Tonight, I’m Elizabeth Taylor…

Ahoy, Lovelies. How the hell are you?

Just back from Wakanda, sporting a new brain (or what feels like one). For newcomers, this is code for… I had another tonic-clonic seizure a few weeks ago and now I’m in a Technicolor reboot of sorts where everything feels brave and new. 

The last time I woke up like this… an aging hippie was standing over me in a Muppet sweater telling me I needed some serious weed. She may not have been entirely wrong.

After being seizure-free for almost three years, here I am again… feeling just returned from an alternate universe and on even more Keppra than ever before. While I’m grateful for a drug that’s given me three extra years of life as a relatively ordinary girl,  it still has a way of turning me into Elizabeth Taylor every now and then. Something to keep an eye on…

On the flip side, the super-duper happy news is that last week Gotham Girl Interrupted made it to #1 in Amazon new releases and I’m finally able to attend the Annual American Epilepsy Society Meeting in New Orleans for the very first time! I’ll be doing a meet & greet here tomorrow for the Epilepsy Foundation at 2 pm at the Convention Center in Room #7 of the Exhibit Hall. If any of you are in the area, DO come by!

For now, stay rad, Lovelies –  XOXO – Gotham Girl

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

On Being the Mother Who Always Gets Caught: Epic Mom-Fails, Saves, and Bonus Moms

I don’t know about you. You’re probably better than I am.

I am the mother who always gets caught. It’s practically a law of physics. If I go off-script even a little, say I break the rules, trying to stand up for my kids to mean teachers (who later turned out to be shady) or go the extra mile to be “the fun/cool mom”—it’s an utter catastrophe.

Even the times when I finally buckle and say,  “Sure thing, kiddo! Let’s stay all four days of the school campout” when other parents just stay one, and although I try to stick to the script—singing merrily ’round the campfire, chopping organic veggies with all the other proper, chipper married parents—something always happens.

Suddenly, a terrified shriek disturbs the cathedral hush of the woods… and my perfect, beautiful child is standing before us all now with a broken tooth. Her wrist has its own new elbow. She has just gone head-over-heels-over-razor-scooter and is bleeding profusely about the mouth. Of course, we are in the wilderness where you can actually see the stars in an overhead blanket of velvety indigo. Fortunately,  in our motley crew of parents, there are two dentists and a doctor who all swoop in to pronounce that the front tooth can be saved and that her wrist isn’t broken. Ice packs and Ibuprofen are quickly administered.

We pass a sleepless night in our $40 tent from Target. At dawn, we race back to town to the pediatric ER where it turns out her wrist is broken. (In all fairness to Louis, the parent/ doctor, he’s a pulmonologist, not an ortho.) The on-call dentist saves the tooth, after which my darling girl rests a day and then we go back up to the campout to get her cast graffiti-ed. I never want either of my kids to suffer. It kills me. I’m sick of platitudes about how it builds character. Shut up about that already. The girls already have a surplus of character—they are both wickedly charming and resourceful.

***

My worst epic mom-fail happened when I decided, as a single mother who hadn’t had sex in over a year, to try to pull off a quick shag between basketball practice and dinner. (I know we all think mothers don’t or shouldn’t do it, but I was dying.) I raced home from work, the person I’d been flirting with for several months was waiting on my doorstep like a perfectly wrapped man-present. No commitments, no needs, he was just right there. I was WAY off-script and DTF. (People think I don’t know that acronym, but I do) We swiftly took to the sheets.

Little did I know that this week, the basketball coach decided to end practice early to let the girls rest up before the big game, which is how my poor, long-suffering daughter ended up bounding into my big game. But that’s not the worst of it…

As she bounded in… I screamed, “Noooooooooooo!!!”

At that moment, the guy on top of me leaped out of bed and headed, naked, for the window (Where was he planning on going? We lived on a high floor, was he jumping? That’s not okay.) He was so frantic, he accidentally tripped on the drapes, pulling the curtains, rods, and everything down and out of the plaster. So not only, was he in the buff in front of my horrified teenage daughter. Our neighbors and the entire city got a look-see of this wildly cringe-worthy moment.

Never trying that again.

***

My one win in all the years… I was on a conference call and after years of biblical wrath from me about mom-having-to-do-conference-calls-from-home-so-you-must-be-seriously-on-death’s-door-if-you-plan-to-interrupt-and-so-on, I’m listening to the creative team making their very best effort to sell a great, but impossible idea, when my youngest scampers in, eyes like meatballs, clutching her throat with a yellow post-it that said, “TIDDLYWINK!” She was choking on an effing Tiddlywink game chip! Why was it in her mouth to begin with? She was thirteen. That’s not how you tiddle.

I hung up the phone, whipped my daughter around and gave her the Heimlich maneuver. The chip went down instead of flying out, but she could breathe. And so again, we were off to the pediatric ER with our very calm neighbor Dean (because I was not so calm) where the Tiddly-chip was deemed non-toxic and you can probably guess the rest. Just one good moment. Phew…

***

Last thing, a hearty thanks and a happiest Mother’s Day to all the bonus moms who helped this hapless mom along the way—Joy, Claire, Maia, Jacqueline, Helene, Diana, Susan, Kirston, Teodora, Camille, Holly, Alisa, Mo, Serena, Adam Z and Charles, I’m not worthy… clearly.

Stay rad and have a meaningful day – xoxo – gg

 

Screen-shot-2017-03-26-at-6.37.58-PM-640x337

How to Talk to Boys at Parties…

Hello, Lovelies… Welcome to another week rollicking, non?

Aren’t you so glad Mercury is no longer in retrograde? It’s Noah’s ark on the subway today. There’s pretty much zero point in going anywhere except perhaps the amazing Frenchy bakery on the next block (Miss Madeline). You’ll miss it if you blink, but just walking in the door there… is a full-on nose-gasm from Paris. After that, I’m seeking refuge in BBCAmerica for less political psychopaths. Killing Eve is a sparkly gem that had me wanting to test out if I too could stealthily zip myself into a Swiss Army carry-on.

Speaking of Brits, I was so excited to hear that Warren Ellis’s AI comic, Injection, sold in a massive auction and to see that Neil Himself’s story How to Talk to Girls at Parties is finally close at hand (ETA May 18 in theaters near you). I cannot wait to see it if only because the characters remind me so much of my own kids. I think the alchemy of sweet, weird, innocent defiance is what’s needed now more than ever… Hold fast, people. Today is a strange one.

most

And yes, I’m trying to stop doing all my business parties (meetings) this way… just my sparkling personality always leads to trouble. xoxo – gg

 

Laura Dern is Really Good at Being a Shark

Hello, Lovelies,

How the hell are you? It’s been a rollicking few weeks, dear readers! That bigoted sack of Bisquick is still airing his balls in the Whitehouse instead of the Big House, Hurricane Jose is en route to NYC and I turned in a book… the one about going from being a mostly-dead girl… voi-la…

 

me.png

photo: Holly Mckeown

to a mostly-alive girl…

GG3.jpg

I still feel like some parts of the book are missing. I keep having these epic middle school dreams where I have a line in some awful 6th-grade pageant but no pants on, which is distracting in the best of cases. Yes, the pants are the pages.

About midway through, I wrote this lazy quip “No more Laura Dern-style meltdowns for me,” and I got this big note back in black Sharpie that simply said, “Is she even known for this?” and I thought holy cats, I am so fucked! My silly book had been bought by smart, literary people who don’t watch television, which I completely, totally get. We should all be reading more, but we’re talking Laura Dern here, people!

George Saunders may have said it best: “A book is like a shark. A shark hasn’t evolved in 40,000 years because it’s still really good at just being a shark. A book is the same.” So is the human brain. It’s still the most efficient storytelling device on the planet, sending all variety of messages from brain-to-face-to-body.

This is where Laura Dern is an especially good shark. I wanted to tweet my editor all these pictures of LD melting down throughout pop culture history. Etsy even makes buttons of them…

laura_button.jpg

The other funny thing about breaking your face and having your lower jaw torn off like an act-one Stephen King character is that all your surgeons and speech therapists want you to be during recovery is Laura-fucking-Dern because those splendid facial gymnastics she’s famous for actually help you to get better.

Another note I got on the book… was “more emotion” which made me do a full-on spit-take (and I wasn’t even drinking anything). I walk around thinking I’m chocked full of emotion, but with most of the nerves on the right side of my face severed it’s no longer so wildly apparent. My mug is a little inscrutable these days and it’s not only changing my interactions with people, it’s changing my written words as well. I believe that when you stand alone on the precipice of big change, you can either fill the gaping chasm with dread, devastation or drollery. It’s not to say that you’re not afraid, not sad, not homesick for the “dear ordinary” that you knew before, the one all the therapists have you reenacting each day, but you can choose other ways to fill the abyss. I chose drollery.

There was a point in my epileptic life where I probably liked my seizures a little more than I despised them. I know it’s not supposed to work that way. In the current zeitgeist of the differently-abled, you are supposed to stand up, resistdefy, and even hate your chronic condition or illness whatever it may be. But there’s something about my particular brand of seizures that scratches this deep ontological itch I have. There’s an odd satisfaction to them I still can’t name. Why are we the only species that seems to yearn for oblivion?

Yes, I still wake up from each fit thinking “Ugh, not again…” because the crawl back to normalcy is usually such a doozy, but my seizures are also terribly gorgeous, like being caught in a tornado of stars. It’s an instance of overpowering joy that I get a snatch at, which holds almost as much allure as a drug. In this way, I feel like a traitor against the cause to cure the condition. I don’t hate it as much as I’m curious about it and long for another glimpse.

In this way, the grief I feel around epilepsy is strangely deferred, less about me, and more directly related to the fear I’ve caused the people around me. You don’t feel bad for you, so much as you feel bad for how frightened, vulnerable and Laura Dern-like you may have made the people around you feel in the moments when they were watching you thrash and flail around on the ground. It’s their meltdowns you tend to, once you are back and awake.

Maybe that’s the whole point, we’re all Laura D, we’re all really good at being sharks at one time or another, which is how we persist. I’m not sure yet. I think I need to read and stew more.

This week I have fallen head-first into Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, which is one of those books that just calls out to you at the end of the day as you come in the door. “Read me,” it beckons with its siren’s song.

 

51Ea7sxchWL._SY346_.jpg

Ng’s prose flows like water and her witty, wry conversations between siblings are so exactly how whole generations grew up speaking to each other. I highly recommend it for this week’s weather. Or in any kind of weather.

For now, stay rad and hold tight in those crazy winds outside. XOXO – GG

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 🙂 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

gbh

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.

50085230619__6B53FBB2-5730-40BB-BD85-B1979273CE35.JPG

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:

 

 

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.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 10.36.11 AM

@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.

barre-pic-2

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

XOXO – gg

My Funny Valentine…

Ah, long term relationships…

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 3.39.53 PM

Derek Springsteen

Maybe it’s time for a bigger apartment? (In NYC definitely)

Happy day people…  if you are newly coupled, maybe revel in the fact that falling in love with love is one of the best feelings in all of existence… like that moment right after you sneeze–except longer.

serge&jane

If you’ve recently had your heart pummeled, take comfort in the fact that at least you were reminded of what it feels like to love and maybe… if the person was a really good person, maybe you can tell him or her “Hey… it was an honor to have my heart broken by you.” Chances are… they’ll feel like total garbage but you will have taken the high road if you really mean it. Otherwise, it’s passive aggressive like crazy. I think this may actually be the New York thing to do.

If you are just going along… then go along… and perhaps someday, if you want, you too will see someone poop.

All my love – gg