Notional Launch Party, IAC Building, New York
November 19, 2009
Last night, I had no notion of what Notional was all about and what kind of goofy nerd extravaganza awaited me. Blasts from the Nickelodeon past, courtesy of PRNewser's Joe Ciarallo oddly enough, "The Cosby Show," MTV, Channel One, and good ole "Best Week Ever" were all around the IAC, and each person was nicer than the next. I spent 90% of my night laughing with the boisterous partiers celebrating the third season of "Chopped" under Ricky Van Veen's video production wing, Notional, and 10% getting my dorky fan girl on. Ok, let's be honest, I spent 10% of the night oversharing and 90% being a dorky fan girl.
First of all, let's get it out there that I'm short. This is made distinctly more tragic when NYC media types like the newly blond (and workin' it well) Caroline McCarthy and Mediate's Rachel Sklar wear high-heeled boots. You're making me even more Lilliputian, girls. I'm glad we got that out of the way.
Emmy-winning executive producer Ben Silverman reminds me of an eagle on speed, both physically and in personality. His mind will cut you he's so sharp, and when he speaks you can almost see his bones trying to leap from his skin with the electricity he emits. Before Tuesday I never had any reason to say "Ben Silverman" and suddenly, there he was again, part of my coverage. I always expect someone with such a loaded list of accomplishments to be full of themselves, unapproachable, and ... sort of jackassy because, frankly, a lot of those types are. But Silverman didn't do any eye rolling with the multiple cameras shadowing him and he makes intense eye contact. I sound like I have a school girl crush, don't I? Damn it!
I rounded up the mediabistro posse of Fishbowl NY's Blake Gernstetter , Agencyspy's Matt Van Hoven (still engaged if you're keeping tabs!), and PRNewser's Joe Ciarallo. Fun little tidbit for you, Joe's roommate is Danny Tamberelli from Nickelodeon's "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." Dan's a floppy-red-haired happy guy and within one minute of speaking to him, I guarantee you'll feel like you've reunited with your best kindergarten pal.
As I was blathering to College Humor's Amir Blumenfeld about spotting him at the Williamsburg river park thingy a few weekends ago, he looked up and said "uh, is that Pete and Pete? Streeter! It's Pete and Pete!" They completely nerded out and while they contemplated how they could get a picture with the perky "Pete," I interrupted and said "why I don't just grab him for you?" The results are fantastic. I left them to gush all over each other.
As I corralled four dapper Dans for a photo, I realized that through my lens I was staring at Gideon Yago, who I've been a fan of since before some of you were out of diapers (I'm old). Later, I cornered Nick Kroll while I gnawed the hell out of steak frites. I was excited to share that I finally caught "The League" after "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" (of which I am a #1 fan, and yes I'll fight you for the title). I had been avoiding it, thinking it would be all woman-hating (you know, because chicks are so sensitive and annoying and want to manage your time and your emotions when all you want to do is play fantasy football!) and the episode I caught began with a poop conversation , so now I'm a fan. Then Gideon Yago photobombed Kroll.
I met Rex Sorgatz, found him open and friendly and not judgmental at all of me for forgetting deodorant. See, over-share. And for some weird reason, in social situations where my brain misfires, I resort to bodily function/hygiene speak. He and Caroline both felt inclined to overshare after my brainfart, but I'll keep those tidbits to myself. Ty Montague, co-president of JWT North America, could be found tapping away at his phone on one of the cozy black couches.
Who else who else? Ah yes, Guest of A Guest lead wrangler, Rachelle Hruska, was hanging out with some tall blond vixens, comedian Chuck Nice channeled the sharp dressed man, MediaPost reader Jesse Askew from Nycelife Ventures, LLC, posed with Nick Cannon and then led me to Malcolm Jamal-Warner and MTV's Sway Calloway, who then parted to reveal the talented and hot-gunned Regina King. I kid you not, she has the arms I covet -- rounded and with that armpit space that is currently occupied by what I like to call "snack packs" in my arm situation.
Comedian Sherrod Small was manning a red-lit table with an adorable blond who I accidentally molested while setting up their shot. I swear, if there is an award for inappropriate touching, I would win it - it's a really great subset of my klutz skills. With all of these "Best Week Ever" sightings, I was hoping Paul Sheer would appear, especially since he was also in the episode of "The League" that I enjoyed, but alas, it must have been sock drawer night chez Sheer.
Dan Abrams was also hanging out, looking serious, AND I was happy to meet Ted Allen, who currently hosts "Chopped" but he will always be from "Queer Eye ForThe Straight Guy" in my heart. Michael Lewittes, formerly of "Access Hollywood," current co-founder of GossipCop.com was keeping the gossip peace with writer Erin Carlson. And obviously, Ricky Van Veen was there, interrupting the party very briefly to say a few words with Dave Noll.
And finally, I have no idea who the DJ was, but the music through the night was so confusing! I saw a few hipster types bopping around to Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere." See? Fleetwood Mac? I LOVE them, but such an odd selection.
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