My longtime email buddy Vance Lehmkuhl won Arianna’s Contagious Festival contest. And got to hang out with John Cusack.

I almost met the latter, at a bar in Boston during the last Democratic convention, which I went to with a group that included my pal Ward Sutton and one of the Farelly Brothers (and maybe Chris and Marianne Cooper, I can’t remember if they’d bailed by that point or not). A number of people gave me very strange looks as I walked in, because, as it turned out, John Cusack was right on my heels. I’d had a few too many scotches that night and didn’t actually notice my brush with greatness. Cusack quickly disappeared into the VIP nook (does every bar have one?) which, even though I was there with my very good close personal friend One of the Farelly Brothers, was off limits to me.

… Robert Smigel got kicked out of the bar shortly thereafter because the bartender had no patience for the film crew and the whole dog puppet thing. It was a strange night…