David Foster Wallace… Everyone’s Favorite Infinite Jester, Aunt Linda and Resting Freak Face

Greetings from the hot, stinky city…pardon the hiatus… I’ve been hibernating… working on (or obsessing over not working on) the next book–an essay collection about creativity, electricity and the brain. I’ve also been on the David Foster Wallace diet plan… loads of pancakes and overthinking… Dear, doughy DFW… tragic literary genius… subject of the new film… everyone’s favorite DB… lover of rockin’ pooches and patron saint of writerly white bros… the man who once referred to John Updike as “just a penis with a thesaurus.”


Yes, the DFW pancake regimen has been critical as of late… Btw, I could give a whole disquisition on the glory of the pancake… how pancakes should be their own food group, etc., but I’ll hold back (for now). The fact of the matter is that anytime anyone comes near me with anything remotely resembling a scalpel (you could be holding a paperclip at this point) … I drop multiple dress sizes and start looking seriously like a bug, so with September’s final surgery looming, I’m carb loading. This muffin top is ultra intentional.

A number of you have written to ask what I actually I broke… I broke both sides of my face near my ears, right where your upper and lower jaws come together… and then shattered my lower left jaw. My resting freak face (RFF) isn’t actually that bad (I think), but talking is still a doozy, so I was recently sent to see this team of Yale surgeons who specialize in facial nerve reanimation. I know… Fancy! I was so excited… the prospect of being able to feel again and to talk… like a normal chatty Cathy who doesn’t sound like Kirk Douglas… seemed just so close at hand … It was a gorgeous fall-like day as I scurried across Central Park to their retro-tech Starship Enterprise offices. I had my massive binder of cyborg x-rays and scans and these were the people to see. They handled New York’s “jumpers who live.” I hadn’t jumped off anything–surely they would be able to help. Surely they could graft a nerve or two, so that I could at least feel my lips again. After I filled out loads of forms, they all held tablets and moved in a herd-like manner examining me and snapping pix. They told me that there was nothing they could do… They could give me Botox to deaden my whole face and create more symmetry, but that was about it. The nerves were toast. Congratulations, you are a living, breathing Botox mishap…

I know there are probably acres of middle aged women who would easily swap a handy for a couple of strategic jabs in the forehead and furrow, but I actually want to be able to move my face. I don’t care if I look old. So, I cried (as best I could) all the way home to the assisted living community that is the Upper West Side… and I have been bummed out ever since and dangerously close to morphing into Aunt Linda…


In August, New York is packed with Aunt Linda’s… But it takes me as I am. People hearing me for the first time still ask what country I’m from… for a while I was making up all kinds of “-istans” “‘burgs” and “‘gravias” … then new regions from Game of Thrones. Last week… I was Belgian.

I’ll snap out of it soon enough. Stay cool ladies and gents…

xoxo – auntie 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:


cartoon by the amazing allie brosh – 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…


cartoon by the amazing allie brosh – 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.


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.


cartoon by the amazing allie brosh – 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