Friday, June 27, 2008

"A sentimental forgotten friend..."

I still remember the quote my friend Paige (my wacky, eccentric, kooky, wonderful friend Paige...I miss her!) used in her little senior bio in our yearbook.

It was from a song that I had never heard, but the words stuck with me...(obviously, considering it's been eight years and I still remember them.)


you'll always seek
a sentimental forgotten friend
who will always love you until the end


I think I liked that so much because I feel like I AM the "sentimental forgotten friend" to a lot of people.

Maintaining friendships has always been very important to me. It would probably be easy to blame these attachment issues on the whole "parent dying at a young age" thing, but I think these issues came long before that. I don't like losing people. I hate the thought of being close friends with somebody and then getting to the point where we reach major life milestones and don't even know about them until you hear from a friend of a friend of a friend.

I moved when I was in the 4th grade, and did my absolute best to keep in touch with ALL of my classmates. This was long before email...we wrote letters. Daniela and I wrote religiously until about the 8th grade, then stopped suddenly (that makes me sad), but she was the only one who was really good with writing back. Most 10-year-olds don't like writing letters...but I didn't want to lose any of my friends.

I hate change. I don't think it's ever a good thing. I hate leaving places. I hate saying goodbye. When my mother and I saw the Winona Ryder version of Little Women in the movie theater, my mom couldn't believe how much Jo was like me...the sensitive, emotional writer who just wants everything to stay the same.

A few years ago, I was in the car with two girls that I had been good friends with throughout high school. I was sitting in the backseat and suddenly I asked myself, "Who are these people? These aren't the same girls I was friends with for all those years..."

They had changed...and so had I. Neither for better or worse, just changed...and as we grew-up and changed, so did our roles in each other's lives.

Nobody was right, nobody was wrong...things were just different.

Over the past few weeks, I had to remember that ephiphany I had after I was in the car with my old friends that night. Maybe things do happen for a reason...we meet people at certain times in our lives because we're supposed to learn something from them and to help them...and maybe we end-up with a lifelong friend, or maybe we end-up drifting apart.

I am a chornic apologizer. (Is that a word?) I hate feeling like people are angry with me. I try way too hard to fix problems I have with people. On several occasions, friends have blown-up at me for saying "I'm Sorry" too much and that I was making things way worse by being so apologetic when I hadn't even done really anything to begin with.

But, maybe some things are beyond my control...I am learning that now...and no amount of "I'm Sorry's" can mend them. And things do change...and maybe it's time for me to finally finally finally accept that.

I wonder if, perhaps, there is somebody out there who feels like they are MY "sentimental forgotten friend"...I find that hard to believe...

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I admit...I used to read US Weekly...

...and In Touch and the likes. (However, I never bought them. I used to read them on my lunchbreaks at the bookstore. I don't know if that makes it better or worse. I was never really able to concentrate on a novel while I was sitting in the breakroom eating, with coworkers walkign in-and-out.)

I clicked on a link about "celebrity moms-to-be" (http://omg.yahoo.com/celebrity-moms-to-be/photos/2023) and was completely disgusted with the comments people were leaving about these women. Disgusted! I have absolutely no idea why so many people care so much about the lives of celebrities, and feel the need to tear them apart. Reading these comments made me angry, and sad that people are so uneccessarily mean.

It takes a lot of time and energy to be so concerned about and to trash people that you do not know, and, most likely, will never, ever know.

Take Mrs. Matt Damon, Luciana.

I am pretty sure that this girl never did anything to hurt any of these comment-leavers.

And yet, why on EARTH must people be so nasty?

Here are some of the comments left about this girl:

is MATT really gay? To be with this former bartender from Argentina with a child she left behind says a lot. She is UGLY but hit the jack-pot marrying Matt.


what was matt damon thinking?


she's HUGE AND BUTT UGLY...WHAT IS UP WITH MATT



i don't know what he sees in her w/her buff teeth.


Hopefully the baby will look like Matt.


of course she loves being pregnant. who wouldn't prefer being a babymaker to a millionaire rather than a bar maid (her previous job)?


You have to give Matt Damon credit for marrying for love. She is not a very attractive girl. Those teeth. With all that money fix your teeth already. She looks like she could eat an apple through a picket fence. Maybe she has other qualities.


Sure she does, and that is how she got Matt to marry her. The more kids she has, the more child support he'll eventually owe.





Okay.

I have never met Luciana Damon. I have been a fan of Matt Damon for years, as a writer and as an actor. I think he's awesome and talented with a smile that could light-up the Grand Canyan. I think it's great and refreshing that he married a single mom who was a bartender when he could have had his pick of a thousand Hollywood starlets. He married this girl, they are having their second child together, and I think it is safe to assume that he loves her...so why do all these people need to tear this girl apart because they think she's hideous or having babies so build-up future child support???????????

(For the record, I think she's a pretty girl and have no idea how anybody can look at her and see "ugly". However, even if she WAS ugly...and I can think of VERY few...if any...people that I would classify as such...what difference does it make?)

I hope Luciana doesn't stumble upon all this nastiness, but if she ever does, I would like to say:

"Luciana, you get to be married to Matt Damon and have babies with him...none of those people leaving that vicious commentary get to."

Really...it is ridiculous.

"If you don't have anything nice to say..."

Diana Rissetto

In case you missed it...

Xanadu's performance at the Tony Awards last weekend, featuring Cheyenne Jackson, Kerry Butler, Tony Roberts and the rest of this very wonderful cast of this very wonderful show which I have seen eight times over the past year...(and I am pretty sure it gets funnier every time...)

Check it out, and understand why I got about fifteen text messages right after the number ended, all basically, "YOUR BUDDY WAS AMAZING!"

And he WAS!

I was in the audience rooting for the shows which I am a publicist for...and watching some of the people I speak to every day get-up and accepting Tony Awards was truly a special experience, as was watching one of my very favorite guys on earth bring down the house with this song!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A036qwv_4lQ

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I get oddly nostalgic for my old bookstore this time of year...

...I am not sure exactly why...because working at the bookstore was absolutely torturous in the summer. The store is practically down-the-block from the ocean, and many mornings I would be helping people who were stopping by for beach reads...they would often run in wearing bathing suits and already smelling of suntan lotion. We would also have a great (great great) deal of "summer people" that shopped in our store...people who didn't live nearby, but had summer homes (mansions) in town and would come in acting like our only purpose in life was to serve them.

(And do not even get me started on those that would come in the first week of September with a summer reading list and would fight with me that they needed the SHORTEST BOOK ON THIS LIST. You know what? It is absolutely not MY fault that your kid waited until the last minute to read A Separate Peace...which already IS one short book. No, I don't have anything shorter. I still have nightmares about some of those lists.)

However, I get nostalgic...and I miss it. I started working at the bookstore May 2001...and stayed there until June 2006. Since I went full-time when I didn't have classes during the summertime, it makes sense that, to me, Summer=Barnes and Noble Slavegirl.

THe other day, I was talking to my friend and former coworker, Mike. He told me that he had recently stopped by another Barnes and Noble, and he was watching the kid at the customer service station and he..."Had that look in his eyes. You know...that look you know we all must have had..."

Oh, I know that look he was talking about.

I can divide my five years at Barnes and Noble into three parts of a timeline...

Part I
This is amazing. I am working at Barnes and Noble. I am a wannabe writer, and I am surrounded by books! I get a 30% discount. Life cannot get any better than this.

Part II
Okay. It's only for now. Only for now. Only for now. I am not going to be working here forever. It's only for now. Only for now. Only for now.

Part III
GET ME OUT OF THIS PLACE. THE NEXT PERSON WHO ASKS ME, "DO YOU WORK HERE?" DIES. I MEAN THAT. NO, YOU IDIOT...I DON'T WORK HERE. I JUST REALLY REALLY LOVE WALKING AROUND WITH A NAMETAG AROUND MY NECK FOR A STORE THAT I DO NOT WORK AT. I AM NEVER GOING TO FIND A JOB AND GET OUT OF THIS PLACE. I AM GOING TO BE WORKING HERE FOREVER. I AM GOING TO BE HELPING THE GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN OF THE CHILDREN I AM HELPING TODAY WITH THEIR SUMMER READING LISTS. "AH, YES, I REMEMBER THAT GIRL...SHE HASN'T AGED VERY WELL..."

However, there was something oddly magical about my first year or so at the bookstore. I made some friends when I started there that ended-up becoming true kindred spirits. (Including one, a rumpled young man who started to ask a question then looked at me and said, "I think you're as new as I am and have no idea either, right?" It was his first day, too...we both stayed there for years and became very good friends.)

I started out loving to come to work every day...I loved helping people and knowing that I had just introduced a child to the MAGIC of Peter and Fudge Hatcher. (It's the little things in life...)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Diana, you are much too old to be going gaga over a singer..."

That is exactly what I said to myself on Monday night as I (slightly giddily) skipped down 24th Street after seeing Peter Cincotti perform at The Cutting Room.

Peter was singing (and banging that piano in the most astounding way!)at a benefit for The Andi Foundation.

Now, I was at this benefit for one reason: Peter Cincotti. Europe has had him for the past year and finally gave him back to us here in New York City.

However, things indeed happen for a reason, because now I am familiar with The Andi Foundation and its wonderful mission. (http://www.theandifoundation.org). I will definitely be checking-in and looking for future volunteering opportunities.

Peter took the stage around 9 o'clock.

There is so much to be said about this kid. (And he really IS practically a kid, which makes him all the more impressive.)

The word "SPECTACULAR" is one of the first that comes to mind.

And then the words "out-of-control"!A throwback to a nicer era! Charismatic! Multitudes of class! And, of course, freaking adorable.



The boy sang six songs from his last album East of Angel Town. I listened to (and fell in love with) Peter's first two albums...which were a combination of Peter's original stuff and standards. (He makes "Up on a Roof" sound ridiculously cool.)

When East of Angel Town came out, I was a bit critical...this new sound was new and different. Peter was no longer singing for our grandparents' generation, but our own.

However, after I saw Peter in concert last summer then bought the album (I had to buy the import off of amazon.com...because, for some reason...they don't think Americans love Peter Cincotti as much as those Europeans.)

Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Seriously, find me another guy who can write a song using the words "Juliet/met/Lafayette" all in the first stanza and somehow make it work.

I think he's definitely one of the brightest talents of our generation, and I have absolutely no idea how Michael Buble is selling-out Radio City Music Hall while few people know the extraordinary young Mr. Cincotti.

(Lots of stuff on youtube...http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Peter+Cincotti&search_sort=video_date_uploaded)

Why isn't this boy huge yet? Please, explain it to me.

I had the chance to talk to Peter for a few minutes after the show, and we can add, "Charming and sweet and friendly" to that whole "words that come to mind" list.

Seriously.

The boy is absolutely fantastic. He has a beautiful voice. He writes his own stuff. He is unbelievable at that piano. (A close second to watching Harry Connick, Jr. live.) And, he has really great teeth.

Check him out.


Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You know you are officially a certified celebrity...

...when Mr. Perez Hilton is blogging about you.

Over the past two weeks, Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson, who is known in these parts as one of my very favorite guys on earth...was the subject of TWO PerezHilton.com posts.

http://perezhilton.com/2008-06-10-lucky-bitch

http://perezhilton.com/2008-06-05-you-must-30#respond

Non c'male!!!



Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oompa Loompa Doopity Doo...

The other day, I discussed the importance of seeing the best in people and assuming that people are not out to get you (me) and looking at you (me) and constantly judging and making fun of you (me.)

Two days ago, I used self-tanner.

I am very pale...and I am honestly okay with it. (One of the reasons Julianna Margulies is one of my random modern-day beauty icons is that she once said in an interview that she was always teased for having curly hair, big lips and being as pale as a sheet...which are the three things everyone always got me for!) I go through my autumns, springs and winters embracing my lack of melanin.

And then summer comes...and I realize that I need to get SOME kind of color because when the temperatures rise to 95 degrees (as it has been doing in New York City this week!), one has no choice but to break-out the skirts and sundresses...and to show more skin...deathly white skin.

I bought some self-tanner.

I have had numerous self-tanner disasters over the years, and I really should have learned my lesson by now. I have on idea why I have not. As my father always used to say to me, "For such a smart kid...that was a dumb thing to do/say, etc."

However, this self-tanner seemed different.

It promised there wouldn't be any messy hands or streaks.

It promised to dry fast.

It promised a natural glow.

So...I applied it.

And I woke-up...looking like this...



Yup.

I scrubbed with exfoliating beads for about ten minutes.

I crossed my fingers this horrible fake tan would wipe off.

It didn't.

I was streaky. I was orange. I was an Oompa Loompa.

I was determined to shrug it off. Nobody would notice. Nobody would care.

But...people did.

I felt so many disapproving stares on my (very very very streaky and orange) ankles. I shot daggers back.

What are you looking at??? You never saw streaky ankles before??? You never had your own self-tanner disaster??? Because you are just SO PERFECT?


Then I got to thinking...

Were people REALLY staring at my heinous fake-tan?

Does anybody else, besides myself, care at all?

I continued my walk up 8th Avenue and asked myself if I noticed other people's Oompa Loompa ankles.

I didn't.

I noticed cute dogs and babies.

I noticed a guy who looked like Matt Damon.

And I even thought I saw Camilla Parker-Bowles. (It wasn't her.)

But not one set of Oompa Loompa Ankles in sight.

Were these people really noticing me, or was I just so incredibly self-conscious (about looking like a freaking Oompa Loompa!) that I was imagining things?

I am sure there are people out there who are so superficial that they walk down the street and stare and judge people (for having Oompa Loompa Ankles.) However...I am pretty sure that people like that aren't people that I would want to be friends with, anyway! (That sounds very trite and I am sure there is a Sesame Street song that addresses this exact point.)

Life is way too short...live life...enjoy...dance like nobody is watching...

...even on days when you look like an Oompa Loompa.

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I never claimed to be anything close to cool...

...which is why I am sitting home on a Saturday night blogging about how much I LOVE Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Love love love love.

LOVE.

Give me an old Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musical, and I am a very happy girl. Give me a community theatre production or...EVEN BETTER...a Broadway revival, and I am in Heaven. There is something overwelmingly comforting and familiar and warm about these stories, and these songs.

They just don't make 'em like that any more.

(Sometimes I truly feel like I should be about 80-years-old...when I say things like that is one of them.)

Carousel is one of my favorite R&H musicals. It was one show that my dad and I saw together, and would watch the movie together often. (And sing along with the cast recording in the car. I think the whole "not cool" gene is very dominant in my family.)

Now, in Carousel,Billy Bigelow dies and comes back to guide his teenage daughter, who wasn't even born when he died.

Combine the fact that this was our "show" and that it is about fathers dying, and I have stayed far far far away from Carousel for the past nine years.

Far.

As in, if I hear "If I Loved You" or "You'll Never Walk Alone" in Rite-Aid, I have to leave.

(Luckily for me, they don't play songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals in Rite-Aid, even though I really think they should!!!)

However, I still think it is a beautiful and wonderful show, and when my dear pal and actor, Cheyenne Jackson, announced that he would like to play Billy in a remake of Carousel, (in this interview...http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=Lifestyle&jump=interview&id=2037&articleid=VR1117979574) I realized that maybe there WOULD come a time when I would be able to revisit Carousel, and Cheyenne playing Billy would be one of those things that would get me there.

A quote from Carousel has been playing in my head over the past few weeks...it's part of the speech the principal of the school gives when Billy and Juile's daughter graduates.

The world belongs to you as much as to the next fella, so don't give it up. And try not to be scared of people not liking you, just you try liking them. And just keep your faith, and your courage, and you'll turn out all right.


I am a complete hypocrite sometimes...I ALWAYS worry about what people think about me, and, even worse, assume that they are laughing at me and thinking the worst, and at the same time, I do the same thing myself.

I have had a couple of ephiphanies lately...and I think I am too hard on people.

Recently, I discovered an unlikely friend...somebody I never thought to spend time to or talk with...(seriously, it is depressing enough when you start thinking about how there are so many people in this freaking world that you are never ever EVER going to even MEET that just might be the best friend you ever had) and because of this unlikely friend, I am starting to wonder just how many friendships I have missed-out on because I've judged somebody or thought the worst...or, in very typical Diana fashion, held a grudge against them. I think that's very sad...and I absolutely know that I am wrong and want to change.

I think that perhaps liking people and giving them the benefit of the doubt would be so much easier than judging them and carrying around negative energy...and just like the guy in Carousel told those kids...just try liking people first and you'll be okay.

(However, making fun of people occasionally is always okay. Sometimes you just need to...but I will try to limit that to Tyra Banks and random couples in the New York Times wedding announcements.)