2013, A Reflection: Part 2

Perhaps it’s because the memories are fresher in my brain, but the second half of 2013 seemed a bit more momentous. Let’s carry on, shall we?


971864_10200247285893065_2078049791_n*my motto for the month*

  • In the wee hours of the first hour of the month, I found myself en route to Chicago aboard the Mega Bus — a mode of transportation that’s become a dear friend of mine. My mother and brother were with me to send me off in style. We dined at my beloved Ralph Lauren Restaurant, leisurely strolled along the lake, and openly wept at my departure for HOLLYWOOD. 1003110_10200211832526753_649947558_n
  • After getting over my disappointment that trains were no longer filled with elegant socialites in formalwear nor filled with lounge cars lined in mahogany, I become deeply enamored of train travel and was delighted by seeing America’s wild west for the first time. We passed through crumbling villages, cut through canyons, through hinterlands, through a mountain, and more. I was enraptured by the changing scenery and the gin and tonics. There were many, many Amish people, and that made me anxious. I also befriended a woman who looked just like Ina Garten and another elderly woman, whom I will adore until my dying day. She was in the midst of an unpleasant relationship with a hippy and his clingy girlfriend who though she was a reincarnated Aztec princess.941198_10200217829316669_479028342_n
  • I was taken in for a week by the Waldens — childhood friends of my mother — and was completely delighted by them and their friends. I had a marvelous time getting to know them and climbing canyons where I looked like this: 1001882_10200233246342085_639350605_nWe went to delightful shops, ate delicious meals, I saw Sylvia Browne at the California Pizza Kitchen, and celebrated one of the more memorable July 4ths I’ve ever had that included: being part of a sideshow act at Venice Beach, gorging on bean/rice tacos, and watching a million fireworks go off atop a monstrously tall hill. It was a marvelous time.
  • 1040220_10200233549749670_1489185856_o
  • After my stay with the Waldens, who I now consider lifelong friends and my LA family, I relocated to a charming apartment in West Hollywood. It was perfect for me, looked like it hadn’t been touched since the fifties and was located right next to CBS studios, the Grove, and the Farmers Market.
  • I was constantly bumping into my friends, like Nicole Richie:1001662_10200265221461443_449202248_nGiggy the Pom and Ken Vanderpump:1069953_10200296497843333_1438812463_nGiuliana and Bill Rancic:1072219_10200258994025761_1456612429_oand others, like: Perez Hilton, Mario Lopez, Kris Jenner, Queen Latifah, Craig Ferguson, Jane Lynch, several underwear models, and Jeffrey Tambor amongst others, like Tyra Banks, who insisted we dance together:1077118_10200317711333657_658075008_o 1016427_10200325714173723_738182972_n
  • I was regularly featured on the television, such as this appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson:556999_10200307285473017_1273286430_n
  • I dined at the Ivy and the amazing Veggie Grill, where I had the most delicious vegan food. It changed my life: 1052641_10200249431906714_999847146_o
  • I was interviewed for the Style Network.
  • I was mistaken for Mario Lopez.
  • Nicole Richie kept posting pictures of me on her Instagram.
  • I walked all up and down Hollywood Boulevard, smiling down at the names of stars and icons so many have forgotten:64909_10200296009671129_145944768_n1071533_10200297103058463_1435825882_o 1071652_10200296967255068_1442262633_o
  • I went to the beach: 1044304_10200285781135422_870959235_n
  • I went to Brentwood and drooled at the homes. I ran by Joan Crawford’s house, reenacting an iconic scene from Mommie Dearest, then, at the gates of the house, I shouted, “CHRISTOPHER! CHRISTINA! DAMN IT!” Highlight of my life, that.
  • I befriended an elderly Jewish woman, who gave me Hebrew lessons when I came in for her delicious black and white cookies.
  • I found a pair of brown pants that made my backside look like sex and the most beautiful shoes in the world:1016270_10200256162514975_577071611_n
  • I tracked down historic locations such as the house where the exteriors for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? were shot:1072193_10200290511333674_1458261378_o
  • I went to Paramount Studios and to Hollywood Forever to look at the graves of so many of the famous dead:1075482_10200317720613889_1094998347_o
  • I had the absolute thrill of a lifetime when I spent a night at the Chateau Marmont, beloved Hollywood hotspot. I reveled in my elegance at the pool where I was sat next to Anna Kendrick: 1011983_10200323395395755_1150464339_nI was treated like an absolute king by the staff and I reveled in it. They pampered me and I pampered myself, like when I took 2013’s most iconic selfie:1025924_10200325882617934_1981097706_oI dined at their legendary bar and joyously discovered that I was in the room next to the one where Lindsay Lohan had recently had been evicted from.
  • I left Hollywood then for Disneyland, where I had an alright time. It was no Disney World.
  • I left Disney via the world’s most expensive taxi ride ever and checked into a stateroom on the Queen Mary:704719_10200353956159755_766831078_oI had a ridiculously good time dressing up in a suit, drinking mock-pink champagne and pretending I was a mix of Cary Grant and Leonardo DiCaprio whilst I looked for ghosts in the bowels of the legendary liner.1069332_10200340772790179_862524708_n
  • I returned to Los Angeles to catch a train to my cousin’s place on the Central Coast.1012717_10200346997105783_719367542_n We had a marvelous time wandering through the towns, looking at the coast, visiting Hearst Castle where I looked like this:1077873_10200364412781164_73147226_oWe ate fresh pesto, went to the fair, watched inept athletes play volleyball under a pier, I rode on a scooter(!),1093983_10200364399620835_1600899093_o and I had a great time getting to know my California family better. Can’t wait to go and visit again.
  • From there, I caught yet another train (I LOVE TRAINS) to San Francisco. Now, I had no intention of caring much about this city, but from the moment I saw it, I fell madly in love.1008818_10200409976040217_1530216038_o 1093878_10200383900388342_1078494788_oSan Francisco is perhaps the most perfect place I’ve been in America. It did something strange to me. I think of it constantly. Every day I want to be back there. I had a great time drinking Irish coffee, hanging off a cable car, being barked at in the Castro by hairy men, having a delicious picnic on top of my hotel: 1014179_10200383636541746_17536063_ndining at the world-renowned restaurant, Greens, nibbling at French bistros and bakeries, staring happily at the bay, wearing a scarf in July, and being flirted with at the Nespresso boutique which resulted in free cake. San Francisco has my heart.
  • I sent out these Tweets:


Well, July was rather jam-packed, wasn’t it? What on earth does jam-packed even mean? Let’s not think of it now, this post is already dangerously long.

  • The first of the month was my very last day in San Francisco, so I melancholiliy sang this song ALL DAY:
  • I caught the plane (I know!) to Las Vegas, which routed me through the absolutely awful Phoenix airport.
  • Las Vegas was a strange place…I didn’t care much for it, but it was amusing to see my sister twerk with strippers.
  • Jessica and I attended a One Direction concert, which caused us to lose our collective shit. THE BOYS ARE PERFECT:1078550_10200409991120594_1699901790_oOur lives were changed. I was also told I have the right facial structure for suspenders.
  • We drank a lot and ate A LOT. There are a remarkable number of good bakeries. I won nothing at the casinos:999875_10200394006040977_2084631625_nI didn’t care much for Vegas.
  • Then, I was back home. BLAH. I didn’t miss Iowa at all.
  • It was my birthday and I mused upon my old age and good looks.
  • I attended the Iowa State Fair once again and found it as dull as ever.
  • I began watching the new cycle of America’s Next Top Model, you know…the one where I wasn’t cast? It was an absolute train wreck.
  • I thought it would be a  good idea to bicycle ten miles out to see a canyon at Ledges State Park. This was a very, very, very bad idea. Bicycles + highways + hills = terrifying fun. I’m alarmed I survived the trip.
  • I had to go back to work, which was sad…but I’m alright with it. I’m very thankful I’m able to take my month-long breaks as I did in July.
  • I renewed my license and I looked like a stunning eastern European model. Not kidding. It’s amazing.
  • I fell asleep tanning and discovered the dangers of tanning nude.
  • I was involved in a Twitter feud with chef, Tyler Florence:Tyler Florence Feud
  • I began a crusade to save Miley Cyrus from all the negative comments she received after her genius twerk and grind on the VMAs.
  • I discovered an abandoned kitten that I named Edna. She promptly died by roasting herself under a tin panel. (This is not a finished story, don’t weep.)
  • I fangirled hard over the premiere of the One Direction movie. No shame.
  • I made grape jam with grapes I picked from my own vineyard and made the most curiously delicious macarons with it.
  • I looked like this:1175034_10200482656897193_1674744577_nI think this is the best my hair has ever looked.
  • I sent out these Tweets:


  • I continued a difficult readjustment to working life. I suffered tragically knowing that I’m not a sedentary person — I’m supposed to see the world.
  • I pondered modern fashion and wondered why capes weren’t in vogue.
  • In an effort to distract myself, I ordered a ridiculous number of holiday brochures about transatlantic cruises.
  • I obsessively researched hummingbird moths.
  • Edna, the kitten that roasted herself to death, returned from the dead. I immediately adopted her, christened her DAME EDNA LAZARUS #ZOMBIEPRINCESS, then discovered she was a boy. The name hasn’t changed.1234358_10200595930408960_247636063_n
  • I lost my shit over the new gold iPhone.
  • I taught myself how to install drywall and began a rather remarkable transformation of my bedroom. It went from rather common, to boutique hotel class.1236560_10200655833426498_324473141_n
  • I began a serious quest to get a weave, which I’ve still not gone through with.
  • I went to Minnesota/Wisconsin for what appears to be the hundredth time this year.
  • I read one of the best books I’ve ever read, Blackwood Farm, by Anne Rice.
  • A child asked me, “You’re a French model, right, Mr. Phillips.” I blessed that child.
  • I ate more chocolate mousse than real food.
  • I delighted in Miley Cyrus’ new album, which is perfection.
  • I looked absolutely fabulous:1269279_10200650190036650_713657205_o
  • I sent out these Tweets:


  • The government shut down and cruelly, I still had to go to work.
  • I was mistaken for a Bill Phillips and started receiving his emails about planning a corporate luncheon. I may have approved a couple chocolate fountains and an ice sculpture. I hope they had a good party.
  • Finally saw The Bling Ring and strongly identified with the characters.
  • I saw House of Versace and Donatella immediately became my everything.
  • I had pink eye and it was great! I GOT TO STAY HOME WITH A LEGITIMATE ILLNESS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! I’m never sick.
  • I again went to Wisconsin. What is that now? 15? While there, I discovered that I liked broccoli and I went four-wheeling. Obviously I was suffering from some kind of malady.1270338_10200763613392163_1275955443_o
  • I MET ANNE RICE.20131014_180903
  • I wrote a short story — more info on that later.
  • I bought a new custom-made suit.
  • I remembered a lesson I had learned earlier and should never have forgotten: boys are dumb and they don’t care about your feelings.
  • Attempted to dress Edna as a vampire bat. It was not a simple process.1391569_10200898260527024_271311313_n
  • We threw our annual SHITTY PHILLIPS HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR SPECTACULAR and it wasn’t as shitty as usual. My table setting was particularly nice:1383300_10200876537303957_172176527_n
  • I LOOKED LIKE THIS:IMG_0806and THIS:IMG_6181You’re welcome.
  • I sent out these Tweets:


  • I felt very British as I went to pubs, watched my favorite British sitcoms over again, and read autobiographies of my favorite British icons.
  • The time change did awful things to my mind and I began to lapse into depression more strongly than I ever have in the past.
  • I bought studded shoes and it was a big deal.1471353_10200977112418272_266320134_n
  • It began to snow and I just wanted to die. It was so cold and so unpleasant. Here’s my reaction to seeing the first horrid flakes fall:996047_10201041570909694_1220240805_n
  • I wrote in-depth restaurant reviews.
  • I decided I’d rather like to work in a Chanel boutique.
  • I listened to the new One Direction album and found them to be even more charming and talented than ever.
  • I discovered that you can online shop at H&M, which was a sad day for my wallet, but a glad day for my wardrobe.
  • Sylvia Browne died and I was absolutely devastated.
  • I reveled in my Twitter infamy as I live-tweeted Food Networks disastrous Thanksgiving Live.
  • I went painting with coworkers and drank a lot of gin.
  • I FINALLY BECAME THE OWNER OF AN IPHONE. My life was instantly changed for the better.
  • Jessica and I sang at an opera house in Greenfield, Iowa, to the delight of our fans.
  • I looked like this:1426285_10201086824281000_878456684_n
  • I sent out these Tweets:


  • The first miracle of the Christmas season was Tom Daley’s video where he reveals he’s dating a man. I, of course, was overjoyed and no longer had to feel an iota of shame for my 2014 Tom Daley Calendar. Not that I did to begin with.1424483_10200907895567894_1015719405_n
  • I read The Bell Jar, devoured it really. It was incredible. One of my favorite books of all time.
  • I dressed completely in purple and oxblood to work — even my hair was purple — for a field trip to the cinema.
  • I was sat on my couch for a morning, wondering about what modern culture would be like if Germany had won the war.
  • I decided to join Tumblr. I’m still confused why I’m not Tumblr famous.
  • I struggled to find a turtleneck. It seems that they are no longer in fashion, and yet all the fashionable people are wearing them.
  • I spontaneously bought a ticket to see Beyoncé in Chicago. One of the better decisions of my life.
  • I had a great time in Chicago, dining at the Ralph Lauren restaurant, shopping at Chanel:1477945_10201174004260445_260596870_n staying in a gorgeous room at The Drake, seeing Beyoncé, being involved in a bus chase, riding in limousines, listening to Bey’s new album, and just reveling in my existence.
  • I went to my best friend’s wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful.
  • I wept over the death of my friend, Joan Fontaine.
  • I began a campaign to bring back the Concord, but no luck yet.
  • I wore short shorts and tank tops a lot because I’m in denial of the season and because I’m genetically built for tropical climes.
  • I made a glorious Christmas brunch of Julia Child’s onion quiche, Dorie Greenspan’s cheddar and chive loaf, and Martha Stewart’s chocolate cake.
  • I published a novella on the Kindle store, which was a rather proud accomplishment for me. Currently waiting for the royalties to come crashing down upon me.
  • I looked like this:994694_10201229601401572_1757805334_n
  • I sent out these Tweets:

And so, it appears that 2013 was a rather decent year. Not everything went my way, but then again, it never seems to. In spite of that, I still had an awfully good time and saw so many new places! I think it’s important to remember that this is the year that I sang with Beyoncé, danced with Tyra Banks, made eye contact with my future husband, Zayn Malik, got into a fight with Tyler Florence, and looked really cute the whole time.

Next year should be just as fun — we’re going to Europe, reader. Is your body ready?

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