Thursday, February 25, 2010

Image Inspiration -- Tough Day

Ever had a day where you feel like this...

And then you realize that things may seem tough but that there's always something you can find to get you feeling jazzed:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Play Review -- New Hope City

I hate to say with a family of actors that it's been a pathetically long time since I've been truly moved by a play. So I'm pleased to say that the production, "New Hope City," rocked me to the core with its multimedia, genre-bending mixed grill of great music, film and acting. You'll feel like a sushi roll with every food you love in it but you never thought you could ever have it because it would fall apart. But the play stands firmly on a sturdy cutting board of hilarity, heartbreak, and bizarre futuristic philosophy. With highlights including an improvised talk show by Sexo the Clown and a sexy choreographed dance party, this show will give you a new hope that a trip to the theater can be a refreshingly nice time.

Playing this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, NY. Get tickets now and learn more about the amazing band Pass Kontrol here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Frédéric Noël -- AOD

Today's illustration reminds me of one of my favorite jokes about the absurdity of nursery rhymes. It's when Ricky Gervais speaks to how Humpty Dumpty shouldn't have been rescued by horses (let alone all of them) because, "If you were to construct a perfect egg-crushing device, it would be horses' hooves!"

More work from this wonderful illustrator here

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pet Post -- Cat is IN the Bag

Snacks loves her some bags, let me tell you!!
Note: these were not staged in any way. Simply capturing her at one of the finest games.

Film Review -- Alice

In 1988's "Alice," Czech director Jan Svankmajer's bizarre adaptation of Lewis Carroll's children's book is considered a classic of surreal cinema. After her stuffed rabbit opens a portal inside her dresser, Alice crosses over into a warped world of gothic props, puppets and dead animals. Svankmajer gives the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat warped makeovers via stop-motion animation and stark cinematography.

I've been re-reading the book and this was the most fascinating, creepy interpretation of the story I've ever seen. Outstanding!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pet Post -- Westminster!


I know, the pics aren't the best quality... but I was going so crazy that I couldn't keep still!!

Updates here

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spread the Love

via colormekatie

Grab a smooch and steal a sweet treat today. And happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!! Xo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

COACH WILL -- Growing Together

I can only imagine my brother being as animated as Cleveland State Coach Gary Waters (above) at last night's game...

For the final post in our special guest inspiration series this week, I want to thank Coach Will for his eloquent and exciting reflections on his time with the team. As he remains my leading source of inspiration, it has been a pleasure to share some of that with you all. 


"I am so proud of my team.  We were behind virtually the entire game.  But we never quit.  The comeback my guys pulled off, together, was nothing short of inspiring.  The list of obstacles and unfortunate circumstances that we had stacked against us last night is too long to report, but they refused to let any of those obstacles become excuses.  Down by as many as fifteen points, we came all the way back to tie the game in the final seconds.  We lost by 3 points.

Every team in every sport has their season come to and end.  For each and every team except the one that wins the championship, the season ends with a loss.  This is a fact, and there are many others that can help sooth the agony of defeat, but agony soothed is still agony.  It hurts for so many reasons, but the one that hurts me the most is that it’s over.  This season, this journey with these young men, that I have been so blessed to be part of, has come to an abrupt and painful end.  We don’t get to keep growing together.

I feel we as coaches made a valiant effort to give our team some perspective after the game, and point out all the positives they can take away from this season.  From the seniors that had worked so hard, and indeed left every ounce of “it” on the floor, I saw blood, sweat, and tears.  That is not a euphemism: I saw all three last night.  There was nothing left to do but give them a hug, and tell them something they already knew, but had never heard me say. I love you guys."

Friday, February 12, 2010

COACH WILL -- The Conclusion

 TODAY IS THE BIG GAME!! Wish Coach Will and the Jaguars luck today as they fight to move forward in what has proven to be an incredible season. And now for the Coach's continuation from yesterday:


Suffice it to say, that when they went up against me that day in practice, they magically became the best basketball players in the city.  The D was tenacious and they suddenly had the killer instinct of a trained assassin.  They were hitting shots I’ve never seen them even attempt. It was frustrating to see that this side of them lays dormant and they must be given permission to let it loose. I wanted them to give themselves permission.

Yes, I was literally a man among boys, and yes, I played college basketball, but my point to them was that they could compete, and that it was a challenge to relish- an opportunity to find new limits.  But I didn’t need words anymore. As soon as I started winning, they became so determined as a unit not to let me steamroll them like I said I would. Sure enough, one of the “boys” who happens to be 6’6” won the contest. I was thrilled. One thing was clear, and to me it was very good news: If they were pushed, they pushed back.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

COACH WILL -- Best Friends

Can you feel the excitement?! With the big day on the horizon, our special Coach Will inspiration series continues as he and the team prepare for the game of the season:


Coach Rich had to miss practice but he gave me a message to relay to the team. “Leave it all on the floor for your last game, starting today.”  I loved it.  It connected our practices to the final game that would decide our fate:  Preparation for an event becoming a part of the event itself.  Yes!  Most of all, it held the promise of getting us to raise the intensity level in practice, which had yet to approach the level of an actual game.  I started practice by relaying this message but I felt like they were just hearing words.  I thought it was brilliantly simple.  They thought it was simple.  I was struggling to share the brilliance.

In these moments where I find myself flailing away to articulate something they think they already know, I feel my limitations as a leader, and sometimes I just have to eat it.  But I was determined, so we went over what “leaving it on the floor” means...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

COACH WILL -- Outdoor Practice

Joseph Campbell, photographed by Jeff Farsai

The special guest blogger series continues as we accompany Coach Will and the Jaguars to their big game on Friday:


We may not have a gym, but we've got Harmony.

I had the team do two laps around the whole park to warm up. Cody R. started way after everyone and finished way before everyone. As they started the run, there were guys actually going in the opposite direction as the rest of the team. There was a wide, wide range of how long it took guys to complete this small warm up.

I pointed all this out when I talked about what I wanted the theme of today's practice to be: Harmony. It's something we need to develop. Something as simple as clapping in sync with one another is an opportunity to be in harmony as a unit. I asked them if they had heard of the word symphony, and then if they had ever heard an actual symphony: All the instruments in harmony with one another, adding up to create something greater than the sum of it's parts- depending on each other, and working together in a context where everyone has a part to play.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I'm honored and excited to announce that this week, basketball fever hits the OLJ blog and we'll have a special guest taking over: Coach Will McFadden. He is a successful actor AND helps lead an amazing high school bball team in Los Angeles and it's a very important week for them here, I proudly introduce you to my one and only brother, Coach Will:


"The super bowl is over, but for one group of eleven young men and two coaches, the super bowl isn't for another few days. For a few months, I have had the privilege of coaching a high school basketball team. It is a tiny progressive private school that is known for accommodating alternative learning styles. Most of the schools we play are vastly bigger and have far more impressive facilities. We don't have a football team. We don't have cheerleaders. We don't even have a home gym. Thus, we have never had a home game. We often practice outside or find ourselves locked out of rec. center gyms that we try to rent when available. The team only won four games last year and two were by forfeit. To start this season, we lost ten of our first 11 games. And then... we started becoming a team. On Friday, we play the last game on our schedule. If we win, we secure second in the league, and we go to the State Playoffs. If we lose, our season is over, and for the seven seniors on the team, their basketball careers are over. They don't want it to be our last game. Join me here all this week to learn about this exceptional group of young men, and the joy and anguish of being their coach."

Image Inspiration -- Art, Anxiety, and a Rooster

A great reminder by Mikey Burton.

A timeless declaration that I try to say often.

An important image of some good ole fashioned fun.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

AOD -- Morgan Blair

"Diamond Collection"

Makes me feel like brightness shines through underneath all the snow...
More from the multi-media artist here
via mandr

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pet Post -- New Beginnings

photo via zooborn

With all of the panda sadness this week, I am pleased to lift your spirits by reminding you of the new-born baby giraffe at the Louisville Zoo. The "Lil' Slugger" is exactly 2 weeks old today!!

Fun [crazy] fact: Mother giraffes give birth while standing and the young fall five to six feet upon delivery. Offspring are usually 6-feet tall at birth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pet Post -- Tai Shan Tribute

I have been in shock and sadness all afternoon over Tai Shan's last day at the DC Zoo before he is sent back to China. From watching his eyes open for the first time live on the pandacam, to stepping on kids at the zoo to see his 1st birthday cake, to watching his games and smile over the years...oh man will he be missed.

Story and video from the Washington Post here

Jams -- David and Gillian

Check out more incredible stuff that Frannie is working on over at All Songs Considered here