Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ummm....This Could Be a Conspiracy.

So. It's been like, what, a week since I wrote about Maggie visiting and Twilight yadda yadda yadda. (I got a frantic call from her a few days ago--she is heartbroken about a leaked book? More on that later). Anyway, I also vented my frustration about the books on Apartment Therapy and received a fair amount of hate emails that had me (and a few of the other editors) laughing and laughing. Why am I bringing this up again? Here's why:

About three days ago, I am stuck in fucking traffic. In Pasadena. At an ungodly hour that doesn't warrant traffic. Colorado Blvd, close to the Rose Bowl at 1 am? IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. Unless there's an accident (but even then, there's not a lot of cars to be rubber necking), New Years Eve (the parade, you know), a football game...or worse...filming. (Side Tangent: I was once stuck in traffic on Western and Wilshire at 6 pm heading to work at the Wiltern Theater for a gallery show...I literally went 3 blocks in 1.5 hrs. Why? Because they were filming a car chase sequence from the movie S.W.A.T. Years later, when I finally caught the movie on TNT, I was like, "Huh. So that's what that looked like.") As I inched along, I spied those pesky yellow filming location signs, and then...horrors of horrors! A gaggle of innocent girls wearing peg leg jeans (ugh) and Team Edward tshirts (ugh x2) were huddled around the corner and about three of them were crying hysterically. It was...bizarre. I mean, I understand fandom. Case and point, I still know all the words to Ice Ice Baby (who doesn't? C'mon.) A part of me sat idly in the car, wondering what will happen in 5 years when these girls grow up...and cringe when they relive the memory of sneaking out of their homes past curfew to get some British bloke's autograph. Hell, I still cringe just thinking about watching Cool As Ice--and I was 12!

Which brings me to the leaked book issue. Mags was in tears when she called and wailed, "She's SO ANGRY that she won't FINISH the BOOK! She posted TWELVE CHAPTERS and it ENDS right at the BEST PART!" Fourteen years olds are so great at speaking in ALL CAPS, aren't they? I find it endearing. And hilarious. And after she gushed out the whole story, I got so curious that I went online and looked. Yes, the author was pissed and has every right to be. But I will say that I got a very bad taste from her letter to her fans. Let me just put it to you this way: If I were a wildly successful writer who churned out four books, and was going to rewrite the first book due to popular demand and it got leaked accidentaly, yes, I would be pissed. But at the end of the day, I would finish it off, post it online, and tell my fans to have at it. After all, if my fourth book sucked so bad that my own fans were launching a Return the Book campaign, I would feel like giving away a companion book is the least I could do to thank them. Or maybe go the JK route and donate all the proceeds to charity. Lots of options!

On the other hand, maybe this is totally a ploy by her publishing company. As someone who builds widgets and banners that track clicks and page views and what all else, it wouldn't surprise me in the LEAST that someone is calculating how many times her "leak" gets downloaded. That's some mighty fine marketing information...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Can't Hate When It Pays The Mortgage...

Say what you will about the state of pop music--like it's crap, no one is making money, and if kissing a girl will top the charts, then the world is falling to pieces--but i really, really can't hate on it even if I wanted to. Why? Because it pays the bills, my friends. It does. So here's to you, Justin Timberlake and Hilary Duff and Hannah Montana and the entire cast of High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears and Ne-Yo and Usher and American Idol: Thank you, from the deepest pit of my stomach to my carpal tunnel hands. Every time I curse you for making me pull all-nighters so you can have your dumb widget or players or websites, I'm really truly grateful. Especially when I go to the grocery store to buy food, or when I send in my monthly bills, or when I have to book a trip across the U.S. to witness my friend getting married. Cheers (now hurry up and make another record, so I can make more shit for you).

P.S. JT, if you win the Emmy for the Future Sex Love Show and you don't thank me, I will be pissed. I still have a piece of mirror lodged in my palm from smashing a stupid disco ball.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Um, how come there are no Chik-fil-A's on the west coast?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Full Name: Ginger Bender

So, my friend Steve told me awhile ago that he's spent exactly one year in the US (he's originally from London). As a young British bloke, Steve was--and still is--extremely outgoing and optimistic which made him sign up to be a foreign exchange student which he thought would be utterly glamorous and fabulous. He also told me that he had visions of being Luke Perry and scoring himself a buxom Beverly Hills blonde.

Unfortunately, the program he signed up for sent him to...Montgomery, Alabama. Awesome. His fondest memories of Alabama include trolling around the strip malls trying to score booze, and rallying his American peers to play rugby and failing miserably. He did, however, attend the prom and wore an all-white tuxedo and took a red-headed girl as his date.

And yes, her name is Ginger Bender. (Or as he would say: Ging-ah Bend-ah).

PS I went to Whole Foods and bought 2 scoops of chocolate-covered almonds. And I ate all of them. In one sitting. While watching the Olympics. I dunno about you, but staring at all these super svelte, super buff athletes just makes me feel less inspired to work out and just give up and eat fatty snacks on my ass.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Shit Is Nuts.

Has anyone watched the Olympics Supercross BMX racing? It is fucking crazy. And I thought gymnastics was bad--these men and women on bikes get B-R-O-K-E.



Beyond. Fucking. Awesome.

Behind the Scenes of AT Blogging...

Before I started writing for AT:LA, I have to admit that I barely blogged. Or read a blog (unless you count Television Without Pity, which really isn't a blog...OK, I read Perez Hilton, FINE, I admit it dammit! Hey, Laure does too...) I think the first few months of blogging for AT was a bit of a shock because well, it's kinda hard to come up with content all the time, and even more importantly: do you know how hard it is to use "we" with everything? Readers bitch about that all the time, and let me just say: look, I get it, I'm not trying to sound pretentious--it's a rule that we (and I do mean "we") have to abide by. The Bossman spoketh.

Anyway. Here are a few things that may (or may not) surprise you about the inner workings of the AT:LA workforce:
1. About once a week, we'll get a few dumb email. And by dumb, I mean, someone is asking us how much we're selling the vinyl Traffic Allure flooring. And it's always about that.
2. We don't get paid by studios to feature TV sets or movie sets. If we did, I'd be posting a shitload more about that. I tend to post a lot about that because I probably watch more TV than the rest of the bloggers combined. This is not necessarily a good thing, but it's the truth.
3. Only one of us is a full time blogger.
4. Every week, we pick the Wet Weedy Willy of the Week Award for Best Reader Comment. This week's comment was awarded early, and it goes unanimously to K T G.
5. I read Gregory, Jonathan, and Laure's personal blogs more than AT. I would read Abby's too, but I'm not sure she has one. I don't think they read my blog at all, mainly because...I've just started updating it.
6. At least once a day, I will skulk around my house and whine about how I have no idea what I should post about (there's a minimum of three posts a day).
7. We are encouraged not to pick fights with comments. (This is a good thing. Especially because in the grand scheme of things, it's just a rug. Or a chair. Or a plastic tree with lightbulb tumors.) So if you leave a not-so-nice comment, don't expect a heated response from any of the staff.
8. We're not allowed to post anything about the kitchen, food, kid's rooms, Europe house tours, Europe stores, or anything or place outside of our territory. So this video I've posted for Friday will probably earn me a slap on the wrist, but what the hell--it's brilliant.
9. Are people really that peeved about Austin, TX? That surprised me.
10. I never look at the Google Analytics. Ever. Sorry Gregory.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Observations

1. I can't watch gymnastics--men or women. Mainly because I get real panicky that someone's going to eat shit and break their back and become paralyzed. Watching this "16-year-old" do her uneven bar exercise gave me the heebie-jeebies...mainly because she did some crazy Exorcist move where she caught herself with her arms twisted backwards. Or something like that.
2. Ditto for Trampoline. I caught a late night segment and started yelling, "DON'T BREAK YOUR NECK!" at the TV.
3. Track stars have the best accessories. Big diamond earrings, chunky gold necklaces, pinky rings....
4. Misty May-Treanor seems like she would be more fun to get beers with than Kerri Walsh. Every time they win a game, Walsh jumps up and down and squeals in a high octave, and May-Treanor just gives her a high-five.
5. Dara Torres is infuckingsane. She and Helen Mirren just made post-40 look a little brighter.
6. Ummm...what is Joan Allen doing in a movie called Deathrace? And why does the preview run during primetime Olympics coverage? But really: what is Joan Allen doing in a movie called Deathrace?!
7. Mary Carillo is the best segment host ever ("If you're a kite lover--and who isn't?")--the only thing better than her is Bob Costas hamming it up with Bela Karolyi.
8. I wonder if NBC's post-production team worked overtime to paint a smog-free Beijing backdrop behind Bob?
9. Why do divers shave themselves?
10. After watching an interview with Ryan Lochte, it's hard to imagine someone so laidback ("Me and Phelps...we just talk about chicks...") being so crazy competitive. I just picture him pulling a McConaughey and smoking a bongload and playing the drums naked in his hotel room.
11. Do the male gymnasts suffer from armpit burn on the even bars?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Twits Have Spoken.

I just spent 8 hours in the company of a 14-year-old girl (her name is Maggie) who is OBSESSED with those damn Twilight books. And after enduring many patient explanations on her part and a lot of "just read this" and "watch this," I kind of hate these books now. (Side note: Mags asked for the latest one in the series for her birthday because they were all sold out at her local Barnes and Nobles, so I got it for her and felt like a total child molester buying it. I don't know why, but I mumbled a lot to the employee chick who was WAAAAY too excited to be selling it to me, and I felt rushed to explain, "No, it's for my friend's daughter's birthday. It's not for me. I SWEAR.") I think it got worse though, when she started telling me the storylines and I kept interrupting with, "What WHAT WHAT?! He's been SPYING ON HER at NIGHT without HER KNOWING?! And that's ROMANTIC to YOU?!" But before I could go whole hog on her about the reality of 17-yr-old boys, she then professed her undying love for the guy who's going to play the vampire stalker in the movie, Cedric Diggory (real name: Robert Pattinson).

"I didn't think he'd be a good choice," she mused over her copy of Breaking Dawn, "But now I like him. He's sooo dreamy! I want to marry him!"

"You know he's just an actor right? He's not really a 100+ yr old vampire who can spout lines of Shakespeare and Brontë and buy his girlfriend a Ferrari. He's probably a big headed prat who weeps and moans about how he hates being famous and wants to run off and record a crap album. Not to mention that if you did run off with a 20something year old, it would be considered a felony in all 50 states." (This is why I don't think I'm cut out for mommyhood, by the way. I have no qualms shattering the tender and delicate fantasies of romantic teenage girls).

After I said that, she made me watch this YouTube interview with him. "See? He's not mean!" she crowed.

And to be fair, Pattinson comes across sounding pretty intelligent because...because...what the hell, he actually says that weepy vampire dude is a melodramatic idiot and his human girlfriend is a lovelorn nutbag! I like this guy! (Plus, that guy in the background eating a pizza is nothing short of awesome.) My heart is starting to bleed for him knowing the amount of crazed fangirls (my 14-yr-old buddy included) that will prey upon his poor soul and rummage through his trash bins outside his hotel, and he'll be forced to field Tigerbeat-esque questions like, "What's your favorite color? What do you look for in a girlfriend?" And then the paps will be on him like flies on shit and he'll never be able to go on a proper holiday on the beach with his model girlfriend without being accosted by rabid Twilight fans who will either throw themselves at him, stab his girlfriend, or scream at him for not sparkling in the sunlight...or all three. ("OMG! Do you think he has a girlfriend?!" Mags says, worriedly biting her lip.)

But then again...he's probably getting paid fat checks for doing the whole damn series of movies (or if he were smart, a percentage of the movie revenue), and that sympathy instantly goes away. Lucky bastard.

PS Is fourteen too young to be reading these books? The whole "She's eighteen, married, and knocked up" storyline is a wee bit laughable. But I can think of something naming your child something as ridiculous as Renesmee.