Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maybe he's right...

I have a very wise (so wise beyond his years that I often forget he's actually a few months younger than me) friend that I've known for several years and we have gone through some very specific, odd things together, and have spent a lot of time with each other. I got used to having this guy just a few feet away from me all day, and when that situation ended, it was a bit of an adjustment for me to make, but friends like that never really leave you.

A couple of weeks ago, he lectured me. He lectures a lot. And even if he might not feel like I always listen to him and take his advice, I do. I definitely do.

It's not a secret to anybody that knows me that the past few years? Have had some severe ups-and-downs. And, many times, I admit, I have wondered, "If I am REALLY as funny and talented and smart and great and cute as everybody seems to TELL me I am, WHY ISN'T IT ANY EASIER? People who aren't all those things seem to have it all! The great jobs! The houses! The relationships!"

While I have never right-out said this to him, I think he knows that's what's going through my head, and he said something to me that I admit I wrote down and plan to reread frequently whenever I'm feeling discouraged.

"Do you think your life is supposed to be EASIER because you're brilliant and creative and can do something (write, not sing) SO WELL? NO! Life is going to be HARDER because you're like that. Life is going to be SCARIER."

I thought about that for a long time. I'm still thinking about it. I'm pretty sure he's right. (Plus, it's always nice when somebody whose opinion you highly value tells you you're brilliant and talented.)

I think everything is going to be more than okay.

Diana Rissetto

There is a reason why...

...Prince William always WAS, hands-down, my favorite Windsor boy, but now I equally love both brothers.

And that reason is photos like this:

Prince Harry is dancing with deaf children.

This girl named after his mom approves!

Diana Rissetto

Friday, February 22, 2013

When I heard about Josh Brolin and Diane Lane's divorce...

...the first thing I thought of was, "Oh, they sat next to Adrien Brody when he won his Oscar and congratulated him!"

Let's revisit that moment and the following speech.

Adrien was darn adorable, and that award was so well-deserved!

Diana Rissetto

Friday, February 15, 2013

I believe Woody Allen would have a field day with this story...

Everybody (whoever "everybody" is) knows the running joke that despite my Italian last name, the crucifix dangling around my neck and the fact that I say things like, "I'm off to church now!", people always assume I am Jewish.


When I'm in public, I get approached constantly by Jewish people on holidays (there's this one where they hand-out something that looks like lemons to fellow Jews. I once had two young men trip over themselves to get to me), Jewish moms talk to me in the supermarket to tell me about their sons, and the other day, I was at a work event with a friend and a man asked me, of nowhere, "Do you go to Shul?" I said, "I'm not Jewish." He said, " you DON'T go to Shul?"

No, I don't!

On Wednesday, I wandered around waiting for Mass to start so I could get my ashes for Ash Wednesday. I walked past the NYU Catholic Center several times...they were handing-out fliers with information about their Ash Wednesday services.

They seemed to be giving fliers out to everybody but  me.


They thought I was Jewish, didn't they?

On Jewish holidays, everybody thinks I am Jewish. On Catholic holidays, everybody thinks I am Jewish.

After I finally got my ashes, I walked over to meet a friend (who actually is Jewish...) and was stopped by a perfectly-cute-in-a-Justin-Long-kinda-way-but-he-was-smoking-a-cigarette-and-that-is-my-dealbreaker-guy.

He said, "Is it Ash Wednesday, ALREADY?" I nodded.

Him: See, I'm a Jew!

Me: (Laughs) Well, people always THINK I'm a Jew!

Him: Both of your parents are Catholic?

Me: Yeah.

Him: So you're not Jewish at all?

Me: Nope.

Him: It's okay, though. Jesus was born Jewish, right?

Me: He was!

Him: So. What are your thoughts on the Pope?

It was terribly kinda cute. When we parted ways, I told him to have a nice Passover and then shook my head and laughed...did I really  just get approached by a Jewish guy on Ash Wednesday who tried to use those ashes as a conversation starter? What kind of a Woody Allen cut scene is my life?

Diana Rissetto

Monday, February 11, 2013

Something like perspective

Last week, I found myself getting dressed to go to the funeral of a very young and very great person.

I think there's a special, horrible feeling in your gut that only doing so can bring.

The church was packed and I stood in the back and was able to see all the faces of all the people who loved this young man. Everybody cried, everybody laughed, everybody talked about what a wonderful person he was. (I know nobody will ever show-up at a funeral and say otherwise, but this time was different.)

I realized that even if you had less than 40 years to live, when you have a standing room funeral, filled with laughter and tears, you've lived those years right. No matter what.

I have spent a lot of time and energy over the past several years worrying about insignificant things and people that don't deserve it. I don't want to worry about all of that anymore. I just want to be the kind of person that is so loved and nobody has a bad thing to say about. That's all I want...

I won't say my cousin's death put things into perspective, because that's kinda trite...but it is something like perspective. I think about how everybody was talking about how this guy was always smiling, even though he spent the past 9 years of his life diagnosed with a terminal illness...and, is it that easy? That simple to just smile and be happy as much as possible?

 I'll leave the "perspective" to those "starving children in China" lectures.

It's more along the lines of, "If we're going to be going through something really rough...illness, unemployment, divorce, etc. etc. etc." much different would it be if we could go through it all with a smile on our face?

I think I am going to remember this every day of my life.

Diana Rissetto

Monday, February 4, 2013

This boy is on fire...

If you were to stumble upon on any of the ramblings I have posted on Peter Cincotti here over the past six years, your thought might be, "How cool that Peter Cincotti's grandmother blogs! She has to be well in her 80's!"

I can't help it...when it comes to Peter Cincotti, I say things like, "He is SUCH a lovely and talented young man...(I always say "young man" instead of "guy"...doesn't it just sound so much better?) I am so proud of him!" (even though I do not know him.)

When I was in college, I first heard that velvety voice. Like myself, Peter was an Italian-American kid from New York City, and, also like myself, he lost his dad as a teenager (and documented his emotions in a song). I believe it was when I read an interview with him in which he said something like, "I wish I was around in the 1940's when people would go-out to dinner and wear nice hats" when I knew that this was definitely somebody I was going to be a fan of for a long, long time. Peter's song "Cinderella Beautiful" has a line about not liking Christmas...and that inspired me to write the play which would become my off-Broadway debut. I love when things come full circle, and the beauty of writing anything and releasing it into the world is never knowing who you are going to inspire.

Peter performed at Le Poisson Rouge on Friday night. It's down-the-block from my elementary school and a very fun spot in the Village.  (And if there must be a "two item minimum" for a concert, I'm just glad there's also really good mac 'n cheese on the menu.)

As I was waiting on line to go in, I made some friends (as I always do wherever I friend recently said to me, "I have never randomly made a friend by talking to a stranger in public, and I feel like that is how you have met the majority of people you know") and also listened in on a conversation going-on behind me. Several people were exchanging, "How I Am Related to Peter Cincotti" stories. (I should have jumped-in and said I was his grandma.) Just like I feel every time I go to Peter's shows, the audience seemed to be full of people who are friends with him, or share bloodlines with him, and I am thoroughly confused as to why he hasn't sold-out Radio City Music Hall yet. I'm not complaining...I love that he does shows in tiny venues, with his piano a few feet away, for $15...but, seriously! New York City and the REST of the world take note...this kid's amazing! (Sidenote: I'm pretty sure Peter just assumes that friendly brunette girl that comes to all his shows must be some kind of a cousin.)

Peter sang songs from his new album, Metropolis, as well as debuted a song called "Half of You."

(After hearing this song, I admit I wondered if his previous break-up song "Take a Good Look" was actually written from the OTHER person's point-of-view! He gets rather personal in his songs. He and Taylor Swift should date just because we'd probably get some really terrific songs out-of that break-up.)

He ended the show with an older song, "Witch's Brew" , and, holy COW, watching that guy's HANDS at that piano is just a magical experience. (And I am somebody who has seen Harry Connick perform many times.)

Peter told dorky stories and jokes, and I feel like he's definitely grown-up a lot since the first time I saw perform (as most young men do between 23 and 29.)  He's so comfortable and charming with a crowd, seems mature beyond his years, but, at the same time, when he's at that piano, he just seems like a little kid doing something he really, really loves to do...and to be able to watch that is just a pleasure.

I would love to collaborate with him one day. I'm not sure what the project would be...but nice hats will definitely be involved.

He's got four CD's...check-him out and understand why I sing his praises like a proud grandma.

Diana Rissetto