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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ultimate Manilow: The Hits

The show reviews for the new show (such as they are) are trickling in. I guess the thing that amazes me is the fact that some people are never happy. No matter what the man does, he can always do better or disappoint.

I've had the "privilege" these past few weeks of being around these type of people. You know the type: the ones who rarely encourage but almost always drag you down. Comments like, "I'm only telling you this to help" or the ever popular "we only want the best for you" followed by cutting jabs related to how you have failed them or have not lived up to their expectations. These people exist in every area of our lives: family, friends, co-workers, and even in the fan communities.

It's hard to weather these types of negative input. The only survival technique that works is to not listen to them--don't open their emails; don't read their comments; don't expose yourself to their negativity. Imagine having hundreds of thousands of these people out there feeling the need to offer their "help" without the slightest concern for how it affects your psyche.

We all have no clue how these negative comments affect the Shadowman. However, these lyrics keep running around in my head this morning: "If they could see behind the smile and find the fear and doubt, they'd turn away". Imagine if you will putting your heart and soul into a new show and hearing that it disappointed, or fell short, or wasn't what your "friends" expected or hoped for.

My mother used to say, "if you can't say anything nice, then just don't say it."
Texas Fan

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The New Generation of Fans

Pop on over to the Manilow Network and you will find them: a new generation of Manilow fans. These fans are exactly what Barry is hoping to see at his shows. It's why he keeps performing and recording. It's why his music is ageless. Granted, he appreciates the long-term fans--the ones that have been there since the beginning. But imagine how great it must feel to know that his music is striking a chord with the teenagers today and that they are "listening" and "learning" about quality music--good lyrics and melody. Having them sitting on the front row enjoying his timeless treasures must bring a huge smile to his face and a certain amount of satisfaction and pride.

His music spans generations and those of us who were there in the beginning know that without these young listeners, his legacy might die. We need these fresh ears to hear the magic of Manilow and spread it to their friends and to others in their generation. They recognize strength of character, commitment to work ethic, and unmistakable talent. They don't need years and years of fandom for that; all they need is intelligence and taste.

My hat goes off to all those Young Barry fans on the Manilow Network who support his music and who are keeping it alive in their generation.

A fan is a fan..and a young fan...priceless!
Texas Fan

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have just spent the weekend at a family reunion. Talk about human theater...this was 72 hours of entertaining observation. Some of it was revealing; some was annoying; some produced tears; but most of it required a sense of humor.

We all have families. We are born into them. We can't choose them--they choose us. And then there are the ones we marry into--those we subject ourselves to because we love the person that is attached to them. In time, we grow to accept them on some level. And we realize that every family has specific character types. Mine is no exception:

The comedian
This person makes a joke about everything. Say something serious, he can make a joke about it. He also has a plethora of jokes stored in his pea sized brain that he can call up at any given moment (most of them objectionable and none of them funny)

The wise ass
This person makes wise cracks, mostly negative, and always inappropriate when anyone speaks their mind or tries to offer an opinion.

The drunk
There are two kinds of these: angry and silly. Our family happens to have both of them. The silly drunk embarrasses herself by standing on tables and doing pole dances for the entire family. The angry drunk throws objects across the table and pushes and shoves other family members when he gets irritated.

The crazy aunt
This is the one who opens her mouth and the craziest things seem to venture out. (i.e. she had children so they could wait on her and so she could teach them how to prepare and mix the proper martini).

The braggart
This person brags about his job, his retirement, his salary, his car, his wife, his kids, his golf handicap, his house, and anything and everything that is better (or so he thinks) than everyone else.

The center of attention
This person talks incessantly about anything and everything. They love commanding attention and expect everyone to jump when they enter the room. If they aren't in the room, they fully expect everyone to miss them until they return.

The quiet observer
Of all the family archetypes, this person is the least recognized and the most overlooked. They quietly sit while everyone else is commanding attention. They rarely speak and DO NOT want their picture taken under any circumstances.

The peacemaker
Peacemakers step in when all the other characters clash--because they will clash. They make comments like, "we are all family here...let's try and get along"...and...."can't we just enjoy the time we have together without everyone fighting?" The other characters rarely listen and the peacemaker is forced to join the quiet observer while the others duke it out.

I think these character types are why our family has only had one reunion in the last 20 years. And what's scary about it--they are already talking about next year. (I'm already making plans to have other plans!)

Texas Fan

Thursday, August 14, 2008


\ˌkäm-ˈrä-d(ə-)rē, ˌkam-, ˌkä-mə-, ˌka-, -ˈra-\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from camarade comrade
Date: 1840
Definition: a spirit of friendly good-fellowship
Once in awhile you bump into someone quite by accident that you experience true camaraderie. With the new Manilow Network, and its user friendliness, this has happened more often than on the old Barrynet message board. There is a platform for focused discussion and intelligent conversation. Hence, I have come across one such individual.

Her name is Cynthia Ainsworthe. She is a lovely women who has embarked on a writing career inspired by Barry to pursue her dream. Her novel has won an IPPY award and she is open to sharing all her wisdom of the publishing world and her writing experience with all the "would-be" authors in the Manilow world.

Take a look at her book, her website, and her profile by clicking this link. And if you're so inclined please order a copy of her book. You will not be able to put it down.

Thanks Cynthia for your friendship, mentoring and for all your support,
Texas Fan

P.S. Ditto to Delese, Steph and Denise K. (thanks for all the support, advice, expertise and inspiration)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

City Rhythm

When my heart is torn apart
By a love I wish I had
Well i spend my nights in the city lights
And things don't seem so bad
You know the movement seems to soothe me
And the tempo takes control
And I lose my blues when the New York City rhythm fills my soul.

I'm a city person. I can't survive in the country. I don't like small towns either. I need the constant "pounding beat of the city streets to keep my dreams alive". When I'm in the city I feel alive. And not just any city...Boston.

Lately, I've had the blues. I miss my city. I miss the tourist activity at Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market. I miss the constant hustle and bustle of the shoppers on Newbury Street. I miss the college students rushing back and forth to class on the Harvard Yard. I miss the joggers training for the Boston Marathon. I miss the businessmen and women rushing to work early in the morning on the T. I miss Red Sox nation cheering at Fenway Park and celebrating at all the bars in the neighborhood. I miss the summer Shakespeare in the park and the outdoor concerts by the Pops at the hatchshell. I miss the quaint pubs and the upscale restaurants and Johnny Rocket's jazz bar in Davis Square.

There is no substitute for Boston in my heart. It's where I want to be.

It's got to be the city rhythm in my life because I lose my blues when the city rhythm fills my soul!

Texas Fan

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sweet Caroline

Yes. I know. This is not a blog about Neil Diamond. But I have just watched the most amazing baseball game ever between the Boston Red Sox (my team) and the Texas Rangers (my other team) and man...Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good!

First inning- Red Sox 10, Rangers 0...I changed the channel. As did most Ranger fans.

Fifth inning-just checking in- Red Sox 12, Rangers 10. WHAT???? Guess I should not have changed the channel. 2 runs in the 2nd and 8 runs in the 5th..closing the gap!

Sixth inning- Red Sox 14, Rangers 15...holding on to a one run lead. The Rangers score 5 more runs.

Seventh inning-Red Sox 15, Rangers 16...Red Sox leaving several men stranded on base.

Seventh Inning Stretch--Red Sox Nation bursts into Sweet Caroline...their good luck song...and what happens???

Eighth inning-Red Sox 19, Rangers 16...4 run home run by the Red Sox into the green monster.

Ninth inning-Red Sox 19, Rangers 17...after a valiant effort by the Rangers, the Red Sox prevail.

There just isn't any place like Fenway Park and a Red Sox game. Unless it's Fenway Park and a Red Sox/Ranger game.

Missing Boston,
Texas Fan

Saturday, August 9, 2008


My life consists of countdowns--
One week until a family reunion.
Two weeks until a long awaited road trip across the country.
70 days until my next trip to Las Vegas and a punch of joy.
84 days until the final deadline of one of my yearly projects.
An unnumbered amount of days until I finish my book.

And an even more unnumbered amount of days until I finally move to Boston.

And while the countdowns continue
I’m missing the process
I’m forgetting about the moments
I’m concentrating so much on the future that I miss the present.

We all have them--countdowns. Let’s wait until our kids are in school and I’ll go back to work. Wait until our kids are in college and then I’ll finally have time to do the things I have wanted to do for myself. Wait until the next vacation, holiday, and as we all experience, the next trip to see Barry, to relax and have some fun. Wait until I retire and then we can finally travel. And while the countdowns tick away, the day to day passes us by with regularity.

It occurred to me this morning while watching the traffic at stoplights outside of Starbucks that a huge amount of our lives are spent waiting. And I felt such a sense of great loss. What moments had I missed while waiting for all those countdowns to end? And what if these moments right now are my last? What if tomorrow never came? What would I have missed or neglected to appreciate today?

The future may be what keeps us going, but what about the present? It wasn’t too much long ago that I was in high school waiting to start my life. How many moments are missed while waiting for all the stars to align and the moment to be perfect? And once we get there, will we hardly enjoy it before moving on to the next countdown?

Today…I’m ignoring the countdowns and living in the moment.
Texas Fan

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What is "crazy" and who gets to decide?

Today on the Manilow Network, a poor, undeserving widow was unsuspectingly attacked by one of the predators from the old Barrynet. She accused this poor woman of being crazy because she got her inspiration for her poetry from looking at a picture of Barry.

I got to thinking...what is "crazy" and who gets to decide? Is it crazy to believe that Barry might actually inspire creativity? Is it crazy that he might, with a kind look, actually help you get through a time of grief? Is it crazy to believe that one of his hugs can take away a year of pain and despair in an instant? Is it crazy to believe that he somehow knows when someone needs to hear the words of a specific song like "I Know You're There"? it crazy to ask for a wine glass that Barry drank out of and save the wine and the glass with his "lip prints" on it so you can look at it and "cherish" it forever?

You decide,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

ENOUGH ALREADY. The guy is skinny. He's always been skinny. He's not going to stop being skinny. He's just plain skinny. He is constant motion. He burns up calories. His metabolism is such that he stays skinny. Compare the pictures that are out there floating around to these. There is no change in his stature or physical appearance.

In the words of some other famous musicians...LET IT BE!
Texas Fan

Saturday, August 2, 2008

At The Movies...

Today, to avoid the heat and escape from reality, we went to the movies. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of noise that goes on a a theater full of people. And this is noise that can be heard over the movie that is blaring through surround sound speakers. There are three kinds of movie theater noises, and they all come with annoyances: the eaters, the talkers, and the texters.

First, the eaters. I am baffled when I see how much food people purchase at the movie theater. The prices are astronomical and I watch families of 4 come in with loads of soft drinks, popcorn, nachos, pickles and candy. And each of these food items comes with their own special annoying noise. The popcorn: rummaging through the bag and passing it down the row while others rummage through the bag; wiping your hands with napkins over and over again; shaking it to distribute the butter; chomping on it. The nachos: the annoying crunch. The pickles: sucking, and the overpowering smell. Candy: unwrapping; shaking the box. Drinks: slurping; shaking the cup; moving the straw up and down; chomping on the ice.

Second, the talkers. These are perhaps the most annoying of all. They act like they are in their own home discussing the movie, commenting on the plot, asking each other questions about what is happening. Then there are those who insist on answering and talking on their cellphones in the theater.

Third, the texters. These annoying little creatures are the newbies among movie goers. It always amazes me that a person will pay to go see a movie and sit there during the entire film and text people back and forth. The noise is distracting and the light from the cellphone screen makes it even worse.

Today we had the privilege of sitting in front of an eater. This gentleman had every single movie treat you could purchase and provided us with 2 1/2 hours of continuous sound effects. He chomped on his ice until the movie ended. It was much like fingernails being scraped on a blackboard. By the time the movie was over, we couldn't wait to bolt out the door.

When did people forget about common courtesy? You can eat quietly. Avoid talking. Leave the theater to text. It doesn't take much to show some respect for others. But...I guess that's asking too much in a world that revolves around me, myself and I.

Barry's grandfather's words seem appropriate here: BE NICE!

Texas Fan

Clicky Web Analytics