Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Favorite Pic Of The Day for October 10th

Love this shot of Tell Perry by Scott Barnes. The images comes from my profile of Tell last year and fits the literary feel of the day...

Check out today's birthday's HERE:

Worth Reading?


I am one of those people who always has three or four books on the go. Generally one is work related that I have to read, another a mystery or suspense and usually also an autobiography that I can flick through quickly. My night stand is full of books, not to mention magazines, that usually get swiped to floor at least once a week, usually by my cat, but sometimes by me when I am making the bed or turning off the alarm clock in the morning. In the article section of FH I have also covered books with some regularity, book reviews and stories about my favorite child hood novels.

A couple of weeks ago I was depressed when looking to purchase a new book. The store was full of displays of books, not featuring Anne Rice, Stephen King, James Patterson or Shakespeare. These books were written by the renowned authors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kris Jenner and Justin Bieber's mother. Now I know celebrity biography's are always popular, I buy my fair share.  I am curious however as to how desperate we now are for celebrity gossip that the mothers of celebrities are now worthy of making deals for books?

Christina Crawford proved there is interest in a child's account of a famous parent, but is there really interest in a parents account of their lives journey, simply because they have a famous offspring? I have nothing against Pattie Mallette, her son is talented enough, but is she worth 288 pages? Is there really anyone, besides her son's teen fans, who are dying to know her story?  I am sure many will be touched by her book, but, when well written, anyone's story can be compelling. The question is really is everybody's story worth a novel. The answer of course is no, but Pattie's story, although no more important than yours or mine, will make a bit of money.  Not a lot I predict, but enough to warrant the cutting of the tree's that created it.

The adorable Jonathan Bennett from Mean Girls

Word has it now that mother Lohan and mother Houston might also have books in the works. Now I know there is a difference between the two. The fame clinging Mrs. Lohan and the talented gospel and soul singer Mrs Houston are in some ways worlds apart, others closer than most would want to admit. If books come forward, the reasons and motives are really not that far apart.  The circumstances may be different yet both are really just making money off the struggles of their daughters. Worth reading? My guess is most people will see Lohan's as trash and Cissy's as more respectable, I see them as pretty much the same thing.


By David Levithan

If you haven't read, or heard about Everyday, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. The book was suggested to me last month (thank you C!) and I devoured it a couple of days. Everyday is the story of A, who every morning wakes up in the body of a different 16 year old until midnight comes. The body could be boy or girl, fat or thin, rich or poor, healthy, happy or in the midst of deep struggle or despair. No matter who it is, A must make it through the day until sleep once again thrusts him into an entire new body of issues.

Leading such a life, A has resisted holding on to anything, anyone constant in his life, until one day in one high school meeting someone who changes all that. Most reviewers have comments on Levithan's themes of sexuality and love, and the author skillfully and lightly tackles the subject beautifully. Equally powerful to me was how different each and day is for each and everyone of us. Even though we know it, we don't always really remember that depending on where, and in what bed, you wake up in, the same sunny day, in the same sunny town can be so dramatically different. The book is an easy read and I think will appeal to almost everyone. The secondary story with Nathan I felt often took the story off track, but I could clearly see it's it's purpose. There were also more than a few awkwardly written transitions and a few stories and characters that wrapped up far too quickly, but given each day required the introduction of an entirely new set of characters, Levithan did a brilliant job of letting us know who they were without taking away from the fact they were all in fact, just A.

Shameel, Shamozzle, Haken A Chainik...

My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir
by Penny Marshall

Although I didn't really know it at the time, I really shouldn't have bothered begging my parents to stay up late and watch television on Tuesday nights. For some reason I was enthralled with the ABC Tuesday comedies but by the time I was old enough to actually stay up late enough to watch them, most of had already gone to shit. Richie and Ralph had long ago left Happy Days, Terri and Mr. Furley had switched in for Chrissy and the Ropers and Laverne & Shirley were living in California, now...minus Shirley. When I got older, thanks to syndication and DVD's, I discovered most of these shows were much more enjoyable in their earlier seasons when I was to young to remember or watch.

Penny Marshall was the main reason to watch Laverne & Shirley. Yes, Cindy Williams and the supporting cast were great, but the show belonged to Laverne. I have enjoyed watching Marshall's career progress past sit-com star to movie director. I like Penny Marshall movies, don't love them, but like them. Jumpin Jack Flash, Marshall's first film, is probably my favorite. Given who her brother is, and her television past, it is not surprising but her films often end up feeling like an extra long episode of a sit-com. I always made a point however to check her out when interviewed. Marshall demonstrates a realness, an honesty I like that comes through in her interviews and appearances. Given this, I looked forward to devouring her memoir,especially the L & S years.

Maybe it is her age, or the health issues she went through the past few years, but unlike the outspoken women I have seen on television for years, her book was disappointingly safe. Everything you expect is there, the drugs, the relationships, her friendship with Carrie Fisher. There is really nothing missing as much as so much of it seems rushed and glossed over. Maybe Marshall was trying to hurt anyone but although there were some enjoyable digs at Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore, more often than not, Marshall tends make a dig, then defend the person she just insulted. This is especially frustrating in her comments about Cindy Williams.

Jumpin Jack Flash

Although it is clear Marshall was dragged through the ringer and emotionally scared from her working relationship with Williams, she spends a lot of time explaining Cindy's position and thrusting most of the blame for the problems on her agent and then husband Bill Hudson. She lets Cindy pretty much off the hook even though it is clear Marshall still hasn't had closure with the situation. I guess keeping whatever relationship the two have maintained must have been on her mind as she wrote.

With Tom Hanks on the set of Big.

I didn't hate the book, there were some enjoyable parts. I especially loved reading how Marshall did not really want Geena Davis for A League Of Their Own, but was sort of stuck after Debra Winger dropped out. If your a Marshall fan, pick up the book, but if your looking for an in depth look at The Laverne & Shirley years, it is there, but in any satisfying detail. The one thing the book did do was take me back to the men of Milwaukee. By the time I was watching the better actors may have already left, but the eye candy was still very much....intact.

Scott Baio

Blast From The Past: Ted McGinley

As I mentioned above, reading Marshall's memoir had me thinking about those men of Milwaukee I watched as a kid. Besides Scott Baio, a certain blonde Adonis also caught my attention. Now I don't think actor Ted McGinley never wrote a book but he certainly gets written about a lot. McGinley unfairly has been dubbed by some as the patron saint of the jumping the shark phrase used for when television shows begin to go downhill. Granted, McGinley has a pattern of joining many already established shows (Married With Children, Dynasty) and some of them are already passed their prime (Happy Days, The Love Boat)but the quality of these shows cannot be laid the beautiful feet of McGinley.

The model turned actor obviously has an appeal producers must feel might extend their runs by another season or two. In many cases (whether you think it good or bad), his arrival may actually have temporarily have saved off cancellation for a brief time. Besides the shows already mentioned, Ted has also been apart many other successful shows from The West Wing, Sportsnight, Dream On, Hope & Faith and a slew of guest shots on other shows. He also has an extensive film resume in films you may remember (Revenge Of The Nerds) to roles you may have forgotten (Pearl Harbor).

Above: Early Modeling shot

Below: Not the Happy Days cast most remember, but the one I first began watching in the 80's.
Above: With Billy Warlock & Henry Winkler

McGinley's first break in acting came in the early 80's after being spotted as a model in an issue of GQ. This led directly to his role on Happy Days. This quickly led to big screen roles in Revenge Of The Nerds and Young Doctors In Love.

Below: With Crystal Bernard for an US Magazine Swimsuit Preview (If anyone has more from this shoot, please shoot me a line)

The actor takes his jumping the shark role in stride and so he should. Even with the label, McGinley has worked steadily the past 30 years and although many may not really remember his role as Rodger Philips on Happy Days, you don't see Potsie or Ralph Malph on television much these days. McGinley's pretty boy looks did not detract from him becoming a pretty decent actor with each new project he took on. He has excelled in both dramatic and comedic roles. Although he may be the butt of a few shark jokes, Ted McGuinley really is having the last laugh.

Above: Getting a little victory kiss from Hotel's Michael Spound after winning the swimming relay on Battle Of The Network Stars (1985) Youtube Link

Above: Playing lifeguard on an episode of Happy Days

The Best Of Ted McGinley

Hope & Faith (2003-2006)

Although this collection of scenes is but a small part of Ted McGinley's acting resume, they show how physically, over the last 30 years or so, the shark has beautifully not jumped an inch!

Married With Children (1989-1997)
The above scene is on Youtube HERE:

Physical Evidence (1989)

Dynasty (1986/1987)

Whose hair feathers the best, Catherine, Heather or Ted???

Happy Days (1989-1984)
Above with Anson Williams & Scott Baio in Where The Guys Are (Season 11, Episode 3)

Revenge Of The Nerds (1984)