UnReal Estate… Or What to Do When Oscar Isaac Becomes Your Worst Nightmare!

Hello my  Lovelies!

I don’t know if it’s the weird weather out or the fact that I am crazy-close to finishing Project Ur (thank you very much Warren Ellis for that spiffy term) or if it’s just the current zeitgeist of the city… but I keep having THE WORST real estate dreams… No joke! In them, earnest hipsters with neatly trimmed triangle beards, and ominous cats keep chasing me all over the city… and NOT in a good way.

Last night, they chased me right out of my apartment to a Westin and then to an awful Marriott with nasty bedspreads (sorry Marriott brand). The desk clerk there was also an Oscar-type, and HE kept telling me that I was actually booked at a boutique hotel called The Lucky (some ACE poseur in my dream) but I couldn’t ever seem to find it. It was like The Walking Dead, but instead, the Oscar Isaacs all had these credentials and liquid assets… And they were way better writers.

My BFF Ed (depicted here below in dog form–whose dog is this, btw?) keeps telling me…

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I need to desensitize myself to the Game of Thrones that is New York real estate by listening to this podcast: There Goes the Neighborhood and that it’s just like check-in at an Italian airport… anything goes! To this I say…

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Thanks for allowing the dream rant… and thanks to all of those who wrote in last week agreeing that we SHOULD INDEED have Neil DeGrasse Tyson as a write-in running mate! It makes so much sense, right??? But how do you get creative with housing in our/your fair city when Oscar Isaac starts to give chase with a cat in hand? Drop me a line 🙂

Ok, back to Project UR… even though it’s cloudy out and there are buildings… make sure to wear sunscreen and be nice to each other. (I swear, you’ll thank me later.)

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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Last, Lazy Days… And an Awesome Ashley Opportunity!

The air was SO CRISP this morning, it reminded me that our 2 days of actual New York City autumn will soon be upon us!

The whole prospect of it has me craving domestic order like a Labrador in heat… I want to magic eraser my entire apartment (along with select portions of my life and the dog). Dust bunnies begone! I am SO ready to alphabetize my books…

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And so it just occurred to me that quite soon (read: NOW) there is going to be a HUGE glut of very contrite displaced males… all in a metropolitan area with an EXTREME shortage of quality pre-war apartments. Lads, do I have a list of chores for you…

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Hmmm…  let’s think about requirements…

  • A strongish design aesthetic.
  • Knowledge of power tools (esp. a belt sander) and electric.
  • Good grammar essential–must know the difference between you’re and your, it’s and its, etc.
  • Moderately gainful employment, but you needn’t be a Rockefeller…
  • It would help if you looked a bit like a pirate or Collin Firth (perhaps, when he was more of a whippersnapper–none of  this latest Kingsman malarky).
  • And… if you weren’t terribly needy or fussy, that’d be fine. No vegans.
  • Must like books, jazz and annoying dogs.

There, I think that’s about it…

xoxo – gg

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 🙂 xx – gg

Funny Face… notes on a last kiss

New York, New York… a place so great they named it twice… is a city of reaction, a city of critics, columnists, and pontificators… Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Woody Allen, Nora Ephron, Jon Stewart… Everybody… down to the very last chica at the optometrist’s office who tightens the screws on my glasses… has an opinion… a clear and pronounced reaction to everything and anything.

Everyone here reacts. Except me. I’ve got nothing. Mostly.

by the amazing Allie Brosh!

by the amazing Allie Brosh!

I still can’t feel most of my face, but I’ve done a lot of What’s New Pussycats and at Day 30… I can smile:

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Granted, it’s slightly demonic, but it’s genuine… and voluntary. And speech is happening. At first, every word was like water… a formless puddle of vowels… then, when frustrated… like scalpels… singular, slicing cuts of consonants. But now I’m told I sound like a combination of French, deaf and Scooby-Doo… a lost, unconnected brogue.

I think it came out best the other day at the oral surgeon’s… I’m sitting there and Walter (the illustrious doctor) is poking my chin with what looks like a lobster fork. (sigh… man, I so miss lobster… and beef… I swear, when this is all over… I am going to eat a whole cow. Poor Bessie.)

Anyway… I’m there making Walter laugh… I’ve been listening to him scolding the guy in the next room… a Latin American construction worker who fell 3 stories onto his face… so gnarly… I’d seen him in the waiting room with his brother and thought he must have been the most beautiful man before… wide Mayan cheekbones… the kind that make a face truly cinematic… like a film screen, perfect for conveying a subtle stream of emotion… Apparently, he isn’t brushing enough.

Walter is telling him in no uncertain terms that if he gets an infection, he could lose his entire jaw… and the guy is muttering, “It’s just the pain… it hurts…” and I’m sitting there just freaking out… writhing so much in my chair I practically need a seatbelt… because for those of you who know me… I am a crazy-compulsive brusher/flosser… I want to shout at the guy, “Hey Amigo! Amigo!!! You’ve got to suck it up and BRUSH… or you’ll end up like Roger Ebert!! Trust me, you don’t want the little curtain! The curtain BLOWS!” But at that point, I’m still wired shut, and even if this is NYC, it might come off as a tad intrusive to shout at other patients through walls. Plus, he could do worse than end up like the brave and brilliant Roger Ebert… and Roger had Chaz…

But now, Walter is not laughing… he alternates between poking me with the fork and squinting at a single, foggy x-ray. Then, his face collapses inward on itself, sad, “You realize, the break was right at the nerve… ”

I scowl (on the inside) and ask, in my best French Scooby accent… “But zee nooves can we-jenna-wate?”

No answer. He just looks at me… sorry, He pokes my lips again, and I want to tell him I DO feel something, but I’d be lying. He puts a hand over my eyes, continuing… and that’s when I wonder… pretty much out of nowhere… what if my last kiss was my last kiss?

I think back and a fever dream hits.. Kissing is better than ice cream, the perfect degree of hot … like branches wrestling in a storm… it’s that I-cannot-get-you-close-enough feeling of yearning and satisfaction… like salt and chocolate… of holding someone’s face in your hands… the wild rush of being consumed and consuming… If I were Maria in The Sound of Music… I would definitely have to re-write the My Favorite Things number to include it. If I were Oprah, I would bottle it and put it under audience members’ chairs. Screw the whole giving everyone a car thing. Instead, give them that indescribable, amazing kiss feeling. I remember my face, tiny, in his hands, Like the iconic theme song to the epic 1990’s rom-com, She’s All That

Never let that bit go… is my loud and unequivocal New York opinion. Keep it close and ever closer… in case you don’t get to feel it again. Make certain your last kiss was your best kiss. Never take it for granted. Catch the deluge in both hands and linger over it. There is nothing like a kiss.

Walter uncovers my eyes and tells me plainly… with nary a hint of drama… that we need to go back in again. This time, from the other side, by my left ear. I go into the hospital on Wednesday.

I sink as I think of it now… the gnawing morphine itch, of the incalculable vulnerability of backless nighties… oof. At least, I’ll be prepared this time… Bananagrams to play with the one cool nurse… better undies for the doctors… sour apple Jolly Ranchers. I pause and wonder if I will run into Mr. Hairy-no-pants again… or Vikram, the uber-Christian Uber driver who prayed for me. I’ll tell you about him next time.

This is some heavy shit… I need to stay funny right now.

xx – gg

On Desire: 3 Things All New Yorkers Want…

This week, I am getting my life together.

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Cartoon by the amazing Aliie Brosh

Above is my “I’m feeling really good about myself” stance. I do it all over my apartment. (especially after laundry) The stance is making realize all kinds of things…

For starters, it is completely important that I finally learn how to ride a bike in a dress and heels.

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As an automatic mood stabilizer more powerful than Prozac, I am convinced that by doing this at least once a week, I will become a better person to be around. Even people who can’t stand me will find a new level of tolerance for my ridiculousness.

But more importantly, this exercise in responsibility has wrought a certain clarity… I’ve realized that there are 3 universal truths out there about what people everywhere want most in life. I used to think it was all just existential chaos, but New Yorkers (coupled with doing my laundry) have made me see the light.

1) A sandwich.

As Liz Lemon, my all-time favorite fictional writer, once attested… all of humankind just wants to sit and have a sandwich.

From the towering Rubens of Katz’s Deli to the impromptu doughiness of the Ethiopian hoagie, every culture wants a sandwich. No place on earth exemplifies this desire more than New York City.

My favorite sandwich, the combination falafel-lamb gyro with extra white sauce, is sold at carts everywhere here by The Halal Guys. I love The Halal Guys not only because they are the best street meat on this glorious island, but also because they have the best (and simplest) slogans ever:

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Many are exuberant run-on sentences:

“Yes we serve the masses Oh yes, we serve masses! They love our food You can too just come on down.” and “You can’t make up your mind between chicken and Gyro you don’t have to, have chicken and Gyro combo.”

My personal Halal Guy is the opposite of the soup Nazi. He’s like a sexy Forrest Gump. It’s never an issue of denial. He thinks I do not eat enough. Every time I find myself at the window, he says, “You must to eat more falafel! Deep Fry, my skinny friend. New York requires!” (Marvin would disagree with this sentiment, but no drag queen trainer from Queens will ever stand in the way of me and my street meat)

The other great is that The Halal Guys are only one $ on Yelp, which means I can still pay my student loans (which I will probably have until my next life kicks in, but I’ve come to terms with it SallieMae. You should too)

2) A T-shirt.

A t-shirt, worn without a light sweater or jacket, is a universal sign that the weather is perfect. Since, I am pigment impaired, I tend to like mine with sleeves. I also prefer uber honest messaging, so I’ve started designing my own:

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(I was so terrible to my ex-husband)

Also, this one’s a keeper…

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You could wear these all over the city and people would wish they had one too.

3) A neighbor.

Cranky or caring, every New Yorker needs to know at least one neighbor–even if they are like this:

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Manhattan is a place of intrinsic conflict. Everyone is always in your face. The consequence of this conflict is a certain brand of intimacy that allows you to say whatever the hell you want. This is why it’s always wise to keep a little bit of a buffer with one’s neighbors. To this is end, signs like the above are completely appropriate. Why? You’re not yelling at anyone, you’re simply expressing facts and desires.

So, there you have it… I am finally owning my Manhattan truth because, in the enduring words of The Halal Guys, “You can too… New York requires.”

Deep fry my friends…

xoxo-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

The last time I was warm…

Ugh… 5 degrees yesterday… All the dogs were like this:

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Cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

I think the last time I was actually warm was when I was like this… fatty, fat, fat and happy… looking all Nat Geo and whatnot…

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But it’s no easy feat… making a little person in our fair city.

You walk all prego into a deli and say, “Can I have a large caesar salad, turkey on rye with Russian dressing, a large Pellegrino and a coffee regular?” And the deli guy says, “Who you buying for, the Rangers?” People chuckle. Then, he leans over the counter, assesses your curvature and pronounces: “Whaddayaknow, it’s a girl!” He will then tell a completely tedious story about his grandmother and a legendary gender-predicting turnip. All the while… behind you… people waiting in line are starting to sigh and make zero population growth comments. At this point, Dr. Deli starts to argue with you about the coffee you’ve just ordered because he thinks it’s not good for the baby. He’ll also tell you that he does not believe in amniocentesis. To the ladies he knows who are going to have an amnio, he tells them, “What? I already know it’s a girl.” At first, you protest, but eventually you give up and he tells you lovingly, “Don’t forget the napkins lady! Your stomach is like a shelf–it catches all the dressing. You don’t want greasy shirts.”

The New York women are very different from the deli guys…  One evening during rush hour in my eighth month, I was waiting for the train at West 4th. The loudspeaker was bleating unintelligibly like that teacher from the Peanuts cartoons, and there were as many people on the platform as there are living in Mumbai.

Suddenly, I had this surreal feeling that I was being surrounded. “Well, this is just super… exhausted pregnant lady gets mugged on subway,” And this being New York, they’ll probably insist on taking the baby as well. But as I looked around I saw that I was being surrounded by four women, 3 armed with really great bags–Celine, Louis Vuitton, a trusty Longchamp. “Yeah, you need us” one said, and being New Yorkers, they ignored the fact that they did not know one another and joined forces to form a kind of phalanx around me, not unlike those that offensive linemen build around a quarterback.

When the train arrived and the doors opened, the women moved forward, with purpose, and I was swept inside, not the least bit tussled. ”Looks like a girl,” one woman said with a grin, and as the train began to move we all made grabs for the pole and turned back to our lives.

How did I get on this again? Oh right, it’s arctic out… enough to give Santa an aneurysm.

So, what’a girl (or boy) to do? Stuck inside… having already watched every “meh” Netflix movie there is…Feeling like you’re coming down with Scurvy. And if family is around, they’re all fighting like drag queens at a wig sale… You need to act fast, my friend. You need to stay warm and not go completely bananas.

The solution is to nest like hell.

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Unpack everything, go through all your stuff and make sure it’s spread out everywhere for maximum warmth and sorting.

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Sophie sorting.

You can hang up things (yes, art has insulating qualities). You can bust out your patterned duct tape and wallpaper your bedroom with old posters, you can borrow power tools from your equally housebound neighbors–just to chat them up. You can rearrange the furniture… You might even paint the bathroom and get high off the fumes… Ultimately, you will feel so awesome because you’ll have been totally productive, organized your space and stayed warm… all without having to gain 30 pounds, all without being harangued by deli people.

So take that … stupid winter…

xoxo – gg

Super Powers Activate! Form of… a Nectarine (yeah, you heard me right)

Ok, I’m going to need to get some super powers this week.

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@weirdscience99

I don’t actually need flight. As of tomorrow, NYC’s going to be waaaaaay too cold for that. Invisibility and mind reading are both a bust. Hearing all the mean or dismissive things people are saying about me would just confirm that my trust issues are, in fact, “truth” issues. No, I need more of an Obewankinobe capability–an “I AM the droid you’re looking for…” kind of thing. I need the power of profound persuasion…both at work and at home.

But in order for that to happen… first, I need to fix my hair. (Warning: below is a tad girly)

I look like a fucking nectarine… a Puerto Rican nectarine. (not that there’s anything empirically wrong with that) The color just clashes with my whole being.

One of the worst things that can happen to a woman in this city is for her colorist to die. Mine, Jacques, kicked it last week. Apparently, he was right in the middle of some poor woman’s highlights. Can you imagine the trauma? I’d be a complete brunette if someone fell face first into my foils.

Acceptable mourning periods aside, I had bad roots. Once you hit 40, the risk of wiry gray hairs (Cher-hair as I like to call it) is much too much to take. (at least it’s not in my ears like with dudes). But I had to fix things. I had to. Recently, I dated a guy who I think may have been ashamed of me… possibly because of my Cher hair or it could have been my general level of goofiness… I suspect the former. In any case, I wasn’t going to delay things any further, so I decided to take a risk and “Groupon” on a hair deal.

All I can say is, “Never, ever, ever again.”

By the way, I did try to explain to the Groupon woman that I thought I needed some toner, but this lady was from the Bronx, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but she took offense, and so I figured I’d best seek a solution elsewhere.

Today, after my barre class, which Marvin says will firm and lengthen things without making me look so much like a praying mantis, I am set to cure my tangerine tresses at a back alley place the ladies here all swear by. It’s called “Sam and Chris”. It’s like a speakeasy–except it’s for hair.

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According to my girlfriend Leia, these guys are my only hope. More news as it breaks.

XOXO – gg