Grandma's Two Days With MTV: The Partial Story
Bottom line, MTV was quite awesome to Grandma.
For those of you who are not fans of the delicious desert known as the cookie, you should stop reading now, for in the interest of blogging journalism, here's what happened:
10:26pm - The producer of the shoot calls to make sure everything's groovy and to go over the itinerary for the next couple days. She says they arrived in Cleveland without any problems, I apologize for living in such a godforsaken city. Apparently their hotel had cookies and surprisingly good customer service. At this point Grandma is fucking nervous. We vacuum the floors and clean out the fridge and bathrooms one more time, trying to add some sparkle to our darkened, shitty neighborhood. I make sure that all the old gaming comics that adorned our freezer remain magnetically adhered to the outside just in case any of them have any doubt in Grandma's fan status. The dog-eared copy of the Penny Arcade comic "Baby Versus Rhino" has seen better days; I contemplate printing out another to display but dismiss the idea not wanting anything to be staged or fake. Grandma and I go to bed jazzed that Scott "The Man Hisself" Johnson had put up a shoutout to Grandma on MyExtraLife, and we dreamed our dreamy dreams of Mario and Pacman and how far the gang has come.
7:00am - Grandma and I wake up "early," knowing that the crew is coming out in the afternoon, but we want to be ready. The dogs give us one last stare of "how could you" before we banish the yippie little bastards to the garage, where they happily dine on old sports equipment and corrugated cardboard boxes to reap their revenge. Grandma and I choose our clothes for the shoot, knowing we can't have any logos or labels lest they mosaic them out in post like so many rappers. The XBox Live hat Microsoft sent us, then, is quite out of the question. It rests watching us with envy.
10:00am - Grandma decides that the best way to treat our upcoming guests is to serve them cookies and coffee. We both contemplate whether or not that would appear too 'old-lady like' but then come to our senses and realize this is what we do for everybody that comes over, and we aren't changing shit for The Man. Emboldened by her new sense of rebellion, Grandma breaks out the cookie sheets and blender and starts whooping some cookie-dough ass.
11:45am - Grandma decides the peanut butter cookies taste like "fucking SHIT." I enjoy a few with a glass of milk and conclude that they're fine. Grandma starts a batch of chocolate chip.
12:30 - 2:30pm - Grandma and I sit around playing Outlaw Golf 2 and bullshiting about what to expect when they get here. I wonder how it's going up at CIM with Martin, the Video Game Pianist, and think about the MTV crew getting parking tickets from the notorious University Circle traffic wardens and become depressed, knowing I still haven't paid any of mine. Fuckers. Grandma begins to relax in the wait for the wagon train of rental cars to arrive.
2:50pm - The MTV crew arrives, which consists of a producer, a host, a sound technician, and a videographer. They bring cookies and brownies for Grandma, Grandma presents them with cookies and coffee. I offer cigarettes, but there are no takers. After our ritual exchange of food, the fun begins.
3:30pm - After a change of clothes and mic setups all around, the host, Blair, goes outside to begin the outside shots of our house, dying autumnal flowerbeds and ceramic gargoyles no doubt in view. The demonic children that also live here hide on the couch playing GameBoy SP's in boredom so as not to appear in the window as they shoot outside; the kids look really awkward as though they don't know what to say to these people. Bobby and Kenny both look at the microphone with the flaming Overdrive "O" and MTV.com Logo with a gaze in their eyes that's halfway between amazement and exhaustion from lack of sleep from all the cleaning we've done in the house.
4:00pm - Blair and Grandma talk a bit in her room as they set up the reflecting lights, bouncing high powered fixtures off the ceiling making the room really fucking hot. At the request of everyone, we open up some windows and the back door; the onslaught of October black flies begins to make the house look like something from The Amityville Horror. They film for a while in Grandma's room of her gaming away. She has difficulty shuffling through all the games with all the different controllers back and forth, and doesn't feel at the top of her game. Her and Blair play some Outlaw Golf 2 as I wait outside sucking down some sweet nicotine.
5:30pm - They film Grandma in the kitchen, Grandma in the dining room, Grandma and the family in the living room, and I wait patiently for them to film Grandma in the bathroom reading some Game Informer or EGM, but, in retrospect, this understandably never happens. The phone rings three or four times during the course of the shoot, and I imagine the producer chopping down the telephone pole for the house in anger, but she takes it in stride like it's no big deal. Everybody seems to genuinely dig Grandma, even when the cameras are off. Grandma is having a ball.
6:00-7:00pm - They finish their filming outside, and give Grandma some presents we can't talk about without the powers that be striking us down with the fury of a thousand suns. Blair and the crew say goodbye to Grandma, and she's sorry to see them go. The family stays for a while and we all enjoy shots of Absolut and cookies, reflecting on the experience under a fog of a starch induced drunken stupor. Grandma tells everybody how cool Blair was, and we all go to sleep with a real feeling that it was definitely not as bad as we had feared.
8:00am - I surprisingly don't have a hangover of any kind, which is odd for me because I'm a fucking lightweight. I enjoy some breakfast and feel better after taking a shower and brushing my teeth. Grandma gets all her game systems ready for the day ahead. Mom discovers some great news we'll tell you about later, and we're all ready to work.
10:00am - 2:00pm - Ilse, the producer, arrives early and ready to go. It's just her today, and god damn her camera is infinitely better than mine. The last time I saw a Leica lens on a 3CCD MiniDV camcorder I was gushing about CNN. I leave out the equipment worship because Ilse seems cool enough, and I don't want to annoy anyone. MTV was fascinated with Grandma's experience with Fatal Frame 2, so they pay for another copy feeling bad about our eBay auction. The cursed game enters our house once more, laughing at our attempts to be rid of it. Grandma, however, sees it as an old friend. She films all sorts of Grandma activities before rushing over to Hopkins airport on the West Side (a good hour away) to catch a flight back to New York.
I then sleep for about fifteen straight hours, awoke energized and watched a Daily Show rerun with left over cookies and a glass of milk. A perfect end to a hectic couple of days.
We're back on schedule, though- and Grandma has her arsenal of games to enjoy. She's chosen Growlanser Generations to be her next thing, followed or paralleled by The Suffering: Ties That Bind. Grandma is eyeing King Kong and The Shadow Of The Colossus with the stare of Gollum, and I'm posting the next batch of buttons to OGHC's Ultimate Kickass Blogroll tonight.
Those two days, man.... that was a hell of a thing. The second I know when it will air on Overdrive (MTV's broadband channel, so you all get to see!) I will post it up here for everybody. MTV sent out a great crew who treated Grandma well and were not unnecessarily pushy or insincere. They, and Grandma, had fun with this.
Game on, everybody.