Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thanks, Sir.

It’s fair to say actors and writers aren’t very smart. If we were, we wouldn’t be actors and writers, would we?

Writing is especially a bitch, so I’m very lucky that my friend Ben has been reading the scripts for my sitcom and giving me notes. He has a phenomenal sense of comedy and can really streamline dialogue, and he’s been a huge help.

Thanks so much, Ben. You’ve made me a third less less-smart.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Botch The Vote.

We’d probably have a lot less crime if superheroes would stop making movies all the time.

Good news: with the exception of Logan, all of the SAG Award nominees are of the non-superhero persuasion. And with the deadline looming on Friday, I cast my votes yesterday.

The SAG Awards are unique in that they only honor actors, which should make for an easy voting process, except the categories are loaded with so many good performances. It’s a lot of responsibility, and I’m just a dude who attended a state school.

Case in point: outstanding performance by an entire cast. Those are five kickass movies. I went with Three Billboards because it’s such an emotional, yet funny, yet tragic film, and the actors showed every color.

The ceremony airs Sunday night. See if my vote counts. And even better, imagine my level of voter’s remorse hitting its peak.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Culinary Corner.

A few years ago, when my apartment was remodeled, a brand-new oven was installed in my kitchen. But I never used it once. Cooking wasn’t really for me. Whenever I had a woman over, I just poured us each a bowl of cereal really romantically.

But that changed recently. I started thinking about learning to cook. Or at least bake. So I bought cooking-ware and ingredients, took the battery out of my smoke detector and dove in. Yesterday was my first project: buttery, soft pretzels.

The result. My twisting skills improved as I went along.  They’re so buttery good. I brushed a little unsweetened, evaporated milk onto them as I took them out of the oven to give them some shine. I ate half the pretzels last night.

Now I choose the next recipe, and try to increase my skills. In the meantime, I’m really happy with first at-bat.

Some people call it baking. I call it “making love”.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Good Friends. Fat Bellies.

Remember in 90s movies when the hot girl would enter a party in slow motion? That’s what happens when I walk into a buffet.

And that I did yesterday. My good friend Rob was in town with his daughter, and we spent the morning walking Ricky down the strand, and then had lunch at a place I’ve passed five million times but never had a meal: Big Wok, Mongolian barbecue.

It’s essentially a buffet of Korean barbecue-type meats, with noodles and vegetables and sauce. You load up a bowl, then get in line around the big woks – and some very hard-working nice gentlemen put up with intense temps to heat up your meal. Then you eat your enormous meal, and get in back in line for seconds. Then you’re so full you go blind.

It was nice to see Rob, and his daughter Pheobe, a very sweet, smart, curious ten-year-old who at one point said something so observant to Rob and me: “You guys speak a language I don’t understand.”

It was the shared experience of guys who’ve know each other for decades. The shorthand, the quotes from our favorite movies, the same sense of humor that is the foundation of every friendship. Yesterday was a damn good day.

I made Rob and Phoebe promise to come out here again soon. I’ll probably regain my appetite by then. Probably. And then it’s on, Big Wok.

Friday, January 12, 2018

New York Leftovers.

Distinguishing the Jews from the gentiles in New York – not a tremendous challenge.  

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Make It Raaain!

What’s at the end of the rainbow? HVAC sales and installation, apparently.

Actually, since January 1st in California, there’s just “pot” at the end of the rainbow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Will Faithfully Execute The Watching Of Kickass Flicks.

I have a habit of giving bad movies five-star ratings on Amazon, because if I have to waste 90-plus minutes on crap, I want you to suffer, too.

But when it comes to voting for movies, I take that responsibility seriously. I love this time of year, when the DVDs (and downloads) show up for me to watch them and vote for the SAG Awards.

Last night I watched The Big Sick, and it was easily one of my favorites of the year. One of the most realistic portrayals of romance – sad, funny, inspiring. You really will like it.

Back to “work”.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Still Scared Of Him.

From my blog, 6/20/13:
A few years ago, I arrived at an audition for a sitcom and it was utter chaos. The German writer/director looked like a genuine axe murder, and acted like one too, hustling actors in and out of his set, forcing them to read for roles they didn’t have prepared. And his “sitcom” script had all the charm of a German axe murder. Before my turn came up, I left. It was the only audition I’ve ever walked out on.

It turned out the German was Tommy Wiseau, the infamous writer/director/star of the best/worst film ever made: The Room. (Killer review here.) This movie is so bad it’s shown like the The Rocky Horror Picture Show to packed, mocking audiences in Los Angeles at midnight screenings. I highly recommend attending one – it’s a real rite of passage in LA. 
Now, Tommy is the (albeit ironic) toast of the town, thanks to the new movie The Disaster Artist, which chronicles the making of his horrible film. And there he was, Sunday night, on-stage with James Franco, after James won the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy. As he tried to grab the mic, James was having nothing of it.

It’s funny to see Tommy is still whacked out of his mind. But, he was king for a night. And that’s fun, and cool, and quite a rush. Good for him.

By the way: I didn’t walk out of his audition because I was scared. I left because it was the worst script I ever read, was obviously never going to be made, and I don’t let anyone abuse me. That said, I hope he enjoyed his night. Good for him. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

31 Seconds Of December.

December is that time of year when you have zero excuses for being so sweaty.

And yet, I pulled it off, even in frigid New York. Check out the rest of my month, one second per day:
 

Friday, January 5, 2018

He’s All Growed Up.

You’ll always cherish the moment your nephew saw his first bra – dangling from a tree by a chairlift.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Oh, Just Chilling.

Dinosaurs didn’t exactly go extinct – it was more of a murder/suicide. Or at least that’s how I understand it.

Blame my New York public school education – or maybe it’s the altitude – but I’ve been in ignorant bliss all week. One last day today before back to work.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Frozen Smiles.

A picture of the Shevin boys, just in case something happens and they need to identify the bodies.

It was a great first day, with good snow and a lot of runs. And don’t worry – for those of you who are back to work or school, we’ll be sure to have twice as much fun to balance it all out.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death.

Good thing we all have cell phones now. Nothing’s worse than having to look out the window at Earth’s sacred majesty.

Death Valley, on the way to Mammoth. A tad spectacular.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Cold Resolve.

I never make new resolutions. I just carry the ones over from the previous year and add “this time I’m serious”.

Okay, one new one. This year I’ve decided to get out of town at least once every month. Change my perspective. Broaden my horizons. January’s trip begins today, as I’m going up to Mammoth to go skiing for a few days.

By the way, for those of you who make resolutions, feel free to bring all your unwanted bread, junk food, chocolate and alcohol to my place. Thanks.