Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Famous People

Another installment for Writers Workshop

I have had my share of run-ins with celebrities…what can I say? I am cool like that. Actually, I used to work at a private air terminal in southern California, and famous people frequent those. I had encounters with Jim Carrey, Oprah and her dogs, Mr. October aka Reggie Jackson, and I even helped Mark Maguire make a bottle for his baby. My most frequent interaction would have been with Harrison Ford. He flies his own small aircraft, and he was in and out a lot. There are two times that stick out in my mind…the time I harassed him, and the time his credit card declined.

The time I harassed him, he didn’t take it as well as I had hoped. I was just being funny sarcastic me…and well...he didn’t “get it.” Where I worked we offered pilots the use of a courtesy vehicle to make quick trips if they weren’t staying long. Harrison Ford made regular use of these vehicles. One time when he was going to fly out, he was in a hurry and he forgot to return the car keys to me. I ran after him calling his name “INDY, INDY!!! You forgot to leave the keys!!!” He didn’t stop. So I was all “HAN, the keys!!!” he kept going…I finally called out “HARRY, please don’t take my keys!” He finally stopped and I got the keys back. The next time he came through the terminal and asked to borrow the courtesy car, I told him, “sure, no problem, as long as you don’t take the keys with you” *wink-wink* He didn’t laugh, he didn’t even smile, instead he gave me the evil eye. I wanted to curl up in a ball, I got the evil eye from Indiana Jones. Not the highlight of my career.

The second encounter I had with Harrison was probably about a year later. He had purchased some fuel from us for his small aircraft. He came inside to leave a credit card number, and then he flew away. I ran the card later that afternoon and it declined. WHAT? That can’t be right I thought. So I ran it again-DECLINED-the machine blinked at me. What now? Well, lucky for me Harrison left his phone number for us when he borrowed the courtesy car. So now I had the privilege of calling him and telling him his card declined, yay. I dialed the number expecting to hear his voice, instead I got some woman. “uh, er….I think I got the wrong number” I said. The woman answered “We’re an answering service for this number, you can tell me what you’re calling about and I will relay a message to the numbers owner” Well of course she is! Harrison Ford wouldn’t leave me his real number, duuuuh! It’s like he knew I would stalk him or something, weird. So I left my message, and two days later I got a call from a representative of Mr. Ford’s who gave me a credit card that was accepted.

Harrison kept coming in, despite the colorful girl behind the counter. I was even there when he introduced his mother to Calista Flockhart. It was interesting working in a place where you see famous people everyday. After awhile they just don’t seem famous anymore, and they’re everyday people like you and me…getting their credit cards declined and forgetting to return keys.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Because I was a snoop...

Writers Workshop presents:
The first book I luuuuuuuved:

It was 1990 and I was in my big sisters room snooping. The only thing interesting on this day was a collection of books on a shelf. I usually ignored the books in favor of juicy notes she’d passed in class or a letter she’d write to her boyfriend, but there wasn’t much along those lines. I looked over the books until I saw one that sounded good, If There be Thorns by V.C. Andrews. At eleven I was constantly trying to be grown-up like my 16 year old sister, so I “borrowed” it. But before I left her room, I made sure to spray myself with my sisters perfume “Escape”

I got around to reading maybe the first chapter of the book, and I was bored out of my mind! I didn’t care enough to return the book to her, and the book got lost in my mess of a room, until one day my sister happened to notice it in my room.

“What are you doing with this?” she asked
“Reading it, duuuh.” I answered

"Did you read any of the others?” she asked
“No…it’s boring” I responded, “and I didn’t even read all of that one”
“Well if you’re going to read it, then you need to read the series, and in a particular order”
She explained.

And thus began my pre-teen, and into my teens, obsession with V.C. Andrews. I liken it to the Stephenie Meyers “Twi-hards” of today. Only back then there wasn’t quite the cult following as there is for Twilight. I mean we didn’t have the internet to follow up with Taylor Lautner(Go Team Jacob), or Robert Pattinson. All we had was Kristy Swanson(before she killed vampires-and before Sarah Michelle Gellar did) and an obscure movie made in 1987. That day in 1990, my sister taught me how to read a V.C. Andrews series…you start with the first book, which is actually the second book, and when you read the fifth and final book, it is actually the first book. Make sense? Yea, it did to me too. So I started reading Flowers in the Attic that afternoon, and I was hooked…no longer was I bored, all the sudden everything made sense to me! I followed the Dollanganger family through their fathers death, and into what they thought would be a life of wealth, that turned into a life of imprisonment in their grandmothers attic. I followed them through heartbreak and disappointment to death and incest…pretty heavy stuff for 11, especially the latter. Waaaay heavy, in fact looking back, I don’t think these books were much like the Twilight series at all! I read the Twilight books, and I don’t have a problem with my 13 year old niece reading them, but I would mind her or my own daughter reading Flowers in the Attic at that age. Nope, not happening…I mean I turned out okay, but what was okay for me isn’t necessarily for my own kids right?

What did I love about these books? It’s the world that V.C. Andrews created, that just drew me in. It was a dark world of drama and turmoil, the happiness in her books was minimal…and the romance drew me in…I used to imagine myself as an actress in the movie version. I just knew I would be perfect to play Cathy, my only downfall is that I wasn’t blonde...or a ballerina. I’ll still pick the books up from time to time, they’re good for a quick read, when and if I have the time. I imagine if these books were popular today they’d all be movies by now with a huge cult following and Zac Efron as Christopher…then again maybe not, because Flowers in the Attic is no High School Musical.