Sunday, December 30, 2007

Patriot Perfection

Wow, they did it! The New England Patriots end the regular season at 16 - 0, a feat no other team in NFL history has done. And what a great, dramatic, gruelling game to set that mark. The Giants did more than show up to play - they showed up to win. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about a Patriots loss at multiple times in this game; especially when the Pats were down by 12 points in the second half. But that is where the fun comes from, such a huge accomplishment shouldn't come easy. This win wouldn't have meant as much if the Giants just rolled over and gave the Pats an easy win. I never thought I'd be impressed by Eli Manning - but he was on fire for much of the game.

The many new records; scoring, touchdown receptions (23 for Moss) and touchdown passes (50 for Brady) are all great, but the best thing is that all the Patriots are still saying the right things - this was just the regular season, and the true goal is a Super Bowl win and being 19 - 0.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Perfect Hype for The Patriots

Well, we've been home for a week from our trip to Chile, but all the attention and hype on the New England Patriots and their quest for a perfect season has kept me from posting photos or doing much of anything else. The NFL Network has turned into the Patriots Network - showing all this season's previous games this week and today I'm settled in for 8 hours of hype leading up to the final regular season game tonight between the Pats and the NY Giants. I have no doubt that the Patriots will win and become the first team in history to end the regular season at 16 and 0. "How" is the question. Will this be a blow out? A close game to the end? Are the Giants motivated to prevent an undefeated season? There is more hype on this game than on most playoff games. I'm so jeeped up! And I firmly believe there is no way this team and this coach will have any sort of letdown. Another Super Bowl win and a 19 - 0 record for the year is the true goal.

This has been an especially emotional football season. Back on the opening game against the Jets in September, my family came over to watch the game. After the game my grandmother fell and broke her hip. Then the whole "spygate" scandal broke and the world was calling Belichick and the Pats cheaters. Both those things really effected me emotionally. The Patriots circled the wagons and became an even stronger, more determined team due to the attacks on their achievements and character, while my grandmother spent the next month in the hospital. Just when she was about to be sent home (again) she took a turn for the worse (that will happen when you are 84) and died on Columbus Day. Somehow her death has become tied to the football season for me. Much like the Patriots are playing with the preseason death of their teammate Marquise Hill on their minds.

Tonight's game is getting more attention than anything shy of a major presidential address, with the NFL Network, CBS and NBC all broadcasting the game nationally. Here in Boston, WCVB, the local ABC affiliate is also showing the game due to a deal they had written up before the season ever started. Will be interesting to see if this becomes the most watched NFL game ever.

Like the NFL Network promo says; If you're already a dynasty, what comes after that?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back from Easter Island

AF and Moai on Easter IslandThe transition from the thrills and adventure of Patagonia to the relaxation and tropical paradise of Easter Island took some getting used to, but we had a blast during our time on Ilsa de Pascua or Rapa Nui. There were a lot fewer American tourists on Easter Island than in Patagonia but everyone we met, from Rapanui natives to tourists from Japan, Europe, New Zealand, Chile and more, were all extremely friendly and it was great fun to witness Larry the Lizard fever sweep the island. We learned tons about the Moai (the giant stone statues) and saw hundreds in various states of construction, destruction and restoration. The society that carved them was around for a couple thousand years, but nobody is still sure how they moved them from the quarry where they were crafted (they weighed 75 - 86 tons each) or how they mounted them once they arrived at the Ahu (ceremonial platform). The period of the Moai ended with tribal warfare and the toppling of each clan's Moai.

3 storms happened while we were awayComing home to the below freezing temperatures and 2+ feet of snow was quite a shock. Once I get through the Patriots - Dolphins football game Sunday (when the Pats go 15 - 0) and Christmas I'll get going on posting the best photos of the nearly 800 we took.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We Survived the Futaleufu

Greetings All,
We are sitting here in Puerto Montt Chile after spending a week in Patagonia braving the Class 5 rapids of the mighty Futaleufu river, hiking, rock climbing and rappelling. This was by far our most adventurous and downright frightening trip. We were part of a group of just seven people and were definitely the oldest and most out of shape. The weather bounced between cold, hard rain and beautiful sunny days with temperatures ranging from low 50´s to high 70´s with the sun rising at 5am and setting at 10pm. They say in Patagonia you can experience all four seasons on any given day. Looking back everything was fun, exciting and rather simple - but during the hype, the safety talks, the warnings, and seeing other people opt out of the Class 5 rapids, the week started off quite scary. I was front position left side and setting the stroke in our boat and after feeling like I barely survived a 300´ swim test in the river on a very dark, windy, cold, rainy day I had never been more terrified on vacation and questioned how much rafting I was going to do. After a sleepless night of rafting and drowning dreams, I decided screw it - Larry The Lizard was at my side saying ¨Go sick or go home¨ and there was no way to get home so I went sick.
Despite the doom and gloom and ¨high swim potential¨ we never had a swimmer from our raft, Lori survived her first rock climbing experience, and the 300´ rappel we did was a blast. I´m very bruised and battered with a sprained left wrist and a blown right hamstring resulting from a poorly executed 45´ cliff jump (a first for me). The scenery has been breathtakingly beautiful and all the people we've met have been awesome. We are looking forward to chilling out with the giant heads of Easter Island. We arrive there tomorrow. So Merry Christmas and Happy Easter to all and Go Patriots!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Next Adventure: Chile

Later this week we will jet off to Patagonia, Chile for a white water rafting trip on the Futaleufu River (affectionately known as The Fu) - complete with Class 5 rapids which is as insane as rapids get and something we've only seen from afar until now. The trip is with Earth River who have a very cool interactive web site that lets you see video clips and photos from many different spots of the trip. I just posted the itinerary so you can read about some of the totally sick things in store for us. After surviving Patagonia we fly another 6 hours into the Pacific to visit Easter Island - this is the most remote inhabited place on earth and home to the giant head monuments (Moai). This is a trip I've dreamed of since I was a kid and saw a comic book where the Moai pulled themselves out of the ground and started running amok on people. Can't wait to see that! Also think photos of Larry The Lizard (who is of course accompanying us) on Easter Island will be just about the sickest Larry shot imaginable.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Modern Medicine

I thought the worst thing about returning back to Massachusetts from a week in San Jose California would be the 18 degree temperature that greeted me Saturday night, but then my father had a heart attack Sunday afternoon and I no longer really noticed the weather. He went to the emergency room in Leominster Hospital and then was rushed to the new cardiac unit at UMass Memorial in Worcester - all while still going through a heart attack. I had thought heart attacks were just sudden events, but his was going on for some time and they couldn't get him to stabilize. Lori and I rushed off to UMass and since it was a Sunday night the place was empty. The cardiac area isn't always staffed - people just get called in for emergencies. So we were just wandering the halls, found someone to open a door for us and suddenly we are looking into an open operating room where my dad was on the table. A nurse grabbed us and locked us up in a waiting room. After just a few minutes the doctor came and spoke to us. They had put a stent into the artery that was blocked and that along with some medications aborted the heart attack before any serious heart damage was done. My dad was already awake and alert and we went with him as they rolled him off to ICU. The most amazing thing to me was that this afternoon (Tuesday) we brought him home. I was prepared for an agonizing decision about whether we dare go off on our trip to Chile later this week or not. But I guess these days heart attacks just aren't that big a deal. My dad is home and looks and acts no different than he did the day before his heart attack. It is practically drive through service these days at the hospital.
Plus the Patriots won another close game Monday Night to remain perfect. WooHoo!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Patriots Remain Undefeated

Even without playing a game, the New England Patriots clinched their fifth consecutive AFC East crown thanks to a loss by the Buffalo Bills yesterday afternoon. So the stars seemed aligned for another rout, but give the Philadelphia Eagles credit. They didn't believe the hype on the Patriots being the best NFL team in history or care that they were 23 point underdogs in last night's game. The Eagles showed up to play and they played hard, making the Patriots look very beatable. The Eagles were very aggressive - shutting down Randy Moss, going for it on fourth down and even pulling out an onside kick in the first half. The Pats defense looked slow and tired while the offense was lethargic, had lots of dropped balls and didn't even pretend to have a running game. But New England pulled it out in the fourth quarter to win 31 - 28 and improve to 11 and 0 on the year. And I'm sure Philly will be left with a quarterback controversy since backup A.J. Feeley looked like a star for much of the game - well aside from the interceptions that bookended the game. I enjoy this type of game (provided we win in the end of course) to the 30+ point blowouts the Pats have laid on a few teams this year. I also think it is these close games that really prove how great a team is. Now that the rest of the league has been shown what you need to do to beat Tom Brady - anything is possible as we head into the final month of the regular season.

I'm off to California for the week for work, then back home for a few days before the big adventure in Chile. It's gonna be sick!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Turducken Day!

Fresh TurduckenHope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving this year. We dared to break from our recent tradition of frying our turkey to finally sample a Turducken. For those who don't know; a Turducken is a semi-boneless turkey (it just has wings and drumsticks) that is stuffed with a deboned chicken that is stuffed with a deboned duck breast. A layer of Cajun dressing is placed in between each bird to create six flavorful layers of stuffing and poultry. Normally we've talked about trying a turducken while we clean up after Thanksgiving, but this year we remembered to look into it in plenty of time to order one from No, we didn't make one from scratch - perhaps next year.

The Turducken is very deceiving, it looks too small to feed as many people as it is supposed to. But since it is boneless and crammed with so many things, it is just a solid brick of food. I was sure the 15 lb creature wouldn't be enough for our 14 guests but we didn't even get through half of it.Just like cutting a cake

One of the coolest things about the Turducken is how easy it is to carve. You just cut it right down the middle and start cutting slices. Like it is some sort of poultry layer cake. And the combo of birds made the tastiest gravy ever. I highly recommend trying one.
We've spent the last two days eating left overs, watching Curb Your Enthusiasm marathons and pulling things together for our big trip to Chile to raft the Futaleufu River and then check out Easter Island, which is now just a couple weeks away.
We'll actually miss a few Patriots games, but with them blowing people away so easily I don't think we'll notice. I never would have guessed how boring it could feel to have such a dominant football team. Close games and cheering for the underdog (like the Pats were in their first Super Bowl win in 2001) is so much more exciting and gratifying. A Super Bowl win this year seems like it will be almost anticlimatic since the whole world already expects a perfect season and another championship. Never would have predicted the Patriots would become a hated jugernaut like this.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mohegan Sun

Friday, we went down to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for a night of gambling. I had never been there, in fact I don't think I've been to a casino in about 13 years. Normally, I'm too cheap to enjoy gambling, but we had a real good time and will return. Played craps for a couple hours, thanks to the help of other players and the dealers, since we didn't really know the game at all. Then we took in some poker and slots and ended the night with a few more hours of craps. We left them most of the money we brought to play with - but that is what I expected. The only way I know when I'm done gambling is when my money's gone. At craps and on slots there were a few occasions when we had doubled and even tripled our money - but we just gave it right back playing something else.
One of the coolest things was that there was a live show going in the middle of the casino - some band called ScrapMetal was going to be playing in the Wolf Den, which you could see into from the surrounding gaming tables. I was kinda psyched, since that name sure sounded like it would be some sort of 80's Metal cover band. I was not disappointed. In fact these guys sounded so good, I stepped away from the craps table for a closer look and realized this wasn't just a cover band - these were some real people from some 80's bands. ScrapMetal is a collection of Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (NELSON), Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER), Kelly Keagy (NIGHT RANGER), Eric Martin (MR. BIG), and Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW & DEEP PURPLE). I recognized all the songs except for what I assume was the Nelson stuff - I was never a fan of those twins. Marc Slaughter was the only one I instantly recognized, though as soon as Eric Martin and Joe Lyn Turner sang, I realized who they were too. Being serenaded by 80's leftovers made losing money much more fun.

Now we are just waiting on Super Bowl 41 1/2 - Patriots vs Colts!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

10 Years of Wedded Bliss!

Oh My God. Lori and I have been married for 10 years. A decade! I'm not sure what part amazes me most about this - how quickly 10 years have gone by, that I'm married at all, or how much I still love that woman. I can't imagine life without her and don't even like going a single day without seeing her. My only regret is how much I take Lori for granted. I hope that I let her know how much I love her often enough, and not only during shitty times (yes, there's been a few of those scattered in over the years too). I never could have predicted the things we've done and places we've seen over the years. No New Englander in their right mind would ever dare to dream of two World Series Championships for the Red Sox in their lifetime. Here's to another decade of surprises, happiness and fun. It kicks off soon - in December we are headed to Chile for a week of white water rafting and then on to Easter Island for some giant heads.

Check out the Wedding of The Damned

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dueling Dynasties

Simply amazing. The Boston Red Sox have won their second World Series championship in four years and the New England Patriots are destroying every team put in front of them as they march to another Super Bowl. And the Sox once again did it with a four game sweep - I really thought the Rockies were going to make it a fight. I thought their amazing playoff run of winning every game (until they ran into the Red Sox) made them the team of destiny this year.

"Once in a lifetime" events are becoming common place in New England sports. This is just a remarkable time - but I'm sure glad I'm old enough to have lived through some of the heartbreaking years to appreciate this even more. Lots of kids growing up now will just expect this sort of magic every year. Who knows, maybe this will become an 86 year dynasty.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh, To Be A New England Sports Fan

This is truly a blessed time for every sports fan in New England. The New England Patriots are on pace to go down as the greatest team in NFL history and the Boston Red Sox are headed to their second World Series in four years. Plus, even the Celtics and Bruins are looking like they will be good again and it is in the 80's today. New Englanders love to complain - but there is nothing to complain about anymore (at least in the sports world). What an amazing time.

Friday, October 19, 2007


We were awoken this morning around 1:30am by a loud bang that shook the house - turns out it was a 2.5 magnitude earthquake centered just a few blocks away at the center of Littleton Mass. This is about the fourth quake I can remember feeling here in New England, but this was the first time it was just a loud, single bang. Growing up in Leominster I recall a few that were a couple seconds of rumbling and shaking. Lori wanted to get up explore the house to see if anything was wrong, but I opted to just go back to sleep figuring it was a gun shot from early morning hunters or a late night celebration for the Red Sox win in Cleveland in the American League Championship Series. It was only upong seeing the news this morning that we realized it was actually an earthquake. Been hearing for many years about how overdue New England is for a major shake, but I'm happy with just the occasional 2.5.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Patriots Are SICK!

Wow! What a complete demolishing of the San Diego Chargers by the New England Patriots last night. What a fantastic home opener. All the new players proved how great they are and how much they can add to the team. I don't think anyone is saying Randy Moss is washed up anymore, and linebacker Adalius Thomas is sure living up to his hype. The final score was 38-14 and it felt like an even bigger margin.
I really needed this game to feel good about the Patriots again. Before the game we got to hear former players Steve Grogan and John Hannah talk about "videogate" in the Gillette Stadium clubhouse and they made me feel much better about the whole mess. Plus all the fans had a great sense of humor about it - lots of "you're on Candid Camera" and "In Bill We Trust" signs throughout the stands. Grogan said, Belichick broke the rules, got caught and penalized - end of story; there is no way winning championships can be attributed to extra info from video. Hannah thought this might end up being a great thing for the team - bringing them together and making them feel like underdogs again. He was right.
For the first time ever - Bill Belichick was introduced after the team came out game. He got a huge ovation and even waved to the crowd. That is something he did in warmups and at the end of the game too. I've never noticed him acknowledge the crowd himself before. This whole experience seems to have really humbled him and brought the players even closer to him. The coach seems almost human now. There were so many smiles and hugs on the sideline - it seemed like we had just won a playoff game. Belichick even used the word "awesome" three times in his post game press conference. I don't believe I've ever heard him say that. He talked about how the great the fans are and how good his team is -- NOT usual Bill speak. Plus the players seemed much more emotional too - Brady talked about how Belichick is the best coach in NFL history, while Bruschi said "This is the most satisfying [win] because I've never been in a situation where people have doubted what we've done..."
This team is the best Patriots team ever - and after a week of being called cheaters, they are fired-up to rip apart any team that gets in front of them. Plus, Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour will be suiting up in a few more weeks too. I love it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New England Patriots: Cheaters?!

What is going on in Patriot Land? First we had the shocking news last week that All-Pro, stand-up guy and team leader, safety Rodney Harrison was caught using an NFL banned substance, human growth hormone (HGH). Now Coach Bill Belichick - the football "genius" - has been cheating? Possibly for years? He stands accused of having his staff video taping the opposing coaches during games to steal their signals to the defense.
The Harrison situation was disturbing enough. I found myself making excuses for him because I really like the guy. Heck, he broke his arm in Super Bowl 38, and stayed on the field! That is one tough player. But for the last couple seasons, he's been an injured veteran, just trying to heal. This wasn't steroids. And he came clean as soon as investigators asked him about it - there were no claims of not realizing what he was taking or "tainted" substances like so many other NFL players claim when caught with something in their system. Plus there is no testing done for HGH - so its use must be very prevalent. If you could take something to extend your career, keep pulling in money for your family and you wouldn't get caught - that is awfully tempting. If Harrison was on another team - I'd be saying he's a dirty, cheating, scumbag. But he's on my team, and I still like him. For the first time I can understand how San Fransisco Giants fans can still cheer for Barry Bonds.
With all this coming to light just days before the start of the season, plus all the attention about new receiver Randy Moss not playing or practicing in preseason and the surprise of New England's best defensive player, Richard Seymour, being placed on the PUP list (physically unable to perform), which means he is out until at least six weeks of the season - I was concerned heading into the opener Sunday against the Jets.
The Patriots killed the Jets, rather easily. But now all the stuff about cheating and being previously warned about such things... very disturbing. I think this really tarnishes Belichick's reputation and he can't blow this off with some "it is what it is" crap. If this proves to be true, there is no doubt it is cheating. For the first time in this "dynasty" era, it is getting tough to be a Patriots fan.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tesla: Live and Kicking

Lori and I saw Tesla last night at Avalon in Boston, with about only 500 other people. Tesla is one of those bands who never got as big as they should have. They are fantastic song writers and killer performers - but they have no shtick, no act - and they were wrongly lumped in with 80's hair bands. They are so much better than that. They are currently supporting "Real to Reel", a two-disc collection of their favorite songs, so the show was a very cool and eclectic mix of covers (ranging from Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin to Joe Walsh and Sly and Family Stone) and their own songs. So while there were many Tesla songs I missed hearing, and I forget they even exist until I pull out their first few releases and realize there are no songs I skip over, it was an excellent night. They played for over two hours - a very fun and energetic show that really showed off their top-notch musicianship and the down to earth attitude of the whole band. It also didn't hit me till last night just how upbeat and optimistic so many of their songs are ("Love Song," "Changes," "What You Give," "Way It Is"). Certainly not stereotypical metal heads, though they did give a shout out to Headbangers Ball - which gave them their first attention back in 1986. It was in fact after seeing the video for "Modern Day Cowboy" on the Ball that I bought their debut release - Mechanical Resonance and became hooked for life. The guys seemed to genuinely be enjoying themselves on stage and making up the set as they went along at times. Probably the best review they could get is that Lori, who said she didn't know a single Tesla song and got dragged to the show because I have no friends - loved them.
And my new found success with opening bands continues - the openers were Poets and Pornstars and I really liked their straight-ahead, balls-out rock and roll. Even bought their CD, hell for $10 you can't go wrong.
Tesla Set List:
Walk Away
The Way It Is
Modern Day Cowboy
Hang Tough
Got No Glory
Thank You
I Wanna Take You Higher
Heaven 9/11
Love Song
What You Give
Into The Now
Comin Atcha Live
Seasons of Wither
Gov't Personnel
Freedom Slaves
Heaven's Trail
Rock Bottom
Song and Emotion
Edison's Medicine

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smack This!

Last night we saw Godsmack, for I think the seventh time now (they opened on Metallica's last tour, so that pushed their number up for me), and I forgot how much I like these guys. It felt so good to be back at a good, solid, head banging show again. There are so few bands I bother seeing live anymore and the last concert we went to was Roger Waters in July - quite a different vibe. This was Godsmack's last night of the tour, playing the hometown crowd of Boston and celebrating their 10th anniversary - so all the pieces were in place to make it a special night.

To make it even more unique, the show was at The Opera House. I didn't even know this building existed, let alone ever set foot in it. I've never seen a rock show in such a beautiful setting - huge chandeliers, intricate wood and stone work, gold inlays all around... I wonder if the scent of marijuana sifted through many operas like it did last night?

One of the biggest surprises was the opening act. They were just some local unsigned band, Till We Die, that I expected would be politely ignored at best. But they were rather enjoyable and actually had the whole place up on their feet for the last two songs. A pretty impressive thing to witness. I even bought their CD.

And the boys of Godsmack didn't disappoint. A very energetic, fast-paced show with lots of crowd interaction. We had great seats, just right of center in 20th row. It featured all the Godsmack staples - dueling drum interlude between Sully (lead singer who really wants to be a drummer) and Shannon (the full-time drummer) and lots of NY Yankee bashing. I've never been to a Godsmack show without multiple "Yankees Suck" chants and last night Sully even grabbed someone's Yankees hat to shove down his pants and let simmer for awhile. I love bands that show they are fans as well, 'Smack played bits of "We Will Rock You", "Walk", "Back in Black" "War Pigs" (with a follow the bouncing ball, audience sing along), plus some Jethro Tull and Led Zep. I'm looking forward to another solid 10 years from these guys.

Set List:
The Enemy
Livin' In Sin
Moon Baby
Straight Out Of Line
Keep Away
Battala De Los Tambores
I Stand Alone

Next up for us: Tesla in Boston on September 4th. That will officially end the summer fun.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


We got back home from Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey Tuesday night, then had tickets for the Red Sox - Devil Rays game at Fenway, Wednesday afternoon. We were psyched to finally get a chance to see Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch live - but he just didn't have it going on yesterday. He left the game after six innings with Tampa Bay up 6 - 0. But then the bats started to come alive and made it interesting. We were down 6 - 5 in the ninth inning, two men on base, and Manny Ramirez up at the plate. The exact scenario any Sox fan dreams of for a walk-off game winning home run. But alas, Manny struck out and the Fenway faithful went home on a bit of a downer. Only a bit of a downer because the Yankees lost too. Everyone in New England cheers for two baseball teams - the Red Sox and whoever beats the Yankees.

Next up - Friday night the preseason home opener for the New England Patriots. They will be taking on the Tennessee Titans, who according to newspaper reports, are still a little pissy about the regular season finale from last year when we beat them. It was a game full of cheap shots that ended Rodney Harrison's season and pissed off a lot of the Patriots. So this could be a very interesting meaningless game - and since this is already the most hyped-up, high-expectation Patriots' season ever, it is only getting started.

Six Flags was an awesome time. You can do the whole place in a day but I'm glad we took our time with multiple days. We got to ride the big three; El Toro, Nitro and Kingda Ka, repeatedly each day from the front, back, everywhere to get the maximum thrills. If you are into roller coasters - check out the many clips on youtube of these rides in action.
El Toro - totally sick wooden coaster
Nitro - fantastic long and smooth steel coaster
and the giagantic Kingda Ka
We were hoping this would happen to us, but we never saw a rollback while we were there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Six Flags - Great Adventure

El Toro with Kingda Ka in backgroundHey, we're checking in from Jackson, New Jersey, where we arrived last night for a few days of thrills at Six Flags. One of my favorite sights in the world is driving to a new theme park and slowly seeing the steel tracks of mega-coasters rise above the treeline, like some sick futuristic city. So far we've already been on Kingda Ka - the world's tallest (458') and fastest (128 mph) roller coaster - 3 times! Our first time on it, was in front row at night. Totally SICK being blasted straight into pitch black. The coaster tracks aren't lit up at all and it is an amazing ride. We waited close to 90 minutes for an 18 SECOND ride, but then got on it again for the final two rides of the night - as the park was closing they just let us stay on the ride as they sent it for it's final run. We were in the back row for those runs - a completely different experience. Kingda Ka is the same style as Top Thrill Dragster, a coaster at Cedar Point in Ohio that was closed when we were there a couple years ago, so it was awesome to find it here. Check out some sick shots of Kingda Ka or experience the view from the front row.

Another new coaster here is El Toro - a massive wooden coaster that is easily the BEST wooden roller coaster I've ever been on. A very long and smooth ride. Here are some shots of El Toro. Other great rides so far - Superman: Ultimate Flight, is a very cool steel coaster you ride laying on your stomach, so you feel like you are really flying around. Very cool. So far the only ride I consider disappointing is the Great American Scream Machine. It is a long, 7 loop, steel coaster but is just uncomfortable as hell - I say tear it down and stop giving people headaches. Though with two more full days here, I'm sure I'll be sporting a concussion even I don't go on Scream Machine again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weekend in New Hampshire

Water Skiing!We spent the weekend up in Wolfeboro NH, courtesy of Lori's brother Mike and his wife Nancy, and made our first ever attempts at water skiing. I managed to get up on my skis a couple times, but then went straight back down - creating a new sport of water dragging. After five attempts, I gave up and let Lori have a crack. She tried it twice before hurting her hip which had been injured during her marathon training. Thus ends our water skiing careers.

Later we went tubing instead - much more my skill level. Lay on an inner tube, get pulled all around the lake and hold on for your life. That I can do. At least I could until the third consecutive time I caught air going over the wake and somehow punched myself in the face. I wasn't sure if I had really hit myself or if I was so out of control I landed on the rope handle or something - so I bailed out at that point toWater Dragging! check out my fat lip. Mike and I tried to get Lori up into the tube for her ride, but that didn't work so well. Believing my life preserver was all powerful, I tried to lift her up into the tube which of course just shoved me under water, after 15 minutes of choking and gagging we headed back to the cabin for a long night of drinking and games with about 16 people, 3 dogs and 3 kids.

Threw Homer into the lake a couple times to try and prove to him that he could swim, but he is not a fan of the water. Homie just bolted for the shore as quick as could. He even stole toys from Bogie - Mike's retriever who loves going into the water - in an effort to stop Bogie from going back into the lake. It was like Homer thought he was saving Bogie's life by keeping him out of the water.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The End of Harry Potter

Oh, relax - I just mean the end of reading Harry Potter books. I'm not saying anything about who survives and who doesn't. Like millions of twelve-year-olds around the globe, I spent this past weekend doing nothing but reading "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows". The book was dropped on my doorstep Saturday afternoon and I read it for a few hours. It wasn't till I picked up it Sunday morning that I made the decision to just do nothing but read and get it finished before some TV, Internet or newspaper report ruined the whole thing for me. I've read the other books quickly, finishing them in the first week normally, but I've never just sat down and done nothing but read for an entire day. I don't know how kids can do it all night long but I gave up Sunday night, leaving just the epilogue to finish on Monday. I think this was my favorite book in the series. Since it is the final volume and Voldemort (I've never been afraid to say his name!) is up and kicking from the get-go, it starts with a bang and doesn't let up. It really is a roller coastering, adventure ride. I loved it and thought it was all brought to a very satisfying conclusion. So now I guess I need to go prowl a pre-school to figure out what to read next.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

D'oh! Vermont Won

To celebrate the coming "The Simpsons Movie", Twentieth Century Fox had a contest between the many Springfields across America to compete and see who was the actual Springfield from "The Simpsons". Of course I was pulling for my birthplace, Springfield Mass, and once I heard Senator Ted Kennedy was taking part in the video, I thought we were a lock. But alas, the premiere will be held in Springfield Vt on July 27, 2007. I have to admit, I liked the Vermont entry better than the Mass one too.

You can check out all the videos here -

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Roger Waters - Live

We saw Roger Waters last night at the Garden in Boston. He's touring doing all Pink Floyd tunes, something he refused to do in his earlier solo years. Our seats were just three rows from the top - seats I normally wouldn't bother with, but for this show I thought they just might work - and they did. The show featured a 12 piece band, the largest and sharpest video screen I've ever seen, floating space men, pigs, lots of Bush bashing, lasers, an insane light show and lots of pot smokers.

I don't get high - but during the second set of the show which featured "Dark Side of The Moon" in its entirety, I sure felt like I should and the spectacle of the show, the lasers, lights, video, smoke... all combined to make me think I was high. Waters looked like Richard Gere from our seats, but I can't imagine his voice was ever better. I never saw Pink Floyd, but its hard to imagine they ever sounded better. Though Waters relies on a lot of extra guitarists and singers to try and replace David Gilmour.

I love how the Boston Herald summed up the show; " Waters’ runthrough of "Dark Side of the Moon," complete with near-seizure-inducing light show and extended arrangement, was as mind-bending as stadium rock gets. The trippy freak-out of "On the Run" bled into a perfectly embellished tom-tom solo to kick off "Time." The wailing vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky" brought chills. And "Money," a song killed and buried by classic rock radio, was resurrected gloriously." My other favorite moments were the rip roaring opener of "In The Flesh", everyone singing along to "Mother", "Wish You Were Here", and the final song of the night, "Comfortably Numb". Plus extra bonus points for no opening act or extended solos!

Set One
In the Flesh
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Shine on You Crazy Diamond
Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here
Southampton Dock
The Fletcher Memorial Home
Perfect Sense 1 & 2
Leaving Beirut -- this was the lone new song and a huge ripping of G.W. Bush
Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety:

Speak to Me/Breathe
On the Run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage

The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sopranos Goes Out With A Whimper

Actually a whimper is too strong a word. The Sopranos series finale went out with...a big nothing. A quick cut to black and silence, mid Journey song even ("Don't Stop Believing" -- but believing in what?!). A fill-in-the-blank ending for every viewer. This is the lamest outcome I ever feared for the show, but my fears increased throughout that last episode. I thought life was coming together too quick and easy for everybody. The fabulous penultimate episode with all out war between NY and New Jersey crews breaking out really sucked me in and had me drooling for an amazing ending. But it was all a fake out. Where is Deadwood when I need it most? Oh yeah, canceled.

Now I'm left with nothing but memories of Lost, which did live up to its hype and provided a great season ending episode a few weeks ago, to last me through the summer. The Sopranos letdown also reminded me of what could be the greatest final episode ever - the finale of HBO's Six Feet Under. They flashed forward and gave closure for every character, that was a fantastic ending, and it stuck with me for weeks. As for Tony and family, I'll just assume the various suspicious strangers in the restaurant opened fire and wiped them all out; blood splattering all over their onion rings. I'd hate to think creator David Chase did the non-ending so they can reunite for movies down the road. I think the backlash is gonna be big. I am a fan of ambiguous endings, but this was ridiculous and maddening. It just reeks of writers who didn't know how to end their story.

Can't wait to see how many people post their own Sopranos endings to YouTube and the like.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hurray Up Wednesday!

Man, this feels like the slowest moving week ever! I'm dying to get to Wednesday for the season finale of LOST. This season - the third for the show - has come on huge over the last few months after a rather tepid start. I've been running to Lost sites and blogs more than ever before, anyone who gave up on the show due to a lack of answers has been missing out. Lost is just the best show on TV, the layers to the writing and performances seem never ending. It is the only show I'm talking about days, even weeks, after each episode airs. For the last couple months I no longer look forward to weekends, I only look forward to Wednesdays. Though I am thrilled that the series itself will have an ending. In an unprecedented move, ABC has made a deal with the producers to end the show in 2010, after six seasons. This lets the producers tell the full story, without filler episodes and trying to stretch too little story over too many years (hello Star Wars prequels) for the sake of ratings and money. That is the sort of fate that killed once great programs like The X-Files and Twin Peaks.

24 wraps up tonight and The Sopranos has only two more episodes, but neither inspires the curiosity, interest and fervor in me that Lost does. This season of 24 has just felt like a jumble of repeats from previous years, the only real surprises happened in the first couple hours. But I have to give the show credit; for five season it kept topping itself. It is only here in season 6 that it has felt flat. Which is rather amazing because I didn't think it could even live up to it's first season again. So unless Jack Bauer dies tonight (for real) I don't think anything can save the season for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

West Coast

Spent last week in California for work and had the chance to run around San Francisco a bit with Larry The Lizard. Larry has been there many times, but there is very little photographic evidence. Even had a mini PlasticVille reunion as we spent some time with Leominster refugees Matt and Maribeth.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

IA Release Day

After many months of wondering and worrying, "Illegal Aliens" is out on DVD. You can buy or rent it at major and minor stores and websites all over the US. So why aren't you watching it right now? Do it for little Dannielynn if not for me. Hell, do it for Larry The Lizard - this is his first movie since "Mr. Deeds."

We celebrated IA Day by attending a Draft Recap presentation by the Patriots down at Gillette Stadium. I still can't believe Randy Moss is a Patriot. On top of all the other great off-season acquisitions (Adalious Thomas, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker...) and considering how close we came to the Super Bowl last year; the Patriots have to be considered the favorites to win it all again next season. As long as everyone stays healthy and out of trouble, this will be the most potent Patriots' offense ever!

Scott Pioli (Pats VP - Player Personnel) got a huge ovation when he said there was still room for Troy Brown. TB, the Pat's all-time leading receiver, is currently an unsigned free agent while he recovers from off-season surgery. Very glad to see that even the "all business" Patriots realize there are some fan favorites that just can't play football anywhere else - like Troy and Tedy Bruschi. They should be Patriots as long as they want to.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

More "Illegal Aliens" Stories

Here are a couple "Illegal Aliens" articles from the Burlington Free Press.
Made in Vermont: Marketing tricky for Anna Nicole film
Anna Nicole Smith's funeral 'beautiful and strange,' director says

Be on the lookout next week for stories in "People" and "In-Touch" magazines as well as on all the expected TV shows - Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The Insider...

Wow - Dennis Lemoine gets his own story!
Exeter man starred in films with Anna Nicole Smith

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One More Week Until "Illegal Aliens"

Larry The Lizard and Boob Cakes The official countdown is underway and "Illegal Aliens" will be released on DVD in less than one week - May 1, 2007. This past weekend I held an advance screening for about 20 VIPs. There was plenty of Boob Cake and Shots O' Larry to go around, guaranteeing a hilarious screening. This movie is best enjoyed by drunks.

Here is a fantastic story by the Associated Press on the movie - this was picked up by hundreds of websites and newspapers:
Anna Nicole Smith mocks herself in final role
and another not-so-nice story from NY Post which is more what I expected to find
Anna's Last Movie

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Boston Marathon Rolls On

Despite horrible predictions, the 111th Boston Marathon was not washed away yesterday, in fact the great N'oreaster that was pounding the whole east coast with rain and wind took the afternoon off. We headed into Boston on the T and by the time we came up from underground a few blocks from the finish, it wasn't even raining anymore; it was still windy and cold, far from perfect marathon conditions, but it felt like a blessing compared to the drenching rains and wind gusts in the 40s that was happening Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) Spaghetti Dinner was Sunday night and it was so inspiring and moving - I even wanted to run the marathon the next day ( and I haven't even run around the block since high school). Lori was really bummed about not running, but she got to go up on stage with all the runners and gave her patient/partner Olivia a medal. My mom said she even saw her on NESN's coverage. We also got to hear from some Dana-Farber researchers themselves about the great work this fund raising does. The funds raised by DFMC runners funds programs so new and innovative they usually can't qualify for any government funding.

Luckily (for me anyway) being woken at 6am by the howling, house-shaking winds and watching the drenched runners lining up at the starting line on TV took away any desire to run.

On Monday, marathon day, Lori and I were stationed at the Family Meeting Area of the Recovery Zone. We tracked which runners had checked in, kept families updated and helped them find their runners. It was a fun afternoon, though I had really hoped to be out working on the course. The biggest surprise was how many runners and family members thanked us before they left. These people just ran over 26 miles while I just stood around directing people to the restroom for a few hours, yet THEY were thanking ME. Lori and I were both blown away and I'm sure volunteering for DFMC will be an annual tradition for us now.

Then today, in a stroke of "My Name Is Earl" Karma, I won $1,000 from WAAF when they announced my name on the air.
We also finally saw "Blades of Glory" this weekend - and it was as hilarious as promised.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Boston Marathon Update

Lori had been training all year to run her first marathon - the Boston Marathon - this Monday - but a couple weeks ago the final word came down from her doctors; no running a marathon this year. But we will both be volunteering in the recovery zone at the finish line and you can still donate to support the fight against cancer.
Lori and her patient partner Olivia
Here is recent message Lori sent to all her donors.

From: Lori Grant
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:29 AM
Subject: Disappointed yet excited

Good Morning all,

As you know I have been training for the Boston Marathon both mentally and physically since last April.

When I signed up to run for Dana-Farber I will be honest and say it was secondary to my actual commitment to run. However, over the months of being involved with the DFMC team, getting hooked up with Olivia (my patient partner) and in general learning more about the important research that the fundraising provides, the fundraising has become more important than the running.

It is a good thing that I feel this way because during my training I injured myself. I have a torn Labrum (cartilage in the hip joint). I ran with it for a while until the pain became too much. I went to a specialist and I was told no running, but I could bike and do the elliptical as long as there was no pain, Jack Fultz assured me this would get me (keep me) in the shape I needed to be in for the marathon.

I took to the elliptical like a fool, working my way up to over 3 hours for my "long run". I was fully prepared to run Boston and I was doing everything possible to make it happen.

However, on March 19th, the doctor shot down my hopes and dreams and said NO to running any kind of distance, especially the marathon. He even said no to walk it. Yes of course I asked if I could do that.

After a few days of tears, sadness, guilt and overwhelming disappointment I accepted his advice. All the reasons I wanted to run aside from raising money started to subside after a scare with an illness in my family. Thank goodness everyone is fine now and I realize that although my injury will not allow me to run the marathon it does not stop me from taking care of myself and others.

I have signed up to volunteer with DFMC during the marathon and will still participate in the Dana Farber Pasta Party this Sunday. While I am volunteering on Monday in the rain/snow/wind and cold temperatures it will be nothing compared to what patients go through daily during their battles with cancer and treatment. I will be in the Dana Farber Recovery Zone helping DFMC teammates at the end of their run. I feel fortunate that I am still able to help and be a part of the DFMC team.

Although I am unable to run the marathon I am still raising funds running in honor of Joanne Martin Robinson who left her family, friends and especially her children much too soon. Just last week, on April 3rd, Pat Weinberg (my best friends Mom) lost her battle with cancer. Although her funeral was a celebration of her life, it was still a life taken too soon by a disease that is not kind.

It is my hope and my dream that with your help, one day soon we will not have to explain cancer to future generations, or to live with the fear that someone we love may get “it”.

For those of you who have donated to me already I thank you so much for your help.

My goal for DFMC is to raise $7,500, I am not there yet. Every dollar helps and I appreciate anything you can contribute.

I thank you all for your support both emotionally and financially for DFMC.

You can send a check written to DFMC to my address:
198 Foster Street
Littleton, MA 01460

Or you can click here and donate directly on the DFMC website. If this link doesn’t work go to click on support a runner and enter my name.

Thank you and be well,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New England Patriots Schedule

The Patriots’ 2007 schedule:
Sunday, Sept. 9 -- at Jets (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 16 -- vs. Chargers (NBC, 8:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 23 -- vs. Bills (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Monday, Oct. 1 -- at Bengals (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 7 -- vs. Browns (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 14 -- at Cowboys (CBS, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 21 -- at Dolphins (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 28 -- vs. Redskins (FOX, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 4 -- at Colts (CBS, 4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 11 -- BYE
Sunday, Nov. 18 -- at Bills (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 25 -- vs. Eagles (NBC, 8:15 p.m.)
Monday, Dec. 3 -- at Baltimore (8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 9 -- vs. Steelers (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 16 -- vs. Jets (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 23 -- vs. Dolphins (CBS, 1 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 29 -- at Giants (NFL Network, 8:30 p.m.)

The complete NFL 2007 shedule was announced today. You can find info for all teams at

Anna Mania Continues

Well with Larry Birkhead winning the DNA battle to prove he is indeed Dannielynn's father yesterday, Anna Nicole Mania should settle down a notch or two. Now all that's left to sort out is custody - which should be pretty straight forward for Birkhead - and then the outstanding issue of Anna's piece of billionaire J. Howard Marshall's estate. This should also end the rumors of Larry The Lizard possibly being the father. It will be interesting to see what Howard K. Stern does next. For what its worth, I always thought he was just trying to honor Anna Nicole's wishes in all his actions regarding little Dannielynn. Also will be interesting to see how Prince Von Whats His Name tries to stay in the news too.

"Illegal Aliens" got a plug on the gossip site today. The big release date of May 1 is right around the corner.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The First Easter Bunny

The First Easter BunnyCelebrate Easter by learning the real story of "The First Easter Bunny". This award winning short is brought to you by the fine folks at PlasticVille Productions. Fill your days watching "The First Easter Bunny" and "We've Got Johnny" online while you are waiting for "Illegal Aliens" to be released.

And rock on Sanjaya! Nobody can stop the power of your awfulness!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Go Sanjaya!

Sanjaya - King of PopI hate myself every time I watch American Idol, yet I can't stop. So I'm gladly hopping onto the Sanjaya bandwagon. He should have been eliminated long ago, but a growing movement to have the worst singer win and thereby stop the useless pop machine of AI from unleashing more generic singers is bringing the world together. There are many websites pushing for Sanjaya and Howard Stern has been openly campaigning for him too. Here's to the worst coming in first!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Manning on SNL

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has always made me laugh; all of his goofy faces and whining during NFL games just crack me up. But he was intentionally funny this past weekend on Saturday Night Live (though not as funny as when Tom Brady hosted the show). Here is the funniest thing from the show - a fake United Way spot. Check it out.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nobody Would KISS This

Gene Simmon's reality show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" kicks off season 2 tonight on A&E, and Gene has never looked better. I gave up on watching just a few episodes into the first season, it was just boring. His kids are almost too normal and Gene just says the same shit he's been saying for decades. But maybe I'll give it another shot just to see his Frankenstein face.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Exciting Times for NE Patriots

This off season has been quite eventful for the New England Patriots, and unlike last year it is due to all the top free-agents that are joining the team instead of leaving it. I had hoped Baltimore stud linebacker Adalius Thomas might end up in New England after seeing him enjoy his Pro Bowl time with coach Bill Belichick, but I was shocked by how aggressively and quickly the Pats got him. Considering this team was just one good half of a football game away from another Super Bowl last season, this could very well be the best Patriots' team yet, and we haven't even gotten to the NFL draft.

Here is a great recap of this free agent season for New England from Peter King at Sports Illustrated.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Drink with Johnny Appleseed

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by sharing a drink with Leominster's favorite son, Johnny Appleseed. Then once you're good and liquored up check out PlasticVille Production's very own ode to Mr. Appleseed - We've Got Johnny.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"300" Kicks Butt

Now that Academy Award season is over we can go to the movies just for fun again, so this weekend we saw "300", and it was a blast. The ads and hype have been flowing for many weeks that this is the future of film - no sets exist, it was all done with CGI. "300" tells the ancient tale of just 300 Spartan soldiers taking on the enormous Persian army to defend Greece. It is a mash-up of "Gladiator" and "Sin City" with some stunning slow-mo action sequences reminiscent of "The Matrix". It is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name and really looks like a comic come to life. There are many jaw dropping images and relentless action staged like a ballet of gore. I loved it. Two bloody thumbs up!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Illegal Aliens - on Amazon

Great news; you can pre-order your copy of Illegal Aliens on DVD from and have it shipped right to your door the moment it is available in May. Illegal Aliens stars Anna Nicole Smith, in sadly her final role, and Joanie "Chyna" Laurer.

Updated 3/7/07: Furor over Anna Nicole Final Film, to Hit Theaters and Cannes Fest in May

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Anna Mania

I discovered this weekend that I'm a published photographer. Should be pretty exciting news, except it was without my knowledge or permission. Seven of my personal photos from the Illegal Aliens wrap party were published in a certain "celebrity" magazine, I won't bother to name it and give them more publicity, but they claim the photos are an exclusive and have appeared on Inside Edition and Court TV (that I know of) showing them off.

I even found an auction on eBay of the picture currently on my home page of Me, Anna Nicole and Chyna. Somebody printed out the photo, threw a fake signature on it and tried to sell it. Amazing. If you have an eBay account you can see it; check it out.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Februrary 17th!!!

Holy crap! It's February 17. That can only mean one thing -- Stardate February 17th:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Illegal Aliens Release Date Set

Anna Nicole and Larry The Lizard"Illegal Aliens", the final film featuring Anna Nicole Smith, will be released on DVD May 22, 2007. You can read the full official press release here.
More coverage is available on E! online.

Anna Nicole couldn't have been nicer on the set of Illegal Aliens. She took the time for photos and autographs for any fans who showed up on location. She was a blast to work with and even gave commemorative t-shirts to all the cast and crew once the film wrapped. The only time there was any sort of issue on set was when she got into an argument with another actress while Anna was sticking up for a crew member. That's when she won me over. You can still check out my collection of reports from the set of Illegal Aliens.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith: Dead

In a shocking and sudden flurry of news today, Anna Nicole Smith was found unconscious in her hotel room in Florida and rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead on arrival this afternoon. Nobody is even guessing as to cause of death yet and I have no idea what this means for her many court cases, the movie - "Illegal Aliens", or most tragically for her 5 month old daughter.

MSNBC: Anna Nicole Smith Dies After Collapse
Yahoo: Anna Nicole Smith Dead

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Football Free Weekend

Pale ManStayed busy this weekend to put off the annual post football season depression until after the Super Bowl. We saw "Pan's Labyrinth" Friday night. This is a stunning film that is on every critic's top ten list for 2006. It is a subtitled Spanish film by acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and it has some of the most amazing visuals I've seen since Lord of The Rings, including one of the creepiest, nightmare-inducing characters ever on film - Pale Man. It is an adult childhood fairytale pitting innocence against pure evil and it seamlessly flows between reality and fantasy. It's a great flick - but for me, I still put "Children of Men" above it.

Saturday we went to a Dana Farber Marathon event where Lori got to meet the patient she is running for. Eight year old Olivia lives in nearby Bolton and this is her third year involved with the Boston Marathon. I was a little concerned with what the mood might be at an event full of children fighting cancer, but the whole afternoon was a lot of fun. There wasn't a sad face to be seen anywhere, and all the little bald heads just made me feel more welcome. Plus the "kids menu" of chicken nuggets, fries, pizza and ice cream was right up my alley. Then it was off to the Boston Home Show to see what the latest things to throw some money at were and then we hit a recently opened Indian restaurant near us, Monsoon, and it was awesome. I haven't had Indian food since our trip to Nepal in 2000. I still have no idea what anything is or what its called, but I love it.

Sunday we started prepping to paint our downstairs rooms and finally pulled down curtains that Lori's been swearing about since we moved in three years ago. Plus - we finally got to see an advance copy of "Illegal Aliens" this week - and its really GOOD!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

What a Game!

That is what a playoff game should be, I have no complaints on this one. Peyton Manning and the Colts finally pulled out the big game. Very impressive after the Patriots dominated the first half so much and were up 21 to 6. Then it turned into a slugfest with the Colts not being ahead until the final minute of the game - when it mattered most - and won 38 - 34. There are no questionable calls or freak plays to blame, the Colts just played their asses off. The Patriots really over performed this year, with the loss of more coaches and players and another season full of major injuries, but there are no excuses and no regrets - this was what playoff football should be, a battle until the last moments of the game. And I'm glad it didn't come down to field goal kickers. Guess I'll be rooting for the Colts, for first time ever, as they face the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XVI.

Championship Sunday

The AFC Championship is coming down to the teams it just had to come down to, the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. This rivalry has been a fantastic one and this game feels like it is bigger than the Super Bowl will be. Can the Patriots dynasty continue? I had my doubts during the season, seeing three losses at home was really a shock but this team pulls it together when it counts most. Just ask the "classy" San Diego Chargers. The Patriots are at their best when they are underdogs and having the league MVP whine about how they celebrate after playoff wins just adds more fuel to their fire.
The Patriots have never lost an AFC Championship game! They are 5 and 0. That is just amazing. The Colts have never beaten the Patriots in the playoffs. Lots of people are saying this is finally the year for Peyton Manning (I remembering hearing that a lot last year too). They've got the Pats playing in Indy at their dome where they are undefeated this season (just like San Diego was until last week), but Tom Brady has never lost in a dome himself. Plus today is the anniversary of Bob Kraft buying the team, and Adam Vinatieri has never missed a kick inside the RCA Dome - oh wait, he's with them now - another reason to hate the Colts. I bet plenty of Colts wish there were headed to San Diego for this game instead of being at home facing the Patriots.
If the Pats pull out another upset and go to the Super Bowl yet again - there can be no doubt that this is the greatest team in NFL history. But I'm torn this year - ya gotta love the New Orleans Saints. If the Patriots can't win it all this year, I hope the Saints do. So I'm pulling for a Patriots - Bears Super Bowl, which will give us a little revenge for being blownout back in Super Bowl XX.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Dynasty Continues

Yeehaah! What a day - the Patriots upset the San Diego Chargers (The Best Team in Football this year) and "24" is back! The Chargers were better than I expected, I knew their offense was good, but their defense is a lot more than just linebacker Shawne Merriman. And I love that the game down to a game winning kick by the new kid Gostowski.
Next weekend it will be my favorite playoff matchup for the Pats in the AFC championship - beating up on Peyton Manning and the Colts yet again and some revenge on Adam for leaving New England. Gotta love it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Patriots Roll Over Jets

Man, what a game yesterday between the Patriots and Jets! I don't know if it was the shockingly warm temperatures, the week of hype of Belichick vs. Mangini, Mad Genius vs. Mangenius, Master vs. Apprentice.... but it felt like a special game.
We got to our seats early and watched warm ups while many Patriots players chatted with former teammates now on the Jets like Matt Chatham, Bobby Hamilton and Hank Poteat. It was interesting to see the few brave souls - Kevin Faulk and Corey Dillon - who approached Jets Coach Eric Mangini and gave him a warm hello.
It wasn't just the Patriots towel giveaway (which thanks to the great weather and upbeat crowd were waving the whole game through) that proved this was a playoff game, the celebs were even in the house. Donald Trump was up above us in the owners box with Robert Kraft while Aerosmith's own Joe Perry was roaming the Patriots' sidelines.
It was all you could want in a Patriots win - competitive but in control and then the score is blown open in the fourth quarter. It was rare to see such competitive, noticeable coaching. This was a real chess match with moves and counter moves, dueling no-huddle offenses, both teams racing to make substitutions. Coach Belichick was much more emotional and demonstrative than his normal stoic self. He was one of the first to welcome Asante Samuel to the sidelines after his interception and he was going nuts to get Vince Wilfork's attention to run with the ball when he came up with it after Jets QB threw a backward pass the was tipped by Pats' linebacker Rosevelt Colvin. The ball hit the ground and most players stopped, believing the ball to be dead and the play over, not-so-gentle giant Wilfork scooped up the ball and after much prompting from Belichick chugged his 325+ pounds down the field.
At the end of the game, Belichick had to fight a media mob and shoved one dude aside to give a nice hug to his former disciple Mangini. He even swore in his press conference when describing all the photographers in his way. Classic.
Next stop, San Diego, where the Pats will face the league MVP LT. It won't be easy for the Patriots to upset the Chargers, but it is certainly doable. A month ago I thought Pats would be lucky to win one playoff game, now I'm dreaming of another Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Go See "Children of Men"

While waiting for the NFL Playoffs to start we went to the movies today and saw what I'd be shocked doesn't end up being my favorite movie of 2007. "Children of Men" is set about 20 years from now (though it feels like it could be just a week or two away) in Britain at a time of world war and female infertility. The youngest person in the world is 18 and he just died. Clive Owen stars as Theo who ends up having to transport a woman who seems to be pregnant. Great suspense, action and thrills abound, plus some fantastic performances by Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. I am now firmly on writer/director Alfonso Cuaron's bandwagon. The directing and cinematography made this feel like the news at times - so many powerful scenes could have been live reports from Iraq or the Gaza Strip. Throw in touches of the Holocaust, Jesus Christ, Abu Ghraib prison, WWII.... this was just an awesome movie that really sticks with you long after the final frame.

Speaking of playoffs, tomorrow we will be off to the Patriots - Jets wildcard came at Gillette Stadium. Every other year we considered ourselves fortunate if it was above freezing for a game in January. Today it was 72 degrees here. WTF! Damn that Al Gore and his inconvenient truth.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007: The Year Ahead

A new year, a new playoff run for the New England Patriots - all is well in the world. Our cat Samantha came through her surgery just fine and should be wearing her goofy protective collar for just another few days. I'm continuing to develop my first optioned screenplay with a producer in LA and will be writing more all year. This will be a big year for "Illegal Aliens."
It will also be a big year for Lori as she runs the Boston Marathon for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. You can donate and sponsor her online. Once she's had time to recover from that we'll head down to Chile for a totally sick white water rafting trip and a quick jaunt over to Easter Island just for Larry The Lizard to get his photo taken there.
Each year seems to go by faster, but as long as they keep getting better - that's fine.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006: Looking Back

Santa LarryWell another year is in the books and it was pretty damn good one. The year began with my beloved New England Patriots in the playoffs once again, but for the first time in Tom Brady's career the playoffs ended with a loss. I also jumped into some online businesses - auto surfs and high yield investment programs - that were doing great for a couple months until the SEC decided they were ponzi scams and it all fell apart.
My writing career continued as I attended Beyond Structure in April and took an online Fiction Writing Class in July. This year I finished two more screenplays (and started many others) and got my first option for "Bottom of The Ninth". "Illegal Aliens" generated buzz all year and had a successful preview in NYC in March but the shocking death of Daniel Smith brought the sales process to a crawl. Interest among potential distributors only increased amongst all the drama so it certainly will see the light of day.
We made it two of the great sights of the world; the Amazon River and Machu Picchu in May. Lori launched a new company (Always Your Weigh), finished her first road race ever; the Falmouth Road Race in August and got approved to run the 2007 Boston Marathon.
September brought the loss of Daniel Smith, whom I met on the set of "Illegal Aliens" and Sue Gardner who acted in my short "We've Got Johnny."
By the end of the year I was finally playing with old "Cool Stuff" mayhem and getting it up on to youtube.
My favorite movie that every critic seemed to rip apart was "Lady in the Water." My other favorites that other people loved too were "Borat" and "The Departed." While easily the best Mayan subtitled action flick ever was "Apocalypto."