CLASSIC LUNAR – “BILLY MAYS”

FROM NOVEMBER 3, 2009

It’s Lunar Report time again, and frankly I am stumped. I’ve been trying to live by a self-imposed deadline of 5pm every Tuesday. You know, I’m trying that discipline thing. I’m beginning to think that writing discipline is as full of crap as the contents of this week’s Report.

I started to write a sleazy appeal for work in the tone of a Billy Mays OxiClean television commercial. It might be funny. But, I can’t seem to stoop that low. At least not today.

Some good stuff happened today. I could write about that. Okay. I’ll give it a try.

Thanks to my furniture friends from Virginia, I paid rent on time this month. But doing that kind of put me in a funk. I really look forward to the nasty notes from my landlord. I know. Maybe I will grill burgers on the balcony tonight. That should generate this month’s nasty note.

I went to the YMCA today for some “Geezer-Ball.” I hadn’t been in a couple of weeks, again thanks to my furniture friends. It was good to see all the geezers. And I played pretty well, too. I just wish they had a smoking section at mid-court. The longer I play, the more irritable I become.

While leaving the Y this afternoon, I ran into a man who wants me to do a small job for him this month. That really is great news. It’s something, don’t you think, that playing basketball can lead to work? Mostly, people think I’m wasting time playing ball.

Look. This is boring me right now. I am so tempted to trash this and upload the Billy Mays’ thing. I’m just going to stop.
www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “IT’S COLD”

FROM OCTOBER 27, 2009

Look. Never mind that it’s damned near November, and I’m still waiting for Labor Day. What the hell happened? By my internal clock, I should be sipping Mai Tai’s while calm evening waves roll up over my toes on some warm, sandy beach somewhere. Instead, I’m thinking about the lousy frozen turkey I need to buy in a couple of weeks. This whole time thing is really freaking me out, man.

Can I be honest here? For the longest time, I have been cheering on “global warming.” I mean – warmth. For the love of God y’all. Warmth is associated with good feelings. The warmth of a mother’s love. The warmth of someone’s smile. The warmth of the freakin’ air so that we can enjoy another summer’s day. And what am I doing? I’m thinking cold turkey. Let the glaciers melt. Just give me a couple more months of summer! Selfish? Maybe. But tell me – who of you would rather NOT have some extra beach resort time?

So, why am I even mentioning all this? Because it’s cold.

More to come….
www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “DAY TIME SHARING”

FROM OCTOBER 20, 2009

Last week, y’all kind of blew me away with your amazing responses to the Lunar Report. I learned, however, that there are more of us suffering than I originally thought. To those I will say again, “Let’s just own the day.” I will add this week – let’s pass our ownership along to others. Let’s have a “Day Time-Share.” It may not be Myrtle Beach, but I’m guessing our time-shares will be even better. You can make up your own definition of this. I guess I define it as the sharing of whatever one has to share, even if it’s just ownership of the day.

Since last week was sort of heavy, I really wanted to follow up with something either really dynamic or really funny. The problem is, I cannot seem to get my mind off a man who is one of my two most admired people. He is actually living a “Day Time-Share.” He has been for several years. He’s a fellow Facebooker. He is my sister’s life partner.

My 89-year-old Mom has had health problems the past 15 to twenty years, I guess. The past 10 or 12 years, those problems have reached, from time to time, critical stages. She is doing very well. Bedridden, mostly. But she is alert and healthy and still the same Mom I have known for 39 (ok – 55!) years.

I credit my sister for saving her life several times. You know – times when the hospital doctors and social workers gave us 24 hours to make funeral arrangements, times when the medical doses given my Mom exceeded her tolerance – you know, silly times like that. Those times, my sister so firmly stood up and called “bullshit” that even the insurance and Medicare lackeys had to take notice and actually allow my Mother to live. Don’t get me started, ok? This is an entire Lunar Report Series subject, for God’s sake.

When it was so forcefully pointed out by the staff of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville that Mama’s insurance and Medicare would only allow us to put the woman in Hospice (and they actually encouraged it -again, don’t get me started! Why are y’all egging me on here?) my sister made the decision to take on the responsibility of caring for our Mom. Somehow, my sister figured, they would manage.

Ya know who has stood by my sister during all of this? Rick Peacock. My Mom’s house is a kind of small two-story house. Taking care of my mother in a house where sleeping and living quarters are so separate would be difficult, at best, for my sister and my Mom. So, my Mom and sister have been living in Rick’s one-story ranch for at least the past 5 years.

Sometime during the first year of my Mom’s stay at Rick’s, his Mother, a woman who was so very close to him, passed on. Still, this man allowed my Mom the comfort of his home. He pressed on when, I am sure, all he wanted to do was to cry alone for a couple of decades.

Today is Rick’s birthday. He deserves a good one. His Mom always made his birthday special. I am not his Mama, but I kind of hope that somehow this will help him recapture, if but for a short moment, that special feeling. Thanks, y’all, for indulging me here. But Rick deserves so very much my thanks. Thank you guys for letting me acknowledge his day, his heart, and his “time-sharing.”

Did I tell y’all that Rick is one of two people I admire most? I believe I did. The other person is the one who brought Rick into the lives of my family, and the one who has saved my Mom (and me!) so many times. Y’all aren’t stupid. You know.

Thanks so much for everything, Marilyn.

Marilyn and Rick INVENTED “Day Time-Sharing.”

And thank y’all again.
www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “MY GUT”

FROM OCTOBER 6, 2009

I did not have a mid-life crisis last week. It was pure and simple temporary senility.
The good news is, I am switching to Centrum Silver.

Last week, I posed the question, “Should I play by the book, or throw caution to the wind?” You’d think at this point in my life, I wouldn’t even think to pose such a question. But questioning things like this kind of makes me feel like a kid again. You know, “Daddy, why is the sky blue? Mommy, why was Mrs. Johnson in Daddy’s bed?” Things like that.

So, I question and I doubt and in the meantime, my gut tells me stuff. And it’s usually really stupid stuff like, “Grow up,” or “Pay your taxes,” or “Don’t smoke in the movie theater.” Sometimes I hate my gut. It is very restricting.

Last week, after posing the book-wind question, a very dear friend of mine suggested that I follow my gut. Really bad suggestion, MJ. (See paragraph above!) I also asked out loud whether I should keep saying, “What the heck?” when I really want to say, “What the hell?” Well, on Thursday of last week, I chose a “What the hell?” moment.

Here’s what I did. On Thursday morning, very early, I posted another Moon Productions “commercial.” I then took off on a day-long vehicle repair adventure with my son. All day, I had a gut feeling, the same gut feeling I had when I was twelve years old and hid a couple of porn magazines in my closet. (I knew Mama would find them. I was such an idiot, but I blamed them on my brother who was away at college. Sorry Dickie.) Anyway, when I returned home, late last Thursday evening, I checked to see what kind of responses I had on Facebook. There were none, so I posted the commercial again with remarks that I had hoped would trigger something – anything – in the way of a response. At the time I re-posted, the gut thing was still there. Nevertheless, I had to give it one more try. I think that maybe subconsciously my gut was saying to me again, “Hey! This is MY closet. My mother has no right to be snooping in here!” So after posting it again, again there were no responses. Late Thursday night, I removed the ill-fated commercial from Facebook. I caved to the stupid gut. Finally. I still say the commercial was funny, but then again, the Centrum Silver hasn’t quite kicked in

So here’s the thing with all this. And this is as real as the huge freakin’ nose on my face. Every time that I have ignored the gut feeling, as I did last Thursday and when I was twelve, I have experienced, or felt a sense of, failure. Every time. No exceptions. Sometimes, like last Thursday, I will embrace the “what the hell” notion, throw caution to the wind, and convince myself, somehow, that my gut is either telling me to go wild or is just plain ignorant. Well, my gut just doesn’t lie. The bastard!

Does this happen to you guys? Do you always follow your gut? Do you always or regularly ignore it? What usually happens when you do ignore what your gut tells you? And – how in the hell do you color outside of the lines WITHOUT ignoring what your deepest feelings tell you is right – or wrong?

At the very least, I have re-learned the same lesson I re-learn every time I ignore my gut feeling. Pay attention, dumb ass! Know what my gut is telling me now? “Take multiple doses of Centrum Silver each and every day!”

Okay, there is one more thing. Every time I board a plane, my gut tells me we are going to crash. Just what the hell do I do about that one? I’m screwed, right? So, look. Since I’m likely to go down in a fiery air crash one day anyhow, share this on Facebook. Let’s see what happens?

Thanks y’all.
www.moon-inc.com

 

CLASSIC LUNAR – “SUPPLEMENT”

FROM SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
In yesterday’s rather wordy Lunar Report, I think I may have left an impression that I am going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. I am not. I’ve already done that. About 10 or 12 years ago. I am not going to run off and join the circus.

The creation of Moon Productions has given me the opportunity to start fresh. I can mold this into whatever I want it to be. Yesterday I was talking more about my approach to things as it relates to work. Do I keep playing by the book or do I become a bit more daring? Should I keep saying, “What the heck?” when I really want to say, “What the hell?” That kind of thing. This is all I was going for.

Tomorrow, I will be posting another Moon Productions commercial here. I haven’t decided whether I will post one that falls into the “What the heck” category or one that fits the “What the hell?” mold. If I decide on the latter, you will know what I mean when you see it.

For those who commented on yesterday’s Report, thanks for your concern and support. I do appreciate it

.www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “REINVENTING” From September 29, 2009

FROM SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

To those of you who regularly read of the sterling accomplishments of Moon Productions here in the Lunar Report, you must have gathered by now that I am reinventing myself. I do this on a regular basis. Every seven years or so. It’s no big deal to me so don’t fret about me. This is just my life.

I must tell you, however, that this reinvention is different. Usually when this happens, I have another place to go or another place to be, but usually not a place of my choosing. That place just appears somehow. This time is different because I feel a real sense of freedom. I am choosing that place. Right or wrong, I am choosing this one.

So here is the dilemma. Do I choose to go by the book and become as professional as I possibly can, intentionally saying all the right things at all the right times and doing the same? Or do I throw caution to the wind, follow my heart and insanity, see where it takes me and enjoy the ride?

Coming out of college, I remember trying my best to land a job at a television station in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. It didn’t happen right away. It took over 3 years of application after application and many phone calls to finally land a job at the ABC affiliate in Durham. In the meantime, however, I had done some work I was proud of, and I compiled a demo reel. But my demo reel was different. The reel begins with a shot of me walking slowly towards the camera in a dark television studio. I am wearing my favorite and wrinkled Carolina sweat shirt, looking mostly at the floor as I walk and keeping my left hand in the left pocket of my tattered Levi’s. I look quite dejected. On the demo, as I walk, a song about “remembering” is playing. I forget the title. On the left hand side of the screen is rolling text that reads, “I am easily forgotten. When I was born, my parents forgot to take me home from the hospital.” The text continues with more absurd declarations of how “forgettable” I have always been. In between my work samples are titles of the samples and musical cuts – each cut from a song with “Moon” in the lyrics. At the very end, while text of my name, address and other information is seen, the Nielson song, “Don’t Forget Me” plays. I thought it was brilliant. A bit bizarre maybe, but brilliant nonetheless.

So I took the tape with me when I finally got an interview with the Production Manager at WRAL-TV in Raleigh. You do understand, from my description above, the importance of viewing the entire tape. If the viewer (potential employer) doesn’t see the ending and doesn’t hear “Don’t Forget Me,” I’m toast, right? So this guy at RAL punches “eject” half way through the tape. Not a good start, but that was okay by me because I really didn’t want to live in Raleigh.

I’m a lucky guy. I really am. In 1978, while doing time in Chattanooga – at a television station, not a prison! – I met two really good friends. Both of those friends were eventually hired by WTVD, the ABC affiliate in Durham. They were instrumental in lining up an interview for me with the News Director there for a news photographer job. Those guys were my way back home! I was a shoo-in! So, I took my demo tape to the TVD News Director, a crusty old wonderful white-haired man who was at one time an Assignment Editor for NBC News in New York. This man was the best. A really nice guy who cussed like a sailor, but knew his stuff. He was like Lou Grant with an attitude. So I interviewed with him and went out on a sort of audition shoot that I passed. All the time, my two buddies were cheering me on and talking me up with management. How could I lose? The News Director took my tape “upstairs” to the management offices to discuss my hiring. Two hours later, he came back to the newsroom, running his fingers in a nervous way through his long white hair, looking at the floor and shaking his head as he talked. “I just spent two f—ing hours trying to convince those sons-of-bitches that we actually NEED another f—ing flake working here!” Strike two.

But since that time, I conformed. I have mostly colored between the lines. Naturally, I have ventured outside the lines from time to time, and it’s paid off maybe 50% of the time. Still, I learned to recognize that to many, this is serious business. I understand this. One time, years ago, I was hired to shoot a silly role-playing skit as part of a larger presentation for a major pharmaceutical firm in the Triangle area of NC. I was instructed to wear a necktie and dress pants to the shoot. So here I was, dressed like I was attending the opera, lugging heavy equipment, sweating like a pig, getting grease and grime all over my dress pants and shirt, just to “appear” presentable to these guys. They were all wearing ties and sweating as well. This was a fun little skit we were shooting. Yet everyone involved, including me, was as uptight as a tick at dipping time.

So now I’m thinking, “I don’t want to be a tick.” If I don’t reinvent myself into what I was meant to be this time, it may never happen. Why not throw caution to the wind and see what happens, right? What the heck do I really have to lose? My only child is off on his own with his wonderful family, so I am the only one depending on me for survival. And if refusing to wear a necktie to do manual labor makes me destitute, why I can always move in with my son and his family. Another reinvention, to be sure. But I can do the crotchety old father-in-law thing! I can do that very well.

Opinions here are encouraged!

www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “X-TREME BASKETBALL”

FROM SEPTEMBER 15, 2009

www.moon-inc.comThis has very little to do with Moon Productions this time. Granted, without Moon Productions, I wouldn’t have the subject matter. This has more to do with a remarkable young man, one of quite a few of my son’s “brothers and sisters” who helped comprise the large family I had always wanted. Matt, my son, is a friend to everyone. I am so proud of that guy. Our “family” has J-Girl, David, Drew, T-Bone, G-Man, Harrison, Sharod, James, Zach, Sammie and – Brian Waters. Y’all met Brian here already.

Brian and I finished editing the promotional piece for his company, X-Treme Basketball Training Academy a couple of weekends ago. After spending a few hours videotaping one of his sessions and many hours watching other sessions that he videotaped himself, I learned something very important.

I played basketball on my school teams in junior and senior high school. I played in a church league. As a young teen, I attended basketball camps at
North Carolina and Elon College. I even tried out at Carolina my freshman year – it was my dream. Every coach I had, on teams and at camps, pushed me every bit as hard as Brian pushes his guys. My Dad and brother pushed me, too. You know what? When pushed by those coaches and family, I tried to do better. I really did. I tried to do my best so that I wouldn’t have to run laps, do push-ups or listen to ridicule from my two main male figures.

Brian does push his guys. He makes them run laps. He makes them do push-ups. He never ridicules, but he does point out mistakes. He also makes his guys WANT to be better. When his guys run laps, they know those laps will make them faster. When they do push-ups, they know they will become stronger. When he corrects them, they listen because they want to improve. Brian makes his kids want it. And this is what I have learned. When I played, I took it all so personally. I had a huge chip on my shoulder. I took all of the pushing as some sort of punishment and disapproval. I never wanted it enough, and there was no Brian around to make me want it.

I’m beginning to sound like a bitter old Hall of Famer! I am not bitter. I am amazed at how a young man of 24 years can understand so much more than my Dad and brother and all those coaches I had. At any rate, please check out the work he and I did. I think I could have done better, but it’s not bad. Also, keep Brian and X-treme BTA in mind if you know someone who needs, or wants the best basketball training.

CLASSIC LUNAR – “SCHEWEL FURNITURE”

FROM SEPTEMBER 8, 2009

You guys will probably tire very soon of my rather sappy postings. The truth is, however, I really do give my heart and soul to those who care enough about me and the work that I do to actually ask me to work with them. Tomorrow, I will be with some folks in Virginia. I have known, cared about, loved and worked with these guys since 1992.

As I recall, my first job with Schewel Furniture was in the late spring or early summer of 1992. In fact, I was with my crew in Lynchburg at that time to shoot a series of commercials. While in Lynchburg, I received a call from my Dad who was in the hospital and who thought, at the time, he wouldn’t make it home. It was a very special phone call.

He survived that hospital stay. In November of that same year, he did not survive. My family and I received many plants and arrangements from friends after his death. But the very first plant to arrive at my home came from some folks I had only known a few short months – the people at Schewels. Amazing. That blew me away.

Since that time, I have certainly had my ups and downs, but the Sales Management Team has stuck with me. So has the Schewel family. So have the wonderful vendors who always have kind words to say to us even when we stick cameras in their faces.

Schewel Furniture Company and the folks who own and run the business will forever be in my heart. Those who help me with this work understand. They know how true this is.

More to come…But no more sap!
www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “GEEZER BALL”

FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2009

This morning, I just really didn’t feel like writing anything. I know. I’ve heard professional writers say all my life, “You must have discipline.” Look, if I had discipline, I wouldn’t be trying to be a writer. Instead, I’d get up every morning, go punch in somewhere, do my 8 hours and punch out. Now THAT takes discipline.

So instead of writing, I went to the Y to play “Geezer Ball.” I just got back. I’ve been a member of the local YMCA for 15 years. Every day at noon, the basketball courts are reserved for pick up games for men over the age of 18, but the courts are mostly occupied by geezers who are the ages I used to be. Of the regulars, I think I’m the third oldest geeze. But, hey – I can still hold my own!

I joined the Y after a long and severe bout with back pain, bulging discs and sciatica so bad I once was carried by stretcher from an Atlanta hotel to a nearby hospital. I thought I would never play ball with my child, never mow the yard again, and never again walk a golf course. They helped me overcome that. The Y and “Geezer-Ball” saw me through health problems, marriage breakups, business failures, depressions, financial woes, and too many deaths. No matter how large the problem or how low the emotions, a couple of hours with Basketball Bob, The Big E, Silk, Jimbo and the other Geezers have always sort of settled things down a bit. Without the Y, I would likely be lost.

After all these years, I now have an opportunity to work with the Y on a professional level. I have already done some preliminary stuff, but deadlines and details have yet to be set. I am looking forward to this. I am certain that if I can get onto videotape what is in my heart, this will be the best work I have ever done.

I will keep you posted….www.moon-inc.com

CLASSIC LUNAR – “INAUGURAL ISSUE”

FROM AUGUST 27, 2009

This is the very first issue of THE LUNAR REPORT. It started out as a kind of newsletter for Moon Productions, but who knows where it will lead. Besides, who cares about newsletters? I really don’t think I can spout off about how wonderful my work and I are, and isn’t that the purpose a newsletter? I will say this: If you can judge a man’s character and value by his friends, then I am the most wonderful and successful man alive. At any rate, thanks for indulging me here.

Tomorrow I will be videotaping a basketball training program in Cary run by a young man who grew up shooting hoops with my son in our front yard. He became the starting point guard at Elon University, and will be leaving soon to play professional ball. I will always feel that the uphill basketball court and gravel in my yard are what made him so good! Hey! Give an old man something to hang onto, will ya?

His name is Brian Waters and he is owner/operator of X-Treme Basketball Training Academy. If you have a youngin’ or know of a serious young basketball player who has some serious hoops’ dreams, get in touch with Brian. I’ve seen him play. I’ve seen him work. I know the man’s heart. He is awesome. More next week…

NOTE: The shoot went great! The problem was, Brian is very quick, very fast, and very difficult to follow in the viewfinder of a camera! Nevertheless, what a good time!camera! Nevertheless, what a good time!

www.moon-inc.com