Life’s so rotten, let’s focus on worse times.

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The Covid zombie apocalypse has got me low.  I’m sadder than Ben Affleck before he found Ana de Amas. I live in a shaky world where fainting is a palpable possibility and slumber is a nice-to-have requirement. But all the nervousness, political anger, and family closeness makes me realize that things have been worse.

Heartbreak Erupts into Obsessive Movie Habits

In 1994 I was so heartbroken that I spent three days watching Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” on an endless loop — only stopping to drive by my ex-boyfriend’s apartment to envision all the sex he and his new teenage girlfriend were having. I was staying with my sister and she’d occasionally yell at me to refill the ice tray and throw away my molehill of smoked butts, but other than those strained interactions, it was just me basking in the pain of a 3-hour movie. I was proving a point, but I had no idea what the point was or to whom I was pointing the point.

Have you ever watched “Short Cuts?” It’s psychological torture. Watching it once messes with your head but watching it for days while chain smoking vacuum seals you right into the bell jar. I eventually aired myself out, plucked a few more eyebrows, and found another troubled boy to date. And yeah, life got better, but it was an even worse time than pandemic schpandemic.

Summer School Bullying

Then there was that unfortunate year when I failed high school science and was given the social-life death sentence of summer school in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. My mom was so angry that she plucked me out of my dazed summer party scene and forced me to endure summer school in a foreign land. I was stuck with a group of dumb kids who taunted me by calling me “Cure Girl.” As a big fan of The Cure, I was pleased with my new moniker.

A few weeks in, the teacher quietly called me up front and asked, “What are you doing here?” I responded with a well-practiced shrug. Say no more, say no less.

I’ve Been Uglier

I’ve definitely looked worse. Sure, I am currently sporting white hair on my head, eyebrows and other unmentionable areas, but I’m still prettier than I was during my elementary school love affair with the perm. I had reddish curly hair, a face full of freckles and ONLY wore clothes with rhinestones, lace and tulle. Of course I needed a perm!  

I think I know why my first kiss happened in the last few days of 7th grade during a ‘7 Minutes in Heaven’ game gone wrong. While waiting in line, having a slight panic attack, I could hear the boys discussing how bummed they’d be if they got me. Well someone did and wowza, I’d been kissed, albeit in a forced situation and years after all my girlfriends. Don’t worry though, I developed nicely that summer and made up for lost time.

Mistakenly Dating a Homeless Man

Yes, life can always be more painful. Right after college while I was hiding out in Portland, Oregon, running away from my parents needling me about getting a real job and escaping an arrogant manchild, I found a mysterious coworker to dig. He was much older, secretive, and good looking. What more does a naive girl need?

After months of waiting for Tim to ask me out, he finally did. He didn’t have a car — which now I see is a warning sign but this was Portland, Oregon and the crunchies rode bikes. So, I picked him up at a street corner.

My mind raced with all sorts of theories. Perhaps his home was so luxurious that he wanted me to know the real Tim. Could he have a secret family? The night staggered on and we drank enough alcohol to cloud all bad judgments into smart ones. There was some making out and a shared cab ride to his street corner and my apartment.

Tim didn’t show up to work the next day, or ever again while I was employed there. Seems Tim was living in a homeless shelter where sobriety was a requirement and his walk of shame landed him right into a court-mandated rehab. Who knew? Not I. But everyone else at work knew and I quickly became the girl from Massachusetts who caused Tim’s downfall.

So, it could always be worse folks. You could be married to Meghan Markle or Sean Penn. We could be members of the Cyrus family and have to listen to them all sing during Thanksgiving. Even worse, you could have a mom like me who bribes her children to tape her doing the WAP dance. It can always be so much worse.

Can we laugh a little?

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Can we laugh yet? Come on, even a snicker? After months of clenched fists and jaws, nonstop “I just cants,” and praying that “Housewives of NYC” never ends, I’m prepared to giggle. So, go along and cackle with me or secretly lambaste me for my inappropriateness at such a painful time. Much like Megan Fox’s relationship with Machine Gun Kelly, I just don’t care anymore.

What does a harried mother do when she can’t partake in her most adored activities: sloppy bar hopping, concert going, and library frequenting? What does a woman do when she is left with all the duties she conducts poorly: house cleaning, meal preparation, and disciplining children? She throws on her stained athletic shorts and ponders…

Kayne & Kim: The Love Story

RUETERS

All hail Britney as the queen of celebrity breakdowns, but Kayne is clutching that crown from her head with the same force he grabbed T. Swizzle’s Grammy. In a world of Lambos, he is the Tesla of coo-coos and I love it. In a sad and cutting bi-polar episode, Kayne is lashing out at the Kardashians. He’s holed up in his Wyoming ranch without his meds, but with his wit and vengeance.

A lot like his music, his Twitter take downs of the Kardashians are complicated with glimmers of brilliance. Kayne comparing his own life to “Get Out” is the funniest and most astute observation since some crazy lady told me months ago, “These kids are NEVER going back to school.” His reference to Kris Jenner as “Kris Jong-Un” is succinct. Keep it coming, Kayne.

I locked myself in my house over four months ago to fight the zombie apocalypse, armed with what feels like hundreds of streaming services, enough facial moisturizer for the entire Housewives’ franchise and a treadmill. I’ve dipped my toes into the swamp of post-pandemic social life and I didn’t like the muck. Most of my pandemic results have been bleak, but Taylor Swift just saved me.

“I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit.” Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, America’s vision of talent, coolness and good taste — all wrapped in a cashmere cardigan — just saved my sad pandemic existence by releasing a fresh album of quiet loveliness and biting brilliance. Every sound intoxicates and stirs. Listing to it makes me smell my childhood and think of past loves, forgotten friends, and stolen kisses.

Just as my Fiona Apple haze was dissipating, the patron saint of pop music flew in with her fairy wings, Sylvia Plath- inspired look, and help from freaking Bon Iver to give me my new religion. Her new album “Folklore” is lusciously exquisite. It’s filled with mysterious stories about love, isolation and an ode to Rhode Island. If this is my soundtrack for the rest of the pandemic, I’m content.

Other Musings

  • It’s been 13 years, but I’m still confused by Reese and Ryan’s marriage.
  • There’s a fine line between so much to do/ I will do nothing at all.
  • I think I miss the movies the most.
  • It took the quarantine for me to fully love my dog.
  • The crumbling of Johnny Depp’s coolness is astounding.
  • Regarding Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s bed poop: Think about the indelicate and logistical nature of defecating on a bed. How does one even go about it? Is this a thing?
  • I hope that poor John Travolta leaves the Scientology cult.
  • Consider this a plea to Hollywood agents to urge their celebrity clients to clean up their COVID attire! I demand that they put on a designer dud every few dog walks and fake grocery store runs. If I wanted to see Scarlett Johansson wearing sweats, I’d watch Marriage Story again. But I don’t really want to. Once was more than enough.
  • Taking walks is so boring and nature is filled with pests.
  • It’s curious that Megan Thee Stallion was shot by male rapper Tory Lanez and entertainment media isn’t talking about it. Megan Thee Stallion was on the cover of Rolling Stone, won countless BET and MTV awards and had the song of the year. Guess entertainment media was too focused on a reality star’s kid’s nose job?? Tssk.
  • If you don’t watch “The Housewives of NYC,” I am sorry that you are missing out on the best moments of your life.

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.

Billie Eilish Wtf GIF by The Academy Awards - Find & Share on GIPHY
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!