Saturday, July 10, 2004

I went out to Nye's Polonaise Bar in Minneapolis last night. It's a Polish/German 50's style polka lounge. The crowd was an odd mix of old Polish people and young ironic hipster types. And they had a real polka band--two old men and one fat old woman with very few teeth, sitting on a stool rocking the accordian. It was awesome! The best part--Loni Anderson was partying there! She is (apparently) a Twin Cities native, a fact that was the subject of a huge debate among the group of friends I was there with. I just assumed Ms. Anderson was from the south somewhere (probably Texas)--I guess it's that heavy makeup, cosmetic surgery, bleached hair, massive fingernails thing. (No offense to southerners--I actually like the south, but y'know--it's the stereotype). My friend Anna, however, kept insisting that she was a Minnesotan. I looked Loni's info up on imdb and, holy shit--Anna was right. Who knew?

The woman looks exactly the same as she did on WKRP, by the way (I'm sure her plastic surgeon had a hand in that). I have to say though, I hope I look that good when I'm pushing 60. She was with a large posse consisting of several young women (daughters? nieces?) a few young men, a short black gay guy with bleached hair and what appeared to be a transvestite (or an extrememely masculine woman) in a black wig. Loni even hit the floor a few times with some of the cute younger guys in her entourage to do some polka dancing. It was pretty surreal. I got a good look at the action, because the section of the club where the band was playing was small, and a few times I actually brushed elbows with her. Some of the older bar patrons kept trying to cut in and dance with her--there were some terse words exchanged. (That was sort of creepy--these drunk middle-aged men about to come to blows because they just had to dance with Loni! fucking! Anderson!) It was quite a sight.

So now I have another celebrity to add to my list of sightings. Oddly enough, none of the encounters I've had with famous people have been in California or New York or any place you'd expect to see the rich n' famous. In no particular order, here's my list:

Troy Aikman and Michael Ervin: In 1998 I nearly ran into them while I was walking out of of Chammps (ugh) restaurant in Indianapolis (they were in town for the Indy 500). I only got a good look at Troy--he was extremely tall.

Craig T. Nelson (the dad from Poltergeist! Also, Coach): Summer of 1992--saw him in New Orleans. He was shooting a made for TV movie. I didn't get close to him, but got a few good pictures that I still have somewhere.

Liz Phair: August 2003...Okay, this one wasn't really a "chance" encounter--Marcus and I loitered outside the Vogue after her concert in Indy and had her sign our ticket stubs. I told her I liked her necklace.

Graham Greene: (my favorite!) May of 2001. I saw him in the "smoker's lounge" of the Denver airport, which was really just a bar. I sat next to him at the bar (the only available seat), completely unaware of who he was until I got a good look at his face. He was the coolest guy ever--we chatted for about 20 minutes about cats and beads, then he said he had to catch his flight and gave me his pack of cigarettes (he didn't want his wife to know he had been smoking). Before he left he signed a cocktail napkin for my mom.

The entire cast of Mystery Science Theatre in Minneapolis, at their convention in 1996. Okay, I'm the only dork impressed with that.

Robin Leach at an art opening in Las Vegas, 2003 (got close, but never talked to him).

And now Loni Anderson! Woo hoo! Random celeb sightings rock.

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