Tag Archive: russia


And now for something completely different for my blog: A Book Review!

First and personally, I am so proud to have finally found and tied into the public library here in the land of Spanish Moss. It always takes a while to humble myself again and do these things – maybe deep in my soul I should own a library! Oh I do, and it is just vinyl record albums. I digress again.

In the Autumn of 2017, I had three titles on my list of books to read and one of them was a no-brainer, when I heard about it, Maria Sharapova’s autobiography. I have always been one of her fans.
Why now? I knew I had to begin to read again because I was in a writer’s limbo, and you know that, as I stated in past blogs, in order to write well you have to read much. So let’s get to it!

I just finished reading Maria Sharapova’s first autobiography,“Unstoppable – My Life So Far” with Rich Cohen in record time (for me)! Masha (her real name in “Russian) weaves a compelling and enlightening story, with candid diary clips throughout that I could only put down to sleep, eat and run my own work errands. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a major player on the Women’s professional tennis tour as a girl becomes a woman, this autobiography is a must read and a real page turner.

It is the first sports autobiography I remember reading since The Roy Campanella story, as a teen, and more recently, “Namath” about my main New York Jets quarterback, whose style and ability I grew up admiring, although I must have read Mickey Mantle’s and others through the years.

I learned that we share admiration for Monica Seles, whose audible power release as she hit the ball (some call it a “grunt”, but it is more sexy than that to a man’s ears, believe me, I’ve had sex with many women who make the same sound when they orgasm) first turned my attention into women’s tennis back in the 1990s. Indeed, Ms. Seles’ story of rising as a teenager achieving stardom on one of the biggest stages in sport, the Pro tennis tour is similar to Ms. Sharapova’s!
The Author also emulates Lindsay Davenport, whose classy game I too came to admire and shows respect for another of my favorites to watch, Serbian, Jelena Jankovic`. We learn about her coaches and even a favorite brand of shoes in these pages.

She used what I call the “sandwich” format for this first part of telling about her life. Using this format allowed Ms. Sharapova to recount her life, so that the reader can get to know her better and it works. She started with the present unjust failed drug test scandal drama and then retraced how she got to this point, while setting up her feelings about going forward with her career and life. The major theme was to tell her side of the suspension story to help clear her name of being associated with doping and I commend her for that. Hell, the substance they flagged her for was not even on the list of illegals throughout 99% of her career, and something smells very fishy about how it was suddenly added. It is almost like the suspicion East Germans who were competing in the Olympics were under, back in the Cold War days.

There is a nice pictorial section mid-way through and I like how neutral her cover photo is and how she describes her relationship with her main motivator, Yuri, her father and their initial trek following the ugly Chernobyl, now part of Ukraine, melt-down, eventually into Sochi, Russia and on to Florida as unknowns when she was a little girl with a huge racket.

She speaks about what I have often wondered while following women’s tennis: her main nemesis, Serena Williams. Oddly, she only mentions her older sister, Venus once. I would have like to have read her comparison of their games.

My favorite quote is from her father, Yuri, who said, “When you let your brain overrule your gut, you screw up your life.” Wow, my mentor used that philosophy and so do I programming my radio shows and identifying hit music through the years! Even though I borrowed it from the library, I will gladly purchase it for my private hardcover collection once I move into my own home.
Nice job, tall lady!! Whatta twenty-first century Fox. You are a “hit” and I’d look up to you without insecurity, rating your book with five out of a possible 5 tennis rackets.

I’ll be Here

The chances increase that, now that I am sixty-plus, I might get a condition also and suddenly slip away, or that the war there in your country will take you from me; your mother may pass on and then we will never fulfill our London plus four years promise to see each other again and marry since meeting at Café Skype in 2010. Afraid, yet optimistic – to a point.

When you are Concerned
or when you are in need of reassuring…

I’ll be right beside you
Comfort you will find.

If you need a vacation from war in your country,
Or a loving helpful Long distance love to walk with hand-in-hand

Better for having met you gefore (before).

I’ll be right here for you,

Tell your mother I want to meet her

And to stay strong.

Via your not-so-good written English,

I do not know how long she has!

I am with you even if you cannot see me;
I truly understand.

I’LL BE HERE FOR YOU!

До Свидания.

533-god-can-heal-a-broken-heart

Since I cut the corporate  tv cable,

I avoid the “news” religiously.

Now when the news intrudes,

And because my betrothed lives in Ukraine

I want to hang my head in shame.

Now what?

What is next to interrupt our plans?

“Scary stuff that Putin!!”, a friend writes.

 

Why of all the places on earth to have a crisis?

Ahead of my plan to bring her to America,

So we can live as one,

Why now?

 

I despise a Putin.

Another Hitler we do not need on the world stage;

He is worse than Sadaam Hussein who never invaded.

He should meet the fate of Muammar Gadaffi;

Dragged and gutted on live television by the rebels.

Image

 

Where are the opposition voices in “the new Moscow”?

Surely all of the Russian people do not endorse this encroachment!

On Davidzon radio in NYC,

At least seventy percent of callers,

Endorse Ukrainian unity and sovereignty.

 

Now when I read my beloved’s letters,

My mood is scared and sullen.

The more news pundits analyze,

I lose more sleep upon Putin’s aggrandize;

Another hurdle to our happiness;

Just my luck…

I had to weigh-in on this,

Which torments me daily.

 

May he “poot”-in his own toilet,

And it back-up into his ass,

Choking him on his own shit that vomits out of his mouth!

In the comunist USSR tradition,
Putin is adept at spinning truth (Pravda),
As propaganda (denial).

The one saving grace here
His agression has hastened
His departure from this earth.

PickHitt: You can help Ukraine via our fundraising campaign here~ http://www.crowdrise.com/Campaign2Ukraine/fundraiser/imijproduckshunz

Whether you are old enough to  recall the day the Fab Four touched-down at the newly named John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, New York City (in glorious black and white TV) on their way to The Ed Sullivan Theater

or joined, as I was mid-set while watching this band, by a kid half-my age who was totally into them or not, you will awesomely dig “FAB”!

It was a rainy night in “[Georgia – Brook Benton]” aka this time,  Nashville, as record-breaking (pun INtended, lol) flood waters accumulated nearby, unbeknownst to we who were about to be taken back through the time tunnel by FAB, an aggregation who succinctly sings the Beatles catalog. By the time it was over, some might have indeed needed a “Yellow Submarine” to get back home safely!

            They begin with a precise Ed Sullivan  introduction on pre-recorded audio, and then “Bam!” right into “All My Lovin’.”    As I peeked over my shoulder at the TV that showed flooded interstate highways and unmoored schoolhouse trailers floating upon it, all in attendance were enthralled with the accuracy with which FAB authentically represented the former Quarrymen’s catalog of hit music.

They deftly segued between short tunes like “From Me To You”, a very authentic-sounding  “Thank You Girl”; “Get Back” featuring drummer Tim Buppert singing while he precisely plays the skins, as we wondered at the bar, “how does he DO that??”  Mark, sitting next to me commented, “Tim is Nashville’s Phil Collins” LOL

From that they jumped into  into “Taxman” (the new anthem of the Tea Party movement, by the way), “Help!”, and “Paperback Writer” (me – thanks!)  Impressive energy in that most of The Beatles hits were less than three-minutes long, and FAB kept them comin’!

The venue, Third and Lindsley, is very  intimate and multi-leveled; the band played underneath a cozy overhead fan to loving catcalls from the mostly female mezzanine, and those of us down front on the main level.  It is very interesting covering “cover bands” especially when they are so tight as FAB is and damn GOOD!  Heretofore I would not have used the term “cover band”, but it seems to be acceptable here in Nashville amongst the musical performance crowd – to me they are just a group  recreating The Beatles hits to the max, all in the exact same key, with every quirky note down pat.  This was especially true for Alison Prestwood, the lady version of Paul McCartney ( maybe channeling “Linda”?) on bass.  In-fact, I was so very impressed that the guitar she played looked just like Paul’s!  Alison chimed-in precisely on time, every time. Major Kudos to her stage presence and showwomanship making the fabulous FAB Four now = five! LOL

There were plenty of sing along moments this night as they moved through the whole ‘Hard Day’s Night” album down to the last precise chord and vocal, into and instrumental bridge that led us to “today its you Birthday!”; “Eleanor Rigby” which held a special significant personal moment since that is my former “Back To The USSR” g/f’s name and my secret nickname for her. That was also was a jam-boogie episode for the audience, and it was about that time that I again detected the ambiance and din of 3rd & Lindsley amidst the irony of the wierd weather updates on the bar tele over my right shoulder. 

A particularly cool intro was when they paused let the audience know that a “BMW had its lights on in the parking lot” and then segued right into “(baby you can) Drive My Car (beep, beep, Yeah!)”.  Yes, intentional or not, I caught that!! LOL

The FAB are: Ted Hewett on lead guitar, John Foster on rhythm guitar, Bill Roberts on keyboards, David Kent using all the little percussive tools, including tambourine and wooden hand-clap blocks and “loud sticks” on their rendition of “Revolution” that evolved the Beatles’ sound and on vocals;  the aforementioned Alison Prestwood impersonating succinctly Paul McCartney, and of course Tim Buppert on the “kit’ and vocals.  I played a little game, trying to imagine which of these players fashioned themselves as which particular Beatle member.  I came up with the equation that it takes at least three of these cats to sound like one John Lennon at times, especially on the classic “All We Need Is Love”, and it works.

Throughout it was obvious that the assemblage was having fun doing what they do, and they made me miss my drum kit and trumpet that I sold and trashed in favor of playing turntables over time, as well as tossing my original Capitol Records Beatle 45rpms from the mid-sixties  during our militant  “f-the white-boy music” phase.  [A totally different post]. FAB isn’t just another band playing Beatles’ music, they recreate it, appropriately-timed cowbells and all!

Meanwhile, a lady at the bar tried to “Cougar” me thinking I was younger than she is. “Psyche!!” LOL   I  just “Saw Her Standing There” (blocking my view) while taking notes for this write-up and since FAB never played “Please Please Me”, there was no deal to be struck. “Whew!”

Their only lame moment this night was on the finale, “She Loves You”, I guess because they expended so much energy on all of the previous songs.  My only disappointment was that they didn’t perform my all-time Beatle fave and the first 45rpm I ever bought by the Beatles,  “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.

So, “Do you Want To Know A Secret”? I hope that you get to enjoy and relive the magic with FAB very soon at a music venue near your place to free yourself of any “Misery”.

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