Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dream for an Insomniac

I am a complete insomniac.

I am not quite sure when it started. I have memories of not being able to sleep when I was a little kid. My sister and I shared a room back then, and she would seem to fall asleep the second her head hit the pillow. I never could!

When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved from New York City to suburban Monmouth County. I had spent my whole life falling alseep to the sounds of horns beeping and people yelling and that homeless guy across the street belting out "La Bamba" every night (yes, really, "La Bamba), and now I was forced to learn to fall asleep to...

PEACE AND QUIET!

Many people pay for CDs of waterfalls rushing and birds chirping and waves crashing. I, on the other hand, needed a CD of just the opposite.

I couldn't fall asleep in the suburbs!

It was so quiet! How did people do this all the time!?

It was that year that I discovered Highway to Heaven reruns. I was always a very big Little House on the Prairie fan, and here were Pa and Mr. Edwards...playing ANGELS! It came on around 3:30 AM and I would watch it almost every night (or, morning.) Highway to Heaven often had two-parters so that was always extra motivation to stay up to find out if Mark and Jonathan saved the day. (Even though the odds were quite good that they always WOULD, I would still want to watch. Speaking of which, I think I need to get that show on DVD soon.)

Then Leave it to Beaver would come on after it. My dad would get up early for work, and he’d sit at my desk chair and we’d watch it most mornings.

When I wasn’t watching classic reruns, I was reading Baby-Sitters Club books or writing. (I believe fourth grade was when I became completely serious about being a writer!)

I am pretty sure I didn’t get a full hour of sleep that year.

It is quite a miracle that I did not fail out of the fourth grade.

As the years went on, I continued to have issues with sleeping.

Many things trigger sleepless nights…such as, stress. If I knew I was going on a job interview the next day (and I have been on roughly five-hundred of those things over the past three-and-a-half years), I knew I was in for a sleepless night the night before. It was just something I accepted as fact.

I am not a scary movie fan, but I also need to avoid anything remotely haunting after 9 PM or so. A few years ago, I saw that The Pianist was going to be on HBO and told my friend I was going to watch it because I hadn’t seen it yet. My friend responded with, “I’m going to get a crazy IM or phone call at 3 AM with, ‘I can’t sleep! I was watching World War II movies before bed again!’”
And that is exactly what happened.

I would love to just be able to fall asleep. Just once. Just once…shut my eyes and fall asleep and STAY that way for at least six hours.

I now have one of those cushioned masks to put over my eyes. I used one last night. This specific kind came recommended from a friend. The first night I used it, I put it on too loosely and it slid around my face and pillow all night. The second night I used it, I put it on too tightly, and it end up around my neck and I was clasping my throat worried I was going to choke.

Last night, it actually STAYED on my face, but I kept pulling it over my eyes to peak at my alarm clock...even though I had no reason to worry about time, because it is Sunday!

Over the years, I have also learned that there are certain things you shouldn't do shortly before sleeptime (besides watching The Pianist)...such as taking Claritin and Midol in the same gulp. Claritin claims it won't make you drowsy. Midol says that it will help fight fatigue.

If by "not making drowsy" and "fighting fatigue" they mean "you will be bouncing off the walls with a vacuum cleaner at 3:30 AM" (oh, it HAS happened) ,then I could be their spokesgal.

I start a new job tomorrow, and I am already accepting that I will not sleep at all tonight and will be running on nothing tomorrow morning.

I am going out today to buy some more special lavandar spray or "silk pajamas" lotion or chamoille pillow spray from Calgon. That stuff is supposed to work, right? (Well, never did for me.)

It won't.

It never does.

I wasn't meant to ever get a good night's sleep.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

[Cheyenne Jackson]

It is very possible that I am just kind of punchy right now...it's 2:00AM...Christmas was yesterday...a lot is going on in my life right now and I'm a little stressed-out and really feeling the whole "quarterlife crisis" thing.

All I've eaten all day was about 15 "rainbow cookies"...I think the technical term is "seven layer cookies"...and, for my entire life, they have been my favorite cookie EVER and we only get homemade ones for the holidays.

Plus, I just took some Claritin, which makes me get a little crazy and I'll probably be bouncing off the walls with a vacuum cleaner in a couple of hours. (You think I'm kidding. It has happened many times before.)

I really need to get to bed.

But that would require me to stop laughing at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0pzme9IcNo

About four years ago, I was in the audience for the show Illyria and heard a woman remark on Mr. Cheyenne Jackson, who was playing Duke Orsino, and, way back then, was rather unknown (he is no longer unknown. There is a whole facebook group dedicated to his thighs):

"He reminds me of George Clooney...so handsome, but he doesn't take himself too seriously."

That is absolutely true, and this "webisode" is just quintessential, classic Cheyenne.

Make sure you watch until the very end!

Diana Rissetto

"Keep Christmas with you, all through the year..."

When Christmas time is over and presents put away, don't be sad
There'll be so much to treasure about this Christmas day and the fun we've had
So may happy feelings to celebrate with you
And, oh, the good times hurry by so fast,
But even when it's over there's something you can do to make Christmas last

Keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
You can keep it near.
Think of this Christmas day
When Christmas is far away.

Keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.

Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you,
The goodness of loving,
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too.

So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.



The words to that Sesame Street Christmas song always start running through my head on Christmas night, when I already feel the "post-holiday blues" coming on.

(The Sesame Street gang sings it in the special when Big Bird is wondering how Santa Claus gets through that skinny chimeny...and Bert and Ernie have their own "Gift of the Magi" situation, when Burt sells his paperclips to buy Ernie a soapdish for his rubber ducky...and Ernie sells his rubber ducky to buy Bert a box for his paperclips!)

I really really LOVE this time of year!

And then suddenly...it's just all over!

I get so sad. Last week, I roamed around midtown, thinking about how the big tree and the Bryant Park shoppes and all the lights and tourists (yes, even the tourists) wouldn't be there in a few days!

They really should ease you out of it just a little. I feel a bit of culture shock when it goes from being the holidays to just dreary and cold December.

On Thanksgiving Day, 106.7 starts playing Christmas songs. (I would love to know just how many times a day they played Clay Aiken's "Silver Bells.") In the wee small hours of December 26, the Christmas music stops. I am pretty sure it wouldn't hurt to at least throw us a few Christmas songs here and there until, say, February.

Lifetime became Falalala Lifetime for the entire month until Christmas Day!

And right now, on Lifetime, we don't have Susan Lucci or Vanessa Williams' brilliant takes on a Christmas Carol! Or that charming tale when Santa Claus has amnesia and has no idea who he is and the reporter who helps him, and uncovers the TRUE meaning of Christmas along the way! Or even the full-length movie based on the song The Christmas Shoes. (That song about the kid who wants to buy his mom fancy shoes because she's going to die soon and she needs to look beautiful when she goes to Heaven and meets Jesus. I really want to know who comes up with this stuff. I am, most likely, one of the sappiest and most maudlin people in the world...and I love a good tearjerker! But even I can't imagine ever coming up with a story like that.)

Right now, I have Lifetime on and while I am not quite sure what is going on in this movie (I turned it on late and am not really paying attention), I think that this young woman fell in love with a billionaire, and now she thinks that he killed his two last wives, but he really didn't...I think? And she really DID marry him for love, not for money, even though his sister thinks she's a huge gold-digger. (I think that is what's going on, at least.)

This movie has nothing to do with the holiday spirits!!!!!!!!!

For 25 days, we had Falalala Lifetime.

Now we just have movies with adultery and battered wives and Valerie Bertinelli and custody battles and stolen identity and Patti Duke and people saying, "GIVE ME BACK MY BABY!"

(I have nothing against such movies. I love such movies. But I love the holiday season more!)

I know I could very easily pop in 98 Degrees' Christmas album (shut-up, it's great) or watch It's a Wonderful Life on my old VHS...but it is so not the same.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And the waterworks start once again...

I love Chet!


http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hMhF4qmNAFjhSyrj-F8Kj5BsK4XwD8TOI9PO0

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Diana Rissetto

Monday, December 24, 2007

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire...

I am watching George C. Scott (he was a tremendous actor! It's really no surprise that he and the very great Colleen Dewhurst would have such a talented son as Mr. Campbell Scott) as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol right now.

(I get a bit frantic on Christmas Eve and try to fit in every single Christmas movie I might have missed since Thanksgiving. While I find myself watching the Family Channel and Lifetime every night, I sometimes, tragically, forget to watch the classics, such as the authentic versions of A Christmas Carol...not the Susan Lucci or Vanessa Williams or Kermit the Frog ones. I also haven't watched the Natalie Wood Miracle on 34th Street this year. I am THOROUGHLY ashamed of myself for that one. I don't think I deserve to have a Christmas tree!)

However, I also think that I tend to avoid A Christmas Carol because it reminds me of my dad. My dad and I were always very much into watching Christmas movies and not missing a single one. My dad would highlight the specials in the TV Guide so we'd remember to watch or record them. We always watched A Christmas Carol, and as I'm watching this one on AMC right now, I am crying all over the place, because I am remembering my dad and that crazy little Tiny Tim ALWAYS does me in.

Right now, the movie is ending and Scrooge is finally learning the true meaning of Christmas. He realizes that he has a second chance, and is going to keep the spirit of Christmas with him all through the year.

Every so often, and especially during the holidays when I watch seventy-eight different versions of A Christmas Carol, I start to think about how different the world would be if EVERYBODY just made a tiniest bit more of an effort.

A few weeks ago, a story about a chain of people paying for the people behind them at Starbucks made the news all over the place. It's really sweet and cute and is bursting with the Christmas spirit, but wouldn't it be great to hear stories like that on a much grander scale than coffee?

I read this story yesterday and had a very good cry:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071223/ap_on_re_us/saving_ala_a

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire


This little boy is going to have a completely different life now because this soldier opened his heart to him. (Sidenote...when I read The Kite Runner a few years ago, I really wanted to go to the Middle East and bring home about ten babies. I'm not exactly sure what I would do with them all, but the idea was in my head for a few weeks after I finished that book.)

I became a monthly donor for St. Jude's Hospital two years ago. Nothing in the entire world makes me as sad as seeing or hearing about sick children. Okay, right now, I have no steady job, and even when I have had steady jobs, they haven't paid much money. I'm really giving them all I can afford to give right now, and I keep getting letters from Marlo Thomas with pictures of sick children telling me how important my gifts are and asking if I can spare some more. It makes me really upset that I can't!

I'm doing all I CAN, Marlo Thomas! And when I come into more money, I will GIVE you more money!

I guess I just get very frustrated sometimes. Because I'm not out there taking in orphans. Or giving millions to cure cancer. Or raising seeing-eye dogs. (I don't know...it sounds like something very important that would take a selfless and special soul to do...! I think my allergies would prevent me from being too successful with that.)

I think everybody needs to care about SOMETHING enough to try to help. I remember reading an article in People magazine about a woman who befriends dogs that are on "death row" for being violent. The following issue featured letters from the editor rolling their eyes at the woman and saying she should care more about PEOPLE and less about dangerous animals. Well, I say, what does it matter? How is showing kindness and humanity to ANY living creature EVER a negative thing? And who is to say that just because she cares about these dogs, she doesn't care about people? (I can speak from experience...many people have argued my vegetarian views, saying I should care more about people than animals. For some reason, there are people who feel it is impossible to care about both.)

I work with the kids of my parish. These are great kids, bu, for the most part, are happy, sheltered kids from nice families. A few weeks ago, we had them all bring in toys to donate for less fortunate children. We then had a wrapping party. (Watching sixth-grade boys trying to wrap gifts is pretty funny.) And, suddenly, there was a whole stack of wrapped gifts under our little Charlie Brown tree...and, wow. To some kids, those gifts will be very special. It means a lot for me to help our kids recognize that they are just as capable of helping others as adults are. I hope they can carry these feelings with them as they grow-up.

So, on this Christmas Eve, I leave you with this...just be nice. Let another car in front of you on the road. Hold the door open for somebody with a baby carriage (or even for somebody without a baby carriage!) Give a dollar to the little boy scouts collecting money outside of the grocery store, and help a clueless lost tourist, before they even have a chance to ask for help!

Perhaps being nice is contagious.

Perhaps one random act of kindness will set off a chain reaction.

Perhaps you will inadvertantly touch a multi-millionaire Scrooge type who will then, in turn, decide to give all his money to charity.

Perhaps you can change the world!

Merry merry Christmas!

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Those were the days...

Every so often, I feel really old.

Not too long ago, I was with my kids at church ("my kids"=the youth group I volunteer with...I don't have any kids!). We were just hanging-out and flipped on the TV and Titanic was on and I heard a chorus of:

"I've HEARD of this movie before!"
"Oh, my mother loves this movie!"
"Is this the one about the boat?"

I remember when that movie first came out. I saw it the day after Christmas, 1997. I wept buckets and practically needed a towel after it. Leonardo DiCaprio was an absolute dreamboat, and I thought Kate Winslet was the coolest girl in the world. (I still do! That girl is awesome!)

And these kids were in diapers when this movie came out.

Wow, I am getting old.

There was also the time when my cousin's little boy was showing me his "Webkinz." I went, "Oh, it's like a Beanie Baby!" The little six-year-old earnestly looked-up at me and said, "What's a Beanie Baby?"

"What's a Beanie Baby?"

Children today have never heard of Beanie Babies!

It's a new day.

I can clearly remember using payphones. In fact, it wasn't that long ago.

I remember in my old Baby-Sitters Club books (and, yes, if I ever open a random closet and one of those books happens to fall-out, I will chill-out and reread it) it was a big deal to have a VCR and your own phone line.

I remember writing letters, addressing them, putting stamps on them and waiting for people to write me back.

When I moved in the third grade, I kept in touch with a lot of my friends that way. Can you believe it?! SNAIL mail, I believe it is called now. Pretty stationary! Pretty handwriting! It was so much fun...I miss writing letters!

And then there are all of these "social networking" websites. Facebook...MySpace. I use these sites, and because of them, I was able to reconnect with my sixth grade pen-pal. (One of the many people I would write actual letters to back in the day.) They're a great tool for finding old friends...but they also can bring on quite a bit of trouble!

I think a lot of "these kids today" rely too heavily on them. I was poking around online before for some stories about Facebook and MySpace gone wrong, and found a few things that made me shake my head. (And make a "tsk tsk" noise.)

Such as this kid:

http://cornell.elliottback.com/archives/2007/03/12/charlie-barrow-facebook-goldman-sachs/

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

The kid has an Oxford education...you would think he'd use his brain a tad more. When I worked my old retail job, I watched many people get fired for handing out their employee discounts to their friends. (When I started there, they said you could only give your discount to family members...then I think too many of us were showing up with cousins of different races and colors...so they did away with that one...and then only our "offspring" were allowed to use our discounts. Now, I think this was pretty unfair for those of us who didn't have offspring!) You got a warning, and then if you did it again, you got fired. I was always quite amazed at the people who went against the rules after they were warned. (We can also talk about the kid who stole CDs from our store, got questioned about them, then went to another store on his lunchbreak, STOLE other copies of the CDs he already stole from us, and was caught by the security at that store. Long story for another day, another entry.)

His company was nice enough to warn him, and what does he do? Mock them and defy them once again. Wow.

Okay, and then there is this boy...

http://valleywag.com/tech/your-privacy-is-an-illusion/bank-intern-busted-by-facebook-321802.php

I actually feel a bit sorry for him. He was an intern, young and naive, and was caught telling a lie. I'm sure people call-out sick all the time when they are not. (Ah, I saw that in previous jobs...people would call and say that they had "really bad strep throat"...which was miraculously gone the next day...or say they had a bad root canal, but would be scarfing down Big Mac's less than twenty-four hours later.) I hope this won't hurt him in the long run, and I'm sure he's learned a lesson.

I used to write in diaries...pretty little notebooks with flowers or puppies on the cover. I kept this practice from the 4th grade until my freshman year of college. I still have my journals and wouldn't part with them for anything.

But kids today don't write in diaries anymore.

They write in online blogs. They get upset over being removed from somebody's "top eight" or whatever it is.

(There are TONS of online communities on Facebook and LiveJournal dedicated to Anne Frank. I betcha Anne would have thought that was pretty cool!)

Still, I wish I was around in pioneer days. Laura and Almanzo never had to worry about "wallposts."

The times they are a changin'.

Broadway dog

An interview with one of my very favorite guys, Cheyenne Jackson, and his lovely dog Zora!

I am pretty sure my dog, the late, great LuLu, was smaller than Zora's head!



Diana Rissetto

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Come on, it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!

I absolutely cannot stand that people insist on being so miserable this time of year.

I am a pretty firm believer that, for the entire month of December, I could just stay home and watch Family Channel and Lifetime Christmas movies every night and feel perfectly fullfilled.

Last week, I watched A Diva's Christmas Carol on Lifetime. Vanessa Williams stars as EBONY Scrooge, a, well, diva, who has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas (can 'ya believe it?) and is visited by the ghosts of Christmas...past, present and future. (The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Ebony the VH1 Behind the Music about her life. Brilliant!) I have a newfound admiration for Ms. Williams, as I think she is great on Ugly Betty, and this was quite a nicely made little TV movie.

However, I don't think it was QUITE as great as Ebbie...another Lifetime movie told from the perspective of a female Scrooge, starring Susan Lucci. While that little boy from Home Improvement wasn't as heartbreaking as my all-time favorite Tiny Tim...Kermit the Frog's newphew Robin...he was still pretty pathetic and adorable.

(On a related note, I saw Susan Lucci in person the other night. We were both in the audience at Xanadu, and if I didn't already love Susan Lucci for being Ebbie Scrooge, I would now because she gave Xanadu a standing ovation!)

These two films, not to mention the ninety-thousand other versions of the classic Dickens' tale, all end, of course, the same way..."Scrooge" finds the true meaning of Christmas.

If only so many others COULD. If only we could put Ebbie in pill form and cure crankiness across the world!

Last night, I was wrapping Christmas gifts and once again, realized what an absolute spaz I am with giftwrapping...and had a flashback of when I was giftwrapping at my old job at Barnes and Noble three years ago. A woman wanted me to wrap a piece of execise equipment. (Yes, we sold exercise equipment for a while. Not really sure why, especially since we were right next-door to Sports Authority...who was going to buy exercise equipment from us? You would be suprised...)

I was having a hard time wrapping this thing, because it wasn't a nice, square, basic shape like...oh, I don't know...A BOOK...and the woman I was wrapping for honestly started snapping and cursing at me and finally just grabbed it, hissed, "I'll just DO IT MYSELF AT HOME" and ran-off.

Did I mention this was Christmas Eve?!

A boy behind her on line called out, "Merry Christmas to you, too, Lady!" and the others waiting on line just shook their head in disgust at her...which was comforting to see that most people feel that biting the head off of some poor shopgirl for not wrapping up to your standards...and the wrapping was a free service...was wrong.

I went shopping today. Most people who know me know that I am not the biggest fan of driving, or crowded parking lots, and will often drive an extra ten miles to avoid making a lefthand turn. (Seriously.) I was coming out of the mall, making a left onto 35 (this doesn't mean anything to you, does it?), and since there was a stream of cars coming forward and about ten in front of me waiting for that left, then there was really nowhere for me to go.

So I let a car in front of me.

The guy behind me started beeping and going ballistic.

Because I LET a car in FRONT of me when we weren't going anywhere anyway!

Lights changed, I stayed calm and knew it was just a matter of time before I could get a green arrow and be on my way.

Once again, the guy behind me starts beeping and going ballistic because I wasn't turning fast enough...when the light was yellow...and there were already cars coming in the opposite direction!

Seriously, people like that make me crazy. You are shopping, buddy. Most likely for holiday gifts. You are not racing to get an organ transplant. Is the holidays really are causing you so much stress, and you can't enjoy them because you are too busy flipping out in your car because the person in front of you isn't moving quickly enough for your liking, then I really think you should just go home and stay inside until January 2nd. This isn't what Christmas is all about, people.

I got this email in a forward a few years ago, and it always pops into my head when I'm dealing with pushy crowds and impatient people. (I worked six holiday seasons in retail. And lived to talk about it.)

Take a deep breath. Listen to Harry Connick, Jr.'s Christms album (preferably the first one, even though he does do a mean version of "Frosty the Snowman" on the second), watch Eloise at Christmas (because Gavin Creel is in it, and dances in the snow and is, quite possibly, the cutest thing on earth.) And lighten-up...and realize that if your biggest problem is that you are stressed-out because you have too many friends and relatives to shop for...then you are one of the luckiest people in the world.


She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year---overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every open house, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally, the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids and all the bags of stuff in with her. When the doors closed, she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."



From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry. We already crucified Him."

For the rest of the trip down the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

Don't forget this year, to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.


Diana Rissetto

Sharing another holiday clip...

...Christopher Jackson and Mandy Gonzalez, two of the stars of the upcoming Broadway show In the Heights (which already played Off-Broadway and was wonderful!) singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" at the Bryant Park tree-lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUv_5K9qft8&feature=related

As some of you might know, Mandy and I share an uncanny resemblance to the point that I even do a doubletake whenever I see her. (Sometimes she straightens her hair, though...I think she gets sick of being mistaken for me.) Watching Mandy perform is the closest I will ever get to being able to sing.

Over the past couple of years, several shows have started selling tickets for "onstage seats." I have taken advantage of such seats. I sat onstage for Spring Awakening (excellent show, and I have been a Duncan Sheik fan for years), which is slightly awkward because at one point, there are two naked people standing just feet away from you onstage. I have also sat onstage five times for Xanadu (if it is possible, that show gets funnier every time.)Onstage at Xanadu is fun because you GET GLOWSTICKS to wave in the air during the finale! Come on! Good stuff!

I am thinking of writing a letter to the producers of In the Heights and suggesting onstage seating for that (like they haven't considered it yet.) You can sit on the fire escape or on the stoop. It would be amazing! And I would totally buy such seats!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bedazzled Biscotti

I like to consider myself pretty intelligent and well-read and wordly (I mean, I've been to Europe...even if I only went English-speaking European countries...and I went to San Francisco...if only for less than 24 hours...but...still...I do read a lot.)

However, for a smart girl, I am also very naive and quite a sucker for advertising and cheap marketing campaigns that are probably targeting the guillible and less-wordly.

I was born with very bad allergies. I also love dogs, so the allergies thing has always been quite upsetting for me. (I refuse to be one of those "dog people" that "hates cats." I heard once that while most "cat people" also like dogs, most "dog people" have absolutely no affinity for cats. While I have never really emotionally connected with a feline friend, I also have never really gotten to know one well.)

I love dogs! The only reason I went along with the "let's move to the suburbs" thing when I was a kid was because my parents promised me a dog when we got settled in New Jersey. We ended up with a West Highland White Terrier, which are "hypoallergenic.) So, while LuLu never bothered my allergies, other dogs made my eyes water and my ears itch and the sneezing...OH the sneezing.

Every summer, the Broadway community holds "Broadway Barks." Animal shelters from all over the area attend and showcase dogs that are looking for homes. These dogs walk around wearing little capes that say "Adopt Me!" and many of them have sob stories.

In other words, it is very dangerous for the sensitive animal lover. Each year, I go and am tempted to bring home about fourteen dogs.

In 2003, I attended Broadway Barks and had a severe allergic reaction the next day. I played with too many dogs. I rubbed my eyes too many times.

The next day, my eyes pretty much swelled-shut and I even took a tumble down the stairs. (My family thought this was very funny. Our next-door-neighborhood, who was a nurse, came over and put tape over my eyes. It didn't help.)

I finally went to the doctor, and he gave me perscriptions for four different kinds of allergy medication to take. (Two pills, some eye drops and nose spray.)

Within a couple of days, my eyes were better, but my allergies were just as ballistic as ever. I remembering watching a Zyrtec commercial during this time and getting very very annoyed.

Very annoyed.

The man in the Zyrtec commercial told a tale similar to my own. (He didn't mention that sometimes his ears were so itchy that he wanted to stick a fork in them, but I am sure he did feel that way sometimes.)

Also like myself, the man in the Zyrtec commercial was given a perscription for Zyrtec. (Or does that go without saying?)

And now he is married to a woman that has cats.

HE MARRIED A WOMAN THAT HAS CATS.

Zyrtec really did nothing for me and my dreadful allergies, and yet this guy is able to MARRY A WOMAN THAT HAS CATS?

(I know, I know. The guy in the commercial probably doesn't even HAVE allergies and isn't even married to the girl in the commercial with the cats! But still! It's not fair! And it upsets me!)

To this day, I always feel a little sad whenever I hear the word "Zyrtec"...thinking about the (hypothetical) guy with the cats that I might never get to marry because of my allergies...and that couple on the commercial! They're so happy! And they have cats!And Zyrtec works for them!

We can also discuss my love of buying makeup just because I like the name of the shades. (I have gotten better with this one...seriously!) When I was much-younger, I bought a shade of light pink nail polish because it was called Princess Di. Come on, I HAD to have THAT. It was called Princess Di! I was NAMED after Princess Di!

I never wear lipstick (ever). It just doesn't feel natural for me, and I'm too lazy to have to reapply it all the time. However, this does not stop me from buying it.

Because I like the name of the shade.

Toast of New York City.

Had to have it. I have never worn it (it's been sitting in my makeup bag for about three years now), but just owning a tube of it makes me feel just a tad more like Holly Golightly than I already do.

Eye make-up is more of a necessity for me, and the eye shadow of the shade Bedazzled Biscotti has lived-up to its name.

Today, as I was Christmas shopping, I spritzed some perfume. (I am also not a huge perfume girl. Last year, my cousin bought me a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker's "Lovely." I think she figured I would like it because it was pink and called "Lovely." Actually, I think I TOLD her that I wanted to try it because it was pink and called "Lovely", so she gave me a bottle for Christmas. I actually used that almost every day and finished a whole bottle of it. That never happens with perfume. It usually just collects dust alongside Bedazzled Biscotti and Toast of New York City.)

The perfume I spritzed was Tresor by Lancome.

Now, the only REASON I spritzed it was because Kate Winslet is in the commercials. (If you might recall, Kate Winslet is number one on my "British Girls I Would Love to be Best Friends With" list, followed by Kate Middleton, just so I could meet her boyfriend, Prince William, and he could shake my hand and go, "Ah, yes. That is a very easy name for me to remember.")

I don't know WHY Kate Winslet being in a commercial for this scene would make me want to drop $70 for a bottle of it. No idea. I mean, it's not like Julianna Margulies or Bernadette Peters are in InStyle spilling secrets about what products they use in their curly hair.

Is wearing the same perfume that Kate Winslet advertises going to make me any more of a celebrity? Will it bring me one step closer to being best buddies with the young lady who breathed life into Rose Dawson and Marianne Dashood?

Absolutely not!!!! It won't!!!! I am a smart person! I realize that!

But I still spritzed that Tresor today because that commercial with Kate Winslet floating comes on every three minutes!

I am the advertising and marketing industries' DREAM.

(Don't even get me STARTED on how heartbroken I was when I saw the guy from the big JDate billboard in Times Square...you know, with the couple that met on JDate and married...it's not there anymore...on commercials for both Lipitor and breakfast cereal. I tried to tell myself that it is PERECTLY possible that he is an actor and does have a cholosterol problem AND met his wife on JDate. It is SO possible.)

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Suddenly...the wheels are in motion...

I am taking a break from the new Peter Cincotti album (have I mentioned lately that this kid is INCREDIBLE? The voice, the lyrics, the music...as my two-year-old little cousin would say...awesomeamazing!) and Christmas music (which is saying A LOT for me this time of year...I haven't listened to the 98 Degrees' Christmas album in three days...say what you will, but those boys have some great, warm holiday voices!) to listen to the Xanadu Broadway cast recording on repeat.

I am pretty sure the world is, if only slightly, a better place now that this album exists.

Also, the writer in me is really beginning to idolize Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote the book of the show. His linear notes on the CD are quite hilarious, and the last line of the introduction is rather inspiring and touching.

And I also hope that one day, if you're working on something that you really care about and somebody says it's not going to be any good...you think of the place that nobody dared to go-Douglas Carter Beane


Thank you, Mr. Beane. There are those out there who think that a musical comedy about Anne Frank's much-overlooked older sister isn't going to be funny or good at all. Well, we believe in it, Mr. Beane!!!!

I love this show. (I know what you are saying..."Diana, you also love shows about girls who get kicked in the head by Shetland Ponies, and you also loved In My Life, the musical romance of a young man with Tourettes' Syndrome who falls in love with a girl with OCD, while the boys' mother and sister, who were killed in a car accident, watch from Heaven and dance around...you ALSO admit to loving the 98 Degrees Christmas album!" But...trust me on this one. Xanadu is brilliant. All your worries completely go away for ninety minutes. And, as always, Cheyenne Jackson completely delivers!!!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's a grand week for casting!!!

Almost three years ago, I went to see a musical playing at Lincoln Center about a girl who was kicked in the head by a Shetland pony as a child, and it left her changed for life. (This Shetland pony was the entertainment for her tenth birthday party...and when that Shetland pony kicked the child in the head, she would never grow mentally past the age of ten, even though her body did.)

Sixteen years later, the girl, now 26 and beautiful, but, of course, with the mentality of a 10-year-old, and her mother, who is loving but very suffocating and never quite got over the guilt of letting her child being kicked in the head by a Shetland pony when she was a child, take a trip to Florence.

They then meet a very handsome young man, the son of the local tie shop owner. He barely knows English. She has the mentality of a 10-year-old (because she was kicked in the head by a Shetland pony when she was a child.)

And yet they fall in love.

Now, this show...The Light in the Piazza...sounds really really ridiculous if you just read the plotline.

(Come on! "She was kicked in the head by a Shetland pony as a child?" And we don't find that out until well into the show. For the whole beginning, my mind kept going the soap opera route. "Hmmm...I bet the mom doesn't want her daughter hooking up with the hot son of the Florence tie shop owner because she had an affair with his father when she was in Florence 27 years ago and THEY HAVE THE SAME FATHER! GASP!" But...oh, no. The girl was just kicked in the head by a Shetland pony as a child.)

However, combine it with some of the most gorgeous music ever created, and the majestic talents of Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Morrison, two of the most best young theatre actors out there today...and they're both just so pretty!



(When Matthew and I were leaving Seth's Chatterbox at the same time a few years ago, I might have said something along the lines of, "Not for nothing, but I bet if we had children, they would have BEAUTIFUL curly hair!" Matthew nodded and went, "Seriously! They really WOULD!" I really think that meant that he was thinking the same exact thing and I just beat him to saying it first. Yup.)

I remember taking a friend along to see that show with me for my second time. I had raved about it so much, but she was unimpressed.

Her: I don't get it! She has the mentality of a ten-year-old. He doesn't know English. HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY FALL IN LOVE? And if she REALLY had the mentality of a ten-year-old, WHY DID SHE KNOW SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO UNBUTTON HIS SHIRT LIKE THAT?

Me: Come on...it's Matthew Morrison!

Her: It still makes NO SENSE!

A year after that, Kelli starred alongside my favorite guy, Harry Connick, Jr. in The Pajama Game. Now, I think that was the first time I was ever actually WOWED and realized what acting truly was. I couldn't believe I was watching the same girl who had been kicked in the head by a Shetland pony just a few months before. She was playing a completely different type of character now, and was equally convincing in both. Kelli O'Hara is fantabulous.

(Incidentally, before The Pajama Game took over the American Airlines Theatre, Matthew starred in a show called The Naked Girl on the Appian Way. Matthew's character was quite clueless and came out with some odd stuff. I wondered if his character had also been kicked in the head by a Shetland pony as a child...)

This week, I was very happy to learn that the South Pacific revival had officially announced its cast. Matthew Morrison would be joining the show, playing Lt. Joe Cable (a role played by Harry Connick, Jr. in that TV remake in 2001) to Kelli O'Hara's Nellie. They aren't playing love interests, but Matthew will be singing "Younger than Springtime." Kelli will be singing "Some Enchanted Evening." Then they will join forces to sing "You Have To Be Carefully Taught." Matthew will die. Kelli will confront her own prejudices and realize she loves Emil. She will skip off into the sunset singing with him and his children.

(Not going to lie, for a while, I was really hoping that Peter Cincotti would randomly be chosen to play Joe Cable. I have no idea if Peter Cincotti even wants to act. Or even if he CAN act...but he did record a jazzin' version of "Bali Hai" on his second album. And he's very young, which I think Joe Cable should be...but if we can't have Peter Cincotti making hand movements in "Happy Talk", the second best would be Matthew Morrison.)

My gosh, I LOVE THIS SHOW. Not to mention, it is playing in the theatre The Light in the Piazza was in. Matt and Kelli were be recreating that magic on the same stage!

The South Pacific (one of my favorite shows of all-time!) revival has a wonderful cast and all is well with the world.

I couldn't be more excited about the cast of this show if I was in it myself.

(That's a lie. I probably would be more excited if I was in it. Not sure WHERE they could fit in some random brunette who can't sing or dance, but those Broadway people can do anything they want.)

In other very exciting casting news, the new Jersey Boy on the block is Mr. Sebastian Arcelus as Bobby Gaudio, following in the footsteps of Daniel Reichard, which is a hard act to measure up to, because he is quite possibly one of the cutest things on earth and has a beautiful voice. (My friend saw this show before I did, and came out going, "Diana is going to LOVE Bobby Gaudio..." Then I saw it and said, "I LOVE Bobby Gaudio!") Sebastian is a very talented young guy, nice as can be and has curly hair!!! He's going to knock 'em dead with his "Oh, What a Night." Congratulations, Sebastian.

To (kinda!) quote another R & H show (State Fair) "It's a grand week for casting!"

(I would also like to mention that not too long ago, a friend IMed me and suggested that Kelli O'Hara would make the most glorious Julie Jordan in Carousel. I said, "Oh, no. What if she got kicked in the head by a Carousel horse???")

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Ten Commandments and Cadbury Eggs

Every spring, I find myself saying the same things over the stretch of 40 days or so...

I say, "Thank goodness springtime only comes once a year...because that means that the Easter and Passover holidays are only celebrated once a year...and if the Easter and Passover holidays were celebrated MORE than once a year, odds are very good that I would do nothing but watch The Ten Commandments and eat mini-Cadbury eggs all the time. And that couldn't be very healthy...physically or mentally!"

I am Catholic and people often automatically assume that I am very religious...not sure why. My dad's sister is a nun, but I think it's my overall wholesome 1943 demeanor (seriously), the crucifix danging around my neck, the fact that I taught Sunday school to first and second graders for several years. (I really should be about 85-years-old, shouldn't I?) I definitely go to church and say my prayers, but so do a lot of people.

However, while some people are pegging me as the quintessiontial nice Catholic girl (can't argue with them there), others always assume I am Jewish when meeting me (and that's before they even know about my obsession with Anne Frank!) I think it's the curly dark hair. (One might assume that people would notice that dangling crucifix and would realize that a girl...no matter how dark and curly her hair was...most likely wouldn't be wearing one around her neck if she was Jewish...but I have come to the conclusion that most people don't actually think before they speak.)

What on earth was I talking about?

Ah, yes. Mini-Cadbury Eggs and The Ten Commandments.

I remember watching The Ten Commandments when I was a very young child and asking my father how Jesus learned about Moses. My father thought that was hilarious, for some reason, and repeated it to my mom and our relatives.

I still watch that movie every year, even though I always always always end up nodding-off in the middle of it, then waking up and thinking, "Ohhh...this is still on?" I am pretty sure I have never watched the entire movie beginning to end. A few years ago, I was considering buying the DVD at Barnes and Noble. My coworker looked at me and went, "Come on...are you actually going to WATCH it?"

She was right.

I would never watch it.

It is a lot more fun to have that spontaneous, "Oh wow! The Ten Commandments is on ABC tonight! I know what I am doing from eight to eleven (or until I fall asleep!") Watching The Ten Commandments, on DVD, any time you want, is no fun at all.

Like watching Chuck Heston in The Ten Commandments, mini-Cadbury eggs are extra-special because you can only enjoy them once a year. (And I would like to clear something up...I am not talking about Cadbury Creme Eggs. I am talking about mini-Cadbury eggs. They come the purple bag. They're different pastels and small and crunchy and taste the best right out of the freezer...but also just as great when you leave a bag in your car and they melt. I mean that.)

I love those things. "Just one more handful!" and then suddenly a whole bag is gone...and I realize I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch...just mini-cadbury eggs. Last year, I told my friend at work, "If I don't buy a bag, I can't EAT an entire bag...why can't I stop buying bags of mini-Cadbury eggs???"

But mini-Cadbury eggs come out but once a year...then they get marked-down the day after Easter, and you buy about twelve bags, and then those are gone and you don't have to face them again for another year. Your teeth AND waistline are very happy about this.

Last year, however, something insane happened.

They released mini-Cadbury eggs FOR CHRISTMAS! They looked and felt and TASTED just like the Easter ones, but were red and green!

This past Easter, I didn't overindulge with the mini-Cadbury eggs because I KNEW that it would be a short seven months or so until I could have the Christmas editions.

I behaved.

And now, it's December 13th, and I have not seen a single red or green mini-Cadbury egg. I am starting to think that it was all a dream...but they existed last Christmas! They did!

So, I will have to wait until February to have another mini-Cadbury egg.

Now, since we ARE supposed to live each day to the fullest, I say, to heck with calendars.

If you want to watch The Ten Commandments when Passover is still five months away, you go rent or even BUY the DVD and go crazy! Watch the special features while you're at it!

If you want to eat mini-Cadbury eggs in July, stock up at the fifty percent sale after Easter and lock them in the old freezer in the garage! (Just remember, they need to last you a whole year...unless they come out with red, white and blue ones for Independence Day. )

Life is too short! Be happy!

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

92 years ago today...

...a baby was born in Hoboken, New Jersey.

He was a large baby (14 pounds) and the delivery was very hard on his petite mother. The doctor had to use forceps to finally get the baby out, scarring his face along the way.

The baby was mistaken for dead, and put aside as the doctor concentrated on saving the child's mother.

However, the baby's grandmother grabbed the little boy and ran his head under a cold water faucet and the baby finally let out his first cries.

He would grow-up to have many names...Ol'Blue Eyes...The Voice...The Chairman of the Board...and simply just Frank.

Although the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and Peter Cincotti (two of my favorites...I honestly think the young Mr. Cincotti is the most talented singer, songwriter and performer of our generation) might suggest otherwise, there will absolutely never, ever be another Frank Sinatra.

Never.

Happy Birthday to the best there ever was.








http://dianagolightly.blogspot.com/2007/06/there-is-surefire-way.html


Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Amused!

I'm sure if you poll a bunch of celebrities, they will give you all different kinds of examples of when they first realized that they were kinda famous...the first time they were recognized in the street and asked for their autograph or stared at in the supermarket. I remember hearing Sandra Bullock say that she knew she was recognizable when a woman in a movie theatre told her she looked like the girl from Speed.

And then there are stories about when they realized that they were SUPERfamous. Landing on the cover of InTouch for gaining 4 pounds. Abdomens being carefully observed for possible pregnancies. (I remember Katie Holmes belly button being analyzed through her shirt once to tell if her pregnancy was authentic. Come ON! That is just WEIRD!)

(I have never experienced any of this. Once when I was on the train, a little girl was whispering to her mother and then they looked at me and asked if I worked at Barnes and Noble. I did! It was very exciting to be recognized out-of-context, and I guess the girl who does Story Hour at Barnes and Noble DOES hold a certain kind of stature among little people. But, although I WAS the lead story on Access Hollywood in my day, I am not famous. At all. A few years ago, some guy did come up to me after a concert and told me how great I was. I looked at him, confused. He just kept going, thinking I was being modest, "No, really! You were AMAZING!" Then he realized that I wasn't Broadway actress Mandy Gonzalez. I remember that incident fondly. I really just want the smallest amount of celebrity it requires to qualify to be a star on Dancing with the Stars.)

And then, if you are TRULY a superstar, the special day will come when you have a Facebook (I am pretty sure Facebook WILL indeed be the death of us all one day)fangroup dedicated to...

Your thighs.

Yes.

I have spoken before on here about Cheyenne Jackson, who has had a very crazy couple of years, rising from obscurity to become the beloved Broadway and burgeoning film and TV star that he is today. He is also one of the nicest guys in the world as well.

And he has a whole Facebook group dedicated to his thighs.

I really have no idea why I am so amused by this. There are Facebook groups for everything these days. (There are about 43 groups dedicated to people who always mix-up Helen Keller and Anne Frank. Seriously! I noticed that people do do that...why is it? Because they were both played by Melissa Gilbert at some point?)

I am pretty sure this means the boy has officially made it.

Congratulations, Mr. Cheyenne Jackson.


Group Info Name: Cheyenne Jackson's Thighs: The 8th Wonder of the World
Type: Entertainment & Arts - Theater
Description: In the words of my friend April, "His thighs go on for days!"


In China, there was a threat of a monsoon that would devour the entire nation. The temples, factories, infrastructure, and way of life would be destroyed. The people of China would be swept away by this vicious force of nature.


And then, there was Cheyenne.


The people of China climbed his mountainous thighs to shield themselves from the disaster, not unlike Noah's Ark. Yet, unlike Noah's Ark, the entire population could climb on board, carrying anything they cared to save. The people of China created entire villages upon his thighs. The monsoon wreaked havoc for 40 days and 40 nights, yet by the end of the monsoon, all of China were saved by Cheyenne Jackson's wondrous thighs.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And Sutton Foster singing "Astonishing' begins to play...

I am starting to think that those old adages "Everything happens for a reason!" and "Everything works out in the end...and it doesn't, then it's not the end!" (an old high school friend of mine used to say that all the time) are more than just things people say to make you feel better when things aren't going so well. (Kind of like the "you find love when you least expect it..." expression. I mean, would people ever actually say to you, "Nope, you're probably going to be alone forever...here's a few cats for 'ya!")

At this point in my life, I am starting to notice how things magically DO end-up falling into place, despite how hopeless situations might feel and I find it extremely comforting.

In April, a show I wrote with a friend will make its world premiere in a 900-seat theatre. (900 seats is a lot! The Helen Hayes, where my current favorite show Xanadu is playing...see it...you will have absolutely no problems for ninety minutes...only has 500 seats.) It is a show built on an unusual premise (a musical comedy about Anne Frank's much-forgotten older sister who ALSO kept a diary which was never found...Margot Frank.) We have been working on this show for about three years.

(Recap: http://dianagolightly.blogspot.com/2007/10/whats-so-funny-about-anne-frank.html)

I met this friend when I was chosen to write for Teen People magazine almost eight years ago. I never would have applied to write for that magazine had my older sister not constantly reminded me to send my stuff in. When I finally did send writing samples in, I included a rather long and, apparently, well-written, story I had published in the Asbury Park Press when John F. Kennedy, Jr. died. Now, when John F. Kennedy, Jr. was killed, I really felt like somebody I had known had just died. This was due to a combination of the fact that I had always been pretty fascinated by the Kennedy family, and my dad died a couple of months before John did.

I was in quite a "life stinks" mentality, and the deaths of these three young people seemed all the more tragic. I remember 1999 as a pretty bleak year and welcomed the new millenium. As usual in times of darkness, I wrote to comfort myself, to distract myself...wrote about my dad, wrote about John F. Kennedy, Jr...and shipped them off to Teen People without a second thought.

On my high school graduation day, I got the call that I was chosen, from among 600 applicants, to write for the magazine for one year as part of the "teen newsteam." There were 35 other kids from all over the country. One was my now-cowriter. When the "newsteam" was told to introduce ourselves to each other via email before we met in person, I told my "Frank Sinatra Access Hollywood" story. (This story: http://dianagolightly.blogspot.com/2007/06/there-is-surefire-way.html).

This fellow newsteamer/now good friend and cowriter was so fascinated by my "Frank Sinatra Access Hollywood" story that she sought me out and wanted to sit next to me at our first Teen People meeting. A friendship was born, which was based on things like similar interests and odd obsessions (such as Anne Frank!)

Had I not met her, this show would most likely never have been thought-up or written. (Well, if either one of us had come-up with it completely without the other, it would only be half as clever and witty and unique as we like to believe it is!)

So...I guess you just never know. In a few months, I get to watch something I helped create come to life in a big theatre. I can invite friends and relatives and old teachers! I am excited and proud of what we have done. Had I not had that Teen People experience, which was indirectly related to the trauma of losing my dad and even being so saddened over a public figure's death. It's weird how things connect.

When I had a 2-year jobhunt after graduation, at the time, I was frustrated and depressed and walked around crying and asking "WHY ME!?" Plus, my feet often hurt. Interviewing heels are lethal. I finally got a great job. (Or at least, what sounded like one.) I was laid-off after a year, and felt like I was back to square one...but I really wasn't. I have something that my many friends who got great-paying jobs right after graduation do not have!

I have got STORIES. I have got CRAZY STORIES about things that go on in interviews that I would never BELIEVE had they not happened to myself! I got to be inside the buildings of most of the major publishing houses and magazines and TV stations. I even interviewed at a bowling alley nightclut! (At 10 AM. It was dark, and I was a lone for a while. It rather felt like the beginning of an episode of Law and Order: SVU.) I even met a lot of really nice people at interviews, and I am still planning on one day, when I really feel like I am in a great place in my life, to throw a really big PARTY and invite ALL of them (yes, I have saved businesscards) for being a part of my road to success and total happiness! (Okay. Maybe that is a stretch...but it might be fun!)

I had another (what felt like at the time) great disappointment a few weeks ago...lots of tears and lost sleep and the same old familiar frustrated and insecure feelings I have had much too often. As I was telling a friend about it on the phone, we both just started giggling, and I realized that it was really quite amusing...then suddenly I was really, really laughing to the point that I couldn't even get my words out. The whole situation was suddenly completely hilarious.

Just another blessing in disguise...

After all, Woody Allen...most likely a comic and literary genius...failed out of English class. James Earl Jones used to stutter! And Shari Lewis grew interested in puppets when she was sick and bedridden and her dad gave her a puppet to keep herself amused. You really absolutely NEVER KNOW.

Above everything else, I have learned that even if something seems to be the most devestating thing in the world one moment...odds are very good that in the not-so-distant future, it will merely be something to write about...and to laugh about. To laugh about A LOT.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Mysterious Guy

Here is a link to a BroadwayWorld.com thread (EVERYBODY reads BroadwayWorld.com!) which includes an article and pictures of Mr. Cheyenne Jackson from a British magazine.

Very great article about a very great guy!!! One of the lovliest people, inside and out! Yay for Cheyenne becoming an international celebrity and heartthrob!!!

(I'm afraid some people get a bit raunchy when he is being discussed though...you are being warned)

http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=951100&dt=17

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Can you tell I am bored?

Merry Christmas!!!!


Meez 3D avatar avatars games

To quote Tyra Banks..."SO WHAT!"

Kate Winslet is Number 1 on my list of "British Girls I Want to be Best Friends With" list. She has been for many years. (The list isn't that long...the Number 2 slot goes to another Kate...Kate Middleton...mainly because if she was my best friend, I would get to meet her boyfriend, Prince William. Then Kate would go, "Wills, I'd like you to meet my new best friend, Diana!" And William will shake my hand and say, "Ah, yes. That is a very easy name for me to remember!")

I really just love Kate Winslet. Last year, I noticed commotion outside of a theatre, and paused to see what was going on. It was opening night of The Vertical Hour, directed by Kate's husband Sam Mendes. Kate was making her grand entrance, and for a couple of minutes, I stood across the street with a bunch of tourists (I heard somebody remark in a charming drawl, "What a day! We saw Matt Lauer this morning, and tonight we saw KATE WINSLET!") and openly gawked at her. SHe is one of the few celebrities that I would do that for. The girl is drop-dead pretty, but also just seems so down-to-earth that I could totally imagine the two of us hanging out and knitting together and eating mini-Cadbury eggs. Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite movies, and Marianne Dashwood one of my favorite (and most relatable!) fictional characters of all-time. Of course, I fell into the "obsessed with Titanic trap" when the film came out...I was a 15-year-old girl...of course I did. I just really think she's great, and her attitude in every interview I have ever read with her is surprisingly refreshing.

Kate Winslet doesn't care about what anybody else thinks about her. She loves herself, and thinks all girls should love themselves, regardless of what others say. Now, THAT, I believe, is the most beautiful quality she has!

When a girl was on I Want a Famous Famous Face striving to look like my favorite girl, Kate:

There's at least one celebrity who isn't a fan of MTV's plastic surgery makeover show "I Want a Famous Face." Kate Winslet tells the London Times she broke down in tears as she watched a fan named Jennette undergo several painful procedures, including a boob job and tummy tuck, to look more like her. "I could not believe this girl was putting herself through this because she wanted to look like what she thought I looked like," Kate said.


Another great Kate quote:


"When I read how an actress 'made a statement in black', I just think, 'Oh, period or fat day.' Sometimes you just don't feel confident enough to wear twinkly, yellow taffeta."


Not to mention: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20011635,00.html

"I will continue to say what I feel about this issue of women being thin and emaciated. It's just out of control," she said Sunday. "I know I'm a role model to young women. It's a role that I take very, very seriously and I would never want anyone to ever think I was a hypocrite in doing something like going to a diet doctor, for goodness sake. I mean, it's really, really ridiculous."


Ms. Winslet, you are AWESOME. Never change!

Last week, I heard a lot of buzz about Jennifer Love Hewitt. I really don't have much of an opinion about Jennifer Love Hewitt either way. (As in, if she was British, she wouldn't make my list of British Girls I Wish Were My Best Friends list.) I think she did a pretty good job when she played Audrey Hepburn. From watching that, I could tell she had a genuine love and admiration for Audrey and wanted to do her very best. (Still...Audrey is Audrey. Nobody can touch her.)

Jennifer (or "Love", as her friends call her...but I am not her friend!) wore a bikini (to the beach, usually a good place to wear one), was photographed from behind, and was attacked.

For having cellulite.

For having a big butt.

For having big hips and thighs.

For being fat fat fat and out-of-shape.

Hewitt issued a statement(on her own blog...does everybody have a blog now?! Guess so.)

I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image. A size two is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size zero doesn't make you beautiful.


Now, I am glad that she spoke out...however...even if she wasn't a size 2 (which, of course, is NOT fat...however, now that there is such a thing as a size 00...a size 2 is bigger than it was 20 years ago...why IS there a size 00 anyway???)..even if she was a size TWENTY-TWO, it wouldn't be okay for magazines and gossip columnists and random people on the internet to call her fat and scrutinize her body. NOBODY has the right to do that to anybody. I hate that women and girls are victims of this so often, and yet, nobody cares when a guy gains ten pounds. It's a scary time to be a young woman and keep a strong sense of self-esteem.

So, I was thinking Jennifer Love Hewitt's comments of "I'm a size two and I am not fat" were well-intended, but still critical of girls' bodies/weights.

Then I realized...I am just as guilty of having a warped sense of what is an acceptible size.

I am 5'0 with a small build. If I lose or gain ten pounds, I might as well cut off a limb. I am at a point that I AM okay with myself, mainly because I know how I am healthy and happy and I take care of myself. However, I also had a rough time with my weight growing-up. I remember skipping lunches in the 4th grade and thinking that every girl in the room was so much thinner than I was. I even remember at a family party...I was around 7...and a relative looked at me and went, "You are a fat little girl!" I still cringe whenever I see that relative. What a completely stupid thing to say to a child.

Last year, a girl I worked with complimented a dress I had on and said that I always wore such cute clothes. A compliment. Then she went, "What size are you? An 8?"

I squinted. "No...I'm usually a 2 or 4..."

The girl's jaw dropped and she went, "No WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!"

She didn't believe me.

She had to look at the tag on my dress and see the 2 for herself to believe that I indeed was a size 2.

(Now, I think that was pretty rude, ESPECIALLY coming from another woman. They should know better.)

For the next few days, I kept remembering that incident. I even went to the store and tried on some size 8's and realized that they WERE much too big on me. I am not a size 8! 2's and 4's fit me...but an 8?

Then I realized...

Who the hell cares?

Even if I was a size 8...would that be the end of the world?

I most certainly feel like a hypocrite at the idea of being called two or three sizes bigger than my usual...(and I still think that girl was pretty rude for how she reacted)...but I think it just goes to show you that NONE of us are immune to these feelings!

I bet if I was best friends with Kate Winslet, she'd always have lots of advice and wisdom and comforting words for me.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

If the Shoe Fits...

I have been on more than my share of job interviews over the years.

Some crazy things have happened at these multitudes of job interviews.

Among them:

-one with a very creepy lawyer who asked me, “So, are you a good liar? This isn’t about managing my office; it is about managing my personal life. I live a very interesting personal life. You need to learn to lie.” I glanced at a picture of his cherubic children on his desk and wondered how much I would have to lie to their mother about their father’s affairs. I decided I just couldn’t do it. He told me he smoked heavily in the office, so I told him I had asthma (I don’t. But I guess I WAS a good liar after all) and could never work with a smoker.

-a place where the HR director warned me that my potential boss would make my life miserable. He’d treat me like dirt, but the end of each day, I’d feel a victory that I survived yet another 9 hours with him. I wouldn’t be allowed to talk to him in the elevator, and she guaranteed that he would make me cry. (And then I started imagining that maybe I would be the one person he DID like. I would be the Tiny Tim to melt his Scrooge. However, we would never know, as I didn't get the job.)

-with a place that does award shows for advertising (I know…”huh”?) where they shook my hand and said, “Welcome aboard!” and then I never heard from them. Ever. Again.

-I applied to work for a theatre company. I later learned it was to be the assistant to a puppeteer. One of the tasks was “dog-walking”. Now, I wonder, was that for a puppet dog or a real dog?

-One in which I accidentally referred to the Human Resources manager, Bob Meade, as Daniel Meade to the hiring manager. Daniel Meade is the boss of Ugly Betty. (“Shoot! His name isn't Daniel! That's Betty's boss!” Then I thought, "You know what...if you can't laugh with this guy, then you don't want to work with him!")
Me: You know why I called him Daniel by mistake...because Ugly Betty's boss is named Daniel Meade!
Potential Boss: I LOVE THAT SHOW!

We chatted about Ugly Betty for a bit, and on my way out, he said, “See you later!” I wanted to say, “Oh…but will you…will you?”

-right after that one, I went to another interview, at a place the packages horror films.(Cuz...you know...I just love horror movies...yup...I'm glancing at my DVD shelf now...there's Audrey Hepburn movies and Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musicals and TONS of bloody horror movies.) The word “random” comes to mind. I really just wanted to get out of there. I was in there for all of 90 seconds, and had to sit in a chair which majorly sunk in so I was pretty much sitting on the floor! The fellow begins our interview with, "So, ask me questions.” Then tells me, "This office is very slow. Not much happens, and I'm not here most of the time." He asked me if I knew Quicken. I told him no, in hopes that he'd dismiss me. He didn't. I finally get to leave, called out a hearty, "CONGRATULATIONS!" to the very pregnant receptionist and then went skipping down the street, shaking my head in amusement and looking forward to watching my beloved Apolo Anton Ohno dance his little heart out on my television set that night.

-And then there is one company that I have wanted to work at FOREVER. I have been on about ten interviews there, and they always go really well. (I am not just saying that! They really do go well!) And then I never hear from them again. I interviewed there a couple of weeks ago, and they told me I had a tremendous amount of experience and that I was a very good writer and that I would be hearing from them very soon. Never did. Not surprised. The building still makes me drool, however.

Last week, I went on an interview (as I do most days), and entered a very cosy and welcoming lobby. I hung-out for a bit, and when the woman came out to get me, she told me take off my shoes and leave them in a cubbyhole. I did so, grateful that for once, I was sure there were no holes at all in the toes of my tights.

Now, I am pretty sure that I am missing some kind of "shoe gene" that most women have. I really do not like shoes. AT ALL. I know that I would NEVER be welcome in Carrie Bradshaw's circle of friends. Don't get me wrong...I love clothes. I have too many clothes...I have taken over pretty much every closet in my home with my clothes. I am also a good one for sales, and could make $200 stretch VERY far when there is a clearance sale at Ann Taylor Loft.

Shoes, however?

I shake.

I hate wearing them. I hate shopping for them. I hate trying them on. I REALLY hate it when I am shopping with other people and they INSIST on stopping to look at shoes. ("THIS WAS NOT IN THE AGREEMENT!" I cry.) I think it is ridiculous to spend $300 on a pair of shoes.

My gosh, I just HATE SHOES.

However, it is probably a bad thing that I hate shoes so much, because I am pretty sure that I am cursed with the world's most hideous feet. I am pretty sure I could climb trees with these things. My sister once pointed out that my feet looked more like hands, and I really couldn't argue with her. They do. I have fingers for toes. I should probably put on shoes and never, ever take them off so nobody would ever have to look at them. I have heard some people criticize their own feet and say, "My second toe is longer than my first one!" Ha! Well, I got 'ya beet! My FOURTH toe is longer than my first one!

(I would like to point out now that I at least have very nice, slender fingers, even though my pinkies are crazy crazy crooked.)

I am thinking that perhaps a job which I would NEVER be allowed to wear shoes during the day just might be a wonderful thing...I could wear slippers on the subway, then kick them off when I get to work, and never have to buy another pair of shoes EVER AGAIN!!!!!

It is like a fantasy world!

(Ahem. I didn't get the job, though. Maybe there's another shoeless career out there, waiting for me...)

Diana Rissetto