Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sacrificing For My Art.

Tom Cruise still does his own stunts at 55, and I pull a muscle reaching for the toilet paper.

It’s been entirely exciting prepping for my pilot shoot, including assembling the props and wardrobe. My newest purchase is the above set of hockey pads, which I’m going to wear when I attempt to pull off a minor stunt.

If things go awry, just bury me in them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Yummiest New Burger In All Of Downtown.

“Today is chest and leg day!” –me, ordering at KFC.

I know my way around a menu, and last night I tried a brand-new place called Hock & Hoof. It’s actually a lot more than burgers – they make a tomahawk steak that’s 120 bucks. The burger had jalapeno aioli and a Portuguese bun. I gave it a good home.

Luckily, I also have the greatest parking luck, which was a benefit, because Hock & Hoof is located in the Hotel Alexandria (one of the scenes in Se7en was shot there), and the neighborhood hasn’t yet caught up to downtown’s revamp. I was able to keep an eye on my car while a drug dealer flashing the fattest wad of cash conducted transactions all evening. It’s the restaurant’s only blemish, but worth the risk.

Back to the good stuff. This drink is called “smoking section”. The server heats up a slab of white oak with a mini blowtorch, then captures the smoke in an upside down glass, adds an oversized ice cube (my coolest type of ice), soju (Korean vodka-like liquor – all the cocktails here have it) and sweet vermouth. Genuine smoky flavor; pretentious in the best way.

Finally, topped with horchata whipped cream, this ain’t your abuela’s tres leche cake.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Non-Stoner’s Tour Of MedMen.

It’s great that California legalized marijuana, but I’m still waiting for them to criminalize karaoke.

And man, did they legalize the pot. The bullet-proof glass and burglar bars are gone, replaced by a chain of dispensaries called MedMen, billed as the Apple Stores of pot. I pride myself on never having smoked in my life, but I was curious about the stores, so when I parked in front of the downtown location last night, I checked it out.

Now we’re talking. If only they hadn’t been ruined by weed.

I’ll have the virgin raisinette, please.

Bud pods. No more shoving your hand into a filthy jar. Slide the tab on the left to take a whiff (pot really stinks) or use the magnifying glass on the right to examine the strain. (Pot is horrifying.) Like the laptops at an Apple Store, the bud pods are secured by cables. Stoners ain’t too lazy to steal.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Movieness.

Star Wars movies now feel like when your dad caught you smoking and said, “Oh you like cigarettes? Well now you're gonna smoke a whole pack.”

I really liked Solo anyway. Ron Howard kept the action non-stop, and Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover were great. All without one mention of the force. See it.

Friday, May 25, 2018

They Should Have.

Getting gifts shipped to you is awesome because the cardboard box and packaging double as a total mess.

Luckily, this one was handed over to me by my brother, his wife, and my niece and nephew. It’s entirely thoughtful and awesome and I love it. Thank you.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I’m In Pre-Production.

The only thing I’m not good at is modesty. Because I’m great at it.

That said, I’m officially in pre-production of my sitcom. For now, I’m calling it “The Matt Shevin Show”, and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written.

I’ve connected with a great director, who has an impressive résumé (while we met, he received a phone call from William Shatner, with whom he’d just shot) and he’s excited to work with me.

It’s going to be scary. It’s going to cost money. But it’s going to be everything I’ve sacrificed for. But if you’re going to gamble, bet on yourself.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New York Leftovers.

The only thing I learned from Anthony Bourdain is that the way to truly enjoy traveling is to get blackout drunk everywhere you go.

Here’s what occurred to me while traveling to New York last week:

While glancing at the screen of the passenger sitting in front of me, I wondered if a movie has ever become dated faster than You’ve Got Mail. A woman who owns a small, profitable bookstore feels threatened by a hugely popular mega-chain bookstore opening in her neighborhood. She uses AOL dial-up to log in to the internet and converse with an anonymous man. (And buys tall, decaf cappuccinos at Starbucks for $2.95.)

Best-dressed flyer of the year. May we all aspire to be this gent.

It took me ten seconds to get this, but it’s a brilliant headline.

Ring Pop at the Yankee game. I’m the Pope of the Bronx.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

I Couldn’t Resist.

I’ll technically never experience morning sickness, but I do find mornings repulsive.

I’ve been using a pregnancy test as a prop in a scene for casting workshops lately, and my curiosity finally got the best of me. I am now one of a handful of men in history to pee on the stick.

Pink – not pregnant. Congratulations to me.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Gigantic.

If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a baby girl and don’t name her Princess Leia, they’re wasting everyone’s time.

That’s all I’ve got for the royal wedding, because I’m a guy. I spent my Saturday watching an event of real importance: my nephew’s playoff game. His dad is the coach, and has done a miraculous job taking this team from last place to postseason juggernaut. On Saturday, they scored ten runs in the final inning to beat the best team in the league, and are now in the championship game.

Ricky got caught up in the excitement and jumped right into the celebratory scrum.

By the way:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hell Yeah.

My nephew turned on “American Ninja Warrior”. He said, “Watch it, it’ll change your mind.” It did change my mind. I used to like my nephew.

I already know what I like: scripted TV. And my favorite show of all is “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” But suddenly, last week, FOX announced it was canceling the show. Twitter exploded with tweets from distraught fans, including a Tony and an Oscar winner:

Within 24 hours, NBC hopped to and picked it up. (Though something this intricate, which takes time to accomplish, must have been in the works longer.) Either way, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt said, “Ever since we sold this show to Fox I’ve regretted letting it get away, and it’s high time it came back to its rightful home.” Hero.

So now my three favorite shows (including “Superstore” and “AP Bio”) are all on NBC, setting up what could be an all-timer Thursday night lineup. On the most greatest network of all. Yes, “American Ninja Warrior” is on NBC. I love them nonetheless.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A White-Crime Tour Through My Hometown, Led By Ollie Shevin. Part II.

My only crime is caring too much. Caring too much about lighting fires.

Walking us through more of the wrongdoings in my hometown of Rye, NY is Oliver. Above: on the wall of Frank’s Barber shop is a sign that reads, “If you leave, you lose turn” – just murdering the English language.

The Post Road Market (known locally as “Jerry’s”) has fresh bread delivered every day at 4 a.m. My friend Mark’s younger brother and his friends drunkenly decided to take the bread for themselves, and were promptly arrested. I’d pay to watch his relentlessly strict parents receive his one free phone call.

Walking home from middle school, teasing between my friends Craig and Matt escalated into a standoff. Matt suddenly snatched the glasses off Craig’s face and tossed them down this hill into the forest. Matt ran off and we then spent 90 minutes unsuccessfully trying to find the glasses.

The father of our neighbors two doors down was actually a godfather – a genuine mob boss. The Sopranos are real.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pennies For My Kicks.

They say if you drop a penny from a skyscraper, it could kill someone on the street. But I’m still going with a bowling ball.

Or, I’ll save all my pennies for something special. Like I have been, since college. The above tub, originally filled with yummy Twizzlers and given to me by my college girlfriend, contained every penny I accumulated since graduation. It’s been on a shelf in my bedroom in New York for years, and I’ve added pennies every time I’m home, saving to use them for something cool. This past weekend, it was time.

Over 2300 pennies. Not bad, considering I’ve always put everything on my credit card.

I turned the pennies into an Amazon gift card, which I then used toward a fly, hoody-style pair of New Balance in my favorite color. Pennies from heaven.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Return.

If your party is more than 30 minutes away, you are having a destination birthday.

My birthday was spent all the way in New York – the capstone to a really nice week. But now it’s time to get back to work. I’m flying to LA this morning.

The worst part about returning to work is the look on Ricky’s face that says, “Sucks for you – I’m going back to sleep.” But I’m excited about something which I’ll be blogging about it in a few days. Even Steven, is my way.

Monday, May 14, 2018

It’s My Birthday.

Finally, I’m old enough to play a high-schooler in movies.

In past birthday blog entries, in lieu of gifts, I’ve asked people to support things I love – specific movies, TV shows, and restaurants – to encourage creating more of them. This year, I’m asking for something a little different: I want you to start meditating.

I started last summer, and it changed my life. Just ten minutes a day can rewire your neural transmitters and increase blood flow to your brain. Suddenly I was teaching myself to cook, and paint, and this week, I’m launching something super exciting.

Believe me – I had all the same thoughts most non-meditators have – that it involves sitting and chanting with your palms facing up, while burning incense. That’s why I highly recommend downloading the app Headspace. It’s made for people like me. At just ten minutes a day, it’s simple and works immediately by gamifying meditation.

Imagine if everyone became happier and healthier and pursued things they’d always wanted and became their best selves. The world would be a better place. Make this my gift from you. Please and thank you.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rainy Day Semi-Fun.

Rain in New York. A chance to steal someone’s garbage can lid and use it as an umbrella.

Speaking of which, I went to the big Yankee/Red Sox game last night. Our seats were in the Delta Airlines suite, which was helpful when lightning hit and the skies opened up. When it finally stopped, the Yankees unfortunately lost for the first time in nine games.

But the sun came up today, and I’ll be back at the stadium again, this time with seats of the $2400 variety, and their accompanying, complimentary five-star restaurant.

New streak starts tonight.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A White-Crime Tour Through My Hometown, Led By Ollie Shevin. Part I.

If you drink a lot of vodka before walking your dog, it kind of feels like he’s helping you solve a crime.

Here to walk us through the some of the minor atrocities committed in Rye, NY is my little brother, Oliver. First up, above is the Rye Nature Center, where teachers from my high school would sneak off for lunchtime pot-smoking.

Speaking of which, a drug-addled friend of mine was let go from his job at this Gulf gas station. Still in possession of the keys to the place, he tried to burglarize it, and was arrested.

One day, my friend John, a fireman for the Rye Fire Department, was in front of the firehouse when a kid approached him dragging a bike with a lock through its front wheel. The kid asked John if he could borrow a saw to cut through “his” lock, so John gave him one with an extra-dull blade, and called the police. A cop pulled up, rolled down his window and told the kid he’d give him a ride. The kid put the bike in the trunk of the car, got in the back seat, and the cop drove him to jail.

My dad was a podiatrist, and on the lower right was his office. Nowadays, it’s a law firm. This is more of a crime against humanity. Ollie sent a message.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

If You Don’t Know How, Go Home.

The lack of pizza delivery in prison is the reason why I haven’t murdered anyone yet.

Yesterday, as I flew JetBlue from LA to New York, the airline began three days of delivering 350 pizzas each day from New York to LA.

The pies are from Patsy’s in Harlem, but I’m fine. 20 minutes after I landed, Patricia’s in the Bronx:

Great effort, JetBlue. It’s just one more reason I will only choose you. I mean, I’d totally fly United Airlines, except I’m too young to die.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

One Of Us Is Not Going To New York.

Today, when the JetBlue employee asks me if I have anything to declare, I’m tempted to reply, “A thumb war.”

I’ve been red-lining it for a couple months, and it’s time to take a break. So I’m headed to New York for a week.

I’ll spend time with my mom on Mother’s Day, and with the Yankees every day. Let me know what you want me to bring you back.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Join Me, On A Tour Of Eataly.

It’s just my opinion, but the most important part of any meal is the ingredients.

This past year, LA got its very own Eataly, the gigantic, amazing, Italian marketplace/multiple restaurants. I finally had a chance to visit,

Counters include a butcher, breadmaker, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables. Aisles are filled with jars of Italian goodness. It’s the biggest Eataly in the world, dwarfing the New York location, which I’ve been to. (Though shamefully, only to use the bathroom while I was shooting across the street in Madison Square Park.)

In the back are the restaurants, with indoor and outdoor balcony seating. Order pizza, pasta, seafood, or, like we did, panigacci.

I wasn’t familiar either. But there’s a handy sign.

Bignes filled with Chantilly cream. Vegans, non-gluten eaters, carb avoiders – run for it.

Fancy cooking classes. Learn how to make fancy dishes while sipping wine. An expensive, yet perfect date night option that ends with drunken baby conception.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Because I Do Art And Stuff.

Whoever lost a bundle of $100 bills tied up in a rubber band, I found the rubber band.

You can find it in the ITA Productions’ lost and found, where I did the very meta act of placing the postcard for my friend Steven’s one-man play.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

My Very First Painting.

Until recently, I’ve been more of an abstract sandwich artist.

But in this new renaissance period of my life, after teaching myself to cook, I wanted a new challenge. So I started teaching myself to paint.

Cut back to my first time in LA. I’d always wanted to live out here, and then my big brother just happened to move from New York to Manhattan Beach. My friend Marc and I came out to visit him, and the second we arrived at his apartment, we dropped our bags and walked down the strand. It felt entirely LA.

We reached the pier in Manhattan Beach. It was sunny, there were surfers, it was perfect. This was home. This painting has been in my head ever since.

Now, I get to live right down the street from this view. Even better, it hangs on my wall. Inside the actor’s artist’s studio.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

30 Seconds Of April.

If you knock on the door of a bathroom and someone says, “One second,” wait more than one second before entering.

Wait 30, in fact. And here’s something to help kill the time: my April – one second per day.