Sunday, December 31, 2017

Day 10: The Last Supper. (Yummy Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese.)

Ah, the last day of vacation. Maybe I’ll get lucky and go missing Malaysia Air style.

It was a really nice 10 days, featuring a great play, two great movies, time with friends, so much good food and even some snow yesterday.

But now it’s time to fly back. I’ve been contemplating legally changing my name to “An End”, so that all good things must come to me.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 9: Stone Cold.

Winter in New York has two settings: freezing cold, and the end of The Shining.

Right now, it’s crazy chilly. Case in point – the very frozen Blind Brook. As Ollie bravely peed against the metal rail, I thought he might spot-weld to it.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day 8: Decorationy.

Oh, you put up your Christmas decorations early? That’s nothing. I’m already drunk for St. Patrick’s Day.

This house, one town over from my hometown, puts up the decorations early and often. It’s actually not one house – the owner gets permission from his neighbors on both sides to encroach onto their properties.

I have blogged about this place before, but it’s just so bloggable. And this year, I included a quick video view:
 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 7: Pre-Viewed, For Your Viewing Pleasure.

Am I rich? Ha. Well, let’s just say I told my Uber driver she could order something from Taco Bell too, if she wanted.

J. Paul Getty was the richest man in history, but refused to pay the ransom for his grandson when Paul III was kidnapped in Rome in 1973. Not that his Paul was any prize (on his Wikipedia page, under “Known for:” it lists “being kidnapped”), but grandpa had his reasons, and it ramps up the tension incredibly in All The Money In The World.

If you thought your family was dysfunctional, hold that thought. Then put this film it at the top of your list.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day 6: A Walking Tour Of My Hometown. Featuring Ollie Shevin.

You can’t buy happiness. But you can sell a boat, and that’s kinda the same thing.

We had a boat when I was a kid, and docked it in one of the slips you see just above Ollie. It was actually fun, for a few years. My dad woke us early mornings to go catch mackerel and bluefish, or have picnics out in New York harbor. But eventually pulling the boat out of the water every fall (low temps require it) made it more annoyance than joy, and the boat hit the bricks.

The public pool at Rye Golf Club, where I learned to swim. The high dive, a rite of passage that felt like it was a mile high, has been removed thanks to more stringent New York state insurance codes. The ultimate c-block, NY.

Winter can cause potentially deadly situations like icy roads, or the much-feared man cold. The city has found the cure to one of those ailments by dumping piles of salt haphazardly in driveways.

Tossing a TV – not nearly the backbreaking ordeal of the past.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Day 5: Feeding The Beast.

When you’re on a diet, everything smells like cookies. Except the guy beside me on the subway. He smelled like sardines. Delicious sardines.

My diet is suspended during the holidays, and my mom and I made our annual trip to Stew Leonard’s, the giant dairy/grocery store/petting zoo/happy place. I like having animatronics serenading me while I shop, in spite of what must have been five seconds of thought going into naming Cindy Celery and Larry Lettuce.

If you spend 100 bucks, you earn a free frozen yogurt at Stew’s outdoor stand. Our big bill earned us two yogurts. I like keeping my metabolism on its toes.

A scoop of cookie dough is apparently “New York’s hottest item”. You’re losing your fastball, New York.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 4: From All Of Us.

A good holiday prank is to rent a Lexus, stick a huge bow on it, and park it in front of your neighbor’s house.

Whatever your tradition, hope you have the best Christmas ever.

Love,
Matt, Ricky and Santa

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 3: 12 Tons Of Christmas.

When the tree is this big (it really is 12 tons), the SUV it’s strapped to is merely an ornament.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 2: Stage Right.

I would totally surf a tsunami. If tsunamis weren't dangerous. And I knew how to surf.

The Children takes place after a tsunami hits an English coastal town and floods a nuclear reactor. The play was a hit in London before the original cast brought it here and opened it on Broadway this month.

The play is loaded with great symbolism (after an unexpected visitor from the past shows up and uses a toilet, the stage is flooded with real water), a nifty set (it looks as if it all takes place peering into a shoebox) and stellar acting (just three actors in one act.) It’s everything a Broadway show should be. Loved it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 1: I Know Everything There Is To Know About Computers, Okay? All The Twitters.

I’d rather have snakes on my plane than kids.

Besides the loud tykes sitting in front of me, I had a very smooth flight. It even got in 40 minutes early. Because JetBlue.

Making the trip go even faster: one of my new favorite films of the year. Logan Lucky is smart, cool, and hilarious. It’s one of Steven Soderbergh’s best films, and I can’t recommend it enough.

There – I just gave you the best way to kill two hours with your family this holiday. And you’re welcome.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Meet You There, Santa.

Like hot garbage, I’ll be everywhere in New York.

For the next ten days, that is. I’m flying there this morning. I’ll be blogging about everything nutty I see, do or consume, so check in.

Meanwhile, behave while I’m gone. Okay? Okay.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pretty Damn Theatrical.

There was nothing like the joy on my nephew’s face when he first saw the PlayStation box containing the socks I got him for Christmas.

Not necessarily true – I take pride in being a good uncle. In fact, I attended my niece’s school play the other night.

It was a production of Prometheus Bound. Pretty heavy stuff for kids. When I was her age, I was a tomato in a school play. (Even though I hate tomatoes, I put my personal beliefs aside and nailed the role, because I was a professional.)

She was really good, and it was a really nice production. Great job, Sloane.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

You’re Not Getting Little Brother, Rick.

If you’re buying your pregnancy test at a 99 Cents store, it’s probably because he bought his condoms there, too.

This one is actually just a prop, for a scene I’m doing next month. But I will say: pregnancy tests make me wish peeing on things answered more questions

Monday, December 18, 2017

Come, They Told Me.

If I could be any animal, which one would I be? Animal, the drummer from the Muppets. Next question.

Yesterday afternoon, my agent called and needed video of me drumming for an audition, but I was away from my set at home. So major shout-out to John, the drum-tech at Guitar Center, who not only let me use the best-sounding kit in the place, but videoed me playing, and refused to take money in return. Good man.

John, if you ever lose your arm like the drummer from Def Leopard, I will totally give you mine.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gettin’ Britishy.

I’ve always thought that the Nazis’ worst offense was that they kept correcting our grammar.

Attacking London was up there too, and Winston Churchill was the man chosen to help an overmatched England deal with it. Darkest Hour tells the story of his first four weeks in office, when he caught a lot of shit for not choosing to surrender to peace talks.

Churchill was brilliant and quirky. It’s amazing he lived to be 90 years old, considering he smoked 15 cigars each day, and his favorite breakfast was steak, eggs and whiskey. Gary Oldman is unrecognizable playing him. Fat suits have come a LONG way.

I went to a screening of the film at the Director’s Guild last night, followed by a Q&A with the director, Joe Wright. It’s a really terrific period piece, shot beautifully with Wright’s patented, long tracking shots. My dad, a huge World War II buff, would have loved this.

Darkest Hour works well as a companion piece to one of my other favorite films this year: Dunkirk. Both are going to get plenty of award nominations, and if you’re a front-runner like me, see it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Perfection.

In spite of what you might have heard, some pretty magical things happen behind dirty dumpsters in urban parking lots.

I’d been scouting locations for my sitcom, when my friend TJ sent me pictures of an apartment in West Hollywood he’s interested in moving into.

What caught my eye the most? The wood floors, the groovy bathroom, the tandem parking? No – hands down, the dumpster. It’s exactly what I’ve been needing.

Fingers crossed you get the place, TJ. The future of TV is counting on it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Second Favorite Movie Of The Year.

It’s always been one of my dreams to become a detective. To go under the police tape, approach the chalk outlined body, flash my Subway sandwich card and say, “Okay, what do we got here?”

The chief of police in Ebbing, Missouri has done everything he can to find the rapist/murderer of a young woman, but it’s still not enough for her mom, who goes on the warpath – starting with several billboards addressed to the chief.

Three Billboards is an excellent movie, about redemption and how utterly complex all of us are. We may be abusive, or racist, or unapologetically seek justice, can still find humanity when faced with someone else’s agony.

Plus it has it has a very honest ending. And it’s going to be nominated for an Oscar. And Francis McDormand will win an Oscar. You should really go see it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My 3000th Blog Entry.

3000 entries? It’s more of a curse than a blessing. So I just made a voodoo doll of myself that I’m going to beat some sense into.

Meanwhile, as is tradition, every time reach a milestone,  I re-post my five favorite entries of the newest 100:

My Fraternal Brother From A Different Mother. Years before me, Larry David was in the same fraternity I was in at Maryland. Until Larry and I hang, Steve helps me keep the secret handshake fresh. Get to know him here. 

My Good Acting Day. A good day of acting is better than a good day of work. See the bumper sticker in blog form here

I Celebrate The Good Celebrities. I used to only cringe when I saw the word “bruh” trending. Let’s praise the good people in part 1 here, and part 2 here.

You Thought Good Thoughts. Thanks to all of you, my mom is back in New York, and her eye is healing nicely. Send your bills my way, after reading this.

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Emergency Room: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery. The last time my mom and visited the ER at 5 a.m., she was giving birth to me. There was a third less cursing this time – and fun pics here.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Reading With My Mouth Full.

Yesterday I left a plaster cast of my mouth at a bakery, so they know exactly how big to make the cupcakes.

Actually, I was there for a table-reading of a play. Yes, in a bakery. These are a few of my favorite things.

It’s always great to get together with fellow actors and do our thing, though I was probably the only one checking football scores in between my lines. The play is very good – a super-smart cross between Shakespeare, Greek mythology and Hamilton. I loved it. Almost as much as the unlimited pastry before, during, and after.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Yes, It’s Bad Here.

The best revenge is living well. Although arson works, too.

There’s a strong belief that the fires we’ve been having in LA were a result of arson, and whoever is responsible is a complete piece of shit. Fires normally don’t get this close to LA proper, and it’s been really scary.

Forgive the graphicness, but this really got to me: 30 horses on a ranch in Sylmar burned to death. Here’s hoping this all gets contained really soon.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Meh.

If I had to give up one of my senses, which one would I choose? Definitely my ability to see dead people.

I gave up all of my senses up yesterday, when I tried a sensory deprivation tank for the first time. I went to the facility in Venice hoping I’d have the same experience I’d watched people have on YouTube videos: out-of-body, life-changing, illuminating.

Instead, I sat up 90 minutes into my two-hour session, rinsed off, and left. It turns out that floating in silent darkness had no effect on me after the major progress I’ve received from 81 days-in-a-row of meditating. My brain is in a good place.

Was it the worst 40 bucks I’ve ever spent? Maybe. I’ve learned never to say ever.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Imminently-Titled Matt Shevin Project.

Work tip: buy a “World’s Greatest Boss” mug and drink out of it in front of your boss.

Or, skewer him with an honest portrayal of his ineptitude. The sitcom I’ve been writing is a workplace comedy, and now that I’ve finished scripting eight episodes, I took it out for a test-run last night with a mini table-read.

It was great to finally hear it out loud. I now know the episode I’m going to shoot first, and am officially in pre-production. I’m looking to start shooting it in the new year. Like a boss.

Monday, December 4, 2017

30 Seconds Of November.

Is no shave November just for men? Asking for all the Jewish gals and their mustaches back in NewYork.

While we await your answer, here’s my November, one second per day:

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Choose The More Egregious Red Flag.

1) Paramedics summoned to the kitchen at Pho Show

2) Four rolls of toilet paper at Bread & Porridge