Friday, June 28, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Goin’ Apiary.

After seeing this real beehive built into Lazy Acres market in Hermosa Beach, I realized: you know you’ve seen too many walking dead episodes if your hand gets stung by a bee and you start screaming for everyone to cut it off.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Been There.

If I ever get stranded on a deserted island, first order of business: find a volleyball.

Not just for my sanity, but to remedy the whole “deserted” thing. Chicks dig beach volleyball. They’re bound to drop by.

Just ask my friend Jeff, who wisely suggested when I first moved to LA that we take beach volleyball lessons. “It’s a skill everyone who lives here should have,” said Jeff. Truth.

Every Saturday morning, we rode our bikes to Second Street in Manhattan Beach, where the aptly-named Steve Ijams taught classes. It was fun to experience something all-new, and progress each week, until one day when I unknowingly walked across the court during drills and a ball slammed hard into my face. To which Steve shouted, “Hey Matt, how’d that taste?!”

Not yummy, Steve. A harsh lesson about keeping my head on a swivel at all times. I also learned that sand gets EVERYWHERE on your body. You can shower multiple times, and still, the day after a game, you’ll wake up with sand on your pillow that has been lodged in your ear canal.

So yes, Leo, I feel your pain. Though yours is a bit worse thanks to the rag that is the New York Post.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Turn Back Tuesday.

If a giant sinkhole opened up and swallowed the city of Boston, I’d think, “Poor sinkhole.”

I kid. I love Boston. But the Red Sox are the mortal enemies of my Yankees, so it’s my civic duty to make fun.

A few years ago, I went to Fenway Park to see Derek Jeter play his very last game. It was one of my favorite days ever. Fenway is a beautiful landmark loaded with history, and one feature that caught my eye was a tribute to films shot in the stadium. They include Field of Dreams, The Town, and Moneyball. That’s a monster lineup.

So there you go. A beacon of hope in an otherwise sketchy town. Again, I kid.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Spanky Rakes.

What are all of you with locked Instagrams hiding? Sandwiches? Sunsets? Just let us see your nephew.

Here’s mine, yesterday, ripping a two-run double for his Little League all-star team:
 

It was enough to have my brother, who is his coach and very stingy with praise, tell me, “Jackson played like an all-star today.”

Wow. In the Shevin family, that level of approval is once-in-a-generation. I’m so proud of him that for one week I’ll only make fun of him a lot, instead of a whole lot. Well done, young man.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Have Card. Will Travel.

I once watched a pigeon on a subway in New York get off at the financial district, and I thought, “Cool – that bird makes more money than me.”

Not sure Minneapolis will live up to that level, but I’m going to find out. My trip there is one month away, and I’m so excited to not miss a minute that I had a metro pass shipped to me. Now I can ride the rail with no wait and a loaded card, and I’ll be staying right by the financial district. Suck it, pigeons.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

My 3400th Post.

If you want sparkling, sophisticated blog entries, catch me early in the month, before I’ve used up my ten free New York Times articles.

Or wait until I hit a milestone, and pick my favorite five from the previous 100. Here goes:

Because I’m In Love With You, Ladies. After eight years of my educational Valentine’s posts, you ladies should own us. Make it happen, here. 

No Eating, Touching, Breathing, or Looking. Hell yeah I made soap. Help me explore my renaissance/Amish side here.

John Kapelos Live! Until this night, my favorite musical instrument was the lunch bell. Swing, baby, here. 

Rest In Peace. Good man. Tough loss. Read about him here. 

In Which Pete Rose Calls Me. It was an honor just to have him call someone other than his bookie. A thrill, here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Graft.

I once got dismissed from jury duty because I kept coughing loudly the words “bribe me.”

I don’t have to work nearly as hard as a member of the SAG TV Awards nominating committee. I suddenly have free subscriptions to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter filling my mailbox. And soon, DVDs will arrive with all kinds of shows, and after that, cash. Unmarked bills. Large denominations.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

See This Doc.

Documentaries not only expand my world views, they also compel me to change my behavior for a solid 24-36 hours.

Over the weekend, I watched a great, relatively new documentary about a surprisingly fascinating subject. Steve Young, a long-tenured writer for David Letterman, was tasked with finding albums for a recurring desk-piece called “Dave’s Record Collection.” The songs he found ranged from nutty (anything by William Shatner) to very odd: a tribute to refrigerators. 

Corporate tunes like this led to Steve unearthing a hidden world of musicals performed for company events and conferences in the 1960s and 70s. Huge musicals, often featuring famous names like Tony Randall and Florence Henderson, often performed just once, and recorded on a limited number of albums.

It made sense that the shows remained hidden – they were considered the ultimate sellout for Broadway writers and performers. But such a tremendous sellout. While producers were given around $400,000 budgets to create Broadway shows back then, for corporate one-offs they were given over $3 million.

The albums flipped a switch in Steve’s brain he didn’t know he had, and he became the ultimate, obsessed collector. Bathtubs Over Broadway follows him as he meets other collectors and now much-older performers and composers. Even David Letterman makes a rare appearance to talk to Steve about it.

It’s a bygone era, and many of the performers haven’t worked in a while. Their stories are woven together with Steve’s, after David Letterman announces he is retiring and Steve’s days are numbered. It’s fascinating, with a happy, emotional ending.

It’s on all the big services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Definitely see it. I’m dying to discuss this with someone.

Monday, June 17, 2019

My Weekend/Guy Behind Me’s Weekend.

I thought my head of lettuce was sad, but the beer for one…

Then again, it’s not drinking alone if you’re stuck in traffic.

It actually was a very good weekend. My nephew had a Little League all-star game (and my brother is the coach), I watched a kickass new documentary (which I promise I’ll blog about tomorrow), and I made a batch of buttery soft pretzels.

Oh, and for raising me and teaching me everything I know, a belated happy Father’s Day to the Internet.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Holy Yes.

How did I not know there’s going to be a Keurig-like machine that makes soft-serve ice cream? People, tell me things.

Finally, my friend Chad posted about it, and the back of my head blew off. You see, I don’t drink coffee. I’m naturally caffeinated. In fact, I’ve only tasted coffee twice, and it tastes like dirt. Don’t @ me. I don’t care. It does.

But desserts. Now we’re talking. LG is rolling out SnowWhite, a machine that will use pods to make soft serve, frozen yogurt, gelato, and more. Plus a pod that helps it clean itself. I’m smitten.

My goal to be waterboarded by a soft-serve ice cream machine is near.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Last Words Of Advice.

Here’s one nice thing about books: they don’t get jealous when you finish them and start other books.

I just finished Chris Gethard’s book Lose Well, and it was loaded with good, tough love about failing first before you make it. But before I move on to a hot, new book, there are a couple more excerpts I wanted to share. The first is for people who either feel stuck in a small town where in seems no one is interesting in hearing what you have to say, or in a massive city, feeling like you’re drowning because no one has an ounce of humanity in their soul:
A community is out there for you. Connect with it. It’s easier to survive beautiful disasters when you have allies in the cause. Friends and compatriots remind you that when your world burns, you should stand right next to the flame. Fires are warm and, sometimes, they light the way. 
Chris is a big proponent of scaring yourself in order to truly grow. That’s why he often does standup in very unforgiving venues, but then expands his options:
I don’t need comedy to beat the shit out of me on a daily basis; just in the times when the challenge has plateaued. So to make sure I am getting the shit beat out of me, I take Brazilian jiu jitsu classes. I do not belong there. They are filled with professional athletes and mixed martial arts fighters and former college wrestlers. At the end of each class, we participate in a series of live sparring rounds against classmates to see who can tap out the other first using chokes or joint locks. I wound up being paired with a woman who proceeded to destroy me. She tapped me out at least a dozen times. When the round mercifully ended, I was shell-shocked. A classmate saw the dazed look on my face and asked me if I was okay.  
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m good, but Jesus, that blond girl beat the hell out of me.”  
“Of course she did,” he said. “She fought in the UFC three nights ago.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Jesus Is Back. And He Has Iffy Grammar.

For many, Twitter is their serious account. The funny one is their bank account.

Yep, Twitter is a sewer. It’s Words with Sociopaths, in which unlovable losers feel the need to post their unsolicited opinions. So of course when the Mets took an early lead on my Yankees yesterday, some delight of a Long Island woman (my friend Jeff and I would bet anything her name is “Joann”) got a little too big for her sansabelt britches and bashed the Yanks. And of course, an inning later, the Yanks came right back and beat the shit out of the Mets. So I sunk to her level.

The best part was Jesus chiming in within a minute, sacrificing himself for all of Twitter-kind. Apologies for stooping even lower and making fun of you, Savior.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

In Which I Catch An Error Thanks To My True Love: Baked Goods.

No, I have never eaten an entire box of doughnuts. I just ate all the doughnuts inside it.

That was my first thought as I watched an old episode of “Will and Grace” last night. My second: they committed a mistake. You see, the show takes place in New York, but Jack is holding a pink bakery box. Pink bakery boxes are an LA thing.

I learned this a couple years ago from an LA Times article. Here are the highlights:
Southern California is the undisputed epicenter of the doughnut world — a testament to our love affair with junk food you can handle behind a steering wheel. L.A. County alone has at least 680 doughnut shops, according to Yelp, about 200 more than New York City and double the number in Chicago’s Cook County.

A Cambodian doughnut shop owner asked box distributor Westco some four decades ago if there were any cheaper boxes available other than the standard white cardboard. So Westco found leftover pink cardboard stock and formed a 9-by-9-by-4-inch container with four semicircle flaps to fold together. The perfect fit for a dozen doughnuts.  
More importantly to the thrifty refugees, it cost a few cents less than the standard white. That’s a big deal for shops that go through hundreds, if not thousands, of boxes a week. It didn’t hurt either that pink was a few shades short of red, a lucky color for the refugees, many of whom are ethnic Chinese. White, on the other hand, is the color of mourning. Experts also say the color triggers an emotional connection to sweetness that makes doughnuts more irresistible than they already are. 
So, if you’re shooting a scene that takes place outside of Southern California, and it involves a bakery box, spend the extra 3¢ and get it right.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Cooperation.

I press the button so Ricky can drink, but it’s only because he does the same when I drink out of the toilet.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Mother Ship Calling Me Home.

The first thing I’m going to do when I’m rich is buy a United Airlines flight for everyone who works at the DMV, so they’re delayed forever.

I’ve more than made it clear that I despise United, almost as much as I love JetBlue. JetBlue is the SHIT.

So when I received a casting notice for a commercial for them, I trust they’ll do the right thing, and give the role to me, their phenomenal-yet-unpaid spokesperson. Your move, guys.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

One Break. Coming Up.

I wish I had kids. That way, I could spend my entire summer vacation asking, “Have you brushed your teeth today?”

Instead, I have to settle for New York and Minneapolis. That’s where I’m headed next month. Two cities, Yanks at home and on the road. I booked the trip yesterday.

And you know what they say about showbiz: book a trip, book a job. It happened last year, while I was on a flight to see the Yankees play in Philadelphia. I found out I got a role on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and had to turn right around and fly back. Best 90-minute vacation I ever spent. We’ll see what happens in a month.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

31 Seconds Of May.

You have three birthdays in one month, and then Denny’s gets all, “We need to see ID before you get a free Grand Slam breakfast, sir.”

A great month, nonetheless. Here it is, one second per day:
 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Agreed.

I passed by this trash can in Redondo Beach, making a true statement. Here’s why:

ALL OF US, ON THE INTERNET : Damn… I hate people so much…

ALL OF US, APPLYING FOR JOB : I love working with people and I am very sociable.

Monday, June 3, 2019

And Then, Depression Set In.

As my nephew went through a tough Saturday, Ricky took the role of therapy dog. And by that, I mean he diagnosed my nephew as possessive and codependent.

Understandable, as my nephew’s team was blown out in the city semifinals. It was a good season, and I enjoyed watching this team. They scrapped a lot. Even my brother, their coach, was at the game and cantankerous as ever, fresh off of hernia surgery.

I’m not sure now how I’ll spend my Saturday afternoons moving forward, but it’s never too late to start drinking.