Tag Archives: Very Very Good Girl

Prodigal In Spotlight Dance At Wedding Of Very Very Good Girl & SportsBizPro

Dancing With The Star

We just received photos from last year’s Very Very Good Girl – SportsBizPro nuptials.1 From these pictures, it’s clear that Prodigal tripping the light fantastic was an exclusive feature of the post-wedding festivities.

As I responded earlier this morning to Prodigal’s query, “What’s the narrative tale of the blog today,” (yes, he routinely talks like that) the photos are self-explanatory.

Click on photos for best viewing.

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  1. The delay in receiving the photos is due to (1) What the parents of the bride (AKA Duke of Derm and Princess of Peds) euphemistically term – when in public – “problems with the wedding photograpy” and (2) Very Very Good Girl’s self-confessed habitual tardiness (see, for example, Thank You Card Crisis Averted At Last Moment – Republic Saved). She was never at risk of being mistaken for the Runaway Bride. Had she fled the marital vows, her decampment would no doubt have been delayed until the ceremony was complete, which would seem to negate the underlying principle. And, when she did take flight, it would have been as the Amble-away Bride, the Saunter-away Bride, or even the Hesitantly Perambulate-away Bride. []

Corrections, Emendations, Additions, and Explanations

1. The Very Very Good Girl – SportsBizPro Nuptial Quiz

One of the choices for this multiple choice photo-based query was inadvertently omitted. Fans of Lily Tomlin and the University of Missouri will recognize the reference immediately but the image should be clear to most folks. The option has been added to the original post and is displayed in bold font below.

In this post-wedding photo of Very Very Good Girl, she is

A. Dancing with exuberance and abandon
B. Shimmying out of her gown with exuberance and abandon
C. Demonstrating the overhead, two-handed throw used to inbound the ball in soccer with exuberance but not so much abandon
D. Posing as the model for a hood ornament
E. Performing the Antler Dance, which she chose for the Bride and Groom First Dance
F. Completing the toss of the bridal bouquet, causing the assembled unmarried women, ostensibly gathered to catch the flowers, to scatter in terror as though the floral arrangement were a live hand grenade.

2. Happy Birthday, Judy Collins – and Thanks

Included in this post was Leonard Cohen’s story of being introduced to Judy Collins for the first time:

[Cohen:] A friend of mine introduced me to Judy Collins. I went to her house and sang her a couple of songs that didn’t interest her and she said to me “Come back if you have something I might like.” A few months later after having finished “Suzanne”, I called her from Montreal and sang it to her on the phone. She wanted to sing it right away. Mary Martin, who became my manager, called John Hammond, who knew Judy Collins’ record company. He took me to lunch near the Chelsea Hotel and asked me to sing a few tunes. He said “You got it!”, I could start to record a record. …

I received an email from an “anonymous fan of Judy Collins,” politely pointing out that Judy Collins tells the story differently. Her version, which she has consistently reported since the time of her songbook in 1969 (a memory confirmed by Jac Holzman in Follow the Music), is that Cohen sang a couple of songs and she (Collins) then recorded Suzanne and Dress Rehearsal Rag almost immediately rather than instructing Cohen to come back when he had something she might like.

In addition, this fan noted that Collins “also recorded dozens of Cohen’s songs and is his biggest, if that is possible, fan.”

While I initially felt the differences between the stories was of modest significance, I now think adding the Judy Collins version to the original post is worthwhile because the implications of the fact that the incident is remembered differently are themselves interesting, and it was, after all, a post celebrating Judy’s birthday.

On the other hand, I am at fault for not elaborating on the extensive support that Judy Collins provided for Cohen, especially when he was making the transition from poet to singer. My only defense – and it’s inadequate – is that most regular readers of my posts are Cohen fans who know about the role Judy played in his career. I do occasionally forget that not everyone who, for example, finds one of my entries via Google, is aware of such background. I should know better.

3. Why The 2008 Leonard Cohen World Tour Is Opening In Fredericton

An impassioned but anonymous comment and a couple of emails objected to my self-labeled “guess” that one reason Leonard Cohen’s Tour opened in a series of smaller venues was to work out any kinks in the new show before moving to stadiums and other stages with larger audience capacity.

The writers seemed to object primarily to my characterization of towns like Fredericton as “small venues” and to my likening them to “off-Broadway” in the theater world. I don’t think that either of those terms qualify as insults.

Defining “small venue’ seems an arithmetic function. The Fredericton Playhouse has a capacity of just over 700. Compared to a stadium holding thousands, that seems to me to be a small venue.

The nearest theater to my home with live performances turns out to be about the same size (800 seats) as the Playhouse.1 I would describe it as small venue as well, although I note that most theaters of this size preferentially use the euphemism “intimate” instead of “small” in their marketing.

If Leonard Cohen has opened his tour here, I am certain that, after I recovered from the shock, I would write an much more sardonic and much nastier post, if only because I know a lot more about the flaws of this area than I know about Eastern Canada.

And, contrary to some of my correspondents, I feel “Off-Broadway” connotes an avant-garde, cutting edge approach to theater as well as a certain sophistication. But what do I know? Let’s check the American Theater Guide’s take on “off-Broadway:

By the 1960s Off-Broadway theatres were often providing much of the most exciting theatre in New York. Among the notable producing groups were the Circle in the Square, La Mama, the Living Theatre Company, the Negro Ensemble Company, the Phoenix Theatre, and the New York Shakespeare Festival. Many playwrights, such as Beckett, Genet, and the Americans Sam Shepard and A. R. Gurney Jr., have been presented in New York almost solely in Off-Broadway houses, and several playwrights, such as Tennessee Williams, announced a preference for Off Broadway after their later plays were not well received uptown.

Well, how about the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

The term was first used to refer to experimental plays produced on low budgets in small theatres, which provided an alternative to the commercially oriented Broadway theatres. Off-Broadway theatres grew in quality and importance after 1952, with the success of José Quintero’s productions. Plays by Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, and Lanford Wilson were first produced off Broadway, as were avant-garde works by Eugène Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, and Harold Pinter. Many new plays are now staged in well-equipped Off-Broadway houses, and Off-Broadway theatre has its own set of awards, the Obies. As production costs increased, smaller and more experimental theatres emerged; these were quickly labeled Off-Off-Broadway.

Yep, I can certainly see why that would rile some folks.

Perhaps the point is that – even if my speculation is accurate – opening a tour in showplaces that are smaller more intimate doesn’t negate the other attractions of those locations.

I once knew a woman who was attractive, witty, and smart, but her most powerful skill was the capacity to convince every male within within sight (and some who weren’t) that she was focused exclusively on him. This phenomenon was not dependent on explicit or implicit declarations from her and it took place even among those of us who observed it happening to others. If her attentions seemed to turn to one guy, the rest of us would immediately console ourselves with “That poor schmuck. He actually believes that she is interested in him.”

Well, Leonard Cohen is a bit like that. Those of us who are fans all want him to love us or our town or our interests the best. And sure enough, if one meets him, sees him at a concert, receives an email from him, or has any contact with him, it is overwhelmingly clear that Leonard Cohen thinks that person is someone special, that there is a resonance shared between them that is unique and wonderful.

I suspect that pointing out any possible motivation for Cohen being kind to a visitor, grateful to an audience, or gracious to a blogger other than a kinship of souls invites such protests. As far as I can determine, Cohen is genuinely fond of almost all his concert sites, especially the Canadian locations. He often, in fact, points out a special literary, political, or personal connection with the places he plays.

The problem is that Cohen being fond of a city may not be sufficient for some folks. Everyone wants to be #1 and every audience wants to be Leonard Cohen’s favorite.

It’s not just audiences. Watch or read a few Cohen interviews. Journalists fall over themselves to make it clear to readers and viewers that their relationship with him supersedes and transcends the connection between reporter and subject.

The same process, by the way, goes on in large venues. In Best Hook For Leonard Cohen 2008 Tour Schedule Announcement, I wrote about …2

The Jingoism Hook

On the other hand, the list of concert sites is a genuinely fresh addition to the available facts. Moreover, it is a data domain that enables the emergence of gloriously chauvinistic provincialism. The blurb from The Canadian Press is instructive:

Leonard Cohen announces world tour after hall of fame induction
Hot on the heels of his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen has announced a world tour. It’s being hyped as the first time the Montreal-born performer takes to the live arena in 15 years. Cohen, who was inducted into the hall of fame Monday night in New York City, will kick off the tour June 6 and 7 at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. He’ll give three shows at the Montreal International Jazz Festival on June 23, 24 and 25 at Place des arts. He’s expected to play Europe for the rest of the summer.

This piece has a couple of the essentials, the reference to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and the 15 year gap since the last tour.3

The article goes on to list the dates and specific venues of the five Canadian performances, appending as an afterthought the wonderfully nonspecific and even a bit skeptical comment “He’s expected to play Europe for the rest of the summer.”4

I suspect only the civility and and tact seemingly inherent to Canadians prevented a final paragraph on the lines of “And he won’t be appearing anywhere in the United States. Suck on that, Yanks. Nanner, nanner, nanner.”

The first lines of the Globe and Mail article, Cohen tour his first in 15 years, are equally revealing:

He may be Montreal’s man, but Toronto might just be his mistress.Iconic Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has revealed plans for his first proper tour in 15 years, and it kicks off in Toronto, at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, on June 6 and 7. And it’s not the first time the cloistered Cohen has picked Toronto for a comeback.

So, not only is the alliteratively cloistered Cohen an “iconic Canadian singer-songwriter,” he is an “iconic Canadian singer-songwriter” with a special connection to one particular Canadian city – Toronto – where the Globe and Mail is the hometown paper.

The nationalism angle is uniquely appealing in that, by its nature, reverting to pride of place renders the exposition automatically superior to analogous essays originating in other areas. And, this phenomenon is hardly an exclusively Canadian aspect. Heck, if Leonard’s tour had begun – as God surely intended – in Chicago, we would be reading headlines that start with USA! USA! USA! …

Heck, the real problem is how disappointed all these folks are gonna be when they finally realize that Leonard likes me best.

  1. I had originally thought the local theater to be smaller and responded to the comment in that belief. I found the correct capacity this morning. []
  2. I am quite the equal opportunity insult-dispenser []
  3. I’m unclear why the time since the last tour is characterized as being “hyped.” “Hyped” typically indicates an attempt to publicize an element of a story in an exaggerated or misleading manner; the 15 year gap seems to be nothing more or less than simple arithmetic []
  4. This classic structure is forever exemplified in the perhaps apocryphal Sunday Post headline, “Titanic Sinks. Dundee Man Drowned!” []

The Very Very Good Girl – SportsBizPro Nuptial Quiz


The wedding of Very Very Good Girl and SportsBizPro1 took place as planned this weekend. There may well be more discussion of the events, but for tonight I offer one of my favorite scenes from the ceremonies as a pictorial quiz.

In this post-wedding photo of Very Very Good Girl, she is

A. Dancing with exuberance and abandon
B. Shimmying out of her gown with exuberance and abandon
C. Demonstrating the overhead, two-handed throw used to inbound the ball in soccer with exuberance but not so much abandon
D. Posing as the model for a hood ornament
E. Performing the Antler Dance, which she chose for the Bride and Groom First Dance2
F. Completing the toss of the bridal bouquet, causing the assembled unmarried women, ostensibly gathered to catch the flowers, to scatter in terror as though the floral arrangement were a live hand grenade.

  1. See I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock and Roll Heck, I Knew The Bride When She Sang Her ABCs []
  2. Added 13 May 2008 []

Matrimonial Music Mix Musings

Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing.
- James Brown

I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

The Bride’s Mama’s Gonna Dance; Her Dad … Well, Hope Springs Eternal

Much of today was spent in the pursuit of the perfect music mix to be played at the impending nuptials of Very Very Good Girl and SportsBizPro1 during the dinner and the band’s breaks. To assist in this effort, I recruited the lovely and dance-obsessed Lady Lawanda, who is not only musically talented but seems to have been in attendance at every wedding held in Illinois and its bordering states during the past decade.

As readers can discern from the photo atop this post, Lady Lawanda and I found it useful as well as refreshing to occasionally take a break to walk through a few simple dance steps in order to capture a feel for how the songs in a particular concatenation flowed from one to another.

As it turns out, the playlists feel pretty darn good.

We now have tentative playlists that should work well as long as the dinner lasts at least 3.22 hours and no more than two days and the band takes two breaks of 93 minutes each. 2

Dance Lessons

As is usually the case when I take on a new task, traversing the learning curve has resulted in new insights into and observations which I share with you now:

1. Witty dinner repartee is highly overrated. The chances of our civilization surviving and advancing could be greatly enhanced if post-nuptial dinners evolved into hushed affairs with each guest quietly and introspectively pondering, in the musical environment created by the playlist, the significance of the ceremonial bonding of two souls just witnessed. Conversations should be restricted to praise for the exquisite content and precisely on the nose sequence of soundtrack which echoes the conjoint psychosexual development of the bride and groom from birth through their individual resolutions of their (also individual) Oedipal/Electra conflict.

2. An exam on the music at the end of the evening wouldn’t be a bad idea – especially if the scores are posted.

3. Just because every wedding mix I’ve composed has included at least one set of spectacularly lewd lyrics, set to a sweetly melodic tune, explicating the mechanics of one or more perverse sexual acts doesn’t necessarily mean that this wedding mix will be enriched with such a specimen. On the other hand, …

4. A wedding reception dance mix with “too much MoTown?” That’s crazy talk.

  1. See I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock and Roll Heck, I Knew The Bride When She Sang Her ABCs and Very Very Good Girl and SportsBizPro Appoint Music Maven []
  2. The songs can, of course, theoretically be aborted at any point – if one disregards the aesthetic integrity of the carefully constructed composite playlist. []

Wedding Music Maven Appointed By Very Very Good Girl and SportsBizPro

In response to last Sunday’s post, Crisis Averted At Last Moment – Republic Saved, Very Very Good Girl had two (very very good) comments (#1 and #2), the latter of which included this request:

Would you be willing to compose some play list to use during the reception1 when the band is taking breaks? Your CV for this task was strong to quite strong, with your annual Hilton Head mixes that get better and better. You could even throw in a Leonard Cohen ditty or two.

I am, of course, flattered to be asked2 and happy to accept this responsibility – although I am simultaneously surprised to learn that this key position at the very3 epicenter of the wedding ceremony-reception-honeymoon experience has somehow gone unfilled until now.4

My assumption of this role has also provided an opportunity to try out Mixwit, an online application that allows one to produce a virtual mix tape. As it turned out, Mixwit’s search function lacks the precision necessary for a practical means of auditioning a batch of wedding reception dance tunes. Nonetheless, I’ve set up a few appropriate songs below not only to provide viewers a bit of entertainment for a Saturday afternoon but also to show off the the display that gets my vote for coolest virtual mix tape player yet.

  1. For those not familiar with the upcoming premier event of the North Carolina spring social season, the “reception” references the impending nuptials of Very Very Good Girl and SportsBizPro to be wed in May. []
  2. I am especially flattered because, my youthful appearance and demeanor notwithstanding, I am actually closer – and this is not a joke – to VVGG’s father’s age than to hers []
  3. In this case, “very very” []
  4. There is a reason that the aphorism, “Upon the skills and cunning of the writer of the play list (the more precise translation of the original Greek into contemporary English is “sacred creator of the music which governs the universe”) for the wedding band’s break depends the continued existence of civilization, the physiological and spiritual development of children everywhere, and the ultimate significance of college basketball at the Division I level” is passed from generation to generation. []

Thank You Card Crisis Averted At Last Moment – Republic Saved

Last Minute

The Secret Threat Now Revealed

In a classic display of brinkmanship, the threat of a seemingly imminent catastrophic rift between the hitherto mutually adoring – and perhaps not incidentally, adorable – Very Very Good Girl (VVGG) and DrHGuy was thwarted just before the covert conflict was to surface as a post on the Heck of a Guy Blog, scandalizing the multitudes who have long viewed VVGG as an avatar of civility, grace, and refinement, a lodestar of all that is decent and, the redundancy notwithstanding, good about this otherwise burdensome mortal coil we call life.

As returning readers may recall from the Heck of a Guy post, It’s (Still) The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, DrHGuy’s Christmas gifts were, in mid-February, en route to certain blest individuals, including Very Very Good Girl.

Now, as one would expect, Very Very, to use her familiar appellation, has historically been extraordinarily prompt in responding to gifts with Thank You notes, typically lauding the generosity of the giver as well as her appreciation of and need for a complete set of monogrammed lard rendering implements exactly like those she received.

Yet, in this instance, days, then weeks passed with no card, not even a Hallmark-published postal platitude-fest, bearing VVGG’s carefully inscribed signature. DrHGuy’s unease turned to despair when he received a note of gratitude for the same set of Christmas gifts from the father of Very Very Good Girl, the lion hearted Duke of Derm,1 who is, notwithstanding his metaphorically mixed leonine heart of gold and his genuine appreciation of the generosity of friends and family, notoriously dilatory in issuing written Thank You’s – with still no word from the erstwhile prodigy of politesse.

The Ultimate Penalty

Finally, DrHGuy had no choice but to begin the formal due process required to remove one or even both of the “Very’s” long ago earned by and rewarded to VVGG.

Spanish Inquisition Court

DrHGuy assuredly took no personal joy in this turn of events. To the contrary, no one has, through the years, been a more enthusiastic supporter and proponent of Very Very Good Girl. But, the integrity of the Heck of a Guy Very Very Good Girl Global Group Grading Gage & Guidelines demands it. If the populace of this inconstant world ravaged by invisible, nefarious forces cannot trust the HGVVVGGGGGGG, what would replace it as a spiritual and moral touchstone? Anomie would inevitably become universal; governments would be powerless to protect their citizens as chaos and anarchy spread, and families would be rent asunder as legal principles and social mores dissolved. Murder and mayhem would follow with the oppressive rule of fascist leaders backed by force of arms the only alternative.

No, DrHGuy’s own affection for Very Very Good Girl could not take precedence over the survival of mankind – although it turns out to be a surprisingly close call.

While “De-Verycation,” the original name for the process, was adjudged too connotative of condemnatory hopelessness and has subsequently been replaced by the linguistically neutral and politically acceptable term, “Normalization,” this step is clearly no small matter. Consider the consequences of a restaurant losing a star or two in the Michelin Guide described in Chefs fork out to keep their stars shining by Adam Sage in The Times (June 4, 2007):

When the guide demoted Le Violon d’Ingres, a Parisian restaurant, from two stars to one in 2001, its annual turnover fell by 40 per cent, according to Christian Constant, the chef. “In this job, a catastrophe can hit you very quickly,” he said. In 2003, chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide when it was it was rumoured that his restaurant, La Côte d’Or, was going to lose its maximum three-star rating.

And that was just a couple of snail-serving eateries losing a gold star (which, by the way, DrHGuy earned by the gross in elementary school) awarded in a advertising brochure put out by a tire company.

Michelin Man

Imagine the embarrassment Very Very Good Girl would face were she downsized to merely Very Good Girl or the horrifying shame that would follow were she stripped of both “Very’s” to become no more than a mere Good Girl. How would she handle her upcoming nuptials, walking down an aisle knowing the audience on either side would be aware of her loss of status? Some of the rowdier, self-righteous sorts in attendance would, no doubt, hurl invectives or make rude jokes about her. Would the marriage even come off if she were damaged goods?

Astute readers may now well be thinking, “Hey, isn’t Very Very Good Girl getting married? No wonder she hasn’t sent that Thank You note. Give her a break.” DrHGuy’s response to that argument is to call ones attention to the point that the Thank-Youless gifts in question were Christmas gifts. Consequently, subjugating the completion of a Thank You card for these gifts to the planning of and preparing for her own wedding would, far from attenuating VVGG’s guilt, magnify and intensify it since she would be be, in effect, holding herself and her wedding more important than the birthday of Baby Jesus.

The Easter Miracle

There is, DrHGuy is glad to report, a happy ending. Just as the Heck of a Guy machinery was being put in motion to pronounce judgment on and penalize VVGG, the long awaited Thank You card arrived, belated but gracious as always.

DrHGuy is nothing if not forgiving and, indeed, rejoices that he can now, in good faith, dismantle the tribunal and return VVGG to her rightful place in the elite Double Very Good class.2

  1. To clarify, yes, the Duke of Derm’s full designation is properly “Duke of Derm at Duke” but that term is not only an awkward construct but also forms an unfortunate acronym, the Duke of Derm having little desire to be known as DoDaD. []
  2. In fact, DrHGuy is awarding a special Easter bonus pardon and will not let on that his feelings are hurt by the email received from Very Very last night, which included this declaration.

    Our moment of celebrity came this week when we checked our wedding photographers blog [in regard to their just-taken engagement pictures] and saw our own faces looking back at us!! Needless to say we had to share our famousness with our families.

    “Moment of celebrity?” How soon they forget. Very Very Good Girl and her beau, SportsBizPro, have, after all been featured in posts over the past nine months in another blog – this one, in fact – earning VVGG some small notoriety as THE #1 Very Very Good Girl listed in Google. If all that is forgotten in the excitement of being the focus of a posting on a photographer’s blog – a photographer who, by the bye, charges for her work (and what’s this about engagement pictures?) while DrHGuy offers his humble services as a freebie – well, DrHGuy understands; he understands exactly. Not that DrHGuy minds being taken for granted, of course. He’s used to it. Don’t worry about him. He’ll be just fine. []