‘You can do anything for one year’ and other fibs we tell ourselves.

Standard

“I’m going to learn to understand and enjoy football this season,” I fib to myself again this fall. I trudged through last night’s 33:3 Patriot’s game and all it did was remind me of my new personal relationship with the number 3.

I’m soon to start my third job within three years. Yes, I’ve committed career kamikaze but I’ve luckily landed on the right side of sanity. And I’m happier than Tom Brady devouring a bowl of avocado ice cream , more fulfilled than Meghan Markle humiliating her 14th personal assistant. Gosh, I’m HBO’s Euphorialevel blissed out of my mind!

After a solid career of staying at jobs for a respectable amount of time, two years ago I started a new, fabulous job…only to leave one year later for a job with a much smaller commute, a pay increase and room for advancement.

Sounds smart, if only the job was close to what it was offered to be. It wasn’t, I became miserable and a search for a new job commenced. Funny thing about hiring managers though, they don’t dig candidates who move jobs repeatedly.

For 365 days, I recited an uninspiring mantra while searching for my next job, “You can do anything for a year.” I’m now fairly certain that doctrine only pertains to actions like eating carrots, appreciating jazz, and reading War and Peace because staying at an unhappy job for four New England seasons can deliver a Britney-breakdown.

Think about it, has anyone advised you, in the midst of a damaging relationship, to just give it a year? It’s the silliest advice I’ve swallowed since I convinced myself I could learn to become attracted to an actuary named Gregor JUST because his name was Gregor, or when I assured myself I had the physical and psychological strength to zipline. Gregor, the zipline and I all had disastrous outcomes but I did make it EXACTLY to 365 days at work and welcomed the day with a resignation letter and a new job I’m going to adore.

So there’s a new me now and I’m thrilled. Soon, I start a fresh job at a social services agency doing what I do. And I’ve had a little time off between jobs to digest some cool pop-culture and here are three things I dig.

  1. Hulu’s Shrill

Shrill is a hysterical Hulu series about Annie, a confident overweight writer, living a full life. What I enjoy about the show is that it doesn’t spend gobs of time focusing on Annie’s weight or pursuit for thinness; it’s about the trials and tribulations of an apartment-dwelling funny girl  making it in the hipster world of Portland, Oregon. SNL’s Aidy Bryant is a gem and the show is refreshing, honest and filled with cool music and surprising cameos.

 2. Lana Del Rey’s Normal F$%^ing Rockwell!
Don’t listen to Lana Del Rey’s 5th album if you’re looking for the next Summertime Sadness, this is a quietly mesmerizing and haunting library of songs about loss, heartache and the Trump era’s crushing of the American dream. It’s also clever in a sly, understated way. 3. Kieran Culkin in HBO’s Succession I found a new favorite actor and he’s Kieran Culkin in HBO’s Succession. Watching him every week is a marvel at the audacity of the English language and the sheer potential for ultimate cruelty that simple words strung together can produce. His character, Roman Roy, is ruthless and humane, all in one pint-sized man body. More Culkins in everything, please!

Dolores O’Riordan: A Study Abroad Love Story

Standard

What is it about these rock stars’ deaths that shakes me so? It seems that each one has its own personal connection to my formative years. I grieve for them as I lament my youth slipping away. Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries always seemed so much older than me, but really, we were peers. Contemporaries. If she were a male rock star, I’d be way too old to be her lover.

Dolores O’Riordan’s death at age 46 sends me back to my senior year in college when I studied abroad in Ireland. I went alone, opting not be part of a large group of Americans trekking over to Europe together and ended up surrounded by a bunch of cool Irish girls at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth.

Kathleen 5

21-years old in Ireland.

I was nursing a broken heart and an increasingly-nasty designer-drug habit, but nobody there knew that.  My family and friends certainly didn’t know that I was envisioning this pilgrimage as a kind of cleaning out process, a rehab with college credits. Surely, I wasn’t going to hang out with the same crowd in Ireland that I was in America.

I was right. I cleaned myself right up, quickly gained 20 pounds and enjoyed every drunken second of the endless, yet wholesome party. I put away the tweezers, paused the black eyeliner fascination and started eating meat. I can’t tell you why I decided to stop eating meat as a teenager, but after one day in Ireland, I was wolfing down cheeseburgers like I was used to sucking down Camels.

Really, I’d never looked better.

Some fresh Irish country air: Better than rehab.

My own private Ireland.

This was before the time when music lovers had an arsenal of tunes at their fingertips. I didn’t lug any music with me in my overstuffed luggage; how was I going to pack Nirvana cds when I had so many corduroys and Doc Martens to bring? But, this was Ireland and The Cranberries provided the new lush soundtrack to my life. “Linger” was my battle cry, an answer to my lovesickness for a boy that I hated so much I was convinced it was pure love.

Kathleen Ireland 3

Sometimes you have to leave home to realize how screwed up it really is.

In Ireland, I learned that my adolescent obsession with Sinead O’Conner was respected, but that The Cranberries and Dolores’s piercing voice were truly the sound of Ireland. Perhaps it was because I was no longer home that I relinquished myself to this fresh sonic love. I shed my Nirvana obsession and enjoyed some moody, Irish pop music.

Rest in peace, Dolores and thanks for all that beautiful noise.

Coffee, Booze, ‘Housewives’ + Uber: Thanks for everything.

Standard

It’s the most phony time of the year!

Oh, the holidays. Everyone gets sappy and thankful for a few days before gouging each other’s eyes out for a sales item on Black Friday. It’s the time of year when I pretend that I’ve dutifully received my flu shot while those that know me pretend not to judge every time I cough.

Ho, ho ho. Cough, cough, cough.

Here’s an honest look at what I’m thankful for:

giphy (4)

‘Twin Peaks’ & coffee, I thank you!

Coffee

Because without it, you’d never see me leave my house.

I ran out of coffee once last year and I verbally abused my housemates until someone fled the scene to purchase my elixir.  Some might say I’m addicted, but it’s more like I’m alive. I’m fond of the taste, the buzz and even the bitter aftertaste. I like to challenge myself and my insomnia to the limits of decency and somehow, I feel like a winner.

giphy (8).gif

JLaw, don’t change a thing. Thanks for ‘Mother!”

Alcohol

Beer, white wine, gin or vodka- I have no prejudice. I’m super appreciative of alcohol because without it I wouldn’t socialize nearly as much as I do. And, if I cease socializing, I’ll miss out on the one hobby I have that doesn’t involve being entertained or purchasing clothes. So, this rounds on me, but please do order a cheap one.

giphy (6)

While I’m at it, JLo and David Duchovny, I thank you both, too.

Dresses

I’m a creature of habit and exclusively wear dresses or pajama pants. It’s not JUST that I want to be fancy, which I do, but it’s more that I’m lazy. A dress is a dress and voila, you’re dressed. Throw on some tights or run a jagged razor over your legs and that’s it. The whole pants and top thing gets so tiresome. Like, do I tuck in or tuck out? Do I really have to suck in my gut all damned day or can I unbutton at my desk?

Courtney Love & Courtney Barnett

I’ve got a thang for Courtneys and these are two C’s are the coolest people on the planet. From Courtneys Love’s 2005 all-telling warning to Hollywood starlets about Harvey Weinstein to Courtney Barnett’s recent collaboration with Kurt Vile, I just want a Courtney baby from these two.

Perhaps a duo is in their future?

Uber

Oh Uber, where were you when I needed you most (ages 22-32)?

What’s not to love about cruising into town with somebody else driving? I’m sorry to all the city taxi drivers out there, but in suburbia, a night out with anyone is not complete without an Uber, an awkward conversation with the driver and road sodas.

source (1).gif

Luanne never disappoints & I thank her for that.

The ‘Bravo Housewives’ Franchise

I’ve had to shed many of the “Housewives” seasons in an effort to sound more intelligent at alcohol-fueled parties, but I just can’t quite quit the Beverly Hills or New York City shows. This season, John Cougar Mellencamp’s daughter joins the BH posse to partake in catfights, drinking sessions and shaming her father. I’d better set my DVR now!

For pure laughs and shocking behavior performed by pretty people, you just can’t beat the “Housewives.” Add in some D-grade celebrity spottings and it’s pure television magic. It’s a cocktail of cocktails, plastic surgery, multiple marriages, supermodel children with home-school educations and lavish vacations spent fighting.

giphy (7).gif

‘Home for the Holidays’ Best Thanksgiving movie. I thank you.

So here’s to you and your turkey this Thanksgiving! Let’s all be thankful for honesty and try not to wallow in self-righteous babble.

I’ll give it the ol’ college try if you will!

I’m measuring my life in fainting spells.

Standard

Like any good alt-Victorian lady, I’m prone to fainting spells, fond of hats, hysterics and cumbersome clothing.

I like to think of these fainting episodes as a true mark of my neuroses. Trails of my faints weave throughout my life and color memories of doctor’s offices, tattoo parlors & rock shows.

I can’t be sure when it began, but I do recall an unfortunate slip of a stapler in 4th grade that produced a bloody finger, panic and my 1st school faint.

Sybil

Do yourself a favor, don’t ever watch this movie.

I went on to faint TWICE during a teacher’s attempt at teaching high school psychology by showing the 3 1/4-hour mediocre miniseries, Sybil, in class. Creepy Sybil crashed her hand through a window and, much like my brother’s same exact faint 2 years before, I crashed out of my lab chair and forever cemented myself in my classmates’ freaked-out minds. In the ensuing chaos, the teacher failed to turn the movie off and guess what? I came to… just to collapse again.

I will never be able to look at Sally Fields without getting swoony.

Victorian

Like a Victorian woman, I’m prone to fanciness & fainting.

Like everything else, the faints of my young adult years morphed into a more disturbing condition and at a higher rate of consistency. Damn, I was passing out left and right. When I couldn’t take the heat, literally and figuratively, I would collapse into unconsciousness for a minute or two.

True to my alternative roots, I longed for piercings and tattoos. Three piercings & fainting spells later, I was looking pretty cool…and wimpy. I fainted with each new hole in my body. But, I REALLY wanted that nose ring, so I went for it.

That’s some twisted braveness.

Image (14)

My fainting was at an all-time high. Can’t explain the dolls hanging from nooses made of tulle.

The tattoos were another episode.  At 16, I gifted my already-tattooed super-cool high school flame with a gift certificate to a tattoo shop. My ride to purchase it? Um, my mom. Later, 3 of my friends & I embarked on an ill-advised pilgrimage to get the same tattoo. I fainted and caused a scene, we were obviously underage and the “fainting girl” is always a party-pooper.

Even writing about fainting makes me want to faint.

Image result for passing out in church

a 1744 oil painting by Pietro Longhi called Fainting

Another legendary faint happened during a party I was hosting on a college break.  This party was a little different from the nightly parties I threw while my mother spent weekends in another state, this party attracted the loveliest girl from high school. She showed up and she fainted! Just from witnessing her faint, I fainted. I came to by myself, alone, slumped against my refrigerator while the whole party fawned over my co-fainter. I got it, I was old news in the fainting circles.

Dual fainting girls really brings down a party, I assure you.

I went on to have 3 children naturally. As you can imagine, it wasn’t because of a dislike for painkillers, it was because I fainted even thinking of that needle. As luck would have it, I fainted in my sister’s delivery room while she was receiving her IV. I woke up and was immediately moved from the premises.

I fainted last weekend from intense pain in my lower back and it’d been a few years since I’d done so. It’s terrifying and funny, and it feels close to death. You’re in there somewhere, but everything is muffled. I only realize I’ve fainted because I remember the familiar fog and the panicked voices coming in and out, “wake up, wake up!”

Gotta go, I’m feeling a little woozy. Till next faint.

 

 

Millennials Killed Feminism & Gen Xers can’t even make it to the funeral.

Standard

I thought I had the best idea for a funny blog and plan on going ahead with it, but first, I must acknowledge that it’s been the most disgusting week , even worse than when poor Barb was found decomposing in the upside down world on Netflix’s Stranger Things.

I promised myself not to get too political on social media or at parties, but the Donald Trump “grab them by the pussy” story has got to be a new low, even for a man that bastes himself with tanning oil, chauvinism, Viagra and bad fashion.

trumpy

Oh Trumpy, do you kiss your mail-order bride with that mouth?

First, don’t get it twisted- I’m not even a huge Hillary Clinton supporter,  I am a true Gen Xer so I don’t really like anything, other than Courtney Love. And gin. And Jared Leto circa My So Called Life time.

But now that this sniffling, orange statement of tackiness, ineptitude and victimization took a dump on our political stage, I love Hillary about as much as I loved getting wasted at every Lollapolooza. Yeah, I’m that serious.

If I can find ANYTHING amusing about Trump’s recent leaked tape, it’s that he refers to himself as a  “star”: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Oh, you misguided Ommpa-Loompa, you’re not a STAR! You’re a D-grade celebrity whose claim to fame is a show that nobody has watched in years.

Millennials Killed Feminism & Gen Xers are too “busy” to care.

jeremyisback-feature-jpg

Lena Dunham-  The new leader of feminism (for every college-educated white girl in Brooklyn).

I’m a feminist. There, I wrote it. And, I loathe new-age feminism.

There, I wrote that, too.

It’s too easy to blame it ALL on the millennials, but Lena Dunham‘s smug stare of entitlement, importance and good breeding jolts me pissed and I have to cast generalizations everywhere.

Oh damn, I just ridiculed a woman, is my feminist card revoked?

Well, I’ve read every word of Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique & Jong’s Fear of Flying, do I get it back now? They both sure as hell beat Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham, but that’s another rant.

See, Lena Dunham, our fearless new leader, has formed a new brand of feminism. One where women can’t speak poorly about other women no matter what. We can’t observe that Kim Kardashian probably should have had security while she  went to bed IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY with $11 million in jewelry in her room. Lena argues that we shouldn’t be making jokes because Kim Kardashian is “someone’s mother and daughter.” Well, her mother is Kris Jenner so there goes the “someone’s daughter” argument.

Stop it! I can’t say that, we must all have each other’s politically-conscious, Urban-Outfitters-adorned backs!

main-realitybites

I should do something about all this, but “Reality Bites” is on tv. Maybe tomorrow.

AGH! I get so angry that I want to scream!

But, I wont. We Gen Xers are so darned busy planning our children’s schedules for every minute of their free time to make up for the neglectful parenting that we endured that we barely have time to rock the Anthropologie 40% off sale. Then, we start to feel so old & boring that we  schedule our own social lives with rock shows, book clubs and movie dates because we feel awful about how goddamned uncool we got.

It’s exhausting, so just screw it and pass me the Zima, please.

I’m About to Kick a Beyhive

tumblr_naufb6OFwI1qc3ni5o1_500.gif

Send all hate mail right to Rhode Island.

I respect Beyonce’s astounding talent, beauty, obvious intelligence and drive. Really, I do. So please, put down your hammer. But, is it a badge of feminism to create the masterpiece that is Lemonade, and have virtually the whole album be an angry portrayal of adultery, revenge and ultimately, forgiveness?

If art is life and life is art, are we to believe that the Queen Bey lets her Machiavellian-like, father-figure of a husband, Jay Z., cheat on her and forgive him? Are we really to believe that it’s “Becky with the good hair” fault?

I don’t know, something doesn’t resonate. If that is a triumphant act of feminism, then I’ll let Trump grab me by the…well, you know.

Oh well, whatever, never mind.

rihanna-grabs-crotch-v-festival

We’ve come a long way, baby. Pop singers grab crotches just like men!

I’m a feminist afraid of being honest for fear of not adhering to this new set of feminist logic. I can ridicule Angelina Jolie for stealing two hours and 12 minutes of my life by directing “By the Sea,” surely the worst movie ever made, but I can’t voice my opinion on her being a nutcase, right?

Jolie is an obvious piece of work, a homewrecker and a joke. Did I just get in trouble again? Was I just supposed to blindly side with Brad Pitt because there’s been murmurs of his drunken behavior? I mean, he is a man and I am a woman so I better just go with her.

And yes, I understand that I do not really know any of these people, but we all do know these people, right? People just like this.

I want to confess that although I love to gaze at Lena Dunham’s out-of-shape ass on “Girls” (looks better than my fat ass), that doesn’t make the show interesting, the Lenny newsletter very readable or her a spokesperson for feminism. It makes her brave and slightly overweight, but we’re not really breaking new ground here, folks.

 

 

 

Prince’s Death & Gynecology: A Vacation Day Of Horror

Standard

Nothing kills a vacation day like the death of your childhood idol quickly followed by a Pap smear.

I took a day off today to relax. But because I rarely plan anything other than partying and going to rock shows, I forgot that I’d also scheduled my annual OB GYN appointment in the afternoon. Then Prince died. What a wretched waste of a perfectly good vacation day.

A few facts about me:

  • I loathe going to the doctors. I was FOUR years overdue for this annual appointment, the possibility of having to give blood outweighs any reasoning and I neglect physicals, podiatrists and anyone with a white coat.
  • I love music like most people love their animals.

Blog Photo

Prince was one of those loves for me. I went to see him in concert as an adolescent and it was a life-altering experience. I was an awkward Catholic kid covered with freckles and dysfunction in a rural Massachusetts town, I had to find my own escapes and Prince delivered on that evening. I learned about sex from watching “Purple Rain.” I watched the movie so many times that I can still recite the whole damned thing. I know because I’m doing it right now.

These days hit me hard. Maybe it’s the taste of my own mortality, or perhaps it’s that I am so in love with myself at that age. I love that little me more than I can communicate. I see the promise, the intellect, the creativity and I can smell the looming derailment. It’s tricky terrain in there, like the wart on my foot that I just can’t stop digging at, I want to get to the root and pull it out to marvel at its bloody splendor.

That’s what nostalgia really is, it’s not truly about the person or thing that we loved so much, it’s more about missing ourselves at that age. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve purchased new Prince music, but it doesn’t matter, I love him for who he was and more importantly, who I was when he touched me.

Here’s to Prince, the pop icon that always stayed cool.While poor Madonna engages in a tacky custody battle for the world to see, and Cyndi Lauper disappears into “Kinky Boots” land, Prince never lost a shred of authenticity. Rest in peace, Prince.

And make your annual OB GYN appointment- the stirrups are less uncomfortable than I remember.

 

I’m measuring my life with rock show stubs and fainting spells. Lessons learned from rock shows.

Standard

It started innocently with Cyndi Lauper. Proudly clad in a purple stoned wash miniskirt while sporting high-top mint green Reeboks, I breathed in my first concert air. It was love at first screech. Each concert taught me a valuable lesson and this one was: Opening bands can be a necessary evil. At 10, I was cooler than opener Eddie Money.

Appollonia is starting to take of her shirt. My 12-year old self is watching on repeat.

Appollonia is starting to take of her shirt. My 12-year old self is watching on repeat.

Prince and all his filthy brilliance came next. I never knew someone could move like that. I remember blind folds, heavy breathing and squeals, but mostly, I remember the music. It sounded electrifying, dirty and important. I’d already watched Purple Rain more times than I’d brushed my teeth. I’d hit pause and watch as Apollonia disrobed, shocked at her voluptuousness.

B1990

I saw the Eurythmics in this.

The Madonna show forecasted my soon-to-be troubled teen years. 13 years old, I boldly swiped beers from a parent’s fridge and encouraged my friends to slug them seconds before entering said parent’s vehicle. Hustling into a Subaru, cheap beer on our breath, red lipstick smeared on our lips, we were caught.There were threats of canceling the night, but I knew how much those tickets cost, and I knew there wasn’t a chance. I had secretly borrowed a set of my mother’s rosary beads and her black bra. Soon after entering the arena, off came my Benetton rugby and out came my newly developed breasts and rosary beads. A star was born.

Cyndi, Prince and Madonna: the Holy Trinity of late 80s pop music. Mine for the night at the Worcester Centrum, Massachusetts. Throughout the years, beers and the hear loss, I learned more rock-show etiquette:

  1. Don’t gift your kid concert tickets unless you actually

They were better than Metallica.

They were better than Metallica.

know your kid.  Are you flummoxed that I’ve seen Bell Biv Devoe? Ditto. A good pal’s loathsome mother gifted her Nirvana-loving daughter with…surprise…three tickets to Bell Biv Devoe! Always a good sport, I laced up my Doc Martens and dutifully shook my nonexistent arse to classics such as Do Me! and Poison.

It wasn't legal, but it was fun.

It wasn’t legal, but it was fun.

2. One is never too young to fail at being a groupie: I started out small with a local band, but I had goals and aspirations for so much more. My 15 -year old mind focused on becoming a Mighty Mighty Bosstones groupie. It never really happened, but not from a lack of effort. I had what every wanna-be-groupie needs: a best friend that topped 5’10, a lusciously cascading mane of hair, a bona fide bad-girl girlfriend, absent parents and sheer recklessness. It was a recipe for groupie-galore.

My focus was on meeting rock stars more than classwork. I may have been just getting by in school, but I really wanted to get by with some B-grade rock stars. I schemed, I lied, I stalked, and I succeeded, maybe not in the biblical sense, but enough to be a lil’ rock star in my small world.

I'm with the band.

I’m with the band.

Concert-going taught me more than the nuns at my Catholic college. I soon graduated to see Hole, Beck, Nine Inch Nails and every Lollapoooza. My rock intellect was sharpening while my ears were constantly ringing.

3. Fainting at rock festivals is a downer. I was dehydrated while Lindsey Lohan was drinking baby formula. At 20, it was unfathomable to drink water when there were so many more attractive substances to drink in. Yet another health lesson gleaned from rock shows: Severe dehydration will cause a young me to faint. Fainting will certainly welcome the paramedics to visit you and your suspicious friends. These circumstances will sober you up, and ruin an evening. Drink water, bring sunscreen, and take it easy.

Riot Grrl.

Riot Grrl.

4. Rock music is religion. I spied God at a Hole concert. I remember when it happened, when I decided that I would spend gobs of time reading about Courtney Love, obsessing over her and even trying to look like Ms. Love. I was crushed against the stage at Lupo’s in Providence, RI after waiting over an hour for Hole to play. Exhaustion, paranoia and dehydration did not deter me, and right before I almost fainted, Courtney Love stammered onto the stage. I saw the light. I saw her underwear, her cleavage and a even bit of her battered soul.

These boots are made for concerts.

These boots are made for concerts.

The curmudgeon in me misses the old rock show. The smoke was always so thick, why not light up a Camel Light and contribute to the taint? Now, I spy teenagers at rock shows snapping picture after picture, what will they do with all those damn pictures? Don’t they know  they’re missing out on valuable make-out time? Priorities, kids, priorities.