Thursday, June 30, 2005

Okay, That Was Cool...

Man, did we have fun in Philly! TV appearances, adoring fans (Hi Mom!), and an excellent assortment of old friends came out to cheer us on. I knew the day was going to go well when Renee and I, operating on very little sleep, still managed not to get lost as we drove to the CN8 studio located somewhere beyond Bayshore Used Trucks in Delaware. Then, after the morning show make-up artist "gave us some color," (evidently under the TV lights I turned transparent) we had a great interview with the lovely anchor of "Your Morning on CN8," Connie Cola, who confirmed that Renee and I had both led very interesting lives and that our book was "very cute." (Okay, so maybe she hadn't read it, but she was a great interviewer, nonetheless.)

But for me, the best part of yesterday was when we got to the Barnes & Noble in Bryn Mawr and the friends and family members, neighbors and teachers that I'd grown up with came to the bookstore for the reading. My dad even sprinted home from Boston with a poorly-taped broken toe to get there. And wow, were they a great looking crowd! I'm not just saying that because I'm totally biased. They were all smiles and warm wishes and it was just amazingly cool. Even my 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Flaster, who used to call me one of his favorite slow students, came with his wife and daughter. No, I still can't solve for X, but it was incredible to see him.

I'm not saying one should only write a book so that one can do a reading in one's hometown, but I am saying it's definitely a highlight!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

We are SO going to be on TV!

If you're like Renee and me, (and chances are, if you're reading this, you probably are Renee and me), you're not so good with the early morning rise'n'shine thing. But tomorrow morning, Ex-Ithacan Kaplan and I will be getting up at the crack of dawn so that we can be camera-ready and fabulous when we make our television debut on "Your Morning on CN8" in Philadelphia.

Yes, turn on those Tivos, those DVRs, those VCRs (and good luck programming that dinosaur, sucker) and set it for between 9-11 AM. Oh, we're going to put on quite a show for my hometown crowd! And then, with the wily one-two punch that we're famous for, we're going to wow 'em even more when we do a reading later that night at the Barnes and Noble in Bryn Mawr. I'm thinking it's well worth the trip to Philadelphia for our devoted fans... I'm just saying.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tigger and Piglet Dead; Pooh Sought For Questioning

In side by side obituaries in today's NYT, I learned that both the "Voice of Pooh's Tigger," and the "Voice of Pooh's Piglet," had died over the weekend. A sad day in Hundred Acre Wood, indeed. Sadder still, though, is that the actor, John Fiedler, was actually referred to as "Pooh's Piglet" in his obituary's headline. Could have been worse, he could have been "Love Boat's Gopher," but still...

But as a namesake of Pooh's pal, Christopher Robin, must admit I'd always felt an affinity for the stories of that hapless bear who'd consistently get his head caught in a jug of honey. (Although I related more to Pooh himself than to C. Robin.) Though try as I might to recall some of the adventures he'd had, I realized I couldn't remember a damn thing save for the head up the honey jar. Fortuntately, though, it was Google to the rescue! And for anyone else who's interested in reconnecting with a little Poohvia, this website will undoubtedly answer your questions.

So rest in peace, Tigger and Piglet. I hope to see you again in that great honey jug in the sky.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Calling All R&R Groupies!

The Assets girls are taking their show on the road this weekend, bound for the Great Pyramid (Mall) in Ithaca, New York. We expect to be followed up the interstate by a caravan of groupies, and if you'd like to be part of our traveling circus, you are encouraged to come along!

Why, if you do, you'll then be able to say, "Duuude, I went on tour with Robin & Renee in the summer of '05 -- and it was freakin' mind-altering, man! So much better than following Phish! Yeah, cause these girls would make ample restroom pit stops and would check out any outlet mall they found along the way."

So if by hook or by crook you do find yourself in beautiful Upstate New York this weekend, and are looking for a literary, but not snooze-inducing event to attend, drop by the Borders in the Pyramid Mall on Saturday at 4 PM and marvel at how much love (and jug wine) we will shower on our fans.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

They Should Have Confiscated His Tweezers...

Th-hers-day Styles in the NYT today chronicles another trend for the gay-vague set. They say that people are dressing down when they fly to avoid hassles in the security line. But in the large photo that accompanies the article, I'd bet this gentleman still has trouble getting through.

Put the tweezers down before someone else gets hurt, big guy Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BookCourt Hosts Our Assets!

Tonight, tonight, tonight (okay, I hope you just sang those words using the appropriate Phil Collins melody) the wonderful indie bookstore, BookCourt (163 Court St. at Dean Street), will be hosting a reading for us at 7 pm, and your presence is requested!

Maybe you're saying to yourself, "gee, I dunno, I was thinking of going to opening night of Herbie: Fully Loaded instead." Or maybe you're thinking, "Bookstores? They still have those things?" Or perhaps your passport has expired and you don't think you'll be allowed passage to Brooklyn.

Well, simply put, skip this event and you'll never forgive yourselves. NEVER. When your grandchildren ask you if you were there, you'll just have to shake your head and say no as they taunt you and make the decision to toss you into the low-cost home. "Grammy & Gramps won't care," they'll argue, "because having a good quality of life is unimportant to them." Is that what you want?

Okay, still not convinced that BOOKCOURT at 7 pm is the place you need to be tonight? Well, then in addition to the lure of seeing the hottest young writers to come down the pike since Paris & Tinkerbell, I have two more words to lure you, my tough little cookie: JUG WINE.

See you tonight. Where? BookCourt, 163 Court St. at Dean Street, 7 pm!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Alison Kent, Rock Star With Glasses

Holy Crap! After being beaten and left for dead in the New Mexico desert, Smithson Group agent Mick Savin tries to piece together his last few days. He remembers bits and pieces: gathering crucial intel. An ambush by Spectra thugs. And then…nothing, except waking up in some medical center in rural West Texas. His mission was top secret. So how did he end up here?

Good question, right?

Well, in order to find out, you're going to have to read Alison Kent's new taut, hot, suspense novel called LARGER THAN LIFE. Posted by Hello
Alison is one of the incredibly prolific and successful writers in the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, and it's no mystery why... the woman can write. But no need to take our word for it, her reviews have been great. Listen to this:
"A larger-than-life hero and nonstop action keep the suspense high in Kent’s latest SG-5 adventure. A heart-wrenching secondary romance adds emotional intensity and depth to this compelling tale."

Check out her website, browse her bookshelf and oh, yes, BUY THE BOOK!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Will Fame Change Robin & Renee? One Can Only Hope!

Over the weekend Renee and I were on WCTC-AM's fabulous radio show, "Reality Parenting." What do you and Renee know about parenting beyond the phrase, "I said "no!", you ask? Absolutely nothing. Not one thing!

However, that was part of what made the show so great because the stellar hosts, Lisa and Jana, wanted to talk with us more about the idea of women re-inventing themselves than at what age you should stop letting your children sleep in your bed (Nope, not going with the Whacko-Jacko joke -- too easy -- so whack off). Anyway, Renee and I do know from reinvention, and we nattered on about its importance and how it has changed us for the better (yeah, yeah, we know, we're still works in progress.)

But, this week we're walking the talk even more. We're going to Brooklyn! We'll be doing a reading at Book Court on Wednesday night at 7 pm. You should come! Renee says Brooklyn really isn't all that far. She doesn't say what it's not that far from, but she promises it's a lovely place to visit and this book store, Book Court, is THE place to be. So be there, mmmkay?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Will I Burn In Hell for My Roast?

I've been asked to deliver a roast at a very good friend's wedding rehearsal dinner tonight and I'm a bit nervous about it. See that line between good-natured humor and offensive/grossly inappropriate snark is something that's been troubling me. So I ask the reader(s) of this blog (but not you, Mom, I know what you'd say) if you think this joke goes too far:

"How many of you know the incredibly sweet story of the way Justin proposed to Olivia? Well, briefly, it involved planning a surprise trip to Italy, presenting her with an heirloom engagement ring, and proposing to her at her childhood school. It was an unbelievable testament of his love to her. But Justin, fyi, in the past all a fella needed to do to get Olivia to say 'yes,' was to give her a cheap bottle of wine and a burrito."

Too rough? Please feel free to comment...

And truly heartfelt congratulations to my friends Olivia and Justin on their wedding this weekend! They are a gorgeous couple in every way, and I wish them an amazing life together.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The NYT is the New H/X!

How much gayer will the Thursday Styles section of the NYT get before it starts arriving at your doorstep bedazzled in rainbow colors? Seriously, I know men "need" to know about the various products they can purchase to anoint their bodies. I understand that it's important dudes be down with good grooming and in touch with their psychoanalyzed sensitive sides. But in today's cheeky ode to the Chelsea Boy, Locker Room Trysts Bedevil Health Clubs, did I really need to read about the "hand puppet" action taking place in the YMCA sauna?

Or does my head shaking disbelief that this article is considered "All the News that's Fit To Print," come from the fact that I'm merely jealous these men have found a way to maximize their work outs while a poor shlump like me is just dragging ass on a treadmill? Okay, in fairness, probably a little bit of both.

But two things in this article struck a chord with me in particular. 1. It was written by a woman yet she made no attempt to document what was going on in the female locker rooms, nor did she even mention the fact that women existed in this universe and 2. If I knew I could get action at the gym, I'd be going a lot more frequently.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Of Human Bondage

Today we point you to a great blog called The Black Table ( Why? Because a piece I wrote on the Hollywood Bail Bondsman appears in the lead position! Pretty cool, I have to say. And I'll be honest with the readers of this blog, I wrote that piece ages ago when I was still living in Hollywood, so it's even a bigger thrill to me that years later, the story has finally found a home outside my hard drive.
However, when you click on the link above (and please do!), here's what you'll find...
--Rachel Epstein 06.15.05
When the phone rings at 4:30 a.m., Francisco Rodriguez knows he's going to jail. Dressing and jumping into his blue Corvette, the Hollywood Bail Bondsman usually heads west on Sunset Blvd. to the men's prison facility on Wilcox Ave. This morning, however, he's traveling to the jail in Van Nuys where female prisoners are held. Rodriguez's been told that if he doesn't get there quickly, his client will be moved to County. And County jail ain't the place you want to be at five in the morning, especially if you're a Playboy playmate. MORE

Do we notice anything unusual about this? Aside from the fact that it's a killer first graph, I mean, and whoever that REALLY JEWISH girl, Rachel Epstein, is, she's to be commended?

Well, uh, for ROBIN, the blonde-haired blue-eyed lass who actually wrote the piece, it came as a bit of a surprise that some Jewy chick was plagiarizing her work...

But I don't think this mistake was made with any malice. Lil screw ups like this are made all the time, in fact I've been known to call people by the wrong name even in this here blog--so I'm sure the good folks at The Black Table will put my Christian name on the piece just as soon as they can. But the whole thing did make me laugh. I mean seriously, you'd think that I, as a member of the group that controls the media, really would have been able to nip this in the bud sooner!

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Review Is In!

No doubt you've just picked up the best new magazine ever, INSIDE TV, which, as far as I can tell is just about the most exciting thing to have happened to TV since the picture in picture function that I don't quite know how to use, but still think is very exciting. And now that you have your June 13-19th issue in hand, the one with the provocative and teasing headline: "What Brad didn't tell Diane," flip that baby open to page 90 and what do you see? Why it's MARILYN MANIZER on the cover of SHAKING HER ASSETS!

Yes, our book has been reviewed by a magazine dedicated to television! Pretty cool, eh? Kinda makes getting a review in a simple book pub like Publishers Weekly or Kirkus seem pretty insignificant.

Inside TV Posted by Hello

But speaking of reviews, the fab. new book by Mindy Friddle, THE GARDEN ANGEL, has been getting some amazing notices, and Renee will be blogging all about our Girlfriend Cybercircuit friend's stellar new novel a little later today.

Friday, June 10, 2005

HEEB storytelling

Looking for something to do this Shavuot? Scared you'll be left out of the celebration cause you haven't yet purchased your tree for planting in Israel? Well, heathens, good news for you! I've just been added to the bill at the HEEB Magazine storytelling event taking place at Joe's Pub this Sunday night.

The New Jew Review Posted by Hello
These events do tend to be very popular, so if you're planning to come, I actually would suggest making reservations. Here's the critical info taken from the HEEB site ( no, my name ain't listed, but I'm confirmed. Or at least bat mitzvahed. Wow, gotta love that Jewish humor!

Heeb Magazine’s critically-claimed storytelling series returns to the Public Theater’s fabulous cabaret lounge, Joe’s Pub. Part cabaret, part Catskills, the series pushes the very notion of a “Jewish story” to the brink. The theme for this night’s show will be “the written word.” It's Shavuot, so we figured it's the least we could fucking do.

The event will be hosted by Seth Herzog (VH1's Best Week Ever) and feature stories by Michelle Collins (, Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend), Joey Garfield (director of Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box) and Ben Greenman (New Yorker writer/editor and author of Superbad and Superworse), Sara Schaefer (Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You), and Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella, The State).

Reservations: Call the theater: (212) 539-8778 or buy tickets at Telecharge: (212) 239-6200; ($15) 7:00 PM at Joe's Pub, next to the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street
What will this yente rant about? Well, you, bubbeleh, if you don't show up...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My New Pet

At long last I've committed! For years I'd been scared off by friends who reminded me I was too irresponsible to have a pet. "You'll forget to feed it," they said. "You'll step on it, kill it, then feel guilty for at least ten minutes," they said. And for a long time, I believed them...

But I have to be honest, I was so inspired by the whole little dog craze of late that I just thought, I can't hold out any longer! I want to be that paragon of fashion! I want a purse pooch. Except I want mine even smaller than the mini Chihuahua, and I don't want to have to worry about walking it or feeding it. (My friends are right, I am irresponsible.) So I want something that will fend for itself.

And that's why I decided to go with a mouse. Truly, it's the perfect apartment pet. Now all I have to do is figure out how to play dead, and then I'll be all set...

Monday, June 06, 2005

You calling me a slut? I've got some choice words for you, Sittenfeld...

As I read Curtis Sittenfeld's review of Melissa Bank's new novel, THE WONDER SPOT, in this week's NYTBR, steam began pouring out of my "slutty" nostrils and probably some of my other orifices as well... Sittenfeld, or, as I shall hereby refer to her, the Gender Traitor, writes in her opening graph:

To suggest that another woman's ostensibly literary novel is chik lit feels catty, not unlike calling another woman a slut -- doesn't the term basically bring down all of us?
The resounding answer to that, is "No, bitch, it doesn't. But what does is the pretentious musings of an "ostensibly literary writer."

In Sittenfeld's last graph, she says:
Undeniably, there were times when I laughed or winced in recognition as I read; I understood exactly what Sophie meant, and that's when I liked the book best. But this, ultimately, is the reason I know "The Wonder Spot" is chick lit: because its appeal relies so much on how closely readers relate to its protagonist. Good novels allow us to feel what characters feel, no matter how dissimilar their circumstances and ours.
I think that's pretty rich coming from a woman who just wrote a book about the experiences of an "outsider" who attends a prep school who was an "outsider" who attended a prep school.

But I also take issue with the content of the quote. As a lifelong admirer of the work of Philip Roth, I can honestly say that I've never shared the feelings of his protagonists and yet I'm thinking the "literary" Ms. Sittenfeld might think twice before referring to his oeuvre as "Dick Lit."

Friday, June 03, 2005

Run, Bride, Run!

Yeah, I know making false statements to the police is a crime (a lesson I learned in high school after uttering the phrase, "I swear Officer, I had no idea there was beer at this party!"), but was it really necessary to charge Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, with a felony?

I'm happy to report the bride-not-to-be was only sentenced to probation, but after the public flogging that poor 32-year-old woman received, wasn't that enough? Come to think of it, wasn't being forever associated with that asinine Julia Roberts movie punishment enough?

And call me cynical, but I don't really think the fact that her fiance is still hanging around after all this speaks too well for his sanity, either. Maybe the girl was right to run...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Bitch Is Back...

Okay, yesterday was all about the Girlfriend love, so today, I think it's necessary to swing the pendulum back and play the "hater" for a little while...

Tell me the NYTimes photo-editor was not making an editorial comment when (s)he ran this uh, less than flattering picture next to the story on the self-proclaimed "Miami Bombshells"

Bombshell from Hell Posted by Hello

The thumbnail doesn't quite do justice to the photo, so if you have access to the Thursday Styles Section, check it out on p.G6. Then close your mouth after you've gaped in horror, for sweetheart, the last thing you want to do is wind up the mirror image of these "feisty" chicas.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Enchanted, Inc.

As new members of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, a group of women writers who harness the power of the blog for purposes of good and evil, Renee and I have been introduced to a whole new community of cool folks with fantastic books. Since we've learned from repeatedly checking our Amazon rankings that there are literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of books out there, joining up with the GCC is a great way to find out about excellent new books and spreading the word about them so they won't languish in the, ooh, 454,000something range...

Anyway, fellow GCC'er Shanna Swendson ( just come out with a book called ENCHANTED, INC. that you should definitely check out. Melissa De La Cruz, author of "The Fashionista Files," calls it "A totally captivating, hilarious and clever look on the magical kingdom of
Manhattan, where kissing frogs has never been this fun." And as someone who has kissed beaucoup de frogs on this fair Isle, I have to say, I'm thrilled someone has found a way to make it fun...

The book is a story about a 20something Texas to Manhattan transplant, Katie, who feels horrendously average when she lands in this strange new place. However, Katie quickly learns that there's magic in this here town, and is befriended by a group of Manhattan fairies (not the kind that live in my neighborhood, either). It's a fun read that will definitely appeal to all Buffy lovers out there. So if you're looking for a great new read now that you've finished SHAKING HER ASSETS, check out ENCHANTED, INC.

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