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Showing posts from December, 2012

Twenty13: Sounds of a New Year

Once you've returned that hideous scarf your aunt Gertrude gave to you on Christmas, rest assured that there's a brand-spankin' new year waiting just around the corner. For many of us, 2013 couldn't have come any sooner, and with much to look forward to after January 1, I wanted to provide you with a soundtrack that will get you adequately amped up for what's to come in the next 365 days. We start with my favorite track from Unorthodox Jukebox , transition into an empowering Kelly Clarkson bonus track that (I pray) will be released as an official single, and then soar into an eclectic mix of EDM-driven wonders peppered with some alt-pop. You can sample each track over at my Spotify channel . 1. "Moonshine" by Bruno Mars 2. "People Like Us" by Kelly Clarkson 3. "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink feat. Nate Ruess 4. "Euphoria" by Usher 5. "Silver Lining (Crazy 'Bout You)" by Jessie J 6. "Be A Boy&quo

That Time I Stared Down Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Paul Rudd

I spent my holiday season watching a lot of movies. So many, in fact, I got to interview some of the people behind them for ScreenPicks . My interviews with the casts of This is 40 and Parental Guidance (including my reviews on Jack Reacher and Django Unchained ) are available over HERE .

Blog of the Year: A 2012 Review

By the time you read this, the world may be bracing itself during its final hours during the Mayan apocalypse...or you'll be cozied up on a couch enjoying some eggnog while waiting for Santa to deliver a shiny new iPad. Either way, it's a time to look back on the endlessly entertaining sideshow that was 2012. Once again, the year flew by faster than a speeding train heading into the Capitol of Panem. It feels like it was just yesterday when I was commuting 32 miles each way to a temp job deep in the Valley. Then, all of sudden, I had another birthday, Desperate Housewives ended, The Avengers assembled, I left Palm Springs with my Best Suntan Ever, Comic-Con provided several personal nerdgasms, I yee-hawed my way through Dallas, Ricki Lake shoved a microphone in my face -- and before you know it -- I'm gorging on candied yams and turkey on November 22 and trimming my Christmas tree for my sixth annual holiday cocktail party while refiling for (gulp) unemployment. Wh

In Light of Today's Tragedy in Newtown, CT

Since I'm sickened by what CNN has been feeding me all morning -- and by how we as a country refuse to learn from past horrors -- I'm feeling a little soapboxy and just had to voice my thoughts as I'm watching a 10-year-old boy recall how he had to hide in a closet from gunfire during gym class . Please, everyone, don't let this be another national tragedy we eventually let fall to the wayside until another one comes around. There are preventative measures that are not being implemented here in this country -- for psychological purposes and otherwise (accessibility to weapons, etc). To those who passed "the right to bear arms" in 1791 (the era of the single-shot musket), you clearly didn't have any foresight because, 221 years later, nowhere -- movie theaters, shopping malls, elementary schools -- is safe. And to those who turn a blind eye on behavior that could result in such devastation: wake up, unplug your ears, and find a way to resolve such in

One Reason Why I'm Not a Fan of Taylor Swift

Let the evidence speak for itself...

Judd Apatow vs. J.J. Abrams

This week, I spent my Monday morning in a room at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills with the cast of Judd Apatow's This is 40 . Four things: Albert Brooks is incapable of not being funny. Megan Fox has now earned MILF status. Paul Rudd is more pocket-sized than I thought. And director Judd Apatow (pictured here with his wife-actress Leslie Mann) knows how to work a room. Alas, my interview for the folks at Screenpicks is now available HERE . @TheFirstEcho

My Friends: An Early 'Auld Lang Syne'

My friends are awesome. They inspire me. They make me laugh. They look out for each other. They console me during my downs, and they celebrate my ups. They give me a rides to the airport. They have great tastes in clothing. They write books. They direct TV shows. They travel around the world. They're really good cooks. Some of them look like the hotter, younger siblings of celebrities. Some of them are celebrities. My friends know my weaknesses. They motivate me to exploit my strengths. They're brave. And talented. They don't stand for bullshit. They have blogs. They know people who know people. They put me on lists. They hook me up with DVD screeners so that I don't have to pay $12 for a movie that will inevitably be nominated for an Oscar. Other friends of mine call them "good people." They treat me to coffee. They exhibit outstanding hospitality. They surprise me in the best ways possible. They call me out of the blue...just because. They leav

My Interview with the Vampire: Paul Wesley

The Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley graces the cover of Bello Mag 's holiday issue (now available in the iTunes Newsstand), and during my interview with him, I was surprised to find out that he's a Jersey boy (his family's okay after Hurricane Sandy). He's also a huge geek for anything Stanley Kubrick. Who knew? Also in this month's jam-packed issue: my Apocalypse Mixtape, our list of Entertainers of the Year, and my interview with Mehcad Brooks. Check out a preview of my piece with Paul below: @TheFirstEcho

All I Want For Christmas

1. Roundtrip airfare and a six-night stay in London. 2. Daniel Craig's arms. 3. A $1,500 gift card to Target to get me through the next three months. 4. Lunch and afternoon cocktails with Kate Winslet. 5. A second-season pickup of 666 Park Avenue by SyFy. 6. Payoffs on all three of my credit cards. 7. Payoffs on all three of my student loans. 8. The seventh and final season of Melrose Place on DVD (to make my collection complete). 9. A three-year development deal with a certain network television studio. And, oh yeah, world peace. @TheFirstEcho

How Many Calories I'll Consume Back Home During the Holidays

There's no avoiding it. When I go back home for the holidays, my life will be one enormous smorgasbord of indulgent eating. Although I'll try my best to tame my gluttony ( good luck with that ), I have a feeling I'll be saying "F**k it" every time a sweet or savory morsel stares me down from across the table. Here's just a sample of what I expect to ingest during my three weeks (yes, 3) in the winter wonderland that is the East Coast... 1. A late-night meal after landing at JFK at midnight. 2. Coffee and cake while visiting my mom's best friend. 3. The lone candy cane I'll suck on while watching afternoon talk shows on the couch. 4. The potato chips and onion dip to keep me satiated before Christmas dinner. 5. The eggnog latte I'll buy at Starbucks while doing some last-minute shopping at Target with my mom. 6. The hot cocoa I'll purchase near Rockefeller Center to keep me warm. 7. The fabulous lunch I'll eat with my bes

My 12 Songs of Christmas

Over the past couple of years, it has come to my attention that listening to Christmas songs is a great way to relieve stress and brighten any downtrodden spirits because they tend to provoke reminiscences of holidays past. They also make me long for those days when my heart skipped a beat at the sight of big, wrapped package -- not only from Santa, but from any one of my many relatives. Holiday songs not only bring good cheer to any party with mistletoe, they simply exist for the sake of nostalgia. Therefore... I've collected a dozen yuletide tunes that have a special place in my heart. Behind each one is a particular memory of mine, either from the first time I heard it or from a random moment from my past. Who's ready to hop on a sleigh and take a ride with me? 1. "All Alone On Christmas" by Darlene Love (1992) -- Hard to believe it's been 20 years since I first heard this jingle, easily the best part of  Home Alone 2: Lost in New York  (besides Tim Cu

Nerdgasm of the Month: 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

There are some movie trailers that make you as giddy as a schoolgirl who just got hug-raped by One Direction...and then there's this. J.J. Abrams's Star Trek Into Darkness doesn't come out until May, but the movie trailer gods have given us a gift Santa only wishes he could've delivered. What we get: Chris Pine's baby blues, some killer voiceover from Benedict Muthaf**king Cumberbatch ( Sherlock ), a roughed-up Spock (Zachary Quinto), and a nice shot of a CGI-altered Century City in L.A. being blown to smithereens. Let the geek squealing begin: @TheFirstEcho