Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Night with Natalie Revisited

Since everyone in my office is obsessed with Garden State this summer, I thought I'd bring you this not-so-classic cut from the Greenhaus Effect archives, remastered for your spell check's pleasure.

Above: She's Like Every Girl I've Ever Dated, But Hotter

I’m not quite sure if I’m in love with Natalie Portman or her character from Garden State, but either way she’s high-up on my list of celebrity crushes. But, unlike most unobtainable Hollywood hotties, Natalie (yes, we’re on a first name basis) always seemed to exist somewhere on the fringes of my very tangible social circle. She attended Harvard with my best friend, danced at a wedding with a co-worker and, most importantly, falls comfortably into my limited area of female expertise: short, Jewish and neurotic (oh come on, she grew up on Long Island after all.)

Since I’ve always fashioned myself something of a Zach Braff character, I imagined our first encounter would be somewhat cinematic, set against the Shins’ “New Slang” or awash in Simon and Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy in New York.” So, you can imagine how off guard I was when I found myself sipping Icelandic vodka just one seat away from Ms. Portman at the overstuffed, over priced, Maritime Hotel. It happened last Thursday at a Sigur Ros after-party, sometime during a heated jamband debate with two of my closest cubical neighbors. While on some (in-retrospect) embarrassing Disco Biscuit-tangent, I noticed my friend’s eye moving slowly to my right and then down to my shoulder. After a few seconds of self-conscience confusion, I glanced over only to find out that I had been sitting next to the one and only Natalie Portman for the past fifteen minutes (and apparently she didn’t find my Disco Biscuits dissertation attractive--dam). Before I could utter the words “carrying is creepy,” she moved across the room, leaving Elizabethtown the lone cinematic depiction of my Garden State dream.

After finishing my vodka, I cut my losses and walked home to find my narcoleptic/or alcoholic roommate passed out on the sofa and my IM flickering for attention. As if walking into a bonus track on the Garden State DVD, my computer displayed cryptic message from a female friend which once accused Zack Braff of plagiarizing her personality (and I don’t disagree), beginning a weekend chase which also culminated with a GS-quote (alas, “We're not gonna make out or anything, okay?/Oh, I'm sorry. I just totally ruined that moment, didn't I?”)

I don’t need to recreate Garden State, I’m living it. Except for the whole paraplegic mom plot, my parent’s only disease is Jewish guilt.

On a somewhat related tangent how, have you enter noticed that things tend to sound just a touch deeper when set against the Shins’ “New Slang.” Turn it on and chew on this: I’m not sure what the meaning of life is, but I’m pretty sure the Shins scored its soundtrack.

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