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It’s rare to make new friends as you get older. When this happens, because you are older you appreciate it much, much more.

Photographer Kevin Banna and I met only a couple of years ago, even though we both have been working in Chicago for the past 30 years.

I had been invited to his studio for a look-see he was having for a commercial client. He pulled me aside and said, “You are totally wrong for this job. You’re actually an actor aren’t you? “ How he was able to figure that out and not just mistake me for another swim suit model, I’ll never know.

He then asked if I’d be interested in working with him on another idea he had. He had just bought a new digital motion camera (The Red), and was casting for some short films. It was truly the beginning of an extraordinarily collaborative friendship. He works with great generosity and openness. At the same time, he has his eye on a specific look. The only way to understand it is let him create it…and he does.

When it came to motion he also used his years of experience and incredible sense of form to produce a film that was nominated more than eight times on its only film festival submission, DON’T CALL ME BABY.

I had the pleasure of being directed by him in his astounding first short film. DON’T CALL ME BABY was an intense production because he had a script by Emmy-award-winning writer Joe Janes to bring to life. He did just that! The photography, the attention to detail, and the raw emotion the script called for is all caught beautifully on film…a rewarding experience.

Last week’s photo shoot was typical of Kevin’s casual, yet very cool way of getting it done. He called me to say he had an idea for his weekly photo blog that was perfect for me. Actually he had three ideas. Once he narrowed it down to one, he began crafting his concept – combining all the elements that would help him bring the picture he wanted to fruition.

I have to mention, he just moved his whole production studio back into the Loop. This place is so slick. Its’ in the West Loop/Meat District (great neighborhood) and the studio itself is state-of-the-art.
I buzz at the door. I’m standing on the sidewalk with my GAP garment bag (actors!) and he comes down and lets me in. He explained that he was just finishing up another shoot (with a beautiful woman dressed like a fairy).

All I could think was, “Damn, now what am I gonna wear?!!”

He finished up that inspired concept and got our shoot started. He had a full crew: hair, make-up, stylist, assistants and….wait…wait for it… a producer (Joyce Taft). A real live person who produced, so he could create.

Ms. Taft only insisted on a few things during my shoot, and each one was imperative and would have been a detriment if not done. I was impressed with the whole set up. Of course, Kevin was focused…which helps when you use a camera a lot. He knew what he wanted, but he bounced ideas off of everyone and developed the new piece in the studio with his team.

The picture itself illustrates Kevin’s inspiration and intent. He has mastered the  ability to really hone in on the uniqueness of his subject while communicating his idea.

Quite an afternoon. I got to be part of this artistic experience and I have the picture to prove it.


Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.
Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv
Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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It all started when we were little.  Michael and I are the youngest of 5 kids in the Wexler family. Michael often used me as a key strategy for troublesome moments.
Big Brother
 “Bobbi – climb up on the refrigerator and see what Mom is hiding up there,”
Little Sister
“But Michael, we aren’t supposed to!”
Big Brother
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you and you won’t get in trouble.  You’re too cute.”
Little Sister
“Ok.”  “It looks like chocolate.”
Big Brother
“Try One”
(this turned out to be bullion cubes.  YUCK!)
In addition whenever Michael would be going on one of his famous adventures (“I’m running away.  No one understands me here!”) I would be crying and begging him to stay.  Of course instead I would end up climbing out the window too – and faithfully sticking with him – better together than apart.
We played together.  Michael was always the Grand Master of Ceremonies.  He made up games, built forts, staged musicals, organized candy sales, games with kids on the block, and whatever else he could think of to make life fun and interesting.  In High School Michael starred in George M!  The musical, and I played his little sister, Josie Cohan.  So we even learned how to tap dance together, and we were pretty good.
Michael picked out my husband for me.  Rob worked for Michael at his famous “Scooters Buy the Hour” on Rush street in Chicago, and by the time I came back from college, my whole family knew and loved him. Rob and I have been married for 23 years now.  We live in Baltimore with our three kids, 2 dogs, a hedgehog and a snake named Gunter.
The last time Michael came to visit in February was the year of the double blizzard.  They had to bring equipment down from New York to help our little city dig out there was so much snow.  All travel was cancelled and Michael stayed with us for weeks.  We had a blast sledding with the kids, playing games, making up stuff to do, eating junk food, and generally playing like we always did. I always figured Michael arranged that month for us.
This year, Michael came on February 6 for a visit and as his readers know, he ended up in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy that turned into a much more complicated and difficult surgery.  This wasn’t the adventure he had been planning on for this trip but I would say it had all the usual components.  He keeps thanking me for staying with him, but I have no idea what he is talking about.  When have we ever been truly apart?  I see the world through my eyes, and Michael’s.
Well, I do admit this adventure was a little tough.  The part where I thought he might have cancer wasn’t good.  The part where I couldn’t make his pain go away wasn’t nice either.  Sometimes I felt like I just couldn’t fix this one and I didn’t like that feeling.
But mostly it was the usual fun with Michael.  We laughed a lot.  We made nurses laugh with us at 3:00 a.m. and we got to know everyone that worked on the floor.  We bribed the med tech, we played with all the equipment.  We sang every song from the 70’s and all the old musicals we could think of loudly hoping that would kick us out.  We went for short painful walks, and made up games in the hallways to cheer up the other patients, and to keep ourselves going.  We stuck together when it felt like there was no where to go – until we created somewhere to go.  Home.
And so, yesterday (February 28) I drove Michael to the airport.
Big Brother
Thanks, Bob.
Little Sister
Next year lets just plan on you coming for the whole month, OK??
I got a text from him as I drove away – “plane delayed.”
I love my big brother.
Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.
Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv
Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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So we spent most of that day trying to get the nurses to make sure I didn’t run out of pain medicine. It was a long haul. I’d start to relax, then BAM! – the pain would overwhelm me again. Bobbi did her best Shirley MacLaine impression from TERMS OF ENDEARMENT:
“It’s past ten. My daughter is in pain. I don’t understand why she has to have this pain. All she has to do is hold out until ten, and IT’S PAST TEN! My daughter is in pain, can’t you understand that! GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!”

Bobbi was as effective as Shirley at getting them to give me the medicine I needed with more frequency. She was extraordinary and incredibly tuned-in to my every need. I’m a single guy who, besides the love of his family, has only ever fallen in love and felt true love once. Bobbi’s advocacy on my behalf and her nurturing way really made me feel hope, faith and love. Since the day she was born Bobbi was incredibly sweet and giving. Spending the week recovering with her by my side was a gift. I got to experience the unselfish, unconditional, nurturing sweetness that she has mastered over her lifetime. I have a greater understanding of why Rob (her husband) is so protective of her, and genuinely in love with her like they just met yesterday.

Bobbi informed me she was staying the night at the hospital. In fact, she said, I should know I would never be alone the rest of the time I was in here. Her kids were adamant and generous about sharing their parents with me. She and Rob had worked out a schedule between them that involved taking care of their three kids, their jobs, two dogs, a hedgehog and me.

It was a rough night but we got through it. Since they were waking us up every three hours to check my vital signs, Bobbi was prepared with the “riveting” season three of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN to entertain us and distract me from my misery.

Oscar Goldman: We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.

The third season starts out with Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner), the Bionic Woman, who can’t remember her bionic soul mate. There’s also a guest appearance by Sonny Bono (Steve’s college roommate), who is suspected of being a spy. The season’s big (Jump the Shark) episode comes in two parts and features “Austin going mano a mano with the legendary Bigfoot in a clash for the ages.”

We spent the morning waiting for the surgeon to come by and share with me what the third thing was that he may have removed and any other results. Bobbi and the amazing staff at the hospital had gotten me on a “comfortably numb” regimen of pain drugs. I was finally able to see straight and enjoy Bobbi’s company. Then she left the room for a moment because she got a call, and returned a few minutes later. She sat next to me, held my hand, and suddenly got very serious. “I just wanted to prepare you for the possibility that the doctor may use the word…cancer when he gives you his report. I don’t want you to freak out or get too upset if he does.” Apparently she was waiting until the last minute to reveal this news, giving me at least 24 hours to recover without thinking about that possibility.

The surgeon used the word right after he described to Bobbi the condition of my appendix. Her take was that if it had been cancer they would have closed me back up and dealt with it differently. The weird thing is, while I was waiting in the emergency room the possibility of cancer did cross my mind. But Bobbi telling me the way she did, and considering the possibility at that moment, just slowed everything down…I suddenly felt so human. Instead of laughing about my Limited Warranty, the idea of an expiration date scared the shit out of me. Or it would have if my bowels had actually been working at that point. But seriously folks…
Anyway, the hour or so we waited for the surgeon to come by was quiet and reflective. In my mind I was looking back at what I’ve done so far with my life, and weighing the possibility of it being over.
The silence was broken by the IV monitor alarm going off…which it did often. I had figured out how to turn it off myself, but this very serious nurse on duty asked me nicely to let her do it. So she came in to turn it off and said that because I bent my arm she had to re-do the IV connection in my arm. So she did. Then she took out a Sharpie and began to write the date on the bandage that covered the inserted needle.
I was curious and asked her, “You’re dating it?”
The nurse said, in deadpan delivery, “I’m a married woman, Mr. Wexler.”
I said, “What?”

Apparently she thought I was hitting on her…asking her out on a date! This seemed unbelievable to me based on my present condition, my attire and the fact I had a ridiculous looking tube sticking out of my nose. I suppose in her line of work she does meet a lot of sickos and most of them aren’t wearing pants. I felt it necessary to clear up the misunderstanding and we both had a good laugh over it.

Finally the doctor appeared and answered the mystery of the third thing he removed during surgery, which had eluded Bobbi’s memory. Not only did he remove my appendix and a section of my large intestine, he also helped himself to a bit of my small intestine, too. Then he remarked that the way things looked I had been walking around for at least the last month with my abscessed appendix. He referred to me as a tough guy. He said he’d never seen an appendix so inflamed and ravished that still left its host carefree and unaffected. I said it must have been from all the back medication masking the symptoms. He pointed out that hearing someone in my condition making jokes on the operating table confirmed his “you’re a tough guy” assessment. I replied, “Then you obviously didn’t stick around for when I woke up because that performance would have blown your theory out the door!”

As far as the possibility of cancer goes – we wouldn’t get the result until the end of the week. So we were basically in a holding pattern.

Bobbi and her family took care of me and in the next week we managed to get through the endless process. Bobbi brought her ukulele and she eased some incredibly intense moments. I was restricted to ice chips, I had this tube sticking out of my nose and running down my throat, which I kept choking on. The very serious nurse was all about making sure that tube stayed in place. The doctor kept saying the thing was coming out tomorrow, and that promise went on for three days. They were actually waiting for some kind of sign that indicated my bowel began to function again.

The nurse fastened the tube securely to the end of my nose with a band aid. It was really pulling, poking and generally annoying me. Later that night I convinced the another nurse to remove the band aid, which was a relief. The next morning Nurse Serious came in and stared at me accusingly.
Nurse Serious, “What happened to the band aid? And the tube…it’s moved.”
Me, innocently, “It has?”
I explained to her that the night nurse had removed the band aid. I swear she got what looked to me like a roll of Duck Tape and tore off the biggest piece she could and slapped it across the middle of my face – just to humiliate me. I began to get obsessed and angry. One, I wanted this tube out of my nose and Two, I looked ridiculous. Bobbi found it amusing that this tape on my nose was what finally got to me, not the seriousness of my present situation.

Finally Friday came and the Doctor was going to clue us in as to my future (whether or not I had one).
He came by and seemed to be in quite a rush. He asked if it was true that I had passed gas for the first time earlier that morning. I confirmed the fact that I had. I’ve never seen anyone so pleased about my flatulence. He was over the moon about it. He cracked what I believe may have been a smile and said, “Well then, we can take that tube out today. You may also begin to consume clear liquids.” Then he turned and left. I was so distracted by the thought of getting that f-ing thing out of my nose and throat we let him leave without any indication of the result of the biopsy.

Bobbi inspired me to start taking walks, sitting in a chair and exercising my lungs on a regular basis. There was a bong-like contraption I was encouraged to use every hour. You suck on a hose and try to get the meter to a specific height. It was basically fashioned like the “make the bell ring” game with the over sized hammer at the carnival.

The next day came and the doctor finally checked in. He undressed my incisions and took a look – he seemed pleased with his work. He mentioned I could now move to solid foods since my body had resumed functioning on its own. Then he nodded and began to exit. Bobbi looked at me and loudly called after him asking, what the biopsy and other results were. He casually mentioned that there wasn’t any cancer (Information we both felt he might have opened with) and any one of the 101 horrible ways to die he had ruled out or cut out with the appendix…a section of my large intestines… and…and…whatever the third thing might have been.

As soon as I was released from the hospital my 80-year-old mother came to Baltimore to take over and take care of all of us. It was an amazing week of recovering, beef stew and the warmth of my family. After all is said and done, don’t we all just want our mommies?

Limited Warranty 4 is brought to you by a guest blogger, Bobbi Wexler Macdonald.

Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.
Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv
Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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Getting sick is no fun. Recently I turned 51, and almost to the day – like a car under warranty – everything started falling apart.
I had some numbness and pain in my arms, but it suddenly escalated to a stabbing and shooting pain through my shoulders…right down to my fingertips. Then I found it hard to keep my head straight without my neck (and everything else) hurting. This all started from a fall at work last summer and then in December of 2014 it grew worse. We were trying various antidotes – steroids, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories. To get a better fix on the problem, the doctor ordered an MRI. The first attempt was futile since I was unable to lie flat or lie still long enough because of the location of my injury. So we found a vertical MRI that made it possible to get a decent look at my injury. The doctors (MRI) confirmed that all of this was due to the impact from the fall I had taken at work earlier in the year. They thought surgery could correct it, but they wanted to try a shot of cortisone into my neck first. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get an appointment with the cortisone-shot doctor till Friday the 13th. In the meantime, my neck had straightened out and the drugs were masking the overwhelming pain that had plagued me the past few months.
I decided to go to Baltimore to see my little sister Bobbi do a TED-like Talk at their local Steppenwolf-like theater, along with a bunch of other fascinating presenters. (http://www.stoopstorytelling.com/storytellers/1608)
I was getting the cortisone shot on my return to Chicago, I was supposed to be drug-free for at least 5 days. Since I was feeling better before I left Chicago, I took myself off the drugs a little earlier. The day after I arrived in Baltimore my stomach started hurting. So we bought some over-the-counter stomach medicine…to no avail. The next day we tried another…still no luck. Then we began to look up the symptoms on the internet and our search suggested that it might be the appendix, although appendicitis should be accompanied by lots of other disgusting systems, including a fever – which I did not have.
So the following day, Monday, the day of Bobbi’s talk, I decided it was time to take more drastic action. I asked Bobbi to get me to the emergency room.
While I waited for my CAT Scan a prisoner was dragged into the ER in handcuffs, grunting and struggling with two police officers who “gently” pushed him down into his seat. He seemed to settle in. The two officers left him with hospital security, a woman who appeared to be the female version of Barney Fife. Up until this point he hadn’t actually spoken. Then unexpectedly, at the top of his lungs, he yelled “I want my mommy!” Which got an “Aw, how sweet” response from the lady sitting to my right (also waiting for a CAT Scan), and pretty much made the long wait worth it for me.
Then a nice women named Betty (another CAT Scan number holder) with whom I’d been chatting turned to me and asked if I could get her a glass of water. “Sure,” I replied and rose from my wheel chair – pleased with having some sort of mission to distract me from what seemed like an unnecessarily long wait.
If you think about it, everyone who takes a plane has to go through a CAT Scan so if you applied the same system from the airport to each person who entered the emergency room you would automatically save a step! Plus, when prisoners and any other questionable character entered it would be less worrisome. I’m just saying.
Anywho, I found a nurse to see about getting my new thirsty friend some H2O. The nurse said she would come over, but she believed that my friend might not be able to have any water yet. So I returned to my seat and informed Betty that the nurse said she would come over. I was really beginning to feel we had connected, and almost suggested a Facebook hookup. Suddenly and without warning Betty’s face turned red, her shoulders tensed up and the slightest puffs of smoke came out of her ears and then she exclaimed, “That nurse won’t bring me any water because they say I can’t have any water.” She picked up her knitting, hissed in my direction and moved over one seat refusing to acknowledge me the rest of the time. I was un-friended even before being friended.
Finally it was my turn for the CAT Scan. Standing before me appeared a shining chariot of a wheel chair with Captain America’s doppelganger beside it, insisting that I accompany him on the next part of my journey. I wasn’t sure if I had died or if my eyes were overwhelmed with an extraordinary vision of loveliness. Either way, who am I to refuse such a handsome young man? So I climbed aboard and we rode through the maze of the Franklin Medical Center hallways to arrive safely at the X-Ray Department. I waited a few more minutes and then I was put through the extremely large donut-like scanner a few times and returned to a private room in the emergency room.
A doctor finally appeared and said my appendix was extremely irritated, and that it needed to be removed right away.
They got me all set up for surgery the next morning. That night’s goal was to hit me with lots of antibiotics in hopes of bringing down the swelling and irritation of the appendix. They hooked me up to morphine which definitely made me settle in for a good night’s sleep. I was finally feeling no pain and fell asleep while they were preparing a room for me. The emergency room Doctor asked if I had any questions and I asked if this meant I couldn’t see Bobbi’s performance tonight? She confirmed that was exactly what it meant. Soon after, I arrived in my private penthouse suite. By the way, the accommodations were delightfully whimsical. The service was top notch. The first nurse I had the pleasure of meeting was actually named Jackie (a good sign, in my book. Loved her TV show). She hooked me up to some more morphine and I laid my head down on my pillow. I began to fall asleep to the ranting of Rush Limbaugh’s voice from the TV proclaiming that the reason for all things that he felt were wrong with the world all traced backed to one man – OBAMA!


Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.
Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv
Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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I’ve made it to 51 without any kind of surgery up to this point. I really wasn’t sweating the procedure. The way the Doctor in the emergency room described removing the appendix was a small hole for the camera and 2 to 3 other holes to remove the appendix, laparoscopic surgery hopefully. So I still hadn’t spoke to the surgeon yet that morning and frankly the morphine and pain killers were taking off any edge I may have felt. I was feeling happy with the accommodations, the drugs and sharing this adventure with my little sister, Bobbi. They scheduled the surgery for 12:00- high noon in my case. Around 10:30 they decided to move it up to 11AM. A gurney and two able bodied escorts came for me to transport me to (as we call it in the biz) pre-op. So away we went. I was kind of into it. I totally felt like I was shooting a scene for a film(with a great budget). I was taking in all the details as grist for my mill. Anyway, they rolled me to pre-op where Bobbi and I waited. She shared with me her performance I had missed the night before and it was inspiring. This moment reminded me of a time back in high school. My Dad and I were rushing to the hospital, joining Bobbi in a room very similar to where we now found our selves. She was broad sided by a garbage truck in her 1969 Dodge Dart. The counsel between the bucket seats probably is what saved her from being crushed. She laid on her stomach with all kinds of shards of glass in all kinds of undesirable places. I can remember making her laugh and how much it hurt her when it did. So it was a good 35 years in between these two events.
Soon we were interrupted by someone who may have been a doctor. He looked down at his paperwork and asked us one of his security/safety question

“So what are we removing today?”.

My Appendix.

Nope,(beat) really what are we removing today (impatiently) Sir?

My Appendix…Why, what did you have in mind?

The Doctor looked concerned and Bobbi was silent and amused by our exchange.

Sir, are you Mr. Bailey?

Nope. (Asked with curiosity as if ordering off the same lunch menu)
Why, what’s he getting?

A Hernia Procedure.

I briefly consider the option. Catch Bobbi’s eye as she grins from ear to ear, and I reply.

I’m going to stick with what I ordered. I was really looking forward to it.

The Sound of Crickets would have been heard if there was a sound track accompanying the next moment after my reply. Awkward Silence, then he blankly turned and exited.
Bobbi and I giggled at the encounter and she closed the curtain so we could enjoy it with a bit more privacy and bravado. When not two minutes later the anesthesiologist came in. The first thing he asked me was.

What is your date of birth sir?


(Looking down at me concerned and doubtful)
Are you sure?

(Shaking my head yes. Silence…)

Mr. Bailey, did you understand my question?

Bobbi and I just burst out laughing and he stared at both of us like we were insane. I finally caught my breath and patiently (no pun intended) explained.

You’re the second person to come in here, dressed like a doctor,
looking for the elusive Mr. Bailey. My name is Mr. Wexler and I know how this goes. A third guy comes right after you leave, he’s going to pull back that curtain and says Hi I’m Mr Bailey. Has any body been looking for me?

Again my small waiting area turned silent since the anesthesiologist was a bit embarrassed and all about the business at hand. Which, when all is said and done, that’s the guy you want in the operating room. He turned and left. I suggested we check the chart they had left at my feet to confirm I was who I claimed to be. Soon after he returned and called me by the correct name. He went through what his part of the procedure would entail. Bobbi felt the first two men we encountered were “gate keepers” making sure I was moving in the right direction on my journey.
Then the surgeon came in, a German Doctor who hadn’t smiled since Jerry Lewis broke up with Dean Martin. He explained the operation would be simple, he’d most likely “stab “ me 3 to 4 times, (When a German guy tells a Jew he’s going to stab him a few times he sits up and takes notice) look around inside and then slip the appendix through one of the openings. Soon after they wheeled me into the operating room and transferred me to a table like the one they use on death row with the arms extended out on either side. I tried to lighten the mood in the room. But it was a rough crowd. It was as if they were focused on something else. Mostly my memory from that point on was a bit hazy, like swimming under water or the experience I have some times in the audition room, definitely a kind of out of body , dream-like haze. Once they put the mask over my mouth and nose I was down for the count.
When I awoke I was in excruciating pain. There were lots of people running around as if I wasn’t there, as if the operation may have failed and they called my time of death hours before. It was like they were just cleaning up and what was left of me still happened to be on the table. I swear it felt like they had removed everything but my head and the more I moved around looking for what was left the more it hurt. I was so upset and disoriented that I kept yelling, screaming and pleading with anybody that would acknowledge me.
Hey buddy, please do me a favor take that pillow and just put it over my face, smother me with it, kill me…put me out of my misery, seriously…kill me, now!

Soon after, Bobbi rushed in to calm me down. She kept telling me to slow down my breathing. I didn’t realize how heavy and fast I was breathing. It literally hurt to breath. She helped me calm down some what but I was angry and hurting with every movement. The more tense I got the more it hurt. The Trip back to the room seemed like the hallways were paved with gravel, every bump shot through me and every swear word I had in my arsenal rung out like a Lenny Bruce concert.
Finally we got back to the room and Bobbi was all about getting me out of pain. She negotiated for stronger pain medicine for me and it somewhat eased what at this point was the worst pain I had ever experienced. Then I asked Bobbi what the fuck happened. She said, after the Surgeon came out and explained when he went in with the camera the appendix was inflamed, perforated and the surrounding area looked horrible. So he had to open me up and the simple procedure was not so simple.

He ended up taking out 3 different things.

She looked up as if she was recalling the conversation.


Your appendix, a section of your large intestines and…and…something else.

I just looked at her and couldn’t help but laugh, which hurt like hell. We both laughed uncontrollably. When I finally caught my breath I said.

(In a very matter of fact delivery)
OK, I’m going to say some key words and you let me know if any of them ring a bell.

She focuses and considers the multiple choices.


She Shakes her head, No.


She Considers it, No.


Looking at me in all seriousness.

Nope none of those. I honestly don’t recall. I knew I should of written it down.

She smiles at me and caresses my head.

We should probably ask him when he comes in later.

Yes, lets.

Next Blog, we talk with the Surgeon and our adventures recovering over a week in Franklin Memorial Hospital Maryland.

Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.
Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv
Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!


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My mom loves books.  Since I was a kid I could always picture her with a book in her hand. Recently she asked me to build her a Little Free Library.  When I saw the pleasure that she got from sharing her love for reading it made me want to write this blog.  Lots of kids and adults stop by her library “where you can take a book or leave a book.” The first day she had the library, she gleefully planned her morning around sitting on the front porch to watch people checking it out. The last month or so she has worked so hard to keep the selection interesting and current. One little girl explained to her the kind of books she was interested in, hoping my Mom would keep it in mind. When I was in high school the Homewood Library would call just about every day to let us know the books my mom ordered had arrived. She has always been diligent about finding the latest and greatest novels, and she reads many books in a week. I remember how upset she once got when I borrowed her library card and returned the book late.  She told me I ruined her perfect record. I guess it was tough for her to get good coverage after that.  Every summer for as long as I can remember, you could find her in the pool, in a floating lounge chair, reading the afternoon away. Numerous times I’ve come home late to find her asleep on the coach with a book covering her face…as if she read until she couldn’t take it anymore. When my niece Danyel did this photo shoot with me for Edwardo’s, she came up with this idea. For about 15 years this was in many of the Edwardo’s all over Chicagoland.

Danyel's Photo of her Grandma for Edwardo's.

Danyel’s Photo of her Grandma for Edwardo’s.

    It’s so nice when a parent has a memorable obsession and it doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.



Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.

Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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This morning I continued fulfilling my lofty goal of getting in shape…working out and imagining a healthy outlook.  So as part of that, I of course, joined a health club.  One of the things they do now is issue you a little fob/membership key chain thing-a-ma-bobber.  I can see that in addition to its intended use, it can also be used as a kind of support piece.  Kind of like when someone in AA rubs their 30-day chip for strength.  I think when you don’t feel like working out the fob would be a good thing to rub instead.
Anywho, the reason I chose this club was because they had classes during the day. Like Yoga, Step Class, Zumba, etc.  I know myself well enough to know that I’ll go to the club, sit on a machine and just listen to my I-pod for an hour…with a sit up here or there. So the idea of being in a class seemed to me  a choice that fit my great goals and hopeful intentions. So I’ve gone several times to step class with Diane, a lovely woman. Although I’ve never stayed the hour, I have enjoyed the 40 minutes for which I could stayed focused. Diane is not in perfect shape and neither are most of the people in the class, so I  could basically keep up.  When I couldn’t keep up with the routine I simply did my own moves to keep moving.   I realized I don’t care that much whether I get the steps or not.
This morning an older women wandered up to me as I was preparing my mat and stepping platform. She was sweet and made me promise I would do the whole hour. She kept saying, “I’m gonna hold you to it.”
Then a new instructor appeared at the head of the class. A very in-shape guy who tried to kill me. I believe now I may have accidentally wandered in to boot-camp. He was like a combination of Louis Gosset, Jr.  from AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMEN and Jack Nicholson from  A FEW GOOD MEN,  “you can’t handle the…” class.
I exercised and kept up for about 20 minutes.  At one point the older woman came over and asked if I was OK.  She was concerned because apparently I was standing on my mat, hardly moving, sweating profusely and holding my chest. I actually felt a little dizzy and extraordinarily wet.  Then I continued at my own pace and did another 20 minutes. Now it was 40 minutes in and I was trying to keep up without much success.  I kept telling myself, “You march to the beat of a different drummer” which was a sad attempt to justify my lack of stamina. Then I hear this voice behind me saying, “Sweetheart you should go get some water.”  This was the nice women who I had unfortunately made a commitment to at the beginning of class, telling her I wouldn’t quit until it was over.  She saw that I looked like frosty the snowman on a warm day. So I walked to the water fountain, gratefully and somewhat pleased that I had been given a pardon by my captors.
So what have I learned?  Be careful what you ask for?  If you want to be pretty, hire a surgeon?
 If you really need to “get into shape,” chose a circle.

Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.

Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!

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Here’s the thing, the whole going and being bald is a part of life that no one prepares you for. When you’re a kid it’s almost like dying. You just don’t think it can happen to you. When I was in grade school I had really long hair and used to get hassled about it all the time. I remember adults yelling at me from the bleachers at Little League games, “Are you a boy or a girl?” Today the way I was treated would have been categorized as bullying. I guess I showed them. Since your hair is a big part of your identity and your ego, the thought of losing it is unthinkable. Then when you start to experience life with a little more taste of reality, it starts to sink in and it becomes a waiting game. You, of coarse, look at your Dad (which they say has nothing to do with the bald gene) and your older brothers as a kind of barometer or living count down. It’s like you’ve been given so long to live. Because I’m an actor, I was getting photographed on a regular basis so it was well documented. If you took my annual head shots over a 10 year period (18-28) and made a flip book out of them you could simulate my loss. It was a rude awakening when I realized I was being sent on auditions with not only bald but fat guys too. There was no way I could compete with the bigger actors. They all had at least 100 pounds on me. That’s the other thing. There is nothing worse than when you hear someone equivocate being unattractive with being bald. You don’t hear people going around and talking shit about the American bald eagle. I have to say there are certain celebrities who have made being bald better (this is off the top of my head)Bruce Willis, Michael Jordan. The real kicker to me is when I go to get a hair cut. I pay the same price as a guy with a full head of hair. How is that fair? How can it be legal for an airline to charge a person who is larger than me for 2 seats, yet I have less than 1/2 the hair of others and pay full price. Give me a break! If there were a barber who offered bold bald discounted cuts I’d drive 10 miles out of my way to patronize them. Anyway, looking back on it now, I believe this whole issue defiantly warrants a support group, a chapter in high school Health class or if nothing else, at the least, an educational pamphlet.

Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.

Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!



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It’s official — winter is over. The other morning I went to put on my gloves and I could only find one. The left one, and the one that was left. This is the fourth pair since December, and for each pair, the right has magically disappeared. This happens every year.  I witness four break ups — the right leaves the left behind. Which I now realize is an indicator…some use the groundhog, some the weather man.  But for me it’s the fourth excruciating separation of what I, at the time, considered a stylish, practical and warm couple. Simply a sign…life’s way of teaching me to pay attention and learn from my experience.

Like knowing that if I want a bag of potato chips without the guilt of overeating, I need to buy the small bag. Because no matter what I tell myself in the aisle of Jewel as I stare down at the selections, as I argue the economic facts in my head (“for one dollar more I can get three times as much”) or appeal to my imagined reasonable self (“you can eat some now and some later”), I know bottom line — I’m, gonna sit down and eat the whole bag. This well-known truth applies to Junior Mints, Mrs. Field’s cookies and pecan pie.

A young friend of mine called me this same morning and told me the story of how he was “scammed” on Facebook and lost, for him, a great deal of money. I listened to him, trying not to judge, because the way he told it, he was purely a “victim.”  Yet part of the scam was him screwing a credit company out of cash. With as much sympathy as I could muster, I gently explained to him, from the wisdom of age, “If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.”  This was a rough lesson to learn myself.   Like the 7-day CTA pass (a $26 value) I bought from a questionable character for a few bucks outside the El train station. It was sealed in plastic, like new. True, it was like new — just never activated.  Or like the $800 counterfeit Bulls tickets I found on Craig’s list. You look back and see so clearly the red flags: Bring cash, meet at a gas station and the simple feeling I got just before I handed over the money. The best and the worst lesson was probably the two VCRs I bought out of someone’s trunk on Rush Street in the ‘80s. At that time, VCRs were selling for $1000 each. The ones in the trunk were new in the box, sealed, and only $200 each…the most expensive box of bricks ever.

I’ve also learned an important lesson about listening. My instinct is to advise or solve problems. Recently I realized when friends and family confide in me about things that are happening to them, it’s not necessarily because they want feedback. Sometimes they just need someone to hear them, and no matter what I think or know, I should just listen. Like they say, “there’s a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.”

Of course, this is true when someone else feels their advice is warranted. I locked up my bike in front of the chiropractor’s office the other day. Dr. McCanse came out of the building and said, “No need to lock it around here.” I’m sure he meant well. One hard-learned lesson I know for sure is, “I’ve never been sorry I’ve done it — only that I haven’t.” This rule can also be applied when adding the gratuity on a check you’re presenting to customers, or looking both ways when crossing the street, or wearing a condom when having sex.

I think being able to hear and see these indicators is part of growing up. It also makes every day better when I realize why I’m getting a bad feeling about a situation. It’s not exclusively because of something I ate, it’s my brain alarm going off. The key is to go with your instincts — look and listen for the signs.

As an actor, I try to be acutely aware of my natural responses and the feelings I get from various situations. This self-observation helps me create the reality of various sensations. I try to turn up my awareness and take note of these sensations, to apply in future scenes I might play.

As a person, no one hands you a Rules of the Road book to explain what the signs and signals mean along the way. Fortunately, Life is willing to hit you over the head as many times as it takes until you’re able to see them clearly. That’s Life.

Michael Wexler is a Chicago actor who has been cast in theater productions, feature films, national TV commercials, TV

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series and voiceover work. More information about Michael can be found on his website Michaelwexler.weebly.com or email him directly at michaelwex@gmail.com.

Here’s a Link to sign up for a monthly note from me. http://eepurl.com/MyDEv Come on man all the cool kids are doin’ it!