Anatomy of an Autograph

1:54 p.m.: While reading the papers at lunch (yes, I take a very late lunch), I see a review of one of the SPF plays that features Ally Sheedy. I think there's some reason why I want Ally Sheedy's autograph but can't recall it. My first thought is the "Short Circuit 2" poster, but only her voice was in that, so it seems a bit of a stretch to get that signed. Still, there's something...

2:03 p.m.: Got it. I just saw a record somewhere that featured a very young Ally Sheedy reading an abridged version of a book. But where did I see it? I've been in a lot of record stores lately, plus a garage sale on Sunday. Then it comes to me: Boomerangs in Jersey City. Their prices were a little too high, but I did buy a Morton Downey Jr. record (which seemed to invoke both laughter and terror from the woman at the store) and thought about buying the Ally Sheedy record (which was sealed) but decided it was too much. Yep, that's where it was.

2:05 p.m.: OK, that's solved. Now how do I get that record and get it signed? I'm going to Boston after work on Friday, so that cancels out going to any weekend performances. And, since it's only running until Sunday, that leaves tonight, or roughly five hours from now. So I'd have to go to Boomerangs right after work (in the hopes that they still have it), buy the record, and get into the city by 7:30 to go to the play and then get the album signed afterward.

5:55 p.m.: Found it. Got nervous because I didn't find it until the next-to-last rack. But there it was. At $10, a little out of my normal record-buying range, but worth it for this occasion.

6:45 p.m.: After eating some quality La Rustique pizza and watching the first segment of TMZ, I head to the Internet to buy my bus ticket for Boston and verify that the Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy on the record is indeed Ally Sheedy. It's slightly difficult to corroborate (which makes me think I've found something exceedingly rare), but after awhile, I do.

6:55 p.m.: I realize that I'm not going to make it to the Public Theater by 7:30. So I'll just have to go afterward and hope that I recognize the 2009 version of Ally Sheedy. I go back to the Internet to look at recent photos of her to prepare.

9:00 p.m.: As I walk up Lafayette Street, I see the crowd coming out of the theater, so I've timed things well. Hooray for me.

9:15 p.m.: A woman I'm reasonably confident is Ally Sheedy (shorter than I imagined, but almost every celebrity I see is shorter than I imagined) emerges and begins talking to what I assume are friends and family. I try to eavesdrop on conversations so that I can hear the word "Ally" and be sure. I can't imagine I look cool doing this. But I haven't been escorted out yet, so I guess I'm doing OK. Still haven't heard "Ally," though.

9:24 p.m.: OK, I think I heard someone say "Al." Good enough for me. Now I just have to wait until she's done socializing because I don't want to be rude (and right there is why I'll never be a good autograph collector).

9:29 p.m.: One of her friends sees the album and Sharpie in my hand and alerts Ally to my presence. So I get my opening and ask for an autograph. She sees the album and is duly impressed/slightly horrified, saying she forgot she even did it (she was 12 at the time of the recording). Her friends/family are equally amused, and she explains a little about the record to them. She asks if she should just sign it and I tell her she can make it out to me (thus edging myself out of the top tier of the lucrative Ally Sheedy autograph business). One of her friends/family members takes pictures of her signing the album and then informs me that "I'm so cute." I'll take it.

9:30 p.m.: Mission accomplished and off to the rock show at the Mercury Lounge.

And that's how an autograph was born.

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