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Then Everything Changed

I recently read this book by Jeff Greenfield in which he writes an alternate history of the world if one thing had been different. I think we have all thought about the decisions and actions we have made in our lives, and wondered what our lives would be like had we taken a different path. Greenfield is knowledgeable about politics and history and this book is a stunning exploration of the world had a few things gone differently.

I had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Jeff Greenfield a year ago. I know him from his career in both politics and journalism. He is extremely smart and insightful. Greenfield weaves together facts and real people with a fictional tale of history in a way that is remarkable.

Some people may recall that prior to his inauguration, a bomber targeted John Kennedy. The book looks at the Johnson Administration and more specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis had LBJ been sworn in in 1961 instead of JFK.

Having grown up in the 1960s and been greatly influenced by the words and actions of Robert Kennedy, I found the middle chapter unnerving, in a way. Greenfield changes the incident in the Ambassador Hotel in June 1968. Instead of being assassinated, RFK narrowly escaped the bullets and that episode propelled him onward. In the beginning I was excited to read about RFK surviving the attack and continuing the campaign, and going even further. (I won’t give any spoil alerts in case you decide to read the book.)

Personally, I enjoyed reading about what RFK would/might have done, but then I had some queasiness in my stomach when I realized it didn’t happen. For so many of us, RFK was the one beacon of hope, and reading about him was exhilarating yet at the same time uncomfortable because it just wasn’t real. So, once again I was reminded of what might have been. As he said, “Some men see things as they are and ask ‘why?’ I dream things that never were and ask ‘why not?’”

 

How I Rebooted My Life

I became an entertainment journalist after my journey through cancer. As a survivor I was asked to write an article for Coping with Cancer Magazine. In it I describe how there are many things I had to change in my life after  cancer surgery. But there were also new things I tried. And I forged out a different career for myself as an entertainment journalist. 

My article is in the print magazine and now online

National Entertainment Journalism Awards

Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists came in second place at the LA Press Club's National Entertainment Journalism Awards.  While I would have loved to receive the award, being second in the national awards is still a very big honor and I am very proud to be included in such distinguished company. I want to thank everyone at the Los Angeles Press Club for the wonderful gala event and for recognizing my book. 

 

 

 

Pepperdine On-Camera Interview

I had a fun time talking to some classes at Pepperdine University. After class, I went outside with Pepperdine journalist Halleta Alemu for an on-camera discussion about being an entertainment journalist and my book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists.

Halleta is so much fun and a great

To watch the interview, click here.

 

Steven Spielberg and Abraham Lincoln

The other night I had the pleasure of screening the new Steven Spielberg film LINCOLN. It is wonderful and I honestly hope Daniel Day-Lewis is honored with an Academy Award nomination at the very least for his performance as Abraham Lincoln. The movie is the perfect blend of drama sprinkled with humor to make the 2h 25m film fly by. 

As a history buff, I particularly enjoyed this film which transports audiences back to 1864/1865 and the waning months of the Civil War. The focus of the story is the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery. 

Please read my full review. Post a comment and let me know what you think of the film after you have seen it. 

 

 

Two Interviews

Next Monday is going to be strange for me. I am interviewing a screenwriter then two hours later I am going to be interviewed for a magazine. I hope I switch my hats quickly enough from interviewer to interviewee. 

 

Los Angeles Press Club Finalist

This is exciting. My book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, is a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club's National Entertainment Journalism Awards. I'm up against some tough competition. 

 

Homage to Gilda Radner

I was heading out the door to guest lecture at Pepperdine University when I noticed there was something wrong with my shirt, so I ran back and changed to my second option, but that wasn’t right either, so I completely changed my color scheme which meant I had to change my shoes as the first pair didn’t match the new shirt, and then I realized my eye shadow was coordinated with the first shirt but I didn’t have time to change that because my ride was waiting so off I went, and to make a very long run-on sentence finally come to a close, the moral of this story is…drumroll please…to quote SNL alum Gilda Radner, “It’s always something.”  We miss you, Gilda. Let’s talk dirty to the animals. (For those of you who are too young to get this, do some research! Gilda was one in a million.)

 

Bond, James Bond

October 5, 2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond Film Franchise. I believe everyone has their favorite Bond actor and favorite Bond song, although through the years the filmmakers have managed to procure some great songwriters and singers which makes selecting just one song a little difficult.

Most people don't know that the US TV series The Man from UNCLE was American's answer to the British superspy. Robert Vaughn, who played Napoleon Solo in the TV show, explained to me that that is what his character was conceived as. He was America's James Bond. But as the show progressed Illya Kuryakin (played by David McCallum) became just as important in many ways as Solo, at least to some female viewers! 

Bond, James Bond, has influenced pop culture. How many times have you heard someone say "Shaken, not stirred"? That's a catchphrase created by 007. 

While playing James Bond on screen certainly puts an actor in a higher category, towards the end of his Bond years, Pierce Brosnan told me he was eager to put that part of his life and career behind him. 

For those of you who do not remember all the actors who stepped into the shoes of 007 over the years, they are: Sean Connery (7 films), George Lazenby (1 film), Roger Moore (7 films), Timothy Dalton (2 films), Pierce Brosnan (4 films), and Daniel Craig who just finished his third Bond film.

Whether you like him or not, you have to admit that James Bond has wangled his way into pop culture and the character has staying power, even though the actors who played him do not. It's funny how Bond has been onscreen for 50 years but he never seems to age. Hmm. The magic of Hollywood.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even the White House was glowing with pink lights last night.

This month I am contributing to many BC sites, reaching out to survivors and those who are currently undergoing treatment. It's  a difficult time for the patients and their families. Wear your pink ribbon in support of these brave patients (women and men), their families, and the researchers who are trying to find a cure for the disease. 

 

 

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