In the City That Never Sleeps, You Will Send Notes Like This…

… at least once during your tenure living here.

It will no doubt be to a couple you actually really like or wanted to like (before their make-up nookie scared you off.) And as much as you will pen the note out of neighborly courtesy, you will also send it as a means of procrastinating because errrmagerrd… Writing a book is crazy hard. No wonder folks hightail it to the country in a sweaty attempt to channel the ghost of E.B. White in his boathouse. No man (or woman) ever looked more at ease in what he/she is doing.

No person ever looked more at ease with what he/she was doing.

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Wishing you all a happy Monday… no matter what boathouse you find yourself in.

XOXO – GG

The Gone Girl Guide to Gotham Re-Entry!

Cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh (hyperboleandahalf.com)

So… ¬†you’ve been gone girl… out roaming the world… making up dark, snarky zingers and plots for TV and print… pretending you’re Jack London… and that you don’t notice all the squirrel-on-squirrel action going on at the fabulously bucolic writer’s camp you’ve been at for months now. (And yes, squirrel-on-squirrel rhymes with girl-on-girl… haha… what are you… 8 in guy-years?) How do you come back to city life? I think it starts a little (or a lot) like the above… with an angry gypsy-librarian-type telling you off… ¬†That’s what this week’s posts are about… re-entry. Still, so, SO glad to be home.

xoxo – GG

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Call of the Wild…

From the cover of Jenny Lawson’s¬†amazing book¬†Furiously Happy

Greetings from Jack London-land… AKA Glen Ellen, CA, population 784… where¬†I have been given the most INCREDIBLE¬†gift through the hospitality of some amazing people… the chance to work undisturbed by humans¬†on my crazy book and write where HE wrote… in this perfectly wild little hamlet (see below) …

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I haven’t wanted to waste a single second of this precious time… which is why I’ve been radio-silent on the blog. Plus,¬†it is so crazy GORGE out here… Honestly, a¬†city girl¬†could easily become some kind of asshole shut-in, like Thoreau, wandering around like a slack-jawed yokel in my socks, thinking my thoughts were all special and important, but no gift as rich and complete as this one comes without a surprise or two…

My surprise involves raccoons(1). You heard me right. Raccoons! Specifically, 2 females, who live here as well and who are just THE SPIT of those awesome two old broads from Grey Gardens

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my roomies!

The whole adventure¬†recently involved a phone call right out of McSweeney’s…

Brrring…. Brrrinnnng….

Hello, you have reached¬†the Sonoma County Wildlife Exclusion Hotline, a division of the Sonoma County Department of Fish and Game. Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed…

[Sure… that’s what they all say, methinks.]

We are an all-volunteer organization, staffed by a team of wildlife specialists in EXCLUSION. Please note that while we are not an extermination organization, animals deemed a threat¬†to public safety may be removed and humanely euthanized, if necessary…

[So, stop leaving us meanie-pants messages, you PETA jerk offs! You know who you are!]

At the sound of the tone, please leave a detailed message describing the nature of your wildlife situation. Please include your name, number and best time of day to reach you. Your call will be returned by a volunteer within 2 business days…

[But what if I’m dealing with a crisis? Like 2 dog-sized creatures brazenly eating an entire heating system and drinking milk¬†straight from the carton???]

IF you are dealing with an EMERGENCY, please call our emergency cell phone line, staffed by a volunteer and leave a duplicate detailed message…

[Ok, so¬†what qualifies as an…]

An EXAMPLE OF AN¬†EMERGENCY would be… a raccoon falling through your ceiling that is currently running around your house… In other words, only leave us a message if it’s like a scene out of¬†THE REVENANT…

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[Yipes… I consider my 2 ladies for a second and that’s when I realize 3 things… 1) If this is what people out here are used to… then I¬†really am WAY out in¬†THE WILD. 2) I’m starting to look a tad like Leo… and 3) it’s high time for a trip to¬†the city… SF here, I come!]

XOXO – gg

(1) From the cover of Jenny Lawson’s¬†amazing book¬†Furiously Happy

The envelope… if you please

In the words of another funny writer I can’t remember right now… Imma let you finish Harper Lee… Because¬†I got somethin’ good comin’! I wrote so much yesterday… Words I actually like (for a change)!

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This does not happen often–especially when writing for TV. I used to have a real beef with writers¬†like Annie Dillard (grrr…) … getting awards for¬†ambling around creeks and blathering¬†on¬†about bugs…. so I’ll avoid her whole bit about¬†killing one’s darlings, and just say that¬†TV writing’s¬†a lot like skeet shooting… you can’t get too¬†precious about your clay ducks or you are as screwed as a hot trannie hooker during Fleet Week… Mixed metaphors… weak… Aaron Sorkin would so shoot my duck. Most of my decent¬†writing happens al fresco this time of year. E.B. White once wrote, “In summer, the city contains (except for tourists) only die-hards and authentic characters… the town has a somewhat relaxed air, and one can lie in a loincloth, gasping and remembering things.” It is so¬†exactly that… 75, the faint scent¬†of piss and delicious¬†hot dog water on the breeze… My be-suited neighbor is¬†lounging luxuriously 2 doors down on his stoop. Jacket off, cigar in hand, he still wears a bright pink bow tie from the office. He nods cordially to me… lighting up. This is his Friday ritual. I attempt a smile, but make no real¬†concerted¬†effort to disrupt his stinky bliss with smalltalk. Instead, I turn toward the park. Walking the Jackie O reservoir is where I do my best writing. I used to irritate the heck out of an old squeeze¬†with these walks. He always wanted me to jog¬†with him… and talk. ¬†Oof… it was¬†the worst… I could never quite explain to him that it’s not that I’m lazy… i’m really, truly not… it’s the envelope I would end up with at the end of every one of these solitary sojourns. Just clears my head like nothing else…making room for new words and it pays the bills. Sometimes. Across the street now, it is noisy and cheerful as a large-and-in-charge mama shouts¬†to her sproinging tot… “Pull yo pants up baby boy! We don’t want yo hope and glory showin!” Just then, my dry cleaner sidles up and we exchange pleasantries… He tells me I still sound like Kirk Douglas.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08:  Actor Kirk Douglas presents onstage at the Anti-Defamation League Centennial Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 8, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)

I guffaw, tell him to f*ck off and hail Spartacus… and then I continue on. Happy long weekend everyone ūüôā xx – gg

Spaz… and the City

I can’t write. I¬†have a whole legal pad of ideas, but¬†here’s what my brain is saying to me right now:

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it’s just trying to be helpful.

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And so it keeps talking…

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cartoons by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

I decided to talk to my dry cleaner about¬†it. I tell him the latest goings on in my life (all mostly happy with a bit of upheaval last week). As I recount the highs and then a big low, he scowls and interrupts, “Has it ever occurred to you that you might be avoiding your destiny? That you might be having these things because you’re not writing about them?”

My dry cleaner is talking about my¬†seizures. (the “upheaval” I was referring to a few sentences ago) I had a big one last week–a grand mal–alone in my apartment. It sucked.

“Helloo… What if I don’t want this as my destiny?” I quip, defiantly.

“Hellooo… You don’t get a choice. That’s why it’s destiny, dummy.”

He has a point. It’s an obvious one, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it certainly doesn’t mean I have to write about it here.

You see, I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t write about my epilepsy on this blog as it can be kind of grim–the whole rolling around on the ground thing with bystanders… all standing by and freaking out and calling 911 (even though it’s not usually necessary for me). Then, there’s me… waking up with no memory of myself, or anyone else, even my closest friends… who are you people? No really, people have said I look at them, like I’m Jamie Lee Curtis looking at Michael in Halloween (but with better hair).¬†And sometimes, I wake up looking like a prize fighter–i.e., black eye, concussed and slurring my words like a super¬†drunk Muhammad Ali. (again,¬†with better hair)

It can be a real buzzkill… But it’s actually one of the main reasons why I now live in NYC… There’s no driving required.¬†Taxi guys love me. There’s delivery of pretty much everything you could ever want or need (including a really rad¬†wig that once helped me escape¬†my ex-husband’s attorneys) and if anything happens while you’re out and about, there are plenty of people around you who will most likely¬†care enough to stop and help. New Yorkers¬†are nicer than people give them credit for.

Still, it took me a while to come out to my dry cleaner. It’s the litmus test for all true friends. Anyone who would reject you out of hand for something so random as a seizure is an automatic turd in my book.

My dry cleaner commiserates, shaking his head, “What’d that neurologist on Youtube say?”

“All the electrical impulses in your brain align and synchronize. It’s like a perfect storm, but in your brain and without George Clooney.” I know this line by heart.

I haven’t had a ¬†seizure in over a year. The day after it happens, I tend to mope around the house and watch youtube videos of other people having seizures, so that I can wallow in self-pity. I’m also just wicked curious as to what I look like. It’s a¬†little cocktail¬†of anthropology and vanity that always passes within a day. This time, however, the malaise has lingered.

“You need to cheer up blondie.” My dry cleaner pulls a ziplock freezer bag out from under the counter. Inside it are lots of other smaller ziplock bags with different types of pills in them. It’s¬†like a tangled yarn ball of prescription¬†drugs.

My dry cleaner, my dealer…. He presses a little yellow pill into my hand.

“What’s this?” I feel my brow furrow in suspicion.

“Klonapin … Helps ya think straight.”

“What else do you have there?”

He rattles¬†off a dozen names that aren’t really names. Suddenly, he¬†is a pharmacy–a veritable CVS¬†without the line, the ‘tude or¬†the overwrought¬†suicide music they always play:

(Btw, Joe Pizzulo, you are so bangin’!)

“Look here girly,¬†if you’d fallen the other direction¬†last week, you’d be the fucking English Patient. You need to relax.”

“When did you read that book? I thought you were into the whole trashy, Neo-Noir thing?”

“I am,” he confesses, “but every now and then even I have to step it up from a literary standpoint.”

He’s right. Being the English Patient would suck. All that oozing… the lack of a nose. Even if I’ve never been that fond of my anglo ski jump of a profile, I’d take it over looking like a mummified Ralph Fiennes.

“We have to find you a nice Jewish boy who can help danger-proof your house and keep an eye on you. New York’s full of them.”

“I liked the last guy,” I protest. “He was funny… and he brought me toast and coffee and didn’t mind if I got crumbs in the bed.”

“Feh…” My dry cleaner waves the very idea of toast guy¬†away as if he were a gnat. “Take a Klonapin and embrace your destiny as a spaz, baby, I guarantee… you’ll be able to write again.”

I haven’t taken the Klonapin, but words are once more starting to happen…

xoxo – gg