TCM Film Festival Day 1: I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise

3 May


So…my birthday started with a mad dash to the Roosevelt Hotel to be filmed for a “My Retrospective” piece which will air on TCM (As soon as I know when it airs, you’ll know—Mom.) Apparently I’m funny and they wanted to use me to lighten it up from all the heartbreaking stories. (“I love old movies because I used to watch them with my dead Mom, who lost her legs and one elbow.” Yea, not very upbeat!)

After a ride on the world’s slowest elevator, I made it to the penthouse suite and met Kelli and Tim, who I’d been talking to on the interwebs prior to this. Tim was super nice (and a cutie) who took me on a tour of the Gable-Lombard Penthouse Suite.  Check it out:

World's Smallest Windows

That’s just one of the beds in the two story suite. I just don’t understand what the crap is with those weird windows?!

An unusually smog free day.

There’s a huge area to hang out on the rooftop. I remembered to have Tim snag a picture of me up there.

Apparently movies stars desire porcelain skin like mine, somehow I doubt that.

The living room area normally looks like this:

Since they had everything set up for the filming, it actually looked like this:


During my interview we could hear some crazy Islamic rantings over at Hollywood & Highland. (Wonder if they knew we were about to make Osama look like Swiss cheese?) Tim interviewed me and we spend about an hour talking about funny movies and how I force them upon my friends. Hopefully I gave them what they wanted. I was making the camera guys laugh, so I think that’s probably a yes.

While on my way to the front desk I was asked 3 times if I was an actress…so far blondes really do have more fun! I checked into my room and almost threw up when I had to part with a huge chunk of the money I’d been saving all year. (Being Scottish and Jewish always makes parting with money an un-sweet sorrow.) I will say I was blown away with the customer service, they even had TCM on the TV when I walked into the room.


The sliding glass doors opened to this view of the pool:


And yes, I had my own private patio with a cushy lounge chair so I didn’t have to mix with the peasants.

The staff was awesome enough to leave me 6 mini cupcakes and a hand written birthday note. The way to my heart is frosting!

My kind of afternoon delight.

I called for my bags and ran back to get my car from valet so I could make it to my hair appointment on time. The valet guy told me the ticket number my car was under was 666 but that I could never be a devil because I look like an angel. Wow, well…thanks for that!

The check engine light had come on in my car, didn’t matter, I won’t let it ruin my day, I’m on a high at this point. I get to the salon and my hairdresser says,

“Oh, so I guess you didn’t get my message.”


“The power’s out, so I can’t style your hair.”


Long story short everything turned out OK and I was beautified just fine.

I got back, changed and headed over to Grauman’s for the red carpet.


Security wasn’t allowing us over just yet, so I did what I’m best at, made friends with the old ladies surrounding me. While chatting with them, a crazy drunk lady bit it into the metal security barricade, I responded by laughing which made Ben Mankiewicz (who does TCM daytime and who was also standing next to me) look over. I told him, “Well, she’s having a good time.” He wanted to know what party she went to. (He had gorgeous thick hair and I will tell you more about my run ins with him during this weekend later on.)

My more mature friends and I got split up on the red carpet and I met a nice guy from Toronto named Alan, who was also at the festival alone.  The red carpet for the non-celebrities was like a cattle call and I didn’t care for it. That aspect of last year was much more organized.

Hello Dolly!

Alan and I grabbed our complimentary sodas and popcorn, the first and last time those things would be free, and got a seat. Leslie Caron spoke before the movie and she looked amazing. We got to sit behind Jennifer Love Hewitt. Not that my opinion on her matters but I’ll give it anyway; I just can’t stand her, I feel like she thinks she’s a great actress— without doing any sort of great acting. Annoying.

Anywho, the movie was SPECTACULAR on the big screen. The colors were magnificent and the dancing was fun to see on a ginormous screen. When the movie ended I got to go to a Hollywood Party! Oh yes, I went to a Vanity Fair Party for my birthday. What was it like? Like this:

Well—sort of, but I did walk in with Shaft himself. I suppose that makes me a bad mother by association. As soon as I walked in I grabbed a champagne off a tray and cheered Alan to a great time. After a few more drinks I decided we needed to search out food since I hadn’t eaten since noon and had no desire to be hung over the following morning. The ONLY bad part about the party was the food sucked. For the longest time all I could find was steak tartar and salmon patties, bleck! I needed something to soak up the booze. While walking around we saw that the celebrities were sectioned off into couch shaped cages.

Celebrities in Captivity

Mickey Rooney’s ancient ass was there, Peter O’Toole, Leslie Caron, Ben McKenzie, Shaft, Ann Rutherford, Priscilla Presley and Hugh Hefner were in attendance as well. So was this chick:

If any of you were wondering, yes I am getting you this outfit for your birthday.

I know you can’t really see the full dress but it’s a floor length red velvet Victorian style gown. What. The. Hell? Thankfully she was sans boyfriend. If she had come with one, I think I would have gone right out and purchased 12 more cats since all would have been lost at that point in regards to my pitiful dating life. Alan ran into Shaft again, was he stalking Alan or something?

Party Pal Alan

We went to lounge outside and sat next to two nice guys. One of them asked what I was there to see and told me he was there to introduce ‘Night At The Opera.’ That guy happened to be Andy Marx, Groucho Marx’s grandson. He was very nice and we chit chatted about comedy writing, movies and bicycle riding until his wife came and got him to leave.

The night progressed and so did the food, bacon wrapped dates–pretty good– and so did the drinking.

Open Bars are FANTASTIC!

There was a guy wandering around, double fisting drinks and showing off a baseball that he had celebrities sign. By this time I had made another old lady friend, Zillah, who yelled at him for being an idiot since he had no idea who had signed this ball of his. She was a match made in heaven for me, sassy old lady meets sassy old lady in a young girl’s body. She asked if I was going to see Debbie Reynolds on Friday and then demanded that I save her a spot in line, of course I did!

The house lights were turned on, which meant, get the hell out!

Alan and I went across to 25 Degrees and I had my first taste of cheese in 5 months. It was in the form of a 3 way grilled cheese sandwich and it was magical.

I got back to my room at almost 3 AM, where my bed had been turned down and there were 2 packages from my little brother, who was in town for the day. He left me a gift from Macy’s, cupcakes and most importantly, frosting from Smith’s. THANK YOU MORGAN!!! You bet your ass I ate straight frosting before bed and it was great!

Perfect ending to a perfect day.

I had to be a breakfast at 8AM, but that’s to be continued…


8 Responses to “TCM Film Festival Day 1: I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise”

  1. MAYBELLINE May 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

    It looks like someone is about to punch Robert Osborne in the celebrity couch corral.

  2. Taylor Cast May 3, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

    You’re fantastic. One day I’ll say I knew you when….you threw a stroller into a man made body of water.

  3. Suzanne Blender May 4, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

    Jennifer Love Hewitt. . .ahhhh! You are SO right about her!

  4. MAYBELLINE May 7, 2011 at 6:41 AM #

    Why can’t I find the soundtrack for An American in Paris on Rhapsody?


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