Friday, January 29, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
So I’m taking matters into my own hands, as I finally have time to edit the comedy sketches I shot in June.
I’m really liking both the look of the footage, and the performances by my co-stars, to the point in which I’m feeling pretty jaunty about it.
Jaunty? Yeah. That just happened.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
He’s a phenomenal actor with great range, but it’s worth noting he appeared in over half the films I saw in theaters last year: The Revenant, Brooklyn, Star Wars and Ex-Machina. I think he’s movie stalking me.
Monday, January 25, 2016
It was the perfect end to a jam-packed Saturday and Sunday. And after all of the goodness, the best line of the weekend goes to my nephew, who after asking me my relationship status, pointed to his dick and said “THIS is your girlfriend.”
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Friday, January 22, 2016
I am, however, very familiar with a city called Rye. It’s a suburb of NYC, and my hometown. By the beach in Rye, you’ll find a 90-year-old amusement park called Playland, which includes an ice rink. The rink is the home of my high school’s hockey team, and was the New York Rangers’ practice facility.
I came across a picture the other day of Lou Gehrig on skates at Playland in 1931. As a Yankee fan, I thought it was the coolest thing. I posted it on a Facebook group page for people from Rye, and it got an enormous response – hundreds of likes and comments. All of us spent our childhoods there. (One older woman took lessons as a kid along with a girl who grew up to become Olympian Dorothy Hamill.)
I consider myself a Californian now, but I realize that Rye made me who I am. And memories need to be shared.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
So it’s always refreshing to travel back to LA, on my new favorite airline, JetBlue.
Out of the airline’s control: sitting behind the poor woman in the above pic were the two worst-behaved kids I’ve ever experienced on a plane. After the boy pounded his fist on the seat in front of him for the ninth time, she looked like she wanted to smother him with that neck pillow. I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: charge $5000 a ticket for kids, and this will be instantly remedied.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
It should be that easy. Speaking of which, actor Aaron Abrams received this message:
Hope all is well with you.
Just a quick question. I was thinking of ways to make extra cash, and thought about acting gigs. How do you go about finding out about casting calls for commercials and tv, etc., and do they take ppl with no experience? Do you need an agent, etc. You living in LA now?
Here’s Aaron’s response:
Dear 36 Year Old Cousin of An Acquaintance I Haven’t Spoken To Since Summer Camp,
I can absolutely forward your name to Acting Headquarters! Just a few quick questions for you so I can tick the right boxes on the form: Do you want the fame package or would you rather start easy and get the underrated but well respected combo? Will you be needing AHQ to hook you up with an actress as well? What kind of scarf would you like?
And just a thought, while acting is certainly well paid labor that requires zero skill, there are other fields as well...for example, have you tried being an abstract expressionist painter? (Hey, you don't even need a brush!) Or, if you write a beloved novel, that can be a really great way to get extra beer money because people keep buying it forever (residual income, bro) - I mean, acting can be fun but very few of us get that Victor Hugo money.
I’ll let you know ASAP when the top brass get back to me so we can initiate Phase II: Easy Street, I know they’ll be super grateful for your interest as there's a huge shortage of people who would like to be actors. And hey, if there’s any extra investment consulting work kicking around your office, I’d love to make a few extra bucks as well.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016
So I took matters into my own hands, with an assist from the weather. Before the first stage of El Niño hit last week, I tilled the soil and planted grass seed. Then it rained for four days straight.
The eyesore above is the before picture. Now, every morning, I get to check the growth, and I’m on my way to a real lawn. Soon, when I put Ricky on the lead out there, he won’t come back in looking like Pigpen.
If the grass is always greener on the other side, why don’t we all just go over there? Problem solved.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
That doesn’t mean others can’t be recognized. Before the Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow, I’d like to list the films that I think were the best of 2015, in order.
Disclaimer: while I see a lot of films, I didn’t see them all, including The Revenant, which I’m sure I’ll like.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I’m not sure why this isn’t getting more attention during awards season – it won both the audience and jury prizes for best film at Sundance. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s tragic. It’s every reason we go to see movies. Best of the year.
Spotlight. True stories always make for more fascinating premises, and Spotlight is pure truth – the reporters it’s based on were asked to fact-check this film for accuracy. Very strong chance to win best picture.
Kingsman – The Secret Service. Best action movie and most fun movie of the year. Everyone who sees it loves it. If I were the President of Showbiz, I’d take the star of this film, Taron Egerton, and cast him as a young James Bond, reviving the franchise with an origin story.
Love & Mercy. Another true story, with two great actors (Paul Dano and John Cusack) playing young and old Brian Wilson. Just seeing how much of a genius Brian was in the studio, as he produces the song “Good Vibrations” is worth it.
99 Homes. A more personal look into the housing crisis featured in The Big Short, and how it affected actual home owners. A film no one saw but I promise you’ll like.
The Martian. Another cool action film. It’s riveting to watch Matt Damon’s character “science the shit” out of surviving on Mars.
The Big Short. Known amongst my friends and me as “the film with handsome men made to look ugly.” It’ll get you pretty worked up at the brokerage firms who played fast and loose with peoples’ lives. And the fun technique used to help understand what happened really works.
Bridge of Spies. Gripping. Incredibly directed by Steven Spielberg, and acted by Tom Hanks. It suffers from a strong theatrical year – release this any other time and it’s a contender.
Sicario. Hard core. Cool as shit. A constant air of danger from the opening scene. And it’s shot different from anything else this year.
Brooklyn. Boy, the Irish in the 50s were pretty douchey. I would have fled to America, too. This is a good reminder that there’s always a real reason why we left something/someone behind.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Luckily, being a member of SAG allows to me watch all the best films from 2016 from the comfort of my couch, so I can then vote for the SAG Awards.
Monday, January 11, 2016
While dropping weight is pretty much everyone’s resolution right now, I zagged Saturday night, following a great meal at Petty Cash with a triple chocolate shake at Milk. You’re all missing out.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Here are a few of the dead options – super talents who unfortunately passed in the last year:
Edward Hermann. I worked with Edward on the voiceover for a radio commercial, and he was such a nice man, and SO excited about his role in a new Coen brothers film. Over a hundred credits, and he still couldn’t believe what he got to do for a living.
Taylor Negron. I blogged about Taylor when he died. I never get tired of watching him in that video.
Leonard Nimoy. One of those rare people respected by everyone in showbiz. Not even William Shatner couldn’t muster up a bad word about him.
Sam Simon. Sam only worked a couple of years on “The Simpsons”, but because he helped create the show, he received $110 million a year in royalties. The best part is he used most of the money to fund his favorite cause: helping dogs avoid kill shelters.
Windell Middlebrooks. My friend Bru and I were in a commercial with him. He was happy and funny and lived to make the crew laugh. Died way too young.
Dick Van Patten. Started on Broadway when he was seven, shot his last movie at 83, and he created Natural Balance Pet Foods. That’s range.
Al Molinaro. Many remember him from “Happy Days”, but in New York, where the “Odd Couple” has been permanently airing since for decades, Al will always be Murray the cop.
Scott Weiland. I’m a huge fan of Stone Temple Pilots, and always loved Scott. This was an especially sad one.
Robert Loggia. 65 years in TV and movies, including the iconic piano scene in Big.
Wayne Rogers. He just passed away on New Year’s Eve. There were 251 episodes of “M*A*S*H”, but only the 74 that Wayne appeared in will stop me from flipping past.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Monday, January 4, 2016
In 2016, I’m raising the bar. I plan to be meaner and hotter.
I’ve spent the past three days thinking about Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote: “Do something every day that scares you.” It’s been attempted by many, and chronicled online – a year of scaring themselves – but to moderate success. The problem is the feasibility. Day one, they were practically committing felonies. By day 26, they were playing a little loose with the term “scare.” Emailing your ex doesn’t exactly make you a Navy Seal.
I propose this: how about we simply be better than last year? Elevate. Let’s all kiss, as if the Fresh Prince audience was making the “OOOoooo” sound the entire time. Or try a challenging new recipe. If you screw it up, just call it “Chicago style” and serve it anyway. And finally, incorporate “I don’t roll that way” into at least one conversation each week.
The pic featured on today’s post was taken yesterday. My niece asked Ricky if he was thirsty, and he took charge. I’m following his lead.