Welcome To Star Marked Memoirs… The OFFICIAL Webpage Of The Adventures Of CM Showstopper.

Greetings and Salutations!  Welcome to the official website of me…CM Showstopper.  Star Marked Memoirs serves as a host to all my (Mis)adventures In Marking Out.

I am a HUGE pro wrestling fan, so you will find more stories concerning my trips to meet WWE, TNA, and other wrestlers than anything else.  Mixed in you will find music artists, UFC Fighters, television and movie actors.

In addition, my website features my twitter feed….make sure you follow me @CMShowstopper…..my ebay auctions, facebook, youtube account and how you might go about contacting me.

So feel free to take a look around, read my stories, follow me on twitter, make comments, send me questions, etc. etc.  Star Marked Memoirs serves as a place for me to not only share my stories with the rest of the world, but a place that gives myself a chance to remember a very special moment in my life.  These adventures have served for more than just getting a photo and/or autograph.  They have allowed an opportunity for me develop lifelong relationships with some great pals.

Meeting Sasha Mitchell At PWS 10/31/14 Rahway, NJ

A few months ago, it was announced that Sasha Mitchell from Step By Step and The Kickboxer series of movies, was coming to Pro Wrestling Syndicate’s big Halloween show on 10/31. As a long time fan of Sasha’s, this was a must go show. I immediately put it on my calendar and as the weeks ticked away, I grew more and more anxious for this show. As a child/teen, I grew up on TGIF and Step By Step was a key component to that lineup. And of course my favorite character was Cody Lambert, the good hearted yet dopey nephew of Frank Lambert. I also found Sasha taking the reigns of the Kickboxer franchise from Jean Claude Van Dam, who during the 90s, was one of Hollywood’s leading action heroes…..and became even more of a fan. Unfortunately, Sasha’s career was derailed when his ex wife brought charges of spousal abuse against him. In reality, it was his ex wife who was the abuser, beating their children and Sasha was defending his children. And of course there is a very little known, yet very funny B movie called Slammed. Sasha plays The Slammer, a huge pro wrestling star that elects not to sign with “The Arena” (WWE counterpart) and stays in “Back Bar” (indy wrestling). Two guys, seek him out in order for The Slammer to train one of them to defeat another indy talent. Its bad….but its good. Highly recommend this fun little flick. Its American Pie meets pro wrestling. Pro wrestlers like Zeus, Brian Kendrick, Aaron Aguliera and Sylvester Terkay all appear in this movie as well.

Now that I have laid the ground work for my fandom, lets fast forward to 10/31. The day had arrived and loaded the truck and made my 3 hour trek to Rahway, NJ. I wanted to have a nice relaxing drive up, so I left about an hour earlier than necessary. It was a good idea, as I got within 30 minutes and ran into a massive amount of traffic. Sadly, this would eat into most of the extra hour I had.

When I finally arrived, there was only about 20 people waiting in line.
I grabbed my stuff and got into line. I had about an hour wait for the doors to open…..or at least thats what it was supposed to be.
Instead, around 6pm, ambulances arrived and we would soon learn that there was a training accident with one of the PWS wrestlers. This would put a big delay on the doors opening.

There was several people dressed in costumes, as PWS was hosting a Halloween costume contest that Sasha Mitchell was gonna judge. I elected not to dress up. The extra hour wait though was killing me though. It was getting colder and colder and I had nearly finished my 2nd 20oz Mountain Dew. It was nearly 7:30pm before the doors finally opened and we were let inside. Another minute and I would have been in a costume…..”wrestling fan who pissed his pants.”

Of course once inside, the men’s room became my first stop before heading inside. One of the first tables was Harlem Heat and they had a huge line. Stevie Ray was a name I needed in my WCW program. But Sasha Mitchell was my prime want. I wasnt sure what the time frame for this autograph signing was. It was originally scheduled for 6:30-8pm.
But since they were an hour late in opening doors, I wasnt sure how long this session would indeed last.

I walked around to the other side and found Sasha’s table. There was already a small line in front of his table. Next to him was Hawkins and Reks, so I decided to head over and say hello. This would also give me a chance to test out my new Go Pro Hero camera. When I was at NYCC, I saw someone rocking this and thought what a fabulous idea. A tiny HD camera that you could clip to your backpack strap so that you could get first person recorded footage at a con, meeting a celebrity, etc. I can remember having some really cool conversations and moments with several celebrities that I wish I could relive. Here was a chance and a way to be able to do that, without needing someone else to hold a camera to do so.

I had just finished the Highspots Best Friends dvd with Curt Hawkins and decided to go talk to him about that dvd. Its very different from other shoot interviews, as it is very informal and doesnt cover a whole lot of dirt. Its more just a fun little conversation between Hawkins, Trent Barretta and Chuck Taylor. So I chit chatted with Hawkins and Reks about it for a bit. This gave me a chance to take a quick look at how the video recording went. Did I attach the camera at a good angle, how was the sound, etc. Plus its always good to chat with The Mid Card Mafia.

Now it was my main event time. I headed over to Sasha’s table. I introduced myself and he remembered me from twitter. We talked about so many different topics from his time on Step By Step to The Kickboxer franchise, David S. Goyer, Albert Pyun, Slammed and his upcoming projects. Hell, we even talked about today’s current television, comic books and his kids. He is VERY down to earth and embraces his iconic Cody character. Maybe in part, because a lot of Cody IS Sasha. Dude, Dudesey, bro….all in his vocab. Even his laugh was just like the Codeman. It was a blast to sit and talk with him. I was really happy to have this conversation on camera too. I was also able to get a few items signed and a few photos with him. I got both my Kickboxer 2 and
3 Laser Discs signed and 2 Step By Step promos.

A few people climbed into his line, so I let Sasha go and headed over to Harlem Heat. I spotted Ira and Bob Mulerin and sat around talking with them for a bit. At some point during this conversation, my Go Pro shut off. I figured it was as simple as just turning it back on, but I would soon learn…..not exactly. As I got to the table, I made sure the camera was back on and went up to Stevie Ray. I got my WCW program signed and asked him to sign as Kane, as I already had Booker T sign it as Kole….minus the fact that he signed it as Cole. Stevie Ray wanted to know who signed it as Cole and I told him it was Booker, at which he laughed and said he misspelled it. Booker contended he did not, but Stevie kept pointing to it. Stevie did tell me that he has never signed a Kane autograph. He said they were supposed to be Stevie Ray and Booker T, but due to a legal issue between them and Global. So, when they got to WCW tv, they were forced by WCW to change their names.
They didnt even pick the names, WCW just assigned them to them. He said they were only Kole and Kane for a few months before going back to Booker T and Stevie Ray.

Once I was done, I headed back to Sasha Mitchell’s table. His line was gone finally and I wanted to chit chat some more. Sadly, I would discover my Stevie Ray and my 2nd Sasha conversations did not record.
When the camera turned off and I turned it back on, I somehow put it into photo mode and it instead took a picture when I hit the record button. Nonetheless, it was still awesome to chat with him.

Sasha was called to the back, as I continued to hope that he would have some in ring action tonight….even if it was just a brief physical altercation. It never happened though. Instead, he was a guest time keeper and later judged the costume contest. He seemed to really enjoy his time there and interacting with the fans.

The show itself was a pretty decent, as PWS generally is. Match of the night came with Hawkins/Reks vs. Matthews and his mystery partner, who was not The Slammer….but Vance Archer aka Lance Hoyt. PWS had a solid crowd and put on a professional show. Its hard to say anything bad about PWS.

I stayed for most of the show, but as it was getting later I saw everything I really wanted too, I ended up bailing a bit early since I had such a long drive home. But I wasnt going home empty handed. I had a great time at the show, got a few autographs and photos. Hell, I even made the traditional Wawa stop and had some delicious Gobbler to keep the belly warm. YUM!

What a night. I able to experience a meet that I never thought would happen and someone who brings back a lot of childhood memories. And I got to put my Go Pro to a test. I just need to be more vigilant the next time I put it to use in order to make sure that I dont have any videos turned to blurry photos. So this is now my first next generation report that includes video. Enjoy the pics….AND the vids! :celebrate:

 

 

NYCC 10/9/14-10/11/14

Is it possible to walk away with a bundle of loot, some great autographs, several photo ops and STILL be miserable about the whole thing? Until last week, I would have answered with a resounding no and then……New York Comic Con happened. The 2014 NYCC didnt have a stellar lineup. It had some big name celebrities, who were doing panels only, becoming hard to impossible to get autographs or photo ops from. Names like George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Christian Slater, Michael Jai White, Mike Tyson, Matt Ryan and more. These names ranged from Hollywood royalty to just names who were personal needs and wants on my end. And yet they were unaccessible for the most part. So how good is your lineup when these celebs are unaccessible?

With major names being unaccessible, it left really only a handfull of names I had any interest in. The lineup itself, if you were a Star Trek Next Generation fan, was pretty strong. But ONLY if you were a Next Generation fan. When they started announcing celebs, they lead with some nice ones. Sadly, they never really followed up with much else. Several repeats from last year like Gillian Anderson and Hulk Hogan and some status quo names like Giancarlo Esposito and Jason David Frank. In addition, NYCC NEEDS to either sell less tickets, which we know that wont happen, or they need to utilize MORE of Javits Center or find another convention center all together. They have outgrown what they are using. Knowing how bad the lines were gonna be, I tried to plan accordingly so I could avoid too much running from one part to the next and trying to get on a escalator.

That being said, my miserable adventure started on Thursday. Traffic into New Jersey was AWFUL. It put me a good 40 minutes behind. I arrived in Secaucus and went straight to my hippo. I wanted to get checked in before venturing into the city, but sadly was unable to as my room was not ready. I was able to park and took a cab over to Secaucus Junction to take the train in. I figured the cab would be cheaper, as the cab fare estimator online said it was only $7 for the ride. Round trip, even with tip, would be significantly less than parking. Another piss poor cab driver and I get fucked once again. This guy charged me $16 for the cab. I plead my case and he said those sites are BS. How could a 2 mile drive that took under 10 minutes cost me $16?! I paid the guy and told him his services would no longer be needed. I got on the train and went into the city. Once I arrived, I went topside to find another cab….God help me…..and headed to Javits Center. This time, no issue with the cab driver. $7 for the ride and I was there. The line outside was ridiculous! I thought Thursday was supposed to be so much calmer. Yet, there had to be 2000 people already in line and it was only 9:45. I asked the guy at the head of the line and he said he got there at 6am. The con opens at 12pm.

My friend Won met me outside and handed me my vendor pass and we headed inside. Skip the entire line, no security check and I was inside. I immediately went to my schedule to start hitting vendors up for NYCC exclusives. Sadly, none of the vendors were open for business yet. I went to each stop and was met with the same answer. Some said I could come back in a half hour, some said they wouldnt sell till 12pm on the dot, some werent even at their tables and a few I couldnt even locate. Seemed like vendors in 300 and 400 were missing, as there was no table for them and then the tables started to go out of order. What a mess. I was able to secure a few things on my list, but most I either couldnt find the vendor or the vendor refused to sell to me because I had a vendor badge. The big benefit of this badge now blew up in my face. Outside of avoiding the horrid line to get inside and security, this badge now didnt do much for me. What I got it for…..it did me no good.

One of the NYCC exclusives that was at the top of my list of the limited to 50 Arrow prints in artist alley. It was one of my first stops. When I got there around 10:30, the table was empty. Nothing was even setup. So I decided to do some more shopping and come back right before 12pm. When I returned around 11:50…..still nothing. Table empty. I had a bag full of exclusives and just wanted to snag a few of these prints to finish up. Instead, I was forced back to the showroom floor. As I was headed up, I spotted Darryl from Run DMC and grabbed a quick photo with him. He was super cool about it too. I headed back up and went to see Jordan Hembrough from Toy Hunter fame. I’ve always loved Toy Hunter and Jordan seems really cool. I hit his booth and he was just like I have seen him on tv. He was very busy though, so I didnt want to occupy all his time. I know he is there to make money. I grabbed a photo with him and was gone. Still a great experience.

Once I was finished with The Toy Hunter, I ventured back to artist alley. Once again…..nada. This was getting ridiculous. Its nearly 2pm and doors opened at 12. I went back to the showroom to try and get Manu Bennett, but he had not arrived yet. With no artist alley and no Manu, I decided to head for The King Of The Nerds free signing with Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine. I got down there and found myself 5th in line. Might as well wait it out for this one. The wait was long and boring. This is where having a partner can help, as well as having a partner for line spot holding. Both Curtis and Robert showed up on time and got started right away. They signed the King Of The Nerds promo and I got a picture with both men. Kind of crappy photo, but the guy behind me in line was all nervous about meeting Curtis. After I was done, I went to the showroom to check on Manu. Nope….wasnt there. Was told he should be arriving very soon though. So it was back to artist alley to see if the Arrow print was available. SHAZAM! Finally…..dude arrived at 3:30pm and was still setting up. I walked over and asked for 2 and was handed numbers 40 and 41. Evidently at some point from my last trip here, a line formed and people waited for this guy. They were just about out of this limited 50 piece run. Back up stairs I went to get in the Manu line. I was about 60 people deep and decided to just wait it out. Its the last stop of the day. I had walked around this joint long enough and had already grown tired of bumping into people who kept stopping in the middle of the aisles to take pictures of cosplayers. This annoys me to no end. I get it. But it still annoys the crap out of me….ESPECIALLY at NYCC, where there is barely room to walk in the first place.

Manu finally arrived and began to sign. He was in great spirits. $50 for an auto and $30 for a photo, if you bought the auto. I just needed 1 auto. When it was my turn, I walked up and asked for 1 auto. The promoter wanted to know who Manu should make this out to. Now normally, if you read my stories you would know, I prefer to have most of my stuff personalized. HOWEVER, my auto was going in my Arrow book. Personalization is just not needed. I politely turned her down and then was told, it would be an additional $50 for NON personalized. WTF!?!? :bs:I’ve heard of sports autos charging FOR personalization and even then its like $20 more….but double the price?!?!? She tells me its because I could rip the page out of the book and sell it on ebay for $200. Wait….what?!?! Clearly this woman has never been to ebay. I love Manu. But $200 for a page ripped out of a custom made book signed by Manu?!?!? She insisted. I bantered. She wouldnt budge and I grew tired of her bellyaching. My book was slid over to Manu, who apologized for this woman’s treachery. He signed my book and wrote Slade on the Slade photo and Deathstroke on the Deathstroke photo. He thanked me for coming out and made sure NOT to personalize the book. Manu saves the day.

I was glad to get the hell out of that fiasco. Down the escalator and out the door and into fresh air I went. I had the shits of NYCC already, I didnt even want to order my Uber ride until I got up the street a bit…..just so I could be away from it. I loaded up the app, ordered the car and was picked up in about 5 minutes. They took me to Penn Station and I was on the train back to Secaucus.

One of my closest high school buddies lives near the station and offered to pick me up and get some dinner. I hadnt eaten all day, especially considering the price for food at the con…which is expected, so I was quite hungry. We stopped at the hippo so I could get checked in. I wanted to make sure my drinks could be put in the fridge so they would be chilled by the time I returned. So when my buddy Brett picked me up, we headed to the hippo. I went to check in and faced my next challenge…..my credit card is being denied. I specifically wanted to use this card for the cash back feature. The day before I made a payment over the phone in order to clear plenty of room on this card. So there is no reason the card would be denied. I called the credit card company and was told the reason it was denied was cuz my payment had not been released. But when I made the payment, it said the next business day it would be cleared. Long story short, they extended my credit limit….allowing me to check in.
Next dilemma? Once I got to my room, I couldnt locate the fridge. I called down to the front desk and was told fridges were removed from “rooms with a view” and the view was now apart of the deluxe package. WTF?!?!!? If I want the fridge….$67 more. Get out of here! I grabbed a trash can and filled it with ice, packing my drinks in there. The front desk also informed me the wifi was out. :wtfamIreading:

Out the door we went. We decided to stay local, cuz I was tired and didnt want to be bothered with a lot of noise and people. I had seen enough people for one day. We ate over at Cheeseburgers in Paradise. The food was above average….as was the pricing. We headed back to my hippo to watch the Thursday night game. Brett said it would be another blow out and predicted an Indy win by 30. I said it would be close….Indy by 13. It didnt look good for early on, 21-0 to open…..but per usual, I called it. I was so tired though that at some point, I faded off and Brett had to wake me. I dont know exactly how long I was out, but I was out. Brett took off and I repacked my bag for Friday. Since Brett was working in Secaucus that day, we agreed to get breakfast in the morning and then he would take me to the train station. So day 1 was in the books and I was off to sleep.

Day 2 arises and I am more than sluggish. The memory of Thursday’s con experience still fresh on the brain, didnt help matters. Brett came by and we were off to some diner for breakfast. The food was ok. I usually avoid eating before long days, as the last thing I want is my stomach to become upset. I didnt follow this rule and paid for it. After Brett dropped me off, I immediately felt the rumbling. I need to make a pitt stop. Inevitably, this would make me late for NYCC.

Once I arrived, I went directly to the room hosting the Elementary Panel. It took me a few minutes to reach the room. When I finally arrived, I found out that the line was all the way back the way I came. I had to trek it all the way back. Here I discovered a line 500 or so deep. This was not good. I opted to pass on the panel, instead opting to hit the auto lines. Since Jennifer Morrison was scheduled to start signing soon, I figured she was best to hit first. The liner for her was ginomorous as well. I was probably about 150 back. Without any pressing needs at this point, I figured this was a good place to start. Once she finally arrived, the line moved decently. When I got to her, I offered my How I Met Your Mother poster to her and she loved it. She said she loved that show and really enjoyed playing Zoey. Got my sig and I was out of there. My next stop was The Librarians cast line. Eventhough it was only about 12:30 and that signing was scheduled to start till 2:30pm, there was already about 10 people in line. Christian Kane, Rebecca Romijin and this being a free signing, I suspected a line that would sure be absurd. I hopped in and played the waiting game.

Time couldnt pass more slowly. As 2:30 approached, I was already beat just waiting this one out. To make matters worse, they werent here yet. As the minutes continued to tick, I start worrying about The Americans Panel. With what I saw for Elementary, this could be filling up as well. Almost an hour and a half later, The Librarians finally arrived but so did the Americans Panel. Not only had the line grown, but the panel was half over. So now THAT panel was also off the list. The line moved quickly. They announced no photo ops or extras. I wasnt worried about photos, though I did see some have success with them, I had what I needed. I definitely wanted the extras from Kane and Romjin. I handed Rebecca my photo op from UpFronts and she was hesitant, but did sign it. Christian was next and he was great. He was happy to sign my extra item. Bang, bang and I was done here. I scoped out the Stephen Amell line and it was ridiculous. The damn thing was stretched to the other end of the room. It always seemed the more Stephen put in a dent into the line….the more people will hop into it. Good for him!

Amell autos was on the list for the day, but so was Ron Pearlman. His book signing wasnt supposed to be for another 1 or so and he already had a decent line. I went over to verify with NYCC and the book sellers about extras and was told NO PHOTOS and NO EXTRAS. They said this was a request by Ron Pearlman that he not sign any outside merchandise. I asked if I could buy the book, but get my poster signed and was turned down. I told them directly that you tell Ron Pearlman that I am NOT buying his book and the reason is because I want my poster signed and not the book. All his previous NYC signings had photos and extras. Why at NYCC he wouldnt do them is beyond me? But whatever…you lost a sale.

With Pearlman a bust, there was but 2 items remaining for my day. Amell and the Archer panel. Archer panel wasnt till 7:30. Might as well hit Amell then. I jumped into line. The line moved decently. As I started to approach the pay point, which I loved that they had this before you reach the table, they announced he was leaving for his photo op. Those who do not get through will be handed a number and be able to return after his photo op to line up in numbered order. This sounded much better. Since he was on time crunch, I knew they would be shuttling everyone through like cattle. So I did what I could to keep moving back in the line in order to achieve a number.

One thing that helped in my desire to get a number was that it was announced that Stephen wanted to take a break for a minute. He climbed down and started walking down the line to high five fans. He stopped at me and talked for a brief moment, before he continued down the line. Kelsey, his manager, stopped as well and told me she knew I would be at this one…remembering that I was in the north east.

When the numbers were handed out, it was just a few people behind me that they started with numbers. I ran back and approached the NYCC staff about it. The guy was really nice, but very puzzled. He didnt understand why I wouldnt want to just go no versus a number. Regardless, he handed me #2. :like: With the number secured, I was free to roam for a bit. His photo op was an hour long and they said to be back about 45 minutes. My phone battery was low. So I went upstairs to the AT&T booth, where they locked your phone up and gave it a boost. I had to wait in a small line, but finally got my phone in for a charge. I sat down on their couch, put a pillow behind my head and eventually passed out. Yes….I fell asleep at NYCC.:whatcanisay: I woke about 40 minutes later, grabbed my phone and raced back downstairs. As I reached the line, it was already huge. I got to the front and took my spot. Not 30 seconds later, Stephen appeared and started signing again. I quickly grabbed my photo op from UpFronts, my SDCC mini poster and Arrow book. It was my turn next. Before I had him sign anything, I reached in my bag and grabbed a few gifts. First was the autographed photo from earlier this year from Kofi Kingston. If you read that adventure, I explained that Stephen is a HUGE WWE fan and Kofi is a HUGE Arrow fan. Kofi loves the show so much, he actually had gear made in a Green Arrow theme, complete with the hooded ring vest. My 2nd gift was a custom made Captain Amell baseball shirt in the Captain Charisma theme. If anyone remembers the Christian Cage Captain Charisma shirt from WWE.com many years back, this was the same idea…..cept it had Stephen’s name on the back and Captain Amell on the front. He loved the shirt. Got my stuff signed and explained how the Arrow book got damaged at UpFronts. He was sad to hear, as he knew I had a lot of autographs in that book already. I opted to do Stephen’s autograph line on Friday and his photo line on Saturday. USUALLY, he wears a cap on day 1 of a con and no hat day 2. I wanted to put this to a test. Was I right? Stay tuned…..

With Stephen’s line done, it left me just my Archer panel. I ran into a few friends with about an hour to spare before this panel. Sadly, I was informed since this was a main stage panel, I needed a wrist band and the wrist bands were given out this morning. :deadd: I knew that….but I didnt KNOW that. Stupid. Now my shot at Christian Slater just went up in smoke. The only chance I would have now would be him exiting NYCC. I was tired and beat and Slater was really the only name I wanted. I himmed and hawed and decided to call my Uber ride to call it a night. But it was extra busy and the rate fare went to 3X the normal price or around $30 to get back to Penn Station. Guess that was a sign from above to stay and mark out. I went to the spot for Slater and saw maybe about 5 others waiting. It had been about 50/50 in getting people. As I was approaching, I saw Stephen Amell exit. I tried to get my item out of my bag, figuring someone would stop him, but no one moved. By the time I got an 8×10 out, Stephen was in his car and leaving. WTF?! The dealers said they dont even bother with him anymore, citing he wont do it.

Next person we saw was Ron Pearlman. Dude legit waited inside the building for 40 minutes, even with only 5 people waiting outside. His car pulled up and he got inside and was gone. He ignored everyone. Jason David Frank stepped out and provided the highlight of the week with his witty banter. He was very entertaining and was willing to hang out outside and chit chat. He signed my photo op from WW in his White Ranger gear. I even asked him what time it was and he responded 7:57. I screamed no. He jumped in his car, rolled the window down and screamed out….ITS MORPHN TIME! The car sped away and he was gone. Great stuff.

My next get was Matt Lanter of Star Crossed fame. He played the male lead Roman. This was a cool get. I had high hopes for that show, but it kind of fizzled and it never really got going before it was canceled. His wife was also there and runs a fashion blog. I got a photo with her as well….since it seemed to be en vogue. One of the dealer’s approached me and asked who I really wanted. I said Christian Slater. The guy attempted to feed me a line of BS of how Slater wasnt here. He then said it was a misprint on NYCC’s website. I said he was scheduled for the Archer panel, which this guy said he was a huge fan of the show and that Slater isnt on it. I went to IMDB and found that he is. Never believe the dealers. They are such cons. Really?! There are 5 of us here. You really want to lie to chase 1 away to get what?! It wasnt too long before Slater exited. I called out to him, as he had a security guard standing next to him. He turned and started heading my way. Then the security guard grabbed him by the bicep and told him he wasnt allowed. Slater protested and took another step forward. I’ve never seen a celeb man handled like this. Slater and the guard would have words, as they walked to his car. Slater turned and gave that look of apology and climbed in his car. I should have chased after him, but I froze. I couldnt believe what I witnessed.

With Slater gone, there pretty much wasnt anything else left. The dealer who told me, Slater wasnt here, put his stack of 8x10s back in his bag and everyone left. I called for my Uber ride and headed back to Penn Station. My original plan was to hit Broadway Friday night, but I was too tired to even venture out. It was right around the right time, but NYCC was kicking my ass. I think I would have felt different had I not spent countless hours just waiting in lines by myself. There is no animal that is even REMOTELY like NYCC. Be forewarned, this is not Wizard World. This is not a wrestling convention or Chiller or marking out in the streets. It requires an innate ability to entertain oneself for hours upon hours. And no matter how much preparation you put into it…..things….inevitably will go wrong.

Back at the hippo, I ordered some food, rearranged my bag and made arrangements with my buddy Brett, who was going to be joining me at NYCC on Saturday. This would be his FIRST convention of any sort. He had 1 sole want…..a picture with Gillian Anderson. So it was off to bed after dinner and back up early morning for what is known as the WORST day of NYCC. I couldnt wait.

Morning came way too soon. I was sluggish and already feeling the lack of motivation. It wasnt all bad. At least I would have Brett to keep me entertained. We headed directly for the Junction. Sadly, we must have just missed the train, as it was 25 mins before the next one was coming. Already stressed. Once it arrived we got to Penn Station and I summoned the Uber. After a 20 minute wait, estimated to be a 5 minute wait, the car finally arrived….or at least the driver said it did. I couldnt find it. The driver called me, but I couldnt understand a word he was saying. He then began to freak out, screaming into the phone at me. I screamed back, calling him a son of a bitch. I think his understanding of english was about as good as his ability to speak it. With the rain pouring in the city, I finally found him and we were off to Javits.

When we arrived, it was a minute before 10am and they were already letting people in. This was bad. I needed to be prompt today, thats why I left a good hour longer than needed. Marvel was holding a giveaway to meet the cast of Daredevil. I got up to the booth and found a line that was wrapping around and around the Marvel booth. I had to be a good 300 deep. Then something happened. Marvel announced the signing was canceled. They said that a little boy got trampled towards the front of the line and since we couldnt behave, no one was going to meet the cast. We were instructed to come back later to see if they were gonna have it later. What does that mean?! Since I couldnt get a straight answer, I sought out the head guy there to find out. After a lengthy discussion, he said we could line back up. Almost everyone from the line was gone though. The head guy at Marvel assured the little boy he was going to meet the cast of Daredevil. When I looked over to see who he was talking to, I saw it wasnt a little boy. Instead, he was talking to a midget. The man asked the midget where his parents were and the midget became angry. He took his winning ticket and waddled off. I shook my head and just jumped into line. From 300 back to about 30 back. They announced that that there were 400 tickets to be given away, but only 30 would be winners. 30!?!?!? 30 people for a 1 hour signing?! They could easily do 100 people. Why 30?! Needless to say, I was a loser. Even my buddy Brett attempted to score and he too came up short. 2 chances for 30 tickets and we both lost.

I headed downstairs to the autograph lines. Big need for the day is Alex Kingston aka Dinah Lance, mother to Laurel and Sara on Arrow. I had never met her, so she was a good meet for my Arrow posters. When I got downstairs, I saw a line a mile long. I couldnt believe how long her line was. She was keeping up with Stephen Amell’s line. She hadnt even arrived yet and her photo op was in 30 minutes. I was informed that they would not be doing a number system and that she would be gone for several hours, as she had 2 photo ops back to back and then was going to be taking lunch. No need to wait it out. Instead I went to Billy Zabka’s line for my How I Met Your Mother poster. He had about 5 people in line. Billy was really nice and loved the poster. He wanted to sign over Barney’s face, but I told him that was a bad idea since Barney thought he was the REAL Karate Kid. So he wanted to write on Ted’s face. LOL! He signed it and was very cool. But I was done very quickly. Outside of my photo op, which was an hour away and Alex Kingston….I didnt have anything for several more hours. So I decided to just get into line early for my Amell photo op.

I spoke too soon on the early part. I found the Amell line about 200 people deep and sat down. By the time the line began to move, it had already reached from one end to the other and then snaked back to do it again. WOW! Unreal. High praise to Epix photo ops……they were on their game. So organized. So fast, without feeling rushed. So professional. So organized. So stellar. I got inside very quickly and was right….no hat on Amell, got my picture and was out the curtain. By the time I had grabbed my backpack and walked to the table, my photo op was already sitting there waiting for me. WOW!!! :praise: They deserve all the praise possible. Every con should be using them. They were amazing, minus the whole cash only thing.

My photo op was put away and I was left with nothing else to do. I opted to just sit and camp out for Alex Kingston. By a strike of luck, she returned to her table shortly after and began signing again. She did not goto lunch. The lined moved slow, Alex took her time. When it was my turn, her eyes lit up at my posters. Then she saw my shirt…..my Oliver Queen prison photo. Her eyes widened and in her British accent, asked me if that was Stephen. I nodded yes. She was confused and shocked. She asked me if he was arrested. :likewhatsee: This is from the show. As soon as I started to say it, she realized it and laughed it off. She signed my poster and inscribed it with her character’s name. She loved the green paint on my other poster and signed it as well. I was done and done and was out of there. It was good timing too. Arrow panel was approaching in about 2.5hrs.

Brett and I found the line for the Arrow panel and it was several hundred deep. I couldnt even see the front of the line. We got in it and within minutes, we started moving for the panel room. Since this wasnt a main room, it was not cleared. There was another panel there and we got some pretty crappy seats way in the back. Hell, we were lucky to get seats at all. We were some of the last few to get seats. I couldnt even see the stage from here, let alone have a clear path to rush it when the panel was over. The Powers panel just recently started, so we sat through about 75% of it. When the panel was over, people rushed the stage. We used this as a chance to get up and see if we could secure better seats. We headed to the far left and found front row seats. We were definitely closer to the stage, but the view sucked and it was still gonna be hard to get anyone considering that they never left the actual stage. Everyone exited behind the curtains, lowering our chances. We opted to leave these seats and actually move a section closer to the stage about 5 rows back. Gave us a little more direct route to the stage.

Before the Arrow panel could start, we were forced to sit through a safety announcement concerning “cosplay is not consent”. :damn: Look….I get it. Common sense. BUT…..NYCC went over board with this and it became nothing more than a sham. This new “rule” was posted all over their website, tweeted on their twitter and posted on FB. THEN…when you arrive at the con, they have gigantic banners near the front door explaining this in depth. No gawking, no awkward staring, no touching, no assaulting, no sexual advances etc. Really?! This is freaking stupid. No awkward staring?! How about this….dress like a whore…..get treated like a whore. Why wasnt that added to the NYCC rules?! Have you seen some of these cosplay costumes? Tits, ass, etc all hanging out. I’m not complaining. I love to look at it. BUT….dont get mad at me when I do. Dangle raw meat at a hungry tiger, you are liable to get bit. Perhaps that is a bad example, as I dont think anyone should be touching or assaulting under any circumstances. But gawking, looking, lewd remarks? All fair game. Lets face it….each of these girls KNOWS they are gonna attract attention like that. Its WHY they are wearing it….for the attention. Now I am sitting here and you are going over this rule?! ENOUGH already. Not to mention if “cosplay is not consent”, am I free to make sexual advances towards girls NOT in cosplay?! :rofl1:

Rant over. Back on topic….the Arrow panel is finally starting. Outside, you could see hundreds upon hundreds waiting to get inside. Sadly, the room was at capacity and they werent allowing anyone else in. It was a great panel….probably the best one I have ever attended. It was very entertaining and the highlight was when Colin Donnell, former Tommy Merlyn from Arrow, crashed the panel and showed up as a surprise guest. He sat in and he and Stephen had amazing chemistry on stage. It was like watching 2 old friends just sit and chat. I even decided to get in line to ask a question, something I rarely do. Outside the 6 requests for selfies after the panel…..all the questions were decent for once. The 6 selfies thing was annoying and you could tell Stephen was annoyed by it as well. There were some good tidbits given away, but nothing that was too huge like previous Amell panels. He was on good behavior with the spoilers. One of my favorite parts was when a fan told Stephen he just started season 2 and was trying to avoid spoilers. He followed up with some annoying question, so Stephen answered him and then said ” Canary is Sara Lance, who is actually alive. Oh and she dies in the first episode of season 3.” This only drew HUGE laughs from the crowd.

When the panel was over, the crowd exploded into a rush to the stage. I used the “swimming” motion to move people out of the way and get to the front. Stephen did 1 selfie with 3 teenage girls, he did 1 for the first guy that requested one and then turned to head off. I called out to him, as he was going behind the curtain. He turned and saw my photo, came back out and signed for me. Then he left. :yes: Colin hung out for a little longer. I got to say hello to him. But he was gone shortly thereafter.

Arrow panel was done and we opted to exit out. The only other panel I wanted to do was the Constantine panel to try for Matt Ryan. Do I stay and attempt to rush the stage or do I got outside and try and mark out? Marking out sounded like the better play. So we exited NYCC for the final time and went outside. We saw a lot of people leave, including the cast of Powers. I never saw Sharlito Copely leave, but did get Olesya Rulin aka Abby from Greek and High School Musical. Next was Scott Grimes from Family Guy, American Dad, ER, Party Of Five. Giancarlo Esposito from Once Upon A Time, Revolution, Breaking Bad, Law & Order, Homicide. Then a big want came out…Michael Jai White aka Bronze Tiger in Arrow. Heard he is 50/50 about doing it. But Raza, who was already outside waiting, and I were able to convince him. Raza got his photo and I was able to secure 1 autograph in my Arrow book after telling him how much of a fan of the show I was. The autograph was really nice. I think Raza and I were the only two people to get anything.

As we continued to wait, I got David S. Goyer, director for the new Daredevil series and director of Kickboxer 2 starring Sasha Mitchell. I WISH I had brought my Kickboxer 2 laser disc. Sadly, chances of getting him were slim and I wasnt gonna be able to do his panel. The laser disc would have been a pain to lug through the con, so I left it at home. Then the Daredevil cast left. The crowd of about 8 were all waiting for them. Everyone refused to do it, cept Charlie Cox aka Daredevil from the NEW Netflix Daredevil series. While the dealers chased D’Noffrio and Deborah Woll, I went to Cox. Cox stopped for one person and then me and then security pulled him away. Security was all over this, but also were overwhelmed by the number of actors coming out and the number of people going after each person. Charlie was the last one out and he just walked away from the security circle. Once again, lucky to grab this photo.

Mike Tyson was the next out. You wouldnt know it was Tyson based on the security….you would think it was President Obama. WOW! There had to be like a dozen security guards around him and the NYCC security made a wall to block us from getting anywhere near him. I feared Tyson not wanting to do it, so I needed to have something that would get his attention. If you remember back to my WM 28 report, you would know that I got a photo with Tyson doing the “fuck that tiger” from The Hangover. Tyson loved it and told DJ, who was right after me, that I was a “crazy mother fucker”. Well…..Tyson remembered. I raised my photo high in the air and called out to him. Tyson looked over and got all giddy. He started screaming he knew me. He started telling one of his security guards about me…..”thats that crazy mother fucker.” He walked right over to me, with security still surrounding him. A dealer, who wasnt even in the group that had been waiting, landed in front of me like he had just parachuted from the sky. Tyson actually moved him out of the way and security blocked him saying that Mike was only going to be signing one thing and it was going to be for me. Tyson asked me how I had been and said he remembers taking the photo. He even was nice enough to personalize it to me. He signed it, said goodbye and was gone. We have a winner!

At this point, almost everyone left. One of the dealers, the same from the night before who lied to me, decided to go off on security. Waste of time. Security doesnt care and all you are doing now is creating unwanted attention. Threatening security you are going to go the restaurant they are having dinner or their hippo? WTF?! Saying you were trying to be nice by not interrupting their dinner?! This is how this hobby gets a bad rep. You are announcing that the autograph means more than pure human decency. Not to mention, do you think security is all of sudden gonna back down because you puffed out your chest?! PLEASE. The dude left, presumably to stalk the restaurant for the Daredevil cast. Whatever. There was but just 3 of us left, waiting for Matt Ryan from Constantine. Matt came out just minutes after everyone left, I called out to him and he ran over to me to sign my 11 x14 Constantine photo. He was really nice. I wanted a selfie, but security snatched him up and dragged him off. No one else got…..once again, very lucky to get Matt here.

Finally. FINALLY!!!! My NYCC weekend was over. I was done. I never looked so forward to the long drive home. Eventhough it was 9pm, I didnt care. Driving home would be more fun than NYCC. I summoned the Uber and went to Penn Station. But before I could drive home, I had one more hiccup to over come. When we got to Penn Station, we looked at the board to see the next train was to Trenton in about 15 mins. Secaucus is a stop that is on a lot of trains. We looked at the map and Secaucus was listed as a stop for the Trenton train. So when they called for it, we headed down and got on. This train was CROWDED. We were lucky to get on when we did and grabbed seats. A couple of cute recent high school grads stood right by us, not able to secure seats. We started talking to them and having a nice conversation. Then it dawned on me….this ride seemed to be taking longer than usual. The conductor then announced next stop….NEWARK! NEWARK?!?!!?! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! It didnt stop. We were on the wrong fucking train.

Ok. Stay calm. Brett and I leaped out of our seats, offering them to the ladies and jumped off the train. We ran down the stairs and found the next train to Penn Station/Secaucus. It was leaving in 4 mins. We ran up the stairs of the right gate, looking for a machine to buy a ticket at. Nothing. The only machines were all across the tracks. The train was arriving, so we opted to just get on. Its one stop. Whats the worse that could happen?!

The train gets moving and we hear the conductor annnounce Secaucus. We high five, as we know we have safely avoided a ticket check. PHEW! Smooth sailing. Except….TICKETS PLEASE. The train guy just entered our car and the train was just beginning to break. Do we get up and try and goto the next car? No way. It would look suspicious. How do we avoid this? I was thinking it might take him a minute to get to us and we could be off, but I think he could smell the desperation on us and was standing next to me in seconds. He asked for my ticket. Do I tell him the truth? And then it hit me…..I reached into my pocket and handed him my ticket from Penn Station, covering the start point with my fingers. He reached down, punched my ticket. Brett followed suit and the train guy did the same. He was gone and we were here. We jumped off the train and got far, far away. Mission accomplished.

We left Junction and Brett took me back to my hippo where my truck was parked. We said our good byes and I jumped in the truck to take the long ride home. Tired and hungry, my favorite Wawa couldnt get here quick enough. To be honest, once I got some Wawa in me, it wasnt as bad as I expected. I get in around 1am and went straight to bed. No unpacking….hell, I didnt even unload the truck completely. I needed to hit the sheets and dream of Jeannie.

Can we call NYCC a success? For the most part. I got a lot of what I wanted. I missed a few, but got a lot. I was definitely more lucky than others….thats for sure. The con itself was very exhausting. The new rules sucked. The lines….THEY SUCKED. Would I do it again? I cant say for 100% no….but highly unlikely. The con is just too much, especially when you are trying to navigate it on your own. Its more expensive. It has more people attending. And it has a lot of stuff going on that only seems to draw more people and causes interference. Who they bring in next year will always be a huge factor, but its probably gonna have to be some big wants for me to attend and certainly not doing 3 days like I did this year. Its too much.

If you are still with me here at the end, I hope you have enjoyed this read. I always try and offer up details, anecdotes and an overall good time. Enjoy the pics and see you next time!!!

 

Ringside Fest 2014 and Celebrity Meets

It seems every year I attend Ringside Fest, I am faced dealing with apocalyptic weather. The last time, I was trapped in NYC during a blizzard in October and my train home was cancelled. I was forced to take a train to Philly and lucky to have good buddy DJ come rescue me, before I was left stranded, hungry and near death. This time, I felt like Noah…..all I needed was an ark. The skies had opened and down came a terrentual down pour, one of epic proportions. :Mad: There were times walking in the city, that I couldnt see in front of myself. With all that being said…lets start the story!

It was another brutally early morning departure time. I made good timing and wasnt as late as I was for LOTR. Met up with Nate at the same spot before we headed to Secaucus to catch the train. Not only were we gonna attend RSF, but I was gonna show Nate how to hit some spots in the city later on. We made excellent time to the train station and into the city itself. Once we arrived top side at Caroline’s, the rain had only gotten worse. I quickly reached into my survival bag and pulled out my poncho. My poncho easily covered me and my back pack AND my Roman Reigns life size standee. Umbrella was up and I took my place in line. I loved how they decided to clear the room after session 1, as I only had a ticket for session 2. Nate on the other hand….he had both sessions. We found two lines outside RSF. Line 1 was for the morning session, which wrapped around the entire bulding…..ALL 4 SIDES! And Line 2, which wasnt too bad….only about 30 people deep. I got into line 2 and held a spot for Nate, while he dealt with line 1. It was a LONG ASS wait. The rain was building into flood like conditions and my feet, shoes and socks were soaked. Conditions were worse than they were in the snow. No ability to sit down or try and relax AND with the rain, it was hard to even occupy myself with my phone, as it kept getting soaked.

Time slowly passed. What was interesting though was session 1′s scheduled finish time had passed and Nate still had not caught up with me. I finally saw him come around about a half hour passed session 1′s time. He got inside fairly quickly from there. Due to the sheer number of people and the Bella Twins really taking their time with fans, the line was backed up. Once Nate was inside, I thought my time to go inside would come rather quickly. Unfortunately, it was nearly 40 mins before I would see Nate again. Once I did though, the line moved right on into Carolines and I finally got myself out of the damn rain. Once inside, we went inside and took a seat. We had plenty of time to organize ourselves and prepare for session 2.

Once the signing started, it moved fairly quickly. I only had a ticket for Roman Reigns. I wish RSF would have sold photo op tickets. I would have loved to have gotten Nikki Bella and Star Dust. Oh well. Roman signed my standee and photo and I got my picture. I also got to see Tom formerly of Ringside Collectibles, now pro wrestling trainee and Bob Mulrenin, photographer extroadinaire. After I got my stuff signed, I went over to retrieve my backpack that I had laid down and review my photo. It was then I realized my photo was basically 2 heads. :facepalm: The photographer either didnt zoom out or he didnt take any steps back. Bob saw it and said he could make it right. He went over to RSC, explained what happened and said he would take the picture to make sure it turned out right. So I got a retake due to Bob’s quick thinking. Thanks Bob! :hellyeah:

Stardust was awesome for how friendly he was with people and seemed really excited to be there. It was a good signing, but it was quick. We left the room and headed out to the main room to check out what was for sale by RSC. I wanted the Edge Rated R exclusive figure anyway. We regrouped and then headed over to the table. The figure was $5 more than online pricing, but I was fine to pay for it until I was told….CASH ONLY. :whaaaat: This is 2014….Cash only? Can we please get it together? I understand wifi is bad at Caroline’s….the entire location is bad. But we all have phones with internet built in and Square readers are free. I was asked to go across the street and use the ATM. Cept the ATM charges like a $4 fee. So no thanks. Its cheaper to just order online and pay the shipping.

We were both hungry, so I introduced Nate to Steak N Shake. We headed over and MMMMMM….so good. Sadly, we didnt watch the clock and needed to race back to Penn Station. We needed to dump our RSF stuff to pick up new stuff for the city and the FWE wrestling show in Brooklyn. We also swung by a Duane Reade and bought a 2 pack of socks, so we could at least get a fresh pair on the wet feet.

We made decent timing back to Secaucus, made the change and headed back to Penn Station. The next series of events would, sadly, put a huge damper on the day. I fucked up. I fucked up bad. My limited knowledge of the New York subway system really fucked us up. We jumped on the subway at Penn Station and headed uptown for 97th street in Brooklyn. Only problem? Brooklyn turns out to be downtown. We went in the COMPLETELY wrong direction. To make matters worse, once we arrived on 97th, we asked 2 New Yorkers if we were in the right place and were met with confirmation. It wasnt until we met a nice cab driver did we find out just how wrong we were. And now…….now we missed FWE and that part of the day was over.

Deflated and downtrodden, we decided to jump back on the subway to head back to hit some celeb spots. Unfortunately, the station closest to us had no down town trains. So we walked several blocks and found the next station. Again….no down town trains. So we walked even more blocks and you guessed it…..no down town trains. This station at least had instructions on how to get a down train. We jumped on and rode the subway to 112th street and then had to take a connector there. Not sure if this would take us to 42nd st, we decided to ask for help. We were told it would not and we needed to get off Columbus Circle and then pick up another connector train. :thinking: We were lucky enough to meet this lady on the train who told us not to get off Columbus, as it DEFINITELY stopped at 42nd. She was right.

To salvage the day, we headed for the first spot. Our targets were Josh Radnor and Gretchen Moll from Rounders. Instead, our first meet would be Hari Dhillion from The Loop and Holby City. I got a picture with him. We spotted Gretchen Moll coming towards the door. The door then closed and she went back inside and a note was posted…”back in 1 minute”. 1 minute later the note was taken down, but not Gretchen. A few more minutes passed and out came Josh Radnor. Josh was great as always. I got a photo with him and he signed my How I Met Your Mother DVD sleeve. I asked him about the cast taking props home and he confirmed he took the Blue French Horn. I joked and asked him “not the red cowboy boots”? :rofl:

We waited a little more, but no Gretchen. We needed to move on to the next spot, so we called it and headed out. At our next spot, it wasnt too long before the action started. This place drew a HUGE crowd, unlike my previous spot. Out first was Micah Stock, from Deception and King Kelly. I got a pic with him. Then Rupert Grint came out. Not a fan of his, as I know nothing about Harry Potter. But A LOT of people were looking for him. He signed just a few and took just a couple of pics. I got one before he took off. The next name out was my big want, Matthew Broderick. Have been a long time fan of his since Project X and War Games and of course Ferris Bueller. He signed my Ferris mini poster and I got a picture with him. Sadly, it looks like he is staring at a wart on his junk instead of looking at the camera. I will need rectify this later.

Nonetheless, I got Broderick. We ran to our next spot, but found we were too late for Mark Linn Baker of Perfect Strangers fame. Oh well. I will try again for him another time. Perhaps at NYCC week? We shall see.

Our trip had ended and we headed back to Secaucus. We stopped in Phillipsburg, so I could introduce Nate to the greatness that is Wawa. Nate finally got a chance to taste the deliciousness of the “Gobbler” sandwich. We ate in the car and I swore he orgasmed…..twice. All that moaning and that sauce dripping from his lips and onto my phone….. :huh: Yeah. It happened. Once we got back to our meeting point, we headed our separate ways. It was a long, boring drive home. This trip had some success and some failure. Probably wasnt entirely worth going too, all things considered, but nonetheless, it was a great new learning experience for Nate and a couple of good gets. I pray that next year’s RSF…….the weather holds up though. Blizzard, flood…….whats next?

 

Legends Of The Ring Monroe, NJ 9/20/14

For those who read my TNA report from Bethlehem, I did in fact decide to power nap. More like….forced to power nap. On the way home, DJ and I cruised into Wawa, where I partaked in the delicious chicken steak with pepperoni hoagie. Belly full and low on energy, even though I downed a 32oz Monster, I needed something before turning around and leaving for LOTR. I crawled into bed and passed out. The alarm went off and the feeling of suck, completely came over me. Since I had to meet Nate, I needed to get a move on. I got up and dragged my carcass to the bathroom to get ready. Teeth brushed, shower started and then…..well, Wawa decided to exact revenge upon me tummy. 30 mins later, I was scurrying to get out of the shower and out the door. I was WAY behind. I grabbed my bag and loaded the truck. I hit the road like a bat out of hell. I was racing up the highway. A trip that should have taken 1hr 5 mins, cut down to around 45mins.

I met up with Nate and we carpooled the rest of the way. Nate also made great timing to LOTR, cutting several minutes off our travel time. When we arrived, we went inside to get tickets. Nate had preordered, so he was safe. Me? I hadnt ordered anything. FIrst person I saw was James, head promoter of LOTR. He was happy to see me return to LOTR, since it had been quite some time since last I had been. I bought 3 Matt Sydals and 1 Bischoff for the ST guests. My other few needs would all be vendor guests.

Since they were still working on STs, Nate and I ventured into the vendor room. Not good at all. Either they had more vendors since last I had been or they just poorly set some of the tables up, but the room was crammed. There were two sections of tables that made this big square near the center of the room, it seemed to take away some of aisle space. We wanted to walk around just to get the lay of the land, see who was here and who wasnt yet. Most of what I needed, not there. I did spot Teddy Long with no line. I hit him up, got my auto on my WCW Halloween Havoc poster and attempted to leave. Sadly, I was being pitched about buying Teddy’s worn suit, where he let me know he made many a tag team main event. Not for $450. Sorry Teddy.

I wanted to go over and talk to So Cal Val, but her corner was crazy. Val, Jinder, Ernest Miller, Brittany, Sunny, Xpac and Vader around the corner seemed to all be causing a log jam. So eventhough she was looking extra amazing today, I decided to come back when it wasnt as bad. We exited the vendor room to get some air and also for Nate to get his poster for Ernest Miller. We saw Oldschool, who was kind of enough to bring DJ’s stuff from Lucas, who had been storing a few items for several months. I retrieved the items and Oldschool and I spent some time talking out in the parking lot. During this time, we spotted the Spirit Squad making a surprise appearance. That sucks. I didnt bring my SS items.

Nate and I returned inside to check the ST line, but it was still not GA time. So we went back into the vendor room to get Ernest Miller. Since we fought our way to this area, it should be a good time to get to So Cal Val. Sadly…..she had a bit of a line, so we retreated and headed back outside to dump Nate’s poster. When we returned, GA was forming, so we hit that to try and get in and out as fast as possible. The line moved fairly slow. Once inside, I spotted Cancer Free Dave, who had just finished his battle with shingles and healed pretty nicely. While waiting in line, I saw one of the normal LOTR workers, who I somewhat know, running around with stacks of action figures, 8x10s, etc. He was running from one table to the next. I’ve always liked this kid. He has never done me wrong, but evidently he has become a bit aggressive since I last saw him. He was shoving items in front of Karen Jarrett while Karen was trying to sign for paying customers. I saw at one point that she became irritated at the kid. How things have changed.

While I was waiting in line, Jeff Jarrett got up from his table and came over to me in line to shake my hand and say hello. Had a quick word, as he was right in the middle of signing. Karen also waved hi. Cancer Free Dave knew I was there for just Sydal, he moved us ahead of the rest of the line and we got in front of the GA. I walked up to Sydal and said hello. And what do I encounter? The kid shoving action figures in front of Matt. Ummm….paying customer here. I would like to get my stuff signed now. Usually the workers get their stuff signed AFTER the paying customers are done. But with a stack of like 50 action figures, probably gonna be hard to do. Too bad. Anyway, Sydal signed 2 and then got back to me. We talked about his return to the indys and his tag match with CIMA against Richochet. I got 2 8x10s signed and then went to get my photo. Nate took the picture, but then attempted to fire off a 2nd photo. I wasnt ready though. The pic turned out bad. Instead of wasting time reviewing it, we figured it was just as easy to fire off one more. At this point, whoever was working Sydal’s table copped an attitude towards me. He said I already had 2 photos and there was a whole line full of people that still needed to get through. Since I am having a mini debate with this guy, this kid comes back and like a gnat is all over Sydal about signing more figures. Matt ignores him and is clearly getting annoyed. I get my retake and I thank Matt for coming to LOTR. I asked him when we might see a new tshirt, dvds, etc. He said he was working on it. He was telling me his new shirt was done and it would be available soon. And this is where the rude LOTR worker snapped at me again, telling me I needed to get going. Sydal glared at him with something fierce. Look man, I was with the guy for no more than 5 mins. I bought 3 tickets. I dont think I was outside the bounds of time. Maybe you should have spent more time policing this kid and his million action figures and less time harassing the fans and then maybe your talent wouldnt get ticked off.

So I was out of the ST room and back in the hall. I took a minute to let my 8x10s dry and went back into the vendor room. I still needed So Cal Val, Tyler Reks and Steamboat. I got inside and spotted Reks. There was one person in front of me, who was talking to Reks. I waited patiently. Then Reks looks up and sees me in line and starts laughing. The day before I was tweeting with Reks concerning Mid Card Mafia videos. I told him I would come to LOTR to confront him face to face and damn it….I want my videos! Reks finished with the guy in front of me and we started chatting like old pals about MCM, which would eventually lead to some Mark Henry jokes, some planned phone call pranks and a need to stop at the store for some butter sticks! Reks was in great shape and it was so good to see the man, since it had been a minute. I did have him finish off my last Reks/Hawkins promo.

This seemed like the best time to head over to So Cal Val, so I did. Still the crowd in this corner was crazy and I cant figure out why. She greeted me with a hug and quick conversation. I needed a combo with her, but ended up passing as the promoter had no combo price. Stuck with just the photo and got out of the craziness. Hard to even have a conversation with all the chaos over there.

Since my old friend Chuy, aka Ricardo Rodriguez, had arrive I headed over that way to say hello. We chatted for a few minutes. He said he had been loving his time at the convention and that the fans had been so nice to him. He seemed to really be enjoying himself and doing a good bit of business. He even dressed the part in tux. He will be at Big Event and at Signamania as well. He is looking forward to working with Del Rio again and cant wait to get back in the ring. I wish him nothing but the best!

And what event would be complete without stopping over at Brian Barth’s table with Yoshi Tatsu and harrassing Brian about his Giants. I attempted to make a bet with him, but he refused to accept the stakes. If he lost the bet…..no wearing ANY Giants gear for an entire year. That means no Giants shirts, jerseys, pants, boxers or g strings. He refused. He said he couldnt afford a new wardrobe. :rofl:

We exited the vendor room again and decided to take a break. Stopped and talked with Ira for a minute. And also saw Marcus roaming about. But I was still missing Steamboat and Dan needed Homicide and my final ST guest in Bischoff in the 2nd block. When I heard Steamboat arrived, I went back inside and saw he had a huge line. For whatever reason though, the line moved SUPER quick. Got up to The Dragon, he signed my Halloween Havoc poster and I was done. Quick and easy. On the way out, I caught Ashley Massaro. She ran up to me and gave me a big hug. She even brought her daughter with her today. She was getting a line, so I let her get back to it and told her I would come back later.

Since we still had a few hours before GA would get in for the 2nd block, we decided to hit Yogi’s, the hippo restaurant up for some good and drinks. Bad idea. This place had changed quite a bit. The service was bad. The food was meh. The prices were ridiculous. I had to fight to get my drink refilled. They never gave me napkins or silverware. They put stuff on my food that isnt mentioned on the menu. When I said it wasnt listed on the menu, they said its how they have always made it. Thats nice. I dont eat here. When they returned they took that stuff off and everything else that I did want. So, for a 3rd time, they had to fix it. And even though the restaurant had just a few people there, the service was VERY slow. 2 appetizers and 2 sodas came out to just a tad over $30!!!!!! Yeah….insane. :pauliemad:

I needed to hit the head, so I went to the bathroom first. When I got inside, I found Yoshi Tatsu at a urinal and Howard Finkel next to him. Finkel began to engage in conversation with Yoshi. But he talked to Yoshi like he was fucking retarded. I get that Yoshi’s native tongue is not english, but his english is a million times better than what it was. And Fink kept patting him on the back while he was peeing. Weird exchange.

I went back into the vendor room still looking for Homicide. No Cide. I was told, more than likely he would not be here. But then someone from PWS said he would be here….at some point. I saw Curt Hawkins had finally arrived, so I had to go over and say hello. We had another great conversation. Which ended with him taking shots at me for wanting to meet Sasha Mitchell from Step By Step on 10/31 at PWS. At which point I countered with him marking out for Danny Spivey. He also told me he had a lot of people coming up to him to get their canes signed…but they were all these old man wooden canes. :facepalm:

I spotted Homicide finally coming in. He was talking to someone right by the door. All I wanted to do was to see when he was starting to sign. This is where hilarity would ensue….somewhat. Cide tells me he’s not sure if he wants to sign today. Said he was high, drunk, down and horny. He then proceeds to say he knows me. He believes I sold him weed earlier in the morning. This conversation is going no where and every where. I figured I would interject with something humorous, as DJ’s item he wanted signed the most was Cide’s worn ring gear pants. I fully expect him to go on a tangent that these were stolen or something, but he doesnt. He actually knows what I am talking about and how he gave them to TNA to sell. But he also makes fun of me for having them, asking me if I wore them yet. :thinking:

He starts to make a move towards his table. So I walk with him. Instead, Cide heads over to Velvet and Angelina. He then gets a photo op with them. I am standing at the PWS table, where PWS is trying to get Cide to come to the table to no avail. Hawkins is chucking about the whole thing. About 15 minutes later, Cide finally comes over. He takes one look at me and says he thinks he knows me. I tell him I sold weed to him this morning. Puzzled, Cide says no. :skipWHAT:

So I pull out his pants…..this sounds like the wrong kind of porno…..and I ask him to sign it. DJ wanted me to use this red paint pen. He also wanted me to have Cide inscribe them with the PPV year and name. I had forgotten the name and had to re-read the text. Cide grabs the marker and starts huffing. He quite enjoyed the paint. Then he proceeds to start signing. The pants hadnt been pulled tight at all and this begins to cause a mess. Not to mention that Cide starts getting red paint all over his hands. I got the PPV name and asked for the inscription, which he had no issue with writing…..cept he had an issue. Not only did he spell Homicide wrong, he fully admitted he had no idea how to spell resolution. All in all….this could have turned out much worse than it did. Whether DJ keeps them this way or decides to erase this and try again…..I dont know. If it wasnt an expensive piece for my buddy, I would have found more humor in it. I was afraid to ask him to sign the turnbuckle, but he did. Much better autograph here, eventhough he still spelled his name wrong. :facepalm:

Before we headed out of the vendor room for Bischoff, Nate wanted to get a tshirt from Christina Von Eeerie, who I wish was announced before the show…..actually, after I heard her prices….I was glad she wasnt. Anyway, Nate bought one of her $25 tshirts…..I know, $25 for an indy shirt is rough. WWE charges that. AND she didnt have his size either. Well, most indy wrestlers will sign an auto or take a pic for free when you buy their merch, but she was here under a promoter and was not able to do. The promoter offered Nate the photo at a discounted $20 price. $20?!?!!?!? I understand she had a brief appearance in TNA, but still. She tried to negotiate with Nate, but Nate was burned now and wasnt having it. Christina seemed upset over the situation.

So we boogied out and hit the Bischoff line. Since the line was pretty long for Block 2, we decided to just sit in the lobby and wait till the end. While we did, Ashley Massaro came out. She was upset as she couldnt find her cell phone. Hopefully she did get it back before she left. The line dwindled down, so we got in. Bischoff was one of the first tables, so we were able to skip most of the general line and get right into Bischoff’s line. I needed 1 auto and Nate needed one photo. It took a few mins and we were done. Out the door and LOTR was in the books.

As I went through my picture folders, I discovered the last LOTR I attended was May 7, 2011. WOW!!!! Its been 3 years since I attended a LOTR. Crazy. It was nice to be back at LOTR and see some great peeps. Already stoked for Big Event, as the wrestling con juices got a bit boiling. Even though, there was very little I got at this con…I still had a blast seeing Hawkins, Reks, Chuy, Ashley, Val and everyone else. Until next time….

 

TNA In Bethlehem, PA 9/19/14

Could it be? I never really thought I would join in on the negativity towards TNA closing its doors…..but I dont think its ever been more possible. For the past 12 years, I have supported and scoffed in the face of internet smart marks who, year after year, proclaimed that year to be the last for TNA. TNA is facing, for the first time, no place to air its weekly television show AND no venue to run it in. They went big with their NYC tapings, but sadly used old ECW mainstays in order to pop the live crowd. While the television programming seemed to be a bit better, it didnt solve the big issue of no network to carry Impact.

DJ and I decided to venture up the road an hour or so to Bethlehem, PA to see, what could possibly be the last Impact ever. We made great timing to the arena, picked up our comps and went inside. If you have never seen a show at The Sands…you need to. Its a great little venue, with no bad seats. Looks professional, has a good vibe, plenty of parking and a decent location in the Northeast. We headed inside and just stood in the upper levels. The first match had just started and we werent missing much, from what I could gather. It was interesting to see these matches and who was the champion, considering these were to take place AFTER Bound For Glory. The big match of the night was scheduled to be a 3 Way Full Metal Mayhem match with The Hardys vs. Team 3D vs. The Wolves. That match in itself was worth the trip. FANTASTIC! Right before the match came on, Reby Sky came out to shoot some video/photos. I walked up behind her and scared the crap out of her. We joked about it later, but I could tell her heart was beating a mile a minute. I like to believe it was the machismo I was oozing. DJ thinks it might be something else I was oozing. :cop: This emoticon looks like there is a dick bopping the cop in the face.

As the night went on, the show got worse and worse…sadly. It got so bad that DJ and I escaped from the venue and headed for the casino. I sat at the poker table, while DJ stood and watch. Thats how bad the show got….DJ was more interested in watching me play poker than watch the show. In fairness, he eventually returned to the show to catch the last hour, while I stayed to play. There was a mention of an autograph signing after the event, so I waited for DJ’s text to head back. When it came, I grabbed my bag and headed back.

We got into line and found that it was Knux and Crazy Steve…thats it. I left the table, down half my stack for this?!?!? :smh: I was already here, so I might as well make the best of it. I needed both in the TNA program anyway. While we waited, Sharkboy came to the ring with some new Indian wrestler they just signed. They didnt work a match, but just videoed certain spots. Also while we were in line, Tommy Dreamer walked by. I stopped him for a quick photo. In my typical Tommy Dreamer meet, he obliged but said nothing. Also, EC3 walked by. So I quickly grabbed an autograph from him. Finally, we made it to Knux and Crazy Steve. Knux was very cool. He asked me how I enjoyed the show, which I promptly put the 3 way match over. I got a picture and 2 autographs and I was done.

Once we were done, we headed back to the casino to see if I could rescue my money. Up, down, up, down….the river constantly punching me in the mouth. Only thing notable was I hit a royal flush for only the 2nd time in my life. But I didnt get paid off. Had A/K of clubs, raised preflop and got 3 callers. Flop came out 10 of clubs, jack of clubs and deuce of clubs. Checks to me, where I make a small continuation bet. I get 2 callers. Turn comes, queen of clubs. I make the royal and it puts a 4 card flush out there. If I keep it cheap…..should be able pick that guy up, but lose the guy with top pair or possible 2 pair. Hoping I can gather both guys, I check. The guy after me smells weakness and fires a decent size bet at the pot. First to act folds and I grimace and wince and decide to come along. River pairs the board. PRAYING this man had a set of 10s and now made his boat, I fire off a little more than what he bet on the turn. He thinks for a second and finally gives it up. No payoff. :bs: I show the royal, which only the dealer cared about.

While at the table, we did see Devon, Jesse Godderz, Samoa Joe and Low Ki come in. DJ was too slow to grab Godderz, Joe and Ki were in the bar…but he did get Devon. I didnt need him. When the night was finally over, we did see James Storm in the bar as well. But really didnt want to bother them while they were eating and drinking…so we just left. Yeah….its like that.

Had to drive home now and it was already 2am. I had to be up at 5:30 to turn around for LOTR the next morning. Was I gonna pull the all nighter or try and get the 1 hour power nap? Stay tuned….

 

NYC With Tim Tebow & Whoopi Goldberg 9/15/14

For anyone that has ever really discussed, argued or had a conversation with me concerning pro football or college football…..there is one name that seems to always come up from me….Tim Tebow. The most polarizing name in all of sports seems to always come up in some topic of debate or discussion. Why? For me, there is no one in the NFL who ever got more of a raw deal than Tim Tebow. His haters will say he cant throw the ball. Yet the #1 ranked defense got wrecked for over 300 yards in a playoff game. I dont hang my head on 1 game, nor am I really trying to see that Tebow is as prolific a passer as a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. But when people criticize him for his statistics….they always seem to leave out the most important statistic of all….WINS.

What I want from my QB is the ability to win. I want winners. I want players that can lead game winning drives. I want players that can win playoff games. I want players that rise up in the biggest moments. Completion percentage? Arm strength? Size? Combine speed? Please. Win pretty….win ugly…..dont matter to me, just as long as I get that W. THATS what Tim Tebow excels at. Taking a 11-4 Broncos team in 2011 to a division title and a playoff victory, before ultimately surrendering to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

But this isnt a report on the merits of Tim Tebow. Instead this is a report about the day I met a man I admire more for what he stands for, holding true to his beliefs in the face of tremendous adversity, than what he does on the field. Interestingly enough, I wasnt always a Tim Tebow fan. His first couple of years at Florida, I thought he was someone that benefited from Urban Meyer’s system, moreso than a man who could play football. Florida is NOT my team and I couldnt wait for them to get beat. Then there was a press conference after a game. A press conference following a loss to Ole Miss in September of 2008. I have no idea to this day why I watched it. I was reveling in the Gators getting knocked off. But I watched a man who was truly disappointed in his own performance, almost to the point of tears. He would then rejuvenate himself, make a promise to Gator nation to never lose another game that season……and he kept it. He played harder. His team played harder. And Florida went on to win the National Title by defeating Alabama in the SEC Title game and the #1 Sooners in the National Title game. It was at the moment of that speech that I became a fan of Tim Tebow. And that fandom only grew and grew as the years came.

Fast forward to last week, where Tim Tebow made local headlines in my hometown as he dined for lunch at a restaurant called The Black N Bleu that was but 2 minutes from my home. A restaurant so close, I can throw a rock from my house to the restaurant door. And I missed it. News broke that night that he was in town to visit a kid who lost both his legs, which followed an announcement that Tim Tebow was joining Good Morning America as a host.

If Tebow was doing this story, there was a chance he would be in NYC for media. Without any confirmed information, I made the decision that this was one I had to gamble on. I HAD to try. So early Monday morning on September 15, I jumped in the truck with a bag so lite, it felt like I was missing something. I was making one stop and one stop only. I let the house at 3am and drove to the Junction to get the train into the city. On the way up, I was checking twitter to see if I could get some info. EUREKA! I found someone who tweeted several hours ago about how they met Tim Tebow and how nice he was. Then someone else mentioned that he would in fact be at a certain spot on Monday morning. As soon as I arrived at the train station, I saw a train into the city was leaving in about 5 mins, so I quickly headed down to the tracks. I got on and was on my way. I was checking twitter constantly, trying to get some updates. Had he already gone into the spot? Did I miss him going in? Couldnt find anything. When I got to Penn Station, I headed for the subway to grab the Uptown train. Sadly, there was a long delay and I waited nearly 20 minutes before a train finally arrived. I got on and zipped over. When I came up from the subway, I headed over to the spot. Keeping my fingers crossed that the crowd size would indeed be small, I turned and saw there was but one guy there. :like:

I took my spot on rails next to him and waited. About a minute later a limo driver walks out of the building and compliments my Tim Tebow jersey. He said he was Tebow’s driver and he was a super nice kid. I asked him if Tim was in yet and he said he was, missed him by about 10 minutes. :whatever: All was certainly not lost, but still disappointed. So while I waited, the number of people would vary at times. But there was never more than 7 there. Most people left as the hours passed, leaving just 4 of us. While I waited, Whoopi Goldberg was dropped off. So I ended up getting a picture with her. She was really nice. She was happy to sign and take pictures.

Finally the time arrived and the door opened and out came Tebow. His back was turned towards us and his SUV door was opened. His handlers were moving him into the SUV, as I screamed out “I drove 4 hours to meet you Tim…PLEASE!” Tebow stopped turned around and jogged over to us. He thanked me for driving so far to just meet him. He was all smiles. He asked me where I traveled from and I told him the Black N Bleu restaurant, at which he laughed. I told him how close I live to that place and I was so disappointed to have missed him. Then, without thinking, I told him he was “my fucking hero.” :facepalm2: Yup. I cursed at Tim Tebow. Not only did I curse, I dropped an F bomb. As soon as it came out, it felt like I had just spit on the Ten Commandments. I quickly apologized. Tebow told me he forgave me. I got my picture with him first, as that was most important. And eventhough there was just 4 of us, his handlers were rushing him. I grabbed my 8×10 and asked him to personalize it and he did. He took his time and was very nice. I thanked him for inspiring the uninspired. And he was gone. I would have liked to been able to get my jersey signed too….but no matter, it was all worth it. :victory:

I grabbed my stuff and headed for the Subway. Victory was mine. A huge gamble and a big payoff. Subway to the Junction to my truck and I was headed home. Operating on no sleep, I was living off the high of meeting Tim Tebow. When I hit Phillipsburg and my normal exit to stop to pee, get food and drinks and gas, I opted to not grab a Monster. I’m awake over my big score. Well…..40 minutes later, I wouldnt be awake. As I was driving down the road, listening to NFL Radio, I could feel my eye lids becoming heavy. But certainly nothing I couldnt handle. And then I felt a little rumbling, at which time my eyes opened and I was driving in the grass that divivded the east and west bound lanes. I quickly swerved back onto the highway and into my lane. My eyes were now WIDE OPEN and whatever tiredness I felt was evaporated. I was ALIVE!!! The rest of the way home, my heart was still beating hard and I never had that tiredness feeling come over me again. Thank you Tim Tebow. And God. Thank you God too. :tebowing:

 

 

 

TNA Hagerstown, MD 8/17/14

With the day off from work and TNA just an hour away, I took the short drive to Hagerstown, MD. I met up with my buddy Cancer Free Dave, which I am proud to say. We headed over to the venue. The line was ridiculous to get inside. Dave bought himself a VIP ticket, which meant I was able to tag along for the pre show meet n greet. TNA has changed their house shows, only pre show meet n greet is available with the VIP upgrade. Dave picked up his ticket, while I went to talk to Jimmy Jay. Jimmy knows my thoughts on Eric Young and we have teased one another back and forth at shows and on social media. This night would be no different. I asked Jimmy for a backstage pass. He said he would be right back. When he returned, he came out with an Eric Young plastic beard. He claimed that THIS would be my backstage pass but ONLY if I was to wear it all night long. :f8you:

Not to be outdone and surely not to miss out on the backstage autograph portion, I decided to clip the pubic reproduction beard to my belt, hanging it over my crotch. Now I was all set to go and the doors opened. I hit the box office first to pickup my comp, but sadly it was not there. After about 15mins, it got straightened out, but we got in kind of late. TNA was starting to close up shop. First person was Magnus, who was getting ready to leave. We hit Magnus up and then I grabbed Sanyada as he was walking away. Lucky to have gotten him, though I would have liked a pic. Saw a line for Madison and Eddie Edwards, so I went there next. I would later find out that EC3 and Gunner were on stage, but I never saw them. Got Edwards and Madison and then found out Gunner and EC3 were already gone. :exasperated:

I would estimate a crowd of around 400 people. There was a special pre show backstage signing with Velvet and Angelina, so we went there first before finding some open seats to sit and watch. The show was pretty standard. Sanyada and Zeman Ion had some entertaining moments, as did Storm/Gunner and Anderson was gold.

At intermission we went backstage. At the first table was Jame Storm. He had just finished his match, so he was still in his gear. He signed for the first guy in front of me and then Team 3D came over. They told Storm he had to go, this was their table. Bubba then told Atlas he didnt want to see any WWE shit. He told the security guard to go down the line and let everyone know, he doesnt even want to see it on the table. I got my TNA program signed and got a picture with Team 3D before Bubba told security……no pictures either. :smh:

We moved around the corner in the crowded backstage area to find almost total darkness, making it hard to see who was even there. It was Abyss. I got an auto and moved to the next table with Bobby Roode. And then it was my favorite Asshole, Mr. Anderson. Storm was at the last table and I snagged a photo with him since he was in heel gimmick. Backstage lasted no more than 5 minutes and they shuffled everyone in and out like cattle. Its definitely not as fan friendly as it once was. The venue may have played a role in this…..but Bubba’s poor attitude also plays a big part in it.

The main event saw Anderson/Edwards vs. Team 3D. Anderson replaced the injured Davey Richards. Team 3D, especially Bubba really put on a half ass show. Stealing Daniel Bryan’s YES chants was lazy and cheap. At the end of the match, Bubba grabbed a mic and put Eddie Edwards over hardcore. That was a cool moment. I was fearing it was just a setup by Team 3D to put him through a table, but it wasnt. Eddie got a round of applause and the show was over. 6 total matches and nothing stellar to report.

The show was over and Dave and I capped the evening off at Uno pizza for some delicious deep dish goodness. I then jumped back in my truck and took the hour drive back home in time to catch the last half of Summer Slam on the WWE Network or perhaps I should say…..battle it out with the Network to try and get it to stop crashing. :dislike:

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy In NYC 7/29/14

Terrorist. Bomb threat. New York City. Me. NYPD. Guantanomo Bay. Do I have your attention? Because this little adventure will have all that including car chases and espionage. Hold onto your hats, set your phasers to stun……because I think we got ourselves a situation!

In reality, this story starts around 11pm the night before. I had a business opportunity that I couldnt pass up on. Eventhough, I was scheduled to leave at 3:30am the next morning for NYC, I needed to take this meeting. I thought it would be done within an hour, needless to say….things went a little better than expected and it was 1am by the time I left. I raced home, as I had nothing packed. The last minute preparation would cost me…..something I have NEVER done in the past. By 2:30am, I was done packing. My overnight bag was packed, my camera on the charger, my posters in the tube and my camelbak locked and loaded. As the clock ticked away, I noticed that an attempt at sleep would only be more of a headache than worth. 30 minute cat nap would just cause me to sleep past the alarm and be even later than I am usually. So instead, I figured I would get a shower, shave and shit. That way I would be ready to leave by the time DJ came to pick me up. Needless to say, I ran about 15 minutes late, as one of the above items ended up taking longer than expected.

So out the door I went and on the way to NYC did I go. We got into the city in great time. DJ couldnt contain his excitement. His excitement for Guardians of The Galaxy only seem to drain some of mine. There can be only so much excitement in a car, otherwise the doors will just fly right off. We made our way to our first stop, which would prove to be a failure. When we arrived, the barricades were swarmed with fans. I couldnt believe the number of people that were already here. There was no way we were gonna be anywhere close to get anything. So instead, I opted for a different spot. We were here and nothing else to do. I felt where I was would prove to be successful. DJ disagreed and refuse to join me. He opted to just walk around. I reached into my backpack to grab my camera, in case a selfie chance came about. And this is where the late minute preparation bit me in the ass. No camera. NO FUCKING CAMERA!!!!!:angry14: First time….EVER!!!! My camera was at home, sitting on the charger. Use my cell phone, you say? Fuck that. DJ had his camera with him, which would prove to be a help later down the road. But he was reluctant to let me hold onto it. We were here for Vin Diesel, but Emeril the chef walked out and started doing selfies. DJ was behind me, so I asked him for his camera. He refused to let me use it and thus……no pic with Emeril. Not the end of the world….but I was standing right there.

DJ continued to argue his case that there was no way I was getting Diesel from where I was and we should head to spot number 2. I finally caved and we began to head out. At this point Diesel walked out and started doing pics and signing autos. Would have I gotten him? Maybe. I had a giant Guardians poster. I think it would have caught his attention and gotten him to walk over. He was literally standing there and doing nothing, but taking the occassional selfie or signing the occasional piece of paper. I would have been in his direct sight…..just across the way a bit. Unfortunately, I had given up my spot and now I had no chance. So we marched to spot 2.

This next spot would prove to be extremely successful for autographs, but at the cost of being branded a terrorist. :ehh: This next spot was for Chris Pratt and Zoe Saladana. Zoe, I needed 2 autos from and would need a marker switch too. Needed her on both my Star Trek poster and my Guardians poster. When I arrived, I hooked my backpack to the barricade, per the usual. A security guard walked over and shook his head at me in some sarcastic manner. DJ had put one his Funkos on the floor and guard told him he couldnt leave anything on the floor. Pratt and Zoe came out and both were very nice. I walked about 3 feet away from my bag to get closer to them. There was a small crowd, but Zoe seemed to be in a hurry. She would only sign and had a blue Sharpie. This worked out great as that is what I needed on my Star Trek Poster. So I opted for that poster and passed on the GOTG poster. Pratt was a little more accomadating. He took pics and signed whatever people had. He signed my GOTG poster and inscribed it Star Lord. It turned out awesome. DJ even was able to take my picture and I got to avoid the selfie.

As I turned back to grab my bag, I found it was gone. In a panic, I turned to DJ. He couldnt believe it was gone. I see NYPD and the security guard conversing and then I see the cop start tossing my bag around and dumping everything out of my bag onto the streets of NYC. Markers were rolling down the street, my umbrella, poncho, bottle of hair spray, etc. are all just being unceremoniouly dumped. I walk over and explain that is my bag. The cop turns complete psycho and asks me what kind of dumbass leaves a backpack hanging at one of the biggest terrorist targets in the world?! I told him I didnt just leave it hanging. He then points to the security guard, who talked to Dan and I, and says he walked over and asked whos bag this was when Pratt and Zoe came out and no one claimed it. He thought it was a bomb. :smug: WTF?!! How fucking stupid is this cop?!??! You thought it was a bomb, so you decided to open it and begin to dump the contents all over the streets of NYC. YOU sir…YOU….just endangered millions of lives. How fucking stupid are you to open a backpack that you suspect contains a bomb?!?!? Bottom line, this was nothing short of a case of a “power trip”. I had to restrain every muscle in my body to not just fucking tee off. Clear case of not getting anything out of it, by doing so. DJ knew it too. So he quickly hit the floor and tried to recover the contents of my bag. I explained to the cop that the security guard KNEW it was my bag. The guard denied this. I guess its a common occurrence for people to just randomly pickup backpacks of strangers to barricades in NYC. The cop would go onto lecture me about how I endangered his life and the lives of all New Yorkers today, branded me a terrorist or at the very least attempting a terroristic attack. He threatened me with Guantanomo Bay and a cock meat sandwich from Big Bob (Harold & Kumar reference). He told me I should never come back, unless I want extra mayo. Yeah right. Dont be bully….be a star!!! :f8you:

I was fucking livid. Whatever little bit of sleepiness I was still under was blown up and the adrenaline started to flow like the Mississippi. But I was determined to not let this ruin my day. DJ and I headed for spot 3 to try for Vin Diesel. We got there and the barricades were crowded, but not so bad that we thought we would get shut out. In the first minute we were waiting, we spotted John Legend just walking down the street. We took off to try and score a photo op. But he was in a hurry. I asked if I could take one while he was walking and he agreed and even looked into the camera while walking. A little blurry, but whatever. We headed back to the spot. The security guards explained that Vin was gonna come out and sign, but we all needed to be on the other side as he was only going to be doing it through the window. So we all headed to that side. Vin’s SUV rolls up and he just drives away. NOOOOOOO!!!!! We chased after him. His SUV hit a red light, but he refused to roll his window down. He went down the road and got stuck at the next light again. This time he rolled his window down and said he would sign, but we had to promise to stop chasing his SUV. He started to sign. I was right behind the Jersey Shore Stalker bitch! My third encounter with her. She got an auto and a photo, but REFUSED to leave. She wanted to stand there and try and block me from getting anything. I slipped my poster over her and into Vin’s SUV. But I was blocked from getting a selfie. I swear one of these days she’s gonna do this to the wrong guy up in NYC and get KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT. The guys up there are animals, especially the dealers. She is already hated by them. For whatever reason, she enjoys putting herself in bad situations and then making them worse. Why anyone in the world enjoys putting themselves in bad spots is beyond me?

From here, we headed to our next spot. Our next spot was more of a guess than knowledge. We only knew of one definite gettable name. But we decided to hang out here anyway. All in all, it was a big waste of time outside of that one name. That one name was Jenny McCarthy. She came out and was standing outside smoking a cig with some friends. We waited till she was done, as we didnt want to bother her smoke. We approached and she quickly signed for DJ and I asked for a photo. DJ grabbed the camera from my hands and then Jenny reached up to try and take a selfie. There was a 3 second tug of war over who was going to take the picture, which would cause me to pose with a look of horror. :facepalm2:

We bolted and headed for the next spot. We expected this spot to be somewhat empty at this point in time. However, we were wrong. It wasnt extremely crowded, but the entire front row was taken against the barricade. After a little maneuvering and some help from a guy I have encountered numerous times and have chatted with, I was able to squeeze just enough room for myself on the barricade. The first to arrive was Judy Greer, who I know from What Women Want. She came out and started signing and taking photos. Just as she got to me, she turned away and left. The guy to my right was the last to get her and everyone else was left hanging. :dislike:

I wasnt really here for her, so it wasnt the end of the world. But still. Finally Chris Pratt arrived and by this time, the crowd had thoroughly grown. Insane. Pratt was super cool again. He was signing and taking photos. BUT….he wasnt doing more than one and if he remembered he signed for you already, he wasnt signing for you again. He even refused an older lady who had gotten him earlier this morning at our 2nd spot. He came to me and I wanted my photo op from earlier this morning signed. Pratt said cool photo and signed it. He even chatted for a moment about the Lego movie and the “Everything Is Awesome” song. By far one of the nicest celebrity encounters. Pratt went inside. I had 1 other item, Star Lord #1 from Marvel Now, but it wasnt dire to get. So we decided to go grab some grub. When we were done, we came back to see what was up. I think the crowd had only shrunk by a few. Pratt came out instantly and came over again to sign. Again, he was telling people he already signed for…..no. Most of the crowd had bundled together on one side, leaving a part of the barricade open. I grabbed my comic and Pratt came to me again. He signed it and asked if I had read it yet. I told him I had not. He said its really good and he enjoyed it. I read it the next night and he was correct. Very good story.

One of the dealers there told DJ where the premiere was gonna be. So we headed over. It was a bust and we got bad info. We had one last spot, but it was a long shot. We decided to head over anyway, since we had nothing else on the agenda. When we got there, there was a small crowd of fans. We waited and soon after I spotted Woody Johnson, owner of the Jets, walking down the street in full Jets gear. As a lifelong Jets fan….I asked Woody for a quick picture. He promptly turned me down and said he had no time. :1distraught:C’mon!!!! Really?! I was shocked. I couldnt even compose myself for a speech. No one else wanted a photo. He just kept marching off. One of the dealers grabbed a blank and ran after him. Woody stopped to sign for the guy. :f8you: Talk about the ultimate fuck you response. No to a Jets fan for a photo. Yes to a dealer for an autograph. Exactly how does that make sense?! Then again…..this is a classic Jets move. Draft Geno Smith. Cut Tim Tebow. Tell Darelle Revis we dont need him. Dont address a need at corner. Talk shit constantly and cant back it up. They say it starts at the top……it surely does. Incompetent owner with a more incompetent GM. As Woody walked away, I screamed out “Jets suck. Fuck The Jets.” And I never do something like that. This time though…..ugh.

We next spotted Will. I. Am. from Black Eyed Peas. Everyone made a big deal about the guy. I didnt know who he was. He didnt want to do it, but this one guy gave him an impassioned plea and finally rolled his window down and did it. I grabbed a selfie. Finally Diesel came out and just drove past everyone. We chased him a few blocks, but to no avail. Denied by Diesel. So it was time to go. We headed back to Penn Station to catch the Junction train back to NJ. We were both beaten and sore, but still scored fairly well. It had ups and downs, bomb threats, police and car chases.

Once back in NJ, we started the long journey home. I am a big believer that the passenger should stay awake to keep the driver awake. Unfortunately, at some point this passenger passed out. When I finally awoke, DJ was pulling into my neighborhood. My apologies to my tag team partner. I reached my limit on no sleep and needed something. Out I went.

I think my story had all the elements I promised at the beginning. This was definitely one of the most memorable trips I have ever had. Its crazy to think about the events of the day. I surely never expected anything of the sorts. But all in all….it still worked out. Until next time.

 

The Rock And Other Celebs NYC 7/22/14

Do you smell what The Rock is cookn?! I sure did. Meeting the Rock is just a pure epic encounter. He has an infectious personality that just makes you feel like everything is just awesome in the world. Even when he is riddled with exhaustion, running late and stuck in traffic….he would take the time to sign autographs and take pictures because the man cares. He’s genuine. He gets it. And the man is sharp as a whip!

The adventure begins at 2:30am on July 22. I had awaken at noon on July 21 and never went back to bed. Instead, I stayed up through the night in order to make sure there was no over sleeping. Our first stop in the city was requiring a very early start. So in a VERY rare occasion, I was running early and DJ was running on time. We were off and got into the city. Our first stop was ruined by some boy band I never heard of. Thousands of teeny bopper girls were surrounding the streets and caused for a complete cluster fuck. We in turn, decided to hit spot 2 super early. It turns out we werent the only ones. When we arrived, we found about 10 others already there. The crowd would only grow over the next few hours and it finished around nearly 50 or so. They setup 2 barricades and I was able to get a great front row spot at the 2nd barricade setup. There were about 10 teenage girls who didnt even know who was going to be there and were just hanging out. They would be none to please with the chaos that would later ensue.

The witching hour arrived and Rock was running a good bit behind. Yet the man still found the time to come out and sign autographs. He didnt sign for all and only took one picture, but he was still doing the best he could. One person put their 8×10 over my program, which Rock promptly pushed away in order to sign my program and remarking to me it was good to see me again. He dropped the Sharpie in my program and headed inside. The girls behind me only wanted a picture and were unable to secure it because of how far back they were. They attempted to complain to security, asking to remove those who already got something so they could get closer. Security laughed it off. :huh: I get it. I get why you were disappointed. I get why you are upset over the pushing, shoving and chaos. But this is how the game is played. I wish it wasnt. I wish it was more organized. But its not and never will be. If this was someone who I didnt really care about or someone I had nothing for, no sweat. If Rock signed all 18 items I brought with me and took a pic with me…..no sweat. But that aint happening and you aint gettn to the front. You didnt even know who you were waiting for. AND you kept saying you wanted to call him “daddy” when you found out who was coming.

On the way out, we had high hopes, but Rock wasnt stopping. I saw the light was red from where he was pulling onto and figured he might roll the window down, so I escaped out and went that way. But then his SUV door opened and he came out. There were some small kids waiting for him and he wanted to stop for them. Unfortunately, the ebay dealers ruined THAT by sticking 8x10s all over him, even after his PR team said he was just doing pics for the kids. Hiram grabbed Rock and got him back in the SUV and they were gone.

We headed to spot 3 on the list. Once again, we would be arriving extremely early. We didnt want to chance it with the previous scene. So we hit the spot and were one of the first few to arrive. This crowd would fluctuate. Some people actually gave up and left. Some people wandered off the street when they realized who was coming. And some people just came to this spot. This was a VERY long wait. Even when we thought he was coming…he didnt. He ran late here too. But it was all worth it in the end.

Once he arrived, madness really ensued. No barricades at this spot. Ever the pimp he is, Rock went to the opposite side of the crowd, where an attractive brunette was. The crowd stayed on the one side, as we were instructed to be on this side by security. This girl had arrived a mere 5 mins earlier and didnt seem like she was there to meet The Rock. Once Rock went to the opposite side, whatever order there was turned to complete and total chaos. Nothing security could do. These two goofs were over powered and practically trampled upon. A crowd of about 35 people, most of which were made up passerbys, surrounded The Rock. Anyone who has met Rock before knows, surrounding him is a bad idea. So while the buzzards circled about, I quickly B lined it to get in front of him. He stopped and said, lets do it….I know you came from a great distance. As I went to snap my selfie, the lousy touch screen was brushed up against and the pic snapped was AWFUL! I knew it right away and asked Rock for a retake and he happily did it. This time…perfection. :victory: While I was taking my selfie, DJ had the bright idea to stand at the door. That way Rock HAD to come to him. Right he was. Rock went right past me and found DJ guarding the door. DJ got his WWE turnbuckle signed and he was out of the mess as well.

Once Rock was inside, security was PISSED! They immediately started setting up barricades in order to stop the chaos, that would only contain some of the mess for a brief amount of time. Once Rock was on his way out…..IT WAS ON AGAIN! He came over to the barricade and spent a good bit of time signing and taking photos. I scored one more autograph from him right before the REAL chaos took place, as the guard rails were broken down and people were climbing all over him again. Rock stood strong, even pulling some kids and women from the barricades to come over for a picture. These were people in the back that couldnt otherwise get to him. Classy move.

There was a somewhat notable incident that occurred after Rock went inside, I neglected to address. These two very tall black twins, dressed in the exact same clothes and probably pushing about 30 decided to start shit with both Rich and DJ. They even went as far as to address DJ as The White Bengal for his ability to prance away after a successful kill. Rich….not so lucky with nicknames, unless you want to consider the N word a nickname. :saswhat:

We had 1 last Rock spot to hit, but before that we needed to score a few of DJ’s wants. So we headed to that spot and there wasnt many people there. More people would arrive later on, but this place looked like a ghost town. Ricky Gervais was first. Nice guy. Signed and took photos. Refused to sign a blank from someone though. I got a pic with him. Second was Taylor Schilling from Orange Is The New Black. DJ had heard bad things about her. She seemed pretty nice. She signed and took photos. I got a photo with her, which turned out looking like my head was resting on her shoulder. :meloehh:

We got what we needed and headed for our last spot and last Rock chance. Once again, we arrived quite a bit early for this spot. While we waited, I looked up into the sky to admire my day and saw p*rn. Yup….nudity. A couple of ill equipped dudes and a chick. Extremely weird. After pointing this out to DJ and snapping 2 pics, several walkersby stopped and began to do the same thing. It became contagious.

But back on track…..we simply waited out the wait. This crowd would be our smallest to deal with, made up mostly of tourists….guessing around 20 people. Rock’s SUV finally came out, but this time it didnt stop! In fact, it came firing out of this garage and onto the street. Normally this street is backed up and the light doesnt stay green long. Unfortunately for us, not this time. He hit the green and was able to get out of dodge long before anyone could catch up to him. Later we would find out he was running late for a special premiere he was having in Harlem with under privleged kids.

Our day was over. Not epic, but damn near close. AND we got to leave the city at a decent time, which means we got home at a decent time. No 3 am arrivals at home or almost falling asleep behind the wheel. We made great time heading home and basked in the glory of another amazing New York trip. Cant wait to see The Rock again. Will I ever get enough? Doubtful. :troll: :bigday:

 

Curt Hawkins At PPW – Hazleton, PA – 7/19/14

HHHHAAAAWWWWKKKKKKKSOME! In a word…..thats how I would describe the night……for the most part at least. WWE recently released several talented superstars from their roster and those talented folks have found their way to the independent circuit. Two of those folks were Brodus Clay and one of my personal favorites in Curt Hawkins. Both were scheduled for a show about an hour and a half from me, so it was a no brainer for me to make the short trip, as its a treat to see Hawkins perform. Grabbed my 18 or so Hawkins items, loaded the truck after work and headed north to Hazleton, PA.

While I took the travel by myself, I did meet up with my buddy Nate. He lives a bit north of Hazleton, so it was a good middle of the ground spot for us. I did run into a slight snag on the way up, as I incorrectly put the address in for the venue and wound up in the moutainous backwoods of Hazleton where I saw a man tickle a billy goat’s beard. :coconuts: I backtracked a bit and met with Nate, who used his google directions to take us into the middle of town. But the second snag came when his directions took us to the wrong spot. I rexamined my navigation and discovered the error. I entered the right address and we were there in 5 minutes. Team work!

Once we arrived, the last snag tore. I wanted first row tickets to the event, PPW…for anyone that cares. I contacted them on FB and was instructed that they did not sell first row tickets online, only rows 2-5. Paul Bo, their ring announcer, responded back and told me that I should arrive about 2 hours early and I could buy it at the door. So that was the plan. Of course, I was running behind and did not arrive 2 hours in advance, but was still about an 1hr30mins early. When we arrived, there were about 20 or so people already waiting. A woman came out and started stamping hands and selling tickets. I told her what Paul Bo told me and she told me thats not how it works. They dont do reserve seating. Ringside seat means you get a seat in rows 1-5. Its first come, first serve. So in essence, all that happened was I forced to pay the full price and couldnt get the advanced sales price. Ok,no biggie.

We got inside within the first 15 or so people and went to the first section we saw and saw those seats had reserve signs, the 2nd section also had all of front row reserved. We finally got to the last section and found most of that front row with reserve signs, cept the last 2 seats. We sat down and were happy with them. Well…that was until some woman walked over and told us those were her seats. I said we were there first. She said she always sits there at every show. Sorry honey…..not this one. She freaked out and went looking for security. One of the indy wrestlers came over and explained that this was the “family section” for the wrestlers. I told him, there were no reserve seating and explained this was our first show. I explained what Paul told me and he said what Paul said was complete BS. He grabbed 2 more chairs and squeezed us into that row. He explained that front row seats are not available to fans, only to wrestler’s family and sponsors. That is completely and absurdly ass backwards. How many sponsors could you possibly have that you would need like 30 or so front row seats for sponsors?!:f8you:

Hawkins and Brodus, who was there courtesty of ESS. After talking to Hawkins over twitter for the past few weeks, he said he would bring me a little gift to the show. And true to his word, he did. He brought me one original WWE promo of every single promo/photo file he has ever had. It was really cool. Major Brothers, Edge Heads, the ULTRA rare white promo. Awesome stuff. I got a giant stack of promos signed, couple of programs and finally my Hawkins cane signed. Along with several blurry photo ops and one crisp one. The blurry photos were courteous of my camera having the auto focus switch moved to manual. :wtfmad: Ugh. Curt was a good sport though. And since I am sure Curt is reading this, thanks man! :hellyeah:

I think the best part was just sitting and talking to Curt about wrestling, WWE and more wrestling. It was a pleasure to listen to his knowledge, stories, thoughts, etc. And I respect the hell out of his opinions, as he had no fear in engaging in respectful debate. If he didnt agree with me, he made it known…..as did I. Brodus even joined in on the coversation and it was cool to learn about his time in WWE. Oh and if you see Curt at a show, he has a variety of things for sale at the gimmick table. Make sure and grab the DVD he is selling. Its a MUST HAVE!!!! Its even autographed.
The PPW show itself was bland. I think they have a decent fan base, a nice setup, great building for an indy show, a few talented individuals. But overall, I think they have too much going on. There are too many managers and authority figures. I also dont know why they were working in a pony ring, as this building did not require one.

I bailed after Hawkins match, missing the main event where Brodus won the PPW title. Would I return to a PPW show? Yes. They book good draw names there, as they had AJ Styles there a couple of months ago. They have a nice setup as well. Its not something I would go on a consistent basis though and the bad information is something that definitely soured me.
Leaving early allowed me to get home at a decent time. It was great to see Nate and a blast to chat with Hawkins. Definitely one of the raddest fucking dudes alive! Cant wait to see him in PWG for the BOLA 2014.

 

Vampire Diaries Convention – Parsippany, NJ – 7/12/14

Sometimes you play the game and sometimes…..the game plays you. This weekend…..I PLAYED the game. A lot of my report will not be in its normal true detail. I have developed a system that allows me to attend Creation’s Vampire Diaries conventions for little to no cost of my own. Its all pefectly legal and there is absolutely ZERO counterfeiting of tickets. For the past 4 years, each year has grown increasingly cheaper. This year it couldnt have been any cheaper.

Part of my plan does require some sacrifice. Depending on how much one is willing to sacrifice, will determine how cheap this convention will become for oneself. This year, I was willing to sacrifice the main event portion, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley…..the normal Sunday main event guests. Instead I opted for Saturday, which would give me 2 Vampire Diaries names I needed for my poster and 4 The Originals names I needed for a new poster project. For Vampire Diaries, Arielle Kebbel aka Lexi and Zach Roerig aka Matt Donovan. And for The Originals; Daniel Gillies aka Elijah, Todd Stashwick aka Father Kieran, Leah Pipes aka Cammi, and Michael Trevino aka Tyler Lockwood….who appeared in two episodes of The Originals in Season 1 and remains an arch rival for lead Joseph Morgan aka Klaus.

With any convention, schedule changes, cancellations, etc. are par for the course. It started with Eka Darville aka Diego, who canceled due to filming commitments a few months before the convention. But with about a week before the con, we had SEVERAL major changes/cancellations. First Leah Pipes canceled and then Arielle moved from Saturday/Sunday to just Sunday. The Arielle move hurt, as she was my top want for this con. She is incredibly gorgeous and Lexi is an awesome character. Creation did scramble and came up with 2 names to replace Leah….Callard Harris aka Thierry and Chase Coleman aka Oliver, who seems to be in line for a bigger role come season 2. Sadly, Chase was a Friday ONLY guest and once again…..I am only attending Saturday. Callard Harris is nice addition, but in no way as big as a Leah Pipes. I will not disclose what transpired. But I did contact Creation and I have to acknowledge the promoters of this convention on their professionalism and courtesy. Not only did they respond promptly, they made me feel like I was the most important customer they had. The entire staff, top to bottom…..from the promoters to the ticket vendors to the volunteers…..conducted themselves with the highest of professionalism. Just a few weeks ago, if you read my Wizard World report, you learned on how NOT to treat your customers. Creation Entertainment should teach Wizard a thing or two about how a promoter should conduct oneself and how valuable the customer truly is. And Creation deserves this high praise, which is not easily earned by myself. :like:

Now with all the cancellations, subtractions/additions, schedule changes, etc…..there was still one more to come. And this would set the con on fire. Originally scheduled for Sunday ONLY, Ian Somerhalder had to change his schedule or else canceled. So instead of being on Sunday with Paul, he was moved to Saturday. Crazy! But since he was moved to Saturday, it also allowed me to pickup a photo op with him.

So I have laid the ground work and now the trip begins. Its a little less than 3 hours to Parsippany for me. Not horrible. The schedule was posted a few days before the convention and looks like all my autographs were going to be in the evening. No need to get up early. Decided to leave around 1pm to get there in plenty of time to pickup my tickets and get an early spot in the Ian line. I got there in plenty of time and went inside to pickup my tickets. I avoided the registration line, as everyone was getting Daniel Gillies photo ops or listening to Ian’s panel. So I walked right it and was warmly greeted by the Creation staff. They knew who I was and once again, all treated me with the utmost respect. Vinnie, even jokingly said I was Creation’s BEST customer. Once I got registered, I returned to my truck for a bit to read some comics. Since there is one photo room and the Daniel line was absurd, I knew there was no need to be there this early for Ian’s photo op. Not to mention, most of the Ian photo op ticket holders were inside his panel.

About 45 minutes before photo op time, I returned to the con. I went inside and the Daniel line was done. I was going to go lineup, but was told there is no line for Ian and I cannot start one. So I wandered off closer to the doors and just kept an eye out on the area and headed back over when the line started. Once the line formed, I met up with a new friend of mine, Jen and spent the rest of the convention hanging out and swapping stories. Normally at the VD cons, I look like a turd in a punch bowl. A convention filled with teenage girls, young women, old women and……me, the proverbial turd. :troll: But this time, at least this turd had some company. The line moved fairly quickly. We got in and got out within 15 minutes. Not bad. When we exited, we got a glimpse of exactly how bad this photo op was. Not only that, but Ian’s next photo op was a duo with Michael Malarkey and that line was already stretched across the hippo and passed the hippo bar. Jen had this ticket as well, so I kept her company in that line as well. It was either spend time with a beautiful woman or sit in a truck reading comic books. Which would you choose? :thinking:

This line took MUCH longer. The Ian solo line just didnt seem to move. Everytime I would see people move, the end of the line continued to grow. It got so long……that it started to blend with the duo line and they needed to move the duo line. By the time Jen went in for her photo and I waited for her outside the photo room, I could tell Ian’s Gold ONLY panel was not going to start on time. I checked with Creation staff and was told that the 7pm auto session would start on time regardless of Ian’s panel being delayed. I was shown where the auto room would be. When Jen returned, I explained the situation. She opted to pass on Ian’s panel and join me for autographs. Since we had a little time to kill, we grabbed a drink at the bar. After that, we discovered that the information I was given was incorrect and that autographs would not start on time because they would be in the same room as Ian’s panel. So we decided to go into the panel late.

Anyone that reads my reports knows how I do not care for panels. They are filled with lousy, boring questions that we have heard the answers to a million times or questions that are just “fan girl” questions and lack any creativity, originality or substance. This night, I was proven wrong….at least by one person. The question posed to Ian; “If you could go back in time and change one major historical event……what would it be and why?” Now if this question was posed to Dez Bryant……it may seem a little off and Dez probably wouldnt be able to name any TRUE significant historical event anyway. BUT, Ian isnt Dez Bryant and is quite intelligence, especially when it comes to history…for those who follow him on twitter. Ian’s answer was well thought out and very Ian “Save The World”. He said he was change the outlawing of prohibition, as he believes that banning alcohol is what led to the oil tycoons and alcohol not becoming THE national power source and oil ruins the enviroment, etc, etc. Ian is the resident Captain Planet. And I’m happy that he is leading a charge to save the world. But its not exactly my cup of tea. Still….very well thought out question responded with a very personal and respectable answer.

Anyway, they were almost 30 minutes behind and finally the autographs started. Jen had dinner reservations and was not staying for the autographs, so I was on my own again. It was a little confusing exactly how this was being handled. On the left side, was Daniel Gillies, Callard Harris and Michael Trevino. These 3 guests were NOT included in the price of the gold package. On the right side was Zach Roerig and Todd Stashwick, 2 names that were included. They suggested that everyone who had tickets for Daniel, Callard and Michael to get them first. So I went to the left side. The line moved VERY quickly. Daniel was first. He signed my Originals poster…..HUGE. It could have been worse. Well…actually, it kind of was. The handler said no personalizations and no inscriptions. Normally, I dont allow this to deter me….but sadly, his huge autograph caught me off guard and I neglected to ask him personally. Daniel did compliment my marker, which seems to be a very a popular theme amongst the VD cast.

When I was done, I moved to Callard Harris, who did I inscribe Thierry and Michael Trevino, who did Tyler Lockwood for me. Trevino was cool. I asked him if there might be a chance we might see him cross over to New Orleans again. He said “doubtful….he is stuck in Mystic Falls.” Interesting….stuck? Guess he liked it in New Orleans. LOL!

With those 3 names done, I headed over to the opposite side for Zach and Todd. Originally, they said you would just get into that line. But now they were saying you had to return to your seat and wait for your row to be called. So when I sat down, I asked what row they were on…..still first row. WHAT?!?!? :saswhat: Its been at least 20 minutes and the first row isnt done yet. Needless to say, this took forever for my row to get called. When it finally did, the line moved fairly quickly until we got to the first guest.

Zach Roerig, better known as Matt Donovan. He seemed to have inherited Vickie Donovan’s pension for alcohol or perhaps Steven R. McQueen’s for the wacky tabacky, the herb, cheeba, mersh, kemp, schwag, alaskan dog fuck, bubonic, maui wowie, krang, sweet thang, diesel, resin, peacebloom, the devil’s lettuce….you know what I mean? Dude, was out there. What transpired to the lady in front of me and the tshirt she was getting signed…..is hard to explain. But Zach seem to have some issues signing his name. The first time he tried, it seemed ok. But he wasnt satisfied and what transpired next…..I felt bad for the girl. Anyway, it was my turn and I was quite concerned for my poster. I handed Zach my Deco paint and this also seemed to turn into something. As Zach was mesmerized by the odor coming from it. He proceeded to stick the tip into his nostril and huffed the marker 3 times. Hey man…..I sniff those markers too. I loved the smell. But Zach seem to find this euphoric. I thought he was gonna sniff the tip right into his lung. He did in fact sign the poster, even if his signature is signed perpendicular and he did inscribe Matt, eventhough I asked for Matt Donovan. I grabbed my marker and moved on.

Last name of the con and it was Todd Stashwick. Todd was nice. He signed my Originals poster and inscribed it Father K….AMEN! Nice Amen touch there. And that was it. The con was over for me. I came and got all my autographs and my photo op and did it with very little to no cost to myself. I grabbed my photo op off the table, which was ready as promised. I went and got my jpeg from the photographer, who was always cool as shit. And I was done. I loaded the truck and hit the road back to home.

For dinner and gas, I did stop at Wawa in Phillipsburg, which is a perfect place to stop. Cheap gas, good food, open all night. I filled up and went inside and ordered my food. BTW for those who do stop at this exit, they are bum rushing a Quaker Steak and Lube in that plaza. I was in NYC less than a month ago and there wasnt even ground broken here. Its now ground broken, building erect, signs going up. Anyway, I found Sprite 6 Remix, limited edition Lebron James edition. Its traditional lemon-lime Sprite mixed with Orange and Cherry. And it is possibly the greatest soda ever created! I picked up a case for the ride home. :praise:

All in all, it was a good day. The convention moved quickly for the most part, very well organized. The lines were long, but manageable. And I came home with another solid name on my Vampire Diaries poster and 4 names on my brand new Originals poster to get it started. The game was played and I came out smelling like a winner!

 

Mark Wahlberg And TNA New York City 6/25/14

Anyone who knows me knows how much I have supported and enjoyed TNA Wrestling over the years. I love the idea of giving the boys another place to work outside of WWE. And when WWE was putting on the flaming shit bag of a product that they were for a good 2 years, it was TNA that was producing the best wrestling on television. But sadly, over the past 9 months, TNA has been slowly falling into the Abyss. With numerous mishandlings of talent, booking issues, inconsistencies, etc……I began to lose faith in the company. And then came that day. That day I thought TNA had finally put their last foot in the grave. Eric Young became World Champion, out of the blue and for no reason. A guy who looks like he has pubes glued on his face and has been nothing more than a cheap imitation of humor was now the TNA World Champion. I had finally had enough. No longer could inconsistent booking, poor decisions and abuse of talent could I ignore. I turned my television off and refused to watch. Evidently, I was not the only person…..as ratings were plummeting and it sent TNA reeling. They corrected their mistake just a week ago when TNA took Impact on tour. With my ban of TNA being lifted in light on this correction, I jumped in the car with DJ and off we went to NYC for TNA’s tapings there.

Sometimes things work out really well and the same day TNA was in town, so was Mark Wahlberg. But our first stop had nothing to do with either of them. As previously written in my Upfronts adventure, my Arrow book was ruined in the rain of NYC. I came to the realization that I would never accept this book as anything but ruined. The need to have it restarted was there and so it begins. And the first name going in the book was Colin Donnell. Colin was awesome as always. He even read my tweet about the book being ruined and wanted the 411 on it. He was glad to sign it and take another photo with me. Just an amazing all around guy. If you have the chance to meet him, you must. Hope to see him in Season 3 of Arrow….even though he is dead. Anything can happen, right? :ohyeah:

With Colin in the bag, we moved on to our next spot for Mark Wahlberg. DJ was worried that a huge crowd was coming, so we hit the spot super early to see what was going on. It was empty. DJ elected to head to a spot for Daniel Radcliffe, while I decided to pass on him and hit Steak n Shake. In the end, we both failed. DJ got blown off and I refused to stand in a line that was stretched out the door and around the block. I returned to the Wahlberg spot and decided to get myself the best spot I could while waiting for DJ. The crowd would slowly grow to a decent size. The heat and humidity in the city this day was unreal. My shirt was already soaked in sweat and I hadnt done anything but stand outside for about an hour. Wahlberg arrived a little past the expecting time. We feared he was going to have his children with him, which he did…but he had a separate SUV for them. So he came over and started signing and taking photos. Back in November, I had tried for Wahlberg at the Lone Survivor premiere. He apologized he couldnt do it, but told everyone to remind him next time he saw us and he would hook us up. Wahlberg came right up to me and skipped me. :yikes1: He moved to DJ and took a photo with him. I was able to grab his attention before he continued moving on. He signed my photo and then I pulled the Lone Survivor card and he agreed to sign the other. Sadly, he was too far away from me in order to get a picture with him. We waited till a later for him to return, but he just jumped into his SUV and left. Sadly no picture with, but did score 2 autographs.

Our next spot was taking the long train to Brooklyn for William Dafoe, a big want for DJ. We got there close to 2 hours in advance and when it was all over….we failed. I felt bad for my buddy, as I know how big of a want this was for him. But we had to regroup quickly as we needed to get back into Manhattan for TNA. So back on the long subway ride back and we got into Manhattan in about 20 minutes. We headed over to Hammerstein and saw about 5 security guards around the front door patting fans down and wanding people with metal detectors. Was the President attending? :haeh: No food, no drink, no weapons, no lighters. Well I was violating 2 of those rules. I was able to sneak by security and got inside. We picked up our tickets and made our way to the stairs. Unfortunately, we were told the stairs were off limits and we needed to take the elevator….the one and only elevator. So this entire building of fans are forced to use one elevator and only one elevator?! No way were we gonna stay for the whole show then. It would take forever to get out of there. We took our seats in the balcony and had a fantastic view. This building just has an amazing setup. Great place to watch a show. We left with about 40 minutes left in the show and headed out the door and to our last spot of evening to try and meet The Great Muta. Muta was by far my top want of the day. I knew our chances were slim. So we headed over to their ho tel and waited. We saw some other marks, but they decided to head to the arena and wait there. And the first people we saw….Beth, Ruby and Jeff Hardy. Beth greeted me with a hug and I got to see Ruby again, who had grown up so tall. I hadnt seen her since she was just a little tiny thing. They were headed out to catch a quick bite, so I didnt want to hold them up. Jeff said he would take care of me when they returned. So we were off to a good start. Kurt Angle was out next and looked out of it. Sad. He stopped to sign, which was cool. But he had all his luggage with him and just started walking down the streets.

It wasnt but a minute later and DJ screamed MUTA!!!! Muta was coming and he was in a hurry. I reached in my bag for my program and was able to get it out just in time to get Muta to sign it. DJ jumped in and scored a photo and I was able to do the same. Sadly, I thought the photo was taken and attempted to move before the photo actually took. But thanks to the power of photo shop and my new favorite board member Grady…..BAM!! Instant correction.

The rest of evening would just be a total flurry of names coming and going. Knux, MVP, Kenny King, Eddie Edwards, Spud, Samuel Shaw, Gunner, Anderson…who said he can no longer say Asshole on TNA…..Hebners, Willie Urbina, Hector Guererro, Stifler, Lashley, Rebel, Brittany, Angelina Love, Brian Cage, DVON, Dixie Carter, Jason Harvey from The Wonder Years, Ezekial Jackson who blew everyone off…..King Mo, EC3, Bobby Roode and James Storm to name a few. I believe there were a few other small names as well.

Some notable stories were Bully/Velvet. We spotted a black town car stop in the middle of an intersection. Next thing we see is Bully and Velvet with security guards surrounding them rushing to the vehicle. They leave their luggage by the door and jump into the back seat. The driver gets out and starts loading the bags before they sped away. Seriously?! :smh: This reeks of Punk and whatever skank he was dating at the time. Everytime Punk was around, the girl couldnt sign or take photos for fear of backlash from Punk. Velvet is one the sweetest girls you will ever meet. Now Bully wants to pull a Punk? Sorry Bully…..you aint that important. I think you are HIGHLY over rated who has a thing for fat ring rats, at least according to that interview in People Magazine many years ago. CM Punk may be a dick, but he is a talented one….an A list professional wrestler. Bully is but a D list performer, being booked as an A list guy right now. Is a horde of security guards really necessary? The fact that you were parked in an intersection that was a half a block away was a deterrent enough not to go up to you.

And my second interesting story was Dvon. Dude tried to pull a Franco. So while Dvon is taking pictures, this young girl and her little brother are there. The little brother asks for a photo and Dvon poses. He asks about the girl taking the picture and who that was. The boy tells him its his sister. He tells the little boy that his sister is very cute. They take the photo. Dvon continues….your sister has a great body. Very sexy. He tells the girl this. Dvon asks her how old she is and she tells him 16. Dvon responds “I’ll pretend you said 18.” :rofl1:

Ok, ok. The last part is adlibbed. He did ask her how old she was and she did tell him 16 and he left it at that. Too bad Dvon doesnt know that 16 is consensual in NYC. Should have consulted James Franco. :like:

It was getting close to 1am and Jeff had not returned. I had texted him, but had not heard back from him. We had a long drive and decided to call it a night. We headed back to the train station to catch the train back to NJ. While on the train, Jeff texted me back and had finally gotten back. We had missed him. He asked if I was gonna be at any of the other shows. I was not, so we made plans to get together in August when TNA returns to NYC.

Not too shabby of a day. Got some great meets. Hit the top target with Muta. Got to see the Hardy clan. Watched a great TNA show and even found myself a new favorite drink…….Sprite Slushie Lebron James remix. Its Sprite mixed with cherry and orange. And its truly delicious. It even comes in bottles to drink….good, but not as good as the slushie. MMMMM!!!! Well until next time, always remember to mark out with your chark out. :thinking: Sorry…mark and cock dont rhyme.

 

Wizard World Philadelphia 6/21/14-6/22/14

With bags packed and tickets bought, the sun had just risen and DJ and I were on our way to “The City Of Brotherly Love”. Which, in all honesty should be renamed to “The City Of Go Fuck Yourself.” I swear, everytime I goto Philly I have some sort of face to face confrontation and encounters with the most disrespectful people on this planet. If you have read my previous stories, you may recall a certain incident inside a Wendy’s bathroom. People say New Yorkers are known to be rude….yet, no place I have ever traveled to have I ever encounter rudeness like I have in Philadelphia. Not to mention, the city smell reeks of human urine and week old body odor. Sadly, that body odor isnt coming from the homeless either.

We arrived into Philly around 8am. As we were driving to the parking garage, we went right by the convention center for Wizard World. Outside we saw a line stretching down several blocks. We expected it….so we didnt sweat it. With the Wizard World lineup so stacked with big names like David Boreanaz, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus, Nathan Fillion, Lauren Cohan and more….we knew that Saturday would be a ridiculous amount of people. Once parked, we walked back to the convention center and found the line was already let into the building. So we were able to walk right in. Once inside, we went to the registration booths so DJ could recover his VIP lanyard for Stan/Mackie. I was lucky to get a vendor pass from a buddy of mine, so I did not need to register. We were then shown the escalators going up and went upstairs to the main convention floor. Once upstairs we found the VIP line and waited. Sadly, DJ realized he left his paint markers in the car and I didnt have the colors he needed. So he ran back to the car, while I held his spot in line. It was a LONG wait and only the first of VERY long lines and VERY long waits,I was gonna have. Again…..expected. When DJ returned, I headed back downstairs to pickup my vendor pass and was let into the convention floor. The calm before the storm, as they say. Got a chance to scope out this year’s setup, visit vendors without the headache of crowds and even get my tickets redeemed for autographs and photo ops. I saw a very cool Commander Rogers tshirt that I picked up.

VIPs were let in and it was like watching a herd of cattle trampling the grounds. People ran into the main floor and were headed for the autograph booths. Fillion, Cohan and Reedus were drawing the biggest lines….as was Sebastian Stan, which I was a little surprised by. After DJ redeemed his tickets, we walked around a little bit. We both didnt have our first stops till 11am for photo ops. Through our strolls we came across The Guardians Of The Galaxy booth. Here you could get a green screen photo in the GOTG prison lineup photo. After you got your photo, you were given a full size 27×40 movie poster, which was selling as high as $60 on ebay. So we made sure to score one each and then headed to photo ops. DJ headed for the fairly short Whoopi Goldberg line and I was in the somewhat long David Boreanaz line. I was pleasantly surprised to find his Saturday line to be reasonable. Whoopi started and DJ started moving through the line. As he went through the curtain, I noticed I still had not taken a step forward. Soon, DJ came out and walked over to me and I was STILL standing in the very same spot. After a few more minutes, the line started moving and once it got moving, I found my way through the curtain pretty quickly. Per usual, photo ops were moved very quickly. But still, it was awesome to knock off a big want like Boreanaz off the list. I loved how well my photo op turned out too. By that point, it was time to start lining up for Eliza Dushku. I knew DJ wanted to split some ops that werent as important to him, so I agreed to split them even though I despise this idea. And after getting them…..I now hate them more, as there is no good way to crop them without some serious photoshopping. We had a bit of a wait, but once the line got moving….so did we. Once we got inside, she cuddled up to me nicely and we got our photo. While it was nice to have Eliza cuddled up next to me, but it caused the photo to become semi uncroppable.

Once we were done with Eliza, DJ headed to Mackie’s line and I headed to a booth that offered free phone charging. They had some nice comfy chairs to sit and wait for your phone to charge. I sat there for about 20 minutes before I got up to head back over to grab my Boreanaz photo, Dushku photo and get lined up for Sebastian Stan. Sadly, while the stations were nice, I got 3% battery charge on my phone for 20 minutes. At home, I can score a good 15% in 20 minutes. Oh well. Grabbed my photos and hit the EXTREMELY long Sebastian Stan line. It was gonna be a VERY long wait, as I arrived 45 minutes early and the line must have been 500 people long. There were 2 VIP lines and 3 GA lines. This was not gonna be fun. When DJ was done, he came over and joined me for a bit, before he started the heart of his photo ops. It took forever to get through and my feet were KILLING me after this wait, but it was cool. Stan was very nice. Even agreed to hold DJ’s Cap shield, which he allowed me to use for my photo op.

After Stan, my buddy Won and I headed over to the Purge trucks to register for The Purge Experience. Its kind of a murder mystery or escape the room type event. You have several different stages and you have to solve puzzles in order to find keys in order to unlock doors. You have 30 minutes to escape or the Purge begins and the killer will come and kill you. Most places, you can do this for $25…..Philly was $40. Still, it was something I was very interested in. Since Won and I were but 2, they were going to pair us up with other people to a max of 6. Won and I were hoping it was gonna be just the 2 of us, but after doing it…..2 is not enough to survive. More on that later.

DJ would spend pretty much the rest of the con caught up in all kinds of chaos of the photo ops lines. I snagged his Stan/Mackie VIP badge and attempted to use it to skip the GA lines. I wanted to get my Cap poster and my Stan photo op from earlier signed. My photo wasnt printed yet, so I figured I could just do it later or the next day. After a little debate, I was allowed to hit the VIP line. They tried to convince me that since the lanyard was punched already, I was not allowed in the VIP line. But before doing so, I decided to grab some food. This is something that I avoid at 99% of the cons. Usually the food tastes like crap and will cost you an arm and a leg. I knew we would be going to dinner after the con and it was 5pm by this point, so I wanted to get something small. I opted for the chicken fingers and fries. I expected this meal to cost me about $12-15. It was $17. :okIsee: But that wasnt the worst part. For my $17 I got 2 chicken fingers. Thats right. Thats not a typo. I got 2 chicken fingers. Each finger measured approximately 4 inches long. My basket of fries was more like a handful….maybe 10 in there, :saswhat: Insane. I ate it very quickly and spent the next 30 minutes just taking a load off. Texting back and forth with DJ, he was having all kinds of issues with the photo ops and people running behind, disorganization, etc. I headed over to Stan and was at the head of the line, using the VIP to skip right past all the GA people. I got my poster signed and got to spend a few seconds of face time with Stan. I thanked him for the photo he took with me on the streets in NY and he said it was his pleasure. When I was done, I proceeded to Mackie’s line and once again was first. Got lectured by the WW volunteer there, but it was too late as Mackie arrived and was waiting for me to come over to get a signature. Now before he started to sign, he was very engaging with the crowd and even got into a friendly debate with Sebastian Stan. It was quite funny. They agreed to settle the fight in Cap 3, where Mackie said he fights dirty. I got up to Mackie on my Cap poster. I asked for a selfie, as DJ had gotten one. Mackie said they told he cant do it anymore. I asked him nicely and he said go for it. Sadly before the flash went off, WW told him to sign the next item and the pic went off with his eyes closed. :dislike:

Would have been nice to have that selfie, but not the end of the world. I rejoined DJ for a minute before I had to leave to goto my Purge event. DJ was none too happy concerning the chaos of the photo ops lines. The time came for The Purge, so I headed over to meet with Won. When we got there, we waited for our other team members. The first guy showed up and we discussed strategy. We agreed on how to search the rooms, solve the puzzle etc. We also talked about the possibility that there might be someone inside that requests that we free them and take them with us. We agreed….no. We free no one. Why would they put a cast member in there to help us? They would have to be there to sabotage us. We were told that less than 1% of teams will survive. But we were determined to be apart of those select few. As we were getting ready to enter, there were 2 last second additions to the team. I filled them in on our agreed strategy already. We stepped inside and we found ourselves in darkness. A minute later, a girl appeared and was handcuffed and locked in a prison. We got the key pretty quickly and were able to unlock the first door. She screamed she wanted free and we proceeded into the next room. She kept screaming to free her and I told her, we would not. The next door had a electronic combination. The girl kept freaking saying we had to free her or we couldnt proceed. I still didnt want to free her, but one guy broke ranks and freed her. I told him that she will be the death of us.

In reality, we did need her. HOWEVER, to be fair…she did get us killed too. Some the puzzles were harder than others. It was fun though. At one point, there was a little door that we needed to walk through. I attempted to bend down and walk through, but banged my head on the metal. So I decided to try and dive through. What I didnt know was that the floor was made of gravel in the next part and ended up cutting up my hands and knees. When I exited, I found my shorts had all kinds of blood spots on them. We did make it to the final stage, but were unable to survive. When time ran out, the Purge began. The girl told us to get into this closet and hide, it was our only chance to survive. I refused. I knew if we entered, it was over. I wanted to continue to solve the puzzle, but my team mates went into the closet and the girl kept screaming I had to go or I would die. After a small protest, I went inside. As soon as I did, she shut the door behind me and locked it. A minute later, the killer came through a hidden compartment and fired his shotgun at us. The game was over and we failed. I really wished we had finished. But it was a thrill to participate. I highly recommend to anyone who likes puzzles, riddles and mental games to play this. Its awesome. Definitely would do it again.

DJ was finally done with his photos, but not all his ops were done. The show was over and everyone was told to go downstairs to retrieve photo ops. They also moved Norman Reedus line down there, as Reedus agreed to stay and finish his line out since he was like 3 hours late. Downstairs was complete and total chaos. We couldnt get anywhere near the photo ops. There had to be nearly 2000 people downstairs. People were freaking out and WW had lost total control. I plowed my way through and got to the other side, where WW employees were. I ran down to where DJs last photo op was and snagged it. I raised it high in the air screaming I found it and I was free. We got out and opted to get out of there. This was just gonna take all night.

We were finally free and headed back to the car on fumes of energy. I didnt have much, so I can only imagine how DJ was feeling with as many lines as he was in. We got to the garage and DJ went to pay, while I hit the soda machine. I put my money in and pressed for a Mountain Dew. Nothing came out. I tried others and nothing. It wouldnt give me a soda. I asked the parking attendant and he refused to refund me my $1.35. Instead he told me to call this 800 number and someone would come from the soda company to give me a refund. Thats ridiculous. He told me it wasnt the garage’s machine. I asked why it was here then. He wouldnt budge. No refunds. I told him since it wasnt his machine, he wouldnt care if I break it to get my money back. He said he could care less. I then proceeded to destroy the soda machine. Kicking it, punching it and even cracking the fiberglass on the front of it. Complete horse shit. I will NEVER park in that garage again. Its a lousy $1.35 for a machine in your garage. Its good customer service to give me the refund. So once again, I am in Philly and having an explosion of anger over rude service. :f8you:

We head back to the hippo. Our original plan was to stop at Tony Luke’s, but we both somehow forgot and just drove past the exit. We agreed to just get good at the Denny’s next to the hippo. The rest of the evening was pretty much a blur. Exhaustion had settled in. I did grab a shower before heading to bed, as I just felt grimy from the con. We would be up early again the next morning and do it all over again.

Sunday morning arrived and my lazy ass didnt want to wake up, especially since DJ was trying to get to the con an hour and a half early when it was completely unnecessary. DJ’s big need was Reedus and he pretty much devoted his entire day to getting Reedus on Sunday. But since I had the vendor pass, it didnt matter if we arrived at 9am or 10:29am….one minute before VIP pass holders would be allowed onto the floor, as I would still be in there before them. We arrived a tad past 930am and DJ joined the absurd line. The line for Sunday VIP was worse than the Saturdays. Then again, we did arrive 2 hours in advance of Saturday and only 1 hour in advance of Sunday. DJ got into line and I went into the convention. I walked around a bit and the con was dead. Most of the vendors werent even there. WW staff wasnt there. It was pretty much worthless to be in there. I figured I would just goto Reedus’ booth and hang there…..cept there was no Reedus booth. I walked up and down the aisles, but where his booth was on Saturday was empty. This wasnt good. Could they be keeping Reedus down stairs? Did he cancel last minute for Sunday? Luckily for DJ, the answer came quickly thereafter. WW staff started to reassemble Reedus’ booth and I got into line. I was told that Reedus did not finish all of Saturday’s people. So they would do Saturday’s VIPs, then Saturday’s that had met Reedus and then Saturday’s GA and then Sunday’s VIPs and THEN finally, DJ. The volunteer here was very nice and knowledgable. She explained to me that they changed WW policy this year with the VIPs and did not tell anyone. She was still honoring them though. She encouraged me to talk to her boss if there was an issue.

The buffalo trampled in at 10:30am. DJ got over and claimed his spot and I left to tackle Sebastian Stan again. I wanted to get the last few autographs from him, as my 8×10 was finally printed late the night before. Of course, they wouldnt let me in his VIP line and also proceeded to tell me that Stan was sold out today. She told me that they may be able to get some GAs in later in the day, if time allotted, but he had a flight to catch. They wouldnt even allow GA to lineup. Said to come back around 430pm. :skipWHAT: I went upstairs to the WW offices to explain my issue and try and get resolution. But the woman upstairs would have none of it. She spewed lie after lie saying that this has always been the WW policy and a VIP pass only allows for one line jump. She then told me that if you buy extras, you can still only get the one VIP autograph signed and must exit the line and join the GA line if I want extras. None of this made any sense and she was a rude and nasty bitch. I tried to be diplomatic, evolved into professional anger and finished with telling her off about the poor service that WW provides. She absolutely no sold it and didnt care.

Back downstairs, I found Samantha, who showed me who her boss was. I attempted to speak with him, but he was taking Reedus to his booth….who was like an hour late. Another gentleman came over and asked if he could assist. I explained what happened with the VIP pass and then what occurred in the office. I explained that this woman was a total nasty bitch, which he responded……”thats my mom.” :likewhatsee: In my quick wittedness and an attempt to diffuse the situation I told him I was guessing he was adopted. :troll:Didnt go over well. He told me that there was nothing that could be done and that if I did not get my autographs, they would refund me my money. I explained I didnt come here for 1 autograph ….but stopped there cuz I knew what was gonna come next. It was a repeat of the whole incident when they refused to refund my admission to WW when they cancelled all their major guests with a week to go before the con. Why would a con want to be so quick to issue a refund to a customer that has paid for a VIP and several extras, makes no sense to me. He said I was free to take it up with his boss, but would get the same answer. I took the chance. I had to wait about 20 minutes, but his boss came over and said he was informed about my complaint. He said he didnt want to see me unhappy and would get me in the VIP line. So they escorted me over the Stan’s VIP line and instructed the person there to let me in the line. She refused. They told her that it wasnt her call and she began to tell them that letting me in would only cause more issues. They told her she has been over ruled. She then said she refused to show me where the end of the line was. :rofl: What is with these people?!?!? So they found the end of the line and I joined it. I was told by the volunteer managing the line that I would be the last person allowed in until after his photo ops were done later in the day. Once his line got moving, it moved quickly. I got the front and Stan recognized me from the day before and said he had a bone to pick with me. :cop: He said he saw me cheering on Mackie during the friendly battle they were having. I told him that was just not true. I was Winter Soldier all the way. I bought 1 Mackie auto, but I got 3 Stan’s. He laughed it off and I was done.

I went to check on DJ and found him in absolute hell. My poor friend looked like someone kicked his dog. I even spotted Ray who asked me what was up with DJ? His facial expression was almost indescribable. We were past 12pm and he hadnt moved. It would be nearly 2pm before DJ was done with Reedus. Once he was done, we headed over and got into Sean Astin’s line. I’ve always liked Astin as an actor. I think most people know him from Lord of The Rings. I dont. What I know him from is The Goonies, Like Father Like Son, Toy Soldiers (my favorite Astin movie), Encino Man, Rudy and 50 First Dates. Astin was really personable and I enjoyed the conversation. But once again, cropping wasnt gonna happen on this split. While Astin put his arm around me and I to him….DJ struck an En Vogue pose and Astin’s other arm just dangled in front of DJ. :killme:

With Astin done, it left me one last…..Jason David Frank aka The Green Ranger aka The White Ranger…aka Rangers I never cared about. The guy is ultra personable and does a fantastic job in marketing himself. Its why he draws so well at every con and he is AT every con. For me, I really wanted The White Ranger in gimmick photo op. I want the Green too, but thats his standard. He only breaks The White out at special cons that he feels are drawing big. Well….he added White for Sunday, so it was on. I even got a chance to appear on his FB video chanting Best In The World at him…..as he has been challenging CM Punk to an MMA fight for quite some time. I got my photo and our day was just about done.

I had heard that if you go up to the photo sales booth, they can print your photo ops right then and there if it was an emergency. So we hit the booth and got our photos printed. And NOW it was over. Finally. For me, this was a very unpleasant experience. I’m stoked I got some great photo ops. Honestly, I thought Celeb Photo Ops handled things MUCH better than Wizard World. Their staff doesnt try and fuck anyone over. They try and make things right. Wizard World, most of them, are just money whores. I met a family that was standing in line for John Cena photo op….which sold out like a few days before the con. They said they called WW and was told if they showed up on Sunday, they would sell them one. Of course it was a lie. When they got to the front, they were denied. Mom, Dad and their 2 young kids who were all dressed in Cena gear. No photo ops. All were sold out. And when they explained what happened….they were told it wasnt true. They asked for a refund for the admission and was denied. Why? Same reason. Admission is to get in….not to meet celebrities. You can still stay and enjoy the con. I have been to Walker Stalker, Creation Cons, Fan Expos and none of them treat their patrons so poorly like Wizard World does. Not sure if its Wizard as whole, as Wizard in Toronto was very nice to deal with. But its unreal how poor the customer service is. I felt so bad for those people and those kids.

So back to the car and a DIFFERENT garage we parked at and we got back on the road. On the way home, we stopped at my favorite Turnpike stop, that is now downgraded as Sbarros is gone. Went inside to get some food. After coming out of the restroom, a very attractive blonde was waiting outside the ladies room and stopped me to tell me she liked my shirt. It read “Orgasm Donor”. I asked her if she wanted a donation, which she giggled at and walked away. I ordered some food from Roys. I waited about 30 minutes for it. Unreal. Then I ordered a slice from this new pizza place to give it a try. NEVER AGAIN. They put my one slide in a styrofoam container. After a few minutes I opened it to eat it and lifted the pizza to watch all this great pour down into the container. The container though had no bottom, as the grease had eaten away at it. I think a deep fryer has less grease in it. It was horrid and I couldnt eat it. So take note if you are on the PA turnpike headed towards Harrisburg and encounter this stop with the Roy Rogers in it….DO NOT….I repeat…DO NOT, eat that pizza.

 

Television UpFronts – NYC – 5/14-5/15/14

My BIGGEST celebrity hunt……EVER! That should be the title of this report. Honestly, UpF week is just crazy! The one week of the year (or for me May 14-15) that television’s BIGGEST networks bring the BIGGEST shows with their BIGGEST names to the BIGGEST city. You cant help but to meet celebrities. And boy did I meet some celebrities. And it was truly much needed. A few recent trips had really hit some clunkers….missing out on top wants or coming back with very little to show. These two days were nothing like that. Where to begin? Where to begin? Oh….I know.

Our story actually begins two days before May 14…back on May 12. There was movie premiere for a movie called The Normal Heart. It stars Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons and Avengers own Mark Ruffalo. I definitely wanted to hit this. So with Cancer Free Dave in tow, we were off to NYC. We originally planned to leave at noon, but several unforseen phone calls and a missing poster caused about an hour delay on my part. And all we can say is….THANK GOD! For the first time, being late saved our asses….literally. One hour and 15 minutes into our trip, we found ourselves in ridiculous traffic on 78. Literally, we came to a complete stop and couldnt see anything in front of us but cars, trucks and tractor trailers. Where this accident was and how bad…..wasnt something we would find out till much later. After nearly 6 hours of being trapped in the car, all traffic was finally moved 3 miles to the exit and detoured. Of course, we missed the premiere and had to just head home. And thats when I googled and found out that 78 was completely closed because at 1:15pm, a tractor trailer attempted to pass a truck in front of it by moving to the right lane, slamming a car into the barricade, it slid back under the tractor trailer, causing the trailor to go horizontal and another car crashed into them. Three people were pronounced dead, while the driver of the trailer was airlifted to the hospital. 1:15pm you say? 1 hr and 15 minutes into our trip? If we had left on time….WE would have been in that crash and WE would have been dead. So yes, Cancer Free Dave….I SAVED YOUR LIFE!!!! You can thank me later. Please applaud now. :clap:

So Monday, blew up in our faces. We had to regroup and start anew. We restarted our trip on May 14, Wednesday…this time only running about 15 minutes behind. Thankfully, no accidents or traffic and we made pretty good timing. The day before I had tweeted Colin Donnell to follow up on previous twitter conversation concerning my trips to NYC and missing him. He responded back with a time and place to meet and he would take care of all my autograph needs. But that wasnt going to be our first stop. Our planned first stop was a James Franco book signing. However, on the way up I saw that the TNT/TBS UpF would have Franklin & Bash and that means….Mark Gosselar and Breckin Meyer. I even had my Saved By The Bell promo. SWEET! We wouldnt make it in time though. I figured we could at least check it out to see how bad it was and see if we could score him on exit. If it was too bad, we still had plenty of time for Franco.

When we arrived, there was all but no crowd. Maybe 15-20 total people waiting outside. We grabbed a spot behind a couple of short chicks and waited. It wasnt too long before people started to exit and I started to score left and right. I had nothing for anyone minus Mark Paul, but still got photo ops. First score was Ali Larter from Heroes and Varsity Blues. I didnt know who she was, but just played along with the rest of the crowd. Sadly, my first self blast of the trip blurred. No biggie. Better on Ali Larter than on celeb #2….Rebecca Romijin who played Mystique in the first 3 X Men films. She was really nice and posed for a photo with me. Josh Henderson was next, who I recognized from Dallas eventhough I dont watch it. He was also in Step Up and Girl Next Door. Super nice guy! He saw my Saved by The Bell promo and wanted to check it out. He’s a big fan of Saved By the Bell. Rhona Mitra was next from Shooter. Didnt recognize her, but still scored a photo op. I then got Cee Lo Green from The Voice. The next guy that came out had fans screaming “Dean”, “Dean”. I looked over and it wasnt Dean Cain. I couldnt tell who it was as he had shades on. So I joined in. When he came to me, I realized it wasnt “Dean”….it was Christian Kane aka Lindsey from Angel!!!! Big Angel fan and Christian Kane was freaking awesome. Getting Kane made this spot worth it. I then see Kyra Sedgwick come out, she was The Rock’s agent in The Game Plan….a movie I love. Ashley Tisdale from SOA and High School Musical, who I did not recognize nor can I even picture from SOA. Jere Burns from Justified came out, also did not recognize. Noah Wyle was next. I did recognize him from ER. Next person I saw and recognized was Taye Diggs. Got Skylar Austin from Pitch Perfect was out, but I didnt recognize him but grabbed a pic. Marlon Wayans was next and he was awesome. Quickly recognized him as Ripcord from GI Joe. Been a big fan of his family, especially Damon…for years. Last was Rashida Jones from I Love You Man. I didnt know her name, but quickly recognized her as Jason Segel’s fiance in the movie.

All in all…scored 14 photo ops at this spot. Not bad for about an hours worth of time. Notable names that I saw but didnt get……George Wendt, Steve Carrell, Patrick Duffy and Conan O’Brien. I would have loved to have gotten Wendt, but sadly no one noticed him as all eyes were on Rebecca Romijin. So with 14 photo ops in the bag already, we headed off to meet Colin Donnell. When we arrived, we met up my buddy Ray Ray. We waited about 20 minutes before I got a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was Colin. He thanked me for giving him another chance and apologized for missing me. He was VERY gracious and it was very cool that he recognized me from twitter. Class act personified by Colin. He signed both my posters, my Arrow book and took a photo with me. He said he loved his time from Arrow and made great friends there and hopes he might return someday. I told him how sad his final scene with Stephen was and he really did it justice. It was very cool to meet him and very gracious of him to take time out of his day to take care of a huge fan of the show.

With a little time to kill before we needed to head to the AP for Stephen Amell’s flight, we hit up another spot to see who we might get. We saw some people from Telemundo…..but didnt know any of them nor really cared. Besides, I cant imagine trying to figure out who was who based on our photos here. So we passed. We did see Noah Emmerich though, so it wasnt a total waste. Noah played Garrett Fowler on White Collar. I scored a photo with him, sadly forgot I had my White Collar DVD sleeves and didnt get them signed. Still a cool get with Fowler. With this spot looking kind of dead, we opted to head to the AP. On our walk back to Ray’s car, we found President Obama’s h otel. Even Obama was marking out for the Upfronts!!!

We ran into miserable traffic to the AP. Absolutely awful. We still got there about 20 mins before Amell’s touchdown. When we arrived, I immediately pulled out my Arrow statue. I have been waiting quite awhile to get this signed. I REFUSE to fly with this thing. Its hand crafted and could easily break. But this was a driveable chance, making it the perfect opportunity. Hell…I wasnt expecting many people here and we were right. As we waited, an ebay dealer walked over and asked if we were waiting for him, pointing to my statue. No….we are waiting for Sally Struthers. He then informs us that Amell came in an hour ago and changed his itinerary. :1distraught: This cant be happening. No way. We had to wait it out. But it turned out to be true. He definitely wasnt going to be there. It wasnt a total waste, as Grant Gustin came out. He stars as Barry Allen in the new Flash show. I scored a nice photo op with him after the ebayer blasted him for 16 promos and no I am not exaggerating. Grant was nice about the first 5 he signed, but didnt want to keep doing them as the ebayer continued to offer excuses for another one. He said it was for his mom, his sister, his dying dog. The last one was funny, as he asked for just 1 more for the 10th time. He says this one is his favorite and Grant responded with….I signed this one three times. The dealer told him thats why it was his favorite. The dealer said he was a big fan and cant wait to see Stefan Amell on The Flash. WHO?!?!?!? Grant was shocked. The dealer responded back….Stefan Amell. I interjected and said STEPHEN. His name is STEPHEN AMELL…not Stefan you fuck tard! I dont normally get upset, but since I missed STEPHEN and this guy was monopolizing Grant’s time almost costing me a photo….I was not in a very good mood. Grant then asked the ebayer…I thought you were a big fan? He said he was and that it was his french accent. Dude smelled like he was from Jersey. After the troll left, I got my photo with Grant who liked my Oliver Queen shirt.

With no Amell, the mood of the day had turned sour for me. I wasnt willing to throw in the towel on Amell for the day. We drove back to the city and I suggested to Ray, we head back to Colin’s play. I had suspicion that Stephen would attend tonight. So we headed over and stood out front. It was about 10mins before show time. Things were look gloomy now. I look to my right and see this gorgeous woman with a stunning body and sexy legs walking by. I slurp the drool back into my mouth and watch her head into the theater. I decide to take one last look at her through the glass doors. Its at that moment that I noticed the man standing at the ticket window is STEPHEN AMELL!!!! And that sexy woman is KATIE CASSIDY aka Laurel Lance from Arrow. :victory: I quickly dart in, as they grab their tickets. Stephen sees me enter and greets me. I told him I knew he was cutting it close but was hoping he could sign my Arrow statue. He said of course and asked that I come back after the show. He said they would be hanging out with Colin backstage for a bit, but would definitely come out and take care of me.

So we left the theater and headed to grab a bite to eat and then hit up our next spot. This spot was more for Dave, as he is a big fan of Marissa Tomei. As you have read in my previous report, I already got her and Michael C. Hall, but I can always use more…right? So we headed over. Michael C. Hall was out first. Again, super nice guy. He signed one for Dave and took a photo with him. I got another photo with Michael as well. Not too long after, out came Marissa Tomei. Dave asked her for photo and she said sure. But wanted to sign this playbill first. She signed the playbill, but the girl asked Marissa for a photo. She took the pic and then started signing and taking pictures with other people down the line. There was hardly anyone here…maybe 10 people. The SUV door opened and she was about to get in. I screamed out for her to get her back before poor Dave was left with no picture. She came running over and took a pic with Dave and disaster was avoided, as that was his top want.

Another success and now it was time to go right the travesty from earlier at the AP. We got back to the spot and waited about 15 minutes before Stephen, Katie and Colin exited. As promised, Stephen came right over to my little workshop of Arrow merchandise. I had my posters, book, the Arrow statue and my camera all out on a box and my roller bag. I started with Stephen, getting him to sign my statue and inscribing it Oliver Queen. I immediately went to Katie following, as I couldnt pass up this chance to clean up on her. With 2 posters and the Arrow book needing done…I promptly started banging out autographs from her. She seemed a bit overwhelmed, but did it all, including inscribing Laurel Lance. And last but not least, a rare DUAL photo op with Stephen AND Katie…..getting the Oliver and Laurel combo. I was stoked to get a Oliver/Laurel photo op. Of course Stephen ragged on me for not being home and watching the season finale. I told him I needed to be up here to support Team Arrow. He said it was a good point and I was excused. Besides….DVR baby!! And of course before everyone left, I made sure to thank Colin Donnell once again. This was an awesome moment that was later made even more special, as from all reports were that Stephen was NOT doing autos or photos with people. I cant confirm or deny it…..but I know people up in the city that had tried numerous times and put countless hours to wait for them, only to not succeed. It only made this awesome moment even more special.

With hitting all targets for day 1, we decided to retire early. We were gonna be up VERY early for day 2 and wanted to make sure we were well rested. We could have returned back to a h otel, but really not sure who we might have gotten. From what I heard, all we would have seen is Stephen and Katie returning and not doing it, Daniel Gillies returning and he did do it. and a couple of other names that were not that pressing. Ray drove us back to the train station, saving us a few bucks by not using our return ticket that we would save for the next day. We checked into the Red Roof, per the usual and headed to bed.

Day 2 began dark, gloomy and wet. This rain was gonna put a serious damper on our chances. We checked out and took the train into the city. I had consider making a stop at another spot for Adam Sandler and Julia Roberts. But my gut said to go straight to the UpF. So passing on Sandler/Roberts, which I would later find out was just Sandler….I went straight to the UpF. I arrived 4 hours early…..to ensure myself the best possible spot. Unfortunately….I ensured nothing and found myself to be near the 30th person to arrive. I heard the earliest person, who definitely did much better than I did…..arrived MUCH earlier with most others arriving an hour or 2 before I did. No matter….I wasnt in a horrid spot, just not the best. I made a mental note of this and took the best possible spot I could. And so we wait. A few hours went by and then began the anticipation, as you could see business picking up on the red carpet. First out the door was Stephen Amell. He hurried past everyone and went straight into the building. Perhaps the stories I had heard from the previous evening were true. I would have gladly called out to him, but I was expecting him to stop for people and was trying to get my item out of my bag. No biggie. I’ll catch him on the way out. A few minutes later it was Grant Gustin who came out. He did the same….marched past everyone and went right inside. A few others went through and they also didnt stop. I didnt recognize them and I dont think many others did either. It was probably the 7th or 8th person through before we had our first person who was willing to stop and it was Ivonne Coll from Joan of Arcadia and Bold & The Beautiful. I got a photo with her…..one the very few who even asked. Next was Phoebe Tonkin, who almost everyone recognized. Hayley from The Originals and The Vampire Diaries and current girlfriend to Paul Wesley. I love Hayley and definitely wanted a picture with her. I would have liked to have gotten her on my Vampire Diaries poster, but the crowd went from 30 to probably about 300. And we were packed together like sardines. Didnt want to risk my poster. In fact, I had planned to mount the damn thing and bring that to make things easier but because of the rain, I had to rethink that idea and put it back in the tube. And of course at this point, the rain had passed….so it wouldnt have been ok….sort of. More on the rain later.

Anyway, so Phoebe was doing photos and signing autos with everyone. She really took her time and made sure to take care of everyone. She was really sweet. Out next was Carlos Valdes who plays Cisco Ramon on The Flash. He made an appearance or 2 on Arrow, but once again wasnt willing to risk my Arrow poster in this crowd and opted for just a photo op. Then Jess Martin came out who plays Detective West on The Flash and he also came out and took pictures. Danielle Panabaker followed him. She is also from The Flash playing Caitlin Snow and once again….wasnt willing to risk my poster to add her to it. Paul Blackthorne from Arrow aka Detective Lance was next. He was definitely in a hurry and doing some quick autos and photos with a few people. Very sporadic. I was lucky to get him to pose for a photo. No time to grab my posters, which I was willing to risk here….but did snag an auto in the Arrow book. Sported my Hood Up shirt and I think it might have played a role in snagging Paul Blackthorne.

We then see Gina Rodriguez who is on Jane The Virgin and The Bold & The Beautiful. She stops to do photos. The crowd erupts into cheers as Misha Collins from Supernatural comes out. Misha is also in a hurry, but does stop to do a few photos before heading over. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelicki come out together and crowd explodes. Supernatural hasnt been at UpF in quite some time, so many are very surprised to see them here. They do even less than Misha and head inside. Would have been nice to score Jensen, as he was on Smallville. Oh well.

The next person that came out was one of the weirdest encounters I have ever had. All the celebs who had arrived were dressed to the nines. Suits, tuxes and beautiful dresses. This guy comes out wearing a jacket that is overly covered in Mello Yello patches like he was Cole Trickle from Days Of Thunder. He had on shades and his finger nails were painted pink and yellow. Of course, I had no idea who he was and I certainly wasnt the only one. I would later discover it was Devon Bostick from The 100 and Saw VI. He walks out and like 1 or 2 people recognize him and call out to him. He starts spinning around and looking about, perhaps in some sort of drug haze….not sure. He then wanders over and takes 2 pictures and then instead goes the opposite way. Security then escorts him back out and I am thinking maybe this isnt a celeb and these 2 people screwed up. But he comes out again and takes another picture and signs a couple of autographs. I figured I might as well grab a pic with him, but he is moving incredibly slow and just doesnt seem to be all there. It was really strange and hard to describe.

Isaiah Washington returned us to normalcy when he came out. He is from The 100 and Grey’s Anatomy. He took care of just about everyone as well. Then business picked up. The crowd exploded again as Daniel Gillies, Charles Michael Davis and JOSEPH MORGAN came out!!! All 3 went to the opposite side of me and were signing and taking pics with everyone. I hoped that meant they were going to do it for everyone. Keeping my hopes up and just needing a photo with Morgan, my top want…..I stayed positive. Daniel Gillies was the first person to come over. My friend Nancy was standing next to me and having a complete and total nuclear meltdown…screaming at the top of her lungs for Daniel. Daniel came right over to her, skipping everyone else and gave her a long hug and kiss. Damn flirt! LOL! He took a picture with her and continued to move down her way, leaving me stranded for no photo. Charles Michael Davis came over next and started at the beginning of the section. Then Joseph Morgan came over and started 1 person from me. He took a picture and came right to me. What transpired next wasnt what I was expecting. He came over and I told him how big of a fan I was and how he is most talented actor on television. I thanked him for RT me the night of the season finale and he remembered my tweet. He then explains why he chose to RT that tweet. He said that he found it very sweet that a man wasnt afraid to bear his vulnerability of twitter. For anyone that follows me and read it, I tweeted; “If @JosephMorgan didnt make you cry tonight in his final scene of #TheOriginals then you have no heart. #Hope”. Its now at over 1200 RTs and 1500 favorites. The power of twitter. He also liked the fact that it was truthful without being spoilerish to the west coast people who had not seen the show at the time. He even said his fiancee commented to him about it and also RTed it. His fiancee is Persia White, who played Bonnie Bennetts’ mom on The Vampire Diaries. I scored the photo op and my top want. :yes: Sadly, Charles Michael Davis had skipped over me as I was busy conversing with Joseph Morgan…so I ended missing out on Marcel.

A couple of others went out that I didnt recognize, as did Katie Cassidy, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes. Katie did nothing, Colton stopped for just a few people, I had missed out on him. Emily stopped for 2 people, including me. I pulled out the 8×10 pic of her and I from Walker Stalker, which I think got her to sign that. Dealers began to leave, as they were barely scoring any autographs. I heard them complaining and saying they must be getting recognized which was causing people to skip over them. This helped, as I was able to move closer to a more prime position. It was also good for Class, as he was there too and evidently has had several issues with this group. They both almost got thrown out as all kinds of threats were being made to one another and security ended up getting involved. Paul Wesley came out, but never came to my section. He also got a huge reaction from the crowd. The crowd exploded again as Nina Dobrev came out. I could already hear that security was trying to rush her out. She came over to my side and signed 1 auto and took 1 photo. I quickly grabbed my Vampire Diaries poster and was DEFINITELY RISKING it. First, she is one of the biggest names on the show I still needed AND I figured if I was gonna get anything it was gonna require the need to have something eye catching. She came right over to my poster after doing the photo, skipping several people. She wanted to know what I was using for the autographs cuz she thought the blue looked so pretty. I pulled out my blue Deco and signed my poster. I told her that Ian also loved that marker because of how it looked on this poster. I got the last autograph, before she headed out. WOW!!! Nina Dobrev on my poster. I quickled rolled it back up and into the tube. Joseph Morgan remains the last name I need of the big 4. I figured I could correct that when he came back out. The last name out was Shantel VanSanten from Gang Related and One Tree Hill. I got a photo op with her and that concluded the all the names going inside. I would later learn that some people evidently did NOT walk the red carpet, as when they exited we would spot them for the first time.

With the entrances complete, even more people left allowing me an even better spot for exits. Sadly, this would also begin to cause all kinds of issues. The Jersey Shore Stalker evidently thought she had some right to be at the front and willing to push, shove, elbow and cuss others out who had been there before her. She elbowed a 17 year old girl and then got into with me when I turned for a moment to put something in my bag and she decided to claim even more space. I had seen her before, but never interacted with her. She is a piece of work with ZERO class. There is just NO need to elbow someone so you can get a better spot because you decided to show up last minute. Dont get pissy at me because you didnt get there early enough. So to those who dont know her, make sure you watch yourselves with her around….she is relentless. She made numerous threats to me, which I ignored. Because I wasnt willing to comply, she attempted to get security involved. The guard came over and she told him to throw me out. The guard told her I had been there for hours. He then said look at the size of him….he’d kick my ass. No thanks. I chuckled. I’m sure these security guards had seen her before.

Unfortunately with the change in people also came the change in weather. A HEAVY downpour of rain came. It lasted about 15 minutes or so before turning into a light shower to a slight dribble. But what it really did was bring a high moisture content in the air. This would indeed wreak havoc on my 8x10s and more. During this down time, CW chose 3 fans to be interviewed for CW’s biggest fans and to do station identification in the background. I figure this was for a local CW affiliate, so maybe some New Yorkers out there can send me a link to a video if they come across any that I appear in. Anywho, I was chosen for 1 of the 3 interviews. I was asked about Arrow. They asked me who is the hottest chick on Arrow….Laurel or Felicity. And they asked me who should Oliver be with Laurel or Felicity. I emphatically stated that I do NOT ship Olicity. Oliver and Laurel belong together as she is what kept him alive and brought him back home. It was cool to be selected. Hope I get a chance to see the video.

By the time that celebs began exiting, there was a slight dribble in the air, but nothing big. Still….many refused to stop and were under umbrellas which made it very tough to even see who was coming. I saw Joseph Morgan coming but he didnt stop for anyone. I pulled out my 8×10 and held it up high and I caught his attention. He came right over and took my Deco to sign. The first of the rain and moisture wreaking havoc occurred though. As he is signing, a single rain drop hits my photo on the opposite side of his signature. I then watch as the ink from the photo begins to run all down the photo, completely ruining the 8×10. This 8×10 was probably printed about 7 months ago. I still am baffled how exactly this happened. I slipped the photo back into my folder against the back of a dvd sleeve insert. I also got John Barrowman in my Arrow book. Again the moisture and a single drop of rain has pretty much ruined this book. I say moisture because the only page that I had opened to was Barrowman’s and EVERY page when I got home had stuck together. Some tore and others clearly have water damage. Not sure what to do with this now. It has like 10 signatures in it. I cant imagine paying for another autograph in it because of the damage. Do I really want to toss it in the garbage though? Dont know.

The only other thing I got was Colton Haynes came over and took a group selfie on his phone, which he posted on instagram. Couldnt get him to sign or anything else. After I saw that people were not stopping here, we took off for another spot. Hope we had better luck, but this place was insane. We stayed just a few minutes before taking off and heading to our second to last spot for the NBC Universal UpF. Once we arrived, we saw there was but a small crowd here like the TBS/TNT ones. But this time, we had to wait across the street and had no guard rail. This could be VERY tough to get anyone. We missed about 5 people who already had gone in and no one was stopping. It would be a good 10 people more before the first person would come over.

I ended up scoring 14 photo ops at this spot and 1 auto from Piper Perabo. I was lucky to get Piper as she did 1 other auto and 1 photo and then had to go. I ran back up to her and told her I drove 4 hours to meet her and she turned around to sign my 8×10. Got really lucky. Also scored Christopher Gorham aka Auggie Anderson from Covert Affairs and Peter Gallagher and Kari Matchett…aka Arthur and Joan Campbell from Covert Affairs. I got Paulo Costanzo who I know from Road Trip as Ruben and also stars in Royal Pains. I got his costar Mark Feurstein as well. Amanda Schull and Gabriel Macht from Suits also were nice enough to pose for a photo. I got Omar Miller from 8 Mile and Jason Isaacs from Black Hawk Down. William Moseley from Chronicles Of Narnia also was nice enough to pose. Another cool get was Serinda Swan who is better known as Zanatana from Smallville and also was on the show Tomorrow People. There are 2 photos I got and I am not sure who they are. I know….sad. But I was there. If its a WWE doctor or a weatherman…..so be it. :rofl:

The Bellas refused to do it and I never saw Cena. I expected HHH to be here, but also never saw him either. We pretty much got who we were gonna get and decided to hit our last spot. It was a chance to get Adam Sandler. So we headed over and waited. I figured if we didnt see him within the hour, he must have gone out to dinner or something else. We definitely were not gonna wait all night. We gave it the full hour, but it wasnt happening. Tired, hungry and sore….we called it a day and the end of the trip. It would have been awesome to score Sandler as the final get…..but I couldnt be more happier with my successes. All top wants were met. If it wasnt for the rain wreaking havoc on some of my stuff…..it would have been a near perfect trip. Even more weird is that the Joseph Morgan 8×10 ended up sticking to the DVD sleeve, which then transferred white onto the photo where the ink had run. I ended up using some Testors paint thinner and scrubbed with a cue tip and its almost un noticeable now. I spent a good hour on it though. Scrub, blot with a paper towel and scrub some more. I used nearly half the bottle but, you can barely tell there was an issue. At the wrong angle, you can see some water marks….but when looking at it straight on….you cant tell. The ink that ran just came off and the paper stuck it came off as well. As far as the Arrow book….I have no idea how to salvage it, as there are water marks and just rips in the middle of the book. I’m pretty sure its trash. Damn shame too.

Nonetheless, we came to the city and we conquered. Getting Amell and Katie Cassidy were huge scores with them not doing it on this trip. The entire Arrow cast is just CLASS personified and should be recognized for it. We loaded the car back up and we took the long drive back home. This time though….it didnt feel too long or arduous. No….we had the sweet smell of success to keep us lively and alert. :praise:

 

NYC – 5/6/14

I wasnt really planning on heading into the city this week, but a few promising opportunities convinced me otherwise. I had 3 top wants for the day. Matt Bomer from White Collar fame, Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother fame and Colin Donnell from Arrow fame. 3 top wants and a handful of information on other celebs was enough to make the trip up. DJ was ready to rock n roll and we headed on the road on time. Yes, you read it right. Dont get used to it. But this time…I was on time.

We made pretty good timing and got lucky with the train going into the city. Once we were in town, our first stop was for NPH and Rick Springfield. I own one Springfield CD and while I am not a huge fan of his work, I do very much like this cd…Overdrive. There were about 8 total fans at this spot, so very low key. We didnt have to wait long and NPH exited out in his SUV. For 8 fans, NPH couldnt be bothered to roll his window down. Perhaps he was in a hurry and couldnt stop. The SUV turned onto the road and was stopped at a red light for what I would estimate a solid 2 minutes. He couldnt be bothered. He even pulled his cell phone out and refused to even look out the window. The light turned green and NPH turned down the street and DJ turned with him, giving chase to the SUV for several blocks. I never got an exact count from him, but he would not be deterred. Well….that is up until the SUV pulled over and the driver exited out, directing DJ to NOT continue the pursuit. I was 0 for 1 in top wants.

Back at the spot, I waited for Rick Springfield and my tag team partner to return back. He did and told me his story. Minutes later Springfield pulled out and immediately rolled his window down. He signed my CD and insert. I asked for a photo, but he insisted that DJ and I take one together. Ummmm…..ok. Picture pretty much turned out like crap, partially because I failed to notice the setting the camera was switched to “artistic”, whatever the fuck that means. Seriously…..do we really need a setting called “artistic”?! All it did was make the picture look like we were all “autistic”. :facepalm:

This spot was done. We jumped on the subway to shuttle off to a spot for DJ, the Law & Order SVU set. He didnt expect much….but its his favorite show. So anything is always a good thing for DJ. I tagged along. Unfortunately, DJ got a lil bad info. and we wound up walking a giant circle. Ugh. In doing so….we missed them and they were done filming already. Worse yet, DJ would later learned that Richard Belzer and Danny Pino….two of his biggest wants were on set filming then. Rough.

At this point, our down time came. We initially were gonna hit up Steak & Shake, but decided to stop and scope out a spot we had not tried before. When we got there, it was almost immediately that an SUV pulled up. It was like Christmas morning and here was a gift all wrapped up with a shiny bow and the contents inside were unknown. Could it be something we asked for? Something we wanted? Or it might have been 6 pair underwear that we would moan about as an awful gift, but be grateful we had non skidmarked draws 3 months down the road. It turned out to be 3 stars from the show Nasvhille. Will Chase, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson all climbed out. Their publicist told us they were late, but asked that we meet them on the other side of the building, as they would be picked up there after they were done. Ok….cool. Nice enough she gave us the heads up.

While, Nashville is far from a show I watch….I am a fan of Hayden Pantierre and Connie Britton. In hopes that they might be there or perhaps other celebs, we decided to hang around. We spent our entire break at this spot and saw so many people just going in and out. Sadly, we were not prepared for them. I do always carry a few pieces of blank photo paper…..just in case, and today it would dearly pay off. While we waited for the Nashville guys to come back out, we spotted Nolan Ryan current President of Texas Rangers and former Hall of Fame pitcher for the Mets, Rangers and Astros. I pulled a sheet of photo paper and prayed he would use a blue sharpie, which he did. Nolan was nice. He signed everything. Unfortunately, he said he was running late and refused to do photos. Once he went inside, he waited in the lobby for a good 15 minutes, just standing there. Two kids went up to him and he did photos with them.

It wasnt long till the Nashville guys came out, but the exited the same side they came in from and not from where the publicist told us. :angry14: We ran across and made it just in time to score pics with all 3 guys before they headed out. All 3 were very nice, but 2 of my photos were taken in “artistic” setting. Before Jonathan Jackson’s photo is when I noticed it and made the appropriate change.

A few minutes later, out walked the band Powerman 5000. In wrestling circles, they are known for doing the Dudley Boyz theme in WWE. Guys were super cool and DJ and I got an awesome and rare photo with the entire band in one shot! :hellyeah:

With time ticking down for our next spot, we elected to abandon ship and head over to our next planned spot. 3 targets at this spot…..Jon Cryer, Elizabeth Olsen and Foster The People….famous for the song “Pump Up The Kicks”. I love the song….hate the album. Its one of those where the single doesnt sound ANYTHING like the rest of the album. When we arrived, the place looked like a ghost town. Just two other fans were waiting. DJ elected to grab us some grub from Shitdonalds. And today it lived up to its name. AWFUL tasting, not that it taste excellent….but today was particularly bad. You know it cant be good when DJ elects not to finish.

The crowd would grow over time and we did have quite a long wait. We definitely over estimated the time we needed to be here, but there was a good reason for it…..we were just wrong. Finally, the first to arrive was Elizabeth Olsen. She didnt acknowledge the crowd nor pose for paparazzi. She just went right inside. Foster The People went in and out, but never acknowledged my bellows for them to come over and sign. Perhaps I should have ignored the barricades and just go right up to them. But, it wasnt really worth it. That and I was the only person who wanted them. All these people chased after Gary Clarke Jr. but no one wanted Foster The People?! :skipWHAT:

The time to leave for our next spot was vastly approaching, so we put a clock on Cryer. He arrived in the time we allotted and came right over. Super personable and VERY Alan Harperish. He signed and posed for everyone. He got to me and I wanted a photo. I went for the self blast and then I felt a hand engulf mine, lifting my camera from palm. :yikes: I curled my right hand into a fist and was ready to WHALE on the culprit. As I turned to swing I found it was DJ, just trying to make it easier as a lot of dealers had 8x10s everywhere.

I uncurled my bawled up fist, grabbed my stuff and DJ and I headed over to our next planned spot. Top want Matthew Bomer, Seth Rogen, Ellen Page, Lewis Black, Black Label Society and Coldplay were all expected to be there. This spot isnt the easiest…far from it. But we still had a shot and we needed to take it. With 2 different entrances, DJ and I split up in order to try and maximize our chance at success. DJ spotted Zakk Wylde, leader singer of BLS almost immediately and we scored photos with him right away. Off to a good start. At this point, DJ went to the other door and I chilled here. DJ bounced back and forth. In between his bouncing, he caught Matt Bomer on his side. Sadly, I couldnt get over there in time as Bomer was headed inside as DJ arrived and was gone. His SUV stayed parked in front of the building. I decided I would camp out here and keep tabs on his SUV. If it moved…I would move. We spent quite a long time here. DJ would score Lewis Black, who I passed on not wanting to lose track of the SUV. The SUV did start up and the drive pulled away. I watched it down the street and followed it back to the other door. At some point, I lost sight and the SUV was gone. I went back to the side he came in, but it wasnt there. Its spot was now filled too. I went back to the original side I was on and headed over to the garage, guessing it must have gone in there. While waiting for Bomer, I met this cute chick named Nancy. She also wanted to meet Bomer and used her feminine charms to seduce drivers. :smirk: She was told Bomer was exiting now on the opposite and we needed to hurry. We ran over, but sadly missed him. FUCK ME!!!! I hate this spot and swore I wouldnt do it anymore, but did it anyway. And lady luck sucker punched me in the gut for it.

As the rest of this spot was total crap, I’ll highlight the rest of the celebs. Rogen exited on the opposite side I was on. Ellen Page was on my side, but refused to do it. People chased her SUV down the street and she still wouldnt do it. Coldplay exited my side, but once again refused to do it. Leaving me with the lone success of Zakk Wylde. Make it 0 for 2 in top wants, leaving me one last top want.

We had a small break here. DJ elected to stop and charge his phone, while we took a load off. Still stinging from the 0 for 2 and the bad Shitdonalds, I elected not to eat anything for dinner. When the time came for our next spot, we headed over and was shocked to see just 3 other people waiting. Expecting a huge crowd, as Michael C Hall from Dexter fame and Marissa Tomei from The Wrestler and My Cousin Vinnie fame would be here. Hell…they didnt even have rails up. This is awesome. Should be a piece of cake. A few minutes later, one of the fans started picking up security rails and setting them up. I quickly realized that this dude was no fan….he WAS security. No Sweat. A few more people arrived, but we still remained in the single digits. DJ and I on one side and about 5 others on the other side. But the people started coming. It never really got out of hand. But when we left, there was definitely a good 40 people here now and almost all of them were behind DJ and I. Michael C Hall came out first. He signed for everyone and took pictures. He was very nice and took care of everyone. I got the combo. Tracy Letts from Homeland fame was next and almost no one wanted anything from him. He signed like 2 autos and I got a photo with him. And finally Marissa Tomei came out. I had heard she wouldnt take photos before. Tonight, she wouldnt sign anything that wasnt a playbill, but gladly took photos. Guess she changes it up based on the evening or the crowd or something.

Once we had Marissa, we needed to go or we were in danger of missing my last big want, Colin Donnell. Anyone who reads my stories knows I have tried twice before for Colin and have failed each time. This location has 2 doors as well. I waited out front the first time with Raza. This was the time Raza THINKS he saw him scurry in, but not sure. Second, was the same week, where I waited at the front only because security told me he was coming out this way. In some miscommunication or perhaps a bold face lie, he went out the back. I believe the former, as the guy was really nice and went above and beyond and was really apologetic afterwards. So this time….I elected to be out back. I cant say it looked promising. There were about 3 people waiting and only one SUV. I asked the driver who he was here for and it wasnt for Colin. The crowd grew to be about a dozen. A lady came out and asked who we were waiting for and I told her Colin and she told me he goes out the front. I grabbed my stuff and DJ and I headed to the front. DJ asked why I was trusting her word? She has no real reason to be truthful, but she also didnt have a real reason to lie either. DJ volunteered to scout the front, while I stayed in the back. He asked me to pick whichever side my gut said he would come out…..I trusted my gut, the same one that was sucker punched earlier and chose wrong. Minutes later, DJ called me and said he THINKS he spotted him. He scampered out and hightailed it down the street. DJ gave me chase several blocks, trying to direct me. Neither one of us could catch up to him and I called the Hound of KnightRida off of him. 0 for 3. Dejected and dismayed, we headed for the subway. Not only was I 0 for 3 today for my top wants. I was 0 for 3 on Colin himself. :killme:

As we waited a good 15 minutes for the train to take us back to Penn Station, I sent Colin multiple tweets about my failed attempts. Certainly, it wasnt his fault…..but still. Make up your mind….front, back, side or osmosis. DAMN!!!! We arrived at Penn Station and grabbed the Junction train back to Secaucus. As I was sitting there, my phone buzzed and it was Colin Donnell replying to my tweet. He apologized for missing me and promised to make up for it the next time I was in town. :clap: So perhaps today wasnt as bad as I thought. Stay tuned to my next NYC trip to see if Colin fails this city or he lives up to the Tommy Merlyn name! Arrow references……WATCH THE SHOW!!!!

 

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