Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Walking in LA

I'm in Los Angeles again and I thought I would continue the work I started the last time I was here several weeks ago. And so until there is an Overheard in LA, you'll have to suffer through my version.

Person 1: "Why every time I stay in Beverly Hills I always hear garbage trucks, all day long?"
Person 2: "Because there is a lot of trash in Beverly Hills"

"Sharon Stone stays at the Four Seasons, Lindsey Lohan stays at the Standard and Bono does the Mondrian. Sometimes we all just need Sharon Stone comfort."

Producer 1: "I've been up since 5am, you know who needed to start her make up at 5am"
Producer 2: "Two hours for that face?"
Producer 1: "Actually, this time it took three"

Person 1: "Can you tell me how to get to this address"
Hotel Concierge: "It is actually only 3 blocks away"
Person 1: "Great, I'll walk there"
Concierge: "You cant do that"
Person 1: "Why?"
Concierge: "Nobody walks in LA, you will be a target"
Person 1: "A target for whom?"
Concierge: "Everyone"

Notice on hotel bedside table:

Dear Guest,

Tomorrow beginning at 9am our Gardening staff will be servicing the plants on the balcony of your room. Although the gardeners will not need to enter your room, we would like you to be aware that they will be on your balcony for a short time and that you should not be alarmed.

(can you define servicing the plants please?)

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Hunting in the Sahara

I spent most of last week wondering why People Magazine voted Matthew McConaughey the Sexiest Man Alive. I dont see it. Then it dawned on me. Sexiest Man Alive= Restored Celeb interest= Increased Box Office/ DVD Sales= Sahara on DVD. So I succumbed and rented it.

Was it good? I'm not sure. I mean, I was mildly entertained despite the fact that the two main characters wind surf through the desert on a broken down prop plane (what the?). But, overall it was well, one step up from the Mummy but several notches down from National Treasure, which in my opinion, was one of the greatest treasure hunt movies of the new millennium (Pirates of the Caribbean aside). Hey noticing a trend here?

# of plot holes: 43
# of minutes per day Mr. McConaughey had to practice riding a camel for the shoot: 90mins/day
# of times the rented DVD from Netflix skipped: 6
Average # of netflix DVDs I return per month because of skipping: 5

Friday, November 25, 2005


Bowie Wisdom...

Maybe it is the after Thanksgiving food induced coma, or perhaps it is the holiday angst, either way I found myself avoiding the holiday shopping mayhem by falling deep into a David Bowie vortex. It started at 3pm today and I have been listening ever since.

I tried my best today to stay away from the black Friday freaks. You know, the ones who drive like crazy people in shopping mall parking lots in search of the deal of the century, or the ones who yell at sales people, "I need more boxes you friggin idiot, its a friggin gift."

For now, and for as long as possible, I will remain at home, on lockdown listening to David Bowie because lets face it, there are worse ways to spend a Holiday weekend.

And so, I leave you with this:

Life On Mars...
It's a god-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling "No"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?
It's on Amerikas tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds
To my mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Turkey in Iraq

With Thanksgiving only minutes away I thought we should take a moment and give thanks. We should give thanks for the fact that most of us will be in our warm homes with our families enjoying the day instead of in the middle of a dust storm somewhere in Iraq eating government issued turkey, knowing you've got 8 more months to go before coming home.

For some perspective this Thanksgiving, hunker down and read Chairborne Stranger's blog. Giving us some real from the other side of the world. It is touching, griping, and deserving of all of our thanks.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Medium 3D

Monday night's Medium is in 3D. And I will be watching with my 3D glasses firmly affixed to my face.

At first, I was not sure what is up with the 3D craze these days or why a TV show feels the sudden urge to embrace an artform that I thought was a thing of the past. For weeks I have been stressed about getting my hands on 3D glasses in time for the show. That is until last week when suddenly I happened upon a gaggle of street teams on 34th street in NYC pushing the free 3D glasses.

"Get your free 3D glasses for Monday night's Medium," droned a tall blonde girl who was no doubt earning less than minimum wage. She gave me stack of glasses even though I only need one and then it hit me. Medium is in 3D to satisfy a marketing stunt that will, I am sure, increase the show's ratings. Normally I would yawn at the prospect of marketing once again ruling content and creative choices but I digress. If this little stunt will insure Medium as an NBC mainstay, well then, I'm in.

Wanna learn how to make your own 3D glasses? go here

Saturday, November 19, 2005



If you do one thing this holiday season, donate to charity. If you do two things, donate to charity and rent the dvd of the Danny Boyle film Millions. When end of year top ten lists are being formed I am fairly certain this film will be at the top of my list.

Its hard to believe the brilliant Danny Boyle of Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, the Beach and 28 Days Later fame did a 'kids' movie. But then on second thought its not so hard to believe at all. There is hardly anything kidish about Millions. It is perfect in every way. It makes you think about what you are, what you would do, and what the Christmas spirit truly is. Yet it never ever tugs at your heart strings or makes you feel forcibly emotional--that you do all on your own.

With a killer soundtrack featuring everything from the classic Hitsville UK by the Clash to the music of Muse, and the quintessential Danny Boyle criminal underbelly tone to the charm of Manchester lads obsessed with United beating Arsenal this film is a must see. Immediately.

#of times I reflected on the time I hung out with James Nesbitt during the filming of the UK tv series Cold Feet: 5
#of times I regret passing up a trip to Manchester this past October: 7
#of times I considered upping my annual charitable donations: 100
Amount of money it takes to sponsor a child through Save the Children: $28 per month
Amount of time it took me to regain composure after seeing this film: in progress

See it. Love it. Live it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


For You, A Thousand Times Over

I have just finished reading Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. And, I must say this was one of the best books I have read in a very long time.

I started reading it last week on the plane ride to LA. My colleagues chuckled at me when I sobbed before even reaching page twenty, they knew I would be a crying, weeping wreck by the end of the novel. They were right.

The Kite Runner is a story of love, guilt, and redemption set against the backdrop of modern Afghanistan. On the first page there is a dedication which reads "...to the children of Afghanistan."
And with that the heart break of reality begins.

Read it. Discuss.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Bunnies are Strange

I dont know if I should be flattered or freaked out but 'Vincent Gallo' posted in my comments section yesterday. Go ahead, check it out.

What I like on his site is the classified section. It is sort of an underground ebay for shit he wants. Though I must say the threat of him 'never directing again' if people waste his time is well, kind of an odd threat-who is he really trying to hurt? You should also check out the warning on the Message Board and the Contact page. I wonder how much hate mail he must really get.

So what do we make of this? Is this first of many celebrities who are fond of blogging and not afraid to use their real identity? If so, than I have to say Vincent may deserve more credit or cred than he gets. Or is this just some Vincent Gallo fan posing as Vincent Gallo because Vincent Gallo seems more interesting than the guy who is pretending to be him.

You ponder that while I take more antihistamine.

And for total confusion ponder this. ewwwww.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Itching My Way Through Confessions

It would be fitting that on the day of the official release of Madonna's new album I would come down with a case of Pox. Yes, it is true, an as yet unidentified Pox like itchy rash has taken over my arms, legs, and back. I've counted 37 Pox so far.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to sort out the situation. Popmuse, who encourages me to be trendy at all costs, has decided it is the bird flu. But as I have discussed on my blog last week, the bird flu is not an option. Though, the thought of being the first known case of Monkey Pox in America for years is intriguing I shall admit.

In the end I am sure it will probably be some sort of Madonna induced Pox that, with any luck, will clear up with a good antihistamine.

At any rate I hope by now you have all bought the Madonna album and are dancing away in your living rooms wearing nothing but purple leotards and leg-warmers.

For more on Pox varieties, go here.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Tired of Being Sorry

For months a CD has been sitting on shelf in my office by the band Ringside. That CD has gone ignored...until now.

A song on the disc called Tired of Being Sorry was brought to my attention through a show I did for work a couple of weeks ago. Since then the song has been playing over and over somewhere in the back of my mind. Around 2pm today I moved that file in my brain forward and now this song has become the soundtrack to my day, and most likely my weekend (dont you love when that happens).

Some fun facts about Ringside:

- The band is a duo, half of the duo is Balthazar Getty
- The other half is Scott Thomas, a guy who used to design cloths (for No Doubt)
- The video for Tired of Being Sorry was directed by Joaquin Phoenix
- They played Thursday night in LA in the Viper Room. Too bad I found this out today.

go here click on 'downloads' and watch the video

p.s. keep your eyes open for Hollywood cameos appearing in the video

Friday, November 11, 2005


Goodbye LA

The time has come to say goodbye to LA and head back to NY. But before I go I thought it would be worth mentioning some things I've seen and heard along the way. And, since there is no Overheard LA, perhaps here's its start:

Man on the cell phone in Kitson: "I dont care, do what you have to do, I need to call this into CNN, like yesterday"

Two woman in their 20s in the hotel lobby with bandages on their faces (nose and eyes), said in unison, "We just had our procedures this morning"

My friend saying to me, "Dont look now but Jimmy Fallon is sitting behind you eating a pizza"...pause..."Damn it, I said dont look"

In a restaurant on Laurel Canyon:
Person 1 "What does your wife do?"
Person 2 "She is a story producer"
Person 1 "Is that code for reality show writer?"
Person 2 "Shhhh"

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Success Looks Like This...

London. September 14th. Robbie. Nuff said.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Rain, Feel it on My Finger Tips

I'm here in LA and of course what happens? Rain for the next 3 days. I really should not complain I usually get sunny and fabulous here so one rainy trip will not be too terrible I guess.

So instead I will complain about something else. Concert tickets.

My friend MBP and I have made an very important decision. We are going to see Robbie Williams somewhere on his World Tour. Robbie has set up this crazy ticket website with secret passwords, advance tickets, special links etc. MBP joined the secret club last week (for $75) so we would have access to the advanced tickets sales.

Tickets went on sale this morning at 9am GMT. So MBP woke up at 2am LA time (9am in the UK). The ticket website was down. I then woke up at 5am LA time and once again the website was down.

We called each other at 6am LA time and frantically tried again and again to get tickets via the secret ticket website. We finally got through. London sold out. Leeds sold out. On and on and on. Things spiraled out of control. We were stuck in vortex of Robbie rejection. It got so bad I finally said, "Quick, try the Paris dates" MBP responds, "What country is that?" Robbie made us crazy before the sun even came up.

Finally, we called it quits around the time we were considering the show in South Africa.

We are not giving up, but give me a break. I have not had to fight for concert tickets since I was 16 and I think it is an outrage! I miss the days of dialing up a number, pressing redial over and over until someone came on and sold you tickets. I miss the good old days of camping out waiting for Ticket Master to open. These computer ticket outfits seem like they work but they really dont. It is just a scam. And unless you know the record label or someone who can get you good tickets you are forced into this mahem. And forget about the prices. Rememeber the days when tickets were $30. Now, $300 seems like the going rate.

Tickets to the general public for Robbie go on sale next week in Europe. I'm not giving up. I will see Robbie in Europe! Wish us luck.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Oh 2 B in LA

Well, I'm off to Los Angeles for a quick business trip. Will try to post while I am away but between meetings, friends, dinners, and the art of poolside Zen I'm not promising anything.

To keep you amused here are some great quotes from Overheard in NY that could double for Overheard in LA:

Hobo: Can you spare some change?...Fine, you 8th graders!
Tween girl: Oh my gosh, he's psychic

Guy #1: Alanis Morissette wrote a song called Under Rug Swept? That's like Dylan Thomas! Wait, no, that's Under Milk Wood.
Guy #2: I have officially fired you from talking.

Customer: A hot coffee, please.
Waitress: Huh?

Ok Ok Ok before all of my West Coast readers and friends abandon me...I'm kidding!

See you soon.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Kingdom of Heaven

I watched Kingdom of Heaven . A film about the Crusades or the taking of Jerusalem or the defending of Jerusalem or something like that, to be honest I am still not sure. For the first twenty minutes I was totally un-amused. I figured this film, despite the fact that it is a Ridley Scott movie, was made for only two logical reasons. The first being to establish Orlando Bloom as sex symbol poised to be a mega leading man. The second to get another use out of all of those costumes that have been laying around since Clive Owen played King Arthur.

Back to the film. By minute 21 I gave into the Bloom-ness and actually began to enjoy the film for reasons I can't explain.

If you are in the mood for an epic about 1184 Jerusalem or if you just want to see Orlando Bloom run around with a sword then boy oh boy this is the film for you. And if you are really feeling lucky watch the DVD with the "pilgrim" function on. It is a nifty box on screen that gives you fun facts about the Crusades and what not. If the Crusades and Bloom aren't your bag- better skip it.

Hot Actor Factor: 10
Year of the First Crusade: 1095 AD
#of times during the film I considered adding Orlando Bloom to my top 20: 3
The word 'sword' comes from the Old English word 'sweord' and the German word 'swerd': meaning "wounding tool"
Average Price of a Sword at a Medieval festival: $250

(Note to self: got to find the raw footage of your interview with Orlando Bloom from the Lord of The Rings press junket...I knew he was going to be a star!).

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Bird Panic

Yesterday I was at the doctor's office getting a routine check up. I was sitting in the waiting room trying to distract myself with the pages of People magazine. The office began to get more and more crowded. Just at the point when the last seat was filled a nurse came out from the back and said, "I am sorry, we are out of flu shots."

The crowd began to revolt.

"I have to get a flu shot! I have to get one now!" screamed a woman with orange hair. She threw her camel colored suede handbag to the ground and started stamping her feet, "What are we supposed to do now!" she screamed some more. "I always get a flu shot, I need one this year!"

The situation grew more and more chaotic and everyone joined the orange lady in a unified public outcry, to the point where I put down my People magazine and watched the Jerry Springer episode unfold before my eyes.

I have never gotten a flu shot so I couldn't understand what all the fuss was. Until I realized that in addition to the normal fall flu freakout people are now totally cracked out over the Avian flu (aka the bird flu).

So I came home and did a little research on the WHO website to put some perspective on the bird flu. Here is what I learned:

1) Current phase of WHO's "Pandemic Alert" = level 3 ("No or Very Limited Human to Human transmission")

2) Total number of cases to date 122. Deaths 62

3) The Avian flu (H5N1) is transmitted through poultry. "To date, no evidence indicates that any person has become infected with the H5N1 virus following the consumption of properly cooked poultry or poultry product," Translation. Dont eat raw chicken or 'runny' eggs.

4) The following countries are effected by this epidemic: the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Indonesia, and China.

5) The long term concern is that disease will change from an animal to human virus to a human to human virus causing a Pandemic. That has not happened yet.

So, before we all throw our handbags to the ground, stomp our feet and demand a flu shot lets get real for a second. While a pandemic could kill thousands of people (the last pandemic killed 1million people in 1967) we are not there yet. But, guess what? The flu shot we get in America DOES NOT prevent the Avian Flu.

Still freaked out about bird flu? Wash your hands and cook your chicken.

p.s. I woke up this morning to footage of chickens on CNN as the anchor said, "take a look at the next threat to national security." Also from that same progam, "There is no bird flu in the United States. It is fine to eat your Thanksgiving turkey."

No wonder people panic.

Thursday, November 03, 2005



Last night the 12th annual MTV Europe Music Awards took place in Lisbon. Here are the winners:

Best Male: Robbie Williams
Best Female: Shakira
Best Group: Gorillaz
Best Rock: Green Day
Best Hip-Hop: Snoop Dogg
Best Alternative: System of a Down
Best Song: Coldplay, "Speed Of Sound"
Best R&B: Alicia Keys
Best Pop: The Black Eyed Peas
Best Album: Green Day, "American Idiot"
Best New Act: James Blunt
Best Video: Chemical Brothers
Best UK and Ireland Act: Coldplay

see pictures HERE

watch highlights HERE

Cool Moments:
1) Madonna stole the show as she performed "Hung Up" for the first time live.
2) Borat was hilarious screaming, "Hello Lisbon" in his Kazakhstan accent as he took to the stage to host
3) The Gorillaz performed in holographic 3D
4) Robbie Williams said this when he got his awards, "This is for my mom who is at home. Mom, I know you can't leave the house but I will see you when I get back," awe.

Ahhh to be in Lisbon. Wish I was there, it sounded so much better than the show we got here in America last September.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Thanks Man or As They Say in Turkey, Teşekkür Ederim Erkek

A couple of days ago I went on line to pay my Master Card bill. As the page revealing my outstanding balance started to load my eyes began to see something my brain couldn't quite process. My outstanding balance was $29,357.00 and most of the recent purchases where in a language I could not understand.

The pangs of, "I'm a victim of identity theft" came over me as I grabbed my credit card out of my wallet and quickly dialed the 800 number on the back. After passing through the security question the lady on the other end of the phone politely said, "Ma'am, are you in a bakery in Turkey?" my response "OF COURSE NOT!"

It seems that somewhere along the line I had visited an unsavory restaurant, bar, hair salon, what not and 'they' 'zapped' my card without my knowledge. The 'zapping' copied the magnetic strip which was then somehow attached to a counterfeit card and sent over seas via Turkey. Or at least thats what the fraud division at Master Card tells me.

So far the folks at Master Card have been pretty nice about the whole thing, telling me I am not responsible and all. In fact it seems all I really need to do is fill out some forms, visit a notary republic, answer some questions no doubt proving my whereabouts, spending habits, etc., and then poof- the counterfeit charges will be 'zapped' from my account. How nice.

There is one thing though that is bothering me (in addition to the world being a place of thieves, vagrants, and soul dead people). I really really deep down inside what to know what was purchased for $29,000 on my card in Turkey. I mean what could it be? A rug? Some hard-shelled turkish nuts? Tobacco? A hukka pipe?

Unfortunately all of the charges are in Turkish and while there is very little I can make out, (even with the use of an online Turkish to English translating calculator) I was at least able to translate some. Here is what I know:

"Girip" translation "Bazaar" as in Turkish Bazaar. Total purchased: $205.00
"Telekom" translation "Telephone" as in phone bill: $1356.00
"Petrol" translation "oil" as in gas: $923.00
"Market" translation "Market" as in market: $549.00
"Lastik" translation "rubber" as in WTF?: $293.00
"Turizm" translation "tourism" as in travel agent: $3854

It goes on and on and on like that until we hit $29,357 thus proving the phase 'shop til you drop' doesn't always apply.

As for the thieves who copied my card, I hope they enjoy what they bought because I am fairly certain in the next life they will return to earth as Vermont squirrels who have run out of nuts during a very cold winter.

And as for me, well there was a time when I wanted to visit Turkey but never had the chance, at least my Master Card did.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Global Warning

And now a message from Leonardo DiCaprio.

Go here. Follow the directions to watch the movie.

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