Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Law & Order Is Following Me

So a few years back, when I was working at the WSJ’s Soho office because terrorists blew up our other building, frequently my lunch outings were interrupted by the shooting of Law & Order, which seems to love Soho for a locale. I live in New York primarily because it’s Where Things Are Happening, but when those things are standing between me and the only decent tray of take-out sushi in a 20-block radius, I tend to get a little touchy. Not only do they clog the sidewalks that I pay for with my measly taxpayer dollars, they also yell at you if you cross some invisible line. Some peon PA or grip or best boy or whatever the hell they are called verbally assaults you, “Ma’am. MA’AM, we are SHOOTING, you are going to have to GO AROUND!” If you had called me, “Miss,” sir, you would have had better luck.

Anyway, once I quit the Journal I figured I was safe from these sidewalk hogs. But a few months ago, I looked outside my window in Brooklyn and noticed that my entire block (and thus, where I normally park my car) had suddenly been overtaken by big, white movie trailers. What the…? There were about 37 nuns in costume milling around near the park across from my house, and once downstairs, I confirmed it – Law & Order strikes again. I had to find somewhere else to park.

So imagine my annoyance today when I arrived at the gym only to find – you guessed it – Law & Order was shooting inside. Maybe it was a new, ripped-from-the-headlines tale about a rock climber who made a noose out of a 60-meter rope behind the rock wall and strung up an Ass Double who did her wrong? (Speaking of Ass Double, this self-absorbed, clueless prick never ceases to amaze me. Every two weeks or so – including last night – he’ll pop up in my text messages. Most recently, to “apologize” for not being able to climb with me recently. Did I ask you to climb with me? No. Do I feel bad that I haven’t been able to enjoy your fascinating company and hear more tales about how your ass is going to be used in this new ad campaign, it’s soooo exciting, oooh, look how my perfect genes made me perfect! No. I really shouldn’t spend any energy loathing this guy, but it’s hard).

ANYWAY, it’s bad enough dealing with Law & Order when you are fully clothed, have your make-up on and in general are ready to face the day. But the LAST place I want to be accidentally recorded on film is while on the treadmill trying to recapture my glory days as a high-school athlete who could consistently run 6-minute miles. And believe me, a glimpse of me, sans mascara, singing along under my breath with Tag Team on my iPod (Slam dunk it, stick it, flip it and ride that B double-O, T Y, oh my!) is not something that is going to improve your ratings.

My initial annoyance faded when I realized L&O was sticking to the back of the gym, and that there was an extra copy of US Weekly stuck in the magazine racks near the Stairmasters. That’s because the gym is the place where I catch up on all my trashy, pointless pop culture BS. It helps get one’s mind off all those babies dying in Darfur and stuff, you know?

Besides delving into US Weekly, I’ll often watch the VH1 video countdown. I never watch videos at home, but occasionally they’re good enough to keep my mind off the pain of an hour of cardio at the gym. So today I caught Pink’s “Stupid Girls” video. I unplugged from the iPod for a moment because the video looked hilarious – it was basically a fuck-you, poke-in-the-eye parody of all the “sexy girl” videos, with Pink sloshing herself all over on top of a sudsy car and licking soap bubbles off her fingers, or laying on a table getting breast implants. It’s really funny, although I didn’t really like the song.

Up next was Jamie Foxx’s video, “Unpredictable.” Could ever a greater misnomer exist for an R&B video? There was nothing unpredictable about it as far as R&B videos go – there are Jamie’s two, huge diamond earrings, his fur coat, the busty honeys rubbing themselves all over him. I started laughing uncontrollably on the treadmill, when I realized this video was NOT a parody. Can anyone take Jamie Foxx SERIOUSLY as some kind of smoove sexy R&B crooner after knowing him first as Sha Nay Nay in “In Living Color”? I certainly can’t. Thanks, Jamie, for the unintended hilarity.

Sorry if this post was a little scattered…I’ve been juggling a lot of work lately. For the 2.7 readers out there who follow what I’m doing professionally at all, this week I got a big assignment for the WSJ that’s due in two weeks, and I also was offered a six-month position doing media relations work for the Aspen Institute (www.aspeninstitute.org), an international, nonprofit policy think-tank, which is something I’m pretty excited about. On top of that, I’ll still be doing some work for Time Inc. So basically, policy work in the morning, research work in the afternoon, and writing at night.

I guess the amount of time I have to spend dodging Law & Order, reading US Weekly, and cracking up over unintentionally funny videos is about to dwindle significantly.

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