Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I just saw a headline about how much more expensive Slushees are... than they were in 1999.

And I started thinking about everything else that has changed over the past decade...DECADE! Wow.

Just a couple of hours ago, I got some news while I was in the middle of Kohl's, buying yet another cheap strand of plastic pearls, that made me want to cry. I don't do well with change. I hate it. It would make sense if I could blame this fear/irrational hatred of change on losing a parent when I was a child...but it started long before then. When my parents got a new car when I was 9, I cried hysterically. When we moved from New York City to New Jersey, I kept on crying hysterically, agreeing only to move if I could get a dog.

(I ended-up dealing with that move by turning to my books and pens and becoming an insomniac and watching reruns of Highway to Heaven every morning at 3:30 AM.)

When my mother decided to sell our house when I was a senior in college, I didn't react like a 22-year-old, but more like an 8-year-old. I couldn't bear the thought of that was a change. And I really, really hated change.

I curse my scary memory sometimes, because it always feels like things just happened, and then I realize that they were, in fact, ten years ago.

Ten years.

Ten years.

Ten years.

Despite my best efforts to never have any kind of change occur (ever), a lot has changed since 1999.

When 1999 was coming to an end, I was a senior in high school and everybody was talking about the new was such a big deal...who knew that less than two years later, we'd witness 9/11 and it would make all that hysteria surrounding the start of the new century seem like such a joke.

I was 17, and still slowly recovering from my father's death earlier that year. Looking back, I was extremely young and immature for my age, despite the fact that I was also extremely old for my age.

If I liked a boy, I would make him the lead character in a short story and hand it to him. (Gosh, I was pathetic.)

That year, I prepared for my first trip to Europe and prepared for college.

I decided to go away, but it didn't last long...I ended-up at a college near our home, where I was very happy, but I wonder if it was my aversion to change that made me want to come back to a place and people I already knew.

The years continued to ended...the most frustrated jobhunt in the history of jobhunts began...I landed that dream job and lost it...I realized a job isn't everything...a job isn't much at ALL in fact...I made new friends that I can't imagine my life without, learned that I needed to let some old friends go and that not all friendships were meant to last forever...I realized how much my family means to me and that, honestly, in the past, I didn't really NEED friends as much as the average person because my family always came first. I met a guy and came home and told my mom I met the guy I was going to marry (we haven't, obviously.) I wrote a lot...and continue to remind myself every day that I am a writer.

If you asked me when I was 17 where I thought I'd be in 2010, I would have told you a very different scenario than the one I find myself in now...(I don't have an Oscar for Best Screenplay...or a husband and three kids...or have my own house...)but that's okay. I have come to realize that you really DO end-up exactly where you are supposed to be and that whole cliche and "everything working-out in the end and if it's not, it's not the end" isn't really a cliche at all. It's true.

Sometimes I feel like I haven't changed or grown-up much at ALL in the past decade...maybe a lot of people feel that way...and maybe I need to stop resisting change so much.

There were a lot of times in the past ten years that felt like the end of the world...but the world never ended.

I'm not going to let myself cry in the middle of Kohl's goes on...and the past decade has taught me that everything is going to be okay.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I found this 5-year-old email the other day

And I'm starting to wonder if that guy was my soulmate and I let him slip right by...

I also had an experience yesterday that made me think of the BEST idea for
the beginning of a Family Channel Holiday film EVER!

So, I'm gift-wrapping at the store's a free service and we
accept donations for charity! The store was crazy, the line was crazy, and I
was going crazy. Most people were being very kind and patient, since I'm the
one doing THEM the favor. I've always been a spaz with giftwrapping (and
most other things in life).

This lady brings in some piece of exercise equipment to wrap...not a nice
basic shape like a book! I was doing my best, when all of a sudden, she
snatches it and goes, "I have paper AT HOME. I'll wrap it THERE." She walks
away in a huff.

I was bewildered at what just happened and just kinda watched her walk away.

There was a young cute guy on line who witnessed it and goes to me, "Do you
want me to run after her and yell at her? GEEZE, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TOO

Every person who got on line, the guy would say to them, "SOMEONE WAS JUST
RUDE TO THIS GIRL!!!!!!" And after every gift I'd wrap, he'd go, "THAT IS

Anyway, I was laughing...IT WAS JUST SO CUTE...and he hung around for a
while, but things were really busy, so he gave me his phone number on a
scrap of wrapping paper...

Not that I'm planning on using the number, but tell me that wouldn't make a
FABULOUS beginning to a Family Channel Holiday film.

Of course, in this movie, the scrap of wrapping paper with the phone number
would get lost and our heroine would not find it until New Year's Eve or

Monday, December 14, 2009

Okay, a quick comment on the Tiger Woods scandal

One of "the women" claims that she does not owe his wife an apology.

Maybe that's some warped way...maybe she doesn't owe his wife, or any other women she doesn't know, an apology or anything at all.

However...I DO thing every woman owes it to HERSELF to conduct herself with dignity, class and self-respect and not behave like that.

I'm starting to feel like "nice girls" just don't stand a chance in this world anymore...

Diana Rissetto

Friday, December 11, 2009

I developed something in common with Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Love Hewitt the other day

Never thought I would say those words.

(Maybe that's not true. Like myself, Kim Kardashian lost her father at a young age to cancer, and Jennifer Love Hewitt DID play Audrey Hepburn once...)

On Monday, somebody made a "fat joke" at my expense.

How did I react?

I burst into tears and was in a horrible mood for the rest of the day.

And told myself that I COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE FAT...all my clothes were 2's and 4' can a size 2-4 girl be fat?

Just like Kim and Love did.

When Kim and Love spoke-out about their weight issues (or, lack of weight issues, as they claimed), I rolled my eyes.

When unflattering photos of Love were published with nasty commentary, she issued the following statement:

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.



A few months later, she was on the cover of magazines because she had lost eighteen pounds. I rolled my eyes even more. So...a size 2 isn't fat...but just fat enough to need to lose eighteen pounds? What kind of a message is that sending to all those young girls who struggle with their body image, Ms. Hewitt?

Kim Kardashian decided to publish YouTube videoes of herself trying on size 2 jeans to prove to the world that she does, indeed, wear a size 2. Most importantly, she kept repeating that she LOVES her body just the way it is...and she's a size 2! A size 2! She swears, she's a size 2!

I continued to roll my eyes.

However, looking back at my reaction on Monday, I understand where these girls are coming from and how humiliating and hurtful it must be to have your every pound judged by the papparazzi.

I also think they're both lying about how much they love their bodies...if they loved their bodies and were as secure as they claimed, they wouldn't feel the need to issue statements and youtube videoes declaring that love. These girls are every bit as insecure as many of us are...and I think Jennifer Love Hewitt would probably do all those young girls that she claims to be so concerned with a lot more good if she came clean about her own insecurities, instead of triumphantly announcing her 18-lb weight loss (from her already size 2 figure.)

That weight joke on Monday hurt my feelings. It brought-out a lot of issues I have been battling for the past twenty years or so.

What these famous girls don't get is that NOBODY deserves to be the target of such doesn't matter if she's a size 2 or 12 or 22.

Once people realize that, we might be onto something.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, November 30, 2009

I tear-up at EVERYTHING this time of year.

While I AM known to cry over fabric softener commercials all throughout the year, I'm especially bad during the holidays. I watched the new Hallmark TV movie last night and found myself bawling at all the Hallmark commercials shown during the breaks. (Because the actual movie...about a developmentally disabled young man who wants to find homes for homeless dogs for Christmas REALLY just wasn't heartwrenching enough!)

On Thursday morning, I watched the Macy's I've done every Thanksgiving...and burst into tears at the site of a tall, dark-haired guy on an approaching Big Apple float.

Yes, that's Cheyenne Jackson, Broadway star, rising TV star, and my pal on his very own float at the Macy's parade.

Awesome awesome awesome.

Diana Rissetto

I ordered a veggie burger the other night.

The veggie burger USUALLY comes with fries, but on Wednesday, it came with mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes mixed with bacon.

I asked the waiter, "Is that bacon?"

The waiter, who was a young, enthusiastic, cute teenagish guy, said, "Of course it's bacon!"

I was really confused. (Since pigs don't grow on trees.)

Me: With a veggie burger?
Waiter: Oh! It's not bacon! It's...scallions!

Scallions are green! Bacon isn't green!

He told me to let him know if it was actually bacon before he left.

Since I haven't eaten bacon in a good ten years, I wasn't about to just then...and just trusted my instinct that that was, indeed, bacon, and scooped it out of my potatoes. (It was thankfully a clean scoop.)

A word to Houlihans:

Bacon and veggie burgers do not cancel each other out.

Diana Rissetto

Steven Eckholdt, I hope you have Google Blog Alerts set-up for your own name.

(I mean, I have Google Blog Alerts set-up for my own name, and nobody EVER mentions me in their blogs besides myself.)

Because I really want to get this message out to you, Steven Eckholdt.

I need to thank you for appearing in, just about, every Christmas TV movie ever filmed.

(That's a stretch. It's actually more least...four.)

Santa Who

Secret Santa

Comfort and Joy

Our First Christmas

They all have something in least one of the characters end-up learning the true meaning of Christmas.

And they all feature Steven Eckholdt.

Sometimes he plays the reporter dealing with an amnesic Santa...sometimes he's the husband of a woman with amnesia who wakes-up to find herself with a husband and two kids.

But no matter what Steven Eckholdt is doing in these sappy television holiday movies, he is always fantastic.

In my mind, Steven Eckholdt is sentimental and sensitive and loves the holiday season more than anything in the world.

I like to think that Steven Eckholdt grew-up setting-up a minature Bedford Falls village in his living room as a kid.

I like to think that Steven Eckholdt clearly proposed to his wife on the Rockefeller Center skating rink in December.

However, I DO know that there's always the possibility that Steven Eckholdt just takes whatever roles come his way, and four of them just happened to be Christmas movies that Lifetime and the Family Channel play 800 times each every season.

Whatever the reason...keep on doing what you're doing, Steven Eckholdt.

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I hate change!

I always have.

It would probably make sense if this was one of those things I could blame on losing a parent at a young age, but it started before then. When my family moved from New York City to New Jersey when I was 9 years old, I thought it was the end of the world. I cried for months leading up to the move. I tried desperately to stay in touch with ALL of my classmates once we left, and was very disappointed when that didn't work-out. (Fourth graders aren't known for their letter-writing skills...and this was long before email.)

I just don't like it.

For over five years, I worked at Barnes and Noble. I started my freshman year of college and stayed until two years after I graduated. Bookstores always had a "home away from home" feel for me, and this officially became "my" bookstore. I spent so much time there, watched so many other workers come-and-go, made so many close friends (some of which I still am close to), and experienced a million priceless customer stories...

When it was time to leave, it was difficult.

But I realized that you cannot stay at a job forever.

(I must add that I am yet to know the luxury of voluntarily leaving a job since then. I have been laid-off twice in a row over the past three years.)

My bookstore didn't have a Starbucks or a movie and music department.

Customers always hated that.

Since I stopped working at the bookstore, I would occasionally stop by to say hello. A lot of my old coworkers were still there, and I enjoyed seeing them, especially the wonderful artist lady who worked in the children's department with me. Somebody who hates change as much as I do loves seeing old faces and getting hugs and "how are 'ya's."

Stopping by that bookstore always was very comforting.

It made me feel safe.

My bookstore moved to a brand-new location a few weeks ago. I stopped by today. It's a lot bigger...and cleaner...with a Starbucks and DVDs and music.

I didn't recognize anybody at all.

It was weird.

I rushed-out and felt like I was going to cry.

It truly felt like the end of an era.

I was never going to stop by that store I had spent so much time in ever again.

I thought back to that eighteen-year-old girl who DREAMED of working at a bookstore and how much she changed in those five plus years she worked in one. I wondered just how much she's changed SINCE then, because maybe it hasn't been as much as it should be. Maybe she needs to learn to let-go just a bit more and realize that change isn't always bad.

After all, sometimes change comes with a Starbucks and a music and movie department.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is it wrong to want a dress...

...that you have no place to wear to, just so you can twirl around in it when you are home alone?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You know what's awkward?

When you ask your friend who was engaged the last time you spoke (which was a while ago, but they were together for years) "Oh, did you get married yet?"

And they say, "No, I 'm not married. My ex-fiance met some Greek dude, took my dog, a bunch of my stuff, and moved to Miami."

Note to self: check facebook profiles thoroughly before commenting on life milestones.

Diana Rissetto

Okay, everybody knows I'm a big Anne Frank fan...

...perhaps that sounds kind of strange...but, seriously? I think Anne would have been thrilled to know people were calling themselves fans.

I think it all started when I watched the Melissa Gilbert TV movie about her in the 4th grade. (Michael Landon is one of my ultimate heroes, so, of course I love Half-Pint, too.) I would go on to read every book I could possibly find on Anne Frank, and watch every last film.

So...of course, I snatched-up the brand NEW Anne Frank book on the shelves...Anne Frank: The Life, The Book, The Afterlife.


I was reading on the train (which is where I do most of my reading) and was carrying the book as I was getting-off at my stop.

Conductor: (30-something old man with an accent and long dreadlocks) THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK!

Now, for a second, I looked at this man and realized how different we looked on the outside, and yet...we both knew Anne Frank! Anne Frank was so universal...she still brings people together.

Me: Yup.

Conductor: I have not seen a copy of that book since high school.

Me: (I had to correct him! It wasn't a copy of the actual diary!)'s actually not the diary, it's kind a book about the book...

Young Man in Military Gear (most likely going to Fort Monmouth), gets off the trian with me:
So, it's like the story BEHIND The Diary of Anne Frank?

Me: Yeah...and about how the book got discovered and published and everything.

Military Guy: She brought the diary to the concentration camp with her, right? And that's where they found it?

Me: was found in the hiding place...

Military Guy: So she left it in the house she stayed in?

I will give this guy a break, since he is serving our country...and I know that not everybody has my strange knowledge of all things Secret Annexe...but I cringed a bit inside.

Not gonna lie.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, October 26, 2009

And because I always post updates on Cheyenne Jackson...

There's one of my very favorite guys on the cover of NEXT!!!

A Dear Abby letter drove me crazy yesterday

By the time I was 17, I had no grandparents and no father. I never knew either of my grandmothers, my mom's father died when I was 5, and my father's dad died when I was 10. When I was 17, my father died. This year, my uncle, who was the closest thing I had to a father, passed away at the relatively young age of 60.

Not gonna lie, this has all left me with quite a few issues.

I have always been very envious of people who have not had so much premature loss in their lives.

I remember once I had a friend who was talking about her great-grandmother being sick and the distress it was causing her family. We were talking on AIM, and my cousin was in the room. I told her that my friend was upset about her great-grandmother, and that it was surprising that somebody still HAD their great-grandmother at this age. My cousin laughed and said, "It's not weird...we're the only family where everybody dies."

Even though we shrugged and laughed, I realized how very, very SAD that statement was.

(It would also drive me crazy when people, trying to be helpful, would tell me they knew exactly what I was going through...a child losing a parent...because their 85-year-old grandmother had just died. It's not the same thing at all. I think when somebody is passing away at an old age, it is a time to celebrate the fact that they have lived long, full lives. I remember after 9/11 happened, I was looking at the obituaries in the local paper and there were so many people in their 20's, 30's, 40's that had died that horrible day...and then there would be a 90-year-old who had died of natural causes and had twenty-seven great-grandchildren. It just seems unbalanced and very, very unfair.)

Which is why this letter to Abby annoyed me so much.

I wish I could talk to the author of this letter.

I wish I could tell her how lucky she and her husband are that they have ALL FOUR of their parents.

She should be happy that her parents go-out to eat and buy each other expensive gifts.

They have earned that right.

I wish she knew how fortunate her children were to have all four grandparents.

A lot of us weren't that lucky.

I am sure that my mother would have LOVED the "burden" of taking care of her parents in their old age...and it makes me sad that my father will never live in my basement, a la Jerry Stiller in The King of Queens.

I am very jealous of "Afraid for the Future in San Antonio." She has no idea how good she has it.

Diana Rissetto

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Adrian," and I have been married five years, but there is something looming in our future that both of us dread -- our parents' old age. Adrian is an only child. I have one sister, but when it comes to caring for our parents, I might as well be an only child.

Adrian's parents live month-to-month on Social Security and pension checks. If they ever have any extra money, they don't save it. They buy each other expensive gifts and eat out. Neither one of them is in good health, and the day will come when they won't be able to care for themselves or each other, and I know they'll expect us to do it.

My parents are about the same, except they're banking on an inheritance to see them through retirement. That money may or may not be enough, considering how long people live now. My grandparents were frugal. They saved and were determined not to be a burden on their children.

Our parents think it's our duty to care for them. His parents are in their late 60s, and we have young children. We cringe at the idea that after all our hard work we'll go from caring for our children to caring for our parents with no time for ourselves. -- AFRAID FOR THE FUTURE IN SAN ANTONIO

DEAR AFRAID: No one can foresee the future, so stop ruining the present by obsessing about what "might" happen. You say your in-laws are not in good health? One or both of them could die before they become completely dependent on you and your husband. The same is true for your parents. Forgive me if this seems cold, but it happens to be the truth.

I have been taking melatonin lately

Everybody knows I have major sleeping issues (which is one of the many reasons why I am pretty sure the movie Dream for an Insomniac was based on my life) and have been taking melatonin lately to help me sleep.

Apparently, one of the side effects of melatonin is strange dreams.

I had a strange dream last week.

(I would also like to argue that I am pretty sure that ALL dreams are strange dreams. I think that only crazy people have dreams that actually make any sense.)

In my dream, I was the girlfriend of Brendan Fraser's character in the movie School Ties.

Not Brendan Fraser himself, but a fictional character.

David Green.

You know, the high school star quarterback hiding his Jewish identity to fit in with a snooty prep school in 1955 New England.

I remember watching that movie numerous times in the 6th grade. My best friend and I loved it...Brendan was her movie star crush, Chris O'Donnell, David's roommate, was mine.

However, I haven't watched it in years and have no idea why I was dreaming about it.

I woke-up quite disappointed that this dream wasn't true.

Not because I wanted to date David Green or Brendan Fraser...but because I'll never date ANY guy in 1955.

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for...

The other day, my uncle was holding my almost 3-month old nephew.

My niece (she will turn 4 soon) was poking him. (Isn't that what babies are there for?)

My uncle warned her, "He's going to bite you if you keep doing that!"

She looked-up at him and said, completely seriously, "But he doesn't have any teeth..."

Ah, kids.

Gotta love 'em.

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My handwriting feels very famous...

I often talk about my WONDERFUL, talented, funny, beautiful inside-and-out friend Cheyenne Jackson on here.

Here's Cheyenne's latest "vlog", and that Diana he mentions around 1:50? That would be me.

Made me laugh.

That's my boy!

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am concerned that Chris O'Donnell has made a deal with the devil

He hasn't aged a day in fifteen years.

Chris O'Donnell on Sunday night:

Chris O'Donnell in 1994:

I first took notice of this guy when I was in the fifth grade and my family rented the movie School Times. Most girls were going gaga over Brendan Fraser...but I liked the random nice guy that was always in the background. By the time Circle of Friends came-out two years later, I had my first bona fide celebrity crush.

(It didn't hurt that the movie was about a shy, insecure girl with curly hair...just like me! and was set in Ireland...the country I had a random obsession with.)

In fact, Chris O'Donnell is probably the reason I would end-up falling for just about any Irish-looking guy that crossed my path.

When I saw Chris on the red carpet at the Emmys on Sunday, I couldn't believe how young and boyish and fantastic he still looks...and this man has five little kids...shouldn't they have aged him a little?!

Perhaps he hasn't aged because, unlike many actors of his generation, he doesn't seem to have a history of hard-living or partying or trashing hotel rooms.

He's a good guy.

I bet he's very close to his parents and goes to church every Sunday and trains seeing eye dogs.

Chris O'Donnell, congratulations on not becoming a statistic.

And you look wonderful.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eight Years

For some reason, I always feel obligated to watch coverage of that horrible, horrible day. I'm not sure why...most people don't. I remember in the months after it happened, I would watch absolutely every special that came on television, and then one night, my mom and I watched a program and I sat there and cried my heart out. My mother told me, "Don't watch any more of these shows! Look how upset they make you!"

But I wanted to be upset.

I didn't know anybody that died that day...just friends and relatives of friends and relatives.

I remember the day it happened.

It was the first time I ever drove on my own. I had a terrible fear of driving that I was forced to overcome when I began commuting to college. That morning was my first time behind the wheel all by myself.

It was the most beautiful, perfect day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I was so relieved when I made it to campus all in one piece...I had conquered one of my greatest fears.

My professor told us to just go to the student center and watch what was happening on television.

I heard people speculating.

"A plane hit the World Trade Center?"
"Did anybody die?"
"Of course people died."

We were watching the TV as the second plane hit.

I went home.

I drove about five miles an hour.

I was never shaking more in my entire life.

When I called my mom from home (this was before I even had a cellphone), the first thing she said to me was, "Everyone is okay."

I wasn't sure how she had gotten into touch with "everyone"...I couldn't even tell you which of our friends and relatives worked in the World Trade Center...but I didn't question it...because at that moment, all I needed was to hear that everyone was okay.

But everyone wasn't okay...and nothing was okay...and nothing was ever going to be okay ever again.

It was the first time I ever felt grateful that my father wasn't alive because he wouldn't have to see what was happening to the city he loved so much.

I can't believe it's already been eight years...but, at the same time, I can't remember what the world was like before this happened.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009



I have it, all right.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's really the smallest city in the world... a city of over eight million, the odds of running into somebody you'd love to avoid are very very great.

It happens to me all the time.

Most people are able to hide behind their hair. I find that impossible to do. My hair is the one thing that people recognize about me. In fact, just the other day, I was hiding behind my hair, trying to avoid somebody in particular...and then I heard a voice call my name, followed by, "I knew that was you! I saw your hair all the way across the street!"


I need to start carrying around hats and wigs.

Yesterday, I saw somebody who brought back some horrible memories.

I started to dodge this person...which is easier than hiding behind your hair...just start walking in the opposite direction or duck into a Duane Reade.

And then I stopped.

I kept walking in the same direction...I told myself, "You are a good person! A talented writer! You have tons of friends and family that love you! And you have naturally curly hair!"

Holding my head high, I looked right at this dreaded person, and I smiled right at them.

They either didn't see me or didn't recognize me...perhaps that means it "doesn't count"...but it was a big step for me...

It's a lot easier to smile than it is to hide.

Diana Rissetto

It takes a very special guy...

...that is able to rhyme "Kama Sutral" (even writing that word makes me laugh)and "neutral" in one song...and THEN write another song, which uses "Juliet", "met" and "Lafayette" all in the first line...and is somehow able to pull it off...and not only pull it off, but also make magic.

Peter Cincotti is such a guy.

I saw Peter at the Highline Ballroon on W.16th Street last night and, once again, am truly confused as to why he's not selling-out Radio City Music Hall yet.

I feel like the majority of the people there last night were there because they knew him personally...and when Peter mentioned the name of his newest album and the audience responded by cheering, he laughed and said, "Everybody who knows it is here tonight..."

Why is this spectacular young talent New York City's best-kept secret?

I don't get it.

First of all, the guy has the superficial part completely down.

He's young and absolutely adorable.

(Not to mention, he has the same lovable, skinny Italian boy quality that Frank Sinatra had.)

There are plenty of young and absolutely adorable people (and some not-so-absolutely adorable) out there who become hugely famous, get their faces on billboards and have hoards of screaming fans following them wherever they go...

...and they are, of course, lacking what Peter has...

...more talent than anybody I have ever personally been in the presence of.

It's a big thing for me to say...I have been an avid theatre goer for most of my life, and currently work "in the industry." I have been in my share of presence of great talent. I have also seen Harry Connick, Jr. in concert several times, and every time he leaves me absolutely riveted...he was the first person I ever truly was a fan of...but Peter's different...perhaps because he's so young. He writes his own stuff and plays that piano like a dream and I walk away actually feeling a bit alarmed that somebody can have THAT much talent. (And still remain relatively "unfamous.")

Last night, Peter came onto stage in a shiny jacket I've seen him wear before (perhaps it's his lucky shiny jacket) and sang his new stuff, which was quite a cry from his first two albums. He also sang two brand-new songs. In the first, he pleaded with a girl to let him look at her one more time before they went their separate ways so he could live in that moment forever. (Insert the majority of the female audience melting!) The second song was about our society's obsession with technology.

Watching that boy bang the piano is an incredible experience. The energy, the effortlessness, the passion.

He didn't share many anecdotes last night, which was a disappointment, as I think his little stories and goofy personality are just as fantastic as watching him perform.

A few months ago, I sent Peter a script I wrote, which had a character that was inspired by a line from his song "Cinderella Beautiful." ("You know I don't like Christmas, but thanks for the holiday card." I hope that line isn't true and Peter does, indeed, like Christmas. We need a Peter Cincotti Holiday album to add to our collections!) I would love to turn this script into a musical, with Peter's music and, of course, Peter as the star. (Starring opposite America Ferrera. She doesn't know this yet!)

I haven't heard back from him, and still am holding onto hope that I will, and that we will, one day, collaborate, if not on this project than on something else. I think we would work incredibly well together...two dorks from tight-knit Italian-American families who just wish they lived in a happier time when people would go out to dinner and wear nice hats. (He said that in an interview once...and I echo his thoughts completely.)

In my perfect world, Peter will one day be promoting our project on a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

I probably sound strange...but I don't care.

And we must return to the "Kama Sutral" line. I brought my good friend last night, who has never had the pleasure of seeing Peter in concert. When he sang "Man on the Mission", the song that has the infamous line, he sang, "Put your mind into neutral/Close your eyes...just be Kama Sutral..." and then he repeated the line (something he doesn't do on his album.)

My friend looked at me and laughed. "Was that line really so great that it had to be sung twice?"

If it was anybody else, I'd say no.

But since it was Peter Cincotti singing?


Diana Rissetto

Somebody gave me a Starbucks giftcard yesterday...

...with a note thanking me for always being so cheerful.

I often feel that my cheerfulness is annoying.

I am very pretty much everybody...and sometimes I feel that it brings me nothing but pain and disaster.

And then somebody gives me a Starbucks giftcard for being so cheerful...

And it just makes things better.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An interview with the charming and delightful Sebastian Arcelus

A talented young fellow, and a warm and lovely person.

And gives hope to all those discouraged theatre girls out there that there ARE some nice straight guys left in this world...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

You may be right...I may be crazy...

...but it just may be a lunatic you're lookin' for.

I just send this email to the newspaper am NY. There was an email address on the site specifically to send your thoughts on the best promoters that they have.

And I certainly know who MY favorite am NY promoter is.

And I haven't seen her in a while.

It seemed like the perfect time to use this email address.


I was happy to learn that there was an email address just for this purpose!

I am a commuter that comes from Penn Station every day...and every morning, right outside of the train station, I would be greeted by a delightful, energetic AMNY newspaper lady. She would ALWAYS be singing...usually a mix of "Autumn in New York" and "I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone." I loved seeing her every day, and I know that other commuters felt the same way.

However, I haven't seen her in a few weeks and I was wondering if I could just make sure that she's okay...was she transferred to another location? I'm sure many people miss seeing her. She is a black lady on the corner of 8th and 33rd who is always singing...

Thanks so much for your help!

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Lord Gave, and the Lord Hath Taken Away..., I am not going all religious on everybody...and I don't even think you NEED to be very religious or even have such great belief in a higher power in order to really get those words...

The priest said that at my uncle's funeral in February. We all took his death very badly, and I know we all still miss him very much.

Last week, two new guys entered my life.

My cousin had a baby on Monday night, and, just twelve hours later, my sister also had a baby.(They're going to grow-up best friends. Or just be totally wild and destroy things together. Or both!)

One baby is 1/4th of my father, and the other is 1/4th of my uncle...two people that were taken from us much too soon...and look at what we have been given in return.

I was looking at my brand-new nephew an hour after he was born, and it's just the craziest thing in the world for me to think that, "An hour ago, YOU WERE NOT HERE...and now you're an actual PERSON".

It just seems like an absolute miracle and proof that everything is going to be okay, no matter what, and that life does,indeed, go on.

If a baby doesn't prove all of that...I don't know what does.

Diana Rissetto

I Heart NY

(This morning as I walked to work...)

Tourist: Can you tell me where I can buy one of these...MTA METRO CARDS?

Me: can get one right there (points towards subway station)

Tourist: (looking horrified and like she thinks I am playing a trick on her) I HAVE TO GO INTO A BASEMENT??????

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday

This past weekend brought birthdays to two of my favorite guys...
Our generation's answer to Billy Joel, Peter Cincotti, turned 26.

And my pal and Broadway heartthrob Cheyenne Jackson is now 34!

Happy Birthday, Guys!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Can I try to PRETEND this was a compliment?

(At a Broadway-related event.)

Random Woman: Are you in a show?
Me: No...
Random Woman: Really? You seem like you'd be an actress. Wait! Aren't you in Shrek?
Me: No...
Random Woman: You look like a character from Shrek!!!! (looks at my male friend with me.) SO DO YOU!

We laughed about that all day. She didn't say "an actress from Shrek"...oh, no...she said "a character."

I'm sure she meant I look just like the Shoemaker's Elf or the Gnome...right?!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Power of Two Concert Review

You know who is one of my very favorite guys?

Cheyenne Jackson. (I don't think I have ever mentioned it before on here.)

Not only is he one of Broadway's brightest young stars, but he's also one of the all-around greatest guys you'll ever meet. Who he is on the inside outshines his physical appearance by far...and that is saying a lot!

This month, Cheyenne and Michael Feinstein appeared together in a cabaret act called The Power of Two.

I was afraid I was going to have to miss this one, since the price of two tickets (I would have brought along my mom) was way (way way) out of my budget.

I was disappointed...especially after I read these fantastic reviews...

...and couldn't believe I had to miss it...

...but as luck would have it, I was able to go on Thursday night due to somebody else's generosity.

I was probably the youngest (and poorest!) person in that room. I realized a lot of people around me were most likely there for Michael Feinstein and not for Cheyenne...since I was hearing things like, "WHO is Michael singing with? I hear he played Elvis?"

( parents were constantly playing Michael Feinstein albums when I was a kid.)

Cheyenne and Michael took the stage. Cheyenne's quite a bit taller than Michael (well, he's quite a bit taller than just about everybody) and they wore matching suits and joked around onstage like they had been friends forever.

One of my favorite moments was when Cheyenne talked about when he attended a dinner party at Michael's house and was telling a story and grew very animated...and ended-up breaking the chair he was sitting in.

Cheyenne: It was very old!
Michael: Yes, 18th Century France! (I think one of Cheyenne's greatest qualities is that he never tries to be something he's not, and isn't afraid to come-off a little silly, a little flighty. The way he is in concert and in interviews? That's who he is.)

Cheyenne sang "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"...and I'll say it was a close second to Harry Connick, Jr.'s version..."A close second to Harry Connick, Jr." is the ultimate compliment coming from me. Michael and Cheyenne did a snappy duet of "Me and My Shadow", made famous by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis.

And whey Cheyenne sang "A Foggy Day", I asked myself, "Buble??? Who's that?" Seriously. (Well...I also have that reaction whenever I listen to Peter Cincotti!)

They wrapped-up the show with another duet..."We Kiss in a Shadow" from The King and I. That song takes on a whole new meaning when sung by two men in 2009...and every bit as poignant and meaningful.

What a fantastic evening...I am so glad and grateful that I was able to go!

And, yes, I was also extremely, extremely proud of "my boy". That chorus boy I randomly began talking to in the park six years ago has officially emerged as a star. I always knew he had it in him...

Diana Rissetto

Monday, June 29, 2009

Great-Uncle Albert Wins for Funny Quote of the Weekend

Older Lady: Did you know (insert name)?

Great-Uncle Albert: No.

Older Lady: He died.

Great-Uncle Albert: Well, I'm glad I didn't know him, then!

I don't really care about what happens to celebrities....

...most of the time.

When Princess Diana died, I watched coverage for days and cried. (I was named after her.)

When John F. Kennedy, Jr. died, my father had just died two months earlier and I was still quite, once again, I was glued to coverage and cried. (Plus, I'm one of those annoying girls that really love Jackie.) Seeing that young, handsome face all over the place and knowing this man was gone was just really, really sad. There are no other words for it. Just sad.

I can't even read about Michael Landon's last days without crying. He has always been my idol, and I feel an extra kinship with him and his family since my dad also died of cancer.

I thought the endless "Jon and Kate" coverage was nauseating, and people's reactions equally so. My coworker was reading-off her friends' Facebook statuses...all-upset over Jon and Kate's break-up. Who cares? You don't know these people, and for all those saying "those poor children"...YES, those poor children for having immature, money-hungry parents who are okay with sticking their kids in the spotlight...but, their parents are getting divorced. They still have both a mom and a dad who love them. They will be taken care of. It's not that tragic.

And then two celebrities die in the span of a few hours and I felt sad about both of them, despite that they weren't any Princess Diana or Michael Landon, in my eyes.

I can't handle anything cancer-related. I really can't. I have seen a lot of it in my lifetime and I'm pretty sure I'll lose it if I need to watch somebody else in my family waste away from another long, painful death. I know what cancer does, how it robs your physical and emotional self until there's nothing left. I know what it's like to pray for the end to come...and that's why I found myself crying all over the place as I watched a few minutes of the documentary on Farrah Fawcett. I'd cry like that for anybody. It's truly one of the worst things a family can go through, and my heart goes out to her family and friends. My closest uncle died in February after a five-year battle with cancer. I saw him just hours before he died, and I'm yet to shake those images of him, along with the last images of my dad, out of my head. I wish Farrah peace now that she is no longer confined to a sick body...a body is just a body after all, isn't it?

And then The King of Pop died.

I liked what John Mayer had to say about Michael Jackson's passing: I think we'll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player.

Thriller was a few years before my time. I was a baby when it was released, and connect any of those songs with just being very little. I connect those songs with early childhood...and I always hated when people sang "Dirty Diana" to me. My sister and older cousins would do it because they knew it annoyed me.

And even if he wasn't as physically sick as somebody suffering from cancer, he was definitely "sick" and I feel that he, too, is now at peace, something I don't think he ever found while he was on this earth.

Fly free, Captain Eo!

A beautiful tribute to Michael from Gavin Creel and the wonderful cast of Broadway's HAIR:

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hey, it's raining!!!!

Raining for days on end
Staying inside again
Making up lists
Of things to do
When the rain ends
The Children are restless
They played all their games
Again and again and again
If we knew anyone
We could call up a friend

But it's raining
Raining, raining, raining

The sheets are damp
And the towels won't dry
Why bother to take all the
Clothes in from the line
Cause tomorrow may be

On a summer vacation
Here by the ocean
Look in the attic
To see if you might
Find an old toy
Maybe a magazine
Maybe a mystery
Something to look at
Or something to read

Cause it's raining
Raining, raining, raining

The salt won't shake
And the cards won't play
Damned if we go
But damned if we stay
Cause tomorrow
May be raining

Raining for days on end
Staying inside again
Making up lists
Of things to do
When the rain ends
Oh, it's raining
Raining, raining, raining

Carly Simon

Friday, June 5, 2009

And on the topic of ugly people who act ugly... is an absolutely beautiful person, inside AND out, one of my favorite guys in the world Cheyenne Jackson (I have mentioned him a few times before, I believe) and a rave review from The New York Times.

Awesome awesome AND awesome.

Cheyenne Jackson, left, performing with Michael Feinstein.

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Published: June 3, 2009

That weepy Rodgers and Hammerstein chestnut “We Kiss in a Shadow” wasn’t conceived as a gay-rights anthem. But if you scan the lyrics in which clandestine lovers in “The King and I” yearn “for one smiling day to be free,” it might as well have been. And on Tuesday evening two male stars, Michael Feinstein and Cheyenne Jackson — gazing into each other’s eyes — turned it into a passionate, impeccably harmonized duet in their groundbreaking show “The Power of Two” at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.
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Mr. Feinstein, the dedicated, 52-year-old custodian of the classic American songbook, and Mr. Jackson, the 33-year-old star of “Xanadu” and “All Shook Up,” are not lovers; each has another partner. But as they joined voices in a show that takes its title from a song by the Indigo Girls, they made vows of love and friendship exchanged by men seem “as normal as blueberry pie,” to quote another Hammerstein lyric.

As he usually does in his shows, Mr. Feinstein dug out a fascinating obscurity, “The Time Has Come,” by Marshall Barer and Mickey Leonard. Written after the Stonewall riot, the Latin-flavored coming-out song, Mr. Feinstein said, exalts “the right to heed a different drum.”

Vocally he and Mr. Jackson made an excellent match, with Mr. Feinstein sometimes acting as a Bing Crosby-like figure to Mr. Jackson’s Frank Sinatra in the movie “High Society.” But elsewhere Mr. Feinstein became a Sinatra-like leader of an imaginary gay Rat Pack, in which Mr. Jackson’s distant resemblance to Elvis Presley (who idolized Dean Martin) suggested a cleaned-up Martin-like crony to Mr. Feinstein’s Ol’ Blue Eyes. Both singers, however, are the antithesis of the boozy Las Vegas cutups that are part of the Rat Pack image. Mr. Jackson embodies the ’50s ideal of a clean-cut all-American male pinup: a composite of Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter.

Mr. Feinstein hasn’t forsaken the aggressive Sinatra-inspired style of his last album, “The Sinatra Project.” His strongest solos during a show in which he and Mr. Jackson took turns singing, were punchy renditions of “So in Love” (arranged by the pianist John Oddo for the six-member band as a hard-edged beguine) and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.” Mr. Jackson, a Broadway swinger with a gleaming timbre and stamina to burn, imparted the full force of his top notes to “Old Devil Moon” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

How long ago was it that Mr. Feinstein, singing Gershwin, changed “The Man I Love” to “The Girl I Love”? That was last century.

“The Power of Two” continues through June 27 at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue, at 61st Street; (212) 339-4095).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ugly is as Ugly Does

My (very wise) father used to say, "You can't trust really ugly people. They always have a grudge against the world."

(If you knew my father, you would definitely laugh and say, "Yup, that sounds like something that he would say.")

Who is really ugly, though? How many people fit into that category of "really ugly"?

I don't think many at all...and if they are in that category, they put themselves there and it is their own fault.

For the most part, I don't consider myself a shallow person.

Aside from teeth, I really don't care about appearances very much...(yes, I have been known to look at less-than-stellar teeth and cringe inside a bit. I can't help it, and I'm being very honest in admitting it.)

The other day, my friend was telling me a story from our high school days...I had never heard this story, but I was able to very easily imagine it happening the way she told it.

One girl threatened another...who had reported her younger sister to the teachr for cheating on science class assignments...telling her, "You eff with my sister, you eff with me. Don't eff with me." while her trusty sidekick stood next to her and echoed, "Don't eff with her."

The two bullies walked-off, and the other girl burst into most 14-year-old girls would do.

To comfort her, another girl at the lunch table said, "Don't get upset...they're really really ugly. They are angry at the world."

While my friend was remembering this story, she laughed and said, "It's so mean...but I think it's true!"

I tried to remember the "really really ugly girls" that were "angry at the world." While I can't remember much about their facial features, I do remember constant unhappy looks on their faces. I remember them not being very nice to anybody. I don't remember them smiling. Ever. (Unless it was a sarcastic smirk to go with a nasty comment.)

What came first...a very ugly person, or a grudge against the world? Personally,I think having a grudge against the world is what makes somebody ugly.

I can't think of a single happy, pleasant, funny person who I would classify as ugly...nobody who takes care of themselves, is clean and well-groomed enough, smiles easily and carries themselves well can ever be ugly.

As I said in a previous entry, I think Adrien Brody is dreamy. Adrien Body...skinny and gawky with his Gonzo-like nose and too-small dreamy! My favorite scene of The Pianist is the very end, when he is once again sitting at his piano and turns around to a friend entering the room and gives him a big smile. The entire film is summed-up in this beautiful, heartbreaking smile.

Yes, I know Adrien was just playing a character and isn't really a piano player who escaped the Nazis...but I don't think anybody with the ability to smile like that could ever be ugly!

My father was right (as he probably was about almost everything.)

Very ugly people DO always have a grudge against the world...but the choice to be ugly? All yours.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, June 1, 2009

When I get really annoyed... a person, I say, "I hope he (usually he, that is) falls into a lake!"

I have no idea WHERE I got that expression from or whey I started saying it.

In fact, I even Googled "I hope he falls into a lake" and it doesn't seem like anybody else ever uses that exclamation.

Maybe I say it because it doesn't sound too harsh...I'm not wishing death or serious injury on anybody...I just want them to fall into a lake...ruin your shoes...catch a cold...not too bad.

And still, it is just so oddly satisfying to say.


Try it.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"I won't quit 'til I'm a star on Broadway..."

Yesterday, we had my sister's baby shower at my mother's house.

My mom's cousin saw the picture of Cheyenne Jackson on my mom's fridge (he should feel very honored, that fridge is reserved for Christmas photos of immediate child relatives only) and asked, "Who is THAT? He is GORGEOUS."

I told her that was my pal, a Broadway actor whom my mom was also very fond of, and, as chance would have it, he would be on television that evening opening the Tony preview concert.

Most of the guests were gone by 7 PM, but my mom told those who lingered that they had to hang around until they could all see Cheyenne on television.

Which we did...even though nobody had any idea who he was, and my Aunt Barbara told everyone that he had also been on All My Children with Susan Lucci a few years ago.

And so we watched the segment...and they all my mother's living room, surrounded by baby swings and blue and brown decorations.

I've always said (well, for the last five years or so), that this guy rates very high on my list of "older brothers I have always wanted"...and as everyone cheered in my mother's living room after his "On Broadway" segment, it looks like he also has a crazy Italian-American extended family that will gladly treat him like one of his own!

Here's the fantastic clip...

Diana Rissetto

Seriously, Mary Camden?

The other day, I read that Jessica Biel feels she is too beautiful to get good acting roles.

And I laughed-out loud.

I think there are some people who would say that I'm, of course, JEALOUS of Jessica Biel.

Of course I'm not.

If a girl is beautiful, I'll say she's beautiful. I'm no slouch myself. Fine, I'm not a supermodel, but I know I'm adorable. (Whatever, that sounds obnoxious, but I hear it enough!)

But this girl really thinks her earth-shattering beauty is the reason she's not winning Oscars?


Now, I'm all for quirky beauty.

I think Adrian Brody is hot...and if you just look at his face, it's probably not one that would normally be called handsome.

And Sarah Jessica Parker? I think she's gorgeous...despite some of the horrible, vicious things I hear people say about her appearance.

Despite Adrian and SJP and other unconventional beauties that find success...I think good looks still do nothing but help you in Hollywood...and Jessica Biel is delusional.

Can you just imagine a casting decision?

"Who do we have lined-up for this role, sir?"

"Well, we have a bunch of young Oscar-winning actresses...we have Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta Jones...OH! And we also have that girl that was on Seventh Heaven."



I understand that words get twisted around in interviews...especially in print...but, Jessica Biel, if this is REALLY how you need to snap out of it...because you're showing to be quite unattractive in the way that really matters.

Diana Rissetto

When I was your age, I had to walk five miles in the snow with no shoes...

On Friday, I went by the American Girl Place.

Now, I'm an adult. I guess I've been a legal adult for about nine years...but I haven't forgotten the things I loved when I was a kid (as I just reread Judy Blume's Just As Long As We're Together the other day and it really was just as good as it was years ago).

The American Girl Collection came onto the scene when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I got a Molly doll and books for Christmas. Molly was my favorite, and probably part of the reason my lifelong obsession with the 1940's began.

None of the little girls in my life are old enough for American Girl stuff, so I really had no reason to go by there...but I did.

And I learned that there is a NEW American Girl, a modern one, named Chrissa.

I browsed through Chrissa's introductory book.

This book involves getting nasty text messages and emails. Chrissa, like all American Girls, is nine.

Okay, I remember being a kid and always making sure that I had quarters on me to make a phone call.

I remember occasionally, a classmate didn't have a quarter and had to make a COLLECT CALL (GASP!) I even remember my friend Lauren having to do so to let her mother know she had to stay late after school, so and bursting into tears.

I also remember, at nine-years-old...not really having much of a life.

What exactly DOES a nine-year-old do for fun?

I'd read books.

I was just starting to really write stories.

I'd go to school and see my friends.

I'd say goodbye to my friends.

And sometimes (just sometimes) friends and I would see each other after school.

If we needed to talk to each other (for whatever reasons!), we would have to call each other at home...and risk having to speak to a parent or sibling...and ask if we were home.

We didn't have cellphones.

We didn't have emails.

And we turned-out okay.

I have no idea why nine-year-olds need these things...I don't think ANY kid really needs a cellphone until, perhaps, they start driving. I didn't get a cellphone until I was about 20-years-old and in college, and only then because my mother FORCED me to get one.

If she hadn't done that, I probably would still be carrying around quarters and looking for payphones.

In fact, I carried around my first cellphone for about five years, until the masking tape that held it together was no longer doing its job and I had no choice. (That actually describes my relationship with my first car...I rode it until it fell apart...with me in it...that car was my father's, and the car I remembered us taking family trips in and my dad driving to work I had a pretty strong attachment to it...but, then again...I'm sure my dad would also want me to be safe!)

I always joke that I'm really an 80-year-old in a young body, and it is times like these when I feel it stronger than ever.

Don't rush growing-up, Chrissa...haven't you ever watched Little House on the Prairie? Road to Avonlea? The Baby-Sitters Club! They were modern and cool in their day and they got along fine without cellphones and texting and IMing.

Don't be in such a rush to grow-up...there's no turning back.....................

Diana Rissetto

Monday, May 25, 2009

You know what I'm going to start doing?

Taking blog entry suggestions...since I don't always have much to write about...even though my life is very very very exciting. all five of my faithful readers...suggest away.

Thank you.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On a similar note as my previous entry about friendship...

...I'm starting to think that it's never too late, and, more often than not, time does heal all wounds.

I had another friend from middle/high school that I drifted from...not exactly on a friendly note...during college. I think we both felt a general understanding that our friendship just wasn't what it was when we were younger...sad, but true. We grew-up.

I learned that she had a baby last year...and even though we hadn't spoken in a good five years, I sent a gift, and a note, saying I hoped to meet her daughter some day. I realized I couldn't let something as major as one of my oldest friends becoming a mother go without acknowledging it.

She sent me a very nice thank-you card and we've been back in touch ever since. She even referred to me as "Auntie Diana" in relationship to her daughter!

It feels really good to be friends again. I think it's always a lot easier and better to be friends than not to be.

Another video...

...from the scarily talented, delightful, adorable, and...weirdo...Peter Cincotti.

My gosh...I love this kid.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, May 11, 2009

You Gotta Friend...

One of my close friends went abroad for college. She was always very smart, got into an Ivy League college, so it was no surprise that she was expanding her horizons in Europe.

We kept in touch with the occasional email, but it was nothing compared to how we were before...when we would talk several times a day and would never go more than a few days without seeing each other.

I thought that her years in Europe would alter her, and our friendship...that she would be different when she returned, and we would never be able to pick-up where we left-off.

That wasn't true.

I remember picking her up in my car and we went to a diner. (In very typical New Jersey fashion.)

I said to her, "Is it okay if I stop for gas?"

She said, "No! It's not okay with me! I would rather us run out of gas and push the car the rest of the way to the diner!"

We both laughed, and, from then on, things were exactly the way they had always been. Our friendship was completely intact, and I knew I was sitting next to one of my closest friends for life.

Some friendships are meant to last forever...others aren't...and maybe that's okay. Maybe that's just a part of life.

I have never been a good one for change. I don't like it. I'm not sure if it's one of those things that come with losing a parent as a kid...yes, I definitely have some issues. I like for things to stay exactly as they are. I hate saying goodbye, I hate losing people in anyway.

I have joked that I am still in touch with the friends I made in the hospital when I was born. (That's not exactly true.) I like to stay in touch with people! When my family moved in the third grade. I desperately tried to write letters to all of my former classmates, and was so disappointed when they didn't all write back to me. Over Christmas, I met-up with my best friend from my first school...we hadn't seen each other in nearly seventeen years.

Maybe I try too hard. Maybe I force my friendship on people when I should just let them go.

This past year, I had to do just that...let go of friendships that I thought would be around forever...people I spoke to every day, that had seen me at my best and worst, and that knew everything about me...a part of my life one day, and then not there the next.

Losing a close friend is really hard. I stopped asking myself why things happened the way they did, and just accepted it.

Things had just changed.

I picked-up a book recently...Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I learned from Judy Blume.

(That title could not be more true.)

One of the essays, by Megan Crane, inspired by Judy's Just As Long As We're Together (my personal favorite!) is all about a woman realizing that she and her "very best friend in the whole world" are no longer not just best friends anymore...but no longer friends at all.

I read the last page a couple of times over, relating to it so much...this was the story of my friendship, this was how I felt, this is what I had lost.

I'll just quote the passage right here, since I can't say it any better myself...

There are things I know about myself that I would never have learned without T. in my life. Some of those things are incredibly unpleasant, it's true, but that might be what friends are for. There were times when she seemed to be the only thing between me and a great darkness I feared I might get lost in. We were silly together in a way that I have never recreated with another friend and don't imagine I ever will. I miss the stories that only she knows, the jokes only she gets. As I wrote somewhere else, losing a friend is like losing a language, and I miss the one we spoke together. I loved her with the whole of my heart, and I won't regret that. There is no reason to imagine that some day one of us will reach out, the other will be receptive, and we will reaccess that intricate, secret world that we shared.

It is also possible that T. and I will never reconnect, never so much as speak again, and that's fine, too. I don't wish her ill. Quite the opposite.

Reading Judy Blume taught me this lesson long before I would have to learn it for myself. You can't hold onto people. Sometimes you have to let them go.

I believe that people come into your life for a reason, and it's up to you to learn the lessons they can teach you. I believe best friends teach us how to be better people, and to do that they sometimes have to leave you to do it yourself. T. taught me a great deal--much of which, I imagine, will take me years to fully understand. That's the gift of friendship. It changes, even after the friendship ends. I don't need to speak to T. again to keep the memory fo her--both good and bad--in a special place in my heart.

I like to think she's out there, happy, remembering me in the same bittersweet way.


For a long time, any memory involving these friends felt tainted...that I should banish them from my mind and forget that they had ever happened...but now, I don't believe memories can ever be "tainted".

As long as you were smiling when they were happening, there's no reason you shouldn't smile when you remember them...

And, just like Megan Crane, I know that it is possible that one day, as suddenly as the friendship had ended, we could reconnect and be friends again...but I know there's a better chance that we won't...and that's okay, too.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, May 8, 2009

I've realized something over the past couple of weeks...

...or maybe "realized" is a strong word...maybe I should say "I started to realize"...

It is so much easier to be happy for other people, to put positive energy out into this world, than to not be...than to be jealous or bitter and negative...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

If I could work with anybody creatively right now...

...I would go with Peter Cincotti.

When I listen to his songs, I automatically start constructing stories in my head that would go along with them. (Of course, I do the same thing when I people watch...or read wedding announcements in the New York Times...make-up stories that sound right. I think it's one of the things that come with a writer.)

I think Peter and I would work really well together. I think we're both sensitive and sappy and slight hopeless romantics and we could totally be the next Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim. (I'd be Laurents. He'd be Sondheim.)

And yesterday I learned something that reinforced my "Peter Cincotti and I should collaborate some day" belief...

Peter Cincotti is a complete dork. (So am I, so it's all good.)

Here's Peter backstage as he tours with Seal and documents things for his lucky fans...

Aside from being the most talented musician our generation has produced...yes, Peter Cincotti is a dork...and he's not ashamed of that fact at all, which makes it even greater.

Call me, Peter.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, May 1, 2009

Maybe I should have gone to dental school...

When I was younger, I had a reoccurring dream that it was Christmas Eve, and we hadn't even put-up our Christmas tree.

I had it all the time...all throughout the year.

I'm sure some would look into that and find psychological reasons for it...anxiety, nervousness, stress...but, personally, I think I really WAS just genuinely worried about Christmas Eve creeping-up on us and not having the tree up yet.

I really really really love Christmas...not having a tree on Christmas Eve would, literally, be a nightmare.

I stopped having that dream eventually, and another one replaced about...


At least once a week, I dream that something happens to my teeth.

I look in the mirror and my teeth are suddenly very crooked or very yellow. (Or both! Shivers...) And I think to myself, "But they weren't like that this morning!

In another dream, my teeth just suddenly start falling-out in my mouth.

I'll wake-up and run my tongue over my teeth to reassure myself that they are still there, then check the mirror to see that they are still straight (I never missed a night wearing my retainer!) and white (as I can get them without resorting to getting them professional whitened.)

Now, I have heard that this is one of the most common dream ever and EVERYBODY has it.

(Kinda like that one when you get your grades back and realize that there's a class on it you never ever went to or knew that you had to go to.)

I really don't think that's why I always have this dream, though...I think I really AM just thinking about something happening to my teeth and, like not having a Christmas tree up on December 24th, it is a nightmare!

I love teeth.

Maybe I should have been a dentist...but I don't think I would want to take care of other people's teeth. I would much rather just notice other people's beautiful teeth and appreciate them (without having to touch and clean them myself.)

In fact, the cashier at Rite Aid recently asked me why I always buy so much toothpaste. I told her because I like to brush my teeth...and I do!

I have certain tooth-spirations that keep me going to brush and rinse so many times a day.

Some celebrities in my Beautiful Teeth Hall of Fame:

Lance Bass

When he was on Dancing With the Stars, I would look at his teeth and think they were the whitest things I have ever seen in my entire life and wondered how he did it.

Peter Cincotti

Scarily talented (that amount of talent at such a young age should be illegal!) adorable (he's obviously a nice boy that appreciates bygone eras who was brought-up right) wonderful Peter Cincotti...his teeth aren't perfect...but, for some reason, I think that if it weren't for watching his hands while he was playing the piano, I'd be staring at his teeth.

There is something about the boy's teeth. Can't explain it. But there is.

One of my very favorite guys in the world, Cheyenne Jackson. We're lucky that he's such a happy and pleasant guy and smiles a lot, because those are some fantastic teeth that would be wasted on somebody who walked around with a face on all the time...(kinda like how annoyed I get when miserable people are the ones blessed with big dimples. I have always wanted dimples.)

Now, teeth can be "too big" and still be gorgeous, as long as they are straight and white.

Such as...Dancing With the Stars/Bachelor chickie Melissa.

I have heard people make fun of her teeth...but I think they're great!!!

Rachel McAdams

Now, those are teeth!!!!!

I love teeth.

(The other night, I had a dream that I kept going outside to a fruitstand and stealing cherries. I was shoving them, by the handful, into my purse and pockets. I wonder if that's going to replace my teeth dream.)

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I enjoy being a girl...?

I was talking to one of my closest friends before...a smart, funny, beautiful person...and she told me about something that happened to her recently. She left a bar (neither of us are bar fans) and got into a cab...partially to avoid dealing with drunk obnoxious people.

There were two guys in a cab next to her that rolled down the window and said very hurtful things about her...amongst themselves, but knowing full-well she was a couple of feet away and could hear everything they said. They clearly thought they were extremely funny.

She went home extremely upset, and she took these guys' comments to heart...who were these guys to her, anyway? They were strangers. They were drunk strangers. They were drunk idiotic strangers.

However, I didn't think she was silly for letting it get to her...because I know that I would have reacted the same exact way.

Which leads me to ask...WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES? (And why do boys seem perfectly capable of not letting things upset them?)

How come rude words from a couple of drunken morons have the power to wipe away every other nice thing anybody has ever said to you? Our friends tell us they love us...that we're wonderful just the way we are...and yet something like that makes us cry.

Last week, I saw a girl I went to high school with in the grocery store.

I haven't seen her since we graduated, and I haven't thought about her in years. We weren't friends. We did, however, sit at the same lunch table in the 9th grade. One day, a note she had written was "leaked". (Another girl in my math class found it and handed it to me. She HIGHLIGHTED THE PARTS THAT WERE ABOUT ME before she handed it to me...looking back, I think her actions were equally screwy as the following...)

This girl had written a two-page note to her "BFF" trashing every girl at our lunch table.

(I wonder WHY she was sitting with a bunch of trolls that she felt so superior to?)

She didn't say anything bad about my personality or my brains...she couldn't, since she barely knew me. We had never even really had a conversation...but she DID attack my appearance. She said very nasty stuff about my body, my hair, my clothes.

I cried all day after I read that note.

The second I saw that girl in the grocery store, that all came flooding back. I remembered that insanely insecure fourteen-year-old girl who had to read about how fat she was, how frizzy and disgusting her hair was, how she shopped at Motherhood Maternity. (Yup. She said that.)

Honestly, I really don’t believe that people change that much from when they are teenagers to adults. I think we’re basically the same as we were. I think my worst and best qualities are the same exact ones I had fifteen years ago. I think this girl, being so nasty and hurtful and thinking she was being clever, grew-up into somebody who would insult somebody sitting in a cab and laugh at her own jokes. I’m sure she doesn’t remember that day in the 9th grade…but I do. I always will.

I don’t get it.

Maybe I should be grateful to experiences like that. They made me very sensitive to cruelty. As much as others’ words can upset me, I also know that I would never say or do anything to intentionally hurt somebody else.

I think that counts for something.

I hate that we live in such a shallow world. I hate that all it takes is a few words from an idiot on the street to ruin our day.

And I, most of all, hate that I don’t know how to let it not bother me, especially so I could teach the fantastic friends I have in my life not to let it bother them either.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, April 27, 2009

Twenty-Five Things

1. It took me almost two years and about 7,000 job interviews after college until I found my first full-time office job. Those two years took a really bad toll on me, and I was really frustrated and exhausted and discouraged. (Seriously, I would go on interviews when people would shake my hand and say, “WELCOME ABOARD!” and then I’d never hear from them again. And Scholastic called me in for about ten different jobs and never hired me, and I would have done anything to work for them.) I eventually got a job with Shubert…which I lost after a year and it absolutely broke my heart…and then another with Actors Equity…which I also lost after a few months. However, looking back, things absolutely happened for a reason, and I always ended-up in the exact place that I was supposed to be at the time. I never would have had certain experiences that I had or met the people I have had things happened any differently.

2. I have wanted to be a writer since before I knew how to write. It is something I take seriously, but I feel like I slack off sometimes. Sometimes I’ll see a movie or a play or read a book and know I can do better, and wonder why this thing is being produced or published and my stuff isn’t. (And when I was in elementary school, I wasn’t selected to be a part of “Young Authors Day” and ran home, flung myself on my bed, cried and vowed I would never write again…)

3. I was the lead story on Access Hollywood when I was 17. I presented at a Frank Sinatra conference and met Frank’s daughter Tina. Looking back, I have no idea why they did a story on me, since I am pretty sure nobody cared besides people who knew me. Tina wrote me a note that says, "I'm sorry you never met him, but hearing about you brought a big smile to his face." I still have that note. She also called me on the first Father's Day that my dad wasn't alive. You always hear what a tough personality Frank was, but that when he was your friend, he'd be loyal to you for life...I think Tina is probably a lot like him in that way.

4. I brush my teeth many times per day. I know there are people out there who don’t brush their teeth before they go to sleep, and I just think that’s wrong. I also have three different toothbrushes, and several different kinds of toothpaste in my bathroom at all times. (And I keep a separate set in my desk at work.) I have reoccurring dreams about teeth constantly…sometimes they fall-out, others they suddenly become very crooked or yellow.

5. I am a pescatarian…I eat fish but no other meat. It was a very gradual process….I gave up pork and beef first, then chicken, then turkey. It was all for ethical reasons, and I don’t get too emotional over fish…(even though I did have second thoughts after having two pet Beta fish that refused to die a couple of years ago…) I don’t judge other people, though…I just do what’s best for me.

6. I am pretty sure the movie Dream for an Insomniac was based on my life! It’s about a girl with severe sleeping problems who randomly walks around dressed-up as Holly Golightly and was raised in a family that loves Frank Sinatra and she lost a parent as a kid and hangs-out with gay guys…seriously…that is my life!

7. I don’t have a middle name! People think that’s really weird when they hear that. When I was confirmed, I took the name Grace and I use it as a regular middle name. However, that also makes my name TWO blond princesses that died in car accidents…which is kinda weird.

8. I never really grew-up with grandparents…both my grandmothers died before I was born, my mom’s dad died when I was in kindergarten, and my dad’s dad died when I was in the fifth grade. My father died when I was seventeen. It has always made me really sad when I look around and feel like everybody else has almost all of their grandparents and both of their parents.

9. I grew-up loving the Anne of Green Gables novels and movies. I love the character of Anne because she’s a hopeless romantic and fiercely sensitive hates change…I think I relate a lot to her in that sense…and I LOVE Gilbert Blythe and think he’s the most perfect romantic lead in all of literature. Two years ago, my friend Michelle and I met Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played him, and I think he was rather confused that he had such big fans…

10. I interned with a Broadway public relations firm when I was 21. I was paid about $5 a week (no joke!) and treated like a slave and ran around the city like a maniac and came home crying a lot…but, when all is said and done, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so glad that I did it.

11. I am a huge cryer. I cry a lot. It’s always been my first reaction to things. I cry when I’m upset, overwhelmed, tired. I cry over stupid commercials, reruns of Highway to Heaven, when I see cute old couples, everything.

12. I spent most of my childhood in New York City and my family moved to New Jersey when I was in the fourth grade. I was not happy with this at all, and was only somewhat agreeable with it because I was promised a dog once we got to the suburbs. (That very dog died last year…I still miss her!) I had a really hard time sleeping the first year because I wasn’t used to it being so quiet… I still have many problems with sleeping.

13. I am watching The Way We Were right now on television, and cannot believe I never saw it before because it is a total Diana movie…I like my movies sappy, romantic and old-fashioned.

14. When Ugly Betty first came on air, my mother asked me if I was secretly writing the show because Betty was exactly like me. I started watching it and agreed...I AM Ugly Betty. It is the only television show that I watch regularly. Whenever I watch it, I feel like the writers must be following me around. She means well, but is a total disaster…and that’s how I am…

15. I went to Allentown College of Saint Francis DeSales for one semester. I had wanted a small Catholic college, and found that place, and was miserable and came home to go to Monmouth University. Allentown had absolutely no activities to get involved with, except the weekly bus ride to the “abortion mill” to pray. And many of the guys listed “hunting” as their favorite sport. I am glad I left, and was very happy with Monmouth, but sometimes I wish I had gone away to college and had the whole experience.

16. Over Christmas, I met-up with my first best friend, Daniela, whom I hadn’t seen since the third grade. We had so much to talk about, and I know we would have stayed best friends all those years had we not lived so far apart. She said she’s like an old woman and just likes to read and knit…kinda like me…

17. I love to crochet, and have made many people in my life objects made from yarn. I have given out lots of long scarves, and I love making them and I love how they look on other people…BUT I never wear scarves because when I was in the second grade I had a long knit scarf on, and my teacher (a nun) told me about how Isadora Duncan was killed because she had a long scarf on that got caught in a car door and strangled her. Looking back, I have no idea why a teacher would tell a little kid that story, but it definitely freaked me out and I stopped wearing scarves after that…

18. I really love babies and little kids, and considered becoming a kindergarten teacher, BUT I had this fear that I would teach them how to read wrong or something and mess them-up for life…and they’d always be behind in school and it would all be my fault.

19. There’s a Broadway actress, Mandy Gonzalez, that I share a close resemblance with…I have been asked for my autograph and told how great I was after shows…deep down, it makes me happy because I know nobody will EVER really be complimenting me about my singing or acting and asking for my autograph and that is the closest I will ever get…(then again, I think most people just think all girls with curly hair look exactly alike…)

20. I worked at Barnes and Noble for over five years. When I first started working there, I thought it was the most magical place in the world to work, and by the time I left, I was ready to start belting customers with the heaviest dictionaries I could find…however, I actually really miss it now, and miss being around all those books all the time.

21. I really wish I had been around in the 1940’s. I think that was my era. I don’t know where is started…I became hooked on the show Homefront in the early 90’s (which was about a community readjusting to life after WWII…bought the illegal DVDs from China last year…) and had a Molly McIntyre American Doll when I was a child. I listen to CDs like “Love Songs that Got Us Through WWII” and watch movies from that time and buy dresses off of that made me look like I am missing a couple of Andrews Sisters. It’s a random obsession, I know…

22. Michael Landon is one of my idols. He built his entire success on being sappy and sentimental and producing/writing quality, wholesome entertainment. That’s what I’d like to do. I wish I could had met and worked with him.

23. I have very curly hair and I have never wanted straight hair, and I think it’s really rude when people think they’re entitled to make comments assuming so…I’ve had guys tell me that they preferred straight hair…(It’s okay, I prefer guys with manners!) I think if I had straight hair, I wouldn’t feel like myself. I think it reflects my personality more.

24. It drives me CRAZY when people call me Diane. My name is not Diane. My name is Diana…and I always feel like I sound really rude when I correct people. “Hi…is this Diane?” “No…this is DianA.”

25. It bothers me to hear people obsessing over getting older and acting like turning 30 is the end of the world…but I do have my own fears about it. I also cannot STAND it when girls obsess over marriage and think that there is no other success in life than finding a husband…it bothers me, and I want to tell them to shut-up, but, once again, it IS something I worry about to myself.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I want to be the Italian-American 21st Century answer to Wendy Wasserstein...

Several times, I have referred to Peter Cincotti as our generation's answer to Billy Joel...I want to be our generation's answer to Wendy Wasserstein.

This past week, I read through almost all of Wendy Wasserstein's plays.

I do most of my reading on the train. I have been riding the train for long enough to stop caring about what other random trainriders think of if I am reading something that moves me to laugh and cry, I will laugh and cry...right on the train. (I have come a long way. I used to try to stifle my tears. When I was reading Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike years ago, I finally had to stuff the book in my bag, lean my face towards the window, and bawl. Parts of that book were absolutely heartbreaking.)

Wendy Wasserstein makes me laugh and cry and nod my head in recognition. How is it possible that she based characters on me before I was even born? The main character in Isn't It Romantic is described as "a little kooky, a little sweet, a little unconfident."

I am absolutely a little kooky, a little sweet and a little unconfident! (Probably more like "very very much so" of all those things...)

I'm at that funny age right now where it seems that everybody around me is getting married and having babies. (Which is strange, because none of my close friends are anywhere near any of that, so it shouldn't feel like it's "everybody.") Wendy understood what that feeling is feel alone, or like you are running out of time, or like you have to chose one way or the other, that you can't possibly have it all.

In the same play with the kooky, sweet, unconfident character, another says:

No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to get frightened. There's nothing wrong with being alone.

(I'd like to add that I think it's very sad that "singletons" are automatically also labeled as "alone." I don't think anybody is really alone...if somebody is surrounded by loving relatives and friends or even are they "alone" just because they're not registering for china with somebody? I think it's very insulting.)

Lately, I've been wondering if I'm too sheltered and haven't lived enough to ever be a good writer...after all, you are supposed to "write what you know"...and maybe I haven't known enough of the real word to succeed. Maybe I never will...and then what will I do?

Reading Wendy's plays makes me feel better. I don't think Wendy exactly lived a life full of Lifetime-worthy melodrama. She made the ordinary extraordinary. She found humor and life lessons in everything.

Maybe that's what all of us wannabe writers need to do.

Wendy died at 55. She had cancer. Her little daughter was only about six when she died. I have been around more than my share of cancer, and when I think about the woman who wrote these wonderful, witty, hilariously funny and touching stories suffering in that way, I feel incredibly sad...even sadder than I do about the loss of such a brilliant writer.

While I was reading her plays, I occasionally would think, "She's gone...she's never going to write anything ever again. We'll never have a new Wendy Wasserstein play to read. What if another Wendy Wasserstein never comes along again?"

I would have loved to have met her and talked to her. I'm disappointed that I never will. We could have been friends. She would have read my plays and given me her honest feedback.

Maybe we even would have swapped curly hair tips.

Maybe I shouldn't be aiming to be the "next" anything. Maybe Peter Cincotti isn't the next Billy Joel...maybe he's the first Peter Cincotti. Maybe I just have to work on being the best first Diana Rissetto I can be.

Diana Rissetto