Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard in Drive Angry 3D

With the movie Drive Angry 3D hitting the theaters this weekend, I was a good time to pull out this mini-poster.
Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, and the Director Paul Lussier signed this poster at the 2010 ComicCon.
This was actually the second time I got Nicolas Cage’s autograph and that also was at a ComicCon. The previous time was when his son, Wesson, and he created a graphic novel called Voodoo Child and the two of them signed it.
Besides being excited about Nicolas Cage’s signature I was excited about William Fletcher. He was in a short lived series called Invasion.
As the norm with the ComicCon studio signing sessions, no cameras or phones were allowed and you aren’t allowed to talk to the people.
I remember this being a very somber session and it felt like being in church. Sometimes there is an excitement level and energy/buzz in the room. Not this time.
I remember walking up to the table and whispering to Nicolas Cage about how much I liked him in The Rock. He gave a slight nod and a faint smile almost like he was nervous about breaking the no talking rules of the event.
Amber Heard was glamorous and smiling.  William Fitchner was very open and I mentioned loved Invasion. He paused like he was debating to start talking about the topic and just smiled and thank you.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kim Kardashian – Nordstrom’s

Kim Kardashian appeared at Nordstrom’s last Wednesday to promote Fusion Beauty.  Being Kim Kardashian, I figured it would be a huge event. This was an autograph I really wanted.
Nordstrom’s was passing out 150 wristbands that would ensure you a place in line and ensure an autograph. I wanted one of those wristbands.   The only catch was you needed to buy some makeup from Fusion Beauty to qualify.
I was game.  If the wife didn’t want it, I’m sure I could find some poor wanting young lady that would take it off my hands.  It’s these little things we do that say,” Hello, my name is AH and I collect autographs.”  The first step is always admitting you have a problem.
After calling Nordstrom’s to confirm the time and place, I set the alarm for 5AM. I wasn’t sure if there would be a line when the store opened but as I mentioned: I wanted this autograph.
When I arrived a little before 6AM, I drove around the mall looking for a line.  Since I didn’t see one, I parked near the store entrance where the cosmetics were sold and just relaxed and listened to the radio. In no time a few people drove up and parked and then they entered the mall.  At first, I thought it was mall walkers but they were dressed too fancy. So I decided to check it out. When I entered the mall I saw about 15 people sitting at the tables in front of the Nordstrom’s coffee shop. The stanchions and ropes were set up for the lines and security was already watching the small crowd.
As you can imagine being a male was rare. One guy (henpecked?) was there with his girlfriend. Then there were my fellow intrepid collects. Somehow were ended up huddled together against the omnipresent estrogen filling the room. We braved the covert and often overt glances from these females; while we couldn’t see what they were thinking we KNEW they were thinking something.
Eventually we got in line and watched the doors open to Nordstrom’s.  The manager had dozens of employees greeting and applauding us as we entered the store.  People were quickly led to a chair and a cosmetic specialist proceeded to touch up our looks with Fusion Beauty products. The females in front of us were downright giddy about this.
Being the second guy in line, I watched my first compatriot move to the front of the line and do the walk of shame.  It’s sad to see a fellow autograph hound cowed. Having bought ’unmentionables’ before, I held my head high and looked my cosmetic specialist in the eye and said: Just give me whatever so I can get an autograph.  He gathered a few items up and handed them to me.  Yes, I was well on my way to getting my autograph.
I moved from the cosmetic specialist to the cash register. I paid and I got my wristband.
Yes, Success!  I was one of the 150. I will be seeing Kim Kardashian in person. I was one of the rare ones that will get the autograph! It was barely 10AM and I have confirmed I have no life. 
I only needed to come back before the signing at 4:30PM.
I returned at 3:30PM. They were still selling Fusion Beauty and giving out wristbands. I could have slept in.  You know how this works right?  If I slept in, they would have sold out at 10AM.
Again, Nordstrom’s was well organized and the event went off without any problems.
The line slowly moved and I stepped up to the signing table and Kim smiled. She looked me in the eyes and then looked down to sign my photo. She lifted her head and smiled as she handed the autographed photo to me. We paused. An awkward silence filled the space between us. I had nothing to say. I mumbled “thank you” and she silently nodded back.  I left.
I found a fellow collector and we compared war stories.  The place was still busy and the crowd was buzzing. Cameras were clicking and flashing.  Security was everywhere. It was an “event”.
It was time to go home and rest.  It was a long day for me but even a longer one for the Nordstrom’s people.
I got that autograph that I really wanted.  It’s all about the hunt.  It’s all about the pursuit.  It’s also about the denial that I have a problem. No Autographics Anonymous this week.


Fan Packs part II

I received 3 more fan packs over the last few days.  I originally sent out my requests on 1/11/11, about 6 weeks ago.
The Houston Astros included a pocket schedule, a player card, and a small sticker for the car window.
The Dallas Cowboys included 2 team photos from the 2010 team, 2 team photos from the 2009 team, 3 pockets schedules, and 2 brochures for the various fan clubs they have.
I must admit the New York Yankees have sent the most impressive fan pack to date.  They sent 2 Yankee pencils, 2 nice looking Yankee key rings, 5 business cards with the schedule on them, and 2 cloth emblems with glue on the back so you can attach them to a backpack or maybe a shirt/jacket. They also sent a nice looking activity book for kids. It has connect the dots, and coloring, and etc.  While the Yankees are the nemesis of my Phillies, I can see why they are known as a class act.
Then the oddity, I got another Dodger fan pack in the mail. Not sure why. It mirrored the first fan pack.
After 6 weeks I have received a response from all of my requests except the one team I was really interested in: The Phillies. I had read something online (unofficial/unconfirmed) they no longer send fan packs out to anyone outside of the Tri-State area (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) which might explain the issue. Or since they did win the World Series on 2008 and returned to the World Series in 2009 they have a lot of requests and are slower than the other teams.
Waiting patiently in Texas…

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Elizabeth Dahl – Blithe Spirit

My wife, Kae, and I went to El Paso to visit some friends from college.  It was a short trip but it was good to see them since we hadn’t seen Jaem and Elde since ComicCon 2009.
The city of El Paso is not like Dallas. It’s smaller and there is less to do there. So our friends recommend we see the play, Blithe Spirit, at the El Paso Playhouse. It’s a small theater and draws a small crowd.  After the show, the cast gathers near the front doors and chats with the crowd as they leave; very personable and hospitable. 
This is where I bumped into Elizabeth Dahl.  As I talked to her and a few other people I didn’t think anything of it.  To be truthful, it was a way to pass the time and I was getting tired.
The next morning we headed to Las Cruces, New Mexico to check out a small Mexican restaurant we heard good things about. La Posta is in Old Mesilla (as opposed to New Messila?) not very far from Las Cruces.  We were about to sit down when I recognized Elizabeth. 
I made my way to the table and said hello and Elizabeth was kind enough to invite us to have lunch with her and her hubby.  We ended up talking for hours and afterward walked along the town square window shopping.
Before we broke from lunch I opened my backpack and pulled out my trusty Sharpie and the playbill from the night before.  She graciously signed it. You could tell she was slightly embarrassed but also very excited to have someone recognize her away from the theater.
The rest of the weekend was not nearly as eventful but we did have a great time with our friends.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Robert Blake at Hollywood Show

Normally I avoid the negative and focus on the positive. I have always enjoyed Robert Blake and I must admit to being intrigued by this.
The description sounded much more scandalous than it appeared from the video but since I wasn’t there I don’t know what occurred off camera.
Robert Blake appeared at Hollywood Show and had some issues.
I’m referring you to one of my fellow bloggers, Hollywood Autograph News.  I think his post is comprehensive.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hazel Mae MLBN TTM

Hazel Mae has been on my radar to get ever since I started watching the Major League Baseball Network (MLBN) on my DirecTV a couple of years ago.
The caliber of talent on MLBN is high and she doesn’t disappoint. She asks insightful questions and has a manner about her that works well with the players she is interviewing.  I love watching the morning recaps she hosts during the season.
Okay, I‘ll admit it, I find her very cute. Yes, her cuteness is a large part of the motivation to get her autograph.  And yes, my wife does know I get distracted by Hazel.
When the Texas Rangers were in the 2010 Post Season, it seemed that Hazel was traveling with the team.  She was doing reports with the players after the game and giving updates.  I was excited as I figured I would run across her at some point while she was in town.
When the wife and I attend Game 5 of the World Series, I forced my wife to hang out after the game for over an hour in hopes I would catch a glimpse of Hazel and get her to sign something for me.
Alas, it was not to be…our paths never crossed.
I had tried emailing her and emailing the PR people at MLBN to ask about their procedures for requesting autographs. I never heard back from them so I took the plunge and sent a baseball Through The Mail (TTM).
I followed the advice I got from some members of the Texas Autograph Club about the finer points of sending a ball TTM and went to the post office.
There is never a guarantee that you will receive a response nor even get your item back.  TTM can be costly and some people takes months or years to respond if ever.  Also, with TTM you don’t get to meet the person or have a chance to talk to them.  But I really wanted her signature.
So knowing this was a long shot I was very surprised I received a package back with 25 days.
My wife laughed as I ripped open the mailer like a Christmas kid.  It was my ball.  It was in the box I sent.  I pulled it out and turned it around and found the autograph.  I was beaming.  My wife was shaking her head in embarrassment for me.
It was legible and on the sweet spot and she included the inscription of MLBN.  What more could a guy ask?
Honestly, the rest of the night I was smiling over getting this. Then I would laugh at myself for getting so excited over getting this. I can be such a silly boy at times. That is an aspect a lot of autograph collectors have – they still are in touch with their inner child.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Rue Morgue

I’ve come across the Rue Morgue website several times over the years but never really spent any time there.
It’s a horror site that doubles as a radio program or vice versa. I’m sure I have it all wrong but feel free to let me know what I’m missing. Really, let me know- I’m s clueless at times.
In the past, I found the site a little confusing and the content wasn’t what I wanted/needed so I was quickly gone.
Recently my surfing took me back and being a little more experienced as a surfer I found some content that really impressed me.  That was their Horror Events Calendar. They also call it their Rue Morgue Almanac. I’m not quite sure why I missed it before, maybe because I found the site hard to navigate or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough.
I found it to be extremely comprehensive and the listings are for events large or small including some international events. The international events aren’t just Canada and Mexico. Its places like Spain and South Africa.  I actually spent the time going through each month of the current year looking at what they had listed and compared that against the events I know about.  From Blob Fest to ComicCon, they had it all. The result was I didn’t realize what was out there. Horror conventions are alive and well in the USA.
One of the impressive things about the calendar was the links to the events worked. As you know, it’s always irritating to have a bad link or even one that is referring to a past show.  So end the result is you aren’t sure if the show is valid or it’s just a bad link.
I’m going to add Rue Morgue as one of my resources and I hope you at least visit the calendar to see what’s in your neighborhood.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let Me In ComicCon 2010

With the DVD release of Let Me In, I thought it was a good time to show off the Mini Poster I got from ComicCon last year.  Also you can read an interview here that Mark from BigFanBoy had with the director.
This signing was another of those mystery autographs that you really don’t know much about until you enter the room.
When I got my wristband I didn’t know anything about the movie. One of my autograph geek friends knew the movie was a remake and he was very excited. Of course I was excited; I’m always excited to get a free autograph.
As typical of these autographs, you aren’t allowed to talk to the people signing nor take photos or use your phone.
We entered the room and saw something I haven’t seen before 2 kids sitting at the table: Kodi Smith-McPhee and Chloe Moretz.  One already had the quick flourish-like signature of a seasoned professional and the other had a very deliberate and determined signature. I’ll let you guess which on is which.
Since the actors are always sitting, you tower over them; more so with my 6’3’’ height. But looking down at two child actors seemed very odd as I felt like a giant.   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pamela Anderson – the Superbash

Of all of the events from the Superbowl week in Dallas, this was the one I wanted to hang out at the most.
I really wanted to get Pamela Anderson’s autograph. It wasn’t quite a Grail Quest but it would have meant a successful week for me.
Of course the weather didn’t cooperate. I didn’t go out the previous 2 nights of parties to figure out how the whole Red Carpet Process worked.  I know the Red Carpets were moved indoors so the celebrities would have very limited time outside in the nasty weather which meant less time with the great unwashed (i.e. me).
I thought about buying a ticket to this event but the price was out of the budget. Plus I would have looked totally out of place in blue jeans (I wear Wranglers NOT  7 For All Mankind ), sneakers, and a backpack.
Based on the advice and encouragement I got from a fellow blogger/autograph hound (King Grapher at Hollywood Autograph News ), I camped out in one of Dallas’ swankier hotels. Of course you never know where anyone is staying but the location of this hotel was just across the street from Pamela Anderson’s event. It seemed like a good bet.
I found a place to park and walked through the 3 inches of snow to enter the lobby.
On the way in I passed a Bugatti sitting in a prime valet spot.  Everyone was looking at the car. I even gave it a second and third look.  Then I realized the owner and his wife/girlfriend/escort was still inside. After 30 minutes they exited the car.  Have no idea what they were doing. I just hoped the tipped the valets a good amount.
Inside the lobby I found a couch and casually watched the people entering and leaving the hotel. I did notice a few people that were ex-football players. Other guests came up to them and posed for pictures or got a signature. But I wasn’t here for football players. I wanted Pamela.
 I waited and watched and tried to be unassuming so security wouldn’t have an issue with me hanging out. After 3 hours I didn’t see her.
Now comes the learning curve – I assumed since the party started at 9PM Pamela would be on hand to greet the guests entering.  I figured I missed her while I was at the hotel and I went across the street to check things out.
A few cars drove up but no Limos so no one important was arrving.  I walked up the entrance where a security man politely stopped me. He told me that the Press needed to enter ‘over there’.   I guess I had that look going for me. I should have gone over there but I didn’t.
I told him I was looking for a good spot to get autographs. He told me this wasn’t the party for that and no one was allowed to hang out.  We had 10 other security guys looking at us. I was fairly intimidated. So I meekly asked where I could stand.  He repeated I couldn’t hang out.  He told me to go to Main St as a few parties were taking place there and I could get a lot of autographs.  I told him that Pamela wouldn’t be there. Then he said she was already inside.
So I gave up and left.
The lessons learned –
1)  No one shows up to these things until late. Like late late – Probably 11PM or later.
2)  I wasn’t patient enough. I was too early. I did not embrace my Inner Cow
3)  Don’t believe security - there are there to keep the peace.  My wife told me that the news was still waiting for Pamela to show after I got home.
4)  I could have hanged out a little way off as it was public property.
That all adds up  - no Pamela Anderson autograph.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Superbowl came to town and I got…

To brush up on my inclement driving skills for the week leading up to the big event.
Road rage from the people driving 10 MPH on the clear dry parts of the road and road rage from the people driving 50 MPH on the bumpy icy parts.
To put 300 miles on my car driving around in the snow and ice to various autograph opportunities.
To sit in a swanky hotel lobby for three hours waiting for Pamela Anderson but only saw a bunch of boring old football players.
To talk to a security guard who told me Pamela Anderson had already arrived at the party so there was no use to wait…my wife told me Pam arrived AFTER I left.
To play in a charity poker tourney and got knocked out within 30 minutes by losing to the same guy three times  when I had the better starting hand…and because I didn’t make it to round 2, I didn’t see any celebs.
To memorize 32 process steps for my PMP test while waiting for the celebs to arrive at the Maxim party…again, the celebs arrived AFTER I left.
To realize I’m not as good at this as I thought.
To realize I have a lot to learn.

These were all good experiences even though futile (expect the memorization).
Until the next Superbowl…


Saturday, February 5, 2011

ComicCon tickets on sale and now gone

Did you get your tickets?
I hope so.
The wife did the work and went through the frustration of registering on line for a 4 day pass and after several hours only managed to get a single day tickets for each of the 4 days. 
Yuck. Not the preferred way of attending ComicCon.  And no preview night.  Did I say yuck?  Double yuck.
I have attended the last 6 years and watched the convention grow and the tickets sell out faster each year but this year’s pace and complications has me flummoxed. The demand on the tickets seems to have a taken a quantum leap.
Typically the single day ticket holders are at a disadvantage to the 4 day holder.  This will affect how I attend the convention unless I’m able to get the 4 day pass or get all 4 days of badges at once.
As it stands, this convention will be very different for me.  I expect I won’t be a happy camper.
One of the strengths of man is his ability to adapt. So I’ll be embracing my Inner Cow and finding new paths to my grazing land.
Too metaphorical? 


Friday, February 4, 2011

Yvonne Craig Sci Fi Expo

Not only was Yvonne Craig Batgirl, she was also Marta in Star Trek’s Whom Gods Destroy.
Marta..? You don’t know Marta?  She was an insane Orion Slave Girl smitten with Kirk.  Didn’t help?  She was also green...that helps, doesn't?
Again, this was the end of the day and not long before the actors were going to leave.  I stood behind a guy chatting her ear off about numbers.
He mentioned something about 7 being his number. Both Yvonne and her friend/handler smiled. The handler mentioned they had a friend that wrote the most boring book about the number 7. I then discovered Yvonne’s number is 8. My first thought is Numerology.  Then someone in the small group listening to the exchange mentioned this. I noticed Yvonne had that smile on her face I use when someone confused Astronomy and Astrology.
It’s that slight sad/happy smile stating I understand your confusion and I also understand there is a bridge between the two subjects but you are nonetheless wrong but thank you for playing. Try again soon.
I have no idea what the counterpart to Numerology would be.  Feel free to clue me in.
So I get to the front and I pick out a Batgirl photo. She pulls out a purple a Sharpie. I smile and mentioned that purple will look nice. She smiled back and said the kids really like that.  She also uses green Sharpies for the Marta photos.  It’s a little thing but it’s a nice detail that shows she cares.
Then I confessed to being a huge Trekkie and never realized Marta and Batgirl where both her. She hears that all the time. Batgirl’s face is covered half the time and Marta was green with short hair.   It’s hard to make the connection.
She also had copies of her book at the table. I briefly thought about getting one and having her sign it but declined.  As I look at the book on Amazon, I think I goofed. 


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eagles and Dodgers Fan Packs

Something I never done before was a Fan Pack.
As I was exploring the autograph world I stumbled across references about the Fan Packs and a lot of people request them from teams.
The Fan Pack is a small promotional package of items from a sports team. It may contain exciting things like a vial of dirt from the playing field or a signed photo from a player. Or it might just be a sales brochure.
I sent several out and got 2 back last week. 
The Eagles sent a rally towel, a bumper sticker, a photo of the 2010 team, a photo of the 1960 team, and some leaflets for the kid’s club.
The Dodgers sent a pencil, a wristband, a small sticker, a temporary tattoo, 2 player postcards, and a promotional booklet about the upcoming season and ticket plans.

It was fairly easy to do; I sent a postcard with one line, 'Could I please get a fan pack?' and included my home address.

For the Dodgers I used:
Los Angeles Dodgers
1000 Elysian Park Ave
LA, CA 90012

For the Eagles I used:
Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field
One Lincoln Financial Field Way
Phila, PA 19148

Have fun.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Katee Sackoff Sci Fi Expo

Katee Sackoff is much prettier in person.
 I was never a hormone driven Starbuck fan. I thought the detail and depth of the character was intriguing but she didn’t do anything for me. In person, she had a charisma and beauty I never saw on the TV screen.  Maybe I was turned off by Starbuck’s tattoos?
There were a few people hanging around her table and she was being entertaining. She mentioned a lot of the photos she brought were already gone. Mostly the Battlestar Galactica photos were all bought. She mentioned at her last show people were gobbling up her Bionic Women photos.  Go figure.
Someone asked what a group of photos were from that he didn’t recognize. She said that was some photos she posed for to raise money for her charity. Since no one asked, and this is a lesson I learned from my friend Ess, I asked what charity. Yes, she did beam.  The money is sent to a different group each year. Last year was to New Orleans and this year will be for a college scholarship. Very nice of her.
I love this photo. I love Big Bang Theory and this was a fun episode that Katee appeared in.
She asked if I wanted it personalized. I told her just her signature would be fine. Her brow creased and asked if I wanted any phrase put on it. Now it was my turn for a brow crease.  I hesitated and then asked if she had some thing in mind.
Yes she did.
With a big smile she wrote the ‘Rub A Dub Dub’. I was laughing as she did it.
Very creative.


Morena Baccarin Sci Fi Expo

I was one of the last people to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph on Saturday.  She needed to pack up and leave to fly back to California.
As she said that, I made some offhand comment about staying for the Superbowl.  She laughed and blithely said we couldn’t pay her to stay for that.  She had to work to do.
Then some of the people around us mentioned the cost of a ticket and for parking and she genuinely looked shocked about the prices.  It’s nice to know that starring a hit TV show hasn’t affected her sense of worth of the little things. Or maybe it’s the Brazilian upbringing  where Soccer is more important than American Football.
The photo is from Firefly. A show I truly enjoyed but was canceled far too soon. Now I just need Nathan to sign it...Oh the wife would just love that.
I would have loved to have gotten a photo the new series V but that is the disadvantage of coming to the convention so late in the day – those photos were sold out.