Rose Parade

Rose Parade has moved: see link in post below

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Only in Hollywood (1/31/06 Edition)

So, about 3:30 today this note from our receptionist hits my email: And just when things started quieting down, Crazy Half-Naked Dancing Girl is putting on a show out the North-West corner of the building. Even though she just put her pants back on, she is still grooving for your entertainment pleasure. Look for her dancing with 1st ammendment abandon on the corner of La Brea and Hollywood. And there really was this crazy chick dancing on the island at the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, by the silver gazebo with the statues of Mae West, Dolores del Rio, Dorothy Dandridge and Anna Mae Wong. Don't flatter yourself, crazycakes. Unfortunately I did not have my camera on me. And our day had started so quietly with this announcement: First Amendment March is scheduled today at 4 p.m. in front of Hollywood and Highland (assembly). March begins at 6:15 p.m. Proceeds eastbound along Hollywood Boulevard to Cahuenga. Southbound on Cahuenga to Sunset. Ends with a rally in front of CNN Building. It is supposed to end between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Estimated attendance: 1,500. The permit application indicates that it will not require the entire street to be closed -- but please plan accordingly because of potential traffic impacts. In this case "please plan accordingly" means "plan on sitting in gridlock and arriving home tired, pissed and way later than normal, peons". My favorite part: "potential" traffic impacts. You think??? Oh, and thanks for the warning (which we got this morning). This is why I walk all over this town rather than get the car out, why I have such an aversion to driving anywhere these days. In addition to the poorly timed march, when I was at Virgin Megastore today (to get this) it looked like they were starting to set up for an event at the Chinese or Kodak. Unless there are celebrities involved with the march, in which case they may have been setting up to keep them safe from riff-raff cooties. I like to think it's a separate event. Limo gridlock! Just another Tuesday in Tinseltown. Embrace it, because if you don't laugh, you'll cry. Of course, that's easy for me to say. I don't have to drive home.

Thin Mints: One of the five major food groups

It's that time of year again - Girl Scout cookie season is upon us. A co-worker was kind enough to bring in an order form on behalf of his daughters, so of course I signed up for a couple boxes of Thin Mints, which I will no doubt scarf down like a bag of potato chips when they arrive. Go ahead and order. You know you want to. Come on, good eats for a good cause. It's a win-win situation.

First casualty of The CW

It's pedigree notwithstanding, the pilot "Cult" has been excused from class. Looks like they're largely going to go with what they've got. Too bad, I thought "Cult" sounded cool.

Friday, January 27, 2006

High and Mighty

Until next season, that is: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to become Anaheim Ducks. This is a good thing. Trust me, I'm a hockey fan. And we can still call them the Quacks. Everyone wins.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Programming The CW

Updated: Because it's 13 hours of primetime, not 23. Also to add a few more midseason shows.

The CW will have 13 hours of primetime programming. They have an opportunity to pull from the best of both lineups, hopefully creating a channel superior to both WB and UPN. Now that the initial shock of the merger announcement has worn off, everyone is playing “let’s program the new network”. My turn! On the 1-hour side, we already know “Seventh Heaven” isn’t coming back. There’s been talk of a spinoff, but nothing solid and the merger probably isn’t going to help. “Gilmore Girls” (the highest rated show on either net), “Smallville” (currently celebrating its 100th episode), and “America’s Next Top Model” are the slam-dunks. “Veronica Mars” should make the cut, at least for another season. It can only benefit from the publicity generated by being part of the new net and deservedly so. “Pepper Dennis”, "The Bedford Diaries", "Get This Party Started", "Misconceptions" and "Modern Men" are coming up midseason. We’ll have to wait and see on those. “Charmed” is kind of long in the tooth and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end. “South Beach” and “Related” just need to die. Lose the Friday night wrestling, because, well, it’s wrestling. And dump “Beauty and the Geek” because I hate reality programming and the premise is just painful. Could go either way: “Supernatural”, “One Tree Hill” and “Everwood”. On the sitcom side, “Blue Collar TV” and “Everybody Loves Chris” are shoo-ins and “Reba” is probably safe. “Living with Fran” and “Girlfriends” may be dependent on the number of half-hour timeslots available. The following shows don’t exist in my world and are expendable: “What I Like About You”, “One on One”, “All of Us”, “Half & Half”, “Love, Inc.”, and “Cuts”. “Eve” isn’t hacking it in the ratings and I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about “Twins”, so lose those as well. At this point I’m beginning to think Les Moonves has the coolest job in the world. I could totally do this for a living. Of course, I also thought “Book of Daniel” sounded like a great idea. Another big factor is the slate of pilots both networks have going, many of which have some big names attached and most of which sound better than the current lineup. I’m not sure if the CW honchos will prefer to keep a lot of the existing shows versus launching with a bunch of new faces. How that works out could make or break a few of the current shows. Among the Fall 2006 hopefuls (note – some of these have been greenlit while others are still in development): “Aquaman”, from the creators of “Smallville” is one of the higher profile pilots of the year and is pretty much assured a spot. An untitled project from Steven Bochco about two young Hollywood homicide detectives. He’s Steven Bochco. This show is coming to a CW affiliate near you. “Palm Springs” from Kevin Williamson (creator of “Dawson’s Creek”), a mystery focusing on teens living in a gated community. Again, go with the proven guy. “Cult”, a thriller about the investigation of deaths that may be related to a spooky TV show. This one comes from Rockne O’Bannon, creator of “Farscape” and writer of the recent miniseries “The Triangle”. “My Dog Sparky” is a comedy that looks at family life from the perspective of both the family and their dog. Ellen DeGeneres and Vance DeGeneres are responsible for this one. Nick Lachey has an untitled pilot in which he is to star as a famous baseball player adjusting to life as a newlywed. Heh. This could pull in viewers who like their celebrities manufactured and pointless, and apparently there are a lot of them out there. If I was running the network I would greenlight this based on the gossip factor alone. Sad but true. And many, many more. If some of their pilots are as good as they sound, the CW could really launch in style.

Looking out for Numero Uno

Oprah goes into damage control mode, hanging Frey out to dry. I just cannot take her seriously these days, which is okay because she takes herself seriously enough for all of us. I read this book when it was initially released in hardcover, well before Oprah annointed it as one of her chosen ones. Not to excuse Frey for passing it off as factual, but some of the stuff in that book was so brutal I'm actually kind of relieved that not all of it was real. I especially hope the part about the dental work was made up because that genuinely freaked me out. The stuff of nightmares, that part.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Look, I hate paying taxes too...

but I pay them anyway. Because it beats the alternative: "Survivor" winner gets voted into the big house. Bet he keeps his clothes on this time around.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dork alert! (Federline Edition)

It's not like you weren't warned! See those guitars stacked in the background? Those are what we in the industry refer to as "props".

Just when I think I have a handle on this TV thing...

WB, UPN abandon the fight for second-to-last, rise from the ashes as a single lesser net. Not that it's going to affect my viewing habits at all. But it's big news in TV Land. Update: Via L.A. Observed, here's the official word from CBS Head Honcho Les Moonves to his worker bees. On the other hand, in news that will affect my cable bill when I add in Showtime, Dexter has been ordered to series. Only downside - supposedly it won't air until 2007. We'll see.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, your table is ready

Who exactly was crying out for a Fisher/Buttafuoco Reunion Show? Talk about having no shame. Is fame - even in the form of infamy - so intoxicating that all three people involved agreed to air their dirty laundry and make spectacles of themselves yet again? Or do they just really need the money? This has to be a sign that the end of Western Civilization as we know it.

Windy enough for ya?

The winds really, really cranked up last night and it's supposed to continue into tomorrow afternoon. My insomnia kicked in and I spent a good portion of the night marveling at the sound and fury of the winds and also the sound of a bunch of furniture in the pool area getting thrown around. Walking to work today, I almost made it into the building when it started up again and I had to really lean into it. I felt like a mime. Then I heard about this, which sucks majorly because brushfires and high winds are never a good combination, plus my brother lives in La Crescenta, not far from Tujunga. I'm sure his apartment isn't in any danger, but having to look at charred, blackened hills is never fun. I just hope LAFD does their usual fine job of saving the houses. Those guys are amazing. Update: Apparently there were some buildings lost. Bummer. Hopefully none of these fires get really out of control.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fading away gracefully. Or not.

Don't you just love it when celebrities who are definitely on the downside of fame's slippery slope make desperate grasps at maintaining some semblance of relevance? Me too. In a cruel point and laugh kind of way, of course. Apparently superstardom, once aquired, is nearly impossible to kick. Case in point: Sly Stallone (no, I'm not going to bother with an imdb link) apparently doesn't think his glory days are as far behind him as the rest of us might believe. He also thinks we want to drink his water. Take a moment to really think about that and let it sink in. I wish I could think of something really, brilliantly snarky, something about the flop sweat of desperation, but I'm just at a loss. Hopefully Defamer will get ahold of this and give it the treatment it deserves. Thanks to Mike at Franklin Avenue for that tasty tidbit. Or not. I can't believe he actually drank that stuff! I'm feeling a bit queasy now.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Celebrity non-sighting of the day

In the building where I work there’s a doctor’s office that does a lot of pre-production physicals for film and TV. As a result, it’s not unusual to see the occasional famous face in the lobby or elevator. I saw Steve Perry (Journey) one time, waiting for the elevator with a couple of friends. He was very chatty. I rode up in the elevator one day with Edward James Olmos. Samuel Jackson and Zach Braff have also been spotted. Now, while I have all the respect in the world for the people mentioned in the first paragraph, in fact I think they're all pretty cool, there are very few celebrities I would get really excited about seeing, excited enough to gush about it. Brendan Fraser is one of these select few. Great actor, equally good at comedy and drama, not to mention gorgeous. Love him. So guess who was here today? Yep, George of the Jungle himself was in the house. So, first off, the good news: I didn’t act like an idiotic squealing fan girl in front of him. The bad news: I never got the chance to make a fool of myself in front of one of my favorite actors because I never actually saw him. Our receptionist spotted him but he was gone before I could be alerted. I’d rather meet him under more professional circumstances anyway. No, really. Well, maybe just a peek would have been nice.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Greenlight, go!

They’re off! First announcement of greenlit pilots in bulk, courtesy of today’s Hollywood Reporter. My job is about to get a whole lot more interesting. I have to keep track of all pilots out there as we try to land them as clients, then hope they get picked up. It’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about my job. Pilot season is an evolution I find fun and fascinating to watch. Here is the basic lifecycle of pilot season, broadcast network style: Fourth quarter 2005: With the fall season launched, the nets begin to line up pilot pitches for development. By the end of the year, I was tracking close to 200 pilots in development, during which time scripts are written in hopes that the network will like it enough to… Greenlight it! This means the pilot (and for now, only the pilot) will be produced. These announcements start in earnest in January, when everyone has had a chance to recover from the holidays and people who actually get hiatus (not me) have finally made it back into the office. And with the exception of a few shows which for various reasons will only produce a “pilot presentation” (a roughly 10-minute “clip” of the pilot), this means the show is going into full-blown production. And they go all out, because the pilot is what the network will judge to determine whether or not it becomes a series. Pilots will usually shoot in February and March, with post-production wrapping up in late April or the first week of May. Next step: the network upfronts. These take place in mid-May and while they serve as the official public announcements of what shows have been ordered to series, it’s actually a presentation of new shows to advertisers (the source of revenue for broadcast networks) to get them to buy time (commercials, also known as spots) during particular shows. The bigger the show promises to be in terms of viewership, the more expensive the spots, which is why you always hear so much about ads that run during the Super Bowl. The nets try to sell the bulk of their advertising time “upfront”, before the fall season actually starts, with presentations to advertisers featuring clips from the new shows and appearances by network honchos and cast members. After the upfronts, things get quiet until around July, at which time production offices start re-opening and pre-production gets underway. Most shows will debut in September, Fox sometimes will launch shows in August to hook viewers due to the World Series – the shows go on hiatus while Fox airs Major League Baseball’s championship series in October. They have done this in the past with shows including “The O.C.” and “Prison Break” with great success. By the end of September, most new shows have been launched (except those designated for mid-season). Then everyone takes a deep breath and it all starts again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is this for real?

You've seen it all over the internet: Cy, the cyclops kitten, born with only one eye and no nose. Only survived one day, so the story goes.

Besides the fact that it's creepy has hell, I can't help but wondering (hoping) if this is a hoax. Kittens are born with their eyes closed. One day old kittens do not have big, bright wide-open peepers. And if his eye is lidless, how is it so clear and clean?

So, what do you think? Photoshop prank or genuine poor, unfortunate little thing?

Update: Apparently, it's the real deal. Ugh.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Internet deprived

I asked one of our IT guys to recommend a local computer repair place for the diseased laptop and he kindly offered to take a shot at it on his own time for a more reasonable price than I’d pay at a shop. So maybe the financial damage won’t be as bad as I feared. Here’s hoping. What’s really kind of sad is how much I’m dreading being internet-free at home the next few days. It should only be a few days. I knew I was addicted but this is just…sad. I may have to go shopping after work to ease the pain. Upside: I may actually get to some stuff that doesn’t involve pointing and clicking, endlessly clicking. Laundry, reading, writing, the Kings game (another Duck Roast), Crash on DVD. Stuff like that. Does anyone know what internet withdrawal symptoms look like?

Crash!

So the hard drive on my desktop took its apparent final breath Friday night. It's making this clicking sound before coming up with "Operating System Not Found". Not the best news I've ever received (especially after turning the apartment upside down Saturday failed to reveal the whereabouts of the jump drive) but not a complete disaster. It was just a matter of time before I replaced it with the laptop if for no other reason than it would save space. I've made a point of not getting online with the laptop over the years to keep it safe from online viruses, worms and other destructive crap like that. But I decided Saturday it was time to hook it up. Big mistake. First problem, IE kept freezing up. In fact it just did it again. So, I'm back. That turned out to be the least of my problems. Starting Sunday morning, when I logged on, instead of my homepage of choice (Yahoo) a couple of unwanted pages keep popping up. And not just any benign pages - ADULT site pages (fuck you Adult Friend Finder, whoever you are). Also some obnoxious piece of crap page called Internet Optimizer, which is anything but. Microsoft's fix of IO didn't work. So this week, the Vaio will take its first trip to the repair shop to hopefully fix this little problem. I am not happy about suddenly not having internet access and all the other crap that goes with it. Just saying.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fortuitous choice of a blog name

I have strong ties to the Pasadena/Arcadia area. I was born in Pasadena (at the now defunct St. Luke's Hospital), my parents are from Arcadia and attended Arcadia High School and my godfather has such an amazing collection of area memorabilia that it's willed to the Arcadia Historical Museum. My grandmother's house in Arcadia was a lifelong fixture until it was sold a couple years ago after her death. On big race days you could hear the sounds of Santa Anita at her house, the roar of the crowd as the horses hit the top of the stretch followed by the sudden vacuum of silence when the race had ended. I once determined a Big Cap winner from her front yard because the announcer called his name so loud. If I could afford it I would probably live in that area instead of in bitty apartment in Hollywood. Having said that, if I had a choice, I might also live in Malibu, Silver Lake, the South Bay, somewhere up in the mountains, New York City, Venice (Italy, not California) or somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. My birthday is in June, making the rose my birth flower. It's also my favorite flower. Elliott Smith's "Rose Parade" is a favorite song. Hence the URL. I had to call it something. And thanks to the Rose Parade, the march toward blogosphere recognition and general feeling of semi-importance continues: got a mention on L.A. Observed's coverage on the ongoing Rose Parade hosting saga, with full-on URL no less. My feeling on the subject: the whole roving reporter thing may have seemed like a good idea at the time but the weather soon made it obvious that it wasn't going to happen. Stephanie was firmly planted in that seat and looked like she should have been chainsmoking while slamming back cocktails and bitching righteously in a rough, gravelly voice about her soggy, frigid predicament. She seriously needed to get out of that wet weather and into a dry booth. Also, I couldn't help notice at the end of the broadcast that up in the KTLA booth Bob and Michaela were equipped with notebooks while Stephanie was left struggling with a waterlogged copy of the Official Rose Parade Program, also available to you, the public. And in addition to the program she also got to juggle her microphone and umbrella. At the very least, couldn't they equipped her with a clip-on microphone at some point? But what I really hoped to be singled out for was catching equine enthusiast Bob Eubanks boo-boo about the number of vertabrae in Arabian horses. Because I'm just mean that way. Also because he can afford horses and I can't.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Wet and windy

The 2006 Rose Parade is in the books and for the first time since 1955 it rained on the parade. I know we Southern Californians like to kick up a big fuss over a little rain but this morning was really brutal. You could see the trees blowing hard in the wind and water dripping off the floats and participants. I've gotta give props to everyone involved, if it wasn't for the obvious bad weather you would never have guessed they were marching in anything less than perfect conditions. The marching bands never faltered, the pretty horses behaved, the floats held up pretty well and it was the Rose Queen's 18th birthday. Awww. Good show. And then there was the situation in KTLA Channel 5's broadcast booth. Specifically the Stephanie Edwards/Bob Eubanks situation, which I wasn't previously aware of. Apparently relations between the two turned chilly somewhere along the line to the point where mommy and daddy decided to split them up to keep them away from each other's throats. L.A. Observed has the gist of it here, but long story short: Stephanie got booted from the booth in favor of a younger female co-host. I don't really care what the official word is, that was definitely a demotion and an embarrassing one at that. I'm sure the rain hampered her ability to do much "roving" but the fact that KTLA's powers that be unseated Stephanie instead of sending the new girl out into the crowd spoke volumes. I didn't know any of this was going on and was horribly disappointed when I tuned in. To Michaela Pereira's credit she wasn't as obnoxious or vacant as I feared, certainly nowhere near the levels of idiocy displayed by the hosts of the Hollywood Christmas Parade broadcast. My only criticisms would be her humming along with the marching bands and referring to Grand Marshal Sandra Day O'Connor as a justice on the "Superior" Court and taking a painfully obvious potty break (which Eubanks somewhat cruelly called her on). What was really tough to watch was Stephanie "reporting" from the field. My guess is that she won't be back next year. And that's a shame, another tradition gone. Also, didn't Bob the horse expert claim that Arabians have an extra vertabrae? Because that's inaccurate, they're actually short one. It's one of the reasons they have those high-set tails. ETA: I watched a repeat of the parade and sure enough, he said one additional vertabrae. Didn't even catch it when Michaela said "extra vertabrae". Heh.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A dimension of sight, a dimension of sound

Sci-Fi Channel is running a Twilight Zone marathon as I type this. Tune in and revel in the story-telling genius that was Rod Serling. Come on, it's getting late, which means they're getting to the really good ones. I just cried my big blues out thanks to "In Praise of Pip". Come on, tune in. They never get old. ETA: "Living Doll" just started. "My name is Talky Tina, and I don't think I like you." Heh.

People...people who are famous people...

Aw Blue, you will always be our boy. Actor Patrick Cranshaw, the world's oldest frat pledge, has died at age 86. Watching him and Will Ferrell verbally abuse each other was a treat. Cool fact from the "Old School" DVD commentary: the big picture of the young guy in the sailor's suit at Blue's funeral was actually an old pic of Cranshaw. Frank: I see Blue, he looks glorious! I have to admit I didn't know who this guy was until I read about his death: actor Richard De Angelis has died at age 73. What really got my attention was this: De Angelis...worked as an accountant for 14 years. At 38, he quit smoking, became a vegetarian and enrolled in acting school. He received a master's degree in 1983 from the University of Maryland's theater arts program. Talk about changing your life. I'm glad it worked out for him. On the thankfully still alive front: little rascal Farris Hassan has arrived home. Where he will no doubt be grounded and his bank account cut off. Somehow, I don't think that will really slow him down.

Catching up with the Kings

What with Bob's funeral and the holidays, I kind of lost track of the Kings. Luckily they've been winning more than losing and are now up to 52 points. Carolina also has 52 points and only four teams have more: Ottawa (57), Detroit (55), Buffalo (54) and Philadelphia (54). We're back up to 1st in the Pacific Division and 2nd in the Western Conference. I still don't understand it, but that doesn't matter because numbers don't lie. Let's go Kings!!!