Masquerade Ball!!!

As reported here earlier, we are having a Masquerade Ball to celebrate the release of Revelations. The Scottsdale Public Library in beautiful sunny Arizona (I told you, I always sound like the Price is Right Host) is hosting it at the Civic Center location in downtown Scottsdale. The Ball is set for 7:30 PM on November 7th (Saturday). Come dressed as your favorite character from the series, meet me, and there will be music, dancing, and lots of fun treats. More information to come soon!

I’m also going on tour this October/November to promote Blue Bloods 3: Revelations and The Ashleys 4: Lipgloss Jungle. Tour schedule up soon!

It’s the dog days of summer, which is funny because here in SoCal (the birthplace of beach volleyball—and hello, how awesome is it to see Karch Kiraly back on TV? In high school, my sister and I had huge crushes on Karch and the men’s beach volleyball team, which I blame on our all-girls-school myopia. Boys were such exotic creatures back then), anyway, as I was saying, here in SoCal, it just feels like any other week… I miss the East Coast sometimes, I miss how intensely we held on to summer, knowing it was going to be gone soon and in a few months’ time we would be bundled up in our big sweaters and huge coats and throwing parties meant a mountain of coats and hats and scarves thrown over the bed to slink around in tank tops for a drink or two (or five to be perfectly honest) and then having to put it all back on again.

I miss Shelter Island, and how we used to take that Jitney for three hours, get to the end of the line, and then hop on a ferry. The ferry always made it so special, like we were being transported to a magical place, and how the island was so small and our house so close to the ferry we could walk there—our rolling suitcases going donk donk donk over the cobblestones.

But when I think about how LONG it used to take to get to the Hamptons—three hours?? Or more?? Pfffft. It takes us less than an hour to get to our beach house now. And it’s summer here for six months. It never rains from July to December. The other day it rained by the beach and we all went outside to look at it in wonder.

So even though I do miss the East Coast a lot, maybe I just miss my friends and colleagues, although I do think I just missed the sense of the place—of I don’t know how to put it more elegantly—OLDNESS. Here in LA, everything is so sparkly and new. There’s no sense of history, I guess, is what I’m missing.

But the other day I was driving down Santa Monica Boulevard in the luxury SUV and the sky was a clear, robins-egg blue and the palm trees were so pretty lined up against the boulevard, and I felt…happy. I felt that same feeling I used to get when I used to walk across Columbia’s campus and read the names on the buildings: Socrates, Aristotle, Homer, Herodotus—a feeling of being inspired and grateful to be in the right place at the right time. It’s that same feeling I used to get when I would walk on West End Avenue, at the very top of the hill, and the Hudson River framed between the buildings, just so beautiful. Well, it’s taken four LONG years in LA to feel that way, but I do feel that way now…

I love LA. I love how brash and vulgar and tacky it is, but also how mellow and easy it can be (because hey, it’s all good, it’s sunny, right?) and yet underlying it is that thrum of desperate ambition and social anxiety that fuels the whole scene. I love that we’re a bit outside of it enough not to be consumed by it, and yet close enough that Mike and I can laugh about all the inside things and feel smug like we know a little bit about how the town is run.

Right now I am obsessed with Desperate Housewives of the O.C., I think mostly because it shows a subject that I (and a lot of people) find inherently fascinating. Like: how far can your beauty take you? It’s so interesting to me that so many of those ladies were Playboy Playmates. And are doing well for themselves. This is just the opposite of what I and Mike know, since we come from families that stressed academic achievement (Mike’s brother is a rocket scientist at NASA) and all our friends are snooty intellectual Ivy League types. Of course, there’s always the beautiful socialite or beautiful girl from a good family who marries very high up into a, well, very very very good family, like some of the girls from my high school who went on to marry assorted heirs to brand-name fortunes. So I am well familiar with that type of beauty success story.

But I always thought that girls who doffed it all for skin mags ended up dead of an overdose or homeless and eating out of garbage cans and all those other tragic, lurid stories we hear so much about. But there’s Jeana, (one of the real housewives) who was like Miss November 1980, and god, she was GORRRRGEOUS back then. And her daughter is STUNNING. (All her kids are great-looking although the firstborn son, Shayne, is a total asshat.) And Jeana’s now Miss Real Estate Makes Her Own Money Lady, and she was going on the Playmate reunion with the other girls, and they were talking about how being Playmates was such a great experience for them, and how it was like being in a sorority and how it never hurt them at all.

And how about Laurie (another housewife) who was also some sort of Playmate and after some rough financial years is now marrying some nice, dorky, super-rich guy who has some sort of ranch and is generous with gifts of sportscars and Rolex watches.

It’s weird, you know? Because coasting on one’s looks is not an option for a lot of us, as cute as all of us are. And c’mon, we’re cute, we’re pretty. But there’s something about beauty—that whole—hair, eyes, figure, height, package that can get you things easily without having to sweat out that MBA. But I still think it’s luck and timing, you could so easily still end up in the garbage can since you have nothing to fall back on.

And beauty is just a genetic lottery. No matter how some people strive for it—no amount of plastic surgery is going to turn anyone into a supermodel. (I just heard they are finding Botox in people’s brains now. Ewww! And also: Dang. I’ve never ruled out the poison shot because hello, furrows! But now that news gives me pause.) Anyway, you are either born with it or not. And since a lot of us are not born to be 5’10” and 34D, then we might as well just hit the books. Because it’s a surer thing.

Real Housewives of the O.C. – as complex as a Flaubert novel! Not!! But still, great fun.