Monday, March 17, 2014

Monstermania, The Big Event, and more

So the trek begins. After some good sleep I pick up both Joresky  and one other friend and we head for Monstermania in Cherry Hill. Our plan was simple: Monstermania in Cherry Hill Friday, Rosie O'Donnell in Philadelphia after Monstermania Friday night, Big Event in Queens Saturday morning, then NYC through Sunday evening. Let us see how this played out (NOTE: IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY PLEASE READ MY PREVIOUS REPORT FOR MY PRE MONSTERMANIA ADVENTURE) 


We arrive at Monstermania, and Joresky is obsessed with getting the twins from the shining. It seemed pretty damn laughable to me that they would have VIP tickets, since they don't even have a page on wikipedia. But I wondered if the MM crowd would really kill themselves for them. Turns out that they didn't have much of a line to speak of. No more than a handful of people. While I don't recall watching The Shining it's something I do plan to watch so I figured I'd get the photo op just in case, since that did not cost too much. And if nothing else it's a novelty. For some reason one of the girls kept looking somewhere else each time a picture was taken, but after the third take I got an acceptable photo. 

Next up was Roger Jackson who voiced Ghostface in scream. Got a photo op. Then it was off to a last minute addition to the show which turned out to be a good one for me, John Heard who played Kevin's dad in both Home Alone movies! This photo op was a mooch 

Then off to my top want for this convention, Danny Pintauro. This way yet another addition to my Who's the Boss cast. He was friendly though struck me as gay. 

Let's see from the cast of Who's the Boss:

Tony Danza
Judith Light
Alyssa Milano
Danny Pintauro
Katherine Helmond

I am only missing the last one! 

Another realm where I did pretty good in racking up several cast members, Freddy Vs Jason! And  here I had the chance to add two more cast members. Namely Chris Marquette and Brendan Fletcher. I knew the vendors bringing them, as I helped them with NYCC passes a couple of years back. I got photo ops with both and they did not charge me. Though they charged one of my buddies for an autograph that he got, which was fair. So two free photo ops here, this made me happy. 

I ended my gets at Monstermania with a splitted photo op with Rusty Schwimmer from Jason goes to Hell. 

On another note, they setup Robert Englund differently this time. You had a virtual queue where you would take a ticket. You would then go in the room based on your number. Furthermore, a ticket would not guarantee entry to the room. 

After Monstermania it was off to Philly. We arrived at the venue for Rosie O'Donnell. I tried to mooch my way inside in case she was doing a meet and greet, but failed. It would have been pointless cause as I later found out there was no meet and greet. When the witching out came I had to fight my way to her and asked for a photo op and she did it  I could not believe it! Then I saw her start signing as I put m 8x10 next to her and she signed that saying she had to go. Joresky failed to get a photo op but got an autograph. We went to the next spot to try and get Joresky the photo op, but as Rosie went in the elevator her handler threatened to call the police on us. There was no sense in arguing as it was too late to get anything at that point. 

We then go to Queens, park right by the hotel for Big Event, and nap in the car.

John Heard

Danny Pintauro 

Full list of Monstermania photo ops

Rosie O'Donnell photo op

Rosie O'Donnell autograph


We wake up, I wash up in the bathroom of the hotel, and we get in line to enter The Big Event.

Overall I would say great show by Brian Barth. My only gripe was the fact that the main room was a bit cramped. But otherwise everything seemed to go smoothly. 

 I only needed two people from there, Dennis Rodman and Taylor Hendrix. 

As we enter though I notice bWo shirted Thomas the Inchworm Rodman. A very cool and unexpected bonus, I got a photo op. 

For Taylor, she was doing a bikini photo op. I never get those mainly because I already have a regular photo op so I can't justify paying money. But in this case I didn't have the photo op, and it was $5 more than the regular one, so I elected to do that. And I had to wait till 1pm for that. 

Rodman finally arrives, and I get a photo op. First one is blurry so I get a retake. 

Later on in the day I notice he stood for a couple of photo ops. I called Joresky so we can attempt for standing photo ops, after talking to the handler we get standing photo ops, which is much cooler since you can see how tall he is. 

Next up was the Taylor Hendrix bikini photo op. Sadly I wasn't allowed to bring Joresky in to take my picture. You were escorted in the room, got the photo op, and escorted out. But Taylor shook your hand, posed, and was friendly. This ended my trek at Big Event. 

Good seeing everybody, and thanks to all who held up my sign. Also saw Terence and James from Legends of the Ring, who I chatted with and said hi to. 

And of course said hello to 

Full list of Big Event photo ops

Dennis Rodman standing phtoo op

Taylor Hendrix bikini photo op

Off to the city for our first target, Carly Rae Jepsen. She is the singer of "Call Me, Maybe"

It's a song I have heard and it is catchy. So I thought why not. Problem is at that spot on a Saturday it's a 50% chance she would be there. But wait, a well known female combo hunting Queen was waiting on the other side of the railing waiting. This pretty much confirmed that Carly Rae Jepson was in fact here. We wait and I get some photo ops with some names. We also see Fran Drescher who just waves and does nothing for no one. I already have a combo with her but I played the handicap card to try to get a friend the photo op, and she goes "sorry they won't let me". It is sad how somebody who used to be so nice has become. Wow just wow. 

When Carly Rae Jepsen came out she made sure to take care of everyone and did combos with everybody. I of course got a combo!

After this it was pretty much a slump. When the slump ended I got Pater Maloney who is essentially a convention level name. Then I got autographs from singer KD Lang. A total  name for me. She said "no selfies" but signed two items for me. Then it was off to a spot where I was hoping to get a good name in Emma Thompson‎. While there Joresky spotted Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt. Already have Jon never got Jennifer. I approached for the photo op and got a picture with her snuggling into him, making for a unique photo op. I also got another name. Sadly we found out Emma Thompson garaged it and that was one big score we were not getting .

Now it was off to get my car to meet up with the rest of my team at a spot in order to fish out information for the next spot. As I arrive, I see Joresky and other friends/allies. Turns out they STILL didn't find info for the next spot. My reaction was this face because the clock was ticking and we needed the info or we would end the evening with potentially less combos! As I scramble for ideas I phone Vanessa the Jersey Shore stalker to see if she has anything, as she is normally the Queen of all info, maybe a couple of notches below Radioman. Turns out she is on the other side of the building. I run there and meet up with her. Turns out she doesn't know more than I do Since Joresky tried on one side to find info, I thought I'd try the side Vanessa was on, but to no avail. Back to the side Joresky was on, I thought I'd give that side another shot. I walk down the street and BAM! Within inches I score the address of the next spot! My reaction was this face  and the reaction of the person I fished out the info from was this face 

As I found the info, I phone one other female friend/ally and told her the info. I also sent one member of our team to her car to make room in my car for Vanessa. And we headed to the spot! Interestingly, another friend of Vanessa who always gets info did not have this address. Vanessa asked if it's ok to give her the info since "she always finds out" and we said it was fine. 

On to the next spot, we see Lena Dunham who does nothing for no one. And we see a huge name in Taylor Swift who does nothing for no one either. Coming out, Taylor sneaks through the side and does nothing for no one, and Lena blows everybody off. 

Lena was disappointing not because she was a huge want of mine, but because it was a combo I was expecting to actually obtain 

Additionally, I was hoping to see Adam Driver in this spot. He is the main antagonist in the next Star Wars trilogy. Yet we did not see him at all. 

So with Taylor ignoring everyone, that's THREE huge disappointing aspects of this spot. 

Jon Hamm did photo ops after he came out to smoke, but I got him before (in addition to earlier on) so I didn't care for that. When him and Jennifer Westfeldt were leaving I did try to get a solo Jennifer shot but to no avail. 

This spot wasn't a total loss. Couple of us spotted an actor from Mean Girls and he was super nice. Even said his buddy was from the movie and got him in the photo op. Turned out to be a nice dual photo op with Rajiv Surendra and Daniel Franzese. And I got a couple of members of the band The National, including the lead singer. 

After a sub par day, it was off to sleep. 

After a less than ideal time sleeping in the car thanks to some heavy snoring I head out to meet Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and the upcoming Godzilla movie. While waiting for him I scored a photo op with James Eckhouse from Beverly Hills 90210. A nice bonus. Bryan then arrives and HE approaches ME and says hello. I ask for a photo op and he is more than happy to do it! Why can't others be that nice? 

A good start to the day. Then off to a spot for Patrick Stewart where I score an autograph. 

Now it was off to get a huge score and a huge want of mine, namely Liam Neeson from Star Wars, Chronicles of Narnia, and much more. 

After a good wait he arrives and is swarmed by guards, media, and much more. He goes inside the building, and we go inside soon after. After he speaks I manage to approach him ready to take a self blast asking him for a photo op and he goes "sorry I'm off the clock" my reaction was this face  For the second time in 2014 I get a huge A level actor that's been in Star Wars right in front of me, and for the second time in 2014 I get blown off! Wow just wow! 

While waiting for him to leave, we do manage to go into a little room and mooch some good food and drinks. Joresky was like "is this for everyone?" to which I replied "I don't know, no one told me it wasn't for me" as I was eating some sandwiches and some exotic looking sweets. 

Exiting was sadly not much better than entering, as he gets rushed into the car ignoring everybody doing nothing for no one. This would have been an epic meet. But it was not to be.

For the last spot we hope to see Andy Garcia and Ray Romano. Andy would be a cool get and Ray I got before but I had a nice Ice Age photo for him to sign. We score photo ops with Joseph Gannascoli, Michael Pitt, and Burt Young but upon further research find out that neither Andy nor Ray are going to be here. 

We hop in the car to rush back to Philly so Joresky can get a Rosie O'Donnell photo op. But traffic leaving the city was ultra bad that once out of the city we realized we would simply not make it in time. So we decided to call it quits right there and then. 

While the overall haul is nothing short of decent, it's nothing I would consider epic or extravagant. And it's not as if we didn't have a chance at extravagant. Extravagant just didn't pan out due to celebrities being bitches. How ultra epic would all this have been with Liam Neeson, Taylor Swift, and Emma Thompson photo ops 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Pre Monstermania adventure

With the laziness and the cold getting the better of me in 2014, the time came for my first major combo hunting trek in 2014, the weekend of Monstermania in Cherry Hill and The Big Event in Queens. 

BUT I would actually have a warm up the Thursday BEFORE Monstermania.  

My first target was Chris Christie at a train station. I got there before he did, but sadly this was a total bust cause they snuck him in. 

Next up I go to a spot where Ariana Grande, Patti Labelle, among others were supposed to be. 

We see Melissa Etheridge and I try to get a photo op as she is being papped. But she goes "you can take a picture of me but not with me" 

As the meter maid arrives we have to move all our cars since we were illegally parked. Turns out we miss Ariana going in 

Coming out Ariana was being rushed into her car. One grapher does manage to get an autograph, but it is an Al Pacino style "a". 

Same deal with Melissa Etheridge. Rushed and does nothing. 

I was disgusted and disgruntled with everything I left and sat in the car thinking "dammit, why do they have to be such"

Just as I did that Patti Labelle fucking came out and calmly did combos with all who asked 

Defeated and depressed, I was not deterred. So I have dinner with a friend and wait it out. Nice of him to treat me for some $9 nachos.  

Back at the spot, we wait. First up is Patti Labelle. The doorman says she won't sign you can take photos. He also said no photo ops. I put my stuff away (which wasn't even for her) to make it look like I'm complying. Then when she comes out of the car I ask for a photo op and she says yes. Doorman tries to stop me but I say "she said yes" and I get a photo op. For one reason or another this photo op alluded me, so it was a nice conquest. 

Then Ariana's time comes. I did have an early morning flight on her but I didn't really feel like getting up early for a shot at her. Plus I had to get some sleep since I had 3 long days of combo hunting ahead of me. So this way my chance. Coming in, she is rushed and I get nothing. Not deterred I mooch my way in the hotel and others did the same! I get her to sign for me she goes "choose because I'm only doing one" and it's actually a NICE auto not a "Pacino" then I ask for a photo op and she goes "sure hon" and she POSES for me 

After this I run away before security tried to ban me. We were expecting Aretha Franklin, but I had nothing for her to sign and she generally doesn't do photo ops. Since I had some time, we tried a spot for Kathleen Turner to get my Who Framed Roger Rabbit laserdisc signed and maybe a photo op, but sadly never saw her. 

Patti Labelle

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande autograph

Coming up next, Monstermania, Big Event, and more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Thoughts on Jeremiah's yahoo news comments, plus a couple of meets

I though I'd give some of my insight on the comments on yahoo news regarding their interview with Joresky 

The comments essentially reflect what I've been saying all along when it comes to how most people perceive the act of combo hunting. Let's face it, it is not normal. Bothering strangers on their space time and/or invading their private space for one's selfish desire for combos does not come across as something decent human beings do. And the comments of people who do not care for autographs or photo ops on yahoo news reflect that fact. 

For those who remember it, this opinion was also illustrated in the past in the CZWfans vs feud. 

I myself put a comment on Joresky's video, here is a print screen of it:

Now to reply to what some on have said

Regarding 1/2 of the thunderbuddies Djknightrida 

And I quote:

Still don't quite understand any of the "get a life" comments. So Joreskys life having fun meeting people is less of a life than them trolling and doing A, B, C or D with their extra time.

Oh you go put to bars every night, get a life.

You enjoy watching sports, get a life.

You spend hours knitting, get a life.

It's all perspective. Their own self loathing causes the negative responses

Danny boy, you don't ever see anyone make a yahoo news interview about someone watching sports, knitting, going to bars, etc. That's cause hunting down celebrities is NOT a normal pass time. Hence many of the comments. 

I also agree with Woodmo that what CMshowstopper AKA the other half of the thunderbuddies has said does not hold. People are not jealous of his photos, as they do not desire combos. I also agree with Woodmo when he said this, and I quote: 

The two points in the article/video that perhaps brought people to their negative reactions are as follows, at least in my humble opinion.

1) The working two jobs to support the hobby. That makes it seem more like an obsession, and I think people would react similarly if someone said they work two jobs to support golf, basketball, or any other activity they enjoy. Jeremiah and I have discussed this issue at length, and he knows my opinion on spending less on frivolous names and spend less time working, more time finding other ways to occupy his time.

2) The mention of succeeding is a feeling like no other. We in the hobby can understand the feeling, and while I wouldn't say it's a feeling like no other, it is always fun to succeed. But again to the casual troll that bothers to comment on a Yahoo story, that tied into the two jobs thing, makes it seem more like an addict getting a fix.

However, while this is no doubt a factor it does not explain ALL the comments. 

The following comment is a microcosm of most of the comments on the yahoo news video, and I quote:

I don't even almost get it. His hobby is take take pictures with strangers? That's just weird. He spends all that time tracking these people down. And his reward (assuming they don't blow him off) is picture that proves he was standing next to them at some point in time. So what? I don't understand the payoff.

I was tempted to say "Live and let live, he's not hurting anybody" But this seems more like a strange addiction than a hobby. I would think if he could get past this he could find something to do with his time that would be much more rewarding.

This comment does not address the fact that it seems to be an addiction or obsession of his. It simply denounced the actual act of taking a photo op with a stranger and finding that thrilling. Which backs up my argument that the concept is unusual for anybody outside this practice. 

I will end this commentary with two more comments I found on there:

What a sad and pathetic life this poor loser leads.

This guy represents everything thats wrong with todays society.

Now, to showcase a couple of meets that took place before the day where everything played out in my favor (see my previous report). 

First up, was an airport run for Ice Cube. I found it a little strange that he was incognito with shades and a cap whilst his bodyguard had an Ice Cube jacket on. His bodyguard was yelling at us but allowed us to get combos. So of course I listened to everything he said. Ice Cube himself was cool and took a photo op with me then signed. After he got his luggage we got more from him and I got another item signed. 

Next up was somebody I met before, Mandy Patinkin‎, who I know best from the Princess Bride. 

Since I already had a photo op, I had 3 main objectives here. 1) complete my combo 2) virgilize him 3) get a photo op with non-bearded Mandy Patinkin. 

Sadly, objective #3 would be an immediate failure, as he sported a beard  To boot the photo op was a downgrade since he was wearing a beanie hat. He still signed both my photos and took a photo op. Since he was in a signing mood I also had him sign the back of my Princess Bride blu ray (the front is signed by both people who grace the cover, Robin Wright and Cary Elwes). 

Objectives #1 and #2 were completed! Success!