Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1998: Natalie Imbruglia

In the history of mankind, has there ever been a more adorable girl than Natalie Imbruglia in the "Torn" video? Of course not, what a silly question. With her adorable doe eyes and her adorable haircut and her adorable Australian accent that pops up when she sings "floor" and her adorable dance moves at the end of the video. So adorable!

Post-Torn thumbs-up: With long hair, she went from adorable to just plan gorgeous. Kind of like a thinner, less lippy Angelina Jolie.

And she landed at #6 on a BBC poll of the Most Naturally Beautiful Women of All Time. Not a bad showing.

Post-Torn thumbs-down: Her acting career never really took off. And now she judges The X Factor in Australia rather than focusing on her own music. Which is kind of like a failed athlete becoming a gym teacher.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1997: Serena Altschul (MTV News)

Watching MTV for its news coverage is a bit like reading Playboy for its articles: somewhat entertaining, but almost entirely unnecessary. That all changed with the arrival of Serena Altschul in the mid-90s. She injected beauty into a group of otherwise unattractive correspondents (Tabitha Soren, John Norris, Kurt Loder). And she was actually a good newscaster! Looks and talent... what a rare combo on MTV.

Post-MTV News thumbs-up: She helped create True Life, which is still going strong. Then she managed to get jobs with CNN and CBS News. Respectability!

Post-MTV News thumbs-down: She just turned 40 last month. 40! How is that possible?!?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1996: Charlize Theron (2 Days in the Valley)

My father and I generally do not have the same taste in women. But leaving the theater together after seeing 2 Days in the Valley, we were both Charlize fans for life. What warm-blooded heterosexual male wouldn't be after watching the catfight scene between her and Teri Hatcher?

Post-2 Days thumbs-up: She's an A-list Hollywood star, she won an Oscar, and she even made time to appear on 5 episodes of Arrested Development. Plus I got to meet her in 2005 when I was working on TRL, and she's one of the most stunning women I've ever seen in person.

Post-2 Days thumbs-down: I got nothing. She's as perfect as she ever was.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1995: Famke Janssen (GoldenEye) / Salma Hayek (Desperado)

Another tie. And it could've been a threesome with Natasha Henstridge. Yeah, in my dreams...

What a year for hot film debuts. But I had to go for the foreigners. In one corner with got Famke from the Netherlands, playing Xenia Onatopp (awesome Bond name) who kills men in bed by scissoring them to death. In the other is Salma from Mexico, playing Antonio Banderas's damsel-in-distress. Two very different roles. Two very different backgrounds. The same reaction from my loins.

Famke Post-GoldenEye thumbs-up: Steady work. Steady good looks. Hard to complain.

Famke Post-GoldenEye thumbs-down: I've heard from many sources that she's a total bitch in real life.

Salma Post-Desperado thumbs-up: Also steady work. And also steady good looks. Plus she's got the best rack in Hollywood, in my humble opinion.

Salma Post-Desperado thumbs-down: The unibrow in Frida was not her best look.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1994: Lisa Loeb

Long before Tina Fey made glasses cool, Lisa Loeb was the posterchild for nerd-chic. She won over so many hearts with her video for "Stay." Including mine. And probably Ethan Hawke... he discovered her, got her song on the Reality Bites, and directed the "Stay" video. I'm guessing they were more than just "friends."

Post-"Stay" thumbs-up: 16 years later, she looks almost exactly the same. Plus she's still a credible, if not commercially-viable, artist.

Post-"Stay" thumbs-down: Her albums don't sell a damn thing. And despite a clever title, her reality dating show #1 Single was kind of a disaster.

Thumbs-up story: One of my good friends went to Brown University with Lisa, and I got to meet her at his birthday party a few years ago. She and I spent a good hour talking, during which time she laughed at my jokes, seemed impressed that I wrote for Cash Cab, and compared me to Duncan Sheik (which is a good thing in her world). I really thought I was in the midst of a successful woo...

Thumbs-down story: Until her boyfriend (now husband) showed up at the end of the night to take her home on his motorcycle. Bah!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1993: Patricia Arquette (True Romance)

I recently watched a documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and apparently the entire cast and crew had a crush on Patricia Arquette when they filmed Dream Warriors. Clearly I was a few years late, because I didn't notice her until 6 years later. Amazing that she managed to stay hot throughout True Romance despite getting beaten to a bloody pulp by a then-unknown James Gandolfini. I guess it helps that she spends half the movie wearing just a bra.

Post-Romance thumbs-up: She's been in a few good movies here and there. Plus her boobs kept getting bigger... I don't think that bra would be sufficient anymore.

Post-Romance thumbs-down: How has Medium stayed so popular?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1992: Josie Bissett (
Melrose Place)

I know, I know... another blonde star from a campy Fox drama. Yawn. What can I say? It was a phase when I had a very specific type. But clearly so did the rest of America, because Fox kept putting these women on the air, and people kept watching. So of the many, MANY hotties to live in Melrose Place, Jane was the tops. What, you thought I was gonna pick Kimberly and her freak scar? I don't think so...

Post-Melrose thumbs-up/down: I'm lumping them together, because they're the same. After I stopped watching Melrose, I don't think I laid eyes on her once. I know she's worked... just not in anything I've ever seen. So the memories and the reruns will have to suffice.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1991: Jennie Garth / Christine Elise (Beverly Hills, 90210)

I know, I'm kind of cheating by picking two. And if I had to choose just one, it'd be Jennie Garth, no question. But when Christine blew onto the show in the 2nd season as crazy, euphoria-loving, suicidal pyromaniac Emily Valentine... well, she had me. But like her stint on 90210, my crush on her was fleeting, while my crush on Jennie endures to this day.

Post-90210 thumbs-up: She's been a staple on TV, albeit in nothing that I watch (the Amanda Bynes sitcom, the new 90210).
Post-90210 thumbs-down: Nothing that I can think of. She's still got it!

Christine Post-90210 thumbs-up: A year on ER, some long-forgotten Fox show about firefighters, and that's about it.
Christine Post-90210 thumbs-down: As I said, that's about it for her career. Als she went back to her natural dark hair color, which isn't nearly as appealing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1990: Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (Saved by the Bell)

Ah, Kelly Kapowski. Why couldn't you have gone to my high school? I had to settle for riding the bus with Mary Carey... which I guess wasn't all bad. But I digress. During Saved by the Bell's heyday, I was squarely on Team Zack, as I think most people were. Kelly deserved better than that lamewad A.C. Slater. But deep down I thought Kelly deserved me. After all, I would never bug her room to hear what she was saying about me, or use subliminal messages to get her to like me. Or would I...?

Post-SbtB thumbs-up: Two words: boob job.

Post-SbtB thumbs-down: Her acting career is essentially DOA. And she used to date Brian Austin Green, which means she could never date me, because that would just be weird for her to date two guys with the same name. Damn him!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1989: Kim Basinger (
Batman) *

You can debate how to pronounce her name: BASE-in-ger, BASS-in-ger, BASE-in-jer, or BASS-in-jer (the first is correct). You cannot, however, debate how gorgeous she was. I know she was already a sex symbol at this point, but Batman was my first real exposure to her. At the end of the movie, when she was kissing all up on the Joker on the roof of the cathedral, it's no wonder he had such a big smile on his face.

Post-Batman thumbs-up: Sex scenes in The Getaway, a memorable role as a corpse in Tom Petty's video for "Mary Jane's Last Dance," an Oscar for L.A. Confidential, and immortalization in The Simpsons.
Post-Batman thumbs-down: a nasty divorce from Alec Baldwin, a relationship with Prince (why do women think he's sexy?), a bankruptcy filing after she bought a small town in Georgia for some reason, and a dwindling acting career. But at least she definitely still has her looks!

* Note: this is the second year in a row that my choice was from a Tim Burton-directed, Michael Keaton-starring film. Those guys were on fire in the late 80s!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1988: Winona Ryder (

When I was in 5th grade, I was OBSESSED with Beetlejuice. During Christmas break that year, I watched it every single day. Without a doubt, I've seen it more than any other movie in my lifetime. What's the appeal? Well, there's Michael Keaton's brilliantly unhinged performance, there's the surreal film styling that only Tim Burton can achieve, and there's Winona Ryder. Not even the dark goth makeup and wardrobe could hide her beauty.

Post-Beetlejuice thumbs-up: She's a rare person who gets hotter with age. Pushing 40, she's as hot as ever.

Post-Beetlejuice thumbs-down: I'll be honest, that whole shoplifting thing was kind of a turnoff...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1987: Nicole Eggert (
Charles in Charge)

In 1987, Charles in Charge made a major cast overhaul, replacing the lame Pembroke family with the feisty Powell family. The move not only brought more of the funny, it brought Nicole Eggert to my attention. Suddenly Buddy Lembeck's wacky antics were no longer the main reason to watch. Nicole got hotter and hotter with each passing season. It almost made being a male nanny seem like a desirable profession. Almost.

Post-Charles thumbs-up: 1992. That was the year Eggert had sex scenes in the Haimster / Feldog debacle Blown Away and joined the cast of Baywatch.

Post-Charles thumbs down: She was a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club this year. At least she was the thinnest cast member...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1986: Mia Sara (
Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Every guy wanted to be Ferris Bueller. And every guy wanted to date Sloane Peterson. How could you not? She's the prototypical beautiful, all-American girl-next-door. I wonder if she and Ferris ended up getting married. Or maybe she ended up with Cameron... that'd be cool, as I'm much more a Cam than a Ferris. It would give me hope.

Post-Ferris thumbs-up: She had a sex scene in Timecop, fulfilling a decade-long dream of countless warm-blooded males.
Post-Ferris thumbs down: It was with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Eesh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

1985 - Sherilyn Fenn (Just One of the Guys)

When I was growing up, HBO would air Just One of the Guys ALL THE TIME. Like, 3 times a day, every day. And I'm sure I'm not the only guy who watched it over and over. Mostly because of The Scene. You know which one I'm talking about...

But the true MVP of the film was Sherilyn Fenn. She played Sandy, the hot, slutty girl who gave Terry the kissing fish. So hot. Sadly her career never really took off, aside from a major role in Twin Peaks, tons of random TV appearances, and playing the armless & legless lead in Boxing Helena. And HBO hardly ever plays this movie anymore. But she definitely left her mark on me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chronology of Celebrity Crushes

- Madonna

I know, what a cliche to have Madonna as my first celebrity crush. But I was 5, and I didn't know any better. Still, that boy-toy dumpster-diver look was pretty foxy. Madonna was much better looking when she had some meat on her bones.

The funny thing is, it took Chicago's video for "You're the Inspiration" to solidify my feelings for her. I was POSITIVE that the couple making out in the video was actually Madonna and Billy Idol, and I was overwhelmed with jealousy that Billy got to kiss her.

Upon closer inspection, the resemblance isn't close. At all. My bad.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Best. Trailer. Ever!

'Nuff said.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lady MaMa
I know this is a few weeks late, but wasn't Lady Gaga at the Grammys a dead ringer for a blonde Marilyn Manson?

Also it totally bothers me that Lady Gaga won as many Grammys this year (2) than the Rolling Stones won in their entire career. And that Jason Mraz won more Grammys this year than the Beach Boys and Kinks and Pink Floyd ever won... combined. And that the Black Eyed Peas have now won as many Grammys (6) as the Beatles.
In other words, fuck the Grammys.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give This a Chance
What's worse than the new Haiti version of "We Are the World"? I'll be damned if I can think of anything. It makes me long for January 15, 1991, the day the Peace Choir's cover of "Give Peace a Chance" premiered on MTV.

MC Hammer, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Duff McKagen, Randy Newman, Wendy & Lisa, and Michael McDonald all in one place? Yes, please!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Man Up, Manning
Atta boy, Peyton, falling back into your usual routine of throwing your teammates under the bus following a loss rather than take blame yourself. Instead of discussing your game-clinching interception, you talk about the previous drive and focus on Stover's missed kick (you didn't really expect your 42-year-old kicker to nail a 51 yarder, did you?). You're all class.

Congrats Saints!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Thursday night / Friday morning I pulled an all-nighter at Beth Israel hospital. Everything is fine now, but my sister was hit by a car. More precisely, she was run over by a car. She had been walking home from the subway, and as she was crossing the street about 100 yards from her building, a car – without its lights on – began backing out of a parking space. It hit her, knocking her to her knees, and her coat got caught under a tire, so it pulled her under as the car kept backing up. Fortunately a group of people walking by managed to scream loudly enough at the driver that he stopped, with a back tire literally pressed up against my sister’s side. In fact the tire had her pinned underneath, and the driver was forced to pull the car forward in order for her to get up. Another half-second of movement and the car would’ve rolled over her back. Incredibly scary to think about.

This happened just before midnight, and an ambulance took her to the ER at Beth Israel. I met her there around 12:30am. Her right leg was pretty scraped up, and the right side of her torso hurt when she took deep breaths. Around 1am a resident gave her a brief examination, asked her a few questions, moved her to a bed, and ordered an ultrasound. A pair of doctors administered the ultrasound at 2am and discovered nothing out of the ordinary, but they ordered a CAT Scan just to be safe. At 3am an orderly came in saying that he needed to take one last vial of blood. Except that my sister hadn’t given any blood. The confused orderly excused himself to check, and quickly returned with six empty vials and a pitcher full of liquid (the contrast material) she needed to drink over the next two hours. Clearly somebody had forgotten to start the prep work, costing us an hour of our lives. At 5:30am they wheeled her away for the CAT Scan, which took about 10 minutes. The orderly said the radiologist would “hopefully” take a look at the results “in 30 minutes, or longer.” At 7am I heard the voice of the initial resident passing by, so I ran out to check with him. He saw me and said “Oh, she can leave! I got the results about 20 minutes ago. She’s fine.” I guess that was forgetfulness #2. A few minutes later a nurse took out my sister’s IV, gave her the discharge papers, and we left at 7:30am.

A few observations about my first experience in an ER:

1) ERs are nothing like they are on TV. It’s more like if you paused an episode of ER or House. In fact, pausing a show when a cast member is in the middle of a blink, with his/her mouth half open, a distorted look on his/her face, is a much more accurate depiction of the medical staff on the graveyard shift than what TV had led me to believe. There’s also much less excitement, frantic life saving, arguing over treatment, angry/anguished family members, sexual tension, witty banter, or anything else that makes those shows worth watching.

2) Residents are YOUNG. I felt surrounded by Doogie Howsers. Another reminder that I'm getting old.

3) The cleaning staff could do a better job of tidying up. When they wheeled away my sister’s bed for the CAT Scan, it revealed a paper plate, a half-eaten roll (sourdough, I assume), and a key on the ground under the bed. I know that the orderly saw it, but nobody cleaned it up, and when he returned, he simply wheeled the bed back over the mess.

4) Everyone’s got a little bit of Jewish in them. At one point paramedics brought in a middle-aged Hispanic woman, who appeared to be in considerable pain. She kept crying out “Ow! Oh, mami! Oh, ow!” Over and over. Then at one point she unexpectedly cried out (in a pseudo-Jewish accent) “Oy!!!” I feel bad that I cracked a smile despite her discomfort. But it was pretty funny.

5) Don’t let men who have been admitted because they’ve had too much to drink use the hospital bathroom unattended. After sleeping off his drunkenness for a few hours, a middle-aged man started wandering the hall and asked me where the bathroom was, so I pointed it out to him. 10 minutes later my sister needed to use the bathroom, and when she returned she complained that she had to find a different one because the floor of the one I had pointed out to the drunk was soaking wet. I don’t know if he peed all over the floor, or made a mess with the sink. It really doesn’t matter. This also relates to observation #3.

6) Even under these circumstances, it's funny watching another person drink something that is obviously disgusting. But if you start laughing at somebody in a hospital who is forced to drink something disgusting, that person will not share your sense of amusement.

Again, let me reiterate that my sister is okay. Still sore and shaken up, but all things considered, she got off lucky. And let’s hope that this is my last visit to the ER.