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My So-Called Whatever is a weekly 80's/90's nostalgia and NKOTB podcast based on awkward moments and experiences of two life-long friends and their listeners.

Step 81 - NKOTB Block Party #44: New Kids on the Block Fan Stories From Our Friends Angelica, Judy, Anonymous, Angie, Christina, Mariah, Cedric, and so many tangents from Brooke and Nikki

Step 81 - NKOTB Block Party #44: New Kids on the Block Fan Stories From Our Friends Angelica, Judy, Anonymous, Angie, Christina, Mariah, Cedric, and so many tangents from Brooke and Nikki

**PLEASE NOTE: If you are sensitive to the topics of suicide, depression, and abuse - please stop listening at the 23:45 mark and you can continue listening at around the 30:48 mark**

Get ready for some amazing #BLOCKPARTY stories from our friends Angelica, Judy, Anonymous, Angie, Christina, Mariah, Cedric, and some crazy tangents! 

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Angelica's International NKOTB Story

Scroll to the very top of the page to listen to Angelica’s story - or - click here to access the podcast episode directly

Hi my name’s Angelica and I have been a fan of Nkotb since 1989. I’m originally from London and I remember one of the radio stations would play the US top 40 on Sunday nights at midnight, so sometimes I would stay up late and listen in bed quietly. I will never forget hearing ‘Hangin’ Tough’ for the first time, I had no idea who was signing it but I LOVED it! Then not long after NKOTB released if you go away in the UK and my love for them exploded! I was a Joe girl from day one. In 1990 I went to see them when they came to London for the first time and I went with my best friend Juliette, who was a Jordan girls. We has made a huge banner out of a white sheet and were surprisingly allowed to bring it into the arena. I remember Donnie seeing it and pointing to it to show Danny. oMG we were freaking out!
The new kids returned to tour the following year and Juliette and I again got tickets. One of my neighbors down the street worked in the music industry as a cameraman/director concerts especially ones filmed live for TV. NKOTB had done Rock in Rio and he had worked with them. So my step mom asked him to pull some strings to get me a meet and great and he did!, although I knew nothing about it until we were driving to the show. I was freaking out as thee was no guarantee we would see any of the guys. So we get to Wembley Arena and sit in our seats, someone came and got us and walked us in front of the stage, all the girls with front row seats were staring!! I was so nervous. We got back strange and I remember just hanging around for what felt like hours. Joe’s Dad was there and was so sweet, we had our picture taken with him. We finally were taken into a little room and we were told Joe would be coming out but sadly no one else. I was so so happy but felt heartbroken for Juliette. We had brought a Rose each to give to the guys so when he came out we gave Joe our roses and all I remember is hugging him and never wanting to let go. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures as he was literally about to go on stage and the manager was afraid the flash would hurt his eye? But I hav Ethan memory ingrained in my mind. best.day.ever!!
I moved nyc when I was 18 and then Connecticut, where I met my now husband. We have 2 kids a daughter and a son who I insisted we call Joe. And in 2008 my husband discovered why! The day they announced that they were going to be on the today show for the big announcement I knew I had to go. So I found a friend who love the guys back in the day and dragged her with me. Seeing them all again was amazing and getting hugs from them that day was like a dream come true. I have since seem many a show on each tour and down multiple meet and great but nothing will be a special as the first time!
Thanks for listening, angelica

How Judy Became a New Kids on the Block Fan

I was 11 years old and the year was 1985 my birthday was not until may so I was almost 12 at that time. I had been in and out of hospitals I had a very bad heart and I already had 15 surgeries. So I also had a roommate and her name was dawn and she was waiting for a new heart transplant. We got to know each other very well and she was from Boston and she told me about this young group called new kids on the block and how they played at her school and she showed me there poster and we listened to the first tape they had and I was hooked Donnie was and alway was my favorite. One day the nurse came in and had good news for dawn they found her a new heart but the bad news she would be taken to Philadelphia for the operation so dawn told me to hold on to the tape and the poster. She was so happy getting her new heart transplant so I told her I would keep it for her and when we see each other again I will give it back to her she said cool and she put her thumb up and I did the same thing. A few days later my doctors and nurses came in my room and my mom was there too I knew it was bad news for me. I thought it was about me but it was about dawn they told me her body could not handle her new heart and she died right after surgery. I think she gave me the tape and the poster to keep loving the guys forever in honor of her too and to this day I am a fan thanks to dawn my friend pal and a nkotb fan herself. I know this is sad but in the long run I am glad I got to know her she was such a sweetheart to me and the nurses loved her so much and so did I so that is my story on how I started to love the guys thanks to a very good friend dawn. I miss her so much but she is my angel and dawn loved joe and the song angel too. Thank u for letting me share this with u

Angie's New Kids on the Block Story

Visit Angie's Blog: https://my.w.tt/UiNb/4ilVg3zDqK

Scroll to the very top of the page to listen to Angie’s story - or - click here to access the podcast episode directly

It was at a friend's birthday party in which I was dragged into this world that only a fellow fangirl can understand and appreciate. I was 12 years old. We were chilling in the living room with the television tuned to MTV, so there were music videos playing in the background. You know, the good ol' days when MTV pretty much only played videos.

This slow song started playing and a couple of the girls got all googly eyed and started squealing. I had no idea what had caused these girls to go all gooey. (My family didn't have cable TV at the time, so I was out of the loop.) But one glance at the video playing on the screen was all it took for me to turn to mush, too. There he was, in that bandaid print tank top, backwards snapback, and the longest rat tail I'd ever seen, singing in a perfect falsetto: Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight. I was in love. 

Prior to that moment, I had never heard of New Kids On The Block. I asked no one in particular, "Who is that?!" I don't even remember if anyone answered me, but soon enough, I knew every single detail about all five members of the group that was singing Please Don't Go Girl on that fateful day.

Like everyone else, I thought I was their biggest fan. My walls were completely covered with New Kids posters. I had all the merchandise that my mom could afford. I squealed and/or cried with my friends every time we were together and their videos or songs played. And I went to two concerts, in 1989 and 1991. But by the time Face The Music was released, my friends had pretty much moved on. I got teased on the daily because I was still very much in love with NKOTB, as they were then calling themselves. Eventually, they faded away. I did keep up with Donnie, Jordan and Joe as they did their own things. But it just wasn't the same not being able to share my love for them with my friends. I was so hopeful when VH1 did that Bands Reunited show. But we all know how that turned out. At least, until they were ready to to it on their own.

If someone had told me back then what was to come in the future, no freaking way would I have believed a word of it. I was going to meet them? Whatever. I was going to spend four days a year with them on a cruise ship? Get the heck outta here. And I was going to make some amazing friends during my adulthood because of our love for these guys? Yeah, okay. But that's exactly what happened.

The first I heard of New Kids getting back together in 2008 was when my mom called to let me know that they were going to be on The Today Show. I didn't have any specific thoughts about it that I remember, except I knew I was going to be at work that day. And sure enough, I was in a patient's room (I'm a nurse) who was watching the show when they were introduced. Unfortunately, I couldn't just stand there and watch. But I continued preparing her medications, very slowly, and tried to not look at the television too much. It was crazy how the fangirl feels hit. I was literally shaking from excitement and felt ridiculous at the feelings that I hadn't experienced in about 15 years. I couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

A long story short, I went to the Nashville show during the reunion tour and I never turned back. My first 5* experience was in Hammond, Indiana during the Casi-NO Tour. I laugh every time I think of how it was supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience for me. That's how I justified spending so much money. But, here I am, multiple meet and greets and cruises later. Being a single mother of 4 children, I have lots of guilt about it at times. But it's literally all I do for myself. And like Donnie has us say each time we set sail, "I deserve this shit." 

The reunion changed my life changed forever. I'm sure every Blockhead can relate when I say that there's no way to explain it to people who haven't been through the journey that I've been through the past 9 years, all because this boyband from the 80's/90's decided to get back together and make an album... and stay together. If New Kids had never reunited, I never would've met my partner in crime and best friend in the world, Traci. We met online in 2011, just before the 2012 cruise was announced. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we've had together since then. But again, I know a lot of other fans can relate. We've traveled the country together and experienced some of the craziest times ever. All because of these 5 guys from Boston that we fell in love with as children. 

I often wonder if the guys realize how big of an impact they've had on some of our lives. I can't fathom what mine would be like now had the reunion not happened. I'm not saying that I'd have a horrible life. But I do know that it would be fairly mundane. I'd probably have little (lot) more money, though! I'm eternally thankful to Danny, Donnie, Jordan, Joe, and Jon for bringing so much joy and love to my life.

Christina's NKOTB Cruise Stories

Scroll to the very top of the page to listen to Christina’s story - or - click here to access the podcast episode directly

Hi Nikki and Brooke,

You asked for cruise stories so here are a few of mine. I've been lucky enough to go on all of the cruises. Each one has been a little different but they have all been awesome. You two need to get on that boat. As you have said about the tours, the cruises tend to blur together a bit so I'm not even going to try to remember years/cruise numbers. Except for the first one and the last cruise, it's hard to keep the exact details straight from each year.

My first story is from the 1st cruise. The ship was a little smaller than the later ships. There was a laundromat on the ship. I needed to wash my bathing suit and a couple of other things, so I went on an adventure to find the laundromat. I get to the laundromat and realize that the detergent machine is empty. I had to go to guest services to purchase some laundry detergent. I head back to the laundromat and put my stuff in the washer. As I leave to head back to my room, who do I see walking down the hallway but Donnie Wahlberg. During the 1st cruise they had a camera man following them around to document some of the cruise experience. So I see Donnie with one security guy and a camera man following him. I wave and Donnie stops to give me a hug. Of course I didn't have my cellphone with me, so no selfie. That's when I learned the lesson of always have your phone with you. Donnie held his finger up to his lips telling me to keep it quiet as he was trying to get somewhere and didn't want to get mobbed. Surprisingly I kept my cool and smiled and waved as he walked away. Of course, after he left I raced back to my cabin and freaked out as I told my roomies what happened.

Fast forward to a future cruise. It was GPS night and we had been dancing and partying for hours. The ship was getting closer to the port. As is tradition with each cruise, Donnie says that we will party until we get back to the port. I was on the main floor of the lido deck a few rows back in front of the main stage. Donnie was out on the stage dancing. As has also become a tradition at the end of the cruise, Donnie started tossing some of his clothes out to the crowd. By this time, I have done a few meet and greets and a I think this may have been the 3rd or 4th cruise. Donnie recognizes my face. Not saying that we are BFFs or anything but he does know who I am. Donnie takes off his white wifebeater shirt. He spots me in the crowd, points at me and tosses the shirt my way. Now I am panicking a bit because I am not at all athletically inclined. I was so scared that I wasn't going to catch the shirt. But the NKOTB/BH gods were smiling on me and I caught the shirt. I had 3/4 of the shirt in my hand and another girl grabbed the edge of the shirt. I am not an aggressive person at all but I was not going to let go of the shirt. So I held on for dear life. The other girl finally gave up and let go of it. I tied the shirt around my arm because I didn't want to drop it during the rest of the lido deck party. I still can't believe that I have Donnie Wahlberg's shirt hanging in my closet. I keep it in a garment bag with a Celtics jersey that I had made for one of the tours.

Fast forward again to cruise #6. This was the cruise from NYC to Bermuda. The NYC port was a pain in the butt to get to because none of the cab drivers want to take us there. My friend, Carmen, and I were cruising together. This was her first cruise. We called a cab to take us from the hotel to the port. The cab drops us off across the street from the port and refused to drive us to the actual port entrance. We had to cross a busy 4 lane NYC street and a big parking lot to get to the port with luggage in tow. As we walk up to the port we see a black SUV pull up. I turn and see Donnie Wahlberg getting out of the car. I nudge Carmen and say, "There's Donnie". We wave to him and he waves us over. It was raining out so I am wearing a poncho. Donnie gives me a big hug and Carmen takes our picture. Then he hugs Carmen and takes a picture with her. There were a handful of other fans around and he takes pictures with them. Donnie then goes to get on the service elevator to enter the port. We look at the elevator and the security guy gives us this look like don't even think about getting on this elevator. We wave goodbye to Donnie and then enter the port to check-in to get on the ship. It was definitely a great way to kickoff the cruise.

We'll end with a story from the 2017 cruise #9. It was the 1st night on the boat. The theme was BH Ball. Carmen and I were up in what's called the crow's nest on the lido deck. We went up there because when we got to the deck party it was so crowded and no one was really up in that area. So we are up there dancing for awhile as the party is going on. NKOTB are out and about circulating around the lido deck. All of a sudden I feel someone shove in next to me and elbow my arm. I'm thinking that it was some girl trying to push us out of our spot. I look over and see Joey McIntyre. He smiles at me. Now I am a Joe girl so I am trying not to freak out. I look at Carmen and both of our eyes get big. We scoot over a little to make more room for Joe. Surprisingly I was able to keep my cool. Joe stayed up there and sang and danced next to us for at least an hour. Thanks to Donnie wanted to take us down memory lane and test our NKOTB knowledge, I got to live out my lifelong dream of singing "Where Do I Go From Here With Him". Joe took selfies with us and mine makes us look like California grapes. Thanks a lot crappy cruise lido deck lighting. We had our photo op the next day and I thanked Joe for hanging out with us. He said that we had a good spot. Thanks to an awesome BH sister, I have video proof that it happened and I wasn't just dreaming.

Get on the boat girls,


Mariah's New Kids on the Block Story

Scroll to the very top of the page to listen to Christina’s story - or - click here to access the podcast episode directly

Hi girls!

I've been talking about sending in my cruise stories forever, and I finally had the time to do it, so here we go (and I'll apologize in advance, because this will be a LONG email). :)

First of all, a little background. I had been a New Kids fan as a child (I turn 35 this year), but I kind of came in on the end of their success the first time around, plus my parents would rather have jabbed a spoon in their eye than take me to a concert back then (and would probably say the same thing now, LOL). So I basically forgot about them...that is, until a girl I knew in high school loaned me her copy of "Hangin' Tough: Live" so I could reminisce, and my love was reborn. I was ecstatic when Jordan and Joe started releasing solo stuff in the late 90s and I kept up with them as much as I could. Then when New Kids reunited in 2008, I knew I had to get myself to a show. I finally saw them for the first time on the reunion tour on October 29th, 2008 (with meet and greet!), and I was hooked. I've been to 22 shows since 2008, including two Jordan/Nick & Knight shows as well as a trip from Nashville (where I live) to Toronto to see New Kids, to Vegas to see Backstreet Boys this past summer (which is a completely different story in and of itself, LOL). When they announced the first cruise in 2009, I was interested, but knew that none of my friends would want to go with me, so I let that idea go by the wayside.

Fast forward to August of 2013. Some friends had grown to love New Kids as much as I did, and we had spent that summer basically going to every Package Tour show possible. One friend and I had scored afterparty tickets for the show in Columbus, Ohio on August 3rd. We got to meet Donnie, Jordan, and Danny, as well as all 3 members of Boyz II Men that night, and it was AMAZING. While at the party and before the photo op, my friend and I were standing there looking around because we needed groups of at least 4 people for the pictures. We met a nice girl who invited us to be in a group with her and two of her friends. When we met one of the other friends, we were talking and she asked us if we had ever cruised, and we said no. The instant reaction of all three of our new friends was OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO GO IT'S THE BEST THING EVER. So the seed was planted. :) The next night, our other two friends had their afterparty experience in Indianapolis after the last show of the tour, and we went home that night thinking that somehow, some way, we were going to be on that boat in 2014, and we could thank our new friends for that (who we still talk to and meet up with at shows to this day).

To make the very long story short (it involves many spreadsheets, freaking out on booking day, and changing flight plans many times so we could have more time in NYC before the cruise, and randomly buying 4th row tickets to broadway shows), we finally made it to cruise. It was an AMAZING time all around, but I just remember the first night deck party (Masquerade Ball) and basically hitting a wall of exhaustion...it had been a long day of excitement, and I was just wiped. But at one point of the party, Donnie was on one of the B stages dancing to "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. We were only a few feet away, and Donnie just looked down at me, we made eye contact, and he smiled. From then on, it was like it just clicked...I understood why the cruise was so much better than anything else.

Our port for that cruise was Bermuda. That morning we got off the boat to go exploring, and I turned my phone on for the first time to send a quick message home to let my family know that we made it safely. While I was sending my message, I got a twitter alert that Donnie had tweeted. His tweet said something along the lines of he'd be knocking on cabin doors that day, so we'd better hope we answered if he came to ours. So my friends and I came up with a plan...we'd spend a few hours shopping, grab some food, and go to the pink sand beach, then hightail it back to the boat. We did just that, and we were probably back in the room by 2pm. I decided to shower and wash my hair, and then I started to flat iron it while one roommate was in the shower and the other two were playing Cards against Humanity in our cabin. While I was flat ironing my hair, we propped open our cabin door, and after a minute I heard some laughter out in the hall...and something told me I needed to go out and check it out. So I did...I looked to my right and there was Donnie down the hall, talking to fans and taking pictures. Keep in mind, I was in the middle of flat ironing my hair, so I had part of it flat ironed, and part of it piled on top of my head (I have thick, ethnic hair so it was sticking out EVERYWHERE). Anyway, I RAN back into our cabin and yelled in a whisper to my 2 roomies that Donnie was down the hall and coming this way. We freaked (quietly, our door was open, LOL) and tried to be nonchalant about it. That was when we remembered our other roomie was in the shower, so we needed to warn her, and FAST. So I knocked on the bathroom door and the conversation went like this:

Me: "so uh....are you dressed yet?"

Roomie: "...I don't have any pants on, but why?"

Me: "Well you need to find some because I'm coming in!"

We let her know of the impending Donnie situation, and she quickly got herself dressed and I made my hair look presentable. After what felt like an eternity, Donnie walks by, sees our door open, comes in and says "everybody in here better get out here and give me a hug." So of course we obliged...we hugged, and took many selfies...about 14 to be exact. He was the sweetest ever. So he leaves, and we keep ourselves together and shut the door before we start freaking out...I slid down the wall onto the ground going OH MY GOD, the others were jumping up and down, and in the process someone hit the light switch so we were freaking out in the dark. LOL

So that was our big story on the 2014 cruise...3 out of the 4 of us went again in 2015. This time the boat left from Miami and went to Grand Turk. We got on the boat, went to our cabin and we were decorating our door. Or I should say, the other two roomies were decorating the door and I was laying on the bed with my uh, beverage. :D I heard a male voice say "Hello," and I rolled off the bed saying "Helllloooooooooo" in this high pitched voice because I just thought it was our room steward coming to introduce himself. I was dead wrong. It was Jon Knight. To say I was slightly mortified would be an understatement, but Jon was so nice and was just walking around on Deck 1 saying hello to everyone. The BEST way to start the cruise.

On this cruise, the third night's deck party theme was TV and Movie Character Night, and Jordan (my favorite) came out dressed as Spock from Star Trek. My nerdy self was ecstatic! I had decided early on during this trip that I was going to do things and have no fear about them and really be in the moment. I got my chance that night...Jordan was on one of the B stages on the opposite side of the lido deck, and I was watching to see when he was going to come down and if he was going to go back to the main stage or to the other stage (that I was standing near with my friends). At this point, my friends had been called up to that stage by Joe (they were all wearing "Smarty Pints" tshirts, a reference to his show "The McCarthys), and while they were up there, I noticed Jordan getting off the other stage and his security was clearing a path back to the main stage. I decided that if I wanted a selfie with him, this was my chance. I ran over there, got myself up there close enough for him to take my phone for a selfie. Lo and behold he did...he took like, 5 of them. I kept it together at that time and thanked him, then ran back over to the other side of the lido with my friends. But really, I could have jumped in the ocean and swam home, I was so excited. They were just coming off stage with Joe at that time and they came back freaking out...then in the middle of that freak out, I showed them my picture with Jordan, and we all just started jumping up and down screaming with joy. It was amazing...probably my favorite memory of the two cruises I've been on. The pure joy...no jealousy, no spite, no judgement...it was one of the best things that I've ever been a part of.

It's things like these experiences that keep me going to New Kids concerts and other events...I've met the best people and had the greatest experiences and seen places that I had never thought I'd see because of them, and I'll forever be grateful.

Apologies for the length of this email, but I hope you enjoy reading them. Keep doing what you're doing with the podcast, because I'm loving it, and I hope to meet you all on this year's cruise. :)



Cedric's NKOTB Story and Duets at Dusk with Joey McIntyre

MTV's Fanatic featuring Joey McIntyre

Step 82 - Kevin & Pete

Step 82 - Kevin & Pete

Step 80 - The MMC (Mickey Mouse Club) with Lisa from Always In The Club

Step 80 - The MMC (Mickey Mouse Club) with Lisa from Always In The Club