What Celebrity Sightings Tell Us About Memory

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Actress Kate Winslett watch Andy Murray of Britain play Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in their quarterfinal singles match on centre court at Wimbledon, Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Actress Kate Winslett watch Andy Murray of Britain play Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in their quarterfinal singles match on centre court at Wimbledon, Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

I don't mean to be a name-dropper, but: I've had breakfast with Jeff Goldblum, partied with David Cross, and gone grocery shopping with Kate Winslet. Granted, none of these people knew I was with them at the time. They just happened to be in the same time/space as me. So goes life in Los Angeles. Live there for long enough, and you'll have a collection of celebrity sightings as well.

(The Best One: I peed next to Marilyn Manson after a screening of Paranormal Activity 3, and don't think that didn't have a traumatic effect on the 14-year-old inside of me who thought Manson was, quite literally, an agent of the devil.)

The thing about each sighting, however, is that I can recall everything about the event. Jeff Goldblum was at The Griddle in Hollywood, sipping a cappuccino after stirring it neurotically for 20 straight minutes. David Cross was chugging a canned PBR at a house party that was in honor of nearby Silverlake Junction. And Kate Winslet was picking up cheese and bread at a Ralph's in Malibu. I can even remember what I was wearing at the time. These events happened years ago, and I have no problem closing my mind and re-entering their details. In direct opposition to the ease of those recalls, I can't remember what I ate this morning, among other embarrassing memory gaps that drive my partner (among others) into fits of rage.

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