Monday, March 30, 2009

Call Me

Last week's "30 Rock" had me “lizzing” – what the very clever Tina Fey dubbed whizzing while laughing. When her character’s old slutty chat line TV commercial surfaces, I flash backed to when I auditioned for just such a gem.

At age 18, I didn't quite grasp why guys would phone strange women to chat. "Hey Trixie, what's the weather like there?" You could have reached me at 1-800-Clueless. But I wanted to act.

The audition was all about mile high hair, more makeup than a Broad Street hooker and the cheesiest lines ever. I’m sure my sultry come-hither stare looked more like confused anger as I purred, “Call me, call me now” into the camera.

I was devastated when the director didn’t “call me” to say I’d gotten the part. It didn’t occur to me that I lacked the requisite C cup and looked more like pedophile bait at that age. It’s hilarious and scary to remember how disappointed I was at missing the opportunity to humiliate myself. So if something doesn’t work out for you, it might just be a saving grace.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Decorate By the Book

Homes without books are icky soulless spaces. I only hope these people have worn out library cards. "Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house," said Henry Ward Beecher. I agree. Whether you're a big reader or not, books are a must-have decorating accessory to create coziness. Pick up bargains at thrift stores and garage sales.

Turn the page on how you store your books. Ditch the dust covers and let the beautiful bindings and covers show. The metallic ink against matte-colored covers offers an elegant library look to your collection. Vary stacks horizontally and vertically by subject matter to create visual interest and organization. Stash those Harlequin romances and other paperbacks in decorative boxes on lower shelves.

Displaying books in unexpected places adds panache to your home.

"Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights."
~Author Unknown

That quote inspires a few design options. Consider adding built-ins to your dining room to create a warm library lounge atmosphere. Pass the brandy, please. If that's a budget buster, the same look can be achieved by lining a wall with freestanding bookcases.

Don't just stick to shelves. Let your books be free. Stacking a few larger ones on a short side table can elevate a lamp to the right height for reading all the other books. They can even be piled high to create a table.

My books seem to be giving birth faster than the bunnies out back. Too much of anything creates clutter. Edit your collection and donate the overflow to your local library.

A good book has no ending. - R.D. Cumming
Good decorating has no ending. - Me

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Be Super Hot

When notorious playboy Warren Beatty finally settled down with fellow actor Annette Bening after years of womanizing, everyone wanted to know what got the ring on his finger. He was quoted as saying, “She has an amazing capacity for happiness.”

That quality should be on everyone's checklist. Happiness is hot. Sure the moody, edgy person holds a certain amount of mysterious appeal while dating, but that wears very thin in a marriage. As life gets more complicated, you want a partner who can lift your spirits up - not drag you down into the depths of their despair on a regular basis.

Is it fair to discriminate against the chronically unhappy? After all, maybe they were born with the negativity chip or had a really hard life. Countless studies have been conducted and the results are debated. Theories aside, it’s easier to live with a smile than a scowl.

I maintain that one’s happiness is in direct relation to their gratitude. Some people are grateful for the smallest things, and no surprise - they are usually the happiest. So, if you want to be super hot, splash on some joie de vivre.

PS - Clinical depression is a whole different ball of wax. This post is just about happy vs. sad sack.

PPS - Warren and Annette have been married since 1991 and have four children. I know this but not how to do my son's third grade math homework.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Life Diving

People say I’m brave because I try new things. That’s not really the case. There is a huge difference between bravery and impulsiveness. I usually lean toward the latter. My modus operandi is to jump off the cliff and look for the parachute later. I trust my gut to have picked the right cliff. I don’t always take time to fully consider the possible consequences and my ignorance propels me forward. It's an exhilarating free fall and I always seem to land on my feet. I’m not brave - just lucky.

I tried improv for the first time a couple years ago in front of New York casting agents. Somehow, worry worked a way into my head. I knew full well I could make a complete fool of myself and was terrified I would freeze. But I did it. That was brave. It was a much more satisfying feeling because I had to stand up to a fear. That left me with a sense of pride. I’ll cherish those agents’ reactions more than a hundred lucky outcomes.

Being impulsive is a personality trait, being brave is a choice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Love New York

Here's my top five reasons for loving New York City.

1. Cab Rides - Why go to an amusement park for rides when you can experience terrifying thrills on your way to meetings?

2. Becco - Drink inexpensive, top-notch wine while eating the best Italian food in the company of the nicest staff ever.

3. The Cloisters - Travel back in time at the Met's medieval collection in Fort Tryon Park. It's a bit of a subway ride, but worth it.

4. Energy - It's palpable everywhere and makes me feel completely alive.

5. People watching - It's a fabulous field trip for writing research. The only place in the U.S. that comes close is Vegas.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back So Soon?

Destiny does come crawling back and this time with flowers. Take heart fellow writers.

Tomorrow's blog preview: Why I LOVE New York.

Date with Destiny

When one door closes, break in through a window. That’s not exactly how the saying goes, but it works for my writing career. I’ve got a short attention span for disappointment. Sometimes, all it takes to get me out of a funk is a song on the radio. Last night, it was The Rolling Stones’ classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want."

I don’t give much more time to professional highs than I do the lows. That might be because either way I’ll continue to write. Not much changes. Also, I’ve found that if you turn despair inside out, gratitude is on the other side. I’m thankful that I’m doing what I love. In the words of Mick Jagger, “sometimes you might just find you get what you need.”

So when you get stood up on a date with destiny, don’t just go home and eat a half-gallon of ice cream. Write a few more chapters and then eat the ice cream. As my wise friend Amy says, "destiny will come crawling back."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homeless Front

In writing my decorating book, I researched the impact homes have on our lives. If having a cluttered or unappealing home has a negative effect, imagine what not having a home does to someone.

In this land of plenty (even in the worst economic times), 700,000 people go homeless every night. The average age of a homeless person is nine - the same age as my son. That statistic will haunt me when I tuck my children in at night. I'm looking into how I can help Habitat for Humanity. I hope you will, too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Joan F*$%ing Rivers

When I got to QVC’s front doors at 2 a.m. during Monday’s blizzard, a tiny figure draped in a chic black coat held the heavy door open for me. It was Joan Rivers.

When people discover that I work on air at QVC, I almost always get questions about her. “Is she a bitch?” “What does she look like in person with all that plastic surgery?” They want some juicy dish and I've got none to serve up.

I have loved Joan Rivers from the moment I first heard her brash brand of humor on Howard Stern 15 years ago. My undying loyalty was sealed when she complimented a suit I was wearing. Where was my red carpet that day?

For the curious, here are my limited professional observations.

1- Brings her cute non-yippy dog to work diva-style.
2- Always impeccably dressed and attractive. (I’ll join her society for preservation.)
3- One of the hardest working people in show biz. Check out her hefty professional history here:
4- One hell of an entrepreneur. (She brings Bergdorf’s style to my price point and makes a tidy profit. Win–win.)
5- Makes QVC entertaining.
6- She’s one classy broad.

Fast fact for writers: Joan Rivers is also an author and screenwriter. And, before her show biz days, she worked as a writer and proofreader at an advertising agency.