Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 11: Return Trip.

My flight back is today. By the way – Virgin Airlines should just be itself. It’ll happen eventually.

It was a really nice 11 days that went by way too fast, even though I packed them with as much shit as possible. Great meals out. Hanging with friends. I saw five movies, a play and a football game. And I’m bringing back a souvenir from home: water, inside my iPhone screen. It’ll take about three weeks for the innards to dry.

Holiday’s over. My butt is rested. Time to start busting it again.

Everybody have fun tonight. Go out, carouse and imbibe. Personally, it’s not my thing. (Though if they ever make an alcoholic drink that tastes like a burrito I’ll be dead within five hours.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Day 10: What The Hell Is Wrong With You, New York?

As I’ve gotten older, my answer to any problem, more and more, is “burn it down.”

This now includes MetLife Stadium. Home of my Jets. I’d never been to the new place, which the Jets share with the painfully boring Giants, but the Jets were out of town, and the best I could do was Redskins/Giants. Pretty nifty seats, huh? They’re $500 each, but the tickets were given to my little brother, so they were free. Well, free plus 600 bucks.

You see, as I can’t mention enough, New York gets more inches of rain each year than Seattle. It never stops. And it never stopped during the frigid temps yesterday, so I kept my iPhone tucked inside my jacket. (I’d planned on doing an iPhone photo gallery of MetLife, but it didn’t really offer anything of interest. It’s a huge, new stadium, and will host the Super Bowl in a month. End of pizazz.)

It slipped my mind that my phone was in my coat when I stood up at halftime, and it fell into a puddle and immediately went on the fritz. For ten hours, I couldn’t work the home button. And now, the screen is waterlogged and my camera lens is misted up. It was a goddam bitch just downloading the pic I used for today’s entry. I may have to bite the bullet and buy a new phone.

I don’t care if this shithole city is soaking wet. Burn it down.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day 9: In Which I Renege.

Caught a rerun on “Modern Family” yesterday, in which Cam wore a shirt that reminded me of a blog entry I posted a couple years back. I swore I was giving that shirt to Goodwill, never to be seen wearing it again. Here’s how that worked out:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Day 8: A Tad Festive.

I’ve blogged about this guy before, who goes kablooie every Christmas, but figured a daytime photo would show just how much. My mom says he spends over eight grand on this each year. I wish all the girls that wouldn’t date him in high school could see him now.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 7: Unplug It. Then Burn It Down.

Wrote a letter to Santa today because I don’t want him to think that we only talk when I want something from him… Baby, it’s cold outside. I checked my weather app… Another movie recommendation: The Spectacular Now. It came out earlier this year, and is easily one of my favorites. It’s like a subtle, poignant, modern version of a John Hughes film... Nice try, second page of your family’s holiday newsletter.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day 6: Tribal.

Upholding the most sacred of all Christmas traditions is the local rabbi (orange cap) on National Jewish Movie Night… Saw two amazing films everyone must see: Saving Mr. Banks–more tragic than I expected–and Philomena, written and starring normally-comic actor Steve Coogan in an even more tragic story. Both are based on true events… Hey: if you put reindeer antlers on your car, I hope Ted Nugent shoots it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Day 5: Happy Birthday, Jesus of Nazareth.

Matt of the Bronx and Ricky of East LA

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 4: Small Risk.

Saw Big Fish last night – the musical based on the movie based on the novel. Way to go out on a limb, Broadway… You can convince most tourists visiting New York that any random construction site is Ground Zero… At Trattoria Trecolori last night, our waiter was the rudest, shittiest Italian dude. Or as I like to call him, “a New Yorker.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 3: For Your Viewing, And My Eating, Pleasure.

I hope the anticipation of having a kid matches the way I feel driving to Stew Leonard’s.

Every time I’m back in New York, I head over to Connecticut to stock my mom’s house with Stew’s yumminess. (You can read recaps here.)

But much as I’ve written about it, the place is still difficult to describe. So this year, I shot some video and posted it above, featuring the animatronics that make this supermarket really nutty. Click, and enjoy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 2: Realization.

Chicken parm is my favorite winter activity.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Day 1: Terminal.

JFK Airport is like walking around “The Brady Bunch” set… Kids get 80% less cute the second they board an airplane… Whenever I’m getting off a plane, I like to go up to the pilot, lean in really close and whisper “I had my phone on that whole time”… A casual flip through the police blotter will let you know what all your buddies from the airport shuttle are up to.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Well Played, Focus Features.

Sending me a DVD screener right before I get on a long flight. You just bribed your way into a SAG vote, you magnificent bastards.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Now Headed To The Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of.

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying to the most overrated city in all the land: New York City. Where the rats outnumber the people.

Yes, 96 million rats call NYC home, which is 12 for every person. But keep at it, New York, and soon you’ll make it a baker’s dozen. I, for one, believe in you.

Actually, I’m very much looking forward to it, because it’ll be the first time this year I’ll take my foot off the gas and just relax. I need a vacation. I’m just gonna chain eat, visit friends and bitch incessantly about the cold. Happy holidays to me.

So check in daily, as I blog from my old bedroom and relapse into puberty. You don’t wanna miss it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Power Of Negative Thinking.

Two years ago, I threatened to sue Pottery Barn because I thought this nerd bedroom display would ruin my reputation in much the same way George Lucas ruined the Star Wars franchise.

Cut to yesterdaty – name removed, much better. I’m calling off the dogs.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Shopping At The Grove: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

I was handed a card that read “Don’t miss your chance to see a one-of-a-kind “Cougar Town” art installation by renowned cork artist Scott Gundersen!” It negelected to mention, “On the one day he will ever get paid!”

Beat it, ace. Hanukah is over.

I wonder what Van Gogh here is giving his woman for Christmas.

Just get over it, stupid.

Does it get more disturbing than a mini Laker Girl outfit for your kid? Yes – because this is for your dog.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Recap

Once again, my friend Jeff asked me to do the football PA announcing for the kids’ Super Bowls where we live. In all, I called seven games from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., which set my all-time record for consecutive hours without cursing… Had lunch with my friend, actor John Kapelos, who just shot his fifth episode of “Justified.” We’ve got a thing or two planned for 2014. (Which means I can now expense both the lunch and this blog)… Rest in peace, Peter O’Toole. He once tagged along with Oliver Reed and Richard Harris as they downed 303 pints in three days in four different countries. And what are you up to this week?

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This holiday season, I wish I could give each of you an uncomfortably long, hard hug. to the point in which you have to say “okay” repeatedly.

And I did just that Tuesday night, but it was with more than friends – it was two of my frat brothers. Flanked to my left and right are Buzzy and Scott. Buzzy was in town for a big new business venture, so we got together and had a fancy reunion at Nobu in Malibu. A few highlights:
  • Also joining us were Buzzy’s new business partners, a couple named Dave and Randi Zabriskie. Dave is a pro cyclist with an incredible résumé: he was on the 2008 US Olympic team and won a stage of the 2005 Tour de France, beating his teammate Lance Armstrong by two seconds. 
  • At Nobu, you can’t throw a punch without hitting a famous person, including John C. McGinley, with whom I talked baseball for a minute. He and I are huge Yankee fans. 
  • Nobu’s menu is phenomenal. Their two signature dishes – black cod with miso, and rock shrimp tempura – were the best I’ve had this year. Meanwhile, the McRib gets all the press, but who wouldn’t get excited about the return of unidentifiable meats?
  • When it comes to post-graduate success, I’d put my fraternity up against any other in the country. All of my brothers have achieved monumental success: surgeons, hedge fund managers, a U.S. military weapons designer. My pledge brother Stephen Nitkin has launched CYC Fitness, a huge new health club/social studio chain thriving in big college towns. We even claim Larry David, who was a member of our house in the 60s. (If I ever audition for Larry, I’ll greet him with the secret handshake.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I’m A Cutter.

If you ever see me visible on GChat, please let me know immediately, because something has gone horribly wrong.

I prefer to use my laptop for good – not evil – which is why I’m in the process of learning how to edit using Final Cut Pro X. My friend Rainy gave me my first lesson yesterday, and feel like I’ll be able to take my first solo flight soon.

I want to know how to edit so that I can have the autonomy to make films without hitting up friends for favors, or relying on the schedules of others. Plus I can see my vision all the through from concept to post-production.

Or, this a veiled cry for help as I transform into a fulltime hermit. Eh – a little from column A, a little from column B.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coming Up.

Some days you’re the Titanic, some days you’re the iceberg, and some days you’re the guy who jumped off and hit a propeller on the way down.

You’ll find out what I mean in the new year, when a short I was in called Permission makes its debut. It’s one of several I shot a few months back that were written by a talented young couple, and were produced by and star my friend Katie Von Till. I’ve seen some early cuts and I can’t tell you how great they’re turning out.

This is just the tip of what’s coming up in 2014; not just things in the can, but several in pre-production. So make sure you’re not wearing socks or else they might just get blown off, okay?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Recap.

That’s Ricky, bored at Anthropologie on Saturday. Now he knows how millions of husbands have felt… I did a double take, then rewound the DVR for this gem at the Marshall/Rice game on Saturday… While watching the Jets game at Sharkeez with my friend Jeff, his friend Kurt Williams, visual effects supervisor on dozens of huge films, wandered over to us and I began pummeling him with questions. He confirmed what many fans hoped was true: Hugh Jackman is the nicest guy ever. Every Friday during a shoot, Hugh hands out lottery tickets to everyone in the crew. That’s first class… It was an especially frigid weekend in LA, and today’s low will be 37°. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: this was not in the brochure.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tell ‘Em Santa Sent You.

Seriously. I didn’t wear this damn suit in July for nothing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Much Pumpitude.

If you’re stuck in a group text, one easy way to get out is to throw your phone in the ocean and start a new life.

Excessive? Yes. But effective as hell, and my new philosophy on life. You see, a month ago I got very sentimental when the LA Fitness where I’d worked out since the day I moved to Los Angeles suddenly closed down. (Turned out I was the very last member working out there as workers broke the place down around me. TVs were ripped off the walls, weights were carted off into three moving vans. I went down with the ship.)

Then I grudgingly made my way over to a different, newly-remodeled location, and what I discovered was 1) I’m an idiot, and 2) my old gym sucked shit.

The new place is incredible. Machines are state of the art, angled differently, cooler, better. Every workout gives me the best pump. All of the aerobic equipment – ellypticals, stairmasters and tread mills each sport their own 19” flat screen TVs. And it occurred to me: sometimes being thrown out in the street is the best thing that could ever happen to you. Your asshole boss shitcans you, and you wind up doubling your salary. Your wife leaves you, and your new, hotter lady-friend makes you realize there are women out there who love you almost as much as they love putting out for you.

Firings, breakups and all other punches in the gut are essential. But why wait? Why let someone else pull the trigger? If something or someone in your life doesn’t make you leap out of bed with a passion every morning, put your foot up its ass. Life goes by way too fast. Move on, and send me a text when you get there. Though not a group one, thanks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why The Terrorists Hate Us.

I realized my niece and nephew will never know life without Facebook. They’ll never know what it’s like to go, “I wonder what happened to that guy Chris from high school?”, then just shrug their shoulders and move on.

Also helping kids become less appreciative, I present evidence B, above: my neighbors hired carpenters yesterday to custom-build a playhouse for their children. I look forward to the day the kids stick their indulgent parents in a retirement home one-fifth as roomy than that playhouse.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kill Shot.

I hug people I hate so I know how big I need to dig the hole in my backyard.

And I got the thrill of calling for a contract hit on a complete stranger – at least on film. The above shot is from a music video my friend Gary Robinson directed for singer/songwriter Mitchell Schaffer.

Gary’s already spent over a year doing the post work on this thing, because he actually did shoot on 35mm film (these days a lost art), and is adding a veritable shitload of CG explosions and incredibly detailed painted-in images. The result will be so epic, Gary plans on renting out a theater to premiere the video on a big screen. Which is cool as shit, except for the fact that I’ll have nothing to wearing to the premiere, since I’m wearing my only suit in the video. Which is ironically the same suit I plan on being buried in. Eh – cutoff jean shorts and a Jets jersey will do in a pinch.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cut It.

There are too many people who could ruin my life by posting a screenshot of a text conversation I’ve had with them. But above is a shot I really dig.

It was sent to me as a Thanksgiving gift from my friends Bru and Aina, who’ve begun editing my new comedy short.

I’m super excited to see a rough cut, and the culmination of all the work and bundles of cash I put into this thing. It shouldn’t take long for us to lock down the final picture, and then hopefully, as they say in the biz, the film will be “dropping” soon. Watch your toes.