Be Me or Do Me Bingo: Robin Thicke, The Billboard Music Awards, and the Microphone Breakup

2013 MTV VMAs - ArrivalsHappier, less tawdry days.


Darlings, too many things have kept us away from keeping track of the “Be Me or Do Me”-related goings on in Celebuville lately.  We’re actually upset we didn’t get the chance to point out that James Franco clearly read our Attention-Whoring chapter; especially the part on male selfies. Tsk.

Let’s rectify that. Robin Thicke, bless his heart, has also been paying attention.

From Chapter 10: The Epic Breakup:

“Microphone Breakups. The very best kinds of celebrity break- ups, the ne plus, is when either person involved is a singer. Oh Jesus, can you ever expect some lyrical payback when that happens. Actors don’t always get the chance to let their personal life inform their work so directly, but singers are encouraged to do so and rewarded for it. If those singers just happen to be bitter, vindictive, immature, and attention seeking, so much the better. Male rap and female country stars get the prize for most vindictive lyrics, but the dance-floor divas can achieve immortality if their song of triumph after pain becomes a gay or bachelorette party standard.”


From the ever-reliable TMZ, regarding the ever-classy Mr. Thicke:

“Robin Thicke sang his heart out at the Billboard Music Awards … begging for estranged wife Paula Patton’s forgiveness — and also gave a random woman in the crowd a face full of his crotch.”

“As TMZ first reported, Thicke penned the song “Get Her Back” specifically to try and win back Patton … with lyrics like “All I wanna do is make it right” and “I’ll wait for forever for you.”

The song was catchy and filled with the requisite amount of pleading but at the end of the song he made the poor choice to drop to his knees and pump his hips at a cute chick in the front row.”

Please. There was no “plea for forgiveness” here. Just a well timed (to the beat, apparently) passive-aggressive bitch slap. Well played, Robin. After all, what is the celebrity affirmation for the Epic Breakup chapter? “PEOPLE WHO HURT ME DESERVE TO BE DESTROYED.”

Ball’s in your court, Paula.

  • “Everyone Wants to Be…” Mother’s Day Contest Winners!

    We’re visual types, so we decided to adopt the fiercely protective mama mourning dove who stood watch over our book party last weekend in order to announce the winners of our “Everyone Wants to be” Mother’s Day contest.

    mourning doveIt’s like when they get stars up at 5 am to announce the Oscar nominees, except this one just wants you to go away and leave her babies alone.

    In all seriousness, we found her protectiveness touching and couldn’t help thinking of her when we read all the wonderful essays our readers sent in, praising their female mentors for being the kind of women who provide strength and inspiration in ways too countless to mention. It was almost impossible for us to narrow them down to a set of winners, because literally every single entry we got was touching and every single woman described sounded like a truly awesome human being to us. We settled on these seven entries (two more than the five we announced, because we just couldn’t whittle them down to that number) because of the beautiful range of women they depict and the lovely way the writers expressed their admiration.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Your signed copies of our book are in the mail, darlings. For everyone else, enjoy these wonderful tributes.


    Everyone Wants to Be … Sherry

    My mother is literally an award-winning parent. No, really – she’s got plaques. Many cards may be covered in “Mother of the Year” sentiments, but I’m sure not many have actually claimed the official title in the whole state of Alabama for years in a row. One important word was added to the beginning of that title, however – “Foster”. You see, I’m one of 6 children adopted by this wonderful woman. I was #33 in her list of the nearly 600 children to whom she’s opened her heart and home. Being admirably known as “Mama Sherry” to her former children, who are sometimes grown with their own kids, can be awkward for all parties involved, but she doesn’t care. She’s often ridiculed for taking on so many kids (there are 10 children under 16 in their home currently), but has said that as long as she is able, she will care for children. I’ve never seen anyone so committed to making kids from all sorts of horrible situations see her as “Mama”. Of course, claiming to be 39 for the past 27 years, she’s fooled generations of children. When challenged, she smirks and quips, “I no longer have birthdays…simply anniversaries.”

    ~ Stephanie


    Everyone Wanted to Be… My Grandmother, A.E.C.

    She never had a job or learned to drive a car.  She never went to college. She wasn’t a feminist and she never climbed the corporate ladder.  She never started a business.  She never travelled abroad or learned to speak a new language.  She never had her ears pierced and never wore a pair of pants.

    She was a reader and a poet. She was a self-taught pianist and church organist.  She was a basketball player and board game lover. She was a fierce competitor and a master NYTimes crossword puzzle solver.  She made the best apple turnovers and always over-baked her cookies.  She had a fabulous collection of earscrews that she would let her granddaughters wear around the house.  She was a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a friend, a wife.

    The joy that radiated from her smile was contagious.  Everyone wanted to be near her because she made everyone feel like they were her favorite person in the world. And at that moment, they were.

    Everyone wanted to be her because she had figured out the secret of success – that life is about people, not things.  It is not clothes or wealth, degrees or titles, houses or cars.   The secret of success is that these things will never make you truly happy, only love.

    ~ K.P.


    Everyone wants to be … Katy Rose

    My Mom is a kick ass Valkyrie Warrior in the body of a Cute as a Button midwestern nurse.   She’s a cookie baking, sweater knitting, multi-tasking dynamo who, when a drunk driver drove his Corvette head on into the tree by our house (and praise the Higher Power of your Choice for that tree, otherwise he’d have driven through our living room), my Mom ran outside – feet bare, dressed only in her lacey nightie, and dragged the driver from a burning, fiberglass death trap.  After she determined he’d live, she yelled “Call 911!” and raced back into the house, emerging seconds later (still in her nightie, now covered in blood) with a blanket and an old bed sheet. Mom threw the blanket around the driver and then hurled the sheet over her side garden.  Why?  It was an unexpectedly cold night and she “didn’t want her flowers to frost. “

    Mom’s always embraced fashion trends but puts her unique stamp on whatever look she’s rockin’ – which I’ve tried to emulate.  In fact, I SO much want to BE her that for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, I forced my husband to help me recreate some old photos of them, in which I tried to capture my Mom’s breezy, sexy style and honor what I treasure most:  her strength, integrity, and independence; her fierce loyalty to loved ones, and her ability to save lives – both human and plant  – in one fell swoop.

    ~ Anne Flanagan


    Everyone Wants to Be … B.

    B really helped me know I wanted to be a mom. We’re 4 years apart in age, and she started on the path to motherhood before me. I was so scared of having kids, I didn’t know how it would change my life, but when I looked at B become a mom I knew I could, and wanted to, do it. She didn’t lose her identity in her motherhood. She still placed a priority on her friendships and wasn’t always talking about her babies and how cute they were (they are really cute though, so she could have and no one would have been upset). She’s not super rigid in her parenting which showed me I could be a mom and it didn’t have to take over my whole existence.

    We both have two kids right now, and I’m so glad I get to go through this scary world of parenting with her. We joke that if we were married to one another, instead of our spouses, our kids would have great names, not boring unoriginal names and we’d never fight about dumb parenting stuff. I’ve watched her struggle through postpartum depression in this last few years. It’s hard to see someone you love fight within themselves, but even that is inspiring. She doesn’t give up and she keeps moving forward.

    ~ Kristiana Rodriguez


    Everyone Wants to Be… Sian

    My sister Sian, because when I was a bespectacled agonizingly shy seventeen year old she bought me my first pair of contact lenses, which our parents couldn’t afford and made me come out from the shadows. She’s super smart, tall, blonde and gorgeous, was a genuine rebel at school, ran marathons until she could beat all the guys in her office, and hated being judged as a dumb blonde. Whatever she chose to attempt she mastered, which was kind of cool, scary and sometimes frightening to watch. She’s also unflinchingly honest, and when her husband, the love of her life became ill with Alzheimer’s in his early fifties, she gave up everything to look after him. And she still does, because as she says, he’s her best friend and no one will ever love him or care about him as much as she will. I respect the fuck out of her and still want to be her when I grow up. 🙂

    ~ Kate Pearce


    Everyone Wants to Be … April

    It’s impossible to encapsulate April McAnnally in this teensy peek into her life – suffice it to say that her  very existence as a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, swimsuit-winner-in-Miss-Alabama, children’s  choir director, pre-school teacher, champion of the underserved and underprivileged, dress-repairer and  last-minute shopper, finder of lost things, rabid Auburn football fan, biggest fan of anyone she meets, fixer of broken hearts and broken people, lover of blue Christmas lights and all things sparkly, comic, perfect hostess, expert at falling-asleep-on-the-couch-with-her-mouth-hanging-open, and so many more  nebulous identities – all those that are impossible to articulate – is the reason that my family is what it  is, and that my marriage has something to aspire to.

    When I was growing up, people were quick to tell me that I was “just like my father.” I always took this  compliment with pride – what people meant when they said that was that they thought I was  precocious, well-spoken, opinionated, and funny. It’s only recently that people have started to tell me  that they think I’m like my mother. To be honest, I could work my whole life and still not deserve a compliment like that.

    Everyone wants to be her? Of course they do – me, more than anyone.

    ~ Mary Catherine McAnnally



    Everyone Wants to Be … Barbara

    Let me tell you about Master Barbara Dickens, seventh-degree black belt and two-time breast cancer survivor. Let me tell you about this goddamn marvel of a woman from Mississippi, who first tried martial arts in Singapore in the 1970s. You can imagine how welcoming the instructors were of her, and in fact they used language barriers as an excuse to kick her as a form of correction, but you’re dead wrong if you think that discouraged her.

    In America, she found a new instructor and trained with him through her fifth-degree black belt, until he ordered her to close a satellite school, refusing to hear any appeals, and she wouldn’t do it. So she started her own school — 22 years ago, still going strong — and ignored impotent letters declaring her stripped of all rank. He blackballed her across the old boys’ club of top-level American black belts, so she found other black belt women in the same situation, and they founded the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors.

    Let me tell you about this woman, born in the Japanese Year of the White Horse. Not the Year of the Horse — the Year of the White Horse only happens once every 144 years. According to legend, centuries ago, all girls born under the White Horse were killed because they were thought to become too strong and domineering toward men.

    That’s why our school is White Horse Academy, and she is my inspiration.

    ~ Laura Renee

    “Everyone Wants To Be Me Or Do Me” New York Party

    Darlings, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, then this should all suffice to give you an idea of just how wonderful our “Be Me or Do Me” book party this Saturday was. Over 250 Bitter Kittens made their way out to see us (and each other) over a nearly 6-hour period. Much laughing, connecting and just plain having fun was had by all, watched somewhat nervously by the poor mama pigeon just guarding her eggs and waiting for us all to leave. We decided to make her the symbol of our Mother’s Day book contest (The winners of which will be announced later this week).

    We just want to publicly thank our good friends Emmett McCarthy of EMC2 for hosting the party in the adorable courtyard behind his store, Gorgeous Fabrics for coming out and pitching in in the way a good friend will when you turn to her and say in panic “HELP!” And special thanks to Sugar Flower Cake Shop for the GORGEOUS cake, to Bread for the delicious nibblies and to Miss Brittany Lovely, for being the best Bitter Kitten by running around like a slave all day at our beck and call.

    And above all, thanks to you guys. Every time we meet the BKs, no matter what city we’re in, they all look around in wonder at each other and say, “What a fun, friendly, fabulous little crowd this is!” Darlings, it was never a surprise to us. We’re serious as a bounced check when we say we wouldn’t be a thing without the support of y’all. You’re gorgeous, darlings.













    There’s also a lovely writeup of the party here.




    [Photo Credit: Ann Steeves/Lorenzo Marquez/Tom and Lorenzo]


    (Cross-posted on our main site.)

  • “What tech CEOs can learn from pop bloggers T Lo”

    Cute piece from the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, applying the “Be Me or Do Me” way of life to the last people we would have thought of:

    “Tech CEOs could stand out by listening to their inner selves instead of adopting what they see around them, the bloggers say.

    “You are the image you project,” T Lo write. “People decide who you are based on what you tell them, so make sure you tell them you’re someone who can get a couture gown, a clutch, a pair of Louboutins, and jewelry worth four years of Ivy League education with one phone call, for free. Figuratively speaking.”

    Fitzgerald does the bulk of the duo’s writing, while Marquez gathers photos, guides their coverage, and deals with advertisers and tech issues. The site started to make money four years ago, and that’s when they decided to quit their day jobs. Now the highlight of their year is attending Fashion Week in New York. “We work like drudges for 50 weeks out of the year, and for two weeks a year we live like Carrie Bradshaw,” Fitzgerald said, referring to the protagonist in the TV show “Sex and the City.”

    Their advice to anyone thinking of leaving their day job to pursue a dream could also apply to anyone looking at doing their own start-up, especially in Silicon Valley, where copycat companies are becoming rife again, as they were during the dot-com boom over a decade ago.

    “Find your own voice,” Marquez said. “Find something unique, find something that’s different, find a niche.” 

    Gosh, those guys sure sound smart.


  • Will T Lo Ever Shut Up?

    No, probably not. You know us, darlings. Once you get us started, we just keep yakking away. This time, the fine folks at FLARE magazine were kind enough to listen to our ramblings.

    A huge part of your blog is red-carpet fashion commentary. Who’s your favourite celebrity to write about?
    T: Chloë Sevigny. We treat it like a creative writing challenge every time. Chloë is very much one of those celebrities who plays a character every time she steps out onto a red carpet, which is exactly what actresses should do when it comes to their public style. Every time we write about her, we give her a new character to play. We give her a name, we give her a background. It’s always a lot of fun. She gives us so much material to work with.

    Your first book, Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, has just hit shelves. What do you hope readers will take from it?
    T: The most important sentence in the book is found in the introduction: “Life is all about resisting the impulse to believe the world when it tries to tell you who you are.” You should never look to celebrities for advice on financial management or child rearing or nutrition or fitness, because their results in those areas are always appalling. But those are always the areas that they try and give you advice on! If you must look to celebrities, look to them for how they promote themselves; how they create a story and an image of themselves and then push that image out into the world and force the world to accept it.

    What has it been like to interact with your fans on your book tour?
    T: That has been freaking amazing. What we do for a living is very solitary; just the two of us churning out content 14 hours a day, every day. People think it’s very glamorous; I always say, No no no! We work like drudges 50 weeks out of the year, and two weeks out of the year we get to be Carrie Bradshaw, and that’s fashion week. We had never encountered our readers as a group before, and I can’t even tell you what a gift it was: the outpouring of love, and just being able to put faces on our readers. And I remember faces! Sometimes when we’re writing, I will haul up an image of a reader I’ve met and try to write the post to him or her… We’ve been surprised by how incredibly grateful people can be when you’ve provided them some entertainment to help them get through their day. People say stuff like, Thank you, you got me through a breakup. You got me through my mother’s cancer. You got me through my cancer! You got me through my husband’s deployment. It’s awesome and humbling. You’re just banging out your little bitchy lines about hemlines and shoes, and you don’t stop to think, I’m helping someone get through their day.

  • Be Me or Do Me Bingo: Miley Cyrus and the Attention-Seeking Hospital Stay

    Miley-Cyrus-Bangerz-Tour-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)

    Darlings, now that we’re mostly recovered from last week’s whirlwind mini-tour, it’s time we got back to God’s work: using the personal lives of celebrities to hawk our book. It’s the “Be Me or Do Me” way of life. And thankfully, it’s so ridiculously easy. Since we wrote the book in such a way as to encourage the reader to look for examples in the so-called “real world” of celebrity,” they tend to leap out at you when they occur. For instance…

    From Chapter 13: The Exhaustion Sweepstakes:

    “There is no greater suffering for a star than when they’re suffering from lack of attention. It’s like oxygen deprivation to them. You see, A-list celebrity bodies are covered with tiny, microscopic hairs that act as antennae, moving to and fro constantly and seeking out confirmation that someone is paying attention to the person they are attached to. When attention drops to dangerously low levels, these tiny antennae immediately send a signal to the celebrity brain, which causes the celebrity to feel weak and light-headed. When attention levels in the atmosphere plummet to zero, her body shuts down and she crashes dramatically to the floor. In a public place, of course. With cameras present. If she is not in a public place where cameras are present, her celebrity survival instinct will kick in and she will propel herself through sheer force of will to a place where people will notice when she collapses to the ground. Only one part of this paragraph is made up.”

    “Unless it’s a skin rash or sexually transmitted disease or something like that, celebrities love to talk about their ailments to the public. They’re like your annoying great-aunt that way, constantly going on about their aches, pains, and rare syndromes to anyone who’ll listen, until finally, they’re up on stage accepting a major award by saying, “I want to thank the academy, but I probably can’t because I’m dyslexic.” So when they’re so oddly silent about the exact reasons for their sudden withdrawal from public life, it’s not hard to become skeptical and come up with plausible explanations.

    And isn’t that really what this is all about? Being evasive in order to get people guessing? Since stars apply this form of public teasing to every other area of their private and public lives, it’s to be expected that even sleeping is something a star will use to tantalize the public.”

    From the ever-reliable and apparently totally gullible People magazine:

    Miley Cyrus Hospitalized for Severe Allergic Reaction

    Miley Cyrus is in the hospital due to a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.

    The singer canceled her Bangerz tour appearance scheduled for Tuesday at the Kansas City Sprint Center.

    “Cyrus has been hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics and has been placed on medical rest by her doctors,” according to a statement from the Sprint Center.

    Cyrus, 21, Tweeted a statement of apology Tuesday evening.

    “Kansas I promise I’m as [heartbroken] as you are. I wanted so badly 2 b there 2night. Not being with yall makes me feel s––––––– than I already do,” she wrote.

    Cyrus also canceled her Charlotte, N.C. tour stop just over a week ago after she was “diagnosed with the flu and doctors have ordered her to rest,” Live Nation says.


    It was the flu! No, wait! Allergies! Oh, Miley, Just go and dry out, hon. You can’t spend most of the previous year acting like an oversexed hyperactive toddler and expect the world to think your collapse came about from some sort of natural cause, now can you? Face it, when you ride the giant hot dog, you’re gonna get sick of it eventually. Or something. There’s a lesson in there for all of us.

  • Chicago Signing and Bitter Kitten Meetup

    A very tired and rumpled T & Lo made the final stop on the 2nd leg of their book tour last night. And while the enthusiasm and fabulosity of our Chicagoland Bitter Kittens could not make us less rumpled, the tired part pretty much evaporated as soon as we saw y’all.

    But we reserve the right to not feature twitpics where we looked like crap. Instead we’re just going to feature the ones where you talk about how awesome we are. Image management, darlings. It’s the “Be Me or Do Me” way. Also: a little obnoxious. Sue us.










    Things we’ve learned:

    1. Our Bitter Kittens are some of the sweetest, smartest, most fabulous people you could meet. We hope, if nothing else, that those of you who came out to see us understand that we’re just as excited to meet you as you are to meet us.

    2. There’s no real way to lean far back in a chair, with your upper body twisted to one side, and have a particularly flattering picture come out of it.

    And if you’re a kitten in the Chicagoland area who couldn’t make it out last night, the Barnes and Noble in Old Orchard Center has autographed copies of the book, ready for Kitten consumption. Call them at 847-676-2230 to getchaself a copy.

  • San Francisco Bitter Kitten Meetup and Signing

    The Frisco Kittens TURNED IT OUT!



    What an amazingly fun and energetic night. We keep saying it and we don’t even care anymore if we sound repetitive: Getting away from our desks and out in the world to meet our Kittens has been the most rewarding, most fun thing to ever happen to us.

  • Los Angeles Book Signing and Bitter Kitten Meetup

    As told through twitter:



    We love you guys.

  • T Lo STILL Won’t Shut Up

    Two fun “Be Me or Do Me”-based interviews this week, darlings. First up, a fun little sit-down with the Chicago Sun-Times’ Splash magazine, with possibly our favorite thing ever written about us:

    “If there’s one thing that can be said with certainty about Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez — or TLo, as they’ve been affectionately dubbed by fans — it’s that they’re unabashedly themselves.”

    We take that as high damn praise. You should go read the whole thing just to show some love, but here’s a tease:

    “The two, who’ve been a couple for 17 years and tied the knot in July, were pleasantly surprised by the fan base that followed. “I don’t think we’re writing about things that are innovative or that other people aren’t writing about,” Tom says. “Whatever success we’ve had is because we stay true to our own voices.” And while the medium has changed, the new tome is still shot through with the couple’s uncensored opinion. “It’s purely through our eyes and out of our mouths,” Tom says. “People find that entertaining, and it’s why we don’t have ghost writers and why we don’t have editors. It’s just the two of us.”

    Damn straight. Except not.

    In other news (literally), we just LOVE that we’re now go-to commentators on all things celebrity, as the New York Daily News asked us our thoughts on Gwyneth’s “conscious uncoupling” and other such silly celeb-divorce conceits:

    “With Gwyneth, I see a very masterful plan in manipulating her own image in this ‘consciously uncoupled’ period they’re going through,” Fitzgerald says. “There have been so many rumors about their marriage for years, and she’s definitely trying to minimize the stuff about them for the next couple months.”

    We were less kind about the Jenners but more kind about the Bloom-Kerr split.We have opinions on all three (of course) in the piece.

    Not that it was a life goal or anything (okay, maybe a little), but we can’t help feeling a sense of MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED when a journalist calls us up and asks for a sound bite about something other than Project Runway. It’s been a long road from fan bloggers to pop culture commentators.

    Yes, we’re preening. But if we can’t preen a little on our own book site, then when can we, darlings?



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