Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Oscars To GDC (Game Developer Conference)

As this blog entry is written, the venue is the Moscone Center in San Francisco, site of the Game Developers Conference. And yes, having just retuned from the glitz, glamour, and gossip in Beverly Hills and surrounding the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, one would think this is a big change.

But it's not. It's all media. (And to be sure, more cocktails. There's the Lobby Bar on the main level of Moscone Center South, as shown above).

For example, on the screen next to the table I'm seated at are scenes from a sci-fi video game based on the television show and movie series Star Trek . And all around are games based on movie and television shows and various aspects of popular culture.

So really, if you think like I do, and you should, all of this is intertwined quite well.

The mainstream media doesn't get that. That's why you're not likely to see a massively multiplayer game based on the Libyan Revolution on a news website and an article or blog post about the Tripoli Takeover anytime soon.

(Oh, and I'm not done with the Oscars. More content soon.)

Meredith Baxter Confesses Domestic Abuse

USA TODAY reports that Meredith Baxter, 63-year-old actress, confessed today on the Today Show to Matt Lauer that her during her marriage to David Birney she was violently abused. The two were married for 15 years and were divorced in 1989 - they have three children together.

Baxter says that she coped with this abuse by drinking heavily. Birney has denied these allegations.

Even more confessions include that last year Baxter revealed she was a lesbian.

ABC goes into more details about Baxter's new book titled Untitled. The book is a memoir and an excerpt from ABC News includes:

In her memoir, Baxter alleges that Birney hit her more than once. "It was so sudden and unexpected, I couldn't tell you which hand hit me, or even how hard," she writes. "I do recall thinking, 'I'd better not get up because he's going to hit me again.' "

For some women her story is quite relatable - being trapped in an abusive relationship and not finding a way to get out. It's hard to leave even though to some it seems so simple. It's questionable as to whether her abuse in that marriage is what led her to come out as a lesbian - is it a cover up or is she truly a lesbian?

Although she came out but a year ago, ABC reports, "The actress said that after many failed relationships with men, she started her first relationship with a woman seven years ago, and her entire world view changed."

We'll see what the New York Times thinks about Untitled. -- or what her children have to say.

Christina Aguilera Arrested

TMZ has become the credible and reliable news source for celebrity news, and TMZ reports that Christina Aguilera and her new boyfriend, Matt Rutler. were arrested.

Before the two were arrested her boyfriend drank two bottles of expensive wine.

It is reported that her boyfriend was drunk driving and she was too intoxicated to take care of it. They were arrested at 2:45 this morning.

The Oscars, Michael Lohan At The Polo Lounge, Gary Busey, Dennis Haysbert

Last year's Oscars trip was fun; this year's Oscar trip was a total blast. For this blogger, it was four days of dinners, meetings, videos, interviews, and potential deals. But more important, it was meeting a lot of very cool people, like Michael Lohan at The Polo Lounge, and Richard Dreyfuss, Gary Busey, Ed Asner, Taylor Cole from The Event, Dennis Haysbert from The Unit, Tamara Connelly, Dennis Leisure, Josey Goldberg, and of course, what's becoming an annual event of my own: what happens after The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party.

But first, a great deal of thanks (again) to my team of friends: Marla Schulman of Life After Kids, Jen Friel of Talk Nerdy To Me Lover and Milena Merrill, Ama Jo Budge, and Suniil Sadarangani. Their combined talents gave us more media content than ever for the Oscars, and spread out over their blogs, too. That's the way it's supposed to be done!

Now, back to Michael Lohan and The Polo Lounge.

After our coverage of The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party at The Beverly Hills Hotel - where Dennis Haysbert talked about setting the tone for America electing the first black president before Barack Obama, and told Jen Friel that he's a nerd:

And Gary Busey of The Celebrity Apprentice and Ed Asner, best known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, held court on the Wisconsin Protests issue, and Asner told Frances Fisher from The Titanic that her kids were "artificially inseminated:"

And where Richard Dreyfuss talked with Marla, who's sons were best friends when both were two years old, and for whom I put in a plug for The Alley in Oakland:

And Taylor Cole ("Vicky Roberts") talked about her show The Event on NBC (after he friend talked about how she stays in shape by pole dancing):

We walked over to the bustling Polo Lounge, located just off the hotel's main lobby, and where I was for last year's "Night" Party, after the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. That was the time Alec Baldwin, last year's Oscars host, walked in to great applause. And while I'm sure this year's hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway would have gotten the same treatment, they didn't walk in - at least while we were there.

We - Marla, Milena, and I - wound up cocktailing with a fun-loving, dirty-talking guy who shall remain nameless, his totally lovely and outgoing friend in the flowing green dress, Tamara Connolly who plays "Phyllis" on As The World Turns and her friend, who's a wealth of information about Beverly Hills life, and Michael Lohan.

Now, I had no idea the guy chatting-up my friend Marla was Michael Lohan. I was talking with Ms. Connolly, as Ms. Schulman was next to me (it was crowded), when I noticed this man exchanging business cards with this man dressed in black. No, not in a tux; he had on a black turtle-neck sweater, black coat, and black pants. He looked trim and tanned, but not overly so. What's more, he was nice, and fit right in to the overall vibe. That is festive and friendly.

Marla introduced the man and I, talking about my blog in general terms and about our Oscar coverage. So I followed up with a very brief explanation of what I'm doing in forming Zennie62Media.com and my game company SBS, but then said "So what do you do?"

No, I had no idea the man I was talking to was that guy.

It's just not me to get that into being able to recognize someone who's famous, but it's necessary to be able to do. My need to do this for obvious business purposes is countered by the fact that I just don't get caught up in it. "I'm an investment banker," he said. And pretty much left it at that. He and Marla were talking about the South Hamptons, where he just came from, and that he's from Long Island, as is she. Between all of us, it was a series of conversations that flowed between people, so I went back to talking about prayer with Ms. Lewis (I'm not kidding), and Lohan continued talking with Marla.

Then, Marla and "the man" started talking about kids, as both have them, and Mara made a comment that drew my attention.  She said "I don't want to be famous," or words to that effect, and I chimed in that it's actually something you need to be in the Internet business.  (Heck, it helps with traffic and revenue, you know?)

So, I turned and said to "the man," So what areas of investment banking are you in." He said "Well, for the last six year's my daughter was the number one actress in Hollywood." But rather than say "number one in what?" I waited for the punch line name. There was silence.  Then, it clicked in my stupid brain that I was talking to Michael Lohan.

So, I said "You're Michael Lohan." He said "Yes." I said "So you know something about being famous," and we laughed.

Michael Lohan is much trimmer in person that in the photos and videos I've seen.  So I didn't feel bad about not knowing who he was; just the opposite.  It made for some great conversation.

I told Mr. Lohan that I felt sorry for what he was going through - which he appreciated, saying it was "tough" - in essentially watching his daughter Actress Lindsay Lohan rack up a criminal rap sheet before the public's eye. I asked him how he was doing. "Fine," he said. Lohan was in the middle of setting up a new effort back East involving teens that he's not ready to fully talk about as of this writing.

After that, we talked about the Internet and how it works from a news standpoint.  No, we didn't talk much about his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, and he seemed happy to be with people who weren't peppering him with questions.

Lohan then left, saying he was headed to The Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

For the record, I had one cocktail and two glasses of water. Having not had a full meal all say, I didn't want to play with my sensitive system; after the second glass of water, I was ready for bed.

Marla and Milena wanted to go over to The Elton John Party. So, even though I told them the best place to be is The Polo Lounge. Nothing against Elton John, but his party's a pressure-cooker place to be, with people looking, craning necks, and not much real talking; at the Polo Lounge you talk with people and make friends. It's a great reminder that, in many different ways, and regardless of who you are, we're all just trying to get through this thing called life.

More To Come

There's a lot more video content from The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party to come between today and Wednesday, so stay tuned.

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