Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Winter Is Coming

Son of a beyotchey, fire up the mariachi!  It’s been a helluva month for the Dimwit Ding-a-Ling.  A helluva good month.  I do believe the frog is turning into a prince.

It’s strange, really.  I didn’t originally intend to, but I’ve set course on this hardcore crazy self-improvement kick.  Let’s see how long it lasts.

I quit drinking, quit smoking, gave up coffee, became a vegetarian, began daily exercising, lost 10 pounds, paid off all my debt, invested 15k in stocks, started selling my photos on stock photography, worked on three different movie / television jobs, read several books, watched a couple documentaries (as well as finally watched the first 4 seasons of Game of Thrones!), and even decided to save myself a cool $20 down at the fancy Supercuts, and gave myself a pretty hideous bowl cut with my beard trimmer.

It’s been a helluva good month indeed.

Anyway, as I’ve been doing some motivational research on the interwebs and whatnot, I stumbled across this song by Baz Luhrmann.   It’s called “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” and it’s inspired by this famous commencement speech by Mary Schmich back in June of 1997.

I hope you all are well.  Winter is coming.  Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.

*    *    *

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future
Sunscreen would be it

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice
Has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
Oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
And recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you
And how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry
But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long
And in the end, it’s only with yourself

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters
Throw away your old bank statements


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40
Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s
Enjoy your body
Use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own


Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents
You never know when they’ll be gone for good

Be nice to your siblings
They are the best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
Because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young

Live in New York City once
But leave before it makes you hard
Live in Northern California once
But leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise
Politicians will philander
You too will get old
And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable
Politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy
But be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Five Seconds


I traveled to the frog pond back in May, back in July, back in August.

Back, back, back.

Time that son of a bitch. It rattles and roars right along through the seasons, don’t it now, huh.  Don’t it.  Yes it do.

I went to the frog pond back in a bitter cold March.  I walked the banks. I bent down and leaned in to look at the water.  I watched the eggs turn into tadpoles in the spring.  I watched the tadpoles turn into frogs in the summer.  I wondered if the frogs turned into ice cubes in the winter.  I told gotdaughter all about it while we went hiking the other week.

She says, “Frogs are like how caterpillars become butterflies through met-a-DORPH-a-sis.”
“Very good,” I says.  “Of course it is.”

*    *    *

Five seconds to your heart
Straight to your heart
I can’t get to your heart
(There’s no way to forget it all)

*    *    *

I spent the weekend at my brother Broseph’s house back in early October.

Back, back, back.

We talked about robots.  We talked about Artificial Intelligence. We talked about the exciting possibility of the human race maybe one day being able to live forever.

I told my brother I’ve been thinking about the future a lot lately.  Dammit, I had to stomp the brakes.  I had to put down the clamps.  I paid off the remainder of my debts.   I’ve been reading up on investing.  I’ve been cutting back on drinking, been eating kale, and practicing yoga.

He says, “Sounds like you’re going through quite a metamorphosis.”
“Yeah, I think so,” I says. “Of course it is.”

*    *    *

Five seconds to your heart
Straight to your heart
I can’t get to your heart
(There’s no way to forget it all)

*    *    *

I went to Sunday brunch with a friend back in mid-September.

Back, back, back.

We sat out on the patio and watched a fat squirrel gathering nuts.  We talked about the upcoming winter.  We talked about grey skies, dark evenings, and depressing days ahead, except it wasn’t depressing for me.  I was smiling.

I told her nevermind the news.  Nevermind the beatings, the bombings, and the beheadings.  Nevermind the winter weather.   I told her I’ve been going through a metamorphosis.  I told her here’s how to become a frog, or in her case, a butterfly.

It’s really simple.  Play this song called ‘Five Seconds’ by Twin Shadow.  Play it every single morning when you very first wake up.  Play it before you eat your breakfast or before you see the sun.  And you must dance.

“Dance, dance, dance.  Dance your ass off to Five Seconds,” I says.  “That’s the key to a metamorphosis.”

Of course it is.

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Johnny and Mary

10616079_10152414317613791_2635011782861865882_nGo on.  Ask yourselves a question you dimwit, ding-dong, dingalings.  Fill in the blank.

I am happiest when ______________?


Answer:  I am happiest when I’m hanging out with my no good, shithead brothers and the rest of the Hinton family, getting drunk on the whiskey, smoking cigarettes, eating good food, listening to cheesy 80’s glam rock, sitting around a blazing fire, and swapping stories about the good old days when we all lived under the same roof and nearly drove my mother to the la-la-la-loony bin on an almost daily basis.  (In our defense, you already have to be sorta loony to decide to pop out eleven children.  Criminy crickets, no one in their right mind decides to have eleven kids!)

Above is a photo of me with my five shithead brothers taken last weekend for my baby sister’s wedding in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Handsome, scruffy, ornery devils they are.  I love my bros.  I love my sisters.  I love my mother and my nieces and nephews, too.  They always make me smile when I need to smile the most.

I am happiest when I’m with my dysfunctional family.

Here’s a photo of the wedding taken from Blue Hill Overlook in Arcadia National Park.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  IMG_1931

And here’s maybe not the happiest song about a couple in love, but a damn good one nonetheless.  It’s called “Johnny and Mary” by Todd Terje, featuring Bryan Ferry.  Hope you enjoy.


Lima Beans


I could tell you about falling in love with a super cute optometrist who sat across from me in a tiny dark room and told me to look down at her tummy while slowly blinking my eyes.

I could tell you about the wedding couple that held hands while all the guests turned their heads up to the planetarium sky and got chills as they watched a projection of the spinning galaxy set to the most breathtaking Beach House song.

I could tell you about the Russell Crowe movie that I worked on back in April and the movie that I’m  currently working on.

I could tell you all about gotdaughter, my family, my friends, and trips to the frog pond.

I could.  I suppose I really could.  I could give you the meat and potatoes of my life as my dear blogger friend put it, but for now you’ll have to settle for a few lousy lima beans.  I haven’t been in the mood for writing.

Here’s a couple photos from the past few months.















Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

My mother wrote to me.  “Listen sonny boy,” she began.   “I’m starting to forget your face.  I know you’re strange and all, but don’t be a stranger, you hear?  Won’t you please come back to this place?”

this place, this place, this place, this place
this place, this place, this place, this place

This doggone place?!!

“No can do, I’m sorry mama,” I replied.  “I prefer the shadows, and the rivers, and the quiet, and the peace.  This place, this place, this place.  I’m really sorry, mama.  How’s about instead I send you a picture of me floating through outer space.”

*    *    * 

“Wish You Were Here”
Original by Pink Floyd
Cover by Sparlkehorse and Radiohead

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.