Sunday, December 21, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS from "Sean's Space!"

Embarking on a much-needed, 13-day, year-end vaca, just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and share with you this year's Christmas card:

Hope you get "The Right Stuff" this Christmas!

I got dozens of these puppies printed at Target back in July, just two months after meeting my favorite group of all-time, the New Kids On The Block. I never thought I'd have been able to top last year's Christmas card, but voilĂ !

What's that you say? You celebrate the Festival of Lights? Not a problem. I thought of everything...

Enjoy the celebration, night by night and "Step By Step!"

To everyone who's stopped by "Sean's Space" this past year, I thank you and wish you a very happy and safe holiday season. It's been a fun year, and I appreciate your support.

Amid all the last-minute shopping and the run-up to Santa's big flight, hope you keep Hangin' Tough all the way to Christmas Day!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Watch the big tree in NYC (here online!)

One of my favorite Christmas pastimes is heading down to the Big Apple and checking out the sights.

Between the waiting in line to view the holiday-themed windows at famed stores like and Macy*s Herald Square and Bloomingdale's, visiting Santa Land at Macy*s (you pretty much can't go wrong this time of year at Macy*s), heading over to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Times Square and Radio City Music Hall (seen here), it's a great way to spend a December day.

Last year's excursion came three days after Christmas, and it was close to 60 degrees, making for a super day.

Of course, the capper to any Christmas-themed day in New York City is taking in the gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (you might know it as "30 Rock," of Tina Fey fame).

Between the trumpeting angels leading the way, the ice-skaters below and the huge tree, it's quite a sight — one I've been seeing year after year since I was a kid.

But ... if you're not lucky enough to make it to Rockefeller Center, here's the next best thing: All you have to do is click here and watch the 24-hour, live Web cam focused on the tree, compliments from your friends over at NBC New York. (It works best when viewed with Internet Explorer)
Day or night, you can watch the tree — whether dozens of people are skating below it around noon, or if the only guy around is picking up trash on the surrounding street, as he was this morning around 3:15 a.m., when I found the link.

It's like stalking a 72-foot-tall Norway spruce 24 hours a day. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

An NKOTB fan at UNH?

This is what I love: When two of my passions collide with totally awesome results!

See, in my real job as a sports reporter, I'm in the middle of covering the men's and women's basketball teams at Marist College. That entails, among other things, scouring pages and pages of pre-game notes (such as the ones to the right) prior to each contest. Each school usually gives you a packet of info, all in an effort to make my job easier, which I appreciate. These notes usually include obscure facts most people wouldn't know about a team, and as such, schools' sports information directors think of catchy headlines to use on various blurbs to draw people's attention to the information.

So, here's where it got fun for me recently, when the University of New Hampshire traveled to town...

Flipping through the Wildcats' game notes, I couldn't help but come across this first headline, "Hangin' Tough," above a blurb about how the UNH team played several opponents close all the way til the waning moments of games. Think nothing of it, right? Just "Hangin' Tough" and then on to the next item, right?

Well for me, "Hangin' Tough" is also the title of the second album by my favorite group of all time, the New Kids On The Block. (You've heard I met the New Kids, right?) OK, keep that in mind...

Then I'm glancing past other blurbs entitled things like "Seeing Double" and "Three For All" and the like.

Finally, I came across this last blurb in the UNH packet, which gave me a clue someone in the Wildcats' fold is also a NKOTB fan. Go ahead: Look at the headline... Come on! Coincidence? I think not!

Admittedly, I'm sure I'm the only person to read those notes and make the New Kids connection; and that's what makes it all the more cool!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fallon will have 'em fallin' over with laughs

Earlier this week, I learned that former "Saturday Night Live" star Jimmy Fallon will be starting his 2009 in Poughkeepsie!

Jimmy will be performing several stand-up shows at Banana's Comedy Club January 3rd and 4th. Banana's, located inside the Best Western hotel on Route 9, will host the 34-year-old for a 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. show that Saturday, followed by a 7 and 9:30 p.m. show on Sunday. Tickets are $25, not a bad deal for a guy who's scheduled to replace Conan O'Brien as the host of NBC's "Late Night" show next year. Plus, it's a pretty cool way to ring in the new year, right?

Thinking these shows would quickly sell out, I went through the online ticket service (not Ticketmaster) that's handling these shows as soon as I got the e-mail Sunday night and ordered what I thought were 2 tickets to one of the Poughkeepsie show. As it turns out, Jimmy is also performing at Banana's club in Hasbrouck, N.J. the night before; and in my haste to buy tickets before they're gone, I got stuck with 2 tickets for a show I can't go to, as the online ticket service will not exchange my tickets. (How's that for customer service?!)

Hence, I'd suggest you contact Banana's in Poughkeepsie directly to secure your tickets. I've seen many shows there before, and their staff is always accomodating. Click here for their official Web site. (Tell 'em Sean sent ya!) I'm still working on getting tickets for one of Jimmy's Poughkeepsie gigs, so I hope to see you at the show!

I've long been a fan of Jimmy's as, in my opinion, he's was the funniest guy on "SNL" when he was on the show, from 1998 to 2004. The back-and-forths he had with castmate Horatio Sanz were hilarious, as they were always cracking each other up with inside jokes during their skits. (Ah, live television.) And his "Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy" character ... don't we all work with one of them? "The Barry Gibb Talk Show," playing Sully of "Sully" and "Zazu" fame, and Randy Goldman from "Wake Up Wakefield" ... need I go on? Pure hilarity!

When Jimmy and Tina Fey teamed up for the "Weekend Update" portion of "SNL," it was a match made in comedy Heaven: They were both topical and witty, and they played off each other so well. Each Saturday, I'd fall asleep right after "Weekend Update," since I knew after that segment, the rest of the show would just lag, not being nearly as funny as the first half. As soon as I'd hear "Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow," I could turn off the TV.

With all that, you can see why I'm excited to see Jimmy live in Poughkeepsie; and why I was so disappointed with the ticket snafu. But be sure to get your tickets before they sell out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I joined the "Circus"

Resolutions, schmesoltions! That's what I say.

Yeah, back on last Dec. 31st, I proclaimed it: I'm Britney-free in '08! Well ... that lasted just over 11 months.That's cause at midnight (technically, Dec. 2nd), I downloaded Britney's new CD, "Circus," as soon as it came out. (But ... I used a gift card, so I don't feel so bad about it ... though I did splurge for the deluxe edition!)

I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but the night is young. But I did catch her "Good Morning America" performance this morning as I did some early-morning cleaning.

Hey, I was up, the TV was on, and Britney was looking like this at 8:15 in the morning ... what was the harm in watching a little "GMA" while the pop princess celebrated her 27th birthday? (I mean, look at her. No, seriously, look at her! Although Abraham Lincoln called ... he wants his top hat back.)

So, technically, I didn't full come through on my New Year's resolution to be rid of Britney for an entire year; but I came really close. I mean Jan. 1st to Dec. 2: That's more 11 full months. Sure, I had a couple small lapses along the way, but I held steadfast for most the year.

There was last Dec. 26th's download of her then-new CD, "Blackout;" but again, I used a gift card and that was also before the Britney-free in '08 pledge. Then I downloaded "Womanizer," the first single of "Circus," when it came out in early October.

Admittedly, Britney's music is like lyrical crack for me: There's very little intellectual material in there; but every time I hear it, I crave more 'cause it's so damn catchy. (Seriously, listen to "Baby, One More Time" once and try to get that song out of your head!)

And while I'm hopping back on the Britney bandwagon, this time there are limitations to my allegiance.

I will not shell out hard-earned money so see her upcoming tour, even if she does dress like this on stage. I've been to a pair of her concerts, and I swear she only sang three, maybe four songs total, as the rest of the time she was just dancing and lip-synching. (I'm pretty sure that wireless mic she uses isn't even turned on.) So none of my money will go for Britney tickets. But, I mean, if someone offers me free tickets to one of her concerts...

So, Britney, you've got a second chance with me. But so help me, just one shaven head or a late-night ambulance ride to a psych ward and it's over! You've been warned.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let the celebra-Sean begin!

It's official: The Christmas season has begun. I could not be happier!
As I explained earlier, when we were at Walt Disney World almost a month ago (OMG, it's almost been a month!), there were already decorations and signs like this one in all the shops and around the parks.

Even for me, someone who loves the lead-up to Christmas, this was way too early. I mean, it was the second week of November, two weeks before Thanksgiving for Mickey's sake.

But now? Now we're full into the season and I'm lovin' life! My celebrity-filled Christmas cards, the ones that I got printed back in July — they're even cooler than last year's cards — have almost all been mailed along with their accompanying CDs of Christmas songs. (Twenty-something cards/CDs down, only a few more to be sent!)

So enjoy the Christmas celebra-Sean, everybody! And check back here for more Christmas-y fun to come.