April Showers Bring Mayday Mudslides

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Two toothpaste containers and menstrual cycles ago, I shut my door and buried myself with books, ample facial moisturizer, and “Mad Men.” Sometime in March, I put on an eternal pot of strong coffee that has somehow produced a pond of joe from which I drink all day, every day.

Other than a few trips to the Zombieland grocery store, a walk with my zany sister, and a sad meetup with my best friend where we each sat in our cars and conversed through the cracks in our windows, I’ve been here. I’m watching my children outgrow the clothes they wear, and wondering what’s next.

Nothing is funny anymore, is it? Every complaint and gossipy story must be prefaced with a “I know I’m lucky not be sick,” or “I hate to complain, but…” Can’t we be grateful to be healthy AND be disappointed in this horrifying situation – while fitting in wisecracks? Perhaps we can all give each other a chance to whine and vent without being so judgmental.

So here it is, some things that have spread a smile across my stressed face.

A Love Letter to Ben

The relief we all crave.

Ben Affleck has been popping up during COVID with his new girlfriend, star-on-the-rise Ana de Armas. They gaze at each other lovingly, like new beautiful lovers do.  As they clutch their Dunkin’ coffees, dog leashes and donuts, they’re effortlessly and casually chic.

Ben is an honest slice of Americana, a man bold enough to smoke a cigarette, in public, while wearing his mask. Ben’s deep drag on his butt is the collective relief that we’re all desperately craving. One doesn’t have to be a smoker to know that need. I feel it every time I pass my pantry and stuff chips into my mouth, looking down at the crumbs that have fallen on my kitchen floor and not really caring. I feel that release as I down my eighth cup of coffee, knowing that I just extended my bedtime to 2 a.m. and not caring.

Ben, I thank you for your loyalty. You’re steadfast in your zest for coffee, nicotine, and Boston. I thank you for your daily COVID walks, no doubt traipsed by paparazzi. I appreciate your white beard hair, fluctuating weight and honest portrayal of your battle with addiction.     

Somewhere in Malibu, Jennifer Garner is rolling her little eyes.

Notes During Quarantine

Reality TV’s Basic b&^ch.
  • When I pleaded for a celebrity scandal, I wasn’t hoping for Kristen Cavallari and Jay Cutler divorcing. Yup, I’m guilty of watching “The Hills” and “Very Cavallari,” and I can assure you that Kristen Cavallari is the most boring “celebrity” of all time, that Jay Cutler provides the only entertainment on “Very Cavallari,” and that somewhere there’s a “Bachelor” reject waiting to marry Cavallari in a soon-to-be televised reality series. YAWN.
  • I can cook approximately nine dinners and if I ever eat them again, I may never want to eat again.
  • Proving, once again, that Britney Spears is the celebrity gift that keeps giving, Queen Spears recently announced that she burned down her own gym. In her own words, “Hi guys, I’m in my gym right now. I haven’t been in here for like six months because I burnt my gym down, unfortunately.” Thank you, Britney. You are what the world needs right now.
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  • I just watched all 92 “Mad Men” episodes again. I know there are so many new programs to watch but I needed the comfort of double nostalgia. Nostalgia for a time I never lived and nostalgia for a cooler time when I watched the series. I love everything about “Mad Men” and watching it again is refreshing and sobering. Don Draper is a wretched man, Peggy Olsen is a comedic revelation of ambition and sadness, and January Jones’s Betty Draper is what nightmares and daydreams are made of.
  • It’s impossible to know if people are smiling or frowning behind their masks and it makes interactions extra scary.
  • Fiona Apple’s new album “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is exactly what I hoped it would be and so much more. There could not be a more fitting soundtrack for quarantine than this poetic masterpiece.

The Art of a Car Ride, Pop Music + a Plea for a Celebrity Scandal

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Day 666 of quarantine. Reality is setting in. The days cascade through gratefulness, fear, empathy and what is that? Anger, I think. Healthcare workers, grocery store employees and to-go servers are heroes and offer me a rare glimpse of human interaction beyond my four walls.

Quarantine makes me nostalgic for my teen years when freedom arrived in the form of a car. The anticipation of getting my license was so severe that I failed my driver’s test twice. TWICE. I attribute the failures more to anxiety than poor driving skills, but I finally nailed it on my 3rd time and took to the roads with a Chevrolet something.

Much like right now, driving through the windy roads of a small town, with pop music blaring, was all there was to do. It’s what I’m doing every afternoon now and here’s what I’ve noticed.

“Hot Girl Bummer” is Perfection

After years of silly resistance, I now embrace weird rap. What I dig is the honesty, lack of pretense and its boasts of illegal and poor behavior. I’ve had enough of the phony positivity of Lizzo and Lovato and prefer to listen to fairy tales of promiscuity, excessive partying and girl fights. “This that throw up in your Birkin bag, hook up with someone random.” Smells like teen spirit to me.

Speaking of teen spirit, the song’s tone reminds me of Nirvana. It’s angry and funny, with a keen eye on youth’s beauty and ugliness. “F#$k you and you, and you. I hate your friends and they hate me too.” Thank you, Mr. Blackbear, now please cool it with the facial tattoos.

Kurt Cobain + My Numbers Problem

I’m bad at numbers. I have to REALLY think before I can answer the years my children were born. My oldest is easiest, it’s 2001. But every year around the beginning of April I remember that it’s Kurt Cobain’s death anniversary. The hint of spring jolts me with a whiff of alertness and I recall that spring feeling with news that Cobain died. I tend to live in the past, in my head, and the quarantine escalates my dwelling.

Driving around with nowhere to go while trying to figure out the meaning of life is exactly what I’m doing these days, exactly what I was doing when “Nevermind” was released, and what I was doing around the time Cobain died. As the April 5 anniversary came and went without much news, I realized how much has changed but how little we change. Like 1994, I’m savoring car rides, writing and awaiting a new Fiona Apple album.

Fiona Apple Reemerges

Sensing Gen Xers’ malaise, Fiona Apple sweeps in and will release her first album in eight years on April 17. To share that I’m excited is as immense an understatement as “Meghan Markle’s dull” or “Britney Spears is strange.” I count down the days until I can listen to her new album and I’m sure I’ll keep it in my car’s outdated CD player until her next album is released during my retirement.

No Celebrity News Isn’t Good News

Perhaps Beyonce, Jay Z and Solange can get into another elevator.

I’m watching the news throughout the day and so saddened, but I feel like something’s missing: the universe needs something frivolous to focus on.

Consider this a personal plea to the Gwyneths, Madonnas, Brads and Britneys to mess shite up with a scandal hot enough to avert our attention for a day or two. Divorce, a secret marriage or a disastrous elevator ride will do.  Heck, I’ll settle for a cheating scandal, rehab or an unplanned pregnancy.

A juicy celebrity scandal should be a part of their agent’s contract. Come on, they owe us one. Brad Pitt, the epitome of coolness, could take one for the team and have an Instagram live wedding to some unheard-of environmentalist. Or maybe he and Jennifer Aniston could pretend to get back together again ­– just to entertain us now that we’ve finished “Tiger King”, “Ozark” and the entire “Madmen” series for a 3rd time.

Hollywood, think about it and feel free to contact me for guidance. I will be sitting right here, unless I’m driving around thinking of alternative music.

xo

I was a strange kid.

The Oscars, Insomnia, and Narcissism

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As I stuff my face with chocolates, but only between 11 AM until 6 PM because I’m intermittent fasting, I ponder the Oscars and how annoying insomniacs are. Happy Valentine’s Day to you from me!

To know me is to know I’m plagued by insomnia, and that’s because I never shut up about it. I wonder: Are insomniacs really narcissists who just can’t stop thinking about themselves long enough to fall asleep?

I think I’m onto something here.

I occasionally go a night without sleep and find myself telling strangers about my sleepless night. “Good morning, how are you?” asks uninterested coworker. “Well, I had a dose of total insomnia last night, let me tell you,” I begin.

That unasked-for response elicits an Oscars-sized yawn from all. I mean, who, other than my mother, cares that I can’t sleep? Nobody. But that doesn’t stop me and fellow insomniacs from detailing our plight for all.

That’s another problem I have: an almost compulsive aversion to small talk. I must go ALL in. Is this another sign of narcissism? Damn, I’m in trouble.

An innocent response is that I should take Ambien, but if you happened to know me in September 2003, you’ll surely remember why I can’t take Ambien.  I treated that stuff like it was Molly and stayed up for hours calling friends I hadn’t spoken to in years. If I liked driving, I’m sure I would have pulled a Patrick Kennedy (whom I love and have a history of hitting on) and drove around Rhode Island in a stupor.

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The eye roll felt around the world.

Jaoquin + Renee Z. Worry Me Sleepless

After watching the Oscars last Sunday, crazy ol’ Joaquin Phoenix and batty Renee Zellweger caused a bout of insomnia that lasted till morning. I’m worried for them and the Oscars in general. If a bunch of Hollywood stars looking beautiful can’t create a watchable evening, who can?

I blame Joaquin Phoenix’s jarring acceptance speech and his insistence that I drink my coffee without milk! I don’t sleep, coffee with milk and Bravo are the only things keeping me alive. No milk with my coffee? Joker, puhleeze.

Don’t take my milk from me, Phoenix.

I can’t think of what I would like less: being forced to watch The Joker or drinking my coffee without milk.

So, here’s what I was thinking about while I tossed and turned:

  • Timothée Chalamet is a vision of beauty.
  • Renee Zellweger’s accent is as unpredictable as her acceptance speeches. Welcome back, crazy lady, but don’t stay too long, your cats are waiting.
  • Brad Pitt is Hollywood royalty and his acceptance speeches are as lovely as his hair.
  • Thank you, Oscars, for not including the Kardashians.
  • Eminen has still got it.
  • Hot damn I love that Billie Eilish, but I ask her to pipe up a little. Her singing is so…quiet and I’m slightly deaf from a 1996 Ministry show.

May your Valentine’s Day be as warm as Angelina’s heart is cold.

The 2020 Grammys, Worse Than Christmas 2019

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The Grammys are like Christmas for me, minus the failed expectations, strained family conversations, and excessive spending. Much like Christmas, the Grammys give me pop culture gifts that I savor all year, it involves weird Jesus talk, and feels like it lasts for an eternity. This Grammys we had Alicia Keys act as our Lord Savior, spouting ridiculous self-help gobbledygook and Camila Cabello played Scrooge by ruining everyone’s night while also losing her own soul.

Well, ho, ho, ho…Merry Grammys!

I do love a flautist.

Lizzo opened the Grammys with a whiff of fresh air, her unmistakable bellowing voice, and a sassy sense of humor. Heck, she even busted out the flute. Love her, dislike her, you can’t deny that she sang the songs you heard everywhere in 2019 and she was the perfect opener for a bummer of an evening.

No, Gwen, NO!!

Gwake just jumped the So Cal shark.

I either just caught my son’s Christmas flu, or watching Gwen and Blake Shelton sing insipid words to each other made me dizzy and feverish with discomfort. Their “Nobody But You” song will soon destroy every wedding dance floor, but for now it just hurt me to watch these two lovebirds grasp each other’s hands as tightly as they’re holding onto their fame. Come on Gwake, hurry it up and release your children’s book, country cookbook, followed by a boring memoir and then perhaps we can all be done with it.

Tyler the Creator Stuns Karens Everywhere

Tyler the Creator, someone I only know from my infinitely cooler 18-year-old daughter, was beautifully jarring. His frenetic set was absolutely new, dangerous and visionary. All the Karens, Chads and OK Boomers were up in arms that they “just didn’t get it.”

Yup, we didn’t and that’s the point. I give Tyler the Creator the best performance of the evening. Sure, I’m not sure what the hell he was singing, but damn did it sound cosmic.

The Jonas Brothers: Not getting better or worse.

Now onto my favorite trio of brothers since Hanson rocked my world, the Jonas Brothers! They keep that mic away from Kevin as far as they keep Demi from Joe. I have nothing bad to say about the Jonas Brothers, other than that they used to be a lot cooler before they got married.

I Love You, Billie. Please No More Ballads

Billie, I love your music and prune juice.

Billie, Billie, Billie, it’s hard to be your biggest pre-menopausal fan when you sing such a lovely…BALLAD… at the freaking Grammys. NO! Hasn’t your mild-tempered, ginger souffle brother coached you that you should rock out and show the world your angst?

It was so good and yet so disappointing.

I’m afraid to make fun of this as much as I want to.

Odds and Ends

  • Wow, who knew Demi Lovato was such a good actor?
  • “Old Town Road” just gets better with age.
  • Alicia Keys is a solid host.
  • Aerosmith could have used another practice, or two.
  • Ariana Grande was good, but what’s there to write? She’s been good for a few years now, singing the same kind of songs with the same kind of look.
  • Lana Del Rey’s “Norman F$%king Rockwell” was my favorite album of 2019 and it’s unfortunate that she didn’t win anything.
  • Camila Cabello’s serenade to her father was the worst few moments in recent pop culture history. I thought she was was canceled? I demand her cancellation!

The 2010s + the Onset of Middle Age

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Cheers to the freaking 2010s, a decade of reality show saturation and political devastation. Ten years that left me wondering where all the poorly behaved celebrities have gone and if there are any original ideas anymore. It was a decade of sequels, reboots and trilogies that left me longing for the pantyless brouhaha of Lindsay Lohan’s youth.

Everything I know, I learned from Housewives of NYC

Thanks, TV. I’ll never leave my house again.

Who needs to leave one’s home when programs as delightful as “Mad Men,” “Veep,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and the “Housewives of NYC” are playing in your cluttered living room? The 2010s provided me with more streaming services than job changes and that’s saying A LOT. Ten years of silly superhero movies left my bloated middle-age belly full yet unsatisfied, but my TV was the coolest movie screen in town.

Adele + Anything = Coma < Facial Tattoos + Youth = Cool

Billboard’s best performing singles of the decade commenced with Kesha’s “Tik Tok” and sauntered to an end with 2019’s “Old Town Road,” both sonic gems. And while Adele wowed everyone for most of the decade, she lulled me into a coma where I was surrounded by other drips like Maroon 5, the Chainsmokers, and Shawn Mendes.

The Weeknd, Post Malone, Billie Eilish and SoundCloud freaks thrilled me with their youth, resplendent with danger, beauty and sexiness. No, I didn’t buy much of their music but respect that it’s the new alternative. I mean if I’m digging 6ix9ine, something’s gone wrong in the land of rebellion and teenage wasteland.

And really all I need is my Lana Del Rey, the best worst singer of all time. I absolutely love her.

The Royal Family: A Joke With No Punchline

Kate and Meghan: Even more boring than your in-laws.

Kate Middleton; her bearded brother; Meghan “monochrome” Markle; her yoga-teaching mother; her overweight father on the cusp of a heart attack — what do they ALL have in common? I have no idea why I even know who they are and I’m begging the world to harass a new family. I dunno, the Trumps of the Beckhams will do. Please.

I don’t care what Kate or Meghan are wearing. Here’s a spoiler for those of you who do care: Meghan’s wearing solid colors with high heels and Kate is sporting a printed dress in a chiffon-like fabric. And their faces are adorned with the pained smile that belongs to those who have sold their souls.

I don’t give one crumpet if William and Harry duke it out over high tea at Windsor Castle or what happens at any of their royal engagements. Gosh, I’m SO sick of the royal family that I actually tried and couldn’t finish watching “The Crown” because, yeah, you guessed it: I DON’T Care.

Celebrities Behaving… Well?

2010 started off just right with Lindsay Lohan doing a little time for violating probation but the rest of the decade took a depressing turn with celebrities acting okay and when they acted poorly, it was just pathetic.

Sure, Demi Lovato’s been onto the path of recovery more times than I’ve polished my resume, but that’s not newsworthy anymore. Same goes for Selena Gomez. Poor thing’s crazy, I get it, but she’s no Britney Spears coo-coo crazy, she’s snooze crazy. Wake me up when it gets bad.

What’s more boring than this pairing? YAWN.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secret love child was definitely better than Chris Pratt marrying his yawner of a daughter, but still not spicy enough for me.

The college admissions scandal that shocked everyone and no one.

And while Ariana Grande’s donut lick seen around the world was sexier than her engagement to Pete Davidson, it still lacked the oomph of the ’00s. Even the worldwide outrage of the college admissions scandal left me confused, we all knew that this was happening all along, right? Did America think that every celebrity spawn was bright enough to get into NYU? Come on, this is called life and I don’t understand the outrage or surprise.

My Nuggets of Wisdom

Youth is pretty.

The 2010s firmly cemented me into middle age with a newfound understanding of humanity with all its beautiful flaws. I’ve learned some powerful lessons along the way and here are a few:

  • If someone is starting a conversation with “I don’t judge, but,” they’re ready to judge. For sure.
  • No, Jennifer Aniston doesn’t look better now than she did 20 years ago. Nobody really does and anyone who tells you that is probably lying.
  • The sequel is never better than the original.
  • There’s not one thing wrong with Adam Driver. Not. One. Damn. Thing.
  • People with facial tattoos probably hate their mother.
  • Our youth was rarely as dangerous as we paint it to be.
  • Nobody wants to listen to you explain your dreams; I wish they did, but they just don’t.
  • Married couples are often content and rarely happy. And that’s okay.
  • A bad therapist is worse than no therapist.
  • We should all go out and party more.
  • It’s always a good time to put your freaking phone DOWN.
  • “I don’t know how you do it all,” feels more like a gut punch than a warm compliment.
  • I didn’t know how much I was going to miss Lena Dunham until she went away.
  • When people don’t like you, you usually know.
  • We all need to stop peppering our conversations with the word, “honestly.” Honestly, we do.

Happy New Year, y’all!

The 2019 American Music Awards: A Blissed-Out Buzz

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The American Music Awards were a pop-culture blissed-out buzz. After three hours, I hobbled into bed with a surprising appreciation for Ozzy Osbourne, a reminder of my love for Kesha, and a concerned plea for Selena Gomez to extinguish the torch she’s carrying for Justin Bieber and get some vocal training.

Come on producers, why get greedy with the Auto-Tune now? Post Malone drank all the booze, he didn’t steal all the Auto-Tune.

Hey, who cares? Madonna can't sing either.
Hey, who cares? Madonna can’t sing either.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Poor Selena looked lovely and sounded awful. Did Kevin Federline crawl out of obscurity to supply Selena with an extra dose of the concoction Britney was on while performing at the 2007 Video Music Awards (methadone, anti-psychotic meds and 3/4 of a bottle of chardonnay is my educated guess)? But while Britney’s legendary performance was so bad it was good, Selena’s was so bad it was sad.

Bieber and the Forgotten Baldwin

I dig the two songs Selena sang, just not the sounds that escaped her mouth. I like the idea of both songs and am fascinated that Justin Bieber can break someone’s heart so strongly. While he’s playing house in make-believe marriage land with the Baldwin family’s secondhand cousin, Hailey Baldwin-Bieber, Selena’s been nursing a broken heart with multiple rehab stints, a kidney transplant and a Lupus battle.

Come on Selena and get well. Everyone loves you, especially Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift and they’re all that really matter in Hollywood.

Kissing Cousins Without the Sexiness

Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes have the sexual chemistry of me and my first cousin. Actually that’s not even fair because my first cousin and I used stage our own wedding…so let’s just say that Shawn and Camila have the same kind of sexual friction of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. It’s an act and not a very believable one.

The couple’s never-ending award show performances of “Señorita” are a combination of “will they or won’t they kiss!?,” Camila trying to appear sexy and Shawn looking cute. I nominate each for the next round of cancel culture. Yes, cancel Camila and Shawn. Send her back to Fifth Harmony and him to Canada, I think the Bare Naked Ladies are looking for a new member.

Um, okay.

I’m so confused, did someone slip me Selena’s drink? Why is Toni Braxton performing on anything in 2019? I don’t care how she sounds, she’s Toni Braxton and she’s boring.

Taylor still feigning surprise she’s a winner.

Taylor Swift, America’s mean sweetheart, sashayed onto the stage with her talent, confidence, wit, and evil eye. She sang a medley of past hits and some off “Lover”, but she was really there to ruin Scooter Braun’s life just a little more than he already has.

Team Taylor all day, every day. And where does she get her lipstick?

And the performance of the night goes to…Ozzy?

I enjoyed the evening and was rarely bored. Billie Eilish and her ginger brother Finneas are the best sibling combination since Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and Kesha’s rebirth is welcome and refreshing, but um, gulp, my favorite performance was Ozzy, Post Malone and Travis Scott. I don’t even know why, it just felt new and a little scary.

The Grammys: Let’s get mean.

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I know we all want to live in this nice, dull world where we’re kind to each other and nobody cares to be honest about pop culture’s dwindling purpose, but here I go with a scathing review of Grammys 2019.

What better way to bask in negativity than ridiculing celebrities?

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Something in this picture is not right.

Why is Jada Pinkett Smith at the Grammys?

Other than annoying me on a daily basis and giving birth to children who educate others on the merits of dropping out of school before the age of 15, what is Jada Pinkett Smith’s purpose in life?

Jada’s recent stint as host of Facebook’s “Red Table Talk” has resulted in a horrifying display of oversharing.  If anyone cares about Jada Pinkett Smith’s child-rearing tips, deranged marriage to Will Smith or her obvious Scientology affiliation, please get help. I propose that Jada and Dr. Phil get their on show. In hell.

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Lady Gaga, always affected.

Lady Gaga Gives the Performance of the Night (In Two Ways)

A perusal of Lady Gaga’s Wikipedia page illustrates that she’s won 85 awards in her 32 years on this planet. 85 awards! So why does each award illicit such an EMOTIONAL response? The tears, the shock, the befuddled acceptance speech wrapped up in a carefully orchestrated manner. She’s the new Taylor Swift of awards shows!

So, dear Academy, we all know that Glenn Close is going to nab the Oscar for “Best Actress” but please do consider a new category for “Best Actress at an Awards Ceremony.”

In fairness, Lady Gaga did deliver the performance of the evening, just less affectation next time, puhleeze.

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Do I lose my alternative cred for making fun of Kiedis?

Anthony Kiedis: Shirtless since 1927

Like we didn’t suffer enough with Adam Levine’s nipplegate at the recent snoozefest Superbowl, now I’m forced to watch dirty grandpa Kiedis take off his shirt, too? I mean, he’s been doing this shtick since I looked hot taking my shirt off. Anthony’s  looking good at 56 and his hair’s still there but a well-tailored shirt always helps a 56-year-old man.

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Oh no she didn’t.

Jennifer Lopez is to Motown what I am to Mensa

Jennifer Lopez’s universally-panned Motown tribute was wowza bad. What J-Lo lacks in talent, she makes up in grit, drive and flawless performances but this just wasn’t her night.

And why does Alex Rodriguez have to be everywhere now? I hate it when the sports world intertwines with the entertainment world. Stay in your own lane, people!

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Nice isn’t fun.

We have a National Crisis: Awards Show Host Shortage

Alicia Keys is lovely and talented but so dull as a host. If I wanted to listen to someone drone on about the spiritual importance of music, I would have joined a church choir. We get it: music can change your life, let’s all be kind and douse ourselves with a bucket of ridiculousness. This is an awards show, we want to listen to the host say shocking words about celebrities sitting in front of them! We want to wince with discomfort, not blanket ourselves in a leather onsie of warmth!

What’s going on in America when we can’t land a decent host for awards’ season?

Mac Miller Dies, Cardi B Entertains + a Lil’ Rhody Celebrity Hangout

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Six years ago, or five jobs ago in my strange sense of time, I worked at a middle school where I clung to my youth by grasping onto the cool kids to find out what’s really going on in pop culture. I flocked to my peeps — the ones who always know, the kiddos with fruit-colored locks, gamer eyes and hoodies.

The cool kids rarely disappoint and they led me smack into Mac Miller. “Mac Miller’s the shit,” a girl told me while I unsuccessfully tried to help her print her report. That girl’s report never did print, but my interest in Mac Miller began.

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Middle school kids turned me on to Mac Miller.

“Who is this Mac Miller?” I wondered as I spent hours of insomnia watching amateurish  videos of him rapping and slurring while looking stoned and attractive. I followed his career through slicker videos of him appearing even higher and hotter, but his music got much cooler. I watched as he and Ariana Grande embarked on a quiet relationship and dealt with the Manchester Arena suicide bombing attack with class and I dug deeper.

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Mac Miller and Ariana Grande, One Love Manchester benefit

Who knew? Mac Miller was my fantasy man, minus the neck tattoos and lean habit. He was a Jewish kid from a well-heeled family with red hair. He’s from impressive stock with an architect dad and a famed-photographer mother. He went to school in Pittsburgh with Wiz Khalifi and his stage name is a combination of his and his brother’s name. His brother is Miller and was Mac’s graphic designer.

He was kind of my dreamboat, minus those damn neck tattoos. Like many other troubled rockers that I took a shining to, he’s now dead from a drug overdose and I’m incredibly bummed out about his death at the ripe age of 26.

I was busy mourning his loss by watching endless streams of his videos when WHAM,  damn ol’ Cardi B. and Nicky Minaj had to get into a fight at a fancy-shmancy NYC fashion event and the whole world forgot about Mac Miller to scrape the internet for footage of these two ladies getting into it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re welcome.

Hot damn, this was quickly becoming as thrilling as my recent hangout with Ebon Moss- Bachrach and his equally attractive brother at a bar in Lil’ Rhody.  Yes, Desi from HBO’s Girls and Micro from Netflix’s The Punisher was just hanging at a suburban bar with the rest of the middle-age common folk. And where did he just happen to sit to enjoy his hand-rolled tobacco? Right next to Rhode Island’s resident celebrity magnet, um, okay… stalker. Me.

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Oh, Desi, how I loved to love you. HBO’s Girls

I proceeded to do what every accomplished celebrity stalker should do: I repeatedly told him how much I dig him, asked him a bunch of nosy questions, thanked him for his on-screen nudity, bought him and his brother a round and clumsily and unsuccessfully asked him for a selfie. I never did get that selfie, but I enjoyed every awkward second.

So, what was this beautifully-chiseled, blue-eyed actor with cheekbones that could shatter sea glass doing in Rhode Island? He’s filming a new series, NOS4A2, a supernatural horror drama based on Joe Hill’s 2013 novel. And not taking selfies with strangers.

Party on, peeps.

Dolores O’Riordan: A Study Abroad Love Story

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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!

This Week in LaLa Land: ‘Stranger Things’ Warps, Beck Charms, the Tao of Winona + Taylor

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Today,  I want to dunk myself in silliness, then scrub off the Weinstein sewage of  sexual harassment stories from my enlarged pores. Let’s get back to the insipid stuff for a second, okay? Don’t worry, we can quickly return to wondering if civilized civilization is deader than Kevin Spacey’s career. But don’t worry about too much because we’ve always got our moral compass, Courtney Love, to lead us.

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Beck approves my Taylor fascination.

Taylor Swift’s “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now” is the new “It’s Britney, bitch.” It’s the battle cry for all the T. Swizzle lovers out there that just can’t take the critiques anymore. After going back and forth about the uncoolness of my affection for Tay and wondering if my make-believe friend Beck would unfriend me because of my Taylor obsession, I’m okay with it and in my mind, Beck loves Taylor, too.

I’ll eventually forgive Taylor for neglecting to invite me to her Rhode Island “Reputation” listening party. Perhaps she watched me prowl her property donning my homemade “Will Sell My Soul for Taylor” shirt or maybe she knows about my college side job of stalking.

Whatever the reason—I was clearly not on this list.  But really, it’s Taylor’s loss. She and I would have had such a girly time, I can see it now: I would’ve asked her if John Mayer is a true Lothario or a needy mother’s boy with abandonment issues, I’d then segue into a discussion over how her brother Austin feels to be so overshadowed by his big sister, then end with a probing question asking if she actually likes Lena Duhman. You know, small talk!

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Oh, Jim Hopper.

“Stranger Things” just might be the best thing that has happened to me since Johnny Depp celebrated his love for Winona Ryder in permanent ink with his soon-to-be Wino Forever tattoo. The show makes my heart skip a beat like the good old days of Mulder and Scully ridding the world of aliens with the help of sunflower seeds and religion.

What is it that I love about “Stranger Things?”

Let’s start with the revival of Winona Ryder’s career, one crazy eye at a time. I never did understand where Winona went. Big deal, she got a little pilled out and stole a few frocks from Saks. I mean, we’ve all been there, right? She also dated every influential 90s alternative rocker, befriended and became enemies with everyone’s favorite mean rich girl, Gwyneth Paltrow. She even dated Matt freaking Damon. The woman is the “It Girl” for strange girls and I never understood why her career fizzled after the shoplifting fiasco.

Either way, Wino’s back forever!

My fondness for “Stranger Things” does not end with Winona Ryder. I’m also in love with Chief Hopper, the gaggle of cool and geeky kids and the new feisty redhead, Max. And, may I ignite the Sean Astin  “Best Actor” Actor Emmy campaign right now?

Back to the Beck thing. If you still purchase music and are into Beck, I highly recommend that you check out “Colors”. The album is whip smart and gleeful. It just might make you dance and smile. Don’t worry, there’s still a healthy dose of Beck being Beck with his perfect combination of weirdness, poetry and his strong grasp on the current world vibe, but more than anything, it’s a crowd-pleasing rainbow of an album.

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Cheers to Twitter employee that suspended Trump’s account!

While I am handing out nominations, can someone also get the Nobel Peace Prize committee on the phone and help me nominate the Twitter employee that suspended Donald Trump’s Twitter account for 11 minutes? That person just saved the world for 660 seconds.

Till next time.

2017 VMAs: I missed Jon Snow’s bum for this?

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Katy Perry’s downward spiral into irrelevance continues.

I actually missed the season finale of Game of Thrones to watch Katy Perry play host at the 2017 VMAs  while further embarrassing herself in what has already been a pretty humiliating year for this past-her-prime star. But, hey, I’ve got priorities and Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar + Lorde are high up on that slim list, well above cleaning my car, properly shaving my legs or applying to graduate school.

I want to get to the good parts, like how alive Kendrick Lamar feels, that man is spitting fire + talent like Daenerys’ dragons breathe fury.  But, you know that’s not what I really care about because T. Swizzle is back with a pouting vengeance and I’m too pudgy and suburban momesque to really get the coolness of Kendrick Lamar. I want to, I really do, but I’m just not young enough to be worthy of it all.

 

And good ol’ MTV understands people like me because the channel wasted no time in getting to the “real” performance of the evening: a premiere of T. Swizzle’s ridiculously-catchy, good-girl-gone-bad tool of reinvention: “Look What You Made Me Do.”

 

Oh, Taytay, look what you just made me do: fall in love you all over again.

Who cares that I might miss Jon Snow and dragon lady get familial on GOT? In this candy cane of cinematic perfection, Taylor goes dead like a White Walker while metaphorically digging her own grave, only to later throw all the Hollywood trash into it.  This stuff, I get.

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This ring could be yours for $60 (+shipping + handling)

See, I want to be one of those people, the people that are too smart for Taylor’s obvious marketing ploys and scheming plans to devour the world without gaining a pound. I want to be horrified by her schilling $60 snake rings on her website, but really, I want to buy that damned ring and wear it without irony. I want that ring to go with my sarcasm and smirk, just like I bet it matches Taylor’s cynicism and exhaustion with her good girl image.

How can someone that didn’t even show up to the prom end up being the queen?

Well, that’s Taylor, baby. Love it or hate it.

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This is when my heart shattered.

Ugh, and while we are hating, I hate myself for admitting that Lorde was the train wreck that you just couldn’t watch, not for one second longer than was absolutely necessary. As grueling as it is to stomach some of GOT’s torture scenes, this was worse.

Lorde’s performance pained me more than Jared Leto’s continued denial of his own hotness. I want to believe that Lorde had the flu and couldn’t sing, but she should be on the phone firing her manager quicker than Katy Perry, and that is pretty freaking quickly.

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Jared Leto just killed Jordan Catalano

Oh Jared Leto, how could you do this to me? You were my Jordan Catalano, man. I am as confused over Jared’s constant need to desecrate his God-given beauty as I am by the fact that 30 Seconds to Mars is still making music! C’mon, MTV, was every member of Fall Out Boy, Blink 182 and Good Charlotte too busy to play?