Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The unintentional sports report, and a political report

Sports and politics are two sectors I rarely engage in, yet my last two rounds involved both those (albeit the sports one being unintentional). 

First we have a cold day in January. There was an event with tons of celebrities, yet only a couple were known to the public. One of those was Beyonce. Even though I didn't think there was a high chance to successfully score her, I figured "gotta play to win" so I would try. 

So I waited in the car so as to keep as warm as possible, then when the time was right I began to freeze my ass off waiting along with other reporters and paparazzis. 

People go in. Kal Penn was an asshole. Then a car pulls up and who is there? Samuel L Jackson and Magic Johnson! 

I couldn't believe it! Sadly Samuel was an asshole and said "hell no" to a photo op and I could not get to Magic due to the crowd. I also see Janelle MonĂ¡e‎ one on one (by then everyone had left) but I had a photo op with her already. There were also other ways to enter the spot and as I found out later Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, and many others showed up. 

So far all that time waiting in the cold was for nothing

I debated with myself, do I cut my pain and suffering short and go clubbing, or do I wait in the hopes that I can, at the very least get Magic Johnson and Samuel L Jackson. After much soul searching I decided to wait. 

Going out I first get a Rachel Ray photo op. James Taylor goes out but I already had him. Then Samuel and Magic go out. I try for Samuel first of course and he goes "ohh hell no". What a horrible feeling to have Mace Windu right by me, only a handful of people present, and by pure 110% chance no less (since no one knew he was coming), and yet not be able to get him  This marks my first A level failure for 2014. So now it's up to Magic Johnson to salvage the evening. While I am not a sports fan, he is a name I actually know who he is and is actually a want of mine. I ask him and he agrees to the photo op. Since he is tall I hand my camera to someone who COULD NOT FUCKING PRESS THE BUTTON TO TAKE THE SHOT

 I then follow him across the street and try to call for others to come with me but others are not as resilient as I am 

I beg him for the shot and take it, but it came out blurry  I then plead my case further he says last one till and I'm in the car! I took the shot and thanked him, and upon looking at the shot my reaction was this face  I got a good shot and my evening, while not what I would call extravagant was officially not a total waste (thanks to some begging and pleading of course)

Of course, if I had gotten a Samuel photo op that would have made it ultra worth it to freeze out in the cold. But sadly he decided to be a all the way through. 

Billie Jean King came out. I went up and asked for a photo op and she looked at me with silence for a second, her expression was kind of this face then she goes "oh you mean with me? Sure!" And I got a photo op. Looking at her bio on wikipedia that's a pretty huge score.

More people were expected to be out, but the fact that there were like three other ways for people to exit (one of which included driving out) and the fact that it was like 2 AM and freezing cold, I decided to call it a night. Making this report a major sports report, albeit unintentionally as I wasn't venturing to get them (but glad I did). 

Magic Johnson

Bille Jean King

Full list of photo ops 

Next round would take place the warm indoors and in my favorite setting, the airport. I had flights for two possible presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Rubio from all I heard is ultra nice and signs multiples. 

It was me and one other grapher. I made a pact with him that I would get my photo op first then he would ask for autos after which I would ask for autos. Ted exits, I ask for a photo op. He marks out over my camera and I get a photo op. When the other grapher asks for autos he declines. We of course follow him outside and he says "look I don't mind signing on the street but you guys are at the airport waiting, and you will sell them, etc etc". Both of us beg and plead our cases till he breaks down and says "I'll do one each" and we each score an auto. 

Next up is Rubio. Made the same pact with the grapher. While waiting Nancy Pelosi randomly comes out! And WTF, she is doing photo ops! All the times I've seen her it's pulling teeth to get her to sign anything and I've NEVER seen her do photo ops. So I approach and ask and she does it! I could not believe it! The shock wasn't even from scoring someone I really wanted a photo op with, but the fact that I scored that particular photo op. 

Moving on, Rubio comes out and I ask for a photo op which he happily does. When the grapher asks for autos he goes "sorry not today my hands are full and I'm busy". He did have luggage with him and his two kids, but dammit I wanted autos. He says to "come back Thursday" referring to his outgoing. This is the first time I've ever seen the target actually tell us when his next flight is. I followed outside to attempt for graphs but he politely declines saying he has an interview to get to. I stuck around till he entered the car with his kids but he had no change of heart. 

While autograph wise this round was sub par as I was expecting more from both, photo op wise I got all I aimed for and then some. 

Ted Cruz

Nancy Pelosi

Marco Rubio

Ted Cruz autograph

Sunday, January 19, 2014

First round of 2014 meets

As the saying goes, you gotta play to win. And there were some good gambles on both Orlando Bloom and Cameron Diaz. I sadly did not play but those that did won. Orlando Bloom was particularly painful cause it was my info that I sent to those that did play. On one hand I was very happy to help out a friend/ally, but on the other hand it was painful not to get it myself. 

Bloom and Diaz would have been an extravagant way to start 2014. 

However, let us look at what I did manage to rake in. 

There was a screening with Vanessa Hudgens, the star of the high school musical movies and also in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island starring The Rock. I was going to try her at the event but last minute I found the flight. With only an hour till the flight landed, I RUSHED to the airport. 

I arrive and there were two paps and a grapher. YES! I made it! With about 10 minutes to spare. When she came through the gate she goes "oh damn" as she sees us. But she was cool though her handler was trying to rush her. He goes "we gotta get to the event" and one pap goes "she's not due till 2 hours there's time". 

She did a combo with me no problem. I got her on a magazine. Then as she walked to baggage and I managed to beg her to sign a Journey 2: The Mysterious Island poster.

I did think of going to the event to improve my photo op and get more autographs, but I figured I would save myself the time and effort and simply go home. 

Photo op


Photo of her signing for me

Next up, Harry Belafonte was coming to town. I found a train for him and decided I wanted to improve my combo to correct my blunder from December 2013. 

So we arrive and I ask for a photo op and he poses! YES! Success. A grapher asked him for an auto and he says no autos. After he does another photo op I try for the auto and he gestures no with his finger. I thank him and that was it. Partial success as I improved the photo op and not the autograph, but it was the major part of it! So I was pleased. 

Photo op

Video of him rejecting the autograph

To further reinforce "you gotta play to win" I chose not to do his outgoing since he was so rejective of signing. But the other grapher did and apparently Harry hesitated but signed one 

Next up is something different from all the actors, singers, wrestlers, etc. 

Co founder of Apple and inventor of the first desktop computer, Steve Wozniak AKA The Woz! 

In terms of popularity, he is the third biggest name computer wise, the biggest being Bill Gates and the second being Steve Jobs. In terms of important though he is right up there with Bill Gates. 

I meet up with Joresky at the spot, which would mark my first combo hunting endeavor with Joresky in 2014. 

We arrive and security decides to be  saying we can't stand here and it's private property. 110% bullshit but since there wasn't a valid combo on the sidewalk we humor them and stand off the sidewalk into the edge of the street. He goes "if that's what you want to do". 

Shortly after more rent a cops show up. About 5 total. A few minutes later one guy tries to come up to us and tell us we can't stand there. I say "no I think we're staying here, you can call the cops if you want to". A few seconds later I move a few inches away next to a lamp post and I say "we're standing here, that's our final offer". He agrees to that. 

While waiting two old ladies offer us general seating tickets to the speech for FREE. I really needed a bathroom so if nothing more this was a ticket to piss and crap. 

We wait more and finally The Woz arrives. At that point we no longer complied with any rent a cop requests and simply went for what is legal. We walk (with Joresky training behind me) and one guy tried to stop me. His hands touched my coach and I give him a VERY firm but polite "DON'T TOUCH ME" complete with a hand gesture. And touch me he does not as I approach The Woz and ask for a photo op. He says it's ok and he poses for us. We tried to get autographs but he says "on the way out" and we say ok. 

After he was inside I chose not to curse out the security guard since 1) we still wanted autographs and 2) he didn't get grabby with me and did comply with my demand. 

Once inside I piss and crap and we listen to his speech. Towards the end we leave in order to complete our combos and make my time and effort a little more worthwhile. We wait but then Joresky has the brilliant idea to check the front. And how nice it was that it was all glass and we could see him attend a private reception and know exactly when to strike. Of course security guards watch us as we wait. 

He leaves out the front and we approach and his wife (I assume) goes "oh wow you guys waited all this time" he was nice as can be, signed my four photos and chatted with us a bit. 

All in all a great meet. 

Photo op


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Final rounds of 2013 meets

After the long and grueling weekend, I decided to take a nice long break from combo hunting. Of course Joresky kept on going. As a result of my desire to relax, I ended up paying the bitter price since he ended up with some A-list scores in Will Smith and John Goodman. But let us take a look at what I did get. 

About a week after my arctic like adventure, I decided to go for Rick Springfield. Even though I had a photo op, I figured I'd improve it and get some autographs. Even though it was cold the venue has a high success rate and I could wait in the relatively warm car while waiting for him to come out. 

So me and other guy get to the venue and the show is over. People are waiting. Rick shows up from the distance and fans scream for him in the freezing cold, some even tried to play the handicap card by showcasing people on a wheelchair. But he didn't come over and got in the vehicle. I was getting ready to rush to his hotel before he stopped his van and began to sign. So I rush out of the car. He is signing people's stuff with a pen! Goes to show you what amateurs most people are, not coming prepared with a sharpie 

Anyhow, so I hand him my two albums and a sharpie. What happens, he takes the albums but not the sharpie and signs one of my albums with a PEN  I scream and point to the sharpie, he takes my sharpie, resigns that album over the pen and signs my second album. 

While technically not a total bust as I got one properly signed album, I was expecting more success for this. I still had a third album completely unsigned plus I wanted an updated photo op. So I figured we would go to his hotel where there would be no crowd and no stress. 

He arrives, and we start with photo ops! He accepts to do them graciously. While posing with me he looks at my album noticing I have something. Then I hand him a gold marker and he signs on the perfect spot even inscribing "thanks". While it sucks one of my albums is basically ruined, the overall result is a success! 

photo op

Signed albums (bottom one signed twice)

About a week after that I decided to re try for Malcolm Jamal Warner AKA Theo from the Cosby Show. I had previously failed with Joresky, this time I was solo. And the weather was good so I thought it was a good chance for a second try. And I told myself that this try would be my last one for this endeavor of his. 

I arrive and scope out the situation. Turns out there is a Q&A with him and the other actors. So I mooch my way into the Q&A and take my seat This honestly helped me big time cause the guy blends in. I honestly don't think I would have recognized him walking around. The price is of course sitting through a long and boring Q&A that I had no interest in. 

After the Q&A I saw him doing combos, so I rushed there. They then said he couldn't take photo ops here due to the copyrighted scenes  No fucking fair he was doing them a second ago! I did get him to sign my two 8x10s and tried to plead more for photo ops to no avail. I asked him if he was going to be in the lobby he said no. So I exit the building in order to try my luck further. I had some autographs and I knew how he looked like, so it was now solely a "get  photo op" mission. I wait outside, I see other actors come out. Then for a second I look in the lobby and I see him  guess he lied to me. I go in and I get my photo op no issue. He then goes "thanks for coming" and I shake his hand. I then run to my car and drive away so as to be forgotten by the staff as I plan to return there in February. With this addition, the only photo op I am missing from the Cosby Show is Phylicia Rashad. 

Photo op

Signed photos

Fast forward and it was now time for WWE! I wanted to get some of the lower tier names I don't have. Namly

Eva Marie 
Rene Young
Jo Jo
El Torito 

Of course, I really wanted Brock, but I wasn't realistically expecting to see him. 

Of the people I did have, this is who I wanted autographs from

Great Khali
Daniel Bryan

Plus I wanted a goat faced Daniel Bryan photo op and a modern day CM Punk photo op. 

Anything else I get would be a bonus. 

Unfortunately of all the names I mentioned, Jo Jo, El Torito, and AJ were not even in town. 

I start at the hotel. Me and one other friend go around another way and sneak into the hotel, bypassing the field of vision of any security. We had a perfect spot where we could see who was coming and get our combos, and still hide from security. I see Booker T, Jamie Nobel, and Finlay, but did not really need them so I didn't bother them. Then I see Great Khali by the elevator and get my photo op with him signed! First success. After this Summer Rae and Eva Marie show up! I really needed Eva but felt bad asking Eva for the photo op and not Summer lol. So I get a photo op with each and I had their autographs to the WWE_E V2 inside cover! Shortly after we see a man, woman, and two kids come inside, sporting WWE clothing and programs. THIS is where our cover is blown. Security sees them walking around then comes to us and kicks us out  We had pulled perfect stealth but it got ruined. Furthermore, the family didn't even get kicked out as they had room keys 

Outside it was pretty much dead. A crew bus came in and one guy named Kerwin Silfies is apparently some sort of director/producer for WWE since the first Wrestlemania. So I figured he's a valid combo, and asked for a photo op. He tells me to come over so I do. Then the security guard decides to be a  about it and stop me. I tell him that I was told to come over and Kerwin says it's ok but he would hear nothing of it and would put his hand in front of my camera. Kerwin then says, "let's go over there" and we talk to the sidewalk and I get the photo op. He then says "thanks for being a fan". After that the security guard gives me lip. I thought he was going to threaten to call the cops but he did not. So I just let it be. Few minutes later the security guard comes back again (note I hadn't tried anything since he gave me lip) and this time he does threaten to call the police on me. To which I reply "go ahead and call them". His reaction was a mixture of this face  and this face  As he has hand and bodily gestures and angrily walks back into the hotel, as if he's getting ready to call the cops.

I guess they always expect people to be afraid once the word "police" is mentioned. But this trick doesn't work with me. Though it was time for me to leave cause I needed to sleep and gear up for the morning I chose to stand my ground and stay put anyway. Minutes later the guy came out and still saw me standing there, but there would be no stand off. Shortly after that, realizing there were no more combos to be had and that no cops were actually coming, I decided to call it a night. 

The next morning I woke up in the car and for a second my head was confused as I didn't know where I was. Took me a few seconds to realize where I was and why I was here. I guess that's what happens when you don't get too much sleep. But this is where the major haul would be. 

On another note, to prove to most that I don't always save money, I chose garage parking for about $6 more than the outdoor parking. It was worth it to 1) be able to simply walk to the spot and 2) sleep in the car while it's somewhat indoors rather than completely out in the cold. 

As I arrived I found out I missed The Miz, Great Khali, and a couple of others. But no one I needed.

Photo op wise got a dual shot with Summer Rae and Eva Marie, got upgrades with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan from the Wyatts, among others. 

Sadly Daniel Bryan did not do photo ops but I got him to sign my No Way Out 8x12 (still needs AJ). 

Autograph wise I got Aksana to sign two photo ops. She goes "oh wow blonde hair" then upon the second one which is dark haired Askana she goes "ahh that's better". Personally I prefer her as a blonde, but that's just me. 

Brodus Clay, Alicia Fox, an Uso, Roman Reigns, and Brad Maddox are examples of people I just let go by as I didn't need at all. I told Alicia "have a good day" and she smiled back and said thanks. HCIT.

We also had a thuderbuddies  moment. Me and other graphers see a short White guy covered up in a hood. We all think it's CM Punk. I go to get him he goes "that's not me" and throws the pen down on the WWE_E, blemishing it (at least he didn't sign it). Turns out we all thought Justin Gabriel was CM Punk! Dammit! 

Now on to the real CM Punk, he is wearing is ear phones, walks like no one existed, ignored everybody and did nothing for no one! This really sucks as I did want a combo with him. 

Others who did nothing for no one were Seth Rollins and Wade Barrett. 

On the WWE_V2 I scored

Booker T
Darren Young
Dolph Ziggler (spirit squad entry)
Jack Swagger
Fandango (Johnny Curtis entry)
Mark Henry (he actually signed a couple but no one asked for photo ops)
R Truth
Rosa Mendes
Road Dogg (single entry)
Bella Twins 
Bray Wyatt‎ (Husky Harris Entry)
JBL (APA entry, wish I had the first WWE_E on me as I never got JBL on there)
Luke Harper (inside cover)
Erick Rowan (inside cover) 

Afterwards it was calm, there was barely anything going on. I still didn't see another want of mine that was in town, namely Rene Young. This upset me cause I did want more than one first time photo op out of this whole ordeal. And I was afraid she passed right by us. I was actually closely inspecting every young looking blonde to make sure it wasn't her. We wait and wait and I was getting uneasy, but then she and Dean Ambrose showed up! YES! I didn't need Dean on anything so I get a combo from Rene Young who was nice as can be. Had her sign the inside cover of the WWE_E V2. 

While I didn't need Dean Ambrose he was a total douche. One guy went up to him for an autograph, he signed the 8x10 on his head then put an X over it. How happy I am I got him when he was a total nobody and happy to be doing a photo op (at that same spot no less). Goes to show you that you never know.

While there were more people coming, no one else was worth sticking around for in my book. I happily left the spot and headed home. 

Full list of photo ops

Photos I got signed

Inside cover of the WWE_E V2

Look how much better GOLD sharpies look. On the upper right you see a silver Brad Maddox that you can barely see. On the right side in gold is Summer Rae and Eva Marie. On the left side are Rene Young, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan. Gold is officially the new sliver.