Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Parent were Virgins

Well...that's what we were told when we were growing up. Mom and Dad always said that they never had sex until after they were married.
I know - gross mental image.
I was lead to believe the "Great Lie" until 6 months after my Mom died when all of a sudden Dad was waxing poetic about his childhood; teen years in particular. He mentioned how a girlfriend accused Dad of being the father of her unborn child and how he and Mom had to deal with THAT little crisis.
"Why was it a crisis?" I asked. "Wasn't Mom your first?"
One dumbfounded look later lead to Dad sheepishly admitting the Great Lie was done just so we wouldn't do the same "dumb stuff" that they did when they were kids. Man, did I ever resent THAT.
I promised myself that I would never, ever lie to my child about this stuff. Whenever they ask me the question (whatever it is) then I will answer it truthfully.
Now I have a teenager. One that I always think is two years younger than she actually is. I have to hope that she knows her limitations while she's out pushing those limits right to the edge. And I know that she is pushing them. We all did it, didn't we? I know that I was certainly doing alot of stuff that my Dad probably still doesn't know about and at a much younger age then he would have expected.
So, as a trip down your own memory lane, ask yourself these questions:
  • How old were you when you first smoked a cigarette? (Did your parents know?)
  • How old were you when you first lied to your parents? (Did they discover the lie?)
  • How old were you when you first drank alcohol? (Did you tell your parents?)
  • If you ever used drugs, how old were you when you used an illicit drug? (Did you inform your parents?)
  • Did you ever drive illegally, before you had a license? (Did your parents ever find out?)
  • When did you first caress someone else above (and below) the waist? (Did you tell your mom?)
  • When did you first have sexual intercourse? (And when did your parents know about that?)
And how old do you expect your children to be when they try the same things?
If you feel brave, answer these in the comments section and we'll all share notes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Anniversary

Apparantly we can all just get along:
Everyone ready? All together now - awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, My Friends

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bad Elf! Bad Elf!

What'cha gonna do?

Santa on "Cops"!

Laugh out loud, of course.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


In the spirit of the holidays (all holidays! God bless us all, every one!) I have decided to reach out to hug a few very special people who have brought joy and happiness into our little world. However, the girls over at Go FUG Yourself (one of the best websites ever!) had this same epiphany a while back and beat me to the punch:
I couldn't have said it better myself. Let the hugging begin!
In the spirit of the holidays, please share your thoughts (via posting) for someone that YOU feel deserves a special holiday hug this season and why.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Now THIS is a Christmas special.
Let's recap, shall we? The Grinch lives on a snowy mountaintop above Whoville with his faithful dog Max. Envious of the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and, by means of serial burglary, deprive them of their Christmas presents and decorations and thus prevent Christmas from coming. However, despite his success in stealing all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger, he returns all the presents and trimmings, and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
Unlike "A Charlie Brown Christmas", which is full of continuity errors and color mistakes but manages to exude a quiet, peaceful innocence; the animation here is (mostly) consistent but it is filled with a manic, sly, sardonic energy that only Chuck Jones could provide.
Jones, the genius behind Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and others served as director, character designer, and character layout artist for "The Grinch". Jones created the accepted "look" of the Grinch and (in an effort to extend the story for TV) created the "runaway sled" scene and added it into the story. Both Max and the Grinch are at their Chuck Jones best during this manic sleighride. In my opinion "The Grinch" is Jones' best post-Warner Bros work.
Other aspects of the production cannot be overlooked. Boris Karloff's smarmy narration combined with Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger) rich baritone singing oddball songs by Albert Hague (Mr. Benjamin Shorofsky of "Fame" on TV) all combine to make the Grinch a classic of animation.
Yet the Grinch is more than that. Much more.
At the end of the story all the Who's in Whoville awaken to discover that their Christmas has indeed been stolen. As The Grinch looks down in glee waiting to hear their miserable cries of despair he is shocked to watch as The Who's all gather in the town square to sing carols and rejoice in the day. The Grinch is mightily confused. He had stolen Christmas from The Who's! What are they celebrating? Then Boris Karloff states:
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
This realization causes the Grinch to save the sleigh of goodies (that he himself had stolen) as
"...Then the true meaning of Christmas came through, And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches - plus two. He brought everything back, all the food for the feast. And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast."
Finally, the true meaning of the story is presented.
"Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp."
It is this simple message, free of any obvious religious overtone or intent, that makes "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" a perfect holiday special. This message is inclusive for anyone, of any color or creed, of any faith or belief. The true meaning of Christmas is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.
How simple. How profound. How fundamentally true.
And how well worth remembering at Christmastime and always.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Six Fifty-Seven

Christmas came early for me this year. In fact, it arrived at exactly 8:47 on December 10th when I arrived at South Station and saw that there was actually a commuter rail train waiting for me on track 13 because this meant that we could FINALLY shoot the pilot episode of The Six Fifty-Seven.
Frequent readers of this blog (all 7 of you) will know that this has been a long time coming. We had three false starts between August and December. We also had seemingly endless rounds of back and forth between ourselves and the powers that be at the MBTA, NEU and everyone else associated with our little show.
Finally, December 10th arrived. We had a train, an engineer, a conductor and 16 extras ready to shoot a sitcom pilot. Our engineer kept our train running and kept us all warm. Our conductor made sure "Bobbi" was appropriately attired and showed me how to turn the fans "on" and "off" - which may not sound like much until you need "Quiet on the set!"
Extras are truly the unsung heroes of a project like this. I have to thank all of these people for dedicating their time on a Saturday to stand around and wait, then just sit around and be filmed. They made our empty train seem full, and added color and realism to our palette. All of them rose to the challenge of "bouncing" when needed (don't ask), filming establishing shots and just plain being nice folks to spend a day with.
Dan Kammer (our director) finally got to let loose and direct this thing - and direct it he did. We filmed a 22+ minute film in 9 hours time. If he ever missed a beat then I was unaware of it. Dan Kammer is usually a fun person to be with. He's very engaging and full of energy. Behind the camera the man is a dynamo. Wow. I will never be able to thank him enough for all of his efforts for our show.
Last but certainly not least we also had a ridiculously talented cast ready and willing, able to go on. After months and months of starts, stops, rehearsals and memorization they we going to be able to bring their characters to life.
It was worth the wait.
Liz' confidence, Jack's crankiness, Jenn's optimism and Tim's earnestness were all on display as 5 wonderful actors brought our characters to glorious life. It has been a fantastic experience to watch these ridiculously talented actors work together. We started with a very strong cast and their chemistry only improved as time (sometimes) dragged on while we waited to film. I hope that they enjoyed each others company as they appeared to. I saw five people laughing, working and sharing their craft with each other without an ounce of ego present.
They are all intelligent, hard-working, creative and TALENTED performers who are destined for greatness in film, TV or whatever medium they choose to play in. Above all of this, they are great people that I am proud to call friends and I am grateful that I have met all of them every single day.
I am really grateful for this whole experience, beginning to end. It was worth every setback, let-down and struggle to finally reach December 10th - the day we finally filmed "The Six Fifty-Seven".
Now, onto the editing...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Nobility & Barbarism

Please take some time to check out this latest blog entry at Reverend Mom:
Once there, click on the link and read Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter's address closely...Then stop and think about it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Who IS This??" - December

Congratulations to Cindy Robinson, who took my plethora of subtle clues and turned them into Blog Game Gold for correctly identifying our "Who IS This??" victim for December 2005.

Now here she is in all of her (former) glory - YASMINE BLEETH!

Looking at her previous picture (see the post below this one) it is apparently a LONG way down from the heady days when she joined the cast of the syndicated TV series "Baywatch" in 1994 as Caroline Holden, the athletic and impressionable younger sister of Alexandra Paul's character.

Bleeth had been in front of the public since she was six months old when she did a TV commercial for Johnson & Johnson. Bleeth also played opposite comedian Buddy Hackett in "Hey, Babe!" when she was 12. I can't believe that I missed that little gem. At age 16, she won the role of Jack Fenelli's daughter on the ABC soap opera "Ryan's Hope". In 1991, she joined the cast of ABC's "One Life to Live" as the sultry Lee Anne Demarest. After leaving the show, Bleeth decided to try her luck in Los Angeles. After appearing in a 1993 episode of the series "Herman's Head," the role of Caroline Holden on "Baywatch" followed when the show added several new and younger cast members.
In 1996, Bleeth starred in her first leading role in a TV-movie, "A Face to Die For", in which she played a woman with facial scars and a prison record given a second chance at happiness. This has been viewed on LMN numerous times by my wife as well as multitudes of gay men.
Now, you would think this was the highlight of her career - but wait! She also was alongside Dick Clark at the annual ABC special to rock 'n' roll in the New Year 1996 and she has appeared in a few Off-Broadway plays as well.
Now, hot on the trail of a comeback, Yasmine will soon be seen in "Knight Rider" - based on the 1982 series of the same name, a lone crime fighter battles the forces of evil with the help of his indestructible and artificially intelligent car.
No she does not play the car...although that would be fun.

Instead She plays "Laura Palmer" - who is apparently no relation the "Laura Palmer" who was successfully killed in David Lynch's insanely cool mini-series "Twin Peaks". IMBD makes no mention of what it is that the Knight Rider version of "Laura Palmer' does, exactly...But part of me wishes that she was a zombified version of the Lynch creation. At least then something of Yasmine's would be brought back to life...Unlike her career, which should successfully stay dead after the release of this turkey.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And Now, It's Time for Everyone's Favorite Blog Game!

Who IS This??

As you know, the object of "Who IS This??" is to be the first to correctly identify the person in the picture.

Look at the picture to your left. And cringe. Cringe and shiver like you've been caught in the middle of a blizzard while visiting the outhouse.

Unlike Lori Petty (our first "Who IS This" victim) this person actually had a career after the early nineties. Not a huge career by any stretch, although I am certain that Katie has watched one of her better efforts on "The Lifetime Movie Network." Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, ever wants to be filmed like this. Certainly not someone as insanely hot as this person is...was...used to be.

I know that we could all look simply fabulous if we only had make-up people who followed us around to cover every flaw while teasing every strand of hair 24 hours a day. I think the difference here is that when I get dressed up I still basically look like "me" (much to the chagrin of my wife) just in a better suit whereas this woman gets dressed-up and becomes supermodel-hot.

Although she is NOT a supermodel...and that was not a clue. She WAS a model, though and this is a clue. She began her modeling career at 6 months old and continued with it until she was 16 years old - then Hollywood beckoned and she answered the call.

Although if Hollywood had called her when she looked like this they would have insisted they had dialed the wrong number.

Pencils down. It is now time to tell me "Who IS This??"

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's Christmas, dammit.

I'm tired of this argument:
Please step back as I set up the Improbable Bostonian Soap Box, completely decorated with Christmas wrapping, Christmas ornaments and a big bow.
Awww, that's right, bitches - I said it. I said "Christmas". Take THAT, all of you overly PC goons.
It seems like every year more and more "politically correct" people with nothing better to do with their time attempt to make sure that we as a society de-Christmas Christmas, hopefully allowing all people of all faiths to feel included in "holiday" celebrations. In doing so a Christmas tree becomes a "Holiday tree", we wish people a "Happy Holiday" instead of a "Merry Christmas", yada yada yada.
I don't mean to be indelicate here but what a load of crap.
I understand and accept the separation of Church & State. If Boston was lighting the Christmas Tree on the steps of City Hall at the exclusion of all other faiths then I would take issue with it. However, a Christmas tree being lit on Boston Common is acknowledging that December 25th is Christmas Day. Christmas Day is a nationally recognized holiday and it is celebrated with certain iconic imagery that has become indelibly linked with the day. Yet the idea of a decorated Evergreen tree did not begin when Christ died. In fact, the tradition of the ''holiday tree" predates Christianity.
The ancient Druids of Northern Europe used evergreen boughs as solstice decorations centuries before Christ was even born. At the time of Christ's birth, the Romans decorated evergreen trees and lit candles as part of the Saturnalia, a solstice-related holiday. It seems obvious that early Christians adopted these traditions (as well as MANY others) as their own as a way of incorporating the "old beliefs" into the new religion. Heck, the traditional Christmas tree as we know it was not even part of the tradition until the year 1000 at the earliest. And as recently as the mid-19th century, the Christmas tree was considered an oddity by most American Christians. Yet over time the Christmas Tree has become a symbol of Christmas Day, one that is recognized the world over.
Christmas Day is just that - CHRISTMAS Day. This day is represented by a CHRISTMAS tree, CHRISTMAS cards and CHRISTMAS presents. We'll be having CHRISTMAS dinner at our house and listening to CHRISTMAS Carols while we eat.
I am all for being sensitive to other faiths and beliefs. However, I am not offended by other religious beliefs nor do I expect people to alter their faith to meet my Christian sensibilities. When I see a menorah being displayed I do not expect it to become a "Holiday candelabra" because I am not Jewish. Also, if someone displays their belief in Kwaanza then I will respect that, too. I simply do not expect someone to change their belief system to suit me.
Because I certainly will not change my belief system to suit them.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.