The Interview — Part III

Ok, so when I said this interview thing was addicting, I wasn’t kidding.

Today’s questions come from Molly. It’s only fair, really, that she interview me. Afterall, I interviewed her (for real) twice. I knew she’d have some good questions.

How good? See for yourself.

1. When did you know Renee was the woman you were going to marry?

Well, I don’t know if this is the real answer or not. But, Renee and I knew each other for five years before we started dating. During that time, I had thought about asking her out, but never got up the nerve. Then, a friend of mine asked her out. They dated regularly — more than a year if I remember correctly. Once they started going out, I remember thinking, “Geez, why did I let that happen?” Thankfully for me, the relationship didn’t last.

2. What is the strangest dream you can remember?

Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time I could remember a dream.

3. If you had to give up chocolate or beer for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good beer. But, sorry, brewski, you don’t stand a chance against chocolate!

4. If you could be a character in any television show, who would you be and why?

Hmmm. Norm from Cheers? Josh from The West Wing? Phil the host from Amazing Race? Marshall in Alias? Jack from Three’s Company? How do I pick? MacGyver?

I think I might go with MacGyver. I mean, I can’t fix/build anything and he could build anything with three toothpicks, a spool of thread and a plastic cup.

Then again, so could the Professor from Gilligan’s Island…and he was stuck on a remote island with Ginger and Mary Anne.

Yeah, I’m picking the Professor!

5. Bon Jovi invites you on the stage to sing one song with him. Which song do you choose?

Well, first of all, how did I get front row seats? Am I like Courteney Cox being pulled on stage by the Boss? And, my goodness, how do you expect me to sing? Heck, I’m not even sure I could stand — let alone talk, let alone sing! I mean, he picked me?!

The song I would pick? Dead or Alive. Why? Well, I would never, ever, ever steal his thunder. I mean, especially if he asked me on stage. Wouldn’t it be rude for me to take the spotlight? Or to even sing a song as his, dare I say it, equal?

Dead or Alive is perfect…I’ll take the Sambora parts — small, but so important.

I mean, come on, you know what I’m talking about. When Jon sings “Wanted….” and Richie responds with “Wanted….”. Does it get any better than that? Um, no. That’s the part I want. Integral to the song — but not taking away from the man.

God, how pathetic am I?

Well, what can I say, she hit a soft spot. 🙂

Any more questions out there for me? Want any questions from me? Let me know.


Since We Last Met…

Greetings, one and all.

Glad to be back. The I Got Nothin’ holiday hiatus is over — at least for the time being.

This is just a quick post to let you know what’s been going on in I Got Nothin’ World. More on these topics and others to come very soon. Honest!

Without further adieu, since we we were last together:

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Erin enjoyed her first Christmas (at least we think she did). But, more importantly, at long last, she cut her first tooth!

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Aidan definitely enjoyed his Christmas. The reaction to the toys and other presents is one thing, but the absolute belief in Santa and the reindeer etc, well, to steal a line, it’s priceless.

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The Patriots went 16-0. And, oh by the way, I was there.

Oh yeah, and I met Clink.

That’s all for now, readers! Have to leave you with a little suspense, right?

What else? I got nothin’.


Emptying Out a Cluttered Mind

It’s Tuesday. I’m not sure what that means, really. Just stating the obvious. I guess it means that it’s time to share with you a few random thoughts. So, without further adieu:

It’s a great time to be a New England sports fan. The Sox are in the World Series, the Celtics have their buzz back and the Patriots may well be the best assembled football team ever. These are the glory years.

Two related sports things.

First, Renee and I were never going to have kids. We just weren’t. It wasn’t our thing. Well, that obviously changed with the arrival of Aidan in 2004. Know what else happened in 2004? Yeah, the Red Sox won the World Series.

Well, my loyal readers will know that Erin was born this year — 2007. And, look at where the Red Sox are. The World Series. We are both Sox fans. Have been for life. And, heck, I gotta tell you, if they win this year, that means you can thank Renee and me.

It also means we might have to (at least!) entertain the thought of a third! I mean, Red Sox Nation could be counting on us.

The second interesting thing sports wise is related to my friend, KLC, who just happens to be a huge fan of the team that shall not be named here. Here’s a hint, they were lucky enough to win last year’s Super Bowl.

Well, if you follow football,  you know that November 4 is a huge day. It’s the day when the two best teams in the NFL will play. On the field, you’ll have Brady on one side, Manning on the other.

Off the field, it’s me on one side, KLC on the other. And, based on the results of that game, there will be at least one very interesting blog on November 5. You see, when the Patriots win, KLC has to write a minimum of 400 words about how great of a team they are and how good Tom Brady really is. If for some reason the Colts actually win, then I have to do the same on my blog — post about how good the Colts and Peyton Manning really are.

Should be interesting!

New DVR coming tomorrow, along with a new dish. I’m a little nervous about giving up my TiVo, but Directv doesn’t have a contract with them anymore, so what can I do. I’m sure the DVR will be fine — afterall, it holds 100 more hours of programming than my current TiVo.

I love Pushing Daisies. If you’re not watching, you should. Besides being funny, it has, well, only my favorite Kristin Chenoweth (love her).

Ok, so it’s slipped here and on a few blogs that Bon Jovi is my man crush. Heck, why not, right? Well, I’ve got a new female celeb crush. Maybe crush isn’t the right word. I’m going with intrigue. Who is it you ask? Well, don’t hate me in the morning….but I will say I’m oddly fascinated and intrigued with Kim Kardashian. I know, I know.

I turn (gulp!) 38 in just over a week. Are you kidding me? Thirty-freaking-eight? When did this happen actually? Am I more than half way through my life? These are the things you think about when you are about to turn 38.

And, related to that, I’m going to announce my big plan on my birthday. Time to get the house in order, so to speak. It’s not earth shattering. It’s common sense, and I’m going to rely on all of you to help.

I’ve had two huge customer service sagas in my life lately. I won’t bore you here, but let’s just say I won them both. Let’s also just say that if you ever have to call Verizon customer service, talk to Jackie. I’m sure there are 100 Jackies, but the one I had, well, let’s just say she rocked — and all the Verizon people should know it was her and her alone who kept me a customer. If you know me well, you realize now Jackie should be nominated for sainthood.

Speaking of Jackie, that’s my mom’s name. And, speaking of my mom, it’s clear where I get my sentimental stuff. Just the other day, she hands me a folder of stuff that she thought I’d want to add to this incredible scrapbook she made for me and my siblings years ago.

What was inside? Well, among other things, the first two letters I wrote home from college. Can you believe that? Safe to say I was a naive geek. Excerpts from some of those letters to come.

And, given the spirit of the season, you’ll also soon be blessed with a picture of my candy corn collection. It’s not just any collection, however. Stay tuned to learn more.

What else? I got nothin’.


OK, The Wait is Over…

….Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship.

Well, I’m sure you can finish the rest of the song. Or, maybe you can’t. Because a couple of times that I’ve mentioned my day with Bob Denver, a few people were like, “I thought you meant John Denver.”

Is it possible that I’m older than enough of you, my faithful readers, that you really don’t know who Bob Denver is? That really can’t be possible. Can it?

Well, for those that don’t know, Bob Denver was Gilligan. As in Gilligan’s Island. As in the theme song in the first sentence of this post. As in one of the most entertaining TV shows. Ever.

That Bob Denver.

He was an icon. A legend.

And, as I found out, an incredible chain smoker.

Here’s the story.

I was in Vermont at the time. Working for marketing/PR agency. We landed a new television station as a client and were assigned with the task of planning the launch party for the station. Basically, get people to care about the then fledgling WB Network. No easy task, even for this PR guy. Because, keep in mind, this was like 1995.

So, in order to drum up some buzz, the station folks hired Bob Denver to come to Vermont and act as the celebrity pitch man for this station launch.

Now, again, for anyone over probably 32, Bob Denver is legendary. Under that, I’m really not so sure. You may have seen a little Gilligan’s Island, but not like we did. And, heck, Gilligan’s Island was big for him, but for the even older generation, he was known as Doby Gillis.

But, I digress.

Now, why did they pick Bob Denver to launch a station that was full of WB programming? Beats the hell out of me. Denver had a show called Treasure Hunters or something that was also on the station, but needless to say, he didn’t fit the overall demographic.

But, when you’re a PR guy, you work with what you have. So, that’s what I did. We arranged for some newpaper interviews and for a slew of radio station interviews. (Note: that might be the first time I’ve ever used slew in a sentence.)

So, since he’s, well, Bob Denver, we arranged for a limo to take him and his manager/friend/lackey around to these stations. And, of course, I was to accompany him as the rep for the station.

What was my job? Basically to make sure he got the station call letters right. Let’s face it, the radio stations wanted to talk to him about Gilligan, not about the TV thing. So they would give us one quick plug and then it was more focused on who was hotter, Ginger or Mary Ann.

So there I was, a young lad with a guy I had watched on TV a bazillion times. I wouldn’t say I was star struck, but it was very cool to spend some time with the guy. Or so I thought it would be.

I’m not here to bash on someone who is no longer with us (he died a few years ago), but he wasn’t the most friendly guy I’ve ever met.

I mean, he couldn’t have been making too much for this appearance (I think he got five grand). And, I’m sure he’s been asked the Ginger and Mary Ann question more than he ever wanted, but here he was nonetheless.

Did I mention he was a chain smoker? Yeah. I did. And, yeah, he was. I’m not sure I ever saw him for more than five minutes without a cigarette.

My favorite moments were when we’d walk into the studio and he’d be smoking away. The DJ would say, politely (I mean, again, this was Bob Denver) that the studio was a no smoking place.

“No problem,” he’d say, but not put the cigarette out. He didn’t care. He was Bob Denver, he’d do what he want.

Everyone wanted pictures and he did that. Again, I think he knew he had to. And he would put on that trademark goofy grin whenever the camera was snapped, but after that, “where’s my cigarette.”

In the studio, he was great. I mean, this guy could turn it on with the best of them. A song would be playing and he’d be talking to his manager, not stopping to talk as the DJ was going on air. The DJ would be introducing him, asking a question and he’s still talking to his manager, until he instantly knew when to answer the question and devote a few seconds to it. Then the segment would end and he’d go right back to the conversation with his manager/lackey and, of course, his cigarette.

The other funny thing was that he brought one of the original Gilligan hats with him. And he’d wear it. Um, on the radio.

So, we rode around to five different radio stations and did the interviews. It was fine. He did his job, promoting the reason why he was there first and then answering all the questions about Gilligan after that.

Oh, and for the record, Gilligan was a Mary Ann man. At least he was that day.

Me? Well, it was cool to meet him and see how he operated, but, all in all, I could have done without the smoke. It was brutal, especially in the limo.

Oh well. It was Gilligan. The Little Buddy. But, on this day, I unfortunately saw more of Bob Denver than I did of Gilligan. And, I gotta tell you, I like Gilligan better.

Some day, kids, I’ll even tell you about my Rachel Ray experience. But, as a preview, it wasn’t a whole lot better than my Bob Denver experience.

What else? I got nothin’.


Crazy Eights

Well, this blogging thing has been pretty crazy for me lately. First, I was a guest blogger for Molly while she was on vacation (in Vegas).

Now, I’ve been tagged. And, in the process of tagging me, Anna has described me as big time.

Can the bar be set any higher than that? I’m thinking not.

Apparently this act of being tagged or tagging is something about a meme. Beats me. I may be big time, but I don’t understand all of this blogging terminology all the time. All I know is that it’s called Crazy Eights, and I’m supposed to tell you eight things about me.

I have to post these rules before I give up the goods. Each player starts with eight random facts or habits about themselves. People who are tagged are now obliged to write an entry telling us eight things about themselves and post these rules. At the end of your blog entry, tag eight new, unsuspecting bloggers and list their names. (Oh, and leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged JUST IN CASE they missed that day on your blog.)

1. I’m in a movie. A real movie, actually. It’s called Heavy. Good chance you haven’t seen it. But it does exist! It stars Shelley Winters, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Liv Tyler and Debbie Harry. I was working in New York at the time, for the The Culinary Institute of America. The movie was being filmed in New York and the director wanted Vince’s character, an aspiring chef, to come on a tour of the CIA. I was one of two people working with the film crew on everything. When it came time for the scene, they needed a tour guide. That would be me. So, during the movie, if you can find it somewhere, you’ll see me briefly on screen, but you’ll hear my voice for about two minutes. This is all midway through the film. And, maybe you haven’t seen Heavy, but you have seen more from the director. Check out what else he’s done. And to think it all started with me!

2. I once rode around in a limo all day with Bob Denver. You know, Gilligan. I’d tell you the story, but when I offered before, nobody cared.

3. I love live music. Love going to concerts. My first concert was Kiss. I was 10, if you can believe it. The last concert I saw was Cheap Trick. You’ll see my taste in music varies wildly as I list for you other bands/artists I’ve seen live: U2, Bon Jovi, Eagles, Poison, Cinderella, Warrant, Ratt, Winger, Tiffany, Cheap Trick, Robert Plant, Bob Seger, Whitesnake, The Alarm, REM, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer, Eddie Money, Pat Benatar, Kansas, Matchbox Twenty, Sugar Ray, 38 Special, Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, Michael Buble, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Five for Fighting, Goo Goo Dolls, The Bangles, Peter, Paul and Mary, Aerosmith, Richard Marx, Allman Brothers, Dennis DeYoung, Mike & the Mechanics, The Outfield, The Hooters, Barenaked Ladies, Billy Joel, Elton John, Celine Dion, The Corrs, Firehouse, Def Leppard, Gavin DeGraw, George Winston, Heart, Huey Lewis & the News, Indigo Girls, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Jewel, Journey, Kristin Chenoweth, Motley Crue, Sugarland and Train.

4. I’m addicted to fantasy baseball. I play in two leagues (down from three). I’ve been playing for almost 20 years.

5. I might have the worst skin ever. Very sensitive. Very dry. Hate shaving — but will never grow a beard.

6. I don’t read as many books as I should — or would like. Usually, I read in streaks. If I manage to pick something up, I buzz through it and then want another one right away. But, right now, as I write this, I can’t tell you the last book I read.

7. If I was a celebrity and was chosen to be on Dancing with the Stars, I’d want Cheryl or Edyta as my partner.

8. I was one of the last people (Matt, who is tagged below, is the other) to play on my all-time favorite mini golf course before it was sold at auction. I have such good memories from there, that I bought things from the place at auction — including part of the 18th hole, which was a clown’s face where you could get strokes taken off your score depending on whether you put the ball in the clown’s nose, mouth or eyes. It sits in a basement now, and it’s something that I’ll never be able to get rid of.

Ok, so now you know a bit more about me. Still like me?

I’m going to break the rules a bit. I’m not going to tag eight people. Truthfully, I may be big time, but I don’t have eight good people to tag. Besides, Anna took two of my would-be taggers. So, I’m giving you what I’ve got.

First, I tag Matt. He has no problem making lists about movies or songs, so giving up eight things about himself shouldn’t be hard. Besides, he hasn’t posted in a while and he needs to keep it going.

Next up is John, a dear friend from college with a unique perspective on life. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you learn more about him.

Hallie’s next. She’s new to the blogging world. I find her incredibly funny, and she’s a great friend. She’s a single mom raising three kids, so I’m not sure when she’ll get to this, but I have faith.

I’m going to do half the job — literally. I’m tagging four. And, the fourth is someone I met in person only one time. She has, however, one of the coolest names. Her name is Nova, and her blog is here. Nova is a great friend of Christine, whom I would have tagged if Anna didn’t already do it. So, Nova, you’re the one I’m going out on a limb to tag. Hope you don’t mind!

Ok. What else? I got nothin’.


Celebrity Sightings

Living near the world’s two largest casinos always makes for some interesting people watching.

And, well, when one of them celebrates its 10th anniversary, the stars come out to play.

Among those scheduled to be at Mohegan Sun this weekend were Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Costner, the entire original crew of Laugh-In, Neil Patrick Harris, Carmen Electra, Matthew Broderick and some others.

There was also a basketball game at the casino — the Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks. I worked at the game, sitting courtside, so figured if celebs were going to attend, I’d get the scoop.

And, for you, loyal readers, it is scoop that I have.

Joan Allen was there. Who is Joan Allen? Well, most notably, she played John Travolta’s wife in Face/Off. She sat courtside. She’s 50, or will be this year. And, I gotta tell you, she looked great. I wouldn’t have said over 40. She was with someone younger — not sure if it was her son or her man. She basically watched the entire game.

Matthew Lillard was there. Yeah, I didn’t know his name either. Someone told me. But, i did recognize him. Most recently, he was Shaggy in the Scooby movies. But, you’d recognize him from the original Scream. He arrived late and left at halftime.

Sitting between Lillard and Allen was none other than Doogie — Neil Patrick Harris. You all remember him as the genius young doctor. But, you should know him now for his role of Barney on How I Met Your Mother. He’s brilliant. He had a few friends with him. Looked just like he does on TV. Seemed to enjoy the game — as well as talking with Allen and Lillard. And, you know what, he eats a hot dog just like the rest of us.

Also sitting courtside was none other than Kevin Costner. He had a few people with him as well. Taller than you’d think. Getting grayer, that’s for sure. He’s apparently a basketball fan — or camera happy — or both. He got there earlier to meet the Celtics during their shootaround. Then he left for a bit and came back. He only stayed for the first half. Didn’t seem thrilled with people asking for autographs.

So, as I’m walking out after the game, I figure, why not check out the high roller area and see if I recognize anyone.

It didn’t take long to recognize the man himself — Big Papi aka David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. He was dressed very casually. However, he had to have $50,000 on each wrist between his diamond Rolex and then some other bracelet like thing on his right hand. It was bling city. And, I guess the contract is OK for him, as well as endorsements. He was playing at a table with a minimum bet of $500 per hand. I watched him for probably 10 minutes and he seemed to be about even during that time period. It was cool to see him.

So, no Seinfeld sighting for me. He was there, though. I did see the copter he came in on. Same with Broderick. Didn’t hear about my girl Carmen, so not sure if she made it or not.

What else?

I got nothin’.


My Montel Moment

Yup, it’s true. I’m going to be on the Montel Williams Show.

No, it’s not true that I’m going to be on a show about paternity tests.

My appearance, believe it or not, is actually work related. Honest.

My show will air on Halloween. Set your TiVo now. I mean, come on, this is not to be missed.

They sent a car to get me. That was cool. They even offered me an overnight in the city, but I passed on it. I’m away at night enough, didn’t want to do it if I didn’t have to.

So the black Mercedes picked me up with a driver who didn’t speak much English. So, we didn’t talk. Which was fine. I wanted to do some work on the way down. I tried — then started to get car sick. So, just put the iPod on and fell asleep until we arrived.

I didn’t tip him. Not sure what the protocol is. But I didn’t like him, so I didn’t tip.

I get to the show and they put me in the green room — which, by the way, isn’t green. In my case, it was a very faint yellowish/creamish kind of a color. There are also a number of green rooms. Mine was number six. There were seven total.

Then the producer came in to go over things. Then the interns came in every 20 minutes to make sure I was ok. Did I need anything? Could they get me something? They were very pleasant and definitely made me feel like a guest.

Then it was time for lunch, which was not good, but I was starving, so that was fine.

Hair was next. I mean, come on, what could they possibly do with me? Not much, apparently. I was in there for 30 seconds. Some very feminine guy ran his fingers through my hair while spraying me with stuff and his co-worker (a female) kept saying, “Yes, that’s it. Yes, that’s perfect. Oh, this is good.”

I could not make that up. But, I mean, have you seen my hair?

Back in the green room for 15 minutes before being called to make-up.

I sat in the chair while this woman took the shine off my forehead. The best way I could describe her? All I could think of was a rock groupie. No, not a modern day groupie. But someone from like the late 1970s, but still in her groupie clothes and still wearing her groupie hair.

At last, time to go down to the studio. There were seven or eight of us guests. We were behind the stage at first where microphones were put on us. Then we were on the side of the stage, waiting for our cue to go out to our seats. While standing there, we heard Montel interacting with the crowd, giving them instructions on how he’ll call on them for questions during the show.

This was a big issue because psychic Sylvia Browne was the featured guest and everyone there wanted to ask her a question.

After 10 minutes, we were led out to our seats and mine was front row — six feet from Montel and Sylvia. The set was decorated with mums, pumpkins and corn stalks — all fake. Like most shows, the studio is very small — actually cramped is a better word. It always looks bigger on TV.

We were the second of three shows taping that day.

Montel was going to introduce each segment by showing a videotaped piece — then he comes out of that and talks to the guest in that piece. I didn’t know when mine was going to come up, but it ended up being last. I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I was fine in the taped piece, but he then asked me something, I answered. Sylvia asked me something, I answered. Then, I asked her a question and then he was moving on to someone else.

It was very fast — probably four minutes total. But, you’ll see me a lot on the show because of my location.

I was happy with the result — at least I think I am. The real test will be when it airs. I was surprised at the nerves I had. I’ve been on everything from Good Morning America to CNN to local TV, yet I had more butterflies here. Not sure why. Maybe the live audience had something to do with it.

After the show, I was ready for my car ride home. I got in the car they had for me and asked the guy how he drew the short straw to drive to Connecticut. He was like, I’m going to Penn Station. I said, well, I’m not.

They goofed on my travel plans. Had me going back on a train. A train that wasn’t going to get in until almost 11. So that wasn’t going to work. Twenty minutes later a new car was there to get me.

I liked this driver. I slept for about 45 minutes — and then we chatted quite a bit. I tipped him whe we got back.

That’s about it. Tune in on Halloween and let me know what you think.