In every Los Angeles woman’s life, there comes a day when she is invited to a momentous event, something that no-doubt happens daily in Hollywood, but is riveting to your average mid-westerner: The Wrap Party.

Now, I just texted best friend L for advice on what to wear to a wrap party:

Ann: So, im going to a wrap party thursday and have no idea what a girl wears to a wrap party.

L: Hah, I don’t even know what a wrap party is.

Ann: It’s for the end of filming a movie. The celebration. D invited me.

L: Ooh! Definitely a cute dress. For some reason I thought it was a party where people get together and wrap presents… like a wake but w ribbons and not sad. Hah!

Ann: Ha! That makes sense. I may have to go shopping tomorrow to find something appropriate. I wish you could come with me!

While this mid-western girl is not excited about hanging out with Hollywood girls in skimpy clothing, she is excited about building her own outfit for the outing and hanging around D, and his brother G, and G’s girlfriend N. But back to the outfit, I’m looking for something adorable but not skanky and eye-catching without screaming I’M AVAILABLE. Because I’m not.

Unless you’re David Duchovny.

Who, by the way, could possibly be there because his wife Tea Leoni is in the film (Wife? Wife schmife). Also, Billy Bob Thorton is in it. I just can’t get away from Arkansas. And no, Dick Van Dyke will not be there. He ended up either not getting or not taking the part. (That was mostly fyi for you, Friend AA. There will be no luncheons with Dick Van Dyke where I place a cardboard cut-out of you at the table, and no chim-chimeny-chim-chim.)

Tonight I pulled out my fashion book to look through it for inspiration. It is a binder with ripped out magazine pages from fashion magazines and catalogs throughout the last 3 years. It is my way of holding onto aspects of magazines that I like without having to drag a huge magazine collection with me whenever I move. I put the pictures in plastic page protectors according to category, and each category is divided by tabs. Obsessive? Yes. But I love it. I look through it when I’m trying to get my creativity flowing, and I’m amazed at how many pieces I could create just from revamping something old.

Anyway, I even googled “wrap party” in Google Images to see what other girls have worn to wrap parties. I ended up with a bunch of photos of people schmoozing with celebrities, but not much in the lines of classy-wrap-party-wear.

So, friends, I ask your advice:

What does a tasteful girl wear to a wrap party?

As Good As It Gets

June 27, 2008

Tonight it occurred to me that perhaps I have been blogging too long.

The discipline it takes to do real writing is killing me. Tonight was my second night of pushing myself to write the bigfoot novel, and man, I’m out of practice with this literary writing stuff. Gimme a short little blog post with caps lock and quips and small events involving strange people, and I’m good. Throw a novel at me, and I want to vomit.

As far as I can tell, my writing abilities peaked early, at age 21 when I was taking a poetry class in college and surrounded by massively inspiring individuals who helped me so much, and now I am left barren just five years later. Oh, why didn’t I have more babies when I could? the barren woman must ask. Tonight I keep thinking about poems and stories and even journal entries (this was in the olden days, two years before I started blogging) and thinking, How did I do that? How did I push myself into that voice, into those words, into writing good stuff? I used to be so good at descriptions. Now I’m so out of practice. I wish I would have savored my college workshop time more when I had it. Now it has left me with nothing but self-criticism. I almost wish I had never gone to school for writing. Then I could blissfully write without worrying about sucking, like most New York Times bestsellers.

So, tonight, discouraged, I leave you with something I wrote during the prime of my writing life, a time of the past, deeply remembered and missed with longing… a poem. And even though I know this little snippet is nothing compared to the Billy Collinses and Anne Sextons and Sylvia Plaths and other bigwigs of the poetry industry, it was pretty big for me. Yeah, my writing sucks tonight. So, I hold on to the memories and sing a sad, sad song, the type that Willie Nelson might write. And I aspire to step back a few years, when I was in the vein of good words, back to 2004, a pretty good year.

Her Need

After all the lights dissolve,
it enfolds her like midnight soaks the stars,
where she lies with him in that room, white
sheets and four walls
and a sharp window
light where dust spirals.

His body turns to her, his eyes following
the curve of her
skin on the sheet.
The bed creaks as his skin whispers
against the sheet, and he presses his face to her chest.

He sleeps when their breathing cools, but
she lies awake remembering
the thrust of her breasts against his weight
and the taste of smooth salt and how
he opened his eyes to hers for that one short moment
before they dissolved like fireflies.
She had hoped he would touch her hair.

With her thoughts, she drifts
into the slow descent of sleep, where
they are two
dunes on the edges of the bed,
shielded to their chins
in the sheet,
like the rising light lined
through the blinds –

It awakens
softly with her,
slips with her
into the clothes on the floor,
where she still smells his sweat in the thread,
dropped to the boards in heaps, empty and lovely
like autumn’s red and fading, fallen leaves.

Friends, I’ve updated the Cast of Characters section of the blog, so now it has state-of-the-art, up-to-date information for your reading pleasure. No need to thank me. Your small donations will prove sufficient gratitude.

The other day while eating lunch by Santa Monica beach, a one-legged pigeon accosted me. Perhaps he was upset because I laughed half-sympathetically, half-sardonically at his foot-less situation as he hopped all around the dirt, wobbling like a drunk while he scratched for crumbs.

Not a whole lot of crawly/jumpy/rodent-y things scare me. The last apartment I had in Arkansas was infested with brown recluse spiders. Yeah, I probably should’ve gotten that taken care of, but Francis the Kitten was such a good little exterminator, and did you know that animals rarely get spider bites? Bugs don’t bother me unless they’re grasshoppers or centipedes. Or dead. Do not like dead things. But even though little animal/insect things don’t bug me (pun intended), I have to admit that this one-legged pigeon may have Hitchcock-ed me into a spook.

Perhaps it is my knowledge of classic movies, or growing up watching Animaniacs and having recently re-watched The Godfather. Whatever the case, I am still thinking about that bird and imagining his one foot scratching out my eyes. Or him pulling out a machine gun from underneath that wing and taking me to the mattresses.

I fed the banana peel to the cute little squirrel-like, prairie dog creature who came right up to me like a puppy, and I spoke to him softly as he took the banana peel from my hand, hoping he would keep the Godpigeon away.

D’s car has been sitting in an impound lot at a towing company in Brentwood for two months.

We thought it stolen, and along with it, several of his journals, one very important photograph of his dad, and his schoolbooks and notebooks. Included in the once-assumed-stolen paraphernalia were one pair of his sister’s shoes and a yellow polo shirt. Last night D and I had the honor of going to said impound lot and cleaning out his stuff from the car, after his dad called saying a letter had come to their house stating that the car had been impounded for over two months. If y’all are not familiar with the situation, D’s car was stolen from outside my apartment the day after his birthday. Or so we thought.

Apparently the LAPD towed it for expired license tabs. And when D and I went up to the police department to file a report, the LAPD couldn’t find the car in the system. Therefore, they declared it stolen. Yesterday while we were driving away after collecting D’s stuff from the car, I said, “You know, your car really did get stolen. By the police.”

D is really happy to get his stuff back and jazzed for a fight. By law the LAPD is required to notify owners of cars that their cars have been impounded within 72 hours of impoundment. D’s car has been sitting in that lot since 1 p.m. on April 4. We filed the police report around 4 p.m. on April 4. No one received word of the car’s whereabouts until the afternoon of June 20. There is also the little problem of the insurance company issuing money to pay off the car loan. These are a few things he needs to figure out.

This whole week has been a little rough, and I’ve been battling some pretty intense streaks of anxiety. But when D called me late Friday afternoon with a classic, “Get this…” and he told me the news, his words filled me with the overwhelming sense that everything in my life is going to be all right. Even if the car hadn’t been found, D would have been all right. And even if I can never get my car A.C. fixed or make more money or go to Minnesota in August or write the great American novel, I’m going to be all right.

After re-claiming the stuff we went on this terrific spontaneous date in which we walked on the Santa Monica beach and pier. D played on some of the gymnast equipment on the beach and impressed me with his Mad Rope Climbin’ Skillz. The sand soothed my warm, work-stressed feet. We walked through the crowds of people on the pier, and I felt a part of something young and sweeping.

There were crowds of people and smells of pop corn, funnel cake, churros, and the ocean. Seals were barking out somewhere, probably floating on a buoy we couldn’t see. Young girls were dressed like they were in their twenties — I commented to D that the fourteen-year-olds looked older than I do, cramming their feet into stilletos to deny their mid-’90s birthdays as much as possible. Young dads chased after their kids, and older dads played air hockey with their daughters, feeding quarters into the machine at the arcade. D had coffee, but I was too hot and drank a cup of ice water. We walked and watched until the Friday work day caught up with me. I took him home to his bungalow in the Hollywood Hills, where the hills block the breezes so the night swelters. We had to walk up the steep hill to the bungalow because my car engine grew warm from the heat of the day and driving up hill, stop and go. We hauled his once-stolen stuff up to the bungalow, and I sat outside for a while before I left to let what little hot breeze there was wash over me.

This was the house I came to over a year ago when I visited him from Arkansas, the trip which pushed us to make the decision that it might work out if I moved to California. Before that we had been too nervous, too unsure, but that visit felt so right. And when he came down the stairs to where I sat waiting, it felt right to see his face above mine, as it had felt so right to help him clean the stuff out of his car earlier that day, and so right to experience his excitement that what was once lost is now found.

Some people back home think I moved here to get engaged. They ask my friends and family, “Is she engaged yet?” and the answer is no, I am not, and that will probably not happen for a long time. They say things like, “Didn’t she move there for a guy?” and the answer is no, I did not.

A while back I realized for the first time that being anxious all the time is not normal. I realized that I have a problem I need to address, and one way to address that problem is to constantly do the things that scare me. I had lost a sense of peace, and I thought it was gone forever. I thought that anxiety would always be part of my life and that God had put it there to make me push myself, to make me stronger, to let it lift away whatever chaff I possess. Now I realize that I really didn’t lose that peace at all — a lot of other things just got in the way. And lately, there have been a few days where I have felt completely at peace, completely free, and I realize that victory is mine even though I don’t always feel it. In a lot of ways D brings that peace to me because of his constant hope, and his confidence and assurance that everything is going to be fine. It’s as if we’ve both helped each other scoop up the stuff we once thought was taken from us into plastic grocery bags to take home.

I didn’t move to meet up with D. I moved to meet up with a piece of me I thought was gone. Moving to L.A. scared me more than anything I’ve ever experienced, and yet I am here, I am in an apartment, I have a job, I’m making enough money to cover my expenses, I’m making friends, and every day is a new adventure. I’ve had to roll with a lot of changes lately, a lot of situations that aren’t ideal, but at this point in my life, I need to relax. I’m tired of merely coping with the things that disappoint or scare me. I want to face them with the confidence of someone who has conquered many fears.

Tagged: Narcissism

June 19, 2008

K tagged me.

I’m not tagging anyone in particular back — but this might be a good opportunity for readers I have never met to get involved. Lurkers, if you don’t want to say hi, no problem. I lurk on several blogs myself because that’s the thrill of blogging, isn’t it? You get to snoop into other people’s lives without their knowledge. Voyeurism, baby. Voyeurism.

On the other hand, if you would like to say hi, but you’re a little shy and have been waiting for an opportunity, here it is. I’d like to know about you. And judging from the fact that I get an average of 5 comments per post, compared to an average of 250 hits per day, there are a lot of you. Or just a lot of people out there looking for long-distance relationship advice, dachshund pictures, and naked mermaids. Sickos.

So, here’s the opportunity. Katie tagged me in a modern day chain letter, which was not started by 6 kids in Germany, and you will not have the responsibility of getting in the Guiness Book of World Records looming over your head. I don’t know how many times I got that stupid chain letter started by 6 kids in Germany when I was a kid, or how many friends I alienated by passing it on. It was a catch-22 — send it on and feel guilty because your friends hate you, OR don’t send it on and feel guilty because you’re ruining the dreams of 6 kids in Germany. Sometimes I would include a stick of gum or a sticker in the letters to my friends just to ease the tension.

Still, this modern day chain letter is a little more fun because we get to be self-absorbed. Hoorah narcissism! Here’s what I do: Write down 10 weird facts, habits, or goals I have. Here’s what you do if you want to: write down however many weird facts, habits, or goals you have. I really do want to know about you all. Last night D told me I am very sincere, and that is one of the reasons he likes me. Listen to D. I am sincere. If you feel compelled to contribute, I would be honored.

1.) The pillow that I have been using since my sophomore year in college leaks these wispy, downy feathers all over the place. It has done this since it was brand new. I have to put 4 pillow cases on it to keep it from multing all over my room. Some would suggest getting a new pillow, but trust me, this pillow is amazing. I have gotten many compliments on it, as well as been the victim of many failed attempts at petty theft.

2.) Roommate Girl J once pointed out that whenever someone compliments me on a piece of clothing, that person gets the following information a.) where I bought the item, b.) how much it cost, c.) why it only cost that much, and d.) any story related to said item. For example, let’s say you compliment me on my Marilyn Monroe dress. My response would be as follows: “Thank you! I got it at the Salvation Army! It was only $10, originally $18, but it was on sale. I bought it with my friend M while I was in Minnesota last winter, and I had to hem it up and take it in, but it’s one of my favorites!”

3.) My feet are so small that I can wear little girl shoes.

4.) In high school my friend AJ and I had a fascination with taking photos of toilets or taking pictures of one another rushing into bathrooms in many different scenarios: her walking into the boys’ room at school with a stack of seven books, including one massive dictionary; us standing like decorative, Gretian statues on either side of the door of a public men’s room as a man walked in, unaware of our photographic sneakiness; us simply standing by toilets and smiling… best among these are the baby toilet from a church nursery, and a seventies toilet from I don’t know where. We always meant to assemble these in a book alongside pictures of all our friends named John.

5.) I was Anne of Green Gables in a musical version of the play my junior year in high school.

6.) I wrote a 200-page novel in fifth grade called The Best Years of Our Lives. It was about 16-year-old triplets growing up in St. Jeremiah, Minnesota in the 1860’s. The book mostly covered their plights in love, including their coming out party. Please note that coming out in the 1860’s was much different than how the term is used today. The triplets were named after me, my cousin, and my best friend at the time.

7.) The best friend at the time from above ended up being a chronic liar. I found out toward the end of our friendship that most of the things she had told me were lies. At that point, her character in the novel suddenly stopped having luck in love and grew ugly and reclusive, all while my character and my cousin’s character were doing amazing things like riding astride horses like men, winning shooting competitions, and sneaking into boxing matches to cheer on the men they loved. The moral of the story is, never become a chronic liar. Then you will become a lonely spinster in the novel written about your life.

8.) Select few people call me Annie, and I really like it when they do. My two-year-old niece Lydia is my favorite of all those who call me Annie.

9a.) I potty-trained myself. Two years ago.

9b.) I like to state fascinating truths. And then follow up with lies.

10.) Name any animated Disney movie prior to The Lion King, and I can sing you most, if not all, of its soundtrack. I also know several musicals by heart.


Dear Los Angeles,

You may be interested to know that this afternoon I was walking across a busy street, and a young, attractive man in some sort of BMW sports car stopped so I could cross. I also had to cross the street perpendicular to the former street, and as I walked, I looked up to find Beamer Boy inching along beside me, smiling at me, until the driver behind him honked him out of his auto-to-pedestrian flirtation. I merely smiled and continued walking because I know it wasn’t really me he was watching.

It was my dress.

You see, yesterday I had brunch with the Ladies Who Brunch, and afterward, we all traveled to Santa Monica to hit up thrift stores as if they were our drugs. As I was paying for the great paraphernalia I scored:

(White Bebe sweater jacket with leather and rabbit fur for $18

Brand new with tags J. Crew tweed skirt for $20 — the tag says it was originally $98),

I chatted with the clerk a little, and she knew quite a bit about vintage fashion. My friend K and I had been trying on glamorous hats because K was looking for a great one for swing dancing. I am looking for a hat because I’m going to an outdoor wedding at a country club in a few weeks, and I simply must wear a hat. Simply must. The clerk said, “Hang on a minute. I just got a great little vintage dress in the back that I just cleaned up.” It’s so refreshing to run into other people who speak Vintage.

She presented the dress to me — a blue and cream printed silk dress with a full skirt and fitted bodice, and a matching belt. Someone my grandma’s age made that dress in her youth, and it’s so, I’m-a-little-French-girl-exploring-the-city-as-the-wind-carries-

The blue matches my eyes. It fits my shape perfectly. This is why I always say I should have been born in the ’40s or ’50s — the clothes just fit me better. I am convinced that this dress is magic, and that you, Los Angeles, brought it to me for the low, no-hassle price of $19.99.

Its enchantment reached everyone I met today. My boss complimented me twice. TWICE! My supervisor was particularly nice to me today. Coincidence? I think not. And just before Beamer Boy sidled along on that historic walk, a man on a bicycle stopped in the middle of the street to say, “That is a very nice outfit.” My girls at Wachovia leaned out of their bank stalls to take a glance.

And even though I have a boyfriend that I care about very much, I have to admit that having a cute BMW driver take notice of the girl who works as an assistant in an upper, windowless office and drives a crumpled Mercury Sable with 160,000 miles on it felt like a rite of passage. Part of me wanted to yell, “Hey, man! You don’t want me! I’m a mid-westerner! I thought BMW was a brand of men’s underwear before I moved here! I’ve cleaned up horse excrement with a shovel and wheel barrow while dressed as a clown in a small-town parade! It’s the dress! It’s the dress that you want! Cover your ears before it sings to you, and your captain must tie you to the deck!”

Somehow this funny little exchange filled me with a sense of belonging, Los Angeles, and perhaps this is why you brought my enchanted dress to me. Lately life here has been a constant contrast of where I grew up and where I am now. Perhaps it is like this for everyone in their 20’s who have moved far from home. I will never really be the girl that that BMW Boy is looking for, and I really don’t want to be. I don’t value things like expensive cars, I and I don’t slow down while driving to check out attractive guys (*D sighs with relief and mops the sweat off his brow*). I find that most young men who have enough money to buy BMW’s have more money than anyone in their 20’s should ever be entitled to. Beauty and strength rest in money struggles, struggles we all ought to experience while we’re young so we know what many of our parents went through to get where they are, and so we are grateful for all they sacrificed to give us life. I’m sure that guy in the BMW would have been surprised if I had told him his grandmother could have made the dress I wore, and that whoever made it probably made it because she didn’t have enough money to buy a new one.

If this dress had a slogan, maybe it would be, “Giving beauty to poor women for over fifty years.”

Thank you for saving it for me.

Your tenant,

Over the weekend, D helped me move into a different bedroom in my amazing little apartment, and even though Roommate Girl J moved out, and I miss her considerably, I have to admit that my new room is pretty great. It’s further away from the living room and kitchen than my old room was, and the silence is wonderful.

This afternoon after brunching with the Ladies Who Brunch from my church small group, and going to a few area thrift stores (I scored some GREAT clothes… will have to post pictures), I worked on putting my things away in my new room. It was also about time to do laundry (read: I had about five loads to do), so I diligently hauled all my garb down to the apartment laundry room and filled the two washers with the first two loads. Another person was putting his clothing in one of the dryers. When I returned, I put my clothes in the other dryer and put in two more loads of wash. This means that both washers and both dryers were running. When I went down about a half hour ago to switch over the laundry, all the laundry equipment had stopped. Halfway through. Read: One load only half dry, two loads soaking wet in soapy water. On a Sunday night, when flaky landlords do not respond to emergency pages. All I wanted to ask was, Where is the fuse box? PLEASE, can’t someone tell me where the fuse box is? BLAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

After picking up a fleece sweatshirt and a hoodie and wringing them as best I could, I realized that I would just have to leave the clothes soaking in the water. No one in my complex will steal them — it’s a four-plex where only one young girl besides me lives now that Girl J has left the building, and I know her. If anything’s missing, I could just run upstairs and ask if she stole stuff. She’s nice. She wouldn’t lie, no, no she wouldn’t.

So, anyway, in light of the frustrating circumstances, I must say that tonight, for the first time, I don’t feel bad at all about how many articles of clothing I own. Because those three loads of laundry? They’ve got nothing on what’s still in my closet.

Now I will post pictures. I’m not very good at keeping up with that. But I’ve got some good ones.

From the trip to Tennessee: My nephew, Ezra, who turned 1 in March

Ezra, waiting for breakfast.

My niece, Lydia, who will turn 3 in July

Play-Doh and ice cream… a lovely combination.
Don’t worry — those are sprinkles on top of the ice cream.

D’s brother G and me, pretending I thought he was D until a moment before our embrace.
These would be our expressions, were we to actually make that mistake.
You gotta love dating a twin.

D, our friend B, and I went to see the movie Ironman at the Arclight, a very important theater in Hollywood. The suit behind us is the actual suit Robert Downey, Jr. wore in the film.
It’s super cool.We are posing like it, but unfortunately,
we were not able to capture the full-body effect of foot-stance and all.
Great, great film.

Dearly Departed Roommate Girl J and me before going to see Sex and the City: The Movie.
I assure you that Roommate Girl J is, indeed, wearing clothing,
and that is not just a strategically placed glass.

From Tennessee: We went to Oakridge, Tennessee, where the plans for the Manhattan project were made in the ’40s. The Atomic Bomb was tested in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but not many people know that all the plans were made in Oakridge. This is a museum about Oakridge in the 1940s, and amazingly enough, they have stuffed and preserved Albert Einstein’s body for the viewing pleasure of all visitors.

A most-familiar pose for my philosopher boyfriend.
It’s a virtual smörgåsbord for the mind.

My beloved city, Los Angeles, from the top of the hill where G lives in Laurel Canyon.

And finally, a 16-foot taxidermied Great White Shark, which D and I saw on our date Saturday night.
This lovely shark is on display at a gift shop on Fisherman’s Wharf in Manhattan Beach.
It looks like D forgot to smile for the picture, but I guess that’s okay —
that shark is baring enough teeth for all of us.

Borderline Serious

June 11, 2008

You may not believe this if you don’t know me for real, or if you know me really, really well, but in real life I am actually somewhat of a shy, quiet person. Some have even thought me stuck up because of my tendency to sit on the fringe of social situations rather than jumping in the middle.

Tonight I realized that since meeting my boyfriend, I’ve become a lot more socially funny. Being with him is almost like taking a class called How to Be Funny. I learn through immersion. I guess his confidence just rubs off on me like imitation gold. Or maybe he just tells enough bad jokes that I know it’s ok to have a few of them flop every once-in-a-while.

I also realized tonight that I’ve become a lot more apt to confront. A lot more honest about my feelings. And a lot more honest about my mistakes. We had an intense conversation the other night. I only almost started crying once. Just once! And that, my friends, is an amazing feat for me. Not that crying is bad — it is appropriate sometimes — but I tend to do a lot of it, being the sensitive, emotional type.

D asked me the other night if I thought therapy was a good idea again. Now, this could be an insult for some, but he was really being very intuitive. The last several months have been hard for me. In college I went to therapy for a semester when I was overloaded with work, and all the activities I was involved in, and having a hard time with some friends. It was really helpful. I’m not ashamed of it in the least. In fact, I think people who make fun of therapy are pretty narrow-minded. It has helped a lot of people get through some rough times in a very healthy way. D asked and was concerned because I started feeling an anxiety attack coming on when we were leaving a movie theater. Now, we had just gone to see the new Indiana Jones flick, and though I won’t tell you exactly what happens or be overly critical, let’s just say that it could very well have been the cause of my anxiety attack.

In a way, D’s question gave me permission to think back on the past few months and look at them in terms of progress. The near-anxiety attack came so suddenly the other day that it was a little scary. We sat on the curb at a lovely shopping center called The Grove for quite a while until I felt calm enough to go home. I hadn’t had a lot of time to introvert over the weekend, and there were so many people, and it was so noisy, and it was a hot day, so perhaps all these things combined pushed me over the edge. And it was a little scary and embarrassing. But the good thing is that I felt it coming, and I was able to talk myself out of it. When I think about these past few months in L.A. and how they have affected me, I realize that I really have come a long way, because three years ago? I would have been having anxiety attacks as frequently as I did while student teaching… every few weeks. Nearly having one for the first time in six months? That’s progress, baby. PROGRESS.

Today D called me and said that he was driving to Dick Van Dyke’s house.


“Dick Van Dyke.”

“You mean Dick Van Dyke.”

“Yes, Dick Van Dyke. I have to deliver a script to him.”

Please note, internet, that this exchange was not as calm as it sounds in type. Let me re-emphasize:


“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! D,” I said, “He’s not just a celebrity! He’s… he’s…. chim-chim-e-ny, chim-chim!”

“I know. The producer I’m working for sent me to deliver a script to him. I guess he’s going to be in the movie.”

“What are you going to say to him? Oh, I know, I know, tell him a joke from Mary Poppins. Ask him…. oh, now I can’t remember a joke from Mary Poppins… something about ‘What do you call a man with a wooden leg named Smith?'”

“Excuse me, Mr. Dick Van Dyke, in the movie Mary Poppins –”

“No, no, you can’t say Mary Poppins. You have to see if he remembers.”

“You’re right. Excuse me, Mr. Dick Van Dyke, but what do you call a man with a wooden leg named Smith?”

“No, no, that’s not the joke. Don’t say that. It’s not the joke. AREN’T YOU SO EXCITED?”

“Yes! I mean, I don’t know if I’ll even meet him. Someone else might answer the door, but wouldn’t it be cool if I met him?”

“Is this a joke? Are you making this up?”

“No, it’s not a joke. I’m driving to his house.”

“Where does he live?”

“Malibu. Do you want his exact address?”

Ann pauses. “Why yes, I do. Actually, no. The next time we are in Malibu, if his house isn’t gated, maybe you can drive me by there.”

“Sure. I’d love to take you to Dick Van Dyke’s house.”

“And maybe you could show me the windows.”

“The windows?”

“Yes. Up close.”

“I suppose you’d like me to bring binoculars.”

“Yes. I mean, you know, if you want.”

And just to break into this conversation I realized just now, as I’m typing this, that not only is Mr. Van Dyke an amazing star in his own right, but he played opposite Julie Andrews and, AND MARY TYLER MOORE! It’s almost as amazing as meeting Mary Tyler Moore herself. And now it just dawned on me that what he should have said to Dick Van Dyke is, “You know you can say it backwards, which is dociousaliexbeciousfragicallyrufus, but that’s going to be too far, don’t you think?”

D called me later to tell me that he did, indeed meet Dick Van Dyke and even speak to him. He was let in the gate, walked right up to the door, rang that doorbell and spoke to Dick Van Dyke.

As the song goes, a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be. The next time I see D, I guess he will have to aw blow me a kiss, cause ‘at’s lucky too!