This isn’t really a post, it’s a confession, one I hope helps someone else. At least then the struggle won’t be all for nothing. This is about something I’ve dealt with for a long time, over thirty years. It’s something I very rarely talk about because I feel it makes me somehow less acceptable as a person, broken, not good enough.
(No, this is not about Speck. The one bright spot this week is Speck has left the RV park and is no longer a constant reminder. I wish him well.)
This is how I feel when I’m depressed, like the shadow of a person. Empty, hollow, without substance.
I started writing this over a year ago, but didn’t have the courage to finish it until today. I started writing it after Tim Ferriss wrote about his struggle and how he’s hidden it for a long time. I get it. I totally, completely get it.
Jennifer Aniston just spoke about her insecurities, the same ones we all deal with. Again, I get it, on a level I wish I didn’t, I get it. And I have a whole new respect and deep appreciation for Jennifer Aniston as a human being.
The Bloggess often writes about her battles. By her admission and openness, she comforts me and the entire interwebs. We know we aren’t really, even though we feel utterly, completely alone. I hope to be like her someday: brave, vulnerable, and to let someone else know they aren’t alone.
I identified with all of what they said, and applaud their bravery and honesty, their vulnerability. They have inspired me to admit my own struggles. But, wait! There’s more…
The Good, The Bad, and The Pretty
Moving slower than molasses, I’m still in Ohio but determined to leave this week for Pennsylvania. It’s cold, it’s flat, and women are often treated as objects, and men are reluctant to stand up for a woman when they see a man verbally abusing her in public (a church-like environment). I didn’t witness that event, but heard of it in detail from a man who was bothered by it. A few of the other men listening said it was none of their business to say anything to this man they knew, a man who had done this before.
As the only woman present for this discussion, I was quick to tell the men who said it was none of their business that it was, in fact, their business to teach the other members of the fellowship how to treat people, to be respectful. I pointed out it was easy for me to see why I was the only woman there… they had chased all the others off as much by the aggressive behavior of some as the passive behavior of the others.
I probably just lost all male readers in Ohio, but I call them as I see them. Needless to say, this is not an isolated incident in that town but rather an underlying part of the culture in this area (near Dayton). It’s not everywhere, but it is a far more common and accepted occurrence than I’ve encountered in a long time. But this happens to some degree every day all over this country…
UPDATE: This article better describes how pervasive this problem is in our culture. Please read.
Now for something pretty… (hey, I never claimed to be good at segues)
Kerrville Chalk Festival
Every summer Kerrville, Texas, hosts a chalk art festival. But, wait! There’s more…
When we left off in part 2, Martin Sheen and I were parked with driver’s-side windows together, our cars blocking the small neighborhood street. Meanwhile, the stalker in the white pickup was slowly coming up behind my car, most likely realizing I’d just obtained A-list mother-fucking help.
Oh, …and we learned that I’m as bright as a cliff-jumping lemming when panicked.
As the white pickup approaches our cars, he pulls over to the side of the road as – if waiting for me to finish my conversation – so he can then continue on with terrorizing me.
Martin says to me, “Turn your car around and pull up behind me. I got through to the Sheriff’s office and they’re going to meet us at the old Malibu station.” He said ‘US’ !!! 🙂 Yay Martin!
(It’s important to note two things here: A, The police agreed to come out for Martin Sheen – not when it was just little old, not-famous me calling, but for Martin. And B, The lazy cops still only agreed to meet us so far – at a station closed years before, in an empty parking lot about 15 minutes away from where we were now.)
I do as Martin says, and the stalker also starts to maneuver his car as if readying to make a u-turn like I did.
But then Martin Sheen, A-list megastar and rescuer of blond-haired lemmings, starts yelling at the stalker!!
*swoon* (somewhere a lemming just fainted)
Martin to stalker: “Hey! What are you doing terrorizing this woman?!!” But, wait! There’s more…
I’ve been promising you all this post since I started this blog up again several months ago. I’ve held off until now because it was a terrifying experience for me, one that’s hard to relive. There’s another reason, too. This event is like a scene straight out of a movie, and includes a very famous actor. Most of you don’t know me personally (not that I hold much back on this blog! heh). So, up until now I worried you’d think I made it up, determine I’m prone to flights of fancy, and potentially even more bonkers than I admit to. But if you’ve stayed with me this far (and through the Holiday Letter From My Cat), I figure you’ll be with me after this. However bizarre it seems, this story is quite true. The Malibu Sheriff’s office probably has some record of it, too. And I’m no more bonkers than I’ve told you outright.
By the way – this is fairly long, so I’ve broken it up into a series of posts. I don’t know how many, because I’m still writing it. (Not quite the pro-blogger you thought I was, huh? <— dripping with tongue-in-cheek sarcasm) I’ll post one every few days or so. Probably ‘or so’.
The True Story of How Martin Sheen Saved My Life (yes, THE Martin Sheen)
‘Saved my life’ might be a bit of an overstatement, but that Saturday night nine years ago I was terrified for my life like I have never been before or since.
All I knew was this complete stranger was following me – everywhere. At first he kept his distance, following my car as I ran a few errands and headed for a 30-minute drive to Point Dume in Malibu. I could see he was male, with dark hair and skin, driving a beat-up white pickup truck with darkly tinted windows. (Beat-up cars, with darkly tinted windows were not at all common in Malibu.)
I couldn’t shake him. I tried evasive driving maneuvers, quickly turning corners, hiding down the hill. He searched the neighborhood until he found me each time.
Before I continue with the details of that terrifying night, let me provide a little backstory… But, wait! There’s more…
Malibu Colony #63 from the deck... this was my favorite spot to sit, and where I was when Rob Reiner tried to talk to me. I'm so lame. Sorry Rob. Love your movies!
Several years ago I transferred to Malibu to work as Marc Andreessen’s Estate Manager, overseeing care of the property in the Malibu Colony and managing the staff. It was a great job, for the most part.
Malibu was pretty, and pretty boring for a single gal. Not much to do so I stirred up some trouble. (You can read a bit about Malibu and one of my more interesting exploits here.) I’ll write about some of the crazier stuff later, like when my parents get tired of reading their kid’s new blog (or just give up on my ever achieving greatness, or providing grandchildren. Ya, like a starving dog with a fat bone…).
So instead, I’m going to gossip about celebrities I saw when I was lived in ‘Bu (“Bu” as the locals call it – ’cause they’re special). It’s a random list of my encounters so don’t get too excited. (The stuff I could sell to tabloids for cubic dollars I’m saving for later.)
Breakfast with Spielberg. But, wait! There’s more…
Malibu from the air. Photo by Doc Searls.
This is the beginning of a 3, 4, 7? several part series about my time in Malibu.
Around the beginning of the millennium, I transferred to Malibu to work as an Estate Manager, overseeing the luxury beach-front property and household staff of a very wealthy individual.
My (Preconceived) Idea of Malibu vs. Reality:
You’ve probably seen celebrities profiled on popular shows like TMZ or in the news: They’re always hanging out in Malibu, often getting DUIs, getting into fights, or being “seen with so-and-so”.
This lead to my first preconceived idea: Malibu is a hotspot of celebrity activity!
Couple that with what I already knew about the person for whom I was working, Marc Andreessen: He lived in Palo Alto (at the time) and shopped at places like Stanford Shopping Center. I assumed he would choose to live in a place with similar amenities.
Which lead me to my second preconceived idea: The shopping is going to be great!
Boy, was I wrong on both counts. But, wait! There’s more…
The concert ROCKED!! (no pun intended), the roof shook, and the music vibrated through my body. Chickenbone and I had a fantastic time.
Elton and Billy
But I‘ve lost my hearing. If you find it, let me know.
I apologize for the poor quality of the photos; you’ll have to take my word the boys are in the pictures. A cell phone can only do so much. I should have brought in my digital camera like the guy in front of me. He was getting some great footage right up until he got busted.
Elton John looked fabulous in a black tux with tails and red vest, and Billy Joel looked sharp in a nice black tux.
Elton had the best lighting – it was mesmerizing! Every so often he would look out into the crowd as if he wanted to see something. As soon as his eyes focused on the people in the audience a huge smile would cross his face. He loved seeing us.
Billy was quite funny, chatting and joking with the audience. He joked about his age – but the man is hotter than ever, in my humble opinion. There’s nothing sexier than a man who’s secure enough to laugh at himself. And a most gracious performer, he sincerely thanked us all for being there.
Elton and Billy. (Our seats weren't nearly as cheap as this pic would have them look.)
They had a huge band! At one point, in addition to the two piano men on stage, there were two keyboardists, two guys on horns, two guys doing other stuff (back up singers, playing small instruments), four guitarists, and four drummers!
They ended with a duet of Piano Man. One word: AWESOME!
(I’m using more exclamation points than usual because I CAN’T HEAR and think they might help.)
Oh, and to the wasted chick singing and dancing like a drunken zombie when everyone was seated: No more coke for you.