The tradition of sing-alongs can be traced back to her growing up in a military family. "The Bull Meechum character in The Great Santini is nothing like my father," she says, "but the thing we had in common is that you sing in the car everywhere you go. You sing between one duty station and the next duty station."
Much of the infamous songbook was compiled long before there were computers. "I would take the words down in shorthand, so there are lots of mistakes," says Edwards. "Now I spend an inordinate amount of time making sure they're correct. What I do is sit at my computer and sing the songs. I have more than 5,000 lyrics—if I printed the whole thing, it would be multiple volumes. I recognize that I am probably 15 years past the point of reason, but I can't stop. If the house were burning, after the children and the photo negatives, what I'd save is the songbook."
"But I feel guilty about downtime. I always feel I have to be accomplishing or absorbing something. I feel really guilty spending the entire day indoors when it's sunny out. It's like not seizing a moment. And it's my mother yelling, 'What are you doing inside?' when I was a kid."
Ironically, when Mizrahi stopped accepting so many invitations was when he started keeping a journal. "Now I have nothing to write about," he says. "You read Noel Coward's journals, and the heading is 'Sri Lanka' or 'Marrakech.' Mine is exciting when I can write 'L.A.'"
Most of her guilt is reserved for the shoes she buys with every $600 paycheck for an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. "That's a lot of money for a pair of shoes," she says, "even though I'll wear them just stomping around on cobblestones."
She stores them, a bit fetishistically, in boxes stacked over her bed that she loves almost more than the shoes. "I can't believe when people rip open gift boxes," she says. "They're like gold to me. There's a girl on my floor who throws out her shoeboxes. She wears size 8. My feet are 5, and my boxes are small, so you can imagine the hyperventilation when I get hers." By the way, the shoes are rarely open-toe. "I've probably had three pedicures in my life," she says. "My brother says my toes look like lacquered corn chips."
"My chief sin in their eyes," she says, "is that I do not always practice what I preach and sit down to eat with all my family, but rather feed them and then sneak upstairs to eat my supper in bed. I compound this sin, but also my pleasure somehow, by not having a tray: I love beautiful linens and adore my bed, but I am uncaring about the spillage and drips and crumbs I leave in my lazy, greedy wake."