All is Calm… All is Bright…

But we really need some snow.

Seriously, it does not look like this in NYC and it needs to because it’s December people… and I am seeing way too much garbage and poo on 82nd Street.

Hello lovelies,

I know it’s been a long time. I’d like to say I have good excuses, but then… I’ve always said excuses pretty much blow, which is an excuse in and of itself now that I hear it out loud in my head ūüôā I have been all over the planet lately as a panhandler of words… hovering, warming my cold, chapped, Dickensian hands over the smoldering embers of other people’s much better ideas.

Here I am outside Berlin on the set of Grand Budapest Hotel for Project Vargr

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Sidebar: who knew a western European country like Deutschland could have so much schnitzel and so little product? The mind reels! The hair frizzes. Still learning how to smile for the camera…

And here I am in LaLaLand for Project G, wearing socks by the pool. Yes, that’s my pigment-free ankle. Liz Lemon’s got nothin on me.

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I can never stay in LA for long. I get a headache from rolling my eyes so much.

I started GG as an ongoing love letter to a city that has always made me feel at home… a tiny blog in praise of this place’s crazy ones, celebrating or leaning into¬†its¬†very difficult, nerdy, outspoken, prickly-pear, harrumphing people who make you realize why other cities pale and feel sort of JV (sorry other cities)… Not a political blog, not necessarily a neuro blog… except when warranted… and hoo boy… do I have some tales.

I was so blue after the election I almost defected to Sweden, but… I just cannot put that much sugar in my coffee. I like my coffee bitter… so, all is calm… all is bright… in the snowglobe that is my head and it’s time to get back to Gotham. Stay rad, my lovelies…

xoxo – gg

PS – the best thing I’ve watched this week… courtesy of Brainpickings.org… best blog ever:

 

 

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

The writer, the thief, his lover and her stand-in

I’m done.

I’ve just finished a TV script. 57 pages of banter and creepy plot twists–set partly in NYC.

To echo another writer I admire…It was really, really, really hard. And way less glam¬†than I thought it would be. But it’s done.

The net effect of this, however, is that after spending whole swaths of my day for 3 months in an abstract world of imaginary David Lynch types, I find I really, really appreciate the smaller, more concrete things:

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cartoon by the amazing allie brosh ‚Äď hyperboleandahalf.com

It’s also turned me into a complete chatterbox–across all media platforms.

For those of you who know me, I’m a little distractible. If there’s a TV on or something streaming in the nearby vicinity… I’m all, “Ooooh, what’s that????” I’ll write about 3 lines.

If left to my own devices without people or TV or other fun things, I can write the whole Oxford English Dictionary without even blinking. It’s not that I’m Proust and need some silly cork-lined room in which to work, it’s that New York City, for me, is like a GIANT TV with loads of dramas, comedies and annoying commercials. So, invariably, when I have to write, I end up telling people things like…

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cartoon by the amazing allie brosh ‚Äď hyperboleandahalf.com

But, now that I’m done, I’m a total chatty Cathy. I¬†missed people. I feel like a gnat though. Really annoying… zinging and buzzing incessantly around my friends’ heads, unswat-able¬†and tickling. And¬†I’ve finally caught up with¬†my inbox, I’ve set the¬†world texting record for mindless quips, and my linkedin profile is¬†on the verge of¬†reflecting the epic saga that is my professional life.

I’ve also realized that I’ve let a few things go and am starting to resemble Ted Kazcynski (AKA the Unabomber) –but with serious Sasquatch eyebrows.

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So, a little glamifiction is¬†in order to regain my humanity. Just a note: this has become substantially harder since I turned 40… I used to have a nice freckly goldeny look a la Sienna Miller, whom I ran into in Cannes a million years ago… Those moments always go like this…

“Wow, you look like me!”

“No, you look like me!”

“Yes, but everybody in the world knows me… so you look like me.”

“True.¬†So weird…We’re doppelgangsters…”

“Except you have more of a forehead, which I like…”

“See…¬†I like your forehead better…”

Gone are the days. Still, it is nice and convenient when you are feeling like Ted Kaczynski (pasty, malnourished, everything gone slack and too much hair everywhere) to have someone lovely who can play your stand-in.

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cartoon by the amazing allie brosh ‚Äď hyperboleandahalf.com

The bread cleanse has helped somewhat.

Thank god New York makes it easy to do these kinds of repairs. Most “girl” things (hair stylist, brow lady, yoga, etc.) exist within a few blocks of wherever you live. Tonight, some¬†girlfriends are treating¬†me to this beautiful cheapo spa that also doubles as a Korean Karaoke bar.

Another concept alive and well in Gotham (that also aids¬†in these repairs) is the notion of “Girl Fridge” This is the phenomenon whereby a single girl’s refrigerator is stocked with only the following: yogurts, baby carrots, as much¬†champs as you want (Veuve Clicquot) and those chillable eye masks. That’s it. This is a great thing in that¬†it forces a writer like myself¬†to get out to see her friends, but then instills¬†a little¬†the discipline, keeping you from snacking on Funions all day when home alone…

Ah girl fridge…¬†but now I just realized I want tacos so bad… These things always come full circle, don’t they?

XOXO – gg

A Guide for the Perplexed and Dirty: 5 things to do if you are sad…

I’m not sure how it happened… maybe it’s that I’m completely naive or just living a life of unparalleled denial…¬†but I’m mostly a very happy person… I’m serious. ¬†Even when things are really bad,¬†I’m pretty much like this:

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cartoon by the amazing allie brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

It’s true that daily life (and New York) can wear on a girl, but whether it’s missing a flight, or an¬†epic¬†subway fail, or being accosted an angsty Elmo on the way to work, or that Marvin (my drag queen trainer) keeps telling me I’m still fat, or that¬†I accidentally washed and dried all of my sweaters on the super-crazy-hot setting, so that I can never wear any of them again… I’m pretty chin up.

Chin down would mean staring, full frontal, into the abyss and I’m a writer. We’re already maudlin enough… Between Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and¬†David Foster Wallace… ¬†writers are a grim lot and not usually featured in the above cartoon.

But WHAT¬†do you do when you’ve messed something up so bad that¬†you are like this?

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cartoon by the amazing allie brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

Perplexed, despondent, muddy… that’s me¬†right now. (To add insult to injury, it’s also really cold tonight. As I write this… I’m in bed wearing a ski hat and fingerless mittens. Go sexy)

But back to dirt and despair… There was a great post a while back on the blog¬†The Girl in the Little Black Dress¬†called “100 things to do if you’re sad.”¬†Excerpting, borrowing and adding my own little bits… here are 5 that the “me” in my inner Amelie have tried…

1. Let them eat cake. Go out to dinner with your friends (or friend, don’t be picky). Midway through the dinner, sneak back to the kitchen and tell them it’s your friend’s birthday (even though it’s not) and could they please do something involving cake? When it all goes down with the candles and singing, your friend will laugh his/her guts out and feel completely marvelous. My friends have had so many “birthdays” this way. And if, for some reason, your friend¬†doesn’t appreciate the gesture, then cross that wet blanket off your Christmas card list. Jeeze.

2. ¬†Vive la France.¬†¬†Watch a French movie….Amelie, Populaire (both on Netflix)¬†or May Fools (on Hulu).¬†Amelie will remind you that cracking the top of creme brulee is the best thing ever, that people’s faces are more beautiful and¬†true in the dark, and that the feeling you have right after you sneeze is amazing. If you don’t have the patience for the film, you can always just watch the motorcycle scene at the end… Remember when you last did that? I do…

With Populaire between the gorgeously designed opening titles, the pink typewriters that don’t work and Romain Duris transforming from pissy little asshole to a genuinely sweet¬†person, you can’t help but feel more chin-up about whatever is bothering you.¬†(GLBD)

In¬†May Fools, it’s like a holiday¬†in¬†the south of France with a quirky family that you’ll want as your own, along with the old manoir they are skirmishing over. Spoiler alert… real estate is my porn…

3. Time Travel. Look up the¬†time in another country. Any country… It could be Borneo, Paris or Peru…anywhere. Think about what the sky looks like there. Are the people eating breakfast? Is it dark enough for skinny dipping? Is everyone asleep except for people working the night shift in hospitals and heavy-lidded people in love?

4. Get Between the Sheets. Take a set of clean sheets (or just wash your sheets, why don’t you) and put them on high heat in the dryer (just like the sweaters). When done, quickly make your bed, take off all¬†of your clothes and climb in with the sheets pulled up to your chin. You may not¬†have fixed anything in your life, but you will feel instantly better.

5. Run Wild. Go to your nearest park (preferably Central Park), sit on a bench and quietly make fun of all/most of the runners passing by for about 20 minutes. Then, pick the goofiest one you saw and go run exactly like that person for a hundred yards or more. Screw what other people think. It’s New York. Anyone who is interesting at all is “at one” with their weirdness. You will be so surprised at how¬†liberating it is to be a beautiful, full blown spaz. You will definitely want to do this more than once–in your apartment and with friends. You’ll see. Being a goofball is strangely addictive…

In the meantime, for the perplexed, the despondent and the dirty… it may seem discouraging, but sometimes there is no fixing… only distracting…

xoxo-gg

Doppelgangsters

Ok, I’m pretty sure I just saw Jon Stewart running in Central Park.

He runs so gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that). He just reminds me that¬†the next time¬†I go running, I should practice in front of a mirror first.

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They say Manhattan is a city of doppelg√§ngers. I swear I’ve seen Camille at least three times since I’ve been here. And the other day, I was walking up Broadway from Trader Joe’s and who do I see? This guy:

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Jonah Hill.

He’s on his¬†mobile¬†in the middle of the street and he’s yelling, “I can’t believe you! You can’t take any fucking constructive criticism! You always have to fly off the handle! I can’t fucking believe you…”

And yesterday, I was standing on the corner and who do I see? My DAD. I was getting my coffee and there he was. I had a total nutty. I couldn’t breathe. I started to shake. Oh jesus… what is he doing here? Oh no… (dread) what if he sees my apartment? He’s going to think I still live like a grad student. (and he would be right). See below:

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(I am too short to reach the top shelves)

He’s going to try to buy me furniture… except it won’t be the furniture I want. It’ll be a barcalounger or something of that ilk. And I won’t be able to adequately explain that I have made¬†a vowa solemn vow to only buy artful, authentic¬†pieces that I love (even if I can’t afford them, even if I am not a Rockefeller–I’ll wait. I will wait for the genuine article).

Alas, it was just a dude… aye.¬†Thank god this is still a city of doppelgangsters.

xoxo – gg