2016: Our Own Upside Down World

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2016 began, for me, with a small spell of alcohol poisoning.

And, the year never really lost that distinct aftertaste of vomit, Prosecco and wasted promises. The last 365 days were exhausting. I just finish getting over my last brassy dye job, only to see baby white hairs sprout again. And as a final “screw you,” I now spy them in my eyebrows. As if I didn’t inflict enough damage on my damned brows in the ‘90s, now middle age will finish the job of completely eradicating my brows.

#Blessed makes me #Sick

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Can you #killme before I #choke ?

Oh gosh, forgive me, I forgot that I am supposed to feign positivity instead of being honest.

My negativity is grating, and I just don’t care. Can I be forgiven for intellectually knowing that I have it pretty damned good, but internally feeling down and out? Can I eliminate myself from the hashtag blessed bullshit that permeates every adult conversation I’m forced to endure? Yeah, I get it, I could have it so much worse, but instead of respecting that, I’m going to complain about everything. I am nothing if not consistent. Well that, and a bummer.

Pain is relative. We can’t all compare our own pain against those with more pain. Pain is pain, and to engage in insipid conversations about how much worse life could be doesn’t actually make anyone feel better, not for any longer than that talk lasts.

2016’s Little Pockets of Love

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“Stranger Things” dominates 2106.

There were rainbows of coolness that sprang from the mushrooms of shit, little pockets of love like Winona Ryder’s cool-girl reemergence in “Stranger Things,” and Netflix’s newer installment of anxiety-inducing terror, “The OA”. And, The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra” is just about as good as it gets for music to my ears.

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Jaon’s Isbell’s Twitter presence is one of the better things in life.

I was transfixed for every second of FX’s “The People vs. OJ Simpson” and  transported to my idealistic youth and my horror at the OJ trial outcome.  I went to see Jason Isbell at the College Street Music Hall in  Connecticut, and I remembered that life is beautiful and talent like his is an amazing thing.

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If only I knew as much about geography as I do about Scientology.

A&E’s new hit docuseries “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” is perfect for my Scientology obsession. This show gives Leah Remini the role of a lifetime and shows that Scientology is scarier than “Stranger Things” upside down world.

Awash in Melancholy

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“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land” T.S. Elliot’s The Waste Land

But, it’s not all Pop Tarts & Quaaludes here, peeps.

In April, Prince died at the age of 57. To make Prince’s death even worse, he died from an accidental drug overdose and it was like a final blow- not because I think less of Prince because he used drugs but because I thought he was one of my idols that didn’t. The thought of Prince, alone and dead in an elevator at Paisley Park isn’t how I wanted him to go.I’d much prefer to think of him dying in his sleep surrounded by a harem of women, blanketed in purple sheets of the highest thread count.

But 2016 didn’t care about that kind of stuff. We lost Prince, Barb, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,to name a few.

But, let’s not get too down, right?

We lose Carrie Fisher, an actress from an acting dynasty, a sharp-witted writer, a paramour of rock stars and an all-around extraordinary person. She was chock-full of demons, honesty and zingers. But, we get to keep Lena Dunham, a woman from an influential family, fully equipped with a pricey  education and a rock star beau, a ridiculous lack of humor and a book that is actually unreadable.

Making fun of Lena Dunham has become easier than ridiculing the Kardashians, so in 2017, my resolution is to stop. Not because I am being kind, but because she’s just so boring.

My Celebrity-Stalking Side Gig is Booming

Between furrowing my brow and applying coconut oil all over my face, I found time to snap pictures with some of my favorite celebrities.

To celebrate the 4th of July,  I did what any good American might: I planted my whole family on a hot beach to watch  Tom Hiddelston & Taylor Swift fawn all over each other. My sunburn had barely healed before I I met lil’ Rhody’s favorite alternative rock goddess, Tanya Donelly. Not to be outdone, I capped off the year with a  New York City encounter with one of America’s original, smart and cool gals, the awesome Sandra Bernhard.

The Kardashian Curse Spreads

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Kim Kardashian’s unattractive cry gets real. Image by How Should I Sass You

For another year, I want to thank the Kardashians for all the entertainment. The ne’er-do-well son in a family filled with losers procreated with Blac Chyna, only to implode in a nasty split that coincided with their own reality show. Kim & Kayne’s marriage lasted another year, but not without a mental breakdown and an awesomely awful burglary in Paris.

So, I’ve been thinking, can we start blaming everything on the Kardashians? That’s my plan.

Book Recommendations

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Beware, I only dig disturbing books.

Well, I do still take time to read books, and here are a few recommendations:

Hunger Makes Me a Hungry Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Browntein

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold

The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Happy New Year, y’all!

T. Swizzle struts her ego, Loudon Wainwright tickles the soul, Jason Isbell rocks my world. Can I sleep now?

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The rock-n-roll segment of my summer started with a safe blow to my insomnia-plagued head. In seven days, I saw Loudon Wainwright III,  Jason Isbell and Taylor Swift play in three different New England cities. I also checked out the Judd Apatow/Amy Schumer hub of hilarity “Trainwreck”. All were entertaining, but a certain pop princess was a bit of a letdown.

Keep to the singing, T. Swizzle.

Keep to the singing, T. Swizzle. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift Doesn’t Break a Sweat

It pains me to report, and I know that 59,998 of my fellow Gillette Stadium Swifties would disagree, but I give Taylor’s mediocre performance a rating of blasé. Girlfriend has the gift for gab, but doesn’t have anything substantial to say. Her pandering psychobabble of positivity and fan-loving was an insult to the audience’s intelligence and to her fan base’s age. For every seven-year-old sipping a Sprite, there was another 22-year-old sucking down a $14 margarita. Taylor, if you looked less at your mammoth-sized reflection in the jumbotron and more of your audience, you would notice. Your bangs are banging, get on with the show.

This is pop?

This is pop?

Swift sounded great, her voice improves with each album, but I was bored. In between songs and to assist with her many costume changes (wow, another really short pair of shorts and a sparkly top!), the crowd was subjected to a running loop of Taylor’s squad talking about….Taylor! Lena Dunham thinks that Taylor is such an asset to NYC, Victoria’s Secret models’ Kloss and Aldridge find the paparazzi so invasive, and they all concur…Taylor just adores cats. Gosh, give me Madonna feigning oral sex on a back-up dancer any day.

Art is supposed to move you, to make you think of something other than T. Swizzle’s prettiness and forced approachability. Could America’s national treasure actually be dull?

Loudon Wainwright & Jason Isbell Give Me Faith in Humanity

Familial love. How may redheads does it take to kidnap Loudon Wainwright III?

Familial love. How may redheads does it take to kidnap Loudon Wainwright III?

Loudon Wainwright III and Jason Isbell moved me; each made me ponder lost love, death and lust. At the Courthouse Center for the Arts, Loudon played a delightful set of classics and a new funny ode to the thought that as bad as life can be, it can always be worse, “It’s Not Gaza.” My brother, sister and I stormed Loudo’s back stage room to get another photo to add to our treasure trove. While there, Loudon summarized our existence with these choice words, “these Morrisons are real Loudheads.” Hell, we’ve been called worse.

I have nothing but love for Jason Isbell.

I have nothing but love for Jason Isbell.

Jason Isbell’s latest album “Something More Than Free” is currently the No. 1 country, rock and folk album. This former Drive By Trucker is the real deal. I missed his Newport Folk Festival performance because I was busy checking my watch at the T.Swizzle show, but check out NPR’s broadcast. His voice is lushly gritty and his tales of new-found sobriety, a failed marriage and a fresh love are gorgeous. He played for well over 2 1/2 hours at the New Haven’s College Street Music Hall. It was sonic bliss.

Cinematic gold.

Cinematic gold.

Almost as much as I love good music, I adore a girl behaving badly. Amy Schumer does just that in Trainwreck”. She unabashedly boozes, smokes, sleeps around and is turned off by commitment, children, sports and affection. She untimately finds her way, but her journey is terrific. Her love interest, played by Bill Hader, is an accurate portrayal of a geeky doctor looking for love and acceptance with a girl like Amy. A girl that I’d love to know.