This why Anderson Cooper is one of my favorite anchors - from his impeccable reporting in New Orleans to taking off his clothes and challenging Michael Phelps to a swimming duel, its never boring. He can report on anything and it will be magic. Mark my words, if Anderson's on TV, I'll watch it.
Not sure what I like better, his Kenny Chesney interview or his recent Michael Phelps one. Andersonnnnn, you are my hero.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
... You do what you got to do to get by. This is when you know your life's gone down the toilet (no pun intended).
In Times Square the other night I ran into this guy who was dressed as a toilet. I have to give this guy props for having some fun with his job. He actually seemed to being enjoying it, which goes to show attitude is all in your head.
However, I'm not so sure many people could have such a positive outlook as The Toilet Man. Watching him made me realize I will never, ever complain about my job (not that I do because I love my job). You know that saying "it could always be worse." Well for those stuck in cubicles or those who've lost their jobs, just remember, you could always be dressed as a toilet.
Advertising in New York city can be difficult especially with the 17-foot advertising posters and bright lights, so the genius people at Charmin decided to open up free restrooms in the middle of Times Square. Usually Starbucks is the only place a person in search of a restroom can find a clean and usable toilet that an establishment will let you use. But that is no longer true. Thank you to the genius people at Charmin who decided to hire Toilet Man to stand out front on the streets of Times Square in the freezing cold and yell, "Party over here! Free restrooms!!! Party time at Charmin!"
Only in New York ...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's been awhile since I've talked about my old friend and favorite Lakers player, Sasha Vujacic, but then I came across this hilarious video about him via the thelakersnation.com and it brought back all of my memories of pre-game locker room convos, discussions of headbands and Sasha songs.
Although I am no longer in Los Angeles covering my beloved Lakers, I highly recommend going to my favorite Lakers Insider, Beto Duran's Lakers Blog here. He also appreciates the amazingness that is Sasha Vujacic.
You might have heard me talk about my buddy Sasha here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here ... you get the point. Anyways, this video is hilarious.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Subway just signed Michael Phelps to a big exclusive promotions deal. Although Subway loves to claim they are not in the "fast food" category, the deal prohibits Phelps from signing deals with other fast food. Are you admitting you are fast food Subway? Don't lie!!!
The endorsement king's Olympic fame has fizzled yet. In fact, it's far from over. Michael also promotes Kellogg, Visa, Speedo and Rosetta Stone. He was already making $5 million a year in endorsements before Beijing, and people estimated his endorsements this year could reach over $50 million.
Phelps was named one of People Mag's "Sexiest Men Alive" this week, he made Barbara Walters prestigious "10 Most Fascinating People" list (airs Dec. 4), and he is on a steamy new cover of GQ for their "Men of The Year" issue. In keeping up with the trend, I'm naming him "The Man On The Most Lists Of The Year." Congrats.
I interviewed the eight medal winning sexy swimming star at the Golden Goggle Awards last week. Check out my interview with Phelps where he talks about his crush on Megan Fox and his love of her GQ cover. Which cover do you prefer?
Last night I was at a celebrity charity poker tournament where they auctioned off a trip to space.
I'm not kidding.
It went for just under half a million dollars to two gazillionares who both get to go ... and to think I was upset about losing $400 in poker. It still hurts. Seriously though, I felt like I was in the movie Back To The Future.
Questions - How can we not figure out the BCS? How can we not figure out how warm up my apartment? How can we not figure out public transportation in L.A.? ... But we can auction off trips to space? Really?!?
The poker was for the Sunflower Children Charity, which was created by the gorgeous model and humanitarian Helena Houdova. The charity helps provide survival and development care for the forgotten children of the world.
The event was held at Gotham Hall in NYC was MC'd by my buddy, 2006 World Series of Poker Winner, Jamie Gold, who I met a few years ago at the Sundance Film Festival, at a poker tournament where I made it to the final table (beginners luck, which I no longer have).
I was so nervous before the tournament that I made sure to brush up on my poker skills, re-read one of my poker books and called up my little bro who gave me a 45 minute crash course of tips. My brother is amazing. He won $3,600 last night in an online tournament. He's the real deal.
Then, when I got to the tournament Jamie said, "This is not a tournament of skill, this is a tournament of survival." Shit. It messes me up playing with a bunch of people who don't know poker and needless to say, I lost $400. It went to a good cause though I suppose.
But lets be honest, in comparison to the million dollars they got from the silent auction, did they really need 1/3 of my rent money?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
And to think I thought that moving to New York, I would stop seeing celebrities at basketball games. Last week I met Michael Jordan and then tonight I ran into my buddy Shaun White!
This was an even bigger surprise than the time I ran into him at the airport. The Olympic snowboarder and X-Game medalist was sitting front row at the game. I chatted for a bit with Shaun at half time and caught up on our old days at the X-Games and causing trouble at the Standard in L.A. Shaun was originally supposed to be sitting next Brett Favre but Brett was a no-show. He did however get to sit next to Kerry Rhodes. Shaun’s in NYC until Sunday promoting his new video game.
During the game they showed the clip from the Jets amazing win Thursday night and Kerry Rhodes stood up and waved to the crowd who went wild. Even Nate Robinson pointed at him and gave a nod.
Nate is being mic’d tonight for the first time for television. Coach Mike D'Antoni gave the TV crew the okay (what doesn't he say no to though with the media? He's a full access kinda guy) and Nate got taped up with a tiny mic underneath his jersey. It's so reality show-ish... but kinda cool. Speaking of which, I don’t know why reality show mics can’t be that discreet.
Knicks beat Oklahoma City 116-106, barely. The Thunder were seriously making a run for it at the end. The Thunder are the former Seattle Sonics before they moved to Oklahoma City. In the deal the Sonics were allowed the keep their name in case they ever wanted to build a franchise again. I still haven't gotten used to the name Thunder though ... at least it's better than the Yard Dawgs. I've already expressed my feeling about that.
I've actually started to really enjoy Knicks games. Dare I admit I am that much of a New Yorker? However, they seriously need some energy in the fourth quarter. Every single game they give away the lead. I don't get it. It's like how I was running the 800 in high school track. Huge lead until I burnt out at the end. Thank god I decided to be a writer.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Justin Timberlake said yesterday at an event I was at that he's moving to New York. He really needs to stop following me everywhere.
JT noted that he liked the weather here in the Big Apple. Hmmm ... is there some unknown city in Cali named New York? I'm confused. Because I just moved from Cali three months ago, and while I am in love with the city, the weather absolutely sucks. And supposedly I haven't seen anything yet.
Maybe he never gets cold because he's so sizzlin' hot ... okay, okay I promise never to attempt at lame jokes again. Welcome to NYC JT.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The Jets beat the Patriots 34-31 in overtime to claim first place in the AFC East. It's a sad night in New England. However, those Jets need to re-fuel instead of de-fuel at the half. They almost gave up the game despite having a huge lead, again. Well, a "W" is a "W." So smile on New York, smile on.
If you haven't seen the cutest baby in the entire world, here is Isaac McHale on Keith Olbermann's show with his dad, Joel McHale. His brother Eddie is just as adorable. This is the best video I have seen in a long, long time.
They should have all news anchors hold babies while they read the news. Ratings jump guaranteed.
Three years ago I read a book called The Game, by Neil Strauss. It's about an underground society of pickup artists. Neil Strauss was a writer for the New York Times and was asked to write an article about these guys who taught other men how to pickup women through various techniques. Instead, Neil travels around the world meeting the best pickup artists and learning various techniques until he becomes the best pickup artist in the world. It's a true story.
I read the book because a guy I was dating in L.A. had mentioned reading it and I was curious to find out if he'd been using these techniques on me. It became my favorite book, which is the last book you'd think a girl would like, especially because these guys are manipulative and deceiving. But on a larger level the book is really a fascinating sociology experiment and a lesson in human nature.
Hence, my favorite quote:
"Usually, what you wish for doesn't fall in your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you have to recognize it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get it. This isn't because the universe is cruel. It's because the universe is smart. It has its own cat-string theory and knows we don't appreciate things that fall into our laps."
-The Game, by Neil Strauss
You might be familiar with the Pickup Artist reality show. Well it turns out Mystery (a main character from the novel) and Matador (from the reality show) are in New York. And I get to meet them this week! It's like my book coming to life!
When I was college, I met a guy at a party and within five seconds of speaking with him, I knew he was a pickup artist and had read The Game. All he did was shake my hand and say, "You have an interesting handshake." Not everyone that says this is a pickup artist and I don't even think that line was in the book, but I'm telling you, I just knew it. After a couple minutes I smiled and asked if he had read The Game. He was shocked and said I was the first girl to ever call him out. It was a very proud moment for myself.
For all you pickup artist fans, Mystery is signing copies of The Mystery Method today at Borders Books in Penn Plaza, New York at 7pm.
And for all you women out there, beware. The pickup artists are in the city ...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
“Most people are proud of where they're born. In New York, they're proud of where they live.”
PS. If you ever told me I’d be quoting Ricky Gervais (let alone a quote he said to Cindy Adams!) I would have told you you’re nuts. But it’s rather moving.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Anyways – according to the New York Times, Barack Obama is the new hip, hot, trendy, cool, all the rage, popular, baby name! Apparently, there were a few people who actually gave birth as he won and decided it was destined that their kid be named Barack Obama.
Shhh – don’t tell them that a baby is born ever 4.2 seconds in the world. Let it be destiny.
This isn’t anything revolutionary that a name becomes common after a popular figure emerges, but up until the election I had never heard of someone named Barack. Michelle, Malia and Sasha have also gained popularity. I'm all for unique names that are also easy to spell!
For fun, here are the top ten most popular names of last year and the most popular 23 years ago (when I was born). In 1985 Laura was the 14th most popular name. If I was a boy, my parents were planning to name me Ryan (12th), which I personally think would have been a hot name for a girl anyways.
1 Jacob --- Emily
2 Michael --- Isabella
3 Ethan --- Emma
4 Joshua --- Ava
5 Daniel --- Madison
6 Christopher --- Sophia
7 Anthony --- Olivia
8 William --- Abigail
9 Matthew ---Hannah
10 Andrew --- Elizabeth
1 Michael --- Jessica
2 Christopher --- Ashley
3 Matthew ---Jennifer
4 Joshua --- Amanda
5 Daniel --- Sarah
6 David --- Stephanie
7 James --- Nicole
8 Robert --- Heather
9 John --- Elizabeth
10 Joseph --- Megan
He's not so underground anymore, but he's still underground enough where you and only one other person at a dinner table might know who he is. And that makes you feel cool.
I am, of course, talking about the great Banksy. An artist I first learned of back in L.A. by a DJ I was dating from London who shared my love of graffiti art. Bansky is a mysterious British street artist who has turned his mischievous street graffiti into a multi-million dollar art career (Brad Pitt is a huge fan). No one knows who Bansky actually is. As Wikipedia puts it best in the oxymoron description of him, he is "a well-known pseudo-anonymous British graffiti artist."
His work, which by some is considered vandalism, can be meaningful or meaningless, political or politically incorrect and it aways undoubtedly sparks curiousity and wonder.
Banksy currently has an exhibit in town called the Pet Shop, which has the weirdest mechanical animals and things in the world - chicken nuggets eating their sauce in a chicken pen, monkeys watching money porn and random other mysterious creatures. The people who work there swore to me they've never met Banksy and say the place was already set up when they were hired.
Once rumors swirled that Banksy was in town, mysterious Banksy work suddenly started to appear all around NYC. And I became curious to find them.
I am 99.9% positive there is a Banksy (there have been known to be fakes) over an advertisement on Houston street of a huge rat holding a paint brush as if he is painting his own picture down my where I play soccer. I forget my camera every time I'm over there, but I will take a picture.
Then the other day as I walking down in SoHo, I suddenly realized that this painting might too be a Banksy. It looks just like one, has some sort of weird meaning that I don't quite get right away and is purposefully placed (I assume) behind barbed wire. Which begs the question, is this or is this not a Banksy??? (picture at top of blog post)
Not sure if these are truly Banksy quotes, but if they are, I'm obsessed:
"People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish... but that's only if it's done properly."—Banksy
"Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it."—Banksy
Sunday, November 9, 2008
And when I say "He" I mean Brett Favre, and when I say "It," I'm talking skills like a tractor truck that ran over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. It was a 47-3 beating. Ouch!
My favorite part of the game was when the crowd booed after the Rams scored the 3-point field goal - when New York already had 40 points on the board!!! Guess they were hoping for a shutout. I got to talk to Brett after the game for a minute and he was definitely more upbeat than the last home game against the Chiefs where they barely squeezed out a win.
Here's some gems from a message board I was checking out during the game:
redscapswizfan: damn is this a college game lol!!! jets are kicking some butt
nxbombers111: Clemens is going to play I bet.
YankeesJets2375: Clemens? Roger Clemens could beat these Rams. Without HGH too. How did we lose to the Raiders? What a crazy season.
YankeesJets2375: Mangini, is letting his inner Belichick come out, I dont like it.
"I love your hat! You look absolutely fabulous in it - but dahhhling, it's winter!"
- Some douche bag guy at NYC hotspot Rose Bar Friday night to me.
I think I was so taken back I actually said, "thanks." Five minutes later a guy with his entourage walks into the lounge wearing the same "winter" hat. Ha! I'm not the only person who thinks - knows- they're still stylish. If I was mean I would have said something along the lines of, "Thank you for your style tips but from the looks of it you aren't someone who should be giving them. If you had any fashion sense at all I might actually be offended, but you don't, so I won't waste any more of my time. Have a fabulous night." But unfortunately that would only lower me to the level of "douche." Hence, my evil alter ego can't have it's way... nor does my evil alter ego think of things to say on the spot.
There is a huge difference between the L.A. and NYC celebrity soiree scene, which I realized at the Juicy Couture store opening on 5th Avenue the other night.
As I breezed past the glamorous Juicy Couture designers Pamlea Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor and headed upstairs during the extravagant bash, I thought, this would never happen in L.A.! In Hollywood, nearly ever A-list event has a V.I.P. area which always ends up becoming over crowded and messy. People feel left out, people that should be in there aren't and people that shouldn't get in find a way. It's never good.
In New York, while celebrities will usually have booths or tables at clubs, at the upscale cocktail parties, socialites, musicians, celebrities and us normal folk mix and mingle among the masses. Granted, not just anyone can get in the party.
Extravagant, is an understatement for this bash. Balloons flooded the ceiling, ballerinas were dancing in tutus throughout the store, there were violin players, hundreds of cupcakes and 5-tiered cakes, appetizers, champagne and at least 30 young guys dressed in top hats, suit jackets and boots over jeans holding umbrellas lined up along the red carpet in place of a gate. It was magnificent.
As I politely asked Blake Lively and boyfriend Penn Badgley if I could sneak by them, scooted past Sarah Michelle Gellar, passed by Sarah Silverman, Emma Roberts, Jason Lewis and Jessica Szohr, chatted up Molly Sims on the carpet and was just feet away from Martha Stewart who popped by for a quick photo op with the Juicy girls to show her support ("She's our idol!" one gushed. "Juicy loves Martha!" shreaked the other. "Martha loves Juicy!" Martha smiled back before whispering, "Your store is very cute."), I realized, this is how it should be. Equals. Granted none of us really are the same. The socialites have more money than the celebs, the celebs have more fame than the socialites, the musicians have the real talent, and we journalists, document it all.
Thus, we are all individually important. While in Los Angeles, the "Let them eat cake" mentality exists, in New York, everyone secretly knows they need each other. Thus, we all ate the cake - and cupcakes.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I met ...
I'm not a believer in the Secret per say (that book/movie), but am a believer in energy and positive thinking and when you say something, it happens. Like the time I told my friend I'd introduce her to Michael Vartan and totally did. Like the time I said I would move to New York in six months and I moved five and a half months later. Like the time I wrote a blog about Michael Jordan and then met him a couple days later - oh yeah, that was tonight.
Seriously. I met Michael Jordan. I grew up watching the Bulls. My dad is from Chicago. My little brother's room growing up had Chicago Bulls wall paper. For my dad's birthday when I was ten, I got him a lazer pen (back when those were cool) that had a bulls logo so we could pretend we were at the stadium when we watched games since they always had a red lazer bull logo on the court when the Bulls theme song came on.
There aren't many icons I get excited about meeting, but I quickly texted my friend afterwards and called my dad. It doesn't get bigger than Mike (And this is after I spent the day walking next to Katie Holmes and Suri). I kept my cool though, introduced myself and said hi. He was in New York for the Knicks v Charlotte game. Mike works behind the scenes at the Charlotte organization but has been known to join in at practice every now and then. Also at the game was Chris Rock, Ethan Hawke and Spike Lee.
As Johnny Drama from Entourage would say, "Victory!"
Barack Obama has defeated John McCain. This is a huge historical landmark and I wanted to celebrate the election in a historical way so I went to Rockefeller Center and celebrated with thousands of others New Yorkers. The energy of the crowd was insane and it truly felt like I was a part of something important. Here's some pics I took to document the night:
My mom actually called me on the phone and told me to go to Rockefeller Center because she saw it on CNN and said it looked like a crazy cool place to be. I don't think she used the words "crazy cool" but I'm sure that's what she meant. And she was right.
They had many indicators as to who was ahead in the election. One was the U.S. map on the ice skating rink where they would paint each state red or blue when the results came in.
The other was this amazing building where the Obama and McCain elevator (or decorated window washer thing) would rise with the results. It was a race to the top - well, to 270.
Later that night I went to NYC hotspot Haven where Obama Girl was hosting a party. Um yeah, I said Obama Girl. Remember that You-Tube video with the girl singing her affection for Obama and dancing seductively? Well she still has love for her man and she was hosting a party. Good times, good times. Check out my interview with Obama Girl here. She was awesome. Even though Obama was expected to win, seeing this announcement on TV felt surprisingly powerful.
Here is some video of the scene at Rockefeller Center. The crowd goes crazy when Obama rises and boos when McCain's does. It is New York people. At the end there is an adorable kid who starts jumping up and down when Obama wins New York. This election has affected people at every age!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It's up to you America!!!
Even Sarah Palin is embarrassed to vote for McCain. This morning after she finished voting at a polling place in Wasilla, Alaska a reporter asked her outside who she voted for and she replied, "I am also exercising my right to privacy and I don't have to tell anybody who I voted for and nobody does. And that's really cool about America, also." There were also a lot of Japanese reporters who started asking her about Japan. It was a bit awkward for everyone.
Is CNN really that desperate for advertisers that they're allowing Fox news to advertise on their channel? I seriously thought I accidentally put on FOX News when I heard an ad saying, "The most watched, the most trusted election headquarters ... Fox News!" But nope, I was watching CNN News. CNN must be so confident they're the best, they don't believe any of their viewers will actually change the channel to laughable FOX. Or perhaps they figure any ad is better than Viagra and Diabetes medicine commercials.
Voting booths are very confusing. It looked like I was trying to fly a plane in there with that huge board with 500 nobs and levers. I don't remember it looking like that at my polling place four years ago in Cali. This was so old school! Who came up with this system?! I thought I had to pull the lever after each vote so I pulled it after I voted for President and then couldn't vote for anything else! On top of that, my polling place didn't have the "I voted" stickers! What's up with that? I don't understand how we can have crazy databases, fly to the moon and be so technologically advanced but then have voting booths from the 1960's. Update your shit America! Simplicity + Efficiency = Accuracy.
The robo calls that the Republicans have been doing today are desperate and pathetic. Total lies. They made calls about how Vidal Castro endorses Obama and how voting for Obama will turn the US into a Cuban dictatorship. Give me a break!
Walking the streets of New York I hear everyone talking about the elections. There was a young girl with her mom standing in front of me at the polls and the little girls was telling her mom how in school all the students had to choose who they would vote for. "Every one of the kids picked Obama mom."
In Union Square there are a ton of people selling different Obama t-shirts but I don't see any booths selling McCain shirts. Do McCain voters not represent?
In sports news, today the Cleveland Browns announced they're benching QB Derek Anderson, and will finally be starting Brady Quinn. I've been a Brady Quinn fan since his early days at Notre Dame and I was lucky to meet him at the ESPY's this year. This move is long over due. He already has a million endorsements and he's never even started a game. He'll make his first starting appearance against the Broncos on Thursday night. However, I was disappointed when I discovered this:
...Ok, leaving for an elections viewing party. Peace.