Author: Lauren Weedman
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Lauren Weedman is not okay.
She’s living what should be the good life in sunny Los Angeles. After a writing gig with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she scored parts in blockbuster movies, which led to memorable recurring roles on HBO’s Hung and Looking. She had a loving husband and an adorable baby boy.
In Fresh Perspectives on Having It All, she turns a piercingly observant, darkly funny lens on the ways her life is actually Not Okay. She tells the story of her husband’s affair with their nanny, her first and only threesome, a tattoo gone horribly awry, and how the birth of her son caused mama drama with her own mother and birth mother with laugh-out-loud wit and a powerful undercurrent of vulnerability that pulls off a stunning balance between comedy and tragedy. -Goodreads
I'm waiting in line for a coffee in Portland. It's my first trip to the city and I'm here doing my show "Bust" at Portland Center Stage.
I'm trying to butter up my barista so David will be impressed by how quickly I've gotten to know the neighborhood when I get treated like a regular when we come in together tomorrow.
"My husband and I are trying to figure out a date night, which must sound so middle-aged to you." At the word "husband" my sullen, shark-eyed barista looks up from steaming milk, as if he's trying to imagine who would have ended up with me.
David's getting ready to go work in Alaska for the summer, so we need to at least pretend that we want to do something together. I tell the barista, "I want to get out of the Pearl District and do something really Portland."
"Go to a strip club."
A strip club. Oh, that's so Portland barista. I can't do the strip club thing. I can't have a casual conversation with naked women dancing in front of me while I give little nods of "nice" as I sip my vodka tonic. Yet I'm so flattered that he thought I wasn't too old and square to handle such a thing, so it sucks that I react by bursting out in nervous laughter. "Oh no, no, no! Oh gosh. Think I'll skip that one. I'd rather tuck my one-dollar bills in your tip jar!"
The girl behind me in line, a pale young chick with pink hair, nose rings, and black eyeliner so thick it makes her eyes look like little pin holes for the light to spill out of her head, sticks her head into the conversation. "Just so you know, I go to strip clubs all the time. I always really enjoy myself. In fact, the girl I got a lap dance from last night just Facebook friended me."
My barista and she share a "right on" moment before he turns back to me. "I'm not sure what you're picturing but it's different here. Everyone goes."
"Everyone goes? Oh really? Everyone?! So it's just the Applebee's of Portland."
The barista tells me that his mom's book club meets in a strip club. "If I were you, I'd take your husband to Mary's. It's a good one to start with. It's right around the corner from here. Mary's isn't even a strip club; it's just a bar that happens to have a stripper."
Oh ho, ho ... very clever.
Miss Fortune is not a book that is " a ha ha laugh a minute" kind of book. It is instead, the chronicling of a life and all the moments and incidents that have gone into making that life unique. The collection of stories found here, are one's that make the reader aware that life is indeed a human condition. As such, those things that happen in life (i.e. affairs, motherhood, stepchildren, neurotic dogs, etc.) happen to us all.
The circumstances of the author's fame and success in the realm of entertainment, adding the often unfortunate complication of making her stumbles and bumps, as well as those of her family, all the more public.
This book is very relatable in a "see I have as much poop in my back yard as you do" way. Admittedly, this is not the best written book on the block. If however, you are looking for a book that will give voice to the private trials that seem to follow us all through personal relationships. This is the book for you.
Lauren is an award winning comedic actress, playwright and author. Her first show, Homecoming, began as a 15 minute performance art piece at Seattle’s On the Boards and went on to go off-Broadway in NYC. Bust, about her work in the L.A. county jail, was awarded a Macdowell Fellowship for playwriting by the Alpert Awards, as well as several “best of the arts” across the nation.
Lauren has written and performed 9 solo plays including Homecoming, Amsterdam, If Ornaments Had Lips, Huu, Rash, Wreckage, Bust, and No… You Shut Up, which was commissioned by Boise Contemporary Theater. More recently, she created and performed The People’s Republic of Portland for Portland Center Stage.
Her television credits include The Daily Show, True Blood, United States of Tara, Reno 911, Curb Your Enthusiasm, New Girl, Arrested Development. She was Doris on HBO’s Looking, and appeared as Horny Patty on HBO’s Hung.
Film credits include Imagine That, Date Night, Judd Apatow’s A Five Year Engagement starring Jason Segal, and The Gambler.
Lauren is the host of the popular Moth storytelling slam in Santa Monica.