Monday, July 31, 2006

Quite possibly the only three bad things about having a $5 bill as the smallest currency denomination in your wallet

1. You can't use it on a vending machine.

2. It doesn't reflect the bling-bling lifestyle you hoped to achieve.

3. Muggers will try to remember your face.

Guess which problem(s) I had today?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My Saturday night was cooler than yours

Best Week Ever icon Paul Scheer interviewed me; Rob "Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man" Huebel pretended to kick me in the face; VH1 commentator Owen Burke spoofed my most recent voice-over recording session; and former SNLer Rob Riggle reinterpreted my playing Never Have I Ever.

What did you do Saturday night?

If you live in Los Angeles, check out these guys on Wednesday nights. If you live in New York City, you missed your shot for now. Your loss!

Friday, July 28, 2006


The Atlantic Coast Conference shakes up the football bowl selection process, a year after my beloved Boston College Eagles went 9-3 and won a share of the division title, only to be awarded with a glorified away game.

According to ESPN, "if the new agreement were in place last season, for instance, the Music City and Meineke Car Care bowls couldn't have selected Virginia and NC State, which both finished with 3-5 ACC marks, over Boston College and Georgia Tech, which were both 5-3 in league play."

Had the Eagles played in either of those other bowls, they wouldn't have had to travel to Idaho, where east-coast BC fans aren't exactly clamoring to visit and where their bowl opponent plays on their home (blue) turf.

The Name Game

Here are this week's thoughts on the monikers of bands, albums and song titles, independent of the quality of their music.


Fort Minor, The Rising Tied - This album name's a pun, for sure, but one that isn't easily interpreted. I'm still trying to figure out if the idea of "Rising Tied" is either ingeniously complicated or merely selected out of a continued desire to misspell. After all, Mike Shinoda is in a group called Linkin Park. But I'll give Shinoda the benefit of the doubt because he rules.

The Rising Tied's name grade: B+


Butch Walker, Bethamphetamine (Pretty Pretty) - This song title would be an A+, except for the fact that someone dumbed it down with the parentheses. We smart folk appreciate the first word of the title, but I wasn't exactly shocked when I heard Jessica Simpson butcher it during a Top 40 countdown on Sirius. Just stick with the "Pretty Pretty" part, Jessica. That's what you do best.

Bethamphetamine (Pretty Pretty)'s name grade: A
Jessica Simpson's name grade: D


A Plus D, Decepta-Freak-On - At first, I thought, "Wow, they're trying way too hard to come up with a clever song title, albeit one that borrows a theme from my favorite childhood cartoon." Then I realized that the song was a mash-up of Le Tigre's Decepticon and Missy Elliott's Get UR Freak On. Add the task of grading an artist whose name is A Plus D on an A to F scale, and we've got a complicated scenario.

Decepticon's name grade: A
Get UR Freak On's name grade: A-
Decepta-Freak-On's name grade: B-
A Plus D's name grade: B- (the middle grade between A+ and D)


FlamBey, The Flamerous Life - Hooray for FlamBey/For making my day/With the best and worst name/In hip-hop histor-ay/Hip-hop FlamBey!

FlamBey's name grade: A+ and F
The Flamerous Life's name grade: A+ and F

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Do it, Rockapella!

Last night, I joined fellow members of my New York City a cappella group in attending Rockapella's sweet, sweet show at B.B. King's. You have to love any concert whose highlights include "Theme from that Coffee Commercial" and "Theme from that Kids' Gameshow on PBS."

They did a great job on "real" songs, too. But come on! These guys helped inspire me to memorize the location of every country in Africa. It's no coincidence that I forgot 90 percent of my geography once the show went off the air.

Also, I enjoyed yelling out "The Warrant!" at random moments in college.

Related and awesome.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Oil vey!

The hardest part of dealing with today's ridiculous gas prices is the unprecedented difficulty in topping off gas tanks to the nearest dollar. The quickest pump of gas can mean three cents when petrol's $3.31 a gallon, so the hands of consumers like me appear to be tapping out Morse Code in an attempt to get that price tag to exactly $33.00.

To continue with the "Price Is Right" theme, the winner is the closest to the rounded off price without going over. Except you're coughing up your winnings and the gas station attendants don't quite measure up to Barker's Beauties.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Moving from 30 Rock to '30 Rock'

One of my favorite Weekend Update anchors of all time, Tina Fey, and one of the most reliable sketch performers of the last decade, Rachel Dratch, are leaving "Saturday Night Live" to work on Fey's pilot, "30 Rock." (Yahoo News via )

"SNL" seemes prepared to "pare the cast" to cut the budget, rather than the number of shows per season. (Via Broadcasting & Cable)

And The Apiary believes talent scouts might be scouring the area to pluck talent from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, which not only was cofounded by "SNL" superpower Amy Poehler but also offers improv classes attended by yours truly.

On face value, these developments might amount to disaster, but I'm hoping any overhaul might just spark the show into another golden era. Especially if Lorne calls on me to co-anchor Weekend Update with Poehler.

When facing the option of saving face and/or a cheap TV, pick one and go with it

Just ask this guy.

Because subjecting mountain climbers to near-certain death is a brilliant way to promote a waffler

Behold a Web page that showcases* photographs and narratives of every pricing game in the history of "The Price Is Right"!

Palpatate at the peg-packed greatness that is Plinko! Celebrate the yodel-laden schadenfreude that is Cliff Hangers! And boo the incomprehensible lack of creativity that is Barker's Bargain Bar!

*No pun intended, but while we're on the subject, check out documentation of the first-ever Showcase Showdown. Look at that weird wheel!

BONUS! You gotta love this wild YouTube clip of Cliff Hangers, which offers the best of both worlds: The mountain climber eats it, but the contestant still wins!

DOUBLE AND TRIPLE BONUSES! TPiR bloopers! And one more!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Another strange subway story from the past week: On Wednesday night, above the platform of the First Avenue stop on the L line, a digital sign displayed the following message:


This was the Möbius Strip of subway alerts.

If this alert is true, why should I regard THAT message? And if it's not true, why even bother displaying it -- especially when the only other message on display was the correct time and date?

My brain hurts.

How do you vote when your only options are 'He's a jerk' and 'You're a jerk'?

In the vein of last month's Unfair CNN Poll Question of the Day, I give you the Unfair ESPN Poll Question of the Month:

"Should Yankees fans boo Alex Rodriguez?"

With options "Yes" or "No," the useless Internet voter is faced with framing his/her response in one of the following ways:

1) Yes, Alex Rodriguez -- who plays very hard, has not been found to use performance-enhancing drugs, and is generally a nice guy -- deserves to be treated like dirt.

2) No, those heartless Yankees fans have no souls.

I, of course, being a useless Internet voter and heartless Yankee fan, selected "No," then apologized to the computer monitor for booing A-Rod. Then I realized I've never done that. (Although I was tempted last night, when he made an error that contributed to the Yankees' loss. But I was on a treadmill at the time, so even if I booed, only the guy next to me would have been upset. For a completely different reason.)

I'm guessing the following were rejected questions from the same pollster:

"Should Philadelphia Eagles fans boo Santa Claus?"
"Should Chicago White Sox fans body-slam a first-base coach?"
"Should Detroit Pistons fans throw beer on players, inciting a riot?"

I'm sure people in those cities would also love poll questions that insult their entire fan base.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It might as well have been the F train

Late last Friday night, my girlfriend and I transfered from the F to the C train on the way back from a Brooklyn birthday party when a sprinting young man busted through the closing doors. When the crowd of passengers roared, I thought it was due to his outstanding athletic skills and Indiana Jones-like escape tactics. It turned out the true refugee was his sneaker, which had either fallen off or had been wedged off by the closing doors.

For a moment, he stood in defeat and shock next to the closed doors with a black sneaker and a white tube sock pressing against the cold subway floor. A police officer on the platform held the sneaker in his hand, preparing to return it once a subway operator opened the doors.

But the doors never reopened, and the commuters roared like a Jerry Springer audience as the subway started rolling toward midtown Manhattan. Apparently, the shoe had other plans just footsteps from Jay Street-Borough Hall.

The moment was ripe for wagering on Shoeless Joe, sitting with head in hands in the last seat of the car. Passengers audibly bet on whether or not he would get off at the next stop and head back downtown in an effort to reunite left shoe with right. But upon our arrival at the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge platform, Shoeless Joe didn't budge. He and the shoe decided it was best to see other people.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My unintentional* Yogiism from last night

"If you weren't meant to be doing what you're doing, you wouldn't be doing it."

*Technically all true Yogiisms are unintentional, but because people actually make efforts to write Yogiisms (i.e. for Aflac commercials), I wanted to specify that mine was organic.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Whitesnake's On A Plane

Sometimes parodies miss their mark. Other times, they're right on.

Right on.

(Via GorillaMask.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

When the horror of The Ring has nothing to do with the movies

Note to the general public: There's no excuse anymore not to have an answering machine. At this point, they're painfully easy to use and are practically common courtesy.

On this very topic, someone I know said, "I can understand if people are old...."

To which I replied, "You know, some people didn't always have indoor plumbing, and they learned to use that."

Both advances in technology eliminate waste.


- Two pop-culture geeks to join me in auditioning for VH1's "World Series of Pop Culture," assuming there is another season. My girlfriend is out because she's better suited for "World Series of Really Difficult Biology" or "World Series of Cuddling With Cute Animals."

- A soccer referee's packet that includes a red card, yellow card and little notebook thingie so I can call people out on their fouls in public places, long after the World Cup ceases to be relevant in this country. Or maybe just one of these shirts.

- A buffalo chicken sandwich. Mmm.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

'American Idol' presents its annual 'Missing In Action' tour

Here's an Entertainment Weekly reporter's take on the "American Idol" tour, with a bunch of names that took me a surprising amount of time to associate with a face. Lisa who? (Oh, right, she was good.) Bucky what? (Oh, right, he was... blonde.)

Ten things I could have told you before reading this review:

1. Elliott's the season's best overall singer, but better find some marketing fast.
2. Kellie's the worst overall singer -- and maybe not just this season's.
3. Bucky's marginally better than Kellie.
4. Mandisa went downhill fast after some ambiguous remarks, didn't she?
5. Taylor's got some albums and Fords to sell.
6. Ace is a sketchy cheeseball on stage? No way!
7. Right about now, Chris is saying, "Why the frig did I turn down Fuel?"
8. Katharine's absence is telling.
9. Unless she decides to become a jazz singer, forget Paris.
10. You know who's better than almost all these clowns? Season Two cast-off Lisa Leuschner. Cut before the Round of 12, the judges' producers' decision still boggles my mind.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stuff and Things, Part III

Sports Guy has Ramblings. I have Stuff and Things. Again. And again.

- Network TV ratings have their Worst. Week. Ever. Seems odd considering all those great new shows they have on right now such as... um... uh.... See you in the fall, networks!

- It didn't bother me so much that Macy Gray was on Bravo Celebrity Poker Showdown; it was far more offensive to put her in the commercials for the series. On any level, who's tuning in to see her?

- U.S. Soccer dropped 11 spots in the international rankings, which seems somewhat unfair considering the fact that the U.S. put in the best performance against World Cup champion Italy with their tie in regulation. For those of you who would argue France was better, let me remind you that the U.S. played 9-against-10 for most of the second half of their Italy match and had two horse-apple red-card calls against them not involving head-butts to the xiphoid process. Speaking of that culprit...

- Via Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press reports that Zinedine Zidane could be stripped of his Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup for his violent conduct. You have to love FIFA for not knowing when journalists cast ballots for the World Cup MVP; they're definitely in panic mode for allowing an award to be given to a glorified WWE wrestler.

- Oh yeah, I drove home in the aftermath of a tornado on the "ride" home yesterday. Actually, it was less of a ride and more of a "sit and play with the satellite radio" couple of hours. No flying cows (or YouTube links to said "Twister" clip) to report, however.

- In one of his always-entertaining marathon chat sessions on, Sports Guy said he heard that Peter Gammons was "doing GREAT" and expected to make "a full recovery."

- Have you ever experienced the phenomenal I've dubbed backwaraoke, when the words on the karaoke screen read "Oooh, ohhh, ohhh" instead of the actual chorus lyrics, like, "I'm a genie in a bottle/You gotta rub me the right way"? Well, that happened repeatedly to my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago and we were dumbfounded. Also, I feel obligated to mention that my girlfriend was the one singing the Christina Aguilera song. I'm more of a Britney boy.

- I just realized about a month after watching those new Mac commercials that the guy representing PCs is basically a heavier version of Apple rival Bill Gates. It took me far less time to realize that these parodies are friggin' awesome.

- I still contend that LFO's "Summer Girls" is the worst song of all time, but my new nominee to jump to the top of that list is Calloway's "I Wanna Be Rich." Released about 20 years ago, it sounds like a soulless baritone recorded a rejected Paula Abdul track from "Forever Your Girl," but sang it without her "spirit" or "energy." And check out its Pulitzer-worthy lyrics:

- On the flip-side of cool on the radio, check out Gym Class Heroes' new track, "New Friend Request." It was only a matter of time before someone did a song about MySpace dating, but these guys actually pull it off without being too corny. Plus, how can you not dig their band name?

- There's creepy, there's disturbing and then there are snap-on chompers, as demonstrated by a blonde model with perfectly acceptable teeth in a new commercial campaign. Something tells me they wouldn't be even marginally appealing if Blondie McBlonderson weren't showing them off in the ad, but then again, the same could be said for most beer commercials.

- Bored on a train ride into the city Tuesday afternoon, I read on my bottle of Dasani that it was "enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste." Those minerals? Magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride and salt. Excuse me... salt? Will sand be a key ingredient for their next beverage?

- The American League claimed what felt like its 4,385th consecutive win in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, with heralded San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman only one strike away from giving the National League the win. Instead, New York Yankees icon Mariano Rivera clinched it in the bottom of the 9th. Anyone who was shocked by these series of events wasn't paying attention to the 1998 World Series.

- You know you work in northern Westchester when you go to the giant A&P market for lunch and are psyched that the creamy Italian dressing is back at the giant salad bar after weeks of mysterious omission.

- I dreamt earlier this week that I was selected at the end of the first round of the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. It's amusing that my dreams can't just be pure fantasy; fans booed as I approached the stage to shake hands with Commissioner Stern and ESPN destroyed the front-office for the pick. Doubly amusing was the fact that during the TV analysis of my draft, which I could stangely hear while I approached the stage, someone said that I'd be "reunited with his high school teammate." In the dream, I'm guessing either Steve Nash went to Eastchester High School or Chris Tormey didn't pursue medicine after all.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Foxx ain't gonna knock you out

Jaime Foxx and LL Cool J are playing nice again, MTV News reports.

This appears to be a nice gesture by Foxx, especially because dialogue between the two since they exchanged punches on the set of "Any Given Sunday" could have amounted to something like this:

LL: "Hey, I just did a collaboration with Jennifer Lopez."
JF: "Hey, I just won an Oscar."
LL: "Hey, I just, uh... cured cancer. Right."
JF: "Hey, I just secured an Oscar."
LL: "Hey, I just, uh... uhh...."
JF: "My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R..."

Of course, if Suge Knight had visited the "Any Given Sunday" set and politely requested a truce, this would have been over years ago.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Much has been made of Zinedine Zidane's vicious head-butt in the World Cup final en route to Italy's super-awesome victory. But as I learned through the Best Week Ever blog, Deadspin seems to have framed the story the best.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Six thoughts I had while listening to satellite radio this week

1. Rihanna's "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)" continues to be a great track with no fewer than three ways to interpret one of the Spelling Bee sections:

- Y-O-U are making this hard
- Why? Oh, you are making this hard
- Y-O-U-R (sic) making this hard

The grammar nerd in me hopes Rihanna opted for one of the first two. And the music fan in me wishes "Unfaithful" never was released.

2. I'm digging the new Wolfmother track, "Woman." I'm sure I'm not the first person who wants their lead singer to do an Ozzy cover, because his voice is to The Prince of Mother (Bleeping) Darkness as Jamiroquai's lead singer is to Stevie Wonder. (Congratulations to Jamiroquai, by the way, for being referenced for the first time since people stopped talking about the Napoleon Dynamite dance sequence.)

3. Although I hadn't listened to either version of the song in forever, I heard not only Nena's "99 Red Balloons" on the way to work Thursday, but also the original German version of "99 Luftbalons" on the way back. That's 198 bilingual spheres of awesome(ly bad?)!

4. I know Strong Bad covered this already, but Cascada's "Miracle" reminded me that every dance song since 1986 sounds exactly the same. With the forced rhyme schemes ("I need a miracle; I wanna be your girl"), thumping bass and machine-gun snares, and a synth that sounds like a screeching cat caught in a blender, "Miracle" might be the prototype for every dance track of the last two decades. And I'm embarrassed to say I like it. Ashamed, even.

5. Cheyenne Kimball seems like a very nice girl. And she's a pretty girl. And she appears to play basic guitar chords well. But, um, her voice is ... interesting. Let's just say Britney Spears is a veritable Charlotte Church compared to her.

6. How many Oscar-winners sing on an embarrassingly and instantly addictive new cut that repeats the phrase "Good Googly Moogly/That thang is juicy" an estimated 4,298 times? Well, yeah, Paul Newman*. But also Three 6 Mafia.

*Not really. But he can do no wrong.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Google knows what we searched for last summer

Props to my friend Valentina for pointing out this New York Times article, which explores the creepy/awesome trend of... Google Trends.

This engine graphs the number of times comparative terms have been searched as far back as 2004, then pinpoints surges in the data, gives news-related reasons for peaks and valleys, and shows how trends differ in top cities.

Some interesting examples I tried out:

1. Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Devil Rays

2. Beatles, Rolling Stones

3. Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler (2006 only)

4. John Kerry, George Bush, Iraq

5. Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, Futurama

6. Google Maps, Google News, Google Trends (2006 only)


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy July 4!

Or as it's also known in America: The worst night of the year to be shot.

Update! OK, I guess I have to explain this one. If you're shot while fireworks are going off, people might be more likely to dismiss the violence because they might confuse the sound of the gunfire with pyrotechnics. The comment above read more like a riddle than a joke. My fault, not yours.

The naughtiest Chicago Bull to wear red fur since Dennis Rodman

I know the Chicago Bulls sought an enforcer when they signed Ben Wallace to a $60 million deal, but it looks like they already had one in their (alleged) cop-punching mascot.

Also, what's more disturbing? The fact that a different Bulls mascot last year was sentenced to 18 months in jail on a drug charge? Or that said jailbird was only listed as "Da Bull" in the Sports Illustrated article and not by his/her real name?

Monday, July 03, 2006

And the video game Oscar goes to...

I guess I had forgotten/never known that one of my characters in "The Silver Lining" gives new meaning to the phrase "guard dog," but the 1:40 mark of this promotional video seems to illustrate that point all too well.

I'm psyched that my first attempt at legitimate voice-over work is finally coming to fruition!

Bonus video commentary! At the 5:50 mark, wave to my friend Katie, who's not only seen at that point auditioning for a part, but also is one of the game's coordinators, co-designers and writers!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Amalgamation of everyone's first (and often last) blog post

So, here's my blog. I don't know what to say!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Heralded Kal-El Goes To Fight Hassle

Ranking somewhere between "Fantastic 4" and the original "Batman," "Superman Returns" was a solid B/B+ of a superhero flick with mixed results.

The script was mediocre; Bryan Singer's direction was excellent; some performances were outstanding (hooray for Parker Posey and Kevin Spacey); the first 20 minutes were dull; the action sequences were solid; the ending appeared rushed; the humor was well-executed; and the frizzy brunette locks on the usually scorching Kate Bosworth were her Kryptonite.

But mostly I was disappointed that Kumar didn't have more (any?) lines in the movie.