Saturday, June 30, 2007

YES!!! I finally went dirt bike riding today. I have to say 'I still got it'. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying “I’m the man”; but I feel like I’m the man – a little. Keep in mind that I only get to ride about 4 days a year. I get better and have more fun every time I get out there. One day I plan to have the means to have a motorcycle in Los Angeles and get to ride weekly.

My brothers don't ride as much as they used to, but my nephew knows that when I come home we are definitely gonna get a couple of days at the track. My nephew is completely amazing to watch; he has the balance of a cat and excels in whatever he does. Like me, he hadn't ridden his motorcycle since December, but also like me, he didn't waste any time getting back in the flow of things.

The last several times I've been home my brother Todd has had the upper hand on the track, but that is over! I had him under control for the most part - that felt good. So I guess I'm the MX champ in the family again. I love riding my motorcycle and I plan to do it for a long time to come.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's funny that I actually have neighbors when I go home to Virginia. It's not the neighborhood I grew up in, but I know them better than the people in my building in Los Angeles.

Anyway, one of the neighbors, Ryan, is an avid kayaker. For years I would see his kayak strapped to his car and I'd comment about how crazy I thought it was that he'd go out in the open water in the tiny vessel - and fish at the same time.

The other day, while joking around with him, he flipped the script and invited me to take a trip with him. It's probably not something I would have sought out to do, but I couldn't decline the offer and still hold my head high - I woulda felt like a chump.

So today Ryan took me out into a relatively calm inlet to get my feet wet. Admittedly, I was a little nervous because the thing was so small for two people. I found that the kayak was much more stable than it looked. I even caught a bluefish and saw some amazing homes on the water. It was fun and I'd do it again – thanks Ryan!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I like fishing; it was one of the many activities I enjoyed growing up, but I haven't been in a long time ago - probably 1991. So today my brother, his wife and the kid’s surprised me with a half-day trip on a 61-foot charter boat in the Chesapeake Bay. We had a blast and nobody got sick - thanks Dramamine!

We kept about 25 fish, but caught more - the others were too small to keep. My brother fried it up and I must say that his skills in the kitchen are coming together - I guess you have to learn to cook if you're married with two kids.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

YES! Today, me and the family and a few friends took our annual trip to the AMA National Motocross Championship Race at Budd's Creek in Maryland. This is the 5th year in a row we've attended the event and we always have a blast. I think the racing we saw today was the best we've seen, thus far.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It worked; I can't believe it. Usually when I fly home I’m routed through Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. Well, this time I flew with Delta because the fare was considerably lower and one my choices for connecting flights was through JFK in New York. I chose that flight because I hadn't been to NYC since July 2003 and I really wanted to see my dear friend Genine who lives in uptown at 123rd & Madison.

I figured if by chance my connecting flight gets cancelled I'd rather be in New York than another, sorta random city. When I left LAX this morning I didn't really think much about it because I booked the ticket so long ago and I hadn’t heard any weather advisories....

Anyway, about 3/4 of the way through my LAX-JFK flight we were placed in a holding pattern and I got a great view of a couple of The Great Lakes.....for almost an hour. Which meant it was looking like I might not make my connecting flight.

We land nearly an hour late and I rush off of the plane...from seat 41A (I always pick seats with numbers of significance)...only to find that my flight to Virginia had been cancelled. I instantly became one of many, many people that would be staying in New York overnight.

Right about this time my commercial agent called…oops. What could this be? I wasn’t up for anything. So I answered and it was just telling me to disregard a commercial audition that had been email to me since they knew I was out of town. Cool, I’m on vacation…in an airport.

My mind started racing about what to do. Did I really "need" to get home to Virginia tonight? Nah. Did I really wanna see my friend Genine and New York? YES!!! So I surprised her with a call to tell her that I was in town and what my situation was. I didn't know what the airline would do other than book me on another flight. They wanted to book me in the morning to Atlanta to wait for hours to get back to Virginia……uhhh no! I wasn’t going to ride the train all the way to Harlem to rest for a few hours to get up to go to Atlanta when I’m really going to Virginia. That’s not gonna work for me.

So I made up a story and got them to book me on the last flight of the evening tomorrow so I:

wouldn’t have to get up really early in the morning.
could see Genine and have lunch with her tomorrow
could hang out in Manhattan for a good part of the day.

The only thing I forgot in my master plan of getting stuck in New York was that I didn’t really have anything decent to wear. I attempted to wait in line to get my checked bag, but then I thought about having to carry it around Manhattan with me. I abandoned that plan and rolled out with my backpack…at least I had my tooth brush.

OMG! It really showed that I hadn’t ridden the train in years; I felt like a tourist in the city that had been so great to me almost a decade ago. I rode the A train to the 6 to 125th Street. I was back in the Manhattan and it felt great! I even had a hooker whisper to me “what you wanna do boo?”, I was like “Nah, I’m good” and kept on walking. That was at 124th & Park Ave. I finally made it to my friend’s place and got some rest for the night.

The next day I met Genine at work for lunch and had a great conversation about several things as we usually do. It’s funny that my three brothers and I met Genine at a restaurant in Virginia Beach back in 1990 and she’s still a close friend of the family.

With the time I had left I went on little tour; things that I hadn’t thought about in years came back to me in an instant. I must say that it was a bit emotional at times. I walked by the first place I lived in New York, 450 W 46th St in Hell’s Kitchen – wow! Then I hopped on the M11 and went up to another place I lived at 244 W 61st St – wow again! From there I walked to where I used to work, The Harley-Davidson CafĂ© at 56th & 6th – it’s now a bank!

From there I made my way back through Times Square and thought about when I made a special trip to New York years ago to see myself on the Wrigley’s Jumbotron – in Times Square! That was a very special feeling because I used to walk through there all the time on my way to work and seeing myself on that screen gave me the chills.

So I made it back to JFK in plenty of time to catch my flight…little did I know I would be leaving 4 hours late. I was started to feel weird about having to rely on so many people – from getting a ride LAX, to having to call Genine at the last minute, to my brother that was supposed to pick me up last night, to not knowing if and when I was getting in tonight. So I talked to my brother and told I had no idea when I would really be arriving and if it’s too late I’ll just sleep in the airport and call him in the morning…what the Hell was I thinking? Actually, I was just trying to be super respectful of his time; he has a lot on his plate and work long hours. I got in after 1 am and slept under the courtesy phones for rental cars until 7am…well tossed and turned until 7am…in short sleeping on the floor in an airport sucks.

I left LAX at 9:30 Tuesday morning and didn’t get to home until 7:30 Thursday…and it was worth every minute to not be in LA right now AND I got a taste of New York for free. I still can’t believe my plan worked.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

This evening, as a sponsor of The Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase, I spoke to some of the actors for a couple of hours about The BUSINESS of the Acting Business. I must say it feels great to be able to add new ideas to another’s approach about something I’ve gain knowledge in.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tonight I attended The Upfront Network Preview at The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Attending this event is always inspiring for me to want to work in front of the camera more and it’s great to see people I know in the pilots and/or have worked with in the past. As far as the shows go, I saw some interesting things. I’m not the greatest judge on writing and stuff like that, but I like seeing actors with jobs. One year I even saw myself in two of the pilots shown.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Finally! I played tennis today. I got my a** kicked by a woman I met online, but it was a lot of fun. I've wanted to play for a good while. Sometimes you can catch me hitting the ball against the Smart & Final on my street. It's not very smart because most of the "court" is in the street. I must admit that it's a blast and passing motorists get a kick out of it. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not 15 anymore.

Speaking of 15; I've been working out at the gym a lot lately. Not that I feel 15 or particularly enjoy it; but it keeps me busy and I'm probably in the best shape of my adult life. I'm fortunate that I'm pretty athletic, eat relatively healthy and have a metabolism that works me.