Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This story reminds me of something a Simpsons writer said on one of the DVD commentaries. Paraphrasing, he said, of all the people, cultures, ethnicity's, whatever they had made fun of over the years. The Irish were the only ones who never contacted them and complained about it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Actor Friends. Part 4

So I got a part in a film called, COLD DECEMBER.

I'm very excited. I haven't done any acting in well over a year.

I'm also alittle terrified. I haven't done any acting in well over a year.

While in L.A. I was: taking classes, doing plays, auditioning, attending workshops, meeting agents, doing mailings. The whole thing. Like an athlete in the middle of their season, you get yourself to a point of high productivity. You are in gameshape, ready for anything. Right now, I'm not in gameshape. Unless the game is, suburban stay-at-home Dad Olympics.

We shoot during the week of Dec. 11. The script was written by Chicago native, Brian Wright, who I got to know in L.A. The lead will be played by my buddy Chris Fountain. A good actor and one hella good guy. I'm looking forward to working with him again, we get drunk together in the second act. Though his is a dark drunk of self loathing, it should be a great time. I'll keep you abreast of any developments.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Things I Am Thankful For: My Immune System.

I never get sick. Sure, I have been sick, but not for awhile. Every year when people are coughing, sneezing and miserably dragging themselves to the doctor for shots and prescriptions, I am not. I couldn't tell you the last time I had the flu, or got a flu shot. I am not allergic to anything. The changing seasons have no effect on my sinuses. I never get colds. I've never had a throat culture. Never had Strep. When I do feel any scratchiness in my throat, I just drink alot of orange juice. I always feel fine the next day. I have a half-baked theory that the less medicine I take, the less my body will need when fighting infection. Who knows?

Philip is four. He has never gotten a flu shot, never been on penicillin, never had an ear infection or the flu. Patrick, two, had a cough last winter, but I chalk that up to us moving from L.A. to Chicago. Enduring his first real winter, a cough was all he got, with no illness since. My sons seem to have inherited this from me, who I believe, inherited from Mother. My Mother never gets sick.

Mine and my families immune system is a blessing I am thankful for.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The magic "IF," probably not what Stanislavsky was thinking...

I just realized the brilliance of this idea. O.J. could write a whole series, taking unsolved murders and describing how he would have murdered the victims. Bravo, scumbag.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Flame Throwing Fifteen On Friday

Cigarettes will kill you - Ben Lee
I Just Dropped In - Kenny Rogers
Having A Party - Sam Cooke
Lullabye - Concrete Blonde
Kickball - The Kingpinz
Li'l Christine - Material Issue
What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding - The Atari's Live
Can't Turn You Loose - Otis Redding Live
Bouncing Around The Room - Phish
Life In A Northern Town - The Dream Academy
No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen Live
Don't Tell Me - Madonna
Before The Next Teardrop Falls - The Riders Of The Purple Sage
Let Me Go - Cake
Love Spreads - The Stone Roses

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stuck on 25.

Taking our eyes off the national elections and turning them to some local news. Joe Newton has been suspended by the IHSA for violating the maximum amount of contact days, 25, with athletes during the off-season. The violation occurred during his off-season camp, which lasts 35 days. The suspension also includes assistant coach Charlie Kern. The York boys cross country team they coached won the IHSA class AA State Finals on Nov. 4th. It was their fifth straight year winning and the 26th in school history, but neither of them will be listed as coaches on the team this year.

Joe Newton is the John Wooden of Illinois high school cross country. 25 state titles in 50 years; he was also a coach at the Seoul Olympics. I never ran for Coach Newton, but both my brother's did.

Here is the transcript for an interview I conducted this morning via email with Tim Hendricks, my youngest brother and Godfather of Patrick. He's a former Elmhurst resident, and strangely, still registered to vote here.

Timmy, what years did you attend York HS? 1992-1996

What teams were you on that he coached? I was on the track team 1994, 1995, 1996, sophomore to senior years and Cross Country team in 1994 and 1995, junior and senior years.

What titles or accomplishments did you or the team have? The cross country team won the state meet in 1994 and placed second in 1995, breaking our streak of 6 straight state titles. In 1995, I ran on two all-state relays, placing 6th in the 800 meter relay and 5th in the mile relay. The track team placed 3rd in state in 1996

How would you describe him as a coach? He is a motivator that demands a lot from his runners. He expected a lot from his runners and he let you and every one on the team know when you weren't performing to his expectations. He knew everyone's name on the teams, and we always had more than 100 kids on both the Track and Cross Country teams, and everyone had the same rules.

Where you taught by him outside of being coached? Gym class? I never had him in gym class.

If so, how would you describe him as a teacher? From what I witnessed of him while teaching gym he was more relaxed and he didn't really care what you did as long as you treated him with respect.

Can you describe a difference between; Joe Newton the Coach and Joe Newton the Teacher? Joe Newton the coach yelled a lot more and expected greatness from his runners. It didn't appear he expected much from his students except again to treat him with respect and in turn he would treat the students with respect.

How would you describe him as a man? He is a willful person that is driven to be the best at whatever he puts his mind to.

Was he strong? In what way?
Yes, he is a very strong person. He was in his late 60's when he coached me 10 years ago and he got up early every morning to run until he was physically unable to. So when running was to hard on his body he got up every morning to work out in the pool.

Could you take him in a fight? I doubt it, while I was running for him. Maybe now.

What nickname did Joe Newton give you? Mother Hen. The same as my older brother. (Our middle brother, Danny.) His nicknames were not always original but every one had one. (This blogger never received a nickname. I was merely, Hendricks.)

Has Joe Newton ever tried to kiss you? No.

Do you have any opinion about this suspension? I don't have any real strong opinions on the matter, I have thoughts. I think that there is to much scrutiny on amateur athletes, rules that apply to the very few and make it hard on the average athlete, who is competing because they enjoy the sport. High School Athletes can be suspended if they are found to be competing in other organizations outside the IHSA. However, rules are rules and Mr. Newton violated one. This rule I tend to agree with. I believe it is in place to protect the students from over ambitious coaches. High school athletes are not pros, they are not even college athletes, and sometimes coaches need to be reminded that their sport is not the only thing in a students life. This rule protects students from coaches demanding their players be in attendance more than they probably should be. After all, the great majority of High School athletes do not participate past the high school level and even though off- season work-outs can not be required by coaches, and are voluntary, we all know that is not the case for the best athletes.

Do I think 35 days instead of 25 days over the summer is a big deal, No. But that is the number of days the IHSA has decided on. I feel bad for Coach Kern who now has to miss the track season for the violation.

Timmy, have you ever tried to kiss Joe Newton? No.

And finally Tim, why does your fantasy football team suck so bad? Your team sucks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2006 Midterm Elections


I guess our vote counted for something else.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

2006 Midterm Elections

"We will win the Senate and we’ll win the House. And we’re going to win these elections because we understand the values and priorities of the American people."

So far, it looks like he was half wrong at least. Add it to the list.

Though Tammy Duckworth appears to have lost; this feels alot better than '04.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Patrick!

Patrick Myles Hendricks, Glendale Memorial Hospital, 11/04/04.

It's an amazing thing when your child is born. Patrick was our second; but it is no less amazing the second time you go through it. It's one of the few things we all have in common. We all get born. A completely new, unique human being arrives on the earth. Right now he is young, but someday he will have friend's, lover's, failings and successes. He will effect people's lives for the better or for the worse. He will help and be helped. He will be taught. He will teach.

My birthday is one week before his. The day, and sad memory, of a friends passing falls in between the two. Dates such as these gives one pause, dwelling on hopes for the future, regrets for the past.

My one hope for Patrick, and his brother Philip, as they walk the difficult path of Life, is that they won't lay waste to the planet as super powerful mutants bent on making the world pay for their father's lack of love.
Jeremy & I, smoking our cigar's of celebration.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Race For The Sixth District of Illinois. Part 4, Real Nice.

The New York Times

November 2, 2006

U.S. Tightens Medicaid Rules for Babies of Illegal Immigrants

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 — Under a new policy, children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants with low incomes will no longer be automatically entitled to health insurance through Medicaid, federal officials said today.

Doctors and hospitals said the policy change would make it more difficult for such infants, who are United States citizens, to obtain health care needed in the first year of life.

Undocumented immigrants are generally barred from Medicaid, but can get coverage for treatment of emergency medical conditions, including labor and delivery. In the past, once a woman received emergency care under Medicaid for the birth of a baby, the child was deemed eligible for coverage as well, and states had to cover them for one year from the date of birth.

Under the new policy, an application must be filed for the child, and the parents must provide documents to prove the child’s citizenship.

The documentation requirements took effect in July, but some states have been slow to enforce them, and many doctors are only now becoming aware of the effects on newborns.

Obtaining such documents can take weeks or months in some states, doctors said. Moreover, they added, illegal immigrant parents may be reluctant to go to a state welfare office to file applications because they fear contact with government agencies that could report their presence to immigration authorities.

Administration officials said the change was necessary under their reading of a new law, the Deficit Reduction Act, signed by President Bush in February. The law did not mention newborns, but generally tightened Medicaid documentation requirements because some lawmakers were concerned that immigrants were fraudulently claiming United States citizenship to get Medicaid.

Marilyn E. Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Medicaid program, said: “The federal government told us we have no latitude. All states must change their policies and practices. We will not be able to cover any services for the newborn until a Medicaid application is filed. That could be days, weeks or months after the child is born.”

About four million babies are born in the United States each year, and Medicaid pays for more than one-third of all births. The number involving illegal immigrant parents is not known, but is likely to be in the tens of thousands, health experts said.

Doctors and hospitals denounced the policy change and denied that it was required by the new law.

Dr. Jay E. Berkelhamer, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the new policy “punishes babies who, according to the Constitution, are citizens because they were born here.”

Dr. Martin C. Michaels, a pediatrician in Dalton, Ga., said that continuous coverage in the first year of life was important because “newborns need care right from the start.”

“Some Americans may want to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants, and others may want to send them home,” Dr. Michaels said. “But the children who are born here had no say in that debate.”

Under a 1984 law, which remains on the books, infants born to pregnant women on Medicaid are deemed eligible for Medicaid for one year.

In an interview today, Leslie V. Norwalk, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the new policy “reflects what the new law says in terms of eligibility.”

“When emergency Medicaid pays for a birth,” Ms. Norwalk said, “the child is not automatically deemed eligible. But the child could apply and could qualify for Medicaid because of the family’s poverty status. If anyone knows about a child being denied care, we want to know about it. Please step up and tell us.”

Representative Charlie Norwood, Republican of Georgia, was a principal architect of the new law. “Charlie’s intent was that every person receiving Medicaid needs to provide documentation,” said John E. Stone, a spokesman for Mr. Norwood, who is a dentist and has been active on health care issues. “With newborns, there should be no problem. All you have to do is provide a birth certificate or hospital records verifying birth.”

But Dr. Berkelhamer of the pediatrics academy disagreed. Even though the children are eligible for Medicaid, he said, undocumented immigrants may be afraid to apply because of “the threat of deportation.” And the new policy “will cost the health care system more in the long run,” added Dr. Berkelhamer, because children of undocumented immigrants may go without immunizations, preventive care and treatments needed in the first year of life.

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, commissioner of the Baltimore Health Department, said: “From the standpoint of public health, the new policy is senseless. It creates delays in getting insurance for children at precisely the moment when they need it most, in the first few months of life.”

Anne Marie Murphy, the Medicaid director in Illinois, said: “The new policy will be a barrier to Medicaid enrollment for citizen children. If we pay medical claims for childbirth at a hospital in Illinois, we know that the child was born here and is eligible for our program, based on income. It would be physically impossible for the child not to be a citizen.”

Doctors, children’s hospitals and advocacy groups, like the National Health Law Program, have been urging states to preserve the old policy on Medicaid eligibility for children born to undocumented immigrants.

Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law at George Washington University, said: “The new policy reflects a tortured reading of the new law and is contrary to the language of the 1984 statute, which Congress did not change. The whole purpose of the earlier law, passed with bipartisan support, was to make sure that a baby would not have a single day’s break in coverage from the date of birth through the first year of life.”*

I go back and forth with Republicans I know on this thing called Medicaid. I don't have enough experience studying it nor using it to make a very educated argument. It falls in the catagory of, "Entitlement program," makeing it, by default, tax money wasted by the government. Without any expertise on the subject, I'm prone to agree, entitlement programs may be a waste of money. That there are lazy, crooked people in this world taking advantage of such programs.

And the government doesn't have much money these days. Record deficit, if you haven't heard. As the atricle says, this policy is based on the Deficit Reduction Act, Bush signed in Feburay. A deficit that didn't exsist 6 years ago... But hey, split milk. We gotta make some cut's somewhere. This victory celebration party won't pay for itself.

But when it comes to basic, timely, health care for children, and not just children, newborn infants. Babies. U.S. citizens. I believe it is our job, in the spirit of improving this country for all, to provide basic, timely care for them. I won't buy the argument that the greatest, most profitable country in the world is unable to, can't, or won't. To me, that isn't an entitlement as much as it is keeping this nation healthy, strong and well.

Please, get out and vote on Tuesday.

*Thanks to I Dislike Your Favorite Team for bringing this article to my attention.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Actor Friends. Part 3

So I completely forgot to mention, this guy Jeremy Luc, is gonna be on CSI:NY tonight. I guess it's a big, special guest part. I think he goes by Jeremy Luke now. Jerk. Please check him out. As always, thanks for your support.