What I’ve Been Doing…

So, after our hiatus, you may have found yourself wondering what I, your dear editor, was busying myself with since I wasn’t logging all those hours blogging my fingers to the bone. Well, in between tending to what seemed like a rotating door of houseguests; loads and loads (and loads) of laundry; caring for the beautiful Quanson Cherry tree I was given for Mother’s Day (thank you, Peterson’s Nursery on Route 206); and a certain little Scooplet’s first birthday (sniff!), I’ve kept myself fairly busy…

I’ve been rocking out. What could be more Jersey than seeing Bon Jovi open the new Meadowlands Giants/Jets Stadium? Well, I was there, of course, on May 26, my Zippo lighter raised high in the sticky night air (well, on my iPhone, anyway: if you haven’t seen the Zippo app, check it out; it’s hilarious), as JBJ and the boys rocked out to classics such as “Dead or Alive,” “Living on a Prayer,” and my all-time favorite “Bad Medicine.” They played for what seemed like hours (next to The Boss, JBJ is probably the hardest-working band in music), and while I could’ve done without their rendition of “Hallelujah” (I’m a purist and prefer Leonard Cohen’s original and Jeff Buckley’s version), their new album, The Circle, is pure Jovi, mixing totally singable fist-pumpers with sweet, occasionally sappy ballads, thus equaling the ideal summer soundtrack. * I also headed into Manhattan for a more intimate set with the Crash Test Dummies at City Winery in SoHo. (Yes, that band that sang the “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” song.) The evening was chock-full of fun and frivolity, from the great music and zippy commentary from the band, to the delish wine (much of which is made on-site), and although the album, Oooh La-La, doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi as hearing the band live, I recommend you pick it up because it’s kooky, quirky, and pretty darn good (track #9, “What I’m Famous For,” is a total hoot).

I’ve been reading: My summer booklist so far has included some pretty varied materials. I practically inhaled Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, a beautifully drawn series of characters sketches-cum-short stories linked by a common denominator: the titular character. I then moved on to Ian McEwan’s latest Solar (as you might have recalled from my June P.S. Top Five Style newsletter). I’m a big fan of McEwan’s, and count Saturday and Atonement among my favorite books; this one, however, was more laborious and slow-moving than his others, and the title character was mostly unlikable, but overall, I can’t help but enjoy a book that is so well written it blows your mind with every sentence and tells such an in-depth story of a particular character that you come away from it feeling like this person actually exists in your life. * So now, I’m toggling between three books (something I’m not all that good at, but it can’t be helped): the Jane Austen bio-critique Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World; The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery; and, third, well, I’m going to be honest: I am fully engrossed, for the second time, in the third book in the Twilight Saga, Eclipse. I just saw the movie on Saturday night at the Princeton Marketfair with a bucket of popcorn and two friends (who have requested they remain nameless), and I couldn’t resist diving back into the addictive, page-turning, dashing vampire/hot werewolf/moody girl love triangle of a story. In fact, I might add the other three books to the rotation (again, these will be encore readings) before summer is out. I am a TwiHard and I’m damn proud of it. * And, I’m already compiling my beach-vacation reading list (you will be without me for two weeks at the end of this month, but we can discuss that later), which thus far includes The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (part of the wildly popular Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy) and Jennifer Weiner’s upcoming Fly Away Home (be sure to check out this week’s Style interview with Jennifer, who’ll be speaking at the Princeton Public Library on Wednesday, July 14). Rest assured, despite my absence later this summer, I will continue to flip the pages for your benefit till my eyeballs bruise (no iPads or Kindles for me).

I’ve been watching TV. If you’ve been reading my newsletters, you know that I was obsessed over the series finale of Lost (e.g. Were they in Purgatory? Were they dead to start? What was up with that “flash sideways” nonsense? And where the heck did Walt go? Questions which remain answerless, if you ask me). I’ve since gotten over it, but the über-boxed set Lost: The Complete Collection comes out Tuesday, August 24, and is rumored to feature a bunch of extras that supposedly include clues to what really went down in that final episode. We’ll just see about that (although you can bet I will be in line that morning to get my own). * And, for anyone who loves music and has a penchant for the Sundance Channel, check out Live From Abbey Road, an original music series that features interviews and performances with musicians recording at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. The first episode was an homage to the Beatles and showcased a slate of current musicians covering classic Beatles tunes. The performances that turned me into a die-hard viewer? Imelda May’s rendition of “Oh Darling” and Paloma Faith’s “You Never Give Me Your Money.” Seriously, this stuff is iPod-worthy. * And, how can I not add that the eighth fabulous season of Project Runway is upon us and premieres on Lifetime on Thursday, July 29? No matter what time of year, PR is always on my must-watch list, so you can bet your auf wiedersehen I’ll be watching with bated breath as Heidi, Tim, and the latest influx of sewing-and-shearing minions just “make it work.”

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of Princeton Scoop online and a freelance writer who has worked for several magazines, including Vanity Fair, Talk, W, and New Jersey Life. She lives in Princeton with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador. She welcomes any inside scoop on what to do and see in the area. E-mail her at jennifer@princetonscoop.com.

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