Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have curly hair

I don't watch that much television.

I enjoy Ugly Betty. I dream one day of being famous enough so I can be on Dancing with the Stars. Reruns of Highway to Heaven and Little House on the Prairie never get old.

But most television is trash.

And every so often, a very special television show comes along that makes you feel like your IQ is plummeting with every minute.

Millionaire Matchmaker is one of those shows.

My gosh.

However, I did learn something very valuable from the episode I watched the other day.

I learned the reason why I am not only not married to a millionaire, but the reason I don't even have a boyfriend.

It's because I have curly hair.

Why didn't I think of that?

According to Patti the Matchmaker, guys don't like women with curly hair.

Okay, I'm not going to say she's right (because she is not), but I have had guys make similar comments to me and I really have no idea why they think it's acceptible.

All of these guys were former coworkers of mine and they both find the charming need to tell me that they didn't like girls with curly hair.

One said, "I'm more of a straight/wavy haired kinda guy."

I shot back with, "Well, I'm more of a 'guy with manners kinda girl.'!"

The other said, "You know why curly hair sucks? (wow, thanks). Because girls with straight hair can just, like, MAKE their hair curly. But your hair is probably a real bitch to straighten."

(Please tell that to my sister, who has stick straight hair that won't hold a curl for anything.)

On the subject of my straight-haired sister, another coworker was once grilling me about my family. He knew my sister was getting married. He asked if we looked alike. I told him, "No, she actually has stick straight hair..."

Him: You must be very jealous of her.
Me: Why?
(Expecting him to say, "Because she is getting married and you're not!" for which he would have deserved a kick in the head.)
Him: Because she has straight hair.
Me: Why would I be jealous?
Him: Don't all girls with curly hair want straight hair?
Me: No?




I have curly hair.

It comes out of my head like that.

And I love it! My hair is ME. I would not be myself with straight hair. Diana's kooky. Diana is quirky. Diana is a free-spirit. AND DIANA HAS CURLY HAIR.

I would love to know why it is so unattractive to some people and why straight hair is automatically seen as prettier.

I get stopped and complimented on my curls constantly.

People are always sticking their hands in my hair (uninvited).

My gay male friends (and those are the harshest critics) all love my hair!

And yet, Patti and so many others think we have to CHANGE our CURLS in order to be attractive.

Don't get me started.


This entry will end up being 100 pages long if I keep going.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Since I am not sure how often my most dedicated blog reader checks in, I am posting this three days before his actual birthday.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Vinny!

Are you listening to me, E?

Yesterday, I discussed the possibility of having my own reality show

I feel that if Denise Richards gets one, I should have one.

I am quirky. I am constantly getting myself into wacky situations. I am always meeting crazy people…actually, they find me.

People are always telling me that I need my own show! And I am starting to agree with them! “Flighty, well-meaning, slightly na├»ve, creative young woman and her adventures in New York.” I know what you are thinking… “Ugly Betty is currently a hit show and Felicity has been done already. In fact, Felicity even had long curly hair! Stop ripping off of Felicity, Diana!”

But those girls are not real.

Diana is!

And now that E! is so oddly giving Denise Richards her own reality show, I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t have one as well.

My reality show would be funnier.

My reality show would have more spunk and spirit and heart.

My reality show would have a much more endearing and lovable heroine. (No offense to Denise…but it is very true. I am a freaking delight!!!)

I am not sure what the title would be yet. I almost named this blog Dianecdotes, but then realized that it was very very stupid.

First off, I have a very colorful group of supporting characters of friends in the reality show of my life. Just like Ron and Hermione and the gang were imperative to Harry Potter’s success, I am just as dependant on my wacky sidekicks.

There is my friend Lori, who is afraid of buttons. Yes, she is afraid of buttons. Lori is also my writing partner. Together, we created Margot Frank: The Diary of the Other Young Girl, a musical which is making its world premiere in April. (It is a musical comedy about the much-forgotten sister of Anne Frank. Yup.) Lori is quite quirky, and has also been obsessed with Anne Frank for her entire life, just like I have. And did I mention she is afraid of buttons?

My friend Laura moved to New York City all by herself from South Carolina. (Brave brave brave!) She converted to Judaism shortly thereafter. (I went to my first Purim festival because of Laura!) Each week, Laura and I gather for dinner at our favorite grilled cheese restaurant, Say Cheese! We have a favorite waiter. He could make cameos.

I have been imagining what kind of opening and closing scenes my show would have. I would love to be walking down the street in a pastel trench coat (pink, most likely) walking a dog (we could use our family dog, Lola Lu). Her leash will match my coat. (Heck, maybe we can even dye Lola Lu to match my pink coat!)

If my friends want to be in on it, they can ALSO be walking with me in different pastel trench coats, walking dogs. The song “Ya Gotta Be” by Des’ree can play, and then everybody in the street will start singing along.

OR…we can use a very bouncy version of “Moon River”, in honor of my favorite New Yorker, Holly Golightly.

Since Laura will be a series regular, we decided that she will be introduced each week as she walks by a playground and a little child is on a swing. His shoe flies off of his foot and Laura bends down to pick it up. She smiles. Her name flashes across the screen.

We will also have a special celebrity that makes appearances…my very big Broadway star friend, Cheyenne Jackson. Cheyenne can, for publicity sakes, be in the opening credits every week, even if he isn’t in every episode. He will be credited while he’s onstage and everybody is cheering for him…and then..cut to the audience! My friends and I are cheering in the audience for him!

We would have to have some recaps of truly memorable moments in my life from the past year.

If you have been following this blog for the past year, you would know that I have been on about 900 job interviews and have lost two jobs within the past year. I would love to recreate some of my most memorable job interviews, which, thanks to my photographic memory, I am sure that I can do! (It would also give me the opportunity to employ some of my out-of-work actor friends.)

I can ALSO reenact what happened right after I lost my first job last March. I had tickets to see Les Miserables that night. It was raining. So…I lose my job…a job that meant a lot to me. And I have to pack up my desk…so I’m stumbling down 42nd Street, in the rain, struggling with boxes of my junk from my desk, on my way to see a musical in which most of the characters die. Things could be worse. I could be dying in the French Revolution.

Other episodes:

-Diana obsesses over writing the perfect speech to give at her sister’s wedding.

-Diana trying to figure out if her current potential romantic interest is even interested in girls! (That happens just about every week!)

-Diana and Lori auditioning people to be in their show, and having people sing “On My Own” from Les Miserables and and “Memory” Cats (You just don’t get more authentic auditiony than THAT) Many episodes can follow our MARGOT journey!

-Diana dreaming that her Beta Fish dies and getting out of bed to check on it

-Diana getting to hold Neil Simon’s coat at a party and it pretty much making her week

-Diana’s commute…Diana wakes up a sleepy commuter, possibly saving her from getting fired and/or waking up all disheveled in Sunnyside Yard as the train is being cleaned…Diana’s train getting delayed and Diana, not having a book, randomly calling friends she hasn’t spoken to in ten years because she needs to kill time somehow…Diana fighting with a nasty businessman who tells a bunch of excited little girls to shut-up on matinee day.


It would be magical.

AND if my show gets successful enough, I can achieve one of my greatest goals in life:

Being a star on Dancing with the Stars.

Please check back shortly on instructions on how to sign the petition to get the Diana Show up and going.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Okay, not for nothing...


I truly think that MY reality show would be SO MUCH BETTER than this one.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, February 8, 2008

"He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved...New York was HIS town...and it always would be..."

I studied all the pictures in magazines and books
I memorized the subway map too
It's one block north to Macy's and two to Brothers Brooks
Manhattan, I prepared for you

There is one thing I will always be very regretful of, and that is that I will never be able to experience New York City as somebody who has never experienced New York City before.

Each day it's free admission to those who dream
You set your sights all the way upstream
Off you go, for you know that cream will rise
New, improved and rearranged
It's ever-changing, yet it's never changed
Life on command
Hear what I'm saying, oh but it's grand
That's why I'm staying, right here as planned
Only in New York

This city was the first place I had ever known. I was born there, and lived there until the fourth grade.

I like to tell people that I "grew-up" in Manhattan, even though I know that I truly didn't. You certainly do A LOT of growing-up after the age of nine or ten. Perhaps "spent most of my childhood in the city" is more like it...or "my roots are there".

I happen to like New York. I happen to love this burg.
And when I have to give the world a last farewell,
And the undertaker starts to ring my funeral bell,
I don't want to go to heaven, don't want to go to hell.
I happen to like New York. I happen to like New York.

(The only reason I was agreeable to the big move to suburban New Jersey was because my parents promised me I could get a dog once we got there.)

But, one thing is for certain...it is the first place I ever knew, and the first place I ever loved...and always, always will love.

And oh, where did all those yesterdays go
When you still believed love could really be like a Broadway show
You were the star, when did it close?
Oh, oh, oh
You´re a native New Yorker
No one opens the door
For a native New Yorker

And now, I work in New York City, and will never, ever have enough money to actually LIVE in New York City (I say as I mournfully remember the beautiful, roomy apartment my family used to live in on Fulton Street, paying hardly anything for it...), I am forced to commute.

Every morning, I watch thousands (maybe thousands?) people get on and off the train, and most of them look like they are truly hating their lives.

They look cold.

They look tired.

They are dreading going to New York City.

And it makes me quite sad.

New York City isn't a place to dread...New York City is a place to LOVE.

I enjoy commuting on Wednesdays because the commuter train is a lot more pleasant. It is always brightened-up by families, groups of friends and kids going in for the day to catch a matinee.

While most people sleep on the train into work (while hating their lives) these special daytrippers are giddy and excited and yapping away in anticipation of their day in the big, wonderful, beautiful city.

It's what I like to hear.

However, it is NOT what all those business people like to hear.

The other morning, four middleaged ladies were sitting together on the train around 7:30 AM, talking and laughing. I was trying to figure out what show they were going to see...then I could have joined in on the conversation they were having. Maybe they were seeing Xanadu!!!! And then I'd have an excuse to tell them all about my good friend Cheyenne Jackson!

But, we didn't get a chance to talk.

Because some businessman told them to shut-up.

(Well, not really. He told them, "I hate to break this up...but you obviously don't ride this train much. It is supposed to be quiet. We are all going to work." Yup, that is what the man said.)

I mean, give me a break, Sir. It's not their fault that they're going someplace fun and excited about their day while you're all miserable and need silence so you can warm-up for your very very thrilling day of sitting at a desk. It really made me annoyed.

I voiced my disapproval by rolling my eyes...to the window to my right.

This Broadway's got
It's got a lot of songs to sing
If I knew the tunes I might join in
I'll go my way alone
Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown in New York City

Another time, I was coming home on a Wednesday evening, and there was a very hyper bunch of 10-12-year-old girls (and their moms.) These girls were wound-up, giggling, so excited about seeing Hairspray and going to the American Girl Place and had probably went to the Hershey store and were on a sugar high to boot.

It made me really happy. I wished that I was that age again and hanging-out with them.

Until some guy got up and went over to them and said, "I am speaking for the whole train. Shut-up."

No, YOU shut-up. These are KIDS. They are having a good time. Is your life so empty and miserable that you just can't let them enjoy themselves? It's a public train, not a library. Those poor kids. I hope it didn't put much of a damper on their day.

I would love to feel like a tourist...to be able to look around this city and have never seen it before! I envy those tourists so much.

It must be a truly spectacular thing to not know New York City and then set foot on it one day. I will never know that feeling, because my baby carriage once rolled through these streets!

And as I got older, and my family and I would walk through those streets together, my mother would often (often? About fifty times a day) say, "Watch the cellar!"

Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo
I'm streetwise
I can improvise
Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo
I'm streetsmart
I've got New York City heart

My mother STILL says that when we're walking in the city together, and one of my biggest fears in life is that I will one day fall down an open cellar.

I actually say that to my friends sometimes. It just feels unnatural not to.

You know what, it truly IS the greatest city in the world and those miserable commuters need to lighten-up and realize just how lucky they are to be taking that train there.

This crazy New York town
Where dreams are often found...

Very proud Native New Yorker here.

Visit the city. Love the city.

And watch out for the cellars.

It comes down to reality-and its fine with me cause I've let it slide,
Don't care if its Chinatown or Riverside,
I don't have any reasons, I've left them all behind-
I'm in a New York state of mind.

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So, yesterday...

...I got a notice from our vet telling us that LuLu was overdue for her check-up.

And I cried over LuLu for the first time in a while.

I still miss you, LuLu.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm not Josie Grossie anymore!

The other day, I talked about the importance of "writing what you know..."

Well, I've found it goes both ways...I also like watching what I know.

I have two all-time favorite "dorky girls movie" that I could watch over and over and still laugh and cry and feel as dorkily inspired as I did the first time I watched them.

The movies?

1995's Circle of Friends and 1999's Never Been Kissed.

The reason my love for these movies and the heroines in them is simple...I AM those girls.

Both of these movies center around a girl who is a complete spaz...a sweet, well-meaning, cute, lovable spaz...but a spaz nontheless...and both of these movies end with said spaz triumphing.

It is films like these that give me...and multitudes of OTHER sweet, well-meaning, cute lovable spazzes, but spazzes nonetheless...hope.

Never Been Kissed
is the story of Josie Geller. Josie Geller is 25 and has a great job with a major newspaper...but she can't forget about the traumas of her adolescence. She was called "Josie Grossie" in high school, and she thought everything was about to change when the cutest boy in school asked HER to the senior prom. It was all a joke...he drove by her house in a limosine with his real date and threw eggs at her, calling her a freak.

There's a flashback scene in the movie when Josie reads a poem she wrote about her crush, Billy Prince, out loud in class...right in front of the boy. ("Does he notice me? Does he hear my heartbeat, calling out his name? Sometimes it seems so loud I think the gods can hear my pain. His voice is so mellifluous. Oh, if I could just get one kiss...")

When I watched that movie with my sister, she said, "That's something you would do." I was quiet. "That IS something you have done, isn't it?"

Well, not quiet...but I always wore my heart on my sleeve...and on my pen...in high school.In fact, when I was (much much younger), I wrote a letter to a classmate/friend pouring out my heart.

He laughed at me and told all his friends, who also laughed at me.

Like Josie, I never fully recovered.

The movie ends with Josie getting her first "real kiss" from the very cute English teacher and the crowd chanting her name and "Don't Worry Baby" playing in the background.

The heroine in Circle of Friends isn't quite as spazzy as Josie (or myself), but she is still quite insecure.

I love this movie! Minnie Driver plays Benny Hogan...shy...awkward...gawky...and she has long, curly brown hair! Just like I do! It is set in Ireland! I love Ireland! And Chris O'Donnell is in it! He was my first crush!

Benny thinks that a boy like the handsome rugby player slash med student Jack would NEVER like a girl like her...



(Am I giving away too much of the movie here?)

Not only that, but when he falls drunk and cheats on her with his best friend, Benny doesn't take him back right away!

By the end of the movie, Jack redeems himself...Benny falls in love with him all over again...and we learn in Minnie Driver's voiceover that Benny becomes a WRITER.


I laugh...I cry...my heart SOARS for Benny and Josie!

But then I start to wonder...DOES the spaz ever really triumph in real life, or does she just do so in the movies, to keep us real-life spazzes going with some kind of hope?

I mean, where IS that dashing English teacher or the Irish rugby player slash med student?

Where is the stadium full of fans chanting MY name?


Who knows.

Maybe they really ARE just movies after all...


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Displaying Framed Baby Photos of Oneself: A Lesson in Confidence

Last year, somebody came into my place of work (which is no longer my place of work, and if you don't know what happened there, you obviously haven't been paying very close attention to this blog) and saw the picture of my cousin's little girl on my desk and asked me,

"Is that a picture of you when you were a baby?"

Without missing a beat, I replied:

"Yes, that's a picture of me when I was a baby. I just love myself SO MUCH that I display framed baby pictures of myself, wherever I go."

The guy just nodded.

I paused for a moment, then squinted, and said, "No, it's actually my NIECE. Why would I display a baby picture of MYSELF on my desk?"

The guy shrugged.

"It looks a lot like you."

Me: That's because we're related!

Now, I really thought the idea of loving oneself so much that you display a framed baby picture of yourself on your desk at work was ridiculous...

And then I got to thinking...

I think we all SHOULD love ourselves SO MUCH that we display framed baby pictures of ourselves on our desks at work.

I have always suffered from slight insecurities.

(Just sliiiiiiiiiight.)

I think I have a lot of people fooled, because I am crazy energetic and bubbly and all of that...and insecure people usually are quiet and hang their heads low...but I am pretty insecure...and I have gotten to the point where I have ACCEPTED my insecure self, and am actually quite secure in my insecurity.

But I think this random guy might be onto something.

Love yourself enough to display framed baby photos of yourself, everybody.

So, back in September...

...I had a letter-writing campaign of some sort to get my wonderful friend/Broadway star/rising television and film star/all-around one of the greatest guys in the world, Cheyenne Jackson, featured in People magazine, perhaps in the Sexiest Men Alive issue or the Most Beautiful People Issue.

And, although he has yet to be featured in either one of those issues, Cheyenne appears in the most recent issue of People magazine.

My efforts were not in vain.

I am a very powerful person.

Friday, February 1, 2008

More random bits of kindness...

Last week, as my train pulled into Penn Station and hundreds of disgruntled and cold commuters got up to sit in offices for the next eight hours, I noticed a lady sound asleep in her seat, leaning agains the window.

Nobody gave her a second look.

They always make an announcement as the train pulls in that we're all to exit as quickly as possible because the train is on the way to Sunnyside to get cleaned-up for the afternoon rush hour.

(I really don't notice those trains looking much cleaner in the afternoon, but apparently, they DO get cleaned.)

Okay, I have some major issues when it comes to sleeping. I am just not good at it, and, most nights, can't do it. However, on my train up to the city in the mornings, I notice many people conked-out like there is no tomorrow. (Men in particular.) I really would I could sleep HALF as well in my bed at night as these people manage to on the New Jersey Transit.

I leaned towards this woman, shook her shoulder gently and said, "Excuse me. We're here..."

(I really didn't know what else to say.)

She jumped-up, startled, and then we all went on our way. (To sit in offices for eight hours.)

On Monday morning, the same lady came-up to me and said, "You woke me up when I was asleep on the train last week...and I just wanted to say thank you. That was so nice of you."

I told her that I would want somebody to do the same for me.

(Even though I will obviously never have that problem, given my track record with sleeping.)

The fact that this woman bothered to thank me almost a week after I woke her up to thank me truly made my day.

A couple of months ago, I lost my job and was comforted by a really nice lady in the elevator who I had never really spoken to before that day. After that, I vowed to be on the lookout for more crying people on elevators so that I could one day recipricate the amazing kindness she showed me.

I will also be on the lookout for more sleeping people on trains. And buses.

Diana Rissetto

You may be right...

I may be crazy
But it just may be a luuuuuuunatic you're looking for-Mr. Joel

I don't deny that I am crazy.

You are supposed to write what you know.

Okay, I have lived a pretty sheltered, happy life and I haven't really known that much. My childhood and family were wonderful. I've only lived in two different states. I haven't travelled much. I didn't even go away to college!

But...I HAVE known what it is like to go through life with incredibly curly hair...so sometimes the female leads in my stories also have incredibly curly hair...(one day, I am going to be very very courageous and write about a girl who not only has straight hair, but straight BLOND hair!)

I know what it's like to live in and love New York City...so I set stories in New York City...(one day, I'll set a story in Omaha...maybe even about a girl with straight blond hair who lives in Omaha.)

I know what it's like to lose a parent as a young kid...so I have written about that as well, too. (this turns-up a lot in my stories...and maybe one day, I'll write about a family with two 80-year-old parents. And their daughter. Who has blond straight hair. And they all live in Omaha.)

I have only ever known and loved dogs. Maybe this said family will have three cats.

So, I don't really have much of my own experiences to elaborate on and fictionalize and turn into a Pulitzer-winning script or book.

What I DO have...however...

Is the fact that I am crazy.

I don't NEED my own experiences, because I am crazy.

And it is a very comforting thought.

Diana Rissetto