Archive | December, 2007

The Conversation: Tyra Banks

28 Dec

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Ring…. ring… ring… ring… ring (stop)

Ring… ring… ring… ring… ring (stop)

Ring… ring… ring… ring… ring (stop)

Husband to me: For the love of God, answer the phone. She will call until you do.

Me to husband: Fine.

Ring… ring…

Me: Hello?

Tyra: HEY GIRL!!! I have been tryin’ to call you! Were you in the back or something?

Me: Uh huh. What’s up Tyra?

Tyra: Well, I’m just calling my top girlfriends to wish them a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I mean last year was GREAT, but this year– the sky’s the lim-it, choo-no?

Me: Actually, it was a good year and all, but pretty tough too in a lot of ways, I mean…

Tyra: You are so NEGATIVE, Jennifer. You really need to work on that. You know you should come on my show and talk about how your negative attitude has almost destroyed your life, and how you have many dreams that you have yet to realize. You’re still relatively young and, well, you’re like an every woman.

Me: Oh yeah? How.

Tyra: Let’s see. Your life took some unhappy turns that you didn’t expect, you’ve put on a few pounds since college, you wish you were taller, your book hasn’t been published, I mean the list just goes on and on…

Me: Taller? No I don’t.

Tyra: Sure you do.

Me: No. I don’t.

Tyra: OK. Well, we can have a therapist come on and then maybe someone who went through some life-changing experience– like a car accident or a bad wedding- and came out on the other side all happy and beautiful and, you know, together. It could really help a lot of women. We could convince you to make all your dreams come true!

Me: No. Thanks, but no.

Tyra: Don’t you want to help a lot of women, Jennifer?

Me: Me? Yeah, sure, but…

Tyra: OK, so we’ll fly you down…

Me: Wait a second. Did you really call me to wish me a “Happy New Year” or to talk me into being a “before” on your show? I mean, there are things I’d like to improve but…

Tyra: This will be FIERCE! I’m so glad you want to help people.

Me: I’m not doing it. If I want to make changes, I’ll do it myself. I don’t need to do it on national television in a 12-minute segment with one commercial interruption. No way.

Tyra: You know what would be great? Why don’t you wear that gray suit dress? It sort of sums up your whole…

Me: Hold on, Tyra. I am NOT doing this. You can dream all you want, but why don’t you call the next girlfriend on your list and get her to do it.

Tyra: That would be impossible.

Me: And why’s that?

Tyra: Because it’s Ashley Judd. She’s fine the way she is… obviously.

Me: Obviously.

Tyra: So you’re free next week, right? Great.

Me: Oh my God, Tyra. You are NOT listening. I know it’s your “thing” not to take no for an answer but, alas, my answer is no.

Tyra: I see.

Me: Good.

Tyra: Good.

Me: OK then.

Tyra: Can I just ask you something?

Me: What.

Tyra: Do you still have dreams? Because, you know, if you really believe in yourself and work hard, any dream is possible.

Me: Is that so?

Tyra: Uh huh.

Me: OK. My dream is to be a supermodel.

Tyra: I KNEW it!

Me: That’s right. I’ve always been out of my mind jealous that opportunities and success come so easily to people like you. So I want to be a supermodel.

Tyra: OK. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Me: So now what?

Tyra: What do you mean?

Me: Well, I have a dream and I’m willing to work hard. So let’s go.

Tyra: Well, there’s no way you could ever be a supermodel. I mean, you’re five feet tall and in your late 30s and…

Me: Are you trying to shut me down and crush my dream?

Tyra: No! It’s just that…

Me: Because I’m getting a really negative vibe from…

Tyra: No, girl! What I mean is that you should have dreams that… well…

Me: That’s what I thought. Listen, if everyone wanted to be a supermodel, which I certainly do not wish to be, we wouldn’t have teachers and engineers and bus drivers and people to grow food which you wouldn’t eat anyway. Dreams are relative, Tyra. Not everyone wants every ounce of attention in a room hurled at them, believe it or not. Now, go out there and change some lives. What’s your show tomorrow?

Tyra: It’s about my boobs.

Me: Excellent. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!

Corporate blogging = no sense of humor?

17 Dec

I wonder if the folks at Bigelow Tea have any idea that I’ve never in my life spoken to J.K. Rowling (and other conversationalists Dick Cheney and Britney Spears)…

http://www.bigelowteablog.com/2007/12/17/celebri-tea-interviews/

Happy Birthday, Tenacious B

16 Dec

December 15, 2006. That was the day that Benjamin came into this world, and our lives would never be the same. He turned one today (well, yesterday- but I’m still up) and his birthday party was a smashing success! Balloons, cake, family, toys, Christmas lights. We wanted to keep it small… just family and neighbors who Ben knows and sees a lot. Since we’ve both been sick, it was a cozy affair. Ben wore a t-shirt with a big smiley face that said “Mr. Happy” which he certainly was today. We are blessed with kind neighbors who adore Ben, and it seemed that Ben could not make sense of the fact that many of his regular guests were in the same room at the same time. He passed out right after the cake. Sleepy, overstimulated little guy. He also discovered a new love… celery! Oh, he really dug that. He got to hang out with five of his cousins, which was a big treat for him.

After he went to bed, Fritz and I gathered up the half dozen balloons that remained and wrote our wishes for Ben’s 2nd year– health, fun, friends, sleeping through the night, discovering what his body can do, and learning his ABCs and 1-2-3s. We attached these wishes to balloons and let them go. Then we cracked open a beautiful leather journal from Italy and turned it into Ben’s Birthday Book. In this book we will record the best details of his birthday, and how he grew over the last year. We hope some day he’ll get a kick out of reading his Mom and Dad’s thoughts on this, now our favorite day of the year. Because while we celebrate Ben, it’s also a time to reflect on that incredible day in the hospital when they put a beautiful little boy in my arms. I have never been so in love…

Happy Birthday, Bunny. I love you…….THIS…………MUCH…………………………………………………. + infinity + 1 

Pop Candy – Episode 3

14 Dec

The only things that had really ever changed in Alex’s room were the color of the walls which had gotten darker over the years like dried blood, his posters and a black computer desk he had stolen from the neighbor’s bulk garbage pickup five years earlier. He had meticulously steam cleaned the exterior and used an exacto to remove stickers bearing the likenesses of Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Usher. He lay in his twin bed gazing out the screened window and listened to the whoosh of maple leaves that signaled a coming storm. He could not see the stars anymore. They had cleared the wild meadows near his house to put up a new subdivision – “Whispering Willows”- and the street lights, along with the ever growing population of outdoor shopping plazas (strip malls) had stained the night sky that he grew up with. It was black now. And that made him nervous.

It annoyed him that he knew there were stars in the sky, but he couldn’t see them. Though he had spent most every night with eyes squeezed shut listening to wind and crickets and the sound of Nightline blaring from his father’s office, he had suddenly realized that he absolutely must see the stars… or he would do something drastic. It slowly became a compulsion, but he did not realize how severe the itch to see the stars had grown until one night he burst out of his room, ran to the car and started the ignition all with the intention to drive far into the countryside until he could see the Big Dipper. That was the plan. But once he put the car into reverse, Alex blacked out and awoke to paramedics slapping his face. In the corner of his eye he saw his Dad’s car neatly tucked into  the side of the neighbor’s Suburban. The white steam slid into the night air and he thought how nice it would be to go to a sauna tomorrow. Just get all the toxins out, sweat out the pain and the chemicals and the crap he had been breathing in that disgusting room over the garage.

The next day, he had forgotten all about his night terror. He had blocked out all conversation with others throughout the day until it seemed he had only been awake for an hour or two. He was a stoic genius waiting. He knew that he had been born for a reason, and that all was not lost for his lack of work, ambition or focus these last few years. He discovered, during his blackout, that he was waiting for an idea. Just one, simple, exquisite idea that would shoot him out of this house forever. Maybe it was a household invention. Or a mathematical equation. Or an engineering breakthrough. Or something to help babies or dogs. He didn’t know. But he felt good knowing that it was just a matter of time until something happened.

Alex’s confidence soared while he shaved, clipped his toenails, washed his face and applied his topical ointment to the eczema on his feet. But for all the fantasizing about getting his due someday soon, his anxieties returned once the lights were out. He tried to focus on the crickets, but they would not chirp to the rhythm that was in his mind playing over and over. Ode to Joy. He had to quickly abandon the crickets. The trees were no better. Where there was wind last night, tonight it was as still as death. It seemed everything he wanted wasn’t there.

Alex felt his heart racing. His body was one large itch that could not be scratched. If he didn’t hear the crickets play Beethoven or see the hidden stars or hear the song of the trees that was soothing and sweet, he didn’t know quite what he would do. His mother had the only key to the liquor cabinet, and he was fresh out of the two liter plastic bottle of vodka he had finished the day before yesterday.

Alex reached over to his clock radio and looked at the time. It was 10:33 p.m. He tried to hold his breath for a full two minutes. If he could do that, he could do anything and everything would be OK. After 45 seconds, he let out a deep gasp followed by an alarming squeal and burst into tears. Alex’s hands darted toward the clock radio to hurl it against his bathroom door. It fell to the floor and the crackling volume pierced the air. He went to grab and adjust it, but he inadvertently tuned to the Co-op station. He heard the unmistakable voice of Kate Bush and felt that at least he had been thrown a piece of driftwood tied to an old boat on a tumultuous sea.

Alex pulled himself together, crawled into bed and tuned the station in so it was clear and uncluttered by static. He adjusted the volume. Not too soft so he couldn’t hear it, but not too loud that he couldn’t go to sleep. He lay flat on his back, palms up and spread out, face relaxed and he listened. He couldn’t remember when or if he had ever heard a Kate Bush song on the radio. Her voice was an instrument. He wished that Kate was actually his sister or cousin or aunt. Mostly, he let her birdly voice sing of a lonely woman waiting for her long lost love to return from the sea. It was haunting, and he fell asleep just as Ava’s voice pushed him into a dream… “thank God for Kate Bush. I’ll be back tomorrow. Until then, I’m Ava and this has been Pop Candy.”

The Conversation: Britney Spears

12 Dec

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(I’m Not That Innocent… ringtone)

Me: Hello?

Britney Spears: Hey, girl! Wassup? Where you at?

Me: Britney?

BS: Duh… wait. Hold on. (inaudible scuffle followed by) That’s right you fat cow, you better run! Or I swear to god…

Me: Britney!

BS: Oh hey Jen! You need somethin’? What’s up?

Me: You called me?

BS: I did?

Me: Yep.

BS: Oh yeah! Sorry, just some skanky ass bitch with a camera phone got all up in my…

Me: Britney.

BS: Oh yeah. Anyway, why don’t you come over for a playdate this weekend? I have the boys for a couple of hours and we can get tan and let the kids play in the pool and just, you know, chill.

Me: Um, I just don’t think that’s a good idea right now.

BS: Why not? Wait, just a sec… SHIT! I just hit something, but it sounded like a rock or something.

Me: You should go back and see.

BS: Naw… it was a squirrel. Man, that little guy sure had a death wish. You know my daddy used to…

Me: Please do not tell me you used to eat squirrel.

BS: (Pause) Okay.

Me: Listen, Britney?

BS: Uh huh?

Me: You know I’ve been a publicist for, like, almost 20 years, right?

BS: Uh huh. And how come you won’t let me hire you? It would be freakin’ AWESOME! Do you know how much work it is to figure out where to go to and who to go with? I mean, even though you don’t hardly drink or anything, you could still par-tay! And I wouldn’t have to drive.

Me: I can see where that would be a bonus for you. But for me…

BS: I’ll pay you like, how much does it cost, like, $15,000 a month, or $20,000 or I don’t EVEN know. Just whatever.

Me: It’s not about the money. It’s about, well, you’re out of control and you really need to get your act together, Britney. If not for your sake, for the sake of your kids. I’m being totally serious here.

BS: (hangs up)

Me: Hello?

(1 minute later)

BS: J-Ro?

Me: Yeah.

BS: It’s me.

Me: I know. You hung up on me.

BS: I thought about what you said and I know you’re right.

Me: But…

BS: But I am young and rich and sexy.

Me: You’re not that sexy…

BS: What?

Me: Nothing.

BS: I don’t want to talk about this. So, you coming over this weekend or what? I’ll let you give me some of your PR advice and junk. Oh, and there’s this new place on Robertson that sells little minature Hummers for toddlers and I want to get you guys one and a couple for the kids. I think they come in, like, 8 or 9 different colors and…

Me: Um… I live in Austin and I’m a writer and I really don’t have time to get to LA on a last minute…

BS: Uh huh… hold on my phone is ringing.

Me: But you’re on the phone with…

BS: The PINK one is ringin’. Hold up…

(Background: No I did NOT let the boys drink Pepsi and eat pop rocks at the same time. It was Coke and I was sittin’ right there with them and… hold on.)

BS: Jen, I’m gonna have to call you back. OK, so we’re on for New Year’s right? Vegas, baby! Yeah! It’s so cool you called. Bye!

Me: Huh? Yeah, right. Vegas. Listen, take care, Brit. And just love those boys. They really need you and…. hello? Hello?

Down for a few days…

12 Dec

Well, I just can’t be a trooper anymore. I’ve been sick for two weeks, and I’m down for the count. Hopefully the new antibiotic will kick in. This is what my head looks like…

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I’ll be back soon!

Shuffleboil: Hey! I’m Trying to Eat!

7 Dec

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Check out the latest in “My Next Top Reality” at Shuffleboil and see what I can and can not stomach in the world of reality TV.

My Christmas Un-Wish List

3 Dec

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Here are a list of things not to get me for Christmas or any other gift-giving occasion:

1) My Own Star with a map showing me where to find it and a certificate telling me there’s a star out there named “Jennifer.” I don’t have time and I don’t have a telescope. (This is not a hint to get me a telescope)

2) Sweaters. I live in Texas. I would maybe use it as a dust rag or something to let the cat sleep on. And unless it’s made out of Target gift cards, I’m not wearin’ it.

3) A Monogramed Anything: It was hard enough for me to change my middle name to my maiden name and then tack on my husband’s name at the end. Don’t rub it in.

4) Shrink wrapped Salmon. I don’t care if it was 30 bucks and came straight from Alaska. It’s fish in a box.

5) Items that say I’m a #1 anything… unless you can prove it, I’m not.

6) Pictures of yourself. Please.

7) Books and CDs that you think I’ll like. Just because I teared up that one time when Josh Groban was on “Touched by an Angel” does not mean I want any of his records. I was sick that week. Check out my wish list on Amazon.com before you get any lofty ideas that you really know me. You probably don’t.

8) Items that actually say “Makes a Great Gift” right on the box.

9) A donation to my favorite charity in my name. Look, during the holidays “I” am my favorite charity. The end.

10) Your kids’ craft project. I know you told her that “it’s the thought that counts and we have so many lovely crocheted things. Let’s give some away as gifts this year!” That’s a straight up pussy move. Don’t do it.

The Conversation: JK Rowling

2 Dec

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(Ringring… ringring…ringring)

JK Rowling: Hello?

Me: Hey JK– its JH

JK: Why hello, Jennifer! How’ve you been?

Me: Actually, I’ve had a bad throat infection the last few days and I’ve been coughing up the grossest stuff.

JK: Sounds awful.

Me: Yep… sorry my voice is so hoarse. It’s sexy, though, don’t you think?

JK: Definitely. You’re getting enough tea, then? Just hot herbal tea and lemon and a splash of honey. Does wonders.

Me: Oh yeah. I’ve been doing that since last week.

JK: Good girl. Right, so I got Benjamin’s birthday party invitation in the post just yesterday. It was adorable! Little animals with party hats. Brilliant.

Me: Yep– I printed them out myself. But, of course, you have people to do that sort of thing for you right?

JK: You’re mad.

Me: OK, OK, Sorry. I won’t start. (pause) So how’s the castle?

JK: It’s NOT a castle!

Me: I’m just KIDDING, geez. So, anyway, can you come? I have an opening for a storyteller for the kids and you’d be the obvious choice.

JK: No, I can’t make it. I’ll be in Japan and…

Me: Oh, sure, that’s OK.

JK: No, really, I want to be there it’s just that…

Me: You don’t have to explain.

JK: OK… sorry.

Me: Look. I’ve been meaning to tell you something for the longest time and now is as good a time as any.

JK: What is it?

Me: I just don’t even know how to say it.

JK: C’mon, then. Just spit it out.

Me: Promise you won’t get mad.

JK: Promise.

Me: Well… OK… here goes. I’ve never actually read any of your books. There I said it.

JK: Pardon?

Me: I mean, I have them all. Well, most of them. And I saw the first two movies, but I never actually got around to reading the books.

JK: I am absolutely gobsmacked. May I ask why?

Me: Um… the thing is is that there was just SO much hype, it really rubbed me the wrong way.

JK: Uh huh.

Me: Then I started noticing that all my friends on Livejournal and at the office were huge fans, and I was impressed. These are smart people.

JK: Well, they have compared me to Lewis and Tolkien, Jennifer. That might not mean anything to you, but…

Me: See. Now you’re mad.

JK: No, I’m not mad. I’m just a little confused. I mean, you’ve read all the classics, and those were wildly popular. How do you explain that?

Me: I don’t know. I just started to seeing all the marketing and the hoopla and it just made me angry. I rebelled.

JK: That’s so juvenile.

Me: I know. I know. I’ll just say it outright. I’m jealous.

JK: Of course you’re jealous. You wouldn’t be a human being if you weren’t a little jealous of my success.

Me: OK, now you’re just being arrogant.

JK: No I’m not. Let me ask you this. How is your young adult trilogy coming along? Are you EVER going to send me pages?

Me: Yeah, right.

JK: Well, have you written anything?

Me: Yes… I mean when I can make the time I…

JK: You’re pathetic.

Me: I know. Listen, you know what I’m going to do?

JK: What?

Me: I’m going to give Benjamin a Harry Potter birthday party. And I’ll even read, like, the first two books if I have time and then I’ll send you my pages next month. Oh, and you do NOT have to feel guilty about Japan. We’ll just call it even, OK?

JK: Well…

Me: C’mon…

JK: Deal. That all sounds lovely.

Me: Yes, quite. Well, have fun storming the castle…

JK: Very funny.

Me: Cheers!

JK: Ta-ta!

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