Random Thoughts

The Freddy Garms, mentioned in this excellent piece on the restoration of the old Coney Island Wonder Wheel was my uncle. I remember riding the wheel a few times as a child, the cars that swing into the center and back was something I’d never experienced before. When I moved to New York to go to acting school, I lived with my Aunt Helen and Uncle Freddy for several months. Their generosity allowed me to live my dream of becoming an actress. The wheel was built over two years by concessionaire Herman Garms, who built a forge on site. It was complete over two years, from 1918 to 1920. When he died in 1935, his son, Fred, took over. But by the 1980s, Freddy Garms was ready to part ways with it. He didn’t have to go far to find a buyer: Denos D. Vourderis, the operator of a kiddie park sandwiched between the Wheel and the boardwalk. By 1976, Vourderis was helping to manage the kiddie park, and by 1981 the owner had sold it to him.Garms had been impressed with Vourderis’ work ethic at the kiddie park and his commitment to it at a time when the restRead More →

I could spend all day, every day consuming the cool content I find all over the web. Here are a few of my favorites from July. Lady MacGyver The Paley Center for Media partnered with The National Academy of Engineering to find The Next MacGyver. 12 finalists pitched their ideas for a remake of the iconic series with a female twist.  The winners included a steampunk series called “Ada and the Machine”, a high school dramedy called “SECs (Science and Engineering Clubs)” and a WWII drama called “Riveting” (loosely based on the famed Rosie the Riveter character). You can see all of the winning concepts here: http://thenextmacgyver.com/finalists.html If you were an ice cream, what flavor would you be? Flavorize Me from Talenti Gelato examines the keywords you use in social media to determine what flavor you would be if you were an Italian ice cream treat. I am Chocolate Cream Rambutan Cranberry, which is funny because chocolate and cranberry are two of my favorite flavors. Here’s the science behind the mix: I’m 75% sweet because I use words such as “love” and “playing” on social but “hurt” and “never” led to the tart cranberry flavor. Try it out then comeRead More →

A generation ago, you graduated from school, got a job at a company and you stayed there until you retired. It was expected and if you didn’t stay at a company for thirty years, there was something wrong with you. Those days are over for several reasons. First, we’re more mobile than we were a generation ago. We move from city to city, even country to country for personal reasons and for opportunities. Second, the economy and technological changes have forced 1,000’s of the businesses to close and entire industries to fold. But the biggest reason we’ve given up the hired to retired lifestyle is because we don’t have to do it anymore. Technology, and more specifically the internet, has made it possible to work 30 jobs in one year instead of 1 job in 30 years and I like it. Maybe you can wrap your brain around it better if I call them gigs or projects or side hustles instead of jobs. “Job” implies a certain stability that doesn’t suit this new workstyle. For example, I’m a social media manger. That’s my “job” but I don’t work for just one company. I handle social media for a variety ofRead More →

I’ve known about these planner people for some time now. I even follow a few dabblers on YouTube, but last week I found myself watching one planner video after enough, subscribing to their channels, even checking out their embellishment suppliers on Etsy. Part of me knew I was headed down a dark road. I’ve been there before with those scrapbookers and then those mixed media people. You get pulled in with promises of color and exquisitely combined shapes and you start throwing your money at it and spending all of your free time at their cult headquarters (It’s called Michaels) but it never works out like they promise.Read More →

It’s true, my heroes have always been cowboys and two of my favorite have always been Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. A fan from their original run in the 70’s, I was absolutely delighted to find Alias Smith and Jones airing on Encore Western Channel – uncut and clear as they day they first aired! (Clearer actually, since back then we had a pair of rabbit ears on the TV). The story is pretty much Butch and Sundance – our boys are the most successful gentleman bandits in the west (they never shot anyone), so the governor offers them amnesty if they can stay on the straight skinny until he deems them deserving of a break. The catch is, no one can know about the deal so while they’re playing it straight, lawmen and bounty hunters in three states are after them – wanted DEAD or Alive! The show is magical because of the two leads (man, I miss buddy shows – why did they go?) Pete Duel and Ben Murphy. Pete (Heyes, aka Joshua Smith) is the thinker, sometimes brooding, sometimes impish, he can’t resist a challenge. Ben (Curry, aka Thaddeus Jones) is the fastest gun in the west.Read More →

Tune your TV to Joan of Arcadia on Feb. 25th (episode Shadows and Light) and you may just see me! Of course, since most of you have NO idea what I look like, it probably won’t make any difference, but if you care to look, I’m the lady talking to Haylee Duff when the parent teacher night scene opens. Ah the glamour, the glitz, the fourteen hour days spent mostly with my butt in a hard metal chair. Still, I’m not complaining (okay, I was complaining but I’m over it). Being an extra on a TV show is an experience like no other. Being the TV freak that I am, I just love the whole structure that is production. The lights, the cameras, the actors repeating the same four lines over and over and over again. Over the last ten years, I’ve watched the filming of a number of shows and movies, many Buffy eps, Cradle 2 Grave, Martial Law, Idle Hands (with Seth Green), still there’s something exciting about hearing that director yell ACTION and knowing he means YOU! (and thirty other people, but still. . . ) All of this is part of my mid-life crisis quest toRead More →

This past Saturday, I was able to check one more item off my teenage wishlist; I got to meet Parker Stevenson. For those of you from a different generation, Parker Stevenson was Frank Hardy on The Hardy Boys TV series of the late 70’s. After that, he appeared in Baywatch and a bunch of other TV shows and movies. Back in the day, I owned everything Hardy Boys. I had the posters on my walls, the shirts in my closet, the toys on my shelves and I had all of Shaun Cassidy’s records memorized. The Hardy Boys was also the show that had me imagining myself on a set one day working ever so closely with the boys. In the middle of my Hardy Boys obsession, I moved in with an aging film star and talent agent in New York. She mostly kept to herself, but one day she ventured into my room, saw the poster and swore that she knew Parker. She told me this elaborate story about how she’d been friends with his mother and had given him advice early in his career. Nice young man, she said while sipping her wine. My brain knew that it wasRead More →