Monday, February 29, 2016

Oscar Thoughts.

I was going to write about the Stacey Dash joke, but I’m still trying to figure out what it was supposed to be.

Here are a few things I was able to grasp:

• Chris Rock’s monologue was smart and hilarious and right on. The Jada Pinkett joke was a home run. She brought that on herself.

• The scrolling thank-yous at the bottom of the screen didn’t deter winners from still thanking everyone in their stratospheres. Old habits die hard.

• Cadillac had the best commercial of the night. It was everything a commercial on a big stage should be:

• Louis CK had the best joke of the night, talking about the winner of best documentary short taking home the Oscar in a Honda Civic. He should eventually host the show.

• Dave Grohl’s rendition of Black Bird during the “In Memoriam” was beautiful. I’m not sure why, but this segment always motivates me more than any other to work even harder.

• Good for Brie Larson, who is now going to give Jennifer Lawrence a run for her money. Many people don’t remember (or don’t know) that Brie tried to be a pop singer in her teens, and it didn’t work out.

• Sam Smith proudly thought he was the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, but he wasn’t – Dustin Lawrence Black, the writer of Milk, was the first.

• Alejandro Iñárritu really deserved the Oscar, and I love that he challenges himself and never does things the easy way, much like my favorite director, David Fincher. By the way, you want diversity? The last three awards for best director have gone to Mexicans.

• Good for Leonardo, though I thought he deserved the Oscar for The Wolf of Wall Street. The Revenant was yet another role for him based on a real person, which makes him the best character actor out there. That said, interesting to note:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Enough Already.

There are still reality shows on TV? We’re gonna need a bigger blog.

I’ve said it before: these pieces of shit take away jobs from actors and crew, and if you think there’s anything actually real about them, you’re out of your mind.

But enough of my diatribe. Here’s a good article all about it:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Next Time, Group Therapy.

My mom is coming into town for the weekend, so I searched Yelp for places we can take my niece and nephew. I’m leaning toward number 9…

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nail It.

I want to hire these guys to release doves every time I finish an audition.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shot And A Haircut.

“Give me the Rand Paul,” I said. That’s the last time I get a haircut while I’m drunk.

So I was extra careful visiting Blind Barber for the first time Friday night. It’s actually a good place for a shave or a haircut, but it’s also somewhat of a façade – for a very cool speakeasy.

As I walked past guys getting a trim, I didn’t want to ask and look like a rookie, so I made an educated guess that the door with the coats hanging on it was meant to be entered.

I was right. Behind it was a very cool, very dark, very loud bar. Packed with people guzzling the weekly drink special: an old fashioned.

The food menu is comprised almost entirely of grilled cheese – 17 different varieties, including two desserts. Above is the #5: taleggio, aged parmesan, shittake, crimini and truffle oil on rosemary olive oil bread. It was excellent.

Great place. I’m happy to report I escaped with my tummy full and my hair unscathed.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Took A Hike. Lost A Bet.

I went on a grueling hike yesterday. Not just because it’s healthful, but because I needed inspiration to finally finish my TED talk about staying in bed.

It was also a chance for my friend Mike and I to play a rousing game of “How Long Into the Hike Will We Pass a Pair of Women Who AREN’T Talking About Relationships?”

Mike won, with a guess of an hour and ten minutes. I owe him five bucks.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

One Final Note.

Does anyone even send a handwritten postcard anymore?

Yes – prisoners. Prisoners send them.

And Dave, the super cool dude with whom I instantly bonded because we both lived in the same house five decades apart. 

Thanks, Dave. Super cool mystery solved.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What Do I Do When I’m Not Writing? I Think About Writing. And When I’m Not Thinking About Writing? I Sleep.

If you don’t start watching “Brooklyn Nine Nine”, you deserve whatever singing contest they replace it with.

After that, I vow to bring back TV, with a sitcom pilot I’m writing with my friend Chad.

People often ask me what my ultimate acting gig would be, and the answer is easy: starring in my own one-camera sitcom. So I’m making it happen.

But if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right. I’ve essentially been putting myself through sitcom school, reading dozens of interviews with my favorite TV writers, poring over scripts from shows I love and experts’ breakdowns of sitcom formats.

More often than not, Chad and I feel like slaves to this project. Then we remember who’s cracking the whip.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Straight Outta Options.

The other night, my bladder felt like it was going to burst, but I was too lazy to get up. So I just tweeted about it.

Yep, our generation is doomed. I realized this for sure when I went to the AMC Dine-In in Marina del Rey to see Deadpool – the theater that has now ruined me for all other theaters.

The cushiest, electric recliners. A button (on the left) for waitress service, available throughout the movie. A menu loaded with yummy comfort food, and free popcorn refills. It’s the closest thing on solid ground to flying first class.

And while the theater is for grownups only – alcohol is available – it doesn’t prevent the audience from showing up at night in comfy onesies.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The First Movie You Should See This Year.

I’m going to recommend a movie you must see. And like five out of five frat guys, I am not gonna take no for an answer.

Deadpool is just demented. It’s an R-rated superhero film. There is gore, nudity, dirty jokes and bad language. The main character is politically incorrect, has no problem doling out severe punishment to bad guys and is quick with a wisecrack. He likes the same crap we do.

For years, I’ve tried to remind people how great Ryan Reynolds was in the sitcom “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.” His timing was impeccable, and he made good scripts even better. But then his career went the trajectory of every actor in Hollywood – action films – and it didn’t quite work out – until now, and he’s as well-cast as he’s ever been.

You’ll know Deadpool is not your ordinary superhero movie from the opening credits, which are as honest as any in history: no names, just hilarious descriptors for the cast and crew. The writers are “The Real Heroes Here”, while the director is “An Overpaid Tool”.

On Thursday, my friend Andre had to be put on the phone with his ten-year-old son, who lives in Arizona with Andre’s ex. The boy was hysterically crying after being told he wasn’t allowed to see Deadpool. The tears are justified, Jonah.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sly Struttin’.

Notable celebrity sighting in Beverly Hills: Sylvester Stallone, two weeks before he wins an Oscar.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Last Memory.

If you’re complaining about your annoying family, just think about all the people out there who don’t have a family, and how lucky they are.

My neighbor, Gary Sweeney, was actually very close with his family, and I blogged recently about his home.

My friend Jenn let me know that LA Weekly ran a story about the house this week, and it’s an interesting read. Turns out selling the family home is little more sweet than bitter when you’re offered “two armored trucks full of money.” Check it out:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

This One Goes Out To My One True Love: The Ladies.

This much I know about you married types: “Date night!” = “Our relationship died a year ago!”

But you’re not my demo. I’m here to enlighten the single women, with my annual Valentine’s Day gift: ten things that’ll help you better understand us guys.
  1. Ladies, I know you want to make it special tonight, but be careful – glitter is really hard to get out of your vagina. 
  2. A soul patch is a “check engine” light for dudes. 
  3. Your friend didn’t find her soulmate. She just found someone geographically accessible who also puts chips on his sandwich. 
  4. The maximum number of pillows on a bed should be six to ten. 
  5. When a girl begins a sentence with “honestly,” we buckle up for the bitch ride of our lives. 
  6. Sorry you can’t go on a date with us because you’re still angry about this different guy who lied to you once. 
  7. “How To Win Him Back In 10 Easy Steps!” Steps 1-10: don’t. 
  8. Only your girlfriends like your bangs. 
  9. Don’t listen to anything your ex-boyfriend says. He is always wrong. Unless he says you’re spectacular and give good head. Then he’s right. 
  10. Don’t date a man expecting to change him. At the end of the day, he’ll still be a man, and you’ll have needlessly sacrificed a goat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In Which I Take Pics Of Much Better Pics.

All I know about photography is that every white girl within a 40-mile radius of me has their own business doing it.

Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. The other day, I checked out a photo exhibit by Catherine Opie at MOCA in West Hollywood called 700 Nimes Road.

In 2010, Catherine spent six months photographing Liz Taylor’s home in Bel Air. (900 Nimes was Liz’s address.) Catherine never actually met Liz, because in the middle of the project, Liz passed away. The end results were a pretty fascinating look into the domestic life of an old-school Hollywood legend.

I like the juxtaposition of framed photos of Liz with Michael Jackson and Roddy McDowell, alongside the guide for her cable remote.

Three Oscars, four Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. Kinda makes you forget she was in The Flintstones.

Bit of an old-school Hollywood diva move, having her hair stylist make house calls.

The home transformed quickly after Liz died, as her jewelry was prepared for auction.

After seven husbands, you practically need an Excel sheet to keep track of the engagement rings.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Advantage: Uncle Mack.

You know a gift is gonna suck when the giver launches into an explanation while you’re opening it.

Not a problem for my mom, who always comes through with the perfect present. Like the electric Razor scooter she gave me in December.

That prompted my niece to want one as well, so my mom sent one her way, which was great, because I needed a racing opponent. Now my niece, nephew and I have been spending our Sundays hauling ass around their school, parking lots and sidewalks.

But there’s a problem: I have 120 lbs. on them, and have been consistently losing. So I decided to do what any good uncle would: cheat.

I cracked open the motor to get to the processor board. Then I used a soldering iron to override the current limiter. Diabolical.

The result: the scooter flies now. A huge increase in torque and speed. It’s go time.

It’s important for children to learn early on about dealing with loss. You’re welcome, kids.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Actually, HE’S Going to Disneyland.

Throw a Super Bowl party. Because you’re just dying to clean your place twice in twelve hours.

But keep an eye on your ride all day. I was filling up my car yesterday when a guy next to me started telling me that Super Bowl Sunday was his favorite day. Not because of the action, but the distraction. He’s a repo man.

With three kids, including an eight-week old (random people like to open up to me), he makes big cash with little hassle because everyone is way into watching the game. I guess not having someone threaten to stab you in the face is a good day at work. Winner.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

My New Favorite Before And After.

First it was thick, unwieldy vines. Then wood chips. Then dry, unfertile soil. So when I planted grass seed, I worried my yard would look like it was trying to grow a playoff beard.

But check this out:
Not bad, for one month. In fact, it grew so quickly, this pic was taken after it had to be mowed this week. It’s not perfect yet, but I’ll get it there.

Ricky finally has a yard. Who knew.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My 2500th Blog Post.

Remember when you’d be staying at a friend’s house, and you’d wake up before them and wouldn't know what to do? That's how my whole life feels.

So imagine posting about that life every day. Which I have, 2500 times. And as is customary, I’ve selected my five favorite posts from the past 100:

Allow Myself To Share Some Praise Of Myself. I don’t go to festivals, but when I do, I make sure they’re surrounded by wine. Feel the buzz here. 

We Feed LA. Seeing as my entire life is one long episode of “Man vs. Food”, this seemed like a fitting way to volunteer. Serve here. 

Not Quite. Nailing an audition for a hit TV show feels better than any sex with a human you have ever had. Spoon with me here. 

Day Four: Phenomenal. Seeing as Broadway has devolved into a Broadway-themed slumber party, this restored my faith. Come to my church here.

Allow Myself To Congratulate Myself. Just when I thought I could get out of writing the next 2500 entries. Actually, it’s an honor. Celebrate with me here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Here’s To The Sweeneys.

Tattoos are a nice way to forever honor loved ones, like family members who have passed away – or skulls with bat wings that have passed away.

My neighbor is going an alternate route. His family has owned his home since 1946, but now he’s selling the place, and it’s going to be knocked down so a beach McMansion can be built.

But before his house gets leveled, he’s honoring 70 years of memories by covering the place with family photos and throwing one last party.

It’s not easy to let go of the big things. But we all have to learn eventually.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

31 Seconds Of January.

Most years, January feels like a bad warm-up band before the main act begins in February.

But this year is off and running for me, and I captured the first month, one second each day. Click below:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Blast From A Serious Past.

Hey, sorry I just saw this message you sent last month, even though all my notifications make sounds and my phone is in my hand even when I’m sleeping.

That excuse would have never flown back in the day, like not seeing this message written on the wall of my garage:

My place is an older beach house, so I liked to tell people that note was probably written in 1963. For years, I wondered who Brett, Fred and Jim were.

And then last night I was in my garage, when I heard a voice say, “Do you live here?” I turned around, and a guy approached and introduced himself. His name was Dave – the author of the note.

Turns out I was right about the year – Dave wrote it in 1963, when he was in high school and his dad owned the house. He used to have nine surfboards on racks on the garage wall, and Brett is actually the last name of his friend Bob Brett.

Dave was a really nice guy, and we talked and felt an unusual bond of having lived at the same address in two meaningful times in each of our lives, 50 years apart. I asked him all kinds of questions about the neighborhood back then, and then we took a photo together before he left.

It was all very trippy. And now that the question about that note is finally solved, I can focus on bigger mysteries – like why “Grease Live” was a thing last night. Please make it stop.