Category Archives: MANuary

Is it not MANuary?

Why yes you diligent observers of Nugget etiquette is in fact MANuary. And to be honest at the rate I’m getting things accomplished well we might not get any guy “action” around here until FEMruary. In all seriousness turning my blog over to the boys each New Year is one of favorite ways to be lazy. It’s given rise to such gems as  Fit Pitchin’ Friday: MANuary style in which I come clean and alienate 98% of people (four of the five of them being women) that read this blog.

I have been known to fall prey to the distant beat of disgruntled -and completely right- drummers. And let us not forget my totally unbiased heavy breathing on the phone interview with author, actor, father and the muse of my mantra “I don’t know” Evan Handler.

Wonderful book by Author & Pal Deb Amlen soon to be swag here at The Nuggets

Yes MANuary is a magical time of year where the stars align and for nearly a full lunar cycle all is right with the world. Of course we all know how a “cycle” effects one’s ability to function so we’ll just blame the lack of testosterone around here on that.

It’s only temporary: An interview with Evan Handler

Every now and then life reveals little truths to us. How we come upon them varies as much as their impact on us. After all, the truth that eating doughnuts makes you fat is far less of an revelation than the realization that you can’t your mistakes shape you – in the case of those doughnuts, quite literally. The most recent of truth I’ve stumbled upon came in the form of a book. 

In all honesty it’s really more a work of performance art than reading material.  At points I found myself angered, annoyed and repulsed by the autobiographical tale of a man who seemed so self involved as to be loathsome. Yet turn the page, an the humanity of the story makes even the most repellent aspects somehow relateable. 

In the end I walked away from this book, a tale of life it’s truths and imperfection, uncertainty and pain, with a sense of hope derived from the raw honesty of actor, cancer survivor, author, husband, father and human being Evan Handler

 

 the truth is… “I don’t Know”        

The following interview with Evan covers his books, career, parenthood and more. I encourage you to consider reading the book.

It’s not a traditional, bad guy is bad, finds good girl, realizes he’s bad and we all live happily ever after tale. It’s brutal, honest, funny and moving. I have two copies to give away. This isn’t going to be a kitschy blog giveaway game (that comes next month in FABruary!) so you don’t have to jump through any hoops. Just read the interview, promise not to laugh that I got the title of my favorite show EVER wrong and that Evan calls me on it, and leave a comment. Tweet about it if you feel moved to do so (you can find Evan on twitter as well @EvanHandler). I’ll give you “credit” for a tweet just mention me in it too (@dipaolamomma). I’ll announce the winners some time in the next two weeks. ENJOY

How do you feel about critics? Case in point, Publisher’s Weekly said of Time on Fire “Laced with anger, punctuated by humor and fueled by his indomitable will to survive, Handler’s story is entertaining, harrowing and ennobling” Then went on to say of this latest book (It’s Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive) “Unfortunately, his egotism often robs him of perspective”. For the record I think the “egotism” lends the book it’s unabashed honesty and a perspective so unique as to make it endearing.
 
Well, it’s difficult to respond to critics without sounding defensive, or merely unattractive. Obviously, I tend to create a piece the way I think it works best, meaning the way I feel it communicates most precisely what I’d like to say. And I like to think I have a fairly decent ability to assess my own work’s strengths and shortcomings. So, I find the reviewers who get and appreciate those efforts to be more intelligent and insightful than the ones who don’t. That said, the New York theater community is full of first-person observations of critics sleeping through performances they then publish opinions about, so I’m not sure these things are as closely examined as many readers imagine. 
 
My main complaint with coverage of IOT is that it was so widely ignored. It didn’t receive a single full-length print review, anywhere, after my first book was positively reviewed in virtually every major market newspaper, and many national magazines. I actually expected very harsh responses to some of the material (termination of a possibly “miraculous” pregnancy!). Instead, it just wasn’t paid attention to at all. One theory of mine is that most editors of newspapers and magazines depend on the brief mini-reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus to decide what to cover, and what to ignore. My first book got starred reviews in each, and got coverage everywhere. My second got panned by each, and didn’t get a word written about it anywhere else. If that system is in place, it’s a shame. It would mean there’s an awful lot of good material getting overlooked, due to two individuals not liking it on their one quick read.
 
I also think I probably erred in positioning the material myself. In every interview I emphasized how it’s a collection of stories about relationships, similar to those in Sex and the City and Californication (my Hank Moody life), and all about growing up, since I thought that’s what people would relate to. I didn’t talk about it as a book that’s quite explicitly about long-term survivorship, and what it’s like to walk around with a solid case of post traumatic stress disorder, since it deals with those issues through storytelling (often about relationships), not intellectualized study. But I do wonder whether press response might have been stronger if I’d handed them a more unique, albeit more obscure, angle than love and relationships. 
 
Owing to the fact that a good portion of my readers, myself included, are huge Sex in the City fans, most only “know” you as Harry Goldenblatt. Tell us about some of the other parts you’ve played and would liked to be remembered for.
(It’s Sex and the City, not Sex in the City. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.)
 
I’m proud of various things, from my portrayal of Shrug, in the ABC sit-com “It’s Like, You Know…,” to my portrayal of Larry Fine in the ABC film “The Three Stooges,” to guest parts on “West Wing,” and “Lost.” There’s a lot of theater work I did back prior to 1991 or so that I was very enthusiastic about, but the nature of theater work is that it evaporates upon presentation. The original cast of “Six Degrees of Separation” at Lincoln Center Theater was a pretty special group and time. David Eigenberg of Sex and the City was in that cast with me. And anyone who liked Sex and the City ought to at least look at “Californication.”
 

Has becoming a father changed you creatively? If so are we going to see you kick John Lithgow of his, Kid’s Book writing throne or what? (for the record I’m big Lithgow fan)

 
 
Becoming a father has made me tired. Now that my daughter has started preschool, becoming a father has made me chronically ill. I haven’t taken an uncongested breath since before Thanksgiving. 
 
And I think John Lithgow would be difficult to push off any throne. He’s extremely tall, and appears to be fairly sturdy.

 

One thing I want my readers to know about you is that you still speak out about patients rights and health care issues. Do you have anything you’d like to add to that?

 

I kind of like to mouth off about anything people will listen to me spout about, so I have to be a bit careful. When I think I’ve got something to say that needs to be said, I often say it at Huffingtonpost.com.

Oh Peas {and Bananas}

It is MANuary!
What?
Is next month, FEMbruary?
shaking head
All I know is that the hen was looking for some Rooster Juice!
Well, something along those lines…..anyhow….
Greetings!
I am that egocentric dad over on Peas and Bananas aka Daddy Bookins!
You know, the one that will not stop talking about lil boo, poop, farts, gorgi monsters, espresso, Sunday morning ritual cocktails (#smr) and anything else that floats my boat.
No really….
Fine.  I am actually Cameron, thirty something year old living his life on the grid with his lovely wife (the Mrs.) and only son, lil boo.  Yes, we live in suburbia, as disturbing as that is it is life.  I used to work simple easygoing hours, Monday through Friday, never an ounce of overtime.  Then BAMMO somehow the vortex of the brick and mortar jungle sucked me into a life of hell.  You see, I am the boss (at least at work I am – at home is another story) and with that comes all sorts of F’d up malarkey.  Running crews day and night, weekdays/weekends has virtually destroyed my inner being of sanity.  I am a pure disaster!  The governing body of ADD to the extreme now sanctions my OCD habits.  As my Doctor so poignantly states, “Life’s A Bitch” – thanks for being so positive doc!  With that said…off to a positive note this year….the year of 2010 and dramatic changes – are you with me? 
If not….too bloody bad….
Now for my shameless plug!
Were you aware that I wrote a children’s book?

This is correct, I did.  Peas and Bananas Outside with Lil Boo

Were you aware that it is available to purchase?

This is correct, it is!

Were you aware that we are having one heck of a cool Twitter Party? TONIGHT  by the way and I your loyal Nugget Momma will be there in my full twitter addicted glory!

You are now!

Join in on the action, January 28th from 8PM to 10PM
Twitter Party #LilBoo ~ 8-9pm ~ Reading to Children – We will discuss early childhood development and the importance of reading aloud to our children.
MomTV MomActive Channel ~ 9-10pm ~ Meet the Author!  Daddy Bookins (me) will answer questions and discuss the book Peas and Bananas Outside with Lil Boo.
RSVP on MomActive.com (I am also a contributing writer – daddy token of the group)
Hope to see you there!
Peas Out!

~daddy b.

It’s a bird.. it’s a plane.. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!

The sun is high in the cloudless clear blue sky, beating down mercilessly. Turning 360 degrees, the same monotonous ocher of the desert burns your eyes through the shimmering heat haze. You try to wet your cracked lips but your tongue has cemented itself to the roof of your mouth. You know you should be sweating but the moisture in your skin evaporates before it has time to pool into the droplets you expect, leaving only a white salt crust residue and an incessant itch all over your body. Your bones ache, your head pounds. 

Water!
You swing the rucksack from your shoulder and delve deep into the recess. Retrieving the canteen within you claw at the lid frantically and manage to prise it open to a hiss of protest. Raising the vessel quickly to your mouth you instantly anticipate the refreshment of the cold liquid coursing through your whole being and gulp greedily. Hope turns to wretched despair as you gag involuntarily and feel the rage within escape in a primeval howl as you throw the canteen further than any NFL quarterback.
Hot Water!
Despair. You sink to your knees in the baking sand. Hands and face stretched skyward you seek deliverance through dry tears.
You detect a low thrum breaking the silence. Louder and louder. You shield your eyes from the incessant glare reflecting all around and a shape begins to emerge from the distance. Closer and closer, louder and louder until…no! what the….a spaceship?? As you clear your vision with the back of shaking hands a strange vaguely humanoid being descends and walks forward to stand in front of you. Verging on hysteria you take in the hairless round head, pallid skin and odd shaped legs partially covered by… is that a skirt? The being kneels down and opens it’s mouth as if to communicate, but all you hear is a thick, garbled unintelligible sound which vaguely resembles human speech. Seeming to understand that it’s attempt at dialogue has failed the humanoid unhooks a strange brightly colored object from it’s belt and offers it to you with an insistent thrust of it’s arm. Hesitantly you take the object and the being motions to you as if drinking from a bottle. You look down at the object and realize that it is some form of futuristic drinking system. You raise it tentatively to your lips and as the liquid pours from the vessel you gasp!!
Ice Cold Water!
The being smiles and nods wisely and waves a farewell as it ascends to the spacecraft hovering above.  Your gaze follows it gratefully as the thrumming noise begins again louder and louder and as the craft prepares to move off as the humanoid descends into the bowels, was that? no, surely not but as the noise gets louder and louder you swear that you caught a glimpse of a bare buttock and a ….Your eyes open and you hit the sounder on the clock alarm.
Spaceship, Skirted Man, Futuristic Cold Drink Dispenser, Prince Albert?? What a WEIRD dream!!
Or was it?
How cheesy was that? who wants a copy of my first novel? No? You surprise me! 
When Lara asked me to write something for MANuary I immediately started to write about our product as we have done very little but eat sleep and drink it for the past 5 nearly 6 years. I then had a rethink. The good folks of Lara’s Land will find out all about it soon enough, most likely through these very pages. Lara has taken us under her wing and we are happy to be snuggled up there. And I, the proud mother hen, am ready to kick you out of the nest and onto world domination!
So. Who wants to run a business nowadays? Here’s how it works for us our side of the pond.
You WHAT?? Want to borrow money from US? A BANK? Are you SURE???
Well, what’s it for? A new business? NO TRACK RECORD? You’re having a LAUGH!!
OK!OK! You can stump up half the money. We may be able  to help. Give us your house and we’ll consider it.
OH! and you’ll also need a triple A credit rating.
We know that technically speaking “WE” were bankrupt and you the tax payer kindly bailed us out, but hey! Them’s the breaks!!
 
Well that’s the world we all live in now and the sooner we realize it the better. I’d venture to say the only difference on our side of the pond is that the banker has this little conversation with you from his yacht anchored off the coast of the Cayman Islands where he is, no doubt, enjoying his bonus. Remember that? You know the one “necessary to retain the top talent” … If I’m not mistaken that would be the same “talented” group of savants that got us into this mess, no?
Who am I? Stephen Bradley. Occasionally skirted man. MD Ice Cool Industries, Developers of the Quiver. 41, 1 wife, 3 kids. And always good for a laugh or a good brain workout trying to decipher his language.
New Guiding Principal in Business….“Fuck them, we’ll do it ourselves” <—-Sounds MUCH better than “Necessity is the mother of invention” and likely gets MORE done as well! 


P.S. Please excuse the odd formatting of this post. Blogger hates me once again. We’ve got this passionate love-hate (knock it off or I’m switching to WordPress) thing going.

The Bruce

And just in case you thought only Scots could pull off the be-skirted thing I give you Maryland’s own man in a dress.. Kevin “the” Bruce.
 
When Lara, AKA- dipaolamomma, asked me to do a guest posting on her fabulous Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom, I was at once confused and flattered. First off, I just started blogging THIS MONTH! Surely, I’m not a good example of all of those bloggers that slavishly write everyday, adding volumes of truly entertaining and enlightening articles to the net. I have been known to Tweet a little, under the pen-name kevinbruce , but I am NOT known for being a hard-core blogger!

That being said, I’ve found that blogging is quite fun, while serving the purpose of feeding my voracious, insecurity-fed, ego! I started out blogging over year ago at my name site, but it was mostly a dry blog about PHP codewriting. Interesting to me and about 2 other sad and lonely people in the world, but not fun.
A little bit about me (and really, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?), I was born a poor sharecropper in rural Atlanta, GA. Our family, getting by on the kindness of my father’s employers, managed to eek out a living that was full of hardship and tribulation (what the hell does that word really mean?). Leaving home, I discovered the life of a vagabond artist suited me. While roaming the wild tundra of Ohio, I found the love of my life, Cathy. She was able to see beyond my eccentric foibles and marry me.

I achieved an aptitude for doing meaningful, soul-rewarding production art and eventually moved up in the world to meaningful, soul-rewarding web production art.

After 12 years of blissful, unfettered marriage (where we made love in any room in the house, anytime we wanted), we decided to have a child! I was looking forward to two years of trying (sex EVERY night, baby!) when, after 2 months, Cathy was blessed with morning sickness.Birth! I’m not going into that (shudder*).

Our little boy is a wonderfully beautiful little being that is capable of expressing sweet angelic innocence and truly unfettered evil, otherwise know as an Id. He has really changed our world in many wonderful and monetary stressful ways, but, as in many abusive relationships, we love him with all our hearts.
I am a geek. The types of geek I am, and have been, are:

  1. Star Wars geek
  2. Mac Computer geek
  3. Movie and TV geek
  4. PHP coder geek
  5. Food geek
  6. History geek
  7. Gamer geek (mild case, but including LARPs, so that’s counts for double)
  8. oh, and Downtown Frederick geek

Ok- that’s quite enough about me! Thanks to Lara for inviting me to lower her readership numbers (she really had way too many). Thanks to the 4 people that read my blog (Hi, Mom!) and the 1165 people that auto-followed me on Twitter! Finally, thanks to my wonderful wife and son that put up with their odd husband and father 🙂

“So long and thanks for all of the fish!” – the dolphins