Academy Awards revisited

I’m a movie junky. I can’t see enough of them. So of course I love the Academy Awards television special. I never miss it. And in preparation I try to see all the movies with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress. Unfortunately I didn’t quite make that goal for the 2014 movies. I didn’t see “Two Nights, One Night” for which Marion Cotillard had a best actress nomination. That movie is still on my to-see list along with the documentary shorts. I also looked forward to seeing Neil Patrick Harris on this year’s award show. I loved him as Doogie, so I was sure I’d love him Sunday night. And I wasn’t disappointed – at least with his opening joke and opening song and dance number. So sorry Jack Black interrupted it. I did think, however, that he looked a little embarrassed trying to emulate “Birdman’s” undies scene. Anything to spice up the show, right? Doogie’s opening joke in welcoming the audience to 2014’s movies as the best and the whitest seemed to open the … [Read more...]

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Paul’s CD is almost ready

Last December I wrote that I was intent on putting out a compact disc of my son Paul's music and have all proceeds go to charities that work toward erasing the stigma of mental illness and/or preventing suicide.  And I am pleased to say that it is almost ready to go. My plan now is to launch it sometime in the week of September 23 to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of Paul's death. As the date gets closer, I'll let you know where and when the launch will take place. I must credit the three people who have helped make this project a reality: Martin Borsanyi, Paul's friend from their Crossroads high school jazz ensemble days, copied all of Paul's music from the original cassette tapes that Paul left us onto CDs Patrick von Wiegandt, a brilliant recording artist and singer and musician (he leads a band called Swanky), produced and engineered all the songs. He also helped me pick the songs for the CD and the order in which they will appear. Paul Blieden, photographer ex … [Read more...]

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Keeping Paul’s music alive

After Paul died on the morning of September 23, 1999 we found a rectangular-shaped  black canvas bag that contained cassette tapes of all his recorded music. We picked out a few and played them during his memorial service four days later. One of his long time friends, Martin Borsanyi, who used to compose and play jazz music with Paul during their high school days, came over to our house many times in the next year or so. He made an inventory of Paul’s musical instruments (except his piano, which we still have) and other electronic sound and recording equipment that we gave away to the Crossroads High School jazz ensemble where he and Martin played. Martin also transferred the music from cassette onto CDs, working in our home because I was afraid to let the tapes out of my sight for fear of losing them. Once I got into the age of iTunes, I also transferred all of Paul’s music there as well. I also created a memorial page on my blog here at Choices where people can stop by to list … [Read more...]

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Paul’s lyrics – found after 25 years

I received a note just after the first of the year from one of Paul’s friends from Crossroads High School. Martin and Paul spent a lot of time at each other’s homes on the weekends writing and recording music. When they were at our house we could always expect a new recording waiting for us to play in the morning. We’ve kept in touch with Martin and his family since Paul died. Martin said in his note, “I was cleaning out some very old files and found two old hand-written lyrics by Paul, both written aged 16-17 I'd say. One is a straightforward love gone wrong song and one is a rather harsh reproach of hippies who've sold out.” Having something else that Paul created is such a gift – it helps fill in another piece of the puzzle, showing his prowess as a writer along with his playing and composing talents. The two pages that I received in the mail from Martin yesterday are ripped and faded, but no less valuable to me. The other page is barely readable I’ve copied Paul’s l … [Read more...]

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