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Showing posts from July, 2017

Tiffany Haddish Just Gave One of the Funniest Interviews of 2017

Tiffany Haddish, the breakout star of Girls Trip, went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the R-rated comedy (already got my tickets for tomorrow night), and she told a story about Will and Jada Pinkett Smith that needs to be seen and heard to be believed.

It involves getting high, a Groupon for a swamp tour, and a 20-dollar-a-day rental car. Just watch:


Needless to say, this isn't the last time we'll be seeing her.

@TheFirstEcho

#TBT: Buttered Rolls and Bible Readings

Sundays in the early 90s were all about Jesus, Jerry O’Connell, and jamming to Toni Braxton’s “Just Another Sad Love Song.”

And since my Catholic education dictated that you weren’t supposed to eat before receiving Holy Communion at Mass, my post-church breakfasts usually consisted of buttered rolls purchased at Caruso’s Delicatessen on Centre Avenue in New Rochelle, New York. Just two for a dollar! Sometimes these rolls were accompanied by a side of fluffy, buttery scrambled eggs – because you gotta have some protein.

It became a Sunday morning ritual – walk out of Blessed Sacrament Church with my father (a Japanese Buddhist, mind you), cross the street to the deli, and walk the two blocks back to our apartment where my German-Irish-American mother (the real Catholic) was getting ready to go to work at the furniture store she co-owned three towns over in Port Chester. Working on a Sunday, the Lord’s day, was the perfect excuse for her to miss Mass. So convenient, right?

But back to …

A Letter to the Stranger Moving Into My Childhood Home

As I've written before, my parents have sold my childhood home in New Rochelle, NY and are currently in the process of moving to the land of retirees, alligators, and affordable outlet shopping: Florida. The last month has been a mix of emotions, full of nostalgia, and ultimately, undeniably bittersweet. It's hard to imagine that some stranger will occupy the space where so many personal memories were created. To help cope and put one last stamp of closure on this experience, I mailed the following letter to the woman who will be starting a new life where my family once started one three decades ago...


Dear New Resident of Apartment 3D,

My name is Hiko. I realize we have never met, and we probably never will.

I am the son of Sandy and Tatsuya Mitsuzuka, the previous owners of the comfy third-floor, two-bedroom corner space you now call home.

First of all, congrats. I wish you the best of luck and hope you make as many memories here as my family and I have throughout the past 3…

'Melrose Place' Turns 25: Revisiting L.A.'s Most Scandalous Apartment Complex

On July 8, 1992 a young woman named Natalie ran out of a West Hollywood apartment complex in the middle of the night -- suitcase in hand -- leaving behind roommate Alison Parker without enough money for rent...

And so began the convoluted chronicles of several twentysomethings who resided at a Los Angeles address that would soon become one of the most popular destinations in primetime television.

During that summer, I was a 12-year-old bookworm who had nothing else better to do than stick my nose in horror novels and rent movies from Blockbuster Video. All I knew was that MP was a sexier spin-off of the hugely successful Beverly Hills, 90210 (remember when Kelly hooked up with older handyman Jake before her mom's wedding?) and featured older characters, which I preferred. (I wasn’t your average pre-teen; while my peers obsessed over the latter, I found entertainment in more adult fare like Knots Landing reruns and Picket Fences.)

Melrose was unlike most dramas in terms of its prod…

Dua Lipa's "New Rules" Is The Anti-F**kboy Anthem We Need

For the past couple of months I haven't shut up about Dua Lipa, and here's another reason why I won't stop talking about the rising British pop diva...

"New Rules," the latest single from her fantastic debut album, benefits from a simple yet effective video that takes place at a Miami hotel where Dua and her squad support each other through the steps needed to avoid the mistake of falling for guys who are no good for them -- nifty choreography included.

Consider this the anti-fuckboy anthem. And it is a perfect summer jam that needs all of your attention.

@TheFirstEcho

STFU: A Special Pop Culture Rant of the Week

STFU: We get it. Katy's album is a mess. Kesha is doing "cathartic" existential ballads. Yet that Camila Cabello jam is surprisingly hot. Face it: we live in a world where up is down, right is left, and before you know it, we're living in Children of Men.

STFU, Anthony Bourdain: I didn't think Baby Driver was one of the best movies of the year, but I at least appreciated the sound mixing, editing, and music supervision. Dude, your curmudgeon is showing.

STFU: I don't need to see a "sneak peek" of your smoothie tutorial video on Instagram. Go shove a scoopful of that protein powder up where the sun will never shine. It wouldn't be the weirdest thing that's been up there (so I've heard).

STFU: I could give two dried turds about the Rob and Chyna saga.

STFU: If you keep boycotting airlines whenever they do something shitty to passengers, then soon you won't be able to fly to those exotic locales where you can take selfies and beach pho…

15 Years in L.A.: Looking Back at How Insufferable I Was

More than 5,475 days ago, when Avril Lavigne was relevant and the nation was becoming obsessed with a new singing competition show called American Idol, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. Like many before me (and many after), I booked a one-way ticket to the city of Los Angeles -- with how much money in my bank account, I can't remember.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

History. I've lived here long enough to have created a legit history, a past full of countless stories, faces, moments, experiences -- memories that now represent a good chunk of my existence.

[Old Man Voice] Back in those days, nobody had plans to become a YouTube star. Say the word "Instagram," and someone would probably look at you like you were speaking Klingon. Movies and TV shows didn't have to rely on a godforsaken superhero franchise or a book series for young adults. And streaming? That's probably something you did in your pants when you couldn't hold it in any …