Entries by cougel

To 2017, and the Festival of Lights

2017 began with a big stinking thud, where many of our fears of what the year was to bring unfurled before us, where those fears materialized into realities. It was a year of tragic loss of life with mass shootings, hurricanes, fires, political unrest, distrust, where ugly secrets and heinous abuses against women were revealed. […]

Goodbye my friend, my heart.

I said goodbye to Gemma, my dog of almost thirteen years, yesterday. I had prepared myself for its inevitability for years, with morbid humor, with extra special attention and kisses, and by telling myself that establishing expectations for impending grief can help mitigate it when it comes. How naive of me that was. And yet also, […]

In These Times, Can Reading Fiction Help Create Empathy?

On election night, I, like many, had a meltdown when Trump was in the lead. From the get-go, I struggled with much of his rhetoric, and that it somehow didn’t prevent him from being elected (perhaps the biggest bitter pill to swallow). I also have some friends and family, people I trust and respect, who […]

Our Lives, Our Selves: On Integrating Multiple Personas

Ten years ago, I departed from a different life, a different “me.”  Sometimes I am struck with a shock of dislocation and ask myself, who was that woman, that girl, living in a house in Hollywood, driving to pitch meetings, developing screenplays with my screenwriting partner who was also my husband, who I met in […]

Motivation - and Happiness - Come in Unexpected Ways

I’ve been flying high this week – full of boundless energy – despite the never-ending string of holiday parties. Maybe it’s because I’m drinking less alcohol (and more water), sleeping better, and feeling the holiday cheer. Or maybe it’s because I’m happy. But where does that happy sensation – that lack of restlessness and steady […]

From Badittude to Gratitude

One of my early blog posts in 2011, which asked, Can you be grateful for what you don’t have? focused on a difficult time in my life – when I was stuck in the aftermath of a divorce, and struggling to see the good in my life. I wanted to turn my frown upside down, zap it […]

What Does Your Costume Say About You?

Growing up in an observant Jewish home, I didn’t do Halloween. Instead, the holiday of Purim served as a festive stand in for costumes and revelry. But when I re-entered the New York single scene in my mid-30s and lived downtown, “What are you dressing up as?” (and it better be both sexy and smart […]

Is Your Work Who You Are?

If you’re anything like me, an ambitious and neurotic New Yorker, it’s likely that your job has pretty much taken over your life, or it’s constantly trying to. Pushing its heavy presence against your weary resolve daily, and you either push back, or give up and let it become not only an expression of your […]

Keeping Up With Kippur

Yom Kippur fell smack in the middle of the work week this year – on a Wednesday – which is always my busiest day and the apex of the week, so observing it posed a greater challenge than usual. Unplugging from life’s whirl was going to be difficult. I’m the east coast solo-ship of my […]