The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Good In Theory, Bad In Practice

October 4, 2006

Good In Theory, Bad In Practice

Turns out summer was just kidding about sticking around. It's about 50 degrees today. Appropriately, Wee Cafe Girl has put on her winter wear and moved to, well, a coffeeshop.

I got an e-mail this morning with a Chris Isaak sighting. For those of you who don't know, Chris Isaak is my one celebrity obsession. I have been a fan since I was about 15 years old. Back then, it was all about his smoldering good looks. Now, 14 years later, it's really about the essence of his music.

It's easy to assume that his body of work consists only of songs about unrequited love and heartache. Granted, a lot of his songs are the saddest songs you'd ever hear. But there's also a lot of references in there to musical greats--a hint of Elvis, a touch of Jerry Lee Lewis, a taste of country, and a good old helping of rock and roll.

And then there's a wry sense of humor about his music. Who else would write the lyric, "Circus tents all got blown down/All the freaks are running around" or "Of course you're sleepy baby/ You've been up all night." And, my personal favorite, "Here we go, round and round/State your case, and then sit down/Tell me something I don't know/I don't love you anymore."

Oh yeah, and it helps that the man is hot. See him live in concert, have him raise that one eyebrow and grin at you, look into his piercing blue eyes, and you'll keep coming back every year. In fact, you might even travel to other cities to see him...

Anyway, this morning I got an e-mail from a friend who had a colleague who had a Chris Isaak sighting at The Four Seasons in Chicago. My friend's colleague saw Chris Isaak walk through the lobby.

I was skeptical at first. Afterall, Chris Isaak isn't easy to recognize once he's off stage. I've seen him sans the sparkley suit, and he looks like a guy. Granted, a very good looking guy, but not one that stands out as a celebrity. Except, the colleague said Chris Isaak was with a woman who had a little dog. Now, there's no mistaking that combination. Chris Issak's manager is a woman. And she does have a little dog named Rodney. (See, I told you I was a fan.)

Thus began my dilemma for the day. Do I take a long lunch and try to head over to The Four Seasons to see if I can catch a glimpse of Chris Isaak in the lobby? How long would it take to get to The Four Seasons from work? Do I want to pay for a cab ride there and back? Would I actually get to see Chris Isaak? And, of course, my favorite question of all--what exactly does one do after one has seen and gotten the attention of a celebrity?

It was then I realized that celebrity stalking clearly falls into the category of "Good In Theory, Bad In Practice."

By nature, I'm a pretty fun and imaginative person. I try, as best I can, to be spontaneous, to see life as an adventure, to step out of what is comfortable, and take risks. But I am also a wise person. And, over the years, I have formulated a list of things that are Good In Theory, Bad In Practice.

For example:

Speed Dating
Good In Theory--Meet many people in a short period of time. Don't have to spend much time with each one. If conversation bombs, move on. No need for friends to call to say your cat/fish/dog/grandmother died just to bail you out of a bad date.

Bad In Practice--Meet many people in a short period of time. Don't have to spend much time with each one. If conversation bombs, no opportunity to salvage, must move on. People you meet can still reject you, only now they do it by filling out a form on their computers indicating they don't want to see you again. And there's no free meal out of it either.

Making Pancakes Naked
Good In Theory--Live life a little. Take risks. Seems like something fun and sexy that happens in the movies.

Bad In Practice--Pancake batter sticky. Sizzling butter no fun on bare skin. Naked pancake making only happens in porn movies.

Going To Drinks With Bassist From A Rock Band
Good In Theory--Very flattering to be asked by someone almost famous. Makes one feel sexy and desirable. Seemingly innocent activity--afterall, it's only a hotel bar, not a sleazy backwater joint. And Bassist says the whole band will be there.

Bad In Practice--Quite dangerous to be drinking with someone almost famous. Hotel lobby not so far from hotel room. Still feeling sexy and desirable until realize that Bassist is in his sixties. Quickly become suspicious when Bassist is the only person that shows. Very suspicious when there are two other girls there. Not very attractive ones at that. Slightly insulted afterwards.

And so...

Stalking Chris Isaak In Chicago
Good In Theory--Clearly qualifies as Absurd and Amazing Adventure. Get another Chris Isaak fix to last me till next summer. Maybe Chris Isaak will finally realize am woman of his dreams and whisk me away with him. Or maybe will just get another autograph and perhaps a hug. Fun story for the friends regardless.

Bad In Practice--Have to skip work to hang out in hotel lobby. Bare the embarrassment of being watched by hotel security, or worse of being identified by Issak's people as "one of those fans." Seeing man and freezing. Saying something stupid. Feeling stupid. Having man sign my shirt--my new, dress shirt. Walking back to the office with a ruined shirt. Wasting hours with no sighting at all.

So I didn't go down to The Four Seasons Hotel today. I didn't think the possibility of seeing Chris Isaak in the flesh quite outweighed the risk of getting my ass fired for missing work, especially since I was on a project with a deadline. Afterall, it'll be really hard to have more Absurd And Amazing Adventures in the unemployment line. And it'll be even harder to support my pricey Starbucks addiction.

That's not to say I didn't go home and scour fan message boards for clues as to why Chris Isaak would be in Chicago. Turns out he's here for 3 days, playing a private show for Lexus with Sheyrl Crow. Then he's off to New Jersey, and Paris (which I knew about), then Hawaii (2 concerts), followed by Australia and New Zealand (also all concerts).

Hey, cyber stalking is still allowed.

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