Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Moment of Truth: Meeting Trent...Almost

There are few things in life I've fantasized about as much as this. No, I didn't draw pictures or plan out my future wedding dress, as many young girls do. I didn't draw pictures or plan out my future house or my future car or my future anything, really, as most young girls did. But there is something I did draw pictures of as a young girl, in a about seventh grade, to be exact.

Trent Reznor.

I distinctly remember the sketch. I was quite proud of it. The shading, the detail, the care with which I studied a picture I found on the computer (which wasn't as easy or instantaneous pre-Google Images.) I don't know where that picture is today, but I never forgot its significance. He was the first celebrity I'd ever become truly enamored with, and to this day is perhaps the only one.

You can imagine what the idea of meeting him would do to me, and the fantasies I've had of what I'd say, how I would contain myself, what the setting would be...

So when I found out he was giving a "talk" at the Times Center as part of NYTimes' Arts & Leisure week, I sprinted to the computer to purchase tix.

The day came and I went with Rebecca, who appreciated my excitement in the way that only a few choice people in my life can, and was of course excited herself (a fellow NIN fan).

As he walked on stage, the heart palpitations quickened, but very soon after he and the interviewer started talking, they just as quickly died.

I blame the interviewer. His name: Jon Pareles. His occupation: decorated music critic and musician of countless instruments, author of countless musical analyses, etc., etc. What his credentials amounted to: A terrible interview with a less than approachable interviewee and a superbly awkward interviewer, which all amounted to an hour and a half of pretty bad journalism.

I take that back. An hour and 15 minutes of bad journalism. The last 15 minutes was opened to the audience for questions, and that's when, thank god, real questions arose. I ran to the microphone as fast as I've run to catch a subway closing its doors, and got the third spot in line. I then realized, in minutes I would be asking Trent Reznor a question, and he would be looking right at me and then answering said question, essentially TALKING TO ME.

The heart palpitations were back in full force - much stronger this time particularly because I had no clue at all what I was going to ask him.

I decided I was not going to go the way of the crowd and ask him some intellectualized question about music that I didn't really care to know the answer to. (I didn't mention, though it was implied, that every question Mr. Pareles asked was about music, to the point of mind-numbing boredom - think, "Why did you choose to use that sustained D in..." Shoot me.)

So I decided - if there's one thing I know about, at least a little, it's social media, and I know that Trent took a lot of flack for his dabbling in and stepping out of it namely via an infamous Twitter account.

My time came and I decided I couldn't let it pass without gushing just a teeny tiny bit. So here's basically what I said (mind you, this is the best memory I have of it - I pretty much blanked out before, during and after from nerves):

"I have to gush just a little bit myself. I'm probably not as much of a music aficionado as many of the people in this room. But I remember that in seventh grade, a boy who liked me showed up at my door with Pretty Hate Machine. And the rest is history. But I wanted to ask you, you recently got married and used social media to gush about your new-found happiness and took some criticism for that. It seemed a lot of people were talking in the press - or maybe it was just on Twitter - about your image upset by the fact that you were, well, happy. How did you deal with that backlash?"

I took a deep breath, having actually gotten through this and still being able to breathe, and stepped back to wait for his answer. Needless to say, it was sort of disappointing. He dodged the question for the most part, diverting attention to the fact that people who were doing that were crazy (which got an audience laugh, so more points there) and not really saying much about how he really feels about social media - which I think was a big miss for him, since the entire talk he was giving was meant to be about his role as the score composer for The Social Network (for which he won a Golden Globe a few weeks later.)

All in all, the thrill of having him look at me as I was actually speaking words TO HIM, was worth it all - even worth sitting through an entirely boring interview that I'd paid nearly 40 bux for.

Maybe one day I'll really meet Trent - without a microphone and an audience between us. But as his lyric said, "If I can't have everything, well then just give me a taste."

At least I got that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kelly Eats a Pound of Salt at Millesime.

My stomach was not thanking me this morning for all the fried goodies I ate while at the opening for Millesime last night. At the time it seemed like a great idea. It always does: no dinner, just lots of little bites of appetizer thingys that get passed around on fancy silver platters. "That will get me through and will totally be the same as dinner."

It's not. It never is.

I must say, though, that as far as passed Hors d'Ĺ“uvres go, this spot did it right, with an oyster bar (perhaps the new trend?) to boot, and made for an opening classier than any I've been to in recent memory (despite my complete fried food overdose).

Something about the scene was just on; the right people, the right mood, the right live band (and A capella group) the right design. Perhaps running into good friends helped shape my perspective, but the crowd was undeniably chic in that classic, New-York-at-its-best way. I don't know that Millesime, the new seafood brasserie in the Carlton Hotel (which replaced the long abandoned Country, finally) will always have such a swanky vibe, but one can only hope.

I should note that the three vodka, strawberry, soda drinks I had perhaps played a note in the morning-after-stomach-agony, but I'm chalking most of it up to the fried calamari and french fries that were deliciously packed with enough salt to cure an entire pig.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A little of what's going on

I haven't shared much lately about what I've been doing. It's time.

Let's start with this. It's my company's "radio station" as I like to call it. All the interviews are done by yours truly. You'll hear stuff in there on defense, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, supply chain and more. It's kept me quite busy. In fact, busy enough that I recently received the company's honor of "Rookie of the Year." It's only been six months so I was pretty stoked.

Been doing some makeup here and there, as you may have seen in a recent post. Kent, the excellently talented photographer I shot that with, was recently on a CBS special about KodaChrome. He rocks.

I'm gearing up to go skiing this weekend. I haven't been in about 7 years so this should be interesting.

I took a CopyWriting class in the city last week with a woman I know from BeautyNewsNYC (which I should be working on right now.) It was fun to talk about writing in a different way - though I feel I only scraped the surface of what it could be like.

Last Friday I went to the Times Center to hear Trent Reznor talk to a reporter who was pretty much the worst interviewer they could have put to the already-difficult challenge of interviewing my favorite front man. But it was Trent, and he was talking, so I was mesmerized. And then I got to ask him a question, directly. My life was changed. Ok, dramatic. More to come on that.

I'm thinking about cutting my hair. I mean, I always cut my hair. But this time maybe something different. I'm getting bored of it.

Perhaps I'll follow with some musings about things - as I miss doing that.