Monday, October 16, 2006


"I think you take better pictures" - e, to me. (hahahaha)

I left work exactly at 5:30 and headed to the bookstore to get a glimpse of Annie Leibovitz. By the time I got there, the place was already packed (what, do these people not have jobs or something?!), and I waited in line to purchase my book.

After that, I went to the fiction room (i.e., the place for the B-listers), and sat on the floor in the ever-so-comfortable Indian (Native American? American Indian?) style. Forty-five minutes go by, and I thought about how those slave passages over to America must have really sucked.

(I'm not being flippant. I was miserable after 45 minutes, and I had a lot more room than those people did. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been.)

In this disconnected world, I always love to see who the people are behind my otherwise faceless community. Per usual, they were sorta weird. And rather pushy. And a bit difficult. Having enough of the masses, I untangled from the pretzel I had folded myself into on the floor, and I retreated between a bookcase and a wall, all set to watch Annie on the TV screen that is erected in the Fiction room.

She popped out of the elevator, and a wave of ooohs passed through my room. She tripped on a pushy person, and someone gushed, "You'll never wash that foot again!"

Annie Leibovitz passed out of our vision, and went to the little stage that they had set up in the other room. And she began speaking. Annnnnnnnnd we couldn't see her. It was a speech and slideshow deal - luckily, we could see the slideshow. She read from her book as pictures appeared onscreen. She lost Susan Sontag (it was never publicly declared, but it was widely known that they had been together) and her dad within six weeks of each other, and those were catalysts for compiling the book. She got a little choked up, and it was just so amazing to hear the person behind all of these great works of art. She became more than a name.

She finished speaking, and the mayhem began. I milled around until it was my turn to get in line. There was a girl around my age in front of me, and a cute couple just out of college behind me (well, I think the guy liked the girl, but she didn't know they were on a date). An employee kept going up and down the line, instructing us to get our books ready, and saying, over and over, "NO PHOTOGRAPHY."

I didn't think that would be a problem, since I didn't have my camera with me. But oh, was I wrong.

Waiting patiently, I tried to think of some way to impress Ms. Leibovitz. What could I say so that she'd remember me? What type of advice could she give me? How could I convey to her how awesome and talented I think she is?

I was about five people from mecca when the formerly quiet girl in front of me turned around and asked me if I would take a picture of her and Annie Leibovitz when she was getting her book signed. My mouth pretty much dropped open, and I said, "um, okay...I guess. I hope I don't get arrested."

I tried to hide the camera with the 20 pound tome, but a helper grabbed my book from me and put it on the table, next to be signed. The girl talked to Annie Leibovitz, and gave me a significant look. I took a picture. She gave me another look, this one more insistent. This time, the camera flashed, and the denizens were upon me. I just needed a bush to hide behind, and I'd be the spitting image of a paparazzi.

People squawked from the front row "HEY! No cameras!" and the helpers turned from helping to mean. I snapped one more pic, and wailed "This isn't even my camera, I'm being a goooood Saaammmmaaaarrriiitaaaaaaaaaann" while the girl who I was TAKING A BULLET FOR pretended to not know me and chatted up Annie.

The girl finally grabbed her camera and shifted away, and I realized - OH CRAP I'm right in front of someone who would be my hero, if I had heroes, and I'm frittering the moment away aiding and abetting some rule-breaker - and I tried to think of what to say, and I looked her in the eyes, and thoughtfully blurted out,

"Thank you so much - just, you just - you are just SO FREAKING AMAZING."

Annie Leibovitz said thank you, and thrust out her hand. I shook it. I'd like to think that she recognized how much she meant to me, but I'm thinking the handshake is status quo. I said thank you, and stepped aside, while another helper put my book in a plastic bag. I'm pretty sure my face was bright red, and he said, "Don't worry, I won't be calling the camera police."

And with that, I walked off into the night.

Aren't you just the photography rebel, Meg? :) Between the chip factory and this... wow! You're just lucky that no one is into calling photography police on you! ;)
Define "Irony"... not being able to take photos of a photographer.

TC: oooh! good reference!

JC: She was fine with people taking pictures, I think, but the people wanted the line to move along.
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