Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Biggest Loser

It's not healthy to watch The Biggest Loser for a bunch of reasons. One - I'm stuffing my piehole with Fruitella while I watch. Two - I'm surfing the web looking for jobs as I'm trying to move back to Canada from California and the fatties on the telly are distracting me. Three - the contestants can lean on their personal trainers to keep them in step and me...well let's just say I'm assaulting the fridge between sentences and during commercials.
Giddy'up y'all. There's nothing left to say but a lot left to eat.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Heather Mills gets £48-million

Tonight's burning questions - how much money is enough money? Does money buy happiness? When I was a teenager, I used to hang out with the daughter of a multimillionaire. She was the most miserable person I have ever met - vindicative, insecure, cruel, mad, and uneven. (I don't remember how we became friends.) Her father was an alcoholic and her mother just a diluted version of a parent. This girl had every material possession a teenager living in London could want. The latest Louis Vuitton bags, gorgeous clothes, diamond necklaces (yup, more than one), trips to anyplace, a selection of Mercedes Benz to drive, a safe filled with cash every day, and so much more. If I bought a pair of Bally boots she went and bought five. She was that kind of girl. What she really wanted was a peaceful home life. A loving family. Peace of mind that she could never seem to find.
I'm thinking about my childhood chum a lot today after reading about the Heather Mills - Paul McCartney divorce settlement. Mills gets £48-million ... and has been quoted as saying that she's very very pleased. I should think so. And yet there was a gleam in her eye during those interviews outside the London courthouse that suggested she wasn't completely pleased. Like maybe she would have liked to have obliterated her ex-husband. And not just that £300-million would have been enough. Crushing his spirit and Britons' love of him would have come close.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oprah's Big Give

Ami is putting my baby Kamran to sleep and I'm watching Oprah's primetime show Big Give and I'm about to commit Oprah-phemy here but I am sick to death of this woman. She is everywhere. I think she might be a triplet. And each sibling fights the other sibling for bragging rights as to who is the bigger philanthropist. Who has the bigger legs? Who owns the newest pair of Spanx? The challenge for the teams is to give Christmas to a kid "at least once in their lifetime." Bllleeeeeeeeecccchh Blerg. Pheeteoooeee. Oprah, just adopt the world, pay all our bills, and move on. Eat sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes, and any other carb you've been depriving yourself of, have a monster meltdown and be real. Please.

Fame



“Yesterday my girl said, ‘Mom, I know I’m gonna be famous really soon’. I’m so proud of her. She’s got confidence.” A girlfriend of mine in Orange County mentioned this as we were heading to lunch last week. Her daughter is 13. I was astonished.

Whatever happened to “I want to be a doctor when I grow up” or “I want to travel the world when I grow up” or “I dunno mom, I think I want to be just like you”? But this is the culture of Southern California. Buy, buy, buy or you’ll look and feel inferior! Replace your flesh with plastic wherever possible. Banish your wrinkles. Scrape your face with acid. Stop eating. And don’t forget to shop. Forget about your education or saving the world or your studies or anything else old fashioned that requires time and energy. The best outcome is fame. Better get there quickly. And don’t make any unnecessary stops along the way.

I’ve been living in Orange County for four years and slowly the muck has begun to settle in my brain. I think it’s the Paris Hilton syndrome – be famous for no apparent reason. I interviewed an analyst once who called Hilton the Bubonic Plague of the 20th century. I liked that phrase a lot but I can’t blame Hilton for the soul-crushing atmosphere in both L.A. County and O.C.
It manifests itself in many ways. First it’s almost impossible to make really good friends in L.A. I mean the really good kind of girlfriends who’ll be there for you in a heartbeat, say, when you break-up with a guy, or your house burns down or your pet dies or whatever.

A bunch of actresses I’ve interviewed have said this – from Sandra Oh to Kristen Bell to Hayden Panettiere to Salma Hayek. I don’t know why this is the case. It may be that everyone is competing for the all-seeing eye, attention from the paps and tabloids and Entertainment Tonight so standing on your own apart from the crowd guarantees you 14 seconds in the news lineup.

I don’t know why I find this so disturbing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention. Toddlers do it because they want to be the centre of the universe. But for little ones it’s a survival issue. If no one hears you screeching you might not get your dinner. As for people who yearn for attention later in life, I don’t know how to explain it later in life. Maybe it’s the money. Typically with fame comes money. But not always.

I have to think about this some more to explain my love and loathing of Los Angeles. As for my friend’s daughter? Well, she’s only in Grade 7 so I’ll keep you posted.

The First

I'm here. It's new. And so I'll be back soon.

amber