Thursday, August 30, 2007

Real Life Drama

Last night, I finally got to see the premiere episode of Life of Ryan, the reality show about skater Ryan Sheckler, brought to you by executive producers Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto of Laguna and The Hills fame.

I was actually eager to see this show. Though he’s apparently a huge figure in the skating world, the only time I ever heard of this kid was when I saw his MTV Cribs episode from about five years ago. He must have been no more than 11- or 12-years-old, and he’s showing off his house with his private skate park and explaining the benefits of the açaí fruit that Bob Burnquist recommended to him. There were a few things that really struck me about the first episode:

  • The kid loves his dad and his brothers
  • DJ-equipped, double-decker party buses look tremendously fun, yet dangerous when traveling down a California freeway
  • He has the best life ever, as evidenced by the fact that all he does is skate, travel to Dubai, bitch about having to go to Japan and go to school
  • His mother, Gretchen, has MILF potential
  • He and his friends actually look like seniors in high school

The last two are the most important points, but the last one really got to me. I wouldn’t have expected him and his friends to be portrayed in such a youthful way, especially when the show was brought to us by the masterminds behind Laguna Beach (notice the prevalence of the word “drama” in this show).

It’s somewhat of a paradox because with Life of Ryan, you actually have a character who recognizes and understands who and what he is—a professional skater, that is to say a carefully handled corporate product. On the other hand, you have Laguna Beach/Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County, where a bunch of teenagers are being filmed under the pretense that they’re living their real lives and going through the ups and downs of high school.

Take a look at the characters. When you see Ryan and his friends eating at the mall and talking about what they’re doing before winter formal or taking pictures before the dance, they actually look like high school seniors. Glance at the crew from Newport Harbor, and ask yourselves how many juniors are built like Clay and how many sophomores look like Taylor? It looks like they were pulled from a soap opera casting call.

It seems that Life of Ryan is the more “real” show. They show him going through some real problems that kids actually experience (divorced parents; where he and his brothers will spend Christmas) and problems that many people in high profile positions face (being away from his family; how fame affects his relationships). All these things really seem to tear at him and cause him pain. When you watch a show like Laguna, all you see is people trying to backstab each other so they can hook up. That and planning trips for Cabo! What happens in Cabo, stays in Cabo—except what they catch on camera. (Ryan also probably bought his own Range Rover, whereas the kids from Newport Harbor probably got them as gifts from Mommy & Daddy. It doesn’t get more real than being able to afford your own Range Rover—with rims.)

Having said all this, am I going to stop watching Newport Harbor? Hell no! I need to get my weekly dose of intellectual conversation between Clay and Grant. My favorite so far is when they were choosing outfits for the pink party during the second episode, and they went nuts and started yelling and clapping for the outfit spread across the bed. It was pure bliss.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Post Script

In an E-mail I wrote today, I included a P.S. after my signoff.

Via my superior reasoning and logic skills, I’m inclined to think that a P.S. was created back in the days of yore, when serfs plowed the fields, explorers were busy finding gold and peppers and people ended letters but had some extra thoughts to incorporate. Nobody wanted to waste precious paper or rewrite a ten-page letter.

With E-mail, you can revise as necessary and type anything you may have forgotten or last-minute thoughts, like the name of the girl/guy you hooked up with the previous evening. With this capability, is it still acceptable to include a P.S. in an E-mail?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

BFing Has Ruined Our Sex Life

I know what you were thinking, but please read on.

Even though I now work on a coffee account, I was asked to help out with some research for another account’s baby products presentation. I had to research pacifiers, baby bottles, sippy cups and breastfeeding systems. I know—scintillating!

I browsed numerous parenting and baby Web sites, and I hit the message boards. One site forced me to register and answer a questionnaire, so I’m a 30-34 year old, home-owning, married mother of two with a $90K-99K income, who reads Baby Talk and plans to buy a digital camera this year. I also happen to be a full-time working professional, so I’ll be able to afford this digital camera to capture the first precious moments of my children.

I learned many things: the pain of breastfeeding, the advantages of a double electric pump, potential for nipple confusion and bling is in (plastic rhinestones on pacifiers—probably a logical precursor for a platinum grill.)

This morning, I came across this message board post, which made all my research worth the effort. I found it highly entertaining for both the title and content.

BFing has ruined our sex life

I don't know where else to turn to but you guys for this one. DH & I have been married 7 years and our SF is our first. But after delaying sex for about 3 months PP b/c I was healing from some serious stiches, plus having horribly sore breasts/nipples from BFing, plus all the hormones in general, our sex life has gone down the drain, and consequently our relationship is dwindling, too. But here's the biggest problems: DH finds BFing a turn on. He's never wanted me more, especially my breasts. I find that the biggest turn off, and even more than that, it disgusts me that he likes to see our SF nursing and that he talks about "needing nourishment" himself and wants to suck on them. It's to the point where I've told him my breasts are off limits b/c I now feel so violated whenever he touches them. Yet he still does it, claiming he can't help himself. I've gone so far as to tell him he might as well be raping me b/c that's what it feels like to me. So he tries to not touch them, but he still pretends to grab at them and also complains nonstop about how he's being deprived. I'm not even attracted to him anymore. Now I know this post makes DH sound like a monster, but he really isn't. He is actually very kind and soft spoken and we've never had any serious marital issues. I just don't know how to make him understand exactly how I feel about it and it's making me extremely upset that he's so stupid & selfish he doesn't see that I'm being serious about all of it, he thinks I'm joking around or something & that I really would like it if I just let him have them. Please offer any advice that you can, TIA. [Link]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fashion Month

We get four magazine subscriptions at my apartment. I subscribe to Esquire and Details, and Roommate #1 subscribes to The New Yorker and New York Magazine. We like to keep it equal opportunity and diversified—two monthlies and two weeklies.

Four magazine subscriptions may seem like a lot, but they serve as an entertaining way to pass time when we’re sick of playing Guitar Hero, hanging with groupies and snorting coke. There’s no greater pleasure than reading a New Yorker article about the saturated market for picking matsutake mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest. (Americans don’t know how to prepare them because they tend to sauté mushrooms in butter or oil. Matsutake’s aroma is water-soluble, so it won’t infuse fat. You have to use them in soups or rice using a Japanese technique. Go Asians!)

We just received the September issues of Esquire and Details and August 27th issues of The New Yorker and New York Magazine all within the last week. For this latest round of issues, Esquire, Details and New York Magazine decided to roll out with their fashion issues. The New Yorker did not have enough room for fashion in this issue because, when given the choice between a profile of the Olsen Twins’ new adult fashion line and an essay on the quest for a global seed bank as a contingency for an apocalypse, the magazine once again opted for the more glamorous environmental article.

What’s the big deal with the fashion issues? They’re overwhelming. Esquire and Details came wrapped in plastic with extra fashion supplements, which essentially are only good for the pictures. (Stephanie Seymour in a lingerie ad for Chantelle and Elizabeth Hurley in an ad for Jordache—more on this another time—made for some fairly hot nostalgia.)

The actual magazines are bothersome to read because there are more pages devoted to ads rather than articles—or at least it seems that way. I feel that the magazine goes on forever. And to go even further, because these are the fashion issues, most of the articles are about fashion.

I do not want to read about “The Best Dressed Men in the World”, “The Best Dressed Real Men in America” or the sartorial choices of mayors across America. However, I do enjoy fashion tips on suits and how to accessorize them. One day, I will be able to afford such things.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Sack

Since most people don't check the comments and because I thought this was particularly funny, here you go:

Its nice to have you back.

An FYI for your readers-Les Deux in french means the two. When people say they are going to Les Deux, it means they are going to the two. Unfortunatly, in french, the two is a common reference for a males ball sack. Ladies and gentleman, hollywood is so cheesy that they are running out of names for clubs so they just pick any combination without giving it any thought. In this case, people are lining up out the door to get into a scrotum. If you need me i'll be at area, or opera, or avalon, etc. God I hate this city

-HGOC

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sun, Sand, Freeways and Drama

Writer’s Note: Due to an ongoing dispute involving my roommates and I, our property management company and Time Warner Cable, I still do not have cable at my apartment even though I’ve lived there since May. Therefore, I cannot watch the shows until the weekend. This is why you are getting commentary several days late.

Newport Harbor

Laguna…I mean Newport Harbor is back! They shot the program over a six month period in the city of Newport Beach, California. I want to know why they couldn’t just call it Newport Beach. Was it too logical to name the show after the city in which it was filmed?

When I first viewed the trailer, my immediate reaction was displeasure with the move away from Laguna and the new title. That all changed once I watched the rest of the trailer and saw the vapid characters that were coming my way. I could feel the drama oozing from my computer screen.

Because we have a new cast, we have a new narrator. Gone is the whiny voice of Tessa. Our new narrator is the very attractive daddy’s girl, Chrissy. I was lost during her summary of the love triangles and relationships within the group of friends. I just kept getting lost in the names – Grant, Chase and Clay. I felt like I was watching a Days of Our Lives episode.

Predictably, they opened the show with a song about California. You know—a song which mentions something about the sun, the sand and either the 405 or the 101? OK. We get it. The show is set in California. You have fantastic weather, gorgeous beaches and congested freeways. Sweet. Pick more original songs. I’m even willing to entertain the Dashboard Confessional strategy. Remember when they played Dashboard or a Dashboard cover in each of the first three episodes from last season? Don’t forget they used him in Seasons 1 and 2 also. I think Chris Carabba made his entire fortune just from the royalties he was paid for the use of his music on this show. The entrance to his home should say, “The House That Laguna Built.” In this case, it was “Going to California” by Wave, which I happen to like, but was way too obvious.

In any case, I immediately forgot about the confusing intro and predictable music once they showed the opening scene—Chrissy and her friend practicing their service games. I admire a girl that can play sports and looks good doing it.

At this point, the only thing that bothers me about Chrissy is that she always refers to her father as “Daddy.” There is something slightly creepy about this. The only times girls should refer to anyone as “Daddy” are: 1) when they are 5-years-old and asking their dad’s to buy them a toy, 2) if it is in the context of a pornographic production or 3)if it is an LL Cool J song (listen to intro of “Loungin” and see lyrics for “Doin’ It”).

My general opinion of Allie is this—she is the town whore/home wrecker, and I don’t like her. She has a weird accent, her boobs may or may not be fake, she and everyone else think she’s more attractive than she actually is and her friend is super annoying. (Her friend is annoying for two reasons: 1) she has an extremely irritating, high-pitched voice and 2) she looks like a 10-years-old.)

Of everything I just listed, having a super annoying friend is the least redeeming quality any person can have. I can get over everything else—I can eventually become accustomed to a weird accent; debating whether boobs are fake is a great American pastime; and I can always keep telling myself that the girl is unattractive even if the world thinks otherwise. An irritating friend is something you cannot avoid. No matter how cool or fun you may be, there is a great feeling of despair anytime people hear that your unlikable friend will be there with you. Sure, people will still have a good time, but that friend will surely find a way to put a damper on the night at some point.

Clay and Grant are the most amazing conversationalists of all time. Their conversations consist of the following: paddling their boards, waves, chillin’, being stoked, chicks that are hot, hittin’ that, uhhhhh, like crazy bro and nooooo (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure style). I look forward to their dialogue for the rest of the season.

They actually remind me of my old futbol teammate, Larin. He is the hottest guy you’ll ever lay eyes on. HGOC said it best the other day, “It goes Larin, God and everybody else.” As we would say, these guys Larinize. Larinizing consists of three activities: working out, tanning and dyeing your hair blonde. You must accomplish two of the three activities on a daily basis if you are considered to be Larinizing.

Lastly, I’d like to applaud the real stars of the premiere episode—Chrissy’s parents. I believe they’re the only parents in the history of the show who’ve actually lived up to their title. Congratulations on recognizing the fact that your daughter may hook up with multiple gentleman during an unchaperoned weekend getaway at Palm Springs. I’d give you an award, but you shouldn’t get a trophy for doing your job.

My prediction for the season—the people, the location and the drama…will be real.

The Hills

I’d just like to state for the record that after Season 1, I thought this show sucked. I’d personally like to thank Heidi and Spencer for making this show entertaining. Now, here are my thoughts.

The opening scene was terrible. I really hope that Whitney truly wants a career at Teen Vogue and isn’t just using this show as a platform to launch her acting career. To say her scripted questions were poorly delivered would be a compliment. The only saving grace of that entire scene was that Lauren was forced to refer to the sex tape rumors as an “inappropriate video.”

Also, why are Lauren and Whitney still sitting next to each other in the glorified supply closet? Lauren is still an intern. Whitney actually has a full-time position. Shouldn’t she be in a cube with the rest of the drones?

It’s good to see Lo and Jen are milking their friendships for face time. I don’t have a problem with Lo since I always enjoyed her presence, and she really was Lauren’s best friend from high school. Jen is crazy though. I think she’s jealous that she was only able to get a total of five minutes of screen time from two seasons of Laguna and two seasons of The Hills. That means she’s only been able to get 1.25 minutes of air time for each season of each show where she’s made a cameo. At least she didn’t have to suffer the fate of Talan, who got to be on the opening credits but was so rarely featured on Laguna that he resorted to proposing to Kim Stewart. Nasty.

Heidi definitely had a boob job. I was pretty certain she got implants after seeing some beach pictures online, but I was 100% confident in that assessment after I saw her in the dress she wore for her friend’s party at—surprise!—Les Deux. The crew going to Les Deux is about as stunning as the producers of Laguna and The Hills picking a song about California weather, beaches and freeways as the lead-in from a commercial break.

Spencer is the poster child for why guys shouldn’t be allowed to decorate apartments. Graffiti. Really? Not only that, but he plastered, “Hollywood” across the main wall of his living room. Does he really need a reminder of where he lives? My roommates and I have been thinking of decorating ideas for the main walls in our kitchen and living room. I’m thinking a split screen would be perfect for our kitchen. It would say “East Village” on the left part of the wall and it would have the alphabet on the right side of the wall. This would remind me that upon walking out of my apartment, if I turn to the left I’d stay in the East Village, and if I turn to the right I’ll be in Alphabet City.

I hope Justin is a recurring character. That hair is reminiscent of the dude from The Mummy. He seems so deep and interesting. He does have a lot of things going for him. I already mentioned it, but it’s worth repeating, he has the most amazing hair. He needs to have Audrina cut his food for him. Lastly and most importantly, he wants to change his name to Bobby.

Congratulations to Spencer and Heidi on their engagement—I think. Are they engaged? Was that even a real engagement ring? He bought it from what looked like a clothing boutique, and he was trying to borrow Brody’s credit card to buy it. His proposal was ridiculous. It was as if they were 1st grade sandbox playmates with crushes on one another, so he asked his mom to get a toy ring from the 25 cent vending machine you find at grocery stores where they also sell gumballs, rubber bouncy balls and stickers. Then, he didn’t know how to quite give it to her so he just held out his hand with the ring while he mumbled some gibberish. That is what it felt like to me. The only hint of a proposal was that he casually mentioned that, like, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Team Heidi!

By the way, Brody’s reaction was perfect. It’s what any friend would’ve done. Why get married at 23? Unless you’re the baby’s daddy, then marry away!

Kathy Conrad is a hot mom. If you’re a follower of the “see what her mom looks like to see if she’s marriage material” school of thought, then she is the prime example of why you should marry Lauren.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the official sponsor of Season 3—Red Bull Sugarfree.

In One Ear

When I watched Double Dare as a kid, three events in the obstacle course always grossed me out: Pick It, Toe Jam and In One Ear. If you don't remember, Pick It is where you had to shove your arm into the greasy giant nose to find the flag. In Toe Jam, you had to dig through the greasy toes of a giant foot. And In One Ear was where you had to crawl into a giant greasy ear. You'll notice that in all three events, you had to crawl into or dig through something giant and greasy to find the coveted flags needed to win the big vacation, and not the British Knights consolation prize.

As much as these Double Dare events grossed me out, they were not as disgusting as the real thing. I was on the elevator today, and I had the great pleasure of mistakenly catching a glimpse of some guy's ear. Crusty ear wax was in abundance. "Crust" and "ear wax" are not words I like to use together--ever.

All I ask from my fellow man is that you keep yourself clean. Nobody wants to look at your wax-encrusted ear.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Life Is A Rollercoaster

[14:13] Hottest Guy on Campus: remember in my basement when i thought we were out of beer but u had bought another keg and i went to lift the "what i thought was empty keg then realized it was really full keg"
[14:13] Hottest Guy on Campus: that was one of the happiest moments of my life
[14:13] The Dirty Burrito: i have that moment captured on film
[14:14] The Dirty Burrito: and remember, shortly after that, i got an MIP and had to serve a year's probation?
[14:14] The Dirty Burrito: life sure is a rollercoaster