This week has been pretty uneventful because every night I’ve been going home to work on the book. We’re getting down to the wire – it’s due March 17th. I cannot wait to have it done so I can have my life back!
This weekend should be fun though. On Saturday night we’re celebrating my birthday. My fellow Rebel of Romance/dear friend Liz Maverick is hosting a wine and cheese party at her swanky new apartment in my honor and then we’re going dancing at this scene’y club called Lotus. I have a new friend who hosts a party there every Saturday night and she’s promised us VIP treatment – no line, free table, free bottle of vodka. Considering normally you have to spend like $300 a bottle at this place, this is a good deal!! Can’t wait!
The rest of the weekend, however, I plan to be a good little girl and work on the book that will not die. Of course, it’s about zombies, so I guess in a weird way that makes sense.
Oh and speaking of zombies.
Someone with a bit too much time on her hands crocheted some. She calls it “Dawn of the Knitting Dead.” I LOVE IT!
And while we’re on weirdness, check out this personal ad on the Best of Craigslist. Too too awesome.
That’s all I gotz. Go buy News Blues!! Support the dying chick lit genre!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This week has been pretty uneventful because every night I’ve been going home to work on the book. We’re getting down to the wire – it’s due March 17th. I cannot wait to have it done so I can have my life back!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Went down to Williamsburg for an Oscar party last night. Was a lot of fun, though I did not walk away with the pool. I actually started out pretty strong, but I knew sooner or later my wild guesses (having seen practically none of the movies!) would catch up to me. Overall was fun. Glad I didn't have to work today though! Though I have been writing from home all day. Getting a lot done on the book, which is encouraging.
Here are some pics of the party!
Tome hosted the party and he wasn't fooling around! He had all the ballots inputed to a spreadsheet even! No cheating allowed!
It can be hard to tabulate scores after drinking a few candy apple martinis!
Jaberwock - the puggle - is dubious about Jacob's ability to double fist his drinks.
But Jacob shows he can manage do it with style!
As usual the awards ran long and attention at times waned from the TV.
Jaberwock is pretending to watch, while scouting for food!
The triumphant winners of the Oscar pool - Tome (3rd) Dawn (1st) and Mark (2nd)
Jacob won a booby prize of a hover ball pipe thing!
Took a lot of tries to take a pic with the ball actually hovering though...
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 1:09:00 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
Nothing too exciting to report here. Working furiously on Razor Girl as the deadline looms. Hopefully I can pull it all together. Remind me not to accept such a tight deadline next time, okay? Argh.
Other than that, I'm psyched it's Friday, even if the weather outside is frightful. We had snow this morning, but it's mostly rain and slush now. I can't wait for spring. That's the only thing I don't like about New York - it doesn't have San Diego weather! Still, it's a lot better than Boston, which has gotten socked by many, many storms this winter! Luckily all those guys are hardcore skiers and snowboarders and like that kind of thing.
Last night I went over Jacob's to celebrate his birthday. We made steak adobo tacos using a Rosa Mexicano recipe. Came out yummy! Funny thing about New Yorkers - we go out to eat so often (whether to a deli or a 5 star restaurant) that it's eating home and cooking your own food that's the treat sometimes. Go figure! It was fun though.
Anyway, I know this entry is boring, but really, that's all I've got. Esp since I've gotta go get ready to go out! :) Going to a play that Jacob's friend is in and then hopefully some clubbing! Woot!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 4:39:00 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful red rose. It was bought with love and presented to a special someone on Valentine’s Day, only to end up rejected and abandoned at an above-ground Astoria subway stop. Left to die in the bitter cold, without water, without love.
Why was the rose rejected? We will never know. But we do know that at that point three lovely New Yorkers came upon this lonely rose. They took one look at it and realized that they needed to rescue this rose from its fate. So they took it with them as they traversed into Manhattan. They realized that the rose, this simple flower, may have true power, hidden deep inside. Power to change fate, to alter lives, to make things better. (Or at least just to make them laugh and give them something to take photos of.)
So they cared for the rose. Filling a Diet Red Bull can with water to nourish it.
And they communed with it, attempting to still its pain and perhaps revel in its power.
Oh and they took some silly pictures with it as well. After all, roses like to have fun, too!
And the rose, in turn, brightened their night and beautified the trashy bar they’d brought it to.
And it made them all very happy!
And the rose managed to escape its intended fate and instead live out the remainder of its day surrounded by friendship and love. Happily ever after, one might even say.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 12:52:00 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Though I often digress from book information on this blog, it's good to pull it back once in a while, especially when I have a new book coming out in a week! :) The book, in case you aren't aware, is called NEWS BLUES and it's the story of a downtrodden television producer (ring any bells?) named Maddy.
Hope you get a chance to check it out! Here's the summary and some reviews:
TOP PICK! "A fast-paced, hilariously funny look into life behind the scenes at a local news stationa fast-paced, hilariously funny look into life behind the scenes at a local news station." -- Romance Reader at Heart
"[An] original and quirky twist on chick-lit." -- Romance Reviews Today
"Intriguing look behind the scenes of TV news production, including a pleasing romance." -- Fresh Fiction
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 7:29:00 AM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Last night Jacob and I continued Valentine's Day with dinner at NINJA - an upscale theme restaurant in Tribeca. It was really, really cool. Sort of like a Disney restaurant for adults. Delicious food as well and creatively presented. And yes, there were ninjas as our waiters and one of them even did magic tricks. The whole place looked like an ancient Japanese village. You eat dinner in a small room that closes up to give you privacy. I wouldn't say it was the best place for a large group of people, but it's an extremely cool date spot! Too bad it's so pricey cause I would go back again and again.
Here are some pics.
The menus were made of parchment and rolled out like a scroll.
A little blurry, but you can kind of see how we were all closed in in a small private room.
My meal was supposed to look like a tree trunk! And the bark was edible.
I ordered this dessert strictly for the mist! And we snagged the ninja throwing star coaster.
After dinner we wandered around for a bit and then met up with Liz and her brother Alex who was in town from Vegas for adventure #2. Alex has a part ownership in this uber hip new vaudville dinner theater thing called THE BOX. It's hard to explain, but it's sort of Moulin Rouge for the new generation. There was performance art, burlesque, Cirque Du Soleil type acrobatics and other such wackiness. It's an extremely hard to get into place and we wouldn't have had a prayer if it wasn't for Alex. He got us up to the exclusive balcony area with a private table and bottle service. (Table = $1,000, and it's $300 a bottle. No, those aren't typos, thank goodness Alex was treating!) Anyway, it was extremely fun and definitely a night to see how the other half lives. Soooo cool of Alex to include us!
You weren't really allowed to take pics, but I snapepd a few of the place so you could at least get a glimpse. It doesn't do the place justice though. It's decorated in the coolest old 1920s style with faded wallpaper, plush seats, hanging curtains and plenty of mood lighting.
View of the stage from our balcony. In Moulin Rouge style, you have to hang from the balcony to see the show.
This is what they call "bottle service" in NYC. Basically you buy a bottle of your favorite alcohol (for $300 up usually) and they bring you all the mixers you want. It ends up looking something like this. :)
Liz (looking oh so glam!) and Alex, our benefactor.
Still standing at 2am! Well, sitting anyway...
Rebels til the end. :)
That's all for now. I also have another adventure from Friday night to share but I'll save it for a slow day! :)
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 10:37:00 AM
Friday, February 15, 2008
I'm happy to report my Valentine's Day was fabulous and wonderful this year. Jacob, most awesome guy ever, gave me a sony digital camera for a v-day/birthday gift! I'm so excited! As you know I've been dying for a new camera since mine was left in Cabo last summer. And he gave me a 2 gig memory card so I can take like 700 pics without even clearing it out. He totally rocks.
He also gave me a vampire beanie baby bear named Baron Van Pyre. Here he is, bonding with the Cowboys beanie. He's actually technically a Pats fan vampire, but as Jacob says they're all friends over tequila.
We decided to wait til Saturday to go out to dinner as it's crazy busy and terrible service on Valentine's Day and instead we made our own. We made beef enchiladas with ranchera sauce out of the Rosa Mexicano cookbook. Sooo delish. Even if we did improvise a little.
And of course, with my new camera, I decided to document the whole thing. :)
Molly is ready for some cooking!!
Before we start, of course, we need some liquid courage. Margarita, anyone?
First, time to study the recipe...and realize I forgot to photocopy a few essential pages.
Next, time to chop meat and onions. A lot of tears were shed.
"Are you guys done YET?"
Jacob's already regretting buying me a camera at this point...
So I put down the camera and started cooking.
"It's got to be ALMOST done, right???"
"Not yet, Molly!"
Real Mexicans use their fingers to flip the tortillas, even if that means callouses.
The final product! Okay, so the burned tortilla is on top. Food stylist I am not. But it sure tasted good!!
And yes, don't worry, Molly got her share. :)
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 12:08:00 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
A lot of people hate Valentine's Day. In fact, I think in my generation of cynics it's almost cool to hate the holiday. People go on about the evils of Hallmark and the calories of candy and all such bitterness weeks before the holiday even happens.
Well, I have a confession to make. I've never felt that way. I am a romantic at heart, I guess. But I love Valentine's Day. Maybe that makes me uncool. Don't care anymore.
I've had a lot of sucky Valentine's Days. For example, the time this high school friend of mine decided she was going to ask my ex-boyfriend (who I was still totally in love with) to the Valentine's Day dance that WE WERE GOING TO TOGETHER! So I had to spend the whole night with him there, but with someone else. Ugh. That was a particularly painful night.
Or, going further back, in 4th grade when I sent a "special" Valentine to the boy I had a crush on (named Todd) and he showed it to everyone and they all laughed about it. I remember sitting at my desk, hearing them whispering about it, wanting to totally die!
Then there were the single Valentine's Days or the ones where I was dating the guys who hated the holiday and refused to do anything that required any effort. Saying that they didn't need a holiday to "prove" their love and that they didn't like when there were "expectations." And yet instead of letting them know that it bothered me deep down, I pretended to not care. I was too cool for Valentine's Day, oh yes!! I wasn't one of those silly, materialistic girls who put value on a holiday made up by Halmark--not me!!
Yeah right. Deep inside the girlie girl in me wanted nothing more than a bouquet of flowers, delivered. Or a piece of jewelry in a box. Or a box of freaking chocolates even. It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't even have to be creative! I just wanted to share in the long-standing tradition of the day. Is that wrong to want?
Guys - when a girl says she doesn't care about V-Day, SHE IS LYING. She's protecting herself from being hurt. She feels that if she doesn't "want" anything, she won't be let down. And when her friends ask the next day (as they invariably do) what she did or got from her SO, she can save face by saying she didn't want anything to begin with.
But she did. Deep down in her heart, she did.
There is one person in my life who has never let me down on Valentine's Day. And that's my dad. He always sends a box of chocolates without fail. Every year. No matter if I'm nearby or 3,000 miles away. He delivers. And so no matter where I am in my life or what boy I am dating or not dating, I can rest assured I will always have one valentine. He probably has no idea how much that has meant to me over the years and I certainly haven't always deserved it. But I think that's why I can now, even after many disapointments, still honestly say I love Valentine's Day.
So thanks Dad! And Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! :)
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 12:32:00 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So Jean Marie Pierson is this new author for Dorchester (I mentioned I was having drinks with her last night, I think.) She made a video to go along with her upcoming release. But not just one of those lame book trailers that everyone has. She actually hired actors and shot a real scene out of her book! It's so awesome. Now I'm wishing she filmed the whole book. But since she didn't, you gotta read.
So watch, then go forth and pre-order!
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 11:52:00 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Nothing too exciting to report here. It's snowing today, but doesn't look like it'll accumulate. Hitting the wine bar tonight with Liz and new Dorchester author Jean Marie Pierson whose debut, "No Good Girls" is out next month. Tomorrow is dinner with my agent, who is town for the month from Colorado. She sure hit some bad winter weather for her trip. Freezing cold and snowing - at least in Colorado you just have the snow without the 12 degree temps!
This is where Liz and I were in August. And where we'd rather be at the moment. It's a view from our Cabo balcony. Ahhh I can just taste the pina coladas.
Oh well, what can you do? At least it's easier to find time to write books when you're stuck indoors. And spring will soon be on the way, right? RIGHT?
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 4:45:00 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Jacob needed a new sofa so today he and I went down to Soho to wander around all the furniture shops down there. The boutiques down there are full of really modern stuff that looks awesome, but isn't necessarily going to be really comfy to actually curl up and watch TV on. And then there were the prices! At one point we sat on this sofa that we thought was pretty nice and then decided to look at the tag. $10,000! I believe that one was in the Armani Casa store.
Some people in this world have way too much money!
Still it was a lot of fun to look at what the other half buys. For example, check out this leather platform bed we found at one store. How cool would this be in your bedroom?
But my favorite find of the afternoon was this. From a store called MOSS.
Yes, it's exactly what it looks like -- a chair made out of stuffed pandas! It was so cute I couldn't believe it. It said don't touch, but I had to cheat a ltitle bit. After all, it was a PANDA CHAIR! It was really soft. Price? Well, there was a sign that said you had to ask and you know what they say: "if you have to ask you can't afford it." So I had to reluctantly leave the panda chair behind. But not before a photo, of course!
ADDED: When I got home I looked up the chair online. Evidently there are only 25 made. Previous years there was a teddy bear chair and an aligator chair. Check them out!
All in all it was a really fun afternoon. And Jacob did find a great couch that is smooshy and cozy and didn't cost $10,000 so mission accomplished, too! :)
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 2:50:00 PM
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Last night Jacob took me out to this amazing restaurant called Morimoto which, you might know, is home of the Iron Chef himself. Evidently Mr. Morimoto was in the kitchen last night, too, but I don't know if he actually prepared our particular meals. They had blowfish as a special last night, but I was too scared to try it. Instead I got this amazing surf and turf special which was Kobe Filet (Mmm) and hamachi ribbons mixed with crushed citrus and avocado and these little mini herbed potatoes. It was so delicious I can't even begin to explain.
It was a really gorgeous restaurant all together, but what was truly unique was the bathrooms. They had heated toilet seats that opened for you as you entered the stall. Behind the toilet is a glass wall that looks out into what looks like a long, cherry blossom filled glass hallway. Because of trick mirrors, it looks like the hallway extends out to infinity. It's definitely a sight to see.
Anyway, it was a really nice night out. Jacob scores big points on restaurant selection. :) And if that wasn't enough, he also set up his old wireless router in my apartment, which truly rocks cause now everyone who comes over to work on their laptops can share Internet. Before now we were always fighting over the one connection and I had to keep cycling the modem every time I switched from laptop to desktop and back. So yay to Jacob!
Today Morgan, Liz and I went back to Williamsburg Brooklyn (my 3rd time to Brooklyn in as many days /sigh) to go thrifting. They have this amazing store called Buffalo Exchange that has great clothes for really cheap prices. I got an awesome turquoise Betsy Johnson dress that was brand new for only $32! It's gorgeous. Can't wait to have an occasion to wear it. I also bought a few shirts and a cute Armani Exchange skirt. It was a great store and I definitely want to go back.
Tonight we're going dancing. I might go take a quick nap before people arrive for the pre-party. :)
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 5:54:00 PM
Friday, February 08, 2008
Last night we went to Barcade again. I love that spot. I wish it was closer to Manhattan. It's a 45 minute subway ride to Williamsburg from where I live which is quite the trek. Yes, I'm lazy, I know, but what can you do.
Anyway, Jacob and his coworkers and I journeyed there with the sole mission to play lots of Gauntlet. You may remember Gauntlet was one of the first D&D type games to pop up in an arcade. You chose your character - elf, warrior, valkerie, or wizard - and basically just ran through neverending mazes of monsters. There are several popular (well, geek popular) phrases that came from that game such as "Elf needs food...badly!" and "Valkerie is...about to die!"
Anyway, what we learned from this experience is Gauntlet actually never ends. There are hundreds of levels and as long as you keep shoving in quarters it will keep going and going like some freaking Energizer bunny. When you're a kid, this is less of an issue because you run out of quarters quick. (Also back in 1985 them were some stellar graphics!) But as adults with more than twenty dollars worth of quarters, let's just say it started getting pretty painful. By the end we were all dying to just, well, die, and get it over with.
In all, I'm not sure we even made it to level 30 before we couldn't take it anymore. And now I'm totally cured of any desire to play that game ever again.
I still dig Crystal Castles though! ;-)
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 8:42:00 AM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I had a mini freak out with the book not gelling together right yesterday, but I think I've fixed it today. So my apologies to everyone I stressed out to -- it's all good now. At least til the next freak out. But hey - this is how we writers roll. ;-)
So as many of you know, I live in a studio apartment here in NYC where the location drives up the rent rather than the space. Lately I've been having a lot of guests over to hang out, write, watch Superbowl, etc. and I've realized the clutter is getting to critical mass. So my vow is to clean one section of my apartment each night and really go through everything and toss all that stuff I don't need. Minimalist, baby! I started with my computer area and I already feel much more relaxed hanging out here without stuff falling all over the place.
Sometimes I think it's fortunate that my house burned down when it did cause there is NO WAY I could have fit all that stuf in here. haha. Still, I would have preferred to pick and choose.
I think we're going to hit Barcade tomorrow again - this time for a good old round of Gauntlet. (And some Crystal Castles, of course, let's not be crazy here!) I wish the place wasn't in Williamsburg cause I would go there all the time if it was on the UWS. Hm, maybe it IS a good thing it's in Williamsburg. Otherwise I wouldn't have any quarters for laundry.
Ohhh speaking of, I finally broke down and tried the wash and fold service at the local laundermat. You bring them clothes and they wash them and then deliver them back to your apartment all clean and folded. Seems the ultimate in lazy to me, but everyone keeps raving about it so I decided on a little experiment. I only dropped off sheets and blanket and towels though as I'm a little wary of them damaging my real clothes. So will report back tomorrow with the results. (Wow, this blog is fascinating, huh?)
I'm also trying to exercise more. I went jogging Monday and Tuesday and rollerblading today. I'm sick of being such a slacker and exercise also relieves stress- something I have a lot of these days with this book!
That's all for now, going to grab some dinner.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 8:00:00 PM
Monday, February 04, 2008
I don't to discuss the game. Too depressing. As were the whoops and cheers and honking outside my window far into the night. I may live in New York. I may love New York. I may never want to live anywhere BUT New York. But I will never, ever, ever root for a New York sports team.
I'm from New England, after all. And we don't roll like that.
To add insult to injury I now owe Liz a tube of lipgloss... She's currently deciding between Dior and Chanel. Sigh.
Okay, moving on. I thought some of the commercials last night were really stupid - especially considering how much money was spent on them. Some even bordered on racist. But I did really love Hank the Clydesdale. It still brings a tear to my eye - that dog high fiving the horse. Awhhh.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 7:43:00 AM
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Quick drive by post to tell you about my weekend. Friday I had dinner with my agent friend Nadia Cornier in Astoria. Caught up on all the publishing (and other!) gossip. Was fun. Then Jacob, Leanna and I went to Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which was this bar that had all really old-school videogames like PacMan and Galaga and my favorite -- CRYSTAL CASTLES. Ever play that one? There's a bear and you have to have him get all the crystals but instead of a joystick you use a roller ball thing.
Here's a couple screenshots...
Then Saturday we went to the NY RWA meeting and listened to Isobel Kelly give a talk about how animals have sex which sounds weird, but was actually really interesting. Then Liz and I went to Melissa Walker's book release party, held at the Lancome store on 69th and Columbus. Her new book in her "Violet on the Runway" series is out next month. The party was crowded and super swank and there were makeovers and champagne and mini cupcakes. Very cool. Liz and I now have lots of ideas on our own book party we'll have this coming fall.
Having mingled and mixed, J joined us and we went to eat at Dallas Barbeque. Now for the record, while I think this place is very yummy, J insists it's not representative of real Dallas Barbeque. Since I've never had the genuine article, I can only say that my baby back ribs were delish anyway.
Next we left Liz and headed down to a German bar where J's friends were having a mustache theme party. Everyone, including the girls, had to wear mustaches. Was pretty wild to see. And yes, though a bit embarassing I am going to post the pics.
We hung there for a while then J and I headed down to the village to check out this dance club called LOVE. I'm scouting out a location for my future party and J said it might work. He was totally right, too. The place is so cool. Very cheesy 60s sci-fi'ish with a lounge room that has sort of a jungle gym kind of thing going on but with shag carpeting - even on the ceiling. I can't even begin to describe it but it was really cool and the music was good, too. We danced a lot. Haven't danced to old school techno in a while, so that was very fun. Then we went home.
Now it's time to work on the book. And I'm going to make chili this afternoon too. Cause yeah, it's Superbowl Sunday and you gotta have chili to watch the Pats kick some Giants butt. Woot!!!
Okay that's all I got. (Isn't that enough?) Out for now.
Posted by Mari Mancusi at 12:09:00 PM