Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Envy is one of the more disturbing emotions humans wrestle with. I say this because I carry a cold belly-full of it once a week.

As a writer, I've felt mild doses of jealousy for others' accomplishments before. I'm not proud to say that, but it's true. But, that's generally fleeting, and I can't recall ever begrudging another writer, any writer, success. Maybe it's because I know how tough it is to get anywhere, so I'm happy and heartened when I see people succeeding in this field. Like, okay, it might be mildly annoying that Paris Hilton got a book deal. But then I think, well, someone else, some WRITER actually wrote the damn thing, and I'm sure they got a handsome payday for it! So it's really not tragic.

Professionally, I don't have any envy. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't care all that much.

Personally, though I get lonely sometimes, I don't envy happy couples, because I've made my choices and I don't regret the ones I've made. Okay. On Valentine's Day I envy happy couples. A lot. But, you know, c'mon.

Money isn't really a hot button for me either. Sure, I'd like more money, who wouldn't? But I'm not really a "thing" person. I don't care about clothes or jewelry or cars so much. I can appreciate some of the stuff, but I don't have an overwhelming desire to possess most things. The only thing I'd like more money for would be so I could travel more. But I've been busy lately and wouldn't be able to get away anyhow. Don't get me wrong. It makes me mentally ill that some people are rich fucks for no apparent reason. But that's bound to happen. And it gives me something to hate on to pass the downtime.

But, oh, despite all these rationalizations and sublimations, I am not the breezy, magnanimous, and cheerful person I wish I could be. Because I do harbor envy. LOTS of it. And it comes frothing out every Saturday at noon. I actually plan my day so that I can do this to myself. If I get up early enough, I go to the gym and make sure I'm home by 11:55. If I sleep late, I put off the gym until later and loiter long enough around the house until it's time to flip on the TV at noon.

And that's when I do it to myself.

I flip to the Food Network and watch Everyday Italian. The host/chef on this show is Giada De Laurentiis, and she makes me fucking insane with envy.

I mean, we're not talking pangs of jealousy here. We're talking full-blown, yelling at the TV, slithering through my veins until it settles in the pit of my stomach, squirming and cold and nauseating envy.


I just can't fucking stand it.

And I can't NOT watch it.

Fucking Giada De Laurentiis with her million-watt, perfect fake smile. I swear, it looks like she's got an electric wire shoved up her ass as she blasts that fake smile while cooking and oozing her contemptibly aristocratic, exaggerated Roman accent when she speaks of certain ethnic foods. Seriously, have you heard her pronounce "spaghetti"? It's fucking appalling.

And now the Food Network has upped the ante, and doubled my hate factor on her. I thought I'd hit the apex when they sent her on a trip to Rome. And then, they made it worse by sending her ALL over Italy. She strutted around bragging about her grandmother and couldn't stop name-dropping her grandfather at every other street corner. BUT SHE WAS THERE AND I WASN'T! Coozing her way all across Europe on a high-falutin' per diem from Food Network.

Again -- WHY HER???

But now the stakes have risen, and they've given her a whole new show, a whole new way for me to torture myself on Wednesday nights. "Behind the Bash". That's right. Food Network now sends saccharine Giada tromping all across the country to all these swank soirees where she gets to eat the food and drink the booze before the partygoers. And then, of course, because she's Giada and she thinks she's so fucking glamorous, she then hangs out at the parties in her best evening wear.

It makes me sick. SICK.

And I can't stop watching.

And then as an added stab to my heart they had on some special dessert competition last weekend from Las Vegas -- and Giada was the host for it. DESSERTS. VEGAS. And I wasn't there. And she was.

I hope she enjoys her life. Because it's the life I wish I was living, and I know I never will. The best I can do is sit down and choke it back as I watch her schmooze it up.

As an added little shot of envy, she has a cookbook.
Current Amazon ranking: #102

My books?
24/7 current ranking: 252,710*
Trattoria current ranking: 622,255*
And my books have SEX in them!!
* -- I'm quite certain these will be even lower if you click the link

Oh! And one more thing. She did a special Christmas show, where she cooked Christmas dinner for whole family -- and she used STORE-BOUGHT JARRED SAUCE. I can't even begin to express to you how WRONG that is. It'd be so many shades of wrong for any self-respecting American-Italian to serve commercial jarred sauce to their entire family at Christmas. But for a chef? Bitch, please.

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