Monthly Archives: October 2016

Breaking: Trump’s a Russian Agent!

trump-art-jpegI’m reading some pretty shocking stuff today. Bombshell stuff. People are saying that Donald Trump just might be a Russian agent – and that he has a secret E-mail server communicating with Russia.

trump-putinI’m not saying that Trump’s a Russian agent – but people are saying it. And I’ve seen it in writing, too.

People are writing about the fact that the FBI is investigating Trump’s former campaign manager’s ties to Russia. And people are also writing that the FBI is investigating Trump’s ties to Russian hackers. Those same Russian hackers that FBI Director James Comey didn’t want to blow the whistle on before the election. (Again, that’s what people are saying and writing.)

trump-putin-imageSo, there you go folks. It looks like Trump is a Russian agent with ties to Russian hackers. He’s probably doing Putin’s bidding because he owes a lot of money to Russian oligarchs. I mean, I’m not saying it – but I’m hearing people say it – and people are writing about it.

It’s the biggest scandal since Watergate.

In fact, it’s worse than Watergate.

It’s the biggest scandal since the Rosenbergs. Believe me.

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Filed under Comedy, Politics

Love & Baseball

vic-banner-1-jpegumpireMy wife is a Cubs fan.

I’m rooting for the Indians.

There can be no greater test of our marital bonds.

Can love overcome battling baseball allegiances?

Alas, there’s no umpire than can make this call.

My darling, treasured wife, Victoria, is a Chicago girl born and raised. Vic’s a South Sider by birth – and should really be a White Sox fan by regional rights – but she headed to the North Side for college, which is where we first met.

vic-post-1-5After her years at Northwestern University in Evanston on Chicago’s northern border, Victoria moved to Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood (also on the North Side), where loyalty to the Cubs was very strong. Shortly after I moved in with her in the mid-1980s, we took an apartment in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. It was a short walk to hallowed, historic Wrigley Field — the very epicenter of Cubs fandom.

vic-post-1-3As I discussed in a previous post, the Cubs became my favorite team in the National League during my years in Chicago, and Victoria and I went to many games at Wrigley Field, snuggling under a blanket during the chill of home openers in the spring and enjoying the thrill of pennant races in late summer.


Together we experienced the exhilarating highs and inevitable lows endemic to Cubbie love – especially the bittersweet 1989 season in which Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe and Mitch Williams all made the All-Star game and Jerome Walton was the NL Rookie of the Year. Of course, that team broke our hearts again by losing to the hated San Francisco Giants four games to one in the National League Championship Series.

Love of the Cubs has always been something that Victoria and I have shared – from the time we began dating in 1985, to when we were married on the North Side in 1990, and throughout our long sojourn in Southern California. We suffered together through losing seasons and the horrors of The Bartman Game.

vic-post-2-4Meanwhile, my wonderful wife viewed my continued support of the Indians in the America League. She paid scant attention to American League baseball anyway. In fact, she’d never been to Comiskey Park to see the White Sox play until I took her to that venerable South Side ballpark during its final season of existence.

She happily supported my trip to Jacobs Field in Cleveland to watch the Indians win Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. In fact, losing Game 7 of that Series in a particularly heartbreaking fashion only strengthened our baseball bonds of mutual misery.

Now comes this moment. A moment I never imagined could happen in our lifetimes.

The Cubs we have loved together are finally, blessedly, in their first World Series since 1945. Yet, as cruel fate would have it, they are playing against my boyhood team, The Cleveland Indians.

And so, this time I must root for my Tribe.

img_8028I’ve explained why this must be – but especially with the Cubs down 3 games to 1 at this moment – Victoria is looking daggers at me.

I know love conquers all. But, why oh why, must the baseball gods test our marriage by pitting the Indians versus the Cubs? Why not Red Sox versus Cubs — or Tribe versus Dodgers? Those matchups would not have challenged our three-decade love match.

Tonight, we’ll watch Game 5 together. There is a possibility that The Indians will celebrate their first World Series championship since 1948 amid the history and ivy of Wrigley Field. There is also the chance the Cubs will send this Series back to Cleveland for Game 6.

And if the Tribe wins tonight – Vic might just send me back to Cleveland anyway.


Friends & Family gather for Game 4 at Tinhorn Flats in Burbank. It’s early — and the Cubs are leading 1-0. I’m the only one rooting for the Tribe in the entire building.


Later in the game. Indians are now leading — and I’ve been exiled from the table.


A second generation Cubs Fan


A third generation Cubs fan. It’s all fine in that family now — but let’s see what happens (and what cap the little man’s wearing) when the Cubs face the Red Sox in a World Series.


A final peace offering.


Filed under History, Sports, Uncategorized

Eva Returns to The Hotel Café!

songs-and-stories-eva-b-ross-and-david-millerIf you missed Eva B. Ross the last time she played The Hotel Café – and especially if you were there – you won’t want to miss the Eva B. Ross Foundation when she returns to that cool & cozy venue on Friday, November 18 at 8:30 PM.

eva-hotel-cafe-art-jpegThe Hotel Café is located at 1623 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028.

Eva will joined onstage by her fabulous guitarist David Miller – and she’ll be followed on the bill by a trio of talented fellow UCLA musical acts: Ryan Nealon Band, Mr. Moon and Apollo Soul.

Tickets are $10 and make sure to say which band you’re coming to see at the door!

Go to the Facebook event link here.






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Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll

Balancing My Baseball Loyalties.

bb-banner-jpegThere’s no doubt that the 2016 World Series is laden with historic significance.

1948-cleveland-indians-world-series-champions-patchThis year’s Fall Classic pits two of baseball’s legendary hard luck franchises: The Cleveland Indians and The Chicago Cubs. When you consider how long it’s been since the Indians and Cubs have won a World Series, it’s 1948 against 1908 – with the Cubs suffering the longest title drought.

The 2016 World Series will put an end to one of baseball’s two most notorious curses: the Curse of Colavito and the Curse of the Billy Goat.

And, for me, it will be an exquisitely personal experience.

cubs-goat-logoI was born and raised on the West Side of Cleveland — but I went to college and lived and worked on Chicago’s North Side for 15 years. I married my wife, a Chicagoan and lifelong Cubs fan, in Chicago. One of our daughters was born there.

For years, I’ve been able to root for my American League heroes, The Indians – while also cheering for my favorite National League team, The Cubs. The likelihood that my dual baseball loyalties would be tested in World Series was remote. Like worrying about getting hit by lightning.

But now, the baseball gods have flung their bolts – and lightning has struck.

images-washingtonpost-comSo, I must make my choice.

Baseball and boyhood are inextricable. Some of my earliest memories involve the Cleveland Indians. I remember when I was 3-5 years old, looking at the front page of The Cleveland Plain Dealer to see if the Tribe had won or lost.

cw2My dad, who was a fine cartoonist himself, enjoyed showing me the small cartoon Indian that appeared on The Plain Dealer’s front page the day after each game.

If the Indians won, that tiny cartoon Indian brave looked upbeat – with a feather in his headdress. (Two feathers for two victories in a doubleheader.)

cw-3If they lost, the little Indian would have a black eye – or, in this case, a sore bottom from getting his butt kicked.

620x686xphoto-8-montage-927x1024-png-pagespeed-ic-sjzucr-yqiAnd in the case of a split doubleheader, he might sport one black eye for the loss – while triumphantly holding a scalp to indicate the win.

Little boys – and The Plain Dealer — had no clue about political correctness in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

95dd7d0bb910ca4fb7b02e83d49fc367I have vivid memories of frequent trips with my father and brother to the cavernous Municipal Stadium to cheer on those 1960’s Indians teams, starring my favorite player, Rocky Colavito. (Who should be in the Hall of Fame.) I was only two years old in 1960 when Rocky was sent to Detroit in a trade that many fans believed cursed the team – but I sure remember Rocky’s glorious return to Cleveland in 1965.

It didn’t hurt that Rocco “Rocky” Colavito was Italian. My mom is Italian – and as a member of St. Rocco’s Church and school – my world was decidedly Italian-centric.

davalilloHeck, I also took pride in the fact that Rocky’s teammate Vic Davalillo was also Italian. (He wasn’t. Vic was Venezuelan.)

In all the seasons that I followed The Indians before I went off to college in Chicago, there were more lowlights than highlights. But I saw young Craig Nettles, Dennis Eckersley, Luis Tiant, Sudden Sam McDowell, Buddy Bell, Gaylord Perry and so many others compete in a Tribe uniform.

bat-dayThe Indians has a Straight A Tickets program – and boy, did I make sure to score those straight A’s. On Bat Day, they gave you a real bat. Can you imagine handing 40,000 kids a real bat in downtown Cleveland – or any city – today?

So, the Indians are in my DNA. They’re my hometown team. My boyhood idols.

big-cubbieBut I love The Cubs, too.

Soon after arriving at Northwestern University in 1976, I started watching Cubs games on WGN – with Jack Brickhouse calling the games. We didn’t get every Indians game on TV in Cleveland, and I got hooked on watching the Cubs every day.

600f51b17cdc6a926d68e07a04b60144In 1984, I started going to Wrigley Field on a regular basis. After all those years of watching baseball in the drafty vastness of Municipal Stadium, I was charmed by the intimacy of The Friendly Confines. And I fell in love with the team, led by the bat and glove of the glorious Ryne Sandberg.

Of course, those 1984 Cubs broke my heart when they blew a two-game lead to lose the NL pennant to Steve Garvey and the San Diego Padres. Having my heart broken by the Cubs only intensified a growing bond with my fellow Cubs fans and the people of the Windy City’s North Side. I knew from birth what it was to support a lovable baseball loser. Now I supported two of them.

Since then, I enjoyed the Indians’ resurgence in the late 1990’s – and endured their losses in the 1995 and ‘97 World Series. (But at least we got there, right?)

And, as a Cubs fan, I anguished along with everybody else in Chicago when Steve Bartman got in the way of that fateful pop foul.

artbble-pos-16tbb2-1154-gold-sThese highs and lows only reinforced the needlessness of worrying about divided loyalties in an Indians vs. Cubs World Series. Such an incredible thing was never going to happen.

But now, it has happened.

And, as I said, baseball and boyhood are inextricable.

So, I’m rooting for my Cleveland Indians in this Series.

kris_bryant-topps-061015As for the Cubbies, they have so much youth, talent, pitching, managerial wisdom and front office brilliance that I expect them to be World Series favorites for the next decade.

I’ll say what we Cubs fans have said since 1908.

Wait ‘til next year.

I’ll be rooting for a Cubs victory then.

Now, let’s play ball!


Filed under History, Sports

Meet Ms. Maura & The Misters

14682156_350597921939875_4434002577358694647_o0001366218_10Save the date, folks: December 10, 2016!

aaeaaqaaaaaaaat3aaaajdvkn2nhmzriltjlmmitndm2ns1hztuzltfingu2mtfmzddkzgThose of you who have heard my daughter Maura sing know that she’s got a soulful, bluesy, powerhouse instrument. And now, she’s put together a talented band that compliments and amplifies her unique and groovy vocals.

Get ready for Ms. Maura & The Misters.

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, Ms. Maura & The Misters will make their public debut at Ms. Maura’s 1st Annual Holiday Happening at The Offbeat bar in Highland Park.

unnamedMs. Maura & The Misters will be rocking original bluesy-funky-soulful tunes for hip, hot and happy holiday grooving.

12485844_1015392298531197_3521549748487510897_oThere’s no better way to kick off the festive season than to party with Ms. Maura and her musical friends – including my youngest daughter and her band The Eva B. Ross Foundation.

Maura assures me that this is just the first event in Ms. Maura’s Swinging Shindigs quarterly kitschy party series.

14720587_351716295161371_1571858259162046950_nShe’ll also be celebrating the release of Ms. Maura & The Mister’s first single — an original holiday tune serenading the lack of snowmen in L.A.

Don your jingle bells and bring your friends to Ms. Maura’s 1st Annual Holiday Happening.

If you’re coming, let us know at this link.


The Offbeat

6316 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

There’s plenty of parking in the lot across the street.

On the Musical Menu:

Eva B. Ross Foundation – 8pm

Ms. Maura & The Misters – 9 pm

DJ spinning vintage soul – 10 pm

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Filed under Art, Beauty, Music, rock & roll

Time To Step Down, Mike Pence.

A vendor flies the confederate flag prior to a Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump rally in Pittsburgh, June 11, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - RTX2FOT5


It’s actually long past time for beleaguered GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence to repudiate his great orange running mate’s toxic campaign.

trump-pence-03But now that Donald Trump sees the writing on the wall (and the polls), his destructive attack on the integrity of the American election process itself leaves his Veep pick with no other way to save his dignity, credibility and reputation than to jettison the flame-throwing narcissistic demagogue at the top of the ticket.

For the good of our democracy, Pence must dump Trump.


donald-trump-victim__optMike Pence says he’s a follower of Jesus Christ. What is there in the four Gospels that give any indication that the Prince of Peace would approve of Donald J. Trump? Not a thing. Re-read the Sermon on the Mount – especially the Beatitudes. Nowhere does Jesus say, “Blessed are the whining sore losers, for theirs is the right to torch the landscape in their wake.”

nov-9-lat-concedes-if-300In 1960, when Richard Nixon lost by the thinnest of whiskers to John F. Kennedy, even the man who would become infamous for campaign “dirty tricks” and Watergate respected the vote of the American people, despite unproven claims of election fraud in Illinois and West Virginia.

In 2000, when Al Gore lost by a few hanging Florida chads (and one dubious Supreme Court decision) to George W. Bush, Gore went before the cameras after the Florida recount was halted to put the nation first and acknowledge the legitimacy of his defeat.

maxresdefaultAnd now comes Donald Trump. He’s not even waiting for his eventual (and much deserved) defeat to cast doubt on the fairness of our American democracy.

Trump incites his angry followers to show up at the polls to watch out for the mass voter fraud he assures them will take place. Especially in those “inner cities” filled with, well, you know, those people…

And then there’s all those illegal immigrants Trump claims are pouring across our border to vote for Hillary. Because, of course, tens of thousands of desperate Central Americans are surely lining up to risk their lives and fortunes on a dangerous and expensive U.S. border crossing so they can put Hillary in the White House. (If you believe that, I have a bankrupt casino I’d like to sell you.)

16-trump-rally-w710-h473-2xTrump indicts the dishonest media for its part in rigging the election against him. Really? Is that what FOX, CNN and MSNBC were doing for a solid year when they covered just about every one of his rallies from start to finish? When they would put Hillary or Bernie Sanders in a little box in the corner of the frame while The Donald held court full screen? The truth is that the cable news networks were major enablers of Trump’s candidacy.

Yet even though all of Trump’s talk of a rigged election is absolute crap – millions of his followers believe him.

ct-trump-pence-huppke-20160715And that’s why Mike Pence – who surely knows better – must take a stand by standing down.

If Mike Pence doesn’t repudiate Trump’s claims of a rigged election in the strongest terms — and quit the Trump ticket now — he will have forfeited his credibility as a future candidate in our American democracy.

Trump is calling for torches and pitchforks, Governor Pence.

What would Jesus do?

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Filed under History, Politics, Truth