Archive for the ‘Famous Sightings’ Category

Christmas Down South

A Tito Christmas

Photo © 2010 Stan Syckes

I’ve got a few lightning-round style blogs to get through. Here’s numero uno:

I did the usual trip to Virginia to see the family for Christmas. I had a great time having three small Christmases with Mom, Dad, and Cassie’s folks, but I enjoy just hanging out with them more than the act of giving and receiving gifts. That said I got so many awesome presents – most of them being in the check/money/gift card variety (my preferred means)! I also completely pillaged my mom’s Christmas music CDs. Where once I had only a handful of holiday music … I know have days worth!

It’s a good thing I had taken the Monday after Christmas off too – not only to have a little extended vacation, but also because all of my buses were canceled! I had to scramble and bought Amtrak tickets for Cassie and I and we just made it to our train. Somehow, we even got on the train early when a baggage dude asked to help us. It was the best $10 tip I’ve ever spent as the train was overcrowded due to desperate people trying to get back home. We, meanwhile, were comfortable in our seats right by the food car! Even weirder was the fact that Tucker Carlson, himself, was about 4 seats in front of us. It almost seemed like we wouldn’t make it as first we were stopped for 3 hours just outside of New York, and then had to stand in line in the freezing snow for an hour to grab a taxi but we did finally make it home.

    Site Updates:

  • Put up R Bar gig on Rusted Hero sidebar section
  • Updated blog IDs for December 2008 posts
  • Removed Santana – Caravenserai (1972) from Currently Enjoyed
  • Added Elton John – Caribou (1974) to Currently Enjoyed

Current Mood: Ready for the weekend emoticon Ready for the weekend

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Fuck 2009 [Part 2]

Kenny Kramer and a bunch of Seinfeld, Seinsmelled contributors

Photo @ 2010 Brandon Jones

Ugh … I’m really hating this layout. I’m working on a completely homemade, new one. It’ll be pretty sparse so hopefully I can get it implemented soon because this piece of crap is actually making me want to blog less. UPDATE (TO MYSELF: I’ve already changed it.

Anyway, to continue where I left off, it was January 1st. I was in a fitful sleep when I was suddenly awoken out of a serious, New Years Eve/Jeff C[removed]-induced hangover by my phone. Picking it up revealed that my brother, Captain of the U.S.S. SteverOnline, was on the other end! It turns out that he had just been denied access to his Bolt Bus transportation into the city because he “looked like someone who had assaulted a lady on a previous bus.” I’m sure everyone can see the joke coming as Steve is my identical twin.

Well, he asked if I had ever done such a deed. Normally, I might have been a little pissed that he’d even consider this reprehensible behavior to actually have been perpetrated by me – except I had just survived the wildest/stupidest two weeks of drinking since perhaps my last college spring break. So, when he asked if I had anything to do with it I, too, paused for about half a minute to make sure. Luckily, my brain kicked my ass with the realization that 1) I would never do such a thing 2) I would never drink on a 4-hour bus trip (think of the sickness!!) and 3) I’d never had a female bus driver from this company (it was a woman driver who was banning Stever from boarding). The situation totally sucked balls, but Stever and his lady in wait, Brandon, snuck aboard the next bus half an hour later and managed to get into the city without further incident.

They arrived at my doorstep around 7 in the PM and were instantly introduced to the dainty, little princess that is Gatito. She ran into a corner and started growling and hissing and generally annoying everyone. Finally she ran into the bedroom where she remained for the rest of the weekend (except for the celebrated bathroom standoff the next morning). This was her first weekend with people and I’m actually happy to say she’s gotten 100% better. We had people over the next two weekends in a row and she came out and interacted with everyone. Maybe she just has a thing against the Stever-Brandon tag team.

Speaking of which, I also realized that Stever must have been mistaken for someone completely different than either of us as he was sporting a 2-week old beard! Anyway, after spending way too long deciding on where to eat (apparently one of my lesser enjoyed habits), we decided on Doc Watson’s bar/restaurant. It was … ok. It was really cramped inside and the atmosphere was “bring your older relatives for a zany time!” Then we went home and watched 4 Dexters in a row … wow, what an addicting, great show.

We got up butt-early the next day and trekked through the insane winds over to the Producer’s Club Theater, located just outside of Times Square. We walked up a flight of stairs into a small bar, randomly decorated with classic album covers, and found just five people ahead of us waiting for the tour. As the room began to fill with more and more tourists, suddenly there was an electricity felt … a presence! That’s when J.M. C[removed], himself, entered the room! With tiny, purple JMU gloves on! Stever rejoiced.

The room finally filled up to about 40 people and we were ushered into another, small room – this one vaguely resembling the one in the opening, stand up scenes in Seinfeld. The man who had led us there said a few, terrible, warm up jokes and I suddenly became frightened that we weren’t going to see Kenny Kramer at all. But, just as his counterpart Jeff C[removed] had, the real Kramer lit up the room upon entry! He told a few jokes, reminisced about his friendship with Larry David and the inception of the show, and then we were on our way!

… to his store! I bought a George Costanza shirt and got Kramer to sign it and we all got a picture with the man, himself. Then we boarded the bus (we were in the absolute last two rows) and proceeded to be shown a bunch of places that were no longer in existence. Yes, Kramer has been doing this tour for 14 years and the average turnover in New York City is about 3, so everything has changed except for a handful of places. Still, the stories he told were great and I loved the experience of “living” the show. We stopped outside of Tom’s Restaurant and all got pictures with Kramer (including one, giant one featuring everyone on the tour) and then arrived back at the Producer’s Club. Kramer even gave Brandon and I free tickets to a comedy club that we ended up using the next night.

Stever’s bus was leaving soon after we got back, and Jeff was eager to head out as well, but none of us wanted the good times to end so we ate at … Chevy’s right in Time’s Square. Whatever, New Yorkers. I care not about where I eat, even if it’s a tourist trap franchise establishment!

To close, if you’re as big a Seinfeld fan as I am and you’re in the New York area I’d highly recommend you going to see the Kramer Tour. It’s not going to be the greatest show on earth, but it’s a great look behind the Hollywood curtain at some of the background of the beginnings of this superior TV series. But it’s not something like the Brooklyn Bridge or Times Square where you can continue to take visitors to … once is enough.

Current Mood: Starting To Feel Sick emoticon Starting To Feel Sick

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  • Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 14:09 | #1

    Testing that comments work 🙁

Showdown In Chinatown

Photo 2009 Cassie Melnikow

Man, so much is happening all of a sudden and it’s hard to keep up in blog form! But I’m doing my best … and this means I haven’t forgotten the final part in my Rock Thrillogy nor the second part to my Virginia Weekend. All I ask is for you to take a little advice from one W. Axl Rose and have a little patience!

Last night, famous NBA balla, Steve Nash, held his second annual Showdown in Chinatown – a celebrity soccer game comprised of NBA players, Major League Soccer players and ESPN writers – in the lower east side. Although I work just two metro stops away from where the event is helf, I hadn’t heard anything about last year’s match until the day after. This year’s game snuck up on me as well (Nash, you really need to pump some public relations into this organization) but Cassie and I did manage to get down there in time to watch a little bit.

Actually, Cassie watched the whole thing but I had to stay at work a little longer than expected. However, with the help of my trusty Google Maps APP on my new iPhone I made it in record time. Unfortunately, when I got there cops had fenced the area off so I couldn’t meet up with Cassie and, instead, had to go around to some nearby playground section to attempt to see my precious ballers. Well, I was lucky and saw Chris Bosh, Steve Nash and Grant Hill. Tony Parker (and wife, Eva Longoria) were there too but I missed them.

I was really only there for 20 minutes but it seemed like it would have been a lot of fun to actually watch. Therefore, next year I shall go into crazy planning mode and make it happen!

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MINI BLOG: Josie Maran

Saw Josie Maran at the make up store next to Barnes & Noble in Union Square. She’s way shorter than I thought, but is obviously still in love with Richard Killiam.

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TWITTER: Candace Bushnell

Saw Candace Buschnell doing a tv spot on my commute. She said she wrote “Sex and the City” just a few blocks from where I live. Coincidence?

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TWITTER: David Cross

On my way to lunch saw David Cross doing a photo shoot. Pretty awesome …

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Bill Murray and the Lost Book Club

Photo © 2008 ABC, Inc.

First things first: I walked past Bill Murray yesterday. About 3 feet separated me and comedy greatness! I’m ashamed to admit that I did a double-take. “That guy looks like Bill Murray” (eyes look down, eyes look back up) “That IS Bill Murray!” Pretty awesome and it’s been forever since my last celebrity sighting … Los Angeles this is not. 🙁

In an effort to meet people in the Upper East Side, Cassie is trying to get us involved in a lot of meet up organizations. One she finally convinced me to attend is a Lost Book Club. Essentially, we read books that appear on episodes of Lost or have influenced the show (since we’re Lost fanatics).

The first book is The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. When I was first handed the book I confess that I wasn’t at all excited to read it. But after the first 10 pages I couldn’t put it down. The story revolves around a fugitive who is hiding from the police by living on a deserted island. Once there, however, he starts to come across some strange encounters.

I won’t ruin anything, but even if you guess what’s going on (and I did less than halfway through) I still found the ending to be both a surprise and poignant. It’s a breezy, 100-page read and never dull for a second (though, knowing the trick, some of the scenes seemed a bit forced). I can definitely see where this influenced the writers of Lost, but I have no clue what we’re going to discuss once the book club meeting comes around (I haven’t been involved in a book group since 9th grade). Alright, back to work!

UPDATE: Dammit, I keep forgetting to do blog moods!

Current Mood: Pretty Fucking Radical emoticon Pretty Fucking Radical

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  • Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 11:57 | #1

    I think I’m done with the whole Sonichu thing. I started being against it, got completely absorbed in it for a day or two, then learned the latest disturbing news. It now seems they’re after this guy for no reason, and they’ve turned vicious. Game over

  • Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 12:22 | #2

    There are definitely many mean-spirited people bullying this guy but I disagree with you. Just because some people take this too far doesn’t affect my enjoyment of reading about him or his work. I find him fascinating – it’s like a glimpse into childhood that’s communicated on an adult level. Plus I get several huge laughs with every read. There may come a point where I tire of Sonichu, but I won’t let other people’s actions determine that date. E tu, doh?!

  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 15:43 | #3

    In your latest comment on Z-News you suggested I Man-Up to over come my sore muscles. Maybe I should do something Manly like join a Lost Book Club – yeah – that should spike my testosterone levels.

    Speaking of manly things, are you still playing and basketball?

  • Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 19:13 | #4

    I haven’t played basketball (of the real life sort) in a while, but I’ve signed up for the next season which starts in January. 3 months to “train” … we’ll see if I finally live up to my Dirk potential!

  • Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 22:07 | #5

    Turns out Bill Murray was on “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday” tonight…so maybe that’s why he was in town.

Lonerz: Week 1 recap of fortune!

Two nights ago was the beginning of the regular season in my co-ed 3-on-3 basketball league. As stated before, my mens 3-on-3 basketball league began a week ago, but I missed the game due to having to work late on a stupid website. I wasn’t going to miss this game as well, and headed over as fast as I could after a quick haircut (luckily, Martin Luther King, Jr. was on my side and I didn’t have to work).

Well, I managed to circle the entire block the school we were playing in was located on twice before finding an entrance (even though I had already been there two weeks ago). As I explained in my previous post, three teams show up each night and play each other twice for a total of 6 games. Unlike the scrimmage, however, I came prepared with my FinePix F30. I felt like Spider-Man as I set up my camera to take photographic evidence of me in action (though I must admit to feeling like Spider-Man in most of my everyday behavior, really).

For the first two games I set my camera in a discreet corner on a bench, partially obscured by my backpack. I figured it would probably be better not having to advise people I wasn’t some creep recording girls running up and down. Ok, so it also would be better not admitting I was recording the games for stats-taking purposes. Whatever. This had to be done! It goes against the very DNA in my makeup to not take stats. Cou(beer pong, ultimate frisbee)gh!

Well, the Lonerz split the first two games and the image for this post includes a composite picture of my first made basket in the regular season. After noticing some of the teams er … larger females hanging out and blabbing in front of my “backpack” I decided I had to move my camera so I’d be able to actually see the games. There was a shelf just at about my head level that was perfect and the other two games came out crystal clear (for stats taking purposes, that is!). So as not to bore everyone with all the individual notes I took, here’s how the night broke down for each team:

ZS-CBB 15 12.0 10.0 3.0 1.0 0.0 3.0 40.0% 1.5 100%
The Lonerz 9.5 10.3 1.8 3.0 1.8 4.5 29.9% 1.8 50%
Angels in the Outfield 7.0 6.5 2.0 1.0 0.0 6.0 25.0% 1.0 0%

I must say that it was quite an eye-opening experience watching the games play back. It became quite obvious from the outset that just being able to quote Michael Jordan’s career stats doesn’t directly correlate into being a good basketball player! It was a hard lesson to swallow as – according to an unbiased formula that weights all the contributions (both positive and negative) a player brings to a game – I learned that I was the “stinker of the game” for not one, but two of our four games.

Now, sure, I was the only player on the team to score in all four games. And I didn’t have the worst or even second worst field goal percentage. I was, hands down, the best dribbler on the court. But I would react to all of my missed shots and turnovers and allow my defender to take advantage of this hesitation. Also, I just wasn’t putting 100% into anything the entire time. I was disgusted watching myself mosey around on the court, letting rebounds bounce over my head and not jumping for them. I have decent reflexes, I just wasn’t willing myself to actually do anything. Blah!

Still, there is hope. Last week, Cassie commented on the fact that I didn’t mark the people I was defending at all and I made a concious effort to do so. It showed in the video as I think only one person got a shot off over me. Furthermore, I never let a person get past me and drive to the basket. One thing at a time! Luckily, today is another game – this time in my men’s league – so I will focus on upping my rebounds this match. May the basketblogs never stop!

New York Moment of the Blog: On my way back from getting lunch yesterday I passed Elvis Costello and his wife Diana Krall walking their two kids in a double stroller. I didn’t stop and stare, but I can’t believe New York is cool enough where you can just brush up against famous entertainers and it’s no big deal.

please hammer don’t hurt ’em

Friday night, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled into town to face the Washington Wiz for Game 3 of the series. Cassie scored nosebleed tickets for $20 each so she, her dad, Brandon, Katie and I showed up for some quick 5 Guys and took our seats. Somehow, however, we weren’t the biggest celebrities in the audience. Nay! Amongst the throngs of basketball fans were such greats as Usher (who is a part-owner of the Cavs), NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, and, yes, MC Hammer! I was especially impressed with Reverend Hammer, as he is a fellow blogger!

Even with the $75 I plugged into Wizards’ merchandise, the Cavs overcame homecourt disadvantage and pulled out a win … with an ignored, obvious travel violation!!! Ah, well. It wasn’t a total loss as I scored $5 off Brandon in a bet on the outcome of the game. Plus, just being in the presence of so much greatness (although why Hammer wasn’t invited to perform during the 3rd quarter dance cam is beyond me) was worth the price of admission.



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