10.01.2008

Elvis Sighting! (cross post)

This is originally from my work blog...

We had an Elvis Costello sighting at lunch! Seeing as this isn't New York or London or some other truly cosmopolitan city, it was very exciting. We're figuring he's here for the annual bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park. While we did say hi to him, we tried to keep it short and didn't have a chance to ask... But it was pretty cool and livens up an otherwise ordinary day in 1UP Land, and it confirms something I've long suspected: Eating lunch anywhere but the office pretty much rocks.

See, lately Mike Cruz and I have been venturing out to eat lunch in local restaurants, rather than just grabbing food to take back to the office. Nothing against the ol' 1UP lunch room, but sometimes you just want a change of scenery. And so far, it's been a smashing success. The first time, we sat at a communal table at New Ming's, and the people across the table started talking to Mike about his Gatchaman T-shirt. It was a fun conversation and beat eating in front of a monitor reading blogs and spilling food on my nice white Mac keyboard any day.

Today we decided to eat at a local dim sum restaurant, Yank Sing, which I actually kinda don't like because it's super overpriced and their waiters serve food predatorily (expensive dishes are pushed aggressively, taking advantage of people on business lunches and the fact that dim sum restaurants don't have menus with prices listed on them). And they don't have a changing table for babies and have refused to install one despite promises from their PR director that they would (not that I'm still bitter or anything ;)

But today, we just said what the heck and headed over. As soon as we sat down, I saw someone I thought was Elvis Costello sitting alone a few tables over. The glasses didn't look quite right, and since this is a city with its fair share of bohemian-rocker-scruffedup-hipsters, from two tables away and in profile, it wasn't entirely clear that this was The Man. And despite my being totally obvious about having possibly spotted him and doing double, triple and quadruple takes (sorry Mr. Costello), he seemed to have the outside world tuned out, immersed as he was in Backbeat: Earl Palmer's Story. (Also, I'm sure that, like all longtime celebrities, he's completely inured to the ruckus caused by his very presence among mere mortals.) We continued to eat lunch, fending off the hovering waiters pushily hawking $15 dumplings.

We kept investigating, however, looking for conclusive evidence. This man was using chopsticks with his left hand -- is Elvis Costello left-handed? Nobody else was gawking at him -- but maybe that's just because they're clueless or better-behaved! He was definitely reading a music-related book, and his watch and fancily stitched shirt had that rich, rockstars-only look.... We were becoming more convinced, but we couldn't be sure.

Then I spotted the glasses. On the table sat a telltale pair of his signature horn-rimmed, 60s style, tortoise-shell, whatever-you-want-to-call-them-but-basically-the-kind-Elvis-Costello-wears glasses. Of course! It all became so clear! He was wearing reading glasses and that's why he looked a little different. Such a wily disguise! The man was hiding in plain sight!

We were immediately impressed with ourselves and really wanted to share our discovery with Mr. Costello himself, but luckily we recognized that would have been a bit embarrassing and probably annoying for him. So we waited until we were walking out the door, and then went over to say hello. He held his hand out to shake mine almost reflexively; this must happen to him ALL. THE. TIME. (Again, sorry Mr. Costello.) I asked him a few embarrassing questions ("what are you doing here by yourself? where's your entourage?" to which he replied, "oh, I'm just enjoyin' me lunch and readin' me book" -- so gracious a response to my stupid questions) and made my music-related statement ("I know most people like 'Allison' but personally i prefer 'Veronica,'" which I couldn't help but squeeze in there because I do love that song). And then, satisfied that I had made a complete ass out of myself, we left the man in peace.

All in all, a pretty decent off-campus lunch experience.

No comments: