Listening To: Devil's Spoke by Laura Marling
Line Obsession: "But when she thought about What-the-Dickens and Pepper, and what they might do next, she couldn't actually see them. She saw only a level field in the dark, a field blurred with a haze of low light hovering about the height of dandelion heads. A meadow of wishes, a field of candles, all alight, burning through the wishing hour." - from What-the-Dickens by Gregory MacGuire
"I put my pants on one leg at a time, same as you. Except, after I put on my pants, I make gold records." - Christopher Walken
On Friday night I felt like I was living out a scene from The Day After Tomorrow -- except there was no Jake Gyllenhaal to drag me into the NY Public Library and fight off a boat full of wolves to prevent me from dying of gangrene.
Atlanta was rainy and stormy, full of sci-fi-purple lightening and hail that sounded much bigger than it actually was.
Actual Conversation on Friday Night:
The Rogue Accountant: *laughs*
Me: It's not funny! There might be a tornado. *digs through purse* I'm going to get my phone just in case so I can take picture for the blog--
TRA: I was laughing at the way you say hail.
Me: How do you say it?
Me: That's what I said! Hail!
TRA: You say hay-ul. *mimics my voice* Shoot, y'all! We got us a hay-ul storm.
So the hail was out of control and the streets were flooded and thus, we somehow managed to take an impromptu tour of Georgia Tech's campus (very pretty :).
I thought the journey couldn't get much more exciting, but I was so wrong. When we finally found Symphony Hall, where The Swell Season was playing, greatness occurred. Chase took a side street to get in the garage. I was watching rainy Atlanta blur past the window: couples under umbrellas, random sidewalks, the entrance for a sculpture exhibit, Glen Hansard standing in a doorway watching the storm ---
Me: *shrieks* GLEN HANSARD WAS RIGHT THERE! He was watching the storm! His hair is longer now! He's wearing a green shirt. *rummages through purse to find phone and mass text all friends*
TRA: Seriously? Wow! *proceeds to geek out, which is uncommon for him* We just saw Glen Hansard! We've got to walk that way so we can say something cool to him --
Me: I'm sure that will work out wonderfully --
TRA: *talks out loud while texting his friends* We just saw Glen Hansard in a hay-ul storm.
Me: I don't know what to do with this. It's just so weird isn't it -- that cool people like Glen Hansard stand there and watch storms like us normals. My brain can't handle it.
We didn't walk that direction. The parking garage was under the venue so going outside to circle around ... would have been dumb. And we both knew we would come off more like hopeless dorks than appreciative fans. But it was still the most exciting celebrity sighting I've ever had.* Later, while we were watching the concert, and Glen (I like to think we're on a first name basis since I saw him on the street) sang Low Rising (my word, that song ...) ... I kept thinking ...
Glen Hansard likes to watch storms ... like normal people.
This whole episode was interesting to me because I like to think I'm way too cool to squee over celebrities. I'm prone to get excited over meeting normal people. But celebrities? Meh. I didn't think they had much of a hold on me. I guess I should have known better. A few summers ago, John Schneider (my lifelong crush - he played the original Bo Duke in the Dukes of Hazzard) came to a local mall to sign autographs and attend a movie premier for his film ... huh ... I don't remember the name of it. The film isn't essential to this story.
Actual Conversation from that Day:
Me: I never thought I would have an opportunity to meet John Schneider without going to Dukefest.
TRA: It's your lucky day I guess. Wanna go? I'll take you.
Me: You're only saying that so you can go and make fun of me.
TRA: *nods* True.
Me: *sighs* I can't go. I didn't bring any cute clothes. [Note: This was before I moved here.]
TRA: *laughs* *laughs harder*
Me: What's so funny?
TRA: You're going to meet John Schneider. If you're wearing more than a tube top and cutoff denim shorts you'll be overdressed.
Me: Shut your mouth! He was Bo Duke. He's Clark Kent's dad. He is a celebrity!
And then there was the time I saw The Love Chef (real name withheld) at Barnes & Noble. The Love Chef is a local guy who has commercials about "special seasonings" he invented that, once sprinkled over food, make people fall in love with you, rekindle the dying embers of love, etc. His commercials are hilarious. One day, while I was browsing at Barnes & Noble, I turned around to find The Love Chef standing in front of me (uniform and all), offering me a skewer. With one eyebrow raised (how do people do that?!) he said, "Care for some of my special shrimp?"
Actual Phone Call to My Brother
Me: I just saw The Love Chef! He's here at B&N! He offered me shrimp!
TRA: No way! You've got to buy some of his special seasonings!
Me: No! I would feel weird.
TRA: That would be the funniest Christmas gift ever. Buy them. Then buy me a book and have him personalize it for me. Tell him his special seasonings changed my life ...
Me: I'm getting off the phone now.
I did not buy the book or the special seasonings. I didn't take the shrimp either. Who knows what clown I might have fallen in love with if I'd done that. But I did see an article in the paper recently about The Love Chef. He was invited to cook for some high ranking political official in Panama. His quote was something like, "I expect to go back a year from now and see lots of little officials running around!" The man is confident in his work.
Still. Bo Duke not withstanding, I never thought I would lose my cool around somebody famous. I think seeing a celebrity would definitely elicit a double take. I would text bff'sMel and Sarah. But I wouldn't scream or freak out. That's what I liked to think. Friday proved me wrong though. There are definitely some celebs I would geek out over. I've made a list of such persons. Please note, there are so many non-celebs I would love to meet - people who are doing great things in the word and inspiring me to be a better person. And there are plenty of writers I would love to meet too -- writers are the equivalent of celebrities for me. This list, however, is based on a more iconic understanding of the word celebrity.
1. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Obviously.
2. The President. That would be amazing to say you met/saw the President wouldn't it? And yes he falls after the Swell Season. Actually, if I'm being really honest, he would fall further down on the list than this.
3. Dolly Parton. Because who wouldn't freak out?!
4. Johnny Depp. Because ...
5. Somaly Mam. She makes me want to live a life that matters. I realize she's not an iconic celeb, which is sort of breaking my rule, but I've seen several magazine articles on her lately. So I think she's mainstream now. :) I want to be her when I grow up.
6. J.K. Rowling. Because she's talented and incredible and seems so humble. I watch her speech to the graduates at Harvard like three times a year just for the heck of it, and then whenever I'm feeling down, and then sometimes when I'm bored. I give her a standing ovation, no matter where I am.
7. Tim Gunn. If I ever get to meet him, I hope I'm wearing something cute.
8. My blog readers. You are the loveliest of lovely superstars. You should be celebrities.
9. Josh Ritter. Whenever I get lazy with my words, I listen to Josh Ritter and The Swell Season. They sing beautiful stories. It would be cool to meet him and say thanks.
10. Chris Thile. He's so cute and talented that I would immediately become very shy and awkward. It would make for a bad meeting, but a funny blog.
11. John and/or Hank Green. I heart those vlogbrothers.
12. Kate DiCamillo. I haven't met a Kate D. book I don't like. (The only one I haven't read is The Tiger Rising). I can't list anymore writers though or this list won't end ...
13. Kate Winslet. She's my favorite actress. I've loved her since I was a swoony teenager watching Titanic. I think she's all class and super talented. Plus, she's had some great things to say about beauty and how flubbed up it is by Hollywood standards.
14. Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, or Amy Poehler. Fact: in high school, my bffSarah and I always talked about going to NYC someday and becoming writers for SNL. We were mostly kidding (though Sarah is definitely talented enough to do it). In retrospect, I think we both just wanted to be Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch (and later Tina/Amy) because they seemed like the bff power duo. They were smart, hilarious, pretty, and assertive. Also, I realize they're all separate people, but they would receive equal amounts of squee so I'm putting them together.
There are probably a few celebs that I'm forgetting. And even though there are certainly celebrities who make me freak out, I can say with all confidence that I'm way more inspired by normals - by my friends, my parents, random people I meet along the way. So many writers have inspired me with their words and personal stories. I can't think of any mailing lists I'm on for bands, but I got an email today from my sweet friend McCall (whom I met several years ago when she was a student on a missions trip) full of updates about her summer trip to the Dominican Republic to do missions work. I think she's a total rockstar. And maybe that's the point to make here: there is someone who freaks out over you too. There is someone (possibly lots of someones) who looks up to you, who smiles when they think about your face, and laughs when they think of some memory the two of you share. It makes me happy to know every blurry face out my window is treasured by somebody. Everybody is somebody's rockstar.
Is there someone you would freak out upon meeting? Have you had a fun celebrity sighting you'd like to share?
* This reminds me of a Goonies quote:
Mouth: "More amazing than the time Michael Jackson came to your house to use the bathroom?"
Chunk: "Okay, Michael Jackson didn't come to my house to use the bathroom. ... But his sister did!