Friday, October 31, 2014

Winter's Coming

The hyperactive squirrels have been working overtime gathering their harvest for the winter and driving my retriever nuts as they always appear just out of reach.

On the road, there was a squirrel whose crossing ended midstream with a shattered acorn beyond its frozen grasp. Consumed with preparations for the future, the present blindsided it with swift, silent speed.

Halloween is a reminder of the grim worm-eaten world beneath our feet, rising up to cast its shadow in the overheard illumination we've constructed to ward off such creatures of the dark.

Winter's coming. Gather the game and the wood and the spirits and the furs and do your best to hide from those things that go bump in the night.

(Insert Vincent Price laugh here.)

Boo!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Liz Cho and Josh Elliott Are Engaged

Liz Cho and Josh Elliott are engaged according to Page Six and People. I guess some guys do in fact have all the luck. Weird Long Beard Press wishes them the best!

Liz Cho and Josh Elliott.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Awkward

Awkward is defined as lacking ease of grace in movement or expression. It can be a moment or an absolute as in chemistry. I'm no stranger to awkward.

Anna Kournikova
Exit the front door of my house and turn right with my dog comfortably ahead on his extended leash. He's on a mission, pulled by a scent I can not detect. I affix my bleary eyes and labored breath on this humid day to a vision of Anna Kournikova headed my way with an equally attractive Golden Retriever pup in tow.

We draw near, it's not Anna Kournikova, but a younger, taller version who seems nervous at the sight of me and my eager Labrador.

"He's friendly," I say.

Just then, my dog lunges at the beautiful pup who side steps and pounces on him in a fury of wagging tails and gaping, playful mouths. Their leashes bind together and suddenly I'm playing Twister with this long-legged woman in short shorts and tank top and there goes my flip flop and I'm all bedhead and morning breath, bloated from years of over indulgence when I nearly lose my balance and fall back like a sea crab exposed to the vulturous gulls circling above. This woman somersaults in mid-air while throwing one leash over the other and frees herself and her pup as she has freed her long, blond hair from frizz on this muggy day. I regain my composure with the grace of a Weeble wobble and fill the momentary silence with: "Beautiful ... I mean, she's beautiful ... the dog, um, what's her name?"

We continue on our circuitous route toward home when our paths cross again. This time the woman has her back turned to me, her dog held near and my head is down, firmly fixed on the ground, keep walking, boy, keep walking ...

Awkward.

Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Write What You Know

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." - Ernest Hemingway

Nature kills, human nature, too, I wish that wasn't true.

"This above all - to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man." - Shakespeare, Hamlet

There was a man who cut in front of me at a crowded rooftop bar overlooking the Chrysler Building which popped against the deep blue Manhattan sky on a pleasant summer night. I brought it to his attention and he shrugged his shoulders. I recalled the wisdom of Queen Elizabeth, who when asked what lesson was the most important to learn in life replied, good manners.

"I don't know much, but I know I love you." - Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Tom Snow. Performed by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. 

I was sitting beneath a tree having lunch on the campus of a large corporation when I called home. My mother and father, sister, nephew, wife and sons were 53.8 miles away from me and contemplating ordering Chinese food. I would have swum the Sound for an egg roll.




Sunday, June 29, 2014

World Cup: A Fan's Note

I admit it, I only watch soccer every four years during the FIFA World Cup. While I do appreciate the sport, I don't have the bandwidth to keep up with it, but every four years, it's no trouble at all.

Crowd at Heartland Brewery in Midtown.
I have stood six deep at a bar near Plaza Meyor to watch Real Madrid play Barรงa and I've taken a long lunch to watch the Rangers play the Celtics in a dark hall where the comedian Billy Connolly was in attendance. It's hard not to get swept up in the atmosphere of these rivalries.

Now that the USA has emerged as a global contender, it is wonderful to see this country get on board with the rest of the world, which is to say that everything stops when the game is on. For example, I was in a crowded restaurant near Bryant Park this past week when a voice nearby said, "shouldn't you be in Connecticut?" I turned to see a friend I haven't seen in quite some time due to our busy work schedules.

I do understand the complaints of loyal soccer fans who feel encumbered by all of the new faces crowding around the set, asking which team is the USA and shouting orders at the barkeep, but I gently counter with a bet that they haven't watched a giant slalom since Sochi when a NBC reporter badgered Bode Miller to tears after he won the bronze.

Hooligans at a bar in Queens.
What if we could harness the enthusiasm and shared sense of purpose an event such as the World Cup produces and carry it through each day? There's certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon. What if we could all turn to each other with a knowing smirk at the dramatics of some players when pleading their cases to the refs? What if when we lose, we still win as was the case with USA vs. Germany thanks to our foe turned friend, Ronaldo?

I like to imagine what the world might look like then. Would we still see pictures of men lined up in front of a firing squad and satellite photos of recently moved earth where a mass grave was dug? Wouldn't it be better if the only evidence of violence we saw was pink teeth marks on a player's shoulder while he pleads to the ref?

I, for one, am glad there's a game to look forward to this Tuesday!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dylan Penn Treats Us to a Smoke Show

That didn't take long. Dylan Penn has signed on to do her first movie, a horror film titled Condemned. In the meantime, she grabbed the lucky number seven cover of Treats! Magazine with a scorching portfolio by Tony Duran. Check it out:

Dylan Penn, Treats! Magazine, Issue 7.
Dylan Penn, Treats! Magazine, Issue 7.
Dylan Penn, Treats! Magazine, Issue 7.

Dylan Penn, Treats! Magazine, Issue 7.


Dylan Penn, Treats! Magazine, Issue 7.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm Out Like the Fat Kid in Dodgeball

People of Earth:

That was how Conan O'Brien began his statement to alert the world that he was leaving The Tonight Show, a statement he ran on PR Newswire, the company that has graciously employed me for the past 15 years. Today, April 30, 2014, concludes that run.

As I gave thought to how my statement should read, I reflected on all of the exit emails sent from colleagues through the years and there was one line that resonated: I'm out like the fat kid in dodgeball. I believe it was written in the summer of 2001 by a woman, Jen L., who was a natural born comedian. She could make us laugh in those stressful earnings periods, often at her own expense.

I spent the bulk of my time with PR Newswire at 810 Seventh Ave in Manhattan, located next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of the Late Show With David Letterman. As Mr. Letterman has recently announced plans for his own retirement, I thought it would be appropriate to create a Top Ten List.

As I think back through the years, the colleagues I have worked with at PR Newswire have been some of the best people I've known. Chances are, if you're reading this, you're one of them. I began to think of the watering holes my colleagues and I would go to after the overnight shift at 8 a.m., or the Friday happy hour at 5 p.m., or when visiting another city. Believe me, it was hard to narrow them down to ten, but I managed. Here we go:

10. Checkmate Inn (East Setauket, N.Y.)
9. The Map Room (Cleveland)
8. Jimmy's Corner (New York)
7. The Dresden (Los Angeles)
6. Old Castle Pub (New York)
5. Houston Hall (New York)
4. The Iron Monkey (Jersey City, N.J.)
3. The Big Hunt (Washington)
2. The London NYC (New York)
1. Nice Guy Eddies (New York)

Nice Guy Eddies, NYC
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