April Showers Bring Mayday Mudslides

Standard

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.
Via Giphy
  • 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

Standard

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.

Mascara, Food and H20: Quarantine Necessities

Standard

This quarantine feels like a supernova pharmaceutical speedball of sedatives, uppers, and Midol. I’m jumpy from the lack of activities, then drowsy by how overwhelming it all is – often while battling a small headache. I waver between relishing being home and panicking that if this continues, I won’t have a home.

It’s not the solitude, I’m at home with five people, it’s the freaky germ awareness. I’m a messy person and I’m now cleaning with no real purpose or mission. I don’t know how to clean. I think cleaning is something you’re taught, and I never got around to that lesson in childhood, I was too busy writing love notes to Prince. Sure I can clean surfaces but scrubbing floors and toilets has always been for a biweekly housekeeper. Now it’s my job and I’m remarkably bad at it.

But hey, on the verge of the apocalypse, who cares how clean or dirty my house has been? This is the first time I’ve been home and not working in over a decade. It’s refreshing and foreign. It’s also given me a lot of time to obsess over a few thangs.

Out, damn spot.

Mascara is a Dear Friend

The world can take away the restaurants, libraries, and malls but I will stab someone with my L’Oreal wand before they take away my extra-black mascara. As my deodorant application becomes infrequent and my eyeliner has disappeared from my droopy eyelids, my mascara is applied with a heavy hand!

Perhaps I’m a thinker, not a doer.

All this time has given me so many ideas! Register for an online course, brush up on my Spanish, explore Scientology. But what I truly want to do is watch “Little Fires Everywhere,” every episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Mindhunter.” I’ve polished off more books than I can remember and haven’t gotten to that online course yet.

Fancy Frocks Get You Nowhere

Feel low? Buy a dress. Celebrating a milestone? Fetch a froufrou frock.

Dress adornment has gotten me through the highs and lows of life but wowza, all those dresses are of no use to me right now. My knowledge of chiffon, silk blends and how to iron linen is useless. You know what I need more of? Sweatpants! I’ve been alternating between two pairs for weeks.

Things I don’t Care about Anymore

The fight nobody cares about. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

I’m DESPERATE for a celebrity scandal but not the day-old donuts Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift reignited rift. Yawn. Who still cares what zonked-out Kanye West said in a 2016 rap song NOBODY heard?

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are having a baby. Who cares? Their parents and that’s about it.

Remember the college admissions scandal? It feels pretty silly to whine about the wealthy getting their kids into college while we can now complain about the privileged getting coronavirus tests WAY before the peons. Disappointing? Sure, but surprising? Come on.

Gal Godot embarrassed herself and all her celebrity pals with this literally tone-deaf “Imagine” cover. I haven’t watched anything this bad since I slogged through the first four minutes of this season’s “This Is Us.” Gadot should fire her inner voice and her celebrity pals should just fire her.

When in doubt, go to Beck.

COVID-19, Shopping, and an Inability to Act in a Crisis

Standard

I’m extra twitchy.

Sure, I do dwell in a perpetual state of anxiety and weirdness but be forewarned, I’m acting much crazier than usual. COVID-19, coupled with my total inability to handle a crisis, has me shopping like Celine Dion and sweating like Amanda Bynes’s parents on visitor’s day.

My list of neurosis is as robust as my closet and hovering close to the top is a whammy: In a catastrophe, I’m immobilized by fear and can’t do anything other than shop, obsess and read.

White ceilings, bright overhead lights. Finally, I’m home.

Since my completely-sober Corona blackout, I’ve purchased a new wardrobe and polished off a book every other day. I don’t even know what the books have been about, I just read them until I can sleep.

Want to know what I haven’t done? Stocked up on necessities, contacted my doctor about doubling prescriptions, or sanitized my house. I’ve burrowed myself deep into a K-hole of inactivity and dealt with my fear by analyzing every word of The Weeknd’s creepy new masterpiece, shielding my eyes while watching HBO’s “The Outsider”, and wondering what Fiona Apple is doing. It’s all I know how to do.

Does Beck have a pre-existing condition? Will he be okay?

This behavior goes way back. Fresh from college, I drove across country with a male pal to move to Portland, Oregon. I had no reason to do this, no plan when I got there, and no thoughts on returning. My parents were on my back about getting a job with insurance and I just wanted to party, stalk Elliott Smith and get away from a pretentious manchild I’d been obsessing over for years.

So, to prepare for this ridiculous journey, I slept. I slept like I’d never slept before. I slept right until it was time to say my “goodbyes” and climbed into a car to travel 3,000 miles to party and stalk a new manchild. I can’t remember if I ever even wanted to go to Portland, I just didn’t know how to get out of it.

Portland-bound without a plan.

You know that part in a movie, right before someone delivers horrible news and they say, “Do you want to sit down?” That question is for people like me. People who get woozy at bad news and faint in times of turmoil. Don’t count on me in an emergency.

Some may blame it one laziness, but I think not. I’m not lazy, just crazy. I can’t even deal with this coronavirus stress by overeating because my inability to act landed me right into obesity and now I’m intermittent fasting like a millennial.

Can’t Kit-Kat may way out of this one.

For years I lived without a scale and with a false sense of comfort that I wasn’t THAT fat. Heck, I’d had three kids and could still wear all my ethereal tent dresses —how chubby could I be?

Because I also have a deep fear of doctors, I rarely had to step on a scale, and I enjoyed my make-believe land of thinness and health. But a nasty sickness landed me in the emergency room with a DEMAND that I get a doctor and lose weight. Yup, I knew I was getting fat, but I combated the problem by never stepping on a scale or going to a doctor. PERFECTO!

So, I’m going to fight Corona with everything I have: impressive clothing, an expert’s knowledge on The Weeknd, and a hunger for food after 6 p.m.

See you in the bunker! I’ll be the really well dressed hungry woman.