06 March 2007

Brushes with Fame!

My friend Willie visited New York this weekend. While having a mini-Kansas reunion, my friend Jessica pointed out how I had last updated my livejournal in October of 2005, with a Minor Celebrity Sighting Round Up. I do not really plan to update my livejournal, but in the interest of fairness I will relate some brushes with minor celebrity that have occurred in the ensuing sixteen or so months:

ITEM! Willie was in town visiting his younger sister Erin, who attends the Culinary Institute of America. Little did I know she was also a MINOR CELEBRITY! She's been chosen to take part in some sort of "reality" web television Web 2.0 interactive media event on Epicurous.com, which is a pretty swell website in its own right. Watch her discuss the very same "visit from Willie" that I did in the paragraph above, but do so via high-traffic video blogging! SYNERGY!

ITEM! Actually I'm not really sure what other minor celebrities I have seen in the past year or so. Most of them have been very contextual; comic book creators I admire at comic shows/readings, authors I like puttering around in some way related to 826NYC, bands playing when they announce a performance and sell tickets. This is kind of a bust for a blog post. Let me try to puff up some really insignificant encounters so that the list isn't just "hey, my friend's sister is on a neat food site".

ITEM! This year's New York City Comic Con wasn't nearly as much of a fiasco as last year's. There were a lot of comic-related people there. I stood in line directly behind Rob Liefeld, who was neither announced as a guest or promoted as such. I could be a dick and talk about how the mighty have fallen, but at least the guy seems genuinely excited to still be making comics, and hasn't gone off to make action figures or something.
Anyway, for lack of a better conversational topic, I decided to mention this tidbit to about half a dozen people in the opening hours of the convention, and on three separate occasions, managed to begin the anecdote within six feet of Liefeld himself. I never got past the point of saying something along the lines of "Guess who was in front of me in line? ROB LIEFELD!" before I realized my faux pas, so it's not like I made a "Liefeld cannot draw" joke in front of him, but I am convinced he belives me to either be his shyest fan, or a total jerk. Sorry, Rob!

ITEM! Hal Hartley alum Damian Young must live somewhere in my neighborhood, as I seem him once or twice a month. Maybe it is because he will forever be Bus Driver Stu Benedict in my mind, but the best of these encounters was one summer day as I walked up the hill to see Young non-chalantly pull out a pack of gum and offer a piece to a crying young child in a soccer uniform. The sniffling kid demurred, and Young shrugged his shoulders and crossed the street without him. I still have no idea if it was his kid, and I am not sure which scenario (faux-abandoning a crying soccer player of his own, disinterestedly offering gum to strangers) is more fantastic.

ITEM! This isn't really a minor celebrity sighting, even though it involves Eugene Mirman. Awhile back I was at Great Lakes for a friend's birthday party and pretty much had drinks purchased for me all night by apparently heterosexual men. The first few weren't too confusing; a friend of the birthday girl bought drinks for the entire table, and later a guy bought me a drink because he wanted to pump me for information about a girl he assumed I knew. Turns out I had met her only moments earlier, did not know her name, and ended up being given the untouched drink that he bought her a few minutes later when she took off. But later in the evening, most of the birthday group had left, and I was left alone nursing these two ill-gotten drinks when another group "adopted" me, repeatedly declaring my resemblance to singer-songwriter Harry Nillson. It's not the most flattering celebrity to be likened to, but they kept buying me drinks and asking my opinion on jukebox selections, so I wasn't going to raise any objections. I ended up closing out the bar that night after spending about $10 personally, and I suspect I helped some really drunk 20 somethings pretend they were John Lennon or something.

This past summer I was at Great Lakes the week after the MOCCA Arts Festival, and was stopped on the way to the bathroom by a girl who wanted to know if I was "that comic guy". I said that I was pretty sure I was not, but she might have seen me at some comic event around town, at which point she realized I was not British, and explained how the person she thought I was "was some British guy". She then informed me that the person I look like was "really cool". Later I saw her talking to Eugene Mirman (see, a minor celebrity!) and they seemed to be doing stand-up shop-talk, so it's probable she meant [stand-up] comic and not comic [book], which makes it even more confusing.

Anyway, the point is that when I go to Great Lakes, people think I am other people.

The other point is that in the future I will stick to posting Youtube videos.

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