Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Washington D.C.

Obama called me to D.C. to talk to me.  Something about a blog I wrote.  I hope I'm not in trouble.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Steubenville, OH

Today was a very full day.
I was lucky to get a quality 4 hours of sleep, give two workshops, play the cowbell in front of 2,300 people and see Fr. Dave reunite with his friend, Velvet Kenny Rogers (from the Padgett collection).

Just another day in Steubenville, OH.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Mac stinks.
And it's not even his usual golden retriever stink either. Mac stinks because he tried to give a skunk a kiss and the skunk refused. Late Friday night I heard a crash boom bang as Mac ran through the doggie door yelling, "the British are coming, the British are coming!"
Wait, sorry, different story.  He came in sneezing and crying and looking for me to warn me that something had blown stank right between his eyes. Three seconds after he made it inside the smell told me what had happened.  A skunk must have exploded in his face.  It wasn't a normal skunk smell but this skunk must have been on anabolic steroids and eating a diet of garlic because this was an angry smell.  Mac, being confused and in pain ran to his favorite spots in the living room to understandable rub his face and because he has no hands he used the furniture and the carpet and the tile of the house.  It made sense to him, it's not his fault God left off the opposable thumbs.  Right away I googled skunk and left the results up on my computer as I took of my shoes and walked Mac back to the shower.  We went in clothes and all and I sat on the tile and just let the water run over his head.  He looked at me like I was in on some cruel joke against him.  While we were having a soak I had a team of helpers looking up a concoction on the Internet page.  Apparently when there is a skunk emergency people pull it together fast, we were like a trauma team and within minutes my mom brought a mixture of baking soda, peroxide and dish soap.  According to people who's dogs have recently been skunked this stuff is the best.  I globbed it on Mac being careful to keep it away from his eyes per instructions of Internet experts and waited with him for about 10 minutes.  Surprisingly Mac did not enjoy this quality time as much as I did.  I rinsed him off and then gave him another bath.  Where I put the mixture on him worked great and even lightened his coat for the summer thanks to the peroxide.  Unfortunately the spot right between the eyes where he got the brunt of the skunk still is ripe.  With the dog somewhat smelling better now we have the house problem.   Mainly that our house stinks like skunk.  We have listened to all kinds of advice; put out coffee beans to soak up the smell.  Place bowls of vinegar to do the same.  Wash the dog in tomato juice.  Burn your house down and start over.  We have listened to it all.  Now our house just smells like coffee, vinegar and skunk and has a tint of red to it.
When you are sitting in it for awhile your nose and brain tag team and talk to each other and actually get used to it.  It's when you are gone for the day and come back home when you remember that indeed a skunk has paid a visit to the McDonald house. Or better yet when someone pays a visit they can really tell something is not right.
The skunk smell has taught me a lesson,  just because you get used to something doesn't mean it's OK.  Sometimes things still stink even though you are fine to sit in it.  See how deep a skunk can get you to think? Stupid skunk.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Once again it's time to say, "hooray for dad!"
Even though mom tries to drink us out of house and home and is constantly wondering off and spending our grocery money on outfits for cats (which she does not even own),  we stood tall and made it through another year.  Through it all dad and I pull it together and carry this family forward while always keeping our names out of the paper.
Tomorrow, we will play together in a local golf tournament and we will win not only first place but second and third as well.  We are just that good.  My humble attitude must come from dad as well; that, and my juggling skills, street knife combat skills and salt water taffy eating skills. 
Happy Father's day dad, I love you!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


My first DVD will be returning from production in a few weeks and for the first time, tens of people who always wondered what I looked like will have their curiosity satisfied.
Some of the chapter titles include:
  • Land of Enchantment
  • Junior High
  • BRB Dude
  • All About Jude
  • Cat Lady Candy
  • Mac and Chewie
  • Asthmatic Golden Retrievers
  • Ich habe Durchfall
  • Half Six
  • Irish Stew
  • Rollerblading Papa
  • Ash Wednesday
A hour full of comedy in full living color perfect for Arbor Day...and, well, yep, just perfect for Arbor Day.   I hope to have it for sale in many popular car wash sites and trunks of cars in only the most exclusive parking lots. Stay tuned for exact parking spaces.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010


I got a record number of emails and messages when a Golden Girl actress died this week and I didn't even know her!  In the early morning of June 5th my friend John went home to Jesus and I actually was his friend off screen.  John was a member of my birthday party brigade.  His wife had died and his family was far away so we adopted him for the last couple of years.  John loved bacon but it wasn't good for his congestive heart failure so he had to give it up.  He had to give up a lot of things he loved like everything that had salt in it or the letters MSG. John came back to the Church slowly but surely and proved that 85 year old Malaysians know how to still have fun.  Yep, John was from Malaysia and had the coolest accent ever, kind of a mixture between Christopher Walken and Walter Matthau, if they had an older uncle who was from Malaysia.  His voice inflections were my favorite.  For instance when he would talk about bacon he would say "baay-kenn".  That might not sound very cool to you but it has forever changed the way I will say bacon. 
You may know my track record with people over 80.  To sum it up, I love hanging out with them, we build a friendship, I learn from them, they laugh with me, yadda yadda yadda, they die.  I sometimes feel like I am setting myself up for disappointment every time I meet a new over 80 friend. But maybe the knowledge that our time together is short only helps our friendship grow faster.  We don't dilly dally.  We cut right to the heart of the matter.  I was truly honored to visit and be with John during his last few days on earth.  I saw a difference when he decided he was done and almost a relief when he knew he was on his way out.  Almost a sense of adventure to see what was next.  The last time I saw him was Thursday and after I kissed him on the head and said my goodbyes I had a feeling that was the last time I would see him so I went back for one more kiss and a hand shake telling him I was going to New Mexico the next day for comedy and he smiled.  Friday I left for the airport and John went back into the hospital.  That night I just could not fall asleep even though I was tired and had three hours of talking to do the next day at a conference.  I tossed and turned and the hours kept going by, 12, 1, 2, 3 finally around 3:45am I sat up in bed and said, "John!"  
Even though I could not physically be there to visit him I realized I could do something even better and so I prayed for my friend John who was alone and dying.  It wasn't anything super holy, in fact I may have even yelled at him a little but as soon as I knew why I couldn't fall asleep I said a quick prayer.  No sooner that I prayed for him I was out like a light and even though I just got 4 hours of sleep I woke up rested.  After my first two talks I called home only to hear what I already knew, "John had died late last night".  I said, "I know, I was up all night with him!"                                
This morning, to honor my friend, I ate my weight in "baay-kenn"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I'm Running Out of Friends!

'Golden Girl' Rue McClanahan Dies

By Associated Press | Thursday, June 3, 2010, 9:18 AM

Rue McClanahan at the 2008 TV Land Awards
AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file
NEW YORK – Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress who brought the sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV series "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 76.

Her manager Barbara Lawrence said McClanahan died Thursday at 1am of a stroke.

She had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997 and later lectured to cancer support groups on "aging gracefully." In 2009, she had heart bypass surgery.

[See photos of Rue McClanahan over the years.]

McClanahan had an active career in off-Broadway and regional stages in the 1960s before she was tapped for TV in the 1970s for the key best-friend character on the hit series "Maude," starring Beatrice Arthur.

But her most loved role came in 1985 when she co-starred with Arthur, Betty White, and Estelle Getty in "The Golden Girls," a runaway hit that broke the sitcom mold by focusing on the foibles of four aging — and frequently eccentric — women living together in Miami.

[Check out photos from "The Golden Girls."]

"Golden Girls" aimed to show "that when people mature, they add layers," she told The New York Times in 1985. "They don't turn into other creatures. The truth is we all still have our child, our adolescent, and your young woman living in us."

Blanche, who called her father "Big Daddy," was a frequent target of roommates Dorothy, Rose, and the outspoken Sophia (Getty), who would fire off zingers at Blanche such as, "Your life's an open blouse."

McClanahan snagged an Emmy for her work on the show in 1987. In an Associated Press interview that year, McClanahan said Blanche was unlike any other role she had ever played.

"Probably the closest I've ever done was Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' at the Pasadena Playhouse," she said. "I think, too, that's where the name came from, although my character is not a drinker and not crazy."

Her Blanche Devereaux, she said, "is in love with life and she loves men. I think she has an attitude toward women that's competitive. She is friends with Dorothy and Rose, but if she has enough provocation she becomes competitive with them. I think basically she's insecure. It's the other side of the Don Juan syndrome."

After "The Golden Girls" was canceled in 1992, McClanahan, White and Getty reprised their roles in a short-lived spinoff, "Golden Palace."

McClanahan continued working in television, on stage and in film, appearing in the Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau vehicle "Out to Sea" and as the biology teacher in "Starship Troopers."

She stepped in to portray Madame Morrible, the crafty headmistress, for a time in "Wicked," Broadway's long-running "Wizard of Oz" prequel.

In 2008, McClanahan appeared in the Logo comedy "Sordid Lives: The Series," playing the slightly addled, elderly mother of an institutionalized drag queen.

During production, McClanahan was recovering from 2007 surgery on her knee. It didn't stop her from filming a sex scene in which the bed broke, forcing her to hang on to a windowsill to avoid tumbling off.

McClanahan was born Eddi-Rue McClanahan in Healdton, Oklaholma, to building contractor William McClanahan and his wife, Dreda Rheua-Nell, a beautician. She graduated with honors from the University of Tulsa with a degree in German and theater arts.

McClanahan's acting career began on the stage. According to a 1985 Los Angeles Times profile, she appeared at the Pasadena (Calif.) Playhouse, studied in New York with Uta Hagen and Harold Clurman, and worked in soaps and on the stage.

She won an Obie — the off-Broadway version of the Tony — in 1970 for "Who's Happy Now," playing the "other woman" in a family drama written by Oliver Hailey. She reprised the role in a 1975 television version; in a review, The New York Times described her character as "an irrepressible belle given to frequent bouts of 'wooziness' and occasional bursts of shrewdness."

She had appeared only sporadically on television until producer Norman Lear tapped her for a guest role on "All in the Family" in 1971.

She went from there to a regular role in the "All in the Family" spinoff "Maude," playing Vivian, the neighbor and best friend to Arthur in the starring role.

When Arthur died in April 2009, McClanahan recalled that she had felt constrained by "Golden Girls" during the later years of its run. "Bea liked to be the star of the show. She didn't really like to do that ensemble playing," McClanahan said.

[PHOTOS: Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White reunite to accept The Pop Culture Award at the 2008 TV Land Awards.]

After that series ended in 1978, McClanahan landed the role as Aunt Fran on "Mama's Family" in 1983.

McClanahan was married six times: Tom Bish, with whom she had a son, Mark Bish; actor Norman Hartweg; Peter D'Maio; Gus Fisher; and Tom Keel. She married husband Morrow Wilson on Christmas Day in 1997.

She called her 2007 memoir "My First Five Husbands ... And the Ones Who Got Away."