So by now you all know that Dean missed us, thankfully. Thankfully. I've been mired in the whatnot of the first week of school: faculty meetings, first day introductions, syllabus design and distribution, getting stuck in traffic on my way to teach on the Westbank, missing my officemate, reading, writing--whatnot.
There is some excitement to report (not that the first week of school isn't exciting, 'cause I think it is and in fact I still can't sleep before the first day each semester). For instance, there's Tuesday: the day I almost met Brad Pitt. As you may or may not know, he and Angelina are part-time residents of New Orleans. Also, you may or may not know that I am happy about that fact. We can use all the help we can get, and having arguably the most famous people on the planet loving your limping city--and doing something about it--is a very good thing, indeed.
Anyways, I am in the process of writing both about the Global Green Project in Holy Cross, and about my almost-meeting Brad Pitt. Until I finish that piece, here's the short version:
I was touring the beginnings of the Global Green prototype house with another member of the HCNA, and when we left, there was Brad. The VIP-group was coming in to tour, and because I was wearing my HCNA T-shirt, I was able to see the house with the president of Global Green, the Home-Depot lady who's spearheaded the material-stuff, and Brad. Oh, and one scary dude in a suit and a few choice reporters.
I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't "supposed" to be in there, and that my shirt was my ticket. So I listened. Raptly. And tried very hard not to look at Brad. Luckily, the reporters were snapping pictures, and so I felt okay snapping away with my dinky Powershot. I felt almost as though Mr. Pitt wanted to align himself with me because of my shirt. He stood close. Like, close. I'd had this plan to get him to sign the back of my Holy Cross T-shirt. I had the Sharpie and all. In my plan, I would thank him for his work, tell him how the project helped seal the deal for two teachers who couldn't afford to buy elsewhere to take the plunge into the Lower Nine. He would sign my shirt, "I HEART HOLY CROSS--Brad Pitt," and I would wear that mofo with pride.
Instead: I could barely breathe.
Instead: I stood right... next... to... him... and took his picture with my dinky Powershot. He looked at me and I said, meekly, "Thank you." I'm pretty sure he said "No problem."
Ever since then, I have been hating on myself for being like everyone else. I have been hating myself for not being me. WHY did I take an f-ing PICTURE? WHY didn't I introduce myself?
Anyways, I am a retard, as I told Pam Daschiell (the past-president of the HCNA and a veritable buddy of Brad's in this Global-Green Holy-Cross project) at last night's HCNA meeting. She laughed and said he's a nice guy.
"I know," I said. "So why couldn't I be me? I'm a nice girl!"
"Yes, you are," she said.
Yes, I am.
So, I guess the lesson is that I am a bona fide product of American popular culture. However much I may ignore the Dan Akroyd's of the world so they can have their lives (Liv Tyler, too, and Roman Polanski, and Mos Def... all of them I've "left alone"), when I come face-to-face with Brad Pitt--someone with whom I share a genuine interest and actual common ground, I do What We Do: I take a picture and say, "thank you."
I know you are dying to see my pictures, and they ARE spectacular! I can say two things of Brad in Real Life: 1) he is not shorter than he looks, and 2) dude can wear a hard hat. But I am saving the pictures for my piece. After all, I know there are forreal freaks out there, who will re-publish my pics all over (right?--I mean what would you do with really great pictures of Brad Pitt in a hard hat? And don't say sell them). Since I plan to write about the event for nolafugees.com, I'm going to publish the pictures there. That way they can get all the hits and this blog can cruise along in relative anonymity.
So: that's how I almost met Brad Pitt. Now, I am going to have a margarita. Happy Friday.