Risky, but here goes.
List of Famous People I’ve Seen Since Moving to Los Angeles (incomplete)
This is totally uncool and you aren’t supposed to do this at all. So much so that I had a dream last night where someone chastized me for freaking out in front of Dream Will Ferrell.
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and John Stamos Eating. Lesson number one about famous people: they are somehow even prettier in person. There wasn’t ever a time that I lusted over Uncle Jessie, but I could see what that supermodel saw in him. Kinda. But man, she’s hot.
Speaking of hot…
Riding an Elevator with Cameron Diaz. We talked about her shoes, which looked dangerous, and caused her to walk like a penguin. She told me it was because she had freakishly small feet, I told her it was because she was cruel to her poor feet, wearing such tiny shoes. The next day I saw her wearing the same pointy shoes as she kicked the shit out of Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky and I understood her love for them.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Oh, look how jealous you are! Look how all the men just sneered and kind of hated me for a second. Want more? One of them bent over right in front of me and I saw her thong. One of the half-thongs that doesn’t go all the way up. Yeah. I could go to jail for that. But I looked. I stared. I changed. I’m a different person now.
Topher Grace. He was on my other side at the time, and he totally stared at the thong, too.
Ashton Kutcher. But who hasn’t seen him by now? I kind of put an Anne Heche Monologue postcard next to him and then we ran away. Because we’re cool.
Chad Smith (drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers). I made myself leave this man alone because he was with his family. But I totally ignored the people I was with to stare openly.
Eliza Dushku. While playing a stupid game of “I bet I can get to the elevator before you can,” stee won. I was left standing alone in front of the other elevator. The doors opened, and there she was, with her perfect lip gloss and her face that’s so pretty and she’s totally on my list of five, by the way. We stared at each other (she was just coming from the gym and was a little sweaty), and then she passed by me. It was magical.
Josh from The It Factor LA. A recent sighting, at a restaurant. I’m glad he’s still here and doing well enough that he can eat in a restaurant on a Thursday night.
But then… and this means nothing to me, but I know some of you are about to hit the floor…
Ordering Movie Tickets Next to Elijah Wood. Yeah, he’s about the size of my thigh, y’all. Like a man-child.
Ordering Drinks at Sky Bar next to Slash. Nothing happened, but that’s a damn cool sentence.
Making an Ass Out of Myself Next to Paul and Mira Sorvino. Let me explain The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Back when I lived in West Hollywood, it’s what gave me life. It’s what we did every day, probably twice a day. And they give you a punch card. It’s pink, and when you get twelve punches, you get a free drink, which can be used for their expensive, decadent Ultimate (ask Omar, he has the pictures to verify the beauty of the Ultimate). Anyway, I’m at my new place now and it’s not walking distance to a Coffee Bean and I’m fifteen pounds lighter for it. But I digress…
So I’m standing in line waiting for my fix, and I notice that I’m standing next to Mira and Paul. Paulie. Whatever. And the guy behind the counter (Isn’t Barista a trademarked name?) asks Paul if he’d like a punch card.
“A what?” he asked, crumpling up his face at the color pink.
“A punch card, sir. You get a free drink after twelve purchases.”
“I paid with a hundred dollar bill.” Man, that Paul Sorvino is cool.
“Just take the card, Dad,” Mira said, sighing, wearing a face that clearly read: “I have spent the day with my father and I’m just about to lose it, people.”
“Why do I need that card?” he asked.
At this point I held up my raggedy-ass crumpled up pink card, with its sad seven punches. “The card is life, sir,” I said to him in my best Oliver Twist.
“Keep the card,” he said, not to me, but to the counter boy. To me he simply stared, and yeah, I think judged me, a little.
And then later I touched Mira when I handed her a glass of water, but that’s getting into stalker territory.
But the point is… shouldn’t Paul Sorvino have given me his punches? Why bogart the holes, bro?
Dr. Dave from ER, Ian Ziering, Mira Sorvino (again!) and Efram from Project Greenlight. This is the story I’ve been waiting for Allison to tell. Now that I’ve put it “out there,” maybe she’ll freakin’ update and you’ll get to hear my favorite story from when Chris and Al were recently in town. And now Al has a better story than Daisy Fuentes in a wig shop.
Penelope Cruz Calls Us Weird. Same Coffee Bean. I told the story a long time ago on the earlier incarnation of pamie.com, but it was still funny that she wondered why everybody was staring at her. The joke I used then: she felt the pressure of fifty people forcing themselves not to tell her how much she sucks.
Britney Spears! Britney Spears! Britney Spears! Same Coffee Bean. But it was on April Fool’s Day, so everybody I called to brag thought I was kidding them. And I have no shame: I followed her and Jamie-Lynn for about a block, trying to get a better look. That’s sad, isn’t it?
Janeane Garofalo. If I ever do actually have a real conversation with her, she might recognize me as the girl who just about stalked her for three consecutive festivals, in various cities, hovering close as other people talked to her, every once in a while butting in with information that nobody asked for, and handing her party invitations she didn’t care to receive. It’s pathetic and made people make fun of me for… well, still.
Andy Dick. He almost fell in a trash can and introduced me to someone as his best friend.
Sarah Michelle Gellar. Before I moved to LA, she was one of my first sightings. She ate a salad. But she did it pretty.
Kevin Spacey. When I first moved here we ran into each other about three times in one week. I haven’t seen him lately, though. I hope he’s doing well.
Vince Vaughn. I’ve seen him twice now, both times at bars, and both times I thought, “He’s so tall.” He is. Tall. (read: dreamy)
Chaka Khan! Woo.
Oh, and Michael Moore. But y’all are sick of book stories.
Then there are the celebrities I saw movies with, who sat in the same room as me for about two hours:
- Winona Ryder during The Good Girl (but not Diane Keaton during Harry Potter)
- Norm MacDonald, who heckled Ghost World: “Yeah, that David Cross, he thinks he’s funny, doesn’t he?”
- Michael Rappaport, during Bowling For Columbine
- Jon Henson, during Blow
- Jared Leto, but I can’t remember the film
Michel from Gilmore Girls. Once at a drug store, once at a pizza store. And Taylor from GG and Frank from ER at a restaurant.
John Landis. He held the door open for me and then stared right at my chest for like, ten seconds. He knows Michael Jackson.
Mario Joyner. Totally stared at my ta-tas in Aspen, looked at me like he was trying to place where he knew me one year later at The Coffee Bean.
I just remembered three more Coffee Bean sightings:
Holly Hunter. I left her alone, because she looked like she wanted her coffee, but man, I think she’s the coolest, and she was standing right next to me!
Julianne Moore, carrying a tray of coffee, she didn’t want to be bothered.
Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt. They were all cuddly and cute, tiny skinny people in love. I called Jeff and left a message on his machine: “Your answering machine is right now staring at Julia Roberts.”
Lizz Winstead. The last comedy show I did with Laura she ended up being a part of the show in a later skit.
Maura Tierney. She complimented my Welcome Back, Kotter t-shirt and wished she had one for her husband. I carried my extra Welcome Back, Kotter zippo on me for two weeks after, hoping to run into her again at the same elevator so I could give it to her. I’m a dork.
My old neighbors: Rick Rubin and Mickey Roarke. Often joked that the street was alphabetical order: Ribon, Roarke, Rubin.
Joey Lauren Adams hit stee’s car. Then he looked at her winning Joker smile and was positively enchanted. This after years of making fun of her, he just lets her drive away without even the slightest exchange of information. I guess he knew where to reach her, though — she lived across the street.
Jason Dill. From The Osbournes. Barely a sighting, but you know, he stands out in a crowd.
Just About Everybody From Mr. Show. Always in bars, sometimes at parties.
Eric McCormack was hosting a show at the Improv, and I was doing a show at Second City next door. We waited in line together for the bathroom, when I pointed out that he was actually standing in line for the women’s restroom. Someone was congratulating him on his Emmy before I got to make the joke about being a girl. Probably for the best. But because he was there, I also got to see Sean Hayes.
Matthew Perry and Hank Azaria at a burlesque show. Got to see Perry execute a flawless triple-take to Azaria when the dancer got down to her pasties. He’s always on the clock, that Perry. Shortly after he began dating Anna Beth.
Jay Leno filming Jaywalking. I called my mom on that one. She was hoping I’d be on the show. My mom’s dream: one day I’m on Leno. Speaking of…
Kevin Eubanks checks out my boobs during my lowest acting moment. I know you guys hope I start going out on auditions soon. Maybe it’s time to get a commercial agent so I have more stories of me humiliating myself in public.
Karen Black. This one isn’t exactly fair, as we were doing a playwriting festival together, and we had just shot a movie together, and I already wrote about this a long time ago, but the lady said we looked the same, and I still don’t know how to move on from that statement.
The Doors, minus Jim, rode our plane to New York.
Okay. Richard Simmons. At LAX, waiting in the security line, I heard a man singing “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” I turned to see Richard Simmons dancing to his own oldie, in tiny shorts and sneakers, all hopped up on his own special goofball. He prances to the x-ray machine, puts out his hand and sings, “Stop! In the name of love!”
I look over at my own security man. “You aren’t seriously going to let Simmons through here without checking his bags, right?”
The guy laughs and says, “It’s like that every time he’s here. He’s not the worst, though. You know who is? Erik Estrada. He wants everybody to know when he’s coming through the line.”
As I watched Richard Simmons march and wave past the Starbucks and McDonald’s, I called up Allison, as I was on my way to Atlanta. “Is it a good sign or a terrible omen if I’m behind Richard Simmons in line for the plane?”
“You may want to change your flight,” she decided.
The new guys on SNL. Many times you just end up staring with your mouth half-open, and you realize you know this guy from dressing up in other costumes and you’ve never learned his name and you look at your friends and they go, “Yeah, I saw him.”
I should also point out that stee and I are also pretty good at spotting people. It’s all in the quick glance, as I was teaching Allison, that apathetic once-over you give the room to see if there’s anybody in there whom you’ve been admiring since you were a kid. Some people don’t have this knack. My friend Jason likes to say: “I was standing next to Anne Heche at the Anne Heche Monologues, and I didn’t see her.” He was also standing next to Coley Laffoon and Jeremy Sisto that night, but I don’t want to make him feel any worse.
And now, my finest sighting ever.
Brad Pitt Jogging.
I’ll leave you with that image.
- Word Freak. And also: Lucky Girls: Stories, by Nell Freudenberger.
Please donate a book to Oakland
- Lakeview Branch
- Brookfield Branch
- Temescal Branch
- Cesar E. Chavez branch
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch
- Rockridge Branch
- Montclair Branch
- Piedmont Avenue Branch
- Main Branch
- contact a library to send private donations
- Berkeley bookstore Cody’s Books offers free shipping.
- OPL’s help page
Buy My Book
- Order a copy of Why Girls are Weird. Or you can read an excerpt.
- Hate “The Man?” Order your copy from your local independent bookstore.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.