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, February 28, 2009

Madison #1, Milwaukee #5 in job growth for 2009?

According to a article from January 5, 2009, the two largest cities in Wisconsin are well below the national unemployment rate and things look good continuing into 2009.

Downtown Milwaukee (above). 3.5% and 4.7% unemployment rates, respectively. My home state. Given I've been contemplating moving home the last year, I say that's good news for the Cheese State. Cold in the winter though. There's the Packers but Packer management can suck my lingum, so that's that. Must contemplate. What about New Zealand??

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Separated at birth? Will Ferrell and Chad Smith.

Chad Smith (bottom) is from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Truth be told, the band might be a bunch of nice guys but the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, sucks as a singer. I wouldn't go to a concert of their's if it were free.

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TGISaturday! presents...Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billy Joe".

Love this song. Haunting. What do the lyrics mean? No one can seem to agree - not even Gentry.

It's said that Bob Dylan hated this song and wrote, "Clothesline Saga" (track nine of the Basement Tapes album), in an attempt to create a sarcastic parody of "Ode". His thought was that "Ode" was a go-nowhere song about nothing containing dull converation.

I disagree. AND - at least one can understand what Gentry is singing. Unlike the venerable Mr. Dylan.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Los Angeles Times front page today. Why am I nervous?

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Flight attendants on Branson' new VAustralia. This is foreign to me.

As part of Virgin's new Australian long haul carrier, V Australia's new Australia-to-Los Angeles leg, V Australia ran this double truck (whatever it's called) in Variety today. This is the front of it. The service opened officially today with a big soiree in LA. Sir Richard Branson is sparing no expense - take a look inside. I believe that V Australia's been around since 2007 sometime.

Sure looks like a friendly airline to fly, doesn't it? I don't think I'll get jimminy legs with this crew. Wonder why the attendants on my LA-Milwaukee or LA-Chicago flights don't look like this?

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I have this craving for blood - to blog, I mean, about the actor, Christopher Lee...

...but I'm afraid if I do it'll turn out to be a remembrance, of sorts, and I'm not ready for him to leave this world. He is, after all, 87. However, I just watched the classic British cult movie, The Wicker Man (1973) and I've suddenly got Lee on the brain. So I'll save the blogging for later, and leave you with a few items to wet your whistle:

Mr. Lee holds two honors - Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and Commander of the Order of St. John (CStJ).

2) The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

3) Lee's great-grandparents formed Australia's first opera company, performing before miners in towns in the outback.

Lee served with the Royal Air Force in WWII, is step-cousin of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond spy novels, is a known cigar aficionado with a love for the Cuban cigar brand, Montecristo, his favorite snack is Cheez-Its and has a longstanding personal interest in the occult, maintaining a library of over 12,000 books which is largely devoted to the topic.

Of Lee's 260+ films, his personal favorite just happens to be The Wicker Man (a wonderful horror flick I will delve into on another post), which I'm told he did free-of-charge due to budget constraints. DO NOT see the Nicholas Cage remake. (Obviously, Lee loved The Wicker Man as a sequel is in pre-production as we speak.)

Did I just blog about Christopher Lee anyway?

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A poem by James Whitcomb Riley.

I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land.
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be since he lingers there.
And you-O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return-
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there as the love of here;
Think of him still as the same, I say;
He is not dead-he is just away!

Read at my friend, Ed Cotter's funeral on Wednesday.

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"Mother Tree Moon", by Katie Grace.

An illustration by my friend Katja Grace. Lovely, isn't it?

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TGIF! presents...Pentangle's "Hunting Song" (1970).

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Can one "hate" a flower? Then Aga-pan-THUS!

Agapanathus africanus. If you're into science. Or "Lily of the Nile" if you're into Egyptology. When I lived in Bel Air from 1999-2006, there were THOUSANDS of these plants on the property (close to 10 acres in size). They have to be trimmed a few times a year. Their stems are a yard long. And they're heavy when you're talking piles of them. Sure they're pretty - but they're a bitch to clean up.

Just like the bitch I worked for. I love flowers. I love taking pictures of them. But I HATE this flower. I wonder if Cleopatra's slaves had to cut these pricks down too?

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Ways to Be Cool - Part III.

This was first posted on Inked-In, a writer's website I belong to (not sure where he got it). Then my friend Katie posted it her on blog. Now it's here - with my slight edits. I jotted down the first thing that came to mind when reading each of the notes.

You'll need to click on the photo and it'll open up so you can read everything. Hit your backspace arrow to get back to my blog.

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"Are you happy just browsing?"

That's what employees at stores in New Zealand say to you when you walk through the front doors. You get a positive response from the customer immediately and it's less confrontational.

I heard this today from someone who is South African, lived in Australia since he was a child and has many friends that live in NZ. I like it.

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From Jeff's list of "songs that make me want to mutilate small animals"..."The Golden Age".

by Asteroids Galaxy Tour. They're a Danish alternative band.

The only good Danes are Viggo Mortensen (half Danish), Connie Nielsen, Hamlet, director - Lars von Trier, Wisconsin RB and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne and any Danish models, like Helena Christensen (at her height), for example.

The lead singer in Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Mette Lindberg...her voice. I want to strangle her. And yes I listened to a few of their other songs.

I still wanted to strangle her.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Over 50,000 satisfied visitors to PASSION = TRUTH! of today. Not bad in almost two years (as of March 2009). At least I think they've satisfied. :)

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"Who's watching the Watchmen?"


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Separated at birth - McQueen-style, Part Deux? Daniel Craig and Kevin McKidd.

My buddy Nicko Perkins from Cedar Rapids chimed in with his picks for the lead in the upcoming Steve McQueen biopic - Daniel Craig (top) and Kevin McKidd. My original post on my Steve McQueen dopplegangers is here.

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Dean Martin's Amore reissue tops Billboard Pop Charts for 2nd straight week!

Thanks, Dino Martin Peters, for the heads up. Come on! Where's P-Diddy or Kanye or Jessica Simpson or MIA? Think their music will be this popular in 2048? Yeh. Boy - you just can't keep that Deano down, can ya?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Congrats, Jerry, on your Oscar! And your detractors can bugger off!

Comedian, actor, producer, writer, director and humanitarian, Jerry Lewis received his first Oscar Sunday evening - the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. I've been a big fan of Jerry's - as part of Martin (Dean) and Lewis and as a solo act.

Two things you might not know about Lewis: 1) In 1968, he screened Steven Spielberg's early film, Amblin' and told his students, "That's what filmmaking is all about." 2) As a film innovator, Lewis is credited with inventing the video assist system. That's the monitor directors look into while a scene is being shot.

If you enjoy Jerry's work, take a look at this clip from The Ladies Man (1961). If you don't wanna watch the entire thing, watch the beginning to the 1:30 mark, than jump ahead to to the 3:30 mark - it's his famous "Fix My Hat" scene. It's hilarious.

Oh...that "detractor comment" in the post title above? I didn't wanna make this post too long for people who might not be Jerry Lewis fans. So...if you appreciate Jerry and don't wanna miss my rant on the disabled, click on READ MORE!

I wasn't surprised when I heard there were a handful of people outside the Kodak protesting Jerry getting this honor. It's old news that Lewis has received flack from those in the disabled community over his work with MD, a passion of his for over 40 years. The common gripe is that Jerry paints disabled people as "pitiable victims who want and need nothing more than a big charity to take care of or cure them."

Mike Ervin, of The Progressive Media Project, is a Chicago-based writer and disabled rights activist who is disabled himself. In his article, "Jerry Lewis didn't deserve a humanitarian award at the Oscars", Ervin refers to a 1993 Vanity Fair interview where Jerry commented about Ervin, "This one kid in Chicago would have passed through this life and never had the opportunity to be acknowledged by anybody, but he found out that by being a dissident he gets picked up in a limo by a television station."

Now I really don't think Jerry meant anything bad by the comment. I don't KNOW that, I just THINK that. And I honestly feel that if someone who has MD feels "pitied" or feels their persona is thwarted or shortchanged because of Jerry's methods of raising money for MD, then those people would feel pitied or thwarted whether Jerry was associated with MD or not. I have a cosmetic handicap that I cover up. And I have my moments - there are days when life is a sonofabitch and I'd rather be dead than wake up in the morning. But I get off my ass every day and try not to let it affect me. Jerry or no Jerry. I wrote Ervin and told him if he had a problem with Jerry and his work for MD, he should figure out a way to return the $2 billion+ that Jerry has helped raise for MD over that last 40 years.

I realize Jerry's made some off-the-cuff comments in the past. He's apologized for some. And many just fly out of his mouth for no particular reason and they're forgotten. If you have some sort of understanding about Jerry's personality (from things I've read, interviews I've watched and being a fan), you combat his detractor's digs by arguing that, yeh...Jerry's cocky, unabashedly irreverent and can be a dick sometimes. So can I - doesn't make me a bad person. First of all, the guy's a comedian and often times comedians let whatever flies out of their mouths because they don't censor themselves - they don't always have the opportunity to do that. They're irreverent. They're crude. Comedians have to be quick. You work on the fly. You have to deal with hecklers. You have to react in a SNAP! and that reaction can be in the form of a knee-jerk comment or one-liner you might not have said had you the opportunity to think about it first. Think Don Rickles. Second-guessing isn't always an option.

Dean Martin and Jerry (above). For instance, in February 2000, Lewis stunned an audience gathered to honor his work at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival by saying he doesn't like female comics. Lewis said, "I don't like any female comedians. A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me, but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world."

Now I probably wouldn't have made the comment about "producing machine", but maybe he was just being funny and figured the audience would go along with it. You've heard of the Dean Martin Roasts, haven't you? That generation of comedians ripped you a new asshole when they had the chance. So what. And to be perfectly honest, I agree with Jerry 100% about female comedians. I can barely think of 2 or 3 who make me laugh. Don't like'em and never have. I think Lucille Ball was overrated.

Jerry ain't perfect. But if a guy is going to be the torch bearer, in a way, for a cause like muscular dystrophy and shoulder the responsibility of helping to raise money for research to fight that awful disease, ya gotta cut him some slack. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Besides, if Deano loved Jerry, they Jeff loves Jerry.

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My God daughter and me.

Baby Gwyneth and me. Or is it "I"? Our first picture together, courtesy of her mommy, Maria. Gwyneth is a month old now. So little, isn't she?

And here's the whole family - Maria and Gwyneth, Donovan and Grace. I love them all.

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Separated at birth? Who'll play Steve McQueen in his biopic?

Steve McQueen is a favorite of mine. I've blogged about him here. I'm in the middle of McQueen: The Biography by Christopher Sandford. Sandford's written a number of bios - I'm about half-way through it. Very interesting. McQueen could be a prick, only dig on the book is that Sandford's a bit of a blow hard. His flowery exposition and narration takes you away from McQueen's story.

From either Variety or The Hollywood Reporter: "The race is on to bring a Steve McQueen biopic to the bigscreen. Weeks after producers Michael Cerenzie and Christine Peters revealed that they are developing a film on the life of the iconic actor, producer David Foster ("The Mask of Zorro") unveiled plans that he is spearheading a project based on a memoir penned by McQueen's first wife, Neile McQueen Toffel.

Foster started in Hollywood as McQueen's publicist before segueing to a successful producing career bringing such films as McQueen's "The Getaway" to the bigscreen. He is teaming on the biopic, which will be titled "McQueen," with producer Kevin Kasha, who acquired Toffel's memoir "My Husband, My Friend" when he was an acquisitions executive at New Line. Dale "Chip" Rosenbloom, the majority owner of the St. Louis Rams, is also producing. Toffel is exec producing.

So I'm thinking, "who's gonna play Steve?". Naturally, I'm not a big enough draw at the box office, so I thought about some high-profile actors who might bring McQueen's style and nuances to the big screen. For some reason, I couldn't get dark-haired actors out of mind. Than I thought about Damien Lewis (who's a red head) and I saw something about him and McQueen on a fan website.

Clive Owen. John Hamm. Dylan McDermott. Damien Lewis. My picks. Gotta think personality - not JUST looks.

Continuing the biopic article: "The producers have tapped the father and son writing team of Roderick and Bruce Taylor ("The Brave One") to adapt. The Taylors will have complete access to the McQueen estate, which Toffel controls with son, Chad McQueen, and granddaughter, Molly Flattery. Story will chronicle the relationship between McQueen and Toffel, which began in 1956 when Toffel was a Broadway star and under contract at MGM. The couple were married for more than 15 years and had two children and four grandchildren together."

If you go to Amazon (and do it through the Amazon link at the top of this blog page), you can purchase The Steve McQueen Collection/Two Editions. The first one includes: The Great Escape, Junior Bonner, The Magnificent Seven and The Thomas Crown Affair. The 2nd one includes: Bullitt Two-Disc Special Edition, The Getaway Deluxe Edition, The Cincinnati Kid, Papillon, Tom Horn and Never So Few.

Where's The Sand Pebbles? It's McQueen's greatest movie and the only one he was nominated for an Oscar. Must be a legal tie-up with 20th Century Fox who owns a piece of it. Never seen it? Then you're not a true Steve McQueen fan. Watch the trailer in the post below.

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The Sand Pebbles (1966) trailer. Starring Steve McQueen.

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Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel!

Mel Gibson appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show the night of the Oscars and previewed the trailer to his upcoming feature. If you're a fan (as I am...HUGE fan), you'll wanna see this. It's finger-lickin' good!

Mel's been laying low these days. And since he's my favorite actor, I've tried to honor his reclusion by keeping quiet about him myself (on my blog). Found an interesting BBC interview from 2007 you may want to take a gander at. Didn't know about Mel's alter-ego, "Bjorn"...but I figured "he" was inside Mel somewhere. Who's your "Bjorn"? Mine's "Laird".

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Flag Day.

It's Flag Day today. Honor it. Men and women have died for it.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

A '54 Chevy and Jim & Jeff at UW-Whitewater.

Saw this 1954 Chevy pickup truck on my 5-mile walk around Culver City yesterday. Reminded me of my close friend, Jim Sickels.

I met Jim at college - it was my sophomore year and I had just become an RA (resident assistant). Here's a photo of him in an early blog post when I first started PASSION = TRUTH. I could tell you a hundred stories, all too lengthy and too much fun. We were RA's in Lee Hall, an all-male dorm and we thought we were the cocks of the walk. Save your pity...we had two all-female dorms in our immediate quad so it wasn't like we were without female company. And we were RA's, which meant we knew a lot of people all over campus. I introduced Jim to his current wife, Sandy. Stood up in their wedding - 19 or 20 years ago now. Jim and I remain as close today.

Anyway, he had a truck exactly like this. We used to tool around Whitewater getting into all sorts of trouble. In the winter, we'd drive through town and Jim and I would hunt down students walking to class. He'd pull over as far as he could in the right lane - just enough so that his tires would plow through the slush that had accumulated off to the side of the road. If he hit it just right, we had the luxury of turning around to see a wall of slush cascade onto the sidewalk and onto a student passing by. But the timing was crucial. We revelled in seeing some poor sonofabitch flipping us off. Good times. Come was college.

We'd also take the truck into the Kettle Moraine State Forest and Jim would purposely drive the truck into a snow bank in order to get us stuck. Then we'd spend however long it took to dig the truck out of the snow. More good times. And when the weather was nice - particularly in the fall - we'd take the truck back in the Kettle Moraine, set up a card table with tea and smokes and study in the woods.

Ahhhhh....youth. Thanks, buddy, for all those memories. Jim's not the type of guy to hug another guy-friend. Or say "I love you" to a guy. Wasn't raised that way. Doesn't mean he doesn't "love" you - it' s just that his handshake means the same thing. But I'll say it here - I love you, Jim. My world would be empty without you.

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The funniest 2009 Oscar moment last night (for me)...

OK - I'm reposting my own version of this. The one I had up here from the Internet sucked, so I filmed it myself with my camera.

James Franco and Seth Rogan are presenting the Best Documentary at the Oscars last night. Franco messes up the title of the winner and Rogan starts cracking up. It was innocent, irreverent, playful and a VERY REAL moment in the ceremonies. Laughed my ass off.

There's some newer posts below I made since I originally posted this yesterday.

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"The Obama quandry" or "Can you draw this pirate ('cause I can)?"

During these times of economic duress and massive layoffs, it seems political cartoonists may be looking for sketching jobs on the Venice boardwalk sometime soon.

Not really, but they're getting an earful from those who feel caricatures of our president are bordering on racist, according to a recent Associated Press article.

This, on the heals of the New York Post's monkey cartoon last week. Political cartoons have been around for hundreds of years (Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly), and consist of two elements: 1) caricature, 2) a poke fun aspect.

Why certain people - Reverend Sharpton, for one, (does he really ever effect change when he sticks his nose into anything?) - think that President Obama should be exempt from being ridiculed in political cartoons is beyond me. Because he's black? I'm not saying that every cartoonist should have carte blanche when it pertains to characterizing Obama eating watermelon and chicken (two common stereotypes associated with blacks, though I enjoy both those, am I black?). "Race" in a cartoon is difficult to NOT illustrate. Racial stereotypes are another thing. I'm simply saying that as President, Obama will be poked fun at in political cartoons as his predecessors have and THAT should be the least of his concerns.

Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. Among past presidents who've had their ears tweaked, their lips colagenized and their noses made bulbous. Get used to it, President Obama - or I should say, those people who have nothing else to bitch about should get used to it.

Oh yeh - my pirate is below. Took 3 minutes. I wonder if I'll be targeted by SWAB - Swashbuckers with Animosity towards Berators?

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#18 Briefcase and Moi.

I had the privilege of watching my friend, Marisa Petroro, on stage Saturday night in Lanford Wilson's "Burn This" at the Ruskin Theater in Santa Monica. (YOU may recognize her as Suitcase #18 model on Deal or No Deal.).

The play "begins shortly after the funeral of Robbie, a young gay dancer who drowned in a boating accident. In attendance were his roommates, choreographer Anna and ad man Larry. Soon joining them in Robbie's lower-Manhattan loft are screenwriter Burton, Anna's longtime lover, and Pale, Robbie's coke-snorting, hyperactive restaurant manager brother. In the face of their shared tragedy, the quartet attempts to make sense of their lives and reconsider their own identities and relationships."

I was impressed with Marisa's performance for a couple reasons. Her character carries the weight of interacting and maintaining a relationship with the three other characters in the play, so it's demanding. But I was most impressed with Marisa's range - something I was unable to see in her other work - movie or television roles, and certainly not holding a suitcase on Deal or No Deal.

I usually squirm in my seat at the theater - jimminy legs, I think. But I didn't during this show. Another tell-tale sign that, for me, it was good theater.

I met Marisa some years ago when we were members of the Coronet Theater Writer's Lab - she and I acted in writer's pieces Thursday evenings. That's also where I met Alec (whom I had to cut out of the picture as the light was shining too brightly on him), Michael Carerra and Donovan and Maria in Tujunga. I might add that Marisa Petroro is the 2009 Spokesperson for The Sarcoma Foundation of America - she herself is a sarcoma cancer survivor.

Marisa's website - if you want to peruse.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Plant in a can. Who sent me this?

I can't remember. Must be the Mad Cow. Well it's blooming. Huzzah!

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Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon!

(Turn the jukebox at the top to MUTE). Classic 1943 movie! You may get a bit seasick in the beginning - I was jiggling my camera. Starring Brits Basil Rathbone (Holmes) and Nigel Bruce (Watson) Check out Holmes and the other ruffian at the 1:10 mark - laughed my ass off. Watched the entire movie series as a kid. Rathbone served in WWI, won a Tony Award (forgot for what) and is related to a man who was stabbed (but survived) in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth during Lincoln's assassination.

It's elementary, my dear!

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Hey Hollywood! Listen to Julie Christie!

(This was dated 1/28/08 - prior to last year's Academy Awards)...Julie Christie has slammed Hollywood's leading ladies for gracing the Academy Awards red carpet wearing borrowed clothes and jewelry. The Oscar winner (Darling, 1966), who is nominated in the Best Actress category for next month's awards (she lost), claims true glamour is about creating your own look. Christie says, "It's product placement now. 'Who are you wearing, from where have you borrowed your jewels? "I don't know where the glamour is in admitting you've borrowed your jewelry, or you've been put together by a stylist." And Christie reveals she won't be wearing an expensive frock and gems when she attends the Hollywood bash: "How about not wearing jewels? Would that be so terrible? And what's wrong with fakes? They glitter, that's the point isn't it?".

This - coming from one of the top pop fashion icons of all time. Here, here! Take notice, Hollywood actors! No wonder Christie's my favorite actress of all-time; I completely concur with her. Think - if fashion wasn't such a big to-do, Joan Rivers and her daughter wouldn't have jobs interviewing people on the red carpet. And really...would that be such a loss?

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A Valentine's postscript #2 - A Valentine's.

Got this off my friend, Kim Wimmer's Facebook site. Thanks, Kim!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do you think angels in Heaven look anything like this?

Actress Sarah Roemer. And sometimes angel.

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Where'd ya go Pop Culture Chick #5, hot girlfriend from 'Sixteen Candles', Haviland Morris?"

Haviland Morris played Caroline Mumford in Sixteen Candles (1984). Remember? She was the hot-te girlfriend of "Jake Ryan" (see Separated at Birth for Jake's doubleganger), the dude that Molly Ringwald ends up with. Come on - you remember the panty scene in the boy's bathroom, right?

Haviland is still acting on TV and stage.

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Illegal immigration case in Van Nuys dismissed. Illegal's "rights" were violated?

A judge has dismissed the case of an illegal immigrant facing deportation after ruling that federal agents violated his rights during a work site raid in Van Nuys, California in 2008.

Los Angeles immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor issued a written decision that agents failed to follow their own regulations when they detained Gregorio Perez Cruz without reasonable suspicion that he was an illegal immigrant. (TURNS OUT HE WAS ILLEGAL.)

The judge also determined that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents failed to advise Perez Cruz of his rights and interrogated him in an "intimidating and coercive environment," where he was deprived of food and water for 18 hours and forced to sleep on a concrete floor. (EXCUSE ME - BUT WHAT RIGHTS DOES AN ILLEGAL ALIEN HAVE? THIS IS THE PROBLEM WHEN DEALING WITH THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION SYSTEM - AND WHY IT'LL NEVER GET FIXED.)

Perez Cruz's attorney, Ahilan Arulanantham, said the 19-page decision could affect dozens of other immigration cases of workers arrested at Micro Solutions Enterprises. (HOW NICE.)

"We're very pleased that the rights of the Van Nuys workers were vindicated," said Arulanantham, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. "The decision sends a message to ICE that it cannot disregard the rights of the people that it targets." (SO LET'S JUST DISREGARD THAT THEY'RE HERE ILLEGALLY.)

On Feb. 7, 2008, armed immigration agents entered Micro Solutions Enterprises, blocked the exits and ordered employees to stop working while the authorities executed federal arrest warrants for eight people and a search warrant as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The eight people were arrested on criminal charges and 130 others were arrested on charges of immigration violation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the government plans to appeal the decision, which was issued on Feb. 10 but not announced until Friday. (HUZZAH!)

"ICE respectfully disagrees with the immigration judge's ruling," Kice said in a statement. "The ICE enforcement action involving the factory operated by Micro Solutions Enterprises was carried out in accordance with the terms of the related search warrant as well as with ICE policies and procedures."

Read more of my reflections on this case by clicking on READ MORE!

Government regulations prevent agents from detaining people unless there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally. They also require agents to advise detainees of their rights if they are being arrested without a warrant. (IF IT TURNS OUT THAT THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY, SHOULDN'T THAT CANCEL OUT ANY REASONABLE SUSPICION ONE NEEDS? OH WAIT...I FORGOT - THEY HAVE "RIGHTS".)

According to the decision, the agents violated both rules, which the judge said were designed to protect Perez Cruz's right "to be free from an illegal detention, arrest and interrogation." (THAT'S A LAUGH RIOT.)

Perez Cruz said that during the raid, agents handcuffed him and asked him several questions, including where he was from and his date of birth. He said in court papers that had he known his answers could be used to deport him, he wouldn't have given any response. (COURSE, CAUSE HIS ANSWERS WOULD'VE REFLECTED THAT HE'S ILLEGAL!!)

While he was in a detention center, Perez Cruz said, he spent the night in a cold cell and had to drink out of the bathroom faucet because he was not given any food or water for many hours. The experience, he said, was humiliating. (TOO BAD. GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR COUNTRY!)

"They didn't respect our rights," he said in an interview. (MY HEART IS BLEEDING FOR HIM.)

Perez Cruz, 23, said he was relieved that his deportation case was dropped and that he wouldn't be forced to leave the country, even though he still is not eligible for a green card. (SOOOO...HE IS ILLEGAL THEN. EVERY DAY MY MIND IS BOGGLED BY THE IDIOTS THAT RUN OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM - AND MAKE OUR LAW.)

"I feel much better, but also sad because there are many workers who are in the same situation in Van Nuys and in other states," he said. (AGAIN...MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU, AMIGO.)

Over the last few years, the federal government has stepped up enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers. Agents have conducted large-scale raids at work sites throughout the nation, arresting hundreds of undocumented workers.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Lost Christmas 2007 video #2 - Frank & Mike's.

First of all, turn the jukebox at the top of the page to MUTE for this video and the one below it. I've had a devil of a time trying to load videos from my camera onto Blogger. First it wouldn't load at all. The I tried loading it onto Imeem and it ended up 90 degree on its left side so you had to tilt your head to watch it. Then I loaded it onto Facebook and that worked. Well, this is better than nothing.

Frank Lenton grew up with my dad in Greendale, WI. Same age. 72. Wonderful man - funnier than shit. Jas and I went to visit him and his partner, Mike, Christmas Day eve (the night after I shot the video in the post below). Frank is telling the story of how he remembers my brother and I when we were children. Uh...there's adult language in this video so...Whoo!

When Frank mentions, "Tommy", that's my Uncle Tom - Dad's middle brother (they were only a year apart). He passed away a few year's ago.

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Lost Christmas 2007 video #1 - Meet the Ircink's.

I spent Christmas 2007 at home with my family in Waterford, WI. Christmas is always a hoot at our house. The dogs, Molly and Zoe, belong to my brother, Jason.

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Start an illegal fire, injure 6 firemen, destroy 53 homes, 37 cars and 45 structures = 5 years probation??

It wasn't intentional. It was accidental. Was it an accident that Brian David Franks and his friends were partying in a restricted area where campfires were illegal? Reinforced with signage that said, "No fires".

Didn't I just get through talking about how our justice system sucks -a few posts below (eye-for-an-eye punishment in Iran)? Then I heard this bullshit yesterday.

A 28-year-old helped to start the Corral Canyon fire in Malibu in 2007 with his buddies and he was sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of community service. Probaby because he's testifying against his buddies in court next.

5 years probation! Deputy Public Defender Douglas Goldstein, Franks' lawyer, said he believed the sentencing was fair and his client was "very sorry" about what happened. The District Attorney's Office said the blaze was started "during and within an area of a state of emergency," which would require a mandatory state prison sentence if the suspects were convicted.

What sort of message is our court system handing down? Seriously? My God - if I had nothing to lose in life, I'd contemplate accidentally burning down the bitch's house in Bel Air if I could get 5 year's probation. This idiot is one of the luckiest people on the planet right now.

I'm assuming the 50 homeowners and the fireman with 2nd degree burns on his face are a tad perturbed with the sentence. You think?

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TGIF! BONUS...presents "Loved By The Sun" from Legend.

Words by Jon Anderson from Yes. Music by Tangerine Dream. Sung by Jon Anderson.

I love this song. I love this movie. Tom Cruise in 1985. Mia Sara was only 18 when the film came out. Tim Curry is...Tim Curry. Jon Anderson's voice gives me shivers. The message behind the song helps me to think positively about life - even with the condition our economy is in now. Maybe the song makes me want to escape to somewhere where none of this shit is happening.

The crescendo is at 3:40 (is that the right word?) - my favorite part of the song. This is sort of an extended version than what is in the movie.

"I have seen the mystics play there
Once or twice but I knew they had a reason
Enchantment plays it's cards all right
Hand in hand with the working of the seasons
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun, loved by the sun

Two and two go so close together
Whether there is hope that is torn apart
In the words of all that's singing
Hand in hand the beginning is at the start
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun
Loved by the sun

Who sings of all of love's eternity
Whose shines so bright
In all the songs of love's unending spells
Only lightning strikes all that's evil
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Hear the music of love eternal
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man."

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Quote of the day.

"Jeff.....let me think about it.....:) And FO to your Soy un Perdedor comment....they are fabulous....jerk!!"

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"Soy un perdedor!"

"Soy un perdedor,
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me,
double barrel buckshot,
Soy un perdedor,
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me..."
- Beck, "Loser", 1994

The dicks are running amok in the world these days. Bernard Madoff. Sir Allen Stanford. Add John Thain to the list - if you already haven't. He even looks like a dick.

Thain was the last chairman and chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch before its merger with Bank of America at the end of last year.

Merrill paid out $4 billion in bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees last December, a month earlier than it did in past years and just before the deal with Bank of America closed. This despite nearly collapsing and posting $15.3 billion in 4th-quarter losses.

Get this: Before the 4th quarter loss was posted and once Merrill had merged with Bank of America, Thain suggested to the board of directors that he receive a bonus in 2008 of as much as $10 million, because he "saved Merrill" by selling it off to Bank of America. After the compensation committee at Merrill resisted the request, Thain reportedly dropped his request on December 8, 2008...

...and dishes out $4 billion in bonuses. Nice boss, eh? Guys like him, Stanford and Madoff? Screwing people in the ass. Fucking prick.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

TGIF! presents...the "Happy Days" original intro...for Ed Cotter.

This is a tad early for 'TGIF! presents..." but it's for my friend and director Ed Cotter, who passed away suddenly last Saturday (see my post from Wednesday). He was the editor on "Happy Days" for most of the run of the series - and the only person associated with the show to win an Emmy.

Your PASSION was what defined you, Ed. I will miss you. Love, Jeff.

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Travis the chimp should still be alive!

That mauling of a lady by Travis the chimp recently - should have never happened.

1. Chimps belong in zoos or sanctuaries OR in the wild. Not as pets. I'm right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Many think they shouldn't even be caged in zoos but that's a whole nuther debate.

2. Animals are unpredictable. Your cat could scratch the shit out of your face while you sleep for no particular reason. I know people who've experienced this. A chimp is 5x stronger than a grown man. Think about it.

3. Travis had a rap sheet. He bit someone in 1993. He caused a traffic disturbance in 2003. The owner was told that Travis is a problem chimp. Usually an animal over 50lbs. has to have a special license/restriction - something. That was waived in Travis' case - even with his rap sheet.

Travis. Look at that som'bitch! It's a freakin' sumo wrestler...and 5x stronger than a man?? No thanks.

4. I feel for the victim. It's horrible, but when she stepped into the chimp's "space" she took that risk. See #2.

5. The owner should know better. Like a vehicle on the road, the owner is ultimately responsible for her animal's behavior, as difficult of a task as that may seem. The owner should be sued. I hope she enjoys a world she can SEE because her friend surely won't have that luxury anymore.

6. I feel for Travis the most - the biggest victim. And he was stabbed and shot to death.

UPDATE: Cheetah the Chimp, 75, from the Tarzan movies was still alive as of April 2007.

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