Since everyone seemed to enjoy last week's photo contest, I figured I would do another, but make it even more awesome. Impossible? Maybe.
So here's the idea. The above picture (click on it for a larger image) was taken during the recording of We Are The World, the smash hit from 1985.
Contest 1: Thirty of the artists who performed on the track are numbered. In an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in the comments section, name those artists. Don't be lame and look up who sang on the track, or look at other people's answers, because I will know. I ALWAYS KNOW.
A few caveats: Number 15 is for the white man above it. Number 21 should be the man to the right of the number. Number 24 is for the man to the upper left of it. Numbers 26-30 correspond to the men immediately beneath them.
Contest 2: Write a caption/ headline. There are plenty of gems in this picture if you look closely enough.
Yes, you can enter both contests. The winner of Contest 2 gets first pick of either G Love and Special Sauce's "Coast to Coast Motel" or String Cheese Incident's "On The Road." The winner of Contest 1 gets the other album.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm trying to unload some CD's I no longer listen to. I'm trying to get some new albums to give away as we speak, so hopefully I don't have to hand out old albums forever.
UPDATE: To clear things up, you don't have to name everyone. The person with the most correct wins.
I saw this trailer when I went to go see "State of Play" last week, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since then. I think I'm supposed to like this movie, but something about it makes me uneasy.
So I thought I would do a scientific analysis to decide whether I should be a.) excited or b.) cautious, when I eventually see it.
This will make much more sense if you watch the trailer first. It's two and a half minutes. You're not doing any work anyway.
Dave Eggers- The film was written by Eggers, whose phenomenal "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" I am thoroughly enjoying right now. If the movie can avoid the sometimes meandering devices Eggers used in AHWOSG, it should be funny.
Supporting cast- In the trailer alone we witness Maggie Gyllenhaal (phenomenal), Jim Gaffigan (with a moustache! Can it get any better?) and Allison Janney (who I thought was the best actor in "Juno," nevermind being sassy as hell in "The West Wing").
Sam Mendes- The man directed "American Beauty." Enough said.
The 1989 Volvo 240 sedan seen in the trailer- My first car, so a soft spot is warranted I think.
Jeff Daniels- After "The Squid and the Whale" I will watch anything that man is in. Yes, and that includes his entire back catalog, especially his bit role in a 1980 episode of "Hawaii-Five-0."
Somewhere between pro and con-
John Krasinski- I think he's terribly effective on "The Office" but haven't seen a role he's played in a movie yet that hasn't made me think "Wow, he's a really good TV actor." That said, he has a pretty decent-looking beard in the film.
Hippies- Gyllenhaal seems to wear a lot of light silky fabrics in the trailer, and looks pretty dirty. Hippies can not be tolerated in film, except in "Dazed and Confused."
Okay, the pros far outweigh the cons. Even throwing in a wild card (Maya Rudolph?) doesn't seem like it will drag this movie down.
Geocities, the Web hosting service popular in the late 1990s, died this month at the age of 14.
The cause of death, according to Geocities parent company Yahoo, was that the service was completely and absolutely obsolete.
“After 1998 things really turned south for Geocities,” said Yahoo spokesman Steven Blaise. “You know, when the Internet became a place for more than just porn, pictures of your cat, and Holocaust conspiracy theories.”
Up from humble beginnings in California, Geocities was born as Beverly Hills Internet in late 1994, the brainchild of David Bohnett and John Rezner. BHI legally changed its name to Geocities in 1995.
The company quickly became a popular hosting company and was soon after joined by the companies Angelfire and Tripod, creating, as one Internet expert said, “a sort-of Holy Trinity of crappy Web sites.”
In a joint statement, Angelfire and Tripod recalled a story that many say was typical of Geocities:
“Geocities was the man. I remember we were all in Las Vegas one night, and Geocities just went up to this girl, Prodigy we think her name was, and asked her, ‘Hey, want me to host you? Later? In my room?’ That was just Geocities, man, killing it with the ladies non-stop.”
By 1999, however, Geocities’ fortunes began to turn. As X-Files fans started to dwindle and Swedish Fraternity Lodges started using “real Web sites,” Geocities began losing money hand over fist. By the beginning of this month, parent company Yahoo announced it was shutting down Geocities.
Geocities is survived by a site maintaining that midgets built Stonehenge, a site about dog treats, and Illuminations of Sarah Michelle Gellar.
For more information, go here.
Quick: who is the first artist since Christina Aguilera in 2001 to have their first two singles reach number one on the Billboard charts? Amy Winehouse? Justin Timberlake? Susan Boyle?
Okay, I guess the mystery was ruined by the gigantic picture of Lady Gaga.
So, yeah, Gaga’s first two charting singles, “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” both reached number one, and, to be frank, I don’t ever turn them off when they come on the radio. To go a step further, last week I actually sat in my car and waited for “Poker Face” to end before I went into my apartment. The Indian family that lives next to me enjoyed the little show I was putting on in the driver’s seat, dancing by myself. I think.
But when I sat down to write this, I had trouble pinpointing what it is that I like about Gaga’s songs. It certainly isn’t lyrical depth (despite being hired as a songwriter for Fergie, the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block, Gaga’s lyrical sensibilities usually skew towards her calling her lady parts a “muffin”), or her personal style (which she describes as “avant garde”, but which I describe as “homeless Star Trek”).
So it must be her hooks, right? I listened to some instrumental versions of the songs, and nope, not it. Pretty standard electropop.
I started thinking about all the peripheral things that make an artist: hometown (Yonkers! I guess being from New York is a point in her favor), their life before singing (Burlesque dancer. Can’t hold that against her), influences.
And that’s when it hit me. Influences! Her name! Lady Gaga! Radio Ga-Ga! Queen!
For those who don’t know, “Radio Ga-Ga” is the greatest song Queen ever performed. If you doubt me, listen to it here.
Finally, some closure on why I like this seemingly bland pop star has such a hold on me!
So then I threw on some Gaga and realized my whole hypothesis was 100 percent wrong.
Sometimes you don’t need to have a reason to like something, I guess. Sometimes you can just jam out in your car to a lame song while an Indian family watches you. And I guess a Lady Gaga song on a Top 40 station is one of those times.
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
40 interviews. 90 minutes. A bit muddled, but spirit of the band transcends.
Next in the Netflix queue: Being There
Bob, thinking it was casual Friday, dressed in his finest.
Unfortunately, it was nuclear Thursday.
For your troubles you will receive a used copy of The Cranberries' "Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?" E-mail me so I can get your address.
I stumbled across this video last night, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet. The song? Epic. The video? Maybe NSFW. Does it count if they blur out the lady parts and Charlie Browns? Well, hell, it's on YouTube so it can't be that bad.
Andddd another new website, Texts From Last Night. The idea is simple: people upload texts they received. Last night. Some examples (the numbers represent their area code):
(212): Well I thought that next 8 ball would either kill us or turn us into Gods
(269): did you hook up austin?
(248): No! he threw up in my bathroom, made me wake up and order him jimmy johns, beat my roommate with a macaroni and cheese box, and then passed out with her in her bed
Childish? Yes. Unbelievably addicting and true to life? Hell yes. Thanks to Yellaphant's Twitter for this one.
Hot on the heels of January's Rod Blagojevich photo contest comes this gem. Click on the photo for a larger version, and leave your headlines/captions in the comments.
The winner will receive a copy of The Cranberries' "Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?" album. Seriously.
Okay, so this video starts out a little slow, but stick around for the whole thing. The man RIDES A BIKE ON TOP OF A FENCE, and does all kinds of awesome other stuff.
Even if you don't like to "get extreme" with bikes and skateboards and sandboards and rollerblades and whatnot, this video is worth watching.
Plus, they use a Band of Horses song in it, which gives the video super-special, double fantastic points. Thanks to Charlie S. for pointing this one out.
People seemed to like the Billy Ray Cyrus post a few weeks ago, so every time someone ticks me off, they'll get this treatment. And no, I will not stop at four horsemen, despite the biblical promise. Why? Because too many people deserve this.
Dec. 21, 1965- Andrew Dick is born, and is immediately adopted by Sue and Allen Dick. The adoption turns out to be the worst Christmas present Allen ever gave Sue, aside from that one “Fruit of the Month” incident in 1959.
Fall, 1983- Dick comes to his suburban Chicago high school dressed as a superhero named “Super Dick.” Thinks he’s being clever; turns out he’s just being an ass.
1985(ish)- Dick joins the famed Chicago sketch comedy troupe Second City, which spawned such comedy luminaries as Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Due to his terrible timing and lack of what the troupe considered “humor,” Dick was assumed to just be a member of the janitorial staff, and was allowed to stick around “while the adults were being funny.”
September 1992- Dick lands role on The Ben Stiller Show. There’s no joke here; that show was actually very funny.
1998- In one of his first forays into voiceovers, Dick lends his voice to “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.” During test screenings, children would scream whenever Dick’s character, Nuka, would appear on screen. In the post-screening reviews, parents said their children were afraid of the character who “sounded like a constipated Roseanne.”
“The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride” was released straight to video.
2002: Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century release their self-titled debut album. It goes on to sell 36 copies. The remaining copies were all sent to be reformatted into “The Lion King III: Nuka’s Revenge,” thus perpetuating Dick’s uncontrolled influence on American culture.
August 2007- Dick is cited for public urination outside a Columbus, Ohio bar after a stand-up performance at a local club. Earlier in the evening, patrons at the club stormed out after realizing they accidentally paid to see Dick, not a showing of the 1999 film “Dick” starring Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams.
2009- After years of substance abuse, Dick appears on the VH1 show “Sober House,” with Drew Pinsky. Due to the fact that VH1 HAS NOTHING BETTER TO SHOW EVERY FREAKING SATURDAY AFTERNOON, Dick is beamed into millions of households, where his influence is forced upon a new generation of American children.
For decades, people have been turning their collective noses up at labels. These people think that once middle school (and its sweeeeeet Jnco jeans) is over, so should your dependence on a gaudy Nike symbol across a hat, a huge pink hand on a Body Glove sweatshirt, or a North Face emblem on a backpack.
For those people, I give you the beer sweater.
Classy enough to wear on a dress-down Friday, yet casual enough to don at a barbecue, the beer sweater offers its owner a host of options.
Say one of your drinking buddies dies by like, I don’t know, getting hit by a Pabst delivery truck?
What better way to say “Hey, I know Rick loved slamming down PBRs, and his death is sort of a cruel irony?” than by wearing this Pabst sweater to his funeral? Sure you may get some looks from the rest of the audience (wife, kids, cousins, the priest), but dammit it’s what Rick would want.
Maybe that’s not the best example. Okay here’s a better one. Say you just met a girl/guy/ girly guy/she-dude and you want to impress on a first date:
“Oh hey Nancy…yeah I’d say wear something nice…the Web site says casual chic, whatever that means these days…Me? I’m wearing a sweater and jeans.”
Then show up -KAPOW!- in this bad boy:
You’re rounding home plate before 10 p.m., and you probably won’t even have to buy dessert. Plus, she knows you like to party.
“OMG Tina, my date was awesome….you know how much I love Schlitz right….exactly! I always talk about it! Sometimes I swear we have one brain!….So I went out with this guy Rico, and guess what he shows up wearing? A freaking Schlitz sweater!....I know, it’s like he’s a mindreader!....I think I love him already.”
Moral of the story: buy one of these sweaters. Funerals, first dates, and for the next time you just say “Eff it. It’s a Tuesday and I’m going to call in sick and drink Stroh’s all day.”
For a sweet collection of these sweaters, go here. Also, I know I saw this Web site on a Twitter/ Facebook/ blog/ Myspace/ Friendster/ skywriting airplane, so if you introduced me to it let me know and I'll give you credit.
Hot off the heels of the greatest glamour shot ever, my friend Charlie S. found this gem. I recommend the April 10 and March 27 pictures, but they're all golden.
As for Susan Boyle, we usually like to keep things light here on Friday, but this video is beautiful. I'm sure most of you have seen it (15 million of you have on YouTube), but if you haven't here it is. (Embedding was disabled by YouTube. Animals!)
If you don't get choked up watching this, you have no soul.
Finally, a little self(?)-promotion for two talented friends of mine, Down Swayze and J FUSE. Apart from their time as The Nasty Midnighters, they've been putting together internet radio shows featuring some of the silkiest, smoothiest, skankiest songs of all time. You can listen to episode three below.
You Gotsta Hear This Episode 3 - April 15th 2009.mp3 -
…but can’t because a.) they’re no longer available, or b.) it would be extremely embarrassing to be caught drinking them.
10.) All Sport
This was possibly the worst sports drink ever created. Its thick, syrupy taste left a film in your mouth as you led your Hyde Park junior soccer league Arrows to victory after victory as its goalie in fifth grade.
9.) Junior Juice
“Hey ma! I’m looking for a juice box that will fit in a thimble!” These 4.2 oz juice boxes were kicked about a half-sip in, but man they were delicious.
Or “Diabetes in a plastic bottle.” The second name was (I assume) thrown around when the Daily Juice Products company started poisoning children with fructose in 1972, but didn’t stick for some reason. You may know Hugs as the little barrels of “juice” that taste like melted popsicles.
7.) Five Alive
Orange. Lemon. Grapefruit. Tangerine. Lime. It should’ve been called Six Alive, with one last ingredient: Heaven.
6.) Sunny D
“I've been trying to get people to call me Sunny D. I've got the good stuff kids go for. People keep calling me Five Alive.”
-The Hold Steady
5.) Juicy Juice
Remember those gigantic cans of juice? That you needed a CAN OPENER to open? Yeah, me too. They were delicious.
Before 2000, every Ssips juice box included the same quote printed on its side:
"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth" --Diogenes Laertius
This probably explains my obsession with fourth century Greek biographies.
A big, manly juice box. And no, that’s not an oxymoron. Look, Richard Lewis likes them, and he was addicted to coke and booze. Talk about manly.
2.)Hi-C Ecto Cooler
“We need a drink based around a disgusting movie character, any ideas?....No, Gremlins are out. Alien seems a bit too violent for the toddler to 6 year-old demographic. Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man? I think we’re getting warmer. Slimer? Slimer I can work with.”
And so a legend was born. Somehow Ecto Cooler wasn’t discontinued until 2001, 17 years after Ghostbusters was released.
1.) Kool Aid Bursts/ Mondos
As a child, I always thought, “Man I love juice, but I wish there was a way I could spray it all over my fellow second-graders.” By the mid-90s my prayers were answered. The Bursts/Mondo fad lasted about three weeks, but those were the best three weeks of my life.
So, did I miss any?
For those who don't know, longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas died Monday. Even for someone who hated the Phillies, Kalas' voice was the sound of baseball, and he'll be sorely missed.
John Sellers interviewed Kalas a few years ago for Sports Illustrated, and the final question of the interview was "If I asked nicely, would you narrate as I eat a chalupa?" You can click on the image above for a clearer view of his response,and the rest of the interview.
You should also check out Sellers' book "Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life." It's not as dweebish as the title makes it out to be, and is actually quite good.
Things I will not be defending:
-R. Kelly’s alleged marriage to Aaliyah. When she was 15.
-His June 2002 indictment on 22 counts of having sex with a minor (Acquitted!)
-“Gotham City” (Everything associated with Batman during the mid-90s is indefensible)
When I was 10 years old, I didn’t have cable. So when my brothers and I would visit my grandparents we would, in typical childhood fashion, rush to the television in her basement. We would say we wanted to shoot pool and throw darts, but we would really just set up the pool table while we flipped through the 50(!) channels my Nanny and Grandfather had.
One day my brother Drew (8 years old at the time) and I stumbled across a music video on BET that stopped us in our tracks: R Kelly’s “I Can’t Sleep Baby.” For those unfamiliar with the video, R basically kicks it in a log cabin crying about lost love. Drew and I were stunned.
We lived in a log cabin. Up to that point the only other log cabin of any import in our lives was Abraham Lincoln’s, and all of a sudden there was this dapper black lumberjack (R wears flannel for a significant portion of the video) living seemingly the same lifestyle as us.
So naturally we watched “The Lumberjack Video” as much as we possibly could when we went to my grandparent’s house. And (for me at least) an obsession began.
Looking at R’s catalog from 1995 to today is to look at a list of some of the biggest hits of the last 15 years. I Believe I Can Fly. The World’s Greatest. Fiesta. Ignition. The remix to Ignition (hot and fresh out the kitchen). Step in the Name of Love. I’m a Flirt.
But to look just at his singles is to miss the greatest contribution to American cinema in the past 20 years: “Trapped in The Closet.”
For those of you who don’t know, “Trapped in the Closet” is a hip-hopera (not unlike MTV’s horrible attempt to remake “Carmen” with Beyonce and Mos Def a few years ago) that follows the story of 12 characters through 22 chapters. R released each chapter separately to radio stations, and would then produce a music video for each chapter.
Over the course of the 22 chapters, R- excuse me, Sylvester, Randolph, Rev. Mosley James Evans, and Pimp Lucious- encounters a midget, the police, Rosey the nosey neighbor, and too many other characters to list. The plot is totally convoluted, to the point that the opera might even be more fun to watch on mute. But then again, on mute, you’d miss lines like this:
...Wit a spatula in her hand....like that's gon' do something against them guns........it's Rosie the nosey....neighbor..."
“Trapped in the Closet” is available on Netflix. If you have a brain, you will stop reading this post and add it to your queue.
To be fair, “Trapped in the Closet” is pretty much nonsensical gibberish, accented with silk sheets, R hiding in (you guessed it) a closet, and midgets. But isn’t nonsensical gibberish sometimes better than anything?
My love for R was accented this past winter with this song. The original? Terrible. The remix with R? Top 5 songs of 2008. Or ever. You decide. R comes in at the 1:28 mark.
Hey all, I'm home in NY for a few days so I haven't had much time to update. I'll get some good(?) stuff up in the next few days, I promise.
To hold all of you insatiable readers over until then, here's something from last year's Easter season:
Since lately many of my posts have included declarative titles, I thought I would keep it going.
"Billy Bob Thornton is insane" is not a a hyperbole by any means. Watch the following video and you'll understand entirely.
If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, watch the first two minutes and then skip ahead to the seven minute mark. During his ramblings the phrase "cosmic cowboy music" is used; hopefully that's enough to keep your attention.
And if you've already seen that, watch this.
Oh and it seems like Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter have a new show coming out soon, or at least a crappy Web site.
Thanks to Bill F. for pointing out the original video.
I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but technology blows my mind every day. Between Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, something new pops up once or twice a week that would’ve been entirely inconceivable 10 years ago.
Now not all technology is good technology (anthrax jumps out as one example, as does Jocelyn Wildenstein’s face). But yesterday I saw maybe the funniest side-effect of technology I’ve ever seen, courtesy of the folks at Google Maps.
Not only can you see where something is located now, you can also get a sense of the neighborhood.
Driving through Pittsburgh looking for a Japanese-style duel?
What if you have a car-full of Mardi Gras beads and happen to be in Homewood, Illinois?
Or you need some weed and you're in Chicago?
Or if you’re just too damn tired to make it home, and need a place to crash?
Thank you Google Maps.
Click on the images for larger versions. Also, thanks to Clandestine Industries for pointing out the Pittsburgh shot a few months ago.
Okay, first the back story. This glamour shot is one of 20 FANTASTIC pictures you can find right here. Yes, some of the descriptions are a little crude, but I think the photos speak for themselves for the most part.
Now let's address this man, and break down the individual aspects of this photo.
The cat- What possesses a man to bring a cat to a JC Penney studio is beyond my comprehension. The logistics of packing the cat up, making sure it doesn't scratch the eyes out of the photographer, and making sure it doesn't crap all over the studio seem to be a bit too high to get a picture with a cat YOU SEE EVERY DAY.
Unless, of course, the cat isn't actually his, and he just stole a cat because he wanted a picture with one. One point for creepiness, two if he stole the cat.
The forlorn look- This is a man on the brink. Approaching his late twenties, this man is looking for anything—even the family he's staring at in the waiting room—to guide him. Looking into the camera would be like looking into his own soul, a proposition he'll never be ready for.
The unbuttoned top button- "Hell yeah I'm still hip. Who cares if I live in the same bedroom as I did when I was eight, in the same race car bed, with the same Mighty Mouse sheets?"
The choice of background- "I want to look like I'm coming out of a tunnel, like Kurt Russell in 'Escape from New York'."
I also couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance between this photo, and this photo:
Coincidence? I hope not.
Thanks to Matt V. for pointing out this site, and to whoever Matt stole this site from off Facebook.
It’s a pretty simple argument, really. No one-hit wonder has ever had the culture-crushing influence that Billy Ray has sowed across this planet:
1961: William Ray Cyrus is born in Flatwoods, Kentucky to Ron Cyrus and Ruth Ann Atkins. Normal kid, though he was LEFT-HANDED.
Strike one Cyrus.
Late 1970s: Billy Ray lands baseball scholarship to play for Georgetown College, in Kentucky. It is here that he presumably has his heart broken for the first time, in an achy, breaky sort of way.
1992: Billy Ray releases his debut album “Some Gave All” with the first single “Achy, Breaky Heart.” Twenty million copies are sold worldwide, and students are taught the Achy Breaky Dance in elementary schools across the United States. Well, at least at North Park Elementary in Hyde Park, New York.
The moves associated with this dance put males born from 1981 to 1986 at a distinct disadvantage in the wooing of ladies once they reach college, since their entire catalog of “sweet dance moves” is directly associated with this dance.
Strike two Cyrus.
November 23, 1992: Destiny Hope Cyrus is born. She will later change her name to Miley.
We’ll deal with this later.
1993: Billy Ray slides into oblivion.
Remove one strike.
2001: Billy Ray earns the lead role in the hit PAX Channel show “Doc.” The series is the highest rated show in the history of PAX, narrowly beating the “Supermarket Sweep”/ “Shop ‘Til You Drop” 1 p.m.-2 p.m. power block, and Ron Popeil infomercials.
Strike two Cyrus, for presumably hogging the time slot that would’ve been reserved for two back to back episodes of “Supermarket Sweep.”
2006: “Hannah Montana” debuts on the Disney Channel. Hundreds of millions of children fawn over Billy Ray’s daughter Miley. Whirlwind tours drag parents to civic centers across the world, where they spend hundreds of dollars so their children can watch a 14-year-old lip sync the same songs live she lip syncs on her TV show.
Strike three Cyrus.
And while what the Baha Men and Aqua did to America can not be underestimated, Billy Ray’s influence has harmed this once great nation for decades to come.
The votes are in, and Sam and Kaitlyn won a free wedding. They didn't win the popular vote (despite our best efforts) but the people at The Not Wedding thought they deserved the wedding the most.
It will be in Atlanta on May 31; book your flights now.
So yeah, suck it Leah and George!
If you are new to this blog, and have no idea what I'm talking about, click here.
“Adults” aren’t supposed to actually enjoy children's movies. Sure, they’re supposed to sit there and nod along while their kids or nieces and nephews watch “Oliver and Company” or Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s “How the West Was Fun.”
But actually enjoy a movie and watch it without children? Bah.
“Heavyweights,” however, breaks all the rules. For those of you who haven’t had the distinct pleasure of watching this neo-classic, it’s about a bunch of kids at Camp Hope, a fat camp. That’s all it should take for you to add the movie to your Netflix queue.
First of all, I will defend to the death the fact that Ben Stiller’s character Tony Perkis is his funniest role to date. He basically replays the Perkis character in “Dodgeball,” but to a lesser effect. Best line in the movie, delivered by Perkis:
“Attention campers. Lunch has been canceled due to lack of hustle. Deal with it.”
Fun fact: this was the first movie Judd Apatow ever wrote. Check that. I don’t know if this is the first movie he ever wrote, but it’s the first movie PRODUCED that was written by him.
And watching the movie recently, it’s kind of fun to think that the kids at Camp Hope grew up and all starred in “Knocked Up.” The jokes are basically the same. In “Heavyweights” there are jokes about Seymour Butts. In “Knocked Up,” the main characters fart on each others pillows. Now flip the titles of the movies around. Not much difference, right?
I admit, the idea of the movie is extremely juvenile, but I think that’s part of its charm. Plus, I’ll watch anything with Jerry Stiller.
And if the facts I’ve presented aren’t enough for you to leave work and drive to Blockbuster, here’s the plot, as described by IMDB:
Plump kids are lured into joining a posh fat camp with the promise of quick weight loss and good times, only to find that the facility is a woodland hellhole run by a psycho ex-fitness instructor.
Come on. You can’t tell me that doesn’t sound awesome.
This video should do a much better job of persuading you than I ever could.
So I tried out.
I’d planned to write about this live, but the idea of lugging my laptop to this college, connecting to their wi-fi, hassling with a battery…it just seemed a bit much.
But, here it is, my unlive, live account of my day.
10:02 a.m.- I arrive at Montgomery College. There are 17 people here. One thousand are allowed to try out, and try outs begin at 2 p.m. I may be a bit early.
10:13 a.m.- Direct quote from man sitting across lobby from me: “One day there will be pens like laser printers. You will just be able to drag them across the paper and they’ll print words.” This man also later claimed that calligraphy will become the “new, old style of handwriting.” He, I think, was crazy.
10:39 a.m.- Remember that Alex Trebek is the grand marshal of the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Wonder if he’ll show up unexpectedly and middle-aged women will throw their bras at him. ( 2:45 p.m.-He does not, and they do not)
10:44 a.m.- Some guy seems to be studying with laser printer/ calligraphy man for some sort of embassy/ State department interview. I don’t think he’s going to get the job. He has very tiny hands. Those two thoughts are separate, but I suppose it could be a negative factor in the hiring process if he plans on being some sort of diplomat/ hand model/assassin.
10:46 a.m.- Man in suit sits down two tables over from me. Opens briefcase. Removes stack of textbooks, two entitled “Basic Turkmen.” Either this guy speaks Turkmen or he’s wicked good at intimidating people. Either way, it worked.
11:00 a.m.- A man in his mid-fifties shows up in a blazer, with a gray ponytail down to his mid-back. I immediately think of Tim Robbins’ character in “High Fidelity” and laugh.
11:16 a.m.- Room is beginning to fill up. Maybe 50 people now. I got here way too early.
11:30 a.m.- Eat bag of generic apple cinnamon cheerios. Wonder why I didn’t splurge for the name brand, since these taste like absolute garbage.
Somewhere between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.- We all move into a large auditorium area. At this point I’ve picked up my friends Sebastian, Kristy, Bear and Stephanie. It’s like the Lord of the Rings, except there are no midgets. (Side bar- There were no midgets at the entire event, though a high percentage of people were in wheelchairs. Sebastian has a theory about said high percentage. I will not reprint it.)
12:45 p.m.- Guy walks past us in the auditorium with a Scrabble board. He must be unfamiliar with the concept of Jeopardy.
1:15 p.m.- College-aged kid in Hollister sweatshirt fills his lip with dip and proceeds to spit away in an Arizona Sweet Tea bottle. Seems to not think it’s out of the ordinary.
1:30 p.m.- Auditorium (500 seats?) really starts to fill up. Creepy guy sits next to me, starts telling me about this Onion video about the NCAA tournament expanding to include 4,000 teams. Actual quote: “Could you imagine if the Montgomery College Knights played against North Carolina? Oh man. That wouldn’t be a good game.” Thanks guy.
1:40 p.m.- Since I was one of the first 50 people at the audition, I’m moved into a smaller room. Freak show---commence.
“I hope there are some Thomas the Tank Engine questions. I’ve seen every episode,” said a young black man.
“I got here at 4 a.m.,” said woman wearing leopard-print winter hat indoors, on a 65 degree day. When we were all filling out our forms, this same woman yelled out, “If I don’t have a computer what do I put in as my e-mail address?”
2:00 p.m.- Game time. One sheet of paper. Ten questions. Five minutes. One sheet of paper.
2:05 p.m.- I know for sure I got six right, and at least three wrong. Opera and ancient history questions killed me. I should’ve gotten two more (one about Toni Morrison and another about some stupid elephant).
2:06 p.m.- Kick myself in the ass for not studying opera and ancient history.
2:10 p.m.- Walk outside and see a line stretched for over 200 yards, packed with people.
2:20 p.m.- Campus security guard walks about ¼ of the way up the line. The man he stops in front of suddenly looks very sad. Apparently he was number 1,001.
I’ll find out by mid-May whether I get asked back for a live audition. We’ll see.
Sebastian took a bunch of pictures, and if he allows I'll add them later.
So I was watching "The Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s" on VH1 last night, and these seemed too good not to share. (As a side note, is "The Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s" a.) the most specific show ever, and b.) kind of redundant?)
This Don Johnson video features the most bad-ass use of fire this side of "California Love," and the Jermaine Stewart video is included just because the song is so ridiculous. We don't have to take our clothes off Jermaine? Thanks for that pearl of wisdom.
Update: Here's how my audition went
Lance Armstrong trains for the Tour De France. Rocky Balboa trained for Ivan Drago. I train for Jeopardy.
Now my training has never been as physically intense as Armstrong’s or Balboa’s (although I DO remember sweating on an almanac when I was younger, but I think that had something to do with a pretty high fever), but it has been just as rigorous.
Almanacs, encyclopedias, Wikipedia, Lostpedia, Pizza-pedia, I’ve read everything.And every year, Jeopardy has online tryouts. And every year since college, I have tried out, and failed epically.
I don’t know if it’s the nerves or just the fact that I’m not smart enough to be on the show, but I never get that call (from a Culver City, California area code) that I’ve made it.
That changes, though, THIS SATURDAY.
A local college has agreed to host live Jeopardy auditions, and I’m going to be there, 2008 World Almanac in hand, at the crack of dawn to stand in line.
So this is where you come in. I need help.
I’m obviously flawed in many ways (excessive sweating is at the top of the list), so I need your knowledge. If you think you have any pearls of trivia wisdom that I should know about, leave them in the comments.
I’ll have a full recap of Saturday’s events sometime next week.
Note: I took out all the ! after Jeopardy! because I thought it would make sentences really awkward, i.e. "I train for Jeopardy!". If this offends any Jeopardy classicists, let me know.
New feature, again: I decided while reading a review of "Adventureland" the other day that sometimes movie reviews are just too long. 750 words on "Fast and Furious"? Really? So here's what I decided to do: for every movie that I get through Netflix, I'll write a 13-word review. No more, no less, just 13 words. Why 13? Because that's how many words this first one is.
Without further ado...
Role Models, directed by David Wain:
Paul Rudd, hilarious. Seann William Scott, less hilarious. Makes me want to LARP.
Up next in the Netflix queue: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?