Friday, January 27, 2017

Presidential Inauguration Week Report Part 2

Note: If you have not already please see my previous post for Part 1

Day 5 and the final day of Inauguration Week. On this day I could have gone to Philly for Richard Petty. But I decided to gamble at a Women's March that had tons of celebrities. 

I arrive there with Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker. I somehow find free parking a few blocks away and walk to the event. Also on site were some Masters, a minion who also brought his daughter, and Radioman. Along with thousands of protesters. 

As we arrive we scout. We see some passes being given and Vanessa manages to grab one. They were about to not give me a pass but Vanessa says "he's with me". So now I have a pass. It was a "special guest" pass. 

Would this pass increase our chances for photo ops? No one knew. First we all discover the entry point and it seems impossible. Couldn't get Emma Watson, Julia Roberts, Cher, or even lower names. As one guy put it, "if Cher didn't stop for Radioman she's not stopping for you"

Only thing I managed to score is actress Lea DeLaria. Other hunters managed to mooch other materials. Then we all went to the "pass only" area to scope it out. There were railings which made us think perhaps some celebs are gettable. From there it seemed as if one security guard was letting everyone with a pass backstage, so me and one Master got in. All I did was flash my pass. I then phoned Vanessa and told her what I did. She then did what I did. 

Right here we hit the jackpot! From then on it was photo op after photo op. Though not without some misses. 

Got Alia Shawkat, Jackie Cruz, improved my Amy Poehler photo op. Then Vanessa tells me where Scarlett Johansson is. I go to that area flash my badge, then SCORE a perfect shot with one of the hardest modern day actresses. 

I am then alerted to a side tent where Cher is apparently doing photo ops inside. I rush there. As I am there I heard the guy say this is now only open to "media and members of  congress" so I quietly slip through the corner as he is talking. I then ask Cher for a selfie and she agrees. The bodyguards appear to me fighting me and I panic and go "she said yes to a selfie" then they said no selfie we will take it. I of course agreed. After that I thanked her and thanked the guards and promptly slipped out of the tent! WOHOOO! 

A while after more people were getting to the area I was in. Some people who stayed at the initial railings got perfect Katy Perry shots! But while that was happening I got Scarlett which they did not. So it's a matter of can't be everywhere at once. Speaking of Katy I saw her in front of me and asked twice for a selfie and both times she tells me "HIIIiiiii"! 

WTF! I've seen this woman so many times and have failed to get that shot. To boot she did take two selfies just not with me. This is right up there with J-Lo. Someone I just can't seem to get but so many have photo ops with. 

Another PUNCH more major than Katy Perry was Emma Watson. The times I asked she denied but the times she was doing photo ops I was not at the right place right time. First time was when she was leaving stage Vanessa tried calling me but reception was bad due to all the phones around. I was beside myself only for to have a second major PUNCH when a Master told me he just got her (by then I thought she had left). I quickly went to where he said he got her but was 5 minutes too late. Vanessa had tried to call me again to no avail. It seems that had I restarted my phone I probably would have had reception and a perfect Emma Watson shot. I guess this was mymoment so to speak except I fucking had batteries 

I also tried to Julia Roberts (hat and shades) and failed on that front and even got assaulted by her security guard. That guard is damn lucky I was in a prime area for photo ops and did not want to get kicked out, because had we been on a sidewalk I would have punched that guard with all my might and caused the scenes of scenes 

Back to positives, got Bella Thorne, Zendaya, Diane Guerrero, Danielle Brooks, Jeffrey Wright, Halsey, Ani DiFranco, Marisa Tomei (repeat), Fisher Stevens (repeat), and Soccer player Hope Solo

Alicia Keys (who I needed a better shot with) was another moment filled fights. She had two security guards that weren't allowing me to ask saying she had to go on stage. I said she's doing it and they say "she's not doing it now" as she immediately takes a selfie with someone. When they realize their lies are not working they then try to report me to another guard but I slip away before that guard sees me. Much later she was still in the same spot not yet on stage. When she left stage I positioned myself at a spot and asked her then finally got shot (the same guards were still escorting her). 

For shits and giggles I got an invalid Madonna. I didn't bother putting any effort on her because a Master told me he had her one on one and she denied him. 

Rounded the event with another Olivia Wilde shot, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of Indigo girls, and activist Gloria Steinem.  

Seeing people's Emma Watson shots was pain and suffering. Cause this happened as I was there just not exactly there. But overall got Cher, Scarlett Johansson, plus other fresh meets and upgrades, I'd say epic successful day! 

On a side note, I saw Jeffrey Wright's son that took away my photo op back in November. He didn't recognize me. 


Scarlett Johansson

Amy Poehler

Jeffrey Wright

Candidate for worst photo op of 2017 - Madonna

Full list of final day photo ops part 1

Full list of final day photo ops part 2

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Presidential Inauguration Week Report Part 1

This is a multi day report that took place during the week when President Trump officially became the president and supreme leader of the United States of America. 

Day 1

On this day I had a flight for Lee Greenwood. I also found Jon Voight but sadly he cancelled his flight and flew private. I already have Voight so this was not a major punch but it would have been nice to make my time more worthwhile as both Greenwood and Voight were coming in at almost the same time. But I still needed Greenwood and he's a nice guy so I still embarked on this. 

Arrive and it's time for the meet. He is nice as can be, took a photo op and signed four CDs and a vinyl, even asking me where I got these. 

By a shocking coincidence at baggage claim was none other than Three Doors Down, who I didn't look for but I needed. Of the 5 members 2 are original including the lead singer. The others are barely valid. All were nice and I got photo ops with all of them. Also Dick Gregory was spotted and I got a photo op just because he was there. 

Wow I was happy because I only thought I would get Greenwood but I get him and Three Doors Down. I was on my way home victorious then I get a call from a Master who tells me that singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter is coming in and to look for a flight. Shockingly while in the car I find the flight coming later that evening So I turn back, park for free, chill, and kill time by eating free samples at a supermarket and a mall, scouring the coin star machine for left change (without success), and browsing around randomly. Now it's time to go back to the airport. The witching hour arrives and I was the first to ask her for a photo op and she goes "sure" and I get the photo op! As she signs I also get an autograph. She charges $100 for the m&g and while this photo op isn't as good as the m&g ones I'll happily take it (I should add that the m&g doesn't include the autograph). 

Planned for just Lee Greenwood, got him, two original members of Three Doors Down, AND Sabrina Carpenter. Definitely a good day!

Lee Greenwood

Sabrina Carpenter

Full list of Day 1 photo ops

Day 2

This day was the quickest and easiest. Basically just Pamela Anderson at the airport. This would be my second time ever meeting her. Graphers attacked her but she was accommodating signing most everything in front of her. I got her on a magazine, three 8x10s, and two WWE_E books. Then finally got her on a fold out poster. Also got a photo op.  

Sadly on the first WWE_E I had her sign he signed in big and over the wrong Wrestlemania entry! UGH! On the second one she signed it much nicer right near he photo. 

Pamela Anderson

Day 3

Here I had a choice between Caitlyn Jenner at one airport, and Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter at another airport. I chose option #2 even though I have a Jimmy Carter photo op. Figured I better get another auto since he's 90+ and it gives me a shot at Rosalynn. I also had Christina Hendricks coming in at that same airport. So it decreased the headache of back and forth. Plus I don't think I'd enjoy having a Caitlyn Jenner photo op anyway.

So first stop is the Carters. We see police and secret service out and about. A cop comes out to us and asks what we're waiting for. Someone replies "same person you're waiting for" and the cop goes "who" and he goes "you know who" and the cop goes "tell me" and the reply was "former US president Jimmy Carter". We told him how we got Carter here in the past and the cop goes "it's not going to happen today" to which I reply "you don't know that and I don't know that" 

The witching hour arrives. Jimmy comes over to sign. I try asking Rosalynn for the photo op but she sadly ignores me. I get Jimmy on an 8x10 of him and Rosalynn. 

Next up a Christina Hendricks flight. She is nice amd does 3 per person and also the photo op. Then I remember that her husband is actually an actor and ask him for a photo op. He does it no issue. One Master who was at that flight had other flights coming in that I didn't bother looking for so I tagged along. 

First one of these is Alysia Reiner from Orange is the New Black. She is nice as can be. Then Tim Daly. At this point I am joined by Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker. Get more autographs from Tim Daly as well as another photo op. Final flight is former child actress Mae Whitman. She is also nice as can be and I got another shot with her plus some autographs. 

We then wait on a couple of other flights in the hopes of randoms, but we see no one. 

Overall a sub par day but at least I didn't walk away with nothing. 

Full list of Day 3 photo ops

Day 4

This day starts with Jimmy Carter round two (this time with Vanessa tagging along). Again we wait for Carter, we get the speech from secret service. I get Jimmy Carter to sign a baseball. I then step back to try and ask Rosalynn for a photo op then get yelled at by the police. I then showcase my 8x10 signed by Jimmy and say "Miss Carter I got your husband on it" and she looks at the photo and goes "oh my". The cops yell at me again saying "she doesn't do it". I then ask "can I get your autograph" and the cop lashes out again at me saying "she said no, no means no" (which she technically didn't). She was walking to the escalator and I was on the other side so I sadly I had little to no chance for a photo op. I simply stayed put and extended the 8x10 to her and she signed it for me. Vanessa tried getting her to sign but she didn't do anything more than my 8x10. 

After this we both go to Costco and eat. Then it was off to the city. While I managed to park for free it was sadly difficult to get to our spot in the city, even hindered by the parade. Go back to the car and as I'm driving I get a call from a Master. He asks where I'm at and what I'm doing. Then he says he has a flight, won't tell me who, but to come and pick him up. So I go pick him up and we all head to the airport. Turns out it's actress Michelle Rodriguez from The Fast and the Furious. Decent name! She arrives and I manage to get the combo no issue. 

Sadly this was not without a PUNCH in the face. Apparently at the spot where I wanted to go Tim Allen, a huge want of mine, came out of there, did photo ops, and walked away! He wasn't even on the list of people to appear in that spot so no one knew. Wow I was beside myself. 

I did manage to eventually find my way to the spot (parked then walked 20 minutes) where a Master was waiting (and got Tim Allen). He was also waiting for Radioman who is a buddy of his. He points out Hollywood attorney Gloria Allred and I get a photo op. Radioman arrives and curses me out to him. At one point Radioman hands flyers of his documentary. Gives one to his buddy and one to Vanessa. I say "hey none for me, damn that hurts Radioman". Then he gives me one. Then I try to get him to sign it and he signs for me and Vanessa. This completes my combo with Radioman. 

People start to exit the spot and I get a few photo ops but nothing I didn't have sadly. Just upgrades as they were looking nicer. I actually had one big want at the spot. Namely Matthew Modine. But sadly he no showed. So that was another PUNCH.

One notable interaction was with Mae Whitman. She said hi to Radioman and he didn't know who she was. She then proceeded to remind Radioman of when she filmed with him on set and how she was a little girl. She was super excited to see Radioman. Radioman then asked for her swag bag and she goes "sure you can have it". He also proposed that she take any of the inside contents that she wants so he can just have the actual bag. But she tells Radioman that he can have everything. 

We did try one other party to see what was there, but sadly it was a dud. 

Aside from one Michelle Rodriguez, this day was sadly a bust. If I got Tim Allen that would have been huge. 

Michelle Rodriguez

Christina Hendricks

Mae Whitman

Full list of Day 4 photo ops

Stay tuned for Presidential Inauguration Week Report Part 2 for the final day of combo hunting during that week. In the meantime, let's showcase autographs obtained the past four days: 

Lee Greenwood

Michelle Rodriguez and Sabrina Carpenter

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson fold out

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter

Signed 8x10s

Radioman flyer

Monday, January 9, 2017

First report of 2017: The A list and the freezing cold

The months of December, January, and February I normally hibernate and limit myself to indoor combo hunting. But here there was an event where a good number of A listers were slated to show up and of course there's always a chance of randoms above and beyond who was on the list. Sadly, the spot isn't known to have the best access and has multiple points of entry and exit. Furthermore, historically many bigger names get driven in and out. But as they say, gotta play to win. After all, how devastated would I be if I stayed in a nice warm place and then hear that people did well. I had internal tears as I decided to avoid the worst case scenario (ie me staying home and the event going well). 

I had a few flights but most of them got cancelled as the celebs found other methods of travel. That was a bummer. The only flight I had that was still valid was Jordin Sparks which arrived the day prior to the event. I was doing non-combo related stuff and figured I'd check out that flight because 1) I had some 8x10s printed years ago that never got signed and 2) perhaps other people I don't know about are on the flight. 

When I got there turns out there were Masters that had the same idea I did (ie to check for randoms). 
When the witching hour arrived I was told that Cheryl Hines walked by me. But since I got photo ops with her I didn't make the effort to scramble to baggage and look for her. 

Then it was time for Jordin. After talking to TMZ she was nice as can be. Asked if I have another color pen so I gave her black instead of blue. One picture she signed was a photo op from when I last met her and she remembered the event it was from. I told her she had a good memory. After she was done signing she goes "let's take another picture for your collection". I had no intention of asking her as it would be a downgrade from what I have but since she asked I of course did it. After the first shot she goes "I messed it up let's do another" and we take another shot. Wow why can't all celebs be that nice. With this I got my first combo of 2017. 

The next day was the main event. And boy was it a day I was dreading like no other as I knew I would be in for a long and cold evening, possibly for nothing. I put on 3 layers of socks, 2 layers of pants, 3 layers of tops, plus my coat. 

First I go to a spot for Samuel L Jackson. He does one per and I get my Mace Windu figure signed. Next spot for George Lucas. Wait and he shows up but ignores us all. 

Next up I go wait for the main spot and where I begrudgingly planned to spend the next 10 hours or so. A little bit ago I had received a call from a Master who told me that both Tom Hanks and Stephen Speilberg are slated to show up. Luckily I always keep my random stash of stuff in the trunk of my car and was able to pull out my items for both and have them ready. 

Looks like some activity is brewing up and I leave the warm car to stand there. The spot isn't even open and George Lucas arrives as he realizes he is early. I get an autograph and I get a selfie with Mellody Hobson (already have a great photo op with Lucas so didn't bother). I saw someone else get a second auto and I try for a second but to no avail. 

Saw Meryl Streep stand in line to go into the event. We were three asking for stuff and she goes "sorry I'm not doing it, I'm not working". At one point she even backs up and bumps into me and I apologized. That was a pretty crushing defeat as she was right here next to me, even ran into me, and I had nothing to show for it. 

Next up I get photo ops with Lena Dunham (first fresh actor/actress photo op of 2017), get Charles Barkley (upgrade), and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Then David Letterman shows up and just because it's easy and a novelty I get a photo op with santa bearded Letterman (I had seen him with the beard in the past but didn't bother cause it was chaotic and not worth fighting for). 

At this point they began to set up barricades and with barricades more people started joining. Dammit! This went from being "decent" to absolutely garbage! Additionally we were not very close to them. 

Some of the names that showed up 

George Clooney
Don Cheadle
Tom Hanks
Gloria and Emilio Estefan
John Legend
Jordin Sparks
Stephen Speilberg
Paul McCartney
Brad Paisley
Jon Hamm
Nick Jonas
Steve Harvey
Sarah Jessica Parker
Matthew Broderick 
Bradley Cooper
James Taylor
Harvey Weinstein

I'm sure I'm forgetting more. All I got was actor Wendell Pierce and an update with Gloria Estefan. Also Harvey Weinstein blew me off for a photo op after signing (he was one that I was able to get up to). Wow 2017 just started and not only punches but multiple BIG BLOWS to face all through!  

So we all go since we don't anticipate any activity for at least a little bit. I go to the car as I have to move it from one free spot to another. Grab a bite to eat, park, and head back to the spot.

Some positive things happened:

1) The wretched barricades have taken down.

2) All the guards that were working earlier are now gone (probably their shift ended)

3) All the non combo hunters are gone (leaving 5-7 combo hunters throughout the night)

Thanks to the combination of the cold and not being in NYC, this was a refreshingly low number ESPECIALLY for the caliber and quantity of potential names. 

As I head back to prepare for exits George Lucas, James Taylor, and Harvey Weinstein leave. I get another Lucas auto, James Taylor auto, and blown off again by Harvey Weinstein. 

Shortly after other combo hunters arrive. Stephen Speilberg, someone I still need a photo op with, is spotted leaving. One guy tells us he has no time and has to catch a plane to which a combo hunter replies "these planes won't leave without him". As he arrives we plead he says he will do it. Sadly, he rejects photo ops. He signs one per and as I get him on my ET poster he asks who else signed it. This was pretty crushing as I've seen this guy so many times but have yet to get a photo op. I do however get his wife Kate Capshaw who was in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. So that's a consolation prize at least. 

This would not be the only crushing defeat as Paul McCartney comes out and says he's not signing and I try asking for photo ops he says he's not taking pictures. One Master even begged and pleaded all the way to his car to no avail. As he left he rolled down the window and wished us all a Happy New Year. 

Now comes a huge entourage. Robert Deniro, Meryl Streep, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley. I tried begging Meryl as a Master breaks her down for an auto. I beg more and she agrees to the shot! I couldn't believe it! I then score that near impossible A list photo op HOLY CRAP! Didn't bother fighting for a Deniro shot as he had a full beard and it would have been a downgrade. After this I was on my knees thanking the combo Gods for my first A list photo op of 2017 and knowing that my entire ordeal was officially not for nothing! 

Besides this I see Jon Hamm but already have photos with him so I don't bother going after him. I see Common come out but don't bother with him. Other photo ops I got include Rachael Ray (update), Patti LaBelle (update), and basketball player Grant Hill.

After our last photo op an hour passes and nothing happens. Then we see cars pull up to another exit so we run there. Seems exits shifts and we probably missed more names waiting at what was now the wrong exit.

Some things that happened at this stage of the evening.

Saw Steve Harvey and had to break him down for a selfie. He goes "ok c'mon quick" and he cuts it off after like 2 people.

Saw Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus walk but didn't bother going after them as I had them both. Saw Kerri Washington but also had no need to go after her. Sam Jackson again didn't fight for a photo op because he had a beanie on. Got an auto sadly it got smudged.

Got Connie Britton update. Jon Bon Jovi did nothing for no one. Tom Hanks actually signed one per and I got him on my Apollo 13 laserdisc completing my project, finally! I also stood there and did photo ops. I of course took one but the photo op is essentially garbage compared to my older shot as he has a full beard, a beanie, and spectacles.

A Master spots a car with Bruce Springsteen in it. He runs to the car naturally me and others follow. We plead for Bruce for a roll down and he rolls. The driver starts to move but stops. When it's my turn as he is signing my item the car is moving again and I scream "HEEEYYY" luckily the car stops and my autograph looks fine. Thankfully I already have a photo op so had no huge need to fight for a car shot.

Kelly Rowland didn't stop my shot didn't turn out sadly. I got her before but needed another shot. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis are spotted. I have Jason so many times but upgraded my Olivia to no shades.

Eddie Vedder is spotted he says he will do one per but no photo ops because he "looks like shit" as he put it. I have someone else help me with an item so I got my Peal Jam vinyl already signed by two other members and a CD.

At this point Eddie, Jason, and Olivia are just hanging waiting for their rides. I plead with Eddie for a photo op he laughingly goes "I'm pissed off but let's do it" as he goofs off and does a few photo ops!

Saw Don Cheadle but had no need to bother him. Got up and coming actress Cody Horn. Also basketball player Alonzo Mourning.

Snow beings to pick up. At this point we all decided this was done.

Despite the hardships and the cold, the ups and downs, the punches, the big blows, the pain and suffering a photo op with the near impossible Meryl Streep, combo with Eddie Vedder (who himself is pretty tough), plus many more bonus autographs and photo ops, I'd say my first endeavor of 2017 was a sweeping success

I left my home at 2pm, I returned it was 6am. That was 14 horus well spent.

Some other notes:

This evening was truly a prime example of "gotta play to win". Success was not even close to guaranteed as lots of people usually drive in and out of that spot. This time almost nobody drove in (Springsteen, Jay Z, Beyonce did).

To show you that there are no rules when it comes to what could bring success and failure in combo hunting, who would have thought that between Meryl Streep, Stephen Speilberg, and Paul McCartney, Streep would be the only one of those 3 to actually do full combos! Wow just wow.

Meryl Streep

Olivia Wilde

Eddie Vedder

Kate Capshaw

Full list of photo ops part 1

Full list of photo ops part 2

Now to showcase some autographs

Star Wars items

ET poster

Music autographs

Apollo 13 laserdisc

Jordin Sparks 8x10s