Books, Cures, and Poor, Poor Baby Jesus (Updated)


I started a new book.  I can’t tell yet if it is good.  I’m two chapters in and the story has my attention, but the writer writes exactly the way I speak, and I find myself-in-other-people annoying, so I can’t decide whether or not to enjoy it.  I will end up with a grudging appreciation for it, as I do most things that remind me of myself. 

It is funny how we can be repelled by our own personalities.  My dearest friends are usually very different from me.  I gravitate toward big personalities (admittedly, I am one of those), but behind those big personalities are methodical, organized, slow-burning characters.  I have come to realize that the reason I get so irritated with short-fused, paranoid, self-effacing, mercurial talkers is because I am a short-fused, paranoid, self-effacing, mercurial talker.  (Thus, the heroine of the new novel is infuriating, being the poster child for above flaws.)

I do idealize solid people.  I idealize people who are doing the jobs they went to college to learn, and who have done the same jobs for entire career spans.  This fascinates and intrigues me.  To date, the longest I have ever stayed with one industry is five years.  Granted, I have returned to that industry (it also being the industry I most enjoyed), but I don’t feel like that counts because I only returned one peg above where I left it off 15 years ago.  I am in awe of people who commit to a course of career and keep it.

(Telaryn let me know that, “Reports are coming in that the statement is a parody and not, in fact, attributable to Akin.”  Good to know!  I found this retraction/correction.)

A Book Review: Once Upon a Star


Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy…

I finished another memoir last night.  Once Upon a Star, by Peggy Trentini.  If you’ve ever flipped through a lingere catalog and wondered, “What is it like to be a lingere model?” or, more specifically, “What would it have been like to be a lingere model in the late 80s, early 90s?” this is the book for you.

Peggy, a former member of the Swedish Bikini Team, Frederick’s of Hollywood model, and Token T&A actress (you know how in the 80s, there was always at least one gratuitous boobie shot in any movie? that), and lover/mistress of Sylvester Stallone, Vince Neil, Billy Idol, Mick Jagger, Bret Michaels, Johnny Depp, Mark Messier, and Kevin Costner, and possibly the one willing woman in LA that Sean Penn did not sleep with, has written an entertaining little book about what it was like to go to bed with half of Hollywood’s A-list either on, or before the first date.  (And you know it was the 80s because the only mention of condoms is in her having seen some on someone’s bathroom counter.)  I wouldn’t call it a good book.  That would be too far of a stretch, but Trentini comes across as someone I might like to have over for a girls night.  She’d have some great stories, for sure!

What stood out to me:

  • Billy Idol liked to do it on top of a mink bedspread.  I was very worried about a) how sanitary this was, as it is very difficult to clean fur, b) how many different mink bedspreads Billy Idol might have had in order to manage the difficulty of keeping them clean, and c) whether or not the fur would shed?
  • Whether Trentini ever found out why Bret Michaels never takes off his bandana–and I mean never–because she did mention it.
  • How all these men seem to have the stamina of Danielle Steele heroes, after drinking ship-sinking vats of liquor.
  • Life before cell phones was much more private.
  • So THAT is how the Sandra Bullock lesbian rumor got started!
  • I was really worried about that mink bedspread.  Especially, after she mentioned how frequently they got it dirty.

The long and short of it is this:  Sly, Vince, Billy, Mick, Bret, Johnny, Kevin, and Mark were all superior lovers with no flaws, save that they weren’t monogamous.  Trentini had her success in LA, and lived to tell about it.

The book is part adorable, part ridiculous, part salacious, and entirely unbelievable.  If you’ve got a late summer vacation planned, and you need something to read by the pool, give it a whirl.  If only to live vicariously through someone who got to live out Rebel Yell.

3 out of 5 stars for sheer entertainment value

What is Lane Reading?


I read Alison Arngrim’s memoir, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, over the weekend and was so delighted by her sense of humor and so enjoyed her style that I threw myself headfirst into Melissa Gilbert’s, Prairie Tale.  Listen, Nellie was always the best character on Little House.  She only bawled when she came up with a face full of mud, unlike that squinty, squawlbag Half Pint.  Let’s just say that the actors didn’t fall far from the tree.

Prairie Bitch. Prairie Awesome!

Arngrim describes a violent, nightmarish childhood with charm.  Read that sentence again.  This was a child who suffered true abuse and neglect, and who grew up to have not only a sense of humor about it, but a healthy sense of humor.  No whistling in the graveyard with this one.  She’s done her work to heal the wounds, and talks about them like that scene in Lethal Weapon, where Rene Russo and Mel Gibson compare battle scars.

More than that, Arngrim shares her history like she’s talking to a friend.  I want to be her best friend now.  I want to hear the stuff she didn’t tell!

Melissa Gilbert, on the other hand…  Click here and scroll down for the review I gave to Rob Lowe’s memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends.  If the real Melissa Gilbert is anywhere near as insufferable as the author Melissa Gilbert is, she and Rob Lowe were a perfect couple.

I realize that people don’t become actors because they are shy of self-aggrandizement, but this was just silly.  Every other page, Gilbert has broken down in heaving sobs over something or other, or is having a screaming fight with a boyfriend, all the while telling us how she never allowed herself to feel anything, or display any emotion.  Because crying and yelling are what?  Oy.

I am also in the middle of a memoir by Clint Hill, Mrs. Kennedy and Me.  Hill was on Mrs. Kennedy’s secret service detail. He clearly adored his charge, and I am enjoying Camelot through his eyes.  Hill does come off a little like a sophomore in love, and he is more than happy to tell you how awesome he was personally, but that doesn’t detract from his storytelling.  It is also really funny to read about the 60s when it comes to telephones and travel.  I am so spoiled by technology!

What’s next?  Well, I should round out the Little House girls by reading Melissa Sue Anderson’s memoir, The Way I See It.  After all, both Arngrim and Gilbert were blunt that she was the real little hmph on the prairie.  But do I really want to read another book by an actor, telling me how wonderful she is?  Not so close on the heels of Half Pint’s, thanks.

It’s probably time to read some history.