Golfing Is Now My Favorite Sport (Right In Front Of Ice Dancing)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

As I'm writing this, I'm listening to Kevin Costner's sweet and lovely eulogy for Whitney.

I once had the sorrowful honor of eulogizing someone. My father.

It was such a hard thing to write and at the same time, one of the easiest. The words find their own way to you when you've been swallowed whole into an abyss of grief and heartache and lost love. I remember sitting there empty-eyed, still so muddled from his sudden, untimely death and then suddenly there was this pouring out of everything he was, to me, to all of us. I couldn't type fast enough to capture the words.

When I heard about Whitney, we were in the car—six friends driving from Pebble Beach to Healdsburg, California, a tedious, almost four hour trip—when all of our phones dinged. AP breaking news. Whitney was dead. We all scrambled for verification, googling from phones and iPads, hoping that perhaps the AP, for once, had gotten it wrong. 

It took a few minutes for other sources to pick it up. I knew it was definitely true when all three of my sisters started texting me. 

We sisters don't take celebrity deaths lightly.  

It's so sad. Yes, I know she was whacked on crack and she hadn't been the real Whitney for years. But in her day, her voice was unparalleled. She sang the national anthem here in my hometown for the Super Bowl one year. Our country was at war. Peace in America had been my birthright, but now there were bombs and strife and shadowy dangers rising up in a continent that no longer seemed thousands of miles away. Sadly, it was the beginning of some of our country's darkest days. But on that night, Whitney and her heavenly voice reminded us how privileged we are to be here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

Gifts like that are rare and few and now we are left with one less glorious voice in the world. 

Now, let's talk about happier, shinier things. 

Namely, I've been rubbing elbows with the celebrities these days. 

It all started a few weeks ago, when I joined the world of querying writers. I was slacking off checking my Twitter for agent information, when I spotted a tweet from my hot Italian honey, Chef Fabio.

He was tweeting about an upcoming appearance, a cooking lesson he was giving at a Publix in South Florida. So I took the opportunity to beg him to come up to my part of town. 

We have better Publixes. 

I really don't know if that's true or if, in fact, that is the correct plural spelling of Publix, but . . .  

We do have Ernest, the 80-year-old bag boy who sings George Gershwin tunes as he's carrying out your bags. I'd say that pretty much qualifies as the best. 

A few minutes later Fabio tweeted me back, with:

 ill be there next soon

I'm really not sure what this means, but I'd like to believe it's his way of saying he loves me. 

After all, who can forget this amazing tweet he sent me, after he asked his fans for input on a T-shirt he was creating for Team Fabio. In a tweet, I told him the letters were a little too high on the shirt and asked if there would be a ladies cut. Here's the gushing sentiment he sent to me that time:

Fabio Viviani
@ will def move the words lower and offer lady option

I'll let you know where to send the wedding gifts. 

And if that weren't enough to make you jealous, last week I was in Pebble Beach where I may or may not have called golf tournaments, stupid. 

I'd like to take a mulligan on that. 

Because golf tournaments are not stupid. They are fun, super fun. 

Especially when celebrities and vodka and cranberry cocktails are involved. 

We were guests of a company my hubs does business with and that fabulous company had this mammoth doublewide trailer with ample seating, wall to wall windows, (hopefully strong ones) overlooking the 17th green, delicious food and of course, the cocktails. I had gone to the tournament begrudgingly, but as soon as we walked into that trailer and I spotted the giant chocolate chip cookies and the luxe bathroom, I thought, "Okay, this might not hurt after all."

The men in our group were sad to hear Tiger had already been to our hole. (Please don't laugh. I am vastly ignorant when it comes to sports terms.) So they decided we should leave our beautiful trailer with the three different types of cookies and wild mushroom risotto and Eric the bartender and traipse around after stupid Tiger. 

Since I didn't want to seem all bad sporty, I traipsed with my crew. 

This was verrrry good sporty of me because it was sprinkling and a heavy mist hung over us from the Pacific Ocean and I have blonde, kicky hair that turns decidedly un-kicky when wet. 

We had umbrellas, but the crowds were heavy and people were giving me the stink eye every time I poked them with my umbrella because clearly people are unbelievably prejudiced against good hair. 

We found Tiger which was super un-thrilling. He hit the ball. The crowd clapped. He ignored the crowd. That's it. 

He was the only golfer of the day who acted like a jackhole. 

The wonderful Phil Mickelson waved and shook hands and eventually won the tournament. 

So maybe someone should lose their smug attitude, Mr. I-Love-Me-Some-Pancake-House. I think SOMEONE could use all the good PR he can get these days. 

Finally, after having enough of watching Tiger ignore everyone, my friend Lisa and I decided our blonde heads of hair had had enough mist and we poked our way back to the wonderful doublewide with this view:

Wonderful doublewide. 

I never thought I'd utter those two words together in my lifetime. 

The boys stayed to follow jackhole Tiger around, so we ladies sat in our doublewide, keeping our hair kicky and waiting for some good celebrities. 

There were a parade of sports celebrities that I could not tell you about. 

The real fun began when Josh Duhamel showed up on our green.

When God smiled upon us and rolled Josh's ball right up to the front of our doublewide, every single dignified woman in that trailer rushed to the giant picture window. 

We squealed. We called his name. We rapped on the glass.

He hit his ball into the hole and then smiled and waved. Again. I do not know golf or anything else. 

After they all hit their little balls in the hole, they walked around the side of the doublewide to tee off for the next hole. 

Our beautiful doublewide's steps were directly in front of their teeing off place.

Thank you, Jesus. 

Josh came over to greet our bevy of ladies. And we classy ladies acted exactly like we were 12 and Justin Bieber had just ripped his shirt off, exposing his prepubescent, hairless, girl pecs to us.   

Since I was a newbie, I had no idea we would be this up close and personal with such hotness and unlike everyone else, I had nothing for Mr. Hotness himself to sign. 

And because I am me and because my doublewide had Eric who was making succulent cocktails, when Josh set his glorious eyes upon me expectantly and said, "What do you have for me?"

I stuck out my arm and said, "Sign me?"
And yes. I know. 

My friend Mary has already chastised me for giving him my arm as my best body part. 

But I was trying to act dignified, since we were guests of this company. 

Oh, who am I kidding! I never pretend to be dignified. The lady who grabbed the president's ass this weekend? That's my kind of dignity. 

The truth is when Josh looked at me, all thoughts flew out of my head. And I just poked out my pasty white arm. 

I know, sad. 

But still, I went back to the doublewide, my arm held high in victory as all the women gathered around, oohing and ahhing and telling me how lucky I was. 

I was still saying, "I'll never wash my arm again" when the next crew hit our green. 

It was George Lopez and Andy Garcia. And I have no idea who any of the real golfers were except for Pancake Tiger and Gentleman Phil, so do not bother asking me about that. 

After they hit their little balls in the hole, I was getting into the groove of things and I flew out the door to get more body parts signed. 

Now, here's the thing. 

Picture taking was off limits and I got caught more than a few times. The phone police were always very nice about it and would gently ask me to put it away. 

Which I would do. Kind of. 

I was trying to pretend I was talking on my phone while aiming it at the golfers, when a dude on the course came over to me. I tried to slide my phone back into my pocket, but I wasn't quick enough. 

But instead of scolding me, he asked if I would mind making a call for him, since they were not allowed to use their phones while on the course. He then asked me to call the golf course's restaurant, The Tap Room, and reserve a table for George Lopez.

So, there I was, on the Pebble Beach golf course making a reservation for George Lopez. 

The harried woman who answered the phone, couldn't quite hear me over the din of the crowd. All she heard was my request for a reservation, to which she told me in a clipped tone, they were not making reservations today. 

I said with great celebrity confidence, "But I'd like to make a reservation for George Lopez, the comedian?"

Once again, words I never thought I'd utter in my life. 

I have now firsthand evidence that celebrities really are the special people. She said, "Oh George Lopez! Of course. How many?"

And just at that moment, George had wandered over. I stuck out my non-signed hand and said, "Hey George, I'm making your reservation. How many?" 

George had a cute little Panama hat on and he smiled and said, "Make it for ten. Thanks, baby." 

He signed my outstretched limb and then:

Kissed. My. Hand. 

I went stampeding up my trailer stairs and found my whole crew, (the boys had made it back), sitting there. 

I said, "I know this sounds really random, but I just made a dinner reservation for George Lopez!"

I am a regular Edie Sedgwick with my celebrity elbow rubbing.

There were also a few others like Chris O'Donnell who also signed my arm and Goldie Hawn's gorgeous son, Oliver, but none of them asked me for a dinner reservation. 

So, that was my fabulous tale of mingling with the celebrities. It was like hanging out at Studio 54, back in the day. Except Cher wasn't there. Oh, wouldn't that have been utterly fabulous if Cher was there in one of her Bob Mackey getups?

Although, we did have the fabulous Bill Murray in his camo/cowboy fringe outfit.

After the golf tournament, we spent a few days up in Sonoma valley, where we had a great time. As usual. 

I won't bore you with the details. They are the same every time.

We see old friends. We find new ones while discovering new wines.

And as usual, there might have been a little bit of nonsense along the way.

This time, our nonsense happened at a little Sonoma bar, stuffed with regulars who made the mistake of thinking they were up for another normal weekend night, that is, until our motley crew walked in the door.

There was the big rowdy group of young folks who worked for Amy's Organics, who loved our iPod library so much, they hooked up their speaker to it and whooped at each classic tune. Sam, the grizzled rancher who rescued wild donkeys and brought them to the safe haven of his 800 acre ranch, just down the road. He was there in the bar with his two Australian shepherd pups. I bought handmade beef jerky and those beautiful dogs were my best friends for the rest of the night.

Jonathan, the bartender and ex-police officer who let our friend, Rob bartend all night.

Jonathan's brother, Garth who was there having a beer and keeping his brother company. And Jonathan's girlfriend, I can't remember her name, who sadly confided to me when we became fast friends over a cocktail, that Jonathan and Garth had a pact to never marry. And Pat? I think, who told us he would have left the bar hours ago, if it wasn't for us. 

There might have been a bit of this:

And a bit of that:

And maybe some dancing:

And more dancing:

And perhaps some dancing on the bar:

And since I loved this boar and wanted a picture of it, there was also some of this:

When it was time for us to leave, the entire bar walked us out, begging us not to go. But we'd made our mark. It was time to move on. 

And that's all I have to say about that. 

And one more thing:

I do so apologize for my heavy silence these days. I truly, truly, truly appreciate all the love that has been coming my way. Please know that. But this querying thing along with all of the other major components that make up my day are keeping me a mite busy. My guilt over you, Internet, is one of the things keeping me awake at night. That and the  fact that I cannot find my RED iPod anywhere. I'm wondering if it's in one of the Moron Twins stomachs. It's quite possible, since it is a Nano and I've seen them eat much bigger items. I keep putting my ear up to their stomachs hoping to hear Bono, but nothing but churning stomachs so far. 

Today's Definite Download: I'm not a big pop music fan, but today I must honor Whitney. Even though, she's known for her big, blustery beautiful songs, this rather low key one is probably my favorite of hers. "My Love Is Your Love." Here she is in concert, with a heartbreakingly sweet, young Bobbi Christina. 

"If I should die this day 
Don't cry cause on Earth we weren't meant to stay.
And no matter what the people say
I'll be waiting for you after the Judgement Day."

Godspeed Whitney, may you find the peace that always eluded you. 


karen said...

Well as usual, I've never seen anyone who can manage to find the fun like you can! Once upon a time I was not afraid of ambushing celebrities, but I've gotten shy. So hiking through "No Trespassing" signs while pretending to be lost on Robert Redford's property in Sundance, will remain a distant memory. (He was very kind to two 14 year old girls who were obviously telling whopping lies.) But you do know how to get the party started, as well as how to leave it.
And perhaps Whitney was the same. Because her body was tired, it was time to leave the party. Too soon for us - we'll miss that glorious voice. But wherever she is, I'm sure she's raising that wonderful voice up in song. Free at last.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

You know, if I could be guaranteed some fun like that I might not be so much of a homebody! It's been so long, I miss it.

Shell said...

If Fabio comes to visit you, I am showing up, too.

And Josh? Oh, he's such a hottie!!!

HEATHER said...

Looks like a wonderful trip! And Josh Duhamel makes those FUGLY plaid golf pants look good! ;-)

Suniverse said...

When are we getting together? Soon, please?

My Inner Chick said...

--I SOOooooo Want to hang out with you!

I love this sentence: ***It was such a hard thing to write and at the same time, one of the easiest**

This is how I felt when I spoke about my sister at her funeral. I also remember looking around and thinking, "Who the hell are all of these people?"

I've missed you, dear! Xx

Julie said...

I do so hope Garth's brother Jonathan marries his girlfriend, whatshername, and that you get invited to the wedding.

You could take Josh Duhamel and George Lopez with you, and wear your "ladies' option" Fabio t-shirt with the lowered letters...

EVERYONE would have a good time.
Plus kicky hair.

Damn straight.

p.s. My fingers are still crossed for you with the querying process...but for some reason, I don't think you need my good luck at all.

Rebecca Grace said...

That kicky blonde hair of yours must be magic! I can't believe I'm feeling envious about going to a golf tournament!!!

Christine Macdonald said...

Love it. Love YOU! Fun times...


Unknown said...

gracious, you sure have all the fun!
I guess I should tell you I've started drinking wine lately. Yes.

Lori said...

Oh, that all looks so fabulous! Nothing like cocktails and celebrities to make anything fun - even golf!

Kimberly said...

You are a bad ass.
So are those signatures going to be templates for tattoos? I mean you need to keep this memory alive for the great grand kids "see this right here little Johnny this was Josh...Joe...well whatever his name was. He
Was gorgeous. And touched my arm right there"

Unknown said...

You are one lucky lady. Josh Duhamel?? Dreamy. And Oliver Hudson is a hottie too. I'm not big on golf, but I could get behind that kind of tournament!

JoAnna said...

I love it when a man offers the lady option.

Only you could end up making a reservation for 10 for George Lopez. I don't know how you get yourself into these fixes but I sure do love reading about them!!

Unknown said...

Alright I'll be the Nicole Richie to your Paris Hilton. YOu know everyone.

And why am I not surprised you're dancing barefoot on a bar?

ProudSister said...

Another crazy vacation with random strangers as new good friends. Love it!

Barb - The Empty Nest Mom said...

Golfing may be YOUR new favorite sport but reading more of your posts is now mine. Where do I begin with this one? Sweet, funny, random AND hotties? What fun. And please - if you remember - mail your upcoming wedding invitation to Mr. Clooney and I in Colorado. We'd love to attend - especially if you're still sportin those autograph tattoos.

Just A Normal Mom said...

WAIT. Why was there not more story about Chris O'Donnell?! Seriously, SO cool. And thought it was hilariously cool that you made GL's dinner reservations! What fun!

Baby Sister said...

Well you definitely know how to enjoy your vacations. :) That's cool that you got to meet Josh!! Lucky chica.

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