Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shut It Down.

Lots of great meals, two plays, a movie, sleeping in. Naps. Lots of naps.

Big thanks to my mom, for proving once again she’s more than just a maiden name I need to get past online security.

Friday, May 29, 2015

I Travel On My Stomach.

It’s not delivery. It’s pizza you have to leave your house/wait in line to buy/make yourself/still doesn’t taste as good.

Mezzomondo, the best Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, is going to move to Mexico soon (yes – it’s a head-scratcher), so I’m getting my fill here in New York. Starting with Sal’s Pizzeria, which has won best pizza joint every year for as long as I can remember. The place hasn’t changed a bit. Same great pizza, same arguably rude staff.

Sal’s has an adjoining gelateria. Best stracciatella I’ve ever had.

Batting cleanup: Trattoria Tres Colori. No, I did not have gnocchi right after pizza and gelato – I waited 45 minutes so I didn’t get a cramp.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Reason To Shower And Put On Long Pants.

How is anyone good at fishing? All you did was wait longer.

This question was not answered in Larry David’s new play, Fish in the Dark. Doesn’t matter, though. It’s a phenomenal show.

It’s both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque, with Larry playing the lead (until next week, when Jason Alexander takes over.) It got huge laughs in the theater (Especially an obligatory, yet perfectly placed “pretty, prettyyyy gooood…”) Of course it did. Talk about a home-field advantage – you couldn’t throw a punch without hitting a Jew in that audience.

I loved it. If you’re in the city, see it before next Saturday, which is Larry’s last performance. It’s the best.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How I Spend My Vacation.

Justifying overeating by claiming I’m not giving in to society’s body image pressures.

Bonding with my little brother.

Letting my mom insist I blog about this woman who has a serious popcorn jones.

Shamelessly posting this pic of a chicken and a calf for all the ladies who love those “unusual animal friendships that will melt your heart” slide shows.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slumming In The South Bronx.

I won’t ask how my younger brother got free, kickass seats to Yankee Stadium to see the team retire Bernie Williams’ number. I’ll just presume it’s a mob connection.

Related: this photo of Joe DiMaggio above the stadium food court is more offensive to Italian Americans than “The Sopranos” and “The Jersey Shore” put together.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Thoughts On A Flight To New York.

According to the timely news feed in the cab, The Gambler is coming to theaters last December 19th.

There’s a network on Dish TV called the Go Pro Channel. And once again, it’s official: we’ve failed as a society.

Both the male and female flight attendants had matching scrunchies.

After this kid wailed the entire time, I now propose it cost $5000 to fly with a baby.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dropping In.

No one shows their true character more than when they are retrieving their bags from baggage claim.

Which is why I’m strictly carrying on tomorrow, when I fly to New York for a week-long break.

I’ll blog the whole time, and try to limit bashing NYC. But I make no promises.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


What was hugely popular back in the day is always a head-scratcher in retrospect. I swear DJs would pause in the middle of “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” in order to play “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” and then play the rest of “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”

David Letterman was once the funniest guy on the planet. I idolized him.

Tina Fey recently said, “For my generation, Dave completely defined the way we spoke to each other. I didn’t meet one boy in college who wasn't talking in Dave's cadence and ripping off his style. Whose deal will young people adopt now to try to impress each other? I worry for them.”

My friend Marc sounded so much like Dave, we eventually just called him Dave.

But then the real Dave moved to CBS, and the middle of the road with his humor and he lost a step. And he lost me. So I get it if you wonder what all the fuss is about.

All things change, and everything ends, and starting today we will no longer be living in a world in which David Letterman is on television five nights a week. For those of us who grew up on him, he leaves a hole shaped like a lifetime.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top-Notch Security.

7th and Broadway’s finest.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Friend Wrote A Phenomenal Book.

People are fascinated by things that talk that shouldn’t. Like animals and babies and Kanye West.

I especially love dogs, whose intelligence can be on a par with a three-year-old child. One particular dog was exceedingly special, and Rob Weintraub, who has been one of my best friends since the tenth grade, has written about her.

Rob’s new book is called No Better Friend, and it’s an amazing true story about a dog named Judy that befriended a British naval man and wound up saving his life while surviving several brutal Japanese POW camps and a torpedo attack with him.

iTunes named it one of the 20 best iBooks of May, and it’s no surprise – Rob’s writing/storytelling ability was way beyond anyone elses’ back in high school. He writes for a lot of publications and websites, including The New York Times, and three of his books are critically acclaimed.

Some critics are saying his latest is the best dog book since Marley and Me. I think it’s one of the best, period.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Downtown Saturday Night.

For decades, downtown LA was a wasteland of half-empty office buildings and fully empty streets. But now, it’s become gritty and cool like New York used to be. I had a friend in town, staying at The Standard, and we started the night at the rooftop bar there. The Standard is housed in the old Superior Oil building, and does everything in its power to distance itself from its corporate ancestor. On the room phones, there's a button marked “Fluffer.” Push it and you hear moans and heavy breathing.

We hopped over to The Upstairs bar at the Ace Hotel, also a rooftop location, also with a pool. And a phenomenal view.

For a long time, the United Artists Theater, which is located downstairs at the hotel, was used as a cathedral. This big sign still remains.

And above, the church tower has no influence on drunken bikini-clad patrons.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fatty Birthday.

A smattering of incredible, jumbo-rsized brownies, courtesy of my friends…

Who also took me to lunch at Red Seven.

Later, my favorite, and entirely underrated ice cream cake.

This one is calorie free, but the highlight of my day: my brother gave me Derek Jeter’s rookie card. I was overwhelmed.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s My Birthday.

A birthday is my favorite time to be surrounded by friends and family, because at least this intervention comes with cake.

I’ve got everything I need, so I always ask that instead of gifts or well wishes, you instead support the TV shows, movies, and even the restaurants that I love, because that will all ensure they stick around and trickle down to my career and my life. This year, I’m going with a mishmash of all kinds of things I want you to see, read or ingest:
  • The TV show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” 
  • Comedian Bo Burnham’s YouTube special “What”  
  • Tree Hugger all-natural bubble gum 
  • The Adam Carolla Show podcast 
  • My friend Rob Weintraub’s book No Better Friend 
  • The movie Mud 
  • The fried chicken sandwich at Son of a Gun 
  • Donating blood to the Red Cross 
  • Any airline except United 
  • Traffic app Waze 
  • Tropical island Boracay 
  • Sundance Cinema 
  • “True Detective” season two 
  • Nutro dog food 
  • The University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team over North Carolina this weekend

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Harshest Critics.

When rehearsing for an audition, nothing thickens the skin quite like performing in front of two parrots. Man, they know how to mock.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Say It Walking, Bitch.

I had Erasure’s “A Little Respect” stuck in my head on Monday. Yesterday, it was Lady Gaga’s “Paparrazi.” Tomorrow, I accelerate into a telephone pole.

At least these are original songs, performed by original performers. Not high-school talent-show level wannabes, clogging up the airwaves for 15 seasons.

As “American Idol” fades away, let’s all take a moment to realize how reality shows manifestly killed scripted content. And took thousands of jobs away from writers, crew and actors. “American Idol” itself bumped the show “Fringe” out of the Thursday night lineup. Now, it will be replaced by the new drama “Rosewood.” I have no idea what it’s about, but I’m huge fan.

Scripted TV is finally back. And it’s the best. It’s “Game of Thrones,” “Fargo,” “Downton Abby,” and “True Detective.” The best writers have come to TV, and not just TV – Netflix, Hulu and DirecTV. It’s a kickass time to be an actor.

Until they’re all gone, I wish every contest or reality show would be exiled to a single channel, which I could block. I love you, television.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Best Niece’s Birthday EVER.

Greatest invention all of time: the water balloon filling tool that attaches to a water spigot. I totally whaled on all the 11 year old girls.

Distant second-best invention: mini umbrella attached to a straw. Why wasn’t this dreamed up sooner?

I’ll let their future therapists duke it out over my nephew’s birthday card to his sister. Including the fact that he repeatedly misspelled her name.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

30 Seconds Of April.

I can't think of anything worse than an over exaggerator.

But man I really liked last month. Click and enjoy a second of each day: 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trip to Costa Rica, Part Two: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

I’d like to say we were smiling because we were having a blast, but actually we were laughing at the demise of our buddies, whose raft had capsized.

The scenery made me feel like we were paddling into Da Nang to rescue POWS.

Horrific Costa Rican cigarette warnings didn’t deter the hoodlums I was there with.

Maybe my favorite pic from the trip: zipping past a local family and their oxen.

After four hours on an ATV, I was a veritable Pigpen. By the way, the mosquitoes in Costa Rica are legendary, but I wore a non-chemical citronella bracelet all week and didn’t get one bite.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Trip to Costa Rica, Part One: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

Right before arriving passengers can exit the airport in San Jose, they have to put their luggage through this x-ray contraption. I was convinced a tiny, native child was inside stealing iPads.

 On the way to our compound, we stopped off at Gator Bridge. The only thing more threatening than the alligators (the big one in front is nicknamed Mike Tyson) was the locals, who hound you to either pay them just so you can peer over the side, or buy some of their shitty souvenirs. I’m good on sloth bedazzled tote bags, thanks.

Money conversion – colones to dollars – was a beast all weekend. On the bright side: in Costa Rica, you are a millionaire.

This beach (click on the pic for full panoramic view) was steps from our place. The black sand is super fine and soft, and horrifying when you use a Q-Tip later that day.

Our personal chef’s puppy Charlie. Bilingual babe magnet.

Monday, May 4, 2015

He Gave His Back For His Country.

I flew home to LA from Costa Rica yesterday, had some shit to do and really hit the wall before I could piece together a proper blog entry about the trip. I actually may have enough material for two posts, and I’ll get after it today. In the meantime, here’s one of our favorite moments – an unintentionally funny clip of our friend John’s back flop off a waterfall:

Costa Rica Waterfall from Matt Shevin on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

And Yet Another Way To Perish.

There’s always a slight risk simply entering Central America. Bring along 16 idiots and you increase the odds. Take them whitewater rafting and you’re pushing it. Then pull over from the rapids to check out a boa constrictor sleeping on a branch and, well, someone out there please see to it that Ricky finds a good home.