Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Regrets...I've had a few..."

And one of those regrets is absolutely no fault of my own...

I wasn't born in 1922.

If I had been born in 1922, I would have been in my twenties in the 1940's.

I would have been happy. I would have fit in a lot better than I do now.

I am not sure exactly where my love of the 1940's came from. It's an odd obsession for a kid to develop. I did have a Molly McIntyre doll when I was a child, and learned a lot about life in America during World War II thanks to those Molly stories. I was also raised on Frank Sinatra music and old movies and the majority of my favorite movie stars were dead by the time I was born.

And then there was Homefront.

My gosh.

This show was magical.

The series began its run in 1991. I was in the 4th grade. I should have been watching Full House and Saved by the Bell, or even Beverly Hills 90210 (like all those girls who thought they were much older than they really were were doing.)

I also thought I was much older than I really was...but, unlike those girls, I didn't think I was 18.

I thought I was around 75.

And I loved Homefront, discussing the series with my aunt and great-aunts. They, too, loved Homefront. (They were Homefront's target audience...while I was 9-years-old.)

I clearly remember sitting-up in my little yellow bedroom watching that show every week. I can honestly say that it is the only television show that I really loved and anticipated watching.

The show was about a tight-knit community in Ohio adjusting to life after World War II.

Over just two seasons, I honestly grew to love these characters...and, even moreso, I wished they were real people...and my friends.

I wanted to live in Riverrun, Ohio in 1945 so I could hang out with them.

(And wear fancy hats with them.)




Homefront was also the first time I looked at a fictional couple (although they didn't seem very fictional by their second date!) and said, "I want to have something like that one day..."

Oh, Jeff and Ginger.



What a pair.

In the world of fictional romantic pairs, Jeff and Ginger are second only to another dark haired boy and wacky redhead...

Anne and Gilbert!



Anyway, Jeff and Ginger grew-up together. Jeff was the kid brother of Ginger's best friend. (I guess there is a big difference between 10 and 8...) The first episode has Ginger planning on greeting her soldier fiance, Charlie, in a wedding gown at the train station.

Charlie, however, is not alone...he has brought home his floozy (oh, and this girl was "floozy" personified) British warbride, Caroline.

Meanwhile, Jeff has fallen in love with his brother Hank's (who was also fighting the war) fiancee, Sarah.

Jeff and Ginger first bond in a "misery loves company" sense, but by about the fourth episode, they're a pair...bantering and breaking-up and exchanging some of the wittiest dialogue I've ever heard in a television show. Tammy Lauren and Kyle Chandler had some excellent chemistry, and I really think they should have worked together several more times over the past fifteen years since Homefront ended.

Heck, I even want to write a show for the two of them.

I think it's always a sign of a great piece of fiction (television, movies, books, etc.) when you walk away caring about the characters. I remember tuning into that show and rooting for Jeff and Ginger and all of their family and friends.

I tracked-down copies of Homefront recently, and was concerned that it wouldn't be as good as I remembered it...I haven't seen it since it last originally aired.

However, I was pleased to find that the show is even better as an adult...

(It hasn't been released on DVD, which I think just isn't right! Check out www.HomefrontonDVD.com and sign that petition!)

I don't watch much television...mainly because I am hardly home to do so, and because there really isn't much on that I want to watch anyway. We live in a world of trashy reality tv...and as much as I love Dancing with the Stars, it's sad that something of such high quality as Homefront only lasted for two years, but The Bachelor will never go away...



Diana Rissetto

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Never trust a man who doesn't have eyes like Sinatra..."

Every so often, I get really interested in a subject and have to read every book and watch every documentary I can FIND on that subject.

The most recent was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Now, when I was in high school, I remember my junior year history teacher telling us, "Okay, you don't need to bring your textbooks to class for the next few weeks...we're going to be devoting the next three weeks on the Holocaust."

And yet, we never learned about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

And we really should have. I think it's one of the most inspiring, devastating chapters of World War II, and also the most incredible tribute to the human spirit.

I recently read this book (http://www.amazon.com/Wall-John-Hersey/dp/0394756967/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219021736&sr=8-1), reread parts of this book, which I read last year, (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0553241605/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1) and watched this miniseries (http://www.amazon.com/Uprising-Leelee-Sobieski/dp/B00005QAQI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1219021826&sr=8-2 . I am not even joking...I have newfound respect for David Schwimmer as an actor!)

I am definitely enlightened, and think it is extremely important to learn about such events...however, all of this research started to get to me. I even had a dream that I was part of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising the other night.

I needed something lighter.

And that "something lighter" was Dream for an Insomniac.

I had seen this movie a while ago, and decided to watch it again.

It is, indeed, a Diana movie.

First of all, it's about a girl named Frankie who was brought up in an Italian-American family which practically regards Frank Sinatra as a member.

There is one scene when she is just randomly dressed-up as Holly Golightly (something I have done, but at least I was going to a costume party)...she has problems sleeping...(I am pretty sure I haven't had a good night's sleep since I was about 9-years-old), and she lost both of her parents when she was a child. (I lost my father when I was a child.) She is a flighty, romantic creative type, and one of her good friends is her cute gay cousin, Rob.

(I have several cute gay male friends myself, including my friend Matt, who recently told me that this blog is one of the seventeen websites which he checks religiously. HI MATT!!!)

The movie stars Ione Skye as Frankie...I have been told that I look like Ione Skye exactly twice, but it's probably just in that way that all, "Pale girls with curly dark hair and big lips" look alike.

Frankie is a dreamer who doesn't sleep, and floats around quoting other romantics and wears her heart on her sleeve.

Honestly, the next time somebody takes my life and totally makes a movie about it, I would really like to be contacted first.

Diana Rissetto

"Do you think it's possible for a little girl to fly?"

When my sister and I were little, we used to watch the Nadia Comenaci life-story TV movie, roughly, five times a week.

The movie was aired on television during the last summer Olympics four years ago, and I found that I still remembered most the lines.

I did indeed take gymnastics lessons for several years, and stopped around the age of twelve. (I think my crooked pinkies kinda crushed all of my own Olympic dreams. You need all ten digits to flip around like that...I technically only have eight good ones!)

I still have a soft spot for gymnastics and think I need to add a special "CONGRATULATIONS GIRLS!!!!!" to our medal winners



So...CONGRATULATIONS GIRLS!

And on another Olympic note, I really have no idea how YOU



are real. You are really quite extraordinary and kinda magical.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A part of it all...

In order to talk about what happened to me two days ago, I will first need to rehash the same story I have told on here numerous times...(to set-up the scene.)

I graduated from college in May 2004...and for the next two years, I went on, roughy, 350 job interviews.

I let my frustrating job hunt dictate how I felt about myself for a long time...I convinced myself that something was wrong with me. Why didn't anybody want to hire me? I even blamed my squeaky voice, my curly hair, my New Jersey address, the fact that I went to a "soup" school (I had graduated with honors...but that school was still quite soupy.) I looked around and watched all my friends from high school and college get hired for great jobs right away...and there I was...interview after interview after interview...and nobody wanted me.

I had always been the girl that could make everybody else smile, but during those two years, I slipped into a legitimate depression.(Depressions aren't a good thing...but with the help of a great network of friends and family and a wonderful therapist, I was able to get through those two years.)

Finally, I landed my first full-time office job...and it just wasn't any full-time office job. I was working for the most powerful company in the New York City theatre community. The job itself was nothing major ("office assistant"), but I honestly would have mopped the floor if they asked me to.

I will never forget the day I got that job. I had just come out of another job interview, and returned a phone call to the HR woman who had just left me a message.I remember practically dancing in the street.

I left a few thrilled voicemails to share my news. When a close friend called me back, the first thing she said was, "Diana, you sound like YOURSELF again..." I realized that my friends had really started to worry about me when I was in that funk...but now, with this job, I felt I was already out of it. I was going to be okay...everything was okay now...I had a job in the New York City theatre industry.

This company had its main headquarters above this very famous, legendary restaurant:



(Our office was two blocks away.)

I often had to go over to the main building, and when I did, if I was in the elevator alone, I would always press "2" on my way down...the doors would open into Sardis, and I'd glance out at the famous portraits on the walls...I would feel the history and ghosts of Broadway all around me...and for a moment, I would just feel so happy and overwhelmed that I was a (very small) part of something that I loved (so incredibly much.)

And then, one day, just a week before my one year anniversary with this company...I was laid-off.

They were nice about it...which, in a way, made it even harder.

"We love you...you have been wonderful...now, go back to your desk, pack it up, and never, ever come back."

Of course, that night, I also had tickets to see Les Miserables. (There are much better shows to see when you just had your dreams taken from you.)

I think I cried more in those three hours in that theatre than I did in the entire past year. I just couldn't stop...just cried and cried and remembered the toll that those two years after graduation had taken on me...I was back where I started.

What was I going to do now?

How could they do this to me??? Didn't they realize how much this job had meant to me...what I would have done for them? Didn't they understand how hard I tried, how I had never even been late, how I took every demeaning order (and there were a lot of demeaning orders) with a smile on my face?

Why did they do this to me?

That special building above Sardi's had once been so special, but now I never wanted to walk down 44th Street ever again.

Believe it or not, there was even a time when I was refusing to go see this show:


because it was right next door to that building. Everything around that building...even The Phantom of the Opera...was tainted. I wanted to leave the theatre community. I think, for a while, I even wanted to leave the city.

Nothing ever made me feel worse about myself than losing that little job did.

(Eventually, I DID go see that silly show next door to headquarters. When Cheyenne Jackson skated in and replaced the injured leading man, I realized I had to face my fears and walk past that building. I'm glad I did. It was the funniest ninety minutes I had ever witnessed onstage...but it was still hard being on that block.)

Fast forward one year and five months after my lay-off...

I have another job now. It's another job in this community...the New York City theatre world is a tiny one. I was finding myself hiding from people I used to work with. I don't know why I did that.

On Wednesday, I went to a company party, and it was...

...in that building...

...the one I used to love getting to delver papers to...

...the elevator I always pressed "2" in...

...the building that seemed to, singlehandely, represent the history of Broadway and all of the incredible people that have been behind it...

I was in that building again...and I was supposed to be there...after everything, I was STILL a (very small) part of something that I loved (very much.)

I took the elevator back down when I left...(I didn't press "2" this time), and parted ways with my coworkers.

The second I was alone, I felt my eyes well-up with tears. Every emotion I had felt over the past four years somehow was coming over me again...things had very oddly come full circle...and I realized that, as absolutely cliche as it sounds, things really do happen for a reason and work-out in the end.

I'm okay now, and I know that whatever happens, I will never allow myself to be as down on myself as I was before I got that first job, and for that time after I lost it.

I love the theatreworld to stay away from it for too long, and, above everything, I am so grateful that I have been given these precious opportunities to be a "part of it all"...if only a little bit, if only for a moment.

Diana Rissetto

Look whose Tony DiNapoli portrait just got unveiled!

Cheyenne Jackson's!!






http://www.broadwayworld.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=31182



(He also has a wonderfully revamped website. Check it out. www.cheyennejackson.com)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jennifer Love HYPOCRITE

The other day, I was in a waiting room and thumbed through the latest issue of Seventeen magazine.(It was the only thing there to read besides Woman's Day, which I don't feel quite old enough to read yet. Seventeen doesn't seem like it was that long ago.)

There was an article about eating disorders and how to spot the symptoms of one.

And right after it...

A "how-to" guide how how to get your "best butt by back to school."

Okay.

Talk about mixed messages.

On one page, we are warning girls not to obsess over their bodies, to seek help if they feel they are falling victim to an eating disorder and how to recognize if a friend is developing a problem...and then on the very next page, we are telling them how very important it is for their butts to look great by the time ninth grade starts. It is one thing to teach girls about proper nutrition and exercise habits...it is another to drill into their minds that having a great butt is, truly, all that really matters.

It's so ridiculous, and it makes me extremely sad and scared for all the young girls I know. I think about the little girls in my life, and I am quite terrified thinking about how things are going to be for them when they are teenagers. Are they going to be afraid to even eat a donut once in their lives? Will they even know what pizza is?

Or will they just be counting calories as soon as they are able to count?

Last year, Jennifer Love Hewitt was frolicking in the ocean in a bathing suit (most people DO wear bathing suits when they go swimming after all), and, as always, ended-up being photographed.

The bloggers went crazy when they saw the photos, saying things like, "We know what you ate last summer, Love! Everything!"

Jennifer (her friends call her Love...but I'm not her friend...and, yes, I know I call Leonardo DiCaprio "Leo" and he is not my friend either...but that's different) responded with:

This is the last time I will address this subject.

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 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful.

What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.

To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini -- put it on and stay strong.

Xoxo

JLH


I believe her heart was in the right place when she made this statement...BUT...I think she kinda missed the point. I think that the fact that she was a size 2 was irrelevant...even if she was a size 12 or a size 22...NOBODY has a right to plaster pictures of a girl's body on the Internet or in magazines and point out their cellulite and humiliate them.

It's wrong.

It's not nice!

Yesterday, I noticed the cover of US Weekly magazine when I was in the train station.

Who was on the cover but Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt herself...

http://www.usmagazine.com/jennifer-love-hewitt-reveals-new-thinner-body?page=2&live=1

And what was she talking about now???

How she lost 18 pounds in just 10 weeks.

I am not angry at her for losing weight...that is her business...but I am angry at her for making a big "Girl Power" statement and acting like she was so concerned about all those young girls who struggle with body image issues. She never cared about them nearly as much as she cares about her own public image.

Lose those eighteen pounds if you want...but lose it because you want to, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and not so you could parade on the cover of US Weekly showing-off your new shape.

(And what size are you wearing once you drop almost twenty pounds when you are already a size two??? I am 5'0 with a small build, and five pounds is practically a limb on me.)

Honestly, I am not even a fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt, but as a fellow very short, brown-eyed brunette fan of Audrey Hepburn and floral print skirts girl, I want to like her.

I am so disappointed that somewhere there is an insecure, "overweight" 12-year-old girl who felt so relieved when Jennifer stood-up for herself (and all those young girls that she claims to have cared so much about) last year, and is now looking at that cover of US Weekly going, "I guess I really AM fat after all...I guess I'm not okay the way that I am."

It's very sad.

Jennifer Love Hewitt...I didn't know I ever even HAD much admiration or respect for you to lose to begin with (that is not meant as an insult, I just couldn't care either way)...I am very disappointed in you.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I enjoy some Michael Buble...

...they used to play him at Barnes and Noble when I worked there...we would hear his CD Home, roughly, eleven times a shift. (And then we'd all start singing along subconsciouly since we knew ALL the words.)

(However, my heart belongs to Peter Cincotti. People speak as though there is a rivalry between these two young men...as though it's not possible to be a fan of both! I don't see why there really SHOULD be. I have no problem buying both of their albums and seeing them both in concert...they could make a lot of people happy and go on tour together...they could do a piano duel and sing their respective covers of "Sway"...that would be awesome!!! Yes, I enjoy Mr. Buble, but I also think he is unfit to shine Peter Cincotti's wingtips.)

I was watching the video for Michael's song "Everything" and I find it pretty freaking weird.

This song brings to mind images of a couple rollerskating on the boardwalk, eating frozen yogurt and laughing.

Not auditioning mimes and Bono impersonators.

Seriously...who comes UP with this stuff?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPUJIbXN0WY

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I have a secret...

...something I conceal rather well.

And when I TELL people this secret, they don't believe me and think that I am lying.

I have stick-straight hair. I sleep in rollers every night and delude everybody into thinking that I have all this "naturally curly hair."

No, that's not it at all...

I am SHY.

I am very very very SHY.

Yes.

Whenever I describe myself as shy, people laugh at me.

"YOU?! You are so friendly! You could have an enthusiastic conversation with a brick!"

But, despite the fact that that IS true (I am very friendly and CAN carry on an enthusiastic conversation with a brick...or, at least, a stranger on the train...)

...but I am shy.

When I started school in New Jersey, I was named the "Special Student" or whatever...when my teacher put your name on an apple or a rocketship or something and everyone had to write something nice about you. I was the first one of the year...I guess because I was a "new kid" and Miss Wagner wanted me to feel accepted.

God bless her, but it backfired.

One girl wrote of me, "She has a weird accent."

(She underlined both 'weird' AND 'accent.')

After that, I kinda stopped talking...I started again once my accent began to fade. Everybody wrote me-off as shy...maybe that's when I started to feel shy...

My friend Megan said to me not too long ago, "It's really funny that you have no problem going up to some big Broadway star (the Tony-nominated male lead of The Light in the Piazza...)and commenting that your children would have beautiful curls (well...they WOULD!) but you have a really hard time asking a normal guy out..."

I'm just horrendously shy.

I also have a hard time making friends.

I have a lot of friends...I think...and I often joke and say that I am still in touch with the friends I made when I was in the hospital when I was born. (I'm really not...it sounds funny, though.)

Maintaining friendships is very important to me, and I don't like to lose touch with people. (I actually just got back into touch with my best friend from the third grade who moved to California the same year I moved to New Jersey!)

But when it comes to making new friends?

It's hard for me!

Making new friends used to be really easy. We used to just go up to a person and practically ask them to be our friend, and then they were. Watching little kids interact always fascinates me. I wish it was still that simple.

But, sadly, we all have to grow-up...and making friends becomes difficult.

The other day, my friend IMed me with a Craigslist posting she found...she said she was interested in responding to it.

The post?

Hey!
So I've found craigslist to be incredibly useful these past few years - 2 apartments, 2 roommates, bought a bedframe, a dresser... why not find some new girl friends?

About me: 25 year old native NY-er, teacher, educated, funny, loves music, spicy food, crappy tv (anyone else secretly looking forward to watching New York Goes to Hollywood??), girly junk, volunteerism, art, theatre, dancing to trashy top 40 hits at bars, i like to take care of myself (outside and in), love sundresses, flip flops, making conversation, falling in love with places and people on a daily basis.

I've lost touch with many childhood friends, and went to college out of state. My career doesn't really attract many young people and there are no opprotunities for networking, so... craigslist, do your magic!!

Just looking for an equally awesome, down to earth, smart girl to become close friends with. lets text message when something funny happens. lets burn each other CDs. lets do our toes while watching old saved by the bell. lets go flirt with boys. lets go sunbathe in central park and read amazing novels. lets vent. lets laugh.


I think this girl is onto something.

We DO use Craigslist to find washing machines and apartments and jobs and boyfriends...why NOT new friends?