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just a sarcastic working mom living life in New England

Keeping it Clean for Billy Mays June 29, 2009

Filed under: Celebs — nashsmom @ 6:26 pm

Of all the celebrity deaths over the past week, it was Billy Mays that hit me the hardest.   I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities and musicians over the years.  Mostly through their agents who convey the artist’s list of demands which are likely coming from the artists themselves so you get a pretty good sense of who the nice, easy to work with ones are and which are the high maintenance impossible-to-please celebs.

Last year I worked on a project for one of our clients and they wanted Billy Mays to star in the campaign.  I went through my usual resources looking for his agent or manager but came up with nothing.  I played detective and managed to track down his e-mail address.  I reached out to him and he immediately called me back.  He didn’t have an agent, manger, lawyer or anyone working for him.  He was a one-man show.  He was also straight shooter which I loved (being one myself) and we immediately bonded.  Commercial production and the infomercial world are two very different worlds.  I taught him all about ours and he taught me about his.  Every conversation I had with him lasted no less than 40 minutes.  He always had a story to share and he would tell me about his work, his family and his health.   He had recently lost 40 pounds (mainly from swimming) and had a hip replaced.  He had a young daughter that was the light of his life.   He was genuinely one of the nicest guys I had ever worked with.  When the paperwork was signed and I turned him over to the creative team, I made them all promise to be nice to him.  When we had that first conference call introducing him to the team, they all expected the yelly guy from TV, but instead they got my sweet little Billy Mays.  Within moments I could tell they would soon feel the same way I did about him.  

When production time came around and he found out I wasn’t going to be at the shoot, he was genuinely disappointed.  (I never get to actually go so it never occurred to me to mention it)  I made the producer promise to take extra special care of him (which he did).  When I tried to arrange his travel, he said he would just book it himself and just send me receipts.  When I arranged for a car service, he said don’t bother – he would just take a cab (I made him take the car).   Everyone loved working with him and he had a wonderful experience himself.  Everyone was happy and we made some great commercials.  Here’s one of them:



When I opened up my computer Sunday and saw an e-mail with the subject “Billy Mays”, I never in a million years thought the message would say that he died.  I just kept repeating “What?  What??  What???” until I finally turned to my family and uttered the words “Billy Mays is dead”.   And then I started crying.  (like I am again right now)  Both my husband and Nash knew what a nice guy he was because I had told them repeatedly.  And even though Nash had no idea who Michael Jackson was, he knew who Billy Mays was.  And he was a little sad too.

I still can’t believe it.  My heart goes out to his family, especially that little girl that he loved so much.

Rest in peace, Billy.  You were a first class act and you’ll be missed.

billy mays


Confessions of a Teen Idol January 4, 2009

Filed under: Celebs,oddly interesting — nashsmom @ 10:42 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve had a handful of brushes with celebrities in my life.  I keep the stories in my back pocket and will occasionally pull one out at parties.  “Did I ever tell you about the time I kissed Simon LeBon?  Was personal assistant for a day for Rachel Hunter and Rod Stewart?  Had lunch with Tom Arnold?”  I have a bunch of them but the very first celebrity I ever saw in person was Christopher Atkins.  Who, you ask?  

This guy:


Here’s my Christopher Atikins story:  It was 1980 and I was 14 years old living in a town of 708 people in northern Minnesota.  He had just finished filming The Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields and was taking a little break before the film came out and he became, likely unbeknownst to him at the time, a teen idol.  He was friends with a family that lived there and came to chill.  This was his first film and there had pretty much only been one mention of him in my many teen magazines but I hadn’t missed it and when word starting spreading that there was a visitor, I was giddy.  He came to our school one day.  I was in algebra class and he was right across the hall standing outside the principal’s office.  I could hardly contain myself.  I begged Scott, one of his hosts who also happened to be in my class, to meet the soon to be teen idol but alas I was ultimately denied any one-on-one time.  However he did promise and deliver on a personalized autographed photo AND letter from Mr. Atkins.  I still have them in my Christopher Atkins scrapbook which I think is still at my parent’s place.  I thought about donating it to a fan site or something at one point, but there really didn’t seem to be any.  But that may be about to change.  VH1 has a new show called Confessions of a Teen Idol and Mr. Atkins is one of the cast members.  It’s a bunch of former teen idols (interestingly all male) that have been long since washcd-up.  I honestly have only heard of one other person on the show besides Chris but am nostalgic enough to sit fast-forward through it for the next 8 weeks to see what happens to him 30 years after my first celeb sighting.  He’s currently building swimming pools so I’m hoping it gets better for him.  

So just when I think there’s no new TV for Nash’s mom, VH1 delivers this and a new season of  Rock of Love Bus and a new show called  Tool Academy that looks like the next train wreck I must see.  Yeah!


Emmy highlights September 23, 2008

Filed under: Celebs — nashsmom @ 8:27 am

Oh wait.  There weren’t any.  It was a snooze.  Even the dresses were fairly safe and besides Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hair, there was hardly any mocking material.  Even Sandra Oh finally managed to dress herself 

My personal highlight was that Nash not only agreed to let me have the TV to watch the red carpet arrivals, he watched them with me.  He gets that it only happens a couple times a year and for some ungodly reason, his mom HAS to watch.  So he watched with me and tried to understand why I liked it.  As the stars arrived, I would tell them their name (“Her name is America – isn’t that cool?”) and a little bit about them (Denis & Ann Leary “They’re from Boston!”).  Then we would discuss their dress and weather or not it was “working” for them and, of course, did they look pretty.  After doing this for a while he looked at me and asked “Mommy, how do you know all these people?”.  Just my little circle of friends, my son.   That and from my subscription to US Weekly…

What we learned from this boring show?  

If you haven’t seen it, add “Damages” to your Netflix cue.  

It was a better show without Katherine Heigel there.

Tina Fey rocks.

Eva Longoria is pregnant.  

Christina Applegate is my new hero.

For a first hand look at the Emmys from someone that actually attend the event AND has read my blog (OK.  Only once, but still), go to Ann Leary’s blog.   And if you want to see the TMZ video of her taking her dive, click here.


Zuma Nesta Rock August 21, 2008

Filed under: Celebs,wtf — nashsmom @ 10:17 pm

Ok, I have held my tongue on all the wacky celeb baby names that have come out over the past year.  I figure I named my kid Nash so who am I to judge?  But Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rosdale just topped them all with this one.  Zuma Nesta Rock??  WTF??  I can only guess that this is where the little guy was conceived.  On ZUMA beach near a ROCK and now they’re adding him to their NESTa?  Whatev.  Maybe Pilot Inspector (Jason Lee’s son) or Levi and Miller Light (Matthew McConaughey’s son and nephew) will come over for a play date.


Just confirming my reservation in hell June 2, 2008

Filed under: Celebs — nashsmom @ 9:24 am
Tags: ,

I love her, so it’s OK to laugh, right?  Besides, I’m just passing along the link.  It’s not like I made this website.  That person has a seat way ahead of me!




I want a moat May 28, 2008

Filed under: Celebs,things I love — nashsmom @ 6:06 pm
Tags: ,

Brad & Angela\'s new digs


Like they didn’t already have it all, Brad and Angelina have now leased (not purchased as first reported – I do my research, thankyouverymuch) a $70 Million villa in the south of France for the next three years.  Here are some of the estate’s highlights (besides the fact that Brad Pitt will be there):

  • 1,000 acres
  • 35 Bedrooms
  • Its own vineyard (click here to order a bottle)
  • An olive grove
  • 20 fountains
  • Johnny Depp, Bono and the Edge as “neighbors”
  • A staff of 12
  • Helicopter landing pad
  • Recording studio
  • And the piece de resistance – a moat
The moat would have been a deal breaker for me.  I mean, if I was going to go all out and rent a $70 million pad, it would HAVE to have a  moat.  I may look into getting one for our house.  At least price it out and see the look on the contractor’s face when he realized I’m dead serious.   Wonder what the going rates are for moats in Salem…….



I hate my local paper May 21, 2008

Filed under: Celebs,things i hate — nashsmom @ 8:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Seriously.  The Salem News sucks.  Hard.  I never buy it because there’s never anything interesting in it save for the occasional Saturday purchase just to get the Target flyer a day early.  But since I skipped stalking Kate Hudson last night, I figured it would be worth 50 cents to check out the coverage of a couple of A list celebs in town filming a major motion picture – the first one filmed in Salem since 1993’s Hocus Pocus.  I wasn’t expecting People or US Weekly coverage, but a scoop of some sort.  Here’s the photo that was on the cover:


And I won’t even link to the story it was so lame.  C’mon.  Can’t you at least TRY?   I think I had better coverage here on my blog.  

What I have pieced together is that the scene shot was actually the opening scene of the movie where Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson both attend a mutual friend’s wedding.  Kate spent the morning in a trailer parked on Hawthorne Blvd. where a black SUV pulled up next to the trailer and she got in (wearing a white robe and Uggs, natch) and was whisked away to the Peabody Essex Museum – a whole block away. And that’s about it.  No shopping at Pamplemousse, no coffee at the Gulu and she was a no-show for dinner at my place.  Maybe next time.

And now it’s time to hunker down for the battle of the Davids on American Idol.  Can’t wait for Jonas Bros, George Michael and all the other surprises in store.  Who cares who wins?!  (Apparently I do because I did text a few votes in for Cook)