5 things San Fran might not know about Blaine Gabbert

I just read “Five Facts about 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert.” (Don’t ask me why since he doesn’t even play for the Jaguars any more. Perhaps I thought there would be a mention of some deep-seated issues that cause him to block good, kind-hearted people on Twitter—for no apparent reason.)

blocked by blaine

After reading the article, I’m no closer to learning why I’m #blockedbyblaine … or  anything else for that matter since the article is pretty lame.

As a service to the good people of San Francisco—and to show Gabs I harbor no ill will toward him—I’ve gathered some facts about the QB that are actually interesting.

1. He’s really good at ironing.*

2. He loves watching movies and offering succinct reviews.

  • Hangover 2 was epic.”*
  • Billy Madison cracks me up.”*
  • Ironman 2 is legit.”*

3. He calls burgers “burgs.”*

gabbert shirtless4. He has one of the best quarterback bodies.”** (Can Tim Tebow at least get honorable mention?)

5. The letters in “Blaine Gabbert” can be rearranged as “blabbing eater” or “tan gerbil babe.”***

 

 

* Source: @blainegabbert Twitter
** BuzzFeed
***Internet Anagram Server

 

Bush Was on Fire at Guns N’ Hoses

Guns N' HosesJacksonville Guns N’ Hoses was quite the bash (get it … boxing? … bash? … like someone’s face in?) on Saturday. The annual event attracted nearly 6,200 attendees and raised more than $100,000 for PAL (Police Athletic League), MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) and Wounded Warrior Village.

In the end, the “Hoses” took the title winning the final bout in a split decision over the “Guns.” Final score: Guns, 7; Hoses, 8. (For the record, I was a judge and disagree with the results of the final bout. Plus, I just wanted to mention that I was a judge at Guns N’ Hoses.)

In addition to being a judge (did I mention that I was a judge?), I had the opportunity to stalk many celebs including Jacksonville Jaguars players Johnathan Cyprien, Sen’Derrick Marks (who has the coolest hair ever, by the way), Paul Pozluszny and Josh Scobee, former Jag Donovin Darius, Leon Washington of the Tennessee Titans, Capt. Sorensen of Firehouse Subs fame, David Lamm of 1010XL, Mayor Alvin Brown and special guest judge actor R. Lee Armey (let me save you the trouble: he played Gny. Sgt. Hartman and did the voice of Sarge in Toy Story and both sequels).

But the main event was the appearance of George W. Bush who took center ring and performed “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Bush impersonator John C. Morgan sure does appear to be the former president, doesn’t he?

I Speak for Myselfie

Last weekend at One Spark opening ceremonies, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown denied me a selfie. Aside from the humiliation I suffered in front of his constituents and my own friends and business associates, the experience left me quite confused.

For starters, it is a well-known fact that Mayor Brown loves having his picture taken. Why  would deny me, someone who actually voted for him?

Second, in an email sent to me by the mayor (click image to enlarge), he wrote, “I personally invite you and your family to attend this great event and enjoy Downtown Jacksonville at its best.” (And, yes, I do have an AOL account—along with seven others—what of it?) Why would he invite me to attend and then not allow me to take a souvenir selfie?

mayor one spark email

And finally, many celebrities, including a stand-up comedian and actor, NFL players, an internationally-ranked professional gurgitator and style correspondent for a national TV show, have been only too happy to take a selfie with me: exhibits A, B, C and D.

selfie 2

Clockwise from top left: Jon Bello, ranked 32 in the world in the International Federation of Competitive Eating, and George Shea, IFOCE president; Doug Benson, comic/actor/ winner of “Stoner of the Year for 2006″; Chip Southworth (aka Keith Haring’s Ghost), artist/alleged criminal mischief maker; and Calvin Peete, retired pro golfer with 12 wins on the PGA Tour

selfie 1

Clockwise from top left: Karen Feagins, director, programming and news, WJCT; Cole Pepper, radio play-by-play and fill-in TV sports anchor at WJXT Channel 4 and barbecue aficianado; A Blue Man of Blue Man Group; and Al Letson, TV host/producer, “State Of The Re:Union” and “Freestyle: A Mixtape With Al Letson”

 

selfie 3

Clockwise from top left: Al Emerick, emcee/TV pitchman/”creativity guru,”; a Stormtrooper, soldier from a galaxy far, far away; Julie Watkins, meteorologist, WTEV 47 and WAWS 30; Laurent Robinson, former NFL wide receiver

selfies 6

Clockwise from top leftSharon Wilbur, singer/songwriter/hostess with the mostest and style correspondent, Extra; Jeremy Mincey, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys; Lew Turner, meteorologist/reporter/anchor, First Coast News; and Paul Pozluszny, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars

I will be contacting the mayor’s office to get an official statement about my public snub. Until then, #jaxmayorselfiegate continues …

 

Spending the Night in a Teepee Downtown: Not as ‘Tents’ as One Might Think

IMG_7174I didn’t realize when I made an off-handed remark to Wayne Wood about sleeping in a teepee—or “tipi” as he prefers—in the middle of Hemming Plaza that he would not only encourage me to do it but organize a “Good Night, Kerry!” party and invite hundreds of people, including a sitarist, hand drummer and hoola hoop artist, to join in the festivities. (Marshmallow roasting was also part of the celebration.)

It was an amazing experience, and I’m so happy I had to opportunity to do it. Apparently, lots of folks were interested in my experience too and have been asking me about it all week. Here, then, are the five most asked questions—and answers.

(Click the image below to watch First Coast News’ story on the teepee. And yes, Laura and I were inside while reporter Jacob Long was doing his live shot. We should have popped out and scared the paPOOse out of him.)

teepee fcn

Why did you do it?
A couple of reasons: 1) When “The Most Interesting Man in Jacksonville” invites you to something, you do it. 2)  I love Jacksonville and want to experience it in as many ways as possible—and the more unusual, the better. 3) How many people in town can say they slept in a teepee in the middle of Hemming Plaza? Only two I know of. 4) Why not?

10171831_10201163627567566_6375616147918456646_nDid you sleep there alone?
No. My pal Laura Evans did it because she thought would be an interesting story to tell her grandkids one day. We shared the teepee with about several framed prints of Native American chiefs (complete with uplighting) and my kitty slippers.

Weren’t you scared of being harassed/attacked/robbed/killed?
Not really (but judging from the “good luck” and “congratulations on surviving” messages I got, some of you were scared for me). Since it was the night before One Spark opened, there were creators working on their booths and volunteers wandering about and security patrolling the area all night. In the event of a break-in, we did have protection, namely, a saw, a fire extinguisher and Gumbo the watchdog. And newsflash: Downtown is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.

If I’m being totally honest, however, I was concerned about the rats who hang out in the park, a fact I learned from a police officer several hours before bedtime. I eventually saw  one scurry across the park and into some shrubs, but none came in the teepee. Had that happened, I would’ve busted out of that sailcloth teepee like the Kool-Aid Man through a brick wall. Oh, yeah!

What did you sleep on? Did you have a sleeping bag?
Negative on the sleeping bag (do I look like the kind of person who goes camping?). Instead, I slept on a queen-size air mattress that I borrowed from a Facebook “friend”—or, more appropriately, a “virtual stranger”—with a comforter and afghan (a blanket, not someone from Afghanistan). It was quite cozy actually. Laura slept on an air mattress too.

Did you actually get any sleep?
Once we figured out how to turn off the chandelier (ever the class-act, Wayne does not roll with propane lanterns), locked the door (an elaborate series of string, wood and ties … ancient Native American secret, huh?!?) and enjoyed some Intuition Aleworks brews, we hit the sack. Shortly after, some folks peeked through the door and were startled to see us inside. We invited them in and they took pictures.

Getting to sleep was a challenge what with creators hammering and hammering and hammering long into the night (Dear Pratt Guys: You owe us a beer) and lots of folks chit chatting on the plaza (teepees aren’t exactly sound-proof, you know). I seem to recall hearing fireworks at one point. Then there was beeping of the street crossing signals every four seconds.

And that, my friends, is what Ambien is for.

Any other burning questions (which reminds me, it’s not easy getting the stench of a campfire out of your hair), post them in the comments section.

Snubbed by Mayor Brown

stalker collage

(left) City Councilman Don Redman; (top right) One Spark co-founders Varick Rosete and Dennis Eusebio; and (bottom right) First Coast News reporter Lewis Turner and One Spark Public Relations & Volunteer Services Manager Meredith O’Malley Johnson at One Spark Opening Ceremonies, April 9, 2014.

If you know me, you know I love “stalking” local celebrities. You probably also know of my affinity for selfies (still hate the word, though). Until last night, I’ve never had a local celebrity decline (directly or indirectly) taking a selfie with me.

I was at the opening ceremonies for One Spark when I spotted Mayor Alvin Brown, shaking hands and half-hugging constituents—with his trusty photographer 10 paces ahead capturing every special moment. Wanting my own souvenir photo with Mr. Mayor, I approached him and asked if I could take a selfie with him. He looked at me and said, “You’re the one who posts things.” Or something to that effect.

And that was that.

Snubbed.

By the mayor.

For “posting things.”

Granted, Mayor Brown was right. Had he taken the photo with me, I would have posted it. Once. And I doubt I would have even mentioned it to anyone because really, who cares? But the fact that he wouldn’t allow me to take the photo actually made this something to care about.

The good news is his snub also led to this awesome, dare I say “next level,” photobomb at MOCA.

IMG_7235

Let’s give me a hand.

One Spark Events: Specktator-style

Happy One Spark week, everybody! If you want to know about projects or creators or venues or parking or anything else specifically-related to One Spark, visit their website But if you want to know about the “off the schedule” events, check some of my favorites.

 Teepee Party

NO PEACE PIPES PLEASE
Some moron fun-loving gal is sleeping in a tent … I mean, teepee … excuse me, tipi … in the middle of Hemming Plaza tonight, the night before One Spark officially opens. She’s not a creator affiliated with the project (Beyond Sparky: A Future of Pop-Up Opps)—or a One Spark creator at all, in fact—she just really, really loves Jacksonville and does whatever she can to prove how fun our city can be (full disclosure: I am that moron fun-loving gal). Wayne Wood (aka The Most Interesting Man in Jacksonville … and owner of the tipi) hosts the Good Night, Kerry, Party! starting at 7:30 p.m. FUN FACT: The tipi builder, Wood’s brother, also built a tipi for Bob Dylan.

FCC on the Go

NOBODY PUTS MELISSA ROSS IN A CORNER (STUDIO)
The award-winning host and WJCT production team including Sean Birch—and his hair—are taking their show on the road. First Coast Connect is broadcasting live from the auditorium at MOCA Wednesday through Friday. Tickets are free but seating is limited. Instead of my usual Thursday segment, I’ll be appearing on Wednesday’s show, fresh off my stay in the tipi … and mostly likely, still wearing my pajamas. FUN FACT: If John Travolta ever introduced Melissa Ross on the show, he’d probably call her “Matilda Rozz.”

 

Intuition One Spark Beer

LIMITED EDITION BEER
For the first time in One Spark’s two-year history (sounds impressive, doesn’t it?), the festival features a beer village, specifically, The One Spark Beer Village presented by Sea Best®. Intuition has brewed up two beers specifically for the event: One Spark Kölsch and One Spark Alt. FUN FACT: Intuition founder Ben Davis is a Virgo. Virgos are known for their perfectionism and highly analytical minds.

 

PB&J Happy Hour

HOW MUCH HAPPIER CAN ONE SPARK GET?
One of my fave non-profits PB&J is hosting a happy hour on the sixth floor of the Sun Trust Building. More formally known as “Party, Benefit & Jam,” PB&J will be supporting One Spark creators and serving up PB&J sandwiches and cold beer with a side of live music. Plus, they’re just awesome people in general. FUN FACT: Peanut butter and jelly became a “thing” following World War II.

 

CELEBRITY STALKING
Aside from the media peeps who will be all up in One Spark’s business this week, there are other local celebs who reportedly will be “in the zone.”

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is expected to attend Thursday night’s One Spark After Dark party at the Jax Chamber. I can only hope he’ll bring Shad Khan as his date.

Celeb DJs Lady Starlight (aka Lady Gaga’s DJ), DJ Lil’ Boy (aka T-Pain’s official DJ) and my pal DJ Chill Will (aka the official DJ of the Jacksonville Jaguars) will be spinning at events during the week.

JaxUnicorn will be doing a “Between Two Ferns”-style interview to promote project give dance! at Main Street Park. Time/date TBD.

Singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and ‘tween heartthrob Dalton Cyr (17,000 Twitter followers, not too shabby) performs at Dolf’s Various Venues throughout the fest.

More than 50 celebs, including local luminaries Richard Nunn, Lew Turner, Eden Kendall, Michelle Jacobs, Jacksonville City Council members, Cole Pepper and Mayor Alvin Brown, have been invited to participate in a Celebrity (Table) Bowling for Charity event, hosted by Shufflebowl 300, at the Main Library. Also on invited to the event but with a pretty limited chance of showing up are Tim Gunn, Lindsay Wagner (aka The Bionic Woman), Bruce Jenner, Samuel L. Jackson, President Barack Obama, Jennifer Aniston, the guy who “operates” Oscar the Grouch and even Blaine Gabbert (even though I’m still #blockedbyblaine).

Just like NBC’s TODAY Show, WJXT-Channel 4 will be broadcasting live from MOCA allowing visitors to peer into the studio and watch the magic happen.

If you have any suggestions for events I shouldn’t miss, please list them in the comments section below.

Photos of the Week: March 30–April 5, 2014

I take a lot of photos. I’m in a lot of photos. Here are my favorites of the week—taken by me or featuring me.

"Long Distance Photobomb" April 3, 2014 • Intuition Aleworks

“Long Distance Photobomb”
April 3, 2014 • Intuition Aleworks

Earth Guy

“Adele Dazeem? Never Heard of Her”
April 3, 2014 • Memorial Park

"Ass Fault on the Asphalt" April 2, 2014 • King Street

“Ass Fault on the Asphalt”
April 2, 2014 • King Street

Condiment Chest Bump

“Condiment Squeeze”
April 5, 2014 • Baseball Grounds

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Jax Unicorn: Part Two

unicorn and luke

Jax Unicorn and her “hero” Luke (from Jax Unicorn Facebook page)

Unfortunately for Jax Unicorn, “fame and fortune” do not go hand and hand (or hoof and hoof, as the case may be).

While she has gained international attention for her photobombing of First Coast News reporter David Williams, Jax Unicorn has yet to be shown the money. In fact, she told me, she’s currently unemployed and asked: “Do you know of any job openings for a unicorn?”

Following is part two of my exclusive interview with Jax Unicorn. (Click here for part one of the interview.)

The Specktator: What do you do for fun in Jax?
Jax Unicorn: Prance, photobomb, kayaking, search Groupon for a good deal on getting my hooves done, enjoy Art Walk, catch a Suns game and “ride around town with a girl I know…” sorry, Cee Lo song break.

TS: Would you ever consider running for public office? I understand there are a lot of City Council seats opening up next year.
JU: A unicorn in politics? Isn’t that usually more for asses? My distant cousin Don the donkey might be interested.

TS: And finally, I have to ask: do you ever have trouble getting through security at the airport considering you have a giant horn sticking out of the top of your head?
JU: We [unicorns] take private jets with Pegasus Airlines. I wouldn’t allow TSA to pat me down and make all the horny jokes they do.

Besides, why leave Jax? We have sun, beaches, craft beers, museums, all kinds of sports teams, One Spark coming up, Gator clowns, bridges, Angie’s subs, Christina the barista at Starbucks [specific location undisclosed], farmers markets, some kid named Luke on Facebook who is my hero, unicorns, artwork on utility boxes, the list goes on and on, but I have to go wash my mane.

Wookity wookity wooh!

Events mentioned (or not) on 4/3/2014 edition of First Coast Connect

fcc_logo_stack_02In case you missed my ramblings on WJCT’s First Coast Connect this morning—or you were too busy looking for unicorns to listen—here are some of the events coming up this weekend.

Please note: event times, dates and locations are subject to change, so call before you haul (call the venue, that is, not me).

Tonight 
Jacksonville Suns Opening Night, 7:05 p.m., Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville

Thursday, April 3–Sunday, April 6
Disney on Ice Presents Rockin’ Ever After, times vary, Veterans Memorial Arena

Saturday, April 5
City of Jacksonville Tire and Sign Buyback, 8 a.m.–2 p.m., EverBank Field
Blooms Galore & More Plant Sale and Festival, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Garden Club of Jacksonville
Ron Burgundy 5K, 9:30 a.m., Jacksonville University
Community First Saturday, 11 a.m., Northbank Riverwalk
Riverside Arts Market, Riverside Avenue under the Fuller Warren Bridge, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Beer & Baseball, 6:30 p.m., European Street Bier Garden at the Baseball Grounds

Sunday, April 6
Swamp Radio, 3 p.m., Times-Union Center

Yours truly appears on First Coast Connect on WJCT every Thursday at 9:45-ish-ish. If you have an event you would like to be considered for the show or other promotional opportunities, feel free to email me.

Spark ‘plugs’: My picks for best of the fest

OneSparkOne Spark doesn’t kick off until April 9, but I’ve been scoping out the creators for weeks, and I’ve finally picked my favorites. Granted, I dropped out of finance at JU (at the suggestion of the professor, mind you) and have never actually touched an issue of Forbes Magazine (I am quite fond of their online lists, however), but I do know a good idea when I hear one. As a matter of fact, two of my picks from last year were deemed “One Spark success stories.” Take that, Shark Tank sharks.

That said, here are my picks for One Spark 2014 (in numerical order by project):

Gastrofest (project no. 20026)
Why it gets my plug: Jacksonville’s culinary scene is highly underappreciated by residents and highly, highly underrated by everyone else. If for no other reason, I’d love this event to get funded so sports writer, analyst and talk show host Tony Kornheiser can eat his words. All puns intended.

The Polar Pod (project no. 20077)
Why it gets my plug: I live in Florida. I don’t like to be hot. I don’t like to sweat. And carrying around a 10-pound bag of ice to stick my head in when it’s hot isn’t very convenient.

Bucketwish (project no. 20096)
Why it gets my plugCall me selfish, but I need a ticket hookup for The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon in NYC and really need someone to convince Alex O’Loughlin to be my boyfriend.

Friends of Jacksonville Animals Mobile Adoption Unit (project no. 20350)
Why it gets my plug: Because homeless cats. Because homeless dogs. Because homeless kittens. Because homeless puppies.

Shufflebowl 300 (project no. 20392)
Why it gets my plug: When’s the last time you went bowling and golfing and played soccer, shuffleboard, football, blackjack and curling in the same day? SB300 lets you play 30+ games on one table—and still be able to walk the next day.

Black Sheep Bride (project no. 20976)
Why it gets my plug: Just think of the amazing things charities could have done with the thousands of dollars I’ve shelled out for hideous bridesmaid dresses and dyed-to-match shoes in my lifetime. Don’t get me started with the money my friends wasted spent on 10-piece wedding invitations, not even counting the stamps.