CelebriTuesdays: Oh Mo She Didn’t! Beat me with a hairbrush and call me Precious – I met Mo’Nique!!!

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Dreams come true people, dreams come true. Last week, I sent a message out to the universe to meet Mo’Nique the Oscar winner from Precious, and just like in The Secret, they sent her to me. OK, full disclosure, I did ask the universe to also have her hit me and call me Precious while she was pummeling me, but sometimes you can’t be greedy and just getting a picture is enough. More importantly, I want you to take every single thing you have heard about Mo’Nique and toss it aside because I’m here to tell you that this woman is really awesome!

 

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I’m a nightmare because technology is no friend of mine and by technology I really mean the complicated things to manage such as the camera on your phone. When I say this, I’m not exaggerating and as my friend Forrest said “I’m not a smart man.” I literally have no right to ever make fun of my mother-in-law for not being able to cut and paste when I can’t even work the damn camera on my phone. I have taken thousands of photos and still, I get myself into a state of confusion and even the simplest of pictures goes off the rails and looks like shit or doesn’t take. You may be reading this and wondering how it relates to Mo’Nique, but it does.

 

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When you meet a famous person and they agree to take a photo with you, it’s not like you have an endless amount of time – they’re not going to stand around and wait all day. Your friends wouldn’t stand around and wait, so you can’t expect that a stranger will either. You have to be ready for the picture and most importantly, you need to be respectful of their time as this is an awesome thing they’re doing which they really don’t have to! That being said, I had a technological breakdown of sorts and of course it happened when it was my turn with Mo’nique. OK, that last bit just sounded a little dirtier than I meant it to, but you know what I’m getting at and thankfully there’s No’Nique to worry about mechanical issues with that equipment if you know what I’m saying 😉

 

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If only I was this cool…

 

 

Anyway, as I walked over with the crowd of people asking for pictures, Mo’Nique could not have been nicer. She was hanging out, chatting everyone up, hugging everyone, just not in a rush and making sure that everyone got a picture with her. She was smiling and kind and seriously, just a sweetie. I have been doing this long enough to know when someone doesn’t want to be bothered and she was awesome. So there she is, taking nice pictures with everyone and there was a bunch of people around; TMZ was waiting to interview her and her bodyguard was trying to get her to their car – when it was finally my turn…

 

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I’m almost embarrassed to share this video as I usually like you to think I’m a pretty cool dude, but it’s worth a good chuckle to see how flustered I got and what a fool I actually look and sound like. Pay attention to the facial expressions on the girl in the background waiting her turn and just looking at me like I’m such a moron. When it was finally my turn, I suddenly got flustered and all worked up because the camera on my phone was on video – not photo – and I couldn’t get it to switch back or take the picture. I thought for sure I’d miss my chance and that my Precious moment was over before it had even started. I could see the annoyed looks on the faces of the people waiting around me and actually having been in their shoes before, I know how it is to not get a photo because someone was taking too long with camera issues. Mo’Nique could have just blown me off and walked away and she probably should have, but she didn’t. She was really nice and truthfully, she probably thought I was slow or something was definitely wrong with me since little children can use camera phones without issue and here was an adult that couldn’t even snap a simple God Damn photo. It was as if it was the first time I’d ever seen a camera phone…

 

 

I’m not saying it was like when I was mistaken for a retarded person twice, but the looks on crowd’s faces were similar.  She was like “OK Baby” and then she was like “Are you sure? Come on” and then she came back over to me after taking someone else’s picture and took one with me. Success! Seriously thought, it was very cool of her to do that and people don’t normally care if you got a picture or not. They’re usually rushing to get to their next appearance and basically, it’s really awkward to stand around with strangers gawking and snapping pictures.

 

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This was a semi-disaster, but luckily it worked out. It was my own hubris biting me in the ass as I was starting to feel confident that my photography skills had been improving, and then another stumble. You may look at some of my photos and think they’re not half bad, but here’s a few you haven’t seen:

 

 

I’m lucky I can work the remote for our television, so I’m not expecting anything artistic or even trying filters, but a person should be able to at least get a decent shot of two people standing next to each other. I mean come on – it’s actually getting worse now. Look at these – just how does someone try for a selfie with Seal and end up with a picture of their shoe? Or sidle up to Taron Egerton for a shot and end up with a picture of Grey Man the good ghost? It’s like I don’t have control of my faculties or my fingers…just pathetic photo skills.

 

 

I appreciate her being nice and spending a little time with me, especially since Mo’Nique has been getting a bad rap lately with Netflix trying to pay her less than other comedians for a Stand-up special. I say, who cares what you were thinking Netflix – this is a PR nightmare and, more importantly, she’s an Oscar Winner! Mo’Nique needs to have her Golden Globe made into a giant ring like something Elizabeth Taylor would have worn and turn that Oscar into a headpiece like they wear to Ascot so she can rock them and remind Netflix that if a woman of color can beat the odds and make it all the way to the podium at the Academy Awards, skimping out on paying her fairly is not gonna fly!

 

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I’ve only had this one interaction with her, but she left a great impression with me and the crowd – she was sweet and so patient with everyone (ahem, me). Some of the other people getting pictures have met her before and said that she’s been a sweetheart every single time they’ve seen her. Of course, there are always two sides to every story, but cut her some slack and give her the benefit of the doubt. Also, Netflix pay the woman what she’s worth! If for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do, please do it because she will whup your ass like Precious if you don’t!

 

Get Out: I, Tonya is more like I, Oscar as the nominations announcement takes Shape!

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Forget about the Government shutdown or any of those nimrods running this country like a second-rate car wash and prioritize what’s important: Tuesday morning’s Oscar nominations announcement! This year’s race has been all over the place and exciting because there’s not one movie running away with everything – the critic’s prizes have been all over the place so Best Picture isn’t necessarily sewn up just yet.

 

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Forget Christmas or New Year’s – Oscar Season is the most wonderful time of the year! If you don’t agree then you can just Get Out? If you had told me a year ago that this little horror movie would be an Oscar nominee – I’d have told you to get out, but in just a few hours it most certainly will be! I don’t know if I’ll get a Best Picture nomination, but it’s a really great film that’s sure to be recognized tomorrow.

 

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I’m not one to launch into a checklist of all the categories with who I think will be nominated because that’s boring and that’s typical and I am neither of those things. We’ll jump around, but let’s talk Best Director. Do I think Lady Bird will get a Best Picture nomination – definitely. Do I think Greta Gerwig will get a Best Director nomination for it? I’m really hoping that I’m wrong, but unfortunately, I’m leaning towards no. Not because she doesn’t deserve it or she shouldn’t be nominated; I want to be wrong on this but I’m leaning towards no based on Oscar history. At this point, I don’t know that there’s anything to stop Guillermo del Toro from winning for The Shape of Water, but the Director’s Branch doesn’t go with the popular vote for their nominations and that’s especially true recently.

 

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It may seem odd to overlook the front runner to one of the most talked about films this year, but there are only five spots and this is an old boys club that might just stick with the veterans like Spielberg and Ridley Scott over newer directors like Greta Gerwig or Jordan Peele. Also, there have only been four women nominated for Best Director and only one female winner. In 90 Years – how is that even possible? That fact in itself is hard to ignore and pushes me towards a Gerwig snub Tuesday morning…

 

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If snubbing Greta Gerwig seems absolutely crazy, remember that this is the same Director’s branch that didn’t give Martin Scorcese a Best Director Oscar until The Departed in 2006! Take that in folks – Eminem was an Oscar winner for 8 Mile years before Martin-effin-Scorcese! Shameful as that is, Christopher Nolan has never even been nominated for Best Director – this nomination for Dunkirk will be his first! This is one branch of the Academy that doesn’t seem to go with emotions or what the public does like the acting branch. In fact, in recent years the Best Director hasn’t even lined up with the Best Picture winner which, historically, was never the case.

 

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Remember how great it was when Kathryn Bigelow stormed the stage for The Hurt Locker to win Best Director? That was an anomaly. She was snubbed for Zero Dark Thirty shortly after in the same year that be Affleck was snubbed for Argo – which actually won Best Picture! How the hell does the film winning Best Picture not get a nomination for Best Director? Affleck’s snub was the best thing that happened to Argo; it made them the underdog and they ran on a “shame on you for not nominating Ben Affleck” campaign which gained momentum and won the trophy. That could certainly happen with Lady Bird if Gerwig isn’t nominated tomorrow – it would up the chances in a race that’s not over by a long shot and march Lady Bird right up to the podium!

 

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Along with the snubs are the surprise nominations that come along every now and then; there are always a few head scratchers that seem to just come out of nowhere and I love them. Last year, Amy Adams was snubbed for Arrival which I didn’t love and then her costar Michael Shannon came out of nowhere and got nominated for Nocturnal Animals which he could do again with The Shape of Water. It’s a film that everyone has seen so he could possibly hear his name called if the film builds momentum. It’s extremely doubtful for so many reasons but just know that if he hears his name, Woody Harrelson or Armie Hammer definitely won’t.

 

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Both The Shape of Water and Three Billboards will have three acting nominations but Sam Rockwell – it’s about damn time! Three Billboards will be the first film since Bugsy in 1992 with two supporting actors nominated for the same film. Those nominations are givens, but although quite unlikely, it’s entirely possible for Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game to sneak into Meryl Streep’s The Post spot and Daniel Day Lewis might not get the love people are expecting for Phantom Thread leaving an open spot for Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out.

 

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My big wish for the nominations is to see some love for Mudbound and The Big Sick and not just because I met Kumail Nanjiani and he’s awesome. I don’t think Mary J Blige is gonna make the cut for a Supporting Actress for Mudbound, so I’m rooting for her in the Best Original Song category! Mudbound is a great film, with a great story and a great cast that just happens to be written and directed by Dee Rees and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. It should land a screenplay nod tomorrow, but getting a Best Picture nomination would be amazing, but it’s a very long shot.

 

 

 

If you think the race is over, consider that final Oscar voting closes on February 27th and the ceremony isn’t until March 4th – that is a lifetime away from now in Oscar campaigning and although Three Billboards has momentum right now, it’ll be hard to maintain that for the next month; I, Tonya could club the competition and surge up to a prime spot between now and then.

 

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CelebriTuesdays: I almost Kimmy Schmidt my pants when I saw them filming!

 

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As I was walking to work, I passed by a ton of extras and a big camera crew, so I stopped to see what was going on when low and behold, they were filming Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! Obviously, I normally stalk and get pictures with stars, but this was a totally unexpected surprise like when you find lint in your belly button. You don’t know how it got there, but all of a sudden – poof, it’s there and you smile at the wonders of the universe.

 

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They were filming a scene with Josh Charles and it was burning up inside me not to be able to shout out about the elephant in the room: Josh Charles is basically me with hair. Toss a rug on my noggin and you’d see non-stop camera flashes all over the place. They were filming a scene where his character gets arrested and of course I was stalking as close as I could, when he saw me and walked over and said “What’s up man” then shook my hand. How awesome is he? Such a cool dude and really nice too. I’m sure he only came over because looking at me must have been like looking right in the mirror since he wasn’t doing that to everyone. It took everything inside me not to ask for a quick selfie, but they were in the middle of filming the scene and even I’m not that much of a jerk to interrupt their shooting; besides, I did get a few pictures and videos of him anyway.

Here’s a video of Josh on the set!

 

Long-lost-brothers? Click here for another Josh Charles video from the set

 

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I watched for a while and then went to work and told my friend Teenie about the filming when I saw her later on. She loves Josh Charles so it only took about three seconds before we grabbed our coats and were back to the set for visit number two. By this time, they’d moved on and were now filming Jane Krakowski steps away from where we were standing and Josh was nowhere to be seen. Since I’d already seen him and love me some Krakowski, I was happy and trying to be nonchalant and point Jane out. She didn’t see her and I tried to be subtle and whisper “There’s Jane…There’s Jane…There’s Jane…” and nodding my head to point her out, but she wasn’t getting the hint. I would’ve had a better shot getting through to Sally Hawkins mute Janitor from The Shape of Water than get through to Teenie as she looked around confused as to where I meant. It was like the blind leading the blind-folded, and finally, I was like “She’s right there” and pointed. Once again, part of me wanted to rush her and snap a pic, but the rules of decency and common sense prevailed so we just creepily took about forty pictures of her filming. I know it is so unlike me to show restraint, but I can sometimes control myself.

 

 

After watching for a while, we went back to work satisfied that I got another celebrity fix and I did what every little Yenta does – alerted Facebook to my activities. Obviously, if it isn’t on Facebook – it didn’t really happen so who was I to withhold? Shortly after posting, my cousin Lloyd (not Lloyd Garmadon from Ninjago, although it would be really cool if we were related) saw my post and let me know that his daughter (my second cousin) was actually working on the set in Craft Services. She was on the set! Let’s digest this and stop the presses, shall we: Lloyd, you kinda buried the lead. Why did I find out such important information after the fact? I don’t wanna put you on the spot or make you feel bad, but you know I’m a stalker – get your head in the game!

 

 

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My cousin Lloyd

 

 

Obviously, it would have been rude of me to stay at work and just go about my business as if I didn’t know that someone in my family (my blood for God’s sake!) was right down the street. Who was I to not go and say Hi – I’m not a rude person. On the flip side, my wife was not really being very supportive when I shared this surprising familial reunion news with her: “Do not go to that set again! Go back to work and stop it with that set! You’re gonna get arrested and do not get that girl in trouble – she’s working! Leave Josh Charles alone – You do not look like him and they’re gonna Kick the Kimmy Schmidt out of you if you go back there!” (Ok, so she didn’t really say that last part, but I’m pretty sure she was thinking it – Haters Gonna Hate and all that.)

 

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Ok guys, you when your wife tells you something that makes sense and sounds like the right thing to do, you listen and think it over and then you do what you’re told. It’s serious and they mean business…and I’d say normally that’s true, but when they’re filming a TV show you like down the street – all bets are off. And it was at that very moment that I just so happened to realize that I needed Breath Savers from Duane Reade, which just happened to also be down the street near where they’re filming. More importantly, family is more important than anything. Granted, I had never met this cousin and didn’t know what she looked like and more importantly, I really didn’t want to get her fired or scare her just because I’m a lunatic. So I did one more pass by the set and treaded lightly so as not to arouse suspicion or security personnel and it’s a good thing I did!

 

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I didn’t see my cousin, once again, it’s hard to identify someone you’ve literally never seen and don’t know what she looks like except that she’s wearing a sweater and jeans. (That narrows it down, it’s a movie set – everyone’s wearing a sweater and jeans.) So we didn’t see her, but we did get to see Sheri Foster, who plays Krakowski’s mother Fern on the show. Teenie didn’t want to bother her and I was like “What? We can definitely bother her – she’ll love it!” And, she did. She was so cool and sweet and very gracious chatting it up and snapping a few pics with us.

 

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So the message we learn in this episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is that family come first! If you’re stalking and your kin is steps away from the action – they need to let someone know! That’s the only useful feature of Facebook: I don’t wanna see your kid’s baseball pictures or cat memes or hear how hard work is today – Keep it real and let me know stalker updates or I’m going to have to unfriend you!

 

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My foot surgery was more like General Hustle than General Hospital!

It’s a little known fact that while laid up recuperating on my couch in Sleepy Hollow, I pretty much invented the “binge-watching” movement along with my friend Li (The Chinese food Delivery Guy made famous by my Tony no Here post. I needed surgery because I’d broken my left ankle while playing volleyball and I was extremely worked up because I’d never broken anything before unless you count the record I smashed binge-watching all nine seasons of Dynasty!

 

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Without a doubt, the best show ever made!

 

Keep I mind that this wasn’t binging TV shows like it’s so easy to do nowadays with a million things available on Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or on your phone; this was me having to get every season of the show piecemeal on EBAY. Then when I finally got them (in the mail, mind you, which took forever), I tore through them non-stop like a rabid dog with a bone. I was laid up and laid out but finally they were gonna slice me open and fix me like The Six Million Dollar Man. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and if my life was a movie you’d faintly hear Michael Bolton singing along with me on the couch “When I’m back on my feet again…”

 

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The day of the surgery, I was a bundle of crazy nerves and my normally neurotic self was on hyper-overload. I’d arrived armed with my wife and my sister for emotional comfort, two boxes of Imodium AD for gastric support, and a big black X drawn on my ankle for physical support and to make sure they didn’t cut open on the wrong foot. That may seem like an urban legend, but I wasn’t taking any chances. My surgical prep nurse, Nurse Ratched, took one look and needless to say, she was not amused with my sharpie skills and that was just the start of multiple things we wouldn’t see eye to eye on.

 

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It was an early morning surgery and I hadn’t eaten anything since midnight and was starving. My nervous stomach wasn’t playing nicely with all the butterflies and the painkillers I was on mixed with a splash of my ever-present Imodium AD. As the nurse was filling out the paperwork and asking me questions, she told me to remove my clothes. Obviously I thought this strange as it wasn’t a casting call for the Magic Mike sequel, just a random hospital examination room.

 

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“Um, that’s OK, just the ankle getting done, so not really gonna get naked but thank you for the offer.” I said.

She was not very interested in discussing it. “You need to be completely undressed for surgery.”

“No, actually I don’t. Once again, thanks for the offer, but I’m having surgery on my ankle – why would I need to be naked? You know where the ankles are right? I can see taking off my socks and maybe my pants, but why would I possibly need to take off my underwear? I’m not taking my underwear off! What’s going on here?” I’m not a calm person normally, but this was starting to set me off.

 

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“Listen Sir, if you don’t take your underwear off, we’re going to cut them off of you!”

“Listen lady, if I wake up and you’ve cut my underwear off, I’m cutting yours off next!”

“This is not optional, it’s not sanitary and you need to remove your clothes!”

 

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The peanut gallery, and by that I mean my wife and sister, were not being very supportive or having my back at this point and really just trying not to laugh at the ridiculousness. My wife was like, “just take your contacts out and lay back and relax – you’ll feel better and it’ll be over soon.” It was just like what the masseuse told me before she massaged me and then proceeded to flick my testicle on our Honeymoon. Advice you should never take: “Just take your clothes off and listen.”

 

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I was outnumbered and outgunned here, so I begrudgingly removed my clothes all the while picturing the conversation they’d be having about this up in the operating room over my listless body: “Why wouldn’t he take off his underwear? Is he a never-nude like Tobias? What’s with this big black X on his ankle? Poor little guy, he’s obviously a grower, not a shower.”

 

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Either way, relaxed is not a word one would be using to describe me that day. As they came in to wheel me down the hallway to the butchers in the basement, I was contactless so everything was blurry which actually did make me feel better. They’d already administered the anesthesia, which also helped to make me groggy, and they told me to count down from 100 and off I’d go…My wife and sister were following the gurney down the hall telling me to relax when an orderly sidled up to the guy pushing me: “Hey Scott, are you heading downstairs? Will you drop this sample off at the lab on your way?” and he proceeded to gently place a bag on my stretcher. My wife and sister gasped and looked at each other in shock as I was squinting up a storm and trying to sit up and see if I was hallucinating with that clear plastic bag. “Is that shit? Is there shit in that bag? That looks like shit! Is that Sh…” and with that the anesthesia kicked in and I was knocked out! There was a bag of someone’s shit – someone’s shit – being transported on me like it was nothing! Literally, my nightmare came true and there wasn’t enough Imodium AD in the world to prevent that shit storm from getting me!

 

 

As I was coming to in the recovery room, my wife and sister got Nurse Ratched to tell her I was awake and I started babbling again as if someone had just pressed pause on me when the anesthesia kicked in: “There was shit on me! There was shit on me! I saw it – it was shit! There was shit on me!” My wife was saying I was crazy and trying to tell me that I must have been mistaken to reassure me and calm me down, but one look at my sister’s face told me it was definitely shit! The nurse thought I was having a reaction to the anesthesia and was concerned until my wife told her what my incoherent babbling was about. Needless to say, it was a shitty operation!

 

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Only me right? I mean, who does that happen to? I go in for what was supposed to be routine surgery and they turned me into a fecal drug mule! I can’t help but feel like this wouldn’t have happened on ERGrey’s Anatomy maybe – but definitely not on ER…Where’s Julianna Margulies when you need her?

 

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