I don't really know what to say. I guess we were lucky that Bobby and I planned a trip to the Bahamas the same time Sandy hit. Though the Bahamas were damaged..we were able to change our route and landed in the most beautiful place on earth. Little Dix bay in the British VIrgin Isles. We invited 3 other couples to join us and 2 had to cancel. The couple who came, ironically, I fixed up on a blind date last February and am happy to say they are engaged and getting married on January 12, 2013. The groom, we met on a cruise January 13, 2012. I could not be happier for so many reasons but mostly because he loves her the way Bobby loves me..and that is all I could ask for.
Only a few days ago...life as we knew it changed forever. Though I haven't been home, I have been on the phone and email constantly since SANDY hit NYC. Historically my sister Lisa, has lost power in CT in the most minor of storms, so I invited Lisa to stay in our apt "Just in case" since we were away for a few weeks and her son ( my nephew) is living with us. She thanked me for our generosity but said she wouldn't need to. She quickly changed her mind as SANDY became the " storm of the century" ad came to stay in our home with Jonathan. The next day more family came to stay and have not left. We are one of the few buildings in Manhattan to have NOT lost power and have ZERO water damage. We live on a hill and evidently a fortress. We will never sell it that is for sure.
We feel very guilty being in paradise but everyone keeps telling us to "STAY AWAY" for as long as we can. Lisa says no one can imagine the devastation to our CITY...my home. We will not abandon it..we will bunker down. It reminds us of post 9/11 and the strength our city has. In fact..the NYC Marathon is on and it will bring out the best of our city.
What we have done if we didn't have the internet and cell phones to stay in touch with loved ones. I have no idea how the world survived centuries of devastation over the years but we are a strong city and a strong nation and we will survive. We have to.
My sister Lisa, of the Lisa Wexler radio Show ( lisawexler.com) wrote an incredibly thoughtful piece on global warming to publish. I don't know if it has been posted yet but here it is...
BY LISA WEXLER
I'm a sucker for coincidences. Basically, I don't believe in them. I'm one of those people who likes to see the Big Picture, the Plan with a capital P. You can't tell me that this enormous storm aimed straight at Washington, D.C,, and including those pivotal swing states of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, is not a sign, coming as it is just days before Election Day. As the great P.G. Wodehouse would have phrased it, I am reminded of the following tale:
Pious Joe is stranded in the middle of the ocean in a leaking boat. A passerby throws him an oar to grab onto for safety. Pious Joe says, "No, thank you. I believe in God. I have faith that God will save me. Thank you anyway, but I'll be just fine." The boat continues to lose water. Eventually, a large ship comes nearby and throws Pious Joe a life preserver. But Pious Joe refuses to grab onto it. He shouts: "No need to worry about me, I'll be fine. My God will save me." The boat is now half full with water by the time a helicopter arrives. The copter throws down a tow rope to rescue Pious Joe. For the third time, Pious Joe refuses the help, exclaiming, "Thanks but no thanks. I know I will be fine. God will save me." Eventually, the boat sinks. Pious Joe drowns. When he reaches heaven, Pious Joe says to God ,"God, I believed in you. I put my trust in you. Why didn't you save me?". And God says, "What do you mean, why didn't I save you? I sent you an oar, I sent you a life preserver and I sent you a helicopter rope! What more do you expect me to do?"
Oh Yes, Frankenstorm is most definitely a sign. God or the Universe (take your pick) is trying to tell us something. Hurricane Irene didn't seem to do it. Record droughts in Texas and the Midwest have not grabbed our attention. Heat waves, catastrophic flooding, crop losses, livestock deaths -- the list of environmental disasters to afflict our country this year alone is biblical in scope, reminiscent of the Ten Plagues.
Mitt Romney sent chills up my spine when he joked about oceans rising and offered to give away public lands to oil companies. President Obama and the Democrats have been so cowed by rich Republican intimidators that they have abandoned the fight, joining in a chorus of "Let's Frack" and fighting over who can exploit pristine habitats first.
In just over a week, we will elect the next leader of the free world. Once in four years, millions of people wake up and pay attention. Conventional wisdom, perpetrated by the media ad nauseum, tells us that the only thing we really care about is our pocketbook. Forget the planet, clean air, clean water, rising sea levels, dying crops, migration changes, bee devastation, species extinctions, severe droughts and the increase of freakishly damaging storms. The Republicans have done something really special -- they have relegated the most common value we share -- the health of our planet -- to environmental wacko status. And the Democrats have let them get away with it. Not once did the issue of climate change come up in this year's debates -- not even once! No wonder God is pissed off.
If you were God or Mother Nature, and you were fed up with being ignored, wouldn't you choose this week to remind your people that money isn't everything? If we don't start adapting to Climate Change, which is likely irreversible at this point, all the other platitudes and plans won't mean a thing. Climate Change is the single biggest challenge of our time, calling on our intellectual prowess, scientific knowhow and political will. Yet each candidate has conveniently ignored dealing with it, sidestepping the big picture to focus on energy independence, as if that would actually bring down oil prices. (it wouldn't, at least not by all that much). Twenty years from now, the next generation will be stunned at our negligence, our callous indifference to this most obvious public health crisis. They will look back in anger at our unwillingness to collaborate for the common good, our petty infighting over so many small things while ignoring the obvious big one.
The winds are howling. Outside my 30th story window, I see the lights of New York City, still twinkling as the full force of Frankenstorm has yet to descend. Many of us will be in darkness before this storm ends, disconnected from each other and forced to exist without the convenience of electricity, heat or even working toilets. Pious Joe relied on faith alone to save him, but he drowned anyway. How many more signs do we need before we figure out that we are all in the same lifeboat together, before all of us drown?
What do you think? Who do you think has addressed GLobal Warming better? Share your thoughts..
This may sound odd to you, but even though I don't live in Westport CT, I feel like I grew up there and want to protect my sister's quaint town of Westport, CT. Home to Paul Newman and so many other artists and actors of years gone by. Did you know Lucy and RIcky lived there ( In TV LAND that is). It is small town USA...that is until the developers RUIN it. Lisa used to be on the board of Zoning there many moons ago..and believe me, is SO sorry she isn't right now. Lisa, a local radio show host, is also an active attorney and will not take this lying down. These cowards..yes cowards..waited until people like Don Imus were on vacation..to make the move. Wait till IMUS HEARS ABOUT THIS! He lives there too! ( I say that because he has a big voice and influence in the world and would hopefully try to squash them like the bugs they are!) The long and short of the story? They want to build 60 foot building in the middle of a town of 1-2 story building and ruin the character of the town. HAS THIS HAPPENED WHERE YOU LIVE? PLEASE email us asap if it has. The NYT and other newspapers MIGHT consider the story if she can show a pattern. Here, the pattern is, the decision makers brought it up for a vote WHEN EVERYONE WAS ON VACATION so no one would know and they would sneak it by. That is how some towns in our country get ruined. By greedy real estate developers who have their hands in everyone's pockets so to speak. Anyway..read for yourself the evidence Lisa has provided. She is doing this FREE with no personal interest except SAVING HER TOWN. Please help? Tell anyone you know from Westport CT to SHOW UP. That's what we all need to do when an injustice is being done to you right? That's what our parents tought us, right? FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT. Fight for those who can't. Please read on...
It is an open secret that the chairman of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has been meeting this summer with a small group of Westport landlords to create proposals to radically transform Wesport's small downtown Main Street business district. The Text Amendments on the table include proposals for 6 story, 60 FOOT HIGH buildings to go up in the middle of downtown. They include proposals for a new " overlay zone", an entirely new concept, which removes setback and height restrictions. They include proposals to increase the square footage of commercial space from 10,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet. Now we discover that Mr. Corwin is actually a paying member of their group, called Downtown Activist. http://bit.ly/nLBbfS . Mr. Corwin ought to recuse himself from a vote on these proposals given his obvious bias on the issue. P & Z Commissioners sit in quasi-judicial capacities during public hearings. Mr. Corwin has prejudged these text amendments and ought not to vote. He has abdicated his responsibility to be an impartial commissioner who would fairly hear both sides of the issue during the upcoming hearing on September 8, 2011.
If you haven't heard about this, it's most likely because The Westport News and The Minuteman are not covering the story. I leave it to you to speculate on the reasons for that. Thank you to theWestport Patch for alerting me to this entire situation. http://westport.patch.com/articles/paving-paradise Had it not been for the journalistic prowess of Chandra Niles Folsom, I would not have known about this. And I host a daily talk radio show. You can see that an effort has been made to keep this under the radar.
In a recent article in Fairfield Business Journal http://westfaironline.com/2011/15742-in-wesport-an-active-voice-for-business/, Mr. Corwin is even quoted as saying, "There is no question there is a widespead community sentiment that the downtown area needs a makeover." Widespread Community Sentiment? Sure, if the "community" is a small group of landlords who raised their rents so high in the good years that many small businesses were forced to flee or close. But last time I checked, the word community was more inclusive than that. Community actually means the people who moved to Westport because they LIKE the downtown the way it is. They LIKE the fact that downtown has a small, pedestrian-friendly feeling, with open sidewalks and low buildings. They moved to Westport BECAUSE of the small-town feeling, not in spite of it.
And how exactly would Mr. Corwin be able to judge such "widespread community sentiment"? On the basis of an anonymous poll taken on the Downtown Activist site, admittedly funded by landlords who have the greatest economic stake in increasing the square footage and density of their properties? The first chance that anyone in the community will have to voice their concerns is on September 8th, which has not even occurred yet. Clearly Mr. Corwin has already made up his mind.
The main argument in favor of these proposals that I heard was that there was a "lack of economic vitality" in downtown Westport. Hello? There is a lack of economic vitality in this country right now, a situation which has existed for at least two years and may persist. This economic downturn is not exclusive to Westport. Nor can it be attributed to the zoning requirements.
Second, the perceived lack of economic vitality is due more to the lack of diversity in the downtown shopping district than any other factor. What is missing from our downtown? Hmmm. Here is my short list- feel free to add.- Bookstore (there used to be three), Movie Theaters (there used to be four, none in higher than a two-story building), Grocery Store (Gristede's- before my time), Hardware, Gas Station, Bagel Cafes... Moreover, the Westport Y and the Post Office (!) are actually leaving downtown! Without the Y and the Post Office, the only reason to go downtown will be to shop. A real downtown is not merely an outdoor shopping mall. That is what is being overlooked in this discussion.
There are mutliple ironies in these proposals. One, of course, is that the landlords are bringing these proposals to increase square footage when people can't afford the rents that exist right now. Two, the landlords arguably caused the problem because they raised the rents so high that only large, non-local chainstores could afford to move in. Those managers do not support local charities, they do not have a hand out for our community and they are not really a part of it in any meaningful way. Contrast the contributions of the Mioli family, owners of Westport Pizza, with the owners of the Gap, Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers. Who do you think gives more to our community? Not even a contest.
The third irony is that one of the leaders in this effort is David Waldman, who bought up the Y property and intends to transform its use into more commercial and retail space. Will he diversify use with space he controls? We don't know- and he doesn't have to tell us. Nevertheless, he and others are seeeking to increase the maximum square footage of their buildings from 10,000 feet to 50,000 square feet. A five-fold increase. You do the math.
Moreover, Gordon Joseloff, Westport's First Selectman is a member of the family that closed the last movie theaters in town, transforming their property into Restoration Hardware. If the leader of this town cares so much about diversity of use, the answer lies not in building more and higher buildings, but in creating economic incentives to transform the buildings we already have.
At the recent P & Z meeting I attended, the only people who sat at the table with Ron Corwin and Ellie Lowenstein (the former Chair of the P & Z) were three landlords, one landlord employee, Larry Bradley, who works for the Town, and two consultants. I think Jonathan Steinberg was there too, our Westport Representative in Hartford who sits on a board that has a financial interest in this project. Not one member of the general public was at that table. Almost everyone who spoke had either a direct financial interest in seeing their property wealth increase, or stood to earn money from the town.
The fundamental problem with re-zoning a downtown so dramatically is that once the buildings go up, they don't go down. The Wright building, on the corner of the Post Road and Route 33,at the edge of town, is universally regarded as a huge mistake by the planners of Westport. They let it go up and now we all have to live with that ugly eyesore. The only good result to come out of that edifice was the community's response to it, which was to write zoning laws to (theoretically) prevent it from happening again. If a six story building is built to house the "next great arts center", who is to say it will be economically viable? What if that, too, goes under, just as so many worthy ventures have not been able to thrive? The town is stuck with another problem, this one right in the middle of downtown.
I was scared when I attended that recent meeting. I was scared to lose the downtown essence that I love, a main reason for moving here 22 years ago. I was scared when I heard Ron Corwin say "This is just a foot opening the door". What more might he have planned, that we haven't even seen yet? I was scared, because this movement is organized and determined. They said as much during the meeting, noting that they only had until November to get this done.
Town activists lost a brutal and expensive battle when the P & Z decided to allow Mahackeno Camp to become a new Y, leaving a gaping hole in the downtown district. The wounds are still fresh, and many are disheartened. I understand and share their frustration, and their pain. Were I sitting on that P & Z Commission, I would have rejected that proposal, but my time on that Commission had passed. Nonetheless, this battle is just as important. We, the vigilant soldiers who love our town, must attend this meeting on September 8th and make ourselves known. We need to elect leadership in November that will reflect our vision of Westport, one which is in accordance with the Town Plan, and not in accordance with the view of a few myopic , shortsighted developers. It's too easy to sit on the sidelines and complain when the buildings go up. The time to act is now.
Please sign and circulate this petition I have written with respect to these text amendments. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/713/944/407/ "We, the undersigned, oppose Text Amendment 637, which would permit 60 foot high buildings in downtown Westport, CT, create a new "overlay zone", and increase square footage of certain commercial buildings from 10,000 square feet to a maximum of 50,000 square feet.
We would very much appreciate your support. There is urgency to this request because this Amendment is being heard on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at Westport Town Hall at 7:00 PM. We will present this petition at that hearing. Thank you very, very much."
I'll see you at 7PM on September 8th at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880. If it can happen here in Westport, CT, it can happen in your town too. We don't want Bedford Falls turning into Pottersville.
Hello everyone. Bobby and I just came back from a fabulous trip to London. We went to visit our friends Robbie and Ayda Williams and to see Robbie and his band, Take That play two incredible shows at Wembley Stadium. I can't even begin to tell you what a great time we had. The British people were amazing and they love Americans. While there we did a lot of tourist type activities, including visiting Windsor Castle, sightseeing and of course we shopped at Harrods. I also ate so much fish and chips I almost had to swim the Atlantic Ocean to get back home!
We flew Virgin America Upper Class and it was fabulous. They no longer have spa services, but they did provide us with access to their Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow. Also, when you fly in Upper Class you go through a private security line for boarding so there's no wait. Here's a travel tip for you. If you are buying duty free make sure you do it at least an hour and half before your flight is scheduled to depart. I waited too long to make my purchases and the duty free was closed to my flight. Apparently they have one person who brings everything that people have purchased to the plane and once he has left he cannot come back. Duty free is then closed to the flight.
When I got home I filmed an episode of Iron Chef America on Food Network where I am a guest judge. It was so much fun. I can't tell you much else at the moment as the episode won't air for awhile. I will tell you though that I am on my way to being an official foodie.
On tonight's episode you see me having a brain scan. I was actually surprised to find out that my memory is above average. In hindsight, I guess I do have a pretty good memory. I just lack focus sometimes and that causes me to forget things. This is something I constantly have to work on. While I was having the brain scan I kept asking Sonja questions about why she didn't want to be in Luann's video. It wasn't important if she wasn't in the video, but I could sense she wasn't being honest. Luann and Sonja have been friends for over ten years. It was important to Luann and sometimes you have to do things for other people. Even if she just went to Atlantic City to show her support for Luann it would have been better than not going. Bobby took the day off and drove two and a half hours to be there. Cindy came down later in the day and even though she wasn't in the video, she was there for Luann. It's a shame that Bravo chose not to show that.
I'll leave it up to you to decide whether Ramona's argument about parenting styles with Luann was valid considering the scenes Ramona has done over the past four years. The hotel scene with Mario, turtle time, just to name a few. I have my opinion and I'm sure you have yours. My daughter was not embarrassed to see me in an evening gown, sitting in the back of a limo or lounging by a pool in a robe. After all, it's not like I was in lingerie rubbing my husband's feet.
My jaw dropped when I heard Simon refer to Luann as Countess with the O removed. See you next Tuesday? OMG! What a horrible thing to say about your cast mate and friend of the last four years. Once again we see Alex defending the indefensible when she gave in and agreed about the boys being able to drink when they are seventeen years old. I also hope Alex was kidding when she said the word "class" was forbidden in her household. Why would "class" be forbidden but yet Countess without the O is acceptable?
It was a nice to see Ramona sharing a moment connecting with Avery doing something she enjoys. The Hip Hop dancing looked like a lot of fun and it was nice that Alex and Sonja joined in.
I thought it was great to see Alex and Simon having a party in support of the arts. What a great thing to do. I saw the hurt look in Simon's eyes when Mario made that comment about Brooklyn. Alex and Simon were trying so hard to impress their friends by hosting the art exhibit in their home. Even Ramona was embarrassed.
We had such a good time making Luann's video in Atlantic City. It was much more work than I expected but still fun. I wish Luann nothing but the best with her music career. I would like to thank Jersey Murray who was the stylist for the video. You saw him on the episode. He did such a great job. He just started his own agency blackicemanagement.com. I wish him great success. You can also follow him on Twitter @stylebyjersey.
I wanted to give a mention to Patti Dvorak who was helping me paint my apartment a few episodes ago. She is GIFTED and available to travel all over the world. Please check her out at http://pattidvorak.com. Â
One more episode to go! Please send me any healthy, summer recipes you would like me to share with everyone or any other ideas you may have for this newsletter. You can write to me at Jill@JillZarin.com.
As you read this I am in London with our friends Robbie and Ayda Williams for his European tour with Take That. We are going to two sold out concerts this weekend at Wembley Stadium. We have a weekend planned with horseback riding, spa treatments and lots of great food. I will post photos in my next newsletter.
Tuesday we rang the opening bell at NASDAQ! I was surrounded by family and friends and it was an amazing thrill. It was in honor of my acting debut on White Collar which aired Tuesday night. It was the thrill of a lifetime and I hope to do it again one day. (It will be sooner than you think!)
We spent a great 4th of July weekend in the Hamptons with Kelly and her girls. Ally was with us too. We went shopping, had a bonfire, played miniature golf and I even played a little tennis with Sea. She has huge potential and I loved playing with her! I started doing pilates again, which works miracles for me. My parents are coming next week and I can't wait to just relax with them at the beach club. I really miss them.
I can't believe it is week 14 already. It seems like this season is flying by. Two more episodes to go and we are on to the reunion. This weeks episode was fun for me to watch. Allyson is in college and I miss her terribly. She decided to transfer this fall and will be attending school in the south. It will be fun to visit her there this fall! We are so proud of her. She continues to follow her passion and just returned from working with children in Africa. Allyson is an incredible person and I love her more and more everyday.
When we were having lunch, I nearly died when she told me she wanted to be a "sex columnist!" I would support anything Ally does, but a "sex columnist" !!! Maybe she was teasing me to see my reaction? Shopping with Ally is very special as well. As she has grown into a young woman, I value these times more and more.
What did you think about Luann teaching Victoria how to drive? I remember only a few seasons back Bobby and I were teaching Ally how to drive. Time flies.
Did you all enjoy seeing Chris March on the episode? He is a sweetheart and his new show Mad Fashion will debut on Bravo, August 2 at 10:30pm. Be sure to tune in.
I absolutely loved being in the studio with Luann and Chris and hearing Chic C'est La Vie for the first time. It is a fun song and I hope Luann does great with it.
I want to end all of this bickering about mean tweets etc. Bobby doesn't care when the girls go at it because, well, that's what we all signed up for. He does object to a man/husband attacking me in any way, (on the show or off). He doesn't think men should get involved in the fights. He thinks men need to be men and stay out of it.
Bobby and I both talked to Simon about our relationship and hope we can finally move to a more positive place. I decided to not publish anything or talk anymore about the hate, and move on to more positive and interesting things that we are all doing. I believe Simon feels the same and would like to just move forward. Honestly? It is so juvenile.
I have been busy working on expanding Jill Zarin products and wait until you see what is coming! I get so much feedback from each and everyone of you and I am developing products you have asked for. I can't wait to share what they are!
I want to close by thanking all of you for watching White Collar this week. I just received word that this weeks ratings were outstanding! "White Collar delivers season highs, ranking as one of the top cable telecasts of the day." How incredible is that!!
Have a GREAT weekend!! See you next week!
It is 100 degrees outside! It is August? I am really loving my time off and trying to reconnect with friends I haven't seen all winter. Last weekend Bobby's sister Zina and her husband came to visit us from Florida. We had a great time and went to a few BBQ's in the Hamptons. I went back to the city to see my friend IrinaÂ Dvorovenko in Lady of Camellias at the MET. I cried. It was a love story and Irina really brings all of her soul to each performance. We went backstage afterwards and she let me touch her stomach. She had just drank some water and it felt like an alien was trying to escape. She had danced intensely for 3 hours and her body was still recovering. I posted some photos on Twitter and Facebook. If you get a chance to be in NY on June 27th, she and her husband Maxim will dance Swan Lake. I can't wait to see them dance together!
This weekend I am hosting some of my girlfriends from Harpo/Oprah who were so generous and invited me and my family to see one of Oprah's final shows. They have never been to the Hamptons so I am obsessing over what to show them. I have spent the last week finalizing packaging for Skweez Couture. I can't decide which colors to go with and I hope I don't make any mistakes. I am going to Las Vegas this week for a trade show and then back to the Hamptons. Allyson comes home this weekend from Africa. I will post some of her photos in next weeks newsletter.
We very recently hit 50,000 newsletter subscribers. Thank you all so much. That 50,000th person was Debbie Clark from New Hampshire. She will be getting a phone call from yours truly!Â Thank you all so much. The next goal is 55,000 and that person will receive a call as well.
I really wish I believed Ramona's feelings about our talk. I, along with many of you, thought it was an act and she has continued to lie about me in her blogs which shows the kind of person she really is. She hits below the belt and thinks it's ok. I can't listen to her continue to say she sometimes puts her foot in her mouth and thinks that it is alright to do so. Only to then throw stones at me if I say something she doesn't like. I really don't know what to do about our relationship at this point. I guess we'll see what happens at the reunion.
I don't see the chemistry between Alex and Ramona and I think that is also an act. More so on Ramona's part. I guarantee after the show ends, Ramona never sees Alex again. Sound familiar? You never see Bethenny tweet or talk about her "best friends" from last year, do you? I am real. If I want to be friends with you, it doesn't matter if there is a reality show or not, I will make an effort off camera. I see and/or speak to Cindy, Luann, Kelly and Sonja outside of the show. In my heart, we are friends. After Ramona and I "talked" it was was comforting to be able to have real friends to go to. Upon watching the episode I was amazed at Ramona's ability to turn on and off the water works virtually at will.
The scene when Alex walked in on Luann was so funny. Alex said Ramona was vulnerable and sad giving us the image of her crying upstairs and all the while Ramona and Sonja were laughing and sneaking out of the house. Ramona's pain over our fight didn't last long did it? Alex is desperately trying to insert herself into scenes and sometimes things don't make any sense. Her stomping into the room with full drama just didn't work. It came across as a bad entrance in a play. Just as Kelly said about Alex being Alexa again on stage at Northwestern. I actually feel sorry for her.
The exchanges between Alex and Kelly seemed like a role reversal of Scary Island. I know I have tried to have a relationship with Alex so when we film it is real. A producer told me about the fight while I was getting my poodle hair done and I had two choices. One was to go back to my room and shower the hair out, the other was to walk into the scene and help her. I chose the latter. At that point I was really trying to be nice to Alex and see if we could have a friendship. I know she felt better after I walked over. I know I did the right thing.
The trip to Morocco was truly amazing, from the Riad, the Souk, the camel ride to the tent in the desert, just to name a few. I want to thank Luann for being the hostess. I know we're not the easiest group! It was also nice to meet up with my dear friend Brad in such an amazing place. In midst of all the drama I have special memories that will live in my heart forever. I hope that all of you enjoyed watching these episodes and seeing the beauty and mystery of this exotic country.
I've included some of my personal photos from Morocco in this newsletter. I hope you have enjoyed seeing them.
Have a great weekend!
Episode 6...here we go!
Cindy invited me over to see her apartment for us get to know each other. After all, we are going to spending a lot of time together! I knew she was friends with Ramona so I was a little nervous but I knew when I first met her she was my kind of girl. We both come from Long Island, both Jewish, and we are the same age.Â
I had just come back from Australia and was really shocked at the stories everyone told me when I came home. No wonder soap operas are being replaced by reality shows. You couldn't make this stuff up.
When Cindy said "Ramona's core is not good" it validated a lot of the feelings I have had over the years. We have a lot of friends in common. Cindy said "we have our ups and lows" (she meant downs) but we accept Ramona for who she is. What the heck does that mean? Why would anyone accept someone who makes so many condescending remarks and offers little respect to anyone? Cindy said "her core is not good." Is she right? I always try to find the good in people. I let a lot of things go with regards to Ramona and years have passed. Maybe it's time to take a serious look at our friendship. Ramona invited us to a wine tasting party this week. Even though Bobby had to come home from work a little early to make it, we showed up. Am a just a glutton for punishment?Â
Side comment..how cute are Cindy's little girls? I am available for babysitting!Â
Chris March, from Project Runway, totally outdid himself. He is so talented. Chris call me!Â
I have been to the costume store shown in the episode many times for many costumes but NOT the one I wore on Halloween two years ago on the show. I paid under $100 for the entire costume from FRANCO. (available at Halloween stores) If I rented something at this costume rental place it would have been around $350. I was really sick that day but didn't want to disappoint Sonja. I was on cold medicine so I was acting very silly! We tried on so many costumes, I was exhausted. Luann looks so beautiful in everything but the Scarlett O'Hara costume was perfect.
Meeting Cindy's ex boyfriend/baby daddy for the first time was interesting. I don't know what I expected but I wouldn't have picked him out of the "lineup." I see Cindy with a wall street banker (yin and yang theory). One thing I do know? These babies were the most wanted children in the world. Even though her situation is not traditional, if it works for Cindy, I am happy.
When Sonja is getting ready for the party, we hear her talking about her divorce putting stress on her financially. This is a premonition of what will come. When Sonja said "I don't have a man around the house", I wanted to add she has many and they are all so cute! I loved the car she was in! How fun would it be to be driven around in that all day!
Cipriani is a fabulous event space in NYC that is often used for charity events. They also have an exclusive wine cellar that I had heard about and was very excited. Sonja talks about her fabulous parties and when she said it was a masquerade ball I imagined a long table with waiters behind each chair lifting a silver plate cover at the same time. I actually went to one of those at MOMA last year and had created a fantasy in my head. Bobby and I brought three friends. Two were potential dates for Kelly. Ryan is the gorgeous one in the mask when I walk in. (I know, hard to tell with mask on!) A little inside info? Ryan is staring on Bravo's NYC version of Million Dollar Listing!
Ramona was a little "tweaked" when she arrived. Everyone really went all out with their costumes. I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I expected this elaborate dinner and all we were offered were hors d'oeuvre and drinks. Where was dinner? I told Bobby not to eat lunch because we were going to a big fancy party. Maybe it should have been called a masquerade cocktail party instead of a ball.Â
When Sonja bent down and I saw her tushie...I died! I immediately put my hand over it. My first reaction was she honestly left it at home. I asked Kelly and Cindy and they both thought she did it on purpose. I said no way! She would never want to show it on TV. never! Then when I saw this episode, did she say she left it home on purpose?
Alex and I were in a good place that night. Though we aren't meant to be the best of friends, I am still hopeful we can all get along.
Going with Cindy to the dentist was one of my favorite scenes ever! In our book Secrets Of A Jewish Mother we have an entire chapter dedicated to Beauty and Health. We give advice on how to find everything like the best Doctor to the dreaded word "exercise"!
Was the scene with Jennifer and Ramona staged? Ramona looked so shocked by the words the bride was saying as if they hadn't discussed it a thousand times. They both make me sick. I thought the bride and I were friends. After all, she asked me to recommend her to be a Housewife and get an audition which I did. I never thought in a million years the two of them would set me up. Ramona did it last year with Bethenny at her house and now with Alex at the wedding. Different circumstances but the same goal. To catch me off guard, press my buttons and get a reaction. Then when she gets a reaction, she blames and criticizes me for reacting. She openly admitted to enjoying doing this to me the morning of the wedding in episode one. Why didn't Jennifer tell me in advance that she invited Alex? She knew how I felt about her at the time and it should have been my decision if I wanted to go. Jennifer has told mutual friends that she felt used by Ramona. People left early and couldn't believe they weren't told there would be a film crew there. It didn't say anything on the invitation. People had to hide away from the eight cameras all over the yard. The music had to be turned off or worse, play Bravo house music due to clearance issues. It was embarrassing. I kept apologizing to people as if I brought the cameras. I didn't. Ramona did. Remember at Ramona's house she said "why tell Jill? That would ruin the fun?" So why is she so surprised if I was mad at Jennifer?
I had just came back from Australia and the party was my first time seeing Ramona since the wedding. My friend Vince drove me and I came to support Ramona as I always have in the past. I was having a nice conversation with some of the guests when Ramona had to pull me away and attack me. The bride was across the room. Again, Ramona is mad at me over something someone else said I said. I said, "bring her over"! I had NOTHING to hide. Whatever I said I meant. Details not important. He said, she said, all I know is Ramona invited me to her party to make a scene so her party wouldn't get cut from editing. That's how it works. If you have a lot of housewives and fight at your party, it is a virtual guarantee to make final editing. I showed up to Ramona's party to help her and once again, she uses me. But this time, I was calm. She was wired and acting insane. Everyone had been talking about her attacking Howie at Cindy's Birthday party and a lot of other things regarding Ramona.
Ramona refused to bring Jennifer over to talk to me to my face but she didn't expect me to see her on the way out. I spoke to Jennifer and it is what it is. We both remember it differently and will never agree as to what happened. But Ramona? She says I should talk to her face, I say "fine lets have lunch" and she says " I'll think about it"? She didn't expect me to be so calm. She thought if she pushed my buttons again I would react. I have changed. I listened to her "complaints" and offered to meet her alone for lunch to talk about it. I asked her a few times for lunch and and you will see what happens.
By the time she "balled me out" and embarrassed herself in front of all her guests, I was really hurt. I realized once again that no matter how hard I try to "show up" and be supportive for certain people, it will never be enough. If I was really bad mouthing her behind her back for years do you think it would have taken her this long to confront me? Are you kidding. Ramona has no self control and even if she wanted to hold it in, she couldn't. Ramona is a drama queen. He said, she said. Enough said.Â
I think I will take my toys and go home.