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


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.


I was a strange kid.

‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ is stunning, Lena Dunham and I share self-hatred: HBO keeps me warm at night.


Captivating, stunning, disturbing.

Captivating, stunning, disturbing.

I found my new substance in the form of an HBO subscription. I could no longer take myself seriously as a cool person without watching “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”, the heartbreaking and honest Kurt Cobain documentary. The HBO purchase gave me bliss, entertainment and a reason to stay inside. I haven’t left my television since the transaction, unless you count last weekend’s three parties.

Frances Bean Cobain,  executive producer and Courtney embrace.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Frances Bean Cobain, executive producer and Courtney embrace.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Montage of Heck was just what I needed to revamp my fascination with Kurt Cobain and my love for Nirvana. I could not look away. Frances Bean served as the executive producer and she sprinkled cool-girl meth dust all over the film. It is unflinchingly bold, sad and beautiful. Kurt’s parents cast him away like a used Temple of the Dog c.d. and his mother’s ignorance concerning her obvious neglect and poor maternal instincts is paramount. Listening to his obese step-mother ramble on about Kurt’s unfulfilled quest for family life broke my heart more than watching Kurt nod off in a heroin daydream while trying to hold Frances.

I challenge anyone to watch this movie and not be spellbound by Courtney

It's a love story. Image by © Dora Handel/CORBIS OUTLINE

It’s a love story. Image by © Dora Handel/CORBIS OUTLINE

Love’s performance. I say performance because she’s always playing a part, and she is mesmerizing. The home videos of her and Kurt ridiculing Guns & Roses, showcasing their mess of a home and getting ready for the day are filled with humor and love. Viewers get a good look at Love’s nakedness, physically and psychologically. She is the best that Frances has and her punk rock parenting and fits of pop culture musings are hysterical.

Expect much more from Frances Bean.

Expect much more from Frances Bean.

As Kurt’s drug abuse deepens, so does the movie’s somber tone. Kurt’s suicide was not his first attempt and he looks haunted, hungry and confused as we know that his days are numbered. Kurt’s drive was strong, his ambition was intense, but ultimately drugs and depression took over his life. Fame was his ultimate dream, but he lost himself in the pursuit. His music, artwork and spirit live on in Frances’ impressive future.

I was, and am, an enormous Nirvana fan. I vividly remember being stuck in my all-girl dormitory in my stuffy Catholic college waiting for my bad-boy boyfriend to pick me up for a secret weekend away and receiving a phone call that Kurt Cobain died. My boyfriend’s kernel of comfort as I numbly relayed the news was, “Wow, who’s going to headline Lollapolooza?” I subsequently stumbled around in a thicket of smoke for the weekend while my mother kept trying to call me to see how I was taking the news. This was before the invention of cell phones and it was tricky to pretend that I was safe in my dorm bed while I was sneaking around. I bought a Jack Kerouac book that weekend and found a new love, but my sadness was very real.

Lena's body is my body.

Lena’s body is my body.

I then watched the entire last season of “Girls” in an insomnia-plagued stupor, is this show supposed to be as funny as I think it is? Do Lena Dunham and I have the same exact body, and if so, could I have scored a real rock star boyfriend along the way? Just watch the show for the sex scenes. Seeing Allison Williams, Brian Williams’ lovely daughter with the mediocre singing voice and enormous forehead, in the most compromising of positions is a gift from the television gods.

Do I lose my feminist card because I think Adam Driver is the best part of Girls?

Do I lose my feminist card because I think Adam Driver is the best part of “Girls”?

Girls is so wretched it is awesome. I know these characters and I loathe them and that is the point. Their self-absorption, feigned intelligence and hipster vibe is right on. To know Marnie is to hate her and Hannah’s horrible writing is akin to Lena Dunham’s mediocre writing, but astute observations. I dislike Lena’s Hannah in the same fashion that I dislike myself: she’s another smart woman with all of life’s advantages that chooses to sit around on her fat ass complaining about life’s inconsistencies instead of actually doing anything to change them. Ow, that hits me right where my stretch marks start and my crow’s feet end.