Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Day 11: Departure.

Me: Hey, LA – coming back to town today.

LA: New phone. Who’s this?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day 10: East On Sunset.

Damn right that’s a New York sky. I’m the first dude who actually brings good weather with him.

They say the shortest day of the year was last Monday, but I’d beg to differ; it’s today, my last day of vacation. Can’t talk. Enjoying.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day 9: Case Of Cabernet… And The Mondays.

Had a few drinks at a fancy place called Harvest Wine Bar, a place so cozy, I’m convinced that if you stuffed more than a dozen people it there, it would fold like chicken wire, and they’d never get you out. You would have to be buried in it… The local news is constantly covering a big basketball tourney, and it reminds me of what we used to call a couple of high schools here: Stepinac was “Step in Crap,” and Albertus Magnus was “Fat Albert”… I am sick and tired of commercials wishing me a Happy Honda Days. It’s like they totally forget that some people celebrate Toyotathon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 8: Owie.

Found this pic of me holding my little brother, just moments after he was circumcised, and telling him, “It gets better.”

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day 8: In My Tummy.

It’s hard to get a lot done when you’re busy having a snack every 15 minutes.

In all the goings-on of this trip, I forget to mention my mom and I made our annual trip to Stew Leonard’s to stock up on the yummiest of provisions. I’ve described the place in the past, and it’s as great as ever. Okay, can’t talk. Eating.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Day 7: As Much Fun As A… How Does That Go, Again?

What an amazing Christmas sight – to everyone looking at their phones right now.

What could possibly spoil this? Well, my mom unfortunately needed an emergency root canal yesterday, so a super nice oral surgeon and his technician took time out of their Christmas day and performed the procedure. On the way their office, I felt like I should be bringing them some sort of gifts, but what exactly is traditional in this particular situation?

I went with comedy, pulling the tech aside and telling her Jews really know how to ruin a holiday. She laughed hard.

Mom’s healing up. Thanks again, doc/staff.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Day 6: Merry Christmas. From Matt, Ricky, And The Cheap-Ass MFers At PetSmart.

For years, I took my dog to PetSmart to have our photo taken with Santa. But this year, they went rogue, and instead superimposed a Santa image onto our picture. Really? PetSmart was recently sold for $8.7 billion, and they couldn’t spare a couple bucks for a real Santa? I’m gonna go throw up in the street.

Well, at least one Christmas tradition remains in tact here in New York: the local sports talk station featuring Jewish on-air talent all day. That’s my jam.

Everyone please accept my sincerest wishes for a wonderful holiday. Hope you all found something kickass under the tree. Peace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 5: Before My Brain Turns To A Full 100% Mush.

A wise man once said... absolutely nothing. He let her vent and then they had sex afterward.

Henry is a wise man, and he’s played by Ewan McGregor. I saw him on Broadway last night in The Real Thing, and it’s a super-heady look at a guy trying to maintain snobbishly-high standards while shrugging off any shred of jealousy. But in the end, we all don’t want to share.

The rest of the cast – Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon and Josh Hamilton – really hold the tension. If you happen to be in New York in the next ten days – the show closes January 4th – and really, who the hell would want to be here any longer than that – see it.

Day 4: It’s Nothing If Not Precipitous.

Yep – it snowed a bit yesterday, which was nice. Not so nice: as I’ve said in the past, traffic here is ten times worse than LA. On Sunday afternoon, we were stuck in the parking that some people call I-95. I call it Satan… And irony of ironies: I reached Waze Warrior status in that standstill… There’s just something special about being in my hometown and sleeping in my childhood bedroom that brings out my acne and low self-esteem.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 3: My New Little Brother.

It’s been nice meeting Ollie the IV for the first time. (The story behind that here.) To think he spent last Christmas homeless, and this one sleeping on a memory foam mattress. He’s King Shit. I really love him… Saw The Theory of Everything, which is about Stephen Hawking when he was first diagnosed with his disease, and it’s one of the best films of the year. Heavy and tragic… Ran into a high school classmate at CVS and realized: a fun trick for remembering peoples’ names is to never interact with anyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Day 2: Does New York Make Me Look Fat?

My favorite food is chicken parm. At Patricia’s in the Bronx, it comes with a side of pasta, and the biggest, loudest, drunkenest table of Italian palookas next to you.

Tartufo means “truffle” in Italian. Bilingual yumminess.

I demolished a wok-ful of lo mein at Water Moon. Like a boss.

Chocolate mousse pyramid with molten caramel. Geometrical yumminess

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Day 1: Insult To Injury.

Getting off the plane I was about to board: James Franco, under heavy security.

Also exiting: Barry Manilow, without security. Barry wins.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Once. Just Once.

I’d like Ricky to look back when I drop him off, instead of being so damn excited to be here. Bad kid.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I’m Outta Here.

NYC: I’m coming there tomorrow. Do you guys need anything?

Yep, I’m going to visit my mom, and have 12 days of nonstop eating, not thinking about acting, and never pleasant weather.

I’m taking the blog with me, so log on for the play by play. It’s always interesting in the most overrated city in the world. See you there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The First Great Documentary Of Next Year.

In 1980, the US hockey team, made up of amateur and collegiate players, beat the Soviet Union national team, professionals who had won the gold medal in six of the seven previous Olympic games. Which begs the question: did somebody shine a laser pointer at the Russians during the game?

That was the only stone left unturned in a great new documentary that premieres next month called Red Army. My friend John Kapelos invited me to a special screening followed by a Q&A, and it was fascinating.

The film focuses on the other side of the Miracle on Ice: the Russian team, in particular defenseman Slava Fetisov. And it does what any great documentary sets out to achieve: change minds. To me, the Russians were always the evil dudes with the unfair advantage; but now I have empathy for them. They grew up in 400 square foot apartments crammed with two other families, and then, when they grew up and made the Olympic team, they were forced to live in barracks for 11 months while an animal of a head coach made them practice every day until they pissed blood. Some crazy shit.

It’s in theaters January 23rd. You don’t need to be a sports fan to love it. But trust me, you’ll love it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Once Again, Out-Of-Context Thank-You Notes I’ve Recently Written To Casting Directors.

• Have you ever gone back to using your old smartphone? It’s like one of those painful last stands in romances – the goodbye lunch – when you both know you’ve moved on.

• One of my friend’s office fantasies involves a coworker walking by his desk while he’s actually working.

• What did Miley Cyrus eat for Thanksgiving? Twerky. Just kidding... drugs. She ate drugs.

• May I never, ever send a screenshot of a conversation to the person whose conversation I just took a screenshot of, amen.

• I’m tired of things costing money.

• Women prefer guys who are polite, but also in charge. Which is why, after I open the car door, I always push their heads down “perp style.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Win The Weekend.

This halo around the sun yesterday was bitchin’. There’s an old weather saying: ring around the sun or moon means rain soon, which means tomorrow’s forecast has been upgraded to “sucks shit.”

Chocolate crema hazelnut crumble at Osteria La Buca gave me a nipple hardon.

Overcompensating for my use of the phrase “nipple hardon,” I did something cultural, by attending a showing of portraits by German photographer Martin Hausler.

I love my friend Chris’ wallet, fashioned from a Chinese take-out container.

On Saturday, I did the PA announcing for the local kids’ football championships. Damn right there’s a Barack Obama Elementary.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The World’s Worst Wakeup Call.

A blaring, unprompted warning in the middle of the night about a flash flood before it even started raining? Apple, you must be tripping balls.

But that’s exactly what happened late Thursday night. After I woke up and shut my phone off, I heard my upstairs neighbors’ phones going berserk.

Thanks for the aggressive warning, Apple. I'll be sure to stay safe in my bed, WHERE I WAS SLEEPING.

First it was the Amber Alert, and now the emergency alert. Apple added each one unannounced, left them both on, didn’t let us know, and let both go off in ridiculous fashion.

So now it’s time to stop this shit again. Below is a link to walk you through shutting off the emergency alert. Join me:

Friday, December 12, 2014


The older I get, the more life feels like I’m just killing time between meals.

I eat out often, but when I’m home, I’m a straight-up mono-eater. You find a winner, bet on it – and my freezer is packed in perpetuity with Foster Farms turkey meatballs. I highly recommend.

So get this: my alma mater, Maryland, had a kickass football season, and earned itself a bid to a bowl game right here in California. It was meant to be:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stuff It In The Stocking Of An Actor You Love.

The problem with most books about acting is that they’re longer than a receipt from CVS.

Simplify, man. Like the best book about acting I’ve read in a long time: David Mamet’s True and False.

Mamet wrote a lot of great plays and movies, including the play that was adapted into my favorite movie: Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which became About Last Night. And when it comes to advice on acting, the man is downright practical: to hell with The Method.

“The actor is onstage to communicate the play to the audience. That is the beginning and the end of his and her job. To do so, the actor needs a strong voice, superb diction, a supple, well-proportioned body and a rudimentary understanding of the play. Anything else – ‘becoming’ one's part, ‘feeling’ the character's emotions – devalues the practice of a noble craft and is useless to the play. The ‘work’ you do ‘on the script’ will make no difference. That work has already been done by a person with a different job title than yours. That person is the author.”

127 pages of goodness. Recommended highly by Anthony Hopkins, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. And a dude who hates The Method. And reading.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

That’s First Class.

The older I get, the more understandable Britney’s meltdown seems to me.

We actors continue to be treated TSA-style when it comes to parking at auditions:

 I blogged about it a few years ago. You can give it gander here.

Yeah, it sucks. But then I had an audition for a role in a big video game last week, and in the lobby I saw something that knocked my head back: a bowl of change, for actors to feed their parking meters if the wait to read for the casting director got too long.

I was understandably astonished. And that casting director is getting one bitchin’ Christmas gift. Good woman.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Acute Rhinitis.

I had timed it all perfectly. Haircut last Saturday, because it takes exactly one week to look as good as it’s gonna get. Same with the scruff, so I shaved that night as well. Skin clear, wardrobe selected – all set to get new headshots taken. But then, driving home Friday night, I felt the first hint of a cold. And by the next morning, Headshot Day, the cold kicked my ass. If you wanted to get me out of bed, you pretty much had to Weekend at Bernie’s me.

But the headshot photographer was the best in the city, and had given me a rare weekend appointment, so I rallied as best I could, and made it.

I won’t know how the shots came out until Thursday, but there’s a very good chance my symptoms will be pretty evident in the shots. Which means I’ll spend the next couple years playing mostly meth-heads, or John Boehner – he always looks like he’s about to be sick.

 Hooray. Showbiz.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

He Sees Movies Like Real People Do.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when downtown Hollywood was a nasty place. But then an effort was made to build hotels and stores and theaters, and the town became so family friendly it practically has childbearing hips.

During the shitty days, it was fun to watch folks on vacation wandering around town, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. But the last star to hang out there was Hunphrey Bogart.

Cut to today, and Hollywood has the best movie theater in the country – the ArcLight – and suddenly the area is teeming with famous people. I was personally thrilled the other day to see Paul Dooley, who’s been in almost 200 TV shows and films, including stealing the most underrated sports movie of all time: Breaking Away.

Thank you, sir, for making me a tourist in my own city.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Eighth Great Movie Of 2014.

My favorite bands are Muse and the Black Keys. I also love the taste of flour.

Okay, I’m a music snob. But it’s justifiable – I’m a musician. Well, I’m a drummer. Close enough.

And Miles Teller is not only a great, young actor (he starred in The Spectacular Now, one of the best films of last year), but also a phenomenal drummer, in one the best films of this year: Whiplash.

What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend? Homeless.

All of the music in Whiplash is played live by the actors, and JK Simmons is an all-time villain, which seems surprising, since he usually plays loveable dad-types, but don’t forget he was the despicable leader of the prison Aryan nation on “Oz.”

What do call a beautiful woman on a drummer’s arm? A tattoo.

Whiplash is a film everyone will connect with. It’s brilliant. It won the top prize at Sundance this year.

What’s the difference between a drum machine and a drummer? You only have to punch information into a drum machine once for it to understand you.

Enough. See the film.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Belated Birthday Boy.

I’m a dog guy all the way. In fact, dog parks are my favorite place to meet single women holding a bag of shit.

But I was a neglectful owner last week, when I traveled to San Francisco and completely forgot Ricky’s birthday. He was born on Thanksgiving, so every November 24th, we go to PetSmart and he picks out a toy. This year, we went six days late, but all was quickly forgiven as Rick got down to business. He whittled it down to three choices:
One with three imbedded tennis balls, a football harboring one tennis ball, and, God forbid – a canvas bone from Bret Michael’s (yes, that Bret Michael) line of dog toys.

Winner (unfortunately): the canvas bone. Happy birthday, dummy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

30 Seconds Of November.

My month. In one tiny bite-size morsel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

It’s Hard To Hold A Candle.

Apologies to Axl Rose. Turns out he was right about cold rain in November… Making the chillier weather extra special: my hot water tank is completely on the fritz. I’ve resorted to the Ray Lewis pregame ritual before getting in the shower… How was my Thanksgiving? Let’s just say I’m thinking about calling in fat today… Which was bigger nonsense during the Macy’s Parade: American Authors failing to lip synch, or the Sea World float being introduced under the guise of “conservation?”