Thursday, June 30, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Why not?"
- Bobby Brown, in response to a reporter saying he would never stick his fingers up his wife's butt to relieve her constipation, after Bobby admitted to helping Whitney in that fashion. That, my readers, is true love. Check the back page of the new issue of Time Out New York to read for yourself.

Saw this ad in yesterday's NY Times. At first I thought Universal had thought up one of the most brilliant ad campaigns of all time (although I recall Bill Murray making a similar money-back guarantee several years ago while promoting The Man Who Knew Too Little on "The Daily Show," and that movie stunk and bombed... but I doubt many people walked up to him and asked for their $8 back). But from what I read, this is purely the idea of the theater chain. I enjoyed Cinderella Man and am glad AMC is trying to get people to see it, but I wonder how other studios feel about this display of favoritism for one movie over another. Aren't movie theaters supposed to be neutral? If I (God forbid) go up to the counter and ask for a ticket to Herbie: Fully Loaded, should the vendor be able to say, "Trust me, you'll like Cinderella Man much better... I'll bet you the price of your ticket on it"? Yes, the vendor would most likely be right, but it still seems odd to me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

This is the funniest blog I have ever seen EVER.

Lindsay, you made my day.

Questions About Fantastic Four That Caused Me To Think It Sucked
(Note: Do not read this post if you plan on seeing FF and don't like spoilers... although I strongly recommend you do not see it)
- Von Doom owns a space station and has a private shuttle fly him and the soon-to-become Fantastic Four to it. Where does he launch the shuttle from? Where is his ground control? How was he able to put this mission together in what seemed like a day or 2? Are you even allowed to fly private shuttles into space?
- Jessica Alba plays a friggin' genetic engineer. Seriously?
- During his transformation into The Thing, Ben Grimm somehow loses a finger on each hand. And nobody notices. Why?
- When The Thing is discovered on the Brooklyn Bridge, how did Thing's wife and the rest of the Four all end up at that exact spot at that exact moment?

- Why does The Thing look like he's made of rubber as opposed to rock?
- How does Human Torch afford a Ferrari? And how did he get a license plate that says "TORCH'D" so quickly? I've seen how slowly the NY DMV works...
- If the Human Torch is so hot that his clothes burn off in his normal state and he can pop popcorn with his hand, why doesn't he burn women when he puts his arms around them?
- If Reed Richards is really worth less than a postage stamp, how can he afford a penthouse in a luxury building and fill it with sophisticated scientific equipment?
- The Thing is an idiot... how does he figure out how to use the reverse-radiation machine?
- Why did they steal Ghostbusters' "Don't cross the streams" concept with their "Don't go supernova" until the very end when the only solution is to go supernova?
- During the final battle, Jessica Alba's nose starts to bleed for no reason, then the blood disappears for no reason, and it's never mentioned. Why?

I expected more out of you, director of Barbershop and Taxi. For shame.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

AOL recently fucked me over, big-time. I'd been having computer problems beginning a few months ago, and was forced to re-install AOL 9.0 with 9.0 Optimized after receiving error messages everytime I tried to open the program. When installing it, I clicked "yes" when asked if I wanted to transfer my old e-mails. However, for some reason it only saved e-mails through 2003 (which is when I upgraded from 8.0 to 9.0).
This was all in April. Over the weekend I finally contacted AOL's customer service to see if I could retrieve the 2 years of missing e-mails. The tech support guy told me to uninstall all my old versions of AOL, which will give me the option to save my Personal Filing Cabinet files to the desktop, and sent me this link describing how to restore those PFC files to my current version of AOL. You cannot be connected to tech support when uninstalling AOL, so I trusted his expertise and followed his (and the article's) instructions.
BIG mistake.
When I signed on to AOL for the first time after following this, I not only still could only access those pre-2003 e-mails, but also lost all new e-mails I'd received since April. I connected to customer service again, where a tech support woman apologized but said those files have been permanently lost. She told me that I shouldn't have agreed to replace the current PFC folder, but instead should've added the older files to it.
I refer you to step 8 of the link I was given:
8. Click YES TO ALL to replace the existing ORGANIZE folder.
Nowhere does it say "unless you want to lose all new e-mails." Or give any sort of warning about this issue at all.
When I pointed this out to the woman, she apologized again and there is no way to recover the lost e-mails, and to please fill out a customer service evaluation.
So now I have lost e-mails that contain friends' contact info, flight and hotel confirmations for my vacation, correspondence with my friend stationed in Iraq, e-mails that simply made me laugh, and who knows what else. I don't know why I was still using such a crappy internet provider for my e-mail, but I thought it would be too big a hastle to switch to a new one.
Now I know better.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I recently had a discussion with a co-worker about Murderball, the documentary about quadriplegic rugby. We had seen an advance screening, and in talking about it, she commented on how inspirational the film is. I agreed at the time. But the more I think about it, that's not really a true statement, seeing as how the movie hasn't really inspired me to do anything at all. I haven't taken up any new sports, nor increased the strenuousness of my workouts. I haven't become a fan of quadriplegic rugby. I haven't donated time or money to spinal injury research. So I guess inspirational is the wrong word, at least for me.
What I can say the movie is, though, is heart-wrenching (that co-worker cried throughout the entire film), uplifting, funny, and more exciting than Fantastic Four (which is so bad, it will get its own rant), Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Longest Yard, and other high-priced summer blockbuster movies. Who knows if it will open anywhere outside NY or LA, but if you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week
Bam Margera on the show yesterday. He brought his uncle Vito with him, whom we planted outside to run a lemonade stand. As I'm heading outside in the middle of the show with Bam and Damien to do a segment at the stand, who happens to be walking in at the same time? Hulk Hogan and his family, here to meet with VH1 about his reality show, Hogan Knows Best. Bam, Damien, and I all introduce ourselves, shake his hand, and as Bam and Damien walk away, the segment producer and I ask Hulk if he wants to be on the show. Surprisingly, he says yes without hesitation. So we bring him outside, where Bam unleashes him to beat up his uncle as payback for his uncle having destroyed his Hummer. Definitely a Moment of the Year-worthy clip for next year's TRL Awards..

I haven't watched a wrestling match in at least 12 years, but Hulkamania and his 24-inch pythons were such a huge part of my formative years that he still merits freakout status. And this means that in a 6-week span, I have had two freakout-worthy encounters: Hulk Fuckin' Hogan and David Fuckin' Bowie. Who's next? Bill Fuckin' Murray? Don Fuckin' Mattingly? Brian Fuckin' Wilson? I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Thank You Very Much, Oh Mr. Roboto
Last night I'm in the elevator in my apartment building when 3 teenage girls who must live a few floors below me get on. They are in the middle of a conversation about Styx. One of them asks another, "So you like Styx?" And that girl replies, "Oh yeah. What about you?" All three girls seem to be in agreement.
Trying to be neighborly, I join in, saying, "Wow, I'm surprised you like Styx."
They look at me, confused. "Huh?" one of them asks.
I say, "I'm just not used to girls your age liking Styx."
After several moments of confusion, it becomes apparent that they are not talking about Styx the band... they are talking about some guy named Sticks (who knows how he spells it) who goes to school with them.
That'll teach me to try to be friendly to my neighbors.
And to butt into other people's conversations.

In honor of the release of Chuck Klosterman's new book, I thought I'd share an old piece of Friendster correspondence I had with him, dated January 5, 2004*, that transpired as I was reading his collection of essays:

Dear Chuck,
I'm in the middle of reading Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. With a few small exceptions (your praise of Kid Rock, your dismissal of Major League Baseball as merely "a game"), I am very impressed. However, last night I read "Being Zack Morris" and found a glaring mistake: you claim that Saved By the Bell is "generally unremarkable to anyone born after" 1977. This is absolute lunacy. I was born in 1979, and SBTB is one of the most important and influential shows of my viewing history. I've seen every episode multiple times, can point out the fact that in your list of guest stars you forgot to mention that future Mrs. Sampras, Bridgette Wilson, appeared on several episodes as Ginger (who was always checking for lipstick on her teeth), can name the single most unsettling moment in the show's history (when the nerd chained to the fake oil tower simply to be between the school president and the head cheerleader asks Kelly if she's ever tried "nerd love"), and even, when asked a few months ago to provide a list of songs for a Prom Party, challenged the host to find the version of "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You," as sung by Jesse and Slater during the costume ball as Kelly is breaking up with Zack outside (she failed). My knowledge may be more in-depth than others, but I can GUARANTEE that everyone my age (and even 2 years below me) watched SBTB religiously. I don't think that many of my peers watched original episodes on Saturday mornings, although I did, but the two hours of after-school viewing of repeats was universal. While the characters were your age when you watched (at least in its original run), they were always older than my friends and I, which made them the cool kids we aspired to be when we grew up. SBTB quotes peppered, or at least made cameo appearances in, daily conversation. All the girls had crushes on Zack... all the guys loved Kelly. It was critical to me and my friends, and we're proud of it.
While I can agree with most of what you write, in the future please do not shortchange my peers out of being associated with Saved by the Bell.
Thank you.

His response:

"However, last night I read "Being Zack Morris" and found a glaring mistake: you claim that Saved By the Bell is "generally unremarkable to anyone born after" 1977. This is absolute lunacy."

This may be the greatest friendster message I have ever received. You are a mad genius.

In return, that may be the greatest Friendster message I have ever received. How sad is that? Quite sad.
How sad is it that I took the time to compose this message to him? Quite sad.
How sad is it that the message still rings true? Quite sad.
How sad is it that if I'm channel-surfing and come across an episode of SBTB (original, not New Class or College Years), I will watch it? Quite sad.
At least I haven't bought the DVD's. Yet.

*Note: this was also my first day working on TRL. Good to see how focused I was on the new job.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is how Scientology is described in Tom Cruise's bio in the press notes for War of the Worlds:
"In addition, while continuing to explore new artistic challenges, Cruise has utilized his professional success as a vehicle for positive change, becoming an international advocate, activist, and philanthropist in the fields of health and education."
I will refrain from making any jokes about this... but feel free to do so yourselves.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Although Family Guy has been wildly inconsistent since it's return, I am excited for this movie to come out, even if it is direct-to-DVD.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm guessing this hurt. Badly.

Also note the reaction of the guy sitting on the track on the left side of the screen.

Hit Me Baby (No, Seriously)
Well, it happened.
I promised myself I wouldn't watch Hit Me Baby One More Time. The concept seemed so sleazy: get washed-up musicians that I loved from the 80s , make them perform covers of current pop crap, and have the audience vote for their favorite. Basically, turn them into American Idol contestants, albeit ones who have already sold millions of records of material they actually wrote back in the day. How demeaning.
But then I heard rumblings that the show was actually entertaining. So on Thursday night as I'm heading out of my apartment, I decide on a whim to DVR that night's episode.
Then I watched it over the weekend.
And, lo and behold, I'm now obsessed with it.
This is train-wreck television like you've never seen. The episode I saw featured the awe-inspiring line-up of Wang Chung, Sophie B. Hawkins, Cameo, Howard Jones, and Irene Cara. They look ridiculous. They're only allowed to sing 90-seconds versions of their biggest hit. They have to record Where Are They Now? packages, where I learned that most of them have their own studios, the lead singer of Cameo is really really really into astronomy, and Sophie B. Hawkins apparently hasn't bought a new bicycle since 1964. They choose wildly inappropriate cover songs (Wang Chung doing Nelly's "Hot in Herre" must be seen to be believed). The host, imported from the UK, is brilliantly inept, adding such thought-provoking color commentary as "wow, Bowling for Soup!" (He also looks and acts alarming like Alan Partridge, the hilarious Steve Coogan character who had a string of British sitcoms that are now being shown on BBC America). Oh, and Howard Jones got ROBBED! He blew the other performers out of the water, but I think was penalized for performing a slow song. Irene Cara inexplicably won, even though she couldn't hit the high notes during "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" and has the audacity to name her backing band Hot Caramel ("like my last name," she excitedly explained).
There is nothing redeeming about the show at all.
And yet I just know I'll DVR it again on Thursday.

Friday, June 17, 2005

TRL Moment of the Week

On Tuesday, I looked out the window of the studio to see a girl holding a sign saying "Brian is a DILF." This is the first time my fanbase has shown support for me in such a visual way. Now yes, it's true that the Backstreet Boys, including Brian Littrell, were on the show that day. And yes, it's true that I am not a dad (at least that I know of... if I'm misinformed, please let me know), which makes it hard to be a DILF. I'd say that the chance the sign was actually for me was about 0.0001%. But as long as there's a chance, I can hope. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The news that Teddy Ruxpin is returning to stores reminded me that when I was 10, my best friend and I (who at the time were obsessed with the movie Child's Play) made our own version of that movie using his camcorder and his Teddy Ruxpin doll (for some reason my parents refused to buy me one). His Teddy was missing an eye, which made it creepy and therefore perfect for our film. I played the killer whose soul is transported into Teddy, my friend played the detective tracking him. We taped the "Give me the power I beg of you" voodoo speech off the TV and put in into Teddy... it looked really weird, since the mouth simply opened and closed without any regard to what he was saying (although that was true even with the cassettes that came with the doll). Lots of fake blood was spilled during filming. I loved every minute of it.
As I recall, I gave an amazing performance, and the film was a masterpiece. However, for the big finale, it was my idea that Teddy gets thrown into a swimming pool and short-circuits. What we did not realize before filming was that throwing Teddy in a pool would in fact short-circuit it. We lost a fine toy that day.
My friend was less upset than his younger brother, who probably to this day has not forgiven me. If you're out there and reading this, once again I'm sorry.*
*Note: I revealed the ending of The Crying Game to that same kid... sorry for that too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

On a commentary track from Chapelle's Show Season 2 DVD, Dave and writing partner Neal Brennan say that Carl Lewis's rendition of the National Anthem is one of the funniest things they've ever heard. I wouldn't go that far, but it is pretty awful. Judge for yourselves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I think President Bush should be excited to have my high-school classmate Mary Carey show up at his dinner. Although knowing him, he'll probably disappointed to find out she won't show up with coke spoons around her neck...

So Michael Jackson was found not guilty on all counts. Not to spend too much time on a subject that countless people will be blogging about, but I'm shocked that he wasn't convicted of one of the lesser crimes that wouldn't have led to jail time (such as the administering an intoxicating agent). I'm also amazed at how much importance everybody put on the reading of the verdict. Starting around 4:30, every TV on my floor was turned to either CNN or MSNBC (except for the one in my office, which stayed on VH1 Classic... although I'll admit to watching MJ in another room). I guess for this one day, TRL's time change was a good thing; it both allowed the staff to watch the verdict, and it didn't put the show in competition with the verdict (good thing too, cause I know how much our viewers love to watch breaking news).
Oh, and one positive thing to come from the verdict: when I have children, I will now be completely comfortable letting them spend the night in MJ's bed at Neverland Ranch. Whew, what a relief!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Last weekend, my good friends (and favorite couple) Mr. Sticking Point & Mrs. Fits & Starts celebrated both their son H's 1st birthday and their wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I made them a Parenting Year One mix. Below is the track list and select liner notes:

1. “Oh Boy” – Buddy Holly: I saw The Buddy Holly Story for the first time a few months ago and have been really into his music every since. The lyrics for this song are just as appropriate for your relationship to H as they are for your relationship with each other.

2. “Babysitter” – The Ramones

3. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” – The Runaways: I like this song better with a female vocalist, which is why I chose this version of Slade (I know enough not to even bring Quiet Riot into the equation). I wish I could say the same for some of the other covers on Little Lost Girls, particularly “Eight Days a Week.”

4. “Come Back Baby” – Jefferson Airplane: A great reinterpretation of the Lightnin’ Hawkins blues song, available as a bonus track on the reissue of Surrealistic Pillow. Boggles the mind that they could evolve (dissolve?) from that album to Knee Deep in the Hoopla.

5. “Suffer the Children” – Tears for Fears: Pay no attention to the lyrics… just enjoy the song.

6. “Forever Young” – Alphaville: If the Germans were good at one thing, it was [potentially offensive WWII joke deleted]. If they were good at a second thing, it was producing great 80s pop songs. T, if my calculations are correct, this song was probably played at your senior prom. Hopefully H will be so lucky…

7. “Young and Innocent Days” – The Kinks: I think that “Some Mother’s Son” is a better song from Arthur… but it’s just too damn depressing for this mix. Not that this song is particularly uplifting...

8. “Lullabye” (acoustic) – The Cure: One of my favorite songs of the 80s. This acoustic version isn’t as good as the original, but I’m hoping you don’t already have it in your collection.

9. “Mama Told Me Not to Come” – Three Dog Night: When I was a kid, my mom kept 3 cassettes in her car at all times: Purple Rain, Born in the USA, and Three Dog Night’s Greatest Hits. This was the first track on Greatest Hits. I loved it even before I had any idea what they were singing about.

10. “Baby Lemonade” – Syd Barrett

11. “Mother Mary” – Eels

12. “So Young” – Stone Roses: One of their earliest songs, and one of their rawest, this is my favorite of their songs that doesn’t have the word “stone” in the title (and that’s just a complete coincidence).

13. “Mummy Can’t Drive” – Angelfish: Shirley Manson’s pre-Garbage band. They actually sound quite similar, but not as produced or polished… almost like an album of Garbage demos.

14. “Prodigy in a Bottle” – Christina Aguilera vs. Prodigy: I still don’t really like this song, but it’s a vast improvement over Xtina’s original, and I couldn’t resist having a song with “Prodigy” in the title, cause we all know that’s what H is.

15. “Mother Mother” – Tracy Bonham

16. “Mouth’s Cradle” – Bjork: This was one of my favorite albums of last year… there’s just something about a capella that gets me every time. Although I’ll be damned if I know what “and you can use these teeth as a ladder up to the mouth’s cradle” means, or what the last two lines (“I need a shelter to build an altar away from all osamas and bushes”) have to do with the rest of the song.

17: “Daddy Sang Bass” – Johnny Cash: I picture [your] household being very similar to the household in this song, albeit with one less member and a record / CD collection replacing the singing. But the image of the three of you sitting in a circle, enjoying music, is the same.

18. “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” – Elvis Presley

19. “Cry Baby Cry” – The Beatles

20. “The Only Living Boy in New York” – Simon & Garfunkel: Thanks to Zach Braff, this song is now totally overplayed (if it wasn’t already), but it’s still one of my favorites from S&G.

21. “Son” – Scott Weiland: Surprisingly heartfelt lyrics from a songwriter best known at that point for “You wouldn’t want me have to hurt you too.”

22. Bonus track ("Treat Your Mother Right" - Mr. T): This song has no actual worth except for its kitsch value. Hopefully you’ll get at least one laugh out of it before you never listen to it again.

Since giving the mix, I have since learned that
1) "Forever Young" was in fact in the running for T's prom song. The winner ended up being the theme from Cheers. Lame!
2) T had already used "Daddy Sang Bass" on a mix he'd made for baby H. Check out his track list

I am stealing a page from Lisi Harrison, my former boss who left MTV to become a successful writer of The Clique series. Yes, I'm aware that these books are aimed at middle-school girls. But I'm that supportive of her that I read them anyway... my enjoyment of them, however, is inexplicable.

Current State of the Union
- New 9:00am start time at work
- Trying to sleep without A/C in my bedroom
- The Comeback

- Michael Ian Black's newest McSweeney's article
- The first hour of Mr. & Mrs. Smith
- Hulk Hogan's upcoming reality show

Friday, June 10, 2005

This morning as I'm riding the subway to work, a homeless man was begging for money in my car. What follows is my thought process:
1) Angle my body towards the door so it will seem like I can't turn around to give him money due to the crowded car rather than I simply don't want to give him money.
2) Hmm, I really like his shirt.
3) I wonder if he would sell me his shirt for $5.
4) I wonder if that's the only shirt he owns.
5) I'm sure if I bought it, I would never actually wear it, even after washing it like a dozen times.
6) It's actually pretty gross that I want his shirt.
7) Forget about it, this is my stop.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Since I have nothing else to really post about today, I thought I'd make a list of the nicknames I've acquired in the 17 months since I started working for TRL:
- B: obvious and kinda lame.
- Seymour Meatjuice: read
here and here for explanation.
- B.P. (stands for Big Polack): given to me by a co-worker I had originally christened Lil' Polack (L.P.) to celebrate her Polish heritage.
- Bri-Bri: the most endearing one, but for some reason the one which creeps me out the most; given to me by
Fits & Starts.
- Whiter Writer: an aborted stunt from the 2004 Summer Beach House in Long Beach, where I would have to use spray-on tan to give me a golden-brown glow, and we would follow my evolution over the course of the week.
- Ghost Writer: my boss occasionally calls me this for reasons that remain unknown.
- Greener Wiener (or GreenWeen for short): thanks to
Chasing the Black Line for that one.
I can only hope the best are still to come.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We've had a month or so to talk trash about Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. Now it's time to turn our attention to Being Bobby Brown. Hopefully this clip is just a taste of things to come... a tasty, Preparation H taste.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Two of my Fat Joe Vegas ideas that died in the creative process and are now lying in the TRL Graveyard:
1) Fat Joe's Guide to All-You-Can-Eat Buffets: A package that follows Fat Joe through Sin City on his search to find the best buffet in the city (good food and good value). Or simply tape him at a single buffet and have him point out what and what not to eat ("no, dawg, what's wrong wich you? Stay away from the salad...").
2) Float or Sink: Have Fat Joe take a dump in the pool. Kids in the audience will have bet on whether the turd will float or sink. The kids who bet correctly win copies of his new CD.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Back in the office after an exhausting 8 nights in Vegas. I apologize for what some people viewed as "boring" updates while I was out there. Back to normal now, with a Vegas edition of Cheers and Jeers:

Cheers to my coworker C____ who, after spilling coffee all over her lap, created my new favorite expletive: “OHMYFUCKYOU!

Jeers to the water in the Hard Rock’s pool. It’s composition is approximately 48% water, 17% urine, 22% sweat, 9% sperm, 4% vomit. When our cameraman would come out of the water, he would have a layer of sludge to peel off his legs. Very classy.

Jeers to TV commercials in Vegas. One for a car dealership contained the following:
(An employee sneaks away from his desk, hides behind a car, and calls his supervisor from his cell phone)
Supervisor: “Good afternoon, John speaking.”
Employee (giggling into phone): “Hello, John Speaking.”
Supervisor: “Um, it’s just John, actually.”
Employee (still giggling): “Sorry, John Actually.”

Cheers to MTV for hiring amazing casting PA’s. This girl went above and beyond when, in a futile attempt to volunteer to get married on our “Fastest Wedding in TV History” show, offered to “do anything for the show… anything.” And she did…

Jeers to the drunk guy at the Hard Rock who walked into the bathroom ahead of me, marched straight into the janitor’s closet, and peed into a mop bucket filled with soapy water. At some point the casino floor will be mopped with piss. Again, very classy.

Cheers to Carmelo Anthony. In a stunt where he had to shoot a basket across the pool, with the basket standing at knee level, he nailed it on the first shot (well, the first shot on-camera… he missed a practice shot by about 4 inches).

Jeers to the Saudi Arabian driver who picked me up from the airport on Saturday night. Very chatty, with not the best grasp of the English language, he kept asking me about the females in Las Vegas. He said that “the women there… they look… what is the word… smart.” No, smart is not the right word. In fact, it’s at the bottom of the list I would use to describe the girls there, right above virginal.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Day six, 6:40pm PST - current face skin color, current body skin color, current right eye color.
(I'm typing this with that eye closed, as 4 hours of sweating suntan lotion into my eye forced me to take out my contact, which then blew away in the wind as I was rinsing the eye out. Son of a bitch!)