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When people ask what I’ve been up to, I sometimes have the knee-jerk response of “nothing much” or “I’ve been busy” but neither describes this year. There are just so many different things going on.

They shot my (three) scenes for a new movie I’ll be starring in called “Brandonwood”, a full-length drama that at first I thought was a “friends”-style love story, but apparently is much darker and intense (I never did read the whole script and hope to be surprised). I played the part of an apartment manager (“Frank”), and since I helped find a location for the shoot via my old landlord, I ended up in a scene showing an apartment that was owned by someone I actually did show apartments for. How weird is that?

On set, I was asked — in all seriousness — if I was a stand-up comedian. The producer also appreciated how helpful I was on set with various things, and suggested (in seriousness?) that he would want to make a movie with me as the star. Personally, I’m picturing a Buffalo version of LA Story with me as [[Steve Martin]].  The point is that there are other things I could be happily doing with my life, even though I am focused on business this year.

Christina turns 21 next week, and as much as I am proud of where and who she is, it also means the end of child support et alia, something long, long awaited.  it doesn’t mean I won’t help her out when and if she needs it (I intend to help pay down her student loans over the next couple years) but to be honest she’s been financially independent from her parents for a couple years now.  So the upshot is that I can not only contribute directly to her well-being, but we can pay off various debts more quickly.

The Hellenic Festival wasn’t the same this year for me.  I worked the Plaka (actually prepping the food plates this year) and admissions, but the young ladies who kept me in conversation and company last year at the wine booth moved on to other worlds, having just graduated from college.  But there were still happy, familiar faces, and Christina and her friend Shannon got to tag along for a while, as did Mer and Kristen.

But the week before, my friend Jerry gave me his ticket for a catered party at the Church.  The food was great, but this woman came up to us with what appeared to be a sleeping baby, and when I touched it, I cringed.  It looked exactly like a baby, but was not alive.  Seriously, it had veins under the skin and moisture around the nose and eyes, but it wasn’t real.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, the woman ignored my protestations that is was unnecessary to prove to me it was anatomically correct, and thrust fake boy-junk in my face.

We left shortly thereafter.  To this day we have no idea what that was about.  She wasn’t selling them as far as I know, just playing show-and-tell-too-much.

There’s a lot more miscellaneous things to tell, but I’ll save that for another post.