Joan Rivers & The Feminists…Ramble

Last night I went to a dinner party to discuss current trends with a variety of ‘cool hunters’ ranging from fashion, hotel, and fragrance experts and more. One of the issues that came up was all of the female equality campaigns and how many people changed their social media profiles to Beyonce with the word FEMINIST behind her during the VMA’s (it also happens in her ‘On The Run’ tour.)

That word ‘feminist’ gets thrown around a lot. Joan Rivers was a woman who broke ground. She was the first female comedian, the only female ever, to get her own late night talk show. She blew my mind and curfew as a child. This sassy, smart mouthed woman who went to none other than Barnard College of Columbia University, which also happens to be my Alma Mater, where they drum female rights into the fabric of your mind, whether you are a card carrying Naomi Wolf (author of ‘The Beauty Myth’) fan or not. It is a small group of buildings with the campus being New York City. Get out there, conquer, kick ass, beat doors down and don’t let people tell you know because of your gender. 

It always amazes me how Johnny Carson could recognize Joan’s talent, making her the permanent guest host while he took off, but then when she was offered her own show, he never spoke to her again. Joan’s joke writer, Cassie St. Onge revealed in her touching tribute to Joan on XoJane.com, Joan never understood what or how Johnny wanted to be repaid, but she dealt with it, the way a true ‘feminist’ does, no need to declare it (I’m not for /against declaring it), and she made the way better for other females and her fans by saying what no one else could say. 

I watched a clip of her on E! News explaining why, off-camera, she always was nice to her fans (something I’ve heard from everyone I know who has met her and I work in entertainment so that’s a lot of people)– it was because she met three stars growing up and they were all nice to her. Her philosophy was that it was as easy to say ‘thank you’ as to say ‘no, I don’t have time right now.’ That shows a real grace of character, something that doesn’t instantly pop to mind as a description of Ms. Rivers, but true. I’ve worked with a lot of famous people, been behind-the-scenes, threatened by one boy bander with a baseball bat on a scorching hot day in Orlando, witnessed ugly behavior towards fans and that clip enforced what people who’ve met and worked with Joan have always felt from her, that she cared and she was kind, so it carries a good deal of weight with me and I will miss her shocking comments on Fashion Police, red carpets and her reality show with her daughter, Melissa. 

Sweet dreams Joan Rivers, you were a gem!

 

Crush of the Week: Amy Poehler…Ramble

Golden Globe winner and second time host, Amy Poehler is on fire these days. I’m personally in awe of her spirit and now her entrepreneurship. She just inked a deal with NBC for a new TV pilot, which will star Natasha Lyonne (who sorry I’m not a fan of since she did an interview looking for apartments and totally put down Brooklyn. Girl, Orange is the New Black films here all the time, get over your I can only live on the the Island mentality or Bjork will bop you next time you come this way, I digress.)

Ms. Poehler’s Parks and Recreation has one of the most talented, funniest casts on TV. Like many people, I was slow to get into it, I was always out on Thursday nights, but once I started watch it on demand, I was hooked. The clever writing, the sincere way Poehler’s Leslie Knope inspires everyone is just brilliant. I love how well developed the characters are, for example, the Ron Swanson character who eats meat, deplores vegetables and government, once gave a child a land mine as a reward, is a carpenter, has two evil ex-wives named Tammy (the same name as his mother) and hides his money in the woods.

Back to Leslie, I mean Amy… she was also the first guest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ ever setting the tone as “The Joaquin Phoenix of this show” according to Seth:

Although, Amy asked for George Clooney to “please stop” their prank war, she and bff, Tina Fey, are in a prank war with George Clooney:

The prank war which started at The Golden Globes, places Amy and Tina on a higher plane of playing with the boys, something both of them have never let them stop them from succeeding. In Tina’s book ‘Bossy Pants’ she mentions that Amy has bigger balls than any of the men they were in Chicago’s Second City with and it influenced her to stick up for women. Who says women can’t be funny? A man who has insecurity problems and has clearly never watched Amy as Leslie Knope.

Crush of the Week: Sam Palladio…Ramble

Dreamy. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Sam, who portrays Gunner on ‘Nashville.’ As someone who has worked in the music industry I absolutely get a huge kick out of it, especially this season’s addition of Oliver Hudson as the hot shot new president of Edge Hill Records.

Aside from looking dreamy, here are five reasons I’m crushing on Sam this week:

1. Sam has a great voice. He is working on a solo album so watch out for that one. Who wouldn’t want to fall asleep listening to Sam’s voice? Here’s a little taste of his band Salt Water Thief:

2. He’s British. ABC loves to cast Brits. Nashville is no exception. Palladio’s American accent is really dead-on, maybe he can teach Rachel Weisz how to speak with an American accent. (Please, I love you Rach, but it’s not your strength).

3. Sam is a one woman man. He’s been dating former co-star & show love interest, Chloe Bennett. She is now part of Marvel’s ‘Agents of SHIELD’, also on ABC. Chloe is a big pop star in China (how cool is that?!) under the name Chloe Wang.

4. Sam is super responsive to fans on Twitter and live tweets the East Coast airing of ‘Nashville’ almost every week.

5. He seems to have a great time playing music and truly enjoy himself. And, yep he is super dreamy with that flop of brown hair & looks good with a little stubble.

Feminism That Kicks Ass Lily Allen is Back…Ramble

Don’t need to shake my ass for you, cause I’ve got a brain.
Oh Lily Allen, have I told you lately how much I adore you? J’adore Lily! There has been a lot of noise this year, especially since Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” became such a huge hit & Miley Cyrus’ tongue & ass can’t seem to be anywhere but in our faces, like we all don’t get enough of that on public transport.

Here’s a smart, amazing way of taking on the glass ceiling, while providing a beat you can actually shake that ass to singing “It’s hard out here for a bitch!” I am having a debate at which lyric is my favorite “Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits” – “Trust the injustice, it’s not going away”– oh woman, you are too amazing.

What Does The Fox, Uh My Girl Say…Ramble

Yeah, if you hear ‘What Does The Fox Say’ one more time, you’re going to smack the niece/nephew/family member who introduced it to you/your man/your kids upside the head. Still, this SNL parody of it with Kerry Washington living out her pop star dreams is a must watch. This is going in high rotation my friends as a reward to myself. Seriously. Now watch it, cause it’s full of butts…

Why Helen Fielding HAD to Kill Mark Darcy/Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy…Ramble

Fourteen years have gone by since there’s been a new installment of Bridget Jones’. Well, then is it any wonder to gush like crazy over the return of chick lit’s leading lady and her creator? If there wasn’t a Bridget, there might not be a Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and The City) or an Andy Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada) or countless other great books that made us laugh, cry, relate and let us know, we’re not strange creatures from outer space if we are singletons.

Mad About A Boy

Recently spoilers were printed in the UK that quickly made the rounds to the US media. Helen Fielding had killed MARK DARCY! When Helen was asked by Vogue’s Valerie Steiker, culture editor last night at Housingworks Book Store, if she expected the swift reaction via Twitter from fans, she said no. She didn’t expect to be sitting at home in her pj’s like Bridget, watching the telly, and seeing updates about Syria, then the next story saying “HELEN FIELDING KILLED MARK DARCY!” She didn’t expect a man to run out of a restaurant she had just left yelling at her “You murdered Colin Firth!” right after the news broke. When I asked one of my friends to come to the event she said “Bitch killed Mark Darcy, she is dead to me.”

The hard part was having to tell Colin Firth. After all, the BBC version of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”, of which Colin played the most memorable Mr. Darcy, inspired Fielding’s character Mark Darcy. For Ms. Fielding, Colin/Mr. Darcy/Mark Darcy is a hybrid creature and she cannot separate them. She wanted to tell him about the character’s end in person but, their schedules were so conflicting she had to tell him over the phone. She said it was like a death, she asked him if he had someone there with him.

However, Colin/Darcy/Mark Darcy did not disappoint. How very British of this clever man to take it in good stride, and announce that it was a fictional character and no one had actually died. So, as a fan, when I heard the spoiler I was quite upset. However, as a writer, we are constantly told to kill our darlings, throw thunderbolts at our characters to shake them up, to challenge them and create conflict and new goals. For Ms. Fielding, Mark Darcy is a gentleman. He would never leave Bridget and their two children, so he had to die. “It’s far better that he dies and lives on in memory untarnished, like Jesus. He’d never be a fuckwit.” Indeed would you want to read a book about a happy marriage? We love Bridget for her struggles, for her self-doubt, for her bumbling through social situations and love.

Colin/Mr.Darcy/MarkDarcy

Colin/Mr.Darcy/MarkDarcy

Fielding said the way in which dating has changed now with social media, is the amount of things that can be silent and have to be interpreted.

Fielding has often be thought to be Bridget. She created Bridget as a means to write columns so she could keep her own life private. There are, of course, many similarities. She admitted she is overly ambitious in the kitchen and the blue string incident did happen to her. Her friends know she is usually going to overreach in that area and takeout will be ordered. Fielding is now divorced, a mother of two and living in London and in her 50’s. Bridget Jones is a widow, 51, and a mother of two living in London trying to sort out social media and modern dating. I can just say Poor Bridget! Let the comedy ensue.

When the Q&A was opened up to the audience I asked Helen if there was anything she had wished from the book had made it into the films and vice versa (oh self brag moment: Fielding said “That is a very good question” – oh yes, I have professionally interviewed people but a compliment from Helen/Bridget –for now she is a hybrid of those two personas for me–is quite amazing). Ms. Fielding answered yes and sometimes things get confusing. There were things she wanted to put into “Bridget Jones: Mad About A Boy” but had happened in a previous book or film. One thing she would have loved to have in the films was Bridget Jones interviewing Colin Firth the actor. (Note: if you own the 2nd film there is an outtake of exactly that but I didn’t bring that up since she seemed a bit tired from a full day of press). So, in actual real life, Helen met up with Colin Firth in Rome where she was Bridget Jones for the night out with Mark Darcy! And, they’ve also had phone conversations where Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy.

Indeed Helen Fielding is so charming and so humble when it comes to the success of Bridget. Ten minutes into the event, she admitted she was quite relieved and happy with it since she stressed about the VOGUE part of the evening – dressing up for it, accessorizing properly and wearing hard-to-walk-in-heels. I love that she removed those uncomfortable heels and let us all just have them sit there and admire them. Hurrah for Helen/Bridge.

Helen Fielding Sans Heels

Helen Fielding Sans Heels

Helen spoke about how men and woman just communicate differently. Bridget’s motto is KOB = keep buggering on & of course, she does. Women will go out, have some drinks and have a laugh about their problems. Whereas, (Fielding kept saying she is not a sociologist), a male friend went out with another man who was getting a divorce after twenty years. She asked him afterwards why the couple is getting divorced and her friend responded he didn’t know, they talked football all night.

When asked what she would be if not a writer, she replied a doctor. She said if anyone wasn’t feeling well she would be quite happy to assist them. Oddly enough, five minutes later the last “question” was really more a drawn out statement, when a woman three chairs down from me began moaning. If you were on the subway, you just move away from that kind of insane moaning, we’re New Yorkers, we used to it. However, this poor elderly woman who had come on her own was slumped over, unconscious in a bookstore! Guests and Fielding sprang into action. The fire department came and took the woman to a hospital. I want to say, as relieved as we all were she regained consciousness, thank you to you Ms. Moaner. You saved us from a seemingly, unending, pointless statement that was taking down the whole event and instead, gave us a chance to see Helen-Bridget as doctor in action.

The best question from Vogue was, if this book becomes a film, will Mark Darcy be present in flashbacks. Fielding said he would be well represented and that she’d like to be part of the casting! Oh ah.

Finally, it was lovely to have a bit of chat with Helen during the book signing afterwards. I was very happy I got to discuss the “Chick Lit” genre which so many in publishing “eschew” , which is the tone and genre I write in and Helen was surprised and told me to keep on going with it. The great thing is I got to inform her that Mad About A Boy is #1 in the Fiction Satire genre on Amazon. She was so happy. I love when you get a few moments with someone you admire, for whatever reason, and they are made happy by something you said to them. Thank you Helen-Bridget. I am glad you wrote another installment and shocked Britain by writing about a woman in her 50’s- gasp, dating!

Having a laugh with Helen

Having a laugh with Helen

Keep Writing & LOVE chick lit! Helen Fielding

Keep Writing & LOVE chick lit! Helen Fielding

Love & Hate: People Have Strong Feelings for Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

As a Gwyneth fan I am glad that one of my most read posts to date has been “In Defense of Gwyneth…”. I was really excited when her new, healthy cook book It’s All Good came out April 9th and even more so, when I went to the book signing at William-Sonoma. There were no haters with bitchforks waiting to throw quinoa pies at the golden goddess, in fact it was the best dressed crowd I have ever seen at a book signing and there was so much love and appreciation for the Oscar winning actress I felt I had found my people.

It is kind of amusing just how polarizing the media is in their portrayal of Gwyneth. Last week she was named by Us Magazine the number one most hated celebrity – now this is  a list with Kim Kardashian at number ten and Chris Brown at number twenty. Should GP choose to assault someone with a large ass she will apparently slide off that list. Note: this was also two weeks after her new book made the NY Times Best Seller list.

Today People Magazine named Gwyneth “The Most Beautiful Woman In the World”. So is it because she is so beautiful that she is so hated? Wow even the ‘Mean Girls’ were less transparent! When Gwyneth visited Dr. Oz he asked her if it bothered her journalists had taken sentences out of her book to twist and call her a bad mother, the good natured health fanantic had to laugh and say no, because those people obviously don’t know her personally. That’s a pretty healthy outlook.

I view GOOP as GP’s outlet for sharing tidbits and giving insight and access to her contacts. I thanked her for sharing her recipes and yep, believe it or not folks there are items in the newsletter you can make yourself for under five dollars like a sugar scrub. Last week’s newsletter had tips from the butler at the Four Seasons who uses such dollar store products like ammonia and the Mr. Clean erasers to keep things shiny. You could say the elitist part is getting cleaning tips from him, but the solutions are quite cost effective.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletters filled with tips on clean eating and juiciing and recipes have helped me take a whole new outlook to food and the way I consume it. As a result I’ve lost thirty pounds. So thank you Gwyneth for your guidance. I needed someone to point me in the right direction.

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