The Voice premieres Tuesday 4/26 on NBC! Tune in every Tuesday at 9/8c and watch what I’ve been working on for the last few months in Los Angeles.
Cross Country USA: After five days, forty-two hours, three thousand miles, twelve states, four hotels, and numerous sing-alongs, – I survived the very long drive from New York to LA. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my beloved Dodge Stratus. Although it put up quite the fight, the Stratus overheated for the sixth and final time [in four months] in January. [thank you to Summit Auto Body Shop in Syracuse, NY / Rick & Rich Auto Repair in Homer, NY / Bluestreak Automotive in Claremore, OK / EZ-Lube Oil in Hollywood, CA / Koester Automotive in Sherman Oaks, CA / Hertz Rent-a-Car in Hollywood, CA / Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Burbank, CA] =)
Carmelo Anthony: welcome back home to New York, you’ve been missed. It is now safe to say that Madison Square Garden truly does belong to Syracuse! [Courtesy of ESPN.]
VOTE FOR MY COUSIN PATRICK FOR ESPN’S BEST OF THE BEST PLAY @ http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/polls (click “sportscenter” on the left side panel for the correct poll) - his OT buzzer beater is the Number ONE play on ESPN’s Top 10 list!
Monica: Okay guys, I have exactly 28 minutes before I have to baste again.
Chandler: Wow, just like in the Pros…
I’ve never spent the holidays away from my family or outside the State of New York. Thanksgiving in the Lee household is usually held in Kirkwood, NY: population 5,651. This year there was one less place setting in New York and a lot more leftovers. The reason? I spent Thanksgiving in Los Angeles: population [almost] 10,000,000…that is approximately 1,770 times the size of Kirkwood.
On Thanksgiving day, I nervously drove to Santa Monica not knowing what the day would bring - considering I knew only two people in attendance. I pulled up to the house carrying a few hor d’ourves and a change of clothes for the supposed first annual football game to follow dinner. Although excited to show off my overly competitive side, I was unsure the football game would actually take place [seeing as I usually eat myself into a food coma on Thanksgiving].
This uncertainty lasted only until I walked through the front door and saw the First Annual Butterball Bowl Silver Plate, which was to be awarded to the winning team at the end of the game. One look and my game face was on…I wanted that Silver Plate!
Team Captains were randomly chosen at dinner. Unbeknownst to the Thanksgiving guests, two chairs had notices taped underneath- indicating the two captains. Of course my friend Shannon was seated at one of the “lucky” chairs. Is it a bad sign if your team captain can only name three of the twenty-two people standing on the line waiting to be chosen?
Dinner ended and we made our way to the Park. I’ve always loved the concept of playing football on Thanksgiving – something that my six Friends demonstrate best. Thus, it was only appropriate that the First Annual Butterball Bowl (and my first appearance in a Thanksgiving day football game) was held only a few miles from Warner Brothers’ fictional Central Park set – home of the Geller Bowl. My team – Team Syracuse – consisted of myself, our team Captain Shannon, and seven guys.
Team Syracuse pulled ahead early in the game scoring back-to-back touchdowns…one of them scored by yours truly in a pass completion to the end zone. Team Syracuse led the entire game but the opponents did not go down without a fight. Suzanne “who knew she could catch a football?” Lee added seven more points to Syracuse’s total late in the game subsequently being awarded the 2010 Butterball Bowl MVP Trophy.
The final touchdown of the night came from our Thanksgiving host as he sealed the win for Syracuse. Final score: 30-14. Drinks, dessert and the first annual award ceremony followed the game in which the MVP trophy and the Silver Plate were awarded to Team Syracuse. According to the official rulebook: the winning team captain has the honor of holding the Silver Plate until Thanksgiving 2011…aka Los Angeles’ two newest imports took home both trophies. After sweeping in the awards department, I wonder if (and highly doubt that) we will be invited back next year.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving - I am thankful for my Uncle Phil and his harmonica. Don’t all family parties end this way?? I think this video has the potential to go ‘viral’…what do you think?
Before you find yourself wasting time reading my thoughts and ramblings - I should let you know where I’m coming from, and warn you what you’re getting yourself into…
Some people wait all year for Christmas; others look forward to birthdays or annual vacations. Not me; I wait for a certain three minutes to occur in the beginning of April: the “One Shining Moment” video montage that puts an end to March Madness. These few minutes encompass every emotion in my body. I laugh, I cry, I smile, and I fist pump (not a Jersey Shore-style fist pump, more like a Maria Sharapova match point fist pump). When it’s over, I let out a sigh and anxiously wait for next year…
I’ve come close to a “One Shining Moment” of my own; or, rather, my dad has, having led the Syracuse University Orangemen past the Tar Heels of North Carolina to their first ever Final Four in 1975. As a result of his experiences and my subsequent upbringing, college basketball – particularly of the Orange variety – is in my blood. As a child, I vividly recall pulling up to a giant, dome-shaped building in my family’s minivan, walking up the orange-painted stairs, and sitting amongst 30,000+ of the world’s most passionate (and sometimes wonderfully obnoxious) fans. I refer to this place as my Disney World; others refer to it as Syracuse, New York’s Carrier Dome. I’ll admit it may not be the most enticing place on Earth, but I couldn’t imagine spending an evening any other way. Even on a cold January night, with temperatures well below zero, a brisk wind-chill and heavy lake effect snow, my idea of happiness is sitting in section 208, row 3, seat 2, sporting orange and blue and eating a “Dome Dog.”
I won’t be watching this year’s season from my corner of the Dome. Rather, I’ll be cheering on the Orange from 3,000 miles away, in my new city of Los Angeles…
It’s been a lifelong dream of mine – twenty-two years to be exact - to live in the City of Angels! After five days, forty-two hours, twenty-eight hundred miles, twelve states, countless Glee sing-alongs, and one broken-down car in Claremore, Oklahoma – I’m finally here! I could not be more excited to begin my adventure in the land where the locals believe that Loyola Marymount is THE ‘Loyola University’ [I think my fellow Greyhounds of Loyola Maryland will have a different opinion], the Dodgers trump the Yankees, just as the Lakers do the Knicks - all things I must learn to deal with but not completely accept. I am beginning to realize just how different things are on the west coast: the weather (two thumbs up), the traffic (two thumbs down), and the fact that although the Staples Center and L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum are unbelievable places to watch a game, neither will ever replace the Carrier Dome in my eyes.
For those of you who have made it through my ramblings, I appreciate it. I also apologize to you because you will never get those last three minutes back. Going forward, I hope I am able to entertain and enlighten you, as well as convince you that my ramblings are a worthy way for you to waste time.