Pamela Ribon, pop culture princess of pamie.com, has braved Anne Heche’s wrath, the LA scene and the agony of writing Making the Band (The O-Town version. We think it’s agony.) recaps for Televisionwithoutpity.com. After recovering from a book tour to promote her novel Why Girls Are Weird, she survived a round of our 20 Questions and delivered up some of the funniest answers we’ve gotten.
1. Why Girls Are Weird is the best example I’ve seen of incorporating online relationships/communication into another media. Did you find it difficult to translate it into a more static format?
Well, thank you. I didn’t find it too difficult at all, actually, because really good online writing translates well in any medium. From an online essay to an email to a chat room transcript – it’s still words on a page, right? It’s harder to translate that to a screenplay, though. Or so Hollywood keeps telling me. Reading words at your computer and writing for someone else to read at his or her computer isn’t any different from any other story telling. We’ve adapted online writing to a unique shorthand, sure (LOL, ROTFL, w00t – I still don’t understand that last one), but it’s still a written medium, so I don’t think there’s too much difficulty in… I’ve totally answered your question three times, haven’t I? I shouldn’t have started tackling these questions before my first full cup of coffee.
2. In promoting your first book, what was the biggest thing you weren’t expecting?
Between shows and my website and other creative endeavors, I’m pretty familiar with the whole promotion process. I guess I was surprised at how many people showed up at my signings, since the publishing house had prepared me to expect maybe four or five people sometimes. I think, however, my tour was much more the pamie.com tour than the Why Girls Are Weird tour.
3. Who would play Anna K in the film version of the book?
In a perfect world: Toni Collette
More likely: Brittany Murphy
I’d be happy with: Lauren Ambrose
4. Do you have a writing ritual? What is it?
If I really have a lot of writing to do in a day I don’t allow myself to check email until it’s finished. Answering email can take many hours out of the day, so I’m now having to set aside blocks of time for email, time for my website, and time to write. My ritual, the best I can tell, is become a nervous wreck as I watch my bank account dwindle to double digits, hoping that one out of the eight projects I have going on at once pans out, and then on the last possible second I can still be considered a writer and not someone trying to use her fine arts degree applying to become a sandwich artist, some kind of check arrives in the mail that keeps me alive for a couple months. My checking account has the same odds as Vegas, I think.
5. When did you realize that pamie.com was so widely read? How did you react?
It grew steadily over the years, mostly because I promoted the hell out of it. I had two goals after my first year of keeping a journal: get invited to speak at SXSW Interactive and be a part of the ChickClick web portal. After two years, I had done both.
6. You have a friend who has just ended a long relationship. What are three things that you recommend she do to help get over her ex?
- Go out with friends on the night that you hate yourself the most and let them treat you to free food and drinks all night. Or throw a party at your house to remind yourself how hot you and all of your friends are.
- Treat yourself to a day at the spa using any money he owed you that you got his friend to get back for you.
- Find someone else.
Generally I only do that last suggestion, by the way. I’m all hearing Blu Cantrell in my head, but generally I rationalize myself out of a heartbreak and find someone better. I’m a quick learner.
7. You are the anti-Karyn. Instead of creating a buzz for your money-grubbing self (not that you’re money-grubbing, of course), you’ve used your website for good: Creating a grassroots campaign for the Oakland Public Library, gathering financial support for friends who lost their home in a fire. Did you ever picture yourself to be a latter-day Robin Hood of sorts? What has surprised you most about the reaction to your call to action?
I prefer “accidental activist” to Robin Hood, as I don’t think I’m actually taking anything from rich people. I don’t really know many rich people. I’m surprised at how willing to help everyone was. It was part of my New Year’s Resolutions to get active and involved with some kind of literacy campaign, and I’m happy I not only reached my goal, I completely surpassed any expectations I could have had.
Chris and Allison met through pamie.com, so it wasn’t so much me asking people for help as it was a family who was there through their courtship and marriage was helping when they were in need. That had nothing to do with me and everything to do with what wonderful people they are. And TelevisionWithoutPity.com brought in way more donations than pamie.com did. They’ve got way more visitors than I do.
8. What television show universe would you most want to live in and why?
[Gilmore Girls‘] Stars Hollow would drive me crazy after two months. I’m not so good at small town life.
Ooh. Friends. That’s the show. You get a kick-ass place to live without having to work too hard, you see your closest friends all the time, you can get married or have kids and the kids aren’t really cramping any kind of style, you get to work wherever you want whenever you want and one of your friends is a chef and another is a massage therapist. Yeah. Friends. Absolutely.
9. Marriage, sex, or death: Ashley Angel, Puck, P. Diddy.
Kill Puck, Marry Ashley and F Diddy. Is there any question?
Wait. Ashley will probably run out of money in like, a year and he’ll get some kind of drug problem. Maybe I should have one fantastic evening with Ashley, and let Diddy marry me, treat me shitty and then divorce me and I’ll be set for life. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. But can I kill Puck again?
10. You’re caught in a hotel room with Johnny Depp, Jon Stewart, John Tesh, sixty rolls of toilet paper, a jug of brewed iced tea, sixteen boxes of instant pudding, two pairs of leg warmers, a “Don’t have a cow” Bart Simpson T-shirt, nine inflatable pigs, a string of chili pepper lights and a sneezing iguana. What’s your spin for the tabloids?
Johnny Depp, Jon Stewart and I were busy in the other room. What’d that crazy fucker Tesh get himself into?
11. We short, busty chicks of the world have nominated you to write “The Short Busty Chick” manifesto. What would be the main speaking points?
These questions are getting progressively harder.
Item: Big Boobs Deserve Prettier Bras. Quit making us look like JC Penny’s ads from the 50’s.
Item: My Eyes Are Eighteen Inches Above Them. And they’re blue. Every once in a while, check them out.
Item: When You Pretend To Give Me a Back Rub, I Can Tell When You’re Going In For A Sidefeel. I’m not an idiot, asshole.
Item: You Want Big Boobs On a Girl, You Must Love the Booty. One doesn’t come without the other, and I do believe they’re made of the exact same material. Don’t be a curvist.
12. You get to pick one fad from both the 80s and 90s to thrust upon the world for a year. What do you bring back?
Multiple Swatches with Swatch guards. I wore mine until 1999.
13. Aside from Lloyd Dobler, which John Cusack character would you most want to date? Why?
This isn’t a serious question, is it? Because it’s obviously Lane Myer from Better Off Dead, who is the exact same character.
14. The world really wouldn’t be the same without the wonder of potatoes, the most perfect food. Write an ode to the potato.
One day they will invent
The Potato Diet.
And when that day happens
I will be the
Smothered and Covered.
Hash Browned, Oven Browned, French Fried
I will be
As enormously huge
As the smile
15. You’re on a plane to France to start your international book tour. Totally geeked about sitting in first class, you’ve already started sipping champagne like a rock star. Seconds before the plane takes off, Anne Heche plops down in the seat next to you and starts chatting with you about the weather and her favorite French wine. What do you do?
I order a bottle of champagne and get her talking about Steve Martin.
16. What is your favorite commercial of all time?
This isn’t a fair question anymore now that friends of mine are in commercials. It’s much easier to tell my most hated, so I will, because they fill me with such rage. The Carl’s Jr. commercials are the most disgusting, sexist, nastiest-sounding thirty-second pieces of horror. I’d rather watch cats puke up hairballs and then just hear, “Our burgers taste better.” It would be less offensive to my five senses.
The most unfair commercial of all time are these PSAs they used to run in Austin right before networks went off the air. You saw a dog get taken into the vet as James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” played. And the dog’s all happy and sniffing things and licking the doctor, and then you see him get his shots and just as James says, “But I always thought that I’d see you again,” you see that the damn dog has passed away on the table. Then the damn screen says, “Every day blah blah number of cats and dogs are euthanized. Spay and neuter your pets.” The worst thing ever.
I feel like I should answer this, so hold on. That CitiBank commercial with the guy on the broken treadmill cracks me up every time I see it. I’m still not answering the question.
Oh! “Freedom Rock.” That’s it. “Hey, man, is that Freedom Rock?” “Yeah, man.” “Well, turn it up, man!”
For some reason we used to sing that commercial on the school bus. We were ten. What sense does that make? But we did it. We had no idea what we were singing, but everybody loved it. I mean, we did the whole commercial. “Freedom Rock has it all, man. Forty original rock hits, by the original artists! On four records, three cassettes or two CD’s! Here’s more! ‘IN THE WHITE ROOM! WITH BLACK CURTAINS!'”
That is completely from memory. Ask me where my car keys are right now. I have no idea.
17. Do you have a litmus test for people – something that all your friends must like, or something that will make you turn away from someone new you’ve just met?
They must be funny. The funnier, the sexier.
18. Carly Simon is auctioning off the identity of the “You’re So Vain” egomaniac. What celebrity secret would you most want to buy the answer to, even if you could never tell anyone?
I want to know what Corey Feldman did at Michael Jackson’s house, and why the hell was he allowed to live there.
19. You get a million dollars to start pre-production on your next show. The catch is that you must cast at least one *NSYNC member. Who do you pick and what role do you give him/them?
Justin. Personal fluffer.
20. What do you currently have in your TiVo “Season Pass”? What’s your secret TiVo shame?
This is a little unfair, as both people living in this house recap at TelevisionWithoutPity, so I will put a star by the shows we are forced to watch for money. Everything else I must take full responsibility for, because even if it is my boyfriend’s request, I still watch the damn thing with him. And know that I rarely remove stuff from the Season Pass, so some of these things are ancient.
Oh, man. I can’t believe the order these things are in, too. This is like opening my underwear drawer. Be prepared to find out why TiVo thinks I’m a 53-year old gay black man.
1. Sorority Life *
2. The Pet Shop with Marc Morrone (Why is this number two? I don’t know. But it’s pet porn, if you haven’t seen it. It’s awesome.)
3. The It Factor LA (Holding onto the dream that it’ll somehow have an extra season, I guess)
4. Sex and the City
5. Boomtown *
6. Gilmore Girls *
7. Will & Grace
8. Oprah Winfrey
9. People Like Us (Hysterical British mockumentary that isn’t on anymore but is so funny)
11. Curb Your Enthusiasm
12. Six Feet Under
13. ER (I still love it, and you can’t make me stop watching it ever)
14. RADIOHEAD (This is a wishlist, and it just tapes anything Radiohead, so we often get that one Kate Hudson SNL, which has that Japanese Laverne and Shirley where they’re looking for Boo-Boo Kitty. It’s genius.)
15. King of the Hill (Consistently one of the best shows on television)
16. The Real World
17. Taxicab Confessions (Shut up. You love it, too.)
18. Mr. Show with Bob and David (Yeah, I’m one of THOSE people)
19. Saturday Night Live
20. Nigella Bites
21. Primetime Glick (Skip the insultingly unfunny sketches, watch the interviews)
22. MTV Cribs (Sometimes this show makes me livid, the waste of money. I sometimes watch it eating Ramen, and then I cry and cry and cry.)
23. South Park
24. The Larry Sanders Show
25. Ebert & Roeper
26. Queer as Folk *
27. Inside the Actor’s Studio
28. The Sopranos
29. HOUSE, LAURA (She’s my friend and I just love that I could put her in my wishlist, so I did)
31. Real World/ Road Rules Challenge (That’s embarrassing…)
32. Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
33. The Office
34. Family Business (I totally thought we cancelled this months ago. Amazing that people can make porn boring.)
35. FOREVER SUMMER WITH NIGELLA (Time to take this off the automatic record, now that I’ve seen all seven of them three times)
36. What Not To Wear (Always the British version, never the American)
37. Out of Order
38. Last Comic Standing
39. The Osbournes *
40. Making the Band II (Starring my future ex-husband, Diddy)
41. Making the Band * (I totally made the right choice about fucking Ashley, I think)
42. Inside the Actor’s Studio (So nice we apparently requested it twice)
43. Project Greenlight
44. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
45. Reno 911!
46. Wai Lana Yoga
And for a bonus, I’d like to tell you what TiVo’s current suggestions are for me, which it will tape all day. I think it’s rather telling, as we often rely on the suggestions, since we don’t have the time to invest in watching Letterman and Stewart every single day.
1. Sesame Street
3. Oprah Winfrey
4. Dinner for Five
5. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
6. The Simpsons
7. The Cosby Show (There is always, for some reason, always, always a Cosby Show taped. Usually three. It loves to tape The Cosby Show all day long)
9. King of the Hill
10. Music Videos
11. Sesame Too
12. You’re Invited
14. Premium Blend
15. Late Show with David Letterman
16. French In Action
17. Curb Your Enthusiasm
18. Sex and the City
19. Howard Stern
20. Welcome Back, Kotter
21. Welcome to the Dollhouse
23. French Children’s Show (About two years ago I tried to teach myself French)
25. Glow (Secret guilty pleasure – shows on the Style network)
26. What Not To Wear
28. Nigella Bites
29. Life With Bonnie (Old season pass, before she fired her writing staff)
30. Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
Those 77 items pretty much sum up our television watching. You know, I often tell people I hardly watch TV I’m not paid to watch. I see now that is incredibly untrue. Thanks for teaching me something today.
Property of PopGurls.com – do not repost without permission.