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.

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!!!!

 

Chiller Theater – Parsippany, NJ 4/25/14

Some times events are planned out months in advance. Some are last minute. Some are in between. But I cant recall ever being hesitant and back and forth so much on one before. This Chiller….my first ever attending of Chiller….was just that. As names began to be announced, I was definitely in. Some unforseen personal issues caused me to back out, only to want to get back in later down the road. Then some miscommunication and I was out again. At noon time Friday…..I was still unsure and unable to commit. Eventually I opted to go, so DJ and I loaded up the rocket ship (warrior tribute) and off we went to Parsippany, NJ.

I had just a few wants at this convention. I had ZERO interest in attending Saturday, as I have heard how nightmarishly packed it can be. Friday I was always told is manageable, so opted to go then. When we arrived, we quickly learned that manageable must be an exaggeration. We arrived about an hour before doors opened and there was already a sign up saying the parking lot to the Sheraton was full. We parked in the overflow and walked over. Being our first time there, it was quite confusing on where to go. I texted Lucas and he nice enough to provide some direction, as we found out that we were in the wrong line waiting.

Once we got to the correct side of the hippo…..we saw a swarm of people. No…swarm just isnt gonna cut it. An array, an assemblage, a crowd, a crush, a flock, a legion, a mass, melee, a gathering, a huddle, a rabble, a scrum, a throng, a tribe, a wave, a mob, a galaxy, a coachload, a busload, a boatload….a horde of people. We discovered that there were 2 lines. One was for Norman Reedus and the other was for GA tickets. We joined the GA line and had to wait till almost 6:30pm before we got inside the hippo. While we waited outside, we witnessed some of the craziness and most disturbing behavior outside. First, I found the people attending to be EXTREMELY trashy. I’m not a snob. I’ve been to several different types of cons all around the United States and Canada. From Wizard Worlds and NYCC to Legends Of The Ring, Big Event and Axxess…..I have never quite seen this amount of smelly and overall trashy looking vandals attending a con. I understand that people are who they are….but just seemed like MOST of the goers here were trashy.

But that was a small gripe. Where I took major issue was with the volunteers. I never once encountered a rude volunteer. But instead….trashy volunteers. Outside I saw 3 volunteers right by the door, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. :saswhat: Yeah….people representing Chiller are out there, while working and in their bright orange shirts…..drinking beer and smoking, while I am standing there in line. I found this behavior to be EXTREMELY unprofessional and my first impression of Chiller was this was a 2nd rate, low level con. All the people that had told me how great Chiller is……I am not quite sure what your definitions of great are. This place was lacking…..and this was just the start.

Now dont get me wrong, this report wont be full of complaints. I think the volunteers was probably my biggest issue with the convention. However, it will contain some glaring issues. The next issue was the wait to get inside. Having volunteers come out and exchange wrist bands for tickets was a smart move. I think that made a lot of sense. But then Chiller has to go and be ass backwards with NOT having someone come out to SELL tickets for GA. Why do the bracelets, but not have anyone out there to sell tickets? By the time we reached inside they had 1 person…1 fucking person selling tickerts. :smh: C’mon!

After I got my ticket, we hit Sean Patrick Flannery up first. He had virtually no line and his room was near the entrance. Always been a Boondock Saints fan, but funds were limited for this con. But when I saw he was charging $30 for a combo…..no brainer to buy. I even got a free promo of my choosing. So I snagged a photo, grabbed an auto and a photo…as did DJ and we were done. We hit up Clifton Collins who was across from Flannery next. He too was $30 a combo. This made no sense. How can Flannery be $30 and Clifton be $30 too?! I was willing to pay $20 max for the auto. But his handlers were not budging. $30 and you get the photo op. So….I passed. I understand sticking to your guns and standing by your prices. You dont want it to get out that you are giving discounts out. HOWEVER, when you have barely any business and Flannery across from you in the same room is charging the same price…..think about it. This was something I thought was a little off about Chiller. I felt the bigger name talents they had were reasonably priced to very well priced. But the lower level talents were ABSURD in pricing. There was little to no value in the lower level names.

Once we were done there, we fought our way to John Wesley Shipp. While the appearance of the Sheraton hippo was awesome from the outside, the narrow hall ways, low level door ways and rooms that wreaked of cat piss on the Mezzanine level left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Anyway, I found Shipp’s table and see this frail man sitting there with glasses. I look at him and just cant imagine this is the same man I watched every Friday night at 9pm dawning the lightning bolt 2 decades ago. This just couldnt be right. I looked around and saw no one else. Had father time been so cruel to the man once known as Barry Allen? The answer was no…..as a few seconds later I see Shipp return to his table and I see the man I remember from so long ago, just a tad bit older. I opted for the combo. $35….a little more than I really wanted to spend. But the price on the photo op or auto….made the combo a far better deal. And Shipp was my top want of the day. So I got an 8×10 signed and a photo with him. SUPER nice guy. We sat and talked about the upcoming Flash series, Arrow and even debated Grant Gustin. Shipp says Gustin is amazing and the show is amazing, revealing he does have regular role on the upcoming show but was unable to tell me who. I am already guessing he will be Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash. He said Gustin will blow your mind as an actor. I hope he is right. I think Gustin looks good in the costume. But as Barry Allen? Not so much. He still looks pre pubic. I am holding out hope though. Shipp told me a few other tidbits about the show before he said he probably already revealed too much. He asked me to look him up on FB and tag our photo. Awesome! Said goodbye and we were out the door in a FLASH! :hellyeah:

Before going to DJ’s Boondock Photo op….we hit the room that Jackson Nicoll was in from Bad Grandpa. He played Billy, the grandson. I LOVE Bad Grandpa. Jackson was freaking hilarious, as seen in my photo op. Cool kid. I was actually shocked to see my good friend Brian Barth running his table. More importantly, I was glad to hear his father was doing well as earlier in the day, he was rushed to the hospital. I thought about doing the combo….but, the photo op was more important to me. DJ also needed to bang out a Saw name for himself, so we did that before his photo op.

Upstairs we went to get DJ in line for his Boondock Saints photo op. I hung out with him in line before he finally went inside for the photo op. Sadly, there was only about 20 Saint photo ops as the gazillions were there for the Reedus solo op. DJ was #2 in line. As soon as he went inside, I headed down the hall to the elevators to wait for him. As I got halfway down the hall, I turned and spotted DJ coming up the rear…..hmmm, that sounded perverted :skipskeptical: By the time I reached the end of the hall, DJ was right on my ass. :WOAHS: That was quick.

We headed back downstairs to finish up the last of my names. First stop was the SOA room for the SOA names. I got Happy, Piney and Miles. Honestly, I forgot about Phil….otherwise I would have gotten him. I passed on the Emillio Rivera and Kristin Renton. I wanted both for my SOA poster, but REFUSED to buy from this promoter since he was set up like a sports convention. Different prices depending on the size of the item, charging for inscriptions, etc. Easy pass. Rivera was the one I was more saddened over passing on, but oh well. And I am NOT paying more for my poster. So I passed on them. I also passed on Chuck Zito, as it was a bit confusing on his pricing and they seemed more preoccupied to sit on his bike than to sign autographs.

The last name I opted for was Velvet Sky. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Velvet Sky. And she was looking amazing on this night. I still needed her in my TNA 2013 program and with the state of TNA right now….who knows how long she might be there. Had a chance to talk to her about TNA, Sabin, and the ongoing changes there. Good chat.

And that pretty much sums up my first Chiller convention. I was not overly impressed at all. I thought the guest list was decent. Nice mix of names. The hippo was halls and doorways were VERY hard to navigate, the pricing seemed off, I hated the fact that you dont even know pricing till you get there and the worst part…..the volunteers drinking and smoking. Never say never…..but all these items will most definitely be considered when looking at attending a Chiller convention again. I had moderate expectations for this convention and sadly was let down. Clearly, they must be doing something right for themselves as they are attracting absurdly large crowds. But that doesnt change my personal feelings about the setup, pricing and volunteers. But hey…it was a learning experience. I got some information in my first time attending. Ta ta for now.

 

WWE Smackdown – Hershey, PA – 4/22/14

Since the abomination known as WM 30 concluded, WWE has actually been rolling around quite nicely. I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous 2 Raws before the 4/21 episode, which wasnt as good as expected. With that in mind and WWE 10 minutes from my house, it was a no brainer to venture out and see whats shak’n. I had a few wants and several needs and low expectations. On top of that, in a last minute swerve my buddy Nate came down and joined me, who I hadnt seen in quite awhile….so that was a big plus!

Off to the first spot we went. We arrived and went inside. I immediately spot Road Dog in the gift shop, so this seems to be as good as a spot as any for the moment. Needed nothing for him, so sat down and scouted the place out. It was just but a few minutes before I spotted my first need, Xavier Woods aka Consequences Creed from TNA. He was a super nice guy. Scored 2 autos from him, one in the 2009 TNA program as Creed and the other in my NXT program. No one else really needed him….so he bounced before I could really get a chance to ask for a photo. Oh well. I figured I would see him later before he left for the arena….sadly, never did. But hey…off to a great start. Creed was the last name I needed in that 2009 program on the male side. Leaves me just 3 female names.

Spotted Joey Mercury and Brad Maddox, but had nothing for either so I just sat and waited. Then Lillian Garcia came. Lillian, sad to say is someone I have never met. Circumstances always seem to prevent or interfere with a Lillian meet AND I have a ton of stuff I need signed. LOL!! She seemed to be having some sort of issue with her reservation, so I waited before going up to her. After about 15 minutes, she stormed outside and I tried to catch up with her, but she moved fast for a chick in heels. Her car was right outside and she jumped in and drove off before I could even get within shouting distance. Missed her again. She seems to be my Moby Dick.

As I sat around waiting, I spotted Paige walking past the front lobby. The one problem with this place is how many exits it had. Which made the lobby not exactly the primo spot to have. We booked outside and she was cool. Got a picture and an autograph in my NXT program from her. We then reconsidered our spot and decided that perhaps out in the lot made more sense. So we hung out outside. A SUV pulled up and a driver climbed out. I was thinking it might have been the Usos as they were out for media in the morning, but the vehicle was empty. Could it be Batista? You would think it would have to be someone pretty high up on the card. It wasnt…BUT it was Kofi Kingston. Now normally, I dont go too crazy over Kofi….but today was different. Recently Kofi sported some Arrow inspired gear. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for this show. Someone tweeted Kofi about it and Kofi said he was a big fan of the show. So my first thought was to have one of my favorite Arrow shirts I make printed up and give it to Kofi. Free advertisement can go a long way. I chose the same design that Stephen Amell recently posted on his facebook. I headed over and Kofi was super nice and I asked him about his love for Arrow. His eyes lit up and he said he loves that show and its one of his favorites on TV. I gave him the shirt and he loved it. I also told him that Stephen Amell is a HUGE fan of WWE and has the WWE Network, watches it on set, etc. etc. Kofi was shocked. He thought it was really cool. So Kofi offered up a little gift for Stephen, as I think he may have thought that shirt was from him :shrug: He signed a photo of him and wrote this really nice inscription, asking me to give this to Stephen. I grabbed a pic with Kofi and was done. Glad to see Kofi here, as he hadnt been working Smackdown tapings for a bit.

Once we were done with Kofi, we spotted Emma headed for her car. Raced over to her and she was really nice. Got her in my NXT program and a photo with her. Unfortunately for some reason, my picture never saved to the memory card. Not sure how this happened, but I watched the camera and heard the shutter click for my pic. But it wasnt there. She was gone before I realized it. No worries…..I figured I would be able to correct it and I was.

After Emma, a friend of mine was working out at his gym and texted me that Kane and Goldust were inside working out. Something to keep in mind, but primetime leaving hours were coming and I wanted to see who else was here. We went back to the front door before a small SUV pulled up. It definitely looked like someone was in there and then I saw it was Rollins in the driver’s seat. Cesaro opened the door to the passenger side and went inside to dump his trash. Rollins didnt get out. I had my photo in hand and waited to see if he rolled down the window. He did and waved me over. He asked me how I was and signed my photo for me. Told him I loved the new feud with Evolution and he asked me if I was coming to the show. I told him I was thinking about it….asked him if he was gonna work it. He said he didnt know….wont know till later on. He told me I should come and enjoy it anyway, since I already came out. I told him I live right down the road and he laughed. Cesaro came out and I needed to correct my snapfu from a couple of months ago. I had this photo of him and Hero that I wanted signed from their Kings Of Wrestling days. I forgot about it and got a program signed instead. I could have gotten more at the time…but I just forgot about this photo. Felt stupid when I got home and realized it. So this was also a top want for today. He was happy to sign and take photos and then jumped back inside the SUV. They didnt leave though and instead waited for Sami Zayn. Never met the former El Generico. Got a picture with him only, as he wasnt in my NXT program.

Another SUV drove up and out popped WWE PR and the Usos carrying the tag titles. With recent reports of a change in attitude for them, I opted to just try for the photo with the belts. Sadly, we were met with a stern “not now” in front of shocked WWE PR people, who kind of just looked at them as they marched inside. There were only 3 of us there and I think only Nate and I were visible at the time. These guys used to be ultra fan friendly and now they have turned into their daddy. :smh:

I got another text from my friend that Bo Dallas, Adam Rose, Wade Barrett and Fandango were at the gym too. Damn. Place was popping. I would have liked to have had a photo with Rollins, but wasnt gonna ask him to step out of the vehicle and wasnt gonna get one through the window. LOL! To me thats the same as over the table. But I might have another shot at it as my buddy texted me from the gym again saying Rollins, Cesaro and Zayn all just came in too. It was starting to get late now and there were a lot of people at the gym. We decided to change course and head over there.

When we arrived, it wasnt too long till we spotted Hornswoggle and Hunico going inside. We werent sure it was Hunico at first until he was already inside and for a little dude, Horny moves quick. So yes…..I got out run by a little person. :shrug: Then as we waited outside, it began to rain a little bit. A few drops here and there, but nothing too too bad. Hopefully, the rain would stay away until I could resolve that no Rollins photo. The first person we spot exit is Goldust. He headed to his car, but neither Nate nor I had anything for him. He got inside and waited. It wasnt too long after that that Kane came out and headed to the same car. I needed him in my WM 29 program, so we headed over. Kane, super nice as always, signed and took photos. I opted for just the auto, as I have tons of Kane photos and didnt want to hold him up as we could tell he wanted to go.

Next we spotted Alex Riley arriving. He was in his vehicle for some time before finally exiting out. He looked to be trying to turn his wipers off. He came out and came over to me. Alex is always super cool and remembers me from numerous encounters. We exchanged pleasantries, grabbed a pic and he headed inside. It was then that Nate noticed his back wiper was still on. Not wanting Alex to come out and find a dead battery, I wanted to say something. But I didnt want to go inside. If I got inside and tell the gym to page Riley, every WWE superstar inside is gonna turn to the front desk and look right at me. So I opted to text my buddy inside and he alerted Alex and he was able to remedy the situation.

Out next was Adam Rose! I needed him as Leo Kruger in my NXT program, plus I love the gimmick so I wanted a photo with him. We headed over and dude was super cool. It was my first time meeting him and he was a really nice guy. We asked for photos and he was glad to pose. He even checked himself out in his side mirror to try and make himself as presentable as possible. And he had no issue signing as Kruger either, but laughed about it. I told him how much I love the new gimmick and couldnt wait to see him debut.

Shortly thereafter, Wade Barrett came out. Now Wade has a reputation of being a jerk at times. I have never witnessed it personally….at least not that I can recall. So while I wouldnt let that stop me, I treaded easy. Went up to him and asked him to sign my WM 29 program and he was super nice! He was happy to do so and pose for pictures. Even spent a few minutes chatting with us about his great match from Raw. He said the crowd really helped in that match and it was a pleasure to perform in Baltimore. Nice!

As we retreated, Fandango came out and the rain started to come down a little harder now. :dislike: Someone else stopped him, so I figured I would have a second to grab my program and get the page opened. I saw Fandango open his door and get inside and thought he told the guy no. Instead he just wanted to get inside in order to get out of the rain. So now we had to hurry. We scurried up, but it was too late. The door closed and he was gone. Oh well.

As we walked back, we saw Rollins coming out. He stopped at the doors and didnt just walk out, instead looking around. I think he was concerned cuz of the rain, as he was now decked out in his suit. A few minutes later he came out, but sadly would not take a picture. At first I thought he was being sarcastic about the rain, but then it was clear he was not. :crying: Damn mother nature!!!! Zayne came out right after that and they waited for Cesaro. With the list of names still inside, we pretty much had everything. So we decided to pack it up. I still had 2 more chances, so I was pleased with my day time gets.

After reporting back to my old compadre DJKnightRida, he thought he’d like to take a try at the first spot himself. I decided to join in and go for round 2. The only bad part was the parking lot was so badly lit here that being outside and trying to watch all the entrances wasnt going to work. First it was pitch black and hard to see faces. Second, because it was so dark….taking photos out there could prove to be detrimental. We opted to head to the front door and wait there as the lighting was better. Our first encounter was Zeb. I had nothing for him, opted for the “We The People” Photo op, as my previous did not have that. After him, DJ spotted Rusev and Lana together. Great chance to snag the dual photo op and did so. Lana is so delicious….especially in season 1 of Banshee with the simulated cum dripping from her bare bosom. Thanks Nate! :clap:

Hilarity ensued next as DJ claimed to have spotted Cesaro and Rollins. As the 2 men approached, it turned out to be Joey Mercury and someone from ring crew shorter than Mercury. Mercury was a top want of DJs, so he had to hurry to drop his Rollins figure and grab his MNM promo almost missing Mercury. And yet he still gives me shit for all those years ago I mistook some woman for Mark Henry. At least this woman had a beard just like Mark’s. Mercury is a chubby, short guy. Cesaro is a beast.

Paige and Emma were next. DJ needed both, but I only needed to correct my Emma photo op from earlier. Both were cool, Emma remembered me from earlier. Emma looked AMAZING! Unfortunately, it was at this point that security decided to come out and say we had to go. Not sure why it was cool earlier, but no matter. We jumped in my truck, parked and hung out for about 20 mins not really spotting anyone outside of Byron Saxton. At the time I didnt need him….till I got home and found out he is indeed in my NXT program. :ehh:

We headed home for a quick 2 hour nap before getting back up and headed to the AP for round 3. Not even sure taking the nap was worth it, but did it anyway. The nap caused me to be 30 minutes late in picking up DJ, but we still made it in good time. Got there found out that Goldust and Mercury were the only 2 that had already arrived and we missed. I saw most of the same people I had already gotten. I was hoping to catch a few I didnt get, but that was few and far between. The first get for me was Hornswoggle. Got him in a WWE program. He came in with Hunico, who not wearing the Sin Cara mask tried to explain to another grapher that the Hunico promo wasnt him anymore. I was gonna ask for a Sin Cara auto….but kind of figured he wouldnt do it unless he was Sin Cara masked, instead an unmasked Sin Cara had slight issue signing as Hunico. Bizarre.

Adam Rose came in and DJ got a photo with him. I got to ask him about who was in the Easter Bunny suit aboard the Exotic Express….he said I would soon find out. I liked Rose as Leo Kruger…thought that was a great character. And love him as Adam Rose. Not too many guys who can have two killer gimmicks like that and be so different in them.

As far as talent, they came in spurts really. Michael Cole came through. He was nice. I got just 1 program signed, but I saw him sign a bunch. He wasnt doing photos though. Finally my top want came through….Seth Rollins. He stopped to sign and take photos without issue. I asked him for a photo and he said most definitely since he snubbed me yesterday in the rain. Very cool! :tebowing:

And the last person we got was JBL. He came in and was as nice as always. He stopped to sign and take pictures, but was definitely in a hurry. Other names we saw that I just didnt need after my successful trip were Rusev/Lana, Emma and Paige. A small sort, but still worth the trip. I was very happy with this trip and things worked out well. With the recent WWE shows being very good and this round of successful meets, I am definitely excited to hit another WWE spot soon. I hope this momentum can continue, as I feel pro wrestling in America has been in a piss poor rut as of late. Not sure when the next WWE trip will be, but I look forward to it. Till next time America!

 

Captain America & Nick Cannon In NYC 3/31/14

Considering my 3/31/14 really started 3/30/14….its hard to say this was a one day adventure. Considering it didnt end til 4/1/14 is not April Fool’s…..unless you count the fool writing this story right now.

As I stated, 3/30/14 was the start date. I got up around 11am and had a fairly relaxing day. Put some last minute research into my planned trip, mapped out my course, put together my game plan. Needed to be up 1am in order to be ready to go by my 2am departure time. So I hit the sack at 10pm, which is beyond early for my bed time. Needless to say for the next 3 hours, it was toss…then turn. Over and over and over. My alarm rang without a wink and I was up. Normally I am lethargic when I awake from my slumber….almost bear like. But not this morning. No, on this morning, I was nearly wide awake. Shit, shave and shower and I was ready to go. Joining me on this escapade would be my now CANCER FREE friend…Dave. His first chance to get out and about since returning from Jacksonville, FL for his 2nd bout with the deadly disease. Proud to say Dave 2….Cancer 0. :hellyeah:

As per the usual, Dave had been sitting outside for the good part of 30 mins, as he always arrives early. Me? I’m famous for always being fashionably late. The 2 mix well….ok, maybe not. Anyway, loaded his car up and off to NYC we went. We made horrible timing. A led foot Dave does not possess and then combine that with the rain and sleet we encountered, we were running a tad behind. But we got there safely and arrived at our first stop JUST in the nick of time. My plan was to be there by 5:30am….we arrived at 6 and a minute later, we wouldnt have been first. Now normally, not being first doesnt hurt too bad. You just take another spot along the rails. But there was just the one rail. And when I arrive, I like to get as wide as possible. The less people in the front, the less chance you miss out. As I arrived, I mega clipped my bag to the rail and it was at that exact moment I spotted a NYC regular. Anyone who knows me, knows just how bad my memory is. So I must have seen this guy enough to actually remember him. He took the last spot along the rail. Within 5 minutes, we were joined by 4 more. A total of 7 now.

Up first for today was Chris Evans…Captain America himself and Nick Cannon, famous for things I guess. I know him as Mr. Mariah Carey and his mention by Dave Chappelle on Chappelle show. So we began the long and arduous wait. During the next 2 hours, we were met with a sprinkle of rain, sleet, hail, snow that began to accumulate, pouring down rain, steady rain, more sleet, a typhoon and a volcanic eruption. Perhaps the last 2 were a bit overkill…but you get the point. As the last boy scout (awesome movie reference), I came prepared. My poster was wrapped in a plastic bag in the poster case, my backpack was put into a garbage bag and then hung and I slipped on a poncho. This should pass by the time anyone arrives….or at least I hoped.

The weather finally began to clear and really just at the perfect time. I put all my supplies away and readied myself. Up first was Nick Cannon. He stopped to wave, but did nothing on the way in. 20 minutes later, Chris Evans arrived and he stayed the same course. That means we have a whole additional hour to await. The total of 7 had grown to 12 at this point. Which all and all wasnt bad, considering Evans.

The weather cooperated and the hour passed. Out first was Nick Cannon. Cannon comes out and begins to pose for the papprazzi. Fans call out to him, but he does nothing. As he finishes his posing, I call out for a photo and Cannon walks over and asks if I have my camera out, which I did and I hit the selfie picture with Nick. Cannon ignores everyone else and gets in his SUV and is gone. No one was to upset. I know a few of the dealers had 8x10s….but they didnt seem to be bothered.

A few minutes later Evans comes out. Doing my homework on his patterns, his publicist will usually hand him a black sharpie on the way out and he comes over to sign. The door opens and that happens. As he walks over, someone out of no where from the street runs up and asks Evans for photo and takes a self blast. Prime position on the rail has now cost me the all important photo op. Evans comes over, hits Dave first and then signs my Captain America 2 poster. I ask for a photo, but even with just 12 people…..the place explodes and the rail begins to teeter over. I get this happening at some spots. But a spot with 12 people…..how can you feel the need to push, shove and attempt to climb over people? He is signing. There are just 12. So the photo doesnt happen. He takes care of everyone before leaving.

As he pulls away, dealers chase after his SUV down the street. He gets the green light and is gone. I gather my things and we have some down time before our next spot. I attempted a couple of spots I had theories that Evans might be at….but none panned out. So we took the down time to get some 8x10s printed and some lunch. In the midst of getting our 8x10s signed, we are told Lady Gaga is at the Roseland and comes out every day to take pictures with fans around 2pm. Really?! This might be something. So we head over, but nothing seems to be happening. I talked to a stage hand and was told she wasnt even there yet and to check back later. Evidently the Roseland is closing down and she is holding a show there for 1 week straight to be the final act. With this spot looking dead, we move to our next stop.

We get there at exactly the right time and begin our wait. Expecting to see Cobie Smulders and Nick Cannon once again. Considering my luck with Cannon earlier, I elect to print an 8×10 and press it. Well….the prime hour goes by and nothing. No one has arrived. The crowd has grown and there must be about 30 or so people. But no celebrities. In fact, we are creeping up on the time that we need to leave for the next spot. Finally some action, as Cannon arrives. Just like before, nothing going in. A few minutes later, Colbie arrives and again…nothing. The publicist does say that Colbie will be out to sign after she is done. I do need Colbie on this Cap poster, as its not the one she signed before. The newer Cap poster is much nicer, so I went with that.

I really dont want to wait this out, but the next spot has less than 50% chance of producing anything. I decide to wait it out. It pays off. Cannon comes out and heads for his SUV. Fans are screaming for him. I scream out for an autograph and Cannon walks over. I am in the middle of the rails. He walks past the autograph seekers to my left, his right and comes right over to me. He asks me what I think of his suit? :thinking: He signs my 8×10. He then moves down to my left and signs for them and back past me to take care of those on the right. I dont think he got everyone, but he got most people. Why exactly did he come over to me directly? And why is he asking me about his suit? Nick’s got style…no doubt. Dressed in his bright white Armani with matching wingtips…..but I wasnt exactly rocking my tailored threads.

It wasnt too long before Colbie came out, looking stunning. She walks over and starts to sign. I ask her how heartbreaking will the night’s How I Met Your Mother Finale be, but she says she cannot reveal anything. She signs my poster and Dave and I gather our stuff to get out of there and onto the next spot. We get there, running a tad behind. I think I am too late until I spot Evans SUV. I couldnt get its attention and attempted to chase it down. I ran with this SUV for 6 blocks and that is no EXAGGERATION! Of course, my ham strings and feet would pay the price later. But this would be the turning point. The moment that a day of triumph would turn to a day of failure. In fact….it wouldnt even last just the day. More on that later.

The only good that came from this chase was it was all in the direction of our next stop. So we headed over. Neil Patrick Harris was our next target. But when we arrived at this spot, we were met by this Nazi Looking Paul Bearer like individual with the attitude of CM Punk after the Royal Rumble. The only info we got was Neil would be out after he was done to sign, but not outside merchandise. He also said NPH had already been there for an hour, which was a bit shocking in my thought process….but not totally when I reconsidered some of the reasons why. Knowing this guy could be full of shit, we decided to wait it out for an hour. At this point, we were comfortable that he was really inside and decided to head out to our next stop.

When we arrived we waited outside for about 45 mins until I was told by DjKnightRida that I was at the wrong door for this spot. Homework, homework, homework. I didnt do it for this spot and now I blew it. I went to the right door, but the place was dead and they were all probably inside. Dinner time then. We wanted something quick and easy, so we hit up Mickie D’s…which I truly do despise. But I didnt want to walk around anymore and the day, lack of sleep was beginning to wear on me. We went inside and sat down at a table closest to the men’s room and a line that wrapped around the Mickies. This line never seem to have an end. And the people using the bathroom must have all had the runs. Constant complaining and people knocking on the door if someone was in there more than 5 mins. And this is a pet peeve of mine. Look….if someone has to take a dump…it might be awhile. They waited their turn and now its their opportunity to use the restroom. They deserve the 5, 10 or 15 mins they need to handle their business. Dont knock on the door, because you have to go. If you cant wait….go find another rest room.:noamusement:

Is there an exception to this rule? Yeah and we would soon meet him. One guy waits and finally gets inside. Its 10 minutes or so with a line with no end. A McD’s manager comes over and knocks on the door and walks away. A minute later the door opens and the man screams obscenities. The man first in line now says he didnt do it. The guy goes back inside the bathroom and locks door. Over the next 5 minutes, lots of screaming and yelling and threats occur between the man in the bathroom and the McD’s manager, before the manager finally threatens to use the key to open the door. He is met with a threat of violence if he does. This was our cue to get the fuck out of here! So we gathered our things and headed out. I wonder if anything happened. :cop:

Back to our angry Nazi friend at the NPH spot. He has set up rails and we go to take a spot. He tells us that if we have dont have a certain item than we cant be standing here. I exit out of his rails and wait on the sidewalk. He tells me I cant do that either. If I dont leave, he will call the cops. I know this isnt illegal and refuse to leave. He continues to give me shit, as I ignore him. I figure I will stand right at the end of the barricades and get my photo op there. By the time NPH is out, there has to be about 500 people waiting. There are people everywhere. They are standing in the street and causing traffic issues. Neil comes out and begins to sign and take photos. He starts on the one side first and spends a good 25 minutes over there. He has security guards with him and they keep insisting he will sign for everyone, so no need for pushing and shoving. NPH does NOT go into the streets and sticks to just the barricades. Considering how long he has been over on this side, I decide to leave my spot and head over to the side he is on. I just cant see him spending an hour out here. I force my way to the front, but as he gets towards the end near me, security says he has to go. So he stops this side and heads to my old side. They now say no more posed photos and no outside merchandise. I head back over to try anyway, but cannot force my way in. So I go back to the other side, where some of people have cleared out. I am now standing by the door of his SUV….so when he turns back I will be right there. He spent no more than 5 mins signing before his security team took him to the suv. I tried to get a picture with, but NPH dashed into the back and the driver got in and they drove away. So much for taking care of everyone. :pauliemad:

Failure was upon us. And sadly, it didnt stop there. But for this day or 2 or 2.5 or whatever….hard to tell anymore….we were finished. We headed back and made the long drive back to Pennsylvania. Drained, exhausted, sore, tired and dejected…..the trip home was no fun. I hit my bed at 3am. I am still unable to compute the math, as I havent captured enough sleep to do it. But lets just say…..it had been a LONG time since I last had gotten sleep.

Like I said….this trip was cloaked in failure. The Captain America 2 Premiere was scheduled for Wed. Stories had come out that it was actually held on Monday, the day we were there. But only 3 of the 6 actors attended that were already in town. Just to be sure, I called the place that was holding it and they did confirm the premiere was Wed. Expecting to see Evans, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L, Mackie, Smulders and Scarlett…..I needed to hit this. I had seen at the other premieres the actors were in fact doing photo ops too. Not only that, but I got info on Colin Donnell, Tommy Merlyn from Arrow. So that was a major need. The premiere, Colin, a spot for Samuel L, a spot for Lady Gaga and another shot at NPH…..all made going back worth it. That is until the day ended.

Not needing to be up anywhere near as early as Monday, we headed back up on Wed. Our first stop was for Colin Donnell. Since my friend Raza is a big Arrow fan as well, he met up with us in the city. We hit the spot and waited and waited. It was a very busy street with hundreds upon hundreds of people just hurrying about. After about an hour, Raza THOUGHT he saw Colin duck inside the building…but wasnt sure. We gave it another half hour and called it. We still had a chance for him at his break and also at his exit. We left here and headed over to the next spot for Lady Gaga. This was absolute CHAOS! There had to be about 300 people out here and it was completely and totally disorganized. Normally I grab the best spot I can at the barriers, but that was not an option. There had to be 100 people piled into that little section LONG before I arrived. The lack of organization almost paid off too. As when she arrived, she got out on the opposite side of the street where I happened to be standing. She took her time with every single fan and autograph. She was just 2 people away from me when a fan from the opposite side pulled out some sort of blanket, stealing her attention and causing her to go in the opposite direction. She looked over the blanket, took a photo and that was it. Pure CHAOS! :dislike:

0-2 so far….with out next spot being one of the easiest. This was for Samuel L Jackson. The question was, do we hit this spot knowing he would be at the premiere? What we had to lose was positioning at the premiere. We played it conservatively, considering the premiere was more important and headed over there. When we arrived, we saw them setting up….cept it didnt look like other premieres I had attended. I decided to ask the lady who seemed to be coordinating and she told me that she wished people would stop using the word “premiere” as it confuses people. This is a screening for Screenvisions Sales department. She said it was not a premiere and that no celebrities were on the guest list….in fact, there was no media either. My heart sank. How bad could this day become? How much worse?

We got some last minute info. that there was another theater that just announced holding the premiere. So we headed over there. When we arrived, it was a total bust. We found tons of fans lined up outside….contest winners. This was DEFINITELY NOT the premiere. Could the first spot be playing games? Considering a lack of any other info. at this point…..we headed back. When we arrived…..it looked less like a premiere than before. They pulled the tents down, no barricades and there were food trucks parked out front. Sparing the misery…..we camped out for about an hour and half, all for not. This was NOT the premiere. Worse yet, one of the guys came from the Jackson spot we foregoed and said there were just 6 people waiting and he did photos and autos for everyone. :dislike:

0-4 now, considering the miss at Jackson spot. We had but 1 last shot to come away with a want…Colin Donnell. We had plenty of time to kill, so we headed over and got some dinner. Went back to Colin’s spot and waited. I wanted to ensure myself the best chance at not missing him, so when I saw someone come outside that looked like they worked inside….I went over. I spoke to him and he said he was an assistant for someone else, but would mention to Colin that there were 2 fans out here waiting for him that traveled 4 hours. He couldnt promise anything….but we kept our fingers crossed. It wasnt but a few minutes later that a doorman propped the door open and asked who we were waiting for. I told him Colin and he said he would be out in about 15 mins and to wait here. Ok…..more good news. 15 mins goes by and no Colin. The door guy comes back and asks if I got him….I explain I did not. He gets on his walkie talkie to make sure we did not miss him and he confirms that Colin is still there and will be out in just a minute. The guy waits with us. A few mins go by and he gets back on and they inform him that Colin is walking out now. Now it should be any second. But nothing. So the doorman says, he will go back inside and talk to Colin himself. I see him walk down the hall, stop, talk on his walkie and walk back. He apologizes….but Colin went out a different door. He apologizes profusely. Said that he was informed he was coming this way. He offers to make it up to us tomorrow. He asks if we can come back and he would bring us inside to meet Colin. Sadly, its not an option. I tell him I will be back….another time. He says he owes us.

0-5. A complete and total failure of a day. It just goes to show…..no matter how prepared you are…..how much mingling you do…..or how easy you think a spot is…..it can all unravel right in front of your eyes. Even the most seasoned of pros, like Raza, can have a bad day. For us……for the 3 of us……it couldnt get much worse. At least for Raza, it was a short trip home. For Dave and I……we had our tears of sorrow to keep us company on the long drive back. Did I mention….a LONG drive back? :killme:

 

Walker Stalker Con – Chicago, IL – 3/14/14-3/16/14

When this con was originally announced, it was something I was interested in…..but definitely not going to attend.  There was but 2 names that I wanted….Stephen Amell and Lauren Cohan.  I had just gotten Stephen in Dallas and Lauren was going to be at Philly Wizard World.  So I couldnt see making the trek to Chicago.

Over the next few weeks, this Walking Dead themed convention started to be over run by Arrow names.  Anyone who knows me, knows that Arrow is my favorite television show.  So from Stephen Amell….they added David Ramsey, who plays Diggle and has also starred in Blue Bloods as the Mayor.  I REALLY wanted to go after Diggle was announced, but it still seemed like quite a bit of an investment to attend for 1 big need.

Then some money freed up.  With Wrestlemania XXX looking like absolute garbage and the WWE itself going down the toilet creatively, I had decided going to WM was going to worthless.  I had always wanted to visit New Orleans and planned this trip back the previous Summer.  But now it just seemed silly to go.  So, I quickly changed my plans.  I cancelled my flight, hotel, etc. and freed up some cash.  But again…..was this where I really wanted to redirect my flight to?

Thew answer came shortly thereafter when Emily Bett Rickards was added, aka Felicity Smoak.  I LOVE Felicity!  No….I mean I LOVE her.  :smirk:  So now….I had to go.  With the extra freed up cash, I made the plan to attend.

Tickets bought, hotel booked all late in the game and for a pretty decent price, all things considering.  I decided to go VIP for Stephen Amell.  I figured, the line cutting would be a huge help since I was getting several names and several photo ops.  Plus, you never know when things can get behind and I dont want to be late for my flight coming home.  I didnt really want to attend the con all 3 days, but I also didnt want to fly in the morning of this con.  Turns out, flying in morning of would have worked out fine……but oh well, attending Friday was by no means a waste.  More on that later.

The shitty part was I had a ridiculously early morning Friday flight and ridiculously late Sunday night flight….really the opposite of what I wanted.  But because the trip was put together less than 2 weeks before the con….I was at the airline’s mercy.  Schedule flight time was 6:45am….airport no more than 30 mins from my house.  I was up at 4:30am and out the door at 5:05am.  I made great timing to the airport and arrived about 1hr and 10 mins early.  They always say you should arrive at least 1 hour early for your flight and being that this is Harrisburg and very small airport AND one I have flown out a multitude of times……an hour would be overboard, but better to be early than late.

Something told me NOT to park in long term parking.  It would cost 70% less to park there, but is also 2 miles from the airport.  Not sure why……but I parked in the short term, expensive parking.  Maybe a guardian angel looking out for me….or maybe me being lazy.  But whatever.  I parked, got out and headed to check my bag.  I walk into the airport and I see a SWARM of people at the security check.  The line is going from the security gate and into the hall that connects to the parking lot.  As I get closer….I find the line is actually snaking.  So….going that far deep and then snaking back.  There had to be 300 people in the security line!  :yikes1:  Evidently, they had several flights leaving at this time and security doesnt open till 6am and the first flight out is at 6:20am…..that makes NO sense.  I motor to United’s check in with my printed boarding pass in hand.  Sadly, I find a line 50 deep.  WTF?!  :distraught: For the first time ever….I think I am gonna miss my flight.  We got angry customers everywhere and the line doesnt seem to be moving.  There are just 3 people working the counter and the line doesnt seem to be moving.  We got people trying to get to DC, Minneapolis and Chicago.  6:20, 6:45 and 6:50.  I talk to this one guy in line and said and asked if he thought they would hold the plane.  He said NO WAY.  :killme:

I am there a good 15 mins and notice the line has not moved at all.  This is when I have discovered that the reason the line is not moving is United’s printer isnt working to print baggage tags or boarding passes.  In fact, their system isnt working….as people cant even get checked in using their automated system and they have to do it manually.  My flight boards at 6:20 and they are already calling the first group.  Its not till 6:30 that I finally get my bag checked and race to security.  I get there and I am 40 people or so deep.  I hear LAST CALL for my flight.  How am I gonna make it?!

I’ve never seen security move so quickly.  They must have violated all kinds of TSA rules.  I got through the security line in less than 10 minutes.  Luckily, my gate was the second gate on the right.  I grabbed my shit, jumped in my shoes, slid half my belt on and raced to the gate.  I got there and handed my boarding pass and finished getting dressed.  I was on the plane.:like:  The closed the plane with the guy behind me.  I found my seat and got settled in.

And then we sat on the runway for the next 20 minutes as there was some issue with the runaway being available for takeoff.  :cmonreally: Seriously?!  All that and we cant even take off?!  I do have to say, I was happily surprised that the plane was actually a full sizer.  Usually out of Harrisburg, I am on a puddle jumper.  But this one had 3 seats in each row on both sides.  It was actually larger than the flight I took to Dallas.  So I was definitely happy about that.  The plane did take off and we made it to Chicago.

It was a short flight and with the hour time difference, I was in at around 7:45am.  I called for the hotel shuttle and then jumped on.  The airport and the hotel were no more than 10 mins away and I made it there very quickly.  When I planned this trip, I worried I would get stuck waiting in the lobby for my room since check in wasnt till 3pm, but they had my room ready for me at 8am.  :yes: This was huge.  I could go, unpack and take a nap before heading over to the con.

The original price on this Doubletree room was $295 a night.  Priceline got it for me at $80 a night.  I couldnt be more impressed.  The staff was very friendly, helpful, efficient and they get 4 stars!  The room was awesome.  The bed was comfy, had a couch, fridge and even a bathroom with a separate shower and tub.  Best of all….the convention center was across the street and they have a sky bridge that connects to it.  The only reason I wont go 5 stars though……no free wifi.  $12.95 a day…..but they do give you a full 24 hours of usage.  Still….that cost sucked.

So I got in my room and unpacked and caught that nap.  The con wouldnt open till 11am.  So I got myself a good 2 hour nap.  As I was checking twitter, I found a location for where Chicago Fire was going to be filming.  Its one of my favorite shows.  I check on google maps and find its but a mere 7 miles from the hotel.  I MUST hit this.  Landing some Chicago Fire names would be awesome. :Amazed:"

 

All I want to do at the con is just head over, scope out the lay of the land, pick up my tickets for the event and buy my downloadable jpegs.  I goto Will Call and get my lanyard for my VIP pass and head inside.  The con is all but dead.  Hardly any convention goers are here.  Celebs are not supposed to be here till mid afternoon.  So I head to the photo booth and buy my jpegs.  I take a quick walk through and everything is nicely setup.  All the Arrow names are in the same aisle.  Stephen Amell has the largest line setup.  Vendors and snacks are on the other side of the floor.  Yes, everything is on the exact same floor.  Very easy to navigate and it was VERY well spaced out.  That way….no running into people or lines running into one another.

I got what I needed from the con and headed out.  Its time to mark out for Chicago Fire.  I head back to the hotel and the bellman gets me a cab. I jump in and explain where I want to go.  We pull out of the hotel and get to the traffic light.  Not sure what possessed me to do this…perhaps that guardian angel again, but I asked about how much would this ride cost me. Cab driver pulls out onto the main street and begins to drive.  He tells me about $40.  :pained: YO!!  Its a 7 mile drive.  What do you mean $40?!??!  He tells me its about a 45 minute drive and its 30 miles.  I quickly pull up google maps and show him its 7 miles and he tells me Google is wrong. Wait…Google is wrong?!?!?! :wtfamIreading:  He asks me who am I gonna believe him or Google?  :saswhat: Does this question actually need a response?  TURN THE CAB AROUND!  The driver pulls onto the ramp for the highway.  I ask him what are you doing?  He said…..you want me to turn around?  I ask why not just turn around up the street.  He explains he knows how to do his job.  In other words…..he knows how to rip off an out of towner!  Two minutes later, we are back at my hotel.  The total bill….$14.25 rounded up.  :angry14:  I pull out a 10 and a 5.  He counts out my $.75 and I take my change.  I get out of the cab and do NOT shut the door.  Driver screams at me to close the door…..I cant….Google wont let me.  I walk back into the hotel and the bellman asks me if everything is ok.  I explain what happened.  He tells me you have to watch Chicago cab drivers.  Yeah…clearly.

So no marking out.  Fine.  I need to eat lunch anyway.  There is a nice steak house called Gibson’s connected to the hotel.  I walk over.  I get seated at a table and immediately can tell my jeans and hoodie aint cutting it.  I got suits and ties, Louis Vutton dresses,……just high class and up scale.  You know what that means?  The menu arrives and a steak dinner is $75.  I know I am in trouble.  I ended up getting a Ribeye steak sandwich, which was VERY good.  It came with fries.  I ordered a Coke and they brought me this tiny 8oz bottle, which cost $3!  I drank 2. :sad:  The best part of the food was the free chips that were provided.  Like many restaurants that offer some bread….this place offered some self made chips.  They had some sort of spice on them and were absolute delicious!  I wished I had gotten some to go.  The bill was $25 with tip…..so not awful.  And the quality was there.

When I was finished with lunch, I washed up in my room and headed back to the con.  It was now past 4pm…..so I might as well see if more people were there and see what celebs were there.  Maybe I can pick myself up a deal on a very slow day.

Once inside, I do the once over again and find that there are about 4 to 5 names there….only 3 I cared about.  Daniel Thomas May, Nestor Carbonell and Stephen Amell.  Daniel Thomas May sadly was not at his table.  I didnt bring my poster tube anyway, so it wouldnt really have had helped since I needed him on my Vampire Diaries poster.  Across his aisle was Nestor from Lost/Dark Knight Rises.  In Lost he played Richard and in Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises…he is the Mayor of Gotham.  Lost is one of my favorite shows, but still….he was not a favorite actor in the show.  I didnt want to spend $40 on a photo op…so I thought I would go over and talk to him and see what I might be able to work out.  $10?  Yeah…that sounded fair.  I went to his table.  He was very nice.  Spoke to him for a few minutes and asked how much for a photo op.  He thought about it for a second…..ummm….nothing.  Free today.  So day 1 and photo op 1……FREE!  :winning: What a win.  A free photo op and for someone that I know and actually care about.  NICE!!!  I thanked Nestor and headed over to Stephen Amell’s table.  Stephen had no line, so I walked right up and said hello to Kelsey, his manager and then immediately was greeted by Stephen….”Jay…you made it to Chicago!”  :Amazed:" Stephen Amell knows my name!  He thanked me for all the shirts, mug and hoodie that I gave him in Dallas.  He said it was very thoughtful and he loved the designs.  He was really cool as usual, asked me how life was treating me and if I was having a good time in Chicago.  I was actually kind of star struck or shocked or whatever you wanted to call it that he remembered me.  Security came to get him for his photo ops….so I said goodbye and would see him tomorrow.  WOW!  What a way to start the first day off.  Walker Stalker was beginning to be one of those epic cons.

Day 1 was in the books.  I was back at the hotel and ready to order some dinner.  I asked the front desk about delivery and what they recommended and they suggested Giordano’s.  Said they have this really deep dish Chicago style pizza that is awesome.  Ok….sounds good.  Lets experience Chicago.  So I call up….place an order for a Bacon and extra cheese deep dish, an order of tiramasu and a pepsi.  They tell me its gonna be 1.5hrs…..no biggie, cuz I am riding high.

Hour and a half goes by and there is a knock at my door.  The driver has my food and tells me my total is $31 and change.:likewhatic: FOR SOME PIZZA?!?!?!  Turns out that pizza comes with a $5 delivery charge!!!!  :angry14:  I was still riding high from earlier, so I paid it and sat back down to eat.  I flipped through the menu, but couldnt find any info about the delivery charge.  $5?!  Though.  Here in central Pa…..most places dont charge it.  And when they do…..$2 MAX.

I opened the box to find, not bits of bacon, but slices of it covering the top…but it was a tad bit burnt.  This pizza was so deep, I could put my entire hand into.  It was nuts.  It starts with a layer of crust then a mountain of cheese.  Then a thin layer of crust…..then more cheese.  Then a thin layer of crust then sauce, slight sprinkle of cheese and the bacon.  WHOAH!!!  Even with the tad bit burnt bacon….it was MMMMMMM!!!!  :ohyeah:Highly recommend this place.  Just dont get it delivered.

Day 2 was planned to start early.  VIP entrance opened at 9am.  However, considering what I saw yesterday, I just couldnt see this con really being an all day affair.  With the VIP pass and my photo ops not taking place to late in the afternoon, I think I could blow through the autograph lines fairly quickly.  So instead of getting up….I slept in a tad bit and didnt head to the con till about noon.

Since my buddy Ray needed 2 Walking Dead figures signed, I figured I would hit those 2 people up first.  I noticed that they had a coat check at this con on Friday, which is a big ups to Walker Stalker Con.  I think EVERY con should have an affordable coat check.  $2 to check a coat, hoodie, bag, etc.  So I packed a small bag with Ray’s figures to keep them safe from being damaged.  I walked into the con and headed for target #1 Steven Yeun from Walking Dead.  Not a fan of the show, but I have seen him at other cons.  He had a decent size line.  But I blew right through it with the VIP pass.  Bought the auto.  He signed the figure exactly as Ray wanted and I was done.  Ok…one down.  One more to go for Ray.

Lauren Cohan is #2 on the list.  The thing about Lauren is I need her on my Vampire Diaries poster as well.  But since I have VIP, I’ll get Ray’s figure signed and then come back later for my poster, since that was being signed in paint.  I walk over to her line and attempt to enter VIP, where I am stopped by the volunteer.  He tells me I dont have the right VIP pass to enter her line and that my pass is ONLY good for Stephen Amell.  I explain that isnt true, but he wont budge.  I ask to see a manager and he said there was none around right now and I would have to go track one down, as he cant leave his station.  :saswhat: The guy behind is explained the same thing, as he has the Stephen Amell VIP pass as well.  I notice Lauren isnt even here at this point.  Past 12pm and a major guest hasnt arrived?!   So I go to the front of the con, where they had a table setup for questions about the con.  I explain what happen and the woman is happy to go and correct this.  We walk back over to Lauren’s table, where she explained to the volunteer just how the VIPs work.  The volunteer explains that it is nearing 1pm and Lauren still isnt here and we have people that have been waiting since 9am.  He explains that the line has been moved to the other side of the building because, they cant hold anymore people in her barricaded area.  I am told I can wait here, but it is unlikely she will even get to me considering she has photo ops starting at 1:30pm.  They ask if I can come back tomorrow and since I can, I figure that was the best plan.  Not going perfectly as planned….but not the worst situation either.  Later I would be told by multiple con goers and volunteers that she only did half of her VIP line and NO GA for autographs, as she spent the rest of the con at the photo op center.

With no Lauren, I didnt need the figures anymore so I checked them at coat check.  This freed my hands up and I could go back in and tackle my stuff.  My first stop is David Ramsey.  He had the shortest line of the Arrow names.  I walk over, taking notice that Emily Bett Rickards has a HUGE line…..but she is also not there.  I would later discover that Walker Stalker didnt fly many of these celebs in till the morning of Saturday, causing many delays in arrival.  I walk up to David and purchase my 3 autos.  I wanted to get a photo with him at the table, but he was not taking photos there.  Oh well.  Guess I’ll bite the bullet and buy the professional.  I hand over my 2 posters and my Arrow book that has already been signed by Stephen Amell and Ty Olsen.  As soon as he opens this book, David asks me if Stephen has signed this already.  I told him yes….in Toronto.  He said he knows this book.  He tells me that Stephen told the cast about a fan creating this book with everyone’s photos in it.  He flips to the beginning and begins to look over each page.  He even read the inscription by Ty in the back.  And he said he loved it and really appreciated the support.  He wrote a small message about the book near his photo and signed it.  He said he thought it was just perfect.  He thanked me for taking the time to put something like that together.  He signed both my posters as well.  David was VERY down to earth and seemed to be really enjoying himself and meeting Arrow fans.  I gave him a Hood Up button and explained the origin of how I came about the idea for the shirt/button.  He said it was very cool that something small he said could inspire this.  He thanked me for the button.

With David done and Emily just arriving at her table, I made my way to Manu Bennett.  Manu was a late add, but a VERY welcomed add.  I love him as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke and cant wait for the epic battle between Oliver and Slade in real time.  I walk up and hand him a Hood Up button.  At this point, Manu kind of belittled me and my gift.  He wanted to know what would possess me to give him a Green Arrow button when he is “the bad guy”.  He tells me he would never wear this.  :thatsnasty:Wow…..ok bro.  I can take it back.  Its possible he was joking around and that it was just his personality.  But I certainly did not receive it in that fashion.  I had heard nothing but awesome stories about Manu and how gracious he is.  Even in his Q and A I attended later on, he seemed some personable.  But on this day….this moment, he was anything but.  I was DEFINITELY going to be purchasing a professional photo op for Manu….but because of this experience, my desire to spend $40 on  him evaporated.  I chose instead to put that money towards something else.  I’m sure its no sweat off his back, but I felt shamed by him.  He signed my book and both posters and did inscribe them Slade Wilson/Deathstroke.  I did pay the $10 for the photo op at his table, which I was also shocked he was doing since he does do so many cons.  I figured he would be a pro photo only.  But he wasnt.  The experience still…..soured me on him.  I hope I either misread the situation or maybe he was having an off moment.

Had to move past this experience, as Emily Bett Rickards….aka Felicity Smoak was next.  In case I havent made this clear….I LOVE Felicity.  I mean….I LOVE Felicity.  :pacgrin:She is awesome as character and a part of Team Arrow.  She is an essential piece that helps balance Oliver and the team.  I head over to her table and once again, blow past the 50 or so people waiting.  I get up there and get my 3 autos.  The first thing I do is I present her with a Felicity tshirt and Hood Up button.  She was so touched by the shirt.  She loved it and promised she was going to instagram this later.  She signed my 3 items and thanked me for coming.  She was really awesome and we shared a laugh over her early morning tweet about stopping for a burger at 8am.  She did NOT have the burger and wasnt even sure if it was acceptable to eat that at 8am.  I said it depends on how tasty that burger looked and how hungry you might have been.

All the new Arrow names were done.  All that was left for autographs for Arrow was the star, Stephen Amell.  No….I didnt hit his table next.  Instead, I had 1 more minor Walking Dead/Vampire Diaries name I needed.  Daniel Thomas May aka Thomas Fell from the flashback sequences of the 1800s and a member of the original Founding Families, Founders Council.  He had NO line.  I went up and he was very pleasant to meet.  He signed my poster and inscribed it Thomas Fell.  He even gave me a free photo op, which was nice and my 2nd free photo of the entire weekend. I thanked him for coming and was on my way.

All things considering, you probably are guessing the timeline had taken us to mid day Saturday.  Nope.  It was a but a mere 1:30pm.  I blasted through all those lines in about 35 minutes.  That included packing up all my poster and unpacking each…table to table and waiting for the paint to dry on them too.  With it being so early, I was tempted to grab some food, but figured I might as well finish my autographs with Stephen Amell, grab some food and go back to the hotel.  I could rest up for an hour or so before my photo ops.  I head back over to Stephen’s table, but I find a sign up that says he wont be back till 2:30 due to lunch.  Well….guess, grabbing a bite now makes sense.  I head over to the snack stand.  I figured since I have no one to sit with to eat and I wanted to rest up anyway, I’ll grab a quick bite to go.  I dont notice any tinfoil or bags that I can take my food back to the hotel with.  I figured I would just ask the lunch lady.  Now before, I am accused of racism, stereotyping or the sort……well…..all of the above applied to what was about to occur.  Be warned now.  If you are sensitive to such talk…..skip to the next paragraph.  For my readers who can accept one’s anger…..here goes.  There was a very large black lady wearing a doo rag or hair net…something like that.  I walk up and ask if I may take my food to go.  She says she doesnt understand.  :thinking:Not quite sure how I can elaborate upon this, but here goes.  I explain that I would rather not eat here and would like to take my food with me back to the hotel and was wondering if she had a bag or foil or something.  She says what do you mean?  You aint gonna eat here on the counter.  What else are you gonna do it? :skipWHAT:I explain that by here I mean in the dining area, pointing out the hundred or so people sitting at the tables and eating.  That eating here and taking it to go is taking it away from here.  She gets upset and says something about me calling her stupid.  Look Aunt Jemima….all I wanted to know was if I could get something to wrap my food in so I could eat in my room.  She asks me what do I want?  I said a slice a pizza.  She says….cant you see we aint got none?!  :jagwtfb:  I ask for a cheesburger.  She said she aint got that either.  I tell her I am guessing hot dogs are sold out too.  She said I guessed right.  :smh:  So what exactly is available?  A soft pretzel….well they called soft, but was as hard as a brick and a bag of chips.  I tell her I can clearly see they are out of everything….including her own personality and manners.  I walk off disgusted.  One con artist cabbie and one rude bitch that needs to stick to flipping pancakes.  I hope Uncle Jemima drunk beats her.:rofl:

Now that I got that off my chest, I head back to the hotel.  I stop into the bistro that is connected to the restaurant.  The service was awful, but the food was very good.  I had a standard cheeseburger, but it was good.  Fairly priced.  I went back to the room for a bit, unloading a few items I no longer needed, including my poster tube and Ray’s figures.  I didnt spend too much time as it was already 2:30pm and I wanted to get Stephen’s autos done and then head to photo ops, as my first op was at 4:15pm.

I arrived back at the con and Stephen was still not back.  The time to return was changed from 2:30pm to 3pm.  Ok….20 minutes, no biggie.  I walked around and came back to find the time changed again to 3:30pm.  Hmmmm…..first photo op is 4:15pm and they say you need to be there a min. of 15mins in advance.  With VIP, coming early isnt really gonna be necessary.  So…I should be able to hold out till 4pm.  Good thing too….cuz it was right before 4, when Stephen returned.  I purchased one additional autograph to go along with my VIP pass.  I elected to get my photo from Dallas Comic Con signed, along with the custom Green Arrow comic that was drawn by David Roman.  It features myself and Stephen shooting bows at The League Of Assassins, people on the island or The Putty Patrol.  You get the idea.

I cut the entire line off….a good 60 or so people that had been waiting for quite some time.  Went up and gave Kelsey, a Hood Up button.  Always great to see her.  Then moved over to Stephen.  I showed him my newest Arrow shirt…..Always Be Oliver Queen.  Now available on ebay and my online store.  BUY! BUY! BUY!  Cheap plug.  :like: He thought the new design was funny.  Simple design and really has been done a multitude of times for a multitude of people.  I have seen a Barney Stinson, Batman, etc.  Revamped to meet the needs for Arrow.   I also gave him a onezie for his daughter featuring his favorite Lian Yu Island design.  He was moved that I would bring him something for his daughter.  And I was happy to do so.   I got my photo from Dallas signed and then showed him my custom made comic cover.  He was impressed by the art.  I told him who did the drawing and where it was done.  He happily signed the cover.  A unique one of a kind piece to go on my wall.

With autographs complete, minus the Lauren Cohan needs saved for tomorrow, I headed over to the photo op area…..otherwise known as ground zero! :ehh:  When I arrived, the day after 911 it started to resemble.  There was just people scattered all about.  I couldnt tell if anyone was in line or what.  Evidently, there was 1 photographer and 1 guy printing photos.  But they seem to run out of ink numerous times and it caused more and more delays.  AND this caused the photos to become backlogged from printing, which then caused a chain of horrible events.  People are trying to leave the con and dont have their prints, people are not coming back Sunday or flying out Saturday night, etc.   Compound THAT with Lauren Cohan being late, volunteers not having any clue how to direct people and becoming increasingly frustrated and the photos that had been printed had been placed at a table right by the entrance and exit of the curtained off section for the actual photo…..caused a complete and total clusterfuck!  The con, the photographer, and the volunteers did the best they could.  I think they should have moved that table with the printed photos in the back of that aisle, considering there was nothing back there.  It would keep the crowd away from the entrance and exits.  I think they should have had signs up for which line was for which celebrity, which they did do on Sunday.  And I think the photographer needed to have planned a little better.  All that being said, Walker Stalker Con stepped up to try and make it as right as they possibly could with everyone.  It was 4:15pm and they still hadnt printed the photos that were taken at 1:15.  Walker Stalker, like I said, stepped up and tried to smooth things over the best they could.  They, along with the photographer, offered free downloads to every con attendee.  Being that I bought the code the other day…….they refunded me the money for my purchase, no questions asked.:clap:  They could have easily have screwed me over since they had their money, but did the ethical thing by giving me a refund.  They deserved to be praised for this honest gesture.  I know many con promoters who would have told me to pound sand.

Again, with the issues, the actual photos were delayed.  So my 4:15pm photos with David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards were more like 4:45.  At least I met a few people to chat with.  First there was Hannah and her family.  They were big Arrow fans, who had custom made Arrow shirts.  I told them I made designs and handed out a business card.  Very, very nice people….who would later on, help me big time.  But more on that later.  I also met Zack, who is from the Chicago area and I have conveniently been conversing on Facebook already  on a group page about Arrow.  I went in for Rickards with my ticket leap ticket on my smart phone.  And I have to comment on this.  Ticketleap is awesome!  So you download this app to your phone and as you buy tickets for different cons, it will then organize them by cons for you with the bar codes or QR codes.  This way, you no longer have to worry about printing tickets and then possibly losing them.  You dont have to carry pieces of paper with you either.  They are all stored and easily accessible by your smart phone.  Awesome!  Unfortunately, the guy handling the ticket scanning was not given an ipad or any device to actually scan the tickets, so he couldnt do it.  Instead, after each photo, I had to go out to the table where you purchase photo ops and have my photo op scanned.  Ugh!  At least I was smart enough to wait till all my photos were done before I had them scanned.

Back to Rickards….she was super sweet.  I went in and got my photo and was out.  I know the routine and I knew they were behind.  But the photographer never made me feel rushed, so that was cool.

Once I was out, I immediately jumped into the David Ramsey line.  His line already started moving by the time I got there.  So they ended up taking half in and holding my half out just to keep the photo area relatively clear.  The volunteer said they would be back to get us in just a few minutes.  Well….a few minutes turned into a half hour.  When she finally reappeared, she called for Manu Bennett’s photo line.  Whoah!  Hold up. :kanye:What happened to David Ramsey?  She tells me David is done and has left.  :huh:  She takes us back and we join Manu’s line.  Manu finished his line and they bring David back.  Not sure why David would leave, considering the cast photos were next.  But they get him back and he finishes out his line.  He once again comments me on my Arrow back.  He says its just awesome.  Like I said….ultra cool guy.  Very humble and appreciative.  Very charismatic too, which I am not used to in his roles on Blue Bloods and on Arrow.  You can definitely see some Diggle in Ramsey though.

With my singles done with Emily and David, I didnt have my next photo op till Stephen Amell, which was after the cast photo.  Hindsight being 20/20, probably should have done my cast photo on Saturday.  But wanted to space the photos out a bit since I was gonna be there all 3 days.  Just would have been easier and more practical.  It was a bit of a wait till the cast photos were done and Stephen’s singles began.  I was starting to get worried that these photos would intrude with the meet n greet with Stephen Amell that came with my VIP.  Here we are at 6pm….still running 45mins behind.  Stephen starts his singles and I am back in action.  I notice Stephen is wearing the Hood Up button and Kelsey makes sure to point out how much free publicity I am getting…LOL!  :tongue:  Snap that photo and I am back out the curtain and into the Amell duo line.  The last of my photo ops for the day.  Stephen does finish his line up pretty quickly and the duos are on.  And this is good, cuz its getting closer to 7pm.  Once its my turn, Stephen introduces me to Robbie.  He tells Robbie to read my shirt, which Robbie laughs at.  Snap the pic and I am done.  Stephen thanks me for coming out and I am done.

Before heading to the meet n greet, I get my tickets scanned and my refund for the downloads.  None of my photo ops have been printed and I am told they will have them tomorrow morning for me.  So I have to wait.  No biggie.  I walk over to the meet n greet ball room and stand in line.  I see there are about 12 people in front of me.  So, I must be one of the last few in line.  Except…..I wasnt.  A few minutes later Hannah and her family join me in line and we start talking about Arrow and the meet n greet.  Hannah tells me that someone told her that Stephen wasnt going to be at the meet n greet and that this is a big event and not something private.  In fact, there is no guarantee that any celebrity will be here.  I am in complete denial.  I mean….how could Walker Stalker advertise a $300 VIP ticket that includes a meet n greet in 3 different variations, if you arent even gonna meet that person?!  About 70 more people later……now I am concerned.  Once inside, my concern goes to full on worry, which then turn to full on anger followed by the proverbial……RAGE!!!!  :Mad: Once I got inside, we took a seat at a table and asked a volunteer.  The volunteer reiterates what Hannah told me.  We are all VERY ticked off.  Hannah and her family bought 5 Amell VIPs for this meet n greet.  I bought one….as this is where the value was for the extra money.  We stayed 45 minutes of the hour, when it became painfully obvious that Stephen would not be here.  Not 1 Arrow name was there.  Instead we got Iron E. Singleton, Daniel Thomas May and 1 other person I wasnt sure who it was.  And the no autograph/no photo op rule I guess wasnt being enforced, as I saw numerous people getting them.:bs:

So we left.  We agreed to meet up tomorrow and find James or Eric, the 2 guys who Walker Stalker together and see how they could make this right.  We genuinely felt taken advantage of and ripped off.  Would JUSTICE be served……the answer is coming.

With the late return to the hotel and debacle of the meet n greet, I decided I was definitely just ordering some food.  That deep dish from last night was so good, I ended up NOT taking my own advice and got it delivered.  Once again, 1.5 hrs to deliver.  Only thing was, I left the bacon off this time and went with plain extra cheese.  I think I liked it better this way.  LOL!

Sunday morning came quickly.  The con opened at 9am, but I definitely did not need to get there too early.  I was up at 10, packed my bags for the con and for going home.  I checked out of the hotel, checked my bags with the bell man and headed over around 11:30am.  I still needed Lauren Cohan and the Arrow Q and A at 1pm.  I got there and immediately hit Lauren’s table.  She was there.  And the same volunteer was there.  But this time, he let me in the VIP line.  I did hear him tell people that were not taking anymore people in GA line though.  Interesting.  She had photo ops starting soon and would not be back at her table.  So I blew right through the VIP line and got to her.  She signed Ray’s figure and then signed my poster.  She really loved the Vampire Diaries poster and inscribed her character Rose on there.  She also loved the blue paint marker and commented it looked so pretty on the poster.  I thanked her for coming and grabbed my stuff and exited.

My first stop was will call, which had SOME…not all of the photo ops from Saturday printed out.  I located just one.  I asked a volunteer and he looked for me as well and couldnt find any additional.  So I went over to photo ops and they were out of ink.  They said that ink was coming and they would start reprinting again.  The guy asked me if I could wait till 4pm and come back.  He could print my photos right then and send me on my way.  I figured I might as well do that…..might be able to get him to print my cast photo that I was taking at that time as well.

ALL autographs were finished….sort of.  Hannah texted me that she was finishing checking out and packing up her car and would be over in a bit.  I went over to the Arrow Q and A and grabbed myself a front row seat.  I plan was to video record the Q and A, as I did for Dallas.  Sadly, the memory I card I used in Dallas wouldnt record this time.  It kept giving me some error message and this was AFTER I had formatted the card.  I used it to take photos no problem.  But for some reason…..video would not work.  Time for a new card.  I took a few photos during the Q and A instead.  These sessions are generally a skip for me.  BUT….since Stephen generally has a habit of revealing spoilers…..I like to attend his.  The miss portion usually comes with questions from the audience.  I REALLY wish we could get these questions pre screened.  They can be of utter annoyance.  In Dallas, some dude asked Stephen to take his shirt off and in Chicago, some dude asked if anyone wanted to appear on Power Rangers?  Really?  Really?!:exasperated:We get some standard questions like favorite this or favorite that.  Which while boring…..are better than the weirdo questions.  Another one that really grinds my gear is boxer or briefs?  I never hear a guy ask a woman guest if they are wearing granny panties or a thong?  Why do women feel that is appropriate to ask a male guest this?  And….there is the “whats on your ipod”?  Who cares?!?!?!  Seriously?!  Stop already.

I digress.  The Q and A was mostly good.  Again, David Ramsey really showed off his humor.  Extremely funny.  He even stole my line when a fan asked him his worse injury on the show.  I screamed out “Diggle dont get injured.”  Which David acknowledged as the correct answer.  Seeing David like this only has made more excited for the Suicide Squad episode.  Conveniently, brings about a possible spoiler.  A fan inquired to Stephen about the possibility of Harley Quinn being on Arrow.  Stephen said this must be a direct reference to the teaser image of someone that looked VERY much like Harley.  He said he could not confirm that Harley would be on.  But that DC was loosening the reigns with some of the characters and that he also could NOT DENY that it was Harley either.  He smiled slyly and has only increased my hopes.

When the Q and A finished, I met up with Hannah and her family.  Our pleasantries were quickly interrupted by a phone call from her Grandmother who was also in attendance.   We headed over to her Grandmother who had found someone in charge.  Brad JUSTICE….see what I mean by Justice….acknowledge the mistake and wanted to make it right.  He asked who we wanted to meet and we explained that we just wanted what we paid for.  He took us to Stephen’s table and got us free autographs.  Once again….Walker Stalker steps up to correct a wrong….making it right.  And Brad Justice couldnt be more apologetic.  These actions are rarity at cons.  Refunding money, admitting wrong…..finding a way to make up for it.  Hats off to Walker Stalker and specifically Brad Justice for his exceptional customer service.

While it wasnt exactly what we paid for, it was something to make up for it.  I hope that Walker Stalker will in fact be more specific in what the meet n greet entails.  Meeting and greeting fellow convention goers is :bs:.  Some people said that Stephen was supposed to attend and did not, while the majority said he was never going to be there.  It seemed a lot of misinformation was being leaked out there and thats not cool either.  I cant imagine that all 3 VIPs were contractually obligated to be there and then all 3 didnt show.  I have to believe that they were never going to be there in the first place.  Anyway, got a few minutes with Stephen and I had my photo op from the day before signed.  And since Stephen is an admitted WWE fan and WWE Network subscriber, I chit chatted with him about wrestling.  He admitted his favorite to watch right now is Daniel Bryan and his favorite to rewatch over and over is Shawn Michaels.  He is a big HBK fan.  Will have to keep that in mind next time HBK is around.

Brad then escorted us over to photo ops, stopping first to introduce us to another Arrow name……can anyone guess?  Oh yeah…..Manu Bennett.  He was ultra friendly with all the ladies.  He shook my hand, but barely said a word to me.  Perhaps….I remind him of someone he dislikes or maybe he sat on my button?  :werd:Its cool.  Not everyone loves me.  So we went to photo ops and I had a bit of a wait for my cast photo.  But Hannah got her Emily Bett Rickards photo and then she had herself a big break.  Since now our schedules were very much apart, we said our goodbyes.  I waited for my cast photo.  Without anyone to keep me company, time seem to tick by very slowly.  At least today they were more organized.  Each line had a sign, so you knew where to go.  I used my VIP pass and was one of the first people through.  Once it was my turn, I walked up and Stephen and David cleared a path for me.  However, I was looking to stand next to Emily.  :lol:  No offense David.  David said….”none taken….DICK!”  Of course this response caused me to burst into laughter which is evident in the photo itself.  David Ramsey…you sir are a funny man!

I was done.  Photo ops.  Autographs.  Done and done.  Just needed to grab my prints and I was gone.  I went over to the guy and he explained to me that there were about 10 photos ahead of me and it was gonna be 45 minutes before he could have my Ramsey photo printed, which at this point was the only one missing…as throughout the day I found my other prints on the table.  I asked if he could print my cast photo too, but he said he couldnt.  Well…not gonna wait for just the 1.  I doubt my cast photo was even gonna be printed by the time the con closed, let alone by the time I had to leave.  So I figured I would get an early start on the road home.

Goodbye Walker Stalker….you had your highs and your lows.  But your customer service was outstanding and you deserved to be commended for how you handled it.  As a first time Walker Stalker attendee…..I was VERY pleased with my results.  :hellyeah:

Back to the hotel I went, repacked my bags with my con stuff and waited for the shuttle.  Made it to the hotel in plenty of time.  Checked my bag and hit security.  And as always….something has to happen at the airport.  This time though….not something bad.  As I am standing in the security line, a TSA employee comes up to me and asks if I can step out of line.  Not this again? :distraught:I am escorted to this machine, where my hands are swabbed for explosives.  Of course it turns up negative.  I am then taken to a shorter line at security.  I am told I do not have to take my shoes, belt or metal objects off.  I do not have to take my lap top out of the bag either.  I also did not go through the X ray machine, just the metal detector.  I BREEZED through security.  Maybe 5 minutes from the moment I hit the line, swabbed, metal detector and retrieved my bag!  This was awesome!:yes:

I made my way to my concourse, grabbed a bite to eat, charged my phone and waited a good 2 hrs before my flight was boarding.  I made it home safely, even though there was a moment that was a bit frightening.  As they were serving drinks, the plane began to shake and we seem to be losing altitude.  The pilot radioed to the stewardesses to put the cart away and that drinks were now over.  All crew needed to take their seats and buckle in. :EEEEEEK: I dont like the sound of this.  The plane really started to shake and we didnt quite nose dive, but we were definitely moving quickly in a downward motion.  No other information was given, but about 20 minutes later we landed safely.  And just for kicks….there was one more slight scare.  Bags came up at baggage claim and people grabbed them.  Didnt seem like much.  Then the conveyor stopped and a United employee came over and announced that was it and that some of the bags did not make it here.  :smh: My bag is not here???!!  :skipWHAT:  I hear the belt start up back up and few more bags come out and THANK GOD….I see mine come out.  I race over to it like it was a 2 for 1 coupon at the Bunny Ranch.  I snag it and left.

Trips like these arent always gonna be perfect.  The ups come with the downs.  But to really know the overall consensus is to measure them.  Did my positives, whether it be many or few outweigh my negatives, whether they be many or few.  If you can answer yes…..then you are a success.  You got value.  I had fun.  I got value.  I met some cool people.  My trip was a success.  And I was so very blessed that it truly was. :tebowing:

 

 

 

Tom Arnold Harrisburg, PA 2/22/14

I’ll spare you the details, but lets just say my tag team partner DJKnightRida is NOT the best person to take on an espionage mission. Guerrilla warfare? No….not good for that either. I love ya brother….but covert was key for this little adventure.

What started out as a quick pop in and pop out, quickly turned into a mission gone bad….but could have been worse. In fact the last time we are at this spot, the mission went off without a hitch. We came. We parked. We met Chris Kattan. We left. We pooped…..just not together. This aint Sochi. :werd: We conquered. This time….it hit a hitch before entrance. When we first arrived, we thought we were hitting it at the perfect time based on previous experiences. We would soon learn that Tom Arnold was behind by at least 30 mins.

Once we got inside, getting passed the hitch in our step, we made our way to the meet n greet area. There was barely anyone here, as most people were still upstairs enjoying the show. We waited maybe about 10 mins and then Tom came down and immediately started doing photos and autos. He was very frantic. Drug induced? Quite possibly. He couldnt stand still and was bouncing about, proclaiming everyone was gonna get to meet him. He was here for the long haul. Unfortunately, a little disorganization may have been the main cause for his behavior. There were people coming from both sides of him. There are 2 exits from the top level to the middle and he was being surrounded.

DJ and I got through fairly quickly. Tom was ADD ing hardcore, but still managed to sign my SOA poster and two 8x10s. I got a photo op with him as well. With several SOA names added to Chiller, I thought it was a good time to start an SOA poster. Though, I am going against my normal grain as I normally get the main guys first and work my way backwards. But since I dont know when I will have a chance at Jax and there are too many names between Chiller and Monster Mania, I decided it was best to work backwards. So the first name on my SOA poster was a memorable character in Georgie Caruso….p*rn producer and rival of Luann Delaney. Certainly not a big role, but he was a memorable one.

I gathered my stuff and we left the building. We spent more time outside waiting for the show to be over than we spent inside waiting for Tom Arnold. :haeh2: But hey….whatever. The mission was complete and we were victorious. :like:

 

How I Met Your Mother & Gary Clark Jr NYC 2/17/14

Early last week, we had gotten word that there was a possibility of the entire cast for How I Met Your Mother to be up in New York City. Our high of excitement calmed to a mellow gust when we realized that the odds were gonna be slim based on the research we had done. With hopes dashed, we still werent willing to call it dead. DJKnightRida still ensured himself the ability to go….just in case things would change. Well, things changed by mid day Sunday. A little birdie came and whispered in our ear that the 5 main characters of Marshall Erickson played by Jason Segal, Lily Aldrin played by Alyson Hannigan, Ted Mosby played by Josh Radnor, Robin Scherbatsky played by Cobie Smulders and Barney Stinson played by the GREAT Neil Patrick Harris were all in town. This equated into a last minute NYC trip. The challenge now rested in completing my How I Met Your Mother poster in 1 trip. Challenge…..ACCEPTED!

Considering it was President’s Day and the idea that all 5 members would be at the same spot at the same time……we figured on a bigger crowd. So we decided to arrive 2 hours earlier than we would normally for this spot. We got up there and all there wasnt a peep…..not even by a mouse. A few mins later, we got our first peep when were joined by our good friend Lucas! Just goes to show just how beloved this show is by the masses. We were instructed that we would have to wait on a mountain of ice if we wanted autographs. At this point there was a mere 5 of us and unfortunately it wouldnt stay this way.

We definitely made the right choice in arriving early, but the ice mountain wasnt helping. It was slippery. It was high. It was incredibly cold. And worse yet…..we feared HIMYM cast might not want to step up on it considering the dangerous conditions. We did the best to keep the security rail positioned so it would fall over. By the end of the event…..there would be only 1 casualty, but more on that later.

More and more people began to arrive. There was never a major increase at once, but slowly but surely the 5 turned into 25 into 55. 55 might be a bit of an exaggeration. But it was close to 50 people. The fact that we arrived so early and got a prime position would prove to be an extremely wise choice, as the ice hill declined behind our feet and the police were there for crowd control, preventing people to be in the streets. While we waited, we talked about a variety of subjects which included me joking about seeing one of the cast to come walking down the street instead of arriving via limo. :lol: Like that would happen.

Within 2 hours, we had our first guest and it was Jason Segal. We did discuss the possibility of them arrive all at the same time, but thought better of it and were correct. So Segal arrives and starts to head over towards us. The crowd is excited and is screaming for Segal. At this point I look over and across the street….I SPOT NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!!!!! :likewhatic:AND HE IS WALKING DOWN THE STREET!!!!!! Say what?!?!?! The great NPH is walking down the street. He walks inside the building and is gone before many spot him. A few of us started screaming for him, but he was gone. I turned my attention back to Segal who kindly signed my How I Met Your Mother poster. 2 of the 5 main cast were now on it, as I got Cobie on it back a few months ago. I figured I would worry about autos going in and turn my attention to photos when they came out. But after DJ successfully pulled off a self blast and autos, I reconsidered from there on out.

With Segal inside and NPH inside, we awaited Alyson, Cobie and Radnor. It wasnt long till Radnor arrived and he came right over and started to sign. I got him on my poster, making him 3 of 5 and scored a photo op with a class Smosby pose by Radnor. It was my first real self blast using a camera with no front viewfinder. I think it turned out pretty well….but still despise self blasts especially with a rail in the way. Oh well. cumbo with Radnor complete.

It was at this point that the darnedest thing occurred. I once again spotted Neil Patrick Harris WALKING DOWN THE STREET!!! The same exact street he was on before. I would not be denied. If I had to surrender my rail spot, I was not gonna miss a chance at NPH. Luckily, the crowd began to call for him and he immediately turned his head and smiled and started heading over. He came over and insisted on a strict 1 per person and even personalized it. Well good ol DJ must not have been apart of rules as he became the exception getting 2 DVD covers signed with no personalization. I got my cast poster signed, but not my Dallas Comic Con art print. Neil did see it and said he thought it was cool. But when I asked him to sign it, he said he was doing a strict 1 per. He was kind of enough to pose for a photo…..so I at least scored the cumbo. We joked that it looked like our head belonged with a heart around them like we were 2 love birds!:tongue:

So NPH was inside…for a 2nd time. There was a bit of a wait for our next arrival. It wasnt exactly who we expected nor did anyone actually recognize him at first. Let me explain. So as we are waiting for Cobie and Alyson to arrive, I spot this smoking hot chick wearing a dress that barely covered her ass and some thigh high hooker boots. I comment to Lucas at how hot this chick was. After a few lewd and highly inappropriate comments that got the crowd laughing, I realize that she is actually walking with Gary Clark Jr. I scream out for Gary and he stops to look over. The crowd then begins to call out to him to come over and I ask that he bring the hooker with him. This went over as well as you can expect and Clark ignored the pleas to head inside.

Finally Cobie Smulders arrived. Security wanted her inside, but she promised the crowd she would take care of us after she was done. Ok…not the end of the world. It wasnt too long after her going in that Gary Clark Jr came back out and started walking towards his tour bus. He once again ignored the pleas of fans…..that were not his fans…..and just kept on walking. Most of the crowd left and chased after Gary Clark Jr. I couldnt believe how many people ran after him with blank pieces of photo paper. He refused them all and went onto his bus for what we expect was…..well you know…..reading the bible. Heads out of the gutter. This is a PG report. Who I am kidding? This an R rated motherfucking report! :smirk:

Alyson Hannigan arrived, but since Cobie was ushered in, we expected the same and it was. She also indicated she would come back. So all was not lost. A few minutes later Kevin Spacey arrived, but refused and ignored us all. Amber Heard was last and she took went right inside. Not looking good for the last 2. In addition because of the size of the crowd and people failing to achieve a photo and or auto due to being too far back, some of the fans began retrieving security rails from other parts of the street and setting them up next to the two already there. They didnt want to be shut out and thats what was happening because the police would stop the celebs from going to anyone not behind the rail.

The wait was much longer than we had anticipated. I expected HIMYM crew to come out within an hour, but it was not to be. In fact Gary Clark Jr actually came off the bus and headed back inside with fans chasing after him again and him brushing them off like lint off his leather. I begged the cumbo gods to send me Segal, NPH, Hannigan…anyone right now. Because at this point there couldnt be more than 10 of us waiting at the rail. The prayer was not answered and the crowd returned. Soon thereafter, we had our first exit and it was Jason Segal. He didnt come back over, just waved at the crowd. Soon after that Josh Radnor came out. He too did not come back over, but got in the back of his limo and rolled the window down. He was just a few feet from me and said “bye guys”. The crowd then, in unison, “bye Josh!”. It was a very funny moment!!! Radnor rolled up his window and was off. I was expecting NPH to come out and start walking down the street. I was hoping Hannigan would come out before that so I could complete my cast poster before abandoning my post. Instead Cobie Smulders came out and true to her word came over to sign. She initially was headed for the fake security rail, but was directed towards us first. She hit DJ up first. I had my Captain America 2 poster for her and got her on that, as I didnt have it the last time she was here and I already had her on my cast poster. She went down the line, but somehow skipped Lucas! Lucas failed in his attempt of trying to secure the auto down the opposite side while I held his spot.

NPH? Nope….it was Hannigan. Thank God! She ignored the paparazzi and came right over as promised. She started signing and she completed my poster! She refused to do photo ops, as she was sliding on the ice. As she went down the line, she ended up doing a few photos. I guess the ice wasnt as bad as it was where we were. No photo with….but still had got the all important autograph! Challenge…..COMPLETED!

With Hannigan complete, I could abandon my post when NPH came out and score my other auto I needed. Instead Kevin Spacey came out next and actually came over to sign. He signed for DJ first and then started going away from me. He made his way back and every time he went to sign my photo, someone from over the top of me layed something on top of my photo. It happened 3 times and Spacey was gone. He refused to do photos, but was a signing machine. No reason for people to do that.

NPH? Once again….no. Amber Heard. She looked gorgeous. Thought for sure it wasnt going to happen, but she actually came right over. She came right over to me and grabbed my photo. But I put my Sharpie away as everyone had a Sharpie that was being supplied to them and was using just that. For literally 30 seconds she stood there with people shoving photos at her and not signing cuz she had nothing to sign with. I couldnt even get a photo as it was worse for her than it was for Spacey. Suddenly, like the earth opened up and swallowed her whole, she slid off the ice and literally went face first into the ground, cracking the heel off her shoe. In taking the face bump, she still had my photo in hand, ripping it out of my hand and destroying it. They helped her up and wanted her to leave, but she refused. She wanted to keep signing. What a trooper. A sharpie was handed to her and she began to sign, but my photo was wrecked. I had no item. I tried to get a photo with her, but could never get close to the rail to obtain it. Oh well…it happens. Sucks it had to be Amber Heard though. Felt really bad that she took a damn headed into the ice. Perhaps this will get someone to do something about this damn ice. GET IT OUT OF THERE! Its just a lawsuit ready to happen.

With no NPH in site and Heard’s SUV stopped at the red light, many of us raced down after her. She wouldnt roll the window down though sadly. NPH had not come out, but since I knew where he was staying, I figured I would head over there and try to score there. I arrived and there were about 6 others waiting for him, a few from where we just had come from. Most of them departed with DJ to try for Will Smith, while I stayed behind for NPH. After about 2 hours of waiting….nothing. He must have gone for dinner, as I was able to confirm that he had not returned and had no checked out. The cold, the lack of food and the aching body for standing for the past 7 hours straight did not provide for any power to push on. We called it and decided to grab some delicious Steak N Shake, our regular NYC stop , before heading home. This would also provide us one last opportunity at a score. As we sat and ate the oh so deliciousness of Steak N Shake……..Gary Clark Jr. walked in and made an order. I told DJ and we got up and headed over towards him. At Steak N Shake, you order and then have to wait for your food because its all made fresh. We asked for a photo and Gary was kind of enough to pose for both of us. He asked us about Steak N Shake and said he never had it and what we recommended. It was cool to get this elusive score, considering how many people chased him today. We sat back down and ate and he headed out. Why couldnt it be NPH, I bellowed?

The trip was still a major success. Ups and downs, like they usually are. But the positives far outweighed the negatives…..something Amber Heard cant say. Well…..then again, Amber Heard is going home with Amber Heard. And I guess even with breaking a heel and taking a header off the ice……being Amber Heard outweighs the negatives, the positives, the cumbos and being Neil Patrick Harris. HA! Nothing outweighs being Neil Patrick Harris! :like:

Until my next artic polar vortex adventure, today was nothing short of :victory:

 

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