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    What I Talk About…

    I discovered Wordies.com today, which allows you to create your own word cloud based on what words you use in your blog.  I was pleased to see the word “people” was so prominent.  I’m a people person.  A people pleaser.  Nice to have you here!

    Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

    Washington is exhausting.

    Everyone here has an opinion.  A strong opinion.  And they want to talk and talk and talk about “serious issues” ALL THE TIME.  Really?  Hasn’t anyone been to a movie or read a trashy novel lately?  Why does a cute story about trick-or-treaters lead to a discussion of child labor laws?  Why can’t we enjoy our amazing twice-grilled burritos without arguing over immigration policy.  You people need to chill the heck out!

    Now – caveat here – these people are my friends.  I like them.  We don’t agree on everything; in fact we disagree quite a bit.  I enjoy talking to them because we can actually debate without the posturing and screaming you see on cable news talk shows.  We can share opinions and try to see each other’s points of view.  Often we end up very close to the same place.  For instance, no one wants little kids working and no one wants illegal aliens bringing drugs and crime into our country.  It’s how those problems are solved that leads to differences.  But I always feel if someone told my conservative pals and my liberal pals to work it out, we could because the goal is the same for all of us.  (Of course, we don’t need to win an election…)

    Which leads me to this past Saturday.  The night Jon Stewart announced he was holding a “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington DC, I called United and booked a ticket.  It represented everything I felt was possible if we got away from the shouters.  I wanted to be with people who were just like my friends.  Intelligent, ordinary folks trying to get something – anything – done.

    Oh, but I’m a rally rookie and failed to follow some simple rules for successful Mall sitting.  I didn’t get there four hours (or more) before show time.  I didn’t bring a buddy to help carry stuff and spot openings in the nonstop flow of people.  Mainly, I didn’t understand the impenetrable wall of humanity that forms in the middle of that Mall.  Once formed there’s no way in or out.  So my rainbow and unicorn filled plan of mingling with people who were involved in the process went up in fairy smoke.

    Now I understand why newscasts are always filled with interviews standing near the port-a-potties.  They’re simply the only people an interviewer can get to.  I was very lucky in that some of the “fringers” were terrific people who aren’t really sideline-sitters on a regular basis.  They were just people who couldn’t get into the parking lots or on the bus or into the Metro… just like me.

    The Empire Gives Back…

    Lookie! I know it’s blurry, but it’s Billy Dee Williams,
    Harrison Ford, and Peter Mayhew!

    One of the best things about having your birthday in May is you grow up thinking all those summer blockbuster movies are opening just so you can have a super cool birthday party.  During my childhood, almost all those movies were made by the tinseltown twosome of Spielberg and LucasJaws, ET, Indiana Jones, and, of course, the original Star Wars trilogy are all films that have become cultural benchmarks for most of us and, to say the very least, quite lucrative for their creators.

    (read more)

    A Fine Romance

    Before joining the WhatGives!? rodeo, I worked for many years in the television industry.  One of the most appealing aspects of that work was the formation of a production team every time a new show began.  Long hours working towards one creative goal brings people together like nothing else.  For those weeks or months, you are family; sometimes dysfunctional, but a family nonetheless.  And sometimes, your family needs some help.  That’s where the Motion Picture & Television Fund steps in.   

    Nearly ninety years ago Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith established the Motion Picture Relief Fund to assist those in the entertainment industry who had fallen on hard times.  At first they just put out donation tins to collect change – a simple method that provided rent money or paid hospital bills when work was scarce.    Eventually there were charity balls, movie premieres, radio shows, even benefit polo matches adding money to the Fund.

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    On the Edge…

    You’ve heard about them all your life. You’ve seen them in the backs of magazines. The third season of every sitcom has a storyline about them. But you always think people are exaggerating; making more of them than is actual reality. Then, you see one in the wild. A man’s hairpiece. Not a full-on wig or a little spray-on hair in the back. It’s that half-head thing. The front is bushy and full, with a little wave, a little sass. Then there’s hair that stretches about halfway back so the wearer can comb it in with his own hair so it looks “natural”. Oh me oh, oh my oh, oh Cleveland, Ohio. Standing perfectly still in front of your bathroom mirror, I’m sure it blends and disappears beautifully. Standing in the aisle of an airplane near that whooshy stream of air vent air, however, the truth is revealed. The line of demarcation between store bought and home grown: the dreaded edge of hair.

    (read more…)


    Just saw the trailer for the new film “2012” that opens this weekend. Apparently, the Mayan Calendar signals the end of the world as we know it. Yeah, yeah, I’ve read the more sensible explanations as to what that December 21, 2012 date really signifies – how it’s all cyclical and the world’s not ending so much as it’s beginning again. Blah, blah, blah. Roland Emmerich can’t make a kick-ass disaster movie out of all that spiritual circle of life gobble-de-gook.

    I just got back from Las Vegas and the BlogWorld Expo ’09. If you’ve been following along on my little blog, this might come as a distinct surprise. What’s an old-school TV production slave doing at a high-tech blogger convention? Adapting, that’s what. Apparently, there’s this thing called the internet and lots of folks are now gathering around this new campfire to get their info and entertainment. Shocking! And it turns out that underneath all the fancy…

    Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh