Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Oscars are Sunday… I’m Live Tweeting!

The closest I'll get to an Oscar...

The closest I’ll get to an Oscar…

The Oscars are my Super Bowl. Which means I’ll be glued to my TV screen on Sunday. First, to see all the dresses, celebrity air kisses, Ryan Seacrest puns and mani-cam bird flips on E! and then, of course, to see the big show itself. What I’m most excited about? Ellen, obvs, and Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go.” (I still haven’t seen the movie but it’s just a matter of time before I’m on the train, big time. Also, I love everything Idina.) And whatever Lupita Nyong’o wears. 

My Oscar viewing experience usually involves texting my mom and some friends with outraged comments about so-and-so’s dress or what’s-his-face’s awkward/hilarious/tearjerker speech. But this time instead of texting, I’ll be tweeting! If Jennifer Lawrence is self-deprecating, or Anne Hathaway riles her haters, or Matthew McConaughey says “all right, all right, all right”—all guarantees, really—I’ll be there with 140 characters on the subject. I hope you’ll all follow along and let me know what you’re thinking of the show, too.

I’m @rberch. Can’t wait for our viewing party!

Oh, and that pic above? That’s me at the Kodak Theatre in 2010, the morning after the ceremony. Definite life highlight.

Will you be tuning in? Have any Oscar watching rituals?

2 Comments

Filed under Jennifer Gwyneth and Me

I Want To Be…. Harriet The Spy

Harriet the Spy

My upcoming book, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, is largely about role models. Celebrity role models, yes, but also the idea of emulating others: Is it ok to live by another person’s example? Or are we  better off blazing our own trails?

I’m always observing other people, trying to incorporate the traits I admire into my own life. Celebrities, or athletes (especially around Olympics time! Mikaela Shiffrin, I heart you.), or politicians, whoever. No one is off limits.

It started, though, with fictional characters. Before I even knew what a “role model” was, I was reading about girls  I wanted to be just like. Matilda. Cassie Logan. Stacey McGill, Treasurer.

Harriet the Spy might have been my  first “I want to be her.” She was an aspiring writer in New York. was an aspiring writer in New York! She loved eavesdropping. loved eavesdropping! (Still do.)  She was named Harriet. I.. well, my mom was (is) named Harriet! 

Twinsies.

Except Harriet overheard much more interesting stuff than I did. She caught on to tensions  between the adults around her and, in her green composition spy notebook (a copy of which I bought for myself), reminded herself to “CHECK ON THIS.” She was tough and independent and smart.

I wanted to be her.

If you can believe it–I cannot–Harriet the Spy celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. What’s even more amazing is how well it holds up. Like this:

They walked to Eighty-sixth Street,  took the cross-town bus, and soon were whizzing along in  the subway, sitting in a line – Ole Golly, then Harriet, then Sport. Ole Golly stared straight ahead. Harriet was scribbling furiously in her notebook.

“What are you writing?” Sport asked.

“I’m taking notes on all those people who are sitting over there.”

“Why?”

“Aw, Sport” – Harriet was exasperated – “because I’ve seen them and I want to remember them.” She turned back  to her book and continued her notes:

MAN WITH ROLLED WHITE SOCKS, FAT LEGS. WOMAN WITH ONE CROSS-EYE AND A LONG NOSE. HORRIBLE LOOKING LITTLE BOY AND A FAT BLONDE MOTHER WHO KEEPS WIPING HIS NOSE off. Funny lady looks like a teacher and is reading. I don’t think I’d like to live where any of these people live or do the things they do. i bet that little boy is  sad and cries a lot. i bet that lady with the cross-eye looks in the mirror and just feels terrible.

This is not just smart, it’s funny. And Harriet feels as real today as she did when I was reading about her 20 years ago. I wanted to be her then, and I want to be her now. (Note to self: Pay more attention to people around you, less attention to phone.)

There’s a special edition of Harriet the Spy coming out this month. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Who was your earliest role model? (I think I’ll turn this “I Want To Be…” into a series. The list is always growing.)

8 Comments

Filed under The Search

Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me – In Stores June 3!

JenniferGwyneth_1217-1

My next book, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time, comes out four months from today. Ahhhhhh!!!

I know I’ve mentioned the book on this blog, but I don’t feel like I’ve given you the full details yet. And now, suddenly, the release is around the corner. When did that happen?

I’m so so SO excited about this book. I’ve included the full jacket copy below, but let me just say that any of you out there who have ever read People, coveting Jennifer Aniston’s arms or Jennifer Garner’s seemingly perfect marriage or Beyonce’s, um, everything, will relate to it (I hope). My editor once called it The Happiness Project meets Us Weekly, and I’d say that’s the highest compliment there is.

I’m so excited to have a book coming out in June because I think this might be the ultimate beach read (sorry for the self-promotion but….). A self-improvement memoir with a dose of celebrity worship? Just what you’re looking for, right? I hope so!

A charming memoir brimming with wit and wisdom, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me is a pointed look at our fascination with celebrities, as one woman strives to remake herself in the image of her favorite stars.

What woman hasn’t seen pictures of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Beyoncé and wished she had their clothes, their abs, their seemingly flawless lives? For Rachel Bertsche, these celebrities are the epitome of perfection—self-assured and effortlessly cool. Yet lately, between juggling her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother, Bertsche feels anything but put together.

In Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, Bertsche embarks on a quest to emulate her Hollywood role models—while sticking to a budget—to see if they really hold the keys to happiness. While trying to unlock the stars’ secrets, from Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe to Julia Roberts’s sense of calm to—maybe one day—Jessica Alba’s chic pregnancy, Bertsche learns valuable lessons. A toned body doesn’t come easy or cheap, avoiding social media can do wonders for your peace of mind, and confidence is the key accessory for pulling off any outfit. But can she immerse herself in the A-list lifestyle and still stay true to herself? And will her pursuit of perfection really lead to happiness?

You can pre-order Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks, Google Play or Random House. I’d be so grateful if you would! And stay tuned for more info as the release gets closer.

In the meantime, I’m dying to know: What’s the one celebrity feature you’d most want for yourself? SJP’s wardrobe? Tina Fey’s career? Lena Dunham’s sense of humor? There are so many to choose from… (Also, Gwyneth Paltrow: love or hate? Discuss.)

13 Comments

Filed under Jennifer Gwyneth and Me