Sunday, May 31, 2009

Final Cut

You all know I have an editorial assistant now right? He's awesome, as you can see by the following, which is what he extracted from one of my 20 cancer video tapes. These video logs will provide me with much of the dialogue for the memoir. This one in particular takes place while Dana and I are having lunch with Lisa, who is also a 'survivor,' and is the wonderful, amazing, cancer beauty tipstress who gave me the advice about shaving my hair post-chemo. Lisa, Dana's cuz by marriage, also accompanied me to Ralf's the day he shaved my head. (Excerpts of that video TK soon.) Anyway, this is the first tape Massistant has logged, it took place at Islander's Market on Brickell Key, January 2008. I'd yet to have any surgeries except for the lumpectomy. (I'm not sure whether Massistant wants me to use his name, but I kind of like that term now.)

A little contextual info about Lisa. We come from very similar backgrounds and mentalities. Both daughters of Nancys, who in turn were daughters of crazy-socialite mothers. Nancy R.'s mama notified her of dinner via servants ringing bells; Roxy notified my mom of wake-up-for-school time by having an answering service call the house. Both families believe in the power of retail therapy. Lisa is married, lives in CT, was treated at Sloan and has no children. This was our first meeting, and we got along swimmingly. Okay here goes, haters remember, if you choose to insult this post, you're not only insulting me but Massistant as well, who is a harmless, 21-year-old college student, so step off!

It's like--agh--I don't know if
I'll be able to use that word [survivor]
because I just think of the
Holocaust, you know what I mean?
That's what makes it funny.


You're a 'Breast Cancer Survivor.'
Because you realize that right now
you no longer have breast cancer,
you are perfectly healthy.--

I FEEL perfectly healthy.

And NOW you are a 'Breast Cancer

Well yeah--I don't like to jinx
myself, so I'll wait.

'Til when you're 90!?

Until at least I'm in treatment.
But umm... Anywho--So basically,
whatever Larry tells me.
If he says, "Listen, I want you to
go see the surgeon, the
reconstructive surgeon"

Who's Larry?

Larry Norton; The Anna Wintour of

The Anna Wintour of cancer?

Anna Wintour is my idol.

Steph makes some odd noises and laughs. ........ cut to diff convo

Did you see Sex & the City when she
was shaving her head?




Don't do it yourself. That was like
the most insane thing I had ever
seen. But my husband was kinda like
that guy, he's like, "Do you want
me to do it? I'll do it right now."
I WAS BALDING and everyone made me
realize it was no big deal. I gotta
be honest, it took me like an
entire day to look into the mirror.
. . . .

This is what you have to do: Do
things to make yourself feel
better. Go on spa days--

Oh you don't have to worry about
that with me. As soon as we found
out I asked. When are you going on
spa days, when are we going to
Neiman's, what are you gonna buy

And here's the other thing.
Somebody told me this. I thought it
was the stupidest thing and I did
it actually. I went out and I
bought all these different sweats.
And I threw them all out.

Very symbolic.

I'm telling you, this is really
fun. It's so fun. I got presents
all the time.

I got a Marc Jacobs bag. It's like
a single girl's marriage.

Child starts a barrage of screams and cries next to Steph,
Lisa and Dana. The conversation ends, the tape stops.


The tape starts again. Right before Steph speaks the child
starts screaming and crying once more.

This is why I don't want kids. I
asked the doctor, do you just want
to take my ovaries out!? Because
really... I would not mind.

When I lost my period, I started
getting symptoms of menpause.


I walk in and have my sense of
humor. I'm my normal self and she [that woman Elisa Krill-Jackson, the first oncologist whom I later fired after finding Michael Schwartz]
is very sour. "You have cancer. You
need chemo. You're gonna die."

I always try not to say this is
fun. But it is and you can make it

It's freeing in a way.

It is. Guess what? I don't have a
biggest fear in life anymore! My
biggest fear in life is putting a
bikini on because of my stomach!
And that's great!


It opens up a lot of weird doors
for you.


Is it painful or is it just like an

It feels great! You are drugged up!
They give you valium.

Is it boring?

Eh. Bring a book, bring friends,
watch TV. I always felt I was the
healthiest person there. We'd
stroll in and talk about our last
shopping trip. It was quite fun

I know. People think I'm crazy when
I say that. But you can quote her
on that [to Dana]. "It was fun"

It was fun.

It's like an adventure.

I never felt sick, never.


I mean, I'd feel shitty one or two
days. Just tired and whatnot.

Yeah...I'd have to say, the hardest
part of the whole thing was writing
thank you notes to people.

[Note to readers: I think only Jews who were raised with the edict that not writing a thank-you note is tantamount to living in a trailer would say this.]

Yes! I have a pile of thank you
notes with names on the front and I
can't sit down to write them. I
can't call my parents or my parents
friends anymore because I know they
are so emotional. I'm like "MOM, GO
good news she starts crying. I'm

Dr. Laura from the radio?

No. Dr. Laura, she's my therapist
in LA. Well I thought about this
because my parents are so resistant
to therapy.
I told them I'm not going to talk
to them until they book a therapist

Fin. For now. PS. My boobies are better. Scar tissue irritation apparently.

Friday, May 29, 2009

So I had the right dickle snipped Tuesday afternoon at Dr. Rosenbaum's office. You all know I've had very few (if any) complications from surgeries. This was just a few stitches. No snipping actually. The gory deets: He just took the extra "dickle" skin, folded it over to flatten, sewed it up and then we were done. Though I have no sensation in the aureolas, I did feel the tugging, so I'm def regaining feeling slowly.

Cut to last night, as I was dressing for dinner, I noticed that my tatas were inflamed. Sort of heat rashy. So I slathered on some cortisone and headed out. By the time the night was over, I'd used several of Laura's wound-care products, but the redness hadn't subsided. Bright red boobs are a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Natch, that was my first thought. I'm a Jew—we go from the worst possible thought and work our way up from neurotic. Today when I woke up, after a typical night of stomach sleeping, the left boob—the un-stitched one—was completely red, like a bad sunburn. The aureola was barely distinguishable from the rest of the boob, it was that red/pinkish.

First I called Rosenbaum. Closed for Shavuot. And not even returning pages. He's modern Orthodox I believe. Or whatever sect it is that allows him to work on boobies but still requires him not to work on holidays or, apparently, use the phone.

Next I called Schwartz (onco) who got right on the phone with me. Seriously, I think I could drunk dial Schwartz at 2 a.m. and he'd call back. He's that great. Anyway, his first thought was an infection, but he didn't want to tell me to go on anti-biotics without seeing me.

"It's a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer right?"

He always humors my worst-case-scenario fears.

"That's the last thing that would come to mind. Both breasts wouldn't be red. You don't have inflammatory breast cancer."

He said to talk to the surgeon who's on call. So Dr. Masry calls me back, listens intently, tells me to take the Keflex I have in my stash of never-been-used drugs, and if it's not better in 24 hours, call him tomorrow. On a Saturday. Seriously, this team of doctors—I've never even spoken to Masry but I know he's also one of the best—really puts patient care at the top of their list. So lucky to have doctors who aren't even my doctors who tell me to call them on Saturdays.

Of course, I called Chad too (acupuncturist). (Who, after feeling my energy pulse Weds concluded that my chi or whatever was still in shock from the accident Friday. At least I know I'm human, cause the only bit of shock I experienced re the accident was gone a few hours after the crash.)

Chad told me to make the mother of pearl powder into a paste and slather it on. Mother of pearl powder is another miracle of Eastern medicine—it closes wounds faster than stitches. It's crazy good—I put it on my port removal scar weeks ago and the wound sealed up overnight. So now I'm sitting her topless with mother of pearl paste all over my boobs and former dickle. And taking the Keflex. The mother of pearl powder seems to be working already.

But bright red boobs—not such a fun way to wake up. Maybe I should be hypnotized into back-sleeping? Yet another trip to the pharmacy now. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I've Already Banned Straight Marriage . . .

This Prop 8 bullshit is just total bullshit. It's craptastic. I love all my gays and though I wouldn't want to be the one footing the bill for the bachelor/bachelorette parties that would ensue, I want to attend my cousin's, best friends and all other gays' weddings.

Here's a dirty little secret for you—I cry at straight people's weddings because wedding ceremonies depress the fuck out of me. I'm jealous—green with envy, the most deplorable sin. I watch my girlfriends being given away and I internally sob thinking about how my dad will never get to enjoy that moment. And the part where the bride dances with her dad, forget about it. I'm a wreck by then. Natch, I am happy that my friends have found their mates.

It gets a little worse at each wedding, especially as I age. Because as a perpetual singleton who's over the age of 30 with just a little breast cancer baggage, I don't think that I'll ever get married. And I desperately want to find a soul mate and marry. Yes, desperately, I admit it. Shut the fuck up. Not desperate for kids—ick—but the dress, the Amalfi coast destination and the diamond, yes, gimme. Oh, and the man. I'm so sick regarding the marriage thing that I'm already mentally preparing myself for my younger brother's nuptials should he ever to marry—I'll need Thorazine in the event of that ceremony.

On the other hand, were I to have the privilege to attend a gay wedding, I would shed tears of joy. Legitimate, happy tears like the ones I let eek out on election night when it was announced that Florida had gone blue. (Still, woo-hooing over that one.) But I don't have many happy tears. I don't cry 'happy tears' when I get good news from the doctor or whatever. I'm a depressive. Thus the non-happy tears.

I long for the day when I can see my gays under the Chuppah (sp), breaking the wine glass, or whatever floats their boats. And for shame on California. There's a big catch 22 for you Hollywood gays though, if you ask me, which nobody did but I continue to proffer my wisdom. If more stars would come out of the closet—ahem, Tom-fucking-crazy-ass-Cruise—it would help. (If Tom finally confessed to his alleged-but-99.99999-percent-confirmed queer status, I might actually have to like him a little more.) Then again, ignorant, retarded Americans wouldn't see as many movies if they found out their leading stars were gay. Frankly—and I know I do know how this issue is personally—I think it's just plain wrong to be in the closet when you have the power of money or fame. Look how much Ellen Degeneres, one woman, changed things?!? Middle America loves her, thank fucking God. Can't more Hollywood people grow some balls? I mean, really.

Shit, I'm just a lil' old straight-verging-on-spinster Jewess bemoaning this decision and somehow now I'm crying again thinking about how I'll never get married. So, my lovely gays, I'm one 'breeder' that will stand firm with you in the state of unmarriage. Shameful, California courts, shameful. I will, however, deign to buy myself a big, honking diamond ring though when I feel sufficiently old enough. And gays, I encourage you to wear a little bling too in defiance of this bullshit. (I mean, have you seen Portia's ring? Hello.)

Can you imagine how funny it would be if, say, a lesbian in, oh, I don't know, perhaps Jacksonville, Florida, were wearing a honking diamond wedding ring. And, what if a rather conservative/bigoted/ignorant Cindy McCain type noticed said five+carat ring.

"Oh, what a nice ring! What does your husband do?"

"Oh, my wife? [Insert witty, comically scathing response.]"

Now I'm off to the gym in my Obama shirt—pure coincidence—but I'd wear this shirt with even more pride if he were to place an openly gay person high up in his administration.

As a P.S., I had an interesting gay-Southern ignorance episode in Jacksonville this weekend that resulted in Wally walking out of the vet wearing a rainbow pride bandana. I'm totally psychic.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dishalicious Escapes Death Yet Again

Clearly someone 'up there' wants me to live. How many times have I cheated death this year? Well, add one more to the list. Like, a major one.

Friday afternoon Wally and I got in my car and headed north on I-95 to Jacksonville. It was raining, but not too hard, just your typical summer-in-Florida showers. Traffic was stop-and-go the whole way up, and nearly two hours in the car had only brought us as far as Boynton Beach. So I couldn't have been going that fast--if I were at my normal 95-North-to-Jax 80 mph, I'd have been through Palm Beach and almost as far north as Vero Beach by the time that Wally and I nearly bit the dust.

Instead, in one of those blink-of-an-eye, life-changing moments, at 3:18 p.m., Wally and I were huddled in my car amid shattered glass, inflated airbags and brain-rattling chaos. It's hard to remember exactly what happens before hydroplaning 360 degrees on I-95, ending up face forward, parallel to the retention wall next to the carpool/express lane. One moment I was driving in the HOV lane, the next I'd lost control and was spinning and screaming.

The slick roads on the way up had me noticing that each time my 2005 least-expensive-model Mercedes hit a wet patch, the steering shifted a little more than usual. (My parents bought the car used on eBay--that's right, eBay, not my choice--so the alignment was never 100 percent. Leave it to the Nazi nation to require 16-point alignments that never even worked in my case.)

So one moment Wally is sitting on my Tempurpedic pillow on the passenger seat, and the next we're spinning, spinning, spinning. I felt a hard impact, thinking it was the wall. And then I was stopped. There was glass all over the fucking place. The collision caused my legs to come up, so I was sort of sitting with my knees up, scared to move for fear of cutting myself--natch, this was the one day I was wearing a dress instead of loungewear on the Jax drive. My first thought was Wally. He is numero uno, always. He wasn't on the seat anymore. Glass was all over the passsenger side. I was dazed and confused and screaming for him. I didn't see him anywhere and thought he'd flown right through the window. Then, miraculously, my 13-year-old little nugget jumped up from the floor and onto the glass-covered pillow. OMFG. I've never been more relieved in my life. Never. So I'm hysterical, while Wally is just a little confused, sitting on the glass-covered pillow. A man showed up on the passenger side, where the airbags had inflated and the windows had blown out. He asked if I needed him to call 911 and I said yes. Somehow my left Choo had flown out of the car. So now, a woman shows up on the driver's side with the Choo in hand, soaking wet from the disgusting runoff water that was pooled in the gutter b/t my car and the wall.

It was a flurry of activity, and as I tried not to move so as not to cut myself, I was on the phone with mom sobbing, while simultaneously cleaning my minor scrapes and cuts with Wet Ones. (Being such a germaphobe really comes in handy. Seriously.) The police, ambulance and tow-truck arrived very quickly. A paramedic helped me out of my car, took my BP, pulse etc. I was fine. The cop had to go in through the backseat to collect Wally from the front. It was a miracle. Here's what happened, which I only know because the police told me. I suddenly lost control and the truck behind me hit my passenger side, causing the 360 degree turn. I'm thinking that him hitting me and having me spin a full-circle, knocking me into the wall, saved my life. If I'd gottten hit from the other direction, we'd have been roadkill in the middle of oncoming traffic.

When I phoned mom I told her to just get in the car and drive south. Then I told her to call Lynn and tell her what happened, as I knew we weren't far from PB. The towing guy headed to a nearby Moblie station, and the policeman took me and Wally to meet him, so I could get my stuff out. So, the police drop me off at a Mobil gas station.

In my car I had to take the following things out: Tumi suitcase, Vuitton handbag, Bottega tote, Temperpedic pillow (de-glassed), and a yoga mat.

"Can't forget the yoga mat right?," the police officer quipped.

Lynn was actually at the hospital tending to a family matter, so hubby Alan was my savior.

God, I must've looked insane--well-heeled JAP standing outside Mobil in the rain with a schmancy pillow, a lap dog, a yoga mat, two handbags and a suitcase. I was actually in Lake Worth, FL--have you ever noticed how people think you're really strange when you ask them what city you're in?

Anyway, once I heard Alan was coming to collect me, my first sentence to mom after I asked why Lynn was at the hospital was:

"Oh shit. He's coming in the Porsche? Is my luggage going to fit?"

"Ohhh, good question, you're right."

I was ready to part with the yoga mat.

Thank fucking God for family, friends and family friends especially. I don't think that most people can make two phone calls and be rescued from dire straits; I'm so thankful that I am able to do that. I went back to Lynn and Alan's, showered, texted/Facebooked friends to let them know Wally and I were fine, then had a glass of vino with Alan. Mom arrived by 7-ish and we drove home to Jax, arriving around 11:30.

I'm bruised and scraped and my left knee is swollen and my limbs are sore, but I literally am now one of those people who can boast about escaping from a terrible accident with nary a broken fingernail. Jeez, how did I get so lucky? A couple of powerful things have tried to kill me this year and somehow here I am blogging to you guys after spending a day at the beach with all my childhood friends. Tomorrow, assuming there is no rain whatsoever, I will head back to Miami in my rented black Lincoln Town car.

I've learned a couple of things this weekend.
1.) Wally is as much of a survivor as I am now.
2.) Apparently my time on Earth is not up yet, meaning that I am here for a reason and I personally interpret that reason as my will-fucking-be-published memoir.
3.) There is enough room in a Porsche 911 for a Jewess, her lap dog, a suitcase, a yoga mat, a pillow and two handbags.

More later. I need to ice the knee. Lots of xoxoxox's to everyone who called, Facebooked, and texted me right away since I updated my status from the side of the road.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa: The sound a female emits when she sees and or holds a material possession that inspires awe in her, sung in a soprano-like pitch.

Example given.
Monday Laura bought her faaaaabulous wedding shoes— which I helped her pick out, a true fashion and friendship honor—at Neiman's. She makes the purchase, holds up the shoe and says: "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa."

They're indeed "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" worthy:

Her first pair of premier designer shoes and Louboutins at that. I have officially brought her over to the dark side, where it's so much more fun.

And when I got home today I had my own "Haaaaaaaaaaaaa" moment when I opened the box containing my new Filofax. J'adore.

It's dark denim. I'm beyond excited. If you're a Filofax person, you'll understand. It's like being a Mac person. When you start with Filofax, you're in for life. This one, however, is super-trendy and edgy for the brand. And I can't wait to start filling it up! I think it will stay much cleaner than the leather ones I seem to destroy. Long live Filofax and the art of actually writing using pen and paper.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shilling Time

I haven't shilled for my friends too much lately, so here's something. Check out my verrrry funny friend's ad—so funny I don't know why he's wasting his time in advertising for Christ's sake. Oh wait, advertising is the one form of writing that still pays. Got it. Anyway, by watching this short ad he's in, you'll be helping him win something or other. Something to do with Cannes. Which I believe is a town in France that I'm familiar with from long ago when I actually had a life and an impressive international travel schedule. But I digress.

The real story:
It's part of a competition to win the YouTube Cannes Young Lions Awards. The goal of the ad is thus: "To drive people to the Oxfam Web site to sign a petition in time for a big UN meeting in Copenhagen (December 2009).

The work will be evaluated 50 percent on total YouTube hits and 50 percent by the judging panel. The more hits we get, the merrier."

So click away peeps.

On a Stephanie note, I think it's rather pathetic that I edited Megler's text into AP Style. And now am headed to Laura and Ben's so he can write my JDate profile for me. What. A. Life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shit, why am I getting so many referrals today from an old item on Gawker? Who wrote about me today?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shrinks on Speakerphone

Dr. Melnick (35-year-old, cool as shit, sarcastic as fuck, psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist):

"I heard of another JDate success story."

"Meh. Dating. JDate. Meh. I've met 10 crazies on there and one normal guy."

Dr. Melnick: "What happend to the one normal guy?"

"Shacking up with a Shiksa."

Dr. Melnick: "Eh, can't compete with that."

"What am I supposed to say in my profile? I am a breast cancer survivor, if you can't handle that don't read on?"

Dr. "Stop it. You're not going to say that in your fucking profile. Have you gotten laid after your surgery?"

"Which one?"

Dr. Melnick: "Any of them."

"I haven't had sex since, you know the guy. The musician guy."

Dr. Melnick: "Ah yes, the black rapper."

"Shut up. It's been a year, okay? So what?"

Dr. Melnick: "So what, you need your pipes cleaned. Who gives a shit about the stupid cancer. Look—and this is what it boils down to with guys—you've got two tits, a hole and a heart."

"Fine. I will go on Jdate and just look. I sulk

Dr. Melnick: "Jesus, just join. Pay the $20. In fact I'll give you the $20."

"Okay, I promise I will look tonight instead of watching America's Next Top Model."

Dr. Melnick: "Yeah, sure you will."

And then we proceed to call 90210 therapist on speakerphone so that Melnick and her can talk about moi. You know you're really Woody-Allen-level crazy when your L.A.-based therapist and your Miami-based psychiatrist set up a phone date to discuss their shared patient.

But tough loves works on me—I joined JDate.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Every blogger/writer has a few dirty little secrets. Often, it's these unrevealed subject matters that entice readers to read a memoir that includes already-known information. I'm no different. I have several dirty—well, not dirty in that sense, you know I'm quite prude—little ones that are just too revealing.

So due to a major one of those unmentionable 'secrets'—an issue that's plagued me since my college years—I lost it today. As in, sitting on the floor hysterically crying, overwhelmed by the mere organization of my work "basket." (I keep my work materials in a Target faux-wicker basket under my grandmother's antique, travertine card table, how me is that?) I had the suicidal ideations typical of a depressive such as myself. That's the clinical term for suicidal thoughts—ideations. Schmancy. I was a red-eyed, leaky-nosed, Jewfro-d, hot fucking mess.

"Why me? Woe is me." Yada [insert cliched, playing the victim card thought here] yada, yada. It was pretty bad—Klonopin at 2 p.m. and me telling Wally—13-year-old Wally—"That's it! When you go, I go!"

When I was diagnosed with the Breast Ca, I put up my dukes and kicked ass so that I could live for my family, my friends and Wally. I've got too much Jewish guilt to really even attempt suicide, so no worries.

"This is it," I wailed, "This is rock bottom. It has to be. I've finally hit it!" I've had so many false bottoms that I am writing a book, okay? But today—today was really it. That precipice was crossed and I've got nothing to do now but change. Change, which "means adding a new behavior," Dr. Laura says. So even though I wanted to crawl into bed with the remote or one of the three books I'm reading, instead I cleaned and went to Equinox.

There's a super cute and sweet girl who works there whose aunt has breast cancer and we chat about that sometimes as she checks me in. I gave her some of my coasters the other day, the nipple ones, to give to her aunt. So she said today that she gave them to her aunt, who liked them and was going to check out the blog. Well, we started talking about where the aunt is in the course of her treatment etc. And I gave her my post-chemo hair-growing tips. (Which resulted in my fucking, bastard of a Jewfro, but it's better than bald patches.) She said her aunt would be so receptive to that advice, esp cause she's not one of those women who was tragically upset about losing her hair. She'd shaved it off pre-chemo, as did some of her family members for support.

So she—for the love of weed I can't remember her name—was really excited about such a small but useful bit of advice. And though I walked in there ready to kill someone—er, rather myself—I got on the elliptical in a substantially better mood. The truth is, helping other people makes me feel good. Ugh, that sounds so hippie-dippy-liberal-Brother like, but it's true. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to India to work for Mother Theresa like Hemley did. But I love giving advice. I'm a writer, not a reporter. I write from the heart and tell it like it is. Sometimes that helps people, and if it weren't for that, I think I'd of given up on writing a while ago. I'm rambling, but the point is I rallied after a very scary and painful afternoon just by giving another Breast Cancer chick beauty advice. Interesting, huh?

And check out my new calling cards that arrived today. Obv this is a sample from the site; I'm way too lazy to take a photo of mine.

My friend Mel pointed me to the site and I j'adore them.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Holy shit, you guys, I had no idea that the story about the priest at the church a block from my condo was CNN-level material. Natch, I don't read the local papers. But I did see it first, when walking to Ben and Laura's last week I spotted all the news crews outside this church. It's literally one block from me.

I knew this was sort of a busy Catholic church, but let me tell you, the weddings and people I've seen there have been typical Miami tacky. Thus why would I think that some relatively famous priest preached there?

Apparently, he does. And his name is Cutie. Seriously.

Christ, I'm just glad he was 'caught' with a woman and not a 12-year-old boy.

As I'm compiling an outline of the past year or so—centered around surgeries, treatments, events and doctor visits—I'm thumbing through my Filofax and realizing how long of a journey this has been. Seems like just yesterday I was thinking of trading in the wig for a Birkin and throwing away bottles of Klonopin by accident.

Now it's May again?! And I've still not gotten my book together? Aaaaarrrgh. I need a wife and a ghost-writer.

Work, Rinse, Repeat

I've done nothing but work for the past few days. Working for no money—not the ideal situation, but one that most 'artists' are quite familiar with.

Today it's time for some housekeeping—namely to plug one of my Facebook friend's new novel Busy Woman Seeks Wife.

I'm long overdue in this, as UK writer Meg Sanders—Annie Sanders is a pen name, consisting of her and Annie Ashworth—sent me an advance copy to read. I love reading advance copies; it makes me feel like I'm a part of the publishing world. And I love good beach reads. Haven't you ever thought that being a woman in and of itself is a full-time job? (Or is that just lazy me?) I mean, men don't have to worry about physical maintenance—do they have any idea what our monthly Sephora bills are and how many hours a year we spend on our fucking hair?—and many of them don't even have to worry about domestic chores. Add to being a woman, being a mother with a very demanding job. Alex is just such a woman, and finds herself in need of assitance. But a nanny might not cut it—what she needs is a wife. There are mannys, nannies, baby-sitters, cooks, maids and servants for hire. Why not wives? It may be a Brit-chick-lit novel, but now that I'm thinking of it, I want a wife. I could keep her busy just maintaining my closets, wig, medical supplies and meals. So pick up this book and share it with your girlfriends. Especially your mommy friends.

What else? My lovely and talented editorial assistant is hard at work logging my videotapes from the Cancer year. By the time he is finished, he's going to know more about me than most of my friends and family. He's a lifesaver. And he's writing in screenplay format. Love it. I'm in serious, comitted work mode. I'm getting organized. And by July 4th, I'll have those necessary first 100 pages organized, written and ready to be read by my "readers." Who will then give me unbiased advice before I send the manu to agents.

So that's that. I called Momotaro—I need five inches to get my Jap straightening. Only five. I think I've got an inch or so to go then it's Shalom, Jewfro.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ahhh, the glamorous, lucrative world of publishing. The six-figure advance checks, the film deals, the Oprah circuit—so glam, so lofty, so not the way it is.

I think I told you guys that my story, Benzos and Breast Cancer, will be included in a Heeb anthology called Sex, Drugs and Gefilte Fish. It's being published by one of the big houses. A few weeks ago I learned I'd be getting "an advance." Andy Borowitz—whose story is also in the book—told me typically anthologies don't pay much. But what's much? I was speculating anywhere from $50 to several hundred, who knew. Sometimes I get $60 for a story; sometimes $800 (though not in a couple years thanks to my non-pitching stance).

I got the check today. My first advance! Proof that I'm a published author. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Then I opened the envelope.

$50. I was kidding when I threw that number out there. Shit, that's not even enough money to buy a bag. How ironic, given the illustration on the Heeb story.

This really depressed me and just think that two hours earlier I'd had a good session with Dr. L wherein she commended me on my progress in the area of finances. This check triggered some things in me—the bad things. The self-sabotaging, self-critical things. Authors make most of their money from advances, if they're lucky. Book sales are great, but the author isn't taking home much from the actual book sales, unless it's a crazy phenomenon like Harry Potter or James Patterson or some shit. WTF. I'm discouraged again. $50—I make more doing nothing. I'm taking Laura to Neiman's outlet now to look for wedding shoes for her. Neiman's with no money, not exactly the best way for this bitch to cheer up.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Close Encounters of the Fashion Kind

It's been a hell of a couple two weeks, as I keep saying. Here's what's been going on. In addition to the surgery, recovery, busy social schedule and normal day-to-day BS of life, my career has really been kicking into high gear. For more than a year my life was on pause; now it's in fast-forward and I can't even find the pause button anymore.

I've mentioned how I found an intern—who's already been promoted to an editorial assistant—and now I need to be organized not just for myself, but for him. Type-A person? Yes. Type-A 'boss'? Seems not so much. I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I'm in a leadership role over here. Not to mention I've also been in talks with a publicity team, with them helping me massage my plan for world domination. Step one? Turning this blog into something that actually makes me money. My stats are impressive, apparently. Hopefully impressive enough to draw advertisers. That's another story. So anyway, my days and nights have been busy. A big part of my job as a freelance writer/author/blogger is going out. Press events, dinners, lunches etc. That shit takes up a lot of time. I'm not complaining, but when I'm really stressed I prefer to lay on my couch and find comfort in reality TV (Real Houswives finale tonight, woot-woot. Let's see what crazy eyes Kelly (former) Bensimon pulls.)

After the gym today I ran into Whole Foods to pick up my pathetic frozen dinner, when, at the register I had a fashion encounter like no other. I spotted a woman at the next counter who was wearing a shirt I have. Not just any shirt, mind you. A Gianfranco Ferre top that I'd bought in Rome three years ago. The very same shirt that I pulled out when mom was here last week to see if she could mend the delicate back side of it—a sheer, silk layer festooned with white-and-red polka dots. I never talk to strangers in stores, but I had to speak to this woman.

Turns out, she'd also gotten the top at the same Ferre store near Piazza Espana (the Spanish Steps) about three years ago as well. Well, there's a sign here and that sign is, I need to get that fucking shirt mended already and begin wearing it again. It's a really lovely shirt (see below) and sentimental. I made two big purchases that trip—we did Amalfi, Positano and Rome—that shirt and a little YSL, white patent wristlet. We had one shopping day in Rome. While Michael, Dad and I were content with a week on the Amalfi Coast, Mom insisted on a couple days in Rome. To shop. So on that day, we all received our "shopping money"—don't even bother commenting—and the men dispersed.

Mom: "Where do you want to go?"

I am very familiar with Rome's famed shopping streets. I've been there several times; mom had only been once I think. She was determined to find something fabulous.

"Well, I'm going to wander around this area and just go in stores where I know I can find something within my budget. I'm not bothering with Prada, Gucci or any of those. I'll probably stick to the younger lines."

Mom: "Okay, so should we split up? I want to go to all the stores."

We had a couple hours, okay?

"The streets are very confusing mom, why don't you just come with me?"

Natch, she went on her own. I wavered on the price of the Ferre shirt, but the sentimentality of it won me over. Not only is it a fantastic, whimsical shirt, but it seemed made for me and this family vacation that was like no other the Greens had ever taken. The front of the shirt boasts a map of Southern Italy and reads: "I want to live my life and not record it."

Ring me up. In a couple hours I had two great purchases that would last as lifelong mementos of this unforgettable trip.

Mom and I met back up.

"So what did you find?" I asked.

"Damnit, I didn't find anything. How did you find stuff? I wasted so much time in Gucci and then just wandered around; where are all the shops. Damnit, I should've stayed with you!"

I showed her my finds and she was even more upset. Still, she hasn't learned to stick with me when it comes to shopping advice, but she's gotten better. This day of non-purchases led to perhaps one of the most insane Nancy Green shopping moments I've witnessed.

Cut to the airport, on the day of our departure:

Nancy was purchase-less. Unacceptable. If you've been to the Rome airport, you know that every store on Via Condotti is also there. Gucci, Prada and one of mom's faves, Etro. Less than an hour before boarding, I see mom wandering around the airport in shopping mode, eyes on the prize. She dad and I go into Etro. Mom starts manically trying on things left and right. She zeros in on the raincoats, for which she has a minor obsession. She's trying on slickers with no regards for time, asking dad's opinion and then not waiting long enough for him to answer. They start announcing our plane.

"Are you guys really doing this? Seriously? You're shopping as our plane's boarding? Come on, this is pushing it even for you mom."

Etro is certainly not cheap. And imagine the airport markup. In short, a raincoat from Etro is what fashionistas call an investment piece. Mom is the type who, on shopping excursions, shops, compares, thinks and then buys. She is not an impulse buyer, unless she's suffering from temporary shopping insanity brought on by a fruitless day on one of the world's best shopping streets.

I left them looking at four-figure rain coats, thinking, "Not even mom is crazy enough to buy something like this at the airport, 15 minutes before takeoff."

I was ensconced in my seat before they'd boarded. When they did board, I laughed out loud (and cringed a little) at the Etro shopping bag in mom's hands. Alas, it made her happy, it's a fab coat and she still enjoys it. And her friends and I have gotten many giggles over that Nancy story. Probably the funniest and most unusual impulse buy anyone in our fam has made. Until I make some real money that is:)

Michael and I on our last night in Rome:

Me and the forbidden lover, aka, Afrika Baby Bam.

That vacation—fashion foibles and all—was one for the record books. If you haven't checked out the photos, they are here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Retail Therapy Is the Answer

I am exhausted. I always neglect to remember that my body needs rest after surgeries, not constant stimulation. I've been going like the Tasmanian Devil. Out five nights a week, and one of them a surgery day, led me to a 12-hour slumber last night, sleeping through the entire day. I had not been sleeping at all. I mean, this is me merely five hours out of surgery done up in a Bergdorf's top, Pucci Scarf and Dior sunglasses—with Lynn and mom.

On the way home from Neiman's to boot. Who the hell does this? It's really odd isn't it? If ever there were an argument for retail therapy though, this would be it: Look how happy [and insane] we are!