The online home of Jess Barron

Web content and community expert, writer, editor, blogger, and internet video producer.
Bio | Resume/CV

You can also find me on:
LinkedIn | twitter | flickr | yoostar | vimeo

In 2004, a guy who I don't know named Jeremy Abbate saw my website and wrote a song called "I Wanna Be As Cool As Jessica Barron." It still amuses me. Here's the mp3 and here are the lyrics.

Archives (slowly being reconstructed):
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
June 2009
June 2008
December 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2003
October 2001
September 2001
June 2000
May 2000
March 2000
October 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999

See how this site looked in 1998
Poprocks.com screenshot from early 1998
and how the place looked in 2000.
Poprocks.com from June 2000
Yahoo counted me as a "cool person" from 1997-2001. How far have I fallen?!
Yahoo counted me among the "Cool People" in 1997-1998.
The internets have come a long way, baby...

December 8, 2009 Jimmy Kimmel Tries Out Yoostar (Again!) Tonight
Tonight Jimmy Kimmel will debut another Yoostar video on his show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" which airs at 12 midnight ET and 12 midnight PT on ABC. It's the best one yet. We hope you tune in.

Last month, Jimmy recorded and aired two Yoostar performances of scenes from "The Godfather" and "Friday the 13th, Part 3." Here they are, in case you missed them...

Jimmy Kimmel as Don Corleone in "The Godfather" (aired on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Wednesday, November 11, 2009)

Jimmy Kimmel as Jason Voorhees in "Friday the 13th, Part 3" (aired on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Friday, November 13, 2009)

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posted by Jess Barron @ 3:39 PM
December 3, 2009 Yoostar Among "Today" show's: Hollywood's Hottest Gift Ideas
This morning on NBC's "Today" show, Yoostar is recommended as one of "Hollywood's Hottest Gift Ideas." "Today" show hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker used Yoostar to perform in a classic scene from the "Blues Brothers." Check it out:

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posted by Jess Barron @ 8:28 AM
November 25, 2009 35 Great Movie Quotes on Yoostar

This week on Twitter the hashtag #classicmoviequotes was a trending topic. When we choose scenes for Yoostar, we are looking for iconic and quotable scenes as well as scenes that might be fun to insert yourself into. I started thinking about how many great and classic movie quotes we have in scenes on Yoostar, and decided to create a list of them so that people could easily find them and/or view the video clips of the quotes.

Here are 35 of my favorite movie quotes on Yoostar:
1. "Swallow the diamonds." - "Marathon Man" - Watch the scene.
2. "Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it." - "Caddyshack" - Watch the scene.
3. "I'll be back" - "The Terminator" - Watch the scene.
4. "Everyone and their mums is packin' 'round here." - "Hot Fuzz" - Watch the scene.
5. "Has the war started yet?" - "Gone With the Wind" - Watch the scene.
6. "How can five people operate one gun?" - "Shaun of the Dead" - Watch the scene.
7. "You fight like a goddamn ape." - "Rocky" - Watch the scene.
8. "They think he's a righteous dude." - "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" - Watch the scene.
9. "That's the way it always is, blind to my own life." - "Eve's Bayou" - Watch the scene.
10. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'" - "Casablanca" - Watch the scene.
11. "Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa." - "Field of Dreams" - Watch the scene.
12. "A man should have a hobby." - "Psycho" - Watch the scene.
13. "Jake, you get wise. You get to church." - "Blues Brothers" - Watch the scene.
14. "How you think Captain Kirk got all that booty?" - "Barbershop" - Watch the scene.
15. "I want a woman that is going to arouse my intellect as well as my loins." - "Coming to America" - Watch the scene.
16. "Commerce is our goal here at Tyrell. 'More human than human' is our motto." - "Blade Runner" - Watch the scene.
17. "It's a household name." - "Forrest Gump" - Watch the scene.
18. "You're terminated, fu#6er" - "The Terminator" - Watch the scene.
19. "Toga! Toga!" - "Animal House" - Watch the scene.
20. "You aren't fit to wipe his boots!" - "Gone With the Wind" - Watch the scene.
21. "I won't try to manage things, because I can't think." - "Wizard of Oz" - Watch the scene.
22. "Have they forgotten what a star looks like?" - "Sunset Boulevard" - Watch the scene.
23. "I'm all about the boobies." - "Good Luck Chuck" - Watch the scene.
24. "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down." - "It's a Wonderful Life" - Watch the scene.
25. "Call me when you have no class." - "Back to School" - Watch the scene.
26. "Nobody poor was ever called democratic for marrying somebody rich." - "Sabrina" - Watch the scene.
27. "Murder's never perfect -- always comes apart sooner or later, and when two people are involved, it's usually sooner." - "Double Indemnity" - Watch the scene.
28. "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" - "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" - Watch the scene.
29. "I'm a businessman. I got to work!" - "Beverly Hills Cop II" - Watch the scene.
30. "You are a walking lightbulb waiting to be screwed." - "Foul Play" - Watch the scene.
31. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." - "The Godfather" - Watch the scene.
32. "We took a perfectly useless psychopath like Valentine and turned him into a successful executive." - "Trading Places" - Watch the scene.
33. "It's 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." - "Blues Brothers" - Watch the scene.
34. "Here's looking at you, kid" - "Casablanca" - Watch the scene.
35. "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is." - "Forrest Gump" - Watch the scene.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 10:36 AM
November 24, 2009 Fun With Yoostar's Thanksgiving Video Backgrounds
With Yoostar, you can create unique holiday-themed video greetings to share with your family and friends via email, Facebook, or your own blog. We call these Yoocards, and we've launched a number of holiday-themed Video Backgrounds, including 10 for Thanksgiving.

You can say hello to family and friends in your video or make a video invitation to your holiday feast. Or, you can get creative and tell a story -- real or made up.

Don't have time to clean your house, cook a dinner, or set the table, but want to send a holiday feast video greeting? Leave the "cooking" up to Yoostar's camera and greenscreen. Or "visit" a turkey farm to pick out your holiday turkey, all without leaving your home.

Debbie tried out the Video Background called "An Evening Feast" to record this Thanksgiving greeting for her family. This particular Video Background allows you to choose whether you want to stand or sit in front of the table or appear as if you are sitting at the table as Debbie has done in her Yoocard.

Chris and I chose the "Cooking a Holiday Feast" Video Background to create this Yoocard for our family members who won't be able to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. You can see the water steaming and boiling in the pot on the stove behind us, but that's not our kitchen! (We recorded this standing in our hallway in front of our Yoostar greenscreen.)

Debbie downloaded the "Young Turkeys Video Background to record this video "Reporting live from the California State Turkey Correctional Institution...". Will these wayward young turkeys be pardoned? Watch Debbie's video to find out.

Chris and I downloaded the "Tom Turkey Strut" Video Background to create this video called "Someone Stole our Turkey to send to our friends.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 10:42 PM
November 19, 2009 Break.com Checks Out Yoostar on Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade
I'm interviewed in this Break.com video about Yoostar filmed during the Yoostar Casting Tour stop a few weeks back on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 1:59 AM
November 17, 2009 Judges Jamie, Jess, Jonathan... and Yoo
For the past eight weeks the Yoostar Casting Tour has traveled coast-to-coast looking for new talents and filming thousands of people using Yoostar. Here are some photos I took from the Casting Tour stop on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Screenshot of Yoostar Casting Tour Facebook Voting application Now, it's your turn to play casting agent. Which performances are best? One talented person will win a walk-on role in a 2010 LionsGate film.

We spent the past month working with Buddy Media to build an interactive Facebook App that will enable you to vote for the best performance for each stop on the tour. From Boston University to University of California at Irvine. Today it launched. Check it out: apps.facebook.com/yoostarcastingcall/

Along with Jamie Kennedy and Jonathan Small from Break Media, I'm one of the judges who will choose the Grand Prize winner based on the finalists you determine from each location. We're watching all the videos and choosing our favorites.

No, don't send me cookies or bribes. That won't work. But you can tweet at me (I'm p0pvulture -- and the 0 is a zero) with links to your favorite performers, and I'll take a look. Also, go to the Casting Tour Facebook Application and cast your votes!

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posted by Jess Barron @ 9:18 AM
Mo' Snoop Dogg on Yoostar
Back in August Snoop Dogg recorded some Yoostar videos for us, and here's another one...

Cheech teaches Snoop some Spanish words
In this scene from "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie," Snoop Dogg and Cheech are cruising in a van through LA, and Cheech offers Snoop a Spanish lesson. He says, "When you see a real good friend, you say, 'Hey, bandejo, how ya doin'?'"

What do yoo think? What's your favorite Snoop Dogg Yoostar video. Tweet at me (I'm @p0pvulture), and let me know.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 7:41 AM
November 12, 2009 Jamie Kennedy's Yoostar Videos
Back in August, we were lucky enough to have Snoop Dogg stop by our studio in NYC to perform in some classic Yoostar scenes, and earlier this month Jamie Kennedy recorded some Yoostar videos of his own. (Jamie is working with Yoostar as spokesperson and a judge of our Casting Tour.)

In his performances, Jamie deviated from the original dialogue and made up his own lines, riffing off the original actors with some funny results.

Here are my 3 favorite Jamie Kennedy Yoostar clips:

Jamie does Jigsaw
Jamie Kennedy confronts Donnie Wahlberg face-to-face in the "Saw II" scene called "I want to play a game."

Jamie brings the party to Dracula's castle
Showing no fear at all, Jamie Kennedy boldly brings a new flavor to the original 1931 "Dracula."

Jamie swallows the cookies
Dustin Hoffman confronts Jamie Kennedy over snagging a bag of cookies in this scene from "Marathon Man."

Those are my three faves. Check out Jamie's Yoostar profile to see the rest of his performances. Tweet at me (I'm @p0pvulture) to let us know which one yoo like best.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 9:45 AM
November 11, 2009 "Wild" About David Lynch
Nic Cage and me in a scene from "Wild at Heart" Today I achieved one of my lifelong dreams of appearing in a scene from a David Lynch film. (Thanks to Yoostar!) I put myself into a scene from "Wild at Heart" alongside Nic Cage, and I improv'd some advice for Nic. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

This particular scene is an excellent example of how seamlessly Yoostar works. Side-by-side two-shots are some of the best kinds of scenes, because you appear as if you're actually sitting side-by-side with the actor (in this case Nic Cage). Also, when you view the video, you can see that the beer bottles in the foreground that are sitting on the bar in the actual movie scene appearing in front of me. This adds to the realism of the video.

One of the most frequent searches we're seeing people type in on Google is "How does Yoostar work?" Yoostar is a greenscreen video product. This means that in the box, you get a 6-foot-by-6-foot greenscreen and stand and video webcam with audio echo cancellation. You set up the greenscreen in your house, plug the Yoostar camera into your PC via USB connection, open the application on your PC, and choose a scene from a famous movie or TV show. Then you sit or stand in front of the greenscreen and position yourself for acting in the scene. The dialogue goes across your PC screen karaoke-style, and you can say the real dialogue or make up your own (as I frequently do). Two other recent Yoostar performances where I improv'd some dialogue are Something wrong with feather boas? ("Witness" clip opposite my first movie star crush, Harrison Ford) and my mash-up of What if Scarlett O'Hara met Lou Costello?

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posted by Jess Barron @ 7:36 AM
November 3, 2009 Yoostar Video Backgrounds... for Blogging and More
Yoostar allows you not only to insert yourself into scenes from popular movies and TV shows, but also to put yourself into just about any type of scene you can imagine with Yoostar Video Backgrounds.

With over 100 different backgrounds -- from urban cityscapes such as Times Square New York and Hong Kong at night to well-known wonders of the world like the Taj Mahal and the pyramids, you can put yourself almost anywhere without leaving your living room.

What kinds of clips would you make with video backgrounds? Here are 5 different ideas that Debbie and I had:

1. Video backgrounds are perfect for video bloggers or vloggers. It's quick and easy to record a video, and incredibly easy to embed the video into your personal blog. For example, I recently put myself into an underwater background to create this video blog about three of the best digital underwater cameras of 2009. I was standing in my kitchen the whole time, but was able to transport myself to a location that better suited the topic I was talking about.

2. Send a quick personalized message to someone. Debbie posted this video showing her lounging in a tropical beach setting, assuring her boss that she's working during her vacation. (For some reason, I'm not 100% sure I believe her, by the way...) If you want to send a personalized message telling someone you miss them or Happy New Year, video backgrounds are a cool way to add some style and creativity to your communication. The Yoostar widget makes it easy for you to embed your video messages into Facebook or send them in an email.

3. Perform a poem or sing a song. During a recent stop in Austin, Texas on the Yoostar Casting Tour, there were a number of people who used Yoostar's Video Backgrounds to showcase their original poetry and music. Texas State University student and Austin slam poetry champion Faylita Hicks gave a performance of one of her original poems in front of the Times Square at night background.

4. You can use Yoostar's video backgrounds to tell a story -- real or made up. I tried out the video background called "Letters Rain Down" to share a "Matrix"-inspired tale about a recent evening out at a club. I called my video "Don't take the red pill," and you can decide for yourself whether it's fact or fiction.

5. Give us a report. Yoostar's Video Backgrounds are great for independent journalists posting video updates. There are great backgrounds specifically for financial reports and even legal reporting from the steps of the Supreme Court. I created this quick report on the housing market as an example. (NOTE: I'm no economics expert, but I have been known to play one on Yoostar.)

Those are just five examples of ways to use video backgrounds. We can't wait to see more of what people do with them.

Check out the complete library of Yoostar video backgrounds, and leave a comment below to let us know if there is a particular background you want to see. We're adding new ones every week.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 2:43 AM
October 15, 2009 It Takes Two
Chris and I have two great ideas for our costumes this Halloween. Unfortunately I can't tell you what they are so that you can help us decide, because that would ruin the surprise. We take Halloween VERY seriously, and we don't like to announce our costumes ahead of time. It would ruin the surprise, wouldn't it?

Nancy and Sid Last year we dressed up as Sid and Nancy and imitated their classic poses. When we were out at a party in Santa Monica at Joanna's house, to complete the effect, we made sure to shout key lines from the 1986 film "Sid and Nancy: Love Kills." Of course, this meant I was saying things like, "Siiiiid! They wouldn't send us any money! They said we'd spend it on DRUGS!" Check out our pics from Halloween 2008 in LA.

'do you like our owl?' - Chris and me for Halloween 2007, LA For Halloween 2007, we dressed up as Rick Deckard and Rachael the replicant from 1982's "Blade Runner." We are both HUGE fans of the film, so we didn't forget the important details. For example, I don't even smoke, but I held a clove cigarette during the Voight-Kampff test "interrogation scene" photos. See our pics from Halloween 2007 in LA.

britney and kfed, a.k.a. me and chris For Halloween 2006, we dressed up as Britney and K.Fed. They were still married at the time. And we had the babies, and everything. No detail was spared. Chris wore huge diamond (well, Cubic Zirconia) stud earrings and white sneakers, and I drove the car with the babies on my lap. See our pics from Halloween 2006 in LA.

For Halloween 2006, we made a video of trying to decide what to wear. We posted it on Yahoo! Video and YouTube and it went viral and received over 13,000 views. Check it out:

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posted by Jess Barron @ 8:16 AM
October 9, 2009 Mo Lahv Fo Yoostah
It was just a few days ago that I posted about all the great press Yoostar has been getting, and now there are two more positive mentions to add to that list:

Today "Esquire" magazine put Yoostar first on its list of the "Best Toys of 2009." They wrote: "No one remembers the year they got their fifty-third action figure, but if you want to make a memory that a kid won't ever forget — it's on this list." W00t!

On Wednesday night "Entertainment Tonight" ahost Mark Steines tried Yoostar and performed in scenes from "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Psycho." Here's the video which aired on "ET" on Oct 7, 2009:

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posted by Jess Barron @ 7:09 PM
October 7, 2009 Being Scarlett
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of "Gone With the Wind," Yoostar launched 5 iconic scenes from the film, allowing you to literally step into Scarlett's shoes.

Debbie and I couldn't wait to try out our Southern accents and, more importantly, get ourselves next to Rhett.

In Debbie's "Gone With the Wind" performance, she pulled out the handkerchief to play Scarlett in mourning when Rhett tells her he can't go on any longer without her. "You really are the most ill-bred man to come here at a time like this!" she tells him while choking back tears. "So, I see, I shall have to marry you," Rhett replies. Debbie/Scarlett tells him, "I've never heard of such bad taste." Be sure to ask him for a big diamond, Scarlett!

In my first "Gone With the Wind" performance, Rhett told me: "I don't think I'll kiss you, though you need kissing badly." I countered with, "And I suppose you think you're the proper person?" When he replied in his non-committal way, "I might be -- if the right moment ever came," I told him that he was a "conceited, black-hearted varmint." It was a lot of fun and flirtation without leaving my living room.

In my second "Gone With the Wind" performance, I told Rhett that I was fond of him, but not madly in love with him. Then he asked me what kind of engagement ring I wanted. I told him: "Oh, a diamond Rhett! And do buy a great big one!" He told me he would buy me the biggest and most vulgar diamond in all of Atlanta. But then he called me a hypocrite, so romance is definitely confusing.

But why stop there? I decided to bring Scarlett into scenes from other movies to create some Yoostar Movie Mash-ups. For example, what if the Southern Belle had Lou Costello working for her? Find out in "Scarlett O'Hara Meets Lou Costello."

Or, what if Scarlett was a sorority girl at Faber College with John Belushi and the "Animal House" gang? Check out Scarlett's Lunch With Bluto to see how that might've gone.

Or, what if Scarlett when out on a date with Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) from "Back to School?" See for yourself in "Scarlett O'Hara's Date With Thornton Melon."

What if Scarlett's relationship with Thornton didn't go so well (her love life wasn't so lucky, after all), and they ended up breaking up? Check out "Scarlett O'Hara and Thornton Melon's Divorce."

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posted by Jess Barron @ 10:09 AM
September 2, 2009 Snoop Blogg: Snoop Dogg's Yoostar Performances
Snoop Dogg stopped by Yoostar's studio in NYC to record some videos for the site. His performances were off-the-hook. (And ya'll know how I'm a HUGE fan of Snoop's.)

Check 'em out:
Snoop and Costello
Lou Costello gives Snoop Dogg a hard time in this classic clip from "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."

Snoop as Jason Voorhees
Snoop Dogg plays slasher Jason Voorhees in this scene from "Friday the 13th."

Snoop Likes It Hot
Marilyn Monroe flirts with Snoop Dogg in this classic scene from "Some Like It Hot." Notice that Snoop is gesticulating with a chicken wing in this scene.

Snoop as "Blacula"
Snoop Dogg gets ready to bite Ketty Lester when he shows his fangs in this scene from "Blacula."

Snoop as Bogey
Snoop Dogg appears in this "Casablanca" scene alongside Ingrid Bergman. Snoop smoothly delivers Humphrey Bogart's most iconic line: "Here's looking at you, kid."

Here's a link to a page where you can view all of Snoop's videos on Yoostar.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 3:18 PM
June 20, 2008 Yahoo! News' Scores First Online-Only Interview with President Bush
Link to Yahoo! News/Politico Bush interview - "Why I gave up golf" clipIt was mentioned on The Daily Show, MSNBC, Huffington Post, AOL, and too many other places to count... Here is the link to Yahoo! News exclusive interview clip with President George W. Bush where he tells us that he hasn't played golf in 5 years and the reason why. It actually made even more news a few days later, when MSNBC's Keith Olbermann found a video of Bush golfing two months after he said he gave up the sport (following the bombing the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003).

Since April when I moved into to my new job as director of programming at Yahoo! News, this exclusive Bush interview is one of the things I am most proud of that we have accomplished. The whole team worked so hard on planning it and devising the questions and shooting it. And, in the end, we were actually able to get Bush to talk about (and do) some things that made news. A whole team worked on this Bush interview, but most of the credit goes to my boss Neeraj Khemlani (who came to Yahoo! from CBS News), producers Robert Padavick and Erin Green, and Didrik Johnck who shot the interview. Also, Mike Allen from Politico was the interviewer. Here's the link to the full interview transcript.

The ever-talented multimedia designer Chris Strimbu (full disclosure: he's my significant other, though this does not diminish his talents) created the animated Bush photo montage that appears at the beginning of every Bush interview clip.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 1:52 PM
November 7, 2006 Turning Away from Jackson's Breasts for a Moment...
For this Election Day, I turned my focus away from topics such as purses and Janet Jackson's breasts to something slightly more important -- and political -- for the Yahoo! Top 5 segment on ABC News NOW.

In today's special political video segment, I spoke about the Top 5 Political Blogs and the Top 5 Hot-Button Ballot issues. This wasn't my best segment. I was talking way too fast, and also my neck and chest broke out in a rash from the heat. (It was 92 degrees yesterday in Los Angeles when we taped this segment and there's no make-up person on-hand to save me from unsightly redness.) I'll try to look past my disturbing appearance, and take comfort in the fact that we got some more serious info out there.

Did YOU vote today? Why or why not? What's the big issue for you this election?

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posted by Jess Barron @ 1:23 PM
October 31, 2006 Birtney and KFed Do Halloween 2006 in L.A.
Chris and I dressed up as Britney and KFed this year. we were britney and kfed Check out this video showing how we decided what to wear.

We started Saturday night at the Halloween Vlog Fest party in honor of Amanda Congdon in the lobby of the Yahoo! Center in Santa Monica, and then we were headed to West Hollywood to a fabulous bash at Court's place. My two favorite costumes of the evening were Strawberry Shortcake (a.k.a. Sam of daily online video serial show Sam Has 7 Friends at the vlog party) and a seriously decked-out Marie Antoinette (in WeHo). Check out the photos.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 11:40 PM
October 27, 2006 Getting 'Sexy' for Halloween
halloween 2004, jackie kennedy Last Friday, October 20, I went on MSNBC's "The Most" with Alison Stewart to talk about popular Halloween costume searches this year on Yahoo! If you play a drinking game and take a shot of tequila every time I said "sexy" during the 60 second interview, you might get sick. Pirate costumes are popular this year, particularly sexy pirates.

I'm not revealing what my costume is this year...yet. But from 1997-2004, I've been Aeon Flux, Cruella Deville, a vampire, a devil, a bumblebee, a bad pilgrim, legally blonde, and most recently, Jackie Kennedy.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 6:11 AM
October 1, 2006 I'm Very Knowledgeable About Purses and Janet Jackson's Breasts...
People have been asking for a link to see the ABC News Yahoo! Top 5 video segment that Heather, LJ, and I appear on each week. ABC News: Yahoo! Top 5 Searches
OK, you can have a peak, but only if you promise not to make fun of me for blushing when I talk about Chanel handbags and Janet Jackson getting all naked on magazine covers. Check out the video.

Is this what you all expected when I majored in American Culture at Vassar? That I'd build a career of knowing where to find knock-off Gucci bags online and what the story is behind Janet Jackson's "invisible daughter..." Yeah, I thought so, too.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 4:37 PM
January 20, 2005 No Place for Thespians...
"It's really too bad there's no place for thespians in the parade."
-Sam Donaldson on ABC News NOW coverage of Bush's inauguration

Starting at 6a.m. PST today I was putting together and monitoring our portal's live video coverage of Bush's second inauguration centered primarily around the ABC News NOW internet-only channel. ABC News NOW's coverage was somewhat off-the-cuff and technologically experimental, so the end result was pretty interesting. It was almost as unpredictable and weird as watching pirate TV.

The ABC anchors -- Bob Woodruff, Sam Donaldson and Hari Sreenivasan -- interspersed their inauguration commentary with interviews from high schools around the country via internet cams. They also included short video clips captured with cell phone cams by students and other inauguration attendees. The footage was very raw and grainy, but sometimes amusing. One woman from the "Red Hot Mamas" parade group captured video footage of waiting in the porta potties line, and they showed that on-air. (That clip gave me Burning Man flashbacks.)

The use of personal broadcast technology was good to see, but the loose, casual (and at times competitive-seeming) banter between the anchormen themselves was probably the most interesting aspect. One high school student watching a bandmember friend march in the parade identified herself as a "thespian," and Sam Donaldson said, "It's really too bad there's no place for thespians in the parade." Then he asked "Have you guys heard the joke about the guy with the thespian cousin who goes to the all-girls' college?" (He was actually riffing off of how the word 'thespian' sounds like 'lesbian.' It was unbelievable to hear something off-color like that coming out of a newscaster's mouth. I was hoping that Mary Cheney wasn't listening. It was a bit dicey.)

Toward the tail-end of the parade, the anchors' commentary became goofier and goofier. As the cavalry groups on horseback passed in front of the bulletproof glass parade-viewing window (umm, can I get one of those added in my apartment?) that the Bush family watched from, Sam Donaldson and Hari began talking about how the president always made a point to give a special wave and thumbs-up to the guys whose job it was to walk a few paces behind the horses armed with shovels to pick up the poop. "That's the kinda thing you can only see on ABC News Now," Sam Donaldson said while Hari directed the cameras to zoom in on Bush's tumbs-up to the poop pick-up guys. "He's a man of the people," Sam said. "That's how he won the election." I suppose there's a lesson to be learned from this. I hope the future Democratic candidates and campaign strategists have taken note.

My 5 favorite photos from the inauguration are:
#5 Jenna gives the horns of rock (do you think I could get Jenna to come out to The Odeon for some Kostume Karaoke?)
#4 Bush gives the horns of rock (like father, like daughter!)
#3 Hmmm. Maybe Bush IS a marionette controlled by Satan?
(that is, after all, what the Norwegians think.
#2 Jenna yawns during the inauguration (too much partying the night before?)

#1 Bush's limo gets pelted with a snowball
(Sam and Bob also argued over whether or not the anti-Bush protestors were hurling snowballs at the President's motorcade. Sam was pretty certain that the projectiles being hurled were not snowballs. Looks like he was wrong.)

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posted by Jess Barron @ 8:33 PM
May 19, 2000 My Sudden Gwen Stefani Obsession
Let's get this straight, I have never been a huge fan of No Doubt's music. But the other night when I was out with Selena and JP to see Tsar play at a Hollywood club called Vinyl, those two pop junkies (Selena and JP) started talking about Gwen Stefani.

"Why won't anyone marry poor Gwen Stefani?!" one of them said. I listened as they discussed things I knew nothing about, things I had maybe heard about but had allowed to fall under my radar as pop tidbits about things that I just wasn't interested in. They excitedly discussed No Doubt's video for "A Simple Kind of Life," and how everything in the video is about how Gwen wants to get married and have a baby, but that none of her boyfriends were at all down with that. The men in the video all run away from her and look at her like she has three heads. It's also weird because Gwen used to date Tony (the Indian guy in No Doubt), but they broke up and are still friends, but as JP pointed out -- you need to notice that the baby Gwen picks up at the end of the video looks like he is Indian.

A few weeks ago when I was arguing with Camille and Julie about Courtney Love (they think she's a parasitic no-talent mega-bitch and I think she's a messed-up person who is nonetheless extremely talented and also a strong woman in rock) -- I challenged Camille to name another strong woman in rock. When she named Gewn Stefani, I completely scoffed at her. I would not accept Gwen as an answer. Camille's justification was that it's truly "punk" of Gwen to be able to tell someone that you want something that isn't thought of as "cool" (i.e. getting married and having a kid). I didn't accept this at the time, but now I sort of see where Camille is coming from. I also give Gwen extra mad props for dealing with figuring out all of these feelings and situations in the public eye and through her lyrics which -- though I don't love No Doubt's music -- nonetheless intrigue me. Spin also just ran a pretty interesting piece on Gwen and No Doubt.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 5:44 PM