Monday, August 29, 2005

'All the news that's fit to print' ... and then there's this story with me in it

The New York Times -- yes that New York Times -- featured me and Varsity Basketweaving in David Scharfenberg's Aug. 28 story about bloggers and blogs. Hooray!

For those of you who don't have an NYT password or don't want to fork over the $3.95 to purchase the article, here are the last four paragraphs of the story:

Chris Serico, 26, a reporter at The Patent Trader weekly newspaper in Mount Kisco, envisions nothing quite so lofty for his three-month-old, tongue-in-cheek blog, Varsity Basketweaving.

Mr. Serico, who views the blogosphere not as a news source but as a perfect place for commenting on "the ridiculous and the mundane," fills his site with odes to the actress Rachel McAdams and fast-food pinings.

In one recent posting, he pleaded with Sonic Drive-In Carhops to open a restaurant in Westchester, so he could indulge in the chain's Island Fire burger, Ched 'R' Peppers and "painfully yummy-looking dessert thingies with bits of crunchy and chewy goodness mixed in."

"No matter where you live," Mr. Serico said, in a recent telephone interview, "everyone wants to be heard."

UPDATE! If you still want to read the whole article for free, this link might work.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Saturday Might Live

The same day I apply for tickets for the upcoming Saturday Night Live season, The Apiary (a superfun happy comedy blog) is all abuzz about rumors* involving the new SNL cast. The Apiary previously cited an article that reported that, following what many critics and hard-core fans considered to be a lackluster season, Lorne Michaels personally was on the prowl for new talent, rather than doling that responsibility out to underlings.

Oct. 1 marks the premiere of SNL's 30th season. Hope for great things. Like the Gene Frenkel-Queens of the Stone Age cowbell moment. (Warning: Immediate sound. Headphones recommended.)

*The Apiary emphasizes that these are just rumors, so I will be sure to state the same.

Belt Bling

It's not often you see the hip-hop and geek communities unite, but they seem to have found common ground with upgrading their bourgeois metal buckles with tricked-out scrolling LED messages.

My scary admission du jour: I think I want one.

While I acknowledge this as a passing fad and admit I would not know when or where the heck I could actually pull off wearing one of these things, I'm strangely tempted to get one for the sake of irony and a couple of cheap laughs. Because, love them or hate them, they're undoubtedly a conversation starter.

CUTE GIRL: "Hey, your belt's got scrolling messages."
ME: "Yup."
CUTE GIRL: "Okay. Bye."

So while I'd be loathe to display "Chris," "Buckle up" or "Nothing to see here" on said belt, there are some messages I'd consider displaying on an icy-cool fresh belt buckle:





"DOW UP 423.23"








"ERROR 404"


New 'Heroes,' Heroic News

Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a monumental day.

First, today marks the launch of the new Unsung Heroes Web site, which is absolutely phenomenal. Much thanks go to Devin Powell for his amazing work to make it a must-see.

In addition, today I was the subject of an interview conducted by a New York Times reporter, who will be featuring this very blog in this Sunday's edition of the newspaper. Yes, that New York Times.

Stay tuned.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sonic Bust

Another thing to add to the list of Things I Can't Have Right Now, which already includes a snazzy Manhattan apartment and quality time with fawning Hollywood actresses, comes in the form of a deep-fried, double-whipped craving induced by Sonic Drive-In.

Between the new Island Fire burger, the intriguing "Ched 'R' Peppers" and the painfully yummy-looking desert thingies with bits of crunchy and chewy goodness mixed in, I want a Sonic drive-thru near my place, if not installed in the glove compartment of my Tiburon. If this happens, I'm holding out for the next Rachel McAdams delivering my food to me on roller-skates.

What's most maddening about the Sonic situation is that I see ads for their food all the time on television. It's kinda like the Sonic people are saying, "Ha ha... you might have culture, nightlife and worldly perspective in New York City, but we got fast food that will make you weep here in West Virginia!

To Whom It May Concern: Please, please, please bring Sonic to Westchester County. And bring Rachel McAdams with you.

Photoshop Artwork of the Week

What I love most about this random image I found on MySpace is that it would just be downright cruel and marginally amusing with just the crying girl, but the picture-in-picture of the "Not Yours" pony results in indisputable, delicious hilarity.

Unless your name is Christina Dunham. Then this photo is just "Mean. MEANMEANMEANMEAN."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

MC Masterpiece

My brother, Lou, sent me this vintage video clip that stars Saturday morning cartoon and live-action incarnations of MC Hammer. Warning: Immediate Sound. Headphones strongly recommended if you're watching this at work.

As Lou pointed out, "The lyrics just roll off the tongue."

I remember Lou and I and my friend John making fun of the ridiculous lyrics when this show came out in 1991 (and ended, to no one's surprise, a year later). The intro was so inane, John just used to freestyle with mundane phrases like, "He comes from Cleveland! He really likes children! (uhhh... ummm...) He really likes children!" Editor's note: Hammer actually was born and raised in Oakland, not Cleveland, but John used to say "Cleveland" arbitrarily.

Upon watching the intro for the first time in 13 years, I remembered just how strained these lyrics are. Hammer seems to lose steam halfway through before the narrative FINALLY kicks into the chorus:

"They met a guy named Stanley... and then he did something... *yawn*... and did somethin' else and he BECAME HAMMERMAN! HAMMERMAN! HAMMER!"

My sister, Tara, said: "No one can squeeze the phrase 'magical shoes' into a one-count better than Sir Hammer. And if you rap about a guy named Stanley, you'd better have a good dose of irony in there. I'm pretty sure he doesn't."

At least Eminem had the sense to shorten the name to "Stan."

Please, Hammer, keep hurtin' 'em. With hilarity.*

*This line should be read by Michael Ian Black sitting in front of an I Love the 90's backdrop.

Drive-thru love

I am reminded of why I love fast food so much.

And it's because there's the chance that someone like the naturally beautiful and equally talented Rachel McAdams might be on the other side of that drive-thru speaker.

Yes, I'd like fries with that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Snak Eyes

A recent blog post by my favorite emerging NYC sketch comedy group, Elephant Larry, inspired this bit of nostalgia.

Back in the summer of 1998, I was up in Boston, visiting a bunch of college friends. One day, I met up with one of my closest friends, Chambo, and attempted to catch a Sox game at Fenway. We couldn't get tickets and wound up taking the D Line back to Reservoir station, where The Circle Cinema was showing five feature films. Two of them caught our eye:

I deduced that Saving Private Yan was also a war epic, but one that chronicled the Sino-Japanese War; and that Snak Eyes was about a blind man who balled up prosthetics using spongy yellow cake baked at a Hostess factory.

'Sopranos' Encore

HBO just announced that there will be eight "bonus" episodes of The Sopranos in addition to the 12 slated for its previously reported "final" season. But according to that CNN link, HBO won't say if the shows are part of the seventh season or are the final final episodes.

I'm guessing the bonus episodes will finally make it to the airwaves if and when Clinton is president. Chelsea Clinton. And since Hillary's going to have a tough enough time pulling that off, it's very likely the bonus episodes will never air.

Just one demand from me either way: More Uncle Junior!!!

The Affleck Effect

No, not AFLAC. Affleck.

Courtesy of ESPN, here's the Red Sox record on Ben Affleck's birthday since "Good Will Hunting" opened in 1998:

2005 Lost at Tigers 7-6
2004 Lost to White Sox 5-4
2003 Lost to Mariners 10-5
2002 Lost at Mariners 4-3
2001 Lost to Mariners 6-2
2000 Lost to Devil Rays 3-1
1999 Lost to Mariners 4-3
1998 Lost to Twins 3-1

His destruction, apparently, knows no bounds. Fortunately for me, I'm a Yankee fan.

It's too bad, actually. I think he's an affable, likeable guy who isn't afraid to be self-effacing. But man, some bad movies.

Monday, August 08, 2005

This Bud's (not) for you

This isn't the first time parties have fought over beer money.

Friday, August 05, 2005

These guys write bad

I think all writers have moments when they think there's something awful about their writing. Well, some writers are writing poorly on purpose in the hopes of winning a $250 grand prize.

We have a winner.

Here's a sample of a winning entry: "The rising sun crawled over the ridge and slithered across the hot barren terrain into every nook and cranny like grease on a Denny's grill in the morning rush, but only until eleven o'clock when they switch to the lunch menu."

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A little love for Mariah Carey

Okay, I'll be the first to say I quietly enjoyed the post-Jeter, post-"Glitter" Mariah meltdown to an extent. I mean, oof! She really was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for a while there.

But her career decisions hardly warranted Sony dropping her from the label, especially when she pumped out a gajillion No. 1 hits, even during the grunge/gangsta rap apex of the 90's, when pop would be shunned by the cool people until the Backstreet Boys broke through. (Come on... like you didn't at least nod your head hearing "Back-street's Back! All right!")

The aftermath of her label release was perplexing to me, admiring someone with extraordinary vocal talent. The woman had tons of mainstream success and one of those once-in-a-generation pop voices that made you go, "Who the heck is that?" the first time you heard her on the radio.

This is not to say she's completely had it together in recent years. I had trouble finding a PG-rated photo to accompany this blog post. Her MTV "Cribs" episode is the hilarious standard by which all subsequent episodes are measured. (Clothing changes? Come on, MC!) And I'll acknowledge that I would have lost money if, four years ago, Vegas posted odds on whether Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston would evoke more pity in 2005. Have you seen "Being Bobby Brown"?

But forgive me if I'm now happy for a talented singer with genuine longevity because her new album is doing exceptionally well on the charts. And this praise is coming from a guy who has exactly one of her songs on his iPod ("Vision of Love") and owns none of her albums.

You go, girl.

His mission: Make once-hot starlet hot again.

Apparently, Lindsay Lohan got my memo. Best of luck to personal trainer Justin Gelband. No pressure or anything. (Via Sports Guy Intern)

Oh, and Linds, since you're taking notes, please abandon the unflattering blonde look and return to the awesome red hair. Because, you know, I'm obviously a beacon of trendsetting style. On, like, catwalks and billboards and stuff.

"Chappelle's Show" R.I.P.?

Say it ain't so, Tyrone Biggums!

I'd like to think this is all just hype, but this pretty much confirmed my worst suspicions.

I'm guessing the pressure was too much for Dave to handle and/or the network wouldn't let him push the envelope. I'm guessing the former (Comedy Central has no incentive to back out in any way), but I suppose it's a moot point.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hey, I'm alive!

Unlike someone on "Six Feet Under." (SPOILER ALERT!)

I know, I know. I've vanished into thin air lately faster than Lysol in a Taco Bell bathroom. Rest assured, I have been writing down VB blog ideas over the last few weeks in the hope that I would post at least a few of them by the end of this week.

Just hold out one more night, okay?

The Management