Thursday, February 28, 2019

My First Attempt. I Have Notes.

It took me five minutes to pick up the soap I dropped in the shower, so I hope I never commit a felony.

But it was a lovely soap. Well, lovely-ish. Above is my very first batch of homemade soap. I wanted to capture my dog’s likeness in the top bar, so I carved Ricky’s bust out of clay and created a silicone mold. It needs more definition. I can do better.

The other two bars came from a pre-fab mold. Also eh. I’m going to try a glycerine mix next time, which I think will help. The good news is, with everything I try, I never give up. Even if I make mistakes along the way, I’d rather fail than regret.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ben Belts One Out.

I don’t really drink, which means when I do karaoke, it’s on purpose.

Of all the martial arts, Karaoke inflicts the most pain. Except on Saturday, when my friend/co-star of my sitcom, Ben Pace, had a birthday party at a place called Max Karaoke in West LA.

Los Angeles is unmatched when it comes to karaoke, because this town is so full of talent that people get up there and blow the doors off the place. I remember seeing a woman do “All That Jazz” at Barney’s Beanery, and there was no doubt she had been in the cast of the national tour.

Ben’s party had some damn good singers, but even more, some very fun people. His Ivy League frat brothers are fast and funny like him. I cast Ben because he can’t help but be sarcastic and hilarious every moment of the day, and on Saturday he didn’t disappoint. Happy birthday, brother.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I May Legally Change My Name From Matthew to Mattress.

My new bed has a zero-gravity function. It has USB ports on both sides so I can charge my phone. It has a massage feature that will melt your brain. I can raise my head, feet, and lower lumbar. I can choose the color of the lighting underneath. I wake up and my hair looks amazing, like every couple in a mattress commercial. But the real reason I bought it is because the guy twirling the sign outside the Mattress Firm was just that good.

Monday, February 25, 2019

This Guy.

Years ago, I went to a taping of “The Best Damn Sports Show Period”, a TV roundtable of former athletes talking sports. There were long breaks before and during the show, so a comedian named Brody Stevens warmed up the crowd.

I instantly loved him. His delivery was like a speeding train – all bluster – yet self-deprecating. He had been a relief pitcher at Arizona State (Barry Bonds was his teammate), which led to me peppering him with questions about it. A Jewish kid from the valley playing in the College World Series is cool as shit.

When he graduated ASU, he developed a comedy act, and busted his ass. (Always bet on former college athletes. They are more driven and disciplined than anyone else. My friend and now big-time director Ted Melfi also played college baseball.)

Brody made me laugh during commercial breaks of “The Best Damn Sports Show”, but when the cameras rolled, and we were supposed to be very quiet, he would suddenly hold up big pictures of really funny things to the audience, and then put his finger up to his mouth, shushing us. I was out of my mind.

He was a force. He was so cool. He was so friendly. And on Friday, he took his own life.

It devastated the comedy community. All of the biggest comics tweeted all weekend about him. The ASU baseball team held a moment of silence before their game yesterday. Brody had gone off his meds and was dealing with major depression. It’s something many of us will never understand. Even Brody himself didn’t see it coming. Here’s his last tweet, less than 24 hours before he passed:

Here’s a clip of how I remember him. A Tasmanian devil. Rest in peace:

Friday, February 22, 2019

My Daily Affirmation: “I Enjoy Receiving Money.”

My favorite part of church is when they pass around the free money.

In between Sundays, it’s always nice to find an unexpected residual check in my mailbox.

See? Put it out to the universe. I bought an obscenely expensive bed, and free money instantly appeared. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Coming Up On “Hucksters”.

For my sitcom pilot, I had to scout a location that had a dumpster that could be used for shooting. I did have to go to a very seedy location to find it, but now I know where to go to place a bet on horse fighting.

I learned a lot, and was really proud of myself for producing every aspect of it. And now, I have a finished episode, and while many of you have been asking to see it, I apologize, because I’m going to make two more episodes first.

I have six scripts written, am whittling them down to two I like, and may write one more to toss into the mix. So bear with me, it’s worth the wait, even though I’m sure your patience already has stretch marks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

No Eating, Touching, Breathing, Or Looking.

Despite its deceivingly yummy smell, oatmeal/olive oil soap tastes just like soap.

Well, it’s not actually soap yet, and I may lose my tongue sampling it. You see, I finally had time for the next step in my new challenge: making soap. (Last year I taught myself to cook and paint.) You might recall I decided to try making bars of soap with a 3D image of Ricky before the holidays. I was progressing well – I carved his image from clay, and made a silicone mold inside a wooden box for stability.

Then I got sidetracked. But yesterday, I finally had time to put soap ingredients together. I was super careful because I’ve never worked with lye before. (Note: do the first step outside, because adding distilled water to lye makes it instantly heat up to a high temp, and be gentle – even the smallest drop of this mix will burn your skin.)

Now I wait. It can take several days to harden into the right consistency, but so far it does smell great. (I also used lavender essential oil.) Soon, hopefully, I will be lathering up with that little bastard’s soapy likeness.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My Patriotic Duty.

A true President’s Day sale in a mattress store would mean all the merchandise would be drenched in pee.

I bought a mattress anyway, because it’s the law, and it’s super comfy. But even better, I splurged and bought a power base that’s adjustable via remote control, and – best of all – it has a full massage component. Full massage!

It’s going to be delivered Saturday, and something tells me my new bedtime is going to be 6 p.m. It’s good to be the king.

Monday, February 18, 2019

PTSD.

Remember when you were at a friend’s house and his folks fought and you didn’t know where to look? That’s how I get when an athlete does a rap song.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Rain, She Is A Stayin’.

If I ever commit suicide, I wanna jump off a cliff with an open umbrella, so people wonder if I thought it would bring me safely to the ground.

Yes, people in Los Angeles own umbrellas. We never get to use them, what with the six-month gaps between rainfall. But in the last few weeks, all that has changed. It’s raining almost every day, and continuing today, and is going to next week.

It’s strangely nifty, and has changed things up. (So many chances to steal someone’s garbage can lid to keep your head dry in a downpour.) On the other hand, it can get ugly. The blur you see in the upper left is a demolished Volkswagen that was holding up the entire 405 Freeway yesterday. Also, walking Ricky in this endless monsoon is not fun. Enough.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Because I’m In Love With You, Ladies.

I got all my guy friends condoms and Bibles for Valentine’s Day, because I’m praying they get laid.

But for the women, I offer up ten things they may not know about men. This is straight from my heart to you, baby girls:

  1. Men are like dogs. There’s always one who loves you for you, and there’s also always one who just peed in an inappropriate place.
  2. A nice butt is not crucial for a good relationship. But it helps. 
  3. Make all your passwords your ex-boyfriends’ names, just to make sure you forget them. 
  4. Relationships are mostly men apologizing for saying something hilarious. 
  5. Any woman who says she’s not the jealous type will change her tune when another girl drunk texts us at 3 a.m. 
  6. Married couples draw straws on Valentine’s Day to decide who has to be on top. 
  7. There are plenty of fish in the sea. There are also sharks, giant squids, oil spills, Flight 370, and Somali pirates. 
  8.  You know, you’re right – we really should treat you like a princess – isolated, scrutinized, and doomed to a loveless marriage. 
  9. We really just want to meet a woman the old fashioned way: while being exchanged for livestock. 
  10. You hear about separate beds or even bedrooms saving a marriage. Bullshit. Separate pizzas is the key to happiness. Trust me on this.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Word About Tomorrow’s Post.

My blog. Because my sitcom scripts aren’t just going to ignore themselves.

But there is, however, one day each year that makes it all worthwhile. My favorite day. I love creating my Valentine’s Day post, in which I try to educate the ladies about ten things they may not know about guys. I take my time and craft them, and am really proud of the results.

So if you read one entry all year, make it tomorrow. You gals (and guys) may actually learn something. And if by some chance you’re just now realizing that Valentine’s day is right around the corner, don’t worry – so is Walmart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

More Documentaries.

I once watched a documentary about a guy who pushed himself 3,100 miles across the United States in a wheelchair because my remote was on the other end of the couch.

Engrossing. Speaking of which, over the weekend, HBO debuted the Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, and I loved it. It made me want to list a few more you should really check out. Stick to my list, because trust me when I say: Netflix never lets you forget you watched a sex documentary.

“American Masters” Johnny Carson: King of Late Night. Most interesting: Johnny never was able to please his mother, who was quoted in a Time magazine cover article after the first day Johnny hosted “The Tonight Show”, saying, “He’s no Paar.”

Searching For Sugar Man. Rodriguez was the best rock star who never was. He struggled in the 70s in Detroit, but suddenly blew up in South Africa. Then he disappeared, said to have killed himself onstage. Or did he? This doc won an Oscar. The music is really good, too.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. This has unfortunately been tarnished after the fact with Kevin Clash’s abuse allegations and resignation from “Sesame Street”. But watching Clash realize his boyhood dream is entirely gratifying, and there’s one one deeply affecting scene, in which Clash introduces Elmo to an ailing child at a Make-A-Wish meeting.

112 Weddings. To supplement his income, Brooklyn director Doug Block became a wedding videographer. After his 111th wedding, he had a brilliant idea for a documentary: find out if many of the marriages worked out. Let’s just say only a handful of couples agreed to talk to Block (including one couple who had their wedding at my parents’ country club). Nothing is as fascinating as cutting directly from the happiest day of someone’s life to modern-day reality.

Sour Grapes. I watched this recently on my flight to DC. It’s a thriller/mystery about a trust-fund kid named Rudy Kurniawan who threw exorbitant money around at wine auctions until he became suspected of creating and selling counterfeit wines.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Parental Question.

I found this key by my garage and (correctly) assumed my dog walker had dropped it.

But it made me wonder: how will Ricky know when I’m mad at him if I didn’t give him a middle name?

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Wrenching.

Car companies try to impress me, but “German engineering” is why I don’t have so many cousins today.

I drive American, and try to act American. When the guys at Jiffy Lube told me my air filter needed to be changed, I told them I could do it myself. I had no idea if I actually could, but whenever I’m faced with a difficult mechanical task, I think: The idiots I went to high school do this for a living; I’ll figure it out. 

It wasn’t easy. I’m now the owner of a torx screwdriver. And of course once I got the filter case out of its extremely buried spot, it started to rain hard. That sucked, but I got it all back in, reattached all hoses, and got out of the downpour.

I highly recommend challenging yourself with something tricky like this. It’s entirely satisfying. And cost-saving. Suck it, Jiffy Lube. And Germans.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Six Favorite Movies Of 2018.

There oughta be a new Oscar category for misleading trailers.

Instead, rely on me for your movie recommendations. I see many, and I’ve compiled a list of what I thought were the best from last year:

Eighth Grade. Bo Burnham, my favorite comedian, was surprised to find his standup really resonating with junior high kids, so he wrote a very poignant movie about a girl struggling through eighth grade. This movie is funny, scary, and sad, and should have been nominated for best picture.

Isle of Dogs. Normally, animated films are not for me, but this is Wes Andersen, and this movie is so funny. It’s all about Wes’ details – the incredible closeup of sushi being prepared still makes me laugh.

First Man. Always fascinating to see what was happening personally in a historical figure’s life. In this case, Neil Armstrong was haunted by the worst tragedy of all – the loss of his young daughter – while trying to accomplish the most heroic act.

Searching. An entirely modern thriller about a parent dealing with a missing child. The Internet is a blessing and a curse.

Green Book. Everything an Oscar-nominated movie should be. Funny and sad and entirely well casted/acted. Viggo Mortensen is the most lovable palooka.

Tag. Forget what you’ve heard – Tag is one of the best comedies of the year. It’s shot like an action film, so it’s super cool, too. I watched it on a plane and could not stifle my laughs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

31 Days Of January.

People at the gym in January who dress like they’re obsessed with working out won't be there by, probably the end of this sentence.

I’ve broken a resolution or two myself, but I still managed to capture my month, one second per day. Check it out:
  

Monday, February 4, 2019

You’re Welcome, New Orleans

You may not know the name Bill Vinovich, but you definitely know his work, ever since he pulled a Kim Kardashian. (Screwed 53 athletes guys at the same time.)

He was the head referee during the NFC Championship game two weeks ago, in which a missed pass interference call kept the Saints from going to the Super Bowl. New Orleans had a justified meltdown.

When he’s not botching big football games, Bill is a college basketball ref, and Saturday night he worked the Cal State Long Beach/UC Irvine game, which I attended with my friend Rob. We razzed him whenever possible. (Though Bill did maintain control of this game, including at one point, in which a young lady mopping up sweat by the basket didn’t realize play had resumed. Bill quickly and gently escorted her off the court.)

By the way, I highly recommend checking out a Long Beach game. They have a great band and a cool DJ during timeouts, play in a nifty pyramid-shaped arena and have the world’s only bar alongside a hoop – the Courtside SandBar. Best cheap ticket in town.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Do Your Worst, God.

Lightning struck my neighborhood so hard yesterday, my house shook. What I didn’t realize until I got into my car was that it hit the Chevron oil refinery across the street.

I still want to be assassinated, but this would’ve been the second coolest way to die.