Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Bachelor Rome: WTF!?, Raul Bouva

Yesterday was not a good day for Italians on ABC. First Agnese got the boot and then Raul Bouva's character was killed off on WHAT ABOUT BRIAN?

Agnese was upset but Lorenzo is a stronzo (shithead). If he liked her so much, he could have made some effort to learn more of her language. He was born in Italy and his parents are fluent. What's the problem? How could he pick Lisa instead, the psycho timeline girl? I think the ratings or producers had some influence. God forbid he picks a foreign chick. I like Sadie but she like the other two is pretty young and not very mature. I don't think he's getting married to any of these women. I did hear he is actually a nice guy from a friend. That may be but he should not have sent Agnese home. Perhaps she was too classy and grounded.

Poor Raul, the only reason I was watching this wanna be THIRTY SOMETHING was for him. I'm done. For some reason although the show deals with some heavy issues, it feels like play acting. Sorry Dave and (forgot the wife's character's name) you are no Hope and Michael Stedman.

I finished two books but need to leave for bootcamp class. I'll try to post about them tomorrow.

Monday, October 30, 2006

shock and awe

I finally step on a scale yesterday. I don't own one and I'm not one of those women who weight myself everyday. I could tell I was getting heavier since my clothes were not fitting and I seem to be a little sluggish lately.

I decided to weight myself at the gym yesterday, just to see what I am working with. As I kept pushing the bar further up the scale, I was shocked then awed. How the heck can I be this heavy? Folks we are at Defcon 5.

I hiked Runyon this morning and was very winded. Not a good sign. Runyon is one of the easier hikes. I have to be in the Caribbean, in a bathing suit in less than two months. I am motivated to get back into shape.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Luther Vandross, Madonna and the Santa Ana winds

The song of the month has been Luther's "Shine". I heard the Freemason's mix at the gym and I thought it sounded like him but I wasn't sure. Then I heard the CD version on the radio. The single is new and released as part of a greatest hits CD for the late singer. I heard the CD is not great. Many of of classics are not on it and some of the songs are cut short. I know I have another greatest hits CD, released a couple years ago, somewhere in my collection.

I didn't know Luther used to sing back up for Chic. I do remember him singing back up on David Bowie's "Young Americans" single. Luther had one of the best voices ever. He did sing alot of covers but made them his own. I wasn't crazy about his later material. To me the 80s-early 90s were my favorite Luther years. So talented. Sorry he had to go too soon.

Re: Madonna. I have a ton of work to do today and want to get some writing done. I don't have time to really get into the whole Madonna adoption scandal. I did watch her on Oprah. My co-worker came in (she has two young children) and we both were crying when we saw and heard where David was living. What really got me was the orphanage said no one had visited him since he was dropped off at 2 weeks old. He is only 13 months but has had malaria, TB and pnuemonia. For a year I worked with the Hollygrove foster home in Hollywood (what we used to call an orphanage has since closed. LA county has shut down all their homes) and sees what happens to kids who don't get adopted, placed with a family member, or a good foster family. At least in America, until they are 18 they will go to school (the quality of the education is another story) and might have a shot at a decent life. David's other siblings are dead. If he had not been adopted, the chances of him making it to age five were slim.

I know Madonna is controversial and loves to court the press, etc. I don't think she did this a publicity stunt. The adoption is not final and won't be for 18 months. I feel bad for the dad who is probably having family members cursing him out for not getting some money or something and has press from around the world at his front door. It must be overwhelming. He had no idea who Madonna was. He put his son in the orphanage because he did not want to bury him in the village. I think the mom died at child birth. Anyway, the photo of David laughing with Guy is touching. He is a beautiful baby.

The Santa Ana winds are back. It's going to be 90 degrees today. Some asshole started a fire near Cabazon (about 40 minutes from Palm Springs). The fire started yesterday and has killed 4 firefighters. The wind shifted the flames and a wall of fire engulfed them. Over 38 miles and 23,500 acres are burning. The winds are making a terrible situation worse. Homes have been destroyed and only 5% of the fire is contained.I hope they find the arsonist who is now wanted for murder.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

french passport speed bump, bachelor Rome

Zut allors!! I met with a French teacher today to fill out my forms only to realize that I need to contact the French Embassy in New York to get a more recent stamp on my French birth certificate. We are supposed to apply for a passport within 6 months of receiving said document. My stamp has a date from last year.

Work is crazy busy and I have a slew of jr. league meetings next week. I just have to hang on until thanksgiving, then it will slow down.

Re: the Bachelor Rome. I'm not going to lie, this show is hilarious. I'm glad he picked Agnese just so we can see shots of Venice next week. That Lisa chick, the one with the timeline? Someone needs to school Lorenzo quickly. She has to go.

I assume he's going to pick the Sadie the virgin but I could be wrong.

Okay I have a ton of work to do and need to make something for dinner. ET is on in the background. I'm going to turn it off. Can someone please tell me the fascination with Anna-Nicole Smith's drama and Barry Manilow's hip replacement surgery?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Perhaps I have turned a corner

Friday night I went to the fun birthday party of a good friend. It was sit down dinner at a restaurant and her parents flew in. I bumped into a friend and former co-worker of hers. A couple months ago the birthday girl had a party to celebrate her new job. I was so tired after work, I really wanted to go home, sit on my couch and eat junk. Not go to a hotel bar and hang out with agents. In keeping with doing the opposite (ala George Costanza) I took a shower and went to the party.

On Friday birthday girl's friend asked me if things were still going well since the last time she saw me I was in such a great mood and full of postive energy. I have to say I was suprised. I was in the middle of my bad summer funk and was avoiding social gatherings because my attitude was so stank. Clearly taking a shower and getting out of the apartment had done wonders for my mood that evening.

This weekend was busy. I worked on the book all weekend. I had a great time. I accomplished a lot and cracked myself up in the process. Okay so no one else may find the things I wrote funny but I did. I will be working on it today until my destist appointment this afternoon. Matteo's dialogue is getting better.

One of my friends returned from Italy and bought me some books that I might be able to read: Atlantis-L'impero Perduto (from Disney Junior), Cappucetto Rosso (Little Red Riding Hood), I Capolavori-Cenerentola (Cinerella)
and Il Viaggio In Italia di Valentina (Valentina's Italian Vacation).

I don't know why I am feeling better these days. I'm not on medication and nothing has really changed (still broke, still single). It could be because in less than 2 months I will be home for Christmas. I cannot wait to go to St. Martin. Getting back into volunteering helps (we don't meet during the summer). I spoke to another friend yesterday who finished giving me her notes (she started to a couple weeks ago) and she had some excellent feedback. Her criticism was helpful and I realized that no matter what happens I should be proud of finishing what I started. So many people I know in the business say things like "I should be writing, all these scripts suck. I would write a book/script but you know, I'm , like busy." as if it's so easy. Did I like getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. and writing before work? Not really. Or listening to negative notes after working on something for this long? No, but I'm glad I did it.

Maybe I have turned a corner because I feel pro-active. I know I am going to change my situation, somehow, so I don't let things get to me as much. I will be leaving L.A. so I'm going to try to enjoy the rest of the time I'm here. Hopefully it will only be a couple of years. :)

On the kids front. It is what is it, I can't be depressed about it. I'm not freezing my eggs or wallowing in self-pity anymore. I'm done with that. Everyone has a different path (that sounds so cali), I can fulfill my maternal feelings in other ways.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Marc Anthony, "Todo A Su Tiempo". Writing and more writing

Yes, it's Friday and I am thrilled. I started reading the novel last night and I'm working the red pen like there is no tomorrow. I need to make the first act tighter. The book is about Rome and I should try to get my protagonist on the plane sooner. Still having some trouble with the male lead. I know what he looks like, what is his interests are, his family, friends and how he sounds, but his dialogue is a different story. It would help if I were sitting in La Mani in Pasta in Trastevere listening to men speak. The things we must do in the name of research. Ha.

I like to write to music and I have been playing the same CDs over and over again. I wanted to mix it up and play something I haven't in a while. I try to trade or sell CDs I never listen to but there are a couple that I hold on to for some reason.

Marc Anthony is a great singer. I liked his English language CD but his first two CDs are amazing. I have his second one "Todo A Su Tiempo". I don't think I have listened to this CD since I moved here from NYC.

I put it on and now I remember why I bought it in the first place (tracks number 4,5 &8 are my favorites). While he gets more press these days as Mr. Jennifer Lopez, Marc is huge in the Salsa world. I remember maybe six words of Spanish but it doesn't matter, I dare anyone to sit still while listening to this CD. I assume "Te Conozco Bien", means I know you well? It's very similar to "te conosco bene", which is Italian for I know you well.

Salsa music always brings me back to my pre-suburbs days. I would hear this music on the way to school (P.S. 104), the bodega around the corner from our apartment, at home and from one of the neighbors. They had two kids as well and the mom was a great cook. I do remember going over one day and she was making some dish with octopus. I couldn't wrap my 8 year old head around that. I can still see it on the kitchen counter. It freaked me out. She was from Puerto Rico and spoke mostly Spanish at home. I used to be able to speak some Spanish, now I'm down to those six words.

When we moved to Verona there was only one Hispanic family in town. My brother went to school with my classmate's younger sister. She tried to front like they were Italian-American. I get kids wanting to fit in but that is just crazy. Everybody knew they weren't Italian.

Tonight have a friend's birthday party. During the next five weeks I have 8 friends celebrating birthdays. Then we roll into the holiday season. Man, this year is flying by. Other than the party tonight, I cleared my schedule for today. No conference calls and I'm turning off my phones until later this afternoon. The next four days I am devoting to working on my book. This is the biggest chunk of consecutive days I have had in months. If I can get Matteo's dialogue down, I will be a very happy person.

Ciao tutti. (good bye everyone) Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway: Finale

What happened to Michael? It seems once Uli took his muse, everything fell apart.

I have mixed feelings on Jeffrey's win. His was the most fashion forward but I didn't like his stank attitude during the season. He kept referring to the other designers as amateurs. I don't know why someone with a successful line and full staff is allowed to compete. Jeffrey probably would have made it to Fashion Week without the show. He is a L.A. based designer who works with celebs. Some how with his connections he would have had a shot. I'm not sure the other three finalists would have had the same opportunity.

I appreciate the craftsmanship of Jeffrey's clothes (esp. the green/white striped dress), but only 1 percent of the population could actually wear them. When it was down to the final two, although I knew Jeffrey had it in the bag (oooo, he is so edgy!) I was rooting for Uli. I liked her collection and her model was a bad ass. Hopefully she'll get some work. I don't really remember Jeffrey's model.

Some of Laura's dresses were stunning. I think she did get the most applause from the audience. I don't know what happened to the two previous Runway winners but I think we will be seeing more from the finalists last night.

Sfashionista sent me some link saying Brandy and Michael were "together". I don't gossip (ha) so I can't even comment.

In the trades yesterday were articles on how the ratings for the Flavor of Love finale broke all kinds of records. Again can't comment.

I cannot wait until the weekend. It has been crazy busy this week. My committee chair told me yesterday we might get some additional volunteer advisors. I hope so. I am constantly on the phone or sending emails to the women in my group trying to answer their questions.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Bachelor Rome: Under a Tuscan Sun

How beautiful did Tuscany look last night? I have been to Florence and Siena but at some point I do want to explore the countryside. One of the women on my committee is in Cortona with her husband this week.

Regarding the women who are crying. Didn't they just meet this guy? How can their hearts be broken so quickly? He's cute but come on.

I am so busy at work, I'm a little overwhelmed. Yesterday was not a productive writing day. I made some typo corrections my sister pointed out but that was about it. I had too much work to do.

I will block out four days 9-5, friday-monday this week to work on the book plus, get up super early maybe 4 or 5 to get some writing in before work. I tried writing after work, can't do it, my brain is fried.

I also need to get it together on the health front. I feel so sluggish. This is not good. So starting today, I am going to eat, better. I can't gain all this winter weight already it's only October and I have to be in a bathing suit in two months.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Flavor of Love, I Vitelloni, bus tour

I feel so ashamed. Why did I watch that train wreck of a finale instead of reading a script? Why is Miss New York's weave so jacked up? I read in the NYTs there is going to be a Flavorette with her own show looking for Mr. Right. God help us all.

I watched Fellini's I VITELLONI b/w 1956. Great movie about a group of directionless young men living in a boring seaside village. It's probably the most accessible Fellini movie I have seen. The movie is gorgeous and moving. I can see how this movie influenced so many filmmakers.

Speaking of films I am so behind on my movies. There are four movies playing now I really want to see.

I was on a League bus tour all day Saturday. I had to be at the Venice Boys and Girls Club at 7:30 a.m. This is the tour we do for our new members to show them some of the non-profits we work with. This is such a large provisional class, we needed four buses.

After Venice we drove to the Downtown Women Center. Once the DWC exec director spoke, she introduced one of the women who lives there. This lady had been living on the streets three months ago. As she spoke about what she liked about the Center, I and some of the women in my group started tearing up. The League has an eight week workshop that meets on Saturdays. The League committe chair spoke as well. One of the girls asked if it was safe (we were not far from Skid Row) and I had to chuckle to myself as the chair said yes. She was wearing a pair of diamond earrings the size of a nickel.

I spent time on the bus talking to the other advisors. One (a former agent) has been dating her man for three years, one at 26, just had a baby and the other is expecting her first child. I am still trying to work out this whole funk about being this age and not having a family. It was good to spend time with women who do have babies and hear about their joys and struggles. The expectant mom, is no longer working (her husband is a banker) and she can barely find time in the day to get anything done. How on earth could I have a baby as a single parent? Even if I could afford to adopt, my work is so unstable. If the production company I work for shut down, there is no other income. Sooner or later I will feel better about all this and just look forward to be a very cool Auntie.

We stopped by the Hollywood Boys and Girls club where I volunteered last year. I saw three women from that committee who are still working with the club. One just got married in Tuscany. It was like a little reunion. I also saw my former committee chair from Chrysalis (a group that helps homeless people enter back into the work force) who is doing Boys and Girl club this year.

Last time I saw three of these women, we were sitting on the 18th floor terrace at one of their homes after a Jr. League meeting. We were drinking wine and they were trying to give me advice on dating. It was hilarious. All of them were engaged. I don't think they could relate to my situation but I appreicated the effort.

File under sometimes it's better to pay more:

My face has looked horrible (to me) since I got back from the Caribbean. I thought it was only stress and that is why I was getting really dry patches. In an effort to save money, I have been cutting back on some expenses. I still spend money on bath gel but thought why use Kiehl's when the Neutrogena foaming face cleanser at Target is one-third the price? I happened to be at the Aveda store yesterday. I decided to break down and spent $20 on the face cleasner. I used it last night before bed. This morning I was shocked. My skin looks so much better already.

I think the other cleanser was too harsh. I use Aveda shampoos because they are gentle and full of natural incredients. I have always spent decent on money on face cleanser, using either Origins, Kiehl's, Aveada or Prescriptives. Not sure why at this age (when you really need to pay attention) I decided to skimp on my face. There are certain brands that are all about hype and marketing and others that are worth the extra money. I still love some of Neutrogena's other products (like the sun block) but will hold off on the foaming face cleanser for now.

I'm excited to write today. Received some excellent feedback yesterday from two readers who read an earlier draft. They noticed a big improvement. This made me feel better after getting lukewarm feedback earlier in the week from someone who read it for the first time. I thought I had thicker skin, but I found myself getting very defensive. It's hard to be on this side of notes. I have to give notes all the time for work and I try to be careful with how I express my issues with a script. The goal is to make the script better not make the writer more depressed.

I not sure how one knows when they are "finished". I'm sure I could work on this for years and always find things that I don't like about the book. The structure, plot and characters are there. I am really going to zero in on dialogue and description during this next rewrite. The second best tool for me (the first are the notes) is to continue reading books.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Marianne Pearl casting drama

I finally saw a photo of Angelina Jolie as Marianne Pearl. She looks like her. I didn't know what to expect. One of my friends told me on Gawker someone asked if the studio was going to break out the "Max Factor light Egyptian" make-up. All jokes aside, some people are very upset about this.

I was talking to an exec who is working on the project and they have received all these irate calls. "How dare hollywood cast a white woman to play an African-American." "It's an outrage. I'm going to write the L.A. times." "They should have cast Halle."

Okay. Let's back up. Warner Bros. orginally bought the memoir for Jen Aniston. Think about that for a minute. In what universe is Jen (not a strong dramatic actress) believable as a worldly French woman of Cuban and Dutch descent? Anyway, news flash. Mrs. Pearl is not African-American. She does she consider herself as a woman of color but clearly she had no issue with casting since the book could not have been sold to Warners without her consent. She really wants this story to get out into the world and is probably relieved they cast someone who can actually identify Pakistan on a map.

re Halle: She has something like three movies (including one based on a true story and that woman is white. Another is based on a remake where the lead actress in the orginal was white. So should Halle not have been cast in those movies?) shooting back to back. Who knows if they approached her and what she said? Oscar aside, Halle is American as apple pie, not sure about her doing an accent. Thandie, passed. I do know what Angelina's dad looks like but not her mom. Angelina is doing this role with a French accent. Her mom is French. I wonder if the people complaining to my friend would have been upset if J.Lo was cast? She is Latina. Why can't she play someone of Cuban descent...because she is Puerto Rican?

My friend Susan used to live near Marianne in NYC. We saw her and her baby at a local bakery. She was very friendly. Marianne is beautiful and her son is gorgeous. We were in downtown Manhattan and I couldn't help but think about how many people in that bakery were directly impacted by terrorism.

Re: the people who are outraged. I really can't get that worked up about which $12 million per film actress wasn't cast. This is not some popcorn movie. I just hope the movie turns out well. Perhaps they should write the L.A. Times, about the people who lost everything because the wealthiest country in the world cut money from the budget to improve the leavies in New Orleans. Or how we are the only industrialized nation that has these kinds of school shootings. I think it's an outrage that many pensions are being cut, that millions of working people in this country cannot afford health care and that we are spending billions of dollars in Iraq and yet Osama is chilling in Afganistan five years after 9/11.

I think the message of what Marianne is trying to say is very important and I hope this issue doesn't distract from that.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Project Runway, Sur La Table cooking class

The plot thickens. I have tried not to look at any photos from the shows during Fashion Week. Does Jeffrey get the boot? I'm not mad at Laura. Michael thought Jeffrey's collection was suspect as well. If Jeffrey cheated, he needs to go. Jeffrey had no sympathy for Keith Michael (who was kicked off the show for cheating) so why would he expect some from the other three designers? I wonder, how can they prove he had help?

I'm worried about Michael's collection. "Sfashionista" told me it was a mess. Laura's apartment is huge. How does she get anything done being a working mom with five kids? I can barely keep it together and I live by myself.

Last night after work I took a cooking class at Sur La Table by the Grove. It was a birthday gift. Most of my fellow students were novice cooks (or don't cook at all). We made an Olive Oil cake and the woman on my team/table, was too impatient to finish shifting the dry incredients. When I tasted the cake it was delicious until I bit into pieces full of salt. Everyone kept asking what was broccoli rabe? (it's like a mustard green)

The chef was great and the food excellent. The Fall Tuscan Dinner menu was: wild mushroom pizza with caramelized onions and fontina cheese, roasted figs with gorgonzola and prosciutto di parma, mashed parmesan potatos, baked pork loin with quinces (he used cactus fruit instead) sauteed broccoli rabe, the olive oil cake, a pear tart (I had to leave before the tart was done).

They gave us a ten minute break so we could shop with our discounts. Not to worry I wasn't cheating on Williams-Sonoma. This class was a gift. I know the W/S in Beverly Hills has classes also but they start too early. I have a bunch of left over basil, maybe I will make pesto this weekend.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Little Children, Cancer Vixen, Bachelor Rome

My boss let me borrow her copy of Tom Perrotta's LITTLE CHILDREN. I wanted to read the book before seeing the film, which received excellent reviews. Not sure how long this film will be in theaters. I work in the biz and have no idea what is going on with this movie. There has been hardly any marketing for it.

LC is about a nice suburban town and what happens beneath the surface. It's not AMERICAN BEAUTY. Perrotta has more compasion for his characters and there are some very funny moments. Two thirty something stay-at-home parents begin an affair and a convicted child molester moves back home with his mom. Both these events pop the balloon of the typical lazy days of summer.

Once I started reading it, I couldn't see Kate Winslet playing a mousy, frustrated suburban mom. My boss said she was angry when she heard about the casting but Kate was amazing. I am a big Perrotta fan. ELECTION was great but my first love is probably his short story college, BAD HAIR DAYS, Tales from the Seventies. There were set in Jersey and I laughed my ass off when I read this book 9 years ago. I was still living in NYC then and went to a friend's beach house for the weekend. A novelist/filmmaker was raving about Perrotta and gave me his copy. I still need to read Perrotta's JOE COLLEGE which is sitting in pile a with about 15 other books.


CANCER VIXEN by Marisa Acocella Marchetto.
I am not a comic book fan. I used to read them as a kid but other than the graphic novels I need to read for work, I don't seek them out.

CV is a graphic novel about Marchetto's battle with breast cancer. At 43, a terminal bachelorette is about to get married in 3 weeks to the one and only Silvano Marchetto, the very popular and dynamic owner of long time hot spot Da Silvano. She has found true love and her career is picking up when THE NEW YORKER hires her for more cartoons.

In the middle of all this bliss she finds out she has breast cancer and her health insurance has lasped. I have always been a fan of her work in THE NEW YORKER, and the late great magazine MIRABELLA. At times her book is very in your face and while there is nothing funny about a disease that kills over 40,000 women a year, Machetto's story brings some laughs along with the tears.

I loved her cartoons. The way she described and drew the catty women talking smack about her, after her engagement, as sour grapes on a vine was hilarious. Her mother (aka Smother, the Sophia Loren of New Jersey) needs her own book. I liked how it didn't sugarcoat anything. Marchetto does get angry, wonders if walking around for days in the ash of 9/11 has anything to do with it and if her larger than life fidanzato (he's very italian, so she refused to say fiancee, because it's french) will bolt when he hears the news. She takes a hard look at her pre-cancer anger and superficial life. She still loves her shoes and lipstick but doesn't let things get to her the way they used to.

A portion of the sales are going to cancer research.

BACHELOR ROME. I love that there is an Italian woman, Agnese, living with these crazy American girls. She can't understand why the girls are always screaming/cheering. I wonder the same thing myself. I belong to a volunteer group with hundreds of women from recent college grads to grandmothers. We never scream like that. And there are quite a few ex-sorority girls and cheerleaders in my group.

Lorenzo needs to find about the girl (he gave her the diamonds) that has her timeline. She all about the ring. I don't think she cares about him.

Borghese Park looked so beautiful. All weekend I have been thinking about booking a quick trip during Thanksgiving. American Airlines and Lufthansa are having winter sales. Two of my friends are going to be in Florence. One, is going to see her boyfriend, the other it will be her first trip to Italy. Since I am broke and will be spending almost $2,000 to be home at Christmas, I need to sit tight. I meet with my accountant in February. I want to see how much I will own in taxes. before spending any of my birthday money (thanks mom and dad) on a trip.

Allora, back to my so-called life.

Friday, October 06, 2006

T.G.I.F.

Off to write. That's all.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Bachelor - Rome

Hahahahahaaa! I laughed my ass off last night. It was a much needed chuckle after the last 48 hours. My dad was supposed to have surgery on Thursday but my uncle died over the weekend. My parents are headed back to the island for the funeral. My uncle was in his late 80's and had a great life. It's sad but not unexpected. I didn't know him that well. He didn't come to the U.S. to visit and we were closer to my dad's other siblings.

I have not watch this show since Trista married Ryan. I had major issues with the premise in the first place. All these women competing with each other over one man? This is not good for the sisterhood. I believe none of the Bachelors have married or maintained a relationship with the women they proposed to. Meanwhile the first Bachelorette is still married. Hmmmm.

So after receiving several emails about this season from my friends, I had to watch. I don't know where to begin. I think the New York Times said it best. They keep hyping the show about this Italian prince and how the show is set in Rome but with American people. Prince Lorenzo Borghese doesn't speak Italian (born in Milan but he grew up in NY/NJ) and there is no monarchy ruling Italy.

Where did they find these women? I'm feminine and I like the color pink but never once in my life did I want to marry a prince. Michael Jackson (pre-thriller), Sting (when he was with the Police), Bob Marley, Seal, Andy Gibb, Bobby D (Godfather 2 era), Mark Sandemeno (he was a year a head of me at Verona High) Denzel, my youth group minister Rev. Cadmus, these were some of men I imagined myself walking down the aisle with. I don't get this Cinderella crap. Oh yeah I forgot about Donald (The Art of the Deal) Trump back in the mid-80s. I would not date him now but back then I thought he was the shit. I did not like his decorating taste but I liked his drive and he fixed the skating ring in Central Park. My college roommate thought my love for The Donald was weird.

Every single woman on the show last night was saying how it's EVERY woman's dream to be a princess. Some of the women are supposed to be smart and with the exception of one "dancer/model" and a socialite they all have jobs. I'm not sure why eighty percent of these women talk like this:

"Oh.my.god. His name is, like, all, like, over Rome. He, is like, from, like, a really really important family."

Rome looked great. There was a shot of the piazza where I stayed in Trastevere. I miss it so much.

The Prince is cute but I'm sensing some knucklehead tendencies. I could be wrong.

I must thank Mike Fleiss (producer of the Bachelor,and yes he is related to Heidi, they're cousins) for providing some needed Roman eye candy. I am talking about the city, not the Prince.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani and The Known World by Edward P. Jones

ROCOCO is a fun, breezy book that was a little frustrating. I read THE BIG STONE GAP years ago for work and enjoyed it. ROCOCO takes place in a small wealthy New Jersey town by the shore during the 1970s. Our protagonist is Bartolomeo di Crespi "aka B" who is the most famous interior decorator in town. His company is called "The House of B." He was a wacky family and is distraught when the local priest hires an outside firm (Wasps from Philly) to renovate Our Lady of Fatima.

I subscribe to a bunch of shelter magazine and love shows about design but Trigiani goes way overboard with the descriptions. I don't know a single man gay or straight who gets that turned on by trim (no pun intended. I'm talking about fabric). The biggest problem I had with the book was B. He did not ring true to me at all. She wrote him as a very flamboyant gay man but yet tell us he's straight. Okay. Toward the end she implies he might be bi.

Nobody in this small town thought it was strange that at 40 he was still engaged to a woman he never went out with. This is the groovvy 70s not the Eisenhower 50s. I didn't feel like I was back in the 70s or in a small Italian-American town by the "shora". We moved to a town just like this in the mid 70s (we were close to NYC not the shore). I liked how close the family was and how they all looked out for each other. There was some romance and some laugh out loud moments. I read Mario Cantone did the audio version and was hilarious.


THE KNOWN WORLD by Edward P. Jones. This book won the Pulitzer in 2004 and there have been many comparisons to Morrison and Faulkner.

A young screenwriter I had a meeting with, told me it was one of his favorite books. He sent this book to me as a thank you. It had been on my list and I was excited and touched to receive it. This was not an quick read. There are many well developed characters and the story is non-linear at times.

Jones sets the story 20 years before the Civil War in the fictional county of Manchester, Virgina. Augustus Townsend has bought his freedom from William Robbins, the most powerful and richest man in the county. Eventually, Townsend is able to buy his wife and his son's freedom as well.

His son, Henry, buys his own slaves and runs a successful plantation. When he dies, his widow Caldonia, is not as disciplined and things quickly fall apart.
This book was difficult to read at times. How could Henry purchase slaves? His father was devestated when Henry told him.

The book is about the Townsends, Robbins, the slaves, the sheriff, the patrollers and every single person who is touched by this "most peculiar" institution.

(semi-spoiler)
There is something that happens to Augustus that is heart breaking. I know this is fiction but things like this did happen. The sheer inhumanity and disregard for another human being is something I cannot understand.