I'm a graduate student in English who gets hammered with reading, writing, and teaching tasks, like all grad students. A counselor at my school, the University of Arizona, told me that a person should only be expected to read 100 to 150 pages of writing per day.
I've translated this advice into me setting a goal of doing four hours of hard intellectual labor (grading papers, reading, writing) per day, and filling the rest of my day with various whatnot: TV, internet, working out, playing with dog, cooking, talking to my wife--and most importantly, NEVER feeling guilty for having a life outside of grad school.
My life got a lot easier after I got over myself and accepted my limitations, and focused on my goals instead my inaccurate perception of what I "should" be doing.
So, Cary T., I agree with your sensitive advice to this woman of celeb gossip. Down time is not shameful; it's the extension of hard labor. What the celeb fan could do is create a new jouralistic genre where she analyzes celeb gossip--like a mythological reading of the Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston triangle. God knows she's not the only intellectual that follows that stuff.