Thursday, August 30, 2007

Myth Busting

My best friend Lindsey sent me a clip from the show MythBusters, a wildly popular series on the Discovery Channel that tests various urban legends, and answers all of your most pressing questions (usually the ones that you asked in kindergarten). The video Linds sent me was an experiment to find out what really happens when a bull patronizes a china shop.

Lindsey: “I have no idea why, but I found this amusing."

Me: “My parents freaking love that show. Talk about it all the time. It answers questions like, 'If your elevator is plummeting to the ground and you jump at the last second, do you still die?' That was an actual question. Seriously."

Lindsey: “I actually visited the set last year for work. It was a lot of fun. One of the female cast members accidentally farted while they were filming and it was high-jinks all around.”

Me: “That’s awesome.”

Lindsey: “The question they were working on the day I was on-set was ‘If an alligator is chasing you, should you run away in a zig-zag pattern because alligators can’t turn fast enough to keep up with you? Or just run in a straight line?’

The answer, by the way, is: Don’t bother with the zig-zag, just run in a straight line because they’re actually not THAT fast.”

An Open Letter To The Chick Who Put Her Mat Too Close To Mine In Yoga Class:

A yoga class with appropriate spacial dimensions. Just look at those Warrior 2's!

Dear Chick,

I presume – judging from the fact that you were wearing socks in class today – that you are new to yoga. I am pleased that you have chosen to join us. However, I must take issue with the close proximity of your yoga mat in today’s practice.

I arrived to class early and staked out my favorite corner. But then you came in one minute after class had started, plopped your mat down mere inches from mine and ruined everything. I just want to know why.

As Johnny told Baby in Dirty Dancing, "This is my space. This is your space. You don't go into my space and I don't go into yours." Why, then, were you all up in my space?! You had so much room on the other side of you!! I had nowhere to go. You had me up against a wall, a literal mirrored wall!

I'd have understood if it had been a particularly crowded lesson, but there were only seven of us in the class. Plenty of room for a little yoga urban sprawl. At one point, I made a big show of straightening my mat, hoping that you would take the hint and scoot over a little. Yet you stood firm (except when you were wobbling in the Tree Pose). Did you not notice how I had to wait and do every move 1 second after you so we could avoid wacking each other?

When we did Warrior 2 and you almost hit me in the face, for a moment I had wished that I was a real warrior so I could actually hit you in the face. Then I felt bad because that is not the yoga way.

Might I recommend that, moving forward, you allot for at least one to two feet between mats so that we can avoid such run-ins in the future.

See you next class!

Noelle Hancock

PS: If you would like to put Matts close to my yoga mat, however, that might be okay as I typically enjoy people named Matt.

True Fucking That

Middle-aged lady: "Look at that girl! Drunk and it's not even 4 PM!"

Friend: "She's not drunk, it's just her shoes!"

Middle-aged lady: "But... Who would wear high heels and be sober?"

[Via Overheard in New York]

The First Few Lines From Press Releases Sent to Me This Week: A Compilation

-- Hello Noelle,
It's back-to-school time, and kids, teens, and college students need to go back to school in style with the hippest, coolest, and most fashionable sneakers! But how can students go back to school this year with kicks that are absolutely awesome?

Unfortunately, with all the recent developments surrounding the "If I Did It" book, I have decided not to appear on the Oprah show.

-- Hi Noelle!
Hope all is well. Thought you might be interested in checking out these photos from Tiger Woods today in NYC. Let me know if you have any questions.

-- Lifestyles of the Single and Healthy
Is looking for your better half becoming a search for your healthier half?

-- Dear Noelle
Here is a story about a trend that is growing virally amoung
[sic] women around the nation.

Ninety-Minute Episode Goes Behind the Scenes and Uncovers the Dirty Business of Chatter with the Ladies of "The View"

-- You Are Cordially Invited To The Fourth Annual
“Kings and Cowboys” birthday celebration of Promoter/Actor Keith Collins, the original Village People Cowboy Randy Jones, and former MTV VJ Thalia Da Costa

My 'Law & Order' Addiction Now Officially A "Problem"

Why was Jamie always such a wet blanket, anyway?

One of my more embarrassing celebrity encounters occurred a few years ago while I was covering the premiere of M. Knight Shymalan's The Village for the New York Observer. Jesse L. Martin from Law & Order was standing next to me at the after-party and caught me staring at him. I lost it. I began gushing, "Oh my god, I just love Law & Order! It's my favorite show! I watch the three back-to-back episodes every night on TNT!"

He gave me this pitying look and said, "Wow. You must have a lot of time on your hands." Then he walked away.

After that incident, I went cold turkey and stopped watching the series. Even the Law & Order characters thought I was a tool for being so obsessed. I quickly turned my attention to Lost. But then Lost started to suck hugetime and Grey’s Anatomy went on hiatus so I fell off the wagon. They say that a habit becomes a full-blown addiction once it starts to interfere with the way you live your life. I wouldn’t say that it interferes with my life, but that’s only because I’m too busy watching Law & Order to talk to you right now.

I won’t even delve into the brilliance of the program: A Republican show rendered through a Democratic prism, where not getting into the characters’ back stories only makes you love them more.

On weekend nights, I can put away as many as seven episodes. During the week it’s two or three. Sometimes I'll just listen to an episode while I'm getting ready for work. I've found myself lying to friends about my plans. "Tonight? Sorry, I'm having dinner with a friend!" So what if that friend is Sam Waterston and he doesn’t even know that we’re friends?

My television is my dealer, TIVO is my enabler, allowing me to record episodes to watch whenever I want (which is all the time). I recently came back from a trip to Philly to find that there had been a double marathon in my absence and I went on an L&O binge and didn’t leave my apartment for days.

At this point, I know exactly when the ominous "they're about to find the body" music is going to start. I can anticipate the court objections and motions before they’re even filed. “Well, that confession will get thrown out,” I chuckle knowingly to myself. I’m fairly confident I could try and win any case you threw my way with damages.

After awhile, I ran out of episodes and I had to branch out into the spinoffs. I soon tired of Vincent D'Onofrio's histrionics on L&O: Criminal Intent and concentrated instead upon L&O: Special Victims Unit. I have no idea how Dick Wolf managed to get the "How about a show about rape, sodomy and child molestation?" pitch past NBC brass, but it totally works. There’s no one I’d rather have question me about my handsy uncle than Detectives Benson and Stabler.

Plus the writing is always fresh. There are only so many places you can touch a child (and I would know!), yet they still manage to surprise. The episode where they "killed off" ADA Alex Cabot but then it turned out she was just in the witness protection program? Never saw that coming. Then again, I also managed to miss the entire subplot that ADA Serena Sutherland was a lesbian.

I wonder if every time they usher in a hot new assistant district attorney, Sam Waterston thinks, “I’m too old for this shit,” or do you think he enjoys the variety? Why do the ADAs always leave? Angie Harmon, Stephanie March, Elizabeth Rohm. They never go on to do anything else. You’d think they’d learn by now.

And gaysian actor B.D. Wong! I love how his name is also Wong on the series (well, it’s technically spelled “Huang” on the show but it’s pronounced the same.). It's like they looked at him and said, “Yeah, let's be honest, nobody will believe his last name is ‘Chung.’”

Oh, but I’ve said too much. Way, way too much. The defense rests. I swear, at some point I’m going to find a real hobby. I have a lot of time on my hands, you know.

Love Means Never Having To Text You're Sorry

[Via Mollygood]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Hope Not.

Overheard in the Office:
My editor to me: "Do you think that Britney thinks that people think that she looks cute?"

I Love My Office: Part II

Better luck next time, Shiloh.

Yet another reason why I love my job. The following is an excerpt from a 5-minute conversation between several coworkers in Us Online (one of whom is a heterosexual man) debating the relative appeal of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s children.

Coworker #1: “Zahara is the cutest. She’s the cutest, most perfect baby ever.”

Coworker #2: “But what about Pax? He’s adorable.”

Coworker #1: “They’re all really cute!”

Coworker #3: “Eh, Maddox is going through an awkward stage right now. He was much cuter before.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is It Too Much?

While I continue to appreciate my parents buying me an enormous plasma television for my birthday last month, I worry that it overwhelms my apartment -- it being bigger than the kitchen and all.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nightmare on 53rd Street

I went to a high school that was predominantly African-American and back then, all of the black girls had these marvelous super-long acrylic nails with intricate designs all over them.

So my superwhite BFF, Skyler, and I swore that one day we were going to go to our local nail salon and get some fantastic, painstakingly painted talons of our own so we could be as fabulous as they were. We never did make it to the salon (neither of us had cars), and of course, now I type for a living so that idea has been shot to hell. But every now and then, I reflect back on our plan and I pour out a little Essie “Mademoiselle” for the nails that never came to fruition.

NATURALLY LONG NAILS, on the other hand, are another story entirely. Check out the mo-fos in the photo above. That’s not just a crack pinkie. That’s a crack hand. It belonged to the 80-something woman who sat down next to me at lunch today. You just never know who’s packing, do you?

The right hand was relatively normal, but not these nails. They were long and they were yellow. The middle fingernail pointed to the left, like one of those weird left-pointing penises you sometimes find on guys. At least those dudes can argue that they were born that way. There’s no excuse for this kind of unbridled growing. I have all the respect in the world for the elderly, but what else do you have to do at that age if not frequent the nail salon?

Just look at that semi-polished loafer. Doesn’t it look like it belongs to a sensible woman? A woman who knows when it’s time to break out the clippers and take care of business? Then there’s the watch. I know what time it is, too, lady! Time to either file down those meat hooks that you call hands, or go down to the local beauty parlor and get yourself some fab, airbrushed lady claws!

But before you go, realize that while I actively support the application of super-long fake nails, this backing does not extend to toes. Ergo, THIS is the most appalling thing I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s the closest human approximation to a velociraptor. If raptors were into Aerosoles and toe rings.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Just Going To Say It

I fucking love the song "I Just Called To Say I Love You." It is such a jam. Remember the episode of The Cosby Show when Theo and Denise accidentally crashed into Stevie Wonder's limo and he invited the Huxtables to his studio where he dueted with Clair on this sentimental wonder? (So precocious, that Rudy!)

It's my favorite episode, and this is even taking into account all the times the family lipsynched for the grandparents on their anniversaries, and the episode where Denise and her friends pushed back the living room furniture and break danced at length for no discernible reason (this clip is not on YouTube and that is a travesty).

Clair was the perfect miscegenation of intelligence, feistiness, compassion and charm; therefore, I love her because I believe that actors are exactly the same in real life as the characters they portray.

Back when I worked at the New York Observer, I interviewed Phylicia Rashad and it was practically the apex of my career. Second only to the time I interviewed Rue McClanahan and we talked about her Siamese cat Bianca for a half hour.

I'm not going to say any more about it. Anything else you need to know can be found in Stevie's sweatshirt, which epitomizes everything that went right with 80s fashion.


I is up in ur hand. Gettin yer kissez.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Woman Sets Fire to Ex-Husband's Penis

Amazing photo via the NY Times and taken during opening ceremonies at the 2006 Olympic Games. Amazing article courtesy of Reuters:

Woman Sets Fire to Ex-Husband's Penis
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A woman set fire to her ex-husband's penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, Moscow police said Wednesday.

Asked if the man would make a full recovery, a police spokeswoman said it was "difficult to predict."

The attack climaxed three years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation. The couple divorced three years ago but continued to share a small flat, something common in Russia where property costs are very high.

"It was monstrously painful," the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. "I was burning like a torch. I don't know what I did to deserve this."

Well, for starters, you sat naked on the couch watching television and getting wasted. Seriously, no one needs to see that shit, particularly if they're no longer legally bound to do so. And can you blame the woman for not wanting your fucking skid marks all over her couch? If she was actually able to set fire to your penis, you also probably had a good deal of pubic hair to work with. Is it too much to ask for a trim once in awhile?

Are you listening, New York? This is what happens when you charge astronomical rents at unsustainable levels relative to incomes. So the next time you decide to hike someone's rent -- ahem -- 15% in one year, think of the people forced to share apartments with people they can barely stand because they can't afford otherwise. Then think of their ex-husbands who have highly flammable penises.

When Avian Fraternizing Goes Too Far

My parakeets in less traumatic times.

Every morning while I'm getting ready for work, I put my parakeets, Jesus and Stuart, out on my fire escape. I do this because they enjoy the sunshine and visiting with the other (less incarcerated) birds. They also get overly excited by the sound of running water and start chirping madly while I shower, and I'm worried that they're going to wake up the neighbors.

Over the last month, one particular pigeon developed a crush on my 'keets. It waits for them every morning and when I put out their cage, it immediately flies over and sits next to them until it's time for me to leave for work and I bring them back inside. It was like having my own personal keet-sitter.

This morning, however, would be different.

I put the parakeets out same as always but when I went to bring them in, it was there. IN THE CAGE WITH THEM.

I felt like a mother who'd come home to find her nanny in bed with her two sons. But mostly I was just trying to figure out how this enormous pigeon managed to break into their relatively small residence. There were no signs of forced entry. Did it want some ménage action with Stu and Jesus, beak open the sliding cage door, and just rustle its big feathery ass on in there?

I immediately brought the cage inside, and it exploded into a flurry of Hitchcockian activity. The pigeon started flapping wildly, knocking the parakeets off their perches with its enormous wings. They issued displeased squawks. I threw open the cage door and the pidge burst free, flying a few laps around my apartment and upsetting several tchockes before I managed to herd it out the window. Naturally I was late to work. I didn't really know how to explain.

I can't even think about what the pigeon might have been doing to my boys those precious minutes I was in the shower. I should never have left them alone together. But what can I do? Buy a stuffed animal parakeet and ask them, "Can you point on the doll where the pigeon touched you?"

For now, I'm going to keep them inside. The neighbors will just have to deal.

Random Hot Dude From Our Favorite Childhood (Sorta) Chick Flicks: Where Are They Now


Dammit Neil! Charlie Dalton changed his name to Nuwanda, took a collect call from God during assembly and then chose to suffer copious spankings from the principal rather than give up his fellow Dead Poets.

Sadly, Gale took his final bow in the entertainment industry playing "Security Guard" in 1998 in an episode of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. (Believe it!)

But he always looked like he could have dished out the spankings as well as he took them which is why he's earned a celebrated spot in my Random Hot Guy Pantheon.

He also seems like he'd take you to bed and totally make up for the fact that he has one of those unisex names that's become co-opted by the female sex to the point that it's no longer okay to give it to a dude anymore (see: Lindsey, Leslie).

Gale, I would totally stand on my desk and openly declare my love for you. I wouldn't even wait for Ethan Hawke to stand up first.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hearting Mary Hart

I made my Entertainment Tonight debut yesterday, talking about Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter Dannielynn turning one-year-old. I have no idea how to upload from TIVO to YouTube, otherwise I would share this television watershed with you.

In lieu, I’m posting a photo of 25-year ET veteran and “American personality,” Mary Hart. She appears to be borderline molesting herself (and, really, who wouldn’t?). Also worth nothing is this picture on the ET website in which she has her arms crossed and a steely “Don’t even think about it, Jann Carl” glint in her eye.

Honestly, there's just no not loving a woman whose voice has been documented by The New England Journal of Medicine as causing epileptic seizures, is there? And kudos to Mary for not abusing this power because I sure would have.

Hart joined the show in 1982 where, according to her ET bio, “she continues to define entertainment journalism to this day.” That’s a little strong for a website whose top story today was titled "Sally Field: 'I Think I Look Like Dog Poop’” but I’ll let it go. Instead, I’m going to share some little known facts about Mary:

She endorsed L'eggs pantyhose in the late 1980s and has never worked barelegged.

She speaks Danish and Swedish fluently.

She was born at 5:54am-CST

Also, she actually does have a merry heart! I didn’t get that from IMDb, though. You can just tell these things.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Random Hot Dude From Our Favorite Childhood Chick Flicks: Where Are They Now


Ah yes. Johnny Lawrence, the captain of the fearsome Cobra Kai. His weak points include: High kicks to the face and his overall inability to put Daniel LaRusso in a body bag.

A total asshole, he would absolutely put his girlfriend's kitten in the microwave during a major argument. However, he also seems like he would make for a great hatefuck, which is why I'm including him in my roundup.

Zabka went on to star as That Asshole Rich Kid in several other movies throughout the 80s but could never find his footing on the beach stumps of Hollywood enough to make a career for himself beyond that. Case in point, he will next be seen in The Man in the Silo starring alongside Ernie "The Black Ghostbuster" Hudson.

But before you go thinking that our boy William is a one-trick pony, IMDb will have you know that he is an "accomplished singer/musician/songwriter," as is his brother Guy. He also has a sister named Judy. Hi Judy.

Random Hot Dude from Our Favorite Childhood Chick Flicks: Where Are They Now

When it comes to voiceover work, one's cuteness is usually in opposite proportion to how hot one sounds, as anyone who's ever seen a radio DJ in person can attest.

Not so for Christopher Barnes, who played The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric, and who was cute enough to make the leap to the unanimated world above the sea to play Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel.

He went on to enjoy an illustrious career of the inevitable Law & Order and 7th Heaven appearances before returning to his roots playing Prince Charming in 2007's Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (hey, you stick with what works). As for his personal life, at some point he married a woman named "Dawn," whose last name is uncertain, although the IMDb Double Question Marks of Doom imply that they were later divorced.

While we're here, did anyone else think it was weird that Ariel was getting married at 16? Or that Eric and Aladdin were essentially the same person with different haircuts? Anyways.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Princess Bride

Forget immigration, energy and the environment, and the war in Iraq. The presidential election of 2008 comes down to one issue and one issue alone: Could you seriously elect a First Lady who unironically wore a tiara to her wedding?

Mitt Romney, The Hands On Candidate

From last week's New York Times:
Craig Romney, left, and Josh Romney applaud their father, Mitt, a Republican presidential candidate, campaigning in Iowa.

They also applaud his abilities in penile shadow puppetry.

But What A Way To Go

Pet Camel Kills Australian Woman

A woman in Australia has been killed by her pet camel after the animal may have tried to have sex with her.

Um, awesome??? That's a premature death almost worth dying for. Seriously, I'm kind of jealous. You can almost feel Jay Leno dusting off the "hump" jokes, though, can't you?

Is It Just Me?...

...or is Peter Gallagher just a few Botox appointments away from turning into Leona Helmsley*?

*Speaking of, welcome to the Afterlife, Bitch! (Oooh, did I take it too far?)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Random Hot Dude From Our Favorite Childhood Chick Flicks: Where Are They Now


Way ahead of its time, The Cutting Edge paved the way for future athletic rom-com classics like Bring It On and Center Stage. Hockey player Doug swaggered into our lives with his boorish charm and his suspiciously full set of teeth after being sidelined by a peripheral-vision-affecting eye injury during the Olympics.

Lucky for Doug, a bitch figure skater (with a heart of gold!) named Kate needed a doubles partner and he found himself a second career on the ice.

Oh Doug. When you told Kate "Somewhere in all of this, I fell in love with you," I fell in love with you, too!!!

I don't care that you banged that impish redhead after she showed up at your hotel room when you were drunk, full of compliments on your sit spin. Nor do I care that your career is now mostly relegated to appearances on House, M.D., Jericho, or the 10th billing on a vaguely porny sounding film called Stilleto. You can put me in a Pamchenko Twist anytime.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Deconstructing Office Wall Decorations

So about a million times a day when I space out and my eyes absentmindedly drift towards the wall above my computer, this is what I see. You see, each employee at Us Weekly Online has their own celebrity paparazzi shot hanging above their desk. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the photo placement (although my African-American coworker who has a picture of Diddy above her desk jokes that they did it on purpose). We can't make requests so whoever you happen to get, you’re pretty much stuck with. So while my neighbor gets Tom Cruise rollerblading in a muscle tanktop while pushing a stroller (you can't even imagine) , I'm stuck watching Ben Affleck perpetually walking out to his Rolls-Royce in pressed khakis while holding a refreshing beverage.

Judging by the car, these were clearly the J.Lo years. You can sort of see her head peeking above the passenger seat, most likely upholstered in skins harvested from the children who slave over her Sweetface clothing line. I want to reach out to Ben and tell him to turn around and walk away, or go straight back to the dealership. There are no plates on the car yet. He probably still has time to return it. And along the way he could drop Jennifer Lopez off somewhere. The block, perhaps.

Instead, he continues to stand outside the luxury automobile which – like the relationship itself – he will never fully get into. Meanwhile, the McDonald's sign looms in the background, representing the commodification of the actor into something easily consumable by the masses, but who the public would eventually return to the McDonald's counter of life, saying, "Actually, I changed my mind. Can I have the Matt Damon instead?"

So, yeah, I really need to switch desks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

That's So Awesome

For me, life is divided into two parts: The point at which I discovered that there's a That's So Not Raven group on Facebook, and then everything that came after.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Let's Face It

There's something wrong when your forehead is bigger than your parakeet.

Harry Potter and the Overreaching Book Reviews

The lede from Christopher Hitchens' piece in The New York Times Book Review on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

In March 1940, in the “midnight of the century” that marked the depth of the Hitler-Stalin pact (or in other words, at a time when civilization was menaced by an alliance between two Voldemorts or “You-Know-Whos”), George Orwell took the time to examine the state of affairs in fantasy fiction for young people.

Oh Hitch, don't try and make it more than it is.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm Almost Certainly Going To Regret Posting These Pictures…

…but they're just too hilarious not to.

I don't know if you had Glamour Shots around during your childhood but we sure as hell did during mine. It was an adolescent rite of passage to go to your local mall, get tarted up, wrap yourself in a ridiculous article of clothing, and capture it on camera.

So this is me at the age of 12, portraying myself at the age of 25. The makeup was so thick that in order to take it off I nearly had to hire an archeologist to excavate my face. As one of my friends put it, "They put so much foundation on me, you couldn't even tell I had freckles."

Glamour Shots can be organized into five main categories: The Lean, The Salute (shown), The Hand Under Chin, The Collar Grab, The Head Tilt. Lucky for me, I didn't appear to have that kind of range. Let's ignore the cheeks which could single-handedly house the world's nut supply. Let's talk about the outfits. I’d like to begin by pointing out that, even at that age, I had the good judgment not to go for the feather boa. Also, I really wasn't aware that they made leather coats with rhinestone-studded shoulders and dangling crystals, but life is full of surprises I guess. That sailor outfit is something else, isn’t it? In retrospect, they were just making us look like strippers. (With the exception of the denim blouse with accompanying lace floral collar, a wild card ensemble usually favored by the housewives of Midwestern ministers.)

Did parents just not notice that their kids were being dressed up like Ladies of the Pole, or were they secretly laughing at us the whole time? Looking back, these pictures were uncannily good indicators of what you'd look like as an adult. I daresay they're probably more accurate than the digital technology the FBI uses on pictures of missing children to theorize what they'd look like as they age. As a precaution the government should require all kids go down to the local Glamour Shots studio to sit on a stool, have their bangs sprayed into a plastic wave, and be shot through a soft filtered lens. That way in case they ever go missing, they’ll have a picture at the ready. Or maybe I just really want to get one of those little cards in the mail asking: “Have you seen this Prom-goer/Flapper/Cowgirl/Motorcycle Bitch?”

In the meantime, it’s nice to see Glamour Shots making their mark in the obituary section.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Blog

When it comes to the sounds of the 80s, there’s really no comparison to Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”

It’s one of my favorites for a number of reasons, not the least of which because it’s on the soundtrack to License to Drive, the most entertaining film in the Corey-on-Corey canon. In the movie, Corey Haim asks Heather Graham out on a date, fails his driver’s test but decides to take out the car anyway, terrorizing L.A. and totally punishing his grandpa's prized Cadillac.

Then, just when all seems lost, Heather pulls up and lets Haim take the wheel of her red convertible sports car despite the fact that he still doesn't have a license. The song kicks in and they speed off.

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable sequence, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original music video, a blue-tinted masterpiece that is not so much watched as it is EXPERIENCED.

There are several phenomenal things happening in this video. They are as follows:

-- The initial revving of the car motor for authenticity purposes.
--The fact that Billy Ocean is cruising for chicks at the local carwash.
-- The female carwash attendant, who just happened to be wearing a strapless gold cocktail dress underneath her jumpsuit.
-- The fact that Billy's driving from the passenger seat.*

And I'm fine with all of this.

However, when Billy decides to go through said carwash while serenading the carwash attendant and the cartoon water begins filling up the car and animated fish swim by, the entire premise of the video collapses. Was unforseen animation a common practice in 80s videos? Are they riffing on his last name? The mind reels.

(I can't even talk about the hip-hop duck in the sunglasses, tilted cap and high tops, nor the guy who does an extemporaneous backflip off the hood of the car. I literally had to hit pause while I put my head on my office desk and my shoulders quaked with laugh-sobs. That's how great it is.)

Oh, and all hell pretty much breaks loose at around the 2:32 mark.

Later they go to the drive-in where the movie consists of Billy dueting with yet another cartoon duck, this one jamming on a saxophone. Then, apropos of nothing, a girl pirouettes by on roller states. I wouldn’t say this was my favorite part, but I will say I really appreciated Billy's floor-length white cashmere coat.

The video ends with the two of them swaying happily in the car, Billy having rescued the woman from her upholstery-shampooing, jumpsuit-wearing existence. Dreams really do come true if you just strip down to your cocktail party finery and get in the car with a total stranger, don’t they? That said, let's be clear: If a guy ever called himself my "non-stop miracle" I'd punch him in the face.

*A quick wikipedia search reveals that he's based in the U.K., so the car thing makes much more sense. Apologies, Billy! He also apparently he has nine children. Yikes!

Monday, August 06, 2007

An Open Letter To The Loud Guy Sitting Next To Me At Brunch Who Spoiled The Ending Of Harry Potter:

Seriously, what the hell?

In the months leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I had taken every precaution. I read every Harry Potter story in The New York Times with one hand over my face to safeguard against spoilers. I temporarily cut off contact with my 12-year-old sister, who already read the book and has a rather sadistic predilection for ruining the surprises of others.

So imagine my horror that day at Philadelphia's Continental Grill when you sat down at the adjacent table and started talking about the latest exploits of young Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Not to mention the abject terror I felt when your female dining companion who was wearing a turtleneck in August (seriously what was that about?) asked you, "Oh, who died?"

At that point, I dropped my fork, clapped my hands over my ears and started yelling "Earmuffs! Earmuffs! Lalalalalalala!" Then, 30 seconds later, I gently took my hands off my ears to test and see if you were done with your summation, just in time to hear you say, "And that's when [NAME REDACTED] died!"

Why you thought that it was okay to discuss the ending in public so soon after the book's release is beyond me. It was too soon – TOO SOON! In doing so, you showed a brazen disregard for the slower readers in your general vicinity.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided had you elected to use "indoor voice." But you didn't. You used outdoor voice.

If I'd had a wand with me, I would have struck you down right there over mimosas using the Avada Kedavra Killing Curse. But I didn't. Because I can't do magic. Besides, Dumbledore wouldn't have approved.

Before he died at the end of the sixth book, I mean.

Thanks for listening!
Noelle Hancock

Friday, August 03, 2007

Just A Thought Regarding The Breakup Of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren

As we recently reported in Us Weekly, Jessica Alba has finally, at long last, dumped boyfriend of two-and-a-half years Cash Warren. In researching the article, I came across an interview she gave to Cosmopolitan in March 2005.

"He might The One," she told the magazine. "The first week that we kind of got together, he gave me a note and signed it with a dollar sign, because his name is Cash. It just said, 'I really, really like you.' And that was exactly how I felt at the time."

Um, he signed a note with a dollar sign, and you didn't run away screaming? Honey, you had it comin'.

What's the DEAL With This Picture?

I was sort of foggy headed and I'm afraid I didn't bring much to the table during my appearance on Red Eye on Thursday But does it really matter when Patrick "Puddy" Warburton of Seinfeld fame is also sitting at that table?

He was a fellow guest on Red Eye and I forced him to take this picture with me in the green room before we went on air. I had to celebrate the man who provided the sole moment of comic relief in an otherwise unwatchable season finale.

Elaine (right after being sentenced to jail-time): "Puddy, Puddy, don't wait for me!"
Puddy: [Shrugs] "All Right."