Monday, October 11, 2010


for someone who doesn't really care about celebrities, i seem to be seeing an awful lot of them lately (okay, okay ... we did buy tickets to see steve carrell at the new yorker festival ... and yes, that was my choice, i admit it).  yesterday, i was a mere foot away from stanley.  you are probably wondering who stanley is.  so did i for a very, very long time.

when watching movies like spiderman or iron man, i have had the frequent experience of various other people pointing at the screen at a random point during the movie, and shouting, "look, it's stanley!  did you see stanley?  that was stanley!"  sometimes i've smiled and nodded.  other times i've just said no.  at one point, i finally asked who the heck stanley was.  for any of you as clueless as i was, it turns out "stanley" was actually "stan lee".  so you can see my confusion.  ironically, yesterday, i pointed stan lee out to a crowd of his fans.

stan lee was in town and doing some signings.  j, who actually knew who he was, decided (at 11.30 the night before) that he'd like to go.  so, 5 hours later, i found myself in a culture i still don't fully understand for a few hours yesterday morning. j and i waited in line for hours, sandwiched between a very nice (but also very drunk) twenty-something from atlantic city and a group of equally nice and equally high twenty-somethings.  then we got into the convention center where we were supposed to wait again after having received tickets to see stanley.  fortunately, rather than following the hundreds of people who were forming a mob on the bottom floor of the convention center, i wandered around a bit, and stumbled on a line of about 5 people who were lined up outside the room that actually had a sign on it identifying it as the stan lee signing room.  so i called j, and we enjoyed a quiet waiting time until the masses eventually must have followed someone to where we were.  i met a very friendly high school junior who really, really liked comic books.  really liked them.  he kept talking about ... well ... i'm not really sure what.  i picked out "the red hulk" and "first appearance of venom" ... but to be honest, i couldn't follow his conversation.  he was retelling story lines from the comics he read, i guess, and asking everyone who their favorite characters were.  i didn't really feel like i was in the proper company to report that i've never read a single comic book and i had no idea who they were talking about.  i smiled and nodded when possible, and deflected any conversation that actually required me to possess some kind of knowledge of their culture with a joke about my little ponies.  or halle berry.

at one point, i realized it was really silly that i had waited there empty handed while j waited to get something signed.  after all of the waiting and effort involved, i figured i should probably also ask for a signature.  so i was very thankful that my new little comic enthusiast friend and another new friend who was in front of me in line took good care of me and helped me obtain a spider man comic book while j held our place in line.  and now, i have a spider man comic book signed by stan lee that will be on its way to my nephew in the morning.

and yes, ironically, i won where's waldo yesterday.  when stan lee and his small entourage snuck by the masses to get settled into the conference room, i, of all people, was the one who pointed him out and said, "look, it's stanley."  crazy.

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