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.


Friday, December 31, 2010

TCM Remembers...2010.

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"Undocumented immigrant" preferable to "illegal immigrant"?

The Society of Professional Journalists' (of which I was VP of our student chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) diversity committee met this past year to consider the best language journalists should use when addressing people of varying cultures. For example, consider the notion that "undocumented immigrant" be used in place of "illegal immigrant". That's the SPJ diversity committee stance...not mine.

In an opinion piece by SPJ member Leo E. Laurence, a member of The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, states, "It was based on our federal, constitutional principle that everyone is considered innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law. The proposed Diversity Committee resolution urged journalists to use the phrase “undocumented immigrant(s), and avoid both 'illegal immigrant' or 'illegal alien'.

NOTE: Laurence's opinion piece does not reflect the views of SPJ, its membership or its Diversity Committee. The committee itself has taken no official initiative on the use of the phrase "illegal immigrant."

It's sort of like a news anchorperson saying, "...the ALLEGED perpetrator or ALLEGED crime committed", when the accused readily admitted murdering someone. I think. Right?

Laurence goes on to state that only a judge can deem someone or something "illegal" and that the press' use - or the public's use - of the phrase "illegal immigrant" or "illegal alien" only helps to create bigotry toward a race of people. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Even FoxNews' Megyn Kelly grapples the topic in a FoxNews segment, going as far as alluding that if journalists heed Laurence's suggestion, why not refer to rapists as "nonconsensual sex partners". Personally, I do not find her analogy offending in the least bit.

I don't find anything about Megyn Kelly offending actually. ;)

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TIGF! Irish "cèilidh" at Tig Coili in Galway.

Filmed at Tig Coili (pronounced, "chee coli") - the home of traditional Irish music in Galway - in October 2009, a "cèilidh" is a traditional Gaelic social gathering. I felt the song would make for a fitting New Year's bit of cheer. Happy New Year.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shrimp ala Krista!

Stir fry shrimp and vegetables, lentil soup, Janis' salad, cheese, fruit, wine, my molasses cookies, and great conversation with Krista, Rip, Janis and Katia in Iowa City.

Voila! Shrimpy! Thank you, Krista, for a beautiful dinner in your beautiful home. Happy New Year!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

From Mabel to Aunt Rosa...From Katie to Jeff.

This postcard, dated December 26th, 1911, is exactly 99 years old today. Right now. I posted it to my blog at the exact time the postmaster stamped the back of the card - 5:00 pm. It was given to me two years ago, I believe, by my friend Katie. It was sent by Mabel Shafer from Larwill, Indiana to her Aunt Rosa Martin in Los Angeles, California. Katie's from IN and I was, at the time, living in Los Angeles. The postage was 1 cent.

The postcard reads (as best as I can make out):

Dearest Aunt,

How are you? Don't work to [sic] hard out there because life is to [sic] short to kill yourself off by working. I will have to tell you that we have 9 more new pieces for the graphone (something to do with a part for a phonograph?). Well, I will have to tell you if I graduate in the spring I have an organ promised to me. I am always so busy with my school work I don't have time to write to anyone so you will have to excuse me for not writing oftener.

Mabel Shafer and all.

(The address this was sent to is on Cambria St. just south of Wilshire, almost in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.)

Thank you, Katie. Found this in the move back to Wisconsin. Merry Christmas to Rosa, Mabel - and my Katie.

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Hranicka Christmas Day visit!

Bruce and Cindy Hranicka were in from Wautoma visiting family. We had a nice visit at Casa Ircink's in Greendale. Above: Jason, Dad and Bruce discussing hunting or fishing (probably).

My spread. Thanks for the cookies and homemade hot chocolate, Cindy. Too bad there were only 2 1/2 cookies left for me to enjoy.

Mom holding court.

Surprise! Bruce made me a gun shell casing coat rack.

'Night Hranicka's...and Merry Christmas. Thanks for the visit.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

"Scenes from an Ircink-style Christmas." 2010.

Walking is safer.

It's 18 miles from Greendale to my hometown in Waterford. The first 12 miles south were fine. Then it started snowing. Not much - 1/2 inch on the ground maybe. But the last 6 mile trek home I saw two cars in the ditch and one asshole who cruised by me like the pavement was dry ("asshole" began fishtailing all over the road 100 yards ahead of me, ending up facing me, on the other side in the shoulder). Didn't think Aunt Karen (mom's sister) and her two sons Brian (and wife, Jill) and Mark and his two children, Willem and Wyatt, would get to our house (they had a 45 minute drive).

But everyone arrived safely. We ate, drank, exchanged gifts, laughed, took pictures and watched "A Christmas Story" for the hundredth time (when he was younger, Brian was the spitting image of "Ralphie"). Click on READ MORE! for the documentation in pictures of last night's Christmas Eve at the Ircink's in Waterford, Wisconsin.

And finally, gifts from me to my family - Dad, Mom, Jason, and dogs Molly & Zol (not pictured, or the gifts - they ate them). Merry Christmas!

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A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

TGIChristmasEve Bonus! presents...Richard Williams' "A Christmas Carol" (1971).

Oscar winner for best animated short in 1972, this version is the best animated version and ranks as one of the top versions of "A Christmas Carol" . I post this every year. It's 24 it. Parts 2-4 follow.

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TGIChristmasEveDay! presents...Ray Conniff & The Ray Conniff Singers with "Ring Christmas Bells"!

Not exactly sure what year this video this but this song appeared on Conniff's 1962 We Wish You A Merry Christmas album, so thereabouts...

Conniff was extremely popular throughout his career, as were The Ray Conniff Singers. This rendition of "Carol of the Bells" is a favorite dating back to my childhood. Conniff's take is a bit more dramatic and haunting, as you'll hear when you listen to it. If you feel rushed and don't have a couple minutes to listen to one song, fast-forward to the 1:40 mark and listen to the crescendo of voices - sort of scary in a way. Ha...and I'm not the only person to feel that way. Check out some of the video comments below:

"Very forceful, intense and also kinda the kind of music you'd hear from cult members..."
SuperSeaweedSoup 18 hours ago

" 'Ring Christmas Bells' used to scare me. I thought that one night I would wake up in the middle of the night and see people surrounding my bed singing that song."
coalsonicmario19 1 day ago

"Those women look like robots."
beastmode307 4 days ago

"I had the goosebumps while listening to this song, one of my fav songs!"
1jojo1jo 6 days ago 1jojo1jo 6 days ago

Listen to it. Don't be surprised if Rod Serling comes creeping up in back of you...

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dwight Schrute's Christmas Revelation.

"One holiday season, Mose and I were winterizing the barn - patching the roof, insulating, creating cozy beds for the animals with bits of hay and Angela's clothing. Night fell and the cold set in, and we received some unexpected guests - a young couple, asking to stay a night at my bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, I had to turn them away as there was no vacancy that evening. The Schrute Farms B&B holiday brunch provides some of the most melt-in-your-mouth venison and a brown mustard streusel like you've never tasted before, and we had been booked up for months.

However I watched them sulk away like a couple of pathetic losers, and I don't know... it must have been the Christmas spirit, and how the wife was pregnant and all, that I offered them up a space in the barn next to the Clydesdale. They spit in my face and drove down to the Econo Lodge, unthankful jerks. But that gave me an idea: convert the additional space in the barn into extra quarters. It's not for the fanciest guest, but it's cheap and mostly safe. And it puts more green dollars into my pocket and red smile on my face. Merry Christmas to me."

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"Art" (1994), by Yazmina Reza. I finally read it.

I can't imagine why it's taken me so long to read this. Inspiring.

Above: Alfred Molina (left) and Victor Garber from the Broadway premiere in 1998. The play also featured Alan Alda and was produced, in part, by Sir Sean Connery.

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Favre out, then in, then out again. Bears beat Vikes. Favre = ratings boom! Vikes, 5-9.

First drive of the Monday Night game against the Chicago Bears. 5-7 for 63 yards, one TD, one INT (tipped ball) then knocked out in 2nd quarter with a concussion.

First Favre's designated as OUT 90 minutes before the start of the game and then suddenly he's QUESTIONABLE and then he's ACTIVE and starts the game. Remember, his consecutive game streak of 297 regular season games (321 w/playoffs) came to a close last week when he failed to start due to a shoulder injury he received the week before .

Favre's no stranger to high football ratings. This particular ESPN MNF game was the biggest show on TV Monday night with a 1.6 rating or 17.1 million viewers. The highest-rated MNF game on ESPN, and the highest-rated program in U.S. cable television history to date, was the Minnesota Vikings' defeat of the Green Bay Packers 30–23 on October 5, 2009, with a rating of 15.3. "The game featured the much-hyped matchup of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre facing his longtime former Green Bay team. ESPN noted in a press release that the telecast "was watched by more than 16.8 million people."

Here are the Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers in 000s, purple designates the game involved Brett Favre):

1. 10/05/2009 Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 21,839
2. 11/30/2009 New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints ESPN 21,402
3. 09/15/2008 Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 18,608
4. 10/25/2010 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 17,953
5. 12/03/2007 New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens ESPN 17,522
6. 09/27/2010 Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,454
7. 10/11/2010 Minnesota Vikings-New York Jets ESPN 17,313
8. 08/17/2007 High School Musical 2 Disney 17,241
9. 12/20/2010 Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 17,094
10. 12/28/2009 Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,006

Brett Favre accounts for HALF of the most-viewed cable TV programs in history. And who said No. 4 ain't good for the NFL? SKOL FAVRE! SKOL VIKINGS!

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Steak tartare. Raw beef on rye. Cannibal sandwiches. Anyone?

I grew up eating this. Both sides of the family. Not sure if it's a Wisconsin thing, a Midwest thing, a German's a "thing", whatever it is. I love it. Lots don't.

Most people shirk at eating raw meat 'cause they're afraid of bacteria (or they've never tried it). But if you use ground lean meat (90% actual beef) and don't have a weakened immune system or a chronic illness, the chances of getting E. coli or salmonella are nil. I've been eating it since I was a child and I've never gotten sick.

And if you're still repulsed at the notion of eating raw beef...chill, people do it all over the world - Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Syria and Turkey.

Funny how people wolf down salmon and sushi but continue to turn their nose up at raw beef. How gosh.

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3 steps to a molasses orgasm.

Step 1: Roll'em into a ball.

Step 2: Toss'em into the oven. They should get flat like this.

Step 3: Toss some powdered sugar on and indulge.

Haven't made the family recipe in a while. Bad Jeff. First time yesterday in a new oven. Perfection. 5 dozen. Between 6 people last night and a handful of people at my mom's morning coffee clutch in Greendale this morning, I have one dozen left.

I just had one while writing this post. Orgasm. Come on over...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bed is the poor man's opera.

That's an old Italian proverb. When I moved back to Wisconsin from Los Angeles, I promised myself that when I got my own place, I was gonna go all out on a bed - if that was the only piece of furniture I had. The last time I had a fairly decent bed was when I lived in Iowa - a double. No footboard or headboard. My bed in Bel Air for 7 years was two twins pushed together. My bed in Culver City was a blow-up mattress for 2 years which I had to deflate every morning and blow up every evening.

No more. I have created my perfect bed. Tina's guest bed in Irving Park might be the closest thing to the comfort I feel when my head hits the pillows in my new Greendale home. Seriously, I prolong going to sleep at night 'cause I want the excitement to build another half hour. Haven't had ONE restless night yet.

The bed - the most important piece of furniture you can own. "The Bed"...a song from the tribal love-rock musical, HAIR (which I was naked in). Here's a recording from the ORIGINAL Broadway version back in 1968, I think. The words are below.

Oh the bed
Oooh the bed
Ahhh the bed
Oh the bed
Mmmm the bed
I love the bed

You can lie in bed
You can lay in bed
You can die in bed
You can pray in bed
You can live in bed
You can laugh in bed
You can give your heart
Or break your heart in half in bed

You can tease in bed
You can please in bed
You can squeeze in bed
You can freeze in bed
You can sneeze in bed
Catch the fleas in bed
All of these
Plus eat crackers and cheese in bed

Oh the bed is a thing
Of feather and spring
Of wire and wood
Invention so good

Oh the bed comes complete
With pillow and sheet
With blanket electric
And breath antiseptic

Let there be sheets
Let there be beds
Foam rubber pillows
Under our heads

Let there be sighs
Filling the room
Scanty pajamas
By Fruit of the Loom

You can eat in bed
You can beat in bed
Be in heat in bed
Have a treat in bed
You can rock in bed
You can roll in bed
Find your cock in bed
Lose your soul in bed

You can lose in bed
You can win in bed
But never never never never
Never never never never
Never never never
Never can you sin in bed!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Chestnuts, anyone?

“There is probably a smell of roasted chestnuts and
other good comfortable things all the time, for we are
telling Winter Stories - Ghost Stories, or more
shame for us - round the Christmas fire; and we
have never stirred, except to draw a little nearer to it.”

- Charles Dickens

I tried roasted chestnuts once. Didn't like them. But I'd be willing to give it another go-around. Any chestnut lovers out there? Here's a video on how to make your own roasted chestnuts. Or if you wanna listen to Nat King Cole sing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, click here. Or if you wanna see a true flash mob experience centered around the Hallelujah Chorus, click here.

(The word "chestnut" is mentioned twice in the "HC". Listen.)

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ahhhh, ye ole Farmville days.

I remember when was the only way to meet women via the computer.

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Johnny Mathis or Josh Groban? Whose version of "O Holy Night" is better?

This may depend on your age and what you grew up listening to. My folks are big Johnny Mathis fans and have seen him in concert a lot. So am I. Yes, Groban can sing. But he's bland (like his rendition of "O Holy Night"). I'd rather sit on the toilet than listen to Groban sing this song.

My vote = Johnny. His voice is distinctive. One of the classic velvet crooners left. But listen to them both. Here's Johnny's version from around 1957. And here's toilet-boy's...I mean, Groban's version.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

TGIF! presents...Brett Favre's Ironman Streak ends at 297!

297 regular season starts dating back to 1992 - 321 including playoffs. 'Nuff said.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Does growing Paperwhites Narcissus necessarily make me a narcissist?

No. Say that 3 times fast.

December 16, 2010. This is one of my favorite flowers. It's in the daffodil family. First became exposed to the paperwhite while living on the bitch's(?) property in Bel Air. Extremely fragrant (don't overdose). These particular bulbs were started for me (it's referred to as "forced"), so we'll see how they fare and I may try to grow them from bulbs myself. I've only had them a few days and they've already begun sprouting. For inquisitive minds, I'll keep you posted.

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