Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Blog of the Decade!

Hey there, my awesome readers! I bet you thought I'd drop the ball on this one. For the past week I've been on the East Coast hanging out with my family in Richmond VA, making a quick run to Hoboken NJ for my cousin's wedding. I've been putting a lot of thought into this blog, and as I sit and watch the clock tick away the last minutes of 2009, and the first decade of the new millennium, I come to the point where it's time to blog... Blog, man, blog!
This decade has been a decade of change for me and my life. It was a milestone of a new era in the life and times of Shoehead. I began this millennium in South Beach Miami FL, trying to hawk Jello™ shots with my brother. It was complete washout, and then his car broke down in the Florida panhandle on our way to New Orleans. We ended up abandoning ship on an off-ramp in the middle of nowhere. My mother wired us the money for a Greyhound back to Richmond VA (I was living in Weehawken NJ at the time), and I remember thinking, this millennium is off to quite a start! I hung with my parents for a few days, and boarded the bus back to NJ. After the odyssey that was my Y2K trip, I arrived in my apartment, and literally had just set down my suitcases, when my cousin Chris knocked on the door and wanted to go out for drinks! So we went into Hoboken, and got jumped by five guys after we left the bar, leaving me with a swollen face and two shiners! Again, this decade is off to a crazy start...
A few weeks later, my brother the Jello™-Man called me and discussed giving full-time Jello™ shot hawking one more attempt. He instructed me to find the summer concert tours of Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and Jimmy Buffett and we would rent a van to gypsy around and sell the shooters at the shows. Buffett had a spring leg of his tour in the western states, so we hatched a plot to travel west, use our buddy Vince's place in Vegas as a home base, and make loads of money at the concerts. So in April, we embarked on our journey. Everything went as we planned it, except for one thing we hadn't anticipated--Jimmy Buffett fans are tailgate partyers. They're not a bunch of Grateful Dead hippies. They all brought their own libations, and couldn't even believe we were trying to sell Jello™ shots. We ended up scrapping Buffett, but we decided to try a Nascar™ event at the Las Vegas Speedway. That was actually very amusing, as we snuck into the event without tickets, and sold shooters like crazy; finally culminating in Jason getting chased through the stands by purple-shirted security guards as the Nascar™ fans cheered him on...
What this Jello™ trip did for me was open me up to the western United States. Before this, I'd never been further west than Colorado. But on our ill-fated trek, I'd within the span of a week visited for the first time Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Jose, not to mention seeing the Grand Canyon, and driving through Utah and Arizona and New Mexico! As I looked at life in Vegas, and how sunny, warm and nice it was to live there, I decide to simply stay there. Jason and I went back to my Weehawken apartment, packed up most of my stuff, and vacated my apartment within 24 hours. I stayed in Richmond for about five days at my parents to get things ready, and moved to Las Vegas May 3rd, 2000 with three suitcases on a Greyhound bus.
Life in Vegas was crazy. I got a job at Harrah's almost instantly, but the job sucked so I got another job at Rumjungle in Mandalay Bay. That was a blast! The management really didn't like your ol' pal Shoehead too much, however, so in July 2001, they fired me, and I headed to Redondo Beach to see the one friend I had in L.A. at the time.
I'm running outta time to post this blog, so here's the breakdown:
2001- I was living in Redondo Beach, and terrorists blew up my beloved World Trade Center.
2002- I fell in with some marijuana smugglers, and got arrested in Omaha NE driving weed to Chicago. The charges were dropped, thanks to an awesome lawyer! By this time I'd moved to El Segundo, with a cool roommate named Joe, and his dog, Duffy.
2003- Still smuggling (to work off my lawyer bill) I went to Mexico for the first time, and was travelling to Spokane WA a lot. We started hiking the weed across the U.S.-Canadian border ourselves, and toward the end of the year we were rolling in cash. Yay! BUT- in December my brother got arrested by Border Patrol Agents hiking through the snowy wilderness of the border. No yay...
2004- By this time I was dating the girl of my dreams who was later to become the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead. I worked on a lot of film crews, including my friends at Hemisphere Entertainment, and began really doing what I came to California to do.
2005- By this time I'd moved to Oxnard with my girlfriend (you-know-who) and was working as a shipping clerk for a printing and graphics company. Ho-hum... In August, my brother-in-law was killed by a drunk driver, and Baba and I decided to get married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I got married, and turned 40 the same week!
2006- Still living in Oxnard, worked on The Apprentice Season -6 and several other smaller things.
2007- Went back to work as a truck driver for the same printing company, but got fired for wrecking the truck. Damn... Relocated from Oxnard to Firebaugh, CA in November.
2008- I worked on Seasons 2 and 3 of Co-ed Confidential and started working at Central California Womens Facility, as a substance abuse counselor (C-YARD!!!) which brings us to...
2009- I got laid off after they shut down C-Yard's program on October 19th. As a coincidence, the B-Yard program ended today, with a lot of my colleagues now out of work too. I chilled, soul-searched, and that brings me to here and now--visiting my family, and attending my cousin's wedding, typing out this last blog of the decade.
So you could basically say, that I'm still on the Jello™ tour. After a decade of changes and giant landmarks in my life, I look to a new decade and the next phase of my life with both optimism and uncertainty.
Happy New Year, my most awesome readers!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm having a pretty good time in Richmond with my family, but I'm a little sad, cuz this is the first Christmas spent without my wife, the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead. Tomorrow, we leave to go to Hoboken NJ to attend my cousin's wedding.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I'll blog later...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I made it to Richmond!

Yay! Richmond... the capitol of the Confederacy, the capitol of the Old Dominion, the capitol of sitting on a Robinson Street bar stool getting drunk! My folks picked me up from the airport last night--actually it was my father and my brother, actor Jay Fontaine--and drove me back to my parents retirement condo in the fashionable West End of Richmond. I was still on West Coast time last night so I stayed up almost all night tweeting! Yee-HA! Then I woke up and went to Trader Joes with my father. I knew that when Richmond got a TJ's, it would be some kind of milestone, like when "Two-buck Chuck" went up to $3.25... as I took a tour of West Broad Street from Gaskins Road to Short Pump, I noticed that the chains had all landed--Dave-N-Buster's, Home Depot, Michael's, big box stores, and small national chains like Omaha Steaks; Petco, and then your restaurant chains--P.F. Chang's, Appleby's, Chili's, etc... When I left, some 13 years ago, this was all woodlands and cow pastures. Short Pump was a crossroads from colonial times that had an actual short-handled water pump at a long-vanished inn. Now, the place is unrecognizable from any other suburban landscape in the United States. If I didn't know better, I could be on Shaw Avenue in Fresno, or in Paramus NJ, or northern Virginia (Alexandria, Fairfax--take your pick). It was a weird feeling of familiarity, but difference. Well, I got 2 weeks of this to digest. I think I'm gonna go down to see my old guitarist Scott, and work on some tracks for the long-awaited (15 years) Just Because album! And sit on a Robinson Street barstool and get drunk!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kinda having a rough week...

OK, I think I've officially written 2009 off. I'm just gonna hunker down, and let 2010 be my year. It's just been crazy around here. I'll go to Richmond, then my cousin's wedding in Hoboken, then let 2010 roll!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A short history of cats at Casa Shoehead

With the tragic loss of Vanilla Bean "Beansie" this week, I wanted to include a short history of my cats in recent years.
It started in 2003, when I first met the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead. She had one cat, Starva Wazzoo Kitty. After we got married, we saw a tiny kitten in a cage at our vet's, with a sign that stated "My name's Missy Cleopatra. I was found in a pillowcase in a dumpster. Could you please take me home?" So we did. That was around June of 2006. She and Starva didn't get along with each other at all, but we did keep them separate. Soon after, around August of 2006 or maybe a little later, a couple of alley cats started hanging around our little courtyard. One we called Asparagus, or just "Gus", the other had a crazy broken tail, and we called him "Cat-tail". Gussie sorta went away, but cat-tail always faithfully came around to our front door looking for food. Then, when we ended up moving to Firebaugh, we couldn't bear to leave cat-tail behind to face the dangers of--who knows what--so we loaded him up and drove him north.
Shortly after arriving at our new home, The Lovely Mrs. Shoehead noticed a little runt cat at her auntie's house that nobody wanted. he was a little grey tiger-stripe, and we took him home and called him Buster Brown. He never really felt at home, and was kind of a loner, although Cat-tail looked after him like a little brother. Eventually, Buster moved out of the house into the back garage. So we were a happy little family of 4 cats until July or August of 2008, when I looked out and saw a tiny orange kitten on my back porch. He was so malnourished and sickly, we took him in and named him Vanilla Bean Kittybone Catva, or Beans. He was a rebel much like Buster, and was always trying to escape, but finally he settled in to life in the house. Buster never really adapted, and stayed out in the back garage for months. I kept feeding him, but I went out of town for several days in April 2009, and when I got back, Buster wasn't around. I believe he moved on to another location. All went seemingly fine, when in October, I came home to find Starva dead! It was very traumatic for me. I buried her in a little rock garden in our yard. After that, the remaining three cats sorta bonded and hung out together. They were very cute, the three of them laying down sleeping all in the same direction on top of the dryer! This kept up until this week, when I found poor little Beansie dead and wet in the front yard. Now I'm down to 2 cats! I really do miss a house full of cats. I hope some needy cat finds us...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vanilla Bean Kittybone Catva July 2008-December 12 2009

Vanilla Bean Kittybone Catva, the orange cat

Yesterday was another sucky day for me. For the second time in six weeks, I had to bury one of my dear, beloved cats. As I walked to my neighbor’s house yesterday at around 2pm, I glanced over into my front yard, and saw the body of “Li’l Bean” curled up amongst the wet leaves. I walked over and picked up his stiff little body, and gave a quick examination. Preliminary examination showed no sign of foul play; this exonerates (for the moment) all the dogs, including visiting Pit-bull mix Chloe, as well as my creepy neighbor who kills cats and shoots blue jays from his back porch. While we are awaiting autopsy results for an official cause of death, it appears that “Beansie” expired naturally, probably from the cold and wetness of this week’s rainstorm. He’d had some kind of eye infection that the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead and I were trying to treat with antibiotic eye drops, so maybe he was just in a weakened state and succumbed to the elements.
For the past several days, I hadn’t seen Beansie around, and yesterday was the day I decided I was doing a thorough search. The discovery of his little water-soaked body was a disappointing end. Since the arrival of Chloe this past week, Beans, and the other remaining cats—Missy Cleopatra and Cat-tail—have been scared of this new dog, and staying away from their former safe-zone on top of the washer & dryer. In fact, I hadn’t seen either of the cats since the discovery of Bean’s body yesterday afternoon, until Cat-tail showed up this morning in the house, looking for some food. Today, I’ll look for Missy. Fingers crossed…
Li’l Bean came into my life around late July-early August of last year. One morning, I looked out on my back porch, and there was this tiny kitten; starving and filthy. He fit in the palm of my hand. Mrs. Shoehead and I took him in, gave him love and brought him back to health. As he was growing, he went through a little phase when he was trying to leave the house. He’d hang out all day in the back garage, and try to jump the fence and go to a neighbor’s house (not the creepy cat-killing sadist, the neighbor on the other side). Recently, Beansie returned to the house, and was hanging out with Missy and Cat-tail; particularly after the death of Starva. The three little kitties would curl up together on the washing machine and hang out together. I loved that! I took some pictures, that I’ll post very soon. With the arrival of Chloe, however, the little cat clique has been staying out of the house. And then, yesterday, Li’l Bean was discovered dead in the yard. Like Starva, I had a little funeral for him. I wrapped him in an old towel with his full name and a note that said what a good cat he was, and how much he’ll be missed, I also added a cat toy for him in the eternity. I said a prayer to God thanking Him for letting us have all the joy from Beans for a year, and then he was buried.
I think the storm is over now. The sun seems to be creeping up, as day breaks while I write this blog. It’s a new day, and I’m gonna miss my little friend. Good night, Beansie… You were an great little cat.

Monday, November 30, 2009

116 days of Camp Shoehead! Was I going green? You betcha!

I was actually green with envy at my neighbors who were enjoying TV, computers, reading at night, and warmth, as I sat by my nightly campfire on my porch. Due to some crazy financial dealings, and some indecision, as well as sheer treachery, Casa Shoehead was Camp Shoehead for 116 days, beginning July 31st as PG&E turned off the power. It was kinda fun at first (kinda), but after a while it just plain sucked. well last week, thanks to the diligent efforts of the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead, and a cool PG&E guy named Al (who left a really cool flashlight behind), we are now back at least to the 20th century, hoping to slip into the 21st century sometime soon. I'm still trying to break the "no-power" mindset as I rearrainge my habits back to a pre-Camp Shoehead routine. I'd forgotten the other night that I actually can read at night. Plus, I flipped on a switch only after automatically reaching for the flashlight.
But the biggest joy I got this week was The History Channel! And the other 500+ channels that I can now scan aimlessly! Yay! Now, I can actually re-connect with all my favorite shows! in fact, I'm just in time for the season finale of Sons of Anarchy. I watched it last night, and said to myself... "What the hell's going on?" But that's OK, I'll get back up to speed before S.A.M.C.R.O. really takes it to Henry Rollins and Adam Arkin! I've got my microwave popcorn all set!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, MOM!

Today's my mother's birthday, and I'd be remiss if I didn't give it some kind of mention.
Also, we're working diligently to get the power turned back on, once again returning to "Casa Shoehead" from "Camp Shoehead". Camping at home can be fun, but it's a bitch during the winter months. We actually did do something somewhat cool the other day--the lovely Mrs. Shoehead wanted to take a hot bath, so we heated up water over the fire in potfuls and filled the bathtub with water, colonial-style! My good friend Hawkeye, who's a part-time mountain-man (or maybe he's a part-time 21st century man) was very proud of me, not to mention the least bit amused! But, through faith, prayer, money, and the mercy of PG&E (if any exists) Casa Shoehead should be lit back up with real electric lights, and gas to cook with, too!
I just reviewed some of my older blog entries from over the spring and summer, and I noticed that with the lack of television at Camp Shoehead, I haven't been able to deliver any of my cutting-edge, witty critique of reality shows an other TV pop-culture bonbons. Well, rest assured, my faithful readers, that my biting op-eds on our favorite media medium will soon burst forth once again!
So 'til next time, Happy Birthday, Mom! And to all a good night!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sigh... I had to scratch "Co-ed 4"

After lots of deliberation, and much reluctance, I talked to the producers of "Co-ed Confidential 4" this morning and had to drop out of the project for personal reasons. I'll really miss the cast and crew, and I want to the thank the producers for being so understanding.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Outta Nowhere!

Irony of ironies... This past week, the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead returned to Camp Shoehead. She has a few health problems, and I plan to take care of her, but WOW! I went from getting prepared and adjusted to a single life again, and now she's back. Now, don't get me wrong--I'm happy, and Camp Shoehead is a lot less lonely. One of the most important things to me, those of you that know me personally, is the happiness of my pets, especially my dogs. They're overjoyed that Mommy's back! I know that seeing all of us together as a family once more fills their little hearts with such happiness! We've been having fun spending quality time together in front of a fire every night, and it's been great!
But what about me? Now my plans are changing once again. What will the future hold for your ol' pal Shoehead?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can breathe again!

Was it the garlic? Or was it the crazy-smelling vapor-rub? All I know is, I'm about 95% at my optimum. I've been reading through not one, but two books on herbal remedies. I used to be into it in 1999 when I managed a GNC store. but over the years, and crossing the continent, I fell away from that whole "healthy lifestyle" thing. In California, no less! But I plan on getting my medical 420 card, and reading and learning more about herbal remedies and natural health cures. Especially if the Democrats take over health care! I'll become my own doctor, too!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Crunch time!

With my upcoming gig on "Co-ed", plus two weeks back in Virginia for the Holidays, I'll be away from Camp Shoehead for six weeks! It seems like I have about a million and one things to do.
My main concern as always is my dogs. My neighbor said he'd feed them every day, but I still hate leaving them all by themselves. The estranged Lovely Mrs. Shoehead told me that she'd be too busy to look after them. Hmm... do I board them? That would eat up all the money I'd make on the show. What to do, what to do...
My next concern is a place to stay. I've stayed with friends before from the crew, and I'm always absolutely appreciative (I am the consummate houseguest!) but none of my friends that I usually stay with are on this shoot! Now, I have slept in my car before--taking my showers in the gym, etc.-- but for six weeks???
Another thing is my ACN business. Now that I'm done with the prison gig, my ACN is starting to gain momentum. Then I just leave for six weeks? Hmmm...
Not to mention DMV stuff, some other bureaucratic crap I have to deal with, and just getting ready for a six week trip, I'm a little stressed out! Not my usual cucumber-cool Shoehead!
Oh well, it'll all work itself out.
here's something fun--I'm still fighting off a slight bout of bronchitis (at least I hope it is, and not the H1N1 swine flu!), so ever the holistic wannabe, I read in an herbal remedy book that a great cure for bronchitis is garlic. So, I've been chewing raw garlic cloves for the last four days! Nice, huh? I don't think I stink like garlic, but then again, I wouldn't notice it if I did! It was recommended that I chew sprigs of parsley to combat the garlic breath, which I have been doing... But doesn't that stuff go through your bloodstream and your pores? Yikes! The plus side is, there have been no vampire sightings at Camp Shoehead since I started this new regimen.
OK, readers... let's see what tomorrow brings in this crazy, stressed-out week!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wow, I just hit 100 posts!

Actually, this is my 101st post... Who'da thunk it???
I've been very busy the past couple of weeks. I actually thought being unemployed would slow me down some, but I've been ROLLING! I just confirmed a spot on the crew of "Co-ed Confidential Season 4" and I'll get to work with my buddies Kevin Patrick, Bradley Joseph, and the always awesome Michelle Maylene.
It's gonna be a trip. Otherwise, still no power at Camp Shoehead. I'm trying to have it fully electrical by 2010! OK, til next time my amazing readers!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I'm loving the new schedule...

Since they laid me off from the prison, and shut down C-Yard's program, I'm really enjoying not having to drive there every day, and listen to a bunch of crap from a bunch of unqualified losers. But I do miss the inmates, they were the only good thing about the job!
My favorite thing right now is the total stress-free existance that I'm experiencing. I've been running 90 minutes four times a week. I plan to run the L.A. marathon, and the N.Y.C. marathon next year. I wake up whenever I want to, but usually it's been at 6am. But that's OK, too... It's my choice!
Now, I face a major decision of the day... what will I eat lunch?
See ya tomorrow, good readers!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I'm one of those people who don't really put a whole lot of effort into my halloween costume, and basically throw something together last-minute every year. I think tonight I'll wear my bathrobe and go as Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. The problem is, I don't think anyone will know who that is here in Fresno! That's kind of a New Yorker's costume...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Starva Wazzoo Kitty (ca. 1995-2009)

Yesterday was quite a traumatic day for me, good readers. As I returned from the library, where I blog, tweet, and network, I walked in to my house to see our oldest cat, Starva, laying half-on/half-off the dog bed in the living room. I called out, "Hi, Starva!", as I realized that something didn't look quite right. She'd never taken a position like that before, and her fur looked kinda matted, and it didn't look like she was even breathing... I felt her, and she was dead.
I immediately called my estranged wife, the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead, to give her the awful news. She's had Starva since the mid 90's; this little kitty was always there as long as I'd known my wife. She was devastated.
I let one of our other cats, Missy Cleopatra, who's known Starva for three years and had gotten as close to friends as starva would allow (she was a pretty aloof cat), and Missy looked curiously, and sniffed around . It looked like Missy was trying to feel for Starva's breath. There seemed to be a moment of understanding, as Missy slowly walked away.
There was no other choice, being the animal lover that I am, and absolutely devoted to my pets, but to bury her, and conduct somewhat of a funeral. I dug the grave (boy am I outta shape!), I wrapped her in a towel, and I enclosed a paper containing her full name, and a note that I appreciated having her in my life, and that her mommy loved her, and missed her a lot. I also placed two cat toys with her to play with in the great beyond. then, I finished with a prayer thanking God for the joy Starva gave us, and protection over my other pets, and she was buried. I tried to give her as much reverence and love as I could.
A combination of the exertion of digging a grave and the trauma and stress of finding her body and loss of a treasured pet left me drained. I slept all afternoon! I thought about feeding her, and listening to her meows, and I felt sad. The house seems a little bit emptier now.
One of the things that struck me about the whole incident is when I carried her little towel-wrapped body over to the gravesite. I cradled her head and tried to be as loving as I could. Her little face didn't quite look peaceful, but looked a bit in pain. There was some blood and tufts of fur laying about, but there was no mutilation. I don't think the dog actually killed the cat per se, I believe it was just a dog/cat fight--one of many--but her 14 year-old heart just couldn't take it.
So good-bye, Starva... you were an awesome little cat, and thanks for all the joy you've brought us over the years.
(The irony of this picture is that she's pictured on the dog bed that I her body on...)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Changes, changes...

So I'm finally a statistic. My crappy prison job ended last week, and I'm officially on the unemployment rolls. Actully, I couldn't be happier... I'm still camping out at camp Shoehead, but it should get better soon. I'll make a point of blogging more. I know I've said that before, but I can't tell you how that job really sucked the life outta me. I remember not too long ago when this blog actually had readers! That's OK, I'll blog it up and get my readership back. It feels like I've been paroled myself! I'm still adjusting to not being in C-yard. it was somewhat bittersweet; I really was fond of all of my clients. There were some wonderful women in there, with talent, heart and a real desire to make positive changes in their lives. I'll miss those ladies a lot.
meanwhile, now I have time to catch up on the things I really love to do. Blog, write screenplays, work on my ACN business, and whatever else I feel like doing...
It's the dawn of a new day for your ol' pal Shoehead!!!
(Yawn... Time for a nap!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is an interesting day...

Exactly one year ago (man, this was a fast freakin' year!) I made a mistake that cost me a lot out of my life. A year ago I was in Miami, shooting season 3 of "Co-ed Confidential", and really having a great time. I was with my friends, making money and having a blast, and it was really a great experience. I won't go into details just yet, but this day in particular is kinda reflective to me...
I understand "Co-ed 4" is getting ready to shoot soon. I should give them a call, especuially since I have like 25 days left of the prison job!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

44 years old...

Wow, it's my birthday again. Last year at this time I was in Miami, on day one of "Co-ed Confidential Season 3" shoot. This year has gone by so quick, it's scary. I'll try and get to blogging again, too. i miss it, and I miss my cool readers. I'm probably moving back to L.A. within the next fewmonths. The Lovely Mrs. Shoehead has left me, and I don't think she's coming back. The idea of dating again seems so crazy, and even a little stressful. BUT--I got a nice new haircut to start me off just right. OK, the uploader is not behaving, so you have to go to my Facebook profile to see the new look! I basically had a "Britney Spears moment". And shaved my head!
Until next time, my awesome readers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I haven't posted in a while...

Sorry readers! I went back to prison... (my prison counselor job, that is!) But I am trying to get a little more diligent about my blogging. Soon, I'll actually have the internet back in my house. Yay! And a few moere changes little by little in my life.
Quick shout out to my cousin Chris Meyers, who is celebrating his birthday today. Happy Day, Chris!
OK, I'm getting back into the swing of things, readers, so bear with me, and thanks for sticking it out.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Some crazy stuff, my awesome readers!

Ya gotta stay tuned 'til tomorrow, though. I just escaped from a crazy cult, and I'm also thinking about shutting down my "Myspace" page. Look for tomorrow's blog!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What a week I'm having... and it's only Tuesday!

So a mistake I made several months ago has come back and bit me on the ass. To all involved parties, I apologize, and feel really bad about it. It was without malice, and I was not in a good place at the time. To anyone who may get dragged into it, I also apologize. Some good that's coming out of the whole thing—I learned a lot about myself, and I know where I need to improve. Plus, it's helping me to appreciate my wife, the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead much more. it's also made me reflect upon my Faith, and I know if I stay faithful...

Isaiah 54:17 (New King James Version)
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the LORD.

Friday, May 15, 2009

DAMN, I'm 0 for 3!

So that Danny won last night's Hell's Kitchen. Jeez!!! My reality-TV bracket got crushed this year. I backed Alison Iraheta in "Idol", Annie Duke in "Celebrity Apprentice" and Paula Dasilva in "Hell's Kitchen". I give up!

OK, two things I notice about Billy Ray Cyrus:

1) He’s trying to redeem himself for that ridiculous mullet he sported around in the early 90’s by now trying to have THE COOLEST HAIR EVER!!! and,
2) He’s been totally pimping out his daughter, trying to sell her to the viewing public as this hot little sex symbol since she was like, 14… Creepy! It's almost like he wanted to date her or something. I dunno...
That’s it. Short blog today. Have a great weekend, my awesome readers!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Okey Dokey, Gokey!

So the soulful Danny Gokey bit the dust on last night's Idol... Now, it looks like nothing will stop musical theatre Adam Lambert from taking the Idol crown. (Or in his case, I believe it's a tiara.) I actually didn't watch the show, as my satellite went out, and DirecTV customer service was too busy screwing around. So I actually read books last night! Yay me!

I'm going through a really weird phase right now. I'm on a medical leave from my job, and I'm trying to decide if all that stress was really worth it. I loved working with the inmates, but the environment was crazy. I'm going full blast with my ACN business, and that's going great! I love the company, and I love the actual work of reaching out to people and talking and all that. Our products and services are great too; I'm getting ready to upgrade my cell phone to some kind of kick-ass model, with all sorts of features I'll never learn how to use. So that's keeping me going. The Lovely Mrs. Shoehead, well... She's OK. I'll save that for another blog. Very weird phase I'm in right now. Very weird... Stay tuned my awesome readers!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh, No! Not Joan Rivers!

Within a week, I tallied two losses in my “reality-TV” bracket. Still reeling from Alison Iraheta’s departure, I watched last night as mean, nasty Joan Rivers took the “Celebrity Apprentice” prize away from poker player Annie Duke. Of course, I could see it coming. The task was to throw a fund-raising event, and I saw that Joan clearly threw the better party, complete with drag-queen celebrity impersonators, and Kathy Griffin-caliber celebs like Constantine Maroulis and Kathy Griffin. Crucially for the task (and the show), the ever-important Kodak branding was sadly lacking on Annie’s side. More pointedly, Mr. Trump gave small indications that her favored Ms. Rivers. He ignored her rude outbursts, never fully addressed the ugly personal attacks against Ms. Duke, and gave the slightest tone of disdain when talking to the poker champ. Her pair of threes was basically trumped by Joan’s pair of fours.
I have really lost a lot of respect for Joan Rivers after this show. I had always respected her career, and really thought she was a genuinely funny lady. But the way she acted over the course of the show was utterly abysmal. She acted so incredibly childish—even to the point of plugging her ears with her fingers when Annie spoke, and making “blah-blah-blah” noises; as well as repeatedly interrupting and filibustering when Ms. Duke tried to answer Mr. Trump’s questions. I just thought she was more sophisticated than that. Mr. Trump was extremely forgiving when it came to Joan’s disrespecting the hallowed boardroom, which to me was the harbinger of the competition’s outcome. Ms. Duke would have had to magically produced a royal flush out of her sleeve to have won this task, as well as the competition itself.
Just a sidebar—Melissa Rivers actually looked kinda hot last night. Sexy dress, cool hair; (But I think it was the blue eye shadow that did it for me!) OK, where was I? Oh yeah, I was pretty much done. Let’s wrap today’s blog so I can go out running with Bocce, my Italian Greyhound.
So to me, the highlight of the night was Annie and Brande Roderick using ACN notepads for taking notes! Our logos were visible and large on the screen about four or five times! Yay! That was the coolest! But other than all the Joan nastiness, it was a great show last night! And NBC purchased season 9. Now for my “reality-TV” bracket, the only thing I have left is if that cute Paula beats that dweebie Danny on “Hells Kitchen”. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Thank you, “Scrubs”

I just watched the season finale of “Scrubs” the other night, and I was actually very touched. It had just the right amount of laughter and tears, as well as a bit of nudging of my personal self-reflections, that made me think out loud, “Wow—what a great series…”
Like most popular shows that I fall in love with, I arrived late in the game, only having seriously devoted myself to the show sometime in the summer of last year. I remember in 2001, when I first moved to California and I was “couchman” in a townhouse apartment in Redondo Beach with a bunch of crazy 23 year-old stoner surfers (or surfing stoners—I wasn’t 100% clear on that—but it was still a blast!), one of my roommates, Scottie and I caught a few minutes of the then-brand new show. Scottie mentioned that it was supposed to be a pretty funny show, to which I nodded some kind of acknowledgement. That was it. For the next seven years of channel-surfing, mindless TV escapes, and late-night vegetations, I’d see “Scrubs” occasionally pop up, but I never lingered. I dismissed the show as fast as my finger could hit the remote buttons. Finally—after life took me to the cultural gulag that is Firebaugh, CA with the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead—I happened to land on a “Scrubs” episode, and immediately I was hooked. The characters were all quirky and intriguing; the writing exceptional; gags and storylines were top-notch; realism and absurdity blended perfectly. The show had heart, but never took itself too seriously. I voraciously auto-tuned and devoured every episode I could.
So as the final episode aired this past week, protagonist Dr. John Dorian (J.D.) played by Zack Braff was finally leaving Sacred heart Hospital after eight years of memories, emotions, and human drama. His best friend (and borderline boyfriend) Dr. Christopher Turk, played by Donald Faison, as well as his girlfriend, Dr. Elliott Reid, played by the ever-hot Sarah Chalke were on hand to commemorate his final day. J.D. laments that his last day of a very remarkable time in his own life, is treated as basically just another day at the hospital by the rest of the staff; including—most painfully—his mentor, Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley) As J.D. finally walks out of Sacred Heart for the last time, memorable characters, dead and alive (including Hooch!), line the halls to bid him farewell, J.D. finally getting a send-off to cap his eight years at the hospital.
It was a great ending for a show that really did give me a lot personally. It lifted me up when I was feeling at a low point; it opened up my imagination and my mind to endless possibilities; it taught me some skills and renewed my resolve as an actor; and most importantly, never failed to make me laugh. So I want to thank Bill Lawrence and all the producers of the show, Zack Braff and the rest of the cast, and everyone who had a hand in making that show what it was (including my friend Kateri, who I saw as “Nurse Mop-top” in one episode.) So, kudos on a well executed series, and thanks again for what “Scrubs” meant to me.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I must blog on…

While I still mourn the ousting of Alison Iraheta, I really need to get back on the stick and continue on, albeit difficult. Must… keep… blogging… As of right now, Shoehead’s World is in a bit of a nebulous phase; a time of uncertainty. I’m on leave from my prison job, and I just spoke with one of the producers of “Co-ed Confidential” about the shooting schedule for the long-awaited season 4. Now, as much as I love my clients in the prison—some absolutely wonderful women, seriously trying to change their lives around—my heart was never completely in the job. I came to California in 2001 with a purpose. I was to further my acting career, which was making slow but steady progress on the East Coast, and add the new dimension of screenwriter and producer. I made some great inroads, and met a lot of great people in the film industry, but I really feel like I just scratched the surface of achieving my goals. Along the line I was a marijuana smuggler, towel guy at a gym, truck driver, warehouse worker, shipping and receiving guy, bartender, and now a drug counselor—all of which added to the pantheon of stories to fuel my screenwriting. I also met “the girl of my dreams”—the Lovely Mrs. Shoehead—who, while a sweetie, never fully grasped the passion, focus, and drive needed to attain everything I’ve worked for the last several years. She couldn’t quite grasp why I’d prefer fetching coffees and sweeping floors on a movie set to making $15/hour shipping in some warehouse in Chatworth. So, while now I’m 250 miles away from my industry, and I’m seeing friends of mine popping up on TV shows and movies, while I drag my ass to a literal prison every day (thanks for the perfect metaphor, God!), my Spidey-sense is tingling and telling me to make a few drastic changes. First of all, I had always believed in the unlimited potential of the human spirit. Applied to myself, I’m trying to get back to the mindset that the only thing limiting me is me. I have determination, drive, a little creativity; people usually tend to like me, I get along with almost everyone I meet; so there’s no reason I can’t set out and start attacking my goals in a systematic, focused fashion.
One of the ways I’m taking the reins on my life’s direction is by going back to writing every day, including blogging. I really love putting this blog out there, and I know I have at least a couple of readers. This totally unlocks my creativity, lets my mind open up and flow, and gives me a sense of purpose. I also believe that now that I have perhaps five or more readers, I have to at least write a B- blog. At the very least. Because another of my personal beliefs is to always maintain a standard of excellence. I think that’s something that a lot of people these days don’t really think about, lest adhere to. And I think it’s sad. But, since I can only work my own program, I’m going to really make an effort to carry myself with a new sense of excellence; write a blog that I would want to read if it were someone else’s, and commit to furthering my goals in a steady, determined manner. There’s a book on ancient Toltec wisdom that I read three years ago called “The Four Agreements”, and my brother and I actually tried to implement those agreements into our lives. One of the agreements is to always be excellent, and I’m going to reinstate that agreement. So I hope this was an excellent blog; I’m now going to have an excellent cup of coffee, and try to excellently decide if I’m returning to the prison or not. Excellent!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Adieu, my Alison…

It was something I was awaiting with dread—the ousting of my favorite little 17 year old red-haired rocker, Alison Iraheta. And so it did finally occur last night, as America just didn’t push enough buttons for the crooning cutie. I myself am guilty of not dialing. (If she lost by one vote, I’ll really be pissed… Sorry, Alison—I’m still your biggest fan!) She took it well, and she did make fourth place out of hundreds of thousands of aspirants. Plucky, and obviously a good sport, she gracefully bowed out with her Janis Joplin number, “Cry Baby”. The last girl in this season’s competition then exited the stage, leaving three dudes vying for the big win.
I had been pulling for her for almost the entire competition. During the auditions, and Hollywood week, she remained under the radar with the producers and the camera operators. I noticed her bright red “notice me” hair, and saw that she was sorta troll-doll cute, but it wasn’t until the final 12 (oops—13. Sorry, Anoop!) when I first caught a performance did I realize just how talented this little rocker really is. And then, as the other contestants, particularly other females began to fall, I realized that she might just go all the way. But as recent weeks found her in the bottom three, and Simon’s obvious and very vocal disdain for her, I knew that her weeks on the show were soon at an end. And last night, these fears were actualized. Sigh…
Now, I haven’t written her off for good. I believe she’ll be a very successful recording artist, and help keep the blues-rock genre still remain afloat in the ocean of hip-hop, ultra-commercial R&B, and cheesey mainstream crap-rock. She’ll do the Idol tour, and make her appearances on subsequent Idol episodes. But now I don’t really feel like I have a reason to watch the next two weeks. It’s pretty clear that musical-theatre Adam Lambert is gonna win the whole pie. While he has a pretty good voice, and is definitely an entertainer, there doesn’t seem to be anything genuine about him. Everything is a performance. This whole “American Idol” thing for him is just a big audition. He’s trying to play a “rocker”—complete with the perfect “rocker” hair (which he has to return to Liza Minelli when the season ends), perfect “rocker” clothes, and perfect “rocker” attitude. He is a good actor, that’s for sure. He’s convinced enough people that he really is a “rocker”. I just can’t really envision in the years to come, real rock-n-roll people lining up to see an Adam Lambert concert. I see the same demographic that lines up to see a Hannah Montana concert buying these tickets, but the metalheads and the serious rockers that I’ve known all my life… I just don’t see it. Unless Queen got my earlier blog, and is considering him for their reunion tour, playing the Freddie Mercury spot. I might even line up and buy a ticket for that!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rivers and Rivers

Oy, vey! Last night’s “Celebrity Apprentice” once and for all demolished any shred of respect I had for Joan Rivers. After clinger-on daughter Melissa was voted off, in a somewhat surprising decision, I thought that I would enjoy the ensuing meltdown. But as the drama unfurled, and Melissa threw a tantrum that surpassed even reality-show standards, my shädenfreude-driven glee soon turned to discomfort as disturbed mother Joan joined her ousted daughter in a shameless breakdown. It actually became downright disturbing. Profanity-laden, personal attacks erupting as Rivers and Rivers furiously scrambled to make the most dramatic angry exit possible; screaming at P.A.’s to GIVE THEM THEIR F'ING PURSES RIGHT NOW, and explosively informing segment producers there would NOT be an exit interview NO F’ING WAY!!! Sheesh! The funny thing is, the pair acted as if this was actually a real job! Don’t they get to go back to their lives and their “real” careers now?

Over the last few weeks, Mama Rivers really seemed to lose it as the game went on. For some reason she became fixated on poker champ Annie Duke, who skillfully used her poker-playing acumen to do amazingly well in the game. Madame Joan increasingly leveled personal attacks on Ms. Duke, becoming more nasty and vitriolic as the show went on. I’ve witnessed cut-throatedness, and personal vendettas on this show before, but never to the level of almost psychotic fixation that Ms. Rivers was displaying. It had gotten to the point of being pathetic, and it was soon obvious a complete meltdown was imminent. I’m not sure whose idea it was to put these two together on the show anyway, as I’ve blogged about before. Especially when they were placed on opposing teams. Joan could not restrain herself from overprotecting her daughter, and this led to a somewhat compromised team loyalty. And then poor Annie Duke! She became Joan’s white whale. While definitely as cut-throat and scheming as you’d expect from a million-dollar poker champion, Annie never acted the Hitler, whore, bottom-feeder, scum, slime, and all other epithets Ms. Joan accused her of being. Every other contestant knew this show is a game, and the ousted took their oustings with grace and sportsmanship—including my favorite, the kute Khloe Kardashian. Joan took this game way too seriously, and gave no regard to how petulant, petty, and just plain nuts she came across to the viewing audience of approximately 20 million.

Now, Melissa… Hmmmm. I’d have expected Mama Joan to throw out her dignity and treat us to a huge tantrum, but I really didn’t expect Melissa to blow the gasket like she did. Now I do see that she is truly her mother’s daughter. I watched as she tried vainly to keep her cool, but with each second her anger overtook her. She even broke the cardinal rule of snapping off on Donald Trump (gasp!) in the boardroom, and subsequently scurried out the door, cursing everyone as she went. Joan followed her out—porting about six shopping bags and totes, looking like she was going down to 5th avenue to finish her shopping. I’d like to say I’m gonna miss the drama of having these two on the show, but I really won’t. The creepiness factor has been finally eliminated (at least one element), and the last contestants can now finish out the game with competitiveness and good, clean cut-throatedness. (Unless Jesse James punches out Clint Black—fingers crossed!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What a day I had...

I had some chest pains, and my doctor told me if that happened, go straight to the E.R. (not the TV series) so I got to the hospital at 7:00 am, and didn't get out til 2:30 pm! And I was stabbed and drawn blood from like six times! BUT, when I got really hungry, they did feed me. It was the 'cardio" plate, and it was pretty good—the Jello™ was superb! Finally, they let me go. All-in-all it was not a bad experience. The prison I work at sends our inmates there, so I actually saw some of the correctional officers I knew from A-yard, so we BS'd for a minute. And I gave huge kudos for my E.R. doctor, and nurse Jen, too. both of them were super cool! Not having quite enough of the hospital setting, I came home and watched a "Scrubs" re-run. Yay!
(I really feel like a cold beer right about now. Would that be a bad idea? Hmmmm...)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I couldn't take it any longer!

I had to call in sick from prison this morning. I was feeling crappy, and I was still pissed at not getting my scheduled day off, and I think that made my blood pressure go redline. So I took the day off, and was thinking about going to the "Tea Party" in Fresno, to show support for my fed-up tax-paying fellow citizens. But I didn't. As a Libertarian, I'm all for the protest. If I felt better, I really would've gone. Anyway, I think it's a great thing they've done, and I hope it sends a message to the current regime. I'm just gonna drink a shot of Nyquil™ and fade off into Happy Dreamland...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday kinda sucked...

Man, all I can say is, I was supposed to be off today. I switched my day off so a co-worker could attend a wake, and the powers-that-be made me jump through hoops and finally gave me Friday off to make up for it. THEN they didn't even let my friend off to go to her wake anyway!!! After all that!!!
So the morning started out sucky. the usual--all work, 100% hassle--finally lunch came. After lunch, it did turn around after I held my counseling group. My awesome clients brought me back from despair! So now I'm home, and it's my Tuesday ritual--Heinekins and Idol. Yay! My prediction-- So long, Anoop!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Zillion-Dollar Idea!

OK, As I was watching an old Queen concert from Wembley Stadium 1986, I came up with an amazing idea, that I think will be, as the kids say--"da bomb!" Basically we need the remaining Queen guys to re-form, and get American Idol contestant Adam Lambert to be the new lead singer, as a half-decent replacement for Freddie Mercury. It would be perfect! And ya just know Adam would love the whole theatrical gig, plus the vocal stylings! Someone call Brian May! get Roger Taylor and John Deacon! Let's make this thing happen!!!
Remember, you first heard it from your ol' pal Shoehead...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Politics, again???

As much as I loathe politics, and really don’t like to make this a political blog, I almost can’t help it. They really do shove politics down your throat, and by “down your throat”, I really mean “up your ass”; and by “they”, I really mean “the media”. It’s bad enough that you can’t escape the nonstop political coverage continually harassing you when you’re just trying and live your life, and get through your day. But the fact that the media outlets basically have thrown out all vestiges of objectivity, abandoned what was once considered a quest for the truth, and unashamedly turned into a propaganda vessel. It would be one thing if they held both sides accountable; if they really did truthfully and fairly act as watchdogs for the public’s behalf, as they purport to be. Holding equally accountable Democrats as well as Republicans, and pursuing the abuses of power and erosions of freedoms on both sides with the same fervor. But that’s not the case. Instead, we basically get 24/7 Obama-love blasting at us, in a non-stop Orwellian campaign to force us to embrace him; selling us on the idea that he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to America, the world, you, me, and our children’ children. YOU… WILL… LOVE… THIS MAN!

Which leads me to ask the question, why is it that when Obama takes a public crap (such as asking a wounded soldier on the battlefield to hand the medic an insurance card, or cracking a Special Olympics joke—two recent examples) and then apologizes or retracts it, it vanishes almost instantly; whereas if any Republican—particularly George Bush, but really any Republican—makes any kind of misstep, or misspeak, or even proposes an unpopular policy decision, the chorus of petulant outrage blares throughout the land for weeks on end, relentlessly? They know they do it, our “news” anchors, reporters, and pundits. But do they feel any ethic shame for having abandoned core principles like that? Do these “journalists” have any shred of recalcitrance for basically regarding the American public as a bunch of submissive, irrelevant imbeciles? Sadly, after several generations of graduates from the indoctrination centers known as our public schools demonstrate, many of them are. But I still love America. I love the American people—all our quirkiness, superficiality, and stupid reality TV shows aside. I find it difficult to grasp that as a nation, we have all become the idiots that these media people treat us like. We are still a great nation, despite what the media and the Democrats try to portray us as.

My dear readers who personally know me, know that I’m not a disgruntled Republican with a petulant axe to grind. I’m a solid Libertarian, with a principled belief in adhering to constitutional tenets, and a deep concern for the preservation of individual freedoms. I almost never vote for Republicans, rather against Democrats. My gripe in today’s blog is that the press should hold both parties equally accountable, and bring back the journalistic standards they abandoned somewhere around the Kennedy administration. Is that a lot to ask? It seems to be almost impossibility these days.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice-- the Diceman Goeth

I like NBC’s “The Apprentice”. Not only do I find it an entertaining show, I have a couple of connections to it as well. First of all I worked on the season that they came to L.A. (I was a transpo driver. Yay! It was a blast!). Secondly, my awesome company, ACN has a relationship with Donald Trump. He’s not only tried to purchase our company several times (Imagine saying no to Donald Trump? I love ACN!), he’s a staunch endorser of our products and our company. So much so, that he’s featuring us and our flagship product, the IRIS 300 videophone, on March 22nd’s episode of “Apprentice”.
So last night I tuned in to see the show, having missed last week’s season opening, just to get primed, and make an assessment of the show. I think Mr. Trump and Mark Burnett made a really good decision when they modified the format to become a celebrity/charity show. I think after several seasons of watching unknown M.B.A.’s vying for a top executive position in TrumpWorld, we were all ready for something new. Kudos on this new format, that’s for sure.
So as I watched this season unfold, and perused this season’s lineup of “celebrities”, I found a few that raised my eyebrows, and left me questioning. Some of the choices were great. Clint Black, Scott Hamilton, Bryan McKnight, even Playmate Brande Roderick were nice picks, and you feel that they bring something to the table. Then you got poker champion Annie Duke, whom at first I thought, “Why her? She’s a celebrity now?” But I realized that I had seen her play before, and in the poker universe, which is huge, she is very well-known and recognizable. Plus, the very nature of her livelihood depends on her being sharp, ruthless, and highly competitive. That made sense. Jesse James added a hip, lowbrow attitude, and certainly fits the contestant profile, having created a successful business before becoming a celebrity (also thanks to a “reality” show). Herschel Walker and Dennis Rodman add a dimension that they bring over from the sports world that is perfect for the show. Both at the top of their respective sports—Walker being no-nonsense, Rodman being pretty much all-nonsense. Ersatz comedian Tom Green was a pleasant surprise. At first I balked at his appearance in the game. I never liked his comedic work; never really understood the guy, and he always seemed to be just kinda out there, like Crispin Glover (who, thank God, is not in this season’s show). But he comes off in the show as being very likeable, and down-to-earth, as well as a serious competitor. He may just be my new favorite contestant. We’ll see… Now we finally get to some of my more questionable picks. First off, a “Deal-Or-No-Deal” model? OK, she’s hot. I mean, really, really hot. But a celebrity? Shrug... Then we get to Khloe Kardashian. This choice totally smacks of her publicist pulling favors to get her some visibility. For some ungodly reason, her sister Kim is now a celebrity, and dammit it’s her turn! OK, I do believe she owns a clothing store, so maybe there is a modicum of reason to bring her onboard, but it still really seems like a publicist’s coup, and nothing more. (By the way, who is her publicist? I need a publicist like that, too!) Ah, next up—Joan Rivers and her now symbiotic daughter, Melissa. What is the deal with these two? Is there no bigger example of unabashed coat-tail riding than this? Having one, and only one of the two would have been fine. Joan is a comedic legend, and a tried-and-true New Yorker, just like The Donald. (Do they still call him that?) Casting Melissa alone, would’ve at least demonstrated that she’s at last made it. The umbilical’s cut. Finally, she’s attained the caché of at least a “Deal-Or-No-Deal” model, or a top female poker player. But to have both Rivers and Rivers on the show together just seems self-indulgent, unnecessary, and let’s face it— kinda creepy.
But, I’ve saved the best for last. Let me preface this by saying that there’s a difference between staying consistent and true to yourself, and just plain being an unevolved, one-note song. Andrew Dice Clay, who made me roll on the floor in hysterical laughter in 1989, seemed about as pointless and irrelevant on 2009’s “Celebrity Apprentice” as anything I could imagine. Despite his best attempts, there was absolutely nothing funny about the guy, and actually, he seemed rather bitter. At the same time, he was acting as a complete primadonna, as if he were still some kind of A-list talent. Actually griping directly to Mr. Trump that there were no free bagels laid out, in a city where you can throw a rock blindfolded and hit a bagel shop! (Pettiness, party of one—your table’s ready!) During a challenge to sell cupcakes, he contributed nothing to the team, and was more concerned about looking cool than suiting up in baking attire with his team; finally ducking out to do a radio show appearance—telling his team he’d promote and bring crowds to their cupcake truck. Because you just can not find crowds in New York City. Subsequently the team lost the cupcake challenge. “The Diceman” also painfully—not once, but twice—directly threw jabs at Mr. Trump that were met with an embarrassing silence, as Donald quickly shifted focus away from Dice. Not only was the embarrassing silence felt in the boardroom, but in the living rooms of millions of Americans watching the show, too. Defending his position, he reminded people that he sold out Madison Square Garden like, three times (in 1989) and finally tried to stave off being ceremoniously “fired” by Mr. Trump by doing mediocre impressions of John Travolta’s “Barbarino” character, and Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” character. Timely, cutting-edge stuff. Thankfully, Mr. Trump spared us another week of this torture by dropping his trademark “You’re fired!” on Mr. Diceman. On his way out, a receptionist in Trump Tower shot him down when he asked her for a date as well. Utterly painful—and yet, I feel a certain pity for this deluded has-been. This man is completely clueless.
Hey, Dice—1989 called. They want you back!

A real tough cookie!

As usual, on this season’s 24, if everyone just listened to Jack Bauer for a change, they wouldn’t be in this mess. You’d think after countless presidents and agency heads, they’d learn to at least hear Jack out, but no…
I came into 24 kinda late. When the series first debuted in 2001, I found it hard to get into. The big sell of the show, at the time, was “Oooh, it’s in real-time! Minute-by-minute action!” Yawn. Really? And then the few times I would catch a segment of the show, and see the unstoppable Jack Bauer drive from Northridge down to Long Beach in 10 minutes right in the middle of the day, left me asking, “Have these writers even been on the 405?” It wasn’t until several years later, around 2005 or 2006 to be exact, when I happened to catch a rerun of a later season, with Jack in a stressful chase in the dead of night—with the loveably cute, perennially pouty Chloe O’Brien running comm—did I get reeled in. I then had to go back, and load up my Netflix with all previous seasons to get myself up to speed. I couldn’t watch those episodes fast enough. I learned to throw out all realism, and improbabilities, and just lock into the storylines, plot twists, and action. (Although I still entertain myself with the idea of one of the characters stuck in traffic for an entire episode, and while the action is ongoing, we keep cutting back to him sitting in his car, stressed out and looking at his watch.) I even bought into the idea that Presidents of the United States hang out in hip, chic L.A. way more than stodgy ol’ D.C. Hey, why not?
So I think the writers and producers finally said, “Y’know, after eleventeen seasons of Jack chasing terrorists and embarrassing presidents all over L.A., we should really consider shooting at least one season in D.C.” Which brings us to the current season, where as of this writing, six African soldiers have broken in and taken over the White House, bitch-slapping President Allison Taylor right on cable news! While the plot definitely has me inextricably hooked, I think the problem that I’m having with this season is the portrayal of (presumably) the first female president. Since this hasn’t happened in real life yet (Hang in there Sarah Palin; keep the dream alive!), Hollywood writers are basically left to create a character based on speculation, and a little bit of wishful thinking. So to counter the image of a soft, nurturing and motherly type, the writers have to come up with a strong female figure to portray what they think a female president should be like. I’ve also seen this in other portrayals of female presidents. They try to make her out to be some kind of “tough cookie” no-nonsense type. But it’s not real strength, like a Margaret Thatcher or a Golda Meir. It’s Hollywood toughness, which is basically constant yelling, and chewing out your subordinates. It’s being stubborn and unreasonable just to prove a point. It’s for the actress to always look stern and cold, as though she’s in a constant state of disdain. And don’t forget that she always occupies the moral high ground. By invading the fictitious African nation of Sengala to stop a sadistic general’s genocidal army, President Allison Taylor is showing us how we should’ve handled Rwanda and Darfour. (Not Iraq, of course, with its discoveries of mass graves all over the country. There’s oil in Iraq, so therefore it’s strictly hands off.) When trying to catch the main terrorist in a city of 5 million, she barks at her staff, “I don’t care how you find him, just get it done! (Except, don’t let Jack torture anybody. Or break any rules. Or leave a carbon footprint.)” The eunuch that’s running the F.B.I. section of this case is a perfect example of this flaccid method of dealing with evil in our nation.
As usual, Jack Bauer has the last laugh. Although he doesn’t laugh, cuz everyone’s dead. I kinda hope they kill off this president. That would be the kind of shock and intrigue that makes this show so gripping to watch. Maybe, next season, Jack Bauer will be president! He has my vote!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cut me a little slack…

OK, American Idol has been on for like, four weeks now right? And I haven’t blogged about it at all. (So, I haven’t really blogged about anything, but oh well…) Anyway, I couldn’t resist any longer, as last night’s departure of the utterly repugnant Tatiana Del Toro filled me with so much rich, tasty schädenfreude, I felt a little bit guilty! (Well, just a little…) Her pathetic plea to the nation, “Please help me keep my dream alive!” just didn’t seem to inspire the voting audience members to push the digits in her favor. I knew she couldn’t survive last night’s three out of twelve odds, and I was almost drooling in anticipation of her meltdown as the results unfolded. While the other eight booted contestants graciously contained their disappointment, and gave smiles and congrats to the three winners, Miss Del Toro could barely lift her head from her hands, and couldn’t even join the others in the ending lineup; her dreams of fame, adoration, and a lifestyle of ease and privilege evaporating and fading out like the last notes of a over-played song. I was in fact, a little disappointed in her meltdown. I was hoping--in dramatic Tatiana fashion--her screaming and collapsing on the floor, writhing and kicking right in center stage. That way, she might’ve at least garnered a parting news story blip to cap off her fifteen minutes.
Since the show began, Miss Del Toro had demonstrated an inner ugliness and an unbridled quest for sheer fame that stood out even in a TV show built upon unbridled quests for sheer fame. She presented herself as someone who was entitled to the top Idol spot, with the other contestants annoyingly crowding her stage and her TV show. After she survived the “Group Week”, having dumped her original group, joined another group, and then dumped them for her first group; she launched a babbling monologue about how everyone on the planet was part of her and her world quest for fame. Her fellow group members, whom she was oblivious to even though they were standing arm-in-arm, were looking on incredulously. Priceless!
The truth is, little miss Tatiana shot herself in the foot. She actually could sing fairly well, and probably could’ve held her own if she only didn’t present herself to the voting public as such an ugly parody of Idol aspirants. The show does attract an element of raw ambition, greed, and self-promotion combined with a genuine display of talent, heart, and grace. So as embarrassed as I am to say it, (I’ve overcome my embarrassment for even liking the show a long time ago) I did relish the television demise of Tatiana Del Toro gleefully, perhaps even a little too much. Oh well… I broke the seal. Let’s see what happens next week!
Shoehead… OUT!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th...

What an awesome day. I feel like putting on a goalie mask, grabbing my chainsaw and going crazy!!!
Well, I was off work the past few days, very sick. I heard that the inmates in my program are trying to get by without me. The one cool thing about working in a prison, is that you get to say cool things like, "The yard is down" and "acute fog--limited inmate movement" like I'm on that TV show, OZ or something. Except it's a women's prison! Even better!. I'm going back in tomorrow to do our saturday programming. This is pretty laid back. We only run three groups on Saturdays, with only like 30 inmates all day. The rest of the time is just chillin' and getting paperwork caught up. (I remember when I used to be cool and fun-- what happened???)

It's almost time for me to get back to work on a Hollywood production. I'm jonesin' to get back on set. I'll have to see if my friends in MRG Entertainment are filming "Co-ed Confidential season 4" yet! It'll be good to see my old pals...

Happy Birthday, Abe Lincoln!

2oo years old... thanks for all you did!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One word for this whole thing-- fanaticism.

I know a lot of people are gonna hate me for this, but I really have to speak my mind. I think the scariest thing about the whole Obama thing is the cultish enthusiasm built up around this guy. The only word that comes to mind is fanaticism. People are practically orgasmic over the inauguration festivities, including good friends of mine. (I hope they still remain friends of mine. Great scorn and ostracism are traditionally lavished upon those who oppose the cult by the members of that cult.) Few people are balking at the $100 million+ price tag for this week-long bacchanal, when Bush’s $40 million inauguration was met with criticism, and “how many starving kids would this feed” or “how much education would this pay for” rhetoric. Every nuance of Obie’s coronation is celebrated and marveled at. At the same time, these people still can’t resist throwing jabs at President Bush even in the final moments of his administration. Now, I didn’t support every policy decision Mr. Bush made during his eight years, but I never felt a hatred for the guy like what was heaped upon him right up until the final moments of his term. Conversely, I never felt a devotion to him like Obie’s legions have for their guy either. I don’t think any president of the United States should garner a cult-like following. Even JFK, if you strip away his cultish mystique really was a C- president. (At least he cut taxes. OK, I’ll give him a C+) Good ol’ Jack gave us Vietnam, screwed over the Cuban freedom fighters at The Bay of Pigs, and ushered in LBJ and his “Great Society”. Great. But with lofty speeches, a stylish wife, and an adoring media, he has become an American icon, and-- due to an assassin’s bullet-- an American martyr!
OK, now I’m screwed. I criticized Obama and JFK’s hallowed image in the same blog! I hope I sill have some friends left. Hello… anyone?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Me and Hildegard Paar (January 13, 1907--July 28, 1997)

My maternal grandmother, Hilda Paar, would've been 102 this year. Yay, Grandma! This is a picture of her and me (as a dork) in 1994.