Equal time: I made fun of the whiskey tango today; let’s make fun of my own people.

For those of you who haven’t seen this video for a very real product – Smirnoff Raw Tea – it’s hilarious and spot on. There’s a West Coast version that’s not as funny. I can watch it 10 times in a row and laugh hard. They name the town I live in, summer in, went to school in – and it’s true. Popped collar preppies are annoying, but well-mannered and always aiming to please with a lovely thank you note.

Click here to enjoy the merriment. Nothing’s harder than a New England Gangsta.

Thanks for all of the good wishes!

Thanks to all of you who have written in via our website, S.T.A.R.S. and have sent such lovely wishes to our family in advance of our new addition. You’re so kind. We still have a backlog of questions/cases/emails, etc. from over a year ago to answer – so please be patient. We do answer each one!

In the meantime, if you are the parent of a young person who left for college in the past couple of weeks, please become familiar with STARS and with the resources listed on the website. Hopefully, you won’t need them, but please feel free to contact any of them if you aren’t getting the help you need!

My best, Liz & Family

Saturday Recipes – Heirloom Tomato Sandwich!

I obviously have a split personality today for a blogger – but I really missed doing Saturday recipes and I am now happily settled into our new family/media room and can blog and write at will. I am clearly behind on my manuscript for reasons of comfort and stress but I think this helps!

If you’re like me and you have even 12″ diameter, you can grow tomatoes! I grow all sorts of heirloom tomatoes and eat them daily. They were a little slow to come in this year in the Northeast, but they’ve been bountiful and gorgeous. For this recipe, just eyeball it and use any kind – plum, Beefsteak, green zebra, chocolate, etc. – yellow, red, orange, green, brown, purple, etc. In the South, we use plain old white bread like – gasp! – Wonder, but you can put a more chic spin by using a ciabatta or sourdough. Whatever you like – some folks add basil or goat cheese, but I am a purist and use only 4 ingredients. The goal is to enjoy the burst of tomato flavor. PS – NEVER refrigerate a ‘mater. It kills it!

Heirloom Tomato Sandwich

– slices of heirloom or fresh tomatoes from market (organic preferred)
– sea or Kosher salt
– one teaspoon good Mayonnaise, either homemade or Hellmann’s
– 2 slices of the bread of your choice
– 2 turns of a cracked pepper mill

To assemble: simple smear mayonnaise on each of the two bread slices (if using a whole grain white, use a double rocks glass or round cookie cutter to make a child’s perfect circular sandwich – they love it!), arrange tomato slices on the “bottom” half of the sandwich, sprinkly liberally with salt and dust with fresh cracked pepper). Put other slice of bread on top, slice and enjoy the best of summer.

Unexpected windfall for Jay McInerney,

If you grew up in the 80s, as I did, you spent a lot of time reading “Lit Pack” authors Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz, whose nightly exploits at the Odeon in TriBeCa were legendary. They made James Frey look like a preschooler taking a juice and graham cracker break. Anyhoo – I am not going to comment at all on the John Edwards scandal. I’m not surprised, I’m not shocked, I am sorry for his wife, I never trusted “Mr. End Poverty” with his $400 haircut (seriously, what man needs a $400 haircut?), but at the end of the day, powerful and not so powerful men sleep around. It’s wrong, but it is what it is and I cannot pretend to get caught up in it. I feel for Elizabeth, I do – she should be mightily mad and I doubt he told her. He’s lying about it in the smarmiest way, so just don’t ever vote for him (as if he can run again). And I totally think the child is his. Enough about that. It has nothing to do with anything but American hypocrisy and Puritanical craziness.

Anyway, according to the New York Post, the mistress, Rielle Hunter, “has had other famous boyfriends, including author Jay McInerney, who has said he based the promiscuous character in his 1988 novel, “Story of My Life,” on Hunter. Boosted by the scandal, the novel is out of stock after shooting up to No. 470 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list – prompting its publisher to print another 2,500 copies.”

The character’s name is Alison Poole and I pictured her much differently! Good for Jay. I see him in Greenwich, I see him and the kids in East Hampton. People give him so much grief for who he is. I don’t know him. He writes lovely books about wine now and is married to heiress Anne Hearst. Let’s hope he keeps it together!

Are those khakis? Oh dear. He’s still my one free pass.

Those of you in committed relationships will know what “one free pass” means. It’s when you would have the opportunity to spend time, ahem, with one person who you have a mad crush on. Sort of like “Indecent Proposal”. Of course, it’s good to make your free pass person completely unattainable and not the red-headed 23 year old dumbass you meet on the plane. It’s never really fulfilled but fun to talk about.

I’ve given a lot of thought to my free pass. I think Mr. Notranting’s is Scarlett Johansson (he and every man in America – which leads me to go see Vicky Christina Barcelona this weekend, no doubt). I need to check again. So, mine is 58 years old, which is not supposed to be the way this goes. Sue me. It’s an area thing, a childhood thing, a hotness thing. Until I opened this morning’s New York Post. Khakis and a polo shirt? Check. Slight – dare I say – paunch? Check. He probably just had lunch. I saw this specimen about 10 days ago and he was the hottest, fittest thing ever. Never mind – I’m keeping him. I’m too hormonal to change. Patti, if you ever get tired of him, I’m here.

Retail Spotlight Friday – where, oh where is the BlackBerry Bold?

My BlackBerry is a clunky, yet beloved dinosaur – the BB has no GPS, very limited WiFi and, get this, a trackwheel and not a trackball. It also has no camera. Can you imagine? I have been marching into the store once a week, asking for the new one. The new one – the BlackBerry Bold (watch the video). I am not an iPhone fan, simply because I love my iPod. I know, so silly. Also, as a long-term BlackBerry customer, I actually get a free upgrade. My phone is so totally busted right now, however, they’ve pushed back the debut from July to September 1. Aargh! At least our neighbors in Canada have theirs. So pretty!

It has 5 interchangeable color backscreens, great speakers, GPS and a host of great features. Please, I can stay addicted to criminal justice news and find the perfect cupcake shop in a flash. If you don’t know which smartphone to get, consider jumping on the BBB bandwagon. $300-500 with plan.

Surprise music break – Gnarls covers Radiohead.

As a massive fan of Radiohead – and Thom Yorke’s ethereal voice, I was so thrilled to see Cee-Lo, of Gnarls Barkley, cover one of my favorite tunes, “Reckoner” from In Rainbows. “Reckoner” is one of those tracks I listen to over and over – whether in the shower, doing yoga, writing or driving. That someone dared cover it with so much soul is a feat. Love it or hate it, soak it in. Track starts at approximately 1:05.

I promise to come back with “What’s Your Soundtrack Tuesdays” – promise! I’ve been listening to a lot of great stuff while nesting and such, as I think all children, born and unborn, benefit from a fparent’s passion for music. Talk to you all tomorrow. And to all of my LA pals – glad you’re OK. xo

Well, that made my week – thank you, E Street Band.

So I went to see Bruce Springsteen last night and it was a barn-burner. The set list was all over the map, the arrangements were surprising, Bruce was in top form and the audience was fantastic. It was dark and brooding, wild and lighthearted, filled with longing and a summery spirit. I loved that they didn’t perform a whole lot of “Magic” – he culled the set list heavily from the past – “Growing Up”, “Tenth Avenue Freezeout”, “Spirit in the Night” and a lot of great stuff he doesn’t do normally, like “Janey Don’t You Lose Heart”, “Atlantic City”, “Mary’s Place” and a great cover of “Summertime Blues”. He played at least a three hour show, ran, flipped, did backbends over the crowd, preached, sprayed water on the crowd, collected requests, mugged for the cameras, flirted and played his heart out, as did each band member. PS – who knew Max Weinberg had so much hair?

That will probably be his last show at the old Giants’ Stadium. As a season ticket holder, I’ll miss the old clamshell. I’ll miss seeing Bruce and the band there as well.

Living in post-9/11 New York, I still shiver watching them do “The Rising” live. Those of you who think Bruce is all about “Born in the USA” (in my opinion, his weakest yet very popular album), try to listen to the older stuff (first three albums) and go to a live show. It’s a wonderful thing – it’s a religious experience. Thanks for giving this incredibly pregnant “superfan” a special night – and thanks to all of the really great Jersey fans seated with us who were so careful to give me space, dance with me and not drop beers on me. You were all so much fun.

If you didn’t make it, click here to watch the first three songs! – and here’s the set list, for those who care:

Tenth Avenue Freezeout, Radio Nowhere, Lonesome Day, No Surrender, Adam Raised a Cain, Spirit in the Night, Summertime Blues, Brilliant Disguise, Atlantic City, Growin’ Up, Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart, I’ll Work for Your Love, Youngstown, Murder Incorporated, The Promised Land, Livin’ in the Future, Mary’s Place, Working on the Highway, Tunnel of Love, The Rising, Last to Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands

Girls in Their Summer Clothes, Jungleland, Born to Run, Bobby Jean, Dancing in the Dark, American Land, Rosalita

Photos courtesy of Backstreets.com – the ultimate fansite.

Thundercrack or not, The Boss’ homecoming tonight.

The return of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band to Jersey will be amazing tonight as they begin the summer leg of the “Magic” tour this evening. Of course, the weather is not cooperating. Gosh knows being very very very very very much with child and the prospect of standing in the rain (got a doctors’ note!) is not thrilling, but we’ll get on out there and see what’s what.

Night #1, my first show without the Phantom and my first chance to expose my unborn little boy to such joy? I won’t miss it unless they don’t play. I’ll report back later, hopefully with deafened ears and a renewed spirit.

Retail Spotlight Friday – a tad belated – join the fold.

Kayaking is something that I occasionally enjoy – especially on the ocean or in the harbors of the East End, like Three Mile or Accabonac. Mr. Notranting is hooked, though and, thus, I go along. He can’t share my surfing thing, but I can do this with him. While searching high and low for a great gift for him, I was torn between a rowing scull and a kayak, thinking the kayak too bulky to transport. That’s when I discovered folding kayaks by Folbot. By the way, they are featured in this month’s Town & Country magazine as well.

Basically, Folbot is the leader in folding kayaks – if you’re an adventurer and want to transport your gear anywhere, these things fold into one or two lightweight bags that you throw in your car or check at the airport (ugh). They are extraordinarily well-made, lightweight and great for spur of the moment adventures. I have ordered Mr. Notranting The Edisto and it is all I can do to not ruin the surprise. Folbot’s site is terrific to look at, with great photos from other ‘bots, a plant tour, a message board/community, a cool blog and wonderful gear. Based in one of my favorite cities, Charleston, SC, Folbot is true craftmanship for the sports enthusiast. Not to mention, I enjoy anything these days that is “slow” or hand-made and not mass produced. Trust me, I’ll be happy to get back in a kayak soon! Enjoy!