Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: Drew Barrymore, Golden Globes, life, movies, Ricky Gervais, Tracy Morgan
My random thoughts from the Golden Globes (almost in real time):
*So it’s apparent that Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore are having a May-December romance, what with the handholding and such. Only love could let Jessica look beyond Drew’s hair tonight, which looked like it had been styled by her finger and an electrical socket.
*Cool potential awkward moments from the evening: Jeremy Piven locking eyes with former Speed-the-Plow Broadway costar Elizabeth Moss as he eats a tuna sashimi hors d’oeuvre; Ryan Seacrest getting dissed on the Red Carpet by Brangelina (whoops! already happened!); the Jonas Brothers getting a little too excited when they see Daniel Craig and needing an immediate wardrobe change; Debra Messing’s rabid ponytail starts making animal noises and darts off into the night; J Lo bitchslapping Marc Anthony on national television. (C’mon–y’all know it happens behind closed doors. She’s bigger than he is.)
*Did anybody else see Tom Cruise with his mom and realize that she actually seemed like a more age-appropriate guest for him than his wife?
*Megan Fox says she’s very insecure about her looks, called herself a “doppelganger for Alan Alda,” a “tranny” and confessed that she’s actually “a man.” Megan, just for the record, if you are a man, I am a wombat. (Come to think of it, I am a wombat: I’m hairy, have a very slow metabolism, nocturnal tendencies, and short legs.) Bah. Thanks alot for reminding me, Megan.
*Oh my God. Sting looked like he should be cast in the remake of Deliverance. You know what that means: an excellent score!–think “Fields of Gold” meets the banjo meets tantric yoga man-love rhythms. Yee haw!
*What was with the blonde curly aloe plant growing out of Renee Zellwegger’s head?
*Weird, right? Ashton Kutcher blowing a kiss to his stepdaughter, this year’s “Miss Golden Globe,” Rumer Willis. He’s 10 years older than she is. So I guess the age difference isn’t as bad as I thought it was–he’s old enough to be her big brother, not her playmate in daycare.
*Back to Debra Messing’s ponytail for a moment: is its rabid fullness indicative of a long and snowy winter? Just a thought.
*I am just beside myself with glee for Kate Winslet. She so deserves those awards. She’s done consistently excellent work over the years. But I am starting to worry that she seemed to be sitting closer to Leonardo DiCaprio than to her husband for most of the event.
*Drew Barrymore: what’s with the insane smile? They flashed to her several times during Steven Spielberg’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award, and she looked like a crazed Stepford wife who had a bottle of gin and some uppers hidden under the table.
*Best moment: Ricky Gervais drinking beer on the stage, saying “What did I tell you, Winslet–do a Holocaust movie, win an award.” He went on to mention his lack of a nomination for Ghost Town, for which he had done an extensive press tour, noting about his interaction with the Hollywood Foreign Press, “That’s the last time I have sex with 200 middle-age journalists…Europeans with wispy beards. And the men were worse.” Did I mention? The Golden Globes are awesome.
*Sally Hawkins, you need to eat. The Golden Globe award looked heavier than you. Instead of Happy Go Lucky, the portrait of the perennial optimist, your next film should be about a depressed woman with a crazy food addiction. And hey! I could coach you!
*An aside for all the New England sports fans reading this blog: awards season just doesn’t feel like awards season without the Patriots in the playoffs. I’m just saying.
*Oooh, I did NOT see the Colin Farrell award coming for In Bruges. The Foreign Press is hot for Europeans this year. (But I do wish they’d given the award to Brendan Gleeson in this case; he deserved it more.)
*If I were Sasha Baron Cohen, and I saw Selma Hayek coming down a dark alley, I would run. Fast. Because that woman was throwing daggers at him with her eyes. Really, the comment about Madonna wasn’t that bad. And anybody in Madonna’s life could technically be considered a personal assistant–not just Guy Ritchie.
*Best quote of the night: Tracy Morgan, accepting (or hijacking?) the Best Comedy Award for 30 Rock, announcing, “I am the face of post-racial America! Take that, Cate Blanchett!” But next time, Tracy? It would be awesome if you said “I am a golden god!” and launched yourself bodily into the audience.
*Second best quote of the night: Tina Fey’s “I love the Hollywood Foreign Press. I have all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures.” She so funny, that Tina Fey.
*This is bad, but I thought Mickey Rourke was wearing lots of prosthetics and make-up in The Wrestler. Whoops. My bad.
*My final words, for the moment: hey, Foreign Press? Next year, up the ante on the booze. We could use a few more drunk stars and people getting stuck in the bathroom when their name is being called. I miss those days.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: Anne Bancroft, Anne of Green Gables, Evangeline Lilly, Gilligan's Island, Jennifer Saunders, Jody Foster, John Corbett, Judy Davis, Laura Linney, life, Lucille Ball, Matthew McConaughey, Megan Fox, movies, Naomi Watts, Sally Field, Will Ferrell
There is a fairly obscure actor/director who has my name, according to Google.
I have been waiting for an opportunity like this. You know, to direct. I would totally do a movie about my life. And I could put together the soundtrack, which would include classics from the likes of the Monkees, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Michael Jackson, the Chieftains, U2, Coldplay, some bhangra, a little dash of hip hop, and a bit of New Age.
It would be a total bestseller in iTunes (or at least I like to kid myself that it would.)
As for the movie, well…I haven’t written anything yet. For now, I just thought I would start with some of the casting. (Holla, family and friends, if you disagree with my casting decisions or want to make alternate suggestions…this is a work in progress!)
While I would like Kate Winslet or Nicole Kidman, alas, both would have to put on a significant amount of weight, lose almost a foot in height, and frizz their hair out to get the part. (Them’s the breaks for getting juicy roles like this one, ladies. So ugly yourself up, and we’ll talk.) Alternatively, my friend Paul has suggested Edina Monsoon (played by the most excellent Jennifer Saunders) from Absolutely Fabulous (pictured here), which is probably a slightly more accurate version of me. Besides, she tends to fall down alot. Perfect casting.
However, I would also accept Anne of Green Gables (played here by Megan Follows):
John Corbett. He really looks like my better half. But John had better start working on his British accent and find some goth facepaint.
Sally Field. Because Mom was a dead ringer for Sally when she was in Gidget.
According to my niece, Neve, Poppa (aka my Dad) should be played by Santa. Preferably the later Rankin/Bass claymation version.
My brother Brian:
The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. It’s a nickname Brian got back in college, and those things just stick. Sorry, Bri!
My sister Siobhan:
Megan Fox. (Isn’t that right, Shiv?)
My brother Michael:
Will Ferrell–less for his looks (my brother is MUCH better looking) than his comedic talent, which Michael demonstrated on Christmas Eve with the private and hilarious floor show he staged for a few members of the family.
My brother Tim:
Actor Sam Jaeger, from Eli Stone. My brother is actually better-looking than this guy. And Sam would probably have to lose a few pounds, and develop superior skills at board games. Particularly Trivial Pursuit and Catch Phrase.
My brother-in-law Chris:
Matthew McConaughey (this casting suggestion was made by my 1 year old niece, Genevieve, who says “dada” every time McConaughey appears onscreen.) Chris, do you mind if we add a few bongo-playing scenes to the film? I know it’s not really your thing, but the opportunity is just a little too good to pass up.
My sister-in-law Emily:
Naomi Watts, the lovely girl-next-door type actress who often wears her hair back and is, like Emily, expecting her second baby.
My sister-in-law Tracy:
Evangeline Lilly from Lost. Because she would look just as good in a tracksuit as in a formal gown–just like my sister-in-law.
My friend Rachel:
The inimitable Judy Davis. Because she needs to have gravitas while discussing presidential politics, the anatomy of the current economic crisis, and then be able to turn around and accuse someone of pedophilia or call them a “stinky face,” like Rachel does. I think Judy Davis is one of the few living actresses who could pull this off with any degree of sincerity. Plus, she rocks. (As does Rachel, when she isn’t scaring people.) ; )
My friend Alison:
The gorgeous Anne Bancroft. One of the few actresses who is beautiful, funny, sexy, dignified, and can wear leopard skin elegantly. (Like Alison!)
My friend Mellie:
Such good casting, it deserved TWO photos of Jody Foster. Because the young Jody Foster even looks like the young Mellie! And Jody Foster kicks ass, just like Mellie does.
My friend Julie:
Laura Linney. (Julie: she does history movies!!! She even played Abigail Adams recently.) And she has that same wholesome, could-have-spent-the-summers-working-at-the-beach-at-Cape-Cod look about her that Julie does.
My friend Autumn:
I love Lucy. I love Autumn. Lucille Ball was brilliant. Autumn is brilliant. Enough said.
My friend Jean:
Since Jean is afraid of identity theft on the Internet, she prefers to feature photos of her feet instead of her face. So Jean, I have cast you as the most beautiful feet I can find.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: Barack Obama, doctors, ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, life, Surgeon General
Apparently, for people with my name, the medical profession is incredibly popular: there are pediatricians, neuroligists, and ob/gyns, to name a few.
(Right now, my parents are probably thinking: where did we go wrong?)
But it’s interesting that for someone who has so many namesakes in the medical profession, I don’t actually know much about being a doctor. I don’t have any friends or family members who are doctors (yet, but there are one or two in training.) And although I have had my fair share of doctor’s appointments, I really have no idea what their lives are like outside of the hospital–how they spend their time, what they do for fun, what they eat, their hopes, their dreams, things like that.
So all I have to go by is what I see on TV. And from what I can tell, doctors are some of the most highly sexed and unfortunate beings on planet Earth. Take the show ER, for instance. It features some beautiful people who keep switching sexual partners (it’s a good thing they don’t have any STDs…oh wait, one of them did. A long time ago.) But, for their sins, most don’t seem to enjoy sowing their wild oats for very long: they get killed in ambulance explosions and bizarre helicopter accidents, or get maimed by trucks, suffer from tumors various, get caught in an insane number of hostage crises, or find that their family members have a terrible casualty rate once they start working in the Emergency Room at County General. Or take the stars of Grey’s Anatomy: have there ever been so many gorgeous doctors in one place? I wonder if Seattle is suddenly seeing the health of its citizenry decline as besotted locals attempt to crowd the halls of local hospitals. Yep, because the staff at Seattle Grace Hospital believe in spreading the love–they sleep with each other and their critically ill patients. (They are known for their bedside manner.) Even my favorite doctor, Gregory House (from the FOX channel’s House) who has possibly the worst bedside manner ever documented, and a limp, looks like he’s going to be getting it on soon with his hot boss, Lisa Cuddy, the fantastically stunning Dean of Medicine at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. But he’s had quite the run of bad luck, too: he’s been taken hostage a few times. He’s been shot at close range. And he was in a near-fatal bus accident last season (that killed his best friend’s lover.)
I tell you what, folks. I don’t think I want to be a doctor, even if I do get to sleep with George Clooney. The mortality rates are just too darn high.
Unless I could be a doctor in the template of my nephew, Garrett, whose alter ego, “Dr. Joe,” is an excellent practitioner of medicine. He is very efficient: if you have an ailment, he’ll take out his plastic lunchbox full of plastic medical instruments. When you tell him where it hurts, he will take a careful look. Then he’ll dig into the lunchbox, and pull out an implement that looks like a hammer. Then he’ll strike the injured area with the hammer (usually not that hard), pronounce you “all better” and say “now you have to pay me.” At a buck a visit, it’s an incredibly reasonable price to pay for healthcare nowadays. And the best thing is, he sets his own hours.
I think Barack Obama missed a big opportunity by overlooking Dr. Joe for Surgeon General. Dr. Joe, along with his up-and-coming resident trainee, Dr. Neve (my niece) will soon be releasing their highly acclaimed nutritional weight loss plan (recently praised by Oprah and Dr. Oz), the Sour Patch Kids Diet. Coming to the children’s section of local bookstores soon, with a special pre-release show on the PBS Sprout network.
The key to the diet is don’t tell your parents.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: Google, hiking, indoor girl, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, life, mountain climbing, outdoor girl, Titanic
Jack: You ever, uh, you ever been to Wisconsin?
Jack: Well, they have some of the coldest winters around. I grew up there, near Chippewa Falls. I remember when I was a kid, me and my father, we went ice fishing out on Lake Wissota. Ice fishing is, you know, where you…
Rose: I know what ice fishing is!
Jack: Sorry. You just seem like, you know, kind of an indoor girl. (Emphasis mine)
Anybody else remember this dialogue between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic? I remember it distinctly, because I blushed when I heard it. Like Kate Winslet’s character Rose, I am a total indoor girl–complete with the translucently pale white skin, the bustiness, and the propensity to trip and fall at inappropriate times.
No doubt if I had been on that ship that fateful (and fictional) night, I would have been dangling off the side of the Titanic. But, before Jack had a chance to decide whether or not to save my rather large and approaching-middle-aged ass, heck, before I could even get the words “help, help” out of my throat, I’d likely be a goner. Because my palms tend to sweat in stressful situations, and I have absolutely NO upper body strength (I still remember the shame of failing the flexed arm hang in grade school during the Presidential Fitness exams.) So kerplunk! I would have been the first casualty of that tragic voyage. The girl who fell off the Titanic before it sank.
So imagine my surprise this week when I found out I have a doppelganger in the world who spends her life outside in the elements. She is a naturalist. She has sailed across the Atlantic in a 6 person boat. She has climbed a live volcano. She has hiked, biked, paddled, climbed, camped and skied across the U.S., Asia, Africa, Central America, and Canada.
She is the consummate outdoor girl.
Now, I have made attempts to be more of an outdoor girl. A couple of years ago, I climbed to the top of Mount Battie in Camden, Maine (all 780 feet of it) and had to descend on my butt.
In my defense, it was a big, bald rock that was pretty steep in places.
And I do have a tendency to fall.
To put my accomplishment in perspective, a couple of years ago, she (my alter ego) climbed more than 17,000 feet to the top of Mount Kenya.
So I guess she wins the doggie biscuit.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: life, lottery, millionaire, money, wish list
Yep. Somebody with my name won the Powerball sweepstakes in Pennsylvania a few years ago. So it started me thinking–what if I won the lottery? What would I do with the money?
Of course, the rational part of my brain says I should save a great heaping chunk of it, and make my decisions about what to do with it later–how to invest it, decide what portion to give to charity, etc. But just for fun, let’s go with the unrational part of my brain for a moment. Let’s pretend I won a windfall, and it was burning a hole in my pocket–and I decided it was my patriotic duty to spend it all to help stimulate this woeful economy. It would be the spending spree of a lifetime. (Or just another day for any of the Housewives of Orange County.)
Following is a random wish list:
*Pay off the mortgage!!!!
*Make my house “green”: solar panels, energy and water efficient appliances, etc.
*Help my family (on both sides of the pond)–with mortgages, my nieces’ and nephews’ college funds, trips for my parents and parents-in-law.
*Buy my husband a new car.
*Take a trip to New Zealand (and not just for the “Lord of the Rings” tour, as my husband and brothers would suggest.)
*Convert the attic of my condo into a master bedroom suite and build an astronomical observatory for my husband on the roof.
*Go tornado hunting.
*Take my husband to see the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.
*Walk on the Great Wall of China.
*Buy property around the world. Here are a few I’ve been dreaming about:
-a house on the West Coast of Ireland
-a flat in London
-a villa in Tuscany or the South of France
-a large, rambling house by the sea where my family and I could hang out during the summers
*Witness a full solar eclipse.
*Swim in Jellyfish Lake in Palau:
*Hire a personal chef, like Oprah.
*Walk the pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago from France to Spain. Then, after I’ve meditated and repented for a month or so, do a round-the-country culinary tour of Spain, just like Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow did.
*Buy a pair of orange crocs for said culinary tour, a la Mario.
*Get my teeth whitened.
*Eat in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
*Fly in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon.
*Visit the Dalai Lama.
*Get myself a stylist and makeover artist to put me together enough that I feel at home in New York City. (A challenge, indeed.)
*Go to Finland with my ENTIRE family so:
-my mom could find her ancestors
-we could all see the Northern Lights
-I could take my nieces and nephews to see Santa Claus in Lapland, all bundled up in a sleigh.
*Build a natural disaster shelter in my backyard, and stock it with lots and lots of canned goods, and an air/water filtering system, its own generator, and a gagillion dvds. (Because, you know, I just watched Armageddon Week on the History Channel.)
*Get a couple of Kindles for the disaster shelter and download a bunch of books, because clearly there wouldn’t be enough room for regular books. They would have to be all happy books, though. All happy ones. No Cormac MacCarthy’s The Road or anything like that.
*Do a kitschy cross-country tour of the U.S. in a big RV, visiting things like the largest ball of twine, the Mothman Museum, etc.
*Take a picture of myself hitchhiking on the road to nowhere that Sarah Palin built to get to the Bridge to Nowhere (that never got built because she said “thanks, but no thanks.” But I guess she just said “thanks” for the road. Go figure.)
*Start a “School of Small-Town Values” in Wasilla, Alaska, where people could take classes on things like unwed teenage motherhood, blessings to protect against witchcraft, game hunting from helicopters, winking, nepotism, watching Russia (using binoculars! extra points for seeing Putin rearing his head!), meth labs 101, reading every magazine and newspaper (warning: not a gut course), folksy talk, and looking like a hot librarian.
*buy a load of lottery tickets. Because clearly one sweepstakes win wouldn’t be enough to fund all of this.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: blog, blogger, blogging, Hawaii, life, wedding photographer
AUTHOR’S NOTE: My apologies to the people of Hawaii and the state’s native-born son, President-Elect Barack Obama, for any stereotypical generalizations put forth in this blog post. I can’t help it. I was born with the pasty skin of a New Englander and a certain warped view of gorgeous tropical places largely perpetrated by 70s television.
Myriad blues and turquoises of the sea and sky. The gorgeous, bright contrasts of tropical flowers on green foliage. Palm trees dancing gently in the wind. Sand soft as powder. Blood orange sunsets that make you gasp.
I’d like to think bridezillas lose their “zilla” in Hawaii, just because it is so darn beautiful. At least I’d hope so, if I was a wedding photographer.
I would, of course, be constantly wearing laserproof sunscreen as I worked. Native children would be as blinded by my whiteness during the day as they would by the flash of my camera at night, and develop some coded joke about me in Hawaiian. (Like “the white blob” or “the thing that glows in the dark.”) And I would laugh at the joke, because good weather just makes you mellow, right? I’d just be an awesome person who always felt awesome and who would say “awesome” all the time. I think that’s what constant, perfect weather does to the brain. You lose your cynicism and sarcasm and snarkiness. But without those three things, my big hobbies, what would I do with all of my free time?
Well, for starters, I guess I would grow pineapples in my backyard. They taste good, and besides, I got a pineapple corer as a wedding gift a couple of years ago that I’ve never used so it would give me a chance to finally try it out. And I would go to hula/Pilates fusion classes. Maybe play around with variations on poi cuisine combined with recipes from the Food Network. And I wouldn’t miss my outrigger canoe racing. I would bring along my boom box to play the Hawaii Five-O music in the background.
Thanksgiving would be a ginormous luau with roasted suckling pig on a spit for everybody instead of turkey. But I would definitely have cranberry sauce, you can’t have Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce. From the can. And I would tell my children about the evil white man Pilgrims who used Jesus and viruses to kill the locals. So three important lessons for them from the holiday: 1. our ancestors were bad men, 2. Christianity can kill, and 3. it’s VERY important that they always wash their hands. (Because I would have had a gaggle of children, of course, fathered by my husband as well as various tourists to the islands and guests at weddings I’d worked at over the years. I’m guessing the tropical awesomeness of Hawaii would make me uberfertile and up for it all the time.)
I would volunteer at the local tiki taboo society, intent on discouraging tourists from picking up stray idols, warning them about errant tarantulas and keeping them out of the clutches of jealous archaeologists that look like Vincent Price. (Beware of archaeologists, people! Have you learned nothing from the Brady family?) I would be a part of a Don Ho tribute band, because I think I could dig the ukelele, do my own riff on “Tiny Bubbles.” You know it.
What else would this idyllic Hawaiian life entail? Maybe my husband would be a surfer by day (could you at least try, honey?) and an astronomer by night, and together we would go to the Keck Observatory and spend our evenings looking for killer asteroids that might destroy the earth. On weekends we would go to Kilauea and watch the lava flow, where I would obsessively fight the urge to lick its glowing gooeyness because it looks like radiant taffy.
Oh yes, and I would take photos. Of brides and grooms. But that, I think, would be the boring part.
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: blog, blogger, blogging, Google, life, New Year, resolutions
The turning of the New Year, for me, is always a bit bittersweet. As each one passes, and I look forward to the next, fabricating and forgetting resolutions, I am struck by a certain amount of regret. I’m at the stage in my life where I can see the paths not taken, and wonder where they would have led me if I had had a little less fear. A little more gumption. Or an innate GPS system.
So once in a while, I Google myself, just for fun. Any trace of me has long since left the internet, or I am buried so far down I lose patience as I dig; it’s because I have one of those names that is fairly common, at least in my neck of the woods. A quick search in Massachusetts on whitepages.com suggest that there are at least 132 of me in the state–rather daunting results. At least for someone who used to think of herself as being pretty unique.
But what’s fun is that, for a moment, I get to imagine myself in those identities, those professions, in those varied Google guises, and try to conjure in my mind what those alternate existences might be like. In most cases, I rather enjoy what my namesakes have been up to–interestingly enough, they’ve chosen lives for themselves that aren’t so far from dreams I once had. Or might have had, in the right circumstances.
So if you don’t mind, this week, I’m going to do just that: dream a little. Entertain possibilities. I’ll feature the me’s I could have been–and heck! Could still be, if I play my cards right.