manipulative
  • Does not take responsibility of own feelings or actions
  • Needs to have control over others
  • Socially awkward or uncomfortable
  • Views self as a victim of society, family and others
  • Unable to take “no” for an answer
  • Deceptive
  • Often switches between rage and “love”
  • Difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality
  • Sense of entitlement (”You owe me…”)
  • Unable to cope with rejection
  • Dependent on others for sense of “self”
  • Views his or her problems as someone else’s fault


from "These Boots Are Made for Stalking: Characteristics of Female Stalkers" (August 2008) by Sara G. West, MD, and Susan Hatters Friedman, MD


It seems the Manilow world has its fair share of these archetypes--certainly something to ponder following a week of observation.


Some can't go a day without a good rationalization...
Texas Fan


 
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