Tuesday, November 12, 2019

My 3500th Blog Entry.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Unfortunately, I’ve spent 300,000 hours being an idiot.

My blog is far from perfect, but I’ve certainly put in the time. As is customary, whenever I hit a milestone, I choose my favorite five entries from the last 100 posts:

Flowing. Such a happy day, until the champagne stung my eyes and gave me brain freeze. Celebrate in a my pleasure/pain here. 

My Role. I considered wandering off set, gun in hand, and shouting “Official police business!” on a crowded street. (DNA Killer. Coming to TV this spring!) Instead, follow protocol with me here. 

I Tour The TWA Hotel. Remember when flying used to be fun? Me neither. We were all born too late. Role-play the old days with me here. 

Two Days At The Ballpark. I love the Yankees. I also love eating. And being on TV. See my head almost explode here. 

Homecoming Weekend Part I: Xfinity And Beyond. Before college, I didn’t have a degree, or any idea what I wanted to do with my life. But NOW I have a degree. Let’s get some mileage out of that diploma here.

Monday, November 11, 2019

It Got Theatrical.

One time I smashed my face into a keyboard and accidentally wrote the fifth Twilight book.

Brett Harper is not having such an easy time of it. He’s a romance novelist whose wife has passed away, and without his muse, Brett has severe writer’s block. Suddenly, his wife appears in the form of a ghost, still dressed in her bloody hospital gown. (She was hit by a car, and mental note – whatever you’re wearing when you die is what you’ll wear for eternity.) Hilarity ensues.

Brett is played by my friend John Kapelos in the new stage production The Last Word. It’s running at the Garry Marshall Theatre, which is Garry’s old Falcon Theatre, renamed for him after he died. I’m coincidentally in the middle of reading Garry’s autobiography, which made this all the more special. J

John is perfect for the role and captivating and funny even pulled a bit of old Second City improv magic by working my name into Saturday night’s performance. In a line about an old friend, he said, “Max? You mean Max Shevin?” I was sitting in the front row and this made me smile throughout the entire second act. Little did John know my grandfather’s name was Max Shevin, and I’m named after him. (It’s Jewish custom not to name a baby after a relative who is still alive, but instead to use the relative’s first initial. Max = Matt.)

Here are two of John’s co-stars: Carole Ita White and her puppy. Yes, the dog was in the play. Fun fact: Carole is the daughter of original Maytag repair man, Jesse White.

Also in attendance: Richard Kind (tiny world – we once had jury duty together), who held his own court after the performance, telling lotsof stories, including the time he ad-libbed a lengthy monologue on-stage during The Producers on Broadway, and Mel Brooks, sitting in the audience, heckled him. “Rich! They get it!”

The show is playing through Sunday, so get your butt up to Burbank and check it out. Eventually, it would be nice to have Max Shevin make his Broadway debut.

Friday, November 8, 2019

31 Seconds Of October.

October is over, and I can finally stop beating the shit out of motion-activated skeletons at store entrances. 

Here’s my month, one second per day:
  

Thursday, November 7, 2019

I’m Related To This.

After my nephew chipped his tooth, I’m comforted him with the fact that he could now do the “Land Down Under” flute solo whenever he laughed.

The incident happened Saturday, when he was hit in the mouth by a bat before his baseball game. The best part: he did it to himself. Nice bat control from a three-time all-star. Also, terrific timing, two days after Halloween. Could have made for a kickass and appropriate costume: Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.

A talented dentist fixed the tooth Tuesday. I’d give the man a shout-out, but my nephew doesn’t recall his name. At least you’ve got looks, dude.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Homecoming Weekend Part III: There’s No Place Like College Park.

A couple of years ago, my college girlfriend texted me for the first time in a very long time. I was a million percent sure it was Adele’s fault.

I thought about my time with her and so many other amazing memories all weekend. I’d call my college years the good old days, except back then I had to buy my professors’ terrible books for 80 bucks each, and nowadays I have a Pit Bull and a career and a place by the beach. And yet, watching college football on a crisp autumn day with my fraternity brothers really felt like home.

Before the game, I got to attend the acclaimed Dr. Sobel’s Tailgate. Mark Sobel played football for Maryland before becoming a top-notch orthopedic surgeon in New Jersey. He bought a gigantic pickup truck strictly to load it up with grills and coolers and a crazy amount of food so he can haul it down to campus for his tailgates before every game. Like a doctor boss.

Post-game, we needed an excuse to top off the hot fudge sundae at Medium Rare with some pyrotechnics, so we celebrated my 12-days-until-my-half-birthday. It was my-tee fine.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Homecoming Weekend Part II: It’s Like Looking In A Mirror.

After several visits, I got a sneaking suspicion that my therapist wasn’t supposed to be the one crying during our sessions.

Years ago, a young Matt Shevin discussed his emotions with his therapist, and said to her: “There’s a basketball player at my school who opposing teams try to constantly rattle. They trash-talk him all game, but get frustrated because he won’t respond to any of it.” That player was Joe Smith – at the time, the best player in the country. He was drafted #1 overall, and played in the NBA for 16 years. Saturday, I related that story to Joe, pictured above, and he was very amused.

My frat brother Buzzy keeps his keys on a University of Maryland lanyard, and noticed that Joe had a Dallas Cowboys lanyard sticking out of his pocket – a big no-no in Redskins country. “Joe,” Buzzy said to him, “I would love for you to do two things for me: replace that lanyard with a Maryland one, and drop that Cowboys lanyard in the trash.” Buzzy gave Joe his UM lanyard, and Joe immediately dropped the Cowboys lanyard in the trash.

Later that day, Joe posed alongside former Maryland football player turned Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. Sticking out of Joe’s pocket: Buzzy’s lanyard.

Who knew homecoming could be so remarkable? Count me in from now on.

Addendums:

  1. There’s a notion among some that grown men shouldn’t wear sports jerseys. The jersey I’m wearing in the lede picture is game-used by a Maryland tight-end, and I think it’s the most beautiful jersey in all of sports. Because of Kevin Plank, we are the flagship campus of Under Armour, and they outdid themselves. 
  2. When I told my therapist about Joe Smith being impervious to taunting, her response was: “That’s all going to bottle up inside him until he explodes.” Not so much, even in the face of tough financial adversity. Joe made $61 million over his career, but his agents fleeced him for most of it. He’s now in debt and putting his life back together, always smiling. 

Coming tomorrow, Part III: get to know the men who hazed me.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Homecoming Weekend Part I: Xfinity And Beyond.

Every woman I go out with is impressed when I name-drop foreign authors, but none of them but ever bother to find out that they're just Ikea product names.

This week, I’ll be name-dropping famous Maryland athletes from my alma mater. It all began Friday, the first night of homecoming weekend, as the Maryland basketball team had a preseason game. 

Before we hit the game, we had dinner at a fancy new hotel on campus. Jake Layman, recent Maryland star and current Minnesota Timberwolf (back in town to play the Washington Wizards), came by our table. I told him I loved him.

Onto the game. I’d never been to Xfinity Center, the basketball arena built after I graduated, but it’s huge and gorgeous and a total recruiting magnet. We sat in the second row behind Walt Williams, another former Maryland player turned NBA star. (And now Maryland radio broadcaster.) Back in the day, Walt and I took a class together called “The Rhetoric of Black America.” It’s my only street-cred.

Johnny Holliday has been the play-by-play announcer of Maryland football and basketball games for 41 years. He’s a god in the DC area, and also does some announcing for the new world champion Washington Nationals. I yelled to him that the Nationals should give him a World Series ring, and he got up from his seat, came over to me, and talked to me during the entire five-minute commercial break before he had to get back on the air to do the post-game. He asked me all about my life and was the nicest man. Nothing like a legend surpassing your expectations.

7’3” freshman Chol Marial gave me the tallest peace sign I’ve ever received.

Tomorrow: I get together with another giant while offering a peak into a younger Matt Shevin’s mental state.