Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brushes With Greatness

Dear All You People Who Don't Live In Southern California,

Nyahni , Nyahni , Boo-Boo ! We may have our share of problems out here...but what we do have that you don't have in a Dakotah or Oklahoma is Movie Stars...that's right - M-o-v-i-e Stars. Celebs, 'E' Network worthy folks whose daily lives are the captured by Paparazzi and People Magazine fanatics. Me? I only read that stuff on my twice monthly visits to the nail salon - or while on line at my local big box grocer...

So we've lived here in LA-LA land (or there abouts) for almost 4 years now...and I still get excited to see famous people. I bring this up because tomorrow, my sister and niece are flying in from Florida for the weekend - and they, of course, want to do all the Hollywood stuff. And, hopefully - see some famous people.

Now first- need I remind you that I don't like to drive (that fear of all things transportation related rears it's ugly head once again) so the mere thought of navigating Hollywood and Vine has me a bit famished (which is Yiddish for Ver-Klempt...). So with that, and the desire to make my guests happy, I will rise to the occasion and ...have someone else drive us around L.A!

We scored tickets to the taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show! So set your Tivo/DVR as we think the show will air on Friday the 18th....check your local listings. (To do list: get someone to drive. Check!) Hopefully, we'll see someone famous on the show. Would be awesome to have great guests....don't know until we get there. I don't usually get to watch daytime t.v., but I have always liked Ellen - and it should be fun.

Secondly - on Saturday we are going to do the tourist-y L.A. thing. Rodeo Drive, Pinks for Hot Dogs, Hollywood Walk of Fame...that kind of stuff. (To do list: get someone else to drive. Check!)

I have never been to Rodeo Drive...but I can't help but be reminded of the scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts' character was shunned from the store for looking like a hooker. Oh wait, she was a hooker! What will the snooty store clerks say when they see Hubby, sister, 15 year old niece (who looks and dresses like a pretty Paris Hilton), 8 year old and 4 year old in tow - gawking at Chanel and Prada smelling like Pinks hot dogs and dripping from ketchup and just the slight sousance of perspiration? Hmmm...might have to buy something just for bothering them. That whole thing should take, what - and hour? Sorry dearie, we are lookie-loos not Jimmy Choos. Catch up with me again, after I hit Vegas in May.

Now- I don't like to boast, but Hubby and I have seen our fair share of the famous few whilst living out on the left coast. I will now start the count:

1) Wayne Gretsky and Janet Jones, sitting at a restaurant in Westlake Village. We saw them on our first weekend here - and thought it was SOOOO cool.

2) Aida Turturo (Janice Soprano). Saw her and her tons of crap squeezing into a limo at LAX like sweet italian sausage in a pot of Sunday gravy. I was afraid to go anywhere near her.

3) Hulk Hogan and family - Saw him and his tatoos at LAX baggage counter trying to check in without being noticed. Hard to do when you are like 6'4" up and down and sideways. Seemed like a regular guy, but hey- who's gonna tell him differently? But, if you want to be inconspicuous, Hulk - lose the bandana do-rag and put on a shirt with sleeves.

4) George Clooney. Yes...for real. George Clooney!!! This is a true story. A few years ago, Hubby's franchise convention was in Las Vegas (my second favorite place on earth with the first being in my Tempur-Pedic pillowtop mattress which cost more than a semester at B.U.). The Red Rock Resort and Spa had just opened, and the convention was the first. It was Derby Weekend, fancy digs and open bar....what a ball. Gorgeous place, too. So, Hubby made me leave the casino,'s spa for a morning and we went for a hike in Red Rock Canyon. It was really a nice morning. Any-who, we get back to the resort for a quick lunch and time to explore some of the place when we came upon the VIP pool area. We were asking the 'concierge' (read: bouncer) "How does one procure a chaise in this area?" All of the sudden, I - of un-made face and dusty clothes - feel a tap on my shoulder. I hear a very smooth "Excuse me miss.." and thinking I was in the way of a waiter delivering $20.00 bottles of VOX water and frozen grapes to a VIP, turn quickly and I am face to face with Himself. The holy grail of TV/Movie gorgeousness. The man of (the little known) Facts of Life, ER, and Oceans (what like 47?) fame and other films. Oscar winner....George Clooney! And let me tell you folks, he is gorgeous. He is sexy. He is not large, but has those swaggeringly good looks and slightly lifted one-eyebrowed smile. WOW!

I was dumbfounded. I tried to regain my composure when I realized it was him. I was simply in his way. I had to move. I was stuck. Star struck stuck. I gathered myself up, got out of the way...and said - "You are My biggest fan". Capital D-U-H! He said "thanks". And went on his way. I walked into the lobby with cell phone in hand ...well actually I was slapping my skull with the friggin' phone muttering something like "stupid, stupid, stupid"...

Never one to 'embellish' the truth. By the time the news travelled to the rest of the conventioneers with us, and to my friends and family around the country, I was dumping Hubby. George and I were having dinner and a baby. Remember me George?? Stil waiting.

5) That same weekend at Red Rock, still whirling from my meet with George - I hit the tables. I was playing 3 card Poker and a man sits next to me. Richard Kind. You might know him as the nebbishy neighbor of Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt from Mad About You (a great couples sitcom), or from the Michael J. Fox sitcom Spin City. Well, Richard sits down right next to me and asks how to play. We sit together for about 2 hours while I teach him the game (and others) and we kibbitz about this and that. Now, no offense to Richard. But he is pasty white and chews his nails and fingers worse than a hillbilly groom at a shot-gun wedding. With him, I had no problem talking. I was the only person who didn't mention his TV credits. A regular guy. A nice guy, too. Lousy card player, though. I never mention George...but a crowd gathered at the Cherry Nightclub because you-know-who showed up. I was like, all 'silly tourists' and calm and seemingly uninterested. I non-chalantly rubbed my head where the bruise from my cell phone was while trying to cover it with my hair.

6) Matt Damon: Well, not really for sure. So I am on the treadmill at the gym minding my own business. A guy jumps on the next treadmill and proceeds to start his work out/run with IPod in ears and baseball cap on as if he didn't want to be recognized. I look to my right and I swear it's Matt Damon. I don't want to stop and be a gawker...remember-the last time I actually met someone didn't turn out so good. So, I faked dropping my towel just to get a better look. I notice a very prominent dragon tattoo running the entire length of his left leg. He's running. I am trying to get a good look at his face and very distinctive smile. I swear it's Matt. Being from Boston, I am thinking of the clever things I can say. But- he leaves and a few minutes later - so do I. I go to the desk at the gym and ask if Matt Damon is a member. They look it up and say that, indeed, he is. I race home, and Google "Matt Damon's tattoo" Too many references to read them all. I think that I am all that! Never found out if he was really him or not. I live in my fantasy world to this day that it was Matt. I am thinking - I only need to meet another 9 people, then I will have completed the Oceans' 11 tour of California!! "Not for nuthin' but, who me and Matt? He and I ah tight. We work out togethuh!"

7) Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson: Also at the gym. He works out there when he is nearby. He is simply gorgeous. I get the nerve to interrupt him and ask for an autograph for my daughter. He was very gracious and kind. She framed it and brought it to school. It takes a big man to put on a wig, earrings, and fake nails for a Disney channel episode of Hannah Montana. He is a very big man indeed.

8) Pam Anderson: Hubby saw her backing out of a Starbucks with her grande-skinny-latte mochachino-double-pump-no foam on the hood of her car. He saved the coffee and handed it to her. What a guy. I think he was hoping to check out her Mercedes. Hers comes with two sets of front airbags.

9) Heather Locklear and David Spade: Seen them many times. They live nearby in Calabassas. They eat out often. They have booster seats at some of the fanciest restaurants in town. Tiny people need them too. We've seen them together and separately. Don't know if they are an item or not, but they are just cute as buttons.

10) Wink Martindale: Twice. If you don't know him, he was a rather famous Game Show Host. No Whammies!

11) Cindy Crawford: Saw her and her kids at a Chuck E. Cheese type place. It was a Sunday morning. The place teeming with toddlers. All of us moms took pictures with out camera phones and called our Hubby's. "see dear, you shoulda taken the kid to the birthday party!" She is tall and gorgeous with no make-up and tousled hair. And, the best part! Panty lines!!! Just like me!!!!

12) Keanu Reeves: Hubby saw him at this restaurant in Sherman Oaks. (shameless plug for Sharkey's Wood Fired Mexican Grill). Keanu is a 'finatic' and eats there often. They talked for a while about everything except the fact that he is Keanu Reeves. Wish I had the same demeanor as Hubby. I would have flubbed that one up and dribbled fish taco sauce down my face. And no, he doesn't wear his Rio black leather duster all the time. In case you were wondering.

13) Jay Leno: Everyone knows he is a fan of old cars. We saw him puttering along the 101 in an old model something. Waving to fans as they whizzed by. Unmistakenly Jay Leno profile. Woulda loved a moment to chat, but it figures that this was the only day there was no traffic on the 101 and you could actually whiz.

14) Ed MacMahon: Walked the floor of the Bellagio. Let people take pictures of him with them. Seemed very gracious. I was on a roll at the tables, and didn't want to get up for Ed MacMahon. He's no George.

15) Ty Treadway: Now unless you watch daytime t.v , you wouldn't know him. I used to watch a soap called One Life to Live. Ty was a character named Troy with an evil twin ( I know, I know - that is a soap novelty, right?). He was killed off. Now he hosts a gameshow called Merv Griffins Crosswords. I was actually on that show (I lost, I am a loser and wish not to discuss it). Well, he's really nice and approachable and not at all 'famousy' in any way. Good host too. Lousy game show. Needs a studio audience.

All of these brushes with greatness. Aren't they lucky!! (stupid, stupid, stupid)

4/24/08: Hubby now calls with all his latest sightings...Miley Cyrus a.k.a Hannah Montana (seen at a coffee place. When I was 15, I didn't drink coffee - nor could I afford to buy one) , Jack Nicholson (tooling about in a bitchin' convertible), and Lisa Kudrow (sans the Friends).
Life is good.

11/21/08 - this was an old post before anyone knew I existed. Now my regular readers (all 4 of them) can rejoice in the fact that they have hob-knobbed with a big 'swig' = Swirl Girl.


Unknown said...

Wendel...dude and I saw Lyle Waggoner at Burbank airport several trips ago...he told me who it was and of course I said..."no shit...lyle Waggoner" and he and his wife abruptly turned and stared at me!

Heather said...


You exchanged words with George Clooney?!?


I am jealous forever, sigh.....

(Oh and by the way, Richard Kind is one of George Clooney's best friends - don't know if you knew that or not. They've been friends for like 20+ years, I read.)

Ohilda said...

Oh my gosh...I was laughing out loud when you said to GC that he was YOUR biggest fan! Hahaha...I'm still laughing.

I was hoping you had the love of my life (Kiefer Sutherland) on your list of celebs. Oh, well!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, too!


Pamela said...

wow what a letter!
I've never met a celeb..not even once!
I'm totally envyous!