Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sad news..RIP Darren McGavin

Darren McGavin was one of those character actors that always seemed to make movies, especially comedies, just a little bit better. Two of my favorites were Billy Madison and, of course, the classic A Christmas Story. Every time I see A Christmas Story I am on the floor during the whole scence with the in famous leg lamp....

"What does that writing say?"

Darren: "FFFFraaaagile...Frageeeleah. That means it's important"

"What does that mean?"

Darren: "I...uh, I....I don't know it's something French for important."

CLASSIC, and who could forget the awesome line, "You look like a dee-ranged Easter Bunny. He looks like a pink nightmare."

Sad to see such a good character actor with great skills pass away. He gives all of us "non-leading man non-pretty people" a reason to pursue a career in acting. If you look at his resume you'll see he keep himself quite busy not being a superstar.

Until next time...

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Miracle on Beaver Pond"


As I have watch the Olympics for the past week I have been waiting for that "feeling". You know the one that shakes you to your core love of this country, the flag, and just overall Olympic competition. A feeling of the the passion, as you watch an Olympian(s) filled with tears on the stand as the national anthem is played and chuckling that they sometimes try to remember the words...hahahaha. That's great stuff.

Don't misunderstand, I think there have been a few moments like this in the 2006 games...for example, Shaun White's hilarious commentary and youthful exuberance...DUUUUDDEE, you sooo rocked!!! Of course there has also been the speed-skating infighting garbage and a showboating snowboarder(just win with grace, you TOOL!). Whoa...sorry about that. Anyway, my point is that one of the best moments of this "feeling"...sorry, the BEST moment ever for this "feeling" in Olympic history happened at Lake Placid 26 years ago.

I still remember the night clear as a bell....in our living room, up WAAAYYY past my normal bedtime, sweat pouring from me as I ran around for every hip check, shot, save, and goal. I was Jim Craig making every save. I actually had my hockey stick in my hands, much to my mother's chagrin. I distinctly remember orchestrating the team around the ice.."ok, pass it to the point...the point you dummy. Now, into the slot...SHOOT!!SHOOT!!...for the love of God would you SHOOT the puck!!!"

It was such a good hockey game. I really was going to be happy if we kept it close, I remember my uncles telling me how good the Russians were. I must admit if Al Michaels had not told me from the beginning that we were playing the Russians I would have had no idea. This is a true fact because I had no friggin' clue what CCCP stood for!! Give me a break.... I was only eight years old....and yes, I asked my teacher when I went back to school. It's stands for USSR written in the Cyrillic alphabet, or Russian as my teacher told me .

Then came the Eruzione goal..I thought I was going to die! Granted we had a lifetime on the clock, but we actually had a lead. The full body reaction of the Russian goalie was priceless, it was one of utter shock and disappointment. How did that puck go in the net?? Then after over 10 agonizing minutes that seemed like hours came the call...3,2,1 do you believe in miracles? YES! YES! YES! It's the first time I ever cried for a sporting event.

The best part of all of this came the next day, and many others after that, when all my friends and I all met outside to play...hockey of course, I'm a Maine boy! There we were in the freezing-ass cold, hands red from lacing up the skates, sticks that were actually made out of wood, no helmets, shinpads, or hockey pants (with padding), and shovels to clear off the pond. It was the best 8 on 8 hockey game you could find in our town. We must have re-played that game, at least the 3rd period, for hours on end every single day at Beaver Pond. Each person getting their "shot" at the winning goal and the full celebration onslaught that occurred when the buzzer went off. I still drive by that pond every once and a great while, when I visit my parents, and I laugh just thinking about those games and replays.

Granted the skating and stuff we did was great but somehow, without it really being said, we each wanted to wear that sweater with the USA logo on it. I remember wondering if my last name would actually fit on it...8 letters seemed like a lot to me back then, and I always wanted the number 19. I don't really think it had to do with beating the Russian's I think it had to do with an inner love and pride, the capital letters USA meant something to us. The little guy is triumphant in the face of insurmountable odds kind of stuff. Yeah, I know, seems corny, but maybe that's the problem...the "pretty and smart" people actually think that my saying that is corny nowadays. The funny part of this and any other story is if you ask someone about the 2002 Olympics when the pros were playing...most Americans can't tell you exactly what they were doing. The more important question lies in can we only feel pride when we have an enemy to beat in Olympic competition? Well for me.....I know my last name would definitely fit and look damn good on the back of that sweater, even if I don't have the talent to skate with those professionals.







Until next time...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Oh the places you will go...


I was re-reading this childhood favorite of mine last night and realized I had spent some time in a few places...it's weird sometimes when you move back home you can lose some concept of all the places and things you have seen. This occurrence only seems to happen because of the overall sense of routine we have when we are "home".

Here's my highlighted list of places I've visited or called home at one time or another.....

The big apple
- loved it...ALL OF IT... every time I went, even the mugging. (shows you what a dumb kid from Maine knows about getting a cab!)
- realized that theater was something worth doing, even though most thought we were geeks. It's not until you get to talk to the cast of Phantom after the show that you have really lived.
- BATMAN symbol at Times Square was the most amazing thing I had ever seen!!!!!

Great Lakes, Illinois
- A place I never thought I'd go...and never wanted to return after I had been.

Chicago
- Doesn't everyone have to go to the top of the Sears Tower and do the Ferris Bueller thing!!!
- The Water Tower was also an amazing experience...especially since our mall had a total of 15 stores.
- Any city that has a river running through the middle of it has to be cool.

San Diego, California
- I lived literally a half mile away from the Sand Diego Zoo....this place is where I learned my appreciation for how truly outnumbered the human race really is....and when Hitchcock's story of the birds scared the crap out of me!!
- The Balboa (no, not named after Rocky) arboretum...a place to meditate, draw, and just breathe.
- Beaches, girls, the end of hair-metal chicks, girls, and oh yeah....girls.
- Sunset cliffs...need I say more..AMAZING!
- Got to really understand Shakespeare in an outdoor half-shell....and realizing how far I had to go in my acting craft....if that's what you want to call it.
- First ever Christmas without snow/winter. If you have never went to get an X-mas tree in shorts, you should at least try it once. Then realize how cool it is to have all four seasons.

San Antonio, Texas
- The Alamo is a sight...and somehow I left expecting more.
- Yes, there really are cowboys...it freaked me out, don't really know why?
- Pace picante sauce is really made there....IT'S ALL YOU CAN SMELL FROM THE HIGHWAY!!!!!
- The River Walk is a really cool place..when at least inside the bars.
- Night time is unreal...there are no trees, and in some places no buildings....it's the closest to pitch black I have ever experienced in the outdoors.

New London, CT
- I didn't know until after I had left that I was living in the "ghetto". Ignorance is bliss.
- Subs, Subs, and more Subs
- Not everyone in CT lives in a mansion and drives to New York to work. Those are only the ones you see on TV.

Chesapeake, Viginia
- Gated communities are cool....or at least they keep the crime away. The funny part was I don't think I ever spoke to another resident the whole time I was there. This is a sad commentary.
- Crab is king...and Joe's is where you get it!
- My first ever experience with "soul food"....Great name and ohh, how I miss it. It definitely changes you if it is cooked with love in someone's kitchen.

There are tons of other places large and small I've visited and the fact is I have loved at least one thing or more about all of them...but my roost is in Maine. This fact has made me realize a few things too.

- If you want to have an acting career or be a horror writer...please don't come to Maine those two jobs are already taken. (and not by me!!)
- If you want to safely hail a cab, ayuuhhh, this is the place for you.
- Believe it or not, our family trees do branch...and no we don't live in igloos. (Yes, I actually had to answer the latter question!)
- Lobster is king..and anywhere is where you can get it.
- There is no place else I want to go...well, at least to live.


Until next time, just close your eyes and imagine all the places you can go!!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!





Being the oldest sibling has always been a bit of a challenge. There are definite things that I hated. Let me just name a few:


- No matter who started it I always should've know better.

- The eldest always got the good chores like...mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, dishes...and the younger is "just to young to do those things." REAALLLY.....12 always seemed old enough for me to do them!!

- I can't believe I had to be in bed by 9:00 pm until my Junior Year of High School!!! Then I watched, after I left home, you stay out until all hours of the night once you got into High School.

- For a good number of years my task was to get your breakfast ready on the weekends and what did I get in return....a plastic bowling pin to the HEAD!!! (looonnggg story...maybe for another post!)

- How is it that I had to buy a piece of crap car WITH MY OWN MONEY...less than 100 dollars mind you...practically rebuild and call it the Bondomobile and the "baby" gets a car for her birthday. (ok so that really did have much to do with being older but still...COME ON!!!!)

I'm not even going to get into dating....but you knew that no kid, guy, jock, or any other male was ever going to be good enough for my sister. Just so you know...tormenting all those pretenders was a BLAST!!!!

I really can't believe you are this old and yet, I am still older. You absolutely amaze me with the things you have accomplished and the person you have become. I couldn't be any more proud of you sis...and you know damn well you ALWAYS hit me first!!

I Love you,

Your big bro

Day 1.....and now what?

I have always been fascinated with the way humans react and interact. This phenomenon is so gracefully shown with the invention of the blog. A place for people to hide some sense of their physical being and location yet, on the other hand, express how they truly feel about any array of subjects. WOW, what a cleansing experience and a deep gaze into the human condition.

I am in no way an expert in this matter and I am definitely not looking to reinvent the wheel, as far as blogs are concerned. As the title of my blog states, this will be a place for my gray (and white also!) matter musings. Yup, just a place to express my thoughts, experiences, likes, dislikes, recommendations, etc.

I, like most others, need some sort of therapy. Therapy is a good place to just let it all out, relieve the stresses of the day, world, or whatever you fancy. What better place to express and overcome fears, problems, and many other glorious experiences than in front of tens of people. Well, at least ten is a good target number.

What I really would like to see happen is some sort of discussion of many different subjects, and also to know that I am not the only person that thinks the crazy things that I do. That being said (or written), please feel free to comment and at some point I'll hope to have an email address specifically for recommendations, discussions, etc.

So to all involved, please enjoy and join in this long strange erratic journey called life and let's discover something!!