Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a lighthouse? In a storm?


I don’t know who this small guy is. He looks like he might be American. But he’s had an amazingly successful career a Sumo wrestler against opponents more than twice his size.


For most of my career as a writer, I have followed the NYT stylebook with regard to the comma. in particular, I have eschewed the Oxford comma — which insists on adding a comma at the end of a series. For example, I would write: “I ordered chicken, pasta, salad and wine.” Following the Oxford style, it would be: “I ordered chicken, pasta, salad, and wine.”

For years, my editor, an advocate of the Oxford comma, has tried, subtly and unsuccessfully, to get me to change my ways. This article makes me think I should…

Damian, the director of Off the Rails, a movie I co-wrote and produced about a time in my life, is winning the argument I had with him. The movie has a good plot, great music, and great cinematography, but I told him that I thought there were several “cringe-worthy” moments in the movie that hurt it badly.

Damian assured me that I was overreacting.

The movie’s European premier was in Liverpool in October. It was a small festival, but it had some good films competing with ours. I was surprised when Damian told me that Off the Rails had won best actress and best feature film.

Since then, it’s been accepted for a half-dozen other festivals and is up for awards in half of them. So that’s promising.

The US premier is at the considerably larger Miami Film Festival (March 3 through 9). Festival producers selected it as the opening film and are showing it twice. It was given a nice writeup, too: “Off the Walls is a spirited and energetic comedy tinged with the warm afterglow of nostalgia, and is easily one of the most feel-good movies in this year’s Festival.”

Not bad, right?

It will also be shown at the Woodbury Film Festival in Salt Lake City (March 8), at the Phoenix Film Festival in April, and in St. Petersburg, Florida, in April.

Am I too pessimistic? Too critical?

I don’t know. But the evidence is piling up against me.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, GO HERE.

It was an uphill kind of morning. Slept only five hours. Needed energy to face the day. The news, as usual, was down-lifting…and then I saw this…Gas Station Karaoke Jam Session…



Ready for a world-class family vacation? Here, according to Travel and Leisure magazine, are the “top 50 family resorts.” (And, yes, our Rancho Santana made the list!)