Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Ramblings of 'They' and Portroid News

Has the heart grown fonder? They say absence will do that. 'They' say a lot of stupid things. 'They' are stupid. Don't listen to 'them'. Just because I haven't written in over two months doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of you. It just means I've been neglecting you. I neglect you because I care. I'm "sorry" I haven't written. I offer no excuses ... because I don't have to answer to you. You aren't the boss of me.

Now that the niceties are out of the way, let's move ahead.

Portroids Year 2 has kicked off with a dang (to use a horrible Carrie-Bradshaw-ish pun). Rather a slow beginning filled with not much filling. Fifteen shots total (nine of which were added a few weeks ago (w x -2.5)). Weak, weak, weak (w x 3)!

I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you about some portroids I didn't take.

Tom Hanks (1) for number one. I walked slowly shoulder to shoulder with him for about five minutes as we both exited the Minskoff Theater (home of Fiddler On The Roof), but I didn't want to "bother" him. Erica talked to him for a moment and he was kind as could be. I fell behind and almost gave him a "flat tire", but succeeded in only kicking the bottom of his shoe. The best laid plans of mice and men ... have nothing to do with this story. A big rule of Portroids is to only make attempts when success is likely to occur. He was out with his family (so add Rita Wilson (2) as another portroid untaken) enjoying a Sunday matinee on Broadway and I felt it would be crass to ask for his picture and autograph. He may have granted it, but imagine the disappointment if he didn't. I can't stand disappointment. It breaks my spirit.

For the past few months (maybe one of the reasons I haven't written (since you demand to know)), I've noticed that my lifetime of carefully-bottled emotions have been seeping out through some new hairline fractures. They say if you hold things inside, someday you'll blow up. I don't hold a lot of stock in what 'they' say, so I shook this off as just more fear-based political propaganda. I'm here to report that there might be some truth to these words. 'They' aren't always full of it. 'It' being 'shit'. I've been quicker to anger, quicker to take offense, quicker to give in to the more "feminine" feelings (like crying, or caring). It's a scary thought to think you might be losing control of what you've held so deep for so long.

I'm happy to report that I have regained most of my "composure" in the past week or so and the bottling plant is back in business. Do your best to anger or offend or make me weep, you shan't succeed (though if you do, perhaps you'll witness the final break that shatters the pot - and oh what a sight that'll be!).

Another portroid I didn't take was Robin Williams, but that's because I've never seen him. Ever.

I did see Adam Sandler (3) though. At the Saturday night performance of Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays. He was sitting on the aisle five rows behind us. We sat third row center, so we had better seats than Mr. Sandler (and his wife). The problem with "better seats" is that it takes a long time to leave the theater after the show, and by the time we got outside, Adam had made his getaway. We did find out later that he stuck around for a few minutes signing autographs and posing for pictures (two great tastes that taste like Portroids when tasted together). A missed opportunity. Add it to the archives. I also blanked when Ana Gasteyer (4) and her husband came out of the stage door and walked right by me. I blanked and missed a shot. It's what I do.

The third (fifth) and final missed portroid was of Matt Dillon (5). We were walking right next to him for a few blocks up Columbus, or Amsterdam. We were the only three people on the street, until a woman came yelling and ranting to herself in the opposite direction. After she passed, Erica cracked a wisecrack and Matt turned and laughed. I chose, again, not to ask for the 'roid. Some things are better left to the magic of the moment, or to forced awkwardness.

Just so you don't think it was all negative, here are the successes, the signed proofs, the additions to the collection:

Cojo - kind as can be and overly willing to have his picture taken (as all psuedo-celebrities are). A true gem for a guy like me.

Gyan Shrosbree - not keen on having her picture taken (like all those who think much or little of themselves), but obliging to the last.

Billy Crystal - Erica said some very nice things to him and he took a moment to look her in the eye and thank her. I, on the other hand, jumped in his face, camera at the ready, and asked for a picture. He looked up, said I was "too close" (which for the record is almost a portroids requirement, as you need to be within four feet of the subject for pictures to not look overly small) and he moved on. I snapped a side shot, squeaking my side-eyes at him. He did sign it though, so all wasn't lost. I need to learn to be a little more "couth".

Alfred Molina - this is a very nice man. He took time to sign everything that was thrust upon him. He signed Erica's playbill and "borrowed" her Sharpie Grip (official Portroids marker of choice) to sign other memorabilia (as other people weren't as prepared as the DeMints). He kept assuring her he'd give it back, but continued using it nonetheless - returning it after a few more signings. I finally got my chance to snap his picture and did so with less than excellent results. Polaroids are tricky bastards. They focus where they choose, and in the case of Alfred Molina, it chose to focus on the guy walking next to him, leaving him somewhat blurred. Happens all the time. Either I get too close, or focus shifts elsewhere. I'm no expert. I'm a novice, a hack. Oh well. After he signed the picture, I told him he could keep the Sharpie Grip (official Portroids marker of choice). He sincerely thanked me in his British accent and said he will. And he did.

Jeremy Piven - a class-act. I feel like Donald Trump in how much I'm kissing ass (although I find Donald interesting and charismatic - I've never found him to have much of substance to say. He pretty much namedrops, says how great his celebrity friends are, and markets his properties. I'm not saying I do anything differently, just on a much smaller scale. Hypocrisy is my forte). Anyway, Jeremy Piven was taken aback by the Polaroid, pointing out to Vanessa (who evidently was a star too, as some other guys posed with her and took her picture) its novelty and asking when the last time was she saw one of those. He smiled and signed like all good sports do. A class-act. I hate that I forgot to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance in Fat Pig (the play we had just seen). He is a masterful actor. A class-act.

Stacey Hoffman - gave a nice profile, which makes for fun picture positioning. Thanks, Stace.

Ashlie Atkinson - she is a friend of a friend, and also a lovely little actress (she was in Fat Pig). I talked to her for a few minutes and she kindly let me take her picture. Another example of my poor skills at measuring distance and focus. I hate when I do that.

Keri Russell - I doubt she'll ever not be linked to the title character of the show she starred in, but she seems like such a fun person and I hope she breaks those associations (through further acting and new associations, if that's what she wants). Although she was distracted from her portroid experience by her friends holding a taxi, she apologized to me and patted my arm as consolation for not giving me the time I "deserved". I got the picture and autograph and all the rest was gravy.

Andrew McCarthy - this brat-packer gave a solid performance as the "jerk co-worker" in Fat Pig, but still is called a "brat-packer" by me and others. Not just me, but others as well. He gave me that eye-to-eye look of sincere thanks for my complimenting his performance (which I truly did enjoy). I didn't call him a "brat-packer" to his face though. No I did not. He may not want to be called that anymore, and since I didn't know for sure I wasn't about to say, "Hey, great performance, brat-packer. Can I take your picture?" I might've gotten a frowned response. I might've not, but we'll never ever ever know.

I've said too much already, or so 'they' say.


P.S. It's Franklin's birthday today!!!