We're Not In Pine Brook Anymore

new york looks prettiest from new jersey


Back to School

Sorry...I went on a little writing hiatus.  But I'm back!

Let's get caught up: I turned 44. I miss Coke Zero. I liked Ozark, but didn't love it.  I'm psyched about Amazon & Whole Foods.  North Korea is giving me hives. Irma gave me 100 gray hairs. And I'm pissed Equifax leaked all our data.

Ok?  Ok.

So it's been a minute since I've been a student.  Or 11,563,200 minutes, but who's counting?

I was recently asked to give some advice to a graduating high school senior.  Over the years, I've given a lot of advice to students graduating college, but this was a first.

Oh, and she was born in 2000.  Just let that soak in for a minute...

Anyway, when I think about my own experience at her age, I was a pretty serious about school.  I was decently popular, but I do feel like I missed out on life because I was so wrapped up being the perfect student and daughter.

I was in mostly honors and AP classes.  I made the National Honor Society.  I tracked my grade point average down to the hundredth of a decimal point.  I kept a list of every book I ever read.  I graduated in the top 10% of my class.  I did well on my SATs, was accepted early decision to college, and started with a few credits in the bag because of my scores on the AP English test.  I never cut school, never drank, never snuck out at night.  I lived a very G-rated life.

College was a different story.

I didn't go crazy, but I definitely relaxed.  A lot.  Pretty early on I realized I didn't have to work all that hard and I'd still get grades of the A and B (and occasionally C) variety.

I worked my way into the classes I wanted so my roommate and I could have the same schedule (that was back when nothing was online so you could tell the professor that the registrar signed you up and tell the registrar that the professor signed you up -- and no one was the wiser).  I went to class regularly, but didn't study much.  I wrote every paper the night before it was due.  I slept through a French final (and still somehow got a B).  We went out 3 nights a week.  At least.

And I did just fine.

I graduated college with a 3.45.  Looking back, I wish I pushed myself just a tiiiny bit to make Dean's List at 3.5.

But I'm sure there was a happy medium between my high school and college self.  So when it came time to give that advice, here's what I said:

  • Go to class -- seriously, just go. It's why you're there. And you won't have to study as hard if you just listen and take notes.
  • Use the buddy system -- college is so much easier to navigate with a friend.
  • Figure it out -- you are in a giant safety net, use this time to learn what you like and what you don't about school, subjects, activities, relationships & life.
  • Be smart -- nothing is private and social media lives forever, so watch what you say and do or your parents will disown you and no one will hire you when you graduate. Kidding.  (Not really.)
  • Take naps -- preschool and college are the only times this is acceptable until you're 70, enjoy it.

So, how'd I do?  What would YOU have said?  Give me some advice below...

tags: jersey, rants



All Lathered Up

Do you remember that Friends when they were in the steamy Caribbean at Ross' dinosaur conference and Monica's hair got bigger in every scene?

That's me.

Now, don't get me wrong.  This Jersey Girl loves big hair.  What I don't love is the fuzzy halo that surrounds it.

I have combination hair.  Is that a thing?  You can see its true identity when I let it air dry.  Somehow I have ringlets underneath, with wavy strands on top, and a few straight chunks in the front.

The frizz is just a bonus.

I guess I could have just gotten a keratin treatment and called it a day, but I feel like that makes your hair sooo flat.  I need volume.

And since I can't do anything a little bit, over the past few months I tried 17 different brands to tame my mane.  Each time, all I did was use these products and blow dry or air dry my hair -- no flat irons or magic hair wands involved.

Here are my findings in the People vs. Frizz...from best to worst.

Or just skip down to the bottom for the top 8 products I can't live without.

(And since it's weird to see my giant head over and over and over again, I'm using Snapchat pics because... filters.)


FEKKAI: Brilliant Glossing

Cost: $20.99/ea
Good Smell: YES!
Rich Lather: YES!
Key Ingredient: Olive Oil

Did it Work? Yes -- this is my all-time fave and I've been using it for many years. I buy it for myself every year for my bday.  I always get compliments on my hair when I use it, and people tell me I smell good.  Honestly, what more could a girl (or mouse) want?



Cost: $28-$59/ea depending on the size you buy
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredient: A bunch of chemicals I can't pronounce

Did it Work? Shockingly, yes!  I like it so much I bought the jumbo size.  I think the key is that it makes the texture of my hair better. It's quite a process with the cream & spray, but it helps.  Take THAT humidity!


AUSSIE: Total Miracle

Cost: $3.99/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredient: Australian Aloe, Jojoba Oil & Sea Kelp

Did it Work? I actually think it does! I let it air dry and my hair was wavy not frizzy. It claims to have 7 miraculous benefits in every bottle.  Cool.  I'll let you know if a genie pops out and grants me 3 hair wishes.


PANTENE PRO-V: Smooth & Sleek

Cost: $4.99/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredient: Argan Oil

Did it Work? Sure. I've used Pantene forever and it always has a place in my shower.  I just think my hair needs a fling with some other shampoos from time to time.  But I always find my way back home.


Cost: $5.99/ea
Good Smell: Sorta
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredient: Keratin

Did it Work? Actually this one is pretty good, super affordable -- and smooth!  The only weird thing is they say you'll have 7 days of straight hair, but I'm not sure who could put it to the test and go 7 days without washing it.  Certainly not this little piggie!


Cost: $48/kit
Good Smell: No, smells musky like bad cologne
Rich Lather: Sorta
Key Ingredient: Moroccan Oil

Did it Work? Ok the smell is funky to me but I definitely have smoother hair when I use it. So hold your little pink nose and jump in.



Cost: $3.49/ea
Good Smell: Maybe
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredients: Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter

Did it Work? The fox says no. It does have a super strong smell that really sticks with you.  This is great if you don't mind stinking like suntan lotion while you're sitting in a meeting.


Cost: $4.49/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather:  Yes
Key Ingredient: Argan Oil & Apricot

Did it Work? In a word, no.  No sleek.  No shine.  No bueno.  It does smell really good though.  And I'm a sucker for good lather.

OGX: Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco

Cost: $7.99/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Sorta
Key Ingredient: Argan Oil

Did it Work?  Ish. This wants so badly to be Moroccan Oil.  But it isn't. So my hair was as fuzzy as this photo.

NOT YOUR MOTHER'S: Curl Defining Shampoo

Cost: $8.99/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Sorta
Key Ingredient: Mango butter

Did it Work? Not really. But to be fair, I wasn't going for curly, just for not frizzy. That might be why my hair looks so stringy. At least it smelled good!


Cost: $20.99
Good Smell: No -- smells like a fruity stripper
Rich Lather: No, but it's not supposed to
Key Ingredient: Chemicals

Did it Work? It might but I hate the smell. It's like a blueberry died on my head.  I do love the one with the giant S on it though.  That one smells like papaya heaven and is a good leave in conditioner.

IT'S A 10: Miracle Leave-In

Cost: $33.29
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: No, but it's not supposed to
Key Ingredient: Keratin

Did it Work? Unclear. I used to think this worked to make my hair smooth.  Then I tried all this other stuff.  And I realized, it kinda doesn't. Woof.

DRYBAR: 100 Proof

Cost: $36
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Yes
Key Ingredient: Some Kind of Oil

Did it Work? Not really. It smells a bit incense-y and I think I just don't like hair oils.  They make my hair floppy. The shampoo & conditioner are ok, but for $36 apiece, this bunny needs more.


JOHN FRIEDA FRIZZ EASE: Beyond Smooth Frizz-Immunity

Cost: $6.99/ea
Good Smell: Yes
Rich Lather: Sorta
Key Ingredient: Coconut Oil

Did it Work? No. But they say it works gradually. If they mean decades, then maybe I'm on the right track.  But so far, this brand never works on my hair. Frizzy.  Fuzzy.  Fooey.

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE: BB Straight & Hairdresser's Invisible Oil

Cost: $31/ea
Good Smell: NO
Rich Lather: Sorta
Key Ingredient: A bunch of chemicals I can't pronounce

Did it Work? No. I'm pretty sure the shampoo/conditioner made my hair MORE frizzy and that invisible oil should be called Highly Visible Oil That Gives You Weird Shiny Patches And Does Not Come Off Your Hands.

NEXXUS: City Shield Sheer Frizz Resistance

Cost: $13.99 - $19.99/ea
Good Smell: No
Rich Lather: No
Key Ingredients: Lotus Extract & Wheat Protein

Did it Work? NO! In a catfight between my frizzy hair and the so-called frizz resistant city shield, my hair won.  Grrr.

KERASTASE: Nutritive Masquintense

Cost: $31.99-$51.99 depending on where you get it
Good Smell: NO-- smells like a guest soap at your grandma's house
Rich Lather: No, but it's not supposed to
Key Ingredient: Natural Lipid Conditioning Agent and Emollients with Irisome Complexe

Did it Work? Nope. I think Irisome Complexe is code for super greasy hair.  This dumb jar costs a fortune and it stinks in every sense of the word.

Ok.  Let's end on a high hair note!

Here are 8 hair products I can't live without -- fancy shampoo, daily shampoo, 2-1 for lazy days, dry shampoo for lazier days, hairspray, styling cream, leave in conditioner & sea salt spray.

What can I say?  The hair wants what it wants.

List YOUR go-to hair tips & tricks below...

tags: beauty, shopping, taste tests


Spoiler Alert: This post is gross.  Skip it if you're squeamish...

Back in April, I got the worst news ever: I needed a root canal.


I just finished the 3 STEP process today.  It's June.

You know how root canals have this reputation of being a horrible experience?  Well, if you read anything about them recently, everyone says that's a myth.  They say with today's advanced techniques it's really not so bad.  Some might even say it's a breeze!

They lie.

Let me tell you the truth about my toxic tooth...

It all started because a filling cracked off when I was eating guacamole.  How that happened, I'll never know.  Anyway, we're talking about the molar waaaaay in the back of my mouth on the left side (the middle tooth in this pic).

Meet my rotten/robot tooth.

That stubby tooth next door is my deeply impacted wisdom tooth.  See, I have giant horse teeth and a tiny jaw.  I also am lacking the standard amount of choppers a grown adult should have (32) because a bunch of them were yanked out when I was a kid to prevent crowding.

Then I wore braces for 4.5 years.

The net-net is I have a nice smile, 26 visible teeth, and a massive phobia of dentists.  So wisdom and his 3 buddies are staying put.


Anyway, it turns out when you lose a filling in that hard to reach spot, it's not great.  I say this because in all likelihood, the filling cracked a while ago but I didn't know.  And bacteria wormed its way around and killed my tooth from the inside.

Didn't even hurt.  So it wasn't until my guacamole was suddenly extra crunchy that I knew I had a problem.

It was like eating a driveway.

My sweet hometown dentist said, "uh oh," when he looked at the black spot my xray (see above).  Never a good sign.  Once he said the words "root canal" I basically zoned out of the rest of the words coming out of his mouth.

Blah, blah, blabedy, blah blah.

He referred me to an endodontist.  Apparently, that's a guy who does root canals, all day, every day.  And I'll be honest, I didn't look up much about this procedure.  Mainly because there was no sense in freaking myself out about the inevitable.

I'd rather just not know anything and let sheer horror wash over me in the moment.

Really test my fight or flight instincts.

So I'm in the chair for appointment #1 and I'm sitting next to a giant tray of truly medieval shit.  I don't even know what I'm looking at, but I know it's scary AF.

Doc comes in and makes a knock knock joke.  And I instantly know I'm in for a long day.

I brace myself for the actual root canal (which I naively believe is the worst part),  And it was no picnic.  After all, he's about to drill and scoop and stuff my roots with God knows what.  But first, he shows me this giant piece of rubber with 2 bars to keep my jaw open and a clamp to hook on my tooth.

Now, it's a party.

In all, 7 disturbing things were said:
1. Just so you know, your co-pay will be $550.
2. I call this tool Mr. Bumpy!
3. Has anyone ever told you that you have a very high threshold for pain?
4. Would you like to see your nerve?
5. Your roots are REALLY long.
6. Boy, that was kind of hard.
7. You have very beautiful eyes.

That last one made me throw up a little in my mouth.

After 2 hours in the coal mines, he patched me up and sent me on my way.  Before I left, he told me I need to see my regular dentist next for a crown, which is essentially a fancy slipcover for my weak, sad tooth (my words, not his).

He says the filling he used is temporary, but it should last several weeks.  Maybe a month!

Here's what actually happened:


Also, I received no antibiotics or pain meds, as stated on this form.  Granted, I had no infections or pain.  But still...

On appointment #2, it was time to get measured for my temporary crown.  In my mind, the worst was behind me.  This would be easy peasy!  Like going to the tailor to hem a skirt.

I was super effing wrong.

Here I am, back in my hometown that I love. I took the day off, thinking I might go shopping afterwards.  I flick on the TV and kick back for my "fitting."

Oh, and I also ignored it when they told me this appointment would take an hour and a half.

They must be wrong, I thought... and they were!  It actually took TWO and a half.

This time, 5 disturbing things were said:
1. Good news -- you don't need any novocaine today!
2. Your tooth has no nerve so you won't feel anything when I remove some of the root canal filling and screw in a post.
3. Your gums have grown over a bit, they will need to be shaved down.
4. It's perfectly normal to bleed.  Do not be alarmed.
5. That will be $408.80.

I'm not sure how to explain what happened here.  I think I joined Fight Club.

Except I'm not allowed to talk about Fight Club.  So let's just say it was like Game of Thrones combined with Gladiator combined with all the gory bloodfests ever made in the history of cinema.

Kinda like that. 

Turns out "shaving" my gums meant cutting around all the edges of my tooth like a mom trims the crust off a PB&J sandwich.  

So it hurts. And it bleeds more than you can imagine.

Good thing he did the post and re-building of my tooth first, because after the cutting I rinsed at least a dozen times and it was still bright red.  Like the shower scene from Psycho (if it was actual blood and not chocolate syrup).

I think I even made my dentist nervous.  So he put a solution on my gums to try and stop the bleeding.  

It tasted like pure evil.

Eventually the flow slowed, but it was still fresh on the purple oozy mold he took of my mouth.  And also on the temporary crown he put on my tooth (while dental elves were busy making the real one off my bloody mold).  

Afterwards, my gums felt like raw chopmeat.  I left completely sick to my stomach.  Needless to say, I did not spend the afternoon shopping.

Fast forward to today, appointment #3.  My temporary crown was still firmly in place when I sat down in the chair.

There was NO WAY they were going to pry it loose.  I assumed there would be another solution.

I was wrong.  Again.

On this final visit, 2 disturbing things were said:
1. Let me do it, you're too weak. (said the hygienist to the dentist as she muscled my temp off -- they're married, btw)
2. Let's watch Valerie Bertinelli make a salad.

To be fair, we had Food Network on while we were waiting for the permanent bonding agent to set so my new crown wouldn't fall off.  Or down.  Whatever.  Still, I'll never look at old Val the same again.

So FINALLY, it's over.  Aaaannnd I have a robot tooth.

For anyone who's still reading this (and keeping score), that's:
- 2 days off work
- 5 HOURS and 15 minutes in the dentist's chair
- 6 shots of novocaine (maybe more, I lost track)
- 2 crowns -- one acrylic, one porcelain, zero fit for a queen
- And $958.80 out of pocket -- and I have insurance!

There you have it.  My cautionary tale on why you never, ever, ever, EVER want a root canal.

Now, be safe out there -- make good choices!

tags: gross, health, rants



Women Who Rock

This post is inspired by a deep comment I received on my last post:

"why r these all dudes"

Why, indeed, Anonymous.  Why, indeed.

I think it's because I had (or have) a crush on one or more members of these bands.  And I like dudes.

But your excellent point is well taken.  There are lots of amazing female singers out there!

I don't happen to be one of them, of course.

I might be tone deaf, I have shitty range, and I've got more of a low man singing voice than a high lady voice.  In fact, our chorus teacher in 7th grade told me I should find a different hobby.  Like art.

So I did.

Now I just sing in cars and when I'm cleaning the shower.

Here are 8 ladies I wish I sounded like:

I Became a Fan in: 1988, I was 15

Natalie, in a Word: Muse

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Because the Night

Best Line: Love is a banquet on which we feed.

I Became a Fan in: 1995, I was 22

Gwen, in a Word: Strong

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Don't Speak

Best Line: It looks as though you're letting go. And if it's real, well I don't want to know.

I Became a Fan in: 1996, I was 23

Fiona, in a Word: Mercurial

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Criminal

Best Line: But I keep living this day like the next will never come.

I Became a Fan in: 2001, I was 28

P!nk, in a Word: In Your Face (that's 3, I know)

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Who Knew

Best Line: That last kiss, I'll cherish until we meet again.

I Became a Fan in: 2002, I was 29

Shakira, in a Word: Spicy

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Empire

Best Line: Shake off all of your sins and give them to me.

I Became a Fan in: 2008, I was 35

Gaga, in a Word: Iconic

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Applause

Best Line: Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me.

I Became a Fan in: 2011, I was 38

Sia, in a Word: Artistic

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Unstoppable

Best Line: I'm a Porsche with no brakes.

I Became a Fan in: 2013, I was 40

Lorde, in a Word: Prodigy

If I Sang Karaoke, I'd Sing: Royals

Best Line: We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams.

So, that's my list.  Show YOUR love for the ladies below...

tags: music


My brother says I never blog about anything good.

Right now, I'm watching the 2017 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Some of my best music memories involve my bro (like this pic from a Primus show at Roseland Ballroom in 2011).  So I'm feeling inspired to write a post.

Bud, this one's for you!

First, I've got to say, there's something super depressing about aging rockers.  I think it's because good music takes you back to a great memory.  And memories, by definition, take place when you were younger.

So when you see that the guy singing your favorite song is now all gray and wrinkly and old, that means so are YOU.

Aint nothing rock & roll about that.

Anyway, here is my very own Hall of Fame -- 12 inductees in all -- and my memories to go with them:

I Became a Fan in: 1977, I was 4

Fave Memory: Growing up, there was this huge wooden cabinet that my parents had built to house a record player my dad brought back from Vietnam. The earliest music I remember came from those records -- in our 2 bedroom apartment in the Bronx.  My mom would turn on the music when she cleaned, and I clearly remember the Brothers Gibb.  They're still great!  CBS just did a disco-rific special on them, and I watched it twice  You are legit dead inside if their songs don't get you dancing.

Fave Member: Barry Gibb
Fave Album: Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Fave Song: Tragedy

I Became a Fan in: 1982, I was 9

Fave Memory: Fun fact -- this was my very first concert!  Til Tuesday opened. Seeing Dr. Noah Drake for my 12th birthday with floor seats at Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) was a dream come true.  I know he was singing just for me and my mom.  I'm pretty sure my poor brother (who was 7 at the time) had to wear earplugs.  This was HIS first concert too.  You're welcome.

Fave Member: That's easy.
Fave Album: Working Class Dog (1981)
Fave Song: Jessie's Girl (did you honestly think it would be anything else?)

I Became a Fan in: 1983, I was 10

Fave Memory: This band reminds me of my childhood best friend and the co-ed birthday parties we would go to in the 5th and 6th grades.  It was usually in someone's basement, and Duran Duran music videos were on the TV. Looking back, I can't believe anyone's parents let us watch them.  They were scandalous!  But then again, so was Judy Blume.

Fave Member: John Taylor
Fave Album: Duran Duran (1981)
Fave Song: Rio

I Became a Fan in: 1986, I was 13

Fave Memory: This was the first concert I was allowed to go to with just friends -- no parents.  Well, except for my friend's dad who was a NJ State Trooper and worked security at the arena. Anyway, I remember bleaching a pair of Guess jeans, ripping a few holes in them, teasing my hair way up to the sky and rocking out.  Skid Row opened.  Then they made an announcement that they were filming some of the crowd scenes for an upcoming video.  It was Livin' on a Prayer!

Fave Member: C'mon, you know it's JBJ
Fave Album: Slippery When Wet (1986)
Fave Song: Tie -- Livin' on a Prayer & Runaway

I Became a Fan in: 1987, I was 14

Fave Memory: I really have 3 here, but I think I'll go with my 1st. Seeing Rattle & Hum in the movies.  It was Thanksgiving weekend and we went in a huge group to the Willowbrook Mall. I was a sophomore and I think my whole high school was at the theater.  It was part documentary, part concert, and part a chance to flirt with cute boys.  A fun night.

Fave Member: Bono's cool as shit, but I do love The Edge
Fave Album: Joshua Tree (1987)
Fave Song: I CAN'T PICK. Where The Streets Have No Name. Electrical Storm. Vertigo.

I Became a Fan in: 1988, I was 15

Fave Memory: While all my friends were sneaking out to go to the Limelight, I was home watching 120 Minutes on MTV and drawing in my sketchpad until the wee hours of the morning.  It's funny that I loved such moody, melancholy music when I looked like an extra from Valley Girl. But it really spoke to me.  I'm a riddle wrapped in an enigma.

Fave Member: Robert Smith
Fave Album: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)
Fave Song: Just Like Heaven

I Became a Fan in: 1988, still 15

Fave Memory: There were a ton of concert movies being made around this time, and I remember when we got 101.  It was on 2 video tapes and I think we watched it 101 times, like a concert in the living room. The band filmed it on a tour that ended at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, all in black & white.  Those VCR tapes make me laugh too, because my brother and I invented an older brother named Jimmy so that we could get Columbia House/BMG to send us more CDs or movies for 1 penny.  Getting one over on the man.  Super rock & roll.

Fave Member: Dave Gahan, the beauty (and shout out to Martin Gore, the brains)
Fave Album: Violator (1990)
Fave Song: Behind the Wheel

I Became a Fan in: 1989, I was 16

Fave Memory: This reminds me of when I first got my license.  I was 17 and got a white Jetta for my bday (lucky girl). There was always a mixtape playing. One of the first times I drove without my parents, I took my brother to 7-11 for Coke Slurpees. NIN was on the radio when we pulled into the garage, and I proceeded to scrape the whole left side of my car along the wall.  No bueno.  Luckily, my dad buffed the scratch out and it was good as new.

Fave Member: Trent Reznor (honestly, I don't know the name of the other dude)
Fave Album: Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
Fave Song: Head Like a Hole (Sin is a v close 2nd)

I Became a Fan in: 1991, I was 18

Fave Memory: I think these guys may have recorded the best debut album in the history of music. There's not a bad song on Ten (except maybe Oceans, that's a bit of a clunker). The best was seeing them at MSG with my bro -- maybe in 2003?  Not totally sure about the year, but what I do remember is that they put on 2 encores.  Eddie just decided he wanted to keep playing, and he said they were going to charge them a ton of money but he didn't care. It was epic.

Fave Member: Eddie Vedder, but I like Stone Gossard too
Fave Album: Ten (1991)
Fave Song: THIS IS SO HARD. Can't pick one.  Alive.  Black.  Better Man.  Rearviewmirror. Porch. State of Love and Trust.

I Became a Fan in: 1995, I was 21

Fave Memory: This one is bittersweet, I'll be honest.  I had probably the best date of my life at a DMB concert at Jones Beach in 2009.  But that all went to shit.  So a close second is summers I spent in Newport, RI. For years after college, my friends, my brother and I would rent houses there.  Every weekend was filled with beach, beer, and this band. His early stuff reminds me of suntan lotion and day drinking. A carefree time.

Fave Member: Dave's great and all, but I like Boyd Tinsley best
Fave Album: Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
Fave Song: Dancing Nancies (next is Two Step)

I Became a Fan in: 2002, I was 29

Fave Memory: It was 2008 and I'd just back moved into the city after a couple of tough years.  I was still living with boxes, but one of my best friends came in to celebrate and we went out to eat, drink, and dance.  I remember Michael Phelps was raking in the gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing on TV and while the bar was cheering, we were dancing to Maroon 5 -- then the 80's tunes kicked in and we really got down.  We wound up with hoarse voices, sore feet, and a late night trip to a diner for grilled cheese.  But that wasn't the beer talking, I'm pretty sure it's the law.

Fave Member: It's got to be Adam Levine, I'm a sucker for an arrogant jerk
Fave Album: Songs About Jane (2002)
Fave Song: Harder to Breathe

I Became a Fan in: 2005, I was 32

Fave Memory:  These guys know how to crank out a catchy tune!  I remember Uma Thurman was the first song that came on when I drove my new car off the lot last summer -- and I turned it up loud.  It was torture not having wheels for 8 years when I lived in the city.  A car is freedom!  There's honestly nothing I like more than driving.  Fast.  To great music. Oh, hell yes.

Fave Member: Patrick Stump
Fave Album: From Under the Cork Tree
Fave Song: Centuries & My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark

So that's my list.  And don't think I haven't fallen in love with any new bands in the past decade.  I have!

To name a few: Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes (I freaking love this kid -- you need I Know What You Did Last Summer in your life).  They're all great future members of my Hall of Fame.

Congrats to the REAL class of 2017: ELO, Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur, Yes, Journey, Nile Rogers & Pearl Jam.

The show was great -- Lenny Kravitz's tribute to Prince was awesome.  Pearl Jam killed it, per usual.  But the big shock of the night was with Journey.  I had NO idea Steve Perry was mindblowingly replaced by a small, young Filipino guy in a pink suit.

But man, can he sing!

Like my bands?  Think they're lame?  Give YOUR faves a shout out below...

tags: music, pop culture


Choose Your Words

This weekend I've been getting shit done.

Errands mostly.  Some important.  Some annoying.  But it just feels good to check these things off a list!

So, I went for blood work and I got my teeth cleaned (the dentist also told me I need a root canal -- crap).  I got my taxes done.  I stopped the cable box inside my closet from beeping (no thanks to Verizon).  And I returned a leather jacket, a rain jacket, wedges and a pair of sneakers because apparently, I am the Goldilocks of late night online shopping.

My to-do list is to-done.

Another thing that's been nagging at me is writing a new blog post.  I guess I just haven't felt super creative lately. But I'm jumping back in right now with a post on... words.

Words?  Yes, words.

Stick with me for a sec.

Whenever I write a post, it generally takes me about 20 mins to bang out whatever I want to say.  But then, I spend another hour or so choosing my words.  I read it, and reread it, tightening it up as I go.  Looking for a better way to turn a phrase.  Finding the best lines to emphasize.  Spellchecking.

In honor of this process, I've come up with a list of words I hate and why they stink so bad.  Here are the 6 cringeworthiest words in the English language:
  1. MOIST. This one is universally hated -- that's not me, that's science.
  2. SOIL. Ick.  Just say shit or crap or dirt.  Much less offensive.
  3. YOLK.  This one is personal.  I despise eggs and everything about them.
  4. PHLEGM. Fun to spell, disgusting to say.  And every time I see this goopy spit on a sidewalk, it makes me want to cover it in vomit. 
  5. PANTIES. I feel like a pervert even typing it. Just ew.
  6. OINTMENT. Nothing good can come from needing to use this. I want no part of it.

While we're at it, here are 6 words I find just plain annoying:
  1. LITERALLY. Using this word is literally the worst because it's never followed by something literal. As such, it is also a clear signal someone is exaggerating.
  2. ARTISINAL. I believe it is Latin for pretentious asshole.
  3. WHILST. An email I received last week used this ridiculous word. Then I saw they were British. And I was like... ok.
  4. VAJAYJAY. This nonsense is actually in the DICTIONARY.  Make it stop before my head explodes.
  5. IRREGARDLESS. Not really a word.
  6. SUPPOSIBLY. Definitely not a word. If you say this, we can't be friends anymore.  Literally.

Ah, that's better.  Let's end on a high note with 6 words I love:
  1. KERFUFFLE. My favorite word for a fuss or a disagreement.
  2. DEBACLE. When kerfuffle isn't enough to do justice to the disaster at hand.
  3. SHITSHOW.  The perfect storm of everything gone wrong.  A situation that's so chaotic and insane it's practically entertainment.
  4. NUGGET. My favorite way to describe something small and adorable.
  5. WONKY or JANKY. My favorite way to describe something effed up without offending anyone.
  6. TCHOTCHKE. While I have no need for cheap trinkets, this one is fun to say AND fun to blow people's minds when they realize it's not spelled chachki.

So, what are YOUR favorite words?  Choose your own below.

And don't say fuck.  That's obvious.

tags: rants, writing

I know Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life aired over Thanksgiving and today is Valentine's Day.

But I waited to post about it until now, in part because I didn't want to spoil it for anybody. And because I still can't believe they screwed it up so badly. Also because I am lazy.

Man, I wanted to love it, but it broke my heart.

In all this time, I've thought about WHY I hated it (and my mom hated it, and my friends at work hated it).  Mainly, I think it's because the plot, the people, and the dialogue were SO ridiculous and out of character from the SEVEN seasons we all watched and loved, I honestly don't know why they bothered to do it at all.

You know the old saying, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?

Not tonight.

Given that this is such a mother-daughter show, and I watched this whole series several times with my own mom, we couldn't wait to binge our way through the seasons. But we knew we entered an alternate universe when Winter started without even one note from Carole King, and it was downhill from there.

Here's why we want NO more Gilmore:

LORELAI, The Cool Mom

MOM: Lorelai was very dull. She wasn't chipper. She didn't have any spunk. Her dialogue wasn't cute or funny. She was dull dull dull.

ME: She dressed like a grandma. She stopped talking fast. She was depressed. She's in therapy. With her MOM. She read a book instead of watching a movie. She went H-I-K-I-N-G. In nature! Who the eff is this woman?

RORY, The Pride of Stars Hollow

MOM: OMG Rory,  What a hopeful, beautiful, smart, young lady she was. She knew exactly what she wanted.  She had her eye on being a journalist.  What happened to that girl?  She was a loser!  She didn't have the joy.  She couldn't do anything right.  She wound up being pregnant!  Just blew my mind.

ME: I get why she's trans-Atlantic friends with benefits with Logan. I might see how she went from following then president-elect Obama on the campaign trail to running the snoozy Stars Hollow Gazette. I can even live with the infamous "last four words" that brings the story full circle -- knocked up by Logan (her Christopher). I'm NOT on board that a girl with so much potential is basically a failure. But what really I can't abide by is how Rory Gilmore had a one night stand (her first!) with a Wookie from ComiCon.  Unacceptable on a thousand levels.

EMILY, The Stuffy Grandmother

MOM: I like the mother. She was right getting mad at Lorelai. But it was like she had a lobotomy! The husband dies and she's like a nomad. Wearing rag tag jeans. She quits the DAR? Nobody checks on her -- nobody bothered?  It's like they didn't care about her any more since the father died.

ME: The JEANS! Were Emily's tweed Chanel suits burned in a fire? When did she start sleeping until noon?  How did she go from firing each maid to letting their whole family squat in her house? Why is she living in Martha's Vineyard with the creepy dude from Twin Peaks? She works at a WHALE museum? She works?!?! Did she hit her head? Was Richard holding her captive for 50 years, and now she's letting her freak flag fly?  I need answers.

RICHARD, The Stuffy (and Dead) Grandfather

MOM: They didn't give the father the respect he should have gotten.  Especially with Lorelai, not even able to think of one wonderful memory and just made a joke out of a serious matter.  Absolutely disgraceful.

ME: Shameful! She couldn't tell a single nice story about her dad, who she actually had a good relationship with when he was living, and who made it possible for her daughter to go to private school and an ivy league college? The pretzel story was too little, too late. A shitty ending. Richard and his bowties deserved more.

LUKE, The Safe Choice

MOM: Luke's like a puppy dog.  He always there.  He's always loyal.  And he's always getting used. At least he had some spunk in the first series.  He stood up for himself and was a real man.  Now he just serves her.

ME: He's always been a devoted doormat. He was even an afterthought in his own wedding scene! And they clearly ran out of budget on pricey cameos (I see you Peter Krause), so they had to pull Luke's wardrobe out of mothballs. I'll bet you a donut that hat never left his head because his hair most certainly did.

LOGAN, The Rich Ex-Boyfriend Who Can't Grow Up

MOM: I thought that was ridiculous with Logan.  He asks her to marry him and she says no, that's not her focus.  Then you find out they're together on the sly while he's engaged to someone else?  Trashy. That's not Rory.

ME: Oh, Logan. He is trouble! I have to say, though, I def see the appeal there. But he's got to ditch the Peter Pan clan and rich kid antics with the Life & Death Brigade. It's called growth, people! And did we all forget that he proposed to Rory, or did we wipe that memory clean because Amy Sherman Palladino didn't write it?

JESS, The Moody Ex-Boyfriend Who Can't Settle Down

MOM: I love the men in Rory's life but it was like drive by shootings.  They were there for a second -- especially Jess.  I couldn't understand why they didn't spend more time.  What was he doing with his life?  What happened to him?  I loved that character and he was there for 5 seconds.

ME: She hasn't seen him in years! Why is she so unfazed? Maybe she's been cyberstalking him and is trying to play it cool. Or maybe it's because they dated in real life and it didn't end so great. I'm going with the latter.

DEAN, The Dopey First Love

MOM: The other guy! Did he go to college?  Did he get married again?  He saw Rory for 2 minutes in a grocery store.  What a disaster!  Who wrote this? I loved this show!  You had such a good feeling.  It made you laugh. And cry. Some belly laughs even.  It was a such good story. I guess you can't improve perfection.

ME: He bored me then and he bores me now. So nothing's changed here. Adios, macaroni hair!

PARIS, The Frenemy Turned Fertility Doctor

MOM: Yes, that one makes sense. I like her now on How to Get Away with Murder.

ME: Yeah, she's intense. But how is she still hung up on Chad Michael Murray?!  He didn't even show up. C'mon!

LANE, The Sheltered Best Friend

MOM: Lane had a dad?

ME: Where the eff has Mr. Kim been all this time?  Never popped his head out of the antique shop.  Missed her wedding and her babies, and when she dyed her hair purple? And she's still in Hep Alien? No. Just no.

CHRISTOPHER, The Irresponsible Baby Daddy

MOM: The talk with her father went so fast.  He FINALLY got his act together and is no longer a failure.  It seemed like they haven't talked in a long time.  He didn't want to talk to her mother at all?  Who wrote this?  Seems like an alien wrote this!

ME: This made me angry! Not a single scene with "Lor"? Oh, no you didn't. It's the final straw. I. Literally. Can't.

Now I'm all riled up again. Before we go, let's say something nice about the revival...

MOM: I can't say anything good about it.  The anticipation of watching it was fun.  But it was a letdown. That's it. The town is great -- I love the town.  It was the hope.  The same quaintness and light.  But then it seemed like the people weren't the same.  They have to grow but they were totally different.

ME: Samesies.

So how do you rate it?

MOM: I give it a C.  They made an effort.  I just didn't agree with it.

ME: You're grading on a curve.  I give it a ZERO.  I want those 6 hours back!

SO what do YOU think?  Do you agree?  Do you smell snow?  Write me a loveletter below...

tags: entertainment, family, pop culture, rants