The Holiday Greetings have all been mailed. (Didn't get one? Be nicer to me next year.) So we can now begin looking at the top dozen "celebrity" photos of 2008 (perhaps no year has that word been pushed further to its limits). Enjoy! Or don't! But try to at least hold your insane jealousy to a manageable level.
12. Ted Danson, Jersey City, NJ
Ted Danson was the main guest at the Green Expo in Liberty State Park (easily crushing Deirdre Imus), but I was more focused on picking up free stuff (lightbulbs! frisbees! a brochure for biodegradable coffins!) than I was on getting a picture with Mr. Danson, a man whose stature has shot up in my eyes largely because of his appearances in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Then I saw him just wandering around talking to people and figured, "Well, why the hell not?" I believe this is the first celebrity photo taken by my mother. Can you feel her pride? If not, can you feel that awesome Jimmy Sturr t-shirt (thanks, eBay!)?
11. Julie Newmar, Fairfield, NJ
Another one I didn't really plan on getting, but since I had already engaged the woman who is arguably the best Catwoman in a long conversation attempting to confirm that she actually left a comment on my sister's blog (all signs point to yes), I figured I might as well get the photo. Plus, it's always fun to take a picture with someone paler than me. Someday, I'll get around to posting a photo of me and wrestling legend Ric Flair from several years back. The skin-color contrast (my deathly pale versus his inhuman bronze) is phenomenal.
10. Bob Bourne, Uniondale, NY
I suppose I should care that you don't know who Bob Bourne is. I don't. But to educate you, he was on all four of the New York Islanders Stanley Cup teams (yes, kids, they used to win Cups) and though I have only fleeting memories of watching him play, he was my kind of player: smart, a little pesky, and a lot quick. Check out a tribute here and pay close attention to the end-to-end rush against the Rangers at 1:44 (which I wish they would show in just one speed). A lot of people at the Core of the Four autograph signing were anxious to meet Mike Bossy or Denis Potvin or Bryan Trottier. Not me. I was all revved up for Bourne. It was pretty cool to meet him.
9. Clark Gillies and Bobby Nystrom, New York, NY
More Islanders from the good old days (back when I was between 3 and 7...the memories aren't as strong as I wish they were). This picture was taken at an event at The Pond at Bryant Park, which apparently very few people gave a crap about. Good news for me, though, as I got on line, got my stuff signed, got the photo taken, went to Kinko's across the street, printed the photo, got back in line, and got the photo signed by Mr. Gillies (one of the greatest nicknames of all time..."Jethro") and Mr. Nystrom (one of the nicer guys you'll ever meet...I even remember him being nice when I was a wee lad). They seemed a little taken aback. Luckily, I'm used to that reaction.