'World's Fair' is the raw and witty true story of a dysfunctional Southern family's harrowing motor-home roadtrip from South Carolina to the Montreal World's Fair in 1967 (aka "The Summer of Love"). Told from the point of view of the author -- who was 15 at the time -- this intimate coming-of-age story shines a bright light on the issues of alcoholism, adolescent sexual confusion, family violence and the universal need to love those who hurt us, despite their frailties.
On Dec. 26, 2004, my life changed forever. That day, the tsunami struck Asia, killing hundreds of thousands of people. I learned that the resort I was scheduled to visit just three days later, Charlie's Beach Resort in Koh Phi Phi, had been completely wiped out, with no survivors. It made me deeply question the way I was living.
When do you show your crazy flag to the person you are dating? Timing is key, especially considering what brand of crazy you are working with. At the beginning of my relationship, my strategy was to throw all of my awesome at my new man. I figured I needed to build up a big reserve of goodness before I hit him with the flip side.
As a child I was beaten by bullies, robbed by bullies, humiliated by bullies. I learned to fight back -- sometimes physically, sometimes with words, and occasionally with pranks. Do I advocate violence among children? No -- no more than I advocate violence anywhere. I do advocate wit and resiliency.
Like most heroes of Greek legend, Peter Parker became endowed with superhuman gifts: He was turned into a demigod, rather like a Hercules with inferiority issues who accepts his lot and even rises above inner dread, finding courage out of confusion. Stan Lee deified the nerd and found how those who are considered fearful of life learn -- and even embrace -- fearlessness.
Our forefathers had to put it all on the line. Had to put their quest for freedom above all else. It took years. It was harder than they thought. How did they do it? They had to stay focused. Get past their differences. Go for a common goal. They had to decide that their commitment was worth facing their fear.
It's rare for anyone in Hollywood to speak about someone's exemplary conduct on the set, an environment that's usually treated as off-limits, since how the sausage is made is best left unexamined. But some 50 years after working with Andy Griffith, Ron Howard's remembering the spirit of that generous work environment shows how lasting an impression such professionalism, joy and kindness can have on a young person.