Sandra Oh has been navigating the Twin Cities as though her escort is from these parts.
Thanks to e-mailers and others, I've been able to confirm the movement of the "Grey's Anatomy" star to places such as St. Paul's 128 Cafe and Muffeletta. Sunday's column reported confirmed sightings of Oh dining at Chambers, a celebrity hot spot, and checking out exhibits at the world famous Walker Art Center. At the art museum, Oh was observed in the company of a "scruffy blond gentleman," according to Carissa Wyant of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and FOX9. After Wyant's sighting, I learned that Oh was dating Andrew Featherston, drummer for the indie band The Hereafter. Featherston, who reportedly graduated Wayzata High in 1996, was "Junior Royalty" along with Suzanne Lothrop, in the 1994-95 yearbook.
Wyant and another source who saw Oh at 128 Cafe both identified Featherston as being in Oh's company, after checking out photos on the Internet.
Jennifer Knoch of RADAR, a virtual concierge service, was at 128 Cafe with her husband of 11 years, Tim Pearson, on Thursday.
"The 128 Cafe is a favorite restaurant of ours. It was our first date and it reopened recently," Knoch said. "We were walking in, hanging up our coats, milling around where some people walked in, and [one] was Sandra. She was really comfortable, warmly greeting the rest of her party, fairly outgoing to the rest of her group, animated and noticeable, but not for the attention of the locals."
At Muffuletta, meanwhile, staffers confirm that Oh was there for lunch on Friday.
Reader Kathy Rossi e-mailed what she described as an "embellished" version of seeing Oh at Muffuletta. I replied that I'd appreciate an unembellished account.
"I respect that you are fact-based. This is how it happened," Rossi wrote. "My good friend Natalie and I went to lunch to celebrate out mutual Dec. 24 birthday at Muffuletta on Como Avenue in St. Paul." Kathy and Natalie were waiting in line behind a party of four. "Not paying much attention to the group until ... one of the females took off her sunglasses. Natalie and I looked at each other as we recognized the face but certainly didn't put two and two together. We looked at her face and observed her mannerisms. At that moment we confirmed between the two of us it was Sandra Oh."
After kitchen staffers, wait staffers and other diners persisted with "polite rubbernecking," Rossi said that "helped confirm our thoughts."Another Innes sighting
Knoch, of radar-msp.com., apparently has got the gift for celebrity sightings.
On Sunday, Knoch told me, she saw "ER" star Laura Innes at a St. Louis Park Target in men's pajamas, so to speak. "It was her voice that caught me," Knoch said. "She was chatting with another woman. I left them alone."
What took so long for Knoch to tip off her local gossip? "I toyed around with it earlier in the week when you mentioned no one had recorded any Laura sightings. Then, when I saw Sandra, Tim [Knoch's husband] said, 'You've got to let C.J. know.' When I saw your [Sunday column] I said, 'OK, I've got to let her know that I [had] a double sighting [of celebs]."
I eschew the cheesy kissing of strangers that is de rigueur this time of year, but on Monday, had I been near Tim Pearson, I'd have planted one on him.T.R., by day and Knight
Why hasn't anybody seen Sandra Oh with her "Grey's" co-star T.R. Knight in his home town? I've been joking that Knight was too busy bird-dogging his BFF Katherine Heigl on her honeymoon to hang with Oh in Minnesota.
I have been otherwise convinced that Knight always slips into the metro for Christmas with relatives, so he's probably here. But Knight's very media shy. However, if you've seen a non-descript guy walking briskly with Oh, he was probably Knight.What's in a name?
Note to the players on Mewelde Moore's next NFL team: Don't make the mistake of stepping into the deep water when asking about this running back's unusual name.
(Yes, I'm predicting that Moore has played his last game as a Viking -- as has Troy (Hands of Stone) Williamson.)
It's important to know that Mewelde thinks of his name as a regular one, like Joe or Jack. A few months ago, I struck up a conversation with Mewelde about his name, noting that many African names mean something related to God or blessings.
So what does Mewelde mean?
He explained that his name is not just Mewelde. His given names are Mewelde Jaem Cadere. He spoke these names as though I should have known how to spell them, even after I told him that newspaper people are not that smart. Those names mean "He who gets his wisdom, knowledge and strength from God," according to Mewelde.
He doesn't know why his parents, Jerry and Sandra, wanted their children to have distinctive, even African, names.
"My brother's middle name is [phonetically] Ba-she," Moore told me. Spelled ... ? "Hey, man, I just try to keep up with mine," Mewelde said, laughing. And Ba-she's first name is "Jerry." Naturally. "My sister is [phonetically] Tan-quan-ne-yah," he said. Is that African? "I think it might just be like Tamika," he said. In other words, black, so to speak, as opposed to African.
If you've got to give your kid a distinctive name (as in a weird appellation that invites employee application discrimination and means nothing but trouble to newspaper people), then African is the way to go, I told Mewelde.
"I'm going to tell my wife [you said] that," Moore said, laughing again.
What's her name? "Tymeka," Mewelde said.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX9 Thursday mornings.