Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo! Is another great gift idea this year for Christmas! Or maybe a zoo membership! If you have little kids especially An Akron Zoo membership is a GREAT idea.
We go every year!
Here's a very good idea if you are looking for a great Christmas gift for somene that's hard to buy for. Over the last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to go to Playhouse Square downtown Cleveland for a couple of different shows, in a couple of different theaters. How lucky are we to have that amazing place. Windy and I saw Trisha Yearwood and then over the weekend we saw the Cleveland Pops Orchestra do a Christmas show.
Incredible Ceiling View.....Ornate!
Both were fun, and just as much fun is seeing the incredible theaters. A fantastic tribute to an era gone by, and one that is a strong as any today. Those theaters host a large array of shows and there is certainly one that will interest you or someone you know.
What a great and imaginative Christmas gift it would be, sending someone there for a show of some kind. Keep it in mind, sure beats a ton of stuff you can spend the same money on. I have really become, lately even more so, of giving the gift of an experience instead of an actual gift. Hit a show and a downtown dinner and you have made an amazing memory.
Old School Box Office.....Vintage!
How lucky we are for Playhouse Square and how lucky you will be if you go to a show!
Windy and I had a great time!
I took a day after that horrible Browns loss in Pittsburgh to fully digest what I had just seen. An insanely depleted Steelers team whipped up on a fairly healthy Browns team in a game the Browns, and Steelers had to have. The Steelers just wanted it more. (Duck Hodges!!!) This Browns team is so incredibly disappointing, it's hard to know where to begin. So I'll begin where you should - at the beginning.
I have always felt the real job of the NFL head coach is singular. Getting players to WANT to play for them. The great ones all did - and do. Lombardi, Landry, Brown, Noll, Parcells, and more recently, Belichick, and Tomlin. They took different paths of motiviation, but they all got there. There are plenty of assistant coaches to do the X's and O's. Head coaches motivate players and coaches and manage games. Here in Browns Country, we have none of that.
What I can't decide though is this. Do these Browns players today not like and respect Freddie Kitchens, or do they like him too much and everyone is just dudes and buddies? If it's the first, the team is lost, if it's the second, the team is lost. THE job of an NFL head coach is to get these guys to walk through fire for them. And this team will not do it.
My feeling is that it is the former. Kitchens has produced a very immature football team that mirrors himself, where they don't know how to win. And he refuses to admit that he is being out prepared every week by more seasoned coaches that are way, way down the line from him on the field and off. And it's not by a little, the word is out, don't fear the Browns, they don't know what they are doing. And they don't.
He forgets the coaches on the other sideline are getting paid too, as he attempts to reinvent the wheel most Sundays, as other coaches simply laugh. Many of those same coaches would love the talent Kitchens has to coach, as they watch him squander game after game with blunders, inexperience and an arrogance that's here way too soon.
This team is really not as bad as it seems. They just have to learn to walk through fire. And one day they will, but for whom?
This week I'm sharing Thanksgiving memories with you, and at the same time wanting to give thanks to many during a week that is set up to do so. I spent 21 Thanksgivings away from Northeast Ohio. But when I came back home, I learned how much I missed holidays away from my hometown. Spending some Thanksgivings with my friend Don,his wife Terri and his family reminded me of such. I've been friends with Don for just about 40 years and Terri almost the same. Don and I play golf all the time as well.
Tough Stance, Don......
I don't know the actual number, but I have spent a bunch of them at thier house. They come from a much larger, and frankly younger family than I do. My family is spread out over the country, theirs is local. So spending Thanksgivings with them was a win in many ways. My family, at times would travel and Don would invite me over. Their Thanksgivings were very different than mine were here. Large gatherings, with a ton of family and exended family. Great people, and great times. I never knew a large holiday in my own family, there just were not a lot of us.
I like the large gathering, I also like how there are a few different parties going on at the same time. You have the cooking bunch in the kitchen, food focused, with prep going on, carving and planning. And there's the bunch watching football. Then the wine drinkers who are socializing with apps, and then there's the room with the kids and young parents. All fun.
Between Don and Terri's respective families, they are great cooks and the food is amazing. Plus there is no shortage of it. Being more than honest, I really like that. In my own family as a kid growing up, I wasn't around those kind of cooks. They always laugh at me as I still show great enthusiam for the food, and it's genuine. But with all that said, there is a larger lesson here, and one that makes me pause, stop and learn.
It is clear that Don, Terri and family are the most generous friends I know. Through their example, they show that all are welcome. And not just simply, welcomed, but embraced. I feel like I am a member of their immediate family through thier welcoming nature. And this goes well beyond Thanksgiving, but to Easter many years, July 4ths and so on. This year they are going to reward themselves and spend the holiday on vacation to visit their own families that live out of town, and let someone else host and I'm thrilled for them.
It's great to have friends to be thankful for........
This week I am sharing some Thanksgiving memories with you, and at the same time wanting to give thanks to so many during a week that is set up to do so. I spent 21 Thanksgivings away from my home here in Northeast Ohio. I was on a 21 year professionaI radio job road trip tour, and I spent it with various friends and people. Some I still see, and some I have not in many years, but that's our world. Suzi from Columbus, I do not, but I will not forget her kindness.
I had just moved to Columbus in the fall of 1983 to work at a Country station there, WRMZ. It was my biggest break yet in radio, I was newly 22. I had a very small place in a seedy joint called the Moonglow Apartments, north of town on I-71. You can still see the sign from the highway as you drive by it. My first Thanksgiving there I was poor, and had to work the weekend, so I could not go home. It was my first holiday away, and I was home watching Billy Sims and the Detroit Lions beat up on someone in the first game. Was I lonely? Being honest, I don't really remember. But what happened later I sure do.
I had a neighbor that lived above me named Suzi. She worked late nights and I think was about 10 years older than me. I didn't know her well at all, and being honest, never really did even after this day I'm talking about. But around halftime of the Dallas game, she knocked on my door and gave me a ton of leftovers from her familys Thanksgiving celebration she was coming home from. I was so shocked, I was speechless. She stayed for a minute and said she had to go up and sleep before her night shift.
I remember the food was great, and I was so happy I did have a Thanksgiving after all, beit alone. But what I really remember was Suzi's kindness, that has stuck with me all these years. I think it was like the first real "adult" thing ever done for me. And it opened my eyes to the fact I was no longer a "dude" and I was going to be dealing with grownups in my personal life and professional life as well. It changed me.
Always thankful for that act of kindness....
I wish I could say this is perfect, but I can't. But what I can say is that Tom Hanks is terrific in this darn good movie that puts PBS TV Icon Fred Rogers front and center. And he deserves it.
This is based on true events, but sadly it deals far too much about a middle aged reporter and his daddy issues from years ago that are relateble for sure, but in the end, tiresome and mundane. As this reporter comes to do a national magazine article of Rogers, he experiences Rogers' amazing kindness and conviction to helping people. All of this eventually becomes the center of his healing, and that's fine. There's just too much of his world, and not enough of Fred's.
But that does not make this a bad movie. This is a good movie, and Hanks is remarkable, there just may not be enough of him. True, we all know of Rogers' incredible compassion and dedication to helping his fellow man. I just want to know where all that came from. I wanted to know more of Rogers, way behind the scenes, and we don't get that. But what we do get is his gift to our hurting reporter and his family, and we have to concede that this is the reporters story and not Rogers.
This is very good movie making and the script that was given to us is true and taken in the direction that they saw fit, and that's fine. But I think we may all want to know more about a man that was unlike most others in about every way there is.
This week I am sharing some Thanksgiving memories with you, and at the same time wanting to give thanks to so many during a week that is set up to do so. I spent 21 Thanksgivings away from my home here in Northeast Ohio. I was on a 21 year professionaI radio job road trip tour, and I spent it with various friends and people. Some I still see, and some I have not in many years, but that's our world. But Ray Cuzzone is one that I do, and I am glad I do.
I spent a few Thanksgivings with my friend, Ray and his remarkable family. We always had a huge crowd there, as the family was large. It was Florida informal, which I really liked. It' was 80 degrees, and I liked that too. The food was endless, and so was the conversation, as Ray is from a very outgoing Italian family. I always felt so welcome there, it was really very nice for a guy in town who lived alone, and whose family was 1,200 miles away.
Oh yeah, Ray cooks, and cooks well....
But what I really remember was the call I got the first year I moved back to Ohio to work at WQMX. And it's a call, or text, or pic I still get every single Thansksgiving. They always set a place for me, whether it's literal, or in their hearts. It has been both. And it always says something like, "Wish you were here, buddy, come see us soon" And I do a few weeks later when my friend Don and I load up the clubs and go down and play golf Superbowl weekend with Ray and Tim. All lifelong friends! Every year!
I am thankful for Ray, his family, and their remarkable generosity still to this day. When you live a long way away from "home" it's good to have those who open up thiers, so you can have yours.
Straight from my heart. If you open up your home to someone who has no real other place to go on Thanksgiving, you are doing a incredible thing. You may not think it's a huge thing, but they will remember it - always.
Me, Ray, Tim and Don - Superbowl Weekend last year. Thankful for all these guys!
This may be the biggest weekend at the movies in a long time, as far as new movies are concerned. Thanksgiving week.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
Tom Hanks. Thanksgiving weekend. A fully immersable role. PG-13. This movie about Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) is on the list of "mandatory going." You almost have to go, like it's a city ordinance of something. With all due respect to the incredible Hanks, I think many of us have been patiently waiting to see him in a role like this again. Nothing wrong with Toy Story 12, or lots of other recent flicks, this is what Hanks does best. Hanks diving deeply into a character we care about like Mr. Rogers. He should be terrific.
Here's to hoping that they give him a great script to work with, and care about good movie making as much as Fred Rogers cared about making good television.
Here we go again. This of course will be a big hit, but this time around, they will be wearing the collar of hype and expectation.
Will the audience follow them again?
Fictional police drama that has a great cast, and a very intense premise, that deals with numerous cops killed. This looks really good, and I hope it is. Hopefully this will not get lost in the cyclone of Mr. Rogers and Elsa.
If they get lucky, this could be a big sleeper hit.
You may think this is just another movie for the over 70's crowd to go see, but you would be wrong, and still technically right I guess. Yes, this stars Helen Mirren, and Ian McKellen, neither one can wear the Spring Chicken costume anymore, or ride the MIllenium Force probably. But this is really good. Indeed, they are the stars here, but the real star of this movie, is - the script. And today, that's not real common.
This is the story of a shady con-man (McKellen) and his strong desire to get close to, and rip off an old rich widow (Mirren) and get away with her millions. He's a real snake and she is seemingly a very naive, but lovely lonely woman. But what is really going on here? That's the real beauty of this movie. This is well thought out, well written, directed, and acted. Our characters are very believeable and that is the movies real strength. Anyone, any age, can enjoy this movie. Although my bet is that teenagers will not be lining up for this one.
It has a problem or two. It may make a statement that is a bit too long near the end, after the fact. And it may be a tiny bit too long, but overall this is strong, good, inventive movie making. And it's always good to see a movie that is smart, and fun at the same time!
The Good Liar - Just good!
Last year we went to the Akron Zoo for Wild Lights, and I am really glad we did. The zoo does a ton of really cool things throughout the year, but I think Wild Lights may be my favorite. That's taking nothing away from Boo At The Zoo, Brew At The Zoo, or the rest of the fun special occasions, but Wild Lights - yes!
In all the years I have been doing the morning show on WQMX, I have been a big supporter and friend of the zoo. I've done many events there professionally, and hosted a lot of cool things there as well. It's fun to go back and see all the new attractions they continue to add. The zoo is perfect for young families especially. It's intimate, and not too expansive, or expensive, so even little kids can navigate it with ease. I love the incredible welcome center, and the new exibits are amazing. And there are more on the way.
If you get a chance, head out to Wild Lights this season. It's on only posted nights that you can find out by going to thier website. But it's worth the trip. Make it a part of your holiday traditions starting this year.
And see you at the Snow Bowl this winter as well. Long live the Akron Zoo!