Hag Sameach, Happy Easter and Ciao! I am off to the lovely land of Italy. Stay tuned for pics and maybe even an adventure or two.
Chicago readers, please email me, I need your assistance.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Hag Sameach, Happy Easter and Ciao! I am off to the lovely land of Italy. Stay tuned for pics and maybe even an adventure or two.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 1:17 AM
Friday, March 30, 2007
Ladies, if you listen to one thing I say, hear this: That slim wrap thing actually works. Click here to watch the hilarious video of Ellen doing it. It's like the riddle of the Sphinx, but after I was marked, measured, mummified, mineralized and did 45 mins of very light cardio, the results were staggering.
I lost, in less than two hours, 9.5 inches all over my body and two pounds. And I'm a size 2/4, so they say those are great results for someone small.
Here's what happens. You get weighed, strip down to your skivvies and bra and are measured on 12 different parts of your bod. You tell them what your problem areas are and then they will wrap tighter on those areas to increase the losses there. You are then sprayed with all different kinds of minerals and fat burning stuff, then wrapped head-to-toe in ace bandages soaked in other mineralized substances. You literally look like a mummy and damned if I didn't bring my camera.
Then you're sprayed again with anti cellulite, mineral stuff, bags are placed on your hands and feet to catch the toxin-filled water that comes out of you, and you begin the cardio. The baggies keep having to be emptied, so you can see the water and the toxins coming out of you.
I am the most skeptical of all the skeptics, but when I came out of there and saw my chart, put on my tight jeans and realized they weren't so tight, I was a convert. Today I get my free Botox and tomorrow I'm off to Italy via JFK.
And oh yeah, did I mention I actually have a date tonight with a nice, funny, well-educated, older Jewish man who grew up on the same street as me?
Keep your restaurant guesses coming on yesterday's post; unfortunately I had to kill the story, so this is the only place you'll read about it. Chicago readers: e-mail me (click on the email me link to the right), I'll tell you the name of the restaurant and you can go be my researcher and help me break this story.
I also realized that brother has his laptop Mac with him, and it's all wireless and shit, so I will bring my camera cord and photoblog from Italy just to make you all salivate. Ciao!
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:10 AM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Fucking Ambien CR does not work. Don't waste your $120. Now I am awake before 10 a.m. and hating it.
I often have psychic dreams; nothing major, but prescient nonetheless and always relating to my life. Last night I had a dream that is perhaps worth sharing in light of the crazy, muckraking week I've had.
First, my week.
On Monday, I received a tip from a reliable source about shady goings on at a satellite branch of a very famous, very good, legendary NYC eatery. I had to investigate, for I love this restaurant and the allegations are disturbing. (Not in the spit in your soup sense, but troublesome nonetheless.)
I went through the usual PR channels at first, then remembered that a close family friend knew one of the partners. Within minutes of me emailing my friend, who then forwarded my e-mail to the owner of all the restaurants (they are expanding, Spago-style, too much too fast in my opinion), I received a call on my cell.
It was the owner of all the restaurants, "the main partner," as this mogul in his own mind referred to himself. He kept me on the phone, nude, having just gotten out of the shower and trying to race to my new shrink appt., for like 15 minutes, nearly shouting at me in his rapid-fire New-York-power voice. He was alternating between shaking in his boots that a (said with real disdain) blogger could bring down his precious business—if not to its knees then at least it's thighs—and pulling attitude out of his ass trying to intimidate me into not writing the story. The story is not for my little blog, but a massive, widely-read New York one, that has indeed brought down many powerful people and places.
As most of you have gleaned, I'm rarely if ever, intimidated by so-called powerful people. People of power are my natural milieu—nobody's intimidated by what they've always known and been surrounded by. And if this person thinks that intimidation and degradation directed at moi are going to make me want to ease off the story, well, he's going to be eating his own words off the page.
Anyway, I took the high road and assured mini-mogul that I would hold off on the story until I got his side and his team had a chance to investigate the allegations. 20 minutes later, he called me back and informed me that he was flying a manager to the out-of-state location the next morning to investigate.
The saying the power of the pen is not meaningless, not now and not ever.
This is why I became a journalist: to bring the truth to light, in the tradition of the great muckrakers: Jacob Riis, Upton Sinclair. Albeit I'm digging up the dirt in the worlds of fashion, entertainment and dining, it's still a service. People always ask me how I can be so honest on my blog and in my writing. And I always think, what is life without honesty?
Now the dream. I hurt my hand and needed to go to the emergency room of a public hospital. They had me waiting in the disgusting lobby with all the derelicts, and I threw a hissy fit at the cop who was patrolling the room.
Somehow my hissy fit devolved into a threat: "I know Dr. so and so and I know his secret." Dr. So and So was, apparently gay but married. This got the cop's attention and I was ushered in.
Again, having information few people have is a powerful tool. The doctor—who did he look like??
All I'm saying is that if Barak comes out, you heard it here first. When I worked at Star, they had "gay" files thicker than the Church of Scientology's (think of their most vocal male stars) on many of Hollywood's most powerful stars, and this is how they wielded power over them; that vault on Dirt? Not so off-base.
So the dream, natch ties into little ol' me having this power of this restaurant mogul, and just chomping at the bit to get his side of the story before I leave Saturday. Mr. mini mogul, if you're reading, call me today cause this story will go to print with the comments you already gave me or it can go to print with more well-thought out, less abrasive and condescending comments. FYI.
Any commenter who guesses which restaurant I'm digging into gets a free copy of my manuscript. But you must include your email in your comment, as I won't confirm or deny the name until the story breaks.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:01 AM
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
So in keeping with my "blogging for donations theme," Erin is the lovely patron of today's post. I've actually sold two copies of Dishalicious in two days. Um, yay? Erin is a friend of yesterday's patron, and they seem to have a rowdy, fun bunch of girls down in Macon, GA. They have kindly invited me to be the guest of honor at one of their "nooner," drinking fests. Hell, I may just take them up on it one of these days. So thanks girls, for the support and the invite!
In other news my tailbone is feeling a bit better, but I am still going for my deep-tissue massage, and I have a feeling if that doesn't help I won't be able to play on that dreamy, surreal tennis court in Positano. I also have a facial and the slim wrap tomorrow. Big beauty day; let's hope the results are worth it. Friday I go for my Botox touch-up on the crow's feet that will be free thanks to a barter—I'm helping them rewrite their web site.
Bartering is one of the best reasons to be a freelance writer, in case you haven't figured that out already.
I leave Saturday for Italy and am back the following Sunday. Then I'm off again Thursday to cover Miami Fashion Week (hopefully it's not an oxymoron), the FedEx World Polo Cup and a beauty treatment at the new RikRak Beauty Bungalow at the fabulous Sagamore Hotel.
I know, tough life. But the only way to handle living in hicksville with your parents is being able to escape, frequently.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 7:20 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I've received my first donation (for the book) so now I can write. How it came about is funny: I received a random email from a woman who said:
"I just realized I spent a long flight home from Jackson Hole next to a very high-maintenance women who was no other than Bonnie Fuller. I am an avid reader and gossip whore and I found your blog while researching today. I love what is on your site about your book..How can I get it?"
Ask and ye shall receive. Another, hopefully satisfied, reader.
Soo, you all know what a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan I am. Not only do I find her hilarious, intelligent, courageous and generous, but she's an incredible role model and the charity work she has done for her hometown of New Orleans is nothing short of staggering. Natch, you all must also have gleaned what a type-A, control freak I am when it comes to my appearance, beauty regimes, exercise rituals and eating habits.
And of course I wanted to be in stellar shape for my rapidly approaching holiday to Italy. (Think of all the pictures I will have to see for years to come. Sister needs to look her most fabulous.) When the pounds weren't shedding as quickly as I wanted them to, despite 6 days a week of 60-minute cardio sessions, twice weekly tennis lessons and 3-4 days of weight training (not to mention an hour of stretching every single day), I decided to try something rather drastic, a la Ellen.
Before the Oscars, Ellen endured this as a last-ditch effort to shed those unwanted inches. And from her mouth to my ears, what she says is the gospel to me. She said that this actually worked and that the inches actually stayed off! Why is this not the hottest thing out there? Tyra Banks has also admitted to doing it. As Anna Nicole's autopsy proves, those diet drugs will kill ya. So I'm booked for Thursday. And if it really works on me, as it did on Ellen, then I will definitely spread the word far and wide. What else?
In a middle-of-the-night-pee-break haze Sunday, I stumbled into my bathroom, fell into the tub and landed on my tailbone. Swear to god, I was thisclose to cracking my head open. Not only am I the world's biggest klutz, but I somehow managed to basically fall like this: back of calves hit side front of tub, ass falls on top, back bends at odd angle, I topple over backwards and land on tailbone. Crash. It took me a minute to recover and I am still sore. I think my unbelievable flexibility helped me in this situation. The silver lining? Deep tissue massage Thursday.
In other news, hmm, not much. I'm off to Italy Saturday, with a 7-hour-layover at JFK. Soo if any of my fabulous friends with cars want to come say hi, put it in your day books.
I have a blind date this week with an older man. Older men are where it's at for me now.
I had a dream that the maid ruined my La Mer.
My tennis game is improving, though not so much so that dad won't whoop my ass in Positano. My pro sent me home today because the first swivel motion I made caused me to wince in pain in light of the tailbone.
I need good, fiction, paperback recs for my trip, so please comment if you've read anything great lately.
Oh, and a pic of my godson and me, just so you don't accuse me of being inhuman. Us high-maintenance, tough-talking fashionistas have soft sides too.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:53 AM
Monday, March 26, 2007
I have been doing some serious muckraking today kids, and it feels gooooood. Give me some Loro Piana gloves and I'll get down in the trenches with the best of them.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:04 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but tough shit.
I am henceforth blogging on a per-donation basis. It can be $1 (the cost of a newspaper) $4 (the cost of a magazine), what have you.
My theory is this: Time is money. I'm trying to launch a legitimate freelance career and this blog and its stories take time away from those efforts.
Writers get paid to write just like lawyers get paid to counsel. (On that note, I had a dream that my atty daddy charged $1,850/hour last night. As if. Then I'd definitely have that trust fund.)
Anyway, I'm not just some schmo off the street who started blogging to vent her feelings. For those of you who don't know my history, I have a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Florida and a master's in journalism from NYU. I have written and edited for magazines and the web for more than 11 years.
I started this blog as a way to promote my long-dead novel, and since that is no longer the purpose or the effect of this place, well, then it should have some purpose. I am a goal-oriented person.
And here on blogspot, there is no other way to make money off blogs but by accepting donations.
So please, save the "greedy," "shame on you," "you have a lot of nerve" comments.
If you like to read me, donate a dollar or two. The first donation I receive will get the honor of prompting my first post after this. If you don't like me, then now's the perfect opportunity to stop reading. It's that simple darlings.
The donation button, through PayPal is at the top right of the page.
Now that I've turned in my article for the magazine, I'm off to the beach.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:59 AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I had the most delightful dream last night—hence the early awakening.
For those of you who know me well, you know that since my hormones kicked in around age 13, I have had an inexplicable, abiding, curious crush on the one, the only Michael Jordan. Still do, 14 years later. The perfect specimen of human beauty in my opinion.
If Michaelangelo were alive today, he would cast MJ in marble and tourists the world over would gawk. When I was 13 and above I was obsessed. I remember us going around in Hebrew (or was it Sunday school) one time when our parents were present. The rabbi asked us who our heroes were. Everyone in the circle, without fail, said their parents. (Shameless nice Jewish kids.) I said, "Michael Jordan," then when I noticed the horrified faces around me hastily added, "and my parents."
I had the T-shirts, I had the posters adorning every inch of my wall space, I had the Spike Lee Mars Blackman 6-foot-tall, black-and-white poster plastered to the outside of my door. This was not normal, but I couldn't help myself. I was obsessed with the Bulls, the Flight logo, McDonald's commercials, anything and everything MJ. I bought his cologne and wore it. I bought his book. I stopped short of buying a pair of Air Jordans, but that's about it.
Years later, I came to know people who knew MJ. Our good family friend, whose own family is prominent in the restaurant business, advised MJ on opening his steakhouse in Grand Central. He played golf with him, he talked on the phone with him, he gambled with him, he dined with him. And I berated his wife for not taking a napkin he'd wiped his mouth on, gotten me a souvenir, something. Sick.
I also came to know another insider who told me, upon finding out about my obsession, that MJ ain't such a peach after all. Gambling addictions, adultery, etc. As if I cared. My crush continued. When I found out he and Juanita were divorcing? Happy, happy, joy, joy. I mean the woman looked like a pancake. I've encountered many celebrities in my life and frankly, yawn. He is the one (plus Anna Wintour) in whose presence I might actually be rendered speechless. One night, while I was living in LA and my friends and I were drinking in the bar of the Peninsula Beverly Hills, they decided to have some fun.
I'd just gone to the ladies' room and passed Ben Affleck on the way there. He was the bee's knees at that time. I got back to our table, bragged about my sighting, and they hatched a plan. An hour later, Dana went to the bathroom, came back to our table, harnessed all her acting skills and said, "I just saw Michael Jordan walk outside the hotel!!!"
I was up and out of my seat like the space shuttle upon liftoff. I ran outside, looking this way and that. Asking the valets, "Donde es Michael Jordan? Donde? Donde?!"
"No, no Michael Jordan," they replied, eyeing me like a common crackhead. Then it dawned on me. I marched right back into the bar and was fuming; wouldn't speak to them for the rest of the night.
Anyway, to this day, my crush abides. I worship him; would take up golf for him; would be at his beck and call, day or night. Well, maybe just nights.
So my dream: I was at a star-studded SoBe party when someone introduced me to MJ. He was sitting alone at a table. We started chatting and he was complaining of back pain. Natch I offered my assistance. Then, again natch, as I was massaging his rippled, long and lean back, I started rattling off the best places for him to get a massage in the area. After all, I would know, before I left I was up to about a massage or two a week thanks to my freelancing.
And that's about all I remember. But all I know is I woke up with a smile.
Also, some fashion picks for spring, were my budget unlimited instead of severly restricted: Fashionosophy
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:01 AM
Monday, March 19, 2007
Okay peeps. I must have this bag. I am now dreaming about it, which in the truly fucked-up language of my family, means it was meant to be mine.
I am now going to do something I have never, ever done before: accept donations.
Just think of all the hours (and through my site meter, I know it has literally been hours for some of you) of entertainment, laughter, sadness, empathy, amusement and diversion I have provided for you. And then pull out your AmEx. The amount is up to you, but this (now bona fide) writer needs to get paid;)
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:50 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Okay, Art Couture is finally functional, though in a totally ghetto way. I have three stories due this week, myriad doctors appointments, tennis lessons and preparations for Italy, so not much to say really. . .but please check out the new blog and buy if you like what you see.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:46 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I have always been fortunate enough to have magnificent mentors. My first mentor was my high school yearbook teacher, Jill Johnson, who inspired me to be creative, write what I felt and essentially taught me how to edit a book. Because yearbooks, when you think about it, are just really bad, big magazines in a way.
Miss J., as we called her, was one of those teachers that would've had a movie written about her if we went to an inner-city high school. She inspired all her students, some more than others. But this student never forgot her, and I credit her for not only instilling in me a passion for editing, but also for pursuing magazines as a career.
Anyway, I hadn't seen Miss J in 14 years. And when I went to NYU grad school to get my master's in journalism, I found another mentor in a man I'll call GB, cause he's humble like that. A top editor at the magazine where I just landed a freelance story, GB again always inspired me, nurtured my talent, put me in touch with his editorial contacts and was (is) a great friend, person and editor. He's always believed in my talent, even when the chips were down. I love him as a person and as a teacher and am so thankful that I had him as a professor. I often tell people that he is the only good thing that came out of my stint at NYU. In short, he was worth that $100,000 in tuition. He is that good.
Yesterday, I went out to buy a copy of GB's magazine at B&N so I could see what section I would be writing for. In front of me in line, I heard a voice I had not heard in 14 years, but recognized instantly.
"Miss J?" I said, in a stupor.
She didn't turn around.
"Jill?" I said louder.
This time, she turned around. I looked at her open-mouthed. "Do you remember me?" I asked.
"Stephanie Green! Of course!"
We hugged, chatted, caught up on the last 14 years in 10 minutes. I told her how she continued to inspire me and how I always thought of her as my mentor, but that the really strange thing was that I was there buying the magazine that I was writing for thanks to my current mentor.
Now if that's not fate, I don't know what the hell is. If I had browsed through the new books for one more minute; if I hadn't stopped in the driveway on the way out to talk to dad who was pulling in; if I'd been off by mere seconds, I wouldn't have made contact with good ol' Miss J.
Yet I did. Like I've said before, I don't believe in God, but I believe in the god of fates.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 11:59 AM
Friday, March 16, 2007
Today, my friends, has turned out to be the best day I've had all year. What can I say? It's been a rough year. No, I didn't get a surprise in the form of the coveted Tods silver bag.
What I got was invaluable to me—a b-12-like boost of self-esteem, self-confidence and a bit of vindication in the form of a freelance article for a major, awesome, widely read national magazine. I am so grateful for this opportunity and plan to kick some major ass. This will be the first time in like 3 years that I've written for a national publication instead of being written about. Seriously, I'm over the moon, because now I'm officially a freelance magazine writer again.
See? It doesn't take much to make this high-maintenance girl happy.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 4:05 PM
Juli B Beauty Picks for March.
This was in my gmail spam folder this morning: "RE: Your penis looks too spongy? Make it beautiful with Penis Enlarge Patch."
God, I've heard of shrinkage, but sponginess?
In the inimitable word's of Elaine Benes, "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things."
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:52 AM
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It occurred to me this a.m. as I was woken up before my usual time of 11 a.m., that I have a serious issue with men. Natch, this realization is nothing new; I've been in therapy for 10 years.
But, it dawned on me that I have yet another issue to add to the list, and that is this: I'm one of those people who has no internal radar that picks up on whether or not a person feels the same way about me as I do them. Translation: You know those guys who hit on you, pursue you or stalk you because they genuinely think you like them, when in truth you have no feelings for them? That's me, sans the stalking.
Perhaps it's that my celibacy is at a year-and-a-half and all the dates I've had in-between have been comically tragic. Or perhaps it's my myriad Freudian issues. Or perhaps it's the old saying that you can't expect others to love you if you don't love yourself. Or perhaps it's my looks. Or perhaps it's the fact that I'm just a little too brash and opinionated for any man under the age of 40. Whatever it is, when I thought recently that I had an actual, muli-faceted connection with someone, once again, boy was I mistaken. That's all.
In other news, I've been doing lots of artsy stuff, most of which I would like to sell. So my friend Nicole and I and hopefully my friend Kim who is a bona fide, genius, uber-talented artist, have set up a selling blog.
It's called Art Couture, and there's nothing there yet, but maybe by the end of the week. So keep checking back.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 10:19 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Nature or nurture?
A happy childhood doesn't necessarily guarantee a happy or carefree adulthood. Where are my yachting excursions, my barbecues, my husband, my house, my tight-knit community of neighbors who bring by baked goods? Well, you get the picture.
I guess when you are living in the home you grew up in, nostalgia is a natural emotional experience. So I began rifling through old photo albums, had some put on a CD and uploaded them to Flickr, which you can access by clicking there or on the link with the photos to the right of this page.
Of course, while at home I'm worrying about the big things—jobs, future, failure, utter patheticism—but also the small things. Like how I simply need this silver bag for spring and my Italy trip. Must have this bag.
So if there are any secret (or not so secret admirers out there), the way to this girl's heart is through her accessories addiction.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:51 AM
Monday, March 12, 2007
So, the complete moron at Dick's who sold me my "court shoes," well, he's a complete moron. (Do not go to Dick's; their salespeople are about as smart as the ones at Duane Reade.)
My feet were hurting in the days after wearing them. Given my year of knee/hamstring injuries, I'm hyper-aware of the importance of the right sneakers. I went to Dick's to return the shoes with dad, a stellar, lifelong tennis player. As we're trying on shoes, a knowledgeable saleswoman stops by and informs us that the original Mizunos the complete moron sold me were volleyball shoes. In fact, she said, half the shoes in the "court" section were not tennis shoes. She helped us discern the ones for tennis, and I ended up with some Adidas. I'm off to my third lesson now; my first in proper shoes.
And remember that tennis court in Positano at our hotel that I was so psyched about playing on? Well, I finally found a picture of it; check it out:
Are you drooling yet? Cause I sure as hell am. Cannot. Fucking. Wait.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:15 PM
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I want to discuss this: famous people with some form of depression, in light of Rosie's announcement.
So here's a list of brilliant, famous, successful people also afflicted by this horrible, incurable illness. It's no coincidence that many of history's greatest creative minds were depressives because if you're happy all the time, what the hell do you have to express through your art? View the full list here. Note how many of history's greatest writers and artists were depressives; it's simply staggering. And for those of you who suffer with clinical depression like me, both inspiring and reassuring. We are in good company, my friends.
Barbara Bush (elder)
Sir Winston Churchill (!)
Francis Ford Coppola
Ellen DeGeneres (!)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Yves Saint Laurent
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Vincent Van Gogh
Also, my newest story on Juli B—the coolest sneakers ever.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 11:12 AM
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The tres chic Juli B picks for March by moi.
Had my first tennis lesson yesterday and I was shocked at how fun it was. I was fairly good, actually. Once you become a gym rat and live your life on the treadmill/elliptical/stair climber, you forget that excercising can actually be enjoyable. Went out and bought my court shoes today and have another lesson Friday.
Apparently, our hotel in Positano has one of the most beautiful tennis courts in the world, etched into a cliff overlooking the sea, so to be able to hit some balls while I'm there would be nice . . .
And the latest photos of the girls, Tessie Lou (right) and Stella (left). Wally seems to think the camera steals his soul.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 11:45 PM
Monday, March 05, 2007
I just e-mailed my (very anti-Botox) friend Jen saying how I am already losing my shit at home in east bumblefuck, but that I'd rather find a job in Miami or somewhere aside from New York because I simply cannot deal with the rodents, rodents and more rodents.
This is what she e-mailed me back; further confirmation that not only are subways truly evil, but also that I don't think I'll be back in Manhattan anytime soon except at the Four Seasons.
"Ha, I thought of you the other day as I was heading home from work—I glanced down the platform where this girl was standing and reading a magazine and this rat ran up to her and sat on her foot! She just looked down and gave her foot a shake, totally unfazed. Now, I'm not afraid of rodents, but I would definitely give a jump and girly scream if a rat took a rest on my foot."
Um, I would have screamed loud enough to call in the NYPD, hyperventilated, then passed out. That girl? The very definition of jaded New Yorker.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 12:52 PM
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I don't really believe in one god per se, but I do believe in a higher power, an invisible hand that guides us along the meandering roads that determine our lives.
I place great stock in coincidences and believe that in almost every coincidental event or encounter, meaning can be extracted—whether it's something trivial or something life-changing. Think about those people who overslept and missed their subway that ran directly under the World Trade Center on 9/11. (My brother's good friend was such a person.)
I think coincidences are so important, in fact, that I think there should be a new word for them that conveys their profundity.
One of my main themes of this blog is that life is too short not to do what makes you happy. It's too short to sit in an office for 12 hours a day doing something you are not passionate about. Then again, some people are born without passions, so perhaps they are the correct beings to work office jobs.
Anyway, what to make of these latest coincidences that have unfolded in the past 24 hours?
In part due to my new "no day but today" mindset, the soundtrack of my life here at home has been the Broadway show Rent. I listen to it when I write, when I shower and, religiously, when I stretch. I haven't been keeping up with the meditation thing, but when I'm stretching and listening to Rent, I essentially am meditating. For those of you living under a rock who don't know the basic plot of Rent: Artists on the Lower East Side struggle with love, drugs, poverty, AIDS, corporate America, fitting in and producing meaningful projects by using their own differing creative talents. Some people find the show/movie depressing; I find it truly inspirational. Because essentially, the moral of the story is, "Do what you love. Love what you do. Never give up on your dreams. Life is short."
Yesterday was my dad's father's Yahrtzeit—the anniversary of his death—and in Judaism, we go to synagogue that night to honor our loved ones' lives.
I didn't know my grandfather that well; he died when I was in 7th grade. My memories of him are mainly from the nursing home. Before services, my dad called upstairs to me,
"Steph, come look at this! Hurry!"
I went downstairs and found him in front of the flat-screen, watching with glee a grainy, old video set to music. The little four-year-old boy looked familiar.
"Is that you," I asked, bewildered. My dad is sometimes on the news, but I couldn't imagine why he would be on TV as a child.
Turns out, dad took many of his very old childhood videos and had them digitally remastered.
"Um, was this just a coincidence that you got them back today, on the anniversary of poppy's death?"
"Yeah, isn't that weird?"
Indeed, weird. My dad was jubilant watching himself, his parents, his siblings, his dogs and his childhood friends, many of whom are still his best buddies, some of whom are dead or sick now.
Then we went to services. The sermon, by our very liberal and slightly off-kilter rabbi, turned out to be about doing what you love, following your heart and devoting yourself to what you were put on this earth to do. Again, weird. In Rabbi Matt's case, it's studying the Torah. In my case, it's writing and creating art. I thought this sermon couldn't come at a more opportune time, when my parents think that just because I sit at my computer all-day I am doing nothing. In fact, I am doing what I feel I was put on this earth to do. And if book publishers, magazine editors or whomever disagree—fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. (Except you guys, who obviously keep reading for some reason or another.)
As if that weren't enough . . . I stayed in last night to finish an artistic project I'm working on. At like 11 p.m. I'm scrolling through the 500 channels and what do I find on Encore? Rent, the movie. Some days more than others, you really can feel that invisible hand.
Now, I want to YouTube this video of my dad's but I've never YouTubed and I have the DVD but can't figure out how to do it. Any help would much be appreciated. It's a truly lovely video.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 8:53 PM
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
It's not polite to speak of money, you know. Or so the motto of the wealthy and cultured goes. What that statement really translates to is the following: It's not polite to talk about money with people who have less than you. It's not polite to talk about specific amounts of money. It's not polite to speak of how much money you make, how much something cost or how much money you lost in the market. It is, however, acceptable to discuss with people who have roughly the same amount as money as you people who have much more money than you. For instance, it's acceptable to talk with X, who is in the same bracket as you, how much Y, who is on the Forbes list, paid for his Palm Beach house. In other words, it's fine for millionaires to speak about billionaires, but it's not okay for billionaires or millionaires to talk about those who have substantially less than they do. That would be crass.
I've always divided the wealthy—again, rich is simply not an acceptable word—into a few categories. There are the uber-wealthy; the $500 million+ group. There are the very wealthy; the $100-$500 million group. Then there are the wealthy; $10-100 million. And finally, the well-off set; $10 to a $5 million. I am as usual just expressing my own opinions, which are naturally colored by my own limited, sheltered experiences.
My point with all this is multifaceted. The progeny of the very wealthy typically have trust funds and therefore, even if they do choose to work, don't really have much to worry about.
But many children of merely wealthy or well off people, do not typically have trust funds, and thus, though they may be extremely spoiled, are always dependent on mommy, daddy, husband or wife. As this relates to me, again without speaking of money per say—because that would be impolite—this puts me in a precarious position.
I have always been impossibly spoiled, since I was born, first by my grandparents and later my parents, mainly my mom, because she controlled the money. I never wanted for anything; I had a clothing allowance at age 11; by age 16 I was shopping exclusively in New York and wearing only designer clothes. I was, and still am, crazy. At 31, I have more jewelry and designer clothes and accessories than most 50-yea-olds. And please don't get me wrong, I know this is sick.
Herein lies the problem—yes, I am a spoiled girl, er, woman. Yet I am not independent, precisely because I have always been so spoiled and have never had to be independent. My parents have always paid my rent, even when I worked full-time. In our defense, working full-time in New York does not pay the rent on an Upper East Side apartment.
So now at 31 I am crippled by the fact that I only know the finest things in life and that certainly isn't changing at this late point. Is it reasonable to expect me to go from Bergdorf's to H&M? No, frankly, it's not. Am I proud of what I have turned into? Noooo. The only thing I ever wanted was to be successful and independently wealthy. Yet my family are not Forbeses, meaning Daddy doesn't have the power to call up the CEO of Conde and get me a job. Nor do I have a trust fund to invest my own money in a business. And of course, there is the misconception that just because I am spoiled that I do not want to work or would not be a good worker, which could not be further from the truth. I am passionate about magazines, fashion, travel, accessories, editing and writing. And if I were offered a job at a magazine I respected, I would take it, regardless of salary.
My point with all of this is that when you are raised as I was and you are 31 and you find yourself without a job and without your own money but with a closetful of designer clothes what do you do? You could do what you have always done—the immature thing—move to yet another city, have your parents get you another apartment while you fruitlessly look for a job. Or you could do the mature (yet completely pathetic and humiliating) thing—you could move home, live rent-free, look for jobs, get your shit together, write and save your very generous parents some money. And live a little more guilt free. So I'm sacrificing my pride—I can't believe my life has come to being single, 31 and living at home in a city I loathe—to save my parents $2000 a month.
Another point with all of this is that if you are going to be the kind of parent who spoils your kids to their hearts' content, please make sure that you will be able to do this for the rest of their lives. Give them a trust fund; some independence; a business to run; something. Because if you don't, they will turn out like me: a spoiled, ne'er do well crippled by her privileged, pampered existence.
Posted by Stephanie Green at 9:57 AM