Monday, October 13, 2008

Mike Tanton (a.k.a Tanton, T-ton)

There's little I can tell you about Tanton. It's not because I don't know him well--he's been a close friend for 15 years--but because it's classified. Tanton works for the Federal Government. He leads the type of secret life that you only read about in spy novels. He lived at my apartment in NYC for a while and I let him practice his self-defense moves on me. He was able to knock me down using only his thumb. In return he let me wear his gas mask to the convenience store to buy a pack of gum.

I've seen Tanton's cop skills in action a couple times. One time in particular was when we were staying at a friend's place in Long Island. A drunk and disorderly (cop term) had been pool hopping and wandered into the house. Tanton wrestled with him and screamed "I am a cop." Meanwhile, I was searching the home for a camera in hopes to capture this dangerous event on film. The slippery guy kept squirming out of Tanton's clutches. Tanton eventually took the perp down and booked him. Truth is he may have me snipered for telling you that story.

Tanton has always been interested in foreign affairs--he's dated girls from all over the world. In college, after he got tired of American girls, he left and lived in Italy while others were scared to leave campus. Shortly after graduation, Tanton began his life as an international man of mystery. He has traveled extensively and had amazing experiences. His job conjures envy and fear at the same time. He's been to places on the map that most of us can't pronounce. You talk with Tanton and you say to yourself, "Wow. I need to read more." Tanton is fun to be around and has a smart sense of humor. He's a great conversationalist, even in Italian since he speaks it fluently. Oh, and he's recently engaged too. Of course, there are secrets that even Tanton can't hide. He's one of the only Americans who loves hockey and he has one of the worst tattoos ever. It's a caveman-like character with a lacrosse stick. It's on his lower back. Actually, I'm kidding, it's on his ankle. Ask him to roll up his tux pant leg and show it to you. Do it cautiously. Remember, he has been trained in several forms of self-defense, and who knows what else.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Itinerary

You'll get a hard copy of this as well if you're staying at the W! We can't wait to see you!!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MTWP: Kevin Dunn (Dice, Dunn)

An old joke from Andrew Dice Clay goes something like this, "Excuse me sir, is this the back of the line?" "No, it's the front. We're all standing freaking backwards."
responds and then he snaps open his lighter and ignites his cigarette. Those sharp (and censored for this publication) words are the type of response you can expect from Kevin Dunn. He's been known to channel The Dice Man from time to time and in fact his rugby nickname in college was Dice. Dunn has that sort of brash and blunt sense of humor that catches people off guard. You find yourself saying, Did he just say that? And then when you realize he did, you laugh until it hurts. Dunn doesn't pull any punches. He tells you what he thinks. Whether you agree with him or not is inconsequential. I've always admired his gusto and sometimes his acerbic observations are the slap in the face you need. And since Dunn tries to be brutally honest with people, I'm following suit with this write up.
Dunn can drink. I'm not talking about a few beers and shots. That's
for the tourists. Dunn puts booze away like a squirrel puts away nuts to get ready for a long winter. The distributors of Gran Mariner (one of his favorites) called him and said, "Please stop. We can't keep up." I once saw him drink Wild Turkey like it was coca-cola and then he chased it with more Wild Turkey. You get the idea. He likes to party, he likes the nightlife. We've known each other since college and shared a lot of good times. He is a lot of fun to be around and he wants everyone around him to have fun. Talk to him at the wedding. I'd be willing to bet you'll laugh. Of course, Dunn and I have had a few bad times together. Like the time I saw him with his shirt off. Not pretty. In fact, that inspired the following Dice joke just for him: What's the difference between Dunn's upper body and a sweater? That's what I say. What's the difference. Ohhhhh!

Friday, October 3, 2008

MTWP: Mike Vorrasi (Vorrasi, Verspuci)

In the song Maggie's Farm, Bob Dylan belted out Well, I try my best/To be just like I am/But everybody wants you/To be just like them. These lyrics are an accurate depiction of Mike Vorrasi. He is not one of the crowd. He's different. And he always views things from an unexpected angle. These are the traits that I like about him and why we've been friends for almost 15 years. Plus, it's a perfect way to be since he is a professional photographer. He's more interested in looking in than fitting in. The subjects of Vorrasi's photos range from rock bands to rocky terrains. He has the ability to capture the essence of these people and places and his stills are always engaging. Vorrasi does have his quirks. He has a strange fascination with Amanda Bynes' movies (I've never even seen an Amanda Bynes' film) and is prone to using sun tan lotion as a hair product. I've seen him dance in the middle of a crowded street. I've seen him strike up conversations with strangers. I've seen him drop his pants at parties, and it wasn't even that kind of party. Needless to say, Vorrasi is a source of entertainment. However, you're not laughing at him, well maybe sometimes, but you're laughing with him. He enjoys life. He likes to have fun. I don't see anything strange about that. So if you smell a guy who reeks like the beach and see him snapping photos, then you've stumbled upon Vorrasi. You'll have a great time talking with him. For a serious conversation, bring up his idol and the only other subject he likes to talk about as much as photography--Bob Dylan.