Monday, November 30, 2009

Festivus, Part XXXVIII.

The summer between my first and second senior year of college (I hadn’t gotten dining hall burgers or sleeping with my underclassman girlfriend out of my system), my friend Rob and I took a road trip from New York to visit our friend Ted, who was spending a year working in Toronto.

It’s one of my manliest of memories. We spent a few days bringing home steaks from the farmer’s market and grilling them at Ted’s place. We took the ferry out to Toronto Island and played Frisbee golf. We busted balls with the locals at downtown sports bars. We watched our Yankees play the Blue Jays at SkyDome, then drove to Detroit to see a Tigers game. Yes, Detroit – the murder capital of the Midwest.

So I have a special fondness for Toronto, and it came back fully when I found out the city’s Moving Image Film Festival was the 38th fest to accept my film. Who wants a 5% alcohol-by-volume beer?

One last manly memory: I even got a speeding ticket doing 90 in a 65 heading up to Toronto. Though, on second thought, that wasn’t so manly because I was driving my mom’s Volvo. Boxy, but lame.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Actor Search For A Film I Would Pay To See Even If I Didn’t Get The Role.

From LACasting.com:


MURDER VICTIM

Featured Male or Female / 18 to 48 / All Ethnicities There are a lot of people murdered in this movie. Some of them will speak one or two lines some of them will not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How Was Thanksgiving In Cali?

I'll let the thermometer do the talking.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Give Thanks.

My blog wouldn’t be possible without the help of a lot of people, places and things. So I hereby dole out a few thank-yous to:

  • The McCourt divorce
  • Supermarket rats
  • Colonel Sanders the 2nd
  • Street vomit
  • Candidates for Beating of the Year
  • The threshold my nephew dented with his head
  • Chicks snowboarding in bikinis
  • Benny Agbayani
  • Churches with cockamamie posters out front
  • The Jay Leno disaster
  • My nephew’s diaper
  • Dogs named after me that attack their owner
  • Steve Garvey’s wife
  • The Beverly Hills Police Department
  • Mr. Testicles
Everyone have a happy and a healthy. And remember: white meat's for suckers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I. Love. This. Woman.

It doesn’t take much to make my day – just genius, transcendence, perfection. Serve me up a tall glass of those and I’m an easy fella to please. Ask anyone.


And I think I found the woman who's all those things rolled into one, when my friend Angie and I entered this Starbucks off Melrose Avenue and heard the crunch of tiny shards of glass underfoot.


Turns out, a woman drove her car through the front window of the place. It happened at 8 a.m., with a big line of people inside. No one was injured, but I’m sure they no longer needed caffeine to jolt their systems.


In order to pull this off, my lady must be the Usain Bolt of reckless drivers, because she most likely came down Melrose, made a quick right and a left into the parking lot, then jumped a concrete parking block before smashing through the glass and metal frame and cruising across the shop.


She is one crazy broad. And I must find her and make her mine.


But before I take her out back behind the middle school and get her pregnant, it gets better. Someone rolled video seconds after it happened and posted it on youtube. Relish it here.


Ladies and gentlemen, my wife.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recording Amy.

Nobody likes a name-dropper. I believe Denzel told me that. Or was it Alec? I’d better check with Meryl.


So in the ultimate act of self-loathing, I’ll shamelessly recap my meeting with Amy Poehler the other day.


My friend/kickass event coordinator Risa, who’s working on the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver, is recording greetings from celebrities that’ll be broadcast at various events. While she was out of town, Risa needed me to get Amy’s, so I went to the set of “Parks and Recreation” and took care of it. I also hung out with Amy’s husband Will Arnett, who was guest starring on the show.


I gave myself a tour of the set, which is loaded with really funny details, including framed photos of the former mayors of the fictional town of Pawnee, IN, each labeled with engraved nameplates. The names are too small to read on TV, so the crew had some fun with them. One of the best: a mayor that seemed to be a mishmash of Mexican and Russian. His name: Jose Chekhov.


My dream job is to star in a sitcom someday. Especially if it features top-notch writing and subtle prop racism. Huge fan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Little Help, Please.

I know – it’s a busy Monday and your brain is filled to capacity with all kinds of vital thoughts. Like what the over/under is on shopper fatalities at Walmart this Friday. Or why the NFL hates us so much that they subject us to Lions football once again this Thanksgiving. And, most importantly, to help suppress your appetite before the big meal, is it a good idea to re-watch Two Girls One Cup?

In spite of all these crucial matters, I ask that you free up just a bit of mental RAM to think good thoughts for me today. You see, on Friday, my agent called and told me I was on avail after auditioning for a print ad for Wells Fargo Bank, which means it’s down to me and one other guy.

If I book the job, the benefit is yours, because money in my pocket means kickass Christmas gifts for all the people who support me. And by kickass gifts, I'm talking that giant rubber thing in the Skymall catalogue that connects two twin beds to form one big one. You know you need it. Thanks for the assist.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Actor Search I’d Kill To Be Right For.

I blame my mom for not hooking up with a black dude:

[ DEREK JETER DOUBLE ]
Male / African Am, Caucasian, Hispanic, Multi-Ethnic / 21-35 - SEEKING AN ATHLETE/ACTOR TO SLIDE INTO HOMEPLATE HEAD FIRST. WHEN SUBMITTING CAUCASIAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTORS, PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF SKINTONE.

We are seeking the PERFECT body double for Derek Jeter. This athlete/actor must be able to do the following: slide head first into home plate AND be on-camera doing a test slide for audition session and/or callback. Also, HAZARD pay to be negotiated...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Los Angeles Zoo – A Blackberry® Photo Gallery.


My mom was in town last weekend, and my brother, who has an in at the L.A. Zoo, got us a backstage tour. I was in monkey-loving nirvana:


Two feet from an orangutan. It felt like being trapped in a bad Clint Eastwood flick.


Because she was born with an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, this older female orangutan, here snuggling with her niece, is mentally challenged. Now I don’t mean for you creationists to get whatever religious undergarments you wear in a twist, but I guarantee you we evolved from apes.


Petting a giraffe’s neck. Or as I like to call it: “Sunday.”


Glass is half-full: if this guy had bitten off my niece’s head, I would’ve gotten at least 20 good blog entries out of it.

When they’re not ripping off the face of that chick in Connecticut, these guys are hilarious.

During feeding time, my niece hit this chimp in the back with a tomato. He was cool about it.

Please don’t feed the Jews.


My favorite exhibit: Mexican boy too pooped to press on.

Once Again, I Take Requests.

It’s tricky, this blogging stuff. Many late nights, when the well is dry and I wonder what in the hell I have to say, I flip open my laptop and – quietly, in the privacy of my kitchen – say the Shepard's Prayer. That's Alan Shepard, the astronaut: "Please, Lord, don't let me screw up." Actually, I'm paraphrasing.

However, even more difficult is when I get an assignment. My friend Gigi messaged me this yesterday: “Look at the video link I posted. My home country in the news today. This really deserves one of your witty blog entries.”

Check out the video link here.

Okay, a few thoughts:
  • I have a bad habit of making sweeping generalizations about places (I assume everyone in Oakland is missing a thumb, like the guy who high-fived me once at a Raider game) but do all Portuguese dudes wear black jockey shorts? When he finishes doing his two-year stretch, that guy oughta shoplift himself some boxer briefs for F’s sake.
  • The house is riddled with graffiti and bars over the windows. Why choose to bust into a home in the barrio? Half-naked and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
  • Nice insult to injury with the chick cop getting up close and personal. Unless – this was his elaborate way of asking her on a date.
  • Lastly, I dig that Portuguese cops wear hats harken back to the ’79 Pirates.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Free Spidey.

I’ve always had a true affinity for superheroes, because putting on tights and a cape ska-reams confirmed heterosexual, and not in a Larry Craig way, either.

A bona fide superhero never reveals his true identity. Take Spider-Man, for example, who kept his mask on even as he was being hauled away on Hollywood Boulevard last week. A valiant effort by Spidey, thwarted only by the L.A. Times, who printed his real name after he was charged with aggravated assault.

Highlights from arguably the greatest Times article ever:

• The incident began when Los Angeles Police Department patrol officers received a radio call reporting battery by a man in a Spider-Man costume. When they arrived, they encountered four people dressed as the web-slinging crusader. "They stopped one, it wasn't him," said LAPD Lt. Beverly Lewis. "They stopped the second, and it was the suspect."

• Costumed impersonators have worked on Hollywood Boulevard for years. But sometimes the fun has turned violent. Tourists have complained that some costumed characters become abusive when the tourists refuse to pay them to pose for pictures. There have also been brawls. Two years ago, authorities convened a "superhero summit" designed to reduce tensions among the performers.

• The meeting was prompted in part by an incident in which LAPD officers arrested a "Star Wars" street performer in his furry brown Chewbacca costume for allegedly head-butting a tour guide who complained about the impersonator's treatment of Japanese tourists.

• In other incidents, actors dressed as the superhero Mr. Incredible, Elmo the Muppet and the dark-hooded character from the movie "Scream" were arrested for aggressive begging. A man dressed as the horror film character Freddy Krueger was also taken into custody for allegedly stabbing someone, although no charges were filed.

You stay classy, sir.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Query.

Pulled up next to this guy yesterday at a light, and noticed he had a scrap of paper taped across the top of his steering wheel with the name “ALEX” written on it.

Who is Alex? Did Alex murder this guy’s wife, and this guy is going “Memento” trying to find him? Is Alex going to read this blog and find and kill me? Not that I have a problem with that – it would satisfy my death-wish of being assassinated.

Anyone?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Festivus, Part XXXVII.

How much do I love food? Let’s just say I regard lunch as nothing more than a great time to figure out what I want to have for dinner.

And for me, the best food city anywhere is New Orleans. My friends and I ate our way through that town for a full weekend a few years back. In N.O., every meal is the best meal you ever had – the best gumbo, the best jambalaya, the best po’ boy. Pack the Sansabelt slacks.

Seeing as breakfast is one of my top three meals of the day (I eat seven), I was in hog heaven the first morning there, as we sat along the Mississippi River at CafĂ© Du Monde and ate our weight in beignets – deep-friend pastries sprinkled with sugar. At only 25¢ apiece, you can’t afford not to contract diabetes.

The second morning, we chowed a gigantic high-end breakfast buffet at the very tony The Court of the Two Sisters. Come for the courtyard setting, stay for gravy on everything.

I’d better wrap this up, because my drool is gonna short my Mac. But before I do, I’d like to thank the New Orleans Film Festival for becoming the 37th fest to accept The Beneficiary – the film I wrote, starred in and produced. Let’s celebrate with a sleeve of Oreos. Or three.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Favorite Actor Search Of The Week.

From LACasting.com:

Guest Star Male / 18 to 35 / All Ethnicities need a guy who kind of looks like frankenstein. big forehead, flat head maybe. just have a big frankenstein head, then please submit. casting from photos, shooting this friday night.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And I Have A Valentine’s Date Tonight.

Not that it was a competition, but I think I beat all your asses to the earliest holiday party of the year Wednesday night.

Memo to non-black people: on a scale of coolness, gang signs fall somewhere in between leading the NBA in assists and that Hassidic rapper guy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Filmy Goodness.

Went to a great premiere last night. It was nice to get out of the house – I’d exceeded my limit of episodes of Dr. Oz helping NFL moms lose unwanted inches.

Making the premiere even more special was the fact that I’d worked on the film for my friend John, blurrily pictured above with me (you drop the ball, BlackBerry.)

I wrote a little about the shoot last year, and was really blown away by how it turned out. John was hilarious, and the audience, which included a nice celebrity turnout, really loved it.

John’s been asking me write something with him, and it’s time to take him up on it. I’ll have to TiVo “Dr. Oz,” so please keep it to yourself if Donovan McNabb’s mom outlasts Antwaan Randle El’s.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hold The Credits.

Talk about a slow end of the year for us actor-types – I could wet my pants in public and it’d be a lateral move.

I even got bumped from a stoplight enforcement photo. That’s me, on the left, behind the gray dot.

It all took place last week, as my partner in crime, Mark Mainardi, and I took care of some acting business in Beverly Hills. Mark executed his patented illegal U-turns at will, boasting at one point that he’s “the best driver” he knows. Well, now he’s got the fine to prove it: 450 bucks.

Congratulazioni.

Birthday Boy.

It was Petey’s birthday Sunday, and, as is dictated by tradition, I took him to PetSmart to pick out a toy.

The key to the selection process is a playoff format, in which a sweet 16 of top toys go head to head until we reach the finals.

Side note: I appreciated PetSmart’s very liberal policy of allowing dogs into the store, that is, until on our way to check out, my flip flops hit a patch of some other dog’s urine, and I tweaked my ankle just before a ballgame.

Now I don’t really have anger issues, aside from having to by law remain 30 feet away from a certain telemarketer who I visited while HE was eating HIS dinner, but I was really miffed.

You see, Petey is trained to pee and poop on command. He would never let loose in a store, and if he did, I’d have the courtesy of throwing down a paper towel or two. So other owners: literally, get your shit together.

By the way, in a sudden-death matchup, the red ball with attached handle beat out the orange rubber chicken.

Pete took care of the handle in three seconds, but the rest of this thing kicked his butt. Happy birthday, son.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Festivus, Part XXXVI.

New York. If you can make it there, you can make it to a way better city – Los Angeles – for the privilege of pursuing your dream. And increase the odds significantly that you’ll bag a statuesque blonde that makes your penis want to be a better penis.

The New York United Film Festival makes it 36. Someday, when I’m peeing in a bag, and I’ve got IBS like a mother f’r, I’lI proudly reflect on how I rolled the dice and emptied my bank account to make The Beneficiary. Man that IBS truly is a silent killer.

Well, I’ve exceeded my daily allowance of penile references; time to wrap it up. Thanks, New York United. You – you’re good.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tossed Aside Like An Old Shoe.

If only I got half the attention the UPS guy gets.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mango Hits The Bricks.

I’m little over my skis with a super busy schedule today, so not much time to riff. Instead, check out one of my favorite articles about acting – albeit a negative one – in which Chris Kattan got hosed a few years back:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Stadium. New Trophy.

What the crap? He’s writing about baseball again? Hey – it could be worse.

There are few bigger Yankee fans than I. I watched every game this season, and now my team is world champions.

Couple of thoughts:

Before the season, my friend D.B. Sweeney, a New Yorker who has no business being a Red Sox fan, told me that no team with ARod would ever win the World Series. As a Sox fan, D.B., you should have known that everyone eventually gets his day. And you owe me three beers at Barney’s.

And Philly fans – really? Cheering after ARod got hit by pitches? I haven’t seen that many riled-up dirtbags since CVS decided to put the cold medicine behind the counter.

I do try to keep most of this blog acting-centric, and I still can with this entry. You see, even though I’ve waited nine years for the Yankees to win it all again, I actually didn’t see the first two innings last night, because I had an audition. And I didn’t see the Yanks clinch the pennant either, because I had a casting workshop.

Michael Caine wrote in his book, “If you really want to become an actor, but only providing that acting doesn’t interfere with your golf game, your political ambitions, and your sex life, you don’t really want to become an actor. Not only is acting more than a part-time job, it’s more than a full-time job. It’s a full-time obsession.”

ARod finally got his ring. I’ll get mine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh Hell Yeah.


The greatest invention of the last twenty years – besides the Donatello action figure with rapid pizza-throwing action – is TiVo, and its fast-forwarding option. It allowed me to zip through Hugh Jackman’s hosting of the Oscars. I griped a bit about it before.

Yesterday, the Academy won me back, by announcing it had paired up two of my all-time favorites to host the upcoming Oscars: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Steve hosted twice already, and his monologues were amazing, including this gem: “Right now all over the world there are 800 million people watching us right now, and every one of them is thinking the exact same thought: that we are all gay."

And if you want to see incredible chemistry between Steve and Alec in the past, click above and check out this “SNL” sketch from two seasons ago. (Facebook readers can see it here.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Redneck For A Day.

While my car was being serviced yesterday, I was given this monstrosity in which to tool around town. And burn serious calories parallel parking.

I don't own a gun rack, and I'd like to shoot Keith Urban out of the nearest cannon, but I kinda dug cruising into the Whole Foods parking lot with a cargo bed the size of a squash court. So much so, I came this close to getting mullet extensions.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Festivus, Part XXXV.

Here’s what I know about Eugene, beyond it being arguably the best name for a nerd besides Waldo: it’s the home of the University of Oregon, where Animal House was filmed, and it’s where Nike was created in the 70s. Nowadays, Nike shoes are manufactured in Indonesia by young children for 3¢ an hour. Sorry about the lack of bathroom breaks, kids, but those shoes ain’t gonna sew themselves.


You know, if these toddlers were to set up a film festival in Indonesia, I would attend that festival. I mean, if they can create a shoe that makes me feel as if I’m walking on air, imagine their attention to cinematic detail. And their tiny fingers sure could thread a projector. All for the cost of a Bazooka Joe.


Where was I? Right, Eugene. The Eugene International Film Festival, and its peculiarly tiny official selection emblem, is the 35th fest to accept my film. And even though it’s run by white grownups (boring!), I graciously accept.


Thanks, EIFF. You’re the best. Or at least in my top 35.