Thursday, May 31, 2007

Arcade Fire at the Greek: The Videos

The last two nights, Heather and I went to the Greek Theatre to see two Aracde Fire shows. I will review later, but to keep those interested busy, here's two videos I took on Wednesday night.

"Intervention:"



"Wake Up:"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Daze

I couldn't resist the pun and I apologize profusely. It's deep in my blood and I can't help it.

It was quite a busy Memorial Day 2007 weekend. Friday night was a total bust as I was feeling a cold taking over my immune system, and I feared that it might make my weekend miserable. But I slept in on Saturday and took the day easy, just to make sure that I'd be able to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Doped up on cold meds, I went to Blake's for his first ever "Backyard Screening Extravaganza Event of Extraordinary Magnitude." (Copyright 2007). Blake bought a massive projector and a large painter's drop cloth and invited a whole bunch of people over to watch a movie in his backyard. The premiere movie was 1987's "Roxanne," as selected by Annie.

Despite a slight chill in the air, it was fantastic. Everyone bundled up under blankets and sleeping bags. The movie was as cute and funny as I remembered it. We had a little a picnic basket filled with snacks and goodies from Trader Joe's. We sat in the back, but because it was such a huge picture, we could see everything perfectly. It really felt like we were at a drive-in theater. But we were with friends. And it was our own little private screening. Blake took a few pictures:



It was a huge success. But what was even better was when we hooked up Blake's brand new Xbox 360 to the projector and played a few rounds of Guitar Hero 2 on the big screen.

Let me backtrack slightly: I bought Guitar Hero 2 a couple of weeks ago, and I became addicted. (It's a video game that comes with a small, plastic guitar. You use the guitar as the controller and it makes you feel like a Guitar Hero...etc, etc) Then Patry bought it. Then he became addicted. Then Blake played with us on a Saturday night until 3am and became addicted. Then he bought an Xbox 360. Then he bought Guitar Hero 2. It is extremely addictive. Now, back to the story in progress.

Blake attached his 360 to the big screen and we played a few rounds of GH2 in front of our adoring fans. And let me tell you, it was pretty awesome. I felt like, despite my lack of guitar skills, I seen a million faces, and I rocked them all. We also hooked up Jesse's Wii to the projector and played some tennis and bowling. It was pretty much a video game junkie's heaven.

On Sunday, Billy and Susan came up to our place to hang out for the day, and we did a walking tour of Chinatown. A few pix:
This is my favorite, from a store that seemed to be like Chinatown's version of WalMart:We wandered around Chinatown, read about the history, and made a few stops in some random stores, and everyone bought cheap little knick-knacks. Our big stops were at the Phoenix Bakery (which apparently is a famous bakery, and was pretty delicious) and the Empress Pavilion. Empress Pavilion is a restaurant where I ate a dim sum breakfast a few years ago, and was fantastic. So we had a late lunch/snack there, and it lived up to my memory.

After our day in Chinatown, we came back to the apartment to relax and figure out what we were going to do for the rest of the night. We talked about playing some board games, maybe a movie, then, suddenly, out of nowhere, Heather said the sexiest thing she had ever said in the world to me:

"Let's play Guitar Hero."

Wow! Heather was suggesting we play a video game. She and I were apparently meant for each other! We hooked up two "guitars" to my 360 and began a marathon session of GH2 that lasted until 3am. We played as teams: one would take lead guitar, the other would play bass or rhythm guitar. Sometimes, we were good. Sometimes we were not. But really, all that mattered was that we rocked.

And no, Heather didn't pose for this picture. This was really a candid shot:
But Susan and I posed for this one:And because we stayed up so late playing GH2 on Sunday, most of Monday, we all spent hanging around, relaxing, napping, snacking, etc. But let's be honest, after a weekend of rocking so damn hard, it was nice to have a few hours to relax.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fun With Boggle

Last year, I was working on a show where every Friday, at lunch, we'd gather our crew play Boggle, and it would get really competitive. We had someone checking words on dictionary.com, and we'd often debate whether certain slang terms were acceptable or not (and no, Yiddish, Spanish, and French words do not count).

Before last year, I had never played Boggle, but I became an major addict and found a few websites where I can play live. I mainly play here because I can end up on the "Hall of Fame" list, which is the top scores of the moment. It changes every few minutes. Usually, I'll play as "Dwight K. Schrute" or "Miguel Cairo", mainly just for the hell of it.

But sometimes, I see names on there that piss me off, like "Creator GOD Lives." The Boggle "Hall of Fame" is not a place to spread your religious convictions. I wanted to see if I could get a reaction and make someone change their "name" just to denounce Satan. So, I figured I'd try my best to piss them off. See if you can figure out which one I am:
Yup, that's right, coming in at #3 is "Hail Satan," which probably pissed them off. But this probably made them even madder:

That's right, "Hail Satan" goes to #1 with a bullet. And over "Jesus is Lord," too. And no, I didn't sell my soul to get 51 again. I stopped messing around with the religious folks and decided to be jokey and came up with this name:
I'm #4, "Playing Pantless." Just messing around, seeing if anyone would join me in cracking jokes. And lo and behold, someone joined me...
That's right, someone in Great Britain was "Playing Legless." I don't know if they're truly legless, but I don't care. I've made an impact on the game of Boggle.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Opposite of Funny

I really can't say anything that tops the hilarity of this video, other than Best Stand Up Comic EVER!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Deleted Scene From "Knocked Up"

So, it looks like someone has "leaked (wink wink)" a deleted scene from the upcoming movie "Knocked Up" onto that series of tubes and pipes known as the webinterwebnets. It's got some really dirty language, but it's really funny. So be warned, this may be NSFW.



(found on aintitcool)

Conan Visits Sick Writer

This is everyone's nightmare: your boss comes to check on you when you've called in sick. And it's even worse when your boss is Conan and this ends up being a skit on NBC.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Real World Turns 15


On the site Reality Blurred, they reported that the original "Real World" aired 15 years ago yesterday. That's kind of insane.

I remember watching season 1 as a sophomore in high school and being totally hooked. I had a MAJOR crush on Julie, the dancer from Alabama. I mean, this girl seemed so innocent and was so cute, I just hoped to meet her one day so we could get married and raise a family. (Side note: I was at an airport once a number of years ago, and thought I saw her, and was absolutely star struck. I don't really know if it was her or not, but I like to pretend it was. In that pretend world, we connected at the airport and got married and raised a family. Moving on...)

I remember the fights about racism (Kevin vs. Julie), the party where they swapped identities, when Eric hooked up with some random, hot model at a shoot, when we learned that Norman was gay, Andre's video shoot, Heather and Julie going to a Nets game and meeting Kenny Anderson, Becky doing...well...something I guess, and when they stormed the control room and found out how it was all being made.

It was such a fun and exciting show to watch, and it felt so real at the time. Flash forward to 15 years later, and I feel like an old coot as I whine, "This new 'Real World' is awful - no substance, not real, too much hooking up, stereotypes, blah, blah, blah." But really, it's a different beast that it used to be, and to survive 15 years, you must change with the times. I am no longer the target audience and I must understand that. (Sorry, it's my new, personal mantra)

But what's amazing is what the "Real World" has done for me, personally (as well as a number of you who read this). When I sat there, watching this silly little semi-documentary show, little did I know it would lead to a creation of the modern "reality TV." And without reality TV, I wouldn't have a roof over my head right now. (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, I know, but go with me here on this.) With the "Real World" came "Road Rules," which lead to "Eco Challenge," which lead to "Survivor," which lead to "Fear Factor," and so on, and so on, and so on. It's very silly to think that a little MTV semi-doc show about a couple of kids from Generation X could create and explosion, but it did.

So, Happy Birthday, "Real World!" While I don't really enjoy you as I once did, I still appreciate everything you've done. Now, about not being as good as you used to be, I do have some suggestions...maybe I'll wait until after your birthday week.

Okay, maybe one suggestion: that "Inferno" shit is stupid. That's not a suggestion so much as a statement. Pretend it's a suggestion and take it off the air. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FIRE!!!

I know, it's been a while since I've blogged - was super busy, but, I'm back.

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but last week, there was a massive brush fire in LA that burnt over 800 acres of Griffith Park. For those who don't know, I live in Los Feliz, and just a few blocks up is Griffith Park, which meant that I had front row seats to the fire.

I've seen plenty of brush fires from a distance, but seeing it so close to home was both amazing and scary. My friend Mike Gatzke was in town for a brief stay from NJ and witnessed the whole thing. It was the first time he had ever seen anything like it in person, and I think was pretty shocked by the magnitude of it.

My place was, luckily, far away enough from the fire that we weren't in danger, but it was close enough that a lot of homes nearby had been evacuated and many of the roads in the area were shut down for quite a few days as they tried to keep this fire from spreading even further.

Rumors were running rampant that our entire neighborhood was on fire, had no power, was destroyed, etc. Luckily, we weren't really affected, except for having a lot of roads closed, some ash floating around, and the smell of smoke in the air. (Thank you, specifically to Blake and Gwen for calling and offering a place to stay in case of evacuation.)

As I've told a number of people, it was scary, but I was more concerned about getting good pictures than anything else.

Hit play on the music and enjoy some pictures and videos.


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The Videos: