Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Times They Are A-Becoming Quite Different
This weekend, while home in Florida with my parents for Thanksgiving, I randomly found my mother's high school and college yearbooks. Quite a discovery... not quite on par with King Tut's tomb, but exciting nonetheless. I wanted to share a few things from those books. Sadly I only have my crappy cell phone here with which to take photos, so I didn't take that many, and the ones I did look like crap. But still...

This is her high school senior portrait. I cannot get over how young she looks. And that pixie hairstyle threw me off too. How adorable is she? I have to say, after browsing through the entire book, I think on the whole that high school girls were better looking in the mid-60s then when I went to school in the mid-90s. If only I had a time machine...

Almost every girl who signed the high school book used the word "sweet" (or some variation) to describe my mom. But there were also some creepy signatures from men, including this one. In case you can't read it, it says:
You sculpt well. But apparently you do everything well. Come to my office someday. Lenny.
Ew. My mom has no recollection of this guy. But his note, along with many others, led my sister to ask my mom if she was a slut in high school. Her verbatim answer was, "In high school? No." Neither my sister nor I could bear to ask the obvious follow-up.
My favorite part of the yearbook, which I could not get a decent photo of, was in the section filled with various quotes that represented the era. One of them was "Vietnam, here we come!" That was in 1965. Hindsight, eh?

This is from her college yearbook. She went to Cornell (which you can obviously tell from the headline of this photo), and somehow my mom was asked to appear in this Canada Dry ad shot on campus. She's the one on the top right. I've never seen her look so tough ever before, nor do I expect to see her that tough ever again. But it's nice to know she can do it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble Gobble-dygook
This site will be on hiatus for the rest of the week, as I am heading down to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my family. And in the spirit of that holiday, here's a pretty funny Thanksgiving video made by the good people at Fuse's The Sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Former Members of The State Come Up With the Best Show Titles... The Best!
First I'm late discovering the Michael Showalter Showalter. Now it seems I'm late discovering another State-related online shows: Wainy Days, starring (you guessed it) David Wain and many of his friends and former castmates. The second season just started (episodes 1-10 are the first season, 11+ are the second, obviously). Check it out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mandy No Moore
Over the years, many people have sent around many YouTube videos of terrible singers performing terrible versions of popular songs from their homes. But in my humble opinion, this girl's rendition of Mandy Moore's "Crush" is up there with the worst. She starts off badly and goes down from there, even throwing in a coughing fit at the end. The only thing that could've made this video more humiliating would have been if the girl had tried to use a monkey, like Mandy did in the original video.*

Onto another performer who's been having trouble singing lately, here's some footage in which Amy Winehouse may be snorting cocaine onstage, mid-sing, in front of an entire audience.

* Why do I know that fact? I wish I had a good answer to that question. I could try and blame it on writing for TRL, but I definitely wasn't working there when that video came out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Scab Hunters
While trolling around on Craigslist a few minutes ago, I discovered this post about a network sitcom seeking non-union writers during the WGA strike. Seemed highly suspicious to me, so after some quick research, I discovered that the ad was in fact a ploy by New York Press to gauge the potential level of scabbage. So all you writers looking to cash in on the strike, beware of booby-traps!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just had my first visit with the sleep clinic's psychologist, and the hits just keep on coming. The no-chocolate rule is now in full effect, although if I have an unstoppable craving, I can eat some as long as it's before 6pm. The 2am-8am sleep schedule (which had evolved to 1:30am-8am) is sort of out the window. I'm now only supposed to go to bed when I'm literally falling asleep... as long as it's at least 1:30, that is. But if it's not until 5am, so be it. Still have to get up at 8am. And if I don't fall asleep within 15 minutes of getting in bed, gotta get up and leave my bedroom until I'm falling asleep somewhere else. Also I have to start this weird yoga-ish meditative diaphragmatic (yes, that's a word) breathing where I take a deep diaphragm breath, say "one, relax," and repeat, going up to ten and then back down to one... but if my mind wanders at all, I can't leave the number that I'm on until I take an uninterrupted breath.
This is all madness, right?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Let's Get Bached
Yesterday I worked on a special episode of TRL devoted to the new Rock Band video game. It taped at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square and featured a battle of the bands judged by Tom DeLonge, Lacey from Flyleaf (a last-minute replacement for Slash; I can't think of a worse possible downgrade), and... Sebastian Bach! Yes, I never EVER thought I would see hundreds of members of a TRL audience cheering for Sebastian Bach. But it happened. And with all apologies to Tom Cruise, you have been replaced as the nicest guest I've ever worked with on TRL. I challenge anyone to find a more happy-go-lucky guy on this planet than Bach. He seems genuinely happy to be in the spotlight, he constantly engaged the audience, didn't complain once, took his role seriously (even asking for a pen to take notes on the performers), and seemed almost as excited to be in a photo with me than I was to be in a photo with him (alas, this could be the worst photo ever taken of me... I look like I'm wearing an inflatable life vest under my shirt and that I have a massively receding hairline). I'm totally willing to forgive him for wearing a Sebastian Bach shirt.

On the subject of rock stars, my friend recently gave me several packs of Proset Super Stars Musicards that he had found in a memorabilia store in Pittsburgh. Basically they're baseball cards of musicians circa 1991. I got legends (Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley), hair metal bands even I'd never heard of (Law and Order, Hericane Alice [yes, I spelled that correctly]), and not one, but two Vanilla Ice cards. They're filled with fascinating information, such as that House of Lords' second album "mixes Arabic scales with classic rock" or that as a teenager, Johnny Gill felt that he had "a man's voice in a child's body." Good to know!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Yorkers can now satisfy their hunger with a $1,000 bagel or a $25,000 chocolate sundae. I know that the dollar keeps dropping in value, but this is getting to be like post-World War I Germany.
By the way, is it really true, as I recall learning in school, that Germans back then used paper currency as toilet paper? That seems a bit extreme. Even if TP was worth the same amount, or slightly more, than the money, I'd prefer using the real deal to wipe my ass. Money is rougher, has dye on it, and could always regain its value. Not very wise thinking by the Germans, in my opinion.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Quick hits on a Tuesday:
- This Almost Impossible Rock & Roll Quiz from Rolling Stone certainly lives up to its name. Through a combination of actual knowledge and educated guesses, I scored a 46 out of 58, which is Expert ("You know your Bowie from your Bambaata"). Works for me.
- This blog from the LA Times is doing an excellent job of covering the WGA strike. Tons of updates daily, checking in with both big-time stars (Paul Haggis, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as well as unknowns. So far it seems as if the writers are pretty serious about this strike, and the actors are providing support too. This could take a while.
- The Goo Goo Dolls have got some nerve slapping "Vol. 1" on the title of their Greatest Hits album. If they are able to release enough hits in the future to constitute another entire CD, then I'm a monkey's uncle.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I would make a joke about this 8-limbed toddler, but I don't want to offend anyone today. So all I will say is that this could be my favorite photo of all time.

So we all remember the classic video for Tom Petty's "Make It Better," which takes place inside a woman's inner ear (and by "we" I mean "I"). 20 years later, this video takes that concept but moves the action slightly south on the female body. Brilliant homage, guys.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Get My Freak On
Against all my better judgment, I've decided to post a photo of me from Halloween dressed as Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth. A few things to point out:
1) By this point of the festivities, I'd been wearing the costume for 3 hours. Which is why the pantyhose is frayed and rolled up. It looked much better when I first put it on.
2) The costume was a logistical nightmare. The fake nails made it impossible to hold anything, so I couldn't eat and barely drink. The pantyhose on the head made it difficult to see and breathe. The eyeballs kept falling off of my hands. And the unitard was very warm and left very little to the imagination.
3) I'd say no more than 1/3 of the people there got the reference. I thought that more people in NYC had seen Pan's Labyrinth. Guess not. Come on, it was nominated for 6 Oscars!
4) My friend dressed as Mario had begged me to partner up and dress as Luigi. In retrospect, I made a poor decision in turning him down.
5) The third guy in the photo is not dressed as "artistic Hitler," as many people thought. He's Win Butler. His wife dressed as Regine, and when they stood next to each other, it was much easier to decipher their costumes.
6) I don't think he'll make a return appearance next year.