Archives For February 2014

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Svengali: One who manipulates or controls another by some mesmeric or sinister influence; especially a coach, mentor or industry mogul.

During my life and career, I have encountered Svengali types more often than one would expect. I get an idea and have a vision of the idea and under the guise of helping me realize my vision, they try to steer me in a direction that they say is the best for me. (Not really for them.) Or they try to sabotage my work by giving me bad advice behind the mask of being a friend. Much like the character Salieri, in the movie Amadeus.

This has happened, to me, in the recording studio, when I was making music videos and in my private life. If you have something that is good, they will be jealous of you, You have, most likely run into them, too. They will fill you with lies about friends they say are your enemies, and enemies they say are your friends.

They are charming and supportive at first and then, once they have gained your trust, they will turn on you and show their true colors.

Remember! Always go with your gut. If someone tries to derail your vision, get rid of them. You are the artist. You are the captain of your ship. You must discipline yourself to stay on your original course.

This is difficult to write about. I am not sure I am getting my point across. I am flying by the seat of my pants and believe this is how I should, and always have, felt.

Remember! Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.

Kip Addotta

 

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I am fascinated by people. I am interested in what they're doing and how they do it. I am well aware that my social media posts are not funny. And I feel no responsibility to make them funny.

What i post, as a private citizen, is how I feel or what I am concerned with, at the moment.

I also have complete confidence in my funny and believe that when i am contracted to do a job of work, I can flip that switch and become the silly fellow that my audience wants and deserves me to be. However, I have long since needed to prove it to people, in my private life. When I am not on stage, I am myself a man like any other man. I am not looking for approval, I am looking for communication.

Pardon my Id, but I believe that I am as good as one can be at whatever they do for a living. I have made my bones. The person that I am on stage is me, but, a more concentrated me. A more entertaining me. As Humphrey Bogart once said, when asked if he thought he owed his audience anything, he said, "All I owe my audience a good performance." When asked why he charged so much to perform, he said, "Cause I can get it."

When I step on to a stage I am the most relaxed me I can be. I am in MY water! I am fearless. When an interviewer asked Elvis Presley if he got nervous before a show, he said, "I have no right to be nervous, I have an audience to entertain."

What I do at work is enjoyable. However, the people I work for are in it for money, ticket sales and liquor sales. I would be a fool to allow people to make money without being remunerated for it myself.

Entertaining and entertainment is not magic or, as some people think, something that simply happens. It is complicated and many preparations and conditions must be realized for a performance to be entertaining. There are lights, sound, temperature and logistics involved. When you see a performance, all of the real work has already been done. The show you see begins long before show time.

People like me are supposed to make it look easy. It is not!

I see people perform at Karaoke and think, "Gee, I can sing just like the artist on the recording." That is because the recording is always done in a key that most people can sing in and the interpretation of the song is already done for you.

I'm sure you can sing along with Frank Sinatra, but could you sing the song if you had never heard him sing it. That's what he had to do. He had to interpret the song and make it his own. There was musical arrangements and orchestrations that had to be done.

If you were to see me perform or listen to one of my CDs you could use my material, pacing and dynamics. It would work for you too. But that does not make you a Comedian. It makes you a Parrot. (With all due respect) People love doing Rodney Dangerfield jokes. But, remember, that it took Rodney weeks or even months to perfect that joke. He worked very hard.

So, no, I am not funny all the time. I am funny at 8:PM and 10:PM. I don't sit around waiting for someone to say or do something that sets me up to be funny. I am stand alone, without context funny. Try it sometime!

Kip Addotta 

Kip Addotta

It is my pleasure to announce that I will be appearing at The Ice House, in Pasadena, CA, on Sunday, March 23rd at 7PM.

 Please arrive no later than 6:30PM (if not earlier for seating and beverage service).

There will be no opening acts. I will begin "My Show" at 7PM straight up. I have every intention of making this event an unforgetable expierience. My Musical Director, Jonathan Green, will be with me.

This announcment may seem early. I am begining this promotion now because, I believe, that people are very busy and I want you to have plenty of time to set this time aside for "My Silliness." I am pulling out all the stops!

You can help me promote this event. You may be thinking, "But, I don't live in Pasadena or Los Angeles." It doesn't matter. If you share this information with your friends, all over the world, and they, in turn, share it with their friends, then everyone will be informed. Thank you, in advance, for this favor. (Six Degrees Of Seperation)

Tickets are $14.99 and can be obtained at: http://www.laughstub.com/event.cfm?id=281032

His Silliness

Kip Addotta

Darin Tschopp lr

Darin Tschopp, 47, formerly of Coal Valley, died Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Williamsburg, Va.

Arrangements are pending at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Moline.

America has lost a great man!

by Ed Crews

Photo by Mark Winslow

An oxcart driver at Colonial Williamsburg for five years, Darin Tschopp doesn't get the expression "dumb as an ox" anymore. The longer he works with these cattle, the less sense the cliché makes to him.

Of course, Tschopp may be prejudiced. He likes and understands these gentle giants. He knows their personalities, preferences, and capabilities. He talks about them by name, often pairing them in conversation, as he does at work, in two-animal teams, like Red and Rusty, and Timer and Tuck. Working together, Tschopp, the oxen, and fellow driver Eric Hunter have pulled loads of brick and wood in the Historic Area and plowed fields and moved downed trees at Great Hopes Plantation. Tschopp's experience has taught him that these "dumb beasts" can outsmart a human.

"Whoever came up with 'dumb as an ox' never worked with them. These are bright animals," Tschopp said. "In a way, they're just like kids. They'll see what they can or can't get away with. They'll test you. They'll look for ways to get out of work. They need to know you're the boss, or they'll take advantage of you."

Despite their size, oxen don't need tough handling, he said. They follow commands given in a whisper. Yet they do need handlers to give clear instructions and to set firm boundaries. If you can do that, Tschopp said, it's amazing how much the animals can accomplish.

Like Williamsburg's modern oxen, their colonial counterparts had the size and strength for heavy tasks. It's what made these animals valuable in the European settlement of North America.

"During the colonial period, oxen were critical," Tschopp said. "They provided the power for big, heavy jobs. They were the trucks, tractors, and bulldozers of their time."

Oxen were commonplace in British colonies starting in the 1600s. Plantation owners and small farmers relied on them for all sorts of tasks as well as for milk, meat, hides, and fat. During the Revolutionary War, oxen hauled supplies; they were links in the Continental Army's logistical network. In September 1781, Williamsburg citizens saw what was probably the largest assemblage of cattle in the town's history when George Washington's supply column passed through on its way to the Battle of Yorktown.

Oxen remained the main beasts of burden until late in the nineteenth century, when horses and mules replaced them.

Colonial Williamsburg has used oxen in historic interpretation for more than four decades. Holsteins came first in 1963 for "Life on the Street" programs. Over time, the Holsteins were replaced by two rare breeds.

The Coach and Livestock Department has eight oxen—Milking Shorthorns. It has also used Randalls. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy recognizes the breeds as endangered. By caring for and using these animals in educational programs, Colonial Williamsburg is helping to preserve their bloodlines.

The Milking Shorthorns are one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world. They came to the United States, Virginia specifically, in 1783. Their forerunners apparently existed during the 1500s in northeastern England.

Milking Shorthorns spread rapidly across the United States. Farmers in the North and Midwest readily accepted them, and the first herd was established on the west side of the Mississippi River in 1839. During the nineteenth century, American farmers admired the animals for their strength, the quality of their meat, and, most important, their milk. But by the early 1980s, Milking Shorthorns were in dire straits. Thanks to a concentrated twenty-year rescue effort, about 10,000 of these red and white cattle now exist worldwide 

Much is known about Milking Shorthorns, but relatively little information is available on the Randall breed's history. These black and white cattle originated in New England, and are named for the Randall family of Vermont, which had a herd of them throughout the twentieth century. The breed's lineage is unclear, but experts believe it may include cattle from Holland, Britain, and France.

By the early 1980s, the Randall breed had dwindled to a handful of animals. Cynthia Creech of Jefferson, Tennessee, heard about the situation and brought Randalls to her farm—the start of the breed's rescue. Progress has been slow, and the breed remains in a critical situation. About 200 of them now exist, up from the twenty or so animals alive two decades ago.

The Milking Shorthorns and the Randalls are a perfect fit for Colonial Williamsburg. They're docile, undisturbed by crowds, strong, and easily trained. Their education begins early. Youngsters involved in 4-H projects begin working with the oxen when they are calves, getting them used to being handled and guided by humans. Then, they move on to commands. The animals can learn about twenty. They begin with the simplest.

"You start by teaching them 'forward' and 'stop.' Once they have these commands down, you go on to 'gee'—right—and 'haw'—left. Eventually, you teach them to back up, but it's tough because it isn't natural for cattle to walk backwards. They don't like it because they can't see what's behind them," Tschopp said.

After oxen have learned commands, they can work with light loads until they reach maturity around age four, when they can handle heavy jobs. An ox typically can work with loads two to three times its weight. A two-animal team usually can manage several tons.

Thanks to their size and strength, the oxen are the stars of the show whenever they appear in the Historic Area. Guests cannot resist seeing them up close.

"Everybody loves them," Tschopp said. "When we go down the street, people actually run out of buildings to look at them. Guests never have seen an animal this large up close."

Tschopp believes—and hopes—this fascination will help preserve the Milking Shorthorn and Randall breeds.

"It's really important that we use the oxen because it keeps them in the public eye, and that helps preserve the breed," Tschopp said. "It's really satisfying for me to get people interested in these animals. I'm always hoping that a child will see the oxen, become intrigued, and help preserve them by getting involved in a 4-H program with them."

Men

02/19/2014 — 2 Comments

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I've known many men. Men who have taught me many things. Famous men like Sammy Davis JR., Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Norm Crosby, Tom Jones, Milton Burle, Bob Hope, Howard Cosell, Mohamed Ali, Fred Travalena, Steve Martin, Dick Snawn and on and on.

And not famous, but great men like Earl Dewey, Dick Clair, Hughey Myers, Dr Robert Davidson, Dr Barry Unger, Lester Bennett, my lawyer Steven Weisberg, Greg Carpenter, Victor Addotta, my son and too many to go into, but men who I've learned from and admired.

Men have gotten a bad rap and, my problem is, too many of them deserve it. My daughter Kathy looked for a good man for a long time and, thank God, she found one in my son in-law Michael, but they are few and far between.

I see men today who are predatory animals who are not looking for anything more than sex or money. I sex men that dress like bums and maybe this is a good thing because it is an easy way to spot the rabble.

But, the most disturbing thing is that I see men that are not willing to take reasonability for their own actions. They impregnate women and disappear. These men don't even have the courtesy to use protection so that the women they get drunk and take advantage of are left with decisions that no woman should have to consider.

Gentlemen. We all have a duty to Lead lives that are good examples for young men coming up. I want and expect us to be honest, dependable and polite,

I also expect and hope that we begin to speak without "Gutter Words" that have become so easy to use, these days. These words are not what our for fathers meant when they told us that we had freedom of speech. Our forefathers meant that we had the freedom to voice our opinions. So, guys, lets bring our game up. Let's be the kind of men we would expect, hope and wish our fathers were. Let's show the world that we are decent beings!

Women

02/18/2014 — 1 Comment

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I have met the most wonderful women, in my time. I live with one of them. She is honest to a fault, trustworthy and beautiful. She is also sexual. She is “Old School.” She is well read, intelligent and has many friends, of all ages. She is a prize! And, for some mysterious reason, she loves me.

There are many of these women who I have met and know and I am grateful to all of them for being who they are. Good Mothers, fine wives and a true friend to all that have “The gift” of knowing them.

Waiting for the other shoe?

Here it is.

I have also met women who are sly, cunning, devious and down right shrews. These females seem to think that they are entitled to all the respect, deference and rewards that other women enjoy simply because of their gender. They are not!

They are not faithful to their mate, they are not good mothers, they are not capable of running a clean and wholesome home and they do not practice good hygiene. (I could say the same things about men, but that’s for another article. Lets dwell of females, for now.)

I know women who are aggressive, back stabbing, lying, creatures who think nothing of being disrespectful to the men that deserve respect and believe that men are simply a means to an end. If you ever want to see the ugliness within these particular types, take a peek at the “Women’s” restroom in a night club, at about 11PM. My lady will not go into one!

And what is my point?

My point is, be very careful with women. They can look like candy or they can be down right homely. It doesn’t matter. There are good women who are homely and good women who are beautiful. There are also ‘Bums” that fit in the same categories.

Kip Addotta

Please comment @ my web site: http://www.kipaddotta.com/

grandmagrandpa-239x300My ancestors fresh from Brooklyn

My Grand Father, Jasper Addotta, came to this country to avoid Mussolini’s Draft. Of course he came by boat to Ellis Island. There was a paper sign pinned to his back that said, “Kishwaukee St.” This sign told the immigration people where he was going. You see, in those days, one had to already have a job in order to enter our country. The paper sing, on his back, told the authorities where to send him.

Kishwaukee St. was in Rockford, IL and there were many furniture factories there and Jasper had a job at one of them.

Jasper Addotta worked there for about a two tears, saving every penny he could so that he could win his citizenship and go back to Sicily to get my Grand Mother, Francesca and bring her back to America.

During his two year absence from Sicily, Francesca was living in a convent. This was done so that she would have some protection from the men or soldiers of Mussolini’s army.

Jasper got on another boat and went all the way back to Sicily, to our ancestral home Porto Niko. He arrived at the convent in the wee small hours of the morning. He shouted out, “Francesca” several times and, finally, The Mother Superior appeared at a window, high up near the top of the structure. “What do you want?” she yelled down at him. Jaster said, “I am here to take Francesca to America. I am her fiancé, Jasper. The mother superior closed the widow and disappeared. About forty minutes later the large main doors of the convent opened and there stood Francesca with all of he belongings. The two of them got married and then got on another boat to go to America. This time, since Jasper was already an American citizen, with a Passport, they could go wherever they wanted, so they went to Brooklyn, New York and set up a home and began their family.

It was years later that Francesca and Jasper moved their family to Rockford IL to get the kids away from gangs, (My Uncle Victor stayed in Brooklyn where he was connected to the Gambino family) In Rockford IL Francesca would give birth to four more children to bring the total to eight.

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Kip,

 
Notes from North Carolina:  Snow walk.
 
 I went to the store and back yesterday when the snow was still coming down.  It was hard and cold because it was half snow, half sleet.  But it wasn’t that bad.  Only half a mile away.
 
Today I went to the same store, a flat walk, and ran into a guy I know who lives down the hill.  He was on his way to the store as well.  We walked to the store, then I walked back to his place at the bottom of a pretty steep 1/4 mile long hill.  I wanted to do it.  Once I’m out I might as well move a bit.  We didn’t go down the steepest hill, we took a longer but less steep one.
 
I visited with him and his girlfriend for maybe 15 minutes and then decided to walk home up the big steep hill.  It was dark out.  There were people snow-boarding and sledding down the hill – a steep and winding quarter mile run, not bad.  But for me, the big thrill was standing at the bottom and looking up to see something coming down at a much faster speed than the others.  I wondered what it was until it got closer, which did not take long because it was really flying.  It was someone on skis.
 
Not only have I never skied in my life (even though had I tried I would have been good at it), I have also never seen someone ski in person, only on tv.  it was a thrill to have my first-ever view of someone skiing happen on a city street where I would least expect it.  I walked up the hill with a bunch of those who had sledded down.  One of the guys was married to the woman on skis.  She was really flying.  It looked scary and could have been even scarier if a car had been coming along one of the 3 small side streets that adjoin the hill.  It was the highlight of my day though, which only further proves I need to get out more often.

TJ

imagesWhen I was a young man I could smell things because they had odors to them. On a rainy day one could smell wet wool. When you walked by a tavern you would smell whiskey and tobacco. The gasoline, in those days, had a wonderful scent to it. If someone was cooking you could smell it from a block away. If someone took their shoes off there might be an unpleasant smell.

Not all of these smells were pleasant but they were part of life and I miss them. We have deodorized life. Each of us has an oder and that oder has become something that is considered bad. My grandmother had a scent all her own and I miss it. My father worked in a factory and he smelled like a factory when he came home. I miss that scent.

If someone was from a particular culture their home had a scent to it and I miss walking into, as example, walking into an Italian home and smelling garlic. I enjoyed the smell of tobacco until “The nice people” put chemicals into them and made them smell horrible.

I miss smells!

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I have played poker with many dogs, many times. I do not recommend it and have ceased to do it.

Yes, dogs can be taught to play poker and many of them travel to poker tournaments to compete, the bastards.

The problem with playing poker with dogs is that they are not sly or devious and they never bluff. When a dog gets a bad hand they immediately throw their cards in, because dogs don’t bluff. When they get a good hand their tail wags and many players think they’re bluffing. Again, dogs don’t bluff.

In addition to this, when experienced people see a dog’s tail wagging (The Bastards) they fold and the dog wins the pot. One might say, “Well it’s not a very big pot” and they are correct. Dogs beat you by attrition. taking small amounts of money many times during the game, the bastards. So if a dog shows up at your table, do not allow it to take a chair. If you run an open table policy, well, your in trouble.

Take my advice. I know what I’m talking about because I have lost thousands of dollars to dogs, the bastards. You have been warned!

Kip Addotta

Please comment on this on my site http://www.kipaddotta.com/

PS Thank you