Kanye West

Gigi Levangie Grazer's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

We first fell for Gigi Levangie Grazer after reading her delicious novel, The Starter Wife. And we were beyond thrilled when it was made into a miniseries starring the fabulous Debra Messing. So when we found out she'd written another book, Queen Takes King, we knew that not only did we want to read it (and we did and we devoured it in both the hardback and the paperback reprint edition) but that we wanted to have her as a guest here at Chick Lit Is Not Dead to be a part of our new series, 5 Do's and a Do-Over. We knew she'd be just as funny and entertaining in her answers as she is in her writing (and of course she was! -More on that in a minute). But first, if you haven't already, you must read all of Levangie Granger's books, but especially her sassy and hilarious novel, Queen Takes King about Jackson and Cynthia Powers, a high-powered Upper West Side couple feuding over their divorce. The premise: Jacks Power falls for another woman, Lara Sizemore, and wants a divorce so he can marry her, but his wife Cynthia isn't ready to let him- or his real estate empire- off the hook that easily! Publisher's Weekly calls it "The War of The Roses fought by The Desperate Housewives of New York" and we couldn't agree more. Read an excerpt here.

And if you leave a comment here today, you'll be entered to win one of five copies! We'll randomly select the winners after 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 4th.

We heart Gigi even more after reading her 5 Do's and, instead of a Do-Over, her Do-not because they are LOL funny. (And you know we don't LOL over just anything or anyone!) Check out what she says about having kids (Lisa- who just had a baby- may just all Auntie G to babysit), why you should laugh at everything- including testicular cancer- and why she quotes Kanye West!


Five Things You Most Definitely Should – no, HAVE TO Do:

1. Do follow your dream. Okay, fine. But what IS your dream? Start with this: What did you want to do with your life when you were eight years old? When I was eight, all I was good at, all I wanted to do, was read and make up stories (and act, but that’s a whole other traumatic phase)…it so happens that reading and making up stories still gives me a lift, still makes me excited about my day, still gives me hope. Following your dream is better than a lifetime supply of Xanax. Which is what you’ll need if you don’t stay true to yourself.

Ask your eight-year-old self; mine is a chubby little crybaby, but she had the answer.

2. Do have a baby. Have any baby. Have your own, adopt, become a stepmom. Babies are delicious, they smell good (about 75% of the time), they’re fun to bathe, they’re an excellent conversation starter, and a great excuse not to go places and see people you don’t want to see. You want to be in the “now”, in the “present”? Don’t read the book, have a baby.

If you have the love, have the means, have the good public school system, have a frikkin’ baby, already. (Unless you’re still in high school – in which case, have the baby, then send the baby to Auntie G – that’s me.)

But talk to me before you have three or four babies.

3. Do get married. After my first divorce, I swore I’d never get married again. What happened? I got married again. After my second divorce, I knew never to say never. Ever. Because I know myself. I love being single, but damn it, I love being married. I do divorce so well, that my wasband and I have a great relationship. But here’s the thing – I get more work done when I’m married. I’m more calm when I’m married. More organized. Being single is fun and interesting and you get to meet and flirt with all kinds of men, and basically, you become like a kid in a candy store – which means, you become annoying to everyone, including yourself. If I were married right now, I would be finished with the second draft of my next book, already.

Also, husbands are really nice to snuggle with. But stick to your own.

4. Do learn to cook. I remember coming home from school, and our apartment being filled with the aroma of my dad’s Italian sausage sauce, which had been simmering on the stove for hours. That is pure happiness, my friends. A good home cooked pasta dish can make up for a lot of family grievances.

There’s a lot of benefits to making your own dinner, too – it’s healthier, it’s a lot cheaper than take-out, and there’s nothing that makes a house a home like a home-cooked meal (or if Usher moved in, say.)

Get the best cut of meat you can afford, the best piece of salmon, the plumpest chicken, the freshest vegetables. Pop a few potatoes in the oven for an hour. Always keep olive oil and butter on hand, and that coarse sea salt.

Cooking is not a mystery, but let’s not make it drudgery, either. So, okay, don’t cook every night. Find a few good take-out places (with good coupons).

And by the way, I’ve yet to meet the man who doesn’t appreciate a woman who can cook. If you can roast a chicken, or bake an apple pie, and you have ESPN in HD, you can have your pick of the litter. Wrinkles? Thunder thighs? Who cares? Bake it, and he will come.

5. Do laugh your ass off. Funny people are the best medicine. Surround yourself with them. Feed them, encourage them, berate them, if you must. It may take some cajoling, a little cash, or a couple margaritas. Find people who laugh at your jokes – there’s no one quite as fascinating as the person who finds you fascinating.

Find the funny, even in the most dire of circumstances. When my nephew went in for surgery after we learned he had testicular cancer, it took about ten minutes to start calling him “the Uniballer.” I bought him a new, improved ball for Christmas that year. And of course, we joked about that, too.

Life is too tough not to laugh at it.


“Let’s have a toast to the jerkoffs, that’ll never take work off…” Kanye West, Runaway.

1. Like Kanye says, Do Not pay attention to the assholes. This is what my father, whom I call ‘Gran Torino’ always said: “What people think of you is none of your business.” Live by this rule, and you will be a happier, more productive person.

Don’t waste time, energy, ideas, money, tears, words or lawyers bills on negative people. Even if you are in the right. Men, women, strangers, even close friends – some people just don’t want to see you be happy or succeed. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, who doesn’t approve of your looks, your personality, your sexuality, your very being. Well, this isn’t junior high (unless you live in L.A., where it’s always junior high), so get over it. Let them hate you. And let it make you stronger.

Your continued happiness will befuddle and amaze them.

To read more about the fabulous and talented Gigi Levangie Grazer, check out her website, follow her on Twitter (a recent tweet that made us laugh: I want Charlie Sheen to be my life coach) and become a fan on Facebook.

Thanks, Gigi!


Liz & Lisa





Top Five Reasons to Embrace Your Inner Cougar By Liz & Lisa

1140winking-cougar-postersThe coug gets a bad rap. So what if she's 40-ish (40 is sooo the new 21), bleached blonde and doing all she can to fight dear 'ol mother nature!  Who gives a flying botox needle if she prefers to prey on young, hot men with stamina for days? Last time we checked, doing the naughty with someone at the height of his sexual peak was a damn good thing. We're 35 and a year over 35 respectively (36 just sounds so, well, over 35) and although not technically ready to admit we're officially cougar card carrying members, we definitely have the #1 symptom of cougarism. Our eyes have started narrowing in on the *cough* younger men out there--many of whom could be our sons. (Well, in biblical times anyway.)

So, if you're on the fence, hopefully we can persuade you that "going young" really is the new black. Here are what we consider five excellent reasons to embrace your cougar within.

#5- The Bachelorette Ladies! This is like the cougar's version of the Animal Planet. From the comfort of your own couch, you can sit back with a bowl of Pirates Booty and watch them in captivity. Forget Jillian, it's all about her prospective suitors... the young pieces of man candy who, lucky for us, LOVE to run around shirtless and drunk (such a glorious combination!) Well for most of them anyway... We're ecstatic she finally dumped Tanner P., a.k.a. the tattle tailing, foot fetish, mango toe nail polish loving freak who's older than we like anyway (30!)  So, if you haven't already, hurry up and add this guilty pleasure to your Monday night Tivo line up! (Only 5 men left and two are under 27!)  ROAR! (PS: Be on the look out this Fall for Courtney Cox's new show, Cougar Town, which will hopefully offer some yummy cougar candy!)

#4-Gossip Girl- Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) & Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) Don't think about the fact these three guys are playing high school boys because, in real life, they're all over 18! (But if it makes you feel any better, their characters all just graduated and are off to college! Woo hoo!)

Chuck Bass is the resident bad boy. But even better, he's the resident rich bad boy (those hundred dollar bills just seem to make him even cuter). He's definitely the one mom warned you not to go out with which makes it all the more fun to cougar crush on him now.

Nate Archibald is the boy next door and just so damn cute. But if GG just isn't your thing (as if!) or you don't have time to add it into your television line up (more likely!), this week, you can check out Chace Crawford on the cover of People Magazine's  Summer's Hottest Bachelor issue (can we say hot in black polo much?) And soon, you can see him starring in the Footloose remake! (He replaced Zac Efron who dropped out. Lisa's not at all sad about that because she plays for Team Chace. It's Liz who crushes on Zac. See #2.) Now, we hate to point out that Chace wasn't even born when the original Footloose was released. But before you get your Hanky Pankys all in a bunch, we'd like to assure you that he's now a very respectable cougar prey age of 22. So, we feel it will be completely acceptable to lust after him as he cuts loose in an abandoned warehouse.

Dan Humphrey is the perfect blend of Chuck and Nate (if you don't count the fact that he's Gossip Girl poor). He's a little bit o' bad (had an affair with a teacher!) and a whole lot o' good (looks out for his little sister, gets good grades, blah, blah) all rolled up into one very cute (although not so tall) package.  GG is in re-runs now, so it's a perfect time for you to get caught up on all the Upper East Side drama and decide which of the three guys is your favorite. Or if you're lookin' for new bait, there's a hottie comin' on board in season three!

#3- American Idol-Kris Allen We have to admit, it took awhile before we sniffed out this cougar bait.  At first we were distracted by Adam Lambert's guyliner and Danny Gokey's sweet ballads and sad back story.  But when Kris took the stage and belted out Kanye West's "Heartless", we melted like butter on a baked potato.  And we weren't the only ones who felt that way....we'd bet our Jimmy Choos that his surprising victory was due to a cougar population explosion!  Don't ever come between a coug and her speed dial people.

#2- Zac Efron There's a reason that Liz has seen HSM 2 more times than she'd like to admit.  And it has nothing to do with her four-year old's penchant for Sharpay's pink golf cart and everything to do with her coug crush on Zac Efron. She's had a thing for him since the minute she saw him take the floor in his Wildcats uniform and wasn't at all bothered by the fact that he barely even gave Gabriella more than a peck on the cheek the entire movie! (She likes to tell herself that he was just playing hard to get.) And maybe we shouldn't even mention the fact that the soundtrack has somehow landed in her iPod's top 25 playlist?  She's always had a thing for guys who could carry a tune...even if they played for the other team! *cough* Barry Manilow!

#1- Justin Timberlake (Honorary Cougar Prey) We were almost sad to discover that he's a bit, er, older than we thought. (When did he turn 28?!) But to us, he's still an 'N Sync'er with that curly hair (although the clippers were a very good call). So, he makes our cougar cut anyway, because, well, he's freakin' JT! Who knew back when he was singing "Bye, Bye, Bye" and dating Brit Brit that he'd  break out of the boy band box and into to the d**k in a box? We definitely want to be his Motherlover!

A couple of years ago, we had a live JT cougar sighting. There he was, in the lobby of Mandalay Bay! He was wearing jorts, but it didn't matter. He can wear, or even better, NOT wear, whatever he wants. After following him (for just a few, ok, 5 minutes), our eyes wide and our tongues hanging out of our mouths, we dragged our "of age" (and just as handsome- wink, wink) men to the ticket counter to see if we could score tickets to his concert that night. Fortunately for our guys, but unfortunately for us, only the cheap seats were left. So we opted to savor our in-person sighting because there aint nothin' cheap about our JT.

So, ladies, we say, reach within and unleash the coug! Let out your inner ROAR.  Or in our case, a DOUBLE ROAR!

xoxo Liz & Lisa