Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #361

The first 13 names for hurricanes and tropical storms. It promises to be an active storm season in the Atlantic, and here are names you can expect to see on the news.

1. Alberto

2. Beryl

3. Chris

4. Debby

5. Ernesto

6. Francine

7. Gordo

8. Helene

9. Isaac

10. Joyce

11. Kirk

12. Leslie

13. Milton

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.




WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? Fairy Tale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio. There's a great deal of buzz about the new bio of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. I was going to waitlist it at the library and then I saw this readily available decade-old tome. So I gave it a shot.


RoseMarie Terenzio was John Kennedy Jr.'s personal assistant at George, and personal friends with his bride, Carolyn. She was a real insider with a unique view of the paparazzi targets who strove to live a normal (as normal as possible) life. She's credible, and this is no hatchet job.

It's also an interesting look at a young woman kicking off her career a lifetime ago. She was in her 20s back in the 1990s when she worked for John at George. A lot of her behavior seems weird and unacceptable now.


Crying at the office? Honey, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. I admit I did that exactly once in 43 years in advertising, and I'm not sure it counts because we were on WFH for covid so no one actually saw my tears. I was expected to create content on deadline using a new software program while on meds and battling a kidney stone. RoseMarie's feelings were hurt when her boss shared news with editors before her. The next day, John apologized! I would have reminded her where the ladies room was and advised her to shed her tears there.

Boundaries? There were none. RoseMarie gossiped with Carolyn Bessette every day about what was going on at the office, and it was Carolyn who advised her boyfriend to apologize after the above incident. Carolyn took RoseMarie (her boyfriend's assistant) shopping and paid for the designer duds. This spree made RoseMarie late for a meeting, but what the hell. Shame on all three of them. Then John and Carolyn lent RoseMarie their historic Kennedy cottage in Hyannis Port for a week each summer. Free of charge. Unless John was willing to offer it to every one of his employees, that kind of favoritism and access would not fly in today's workplace. 

Was everyone still in love with smoking in the 90s? I certainly wasn't, but RoseMarie writes about cigarettes as an indicator of empowered women and cool men. Her take-no-prisoners mother was a smoker. RoseMarie and Carolyn would "sip white wine and smoke cigarettes" as though it was an activity, like drinking beer and watching the game. Sean Penn chain smoked throughout an event where no smoking was allowed, and RoseMarie admired his individualism. No, he was an entitled asshole.


Of course, George premiered in 1995. Maybe I'm unfairly viewing RoseMarie's conduct through a new millennium prism. 30 years on, Ms. Terenzio now runs her own PR firm. I assume the office isn't filled with employees weeping at their desks between puffs of their Marlboro Lights.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story by Lis Smith. She worked for some of the highest-profile names in politics. Terry McAuliffe. Andrew Cuomo. Bill De Blasio. Pete Buttigieg. Barack Obama. I loved the inside dirt. Also, as one who has volunteered on campaigns, I enjoyed this view of how/why strategy was developed behind the scenes, and how operatives like Smith choose which campaigns they will work on. I suspect, though, that you have to be a bit of a political junkie to really enjoy this book.

3. What will you read next? I've had enough real life. I'm returning to the brownstone with Nero Wolfe, Theodore, Fritz and most of all, my imaginary boyfriend, Archie Goodwin.