Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Presidential Encounter

Bill Clinton and others were attending the funeral of US Senator John Dingell at a Church. I knew a Master who was trying for Bill Clinton. This particular Master is known for always getting Bill Clinton to at least sign for him. So I figured it was a good chance to tag along.

Arrive and it had already started. Played the waiting game. One guy who was around asked if I study around here, and to his bafflement I told him I was too old to be in college. The funeral let out and Clinton was walking across the sidewalk as me and the Master were across the street. The Master signaled to Bill. Bill then sent over the secret service to get our books. Sadly that meant no photo ops.

The Clintons and others look on as Dingell gets loaded into a hearse

Bill signing books

Signed book

Friday, February 15, 2019

Some meets in early February

February is the coldest month. But there were a warm couple of days where I managed to score decent autos/photos/combos.

Let's start with probably the nicest warmest day of the year thus far where I would go to upgrade my photo op with Rosie O'Donnell and get her autograph. The show ends and people that range from the invalid to the barely valid begin to come out. And there the Kate Upton blunder takes over my mind as I get photo ops with anyone I see doing combos. 

Also saw Mark Linn-Baker whom I got a few times before. But I'm such a huge Perfect Strangers fan and he's such a nice guy that I'll always grab a photo op with him when I see him. This time I got him with a mustache which I guess is a little different. As he was signing down the line I told everyone how he's cousin Larry and a TV legend to which he seemed to enjoy.

Finally Rosie comes out and to my astonishment she is super nice taking care of everyone in line. She signed my Exit To Eden DVD and described it as a "terrible" movie. I wasn't there but in the coming days it was really cold and shockingly she still came out and took care of people.

After Rosie it was back to Kate Upton Kate Upton Kate Upton as I stayed and grabbed other people doing combos including a couple of children. Also I did get an upgrade with actress Veanne Cox who is valid (she has a cap in my photo op from 2010). It should be noted that actress Jessie Mueller stopped coming out after the first night.

Rosie O'Donnell photo op

Rosie O'Donnell autograph

Full list of photo ops

Next morning I decide to go for a Taraji P. Henson flight. I already got 2 ops with her but have unsigned items. She came in and signed but wouldn't take photo ops. Since she had a hat and shades the photo op would have been a downgrade anyway. 

Taraji P. Henson Autographs

It was also good weather so I decided to upgrade my photo op with the legendary Frankie Valli later that evening. Plus I never got his autograph and he's getting up there in age so windows to these opportunities are dwindling. 15 minutes away were flights of members of the band Gin Blossoms. I decided to go for that for a few reasons 1) provides a backup in case Frankie is a failure 2) I already have the lead singer so may as well get the others 3) They were doing a paid m&g so it's always a nice feeling to get for free what others pay for.

Of the 4 members besides the singer, 2 are original, 1 is not original and wasn't there for the early hits but was in the band for the longest time, and 1 is barely valid. They all land and are super nice. The lead singer's flight got delayed luckily I could go to the Frankie Valli spot as I have him. Though in hindsight I could have easily stayed there then gone to Frankie. 

Gin Blossoms photo ops

Wait for Frankie after his show. In this nice weather, if this were NYC, you would have like 30-40 people at least. Here we have about 10. We see a van in the garage and we figure this is where Frankie will escape from. So we are all in position to beat him to the next spot. Meanwhile there's a bus that is loading up a slew of invalidity in the form of Frankie's current band. 

We wait and lo and behold Frankie actually walks out! His guy screams and calls people ebayers and says one per person. I manage to beg and struggle to score the photo op! Got the full combo! Mission accomplished! 

Frankie goes in the same bus as the invalids (presumably to go into the next town) and as the bus is leaving it collides with a car.

Frankie Valli photo op

Frankie Valli autograph

Sunday, February 3, 2019

First NYC endeavor of 2019

After the Jackie Chan success, woke up and headed on to NYC. Ran into traffic which reminds me of one of the reasons why I always stay in the city and sleep in the car. Now came another challenge, to find free NYC parking close to lunchtime during a weekday. A task most anyone on this planet would label as impossible and mock you for actually trying. I managed to score a spot about 10 minutes away from where I needed to be. Sat in the car for 30 or so minutes till the spot became legal, then we split an uber to the spot (which was about the same as taking a train). 

My main want at this spot was someone I failed at during a movie shoot, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. The spot starts off with a barely valid or two. Patty tells me she will take care of me leaving. 

Leaving is when action happens. Get Connie Nielson. She is wearing shades but it's ok as I have a good shot from the past. Get actress India Eisley who seems like she could become somebody. And of course Patty who true to her word took a photo with me and even stated "told you I'd take care of you on exits". Got actor AJ Buckley update going in and on exits Jada Pinkette Smith update and an autograph. After this the weather was taking a toll on me so I went back to my car to be warm. Drove to another spot to meet with Vanessa the Jersey shore stalker and friend in the hopes to see Matthew McConaughey but no luck.

Evening came and went to a spot for James McAvoy. As we arrived he immediately pulled up. Ran and got a photo op. Already got him in the past but this is an good upgrade. Tried a few random spots but no luck. Back to the McAvoy spot for exits but he rushed into his car.

On to the next spot thanks to a  tip. Got actress Golden Brooks whom I missed at the first spot and got character actor Leland Orser. On to the last spot for Jay Patterson who played April's boss in the 1990 TMNT movie. Was a harder task than I imagined for a name of his caliber. I had to even chase him down to sign my laserdisc. WTF?

Overall a successful day. 

India Eisley

Patty Jenkins

James McAvoy

Leland Orser

Jay Patterson

Full list of Day 1 photo ops

Autographs obtained

Next day would start out on a sour note, which would sadly be a recurring theme throughout the day. We had a flight with all members of the Backstreet Boys. I figured I'd wake up and calmly go to that flight. Upon waking up, find out there were TWO reservations and they took the earlier one! PUNCH! At least I found that out before paying for airport parking. 

Went to a spot where we thought they might be but found no evidence of them. Next to a Matthew McConaughey spot. Sadly he is being reluctant to stop but does sign some. I am trying to get a photo op. First take was completely invalid, second take was invalid but much better, third take was valid but blurry. So I went to the next spot in the hopes of he would stop but he blanked going in.

While waiting at this spot I see John Goodman going in and leaving but he blanks. Needed a better shot plus autographs. There was a spot up the street where Anne Hathaway did combos but I had to miss that because I was waiting for Matthew. After Mathew left I had to park the car so I missed him doing autographs at the spot up the street. No one got photo ops though.

Park my car and head up the street. Wait there. Diane Lane exits and they say she will "do pictures" but no autographs. I find this suspect because I know she hates photo ops. She comes out and sure enough she poses for paps.

Hathaway and McConaughey do nothing. Miss ‎Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. Get an update with Famke Janssen. In NYC, if all else fails, go to the "easy" show spots. Walk over to another spot that is exiting where I miss actor Tom Glynn-Carney but get actress Catherine McCormack from Braveheart. 

Things ended just like it began, on a sour note. Found out the info for the last spot late. Drove there I missed Anne Hathaway doing combos. Needed her autograph plus a photo upgrade would have been nice. Not a good day, but didn't leave empty handed either.

Catherine McCormack

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Jackie Chan and miscellaneous January meets

Since I've been out of country in December and January has been ice cold, I've for the most part taken a break from combo hunting. But around mid January I got a flight for actor Ian Bohen. I figured it was indoors, exact info, let's break in 2019 for combo hunting. And thus I got my first celebrity photo op of 2019. 

Ian Bohen

Next up, the Jackie Chan book signing! Bought that book last year and it got rescheduled. Markedout's adelta was supposed to come up with me but decided to cancel out so I had an extra book thanks to him. This worked out great as I went up with a new traveling partner who bought adelta's book. 

I have to admit driving up to bookends was a painful experience due to the "no photo op" rule. Anyone who knows me knows that I will never forget my Kate Upton blunder. But there is also another blunder I'll never forget, and that is my Steve Martin blunder. I was thinking of going to his CD signing and didn't only to see a lot of people get photo ops. I wanted to avoid this horrific scenario again at any and all costs. And the only way to guarantee avoiding this is to go. Plus I know from past experience that Jackie Chan isn't a nasty guy. He's a nice guy just afraid of NYC crowds (which I don't blame him for). So I thought there would be at least a 50% chance of photo ops.

To boot, on my way I got word from NYC that people got Chan at the hotel. It was painful to see considering there was a possibility I would get nothing at the bookstore. When I arrived I saw the invalid photo ops the first 50 or so people got. This added to my sorrow. But then I get a facebook message from PA combo hunter Joe D. He was in line and told me he was doing table ops! What? Can it be? Is it possible? I get back in line and sure enough table ops are happening! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise the combo Gods! After failing on Jackie Chan in the past I am finally getting this photo op! Some people even scored extras and when I tried at the table I was being denied. I didn't push the issue as I wanted my photo op. This marked my first A lister of 2019, my first autograph of 2019, and my first full combo of 2019.

After the fact it was good to see and chat with for the first time since October. Brought my car around and waited for Jackie to leave to score an extra. This is probably the coldest weather I ever waited for a celebrity. They were trying to tell us he would be doing nothing but he did some photo ops and autographs leaving. I got an autograph.

With that success, me and my traveling buddy went to [ironically] a Chinese buffet and had a celebratory meal. Sadly also had to get a hotel. The water bottles in my car froze overnight so definitely was not a night to car sleep. It was a decent family owned motel less than $85 after tax and not too bad when split in two. I felt I was in a luxury penthouse as I'm so used to car sleep. But I definitely won't be making a habit out of this.

The next day it was time to embark to NYC for the first time in 2019. This will be a separate report.

Jackie Chan photo op

Jackie Chan autographs

Towards the end of January there was an event with lots of rich people. George W Bush, Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, to name a few. In the past I had bad luck at this event but I figured I'd try to see what I can get. The only significant name I saw was Tim Cook and he denied leaving and coming in. Got Cal Ripken update and some other political names. 

Full list of photo ops