Randy Newman is 70, tomorrow

For someone once best known for the misunderstood song Short People, Randy Newman has had a not bad career.

Did I ever tell my “I sorta met Randy Newman” story? Probably.

I was at the Poughkeepsie, NY train station in mid-May 2000, returning from a conference. There was a guy at the station, with a woman and two children, and he looked very much like Randy Newman. So I walked over to him, and said, “Excuse me.” And he said, “Randy Newman.”

This is what I wanted to say: “Wow, I’ve loved your music ever since [the #1 song, below.] I sure hope you get that Oscar you deserve [he has since gotten two, in twenty nominations]. You know, that damn song on Toy Story 2 Continue reading “Randy Newman is 70, tomorrow”

Groucho Wickedness

It’s peculiar that sometimes I THINK I’ve told a story, so I don’t. I’ve become particularly self-aware of repeating stories, so I tend not to, mostly out of fear of boring myself, more than boring others.


Somewhat along the lines of Sunday Stealing, Wednesday Wickedness offers quiz-things, but with a twist: the questions are inspired by quotes from famous people, such as Groucho Marx:

1. ‘A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
What is a superstition that many have that you think is crazy?

I suppose that, by definition, most superstitions are crazy. The exceptions among the more popular ones are those about opening an umbrella inside and walking under a ladder, both of which I think are rather logical, I mean, I don’t want that paint bucket on the ladder landing on my head, do I? And saying “Bless you!” when people sneeze is more habit than superstition.

2. “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.”
What were you in the hospital for the last time that you were admitted?

As I certainly have mentioned, I was in a car accident in June of 1972 in Endicott, NY, near Binghamton. I was in a stopped car at a red light and was getting out of the vehicle when another car rammed into the car I was halfway out of. This car was pushed forward into the car in front of it, but it being heavier, knocked me back. I was unconscious, and got taken in an ambulance to the local hospital, where I stayed for 36 hours or so. But my recovery took the bulk of the summer.

3. “Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.”
What payment do you make that seems ridiculous?

My cellphone, which I don’t use as much as the minutes I pay for; I mean I still HAVE them, but, barring unforeseen circumstances, I’ll never USE them. I should get another one, I suppose, but that would mean actually figuring out what plans/phones are the best for my wife and me, something for which I apparently have no capacity.

4. “Humor is reason gone mad.”
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Continue reading “Groucho Wickedness”

My Randy Newman Story

When I heard When Somebody Loved Me [which he wrote] in Toy Story 2, I practically cried.

I made a cryptic comment about Randy Newman the other day. It was supposed to be something I’d bring up when I wrote about it at some future date, maybe in November, on Newman’s birthday. But my friend Rocco, who I’ve known since our FantaCo days in the early ’80s, asked about it, as well as confirming that I went with him to see that dismal Joe Jackson concert in ’89. And since today is Rocco’s birthday, I’ll tell the story now.

I was in the Poughkeepsie, New York train station, coming home from a conference c. 1999. Poughkeepsie’s about halfway between Albany and New York City, along the Hudson River.

I see walking into the ticket area a guy, a woman and a couple kids. That’s Randy Newman. Isn’t it Randy Newman? I LOVE Randy Newman!

If it’s Randy Newman, I know what I’m going to say to him. Continue reading “My Randy Newman Story”