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Showing posts from June, 2012


I just saw one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life. Seriously ... "TED"

Okay, I know I just did a mini review on That's My Boy ...  and it's probably overkill to do two in a row. BUT I HAVE TO.  (Well ... this one I reprinted from one I found online but it's just what I wanted to say and I'm too lazy to write it).

Ted starts in a flashback which tells the story of a lonely boy named John who wishes that his beloved teddy bear was alive. When John's wish comes true, the film smartly shows what the reaction in the real world would really be, namely, that Ted would first freak the crap out of people, then would become a celebrity.

Flash forward about twenty years and John (played by Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) are still best friends living in Boston. The problem is that in a lot of ways, neither of them have grown up -- John is struggling to keep his crappy job at a rental car compan…

Is It Father's Day Again?

Remember Father's Day? (I'm a little behind in my blog so please allow me to digress )

I celebrated with my son, Josh, the way that any Dad would love to celebrate: A baseball game (The Rays beat Miami) and a movie that every dad and son should see together: "That's My Boy".

The movie had everything: obscenity, poor personal habits, a deadbeat dad and a successful son.

Here's the story line ...

In 1984, 12-year-old Donny Berger (Justin Weaver) has sex with his 22-year-old teacher, Mary McGarricle (Eva Amurri). She becomes pregnant, leading to her crime being discovered. McGarricle is arrested, and Donny gains custody of their son, whom he names Han Solo Berger. Donny becomes a celebrity because of what happened, but is forgotten as he becomes an adult, and loses contact with his son.
In 2012, Donny (Adam Sandler) is now a slacker who has long-since squandered all of his money, drinks beer constantly, and spends his time at a local strip club with his friend…

Cool ... you know?

Here I sit ... Sunday morning at home. The skies are dark and the rain comes in sheets pounding the roof and filling our swimming pool. Tropical storm Debby (named for my sweet wife) is "hanging out" in the gulf. The weather forecasters call Debby a storm that's all over the place and more dangerous than she looks.

That's my Debby(ie).

I love these days. I can stay in and write my novel (no excuses), put down a few thoughts in my blog and eat comfort food (which I do every day but today I can justify it ... well, try to justify it).

There's a great article in the Times today. Bob Trigeaux wrote about the Tampa Bay "coolness" factor. Are we? I don't know ... I'm probably too old to really judge but I do appreciate the fact that when I tell people that I live in St. Pete, I no longer have to hear: "... and you look so much younger than that." I was happy to see USF mentioned alot in the "coolness category" with CAMLS, Draper …

Happy Father's Day, Sammy

"Have you ever thought about how people look like they become later in life?" Sam said out of nowhere.

"What? What was that you said?" I asked right before my scrabbled eggs arrived.

"I've been thinking about the way people looked when they were younger you know?"

"Like who?"

"Well ... like you, Joel. I never thought you looked like an executive."

"I didn't? What did I look like?"

"I dunno ... like a guy having fun ... not serious ... not sure what you looked like."

I pointed to Josh sitting next to me. "How about Josh?"

"Oh ... he looks like an office man."

"And Debbie?"

"Professional ... very professional."

Debbie gave a great big smile to show off her braces. "Well Sammy," she said, "How about you? What do you like?"

Sammy stopped and thought long and hard. "I am ... a man of the people!"


What did he…

What's Up With Kids These Days?

My nephew Kyle got engaged to Kate on Friday night.

He planned it for over a week. He decided to rent a helicopter to fly over St. Pete and show Kate a video that he carefully edited with a poem he composed, music and pictures of both of them. At the end of the video were the words:  "Would you marry me?" He would be on one knee when she finished the video.

Such a romantic.

Well ... the poor guy had bad luck from the start. It poured Friday night. No way to take out a helicopter. So, his aunt Debbie came to the rescue. She got him a room at the Vinoy Hotel. He took Kate to the Vinoy for drinks keeping the rest a secret and although he had reservations across the street at ZGrill ... he couldn't get there because of the rain.

Change of plans ... he told Kate they had reservations at Fred's at the hotel. He didn't. She still didn't have a clue when the hostess said they didn't have them on the list. Kyle insisted ... and they gave them a table.

Kyle told h…

Sammy's Shoes

This was a big day for Sammy.

His new shoes arrived! I knew how happy he would be when I brought them over to him. He had very specific instructions when we ordered them for him.

"I want Haban (the mail order company has been around since about 1652 and has never changed the pictures in the catalogue). Tan shoes that are VERY light weight." He pointed to the picture. "That's them! They are perfect."

"What size Sam?" Debbie asked.

"8 and a half D."

"You sure?"


So today they came and I rushed them over to Sam. He was watching TV. (surprised?) "Hey Dad."

"Hey Joel. What's that?"

"Open it!"

He opened the bag and pulled out the shoes, put them on the bed and started to look at all the ads in the envelope. "Look at this! These people really know how to market you know?"

"Dad ... did you see the shoes?"

"What? Oh yeah ... nice."

"Wanna put them on?…

Telethon Memories and Blogging Excuses

The Telethon for All Children's Hospital was this past weekend
Had a chance to be with my old buds Steph and Mike and the rest of the gang from the hospital and Channel 8.

I did a couple of interviews about my late friend Bill Ratliff and his early involvement with the telethon. Bittersweet.

The 2012 Telethon was very successful, by the way, raising over $3.7 million ... I'm proud of the staff ... Ann, Steph, Mike and all the Foundation/Creative Services crew. They even aired Mike and Joel's Body ToonUps (see the link at the lower right of the blog) as interstitials throughout the program: I Am Not A Little Ant, Sunburn Serenade and Chicken Named Mac.

By the way .... I apologize for the sparce blogging of late. It's because my creative energy is once agan turning to writing the novel that has been about 20 years in the making.

But ... I'll keep you "posted".