Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Most Common Divorce Culprit, and Fashion, it’s a Sickness

I just yelled at my husband because he threw away last night’s pasta. WITHOUT. ASKING. ME. I was really counting on eating that pasta for lunch, and now I am starving and have no food. Argh! It’s enough to make you get a divorce!

Seriously. This is what marriage is like. You get divorced because…HE THREW AWAY MY LUNCH!

Your honor, you understand right? I mean, I cannot continue to be married to a man who cleans the fridge without asking his spouse if oh, there MIGHT be something in there that she would like to eat for lunch after waiting several hours to eat because she was so busy writing A NEW BLUE BLOODS SHORT STORY.

But NO. It is gone.


Oh, we laugh, we laugh. But this is what marriage is like.

Which is why I love romances. Because they are such fantasies. Marriage is hard work and lots of annoyances and learning to live with another person without driving each other cu-RAY-zee. And still finding a shadow of the person you first met in the person you are currently married to. TREASURE THOSE FIRST TWO WEEKS WITH YOUR NEW LOVE, girls, because in the future, TWELVE YEARS down the line, THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE to hold on to that allows you to sigh, shut up, stop shouting already and heat up last night’s pizza instead.


Anyway, yes – new Blue Bloods short story! EEEEEEE!!! Exciting! I was getting goosebumps myself writing it. But how will you get your hot little hands on it? Well, I will reveal all soon—it’s part of a fun promotion for the new book!

In shopping news, I have three words. LITTLE. MARC. JACOBS.

Can you die???

Marc Jacobs for ages 1-6!

So of course I had to buy Mattie the little black tulle party dress, with the matching velvet jacket and the Juicy Couture white peacoat to go on top of it. SICK!!

I told the salesguy at Fred Segal they are ENABLERS!!!

I bought my first Marc Jacobs dress when I was 29, at the outlet, for $31. It was so cheap I hyperventilated and almost fainted. They had to go find Mike to help me. Only when I calmed down was I able to shop.

Oh well, she’ll probably stain it with yogurt and I’ll kick myself. But for now, I’m enjoying looking forward to seeing her as a mini fashionista.


Shoes You Can Believe In!

In between all the writing and re-writing of books and television pitching, the past week has been a flurry of Obama fundraisers. It seems me and you and everyone we know is throwing one. It’s been really fun seeing old friends and donating to all of their causes which all go to the same place. Mr. David Plouffe – I hear you! Everytime I get one of those e-mails from the Obama camp asking for as little as $5, my heart breaks a little and of course I donate. I mean, hello! It’s five bucks! You could have a latte a day or help get the President of Awesome elected.

I have not been blogging about politics because it’s a tricky thing to write about, politics is yucky and divisive and ruins dinner parties—always resulting in two seething sides thinking the other are complete and utter idiots. And this is a shopping diary after all. But then maybe I’m over-thinking it. Maybe this presidential election is just like shoe shopping. Like, would you buy a pair of old Ferragamos that are crusted and make your feet hurt so much they make you SO cranky which are paired with a pair of knockoff go-go boots that wouldn’t allow you read the books you want to read? The Shoe-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? I mean, shades of Dolores Umbridge, hello!

Or would you buy the shoes that you can BELIEVE IN!

Obama ‘08! Vote for six-inch crocodile-stamp YSL platforms! Because if Obama were a shoe, he would be an aerodynamic sleek, trim, Prada Sport loafer. But with the soul of the YSL pump—they’re so high they reach towards heaven! They lift you up in a spirit of change my wardrobe! Okay. I know. The metaphors are starting to fail me. And if Biden were a shoe I think he would be like one of those comfy Clark Wallabes they like so much back East.

But seriously. I know I can sound like a dumb fashion person. But why are people who like fashion automatically dumb? Is it because the unfashionable are scared that the fashionable are secretly judging them and deeming their wash-and-wear wardrobe inferior? Well yes, we are, but so what. SNARF! Anyway, I am making light of this because I do find screechy lecture-y political blogs to be off-putting from both sides. But this is a very important election, and it’s not a time to be cynical or indifferent or too-cool-for-school. Put that ironic hipster posture away.

I came from a country (god, don’t you hate when immigrants say that? It’s so cringe-worthy sometimes) but here goes—I came from a country that threw out our dictator by gathering in the streets, one by one, sent via text to cellphones, to meet and rally and stand up for change and be counted. My family moved here because America, as flawed as she is, is the last and best hope for the world. This is like the Luke Skywalker of countries, you know. Luke: he’s a bit brash, doesn’t think things through, but he has a good heart. This is all we got. You know what I like most about Americans? Idealism. Can-do-it-ness. The Hollywood blockbuster. This is the land of happy endings. And the land that created New York. A crazy cosmopolitan city where it really doesn’t matter where you’re from, because I came from nowhere, and I was able to be somebody in New York. The land that created Barack Obama is a pretty awesome place to be from, I think.

Anyway. I know. Leaning towards sentimental earnestness here.

And all that being said, some of the closest people in my life are Republicans. Like my mom. But we are able to love each other and disagree. Mike’s parents are Republicans too (or as I like to call them “the enemy”—Republicans – not my in-laws—until I remember my mom is one.) My mom is not the enemy. She is my mom and momsome. You know how some moms are just okay at being moms? Well, my mom is an awesome mom. Momsome. I remember in college, people were jealous of me because of my mom. My mom is stylish AND can cook. As Randy Pausch said, I won the parent lottery. My parents are awesome. So how can I hate Republicans—my mom is a Republican. Sigh.

And I was happily reading Jen Lancaster’s books until she came out as a Republican. I STRUGGLED with that one, my friends. How can this funny, gay-friendly gal be a red-state chick? Did I want to keep reading?? Or did I want to throw her book across the room?? And then I realized I was being RIDICULOUS. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and their vote, and Jen Lancaster is not the enemy either. And yes, I still like her books and I even read her blog. So that makes two Republicans who are not the enemy. Which means maybe Republicans are not the enemy? Maybe we’re just a big, sprawling country with dozens and dozens of differing opinions, which during election season is boiled down to only two choices, and well, you gotta choose one. And as Jen says, underneath it all, don’t we all like Sex and the City? So: Repubicans: Not the enemy. Sex and the City hatahs, however: I’ve got my eye on you.

So while I am still a card-carrying, bleeding heart, SUV limousine liberal (although I still pause before putting the Obama 08 sticker on the back of the Mercedes. I mean, I don’t want to be that big a tool. Although I have outfitted the kid in Authors for Obamawear), I am not as bad as I used to be. These days, I don’t change seats at weddings when I find out the people next to me voted for the Decider. In fact, one of my very dear friends, to whom Revelations is dedicated, is a Republican. She and her husband (who is also a wonderful person) met while they were both working in the Bush pere campaign. I take our friendship to mean I am, indeed, an open-minded person. Hmmm. Or maybe just my sister is, because she met them first. Ha!

In this election, I think what matters most is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and their own vote, so even if my mom gets hazed at the dinner table by her family of Democrats (my dad and mom are the Filipino James Carville and Mary Matalin), she has to suck it up, and we have to suck it up that we can’t change her mind either.

As Ali G. says, Res-pek!

And that’s it for me. I just got another email from Mr. Plouffe and have to dig out my trusty Mastercard. Is it Plooo-fay? Or is it Plooofff? Either way I kind of dig it.


Sneak Peek Handling, Birthday ReCap

Hi all,

If you signed up for the newsletter but have not received the sneak-peek at the first four chapters of Revelations, please do not worry. We are doing our best to make sure everyone who wants them gets ‘em. We’re all about customer service here at Casa Blue Bloods. (Or Casa Sangre Azul.) If you signed up before Sept 5th and did not get them, your email server might have bounced it back. Our email server will try up to three times to send it to you.  And if you signed up after Sept 5th, we are shooting to send it to all the new subscribers by Monday. The best way to make sure you will receive one is to email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject heading. “SEND ME THE SNEAK PEEK!”

In other news, my birthday was wonderful, thank you for all your birthday vicious wishes. 🙂
Mike took the day off and we went to see a Vicky Christina Barcelona matinee, the new Woody Allen movie, which was entertaining and amusing and a lovely fantasy about bohemian life. I love how in Woody Allen movies all the artists and musicians and painters live in homes that only hedge fund managers could afford in this day and age. But that’s part of the charm—the poet who lives in a crumbling estate, the composer who lives in a Tribeca loft so expensive that even the star of the movie could not afford to live there. If only! After the movie we went jewelry shopping at our favorite Beverly Hills jeweler and bought my earrings. I went with these insanely heirloom-y amethyst and diamond drops instead of the diamond hoops. Somehow, the diamond hoops didn’t make me as swoony as the first time I saw them.

But the most lovely part of my birthday was that I got to celebrate it with my dad, who shares the same birthday as me. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know my dad has cancer. He’s had it for five years now, and he’s undergoing a pretty severe chemo treatment right now—nine months straight of chemo every week, the longest he’s ever had it. It’s been really really hard on him and us too, since the worst thing in the world is to see someone you love suffer so much. I think that’s why there’s been so much shopping going on in my life lately. As my mom says, we don’t go to therapy—we go to the mall. Working it out on the sales rack. Anyway, we had our usual double birthday with the two candles on our Baskin Robbins ice-cream cake. (We kick it old school ever since the kids came along—-ice cream cakes are the best! And thirty-one flavors makes the best ones. Coldstone’s sucks!!)

And there’s nothing nicer than old friends remembering your birthday, even if they were a day late (Jennie! who said, “I succcck!!!!” and Tom “I was in New Jersey!”) or a few days late (Garret, who said, “uh, it was Sept 9th wasn’t it?” No, but thanks for almost remembering!), and new friends taking you out to fabulous Italian dinner complete with candles on cupcakes for dessert. (Thanks Minty and Sofia!!)

It’s cold and rainy here in LA, which is is kind of nice.


Sorority Forever, Forever!

Some dear friends of mine put this show together and you should watch it!!! I’m soooo hooked on it because I love the cheekiness and the bitchiness. Always good things in a show, I believe. For us O.C. and 90210 fans! Click here to watch: Sorority Forever!

I have to admit, I was never much of a sorority girl. In fact, just the mere THOUGHT of it made my skin CRAWL when I was in college. I went to Columbia. Bohemian hippies were the ideal. We thought ourselves the proud descendants of beatnik, peacenik, anti-establishment types: the spiritual kids of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

My girlfriends and I opted to dress DOWN because we were worried we would be MISTAKEN for some ditzy sorority chicks. Of which they were few and far between at Columbia. (See: Jack Keroac, descendants of). We believed in natural beauty, in not combing our hair, in wearing ripped jeans and flannel.

Well you can imagine HOW FAR that took us. My mom took one look at me when I got home after one semester at Columbia and shrieked, “WHERE DID MY PRETTY GIRL GO???”

So I had to dial-down the Sofie B. Hawkins look a bit. We were still grungy. But now we were glungy. Glamorous and grungy. More Talitha Getty than Janis Joplin. We wore lipgloss with our battered suede jackets.

And now that I am older, and wiser, and not so knee-jerk to everything and have met and become friends with a wide range of people…I’ve mellowed. One of my best girlfriends, Minty, was the PRESIDENT of HER sorority. I probably would never even have thought someone like Minty, who always looks perfect and perfectly patrician, could be a friend back in my fist-raised-in-protest college days, and yet, we are so close and I love her to death. So I know keep a more open mind about these things.

Some girls want to join sororities, some girls don’t, and that is all perfectly fine. Since at that age we are all alike underneath the mascara (or no mascara) anyway: we are all completely obsessed with boys.

Right? 😉


Dream-Casting the Series, Join the Committee!

Stumbled upon this on YouTube: Fans dream-casting the Blue Bloods series! So cool! Go here to see and join!

Also, I wanted to personally invite you to JOIN THE COMMITTEE!!

We are taking applications to join the Masquerade Ball planning committee. The Ball is scheduled for 7:30 PM on November 7, 2008 at the beautiful Scottsdale Civic Center Library in Scottsdale, Arizona. Join us in planning the party!

To join, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject heading: “COMMITTEE APPLICATION”.

To join the committee, you must be based in Scottsdale or Phoenix, or able to travel to Scottsdale for the event.
Please include your full name, age, snail mail address, and the reason why you would like to join.

Can’t wait to meet you at the Ball!


Sneak-Peek Is Out! Check your In-Box! Life Lessons, or what you can’t wear at 37

We’ve finally formatted the sneak-peeks for email. (All those pesky ASCII characters that come in like ?this? have been cleaned up.) And I’m happy to report that the highly anticipated sneak-peek at the first four chapters of REVELATIONS has finally been sent to my newsletter subscribers. Thanks to everyone for subscribing and I hope you enjoy the read!!

I can’t believe it’s already September, which means the book is only a month away from publication. Wow. Which means I am now writing the next one. And the cycle will resume again.

It’s been busy here at casa Blue Bloods, we’ve been working on lots of fun new stuff for the Blue Bloods faithful (that’s you, I hope) and hopefully we will have lots of very exciting news to report very soon.

As for me, as my twenty-seventh year approaches…actually, it’s my thirty-seventh year. Acccck. I thought I was *fine* with 37 until I actually looked at that cold, hard, number which means I am THREE FRACKING YEARS AWAY FROM FORTY. Bury me already! But enough of the I’m soooooo old moaning. I’m still young! I’m still cute! I’m still sexy!
Right? Riiiiiiight.

It’s weird. It’s actually just this year that I realized, I CAN NO LONGER WEAR SOME OF MY OUTFITS. Like, for the longest time, I used to do this camisole, under a cardigan or shawl-wrap or lacey sweater thing, over tight jeans and high heels. I never needed to wear like, a BRA or anything. And it was my go-to going-out sexy-sexy outfit. But I tried this outfit on the other day and….urgggh. Somehow it just doesn’t look right anymore. I need more coverage. There’s just too much SKIN revealing going on. I just didn’t feel comfortable in it like I used to.

Camisoles-as-outerwear: good-bye!

Oh girls, ENJOY it while you can… it’s crazy to realize one DOES age. Like…LUCKY. I have aged past LUCKY. I used to LOVE LUCKY Magazine. It was my favorite magazine because it was all about shopping and all the outfits were cute but still kind of funky. But now, the last three issues…I have not found ONE thing I want to buy from it. Everything just looks too….(arggggh) young!

So, Lucky: Adios!

What now? The good news is, you DO get better with age. You do stop buying things that don’t flatter you. I have learned the hard way that I look best in shift dresses and flats or long skinny trousers and heels. So I don’t tend to buy lots of things that don’t flatter me anymore. There’s this certain Boudicca jacket I bought at Barneys a few years ago that haunts me to this day. It was $1500 and I *had* to have it. But I have not worn it even ONCE. Why? Because it has these ENORMOUS puffed sleeves and all this fancy zippers and piping and when I put it on I look like I am part of a Star Trek/Ren Faire outing. It’s a total “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” outfit. In my youth when I was a fashion editor who specialized in the tres avant-garde, I could wear the most ridiculous and yet fabulous things and it would look, well, FAAHHBULOUS. I mean, c’mon I used to wear Bernhard Wilhelm! Bjork’s favorite designer! Need I say more.

But not anymore.

I have to dress preppier as I age. Because you really don’t want to look like an aging tomato. You want to aspire to Jackie O. gracefulness. Timeless instead of trendy. Sigh.

But still, it’s a good day. Sneak-peeks are out. And we’re off to buy my earrings today.



One Million Hits, Happy Birthday to Me, Blue Bloods 3: Revelations FIRST CHAPTER Sneak Peek!

So – we have gotten the green-light FINALMENT! (That is “finally” to us Francophones. Yup me and my 1 on my AP French exam!) to release the first chapter on my blog.  As you can tell, I’m a bit giddy over here. First off, the blog has now gotten over one million hits! That is so coooool. I love big numbers. Supersize THIS, mo’fos! And it’s my birthday week. Just like Ashley Spencer, I think MY birthday is the most important thing in the…it’s just the most important thing period.

I’m not one of those people who WAIT to see if people will remember, let alone celebrate my birthday. Oh no. If I left it up to the gods, or my husband’s slightly dim memory, my birthday would go something like this. Finger-poke to husband’s side. “Um. It was my birthday yesterday.” Mike: “FRACK! It’s your birthday! Now I have to run out and get flowers, make reservations, buy jewelry! FRACK! I forgot! FRACK!” And he wouldn’t even apologize for forgetting. He’d just be mad that he now had to do all this running around and not even get credit for it because it’s a day late.

So to save us the marital heartache, three weeks before the day, I do a countdown. MY BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP. BEEP! BEEP! And so he is so well-trained that by now he’s gotten it down. Flowers? A spectacular bouquet from an avant-garde florist. (Red roses and babies breath are just SO dreary aren’t they?) Jewelry? This year I want diamond hoops, you know, the ones that are a carat and a half’s worth of bling on each lovely circular glittering band. I kind of also wanted just huge diamond rocks, because it’s so LA to wear a t-shirt, cargo pants and ROCKS. Like, yes, I am cas (casshh for casual) but I got it goin’ on: check out the five-figure earrings. But I saw this lovely pair of sizable diamond hoops which make me queasy with infatuation. You know you really have to have something if it gives you butterflies.

Anyway, why am I prattling on when the real reason you are all tuned in is for the sneak peeks. In the Filipino culture, when it’s your birthday you have to treat YOUR friends, not the other way around. So, herewith as my birthday gift to all of YOU is the first chapter of REVELATIONS. And I will be emailing the FIRST FOUR CHAPTERS to my email subscriber list. So if you’d like to read further: sign up here. The book is on sale October 28, 2008!


On an early and bitterly cold morning in late March, Schuyler Van Alen let herself inside the glass doors of the Duchesne School, feeling relieved as she walked into the soaring barrel-ceiling entryway dominated by an imposing John Singer Sargent portrait of the school’s founders. She kept the hood of her fur-trimmed parka over her thick dark hair, preferring anonymity rather than the casual greetings exchanged by other students.

It was odd to think of the school as a haven, an escape, a place she looked forward to going. For so long, Duchesne, with its shiny marble floors and sweeping vistas of Central Park, had been nothing less than a torture chamber. She had dreaded walking up the grand staircase, felt miserable in its inadequately heated classrooms, and even managed to despise the gorgeous terrazzo tiles in the refectory

At school Schuyler often felt ugly and invisible, although her deep-set blue eyes and delicate Dresden-doll features belied this. All her life, her well-heeled classmates had
treated her like a freak, an outcast—unwanted and untouchable. Even if her family was one of the oldest and most illustrious names in the city’s history, times had changed. The Van Alens, once a proud and prestigious clan, had shrunk and withered over the centuries, so that they were now practically extinct. Schuyler was one of the last.

For a while, Schuyler had hoped her grandfather’s return from exile would change that—that Lawrence’s presence in her life would mean she was no longer alone. But those hopes were dashed when Charles Force took her away from the shabby brownstone on Riverside Drive, the only home she had ever known.

“Are you going to move or do I have to do something about it?”

Schuyler started. She hadn’t noticed that she’d been standing in a daze in front of her locker and the one above it. The bells signaling the start of the day were clanging
wildly. Behind her stood Mimi Force, her new housemate.

No matter how out of place Schuyler felt at school, it was no comparison to the arctic freeze she weathered on a daily basis at the Forces’ grand town house across from the Metropolitan Museum. At Duchesne, she didn’t have to overhear Mimi grumbling about her every second of the day. Or at least it only happened every few hours. No wonder Duchesne felt so welcoming lately.

Even though Lawrence Van Alen was now Regis, head of the Blue Bloods, he had been powerless to stop the adoption process. The Code of the Vampires stipulated a strict adherence to human laws, to keep the Blue Bloods safe from unwanted scrutiny. In her last will and testament, Schuyler’s grandmother had declared her an emancipated minor, but in a wily move, Charles Force’s lawyers had contested its tenets in the Red Blood courts. The courts found in their favor, and Charles had been named the executor of the estate, winning Schuyler as part of the package.

“Well?” Mimi was still waiting.

“Oh. Uh. Sorry,” Schuyler said, grabbing a textbook and moving aside.

“Sorry is right,” Mimi narrowed her emerald green eyes and gave Schuyler a contemptuous look. The same look she’d given Schuyler across the dinner table last night, and the same look she’d given Schuyler when they’d bumped into each other in the hallway that morning. The look said: What are you doing here? You have no right to exist.

“What did I ever do to you?” Schuyler whispered, tucking a book into her worn canvas bag.

“You saved her life!”

Mimi glared at the striking redhead who had spoken.

Bliss Llewellyn, Texan transplant and former Mimi acolyte, glared back. Bliss’s cheeks were as red as her hair. “She saved your skin in Venice, and you don’t even have the decency to be grateful!” Once upon a time Bliss had been Mimi’s shadow, happy to follow her every directive, but a trust had broken between the two former friends since the last Silver Blood attack, when Mimi had been revealed as a willing, if ineffective, conspirator. Mimi had been condemned to burn, until Schuyler had come to her aid at the blood trial.

“She didn’t save my life. She merely told the truth. My life was never in danger,” Mimi replied as she ran a silver hairbrush through her fine hair.

“Ignore her,” Bliss told Schuyler.

Schuyler smiled, feeling braver now that she had backup. “It’s hard to do. It’s like pretending global warming doesn’t exist.” She would pay for that comment later, she knew. There would be pebbles in her breakfast cereal. Black tar on her sheets. Or the newest inconvenience—the disappearance of yet another of her swiftly dwindling possessions. Already she was missing her mother’s locket, her leather gloves, and a beloved dog-eared copy of Kafka’s The Trial, inscribed on the first page with the initials “J. F.”

Schuyler would be the first to admit that the second guest bedroom in the Forces’ mansion (the first remained reserved for visiting dignitaries) was hardly the cupboard under the stairs. Her room was beautifully decorated and sumptuously appointed with everything a girl could want: a four-poster queen-size bed with a pillowy duvet, closets full of designer clothes, a high-end entertainment center, dozens of toys for Beauty, her bloodhound, and a new featherlight MacBook Air. But if her new home was rich in material gifts, it lacked the charm of the old one.

She missed her old room, with its Mountain Dew–yellow walls and rickety desk. She missed the dusty shrouded living room. She missed Hattie and Julius, who had been with the family since she was an infant. She missed her grandfather, of course. But most of all, she missed her freedom

“You okay?” Bliss asked, nudging her. Schuyler had returned from Venice with a new address and an unexpected ally. While she and Bliss had always been friendly, now they were almost inseparable.

“Yeah. I’m used to it. I could take her in a cage fight.” Schuyler smiled. Seeing Bliss at school was one of the small reprieves of happiness that Duchesne afforded.

She took the winding back stairs, following the stream of people heading in the same direction, when out of the corner of her eye she saw the barest flicker and knew. It was him. She didn’t have to look to know he was among the crowd of students walking the opposite way. She could always sense him, as if her nerves were fine-tuned antennae receptors that picked up whenever he was near. Maybe it was the vampire in her, giving her the ability to tell when another was close by, or maybe it had nothing to do with her otherworldly powers at all.


His eyes were focused straight ahead, as if he never even saw her, never registered her presence. His sleek blond hair, the same translucent shade as his sister’s, was slicked back from his proud forehead; and unlike the other boys around him, dressed in varying degrees of sloppiness, he looked regal in a blazer and tie. He was so handsome it was hard for Schuyler to breathe. But just as at the town house—Schuyler refused to call it home—Jack ignored her.

She snuck one more glance his way and then hurried up the stairs. Class had already started when she arrived. Schuyler tried to be as unobtrusive as possible as she walked, out of habit, toward the back seats by the window. Oliver Hazard-Perry was seated there, bent over his notebook.

But she caught herself just in time and moved across the room to sit next to the clanging radiator, without saying hello to her best friend.

Charles Force had made it clear: now that she was under his roof, she would have to follow his rules. The first rule was that Schuyler was forbidden to see her grandfather. The animosity between Charles and Lawrence ran deep, and not only because Lawrence had displaced Charles’s position in the Conclave.

“I don’t want him filling your head with lies,” Charles had told her. “He may rule the Coven, but he has no power in my house. If you disobey me, I promise you will regret it.”

The second rule of living at the Forces’ was that she was forbidden to associate with Oliver. Charles had been apoplectic when he’d discovered that Schuyler had made Oliver (her designated Conduit) her human familiar. “First of all, you are much too young. Secondly, it is anathema. Distasteful. Conduits are servants. They are not—they do not fulfill the services of familiars. You must take a new human immediately and sever all relations with this boy.”

If pressed, she would grudgingly admit that Charles was probably right. Oliver was her best friend, and she had marked him as her own, had taken his blood into hers, and there had been consequences to her actions. Sometimes she wished they could go back to the way they were before everything became so complicated.

Schuyler had no idea why Charles would care whom she made her familiar anyway, since the Forces had done away with the old-fashioned practice of keeping human Conduits. But she followed the rules to the letter. As far as anyone could see, she had absolutely no contact with Lawrence, and had refrained from performing the Sacred Kiss with Oliver.

There were so many things in her new life that she could and couldn’t do.

But there were some places where the rules did not apply. Somewhere that Charles had no power. Somewhere Schuyler could be free.

That’s what secret hiding places were for.




My Idea of Vacation and My Fag Hag Crush

It was a really relackssssing week. No nanny, no housekeeper, just me, my husband, our kid in the beach house. We were lookin’ grotty. The kid’s hair was wild and unkempt as was the husband’s. I am trying to keep it together but the other day we trooped into the beachside diner we love (Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut which we have named Mrs. Olson’s Coffee The Hutt because we are cool like that) and Mike and I looked at each other and laughed. Mike was wearing raggedy surfshorts and a bleached-out t-shirt, the kid was wearing a stained elephant pajama top and undies, not even pants or shorts, over her diaper, and I was in a too-short minidress, no make-up and Crocs. We looked proto-homeless.

And who did we see at the diner? A bonafide celeb – at least in my book – and to those other Flipping Out fans out there- Ryan! Jeff’s Business Partner! With his partner, Dale and their daughter Chloe! (I recognized Chloe first.) I was SO excited. It took all of my former NYC cool to not jump over there and gush and say “Ohmahgawd, Ohmahgawd, I’m such a huge fan!” Because Ryan is SO NICE. I have a huge fag-hag crush on him. Swoon. Okay, I know, it’s a reality show. But it’s MY reality show.

Right then and there, I knew we were in the hottest place on the beach. Our beach is the “un-Malibu” according to the New York Times, even though the beach we’re on is called Hollywood Beach. But hey, Malibu can have the A-listers, I’m happy with my Bravo-listers.

For my vacation, I did the laundry. It was heaven. Yes, it’s part of my spoiled life that I do not cook, clean, or do the laundry. The first (cooking) I would like to do, but I found it was one of those things that just “had to go” when the baby and the big-ass deadlines started happening at the same time. Now I cook maybe once a week if we’re lucky. I like cooking, but I can’t do it regularly. I got used to just walking by the Gourmet Garage in New York, picking up the freshest things they had, and the best cheeses and meats and mustards (I mean, how precious is it that we were obsessed with our mustard? Ugh. We are such yuppies sometimes.), and then making dinner.

I just can’t get used to stocking the freezer and the pantry and then cooking from that. It’s way too suburban! And driving to the Bristol Farms (the only place we can find our fancy French mustard, and no it’s not Grey Poupon!) is not quite as convenient as walking down to the G. Garage. Sigh. Anyway, that is my long-winded excuse for why I do not cook anymore.

As for cleaning. Pffffft. I hate cleaning. The minute we could afford a housekeeper Mike and I stopped fighting (because he’s a cleaner. He’s a GREAT cleaner like my dad,  which is a lesson my mom (who also hates cleaning and yet has an immaculate house) taught me. When in doubt, marry a man WHO CAN CLEAN. Anyway, it would be great if Mike could clean the house—he actually enjoys it. But whatever time he has out of work is spent with the kid so the cleaning had to be out-sourced. Because there was no way *I* was going to do it.

But laundry—I actually enjoy doing laundry. I tried to hold on to that chore but a book would be due, and everything would start piling up, and we would run out of essentials, so I just gave up. So I was looking forward to doing the laundry on my vacation. I particularly love folding clothes. I think I should have worked at Benetton in my former life.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great Labor Day. Now it’s back to work!