Tag Archives: 40 Days of Writing Project

There’s no crying on Thursdays. Oh wait…

Thursday night, Brian usually comes home to find me bawling on the couch with a glass of red wine. He looks at me and says, “Parenthood?” I reply, “Yes. The music…and Christina…and Hattie came back…and oh my god it was so great. it’s so great. I can’t believe you don’t want to watch it.”

Thursdays are, in fact, a joyous and needed evening for me. I love my man. He is great. We just spent 2 weeks together on vacation, had fun and didn’t kill each other. Thursdays, though, are different. Thursdays are my time. He eats when the clock says it’s time to eat. I eat when I’m hungry.One of the simple pleasures of being an adult is eating cereal or ice cream for dinner and maybe washing it down with a glass of wine, if that’s what I want. Sometimes maybe that’s what I do on Thursday.

Thursday night is soccer night. The boys play soccer and I typically drink red wine and catch up on two things: Modern Family and Parenthood. I have to screen these shows together on the same night so that I don’t spin off the planet in a stream of tears — both tears of laughter and tears of crying actual sad-but-it’s-so-good tears. Modern Family is hilarious to the point that I sometimes rewind scenes and watch them again. I watched episodes in Spain last year, laughing hysterically. And I don’t even speak Spanish! Parenthood is different. Ughh. When I first started watching it — the quippy, fast-talking or everybody-talk-at-once scenes drove me crazy, but now, I’m in. And more than that, I SO look forward to my Thursday DVR nights.

We all need our own time, and sometimes we need a good cry. And mint chocolate chip ice cream and Pinot Noir isn’t really as bad as it sounds.



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Yesterday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I didn’t think there was a wrong bedside when on vacation in Italy, but I found it. I hit my head on the stupid low stupid ceiling in our apartment, then I took a stupid cold shower, because there was no hot water in this stupid 100-year-old building. I tried to make myself feel better by heading down to the delicious corner bakery for some pastries and cappuccino, but my pants were really tight, setting me off, yet again, in ultra crankypants mode, and I as I hit street level, I realized it was Sunday, which meant EVERYthing was closed. First world problems, right? I’m an asshole. “My designer jeans are too tight and my favorite Italian bakery is closed.” That’s what I just said. So, after settling for a half-as-good and twice as expensive pastry and cappuccino, I trudged back to the apartment, where I thought about how many keys it was going to take (3) before I actually got inside the buidling, which annoyed me. As I crammed my too-tight crankypants self into the “lift” and nibbled on my that’s-why-my-pants-are-too-tight-croissant, I stopped.

A month, or probably, more likely, a few days from now, I’ll be sitting in my cube at work. My pants will probably still be too tight, but my fat ass won’t still be in Italy. I won’t hit my head on our 10-foot ceilings at home, but I won’t have a lovely Ialian bakery steps away from my front door (OK, that’s for the best…). I won’t have a spectacular view or be 3 blocks away from a magnificent Piazza.

So now, as it rains and the ceiling of our little apartment leaks in three places, as I look out at the Duomo and curse the one day of crappy weather we’ve had in two weeks, I think I’ll just take it all in and be happy to just be. Right where I am. Or, maybe I’ll even go for a walk in the rain. And get some gelato. I don’t have to actually button my top button on the plane, right?


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the one-legged pigeon

I’m not sure I believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, this guy must have done something really bad to come back as a one-legged pigeon. And if I ever own a bar, it will be called the One-legged Pigeon. “You guys wanna head down to the One-Legged Pigeon tonight for a beer?” See — it has a nice ring to it.

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Such great heights.

I like grand views from the highest places, but I’m afraid of heights. I know, it’s hilarious — the tall girl is afraid of heights? Shut it. I climbed a 19,000+ foot mountain, and I’ve been sky-diving, but looking down from anywhere more than 3 stories up is downright terrifying. I can’t explain it, but if you share this fear, you know what I’m talking about. I know in my brain that I’m not going to fall off of the Empire State Building, and if I were to fall off, I would be dead, yet I still feel a need to hold on to something and shuffle around as if the floor is going to drop out beneath my feet and holding on to something would make things better. And my feet sweat perfusely when I’m up high. So weird. What effed up fight or flight BS is that? The mind is truly a powerful thing.

So we have this tiny apartment with low ceilings and a great view of the Duomo, one of the biggest symbols of the city. I’m looking at it right now from the terrace. it’s fantastic, though every 6 or 8 minutes there’s a waft of sewage stench that’s ungodly. Anyway, back to the duomo. Ever since we stepped out on our little terrace our first day here, I’ve pointed up to the cupola and said, “I want to go up there. Let’s wave — I wonder if they can see us.” Today I finally made it to the top, sweaty feet and all. I was white knuckle-gripping an ancient marble column atop the dome and taking it all in. It’s magnificent. You see the whole town from up there, plus, we walked around the inside of the duomo, so we got to see the masterpiece work of art from just a few feet away. Incredible. Terrifying. Beautiful. Exhilerating! Glad to be on the ground again.

In addition to fearing yet embracing heights, I also really like tall people in little places, so I’ve come to making Brian stop at small doors, stand in rooms with low ceilings, and I’ve even tried to take a photo of him with a little person nearby (it didn’t work out the way I wanted it. i will try again.) The juxtaposition of small and tall is amusing to me. The fact that there’s a Gucci children’s section, complete with trench coats and riding boots with cashmere lining, is amusing to me.

And I suppose that’s part of why I like the terrifying exhileration of going to the top of something even though I get sweaty and i might freeze in my tracks and visibly start to freak out. I really do think they can see us waving.


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40 Days of writing, 16 days in Italy…La Dolce Vita!

Attempt at 40 Days of Writing, round 2.

Location: Florence, Italy. In a lovely apartment with comically low ceilings, where two tall people walk around like hunchbacks so as not to hit their heads. but there’s a heck of a view from the terrace, which makes it totally worth it. This is day 11 of a 16 day trip, and this is our third city.

I’ve decided there’s a wrong way to do things, and then there’s the Italian way to do things. And while drinking wine at lunch every day will not likely be one of the “ways” I can adopt, I believe there are some other things I’ve learned from my brief but lovely stint in Italy.

1. Less is more. Almost always. Italians eat pasta and delicious, fatty, cured meats and cheese and bread and pastry — but they don’t eat it all the time. They buy quality leather goods that will last for years — not cheap Chinese knock-offs by the gross. A little sun on the cheeks is good for you, but don’t stay on the beach all day bathed in tanning oil smoking Marlboro Reds. Oh, and black looks good on everyone.

2. Be kind. I think when you’re happier, in general, you are a kinder person, on the whole. Maybe it’s the wine, but I’ve found nothing but kind, helpful, passionate, wonderful people in Italy.The same is not true everywhere! Italians apologize for their “bad” english. That’s just ridiculous, because I just said, “buonjourno! Vorrai una cappuccino per favore,” and you replied, “For here or to go?” Try walking into a coffee shop in the US and asking for coffee in english, in your beautiful accent. You will not get a response in Italian, and you might even get a look as if you have three heads. (“Psssst — hey, barristas, this guy’s not from here…”)

3. Eat good food. Drink decent wine. But not too much.

4. Nikes don’t go with everything. OK, so I learned this from my fellow Americans, but, come ON, people. let’s try and collectively step it up for the sake of our country. At least pretend we’re going into a church and not a gymnasium. There are comfortable shoes out there that don’t look like we’re ready to go for a run (which most of us, let’s face it, are clearly NOT ready to run anywhere, except toward another slice of pizza.)

5. Speak with conviction and passion! I have no idea what 95% of the words you’re saying actually mean, but I would probably follow you, if you gestured for me to do so, while emphatically speaking to me about whatever it is you’re saying. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to take me into a dark alley to steal my Nikes, but if so, you’ll be doing me a favor, so, gratzi!


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40 Days and 15 Minutes

 The 40 Days of Writing project is an idea put forth by an old friend who made a BRILLIANT decision to move far away to a magical land, fell in love with a Wine Guy with really cool glasses, and lives amongst some beautiful vineyards where she frolics in perpetually gorgeous, never-humid weather while drinking delicious wine at breakfast and playing bocce on the beach in her spare time. (That’s how I imagine it, anyway, Kate. Please don’t correct me if my depiction of your life is inaccurate.)

The challenge is to write something –anything – every day for 40 days. My dad always said the same thing about writing – you have to force yourself to sit down and commit to putting something on paper (or blog, as it were,) every single day, to be a writer. I don’t know what will come of this…I stopped the whole lent thing years ago, so, this is as spiritual I’m gonna get, at this point, as far as committing to something for 40 days.

I have a REALLY crappy, long, tedious, hellacious commute  and I often find myself killing time by practicing my 15 minutes of fame in the car. My 15 minutes are the result of my Oscar-Winning screenplay and Best Original Song. I go on every talk show, beginning with Jimmy Fallon, and signing off with David Letterman, where I bring my Dad (aka, Dave’s Biggest Fan,) and we do a whole banter-y extravaganza alongside Steve Martin. It’s awesome, and the genius part is that I’m never actually famous. I don’t want to write another screenplay or song after that, I just want to invest every penny and go give speeches on “Dreaming Big” and teaching young kids that “You Can Do Whatever You Set Your Mind To” and planting gardens in schools —  motivational stuff like that. Let’s put it this way, there would HAVE to be a “Where are they NOW?” segment to know what I was up to, because I won’t be on Dancing With the Stars.

Now, I realize this is all ridiculous and putting the cart in front of the horse’s great grand children, but it’s a long commute and I can’t write a screenplay in my car. (Or can I? Hmmmm…)  And, at this point, I have a fantastic soundtrack accompanied by an incredible cast of impeccably dressed, idiosyncratic actors, but if I end up at that podium, I will thank this project, that’s for damn sure. 

If you see me in my 12 year-old VW Golf on the Connector talking to myself (and maybe crying,) please don’t worry — I’m OK! I mean, relatively speaking. I’m just saying something annoyingly humble like, “Jimmy, this is all just SO surreal. I mean, I used to go to work every day practicing what we would talk about on your show, and now — now I’m ON your show. It’s just so crazy. And all I really want to do for my next 12 minutes of fame is to take over this stage with you and JT for some lyrical and satirical magic.” And then Jimmy cues Questlove, out comes Justin, Jimmy throws me a mic and BOOM. (It’s really not that bad having my long commute; I’m very active and productive.)

Since I have this dead-in-the-water blog I figured this was as good a place as any to try and write for 40 days. Welcome back, Mom, and hold on to your laptop. This is about to get crazy! I don’t know what that means and it’s probably not true at all, but I’m a little rusty and I sensed I needed to end this post.

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