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.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Cali's a great place to visit!" Random Photo #88.

Gas stop. Jason calling home. Somewhere heading west on Highway 49 out of Yosemite toward the 5. No man's land.

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"Cali's a great place to visit!" Tujunga Canyon hike.

When Jas and I arrived in California on June 19, we made a beeline for Donovan and Maria's place in Tujunga. It's northeast of Pasadena in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. You may remember the Station Fire in late August 2009. That's the area. It reminds me of Topanga Canyon but more desert-like. Noted residents of Tujunga include(d): Dorothy Gish (actress), Paul Walker (actor), The Smothers Brothers, A Martinez (actor), James Horner (composer) and Jaye P. Morgan (retired popular American singer and game show panelist). And, of course, D & M and Grace (3 years) and my goddaughter, Gwyneth (2 years in January).

After a few beers and hugs and kisses, Jas and I set off the next day for a 3-mile hike into one of the canyon trails. I've hiked this route before - but not this far. Click on READ MORE! to follow along on our hike.

One of the nicer homes on this particular canyon road.

Gigantic millipede.

Gigantic snake.

There are a series of these - I forgot what they're called. They help keep the water back should flooding occur. This one was built in 1969.

The wash.

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"Cali's a great place to visit!"

My brother and I just got back from 10 days in California. Camping in Sequoia National Forest (or Park or Monument, whichever it was), got drunk on wine in the Santa Inez Valley while celebrating Solstice with family in Santa Barbara, watching Cousin Mike's band, Glenview Lane, perform, spent time with my goddaughter and Grace and Donovan and Maria and Jay and Susie and family in Tujunga, lots of hiking....good time, but not enough time. Never is. I will say this: after having just moved back from Los Angeles in September 2009 after 11 1/2 years - Cali is a great place to visit.

Sure we had some disappointments. The "Sell-out" of Yosemite. AirTran Airlines so broke it can't afford band aids. Rental car companies who don't have the car you rented when you arrive. Spider bites in Sequoia's Tent City. Lost cameras (we don't know this for sure). Solstice Parade contradiction in float policy. But...hey, nothing's perfect. Not even Californ-i-a. Keep an eye out for my series of blog posts on the trip.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

My friend, George Maurer, combines his "roguish charm" with his piano chops.

I cruised up to Badger Boys State early Thursday morning to hang with the counselors (I'm an ex-Boys Stater and counselor - look for a post on this soon). Bunked with my buddy George Maurer who's a counselor as well.

Check out his site. George has been called "Minnesota’s premier jazz pianist" and is an accomplished pianist, composer and arranger.

(Above) George and I at Boys State attending the alumni reception Thursday evening. When I was George's counselor at Boys State in 1985 (egad), he and some of the other boys took my bed, lamp and desk from my room and placed it out on the roof of Scott Hall. Thanks, George.

His latest creative effort is Songs From the Wayward Journey: The Nicollet Island Compilation, Vol. 1. Listen to "But You Don't See Me". My favorite - probably 'cause I have a close friend who's not "seeing me" right now.

Thanks for the music, George. I won't forget the the roof thing though.

"But You Don't See Me"
© Copyright 2009 George Maurer

Whenever love breaks your heart
and your life falls apart.
You always need a friend who you can rely on.
And every time it turns out I'm
the one whose shoulder you will cry on.
But you don't see me.

And when romance comes once more
you show up at my door
and swear to me that "this time, love is real."
My heart grows weak as you start to speak
of the boy who's now your new ideal.
But you don't see me.

When I said to you that true love's charms
could all be found in your best friend's arms
that notion seems to have surprised you.
That distant look in your eyes
I think now I realize
how much your dreams have hypnotized you.

It's time for me to find someone new
who will keep me in view
and see me clearly, morning, night, and noon.
But my farewell won't break the spell
for you've been blinded by the moon.
But you don't see me.
You see long and far.
You see that far away star.
But you don't see me.

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TGIF! presents...The Beach Boys' "California Saga/California"!

Heading out tomorrow (Saturday) for 10 days in Cali-for-ni-a with brother Jason. Solstice in Santa Barbara, Santa Inez wine tasting, Yosemite & Sequoia National Park, see my goddaughter, Gwyneth and family, and a few friends in LA. Aunt Ev and Uncle Bob will be visiting as well so look for blog posts and pics after the 29th. See ya!

The song you're listening to, "California Saga/California", was written by Al Jardine of The Beach Boys. It was released on the BB's 1973 album Holland. Issued internationally as a single in early 1973, and performed in the same loping country-shuffle beat, it garnered great reviews likening it to classic "California Girls" status. The song reached #84 in Billboard, but performed better in the UK (#37) and New Zealand (#15). I've been to some of the locales discussed in this tune. If you haven't - you should.

On my way to sunny California
On my way to spend another sunny day

Water, water get yourself in the cool, clear, water
The sun shines brightly down on Penny's place
The sun shines brightly down on the bay
The air's so clean it'll just take your mind away
Take your mind away
Take your mind away

Have you ever been south of Monterey
Barrancas carve the coast line and the chaparral flows to the sea
'Neath waves of golden sunshine
And have you ever been north of Morro Bay
The south coast plows the sea
And the people there are of the breed
They don't need electricity
Water, water, cool cascades of clear, clear water
The sun dance final scene sets the hills ablaze.
Horizon edges quick up the mountain's way.

Have you ever been down Salinas way?
Where Steinbeck found the valley
And he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin's with Charley
And have you ever walked down through the sycamores
Where the farmhouse used to be
There the monarch's autumn journey ends
On a windswept cyprus tree

Water get water get yourself in that
Get yourself in that get yourself in that cool, clear, water
The sun shines brightly down on Penny's place
Get yourself in that water
The air's so clean that it just takes your mind away
Take your mind away
Take your mind away

Have you ever been to a festival, the Big Sur congregation?
Where Country Joe will do his show
And he'd sing about liberty
And the people there in the open air, one big family.
Yeah the people there love to sing and share
Their new found liberty

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More bitter MJS spewage.

June 16, 2010

UP - The Four-front: Tom Izzo promised that he wouldn't drag things out, but he proceeded like a man on a commode with "War and Peace" . He should have been holing up with that guy in Hattiesburg, Miss., so the white smoke would have only had to come out of one chimney.

- Mike Hart

Hey, Hart. Watch the video above. There's your smoke. Right up your ass.

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X hates "reality television".

(reprinted from Ditalini Press)

There is no such thing as "reality television" - which boggles X's mind that he can hate a few choice words or phrase that theoretically don't exist. As soon as the dumb asses who choose to air their private lives for the world to see know there's a lens focused on them AND as long as there are producers, writers and directors who are manipulating the dumb asses' "reality", it's no longer "real".

In X's world, this list is no longer. And, according to X, the world grows smarter.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

18 pennies.

I was having coffee at a local diner the other day and this little boy was playing with his coins. He put a quarter on his elbow and asked me if I could catch it - you know, like the Fonz did in that Happy Days episode. So I obliged the child. He was impressed. I stopped at 18 cents. Didn't wanna burst the lad's bubble.

NOTE: Stacking the pennies on my elbow for this picture was a 100x harder than catching them in my hand.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Monologue from "Reveille!".

(June, 1863. On a modest farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Northern Virginia, CATHERIN and AMANDA cope with a life now turned upside down by war. They are discussing Amanda's essay she's submitting to Godey's Ladies Book.)

Then why don’t you submit your own story?

(Once she has finished cleaning the strawberries, CATHERIN begins ironing.)

The world is an unhappy place, Amanda. My demeanor would have to be on a higher plain to even consider the task of sitting down to write – Godey’s or otherwise.

Well if your demeanor were on a higher plain, what would you write about?
Oh, come now, Catherin. Don’t be such a sour puss. Say something.

I don’t know.
I suppose I’d write about living here in the valley – before the war - when even the faintest of breezes blows in the smell of sassafras blossoms from a mile away and the mockingbirds swoop down on anyone who gets within a hundred yards of their nests.
I’d write about how that dog of yours slouches around so much so you’d think she were dead to the world except for when she nips at the honey bees flying about her head.

Don’t you dare say one unkind word about Molly. She’d sooner chew off her leg than hurt a flea.
Now where did that dog go anyways? Molly? Come here, Molly!
I’m sorry...were you through?

I was not.
I’d write about our farm, and how you’re scared of feeding the chickens and how one day –

That ain’t true!

“That’s not true” and you are too. And how one day you proposed we eat the Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock chickens as they were most certainly Yankee-bred and would do irreparable harm to a Southerner’s palate. I’d tell of midnight walks along 4¼ Mile Road, lit up by the slightest sliver of a moon – like a postcard...
(She stops ironing.)
...where you can hear the rippling and splashing of Little Mountain Run in the dark as she snakes down and around through the Shenandoah Valley, and the horned owl joins the bullfrog and the crickets in a symphony that only God could compose. Or the lonesome whistle of the Blue Ridge Railway...clickety-clackety – reminding me there’s a whole
nuther world to explore beyond this valley.
To drink that all in - now the world’s filled with nothing but suffering because of some men’s war and I fear I may wake to a rifle barrel stuck in my gut – or worse. Oh I still smell sassafras occasionally but it’s –
– everything I cherish here has been smothered by war. The trains bring men into town, filling our streets with blue troops and gray troops marching off to kill one another. The air is filled with smoke and fire. The Yankees’ blockade stopped Little Mountain Run from rippling and splashing. How many people have we known moved away or killed? This simple life of ours which I derived so much joy, is no more.
I used to take pleasure in the rain – a steady, long, slow rain. It washed the earth clean and made everything smell reborn, like fresh laundry brought in outta the wind. The only rain that falls now brings with it the stench of death and the streets run with the blood of young men who are lost forever. And I’m afraid that everything will change and I’ll forget what it was like.
(She goes back to ironing. Embarrassed.)
I’m rambling.

- excerpt from "Reveille!" by Jeffrey James Ircink. © Copyright 2007

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Flag Day...thanks to Wisconsite Bernard J. Cigrand.

In 1885, a Waubeka, WI school teacher named Bernard J. Cigrand placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance.

In June 1886 he made his first public proposal for the annual observance of the birth of the flag when he wrote an article titled, “The Fourteenth of June” in the old Chicago Argus newspaper.

On the third Saturday in June, 1894, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating. It's been celebrated on June 14th ever since.

The rest is, as they say, history.

(NOTE: Great Moments in Flag Day history. On June 14, 1908, Theodore Roosevelt was dining outside Philadelphia, when he noticed a man wiping his nose with what he thought was the American Flag. In outrage, Roosevelt picked up a small wooden rod and began to whip the man for "defacing the symbol of America." After about five or six strong whacks, he noticed that the man was not wiping his nose with a flag, but with a blue handkerchief with white stars. Upon realization of this, he apologized to the man, but hit him once more for making him "riled up with national pride.")

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel/Favre feud. Deja Vu.

June 11, 2010

UP - Thinking it through: Buffalo Bill's pass rusher Aaron Schnobel said he is leaning toward retirement but doesn't want "to make a decision and then change my mind". Yo, Brett, you listening?

- Bob Friday

It's not so much a feud as it is a one-sided bitch session on the part of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that's been going on since Favre joined the Minnesota Vikings last season. No sooner do I post MJS's latest barb directed at ex-Packer QB Brett Favre (on June 8), the MJS strikes again. Only it's a new author. Hi, Bob Friday!

Yo, Bob Friday! It's Friday. Why don't you shut the fuck up too? And tell your fellow cronies at the MJS to give it a rest. Talk about the Packers or Aaron Rodgers or SOMETHING to do with the Green Bay Packers...

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"The Voice of Rain" by Walt Whitman.

Lasting all of 15 minutes, a rainburst blew through my hometown. The sun has resumed peaking through the clouds...and now I have to write about it.

My father and I were sitting on the porch - we love rain. We heard a yelp from the garage and here this little toad fell out of a bowl my mother had picked up (it wasn't a "yelp" really - my mom's a farm girl...nothing frightens her). With a bit of assistance, we helped Mr. Toad on his merry way into the flower garden. Not sure if the toad brought the rain out or the other way around.

The Voice of the Rain

And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd,
altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns.)

- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1891-1892

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TGIF! presents...Alice Cooper's "School's Out"!

My first year of substitute teaching is in the books. Good year - enjoyed it thoroughly. "The Hammer" will be back in the fall.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

AirTran can lick my lingum.

If you're planning a flight on AirTran Airways anytime soon, don't bother booking through their website.

My brother and I recently purchased tickets for our June trip to Cali and we discovered AirTran now charges a "seat fee" . Cocksuckers. They've been doing this for a year and we've all heard rumblings about "added fees" airlines, so I wasn't surprised. Just taken aback. I was under the impression that my $265 flight (which is a good price) covered my seat on the plane? Makes sense? Nope. $20 seat fee each way.

Not on Priceline. The exact same flight via Priceline's website doesn't have the $20 seat fee. So I saved $40.

So the next time you think about flying with AirTran, go to Priceline first. Read here about some of the other ingenious ways airlines are trying to pinch you. And thanks, Mr. long and prosper.

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Separated at Birth? Jonathan Toews & Hans Klopek.

Chicago Blackhawk Jonathan Toews (top), Stanley Cup winner and MVP and Tom Hanks' neighbor, Hans Klopek from "The 'Burbs". Uncanny.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The $2.9 million dollar photograph.

Being an amateur photog myself, I'm fascinated with photography and taking pictures. This is the world's most expensive photograph, dating back to 1904, which sold for $2.9 million in February 2006.

Take a look at some of the oldest photographs you'll ever see. What? It'll take all of 2 minutes and 47 seconds. 46 seconds, I mean. There - saved you a second.

(If you wanna see a picture of the ghost I took, email me at

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"Pass the Salt, Please." That dirty play people can't get out of their minds.

Boca Raton Magazine featured a review of this year's Summer Shorts Festival at City Theatre in Miami. My short, "Billy Balfoor Wants An Apology" , wasn't accepted. That's OK though. Seems one reviewer (John Thomason) can't seem to shake my play that was featured in last year's festival:

"Matterhorn": A so-called "festival favorite revival", this comedy stars Stephen Trovillion and Elena Maria Garcia doing their thing as a dysfunctional couple in line for a Disneyland ride. It's pretty funny, but not nearly as uproarious as last year's "Pass the Salt, Please." Summer Short, which presented Trovillion and Garcia at their finest.

My question to City Theatre is why dredge up plays that have already appeared at Summer Shorts when you've got a thousand new plays to choose from for this year's festival?

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MJS's hatred for Favre far from Jolly.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DOWN - Delay, delays: Johnny Jolly's (Green Bay Packer defensive end) drug possession trial has been delayed once again, this time until July 30. What will happen first? Jolly's trial actually takes place or Brett Favre retires?
- Paul Drzewiecki

Wow. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel making light of a player's legal woes - a player on the state's beloved Green Bay Packers. How convenient in its on-going "war of words on Favre" to include Jolly's drug issues in the same sentence with Brett Favre (and his retirement indecision).

Fucking pricks. Just do a "Brett Favre" search in the top left corner of this blog to see a dozen plus examples of the MJS's obsession with the Packers' ex-player.

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Separated at Birth? Helen Thomas & a puffball.

Helen Thomas (top), newly retired White House Press Corps reporter, and puffball. Don't see it? The resemblance is there, baby - just look.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

U.S. refuses outside help in tackling oil spill.

Why? We help every other Tom, Dick and Harry. $400 million to Haiti. Refugees from God knows which countries. Illegals from Mexico, South America and other countries. $50 million or so to Greece. Blah, blah, fuckity blah. 13 countries + the UN, but nooooooo. The U.S. and BP got it all under control.

You think this bird gives a shit who or where the help comes from???

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Art - it's a subjective thang.

I joined the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network not long ago to help me network in the city. MARN sponsored the Westside Artwork in April (I know - late post). I worked the fair for five hours and got to see some lovely artwork, including a few pieces by my friend, Pamela Anderson, who owns Underwood Gallery in Wauwatosa.

I loved Victoria Tasch's "Storytime" (above), a polyplate litho on stonehenge with ink wash. It's a printmaking thing. I emailed Victoria and she sent me this graphic file to use on my blog.

"Untitled" by Kari Garon. Screenprint. I don't get it. Lots of people don't get art. That's not to say I don't appreciate Kari's talent and her passion - just not my cup of tea.

But maybe it will be tomorrow. Tastes change. People are fickle. Art is evolving. We evolve.

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Minnesota Vikings to win Super Bowl XLV.

At least that's what they're saying at

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TGIF! presents....the Pipes!

I love the bagpipes. Tomorrow. Milwaukee Highland Games at Old Heidelberg Park in Wauwatosa. This is what I'll be watching. FREEDOMMMMMMMMM! ;)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

summer (it's coming).

A glimpse of the garden at Galena's Steamboat House. (Turns out the close-up shot is much better than the full flower - check a couple posts down.)

"Give me the odorous at sunrise
a garden of beautiful flowers
where I can walk undisturbed."
- Walt Whitman

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Separated at Birth? Heidi "Pre-Surgery" Montag & Kristin "the Montag clone" Cavallari.

Heidi (top) and Kristin. Both from "The Hills" . No wonder this show's been cancelled. All they do is keep replacing one douche bag with another. And get this! Heidi left her dipshit husband, Spencer Pratt, 'cause she needs time to be alone! After a year and a month of marriage! And none of it is her fault! (Sounds like a friend of mine) COOL!

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