Thursday, March 31, 2005

New Order pre-sale password is KROCK. Get those tickets while they're hot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Overheard at Troma's Toxic Avenger 21st Birthday Party Last Night
"No, the girls attack him, then make out. The zombies."
- Lloyd Kaufman, founder of Troma and director of Zombie Girls Gone Wild, which he shot at the party.
It's been almost 2 1/2 years since I worked at Troma, and although I badmouth my time there to anyone who will listen, the fact is that the people who work there are a fun bunch (or at least they are when they're out of the office, getting drunk and stoned). And Lloyd really is a genius... he manages to maintain an unlimited supply of naive women (er, girls) who are more than willing to make out with each other and take off their clothes for the sake of "art," all believing that so long as they sign a release form, their name will be listed in the credits of a "major motion picture." It still boggles my mind that the company could last 30 days, let alone 30 years, but at this point I'll simply give credit where credit is due and wish Toxie a very happy birthday.

Terri Schiavo's blog: horribly offensive or horribly funny? You be the judge.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

If there are any Meatloaf fans reading this who are dying to see him in concert (hey, don't look in my direction), you can get advance tickets to his summer tour here.

IFC has put together a pretty cool promo / music video from Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia" (at least a shortened version of it). Check it out here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Is it possible to get fat simply by looking at something? If so, glancing at the 107-grams-of-fat "Monster Thickburger" would probably do the trick.

This is an amazing source for concert bootlegs, although it is more than a little complicated to set up an account and begin downloading... if nothing else, it provides great setlists.

New Order's latest album hits stores worldwide this week, but here in the States it won't come out until April 26th. If you can't wait, you can preview it in its entirety here. They also announced a concert at Hammerstein Ballroom on May 5, but at $47.50, it's now the 3rd concert there that I want to see but won't due to inflated ticket prices (see also NIN and Garbage).

Friday, March 25, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week (Pre-show)
As we were rehearsing a segment in which Damien would take phone calls from viewers at home, someone patched in an actual fan calling to request Britney Spears, "Do Somethin'" for today's show. The conversation is being played over the P.A. system for the entire studio to hear, as will happen during the live show. Being playful and flirty, Damien starting chatting with her. She's a high school student in California. She asks if we still send out free t-shirts; Damien tells her no. Damien starts to get more intimate, which is when things totally went downhill…
Damien: So what'd you do last night?
Fan: I was at the hospital.
Damien: (awkward pause) Oh. I hope everything's alright.
Fan: Yeah…
Damien: What was wrong?
Fan: I have a cyst on my breast.
(Entire studio crew falls silent)
Fan: And I'm only 17!
Damien: (very long awkward pause) Well I hope you're doing okay. You know what, we will send you a t-shirt, and I'll autograph it and everything.
Fan: Awesome!

Almost every week, Tommy posts a Friday 10 (1st ten songs randomly played on iPod) on his site and asks people to leave comments with theirs. This is the first week I did, and I'm adding comments to that list here:

1) "Drifting" - Pearl Jam: Off their Lost Dogs album. Very simple (just vocals, guitar, and harmonica), but very moving.

2) "Til I Die" - Beach Boys: Speaking of simple but moving, this has to be one of the most depressing songs ever written. And Brian Wilson did it all with just 67 words. Killer dissonant harmonies, too.

3) "Changes" - Zombies : Odd how these songs keep having noticeable transitions. Odyssey & Oracle is one of the most underrated songs of the 60s, with tremendous harmonies. This song is almost a capella, with only bongos accompanying the vocals and strings connecting the vocal sections.

4) "Astronaut" - Calamine: I discovered them when I rented the Sealab 2021 DVD... they did the theme song. This Brooklyn-based band sounds a lot like Juliana Hatfield. So far they've only put out a 6-song EP, but supposedly they're releasing an LP soon. Although it was supposed to come out this past fall. But I'll keep waiting.

5) "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" - Four Tops: I used to hate this song, for no reason whatsoever. Now I agree it's a classic.

6) "Flaming Star" - Elvis Presley: I ordered this Elvis collection a few years back. When it arrived, I was shocked to find that the jewel case is actually a cardboard holder shaped like this. It can't fit in my CD tower. It's the last time I'll order an Australian import.

7) "Something in the Way (Unplugged)" - Nirvana: Not much to say about this song...

8) "Money Changes Everything" - Cyndi Lauper: Tommy will probably kill me, because now if someone Googles this song, it might lead to his site. Sorry.

9) "I'm Lost Without You" - blink 182: The last track on possibly the last blink album. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

10) "California Sun" - Ramones: Cover of the classic by The Rivieras, which I own on the Good Morning, Vietman soundtrack.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Yet another e-mail from my friend stationed in Iraq:

Hi all,

I'm currently en route to Qatar for a four-day R&R. Truth be told, it couldn't have come at a better time. Lately, myself and the rest of the sniper section have been frustrated by both administrative waffling and the ineptitude of those that plan our missions. In our view there are those that do and those that do from a distance. Without getting out and pounding ground with us, I think certain planning cells are losing sight of what is and what isn't effective soldiering. Sometimes it feels like their using darts and fortune tellers to determine where we go and what we do. ANYWAY...the end result is that you care less about what you're doing and are bothered more by the guys around you. Enter my current stroke of luck...

Each team is sending two of it's soldier to Quatar on four day rotations. It just so happens that Bryan (the other member of my team) and I were chosen to leave first. I'm currently at one of the major airbases in Iraq awaiting transportation to Qatar. It's pretty cool, not only can we wear civvies over there, but alcohol is back on our menus as well. Of course, we're limited to three drinks per evening, but I've heard of ways around that...

Alright, I leave you with a picture I took out on a mission I like to call "Scooby Doo's Mystery Clues" (ask me why when I get back). As you can see, the mornings and nights continue to be cold, but the days are heating up.

I'll write more as soon as I leave country.

Posted by Hello

Yes, these are the people I spend all day working to entertain...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Intern phone conversation overheard in my office earlier today:
"Yes, I need information on Mr. Brent. That's Brent. B as in boy, R as in Ralph, E as in igloo..."

Yesterday my dad turned 59. I called him around 6:30 last night to wish him a happy birthday, and we talked for about 15 minutes before I told him I had to head out to a screening of Sin City. When I got home later that night, there was a message from my dad from 8:45 asking me to call him when I got in. It led to this conversation:
Dad: Hello?
Me: Hey Dad. What's up?
Dad: Not much. What've you been up to?
Me: Just got back from my screening.
Dad: Oh, what'd you see?
Me: Sin City.
Dad: What's that?
Me: Do you not remember we had this conversation like 4 hours ago?
Dad: (pause) I know... but refresh my memory.
Senility couldn't have come on this quickly, could it? After a couple more minutes of idle chatter, I told him I had to go and quickly called my sister to discuss his awkward behavior. She told me she had a similar conversation with both my parents an hour earlier, and between our two calls, we realized that my parents were wasted. Not only that, but my sister fears that her call interrupted them "hooking up," as she says... apparently my mom kept giggling and saying how "relaxed" my dad is, and that my dad said he wants to have this birthday every year. If he's trying to cram in all the living he can do before he hits the big 6-0, I guess he's off to a good start. But it's an image my sister and I will have trouble getting out of our minds for quite some time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

When did the Union Square Stadium 14 become so friggin' expensive? $10.75 for an adult ticket... $5.50 for a small popcorn... these prices are insane, especially when they're showing crap like The Pacifier and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. A single ticket and food item costs about the same as a month-long membership to an online DVD rental company like Netflix or Blockbuster. That's ridiculous. From now on, I'll stick to the Loews 34th St. (cheapest ticket in the city: $8.99, which is still pretty sad).

Matthew McConaughey has been cruising across this great country in an RV on a trip that's equal parts Sahara promotion and Jack Kerouac fantasy. He's been keeping a journal, which you can read here (especially if you want to find out what he was doing when he "farted around on it for an hour or so" and "busted [his ass]").

Monday, March 21, 2005

On March 12th's SNL (hosted by David Spade), in the Clint Eastwood roast sketch, did anyone notice that Spade's Owen Wilson nose was actually a penis? These people did. Click on the photo in the article (or here) to make it bigger... er, to enlarge it... er, whatever.

My friend Jonny has directed a great music video that shows his love for Bloodsport and Karate Kid 2 in all its glory. Check it.

Friday, March 18, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Tuesday's guest, Ashton Kutcher, arrived with Demi in tow. In the green room before the show, Ashton pitched a joke to do on the show which treaded on sensitive material I won't get into here. The segment producer politely told him we'd rather he not make that joke. Ashton tries to plead his case when Demi's maternal instincts break through and she starts telling him that maybe he should listen to us and that if we're making a big deal out of it, it's probably part of a bigger issue. Why does she need to have a child with him when she's still so busy being his mother? I'm surprised she didn't spit on a Kleenex and wipe shmootz off his face while she was at it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I don't know how you're all planning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tonight, but I'll be going to a screening of Miss Congeniality 2 to prepare for Sandra Bullock's visit next week, then meeting my parents for dinner. Jealous?

Had my MTV fantasy baseball draft last night, and with the 10th pick out of 13, here's the roster I ended up with:
C: B. Inge
1B: T. Helton
2B: K. Matsui (not yet eligible, though)
SS: R. Fucal
3B: A. Huff
RF: J.D. Drew
CF: G. Anderson
LF: Carl Crawford
Util: K. Mench
SP: J. Peavy
SP: A.J. Burnett
SP: L. Hernandez
SP: B. Penny
SP: J. Lieber
RP: A. Benitez
RP: B. Looper
RP: C. Cordero
Bench: M. Cuddyer, R. Winn, R. Ibanez, D. Eckstein, W. Williams, K. Wells, D. Haren
I need to get another upper-tier pitcher; other than that, I think it's a pretty good team. But only time will tell...

The Jewish community on the Upper West Side must've heard about the Christians invading their turf, and they've spring to action. As I was walking home last night, I found $11 lying outside the JCC on 75th & Amsterdam. What a marketing tool! Leave money on the sidewalk for people to pick up, look around to see if anyone is trying to claim it, notice the beautiful building, and say to themselves, "Wow, what a beautiful building... I wonder what it is... Jewish Community Center, huh? Maybe I'll convert so that I can participate in its fun activities such as the Wine & Chocolate Dessert Tasting!"
Now I know what you're thinking: Jews leaving money on the sidewalk? Brian, you crazy! And maybe it isn't some brilliant scheme... maybe somebody just dropped their money by mistake. Either way, I'm spending my newfound wealth on a jumbo cookie from the MTV cafeteria today!

Everything I Say Is a Lie. Except That. And That. And That. And That. And That. And That. And That. And That.
Fans of Family Guy, rejoice! Not only is the show returning with new episodes to Fox on May 1st, but if you live in NYC or L.A., you can catch a live performance of the show from the cast. Tickets are insanely expensive, but if you've got the cash, should be a good time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sarah Silverman's movie, Jesus Is Magic, will make its premiere at this year's SXSW. If you've seen her do stand-up at all over the past 3 years or so, chances are you already know this material. But if not, I highly recommend it. You can check out the trailer for a taste.

My alma mater, UPenn, has announced that Sonic Youth will be headlining this year's Spring Fling concert. It's a mighty step-up from other Flings of this millennium, which featured such pioneering acts as Reel Big Fish, Tiffany, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And of course, because Penn students are so snotty, the student body is up in arms that they didn't get a "bigger" name. For the amount of money students pay to go to school there and for the reputation Penn has as a fine institution of higher education, these kids still have a LOT to learn.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No offense to the billions of people I'll probably insult with this post, but the Christian church has sunk to a new low. This morning on my way to the subway, I was offered a "free breakfast bar" by someone on the corner of 74th and Amsterdam. I took it. It was a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar (Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk, to be exact). Attached to the bar was a flyer for "The Journey: A casual, contemporary, Christian church." Promoting a series called "Forgiveness: the real F word." It runs every Sunday from March 27 - April 24, 2005. At Hammerstein Ballroom, of all places.
Now I'm sorry, but if your church has to resort to giving away free granola bars to get people to come to your services, then you have a major problem. Are they trying to get people to eat so many bars that they commit the sin of gluttony and then go to church for absolution? That's pretty underhanded, I must say. I also highly doubt that Quaker agreed to, or even knows about, this promotion, seeing as how the bars were simply stapled to the bottom of the flyers. If you want to give away flyers, go ahead. But don't try to tempt people with food. Isn't that how all the trouble started in the first place, when Eve tempted Adam with the apple? It's basically the same thing as this.
Anyway, if you actually take this stuff seriously and would like to attend one of these services (and I hold nothing against you if you do, although you've probably stopped reading by now), check out their website (which also happens to offer a free gift of some book I've never heard of from an author I don't recognize)... yet another bribe. Jeez.

If It Makes You Happy (a.k.a. My Favorite Mistake)
Who wants to see topless photos of Sheryl Crow?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Back in the office after some fun in the sun in Cancun shooting MTV Spring Break. Here's some highlights and lowlights (at least ones that I can share in the public domain:

Cheers to Paris Hilton. After all she's been through, she still hasn't learned to wear panties, as I learned firsthand standing 3 feet from her when the wind blew her skirt up.

Jeers to the Presidente Intercontinental. First they give me 2 full-size beds instead of the King I requested. Then they try to charge me for a Spectravision movie I didn't order, making me fill out a form in which I had to write "I swear I did not order a movie during my stay." Then they accuse me of stealing from the mini-bar... the manager asked me if I'd taken anything from it, and after I said no, he cocked his eyebrow and accusingly repeated "Did you?" Anything to squeeze out a few extra pesos...

Cheers to Meat Juice. They serve it at an Argentinean steakhouse down there... it's basically a big bowl of au jus served as a soup course. Tasted damn good, but wreaked havoc on my stomach the next few days. It also led to my new nickname: Seymour Meatjuice. I like it.

Jeers to former Real World / Road Rules castmembers. Always looking for a few more seconds of fame (and free booze, of course), Randy, Katie, and The Miz crashed our wrap party. These RW/RR Challenges need to start including fights-to-the-death to start wiping the earth clean of their existence.

Jeers to drunken the 40-year-old woman trying to grind and look sexy in dance clubs surrounded by teenage Spring Breakers. The bouncers actually threw her out of the club because she was causing such a scene. "Ew" is all I can say.

Jeers to poorly-constructed donkey diapers. After finishing a shoot with a drunken Spring Breaker riding down the beach on the back of a donkey, the trainers loaded the animal onto the back of an SUV and drove away... that is, until the donkey's diaper flew off, spilling shit onto the cars and pavement behind. Our crew had to clean up the street.

Cheers to good luck. Arriving to the airport to check in to my return flight, the wait was at least 90-minutes long. Fortunately I wasn't checking any luggage and an American Airlines employee took me straight to the front of the line. Although I did unwisely choose to taunt my boss, still stuck in line, with an obnoxious wave. He will now make my life a living hell for the next few weeks.

Cheers to more good luck. After arriving back in the city, I went with a co-worker to dinner in my neighborhood. On the way back to my apartment, we passed a used bookstore with a paperback copy of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" in the window... for $10! I've been trying to snag that book for years at a reasonable price, but no luck. What a deal!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

More photos from my friend stationed in Iraq, with captions below each.

Somewhere in Iraq; A recent, no-bulls@%t picture from one of our missions. Without giving the who, what, when, where, why, this is how I view the world on the majority of our stalks. Believe me, after 5-6 hours of burning your eyes out, this starts to suck. At that point, combined with fatigue, we see some funky stuff. I once talked to a mound of dirt thinking it was my team leader. Another time, all of us at one point or another, thought a distant tree was an enemy soldier walking down the road. When a tree start your heart pounding, you know it's time to call it a night (I only wish we could)....

Samsung 096 (cause I forgot to label it): And this is how I look when I get back from said missions. Yeah, we get a little crazy, then we hit the hay. It's crash and burn until the next time out.

I'll try to send some daytime mission pics next email. Don't expect anything dramatic, I purposely send the pictures that can't be placed to location or personnel, as we still frequent certain spots. So don't be disappointed if I crop or blur certain parts out. However, I can give you a general feel of what the area looks like.


ps Thanks to all those who have been sending me mail and packages. You're our lifeline to home so please keep it up. If I have doubles of things, don't worry. There are always guys here with whom to share.

Stay safe and keep in touch. ;)
Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm off to Cancun bright and early tomorrow morning to shoot TRL's Spring Break show. Doubt I'll be able to post until I get back to on Friday night, but I'll take notes, as I'm sure my memory will leave out some details of the next few days.

After checking out this site, you have several options:
1) Donate money to him so that he doesn't kill and eat the bunny.
2) Don't donate money to him and pray that he won't really kill and eat the bunny.
3) Don't donate money to him and pray that he will really kill and eat the bunny.
4) Donate money to me so that I can go kick his ass.

TRL Moment of the Week
Watching Mariah Carey's hair and make-up team spring into action as soon as we went to video during her interview on Thursday. A handful of them popped out of nowhere, simultaneously brushing her hair, touching up her eyes, working on her nails... it was like a NASCAR pit crew, only slower, making us run a planned 60-second video for 2 1/2 minutes. Simply amazing to behold.

P.S. Mariah is a definite disappointment to look at up close. Cameras do wonders for her. I think, at this point, Mary Carey is even more attractive than she is.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The pictures (and captions) in the post below are from my friend who was recently deployed to Iraq. They are from when he was stationed in Kuwait, just before heading across the border.

P.S. It took getting these photos from him for me to learn how to post pictures in my blog. Only took 16 friggin' months...

Muddy Kuwait: After three days of rain, this is these are the condition in which we lived (see our tents in the background). These pools ran about 2-3 feet deep and didn't fully disappear until we left three weeks later.

Reverie: A cool photo inside our tents in Kuwait. The two guys are Sgt. Finney (my team leader) on the right and Spc. Pruett (my buddy and teammate) with his back to you.

Chillin: That's me just hanging out on my cot. Except for the helmet, I'm wearing a standard combat load. Over here in Iraq, we add 6-7 magazines, smoke grenades, and an assault pack, but this pic shows more or less our standard gear.

Waiting: These are the endless sand dunes of the Middle East. As far as the eye could see, there was nothing but sand and scattered rock. We were out on the range shooting this day when our driver decided to return to base early, leaving us with a three hour wait in the sand. This is (L-R) Sgt. Finney, Pruett, and Sgt. Locklear (team 2, team leader) kicking back.

Dune Edit: Because we were so bored, I decided to take some "pretty pictures". This is one I fooled around with on Photoshop. Turned out well, I think.

Smoking Popes: Ok, back to base really fast. I couldn't resist throwing this one in. What do Army dudes do when we're bored without TV or radio? Dress up like popes and play with automatic weapons of course. The intense motha' on the left is Spc. Arnold while the clown to his right is (newly promoted) Spc. Bayette. Those hats on their heads are actually "angel wings", body armor attachments to cover your arms. Needless to say, we have no appreciation for their real usage.

Kuwaiti Sunset: Return to "dune day". This was the final picture I took in Kuwait and it's what I'll leave you with today. I've got tons more where these came from, but the internet (and your mailboxes), can only handle so much. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

If you're looking to book a hot musical act or comedian for your next backyard barbeque, check out this list.

Last night's episode of The Apprentice (beware spoilers!) was filled with unintentional comedy by the latest casualty, Audrey. I know it's a bit late, but here are some words of advice for her:
1) When you read, don't mouth the words. You look like a fool.
2) If you go into self-loathing rant about how bad your childhood was, mentioning how beautiful you are over and over and over won't get you pity ("As a child, girls hated me because I am beautiful, I wanted to scar my face because I was so beautiful. I wanted to be ugly so that they wouldn't hate me!").
3) Base more of your argument on why you should be project manager on things besides the fact that you know how to play mini-golf.
4) If you've made such a fuss throughout the show that you have a brain and are more than just a pretty face, don't let your final thought in the taxicab confessional (bragging that at least Trump called you beautiful, which makes the whole experience worthwhile) completely retract your previous statements.

Last night leaving the office I passed a street performer dressed as Spiderman. A crowd of at least 2-dozen people were gathered around, gawking and pointing excitedly and taking photographs. What, have they never seen a retarded person before?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

FYI, the new Motley Crue password is 22SINS. Go get those tickets!

This Sunday (March 6th), VH1 Classic is playing a marathon of MTV Unplugged starting at 1pm. Here's the line-up, with setlists for each show:
The Cure
Crowded House
Led Zeppelin
Elton John
Duran Duran

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Happy 10th Birthday, Yahoo!
Everyone, go celebrate with a free ice-cream cone.

Time for another edition of Strangest Keyword Searches That Led People To My Site. Here are the Top 3 since the last time I did this:

#3: fictional stories of def leppard written by fans
- First off, I'm thrilled people are still interested enough in Def Leppard to search for them at all (Best of Def Leppard hits stores May 17th!). But still, who would want to read fake stories about the band? Especially ones written by their fans, 92% of whom are clinically braindead?
#2: I love bacon jackhammers
- What the hell is a bacon jackhammer? Is it some sort of fast-food burger? I'd really like to know the answer to this, so if anyone knows, please fill me in. And if it is a food, where can I get one? I do love me some bacon!
#1: "the doug flutie" sex "hail mary"
- This search would make perfect sense without the word sex, as Flutie's hail mary is one of the greatest plays in the history of college football, if not all of sports. But Doug Flutie is not someone I want to watch having sex. And if "hail mary" is a sex term, I've never heard of it. Again, if you know, fill me in.

None of these people will have found what they're looking for on my site, but I hope they enjoyed themselves anway.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

SMiLE Like You Mean It
Hurray, Brian Wilson is taking SMiLE on the road again this summer. I'm not crazy about the venues he's hitting in the NY area, but I'll do my best to catch him again. This show has to be seen to be believed.

Would you vote for an Elvis impersonator for mayor? Apparently people in Indiana are dumber than you are... (make sure you check out the photo page)