Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

RTTL 2003.2 -> Brushes with Fame

1. I was given a bear hug by Salman Rushdie at a book release party for Erica Jong at the Groucho Club in London - this was for her Fear or Fifty, so it must have been August 1994. Incidentally, I believe I told her that I used one of her books as whacking material as a teenager (How To Save Your Own Life, which still gives me nightmares of brown suede sofas, quadraphonic Zen monks, and skiing accidents).

2. When I was in Pamplona, I shared an elevator with the Hemingway daughter who had the boob job. Is it Mariel? Marron? Missy Elliott? I could never remember her name. Anyhow, she was hot, even though she only had DirtyPillows 1.0 installed at the time.

3. At Netscape, Brendan Eich's cube was located directly opposite mine (both being above the "cafetorium" and within throwing distance of the fish (Command-Shift-Option-F in old browser, right?)). In three years, I never saw him once. Apparently he still drew a salary, though. Later on, when I was offered the position as lead JavaScript QA engineer, this fact interested no one whatsoever.

4. I once received a personal E-mail from Steve Jobs in response to my whining (this in the Spring of 1998) that I had to go to Dan's office at Microsoft with a bunch of Zip disks if I ever needed prerelease Apple software - it was easy for Microsoft employees to get, but never, ever for Apple employees what worked at Claris / FileMaker. Needless to say, this was followed up by really angry E-mail from the Apple employee who'd been telling us for years that we weren't allowed to see prerelease Apple software - he warned me that if I ever, ever talked to Steve again, he'd come over to Claris and personally beat the shit out of me.

5. Adam Mars-Jones' most recently published book, Blind Bitter Happiness, is dedicated to myself and another ex-friend of his. This is of course something that doesn't make me happy - after all, it's because we had a falling out that's awfully involved to explain - but at the same time it's still even slightly cool that I have a book out there partly dedicated to me.

6. On the flight to Auckland last year, some famous yachting guy was sitting ahead of us on the plane. Some big drunk American white guy in his fifties. Frankly, yachting enthusiasts can kiss my ass.

7. I personally claim to be responsible for a small feature in Internet Explorer for Mac OS. The developer assigned to ToolTip implementation and I were hanging out, shooting the breeze, and I suggested that it sounded like a good idea just to do it by hacking Balloon Help, which to me had always seemed fairly useless most of the time. Presto, a new feature was born. So, when I see the Mac OS balloons popping up on IE, I smile.

8. Although I don't know what Richard Bulger is doing these days (assuming he isn't already dead), I did meet the man, the legend (yeah, right - legendary only for his unspeakable sexual proclivities) at a conference on Bears at UC Santa Cruz back in 1993. Boy, that was weird, especially the informal chat afterwards at the Blue Lagoon with a bunch of clueless UCSC Queer Nation wannabees.

9. On the street in front of the Durant Hotel, I once watched Stephen Hawking roll down the block on his way to a lecture somewhere on campus. Anyhow, he was hot, even though he only had DorkyRobotVoice 1.0 installed at the time.

10. Finally, I'd almost forgotten it, but it's true that I once hung out backstage with Michael Gira at a Swans concert at some crappy amphitheater in Hollywood (I think it was - they opened for Gaye Bikers on Acid, and I remember it as being outdoors. I also remember GBOA as drinking a lot of shitty American beer and playing really badly.) Gira was a really friendly, intelligent, warm kind of guy. I hadn't expected that at all. In high school I'd exchanged a couple of letter with Jarboe, and this wound up leading to free passes to that show (it was probably 1988 or so), demo tapes, etc. Pretty funny. This was leading up to the release of This Burning World on Uni, a CD release that I lost years back and have never been able to replace. Waaaah. But meeting Gira was cool. Fun fact: he speaks flawless, fluent German - apparently he'd worked in a knife factory in Solingen. How appropriate, somehow.

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