Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Celebrity Sighting #2

After seeing Tim Robbins within days of moving to New York City, I was a little surprised that I hadn't seen another celebrity sooner. But they always seem to cross my path when I least expect it.

Last night my brother and I were getting a drink at Great Jones to kick off the St. Patty's Day celebration. We were sitting at the bar when a bearded Josh Hartnett walked up and surveyed the scene. As with Tim Robbins, there was that brief moment where our eyes met, I got that instant jolt of realization, and he knew that I knew.

And just like my other celebrity run-ins, I immediately thought of something I could say because I always feel compelled to connect with these people in some small but meaningful way. I know it's not the cool thing to do, but most of the stuff I do is uncool anyway. But, I bet Josh would have thought "Hey, Pearl Harbor sucked" was real uncool, so it's probably better that I kept my mouth shut.

Josh was apparently scouting the small, packed restaurant for seats. After coming up empty, he walked out but later returned with a group of his friends.

My brother and I thought it would be funny though if we gave up our seats at the bar for Josh and whatever bombshell actress he's dating now. Josh would be grateful and we would say "anytime, Josh" in an overly friendly manner.

Then we'd stand a few feet behind him the rest of the night, staring and eavesdropping while feigning real conversation. Josh would soon be onto us, though, and his mounting frustration would eventually snowball into some kind of dramatic confrontation or altercation.

Yep, the movies always beat real life.

Note: I did not take the picture above.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lost and Gone Forever

One of the worst feelings you can have is losing something. I'm not talking about someone close to you or The One Who Got Away. I'm talking about material goods—items both practical and sentimental. Specifically, my NYC winter hat.

I bought my hat when I first visited New York City in 2002. I was a tourist in search of a souvenir, and I happened to need a winter hat. I thought it was a good purchase because it wasn't your typical "I ♥ NY" memento. It did say "NEW YORK CITY", but it was a warm, good-looking hat, and I could say I got it from New York.

At first the hat served as more of a souvenir, collecting dust in my closet for a good year or two. Then at some point, I rediscovered it and decided that I might as well keep it in my winter coat and wear the thing. Yes, it was a plug for New York City, but what the hell. It's not like I lived there.

Given the warmer weather in Nashville, I didn't have to use the hat often. But since I've been living here for the past three months, I've got a lot of use out of it. At first I was a little self-conscious about wearing a New York City hat in New York City because I hadn't yet learned that nobody cares about what anyone wears, because you see it all. But my brother didn't think it was fashionable, so he tipped off my mom that I could use a new winter hat for Christmas. Santa brought one, but it turned out to be too small and too thin, leaving my head cold with it on. So I quickly reverted to Ol' Faithful.

Wearing the hat here seemed a little odd at first, but the more I wore it, the more I embraced it. It was part of my daily wardrobe, and it added character. Here, anyone on the street who actually thought about me wearing a NYC hat assumed that I was a tourist—but they were wrong! You know how I like to keep people guessing.

Last week, I lost my hat. I took it off in a taxi and somehow left it behind when I exited the cab, even after I did a quick check to make sure I wasn't missing anything. But somehow its dark-blue hue eluded me in the darkness of 3Y10's backseat. It wasn't until I left for work the next morning that I realized the tragic loss.

Just like anything that you lose or misplace, there's that initial pang of panic that turns to instant regret the second you realize what you had is now gone. OH MY GOD, WHERE DID IT GO?? HOW COULD I HAVE LOST THAT?! IT WAS JUST HERE!

Over the next few days I made several calls to see if someone from the taxi company had recovered my hat, but there was no such luck. Someone recovered it, but I'll never know who. And they'll never know what it meant to me.

I've since bought another winter hat: a plain black one from a street vendor. It gets the job done, but it'll never be my NYC hat. I considered buying another one, but I knew it wouldn't be right. With me living here now, buying a replica would violate the whole spirit of the thing, especially since its significance was rendered when I coincidentally moved here. It can't be replaced.


I've noticed that some things seem to get lost even when you consciously try not to lose them. Take my birth certificate card for example. Before I moved from Nashville, I separated it from my wallet for better safekeeping. So of course when I needed to find it the other day, it had completely vanished. So much for safekeeping.

Losing these things reminds me of how someone futilely tries to change the future in a sci-fi film. No matter how hard you try to prevent something from getting lost, it's inevitably going to get misplaced one way or another. Even so, it doesn't make me want to turn back time any less to grab my hat from that cab.