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New York

Good Morning Amtrekker

Hey Team,

I had to wake up at the crack of dawn yesterday for the Good Morning America interview. I know when I say crack of dawn I usually MEAN noonish…but this time the sun wasn’t even up when I was.

I also have to say that at that point (in light of the craziness from the day before) I was still kind of in denial about whether or not it was really happening. Even when the car pulled up I was thinking to myself, “Are my friends big enough douche bags to be willing to rent a car and driver just to make me look like an idiot?”

This way of thinking was compounded when I got to the studio in Times Square and my name wasn’t on the list for security. I got to stand around wearing my backpack and a stupid grin while people ran around trying to find someone that had heard of me.

Finally:

“Is this where you’re supposed to be?”

“I really have no idea. This is just where the car dropped me off.”

“OOOHHHH! You’re one of the guests! This way.”

I was led upstairs to the greenroom (right next door to Mariah Carey’s dressing room) and told to set down More >

How to: Be Interviewed on Good Morning America

Hey Team!

Holy Geez! Twelve hours later and my mind is still going a million miles a minute. I couldn’t even remember most of what I said on Good Morning America today. It was a total out of body experience. However, I finally got a chance to watch the final product a few minutes ago and everything makes a little more sense now.

But where do I start?! The story about how I came to be on GMA is every bit as surreal as actually being interview by Robin Robertson!

I was in the subway with Justin (who I had just met outside the internet for the first time) and his wife. Obviously I had no cell reception. And it was coming up on six o’clock.

The three of us walk up the stairs for their first look at Times Square and predictably I start walking us in the wrong direction…a situation made worse by the sudden incessant ringing of my telephone.

I looked down and realized that I had accrued three text messages and two voicemails in the short time I had been underground. All three texts were from my little sister. Here are the actual texts in the order I read them:

5:44 “Oh More >

What’s Colbert Hiding?

Hey Team,

Before I dive into the Colbert Report adventure I have some exciting news! Here’s an except from an email I got last night:

“I wanted to write and tell you that the team here at “News to Me” have selected a few of our favorite stories from the past year to include in our anniversary show which is coming up in a few weeks. Yours is one of our faves! We want to leave it up to the viewers though to determine which was THEIR favorite of the year so we’ve set up a vote on our website http://www.cnn.com/newstome.”

So, you guys know what you have to do. Go to their website. Find the poll on the right hand side. And vote for Amtrekker!

Also, apparently the segment is re-airing this weekend also!

Thanks guys, you rock.

Okay. The Colbert Report. Done. Thanks to Ace I got hooked up with a VIP ticket to last nights show where the guest was author, Mitch Albom.

Turns out Stephen Colbert is even funnier live! I had a great time and before the taping Colbert came out and did a quick Q&A with the audience that was out of character so that was pretty cool to see.

I’ve seen More >

The Brain Treadmill

Hey Team,

I’m not afraid to say that I’m getting a little frustrated. It seems people don’t drive west during February. It’s too expensive to take the train and frankly my budget is tight enough that I’m not even sure I want to spring for the bus, so I’ve been trying to find rideshares and the like on craigslist.

There ARE people that are going west…eventually. But I hate thinking of sitting around for four or five days just waiting for something to happen. I don’t like to sit still. I like to go. I like to feel productive. Sadly productivity is an ill-defined word in my head. I could sit right here on this couch for two weeks with Charley in my lap and still not catch up with all the behind the scenes work I should be doing. I could sit RIGHT ON THIS SPOT and be more productive than I’ve been to date on this trip.

However, for some reason I would feel much MORE productive if I were on a bus to a place I’ve never been before in the LOOSE hopes that I would be able to find something to cross off the list. I understand there is a More >

Go West Young Man

Hey Team,

I’ve still been bumming around trying to decide if I want to see the Colbert Report while I’m in the area (they don’t film Friday, Saturday or Sunday) but I’m getting very antsy and would just as soon wait until April when I have to be in New Jersey for the fastest roller coaster in the country. (Remember that good old-fashioned Amtrekker failure?)

So now the “smart(ish)” thing to do would be to head south and take care of some things I have lined up in Florida and Georgia and get out of the cold weather. But I’m actually leaning towards going west. Diggnation is having a live show in St. Louis on the 20th and I’m sure you all know that Alex Albrecht, one of the costars on Diggnation, is also one of the Totally Rad Show guys who have done nothing but help me out time after time, no questions asked on this trip.

So my question is this: Does anyone hanging out between New York and St. Louis over the next week have anything we can cross off together?!

Fun times!

I’m done.

Brett.

Brett.

Only YOU can help prevent failure!

Listen to Smokey kids.

More >

Hometown Highlights

Hey Team,

One of the strange things about this trip is that I very rarely consider myself a tourist. I don’t do touristy things and I’m usually staying with people that, regardless of how well I know them, I think of as friends. So it seems more like I’m just wandering around down the block from “home.”

Despite the fact that I feel comfortable in all of these situations I realize that I still have the ability to come off as “a tourist” in that I tend to pay attention to my surrounding and occasionally take pictures.

I spent the better part of my day wandering the streets of New York (

The Land of Infinite Stairs [podcast]

Hey Team,

By the time I realized today was already Wednesday again I only had about five hours to get stuff captured, edited, compressed and uploaded which, let me just say, would have been ABSOLUTELY impossible if I had done the survival skills podcast. I have almost an hour and a half of video to go through for that one. So things are going to be happening a little out of order in the video world. That being said: Enjoy the walk to the top of the Empire State Building!

Watch as Amtrekker perseveres against terrible odds and finally completes the self proclaimed “toughest objective on the list!”

He talks. He climbs. He sweats profusely.

I don’t have anything else to say about this podcast. I’m just so freaking ecstatic it got crossed off the list!

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Sweeping the Empire [updated with pictures!]

Hey Team,

I always thought “Super Tuesday” was a stupid title. But after a few experiences in the last 24 hours I can guarantee that today is, indeed, super. Last week I was at wits end for how I was going to get to walk to the top of the Empire State Building and in fact, for months, I’ve been hailing number 6 as the toughest thing on the list to make happen. (Now I have to pick a new “toughest”)

The stairwells of the Empire State Building are mandated closed by the New York Fire Marshal 364 days a year (365 on leap years) so to walk to the top I was either going to have to enter the annual race to the top or cheat. (Not a fan of cheating.) Turned out entering the race wasn’t an option either. A week ago I emailed Sara Hunninghake and Steve Boland and asked them if I’d be able to volunteer on race day in the hopes that could be translated into me getting to walk to the top.

I think my exact words were something like, “I was wondering if there was anyway I could get involved with the race the NYRR [New More >


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