Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Whore: Dolores by Jacqueline Susann

Book Whore: Dolores by Jacqueline Susann 

When  it comes to Jacqueline Susann it is easy to just think "Valley of the Dolls"--the classic damnation of drugs, Hollywood and the 60s... It is a book near perfect in it's capturing of the excess and ambitions of the period, the type of calling card some authors spend their lives hoping for. Because of that, it is easy to ignore the rest of her works which is a shame because she grew more interesting and more faceted as she went.

Dolores is one of her shortest novels, her final one, barely finished before she passed away from cancer. It is her trickiest novel, a thinly veiled tell-all about a first lady widowed, a fashion plate left adrift in her grief and what she does to bounce back. Susann had the taste to acknowledge the similarities to Jacqueline Kennedy by making several pointed references to her story as being similar...

But Dolores also stands on it's own as an indictment against wealth and excess, a fable about what happens when you have everything around you but nothing inside you. It is a glamorous and sexy as her previous works but also more jaded, more self aware and more raw because of it. Dolores is a beach read for the hipster, the ironic and the rubberneckers of society.

It's a hell of a note to go out on,

Monday, October 19, 2015



I've been depressed.

This isnt just casual sadness, the little waves of discontent that sometimes happen, disappointments from day to day life... It has been real depression--the inability to talk, to do the things I like, feeling lost even with the people who love me... I have never felt this way before and it's such a weight to try and shake...

It started this summer and is the reason I haven't been writing as much as I should.

It began with the wrapping up of my show--it was a hard season which was parts my fault and parts others'... I was relived to be on hiatus and actively searched for another job but couldn't even get an interview for jobs I was overqualified for... And then other people were finding new jobs so quickly--it just shook me up to feel like I had no options. And when I decided to accept the offer to go back to my old show--I had an idea in my head how to make the situation better but was derailed by other people's gossip.... I spent the week before I returned to the show crying because I felt so stupid.

But during this time I also had a bad cancer scare--really bad and it just overtook my head.... I spent my birthday bandaged up from a biopsy but hadn't really spoken to anyone about it... It just made me feel even more distant from people--emotionally and physically. I felt I didn't have anyone or any way to talk out my feelings and the husband was not enough...

So I tried to channel all my energy and fear into working out... It's been a year since I quit smoking and the weight just piled on so I jumped into a harder workout routine than I had been doing... Eventually I managed to pretty seriously injure my chest muscle--to the  point that almost 2 months later I am sore after doing basic pushups... But at the time when I first pulled it--I just stopped working out which made me feel even fatter.

It's been a hell of a past few months

But it was getting better--my return to the show was huge in helping me... There was a real effort to change the process, to make it more positive and it was working... My best friend was returning to LA sooner than expected which was a relief... The husbear and I were coming up on our anniversary trip to San Diego... Things were starting to pick up

Then the show had an injunction brought against it, filming stopped and we were all laid off... Johnno was offered a new job which required us to cancel the trip--he even had to work part of the weekend--and the gig is just long enough to mess up these plans then back to the same routine... And one friend is moving further away from us and I have just been kind of stuck alone in my own space....

So that depressed thing I was starting to shake just came back doubled.

But I am trying to take control. Hopefully by writing again... By making a workout that allows me to heal while still working on my stamina... By pushing myself to reach out when I can... Hopefully that is enough to climb up and out of this hole...

Though I feel like one of those clouds in a medication ad.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Whore: The Forever Trilogy AKA the End of Caitlin

Book Whore: The Forever Trilogy AKA the End of Caitlin

Okay--first off thank you for suffering through this series with me.... Love it or hate it--the split personality of the Caitlin series will weigh you down over the course of 9 books so kudos for keeping up....

That said--I love the final trilogy because it is a very rare thing to watch a young adult character all the way through to adulthood and that make it worth the trip. In the final series Caitlin has finally graduated college and is moving on to the big city as a career woman.

In journalism with a side of modeling...

I get that this is a series written in the mid 80s so a character's end game can feel a bit dated--but since the FIRST novel we have known that Caitlin is destined to take over the family mining company. She has been bred to do this and is mentioned all over the place for the first 4 books... And what made that idea unique was having a female with the goal to be in business... So this is a bit off--putting.

The other thing is that Caitlin ends up living in 1980s Manhattan along with Jed, Melanie and several of Caitlin's friends from high school. And while it is nice to tip back to certain place and things--the loss of Caitlin's complex morality makes being in NYC suck... She hates clubs and drinking, is rude and awful about drugs and would rather sit on the couch then be in the punk or art scene with other characters

And she judges them

It just makes the first book more of the same mistake in the second series and makes me sad


When we get back in book 2 of this trilogy the game is changed--events have brought Caitlin home to Virginia and to the family company and where this series should have been heading all along. The writing sparkles as Caitlin regains her nerves of steel, family drama returns along with a heavy dose maturity for all of the characters--they do feel like young adults now... And the best part is the history of the story is woven into these books with horses, class issues and EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER get woven into the story from Diana to Lawrence to Julian...

It's a great send off to a character that can be frustrating at points... And outside of the Julian story--I would say you could leap from trilogy 1 to trilogy three and not lose out on too much. And even with all my nitpicking--the Caitlin trilogy of trilogies is a fun read and well worth the time... It can be argued that this series even becomes the first New Adult series with the final trilogy--something that I really enjoyed...

Now I have to find whatever else Diana Gregory wrote

Friday, October 09, 2015

Fashion Friday--Formal fantastic

I am loving this overly flashy and accessoried look--its daring and vulgar without being over the top... It's the perfect inspiration penis going into the holiday/office party/wedding season.

And I know I'll have to tone it down to make it a bit more masculine but it's fun, clever, and dramatic

Monday, October 05, 2015

Monday morning inspiration

I spent my Saturday night down in the Marina Delray area of town – – where I stumbled across this large seagull sculpture in a hotel… it reminded me very much of a wind chime that my parents had brought them back from their honeymoon when they were first married  and I was constantly fascinated it.

The idea of the birds and Klein has always spoke to me… It's that visual manifestation of what I think creativity feels and looks like… It's wonderful to be reminded of that in the most random times in the most random places with my friends