Category Archives: Celebrities

The Weekend of Rachael

I have this story to tell, but I started writing it a week ago, and then I thought, “Wouldn’t this be so cool if I did it to the tune of the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?” And then I never got around to writing it, and now it’s been a week, and I’m afraid if I don’t just tell you, it’ll be too late anyway.

So. Here’s what happened last weekend (as in 10 days ago).

No, I have to go back a little farther. I’m in this Facebook group for moms. It’s been going strong for almost 3 years, and I joined way back in April of 2012, when I went public about being pregnant with B. A coworker invited me to this group that her friend had started, which was, at the time, about 20 women around the country who were all pregnant. It was a fun group of people, and I liked it.

As fun, likable things do, it’s grown considerably. At present count, the group boasts over 100 members, and is relatively drama-free. (You might laugh, but consider what I just said: it’s over 100 women, mostly semi-hidden behind the anonymity of the internet, all engaged in parenting: the activity that turns you into a hormonal, defensive, stressed, confused, second-guesser.) But the group is supportive, it’s helpful, we send each other outgrown Halloween costumes and do Secret Santa gift exchanges and get together when it’s possible and tell each other what HFM/blocked tear ducts/normal diaper rash looks like.

One of the women from the original group (let’s call her Rachael) lived in Nebraska with her husband and her one child and her pregnant belly when I first e-met her. She was one of the women that I really took a shine to. We talked outside of the group, sent each Christmas cards, etc. This summer, she moved to Nevada with her (now three!) kids.

And last weekend, on a complete whim and a prayer, she hopped on a plane and flew to the Bay Area to meet a bunch of other moms in real life for the first time.

See, I had invited the Bay Area contingent of this group to come see the show my work is currently producing. We were going on Sunday afternoon. Jokingly, Rachael started talking about flying out to come with us. We egged her on and offered our couches, and the next thing I know, there I am at the airport picking her up.

Earlier that day, Drew had asked me if I was at all worried that she was catfishing us. I didn’t think that was likely, as it has been 2 1/2 years and that’s a very long con. But when I was waiting at the terminal, and she texted and said, “I just walked outside,” and all I could see was a tall guy standing on the curb – I did have a moment of “Uh-oh…” Luckily, then I saw Rachael a little further down and everything was fine.

It turns out she is just as lovely in person as she is online. She stayed over at my place on Friday night, then on Saturday we did brunch and hung out with some of the group in the East Bay, she stayed with another friend on Saturday night, and then a third friend on Sunday night. I hope it was as fun and casual as it all sounds – it was certainly gutsy to fly somewhere new to stay with a bunch of strangers, and I really hope that it paid off for her.

It did for us – it was awesome to get to meet a pseudo-celebrity, for one…I was a little star-struck. But for another, well, we Bay Area members have historically put a lot of planning into each meet up. Having this last-minute weekend happen where we pulled it together for multiple meals and hanging out – well, maybe it taught us to loosen up a little bit. Also, most of the hanging out didn’t involve children (ironic, since that’s what brought us all together), so maybe it also taught us that we can be friends based on our actual relationships, and not just based on the fact that we all have kids.

At any rate. It was an awesome, whirlwind, crazy weekend, and it all went by too fast. I had an amazing time. I hope we can do more stuff like that in the future. So thank you to Rachael for kicking it all off and taking a chance on us! And thanks for not being a catfisher or a murderer!

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Celebrities, Friends, Nonfiction, Travel

Throwback Thursday: An Explanation

In the summer after I graduated from high school, I worked on a B-movie being shot in my hometown. And OMG wait I just googled it and THERE’S A TRAILER ON YOUTUBE AND IT’S JUST AS CHEESY AS I REMEMBER IT.

Oh wow, I think I just got what the plot is.

Okay. So that’s what I’m talking about. This production company (meaning, the director/producer, a camera guy, another guy, and the actress who played the mom) came to town and we shot this thing over the summer. The rest of the crew consisted of like 4 teenagers (me included) who were all interested in “drama” and were likely getting paid a “pittance” but I don’t remember because it was all in “cash.”

I do remember learning a lot, but also starting out knowing nothing. The director depended on us a lot but without always telling us the details of what we were meant to do. I think she expected us to come in knowing more than we did. We did our best, but it was stressful. I was basically fulfilling a stage management role (before I knew what that was) although in the movie credits I’m listed as Production Coordinator (holla!).

I have this one really clear memory of being out at the goldmine (?) in the middle of the hot summer, and I was supposed to be holding this umbrella up to shade one of the kid actors. At one point, the director sort of barked at me that I was supposed to be shading the actor, not myself. But the thing was, because of the angle of the sun, I had to hold the umbrella pretty much up and down in order to shade the kid. I pointed it out and she ceded the point. This was a major victory in my life…that I’ve clearly hung onto.

I was thinking about this recently because I realized that I still have this deep down need. I sometimes daydream up situations in which I’m in some kind of major trouble, and then I think of the circumstance that would make it all go completely away. Like, “Okay, so I’m a key witness in a major investigation, but I leave town, and then the police are calling me but I don’t return my phone calls, and it’s looking really bad for me…BUT THEN, when they finally get ahold of me, it turns out that I called the precinct a week ago when I left town, which I had to do for a family emergency, and I told them that my phone was lost, and gave them a different number at which to contact me, but a lazy officer didn’t pass on the message, and it’s not my fault at all!”

Stuff like that.

So yeah. There’s a fun fact about me, backed up with an amusing TBT anecdote. Hope you enjoyed it.

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Filed under "Other people", Celebrities, Children, Memoir, Nonfiction

What’s In My Purse?

Apparently, “what’s in my purse?” is a thing. I mean, like, a YouTube/tumblr/Pinterest kind of thing. So last night I was cleaning out my purse and I thought, Hey, why not?

purse2
1. Star stickers! I just carry these around even though I never. ever. use. them. (I should figure out a way to use them.)

2. Sports Authority loyalty cards. I bought 2 baseball pitch counters there for work, accidentally signed up for an account, and then got promo emails from them practically every day for a month. I finally unsubscribed and last night, I finally finally threw out these cards.

3. Placecards (for Drew, B, and me) from Jocelyn and Kevin’s wedding!

4. Assorted feminine hygiene products. I can 100% promise you that I will eventually pull out one of these, when I’m looking for a pen, in front of the Artistic Director or something.

5. 1 stack of post-its; 1 rubber band.

6. 1 tin of Altoids smalls (cinnamon); 1 cinnamon-caramel Worthers (sugar free) (I ate it this afternoon)

7. 1 fancy ladies’ hook so I can hang my purse from the table and not have to set it on a bar floor. Might come in handy if I ever went to a bar. (Fun fact: I was given this for Christmas in 2009, in my first round of working at TW.)

8. 3 button batteries from a Baby Einstein Maritime Octopus. The octopus stopped playing music, so I ripped out the seams to get to the music box, in the hopes that if I replace the batteries it will work again. Why wouldn’t they make it easy to get to? (PS. The batteries were 3 for $1.17 on Amazon.)

9. Assorted Sharpies and other pens. (The ones I will be going for when I humiliate myself in front of senior members of my company.)

10. Headphones! I suddenly can’t live without these, from listening to my audiobook on my commute, to talking on the phone hands free, to music at the gym.

11. My planner, still opened to Memorial Day weekend. For some reason I just don’t find myself as dependent on it anymore.
11a. Birthday card from JA!

12. Giant wad of keys.

13. Annex to giant wad of keys (Drew’s grandma’s house keys)

14. Baby powder for those days when I think my hair is “clean enough” but I’m terribly wrong and my bangs show it.

Not pictured: pile of old paycheck stubs; pile of trash; 2 letters marked “return to sender,” 1/2 of a…crayon? How on earth would that get in there?

…I’m guessing this whole “What’s in my purse?” thing is more interesting when Beyoncé or Kate Middleton or someone does it.

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Filed under Being a girl, Celebrities, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction

50 Shades of Awful

I get kind of worked up about bad writing. Particularly about bad writing that makes all the bestseller lists. Especially when this bad writing really serves no purpose. And when everyone is talking about it, even though they all admit it’s bad.

The worst is when I secretly want to read it, just in case I’m missing out on something big.

But no. I will not succumb.

When I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey, I wanted to see what all the hype was about, even knowing right off the bat that it was housewife erotica, and then finding out it was based off of a Twilight fanfiction – ugh. On Amazon, the first two chapters of the book were available for reading online, so I sat down and spent 20 minutes with Anastasia.

Oh. Good. Gravy. From that oh-so-purple way of getting the first-person narrator to describe herself (by staring in the mirror and bemoaning how “unattractive” she is – spoiler alert, she’s bee-you-tee-ful!) to the horrific exclamations (“Holy crap!” etc), this is one of the worst things I’ve read. And people are eating this up? Because…it claims to be erotic? For the record, there wasn’t any of that in the first couple chapters, but I could see where it’s going. And it’s nowhere good.

The articles I’ve read about the book(s – there are three of them) since then have all been making fun of it and talking about how bad it is. The reviews I’ve heard have been mostly, “Meh, it’s all right, but it’s not very good.” So why is this thing doing so well?

The only thing I can do is keep promising myself that I will not spend any money to read it. And that I will not succumb and get it from the library either. (Getting erotica from the library…ew?)

But this is my PSA so that hopefully no one else gets sucked in to this terrible writing. Don’t do it, people! Here is a list of other good series that would be way more worth your time:

  • The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling
  • The Green Mile by Stephen King (a serialized novel – kind of a cheat)
  • Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, etc) by George RR Martin
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
  • Earth’s Children (The Clan of the Cave Bear, etc) by Jean M Auel
  • Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Just a list of ideas, running the gamut from children to YA to adult. I’m kinda just pulling this off of my shelves, so I know there’s a lot that’s not represented. (Let me know if there’s a series you feel I should include!)

For the record, this article about Fifty Shades of Grey from Vulture is kind of hysterical. (Also kind of graphic, so maybe not for everyone.)

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Filed under "Other people", Books, Celebrities, Fashion, Not awesome, Self improvement

An Expert at Life

Almost a year ago, I had this great experience with a wacky usher at the theatre. She inspired such quotes as “The carny life is a rough life,” and yes, Drew and I still say that to each other on occasion.

Well, she’s been at the theatre again the last couple times I’ve been there, and she’s been the most helpful usher in the entire world. That is sincere. She’s also been slightly less talkative, partly because she’s gone in and watched the show both times and so we’ve only had pre-show and intermission to chat, and it tends to get busy then.

But I did hear some stories last night, among them “Situational Comedy” and “My Time in Taxco.”

So, I wasn’t sure of the definition of situational comedy, so I Googled it. Then I got onto the wiki page for sitcoms. Sitcoms are popular in the US and the UK, but fare poorly in Australia and Canada. Some successful Australian sitcoms are My Name’s McGooley, What’s Yours? and Our Man in Canberra. Canadian sitcoms include Snow Job, Check It Out!, Mosquito Lake, and Not My Department.

I found this interlude amusing, and I still don’t know whether that counts as situation comedy. But I also don’t really care anymore.

She’s right, you know. This is not meant to be a swipe at Bay Area theatre, but you cannot see 7 shows in 5 days all over the Bay and not have them blend together. There needs to be more spacing out. For me, two per weekend is kind of my limit.

Everyone knows the exception is when you go to New York and have to cram a season’s worth of shows into a week. But really, that’s not ideal either. That was maybe the best thing about living there – seeing everything at a more leisurely pace, and waiting for discounts and free tickets to appear.

Anyway, those are your lessons for today. Canada and Australia aren’t as good at sitcoms as the US and the UK; and if you try to see too much in too little time, it all blends together. You’re welcome!

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Filed under "Other people", Awesome, Celebrities, Memoir, Nonfiction, Theatre

L’amour

The scene: Drew and I are both sitting quietly in the living room, minding our own business. Minutes have gone by, silently. I am reading some blog I follow, which is talking about Adele.

Syche: “Okay, I know it’s not going to happen…but I SERIOUSLY wish Justin Beiber is that girl’s baby daddy.”

Drew: *stares* “Are you kidding? I was just thinking that. I was literally – JUST – thinking, I hope that’s Justin Beiber’s kid.”

A match made in heaven, am I right?

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Filed under Awesome, Celebrities, Children, Drew, Love

Glamorous!

List of celebrities we spotted in NYC:

First: Samuel L. Jackson

We actually stood across the street from the stage door of the show he’s currently in, The Mountaintop, and waited for like 20 minutes in this massive group of people. We didn’t actually know who would come out first – him or Angela Bassett. So I’m not sure this really counts as “spotting.” This felt touristy, but you know…Samuel L. Jackson!

That's him, in the green. This was supposed to just be a picture of the mob scene, but I'm happy he stands out.

Second: Bobby Moynihan, from SNL.

Drew and I were having a snack at Pret a Manger in the concourse of Rockefeller Center, and Drew said, “That guy is from SNL.” And I said, “Which guy? That guy?” And he said, “No, the guy in the blue hoodie. Bobby Moynihan.” He had just gone into this little convenience store type place, and so I made us go over there and kind of stalk him in the aisles. He was debating over types of peanuts to buy. I wanted to say something (but what?) but then he came out of an aisle and we sort of did that “oops, excuse me” dance, and I sort of smiled but he didn’t really give me an opening.

But still…he did give us this sketch gold.

And third: Norbert Leo Butz!

It was our last day and we were at Penn Station, going to get salads before going to the airport. So we had all our stuff and looked like total tourists. I have a strong dislike for being mistaken for a tourist. Everyone had umbrellas, but Drew recognized NLB and said, “Norbert Leo Butz. Norbert Leo Butz.” over and over again so I would see him. Yay! I definitely would have liked to say something to him, but again…what would I say? Maybe something like, “I saw you in Is He Dead in like 2008, you’re the greatest!” I don’t know. Or, I know! If I had an opening I’d bring up the fact that he performed in a Samuel French festival play that I worked on!

DREAMY.

Anyway. Thank God Drew is good at recognizing celebs. Almost all of the celebs I’ve seen are because he’s grabbed my arm and said, “That’s Mel Brooks,” or whatever. It’s just not one of my strong suits.

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Filed under Awesome, Celebrities, Drew, Theatre