i seem to have been lying to myself. when i found out that george clooney and renee zellweger were going to be in town today, stepping through the doors of the depot at 1 p.m. to pimp the movie "leatherheads" and remind us that we really are an ugly people here in duluth -- i decided i needed to be in the audience. i even set my alarm so i wouldn't miss it.
i'm not sure we get a lot of celebrities stopping here in duluth, although once nickelback played at the DECC. so we sort of make our own. one time i was at a party and alan sparhawk of the band low was standing a few feet away so i manufactured some excitement with the help of a free bottle of lake superior special ale. one time when i was at the lakeview coffee emporium, chuck pointed out the poet louis jenkin's sitting down next to the lakewalk. there is a woman i know who, everytime i remind her that i'm dating chuck says: "you're dating chuckers chuckenstien? he's faaaaaa-mous." [that's right, lady. and sometimes he shrugs off his fame long enough to scramble me an egg and squish it between the halves of an everything bagal. i can get you one of his used cough drops for fifteen dollars."]
i first saw fame when i played basketball on a traveling team. some famous-sorts were staying at our hotel before playing in a celebrity hockey game the next day. i received a bunch of signatures on embassey suites stationary: kelsey grahmer was one, and the male stripper from the movie 'summer school' was there, too. i feel like alan thicke made an appearance, but sometimes i recreate history. the point is, hours after getting his autograph, kelsey grahmer returned to the hotel very wasted. we watched him booming in the lobby from over the railing a few floors up. i took a photo and in that photo he looks pissed.
by the time i saw the new kids on the block in concert, i knew that it was cooler keep your squeals in more pleasing octaves and occasionally roll your eyes about famous people. all around me, girls my age were weeping over jordan and joe. it wasn't until donnie wahlberg, wearing an american flag t'shirt, mounted a cat walk dangled above us that it felt like i had been snorting 7-up and knew that i was powerless against my own tears.
i saw evan dando at first ave. it doesn't count. he slipped into the audience to watch the band that proceeded his.
i saw an olympic medalist, a sprinter ... dan something ... at a track meet in santa barbara in 1995.
don't get me started on art garfunkle. ...
one time i almost saw matt damon.
i fell asleep with my cell phone lodged into my rib cage so it would wake me. and at 11:15 a.m., i turned it off and fell asleep again and was actually having a dream about jcrew and george clooney when jcrew called to see if i was going. in the dream, she and i were in a parade and i was curling my hair and she was mad at me. standard stuff.
parking, she said, was fine. she got a spot easily. i left the house at 12:30 and made it six blocks before she called again.
'i'm on my way,' i said.
'it's over,' she said.
'wha?' i said.
and here she blurted out a really long sentence involving george clooney's autograph and touching his shoulder and blah blah blah. it was like in spanish or something.
so i missed it. at least it will be awhile again before we're reminded of how we are all a little mediocre looking and dressing. and whatever. i'm dating someone famous.