Friday, August 31, 2007

I Miss Meg Ryan

It's funny, I don't really like Meg Ryan. I mean, I don't hate her. I wouldn't name a bunch of kittens after her and then drown them or anything. But I don't think I've ever said, "Ooh! A Meg Ryan movie! Let's go see it right now!" Still, I miss looking out the window and seeing Meg Ryan. The film crew were only shooting on Newbury Street Monday and Tuesday, and they've long since packed up and moved on. Now it's boring around here.

Last year, we could at least peer out the window whenever the Yankees were in town, since a lot of them stayed across the street at the Ritz. But ever since the hotel changed ownership and names to The Taj, the Yankee sightings have stopped.

Then there was that car that caught on fire in the exact same spot where Meg Ryan filmed her taxi scene just a little over a year later.

car fire

On location filming The Women

But now, now I look outside and nothing's going on. A guy just pulled up in an orange MINI convertible with black racing stripes and a number 33 on the hood and doors, but ...wait, is that Herbie the Love Bug's number? No, that's 53. So what's this guy's deal? It doesn't matter, he just drove away.

It's quiet. Too quiet. Uneventful. I haven't even seen Tricycle Man in a while.

Ode to Tricycle Man

So Meg, forget what I said before. I do like you. Heck, I need you. I need the whole crew outside to distract me from the boring crap I'm supposed to be doing. I'm sure you could do a few more takes of the taxi driving away. What to you say? For what it's worth, I liked Innerspace.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Plagiarism is the Sincerest form of Flattery

What's more pathetic than trying to microwave powdered cappuccino for four minutes? Oh, I don't know, maybe copying and pasting a story about trying to microwave powdered cappuccino and pretending it happened to you? Oh, and forgetting to remove a link so the person you stole from can easily find out about it.

On Technorati yesterday, I noticed a MySpace blog post called "Kimmy Vs. Microwave," that looked an awful lot like a post I did last month called "Man Vs. Microwave." I mean, to be fair, it could have just been an amazing coincidence. Sure, she used the exact same wording as I did, but there are some subtle differences. For example, nowhere in my title does the name Kimmy appear, but it's clearly visible as the first word in hers. Also, I assumed the mug of indeterminate origin belonged to Joe, whereas she theorized that it belonged to Satan (an ex-boyfriend). And nowhere does she describe it as a Weymouth MRI cup, although she does include the exact same two pictures I used, with "Weymouth MRI" clearly written on the face of the mug.

Of course, the most striking difference, the one that Johnnie Cochran would dramatically roll out as his most shocking evidence if he weren't dead, is an extra sentence in the Kimmy version about a "fricking latch sticking out of the microwave door" that gave her first-degree burns on her "wenis." That's a striking blow to my case. As clumsy as I may be, my "wenis" has never been anywhere near a microwave door. I'm pretty sure that could damage the swimmers.

I'll give her credit. For consistency's sake, she changed this:

So let's see, with the caramel, cappuccino and popcorn, that's microwave 3, man 0.

To this:

So let's see, with the caramel, cappuccino and popcorn, and 1st degree burn, that's microwave 4, Kimmy 0.

But I'm going to have to take that credit right back, because she left the link in the word "caramel", the reason I even found out about her.

So of course I had to leave a comment, seeing as how we had such similar experiences. I wrote, "Hey, the same thing happened to me!" And eagerly awaited a reply. We could swap stories; maybe she also saw a Pink Floyd laser show, or got poison oak all over her face.

But alas, not long after I left my comment, her MySpace page, which was previously visible to anyone, is now a private profile that can only be seen by friends. It's a shame, because we could have all gone over and said hi. I know John T would have loved to chat, since two of her other blog posts seemed suspiciously familiar to anyone who's read the Schprock Report. Oh well.

UPDATE Apparently "wenis" isn't nearly as dirty as I thought it was. It's just slang for the skin on your elbow. Which explains why she had one and why it would burn on the door. But it still doesn't explain why anyone would pretend to burn their...elbow begin with.

Monday, August 27, 2007

And Kathy Griffin as Olga

They're filming a movie outside my window. Not just any movie, but a Meg Ryan-Eva Mendez-Annette Bening movie, possibly the chickiest chick flick ever. It's called The Women and it's a remake/update of a comedy by the same name from 1939. The original boasted a cast comprised entirely of women, even the extras. This one seems to be taking the same approach, since the street is filled with female extras walking back and forth with shopping bags. Other than them, so far all I see are catering trucks and orange traffic cones.

catering truck

Ah, here we go. They've started filming. Are you ready for some steamy pictures of Eva Mendez? Well, she filmed her scenes yesterday and I didn't have my camera then. Yeah, sorry. But how about some grainy pictures of Meg Ryan? And also Annette Bening's calves? I know I am. Ready, I mean.

The first scene they shot today was of Meg and Annette walking towards Brooks Bros., which is at the other end of the street from where I work, so they were never facing my direction. But I got a cool shot of the boom mike guy.

Meg Ryan and Annette Bening on Newbury St.

Meg walked back to her mark with the director, but Annette disappeared forever and from then on it was all Meg Ryan, all the time.

Meg Ryan and Diane English

Just before lunch, they wrapped on that end of the street and came down to our section to shoot in front of Burberry.

Filming The Women on Newbury Street

Meg Ryan getting her makeup done

Meg Ryan on location for The Women

Meg Ryan on the phone during filming of The Women

Here's a particularly grainy one of Meg doing "The Meg Ryan Face." As you can see, it's much perkier and America's Sweathearty than The Nicolas Cage Face.

The Meg Ryan Face

And what's this? Why it's our very own Mr. Schprock, with Daughter Number Two, being pointed away from filming by a guy with an orange flag while on their way to buy DN2 a new bike. Fortunately, they were cooperative and the man's flag remained holstered in his backback. It was a close call, though.

Schprock on the set

I don't know who this random hot chick is, but she was walking around the set with the crew all day. She was standing on a mark for quite a while, but I think it's the same place Meg was standing on, so maybe she's a stand in? Or she's an up-and-coming CW star prominently featured in the movie and I'm an idiot. Whatever, I dig her Snoopy T-shirt.

Random Hot Chick on the set of The Women

On the set of The Women

Filming The Women on Newbury St

Okay, so the scene they're filming over on our end of the street is Meg Ryan trying to hail a taxi. The weird thing is, they're using three yellow taxis, but almost all of the cabs in Boston are white. First I thought, "Well taxis in movies are always yellow, so maybe they used yellow ones so people out in the sticks could easily identify the vehicle as a taxi." But when you look up close, the taxis actually have New York plates and say "N.Y.C. Taxi" on the side. That just raises even more questions. Why are they trying to pass Newbury Street off as New York? I'm sure New York would have let them film there if they asked nicely.

New York City Taxi in Boston

So I guess this scene takes place in New York, at the corner of Newbury and Arlington Streets right across from the Boston Public Garden. Isn't that where they do the Today Show? Anyway, Meg is trying to catch a cab, presumably to get to some famous Manhattan landmark, like the John Hancock Tower or Fenway Park. The first cab zips right by her. The second follows suite. But the third one, oh, hold on...


The third one pulls up, she talks to the driver, and it drives away without her. Rude New Yorkers.

Meg Ryan filming The Women

In-between takes, Meg stood and spoke with the director. At one point, she did this weird thing where she squatted down and did like a jazz hands thing. Don't worry, that mysterious brown cloud seemingly emitting from Ms. Ryan's rear is actually just the blurred edge of the concrete wall of my building.

Meg Ryan method acting

The squatting like a crazy person thing didn't make much sense, until the third cab pulled up on the next take and she did the squatting thing next to the driver's window. "Oh, I get it, she's pleading with the driver to let her in." What I saw earlier was the creative process in action. Someone, either the actress or the director, suggested that for the next take she should be desperately pleading in front of the cab. And then they did, and the rest is movie history.

Each time they did the scene, the three taxis had to be returned to their positions by driving backwards down the street, and all the extras had to get back to their marks. There was a bunch of pink tape strips on the sidewalk to indicate that's where people stand, or where the taxi stops. They did four takes of the taxi scene and then packed everything up.

Well, even though it's not a movie I'd ever see on purpose, it was still cool to get a first hand view of the process. And if the squat scene makes it into the final film, I can always say I actually witnessed it's inception. And I will always say it. Incessantly, in front of anyone I know for the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why I'm Afraid of Clowns

Earlier this week, Amy was looking at her boyfriend's Myspace page, and someone had left him the cryptic message: "Happy birthday! You are worse than Michael Jackson."

Well that' to interpretation. Worse than him at what? Scrabble™? Cutting back on the Jesus Juice? Mini golf?

You Are Worse Than Michael Jackson

In the name of science, I decided to do a search for "You are worse than Michael Jackson." and curiously enough, came up with almost 250 results. It seems "You are worse than Michael Jackson" isn't just a passive-aggressive non-sequitur, it's a biting accusation straight from the mouth of curly-booted 80's wrestling icon and Cyndi Lauper video extra The Iron Sheik! Apparently, he's still pretty mad about Wrestlemania III, and has some choice words for Brian Blair. The video is from an interview The Sheik gave last year, barely beating out the twenty-year statute of limitations on holding a grudge over a staged fight in a fake sport.

There. Another mystery solved. But the hypnotic lure and, dare I say, sensual embrace of Youtube kept me online far longer than I'd planned. They've got that list of similar videos on the right-hand column, so from the Iron Sheik video, I jumped over to "Roddy Piper attacks "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka with a coconut". I was never into wrestling, but with a description like that, how can you not watch it? Plus, Snuka is a funny name. Say it out loud and try not to giggle. Snuka. Tee Hee!

Anyway, from there, I went to Crispin Glover's super-crazy 1987 Late Show appearance, which then brought me to the above video for his seminal song "Clowny Clown Clown." Fun Fact: "Clowny Clown Clown" was an early favorite for Record of the Year in some music circles during the infamous 32nd Grammy Awards (the year of Milli Vanilli) but was narrowly edged out by "Wind Beneath My Wings." Another Fun Fact: Not really.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Short Story

Every once in a while, Schprock will pop his head in the office to say Jason Evans is having another short story contest. The deadline for this contest is 11 PM tonight. The deal is, you write a story of no more than 250 words inspired by a photo he provides. I've done a couple of them, even tried to do something similar here. So I thought I'd give this new one a try. Here's the image. The story's called "Vision Quest."

Vision Quest

A guy could learn a lot about himself out in the woods. Legend says the Wampanoag sent their young out here on vision quests, alone to fend for themselves for weeks. Armed with only your wits and a sleeping bag, you find out what you’re really made of.

I mean, everyone’s heard the stories…campfire tales of Shrieking Susie, the vengeful spirit of a murdered young woman said to haunt these parts. Her mournful cry is enough to stop all who hear it dead in their tracks; frozen and helpless as she drags them into the darkness to roam the woods with her forever. That’s what they say.

But those are just stories. Right? Just silly children’s ghost stories that…wait…did you hear that? Probably just the wind. Nothing to worry about.

Anyway, there’s a lot more tangible threats out here. Like crazed transients hopped up on amphetamines. Groups of them. They had a thing on the news. They stalk around out here, wait for some poor sap to set up camp, and BAM! Next thing you know, you’re aching, bleeding, and minus one wallet. And that’s if you’re lucky. My cousin’s friend was camping out here a few years ago; woke up without a kidney. True story.

Or bears! My God, there’s bears out here! And poisonous snakes! What was I thinking? I could be eaten by a freaking bear. Best case scenario, a mosquito bites me and I die of Malaria. Maybe West Nile Virus.

Screw this, I’m going home.