Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nutty Philippine Retail.

Two days left until my iPhone 5 arrives. Time to purge a few leftover pics from the trip:

No, our clothes aren’t stylish, affordable or even close to your size. However…

Yikes. And the tagline, aimed at the Filipino demographic: “Stay young, stay white.”

Never a more preposterous tie-in.

I stand corrected.

Best eye care in all of Asia. Trust us – we’re a travel guide shop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Seventh Great Movie Of The Year.

In the late 70s, as the people of his country starved, the Shah of Iran spent like an MFer. His wife took baths in milk; he had his lunch flown in daily from Paris. He was diagnosed with cancer around the same time Iranians finally went apeshit, and he fled the country, looking for safe-haven and treatment. America stupidly took him in and embraced him. With enough time and distance, it’s safe to say we not only shit the bed, we shat the nightstands as well.

The Iranians wanted him back to stand trial, and when we didn’t acquiesce, Americans inside the embassy in Tehran were trapped like sitting ducks and taken hostage. Six escaped and went into protection, but the clock was ticking until they’d be found, tortured and publicly hanged.

And that’s where Argo begins. I’ve blogged before about how much I love Ben Affleck as a director and actor (he’s the new Scorsese), and with Argo he’s hit another grand slam. Even if you know the result of his character Tony Mendez’s mission in this film – a true story about a long-held secret in American history – the tension-filled sequences are so perfect they’ll make you physically sick. I love it.

Also great: Alan Arkin as the Hollywood producer and John Goodman as the makeup artist working with Mendez to hatch his scheme. The movie infuses a comical tone whenever possible, and most of the time, Arkin and John are involved, looking like they had a blast shooting this.

See it. It’s awesome.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Professional Pics From The Wedding.

Bear with me for a few days while I milk my trip some more overcome jetlag and post more from the Philippines:

There are three keys to a wedding toast: keep it short, keep it short, insult the groom’s parents. 3 for 3.

From the wedding photo booth. Bru waited to wear the hat until after it was too late for Aina to back out of marrying him.

In case you need a team to perform a contract hit.

Filipino tradition: the couple sits and takes photos with everyone who attends. It took over an hour and poor Bru and Aina missed dinner. I almost prison-style keystered in some Chilean sea bass for them.

Someone must have slipped a ruphie into my pink lemonade, because I honestly don’t remember taking this photo.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 8: Fun’s Over.

This trip was so much more amazing than I ever imagined, I’m considering getting the bride and groom’s names tattooed on my belly, thug-life style… From the “book a vacation, get an audition, dept.”: voicemail from my agent saying “Cougar Town” had wanted me to come in yesterday. It happens… I’ve missed black people… Time to pay the price of visiting paradise: two different flights over 19 hours to make it home. But I’ll be back in Los Angeles this afternoon, so finish robbing me and get out of my apartment – I’m gonna want to lay down.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 7: Rain Delay.

We were supposed to fly back to LA today, but a tropical storm (see above, before/after) canceled flights out of here.

I love Boracay so much I’m in a Boracay fantasy league, so being stranded here for another day was not exactly punishment. Vacation overtime. But then we heard a flight opened up and that’s when it got interesting.

We took a speedboat back in the storm to the main isle, then were told we were given misinformation – no seats on any planes. So we hired a van to take us to another airport. The van drove 80 minutes through jungles and tiny villages and downed power lines, finally arriving at an airport in a town called Kaliba that had no business having an airport. We had six hours to kill before our flight to Manila (where we’re spending the night), so we had lunch and composed our favorite Facebook status ever:

“Sitting in a Chinese restaurant filled with 50 Koreans, on the edge of a rice field in a rainstorm somewhere in the middle of Boracay, Philippines – or as I like to call it: ‘Thursday.’”

And favorite check-in ever, too, to a place called: 長灘島 機場.

The storm never backed down, and our flight wound up being delayed another two hours, which was the fitting final stretch of a planes/trains/automobiles undertaking, but I gotta say it was an awesome day. While everyone back in LA slept, four great friends persevered out of a place that might as well have been a million miles from home. That’s worth the journey.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 6: 12,000 Starbucks Locations Worldwide…

...and this one is kicking 11,999 of their butts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 5: Unpacking My Shit For Good.

The second leg of our trip began with a short flight to a tiny tropical island (featuring a dangerously short runway at a microscopic airport) called Boracay.

A speedboat picked us up at the airport and took us to an even tinier island.

We arrived at Asya Premier Suites. It’s the nicest place I’ve ever seen. Here’s the view from my villa.

Us in the pool at sunset. I think I’m going to stay here. Sending for Ricky and subletting my apartment.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 4: If I Could Just Get Serious For A Second.

I don’t know why people want to be married so badly. It’s just a bunch of fat people in jean shorts watching Leno and praying the other one doesn’t ask for sex.

Unless… they’re my friends Bru and Aina, who decided in lieu of wedding gifts (I have no idea how they’ll cope without a stainless steel reduction pan), they passed out envelopes to their guests and asked them to donate to the Virlanie Foundation.

Virlanie cares for abandoned, physically and sexually abused, exploited, and neglected kids by taking them in to group homes around the Philippines and providing love and education in a family-style atmosphere.

Bru and Aina’s wedding guests came through big-time, and yesterday we brought a fat check over to one of Virlanie’s homes here in Makati, along with lunch and ice cream and new toys. The home was doing its best but was pretty run down and lacked ventilation and these kids have been dealt the worst hand but were super sweet and just wanted some attention, which we provided all afternoon.

So feel free to enter into an institution that goes phenomenally wrong half the time, just so long as you ensure some real good can come out of it. You know you wanna.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 3: My Friends Turn Pro.

The wedding was last night and it was beautiful and amazing and fun and call-the-cops loud and attended by hundreds of people in a venue that can only be described as a Disney attraction meets an indoor rain forest and it’s super late and I’m exhausted that’s all I got for now. By the way, that’s me (I would have shaved, but my razor is 7300 miles from Manila), Bru the groom (the Filipino wedding photographer was fascinated to shoot someone with blue eyes), gorgeous bride Aina (who danced Gangnam style, then grabbed the mic and sang to her new husband), and Gary (who along with me, signed where the priest pointed on a document as witnesses to the wedding, and then realized along with me that we’d signed the groom’s section. So we’re technically married to Aina instead of Bru. Discuss.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 2: How I Spent My First Full Day In Manila.

If you think the money is impressive, you should have seen the pile of coke. Actually, the bride and groom were kind enough to exchange American dollars for Philippine pesos for everyone in the wedding party. I believe this all amounts to five bucks.

Horrifying leftover cake from the bridal shower.

Just like Little Italy, only very Little Italy. Plus: rice!

Sorry about breaking up the Beatles and all. Have a bowl of edamame on the house.

Internet password written on a napkin by a waitress, or terrorist plot?

Brainstorming my wedding toast.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 1: An Illustrated Journey To The Philippines.

Someone at LAX took the payphone scene from Goodfellas in which DeNiro finds out Pesci got whacked and ran with it.

Thank you, science: Cathay-Pacific offers a wild wheel’s-eye from your seat’s monitor. That’s us making our descent into Manila.

Shout-out to our cabbie for covering up his B.O. with the refreshing scent of home.

View from my hotel room. I expected dirt roads and oxen-drawn plows, but instead got six – yes, six – malls crowded into one block.

Just as I began to miss Ricky’s kisses, Sheena, my hotel’s bomb-sniffing dog, was happy to oblige.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Killa To Manilla.

Whenever I fly Southwest Airlines, I wonder if my pilot realizes that he’s flying a free clinic.

And thank Jesus that’s not what I’m experiencing right now, seeing as I’m in the middle of a 17 ½ hour flight on a fancy airline to the Philippines, where I’ll be a groomsman in my friends Bru and Aina’s wedding. (By the way, knowing Bru, I can only assume the bride’s “something blue” will be a Xanax.)

I’ll be there for eight days, and I’m taking the blog with me. So check back here and see me manage to visit an impoverished nation yet still bitch the whole time about what humidity does to a man’s hair.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Random Shots I’m Deleting: An iPhone™ Purge.

The iPhone is perfect, but I’d say it could be even more perfect – it could reapportion voting districts every time every time you turn it on, or make sure Steven Seagal never-ever-ever makes another blues album.

Actually, the battery could be a smidge better, and that’s why I’ve ordered the iPhone 5, which will arrive in early November. In the meantime, I’m getting rid of pics in my iPhone 4 that never quite made it to the blog.

Today: a shot of me in the makeup chair for a role I shot in a commercial for Mr. Coffee. I wisely hadn’t changed into my wardrobe yet, but foolishly wore a white shirt to the set, which got blasted by the makeup woman’s airbrush.

Hey, I’ll trade a shirt for a fun role every time, but I admit I’ve often wanted to toss in the trash while Makeup Girl had to watch Clockwork Orange style.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Okay, What The Hell?

Earlier this year, organizers of the London Olympics approached the Who’s manager to inquire about having drummer Keith Moon play at the closing ceremonies.

Keith Moon died in 1978.

This week, the LA Times wrote an article about a pub in Hollywood called the Cat & Fiddle, and how it was a huge hangout for Keith Moon:

The Cat & Fiddle opened in 1982.

Which leads me to a few conclusions:
  1. Don’t let gay dudes choreograph your Olympic ceremonies 
  2. The LA Times is a total rag 
  3. Forget auditioning – I am totally going to just OD

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recent Photos From The Prone Position.

First cavity since I was ten.
Redondo Beach Dental Group. 

Pre-haircut shampoo.
Umberto Salon, Beverly Hills.

Stomach virus.
My living room floor.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

And Just Like That...

…my streak of not vomiting is over.

Friday, October 12, 2012

‘Til Death. Or Whatever Works For Ya.

Whenever a dude proposes to a woman, I feel like he’s saying, “Hey – I’ll bet you half my shit I’ll never cheat on you.”

I probably shouldn’t mention that next week, when I’ll be a groomsman in a wedding, but I make no promises.

This week, the longest marriage in Hollywood came to an end, when Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman broke up after 30 years because Danny couldn’t keep his tiny peep in his pants. It’s actually just in time for the newest Hollywood marriage, between two of my best friends, Bru and Aina, to begin. And I honestly think it’ll last.

Now I’m not saying they have to top 30 years. For now, we’ll set the bar low – Tom Cruise – and go from there.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Still Alive.

Monday, my brother asked me to babysit my niece and nephew, who were home from school with stomach viruses. They were puking their guts up in epic proportions – so much so it sounded like somebody needed to call the large animal veterinarian.

I asked my niece not to breathe her sick cooties on me, but because she’s an out-of-control child she thought it would be hilarious to blow right in my face, and lo and behold I got massively sick yesterday. It really knocked me on my ass.

But somehow, miraculously didn’t vomit once. Which means my streak of not puking stays in tact – and dates all the way back to March 9, 1998. This is Joe Dimaggio proportions, people. Pardon me while I very gingerly pat myself on the back.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just Keep That Double Rainbow Dude Far Away.

When Steve Martin hosted the Oscars, he mentioned, “Right now, all over the world, there are 800 million people watching us, and every one of them is thinking the exact same thought: that we’re all gay.”

Not helping the cause: this gigantic beast I came across at Sony Studios last night.

Actually, it pays homage to The Wizard of Oz, which was shot on the lot back when it belonged to MGM. That’s right – we found a way to make The Wizard of Oz even gayer.

Honestly, I love it. Here are a few stats: It’s eight feet thick, weighs 60,000 lbs., and arrived in 40 pieces from Chicago last week before being assembled and dedicated on Monday.

Here in LA, we don’t have your run-of-the-mill Liberty Bell, or Washington Monument or Bunker Hill. And that’s not to say I’m morally opposed to that type of history. If it suits you, and the horse you rode in on, great. But I am going blind trying to see how that that stuff is any cooler than Hollywood history. We got Nakatomi Plaza here.

If you’re in Culver City, check it out. Then again, if you’re within 20 miles of Culver City, check it out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 46: It’s All Good.

I don’t discourage easily, mainly because I don’t require a lot to make me happy. If I so much as get a tangerine peel off in one piece, I hear Snap’s “I've Got the Power” in my head.

Once, I was trying to explain to my mother that acting involves a unique type of positive persistence unlike any other profession. “Um, I’m a real estate agent,” my mom replied. The woman is faced with the daily grind of driving customers all over town who have absolutely no intention of buying homes. It’s fun for them to not even dip their toes at my mom’s expense. So forget about showbiz – real estate has this predicament by the throat.

Well, thanks to Sheila Shevin, I arrived here predisposed to extreme diligence. I hock a loogie in the face of rejection. But if you’re having trouble encountering it, here are a few random thoughts about dealing with the daily shit:

Trust that everything that happens to you, good or bad, contains the seeds for the next thing to unfold. Know that every successful actor got rejected along the way, and the best way to deal with rejection is to understand that each job you don’t get gets you even clearer on what you do want. Maybe some of the jobs you didn't get you might not have really wanted anyway?

In his book, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, Steve Martin said he wasn’t “naturally talented,” which made him inventive, and that “perseverance is a great substitute for talent.” I’d add to that that it’s a great temporary substitute. You will get talented because you will work on your craft.

Aspire to hard work, talent, and passion. Fame is not something to aspire to. The only way to really succeed at something is to be willing to be bad at it first. That’s how you succeed.

Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for yourself and thinking, “Why me?” Make growth your goal, and you’ll never lose.

Stop comparing your career to others’ careers. Be yourself – everyone else is taken.

Finally, keep in mind there’s not a lot of competition; there’s just a lot of people. Keep showing up.

 Okay, one more:

“Sometimes being the worst at something is the closest you’re ever going to get to being the best at anything.” - Laura Silverman (Super successful actress/Sara Silverman’s big sister.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Recap: I Eat My Ass Off Edition.

I was super early for my haircut in Beverly Hills, so I went one block over to the best pizza in LA: Mulberry Street. So authentically New York, they leave a New York Post at every setting. Saturday’s top story, edging out Turkey attacking Syria: “NUT JOB! Held slain lover’s testicles.”

Saturday night, Mezzomondo in Studio City, whose lasagna is the best in the world. My friends and I love it so much that when we walked into the place, the owner pointed at us and said, “Lasagna!” We called an audible however, and ordered spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli, substituting a mushroom, peas and cream sauce for the butter and sage sauce. We chose wisely.

Lunch yesterday: crispy chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese and spicy slaw at Hillstone in Santa Monica. Question: putting your restaurant’s name on your dishes: classy, or theft deterrent?

I realize ordering a turkey burger at Umami in Studio City is like going into a Dunkin’ Donuts and ordering a cruller, but I made my decision, and I stand by it.

Menchie’s, featuring the racially insensitive “pure vanilla” frozen yogurt. (With yummy, tiny peanut butter cups on top.)