I have a confession — I sat next to L.A. artist Gary Baseman at dinner Saturday night and had no clue who he was. He mentioned his Emmys and BAFTAs, and I still didn’t catch on — I mean, in L.A., if you don’t have an Emmy, then what the fuck’s wrong with you?

Luckily, he pulled out a post card bearing his work. On the back he wrote, “To Caroline, Toby Loves You.” Baseman had drawn Toby, a little clown-dog who regularly appears in his work, and a character looking suspiciously like me, naked, in the Jennifer Aniston Rolling Stone cover pose. Cute. I showed it to my artsy friend sitting across from me and she started having convulsions.

“Where did you get that?!! Oh my god it’s Gary Baseman!”

“Yeah, I know it’s Gary Baseman,” I said. “That’s him sitting next to me.”

The whole table lit up with excitement. Eventually, I told him about the book I’m reading, The Black Arts, which contains a chapter on numerology. I am a three (“charming, lucky, overanxious for popularity”); Gary asked me to find his number. Back home, I learned that he’s a seven, “the number of the scholar, the philosopher, the mystic and the occultist,” but “likely to be deeply unhappy people.” Bummer. I e-mailed him this information, and he didn’t seem too impressed. I should have known better, thanks to my recent numerology fuckup with Vincent Gallo.

I e-mailed Gallo a few weeks ago after watching The Brown Bunny on DVD. His Web site has a section where you can e-mail him, so I sent a note thanking him for creating a beautiful piece of art. Gallo specifically requests that all e-mailers attach a photo of themselves, which I did. He wrote back: “You look pretty and nice.” I was flattered, so I asked, “Do you want to be friends?” He wrote back, “Where do you live?” I responded, “Hollywood,” and he replied, “Me too.”

Excited at having a new movie-star pen pal, I wrote a sweet letter, and gave him a free numerology reading based on his name. Unfortunately, Gallo seems to be an eight: “hard, materialistic, selfish, sometimes tyrannical and unscrupulous.” According to the book, eights are “not very attractive characters and they may be keenly aware of that. They have the capacity for massive success, but constantly face the possibility of resounding failure.” Unsurprisingly, I never heard back from Gallo after that one. DOH! There goes my movie-star neighbor/pen pal.

Moral of the story? Numerology: DON’T.

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