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


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.


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!


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.

2015: The Year of the Man Bun, Star Wars, Amy Schumer & Courtney Barnett


2015 was alright, right?

The man bun turned us on, Adele’s voice proved that easy listening may be magnificent, Jennifer Lawrence dazzled, marriages busted up and I continued to stumble across the tight rope of responsible, gainfully employed parent/wife and madwoman with few boundaries.

Pop culture was good to me in 2015; I infuriated all by ridiculing Taylor Swift and her obnoxious squad, I lusted after young men in bad boy bands and I found new loves like Courtney Barnett and Shovels & Rope.

Best Craze- The Man Bun

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM Studios - July 9, 2014

“Game of Thrones” scares me, but this man bun warms my heart. PS- This guy is married to Lisa Bonet (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Is the man bun new or a revival? I vaguely remember, through a haze of 90’s malaise, a Greek God from college who swept his luscious locks up in a haphazard man bun. Oh, those were the days. Now, I creepily engage in a secret game at hipster bars: Rate the Man Bun. I recently spent an evening in Worcester, MA doing just that. While the men talked shop, the women folk gawked over the man buns.

When done right, the man bun is hot. As I possibly suffer from the Wen-inflicted hair loss epidemic of 2015, I latch onto the man bun craze for the sake of my thinning hair. I just know that when Mr. Man Bun liberates his mane from the bun, his follicles smell of sandalwood, sex and youth.

Best New Artist-Halsey


“Raised on Biggie and Nirvana,” Halsey declares on “Americana” and I’m automatically sold on her coolness.Hailing from New Jersey with a slight faux British accent and a bad attitude, I’m pretty sure she’s the next big thing.Her debut album, Badlands, isn’t perfect, but Halsey is only 20 and I expect more jarring noises from her.

The Voice Returns


Taylor Swift- Team Ursula

No, I am not referring to that silly singing show that manufactured the Blake Shelton/Gwen Stefani romance for publicity (are they contractually obligated to produce a child during next year’s sweeps?), I am talking about THE VOICE of Adele.

After a few years off, Adele swooped back in to trample on Taylor Swift’s reign as queen of the rasp. Who else believes that T. Swizzle has a gaggle of scientists working endlessly to clone a shred of Adele’s vocal cords? Taylor wants to get all “The Little Mermaid” on Adele and steal her voice a la Ursula. Adele, do not join the squad, and if you do, keep your DNA close to your body!

 Favorite Pastime: Divorce

Divorce landed in lala land like the bomb that was “In the Heart of the Sea.” Gwen and Gavin; Jen and Ben; Halle Berry and Latest Loser; Blake and Miranda and Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, that one really hurt. Gosh, if these totally self-absorbed lovers can’t survive holy matrimony, the rest of us are as doomed as Johnny Depp’s new marriage and floundering career.


Ben gets Batman dark. Image via TMZ.

About Affleck, have you seen his post-breakup monstrosity of a tattoo? My gosh Ben, did filming “Batman” really get that dark? Was marriage so awful that you marked yourself with a freaking phoenix rising from the ashes? Is your Beverly Hills compound the ashes from which you must rise? Dude, that’s deeper than “Good Will Hunting.”

The Good


Amy Schumer goes there. Getty image.

Amy Schumer– Amy Schumer staggered onto our movie and television screens while making us cringe with laughter. “Trainwreck” was smart, funny and even a little sweet, much like Schumer. “Inside Amy Schumer” is filthy, brutal and bold, also much like Schumer.

Jennifer Lawrence– Celebrity hasn’t spoiled JLaw, she’s still an exhilarating whiff of gin-tainted breath. Her recent 22 minute interview with Andy Cohen included confirmations of making out with Liam Hemsworth for fun, vomiting on Madonna’s porch and  smoking from a bong before an Oscar telecast, to name a few tidbits. Every time JLaw opens her pretty mouth, her agent shaves a year off her life.


Best Pop Star-The Weeknd– I dig his darkness, his hair, his humble beginnings as a Canadian raised in poverty by an Ethiopian single mother. He’s now a pop star romancing a Beverly Hills bred supermodel, celebrating a sold-out tour, and oh yeah, he can sing and dance. His upbeat songs conceal lyrics about addiction, violence and depression, but who could tell?


Jon Hamm in “Kimmy Schmidt” True Story- Hamm was Kempler’s HS teacher. Google it.

Best T.V. Show“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Who thought that a show about a woman that emerges from 15 years imprisoned in an underground bunker by a religious nut could be a hilarious comedy? Writer Tina Fey did.  On Netflix, the show blends a perfect concoction of hilarity, satire and nostalgia along with strong drops of darkness to make one hell of a watchable show. Ellie Kempler of “The Office” absolutely radiates optimism and determination in her pursuit of happiness in New York City and in her attempt to never be a victim.

As an added bonus, Jon Hamm shows up as the religious zealot that kidnapped Kimmy. It may not sound like it, but the show is laugh-out-loud funny.



Hello Adam Driver.

Most Deserving Mania- Star Wars: The Force Awakens I loved this movie. It was so much fun watching Daisy Ridley become a star while playing Rey in the finest cinematic debut in ages. Everyone else is terrific, but that Daisy Ridley really rocked my world. Adam Driver, currently wasting his talent on “Girls” was quietly powerful as new villain Kylo Ren.

In case you’re one of the 56 Americans that has not seen the movie, I don’t want to write much, but you must see the movie.

Creepiest Moments of 2015- Every “Game of Thrones” episode Oh, the sheer brutality of it all! Why do I watch “Game of Thrones?” I shield my eyes for the whole hour. If I am not protecting myself from the violence, I am bracing my psyche for another rape. Why can’t I stop?! Is Jon Snow that hot?

Really, I have no idea what is going on in GOT, but I do enjoy it. After every episode, I pat myself on the back for getting through it, then I search for my tranquilizers. After a few deep breaths, I google why everyone’s eyes are turning white. Please, someone explain to me why their eyes are turning white.

Best Song- Beck’s “Dreams” I can’t stop loving Beck; it’s a consistent in my life. I have been changing my underwear, applying mascara and loving Beck for a lifetime. Beck’s freshest masterpiece, “Dreams,” is a hodgepodge of pop, folk and rock. Beck’s year began with Kayne West grabbing his Grammy, and I’m positive that Kayne will be given that opportunity after the rest of Beck’s album is released.

And now, for some parting brilliance from Courtney Barnett:


Grammys: Beck’s brilliance shines,Kayne West is dumb, Madonna delivers something, Gwen Stefani should keep to the silly stuff.

I kept myself awake to write this stupid blog.

I kept myself awake to write this stupid blog.

The Grammys were dull and filled with ballads, but I watched it all, every off-key note, every exposed side boob and each time Sam Smith recited a totally uninspiring acceptance speech. Yawn.


Kayne, let me introduce you to a true visionary, Mr. Beck Hansen.

But who cares? Beck won three Grammys and if there’s anything you need to know about me, it’s that I love Beck in an unnatural way. I love Beck the way I should love my family. So, now I have a new enemy: Mr. Kayne West Kardashian. By now, we all know that Kayne, in his bare chested glory, swaggered on stage while Beck was accepting his well-deserved Grammy in protest of Beyonce not winning. What a clown. Mr. West Kardashian, you’re needed in the lobby, Kris Jenner needs her colonic and your dad-in-law Brucey needs to be reminded where his soul and testacles are located.

 The Grammy Goods

Miranda Lambert What a surprise, I never knew that Miranda Lambert was a rocker. She was the first good performance of the evening. Lambert commandeered the stage and was the only rebel that had to be bleeped for swearing.

Sia with Kristen Wig and Maddie Ziegler. What can’t Kristen

I've got nothing but love for this.

I’ve got nothing but love for this.

Wig do? She’s hysterical, a fine actress and a captivating modern dancer. “Chandelier” was the most enthralling performance of the evening, and my most-loved song of the year. How kind of Sia to write a song documenting my early 20s.

Annie Lennox & Hozier Annie Lennox was the strongest vocal performance of the night. The woman can sing and she and Hozier made a dynamic duo.

Beck Speaks Beck won three Grammys, including the aforementioned Kayne-infected Album of the Year triumph. Beck spoke and I listened to every word he

Beck is fond of redheads. Marissa Ribissi, Beck's wife since 2004.

Beck is fond of redheads. Marissa Ribissi, Beck’s wife since 2004.

uttered. He kissed his wife, Marissa Ribisi of “Dazed & Confused” fame and Giovanni Ribissi’s twin sister, and thanked his children. Beck went on to harmonize with Chris Martin for a beautiful performance of “Heart Is a Drum”.

This is what we do in lil' Rhody.

This is what we do in lil’ Rhody.

John Mayer & Ed Sheeran Who cares about this performance if not for the fact that Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift are pals as all we Rhode Islanders know by seeing the pictures of Ed hanging with T. Swizzle in our sweet little state. John Mayer broke TayTay’s young heart and continues to bash her in the media while dating her nemesis Katy Perry. Got all that? Hmm, where was that camera crew to get Taylor’s reaction to this collaboration?

I'm attracted to redheads and pretentious men. Really, I am.

I’m attracted to redheads and pretentious men. Really, I am.

John Mayer reminds me of most the boys I went to college with that wouldn’t date me for all the Brooks Brothers clothing in the world. He resembles most Connecticut bred assholes I’ve ever met: good looking, well-dressed, from a solid background and completely obnoxious.

Madonna Madonna was never famous for her pipes and voices

It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.

It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad.

don’t get stronger with age, but she’s Madonna, and she’s freaking 56 years old. I don’t know how much puppy blood she’s consumed to look this good, but keep doing what you’re doing Madge.

The Boringly Bad

Ariana Grande, pure mediocrity at it’s prettiest. Is Ariana the new rich man’s X-tina Aguilera?

Katy Perry I do not care if this was a powerful anthem about domestic abuse, it was a sonic Ambien. The performance reminded me of my childhood dance recital skits- overly emotional, too much makeup and a lot of accolades for nothing. Katy, your crowning moment from the Super Bowl was short-lived and you’ve been placed back on my Queen of Drivel list.

They must see the same dermatologist.

They must see the same dermatologist.

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban Are they morphing into one another? Just an observation.

Meghan Trainor mentioned her Nashville roots. I’m confused because she is from Nantucket, MA, just about as far from Nashville as possible. Maybe she meant that she and Brian Williams both saved Nashville from a zombie apocalypse brought on by her nasally voice. That makes sense.

Gwen Stefani & Adam Levine The worst performance of the night must be  given to my usual love Gwen Stefani. She warbled her way through some soul-sucking ballad with Adam Levine. Ouch. I am fond of Stefani, but let’s stick to the silly stuff and keep the power ballads to, well, anyone else. After this debacle, I don’t think she should be judging anyone’s voice on “The Voice”. Don’t believe me? Take a listen.

Mary J. Blige Once Mary J. Blige and all her self righteousness takes the stage, that’s the sign it’s time for the show to slowly peter out. I’m Sam Smithed out and his pairing with Mary J. Blige sounded great, but once again, what a bore.

Back to Kayne, one last time.

I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us,” Kim Kardashian’s better half blabbered. “We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyonce.”

Kayne, you really are a joke and the punchline is that you don’t know it, and that makes the universal joke just so much funnier.

Should I join the Church of Scientology?




Scientology, will you have me for a week?

Can I become a member of the Church of Scientology for a week? How much of my soul must I sacrifice to do so? How much of my paltry life savings will it cost me? I am willing to try, just don’t tell my husband.

I am a practicing Catholic. There, I said it in print for my seven subscribers to read. I don’t even know what that means, but I know that I feel a lot of guilt over bashing Catholicism in print. Not because I actually feel badly about it, but because I am a goddamned Catholic and that is what we do: we feel guilt. People tell me that’s what the Jews do also, but I wouldn’t know that because I am not Jewish. I’ve wanted to be Jewish since I was a child but that’s just another of my disappointments. I wanted to be taller and Jewish, wanted to get into Smith and date Elliott Smith, but none of that happened. I did stalk Elliott Smith for a minute, but everything else was impossible to attain, getting into Smith being the most out of reach.

Should Plathism be a cult?

Should Plathism be a cult?

Why Smith? Sylvia Plath went there and I am completely obsessed with Sylvia Plath. If you have not read “The Bell Jar”, stop reading this drivel and read it. Now! Yes, I am talking to you in Ohio, really, it will change your life. Read it and you just may be happy like me.

Elliott, thanks for dropping the restraining order.

Elliott, thanks for dropping the restraining order.

I digress. You, in Silver Lake, call Beck and tell him to get me into the Church of Scientology. I want to talk about my weight gain with Kirstie Alley, then discuss fashion with that droll speaking redhead from “Orange is the New Black”. I’ll spend my nights listening to Juliet Lewis’s awful band and talking addiction with Giovanni Ribisi while stalking his brother-in-law Beck. Yes, Beck is married to Giovanni Ribisi’s twin sister and they’re all kooky scientologists.

A redhead Scientologist and a low talker, love her.

A redhead Scientologist and a low talker, love her.

Your music is awful, but I love your religion.

Your music is awful, but I love your religion.

"Ted" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

This man is Beck’s brother-in-law.

Much like Catholicism in Rhode Island, Scientology seems to be the cool kid religion in Hollywood and I want in to that club. Damn, I should have thought about this twenty years ago.