How I Survived Zico’s “Banging Body Bootcamp”

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I am not known generally as a “morning person,” unless, of course, being a morning person means being irritable, slow, and angry at said morning. That’s why when I was invited to a bootcamp this morning at 8 AM, sponsored by ZICO chilled juices, I was like hellllll no. Why on Earth would I voluntarily wake up at 7:30 AM only to have my ass kicked?

But then I saw that there’d be massages and manis afterwards, and suddenly, my outlook changed. Needless to say, I soon found myself bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the rooftop of the Montalban Theater in Hollywood, slurping down ZICO smoothies and booty-shaking to celebrity trainer Jennifer “JJ Dancer” Johnson’s aggressive routines. Somehow, I survived. I apologize in advance to the janitorial crew that later had to mop up my puddle of sweat.

Anyway, it was all super fun, and for once I was doing something healthy instead of stuffing my face with food. Pics of this extravaganza after the jump…

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BANTER BLENDER #99: Ray Rice, Taylor Swift, Joan Rivers, and ‘Utopia’

Writer Jessica Ogilvie (Playboy) returns to the Banter Blender podcast to discuss the latest events in a summer of craziness. We start with Ray Rice and the larger question of can bad behavior ever be forgiven? This leads to discussion of Chris Brown and Michael Vick before eventually landing on the most pressing debate of our time: Team Taylor vs. Team Katy.

Yes, the Taylor Swift / Katy Perry feud is addressed with the gravitas it deserves, and then it’s on to Fox’s new reality experiment, “Utopia.” Trash TV or a disturbing look at our society?

Finally, we close out the podcast with talk of Joan Rivers and her career. Along the way, there are plenty of asides about Starbucks, puss caterpillars, ISIS, and even Ferguson.

Tackling the tough topics as always!

Remember to follow the podcast on Facebook at

And don’t forget: You can start building your website today at GoDaddy. Enter promo code 199banter at checkout to get your .com for just $1.99. Some limitations apply. See website for details.

Sign Up Now For The Tournament of Cham 2014!


JUST when you thought this blog was dead, here I come blazing back with a new, important post. Truthfully, this is more than a post. This is a tradition as old as time itself (assuming that time began in 2008). I speak, of course, of the Tournament of Cham, that annual celebration of basketball, March Madness, and rampant gambling.

For those needing some backstory, let me illuminate you.

The Tournament of Cham at its most basic form is nothing more than a Men’s NCAA basketball / March Madness bracket pool. Hosted by the inimitable Yahoo! Sports, the very first iteration occurred in 2009 — an ancient time when such ambitious names as “Tournament of Champions” were simply too long for the Internet. Thus, the truncated Tournament of Cham was born.

Sure, Cham may be a necessary abbreviation to fit Yahoo!’s stern character limits, but I like to think of it as something bigger, bolder. Cham is the spirit that compels us to rise to our feet, throw caution to the wind, and tell the world “Hey, I am qualified to make predictions about a vastly unpredictable basketball tournament!”

So do you have the Cham? Because if you do, I want you and all your friends to sign up for B-Side Blog’s Tournament of Cham.

Just click here and let the power of the Cham take over!

Tournament of Cham Winner Revealed!


Well, another year has come and gone, and March Madness has drawn to a close. As usual, the Tournament of Cham was an exciting affair — at least for everyone except me, thanks to my horrific bracket. It’s par for the course, really.

Anyway, there were ups and downs, upsets and broken legs, but in the end, one woman — nay, LADY — reigned supreme. The winner of the 2013 Tournament of Cham is… Jennifer’s Love Tank! With a solid score of 980 points, Jennifer just edged out her nearest competition, Chuchuchels, who nabbed second place with 940 points. Rounding out the top three was Fried Cheese, who also had 940 points (but fewer correct picks).

For those wanting some context, I picked a thrilling 34 of 63 correct winner, which is just a shade above 50%. Somehow I managed to sneak into 12th place with 840 points. Shocking.

Bringing up the rear is Ferrisismyhero — one of the biggest boosters of the T.O.C.. Despite her enthusiasm, Ferrisismyhero suffered some brutal setbacks and wound up with only 380 points, earning zero in the final three rounds of play. Yikes. Better luck next year!

And now the grand prize. This year, Jennifer’s Love Tank wins… PRIDE AND RESPECT! YAY!!!!!

See you in 2014!!

2013 Tournament of Cham!

ncaa-2013.jpegHey everyone. It’s time for the 2013 Tournament of Cham! That’s right: March Madness is here, and since this blog is synonymous with sports coverage, it only makes sense to once again participate in some b-ball brackets! Signing up is easy. Just go to and join the group. This year, the Tournament of Cham is a public group, which means there’s no limits on how many teams can join. One bracket per person though…

Deadline to join and submit your bracket is 12:15pm EDT on Thursday, March 21. (That’s 9:15 AM for all you West Coasters!!)

Again, follow this link to get involved. Let the fun begin!

BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA: Ep. 39 – Dinner With Chad Ochocinco! Also, Cash Cab Winner Revealed

We got a big ol’ story on this week’s Banter with Ben and Lisa. The long and the short of it is that I had a spontaneous dinner with football superstar Chad Ochocinco (née Johnson) in Beverly Hills. What’s Chad like? How did it happen? It’s all in the podcast. Plus, Lisa and I chat about Fred Willard’s recent arrest and The Dark Knight. Somehow, Sade enters the mix (as does Thor).

Oh, and for those who entered into the Cash Cab prize giveaway, the winner is revealed in the podcast! Take a listen!

Remember you can also listen on the Sideshow Network and subscribe on iTunes!

Tournament of Cham 2012 Week 2 Update!


This has been quite the year for March Madness, and after a crazy weekend, we have our Final Four: Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, and Kansas. Only one member of the Tournament of Cham accurately predicted this foursome, and that clairvoyant participant is none other than SpecialK, whose bracket (“SpecialK”) has stormed to the top of the charts thanks to a best-of-league score of 32 in round four. With a total score of 91and a group-best possible points of 155, SpecialK has a significant chance to win this whole thing.

She’ll have to go through me first, of course.

My team, The Downton Dowagers, has somehow found its way to the top of the pack with a score of 102, thanks in part to successfully predicted all eight of the Elite Eight picks during round three. However, my choice of Syracuse going to the Finals may be my undoing, as the team’s loss cost me vital points to stave off SpecialK. Whereas I once felt unstoppable, I now feel vulnerable, cold, and a little clammy. SpecialK and I both picked Kentucky to win the whole thing, but she selected Kansas in the final game. If Kansas advances to the finals, I’m fairly sure she wins, even if they don’t. If Ohio State moves on, however, I win. Clearly this is a very tense situation.

Meanwhile, on the lower end of the spectrum, HicksPub continues to flounder with 37 points. With a sad goose egg in round 4, her bracket is done for the year. Also falling out are Del Taco Devotee, SuzyQ #3, BesmirchedCheesehead, Boom!, and Fried Cheese, who a week ago was flying high at first place. How the worm has turned! Thank you guys for playing this year.

Let the epic showdown betwixt SpecialK and me begin!!!

Tournament of Cham Update!


It was a wild and wacky weekend in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Several big seeds were eliminated, leaving many people’s brackets a hot mess. In the wake of the destruction, we have some interesting results in the Tournament of Cham.

In first place is a two-way tie with Fried Cheese and, surprisingly, ME. I can assure you all that my dominance will be short-lived; although, if the numbers are any indication, I may have a slight advantage. While Fried Cheese and I share the same number of points (46), my potential points is holding steady at 174, which I’m proud to announce is the greatest potential in the group. Of course, that can all change in a heartbeat, and I fully expect it to next week.

On the lower end of the spectrum is Moosey, who forgot to fill out a bracket and is holding steady with zero points and zero potential points. A shade above that is our ol’ friend HicksPub with twenty-nine points and a total of 117 possible points. This low scoring total may be thanks to HicksPub’s seven year old neighbor, who she “claims” made all the picks. Seems like a whole lot of passing the buck to me.

Stay tuned for more developments!

Time for the 2012 B-Side Blog Tournament of Cham!


March Madness is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: the return of The Tournament of Cham!

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that when I first started this NCAA Tourney brackets group a few years ago, “B-Side Blog Tournament of Champions” was simply too long for Yahoo to process, and so the site truncated the name to “Tournament of Cham.” Well, the Cham is back and better than ever (well, it’s the same, but let me have this moment of hyperbole).

Anyway, if you want to sign up and enter your bracket into the Tournament of Cham, you have until noon (Eastern) on Thursday to do so.

Just follow this link to sign up:

And if for some reason the above link creates problems, here are the vitals for joining the group the old fashioned way:
Group ID# 155758
Password: Heavens!

Go get ’em!!!!