A Shot In The Arm

It’s 110 degrees in Miami, and I have a cold.

I first notice a touch of the postnasal drip around 4am this morning. I’m dreaming about foreign lands where people wear T-shirts with their country in the center of the globe — “Look,” I said, “Everyone thinks they’re the center of the universe!” — when a thurderstorm rolls in over Biscayne Bay. Cough, cough, sniffle, sniffle … boom!

I fall back asleep and snooze right through my planned 6:45 run.

Our makeshift offices are bustling by the time I arrive. The staffs of MTV News, MTVNews.com, and TRL are all crammed into a stark white cement room in the basement of the American Airlines Arena. Brightly colored Xerox copies break up the white with messages like, “DO NOT PARK on NE 8th, Heat Street or Bayshore as you will be immediately ticketed and towed!” Some of my colleagues have hung there own signage, like the one over air/sea coordinator Eve Schenk’s desk:

There’s gonna’ be a lot of muscle out there, so I gotta be sure mine’s sexy. -Usher

Or the one tacked on MTVNews.com Managing Editor Robert Mancini’s PC that says simply, “Robert ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Mancini.”

Ants are crawling on my keyboard. I have a roll of toilet paper within arm’s reach (to blow my nose). I’m popping chewable Vitamin C tablets like they’re going out of style, and working the guy at the smoothie station (yes, the smoothie station) overtime.

It’s so glamorous here!

No, really, it is. The News team took a full walk through few hours ago. The plot of dirt formerly known as Parcel B is a gorgeous swatch of new green grass, white tent and drape, and fresh red carpet. It’s awesome. And inside The Big Show is amazing. The amount of plasma screens, flying stages, and swooping cat walks is truly staggering. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was in the production truck — basically a portable TV studio on 18 wheels — looking at a wall of monitors full of gorgeous shots. I said to everyone, “I’ve never seen an award show this beautiful.” Not the Grammys, the Oscars, nothing. It’s really impressive. Even Loder was impressed.

So yeah, here I am in room 610 of The Marriott. South Beach is hoppin’ just over the causeway. My colleagues are out drinking and carousing. And me? I’m blogging, eating an orange, and calling it a night. I have to get better. I have a big day tomorrow, cold or not.

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