Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Day four, 8:31am PST - current face skin color, current body skin color.
(Could be a lot worse)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Day two, 7:21pm PST - current skin color.
(No change from yesterday, as most daylight hours have been spent in the production trailer or at the Hard Rock blackjack tables... tomorrow we start shooting 2 shows a day in the blistering sun, so get ready for a metamorphosis)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Day one, 12:56pm PST - current skin color.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Heading to Las Vegas for 9 days of MTV's Summer on the Strip... posts may be few and far between, but I'll be back to normal Monday June 13th. Until then, feel free to check back for updates and peruse the archives... and Happy Memorial Day!

TRL Moment of the Week
Yesterday, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" stars Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn stopped by (they were slightly less interesting during their interview than cardboard cutouts of them would have been). As they entered, VJVanessa took them to the window to wave to their fans. Spotting some sailors in the crowd, she said:
"Look, even some sailors came to see you... from the sea!"
She then clarified her statement thusly:
"Well it is Fleet Week, which is why there are sailors here... from the sea."

TRL Lowpoint of the Year
I've been informed that starting June 13th, TRL will air live at 2pm instead of 5pm for the remainder of the summer. That means our morning meeting has been moved up from 10am to 9am, and that presumably we'll get our earlier in the evening.
Now I know what you're gonna say... "Boo-hoo, Brian, you have to get to work at 9am. Poor baby." Well screw you. I'm used to starting at 10, so getting up an hour earlier sucks. If you learned you had to wake up an hour earlier every day, you'd be upset too.
And for those of you who think it's better to come in earlier and leave earlier, that's nonsense too. Getting out at 5:30pm instead of 6:30pm makes no difference at all, because nobody makes plans for 5:30 anyway, and the extra hour of daytime is no reward for me, as sunlight is my pasty-white skin's arch nemesis.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How could The Contender, a surprisingly solid show, have such a terrible season finale? Well, let's figure this out:

1) Use a director who must never have directed a boxing match before. Shots lingered while blocked by the ref, cut to audience reactions mid-round (even mid-combination), and contained picture-in-picture of the audience that hid a huge chunk of the ring.
2) Make Stallone and Sugar Ray the color commentators. 90% of their comments were a variation of these:
- "This is where he steals the round" (although how one boxer could steal the round, then steal it again 45 seconds later once it's already been stolen, then steal it a third time, is beyond me)
- "There has to be a rematch. I could watch this over and over."
- "That had to hurt, but his eyes are clear."
- "He's gonna knock him out right here!" (no knockdowns, let alone knockouts)
- "Back in 60 seconds" (just before the round is over)
3) Cut to commercial for the 60 seconds between rounds, therefore not allowing viewers to hear analysis, see close-ups of the wounds the fighters had received (and which the commentators constantly referred to but which aren't visible to viewers in long shots during the bout), or hear trainer's advice to the fighters.
4) After the fight, make it seem like a more important prize than the million dollars is for the winner to appear on the cover of Ring magazine (thank you, sponsors)

Thanks to last night, I am no longer upset that there won't be a second season. Thanks, NBC!

If you're interested in seeing Ringo Starr at Irving Plaza next month, the presale password is Starr (betcha couldn't have guess that one...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Apparently while in jail, Phil Spector has become a bitch... to static electricity.

Here's the infamous (and extended version of) the Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. ad. I don't see what the big deal is... it's basically the video for Warrant's "Cherry Pie," which came out 15 years ago. This is also Paris's best acting work yet.
It's just a shame Carl's Jr. doesn't sell hot dogs instead of burgers.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Over the weekend I watched the biggest mind-fuck of a movie I've ever seen: Primer. A seriously low-budget movie (I think around $7,000), it's about a group of inventors who build stuff in their garage, and two of them build a box that is supposed to do one thing but in fact turns out to be a time machine. Then some stuff happens that I didn't quite understand, and they build a bigger box that they can fit into and travel back in time (they go back a day so that they can make money on the stock market or betting on sports)... although it's possible their doubles from the future built the bigger boxes already and the current versions simply discover it... and either there are two of each of them at any given moment, or three, or just one... I really have no idea. And for some reason their ears bleed and they lose their ability to write after too much time travel. And the guy you think was the first to time-travel actually isn't... at least that's what I think. I really don't have a clue. Even after watching the DVD with director's commentary 24 hours after seeing it the first time, I'm still just as confused. But it's a really well-made, gripping movie.
And if I ever figure out what the hell I saw, I'll like it even more.

Friday, May 20, 2005

For all you Freaks & Geeks freaks (and geeks) who live in Texas, you should definitely check out this event. In addition to what's listed, supposedly John Francis Daley will there too.

And on a related note, you can begin pre-ordering Undeclared DVDs.

TRL Moment of the Week
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog dropped by yesterday to premiere the new Eminem video, "Ass Like That," in which he appears. He threw out some great one-liners and some not-so-great ones, and of course all of them went right over our audience's head. But my favorite was:
- "Eminem being a white rapper, that just means that he has the smallest penis in hip-hop. Well, him and Missy Elliott."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Those Cambodians learned a valuable lesson: it takes at least 43 midgets to fight a tiger.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Audioslave's new album Out of Exile isn't out until May 24th, but you can stream it here.

Residents of Maumee, OH, beware this guy.

And not because he's a sex offender. Just because.

Today at The Lodge (Viacom's cafeteria), I ordered the grill special: Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets. Yes, nuggets in the shape of T-Rex and Stegosaurus. Why dinosaurs, and why today, I have no idea. We don't have any children or paleontologiests working in the building. We aren't planning any dinosaur-related programming. It's not National Dinosaur Day. They don't ever serve food shaped like other creatures, extinct or otherwise. So what's the deal?
And on a related note, why did they taste like crap?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Slanguage Lesson of the Day
One of my co-workers e-mailed this to all the Caucasians on the staff... so now I'm paying it forward and passing it on to my readers.

Today’s slang-uage lesson is all about cell phones.
If you receive a hundred calls in a period of 5 minutes this means you are blowin up.
"Damn why is my cell phone blowin up like this?" or "My baby’s mom keep blowin me up why she sweatin me"

Here are some other helpful cell phone slang-uage phrases.
Give me a call.
Hit me on the hip.
Whats you number?
"Whats your digits" or "shoot me your math."
Jack, Horn, Cell, Mobile

Tomorrow's lesson is sweatin me
Till then Keep it real

Went to the NIN concert at Hammerstein Ballroom last night, but more important than how the show was... I met David Bowie.
There are few people I would be very excited to meet, and he is near the top of that list. I happened to position myself on the right side of the floor, right next to the staircase that led to the VIP box, not to gawk at celebrities but because it allowed me to get a better, unimpeded view of the stage than being in the center. A few minutes before the show started, I saw Bowie slip up the staircase, unnoticed by everyone except me. I kept an eye out to make sure he didn't sneak away mid-set (he did not, nor did other guests David Byrne and Chris Rock). When the house lights came up, I hung back by the staircase as people filed out. After a couple minutes, he climbed down the stairs. I extended my hand and said, "Mr. Bowie, I'm sorry to bother you but I just had to tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours." He smiled, politely shook my hand, and said "Thank you very much" before slipping out a side exit. A brief encounter, but sweet nonetheless.
As for the concert, it was a relentless, 90-minute set of pure, unadulterated rock, eaten up by a sea of angry fans wearing black. No pauses, no chats with the audience... in fact, Trent said 10 words the entire night: thank you, here's a new one, thank you, thank you. 20 songs, no encore... you can find check out the setlist here. Trent has relentless energy and is in incredible shape (although I've never seen a performer sweat quite like him)... not bad for a guy who turns 40 today.
The musical highlight? It actually came during opener Dresden Dolls' set: a jaw-dropping cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." You'd think that replacing the guitar riffs with keyboards would cause the song to lose some of its luster, but exactly the opposite is true. I found this download, but the quality is about 10% of how it sounded last night. Overall their set was pretty good... "Coin-Operated Boy," the only song of theirs I'd heard before last night, does not accurately represent their music. They have a weird 1970's-Elton-John-meets-Bauhaus-meets-Courtney-Love sound. I don't they'll ever gain mainstream success, but last night's audience loved them.
Oh, one more thing...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Arrested Development fans, you may now let out a collective sigh of relief.

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman
I recently received yet another letter (and CD) meant for Brian Greene, String Theorist. Here are the contents of that letter:

Dr. Greene,
Congratulations on your books. Recently I read a quote from you on the MSNBC web site that made me think that further progress on a unified theory may have to wait for new advances in mathematics. I am no crank and have developed a complete, yet simple unified theory that needs to be considered. Enclosed is a CD with material (Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel spreadsheets) that detail this work. It will be worth your time to scan through the book and spreadsheet Cosmology.ppt. My web site is _____.
I live near Ithaca during the summer.

Okay, assuming that you had the correct Brian Greene, this letter is still an outrage. Let's take this step-by-step. First of all, I don't like your tone. Your theory needs to be considered? I'll be the judge of that. It will be worth my time? Don't tell me what is or is not worth my time. Secondly, who are you to pitch me a brand new unified theory? Are you an Ivy League professor? Have you published several best-selling and critically-praised books? Didn't think so. And finally, what does your not being a crank have anything to do with anything? The fact that you would even use the word crank leads me to believe that you are one.
To sum, up, I am not Brian Greene, String Theorist (although I don't mind the comparison to John Cusack made in this profile). So stop sending me letters directed at him. Send them to the other Brian Greene at Columbia University to avoid further confusion. Oh, and while we're on the subject, I am also not Brian Greene, oboe player extrordinaire. So stop leaving messages on my answering machine asking if I can play with your orchestra. I cannot (or can, but very badly).

Friday, May 13, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Backstage before yesterday's show, VJVanessa excitedly told me that she'd made this year's Maxim Hot 100 list. Asked what number, she said, "Well it's not 90s... not 80s... I'm 64!" After I made a joke about how disappointed I am that she didn't crack the top half, she said, "I'm just glad I wasn't #99. Plus, if you add up the numbers in 64, you get a ten!"
Yup, and if you add up the numbers in 10, you get 1... that still makes you #64. But congrats anyway!

Update May 17, 10:16am: VJVanessa has apparently been bumped up to #62 (here's the complete list). Which leaves my post completely useless. But now she deserves even more congratulations.

Here's an appropriate Friday the 13th link... goats that faint when they get scared.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Come on, Mojo! Show Michael Your Happy Dance!
This story seems too strange to be true... but given all we know about Micheal Jackson, that probably means it is true.

Hello! Toilet Seat Assistance in Row #1!
For those of you who burst out laughing at the ads for Riding the Bus with My Sister but couldn't bear to sit through the whole movie, here's your chance to watch the highlights of Rosie O'Donnell's Oscar-worthy portrayal of a mentally-retarded woman. Enjoy!

What has been the biggest shock so far this season on Lost? Is it the discovery of the French woman? The death of Boone? Not even close... it's last night's return to the mainstream of Mackenzie Astin, the weenie kid from late-run episodes of The Facts of Life. I never thought his celebrity status could survive his starring in the train wreck that was The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, but 18 years after its release, I stand corrected.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Do you know that bees and dogs can smell fear?
Do you know that my next-door neighbor has three rabbits?
Do you know that Jonathan Lipnicki now looks like this?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

You don't know hell until you've been in an edit room doing an audio mix for a Good Charlotte performance listening to the same song over and over and over and over and over for 5 1/2 hours.

But as of today, I do.

Monday, May 09, 2005

In my post below about the Skywalker shoot, I forgot to mention that I had to sell my tickets to New Order at Hammerstein because of it and therefore missed this fucking amazing show. Argh!

Back from my shoot at Skywalker Ranch, and I must say, even a fervent anti-Star Wars person like myself was helpless to resist its charms. The ranch itself is amazing... 6,500 acres of green mountains stretching in all directions. Storm Troopers and R2D2 & C3P0 roamed the ground, posing for pictures with guests. Lucas's screening room is the best theater I've ever been in, featuring digital picture and sound and plush seats with tons of leg room... and I actually thought Revenge of the Sith was pretty good, although I missed the last 10 minutes (which are supposedly the best of the film)... Lucas still can't write to save his ass (his political discussions are boring and his romantic scenes are cheesy), but he knows how to make exciting action scenes. The show itself seemed to go off without many problems, and once edited together should look really good (make sure you tune in, Friday at 5pm on MTV).

And now, here are some awards for the various guests who attended:
- Biggest Star Wars Fan: Michael Rosenbaum. He hopped out of his limo clad in a Skywalker Inn bathrobe and began attacking people with his personal light-saber. Was like a kid in a candy shop.
- 2nd Biggest Star Wars Fan: Donald Faison. Couldn't get enough pictures taken next to the original X-Wing, with the characters, etc. Also spent quite a bit of time trying to convince Lucas to cast him in any future Star Wars projects. Oh, and his girlfriend is drop-dead gorgeous!
- Best Music Critic: Elijah Wood. As we waited through Good Charlotte's performance before heading to do his interview, he turned to me and summed up GC's entire existence in 5 words: "My God, do they suck!"
- Biggest Assholes: Macaulay & Kieran Culkin. There must be something in the Culkin gene. Kieran flat-out refused to sign a release form, which meant we couldn't film him at all, while Mac's response to a simple interview request was, "I'm gonna finish my cigarette, then I'm gonna think about it," then walking away and never speaking on camera.
- Most Likely to Have Participated in Activities That Would Land You in Page 6: Danny Masterson. I have no proof of anything... but he and his friend did spend a lot of time in the bathroom.
- Most Misunderstood: Topher Grace. While he apparently drove the rest of the crew insane, he was nothing but nice to me. He made playful "Brian Austin Green" jokes, asked me to take photos of him and his friends, and even made a point to come up to Damien and I at the afterparty to say that he's been watching TRL lately and thinks the writing has been much better... he even apologized for dropping out of a show in January (because he was a last-minute replacement for Jennifer Garner to host SNL) and made us promise to write a good sketch for him the next time he comes on.
- Guest I'd Most Like to Pick Up, Hold Upside Down, and Shake Until All His Money Fell Out of His Pockets: George Lucas. For obvious reasons. Also, he's much smaller in person than I expected, like a living teddy bear, so there's nothing he could do if I decided to go ahead with the plan.

TRL Moment of the Week
For our House of Wax reunion special on Thursday, we had a segment in which everyone in the cast had to tell their scariest story that happened during the shoot. When prepping during commercial, Paris Hilton, of course, said that she couldn't think of anything. So our segment producer suggested talking about a clip on Movie Life: House of Wax, MTV's reality show of the filming of the movie, in which Paris discovered $10,000 is missing from her hotel room. Paris replied, "I don't know what you're talking about. I never watched the show." The segment producer said, "But it happened to you." Paris simply shrugged.
She ended up talking about how hard the long hours on a movie shoot were.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'll be out of town for the next few days, knee-deep in nerds at Skywalker Ranch shooting a TRL Star Wars special... back on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Time for your April edition of Strangest Keyword Searches That Led People To My Site. Here are the Top 3 from last month:

#3: Bawitdaba means what
- I contacted Kid Rock to get the meaning behind it, and he defines it as, "I'm a no-talent redneck douchebag who lucked his way into a semi-successful career on the heels of other no-talent douchebags like Fred Durst and who should've faded from public consciousness years ago."
#2: zak attack / walking on sunshine
- I happen to know that Zack (sic above) Attack has never sung this song. "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" Check. "Friends Forever?" Yup. "Did We Ever Have a Chance?" A classic. But they never dipped into Katrina and the Waves' catalog. Don't test me on Saved By the Bell trivia.
#1: Dave Coulier tour dates
- Did I fall asleep and wake up in 1989? Cause nobody, not even Jodie Sweetin (who has a lot of free time on her hands these days) would go see his stand-up today. If the person who searched for this is anyone besides Dave Coulier, I don't want you visiting my site anymore.

Last night my roommate came home bragging that he'd bought the "coolest shirt EVER." Then he whipped this out of his shopping bag.
I told him it looks like a clown exploded onto a bunch of placemats, which were then sewn together to look like a shirt.
He still believed that it was awesome, so when we later put it on to go out, I lied and said that it didn't fit under the arms.
I'm pretty sure he's gonna return it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Paris fail English? That's unpossible! Or is it?

Sad that even though it seems the items in this store cost about a buck each, I could still blow an entire paycheck there.

Monday, May 02, 2005

This weekend's Family Guy Live was a major disappointment (at least the Saturday 10pm show was). Although it wasn't so much the show's fault... I've just never been in an audience so filled with obnoxious morons (and given that I sit through 5 TRL tapings a week, that's a big accomplishment). Why did these jerkoffs think people would rather listen to them yell out quotes from the show or "Mila, where do you bartend?" than to hear the cast perform a script read-through? Although even without the comments, it was hard listening to the read-through, as the fans knew the episode so well that they'd laugh and cheer before every punchline. It took them 70 minutes to read the 22-minute episode.
Then the Q&A started, and things really took a nosedive. Questions ran the gamut from "Mila, can I eat your poop?" to "Since I was gonna ask if I could eat Mila's poop but that guy stole my thunder, can I eat Alex's poop?" Fascinating stuff, really.
The highlight of the evening was getting to see the first act of the first new episode, although I (and the rest of the east coast) watched the same footage 20 hours later in much more comfortable environment. Quite a disappointing night. But at least it signals the return of a laugh-out-loud funny animated sitcom on Fox on Sunday nights, which has been lacking for quite some time now.