Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Mysterious Disappearance of Shauna Thomas

Was I the only one who thought it was strange that one day we went from seeing the waifish overly-perking Shauna Thomas every day as Fox 13's morning remote location monkey to seeing the accurately-named Big Budah?

What happened to Shauna Thomas? It seemed like she just disappeared. Then I noticed that instead of doing the morning gig she started doing entertainment/celebrity interviews. I heard predictions that they were priming her to the be the station's American Idol correspondent, which seemed to make sense.

But then she was just gone and Big Budah was the full-time guy. I started poking around for answers. (I'm an aspiring investigative journalist, you know.) But no one seemed to have any answers. Shauna was just gone.

Then I received a strange email tip. I was sent to the International Movie Database. What? This couldn't be the same Shauna Thomas, could it? You'd have to be a big star to play "Party Girl #3" in a movie like Bikini Hotel.

And then I got the real news. It seems that Shauna's high profile acting career may have earned her walking papers from Fox 13.

From The Pitch:

"...Thomas, a freelance TV reporter and Kansas City native, returned to the metro to serve during February sweeps with FOX affiliate WDAF Channel 4. The Channel 4 gig was supposed to last just a month, but Thomas, who spent two years with the FOX affiliate in Salt Lake City, looked forward to spending some time back home with her family. Then came Internet rumors claiming that Thomas had a past as a porn princess. Among the blogger headlines: "FOX 4's Shauna Thomas and soft porn" and "New FOXy reporter is into S&M!!"

The stories all cited Sex, Love and Murder, a six-minute Internet flick on that warns viewers: "for mature audiences only." Thomas does appear in the dark comedy, playing "the blonde." But it's no porno. Thomas did the film seven years ago as a favor to a friend, Cris Mancuso, who wrote the short for an acting class.

"In my opinion, it's very sad how the whole thing has gotten blown out of proportion, and it's hurt a lot of people in my life, including me," Thomas tells the Pitch. "I wish I never would have done it."

In her brief time onscreen, Thomas rides a guy while whipping him S&M-style and makes out with another woman (what woman hasn't by now?), but the movie is actually pretty tame — it's hardly hotter than FOX's prime-time lineup. Not even a nipple slip. We couldn't figure out why there was so much buzz over a fictional film. Neither could Thomas.

"It's a character," she says. "I'm here for a month, and this is the focus of everyone.... This was seven years ago. It would be one thing if that was a sex tape you saw of me in the privacy of my own home, but it's not. It is part of my acting career."

It's probably for the best. Now that she doesn't have to worry about working as a news reporter, Shauna can get back to her work in legitimate theatre. You know, things like the TV version of Weird Science.

The Return of the Rentals

Apparently, ex-Weezer bassist and Rentals frontman Matt Sharp has finally come to his senses. After releasing the most mind-numbingly boring solo album of all time, he has decided that it's time to reunite the Rentals. Sharp is writing music, but hasn't said who's going to be in the band. It's too bad he hasn't decided to return to Weezer to see if he can do something for that trainwreck.

[Read the MTV story here. Thanks, Traci.]

A few years ago, Traci and I went to see the freshly solo Sharp perform at the University of Utah. I felt fine about hearing some new tunes, but I really wanted to hear some Rentals songs and maybe even some Weezer material. No luck. He and ex-Cake member Greg Brown played the slowest, most uninteresting music I have ever heard (and I've heard a lot of uninteresting music). After 45 minutes or so, we could handle it no longer and we walked out.

His solo album finally came out about a year later. Because I'm a sucker I downloaded it, thinking maybe it would be better than I remembered. Nope. It sucked. Despite the disappointment, I still have high hopes for the new Rentals.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Never Knew that History was Where They would Land...

Yet another embarassing insight into my life. I am a sucker for Saturday morning TV. Not Saturday morning cartoons, but those Disney shows like That's So Raven and Lizzie McGuire. Finally, I've said it!!! Phew, what a weight off my shoulders.

Anyway, my favorite show is Phil of the Future. It you're not familiar with it (you're missing out, duh), it's about a family from the future that was traveling through time when their space ship broke down in present time. Pure gold!

Yesterday, Traci brought it to my attention, that like every other Disney jail bait actress - Hillary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Scary Raven Simone - that adorable Keely Teslow from Phil of the Future, Alyson Michalko has now become a pop star.

She's teamed up with her big sister to form Aly & AJ. What's great is that no matter how hard to strain your ears, it is literally impossible to differentiate between these girls and Hillary Duff. Impossible, I tells ya.

Don't worry, Traci's already ordered it for the library so I can check it out. A full review will follow shortly. Patience, my friends, patience.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Lowdown on the Downlow

I'm now officially down with the brown, since my subscription to Vibe Magazine finally showed up. To make sure crackers like me are up to date on the current linguistical trends, Vibe has a little sidebar called "Slanguistics." This month I learned the following:

Paper Plates n. Large chrome rims. On "Family Ties," Dipset's 40 Cal brags about his Twinkies alongside Cam'ron and Hell Rell, spitting, "My truck is why haters hate, they think I'm drivin' a kitchen 'cause it comes with deep dishes and paper plates."

Look for me to be walking through parking lots saying, "Oh, no you didn't, check out the paper plates on that ride!!!"

Or more accurately, me driving through a parking lot and all the kids saying, "Oh, snap! Check out the paper plates on that Ford Focus!!!"

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hooray for TV

Of course I'd like to have Tivo; I'd be able to skip thousands of horrible commercials. But then again, I'd probably miss out on gems like this one. How can you not love the creepy guy that got killed by the even creepier pedophile guy in Prison Break pretending to be a creepy techno German guy? (Hey fun boys, get a room!)

I love that he's going to "drop it like it's hot" and I love it even more that he's "representing Deutschland."

Thanks for the smiles, Volkswagen.

Watch the commercial here.

More importantly, is that I've finally found what I want to do with my life. I have decided that I need to go work in the advertising department at Burger King. I want to wake up with the King. I want to dance with the Whopperettes (and hang out with Hootie). I want to take a seminar from Dr. Angus. And now, more than anything, I want to live with the Whopper family.

Burger King's food may be mildly disgusting, but they've definitely got the most entertaining (or at least creepiest) commercials in the burger game.

Watch the whole series of "Whopper Family Values" here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All-Time Favorite Albums

I have always toyed with the idea of posting a list of my favorite albums of all time, but it just seemed like too daunting a task. As I started thinking about it this weekend, I decided it wouldn't really be that tough.

I'm not listing the most important albums, or even the best albums. These are the records that I enjoy from front to back and I've listened to about 50 million times. In alphabetical order:

Alice in Chains - Dirt
Alkaline Trio - G@*&%$!6*^#
Bad Religion - Stranger Than Fiction
Bouncing Souls - The Black Album
Cake - Fashion Nugget
Catch 22 - Keasbey Nights
Daft Punk - Discovery
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
Hot Hot Heat - Make up the Breakdown
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
Kylie Minogue - Fever
Local H - As Good as Dead
Millencolin - For Monkeys
Nada Surf - Let Go
Nirvana - In Utero
Pedro the Lion - Control
P.O.D. - Satellite
Rentals - The Return of the Rentals
RX Bandits - The Resignation
Samiam - Astray
Saves the Day - Stay What You Are
Seven Mary Three - Rock Crown
Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss
Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb
Travoltas - Endless Summer
Voodoo Glow Skulls - Band Geek Mafia
Weezer - Pinkerton

Honorable Mention:
(A few albums that I could probably live without, but still have a special place in my heart)

Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic
Eels - Beautiful Freak
Face to Face - S/T
Strung Out - American Paradox
Stretsch Armstronng - Lollygag
The Killers - Hot Fuss

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oh, Super Dell. You so C-razy...

“This is thanks to all of you. All the media in Utah are liars and murderers…I would not want to be in your shoes having caused this. You are agents of Satan and you need to repent.”

You’ve got to hand it to Super Dell Schanze, now former owner of Totally Awesome Computers. He just really has a way with words. I hope he will be as eloquent during his May 10 trial when he faces charges of pulling a gun on his neighbors.

It appears that the whole crazy-commercial-man-who’s-crazy-in-real-life-too thing hasn’t really helped his computer business much, but I would imagine it hasn’t hurt his gun business.

[Here's Dell's letter to his former customers.]
[Read the DesNew article about Dell's craziness here.]

Traci and I ran into Super Dell one night at the dollar movies in Sugarhouse. He was buying his ticket when a group of teenage boys spotted him. “Hey Super Dell,” they shouted, “What are you doing here?”

In his high-pitched, over-the-top commercial voice he responded, “Even Super Dell has to go the movies!”

From this short interaction I made a few observations. 1) For all of the money Totally Awesome Computers is bringing in, Super Dell still goes to the dollar movies. 2) Super Dell refers to himself in the third person, which is always a total sign of sanity. 3) He does indeed only have 9 and-a-half fingers.

I had a handful of other indirect interactions with Super Dell while I was working at the credit union. Most memorable was the following:

A man walked up to my teller station in full camouflage and combat boots. I was sure that he was going to rob me, but instead he just wanted to cash a check drawn off of Super Dell’s account. I believe it was for something like $42,000.

Now, people don’t just walk in and cash a $42,000 check. There’s fingerprinting, signature verification, phone verification and forms that all have to be filled out first. Then, after all of that, normally a person would just like to exchange their personal check for a cashier’s check. Not this guy. He wanted it all in cash.

While we were going through the paperwork I asked the guy why Schanze was giving him so much money. Apparently he supplied Dell’s side business, Totally Awesome Weapons, with many of its totally awesome weapons.

“So Dell’s pretty into guns, eh,” I continued with the awkward small talk. “Doesn’t he have trouble shooting, you know, since he’s missing his trigger finger?” I thought that I could get a smile with that one. Nope.

“Dell’s an incredibly good shot,” camouflage man said in his gravelly voice. “He’s the only person I’ve ever met that can outshoot me.”

As I was counting out 420 one hundred dollar bills I said to camo man, “So, do you feel pretty safe just walking out of here with so much money?” It takes quite a bit of time to count to 420 (if you’re bored, you should try it). And people standing in line start getting a bit bug-eyed when they see that much money sitting on the counter.

“Don’t worry,” he said with a smile, “I’m packing right now.”
If there’s one thing that makes a teller feel comfortable, it’s counting out large amounts of cash and handing them to a man who is carrying a gun. Great company you keep, Super Dell.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

If Only Kobe Had Such a Deal...

Aren't Russians great? [Thanks, Ty]

From the Salt Lake Trib:

Andrei Kirilenko has been granted restricted free agency - by his wife.
Masha Lopatova, a former Russian pop star who has been married to the Jazz forward for nearly six years, understands the temptation NBA players are faced with as they travel around the country for seven months a year. And she believes that forbidding something only makes it more tempting. That's why, she revealed in a story in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine, she allows Kirilenko an "allowance" of one night per year with another woman.
"What's forbidden is always desirable. And athletes, particularly men, are susceptible to all the things they are offered," Lopatova said before the Jazz's loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. "It's the same way raising children - If I tell my child, 'No pizza, no pizza, no pizza,' what does he want more than anything? Pizza.
"So this is the arrangement that Andrei and I have," she said, adding, in the spirit of openness, that she does not have a reciprocal agreement with her husband. "If I know about it, it's not cheating."
Kirilenko, according to the magazine story written by Salt Lake City freelance writer Chad Nielsen, has no plans to exercise his "allowance."
"Of course it was a surprise," Kirilenko said. "I'm not planning to do anything. But she said, 'If you want to do it, you can do it.' "