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Showing posts from May, 2007

Basement Songs-"Put It There" by Paul McCartney

With the Great Strides walk this weekend, the idea of writing about one of my basement songs almost became overwhelming. For some unknown reason I place a burden on myself each week trying to come up with something meaningful to say about the music in my life and why it has great meaning to me. I’m uncertain how many people actually read these posts, but I take pride in trying to give those of you I know about something to dwell on for the weekend.. Inspiration was difficult to conjure up with all of the distractions in our life this week. Then I had an epiphany. This week, I wanted to write about fatherhood. I also wanted to find a song that reflected the spirit of Great Strides, a song that talked about people coming together and supporting each other. When I finally put one and one together, I realized that the song I should write about is possibly the most elegant and briefest of the basement songs: “Put It There” by Paul McCartney. McCartney’s “Flowers in the Dirt” album wa

King's Highway on the Internet

Fear has gripped me for the past year. I've been afraid to take a simple risk for fear my work may get rejected and ridiculed. I have feared that should my movie, "King's Highway" get posted on the Internet, I may lose the opportunity for some kind of distribution deal. I have been scared that by opening the movie up for free viewing, no one will actually watch it and the experiment will be a failure. But I've been a fool. As you may know, "King's Highway" is a feature movie I wrote and directed back in 2001. That same year, Jacob was born and diagnosed and my grand plans to be a movie star director were sidetracked while I took on the responsibility of being a father. I have no regrets. I know I shouldn't have to say that, but you'd be surprised how many people would choose their career over their family. When the film was finally completed in 2003, my producing partner, Ryan Johnson, my creative partner, Villamor Cruz, my gracious star, Geo

Just another update

The weekend was excellent. Julie's birthday was Saturday and we had an opportunity to go out like adults. The two of us went to dinner while Budd watched Sophie and Jacob. It sucks that she had to work on her birthday, but we both understand the reality of our lives. You take work when they give it to you. This year the kids got her a Rachel Ray cookbook, which Julie was excited to receive. I bought her a new Alison Krauss compilation. I nearly bought her an MP3 player so she would have a source for her own music while she drives around town. I'm determined to make sure she continues to have the kind of music she likes so that someday she can actually listen to something other than Radio Disney. Sunday was spent straightening up the house. We planted shrubs outside the front doorway. It was a very casual day. That night, a couple of Julie's friends (other moms from school) took her out for drinks to celebrate her birthday. I'm glad that she went, in fact, I

Basement Songs- "When The Roses Bloom Again" by Wilco with Billy Bragg

What do you get when you cross one of the most important bands of this era with a British punk/folk poet singing a moving, tragic love song that is nearly a century old? You get magic, which describes Wilco and Billy Bragg’s slow, powerful rendition of the Will D. Cobb and Gus Edwards folk song, “When The Roses Bloom Again”. In 2000, an obscure music compilation called the OXFORD AMERICAN SOUTHERN SAMPLER 2000 wound up on my work desk. Always in the mood to hear something new, I took the cd home and gave it a listen. Although the compilation has artists ranging from Tom Petty to Dean Martin, only one song jumped out at me. Jumped out and settled into my heart and soul. Initially I thought the song was a traditional love song, or even a break up song. Then I actually listened to the lyrics. A soldier, preparing to leave for battle, says goodbye to his true love as she pins a rose to his uniform. He tries to calm her and assures her that they’ll meet again, when the roses bloom a

Listen to what the man says

Last week I did and interview for a radio show up in Northen California which aired this past weekend. It's an excellent piece, even though I sound like a dork. The representative from the CF Foundation does a great job. And our course, my buddy Jeff Giles is the third guest, sounding all cool and shit. The audio is set up at my friend, Ted's, blog, Py Korry. Here is a direct link to the page. Please check it out. It's only 20 minutes of your life. Think of how much time you spend suffering through Radio Disney.. no, that's me, sorry... and it will seem like nothing. Aloha

Sophie's old man

With readership suddenly jumping into the twenties, I have had requests to post a picture of what I look like these days (or were those the voices in my head?). I had planned on making an appointment with the Sears Photography Studio and having a formal portrait done. I still have the corduroy suit from my first homecoming dance and I swear, it still fits! No, really! But, with digital photography so readily available, I decided it would be much easier (i.e. cheaper) to just snap something of myself and post it. Then I looked at every recent photo of myself and decided that two chins are more than any of you need to see. Thus, it was back to the drawing board. Literally. I came across an amateur artist who was able to get my likeness perfectly, especially the lips. In addition to it being the perfect portrait of me, you can feel the love oozing from the drawing. Each brush stroke (or marker tip, I guess) was placed to the paper with care and grace. Thanks, Sophie. Aloha

Everywhere you go....

I've now come to dread Mondays more than I did a few weeks ago. We began recording dialogue for the new series on Mondays. It's bad enough that I'm worrying about every small detail the morning of the records, but it effecting my Sunday nights, too. I go to bed and stress about forgetting to have scripts ready or ordering food. Ugh. Some pointless to worry about it all. Ther are such bigger issues. Today was great, though, because I took a half day and went to see Jake's last soccer class. As I watched him running after the soccer ball in the mass group of kids chasing it, I suddenly became that psycho dad, cheering him on, giving him coaching advice. It was so exciting. I was beaming the whole time. But, in the back of my mind I kept thinking, "This is the perfect sport to keep him healthy. Lots of running." Christ, even simple pleasures like watching you son excelling in a sport get clouded by the other thing. Speaking of CF, Julie had one of her shittiest d

DVD review of "The Prestige"

Christopher Nolan continues to amaze me with his talent both as a filmmaker and a storyteller with the film, "The Prestige". In it, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play rival magicians at the end of the 19th Century. When Jackman's wife dies in a tragic accident, the two men who were friends become bitter enemies, each trying to come up with the best magic trick to outdo the other. What I enjoyed most about the film was the seamless way Nolan cut back and forth between periods of time. Based on the novel by Christopher Priest, the film is very literary, but it never feels stuffy or boring. The pace is not nearly as fast as the cuts back and forth in time that Scorsese used in "The Departed", but the effect is just the same. There are no annoying subtitles to tell you "present day" or "10 years ago". Nolan gives the audience credit for having the intelligence to follow the story and lets you go along for the ride. I really enjoyed this movie,

Basement Songs- "Waitin' On A Sunny Day" by Bruce Springsteen

For those of you who frequent this blog, you know that the music of Bruce Springsteen has meant a great deal to me throughout my adult life. His 1987 masterpiece, “Tunnel of Love” was an original basement album. The night I heard legendary Cleveland DJ, Kid Leo, recite these words from “Brilliant Disguise”, I became a fan. “Tonight our bed is cold/ I’m lost in the darkness of our love/God have mercy on a man/ Who doubts what he’s sure of”. Wow. It still gives me chills. I listened to that LP nonstop for a year. And when my high school sweetheart moved away, the song “Valentine’s Day”, which closes that record, became the eulogy for our doomed romance. I associated that beautiful song so closely with that heartbreaking period of my life that I have trouble listening to it to this day. As the years went on, the music of Springsteen became a part of the lives of my friends and family, mostly because I forced people to listen to it and implored them to see him live in concert (which is a r
Had an interesting morning that included an interview by one of my fellow Week In Rock roundtable co-horts, Ted Asregadoo. Ted has a website, (which has some really cool interviews… Paul Krugman! Clors Leachman! Eddie ‘freakin’ Money!), and he also works at two radio stations in northern California, KKIQ/KKDV, in Pleasanton. Ted’s doing a public affairs feature on CF, Great Strides and the Bloggers for A Cure. Gracias, Ted. It’s very odd being interviewed. I feel like such a phony and get very tongue tied. The interview we did for the Santa Clarita paper turned out nicely, but I still felt like I was faking my way through it. Sort of like being half prepared for an exam and being able to bullshit your way through the rest (and no, Denman, I studied for every one of your tests… I just didn’t do well). My biggest fear is that I come off sounding like I have no clue about the disease or its effects. Worse, if anyone asks me about the medicines…. Well, we’ve alr
Another rough morning in the Malchus household. Jake didn't want to do his breathers and had a melt down. Who can blame him? I wouldn't want to be strapped into a vinyl vest with velcro straps and have to hold a nebulizer cup up to my face first thing in the morning. When he has these fits, I really have to wonder whether it's just rebellion (like any 5 year old) or that he psychologically feels that it isn't fair that HE has to do breathers while the rest of us eat or breakfast as we get ready for the day. I hate it. Finally, I was able to calm him down and sit with him. But I was crying, man. The thing is, lately, I have this fear of being seen crying. Like, I won't cry in front of Julie and when Steve was asking me questions about how I'm doing, I had to look away or suffer another Dodger Stadium meltdown like the Springsteen concert (for those of you who don't know, I attended a Boss show in 2003 with my brother. It was a brilliant show in Dodger


Okay, I know I'm supposed to be writing once a day in May, but you'll have to cut me a little slack for this past weekend. As you know, Steve was in town. Friday and Saturday were late nights and it took all yesterday to recover. I'm still pretty damn wiped, but man, it was worth it. I want to detail this weekend, but I need another day to piece it together. As I'd hoped, we allowed ourselves to "be". By Saturday night, after everyone had gone home, to bed or (in the case of Julie's brother, Seann) crashed on the couch, Steve and I were just hanging out. Drinking Scotch, with the TV on, and cd's burning on my laptop, it felt oddly familiar. The setting may have been different, but the mood was most definitely Budd & Eleanor's basement in Ohio. Like I said, I'll get into this more tomorrow and the next day. I have a lot to think about and so much to be thankful for. Aloha

Basement Songs - "Southern Accents" by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

On December 26, 1993, Steve and I hung out in the Malchus basement for the last time. Four days before my wedding, this would be our last opportunity to just “be”, throwing back a few drinks and listening to some music. After the wedding, Steve would return to the south and I would be moving west with my new bride. It had been the plan that he and I would spend a night hanging out. Instead of heading to some local dive bar or trying to organize a small party, both of us decided that we’d just spend the time together. We actually began the evening watching the Michael Douglas movie, “Falling Down”. At that time, all of my belongings weren’t packed and the basement was still my little den. My older siblings had long moved away, and my younger sister was at college. So the year and a half I spent living with my parents after college gave me complete rule over the basement. I had set up a television and VCR and my new stereo was on a stand close by. The far corner of the basemen

Rest in Peace Dave Anderson

I'd like to dedicate this post to Dave Anderson, a man I knew from my high school days. For a brief time in my life, he was very influential on how I looked at the world and I viewed things spiritually. In high school, Dave was the teacher of the youth class I attended every Sunday for church. Instead of simply reciting passages from the Bible... or even reading from the Bible, for that matter, he lead discussions about a variety of topics. He often asked us teens what we wanted to do the next Sunday and tried to go along with our requests. One of the coolest activities he did was short short, dramatic films that brought up a lot of philosophical questions. Dave showed us "An Occurrence At Owl Creek", which heavily influenced my writing and what would become "The Mind's Eye" (my own short film). He never preached and really made religion and spirituality accessible. For two summers (my sophomore and junior years of high school) I attended work camps in which

Jake's Mini March

A brief interlude from my entries on Steve to write about the CF mini-march Jake's pre-school class held this morning. His teachers wanted to show the kids (four and five year olds) that they can make a difference, even though they're little kids. So, a mini march was organized in which the entire class would walk around the school. Each child was asked to seek donations for the CF Foundation. Julie helped organize it by writing the letter home to the parents (which was then adapted by the teachers). Yesterday, while Jake was home sick from school, the teachers read the book "Mallory's 65 Roses" which is a wonderful children's book that explains some of the disease. Today, when Jake came to class and the kids were getting ready for the march, they were chanting "Go Jacob! Go Jacob!" It fills me with such joy that these children accept Jake for who he is and not some kid who is different and has to take a lot of medicine. I only wish life were always

Rock Lobsters and Wrist Bands

While trying to gather my thoughts of this series of entries, I suddenly realized that this week may be more difficult that I thought. When trying to come up with an appreciation for someone I respect and admire, I fear the words may sound corny or heavy handed. Besides Julie, I feel there is no other person who knows me as well as Steve. He has taught me to be a better man and a better friend. He is closer than a friend, though. He is my brother in every sense except blood. And while nit may prove difficult to come up with individual wild stories or moments, that doesn’t matter. Just as I feel that Julie is my soul mate, I feel the same way about Steve, in the sense that our lives were destined to intertwined. I trust him above most anyone I know and for his friendship, love and brotherhood I am forever grateful So let’s go back to the beginning. It was a hot, Spring day in North Olmsted and I was on my way home from Forest Elementary school. Winter must have just ended beca

100th Post!

Welcome to the hundreth post! I'd like to thank my wife, Julie, my two wonderful kids, Sophie and Jacob, my parents and my siblings. All of my extended family. And of course, all of you for stopping by every once and a while. Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? (crickets) Heh. So, uh, well.... I was fianlly initiated into that special parents club today. The "my kid puked while we were waiting in line at the drug store" club. Poor Jake. He's been fighting whatever virus he's had for over a week. Today, he just couldn't take any more. The saddest thing was that he hadn't eaten anything in almost 12 hours and all he threw up was bile. I wish we could nip this thing in the butt... NOW! Luckliy, he took a long nap and woke up feeling much better. Some of his miraculous recovery had to do with the Motrin he got, I'm sure. He seems to be doing better. Keeping my finger crossed that he'll be okay for school tomorrow. The house is as clean as i

Hey, it's Cinco de Mayo!

I... don't really have anything to say about Cinco de Mayo. It just sounded like a cool header. Saturdays are the mos difficult day to make entries to the blog. Usually I'm out on the yard, as I was today. Man, it was a long day. My friend, Steve, is coming to town on Friday and I wanted the yard to look well managed for him. Not that he'd care. In fact, if there is one person I think would not give a rat's ass, it is Steve. The two of us have been friends so long, we're brothers. Besides Julie, no one knows me better than Steve, which is saying a lot considering that he lives on the other side of the country. I'm pretty stoked about his visit. Giddy like a little school boy! Weeeeeeee! Enough of that, Malchus. Also making the day longer is Jake's continued fight with his cold or, as Julie believes it may be, a sinus infection. The poor kid's nose is running non stop and his head hasn't stopped hurting for over a week. Yes, he's already been to s

Basement Songs "Distant Sun" by Crowded House

The music of Crowded House has hovered over my personal space since they flew into the world’s orbit back in the 80’s. It began during my first year at Bowling Green when my friend, Bob, made sure that I won a drawing at Finders, the record store he worked at in town. The prize was the soundtrack to “Tequila Sunrise”, Robert Towne’s underappreciated movie from that era. I was plenty excited to have my own copy of the epic power ballad, sung by Ann Wilson and Robin Zander, that plays over the end credits. After about two listens, I grew tired of the big drums and discovered another track on the LP, an obscure Crowded House song, “Recurring Dream”. I was hooked. A couple of years later, I spent the summer in L.A., just as their album “Woodface” was released. The second song, “It’s Only Natural”, became an instant favorite and showed up on one of the first mix tapes I made for Julie. The mysterious, chiming qualities of “Recurring Dream” are what first drew me in to the music, and

The Price of Admission

The other day I was thinking about the new Police tour and the cost of admission to a high profile concert like that one. For an ordinary, middle class Joe like myself to get in to a show like that, I have to shell out about $100 per ticket, and that's not even one of the better seats in the house (especially a stadium venue). The really fortunate few who can afford seats close up (or are fanatics and/or stupid enough to spend that kind of cash) end up spending somewhere between $500 and $1000 a seat! Now, I realize that artists like Sting and Bruce and Peter Gabriel are charitable people and they donate unknown sums of money to worthy causes. But suppose an act like the Police were to take $1 from each ticket and donated it to a charity after each show. One dollar. A show like Dodgers Stadium, which is sold out, would generate (at least) sixty grand in one night. 60 GRAND! And that's being a little conservative. Imagine if they donated just $2. That would be $120,000 i

May is CF Awareness month and a surprising pledge

To kick off CF Awareness month, I'm making a pledge to make an entry a day for the entire month. This isn’t a big pledge, though in the past I have always had trouble writing once a day. Not this time! You can hold me to it. I received quite a surprise this morning when a woman I haven't spoken to in some 20 years (she was a high school girl back then) wrote me a lovely email and donated to the Great Strides walk. Thank you Sara! She and I went to a homecoming dance and to her prom back in the 80's. The prom was memorable if only because it was at the height of Prince mania and the guy who drove us to the dance was a Prince fanatic. That night we went to Pennsylvania (it was Pennsylvania, wasn't it? It's very fuzzy). During the drive we listened to a Marillion album. Marillion? What's that all about? I have to admit that I wasn't the most mature date back then. I believe you would call me... hmmm, what's that word, an ass. At least, that'