Christmas Starts After Thanksgiving, Dammit!

­I saw my first Christmas commercial ten days before Halloween this year. Well, okay technically it wasn’t a “Christmas” commercial. It was a “holiday” commercial with lots of red and green decorations, decorated fir trees in the house, snow on windows, stockings over fireplaces, presents, squealing children, Menorahs near the ham . . . but,…

Hollywood Habitat Hell

Holy smokes did we have a dilemma at the Brakeman household. It started a few days ago when the kids found out that I would be working on a PetSmart commercial. I had tried to keep this secret from them, for reasons that will become obvious, but their little snoopy eyes are everywhere. When they…

Show Biz Chimps

I have worked with many famous people during my many years of employment in Show Business. Oh sure, I could drop names like Beyonce, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Aniston, Elizabeth Taylor, but I won’t. Besides, they have restraining orders – some lasting past their demise. But do you…

Just How Long Is That Beach?

As the unofficial long-winded, self-proclaimed expert on all things lengthy in Southern California, I feel it is long past the time to address the elephant in the Basin: Long Beach. Ahh, Long Beach.  The forgotten cradle of Western civilization.  Long has the city with Beach in its name hungered for recognition as a cultural icon…

What’s Up With The Greek Thing? (A Primer)

With so much talk about the problems with Greece and the European Union, I’m sure a lot of you have done something like me: glanced at the headlines and figured that the problem is about debt and Angela Merkel and, um, bailouts and blah de blah, oh look, a donut with sprinkles. I thought I…

Why Are We Spying On The French?

An international furor was sparked when WikiLeaks released it’s “Espionnage Elysee” report, which showed extensive spying on the French by the NSA that included recorded eavesdropping of French President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors over the last several years.   The French Defense Council held a crisis meeting recently that concluded that the U.S.…