Monday, November 30, 2009

The Long and Winding Post

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we drove a lot. Three days of driving to visit 2 families, eat 2 Thanksgiving dinner and return home. And every drive took longer than expected due to traffic and accidents. Once, we saw a car on fire. That was amazing; it looked like it was burning from the back end. No one seemed hurt though. The rescue vehicles had not arrived but the people on the scene were not frantic, they were just trying to direct traffic around the burning car.

All this driving left lots of time for thinking. 'Thinking and driving, it's worse than drinking and driving.' That's from Burn This by Lanford Wilson. Or, I think it is. It can't be the actual quote, though, because you have to think when you drive. I think the quote is actually, "Thinking and drinking is worse than drinking and driving." That makes much more sense doesn't it? Although, I think drinking and driving is worse that drinking and thinking because you can't hurt someone just drinking and thinking. Or, maybe you can.

I love that play, Burn This. It was originally written as a vehicle for John Malkovich who stared in the premier at Circle Rep. I saw it years later in 2003, at Signature Theatre with Edward Norton. Such a good production - a 4 person cast and everyone was great. Well, Catherine Keener wasn't my favorite but I'm not sure if it was because Lanford Wilson didn't write the character well or that it was Ms. Keener's first time on stage.

Edward Norton was fabulous of course but then I think Edward Norton is good in everything. He's in my top 5 of celebrities who I'm allowed to date if he knocks on my door. Have you heard of this? You can have a list of up to 5 celebrities, who, if they knock your door, your significant other has to allow you to go out with that person. I know, silly juvenile stuff. But it's fun. David Bowie is also in my top 5, but you probably knew that.

Not that I'd actually say anything if Edward Norton knocked on my door; in fact I'd probably faint. Even if I met him casually, I'm sure I'd just stand there looking dumb. I'd love to be one of those people who can meet a celebrity and say something memorable but that's just not me. If I met Edward Norton, I'd stand there dumbstruck, turn beet red, and rush for the bathroom.

I know this because I did meet a celebrity once: David Sedaris, the humorist and author. I just love his books. He was appearing at a venue about an hour from my house so at the last minute I decided to go. I brought one of his books with me because the last time I had seen him he did a book signing after the gig. My plan was to have him sign my book and I'd mention something funny he had said that night during the reading and strike up a conversation.

In my mind, I'd say something really witty and he'd laugh and we'd get to talking. Maybe we'd even be friends. He might invite me to France to meet Hugh, his partner. Hey, I had an hour's drive to work on this fantasy.

But when I got to the venue, he was signing books BEFORE the event. What??? Not to be detered, I got in line. He talked a lot with the person in front of me but I figured I'd come up with something really, really witty to say. So when I held my book out to him, guess what I said?

"Can you make it out to Kate?"

Yeah, I know, not so much with the witty.

He politely asked if I was with anyone that night and I said, "No." So he wrote, "To Kate, my lonely friend." And I, wishing to say something, anything funny, said, "But I'm not lonely."

It was about that time that I started looking for the bathroom.

He held the book out firmly with eyes that said, "It's time to leave." Crushed, I took the book, and made my way to my seat. I started listening to the reading around the second story. It took me that long to convince myself that everyone in the audience wasn't staring at me and silently snickering. Actually, the stories were really good and before long I found myself laughing along with everyone else.

On the way home, though, I did some thinking and driving. I was glad that I went to the reading alone--despite Mr. Sedaris' comment--because I did not need anyone to witness my flailing in the face of fame.

And, I have to admit, it doesn't bother me that Edward Norton has no idea where I live.


  1. Ed! Nice choice. He's one of mine too! But don't worry. He's so cool he'll do all the talking. By the time you get your groove on, he'll be relaxed and ready for some nice conversation and a slow dance.

  2. I would be SO FLATTERED to be insulted by David Sedaris! I have a friend in Raleigh who tried to talk her husband into getting new floors just so they could hire the Rooster. She figured that was the best way to get herself invited to the Sedaris family Thanksgiving. No such luck.

    Enjoyed your post.

  3. Kate, you make me laugh and that's no mean feat at the moment! Thanksgiving sounds so much like our Christmas here where you visit up to three different families and designate a driver. I do a lot of drinking and thinking and thinking and drinking but never drinking and driving. That's payback for kids. Yay!

    So with you on Edward Norton who first grabbed my gaze in American History X then Fight Club . .

    I'd probably be interested in Anthony Hopkins purely for his thespian pursuits, Meryl Streep again not because I fancy her pants . . .the guy in The Fast and the Furious (Paul someone) purely because he's eye candy . . .Ewan McGregor . .I love Ewan . .more in documentaries than movies. He's delicious on a motor bike.

    David Sedaris is doing a spoken word tour here in January. (is it worth going?)Apparently he hates the heat (taa daaa!) but he loves our public swimming pools because they're clean and slow swimmers don't take up his fast lane. Of course he's esconced with his lover "Hugh'" so he'd have to be a purely platonic guest!

    I met Gary Glitter once.

  4. Ronda: It's funny everytime I mention Ed Norton, someone says, yup, he's great. But I'd still spend most of the time in the bathroom.

    WordWire: Having the floors done by the rooster, I've never thought of that. I'm not sure David Sedaris was insulting me or trying to be funny (and perhaps get rid of me). Next time, if there is a next time, maybe I'll tell him not to call me lonely again?

    Brian - so glad I could make you laugh. And American History X - so good and I like the 25th Hour as well. I'd see David Sedaris if you've read any of his works and enjoyed them (they are not for everyone). Gary Glitter? COOL!

  5. edward Norton is the man...
    sedaris is cool as well...thoroughly enjoyed reading some of his books this year...would be col to hear a reading...

    thanks for the chuckles today...

  6. Thanks Brian.

    Baino! I'm sorry, I meant to write Baino and wrote Brian in my comments. My only excuse is that my husband's name is Brian so I type a B and then auto fingers take over!

  7. Kate - great post - great topics - great rambling. And Ed Norton --- oooohhh yeaahhhhh. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin that is purely about his talent.

  8. You only have 5 on your list??? hahaha!

    I hope you weren't on the "Sure Kill Expressway" (You are from the philly area, right?)

    I actually saw David Bowie on Broadway when I was in High School. He was playing the elephant man.

  9. Well Wenderina, I have to say I like Edward Norton for more than his talen! : ) And Otin, I'm so completely jealous you saw David Bowie on Broadway. And the good thing about the Sure Kill is that once you get on it traffic stops so you can't go too fast.

  10. Uh oh... I like Norton, but I think he's better suited for the stage. Sometimes he seems to fall a little fat in film.

    But... the dude does pick awesome movies to be in.