Tag Archive | celebrities

Lipomas & Little Red Riding Hood

As an aspiring writer, I look to find pieces of myself in successful writers because it helps to fan the flame of hope (or delusion) that if they managed to prosper off of their talent, then maybe I can too.  It doesn’t matter how pathetically thin the connective thread is, I will cling to it like my life depends on it…. or at the very least, my sanity.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.  Please, tell me I’m not the only one who does this!!   I imagine some singers look at Lady Gaga and think that because they both enjoy eating and wearing their dinner entrees, they have a chance of playing Madison Square Garden one day too; Or chefs who believe they can achieve Emeril Lagasse’s  level of success because they both use annoying exclamations like “BAM!” at the end of every sentence.

I look to find those little things I can identify with in humor writers like David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson because I stalk love them.  It makes no difference if these commonalities are completely inane or have no correlation with being a writer; I get giddy with excitement when I discover one.  Here are two of the most recently uncovered kindred spirit connections….

The similarities between David Sedaris and myself are (sadly) few and far between, except for our past love affair with cigarettes, and our mutual attraction towards gay men; which makes it all the more thrilling when I stumble upon a new one.  When his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls came out, I raced out and bought it, just like I had with all of his other books.  In his first personal essay entitled Dentists Without Borders he talks about the discovery of a lump on his right side that he described as a little deviled egg tucked beneath his skin.  I had made a similar discovery on myself, except my mysterious lump was on my back and more closely resembled a small marble – but let’s not split hairs.

Where we diverged was how we handled it.  Within twenty minutes of making the discovery, David had assumed the lump was cancerous, called up his doctor, and made an appointment to have it checked out.  Whereas I jumped headfirst into denial (for about a year), and assumed that the lump was just another lovely byproduct of turning forty, like moles and chin hair.  But our two medical mysteries ultimately intersected at the same diagnosis – a lipoma (a fatty tumor).  Gross, but harmless.  And even though my little lipoma might someday reach Quasimodo proportions, I grin every time my hand grazes it because I feel like it brings me one step closer to a book deal.

   IMG_3506_2     david-sedaris-27

Tumor twins!!!

The second recent parallel I discovered was with The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson.  In general, I think it’s easier to find things in common with Jenny (over David) because we are both card carrying members of the almighty woman’s club – very exclusive, only half the world’s population is allowed in.  And we have at one time or another, used our membership privileges (read that as vaginas) to create a person. Add to that, our mutual affection for cats and the word motherfucker, and it’s like we were separated at birth.

While reading this blog post, I found out that we also have equally dark and twisted offspring.  While other little girls dressed up as Disney princesses and over-sexualized superheroes for Halloween, our daughters decided to go the more macabre, Grimm’s fairytale route….

DSC09824   small-little-dead-riding-hood

Though I have to admit,The Bloggess really went the extra mile, and had her daughter collect (what I can only assume are) the tiny remains of competing trick-or-treaters in her basket; my daughter, Meghan, only had Laffy Taffy and Skittles in hers.  In all fairness though, with Jenny’s long-standing obsession with taxidermy (no really, you NEED to click on that link),  she’s got a really big head start into the world of all things creepy as hell.  So, it look’s like I’ve got some serious catching up to do if I want to call myself a published author someday.

Who are some of your idols?  Do you have anything in common with them?

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Sigh…. I Miss the Pole Dancing Days

No, not MY pole dancing days.  I’m a 40-year old woman with two herniated discs – if I attempted to pole dance, there’d have to be a chiropractor and a bottle of Vicodin on standby.  I’m talking about Miley Cyrus’ pole dancing days….

I miss this Miley -  the one who still enjoyed wearing pants.

I miss this Miley –
the one who still enjoyed wearing pants.

Honestly, when Miley decided to pole dance to her hit song “Party in the USA” at the Teen Choice Awards back in 2009 I wasn’t all that scandalized.  She took a 3-second dip on the pole, and suddenly everyone was treating her like she gave Mickey Mouse a blow job on stage.

I took it for what it was – a 16-year old trying to let the world know that she wasn’t a little girl anymore.  Personally, I think it would’ve been more disturbing if she were still trying to play Hannah Montana at the age of 25.

Given the over merchandizing and popularity of her hit Disney TV show, it was bound to be difficult for her to break free from the squeaky-clean Hannah Montana mold that she was kept in for four years.

Look - even LONGER pants!!

Look – even LONGER pants!!

Part of me was sad to see Hannah go because it meant that my daughter Meghan, who grew up right along side Miley, wasn’t a little girl anymore either.  Even though Meghan isn’t straddling any poles, it’s obvious that she’s no longer the excited 9-year old that dragged me to see the Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds concert back in 2008…. although that shrieking little girl makes an appearance every now and then when Justin Bieber is around.  (I’ve been dragged to that concert too.)

So would Meghan continue to idolize Miley during their transition into teenage/ young adulthood?  I got my answer the night of the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of nights ago when Miley put on this performance….

MTV Video Link

It was clear to me (and probably the rest of the world) that Miley was officially hammering the final nail into Hannah Montana’s coffin…. with her ass.  I had a bewildered look on my face as I stared at my TV screen while Miley shook her ass in front of everyone on stage like a feral cat in heat.  Meghan was kind enough to dispel my confusion by telling me that Miley was doing the latest dance move called “twerking”.  If you don’t have a teenager to keep you apprised of such important matters, I’ll give you the lowdown.  Imagine that you’re having sex with someone in a vertical position.  Now take away your partner so that it looks like you’re doing some kind of masturbatory rain dance.  That’s twerking.  And obviously Miley likes it…. A LOT.

I didn’t have too much of an issue with her “twerking” on TV – I lived through the 80’s and did stupid dances like the MC Hammer and the Cabbage Patch, so who was I to judge?  But the twerking along with the tiny nude bikini, her tongue perpetually hanging out of her mouth, and her semi-pornographic use of the foam fingers made me want to blindfold Meghan and protect what little innocence she had left since discovering the internet.

If Miley was strictly going for the shock factor, then I think she hit the mark….

I’ll never be able to look at foam fingers the same again…. ever.

I’ll never be able to look at foam fingers the same again…. ever.

Mickey Mouse’s skanky little sister, Twerky Mouse

Mickey Mouse’s skanky little sister, Twerky Mouse

Robin Thicke was dressed like a referee,  so why the hell didn’t he call a FOUL??

Robin Thicke was dressed like a referee,
so why the hell didn’t he call a FOUL??

She probably hit the g-spot of every dirty old man watching, but it honestly made me a little sad to see her exploiting herself like that.  I tried to look beyond the raunchy gyrations and porno-tongue to find the artistic element, but I couldn’t.  I only saw a 20-year old who was trying too hard to make the world see that she was no longer the Disney poster child.  Miley, believe me – we get it.  Now can you PLEASE put on some pants?

All the factors that people have come to expect from a good pop performance:  choreography, set design, costumes, and (of course) vocals, were all sorely lacking and nonsensical.  Miley was so busy trying to remember to stick her tongue out and hump everything on stage that she totally lost sight of actually performing.

But what do I know?  I’m a mom, and everyone knows that moms are lame by nature.  We make our kids wash their hands, brush their teeth and wear clothes out in public – what a bunch of killjoys.

I was curious to find out what Meghan’s thoughts were after Miley’s performance.  So, I tried to pick my chin up off the floor and save my opinions until I heard what she had to say.  Before I could ask, Meghan simply said “Oh Miley, no.  Just….. no.”  I could tell in that moment that my daughter’s idol had toppled (or twerked) her way off of the pedestal that Meghan had placed her on nearly seven years ago.  I don’t think the pedestal started wobbling that night – it began two years ago when Miley started to morph into a “party girl” that Meghan could no longer identify with.

You should know that Meghan doesn’t pledge or retract her allegiance sporadically.  Once she decides to bring someone into her little world, she’s fiercely loyal to them, often for years – it’s like the Meghan mafia.  You talk shit about her idols, and you might wake up to find your beloved pet’s severed head in bed beside you.  Which is why I think it was really hard for her to let Miley go.  All of her Miley memorabilia is still in her bedroom, but instead of decorating her walls, it sits in a corner of her closet – small remnants from her childhood that she can’t quite bring herself to throw away.

I wonder who her next idol will be…. I just hope it’s someone with a shorter tongue and longer pants.

Are You Cool Enough For Michael Jeffries?

If you’re involved in any kind of social media, chances are you’ve read about the statement made by the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries.  If not, I don’t want to be the only one who’s holding a torch and pitchfork, so take a look at this….

What a multi-million dollar douchebag.

What a multi-million dollar douchebag.

When I first read about this, I was offended on so many levels:  as a curvy woman whose left boob probably wouldn’t fit into an Abercrombie & Fitch’s size L t-shirt; as a parent who is trying like hell to raise kids who are accepting, kind, and respectful of others; and as a decent human being who doesn’t like it when someone acts like an asshole – especially when that asshole is marketing to kids.

When I brought this up with my 14-year old daughter and decisively told her that we would never buy another piece of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, she got angry…. which in turn made me angry.  I wanted her to join in the fight and be as outraged as I was about this man’s prejudicial opinions, but she wasn’t.  After a few minutes of bickering back and forth, it was clear that neither one of us wanted to budge.  So, we left the subject lying on the ground like a hot coal we didn’t know how to extinguish.  She stormed off to school and my head erupted like Krakatoa.

Michael Jeffries can kiss my XL SIZED ASS!!!!

Michael Jeffries can kiss my XL SIZED ASS!!!!

Once I simmered down, I thought about our conversation. In hindsight, I probably should have waited to talk about this when I could approach it logically rather than emotionally.  Although, given the fact that this subject is a bit of a hot button for me, I might’ve had to wait until she was collecting social security before I could’ve talked about it logically.

But I should have at least told her what I read and then asked her opinion on the subject, rather than acting like the parent Nazi.  Because once you tell a teenager they can’t do something, it becomes irresistible.  Even if you pick something they wouldn’t normally have done – like telling them that they’re never allowed to inject puppies with heroin…. you’d better believe some puppies will be tripping before bedtime.

I think my daughter saw not being allowed to wear Abercrombie & Fitch as the social status stock market crash of 2013.  Kids like to fit in because it means more friends and less bullying.  But often times, fitting in comes with a big price tag – in this case, it’s $58 for a pair of sweatpants…. and your immortal soul.

The message I wanted to send to my daughter, and to Michael Jeffries for that matter, is that it’s wrong to discriminate against someone based solely on his or her appearance.  And when we bear witness to that atrocity, we need to rally against it and prove that we care more about justice than we do about the label on our shirt.

BAN THE MOOSE!!!

I think the only reason Michael Jeffries still has a job, is because he chose overweight people as his target.  If he had blatantly stated that he didn’t want any minorities wearing Abercrombie & Fitch, he probably would’ve been fired and then burned over a pyre of his own overpriced clothing (or at least made to pay $50 million dollars in racial discrimination lawsuits like he did back in 2004).  But it seems a person’s weight is still fair game in the world of discrimination – whereas discrimination based on race, religion and sex (while still undeniably present) are a bit more taboo, more camouflaged  behind bureaucratic bullshit.

It is still socially acceptable to crack a few fat jokes, and portray overweight people in the media as lazy, unattractive and gluttonous.  These movie/TV characters are often seen as punchlines, not people – sadly, I think the same holds true off the big screen as well…. especially where Michael Jeffries and his stupid moose boxer shorts are concerned.

By saying that he only markets to “cool and good-looking” kids is the equivalent of saying that he doesn’t want ugly, fat kids wearing his brand (or working in his stores).  This guy has balls the size of cantaloupes not only for making such a brazen statement, but also for saying it while looking like this….

The only thing this guy should be railing against  is plastic surgery and botox injections.

The only thing this guy should be railing against
is plastic surgery and botox injections.

But there is one thing I love about Michael Jeffries’ statement – that he shot himself in the foot with it.  The world now knows him for the shallow, elitist prick he is, and it’s my fervent wish that his company will be deemed just as pathetic as his attempts to hold onto his youth.

 

The Starstruck Idiot Strikes Again

I once got the chance to meet one of my idols, James Taylor.  I wrote about the experience in  this blog entry which you probably didn’t read…. and despite the link I just provided, you probably still won’t read it.  But it’s a blog rule that I have to at least provide you with the link, both to prove how techno-savvy I am and also to pretend like you give a shit.  Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.  Although if you ever find yourself in an embarrassing situation and think, “no one has EVER made a bigger ass out of themselves than I just did” then you might want to go back and read the entry.  It will give you solace to know that someone else experienced abject humiliation and lived to tell the tale.  Anyway, moving on….

I recently got another chance to meet a celebrity I adore, Hugh Laurie.  I wrote about my love of all things House, M.D. in this blog entry – again, just following the blog rules.  But unless you are following Hugh Laurie’s career as closely as I am (and you’d basically have to set up shop inside the man’s ass to accomplish that feat), you probably don’t know that he has taken a temporary leave of absence from acting and begun a new career as a professional blues musician.  He just launched his new album called Let Them Talk.  I’ll admit that you could fit what I know about blues music onto B.B. King’s pinky finger, so my music review doesn’t count for much – but I loved the album.

My husband, being the loving and indulgent man that he is, saw an opportunity to make his wife happy on her birthday and bought me tickets to see Hugh Laurie play in concert.  In the few weeks I spent waiting for the concert’s arrival date, I thought about what I should do to prepare, so that on the off-chance I got to meet him I would be ready.  Please save all eye-rolling and forehead slapping until the end…..

I bought his book The Gun Seller so that I would have something for him to autograph – I wasn’t about to show up with a House t-shirt and sharpie marker like some pathetic groupie.  I wanted to show that I recognized him as a true renaissance man – actor, author, and musician.  Plus, I figured that I could sell the autographed copy of his book for a buttload of money and pay off my credit card debt.  That’s me – appreciative AND pragmatic.

And I even read the book!!

I also decided to write him a letter extolling his many virtues and thanking him for his awesomeness – how’s THAT for ego?  I actually believed that not only would he take the time to read it, but that he would also give a rat’s ass what I thought of him.  But the letter wasn’t just to show my appreciation, it was also my insurance policy against the starstruck idiot residing in my head.  After making a monosyllabic moron of myself when I met James Taylor, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to string a coherent sentence together should Hugh Laurie and I come face-to-face.  So, here’s what I wrote on the envelope…..

I thought it was cute and clever, and I hoped it would make up for the fact that all I could do was stare and grin at him in wide-eyed adoration when I handed it to him.  It was only later that I realized my bold, all-capitals handwriting may have made me look like a crazed stalker.  Live and learn.

When the concert ended (the show was amazing, by the way), my husband and I waited for Hugh to come out for a little meet-and-greet with some of his fans.  After about a half-hour, the security guards started to usher people out of the concert hall.  I quickly changed my message on the envelope and tossed it onto the stage by Hugh’s piano bench.  I hoped that one of the roadies would take pity on me and hand deliver my letter to him.  Here’s what the new message said….

Now I sounded like a crazed stalker who they had to physically escort out of the building.  Awesome.

We were on our way back to the car when we spotted a group of people gathered around the back alley to the concert hall.  Revived with the hope that I still had a chance to meet him, I decided to join the throng of fans and wait to see if he would come out.  With The Gun Seller in one hand, and a carefully chosen pen in the other, I waited.  And waited…. and waited…. and waited.  An hour and a half.  Well, if I was going to be perceived as a crazed stalker, I might as well act the part.

There were only fifteen or twenty fans left at this point.  I reasoned that our chances of him coming out  grew better with each fan that deserted because now he wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time signing autographs for a million people.  Sounds logical, right?  He didn’t seem to share my logic because when he finally exited the building, he headed straight into a twelve passenger van with his band, and drove away.

Hugh Laurie (aka the dream crusher) is the one sitting behind the passenger seat.

I wanted to hate him, I really did.  But being the avid fan I am, I couldn’t manage to stay mad for long.  After about ten minutes of bitching and brooding, I started to rationalize his quick escape.  I thought that he probably had another gig in the morning and had to get on the road…. or he had to get home to his heartsick wife and kids…. or he suffered a painful blow to the head backstage and temporarily forgot that he had adoring fans patiently waiting for him outside.

But more than likely he was just trying to get some physical distance between himself and the crazed stalker that wrote him this letter…..

September 11, 2012

Dear Mr. Laurie –

First off, let me thank you for thoroughly entertaining me for the last eight years on House.  I will miss seeing your scruffy mug on my television set every Monday night at 8:00.  The Fox network has now put Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen in that timeslot – which leaves me with nothing to watch because quite frankly, that guy scares the hell out of me.  He’s like the culinary world’s answer to the boogey man.

The face that launched a thousand nightmares.

But I digress…

I thought once you had retired from House, you would go back to England and live out the rest of your days sitting high atop some grassy knoll, sipping tea and eating scones.  Never having been to England myself, I’m sort of assuming that’s what British people like to do in their spare time.  But much to my surprise, you went in an entirely different direction…. though there still might be scones involved somehow.  Hard to say.

When the TV cameras turned off, you chased after your dream of becoming a professional musician.  I watched a handful of the TV interviews you did after you launched your album – it’s obvious to me how passionate you are about the music.  I don’t know if you feel the same way when you’re acting, directing or writing (do you ever sleep?), but I can tell that playing blues music lights you up on the inside.  When you play, you look like you are exactly where you want to be.

I don’t know what living the dream FEELS like,
but this is what it LOOKS like.

There are two things that happen when you do something you’re passionate about:  First, you get to enjoy an intoxicating mix of adrenaline, joy and excitement that can’t be found anywhere else…. at least not without the help of pharmaceuticals.   And second, you put your heart and guts on display for the world to see – kind of like going through that full-body scan at the airport, times a million.  I think it was extremely brave of you to expose that part of yourself to the masses and take the giant leap of faith required to do what you love rather than what may be expected of you.

When most people reach 50-something (I hope you’re one of those “age is just a number” people, otherwise, sorry for bringing it up) they stop taking risks, stick close to the path they’ve carved out for themselves (good or bad) and lay past dreams to rest. They resign themselves to the thought that if it hasn’t happen yet, it’s never going to happen.  So, when I saw someone turn that line of thinking on its ear, I was enormously inspired.  Suddenly, it all seemed possible.

It didn’t matter that 40 was breathing down my neck or that I had about as much chance of seeing my dream come to fruition as I had of becoming the next Miss America – which given my repulsion towards swimwear, tiaras and dreams of world peace, seems unlikely.  (Okay, maybe I’m not really repulsed by world peace, just by pageant contestants that can’t seem to come up with anything better to talk about.)  You showed me that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

So, I muzzled the pessimistic voices in my head that delighted in reminding me about my dismal odds of success and pathetic lack of qualifications, and put my dream of becoming a writer into action.  I was scared as hell before I started my blog – even more scared than I am of Gordon Ramsay, which is really saying something.  What if people hated my writing and I never became an author?  Or what if I disappeared among the millions of other blogs out there?  I knew it was as easy to get lost in the blogosphere as it was on the streets of Manhattan – easier for me because my sense of direction is total crap.

But I reasoned that if a white guy from England could sing the blues (and kick some serious ass doing it!), then perhaps a housewife from the suburbs could write.  So, a blog was born….

I don’t know if anything will ever come out of it, but it feels amazing to be doing rather than just dreaming.  Thank you so much for being such an inspiration, and for showing me that taking a leap of faith isn’t as scary as it seems.  I wish you much success in following this dream and any others that may spring up during your adventures off the beaten path.

Take care,

Linda (inserted last name here)

P.S. – While I appreciate you making the trek onto Long Island and saving me the hassle of a 45-minute train ride into Manhattan to see you perform, you may want to investigate the very real possibility that your agent is smoking crack – isn’t he/she aware of the commuter hell involved in getting on and off this godforsaken island on September 11th?!  If they book you for a concert in Pamplona during the running of the bulls, I’d fire their ass.

Meeting an American Legend

The year was 1989:  there was poofy hair and acid-wash denim as far as the eye could see.  I was a sophomore in high school, and just getting into the music scene.  I had never been to a concert before, but I had gotten my first real job that year, and for once, had a little extra money in my pocket to spend on weekend entertainment.

On the spur of the moment, a couple of friends and I decided to go see James Taylor in concert at the Jones Beach Amphitheater.  I wasn’t very familiar with his music, but figured that I knew enough of his greatest hits to make it worth the cost of the ticket.  We showed up to the box office a couple hours before the show, and managed to score floor seats for only $20 a piece…. that makes me sound older than a bag of dirt, doesn’t it?

When James started singing, something deep down inside of me seemed to resonate with the music; I felt like I had swallowed a tuning fork set to the same frequency as his guitar.  He didn’t whip me into a fanatical frenzy or make my heart flutter wildly inside my chest – just the opposite, really.

At a time in my life when I was riding an emotional roller coaster, James introduced an element of peacefulness into my tumultuous teenage world.  And while most girls my age were shrieking and swooning over Bon Jovi and New Kids on the Block, I was hopelessly hooked on a balding, middle-aged man with an acoustic guitar.

That concert was the first of many – I went on to see him a dozen times over the course of the next two decades.  Every time he came anywhere near New York, I bought tickets.

Just a handful of my concert tees – I call them Taylor couture.

In that time I went from being a greatest hits fan, to owning every album he ever produced.  My iPod looks like the James Taylor music directory.  And I can sing along to all of them…. much to the chagrin of my two kids.

This is less than half of the James Taylor albums on there – I need a bigger screen.

Looking back, there is one concert that stands out vividly among the rest:  June 22, 2008.  Why that one concert in particular?  Because I got the chance to meet him, face to face….. well, sort of.  I’ll explain in a minute.

How do you think you’d react if you got the chance to meet a movie star or musician that you’ve idolized for years?  There are several ways to go:

  1. Shriek loud enough to make dogs in the next town howl, then attempt to catapult yourself over security and into the waiting arms of your idol.  (*Warning:  they probably won’t catch you.)
  1. Sob while at the same time trying to form words that express how much you worship and adore them (this one’s never pretty because there’s a lot of snot, spit, and tears involved).
  1. Faint at the sight of them, and hope the person is still there when you regain consciousness.
  1. Stand there completely paralyzed, unable to form a single word without feeling like you’re going to trip over your own tongue.  There’s usually a lot of internal activity going on inside the star-struck idiot:  blushing, heart palpitations, profuse sweating, butterflies in your stomach, jitters that resemble the DTs, etc.
  1.  Stay cool, calm, and collected.  Tell them you think they are the cat’s pajamas, wink, and then casually amble away like John Wayne.  (Do cool people say the cat’s pajamas anymore?  *Spoiler alert:  I didn’t choose this option).

I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to meeting James, but I was about to find out.  He usually takes the time to sign autographs for a few fans during his concert.  But I didn’t want his autograph. I wanted to give him something to show my appreciation for all he had done for me; all the times I played his music and he had unknowingly sung me off a ledge, or crooned me out of wanting to strangle somebody  – this came in particularly handy during the twelve hours I was in labor with my firstborn.  I’m pretty sure playing James Taylor songs during those pain filled hours is what saved my husband’s life.

What gift could you possibly give that says all that?  (*Hint:  it wasn’t a pair of socks.)  It was a poem.  Don’t laugh.  I was going through a very sappy, Hallmark card period of my life back then.  I had gotten the idea to write him a poem that used his own song titles in a way that expressed my feelings of appreciation and gratitude.  I thought it was kind of clever…. and yes, also kind of corny.  Okay, REALLY corny.  And because I cherish my readers more than my own dignity, I’ll embarrass myself, and share it with you (the song titles are in italics):

James

Perfect strangers look to you
To Shed A Little Light
They turn their radios on,
Praying Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight

Your words of assurance
Helps guide them through just Another Day
Struggling to reach their goals,
You say it’s Enough To Be On Your Way

Your fans find comfort when you sing songs
Such as That’s Why I’m Here
They think How Sweet It Is to have found someone
Who can ease their darkest fear

To Mill Worker and Company Man alike,
You have sung your ode
You’ve shared with them the Secret O’ Life
And how to walk That Lonesome Road

And even in joyful times,
They love to see Your Smiling Face
When you sing Sunny Skies their Fire And Rain
Is gone without a trace

When at your concerts,
Your fans say Isn’t It Nice To Be Home Again
You Can Close Your Eyes and feel safe knowing
That somewhere You’ve Got A Friend

Okay, so I’m not Robert Frost.  Hell, I’m not even Robert Frost’s second cousin, once removed.  But I was kind of hoping that he would focus on the sentiment behind my pathetic lack of poetic talent.

I saw my window of opportunity open up right before the start of the second set.  A bunch of people rushed the stage and started begging him for his autograph.  This was the moment I had dreamed of for almost twenty years – I was going to meet James Taylor!!!  But rather than leaping to my feet and storming the stage like the other crazed fans, I sat frozen in my seat, grasping the laminated poem in my hands (yes, I had it laminated – it was an outdoor venue and in case it rained, I didn’t want it to get all wet and smeary.  Perfectly logical… and maybe slightly obsessive).

As the seconds ticked passed, I could see the window closing, but felt helpless to stop it.  Then my husband, Kevin, practically shoved me out of my seat, and reminded me that I would never be able to live with myself if I didn’t do it.  His threat of regret was enough to put my paralyzed limbs in motion.  I climbed over the 13 people in my row, and made my way to the stage, less than a hundred yards from where I stood.

Nervous doesn’t even BEGIN to describe how I was feeling.  My body kept vacillating between adrenaline rushes and nervous jitters.  My hair, which I had cemented into place with a can of hairspray, felt like it was melting beneath the sweaty steam rising off the top of my head.  I knew if another five minutes went by, I would look like I just stepped out of a sauna.

I didn’t really expect to make it passed security, but before I knew it I was standing up against the stage, a mere two feet away from him.  As he signed autographs, I just stared at him, completely star struck.  I tried to commit every detail to memory – I noted that he has really defined forearms.  Must be all that guitar strumming.  But I digress….

When he approached me, I handed him the (lovingly laminated) poem and stared at him, totally mute.  He looked at me like I just sprouted an orange tree out of my ear, and asked him if he’d like a glass of freshly squeezed juice.  I guess because everyone was handing him t-shirts and ticket stubs to sign, he had no idea what the hell I was giving him.  Finally my tongue unknotted itself, and I tried to offer him an explanation.  I said, “It’s for you.”

IT’S FOR YOU?!  I’ve had entire conversations with this man in my head since high school, and when I finally got the opportunity to do so IN REAL LIFE  I could only manage to squeak out three little words!  He took it, didn’t say a word, and went on to sign other autographs.  I don’t know if he didn’t hear me, or if he was just trying to back away from the scary stalker lady, but as the physical distance between us grew, I felt my window of opportunity slam shut.

As I stood there, stunned that I had let my golden opportunity slip through my clammy fingers, he circled back around to where I was standing.  I held out my ticket stub (mostly because I didn’t know what else to do).  He took it, quickly scribbled something, and gave it back.  I think he was hoping this would finally encourage me to exit, stage right.

I think his fear of sweaty stalkers made his hand shake too much to write legibly.
I’ve seen his normal signature, and this ain’t it.

Not exactly the picturesque moment I envisioned.  Clearly I’m incapable of acting like John Wayne under pressure.  But given the option between star-struck idiot and crazy Belieber-like fan, I think I took the high road…. or at least the road that didn’t involve me leaking bodily fluids all over my idol, screaming, or passing out.

Have any of you ever met anyone famous?  If so, did you make as much of an ass out of yourself as I did?  Please say yes….

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/teen-age-idol/

5 Side Effects of Living With a Belieber

Even if you’re not a girl under the age of sixteen (or the parent of one), chances are you’ve at least heard of the pop singer, Justin Bieber.  In the last three years, he has gone from an anonymous Canadian teenager to a globally recognized superstar.  At the mall, it’s hard to walk ten feet without seeing his face on a piece of merchandise – even on coffee mugs, which makes no sense to me.  Since when do twelve-year olds drink coffee?  I suppose they could be for adults… but that’s a thought too horrifying to contemplate.

When caffeine isn't enough to get your heart racing.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites dedicated to the adoration and idolization of this eighteen-year old boy.  Over zealous Bieber fans, dubbed “Beliebers”, can’t seem to get enough of him.  I know, because my thirteen-year old daughter, Meghan, is one of them.

If DaVinci had Justin Bieber to look at, the Mona Lisa never would have been painted.

Those that have a Belieber residing under their roof know what a test of patience it can be.  For those of you that don’t (lucky bastards), I’ll give you a glimpse into my hormonally charged world.  Here are the side effects of living with a Belieber:

1.  Barnes & Noble induced bankruptcy:  

Meghan knows no limits when it comes to books on the subject of Justin Bieber.  Even though the kid is barely old enough to vote, he has already written an autobiography entitled First Step 2 Forever.  There have also been dozens of books written about Justin by other authors.  That’s right, I said dozens – and Meghan wants them all.  That doesn’t mean she gets them all…. at least not until she gets a job to help support her Bieber habit.

Can you say adorably redundant?

And if the books aren’t enough to satisfy your Belieber’s obsession, there are also magazines.  Do you know how many teen magazines are out there?  Thankfully, not as many as there are Bieber biography books, but certainly more than there were when I was a teenager.   And most of the magazines have Justin somewhere between the pages, which means more pictures and posters for Meghan to add to her bedroom walls.  Her room is a veritable Bieber shrine…. all Beliebers that come to worship must leave their purple sneakers at the door.

Move along.... nothing obsessive to see here.

2.  The shrieking….oh God, the SHRIEEEEKING!!:  

I am constantly assaulted by ear-piercing shrieks at the mere mention of Justin’s name.  Every commercial, TV appearance, or music video with that kid in it causes Meghan to emit a sound that just misses the frequency of a dog whistle…. which is unfortunate for me because that means I can hear it.  If I need hearing aids before I’m fifty, I’m suing Justin Bieber for damages.

That clip was just thirty seconds…. try listening to that for THREE YEARS.

Meghan and I were driving in the car recently, and all of the sudden she let out a shriek that made me think I was about to run my car into a parade of babies and kittens.  I frantically looked around to find the cause of her apparent panic attack, nearly running my car off the road in the process, but saw nothing.

“WHAT?  What is it?!”  I asked, with my heart galloping in my chest.

“Justin Bieber’s new song is on the radio!!!”  she exclaimed while bouncing up and down in the seat beside me.

Have you ever seen that show 1,000 Ways to Die?  I bet the makers of that show never considered death by Top 40 hit song.

3.  Your nose can run, but it can’t hide:  

Given Meghan’s voracious appetite for Bieber merchandise, when he came out with his perfume, Someday, I knew she would want it.  I also knew that it would offend my Chanel No. 5 sensibilities – I was right.  The sweet concoction wafts through the house, and seems to find my nose no matter how far away I am from where it was sprayed.  And when it does inevitably find me, a migraine usually isn’t far behind.

Someday.... sounds like a threat.

 4.  Play it again, Sam.  And again…. and again…. and again…. 

Meghan doesn’t seem to ever tire of listening to Justin’s music.  EVER.  His lyrics and music have been pounded into my brain with repetition so relentless, it borders on torture.  You need to get a confession out of me?  Play Justin Bieber’s song, Baby, a couple dozen times, and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.  I get down on my hands and knees and thank the inventor of the iPod everyday because without it (and the accompanying headphones), I would surely have found my way into a straight jacket and a padded cell by now.

Dancing to the beat of her own Bieber.

5.  The countdown – it’s like Dick Clark on amphetamines:

The countdown begins when Meghan finds out that Justin Bieber is coming out with a new single, album, or video.  I thought it was unbearable when she had to wait two weeks for his single, Boyfriend, to come out, but now she has to wait almost two months for the release of his next album, Believe.  Thanks a HEAP for announcing that one so early, Justin.  Every day that ticks slowly passed, I know I will hear her excitedly announce, “only __ more days until the new Justin Bieber album comes out!!!!”  And more than likely, that announcement will be punctuated by a shriek that makes my ears bleed.

A visual aid to remind me when the next round of auditory torture will begin.


I guess there are worse fates for a parent to suffer, and certainly worse boys for my daughter to idolize.  Despite Justin’s amazingly rapid rise to fame, he seems to be well grounded and good-natured.  He visits sick kids in the hospital, puts on concerts at impoverished schools, and lends his voice and support to a lot of charities – namely the “Children’s Miracle Network”, the “It Gets Better Project”, and the upcoming movie “Bully”.  He’s like the teenage boy version of Mother Theresa.

Maybe his extraordinary empathy for the poor, sick, and tormented children of the world is a byproduct of his own humble beginnings…. or maybe when you have more money than god, you just enjoy throwing it around a little.  Whatever the reason, I hope Justin Bieber stays as sweet as his headache producing perfume.

If she blushes this much over a cardboard cut-out,
meeting him in person would surely lead to spontaneous combustion.