Photgraphic Memory

Nowadays (and by the way, is there any word in the English language that can spotlight you as old and decrepit more than the word “nowadays”?) it seems as though everyone knows someone who is famous, or at the very least, semi-famous. Or if not, you at least know someone who knows someone, right? “I went to high school with Madonna,” (hi John) or “I studied acting with Dustin Hoffman’s daughter” (that’s Delium), or “I did home improvements for a Melrose Place starlet” (that’s Nordic Boy). And when you factor in D-List type famous people (like knowing someone on Rock of Love or whatever) or even just seeing someone you know interviewed as the “man on the street” on the news, you’d think we’d all be saturated with celebrity boolshiz and be so totally over the whole thing. But you know what? We’re not. When I saw Clinton Kelly on the street one time, I blogged about it. When I saw one of the Top Chef people, I blogged about it. It was exciting. I don’t really know why. Does anyone know why?

I have three levels of reactions when I see people that I know who have gone on to be the type of person one sees on tv. These are the levels.

Level #1: “HEY!”
This one happened to me just a couple weeks ago. A former boss of mine was a guest on Oprah. There sat Oprah, talking about some issue and making it all melodramatic, and among the panel of guests she had on the stage sat someone who mentored me in this whole librarian racket that I now have going on. I did an internship for her when I was in graduate school. And there she sat. Next to Oprah. Telling her all of her personal private secret business. And my response? To yell out, at the top of my lungs…”HEY!!!!!!” Nordic Boy came running into the room as he thought that I may have severed an artery or something. “What’s wrong?” I jumped up and down and pointed at the screen. “I KNOW HER. I KNOW HER. I TOTALLY KNOW HER.” Nordic Boy was not jumping up and down, but he did give me a “wow!”

Wow? And me, jumping and yelling? Why? It seems kind of strange when you really think about it.

Level #2: “Huh. Look at that.”
This one happens when you know someone that is on tv, but you’re not really surprised that they are on tv. Like, they are actors or journalists or musicians or whatever anyway, so by the time they end up actually on tv, it’s a little jarring, but not a shock. I have a few of these. For example, Selma Blair. You know Selma Blair, of Hellboy fame? Ex-Mrs.-Ahmet-Zappa? I was in college with her, and we were in plays together. We were friendly, more than we were actual friends. But I knew her fairly well. Although she wasn’t someone who I automatically thought “she’ll be a STAR someday, a STAR I tell you!” (that was my friend Emily who I had those thoughts about), I still wasn’t super surprised to see her on tv. She’s talented, and pretty, and fits the “on-tv” mold. She was camera-ready, you know? So the first time I saw her was in a Nike commercial. Or maybe it was Reebok. Some kind of shoe. And when I saw it, I said “huh. Look at that.” Then, I saw her as an extra in the movie “In and Out” with Kevin Kline. Again: “huh, look at that. It’s Blair.” And now that she’s in movies, even pretty big ones, that is still all I can muster up. You’d think that someone I knew once actually being in MOVIES would warrant the jumping up and down more than the random person on Oprah. But it doesn’t happen that way. Does anyone else have this reaction?

This one’s a weird one too. This one is when you knew the person really well. Like, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you dated them, or were former best friends with them, or something like that. I have one of those. And this person? When they come on tv? Makes me say “BLAAAAAHHHHHH!” If it happens in front of other people, I say it inwardly, with a poker face. I have had lots of practice so I am good at that. But if I am alone, I say “BLAAAAAAHHHHH!” right out loud. And I feel a little nauseous. And I want to run out the door. It’s been years since I have seen this person, but still, I want to barf every time. And then leave the premises immediately.

So this is a very lengthy preface in order to tell you guys that I took a hike this weekend, and it was over three hours long, and I am STILL TIRED. And kind of sore. How does this relate? Because the reason I took the walk was that I had a Level 3 moment. See, in the afternoon, I came home and flipped on my tv, and there was Level 3 looking right back at me. And, since I was alone, I went ahead and said BLAAAAHHHH, and I ran out the door. Like, right away, no conscious thought involved. And I turned my back on my city and walked away from it through neighborhood after neighborhood. Just because. It was actually quite pleasant, aside from the fact that I was totally not prepared to be out like that in the heat for three-plus hours (no water bottle with me, and dressed in a long sleeve sweater and jeans)and after those three hours my body was like “um, STOP WALKING PLEASE” and so I had to call Nordic Boy to come pick me up and I kind of almost didn’t know where I was. But other than that, it was an awesome walk. I went down streets I had never been on before. And you know what else? I had my purse with me. And you know what was in my purse? MY CAMERA. And so as I was taking my walk, I kept thinking to myself I have my camera and now I can totally use it and post all sort of photazz glamour shots of my city on my blog and have witty captionography and all like everyone else does on their blogs! I thought it and I thought it. As I walked. And so in order to show you the photos, I had to tell you about why I was walking around in random neighborhoods taking random photos. And in order to explain that, I had to explain Level 3. And in order to explain Level 3, I had to explain the other levels.

Ok, I am shutting up. Because the thing is, after all that talking and explaining and walking, I took TWO PHOTOS. In over three hours. That is one photo per 1.5 hours, for you mathletes out there. But what the hell, I am going to post them. I am like a two-year-old, just learning how to hold a crayon, so proud of my scribbles/bad photos. Please humor me. I am trying.

This is so totally pathetic and embarrassing. A random street in some neighborhood somewhere. You are riveted, aren’t you.

This was so much prettier in person. I came up over a hill and there was the lake. Trust me. It was pretty.

Oh never mind.

I’m out,
Librarian Girl


  1. I don’t know anyone in any of the three categories, so you have me beat. And I can NEVER remember to either bring my camera or get it out when I have it.

  2. So here’s the thing: you could have gone on to post any number of serious and/or lovely things about your inner state or your plans to bring about world peace ot what have you, and a person like me is still only going to be thinking one thing — who is your level 3? WHO IS YOUR LEVEL 3?

  3. I once dated a local sportscaster who has since had a measure of success. Now every time I sit down to watch a Rockies game my reaction is certainly “BLAAAAAHHHHHH!”And I love baseball, so there’s no avoiding this.

  4. awe.. I have all 3 levels all the time. But the 3rd level is what gets you. I normally dont go BLAHHHH, but I DO go, Seriously? That asshole? Whoever scouted him/her is a moron.i dont like Level 3ers.

  5. I grew up at a hotel in Miami Beach and got to meet lots of (then) famous people and always thought it was cool ~ still do but I also have a level 3. Clay Aiken of American Idol fame. I worked with him for years at the YMCA in Raleigh. Aren’t his 15 minutes over yet?

  6. I have two Level 2’s: one is a pretty well known kicker for a football team and the other was a girl I went to school with who used to be an anchor on Entertainment Tonight (no, not Mary Hart – I’m not that old).

  7. I love this post. And although I don’t know anyone famous, I still totally have levels of reactions for people I used to know, namely ex-boyfriends. They all fit under the “say BBLLAAAHH and run away category”

  8. My sister goes to school with Bill Paxton’s son. Its kind of a posh-y, upper-middle-class liberals kind of school, and my response when she told me she was dating someone and it WASN’T Bill Paxton’s son? “You go to *insert school name here* with all these celebrities kids and you pick the only other poor person to date? What about Bill Paxton’s kid?! Geez.”

  9. When I was in high school one of the kids in my class was on the Phil Donahue show talking about how he’s in a satanic cult. I was all “Wha?! WTF?” And a member of my bf’s extended family got to dance with yummy James Franco in a movie. Batman (AKA Christian Bale) showed up at my brother’s recent art show. But no Level 3 moments. I got an e-mail from a friend yesterday with pics of her daughter and her hubby – also a friend. Then today the hubby’s face was staring back at me from his album cover on my iPhone version of Pandora. Made me happy though.

  10. I learned very recently that a work friend of mine used to party it up w/ the Doobie Brothers and the Eagles in California (at a hotel maybe? hardy har har). I wanted details, but did not get them.

  11. No #3s in my history.My big #1 is the current Democratic presumptive nominee. (I was head over heels for someone on his staff, so I did a bit of leafletting and knocking on doors for him about 10 years ago before he got all famous and shit.)My big #2 is a former college acquaintance trying to make it as an actress. She’s not a household name yet, but she’s been on ER and in a few movies. I squeal loudly whenever I see her in a new commercial.

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