Celebrity Dream Fable: Part Deux

It happened again, you guys. This time, Lisa Edelstein visited me in my dream. We were at a White Lotus type of place, like a ship. I shouldn’t have watched Titanic over the weekend. It’s one of those movies that hasn’t aged so well, but it’s embedded in the psyche, obviously. I mean, Kate Winslet’s lipstick alone. Anyway, in the dream, I was on a ship, but it wasn’t moving.

I’d been trying to find “my group” but the elevators kept taking me to the wrong floors. So I retreated to a posh celebrity cocaine couch and parked my butt down. Suddenly, this face popped up in front of me.


OMG, it was Lisa! She was so glamorous and amazing. “HI!!!! I love you I love you I love you!”

“I have a dare for you,” she said. I noticed her frilly blue chiffon dress. What a talented actor who’s been in just about everything.

“I’ll do a dare for you, Lisa Edelstein!”

“How about you give me your phone for the day. Just drop it here.” She put out her bag, and I dropped it in. Didn’t even think about it. Put my lifeline in Lisa Edelstein’s purse! Then she vanished…with my phone.

This is sort of what happened in The West Wing when Rob Lowe and Lisa Edelstein mistakenly had each other’s pager/phone.

In the dream, I had an iWatch (is that what it’s called?) but it was an older one. Messages came in, but I couldn’t send them out. I wandered around the unmoving Titanic and pushed buttons on my watch. Nothing happened. My heart palpitated as I ran up and down steps, trying to find Lisa or my group.

Somehow, I wound up a cargo vessel headed to South Africa (too much Below Deck). Where did my clothes go? I had on one of those Real Housewives translucent beach coverups over some kind of Skims. How did I get this way? I kept looking for clothes. There was nothing I could do except look out at the view. Actually kind of nice.

Moral of the story: Give your phone to Lisa.

But I still want it back…


Celebrity Dream Fable

Last night, I dreamed I was walking topless through the Jardin du Luxembourg with Jake Gyllenhaal. It was broad daylight, and he was slightly ahead of me–sort of how Nicole had to walk behind Tom during their marriage. You may find this hard to believe but there was nothing romantic between me and Jake*. I was covering my boobs with a magazine, hoping the paparazzi didn’t catch us walking together. They’d get the wrong idea. Even worse, I feared we’d be Deux Moi-ed, which is far more frightening because anyone can out you. I was more worried about Jake’s reputation than mine. How shameful for him to be caught with me. My reputation could take the hit since I am not really on an upward trajectory professionally. And, you know, sometimes one walks topless through a garden in the daytime. Frankly, I’d seen worse behavior IRL and the “offenders” wound up thriving. But Jake. No, his career wouldn’t survive this scandal caused by me.

The scene changes and it’s evening. My best friend is Winona Ryder, but I am trying to avoid her. She’s wearing this beautiful burgundy dress, posing against a bright yellow building. Her hair is very Marilyn, like she’s about to do a commercial shoot, except she’s suddenly escaped the pageantry and is coming after me for a chat. The setting couldn’t be more gorgeous for a party, which is where we are. I’m hiding around corners, dreading the moment when she realizes I don’t want to talk. You don’t run away from Winona Ryder. Except I’m a little drunk. She would ruin the buzz, my moment as queen of the night. Then I feel bad because what are we if not royalty together? I let her find me and that’s where the dream ends.

There are so many morals to the story:

Never let Jake walk in front of you.

Sure, you might get arrested for exhibitionism but just take it one step at a time.

If Winona Ryder wants to be your best friend, you accept this with gratitude and joy. That’s it.


Celebrities, Romantic Life Lessons

Matthew Perry’s Book and Pumpkin Pie

What other way to celebrate the beginning of recovery than a book about addiction? After an eleven-hour sleep, I emerged from the shallow end of my pool of phlegm. Last night’s nadir–a wet coughing fit mixed with choking on an Altoid–became a distant memory. Since I missed Thanksgiving, I walked over to Westside Market and got myself a giant slice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream. I’ve never been so attractive.

So began a perfect day and reading experience. In our friend Matthew Perry’s book, I’m learning about his battle with opioids and alcohol, beginning with the tale of how his colon exploded. It sounds funny, but really, when you’ve dealt with addiction for that long, an exploding colon becomes one of those milestones where the body warns that you’re about to visit the Pearly Gates of Hotel California. If you go back to drugs after this, it’s been nice knowing you. Many of us who’ve watched Friends since the 90s have been worried about Matthew Perry for quite a while. We know what happens in Less Than Zero.

Perry’s memoir is an engrossing read. And I may be wildly wrong, but it reads as if Matthew Perry wrote this himself. Ghostwriters are gems. I wouldn’t mind ghostwriting as it is a skill that offers a voice to those who can’t/won’t/shouldn’t write. So many valuable works out there wouldn’t exist if not for ghostwriters. But I do give an extra gold star if there’s no ghostwriter for a celebrity memoir (hello, Jane Lynch’s Happy Accidents). Kudos if the ghostwriter perfectly mimics the celebrity’s voice (Brandi Glanville’s Drinking & Dating). With Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, there isn’t the practiced, beautiful flow of most “high level” memoirs. Here, I’m finding repetition, choppiness, stylistic choices not everyone makes, which reads like someone reliving the experience while writing. An interesting part of memoir reading is one’s change of profession, from ordinary person to brilliant armchair psychologist of a stranger.

Surely, the crux of this memoir, addiction itself, will be its neon warning to users. The accidents, medical emergencies, radical behavior changes, and life on a larger scale–both in the chemical joys and horror shows. From the shame of stealing meds from strangers’ houses to your body breaking down, there is no advantage whatsoever to addiction. I always see it as the last thing you need if you’re on a deserted island. No one can help you. In any situation, especially a real crisis, you can’t really rely on yourself. And yet, how terrible to be sober while saying the below line of dialogue. Forgive the humor. Like Chandler, I use it as a defense mechanism.

Since 9/11 and even the blackout of 2003, I’ve thought about what I would do if I had to leave with just the clothes on my back. What if I only had myself and whatever I was wearing and I had to hunker down for a few days or weeks? I keep a packet of tranquilizers wherever I go to get me through just such an event. With a prolonged crisis, this would never be enough. I would suffer a little, not as much as I imagine. An addict would truly go through withdrawal, which seems especially scary, but perhaps less awful than continuing using. In 2001, my only bad habit was smoking and Altoid consumption, both of which weren’t so bad.

Over time, I’m not sure I’d do so well on the deserted island since I’ve added to my dependencies since my thirties–though I don’t smoke anymore. Maybe due to denial or just laziness, I keep pushing off thoughts about the catastrophe that has me running off this isle and bearing life without my long-time, seemingly normal Rx cocktail. I’m nowhere in the vicinity of exploding colon phase. More like pernicious worrying about one day having an exploding colon–or that I’d even need to run at top speed out of Manhattan because of a plane going into a building. The better idea would be to address issues in a gentle way before the body says enough. This is when I remember that the book I’m reading is not my story, but someone else’s.

Why do these books appear in my orbit at the exact right time?

Ps. Turns out I’m right about MP writing this himself.

Celebrities, Romantic Life Lessons

Bachelor in Paradise Finale!

I’d like to think that I’m above reality shows but the above is my guilty pleasure each year. The Bachelor/Bachelorette has become unwatchable in recent years. In fact, I stopped investing in shows where everyone fights over little things, like who said what to whom (I’m looking at you, Real Housewives). BIP does some of that and, let’s face it, true love is unlikely to happen on this show, but the escapism is lovely. And you get to know these characters as they deal with the heat, close confines, competition, and constant booze infusion.

Going forward, I’d love to see more LGBTQIA+ contestants, more diversity in general. Over the years, there have been some baby steps in terms of change, which at least makes it watchable.

And now I’m at the point where two of my favorites run off together. I knew Jacob and Jill were a good pair from Day 2 or was it 3? They are so joyfully benign!

Maybe they are splitting up as I write this. At least we can find out the truth about Rodney and Eliza. So much drama here! I feel as if I’m reliving my twenties, just without cigarettes and aerobics.

Celebrities, Romantic Life Lessons

What I’m Watching

My friend and I have been obsessed with The Vow (I just typed The Cow, haha!). We’re both horrified and intrigued by how such a malignant putz–the headband during volleyball dead giveaway–felt emboldened enough to lure intelligent and some maybe not-so intelligent people into his cult. After the most recent episode, I thought maybe my life’s purpose could be to rescue people from such assholes, but how do I know I won’t get brainwashed myself? I guess I would need training.

Bachelor in Paradise is a much happier place. The drinks are flowing, adorable crabs sidle next to you, and, unlike Hotel California, you can always leave! My favorite part of this show is Wells, who is the love child of Mike Brady and Gopher from The Love Boat. For anyone crying in their tequilas, he has the best advice, jokes, and refills. He’s Paradise’s Dad!

What I’ve learned from BIP is absolutely nothing. Well, that alcohol poisoning is real, and so is the brilliance of fake fainting to get out people turning on you. It’s like high school all over again. Every end of summer, I look forward to a couple months of twenty-thirty-somethings acting like they’ll find true love in this beachy Petri dish. Will paradise last? Maybe not, but I’m rooting hard for Brandon and Serene. Kindness and respect are a lovely aphrodisiac for these two.

I guess I shouldn’t type here that I have dipped into Dahmer. Maybe I’ve gone through 6 episodes. Also The Exorcist II, which is trash. What was Richard Burton thinking? Being in that movie would make me want to be wasted, too.

Celebrities, Romantic Life Lessons

Let’s go, Nanowrimos!

In solidarity with my Nanowrimo superfriend, who’s doing this for the first time, I am vowing to do a blog post each day of this month. For those of you who are dying from email triage, you might want to unfollow me. For you other courageous people, read on!

For me, writing a blog post is like pulling teeth. There is nothing I want to discuss. Haha! It’s like that part in the romance novel where the heroine says she “has no time for love” and wants to focus on her career.

I guess I could talk about the controversy over leaving social media because Elon Musk bought Twitter. That’s easy enough and I can solve this in one post! We all know this is basically the high school douche* becoming class president. You didn’t vote for him. He makes lewd jokes in science class, tries to slip “zeitgeist” into every convo, and blames his farts on you with your crush sitting nearby. And yes, he’s the guy who wears a shitty t-shirt and carries a kitchen sink into the open office plan (which no one likes and is the antithesis of collaboration).

At parties, people avoid the douche since he gets way too drunk and tells you how drunk he is before yakking on your favorite ivory carpet. Then he tries to kiss you. You don’t want to get stoned with him either because he doesn’t bring stuff to share but suddenly appears when the most unpopular, unwealthy person unleashes their stash. But if you do find yourself sharing a doobie with him, he might be funny for about an hour and you think, wow, maybe he has some layers.

Truth is, he doesn’t! And if he’s a financial wizard douche, he dates your gorgeous best friend and breaks up with her for no reason. The same night, he parades a supermodel in front of your best friend so that she gets a PhD in douchery and never demeans herself again. The supermodel finds him repulsive and starts to shrivel inside herself. If she drinks enough wine, he can look handsome in a suit but that’s about it for charm. His dollars and in-your-face tactics force those around him into submission but what a snoozefest for those outside the realm.

My feeling is that one must keep douches at a distance and never engage them. If they do a good deed here and there, cool. Mostly, these class presidents are not dangerous, just uninspiring and super-annoying. Twitter is annoying enough, which is why God invented the mute and block button. Like many, I thought I might leave Twitter over the purchase, but I just don’t care enough right now. Maybe I will tomorrow.

If a douche owns the system you’re in, you will survive. Likely, you are in several situations where douchery reigns and you collect regular hazard pay. The time to leave is when you find the atmosphere menacing to your sacred self. In that case, seek a gentle vessel with a lower douche quotient.

FYI, my mother is not going to like my using douche so much in a blog post.

*The word “douche” has shaky origins. In French, it means “shower” and we Americans often relate it to a feminine hygiene product that is bad for you or a guy who is somehow a feminine hygiene product (does not make sense). In this post I’m thinking of douche as a douche.


And Just Like That…The Equal Justice Reunion!

Note to Sam: You’re sitting a few inches away from me but I don’t have the energy to say, “You will hate this post” because it involves bringing up that you don’t like SATC and couldn’t get through five minutes of Season 1, Episode 1. Even though you love Fritz and The Closer, go read Proust. I love you.

On to today’s topic. Omicron is this winter’s weighted blanket, but not the good kind. A nice cure for the COVID-19 blues, at least for me, has been And Just Like That…which, in my opinion, sparks more joy than its little sister, Sex and the City. Diversity is the main jolt to AJLT, grounding it in the realm of New York City’s actual population. My one quibble is lack of diversity in terms of $$$, but this is supposed to be fantasy, right? Not really how to live sanely in a studio or one-bedroom apartment. In any case, I love Nya, Che, Seema, and Lisa so much that I forgot to protest Samantha’s absence (her own show would be fabulous). Each character’s life bubbles over with real angst, the adult kind that rips you to pieces or sends you into that slow, agonizing downward middle age spiral.

But let’s talk about my young adulthood crush: Jon Tenney! Yes, Fritz from The Closer and Major Crimes. The supposed villain in Fools Rush In. The husband in You Can Count on Me and the list goes on and on! He is in today’s AJLT as one of Carrie’s suitors. It’s a full circle moment for me, kids. If you read my memoir, there’s a chapter where I’m braving an urban Ohio winter and looking for any port in the storm because Cleveland really sucked in the early 90s. My port was Marlboro Lights, anything smokable the show Equal Justice, starring SJP who worked with “Peter” aka Jon Tenney. Every week, I got out the popcorn, cartons of cigarettes, and wine to eat, puff, and drink my way through every sparkling second of the show.

Back then, a small world moment occurred when I discovered that Jon Tenney happened to be MY BROTHER’S GOOD FRIEND. Patrick didn’t take seriously the idea of me instantly marrying his friend. The notion nauseated him because I was an embarrassing stage-five clinger once kicked him in the shins with wooden shoes. Time helps girls like me hike up those moderation levels. Also, I married someone more amazing than my wildest dreams.

But since we’re on the topic, since the brutal Cleveland winter of 90-91, I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Tenney a couple times. While I couldn’t eat for three days, I did converse with my brother’s CELEBRITY friend and he’s just as nice as you would imagine.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 20: Jon Tenney and Sarah Jessica Parker are seen on the set of “And Just Like That…”on October 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/GC Images)

On today’s episode of AJLT, SJP and Jon Tenney reunite. Will it last longer than the show Equal Justice? Is The Substance of Fire* still between them? Last point on this, reader, is that Jon Tenney read my memoir and I didn’t even ask him to. Not that I ever would have asked.

Hope you are enjoying And Just Like That… as much as I am or that you have another show that brings on the endorphins during this super shitty challenging time. 🙂

*They co-starred in this play together in the 90s. Not that I keep track of anyone’s career.


Day #50: Celebrity Rabbit Hole

Today, I was supposed to get on a plane to Las Vegas to see Duran Duran in concert tonight, then Gwen Stefani tomorrow night. It would have been two orgasmic concert dreams come true and in one of my favorite cities. But hey, what can you do when COVID strikes? You can stay New York Tough.

No matter what plague is hitting, I will go on a celebrity adventure. Last week’s trip was to the land of all things Prince. My greatest music regret is the I never saw him play live. Friends tell me it was an experience you never forget.

My rabbit hole began with the Grammy’s Tribute to Prince a couple weeks ago. I discovered the majesty of H.E.R. and bought her self-titled album (a new obsession is born). Hearing Susanna Hoffs’s silky voice brought tears to my eyes before Usher summoned Princeness to a goosebump level–and with a gasp-inducing final five seconds. Seeing Sheila E., The Revolution, Morris Day and the Time gave me such warm fuzzies that I had to continue further down the hole. Wait, back up. I have to watch Sheila E. again.

On my tour, I watched Prince on the Muppets, his stint on New Girl, a show he loved. I then delved into all the weird-cute things he said in interviews. More recently, I coveted the time he and Lenny Kravitz sang “American Woman”. Then he shows up in other unexpected places–and RULES.

As with many, Purple Rain was the soundtrack of my teens. I feel every song on that album and no matter what’s going on, I can tune in to the genius. I blasted Purple Rain on my Walkman while training for soccer. It always helped me get around the track because fresh air sure didn’t. But, tragically, it was also the album being played during the most terrifying 90 minutes of my life. I never thought I could listen to it again, but I did–over and over and then moved on to his next albums. Before I go on, let me watch this one more time.

I first heard about Prince in 1982 thanks to Anita, who lived on my hall at boarding school. While I put up a chaste poster of a tiger swimming, her walls were all Prince, even the topless ones. She didn’t care. Anita played his music and kissed his posters. Sadly, both of them left this earth way too soon. I like to think that she’s cozying up to him right now.

The far-too-short trip down the Prince rabbit hole ended perfectly last Sunday. I went onto Facebook for random scrolling and stopped on my musical genius friend Jon’s live concert. Thankfully, he is entertaining us during this COVID nightmare. Not knowing about my Prince-themed week, he plays “Starfish and Coffee” right as I tuned in. Sam thinks it’s just a coincidence. I think it’s Prince.