Pip pip, everyone, morning has broken at the May Fair and we have to get this show on the road. What does Sonja do to get the energy flowing? Well, she shoves her face in a bidet full of ice, of course. Or as she calls it, a Bee-Day. It’s for washing lingerie, icing your face, and the obvious, Sonja says. I’d also like to offer that it’s good for washing your feet, and for entertaining elementary-school-aged children who have generated all the static electricity they are going to get between their socks and the carpet. Yes, that’s what I did when visiting Nana as a child. She wasn’t the cookie-baking type.
Anyway, Sonja likes to use the bidet because it’s deeper than the sink, so after filling the deep abyss with ice she plunges her face into it and nearly wrecks the curlers in her hair. “You look amazing,” decrees the Kountess. I can’t tell the difference. Anyway, Heather’s done with work, so it’s a play day and they’ve gotta roll, gangstas, so K.Lu barges into P.Car’s neighboring regular room, where she is completely asleep with the lights on, to drag her out to the Mercedes van. Carole is not pleased. Because Carole wore a cape on the plane to London, Lu’s now wearing one herself, which looks oddly like the Sherlock Holmes outfit I had for my Snoopy in third grade. No chapeau, sadly.
So with no bath, shower, or bidet to speak of, Carole hustles down to the waiting transport vehicle and informs Lu she’s lucky she was just sleeping and “not pleasuring myself”. Silence descends, as I find it usually does when one mentions masturbation. (An aside: I received a call the other day from a person whose last name is “Hunt”. The same day I received a message from my assistant, who spelled her name with a “C”. I thought it was just an unfortunate typo, until I received another voicemail today from Ms. Hunt whose husky smoker’s voice does, in fact, create the effect of a “C” where there is none. I do not know how I am going to deal with this.) But not for long; the Kountess is happy to play this game and tells Carole she has a friend who can only get off on her Bedroom Kandi. Egads!
Carole is beginning to suspect that Kountess Lu is a one-upper. Carole shares that her mom had five children. “My mother had seven children and says Valium saved her life.” Well, my mother-in-law had twelve children and survived on an unusually high threshold for sensory stimulation. That, and faith. Heather’s husband is also from a large family – he’s actually a twin! Lu’s brother has twins! Well, my mother-in-law only had one set of twins in the 12 – the youngest, and my sister has twins, AND my great-grandmother Bertha had a twin brother named Bert! So suck it, K.Lu!
Anyway, off they go to play croquet, or as Sonja calls it, Croaky. Lu is color-commentating like Marv Alpert, hair included, and her determination to triumph wherever she goes does not fail to catch Carole’s notice. And so Carole proceeds to kick her croaky ham. In a gown with a fur capelet. Go Radzi! Wait: what’s that on K.Lu’s ass? Wings?
Back Stateside, Aviva visits the Empire Room with the only Housewife left, Mo, who thinks it looks all fancy and stuff! “To me the best part of any party is cocktail hour,” decrees Sonja. I wish she was at the wedding I attended where the cocktail hour went one hour too long, the septic system blew, and the caterers had to send the 400+ guests to the fringes of the grounds to take a nature. Cocktail hour has a dark side, Mo. Anyhoo, Mo’s got a lot of ideas about how this party should go and Vi wonders whether Mo should be her planner. She does come with free wine.
Back in London, the swingers are heading to dinner down a neon alley, and Sonja is wearing a chapeau, gloves, over-the-knee boots, and once again has forgotten her bloomers. Why doesn’t anyone tell her? Or do they find this amusing? Or get free drinks? Lu’s in a red dress, Carole’s in a yellow coatdress, and Heather is wearing another something unremarkable which is becoming quite of a point of concern for me since she’s supposedly a fashion industry mogul. Could have fooled me.
Anyhoo, Sonja’s all wound up about Vi’s party which is just three days away, and it’s so hard to focus on the details with all the pressure related to the toaster oven too, you know. Priorities, priorities. Speaking of deadlines, how is Carole’s book going? Well, it’s in rewrites, and K.Lu knows all about that as a published author herself. “Writing is what I do for a living,” says Carole. “I don’t think it’s what LuAnn does for a living – doesn’t she sing?” Carole mistakenly gives a birth analogy for creating her first work of fiction and all the mothers at the table jump down her throat, none more so than the aspiring Menopausal Miracle herself, K.Lu. Carole makes the point that there’s so much creation and protection in going into writing a book, but in the case of a book you put it out there for immediate criticism and judgment, whereas with a baby everyone just tells you it’s cute even if it’s not. Which is totally true. But later you’ll get bitten in the ass, and there are no royalties.
The conversation turns to high school sports. Someone says they did gymnastics, and guess what? Lu did too! Also softball. Well, Carole did gymnastics, and basketball, and football too! Carole sizes Lu up as humorless and herself as immature, proving once again that she has flawless judgment.
The shorts leave the table so Heather thinks this is her chance to address the “tall issues” she perceives to be in play with Lu. Lu, for example, walks in before everyone else – she’s strong, and needs to take the lead. There’s “browning off” happening. What the hell is “browning off”? I am not even sure I want to know. “Lots of fire signs at the table,” Heather suggests. Lu doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about, and neither do I. Heather suggests that there’s a lot of judgmentalism and need for the last word in the air. “Do you sense that?” she asks. “Nope,” says Lu, taking another bite of her dinner that was served while her companions are away from the table which is NOT DONE, Kountess! Lu presumes Heather is talking about Mo again when Heather describes a “lack of ease and support” among the ladies. Or perhaps she’s referencing an ill-fitting brassiere. “I can’t tell you how many women I’ve had to get rid of because they are jealous and backstabbing and trying to steal my husband,” says Lu. Well then! Heather thinks Lu doesn’t see outside herself, and when you talk about Lu the issue is about everyone but Lu. Hmm, sounds very V.Gu to me. Finally the shorts return, Heather wants to get her moneymaker on and no one knows what she’s talking about, so they hit Heathrow and get the hell out of there.
Back in NYC, it’s the day of the Drescher party and Sonja’s finally showing up with one of her unpaid interns checking on all the work everyone else has done. It seems her role as “party planner” has been to choose the band, flowers, caterer, and location, and furthermore that the band had come and made their own venue arrangements the day before. Self help. Let’s all hope for the best. So far I am not impressed by Sonja in the City.
Carole and Vi meet at an organic hair salon to get done up, which is a good thing because neither has makeup on and they both have dirty hair. I don’t even go to Safeway like that. After a little kibbitzing about the upcoming party and the consultation Reid phoned into Carole about his toast, conversation turns to what Vi missed in London, of course. They discuss Carole’s late husband’s illustrious family, and how the last thing anyone learned in knowing Anthony Radziwill was who he was and cavorted with. Carole, then, finds Lu’s focus on her Kountesship and the in-ness/out-ness of circles weird. Well, so do I, honey. “I can’t get to who LuAnn is,” Carole says, telling Vi that Lu’s a one-upper and everything always comes back to her. Vi observes to the camera that Carole is the last person who would want you to know she’s a princess, whereas Lu has “milked ‘Kountess’ for a long time”. Carole tells Vi how she immaturely tried to one-up the one-upper. “You were on Oprah,” Vi points out. Which pretty much trumps everything else, every time.
So it’s time for the PARTY, and there’s a totally awesome “The Drescher Bunch” cake which to my mind makes up for anything that’s about to follow so Sonja in the City did good even though there’s no other food. The floor doesn’t look like they vacuumed. Aviva looks okay, but polka-dots don’t suit her. Carole looks good but in need of a brassiere. Sonja’s in black. Mo’s wearing her Official Mo Shiny Blue Strapless number, with Mario in matching tie, like they are going to prom. Heather? I didn’t really register. Again, this girl is in fashion? Lu wins my day’s ugly dress award for a black cocktail dress with sparkly sleeves. Nothing’s seriously wrong with it, but nothing is right either.
Sonja introduces some random chick who’s going to sing, and then all of a sudden Aviva’s down! Aviva’s down! A random person bolts into camera range with bulging eyes and just as quickly bolts back out. So I am going to say it: is the leg still on? Come on, that’s what we’re all worried about. The leg is still on.
SO, the band: what fresh hell is this? I remember when The Hills was on and Whitney and LC were sent out to style Lady Gaga before her big break. I am pretty sure Cara Quici is over before she started. The sound is wrong, she’s off key, she’s wearing fur bondage cuffs, she’s singing “do it now, do it now” at a 5th anniversary party, and just when Carole and I think it can’t any worse there are gay go-go boys. No. This is the song that just shouts “happy Drescher marriage” to Sonja:
Reid gets up and gives a sweet, heartfelt speech, followed by Vi who has written a limerick that is clever and works. Then she presents Reid unceremoniously with his very, very simple nickel-looking band. She needed Mo’s help with that? Come on. And this is when the sh*tshow breaks out.
Heather introduces her mild husband Mr. Heather to Mario. “You both have two wives that talk a lot.” They both have two wives? Is this TLC? Heather suggests Mario introduce Mr. Heather to Mo, but Mario’s not having it so Heather has to do it herself. Mr. Heather races off immediately thereafter. “How are you?” Heather asks Mo, in the void. “You know, I’m just going to say it. I’m upset you lied to me.” “How did I lie to you?” asks Heather, reasonably. “She got all ‘bring it!’ in my face!” yowls Mo to the camera. “What is this, 150th Street?” Is there a 150th Street? I hear there’s a 411th St. in Phoenix which makes me laugh. Oh, Phoenix. You fools.
So here’s what Heather has done to Mo: she lied to her face, she was fake with her, she’s fake, and she’s a phony, and Mo wishes she never f#$%ed her! “She’s a beast,” says Heather, who proceeds to torment Mo by trailing her around the party being nice to her. “You aren’t a nice person!” Mo insists. “I don’t care what you have to say – you have a phony smile – who is Heather? You don’t show who you are. You talk behind my back.” “Only to say we don’t groove,” acknowledges Heather. “It’s not disparaging or insulting, please calm down.” “I’m not having it,” says Mo. “You started it,” retorts Heather. “Lalalalalala!” says Mo. Ermagherd please make it stop.
Next time: We’re heading to Miami, where Aviva thinks her sex-addict dad would be perfect for Sonja! Vi outlaws Singercourse in the Bal Harbour residence, it’s the talls v. the smalls NY style, and Vi orders a giant, probably nonkosher sausage for dinner.
Perfect [Birthday Or Otherwise] Cake, Small
I hate “birthday cake” meaning the white cake that they make in grocery stores and have as an ice cream flavor at Cold Stone. I actually hate “birthday cake frosting” more, but one goes hand-in-hand with the other. Growing up my mother always made a devil’s food cake for birthdays, and I do the same, decorated with M&Ms. (For family celebrations, at least. I commit to making a homemade cake for the actual birthday, but I don’t necessarily bake for the “party”.) Having had mishaps with an assortment of ostensibly foolproof recipes, a number of birthdays ago I went to the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box, and have never been disappointed. I actually like to make a smaller cake using my 6″ cake pans, so this recipe is scaled down for that purpose (and that’s why it’s all funny numbers.)
for the cake:
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2/3 t. salt
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/3 t. vanilla extract
2/3 c. boiling water
for the frosting:
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. cocoa
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
2/3 t. vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients for cake in the bowl of a mixer, then add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Pour into pans sprayed with Pam and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Also makes about 20 cupcakes.
For frosting, melt butter and stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed until of spreading consistency. (Add more milk if needed). Frost cake.
Food.com says the calorie count is 6,366.4. I assume (and hope) this is for the whole full-size cake. Otherwise we are in big trouble with five birthdays in our house.
So I’m on vacation next week with no wi-fi and am not committing to making up the recap. Not that I don’t want to, but I deserve a break from production pressure. But bear with me, and come on back June 30th for more NYC BS!