Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lemme tell ya sumthin’, brother...

As I've stated here on "Sean's Space" before, I'm a reformed Hulkamaniac. Used to be. Long time ago. Can't stress that enough.

Sure, I gave up on pro wrestling when I started high school, but I've still got a soft spot for the Hulkster. I remember trainin', sayin' my prayers and eatin' my vitamins, just like Hulk Hogan implored us to do as lil' kids. Add to that to my growing collection of signed books, and you can see why this latest treasure is certainly a prized possession. Yes, that is a hand-signed copy of Hulk's new memoir, "My Life Outside the Ring," which the grappling legend autographed early Tuesday afternoon at a book signing in New York City to celebrate the tome's release.

Sadly, I just missed the end of the Hulkster's actual signing by mere minutes, yet I was still able to walk away from the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue with a signed copy!

Rushing several blocks to reach the book superstore, I had one thought in mind: I'm going to meet the Hulkster! This was the same larger-than-life superstar I'd been lucky to see once in person when I used to watch the then-World Wrestling Federation's TV tapings as an elementary school kid in the mid-80s here in Poughkeepsie. And here he was in New York City, the same metropolis where I found myself this very same day! So when I arrived at B&N, hurriedly opened the door and asked the security guard, "Where's the Hulk Hogan book signing?" sounding like (admittedly) such a geek, you can imagine how crestfallen I was when he said, "Oh, you just missed it."

Luckily, I wasn't down for the three count just yet...

Turns out, Hulk was in the back offices at B&N, signing a few extra copies of the book for them to sell after he left. Waiting patiently, I only stood around for about five minutes before a small cart of 20 or so of the Hulkster's books made its way to the cashier counter. Oh, they looked like the very same unsigned books on the shelves — they even ran up for the same price as ones without Hulk's John Hancock — but they had this lil' green sticker affixed to the lower, right-hand corner, telling the world: Yes, Hulk Hogan had indeed signed the title page!

Sure, I'd missed out on meeting Hulk, but I was still as happy as a fifth-grader sitting ringside at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in 1985.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No DVR? No VCR? No problem!

When you're forgetful (or just plain lazy), you learn to have a newfound appreciation for your computer.
Case in point: When I forget to set the timer to record my favorite TV shows, I can watch full episodes of "The Office" (seen here) or many more online through each of the networks' respective Web sites.

By clicking here, for example, I can watch any episodes of "The Office" I might miss for free. When new episodes air on Thursday night, they're available online the next day! My other must-see TV show, "Family Guy," can similarly be seen for free by clicking here.

Sure, sometimes you have to sit through a commercial or two between segments to watch, but that's a small "price" to pay for watching the first-run shows for free, as opposed to plucking down good money to download them to your portable device, let alone buying a DVR. It's just good economics!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What’choo talkin’ ‘bout, radio?

Obviously a longtime fan of television, I've recently become enamored with a more primitive medium: talk radio. (No, not “Talk Radio,” the Broadway show we saw in 2007.)
Be it in my travels as a sports reporter or even on the way to and from a pair of recent get-aways, I've found comfort in listening to other blab on the AM dial while I drive. ('Cause, really, how many New Kids On The Block or Britney Spears CDs can you listen to in one sitting?!)

For example, your problems never seems so bad when you listen to the people who call in and seek advice from Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Even the all-news radio (the audio equivalent of, say, CNN or MSNBC) helps keep ya awake and alert on long drives.

All of those, however, rank behind sports talk radio, which I grew up on while listening to New York's No. 1 sports talk station, WFAN. That said, ESPN Radio is also starting to gain popularity in my car, especially when "The Michael Kay Show" hits the air from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. most days. From midnight to noon then back to midnight, sports nuts can listen to (and even take part in) the discussion around the clock.

Still, given all the time I'm surrounded by sports (work, etc.), Dr. Laura and her fellow radio shows — be they nationally syndicated or local — are a nice alternative, too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You can actually taste Adam's apple

So I've already mentioned passing by a few Disney-themed cereals in the supermarket aisles, but these are just as cool!

Bringing my love of both snacks and one of my favorite childhood board games, the good folks at Kellogg's have come out with "Operation" fruit snacks. I couldn't help but snap a pic of them when I saw them one of the grocery aisles the other day. Yes, the game we all loved at kids — the one that taught us how to carefully remove such ailments as water on the knee, the bread basket and (my favorite) writer's cramp — has now been immortalized in a handy, yummy, fruity snack that lets you eat what used to be little, white, hard-plastic game pieces. I haven't tried them, but I'm pretty sure they taste better than their plastic predecessors.

What's next? Maybe "Hungry, Hungy Hippos" hummis? "Connect Four" fortune cookies, perhaps? Ah, the possiblities boggle the mind (no "Boggle" pun intended)!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Donnie's new single? Yup, I got it!

A few months after the New Kids On The Block wrapped up their "Full Service" summer tour, one of the New Kids has satiated fans' thirst for new music.

That's 'cause Donnie Wahlberg released his new single yesterday, "I Got It," which features former Danity Kane singer Aubrey O'Day. Toronto radio station CHUM FM world-premiered "I Got It" yesterday morning; and soon after that, Donnie tweeted his fans (like me) on how to purchase the song for download. Of course I bought it, not only 'cause it's a fun song but because some of the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation with which the New Kids have worked in the past.

As for the song itself (not to mention "Rise N Grind," the other single that came with "I Got It" for just $1.99), it's great to hear Donnie striking out on his own, making some super music. It's a nice way to transition into what might be a long time before the New Kids get back in the studio again.

The Wahlberg/O'Day pairing also works very well, and for me, it's a neat mixture, considering I saw both of them on the same bill last spring. At Z100's Zootopia 2008 (at which I actually met Donnie and the rest of my favorite group), the New Kids made their first actual concert appearance after Danity Kane, the product of MTV's "Making the Band 3," took the stage to perform their hit at the time, "Damaged." In the year-plus since, Aubrey (seen here with Donnie at the premiere of his film, "A Righteous Kill," last September) has left Danity Kane, while the New Kids put together a pair of successful tours — their 2008 reunion tour, followed up by "Full Service."

To download "I Got It" (with part of the money going to charity), and tell people you got it, click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Even a Jedi can't answer 'em all

Regular readers of "Sean's Space" already know of my my ever-growing collection of signed books as well as my affinity for everything "Star Wars." I've recently found (almost) the best of both.
This, "Obsessed with 'Star Wars,' " is the most amazing book ever, even though it's not even signed on the inside. As the cover says, it contains 2,500 questions cover all six "episodes" of the "Star Wars" saga — from "The Phantom Menace" to "Return of the Jedi" — as well as an electronic scorekeeper that randomly picks questions for you to answer!

I just gave myself this book as a birthday present, and let me tell ya: I've spent countless hours trying to answer some of these questions, questions like what was the name of the manufacturer that produced the Rebels' speeders?

Seriously?! Yoda, himself, couldn't get some of these correct. Still, it's fun trying.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"You ... are ... a ... TOY!!!"

There is literally nothing in the world that should keep anyone away from a movie theater for the next week.

That's because everyone should go and see Woody and Buzz Lightyear (seen here in a publicity shot from the good folks at Disney) in the "Toy Story"/"Toy Story 2" 3-D double feature that's playing in a limited engagement; the movies opened together last Friday and will be in theaters for just a two-week run. My GF and I caught the double feature over the weekend, and loved every minute of it. Even at $13 apiece for the evening show, the ticket prices were well worth the money we paid.

Now, we'd each seen the original "Toy Story," but not the sequel. Seeing it on the big screen, let alone in 3-D, was a whole new experience, though. In between films, there's a 10-minute intermission in which "Toy Story" trivia questions and behind-the-scenes vignettes are shown on the screen. "Toy Story 2" was just as incredible in 3-D, and again, seeing it in 3-D makes you ask: Why aren't ALL movies in 3-D?!

Even for a Disney World veteran who's seen countless 3-D flicks at the various WDW parks, I was thoroughly impressed with the new "Toy Story" presentation, and I can't recommend it highly enough!