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December 19, 2005

Audrey Hepburn's Neck

By Harley

The ugly truth about blogs?

People get exploited. I began with noble intentions, but now, months later, I don’t care who I use. Loved ones are pawns in my game, cogs in The Lipstick Chronicles machine. You walk through my life, you’re material. Especially if you walk through on a Saturday.

I exploit my children, who can’t yet read. I exploit the dogs, who can read, but aren’t interested unless it’s about cats or skunks or leftovers. I exploit my husband, who’s so buried in the Newmarket v. Icon arbitration that I live in expectation of the day he looks at me and says, “And you are—?”

We all do it. Sarah and Nancy do it with a lot more at stake, as their children are literate. Susan is utterly shameless and will describe in exquisite, salacious detail guys who—no, wait. Those weren’t blogs, those were personal e-mails. Never mind.

My blog hasn’t destroyed any friendships. That I know of. But the thing is, unless you alert me to the fact that “I’m not speaking to you; you’re Dead to me” I’m not likely to pick up on it. Subtle social cues don’t work. I’m nearsighted and distracted and may already be confusing you with your brother.

But once in awhile I have a Monday morning quarterback moment. I think, “maybe So and So would prefer me not to put words in their mouth, words they might’ve said, but didn’t say with the expectation of having them published, for a bunch of strangers to comment on.

So recently I e-mailed my agent. “Renée,” I said. “I’m not sure you ever use the word ‘fabulous’ in conversation, like you did in my blog. Possibly you say ‘great’ or ‘terrific.’ Shall I print a retraction?”

Renée wrote back, assuring me that she was willing to show up in TLC saying “fabulous” but was shocked that I hadn’t mentioned the resemblance between her and Audrey Hepburn. Especially as regards their long, swanlike necks.

You know, I’m blessed. Not only do I have an agent who returns calls and answers e-mails within SECONDS, who works tirelessly on my behalf, even when I’m ill-advised enough to sign fly-by-night contracts without running them by her first, who agonizes with me over spelling discrepancies and character arcs, who knows the names of my children, husband and dogs, and keeps track of which one is throwing up all over her car seat that week, not only does this amazing, intelligent, sensitive, and yes—fabulous—person send me designer chocolates, but when the FedEx truck drops the box in the driveway, and then backs over it while driving away, smashing the chocolates flat (I ate them anyway) she phones in the Damaged Package/Your Driver Is An Idiot report, all while looking EXACTLY LIKE AUDREY HEPBURN. Is it that long, swanlike neck? Yes.

And now, having used people for my nefarious purposes for the last half-year, I’d like to use the blog to say goodbye to six people who will be spending their holidays this year in the Great Beyond: Mario Misci, who was kind to my husband all through college. Kayo Hatta, writer/director of PICTURE BRIDE, who inspired me to think bigger. Ossie Davis, a legend in his own time. Wendie Jo Sperber, whose presence on a set made it a good day to show up at work. John Spencer, who kept me sober one week. Dan Reinehr, who kept me laughing for 33 years.

You are loved. You are missed. You are not replaceable.

Happy Monday . . .



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You mean, "Miss Wendie Jo Sperber," as her name appears in the credits for the classically bad "Used Cars."

Harley, I have only communicated with Renee via email, but somehow I *knew* she looked like Audrey Hepburn.

My children now catch themselves when say clever things. Then they cut their eyes at me, and I see the thought cross their minds. "Oh, God, she's going to blog about that."

I'm getting desperate for blog subjects. Maybe over the holidays we should ask our loyal readers what they'd like us to blab---er---blog about. Or maybe they'd prefer we'd shut up?

Hey, maybe Renee would guest blog??

hold on, hold on. you have an agent who sends you chocolates?!! What am I doing wrong?

Sarah, wouldn't you prefer a size 6 dress that fits? I write this not meaning to be offensive--you may recall that I said you looked good at the reunion, and I have never criticized your weight.

No, no, no! Don't shut up! I will not get through the holidays without my morning coffee-and-Tarts. I have it all planned -- when I will get up, what time I'll land in front of the computer, how long I will take to enjoy myself with e-mail and blogs, how long I will work before heading out to the farm to ride . . .

I must stick to the plan, starting tomorrow, or all kinds of Very Bad Things will happen. I'm not exactly sure what they will be, but they will be Very Bad. I just know it.

So please, blog about family, pets, writing, readinig, lazing in front of the fire place. Invite Margie and Hazel to take turns, along with any other guests you might be able to coerce, er, entice, into the job. Just please don't leave us all hanging . . .

Josh, I know of no reputable agent who sends their clients Christmas/Chanukah presents of size 6 dresses. At least, not literary agents. Here in Hollywood, I'm sure it's been done.

Harley, in Hollywood, no one would dare admit to wearing a 6. If you wear a 6, your bones don't show through your arms, and what use is that?

Harley, your agent should feel honoured to be blogged about. A wonderful tribute.

And your heartfelt farewell to lost friends and colleagues was touching.

Though I certainly never worked with them, I'm terribly touched by the recent losses of John Spencer and "Miss" Wendie Jo Sperber, one surprisingly sudden, the other so tragically inevitable....

Dear Ms. Kozak --

While I have to confess to a long-standing yen for Audrey Hepburn and her swan-like neck, so erotic in the Japanese fashion, me and the boys have to tell you that we prefer yours.

You know, Ms. Kozak, you do a lot of kind and selfless things that never make it into your blog.

So in the spirit of Christmas, me and the boys want to let you know that YOU are loved. YOU are missed. YOU are irreplaceable.

And here's a little pic to remind you of that, if you ever get to feeling glum.

Thanks, Harley, for all that you do.


Dag nab gubmint servers. Now I got to steal civilian bandwidth.

Try this...


Harley, who ARE those guys????

I have a single daughter. (That's her you hear screaming right now.) I'm just saying.

Great pic (love the blanked out parts). I'll have to get my special agent in Phoenix on this one. I think she can analyze the ball caps and terrain to solve this mystery for once and for all.

Hey, Harley, you are the best sister ever not to repeat any of my personal emails in your blogs. "Our" mother might have a heart attack. Though she'd have to figure out how to get online and to the blog first, wouldn't she? Phew.

Hey, Nancy, ditto what Kerry said. After checking emails, TLC is the first thing I go to in the morning--it always starts my day with a good laugh and a better outlook (unless it's a sad or serious blog).

Harley, we went to the same high school in Lincoln, NE!

Susan, your request has been noted. I'm on it!!

Don't worry. If I stop talking to you, you'll know it. I always announce that I'm not talking to someone.

And you'd be in good company. I haven't been talking to some of my best friends for years. Hasn't affected our friendships in the least. See, this is an example of me not talking to someone. :)


I really don't want to hear any more on this subject. You want topics? In alphabetical, chronological or topical form?

We'll give you topics, won't we, fellow posters? And for all you lurkers (people who read but don't comment - nothing wrong with it, of course, as long as you know that ANYONE can post - you don't need to be invited), now may be a good time to make your opinion known. I'm just saying.

Too many losses already this year.

Okay, I just checked out that photo, which, in my distracted state, I expected to be a picture of my agent's neck. (distraction due to my firstborn's bout of stomach flu. Whole lotta vomit going on. And laundry.)

Nancy, I'm not sure what being single has to do with it, exactly, or why your dear daughter's screaming, but -- is that a good thing?

Is this thing with Secret Admirer vs. Secret Agent going to get TLC shut down by the Dept. of Homeland Security? Do you suppose our president is monitoring us even as I type?

Harley, you are opening a can of worms there with the mention of the president, and nothing good can come of it.

But the answer is, no, he probably is not monitoring it. Maybe if SB hadn't been cancelled, or if you hadn't been killed off, but otherwise, no.

Josh, you're right. It was not my intention to ask incendiary questions. Note to self: everything is a hot-button issue this week.

I find I'm particularly peeved at those e-mails from STAPLES, warning me that TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Like that kind of apocalytic rhetoric is going to make me run, run, run, to stock up on office supplies?

Who the hell do they think I am, Nancy Martin?!

Harley, according to my sources, TLC is currently on numerous government watch lists, and monitored daily. They aren’t looking for reasons to shut this site down, they are huge fans of the Book Tarts, so they monitor it for the laughs.

Homeland Security will be contacting Staples on your behalf demanding they stop sending you threatening messages.

if you stop blogging then whats going to distract me from doing my work?? we cant have that now.

It certainly seems like a slow day at the Lipstick Chronicles. Since Ms. Kozak liked her photo, me and the rest of the Men Who Love Harley (as well as the other Lipstick Divas...Susan McBride may end up with her own fan club, judging from the reaction some of my younger peers had upon perusing her web-site) decided we'd send a group photo.

We are prepared to lift heavy packages, open doors, drive Divas to book signings, and any other, um, tasks, that might require athletic ability, aerobic capacity, attention to detail and the occasional literary allusion.

Have a Merry Christmas, ladies.


PS: Secret Admirer might be wearing black shorts and sunglasses in the pic.

Yes, please, Secret Admirer, I'd like my own fan club, particularly if the members look like the guys in Harley's fan club. (Very nice, by the way!) Can I place an order now? Do I have to involve Santa or the Pentagon in this request? I want to make sure to do things properly (oh, wait, "properly" isn't a word we like to use here at TLC, so scratch that).

You know, for a moment there I had this vague notion that my blog today would give the Comment Crowd an opportunity to say a typed farewell to Uncle Elmo, who finally succumbed to whooping cough, or Snuggles-the-Rat-Terrier . . . . but in the end, we're all about topless photos and hard bodies, aren't we? Ah, well.

And I was going to say that I've never been so envious of a fan club and thought that I might actually like to have one.

However, I, too, would like to say that I was so very sad when I heard about the passing of Wendie Jo Sperber and John Spencer - two very fine actors who brought me hours of pleasure while watching TV.

Hugs to all who lost special people this year.

Please excuse me but not blogging is unNatural!

You expected gravitas? From us? Silly Harley.

(On an unrelated note, I find myself suddenly motivated to work on my writing.)

Serious? Us?

Secret Admirer, I thought we agreed that picture of us wouldn't be posted on the site.


Gravitas and Hard Bodies are not, of course, mutually exclusive. Think "Spartacus" . . .

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