Archive for December 11th, 2010

Beware Where You Stand…………

Dec. 11th 2010

Beware where you stand.

No. I am not getting all “political” and writing about Blue States or Red States. I am writing about mistletoe; that sprig of leafy greens that hang above doorways–where one least expects to find it.


Say what? What just happened?

No. That was not a violent act–just a random kiss by a random stranger.

I guess things could be worst, like stepping in a pile of seaming hot, fresh dog doo–in heels, or in your best Armani leather shoes—–on the way to a Christmas party.

So one must look UP and look DOWN on the way to holiday events. Words of wisdom by you-know-who. Brendan Ben Feeney.

I have been invited to 6 holiday parties this year. All of these parties are different. All require different forms of dress. Some are charitable. Other are just for fun.

Party #1. This was for GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco. I dressed up in pressed chinos, a navy blue blazer, a crisp white shirt, and wore my trademark bow tie. Thousands of dollars were raised for GLIDE’s many outreach programs, thanks to Robin Williams, Reverend Cecil William and Janice Miritaki, and other notable comedians. Many California food and wine vendors donated food for the event. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to help GLIDE. A big shout-out goes to the security firm who worked with me at the front door. Gentlemen, you  did your job with precision and grace.  You were  gracious to my mother who was my  co-guest greeter.  We now have a new line item to add to our resumes— Guest-greeters.

Party #2. This was for a group home, on the East Coast,  for men combating addiction– and winning the battle. They are transitioning back into society and sobriety. They are getting themselves clean. Who cares what I wear. The fact I support this underfunded group home is all that matters. Their budget has been slashed–looking like leftover bones of a once uber holiday turkey.

Party #3 This was at a rising Cambridge, MA food video and videographic firm call How2heroes. It was a “ulgy Christmas Sweater Party.” The competitive side of me kicked in and exploded like that blueberry gum scene in the Willy Wonka remake film.   I told my friend who invited me……… “You have not seen ugly until Brendan Ben hits the K-Mart circuit.”

Guess what? Our matching striped,  circa 1973, butt ugly, Sears catalog era sweaters with cowl necks, won a prize.  We left the price tags on for 2 reasons? 1) To push tacky to the limit. 2) So I could return the sweaters the next day.

 I kept telling my friend while eating—Lean forward!!!! Lean forward!!!!!I mean it. DO NOT get any hummus dip on these sweaters GD sweaters. They are coming back to where I bought them faster than an Australian boomerang.

Party #4 Was not really a party, but an old fashion New England Church Fair. I live across the street from a church built in 1813. My neighbors at the church—all 300 + are real quiet. I never have to call the police on them.  I live across from the church’s  graveyard. Some acquaintances who visit my house  get all  “freaked out”  and ask me, “How can you live across the street  from  a graveyard? Doesn’t that make you feel all weirded-out?” My reply is, “No. I do not hear a boo out of them.” I donated a set of signed postcards (that you see on my website) to the church fair’s silent auction table. All the money raised from the fair goes to charity. I must say, the wheel of Vermont cheddar cheese and homemade jam sold at this Episcopal church fair made me proud to be a true New Englander.

Party #5. This party/event has yet to happen. I look forward to it with great anticipation. It is at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I support dance, the arts, and fellow  artists. Two celebrated dancers/choreographers will perform at the Doris Duke  Theater at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This is an elegant event. Note to Sam, the nurse ar Jacob’s Pillow. I will bring you rocks smoothed by Cape Cod waters–not coal. We can Zen-up your deck, Brendan Ben Feeney artistic style—and I will NOT charge you my going rate for an art installation piece. Ca ching.

Party #6 will happen in January. New Years day,I will  spend it with a good friend, and his friend, who throws the best “kick back, come-as-you-are” parties.

He recently moved. When visiting his new condo, he gave me the obligatory new abode tour. He pointed out, “Look Ben. I have yet to fully unpack, and I have cookbooks stored in the oven!” I wait for the day when he goes to light the oven– forgetting about the cookbooks. Visualize 18 uninvited guest, arriving in big red trucks, bearing hammers, axes, and hoses, dressed in flame retardant coats. Wunderbar! How festive. And we even get a  holiday fire to bring us good cheer!

I have pressed my party suit. (Not my birthday day suit—as this friend reminded me when I had a recent birthday.)

I know the true religious meaning of Christmas. I know it can be a time of sadness for those who have lost love ones.  Bittersweet is not a great place to be, yet I have known bittersweet. I know many of my friends are of different faiths or have no formal faith. I respect and love them all. In closing, the holidays can be bittersweet for some— a whoop-dee-doo time for others. This holiday season I am feeling the “get-out-of the-house-and-stand (clothed)-under-the-mistletoe” vibe. Bake cookies. They makes the house smell good. Have a few laughs. Socialize. Be charitable.  Laugh some more. 

Whatever you celebrate. Whereever you celebrate, I  thank my readers and patrons of my artwork for a year that was filled with more blessing than you will ever know.  

Peace in the river. Peace in the valley.

Brendan Ben Feeney

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Be Sure to Wear….

Dec. 11th 2010

If you are a member of the Baby Boom generation, you may remember a song that goes something  like this……………….”If you’re going, to San Francisco. Be sure to wear some  flowers  in your hair.”

Being hair-impaired, this is problematic, yet I understand the message of the song.

I was in San Francisco as a host/greeter at the historic Warfield Theater on Market Street, for GLIDE Memorial Church’s holiday benefit  featuring Robin Williams, a resident of San Francisco— and a very, very  funny man.

Robin Williams is not only  an actor and comedian; he is a humanitarian. He is gracious when it comes to supporting causes he believes in. This particular evening, Robin was rapid-fire funny as ever. Most important, Robin Williams gives back to the community where he lives.

GLIDE Memorial church is a historic church, with a monumental mission. Located at the edge of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, GLIDE’s doors are open to  all who enter. GLIDE serves 3 meals a day, has an award-winning child-care center, an organic garden on the church’s urban roof, and operates a housing center to combat the issue of homelessness. Also, GLIDE Memorial Church has a health clinic, mental health services, and supports many support groups. I am happy to lend my time and talent to this San Francisco institution. GLIDE is a true safety net. It is a church where one  receives unconditional love, assistance if needed, and spiritual guidance.

When I am in San Francisco on business, I attend GLIDE’s worship service. I truly listen to the words of Reverend Cecil Williams (no relation to the comic and actor Robin). The Church has a gospel choir the size of Manhattan and  a rocking band at its Sunday worship services. The music gets me up on my feet, and makes me all the more want to serve humanity. I find music and worship go hand-in-hand.

I remember one Sunday, at church, Reverend Williams asked the congregation, “Can I get a witness? Can  I have me an AMEM, brothers and sisters?” 

RIGHT HERE.  AMEN!!!! YOU HAVE YOURSELF A WITNESS!!!!!  Oops. I think I was a tad too loud.

So what…………… the spirit was moving me.

So stand up and shout out praises for those who do charitable works. Acknowledge those who try to change society–yet are sometimes met with cynicism, criticism,  and/or adversity–yet they march forward.

To all who attended this benefit, I thank you. I’m positive Reverend Williams thanks you.  And I am certain Robin William’s thanks you.


Over here!!!!!  Pew/Row E, seat 5. Brendan Ben Feeney is in the house.  

Brendan Ben Feeney

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