That time I worked for Christina Milian to secure items for gift bags to be given to guests of her daughter Violet’s first birthday party, and didn’t get paid, or thanked.
Archive for Everyone’s famous to someone
I am so blessed to have been friends for the past decade with one of the most incredible men, a man who has become my big brother. I was introduced to “Big Rob”, as much of the world knows him, back when I was just a twenty something child (over a decade ago). Ever since then he and I have kept in touch and in doing so, we became the best of buddies. A time came when Big Rob needed a place to stay and I just happened to have a vacant room and so we became roommates, off and on, for the next seven years.
Big Rob is awesome, for many reasons, but mostly because he takes the time to see people in his life who matter to him. Last year, he was in LA for work, and we planned a night of he, me and our little lady. Ever since then, our little lady now considers Big Rob her buddy, as evidenced by the photos here. I love that I’m able to introduce her to, and have her understand that people I introduce her to, are safe and that it is safe for her to be kind to them.
Thanks Big Rob for being the best Big Brother to me and such a wonderful Uncle to her!!!
Aspen is one of those places that cannot be mimicked by anywhere else, regardless the effort. It is a tiny town, sporadically but consistently filled with hugely inflated egos of the wealthy who were there scattered between the incredible, humble, fun loving, kind, tight knit community of locals that keep the place running.
Due to Aspen’s 11,000 ft elevation and geography of being in a mountain valley, it is difficult to get to and difficult to leave. Due to my history there over the course of my life, it has also been difficult for me to go there and more recently, difficult for me to leave.
Our family lived full time in Phoenix for my sister and my childhoods. We annually escaped the summer heat of Phoenix that is comparable to living on the sweet face of the sun. As soon as school was out for the summer, we would pack a van full of children, pets and luggage and drive the 16 hour treck to Aspen. I’m fairly certain my mother was always drawn to Aspen for the memories there with my biological father who died when I was four. She re-married and had my sister by the time I was five and in the three and a half decades of my life experiencing my mother and step father’s toxic relationship, maybe six times do I remember them ever getting along for an extended period of time, like really getting along. This made for extremely stressful family time and consequently, stressful times in Aspen.
Family time was often spent in Aspen hence my anxious relationship with the small mining turned celebrity/uber wealthy town. Having to go to Aspen with my family, my siblings and I, and anyone else who were with us and knew our family well were all always on edge waiting for one of our parents to freak out over god knows what. It was a toxic environment to be around. Having celebrities in our midst made it a somehow easier Aspen pill to swallow. It also gave me something not as depressing to talk about when people asked how my time in Aspen was.
This past November, my father passed away. He was technically my step father but I never considered him a step father, probably mostly because I don’t remember my biological father but also because my step father never ever treated me like anything but his daughter. He took care of me in every way a father should care for his daughter. He played with us, he took us to amusement parks, he financially took care of our every want and need.
He was my dad.
Our father was a brilliant man. He started what is now the largest opthalmology practice in Arizona. He was a notable Opthalmologist, literally known the world over, in that field, for his contributions to opthalmology, of which include founding an annual opthalmology meeting in Aspen. For the past thirty years, doctors and opthalmology business owners from across the country, maybe even the world, have come to continue their education in the field of opthalmology, while also enjoying a week in the beauty and luxury of winter in Aspen.
My younger brother and sister and I were asked to present the annual award given out to a recipient that the board of the meeting feels best contributed to the field of opthalmology and also to the annual meeting over the past year.
We were asked to briefly speak about our father. We did, emotionally. We also compiled a six minute video presentation, a very condensed look back at his life in pictures. The 6 minute version was mostly of his professional past, photos from his college graduation and lifelong achievements that include incredible feats such as winning back to back NCAA tumbling championships, being an opthalmologist to the stars and a revered medical business owner. There was not a dry eye in the room once the presentation concluded. It had clearly struck a nerve with the two hundred people in attendance.
We three children and our mother talked about the crowd’s response later and we all agree it made us feel good to have shown his business colleagues a bit of his personal life. It was painful for me to see all of his colleagues there and know I would never again see him there. It is a painful reality I will carry for awhile.
We thanked everyone for keeping our father’s vision (haha) of this meeting so alive and so strong by continuing to attend. He would be so proud to see what it has evolved into.
Not having him around to talk to anymore, reflecting on his life so much these past few months and coming to the opening night of the annual meeting he founded has really made me realize that in the midst of all of our trials and tribulations, we can still create our dream careers and leave long lasting legacies.
I have always been so inspired by his many accomplishments and I never let an opportunity go by that I didn’t tell him so. I am so thankful for all he did for me, and for the example he set with his generosity and belief in people. He gave a lot of people, including me, lots of chances to follow their dreams, whatever they were. I will be forever grateful for the positive contributions he made to so many people’s lives. I wanted to stay and attend a few of the seminars at the annual meeting, but I didn’t. It is a torn feeling, trying to keep a loved ones legacy alive while working to find closure with their passing.
May we all live our dreams and leave lasting contributions to the world we love.
Thanks for reading this
Modern Family is definitely one of the funniest tv shows on right now. The concept is a great one; one that is not explored by hardly any other tv series. The concept of such a mixed family unit, consisting of a same sex marriage with an adopted Asian daughter, a “typical American family” of a mom, dad and their three children and finally, the divorced patriarch with a hot young wife and her son. This family unit is a lot more mainstream than many other relationships seen in television programming these days.
Anywho, the other day the board members of our HOA met to discuss some annual priorities and the subject of Modern Family came up. One of our board members works for ABC and had a carry-all type bag with the Modern Family logo on it. One of the other board members works in marketing at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, I freelance working with talent flow teams on award shows and the 4th member of our board works in health care. The board member who works for ABC said not to miss the season premiere as, she said she couldn’t spill any other details besides that it is amazing. My significant other and I DVR the show, so we watch every episode, not necessarily when each episode airs, but we watch them all.
The board member who works for Saks said one of the actresses shops in their store a lot and that that person isn’t typically very nice. I piped in and said another one of the actors on the show was not very nice twice when we worked with him at award shows. The person who works for ABC just kinda gave us the sigh and nodding head, understanding who we were talking about and the personalities of both those people.
I’m not mentioning the rude people’s names as to not get any of my fellow board members in trouble with their jobs but I will say, when working the American Music Awards last year, I ran into Julie Bowen who plays Claire Dunphy on the Modern Family. I complimented her dress before I realized who I was talking to. She was so kind and told me the name of the designer and was all smiley and nice.
Times like those make working around entertainers much more tolerable. It really stinks when you meet a famous actor or singer in person, you previously admired them or their work, they’re not nice, then all of their art suddenly really sucks because it reminds you of how not nice they were to you or your colleagues. This is the reason I will never speak to Will Ferrell. I’ve been around him 3 times now and every time I dodge him like he has the plague. The characters he plays in any movie he is in absolutely crack me up and take me out of my real life while I’m watching them.
I would hate to have to hate “Old School” after meeting someone in that movie and they weren’t nice. I’ve actually randomly met Jeremy Piven at Veggie Grill and Vince Vaugh at a night club, both of whom were very kind so I’d like to stop there, although I’ve only ever heard the best about Will Ferrell in person, but I’m not taking any chances.
It is funny what a small world life is in general. Typically, the same circles blend with the same types of circles. The same cannot be more true of Los Angeles and especially of people in the entertainment industry. If people know what a small world it is, I don’t understand why they then don’t take extra precautions to be nice or polite at the very least. They take their entire life building an image and being famous. Do people really not care how they are known as a person?
Chances are, someone somewhere is going to hear that you were not so nice and then write about it online somewhere, like in a blog! haha.
Albeit a little earlier than usual, today started like any other day. Woke up sad that my alarm was going off and that sleep was over but happy for the day ahead. Got dressed in all black, put away clean dishes from the dishwasher that had been cleaned while we slept last night. I fixed breakfast for our little lady, and coffee and maybe also a gluten & dairy free piece of pumpkin pie for me.
Then my day became different than most every other day. I remembered to grab my “secret service” walkie talkie headset that my ever so kind, former roomie, Big Rob had given me. I shoved it in my smaller than usual bag I would be using for the day; the black, messenger style bag I use on show days. It’s a bag I love (& borrowed / stole from my little sis) because it fits (most of) what I need and also holds the heavy walkie talkie we carry around on show days.
I woke the little lady, got her dressed in record time, woke up my girlfriend who spent the night to avoid the crazy long drive she would have had from her home in Huntington Beach, sat little lady and I down to eat & enjoyed the few moments of downtime I knew I’d get today. We drove her to school, I gave little lady a big hug & kiss and told her I wouldn’t see her until later tonight since I had to work at a show.
We got back in the car, drove up and over Laurel Canyon and pulled onto the CBS Beverly lot. We checked in, got our walkies and waited for talent to arrive.
I have been at work for 4 hours now and have been 2 feet from each of the 5 Backstreet Boys. That’s a lot of numbers for one sentence! Haha. I am always surprised to realize how much more tiny “celebrities” are in person. 4 of the BSBs are not only relatively short, 5′ 6″ at the tallest & Kevin, the one who has some height is super thin as well! I just carried his suit jacket from being pressed in the wardrobe department & was really perplexed at how little it was. I am also very impressed at how nice they all are. Having been in show business for so long can really wear on people. It’s nice to see these guys are cool after all these years.
They performed their new single and also, “I want it that way.” The girls, although an entirely new age & generation from when BSB first came on the scene, still went wild when the BSB started singing that song.
After the BSB left, i went outside to sit with my wonderdul friends who mann the talent check in table outside near the reserved parking spaces. Having just heard the BSB performance, I had, “I Want It That Way” stuck in my head & starter singing it to my friends, so they could have it stuck in their heads also. I know, I’m a great friend.
Not 5 minutes later, the awesome guy that announcer Shawn Parr is walked by where we were sitting and also started singing, “I Want It That Way,” and also added some NSYNC looking dance moves. He reminded me of the Seinfeld episode we had just seen the night before where Kramer wins free coffee in a law suit. Shawn was moving fast like Kramer & when I told Shawn so, he reenacted the scene when Kramer is over caffeinated. It was awesome.
I’ve learned today who Austin Mahone is and also Chris Mann. I don’t watch reality tv so I’m kind of out of the loop when it comes to recognizing reality show people.
So thankful for the randomness that is MySurreaLife.
The past few weeks have been so incredible and have taught me so much. My significant other and I have been inundated with toys, books and clothes for our new addition who has grown into such a smart, happy, outgoing, secure little lady in the short time we’ve known her.
This past week specifically, we were fortunate enough to have had my aunt and her two, nearly-adult children come stay with us for the week. When my aunt arrived, I was talking to her about interviewing a potential babysitter a week later, My aunt replied, “oh! Maybe we’ll get to meet her!” I looked at her confused and she said, “oh yeah, we’ll still be here then! I wanted to make you happy with us at least twice this trip; once when we came and then when we leave!” I cracked up when she said that.
Every moment of every day they were in our home and making new memories with us was wonderful.
We went to the beach 3 full days, one of which little lady learned to jump in the waves with her Auntie Schmoopie. We built sand castles by day and celebrated my cousin’s 20th birthday at the Redondo Pier. We ate at Gladstones in Malibu one evening and then went to ride the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier the same night.
We went to see Josh Groban perform a 4th of July spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl on July 3rd. It was a very serendipitious night for me. I am fairly certain that it was our little lady’s first ever concert experience and the Hollywood Bowl is most certainly my most favorite music venue of all time. I will never forget the way her eyes beamed when we walked into the Bowl arena and she saw the glowing green of the Bowl. It was also wonderful that it was Josh that she saw sing at her first ever concert. Josh and my sister went to music camp together many, many years ago and he has been a family friend ever since.
It was an especially odd sort of night for me when Josh spoke about how he thought the 4th of July was such a romantic holiday and how he hoped everyone who was there on a date was having a nice time.
14 years ago, to the date, I was saying vows to someone who ended up being not good to me at all. I divorced that person 4 long years after we promised to be together forever. Sitting at the Bowl fourteen years later, with our little foster child on my lap, and to my right my significant other of five years, the person who supported me in my dreams of becoming a foster parent by going through the entire process alongside me, I felt complete euphoria. I thought about how unrecognizably different my life is from then to now and how happy I am with my life, and how good it feels knowing how hard I’ve worked to make my life what it is today.
About 3/4 of the way through Josh’s set, little lady was getting restless. She kept asking me where they were and when they were going to start. The night before I had shown her video footage of fireworks at the Bowl and told her we were going there to see the fun and beautiful fireworks. I was trying to prepare her for the bright lights, and mostly for the loudness of it all. By this time in the show, my significant other had also gotten up to stretch his legs. Little lady got up to go see him, then came back to the seat to see me, then went back to him.
We were sitting in the first row of a section, so there were a few people behind us that I’m sure didn’t appreciate the ups and downs caused by the toddler being a toddler. When I went down to tell little lady that she couldn’t keep coming up and down the stairs, a blonde woman, who I recognized, tapped me on the shoulder while we were down the stairs. This familiar face asked me if our little lady wanted to get closer to the stage because if she did, she had an All Access pass and would be happy to give it to me if little lady wanted to go closer. I was shocked at the kindness of her offer. I kindly replied that the little lady didn’t actually know what she wanted, and I thanked her for being so thoughtful.
We enjoyed the rest of Josh’s show and then the patriotic music that accomplanied the fireworks show after. The little lady only got frightened twice by the extremely thunderous booms of two of the fireworks. I made sure to explain to her that the noise wasn’t going to do anything to her. I pointed out to all the other people in the venue and explained to her that none of those people were scared so she didn’t need to be either. I held her tight and assured her we were okay.
It had been bugging me ever since the show, who the lady was who was so nice to us. I knew she was an actress, a comedian. Last night my girlfriend came by our home who used to work for Josh; yet another way the world is so small and so surreal to me. Anywho, I was trying to explain to her what the comedian lady looked like who was so nice. It was driving me crazy trying to figure out how I was going to figure out who that lady was. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, there she was in one of my favorite tv shows, guest starring on the The New Adventures of Old Christine: Rachel Harris. Rachel Harris, thank-you for being so sweet.
Universe, thank-you for yet again being so awesomely surreal.
Once upon a time I lived in Paris. It was a short lived, 9 month chunk of time I called Paris home, but I lived there as a Parisian, driving past the Eiffel Tour typically at least once a day, taking my Rhodesian Ridgeback dog on walks in the Bois de Bologne and shopping along the Champs-Elysees. I loved the 24 hour Sephora, the incredibly strong coffees and the mounds of food everywhere.
This was also a time my ex-husband played basketball for a team in Paris called, PSG, which stands for Paris Saint Germaine. PSG is also the name of the football (soccer) team in Paris, the hugely popular soccer team of Paris. Those Parisians weren’t very big fans of basketball or anything other than their beloved soccer. They seemed to enjoy tennis matches which took place quite often not far from where we lived.
My ex and another fairly unknown basketball player named Tony Parker, didn’t play much because of their young ages. Their coach felt the older players were better, while the younger ones were second team. On the contrary, every time my ex and Tony would play, they would score and score and score and block shots and do almost everything to help their team.
One night, my ex and Tony and I were talking about how nonsense it was that they didn’t get to play much simply because of their age. At that time, Tony spoke broken English, with a very thick Parisian accent. I’ll never forget Tony saying, “f this shit man. I’m going to make it in the NBA.” I was like, “yeah! Do it!” while thinking to myself, “yeah right. Good luck with that.”
Good luck tonight Tony!!!
I am so thankful to have the jobs that I have. In LA, it seems a lot of people wear a lot of hats. Take me, for example. I have a job, a “job job,” but it is one that allows me the flexibility to take on other small jobs & projects. I have set up my life so that I am able to indulge in my love of working with talent at award shows. It’s a freelance thing, a once in awhile thing that I love being able to do.
Today I spent the day on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. This is the lot where Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy & many other shows & movies are filmed. This Wheel of Fortune scene is what is 20 feet in front of me & is what I have been staring at all day, when not busy shuttling people around in a golf cart, or checking people in for the show.
Today I am working the rehearsals for Spike TVs “Guy’s Choice Awards.” I was on the lot for 5 hours before I went inside to see what the stage looked like from inside the house. It is one of the most cool stages I have ever seen! There is a huge gorilla on the sign in the center of the stage, and when I went inside, there was even a live giraffe on stage! I could not believe my eyes!
As one of my favorite comedians once said, “you know you’ve made it when you arrive to a set on a golf cart.” Well, whachu know about driving around a studio lot on a golf cart?!?!?! Especially a studio lot where you pass buildings including the Barrymore & the Happy Madison production building. It was fun for me to drive around the lot on the golf cart. It was a fun change of pace for a day.
In addition to the giraffe, today on the lot were Andy Sanberg & Jake Gyllenhall. Tomorrow, on this very same lot, I will be face to face with Ben Affleck, Buzz Aldrin, Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Mark Wahlberg, Vince Vaughn & Jimmy Kimmel, to name a few.
Tune in tomorrow for more updates on this exciting show!