January 16, 2012

Meeting Simon Baker

Yes, it is true. After years of writing about my lust for Simon Baker (as is evidenced here, in any of these posts, and in my BOOK!), I did, in fact meet him. For real. And it was as magical as I had anticipated it to be. Except that I never had really anticipated meeting him. Meeting your celebrity fantasy man just doesn't happen in real life, you know? So I hadn't anticipated it at all.

But then it did happen. It really did.
Simon Loves Boo


So how did I meet him? Well, in an act of incredible foresight and cunning, my husband and I befriended an awesome American couple called Melanie and Michael by a pool in Fiji about seven years ago. We immediately clicked, our kids all got on brilliantly, and we've been close ever since.Mike became an Emmy award winning TV director, and Mel turned out to be a childhood friend of Robin Tunney, who plays Simon Baker's boss in The Mentalist.

In other words, contacts, my friends. It's all about contacts.

Mike and Mel organised a visit to The Mentalist set for my family during our visit to the States as a very special treat for me (and because I kind of begged them). Still, I didn't allow myself to believe it was going to happen until we were actually driving to the Warner Brothers lot, following the detailed instructions that Mike had emailed. And then it hit me.

"We're going to meet Simon Baker!" I yelled excitedly at the kids.

"Er, okay," said my son.

"You love Simon Baker!" said my daughter.

"I love Simon Bacon!" chorused Boo.

We showed our ID to the security guard at the gate and were issued with special passes, which was terribly exciting. Special passes! Oh my god! It was really happening!

Mike and Mel were waiting for us in the carpark, looking remarkably composed for people about to meet Simon Baker. (The fact that Mike has worked with a range of huge stars from Sarah Jessica Parker to Matt Dillon to Chloe Sevigny didn't seem relevant to me at all, given that none of them were Simon Baker.)

As we walked together to the stage where The Mentalist is shot, I began mentally rehearsing what I would say to Simon when I saw him. "Hey, you're my celebrity crush!" "Hello, I am a great fan of your work." "Because of your ads, I bank with ANZ!" "Hi, I fantasize about you when I'm having sex!" Hmmm. None of them seemed quite right. What about...

Suddenly, Mike interrupted my reverie.

"There they are!"

Huh? Who? Oh my god. THEM. It was them! Simon and Robin, walking right towards us. Robin was wearing her Mentalist costume of low-waisted pants and shirt; Simon was wearing his Patrick Jane three piece suit. And a luscious mane of blonde hair.

"Hi," said Robin, and kissed Mike and Mel, then turned to me and The Architect. "How are you?" she asked. "I'm Robin."

"Hi," I said, trying really hard to focus on her and not Simon. She was lovely. Okay, done. Simon time. I turned to look at him. He was gorgeous.

"Hi," said Simon, and held out his hand.

"I love you!" I cried, and kissed him full on the mouth.

Okay, not really. I'm not that ridiculous. "Hi," I said. "I'm Kerri Sackville." We shook hands. I felt good. I was in control. It was Simon, and he was gorgeous, but I was okay. So I proved I was okay. I started to talk. And once I started I couldn't stop, because I talk a lot when I'm nervous. Actually, I talk a lot all the time.

"I'm a writer," I told Simon. "I write a blog, and I write columns, and I write about you a lot." I paused for breath. "I wrote a book, too, about marriage and motherhood? And you're mentioned in it eleven times, and I brought a copy for you, but I'm not like a mad stalker or anything, it's just my thing, you know? Like Nutella? People know that I like you and I like Nutella? And I wish I'd been in the Young Talent Team. Remember the Young Talent Team?" (Yes, people, I really did say that.)

Simon held up his hand to stop me, and smiled. "I know who you are," he said. "I googled you."

Of course. He googled me.

HE GOOGLED ME.

Simon Baker googled me. That made me feel very, very good.

"Okay," I said, and grinned. "So can I have a picture with you?"

"Don't worry," Simon said. "There'll be plenty of time for that."

All right, then. If Simon says don't worry, I won't worry.

We all stood around chatting for a bit and I thought of some other spectacular things to say.

"Love the show," I told Simon, "but I'm REALLY loving those ANZ ads."

"Oh stop it," he said, and laughed. (Yes, I made him laugh.)


"But my favorite is still you dancing in that Euphoria music video," I said.

"Oh God," he said, and looked absolutely mortified.

Just then, ten year old Pinkela spoke up.

"Do you know that my little sister calls you Simon Bacon?" she asked.

"Simon Bacon!" chorused Boo. As you do.

Just then, Robin and Simon were called in for rehearsal. The Architect, the kids and I were shown inside the stage, and were given a chance to walk around The Mentalist set. It was utterly surreal to be sitting in the rooms I watch on TV, particularly the couch used by Patrick Jane.
Loving the couch

Eventually we were all ushered into a room, set up with headsets, and invited to watch the filming on video monitors, along with the director, makeup artists, script supervisors and other crew members. We were seated on director chairs with 'The Mentalist' written on the back, just like they use in Hollywood. Because... well... we were in Hollywood. I watched, entranced, as they filmed the same scene about 27 times from different angles, until I knew the whole scene backwards, and silently corrected Simon when he fluffed his lines.
Behind the scenes

During each break in filming Simon came and chatted to us, and I lapped up his words like the little puppy dog I am. After we'd been hanging around the set for about forty minutes, he beckoned to my kids.

"Come on guys, I want to show you something," he said. The kids followed him. I followed them. The Architect followed me. We all followed Simon. Simon said come on, so we came.

Simon showed my kids the backdrop behind the windows of the sets, and the lights that come on during nighttime scenes to replicate the night sky. Pinkela showed him her cartoons, and he signed an autograph for her. He seemed to love Boo, even when she persisted in calling him Simon Bacon, and he answered all of my son's questions graciously.

Simon chatted to The Architect and I for twenty minutes or more. We talked about the U.S. college system, about health care in America, about his love of Australia, about the paparazzi, and about the people who shop at Costco. I gave him a copy of my book, and told him that his wife would definitely enjoy it.

"Except that I think she's trying to get away from thinking about me," he pointed out, which just goes to prove that one woman's Simon Baker is just another woman's boring old non-fantasy material husband.

Finally, Simon posed for some photos, taken by The Architect, first with me, and then with me and the kids.
Simon Says Smile

"Dad's been replaced!" my son called out, and we all laughed, for he had no idea how right he was. (The Architect, however, probably had a fair idea.)

Simon was called back onto set, and we all trooped back to say our goodbyes. Just as I was repeating for the fifth time how lovely it was to meet him, the makeup artist came up and began powdering his nose.

"Oh great," said Simon, rolling his eyes, "I look so manly," and though I don't usually love a man in makeup, he looked pretty great to me.

"Don't worry," I said. "I'm sure you don't wake up in the morning looking like that." And then I pointed to his famous locks. "I'm sure your hair doesn't wake up in the morning looking like that either."

"It does!" he protested. "Touch it! You'll see!"

Simon said to touch his hair. Simon said to touch his hair! So I touched his hair. I even gave it a little tug. It was, indeed, very luscious.

I left Simon with a spring in my step, memories to last a lifetime, and some excellent pictures for Facebook. And the meeting was everything I could have dreamed it to be, if I ever had actually dreamed it would happen.

The weird thing, though, is that for a brief moment there, when he was chatting so easily with us, Simon Baker stopped being Simon Baker to me. I mean, don't get me wrong - the man is beautiful. But he was clearly normal. He is open, personable, and a genuine, down to earth, Aussie guy who appreciates his good fortune and can laugh at himself. He speaks with a regular Aussie accent - not the American accent of the ANZ ads - and could have been any Aussie expat who has become successful in the United States. He is a celebrity, but he is also just a normal person, who gets embarrassed, loves little kids, tells anecdotes about his family, and misses home. He is a normal person, and it is hard, if not impossible, to fantasize wildly about someone who is clearly just a normal guy.

Ah, who am I kidding. The man is a god. Simon, my fantasies live on. Thank you.

And to Mike and Mel, I love you guys xxxxxxxxxxxxx

86 comments:

  1. Wow! An experience of a lifetime. Really happy for you that you got to meet your fantasy man in person. "My sister calls you Simon Bacon" Ha!

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  2. You went the whole hog with Simon Bacon!!!

    That is an amazing blog. That is an amazing chain of events. I think yous hould offer to have babies for Mike and Mel after they organised that (and also Simon, of course, but I suspect you've been offering that for years). Very funny and YES THERE IS A GOD.

    Dying to know though how The Architect coped with the whole thing. And if he, uh, took advantage of your heightened excitement afterwards.

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  3. Reading this has made me feel like I was there with you. Still a little jealous but so happy for you x

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  4. HE GOOGLED YOU! Oh my giddy aunt, that must have been such as amazing day for you. You sat on 'the' couch....ahhhh

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  5. Your grin says it all! And for the record I've been lusting after Simon since E-street days...

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  6. LOL! I went through the last few years of high school with Simon :) In fact, I 'went out' with him for 3 whole weeks.  Nothing spectacular that I could sell to New Idea though and now that he's famous ... well, I'm sorry I didn't try harder to find his throwing up on my toes at a party more endearing (but it did give me a 'I know someone famous' story that my kids think is hilarious!)  Ah well, boys are all arses at 18 and we've *ahem* aged a bit since then.  I reckon The Mentalist is the best thing he's done, mainly because there's a lot of him in the character. Not the arrogance so much as the cheeky jokster who does underneath it all actually care about people.  So glad you got to meet him!

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  7. That's awesome Kerri. You look so excited. :) What a cool experience for your kids too. :)

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  8. The Camera ChroniclesJanuary 16, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    So cool to read "excitement plus" posts like this! Simon seems like a nice guy :) Glad your dreams turned into reality (well, partly at least lol)

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  9. Ah, dreams really do come true. Clearly you were over some rainbow or other. Glad it worked out!

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  10. I looove this post! It actually reads like a dream. Lol. Did you ask him why he dons an American accent in the ANZ ads? Wonder if it was their request or his...very odd!

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  11. Beyond excited for you. Pure fantasy-fulfilling gold.
    Gold, like his luscious locks...

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  12. I'm soo jealous!!! I think I have had one or two fantasies with him involved to. Kerri what a great piece, thank you x

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  13. Wow so happy for you and your family.  I think he is the cutest guy on TV.  I gasped when you wrote that you kissed him "full on the mouth." lol

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  14. Wahoooooooooo! Yay Kerri! The only way this day could've gotten better is if Simon fed you a Nutella sandwich! Fabulous! xxx

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  15. When you said you were stroking his hair I thought you were kidding. You actually stroked the man's hair. What a brilliant story.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

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  16. LOL...'Simon Say Smile'...as if you could *Stop* smiling!

    What a fantastic experience, you lucky thing.

    Great that he IS so real and normal, 'cos really, would you still be fantasising about him if he was an arrogant ass? No! A Win all round. :)

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  17. I have tears streaming down my face! You told him you wanted to be on YTT?!

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  18. Woohoo! The moral of the story? Always remain alert poolside in Fiji...

    So glad to hear that he was lovely. He seems so lovely. And SO GLAD to hear your fantasties can live on!

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  19. I love Simon Bacon.  My husband doesn't get it at all.  There are only a few people he is jealous about, Simon Baker is one of them.  Ahhh, remember E Street?

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  20. Oh my god Kez! You are practically married now. That was just so effing exciting I have tingles in my lady parts xxx

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  21. I'm simultaneously delighted for you and a tad stabby jealous.
    I also feel a little sad for you.
    You have reached the pinnacle as far as I'm concerned.
    What's left for you now???
    Except for the fantasy where, try as he might,  he can't stop thinking about you and turns up at your door...
    :-)

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  22. So, SO excited for you. Wow!!!

    Er, your friend's don't know Henry Cavill per chance do they? Just asking.

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  23. Simon Baker said "I googled you?!!....I GOOGLED YOU?!!"   OMG, I would just keep repeating that to myself if I were you...it sounds so "intimate".                      And that beats seeing him at his favorite coffee shop by a loooong  shot!   

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  24. Nothing to say really but - wooohoo!! (with an extra "o") So happy for you Kerri x

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  25. Possibly one of your best posts ever which is very fitting your possibly your best life experience ever.  How amazing.  Now if only I could meet some cool people on a beach who just happen to be a movie director and the wife happens to be the cousin of George Clooney's make up artist and I can go to LA and then get to meet George and perhaps stroke his hair or his 3 day old growth. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. experience Kerri.  Amazing xxxx

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  26. You know what? Simon Baker sounds awesome IRL, but The Architect sounds even more awesome for enabling your meeting with your celebrity crush.

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  27. Awwwweeee, you met that awesome creature and I had a great time reading your funny post... though now I might come to hate you grrr.... Simon says smiles and I will faint ...
    Lucky you <3

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  28. I'm so glad you had a great experience with your delicious dream man and thank god he is really normal! I loved this post thanks Kerri.

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  29. Forget him googling your name. He asked you to 'touch his hair'. I'm sorry, but in my books that means he LURVES you.

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  30. I dare say he is in character on the ad, hence the three piece suit and accent.

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  31. The question that needs to be asked is, have you showered since this meeting? Because, you know, that would was off his touch.

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  32. How wonderful for you all. It's great to know that he (and Robin) is gracious and friendly in the flesh.

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  33. BRILLO BRILLIANT POST. About a brilliant meeting ... it wasn't just a quick meet-n-greet. It was FABULOUS.

    I almost cried with the joy you must have felt. And this part ...

    "Don't worry," Simon said. "There'll be plenty of time for that."

    I got a *little* turned on by.

    Brava, lady.


    XXXX

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  34. I couldn't stop grinning the whole way through this post! Loved it and I too have a bit of a crush on the hottie that is Simon Baker ;-)

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  35. So do I. Still. Ooooh! There it goes now... xxx

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  36. Kerri, as you may expect, I would normally make some kind of smartarse comment. { Yes, I know ! } However, I am genuinely happy, that one of your dreams has come true. I hope they ALL come true, now that you've got the big one out of the way...... :-D

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  37. I did. But I scraped off my skin cells first (the ones that mingled with his) and put them in a jar.*
    *Simon, if you read this, that was a lie.

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  38. I would answer but of course Simon will be reading and I don't want him to think I have sex with any other man.

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  39. Oh Nikki, I did. I really did! *winces in shame*

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  40. They really were. Robin was incredibly generous and welcoming; after all, she's the one who organized it all. There may be some arseholes in Hollywood, but certainly not those two. x

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  41. Oh! Do you think???? Oh!!!! *books flight back to LA*

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  42. You're right!!!! Did I mention we ate at his favorite diner that night, on his recommendation????

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  43. That's exactly right. Though maybe that would have been better, cause I COULD have stopped fantasizing about him!

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  44. I agree with Anna. He's in character as Patrick Jane. Silly choice on the part of the ad agency, but not Simon's choice.
    And don't you love me speaking on Simon's behalf? LOL

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  45. He threw up on your toes?????? Okay, that's a pretty great story. Wish I'd known it last week, I would have reminded him!

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  46. So jealous. He has to be one of the sexiest men alive!

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  47. No you bloody wouldn't have....!! LOL!! But no doubt he has read this and knows now! Awesome story Kerri. You should take up script writing. Do a Mentalist ep. :)

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  48. Did you lie on the couch as well? I've only ever seen him lying on the couch in the show... (Plus then you could say... "Oh, that time I was lying on Simon's couch..." etc etc).

    BTW Kerri, given that YTT's about to make a comeback there's hope for you yet!Deb

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  49. I've been struggling with what comment to leave here. You see, I, too, dream of the day that I will get to meet Simon and share with him the daily fantasies that I have of him. Show him all of the journals and blog posts dedicated to him and his career. The pictures and videos I have collected in my iPhone, Blackberry, prepaid touchscreen, every phone I've had over the past 4 years.

    I just want you to know that you have given me hope. The notion that a husband and 3 kids does NOT prohibit me from one day living out said fantasies, no longer seems so farfetched. Thank you, Kerri Sackville for giving me reason to keep hoping and believing. You are my inspiration.

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  50. Sorry Kerry but I'm loving you and hating you in equally measures at the moment....Simon Baker!!!!!

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  51. And another thing...thanks for proving that my beautiful, blonde, husband in another life and pretend father to my bi-racial children is all that I pretend he is in my dreams. I'm sure my husband won't be the least bit offended by this comment. *drops mic*

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  52. BUT HOW DID HE SMELL? and dont say With his nostrils, or Awful, coz I won't believe you. I refuse to believe you did not take advantage of the photo ops to INHALE ... DEEPLY! and ps. how cool to be able to say, I'm a writer!!! xt

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  53. WOW I loved reading your blog I had a smile from ear to ear..  I too love SIMON - I actually have a photo of him on my vision board in front of my computer - not to sure what I expect to happen from looking at him each day - but he certainly puts a smile on my face.. Luckly Lady you are...

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  54. I want a holiday just like yours Kerri :)

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  55. Aw... thank you Fendi. Meeting Simon was almost as good as meeting you xxx

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  56. YES!! I did!!!! I was going to post that pic but I wasn't sure non-Mentalist fans would get it!

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  57. You mean MY beautifu blonde husband.... xx

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  58. Wow wow wow wow!!
    I love fan-idol meetings and this was a great one! Omg!
    I dunno how you kept it together for 40 minutes!! He seems lovely. Divine. Wow :)

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  59. If that is not the coolest thing I have ever seen!! How wonderful to see a dream come true. He GOOGLED you and sadly, you didn't even feel it :( What a waste. I daresay The Architect has earnt MAJOR kudos on this one. Then again, I'm guessing in the bigger picture, this is going to get him out of A LOT of dishes. xxxx

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  60. Oh wow Kerri.....am sooo excited for you. My daughter asked what I was smiling about after reading of your extraordinary time with Simon!  Can only imagine how ecstatic you were to tick this off your 'dreams to fulfill' list. You sure did make the right contacts during your time in Fiji!!

    How was the rest of your trip to the US? Where else did you go aside from Disneyland & Warner Bros? Looking forward to reading more hol stories even though
    I can fully understand why this one is first. You lucky, lucky, lucky girl & what an incredible experience for your children too.

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  61. Dear Lord. I think I might have gotten a little light-headed reading this.  Have to say, my fave American drama IS the Mentalist.  Not the least because of a certain S. Baker. This has not relieved my telly-crush in the slightest.

    Lucky cow.
    ;-)
    BB

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  62. Good for you Kerri, I never lost hope it would happen one day ;-) xx

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  63. Good answer, although I don't believe a word of it.......

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  64. No, you didn't mention that tidbit! Is his palate as spot on as his hair??? 

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  65. I felt 20% of all that when I met Ben Dark (http://www.beccibird.blogspot.com/2012/01/when-my-dog-got-photo-bombed-by-hoff.html ) yesterday and it broke my blog block!  
    My husband thinks I could fantasise about Ben at the appropriate moments - opportunist or what?  So happy for you, did you shake and sweat too? Now who's next? 

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  66. This is unreal, except it is real, which is so awesome. Who gets to meet their celebrity crush?!! Kerri!

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  67. after I read this unbelievable story of yours my face still hurts from smiling now!
    Hell, am I jealous?!
    I´d so much want to get to know him...
    SighMon.

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  68. WOW!!!!!   What an awesome day that must have been!!!! I want to know what's next for you???? You'll have to add something pretty massive and unbelievable to you to do list next so that maybe that too can come to fruition!!!
    Love it Kerri!xoxoxo

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  69. You are officially my heroe

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  70. ps: sorry but I do not write very well english
    Congratulations! I loved your story and I think everyone is identified, whether Simon or someone else.
    I'm from Brazil, Sao Paulo.
    I am a drummer and worked several years in the recording studio. Met and worked with many famous artists and I know how it feels, nervousness and can not stop talking, even when we are true fans.
    Like you said, at the end of all, you started looking at him with new eyes and see that it really is a normal person with any other.
    And so it was with me too ... and it's nice, 'cause in the end, everyone is equal and we all came from the same place. Unfortunately I live far away but I hope to have the opportunity to meet Simon and exchange ideas, give kisses and go to dinner. Who knows! lolol (just kidding.. .. or not)

    I like your blog and your sincerity. I enjoy a lot! Your fantasies with Simon, lolol. I do the same! By the way .. who does not fantasize about others?! Is the life... kissesCamila Weber - facebook

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  72. I wanna meet him too.you are so lucky

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  73. Well , I just love your story. I had the opportunity of meeting Simon & his beautiful wife when I did the interior finish to there swimming pool at their home out the back of Byron Bay. He was the 1 in 1000 clients that actually shakes hand & says "thankyou" for a great job.
     I'll never forget it.

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  74. That doesn't surprise me at all! He was heaven..

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  75. A mí no me pareció tan normal... Yo estaba en el tour vip de Warner, nuestro quía hizo todo lo posible para que yo pueda verlo, hasta que finalmente lo logramos: Ví a Simon Baker en 2 oportunidades!!!!
    Eramos 12 personas, nadie sabía quién era Simon Baker, sólo yo era su fanática en mi grupo, yo tenía una remera que decía en letras grandes "The Mentalist", y una frase de Patrick Jane, le rogué durante 10 minutos seguidos para que él se tome una foto conmigo, pero ni se acercó... Fea la actitud... O sea, tampoco es Johnny Depp que tiene miles de fans esperándolo a la salida de una grabación... hello!!!!
    Amo a Simon, me encanta.... pero él tiene que bajarse del Pony, podría ser un poco más cariñoso con los pocos fans que tiene...
    Igualmente, te felicito por consguir una foto y un tiempo con él!
    besos! 

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  76. awesome story...and yes...Simon Baker is precious and a good actor...! have not had the fortune to meet him. He seems like a down to earth guy with a good family. That speaks volumes!

    Loved your story!

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  77. Laleproven, entiendo que te sientas asi por otro lado, imaginate cuantas personas a todas horas se les hacercan y lo fastidian. Estoy segura que el a le gusta pero si se cansan de tanta gente qe no lo dejan en paz.  Para ellos es imposible tener vida privada. Ella, creo que tuvo suerte porque lo conocio a traves de un contacto y biencercano! el que hace de su jefe en el mentalist. Pero en general estoy de acuerdo contigo

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