I try to keep up on current events..but sometimes it’s hard.
Last summer I was touring with a country band who was playing football stadiums. It was funny to me because the two things I have a pretty low interest in are modern day country music and football.. and my knowledge of both is pretty slim.
I grew up in Cincinnati which means I do actually know a few things about football:
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson is a tool.
The Bengals were good that one time.
“Whodey” is a really embarrassing slogan.
Touchdowns are exciting to watch.
So there I was backstage at our show in Denver at Bronco’s stadium and who should I run into? Peyton Manning. I was well aware this 8 foot tall man was Peyton Manning, I’m not an idiot. And I knew he was the quarterback for the Colts, thank you very much.
We strike up a semi-small talk conversation and I eventually say, “So.. what are you doing in Denver, a little vacation?” He laughed and clearly thought I was joking.
This story is about how I caught a potato on fire, but before I talk about that I have to tell you about my cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson.
When I moved to LA, my friends got me this cutout of Rob with a sign that said “Welcome To LA.” We used him to ride with us to the airport to greet our friends when they visited or to walk the red carpet when we had our Grammy Parties. He was very useful.
I lived in a studio and there wasn’t much space so I kept Rob in my closet (now I know which outfits of mine go best with a 6’1” man in a purple shirt). I had contemplated breaking Rob down and putting him in the little storage closet I had because every time I would open up my closet door I would forget he was in there and freak out. One time I left my closet door open and caught a glimpse of his reflection in my balcony door. I saw my life flash before my eyes.
For some reason, I couldn’t put him in the storage closet. I was starting to grow accustomed to having him in my closet. Also, I lived in a studio….and sometimes I would talk to myself and it was kind of nice to pretend I was talking to someone other than myself, even if he was a cardboard cutout.
So that brings us to the potato incident.
Every time I would try to cook a GD potato in the oven the smoke alarm would go off. Every. Single. Time. So one night I decided to cook it in the microwave. I put it in for 10 minutes and went over to my couch to get on my computer and watch some TV. A few minutes went by and I started to smell something burning. I ran over to the microwave and saw smoke pouring from the microwave. I opened up the door – which let oxygen in – and huge flames ignited around my potato. I got a pot full of water and got rid of the flames but smoke had clouded my entire tiny studio from corner to corner. The smoke alarm was going off so I opened up the balcony door and jumped on my bed where the smoke alarm was and started waving a towel to clear the air. The closet door was open and Rob was standing there. I actually looked at him as if he were a real live person and said the words “A LITTLE HELP PLEASE!” But he just stood there staring at me with that contemplative look on his face.
After the smoke cleared (literally) I folded him up and put him in the storage closet. I didn’t need any more proof that my relationship with Rob had gone a little too far.
One day I saw this guy walking his dog on my street as I was pulling into my driveway. He said hello as I got out of my car and we started chatting. For the first few minutes of our conversation I was convinced this guy was Ryan Gosling. We were sort of far away from each other and it was really bright out so I couldn’t see perfectly. Towards the end of the conversation I introduced myself. I was expecting him to say Ryan, so when he introduced himself as [insert name here that isn’t Ryan] I of course, forgot it immediately.
I was hoping I would run into him again, because Ryan Gosling or not, he was really cute. (I googled if Ryan Gosling had a brother or a twin..turns out – he does not.)
Cut to a few months later on a Sunday morning in early September. My roommates and I were all severely hungover from a night out of drinking and dancing at Cherry Pop (best gay club for dancing in LA)..It was obvious that we needed Taco Bell to help nurse our hangovers. I volunteered to go. As I was walking down the driveway (makeup still on from the night before, tank top, boxers, nike dunks..I have definitely looked better) the sun was so bright and I was so disoriented that I missed a step but caught my fall on the railing. As soon as I looked up I saw Ryan Gosling walking toward me with his dog. Our conversation went something like this..
Me “Hey! How are you?”
RG “Good, I’m so tired though..I did not want to get out of bed today.”
Me “Oh I know how you feel. You’re hungover?
RG “Actually I was just up late working, I don’t drink.”
– – Awkward pause – –
Between the unforeseen turn that the conversation took and the fact that I was going to faint if I didn’t get Taco Bell into my system ASAP – I had to get out of there. I don’t remember exactly what happened next but I think I said something like “Welp, gotta go!” and ran for my car.
As I was going through the drive thru I realized that we don’t have much in common.. and that he doesn’t look that much like Ryan Gosling. Such a shame.
Of course after that day, I ran into him about twelve times that next week.
A few winters ago I was flying back to LA from being home for the holidays. I had a window seat and two girls sat next to me in my row. The girl next to me said she liked my ring. It was one of my sister’s rings. (www.octoberanniversary.com)
I thanked her and told her about my sister’s company and gave her a card. She told me she was on her way back to LA from Madrid. I had just traveled there that summer so we chatted about Spain and I told her all about my trip to Europe.
I was in a great mood because I had just moved to LA that fall and was doing an internship at a production company that I loved. I told her all about it and how I was basically living the good life in sunny Santa Monica and blah blah blah. I talked about myself for about an hour straight.
We landed in LA and as I was getting off the plane a guy came up to me and said “how was it?” all excited. I had no idea what he was talking about. He pulled out a book and opened it to the first page that had an autograph on it and told me that the girl I had been talking to was Michelle Rodriquez. Nothing about that name rang a bell so I stood there blankly. He told me she was in Lost and most recently, Avatar, both of which I had never seen, but had obviously heard of.
At baggage claim I was re-living our conversation and started to feel faint when I realized that while I was talking about youth – hosteling it up in Madrid, she was probably doing a red carpet premier there for Avatar. And while I was bragging about my awesome INTERNSHIP in the entertainment industry, she, an actress in one of the biggest movies of all time, was nodding and smiling along.
I was standing next to the guy when she showed up to get her bags. He thanked her again for the autograph and I stood with my mouth open, trying to get out the words “sorry.” She laughed and thanked me for my sister’s card and left.
There are three parts to this story. The first goes like this: When I was 13 I went to a concert. I had never heard the opening band before. They were rock, they were loud, they were great. The lead singer had this beautiful head of hair. I have always loved Jim Morrison and his hair reminded me of Jim’s. When the headliner came on, someone tall was blocking my view of the stage. All I could see was Jim Morrison hair. It was the singer. For all intents and purposes, let’s call him Jim 2.0. Without any hesitation I ran up to him, reached up and pet his hair. Jim 2.0 turned around and looked down at me confused. I smiled and ran away like the child I was.
The second part to this story happened about 7 years later. My friend took me to a show in Chicago. She knew the drummer so we hung out with the band all night. I fell in like with the singer. For all intents and purposes, let’s call him Jack (I’ll be Rose). Unfortunately, Jack didn’t have anything close to Jim Morrison hair but he was tall and cute. Jack and Rose really hit it off and I’m not gonna cookie cut around it – they made out a lot.
The third part of the story is when I realized that Jack and Jim 2.0 were the same person and my 14 year old self patted Rose on the back.