Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Been There.

If I ever get stranded on a deserted island, first order of business: find a volleyball.

Not just for my sanity, but to remedy the whole “deserted” thing. Chicks dig beach volleyball. They’re bound to drop by.

Just ask my friend Jeff, who wisely suggested when I first moved to LA that we take beach volleyball lessons. “It’s a skill everyone who lives here should have,” said Jeff. Truth.

Every Saturday morning, we rode our bikes to Second Street in Manhattan Beach, where the aptly-named Steve Ijams taught classes. It was fun to experience something all-new, and progress each week, until one day when I unknowingly walked across the court during drills and a ball slammed hard into my face. To which Steve shouted, “Hey Matt, how’d that taste?!”

Not yummy, Steve. A harsh lesson about keeping my head on a swivel at all times. I also learned that sand gets EVERYWHERE on your body. You can shower multiple times, and still, the day after a game, you’ll wake up with sand on your pillow that has been lodged in your ear canal.

So yes, Leo, I feel your pain. Though yours is a bit worse thanks to the rag that is the New York Post.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Turn Back Tuesday.

If a giant sinkhole opened up and swallowed the city of Boston, I’d think, “Poor sinkhole.”

I kid. I love Boston. But the Red Sox are the mortal enemies of my Yankees, so it’s my civic duty to make fun.

A few years ago, I went to Fenway Park to see Derek Jeter play his very last game. It was one of my favorite days ever. Fenway is a beautiful landmark loaded with history, and one feature that caught my eye was a tribute to films shot in the stadium. They include Field of Dreams, The Town, and Moneyball. That’s a monster lineup.

So there you go. A beacon of hope in an otherwise sketchy town. Again, I kid.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Spanky Rakes.

What are all of you with locked Instagrams hiding? Sandwiches? Sunsets? Just let us see your nephew.

Here’s mine, yesterday, ripping a two-run double for his Little League all-star team:
 

It was enough to have my brother, who is his coach and very stingy with praise, tell me, “Jackson played like an all-star today.”

Wow. In the Shevin family, that level of approval is once-in-a-generation. I’m so proud of him that for one week I’ll only make fun of him a lot, instead of a whole lot. Well done, young man.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Have Card. Will Travel.

I once watched a pigeon on a subway in New York get off at the financial district, and I thought, “Cool – that bird makes more money than me.”

Not sure Minneapolis will live up to that level, but I’m going to find out. My trip there is one month away, and I’m so excited to not miss a minute that I had a metro pass shipped to me. Now I can ride the rail with no wait and a loaded card, and I’ll be staying right by the financial district. Suck it, pigeons.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

My 3400th Post.

If you want sparkling, sophisticated blog entries, catch me early in the month, before I’ve used up my ten free New York Times articles.

Or wait until I hit a milestone, and pick my favorite five from the previous 100. Here goes:

Because I’m In Love With You, Ladies. After eight years of my educational Valentine’s posts, you ladies should own us. Make it happen, here. 

No Eating, Touching, Breathing, or Looking. Hell yeah I made soap. Help me explore my renaissance/Amish side here.

John Kapelos Live! Until this night, my favorite musical instrument was the lunch bell. Swing, baby, here. 

Rest In Peace. Good man. Tough loss. Read about him here. 

In Which Pete Rose Calls Me. It was an honor just to have him call someone other than his bookie. A thrill, here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Graft.

I once got dismissed from jury duty because I kept coughing loudly the words “bribe me.”

I don’t have to work nearly as hard as a member of the SAG TV Awards nominating committee. I suddenly have free subscriptions to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter filling my mailbox. And soon, DVDs will arrive with all kinds of shows, and after that, cash. Unmarked bills. Large denominations.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

See This Doc.

Documentaries not only expand my world views, they also compel me to change my behavior for a solid 24-36 hours.

Over the weekend, I watched a great, relatively new documentary about a surprisingly fascinating subject. Steve Young, a long-tenured writer for David Letterman, was tasked with finding albums for a recurring desk-piece called “Dave’s Record Collection.” The songs he found ranged from nutty (anything by William Shatner) to very odd: a tribute to refrigerators. 

Corporate tunes like this led to Steve unearthing a hidden world of musicals performed for company events and conferences in the 1960s and 70s. Huge musicals, often featuring famous names like Tony Randall and Florence Henderson, often performed just once, and recorded on a limited number of albums.

It made sense that the shows remained hidden – they were considered the ultimate sellout for Broadway writers and performers. But such a tremendous sellout. While producers were given around $400,000 budgets to create Broadway shows back then, for corporate one-offs they were given over $3 million.

The albums flipped a switch in Steve’s brain he didn’t know he had, and he became the ultimate, obsessed collector. Bathtubs Over Broadway follows him as he meets other collectors and now much-older performers and composers. Even David Letterman makes a rare appearance to talk to Steve about it.

It’s a bygone era, and many of the performers haven’t worked in a while. Their stories are woven together with Steve’s, after David Letterman announces he is retiring and Steve’s days are numbered. It’s fascinating, with a happy, emotional ending.

It’s on all the big services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Definitely see it. I’m dying to discuss this with someone.