As beautiful and terrible and challenging, which they say these days instead of 'difficult' as Bali was, the food, which I ate mostly with chopsticks taking the vegetables out of the Nasi Goreng, leaving the rice, so I am actually slender, was mostly delicious. When I got back my two great hungers were for bread and TV, because as bad as television is, you cannot imagine what a comfort you realize it is when you are in Bali and it's beyond terrible, so you never turn it on, the only news you receive, besides the Jakarta Post which is mostly about which corrupt person got caught, which can only be because they did not steal enough to pay someone off, is the headline from the NYTimes digital, usually depressing because I thought our politics were, and did not enjoy our country's descent into the trivial. Must admit I am saddened by the Justice Dept's action against Steve Jobs, as he was the only one of all these guys I really admired, but don't imagine it bothers him.
But turning on the tube I watched Anthony Bourdain doing the great job he does and which I fantasied for a while I should be doing, as I was still loving traveling, with that much joy and bright observations and thought I'd be good at that. Anyway Jon Stewart, who it was a delight coming back to, asked him what New York was best at, and he said 'deli," and I had to agree, as I missed nothing so much as bagels. Yoni, my gorgeous and put-upon driver, as women count as dust in the Bali culture(even your ancestors go over to his family when you marry, and although he is a brute and a fiend, he gets to keep the children) loved nothing so much as bread. When we would go out to lunch, one of the great pleasures of my sojourn being going out with her at the end of my work-morning to research or restaurant, she would order whatever there was that had bread-- sandwiches or wraps, it made her so happy. So I am eating now for two, having freely bageled in New York, and living now very close to the Bagel Nosh, which isn't the real thing, but is close enough.
I am about to go to lunch with Gabi and Fernando, an adorable couple who worked at the Apple store in New York, who became friends of the heart when I worked with them in my One on One sessions, so when I was in Bali and my Mac had a breakdown, Gabi called me from the States on her dime, and worked with me for almost two hours to fix it, which she did. They have moved to LA now, so we are about to reunite for brunch(she is now a film editor and she and Fernando are setting up a website company called NetWorkFolio which I know will be the BEST, as they are. As they have not lived long enough in LA to become bullshitters, I am taking them to the Bagel Nosh instead of Kate Mantelini's, because they are probably still real enough to be interested in the food and each other and friend and not who is in the next booth. I don't really care anymore because Anne Bancroft won't be there with Mel Brooks.
I am happily ensconsed(sp?) in the Hotel Mosaic, where I started writing SCANDAL, and where the story is actually set (now available on Amazon.com with a great cover that should be in the window of a bookstore but there aren't any. Ah, how happily I recall Hunter's and Pickwick and all the dead. And here it is.
I remember Larry Todd from Hunter's, who, at the time of The Pretenders, called me "the Jane Austen of the jet set." I understand that the hot new book, that Gray thing, is filled with erotica, so it must be back, but I have no appetite for writing it, or, I think reading it, as having gone back a few months ago to look at my once bestseller, I was embarrassed. I remember how Donnie would come home at the end of the day when I was pregnant with Robert, and reading what I had done, would say "It's terrific; now go back downstairs and make it worse." So I would waddle down to the basement, one of the only ones in LA, and with my big belly close to the typewriter, (it still was then, albeit electric) and make it even steamier. I was exhausted. Robert claims he heard the noise of the keys from inside. I don't disbelieve him, as I think I became a writer partly because Gene Kelly was my dancing teacher in Pittsburgh when I was two, and he told my mother I would never be a dancer. So the tapping of the keys was like the metal on my sole/soul.
Here's Gabi and Fernando. Aren't they wonderful?
Love to you all.