Sunday, November 23, 2003

My second emissions test and my third famous person!

Saturday was a big day for me. It started at the Illinois emissions testing facility, where my (sometimes) trusty old Neon passed with flying colors. The last time I took my car in for the tests, I think it took almost three hours from getting in line to receiving my diploma. So this year, armed with tons of reading material and a fully charged phone battery so I could fill my time productively, the testing process took little over 10 minutes. I used the bonus time to take my car in for an oil change before next week's Thanksgiving road trip to Iowa.

But you're not reading this post to hear about my auto maintenance; you want to hear about all the rich and famous people I've been rubbing elbows with.

But first, I need to mention that the chorus sang an hour of Christmas carols at the kickoff of the Michigan Avenue holiday parade this afternoon. We had no sound system, and we were sandwiched between a marching band and a small brass choir. So nobody could hear us. And it was kind of cold. And we could barely hear each other -- so it was probably for the best that nobody on the sidewalks could hear us either. I guess participation in this festival was a Big Deal. I'm looking at it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- because I'll never do it again.

So on to the famous people. Here's the rundown of my famous run-ins so far:
1) Whoopi Goldberg at a ribbon-cutting for some children's outreach facility in inner-city L.A. about 10 years ago. I was there with a friend who worked at the facility, and I got my picture with Whoopi to prove it.

1.5) Scott Weiland, the drug-addled lead singer for the Stone Temple Pilots, on the treadmill next to me at Crunch gym about three years ago. He gets only half a listing because I didn't know who he was at the time, and to this day I still don't care.

2) Jason Priestly at the Chicago premier of his new movie, Die, Mommie, Die, a couple months ago. The director stood up before the movie to thank us all for coming, and he pointed out the still-hunky Jason, who was standing in the back of the theater. I almost swooned.

3) Megan Mullally singing at a fund-raiser concert for the Northlight Theatre tonight in Skokie. She sang wonderfully, and the high-price tickets included the opportunity to meet her at a reception afterward. Unfortunately, the reception was mobbed by theater volunteers, and I never got a chance to get close to her. But I made a point of getting close enough that I could see her face and say we shared the same public space -- if only for a fleeting moment.

Now it's late and I'm tired and I'm off to bed.

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