And this blogger is back. With a twist.

That rather sounds like a martini.  Anyway, time for some social media infusion.  So much has changed since my book came out.  I have spent my time promoting the book, meeting such wonderful people, signing my book across the U.S., doing television, radio and print interviews and now, I’ve parlayed my experience into something much more satisfying than talking about myself. (snooooze).

My wonderful speakers’ agency (APB) has me criss-crossing the country speaking to colleges and universities, towns & cities of first responders and law firms in order to train folks how to deal with people like me.  It’s been a huge year for sexual assault – and not a good one – Sandusky/Penn State, the GOP and Mourdock/Ryan/Akin, the woman in India who was gang-raped and killed.  I’ll go on and on in other posts.  I love my public speaking life and I have also embarked on my second act as a writer in freelance journalism, so look for my pieces in blogs, magazines and newspapers.  I cherish my editors and my agents who manage to get this girl gigs.  I am always astounded by this.   I will also be spending more time on Capitol Hill as an advocate, since we KNOW what a mess that is up there.  Wheeeee!

There will be a second book.  It will not be about me.

In the meantime, I’ve been raising my now 10 year old and 4 year old in Alexandria, Virginia.  We spent August in East Hampton, eating from the sea and farmers’ markets.  Mike and I went to Milan to see Springsteen (I know – extreme superfan, I am), then onto Rome for a little getaway.  As a family, we went to Disney and Mike and I took a brief getaway to the Bahamas.  Mike began a new job and we adopted a new puppy, Jingles.

May 2013 bring so many good thinks to you, my sparkly, delightful readers.  I promise to give you content – some lifestyle, some crime, some personal, some hilarity, but always from the heart.  Cheers!

 

The Boss – maybe you can stop mocking my love of the old man now.


Many people giggle and tell me I’m ridiculous that I adore the Boss. Let me tell you, like most silly white folks, I also love Lil Wayne, Jay Z and Coldplay. If I dig deeper, I am a music addict with some pretty impressive chops – I love everything from Keane to John Mayer to Nada Surf to Diana Ross to Earth, Wind & Fire. That said, I am ridiculed all the time for my love of The Boss. I think it’s a generational thing, a geographical thing, a first concert I ever went to thing. Leo – he was born while “A Promised Land” was playing. Yep, true story.

Of COURSE, I got my tickets today for the new shows in the spring this morning. Sleeping baby in my arms, I got frustrated with Ticketmaster’s site crashing, but gosh knows I probably got the last 2 seats in the nosebleed section. Did you watch the Superbowl? Dude looked hot. Clarence looked like Andre Leon Talley. Seriously!

He’s riding a lovely wave of renewed popularity these days – stumping for Obama, playing the Inaugural, releasing a new album, winning a Golden Globe for “The Wrestler”, being nominated for an Oscar for the same song, etc. What’s not to love? Here’s a pic of him that my friend took at Inaugural when Bruce was backstage at the concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Lucky guy.

RIP, Christian Wolffer


One of my favorite people, Christian Wolffer, died tragically while vacationing. He was swimming when a boat prop ran him over on New Year’s Eve in South America. Friends tried to save him, but the blood loss was too grave. Horrible. Christian was a true bon vivant, ladies’ man and owner of the most wonderful place, Wolffer Vineyards in Sagaponack.

He lived his life to the fullest and died doing what he loved – basking in the sun and enjoying a swim on vacation.

You can contribute to his charitable foundation by visiting here. Most of all, he would have wanted you all to visit his vineyard and sit out on the deck and look at the grapes and the sunset. Cheers.

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:

Setlist:
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

ENCORE:
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.

Remembering John F. Kennedy, Jr.



This week, it will be nine years since the terrible plane crash that took the lives of JFK, Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bessette and her sister, Lauren Bessette. While the nation mourned the only son of a legendary President and First Lady, so many wondered why yet another tragedy hit the Kennedy family? It seemed to many that John Jr. would have eventually traipsed into political life, bearing all of the charisma and power of his father (and other forbears) with none of the controversy.

I was reading a book by Kennedy’s George magazine editor, Richard Blow, this week and was surprised to learn that JFK, Jr., for all of his public life and private passions, was puzzling to know. He wasn’t the dim bulb he was thought of and yet, he dared tread in some dangerous areas. He would have been a shoo-in for President one day, or would he have? A man of grace, humor, astounding good looks, he wore his celebrity easily, even if it was a burden.

In the interest of full disclosure, my feelings about his death were quite strong in the days that followed because a) Lauren Bessette worked with my husband and b) I knew one of his flight instructors; the one who could not accompany him that trip as his girlfriend at the time was my cousin and a good friend to Carolyn. Carolyn was from Greenwich as well. I had never met any of the three who died.

That said, Richard Blow’s book, for which he caught much heat, examines only the years of George, the brilliant and sometime overlooked magazine founded by the young Kennedy in the late 1990s. What struck me most about Blow’s book was his assertion that JFK, Jr. was, in every sense, a misogynist filled with the very same hubris that killed many in his family, i.e., “The Kennedy Curse.” For example:

1) he blamed Sheila Rauch for wanting an annulment on his cousin Joe’s failed bid for reelection. Why not blame the husband? I myself have gotten an annulment and it’s no easy feat and it’s not for the faint of heart. You must really want the annulment and be able to prove to the Tribunal that the marriage is not viable.

2) he blames the victim for testifying in the trial against his cousin William Kennedy Smith, who was tried and aquitted of rape in Palm Beach. JFK Jr. is physically present (by choice?) in the courtroom during trial. Does that sway the jury? What many folks don’t realize is that Kennedy Smith was accused again of rape in 1999. Also, Kennedy Smith had help in the person of his uncle Ted Kennedy that night and everyone knew it. Who could possibly charge these people with a crime and win?

3) he practically blames the teenaged babysitter for “seducing” Michael Kennedy, whose marriage is ruined and then goes on to die in a skiing accident while playing football on skis. What about the daredevil problem in the family which would apply to both the (statutory rape)”affair” and the skiing backwards? Why not blame the late Michael Kennedy or karma?

For all we know, he blames Marilyn Monroe, Mary Jo Kopechne and Martha Moxley for various “infractions” against his family as blood is way thicker than water. What I’m trying to say is not that he was a terrible person, but like many whose star shone with amazing brightness, he had lost perspective and in his grief, reached out for the easy targets to blame rather than look at his flawed family with fresh eyes. From what we know, his mother was extraordinarily adept at raising children in the most abnormal of circumstances and, upon her death, he seemed like a rudderless ship, removed from the calm anti-celebrity of his older sister Caroline.

That said, his death was untimely and tragic and who knows where his career and public life would have taken him? I like to think of him as a “good Kennedy”. As we approach the anniversary of his death this week, I wanted to take some time to see what you all thought of this family and whether or not they bring tragedy upon themselves or if they are simply unlucky? They are, quite simply, like no other dynasty here in America and have done our country proud via public service. What of their private lives? Or is it simply not any of our business?

NB: JFK, Jr. was a Phi Kappa Psi. Hmmmmm…

“Janie’s Got A Gun” – Joe Perry (and Aerosmith) is my hero of the day.


Marnie alerted me to this one and I am totally stealing from her right now, but I was so impressed by this. It seems Joe Perry of Aerosmith was giving an interview on VH1 about the song “Janie’s Got a Gun” – see the video here directed by the brilliant David Fincher – and as you may know, it’s about a girl who shoots her father who has been sexually assaulting her and the mother remains silent.

Joe said in the interview, and I’m paraphrasing, that they made this song because “no one talks about” the epidemic of rape and incest and they wanted to draw attention to a terrible problem. He was very strong in his conviction about this and why they wrote this song. Bravo. Reminds me now of Tori Amos’ brilliant “Me and A Gun”, written about her own rape.

Thanks so much, Aerosmith. Loved you before, love you more now. I wonder how many hopeless victims turned to that song for strength! Once again, not condoning vigilantism – they do arrest “Janie”, after all.

A journalist and a gentleman.


Sadly, Tim Russert has passed. NBC’s Washington Bureau Chief and “Meet the Press” moderator collapsed and died of a coronary embolism. Rest in peace – you were one of the good ones.

Joyful Heart Foundation auctions on eBay. Thank you, Mariska!


So, the Joyful Heart Foundation is one of my favorite causes and they currently have items listed from Mariska Hargitay, Sharon Stone, Dana Delany, Mary Steenburgen, etc. on eBay, 100% of the proceeds going to JHF, which helps survivors of sexual assault.

Mariska, while swimming with dolphins on vacation, experienced a “breakthrough” and realized that survivors could be helped in this way, ergo, she founded Joyful Heart. Playing Detective Olivia Benson had taken (and takes) quite a toll on her and while not a survivor herself, she is trained to tend to survivors and does this at SAVI – Mt. Sinai’s survivor arm.

True story – last SAVI fundraiser, I wanted to introduce Mr. Notranting to Mariska and he was just too mesmerized. That’s how gorgeous she is in person – and just as ebullient, funny, nice and irreverent. We’re chatting away, having a cocktail and poor Mr. Notranting is trying to figure out a way to say “hi”. OMG. Poor thing skulked away to hang with Richard Belzer and his dog. Marnie finally rescued him. Mariska is his biggest celeb crush and the fact that she helps folks like us – hot damn, it doesn’t get better!

I want to thank Stacey, Shaireen, Chris & Mariska for all the kindness you’ve shown me the past few years. I hope to return the favor soon. In the meantime, help JHF out! Bid often! I totally want these Hermes shoes, but Sharon must have had dusty feet that day!