Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Be careful what you ask for

Earlier this evening, I received a comment to this post from just over a year ago, regarding kids on leashes, asking me if I'd seen parents "actually treating the kids like dogs." Talk about timing...

For just last week, I snapped what I think is the very best picture of a kid on a leash I've ever taken ... and that's saying a lot, 'cause I'm always on the lookout for them when I'm on vaca and have my camera handy! Personally, I think this picture is worth much more than 1,000 words. Actually treating the kids like dogs, you ask? Well, this poor lil' guy is on all fours! And he's literally got a monkey on his back. (That doesn't make the leash any cuter, btw.) Now, as I mentioned in my original post, as rambunctious as I was as a tyke, even I didn't need to be leashed. Thus, my fascination with kids on leashes and the parents who walk them.

And I'm not alone: Do a Google Image Search for "Kid on a Leash" and see how many results you find. That just reinforces my idea that www.KidsOnLeashes.com would be an Internet sensation!

For more on the leash debate, feel free to head over to this blog, which even features my picture from last year's post.

On the road again

Just over 24 hours after learning of the dates, I'm scrambling to figure out which of the New Kids On The Block's summer tour shows I can get to.

The guys announced a bunch of "Full Service" tour stops yesterday, with only three within two hours or so from home. Hence, between work commitments and possible work commitments, I'm sitting here trying to plot out my whole summer before the tickets go on sale later this week. You might remember I was able to catch all three local New Kids concerts when the guys went on tour the first time last autumn for the first time in 14 years. Thus, I can't be shut out this time around, though taking in all three shows this summer might be difficult.

And surely you've heard I met the New Kids last May, right? In fact, that incredible meeting yielded these awesome Christmas cards sent out last winter!

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Monsters vs. Aliens" = viewers win

For the first time in more than a year, I watched a 3-D movie — other than numerous 3-D flicks at Disney parks, including 8 days ago at Disneyland — and I've got one word: Wow!

The build-up to "Monsters vs. Aliens" was great — I had seen previews for months — and it was all worth it. From the quality of the CG animation to the 3-D technology, which didn't contain any of those cheesy effects most earlier 3-D films contain, it was well worth the wait and the top spot in weekend box ticket sales. Having recently read USA Today story about upcoming 3-D fare headed to a theater near you this year, the genre couldn't ask for a better film to lead the way into the summer movie season.

First, the animation was top-notch. Three minutes into it, you forget you're watching a cartoon, albeit a state-of-the-art cartoon. While targeted mostly to kids, the film is just as much for grown-ups as the little tykes; there's humor for everyone in this one.
Another great part: You don't have to wear those old red-and-blue cellophane 3-D glasses like you had to wear when you watched, say, 1983's "Jaws 3-D" or that one time a year WPIX would show a 3-D movie on TV when I was a kid. Instead, the extra $3 per ticket gets you the 3-D glasses on the left, which are much more attractive than the ones you get at Disney parks (right).

The story was cute. The acting was good: Reese Witherspoon is even adorable in 3-D, and Seth Rogan was hilarious. The 3-D effects just bring out an even better movie-going experience.

And, if you're an old fogey (like this guy) and you don't like this new-fangled three-dimensional technology, fear not: The movie is also available in the old-school 2-D form — and if you opt for that, you don't have to pay the higher price that those of us who enjoyed the 3-D experience had to pay; I paid, for example, $10.50 for a matinée.

If this is the opening act of the 3-D summer to come, it'll be fun to see what's up next!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

That's just plane crazy!

On last week's flight to Los Angeles, I settled into the seat I'd inhabit for the next six hours and read something disturbing:

These were the prices my airline (which will remain nameless) was charging for certain on-demand programming on the small TV screen on the back of every seat in my jumbo jet. That's just plain crazy, I thought (notice the pun in this post's title), before happily thinking of all the money I'd saved by loading my iPod with hours of videos — between episodes of a 1990 cartoon based on my favorite group of all-time, to numerous music videos and even the episode of "Good Eats" that taught me how to make this delicious drink.

As it turns out, though, it was a moot point, as I was still able to spend the flight watching hours of free entertainment on those same seat-back TV screens.

Even though the sleeping aid I'd taken to help me with a cross-country nap never kicked in, it was OK, since everything from Nickelodeon (seen here) and A&E, to ESPN and the Food Network was available gratis from coast to coast. I even got to watch the local NBC news from New York City, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern, as I was flying over such locales as Indiana and Nevada.

What a boon! I only turned on my iPod once throughout the entire flight, and that was just for the final 45 minutes or so. Sweet, right?!

One of the onboard features was a moving map, which showed all us passengers our route, where we were at any given moment, how long we'd been in the air, how long we had left til we reached LAX, our altitude, blah, blah, blah... It was amazing! You didn't even realize you were cooped up in a plane, until the mouth-breather next to you kept nudging you when he turned in his sleep.

Being a sports reporter, I was even able to catch up on the first day of the NCAA tournament.

Thanks to the good folks at ESPN, I was able to keep up with the Big Dance games across the country with live stats staring right in front of me. And, considering that my team (Go, 'Cuse!) didn't even open the tournament til the next day, I didn't mind one bit that the plane didn't get CBS as part of the free satellite TV package on our flight.

Oh, yeah ... and we took off and landed without incident. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Idol" fans are anything but idle

It never fails to amaze me how faithful fans of "American Idol" finalists are to their favorite singers.

Earlier this month, when I got to interview David Cook, fans of the reigning "Idol" flooded this blog, making Wednesday, March 11th the second-largest day in "Sean's Space" history, in terms of page views. By comparison (and not surprisingly), only Dec. 9, 2007 out-ranked March 11th, when fans of "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken set the all-time record by reading about his Poughkeepsie performance.

Even before that, though, I learned of "Idol" fans' devotion when I conducted my first-ever "Sean's Space" celebrity interview with Season Five champ Taylor Hicks. Taylor's fans blew up the blog and filled my e-mail inbox for days! Sure, the guy won "American Idol," but well over a year after taking the title, his supporters were still as excited, as the hits to "Sean's Space" bore out. Hence, every time I get the chance to interview an "Idol" finalist, I jump at the chance.

The key here: Fan sites and message boards pick up on the "Sean's Space" entries about their favorite "Idol" contestants and link to those entries, thus expanding the scope of the "Space" by reaching (literally) thousands more readers across the world.

Quick, how many of theses people have I interviewed???

For example, earlier this month, fans created several posts on "David Cook Official," including this one, this one and this one, which alluded to my coverage of his Poughkeepsie show. And for the record, "Cougars Love Cook" gets my vote for the best name of fan site!

Heck, David himself even told me he'd gotten a Google Alert about my "Sean's Space" entry looking for his fans to submit questions for our interview!

But wait, it gets better...

Around the same time, I found this Japanese Yahoo search (at least I think it's Japanese) which returned an entry about my Cook coverage entitled 3月10日のレポ ... no, seriously, check it out!

So let me send out a big shout-out to all the "American Idol" fans who have stopped by "Sean's Space" in the past 19 months or so, since I started interviewing the show's finalists and winners. Stay tuned, as I'll keep bringing you closer to your favorite "Idol" singers whenever I can!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ah, sweet validation!

I don't wanna say I told ya so, but ... I totally told ya so!
Earlier this month, my best friend since first grade and his fiancée took in Britney Spears' concert in Tampa (and sent me these pics). Now, this was the same guy who got dragged to see the New Kids On The Block last November, likewise pleasing his betrothed.

You might remember that after my "Britney-free in '08" pledge, I quickly jumped back on the Britney bandwagon. I did, however, say I was not going to catch Brit's current "The Circus Starring: Britney Spears" tour, which my BFF and his sweetheart took in at the St. Pete Times Forum, because having attended two of her previous tours, I was disappointed she lip-synched almost the entire shows.

I'd warned my buddy about this, and when he came back from Britney's "Circus," I got the following terse — if not telling — e-mail (and I'm quoting here): "NKOTB were a lot better." That was all the validation I needed!

Just looking at the pics they sent me, I could tell that Britney's new show is "visually stunning," as I like to call it. (Translation: Britney looks hot!) But, given the fact that there's very little live singing, it seemed like a waste of money for me to again dish out my hard-earned bucks for such a display. I could simply plug in my iPod or pop in one of her DVDs and watch her videos. Though, in full disclosure, I did take a cursory look or two online for tickets for her local shows ... just to see what was out there.

If nothing else, it was great to know that: A.) I made the correct decision in not pursuing Britney tickets; and B.) I got unbiased confirmation that the New Kids' current tour is much better!

(BTW, Britney's "If U Seek Amy" is my new favorite song. And, yes ... I know what it really means!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I went Hollywood, baby!

But then I came back to Poughkeepsie. Oh, joy. Oh, bliss.
Spending the past week in La-La Land for work, I've brought home lots of pictures like these and even more memories (including my second trip to Disneyland) with me.

Between the Capitol Records building here, a glimpse of Dodger Stadium and "The Happiest Place on Earth," it was a super trip! (Oh, and the palm trees! Did I mention the palm trees? I love a nice palm tree.) While I didn't meet any stars — unless, of course, you count Mikey & Minnie — I drove past a park where they were filming a scene for "CSI:NY," though I didn't see much, and I took in some of the sights where the celebs hang out.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging...

Friday, March 20, 2009

When you bump into a star...

Spending a late night watching my new "Pinocchio" DVD, which came out last week, I came across a familiar face.

Yes, that was actress/singer Meaghan Jette Martin on the bonus features, singing the Disney classic "When You Wish Upon A Star" in a new music video. That's the same Meaghan Jetter Martin that I (literally) bumped into almost two weeks ago in Albany, when she was the special guest at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's women's basketball championship game. The "Camp Rock" co-star was at the game as part of the MAAC/Radio Disney tour, the same tour that brought "Hannah Montana" co-star Moises Arias to Poughkeepsie two weeks before. (The Jonas Brothers starred in "Camp Rock," — I'm sure you know — I interviewed the guys last summer.)

Admittedly, I had no idea who Meaghan was, but the kids in the crowd were excited, and that's what counts.

If nothing else, it was cool to hear a contemporary take on Disney's iconic song. As if they're classic films weren't enough, the bonus features on their DVDs — from making-of featurettes and extra music videos, to games and trivia — are worth the price tag alone. (I'm looking forward to both Disney's "Bolt" and "Lilo & Stitch," coming out on DVD in just a matter of a few short days.)

Meaghan's appearance was the second straight for a Disney star at the MAAC tournament.

At last year's title game, Drew Seeley, the singing voice of "Troy" in the original "High School Musical," made a similar personal appearance, singing a song I actually knew ... even though I didn't know who he was. Meaghan, though, received a bigger crowd reaction, a good note for her as she will reprise her role of "Tess Tyler" in "Camp Rock 2," and she'll also star in "10 Things I Hate About You," a new series based on the 1999 movie starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles; the series, with Meaghan playing the part of "Bianca Stratford," will air on the ABC Family network.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tweet, tweet. Tweet, tweet!

Have you heard about this Twitter thing all the kid are using? Wow! You've got to check this out...

For the uninitiated, Twitter is this cool, free service that lets you send short messages (up to 140 characters) to friends, family ... anyone you want to get them. They can read them on your own Twitter page, on their cell phones or even in the sidebar of a blog like, for example, "Sean's Space." Yup, I just joined Twitter!

Check back here often to see what I'm up to, as I can now post live Twitter updates (on the right sidebar, under the picture of me and the New Kids On The Block) from anywhere! And that's the beauty of Twitter...
This handy, dandy cell phone can now send Twitter updates right to "Sean's Space." If I see something cool at the mall or I'm at a great concert or think of a funny joke I want to share, no matter where I am, I can Twitter it and it'll show up here!

Sure, some people say those who Twitter are mostly egocentric, but everyone from news giant CNN to "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon (you know we met Jimmy, right?) are sending tweets — that's right, they're called tweets — for all to read. Now, I can add myself to the list.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WTF? (What The Force?)

I had to do a double-take when I stumbled across theses DVDs in a store (the name of which I've redacted here) the other day. That's right: "Episode IV: A New Hope," the 1977 classic film that started the "Star Wars" phenomenon, retails for $14.99 — that's a fair price — but last year's "The Clone Wars," a cartoon movie which has nothing to do with the original trilogy and very little to do with their three prequels, is going for $19.99.

Now, you don't have to be as wise as an 800-year-old Jedi master to figure this one out: That's crazy!

A big fan of the "Star Wars" franchise since the beginning, I hold "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" sacred, almost priceless. On the other hand, while I was eager to catch the first screening of "Clone Wars" the day it opened, I was disappointed in the first animated film of the saga; as such, it's the lone DVD not in my "Star Wars" collection and I've yet to watch a single episode of the ensuing animated TV series.

All I'm sayin' is, I have a bad feeling about this.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just call him "Lefty"

I have several mottos I live by, including this one: If it weren't for Old Navy, I'd be naked. From shirts and jeans, to sweaters and even boxers, it's not uncommon for me to be decked from head to toe in Old Navy gear.Whenever I see those seven blue letters on a mall's storefront whenever I'm shopping, I have to stop in, even for just a peek.

So when I saw these mannequins at an Old Navy on a recent excursion, I thought about adding to my collection.

Here's a good look, I thought, perfect for either a night out with my GF, a concert or even a casual work day. I always like to look be in style, and this look was neither too sloppy nor too formal. I could pull this off, I thought as I then moved my attention to the outfit right next to it. (And no, I promise you this entry isn't about fashion. I swear, there's a funny moment coming up soon. Wait for it...) I mean, living in these uncertain economic times, we all have to watch and make sure we get the most for our dollar, right?

Now this outfit ... well, this one would be a little harder for me to pull off.

See, I like the sweater vest and button-down look — in fact, I sometimes sport a similar ensemble, which I also bought at Old Navy — and at first I thought, I like it when I first saw this one. Then I looked a little a little closer and thought, Yeah, I just don't have the arms to pull this one off ... at least not the left arm! See, I like my arms just the way they are; ya know, the same length. I mean, look at this poor mannequin: It's bad enough that he doesn't have a head, but then you add to that the fact his left arm is almost scraping the ground. Talk about wearing a 44 Long — more like a 44 Looooong.

Although, I bet this guy would make a great basketball player.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Since I'm in the habit of posting pictures of large vehicles from out of town recently, I thought I'd share this one.I love it when "Sesame Street Live" comes to town every year because they always park their cheery rigs around near the arena. C'mon, doesn't seeing those happy faces make Friday the 13th a little more bearable?

Though I've never been to a "Sesame Street Live" show, maybe this guy has. Nah, then there would be two grouches in the same place. But I digress...

Like most of us, I grew up with Kermit, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus and the gang. Bert and Ernie taught me how to share (not to mention what a unibrow is), and I learned my numbers from "The Count," whose real name, I just learned, is Count von Count; that's three words within his name. (Three! Ah, ah, ah!). And to top it all off, I even do a mean Grover impression!

I'm even old enough (I feel funny saying I'm "old," especially compared to this guy) to have spent many a Friday night as a youngster watching "The Muppet Show," including my favorite episodes when the stars of "Star Wars" stopped by.

That's what makes my many trips to Walt Disney World even more enjoyable. See, Disney's Hollywood Studios (you might remember it as the Disney-MGM Studios) has a whole section that's Muppet-themed, including "Muppet*Vision 3D," a 3-D movie that stars everyone's favorite Muppets, and which also features some 4-D elements. (Sure, I could tell you about them, but then you wouldn't be surprised the next time you head down to WDW.) Plus, there's a Muppet-themed pizza place and gift shop in the same little area. For anyone who grew up with the Muppets, it's a definite must-see.

So, "Sesame Street" comes to town and (somehow) I relate it to Disney World! It all connects.

New Kids in new places

On a shorter spring spurt of their world tour, my fav group of all-time, the New Kids On The Block, are hitting some of the U.S. cities they didn't reach the first time around last autumn.
My old boss, now an bigwig down in Fort Myers, Fla., just told me his newspaper sent a photographer to last night's concert in his town. (They even spoke to Jordan Knight for a story that ran last week.)

Do my buddy a favor and click here for a photo gallery from last night's Fort Myers show. He'll appreciate it.

Looking to see if Jordan and the rest of the guys are coming to a town near you over the next month? Click here for the rest of the guys' spring slate. And, of course ... you've heard I met the New Kids last spring, right??? (No, seriously! Check it out.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

David Cook answered YOUR questions!

If anyone ever doubts the power of "American Idol," I can tell them first-hand: The show makes big stars with loyal fans.

Since soliciting questions from David Cook fans for me to ask the reigning "Idol" before I interviewed him Tuesday afternoon, just before his concert at Poughkeepsie's Bardavon 1869 Opera House, I received more than 100 e-mails in about 18 hours, literally from all four corners of the globe. (And believe me, I got all sorts of questions from which to choose!) David, himself, even said he read about me asking looking for fans' queries; and as such, he was happy to share his thoughts with his supporters. David was great to take some time out from his "Declaration" tour and give some great answers to his fans. Read his words, and you can see he where his smart lyrics come from.

So here are David's answers to six questions from "Sean's Space" readers that I asked him...

Nicole from Poughkeepsie, NY: I saw you and Carrie Underwood sing together at the opening of the "American Idol Experience" attraction at Disney World, and you sounded great together! Would you consider recording a song with her or with any of the other "Idols" past?
David Cook: I'd certainly be open to the idea. We have that Tulsa connection. We've really become close. She's a great friend and she's really helped me. There's no school that prepares you for all this.

Christina from Salvisa, KY: What has been the most memorable moment that has occurred so far during the "Declaration" tour?
David Cook: It was the second show of the tour, I think, and Brett Favre came to the show which was cool. I think it was about a week later, we got to walk on the field at Lambeau (Field in Green Bay). I'm into seeing landmarks around the country. I'm looking forward to getting to Niagara Falls later this week.Heidi from New York, NY: Did anyone ever tell you that you would never "make it" as a musician? What was that like?
David Cook: I've been told I wasn't going to make it my whole life. If it's something you feel strongly about, you either buck up and work harder or you stop. I decided to work harder.Penny from Malone, NY: How does it make it you feel knowing that so many people find themselves emotionally connected to your music and consider it such an inspiration?
David Cook: To me, it's paramount. I don't know if this would work otherwise. I wanted to evoke emotions and give people a reason to get emotionally connected to the music. I'm immensely appreciative of that.

Jen from Brooklyn, NY: If you had never auditioned for "American Idol" in Omaha that day (at 4 in the morning, in the rain), what do you think you'd be doing right now, instead of answering this question?
David Cook: I would probably be in Tulsa, bartending and playing 8 to 10 shows a month, trying to get people to pay attention to me.

Elaine from State College, PA: How does a midwestern Irish boy celebrate St. Patty's Day?
David Cook: I'll have to figure that out. I'll have a good time with friends. I think we'll be out in L.A., and I'll have some family members coming out there, so I'll probably spend time with them.

A big thanks again goes out to all of you who e-mailed questions for David, and a congrats to the half-dozen of you who got yours answered by the "American Idol" champ!

I also want to give a shout-0ut to Bob Lynch, Marist College's director of student activities, for all his efforts getting me in touch with David!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I just met "American Idol" David Cook!

For the second time now, I've met an "American Idol" champion in a Poughkeepsie post-show downpour.

Despite the constant precipitation and in spite of the fact that he's getting over a recent illness "I think we and the tour bus have finally kicked the flu bug," he told me earlier in the day David Cook was cool enough to spend a few minutes with his fans, including a pair of devotees who have crossed the country to take in all 18 of his "Declaration" tour stops so far. (Next stop: SUNY Brockport!)

Having talked on the phone Tuesday afternoon, it was nice to meet in person and shake hands with the reigning "Idol." I could tell you how good the show was, but that would kill the suspense when you read it here later. Let's just put it this way, America got it right last season! (No offense, David Archuleta. I've got "Crush" in my iPod. I think it's a fun, catchy tune.)

Remember: Check back here at "Sean's Space" and see which of your questions David answered during our interview...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I talked to David Cook earlier today...

...and he was happy to talk about tonight's concert at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, his current "Delcaration" tour, Walt Disney World, St. Patrick's Day and more.

After going through my own questions for the reigning "American Idol," I told David I'd opened the interview process to his fans and asked them to submit questions for me to ask him. And here's where he blew me away: David already knew about it! "Yeah, I got the Google Alert about it earlier," he said. "I can't wait to see what they came up with." So from there, we talked about his fans, though David didn't ask a single question submitted by a fan ... he answered six of 'em, which should make his supporters happy when I post his answers later.

Having already been inside the Bardavon earlier today, David said "it's a beautiful place," and he was looking forward to tonight's performance. Even after just a 10-minute conversation, I could really tell that David's college-educated, as his answers were thoughtful, insightful and very articulate.

Check back (hopefully) tomorrow to read David's answers to "Sean's Space" readers' questions!

The "American Idol" is in town

On my way back from errands, I drove past the back of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House and saw this tour bus ... hmmm, who could this belong to?
Speaking of "American Idol" champion David Cook, thanks to the 70-plus "Sean's Space" readers from literally all over the globe (I'm talking to you Brazil and Malaysia!) who submitted questions for me to ask David over the past 18 hours.

I'm scheduled to talk to David at 3:15 p.m. EST this afternoon, well before he hits the stage at 9 p.m. One of your questions will be included in the interview, and I'll likely post David's answer tomorrow, since tonight's show will get over so late. So, stay tuned...

Monday, March 9, 2009

YOU can ask David Cook a question!!!

Just got off the phone, having gotten some great news: I'll be interviewing "American Idol" champ David Cook tomorrow!

The latest "Idol" champ will be playing a show tomorrow night at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House for Marist College students. But in the afternoon, before the show, I'll share a few minutes with David, interviewing him for a Web-exclusive story I'll be writing about his performance here in Poughkeepsie. And that's where you come in...

Just as I did before when I interviewed the Jonas Brothers, Clay Aiken, Bret Michaels and Taylor Hicks, among others, I'm giving you a chance to ask David a question when I talk to him!

Now, all you've got to do is e-mail your first name, your hometown and your question for David to me at journalsean@aol.com by 12 p.m. tomorrow.I'll pick the best one (and only one) out of all the questions I receive and ask it to David when I speak with him. Then, I'll post his answer to your question right here at "Sean's Space."

Be creative! Ask the David a question that no one else has ever asked him. Then, check back here to see if he answered your question!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm orange with envy

There are few things I cherish in this world as much as a nice, cold Orange Julius.
As a kid, I always loved it whem Mom and Dad would treat me to the creamy, frothy drink at the now-demolished South Hills Mall. So you can imagine how excited I was tonight when on a work trip, I came across this Orange Julius at one of the local malls.

Once those orange neon lights caught my eye, I was lured in!

I had to order a large original Orange Julius (not a Strawberry Julius or on of those fru-fru drinks they now make) and it was just as good as I remembered. Between the orange juice and the ice and the secret ingredients, I was in Heaven! So much so that I drank the thing so quickly, I almost got a brain freeze ... but it was soooo worth it!

And it's a good thing I drank that Julius in record time.

Because as I took the elevator up to the second floor of the mall, I thought my eyes were deceiving me: This mall has two Orange Julius stands — one on each floor! (This is where that whole "envy" thing comes in.) Sure, this one was a part-Orange Julius, part-Dairy Queen; but even that is more of an Orange Julius stand than we have back home.

Talk about rubbing it in! I live in a town that has no Orange Julius stands, and this one mall has two Orange Julius stands just a couple hundred feet apart!

It's OK, though. A big Food Network fan, my GF was kind enough to find this for me this on the Food Network's Web site for me: Fellow foodie Alton Brown has posted the recipe for an eerily similar concoction to the Orange Julius, meaning I don't have to travel a couple of hours to find one stand (or in this case, two) that sells my favorite drink!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

She finally found what she was looking for

Just got a screaming call from my GF, who went down to Manhattan for the day: SHE JUST MET BONO!Yes, that is her cuddling up with the lead singer of famed Irish rock band U2, Paul David Hewson ... you can just call him Bono. You might recognize my GF from such celebrity encounters as actor Liev Schreiber, singer Michelle Branch, trumpeter Chris Botti and comedian Jimmy Fallon. (She's shy, not as outgoing as me.)

This will go down in our collective lore as her "New Kids moment," alluding to last May 17th when I me the New Kids On The Block, my fav group of all-time. Unlike the way I lucked out meeting the guys, though, this encounter was weeks in the making.

See, Bono and the boys have played an unprecedented week of performances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and today was the final taping for the week. (Usually, Dave tapes one show a day Monday through Wednesday, and then two shows on Thursday; this week, though, they taped two shows on Monday, followed by one per day after that.) With that in mind, the gears inside my GF's head started turning...

And make no mistake, my beloved is a veteran of waiting outside stage doors -- whether they lead to Broadway theaters, TV studios for shows like Letterman and the former Conan O'Brien "Late Night," or arenas like Madison Square Garden and our own Mid-Hudson Civic Center.

Having honed her skills for years, she knew just where Adam Clayton here and the rest of the band would be heading as they headed for the Ed Sullivan Theater for today's show. Unfortunately, so did about 200 other U2 fans who were also waiting ... but she was one of the first, arriving hours before the 5:30 p.m. taping. (What's that they say about the early bird?!)

And, as the pictures show, it paid off big-time!

With that throng of fans awaiting The Edge and the rest of the group, my GF was quick to get Bono's attention (in addition to the rest of the group except drummer Larry Mullen Jr., who she said didn't sign any autographs), resulting in a memory she's not likely to forget. And, she's got the snapshots and autographs to prove it, not to mention redemption following her first in-person encounter with the band .

Luckily, she got a second chance at this once-in-a-lifetime meeting.

The first time my GF met Bono, before one of their MSG shows a few years back (again, waiting outside the arena), she froze for the split-second she got with him, and she'd always regretted it ... until today!