When You Wake Up as a Marvel Supervillain…

It’s a look I’ve seen both my daughters give me so many times. It’s the very same look I gave my own mom. Man, if mothers don’t always get it in the end.

The other day my Biffle pointed out (well before I’d had any coffee) that I was finally a Marvel supervillain on Jessica Jones… I was so ready to be completely delighted even though (in truth) I had trouble getting into Season 1 of the Netflix series mostly because I was trying to get less peeved about everything in life and the last thing I needed at the time was more bitter, bourbon-chugging role models. Alas, this is the villain my BFF sent me…

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Thanks a lot, Marvel…  As the dreaded Alisa Jones, embattled mother of Jessica, an experiment of whiteboy medical hubris, never mind a cautionary icon of female rage, you couldn’t even give me a good suit? No leather? Just some fucking Chico’s casual wear, a poorly tailored coat, and a bad wig? Couldn’t my namesake at least have some product? And why did she have to kill the only righteous sister on the show? Ruth Sunday may not have been everybody’s fave girls’ trip companion, but we needed her. And why couldn’t Tiffany Haddish play the lady trauma surgeon? As a real girl who had her face almost entirely rebuilt just three years ago, I needed me some Tiffany H right about then…

I give Janet McTeer points for trying, but the whole of Season 2 left this exiled mother asking: Okay, so is female rage here totally genetically encoded (mom genes, ha) OR is it more a matter of superpower-gifted-freak status engendering a lifetime of exclusion, estrangement, bullying, and bitter alienation? Some blend fundamental to the female experience? Is this the reason mothers pull back from their adolescent daughters? So that their darlings don’t necessarily become them? All of the above but jeez… were there ever so many brands of lady angst this season…  Between Jeri deciding to completely Armageddon her life after her diagnosis to Trish’s pathologically pathetic power vaping to her own malignant narcissist of a pageant mother… we are an irritated lot. Still, we make it work for us—until it suddenly doesn’t. In all the years that have elapsed since Alisa’s accident, why didn’t Dr. Karl think of trying some PTSD-oriented VR therapies? Com’on, Marvel. Get with the times.

I loved that all the episodes were directed by women, but oof… some of the parallels to my own rag and bone life were palpably cringe-worthy.

Still in exile writing, but happy Pagan, Passover weekends, Lovelies… xoxo – gg

Treason Got You Down? Try Castlevania: The Mental Firewall You So Needed

Sometimes between the MTA and Donnygate and the Naked Lunch-style cockroach that’s invaded your apartment, you just need to build a mental firewall around what’s left of your humanity. I tend to do this with throwback Goldie Hawn movies and feminist critiques of Italian meats (Soppressata is my porn) but last week was monsoon season in Manhattan. so I took to my bed with the new Netflix series Castlevania, which is exquisite.

I feel like the creative process is a sort of wardrobe. Think of the one in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe except in this case it’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Warren-drobe and it’s empty. So you ask yourself what are you going to hang in it? Your ginormous mahogany wardrobe that feels like the inside of the Tardis or Mary Poppins’ carpet bag?

Well for starters, you could hang some genuine scientific inquiry, oh and some feminist mysticism, a secret society, an Indiana Jones whip, some historically accurate gore, sheep problems, lost love coupled with complex characterizations, and who else but 90s Manga icon… Sailor Moon. Because who doesn’t love a badass superhero transformation that involves a manicure and new boots? And Vlad Jr. is just the SPIT of Tuxedo Mask

Endless episodes possible here. My only regret was that there were only 4, but I hear Netflix expanding to 8 for series 2.

Hurry up and write faster, Warren! Smoke more, drink more, whatever it takes…

Stay rad lovelies, xoxo – GG

A Stroppy Harridan…

A toast, a toast… it was finally snowing-ish. Or it was yesterday morning in Central Park. (Pic courtesy of Alex Di Stasi)

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Yes, Decima… promised to be a stroppy harridan of a storm…

I bet you’re wondering what that is because I certainly was when my BFF and criminal service animal, Ed, proclaimed me nothing but one at a recent birthday lunch. A fine how-do-you-do…

I’ll confess, my first guess was stroppy harridan: a variant of some hipster-nonsense Christmas cocktail, one that involves artisanal singing… Wassail, wassail… and whatnot. (Thinking about it now, all cocktails should involve singing. We should make it a rule, like diplomatic protocol. Singing keeps drunk people in Mary Poppins mode and prevents them from morphing into a sea of Archie Bunkers, amIright? And we’ve had more than enough Archie this past year. Electors, how about a write-in on Monday…Vote Julie Andrews!)

Breaking it down… “stroppy”… I quite liked. It means irascible and/or easily annoyed. That’s definitely me when lacking actual REM sleep. You know, the kind of deep slumber you get in the early, early mornings, the kind that is fevered and awash in vivid, storied dreams that play out like a Daphne du Maurier novel–complete with Mrs. Danvers lurking. The Victorians referred to it as the “second sleep” and apparently it went away with the invention of the electric light bulb… Damn you, Edison. For me, it’s always SUCH a fortifying sleep that… upon waking, I immediately race into the kitchen with a new musical or book idea, which I then frantically, nonsensically attempt to explain to the dog as I fumble with the coffee-making while he listens politely, trying ever so earnestly not to pee…

“Harridan” seems like a fancy version of a religious ne’er-do-well or someone with an implausible haircut, like Boris Johnson. In fact, it’s a grumpy old woman from the French for old horse. Charming.

I’m not sure what merited this whimsical moniker. Honestly, I don’t think Ed knew what it was either, and for the record, I was super cheery and decidedly un-horse-like given it was my birthday. But right as I left the restaurant, I ran smack into one of those very serious New York City joggers, you know… the kind who runs even when it’s rul cold out. He was wrapped in tinfoil like a baked potato with a ski mask. We were flirting distance apart, trying to avoid each other so naturally, “See-something-say-something” took hold, and I called him a stroppy harridan… to which he replied, “You bet your sweet ass I am!”

And what can I say… it was the quintessential Manhattan moment: a term nobody knows, uttered in an instance of grouchy, unanticipated physical disruption that could have resulted in conflict, but instead resulted in Seinfeldian intimacy. It’s what makes this place, this place.

So, a toast, a toast… To the stroppy harridans, the difficult-sweet people, and storms…

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Keep singing and enjoy the holiday mayhem… I have a book to finish, but lovelies you are my favorite procrastination. Have a day that means something 🙂

xoxo – gg

P.S. If you need to avoid your family for hours upon hours of wrapping or just general brooding… I highly recommend Netflix’s new thriller The OA

F/M/K: Tr*mp, Darth Vader, Pizza Rat?

Words and images by the incomparable Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay

What do you think Gothamites?

Imma say:

F*ck Vader: He’s probably into some kinky shit that would make for solid, non-three-breasted alien Sci-Fi material… a la Warren Ellis.

Marry Pizza Rat: We’re set to elect a fluorescent rodent. At least this little guy isn’t overly chatty and brings home something I like. (dollar slices)

Def K*ll: the cos-playing nuclear turnip who says HE ALONE speaks for you and that HE ALONE will save America. No way Jose!

I KNEW there was a reason I brought up Del Close and long form improv comedy the other day, and maybe this makes me a little (or a lot) evil, but you’ve got to ask yourself, can a bloated butternut squash improvise for four whole years? We may soon find out…

I know yesterday I was supposed to talk about Step Three: applying the lessons of Jason Bourne to address imminent danger, but right now…  running over rooftops while mindfully channeling one’s heretofore undiscovered Krav Maga fighting techniques feels like waaaaay too much in the heat… I vote for binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix and checking out Ruth Ware’s awesome new thriller The Woman in Cabin 10. Both are good fun.

For now, keep cool and stay rad.

XOXO – GG

Ps… No fluorescent rodents (or anything of that ilk) were harmed in the making of this blog post. It’s all just silliness… xoxo

My Beautiful Broken Brain… Wait, is that too high fallutin’?

Cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh (hyperboleandahalf.com)

Yes, I came home from the wild and went in for the final reconstructive surgery…

Dr. Ira Sturman and Dr. KareemofWheat…  you are indeed the crafty Oliver Sacks-van Gogh-Jan Svankmajer team of maxillofacial artistry…

And to that poor/sweet anesthesiologist who yanked  me back into life by disemboweling me through my nose… Guantanamo-style… I’m so sorry if I scared you… don’t be afraid chica, it gets fucking better, I swear 🙂

And to Sherill and Nada… feel my love ladies! You are the greatest nurses in the world… you deserve some crazy-meaningful prize… or something… a big-ass raise.

Have been shuffling around my apartment having David Lynch-style real estate dreams and looking like a drunk lady, wearing a jockstrap on my chin…which is so not fair because I have been very, very good in that regard… but I am almost one year without a full grand mal seizure and I almost feel/look like me… Even if I can’t fully talk yet… I still love what’s crackling in my beautiful broken brain and I cannot wait to see this… Feel like I have lived it 100 times over…

And now to fight eviction… by the sweetest, most patient landlords who ever were… not that I wouldn’t just give them the keys because they are the best (and I will), but when you are like I am these days… all you crave is the constancy and sameness of your books and your friends 🙂

XOXO – GG

Still dirty, still perplexed…

Going outside kind of sucks right now. It’s total icy badness in the streets.

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cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com

This was me the other day. Right as I was falling, I started laughing and everyone around me turned to help, but then they started laughing too and boom!… Epic banana peel.

When you have crappy-ish little NYC moments like these, it’s important to reach back and remember why you love this city. I have always been obsessed with movies about people who are just arriving in NYC and trying to make their way. There are heaps of them: When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Devil Wears Prada-ish, Coming to America and The Out of Towners, to name a few (although the woman in Out of Towners is so crazy-shrill, she makes me want to gouge both my ears out with a white hot fire poker…that’s how much I can’t stand her).

My newest favorite moving-to-NYC movie is a little known flick called: Casse-tete chinois (Chinese Puzzle) about a writer-guy in Paris whose girlfriend up and leaves him for New York (with their children). Needless to say… he sublets his amazing Rue Du Bac apartment and hightails it to the apple.

I love this movie for a wild and wide variety of reasons…

1) the guy’s a really good dad–not cliche good– but good for reals.

2) he ends up living in an uber-shitty apartment in Chinatown with no furniture, and it doesn’t bother him one bit. He knows why he’s there. (the chitlins!)

3) he is obsessed with how complicated everything seems, which only makes for more mayhem.

4) he has imaginary conversations with Schopenhauer and Hegel, and he actually understands them. This totally blows my skirt up.

5) the last thing I love… is Audrey Tautou’s character. She only sees things as simple. Even when people are wetting their pants to tell her that things are not, she shrugs them off and makes one of those little Frenchy faces that says, “Beh, oui…but what can you do?” I identify with that girl… I’ve spent decades, since the time that I was a neurotic 7 year old, thinking everything was a mess. Now, I too shrug 🙂

So, if you need a quality flick to distract yourself while you are stuck inside because you no longer trust your gross motor skills when it comes to ice, Casse-tete chinois is a charming diversion.

I also think that when you are housebound… like when we all were when dealing with Junot (the sassy pregnant teenager of storms)… what better time to cook something completely fancy and impossible?

My latest idea came from Central Park. It’s squab stuffed with foie Gras and wrapped in prosciutto. I know… I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, squab? Isn’t that pigeon?” Yes, it is and it’s delicious. Besides pigeons are so damn dumb, Darwin would agree, they pretty much deserve to be eaten.

I’ll spare you the encyclopedic recipe. Suffice it to say, there is something gratifying about standing around your kitchen doing silly chopping tasks while doing your best impersonation of Julia Child and sipping a lovely glass of red, that just makes things right with the world. You may be asking… how the heck do you find squab, foie gras and prosciutto during a storm? Hellooo, it’s New York…the fine people at Zabars will gladly deliver these items fresh to your door. Only last week, my girlfriend Alisa and I actually bought prosciutto at Duane Reade in Soho, during a blizzard at 2am–they are open 24 hours and you never know when you are about to have a pork crisis.

Last, but not least… if you have watched every “meh” movie on Netflix and it’s still too slippery to brave the great outdoors, try getting your blood boiling with this wise little tome, What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justifies the Meanness.

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This book should be required reading for anyone moving here… Even if you are not trying to hold your own in a toxic work or home environment, you’ll still laugh your guts out. For me, it was particularly helpful as I am waaaaaay too nice, and it never fails to screw me…  with work, with boys, with my editor…  I need to be more of a rascal. So, while it’s practically zero out… now is the perfect time to brush up on my ruthlessness. It’s the ideal time to practice saying things like Linda Wachner, CEO of Warnaco, would say to her VPs… “You’re eunuchs. How can your wives stand you?”  or also… “You can either eat lunch or be lunch… I’ll have you on rye with a gallon of Russian dressing…”

I know I have it in me… 🙂 XOXO – gg