Friday, December 30, 2005

So I'm in the office, killing time until a 2pm script read-through for MTV's NYE show. I'm trying to figure out who to pick for the final week of my NFL Suicide Pool*. Yes, I've made it all the way to week 17. Unfortunately, so have 5 other people. This is the first time in the history of the pool that there may not (and probably will not) have a sole winner. I have it narrowed down to either the Cowboys at home against the Rams or the Giants on the road against Oakland. The Giants have already guaranteed a playoff spot, can win the division with a win, are playing a Raiders team sitting out LaMont Jordan, are sitting Jeremy Shockey, and stink on the road. The Cowboys may be eliminated from playoff contention by the time their game starts and could have nothing to play for, Bledsoe makes too many mistakes, you never know when the Rams will explode for 40 points, but they should win this game easily.
If I make it all the way to the end only to lose in the last week (especially after surviving last week's Tampa Bay overtime scare against Atlanta), giving up my share of the $6,000 pot, I don't know what I'll do. But if there are no posts from me in 2006, you can assume I chose poorly this weekend and decided to end my time on this earth.

Happy New Year, everyone!

* For those who don't know, in a Suicide Pool you pick 1 team each week. If that team wins, you advance to the next week. Lose or tie, and you are eliminated. You can only pick the same team once a season. Last person standing wins.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

O'Brien + O'Donnell = O'Boy
Time Out New York calls this splice of Pat O'Brien's cell-phone message with Rosie O'Donnell from Riding the Bus with My Sister the "Flat-Out Funniest Thing of the Year." I don't know that I would go that far, but it's pretty amusing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Are you a New Yorker without any plans for New Year's Eve? Why not spend it at Mars 2112... with Wes and Johanna from Real World: Austin?

Well, there's actually many reasons why not to... but I won't judge you if you go.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

While reading the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which lists the 100 Worst Movies of 2005, I decided to count the number of those movies I was forced to see because of my job. The winning number? 23. True, that's not a huge percentage, especially since I also went to screenings of 4 of the 10 (which was actually 11) Best Movies of 2005. But it's still approximately 23 more of the worst movies than I would've wanted to see.
My boredom today caused me to count up all the movies I had to see screenings of this year, and the list came to a whopping 44. They are listed alphabetically below, and I've color-coded them thusly:
Green = I would've paid money to see it
Yellow = I would've been annoyed to pay money to see it
Red = I should've been paid more to see it

40-Year-Old Virgin
Aeon Flux
Assault on Precinct 13
Bad News Bears
Be Cool
Brokeback Mountain
Coach Carter
Dark Water

Fantastic Four
First Descent
Four Brothers
Get Rich or Die Tryin
House of Wax
King Kong
Kingdom of Heaven
Longest Yard
A Lot Like Love
The Man

Memoirs of a Geisha
Miss Congeniality 2
North Country
Red Eye
The Ringer

Sin City
Skeleton Key
Son of the Mask

Star Wars Episode 3
War of the Worlds
Wedding Crashers

Wedding Date

Sure is a shitload of red, isn't there?

Monday, December 26, 2005

After the yearly barrage of holiday music overtaking radio stations, I've come to the scientific conculsion that the best Christmas pop song of all time is The Kinks, "Father Christmas."

The worst: Jet, "Back Door Santa." Really now, that's just not necessary.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Well, the holidays are upon us, and that means that it's time to relax. Yesterday TRL taped its last show of 2005, and as our end-of-year gift, our bosses gave the staff the day off... which was fine, except that somehow I got suckered into going to a 10am screening of Glory Road. If you recall how much I hated Coach Carter, this is practically the same movie, only slightly improved. But not much. No work Monday, and probably not much to do Tuesday and Wednesday, then a half-day Thursday and no work Friday. Not a bad way to end the year.
It's hard to believe that the start of 2006 will mark my two-year anniversary at TRL. I'm not saying I don't like my job (I do... great co-workers, not too stressful, oftentimes fun). It just sometimes feels like my life is blowing by too quickly without me really doing what I want to be doing. I may have to reevaluate some things next year. But I'll wait until after the holidays for that.
For now, Merry X-mas / Happy Hanukkah to all my readers... maybe I'll catch you out tomorrow night celebrating Jewish X-mas (I'll be seeing Munich and eating Chinese food on the Upper West Side).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thanks to my friend over at CtBL for introducing me to Latke Larry. That Jerry Stiller sure has the voice of an angel!

Shaven, Not Stirred
I'm surprised I haven't seen more people link to this photo... although I guess Eliza Dushku really isn't such a big deal. Sorry the picture is so large... but scroll to her waist for a big surprise.
And if you can, answer these questions for me:
- Why would anyone design a dress like that?
- Why would anyone buy a dress like that?
- Why would anyone wear a dress like that without anything underneath?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I know this is fake, but it also is enough to ensure that I will never be a camera operator on a porn film.

Note to my friend S___: the next time you throw a house-warming party, and you use your bedroom as a place for people to put their coats, you might want to reconsider having a bedspread with a cartoon horse on it. In fact, as a 26-year-old male, you should probably do away with it altogether.
And no, the excuse that your mom got it for you does not make it any more acceptable.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My roommate's annoying mother is in town again... for 2 weeks! Fortunately she's not staying with us, but she sure hangs out enough at our apartment. She walked in on Saturday as I was watching the Giants / Chiefs game... here's a sampling of her words of wisdom in the 20 minutes before I turned the TV off and retreated to my bedroom:
- (in reference to a player being penalized for taunting) "Taunting"? I always thought it was "tauning."
-(in reference to the same penalty) I wonder what he said. Probably "your mother."
-It's a good thing my cyst cleared up.

-Don't you think my Davey (my roommate) looks handsome in turquoise?
-(in reference to John Madden) Wow, he sure is fat!
-Well, I guess I'll take off. (she stayed for another 10 minutes)
-Don't you think Joaquin Phoenix sings better than the real Johnny Cash?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Who are these animals who were standing out in the pit before Tuesday's show, and where did they come from? Are they fans of Ludacris and his DTP crew? And why is there a random guy without a costume mixed in with them? These are questions that, unfortunately, will never get answered.

P.S. Sorry this is late, and that there's been a lack of posts over the last few days... but I've been smacked by a fever and debilitating headache. Just in time for the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

So I'm probably the last person in the blogosphere to see the video of the bear getting shot by a tranquilizer and falling out of the tree onto the trampoline... but in case I'm not, here it is.

After seeing the nominations for this year's Golden Globe awards, something struck me as I looked over the nominees for Best Song: why don't artists actually sing about specific movies anymore? In the 80s, almost every song contained lyrics referencing the movies they were used in. Off the top of my head:
- "Howard the Duck" by the Bangles
- "Goonies R Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper
- "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr.
- "On Our Own" by Bobby Brown (from Ghostbusters 2)
- "Princes of the Universe" and "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen (from Highlander)
- "Batdance" by Prince
Artists these days put in no actual effort… they simply provide leftover songs previously recorded. And it makes me sad. I long for the glory days of 80s soundtracks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Did the chest-waxing scene in 40-Year-Old Virgin make you cringe? Then you're not gonna like this contest finding the hairiest chest in America...

I'm getting pretty tired of going to concerts and having people behind me complain that I'm too tall. Yes, I'm 6'3". No, there's nothing I can do about that. But if you're stuck behind me and can't see the stage, you're out of your mind if you think I'm gonna give up my spot for you. You should've averted the problem and gotten there earlier. Or, even better, you can step 4 inches to the left or right so that I'm not blocking you.
This is your problem, not mine. So leave me alone.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I think StileProject was right on when they named this woman Cameltoe of the Year. That thing looks like Audrey 2 with its mouth shut in Little Shop of Horrors.

And while we're on the subject, during Spamalot there is a moment where 7 members of the cast are trying to spell out "CAMELOT" with signs. They first spell "MOLECAT," then spell "CAMLTOE." When the 2nd spelling came up, the guy sitting right behind me (who had been silent up until that point) yells out "Cameltoe! Now that's funny!"
It is? Thanks for clearing that up, jackass. I never would've known. And I'm sure the cast and crew are ecstatic that a one single joke out of 2 hours struck your fancy. Now sit the fuck back and shut the fuck up.*

*Note: this marks the long-awaited return of Angry LastStop. Enjoy!

Friday, December 09, 2005

TRL Quote of the Week
"(indecipherable mumbling) fucking (indecipherable mumbling) balls!"
- Lindsay Lohan, our guest co-host on Tuesday, in reference to our using a lotto-ball machine to pick a winner for a giveaway. For some reason her microphone had been left on as she hung out backstage, thus broadcasting the comment for all the world to hear.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

This Spike Jonze-directed Gap ad must've been a dream come true to shoot.

Being a big fan of Lost and an even bigger fan of Requiem for a Dream, this is a very enticing rumor. I just hope it's true.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A bluegrass CD of Def Leppard covers could be one of the worst ideas ever thought of... and yet, here it is.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Long Kong (Beware Spoilers!)
Last night I went to an advance screening of King Kong. Being a huge fan of the original, I was extremely hesitant with my expectations of the new film (especially hearing of its 3+ hour runtime). And after the (excruciating) first hour had come and gone (which definitely could've been boiled down to about 20 minutes), and they still hadn't reached Skull Island, I almost began to panic. But at about the hour-and-20-minute mark, the film kicked in. And never stopped. One jaw-dropping action sequence after another, including a Brontosaurus stampede, Kong taking on 3 T-Rexes, and a nice destruction of 1933 NYC. Plus the relationship between beauty and the beast is surprisingly heartfelt. More than one person left the theater misty-eyed.
The film does have its flaws: Jack Black is terribly miscast, it's definitely too long, a lot of special effects (especially when dealing with water) look fake, there's an annoying subplot with Jamie Bell as a stowaway who compares this trip to "Heart of Darkness," and a terrible inside joke about how Fay Wray isn't available for the movie-within-the-movie because she's filming a picture for RKO. But for at least 100 minutes, I was captivated.

I was not, however, captivated by Spamalot, which I saw on Sunday. Having waited for Hank Azaria to return to the cast, I'd heard nothing but raves about the show. And I love Monty Python & the Holy Grail. But half of the play is cut straight from the film (and the cast is not nearly as funny as the Pythons), and the new stuff is mostly filler and recycled jokes from other Python bits (such as the Lumberjack song and the fish-slapping sketch). With a few exceptions, the songs are instantly forgettable. The cast tries hard and mostly do well, especially David Hyde Pierce and Sara Ramirez. But it certainly doesn't live up to the hype.
Oh, and one more thing… to raise money for Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS, Spamalot is holding a silent auction. High bidder gets Hank Azaria to record an outgoing voicemail message in the voice of any of his Simpsons characters. Minimum bid is $500. Anyone want to get me that as a gift?

Monday, December 05, 2005

For all you techies, The Office genius (and Extras bungler) Ricky Gervais has a weekly podcast. Get it here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Uh-oh, alert the FCC... on Monday, MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago gave a report on the Nick & Jessica divorce. He gave a brief history of the break-up rumors, including Joe Simpson's response to an US Weekly story, saying it's the "usual bulls@*t."
Which is how we posted the text during the story.
But that's not how Gideon read it.
And yet even as a wave of panic crossed his face and a ripple of disbelief ran through the audience, he didn't miss a beat and continued with the story.
Don't know how many complaints (if any) we received, but I'm glad he at least tried to spice up the show.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Pity the Fool Who Don't Follow My Directions!
My infatuation with Mr. T continues with this news report... yes, you can practically have Mr. T in your car with you! What could be better?

Repent! The End Is Near!
I mean, I'm sure she is an expert on the subject...

Another disappointing e-mail (at least from my perspective) from my friend stationed in Iraq:

Wow...what a crazy past couple days. Life over here often changes in a heartbeat and that's exactly where I find myself right now. Most of you know how I've been wavering on the "getting out, staying in" question for the past six months, but yesterday I made it final. I just signed my life away for the next 5 years.
I know, why why why? Everybody I talk to can only tell me how much they want me to get out of the army. But I think that was the problem, I was listening to what they wanted me to do, rather than what I wanted to do. So, after a sleepless night, I walked into the re-up officer's office early yesterday morning, and committed the next half decade of my life to Uncle Sam. Wow...
Today was the swearing-in ceremony and I felt like I was in a coma, words came out of my mouth like somebody else was saying it. I heard this guy named _____ swear to protect his country, honor the constitution, and all that...just hard to believe that guy was me.
My plan is sound however, I charted out my career path which, if all goes well, will send me to Ranger school when I get back, and then have me going to Special Forces selection by the end of 2006. If I don't pass (but I will), my fall back is to go to warrant officer's school and learn to fly helicopters. Either way, I win. I like the army life...nowhere else can you focus so entirely on self-improvement, and I feel I still have a long way to go.
To me, life is about challenges. After meeting them and succeeding, you ramp up and find other peaks to summit. That's what this is all about...what are my limits? And there's no doubt the next 5 years will test just that. Most guys will tell you that after they re-up they feel like they just swallowed a lead weight, but I feel exactly the opposite. A little nervous perhaps, but excited to see what's around the corner...both body and mind are going to be pushed to the envelope and I can't wait to be there and see how I measure up.
What a crazy couple days... ;)
Stay cool and I'll talk to you soon.

I really thought he had reached his breaking point with the Army, so hearing this is pretty disheartening. I hope that he is still planning on swinging through New York during his leave in January so I can ask for a better explanation. At least it sounds like his training will take him out of direct combat for a while, but the idea of him in the Special Forces worries me.
Bush, if you're reading this (and I'm sure you are), get the fucking troops out of fucking Iraq right fucking now!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives should follow in Idaho's footsteps and pay respect to Napoleon Dynamite. You can't argue with points such as:
- WHEREAS, Kip's relationship with LaFawnduh is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho's technology-driven industry
- WHEREAS, Uncle Rico's football skills are a testament to Idaho athletics
- WHEREAS, Napoleon's bicycle and Kip's skateboard promote better air quality and carpooling as alternatives to fuel-dependent methods of transportation

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Saw Ray Davies perform at the Supper Club last night... what a thrill to see such an accomplished musician perform in a small venue. He played quite a set, mixing new with old, hits with deep album cuts. He even performed a mini-Village Green Preservation Society set ("Village Green," "Johnny Thunder," and "Animal Farm"). Some of his new songs are good, but it's strange how 60's musicians who once wrote perfect 3-minute pop gems now feel the need to write songs that meander for 5-6 minutes (McCartney, I'm looking in your direction). Davies is a great showman, performing with non-stop energy, cracking jokes and telling stories between songs. He played for over 2 hours, including 2 encores packed with hits like "You Really Got Me," "Lola," and "Waterloo Sunset." As far as I know, this was his only U.S. concert of the year. But if he tours when his new album comes out, it would benefit you to see it.

Fans of Family Guy will find this interesting... creator Seth MacFarlane's student film Life of Larry, which eventually evolved into the current series. Same type of humor (some of these jokes even made it into episodes of Family Guy), but much crappier animation. For some reason it's broken up into 2 parts... watch here, then here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What am I thankful for after this holiday weekend? Certainly not the cab ride home from the airport last night... 3 minutes in, an SUV cuts in front of the cab I'm in with my sister, causing our cab to slow down... he's then plowed into from a cab behind going about 40 MPH (the photo is that car), which slammed our cab into the SUV. This led to our standing in the mud on the side of Grand Central Parkway for an hour and a half as the police filled out their paperwork. Eventually we were free to go, and since our cab was still in working condition, we hopped back in and rode into the city in a car whose back-left wheel was rattling and which was leaking exhaust.
Fortunately my sister and I (and everyone else) are okay... my neck and back are sore, but I'll get past it.

Other "highlights" from my time at home:
- Jetblue delaying my flight to Florida on Tuesday night from a 9:45pm departure to a 12:50am departure. I was able to switch flights to one that was supposed to take off at 9pm, but it didn't actually leave until 11:20pm. Still better than the original, which didn't land in Florida until 4:35am.
- Also, Jetblue, when you are giving announcements about delayed flights, it's not cute or funny to continually make jokes about "Even though Jetblue is so great, believe it or not we can't control the weather." Nobody is laughing. Just shut the hell up and get the plane to the gate.
- Went to see Good Night & Good Luck with my grandma*. The opening credit sequence is a montage of the cast at an awards banquet interspersed with the credits... set to music, no dialogue. It is a few minutes long. As it fades out, my grandma says (in a non-inside voice), "Wow, that preview looks fascinating! I wonder what it's for."
- The Seminole Hard Rock Casino looks ritzy and glamorous from the outside, but inside it's just a bunch of crotchetyhety smokers playing slots and poker. No blackjack (or craps or roulette). What gives? Can't Native Americans count to 21?
- I found out that my high school crush is dating "some short guy." She likes short guys? What the hell? I probably have even less of a chance with her now than I did in high school.

* Note: Talking to my grandma, especially about pop culture, is becoming equivalent to conversing with The Riddler. For example:
- that tall Daly woman = Geena Davis
- Anderson = Jason Alexander

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!
Wow, with all the excitement in my life (or maybe it's due to the total lack thereof), I missed the fact that Last Stop has now entered the Terrible Twos. Amazing that I haven't tired of this yet... or written something that's gotten me fired. But we'll leave both possibilities open.
And just like that, I'm going on sabbatical... heading to Florida tonight for the holiday, so most likely no new entries until I get back on Monday.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2005

So far I've been pretty pleased with my new gym. It's bigger, more equipment, better air-conditioning... and much better music. Instead of techno crap and remixes of top-40 songs, it's mostly 70s and 80s... lots of Cars, Blondie, The Cure, etc. And the other day they played this, a mash-up of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Oasis's "Wonderwall," with some of Travis's "Writing to Reach You" and even an Aerosmith / Eminem post-script. I think mash-ups are very hit-or-miss, but in my mind the simpler they are, the better... and this one is about as simple as they get.
The guy who mashed this, Party Ben, has some other good ones on his site (and some not-so-good ones). Give 'em a listen.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week, Pt. 2
Also on Thursday, our studio was packed with guests (Ryan Reynolds, Natasha Bedingfield, and Big Boi). When VJ Qud-dus arrived to the studio and started to walk into his dressing room, a wardrobe assistant informed him that he would be changing in the office of one of the production accountants. Qud-dus balked, but was told that his dressing room was needed for the guests. He looked to me and said, "You'd think I would get more respect around here, seeing as how I've been doing this 5 years."
"Well, guess that shows how high up you are in the TRL totem pole," I replied.
He laughed, shaking his head in disbelief. As he headed down the hall, he stopped to take a look at the studio schedule, which lists what talent is placed in what dressing room. When he saw that he was, in fact, not assigned to his own dressing room, he exclaimed "Well ain't that some shit!" and walked away.

An hour after this incident, he was called to the stage to shoot the Live Hit (the promo which airs 10 minute before TRL saying what's happening on that day's show). He asked the stage manager if he could hit the bathroom first, and was told yes but that he had less than 5 minutes until the LH.
With 3 minutes to go, no sign of Qud-dus.
Ditto 2 minutes, even after he had been paged over the intercom system.
With 19 seconds to air, Qud-dus strolls through the control. At this point he has been eliminated from the LH. Our producer asks where the hell he's been.
"Sorry, I was in the bathroom and lost track of time."
And thus he cemented his place in the bottom of the totem pole.

Friday, November 18, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Ryan Reynolds dropped by yesterday to promote Just Friends. Since both he and Vanessa have now had fat-suit experience, we had them battle it out in a sumo-wrestling challenge. And while watching them spar on-set was exciting enough, the true highlights occurred backstage when the pair tried out some synchronized Robot Dancing, followed by Ryan attempting to mount Vanessa from behind. Truly a sight to behold.

Went to see local NY band Valeze last night at Pianos, and must say I had a blast. The lead singer Tiffany Randol, who I had previously seen at the Losers Lounge Tribute to Stevie Wonder, is the product of a menage-a-trois among Shirley Manson, Joan Jett, and Debbie Harry… if such a thing were possible. For 45 minutes the band tore through a set of synth-punk cranked up to 11. Their sound is much harder in person than the studio versions found on their site, but it kept the crowd in a frenzy the entire time. $8 well spent.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Yes, there have been other lists of the worst album covers of all time, but this one is definitely the most exhaustive. I think my favorite is Ultimate Spinach - "The Box" (page 2). Although Ted Nugent - "Scream Dream" (page 5) is always good for a laugh. And the Lords of Acid - "Pussy" one (page 7) is pretty good, although the story behind it can't be true.

Nice article from this week's New York Observer lamenting the inevitible end of Arrested Development. What a shame it would be to lose this show. I've heard rumors that Showtime might pick up the show if Fox does cancel it, which I guess would be a decent move (although I'd then have to start subscribing to Showtime). Whatever happens, it's too bad AR never caught on with a bigger audience... it deserved to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What does TRL VJ Vanessa do in her free time? She dresses up in a fat suit, of course.

I'm so sick of hearing car alarms. Why do people still buy them? And why do manufacturers still make them? I doubt they deter robbers at all, and they certainly no longer cause any sort of reaction from people on the street.
At this point, don't you think a better idea would be to make car alarms more like ringtones? Car owners can personalize them with a song that most people don't like, such as Hilary Duff's "Wake Up" or Clay Aiken's "Invisible." That way, if a thief is actually trying to break into a car, he'll probably be embarrassed to be associated with that song and run away. And if it goes off accidentally, at least hearing a bad song is better than that annoying alarm.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tilly & the Wall is in the process of recording a new album, and they're keeping a running diary of their progress. Check it out here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Synergy Fitness Clubs suck suck suck suck suck!
I went to work out on Saturday afternoon (yes I do work out, even though it may not appear that way), and upon my arrival was greeted by a darkened gym, locked door, and posted signs saying that due to financial difficulties, this location would be closed effective immediately.
Yes, it vanished overnight.
The sign continued, saying that members could transfer their membership to the location 20 blocks away or send a request for a pro-rated credit. They make no specific mention of whether I will actually get a credit if I request one… but I do still have 9 months left on my membership, so I better.
For now, I'm stuck looking for a new gym, most of which are two or three times as expensive as Synergy, and further away from my apartment. But I guess I got what I paid for.

Friday, November 11, 2005

TRL Moments of the Week
In honor of Spankin New Music Week: Now and Next, I'm picking a choice moment from each day for your reading pleasure…

Pharrell makes an entrance to the show by driving up in his $1.1 million black Enzo Ferrari (the one that appears in his video "Can I Have It Like That"). He pulls up to the curb, Vanessa does a quick interview with him, then after tossing to a video starts to lead him inside. Pharrell begins to follow her, then stops in his tracks, looks back at the car idling in the street with the doors open, and says "Yo, what's gonna happen to my car?"

Australian twin sisters The Veronicas make their first visit to TRL. As Damien is dong a Get To Know segment with them, he asks what artist people would be surprised to know they like. One of them says "k.d. Lang," then quickly adds "We like boys, but we like her music."

Damien is interviewing Hilary Duff, who has brought the premiere of her new video. They discuss the fact that Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji helped her write material for her "Most Wanted" album. He asks her if she'd ever write material for GC, and she says no… to which Damien says "Well it probably wouldn't work, since you basically write about puppies and stuff."
She was not pleased.

Green Day finally agreed to perform on TRL. And not 1, not 2, but 3 songs! Unfortunately, when the band shows up (late) for soundcheck, it seems that drummer Tre Cool is so hungover, he needs to be hooked up to an IV. And our medical staff is not licensed to do such a complicated procedure. So actual paramedics were called in, strapped Tre to a gurney, and started pumping him full of fluids.
(He did manage to make it through all 3 songs, albeit with an extreme look of nausea the entire time. And they were amazing.)

In a slap-to-the-face of classic-rock lovers around the world, Lindsay Lohan informs us that she wants to do a medley of her current single ("Confessions of a Broken Heart") and either Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" or Stevie Nicks' "Edge of 17." A collective shudder ran through the staff.
(She ended up doing "I Want You to Want Me," which was surprisingly palatable... at least by her standards)

While it's no surprise to anybody that Paris Hilton only has one facial expression, this is still pretty funny.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This video is like an episode of The Surreal Life on wheels: Paris Hilton, Stavros Niarchos, Talon from Laguna Beach, and Kimberly Stewart (Rod's daughter) driving drunk, slamming their car into parked trucks, and talking their way out trouble with the police.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm sure all the Star Wars geeks have already seen this, but if not, here's the Easter Egg from the new Revenge of the Sith DVD of Yoda dancing to hip-hop.

A camera crew is following my boss today for A Day in the Life of Television, documenting what happens on a typical day at TRL.

So it probably wasn't the best idea for me to wear my Mary Carey for Governor t-shirt.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Wow, this is the most expensive protein drink I've ever heard of.

The Happy Tree Friends may not be as clever as Itchy & Scratchy, but you can't go wrong with gratuitous violence against adorable cartoon animals.
(I think my favorite is The Way You Make Me Wheel)

Monday, November 07, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
This is an actual transcript from last Thursday's show:

Susie: Here with Dax Shepard, star of the movie ZAthura.
(Dax gives her a strange look, as the title is pronouned zaTHURa)
Susie: Now in ZAthura...
Dax: zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa zaTHURa.
Susie: Sorry, ZAthura.
Dax: In the movie I play... (at this point he takes the interview into his own hands)
(cut to 45 seconds later)
Susie: Well thanks so much for stopping by. Everyone be sure to check out ZAthura...
Dax: zaTHURa!
Susie: ZA-THURa next Friday.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It Was a Graveyard Smash
Jimmy Kimmel has finally figured out a way to get me to watch his late-night show: get Bobby Brown and Mike Tyson to sing a duet of "Monster Mash." Hilarious!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies is playing a rare NYC at the tiny Supper Club on November 28th. Q104 pre-sale password is OTHER. Go get those tix!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mommy Dearest
My parents were in town, and I had dinner with them at Sparks (best steaks in Manhattan). My mom is notorious for being unhappy with her meal and sending her order back, or at least looking sad and simply picking at her food. So imagine my surprise that we made it through - at a steakhouse, no less - without incident. I should've known better.
When her decaf coffee came, along with milk and an assortment of sweeteners, she says to the (non-English-speaking busboy), "There's no Splenda."
"What?" he replied.
My mom lifted her purse off the floor, opened up, and removed a plastic baggie filled with Splenda packets.
"You should serve Splenda. It's the only one that's truly healthy."
She then hands the packet to the busboy.
"Splenda?" he repeated. He turned the packet over in his hands, confused.
"Yes, Splenda. It's the only one I use."
At that point the busboy attempted to hand the packet back to my mother, but she refused.
"No, keep it. You should show it to the chef."
"The chef?"
"Yeah, you can give it to him."
"Okay," the busboy replied before slinking away.
I don't know if Sparks will now stock Splenda in its sweetener assortments. But maybe they shouldn't be so quick to follow my mom's advice...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Leave Me Lying Here, Cause I Don't Wanna Go
The new Veruca Salt tour must be doing massive business, based on this e-mail I received today:

Hello Friends,

Veruca Salt will be performing live tonight at Canal Room.
We are giving away two complimentary tickets to the first 25 people that respond to this e-mail.
If you are one of the 25 people we will e-mail you with a confirmation.

Doors open @ 7:30 pm, Show @ 8:00 pm
Veruca Salt with special guest The Lovemakers and Porselain

Canal Room

Monday, October 31, 2005

I think this may be a first for Major League Baseball... at least, a first that doesn't include Mike Piazza.

It's Halloween, and I've just been given a slight scare... after months of hearing how sick he is of the Army and that he's anxiously awaiting his return to the U.S. so that he can start a normal civilian life, I get this e-mail from my friend stationed in Iraq:

Hi all
First off, sorry for being out of touch for so long, however circumstances were out of my control. Secondly, for all those who sent packages, thank you. I understand that blanket thank you’s are less flattering than personal responses, but I’m limited by time. At any rate, the guys and I have enjoyed all the food and supplies sent over. Life of army chow and MREs grows old, so it’s nice to mix things up every now and again.
As for our current situation, Ramadi is a tough town. We’ve had some difficult losses and are stretched thin on both manpower and vehicle strength. Right now it’s just a waiting game until the units in Kuwait come to relieve us. Rumors as always circulate as to when that might happen, but Jan 26th sounds like a common date for flights home.
I’m doing fine though my motivation rollercoasters daily. Like I said, Ramadi is a tough town and it gets to all of us. I don’t know what the army plans to achieve here, but they need to Fallujah this place and restore some sense of balance. There are neighborhoods here we just cede to the insurgents because we get our asses handed to us every time we roll through. So it’s become a standoff game, we’ve circled the wagons and are waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I’m not sure how the rest of Iraq is faring, from the Stars and Stripes one would think it’s all according to plan. I guess that’s why they don’t send journalists to our town. Some of the "headlines" we read on CNN make us laugh, they should send some dudes here for a month. We’ve figured out that once the cameras appear then nothing’s happening in that area anymore. Has anybody seen any pictures of al Qaim, Haditha, Habaniya, or good ole’ Ramadi lately…thought not.
Anyway, sorry to get you all down with my venting, but that’s news around here. We can’t wait to see this city destroyed and get the hell out.
As to my personal plans, I’m waiting for leave when I return to decide for certain. I will spend a couple weeks in California with my best bud Jon to see what opportunities are lying in wait. However, I still have the Army bug. In spite of all the BS (and there’s a lot), I enjoy the work. If I could eliminate the dress right dress junk and just boil it down to the job, I’d stay for another tour. But then again, who knows? The civilian life is mighty tempting…I’ll just wait and see.
Ok, enough for now. Take care and I hope contact you all again soon.
ps here's a recent pic...enjoy

While I'm thrilled to hear he could be headed home in January, this prospect of re-enlisting is not a pleasant one. I don't understand how he can constantly bitch and moan about his surroundings and experiences but still have the "Army bug." I guess I never will understand unless I've done what he's done. And I hope that will never happen.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The concept behind these Yacht Rock shorts is genius: fictional backstories of some of the most popular late-70s/early-80s soft rock hits from artists like Kenny Loggins, Hall & Oates, and Michael McDonald. The execution, however, is only intermittently successful. But worth at least a watch or two.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last night's South Park episode featured a hilarious storyline in which the boys think that the girls have a device that actually predicts the future and form a plot to steal it from them. The device is in fact one of those paper things elementary school kids fold and put on their fingers, then say colors and numbers to flip them until they eventually uncover their fortune. I had no idea what these things were called when I discussed the show with a co-worker, but according to this website on how to design them, they're called Cootie Catchers. Which does not sound right at all. Anyone know it's real name?
By the way, the Google search used to find this website: Paper future predict.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Giving Brians (er, Brions) a Good Name
Last night's Jon Brion concert at Canal Room (the 10:30 show) was, in a word, fuckingamazing. After a late start (11:15-ish), he played an hour-and-a-half set filled with original tunes, jams, and covers (everything from Beatles to Kanye West to Psychedelic Furs to Fats Waller). Some songs were played just on guitar, some just on piano, but the amazing moments were when he would turn into a one-man band. He starts at the drum kit, playing anywhere from 4 to 32 bars, then looping it. As the drums continue to play, he heads to the piano and plays a sequence, looping that as well. Then on to the electric guitar, which he modifies into a bass to loop a bass line. Then maybe he'll loop a guitar part or 3 before playing the lead guitar line in real time while singing. You've never seen anything like it.
Around 1am, he ended his official set but invited people to stick around for some fun. He came back out 30 minutes later to play another full set made up solely of requests. He can play almost anything the crowd shouted out ("Life on Mars," "Sail Away," "Hook Line & Sinker")… his wealth of musical knowledge is staggering. Just to know all the lyrics is an accomplishment, let alone to be able to play the songs, on multiple instruments, simultaneously.
After another hour (and many pints of Guinness), he finally thanked the crowd and stumbled offstage. It's a concert I won't soon forget.
For all you New Yorkers, he has added another show tonight at Canal Room… and West Coast readers, he plays every Friday night at Largo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How could Scott Weiland stoop so low?

Monday, October 24, 2005

The epic Green Day video for "Jesus of Suburbia" (at least the 9-minute version, not the 14-minute one) is up on MySpace (you may have to be a registered user to see it). And based on the amount of sex, drinking, and coke-snorting in the first 30 seconds, I'm guessing we won't be showing it too soon on TRL.
(note: if the link doesn't work, go to the music section, then click on videos and search by either band or song)

Things I Learned from Watching Mr. T's Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool
- If you're going to create a new word, it's hard to come up with a better one than "absoludicrous."
- Fergie had not yet had her first face-lift at age 9 (see photo), although she might still have been in her
pants-wetting phase. She also wanted to be a baseball player when she grew up, even though she swings like crap.
- If you cannot afford a gym membership, you can get a damn fine workout by repeatedly lifting a boom box and by doing squats with a bag of popcorn on your head.
- If you're a fat kid, Mr. T will make fun of you.
- To prevent yourself from looking foolish when you trip, pretend to breakdance when you hit the floor. Then people will applaud you instead of laugh at you.
Treat your mother right.
- If you're being pressured to drink or smoke when you're underage, having New Edition around to sing a motivational song will help you just say no.

Thank you for the lessons, Mr. T!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Here's one toy I would never want a kid to play with.

And here's one toy I would never want an adult to play with.

TRL Moment of the Week
Two big musical legends dropped by this week: Madonna on Monday and Stevie Wonder on Tuesday. Madonna looked much smaller, frailer, and less curvaceous in person, but she was also incredibly nice and easy-going (although she still manages to drive certain people out of their minds). Stevie Wonder was much bigger and more curvaceous than I expected, but was just as nice and easy-going, if a little overwhelmed by the TRL experience.
I did wonder whether Stevie realized that his sunglasses had the abbreviation for his new album written on the side (sorry you can't really see it in the picture). If not, that's about the most offensive product placement I've ever come across.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wow, a bizarre thing happens when you Google the word "love" in Google images. Check out the last picture on the 1st page.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm amazed that Jon Brion's concerts at the Canal Room have not sold out. My friend convinced me to buy a ticket, and the closer we get to the show, the more I excited I've become. Here's what NY Magazine has to say about it:
One-Night Stand: A California songster comes east, and may bring friends.
Jon Brion:
The Los Angeles singer-songwriter and producer—he’s worked on everything from Fiona Apple’s great new Extraordinary Machine to the soundtrack of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—plays a rare set of shows at the intimate Canal Room this week. His longtime residency at the Hollywood club Largo regularly draws surprise guest appearances from the likes of Michael Stipe, Elvis Costello, and Kanye West, and there’s no reason to expect less on this coast.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

There is a fairly lengthy criticism of the current season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in New York Observer, and after an amusing first episode, I have to agree that the show has lost its way. The fun of the show used to be in the way Larry (mis)handled everyday situations. Now the show is pushing his experiences out of the realm of reality. It is also lingering way too long on jokes (pharmacist / doctor... oh, and if Larry does his questioning stare one more time, I may turn the show off for good) and unnecessarily tying all storylines together at the end (Did we really need the tooth fairy to visit Larry? Did we really need Cofey to carve his name on a door at the retirement home?). Between that and the disaster that is Extras, I'm thoroughly disappointed in HBO's Sunday night line-up. Here's hoping the eventual return of The Sopranos can turn things around.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Yes, Elizabethtown sucks, and the end road-trip montage is interminable... but enter this contest for a chance to meet Cameron Crowe on VH1 Classic (and discuss his good movies like Say Anything). Oh, and it's a tough challenge that makes you list your 12 favorite songs. Marinate on that for a while...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Saw the Loser's Lounge Tribute to Stevie Wonder last night. This was my 2nd LL show, and it didn't stack up to the Queen tribute, but it was still a fantastic show. Their posse of NYC musicians is top-of-the-line. Of particular note were Tiffany Randol (lead singer of Valeze), who rocked out to "Superstition," Carlton Smith, who had the crowd eating out of his hand during "Livin' for the City," Julia Greenberg, whose "I Believe When I Fall in Love" was beautiful despite terrible tech problems, and Sean Altman's "Tears of a Clown." You have 2 chances to see them tonight and 2 tomorrow, and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It seems that in the UK, the Axl look is back!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

These people have the guts to say what all Americans really think about Canada.

I read IMDB's news sections every day, but this story from today is by far my favorite of all time:

Prinze Jr.'s "Cracked Rib" Is Pain From Over-Eating
Freddie Prinze Jr. has stepped forward to sheepishly disclose that the pain he recently described as a "cracked rib" is actually just discomfort from eating too much Chinese food. Last week, the actor, married to his Scooby-Doo co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar, claimed he got out of bed in New York City with a mysteriously cracked rib. But he now admits that over-indulgence at one of his favorite restaurants is more likely the cause of his pain. He says, "(My rib) is not cracked. It's officially torn muscles between two ribs. I ate a lot and my stomach was a little upset and I went to bed and I woke up the next day and I felt like I broke a rib. (I ate) a lot of Chinese food. My favorite little place in New York is a place called Chun Lee and they have a lot of food and I ate all of it. It hurts really bad. They gave me Vicodin, but I can't take too much of that because I have to work. So they gave me these anti-inflammatories, but they make me throw up, which tears the muscle more, so it's not really that helpful."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This list brings me back to the good ol' days when The Simpsons was actually funny...

Sweet Revenge
Here's a great video of Eugene Mirman responding to a batch of hate e-mails from a pair of asshole frat boys.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Is anyone else annoyed that Ashlee Simpson performed on this weekend's Saturday Night Live? Didn't it used to be an honor to perform on SNL as opposed to a publicity stunt? And what happened Lorne Michaels' outrage that Ashlee used a backing track last season, supposedly the first time that's ever happened on the show? There are plenty of worthy, talented musicians who are much more deserving of the slot than this two-bit hack who couldn't even finish her current single before running out of breath.
And while I'm on the subject, this past episode was one of the worst I've ever seen. Forgetting the basic lack of funny material, it was simply sloppy from a technical standpoint. The cast (especially in the first scene) appeared to have never read the material before, as they couldn't take their eyes off the cue cards. A commercial parody was interrupted with an establishing shot from an upcoming scene. The director would choose shots of characters who weren't speaking. The cast kept blowing their lines.
On second thought, maybe Ashlee Simpson is the only artist who would stoop low enough to appear on the show.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I don't know what this is or where it came from, but it's hilarious.

TRL Moment of the Week
On Monday, Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette were here to promote In Her Shoes. In the middle of the stunt (called "These Shoes Are Made For Talkin'"... clever, eh?), a guy in the audience suddenly gets up, walks over to Cameron, and puts his hand on her shoulder. Cameron barely had time to react to the kid (actually he was 23-years old) before he was tackled by one of our stage managers and removed from the studio.
Afterwards, our audience coordinator could be heard bellowing at him, "I hope you know you're getting arrested. You're gonna go to jail. I hope it was worth it, cause you're fucking going to jail. Was it? Was it worth it?" When the guy's response was too calm for her, she got the guy's phone number and called his house to make sure that he wasn't on medication. The guy's very apologetic sister explained that no, he is not on any meds... he's just "abnormal and doesn't have a lot of friends. But he was real excited to come to TRL so he could meet the celebrities!"

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We've all seen the redone trailer for The Shining. Now here's two more... they're not as good, but still worth a watch.
- Titanic
- West Side Story

McRorie is opening for Beck tonight, and based on his site, I cannot wait.

What the Buc?
Wow, all I can say is that Tampa Bay has got some HUGE balls for putting this up on their official website...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sorry for my lack of posting, but most of my blog energy has been devoted to the A-Rod / Ortiz debate I started. My bad.

On a positive note, how can Arrested Development possibly get any better (especially after the Bob Loblaw / Analrapist episode)? Why, add a touch of The Office (UK version).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Reasons Why A-Rod Should Win the MVP Over Ortiz
1) Ortiz is a DH. People have been arguing that this shouldn’t prevent him from winning the award, and they are right, if his stats had been so head-and-shoulders above anyone else’s. But they’re not (more on that later). And even if they were, which they’re not, baseball isn’t only about scoring runs… it’s about preventing them, too. And Ortiz didn’t contribute to that at all, while A-Rod was one of the best at arguably the toughest position in baseball.
2) A-Rod had a better season statistically. Sure, Ortiz had more RBI’s. But A-Rod led in batting average (by 20 points!), homers, runs, hits, stolen bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. In fact, A-Rod led the league in 4 statistical categories, and was top 2 in 2 others. Ortiz only led in RBI and was top 2 in 3 others. The numbers don’t lie.
3) A-Rod often batted 2nd in the Yankee line-up, which limited his RBI opportunities. Meanwhile, Ortiz batted almost exclusively in the 3 or 4 hole. More RBI chances = more RBI's.
4) The Yanks won their division. The Red Sox came in second. The MVP should follow suit.
5) I hate the Red Sox and love the Yanks.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Judd Apatow has kept a diary this week on Slate. Not the most fascinating read, but Wednesday has a great story about him, Ben Stiller, and the Rolling Stones, and Thursday features a shout-out to Weird Al Yankovic.

So I subscribe to this British gossip newsletter (it's like the UK version of Gossiplist, but generally less interesting). However, today's issue had one of the most bizarre links I've ever come across. It leads to many unanswered questions:
1) Who in their right mind comes up with the idea of a mail-order sex-toy rental company?
2) Who in their right mind would willingly pay to borrow used sex toys?
3) Wouldn't it be just as cost-effective (and healthier) to spend the monthly fee on sex toys you can buy for yourself and not have to share?
4) Why is this company using a patent-pending cleaning process on their toys? Aren't STDs serious enough that they would use something that is proven to be effective?
I'm sure there are others, but I know I've spent more than enough time thinking about this.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Jackass" Doesn't Begin to Describe...
Steve-O on Too Late with Adam Carolla. Drunk, obnoxious, destructive... that's more like it. But hey, why am I surprised?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Someone please give this girl $25...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Whip out your checkbooks to help out the victims of Hurricane Katrina and you could get a phone call from Brian Wilson.
Whip out something else, and that's your own business.

Can't wait to hear the new Franz Ferdinand album? Here ya go...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wow, I didn't realize how awkward print interviews could be until I read this one with Stephen Colbert from yesterday's New York Times Magazine. Smooth sailing right up until the tenth question, and then BAM!

Friday, September 23, 2005

What's Second?
I've never watched Big Brother, so I'm not really familiar with how annoying Julie Chen is. Yet I still think this "But first" montage is hilarious.

Last night I went to a party for Found Magazine, which publishes items (mostly letter and photographs) that readers have found on the street. It's such a simple but brilliant concept. You can check out submissions on their website... there seems to be an endless supply if you keep clicking on "More Finds" on the right side of the page.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

This made me laugh so hard, I peed my pants. Well, not actually... I mean, who do you think I am, Jenny McCarthy?

I'm Oscar. Dot com.
If you watched Monday's season premiere of Arrested Development (and not many of you did, because it apparently tanked in the ratings), you will appreciate this site. Entry #41 is the best.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Neil Young's new album is streaming here. I haven't had a chance to listen yet, but during React Now, MTV's Hurricane Katrina benefit, Chris Rock was excitedly telling people that he's name-checked in the lyrics to one of the songs. Happy hunting...

Thanks to my friend Mike for finding this old-school Nintento commercial for The Legend of Zelda. Few notes to the producers, though:
1) Your rap sucks.
2) Nobody called it the Nintendo Entertainment System.
3) Nice beatbox by the kid going "wicka wicka."
4) Parents will hook up the Nintendo? Really? My parents are clueless when it comes to technology.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The newest cast of The Surreal Life has been announced, and it includes members of the The Brady Bunch, Poison, and The Jeffersons, plus the greatest human windshield wiper ever, Tawny Kitaen. Nice!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Last night I officially began my boycott of current episodes of The Simpsons, and to be honest, I don't miss it at all. But in case I do get an urge, I can hold off thanks to this site a dear reader sent to me which is funnier than anything that's been on the show in years: clips of the season premiere with the "blind-assist" function turned on, so that an overly-excited voice narrates the action. Brilliant!
(Note: sadly, not all of the clips work)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wild Like Children
Congrats are due to Tilly & the Wall. They played an amazing show last night at the Knitting Factory, headlining the Team Love CMJ show, and also have officially sold more than 10,000 copies of their album (as announced before their set by Conor Oberst), which is a huge accomplishment for a relatively new band on a small indie label with little (as in no) radio or TV exposure. Old songs sounded great, and new ones showed great promise... I can't wait to hear how they turn out on the next album, which will hopefully be out in early Spring. The show featured the most energetic audience I've seen at one of their gigs, yet the band remains as humble as always, stubbornly awed by the crowd response (let alone attendance) to their show. As their fanbase grows and hopefully 10,000 records sold turns into 100,000, let's hope they learn to recognize that they deserve it.

The gang's all here (almost)... from left to right: Derek, Jamie, Neely, and Kianna (not pictured: Nick, who was blocked from my view by the side of the stage... sorry Nick). Did they rock? As Derek's shirt says, "totally totally."

Not only do Neely and Kianna sing and look like sirens, but they can both jam on bass. In Kianna's words, it was "fucking sweet." Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2005

Get Bored or Cry Tryin'
To save my valued readers the hardship of finding out for themselves, here's a quick breakdown of the upcoming 50 Cent movie Get Rich or Die Tryin', which I saw yesterday:
-Take the movie Scarface.
-Replace Al Pacino with 50, who has one facial expression for all emotions.
-Instead of ending the movie when the main character gets shot a million times, add on the end of Hustle & Flow (but make it about 20 minutes longer).
-Include stupid voiceover such as "I never knew my father. All I knew is that he wasn't white. And he wasn't a cop, black or white."
-Oh, and remove anything remotely interesting, exciting, or dramatic.

Fox has got to stop trying to insert cute throwaway jokes into their hour-long dramas, because they are always, ALWAYS lame. They instantly cause me to tune out and never return. Out of two new shows I've tried watching this season, both have suffered from this malady.

First up was Prison Break. At the start of the show, when the main character is holding up the bank, he has this exchange with a teller:
Robber: Where's the bank manager?
Teller: He's having lunch at White Castle.
Robber: (incredulous) What!?!
Teller: It's a fast food restaurant that serves those mini-square hamburgers.


The next perpetrator? Reunion, which had this exchange between two friends who just graduated high school (in 1986).
Guy: I don't know, that seems a little too St. Elmo's Fire.
Girl: You cried during St. Elmo's Fire.
Guy: (stammering) I told you, it was ragweed season. There was a lot of pollen in the air.


Fortunately, I can still get my quality humor from South Park, which was just renewed for 3 more seasons and which finally won a well-deserved, long-overdue Emmy for Best Animated Show. Congrats!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here's a quick story of one of the worst pick-up attempts I've ever witnessed.
It happened on Tuesday night at a bar that was holding a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina... $20 for 4 hours of open bar. I was there with a bunch of co-workers. A couple hours into the night, I heard that one of the partiers had taken a liking to a female co-worker, but was too intimidated by her to do anything about it, claiming that she was out of his league. But after a few more drinks, his confience had been raised enough to allow him to approach her with this line:
"You know, I came here tonight for two reasons. One, to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. And two, to find a nice Irish girl like you."
Needless to say, it was not a well-received opening. And she remains out of his league.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hey hey hey, it's Fat Dynamite!

Who did you think it was? Gosh!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I pity the fool who won't watch I Pity the Fool.

I also pity the fool who greenlit it, as it's sure to be one of the worst shows of all time.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Nomer* Homer
That's it. I'm officially never watching a new episode of The Simpsons ever again. Last night's 17th season premiere was the last straw. I'm sick of them recycling material (the joke about Homer going to the outhouse and his cousin saying "We don't have an outhouse… my recording studio!" was used in part 2 of "Who Shot Mr. Burns" with Grandpa saying he's going to use the outhouse, Lisa saying they don't have one, and Homer exclaiming "My toolshed!"). I'm sick of storylines where Marge leaves Homer, finds a much better man, but goes back to Homer in the end. But the joke that really did it for me was this exchange:

(Homer in a boat is surrounded by a gang of menacing kids on jet-skis when Alec Baldwin's character pulls up in a boat)
Alec Baldwin's Character: I have this court order preventing you from riding those jet-skis.
Gang Leader: Your court order doesn't scare us. (beat) Oh my God, it's notarized. Let's get out of here!

Funny? Not by a long shot. And yet this type of joke is used over and over and over. And I'm sick of it.
So Simpsons, I wish you goodbye, good luck, and good riddance.

* (pronounced "no more")

Actually, this was my favorite moment from React Now: John Corbett looking like a cross between Fabio and the lead singer of Creed.

React Now... and how!
Saturday was a long (16-hour) day working at React Now, MTV's benefit for Hurricane Katrina. But I think we can unequivocally say that the show was a success (even the typically anti-MTV NY Times agreed). Performance highlights included Neil Young, Fiona Apple, Pearl Jam, Alan Jackson, Audioslave, Melissa Etheridge, Trent Reznor, Common, and Allen Toussaint. Lowpoints included Motley Crue f/ Chester Bennington, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 (particularly Bono's awkward drum solo), Kanye West, and Maroon 5. You can watch all of the performances and download certain songs here.
Our show was in stark contrast to Shelter from the Storm, the telethon that aired on the 6 major networks on Friday night, which was filled with technical glitches, shots lingering on hosts looking confused after their reads, and unnecessary eavesdropping on phone calls (can Mandy Moore say anything other than "Oh my God"?)... the lone standout was Foo Fighters' killer take on "Born on the Bayou." React Now also hopefully redeemed MTV from the post-Live 8 backlash. I'm glad I could take part in an event that turned out so well and was for such a good cause.

Friday, September 09, 2005

An Unexpected Moment of Sincerity from LastStop
I will spend about 15 hours tomorrow working on React Now: Music & Relief, MTV's benefit show for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's 4 hours, commercial-free, almost entirely comprised of around 40 performances from MTV favorites like Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Ludacris to rock acts like Pearl Jam, Audioslave, and Motley Crue to legendary acts like Brian Wilson, Rolling Stones, and Neil Young to country acts like Alan Jackson, Big & Rich, and Hank Williams Jr. You can watch it on any MTV channel (MTV, MTV2, MTVU, VH1, VH1 Classic, and CMT) starting Saturday night at 8pm. Please do (or at the very least Tivo or DVR it and fast-forward through the acts you don't like), and please donate whatever you can (money, clothes, blood, time) to help.

This video of Celine Dion doing a Michael Jackson impression is at least a couple months old, but I just saw it for the first time. And hopefully the last.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It
You MUST check out the new issue of Seventeen Magazine (the MTV Celebrity Special with Kristen from Laguna Beach on the cover). Specifically, pages 84-85. You don't even have to buy it... just go to a newsstand and flip to that page. I won't tell you why... you need to discover it for yourself. But believe me, it will BLOW YOUR MIND!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Worked to Death
Yesterday I had my 3rd doctor's appointment to check my blood pressure, and it's still too high... and now I have to buy an automatic blood pressure monitor (which isn't covered by insurance) to test myself at home 3 times a week.
I didn't realize that coming up with new ways to introduce crappy videos everyday was so stressful... but apparently, it is.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Music News
1) The reunited Cream will be playing 3 nights at The Garden in October.
2) You can stream the new Dandy Warhols album here.
3) Beck is playing Hammerstein Ballroom October 6th. Pre-sale starts Friday morning... password is Girl.

Why Old People Suck, Reason #239
They get night terrors.
During the day.
In the middle of a Broadway show.
At least an old woman sitting 2 rows behind me during The Pillowman did this weekend. She kept falling asleep, then waking up with a start, yelling to her husband "Jimmy!!! What's going on?!?"
It happened 5 times, and during the most dramatic points of the first act. It didn't phase the actors, at least not noticably, but her antics annoyed the audience considerably. Luckily the couple left during intermission and never returned.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is alive and well. And apparently he drinks at Blondie's on the Upper West Side on Saturday nights.

Friday, September 02, 2005

If these Madonna Condoms are really like the singer, then they're wrinkled, past their prime, and have already been jizzed in by countless men.

Had my fantasy football draft last night... 10 teams, all fairly knowledgeable. I had the 7th pick, which is one of, if not the, worst spot in the draft. But here's how I did (round chosen is in parenthesis):

QB: Marc Bulger (5)
QB: Byron Leftwich (12)
RB: Deuce McAllister (1)
RB: Corey Dillon (2)
RB: Fred Taylor (8)
RB: Mike Anderson (11)
RB: Ricky Williams (13)
WR: Chad Johnson (3)
WR: Javon Walker (4)
WR: Jerry Porter (7)
WR: Ashley Lelie (9)
TE: Jason Witten (6)
TE: LJ Smith (14)
Def: Pittsburgh (10)
K: Josh Brown (15)

I have a good crop of receivers, especially getting Johnson with the 27th pick. My running backs are solid but not spectacular... ditto quarterbacks. Getting Pittsburgh's D so late is a steal, and I'm hoping Ricky Williams gets traded from the Dolphins and turns in a monster season... could be the best pick of the draft, or a waste... only time will tell.
After winning this league in back-to-back seasons, it'll be tough to reach the 3-peat.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Here are some tasty nuggets from the new book "Serving From the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning," written by Venus & Serena Williams. When reading them, bear in mind that these women are 25 and 23-years-old, respectively.
- Imagine what the world would be like without dreams… there would be no electricity or sliced bread or stoplights or television.
- Don't let others trick you into believing that being educated isn't cool. Karate-chop those people out of your life and keep right on studying and learning!
- Friendship is like tennis - it's all about the back and forth.
- Lemonade is one of Serena's favorite drinks - which makes sense, since she sure does know how to make something sweet out of a sour situation.
- We bathe or take a shower every day.
- Now that I'm an adult… I'm starting to develop crushes on guys. Crushes are so much fun!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

AOL has been doing a Battle of the Bands all summer long. It's 3 categories: Pop, Indie, and Classic Rock. They're up to round 6, which in the Classic Rock category has Def Leppard vs. Paul McCartney. So far, the boys of Def Lep are kicking ass! Vote to make sure that this keeps up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Playlist from this Sunday's New York Times Arts & Leisure section featured Mark Romanek giving his favorite current music videos. After some investigative work, I've discovered that the two best ones are "Romantic Death" by The Sun and Aphex Twin's "Rubber Johnny."
But feel free to disagree.

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
This is a cool article where sketch artists had to draw celebrities based on descriptions of them in the press. Although I doubt there are many crimes being solved with their help.

Nice photo of the Jets' new punter in the New York Post.
Oh, and the guy grabbing his nuts looks pretty happy too.

Friday, August 26, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
We held a contest to give away a trip to Sunday's VMA's including flight, hotel, and 2 tickets to the event. It started as a karaoke contest on Monday, and then the 2 finalists came back on Tuesday to answer trivia questions about VMA-nominated videos. As the two girls tied (getting a mere 2 out of 5 correct), we went to the tie-breaker questions: How many miles is it from our Times Square studio to the American Airlines Arena in Miami?
The correct answer: 1,298 miles
Girl #1's response: 2,168 miles
Girl #2's response: 20,000 miles
Yes, 20,000 miles. Which would be close to correct if, instead of traveling south, we measured the distance heading north and going all the way around the earth.
Congrats to the winner, girl #1.

For all you hardcore 40-Year-Old Virgin fans, the website has some deleted scenes from the movie (most of which were rightfully cut out, but some of which are entertaining) in the Andy's Life section.

And has anyone else noticed the missing hyphen between 40 and Year? (or am I the only nerd who has?) Some posters have it right, some have it wrong... the website has it wrong... the soundtrack has it wrong... I can't remember if it's right in the credits of the movie or not... anyone know? Anyone care?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Kanye West's new album is streaming online here.

Also, I just heard that there's an E! True Hollywood Story on Blossom! I'm setting my DVR as soon as I get home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I have a new dessert obsession to replace Ben & Jerry's cookie-dough-balls-covered-in-frozen-hot-fudge (that only seem to be available at the location on 9th & 3rd): deep fried Oreos. You can get them at Righteous Urban BBQ (a.k.a. R.U.B.). After a gut-busting meal on Sunday of pulled pork, pastrami, and pork ribs (plus french fries seasoned with brown sugar), I couldn't resist ordering a basket of them for dessert. They come 4 in an order, looking like a golfball-sized funnel cake covered in powdered sugar. Bite into one and you'll taste a giant glob of warm Oreo filling. Soon your heart starts to beat really hard against your chest from the cholesterol pumping through your veins. Then you have to take another bite. And another. Until it's all gone and you're momentarily sad but also scared because your heart is still beating very hard. Eventually your heart slows back to normal and you fall into a gentle food coma, and all is well in the world once again.
It's been 72 hours since I ate them and I still can't stop thinking about them. Help me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting CtBL's new pride and joy, baby F. And yes, she is adorable, even with her face all scrunched up and her prune hands. She has beautiful blue eyes which open really wide to take in the world, she sticks out her tongue in response to my doing the same thing (although I can't imagine it's intentional), she's ticklish on the bottoms of her feet and under her arms, and she feels lighter than a Cabbage Patch Doll. I'm glad that mom and dad are both doing so well and enjoying their new addition… I can't wait to watch her grow up.

If you're wondering what 2 of your favorite 80's stars have been up to, wonder no more:
- Growing Pains star (and I use that term loosely) Jeremy Miller has found superstardom in China.
- Action star Steven Seagal, after traveling the world looking for herbal remedies to revive his career, has created a "new generation of Gourmet Energy Drink" called Lightning Bolt. He has also released a pop CD.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Newest Entry in the TRL Graveyard
I'm not sure if this attempt at a cold open was just so lame that my producer never responded, or if he simply overlooked it... either way, it's not happening.















Friday, August 19, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
During videos we often show random facts about that artist: tour plans, childhood nicknames, inspirations for songs, etc. But this fact about My Chemical Romance, which ran on Tuesday, is my all-time favorite:
"What is MCR's favorite rock & roll era? Glam!"
(According to this questionable website, that means MCR reveres such artists as Elton John, ABBA, The Bay City Rollers, ELO, and Poison. Somehow that seems highly unlikely to me.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

This article, which compares every MLB team to a character from The Simpsons, is brilliant. With one exception: I would hardly call the Red Sox "beloved by all."
(Thanks to my friend over at Sticking Point for e-mailing it to me)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mashing up "Pet Sounds" with Kanye West is an interesting experiment, but I wouldn't call it entirely successful.

Today I am officially closer to 30 than 20... and I don't like it one bit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In honor of National Tell-a-Joke Day, I've decided to share the most offensive joke I've ever heard... at least as much of it as I'm comfortable posting. Here goes:
What do you say to the _____ _____?
_____ to the _____ of the _____!
(To hear that joke in its entirety, you'll have to ask me in person)
(And I do not condone the message of the joke, but I do think it's funny)

Speaking of jokes, the Comedy Central Roast of Pam Anderson had me laughing harder than I have in a very long time. Amazing sets from Greg Giraldo, Lisa Lampanelli, and Nick DiPaolo, plus good moments from Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, and Andy Dick. My favorite line of the night was "Courtney Love's career dried up faster than Sarah Silverman's ___ when she meets a guy who can't help her in the industry." Even Tommy Lee performing a song from his upcoming solo album couldn't tarnish an amazing hour-and-45-minutes of programming.
One sad note, which I just discussed with Mr. Sticking Point, was the participation of Courtney Love. On drugs, off drugs, whatever she was, she was a mess. Interrupting comics, spreading her legs, stumbling down the stairs, it was a non-stop train wreck. I couldn't stop thinking how awful it must feel for her daughter to watch her mom make such an ass out of herself. And despite Courtney's repeated claims of being clean and sober for a year, is anyone surprised that a story broke last week that she failed a drug test? As terrible a situation as this would be, there is no doubt in my mind that her daughter is better off in the care of another guardian.

Monday, August 15, 2005

This parody of A-ha's "Take On Me" video has definitely been one of the highlights of the annoyingly-inconsistent new season of Family Guy. Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Tough call between two awkward VJ interactions with fans. Here are the nominees:

1) Quddus, outside on the hot and humid streets of Times Square yesterday, pointing out to a female fan he's interviewing (and to viewers around the country) that she's "sweating through her shirt."
2) Damien, trying to add spice to a boring fan whose opinion he had solicited on the new Backstreet Boys video, telling her that she "smells like custard."

I'm gonna have to call this one a tie.

Golden Girls Greatest Hits
What an amazing album this would be... if only it were real.
They should name the follow-up "Crabby Road" (ba dum dum)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I never imagined that I would ever write the following statement, but the Backstreet Boys have made a genius video. The song is called "Just Want You To Know," and it's just as bad as the usual BSB crap. But for the video, they parodied Heavy Metal Parking Lot and basically the entire 80s hair-metal scene, and they nailed it. It's brilliant. Seriously. I'm not being sarcastic. You can check it out here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

One of my friends from high school recently posted some adorable high school photos of Mary Carey, from back when she was known simply as Mary Ellen Cook. This one is my favorite. Quite a different image, huh? Although I guess she was able to put this skill to use in her current career after all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Worst... baby gift... EVER!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Jack Handey has returned with an essay in the new issue of New Yorker. It's not as funny as the majority of his Deep Thoughts, but still an entertaining read.
And while we're on the subject, I'm big on daily calendars, and the best one I ever had was a Deep Thoughts one. That was back in like 1996, and I haven't been able to find one since. Can anyone help me out? Even if it has the same entries as the '96 edition, I'd still be grateful.

Friday, August 05, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
On Tuesday, VJSusie spent part of the show on the streets of Times Square while Damien held things down inside the studio. When she came upstairs, there was a toss from Damien in one part of the studio to VJSusie in another. I scripted the toss so that Damien would ask "Feels good to be back in the air-conditioning, doesn't it?" and VJSusie would reply "Sure does" before going about her business.
A few seconds before air, I pointed it out to VJSusie and told her that she should only say "Sure does" if it actually answers his question, but to pay attention in case he phrases it differently. I'm sure you can guess how things played out...
Damien: "Now let's toss things over to (VJ)Susie, who's back upstairs. How's it feel to be in the air-conditioning?"
VJSusie: "Sure does, D. It's time for..."

High and Lo
For all you fans of the first season of Laguna Beach (and 'Lo' in particular), check out what she's been up to since heading to college...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Has anyone else noticed how similar R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" is to the Randy Newman parody from Family Guy? Check out these sample lyrics:

Family Guy
Red headed lady, reaching for an apple.
Gonna take a bite, nope, nope.
She gonna breathe on it first, wipe it on her blouse.
She takes a bite.
Chews it once, twice, three times, four times, stops!
Saliva workin', takes a hard long look at Randy...five times.
Fat old husband walking over.
Yeah, they're walking down the road
Left foot, right foot
Left foot, right foot
Left foot...

R. Kelly
He walks in the bathroom
And looks behind the door
She says, "Baby, come back to bed"
He says, "Bitch, say no more"
He pulls back the shower curtain
While she's biting her nails
Then he walks back to the room
Right now, I'm sweating like hell
Checks under the bed
Then under the dresser
He looks at the closet
I pull out my Baretta
He walks up to the closet
He comes up to the closet
Now he's at the closet
Now he's opening the closet...

You can listen to the Family Guy song here (takes a while to load)... I won't torture you with a link to the R. Kelly song.