Monday, July 03, 2006

Not one but THREE Ander-experiences!

It's a rather long entry, but c'mon people, she went to not ONE but THREE signings!
(oh yeah there are a few pics at the end!)
Thanks Rachel for sharing!!

Barnes and Noble June 25, 2006:
We arrive at 8:00am on the dot. When we park we see 5 other people squatting at the front door of the store. I get out of the car and say “OK so I am not the only die hard Anderson Fan!” They laugh and we get our spot in line. I end up talking with the ladies who are all local residence. We discuss Katina and how it affected them. Everyone had a touching story. When we are finally let into the store (11am) the line is split into 2. Anderson arrives on time at 1pm. My heart begins to beat about 100 bpm and it had nothing to do with the Venti white mocha I ordered at the Starbucks inside the store. So Anderson did a little speech and he begins to sign books.

What I have failed to mention is that I brought with me to NOLA a small gift for Anderson. I had a personalized wine bottle made for him. I was a little nervous about giving it to him but everyone in line said it was beautiful and they knew he would love it. Well because they all saw the wine bottle they made me go in front of them. I was not ready. I needed to gather my thoughts, calm down a bit before I went up to the table. They got the best of me and made me go in front of them.

Well it was now my turn. When the person in front of me left the table Anderson looks right at me and has a big smile on his face. He notices that I have something besides books in my hand. I walk up, shake his hand and this is said
Rachel: “Hi Anderson, I have a small gift to give you.”
Anderson: “Oh OK”
Rachel: (hand him the wine bottle)
Anderson: “OH MY GOD! (Yes he yelled it) this is the coolest thing ever. Thank you so much. Oh My God!” (spinning the bottle to get a full look at it)
Rachel: (very pleased he liked it)
Anderson: (grabs a book, still giggling, looks at the post it note) “So are you Rachel?”
Rachel: “Yes”
Anderson: (begins to sign the book, still giggling) “Did you make this?”
Rachel: (mind racing thinking to myself is he asking if I made the wine or the label, which of course I did not make either) “Well I emailed the picture to the company and told them what I wanted it to say so I guess I can not take all the credit.”
Anderson: (Still giggling again and starts to sign the other book I had) “Thank you so much, I really appreciate this”
Rachel: You’re very welcome.
Anderson: (hand me 2nd book) Wow, thanks again this is great.
Rachel: oh no problem, thank you, (shake hands and off I go)
I leave Barnes and Noble with my friend on cloud nine. And off to Octavia books we went. (side note, I forgot to look at him)


Get to Octavia bookstore and stand in line with is outside. Very hot in NOLA in June. Everyone is sweating buckets and I say “Well I hope Anderson likes sweaty, stinky people because that is what he is going to get.” People laugh and again I chat with a few NOLA residences in line. See Christian get out of a taxi, I go up and introduce myself to him and Libbey. Anderson arrives at Octavia books at 3:30 (this guy has a great work ethic, arrives early or on time for everything).

The book signing starts early, 3:45. We are the first 20 to go into the store to get our books signed. My friend goes first this time. When I approach Anderson’s assistant she says
Assistant: “Oh hi, you’re the one that gave him the wine bottle right.”
Rachel: yep that’s me
Assistant: Did they not let you get all your books signed at the other store?
Rachel: Nope just here for this one as well.

His assistant gives my book to Anderson, he looks at the name so he can greet everyone by there first name, (this paper has my mother-in-law’s name, Sylvia) He looks up and says
Anderson: “Hi, Syl…’re not Sylvia”
Rachel: Nope I’m Rachel, yes I was at the other store, gave you the wine bottle
Anderson: Yes, of course, I remember.
So now my mind is racing “Holy Crap he remembered me. Does he think I am insane, does he think I am stalking him?” So I make light of the situation, he laughs, hands me my book and says
Anderson: Well thank you so much for coming back.”
Rachel: No problem, thank you (shake hands again)
(side note, I looked at him this time. Well very briefly)
We leave Octavia books; hang out by the back door so I can get my picture with him. OK, I went NOLA with a mission. To get my picture taken with the man himself. Not next to him, but with him. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! When he leaves the bookstore at 6:00pm I ask his assistant if I can get a quick picture, she says yes, when she asks Anderson he looks at me and say “Oh of course” and puts him arm around my waist. Again, I die on the spot and think to myself “HOLY CRAP he has his arm around my waist”. So I say it was far game and I put my arm around his. Over the blazer ladies and gents, over the blazer. I am not that crazy. He takes a few more pictures with people, my friend tells him his very rock star, he smiles and says “Oh, I don’t know about that” and off he goes.


We get to the book store at 8am on the dot and we are the only ones there. I do not want to be the first in line so I let this young lady go ahead of me. Again I don’t want Anderson to think I was stalking him so I figured I would again make light of the fact that this is my 3rd book signing in 2 days and decided that I would ask him to sign my book “3rd times the charm”.

My friend said she would ask him to write something witty and Melissa, a girl we meet the day before and who decided to go with us to Borders said she would ask him to write “Stop following me” in her book. Anderson arrives at 12:30 on the dot (like I said great work ethic) does a little speech and off he goes to sign books. Again, his assistant remembers me and says “You guys again”. My friend says “Yes, we are Anderson’s posse”. He hears this, looks up at us and smiles. I go up, shake his hand and as he starts to write my name in the book I ask if he can write something more specific as a greeting.

He says “OK go ahead” I say write 3rd times the charm. He writes it, gives me the book and asks “OK, so what does this mean?” I say “Well since this is my 3rd book signing in 2 days I thought it was fitting” He looks up and says “Oh OK I remember” (me dying again)

My friend goes up and says:
Rhonda: I was wondering if you can write something witty but if you have to write something generic this is cool.
Anderson: It’s a little too early to be witty.
Rhonda: its 12:30!?
Anderson: Well I have been up with the police all morning.
Rhonda: Well, write that.
Anderson: OK. (writes greeting) People are not going to know what this means years from now.
Rhonda: Well, I will know what it means, not to worry.

Our friend Melissa goes up asks him to write her greeting in her book, telling him that we have been to all 3 book signings and that we are not stalkers. I say “Well, not the dangerous kind.” Anderson looks up and starts laughing. Melissa notices that Anderson keeps writing in her book. She leaves the table and tells me he wrote something after it. I said well lets take a look, Anderson wrote…”Stop following me, no, seriously!” We laugh, look back at him and he is smiling.

Anderson is just a very nice, gracious, fun, witty individual. He allowed us to run amuck and had fun watching us make fools of ourselves. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am now back home, at work, to my normal life and will never forget my time in NOLA.

BTW: Please do not post these images on other blogs/sites. Thank you!


Codeh said...

Yo...This Rachel girl is seriously the luckiest person I've ever ever in my life have read or seen!!!

To meet Coop 3 times...omg...and to give him a gift...and to take pictures with your arm around him...omg...I'm so speechless.

I do not know how people are so lucky...I can not believe she did all of that with Coop....

People are so lucky...omg!

I can't even say what I'm's just to much!!!

Kim said...

Wow what a great read! Congrats Rachel! It sounds like a TON of fun. Do you have a close of picture of the wine bottle?

Rachel said...

I do I can send it to Rita and see if she will post it.

Kelly said...

Greatness! My friends and I drove 3 hours to have Cooper sign our books in New Orleans. I have so much respect for him; he's a true inspiration.