Saturday, August 07, 2010

You and I Both Know Terry O'Quinn is a Phenomenal Dancer!

Hello my dear friends -

First off, ten points to the first person who gives me the name of the movie that inspired my post title. (The points aren't worth anything, though. It's all about the pride of winning them.) Also, as a reminder, be sure to roll your mouse over the pictures in this post in order to read their captions. I'm quite proud of a few of them this time around.

OK! As those of you connected to me on Facebook or following me on Twitter are aware, I got to hang with Terry O'Quinn again on Saturday, July 31 -- this time on my home turf. Before I talk about that night, however, I have to give a big shout-out to another huge TO'Q fan, Kat S, who runs Seeing as how I only spend a few minutes on Facebook each day and therefore don't catch many of my friends' updates on the news feed, I'm sure Lost devotees would agree that it was totally fate -- and not a coincidence -- that a month or so ago when I logged in I spied a message Kat had sent to my man Andy at DarkUFO. She told him that Terry O'Quinn would be appearing at the end of July for a benefit at the Park West. When I saw Kat's message I thought to myself, "Hmm, that's weird -- there's a Park West here in Chicago."

I clicked on the link Kat had passed along to Andy and sure enough, the event was going to be right here in my 'hood -- mere blocks away from my condo. Within five minutes I'd asked my husband if it was OK for us to spring for the kinda expensive VIP tickets that guaranteed time with Terry. As my husband is, um, MY HUSBAND, he knew I was going to buy the tickets no matter what, so he was like, "Sure! Then you can get your picture signed! Go right ahead, my darling! What's that? Noooo, I don't think you're the biggest dork on earth at all. And I have zero regrets about marrying you!"

So I bought the tickets.

But then, as the weeks went by, I grew unsure of whether I'd actually be able to attend. It just so happened that I had to turn in my second-to-last round of edits for my book manuscript on Monday, August 2... but I wasn't able to sit down and start going through the 250-page document until the night before the benefit. D'oh! Even on the 31st I wasn't positive I'd be able to pull it off, and ended up making the decision to go about two hours before the Park West opened its doors. I finally thought, "Hell, I'm only going to get this chance once," and then jumped in the shower to get ready.

Terry was attending the event in order to help raise money for his brother Thomas Quinn's independent film, Using. You can read about the benefit here... and the film here. What's more, the team at Cheeky Chicago wrote a great piece here, and my friends at Hollywood Chicago snapped a very nice head shot of Terry that night, which you can take a look at here.

To sum up the evening, I felt like my three worlds collided. My three worlds being the world of my book, the world of my movie-writing gig for redbox, and the world of Lost. Before the event, Terry had dinner at Chicago's oldest chophouse, Gene & Georgetti, with the lucky winner (and five of his/her friends) of a fund-raising auction. I couldn't help but laugh that of all places in the Windy City to hold the meal with Terry, the powers that be picked Gene & Georgetti. Why? Because this steakhouse also plays a pivotal role in my book. Then, of course, Terry's brother's film was connected to my redbox job writing about movies... and Terry's Lost character is the namesake of the blog you're reading right now (duh). Too... much... to... process!

Anywhoooo, on to the good stuff. Almost immediately after Terry arrived, people started lining up to get a picture with him. I was one of the first people in the queue -- and this truly was not because I was a stalker, it was because the chick running the event came up to me and recommended that I get in line. I did not spend that long chatting with Terry -- only a few minutes -- and truth be told, that was totally fine with me because I was extremely nervous. More nervous, in fact, then when my husband and I ran into him on the Lost set in Oahu in October 2008. I think it was because this time I knew I was going to see him and talk to him and ask him to sign my infamous picture. Back then it was more of a surprise that we ran into him, and so I didn't have time to work myself up about it beforehand. Plus, since I was asking him to sign a picture of us, I figured he would definitely think I was a tad psychotic. All in all, I guess I was a bit embarrassed.

My husband was very confused by how shy I was acting. In the past month, because of the subject of my book, I have had to contact and correspond with a number of very, very intimidating dudes -- some of the most powerful men in the world, believe it or not. And so my husband was like, "You talked to X and Y and survived... and yet you're scared to talk to Terry O'Quinn... even though we've already met him... and we know he's a nice guy!?! I don't get it." Well, my dear friends, I didn't get it, either, but the bottom line is that I was really nervous. I think perhaps it's because, to me, Lost represents a turning point in my life -- if it weren't for the show, I wouldn't have stopped working for The Man and I wouldn't have my redbox job and I wouldn't have written my book. Terry is the person who represents Lost the most to me, because, as you know, his character is my site's namesake. So I think that's why I was freaking out. OK, enough psychoanalyzing.

When it was my turn to get a picture with him, I first asked if he would mind signing my other photo. I explained that it was taken in October 2008 during the filming of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." He acted genuinely excited and said, "I remember that day!" I also told him that I was back in Hawaii at the beginning of this year for the Sunset on the Beach premiere, and helped a fellow blogger, JOpinionated, host a fan party that Jeff Fahey (Frank Lapidus) ended up attending briefly. He laughed and replied, "I think I heard about that..."

Here's the signed picture:

Mission accomplished.

Next, a new picture had to be taken. Quite a change to be standing next to Terry while he was in a suit and tie and I was in a cocktail dress -- as opposed to us both sweating our you-know-whats off in 90-degree weather in downtown Waikiki.

That being said, I'm never going to top my original picture with him, now am I?

After we got the shot, I busted the heck out of there before I broke out in a sweat, a purple flush, and hives (this happened following the Hawaii encounter... but thankfully it was a delayed response about 20 minutes after our run-in). As I was carefully putting my 8 x 10 into a folder, Terry halted the line of admirers and came over to ensure that my husband was able to get a good picture of us. I think he felt bad (for me) that I didn't get to spend more time talking with him, since I was obviously a freakazoid Lost fan. I thanked him for checking and assured him that we did indeed get a nice shot.

Then my girl 0bFuSc8 -- whom I'd met in Hawaii in January and who may just be a bigger fanatic than I am -- had her turn.

She was able to spend quite a while chatting with Terry later on that evening, as she had brought a big ol' stack of Lost memorabilia for him to sign (which she intends to auction off to various charities).

I needed to decompress after the adrenaline rush that came from being face-to-face with "Locke," so we enjoyed some very yummy hors d'oeuvres and drinks while listening to a great band, Aubyn Beth. They performed a special song for the occasion, aptly entitled "Live Together, Die Alone," which they're currently in the process of recording. If you want to hear it once it becomes available, you can follow them on Facebook (note their cute profile pic with Terry!)... and they're also on iTunes.

Later on, Terry's brother Thomas said a few words about Using, and then Terry gave a short speech of support. He brought on stage with him Locke's knife, which was up for grabs in the silent auction. I'm not sure how well you can see it in this picture, but he's holding it (and that's his bro to the left).

Fast-forward to 10:30 pm -- guess who nabbed the knife? ObFuSc8, that's who! You go, girl! (Thankfully she kept it sheathed in my presence.)

I was really happy that ObFuSc8 was there, because not only did my husband and I have a great time hanging out with her and chatting about Lost, but I also needed her encouragement ("encouragement" in the form of being physically dragged) when it came time to DANCE WITH TERRY.

Yes, my dear friends, ObFuSc8, my husband, and I boogied down to "Hey Ya!", "I Gotta Feeling," and "All the Single Ladies," among other tunes, with the Man in Black himself.

I was surprised that:
1) He knew all of the words to every song the DJ played, and
2) He is a phenomenal dancer.

I am a harsh judge of guys who attempt to dance (this is a fault of mine, and I'm aware of it and am working on it), so I cannot tell you how relieved I was that Terry didn't need to resort to the typical "white dude" moves. He had rhythm, people! He was awesome. The whole night was incredible. I can't believe it happened.

So there you have it, folks. Needless to say, I do not regret taking a break from my manuscript. Thanks again to Kat for unknowingly giving me the heads up, to ObFuSc8 for getting my butt on the dance floor, and to my husband for his undying patience (at least this time HE got a picture with Terry, too).

The epilogue to this tale is that I sat at my laptop, editing away, for over fourteen hours straight on both Sunday and Monday immediately following the Using event. I technically still turned my manuscript in to my publisher on time (very, very late on Monday, my due date), BUT my left shoulder locked up in the process. I've had to have acupuncture and a professional shoulder/rotator-cuff massage to try and get things back to normal, but I'm still quite sore and in pain. The weird thing is that the only other time this happened to my shoulder was right after my day-trip to Oahu when I ran into Terry in 2008. Maybe he makes me come down with The Sickness?

Who knows, but the reality is that I have yet another round of (supposedly final) manuscript edits coming up between August 13 - 23, so in an attempt to not destroy my body -- especially since I still write two posts a day, every week day, for redbox -- I don't intend to start working on my Lost finale post any time soon. That's right, I haven't even had time to start it yet. I gotta focus on projects that pay the bills, my poor doggy who had serious surgery this past week, the ten bazillion visitors we have staying with us this summer, and a ton of other stuff I won't bore you with. But I WILL EVENTUALLY FINISH IT. Since I screwed up majorly by guesstimating that it would be done in June... and then July... I won't let myself be wrong a third time by mentioning a date/month I think it could be finished.

So, that being said, If you are still interested in reading my take on "The End" but don't want to keep checking back to this site every week, you have four options:

1) Friend me on Facebook -- I always link to Long Live Locke posts there.
2) Follow me on Twitter -- I will be sure to tweet a link when the post goes live.
3) Sign up for emailed posts in the right-hand column of this blog.
4) Get the RSS feed for this site -- also accessible in the right-hand column of this blog.

Yep, the ol' shoulder is a-burnin' right about now... and this post is merely 1/1000th the length that my finale post will be (and took me three hours to write). So I need to recuperate -- stat!

Thanks again for your patience,
- e