Home - Top Row


Home - Bottom Row

Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« An entire post written solely to use the word "monkeyshines." | Main | The moment no one was really waiting for: answers! »

Fine, then.

Wow. Write about boobs and everyone’s got something to say, but just mention the Aztecs—try it on your blog, mention the Aztecs, I’ll be here waiting--and listen to the crickets chirp. Was that an embarrassed cough I heard, way back in the wings?

Life is conspiring to deprive me of writing material—the child is healthy and clever; no new waterbugs have scuttled across my bare feet; my husband hasn’t emitted any farts that sounded like the first few bars of “Inna Gadda Da Vida.” So, fine, then. I’ll just talk about famous people.

A few years back, I was working in Soho in a building that housed a theatre company. Which meant that I often shared the small, cramped elevator with Sandy Duncan. Sandy Duncan is probably not a celebrity on anyone’s can’t-wait-to-meet list, but when I was seven, I worshipped Sandy Duncan. I can’t imagine why. Did I respect her work in the Wheat Thins commercials? What else did she do? I even wrote a song about her. (I would share with you the lyrics, except they’re only “Sandy Duncan” over and over—it was the melody, people, the melody that counted).

I was also in that same elevator with David Bowie and three German models. I should have been thrilled about my proximity to David Bowie (he was right there, I could have touched him), but the German models were crushing any joy left in my soul with their iron fists of perfection. I am 5’7” and weighed (emphasis on the –ed) 120 pounds and I felt like a shrub next to these leggy, tobacco-reeking, dead-eyed Frauleins. And David Bowie was chatting Germanically with them, and I could have reached out and grabbed his ANYTHING! Take your pick of anatomical parts! but he never glanced my way. I didn’t expect a soul-kiss, but a nod would have been nice.

At a wedding, I had a conversation with Marvin Hamlisch, during which I realized that Marvin Hamlisch is in behavior and appearance identical to my parents’ friend Roy, and yes, I know this means nothing to you. Also he has a hot wife. Marvin Hamlisch, that is.

At a bar, John Cusack approached my friend Audra and me. We had noticed him staggering around with a yellow bandanna perched at a jaunty angle on his head, and I had been making fun of him from a distance. (All the while hoping that he might approach us and then we'd fall in love and make babies.) So when he actually began wobbling our way, my adrenaline started pumping and something bad happened to my mouth and the following words came out of it: “That’s so cute. Did your mommy dress you up like a pirate?” And with that he turned right around, headed back to the dark recesses of the bar and began to make out with some blonde girl. Audra has never forgiven me. She thinks he was going to marry her, but you and I, John—you and I know the truth.

Reader Comments (32)

sandy duncan was also PETER PAN! what's not to love?
August 16, 2004 | Unregistered Commenternicole
Damn, and here I was all impressed because I got to meet my congressman last week. And I completely forgot to talk about any important issues, or thank him for all those votes that I approved of and that were the reason I'm pretending to be a factory worker in his latest campaign commercial, and instead ended up babbling about Post-WWII factory administration styles. No, I didn't quite understand how that happened, either.

But a friend of a friend of a friend of mine is a pseudo-celeb who just got her first role in a major movie (unfortunately it was White Chicks)! And I once got invited to her birthday party and didn't go! And once, I attended a mansion party in Beverly Hills that was hosted by Prince! Only it wasn't that Prince, it was just some gay Chinese guy named Prince who lives in Beverly Hills. But still! It makes a good story, if I tell it with lots of exclamation points, and leave off the explanation!
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commentercyclopatra
Heheheh. You told John Cusack his mommy dresses him like a pirate. Heheheheh.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMir
John Cusak once tried to pick up one of my sorority sisters at Oak Street Beach and flirted with a different friend while at Estelle's. And I know a half dozen other girls who have had JC run-ins over the past ten years. Smacks of overcompensation, don't you think?

(Admittedly, it is easier to comment on celebrities than the Aztecs.)
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjen
I was at Barnes and Noble (I know, I know) and realized that Mike Tyson was standing next to me. He was in town and evidently bored, because he asked his entourage to help him find some videos or books on tape in the true crime section. My one encounter with a famous person and he's illiterate in a bookstore.

Does watching Joaquin Phoenix make a new movie in the alley outside my office last night count?
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterWindyLou
Hey, I'd be more than happy to be picked up by John Cusak no matter how pathetic and played out it sort of sounds like he is. Just one night of heavy making out with him would sustain me.

I'm sure the husband wouldn't mind. I mean, once when I had the chance to kiss Harry Connick, Jr. (gaa gaa gaa) on the cheek he was like "Why didn't you???"
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSarcomical
Omg... David Bowie. I've loved him since I was about 12.

But I used to help decorate our city's Rose Parade float and one year, that lady from The Facts of Life toured the operations and I can't believe I still remember that! She had with her some guy whose name I can't remember who was in Poli-Dent commercials the last I remember, so no, he wasn't a big deal in my life but he WAS some sorta famous actor and he winked at me! And that scene lodged itself into my brain and won't leave, all these years later.

And I went to the 50th birthday party of Mickey Mouse at Disneyland when I was a young teen and I saw Lisa Blair (also The Facts of Life, come to think of it) as a New Mousketeer and she had on white chemin-de-fer jeans and I HAD to have some of my very own and my parents hunted for weeks at Xmastime so that I'd have some under the tree.

What IS it about "famous people"?
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
This is the advantage of living in New York. Who is there to run into in Dallas? Mary Kay?
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl
wow! stepping off on the celebs.

i think i just got hard.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterthe mighty jimbo
I'm sorry I can't share a close encounter with a famous Aztec, but I have had these:

bumped into Dudley Moore in a McDonalds in Pacific Grove (yes, he is even shorter in person)

saw Stevie Wonder leaving an ice cream shop in Monterey (sans ice-cream)

shook hands w/Jimmy Carter (my biggest hero)

attended the Atlanta Premier of The Right Stuff and met Gen. Chuck Yeager, and watched a drunk Ted Turner try to give a speech. (I was so proud to be a southerner.....)
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Oh how I love brushes with fame!
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterAnneWhitney
I used to work as a stagehand so I got pretty inured to proximately with fame (Yes, as a matter of fact the musicians really are usually self-absorbed jerks.) but the one thing I do brag about is that I helped an immensely famous, jazz musician no one has heard of, Max Roach, set up his drum kit. I mean, Max Roach! Damn.

I guess other notables are that Bobby McFerrin is a truly nice guy to hang out with before the show and George Clinton shared his weed (for medicinal purposes! honest.) with me and my supe.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterViktor
you know what? i think i'd've been disappointed if david bowie had done anything *but* blow me off in favour of dead-eyed german hotties. being nice to ordinary girls would somehow sully my opinion of him. of course, i'd very much like to *be* the dead-eyed german hottie, but that's another post.

celebrities: scott thompson held an elevator for me once (he's from my hometown, although this happened elsewhere). and i once hung out with johnette napolitano (concrete blonde) & her producers. they bought me beer & i got to tousle her hair. *rock.*
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commenteraleta
When I was in second grade I went to a hairdresser who worked out of her kitchen and told her I wanted my hair cut like Sandy Duncan's. You know, kind of a teased-up flip? It didn't work. I would have been better off with a wig.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
I was on the Columbia lot once years ago for a meeting, and I was nervous and looking over some notes when I realized I was late for the meeting, so I jumped up, hurrying to the office, head down still glancing at notes when I ran smack into a short man. I apologized, he was gracious about it, and I hurried on, only to realize about ten steps later that I had run into Danny DeVito.

Later that week, I saw someone signalling to turn left and no one would let him turn and since I was familiar with that frustration, driving in a new town, I let him turn... and it was Kevin Kline, my most favorite actor. I almost wanted to smack into him just to get to meet him. (Probably a bad idea.)
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commentertoni
I went to summer camp with Mika Boorem. And probably no one knows who she is, but she was in The Patriot and Along Came a Spider and Blue Crush... and some other movies, I guess. I had a big crush on her brother, who was my sailing partner.

Also, I went to camp with a few of Hugh Hefner's sons. But that's probably no big deal. I'm sure he has a lot of kids.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterjanna
As long as we're discussing brushes with fame, here's my pre-natal celebrity encounter, as related to me by my mom:

When my mother was just barely pregnant with me, she was attending a judo tournament (my dad owned a dojo and was competing) and Chuck Norris came up to her, gestured across the room to indicate my dad, and said, "Why don't you ditch that guy and come with me?"

She politely declined.

Since then, my celebrity spotting has been limited to meeting "Weird Al" Yankovic and spotting Will Smith coming out of a Las Vegas casino.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterJane
I have the dubious "honor" of having been on the Dr. Laura tv show. Apparently the episode was so bad it never even aired before they dumped her show.

And I was on the Fox morning show between Gallagher (watermelons and all) and that tall dorky guy who hosted America's Funniest Videos. You know the guy; he thinks he's really funny, but ... Can't remember his name.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered Commenterrobert
I was going to comment on the Aztecs. Really, I was. I was going to be witty and discuss such witty things as that they, oh, who the heck am I kidding. The only thing I care about is the chocolate. Although I do have a very odd statue/picture thing that is a replica of an Aztec god from my sister. It's a jaguar eating a heart and there's a snake in there somewhere. Her response to my horrified look was "Well, you like cats. It's a cat."

I met LaVylre Spencer once at Walden Books. She hugged me. It was about 15 years ago. And I have a banker who's step-brother is Ethan Erickson and he was on Buffy (and in Jawbreaker)and he sent me a signed picture. And he is hot. Even hotter than John Cusack.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterDM
My biggest (but not only) brush with fame: a few years ago I had a stupid little Honda scooter I would ride to work, having no car. I bought it used, having no money. Well one day I had to brake hard when a car stopped suddenly in front of me and the thing skidded and I crashed. As I lay there dazed on the pavement I noticed that the van behind me had screeched to a stop and was emptying of people. Three seconds later, Jay Leno was picking me up off the road and directing his entourage: "You, go get her some water. You, pick that bike up. You, call someone. You, etc." Meanwhile he's helping me to the side, brushing me off, and asking if I'm okay. His entourage in gear he then proceeded to test my scooter and pronounce it unsafe to drive. They were probably there with me for about 20 minutes. I have never been so mortified and couldn't get rid of them fast enough. "Yes, I'm fine. No, I don't need any more help. Yes, I'm okay, thank you." I should have let them drive me home or something but gah, the embarassment. I never did drive that thing again though.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
*embarassed cough* Only because I cannot believe I didn't guess right on the baby-speak translations. It's all so obvious now if I say them outloud but I didn't even think they were real.

Ahem. So yes, you were saying. Aztecs and wheatgerm. And John Cusack (yum) and David Bowie (!so hot and alluring in a very bizarre kind of stoned out creepy way).

My closest brush with fame? Donnie and Marie. I'm in Utah fercryin'outloud.
August 17, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterVery Mom
Sandy Duncan was your favorite, as she was mine, because of her heart-wrenching star turn in The Cat from Outer Space.
August 18, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail
Damn! I never knew that getting John to hit on you would be that easy. Tell me where can I find him and I am so there :)
August 18, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterTonya
I was on Car Talk once. Actually on. I had done something... creative with my parents' car. Something that ended with smoke coming out of the gearbox and the hood. Let's leave it there.

Point is, now all of you can say you know me! And Car Talk is famous. I mean, NPR famous, but that's like, I dunno, 15%-famous. Right guys? Right? Huh? I'm cool too, right?

Guys? Where'd everyone go?

--FDPS: mentioned this on my own blog, here.
Yeah, that's what I want to know. You up there, you said it, what the f---- is it with famous people? Has anyone in People magazine ever said anything that any of us have remembered?

I see famous people. All the time. Just usually not up close, thank God. How do we escape them? That's what I want to know. If I never see another one of them again it will be too soon.

When I was 4 I was obsessed with Mary Tyler Moore. Maybe what you loved about Sandy Duncan was her hair and her perky ways. That's what I loved about MTM--I even made my mom give me the flip.
August 18, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMiel

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>