It’s Just a Number

Just finishing my birthday  It was a good day. I didn’t have to work, and just did some personal errands.  Had some birthday cake  at our rehearsal and received the usual age abuse. I’ll refrain from revealing my age. It’s just a number after all.  Right? I said… right?geritol

Lets just say  that certain restaurants offer me a discount. I have mixed feelings about that. The discount is nice, but it means I have to publicly admit that I’m old. I suppose I won’t worry too much until the waitress offers me the discount without me asking for it. Kind of like when the clerk doesn’t card you anymore when you buy beer… only worse.

I just got to where I could accept being older than the President. That was tough, but I remember teasing my dad about getting the discount. Man, what goes around does come around. I just keep repeating to myself, “It’s just a number. It’s just a number. It’s just a number…”

On a related note, we could find Bin Laden if we just put the AARP on the job. Show me someone over 50 they haven’t found.

“Twitter”pated

A few months ago I opened a Twitter account. I don’t know why. It was there I guess. I’m hearing about all sorts of celebrities, and near celebrities who are tweeting about this that or the other. I don’t know why. profile_birdNow I’m getting all these e-mails telling me that someone else is following me on Twitter. Following me? Good thing I’m not prone to paranoia. The only problem is that now I’m feeling under the gun. People are following me, expecting me to tweet about something. I’m supposed to post something profound or at the very least relevant. I’m already starting to crumble under the pressure.

How About a Little Extra Mayo?

mayo2

I was watching Good Morning America the other day when they did a feature on the Mayo Clinic Model of heath care. It was intriguing, and gave me the briefest glimmer of hope. Mayo is a not for profit organization, some of whose doctors work on salary, as opposed to on a per treatment basis.

“I’m not figuring out how do I work most efficiently to get the most out of reimbursement. I’m working most efficiently for the needs of the patient.”

Dr. Dana Thompson, pediatric surgeon.

Look Here for more on this feature

What made this different in my mind was that it was actually dealing with the cost of health care, not the cost of health insurance. The debate, and media coverage has blurred the distinction. The only thing that wasn’t mentioned was actual figures.

Speaking of cost, here is an interesting site called Healthcare Bluebook. It gives what a “fair” price should be for various medical procedures and office visits. I like that it puts some of the responsibility in the hands of the patient. We need to shop around, and let market forces determine some of the cost. Having said that, I’ve got to admit that these figures still seem high to me. $73 for ten minutes with the doctor would add up to $438 per hour. Yikes! If that’s the “fair” price, I hate to imagine…

Just Seems Odd To Me

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Today, I read that Disney was buying Marvel Comics for 4 Billion. I wish I had something to sell for 4 Billion. Anyway It seems odd to me that the literature of my adolescence would be owned by Disney. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but It produces some images in my head that make me giggle. What if the Sorcerer’s Apprentice had to confront Dr Doom? Or how about Fantastic 4 Action Figures in Toy Story? X-Men Replace the 7  Dwarfs?

I’ve read that The Mighty Thor is in the works to be made into a film. (Finally!) I wonder if this deal is going to have any impact on that ? Disney says that existing deals will remain. (But you know how that goes) I’ve been waiting for years for Thor to hit the big screen. We used to sit around and play the casting game. I’ve been thinking about this long enough, that Dolph Lundgren was young enough to play the part back then. I always thought Willem Dafoe looked a little like Loki. These days I think it would be fun to see Sean Connery as Odin.  From what I’ve read, the casting is set, but who knows?  Rumor had it that Daniel Craig was approached about playing Thor, but turned it down. Rumors.thor

Maybe Pixar will do a lot of Computer generated Marvel flicks now. We can expect to see a Marvel presence in Disneyland in the future. Maybe we can ride The Silver Surfer’s Surfboard. Or, perhaps we can cross the Rainbow Bridge to Asgaard. It will be interesting.

The Shack

Just finished reading “The Shack”, by Wm Paul Young. I don’t pretend to be a literary critic. I just like to read. It took me a while to get through it. It isn’t a particularly difficult read. I just had a lot of things going on that made it hard to do this in one stretch. It was a moving book that had me weeping as I read one day on a Metro bus. I decided then and there that I shouldn’t read it in public. We had a pastor who used to say “God’ll mess you up!” I can say that this book messed me up.
I’m not going to write here what the book was about, aside from the very general. It’s about overcoming tragedy; about healing and forgiveness. It’s about changing our notions of what relationship means.
It’s a book that has generated controversy in some circles. It messes with some of our Western traditions. Some from the more religious persuasions might not feel comfortable with how God is portrayed. To those, I can only say, It’s a novel. To some, who believe that the God of the Judeo-Christian world is merely a fairy tale, I say, okay. Read it as a fairy tale. To those who are seeking after things spiritual, I say this is a spiritual odyssey. Give it a look.
To those who would like to view the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a fresh way, read The Shack.

Will Act for Food

bw vine wgreen copyA friend of mine cast me in a film that he’s making. I’ve been in three of the four shorts that he’s done so far. This is by far his most ambitious project, being his first feature length work. We just shot my scene last night. The film is called Hollow, and deals with the sex trades, and some of their consequences. I play Ivan Gorski, a Russian, who produces porn vids for the web. Pretty sleazy, but a fun character to play. It’s only one scene. In and out in one evening.

It isn’t a low budget film, but a no budget. Needless to say there’s no pay, but I’m happy to be a part of the project. In the scene, Ivan is drinking shots of vodka. It’s easy to stage vodka, since the color doesn’t matter, all you need is a tap. After several takes, I think my kidneys were well flushed. So in addition to all the water I could drink, someone brought a tin of cookies, and there was a bag of carrots. Not to mention the homemade biscotti, the night before at rehearsal.( I could easily put on 30 pounds if I were around them on a daily basis.)

I was a wino in Chris' last project, "The Sword"

I was a wino in Chris' last project, "The Sword"

Director Chris Corey is developing quite the ensenble to draw on for cast and crew. It’s fun watching Vine Media Group grow from a vision to reality.  I’m not sure when the premiere will be, but I’ll keep you posted. See ya on the red carpet.

Previous projects of Chris’ that I’ve been involved with include:

Baggage, which is based on a sketch that I wrote

Super Hero

The Sword

Visit: The Sword Theatrical Trailer to see the trailer for “The Sword”

Bloggers Cramp

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve been waiting for some profound nugget to form in my head to launch into the blogosphere. Sorry to inform you, but it hasn’t formed yet. Stay tuned.

What Movies Make You Cry?

Filmmakers have a goal. “Of course” you say. “They want to make money”

Well, yes that’s true. But the non commercial goal is to emotionally affect us. If a film is unable to elicit excitement, amusement, sadness, anger, joy, or fear, it doesn’t seem worth the time or expense to see it. Many of these emotions can produce visible or audible reactions; laughter, screams, gasps, or tears. I love laughing out loud at a rollicking comedy. I remember seeing “Aliens” in the theater with a group of friends. The last 30-40 minutes was so intense, that I think I got an aerobic workout from the rate of my heart.

Some movies are tear jerkers. That is, they elicit such emotion as to bring tears to ones eyes. Sometimes they are tears of sadness, sometimes tears of joy. When I was in high school there was a field trip to see Zefferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. This was not a highlight for us macho guys. The girls on the other hand cried their eyes out. We mocked them severely. Guys didn’t cry. (at least not in public).

Well, I’m here to publicly confess that, the older I get, the more movies are able to make me cry. Okay, there. I said it. Sometimes I cry at movies. I don’t think I’m the only one. Yeah guys, I know you’re out there too. My wife sometime mocks me. She looks over at me to see it I’m tearing up at a particularly emotional scene.

What can I say? I’m an emotional guy. I remember the first movie that did me in. “Old Yeller”. I was four years old, and my parents took me to the movie theater to see it. Needless to say, I made a spectacle of myself when Old Yeller was going to have to be put down because of rabies. “Don’t shoot him! Don’t shoot him!” I screamed, in the crowded theater. My parents were a little bit embarrassed, but my mom probably cried too. That’s the last time I remember crying at a movie until I was well into my thirties. It might have been sooner than that but I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’ll merely get a lump in my throat. Other times, tears will start to form. On occasion, (Usually when I’m alone) I’ll bawl like a baby.

Sometimes a film will trigger an emotion in me that’s related to my past. “Field of Dreams” usually gets to me when Ray Kinsella asks his dad if he wants to play catch. I think that has affected me more since my dad has been gone. Another scene that gets me is in “Braveheart”. It’s When

young Murron hands young William Wallace a thistle at his father’s funeral.
A tear trickles down his cheek. That one always gets me. “The Color Purple” has the scene of Shug Avery marching from the juke joint into the church as the choir is singing “God’s Tryin’ to Tell You Something”. It is such a redemptive scene. I just love it.

There have been films that illustrate suffering to the point that I realize I’ve never begun to suffer. Two dealing with apartheid in South Africa, “The Power of One”, and “Cry Freedom”, ripped my heart to shreds. “Schindlers List” did the same. It’s a good thing I never saw them in a theater.

What movies make you cry? C’mon guys, fess up! You know some of them have gotten to ya.

President as Pop Icon

Ok we’re about a half year into President Obama’s first year as President of the United States.  He’s been a busy guy. Whether we agree or not on whether he’s doing the right stuff, no one can accuse him of being a slacker. I think he’s been on TV more than Angelina Jolie. I don’t think there’s a chance in the world that he could slip into the kind of adulterous dalliances that Bill Clinton did. (Not that I think it’s in his character to do so) It’s just that he always seems to be on the air as he speeds around trying to fulfill everything he said he’d do. michelle-obama But that aside, I’ll give you one word to explain why it will never happen. MICHELLE. You’ve seen the arms on that lady! She’d snap him like a twig. And he cant get away from her. He’s a smoker.  She’d be on him as soon as he started to wheeze. I wonder if that’s why he’s pushing so hard to pass healthcare reform. He knows he’s gonna need it.

The Commissioner Speaks (well, sort of)

Originally posted on the Seattle Sounders FC Supporters Blog:
From the Continuing to Beat a Dead Horse department.

On: Dead Horse Flog Mode

All Sounders FC fans who were not in the stadium for the DC United match (and many who were) were left feeling dissed, by ESPN. As one who was unable to attend the match, I was livid. I was hoping that a bit of indignation we felt would be voiced by the MLS Commissioner. In the June 19 edition of MLSnet.com’s “The Commissioner Speaks” Mr Garber was, for my taste, a wee bit under spoken in his response.

We had a very exciting and entertaining match on ESPN2 between Seattle Sounders FC and DC United at Qwest Field. Unfortunately, the College World Series game that was the lead-in to the match went into extra innings and delayed the broadcast of the match. We’ve had many inquiries from fans regarding the broadcast delay.
It is ESPN’s company policy that the network stays with live events on their networks through the completion. This policy is part of our agreement with the network. The same situation would occur if an event was following a live MLS event that ran over the allotted time. ESPN was prepared with studio updates, alerts and cut-ins so that our fans could be informed on the game status, but clearly it was very disappointing that our fans couldn’t see live a great demonstration of MLS at its best. If you missed the game on ESPN, the full game is available free of charge on MLSnet.com.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who was a little disappointed in the two public paragraphs on the subject. I don’t know what I expected. After all, the league got paid by the network for the rights to show the match, such as it was. That’s the point of getting televised isn’t it? TV revenue. Perhaps that’s why Mr Garber chose not to rock the boat in public. Didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him so to speak.
I understand that. I understand agreements. I just hope that for the future, the agreement either states MLS matches will follow programming with a time limit, or that there is an option to move it to one of ESPN’s several channels that do not contain live sports events. If there is no guarantee to show it in it’s entirety, than the local channel needs to retain the right to broadcast it.
Some people would call for ditching ESPN altogether and getting a good deal with FSC, and perhaps being treated with more respect. On the surface, that sounds good, but at the moment it would decrease the potential number of viewers. We the fans, need to make ourselves unable to ignore. WE need to not just make noise when we’re angry, we need to give kudos to all networks who show soccer at any level in any league. We need to patronize the sponsors, and spend some time firing off letters and e-mails to let them know we appreciate them providing the bucks needed to televise the MLS.
In Seattle, it’s hard to believe that any network would be stupid to pass up this league. I guess we’re doing our part here. AS long as we keep seeing so many half full soccer stadiums on the rest of the televised matches, it’s going to be hard for ESPN not to keep us relegated to the minors. Off: Dead Horse Flog Mode