Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

My photo
Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Milwaukee's SUMMERFEST!

Summerfest, the world's largest music festival (see entry in Guinness Book of World Records, thank you), is happening now through July 8. Eleven days of fun in the sun, beer, 10+ music stages, food - all down at the Milwaukee Lakefront.

And I'm missing it. Again. Being from Milwaukee, going to Summerfest was a staple. NO questions. You just went. I haven't been back for it since I moved to LA - I don't normally get back there this time of year and I use vacation days for other reasons. I met an ex there - dated her for 4 years. Almost got arrested there. Drank a ton of beer there. It's such an institution that the City of Milwaukee built a permanent site adjacent to the lakefront for the event, which also houses Irish Fest, Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, Indian Summer Fest, Asian Moon Fest, Germanfest, African World Fest, Pride Fest, Mexican Fest - and a few more. Over a million people crowd in along Lake Michigan for this one event, and the memories I have - priceless. Check out the following link for a timeline of Summerfest performers:, and go to for a brief history of the event.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

IRCINK = Scrounger Extraordinaire!

OK. You've got Timothy Hutton in The Green Berets, Jack Lemmon in Mr. Roberts and Tony Curtis in Operation Petticoat. But now there's Jeffrey James Ircink. I'm sort of a pack rat - tinker, traveller, whatever. The company I work for, PorchLight Entertainment is moving to a new location in Los Angeles and the talented Mr. Ircink got his grubby hands on other people's junk. Including:

1) An authentic rubbing of F. Scott Fitzgerald's tombstone - framed - which reads: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" - The Great Gatsby.

2) A basic survival kit including food, water, medical supplies, blanket and flashlight - provisions to last moi three days (and Air Force approved).

3) Some decent picture frames - including some with mattes - that I can salvage for my own use.

4) Original color drawings from early production stages of a new children's series PorchLight is producing in conjunction with the BBC, called Animalia, inspired by the popular book by Graeme Base (sure to be a hit series).

5) Several books and CD's, including medieval chants and madrigals, Leonard Cohen, Homer, law dictionary, NYC street guide, and Faeries by Brian Froud.

6) A whiteboard.

7) An old VHS camcorder that's as big as closet which I ended up tossing.

And the sweet thing is...we're not done.

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Women Celebs I Love #2 - Jenny McCarthy

Beautiful women are like ugly people - they're a dime a dozen. So are female comedians. I don't get'em. I never got Lucille Ball. Jenny McCarthy makes me laugh. It's probably the self-deprecating sense of humor that endears her to me most. Plus, she's succeeded in capitalizing on her Playboy Playmate status beyond the typical "hang out at the Mansion" or "stand there and be a bimbo in a movie". Check out her movie, Dirty Love. It won't make the AFI Top 100 list, but she's a hoot. Yeh, she's attractive - but that's not why she's on this list.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Origami No. 3

I beep at people who don't use their directionals while driving.
I honk loud and long. Bastards.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"...if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!"

That quote was from the movie, Sideways, which was quite a popular little film a few years ago. Having gone on my virgin winetasting tour, I can now say the movie perfectly captured the essence of the Santa Inez wine country near Santa Barbara. Tom Nowak (my non-blood uncle's brother), Jas and I visited five wineries on Friday: Sunstone, Lincourt, Firestone, Curtis and Artiste. Beautiful country - the poster close-up above from Curtis illustrates it fairly well.

"Hey Man, I'm drinking wine, eating cheese and catching some rays."
- Donald Sutherland as Oddball in Kelly's Heroes

Pinot. Chardonnay. Syrah. Viognier. So many wines; so little time. I wouldn't call myself a huge wine drinker. I prefer beer and a good mixer - brandy old-fashioned sweet. There are a TON of wineries in this area...and a ton of different wines. I thought we'd be tasting and spitting, but the spittoon was simply for pouring the wine out that you hadn't finished. After five wineries, I was pretty much full. Typically, you taste 5-6 different wines, going from driest to sweetest and ending with the winery's most recent, or featured vintage. I'm not a savvy winetaster so most of the time I stood there like a dope listening to the pourer go on about "subtleness", "palate" and "oakey taste". It was $10 per winery for the tasting privileges and you got to keep the glass (with the winery emblem - we didn't).

The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken.
- Homer, The Odyssey, bk. XIV, l. 463

The vines are meticulously pruned, the air's a bit drier and it's warmer - such a welcome change from Los Angeles. People are picnicking - it made me think of what Tuscany might "feel" like. Below, Tom and Jason are imbibing (Jason's attempt-ing to "trill"). Tom knows quite a bit about wine - partly from living in Santa Barbara all his life and partly from the killer wine tasting party he throws every year during Fiesta.

Bacchus we thank who gave us wine Which warms the blood within our veins; That nectar is itself divine. The man who drinks not, yet attains By godly grace to human rank Would be an angel if he drank.
- Pierre Motin, drinking song

Tom's siblings - Greg and Laura - joined us at our last winery, Artiste. An artist was commissioned to paint a label for one of Artiste's wines. I will share the story with you on another blog. The other Nowak siblings - my uncle Bob, Chuck, Rick, Carol and Bev - were missed, as was the Ircink clan. Oh well, "more wine!" for us.

"Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me..." - Vizzini in The Princess Bride

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

"What in the Hell...?!" #2

So what's this about the guy who sued the Korean drycleaner for $54 million because of a lost pair of pants? And people wonder why our judicial system is a joke. Two days in court were wasted on this dumb-ass's lawsuit. Obviously, he lost and had to pay the defendant's legal fees.

See "What in the Hell...?!" #1 below and you'll know why I'm pissed half my waking hours.

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Summer Solstice!, Jaybone & the Great Outdoors

So my brother Jason's in town from Wisconsin for Solstice! in Santa Barbara - we're headed up Thursday night thru Sunday. We always go to Fiesta! in August but we're Solstice virgins. Tom Nowak - my Uncle Bob's brother (not blood) - will be our host, as always. More to come from Solstice!.

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Jas brought an assortment of outdoorsy pictures for me to post. In order: 1) Jason and our 2nd cousin, Gerry Krause, shooting flu-flu arrows at pheasant, 2) Dad with his first deer bagged with a recurve bow, 3) Jason and Mike Pilot shooting, 4) Dad's bass caught at his sister's place (my Aunt Ruth) in Lac Du Flambeau (Up North WI - indian reservation land), and finally 5) Jason posing with Dad's deer as Jason's the one that tracked the deer for 2 miles before they found it.

We grew up bowhunting with Jerry and Mike - two guys who know they're shit when it comes to the outdoors; two guys I'd wanna have with me if I were stranded somewhere in the bush.

When I see these pictures, it gets me thinking about how much I miss bowhunting. I first went hunting my senior year in high school - Jas had been hunting for two years already. I got a deer my first year and Jas still hadn't. He felt bad. I didn't really...I did a bit. Since then Jas has over 20 deer to his credit. I have 2 (he hunts more than I do though). I haven't gone since I moved to LA in 1998 - I just don't have the time to fit it ALL in. Thank God I go fishing in May. I WILL bowhunt again!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy 65th B-Day, Brian!

for a
ditty to

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Here are "the boys" in 1988 at President Reagan's election party. Those "old men" can certainly sing, can't they?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy 65th B-Day, Sir Paul McCartney!

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The Badger Boys State program

I wanna tell you a little bit about the Boys State program in Wisconsin - specifically, Badger Boys State. Their annual summer session just ended last week and my mind wanders to the summer of 1981 when I was a participant and the summers afterwards when I was a counselor. Fond memories and wonderful people.

I'll get back to you on this...

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Bienvenideos a America. Aqui hablamos Espanol.

So - immigration. Living in California these past nine years, I guess I'm sorta at the front lines when it comes to the issues of what should our country do about the illegal alien issue.

Keeping in mind the pros and cons of the issue, this is how I see it. Everyone on this planet - EVERYONE - wants to carve out the best life they can for themselves and no one can blame them for it. You. Me. Juan Gomez. Mike Chang. Sean O'Malley and Steve Smith. That being said, if someone wants to come to the US...fine. But they must obey our laws. That means you can't enter the country illegally. I can't go over to Ireland and just stay there like the Mexicans feel they can do here. And it's not a racial issue. Why should they be given special privleges? Laws and codes of morals and ethics are in place so there is order - not anarchy. You stop at a red light. You pay your taxes. You don't shoot a person because he gave you a look. If that all sounds too elementary, then why is having a law in place to keep illegal aliens - from any country - from entering the US without going through the proper channels such a hubbub, bub?

The current immigration bill in Washington that grants "amnesty" to illegal aliens - well, depends on who you talk to, regarding "amnesty". There are provisions in the bill, such as forcing illegal aliens to return home and apply for legal status in our country. Whatever. The point is America IS and has been known as "the land of the free". Fine. However, rules and regulations must be in place to ensure that America - 200 years from now - isn't an overcrowded, shit-hole. And don't say that it can't happen. Honestly, how many us really think in terms of the future of our country? We worry about the here and now, or in terms of the length of our own lives - or the length of our children's or grandchildren's lives.

I think it's wonderful people want to come to America. Just follow our laws and your stay here will be more pleasant. And then you can sign up for the selective service (military); we can tax you, you can help build the wall along the US/Mexico border, etcetera, ad finitum and THEN you truly will be AMERICANS.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007


Love you, Dad. Wish I was home.


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Another Turtle Saved! (Or, "I'm Old (Humpf!). Get the Hell Outta My Way!")

Soup...or no soup? 'Tis the question. My brother called Friday from the road (he was on his way home from a business trip in North Dakota) to let me know that he had just saved another turtle from certain SPLATTERDOM! - his third this year. Those crazy turtles...crossing where there's obviously no "turtle crossing" signs. Look at the expression on this guy - arrogant bastard. Looks like a politician. Humpf.

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Something About Denny.

If you enjoy the Beach Boys (my favorite group), then please - please watch this short video tribute to Beach Boys drummer, Dennis Wilson. Just click on this URL:

Thank you. Also, below is the URL for perhaps Dennis' most popular song, Forever. The words are listed.
If every word I said Could make you laugh I’d talk forever (together my love)
I ask the sky just what we had Mmm it shone forever
(together my love my my my my my my my my my my my my my)
If the song I sing to you Could fill your heart with joy I’d sing forever (together my love my my my my)
Forever Forever I’ve been so happy loving you

Do do do do do do do do do together my love

Let the love I have for you Live in your heart And beat forever (together my love) Forever Forever I’ve been so happy loving you

Baby just let me sing it my baby I wanna be singin’ my baby Baby baby baby my baby I wanna be singin’ I wanna be singin’ my baby Oh oh oh oh My my my my my my

So I’m goin’ away Mmm but not forever Na na na na I gotta love you anyway


And, here's the URL to John Stamo' version of, Forever, that he sang on, Full House. A little more upbeat for the times, but still a beautiful song. The Beach Boys are backing him up - you can hear Carl Wilson's angelic tenor voice backing Stamos on the last line before that final jam.

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Friday, June 15, 2007


It's also my parent's 44th anniver-sary today. Just look at those lovely love-birds. I think my dad is taking her out for a fish fry at St. Thomas Church. Or was it a "take-out" that he's bringing home to her? I'm confused. Good job, Dad. I love you both.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Women Celebs I Love #1 - Minnie Driver

Minnie Driver. This will be a regular feature on the blog, and the #1 denotes first in that series - not that Driver's necessarily my favorite actress. Can't quite put my finger on what it is about her, but she's sort of a combination of two women I've dated. She's currently in the F/X network series, The Riches, but it was her character, Skylar, in Good Will Hunting - and her delivery of a couple lines that endeared her to me:

You suck.


I've been sitting over there for forty-five minutes waiting for you to come talk to me. But I'm (just) tired now and I have to go home and I wasn't going to keep sitting there waiting for you.

I LOVE that line. She's a great singer and I plan on seeing her in July when she plays here in LA.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Deano!

Sorry, Deano...almost forgot about your b-day. The King of Cool - Dean Martin - was born on June 7. My favorite all-around entertainer. Women loved him and men wanted to be like him. Knocked the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night outta the #1 spot on the Billboard chart and at one time was the richest entertainer in the world. Loved to put butter on one piece of white bread, fold it over and eat it, saying, 'It don't get better than that, Pally'. I know his son Ricci - definately a chip off the old block. Where would the current Ocean's 11 franchise be (starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt) without Deano, Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack? I love his movies, his TV show, his music - but it was his demeanor that grabbed me the most. He performed because he WANTED to, not because he NEEDED to. He answered to no one - not even Sinatra.

I miss Deano. That's amore, baby.

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

The USS Shangri-La - my father's ship.

I'm not sure what the trigger was that made me think of my father's naval service today, but something did. Could have been Memorial Day, or our troops in Iraq and elsewhere. I'm a sentimentalist so it doesn't take much for me to think about such things.

My dad was in the navy from 1957-1961 (he was a fireman technician - fired the guns), and he served in the reserves for a couple years before and after that time period. I can't tell you how many times my brother and I paged through his naval yearbook, and my father - though we had to pry stuff out of him - always told us cool stories, like how when they buried servicemen at sea they'd jam their dog tags into the row of upper teeth as a way to identify the body. My dad always says the reason he doesn't like to travel is because he's seen the world from the USS Shangri-La...which he did. Did you know that he climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan? Took 3 days to get to the top and 2 hours to slide down the other side (it was volcanic shale and they slid down on these rug-like thingys). He also said that their ship patrolled the coast of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We've got pictures and movies my grandfather took - oh, they're having a crew reunion in June in Branson, MO...that's what the trigger was.

A bit of interesting history on the ship. The USS Shangri-La (CV-38) (also CVA-38, CVS-38) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier, which constituted the 20th century's largest class of heavy warships, with 24 ships built - many of which served during WWII. 13 of the 24 members of the "long-hull" Ticonderoga variant/subclass, which many consider a separate class in their own right. Such was my father's ship. The color picture is the Shangri-La in 1970. That black and white is from August 1960. My dad is standing on the ship somewhere. Got this one off the internet.

The name, unique among US carriers, was a reference to the recently lost Hornet (CV-8) at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands in the Pacific in 1942. After the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo which was launched from the Hornet, President Roosevelt answered a reporter's question by saying that the raid had come from "Shangri-La", the faraway land of the James Hilton novel, Lost Horizon.
Until 1960, the USS Shangri-La alternated western Pacific cruises with operations out of San Diego. On March 16,1960 she put to sea from San Diego en route to her new home port, Mayport, Florida. She entered Mayport after visits to Callao, Peru, Valparaíso, Chile, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Bayonne, New Jersey, and Norfolk, Virginia. After six weeks of underway training in the local operating area around Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, she embarked upon her first Atlantic deployment, a NATO exercise followed by liberty in Southampton, England. Almost immediately after her return to Mayport, Shangri-La was ordered back to sea—this time to the Caribbean in response to trouble in Guatemala and Nicaragua. She returned to Mayport on November 25, 1960 and remained in port for more than two months. Between 1961 and 1970, Shangri-La alternated between deployments to the Mediterranean and operations in the western Atlantic, out of Mayport. She sailed east for her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet on February 2, 1961. The history after that - well, that's past my dad's time, so...

Anyway, I could go on. Colonel Moore, who was the main character in the movie, We Were Soldiers, said in an interview with a very smug Dan Rather, 'Hate war, but love the American soldier. Got it?'. My dad will be 70 on July 3rd - big party in Greendale every year as the 4th is the next day - and I love him and I love him for the service he gave to his country.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Hiltonapnea. The word, apnea, means, "without breath".

The world is suffering from Hiltonapnea. It's as if we're holding our breath - hanging on the tiniest bit of minutiae that enables us to be consumed with this person's every move. I am the inventor of this word. Here in California it's insufferable. I will not have this word grace the title of a blog on this site. I simply wanted to point out this miserable condition, make you aware of possible symptoms (I don't know what they are because I don't have the disease) and pray that it subsides.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007


What are your thoughts on this word - bumbershoot?

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Mall & Literary Walk in Central Park

Central Park was fantastic. I spent 6 hours there on a Saturday, rested 3 times and didn't quite see everything. You've probably seen this picture taken in winter. I'll post several other pictures here, and I'll also make all the NYC trip pix available on The city was a blast and I'll give you an update on my play reading of Stan's Addiction (which went very well), Tony and Rob, Michael and the Bleeker Street Irregular Theatre Company and all my adventures.

(c) Copyright Jeffrey James Ircink

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Not sure if this is Diprock or Greyshot Arch in Central Park. Too busy trying to capture this perspective that I didn't get a picture of the outside of the arch. Oh well...there are many arches in the park. And one of them.

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Ahh...R & J - those crazy kids. This is outside the Shake-speare Theater in Central Park. Tragic love or true love? You decide which is right...and which is an illusion. Sorry that was from a Moody Blues song. Anyway, yes - love. Good love. Bad love. Love hurts. Love-in's. Unrequited love. Can't love with'em and ya can't love without'em. Can't buy me love (Beatles). Love surrounds me (Dennis Wilson). Love the one you're with (CSNY). Love is real (Lennon). Love stinks (J. Giles). It breaks your heart and will drive any person mad.

Ain't love grand?

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Origami No. 2

"How to Be God-like and Still Leave Your Underwear Lying on the Bathroom Floor."
That's the name of a play title I love but don't have a play for yet. If you've forgotten what this column refer to, go back to my March post for Origami No. 1. And if you have a play idea that goes along with this title, let me know. The title is copyright protected so forget about it.
(C) Copyright 2006 Jeffrey James Ircink

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Friday, June 1, 2007

My dear friend, Amy. I met Amy in November of 1997 while I was performing in the two-person play, Jack and Jill, Iowa City. She was working at a boutique and I went in and asked her some stupid fashion question (which really wasn't that dumb of a question). We dated for one week, then I moved to Phoenix (enroute to CA) and we've remained friends ever since. She lives in Chicago, works as an interior designer and is in love - and I wish her a lot of luck with that. Never a dull moment with Amy.

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Susan lives in Houston. I met her through her mother, Shirley, who's a choreographer in Cedar Rapids. I am very proud of what she's accomplished in life, including raising four beautiful children, and she has a heart of gold. I was gonna crop this photo but I like her radiant face "hidden" there in the black. She's certainly one to make any guy "weak in the knees".

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Another success story - from my friend, Heather Baldwin, in Cedar Rapids. She won the Barbecue Round-Up logo contest for this year's event. I am so proud of her.
That's Heather - in her own bib. Makes ya just wanna take a bite outta that - logo, don't it? Throw some barbecue sause on dat der logo, yee haw!

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Jim Sickels.

Jim Sickels is one of my closest friends from college. That's Ashley and Ryan - the oldest, Morgan, is missing. I introduced him and wife, Sandy, while at school. I'm very proud of that - and the kids are wonderful. I met Jim while we were resident assistants together. He took a semester off school for some military sojourn and Tom Kazar took his place, another one of my closest friends. If I were stranded in, let's say the woods, in a survivalist mode, I'd want Jim Sickels there with me - along with Jim Keller, another close theater buddy from Iowa (ex-military as well), my brother, Jason, and my 2nd cousin Gerry Kraus. Talk about outdoorsman...four of the best. With these guys watching my back, I would tackle just about any outdoor activity. Red Dawn - eat your heart out!

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The Beach Club. That was the name of our house in Whitewater during my senior year in college. And - these are the Beach Club guys. Stuey, Tom, Steve, me and Saad. This was at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI (the former Playboy Club) in October during our 20th college reunion.

Tom lives in Wheaton, IL and is my best friend. We met while we were resident assistants at college. Stuey went to high school with Tom, and Steve and Saad were one-time roommates of Tom's. Stuey and Steve are both in WI and Saad is in IL, but we're all originally from WI (no FIBS allowed in the Beach Club). I could regale you with dozens of stories about our year at The Beach Club, but you really had to "live" it in order to "get it". Grab a beer and put on Luther Vandross' version of "Superstar" on your stereo. Our house theme song. It's a good start.

Stuey shoulda stood in the middle, eh?

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Me and my clone, Maria. By "clone", I mean Maria's a great catch - and we're similar in many ways. This was taken at my work Christmas party, December 2006, in Venice Beach. I met Maria and her husband, Donovan (who by the way is the kindest man I have ever met, except that he's a Bronco's fan), many years ago when we were all part of the Coronet Theater Lab in West Hollywood. They are my closest friends in CA and they're expecting their first child, Grace, in July. I'm jealous - of Grace, already. Maria's even met my brother, Jason, several times - I think she may like him better than me. Hmmmmmm.

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