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...

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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.


Thursday, December 31, 2009

TCM those who've passed.

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Wisconsin and it's Love/Hate for Brett Favre.

A) Favre camp. B) Anti-Favre camp. C) Cheer for the Packers but hope Favre plays well.

Those are basically the three schools of thought relating to state of mind in Wisconsin this NFL football season. And I suppose the same could be said for Favre fans and Packer fans elsewhere. I figured when moving back to Wisconsin from California in September that this place would be in a state of upheaval. Family against family. Friend against friend. Like the Civil War.

If you follow this blog you know my brother and I (and our mother) are in the Favre camp. Dad could give two shits but follows the Packers. We boycotted Green Bay last year in favor of Brett the Jet and we're following the Minnesota Vikings this season. Once Brett retires for good and Packer GM Ted Thompson is no longer at Green Bay, I'll begin watching the Pack again. But not before.

People here are passionate about their stance regarding Favre. I hate TT so I understand the existence of Favre haters, particularly when Brett signed with the Minnesota Vikings this season. While I respect other's opinions, I can't help notice a swell of hypocrisy in the anti-Favre camp - most of it belonging to the media. Here are a few examples:

1. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 12/25/2009 - Paul Drzewiecki writes a blurb on "Ups & Downs". He mentions Dylan Favre, Brett's nephew, who's setting QB records at his high school down south, and his impending visit to UW-Madison. Paul D. writes, "Can't wait to see his decision-making skills". Obviously in reference to Brett's retirement waffling. How fair is that to Dylan Favre to question his decision-making skills just because his uncle is Brett Favre? Low blow. You're a dick, Drzewiecki.

2. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 12/22/2009 - Sub headline at the top of the sports page reads, NFL: Honeymoon seems over for Favre and Vikings. In reference to the discussion Coach Childress and Brett had on the sidelines during the Carolina loss, a discussion that was blown out of proportion by the media. Like anything the MJS reports on Favre, I have to ask, "Favre is no longer a QB for the Packers. Why do you keep talking about him?"

And just because Favre and Childress disagreed on something, the 11-3 Vikings' season is suddenly a "honeymoon that's over"? Ridiculous. I know. Trying to sell newspapers. I love it that newspaper readership is steadily declining. Hopefully they'll all be out of business sooner than later.

3. Local Milwaukee television. I don't watch a lot of local news but my mother informs me the broadcasters are constantly making snide remarks about Favre. One guy yesterday commented, "The NFC QB's in the Pro Bowl are Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and somebody else." (I'm paraphrasing but you get the picture.)

4. Biggest example of hypocrisy. GB fans who state, "Favre would not have faired better with GB's O-line protection earlier in the season compared to Rodgers." Now when Favre fans compared the 13-3 GB season in 2007 to the 6-10 GB season the following year, Packer fans said, "You can't compare the two seasons." So how can Packer fans make the O-line comparison this year?

5. Another blogger for the Journal-Sentinel, Dan O'Donnell, wrote, Favre: Childress Issue "Resolved". Now, were the quotation marks put around 'resolved' because O'Donnell was making reference to Chilly's words OR was it a slight to the Chilly-Favre discussion, as if to say, "Right...I'm sure it is resolved. Not."? I think it's the later. Dick.

6. I never liked Ted Thompson. Now there are Packer fans who hate Favre, even after they cheered and loved him for 16 years. Minor point but hypocrisy nonetheless.

So...I love Brett Favre and support him unconditionally. Those who disagree can suck my lingum.

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Ring in 2010 with The Stooges!

My father's favorite comedy team. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Penny Valentine says I'm "beautiful".

Penny Valentine, middle and Dusty Springfield, right. Sometime in the 1960's.

Valentine, according to fellow journalist Richard Williams, "...was probably the first woman to write about pop music as though it really mattered.". She became for a time Britain's most influential reviewer of new pop singles and also wrote about and was a participant in the "social whirl of receptions, parties and night-clubbing that made Swinging London such fun", interviewing The Beatles and Rolling Stones. She co-wrote an biography of Dusty Springfield, Dancing With Demons (2000) and died in 2003 at the age of 59.

Valentine's article, “This is how it feels to be a beautiful person”, appeared in the UK weekly Disc and Music Echo in 1967 or 1968 alongside a picture of Paul McCartney and then-girlfriend Jane Asher. I came across it while perusing my Christmas gift from Donovan & Maria & Grace & Gwyneth (in California) - the book, A Hard Day's Write - The Stories Behind Every Beatles' Son, and is said to one of the influences behind the Lennon-McCartney song, "Baby You're A Rich Man".

I noted YES or NO after each point.

Beautiful people have existed for years.

It’s nothing to do with what you look like or the clothes you wear. It’s what goes on in your mind and your approach in life.

Beautiful people, as a phrase, has come to the foreground today because of the flower movement, the emergence of the hippies, Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles and Scott McKenzies’s “San Francisco” .

But even the hippiest hippy, surely, has harboured some pretty evil thoughts and some pretty anti-feelings. Has been unkind, insensitive, thoughtless. Not noticed things around him.

It’s been borrowed by the hippies. But even if you don’t wear kaftans, beads, bells and granny green glasses take heart, you can STILL be a beautiful person. Read on and find out how.


1. Like dancing on cool grass in your bare feet (even if there are no pipes of Pan and the grass is in your own back garden). YES

2. Read Professor Tolkein’s The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and love Bilbo Baggins. YES

3. Have watched the dawn come up and actually realised what was happening. YES

4. Dream. YES

5. Love your dog, the postman, the blind man who sells matches on the corner, your neighbours (even when they bang on the wall when you put Sgt. Pepper on full volume). YES to the dog. I don't know any blind people on streetcorners.

6. Dislike war, the Government, anti-people. YES, except for the last one.

7. Think the countryside is a gas and ought to stay wild. YES

8. Enjoy splashing through the rain, laughing, children, colours, poetry, people. (YES, though Penny seems to contradict herself – see #6)

9. Refuse to tread on ants, spiders and beetles. SORT OF

10. Know where Granny Takes A Trip is. NO. (By the way, this was a boutique on Kings Road in London formed in 1966.)

11. Give a daisy to the policeman who tells you your party is too noisy, drags you away from Wanstead Flats when you are merely admiring the view or pulls you feet first up a dirty road to a waiting van during a sit-down protest. NO

12. Harbour a burning desire to visit Mexico or India. NO

I scored a 7.5. Good enough to be "beautiful"? I think so. That's me being "beautiful" in a production of "HAIR" in 1995. That's Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary (left) and Michael Butler (right), the original producer of "HAIR" on Broadway.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SKOL VIKINGS! Your 2009 Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowlers!

74 Bryant McKinnie - T

93 Kevin Williams - DT

18 Sidney Rice - WR

69 Jared Allen - DE

59 Heath Farwell - Special Teams

28 Adrian Peterson - RB

76 Steve Hutchinson - Guard

4 Brett Favre - QB

CONGRATULATIONS, VIKES! Now - let's play 4 quarters next week at home against the Giants, hope Dallas (at home) can beat Philly, and we're the 2nd seed in the NFC Conference playoffs. The talent is obvious (11-4). It's all psychological, boys. SKOL FAVRE! SKOL VIKINGS!

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ESPN's Craig James (is a dick), his son (probably a dick too) and a "dark shed".

So, the former head coach of the Texas Tech football team, Mike Leach, finds himself in hot water for locking receiver Adam James in the "woodshed" ("dark shed", "storage closet", whatever the fuck it was he locked him in) because Coach Leach thought James was faking a concussion.

Before Leach could whip out the switch on James, Leach gets the boot. Normally I wouldn't condone such behavior by a coach - any adult, for that matter. However, Adam James ain't the little drummer boy, according to a number of sources.

But don't tell his daddy, former NFLer and ESPN college analyst Craig James. James and his wife brought this matter to the Texas Tech administration's attention and all hell broke lose.

Like I said - normally I'd chastise Coach Leach. But I hate Craig James. Why? In 1998, James stated on ESPN that the #9-ranked Wisconsin Badgers were "the worst team to ever play in the Rose Bowl." Wisconsin went on to defeat the #6-ranked UCLA 38–31 in the 1999 Rose Bowl, led by ex-NFLer RB Ron Dayne. Afterward, Badger coach Barry Alvarez fired back, "Well, I know we're at least the second worst."

I never forgot that Craig James' comment. It was a dumb thing to say. And every time I see his face I think it was a dumb thing to say. Best part is that he got faced in the end - Wisconsin won the game. Call me jaded...Craig could tell me it's raining when it is raining and I wouldn't believe him. No credibility.

Craig James is a dick. Ergo, so is Adam James.

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Vikes lose to Bears in OT, 36-30, Vikes 11-4.

With Favre's 300+ yard game, 2 TDS and a 106 QB rating, I'd normally be happy.

Talk about a physically draining game. For me. Down 16-0 at the half, the Vikes decided to play the 2nd half and scored 30 points and established momentum. A Favre fumble in the 1st half led to 3 points for the Bears. Longwell missed one extra point. No protection for Favre in the 1st half. Shit defense. And the straw that killed the camel was in OT - Adrian Peterson's fumble - after getting a first down - sealed the Vike's fate. Not sold on AP. Sorry but the mindset in the beginning of the season about how Favre would have it easy just handing the ball to Peterson was bullshit and I never bought into it.

Remember how Favre’s OT INT in the NFC Championship agin the Giants got all the blame for that loss? No one talks about the receivers not getting separation, no running game, poor O-line play or the Packer who should’ve just fallen on the Giant fumble instead of trying to pick it up in regular play. Everyone hinges on the INT.

I’ll do the same with AP’s fumble. Momentum was in our favor. AP had the first down. It’s not like this was in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd quarter. It was OT in a game where your team sucked the 1st half. When AP tries to do more, AP fumbles. He's not a smart runner. Yeah – Favre fumbled which led to 3 Bear points. Longwell missed the extra point. The defense sucked and special teams sucked and the O-line wasn’t protecting Favre in the 1st half. But in the end – like the Favre INT in the Giants game – I put this on AP and his history of fumbling the freakin’ ball.

What are the ramifications of the loss? The NFC Championship goes through New Orleans. If the Vikes beat the Giants at Minnesota next week and Dallas beats Philly at Dallas, the Vikes clinch a 2nd seed and a bye.

NEXT WEEK: Last game. New York Giants (8-7) @ Vikings (11-4).

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Monday, December 28, 2009

TGIF! (on Monday) presents...Trailer for "Jeremiah Johnson" (1972)!

I love this film. Maybe 'cause we've had so much snow here in Wisconsin and we're getting psyched for our bow & arrow pheasant shoot next Sunday. Anyway, this was filmed entirely in Utah - various locations - some of it right on Redford's property at Sundance. Simple story about a simple man. Or was he? Directed by Sydney Pollack. Worth the watch.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Origami No. 26. "Finite".

When I began acting in the summer of 1994, I approached my initial audition and subsequent stage debut with some trepidation. I felt confident in this new journey I had undertaken, yet I was guarded about my feelings regarding whether I not I would thoroughly enjoy performing as much as I thought I might.

When I finally took my place on stage with the other actors on opening night, it was everything I had hoped it would be – nothing more…nothing less. It became my passion.

It was at that moment that I formulated the credos – the rules – that I would live the rest of my life by. They are: 1) there are no rules, 2) no regrets, and 3) be nice to people. They’re good rules; rules I believe all of us should adhere to, in some form or another.

As 2009 comes to a close, I look back on the year and past years. Certainly there are events and moments I wish had not transpired but do I regret they happened? No – for without those happenings, who can say I’d be the person I am today? As far as being nice to people – or not being nice to people, such as the case may be – well, there are those who don’t deserve “nice”. That’s just the way it is. If I make peace with my enemies, it will happen of its own volition.

My move to back to Wisconsin in September after 11 years in California has forced me to contemplate my future on a multitude of fronts – work, acting, writing, where to live, etcetera. My heart is empty for the friends I left behind. My heart cries for my goddaughter and her older sister. But they say change is good and I concur. The concept of change is not unlike this time of the season when we take stock of our lives and ponder our future. There’s very little certainty in the upcoming new year...more questions than answers. Over the course of this year, I’ve been acquainted with friends who’ve passed away, those who are dying, people with psychological problems, people who've suffered as a result of our country's economic draught; I’ve been laid off, moved across the country leaving dear friends behind. defriended and refriended, ignored and had my luggage put out on a stoop. If you can not relate, the chances of you being able to in the new year are quite good.

Life is short. So live today like it’s your last. Make hay while the sun shines. Eat, drink and be merry. Bury the hatchet with someone you love. Turn the other cheek. And all those other tried and true clichés. I know it’s easier said than done, but they’re tried and true for a reason. When was the last time you heard someone say, “A midget on prescription drugs may never find himself.”? You could at least say that you'll try to accept them – the clichés I've just mentioned. What’s the worst that can happen?

And just live life. The rest of it will follow.

(Origami is sort of my catchword for a featured blog post that highlights my original writings - could be an excerpt from one of my plays, a poem, a song, a rant, a rave, a cursing, etc. Origami is the art of folding paper (the word is of Japanese origin). Or, it could be the creative juices of someone else I know - or don't know. So, within the folds of this particular blog feature you may find something really beautiful, meaningful or poignant.)

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TGIF! presents...Richard Williams' "A Christmas Carol" (1971)! Part 1!

I posted this last year but it's worth a repost. This is the best animated version of Dickens' classic Christmas story - and one of the best versions of all-time. You'll notice Parts 2-4 are also posted on YouTube. The program in its entirety is short...and well worth the effort to watch.

"The visual style, which is unusually powerful, is inspired by 19th century engraved illustrations of the original story by John Leech and the pen and ink renderings by illustrator Milo Winter that graced 1930s editions of the book. The intended audience does not include young children and some regard the film's bleak mood, including the scene from the book when the Ghost of Christmas Present reveals the horrid embodiments of Want and Ignorance, and emphasis on darkness and shadows as making it the most frightening of the many dramatizations of the Dickens classic." (from Wikipedia)

The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for 1972.

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It's Christmas Eve...and the Ircink's make Merry!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hurdy Gurdy Man on Christmas Eve.

Before celebrating Christmas Eve with my family, I spent an hour listening to music at a coffee shop in Rochester called Stir Crazy. Prior to the musicians performing, the owner played a few selections from Sting's new Christmas CD. The song below was on it. This guitarist made me think of the Hurdy Gurdy Man.

"Hurdy Gurdy Man"

In the snow there
Stands a hurdy gurdy man
With his frozen fingers
Plays as best as he can

Barefoot on the ice
He shuffles to and fro
And his empty plate
It only fills with snow

No one wants to hear
His hurdy gurdy song
Hungry dogs surround him
And before too long

He will fall asleep
And then before too long
He’ll just let it happen,
Happen come what may

Play his hurdy gurdy
‘till his dying day,

Watching you, old man
I see myself in you
One day I will play
This hurdy gurdy too

Music by Franz Schubert, Poem by Wilhelm Muller, English adaptation by Sting

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A Very Merry Christmas...from the Ircink's!

Jim, Dee, Jeff & Jason, Zol & Molly wish you a Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Trees from Janis, Hintz's and Hackstein's!

Hintz tree in Cedar Rapids.

Janis' tree.

Hackstein tree in Waterford.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


That's Gaelic for...well, for "snow". And it's snowing right now in Waterford, Wisconsin.

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Mom's Pecan Fingers.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past. Irving Park. 2007.

Young elf.

Old elf.

Mischievous elf.

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A plethora of Scrooges.

Clockwise, from left to right: Albert Finney, Reginald Owen, Henry Winkler, Alistair Sim, Scrooge in Richard Williams' 1971 Oscar-winning animated classic and Bill Murray.

These are my favorite "A Christmas Carol's" and their respective Scrooge's. The Ircink's are "A Christmas Carol" aficionados. We, as many do, feel the Alistair Sim "Carol" is the best. And if you haven't seen the animated version above, see it.

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"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

"Is There a Santa Claus?" was the title of an editorial appearing in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun. The editorial, which included the famous reply "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", is seen below.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cousin Gerry. The Ar-tist.

My 2nd cousin Gerry has over 30 years experience in bronze sculpturing, custom-crafted jewelry, airbrush painting and custom pendant artistry. He's an excellent artist, an excellent outdoorsman and an excellent human being. Jas and I will be doing some bow & arrow pheasant hunting with Ger and my Uncle Fran in January and that'll be nice as I've had the opportunity only once in the 11 years I was living in Cali to spend some time with Ger in the bush. I relish the upcoming outing.

Here are some examples of Ger's custom pendant work. Check out his site at Northwoods Vault and take a tour. If you click on sport pendants, you'll be whisked over to Ger's companion site, Vault Pendants.

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Christmas Trees from the Ircink's, Tamra and the Peterson's!

My family's tree in Wisconsin. Smallish - but we have three.

Tamra's tree in Florida.

The Peterson tree in Arizona.

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Separated at Birth? Emma Thompson & Nancy Shevell.

A younger actress, Emma T. (left) and Shevell, Sir Paul McCartney's current bird.

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