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My Big Fat Birthday 

It's my 50th birthday today so I ate chopped liver for breakfast. I've always believed you can do whatever you want on your big day. Schuyler gave me a giant Hershey kiss this morning when I woke up, and she made chocolate covered strawberries (which I ate with my chopped liver). Right now she's baking me a cake. Mark told me I looked more beautiful at 50 than I ever have before. While I assure you that's not true, I totally appreciate the sentiment. Sam pretended he didn't remember my birthday. It's the kind of joke that 13-year-old boys find hilarious. What can I say? Later, we're getting a Christmas tree, decorating it, and then we'll go out to dinner. As the birthday girl, I get to pick the place, so I'm choosing the Knickerbocker. If you read my book, you know that a pivotal scene takes place there.

The coolest thing happened this week. On Thursday, I put an e-mail out to about 40 of my friends asking if people could connect me with people they knew around the country who had experienced school admissions in other cities. I'm doing research on that topic and need to talk to people who can help me understand how competitive the process is in other places. A friend in NYC forwarded my e-mail to someone in California. That person forwarded the e-mail to someone else in California, a man named Richard. Richard e-mailed back and invited me to call him - he has 3 kids who are in private school in L.A. I called him and as we talked, he told me that (just by chance) he is the agent who represents Tracey Jackson, the screenwriter who is adapting The Ivy Chronicles. I was so thrilled because I've been dying to talk to her. I'm totally curious to find out how she is doing on the screenplay, what scenes made it, what scenes have been cut, etc. People ask me about the movie all the time and I never know what to say. Anyhow, I asked Richard to forward an e-mail from me to Tracey where I told her how much I'd love to talk to her and invited her to call me anytime. The next morning, I received an e-mail from Tracey. It turns out, she lives in NYC and has a child at Friends, where my son goes. She invited me to meet her for coffee which I eagerly accepted. Then she mentioned that she was taking a snowday on Friday because she needed a break from work. So I invited her to join me and my friends at our spa day at Avon spa. We were indulging ourselves in celebration of my birthday (any excuse will do). So Tracey came. I was so excited to meet her. We're still getting together on Monday because we tried really hard not to talk business on Friday. But I could see that she understood where I was coming from in the book, and she shares my attitude completely. Meeting her was such an unexpected surprise and I'm totally looking forward to getting to know her better.

Last night, our friends Johnny, Kathy, Don, and Judy joined me and Mark for dinner at a really warm and cozy Italian restaurant down the street (Ecco). More birthday madness. It was great to celebrate with these friends, who I love dearly. All in all, it has been a lovely birthday. I told Mark that I'm going to pretend I've just turned 40 and start counting again from there. Hey, it's my birthday and I can lie if I want to.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

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