Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Mock Dock — Mutual Admiration Society

I know I know, twice in one day two days in a row — Laura can’t remember the last time she branted so much — and she’s actually afraid she’s going to start annoying people with her self-referential self-promoting posts.  But she simply couldn’t resist posting a link to this posting about her because it was posted on a truly hilarious blog called The Mock Dock.  Laura could have sworn she posted something about this site a month or so ago but she’s too lazy and behind in her work to scroll through her own brant to find out, so if she did, just take this repeat as more reason to check out the site.  If not, take this opportunity to visit the site and read the hilarious raging entries about topics ranging from those stupid “toxin-removing” Kinoki Foot Pads (mocked on the site which was then picked up by ABC’s “20/20” — giving the site a ton of traffic) to Renee Zellweger to Ashley Judd, which is what the entry she’s linking to is about (it references Laura’s experience with her on the set — oops!  I mean, on set! — of “Someone Like You“).  The only bad thing is that Laura feels a huge time-wasting session coming on — one in which she’s going to read through the entire site — and she truly can’t afford it right now.  

OK.  Maybe she’ll just read a little….

Post-Obamicon Hangover

Since Laura wasted so much time yesterday making these stupid pictures, she figured she might as well display just one more fruit of her labor.  Patti. Get Over Yourself! is out, it’s doing well, and more great publicity is coming.  Laura will certainly keep you posted right here about all upcoming television appearances and reviews and articles.  She wishes there were an article or some photos about this, but on Friday night in Buffalo Patti was the main draw for the World’s Largest Singles’ Party, held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.  There were 2000 people there, most of whom were there to see Patti.  Hopefully, all of those 2000 people went home and bought the book online or got up the next day and went to the bookstore to buy it…

And since Laura is always talking up the great people she knows who do great things, she’d like to point out the fact that her amazing web guy, Jefferson Rabb, whom she’d written about tons of times on her old site, was just written up on the back page of the New York Times Book Review.  Obviously, she’s pointing this out and providing the link here because, well, Jefferson Rabb designed Laura’s site and she’s always been extremely proud of the fact that he agreed to do so.  She’s gotten tons of compliments on the site over the years and this blogspot brant that she slapped together herself is a lame imitation of the original brant designed by Rabb for — but who really cares.  This one works and at least she can post photos* on it — lots and lots of stupid Obamicon-ed photos she’s wasted way too much time making…
[*not that it was his fault that she stopped being able to post photos on the old brant–it was just some weird mysterious completely unfixable glitch that probably had something to do with her stupid Mac.]

Let the Bidding Begin! Win Lunch with Hugh Jackman!

OK, Laura almost never posts twice in one day — hell, Laura almost never posts twice in one week! — and just for everyone’s information the photo above is the [uncredited] photo used in the promotion of this officially released news item so Laura didn’t waste two hours trolling Google images looking for another 100 photos of Hugh Jackman to use on future brants — but she just came across this actual piece of Hugh Jackman news: apparently, there’s a way to win a lunch with him in NYC — assuming you have the Benjamins.  Up for bidding is lunch for two with Hugh on the set of his new [unspecified] movie, with the proceeds going to the New York Restoration Project.  The bidding started at $5000 and is currently up to $5500.  Laura wishes she had the money to bid a gazillion dollars to guarantee a lunch for herself with Hugh Jackman, but of course, she’s a little short right now.  However, if anyone out there has some money to burn for a good cause and a close encounter with Hugh Jackman (remember:  Laura can vouch for his genuine charm, friendliness, sense of humor, interesting-ness, you know, like it matters!), go to and place your bid.

Laura’s only stipulation is this: you have to take her with you on your lunch date!

HughJackmanObamicon Decoy Photo

Laura’s supposed to be working on her screenplay — seriously, I mean, it’s been over a month since she’s gotten any work done — but she found the make-your-own-Obama-style-icon-photo site and she can’t stop fooling around with it.  She’s transformed photos of her sister-in-law’s dog Bumble, her brother-in-law Patrick, her niece Nicole, her son Ben, and while she was trying to figure out who to do next she realized she was going to have to do Hugh Jackman.  So here, today, finally, is the latest Hugh Jackman Decoy Photo.  Enjoy!

Back From The Left Coast…And Wishing She Wasn’t

Though the first/third person question still hasn’t been resolved here on Laura’s Brant, Laura’s going to stick to the third person today in a short post.  She’s just back from LA — a short trip (5 days) to do an event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles about Chick Lit.  She had a great time meeting LA Times Op Ed columnist and author Meghan Daum (Laura’s been a big fan of hers for a long time, especially of the essays in My Misspent Youth) and Elisabeth Robinson, whose novel The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters Laura loved and who was fantastically smart and entertaining and funny.  Laura would also like to add that she thought both Meghan and Elisabeth looked fabulous — she loved Meghan’s boots (Meghan:  if you’re reading this:  what/who are they?) and loved Elisabeth’s jewelry (and clothes)(and shoes).  Obviously, the irony of these comments is not lost on Laura: talking about her co-panelists’ fashion choices given the Chick-Lit topic, but quite frankly, Laura doesn’t really give a shit.  She had a great time, met Meghan and Elisabeth, saw two former beloved colleagues (publicists) from her days at Random House, talked to lots of really neat people afterwards, (including two really eerily relevant people in the parking garage of the Skirball Center, one of whom was enormously helpful to her, [thank you so very much, Helen]), got to see her sister and spend time with her niece and nephew — as did Ben — and feels free to say whatever she wants right now.

Of course, given the fact that she’s exhausted, she doesn’t have nearly enough energy to say much more.  So she’s posting a link to the lecture/event and will write a more newsy update on the trip sometime over the weekend….

Starred Review in Publishers Weekly!

Get Over Yourself! How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love Patti Novak and Laura Zigman. Ballantine, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-345-51006-8   In their first-rate book, Novak, star of TV’s Confessions of a Matchmaker, and novelist Zigman (Animal Husbandry) prove to be a match made in heaven. Novak cuts the bull when it comes to dating advice: you have to know yourself before you can find love. The book exhorts the reader to “Get Over It” when it comes to “thinking all men are jerks” or being paralyzed by past relationship trauma. Like a dating GPS, the book identifies dating obstacles and puts readers on the right road to romantic fulfillment. No shrinking violet, Novak is part drill sergeant (especially when it comes to self-exploration worksheets), part “love therapist” (though she refers on deep issues to the appropriate professionals). Writing in a frank—and funny—manner, Novak uses tough love in offering a compelling and rewarding read for the lovelorn. (Jan.)

Just Like Life

Watch Patti’s appearance on TODAY (scroll down a few brants), then watch this.

"Celebranting" and Other Hazards of The New Technology

Sorry for the lapse. Laura’s been a little busy so she hasn’t had a ton of time to chronicle her every thought and move (aren’t you lucky!). She’s still a little busy but here’s another one of those nuggetized-brant-updates that have become such a favorite among her readers (both of them).

1) The main reason Laura got busy was because GET OVER YOURSELF! is out and Patti Novak has been on TV. So why are you, Laura, the co-author, so busy? readers might wonder. Well, because while Patti’s out there traveling and waking up early and getting hair-and-make-up in various TV studio greenrooms, Laura has had to set her DVR to make sure she doesn’t miss Patti’s interviews. For most people this wouldn’t be so difficult, but despite her obvious flair for branting, Laura isn’t a natural AV person. It requires a lot of time and effort in order to be sure that she’s got the right show taped during the right time slot and doesn’t screw it all up.

2) Even when Laura manages to do this, sometimes there are glitches beyond her control. Case in point: Patti was on the TODAY show this week — Thursday — and she was going to be on during the 10 o’clock hour, the one where Hoda Kotb and guests try to get a word in edgewise with Kathie Lee Gifford. So Laura set the recorder, took Ben to school, went to shrink, raced home, then sat in front of the TV, breathlessly awaiting Patti’s interview. She waited. And waited. And waited. To make a long story short, at a few minutes past 11, when the TODAY show is in it’s 56th hour, a “Special Report” containing President Elect Obama’s economic-recovery-speech pre-empted the upcoming segment which was supposed to Patti’s. Like the former mentally unstable publicist she used to be and still kinda is, she freaked, in complete disbelief that of all fucking (467) times this should happen. In the middle of her freak-out (good thing Ben wasn’t home: she would have ended up owing him several thousand dollars in cuss-fees), she got an email from their Random House editor who said Patti had been fantastic on the TODAY show. Laura blinked. When? Where? Had she missed it? She emailed the editor back and in the meantime scanned almost 4 hours of TODAY show tape — finally realizing, with a huge amount of relief, that it wasn’t her fault: she hadn’t screwed up the taping or come home too late — the 10 o’clock hour of the TODAY show airs in Boston at 11! Hence, it aired at the proper time in most other markets which was great for the book but bad for Laura! Thank goodness for the World Wide Web, because Laura was quickly able to find the TODAY show site, watch the segment, which was indeed terrific, and then post it on her brant.

3) Ditto CNN’s “American Morning” yesterday — minus the pre-empting debacle. Lots of time setting the DVR, and playing back several hours of tape. But it was worth it: Patti was fab. (Sorry: no link or video to post since it appears that CNN doesn’t make their clips available.)

4) Of course, with great publicity comes obsessively and compulsively checking Amazon numbers which is what she did most of yesterday. She’s not going to reveal them here — especially since Patti’s daughter — who really is the boss of both of them because she’s so smart and exquisitely perceptive — said it was bad luck to keep checking. Laura’s basically stopped, but every now and then she just can’t help herself. Like this morning. Still looking good!

5) Several important conference call-type meetings have also taken up some of Laura’s precious time — she’s not going to get specific but she and her favorite sister-in-law (on the East Coast; Barbara is her favorite sister-in-law on the West Coast) Colleen are going into business together on a really exciting project. Laura will not utter another word on this except to say it was Colleen’s idea and it’s amazing, and Laura’s just really grateful to be part of making it happen. Stay tuned for more on this when it’s time. But it’s not time yet. So quit asking.

6) Facebook. Okay, this is really starting to be a problem since she really and truly and seriously could spend most of her day commenting on people’s photos, writing on their walls, answering their messages on her wall, changing her status, commenting on other people’s status, commenting on other people commenting on her status. Really. Some days it just gets ridiculous! And yet she just can’t stop! Cannot stop!!! Especially since she has so many really hilarious and interesting friends on Facebook — friends resurfacing from elementary school and Hebrew School and high school and the Radcliffe Publishing Course and Random House and Atlantic Monthly Press and all sorts of times and places from the deep deep past she’d thought she’d repressed long ago.

7) Speaking of Facebook, Laura awoke this morning to find a “Friend Request” FROM HER MOTHER in her mailbox. This issue of parents friending children and children refusing to friend their parents is allegedly a world-wide wide-spread problem — it must be because Laura hears — from one of her Facebook friends, of course, that Dr. Phil is doing a whole show on this. But never in a million years would Laura have thought that she could be a poster child for this ridiculous sort of modern dilemma. I mean, she’s 46, and her mother is 75. Aside from the obvious question of what the f— is Laura doing on Facebook at the age of 46, what the f— is her mother doing on Facebook at the age of 75! How did she even find out about it? Does their Temple have a Fan Page? Will they start posting news about deaths and bat mitzvahs on her wall?  Is nothing sacred???  Obviously Laura will “confirm” this friendship, since, I mean, how could she not?  But she’s going to check into the “settings” options and see if there’s a way to put up some “parental controls.”

8)  The Hugh Jackman business got a little weird.  Leave it to a bunch of rabid Hugh Jackman fans to kind of put Laura off on the whole business of branting — positively and with only good things to say — about Hugh Jackman.  About mid week, after the 7th “decoy” photo went up — the 7th, for the record, containing an actual story about Hugh Jackman that was legitimately related to Laura — Laura started to notice a hugh amount of traffic (she uses the word “huge” loosely — relative to her usual amount of traffic, let’s say) coming from some group site for Hugh Jackman fans.  They picked up the fact that she was writing about Hugh Jackman and then they picked up on the fact that she didn’t have a completely positive view of Ashley Judd.  Nothing of substance was really said about Laura in those group communications except this:  several of the Hugh Jackman fans were annoyed by her use of the third-person.  So that plus the fact that she felt like she was being watched — even though being watched, or being read, was exactly the point of writing about Hugh Jackman! — made her nervous and she stopped.

9)  Laura then had issues with the third-person issue.  This is not the first time she’s had third-person issues — but it’s always disheartening when she eavesdrops on a bunch of strangers saying how annoying her third-person voice is.  It made her want to stop with the 3rd person thing and go straight into first person, which is what I did for one entry — my eagle-eyed brant readers will know it was that brief posting about Patti’s upcoming appearance on the TODAY show where I dropped the charade of the third person and spoke as myself, naked and vulnerable in my first-person-ness.  But….like right this second…trying to figure out which way to go….first person….or third person….and not knowing what the right choice is, hasn’t been been easy.  Hence the cop out of the lack of personal pronouns…Maybe there should be a survey here on the brant — to find out what readers think–so maybe there will be…later.  Laura and I will decide and get back to you.

10) In addition to the issues with feeling nervous about pissing off the Hugh Jackman fans and being embarrassed and conflicted about her third-person issues, Laura had another interesting thing happen while celebranting — someone commented on her post that included some less-than positive thoughts about Ashley Judd.  The person who commented loved Laura’s comments because the commenter haaaaaaaaaaaaaates Ashley Judd and has devoted many many posts on their hilarious website,, to ranting about her.  So reading through all those posts took awhile though it was a happy distraction.  Who knew the rewards of celebranting could be so good!

11)  Laura is deeply conflicted about this next issue — so conflicted, in fact, that she’s afraid to even mention it here — the issue of feeling tempted to start running photos of Matt Damon on her brant because she has a huge crush on him, too.  Actually, to be really clear on this — just so people don’t think she’s one of those creepy losers who has crushes on celebrities since she never has been that kind of creepy loser (she’s been a creepy loser for other reasons) — her crush is on Jason Bourne, hero of all the Bourne movies that Laura watched for the first time this past summer at her super-tall-brother-in-law’s insistence.  Anyway, Laura was tempted to make this paradigm shift to Matt Damon but couldn’t bring herself to actually do it, so enormous were the implications and potential repercussions.  More on this to come though.  She’s thinking about the occasional “guest decoy brant photo” which would give her the freedom to occasionally break out of the Hugh Jackman rut in order to feature someone new who has a 100% bonafide Boston accent.

Patti on TODAY Today

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