Karen Quinn's Blog
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Order my novels at the links below:

Wife in the Fast Lane:

The Ivy Chronicles:

Post-View and Poop 

After my big appearance on The View, Mark and I jetted off to exciting Miami Beach for a week. It was a securities conference for Mark and I came along as "the wife." I always like being "the wife" at those things. All I have to do is tag along with Mark at the cocktail parties and smile and nod. The kids joined us on Wednesday. It was their first experience flying alone. I worried about them getting on the wrong plane all day, but nothing went wrong and they actually showed up on the right flight.

Sam is on vacation this week and he is mainly just laying around watching TV. That makes me feel kind of guilty - like I should have stayed in Florida with him for another week and provided him with a beach. Certainly all the other parents at his school took their kids on a fabulous holiday for the whole week. But I had to get back to work. He says he just wants to rest. His life is so stressful when he's at school. 7th grade? Stressful? Whatever. In 7th grade, my life could better be described as angst ridden. I suppose that's kind of stressful.

While in Florida, I got a lot of emails from friends who saw me on The View. They were all very complementary. Most people said they didn't think I looked old or fat, contrary to my own impressions. Then today, one friend called to tell me that my makeup and hair looked terrible, no, not terrible, just not like the normal cute Karen she knows - she said she would have wanted someone to tell her that were she in my place. So she suggested I look into getting a professional makeup artist and a hairdresser for my next appearance on national TV. She hoped I wasn't hurt by what she said, and I said I wasn't, but of course I was. Unless someone asks for constructive criticism, it's best not to give it. Remember that should you ever feel inclined to tell someone the ugly truth.

We had a major household disaster today. Mark and I have this rug merchant, Leon, and we can't say 'no' to him when we shop at this store. So, it's always better not to go there. Ever. Anyway, a few months ago, we forgot and went into his store just to "look" and ended up purchasing a ridiculously expensive Persian rug for our entry way, and I'm talking multi-thousands of dollars. We could have gone on vacation for the price of that rug. We could have remodeled half a kitchen for the price of that rug. I could have had my eyes done for the price of that rug. What were we thinking? But we fell under Leon's spell and bought the damn thing. Anyway, when I woke up this morning, Smokey, our cat had had diarehea all over the rug - big time. I tried to scoop it up with my spatula (which I will never be able to cook with again), but all I did was smear the poop into a bigger stain. I've been trying to clean the rug all day - Woolite is hopeless - special Cat Poop Stain remover from Petco doesn't do a thing. It's like Smokey swallowed a bottle of permanent brown dye and pooped it out. I think the Universe is trying to tell me that I never should have bought that darn rug. This, I already knew, but as I said, it's impossible to say 'no' to Leon. As God as my witness, I will never shop at Leon's rug store again.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My View Appearance 

Here's the email I sent to all my friends about my View appearance. They ended up taping it on Monday, which was nice because I didn't have to stress about it all week. I wanted to let all my friends know so they'd watch and tell their friends to watch. I'm not sure why I want people to watch because I may have totally embarassed myself. But people will be mad if they find out I did The View and didn't tell them. Anyhow, here goes...

I just wanted to let you know that I'm about to have my 15 minutes of fame. Actually it's 6 minutes. On Friday, March 17, I'm going to be on The View...as in Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck - to promote The Ivy Chronicles, just out in paperback! We've already taped the show, so it's in the can as they say in the biz. It'll run barring any unforeseen interruptions (i.e. being preempted by a St. Patty's Day parade - I, for one, think we've had enough Irish parades for one lifetime! And I can say this because my last name is Quinn).

Let me report that it was tres exciting to be on the show. I had my own dressing room with my name on the door (actually it was just printed on a piece of white paper that was stuck into a plexi-glass holder, but still). Julia Louis Dreyfus was on with me and her name was in the same plexi-glass holder on her door. I like that about The View - they don't play favorites. Heloise was on, too. But she didn't get her name on her door. I'm guessing it's because she's not the real Heloise, she's the daughter of the real Heloise. My dressing room was kind of bare. But there was a bowl of fruit. I took a bite out of an apple, and then stopped because I was worried I'd break my front tooth right before going on national TV. Seriously, that's exactly what crossed my mind and stopped me from finishing the apple. I think I may need psychological help.

They called me in for a touch up. A girl made me up while gabbing to her friend about what they were going to do over the weekend. I didn't catch her name. But I sat next to Joy who was getting her hair done. She's very friendly. Not to me but to everyone surrounding her. I know she would have been nice to me if all those interlopers weren't vying for her attention. Brownnosers!

Julia Louis Dreyfus looked adorable in this cute navy blue dress - Diane Von Furstenburg, I think. She made me wish I'd worn an adorable dress too, but I don't own one. Maybe I'll go to Saks and buy one after this. But for what? I've already done The View. Maybe if The Today Show books me, I'll splurge on a dress as cute as Julia's. Then I would have to wear pantyhose, which I don't own either. I suppose I could spring for a pair of those, too. Anyway, Julia wore these killer marigold stiletto high heels. How do women walk in those things? They did look great on her. I'd like to report that the two of us gabbed like long lost sorority sisters before the show, but I didn't talk to her. She was hanging out with the Pretender Heloise. They kind of formed a clique and I couldn't break in.

Soon it was time for the show, so we went into the green room. That's where everyone waits their turn. People always say that the green room isn't really green, but this one actually was. Well, it was green-ish. I watched the show on a moniter, got wired for sound, and said "no" to the pastries that were offered (Are you kidding? I could just imagine a piece of white sugar glaze on my cheek during the interview). I was too nervous to eat anyway; nervous in the way you are right before they take you into the operating room. And I'm talking about an operation where you can live or die. Of course, I tried to act cool - I didn't want Julia or Pretender Heloise to know that this wasn't an everyday thing for me.

I was on the second segment so they took me on stage at the first break. They had me sit at that counter-like desk and there was a HUGE studio audience and blinding bright lights shining in my face. Don't look at the audience, I thought. They put me right in the middle between Joy and Star. There was a frantic moment when they realized I was too short for the desk and I needed a pillow, but one was found and soon I looked as tall as Joy.

Sadly, Barbara wasn't there. I really wanted to see her. We went on a cruise of northern Europe with her a few years ago (she was on the same ship we were on - that's as close as we got). There was an evening where she did a Q&A in the main ballroom. I asked her a question and was thrilled to have Barbara talking to me, even across a crowded ballroom. So, to meet her in person would have been a dream come true. Actually, that's not true. Meeting Barbara Walters has never been a dream of mine. But it still would have been cool to meet her.

We were back from commercial and it was time for my segment. Before I knew it, the women were shooting questions at me and I was answering. I got to tell some of my crazy admissions stories about how cutthroat the world of preschool admissions could be and the audience laughed and gasped in shock (which surprised me because this was a NYC audience and this should have been old news to them - perhaps they were tourists). Anyway, mid-segment I realized that this was a case of life imitating art. There is a scene in The Ivy Chronicles where an admissions director is murdered by an enraged father whose son is rejected, so Ivy goes on The View to talk about how competitive school admissions can be.

Excerpt from The Ivy Chronicles:
"I was exhausted after doing The View. I had to walk that thin line of entertaining the audience with wacky admissions stories without alienating viewers who might become clients. It was a challenge.

At Myoki, executives got two weeks of media training before they were allowed to talk to the press. I'd never been high enough on the food chain to get trained. Still I held my own, I thought. I had Star and Meredith in stitches."

Do do do do, Do do do do (sing this to the tune of The Twilight Zone). Isn't it spooky cool that the scene I wrote for The Ivy Chronicles was played out in real life?

I'd like to tell you that I did well, but I honestly don't remember. I do recall the laughter and gasps, as mentioned above. I also remember all of the women being extremely nice to me, friendly and supportive, as you would expect the women of The View to be. But otherwise, it's all a blur (very much like your own wedding). So I'll have to wait until Friday to find out if I did okay. I can already predict that I'll think my voice is too high and I'll wish I'd had a facelift before my big close up, but I think that every time I see myself on TV.

Anyway, I hope you'll watch the segment on Friday. If you have to work, I suggest you just call in sick (or TIVO it if you know how to work your TIVO - personally, I don't know how to work ours). And please pass this on to any and all of your friends who haven't read the book but who you believe should (and that would be all of your friends, of course). Maybe they'll tune in, too.

xxoo Karen

P.S. As I was leaving, Heloise told me I did a good job, which made me very sorry that I ever doubted her. As far as I'm concerned, she's the real thing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The View and Johnny Cash 

I'm totally psyched because I just found out that I get to be on The View March 17. They're taping it on March 16. What to wear? Must get hair done! Nails, too. Is there time for a face lift? Probably not. A mini-face lift? No, don't think so. One of those threaded face lifts? Give it up. Liposuction? I doubt it. Oh why didn't I lose those twenty pounds when I meant to last fall? I had all the right intentions, but got sidetracked. Will have to wear something slimming for TV. Is there such a thing as a full body girdle? Still, despite my concerns about how I'll look, I'm very excited. It's one of my favorite daytime shows. I love those girls.

Conversation between me and Sam last night.

Sam: So, who won best actress.
Me: Reese Witherspoon
Sam: For what movie?
Me: Walk the Line.
Sam: What's that about?
Me: Johnny Cash
Sam: Never heard of him. Who's he?
Me: He's a famous, uh...
Sam: Killer?
Me: No
Sam: Robber?
Me: No
Sam: Arsonist
Me: No, a singer.
Sam: Sounds boring.

The kid still makes me laugh.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Schuyler is back 

Schuyler has returned from St. Barts. I know this because 1) we've lost another cell phone, 2) her room is now a disaster (it's amazing how clean a kid's room can be when they're not there to mess it up), and 3) we've already had an "incident" - this one involving a burning candle, room full of smoke, and smoke alarm that could not be shut off. I have already lectured her on her report card and threatened to send her to boarding school if her grades don't improve. And, after seeing the report on 20/20 last night about the girl who had a baby, hid it from her family and friend, killed it and buried in the swamps near her home, I'm composing my lecture to Schuyler on "you can always tell me anything, because no matter what I'll be on your side)." Will she believe it after my threat to send her to boarding school unless the grades got better? Maybe not. In spite of all this, I'm incredibly happy to have her back. She's such a doll. I look at her and think she is so beautiful and so sweet, and it's not her fault that she's fourteen and her body is raging with hormones and she hasn't developed the maturity I know she'll someday have. She manages to call me everyday from school even though it's against the rules. And I love hearing her sweet little girl voice. Schuyler has her own unique style and such a big heart. So, despite the fact that she makes me crazy, I'm grateful to have my baby home again.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

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