From the cover
Where Have I Been All My Life
I don’t remember the actor, and I don’t remember the movie, but I remember it was five o’clock in the afternoon and I had just taken a couple hits off my vape pen. I needed to load my Pix account, which held pre-released movies that I was expected to screen before a star of one of the movies was a guest on my Netflix talk show. I was sitting on one of my overpriced chaise longues, the kind that celebrities and Russians purchase for their bedrooms, when I found myself once again unable to convert the TV that descends from the ceiling from Apple TV to Pix. Rich people have descending smart televisions. The idea is that they descend silently and gracefully from the ceiling, but because I am nouveau-riche rich, mine sounds more like a helicopter landing. I’d like to blame my inability to change the mode of my television to Pix on the fact that I was stoned, but that would be a lie; I’d be even less capable if I was sober.
I called my assistant Brandon at his house, to tell him to tell my other assistant, Tanner—who was downstairs in my house—to come upstairs and help me with the television. I hung up the phone. I looked down at the table and saw the vape pen. How many more hits of marijuana would I need to get through this movie?
I knew things had hit a new low—or high, depending on how you looked at the situation. I picked up the iPad that controls the TV along with everything else in my house—from the window shades to the exterior lights in my backyard, to my pulse, probably—and tried to pretend that I was troubleshooting, so that Tanner would think I had at least tried to figure it out on my own—as if that had ever happened before.
How did I become so useless? And how many assistants did I actually have? Answer: two. Brandon and Tanner. Brandon is gay and has an incredible attention to detail. Tanner is straight, and before he met me, he thought that the Four Seasons was a weather pattern. Before I met Tanner, I thought Venmo was an online liquor store.
Tanner was now upstairs standing behind the chaise I was sitting on. I wondered if he could smell the weed I’d just smoked, and if so, what did he think of me? Did he realize that most television hosts don’t even make the time to watch movies and TV shows to prepare for each of their upcoming guests? Did he understand that I was a consummate professional who went to great lengths to get ready for my show? Or did he think that I was just some rich, lucky, white bitch who continued to fall upward? No, that wasn’t quite right: I doubt he was thinking in terms of race. Two white people surely weren’t thinking about skin color. I was the one thinking that.
I didn’t want to watch another stupid f***ing movie that I didn’t care about. And I really didn’t want to interview another action star bloviating about his motivation for playing a half man, half mermaid. I just didn’t care, and I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by pretending that I did.
Did I ever care? The answer is yes. There was a time when all of this mattered to me. There was a time when being famous and having this kind of success and money and having a TV show was what drove me to want more and more and more, and now I found myself exhausted and ashamed by the meaninglessness of it all.
I remember coming home a couple of weeks before the 2016 election on a windy fall night—which for Los Angeles is rare. Anytime there’s weather in Los Angeles, even rain, it’s exciting—the constant sunshine can start to grate on your nerves. I went up...
About the Author-
- Chelsea Handler is a writer, comedian, producer, TV host, activist, and the author of five consecutive New York Times bestsellers. She hosted the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately on the E! network from 2007 to 2014 and released a documentary series, Chelsea Does, on Netflix in January 2016. In 2016 and 2017, Handler hosted the talk show Chelsea on Netflix. She is at work on a documentary about white privilege that will be released by Netflix in 2019.
- Comedian Chelsea Handler's decision to narrate this memoir means that her trademark breezy irreverence peppers this laugh-out-loud glimpse of her life and running interior monologue. As she races through her feelings about current events, American politics, and her rise to fame, fans will be clutching their sides with laughter and delight at the intimate feel of the listening experience. Handler's years of performing stand-up comedy come to her aid as an audiobook narrator. Her timing, pitch, and pace are flawless. We are swept along, chuckling at her outrage over ice cube usage in Europe and her inability to master her television. Handler holds nothing back, including her obsession with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which she divulges with relish. M.R. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
April 22, 2019
Amusingly offbeat and told with the biting sarcasm expected of the TV personality, Handler’s sixth book (after Uganda Be Kidding Me) packs a surprising amount of emotion and introspection. After a somewhat shaky start that amounts to an extensive admission of her attraction to special counsel Robert Mueller, Handler quickly dives into the meat of the memoir with a detailed and passionately wrought account of her therapy sessions with neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel. Through dialogue, Handler shares her struggles to complete menial tasks, her contentious relationship with her father, her inability to empathize (“I never stop showing up , but I don’t put myself in their shoes”), and the profound impact her brother’s accidental death had on her when she was young. The long stretches of self-reflection become dense at times, but are punctuated by lighter excursions in which Handler talks about her dogs (“I am someone who knows that loving a dog makes you a kinder and fuller person”). These insights provide much needed moments of lightness in an otherwise sobering narrative of how Handler came to peace with her complicated relationship with vulnerability. Fans of the comedian will appreciate her candid and sincere introspection.
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