Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Morning with Showbiz David: Some Recent Visitors

What would life be without friends and kin?  How could we muddle through?  I couldn't.   Here are some pics of some recent valued visitors.

Long-time friend, Vania, and myself, in a Berkley cafe a couple of months back. We are of the class of striving ("struggling" sounds a tad over the top) playwrights.  A native of Queens,Vania was tutored by Lillian Hellman. Recently, she moved from the Hamptons on Long Island, to Arizona, with her friend, whom she calls "family," Tom. When I lived in Los Angeles, Vania was very instrumental in the productions I got of two of my musicals, Those Ringlings ("with proper handling, deserves a shot at a Tony" - Variety), and Welcome to Welfare.

Oh, here's my nephew Jeff, son of sister Kathy, at work on my temperamental roller coaster.  He possesses the exacting skill of an engineer, has made guitars and small boats, hosts honey bee hives (something like that), has taken keen interest in the history of San Francisco's  old Big Dipper roller coaster, and may one day build a scale model of his own.  Here he seems determined to help me remedy troubled trackage, where the cars tend to go silent or derail.  I've kindly warned Jeff to be prepared for some sobering setbacks. Rarely if ever, does a model roller coaster operate with virtual perfection.  I've constructed four rides that do - The Whip, Tilt-A-Whirl, Ferris Wheel, and Swings, not the coaster.  Sometimes it goes perfectly around five or six runs, and what a high it gives me! But soon, I'm back in humble mode.

My friend in many pursuits, Boyi Yuan, the night we first tested our Version 3 of our board game Can't Stop Shopping, pondering a rule change.  It's an easy free-flowing collaboration. Boyi was raised on a farm in China, I, in a park (Golden Gate) in San Francisco (no, not behind a bush, but in the brick house that came with my father's job tending to a section of the park and a windmill).

A little over a week after Boyi was here, niece Lisa, from Luray, VA, was by with her son, Noah, visiting  friends and relatives, and she took a twirl around the board.  Loved it!  (Well, yes, she's my niece.)

My grand nephew, six-year-old Noah {"Mister McFiddle") wanted to play the game, but Version 3 would be too difficult, so we tried to talk him into being the banker, and he went along until discovering what reactions he could get from us with a camera in hand, not favoring the most flattering camera angles. (Oh, to see ourselves as other see us.)  So he had blast video-taping us. 

And then, last Monday, friend Doug, who lives in San Francisco and works as a tech writer for a Silicon Valley type firm in San Leandro, met me at a funky and fun little eatery, Tapioca Express, where the young evidently hang out, in the lovely downtown section.  He became visibly engaged in the game, fearing at first it would be "too complicated," but then, as it progressed, finding it challenging and fun in the final stages. 

Boyi and I might put up a copy or two of the game's prototype on EBay, just to see if somebody bites, just to maybe start a little buzz.  Maybe lure a few souls back to a dining room table,although I understand, that nowadays when that happens, the occupants spend most of their time not facing each other but staring at smart phone screens.  The idea of such conduct is beyond me. But then again, I wasn't born out of a computer.

And that's all the fun for now, Folks!

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