Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On The Road Again

Well, another few hours and I'm off again to the San Diego Comic-Con (and, considering the size of the crowds there these days, there are those who'd say you have to be off to actually want to attend). If you're anybody in the comic book biz (or want to meet anyone in the biz), this is the place to be for the next five days.

I've been going to San Diego since, I think, the fourth convention and have watched it evolve over the years from a small friendly relaxacon to the biggest trade show in the business. Truth to tell, I kind of prefer those early days, but time marches relentlessly onward.

Anyway, if you're gonna be in San Diego and can find me in the mob, please be sure to say "hi" and mention this blog. I'm still trying to figure out how many of you actually read this thing.

Catch you on the other side.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ah, There's the Rub

Well, Sunday night's incredible episode of What's My Line? - Live on Stage was certainly a blur of activity. No, I mean that literally, since I broke my glasses five minutes before showtime and had to go onstage without them. The rest of the panel this week consisted of Emmy-nominated writer and former co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money Nancy Pimental, comedian, writer, actor (The Astronaut Farmer), the multi-talented Rick Overton, and former Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member Felicia Day, and a wondrous bunch were they all. We had two -- count 'em, TWO -- Mystery Guests this week, which was fun. The first, whom I guessed, was current CSI: cast member Wallace Langham, formerly of The Larry Sanders Show and Veronica's Closet. He was charming and chatty and we briefly discussed my one day visit to the CSI: set earlier this year. Our other Mystery Guest was Olympics legend Bruce Jenner, who remains as entertaining as ever, and who was guessed, as I recall, by the lovely Ms. Pimental. Guessing the two non-celebrity contestants, however, proved to be an entirely different case.

The first, after considerable questioning on our part which came nowhere near the truth of his line, turned out to be a gentleman who sells medical Marijuana. The second was a lovely young woman named Jessica Dragan, who we quickly determined was somehow involved with dogs. How she was involved with dogs, we had no idea. We tried everything we could think of, dog walker, dog groomer, dog trainer, dog doctor, dog dresser, dog manicurist, I even asked if perhaps she was a dog whisperer. Wrong on all counts. When the ten NOs were turned over, Ms. Dragan was revealed to be a dog masseuse, someone who massages dog therapeutically. As ever, our terrific host J. Keith Van Straatan, asked if the panel and the audience would like to see exactly what it is Ms. Dragan does, and when we all responded enthusiastically, J. Keith gestured to the side of the stage and said, "In that case, let's all welcome Len's dog, Muffin!" And, from around the corner, dragging our lovely hostess for the evening, Natasha Leggerro, behind her, comes trotting my big ol' beautiful brown baby. You could have heard my jaw bouncing off the floor from five counties over.

As many of you may recall, we almost lost Muffy early last month when she had to have her spleen removed. Thankfully, she seems to have recovered almost completely, and has been on a special diet where she has started losing some of her extra weight. But to see her come trotting out on stage like that? Those in the audience tell me I was slack-jawed. Apparently, just after my lovely wife Christine and I had left for the show, my buddy Bob Skir (who had told me he couldn't make it to this week's show because he had to finish reading the new Harry Potter book before someone spoiled it for him, an excuse, BTW, I understood) had secretly driven to my house, collected my stepson Michael and my dog and had taken them to the theater and hidden them backstage. Muffin thoroughly enjoyed her massage and then proceeded to spend the remainder of the show sitting by my side, thus adding a fifth, albeit silent, member to our panel.

All in all, one of the single most surreal nights I've spent in the theater. Wish you could've been there. Of course, you can still come to this coming Sunday's show, sadly the last of our current season. For details, click here.

My dog Muffin, definitely bigger than a bread box.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Quick Thinking

Hey, gang. I'm still laboring under that tight deadline, but I just received this from my old friend and former DC Comics Office Manager Pat Bastienne. It made me laugh, so I thought I'd pass it on. Enjoy.
A Florida senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership.

Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.

"Amazing," he thought as he flew down I-75, pushing the pedal even more.

Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw the state trooper behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring.

He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this," and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

The old gentleman paused. Then he said, "Years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back."

"Have a good day, Sir," replied the trooper.
And, on that note, I'll be back here as soon as I can.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Playing Catch Up

Yes, yes, I know. I promised to blog every day and I haven't which means I lied and so now I'm going to Hell when I die, but at least I've been promised a room with a view. Oh, and a heated pool.

Seriously, gang, it's been a strange few weeks. About fourteen days ago, I got offered an incredibly cool new Top Secret gig that required me spending most of last week up in the Bay area, working in the good offices of said Top Secret project, so I wasn't really in any position to blog, even though I finally bought a brand-spanking-new laptop iBook so I could work on the road. The iBook has wi-fi, so in theory at least I should be able to blog while I'm out of town and the next time I have to go back up north to meet with the fine folks I'm working with, I promise I'll try that.

In the meanwhile, the renovation of the kitchen is finally moving along apace. The new cabinets are in place, the new sink countertop will supposedly arrive tomorrow, the doors for said cabinets are due to be added in a matter of days, and then the painting will begin. It seems there is light at the end of the tunnel at last. So when will our kitchen finally be finished? Well, as Rick Blaine once so famously put it, "Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but soon, and for the rest of our lives."

Last Saturday, my lovely wife Christine and I got to see the first fifteen minutes of the new Disney/Pixar animated feature Ratatouille. Yep, just the first fifteen minutes, since that's when all the alarms in the the local mighty mega-multiplex (all 21 screens worth) went off and several thousand people had to evacuate the theater because of a popcorn fire at the concession stand. Now, I can understand the pseudo-butter catching fire, but the popcorn itself? What's the stuff made of ? As far as I'm concerned, I'm eating nothing but Raisinets from now on. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time in my currently-insane schedule to catch the rest of the film at some point soon. What I saw was absolutely terrific.

Sunday night, as if things around here aren't already crazy enough, I was back on the panel of What's My Line? - Live On Stage, which I've been mentioning here repeatedly of late. The other members of the panel were Suzy Nakamura (currently on screen in Evan Almighty), former Mighty Carson Art Player and TeaTime Lady Teresa Ganzel, and my new friend, eight-time Jeopardy! champion and author of the terrific book Prisoner of Trebekistan, Bob Harris. But as wonderful as we all were, this was the first time I felt the group of challengers was generally more famous than we on the panel were. The contestants included a lovely young lady whose line is cleaning birds that have fallen victim to oil spills and such, multi-talented actor Dorian Harewood, who also teaches Blackjack as a sideline, ventriloquist Mallory Lewis, daughter of the legendary Shari Lewis, who brought along Lamb Chop to entertain the audience, and our Mystery Guest, Oscar-nominated actor (for Jackie Brown) Robert Forster. You can click here to check out who's gonna be on this week's show. Rumor has it that What's My Line? is being extended through the end of the month and I may be back on the panel the Sunday before Comicon. If so, I'll let you all know.

Let's see. Anything else going on right now? Yeah, probably. But I've got to save something for my next post. If I'm a little infrequent here for the next few weeks, chalk it up to the Top Secret project. It's not that I don't love you. You know what you mean to me.