Skip to main content

Under the Influence

There is "worn out." There is "tired."

And then there is flat-out, ridiculously insane exhaustion.

'Tis 2:28 AM on Sunday morning, August 13, and I am attempting to start a new entry based on one of the most mentally and physically draining days of my life. I must finish before the vanilla-coated Tylenol PM kicks in.

Previously on "Hiko"...I had mentioned that I was a coordinator for a celeb-filled event called Hot in Hollywood, a one-night-only show benefitting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Last night was the main event. Picture me with a headset and clipboard, running around like a beheaded chicken on cocaine and you might come close to visualizing what I went through. I was in charge of 80 volunteers. That's 80 people whose names all sounded the same, 80 individuals for whom I was responsible, 80 pairs of eyes that would turn to me whenever they had a question ("Who do we let into VIP?" "Does the ATM machine in the lobby work?" "Where's the cash bar?"). And it didn't help that my fifth week at Anonymous had been my busiest (Boss in Bucharest, insurance drama with our XBox shoot, etc).

On the menu: Making sure Jaime Pressly's dressing room was perfectly scented with candles and bouquets. Sending two volunteers to get four cases of bottled water to replenish the green room. Running out of parking passes in the VIP lot. Trying to find a handler for Shar Jackson (yes, the former Mrs. K-Fed) who was scheduled to deliver a statistics speech on AIDS among women of minorities (the one heavy moment of the night). Catching a glimpse of the actor from "Passions" who performed a disco number with an actress who's starring in a new network drama premiering this fall. Checking in with my security guys to make sure the VIP rooftop cabana didn't fill to capacity. Checking in with the front house to make sure tickets were selling. Checking in with Matt Czuchry from "Gilmore Girls" to see if his stalker was waiting for him backstage...Checking my pulse to make sure I wouldn't fall into cardiac arrest.

Three years ago I had been an attending volunteer at one of these types of events. And now, as a Man With A Clipboard, I was exposed to the underbelly of the dog-and-pony show. Running on the fuel of popcorn I had consumed earlier that afternoon at a screening of "Pulse" (Godawful, in case you're wondering), I moved my feet and darted to and from each post throughout the crowded venue. Yes, it was hell, but at the end of it all, we raised over $70,000. We brought awareness to hundreds of people, touched thousands of lives - all that feel-good crap.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Hollywood benefit without gift bags. Here's where I cut to the chase - nothing to write home about. Just rest easy knowing I can get $75 off my next session at Hollywood Tan.

I did make new friends and acquaintances out of this spectacle. My MySpace profile got a few extra connections out of it as well. And all of this is why my butt was firmly planted on the couch in front of the TV all day Sunday.

'Twas the beginning of the end of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it summer.

Most of my summer was spent obsessing over a new rock band I discovered on iTunes as a Free Download of the Week. Under the Influence of Giants debuted in stores last Tuesday, and I am seeing them perform live for a third time this Thursday. Hello, I am a Giant junkie.

Last Thursday I saw them perform at the Key Club on Sunset with Jenn. The kids waiting outside were just (Unfortunately it was an all-ages gig). Dressed to the nines in slutty-peasant one-pieces, as if lifted from an episode of "Laguna Beach," or worse,"The Hills," these material girls stood on the curb like they were practicing poses for certain future nighttime jobs. Jenn and I looked at each other and shook our heads trying to comprehend the motives of these born-in-1990 Paris wannabes. I had a good laugh.

The show started near 11. Aaron, the lead singer who could be the love child of Mick Jagger and Barry Gibb, encouraged everyone to dance and stay for the afterparty which was originally guest-list-only (naturally, I've attached a pic). I later managed to get my poster signed by David, one of the guitarists and backup vocals, while geekily informing him how I bought their album with the bonus remix disc that is available only at Best Buy.

Luckily my obsession has now been redirected at the film "Little Miss Sunshine" (it's going on my top 10 for '06) and Christina Aguilera's "Back to Basics" (same for music).

There are few albums one highly anticipates, and when said album is actually purchased, little does one know that some expectations can be shattered.

Or swiped into oblivion by a wrecking ball.

Ladies and gents, if you thought Miss Christina Aguilera-Bratman could NEVER top the masterful "Stripped," please think again. "Back to Basics" is the most mesmerizing melting pot of jazz, soul, hip-hop, and sweeping Danny Elfman-esque orchestration (yes, you read that correctly) ever to fall upon listeners' ears. To simply call it a pop album would be like calling Mount Rushmore a pile of rocks. Normally, I wouldn't push a CD (let alone a double-disc) so strongly, but "B2B" deserves the praise it has been receiving from reviewers. Bow your heads in shame, all you Rihannas/Nelly Furtados/Cassies of the world. And Christina? Get your dress and acceptance speech ready for the 2007 Grammys.

I'm sure my next obsession is waiting for me around the corner of next month, but while I dwell in the present I shall continue to ride out the rest of August like the nagging bull that it is. And by "ride" I mean "check the following off my calendar": attend a dinner with the HIH committee, a red-carpet benefit at LAX (the club), a Michael Kors party on Rodeo, a screening of "Snakes on a Plane," a rock concert in Echo Park, a work luncheon at Ivy by the Shore, a guest-list-only function at Geisha House, get-togethers for the Emmys and VMAs (can anything top the suckage of last year's mess in Miami?), and finally...three more birthday parties.

Bring on the long nights, the chill, the dead leaves. Bring on the launch of The CW.

I'm ready for fall now.



Popular posts from this blog

13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Golden Girls'

When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. Certain patterns appear as you continuously witness the consumption of countless cheesecakes inside a fictitious Miami kitchen and hear one St. Olaf story too many.

Here's what I noticed after playing my DVDs of this 80s classic over the past several months (and if you're already familiar with the following factoids, excuse me for underestimating your fanaticism)...

1. Actor Harold Gould, who played Rose's long-term boyfriend Miles Webber from Season 5 to Season 7 (and throughout most of the short-lived spinoff, The Golden Palace), also appears in the first season as Arnie Peterson, Rose's first serious beau after her husband's death.

2. The same can be said for Sid Melton, who played Sophia's deceased husband Sal (in flashbacks and dream sequences). He also appears in a Season 6 episode as a jester in a medieval-themed restauran…

Dream Casting the New "Death on the Nile"

Earlier this year, when the trailer for the most recent Murder on the Orient Express remake was dropped, I was hoping that someone at 20th Century Fox would have the foresight to concoct an Agatha Christie Cinematic Universe. After all, this is the world we now live in -- where every property coveted by a major studio must have the potential to be milked for all it's worth. Plus, as a former child raised by an Agatha Christie fan, I am somewhat familiar with this world, and experiencing new renditions of these titles as an adult is exciting.

And now that Kenneth Branagh's version of the Hercule Poirot mystery has been released (and raking in $150 million-and-counting worldwide), it seems like my prayers are being answered. The studio is going ahead with a "sequel" in the form of a remake of Death on the Nile, another death-filled destination about the Belgian detective taking a river cruise in Egypt and coming across another corpse and another group of suspects.


Lori Loughlin Reunites with Daughter Olivia Jade: A Dramatization

The following is purely speculative for the purposes of our general entertainment and my possible employment to write the inevitable HBO/Hulu/Netflix/Ryan Murphy limited series...


A black SUV makes its way through a throng of news vans and a mob of reporters. Cameras flash. A proverbial media circus. The SUV pulls up to the gate as it slowly opens.


The SUV makes its way up the driveway and stops. A shaken LORI steps out of the car. She's clearly had a rough night and glances up at the house, preparing herself for what's to come. Her assistant, RILEY, 27, an overly groomed twunk running on three Venti lattes, is right there with her. 

He attempts to guide her to the door, but she waves him away.


Lori and Riley enter the quiet house, the outside chaos suddenly muted. No one is there to greet them.

RILEY She should be upstairs in her room.
LORI And Isabella?
Riley solemnly shakes his head.