Friday, June 30, 2017

Eat, Walk, And Sit In Wet Underwear For Six Hours.

If you think food is going to solve all your problems, you’re probably right.

We met up with my friend Marc, who was my roommate while we attended a grad program together, and he took us to the Billy Goat Tavern, made famous by the “Cheeburger, cheeburger” Olympia CafĂ© sketch on SNL. The place is all character – and by that I mean buried in the bowels of Michigan Ave. and yellowed by decades of cigarette smoke – but the burgers are fantastic.

With time to kill before the ballgame on the South Side, we walked four miles north to Wrigleyville, where a sound-check was underway for a Tom Petty concert. There was going to be a whole lot of white people dancing last night.

I have way more to talk about, but I just got back from a three-hour rain delay that pushed the opening pitch to 10 p.m., and have to be up in four hours to catch a plane. I regret nothing.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Because Abraham Lincoln and Perry Como.

Sorry, but Abe didn’t slay all those vampires to wind up like this.

The most dangerous drinking game ever would be to down a shot every time a woman posts a shot on Instagram in front of the bean. As a dude, I refused to be in this pic.

How have I been cutting carbs? Mostly with a knife or a pizza slicer. Deep dish at Lou Maltnati’s.

Like a boss. Only one guy in the entire ballpark had better seats for game two: the incredibly cool team photographer.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Consumption Of Chicago, Day One.

Pretty kickass seats at Guaranteed Rate Field, whose name should be switched to “Guaranteed To Eat Like a Fat-Shit Field.”

It began with fried ravioli. These were so perfect, I’m getting them again tonight. Related: does using a fidget spinner count as exercise?

Chinese food at a ballpark? I like to live dangerously. Actually, it was pretty damn good. Egg lo mein with veggies in spicy garlic sauce, from the horrible-baseball-pun and slightly-racist-named stand The Wok Off.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Skippin’ Town.

Like rampant gunplay, I’ll be everywhere in Chicago this week.

I’m flying out this morning, and meeting two of my best friends from high school there. The main reason for flying into town: to catch three Yankee games against the White Sox.

I’ll be there until Friday, stuffing my face Chicago-style, so check in for all the blogging my soon-to-be fat fingers can handle.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Only Way To Slice it.

Kicking off the summer with watermelon Jello shots. Because you want to be festive for this mistake. 

After that, the weekend was a bit of a blur, nothing noteworthy. You know what they say: no body, no crime.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shevin Boys At The Ballgame.

Lesson I bequeathed to my nephew last night: saying “we won” after watching a sporting event is like saying “we played really well” after watching a concert.

Especially if the losing team is your dad’s Mets. You’re welcome.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Too Bad It’s Perma-frizzlefrazzle.

My dad wrote my name with a Sharpie on his arm every morning instead of getting a tattoo, just in case I ended up being a disappointment.

Good foresight, Dad. Somewhat related, I received this email the other day:
Hi Matt,
I’m a writer for Newsweek. I’m working on a story where I interview people who have tattoos of Bill Cosby, in light of his criminal trial. I did some googling and randomly landed on an old blog post of yours. 
Do you actually have a Bill Cosby tattoo or was that a joke? 
Thanks, 
Zach Schonfeld
I let him know that unfortunately, it was a joke. To Zach’s credit, he replied:
Hey Matt, 
Would you be interested in getting a Bill Cosby tattoo so I can profile you for my story? 
(Just kidding. Thanks for the quick reply.) 
Best, 
Zach
Good man. Here’s his story:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Retiree.

Daniel Day-Lewis announced he was retiring from acting yesterday. Then again, maybe it’s just part of his preparation to play a guy who is not a professional actor.

I fully get why he’d call it quits – it’s the same reason why he’s selective about his films. He’s either out or WAY in. He’ll spend six to 12 months in super method preparation, and it’s a bitch. He learned to speak Czech for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, channeled rage for Gangs of New York and confined himself to a wheelchair for his role in My Left Foot. I’m not sure if this is entirely accurate, but Daniel is so method, that for the role of Abraham Lincoln he spent ten months on the side of a penny.

As a huge fan, I’m bummed he’s walking away, but on the other hand, didn’t he do this once before? He moved to Italy and became a shoemaker for like five years. He’ll be back.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sendoff.

Batman had the bat signal. But if you need to get my attention, hold a chicken parm sandwich over a floor lamp and aim it at my apartment.

In a nice display of showbiz respect the other night, Los Angeles projected the bat signal on city hall in honor of Adam West, who passed away last week.

This is the kind of stuff that makes LA unique and cool and inspiring. We don’t have your regular history here – no presidential monuments or architectural expression. We create ways to help people escape, or maybe laugh, or experience community. Adam West was a major part of our history, and a class act, and I love that we responded appropriately.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Potty, Dad.

Ricky forgot it was Father’s Day. Again.

He did, of course, remember to wake me early yesterday when it was time to poop and sunbathe. Nothing like opening your eyes to that giant noggin.

It’s been ten years since my dad passed. I do miss the man, but luckily someone else took over raising me and teaching me everything I know. Happy Father’s Day, internet.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I Can Explain.

Yes, this is a real payphone on Sunset Blvd. How else will people find out where to deliver the ransom money?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sloggin’.

Though I work on it almost every night, my sitcom script is going to take time. But hey – “Roam”, by the B52s, wasn’t written in a day.

Maybe it’s because I’m writing eight episodes all at once. Or that I want anyone who reads them to instantly want to be in them or work on them. My writing style feels more like a painting style, in which I scroll through my expanding document, my eye catches something, and I go to work.

Everyone’s style is different. You have to find what works for/inspires you. I saw this quote yesterday, and it made me want to press on:
As you wish, sir.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two Weeks Away.

It doesn't matter how old you get – buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised nine-year-old was given $100.

That was my friend Rob and I, a while back, driving from New York to visit our friend Ted, who’d moved to Toronto after college.

In two weeks, the three of us are getting back together. It won’t be a road trip so much as us each flying to Chicago to spend four days together.

Already stocking up on the junk food. Can’t wait.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trespassin’.

Intruding on government territory without a leash – you’d better be running, Rick… For a guy who goes out to eat way more than most, I was way behind the curve, never having tried pho. Well, I busted my cherry last night, at Pho A’mie (which my friend Sam thinks translates to “fake friend”), and it was outstanding. I’m hooked… HBO aired The Accountant for the first time, and I have to say it was a good film that was given short shrift on Rotten Tomatoes. Makes me kinda regret harassing Ben Affleck at the premier.

Friday, June 9, 2017

That’s An Order.

If your last name is Rice and you don't name your kid Fried, you are dead to me.

I ordered the extra fancy variety the other night: salt cod fried rice, at Suburbia. They make it with shrimp, scallops, and sweet-and-sour pork-crab chili sauce. I tore off my breakaway pants as I approached that dish.

The finisher: death by chocolate. So this weekend, if you find yourself in the South Redondo area, east of Burnout Beach by Avenida del Norte, don’t be a bigshot – get a table.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Game So On.

My brothers and I played this game in which we were bowling balls, and the pins were everything my parents owned.

I was reminded of this last night, when my nephew’s Little League team had their end-of-the-season party, hosted by my big brother, the team’s head coach.

The cool thing: Brandon Bass of the LA Clippers was there. (His son plays on the team.) The risky thing: being around a dozen pent-up nine-year-olds. (They were eliminated one game shy of the finals.)

It was on. Cornhole bags whipped so hard, you could see dust flying out of them as they pegged each guy in the chest. Wooden golf clubs became weaponized. (One kid hit his four-year-old sister in the head on his back-swing.)

But for all their recklessness, I will honestly miss these idiots. I’ll miss bribing them with gum to get on base. Or offering cash to any player who actually knew the game’s score. Or insisting to all of them I’d bet on the other team.

On the bright side, out here in California, baseball is a year-round sport, so hopefully a summer league will be kicking in soon, and we’ll get to do it all over again. Only this time we’ll require batting helmets at the party.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Espresso 1, God 0.

A kitten is probably the most playful creature on the planet. But it’s less cute when you realize it’s all just bird-murder practice.

Or eluding murder. While shooting my friend Mary’s web series in Venice the other day, her cat, Espresso, wandered onto the set. He was a former stray who used to show up every time Mary made espresso, and when Mary and her husband finally decided to take him in, they brought him to the vet for a checkup. The vet found a bullet in him.

Whoever shot that cat is a really bad dude who needs to get a life. Luckily, Espresso has eight more.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

On Camera. Un-American.

Sometimes I make myself feel important by thinking in a British accent.

But then I had the chance to actually use that accent the other day, for a role in my friend Mary’s web series. I basically did Hugh Grant minus the stammer, and seemed to pull it off. The director was very impressed.

By the way – idea for a detective film: Hugh Grant IS Mike Stammer.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Set your DVRs.

He shouldn’t have died so young, but he also shouldn’t have used his leaf blower at 7:30 am on a Sunday. (I’m writing my neighbor’s obituary.)

Tonight, HBO airs a new documentary that touches on that topic: If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. The title is based on a joke by Carl Reiner, one of several celebrities interviewed in this doc. All of them, including Stan Lee, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, are going strong after the age of 90.

Also featured: my mom’s 99-year-old yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, who is the living embodiment of Forrest Gump. Tao marched with Gandhi, starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the film The Last Time I Saw Paris, and, in her most daunting endeavor, attended Thanksgiving at our home. You haven’t lived until Paul and Sheila Shevin bicker in front of company.

It looks really good. 8 p.m. tonight.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

31 Seconds Of May.

My month of May involved a birthday girl, a jazz band and Derek Jeter. These characters return in the third act, so be ready.

Here it is, one second per day: