I fell into a deep slumber on Oscar night, I blame my exhaustion on a steady weekend stream of margaritas and vomit. The margaritas were drunk my me to deal with the constant regurgitation from my son’s mouth and onto most of my home. Sop up the body fluids, then revive with a margarita. Repeat. I was just so darned tired come Sunday night that I couldn’t even keep myself awake to make fun of celebrities.
And, what a scene I missed.
The whole show leading up to the envelope-switching fiasco was a study in poor time management. Between Nicole Kidman’s strange hand-clapping practices, which are certainly a byproduct of her years toiling in the Church of Scientology, to the human herding of tacky common folk sprung from a Hollywood sightseeing tour and thrust into the auditorium like circus freaks, the show was dying a slow and painful death.
I think I passed out right after Rhode Island’s own Viola Davis gave the most practiced, self-righteous acceptance speech in the history of well, a plethora of them. Listen, just like any good Lil’ Rhody, I am incredibly fond of Viola Davis, but her speech almost made me think that I’d caught my son’s stomach bug. I quote directly from her here, “I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” Margaritas, vomit, repeat.
Oh Viola, tell that to the doctors, writers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, firefighters, police officers, bartenders or any other person that is holding down a job in this thing we call “life.” You’ve got to be kidding me.
Then, thankfully, so that we actually have something to talk about at the water cooler of existence, came the moment we will all remember instead of the excellent films, the reading of the wrong winner for Best Picture. The horror! The outrage! Let the mobs get whoever is to blame for such an injustice to these millionaires.
Can we just call the mishap a work casualty? A danger in a work environment where employees may earn up to $ 20 million per role and get lauded with accolades for months during awards season for doing their jobs. My gosh, some commoner from an accounting firm had the audacity to make a mistake and the whole country is treating him like he’s a Trump supporter or something.
Come on, people, they’re stars…just like us. Just like me. And, all this fuss over a mistake reminded me of an error that ended up working out for me.
The year was 2000 and the scene was the booming dot com industry. I was flourishing in this environment and suckling from the teat of a soon-to-be-derailed company’s irresponsible spending. I reveled in the long, liquid lunches and constantly drank fresh lattes from the brand new espresso maker in the run-down company lounge. This crew of slackers turned professionals took smoke breaks every hour and spent morning, noon and night drinking and sleeping with one another. I was 22 and this was my 1st job. I was a copywriter, which just so happens to be tragically close to my current occupation, but my lack of ambition is a different story.
This story is even better, it’s about the time that I was mistakenly fired. Yes, fired in error.
in the chaos of a massive cleaning of corporate house, I was let go. I was fired by the big boss that had only spoken to me once before while screaming at me for ordering him the wrong sized car during a business trip. See, this guy didn’t really know me and he confusingly thought I was on the chopping block. So, without many words, he kindly told me to complete the week and not to come back.
Well, what’s a young woman with no responsibilities do in such a time? Go out with all her coworkers for one last pub crawl and proceed to spend an evening telling people what she really thinks of them. There’s nothing that I am better at than mixing an evening of alcohol, honesty and awkwardness.It was awesome and awful, filled with tears and truth: two things that should never mesh with work.
I crawled into work the next day with my eyes barely open and was informed that my firing was an error and that I didn’t actually even make enough money to be let go. I was, in fact, a valued employee. So, after a night of trash talking and inappropriate behavior in a land of inappropriate behavior, I kept my job and lost a little of my pride and liver.
Till next time, la la land!
49 people dead. That’s all that I can think of right now. Since the news hit regarding the latest horrific tragedy, I keep thinking of how many people make up a crowd of 49.
I was at church and I started counting, 49 people encompassed the whole left side of the church, you know, where the people with the fresh kids sit. I went to a family party on Sunday- five families and we still didn’t equal 49 people.
It’s not about the number because that’s merely a smidgen of the people affected by this disgusting and cowardly act. Those 49 people have sisters, parents, brothers, lovers, ex-lovers and friends that can’t think of anything else other than their dead friend.
When I was a child, a boy in my class was strangled by a scarf that he was wearing while playing in the snow. It was a horrible accident that involved a young boy, a scarf and his dog. I think about that boy all the time. I don’t know his name, but I will never forget the sadness. I’m sure my parents bought me a few ice cream cones around that time, but I don’t remember them at all. I do remember this boy’s parents talking to my kindergarten class about their son’s death. You don’t forget something like that.
49 people at a dance club trying to have a good time on a Saturday evening were just massacred in Florida. Is this really happening?
I keep thinking, “this one hits hard,” but they all do. Then, I move on and get back into my groove and something else happens that rocks me to my core. When is my time? I’m always at a rock show, theater or party, is my time coming? Are we all taking our chances by attending events? I don’t want to live that way.
So, yeah, I feel a little funny writing about how much I dig Cage the Elephant or how the Tonys are the classiest and most amusing award show out there, or telling another drunken story that’s hysterical and pathetic. I couldn’t blog about the Tonys, I was too busy sleeping to try to forget about Orlando. After I put the kids to bed, I was either going to drink or sleep. I chose sleep.
It’s a battle to maintain a blog when chunks of your life keep falling from the cracks in your glass ceiling. I’ve been in the trenches, but spring has sprung and more importantly, there’s been another rock star citing in Rhode Island!
Warning: Please be advised that I do not judge the following bad behavior, and I understand the hypocrisy of wasted- shaming anyone, but it’s a rock star and they are fair game. It was fair for you to wasted-shame me during my 90s tsunami of questionable choices, especially fair for my behavior at that Afghan Whigs show, hot damn, that one was a doozy! I must do what I must do and the following account of a has-been rocker and his sloppy performance is mean spirited, but true.
I recently caught the Julian Hatfield Three at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI. The show was fun; the band got the memo and played the entire Become What You Are album. Juliana did not disappoint, she was dark and brooding while irresistibly adorable. Little fact about Juliana: She’s from Duxbury, MA. My college roomate was also from Duxbury and I engaged in a little Juliana Hatfield- phone harassment in college. I did this kind of thing a lot on college and high school.
The opening band was Potty Mouth, an uninspiring all-girl band heavily influenced by Nirvana. Okay, maybe they weren’t that bad, but I researched them and they all met at Smith College and I suffer from a syndrome called “Smith College college- envy”. My Sylvia Plath obsession leads me to be wrought with emotions over goofing off in high school and not having a shot in hell of going to Smith College. Anyway, Potty Mouth’s guitarist was pretty and I watched as her sloshed, attractive, older-looking roadie beau helped the band with the heavy lifting. I use the term “boyfriend” just because sloshed-aging-roadie guy was affectionate with this well-educated guitar player.
During Juliana’s performance, hot-roadie-guy kept interjecting drunken babble in between songs with an air of authority and reverence. Who was this asshole? Well, it took a moment, but much to my surprise and horror, I realized that this man was Evan Dando of The Lemonheads. You remember him, right? It’s a Shame about Ray, Into your Arms, starring role in Heavy, ex-lover to both Courtney love and Kate Moss, rehab-frequent flyer with a privileged background and a bad attitude? I once LOVED him, he owns all the bad qualities that I am attracted to in a man. He’s still swoon-worthy, but ouch, how the mighty fall hard when they fall.
At the end of the show, I wanted to ask Dando for a photograph for my Christmas card, but it was not clear if he was able to stand up properly. He had such a tight grasp on his little lady’s waste that I thought it best not to bother him. I did shake his hand and inform him that I am a fan. He looked startled, wasted and possibly a little embarrassed.
Oh Evan, it’s okay, it’s all good. You’re still beautiful and you’ve still got a way with the ladies. I see that Dando’s recent tour dates have been cancelled due to ill health. Get better Evan; you’re still one of the coolest Massholes I know.
Okay, enough with the constant negativity, no more cantankerous Kathleen, welcome to the spring-influenced Kathleen. I shed my persona of the malaise, apathy and disdain that I cloak it in, and want to share a few of my favorite things.
Lily James in “Cinderella” I can’t remember the last time I was so astounded by an actor’s performance and by their sheer beauty. Lily James’ performance reminded me why I go to the movies: to get lost in the magic of the story. It was refreshing to be moved without being disturbed, and to see a children’s movie without watching some Oscar-nominated actor try to steal every scene by overacting. Hello, Angelina Jolie and her co-starring “Maleficent” prosthetic cheekbones. More Lily James in absolutely everything, please..
Meet Nick Jonas. Now that Justin Timberlake’s temples are
graying and he’s baby proofing his palace for his super-human baby with Jessica Biel, allow me to pass his torch to Nick Jonas. Oh, “sacrilegious” you cry? Listen and watch again. Nick Jonas has the voice, the vision and the abs to be a pop sensation contender. He polished his roots in a pretty decent boy band, can play a slew of instruments and is flexing his bad boy muscles for all to salivate over, or is that just me?
Fennel keeps me well-preserved. I eat raw fennel every day,
all day long. It’s a fairly expensive habit, but more affordable than some of my nasty young adult addictions. I dig the crunch and the wonders of a vegetable that tastes like black licorice. I’ve been told that it cures an upset stomach, and it does calm me after my daily consumption of gallons of coffee.
Male newscasters are my new rock stars. Oh, George Stephanopoulos, how I enjoy your full head of ruffled hair, your small stature and smart suits. You’re so well-informed, intelligent and Greek. Let’s not forget about geek-chic Dan Harris, that meditating fox. I suggest that we all go somewhere lovely, order a few extra dry martinis and you can both explain the intricacies of Yemen and I can break down the differences between the Jonas brothers.
It’s a Redhead Riot: I am attracted to gingers, I want to be near
them, I enjoy staring at their hair and wonder if it’s turning white like mine. To be fair, my hair is a bottled red, but it was, at one time, before jadedness and wretchedness crept into my pores, it was a lovely red. Redhead’s hair tends to fade and go white, but who cares? The journey was splendid. Much like my fondness for redheads, I am also enamored of freckles, on both men and women. Yes, I am attracted to redheaded men and maybe even married one. The marriage was brief, but his hair was divine. Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Ron Weasley, I’m talking to you, you are my people.
I love Elliott Smith. His music is timeless beauty drenched in melancholy, grit and heroin, his voice sparkles with delicate touches of longing, depression and humor. Watching Elliott Smith play live was a high in my life, I was so close that I could touch him and he was so fucking good. I can’t believe that he died and every year, I feel my own mortality when the anniversary of his death gets longer and longer. He died twelve years ago and his latest CD, “From a Basement on the Hill, has not moved from my life since. Give it a try, it’s angry and lovely, heart-breaking and life-affirming. It’s Elliott.
Moisturizer is my friend.
I’m taking aging by her wrinkled throat, and I am squeezing the life from her. I will not go down without a Housewives-style fight. I slather my face so heavily that I look like an oil spill. When I wake up in the middle of the night because of my aging bladder, I put on a dollop of whatever moisturizer I’ve got, and I have plenty.
I’m creative with my moisturizer, constantly searching for that fountain of youth. I’ve got the store brands, but I also lubricate my face with coconut oil, olive oil and a blend of vitamin e with essential oils. I’ve applied Vaseline, lemon, yogurt and avocados all over my freckled face. The results are not Jen Aniston, but I think I look younger than Lindsey Lohan.
Therapy. We should all be in therapy, there’s nothing that
makes me feel more important and justified. I‘ve seen so many: there was the older gentleman that would cajole me into purchasing expensive handbags because I liked them. He was like a father figure, if my father had absolutely no rules. I’d tell him about a drunken adventure and he’d listen with glee. His office was blanketed in expensive mahogany, and his magazines were top-notch.
I then moved onto a psychologist, a refined, thin, well-maintained woman of a certain age, old-age. She’d try to get at why dressing well was so important to me and chastise me for being so hard on myself. She’d often ask “Do you want to be known as the life of the party?” The true answer is that, yes, I do. Is that a crime?
See, I don’t hate absolutely everything. Next week’s list will include things that I despise and I have a premonition that it will be a bit longer.
Father John Misty, My New Love
My current fascination is Father John Misty, a.k,a. Joshua Tillman, the former drummer for Fleet of Foxes. He sings and writes beautiful folk rock with a political slant and a wicked sense of humor. I saw this performance on David Letterman and was transfixed by the enormity of his voice and the poetry of his words. The song, “Bored in the U.S.A.” is from his newest album “I Love You, Honeybear”- I especially enjoy the laugh track in the song, he’s a pretentious whiner and he’s in on the joke, he’s navigating the whole thing.
I recently got lost in a k-hole of his totally watchable music videos, they’re filled with blood, sex, violence, prostitutes and debauchery.This gem, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” stars bleakly beautiful Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation.
If Scarlett Johansson becomes a pop star, slap me. Hard.
ScarJo, cease the music-making. There was the embarrassing Tom Waits tribute album, an ill-conceived collaboration with Pete Yorn and now this, the Singles, a super-pop, all-girl band fronted by Johansson. If this is good, then I’m dead.
Scarlett, I know that
you attended the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan, a selective private school in Manhattan where you dated Lena Dunham’s beau Jack Antonoff of Fun. and the Bleachers. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
I get it, your extreme beauty forces everyone in your presence into “yes men.” “Yes, Scarlett, you can be a pop star.” NO! You should know the unfair ways of this weary world, but maybe you were filming Home Alone 3 during this important life lesson, so let me break it down for you: One cannot succeed at everything, one really cannot have it all. You’re exquisite looking, talented, cool, seemingly intelligent and just bounced back to your miraculous shape after giving birth months ago- you cannot be a pop star, also.
Don’t get it? Let’s use me as an example. I’m funny, popular, fashionable, and well-read with a good husband and healthy children so obviously I have to be overweight, under employed and have an unsightly underarm perspiration problem. That’s the way the cronut crumbles, didn’t you learn that at your posh preparatory school?
Please, stop making this music and I’ll go back to loving you.
XO, a maniac.
Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is an addictive book that tells the story of Cahalan’s nightmarish medical mystery that attacked her brain and struck her with madness for weeks before being properly diagnosed as a rare autoimmune disorder. Cahalan, a New York Post journalist, was 24 years old at the time she began suffering from seizures that soon resulted in violent, paranoid and erratic outbursts. She was a driven, articulate, interesting and beautiful daughter, girlfriend and writer that woke up to find herself hospitalized for a month, surrounded by the best doctors in the world stumped by what was happening to her brain. Cahalan chronicles her insanity and her loved ones struggles to find out what depleted their intelligent Susannah into a catatonic, sometimes manic patient left without words and barely able to walk.
At first, there’s just darkness and silence.
“Are my eyes open? Hello?”
I can’t tell if I’m moving my mouth or if there’s even anyone to ask. It’s too dark to see. I blink once, twice, three times. There is a dull foreboding in the pit of my stomach. That, I recognize. My thoughts translate only slowly into language, as if emerging from a pot of molasses. Word by word the questions come: Where am I? Why does my scalp itch? Where is everyone? Then the world around me comes gradually into view, beginning as a pinhole, its diameter steadily expanding. Objects emerge from the murk and sharpen into focus.
I know immediately that I need to get out of here.
FROM THE PREFACE OF BRAIN ON FIRE
Cahalan lives to tell her story and her sheer strength as a journalist is evident as she investigates each doctor, every false diagnosis and reviews taped footage of her hospital stay. She interviews family members, nurses and doctors while providing a thorough understanding of the brain and its intricacies. There is not an ounce of vanity in Brain on Fire, Cahalan opens her life and her brain for all to see.