Friday, February 27, 2009


As an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University in 1979, I had the unique opportunity to travel to the UK to interview the legendary Lord Chittendem.

I had always been fascinated by this lesser known member of the Royal Family. 

Over a course of three days, Chittendem allowed me to ask him a myriad of questions on a wide range of topics. I found him to be one of the most profound persons I have ever met.

I have many hours of recordings of the interviews and have decided to post portions of them here every Friday. 

I think you'll agree, they are well worth a listen.

Unfortunately, the quality of my cassette recorder wasn't so good. So, bare with it.

Here is Part One. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Je ne parle pas français

Toutefois, ce ne va pas m'empêcher d'écrire ce blog en langue française.

Quelque part, tout semble beaucoup plus important et de fantaisie dans la langue française.

Par exemple, nous allons jeter un coup d'oeil à la phrase suivante:


Et maintenant, ici, est la même phrase en langue française.

"Aujourd'hui, je vais tondre ma pelouse."

N'est-ce pas incroyable? Il semble si merveilleux et plein de fromage.

Voici une autre phrase.


Voici la même phrase en langue française.

"Il ya quelque chose d'inhabituel dégoulinant de mon chien en bas."

Ne voyez-vous pas combien il est merveilleux d'entendre parler du chien égouttements bas en langue française? Il donne envie d'en savoir plus sur le chien et ses bas. Mais en anglais le chien et son fond sont dégoûtant.

N'allez-vous pas d'accord avec moi que tout sonne mieux en langue française? Pouvons-nous être des amis sur ce sujet et l'autre de ne pas frapper sur la tête avec des tiges de métal?

Par conséquent, lorsque vous avez quelque chose de difficile ou douloureuse, vous avez besoin de dire, vous pourriez envisager de dire en langue française. Tout ira beaucoup mieux et que les gens vous en remercie.

Pour vous bénéficiez, j'ai compilé une liste partielle de phrases pour vous dire en langue française le moment venu.

"Je suis désolé, Timmy. Votre grand-mère a été mangé par un lion sur son voyage en Afrique."
"I'm sorry, Timmy. Your Grandmother was eaten by a lion on her trip to Africa."

"Je viens de voir les rayons-x. Prendre des dispositions pour être enterré."
"I have just seen the x-rays. Make arrangements to be buried."

"Avez-vous des derniers mots avant de nous injecter dans-tu?"
"Do you have any last words before we inject this into you?"

"Joe Biden est à la porte."
"Joe Biden is at the door."  

"Papa a perdu tout l'argent de jouer les chevaux. Nous vous vendre à un institut médical."
"Daddy lost all the money playing the horses. We are selling you to a medical institute."

Rappelez-vous, tout, quelle que soit la terrible, sonne mieux en langue française.

Au revoir! Brossez votre chien! Mangez beaucoup de fromage!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It's not always easy being a practicing Catholic in Hollywood. First of all, there's always the fear that Bill Maher will jump out, spit and blame me for everything bad that's ever happened since the dawn of time. To prepare for this eventuality, I keep a pair of safety goggles with me. 

Ash Wednesday can also pose some problems. For some reason, I've always had an important meeting on Ash Wednesday. A Hollywood meeting. A no-jeans and try to dress up meeting. These meetings are always scheduled in the late afternoon after I've been to Mass and been slathered with ashes on my forehead.

I'm pretty white and pasty so the ashes stand out.

I always arrive at these meetings as a well-dressed man who looks like he rubbed his forehead in a charcoal pit. The assistant to whatever high-powered exec I'm meeting with will always be pleasant. They'll offer me coffee, water and stare at my forehead while smiling. You can tell they're thinking, "This poor guy doesn't know he's got crud all over his forehead. How do I tell him? What should I say." Invariably after some pleasant chit chat they'll let me know there's a washroom down the hall.

I always try to find a way to let them know it's Ash Wednesday. I'll say, "Glad I could get here on time. Ash Wednesday services went a little longer than I planned."

There's always a sigh of relief from the assistant. "Oh, that's right. Ash Wednesday. I see the ashes there. Oh. Okay."

However, the relief they feel that comes from not having to tell me to go wash my face is quickly replaced by another fear. The fear that I could quite possibly be a religious fanatic and might, at any moment, whip out a bible, fall to my knees and bid the Holy Spirit to rid this place of evil. I have never done this. (I have only fallen to my knees once when Bill Maher snuck up behind me and clubbed me with a baseball bat.)

Eventually, the assistant will lead me into the meeting with the important Hollywood person I'm there to see. And the whole thing will happen again. I'll sit there. They'll ask if the assistant offered me any water or coffee. There's a washroom down the hall. They'll stare at my forehead. I say my clever thing about being glad I made it there in time because ASH WEDNESDAY services ran late and...

"Ahh. Right. Ash Wednesday. Yes. I see them there. I wouldn't have noticed."

The meetings always go well after that. Although, on a number of occasions, I've noticed that some people keep their fingers poised on a secret button under their desk in order to summon security if I start speaking in tongues or levitate.

Luckily today I have no meetings. I'm just going to the gym. People there could care less. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm not sure it's wise to post this, but, what the heck. If we bloggers can't be honest, open and truthful, then we don't deserve to be called, "bloggers." (If that's what we're called. I'm not sure. I'll look it up and get back to you. There may be some new term that hip bloggers use like, "thrashers" or something. So, if that's true, then I'm a Thrasher because that's what all the hip bloggers are calling themselves these days. Actually, I just reread what I've written and it seems I made up Thrashers a few lines earlier as an example of what bloggers could be calling themselves. So, let's just move ahead and I'll check into the matter.)

So, no secrets. Here we go. This is difficult for me. Let me start a new paragraph after this one and continue.

So, now we're in the new paragraph which has given me time to muster up the courage to tell you what I need to tell you. Okay. 'bout one more paragraph. I'm still feeling uneasy.

Much better. Welcome back. A few nights ago I was on Facebook. I'm new to Facebook. I don't understand Facebook. It sort of reminds me of High School. Nobody wanted to be my friend there either. I need another paragraph.

Here we are at the new paragraph. Problem is, now that I've started the paragraph by stating that we're in a new paragraph, I'm going to need a new paragraph to continue my thought which has nothing to do with being in a new paragraph. So, let's do that.

As I looked at how few friends I actually had on Facebook, my teary eyes focused on the right of the computer screen where an ad enticed me to take an IQ Test. I did. I scored a 28. New paragraph.

A score of 28 means that, theoretically, I shouldn't be able to open a door, let alone feed myself. A score of 28 means that someone in a coma could beat me at chess. 28 means I should never go outside unsupervised, let alone drive my daughter to school.

It is a miracle that I graduated from Loyola Marymount University. I don't know if that reflects more on my pluckish determination, or Loyola Marymount's standards.

That I have made it this far through life with the intelligence of a bed-ridden ferret concerns me. It is clear to me now why my daughter always has our border collie correct her homework. I finally understand why, when her friends come over, she suggests they all go outside and throw the ball for me.

This is a paragraph of no particular importance.

Perhaps some of you have also scored 28. It's too bad that we can't communicate with each other. It would be difficult through all the drool and spittle. And if we could communicate, what would we say anyway? Oooo0hjrhfhghjgjgjgp! Blahhidihfi. I suppose if you came over my daughter would throw the ball for us. But you'd have to get someone to bring you over. It just wouldn't work out.

I have an IQ of 28. At least I found a career I could thrive in. Animation. 

Monday, February 23, 2009




Joe returns home after a hard day at work where he found out he would be taking a pay cut and taking over the duties of five other employees who have been laid off.

JOE: Hi, honey. I'm home.

MARGARET: You look terrible. Bad day?

JOE: Yeah.

MARGARET: Why don't we get a babysitter. Let's go out. You'll feel better. Let's see a movie!

JOE: A movie? Wow. Sure. Anything good out there?

MARGARET: There's one I think you'll enjoy. It's about this husband and wife who argue all the time. He's had an affair so she gets mad and has one, too. Then they fight some more. Then she gives herself an abortion. Then she dies.

JOE: Yay! Sounds fun!


And now, the unusual rant:

One of the benefits of being in no less than five entertainment unions (yes, five - all with yummy union dues) is that I'm usually sent a slew of DVDs during awards season. Some of these movies have not even been released yet. The studios hope that after watching, writers like me will vote for their movies for best screenplay in the WGA awards. My wife and I always look forward to getting these DVDs. They arrive in an envelope making you promise not to loan, sell, upload, or view with anyone else. It's all very exciting and intimidating.

This year, I figured out another reason why they send us movies on DVD. BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY MOST PEOPLE WOULD EVER GO SEE THEM WILLINGLY.

This year the majority of movies that arrived at our home were major bummers. I'm talking, DEPRESSING. And pretentious. It's as if Hollywood has collectively agreed that it's too difficult to entertain us and much easier to make us want to kill ourselves. (Or in the case of Benjamin Button - bore us to death, but to be so clever at doing this that we think we're actually coming down with the flu.)

Strangely enough, by all standards, Tropic Thunder was the best movie I've seen all year. It was silly, well-acted, dumb and made me laugh. A lot. Shockingly, it made my wife laugh, too (but she won't admit it.) Bottom line: it was a MOVIE. It wasn't a great movie, but it did what movies are supposed to do: ENTERTAIN.

For the first time I can remember, I didn't watch the Academy Awards. Understand, I love the Academy Awards! But, come on? Who cares? Seriously. Let's be truthful. Who cares anymore? Why would I want to see Bill Maher berate me for believing in God. Nah. I got better things to do.

Listen up, Hollywood. I'm may be a nobody, but I think I'm right about this. Unless you start making entertaining movies, people will spend all their time on Facebook. It's free.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On a Sunday five years ago, my family was sweet enough to indulge the inner geek in me. We all traveled to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium where I would join other geeks to watch a live feed from JPL. At first, I thought I wouldn't go. But the latent geek in me grew strong and I was soon its prisoner. I was called to Pasadena.  

I had only been to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium once before when I was part of team nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for Tiny Toons Night Ghoulery. However, the excitement of that night paled in comparison to the giddy, geek, gleefest that brought me and thousands of other geeks to Pasadena that Sunday morning. 

My family sat next to me on folding metal chairs. Similar non-geek family members accompanied other part-time geeks like me. We all stared at a screen beaming a live signal from Mars via JPL. The Mars Rover, Spirit, had landed. It was beaming back the first pictures. 

I think a few geeks had heart attacks. I almost swallowed my tongue. 

I turned to my family. "Look at THAT! Isn't that amazing! LOOK!" I then did the typical geek move of being so excited you scratch your arm rapidly while nodding your head.

I could tell they weren't very impressed by the pictures. Truth be told, the images did look similar to various empty lots strewn throughout the San Fernando Valley.

But this was from MARS! How amazing is that?

A few weeks after that, Spirit's twin, Opportunity, landed on Mars. Even though my inner geek wanted to go watch the live feed with other geeks, I knew I couldn't do that to my family again. I watched from home. But I watched like I was a rabid football fan. I screamed at the TV as agonizing minutes of radio silence caused by Opportunity's entry in the Martian atmosphere ticked by. When the smart folks at JPL got confirmation that Opportunity was safe and on the ground, I think I jumped up and down. My wife and daughter stared at me. I was frightening the dog. But the geek had taken hold. The geek needed to do its geek thing. The geek needed to let loose.

My point? That was five years ago and Spirit and Opportunity are still doing their thing. They were only supposed to last a few months. A few months. The geek in me surfaces from time to time to contemplate the awesomeness of that.

At this very moment, two little rovers are driving around on Mars and taking pictures and boring into rocks with little bory things and taking all sorts of measurements with things that do that sort of thing. 

Yes, they're getting old. One of Spirit's wheels isn't working right and it's solar panels are covered with Martian dust making it difficult to get enough energy to do its tasks. But, the thing has climbed up the side of a mountain for heaven's sake. How would you be? It has endured cold. I'm taking cold. Like -100 degrees cold. 

In five years Opportunity has travelled 14 kilometers. Inch by inch it has slogged its way through sand dunes and craters. And it's still going strong.

As things continue to tank here in the USA, I take great comfort in knowing those two little fellas are up there doing their thing. While we're all scrambling to figure out where all the money went and what the heck a trillion dollar stimulus package is or means and why GM needs 30 billion more...Spirit is happily looking at a rock unaware of the the angst. I like that. It makes me smile.

Who knows how much longer they'll be doing their thing, but while they are, you should check out the Mars Rover WEBSITE and spend some time looking at the thousands of pictures they've sent back. Some are even in 3-D! 

Indulge your inner geek today. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


In the spring of 1967, behind closed doors, my father broke the news to my mother. We were moving to Las Vegas, Nevada. I think she screamed. Then cried. I think I heard her say, "But people don't live there!" I remember her running to the phone to call Monsignor O'Dwyer, our parish priest, to see if cannon law would allow us to move to a place called Sin City. 

Thankfully, Monsignor O'Dwyer gave us his blessings. By June of that year, our house in Van Nuys was sold and everything was packed up in a Bekins Moving Van. Friends threw my parents a going away party. A large cake said, "Las Vegas Or Bust." The next day the Ruggs arrived at LAX for the flight to our new home.

The next few years would be some of the coolest of my life. I was seven years old. I had never heard of Las Vegas. But Las Vegas and I would become good friends. Pals even.

What made our new adventure ultra cool was the fact that my dad worked for "The Man". Howard Hughes. The mysterious billionaire. How James Bond is that? That my dad was actually in charge of Insurance for Hughes' companies didn't dampen my spirits. I didn't know what insurance was. But it sounded James Bond. How cool is that? Howard Hughes. Mysterious Billionaire. Insurance. Whoa. 

And the ultimate best part, the thing that made this whole move the best event to ever happen to any kid in the history of all kids, was that we were going to live at the Sands Hotel. LIVE THERE. IN A HOTEL! THE SANDS HOTEL. HOW JAMES BOND IS THAT?!!!!!!

The plan was for us to live at a suite at the Sands Hotel until my parents found a house to buy. I hoped it would take years. I would be lying if I said that living at the Sands wasn't the most wonderful experience of my childhood.

My sister and I got to know most everyone that worked there. I got a "job" being a towel boy at the pool. My job consisted of showing up whenever I felt like it and giving people towels. I gave Ed Sullivan a towel. I gave other celebrities towels but I remember Ed Sullivan the most because I had never seen anyone with a head that big. I'm serious. It was almost creepy.

The pool pro (yes, in the Vegas of 1967 they actually had famous former swimmers who were pool pros) would take me up to the top of the high dive board. He'd grab my feet and dangle me over the water. Then he'd let go. I must have done this 1000 times over the next three months.

I never picked one thing up in the hotel room. The maid would come in and do that. For dinner, I'd call room service and order a rare cheeseburger. I would wander around the halls of the hotel. I walked like I was the child of the man who did insurance for Howard Hughes. I was James Bond. 

I had run of the hotel....except the one place I wanted to see the most: The Casino. I could pass through it quickly with my mom or dad. But I couldn't linger all by myself and be all James Bondy. The best I could do was stand at the edges and stare. Stuff was going on in there. Cool stuff. Howard Hughes stuff. Mysterious stuff. 

Once, as I was guarding the perimeter, Sammy Davis Jr. walked by. I looked at him. I thought to myself, "That's the shortest person I've ever seen who's not a midget." He was iddy biddy. I remember throwing him a wave like, "Hey, Sammy. I'm not just any kid. I live here. My dad does secret insurance James Bond stuff for Howard Hughes." It's hard to convey all that in a wave, but I tried and I think he got it. He looked at me and said, "Hey, man." Wow. I had just been, "Hey Manned" by Sammy Davis Jr.

On hot summer nights, we'd all take a walk down the strip. In order to understand how cool that was you have to know that the Las Vegas of 1967 was nothing like the steroid, freaky megolopolis of today. Back then, there was desert. There was a road cutting through the desert. On that road were some of the most amazing sites a boy from Van Nuys could have possibly imagined.

The Desert Inn. The Silver Slipper. The Thunderbird. The Stardust. The Frontier. The Dunes. The Sands - my home. Just off the strip was my personal favorite, The Landmark. It was super cool. (Coincidentally, the Landmark was used in the James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever.)

Now, back then, it wasn't the size of the hotel that mattered. What mattered were the signs in front of each. What mattered were the billions of electronic lights that swerved and moved and pulsed. The Stardust was my personal favorite in terms of sheer voltage used.

I loved those walks. I loved those signs. I loved those lights. I loved those hotels. 

And they are all gone. Each was exploded, blown up and pulverized to make way for the Las Vegas of today. My childhood has been vaporized.

But, for a time, those were the sweetest sites my eyes could behold.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My name is Al Burgee. I'm a retired stump yanker from Amboy, Minnesota. 

I've heard a lot of chatter lately about people thinking we're in barrel of trouble like we was way back in the great depression.

Now I ain't saying things are fine. A bunch of stupid ass Harvard educated bankers have dug us quite a hole, thank you very much. I don't doubt that. Some peoples is hurting. I don't doubt that either and my heart goes out to them.

But here's the deal. Listen up now. I lived through the great depression. Folks, you don't know what tough is until you're a six year old boy staring down a rabid raccoon for a maggoty, chewed up cob of corn laying on a frozen street right next to a dog turd. I was that boy. And that raccoon never knew what hit him. That's the way it was. And that was a good day.

But we always held our heads high even when we didn't have enough protein to keep our heads from flopping over like a sickly chicken. My daddy made us all neck splints. "Put these on," he'd say. "Ain't nobody gonna see the Burgees with floppy heads." Daddy was practical like that.

Folks used to call daddy "Stumpy" on account he didn't have any fingers. He sold them all so mommy could buy clean mud for cooking. He'd come home after a long day and my brothers and sisters would say, "Daddy! Where are your fingers?"

And Daddy would look down and say. "Well look at that. Isn't that something. They must have fallen off." Then he'd ask one of us to fetch him his pipe and a tourniquet. Sometimes he'd excuse himself and walk in the other room. We'd hear him screaming in pain. Then he'd come back all smiles and asked who wanted to play with the buttons. My daddy kept a sack of four buttons that we'd play with on the floor. How we loved those buttons.

Of course, that was before we lost the house. We all left one day and I guess we was all so protein deficient that our brains weren't working right and none of us could find it again. It was a good house, too. Probably still there.

My whole point here is, when I hear people moaning about the fact they have to cut back and maybe not buy that 100 inch fancy ass plasma screen TV thingy and maybe not buy so much crappy Chinese crap and maybe eat mac and cheese a few nights a week and maybe start living like normal people living normally like we done years ago...well, I wanna shove my cane down their throat and make them a new rectum.

I hear people bitching about the fact they can't afford gas for their cars and they are gonna have to take public transportation. I wish we had been that lucky! My older brother Kep was paralyzed from his knees down and used to have to walk 112 miles on crutches so he could sing girly songs in a gin joint for a couple pennies a day. I never heard him complain. Ever. And if he did, it was in Latin.

So let's get a hold of ourselves. You ever had mud stew? It's mud and water. Ever been so desperate to play with a toy that you shove a stick up a dead rat's rear and pretend it's a puppet? I have. I've been there.

And if we're going there again, I'll hold my head high. I'll make myself a neck splint.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Every year around this time, I take my daughter to the Father/Daughter dance. We went this past Saturday. It is the high point of the Father/Daughter social calendar. Thankfully, it only happens once a year.

It is the only time of the year where you will find me in a suit. It is also the only time of year you will see me wearing a boutonniere. It is also the only time of year my daughter willingly brushes her hair. (This is a biggy.)

We have been going to this same dance since my daughter was in Kindergarten. This is our fourth year. Each time we walk toward the doors to the auditorium, my daughter says she can't wait to dance with me. As we enter the auditorium she disappears along with all the other girls. They run around, eat candy, take pictures and dance with each other like happy little bunnies.

The fathers are always left standing there. We look at each other in our suits and boutonnieres. We are middle aged. Gravity pulls a few of us together in clumps. We chat about how fun it is to be here. We chat about how quality time with our daughters is invaluable. The music is loud so we really can't understand each other. There are uncomfortable silences. We look at the clock. Two hours left.

Sometimes our daughters will run over and say how much fun this dance is. Then they'll run away. I want to grab my daughter and tell her she has to protect me from the man who wants to talk about life insurance. 

A few times throughout the night, our daughters will grab our hands and pull us onto the dance floor for a disco song. We middle aged men will dance and then suddenly find we are alone and that our daughters have scuttled off to take more pictures and eat more candy. We are left to do YMCA by ourselves. Once we realize we're alone and dancing together, we all fake an urgent cell phone call and run away.

A few of the men continue to dance. We avoid them.

This past Saturday, something happened at the dance which scared me. A lot.

All the men were talking with each other when the DJ started playing something from High School Musical. Suddenly all the fathers started to smile and bob their heads back and forth. They started singing. The FATHERS all ran to find their daughters so they could dance. I was chatting with some father about taxes or something when he looked away dreamily and started mouthing the words to the song. It was as if he was an Eloi summoned to the Morlocks dinner table. "Sorry, Paul, " he said dreamily. "I must find Carey-Ann and dance to this. I must. Must dance."

Now. Know this. The Ruggs don't have cable. We took it out years ago. We don't have TIVO. We don't watch that much TV. I have raised my daughter on the classics. MR. ED DVDs. GENE AUTRY B-MOVIE DVDs. SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. The good stuff.

I didn't want my daughter to feel left out. I started dancing with her. She and I looked around on the dance floor. All the other fathers and daughters had glazed, frozen smiles on their faces. They all knew the same moves. ALL OF THEM. My daughter and I tried to play along for fear that we'd be found out. It was sort of like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, but slightly more horrifying. 

Once the music ended everyone just sort of stayed in place for a moment and then suddenly jerked as if woken up. A few of the men looked at their watches. Where had the last 5 minutes gone. Where am I?

They all wandered off the dance floor leaving my daughter and I alone to dance to Sinatra.

"I like this song, daddy." 

Good. Stick with me, kid.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Hello. My name is Chester Phelph and I am a junior novice in the Greater Los Angeles Aviation  Enthusiasts Club - Council 23 (San Fernando Valley Region - Commercial Aviation Only.) I say I am a junior novice, but that will change soon as I will become a senior novice by the end of this year. Perhaps in a few years I will make it into the Expert Novice division and be able to be a part of all the exciting stuff and benefits that comes with that designation. But enough about me and all that stuff that I was just talking about.

It was a great weekend for spotting planes here in council 23's designated viewing area. We had some rain, but that is always better for taking pictures and the planes are always shinier. I was assigned to general spotting detail with fellow junior novice, Ray Monticeto, but Ray woke up on Saturday with a wasting disease and said he had to pass.

At approximately 7:42AM (I'm sorry about all this detail but the council says I need to be specific in my details) I arrived at LAX with my camera and pad and paper and two Zagnut bars.

At approximately 7:53AM I took up position at the public viewing area. Members of a rival club, the California Jet Watchers Association, were also present. They stole my Zagnut bars.

At approximately 7:57, I began taking pictures. 

This is my video report:

Friday, February 6, 2009


In case you didn't know, I'm a HUGE Steven Hawking fan. I was super excited to just hear that his comedy album will be coming out shortly. The album, HAWKING GOES BANG, was recorded at the Oxford Laughing Post.

A friend of mine at Oxford Press Albums just sent me a little preview. It's soooo funny and soooo Hawking. He's just amazing.

It's only a couple of minutes, but here are the clips.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm not sure, but I think HU Jintao is having me tailed by his goons. They're outside in sweatsuits pretending to play basketball in the street. Only they're kicking it and keep saying "touchdown" in broken English.

Anyway. I'm on to their little game...

So, if something should happen to me, be nice to one another and buy the Freakazoid Second Season DVD when it comes out on April 21st.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


In an email to Christian Bale yesterday, I lovingly suggested that he direct his anger at people that actually deserve it. I suggested a good target might be HU Jintao, the president of China. 

To my surprise, it seems such a confrontation already occurred a few days ago. The president of China and his interpreter were visiting the set of Bale's new movie, Darkly Thus Darkly, when HU accidentally wandered onto the set and ruined a shot.

A friend of mine who was on the soundstage at the time secretly recorded the following exchange. WARNING! The audio contains explicit language. Be advised.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


This morning I heard audio of actor Christian Bale being not at all nice to a director of photography who accidentally ruined a scene being filmed.

I don't know if you've heard the audio, but Mr. Bale has quite a large potty mouth and uses many bad words. Many. Many many many. He's also very angry. Angry angry angry. If you want to hear it, I warn you that it is very explicit and mean spirited. CLICK. But make sure you come back. Because I have some ideas to help Christian Bale get back to his happy place.

Welcome back. Wasn't that icky? Didn't you feel for the poor director of photography? I almost cried. (But didn't.)

Well, while you were listening to that, I sent off an email to Mr. Bale with some helpful tips on how to control such outbreaks and get back to a happy place. Remember, my wife is Cuban. I know what I'm taking about.

1. Remember, Christian, you are very rich. Quite a bit richer than most everyone else. When you want to yell and be mean to someone, think about how much richer you are than them and how insignificant they are in the general scheme of things. Reserve your anger for those who are richer than you. They are the ones you should be angry at; people who have more than you. For instance, I don't think anyone would have a problem with you berating the president of China, HU Jintao.

This man is far more powerful and much more deserving of your ire.

2. Hold a puppy.
 Keep a crate of 6 week old puppies nearby. With your incredible wealth, I'm sure it would be easy to keep a weekly supply of puppies on hand. HOWEVER, you must not keep them over one week. 7 week old puppies tend to play bite and I wouldn't want you going ballistic on a puppy.

3. Move To Australia.

Having been to Australia myself, I happen to know that it's a much happier place than Hollywood. They have all those cute, little Koalas. The air is fresh. Everyone says, "no worries" and means it. And, if you think you feel a tantrum coming on, you can always go to the outback where there are thousands of empty, square miles for you to stomp around and be angry in without bothering anyone. You might even run into Russell Crowe and the two of you can maul a dingo.

4. Remember Micky Rourke?

He had a pretty good career going, too. Until...anger and weirdness made people not want to hire him. For years he just sat there being weird. Years and years of nobody calling. The same could happen to you. Don't be angry and weird. (But he's come a long way and learned the puppy tip.)

5. Wrestle a bear. 
It's amazing how much happier you'll feel after having survived.

6. Keep this up and nobody will like you. In these trying economic times, nobody wants to hear about a rich, whiny, self-centered, moody, mean-spirited actor yelling at people. They won't want to go see your movies. They'll want to laugh. They'll want to see more funny, happy movies like, 'Paul Blart - Mall Cop' which cost substantially less than yours and makes more economic sense.

7. Play with clay. Studies have shown that idle hands are angry hands. If someone on the set makes you mad, go to your dressing room and make a clay figure of them. Then mash them and squeeze them and hurt them. Return to the set a happier man.

8. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Don't spend it being a jerk. 

Monday, February 2, 2009



I had intended on telling you all about a very interesting weekend spent spent in Peru doing Peruvian things with my family and Peruvian people. (There was even going to be a mention of Aliens and a golden gift given to my daughter by Natinga, ruler of the celestial forces.) It was all so interesting that I finally thought, "At last! I have some very interesting things to blog about." But the events of the morning bid me otherwise.

As far as I know, Punxsultawney Phil is the only TALKING BEAST IN THE WORLD. He talks, for heaven's sake! He predicts the weather, for goodness gravy!

And what do we do? We roughly shove him back into a crate after he's whispered something to a man in a large hat. THINK ABOUT THIS! A creature....a NON HUMAN CREATURE has just whispered something to a man...actually used WORDS to SAY SOMETHING...AND HE IS SHOVED BACK INTO A CRATE!

Now, unless the man in the hat is deceiving us and Punxsultawney Phil has not whispered to him (which I don't believe for a moment because there are too many people involved to keep a secret like that) then...why don't we ask this creature other questions? Hmm? 

What I'm saying is, if this groundhog has been given the gift of speech and the power to predict the weather, why, that's probably just the tip of the iceberg. I find it inconceivable that a groundhog with these powers wouldn't have others as well. I mean, why just those powers? That's pretty lame. I say there's more. What else can he do? Warp space and time? Perhaps. Defy gravity? Possibly. Stick it to Putin with a heat ray? Maybe. 


For all we know, the groundhog might be whispering these words to the man in the big hat: "Please! Free me! I have much to tell! Free me! No! Don't put me back in the crate for another year! No! No! I know things! I can save the world! Obama is...!" SLAM. The crate shuts.

I am ashamed to be an American. I guess "hope and change" haven't made it to a little town in Pennsylvania where a real live talking beast isn't allowed to express himself fully and to tell of what other wonders he can do.

This groundhog must be rescued from his evil keeper. I'd go do it myself but things are so busy and crazy right now what with all the busy and crazy things going on. 

Punxsultawney Phil must be allowed to address the nation without his creepy handler standing by. He should be given time on all the major networks. Even...address the UN.