Saturday, February 28, 2009

Okay, so my favorite moment of this year's oscar is officially...

Anne Hathaway crying and mouthing, "Thank you, I love you" to Shirley MacLaine as she was raving about her.

Because I was imagining how I'd probably cry if Shirley MacLaine told me how great I was.

(Actually, before I cried, I probably would also tell her, "Shirley MacLaine, one of my very favorite Faerie Tale Theatre episodes is The Dancing Princesses, which starred your daughter as the youngest sister Loretta!!!!" But I'm sure people comment about that to her ALL the time...I mean, why talk about Terms of Endearment when you can bring-up Faerie Tale Theatre?)

What a lovely moment, and even though I have been rooting for Kate to take home that trophy since I saw The Reader...I think the presentations at this year's ceremony made EVERYONE feel and look like winners! Bravo.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, February 27, 2009

Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you ...

Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you ... Hallmark doesn't make a "congratulations, you didn't marry the wrong guy" card. And where's the flatware for going on vacation alone? Sex and the City

There were many moments when Carrie Bradshaw was extremely wise and said exactly what so many of us are thinking.

(While I am probably one of the most anti-shoe girls in the world, I still loved my weekly doses of Sex and the City...and love TBS for airing the cleaned-up versions...what can I say? I am most certainly a "Charlotte".)

I am probably about ten years younger than Carrie was when she said those words...and I already agree with her. I am already at that point. I go to showers and weddings and make a huge deal out of other people's children (I love babies and little kids). I spend money (which I don't make too much of) on other people's weddings and children...gladly, really...but there comes a time when you feel like other people are placing your value and success on the fact that you haven't registered for china in the past few years. I don't matter...I don't count...I must be unhappy and jealous and longing...because I don't have a ring.

Now, it is completely possible to be entirely okay with being single...I am...but I am not okay with people assuming that I am not...that my entire goal in life must be to walk down an aisle with somebody...I tell myself that the newspapers are FULL of wedding announcements, and Maury Povich has tons of girls that have numerous babies (with numerous different fathers!) This all makes it seem like those achievements can't be too great...if so many people can do them...right? Then how come everybody acts like it's the end-all?

I still have a crystal-clear memory from right after my sister got engaged.

Somebody went-up to my mother and said, "One down, one to go."

That bothered me.

A lot.

(I think the fact that I am still talking about it three years later proves that...)

We could talk about the things I have done with my writing...I'm getting my own plays produced!

Or about my job...true, I'm not exactly bringing home a huge paycheck, but I have had a lot of exciting experiences and met some extraordinary people...(and I got to hold Neil Simon's coat once!)

I am healthy, I am young, I have naturally curly hair.

But, oh no...

For some reason, none of these things matter to other people.

I'm not married, I'm not engaged, so I am a second-class citizen.

I have been excluded from dinners and parties by friends and relatives who are all paired-up. Perhaps they feel I'll feel awkward being the only single person there? But, seriously, I feel much more awkward and badly being leff-out. A single person is perfectly capable of carrying on a conversation. When I'm not invited with a guest to a wedding, and then learn that a teenage guest with a boyfriend or girlfriend is that not supposed to make me feel bad?

I don't get showers, I don't get gifts, I don't get cards congratulating me on my achievements, and if I talk too much about my accomplishments, I'm being a braggart...but nobody ever says that about girls who talk incessantly about their weddings and babies that...(once again...I am not begrudging them...I just don't think it's really fair.) I am fine with my status (or lack-of) but definitely not fine with people assuming that I am must be sticking pins in voodoo dolls of married friends. (Since, of course, what girl in her twenties doesn't dream of getting married before 30?)

I made such a big deal about everybody else's joys, but then I end-up feeling somewhat forgotten about. And I know that shouldn't!

How come people always say things like, "Your time will come", in reference to, "Don't worry, you'll get married some day!" Why can't your time be right now, and be what you make of it?


I think we all deserve to be celebrated, and think it's very sad that we only reserve celebrating for certain life milestones.

I'm having a huge party soon.

And I'm registering.

And inviting everybody I know to my, "I can't even seem to meet any straight guys lately, but I deserve cards and a party and cake!"

You are all invited.

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome Back... one of the reasons I fell in love with musical theatre.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Favorite Oscar Moments...

There was just a tribute to musicals on the Academy Awards...Hugh Jackman cried out, "The musical is BACK!"

(And at that moment, the majority of my musical-theatre-loving friends on Facebook updated their statuses to comment on how awesome the performance was...myself included...yes, there is a reason why we're such dorks...we're huge musical theatre fans, after all.)

If that was up on YouTube, I would include it in the following list, but it's not yet.

Here are some more Oscar moments that I remember watching and rewinding and watching again (and, of course, crying over. I was just laughing when I saw Kate Winslet crying over Penelope Cruz's acceptance speech...and I said to myself, "Who are you kidding, Diana? If you were in the audience, you'd be crying over lighting design nominations...")

Buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck win for their Good Will Hunting screenplay. Watching it now freaks me out slightly, since they're younger than I am now...and I haven't won an Oscar for Best Screenplay yet. Extra points because Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon presented it to them...and extra extra points because they brought their moms. The way their voices are cracking and how they're bouncing's great!

Adrien Brody winning for Best Actor in The Pianist.

Now, this isn't just about the Halle Berry kiss! That was one well-deserved Oscar. I have seen my share of Holocaust films, and think The Pianist is up there as one of the all-time best. In one of the very last scenes, Adrien is sitting at his piano, and he turns and smiles at somebody, and that entire movie is captured in the most heartbreaking, beautiful, soulful smile...just an incredible performance! He's adorable, his speech was adorable, and watching him just tear-up as Heath Ledger was honored just shows that he's an emotional guy. And look at how everyone is cheering for him...clearly a well-liked dude in Hollywood.

ROBERTO! winning one of two Oscars of the night for Best Foreign Language film. Come on, he's jumping on chairs. I loved Life is Beautiful...even though it was criticized for how unrealistic it was, it was a wonderful and touching and heartbreaking film and that Roberto is delightful.

Frank Sinatra winning for From Here to Eternity. I clearly didn't watch this on television when it was first aired...but how could I not include the greatest there ever was?

Diana Rissetto

Monday, February 16, 2009

I don't wear jewelry much...

I wear a chain with a small cross on it almost every day of my life...(and I have many of them...a silver one I bought when I was in Ireland that I love...even though I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me, I am strangely obsessed with Irish things...several that I have bought from a stand that is always at the Bryant Park Holiday of my best friends and I actually have matching crucifix and Star of David's very "Baby-Sitters Club".)

I rarely wear bracelets (they end-up distracting me) or rings (certainly can't wear pinky rings, due to my crazy crooked pinkies...I wouldn't be able to get them off...)

No, I do not wear jewelry much.

Then why can't I get away from this website?

And then I saw this:

This elegant Matinee pearl necklace is a double strand of excellent quality glass pearls from the early 1940s. The 7.5 mm pearls are very heavy and are not bright white. They are wedding dress white, or pearls with a very slight champagne finish. The color is officially called cream. The necklace has an old round filigree clasp that is signed Sterling.

A really gorgeous double strand of glass pearls, and most certainly very old!

I haven't ordered them.

They are expensive.

And I am wondering if I'd even wear them.

BUT...they are "most certainly very old"...and that is making me want them.

I am picturing a girl in 1942 wearing them as she writes letters to her boyfriend (whose name is Charlie!) fighting in the war.

I am ridiculous.

I am crazy.

But my love of all things 1940's is even worse and more random than my love of all things Irish.

Diana Rissetto

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you. If you can only remember with tears, then don't remember me at all"

While I try not to get too personal on here, because the Internet is such a public thing, but today I need to...

Last year, I found out that my blog actually did have regular visitors...including my Uncle Vinny. (Who was not just my uncle, but my Godfather and, ever since my dad died ten years ago, the closest thing I had to a father.)

Uncleness and second/Godfatherness aside, he was also one of my favorite people in the world.

He was getting chemotherapy at the time, and wasn't able to sleep after his treatments.

I learned that he'd stay-up at night and read my blog. He would start to make references to things and I could tell he really was, for some reason, reading everything I wrote.

(He even started listening to and enjoying Peter Cincotti because I was always mentioning him, even though he thought it was absolute blasphemy that I would list Peter Cincotti before Frank Sinatra on my list of favorites...I have since fixed that.)

He told me that he liked reading it...that I wrote well and was funny...and ever since then, I felt like I had an audience that I wanted to keep happy and kept writing because I knew Uncle Vinny was reading.

Uncle Vinny passed two days ago.

Everybody always teases me about what a huge smile I have and that you can count every single one of my teeth when I do so...but, I think Uncle Vinny's smile was bigger, and it was always on his face. (I can't say that about myself. I have my moody days.) It is the one thing everybody seemed to comment about him at his wake...what a beautiful and wonderful thing to be remembered for...for always having a smile.

He was always a favorite uncle among little kids...(my cousin even named one of her dolls "Uncle Vinny" when she was little...she says she still has it. She's 17 now.) When I was little, I remember him coloring with me in my coloring books and being impressed at how well he colored. He loved really old cartoons...which were soon dubbed "Uncle Vinny Cartoons" and he was able to imitate every cartoon character you could name. At his daughter's wedding eight years ago, he invented a funky "leprechaun" dance that we all picked-up and started doing that night.

(Don't worry, it's all caught on video.)

Just days before he died, his 3-year-old granddaughter Mia showed me how her grandpa taught her to put coasters over her head to make "Mickey Mouse Ears."

In the past five years, Uncle Vinny bravely battled his cancer and I can't imagine the emotional and physical toll that it took on him...but, during that time, he also got to meet his granddaughter three years ago...(who loved her grandfather very much. We will make sure she grows-up hearing stories about him)...he saw his son get married this past fall, and even got to dance with my sister at her wedding last year, for the dance reserved for the bride and her father.

Watching my own father succumb to cancer when I was a teenager changed me for life. I have finally got over wondering "what if what if what if"...what if my father hadn't died? It changed everything...and everyone. Living through my father's illness and death didn't make me any stronger or equipped to handle tragedy, like I feel it did for the people around me. In fact, it did just the made me want to run the other way and hide. I know that, after my mom, sister and me, my aunt, uncle and cousins probably felt my dad's death the most...and I couldn't handle the fact that my family was going through this all again.

It took me a long time to come to terms with my uncle's illness, and I definitely held onto the belief that he'd be fine, (I tend to have an immature, naive "Rose Colored Glasses" complex) and that my family was due a break after watching so many people become ill and die long before their time...and then I realized it wasn't going to happen.

When I found enough courage to go visit him two weeks ago, I found that I was able to do it. I even saw him the night before he passed away, and right now, I am glad that I did and feel it's brought me to come to terms with my dad's death. I forgive myself now, and feel that I've been forgiven by both of them as well.

Now, I have to add that, even in the hardest times, my family manages to find things to laugh about. I believe certain things are sent to us in these times to keep us laughing through our tears. ("Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!" Any excuse to quote Truvy from Steel Magnolias. "In a good shoe, I wear a size six...but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight...")

At funerals and wakes, there will always be a well-meaning person who says something absolutely ridiculous that you remember later and laugh about...if you're really lucky, there will be a great-uncle whose cellphone goes off really loudly in church and he'll go on to have an entire conversation (very very loudly) while the priest is speaking...

And, of course, if you are really really lucky...the person that you are all remembering was somebody that made you all smile very much...and it makes it hard not to smile remembering them, despite how much it hurts to accept that they are gone.

(And at one point during the eulogy today, my mom's cousin grabbed onto my hand to comfort me. Now, I have very very crooked pinkies. I have to be very careful as to how I situate my pinkies...I need to tuck them under most of the time. It's the only way I am comfortable. Whatever, we all have our abnormalities...I kept thinking, "I can't let her think I don't want her holding onto my hand! She's being nice and supportive but MY GOSH MY CROOKED PINKIES I JUST CANNOT KEEP MY HAND LIKE THIS FOR MUCH LONGER!")

There was a DVD running photos of my uncle's life in the funeral parlor. There were several pictures of my uncle and my father together...they had found themselves in the same family by chance thirty-five years ago (they married a pair of sisters), and remained the best of friends for life...and they were very similar. (By the way, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from The Phantom of the Opera was playing in the background. What exactly were they trying to do to me?)

The priest who did the mass today, who has known our families for years, even mentioned my dad and remembered the crazy things my uncle and dad would do just to get a laugh...which made us laugh...and cry...a lot. By now, they've met-up again and are joking around, just like old times.

And that's how we have to remember them...the way they were smiling in those old photos, and not how they were towards the end...I feel like when somebody dies after such a long illness, you really do lose who they really were a while before they physically die.

I'm not sure if the following was a Little House on the Prairie original or not, but it was used in an episode, and, if there is anything I love to quote more than Steel Magnolias, it's Michael Landon.

Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you. If you can only remember with tears, then don't remember me at all.

I like that, and I know that's how my uncle (and my dad) feel about all of us...because as much as we've cried over the past few days, there's always a funny memory and a laugh not far away. I miss them both very much, but I'm starting to realize how fortunate I am to have the family that I do, and to even have people to love and say goodbye to and to miss. Many people aren't so lucky.

I have realized that a lot of people don't "get" my family because they haven't been nearly as blessed.

I have never really received a "sign" from a deceased loved one, and am envious of people who have...and I do watch Crossing Over every week and cry all over the place.

My uncle ALWAYS had Halls cough drops on him, and I remember if I ever coughed around him, he'd whip out a few packets and ask me what flavor I wanted. The day he died, I had it in the back of my head that I would suddenly smell an overwelming scent of Halls out-of-the-blue...I didn't...maybe signs don't happen if you look for them.

We would also always pass our hot peppers from our salads over to my uncle at dinners, since he was the only one who ate them. At dinner Thursday night, I looked down at the hot peppers in my salad and realized I didn't have anybody to pass them over to anymore.

Whenever I see a Halls coughdrop or a hot pepper or a crazy old cartoon...I will remember my uncle, my Godfather, most dedicated blogreader...

...with smiles and laughter...

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No one here to guide you,
Now you're on your own.
Only me beside you . . .
Still, you're not alone.
No one is alone, truly.
No one is alone.

Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you
You decide what's good.
You decide alone,
But no one is alone.

People make mistakes,
Fathers, mothers,
People make mistakes
Holding to their own,
Thinking they're alone.

Honor their mistakes
Everybody makes
one another's terrible mistakes.
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good.
You decide what's right
You decide what's good.
Just remember . . .

Someone is on your side.
Someone else is not.
While you're seeing your side
maybe you forgot:
They are not alone.
No one is alone.

Hard to see the light now
Just don't let it go.
Things will come out right now
We can make it so.
Someone is on your side
No one is alone.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's a good week to be Cheyenne Jackson...

Everybody knows how much I love Ugly Betty.

Everybody knows how much I relate to Ugly Betty.

And now I can refer to, " know, the guy who's on Ugly Betty.

ABC's Ugly Betty is about to get a whole lot prettier. Out triple-threat Cheyenne Jackson will guest star on the show later this season (whenever that is) as a gay dad.
There aren't many details yet, but from the pic above (where's he's in character on the streets of NYC), he looks right at home in daddy mode.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A One-Man Show...

...and that one man is one of my favorites in the world!!!

Cheyenne Jackson to Make NYC Nightclub Debut in March

By Andrew Gans
02 Feb 2009

Singer-actor Cheyenne Jackson, most recently on Broadway in Xanadu, will play Feinstein's at Loews Regency in March.

Jackson will perform at the intimate nightspot March 2 in an evening titled Back to the Start. Show time is 8:30 PM.

Back to the Start, which marks Jackson's Manhattan nightclub debut, will feature "songs and stories from his early adventures in New York to the present," according to press notes. Seth Rudetsky will be Jackson's musical director.

Cheyenne Jackson, who was seen in the film "United 93," has appeared on Broadway in Xanadu, All Shook Up, Aida and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He starred in the premiere cast of Altar Boyz, and his regional credits include West Side Story, The Most Happy Fella, Children of Eden, Hair, Carousel, Damn Yankees and Kismet. Jackson is a member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices and was seen Off-Broadway in The Agony and the Agony and at City Center in Damn Yankees.

Feinstein's at Loews Regency is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations call (212) 339-4095 or visit and

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Someone Waits for You...

For some reason, I connect Carly Simon songs with the year my dad was ill and passed away.

I used to listen to her a lot. ("Jesse" is a really fun song to sing while you are cleaning and making your bed in the morning..) Carly was also battling cancer herself that year, so perhaps that further explains the connection. I used to listen to one song, "Someone Waits for You" over and made me feel better.

I feel my family has been given a lot to handle, both in the past and right now. We have been around more than our share of sickness, suffering and loss. Sometimes I look around and see other families that haven't really had experiences like ours, and it makes me very sad and bitter. Why were we chosen to have to deal with this? Why can't everyone in our family live to be healthy at ninety-years-old?

Oh, my heart knows more with each passing day,
And I know I'll change if you leave or stay.
But when our world turns where it's turning to,
You'll see some hearts fade, while mine shine's on through,
I will still be there some day for you.

I feel like I run away and hide when things get rough. I'd rather walk around the block by myself and cry than be around somebody who is suffering. Right before my dad died, I had to leave the room. Nobody else had to. Sometimes I wonder how somebody as incredibly sensitive as myself (and I am, no doubt, one of the most sensitive people in the world) can't come through more in these times. I lose it, and cry like a crazy person and make things worse for everybody...I wish I could be stronger.

Last week, I was honest with my family...that I hoped that they knew that my absence didn't mean that I didn't love everybody very much, or that I wasn't thinking about them every day. They understood...and that's what I needed to hear. I feel stronger now.

You see, somewhere, someone waits for you,
Who hopes you will come through,
Who'll wait until you do.
You'll see a line at some familiar door,
And when you reach the shore,
Life won't hurt any more.

I have this very clear memory from the day after my dad died. My mom and my aunt were making the funeral arrangements, and my sister, cousin and I were sitting in the waiting room together. I can kind of see it from the outside...three somber-looking brunettes who were really drained...but, no matter how drained we were, we were sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. We weren't alone...and no matter what happened, we would get through it all together.

Last week, I confronted my fears and visited an ill relative. It was hard for me, but when I was greeted by a little 3-year-old who happily grabbed me by the hand and led me to see that relative, a lot of my fears went away. She was unphased by the sadness and sickness surrounding us, and I wished so much, just for a minute, that we could all have the outlook of a three-year-old. She made me realize that this is all a part of life...and life goes on. I also know that not everybody is blessed as I am to have the family I was given, and perhaps the fact that we're all so close is what makes these things so difficult.

I know that I wasn't alone ten years ago, and I'm not alone now...

Remember, night may trouble you, with endless dreams,
But blue skies wait for you beyond the sunrise.
I'm here, so walk into your fate,
It never is too late.
There's someone smiling through,
Who'll do all they can do, for you.
Remember, somewhere, someone waits for you.

Diana Rissetto