Friday, March 28, 2008

I didn't want to brag but...

...I'm frickin' famous!

This story originally ran in Raleigh, NC's News & Observer newspaper back in January, when Barry Manilow was set to play there, only to have bad weather postpone the show.

The writer found out about "Sean's Space" (and thus, my obsession with Barry) and called me up to interview me about the Man-ilow!

It's just another way I'm spreading that special brand of sunshine I like to call Sean.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Sit, Ubu, sit ... good dog"

Now, this might be overdue, considering we came back from Disney World almost two months ago. And it might be more appropriate for Pete Colaizzo's "Daddy Diary" blog, but what the heck...

I love seeing kids on leashes! I can't get enough of 'em! You see them running (albeit tethered to their parents) all over Disney World or the mall, and they're just the funniest lil' things in the world. Whenever I see some poor little tyke on a leash, I make a point to snap a picture. My goal is to start a Web site,, where people can share their thoughts of (duh!) kids on leashes.

I suppose I find them funny, in particular, because of the little snot-nosed brats who deserved to be on leashes when I was a kid, I was Exhibit No. 1.

Still, somehow my parents found a way to rear me without treating me like a puppy who can't be trusted to dart in front of traffic. I mean seriously, what's next ... kiddy choke- chains?!

Oh! And the worst are the parents who try to disguise the leash by making them look all cutesy by buying ones that look like teddy bears or little monkeys.

Note to these parents: We still know your kid is walking around on a leash! That leash in your hand, attached to your child, kind of gives it away.

Whenever I see a kid on a leash, I'm just dying to hear the little guy ask, "Mommy, how come all the other kids aren't on leashes?" and have the mom explain why she decided to tether the kid up like a cocker spaniel.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

David Cook-ed on stage last night

David Cook here got my vote last night, following his rendition of "Billie Jean."

While I'd never heard Chris Cornell's version of the song and while it was nothing compared to Michael Jackson's original hit that came out 25 years ago, David did an amazing job with the vocals and, in my mind, was the best performance of the night.

That said, I'm not sure if David can overcome all the little girls who undoubtedly vote for David Archuleta every week and will continue to do so, likely making him this season's "American Idol," but he has definitely become (at least in my mind) one of the top three contenders, along with David A. and Carly Smithson.

And gotta give a shout-out to Kristy Lee Cook, who rebounded from two weeks' worth of horrible Beatles butcherings (that rendition of "Eight Days A Week" is still burned in my brain ... and it's painful!) and came up with a good performance last night.

Kirsty's version of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." likely kept her safe for this week, though I can't see her lasting much longer.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings from the land of the Spears

I've again taken "Sean's Space" on the road, this time to the bayou, as I write from my hotel room in beautiful Baton Rouge.

Yes, here in lovely Louisiana, where the Marist College women's basketball team has been in the middle of its third straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Another other time, I'd have been thrilled to drive the 74 miles northwest of here to Kentwood, hometown of Jamie Lynn Spears and her older sister.

But, since I'm "Britney-free in '08," I have no interest in seeing where the sisters learned to be a young and horrible mother, respectively.

Of course, now that I've officially announced here that I'm "Britney-free in '08" — until now, only those close to me knew — did I just go against my New Year's resolution by telling everyone about it? Hmmm....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

WHO Seeley???

So a couple weeks ago, covering the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's basketball title game, I had my latest "celebrity" encounter, though I'd never heard of this guy.

My PoJo colleague Phil Strum (he of "Under the Ring" fame), radio man Geoff Berault and I were this close to singer Drew Seeley as he performed a "mini-concert" at halftime of the game.

For those not in the know (folks like me and Phil and Geoff and most of the people in attendance at the Times Union Center), Drew Seeley was the singing voice of Zac Efron's character, Troy Bolton, in the original "High School Musical" movie. It took me a little research on Wikipedia to find out all that info 'cause when I first heard he was going to be there, I asked myself, Who Seeley???

(If it helps, this is Drew ... the one all the way at the right on that CD cover up there.)

Drew also took Zac's place in the "HSM" concert tour when Zac was off filming last summer's big-screen version of "Hairspray."

Dancing around the Times Center floor, imploring the b-ball fans for a response -- he didn't get much, if any -- Drew sang three or four songs ... and I'm embarrassed to say I'd heard his finale, "Get'cha Head in the Game."

I actually felt bad for the poor guy, 'cause I was talking to fans in the stands halfway through his performance, and many of them left for the concession stand or bathroom when he was singing.

Later, during "Get'cha Head in the Game," Phil, Geoff and I were standing on press row when Drew came this close to him as he sang. I almost wanted to sing along with him, just to make him feel better, letting him think someone knew of him.

But I didn't. Oh, well.

It's the most wonderful time of the year

I celebrate two seasons: the Christmas season and the baseball season. When one ends, the other begins for me.

Sometimes, though, I need a little something to bridge the gap between late December and spring training, and that stopgap is here as I happily announce: The Girl Scout cookies have arrived!

A BIG thanks to Julia D. for helping me fill my GS cookie fix!

Particularly now that I'm fighting off a cold, there's nothing better than the peanut buttery goodness of a Tagalong or the oatmeal-y yumminess of a Do-Si-Do to soothe me. (Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos are the only flavors I like, btw)

Sure, it's nice to know that my $3.50/box goes for helping teach friendship and teamwork and blah, blah, blah ... but for me, it's all about the cookies! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Musical wallpaper" vs. "a mess": which stunk more?

Wow! Last night's "American Idol" was a disaster! They should've stopped with last week's Paul McCartney and John Lennon-themed night before adding a second week of Beatles tunes.

To say the performances were pretty bad is an understatement. I think Simon here had the best lines of the night, calling Kristy Lee Cook's performance "musical wallpaper," and describing another finalist's rendition "a mess." (I honestly can't remember who received that second barb because, by the grace of God, I've been able to forget most of the night's performances.)

I'm looking for Kristy to get the boot tonight 'cause I'm sure she didn't get many votes ... she sure didn't get mine!

That said, David Archuleta shined, proving why many consider him the front-runner of the show.

Rebounding from last week's disaster, the 17-year-old from Utah remembered the lyrics this week, and did a great version of "The Long and Winding Road." I voted for him!

Another of the few finalists who stood out for me last night was David Cook, who did a rocker version of "Day Tripper."

Cook seems like a slightly lighter version of Chris Daughtry, and like Brooke White, I like to see the "Idol" wannabes who can play their own instruments.

Just a few other "Idol" notes...

* I thought Brooke looked pretty in her yellow dress, which was nicely complemented with the yellow lighting.

* Carly just came off like a whiner with that whole feeling broken and fragile in the music biz monologue. Just sing!

*I felt bad for Michael Johns, having to follow David Archuleta.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Go, Monica, Go! Dance, Monica, Dance!

Normally, I have no reason to watch "Dancing with the Stars." Usually whenever I see a show like "Celebrity ________" or "______-ing with the Stars," the people on there are either no longer celebrities or were never stars to begin with. (Have ya seen the new season of VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club?" When was the last time Erin Moran was a celebrity ... the Carter administration?!)

Even when Joe McIntyre, one of the former New Kids on the Block was on "Dancing with the Stars," I think I only saw one his routines, the one when they were dressed up in old-school military/USO garb.

Well, that all changes tonight!

Even though I won't be home to watch "Dancing with the Stars," I'll be rooting for former tennis champion (and my former celeb crush) Monica Seles. I just love that little cutie!

I swear, back in high school when all the girls in my class lined their lockers with pictures of the Coreys (that's Haim and Feldman) or Tom Cruise or Jonathan Brandis (did you know he died? Yikes!) that they tore out of mags like "Tiger Beat" or "16," my locker was wallpapered with shots of Monica that I clipped out of "TENNIS" magazine.

I'm not sure if it was that cute little smile (look at here right there) or her cute Yugoslavian accent or that she was the first women's player to grunt as she hit a shot, but Monica was such a cutie back then. (Well, her and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, but that's a whole other story.)
So while I won't watching, I'll be cheering in spirit for Monica to win and make a triumphant victory celebration, much like the one she enjoyed here with Martina Navrátilová back in the day.

You can quote me on that

I was scrolling through Wikipedia the other day when I came across the coolest thing!

Click here and look at the second and third references. (Go ahead ... I can wait ... back yet?)

Did you see that???

Someone put me down as a source for Clay Aiken's first Christmas CD! (That's it, seen right here) And they didn't just put me down as a source once ... the did it twice! And I swear it wasn't me.

As pleasantly surprised as I was, then I thought, Does that mean anybody can be a source on Wikipedia? Like, is it that simple? Is someone vetting all these sources?

See, my GF and I have this running joke that all life's answers can be found at Wikipedia.

Like last night, we wanted more information on Pat Bullard, the host of "Here Come the Newlyweds." Where did I find it? Wikipedia! Is writer/producer Nora Ephron related to "High School Musical" star Zac Efron? Check out Wikipedia!

Then, to think that humble young man like myself would be counted on as a source on Wikipedia, on which people around the world to rely on. Wow!

And I just wanted to interview Clay Aiken for a few minutes! Who knew it would lead to such Wikipedia fame?! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

These just look gross!

Wandering the aisles of Stop n' Shop the other night, I came across these, to which I said in my head, "Ewwww!"

Now a little background: I select my breakfast cereal by the prize they give away in the box. (Although nowadays, most of the good prizes you have to send away for, which sucks!) I've always been a huge Pop-Tarts fan, though, and in recent years have redeemed box tops for free "American Idol" T-shirts, Pop-Tart freezer pop makers, and even a Disney's "Chicken Little" winter hat.

With that said, I would never put these things anywhere near my mouth. The Kellogg's people have rolled out some gross-looking flavors lately ("Chocolate Vanilla Creme" or "Apple Cinnamon" or "Strawberry Milkshake") but I would probably give those a chance.

But whole grain Pop-Tarts? And to make my fav Pop-Tarts of all time (frosted strawberry with the sprinkles) into whole grain? That's just wrong! If I wanted a nutritious breakfast treat, I'd eat Special K or Total.

Oh, and for the record, I don't even eat them toasted. Nope! I just rip open the foil wrapper and chow down on them raw. The "Chocolate Cookie Dough" ones, in particular, make excellent anytime snacks right out of the wrapper!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yet ANOTHER "American Idol" alum coming to town

Opening up for Dierks Bentley at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on March 28th, Bucky Covington will be the latest former "American Idol" finalist to make his or her way to Dutchess County.

By my count, Bucky will be the fifth "AI" alumnus to come through the area since May, as Bo Bice, Paris Bennett, Taylor Hicks and Clay Aiken preceded him. (Am I missing anyone?)

Bucky (seriously, don't ya love that name?!) finished in 8th placed during the 5th season of "Idol," which Taylor won.

Luke Bryan (never heard of him) will also open up on that March 28th show here in Poughkeepsie.

Philosophy by Hannah

After a particularly crappy day, I sought a little solace yesterday evening before settling down for "American Idol."

Did I roam the aisles of Barnes & Noble, looking for a copy of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff"? Thumb through the yellow pages, looking for a spiritual guru?


Instead, I sought out the guidance of a 15-year-old sage: Miley Cyrus. (You might know her as "Hannah Montana.")

I threw my copy of "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus" into my CD player, tuned into Track No. 2, and basked in Hannah's widsom.

That second track, entitled "Nobody's Perfect," contains the following refrain amongst the rest of its uplifing lyrics:

Everybody makes mistakes
Everybody has those days
Everybody knows what, what I'm talking 'bout
Everybody gets that way

And then it hit me: Everybody does have those days! Everybody does get that way! She's soooo right!

Now, see, this is why I've switched my alliance from Jamie Lynn Spears' older sister to Miley. Miley (or "Hannah") is so much more positive than Sean Preston's mom. (And I use the term "mom" very loosely there! And yes, I do know Jamie Lynn's older sister will be guest-starring on "How I Met Your Mother" on March 24th ... I just don't care!)

In fact, maybe the former Mrs. Federline could learn from Miley/Hannah, learning that indeed "Everybody has those days." Unfortunately for her, she's had waaaay too many!

I voted for Carly

Well, I didn't vote in last month's New York primary, but I k my first vote for the current season of "American Idol" last night ... I voted for Carly Smithson!

Her version of the Beatles' "Come Together" was awesome, the best of the Paul McCartney and John Lennon covers on last night's show.

I mean, did you hear that God-awful country rendition of "Eight Days A Week" that Kristy Lee Cook butchered?! I think Simon said it best, calling it "horrendous."

Here's a copy of Carly's 2001 CD, which she recorded using her maiden name. Can you believe it only sold about 400 copies?! That's right: four hundred!

Once you get past all those tattoos on her right arm and listen to her voice, you find out she's one of the best in the competition. As I wore my "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" hoodie and my Notre Dame cap with the big shamrock in the front, I loved Carly's Irish accent when Seacrest interviewed her.

For those who missed my earlier post abour Jordin Sparks, I only start watching "American Idol" when they get down to the final dozen. I can't stand all those weeks of horrible auditions, and even when they narrow it down to those going to Hollywood, that's still too many people to get emotionally invested in.

So my vote last night was for Carly. Who got your vote?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Spring can't come fast enough!

And let me tell you why...

For Christmas, "Santa" gave me the best present ever! As soon as "Santa" (read: my loving GF) handed me the box covered in wrapping paper, I almost yelled it out: "Size 10 Heelys!" ... and that's what it was!

Aren't they beautiful?!

Yes, in my early 30s, I was dying for a pair of those cool sneakers with the wheel in the sole. I just think they are the coolest thing.

For someone as lazy as I am — and believe me, I'm lazy — these are the perfect footwear. Ever had one of those days when you're just like "Ugh. I have to walk places. It would be so much easier if I could just roll from here to there"? I have a lot of those days.

Well, voilà!

The tough part: I have to wait til the snow melts and the sidewalks are clear. (Hence, spring can't come fast enough.) In the meantime, I've been practicing in the hallway at my place, trying to find my "balance point," just like the Heelys instructional video has told me to.

And I know I can forget about using them at places like the mall or Disney World (they're worried about lawsuits and liability and blah, blah, blah), but I'm sure I can find plenty of places to use them.

You never know ... you might even see me wheeling (or Heel-ing) right past you!