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Let's Panic: The Book!

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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

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Sleep Is
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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.

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« Don’t read this. | Main | Needles and the damage done. »
Monday
Feb062006

The meme that started out promising, but then everything went wrong—just like life.

I have been tagged, as they say, to do this “meme” that everyone speaks of. But, well, you’ll see.

Four jobs I was really, really bad at:

Bank teller. I was the worst bank teller since the creation of bank tellers. I was fired from the first bank I worked in after one and a half days. Then, in a cruel twist of fate, another bank hired me, and every day I doled out the wrong amount of money to people and chatted everyone up about how I was only doing this for the summer because I went to Wellesley and I was going to be a writer. One day a truck hit the drive-through section of the bank and tore it off, injuring the bank teller who was sitting inside it. Later that day I heard one teller say to another, “Too bad it wasn’t college girl in there.” That’s how assy I was.

Cocktail waitress at the men’s bar in a country club. The men’s bar. As in no women. I wore a red bow tie, a satin shirt, a short black skirt, fishnet stockings, and a grimace.

Salesperson at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was in the gifts department, which no one ever visited. I stood there and dreamed of sitting. If someone came in and asked if there were any more, say, silver-plated candlesticks in stock, I went into the stockroom, waited a minute, then came out and announced that there were none. I did this not out of malice but rather a frightened ignorance of the workings of the stockroom.

English tutor for intensely charming Japanese businesspeople. One day in early September, one of my tutees told me, “Already I feel autumn flavor completely,” and how could I correct that?


Four movies I could watch over and over:

Love and Death

The Ten Commandments

All About Eve

A New Leaf (If you haven’t seen it, and I’m sure you haven’t, you must.)



Four childhood memories and/or dreams. Guess which is which!

1. I am getting a bath in the sink.

2. I am playing peek-a-boo with my sister and another girl. I’m in my crib, which is covered with a large pink blanket, and my sister and the girl are peeking in at intervals. I am beside myself with joy and terror.

3. King Friday pops up from the space between my bed and the wall and asks me where is his castle, what have I done with it.

4. My entire family goes on vacation and leaves me alone. With a monster. Who’s trying to kill me. Geez!


Some celebrities I worshiped when I was little, and names I wanted instead of Alice (also, you know, when I was not an adult)

1. Tony Randall. I think this was a father thing, as my dad is similarly (desperately scrambling to find a word other than “prissy”) refined.

2. Cassandra.

3. Sandy Duncan (but why? Was it the glass eye? The Triscuits commercials? I really can’t say)

4. Veronica.

Four injuries I have sustained:

1. Concussion. Take one giggly teenager at a beach party, then add a cute boy chasing her around the first floor of the beach house where said party was being held. Put glass door between her and the beach. And voila! Luckily my enormous skull bore the brunt of the impact. And also the door didn’t break.

2. Broken tailbone from falling and landing on my knees. Apparently I fell so hard that my tailbone was dislodged, or was rebroken after a alcohol-related ass-landing from years before ( this was extraordinarily painful and necessitated the humiliating purchase and then use of the “ass donut”; avoid this injury at all costs)

3. Broken front tooth (just as that permanent tooth came in! I have always had excellent timing). I tripped on a shoelace and fell on my face.

4. Sprained ankle while at Disney World with my high school chorus. The bad part was that I had to be wheeled around. The good part was that I went straight to the front of the line! Whoever wants to see the Teddy Bear Jamboree, better come with me! The other bad part was that the only person who wanted to see it—including me--was my chorus teacher, who somehow got control of my chair and took me to see it twice.


Four celebrities I have bothered:

1. I was working at a magazine launch party, because I worked for the magazine and didn't have a choice. For some inane reason I am giving out our goody bags at the beginning of the party, such that everyone has to carry around these little plastic bags with our stickers and etc. in them. So Spalding Gray walks in, with a man who looks exactly like him. He says, “Do I have to carry these around at the party?” I think, “OH MY GOD SPALDING GRAY SPOKE TO ME.” Then I say, “Why don’t I save yours for you.” He says, “But won’t it get lost? With all these other bags?” I say, “Well, maybe, but you know they’re all the same.” He says, “I just think you might run out.” I say, “Why don’t you write your name on the bag” (like I couldn’t write his name for him?) and he does; in very careful letters he writes SPALDING across the top. And then he eats all the hors d’oeuvres and goes home.

2. I am on the subway across from some guy I can’t stop staring at because he looks so familiar. Did I know him in college? Is he my neighbor? He is trying to read his magazine but is clearly intensely aware that I’m studying him. I am fascinated by how far down he is able to shrink into his jacket. He looks so horrified that I'm beginning to feel insulted and so I stare more aggressively. Something wrong with me looking at you, buddy? I'm not good enough for you? Then I realize it’s Steve Buscemi. Ah.

3. Walking down the street, staring at an insanely attractive man who is walking with another man, I run directly into the other man. It is Lou Reed.

4. In college, I meet Gloria Steinem at a friend’s birthday party. (My friend has a father who is somewhat fabulous.) All I can say is, “I love you. I mean I really love you and everything you stand for. If I had known you were going to be here I would have read Ms. or something first. Oh my god I’m so drunk. I love you.” Actually I have no idea what I said; I was too drunk.

Reader Comments (80)

Are you joking Mom101? I hate 'Amelie' with the force of a thousand suns. (I did like "He loves me, he loves me not" and it would have been less amusing if there were no 'Amelie' since that movie is 'Amelie Goes Bad'. But that is not enough to make up for the horror that is Amelie.
February 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterozma
I once saw Lou Reed at my gym, Chelsea Piers, wearing nothing but a blue speedo (a Blue Mask if you will). It is an image I am haunted by to this day.

I have also seen him asleep in the back of a Town Car on the West Side Highway with a small dog in the back window. I am not haunted by that image.
February 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterswarty
Ozma - I am more of a Delicatessen fan as far as Jeunet goes (best opening title sequence ever). But I stand by my assertion that Finslippy is one free-thinking gal not to do as all bloggers do and bow to the great celluloid Goddess Amelie.
February 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMom101
I agree, everyone's got the giggles today... and I need to go put on the Depends from laughing so hard.

The name I wanted as a child? Yvonne. Yes... I actually signed my diary with Love, Yvonne.

And as for the most horrific celebrity sighting: Back when Rob Lowe was sooooo hot (pre-sex tape scandal), my sister and I saw Rob Lowe at the Toronto airport and she screeched in the loudest voice possible, "OH MY GOD, IT'S ROB LOWE!" And he looked at us like we had rabies, and all the people sitting in the airport lounge looked at us like we had scabies, and then we had to hunch down in our airport lounge chairs like we were morons. Canadians just take all the fun out of celeb-stalking.



February 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersallyman
Sallyman, I've got you beat. I was working at a book conference once, and my boss came over and said, "Ming-Na, who plays the Chinese doctor on ER, is here and she's going to come over and pick up some books, so don't be surprised when you see her. She's kind of shy and doesn't want to have a big deal made about her." I agreed and went back to work. Not two minutes later, I heard a quiet voice say "Excuse me?" behind me. I turned around, and there was Ming-Na. And I screamed, "Oh my God, you're totally FAMOUS!" And a hundred people turned around and stared, and she looked as if she wanted to die.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterQueenie

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