Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Nov 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Doppelgangers Among Us

Kim_Luke2Or Who’s That Girl?
A few weeks ago, during a typically foggy, chilly Santa Cruz morning, I decided to take a brisk walk to get the blood moving, revitalize the senses and energize my mental state. It was early in the day and as such I chose to simply hide my comfortable almost-pajamas and disheveled almost-awake self with a black trench coat cinched dramatically at the waist, a pair of extra large sunglasses, and a neatly tied black scarf atop the leftovers of the previous night’s fantastic hairdo. As I headed for the front door, a brief glance in the mirror told me I looked a lot like a movie star in a clichéd disguise, more specifically (and fantastically, in the true sense of the word—the derivative of “fantasy”) I imagined I looked a lot like 1970s era Elizabeth Taylor dodging the public eye. (Need I remind you that it was very early, and I probably had not yet had my reality-inducing first cup of coffee, so humor me.)

Basking in my newfound, if wholly undeserved confidence, I adopted a slight swagger in my step, thinking, “How would La Liz exercise?” I committed to my own inner monologue and avoided direct eye contact with strangers, as if I were Someone Important who did not want to be bothered. I reminisced about my marriages to Richard Burton and my perfume empire. My journey led me toward the Boardwalk, and through small groups of early arrivals at the beach: groups of families, friends and a church group or two. My intent to breeze through on the wings of the starlet express was halted mid-step as a teenager muttered, “Is that Rosie O’Donnell?”

My personal Mancini soundtrack skipped a few grooves, my stride de-glamorized as I tripped over the offending comment, and my mouth fell open in shock. Rosie O’Donnell? The reality of my true demeanor fell over me like a breaking wave. Not the kind of wave that lifts you up and carries you like a graceful water goddess to the edge of the sand, but a wave that knocks you over unexpectedly, rolls you on the sea floor and tosses you out with sand in all the wrong places. How could I have been so delusional? Nothing against Ms. O’Donnell, but when one is trying to feign paparazzi dodging, one usually does not adopt a personage that requires dialogue along the lines of, “Yo! Exercising here! A little privacy?!!”

The remainder of my stroll lacked zing. I trudged home to resume life as plain old me. I thought about the mistaken identity perpetrated by the teen (whom I pegged immediately as a Taylor Lautner look-alike), and the doppelganger tribes among us. I admit to being one of those people who regularly says things like, “He’s a Robert de Niro guy,” or “She’s one of the Jessica Tandys” when describing someone. Apparently what I hadn’t considered was that I might be “a Rosie O’Donnell.” Doctor, heal thyself? How about “judge, pigeonhole thyself.”

I’ve had the good fortune to live in a handful of different cities, and thanks to unerring research (“people watching”), I can attest to the scientific fact that there are regional doppelganger tribes, just as there are regional cuisine and fashion. Santa Cruz is rife with Billy Bob Thorntons and Gary Buseys. There's an abundance of Vanessa Redgraves and one or two middle-aged Gwen Stefanis clinging to youth (but usually on the arm of a Drew Carey instead of a Gavin Rossdale). There are too many Tom Greenes and not enough George Clooneys: oodles of Sheryl Crows and a marked upswing in Vincent Gallos, yet still only one Seal.  We’re short on Ben Stillers (no pun intended) and could benefit greatly by trading some of our Michael Grosses for one good Paul Hamm.

(A side note to those of you unfamiliar with the pop culture references herein, by overlaying your specific genre of choice, you’ll understand my point. Translate to your dialect of choice, for instance sports fans might note Santa Cruz suffers a glut of Johnny Damons and too few Venus Williamses; Sadly, I haven’t seen a Michael Schumacher in years. Political junkies see the bumper crop of Cathy Ashtons, two and a half Vladimir Putins, and a James Carville on every corner; Barbara Mikulskis are usually seasonal. Keep in mind this is purely skin deep, so jump right in—the water’s non-committal.)

My other adoptive homes over the years are not safe from the broad (though accurate) brushstrokes of my keen observation. Chicago specializes in Lainie Kazans, Bernie Macs, Kevin Jameses and Katherine Heigls. It suffers from a dearth of Paul Newmans.

The hometown of my youth (remaining nameless to protect the innocent) is chock full of Paula Deans, George Lopezes, Molly Ringwalds and Bob Villas. Not one single Adam Sandler.

My decade in Los Angeles is an anomaly in doppelganger tribe labeling, considering it is both the lair of the copyrighted brand names, as well as the home of cosmetic surgery, by design an exercise in tribe-hopping. Where’s the fun in, “She’s a Sharon Stone. Oh, wait, she is Sharon Stone.” Boring.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere important, just a self-image query: Who do you believe to be your doppleganger tribe? Take a look in the mirror. Try to be realistic. Imagine stealing someone’s purse and what their police report description of you might be. Be prepared to take it down a notch: if you think it’s Matthew McConaughey it may actually be closer to Nick Nolte.

We’re all special individuals, single snowflakes with unique formations of body, mind, soul and add-ons. And yet, at some point in your life you will be shocked by an offhand comment by a teenager or other casual observer, and all you can do is prepare for that inevitable moment and plan an exit strategy. I, personally, am going to enjoy the company of my mother (a Shirley Jones), my sister (Hillary Clinton) and my best friend (Julia Roberts). Yo, get over it!

 


Kim Luke lives a fabulous fantasy life with her husband, Ed Harris, and her children, The Lollipop Guild. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Send comments on this article to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit goodtimessantacruz.com.

 

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Ozzy, August 18, 2010
Great article. I have always fancied myself to be Sandra Bullock (as she appears in Miss Congeniality) but fear that others may see me more as the Principal in the original "Grease" movie! Keep up the good work - it's always a pleasure to read your wit and wisdom. And, I must say that I've always thought of you as a young Liz Taylor!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Pop Life

The pop-up dining trend is freeing culinary imaginations and creating a guerilla version of event dining around Santa Cruz

 

Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pie Fidelity

A little Thanksgiving help, plus sip and shop locally at the Art, Wine and Gift Bazaar

 

What should be on everyone’s bucket list?

Hang gliding, because you're free as a bird. Jenni, Santa Cruz, Student/Administrative Assistant

 

Soquel Vineyards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s time to be thinking about the wine you’re going to serve with that special dinner, be it turkey, ham, a roast, or something vegetarian or vegan.

 

The Kitchen

Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery