Patrick Swayze having to go to the hospital with pneumonia made me sad, and it also made me think about myself. I know you are stunned.
They announced that he was in the hospital at this critic's convention that is held twice a year in Pasadena, and guess who worked at that ding-dang thing for years? Guess who hated it?
They needed a proofreader to read the stuff that went out to the press, and the days were 12-16 hours long, and man Polly quit cryin', it was exhausting. The only good news is that the thing was held at the Ritz, and the Ritz is, you know, ritzy.
I remember one late night I sent someone down to the bar to get me a glass of wine as we were wrapping up. I gave him $10. The guy came back with my wine and no change, and I was sort of annoyed (this was in 1999, so I was even more annoyed than I'd be now). "I didn't make off with your change," the guy said. "The wine was $9, so I tipped the extra buck."
NINE DOLLARS? For a glass of stupid merlot or whatever I drank back then?
Also, the Ritz had really good-smelling soap in the lobby restroom, and whenever I was back there after that (they had a nice tea that I would sometimes go to), that soap would remind me of those long, stressy days.
But that is not what I was going to discuss today. I thought I would tell you all the exciting star sightings I had when I lived in LA. All the ones I can remember, anyway.
You really do see celebrities all the time when you live there, but you have to really live in the city of LA (or Malibu or Santa Monica. I am saying you can't live in a suburb 20 miles outside the city, is what I am trying to say), and you have to know what celebrities look like. Marvin never recognized anyone except of course Roger Daltrey. Oh, and once he recognized Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days, but mostly he recognized him because his normally quiet best friend screamed out, "MR. C!" which old Mr. C didn't seem too happy about.
Okay, so let's see. Well, my first big sighting was the first weekend I went to see Marvin. I saw Bob Saget at the LA airport. I know, right? It doesn't get any better.
Then shortly after I moved there, we went to Catalina Island for the day, and I saw that guy Christy Brinkley married on the ski lift and divorced like four seconds later, but not before getting pregnant by him.
And this is why it was good for me that I lived there. I could spot even the remotest celebrtity. Even people who didn't really, you know, count.
Soon after, I saw Mrs. Godsey from The Waltons, which may not mean much to you, but I always liked her. And yes, I KNOW nobody knows who that is, either.
And this was my luck for years. I kept seeing celebrities that barely counted. I saw all the siblings from Roseanne, including both blonde sisters. I saw Alannah Stewart, the woman who married both George Hamilton and Rod Stewart (she and I actually spoke, as we were in line for the bathroom at the Ivy). I shopped next to Cuba Gooding Jr. AND Angela Lansbury at Rite Aid (they weren't together), and next to Heather Graham at Fred Segal (we were looking at the same pants, but she was down by the zeros and twos and I…wasn't).
I got my hair done next to Gina Gershon and Debra Messing. Which just goes to show you I spent entirely too much on my hair. Oh! And I got blown off at a kid's store because stupid Lisa Renna was there, and I shouldn't blame her, but it ticked me off. I was trying to buy some overpriced shoes for my niece that she'd grow out of in two seconds.
I also saw Elvira, Mistress of the Dark; that kid from Jerry Macguire; Shelly Winters at the movies and oh! once I sat behind Helen Mirren at the movies, but only like four people know who that is.
But finally my luck changed. My friend came to visit me, and we were gonna have brunch at this trendy restaurant and there was a line down the block. "Forget it," I said. Let's go to this crappy place, and we'll go to the Ivy for dinner or something."
We get to the crappy place, and WHO is having breakfast right next to us?! Ashton, Demi, and Rumor, Tumor and Bloomer, that's who. We had to sit there like it was normal to have Ashton and Demi at the next table. According to my friend, who was more blatant about looking, Demi ate a lettuce leaf for breakfast.
After that I saw just everyone. I stood behind Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks going to a movie together. I ran into Courtney Love in Hollywood. I went to a party with Vince Vaughn. I saw Anthony Keidis not once but THREE TIMES in my neighborhood. Marvin and I chatted with Christina Applegate and her then-husband Jonathan Shcehchchchch or whatever his name is at a neighborhood bar. I was alone in a manicure place with Christina Ricci. I had to read my magazine and act like I was totally used to getting my toes filed next to Christina Ricci.
Because that is the secret when you live in LA. You do not pose for a picture, you do not say hi, you do not say love your work. You pretend they are not there. Anyone who does otherwise is screaming to the world that they do not live locally.
Except that Marvin love love loves Aimee Mann, and he did say hi to her at the grocery store and she acted mortified.
Finally, my top two celeb sightings, and I know you enjoy me for saying "celeb," were the following. First of all, I rode an elevator with Rachel Griffiths, and she said, "I like your shoes!"
Okay, that was good. But then? And I may have told this one, because I don't know how I could have missed it in two years. I was stuck in traffic on Hollywood Boulevard. I really had to be somewhere and I was cursing that I took that stupid road. As I crawled along, I saw this crowd on bleachers to my left and realized I was driving through a movie premiere. I looked to my right, and
NICOLAS CAGE WAS GETTING OUT OF HIS CAR.
You don't understand. Nicolas Cage is on my list. My list of people I could have an affair with if I ever saw them in real life. I think he is the bomb. And there he is, seven inches away from the passenger door of my Bug. Nicolas Cage turned toward my car, because he was waving to the crowd across the street. Naturally, because I was right there, he glanced into my car. So you know the part where I said you pretend celebrities aren't there?
I SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMED and grabbed the sides of my head and bounce bounce bounced up and down in my car seat, like those kids did in the Ed Sullivan theater when the Beatles invaded America. Do you think this compelled Nicolas Cage to blow off his movie premiere, get right into my Bug, and drive off into the night with me?
He gave me kind of a concerned look and smiled at the crowd. He was with Lisa Marie Presley. Then the traffic moved forward and he was probably never so glad about anything in his life.
Do you think he might call? I mean, when he reads this, and heaven knows he will, do you think he will understand that I am fully sane and also pretty?
I'm in the book, Nic Cage!