Saturday, September 29, 2012
I chill differently in the desert than I do in the city. Even during a weekend filled with errands, and taking care of household choirs that were neglected this summer I'm able to unwind completely. I look forward to these weekends. I need them, for most importantly, they are restorative.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 7:56 PM
Friday, September 28, 2012
I'm not a lottery type of girl. Not sure if I've ever even played before, but when I stopped at the local convenience store for a liter of water to hydrate during this never ending spell of heat, a man was buying a lottery card, and my spontaneity kicked in. In truth, it was my father's voice nudging me to play. Something he did often. Clueless about the process, I asked the cashier a slew of questions, and picked my father's favorite numbers. He would often wax poetic about what he would do with his new found millions. A shiny new sports car was always at the top of the list. Dad this one's for you.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 7:37 PM
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I've developed many television series during my career, but only a handful hold a special place. The first one to leave a major imprint on my heart was a sitcom called Partners. It was the result of my first development season as a newly minted senior executive in charge of comedy at Universal. I remember receiving the first draft of the pilot. I was battle weary after a long day, but I couldn't wait to read the script. I drew a steaming bath, and settled in. The hot temperature didn't stop me from getting goosebumps. I immediately recognized how good it was -- the humor was smart, and the series had a strong point of view. I was certain the network would agree. A stellar cast, and a renown director were hired. The pilot lead to a celebratory upfront in NY, and an expanding family of talented writers and guest cast were assembled to produce the series. Every week, I looked forward to tape night, but as the season progressed it was evident we had a Must See TV series on the wrong network. I literally got sick when we didn't get a second season renewal. I was crushed to realize that sometimes doing your best isn't good enough. It was my first heartbreak as an executive, my innocence shattered.
This past weekend the writers assembled for a reunion. I was deeply touched to be included. We toasted with the first harvest from one of the creators' vineyard making the evening even more special. I will always be proud and grateful for this amazing experience and the relationships that were forged.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 11:15 PM
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Inspiration comes in all forms! Olga Kostina used 30,000 plastic bottle caps to adorn her home in the isolated Russian village of Kamarchaga. These colorful patterns and images of traditional macrame motifs and various creatures living in the neighboring woodland were created by hammering every cap by hand. The result is a shelter out of a storybook tale.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 7:05 AM
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Posted by Maria Grasso at 8:08 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Got lost in another book this weekend, Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL. AMAZING!! Suspenseful plot built on complex characters. An incredible look at marriage, and the personal frailties that can become a liability in life if we don't attend to our baggage. Not surprisingly, it's been number one on the best sellers list all summer.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Friday September 7, 2012 @ 3:30pm PDTTags: Angela Bassett, NBC, Vanishing Point
Bassett, who just wrapped the feature Olympus Has Fallen, starred in Fox’s Karyn Usher spy drama pilot last season. Gersh reps both Ripley and Bassett. Bassett is managed Lighthouse Entertainment, Ripley by Mosaic Media.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 6:57 PM
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
When I went to visit my father in June, he relayed that my grandmother had been visiting him again. This time he told her he was ready, as soon as the business was sold and my mother was taken care of. The business he was referring to hadn't been their business since they retired eleven years ago. But the property was still theirs. Tenants had been renting the space, but didn't renew their contract in 2011. Given the housing market, the vacant property began to weigh heavily on my parents. They were ready to sell, had several potential buyers, but all had fallen through for various reasons. My mother was already taxed caring for my father and dealing with her own health crisis so I became the point person for the realtor and the lawyer. In the hospital, I gave my father daily updates, letting him know about the various offers and the progress we were making. I promised him we'd sell it, and that my mother would be okay.
My mother called me on my way to work this morning. "It's done", she cried. She's been stoic since my father's funeral, but this broke her. "He should be here for this. We would have popped some champagne, and celebrated. This chapter of my life is closed."
The chapter opened forty-nine years ago, when my father, a hairdresser, was tired of commuting to his parents' salon in Manhattan. He wanted a place of his own. As recent homeowners with two little kids, my parents took a financial risk, purchased one of the model homes in the development, and transformed it into a beauty salon. Growing up we all put in our time answering phones, folding towels (a penny a piece), or shampooing. The salon dominated dinner conversations, sparked lifelong friendships and induced stressful fights. It also gave my parents two defining experiences in their lives -- in the beginning it gave my father much needed independence from his parents, and in later years a way for my mother to thrive as a businesswoman. A little building, filled with a lifetime of memories, is no longer just a little building.
Posted by Maria Grasso at 11:38 PM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
My mind, body and soul craved one thing this weekend: to get lost in a good book. After weeks of crisis and a frenetic schedule I needed to unwind. Social chatter was proving more and more difficult, as was attending to errands and my work to-do list. Given the holiday weekend, I cleared two days and dedicated a greater part of them to reading Cheryl Strayed's WILD. I knew from the synopsis it was going to be the perfect antidote. A young woman in a downward spiral due to her mother's untimely death commits to 100 days backpacking on the Pacific Coast Trail. I was comforted by her journey, the depths she needed to explore to heal and regain her footing. I feel slightly off kilter, and I too am searching for my own challenge, a way to make sense of the last few months. A way to gain perspective.