tuesday: 1st proof of our book arrives! “how to stay sane: when it all gets too much”

we are Beside ourselves with excitement, darlings, because the 1st proof of our book about Tobias and his sisters and medical leave and What We Learned is Here!






we are going to read diligently, obtain guidance from lady-of-letters (who has already been super helpful) and meet with various Interested parties and if we are not with Publisher by year’s end we shall self-publish and be glorious under the steam of media-that-is-social.

Secretly we want to get our green card Months early (#bigwish) so we can tell the world who we really are and embark on a new life as an inspirational speaker, traveling by first class, wrapped in a tartan wool blanket on the night train to Geneva to talk at events across the Continent (all of them) and share what we now know about Life.

wouldn’t that be delicious?

In the meantime, the lovely Michele recommended a rousing punch-the-air-woman and be uplifted by the flame haired siren Florence. Tis AMAZING.


The world is changing – can you sense it too?


four weeks ago…….

we were feeling Rather Melancholic this evening and could Not quite work out why…………….



Four weeks ago we were – you know – preparing to go into hospital in the morning to – oh, right, we remember it all now – have our throat slit and tumours/tumors/tobias removed……

Isn’t it Strange how the body knows exact dates?

we have this with other notable occasions in our life. there will be a wistful or melancholic or sometimes downright irritable and spiky and (eek) a Bit Angry (the “mean reds” of Capote, perchance) and then we recall “oh, right. Today’s date, x years ago, is the day when…….(Insert clearly meaningful date that brings memories Flooding Back).

Not sure if we shared this picture with you before.

It’s from September 9th. The late afternoon of September 9th. When we still had the IV in our arm and leg pumps to keep blood flowing round the body and a big neck brace with a bottle to catch our blood in (No Darlings! No Photo of That – far too GOTHIC!)

make do with the leg pumps.

by the way, we are thrilled with how taut and muscular and Tanned our knee looks.

all that swimming in the outdoor pool this summer (the one with the keith haring mural) and basking in the two trips to Los Angeles.

we hope to return to swimming tomorrow (indoor pool now) but we wanted to tell you we’re a tiny bit Scared because the Scar feels awfully vulnerable, you know?

thanks for listening.

we think you are Most Kind to do so.

art supplies, lots of books and creams from Boots The Chemist.

so we did a spot more post-therapy therapeutic retail today, in preparation for our post-surgery confinement:

delicious art supplies and lovely tomes (many of which are gifts from splendid friends) and a most GLORIAous package arrived from england with creams from Boots The Chemist (thank you Belinda!)

we’re almost ready.

less than three weeks to go now.

now we just need to stock up on our supply of liquid eyeliner and replenish the travel-sized atomizer of Chanel No. 5 and slip on our satin robe and we’re ready, darlings.

bring on the home nurse visit (yes, of course we’re going to have someone else popping in with some actual professional medical qualifications – despite What Our Insurance Said – we have a Vast toolset of skills but not one pertains to Wound Care – sigh. brutes.)

off to dinner.

while we still can.

yes, we’re going into the dramatic stage (ED: there was another stage in the life of team gloria??)



doing the paperwork. coping with the bureaucracy. sort of. (+ heading BACK to the Other Coast!)

so team gloria has done the following today:

1. celebrated TEN YEARS in the USA

2. gone to surgeon’s office to wait in the anteroom (lovely victorian word) with the even lovelier j/w (j/w 2 was not with us today) to distract us from the fact that this was the VERY room where we found out we had a “30 % chance of cancer”. we managed to be amusing and distracted, which helped. forms were signed by the surgeon and we are officially getting a full three weeks to recover from throat-being-slit and tobias and his sisters being removed and then being put onto strange gland-growing calcium stuff and a synthetic (we itch at synthetic fibres/fibers by the way) pill that will replicate the organs that have been removed (yum).

3. cried in HR (for our english friends, this is the “personnel department”)

4. cried as we left HR clutching even more forms to get signed (although we were somewhat mollified by the fact that we could do THESE forms on the interweb)

5. stopped crying somewhere between the elevator rides back to our office for the Day Job

6. went on the interweb and filled-out-more-forms

7. we now officially have applied and been accepted for disability (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds)

8. now we wait.

BUT WAIT! excellent news – this just in……

we’re going back to Los Angeles for a business trip – flying out wednesday aug 31st and staying the whole bloody labor day weekend (at our expense just in case someone from our Day Job has worked out this is us OR we are reviewing this page in court sometime in the future when that occurs ;-) it’s creative THERAPY people. we need to be our true selves as team gloria to cope with tobias. shhhhhh! don’t tell on us…….)

over and out. sipping some “get relaxed” tea from the lovely cF now.

yeah. we. are. slightly. manic. at. this. late. stage.


shirley, judith, tobias and his sisters and the spaces in between.

team gloria is inside the spaces in between.

in between what?

we hear you ask (in a lovely baritone over there, how delicious, thank you for that)….

in between times. in between feelings. in between lives. in between chapters.

what on earth are you talking about dear?

(team gloria takes a sip of delicious new fairtrade coffee made by some women-owned farms in central africa – we made that last bit up, couldn’t quite face getting up and checking the data but you get the idea – coffee that not only tastes good, but makes you feel good – yes, we did write advertising copy at one point in our careers – for a meal-replacement bar – not a high point – but the view from the office was quite lovely).

well, since the looming date of september 9th hangs over our heads like the sword of damocles (we do love a little ancient history in the morning), we cannot plan a thing.

we have no idea how we are going to feel – physically, emotionally or in the realms-of-the-spirit – we have no concept of how long the special thyroid-replacement hormone and radioactive iodine in-pill-form (how Valley of the Dolls! and not for the first time in our lives we can say that sadly ;-)

we don’t know how our emotions and motor skills will be affected and for how long.

isn’t motor skills just the loveliest 1920s expression?

“how are your motor skills, maud?”

“oh! darlings! the austin runs like a bloody dream!”

so here we are. the spaces in between. not able to plan. no concept of when we can fly again post-sept 9th (we leave on a jet plane on monday for the Other Coast pre-surgery!), no idea of what length of recovery time is required.

all we have is this: we are going to have surgery. tobias and his sisters will be cut out along with our glands in both sides of our throat and placed onto a white (is it white?) slab and dissected and examined for (oh come on, are you going to make us say it? ok…..


and then we will lie in bed watching the movies that you recommend and writing a novel.

did we not mention that?

we’ve written a few screenplays but a novel-while-convalescing sounds so delicious, non?

here’s a taste.

Perhaps she’d take a lover. After all, her afternoons were now free. Isn’t that what women of a certain age in Europe did? She picked up the smallest paperweight, with the words Gloria picked out in tiny jeweled letters over a celestial blue sky, and, holding it for good luck, walked out of her office and into her new life.

She should have taken the subway, she thought, as the car service crawled downtown. In her new life, perhaps she’d only take the subway and wean herself off the expensive town cars and constant stream of taxicabs.

Money was not going to be a problem. She was rich – her lawyer had made sure of that.

yes – darlings – you guessed it – we are going to lie in bed draped in a silk robe, with stitches in our poor (previously unlined – ahem) neck and write a shirley-conranjudith-krantz-type-oeuvre.

it’s all going to be delicious.

and knowing us (as we do) – highly lucrative ;-)

please don’t eat the daisies, doris.




it’s going to be a movie night chez team gloria’s – with our absolute peach of a fragrant and quite naughty-at-times star – DORIS! (as in Day. although we think Doris Kenyon is dreamy too.)

we need something from you………….if you’d be so kind……….would you send a list of YOUR favorite/favourite movies, darlings? we are compiling a list to purchase (keep it legal, sirs) and watch while we – you know… RECOVER with-a-silk-scarf-around-our-neck (cue small strangled sob and silent movie-esque hands-in-the-air-with-thumbs-pointed-at-dimples – yeah, they came back….we’ve reduced considerably ;-)

hot and humid NY nights: late night bookshop browsing and reading alison bechdel..


team gloria slept through the night for the first time in what feels like months, due to traveling/travelling and general worries about tobias (which, thank you for asking, is noticeably larger in our throat – or are we just a tiny bit slimmer? anyway, difficulty swallowing and long telephone conversations leave us a little scratchy and hoarse – eek).

it was 90-degrees (“awfully terribly silly levels of heat” for our british friends) last night at TEN PM so we took a stroll around the neighborhood/locale and went to our favourite/favorite bookshop: mercer street books.


the thing about a good bookshop is its late hours: mercer street has a sign on the door which charms us every time – “open until ten – sometimes later” – just in case someone interesting drops on by – david bowie lives down the street, after all – and they play the best old vinyl – yes VINYL – which they also sell – so it’s a little like a salon experience. not a salon experience like ottoline morrell (although we’re sure she would have had a stunning vinyl collection if it had been available in her bloomsbury years) but a “hey, man, listen to this” and we all nod our heads as a very rare japanese import of joni mitchell unfolds under the turntable needle.

a true nyc experience indeed.

we took a while to browse (it does have air conditioning, thank god) and picked up a first edition of alison bechdel’s “fun house: a family tragicomic”. alison’s illustrations (and subtext and metatext and all the other bits that are words and meanings) are extraordinary. her site is here and some deliciously sophisticated and very clever french people did a thesis on “fun house”, our favorite/favourite one which you can find here: 

Drag as metaphor and the quest for meaning in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Hélène Tison

Université François Rabelais, Tours

isn’t that just the smartest title for a popular culture treatise?

we thought so.

alison’s book was so absorbing that we sat at the counter (always at the counter – best light – best impression of a 1930s movie) at a late night coffee shop and read it from start to finish.

then we came home and wrote her a note of appreciation (because that’s what we do).

a perfect night.

and then we slept too.

who could ask for more?

off to make ourselves agreeable for the day job which is full of stress and verve and busy-ness and terribly corporate – comme tous jours as one might say if one was still in paris.

actually our delightful american actor friend jF arrived in paris last night – we can’t wait to hear the news…..(hint ;-)

have a beautiful day, darlings.





hello, 3AM. (+ what we’re not seeing)

there’s a huge summer storm in beijing tonight – or is that today – it’s now 3AM – we are wide awake (of course) – and opened up the curtains/drapes to see the sky fill up with lightning and huge fat raindrops hit the window up here on the 76th floor. there’s nothing like a summer storm at 3AM when one has jet lag in a hotel room to make one ponder the meaning of life.

or not.

can’t get the bloody espresso machine to work (and we have an above average IQ so there’s definite frustration behind that statement although we now have a moment of self-ironic glee that we are in a hotel room with its own espresso machine so thank you for listening to that mini rant ;-)

so here’s what we’re not seeing – these are from the last (day job) business trip to china where we took three hours under hugely jet lag swamped conditions to take photographs once before. so here’s what we’re not seeing on this trip (team gloria is feeling all bruised at the idea of another nine hours in an airless room again with back to back meetings BUT we did get windows on this trip – we’ve flown thousands of miles before to sit in rooms without windows, and it was HIDEOUS.)

we’re really naughty about “marking up assets” (i.e re-naming files) but we had a quick go here – so tiananmen square (no comment, for obvious reasons, but that was a transformative moment saying a prayer in the middle and being quiet and respectful and horrified at the same time), summer palace, forbidden city and a three level high modern geisha image at the mall above.

btw, we were also very naughty last night and skipped out of the business dinner – we used tobias and september 9th as an excuse. and then sunk into a massive depression at the very thought of tobias and september 9th to be honest. lots of nightmares about heads being cut off and throats slit. but the main reason we just couldn’t do the dinner (despite legitimate tiredness and tobias feelings – we know that we have to be somewhat fit for the surgery in order to recover properly)……..ok, deep breath……we couldn’t go to the dinner because we overheard someone saying “the coach will pick us up in 30 mins”

we don’t do coaches-to-dinner.

unless they come from the cinderella era.


but dear god don’t tell them.

we’ll be in terrible trouble ;-)