Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Rescignos sing "Headshots"

As some (none?) of you are aware, I write songs for some dear friends of mine who perform monthly off-off-Broadway shows (off). This is from their most recent performance, concocted by yours truly.

Don't let the phunky beats fool you, I'm still white.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Name Droppers

Stage names are an interesting phenomenon. Some of them work, and just sort of seem right - Elton John sells more records than "Reginald Dwight" would have, for example. However, famous name alterations like Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Cher (not Lady Gaga though...that's a given Christian name) all have a somewhat catchy ring to them, something distinctive that makes an audience remember.

Some Facebook friends of mine have chosen to take this leap.

However, not in any clever or interesting way, mind you. Rather, it seems like a disturbing handful of people I know have chosen to professionally begin going by their first name followed by their middle name, and just CHOPPING their unique, potentially memorable last name. Now, I think this practice would be fine if said middle names were slightly unusual.

Sadly, these pen/stage names are all (ALL) extremely common, bland, and super American. Names are appearing like "Stephen Matthew", "Michelle Ann" and "Susan Ann". Immediately, images are aroused of this name printed below a sleek black and white headshot, being handed to a casting director for a Fabreeze commercial.

Now, if you truly want to distance yourself from your last name, that's one thing. But what a slap in the face to whatever ancestor shlepped onto Ellis Island with a pocket full of dreams (and probably dysentery) from the old country. "F***** you grampa! I'm gonna be a star!" you say. But unless you're a Smith or a Jones, last names are a distinctive label we are given at birth, something that was good enough for the people who made you. Granted, they never did a walk-on role in NCIS, but even if your last name has six Q's in a row, at least people might possibly remember that. "Robert John" sticks with you about as long as a brain freeze. Switch back guys, these stage name changes are like lazy nosejobs.

Plus, here is a series of quotes you will never hear:

"Oh hey, want to go see that new Peter Gary film? I hear he's good in it."

"Yo dawg, you gotta download Cynthia Jennifer's new single. It's phat/tight!"

"Hurry up, we're going to be late for the Greg Eugene concert!"

"I just finished reading Christina Katelyn's latest novel. It had me on the edge of my damn seat!"

I'd say "rant over", but I'm going to continue actually talking about this all week.


Michael William

Monday, January 25, 2010

Two-Thousand Ten = More Like Two-Thousand FUN

"When are you going to update Sunny Side for the New Year?" - No one.

"Come on, we're almost a month into 2010...give us SOMETHING!" - Not anybody.

"PLEASE JUST UPDATE YOUR BLOG! IT'S DRIVING ME BANANAS!" - Chester Alfonso (not a real dude)

Well, the people have clearly spoken, and you know how I am when people say things. I just can't leave my imaginary fans hanging. In all truth though, we have entered a new year, and new years mean new opportunities. Also, new calenders. Guess which one I'm more excited for! (HINT: It includes at least twelve photos of babies dressed as animals or vice-versa)

Though I haven't made any official new years "resolutions", I have a few new years "to-do's". Reason being, I'm much more likely to get something done on a "to-do" list than something that's a grand, sweeping "resoLUTION." Nobody has a resolution to pick up some new socks, but somebody may put "bang seven robot women" on a to-do list. See what I'm saying, America? And parts of Canada?

That being said, here is a portion of my 2010 To-Do List:

- Write a spec script for "24" where the characters get Chipotle in the first ten minutes. I think what happens in the remaining fifty is pretty self explanatory.

- Record an album with T. Bone Burnett, but not as Producer. I want him catering. His name sounds like he'd make a good chef as well.

- Train to watch a marathon. Those things are booooring without proper conditioning.

- Juggle being an everyday mom and a crime fighter by night. What's a girl to do?

- Pitch my idea for PRECIOUS: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire: The Animated Series. Yes, there will be a Junkyard Gang involved.

- Convince the writers at Gawker that if they're gonna try to be witty - COMMIT!

- Make fewer PRECIOUS jokes.

- I'm sorry, but seriously, did anyone see that movie? It was not based on a true story (It was in fact based on the novel...ah, forget it), so while the events depicted are very real and occur everyday. I don't think they ALL occur to ONE person in such a short span of time, as they do to our hero in this film. Precious just can't catch a break. I was half expecting a zombie attack to break out at the end, because that was the ONLY BAD THING THAT HADN'T HAPPENED YET.

- Waste less time on To-Do lists talking about Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.

- Is Sapphire just a last name? Is it like a Cher thing? And if so, what else has she written? Why should we care that Sapphire has written the book that this movie is based on. Was anyone in the theater lobby undecided going, "Hmm, well we could see 'Up in the Air' or a 'Squeakuel' of there anything playing based on the works of Sapphire? Well slap me sideways, will ya look at that! Playing at 5:10!" I also can't help but wonder if "Push" by Sapphire now has a sticker on it that reads "'Push' by Sapphire - now a major motion picture: 'Precious': based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire'".

- "Precious" would have made a very fine title on its own. Is this titling trend going to continue? Will we see "The Hobbit" be titled "The Hobbit: Based on the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien"? Or "The Rachel Ray Show: Based on the series 30-Minute Meals by Rachel Ray"? This will not increase book sales.

- Don't immediately contradict by To-Do's.

- Go to sleep right now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eggo ROFL's

(NOTE: the title has really, nothing to do with what follows. But come on, “Eggo ROFL”s? ROFLMAO! Seriously tho, this is actually about the apocalypse)

I bought some Eggo waffles last night, because if you have access to news stories, you know that there’s only so much time. Soon there will be no more Eggo’s to leggo, and if you, like me, have been taking Eggo waffle availability for granted, now’s the time to make some semblance of amends. However, after a little bit of research, it dawned on me that this Eggo shortage is not to be taken lightly, no sir. For the lack of Eggo waffles appears to be the first tiny pebbles in the avalanche that signals the end of our civilization. Am I blowing this out of proportion? F no. Observe…

Seven signs of the Apocalypse:

1. A False Prophet will rise
2. War and rumors of wars
3. Famines
4. Earthquakes
5. Persecutions and tortures to the elect
6. Lawlessness
7. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world

Famines! See? It’s all right there! This fits exactly into the popular theory of “if you can’t eat waffles, what’s the point of eating”, and will make the earthquakes that follow seem like a comparative relief. I imagine the phrasing of “famine” is deliberately vague because the original prophets were unsure which specific brand of waffle would fall victim. If that doesn’t give you the chills, look a little lower on your internet browser.

The Book of Revelation also, when actually read, reveals much about our current situation. Therein, a particular harrowing quote is found; “I looked beyond into the great white into nothingness. A great flash bestowed upon my fasting eyes and unto humanity. Judgment Day has come, and there are no waffles.”(Daniel 10:2ff) Also, the book of Genesis also speaks of an “Angel” bringing forth the apocalypse. Perhaps not coincidentally, the angel is either indifferent or unlearned of waffles.

The Mayans are known for their precise calendar making and also somehow future predicting. Thus, 2012 has been marked as the end of days due to their ending the calendars that year. What people pay way less attention to is their mark for what’s gonna happen in 2010. Let’s take a look…

“2010 – Waffles gone. Panic sets in.

2012 - Apocalypse” – The Mayans

Creepy, right? It’s not just the Mayans either. Nostradamus has strikingly similar accounts.

“2010 – No more waffles. Humanity disconcerned.

2012 – Apocalypse” – Nostradamus

And if that’s not enough, look immediately below…

Yes, this is an artistic rendering of what the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse definitely look like, but think back to all we as a society have come to know about these four gentlemen. They signal doom, judgment, the end of days, and also…you guessed it…are never holding waffles. Yes, there are several different interpretations of the Four Horsemen and their specific characteristics but think about it, no one ever mentions waffles being present. If this didn’t seem so conclusive, I’d feel a bit better about this whole thing.

But there’s more…

Witness the above screen cap from Roland Emmerich’s November summer blockbuster 2012. If there's one guy who knows his apocalypses, it's Roland Emmerich. Thus, I think he would have a pretty good idea of what things would look like immediately before the world ends.

Do you see waffles? I sure don’t.

Indeed, every depiction of the end of days reveals a complete lack of waffles. I don’t mean to freak you out, society, but this is all hard to ignore. However, heed these words not as doom, but as perspective; a warning not to take our current breakfast pastries for granted. Whether used to sandwich eggs and bacon or doused in the good lady Jemima’s nectar, enjoy those Eggos now. They may be delicious, but sometimes delicious also implies world-ending. (See: nothing)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ABC Family's 25 Days of Misguided Promotion

The Christmas Season has arrived, it being post-Labor Day and all, and far be it for ABC Family to not promote their 25 Days of Christmas programming orgy. As such, a whimsical insert was placed in every copy of AM New York (cranky NY commuters between 24-65 being the clear target demographic for ABC Family) on Tuesday, December 1st carrying adorable news stories such as “Elves on Strike”, “Santa on Vacation”, and a hard-hitting Q&A with Heat Miser/Snow Miser. Of course, everyone loves Christmas movies, and ABC Family is well aware of this fact. But with so many great Christmas movies, no two people are ever gonna have the same favorite…are they?! This question clearly needed to be taken to the streets, and that’s exactly what AM New York/ABC Family did. Let’s take a look at some of the results, you guys.

Surely we’ll get a lot of answers of The Grinch, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, you know…the yooj. Right?

Hm, the Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause? That’s an outside-the-box selection. I’m all for unpredictable choices, so good on you Alex Frank for sticking with your guns and not caring what people will think after they read that a 52-year old professional consultant’s favorite holiday film is The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”. Clearly, you were the target audience. A little strange not to pick the first Santa Clause, but I hear this third installment is where the franchise really picks up steam. I’m guessing Mr. Frank has gotten enough slack from former friends for having this view, so I won’t further question it. Onward...

Wow, Mr. Benjamin (not on iTunes, just checked) feels real strong about his admiration of “Unaccompanied Minors”, going so far as to yell the word “love”. No hesitation evident on this no doubt spur of the moment question. He even goes so far as to point out specific favorite scenes, causing me to envision their respective hilarious scenarios, and desire to view these hijinks first hand. Luckily I have a chance to catch it next Monday at 8, which is good because I’m assuming there’s a ginormous wait for it this time of year on Netflix. Also, it’s a holiday movie? Also, you can’t see the picture, but BenJammin (his singer/songwriter alias) looks not like how 26-year-olds look.

Now I really feel for Marissa. There’s a lot going through your head when you get a question like this – everyone expects you to say “A Christmas Story” or “Miracle on 34th Street” or hell, “Elf”…lord there are a ton of cinematic Christmas classics. There's a ton of pressure to pick one of those standards, but she sticks with her guns and proudly proclaims her favorite holiday film, the creme de la (of the) creme, if you will – “Holiday in Handcuffs”. Obvious really. Why has nobody else already mentioned that? In another classic case of “how-people-really-talk”, Marissa apparently verbalizes how most 14-year olds text or how curmudgeonly network execs think teenagers communicate in general. Now, again, I’ve never seen “HIH” as the kids are calling it, so I guess I’m out of luck. Wait…well I’ll be darmed (a combination of “damned” and “darned” I just made up), it’s on ABC Family Dec. 10th at 8! Gosh, these responses are really coinciding with what’s airing on ABC Family in the coming weeks. I’m sure that’s purely coincidental, as these are truly believable opinions.

Favorite films also mentioned include: "The Year Without a Santa Claus”, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, “The Polar Express”, and “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and the Island of the Misfit Toys” (not the super shitty original). Films not mentioned include: every actual good Christmas movie ever made. I guess credit is due to AM New York and ABC Family for tracking down the seven humans in the city/country whose range of holiday film viewing is wildly limited, and coincides with their programming schedule. I suppose there’s always the possibility that the ABC Family people fabricated some of these quotes, but phrases like “OMG! I heart Holiday if Handcuffs!” are totally just something someone would say.

(photos courtesy of Mike "Badge" Biette)

Friday, October 30, 2009

R.L. Stine - A Study in the Occult

There is a darkness that lies beneath the upper five crusts of our society. The shadow has been forming for many years, though we’ve only now begun to even detect a hint of its presence. Nevertheless, this fresh, new evil has been around for awhile, and while we’ve been blind to its existence, it has grown only more powerful. Of course, I speak of the dark literature of R.L. Stein.

The dark literature of R.L. Stine had, at first, on the surface seems harmless. Delightful, colorfully illustrated covers adorned even the stingiest of elementary school book fairs, and titles such as “Monster Blood”, “Night of the Living Dummy”, and “Let’s Get Invisible!” appeared harmless on the surface. However, repercussions of the evil within the dark literature of R.L. Stine arouses far more than simple…goosebumps.

Exhibit A: April 21, 1996 – Young Abigail Parchmont had just finished reading “One Day at Horrorland”, and strange occurrences began taking place. Her family recalls she began spouting some strange non-English, non-human gobbledegook and twisting her head most of the way around. Abigail was found the next morning in the backyard, having eaten roughly half the family dog, Ruff’ums.

Exhibit B: November 8, 1999 – Thomas Farlings of Essex, NJ went camping in the woods with six of his friends. The cabin they stayed at contained one book – “A Shocker on Shock Street”. One by one, the campers were killed by the evil that had been awoken in the woods.

Exhibit C: July 9, 1998 - John Carloston had merely gotten through half of “Bad Hare Day” before succumbing to madness and digging up half the local cemetery “to calm [him]self down”.

Exhibit D: September 7, 1997 – Young Nyu Hsing was found dangling from a rafter in his garage with a note that said “All for Slappy”. “Night of the Living Dummy” was in his hand.

Exhibit E: February 12, 2002 - Jimmy Collins devoured both “Deep Trouble”s in one night, a foolish action to take without a holy man present. His whereabouts are unknown.

Truly, the work of R.L. Stine stretches far beyond Fear Street (which geographically does not actually exist). These strange occurrences have led some to believe that Stine is the mouthpiece of Satan’s modern day bidding, putting pen-to-page the dark scripture he himself has not the physical ability to write. Those who have studied the occult believe the coming of Stine will be the first step towards the end of humanity, after destroying J.K. Rowling. In a recent interview, Charles Manson revealed that reading “Say Cheese and Die” led him to commit all of his murders. Some say the pages of “Be Careful What You Wish For” were printed with ink from an ancient Inca burial ground. “The Horror at Camp Jellyjam” is literally a word—for-word interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. "It Came From Under the Sink" is an adaptation of the thoughts of unbaptized babies. Additionally, there’s a rumor that if you read “Egg Monsters From Mars” with the lights off and a candle lit, your spirit enters the body of Joy Behar. Dark, dark material.

On a more local level, Stine’s work has garnered its group of dark apostles; a brooding, poetry-writing, Hot Topic-shopping bunch who refer to themselves as Stineists. These groups, who would typically meet via craigslist in basements, conduct dark rituals including bee sacrifices, piano lessons, and even “Monster Blood Orgies”. Says Stineist leader, who goes only by the name “X”, explains “our Monster Blood recipe is really a homemade concoction of some lemonade, corn syrup, and food coloring. Occasionally, we’ll add some ground cane sugar to give it some extra zing. Then we [fuck] in it.”

Are there any ways to simply enjoy Stine’s whimsical ghoulish tales without the disturbing side effects? Father Thompson of Maine has stated that after soaking “Chicken Chicken” in holy water for three weeks, he could read it without any consequence, though he still felt a little wrong afterwards. (Though that may have been due to the poor narrative structure) While the holy water idea has proven effective, certain states have banned any of Stine’s work from entering churches altogether.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From this morning's AM New York

Mario ‘books’ it

‘SBTB’ star Lopez, Diamond pen different tales

by Julie Gordon, AM New York

“Mario Lopez isn’t angry that former “Saved by the Bell” co-star Dustin Diamond wrote a book exposing alleged on-set drug use and hookups. If anything, Lopez just feels sorry for the guy.

“He’s gone through rough times, he was in a bad place,” said Lopez, whose voice took on a sympathetic tone when discussing Diamond’s state of mind. “Anyone who feels the need to write something like that that [isn’t doing well]”.

Lopez told us that he hasn’t read Diamond’s book but has heard about it contents.

Meanwhile, Lopez has been busy perfecting his own book, the children’s story “Mud Tacos,” which he wrote with his younger sister, Marissa Lopez Wong. “Mud Tacos” is the tale of a brother and sister who use their imaginations to make tacos out of backyard materials – and learn a few lessons along the way. Lopez also said he is close to finalizing a deal to turn “Mud Tacos” into a cartoon.

While he wants to expose young readers to Mexican culture, Lopez said he doesn’t “want to hit anyone over the head with a tortilla or anything.”

Well, we’re sure we could find a few ladies who wouldn’t mind that scenario one bit.”

So, if this innuendo were to play out...Gordon suggests basically that she knows several women who wouldn't mind being bludgeoned in the head repeatedly by Mario Lopez's **ck? Is this a thing nowadays?