Tuesday, January 31, 2012

King & Kennedy -- 11/22/63

I am a huge Stephen King fan, an avid reader of everything he writes.  Sometimes, I'm a bit disappointed, like by his last meandering novel, Under The Dome.  But, having just read his newest, 11/22/63, about a time traveler who tries to stop the Kennedy assassination, my love for The King has been renewed.  Some brilliant characters, thorough research, and a vivid, entertaining story make this one a winner.  The book is a bit of a departure from the author's usual genre fiction, so I would say to give it a try even if you're not usually a fan of his stuff.  Here is a favorite passage:

For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all.  Don't we all secretly know this?  It's a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels and cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life.  Behind it?  Below it and Around it?  Chaos.  Storms.  Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns.  Women who twist what they cannot dominate and belittle what they cannot understand.  A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark... 

For a more thoughtful and comprehensive review on 11/22/63, check out The New Dork Review of Books.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I got to take a very short trip home to see the family last weekend.  I also filled my quota of cold and snow for another year.  Among the many highlights: eating too many cheesy potatoes, having a family picture taken when it was barely above zero degrees and getting to rock my nephew, Jude, to sleep...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What A Difference A Day Makes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 -- Glendale, CA -- 77 Degrees & Sun

Thursday, January 19, 2012 -- Muskego, WI -- 3 Degrees & Snow

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pulp Fiction Connection

Upon watching Pulp Fiction the other day -- for the first time in more than a decade -- I was amazed at how many more places and place names I recognize now that I live here in Los Angeles where the film is set.  Most notably, Jimmy (played by Quentin Tarantino) lives my neighborhood: Toluca Lake.

So when The Wolf says, "We're going to a place called Monster Joe's Truck and Tow. Now Monster Joe and his daughter Raquel are sympathetic to our dilemma. The place is North Hollywood. So a few twists and turns aside, we'll be goin' up Hollywood Way," I now know what he's talking about!

Oh, and it's a damn fine film, that Pulp Fiction.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cat Fancy -- Larger Than Life

Gina came back from her Christmas trip home with these new pillowcases.  Yes, that is our cat, Moofy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Football Mitt (Romney)

Look at that follow-through -- could be John Elway!  I don't know a whole lot about politics, and can't say I'm a fan of this guy, but I did find this story interesting.  Apparently, likely Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was named after distant cousin, Milton "Mitt" Romney who played quarterback for the University of Chicago's second-to-last Big Ten championship team in 1922.  Yes, as this NBC 5 story says: "Before dropping out of Division I sports and going full nerd in the late 1930s, U of C (my graduate school alma mater!) had one of the top football programs in the nation." Go Maroons!

The elder Mitt was then the QB of the Bears for a couple years going 12-1-3 in 1926.  I daresay the Bears could use him now...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock On, Neon Trees

I got a nice day of work on a Buick commercial recently.  (It was especially nice since it was a Saturday, which pays overtime rates.)  There were several bands and tour buses involved in the shoot, though the only one I had heard of before was the Neon Trees.  And their tour bus looked like it was pretty luxurious.  I've got to imagine that riding on a virtual hotel on wheels is a nice way to see this country of ours...

By the way, this is a Neon Trees song in case you were wondering if you knew them or not.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SAG-AFTRA is the Name!

It was just announced that SAG-AFTRA will be the name of the combined actors' union if and when the proposed merger passes.  Sounds fine to me.  Looks like we'll get to vote on it within the next month or so.  The best part of a merger: money from work under both unions would count towards the same insurance and pension earnings minimums!  Oh, and studios won't be able to get one union to undercut another for contracts...

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Assuming – as is virtually certain – that the boards approve the proposal, the package would then be sent to the two unions’ membership for a vote, a phase that SAG president Ken Howard and AFTRA president Roberta Reardon are likely to kick off with an announcement at the nationally televised SAG Awards on Jan. 30.

The ballots will probably go out in February, with a return date in March. Within each union, it takes a 60 percent affirmative vote, of those voting, in order to pass a merger referendum. The last merger attempts, in 1998 and 2003, foundered. In both cases, AFTRA passed the resolution, but SAG didn’t. SAG’s 2003 vote was 57.78 percent in favor, or about 2 percent shy of the requisite number.

In the last several years, however, SAG Hollywood members have voted overwhelmingly in favor of pro-merger candidates, which may foreshadow a thumbs up this time around."


Over the past month or so, I've gotten several nice e-mails and notes about reading the blog; some even mentioned keeping up with it in the Christmas cards they sent me (thank you Nick and Sam!)  All of your kind words and encouragements are appreciated. 

My 2011 posting wasn't the most consistent or prolific, but I will try to be better about that.  And yes, I hope I have some interesting things to share, as I don't want to completely bore those of you gracious enough to listen to my ramblings.

So, a big thanks to you readers who continue to be interested in my wacky journey out here in the City of Angels!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Actors Voting for Actors

The Golden Globes last night kicked off the unofficial TV awards season.  And for the fourth year in a row (I joined after the awards in 2008), I have the privilege of voting for my fellow thespians as part of the upcoming SAG Awards.  I have until Jan 27 to submit my votes for the TBS broadcast on January 29th.  This year, I have been fortunate to see many of the nominated performances already, but there are a few I have yet to see.  For a full list of nominees, go HERE.

The Guild and the various studios have seen fit to send more screeners than in recent years; I have gotten five DVDs including The Help, The Artist, and Moneyball.  Plus, they have made iTunes rentals available for several other films -- this is how I plan to see The Iron Lady and My Week With Marilyn.   SAG has joined the eco-friendly modern age and all voting is done electronically now; no more filling in the small circles, a la the SAT.

On the TV side, I am thrilled to see the Breaking Bad ensemble and Bryan Cranston nominated once again.  And I think the Modern Family nominations are well-deserved.  I do have to catch up on some of the mini-series noms.

I look forward to exercising my right to vote!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Different Casting P.O.V.

As actors we are constantly talking about casting: who got which role, how can she be playing that? why would that guy be cast as the villain? etc.

My friend, Greg, who is not an actor, but a movie fan and avid reader, recently posted about casting from a different perspective on the Book Riot website, specifically about The Top 5 Miscast Literary Roles.  Check it out.  Whether you agree with him or not, it's a great read -- also the comments from readers that follow are quite entertaining and insightful.  Here's my favorite on his list...

5. Nicolas Cage as Antonio Corelli in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin — Maybe it’s just me, but whenever Nic Cage appears on screen in any role, I can’t help but giggle. He’s just so silly. But his turn as a dreamy Italian guy made me laugh especially hard. Whoa.   

Better choice: Brad Pitt

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sitting Next to "The Artist"

Over a year ago, I wrote about working a few days on a little French film called The Artist.  Now, the movie is getting a ton of awards season buzz.  Unlike just about every other movie made in recent years, it is both black and white and silent.  But don't let that steer you away, it really is a delightful departure from the norm.

If you do get a chance to see it, keep your eye out for me in a few scenes; most notably next to the main character, George, when he goes to see Peppy's movie about 3/4 of the way through (still frame above).  And I also appear quickly in make-up and a tux with a clapboard at the very end.  Fun times, those Roaring Twenties!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

So, according to many reliable sources, 2012 is supposed to be the last year of this planet.  Or time.  Or humans. Or something.  Anyway, if that is the case, I have some catching up to do.  The year started off pretty lousily for me health-wise and I'm still trying to get back on my feet.  Fortunately for me there are still some 350 days left in 2012! (and the 70-degree, sunny weather is helping...)

I trust each of you rang in the new year with cheer and hope for the future!  May you have a successful and blessed 2012.