Happy New Year to all my readers. Back again in 2005.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The past week has been quite bizarre. My internal clock is all messed up. I've basically had an inverted week: a 5-day weekend beginning last Thursday, and now 2 days of work, then another long weekend starting Thursday. My parents are in town because my mom had a surgical procedure on Thursday… the surgery went perfectly and she's well on the road to recovery, but after 12 hours in the hospital waiting room on Thursday followed by nearly day-long visits to their hotel room every day since, the days have completely melted into one another. It didn't help that the NFL had games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, destroying my usual measure of weekend time. I did manage to find time for my annual Jewish Christmas, so I spent Friday night eating Chinese food and seeing movies: Phantom of the Opera (and the personal-record 9 trailers beforehand) and Closer. The Dolphins are on their first win "streak" of the season, and I'm $232 richer after winning the TRL fantasy football league (for the 2nd year in a row). Other than that, the days have been uneventful. I'm now back at work with very little to do, save brainstorming for a creative meeting this afternoon and helping Tommy write the New Year's special. Everyone who bothered to come in today would rather be anywhere else in the world. Tomorrow will be much of the same. It's such a depressing way to close out what has otherwise been an exciting year. Hopefully I'll be back to my usual snide self tomorrow.
I hope all my readers had a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah, a Kwazy Kwanzaa, a Tip-Top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan (yes, I stole that from The Simpsons... sue me).
Posted by Brian at 3:19 PM
Friday, December 24, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Lindsay has posted her annual Porn Titles list... here were my suggestions, none of which were apparently good enough:
I, Rub It
Chronicles of Big Dick
Starsky in Hutch
Dodge Balls: A True Gang-Bang Story
Fifty First Fucks
The Last Cum Shot
The Whole Ten Inches
Posted by Brian at 4:46 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
As you might expect, the Flaming Lips' video for "SpongeBob & Patrick Confront The Psychic Wall Of Energy" is surreal and trippy and wonderful (and features Wayne encased in a giant bubble... when's the last time he went out without one of those things? He's become a living Bubble Boy). You can check it out here.
Posted by Brian at 2:39 PM
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
TRL Dictionary, Part 2
More words that VJ's or guests have recently introduced to America...
malnutritioned: (adj) Affected by improper nutrition or an insufficient diet (see malnourished)
explicity: (noun) Clarity as a consequence of being explicit (see explicitness)
Posted by Brian at 2:34 PM
Monday, December 20, 2004
7th Season of The Sopranos? A Last Stop Exclusive...
So this morning I was on the subway and saw a guy who looked totally familiar. After a few moments of thinking, "How the hell do I know that guy?" and trying not to stare at him too much, it hits me: it's _____! (random supporting character from The Sopranos whose identity I'm keeping a secret in case he gets in trouble for leaking top-secret information) At the next stop a woman gets on, starts waving to him and wishing him a Merry Christmas. They start to talk and it becomes apparent that the woman works for HBO. After some idle chatter, she asks him when they start filming again, and he tells her April. Then he says something about him seeing [David] Chase the other day, which was unusual because he usually lives in the south of France when they're not shooting. Then the woman says, "So what are these rumors I've been hearing about a 7th season?" And he excitedly responds, "Yeah, that's what I heard from the production team. Which is fine with me... keep the checks coming... gotta pay for college somehow!"
Does this in fact mean that this season (the 6th) will not be the last? I sure hope not!
Posted by Brian at 11:26 AM
Friday, December 17, 2004
TRL Moment of the Week
On Monday, Vanessa was interviewing Jim Carrey about his new movie, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. She asked him what it was like playing so many different roles in the film, including Count Olaf, a scientist, a reptile expert... although Jim didn't hear a reptile expert... he heard something else*. And started laughing. Vanessa didn't get it, even after he subtlely tried to explain. The interview went downhill from there.
* Note: if you haven't figured out what he thought she said, it rhymes with berectile expert.
Posted by Brian at 11:32 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Hurray, now I can use the term "crack ho" without fear of reprisal from English professors.
The article reminds me of a discussion I had with a former co-worker... she was ripping on the use of "pimp" in modern vernacular. She went on and on about how the term is offensive to women, no matter the context, but the kicker was this statement:
"Take Pimp Juice. I mean, that's basically the same thing as having, like, Castration Fudge."
Posted by Brian at 1:18 PM
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
For all of the talk about how you can't share iPod music, I've discovered it's quite easy to copy files from an iPod to a PC (also a good way to back up your music or transfer it if you're getting a bigger iPod, as I am) without downloading some sketchy shareware program... here's how:
1) Open Control Panel, go to Folder Options, click on the View tab, and highlight Show Hidden Files & Folders.
2) Connect iPod to computer.
3) Open My Computer and click on the iPod drive (as if you're opening a floppy disk).
4) There should be a faded folder that says iPod_Control. Open that.
5) There should be a faded folder that says Music. Open that and there should be lots of folders named P00, P01, P02, etc. They have your mp3s in them (sorted in a system I have yet to figure out).
6) Drag whatever files you want onto your hard-drive.
It's that simple. Have fun!
Posted by Brian at 6:25 PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Sunday's New York Times Magazine contained the annual Year in Ideas. Most fascinating one? Eyeball Jewelry. Yup, jewelry that is surgically placed directly into your eyeball. So far the procedure hasn't migrated from the Netherlands to the U.S. I for one hope it never does.
(if you don't feel like registering to read the article, here's a secondary one to give you a sense of it)
Posted by Brian at 10:35 AM
Monday, December 13, 2004
Last night I finally headed over to Mr. & Mrs. Sticking Point's apartment to check out their new baby, H____. I'd seen photos and kept up with the progress reports, but nothing could prepare me for just how cute this baby is. He won't smile at just anything, but when he does, his mouth opens so wide. It's as if he's surprised he's about to smile and goes "OH!"... but then the corners of his mouth curl upwards and suddenly he looks so happy he could burst. It's friggin' adorable! I only got to see him for about an hour before his eyes closed and they put him to bed, but I'm sure it will be the first of many visits.
I spent the next couple of hours with the beaming parents. For all of their sleepless nights and sore backs, they seem in good shape (albeit a little tired). I saw photos from their trip to Korea and heard a week's worth of great baby stories. They seemed very appreciative of my gifts: pee-pee teepees and Zabar's coffee. It was great spending time with them, although I kept thinking to myself that I was using up their well-deserved sleep time. I look forward to watching H____ grow and seeing their many years of parental happiness.
Posted by Brian at 1:31 PM
Friday, December 10, 2004
MTV Holiday Party was last night at Hammerstein Ballroom, and I'm in absolutely no shape to really post anything today... my apologies. Hopefully I'll find a decent link to something at some point... maybe some McDonald's grease will pick me up.
Posted by Brian at 1:03 PM
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Last night I went to see Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, a one-man Off-Broadway show in which Gorman describes his journey (after making a bet with a friend) to find ten connected googlewhack sites. If this does not make sense, I'll try to explain:
- A googlewhack is the result of a two-word search on Google which leads to only one website.
- Once finding a googlewhack, Gorman had to meet the author of that website, get that person to find two more googlewhacks, then travel to meet the author of those sites for the chain to continue. 10 in a row, met in person before his 32nd birthday, without a dead-end.
If it sounds complicated, it's really not, and he tells his story with such passion, energy, and deft wit (as well as photos, graphs, and other assorted visual aids) that he had the entire audience eating out of his hand for the entire 90 minutes (no intermission). I had seen Gorman's previous show, Are You Dave Gorman? (about another bet in which he had to travel the globe finding other people named Dave Gorman) back in 2001, and although that show was hilarious, this one is better by leaps and bounds. I highly recommend it to one and all.
P.S. The title of this post should, in theory, make my site a googlewhack.
Posted by Brian at 10:22 AM
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
The Little Girl I Once Knew
Well, my creepy habit of developing crushes on young female TRL guests struck again when special co-host Lindsay Lohan showed up yesterday sporting a vintage 1987 Beach Boys 25th Anniversary Tour t-shirt, which I assumed was simply a knockaround shirt for rehearsal until she actually wore it on air. Fortunately, the crush came to a screeching halt when, during the last commercial break, she decided to change into a "You Were Never My Boyfriend" shirt so that she could pettily trash-talk her ex, Wilmer Valderrama.
And yes, as she hid behind a curtain backstage to change, I had thoughts of pulling back the curtain, taking a quick photo, and retiring for a few years with the money I made selling the pic to US Weekly... but alas, I didn't.
Posted by Brian at 10:58 AM
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
I generally don't read Ain't It Cool News, but a co-worker pointed out this review of Blade: Trinity, and I had to pass along this excerpt:
If I have to use a sexual metaphor to compare BLADE: TRINITY to, it would be this. It is as if you decided to live out a fantasy and you hired a dominatrix to tie you up. She comes in covered head to toe in latex. You’re bound firmly. Once helpless and anticipating great pleasure… You see her remove her hood and in place of what you had hoped you see the most hideous creature known to mankind. It smiles at you with a maw filled with chipped broken cavity ridden teeth and pus-y gums. It goes down on you dragging these sharp jagged teeth across the sensitive skin of your horrified organ. Cutting your flesh, infecting you with it’s terribleness… from time to time the tongue gives a second or two of pleasure, but the ill-formed briar patch mouth causes mostly winces and agony, as you’re constantly reminded of the fact… you paid for this shit. FUCK!
Posted by Brian at 2:25 PM
Frown on SMiLE
Well, they shafted him again, for the most part. But what else is new? "SMiLE" got 3 Grammy nominations, for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and Best Production (Non-Classical). The nominations were dominated by Kanye West, who got 10 nods. I'm okay with that. Also okay with Green Day getting 6 and Alicia Keys getting 8. And Velvet Revolver snagging 3. And it's good to see Bjork and the Killers get recognized. Not so okay with Usher getting 8. That's all about commercialism. Nobody can honestly think "Confessions" is a better album than "SMiLE." It's impossible. Unless you've suffered from brain damage. Or your name is Usher. Which is probably one and the same for him. The 7 noms for Ray Charles are also a bit excessive. Yes, he died this year and deserves to be recognized for his career. But his new album is nowhere near his best work. Brian Wilson better hope he puts out an album the year he passes away... that's probably the only way he'll be properly recognized.
A few years ago, people complained that the RIAA was out-of-touch with modern tastes (I think it culminated with Steely Dan winning Album of the Year in 2000). Now the pendulum has swung too far the other way to overcompensate. The nominations were overwhelmingly given to the biggest sellers of the year, not necessarily the best-quality music. Let's hope that academy members at least vote for quality when choosing winners from these nominations... it'd be a welcome change.
Posted by Brian at 1:21 PM
Monday, December 06, 2004
Grammy nominations are announced in the morning... all I know is that if "SMiLE" gets shut out, the RIAA is gonna have some questions to answer... the sad fact that artists such as Milli Vanilli and Paula Cole have more Grammys than Brian Wilson / The Beach Boys (who have never won and have only been nominated three times, once for liner notes) must end NOW.
Posted by Brian at 9:39 PM
Here's a mini-diary of the debacle that was Friday night's Stars, Stripes, and Skates 2004:
6:19: Somehow make it from the TRL post-mortem meeting, which ended at 6:05, to Penn Station in time to buy a ticket to Hicksville and board the train. I even got a seat. Sweet! Unfortunately it's right by the bathroom and smells a little funky. Not sweet!
7:13: Arrive to find about a thousand people waiting in the cold to enter Cantiague Park, 17 minutes before the show is set to start. I go inside and get my All Access pass, which says "Cantiague Pak." I can tell things won't go well.
7:16: Head backstage to find Nancy Kerrigan, the host of the evening's festivities. Even though we worked together last year, she has no recollection of me. I tell her I'm the writer and ask her if she has any questions about anything. "Oh, well we changed a bunch of stuff during rehearsal.: Uh-oh!
7:32: I'm asked to "guard the Zamboni." I have no idea where the Zamboni is, so I wander around the arena searching. After finally locating it in a backstage area partitioned off by a black curtain, I stand guard for a few minutes, then decide nobody would mess with it and abandon my post.
7:58: The lights dim and the show starts, 28 minutes late.
8:06: Nancy heads onto the ice and begins her introduction. Unfortunately, her mic doesn't work. I can hear a technician yelling, "She grabbed the wrong mic!" When she finally gets a working mic, she stutters over words and laughs over jokes. Not a good start.
8:08: During the first skating routine, the music cuts off too soon. The pair skate around the ice for several moments until the A/V guy restarts the music. I hear one of the other skaters backstage yell, "Stupid!" Still not good.
8:11: Apparently when Nancy said that changes had been made, she meant that she cut out punchlines while leaving in the set-ups. For example, in introducing the next skater, the introduction is now, "I think we should turn down the temperature in here for our next skater. Please welcome Nick LaRoche!" Gone is the line, "He's so hot, he might just melt the ice."* Small change, big difference.
*Note - I know that's a shitty line, but the show is for kids...
8:16: 11-year-old Rebecca Farrell skates in honor of her father, a firefighter who died at WTC. She is adorable and talented and gets the biggest round of applause so far.
8:18: A ten-year-old from the audience introduces the next skaters, Galit Chait and Sergie Sakhnovsky. I can't pronounce their names, but she nails it. Maybe she should replace Nancy for the rest of the show.
8:21: Time for a children's group number, the first of four displaying kids chosen in talent searches across the tri-state area. It's cute and surprisingly coordinated. One of the girls is standing on the stage dancing in place... apparently she hurt her ankle and can't skate. Too bad they didn't shine a light on her... nobody in the audience even knew she was there.
8:29: Olympic Bronze Medalist Philippe Candeloro, the biggest name of the night, does an incredible routine. Since he has to return to France and can't stay until the end of the show, Nancy asks him to extend his routine a bit. Philippe agrees, then immediately crashes into the audience during a spin move. He should've quit while he was ahead.
8:34: Paul D'Amato, a bit player in the film Slap Shot, introduces the NYPD/FDNY hockey relay for the 2nd year in a row. Afterwards we talk briefly about my writing for TRL. He gives me his card and says I should e-mail him and maybe we can write something together. Maybe I have a Hollywood "in" now... unfortunately his card is for a skate-shop he works for, so I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.
8:43: Intermission. I head over to the silent auction area to see how my donated items are doing. The TRL VIP pass is at $125, while the collection of autographed CD's (Kid Rock, P.O.D., Kelly Rowland, and Stacie Oricco) have, surprisingly, not gotten a bid yet.
9:13: The producer of the show heads onstage to give a brief remark. And I mean brief: two lines. Unfortunately she flubs them. Afterwards she sighs, "How could I blow two lines?"
9:18: Miss New York Christina Ellington sings "I Believe in America." She sounds like a goose in heat. I assume she must look damn hot in a swimsuit.
9:33: Local New York band Housewives on Prozac (whose name is the least bit ironic) sing "Skatin' Mama Blues," a song from the upcoming on-ice Broadway musical Cold as Ice. It's their second performance of the night, the first being their original song, "I Broke My Arm X-mas Shopping at the Mall." Looking at this entry, nothing I just wrote makes any sense.
9:44: The Original Tokens (as I've been informed they must be introduced as) perform their hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." During the song, two five-year-olds skate around dressed in lion costumes. One of them falls several times. The tenor for the Tokens (er, Original Tokens) can no longer hit the high "eeeeeeeee" during the "a-weema-weh" section. Yes, the producers have pulled out all the stops for this show. Oh, and the guitar player is 16-years-old, leading me to believe they aren't really that "original" after all.
9:58: After all of the skaters (of the ones who bothered to skip around, which I'd put at 60%) return to the ice, the show ends. I figure I'm free to head over to the party tent, my work being done. But I am mistaken. I am asked to haul the Housewives' amps to their van, remove heavy scenery from the stage, and do other manual labor that I didn't realize was part of my job as Writer.
10:19: I check the silent auction table. The TRL VIP pass is up to $210. As for the CD collection, somebody has crossed out the minimum bid of $50 and written in $30. Oh well, every little bit helps, I guess. I bid $200 on a framed autographed photo of Hideki Matsui and piece of the first home run ball he ever hit as a Yankee (a grand slam, by the way). Hope I win.
10:22: I finally get to the party tent to find that all the food is gone. Fortunately the wine is still flowing.
10:33: The skaters crowd onto a small bus to be taken... wherever they're going. These are some of the top skaters in all of North America, crammed into this piece-of-crap bus. It reminds me of the Simpsons episode, "Bart the Lover," in which, after an assembly that wows the students, a troupe of yo-yo performers is herded into the van while their manager yells, "Get your worthless butts in the van! We got three more schools to do!''
10:58: I head inside to ask one of the arena staffers where I can find a cab or bus to get me to the train station. I'm told that they don't come to the arena, but I can walk... it's about a mile down the street. My train leaves at 11:21. I leave without saying goodbye to anyone.
11:20: Make it to the train station and catch my train back to Manhattan. On the train I get to think about the show. Honestly, it was a success... they raised money for a good cause and the audience had fun. I'm glad I helped out again. But this may be my last year...
Posted by Brian at 3:40 PM
VJ Damien and I have been e-mailing back and forth for the past few minutes about the recent block of videos on VH1 Classic ("Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin," "Say You Say Me," and "Heartbeat"). Here is his comment on "Heartbeat"...
Don Johnson, do you realize you just made me hit pause on my Green Day cd…damn you Johnson and your dulcet tones…If Emeril was to combine the ingredients for a HANDSOME PIE…Don Johnson would pop out of the oven after 30 minutes.
I could never have said it better.
Posted by Brian at 2:47 PM
More from the TRL Graveyard
An aborted cold open to air last Friday that was filmed and partially edited before being killed for a cut open focusing on Eminem's new video, "Like Toy Soldiers."
(DAMIEN IS STANDING ON STAGE, CHEERING KIDS BEHIND HIM. THE STAGE MANAGER STARTS COUNTING DOWN)
-LIVE IN 5, 4, 3, 2…
(DAMIEN'S CELL-PHONE RINGS, AND HE TAKES IT OUT, MOUTHING "ONE SEC" TO THE STAGE MANAGER)
-HEY, WHAT'S UP?
-NO, DON'T WORRY, I CAN TOTALLY TALK NOW
(GRAPHIC & SOUND-UP: "IT'S INCONSIDERATE CELL-PHONE VJ")
(DAMIEN IS LOUNGING IN A CHAIR BACKSTAGE, TALKING ON THE PHONE WITH HIS FEET UP ON A DESK. A CREW GUY CARRYING A BIG BOX TRIES TO WALK BY BUT DAMIEN WON'T PUT HIS FEET DOWN TO LET HIM PASS)
-I SWEAR, THE CLOUD WAS SHAPED JUST LIKE MY GRANDMA
-EXCUSE ME, CAN I GET BY?
-(TO CREW GUY) HELLO, I'M ON THE PHONE...
-(INTO PHONE) SOME PEOPLE!
(GRAPHIC & SOUND-UP: "SO INAPPROPRIATE")
(VANESSA IS DOING A READ, AND DAMIEN WANDERS AIMLESSLY THROUGH THE SHOT)
-SO THE DUCK HAD IT THE WHOLE TIME?
(GRAPHIC & SOUND-UP: "DON'T BE AN INCONSIDERATE VJ... PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CELL-PHONES WHEN HOSTING TRL")
Posted by Brian at 11:40 AM
Friday, December 03, 2004
Funny how when I find something like this Virtual Bartender, I turn into a horny teenager...
(P.S. She can do at least all the following: kiss, banana, beer nuts, jedi fight, jump, touch your toes, hummer, take your shirt off, ass/flash, get naked, lick, handstand, dance, rap/eminem, orgasm, stomach/rub, cowgirl, tongue, bend, exercise, hair, spread, jiggle, lol, tickle, phone, drink beer, gun, robot, karate, macarena, pillow fight, can i start a tab?, magazine, guitar, arms, dog, give me your number, cartwheel, lollipop, magic, model, pitcher, bottle, math, box, tap, squeeze, wet)
Posted by Brian at 1:58 PM
I've been having the worst luck with fortune cookies... a few weeks ago I got this, then last night I get stuck with this one:
The physician heals, nature makes well.
You'd think after all their years making cookies, the Chinese would actually know what a fortune is. But I guess not.
Posted by Brian at 9:56 AM
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Adam Mesh from TV's Average Joe, which is pretty low to begin with, has sunk even lower... this morning he was handing out flyers for VH1's Big in '04 show outside the MTV building. If he's doing that to promote the show, that's sad... and if he's doing it as a normal job, that's even sadder.
Posted by Brian at 6:54 PM
If you're really REALLY desperate for something to do on Friday night, come to Stars, Stripes, and Skates, a 9/11 benefit taking place at Cantiague Ice Arena. Where else can you see tons of world-famous ice skaters, the original Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), legendary Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson, and Miss New York all in one place, plus wonderfully witty banter written by yours truly?
I bet you can't think of another answer, can you? CAN YOU?
Posted by Brian at 9:52 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Nominations for the 2005 Independent Spirit Awards were announced today... not surprisingly, Sideways had the most with six. I'm thrilled that Napoleon Dynamite snagged two, although it's a travesty Jon Heder was left out of Best Debut Performance. Can't wait for the awards on Feb. 26 to see if Brittany Murphy has another meltdown like she had back at the 2003 show.
Posted by Brian at 11:13 AM