Happy Almost New Year!

There's been a lot going on -- and, thank goodness, I've finally had a nice quiet uninterrupted spell to really sink my teeth into JEZEBEL BRIGHT -- but really, the only thing I want to talk about is the Bun, who has begun responding to the world outside. The other day I was driving in the car, listening to Clipse, and when the bass kicked in the Bun started moving. I chalked it up to coincidence, but that night Wendell started barking unexpectedly, and the Bun went into what felt like a series of somersaults. It was weird. Wonderful, but weird, too, to know that there's something inside of me that can hear and react to noises. So now every night Adam and I read the Bun "Goodnight Moon." Which is weird, too. I mean, what is the mouse doing in the room? Why doesn't anyone make it leave? And what's with the bowl full of mush? Has it been sitting there all day? Hmm.

We saw "About Schmidt" on Christmas Eve, partaking in the longstanding tradition of the Jewish people where you spend Christmas Eve/Christmas Day alternating between movies and Chinese food, and I surprised myself by liking it better, I think, than my husband did. Yes, there was a level of scorn toward the characters that I could have done without -- and it's lazy filmmaking, I think, to use physical frailities as shorthand for a lack of spiritual richness -- but Jack Nicholson was amazingly restrained. And three cheers for Kathy Bates' nude scene, and for the movie's courage in showing Jack in a hot tub with a woman who's not young enough to be his granddaughter and tiny enough to shop exclusively in the children's department.

And last night we watched "Broadcast News" on TV. Boy, they're not making romantic comedies like this any more, where all three players in the romantic triangle are flawed and fascinating and multi-dimensional, and where the movie has something to say about a subject besides love. Here's Albert Brooks' Aaron Altman on his rival, the slick but shallow pretty-boy newscaster Tom Grunick: "I know you care about him. I've never seen you like this about anyone, so please don't take it wrong when I tell you that I believe that Tom, while a very nice guy, is the Devil..... What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen."

Hmm. Lowered standards. Flash over substance. I bet every reporter, or former reporter who saw that was nodding along.... and then trying to figure out whether it was the editor, publisher, or managing editor of his or her particular publication or station who was, in fact, Satan. I know that I was.

Finally, here's some news. Watch this space for a major announcement shortly after the New Year about GOOD IN BED on TV. And Philadelphia residents should keep an eye out for the January edition of Philadelphia magazine, and my Jen-on-the-road report, which I'm sorry to report will run under the headline "My Big Fat Book Tour." Hey, don't blame me, blame the editors!

Jen