Friendship. An Open Letter To A Friend.



Open letters seem to be all the rage, so I’m throwing my ass into the ring and writing one. Why not say these things to my friend (or friends) privately, face to face, over Tequila shots in a bar?

A large part of friendship is showing up’, wouldn’t you agree? Well, this is part of the problem, hence the open letter, although I think it’s also safe to say that this letter probably won’t be seen or read. I thought the letter was classier than summing up our relationship in 140 characters.

Dear Friend (s),

After 37 years, I’m changing the rules. I don’t want to play my part any longer. I’ve outgrown it, and it no longer fits.

Why didn’t I speak up earlier, you ask? Fear, ambivalence, laziness, uncertainty, and habit. Take your pick.

Having history isn’t a reason to accept less from you. Over the years I have tolerated, made excuses and fought with internal justifications, when it came to our friendship. Each time that I was disappointed, or I felt that you took me and our friendship for granted, I remembered the good old days and it allowed me to move on.

If I needed you, would you be there for me? I used to think that you would. I needed to believe that you would because then why else would we be friends? Why would I be friends with someone whose presence and loyalty I doubted? The truth is I have doubts.

Our friendship requires effort, just like your romantic, work and family relationships do. If it’s worth it, you put in the time because, well, you think it’s worth it!

We’re flawed, and we have annoying parts of our personalities, but I’ve always accepted those flaws. Now I think, to what end? For how long? Is what I’m getting back worth it?

Our friendship has always meant a lot to me. We’ve shared so much and for this, I am grateful. But what is the depth of our current relationship? Can I call it a friendship? Maybe our definition of friendship is different.

I can say with utmost confidence that I’ve been a great friend. Can you say the same? Do you even know what’s going on in my life? Have you ever read my work? In all of the years that I’ve been writing, I have never heard you comment one way or another. This is the most painful.

You have been neglectful and you expect me to understand, once again, because I’ve been forgiving in the past. Because I forgave in the name of friendship. I don’t think I have any more to give.

This has been a one-way street, and it feels like shit. It’s not like this with any other friend. What makes you think that the standard, garden variety friendship rules, don’t apply to you?

People change. Circumstances change. We grow, we move, we evolve. I understand. But if I can’t count on your friendship than what’s the point to any of it?

I have always tried to see your good, and there’s a lot of it. I’ve defended you when others called you selfish and narcisissictic because I knew that there was so much more. It’s become harder to do so.

I love you but I’ve changed. Feeling ignored and feeling that our friendship is inauthentic has grown tiresome. I expect to be treated how I treat others and I can’t accept anything less. Simple.

My expectations are not unreasonable nor high. I have people in my life; busy people who have jobs, families, responsibilities and guinea pigs, but they’ve accepted their role as my friend and we both show up.

It’s been an evolution and now I must self care. I will always love you.


Does Sex Sell Pilates Sessions?

Does sex sell Pilates


I recently got hired as a Pilates instructor at a tony health club. The management asked me if I could offer free demos to introduce their members to Pilates, and to meet me.

Clearly this would be for their members who have been living under a rock for the last ten years. I’m saying ten just to be nice, because those in the know, knew about Pilates in the early 90′s.

Who doesn’t know what Pilates is? Madonna, Gwyneth and Tiger all do Pilates for crying out loud.

I’ve given so many friggin’ demos since I became an instructor. Sometimes it feels like a real soul killer to have to continuously sell myself.

That being said, I decided to suck it up, adjust my attitude and sell, sell, sell. It’s been a tough work year. I lost several clients back in March, and I haven’t picked up new ones. I did leave the country to teach Pilates in Dubai for two months last summer, so that couldn’t have been good for building a client base and continuity.

I believe that I deliver quality Pilates instruction, with the added bonus of a kick ass personality, but the evidence doesn’t lie and I wondered if I might be doing something wrong.

Maybe it’s my laissez-faire attitude towards beautifying myself for my clients. As unimaginable as it may be, perhaps my winning personality isn’t enough. I know, I can’t believe it either. Could my client drought be because I don’t wear make-up, or blow dry my hair before I hit the Pilates studio?

I never felt that I should have to succumb to shallow and superficial practices. I choose to sit comfortably crossed legged on my high horse, espousing ditties such as, “Like me for who I am, and how I can help your Quasimodo posture. You’re not here because of my long and luxurious hair.” Aren’t I adorable and misguided.

It was the same when I lived in L.A. and auditioning. I believed that my talent alone would get me hired, not my fuckability. I think we can all agree that my strategy was both flawed and incredibly naive.

What’s wrong with putting on mascara and showing a hint of tit (men do Pilates too ya know) if it’s going to get me clients? As an experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I made an effort. Would I attract more clients?

I had my first Pilates demo last night. I put on make-up, as if I were going to a wedding, and I changed my clothes a half dozen times, finally deciding on a head to toe Lululemon ensemble. My Astro pants gave me a camel toe, and a wedgey. Perfect. I went with a tight purple Define jacket, wearing only my bra underneath. I smoothed out my hair, and flat ironed my ponytail. However, I did not shower. It was my little secret. Between me and… me?

“Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan Chaka Kan, Chaka Kan , Chaka Kan Chaka Khan, let rock you”  – Sorry, it just came on my itunes.

After two long hours, several women and men asked to see exercises on the Reformer. I can’t be certain what brought them over but, unlike the proud, naive, and stubborn girl, who wouldn’t sleep around in Hollywood, I now have no problem showing skin and combing my hair.

Even if the superficial brings me potential clients, keeping them is where the true talent lies. That, or I can offer to sleep with them. You don’t have to tell me twice.

New Yorkers Depressed Me, But Then I Saw Hedwig

New Yorkers are a diverse bunch. A bunch of what is the question. 

True New Yorkers know that their city is a lot of things; vibrant, culturally exhaustive, a melting pot of peoples, and they know that if you can make it here, you can definitely make it in Toledo.

However, New York City is also home to foul mouthed men on bicycles, men who think that having pet rats (plural) is sexy, men who think that urinating in public is au courant, and men who think that walking four across a New York city street is acceptable. 

New Yorkers have Jesus

Side Note: New York City can also boast having Jesus as its tenant. I had no idea that JC was now a casting director.

But I digress.

The other day, I rode my bicycle downtown, along the Hudson River, on the bike path. I was pedaling at a nice clip, feeling my long and luxurious hair blowing in the wind, because I’m too cocky (read: stupid) to wear a helmut, when I saw a yield sign, and pedestrian walkway, up ahead.

I had about three seconds to decide if I was going to gun it, forcing the pedestrians to stop for me, (which is not what the signs means) or stop and yield to the pedestrians, which is what the sign means.

I put on the breaks and just as a mother and child were about to walk, what do I see coming at us, from the opposite direction, but this doucher, I mean man, Tour de France-ing himself right through the crosswalk. I yelled, “Come on dude.” Forever a California girl I suppose. “Fuck off!”, he yelled back and kept riding.

This Lance Armstrong prick told me to fuck off. I don’t think anyone has ever told me to fuck off. I’ve gotten a, what the fuck. That’s so fucked up. Fuckin’A he’s great in bed. But never has anyone told me to fuck off. I took it in, let it go and pedaled on, hoping that Lance would hit a little rock and fly off his handlebars. What? 

Another day, I decided to bike up to the George Washington Bridge. At around 96th street, I noticed something laying in the middle of the bike path. It was a dead rat. Pretty, right. But if that wasn’t gross enough, there was another rat laying a foot away. It was like they made a suicide pact.

When I got home, I started packing my bags (if only in my head) because I don’t want to live in a place where dead rats rain down from the sky when I’m trying to suck in some fresh air. Ain’t nothing fresh about that nasty mess. 

Let’s stay with the rat theme for just a moment. Last week I decided to watch the sunset over the Hudson River. I’d been working all day, and thought it would be nice to sit by the water, and watch the sun sink behind Jersey.

The sunset was lovely, but as I walked back to my apartment, I passed a man on the street. This man had three live rats spread out along his shoulders and neck, wearing them like a friggin’ scarf.  

If that wasn’t disturbing enough, this classy pet owner had dyed each of the rats a different color. It was a rainbow coalition; red, pink, and blue. I thought I was going to throw up. “Ben, the two of us we look no more. We both found what we were looking for.” -Michael Jackson

The other day, I looked out of my sixth story window. My building is one of several in the area that looms over the Port Authority bus terminal. What I saw was a train wreck and I could not look away. This doesn’t often happen when you live in New York, because you quickly become desensitized and it takes a lot to shock. 

I was talking on the phone and just as I was about to say something extremely witty and important, I saw a man, who I can only assume was a bus driver (why else would he be on the roof of the Port Authority bus terminal) confidently, and nonchalantly, unzip his fly and relieve himself behind one of the buses.

Thank the sweet, casting director Jesus, that my floor is level with the parking lot, so I was spared having to see his details, if you know what I mean. Didn’t he notice the other thirty-one floors towering majestically above him that would be able to see his details? 

New Yorkers and Port Authority

Perhaps in his mind, the back of a bus, behind a small wall, out in the open, is just like an actual toilet, in an actual bathroom, with an actual door, that you can actually friggin’ lock. 

Walking to the theater yesterday, I encountered what can only be described as a New York City no-no, as if all of the above mentions were yes-yes’s or maybes. There’s no excuse for the following.

I found myself behind four men walking four across in a chorus line. You do not do this in New York, unless you’re actually in A Chorus Line. There’s an unspoken two-person max. And in some places, you have to go single file. I’m certain that they were not New Yorkers, or they hadn’t been living here for very long.

New Yorkers walking

New Yorkers have places to go and people to see. We do not have time to navigate around, or through, sidewalk mongers.

I finally arrived at the theater, took my seat and everything from the past week melted away, because New York has Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and Neil Patrick Harris! Tears of joy shed? Check.

Thank goodness New York is full of all sorts of men.

New Yorkers have Hedwig

I’m over at The Hollywood Journal today. Check it out.

Dani Alpert living the dream with Courtney Love in the Hollywood Journal

PhotoCredit: HollywoodJournal

Several years ago, or maybe it was a decade (who can remember), my then writing partner and I wrote a spec screenplay that received all kinds of Hollywood buzz. And Courtney Love took notice. 

You know, the buzz that first time writers dream about while writing in dark corners of Starbuck’s that don’t have restrooms. I had always wanted to be in the running, a contender, on the radar, in the game. I was living the dream. READ MORE HERE about my special time with Courtney Love.

Are You Listening?

Every day, the universe sends us people to give us messages. But all too often, we are dead set on a goal or destination and we don’t listen. Instead, we say, “He doesn’t know what he is talking about,” or “Oh, I never listen to her.” And we just keep going and going and going, even if we aren’t getting the best results. -Karen Berg

Someone once told me that I was pollyanna, that I sometimes lived in a fantasy world. I received this and internalized it as pure negativity and judgment. I didn’t understand why these traits were so bothersome, and why there was a spotlight on them.

We can’t hear what we’re not ready to hear.

I have perspective now and I can hear those comments with different ears, (they’re still the size of satellite dishes), and a less defensive heart. Is there any truth to what was said to me? Yes.

This is a lesson, a hard lesson, in opening our ears, mind and heart to what we hear from people, for these people give us messages that are often to help us change ourselves for the better.

Are you listening?






Kardashian Watching

The Kardashians Got My Parents Talking



I wish I didn’t overhear the following conversation between my parents the other day.

My dad was in the family room, watching television. He yelled for my mother to join him. She did. Again, this is only what I heard, for I could not see them, nor could I see what they were watching.

Dad: “You know the Kardashians, right?”

Unintelligible mumbling.

Dad: “I mean Kim, she’s not bad but the other two? They’re not even good looking.”


Dad: “This is the best that they’re ever going to look.”

At this point, my eyes are rolling and at the same time, I’m feverishly writing because this is just too good and I don’t want to miss a word.

Mom: “This is what you called me in for?”

Dad: “It’s the end of civilization. I thought you’d like to know why.”

More unintelligible mumbling.

Dad: “Oh, and they’re all married to rappers.”

I think dad was trying to show off.

My mother walked out of the room and back into the kitchen, where I was sitting. I can only guess that one minute of the Kardashians was one minute too long.

I expected to hear the channel change but I didn’t. I continued to hear Kim Kardashian uptalk about what, I do not know.

Something was wrong. Why was my dad still listening to that vacuous dreck? (is that redundant?) Could he seriously be watching, Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E!? For the record, I just googled Kardashians, because I didn’t know what channel their show was on. For the record.

I walked into the family room to investigate.

Whew, the Kardashian clan was being interviewed on CNBC about their baby clothing line. What a relief. Sort of.

As I walked out of the room, my father bellowed, “It’s a good thing that they’re business people because they’re not going to make it as models.” Who was this man?