Friday, December 30, 2011

Sometimes I wish people didn't compliment me so much.

And, no, this is NOT a fish for compliments.

This is not an excuse for me to list all of my good qualities and announce them to all four people who check this blog on a daily basis. (Hi, Matt!!!)

That was an honest statement.

Sometimes I wish people didn't compliment me so much.

I am always told that I am hilariously funny. I have to ignore that, because once you attempt to be funny, you're not funny anymore. I don't try to be funny...I just AM, apparently.  Someone even recently told me that when she's moping around about her horrible life, my funny Facebook statuses are the one thing that make her laugh. (I barely know this girl. I went to grammar school with her and have not seen her since the last day of the 3rd grade.) I know my humor comes through my writing, and as long as I'm writing comedy, it turns-out pretty well. I've even been called "brilliant" on several occasions. (Yes, the "b" word.) Another friend told me the other day that I am the most thoughtful person she knows. I'm no Scarlett Johaanson, but I get called "pretty" on a regular basis (and sometimes even that "other b-word" and "cute" and "adorable" on a very regular basis. (Whatever...I do.)

However, people tell me all of this stuff all the time about myself and I feel like, "If all this was true...wouldn't things be a lot easier? Or even just a little easier? Wouldn't I have a great job (or at least a job) and be luckier in love (or at least have the option of rejecting guys I didn't like)?" Because I'm sure there are millions of people out there who aren't hilariously funny and all of those things and are paired-off with a great salary.

I wrote a play once and the main character (loosely based on myself) was very insecure. My friend was helping me revise the script and he asked me, "Why IS she so insecure?" I couldn't answer that question about a fictional character when I couldn't even answer it about myself. The truth is, self-confidence has always been my number one struggle. I'm outgoing and bubbly and bounce-off of walls, which might throw people-off, but, deep down (or maybe not so deep down), I am very insecure about a lot of things. Some people would laugh when I would compare myself to Ugly Betty...because I wasn't that awkward outwardly...but on the inside, I felt as every bit unsure of myself. (I had to turn-off one episode when Betty was crying to her sister...after she learned her playwright boyfriend couldn't be seen in public with her because she was too...well..."ugly"...because it hit too close to home. I remember Betty crying and saying that every time she starts to feel pretty good about herself, something happens and she feels worse than ever. That's how I have felt, many times, in my life. Maybe many young women go through that. Maybe I'm just more honest than a lot of them.)

This year has been rough, and it's done quite a number on my self-esteem. I spent it looking for a job, interviewing like crazy for a job and constantly getting rejected, as I watch people all around me go on one or two interviews and get hired. (I'm happy for these people. I am. I just wish I was these people.)  The interviews go great, I get excellent feedback, people even tell me, "You're fantastic!" "There is something about you!" "YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BRING TO THE TABLE!" but...(fill in the blank.) I feel like I am on a dreadful wild goose chase. I really doubt many people get such enthusiastic responses to their cover letters and such personal and encouraging "we aren't hiring you" rejection letters. So...what's the deal? Really. Why is this so hard for me?

All around me, people fell in love and even got engaged or married. While I don't particularly WANT to be engaged or married right now, it would be nice to know I had the option or WOULD be within the next 19 years. I've had two friends tell me that their respective boyfriends have BOTH said of me, "I don't get why Diana doesn't have guys lined-up around the block..." I guess that's a huge compliment coming from a young man, but still! It just makes me even more confused. I mean...well...why don't I?!

I was very open with my heart this past year and was quite kicked to the curb (you actually CAN hear your heart shatter when somebody shatters it, you know!) When this kicking to the curb happened, I blamed myself instead of person who did the kicking. (I didn't want to admit to myself that he was insensitive and didn't care about my feelings.) I told myself if I had just been different, I would have gotten different treatment.

This year, I have felt like I was stuck, like I was walking around with two black eyes and like things were never going to improve. A few weeks ago, I formally apologized to some of my closest friends for always being such a downer lately. I don't want to be a downer! I want to be happy and optimistic and have exciting adventures and experiences and I want to be able to cope well when things don't go so well.

You know what, it seems like the universe has handed some of the best women in history pretty crummy hands. I mean, we live in a world where a girl as awesome as Maria Shriver gets cheated on by her husband. Nobody was funnier or wittier or a better writer than Wendy Wasserstein (and she seemed like a wonderful and warm person as well) and cancer took her just as she had a young daughter to raise and so many more stories to tell. That was all infinitely worse than anything I have gone through, and they're infinitely more fabulous.

I guess I can complain and say, "WHY ME?" right now...but I guess a better question is, "Well. Why NOT me?"

Rough times and feeling not-so-great about yourself happens to everybody.

Just gotta keep movin' on. There's really nothing else to do.

(Besides, I'm well-aware everything can change in a day. By next New Year's Eve, I could be ringing-it in with my boyfriend Josh Groban and promoting my new off-Broadway play or book.)

Happy New Year, everybody.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Perhaps one day I'll stop doing stupid, emotionally naive things...

...and will no longer walk right into getting hurt and feeling bad and secondguessing myself.

I heard once that everybody is basically doing their best and acting the only way they know, when somebody hurts you, it's not because they want to hurt you, they don't enjoy seeing you in pain and it's not because they dislike you or don't care about your feelings.

The other night (the night before Christmas Eve), I once again went against my better judgement and ended-up feeling terrible when somebody didn't act the way I wanted them to. I felt let-down and very hurt and confused. I actually thought for a few minutes, "Maybe I don't deserve this response...maybe it's me..." But of course it's not me.

I'm not angry, but I am a little sad and confused.

Feeling disregarded and blown-off hurts a that's when you have to surround yourselves with the people who really DO treat you like you're important.

I still feel bad...but I'll get over it. I know that person didn't mean to hurt me.

Writers are sensitive, emotional, overthinking people..................................................

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I always look for crying people in elevators.

Four years ago, I was hysterical crying in an elevator and a woman I barely knew from my workplace took pity on me, calmed me down in her office and made sure I got home okay. (It was my last day in that workplace.)

I never forgot about her and ever since then, I always look for crying people in elevators...or on the bus...or in the street...that might need somebody to reach-out to them. I haven't done much yet...I always ask people (usually young women!) "Are you okay?" if they're crying. (It's a stupid question. They're obviously not. They're crying!)

A few weeks ago, I was in that very same elevator going to a job interview and spotted that very same lady.

I didn't say anything, but I instantly remembered that day four years ago, and how she helped me and was my friend that day.

I sent her flowers when I got home.

I wrote in the card that I saw her in the elevator but didn't get to talk to her and that it reminded me of how nice she was to me that day...and that those flowers were four years overdue.

She emailed me to thank me (she had kept me on file) but I think those flowers probably made ME feel better than they did her. I feel like getting flowers from somebody you barely know four years after doing a nice deed for them HAS to make your day. I know it would make my day! And knowing you've made somebody's day MAKES YOUR DAY RIGHT BACK!

I told this story in my Positive Thinking Class.

They all clapped for me and the instructor said my good deed would come back to me.

I think it already DID come back to me. It made me feel great.

Diana Rissetto

It's a Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite movie

It has been probably since I was in the second grade, and, by the time I was in the fourth grade, I think I had it memorized. I remember going to my aunt's apartment one Christmas Day and running down the New York City block calling-out, "Merry Christmas movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium!" I think it's not only the best Christmas movie ever made, but also the best film ever made and definitely the greatest love story ever told. (That kiss scene by the phone was my ideal of romance for most of my life.)

I remember seeing a musical production of it when I was 10 with my dad, glancing at him towards the end and realizing he was crying (my dad was tough. My dad was athletic. But my dad cried for movies and shows. I had to have gotten it from somewhere) and then when we exited the theatre, found it had started snowing. Just one of those very perfect Christmas memories that you can't make-up.We even had a tiny porcelain Bedford Falls village we set-up.

Last year, my play Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes premiered off-Broadway and it was about a young man who hates Christmas and the young lady who changes that. Halfway through the play, the character of Peter goes into a rant about how much he hates that movie and how in reality, it is very depressing, pointing-out all the things that are wrong with it. (I mean...why DOES Mary only wear glasses when George doesn't exist? Did George have really good eye insurance or something?)

I don't echo Peter's sentiments. I love that movie. I love George Bailey.

So, when Carl Howell, the  actor who played Peter told me a few months ago, "You're going to think I'm lying, but I'm directing a youth production of It's a Wonderful Life..."

I knew I couldn't miss it. It's a Wonderful Life and little kids are my two favorite things in the world.

The Philipstown Depot Theater was quite a hike away in a tiny theater with a sign warning people not to skateboard on the premises. (Thank goodness!)  It's quaint and lovely and charming. (The last thing I will ever become is a "Broadway snob." Wonderful theater is all around us.)

Now, I've learned over the years that sometimes it's hard to sit through a children's production if you don't know any children IN that production. A few people asked me which kid I was there cheering on. ("That...little kid with the curly hair! Yeah...she's mine.")

However, not the case with this show! I "awwwed" and cracked-up at these kids every bit as I would have been had my little cousin Mia been playing Zuzu herself. The play was only 75 minutes long...much shorter than the movie, but they also completely kept ALL of the heart of it. I didn't miss the swimming pool dance floor or the scene when they show Harry in the warplanes at all.

(My favorite part of this production was Harry Bailey running-out at the end in his little soldier's uniform. I wanted to adopt him, but I'm sure his parents might mind.)

Carl, the director, has never seen the movie and decided to keep it that way, letting these beautiful young kids bring nothing but the purest and original interpretation possible to this classic tale. They all succeeded. It was wonderfully done. I listened to an audience member tell Carl that she was crying at the end due to the innocence of the children bringing-out the meaning of the story. She was don't need Hollywood legends when you're acting from the heart.

Four stars to Carl and all of these fantastic kids on a brilliant re-imagining of characters almost familiar to me as my own family.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, December 12, 2011


My Positive Thinking Class stresses an Attitude of Gratitude.

Along those lines, I would like to state once and for all that it bothers me when people don't send-out Thank You notes.

I know we don't give gifts in order to get Thank You notes...but if I'm going to your parties and showers and spending money and time on your happy occasion, it would be really REALLY nice to know you spent three minutes writing me a card.

I don't hold it against them forever or dwell on it, but it does bother me.

Last week, I gave a young man I volunteer with a handmade sweater for his baby. (Just in case nobody's grandma made one for him.)  Four days later, I got the sweetest Thank You note from his very sweet wife. (I have only met her once.) This card was extremely personal and genuine and kind.

And with this single card, this new young mother has negated every eyeroll I have ever had over not getting a Thank You note in response to other gifts.

Instead of getting annoyed when I DON'T get Thank You notes, I'm just going to feel extremely appreciative when I DO get a nice one like this card.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say that getting a really nice Thank You note is better than getting a really nice gift.

This baby is lucky to have such a sweet, thoughtful mom.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

They make classes for everything these days.

I have been going to Positive Thinking Class on Saturday mornings lately. (I told my friend and she thought I was making that up. No, I'm not. They do exist.) In fact, the second time I went, two random strangers smiled at me on my way there. It's almost as if they KNEW where I was going...............................

One week, we talked about how if you're truly a confidant and healthy person you will not attract people who ARE NOT into your life.

I thought about this.

I have never tried to conceal the fact that confidence has never been my forte. I'm not sure why. There's really no reason I should be insecure. I've been off-Broadway, among a bunch of other accomplishments. I have a lot of friends. Sometimes people laugh at me so much I kinda feel like Jerry Seinfeld. I am extremely guilty of comparing myself to (random people from high school who I wasn't even really friends with back then) and feeling incredibly far behind, which I need to stop doing.

I was in a very toxic relationship for several years. That relationship ended and I blamed myself and felt horrible, and let myself feel worse and worse.

However, this relationship ended shortly after the greatest time of my life (so far). I had never felt better about myself. I was on top of the world and saw ahead me, a very very bright future.

And then that relationship ended and I felt worse than ever.

Listening to the instructor of this class talk about how no confidant and healthy person will ever attract the opposite into her life, I realized WHY that relationship ended.

I was happy. I was feeling good about myself...and there was no room for an unhealthy, toxic relationship. I was telling the universe, "Send me great things and great people because, heck, I AM great!" and so the Universe took this person and situation out of my life. But I didn't know well enough to say "Thank you SO much."

Instead of realizing it at the time, I took the blame and let my self-esteem take a usual beating.

I let myself become the no no...I am NOT the victim.

I am the spirited heroine who is going to triumph because she is awesome!

This Positive Thinking stuff is no joke.

For 2012,  I am asking the Universe for a fantastic new job, several different productions of my plays and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Perspective (again)...

On Saturday night, I found-out that the 20-year-old daughter/sister of two friends of mine had died suddenly.

I haven't been able to think of much since. My heart absolutely breaks for them. It is completely devastating and confusing and when I try to put my own family in their place, I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through and what they are feeling right now.

You realize you don't have real problems when something like this happens to your friends.

I hope they can find the tiniest amount of comfort and peace in their memories and friends right now.

This is just so unbelievably sad. There are no words.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And just when you thought a guy couldn't get any cuter... see him helping a little child ride a scooter.

Goshdarnit, Gyllenhaal. Goshdarnit.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How I Met Your Mother is on about 34 times a day.

And I've been watching it almost as much as that.

First of all, I'm a little in love with Ted Mosby as portrayed by Josh Radnor and feel like if I met Ted, we'd hit-it-off and I could be "your mother." 

But he's not a real person. I get that.

I like this quote.

The great moments of your life won't necessarily be the things you do, they'll also be the things that happen to you. Now I'm not saying you can't take action to affect the outcome of your life, you have to take action, and you will. But never forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change forever. You see the universe has a plan kids, and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain. It's a scary thought but it's also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you're supposed to be, exactly when you're supposed to be there. The right place at the right time.

This year has been really rough! Maybe I haven't done enough to help myself...but it's been a bad one!

I hope this is true. I hope the universe is going to align and life will start to make the tiniest bit of sense...because, lately? It really hasn't.

Fingers crossed Ted Mosby is right.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I used to get made fun of on the schoolbus.

I know, I know.

Get over it. It was years ago.

And I HAVE gotten over it, for the most part, but I haven't forgotten it or the boys who were the ring leaders. I can tell you their first and last names and their faces are very clear in my mind.

I haven't seen these boys since high school and they probably would have no idea who I was if they saw me in the street. I remember when I would see them in the hallways at school. Sometimes I would stare in one direction and casually (and very forcefully) kick them as hard as I could in the shin. (I have never admitted that to anybody before right now. In fact...I think I had completely forgotten about it.) It was my only way of getting back at them for the daily torment on the bus, which finally ended when they were called into the principal's office.

They used to make fun of my hair. They would scream insults about my hair as I was leaving the bus and had my back turned to them. There were three boys that led all of this, and many more chanted along with them, blindly following them, which reminds me so much of Judy Blume's book Blubber. So many kids are just flat-out hurtful, cruel and can't think for themselves.

(When I was younger, I didn't quite know what to do with all of this hair, but today, it's my signature trait and I wouldn't want it any other way. But, those boys thought it was awful enough to make fun of it daily for our entire eighth grade year.)

I would get-off of the bus and cry. Every day. Self-confidence still isn't my forte, and things like that didn't help. I know they were just being kids and that they had no idea how much they were hurting and embarrassing me.

At my last youth group meeting, we had the kids talk about things they've done that they've regretted. I was talking to the young man who volunteers with me and he said that he used to make fun of kids on the schoolbus. I've been working with him for years and consider him a friend...he's a nice guy and is becoming a father next month and I'm sure he'll make a great one.

BUT...he used to make fun of kids on the schoolbus!

And, fifteen years or so later, he still feels bad about it.

I can't tell you how much I appreciated knowing that those horrible boys from the schoolbus...the ones that used to make me cry...just might have grown into very nice guys who volunteer with church youth groups and STILL carry regret for how mean they were.

I wonder if those boys out there still feel bad about making fun of that girl with the wild hair.

(By the way, as I was writing this, I wondered what became of them. I Googled them. None of them are fabulous off-Broadway playwrights with naturally curly hair. I win!)

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More on karma...

Okay, I had a rough few weeks.

I decided to do something that felt like a very nice gesture and would increase my good energy.

I made a list of everybody I had any kind of an issue didn't matter what kind of an issue it was. It didn't matter if that issue was only in my head and that they probably didn't even remember who I was.

That list turned-out to be very short (maybe my good energy is already pretty good?) and I wrote-out very nice greeting cards to all of them.

I put them in the mail and tried not to imagine them being confused or even rolling their eyes.

I pictured them opening the cards and thinking, "Wow. That's really nice. I'm going to do a random nice gesture for an unexpecting person now!"

A few days after I mailed that card, an act of kindness and generosity from one of those people came right back to me, and I took it as a sign that everything was now turning around (it's been a really rough year for me personally). It was a very small gesture...this person wasn't offering me a new job or giving me money to fund a play...but it was still a major one.

And then I was told that nice gesture was actually a mistake and, just like that, it was taken away from me.

I felt crushed...absolutely crushed...and so confused as to exactly how this universe works.

Doesn't anybody appreciate kindness and care about others' feelings...or am I completely alone on THAT list?

I was hurting, and I am confused and I am really ready to see good things start to happen for good people. This year has been rough. I copied a quote about how true success means you go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. I hope I'm doing that and I hope it's true.

You know, you just have to keep going, because you never know when something really wonderful is going to happen. Maybe that karma is still on its way and maybe that good energy I sent out wasn't about getting anything back in return at all.

Diana Rissetto

How Deep is the Ocean

Last week,  I was lucky enough to be able to attend something I have been hoping would happen for several years...

A Peter Cincotti musical.

For those who have been reading this blog since its start, you'll know I am a huge fan of this young man and am always extremely confused when I have to explain to people who he is. We live in a world where Snookie is a New York Times best-selling author (OH COME ON!) and Peter is still playing to modest crowds? Really? Really?

(Ends the rant of our struggling, unemployed young writer...)

It should be no surprise that some serious talent runs in the Cincotti family, as Peter wrote this show with his sister, Pia Cincotti. (Pia also helped write a bunch of Peter's songs.) Collaborating on musicals is a tricky, emotional thing (learned that firsthand several years ago) and I'm glad the Cincotti kids were able to team-up and work-together. (I'm sure there are different rules when siblings become co-writers. You can openly fight and disagree and yell at each other...but still have to love each other and speak after it all.)

The musical took place in Monmouth Beach, NJ. My family moved from New York City to Monmouth County when I was a kid, so I was able to appreciate so many of the references that I never thought would be sung about on stage. (Sally Tee's Grille...Max's Hot Dogs...Strollo's Italian Ice...West End, NJ...which spans about four blocks and where my church is.)

The premise was over-the-top and ridiculous and along the lines of the Broadway hit Urinetown. A pool man is obsessed with takes over his life and nearly ruins his relationship with his wife through a comedy of errors. (Don't worry...there's a happy ending.)

Being so familiar with Peter's music, I found that the music in this project really showcase how versatile and talented he is. Peter played onstage during the reading and watching him was as entertaining as paying attention to the cast. He was so into the music, mouthing along, hands flying across his piano. (He needed to tune it at one point...ah, live theatre.)

(I've sat in audiences at my own productions in the past and I know what that feels like. Since I usually write comedy, I am always praying to myself. Laugh. Laugh. PLEASE GOD MAKE THEM LAUGH. I remember stressing over, "But what if they don't laugh?" before a show once and my friend texted back with, "But wouldn't it be worse if you wrote a drama and everybody cracked-up?" It probably would.)

There is also a number which mentions prosciutto repeatedly, which made me laugh because I had a joke about prosciutto in my play Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes which was removed because nobody apparently found it funny but me! (I still think it's funny...)

The evening featured a talkback with Pia, Peter, the director and cast of the reading. Pia talked about how she started writing this as a short story then a novel, but realized she was better-suited for plays because she had problems with grammar. (I had the very same experience! I realized I was made to write dialogue and not much else.) Peter said that Pia was on his back for several years to finally start working on this project.  Ever the gracious artists, they took one man's critical commentary with class, thanking him for the good points he brought-up. (He compared the show to The Book of Mormon, saying it wasn't as tight book-and-music wise. Oh, COME ON.)

(I was also happy to find the cast included Jason Collins, who appeared in the most beautiful musical at the YMCA two years ago, Signs of Life. )

My main gripe for the evening? Every single time I laughed...whether it be with everybody else or at a random moment, since I have a habit of giving a very loud "HA!" at things that nobody else finds nearly as hilarious...the young girl in front of me...and she was quite young!...would turn around and glare at me. GLARE. My two friends both noticed it and it was a running joke for the rest of the show. I started to try to lean forward and glare back, but she would turn back around by then.

When the cast bowed and I gave Mr. C an extra cheer, this young girl's father turned around and glared at me.

I guess it runs in the family.

(Seriously, it's an over-the-top comedy. It's not like I'm cracking-up as the Gestapo arrest Anne Frank, people...)

After the show, I made sure to introduce my friends to Peter. (Since we ARE able to casually talk to Peter, because, as I said before...he's not famous...which makes no sense to me.)

My introduction says it all..."This is...well, this is the next Billy Joel."

Or maybe he'll just be the first Peter Cincotti.

Either way, the guy's pretty much out-of-control with the talent. I'm so glad I discovered his stuff when we were kids, and I really hope we can work together one day.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Would somebody like to invite me to a Halloween party???

I want an excuse to buy this dress...

And this hat:

Wear this ring (which I admit to already owning...)

Blow-out my hair...

And be HER...

(I'm obviously MUCH taller than her, so that might throw people-off, though...)

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Karma in action...

I told myself that I was going to start doing or saying ten really nice things a day in order to get my good karma off-the-charts. (What??? It doesn't matter the motive. As long as those good deeds get done!)

I realized, however, that this isn't necessary. You can't keep track of these things...and I do nice things because doing nice things comes easier to me than being a horrible, miserable, sadistic person. (Not that I've ever met any of those.)

Recently, I was waiting for a train when a young woman walked by and a hat fell out of her bag.

I picked it up and caught-up to her to tell her she dropped her hat. She said, "THANK YOU! This is my FAVORITE HAT!"

That very same day, I was walking behind a young man and a $20 bill came flying-out of his pocket.

(I was wondering if we were on What Would You Do?)

I grabbed the $20 and shouted, "YOU DROPPED THIS!" (He had his iPod on.)

He thanked me and said that he wished the world had more Good Samaritans like me.

I thought that was a very sad comment.

WOULD most people just pocket that money?

A few days after that, it was raining and I was using an umbrella which had seen better days.

The woman in front of me dropped a box of cookies (the GOOD kind of sand cookies...) and I picked it up to get it back to her.

(People drop things a lot in this city, don't they?)

As I was getting-up, my umbrella completely snapped.

The woman apologized profusely, asked me if she could buy me a new umbrella and shared hers with me until we had to separate.

Maybe it was karma.

Or maybe it was just another person being nice...

Diana Rissetto

Monday, September 12, 2011

I cried on-and-off all weekend.

Every year, I find myself completely glued to 9/11 anniversary coverage...and every year I cry my heart-out.

This year, Tom Brokaw's retrospective especially got to me...seeing Tom Brokaw break down in tears. Tom Brokaw's strong. He's a comfort. When Tom Brokaw cries, you know there's a very good reason to cry.

Every year, I watch the names being read and this year, to see so many kids pay tribute to their parents and realize that they barely have any memories of them...

Does this ever get easier?

Will 9/11 ever stop being so heartbreaking?

I don't think it will...and I don't think it's supposed to.

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not too often I see a friend's wedding on the top news of Us Magazine

Congratulations to Cheyenne and Monte!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I recently saw the movie One Day...

...and the book was a lot better. However, perhaps that isn't saying much, because the book was so beautiful and deep and compelling that I am sure it is a lot better than most movies.

There is one part of the book I particularly loved and which the film particularly changed to my dismay. Dexter writes his "best female friend with a grey zone" Emma a long letter, which, of course, is never delivered to her. (This was long before email. I miss writing letters!) Of course, that's always the risk you take when mailing a letter!

He begins the note explaining that he has just had several beers and continues to drink as he writes.

This is the most Dexter ever says to Emma about how he feels about her and what he thinks of her. He thinks she is brilliant and beautiful and the funniest person he knows. He wants her to leave her crummy job and flat and join him in India.

She never gets that letter and perhaps if she did, the story would have went in a very different direction.

I started wondering if, what if Dexter wasn't even drinking? What if he just talked about those beers so he could be completely free with the things he was telling Emma, and then she would never quite take those things seriously because he was so drunk.

Since these aren't real people, I can only relate it to my own life.

I am 100% guilty or writing long letters completely pouring-out my heart and, usually, regretting it. You're supposed to wait something like 48 hours before you send an emotionally charged email. I probably wait about 48 seconds. I've tried that whole trick where you just write the letter and destroy it, but that doesn't work for me.

I need to press send. I'm a writer...I am the most comfortable expressing myself through writing.

I so very rarely drink, but I am starting to wonder if I should have been, all this time, confessing to having a little too much in me in some of these long-winded emails. That way, you don't have to own-up to anything you are saying if the person isn't taking you seriously.

It's like saying, "Just kidding!" after saying something you completely meant.

I really don't think I'll ever learn my lesson. I really don't think I will ever stop sending long letters/emails pouring-out my heart forty-eight seconds after I've written them.

Maybe it's a good way to weed out the people that I really don't need in my life, because if somebody thought I was as stellar as Dexter thought Emma was, I don't think a crazy email would do anything to change it.

If you can't handle a rambling, heart-pouring-out, very soberly written letter from me................................

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I always panic and worry, "What if this is it?"

I always had members of my family (usually the older relatives...I had always been a hit with them) that would tell me things like, "We KNOW you're destined for greatness..." As nice as it was to hear, it also made me worry that I would never be able to live-up to that expectation. What if I failed? At everything? 

When I was sixteen, I was the lead story on Access Hollywood for "touching Frank Sinatra's heart in his final days." (Believe me, they made it all sound a lot more dramatic than it was.) I still don't understand who else cared about that story besides people who were related to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed my fifteen minutes of fame. We watched the VHS at school the next day. I got applause! I was mentioned in the same sentence as Sting and Brad Pitt!

I figured that we only all ever get fifteen minutes of fame and my fifteen minutes WERE over and that they were gone before I even graduated high school.

Ah, was fun while it lasted.

When I was 18, I was picked to be a reporter for Teen People magazine. I interviewed Jeremy London of Party of Five fame, hung-out with Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish and reviewed self-tanner. I was paid $1 a word. I was getting paid to talk to celebrities and couldn't believe my good fortune.

My contract ended after one year and, once again...I wondered if that was it...

Soon, I landed an internship with a Broadway PR firm and my name was listed in a Broadway playbill. I wasn't getting paid...but I had my name in a Broadway playbill. I talked to Patrick Wilson on a warship, stood under a tent with a bunch of Broadway stars (including future superstar and my future superfriend, Cheyenne Jackson) and learned what went on beyond the stage at Broadway shows. Although I came home crying several times, I still kept going back...I was hooked.

And then the internship ended and I was once again just some random girl who liked writing stories and plays and seeing shows.

Yes...this is all there is.

I graduated college, entered the most Frustrating Job Hunt Ever (edition 1) and when I finally DID land a job, it was also one where I got to, once again, work with Broadway shows, see everything for free and attend the Tonys.

Back on top!

And then I got laid-off.

Back at the bottom!

I was convinced once again that it was all over.

Soon, I landed another job, around the same time that a show I co-wrote made the finals of a writing competition. My job brought many exciting things into my life...and Jerry Stiller sent me flowers for my birthday.

That show fell apart after it made its world premiere due to artistic differences...and I was worried I'd never have anything produced ever again.

I was wrong...several shows followed, including one Off-Off-Broadway last summer. I was so happy! I felt so great about myself! I was surrounded by friends and relatives telling me how proud they were of me and people laughed at my words!

As all shows do, that one closed, and then I lost that exciting, glamorous job.

Lately, I've been struggling, ONCE AGAIN, with the feeling of, "Was that all there ever was????? Has everything exciting that is ever destined to happen to me already happened?"

Now, I'm really bored and being slightly anti-social.

I feel light years behind so many other people. 

I'm unemployed.

I'm writing like crazy (good thing), but nothing is becoming of that writing yet.

Should I have paced myself? Did I accomplish too much and now there's just nothing left to happen for me because I've used-up my fifteen minutes over and over and over?

It helped a lot to write all of this out, because I realize that, in the past, something newer and bigger and more exciting than anything else that has ever happened to me ALWAYS comes along and maybe if you didn't lose your job or have your heart broken it wouldn't have been able to happen.

I just have to keep going and realize that things will turn-around and when they DO turn around, they'll be better than ever and this path will make more sense.

Peter Cincotti has a song which includes the lyric, "I got a very strong suspicion this could be the day..." (I'm taking it completely out-of-context. The song is about the guy wanting his girlfriend to call-out of work and stay in bed with him.)

I think that's my new mantra. "I got a very strong suspicion this could be the day..."

I'm applying that to writing, to love, to jobs, to life. You just never know...and you just HAVE to keep on moving forward because you never know when something really wonderful is heading your way.

Maybe you really can't appreciate the good stuff until you've dealt with the not-so-good...

Diana Rissetto

Things that are making me laugh right now...

Every so often, a single line from a movie or a show on stage cracks me up beyond understanding and I am the only person in the entire audience laughing.

In the movie One Day (which, I am sorry, was really not nearly as good as the book, but I think the book was pretty brilliant), it's when Anne Hathaway, as she and her male friend discuss the importance of laughter in a relationship and says, of her ex-boyfriend:

"The only time he made me laugh was when he fell down the stairs."

I "HA'D!"

I can't help it.

It just struck me as so funny.

Also hilarious...this commercial:

That little boy throwing his arms up and looking all Crazy Muppet...I...just...can't. It's so funny!

Diana Rissetto

Friday, August 26, 2011


I went over to my cousin's house to watch his kids the other day.

There was a stuffed banana, with a face and wearing clothes and taller than me, on their couch.

His ten-year-old son told me, "That was on the curb with the garbage! I told my dad we HAD to take it home...because one man's trash is another man's treasure!"

There is nothing greater than expressions my grandpa would have used being said by a little kid...

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today, at the supermarket...

It was packed due to the upcoming hurricane and I had about twenty items in my cart.

I was on a very long line and the lady behind me said, "Ma'am?" (why is somebody older than me even CALLING me 'Ma'am'?) "You should get on one of the express lines."

I told her, no...that I actually had twenty items and the next express line was for Fifteen Items or Fewer.

One of the workers told me to get into the line for Seven Items or Fewer.

It's their place, so I got onto the line...but only as  I apologized to the people who ended-up lining-up behind me, because I was convinced they were cursing to themselves that I snuck onto that line with thirteen excess items.

(I don't think they cared.)

I think my worrying and apologies are quite overkill...

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cannot wait to read this book!

I completely love Wendy Wasserstein and, next to Michael Landon, she has been my biggest influence as a writer. I'm so sad that I'll never get to meet her. Somebody who knew her personally once told me that Wendy would have really liked me. (And hearing that made me want to burst into tears...)

Love this brilliant, funny, wonderful writer (who also had crazy curly hair and a young-sounding voice!)

I'm sure I'll need a box of tissues for the read...

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Those moments when you think you were over something and then... have a dream and it is clear that your subconscious has not stopped thinking and worrying about it.

I really wish I wasn't so sensitive.

Right now, life would be so much easier if I didn't have so much time on my hands. I'm remembering how incredibly busy I was this time last year...I had never felt so good about myself, was surrounded by so many people who loved me and were proud of me and I was certain that it was just the beginning. While I'm still pretty sure my friends and family love me and are proud of me, I'm not feeling entirely enthusiastic about myself and my achievements right now. I wish I could have a guarantee that those feelings from last year will come again...but I know we can't get guarantees like that.

And, since I am not busy, it allows me time to go over stuff in my mind, over and over, and let it really really get to me.

I just don't get it.

I know that I really let myself care about something for a very long time, but accepted that it wasn't going to end-up the way that I hoped that it would...but I can't really feel better about the way that I was treated in the end, which was completely out of my control (And yet why am I still blaming myself somehow?). I deserved a lot better than that and I'm just very sad and feel a bit like I was kicked in the head by a Shetland pony. I want to assume the best of people, but that's hard when I feel really rather disregarded.

I know that I'm really nice to people, for the most part...I'm very sensitive when it comes to other people's feelings (I keep checking in with my friend whose cat just died) and it just stings when somebody can't be sensitive when it comes to mine, especially somebody I really cared about...especially somebody I thought was my friend and that I was very honest to. (Sometimes being so honest is the hardest thing in the world.)

And then, just when you think you've moved on, the situation is resolved in your dreams and you wake-up and realize that it didn't really happen...and you just feel bad.

You mustn't mess me about. I know I may look like a rhinoceros, but I've got quite a thin skin just be a bit careful with me...or I'll flatten 'ya-Benny in Circle of Friends

Diana Rissetto

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Didn't think anybody would notice...

For a while, I was oddly attached to a singing AMNY newspaper lady that I saw every morning. She would sing "Autumn in New York", always changing "autumn" to the appropriate description. "It's Friday in New York!" "It's raining in New York!" and then she'd sing "It's gonna be a bright...bright...sunshiney day...", once again, filling in her own lyrics so it would make sense.

One day, she disappeared.

I hoped she would come back and she never did.

I even emailed AMNY and asked, since they actually have an email address to write to talk about your favorite promoters.

(They never responded.)

I know I wasn't the only person who loved her. I used to even see people hugging her!

It's been so long but she taught me something SO important about want to live your life so that people notice when you're not there...even if you're a newspaper distributor in a city that has some of the richest celebrities and bankers in the world. I remember that little newspaper lady and I still think about her. I can't say that about any of the other business people I would see every day.

I lost my job in November and the past nine months have been the most frustrating and trialing of my life. (Perhaps I should be grateful that that's the case?)

I've always had a favorite conductor on the train. He's been my favorite since I started taking the train regularly into the city about ten years ago. He's very nice and always talks to me and when I used to work at Barnes and Noble, I'd see him there sometimes as well.

The other night, I was on the train and he saw me and said, "THERE you are! I thought you retired or ran off to Paris. I haven't seen you in so long."

I told him what had happened...that I had lost my job in November and was on one of the most soul-sucking job searches in history.

He was so sympathetic! He was so encouraging!

And, most important, he noticed when I wasn't there. I didn't think anybody would.

Another woman also told me she had been worried about me because she hadn't seen me on the train in so long.

I didn't think anybody would notice when I wasn't around...I'm really glad they did. And I didn't even have to sing...

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ah, kids these days.

One of my favorite things to do is volunteer with my church's youth group. I have been with them for about seven years, and even though I am often mistaken for one of the kids (the majority are taller than me), I do feel like I have a positive, big-sisterly influence on them. I love feeling like we are instilling in them that they can make a difference and do good in the world!

However, one thing they DO need help in is to be steered towards better taste in music.

We had a party the other day, complete with a DJ. (We don't limit ourselves to Christian rock...even though some of those tunes are kinda catchy..."come with me, and I will show you Jesus...if you're lookin' for a savior...if you're lookin' for adventure...if you're lookin' for a friend...")

One young 6th grade girl requested the song "Unfriend You." "Unfriend You" is apparently an amazing song.

My fellow leader and I looked at her and said, "Unfriend you? As in Facebook-unfriend?"

The DJ did NOT have "Unfriend You", but that didn't stop me from looking-up the lyrics when I got home.

I believe it makes the New Kids on the Block "Please Don't Go Girl" look like Hamlet.

"Unfriend You"

I really thought you were the one
It was over before it begun
It's so hard for me to walk away
But I know I can't stay

You're beautiful and crazy too
Maybe that's why I fell into you
Even though you would pretend to be
You were never with me

So it's over yeah we're through, so I'll unfriend you
You're the best liar ever knew, so Imma unfriend you
cause I should have known, right from the start
I'm deleting you right from my heart
Yeah it's over, my last move is to unfriend you

I thought in time that you could change
And my time and love would heal the pain
And I didn't want this day to come
But now all I feel is numb

So it's over yeah we're through, so Imma unfriend you
You're the best liar ever knew, so Imma unfriend you
cause I should have known, right from the start
I'm deleting you right from my heart
Yeah it's over, my last move is to unfriend you

You come on to everybody
Everybody all the time
You give up to anybody
What I thought was only mine

So it's over now we're through, so I'll unfriend you
You're the best liar I ever knew, so I will unfriend you
'Cause I should have known, right from the start
That you didn't have a human heart
Yeah it's over my last move is to unfriend you
Unfriend you

So I'll unfriend you
Unfriend you

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thoughts on the final Harry Potter film...

As much as I absolutely adored the Harry Potter series (working in the children's department of Barnes and Noble for most of the series, they were very hard to avoid...and we can't forget the release parties I worked..."Midnight Madness"...I dressed-up as Hermione and I made a pretty fantastic Hermione. I'm sure most petite, young-looking brunettes with insane amounts of curly hair do, though.) I was never as into the movies, and didn't even SEE any of the movies until the last book had come-out...because that was all I had left.

My main issue with the movies?

They cut-out so many of my favorite Ron and Hermione moments.

Emma Watson and Rupert Grint?

Wonderful. Adorable. Terrific chemistry.

I could seriously just squish them both.

Look at how cute they were when they were little!

Couldn't you just squish them?

It's not THEIR fault that the movies cut-out so many great moments.

(Seriously? Did Ron holding Hermione and stroking her hair when she was sobbing at Dumbledore's funeral mean NOTHING to Chris Columbus?)

While everybody else in my movie theatre cheered whenever a bad guy died (or, you know, blew-up), I cheered when Ron and Hermione first (and finally!) kissed.

Nobody else did.

Does nobody else appreciate the greatest literary love story of our time?

The movie, as a whole, was lovely and powerful (even though they cut-out the scene when Hermione is being tortured and Ron offers his own life to save hers...whatever!) and a wonderful end to a wonderful adventure.

I also watched the JR Rowling life story TV movie on Lifetime recently and needed a towel during I WEPT. The writer in me cried...the Harry Potter fan in me cried...the frustrated unemployed girl in me cried. Such an inspiring story...I definitely needed to be reminded of how much is possible if one just uses their talents.

(Ron and Hermione will always be my favorite parts of the entire empire, though.)

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"On a jetplane to nowhere..."

Paris Hilton just walked off of the set of Good Morning America when she was asked if her moment had passed. She also talked about how she'd been in "the business" for fifteen years. (And what business would that be?) I never saw an episode of any of her various shows (and I know there have been several.) I did watch her interview with Larry King after she was released from prison, and she talked about how much she read the Bible in jail. When Larry asked her her favorite passages, she couldn't answer.

When I worked in Barnes and Noble, I DID hand her book to many customers searching for it and I watched it become a best-seller with a very heavy heart.

I just heard that Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy because they are using a model who resembles her in their commercials.

(Hey, everybody, I figured now would be a good time to let you all know...I have decided to sue Bernadette Peters. I'm really concerned that she's running around being all petite and pale and curly-haired like I am. Oh, the confusion she is bringing!)

Okay, I actually LIKE the Kardashian family. It started when I caught some of the E! True Hollywood Story about them and they talked about their dad's illness and death.It hit extremely close to home and I realized that the emotions I felt and the ones they felt were pretty much the same. I like the way they treat each other, it's all very typical sister behavior, and, in general, just think they're all very funny and cute and seem sweet.

However, I also can't help but asking...

Who are you, why are you famous and why do you get to be on Dancing with the Stars and I don't?

It all brings to mind the Peter Cincotti song "Broken Children." I actually never knew the title of this song and always called it the "Paris Hilton Song". I wonder if Peter Cincotti had her in mind when he wrote it.

Who's that face
On today’s front page
Sticking to my shoe
Empty eyes
And a real good smile
That's all it takes
To sell the news
She got her name
On Gotham's tongue
But Mama Fame
She eats her young
And half a buck
Ain't half the price you pay

When you got
Broken children
Shot in black and white
Chasing wasted lives
And they can't wait
To go there

Daddy's money
Bought a first class seat
And they all just fly away
On a jet plane to nowhere
On a jet plane to nowhere

Well I'm at a house party
At the Taj Mahal
The portrait hanging
On the wall
Has got too much wine
In her head
And she gets too close
And grabs my face
And says
If you like this place
Well, then you ought to see my bed
She gives an order
To the staff
Looks up
For the photograph
It's hard to know
If you should
Laugh or cry

When you got
Broken children
Shot in black and white
Chasing wasted lives
And they can't wait
To go there

Daddy's money
Bought a first class seat
And they all just fly away
On a jet plane to nowhere

The Hamptons
Is a summer dream
Where little kings
Chase little queens
They eat it up like
Hungry wolverines
And it looks like
The fabric of their life is
Sewn tight
But it's ripping at the seams

Broken children
Shot in black and white
Chasing wasted lives
And they can't wait
To go there

Daddy's money
Bought a first class seat
And they all just fly away
On a jet plane to nowhere
Oh on a jet plane to nowhere
Oh on a jet plane to nowhere

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

And this is why we love Kate Middleton.

Kate poses with the star of the Anne of Green Gables stage show in Prince Edward Island and then told her that she was a huge fan of the series.

I bet right after this photo was taken, Prince William remarked that his mother and Anne Shirley's best friend have the same first name.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do dreams reveal our hidden fears?

Last night, I had a dream that my sister moved to a new development and I was visiting. We were in a very elaborate lobby of some sort. I saw a young man in a business suit walk by and realized it was this guy I used to work with at Barnes and Noble.

His name was Sean and I haven't spoken to him in years.

Although in the beginning, I definitely had a crush on Sean, our relationship ended-up with having coworkers asking us, "Were you two brother and sister in a past life or something?" and separating us because we'd fight. ("YOU! Children's department. YOU! Bargain.")

But I was still very fond of the guy.

In my dream, I was so excited to see him! It had been years!

I called-out, "SEAN! HI!"

Sean turned-around and very casually said, "Hi Diana."

And left.

It somehow would have hurt LESS had he not remembered me at all than had he remembered me perfectly, called me by name and so nonchalantly walked away.

I was wondering what this dream meant.

It could mean that I really really miss Sean and want to reconnect with him.

Sadly, Sean has a very common last name and there are thousands of him on Facebook. And even though I have dozens of old Barnes and Noble coworkers as friends on there, I don't think any of THEM have Sean as their friend.

Oh, well. Whatever he's doing in this world...I hope he's happy.

It could also go along with things I am currently battling in my life that don't have anything to do with Sean at all. In the recent past, at least three people I thought were pretty important in my life more or less left it without looking back. (Just like Sean did in that dream.)

Maybe I'm really struggling with this, wondering why I was so easy to leave and what about me is just so unforgettable for all of these people.

Or maybe it really IS a sign that I need to reconnect with Sean.

Maybe he has the power to change my life right now or something.

Maybe I need to spend the next five hours weeding through all the guys with his name on Facebook...............................

Diana Rissetto

Recently, a relative's friend sent her a copy of the book He's Just Not That Into You to read...

...the friend included a note saying that I would benefit from reading it as well. (Apparently, my issues of the heart had been a topic of conversation with them.)

I read the book and it actually really depressed me.(As much as the film version rather inspired me...I can't help it, that closing speech was very touching and Ginnifer Goodwin is delightful!)

Basically, this book is saying that unless a guy is willing to light his entire family on fire, he's just not that into you.

There is no such thing as a guy who is awkward/shy/intimidated/scared of getting hurt. Oh, no. If he was into you...he'd light that entire family on fire.

However, it definitely brings-up many valid points that I see happening in real life.

Recently, a girl friend of mine told me that she had been dating a young man she met on JDate for a year-and-a-half. (A year-and-a-half!) She finally asked him if he was willing to go exclusive.

He told her he needed to think about it.

She never heard from him again. (It's been months.)

Another friend was also dating a man she met on an online dating site. He told her he wasn't sure how he felt about her and needed time to think about it. She told him she'd be okay with either decision, as long as he was direct with her.

She never heard from him again.

She sent him a text message reminding him that he had promised to be direct with her, and he snapped at her that he was with his family for his birthday.

(When she told me that, I had to ask, "Family? Does that mean he's got a wife and four kids???")

Both of these girls made me realize that what the book is saying is right.

( I do disagree with the general phasing. "He's just not that into you." It makes me feel like the woman did something wrong, like she's to blame.)

If a man is a quality man either way, things like this would never happen. He'd either have the class to be upfront and straightforward about not seeing a romantic future with the girl, or he'd pursue the romance without needing any time to "think about" how he felt about her.

Who on EARTH wants a guy who needs to "think about" how he feels about her? Is this a wine tasting class? Seriously.

Over the past few months, I was desperately trying to figure-out a guy I have known for a very long time and have always felt something for. I was using every excuse in the book...but I'm realizing now? He's just not that into me.

A close (straight, I should specify, since I have very few of those and their opinions are pretty gold on these matters to me) male friend witnessed how this guy acted around me and told me that he knew very well how to read people. He told me that this guy clearly had romantic feelings for me, and was probably keeping me around in case his life situation changed and being with me was more "convenient". He said this guy seemed to want to have me in his life JUST enough so that it didn't disrupt it...but that he probably wasn't conscience of the fact that he was even doing this. I brought it to his attention and he didn't say anything. I understand that I made things awkward by putting it all on the table, but I also can't forget that we have a friendship of many years at stake.

My (close straight male) friend told me I'm not allowed to ever be somebody's second-choice or back-up girl. I have no idea what is going-on in his head and I probably never doesn't MATTER what is going-on in his head, what matters his how he's reacting and that it is incredibly hurtful. I just have to put aside how much it really, truly HURTS (because we were friends for so long, and, I can't help it...I'm one of the most sensitive people in the world) and realize that I'm only responsible for myself.

And the truth of it all, when all is said in done?

If he was just THAT into me, I wouldn't be dealing with all of that.

So...the book's right.

One day, I hope we're all just very much appreciated and loved and respected the way we deserve to be...because we are ALL pretty terrific women.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I think I look for signs too often

About six years ago, I was volunteering with my church's youth group (which is what I still do to this day...and it doesn't surprise people when they hear I do) and a young woman I never met before randomly showed-up and was interested in helping-out. We got to talking, and she told me that she did publicity for books.

Shortly after, I went to a book signing...Maria Shriver (I love Maria Shriver! Maria Shriver is smart and funny and beautiful and the fact that we live in a world where a girl like Maria Shriver is cheated-on by her husband just makes me shake my head) was signing her new self-help book. I told her I wasn't sure what I was doing with my life...I was newly graduated and freaking-out.

Maria told me not to freak-out...what I was feeling what completely normal and that everything was going to be okay.

I thanked her and told her how pretty her hair looked (it was curly that day.)

The next day, I was checking for jobs on and came across a posting for a book publicity company whose clients included Maria Shriver.

The contact for this job?


Everything started to make sense.

Maria Shriver TOLD me everything was going to be okay, and then there was her in, in a job posting for a position I was most certainly qualified for, with the contact being somebody I had met in church. (A sign from God if there ever was one!)

I emailed the woman and reminded her of who I was.

I was certain this was it.

I envisioned my new cubicle.

The woman wrote back and told me that the position had sadly been filled.

Okay, didn't this girl GET it? Didn't she know about all the signs? Maria Shriver TOLD me everything was going to be okay and I was intent on MAKING everything okay!

Last week, I was sitting behind this girl in church. She had never come back to volunteer with the kids after that one time and I hadn't seen her since.

I was wondering if this was another sign...if I was supposed to talk to her, remind her of who I was (probably freak her out).

Maybe she had a great job for me or a really nice guy to introduce me to! (I am in the market for both!)

I didn't say anything, but I time.

If I get another sign.

Diana Rissetto

Awful taste, Newsweek. Awful.

I was named after Diana. I was up in the wee small hours of the morning on April 29th. I feel like I grew-up with William and Harry, have that extra-special kinship in that I also lost a parent as a teenager, and I care about them both. 
That sad...I think this cover of Newsweek is in horrible taste and I don't understand who thought it was a good idea.

Inside the magazine, you can see what Di's Facebook page might have looked like. (She "is now friends" with Camilla and Prince Charles "likes" this. I really, really wish I was making this up.)

I think it's incredibly sad and I think that, as thick-skinned as I am sure Prince William and Prince Harry have gotten over the has to hurt to see it.

Here's one Di who does not approve...

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I never quite felt so Lloyd Dobler in my life.

I'm not one to quote John Cusack movies besides Serendipity ("Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan...if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny.") but a couple of weeks ago? 

I was feeling very, very much like Lloyd Dobler.

In Say Anything, John Cusack's character gives Ione Skye's his heart.

And she gives him a pen.

I poured-out my own heart, said some things that were really very hard to put in writing and admit to, and hoped for the best...and by "the best", I mean a friendly, "You're really great! You deserve all the happiness in the world and the best from life!" from this person. (I would have settled for just "great". I didn't even need anything like brilliant//hilarious/talented/one in a gazillion/the next Wendy Wasserstein or anything like that.)

That was really all that I wanted.

And I didn't get that. 

I didn't get anything close to that.

Instead, I got a two-word text message.  

(And, just so we're on the same page, those two words were not "You're fantastic!")

I felt my heart more or less shatter...not because this wasn't going in the direction of You've Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally... (once again...that is not what I was expecting at all) but because, at that moment, I felt like this person didn't even think I was worth cellphone minutes. 

Yes, I felt really terrible! 

Although letting-go of that hurt isn't as easy as I wanted it to be, I ended-up vowing to myself that I wouldn't let those two words from that one person have such an effect on me...because NOBODY'S words should,in any kind of uplifting or crushing way.

I could say stuff like, "Well, how about that random woman I met at my friend's show last month? I talked to her for five minutes and she went on-and-on about how wonderful I was. If a total stranger could tell me how great I am...why am I focusing on the negative..." but I shouldn't let that woman's praise positively influence my self-worth any more than this other person's two words did to hurt it. I should be standing on my own two feet and not care either way.

I know that little kids are the best indicators of character and I know that the ones in my life run to me like I'm a celebrity and crack-up at me like I am Jerry Seinfeld. That has to mean something.

I can make a list of all my accomplishments and realize that, even if I'm unemployed at the moment it IS only "at the moment" and I probably HAVE done a lot more than most people my age and I like to think I'm just getting started. More importantly, I KNOW I would never treat the outpouring of anybody's heart (anybody's!!!) with the insignificance of a two-word text message or a pen. 

It's just one crazy foreign thought to me.

I don't really feel as sad about this all anymore, but it's more that I am completely baffled by this person's reaction because it's just not like them. I know I can't possibly know what is going-on in somebody else's head, and I can't even try...

I just have to move on. A wise man once told me that we can't sit around and wait for closure...we NEVER fully get closure. We need to just understand what we're feeling and know we have to move on and DO it. There is no other option.

Moving-on with my brilliant//hilarious/talented/one in a gazillion/the next Wendy Wasserstein-self (not because anybody else told me I was...I am telling myself that I am..)

Diana Rissetto

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gratitude 101.

Last night, I sent a long, rambling, probably very pathetic email to a friend of mine with subject line, "Okay, you're allowed to throw things at me."

I ranted.

I raved.

I overanalyzed.

I made some serious mountains out of mole hills.

Less than an hour later, this friend called me and he began the conversation with, "Okay, I AM going to throw things at you...BECAUSE I love you..."

And, a half hour later, I felt a million times better about the situation.

I was feeling very tossed-away and sad...because of the actions or the non-actions of one person. (We're talking full-on broken heart...see previous entries.)  I was letting the way this person treated me effect the way I ultimately felt about myself...which is a very stupid thing to do.

I would not blame this friend if he called me a raving, melodramatic, hypersensitive lunatic and told me to figure-out my problems on my own.

So...while one person's actions disappointed me, another's made me feel better and realize that I am worthy of being loved and respected, because I have friends willing to put-up with me with so much patience and calmness. I don't know what is going-on on that other person's end, but I do know what I can expect from the friends that really DO care about me...and that's all that matters...and for that, I am grateful.

Diana Rissetto

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A nose is a nose is a nose.

Last night, a male friend and I were talking about another guy we both know, who is, by all accounts, quite a stellar young man (at least, in my opinion.)...handsome (while also being very adorable at the same time), talented, funny, smart...(etc. etc. etc.)

I brought-up that despite all of that, he seems very insecure sometimes and has absolutely no reason to be, since he's pretty fantastic and should realize that.

My friend was able to explain this with a theory of his...he said he was sure that this guy didn't quite grow into his looks until he was a young adult, and when he was in high school and college, just felt like an awkward mess because he was "all nose." My friend said he had the same problem and didn't quite feel like an attractive young man until he was out-of-college, because he, too, felt like he was "all nose."

I never even realized that either one of these guys had big noses. Or even remotely big noses...certainly nothing to be self-conscious about. I'm not even kidding.

When Olympic champion Evan Lysacek was all over the place for a while, I commented that he looked like an old friend of mine, Sean. My mom said, "Oh, yeah...he was the kid with the big nose."

I pictured Sean's face. "Sean didn't have a big nose!"

My mom replied, "Diana, he looked just like Evan...and Evan has a big nose."

We then argued about whether or not Evan Lysacek had a big nose.

I still don't think he does.

Maybe I am blind.

Or maybe I just find large noses attractive.

Consider other men I find pretty darn great.

Adrien Brody (whose big nose isn't even his own natural big nose, but the result of having a broken one years ago.) That nose gives that face some serious character.

James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (I'm's near impossible to unadorablize James McAvoy.) When I first saw this movie, I wasn't even sure if he had a fake nose...but it didn't matter. How many young man can be just as attractive as a Fawn as they are a heartsick World War I soldier?

An earlier Harry Connick, Jr. (honestly, his nose doesn't seem that big at ALL these days...even to me...maybe he, too, had to grow into it. Maybe Harry Connick, Jr. is painfully insecure as well. Who knows?)

The supersweet and talented Broadway actor, Sebastian Arcelus...who WILL talk about his nose if you get him started on it.

I don't really see what's wrong with having a big nose. Who says noses need to be "not big" in order to look good?

If that young man really IS insecure because, deep down, he feels like the kid who felt out-of-place because of his big nose, I hope he can learn to realize just how great he really is...schnoz and all.

**(After several sad and emotional entries in a row, I needed this one!) **

Diana Rissetto

A broken heart is a broken heart is a broken heart.

I've been feeling the hurt of one lately...and I don't even think I have a legitimate, significant excuse to have one. All around me, I see people that really DO have reasons to claim their hearts are broken.  I am witnessing people finding out their partners of many years have cheated on them...friends contemplating calling-off their engagements...and my problem? Just seems so petty and seventh grade and like one of the Mary Anne and Logan editions of The Baby-Sitter's Club.


I'm realizing if you feel like you have a broken heart, then you feel like you have a broken heart. These things aren't meant to be explained and if there was any logic to any of it, we'd well be able to avoid it all and the pain that comes with it. My feelings ARE legitimate and significant, because they are my feelings.

I feel pretty sad right now, and I'll give myself a little time to listen to "You Don't Know Me", "I Wish You Love" and Billy Joel's "And So It Goes" on repeat and then, I'm sure, I'll be feeling better.

I'm remembering that "without a hurt, the heart is hollow" and...who knows? Maybe it can be used as fuel to get something great written.

Diana Rissetto

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Most of the time, people don't act the way you want them to.

Lesson learned the hard way. 

I've had a lot of let-downs lately.

Today, I told myself that I can't expect people to act the way that I want them to or the way I'd act if I were them.

That doesn't make them bad just makes them different from me.  (And I learned many years ago, time and again, that the majority of the world isn't nearly as sensitive as I am.)

It's okay to feel completely crushed sometimes (as I do today) because I can remember, not too long ago, when everything was going right and I felt so great about my life and the world. I think about the patient, loving, supportive friends (God bless them...seriously) I have that outweigh the people that disappointed me. I think about that random stranger lady I met at a play last month who kept telling me how she could tell I was something special.

When I think about all of those things and people, I feel a little better.

I'm still going to sleep tonight with a heavy heart (I won't say it's broken), but I know I'll also feel a lot better tomorrow...because anything can happen tomorrow.

Diana Rissetto

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Matthew Lapierre

I lost track of days and completely forgot one of my very bestest's birthdays.

I have a habit of randomly talking to people I don't know at shows.

I'm glad that I do that.

Because at one of these shows, seven years ago, I met Matthew Lapierre, in Joe's Pub, at a concert where Cheyenne Jackson, a then somewhat unknown actor I had befriended the year before, was performing. (Who knew that one day, we would be IN Cheyenne Jackson's dressing room together. Things truly do come full circle.)

During those seven years, Matthew Lapierre and I have developed more inside jokes with each other than I have ever had with any other person other than my sister.


Jenn Colella.

Waynesville, Ohio.

Kiddo from West Side Story and his glorious solo.

Yeah...I're not laughing...these things aren't funny to you.

But they are funny to me and Matthew Lapierre and that is really all that matters.

My mother would really love for me to marry Matthew Lapierre and...who knows! It just could happen one long as we can have a Cole Porter wedding.

A very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, eternal apologies that I totally confused my days, to a very stand-up guy...

Matthew Lapierre.


Diana Rissetto

Come tomorrow...

When you are in the midst of a broken heart, and somebody very close to you is also piecing together a very broken heart, and you're unemployed and frustrated and feeling a bit lonely and confused and don't feel like you are being a particularly good writer or a friend or family member...your mind starts to wander a lot.

I went to Our Lady of Pompeii elementary school when I was a kid. It's in the heart of Greenwich Village, and just a few blocks away from where my parents also went to elementary school and grew-up. (My mom grew-up in a building with all of her cousins...I think I will be forever be envious of that childhood. I will always be forever envious that I wasn't alive during the 50's.) I have memories of going to my great-aunt's store on Sunday mornings, sitting on the counter and drinking a Yoo-Hoo. (Yoo-Hoos make me very nostalgic.)

Yesterday, I had a job interview (which is what I do most days) and then wandered around, all by myself, trying to collect my thoughts. I've had a rough few's one of those times when it doesn't feel like anything is really going right and sometimes it helps to walk around aimlessly and think about things. I would call it the Quarterlife Crisis, but I should be beyond that right. (Doubtful I will live to be over 100...but here's hoping.)

I ended-up sitting in the little park by my old school, watching kids in my old school uniform run by for probably over an hour. One little girl (she was probably in the fourth grade)  was telling her mother that some boy announced that she wanted to kiss him and she just LAUGHED at him. The mom applauded the little girl and said, "That is EXACTLY what you are supposed to do! LAUGH at him! So he doesn't know you're upset...if you act upset, he'll bother you more. Just keep laughing in his face!"

I laughed to myself. 

Excellent advice ALL of us girls should learn at 9 and I hope the little girl remembers it.

Twenty years ago (twenty years!), I was running through those very doors, making my first communion, playing Baby-Sitter's Club in the street at recess, writing my very first stories.

I thought about how this area was my family and my "old stomping grounds" and now I can't imagine ever being able to afford to live there! It made me quite sad.  I wondered how different my life might have been had my family never moved and I had graduated 8th grade in that very school with the same faces I had seen every day since kindergarten. I couldn't imagine...(oddly enough, many of them have found me on Facebook. It's funny...I know that I remember everybody but never really realized that people might also remember me.)

I thought about all the various twists and turns my life has taken, the people I have met along the way...and deep deep down, how it always seems to fall into place and that I shouldn't regret a thing.

Weird thoughts started to cross my mind...I started thinking, "If my family had never left, would my entire life had been on a different track right now? Maybe my father never would have died, maybe I would have written a Broadway play or a hit movie by now, maybe I wouldn't be sitting here trying to piece together a broken heart and was instead in a blissfully happy relationship where I was very much appreciated and maybe I wouldn't be sitting on this very bench, frustrated at the thought of another crazy jobhunt wild goose chase."

(I realize, logistically, nothing about this makes any sense whatsoever, but when you're upset and not feeling your greatest, you do think about these things.)

I was recently telling a friend all of this and he told me, "You gotta have faith that everything you're going through is leading to something fantastic."   
I have to keep reminding myself that, and hope one day, I will look back at that time in my life where nothing seemed to be going right and realize that it all eventually made sense...that things didn't work-out with that boy, or that job, or that old neighborhood because something infinitely greater was on its way.

I completely love Peter Cincotti and also love reading his lyrics as much as I love his voice. Honestly, I'm not even sure if he wrote the lyrics of this song, but I listened to it several times last night and it seemed to connect with the thoughts that have been going through my head lately.

"And I turn the corner, hoping that I'll see/a miracle, just waiting there for me...."

Diana Rissetto

The trees on Golden Avenue were green as Irish morning
We were wearing caps and gowns
My mother took a photograph
I was the only one not smiling, I was too big for this town
I can't believe that I was only 17
A catholic punk who couldn't wait to scream

Come tomorrow
I'll be leaving this worn out, worn down place
I'll be drinking sunlight and dancing on the moon
I'll find me a girl that suits my ways
Spending all my nights and days
Just singing drunken love songs out of tune
I'll be rolling like a pair of dice, come tomorrow

The trees on Golden Avenue were bitter red this morning
As I shuffled through the crowd
Another dose of daily news, another cup of coffee
The same old runaround
And I turn each corner hoping that I'll see
A miracle just waiting there for me

Come tomorrow
I'll be leaving this worn out, worn down place
[ From:]
I'll be drinking sunlight and dancing on the moon
I'll find me a girl that suits my ways
Spending all my nights and days
Just singing drunken love songs out of tune
I'll be rolling like a pair of dice, come tomorrow

Going nowhere, like leaves are blowing past my window
Caught up in a wind they can't control
That's my story, a two bit kind of Peter Pan
Who never tried for Neverland
And I think it's time to find my wings and go

Come tomorrow
I'll be leaving this worn out, worn down place
I'll be drinking sunlight, dancing on the moon
Find me a girl that suits my ways
Spending all my nights and days
Just singing drunken love songs out of tune
I'm gonna make it up to paradise, come tomorrow
Come tomorrow, come tomorrow

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When you have plenty of time on your hands, you get to support the arts a lot.

This past week, I have been able to catch a lot of great theatre.

Last Sunday, my friend, his roommate and I caught a double feature...the matinee of The Normal Heart on Broadway and the (sadly) late Lucky Guy off-Broadway.

I have always found stories of the early days of the AIDS epidemic fascinating and heartbreaking...I've read And the Band Played On several times (and if you've seen how large that book is, you'd find it quite strange that "read" and "several times" would even be used in the same sentence) and Longtime Companion, which tells the story of the day in the life of each year for ten years of a circle of friends, starting with the day the New York Times announced there was a strange new disease spreading among young gay men, is among one of my favorite movies. (One of many reasons why I love that film so much...Campbell Scott. Why wouldn't Colleen Dewhurst and George C. Scott have one insanely talented son?)

The one thing that kept going through my mind while watching The Normal Heart , especially sitting next to a close friend who happens to be a young, gay man, is that had we all been born twenty years earlier, that would have been our generation...we would have been watching many of our friends die. (I know I'm speaking like EVERY young woman in America hangs-out with mostly gay men and that's not the case at all.) It's truly the most terrifying, numbing thought and I'll always be incredibly grateful that we weren't around for that.

This production is fantastic, each and every performance is beautiful. (I will be very honest in admitting that when I see Ellen Barkin, I can't get Faerie Tale Theatre's "The Princess Who Had Never Laughed" out of my head. In fact, until The Normal Heart, that was my favorite Ellen Barkin performance of all time..not gonna lie.When she finally laughs at the end, and you KNOW it's just because she really loves Howie Mandel and wants to marry him...stirring.)

A very heart-wrenching, devastating show...will be rooting for the show to win Best Revival at the Tony's next week, and I think Ellen's going to take home her own statue.(On a disappointing note, one of my very favorite guys, Cheyenne Jackson, was supposed to be in this show, but wasn't able due to a conflicting television filming schedule. While every single actor on that stage was terrific, it would have been extra-special to have my buddy up there.)

That night, we caught Lucky Guy. Since the show has since closed (that very day, in fact), I don't want to say too much about it, since it will just make you all feel really bad that you didn't get to see it. (All four of you reading this right now...there are 5, but Matt is one of them, and he WAS there with me.)

All I WILL say about Lucky Guy is that Jenn Colella should just be in every single show ever produced.


She really, really should.

We gave her entrance applause and a standing ovation.

I am not kidding. 

On Friday night, I went to go see Midnight in Paris with my good pal Megan. Megan and I became friends when we were both cast in a high school production of Play it Again, Sam so it is appropriate that we would go see Woody Allen's latest together.

This was one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time.

In fact, several times during this movie, I proclaimed, probably way too loudly, "I LOVE THIS MOVIE!"

Because I just really, really did.

I will go so far as to say that it made my heart soar. The writer in me connected with the writer main character...played WONDERFULLY by Owen Wilson...who feels he was born in the wrong era.

It was just so darn quotable.

And, so, so Woody Allen.

Mr.Allen has still got it.

And, I always say that the only thing that can make a great movie even greater is a cameo by Adrien Brody which you didn't even know was going to happen...and then suddenly comes Mr. Brody (whom I love. That last scene in The Pianist when he is sitting at his piano and he looks-up and smiles...and that entire movie seems to be summed-up in this lovely, heartbreaking smile of his...just brilliant) appeared playing Salvador Dali.

He is so good. They all are. The whole movie is.

This girl who was almost named "Annie Hall" gives this film two very enthusiastic thumbs-up and anxiously awaits the DVD release with lots of extras and deleted scenes. It awakened the writer in me and made me remember what is really important. I want to write something that good.

Today, I went upstate to see Carl Howell, an extremely talented young actor that starred in my romantic comedy Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes last year, in the World's End Theatre production of Chekhov's The Seagull. My gut told me Carl was the guy for my show before he even auditioned, and I apparently have really great instincts because this guy has some serious star quality. I have only ever seen one other Chekhov tale on stage, which was a musical production of The Black Monk that my friend starred in a few years ago. The shows were similar to each other...they started-out rather light and then just kept getting deeper and sadder. (In The Black Monk, my friend's character lost his mind and there was the most gut-wrenching scene with him eating pancakes with his hands towards the end. For some odd reason, that scene really got to me. I had to remind myself that it was just a play...but I am yet to go to a diner with this friend for any breakfasts for dinner since then.) The Seagull is also a story about a writer and a lot of it really kind of depressed me as a writer, but the story is brilliantly written and the actors were excellent. I know one day I'll be very proud to tell people that Carl starred in one of my shows back when he was a young actor making it in New York City.

It was also nice to see a different part of New York State. I actually said out loud, "Hey! I think we're near the Almanzo Wilder Boyhood Home Museum!" (My mother told me that we were, most certainly, not stopping there.)

Great, inspiring arts=all around us.

Diana Rissetto