Monday, July 31, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Then he’ll fist-bump you.
You can still make this scenario happen out here, because Mammoth Mountain, a very kickass resort just five hours north of LA, is still open. Their policy is to keep the lifts running as long as there’s snow on the ground. And thanks to a very wet winter, they got dumped on, and won’t close until August 6th.
If we didn’t already have the best of everything on the west coast – sunshine; beaches; beautiful, smart, happy people; no mosquitoes – add to that: fun in the snow ten months a year. Pack your shit. See you soon.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
You’ve got to choose your pursuits – they can’t be foisted upon you. I love acting, and I’d better, because it’s not for the easily discouraged.
Right now, I’m reading Alec Baldwin’s new autobiography, and it’s a fascinating look into what was not an easy path into show business. Alec grew up borderline destitute, with a high-school teacher dad who was too proud to take a second job, and a depressed mom struggling to raise six kids. (In addition to his three brothers, Alec has two sisters.)
As he became more confident in his acting skills while living in New York in the early 80s, Alec decided to drive across country with his friend Tuck and give LA a shot. While recalling the trip, he mentioned something I wholeheartedly agree with: actors are his favorite people. My actor friends are some of the most thoughtful, interesting folks I know.
Here’s Alec’s story:
In Kansas, Tuck’s dad, a “Missourah” gentleman of the old school, took us for the obligatory stop at Romanelli’s for a roast beef sandwich. Next, we visited Dallas and Tuck’s brother, Bill, a former military pilot who went on to work for Delta Air Lines. Tuck, the youngest child, was the lone “artist” in his family. I related, as my own home had lacked any cultural trappings. Though acting had never been my goal and I had grave doubts about my future while heading to LA, living with a comedian like my friend Gary and then an actor like Tuck was rubbing off on me. Gradually, people outside the business seemed dull, guarded, and predictable. Part of falling in love with acting is falling in love with actors.
Monday, July 24, 2017
It’s better to watch what happened for yourself, which you can, with Dunkirk, a true story about the desperation of 300,000 British soldiers cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, France in World War II.
Christopher Nolan wrote, directed and produced the film, and the beauty and scale of it is amazing. It’s gripping from the first second. and I’m not sure how Nolan recreated all the large naval vessels and fighter planes to this scale, but he shot it in 70mm and it’s amazing. Virtual reality should be this stunning.
I’m sorry my dad isn’t around anymore, because he was infatuated with World War II history, and going to war films together was our thing. He would have loved this.
This is an epic film, and unlike the non-killer vets, people will definitely talk about it years from now.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
I’ve been wondering about my background, and decided to finally find out through Ancestry.com. I’m under the assumption that I’m mostly Polish and a little Russian, but I’d like a definitive answer and maybe a nice surprise. (Fingers crossed I’m not that white.)
I filled the vial they sent me with saliva (the blue tint is from a stabilizing solution, not a Flavor-Ice pop), and sent it back to Ancestry.com. Because they’re pretty backed up, I won’t get the results for six to eight weeks. Until then, you’re my only hope, spit.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
ME: If I had to guess, I’d say it’s 11 pt. Arial bold.
For the second time in a month, someone stole my credit card number. This genius used it to try to pay his monthly cell-phone bill with the ultra-ghetto Straight-Talk Wireless, who doesn’t give a shit about prosecuting him – they simply turned off his service. So justice wasn’t served, but on the bright side, I cursed at one of their customer reps until he hung up on me.
So now begins the process of once again changing 22 automatic payments I have set up, and then I get to do it all over again next month when Chase changes its MasterCards to Visas. I realize these are champagne problems, but I don’t care. It’s a pain in the ass, no one gets punished, and it makes me yearn for sweeter moments, like every time I bang my knee on the coffee table.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I’ve since elevated my spicy condiment experience. My friend John created a hot sauce that is becoming a huge hit. It’s called Chairman Avery’s Hunan Heat Sauce, and people love it on everything – or simply eat it by the spoonful straight out of the jar.
Monday, John had a new batch ready – 51 cases – and it was a chance for me to help. I drive a largish SUV (because you never know when you’ll suddenly father half a baseball team), and helped John pick up the fresh sauce from the facility that produces and packs what we then referred to as “precious cargo”.
hunanheat.com. Buy it in bulk. Use it liberally.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
But no one was out of his mind more than former White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who used elaborate stunts to get fans into the old ballpark. He installed a shower for them to use during unbearable Chicago summers, and it was cool to see it made it across the street to the new stadium – although a three-hour rain delay rendered it obsolete.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Friday, July 7, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
I would have salted the fries at The Bellwether in Studio City. Oh, I would have salted them good. But they were perfect. Battered and deep-fried, with two dipping options: a hot house sauce, and chive crème fraiche.
If we ever happen to hit The Bellwether together, keep in mind: your french fries are just my french fries on the wrong plate.