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Top Chef Charleston...

I've never been to Charleston, though I've read so much about its history and its culture, I feel a connection to the city. I'm so excited that Top Chef will be there this season. It will get me ready for my trip -- when I get there. Ireland is next -- but right now, I'm home writing. That's a good thing, but I haven't traveled for awhile. I always thought I didn't care for traveling, but now that I've been home for a year or so, I was wrong. I need to get out of this place!

I've just always felt as if I belonged in the south. Perhaps I read too much Southern Fiction -- or perhaps, one too many showings of Scarlett. Either way, I'm anxious for the new season. I love southern food!


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#90DayFiance makes me want to rush my TV

I have no patience for Jorge or why he is interested in Anfisa. I cannot help but hope we are missing something in editing. That hug where he apologized to HER for getting kicked out of the apartment? It was cringeworthy. He wants to fix the situation and she says to him, "You can't fix stupid." Amen, sister. RUN JORGE RUN! Rather than buying Anfisa a $300k engagement ring, I'd put that money towards counseling.


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Matt, in the meantime, has an emaciated stripper come on a party bus and reminds us all that drugs are bad. I love that in the preview his jerk brother asks Alla why she loves his brother and she honestly tells him, "I haven't told Matt I love him." Dude, your bro has been married three times. He's not exactly a catch. She is coming to make a better life for her son, and I think she'll be a good wife to Matt. Better than he probably deserves. I'd marry a dork and move across the world to better my son's life. Love is a luxury you get to select when you're in a first-world country.

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Nicole and Azan. What can I say about them? They're both nice people, but totally wrong for each other. I think that Nicole needs to grow up and wait to get married. She needs to take some Dr. Laura hard love and go home and raise her daughter. I don't know how badly he wants to be in America, but if he wants to stay in his culture, I think he'll ghost Nicole and let her keep the ring as a consolation. I really like Azan's mom. She was better to Nicole than he was.

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What this show teaches us is that you have to be able to be alone before you're healthy enough to be in a relationship. Being needy leads you to losers who will use you for their own ends. I keep hearing that guy from "The Princess Bride." -- You keep saying this word love, but I do not think you know what it means.


Hell hath no fury, like Mariah scorned...

Mariah is a piece of work. She was engaged to a billionaire, who I'm going to assume found out just how crazy she was behind the beautiful exterior. So he broke up with her. Mariah has announced that she's keeping the $10 million ring AND that she wants a $50 million settlement. Girl, for what? Believe it or not, the man has the right to run. You're only chasing off the next sucker, I mean, man with your behavior. You're also letting your ex know that he clearly dodged a bullet.

Maybe he'll pay you the money. Maybe that would get him off the hook and it's worth it to him. Not sure. All I know is from that trainwreck of a TV show you have coming up, the world is probably rooting for him. Get some help.


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Apparently, legally, she has the right to keep the ring since he broke it off with her. However, the DECENT thing to do would be to give back and ring and ride off into the sunset with dignity.

Let's not even get into the fact that a $10 million engagement ring is obscene. I don't care how rich you are, that is an obnoxious amount of money to spend on a piece of jewelry.


My Right Brain Survival Guide in Left-Brain Silicon Valley

Yesterday, I was in the coffee shop and I was literally the only customer there without an Apple badge. In fact, I was having trouble with my Mac Air and I wanted to have words with any one of these left-brainers who might be responsible for my Air saying that I had a bajillion movies in my nearly-full memory. When, in fact, I had none. Here's a rashly done helpful list.

1. Humor. You must have a sense of humor -- even if no one else gets the joke. It's okay that grown men wear ironic man buns and dress like lumberjack teenagers with a side of Prince -- just enjoy their attention to fashion and be thankful this is a phase. The concepts of haircuts will once again be chic. Someday. In the meantime, remember, that you're no one to judge. You had a mullet phase or some such unfortunate fashion history.

2. Self-Acceptance. When people talk in code, binary or otherwise, it's okay that you don't understand them. Yesterday, I saw a coding T-shirt in the boys' department at Target. Really? Someone would actually put their child in that shirt? At least let him get a date to the prom first before you turn him into a major nerd. Not to mention, across from Target, there is now a new coding "afterschool" program. What happened to sports? There's more to life than school, people. Really.

You must own your right brain. This is my daughter's Chemistry folder. She wants to be a horse trainer -- NOT an engineer or a doctor -- I'd rather kill myself. (Her words, not mine.) Yes, she may have a bit of her Mama's drama. But the point is, we really aren't all meant to be doctors and engineers, and that's okay. No really, it is.

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3. It's completely appropriate to have fun. Though it may not be a common occurrence in the Valley, fun is not illegal. Go to the beach. Watch a movie. Have a beer. Believe it or not, the world will not spin off of its axis because you played couch potato one afternoon.

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4. See the sunshine. There is a world outside of the cubicle, and I encourage you to see it. Take the time to marvel at nature. God was an amazing engineer/designer even if no one here believes in Him. You can't miss the beauty that is the Bay Area.

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5. Life isn't all about the stuff. Contrary to popular opinion, "He who dies with the most toys, doesn't win." Take the time to make the most of what you have and be grateful. It's okay if you're not driving the newest, hottest Tesla but if you are, take a moment to be thankful. Just chill. You're not a shark and you will not die if you stop for a second.

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Plaid Pants & Mouthy Kids

I have a pair of plaid pants that I love. I love plaid in general -- in fact, one year my son said, "Buy me any backpack you want, but no more plaid." Point taken. I don't think my son Seth has EVER commented on my clothing and when I wore these pants, he said, "Mom, those things are hideous."

Hideous?

So I took a picture of them today to send to him and my daughter says, "Mom, it's not that the pants are ugly. It's that you style them ugly. You're like Nordstrom on the bottom, Goodwill on the top."

And this is why, fair readers, you must not get your self-esteem from your children. You will wither up and die. Just sayin'


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And I'm wearing the plaid. End of.


#RHOC -- Ick. Need a shower after that episode...

I've never been a Heather fan. But wow, her words were like double-edged swords last night. Honestly, if I were on that bus out of Ireland, I would have jumped out of the window to get away from that kind of venom. What a brood of vipers!

I can't really support any of the women in this case. I think Tamra and Vicki are both awful and then, blink their big eyes as if they had nothing to do with all the trouble going on around them.

Meaghan turned out to be the classy one last night. Not that I've ever heard women scream like that in my lifetime. You couldn't pay me enough to be on that show. I hope anyone with a brain gets out after that whacked out season. Shannon has so much anger, but I think she can't be angry with her husband so she takes it out on everyone else. If this show doesn't give you a perspective into an empty life with cash, I don't know what will. They should stay behind their gates. Lock them in and save the rest of us!

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I do wonder what Heather's background is -- she acts like she was born a socialite, but I don't think so. I don't know any doctors' wives who work that hard to appear so pretentious. Doctors' wives are usually really down to earth and running the PTA and kids while their husbands build their practices. She seems too concerned with what others think to have been born into money.

I haven't watched this franchise in years, and I'm going to let it go from here on out. It was like "The Walking Dead" fans are saying -- too much gore.


The Chaos that is my Life...

I'm trying to write, so cue the crazy. There's a roof access outside my door and all day, they've been pounding on the roof and going up and down this metal ladder. I'm like, ready to hurt someone. So I took a break from writing because you know, wanting to hurt someone isn't actually good for writing romance. Well, not my kind anyway.

So the guy doing the work outside literally sounds like he's having a heart attack -- or that a demon is fast approaching. I actually snapchatted it because I couldn't believe how loud it was BEFORE he actually got up on the roof. I took a break by watching "1408" -- and let me just say that watching a horror film about being stuck in a hotel room when one is stuck in an apartment with what sounds like the roof caving in -- is really not great for relaxation. I'm not Spa Zen or anything.

So now I'm trying to get back into calmer place by listening to Lionel Richie. Dang, I love me some Lionel Richie. Okay, it's not working. They sound like they're coming through the roof, and I'm agitated like a wash cycle. I'm heading out.

On a happy note, I got a nice call from my agent this morning. I hope to share good news soon. In the meantime, any ideas for calm and I'm open to them.


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I took this picture at the Filoli house. I need a library...


The Lesson No One Seems to be Learning from Alexander Hamilton...

This morning I was reading a story about the Biebs (Justin Bieber) He stormed off the stage after the crowd didn't act the way he wanted them to. I'm sorry, did you not get the memo that you're the dancing monkey and you cannot control the universe? I mean, in the entertainment industry, you get the impression you're in charge -- and you are while you're on top -- but ultimately, the fans and the $$ control you. I feel sorry for this kid that no one ever told him he isn't the center of the universe.

Which brings me to "Alexander Hamilton" -- the smash hit on Broadway where entertainment actually teaches us what our schools should have. That Alexander Hamilton was THE MAN! He overcame being born in the middle of nowhere (West Indies) as a bastard -- because his mother had fled an abusive marriage. He takes his first job at 11. Then, his mother dies when he's 12. He writes a story with vivid details after a storm and the people raise money to send him to America to get educated. He eventually becomes a lawyer. He becomes an assistant to George Washington, the first secretary of the treasury (fathers our monetary system),he writes the Federalist papers -- explaining to us peons why we need the Constitution. And he ultimately, dies of a gunshot wound after a long-running feud with Aaron Burr.

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His story is way more complicated, and I encourage you to read it, but we are coddling our youth to the point where we're creating a useless generation. Hardship ultimately makes us better humans. No one wishes the life of Job on anyone, but ultimately, it's the dark stuff that grows us. Alexander Hamilton died a great man. Will history remember the Biebs as a spoiled child? When does he actually grow up?

I realize it's an unfair comparison. Hamilton to the Biebs, but my point is relevant. The world is using Justin Bieber and making money off of him, so the chances of him getting better as a human are nil at this point, and that's a darn shame. By the way, my daughter is seeing the Biebs soon, and he better not give any dang sermons. Just sing, doofus.

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Any "Frankenstein" fans out there?



"Frankenstein" is one of my favorite books. I love the story of how it was created -- all these genius writers holed up in a creepy villa waiting out a storm/volcano when they decided to write a ghost story. May the best writer win. I love the concept of how this book was written, as much as I love the book. If you do too, be sure and catch the BBC documentary about the making of the books. It's quite scandalous as Mary wasn't Percy's first wife, and their "romance" is the stuff of tragedy. It's on Saturday night here in the Bay Area, but your listings may vary.


1408 -- John Cusack

Today, I turned on a movie that plays later tonight at my house. The scene I opened to was John Cusack playing a writer. He was having a sad, little booksigning with lots of chairs, and no actual people in them. Most writers have been to this place, so naturally, I had to start watching. (But I haven't gotten to the scary part yet.)

John Cusack is a horror writer (it's a short story by Stephen King) who checks into room 1408 in a haunted New York City hotel.) This sort of makes me wonder if Stephen has ever had a good experience at a hotel? Or, if they are only creepy settings for terror for him. He must be a barrel of laughs on vacation. I think he needs to visit the spa for once.


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When I saw that this was yet another haunted hotel story from Stephen King, all I could think of was John Pinette talking about camping in Maine, and how it was the setting of most of King's novels. That, and hotels apparently. I've posted this a million times because I do love me some John Pinette, but go to minute 1:20 if you haven't heard it. It's preparing me for tonights creepy movie, which I will watch alone. Have you seen this movie?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imB5PbCesTQ
(Minute 1:20)