When I was looking through some old folders trying to sort and put away documents, I found this autographed poster that I had forgotten about. I didn’t forget about meeting Scarlett Johansson, but I did forget that I have her autograph as well.
She was in Kuwait on a troop morale type of tour, visiting the US military bases that were (are?) set up in the deserts of Kuwait. I suppose it goes without saying that a lot of people wanted to meet her. The line was tremendously long, and we only had a minute or two per group of people to get autographs and chat. I got the feeling she was a little disconcerted by the pace of the event. That’s the military for you though.
Earlier tonight, my wife and I met up with a friend of hers that she hadn’t seen in about 15 years at the Waldorf=Astoria. While we waited on her friend to get back from her day of sight-seeing, we walked around the hotel looking at the stuff behind glass in and around the main lobby. The hotel is almost like a mini-museum. I was especially interested in the old ledger from 1915 they had on display.
When her friend arrived, we exchanged gifts, she introduced us to her family, and we sat down for cocktails and to trade stories. She’s living in Japan and listening to her stories about working there and living there revived my interest in the country and my desire to travel. She was telling me about how easy it is to get a job teaching English there. The salary isn’t that bad either, compared to what I might make here teaching full time in a college. I’m not opposed to moving again. Japan would be a fascinating place to live and with a master’s degree under a TESL certification under my belt, I could probably get my foot in the door there without too much trouble, according to her.
More than anything, the conversation my wife and I had with her friend reminded me of how un-tied down I am to living in any one place for a long period of time. I suppose that’s a result of growing up in a military family and being in the military myself; I just don’t really feel like I belong to any one place. How do you even say you have a hometown, or say where you’re ‘from’ when you’ve never lived in one place for more than about 5 or 6 years? Or maybe I’m just not used to staying in one place for long, since I’ve never done it.
Either way, New York City is a great place, but I’m open to leaving, given the right circumstances. Whether that move would be to Japan or somewhere else remains to be seen, but after living in NYC, there aren’t many places that would be a step up in terms of excitement and things to do.
Oh, and after a great conversation and some really great cocktails at the Peacock Alley in the Waldorf=Astoria, my wife and I had our first celebrity sighting on our way home. We stepped out of the hotel and turned down the street to go to Grand Central. About a block down from the hotel, I was talking to my wife when I looked up and saw the actor from Terra Nova. Then my mind quickly jumped and I was thinking, ‘Hey, he was in Avatar too.’ Then he passed us and I turned to look back. He looked over his shoulder, as if he were wondering if we were going to stop him and hit him up for photos, etc., but we kept going and so did he. Then I said to my wife, “That guy is an actor.” Who, she wondered. I actually didn’t know his real name. I just remember him as Commander Taylor from Terra Nova, which, for some stupid reason, was canceled. His name is Stephen Lang. From the way he strutted down the sidewalk, I bet he’s a pretty cool dude.