Tag Archive | entertainment

Jeff Bridges: The New Voice of My Nightmares

I lost myself on a weird internet tangent while playing around on Facebook yesterday. I glanced over at the “trending” part of my home page and saw that actor Jeff Bridges had recently released an album designed to help people fall asleep (you might have seen his commercial about it during the Super Bowl). I thought to myself, “Hey, I like sleep and I like Jeff Bridges!” So I clicked on the link and checked it out.

I was expecting him to guide me through some gentle meditation exercise or perhaps play some soft music mixed with the sounds of nature.  It wasn’t like that.  AT ALL.  To me, it felt like somebody killed the real Jeff Bridges, buried him in Stephen King’s pet cemetery, and he was resurrected into some weird, creepy version of himself. Then that zombie made the executive decision to scare the crap out of people with insomnia. I listened to the tape with my ten-year old son, and after the first few tracks he looked at me and said, “Worst. Lullaby. Ever.”

I guess I should have been forewarned about the creepy nature of the tape by one of the pictures Jeff Bridges used to promote it. He looks like he wants to eat my liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti…..

 

People taste extra yummy when they’re sleepy.

People taste extra yummy when they’re sleepy.

 

But if Mr. Lecter didn’t make you feel all snug and ready to sleep, you could scroll your way passed that and go directly to the other image on the album that he thought might lull you. The caption he put on the opposite page of this picture is “Sweet dreams, friend”. Yeah, not bloody likely…..

 

This guy might be the most awake person EVER.

This guy might be the most awake person EVER.

 

I’ll spare you the hour it takes to listen to the whole tape (and the resulting night terrors), and highlight my favorite parts for you.  You NEED to hear these tracks.  Seriously.  I can’t be the only one in the world who’s stuck with this weird stuff echoing around inside my brain.  After you click on the link below and scroll down to the album, I encourage you to read my brief synopsis of each track before you listen to it.

 

And now friends, you are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but also of some really messed up shit.  Welcome to Jeff Bridges’ sleep tape twilight zone:  Sleep Tape Link

 

INTRODUCTION (GOOD EVENING):  I can only assume that some major drugs were smoked, injected, or snorted off a hooker’s ass before making the introduction to this tape.  Jeff talks about all the deep and profound implications behind words like “sleep” “sharing” and “tapes”.   I guess he was just covering his bases in case his audience didn’t happen to have the vocabulary of a five-year old.

 

SLEEP, DREAM, WAKE UP: If Edgar Allan Poe were to ever collaborate on a sleep tape, this track would be the resulting byproduct. Apparently, Jeff and Edgar want to destroy any hope you may have of ever getting another good night’s sleep.

 

HUMMMMMM: This track is exactly what it sounds like – he hums for you. Except this is not the Marvin Gaye, deep, melodic sort of hum. This is the guy on the subway wearing headphones, humming along to his iPod, and not realizing that he’s annoying the crap out of everyone else around him sort of hum.

 

SEE YOU AT THE DREAMING TREE: This track sounds like he recorded it at a playground. There’s a lot of chaotic background noise of kids playing and jabbering on. Jeff, I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but most parents barely tolerate the sounds of their own children, much less other people’s. I can think of nothing less soothing to fall asleep to…. except maybe your humming.

 

IKEA: On this track Jeff talks about death and the bizarre things he wants to have happen to his remains after he’s gone. By putting this information on a sleep tape, I can only assume that his mother was Morticia Addams and had some really fucked up notions about what constituted pre-bedtime chit chat.

 

FEELING GOOD: His heart was in the right place with this track. He simply wanted to list all the things about you that make you the wonderful person that you are. So he goes on to talk about your awesome ability to predict when the light is going to turn green, how well you order food at a restaurant, and how much the night janitors at your workplace love your clean desk. Ummm, thanks? But you could’ve just told me what pretty eyes I have.

 

After that peculiar peek into Jeff Bridges’ brain, I feel compelled to try and make up for dragging you along on that weird expedition by showing you a hysterical version of this sleep tape that was put out by a video blogger named VlogRay.  Laugh well, Friend…..

 

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.

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.

Man of the House

Most TV shows only serve as passing entertainment, a brief escape from the reality of our own lives.  But every once in awhile a show comes along that resonates with us on a different level, and we become emotionally entangled with the cast of characters.  We race to the television when the show airs and only an act of God will get our ass up off the couch during that timeslot.  I can count on one hand the number of TV programs that have had this effect on me, two more profoundly than the others.

When I was young, the show that served as the backdrop to my childhood was Little House on the Prairie.  The Ingalls family, despite their poverty and lack of indoor plumbing, was everything I wished my own dysfunctional family could be – happily tucked underneath one roof.  I lived vicariously through Laura; all of her triumphs and tragedies became my own.  I admired her spunk, tenacity, and complete unwillingness to take any crap from Nellie Olsen.

Twenty years after Little House on the Prairie got blown off the map, another TV drama was created; one centered on a different kind of house.  Though far less warm and sunny than the house in Walnut Grove, Dr. Gregory House, M.D. would still manage to charm his way into my heart.

Back in 2004, I was on the phone with my best friend, Helen, and during our conversation she told me about a new TV show she was hooked on – House.  I had never heard of it before, but she promised that I would love the show’s main character, Dr. House.  I was still mourning the loss of Dr. Greene from the show ER from 2002, and wasn’t overly eager to invest myself in another medical drama.  But after some persistence on her part, I agreed to at least check it out.

I cried like someone killed my own mother when Dr. Greene died.

At first glance, Dr. House appeared to be a grumpy, unshaven, pain in the ass that doled out insults just as much as he did prescriptions.  It was clear by the way he treated his patients that he had skipped out on medical school the day they taught bedside manner.  He didn’t hold their hand or sugarcoat the truth during his quest for a diagnosis.  And he never relied on the patient to help him solve the medical mystery (in fact, he rarely spoke to them at all) because according to House rule #1, everybody lies.

But underneath his gruff exterior (which, I’ll grant you, was difficult to get passed at first), I discovered that he had a lot of qualities I admired:

He wasn’t interested in self-promotion or praise for a job well done, which if you think about it, saved his patients money on thank you cards and edible arrangements.

He pursued the truth like a demon, and steamrolled through the social mores and legal red tape that stood in his way of finding a diagnosis.  Personally, I’d rather have a doctor that cures me (by any means necessary) than one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

He had no fear about speaking his mind, even if it meant putting his own well-being or job in jeopardy to do it.  Granted, that could be an earmark for a borderline personality disorder, but still, an admirable quality.

He lived his life in perpetual pain, but didn’t let that stop him from doing his job.  He just popped a few dozen Vicodin pills, and went about the business of saving lives.

He also didn’t let his physical limitations stop him from riding a motorcycle – which I really appreciated because I’ve always had a thing for guys who ride motorcycles…. and look smokin’ hot while doing it.

I loved all these qualities, but they weren’t what kept me coming back week after week.  What kept me glued to my TV screen every Monday night for the past eight years were the rare moments when a co-worker or patient would find their way behind his defenses and expose his humanity.  When that happened he got this look of pure vulnerability on his face that completely unraveled me.

Long before E.L. James’ character Christian Grey (in Fifty Shades of Grey) got his first emotional scar, Gregory House had cornered the market on being screwed up.  And like Christian, House managed to win the heart of his Anastasia Steele, in the form of Lisa Cuddy….

That was the moment House fans had waited six seasons to watch.  Sadly, unlike Anastasia Steele, Cuddy found it exhausting to fill the role of mother, girlfriend, psychiatrist, and parole officer, and she eventually crumpled beneath the burden of House’s emotional baggage.  Their relationship was over so quickly I felt like I had dreamt all of season seven.

But even though the show was the complete antithesis of happily ever after, it still managed to keep me laughing as the story unfolded.  So thanks for the ride, House.  I will miss your sarcastic sense of humor, your gift for intuitive observations, and your stunning blue eyes.

I guess it’s time to go find another TV obsession.  But in the meantime, I have NO idea what the hell I’m going to do with myself on Monday nights.  When I checked the TV listings for that night, all I came up with was The Bachelorette… I think I’d rather stick to House reruns.

Do any of you have a TV show obsession?

When Did Prince Charming Get So Twisted?

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a prince.  Even in his infancy the King and Queen recognized their son’s appeal, so they decided to take a bit of a gamble and name him Prince Charming.  After their son had managed to sidestep the gawky teenage stage and grow more handsome and charismatic with each passing year, his royal parents breathed a sigh of relief – it seemed they were going to be spared the embarrassment of having an ugly, socially awkward son named Prince Charming.

When the prince wasn’t making royal appearances at balls or waving to peasants from atop his white horse, he enjoyed acting in local plays.   He managed to get some bit parts with the Brothers Grimm, but didn’t rise to true stardom until Walt Disney discovered him in 1937 and cast him in their classic movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Even though he was only referred to as “the prince” in the credits, he was still pretty psyched to star in his first feature film.  He had girls of all ages, and even a few of their mothers, swooning over him and singing, “Someday my prince will come…”

“I’m here to save you from the little men who treat you like a slave.”
“My hero!! Wait….are you wearing lipstick?”

Thirteen years later (though amazingly enough, he looked like hadn’t aged at all), Walt Disney finally gave Prince Charming the credit he deserved in the movie Cinderella.  He friends could no longer tease him about being cast as the generic prince because his name was right there in black and white.  After that, he was a household name and the source of many women’s fantasies.  Female peasants mobbed him every time he left the castle, and he was getting more princess ass than he knew what to do with.

I wonder if she’ll let me take off more than her glass slipper after the ball….

But all good things, no matter how charming, must come to an end.  Right around the time women were (symbolically) burning their bras and Aretha Franklin was demanding respect, Prince Charming died of a venereal disease.  But his legacy lived on.  His genetic lineage is a bit hard to trace – probably because he spent several decades sowing his wild oats in a lot of royal (and occasionally, not so royal) beds.  But in 2005, after years of exhaustive research, a genealogist managed to track down one of his modern day heirs.  You might have heard of him – his name is Edward Cullen.

If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it…

Though far more sulky and sparkly than his royal ancestor, he still manages to score big with the ladies.  It seems women love him despite his overly protective, often controlling behavior, and his prudish, old-fashioned ideals in the bedroom.  They don’t even seem to mind the fact that he’s about as cuddly as Michelangelo’s David.  I’m guessing his appeal has something to do with his brute strength, and his enormous bankroll (no, that’s not a euphemism for his penis… the guy really is stinkin’ rich.)

Edward not only sweeps girls off their feet, he also carries them high into treetops and races with them through dense forests.  Holy crap, you should see him run – Usain Bolt has got nothin’ on this guy!  And much like his charming predecessor, he’s got the saving damsels in distress gig down pat.  He’s definitely the guy you want to have around if you ever find yourself surrounded by a pack of drunken townies in a dark alley.  Although girls should be warned that he has a bit of a temper (especially around gorgeous werewolves), and occasionally gets the maddening urge to drink your blood.  But other than that, he’s usually the picture of chivalry and self-restraint.

Then in 2011, the same genealogist that discovered Edward’s lineage also found another member of Prince Charming’s family.  This heir was far harder to track down because he was given up for adoption as a small child – and you know how hard it can be to cut through all that legal red tape and unseal court documents.  But somehow, (probably through the magic of ancestry.com), Christian Grey was discovered.

Though Christian was proud to find out about his heritage and carry on the family tradition of making horny women swoon, he knew there was also a high price to pay.  Christian heard about how difficult it was for his cousin Edward to leave the house without screaming women throwing themselves at his feet, so he decided to maintain his anonymity for as long as possible.

His throng of bodyguards and ability to fly off in his private jet on a moment’s notice helped him stay out of the paparazzi’s spotlight for the last four years.  But all of that changed with the release of his new movie entitled Fifty Shades of Grey.  When asked why Christian picked Valentine’s Day as his film’s release date, his lips quirked up into smile as if he was enjoying an inside joke, but he offered no verbal explanation.  Personally, I think it’s his way of showing men all over the world who’s REALLY in control of their girlfriend/wife’s lady bits on the most romantic day of the year.  Dominant. As. Hell.

For those that want a sneek peek of what you might see on the silver screen, here’s Christian in various states of brooding hotness…..

 

christian grey 1 christian grey 3 christian grey 2

 

Even though Christian was initially reluctant to show his face back in 2011, it seems he was more than willing to pour his heart out to writer and author, E.L. James, who subsequently wrote the biography that the film is based on.  Given Christian’s laundry list of complexities, E.L. wasn’t able to capture his whole life story in just one book, so she wrote a trilogy – all of which landed on the New York Time’s bestseller list.  Apparently, when it comes to brooding, broken-down, billionaires the world just can’t seem to get enough.

While Christian seems to have inherited his family’s stunningly good looks, massive fortune, and (of course) winning charm, this contemporary Prince Charming is not without his faults.  Before you jump on the Grey bandwagon ladies, there are a few things you should know about him.  Here are just five of his fifty shades….

1.  You can run, but you can’t hide.  No really, you can’t.  If he wants to find you, he will.  Privacy and stalker laws be damned, he will hunt you down.  He knows people.

2.  You’re not allowed to touch him.  EVER.  You can tousle his hair a bit, but if you lay one wandering finger on him, he will have you physically restrained before you can say the words control freak.

3.  You don’t want him to buy you ridiculously expensive gifts?  Tough shit, he’s gonna do it anyway.  He’ll send you so many packages, you’ll think he’s got the UPS guy on his payroll.

4.  He has major food issues.  He’s like a Jewish mother and Italian grandmother all rolled into one.  When you sit down for a meal with him, he doesn’t care that you might not feel hungry – YOU.  WILL.  EAT.  If you don’t eat of your own accord, he will nag you incessantly until you do.

5.  He’s got a “red room of pain” in his house.  And among his many implements of torture, is an entire drawer dedicated solely to butt plugs.  Yep, you heard me – butt plugs.  I’ll just let that one sink in for a while….

The Prince Charming clan certainly has come a long way, haven’t they?  The men of that family have gone from sweeping girls off their feet to strapping them down in their bondage playroom.   But Christian’s semi-sadistic tendencies haven’t deterred his faithful followers at all.  If anything, his threats of corporal punishment have caused orgasmic explosions to go off like fireworks on the Fourth of July!

From the twenty-somethings right on up to the senior set, there are panties catching fire all over the world.  So what is it about these men that make even the most independent, liberated women go weak at the knees?  Inquiring minds want to know….

Caution: Reading Fifty Shades of Grey may cause swooning….
do not read while in a standing position.

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.