Category Archives: totally 80s

we watched “poltergeist” the other day. that was a mistake.

The little old lady from Poltergeist.

IT’S NOT CLEAN! IT’S NOT. CLEAN!!!!

you can add this to my list of recent bad decisions, including but not limited to after-lunch hula hooping (i hiccupped every five minutes for about, oh, five hours) and other things of which i am purposely forgetting at the moment which may or may not include getting into a fight with the sushi guy at whole foods.

if you’ve read this blog even one time before, you’d probably guess that i’m not emotionally or physically hearty enough to watch horror movies. i watched jennifer’s body like three years ago for one damn kiss scene but i nearly collapsed from fright in the process. was it worth it? maybe. no.

seven years living in this city has given me some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder–except for the trauma isn’t actually over, it’s ongoing–in that blocks and blocks of boarded-up houses and you know, zombie heroin addicts don’t freak me out, but if i see a shadow in my own house i freak the f*ck out. or  a friggin firework goes off a few blocks over, i think it’s actually a gun and shout HIT THE DECK to holly, who’s sitting calmly on the couch looking at me, smiling as if to say oh baby, i love you. but could you please calm down a little bit maybe sometime? 

i was feeling particularly curious (never a good thing with me) a couple weekends ago. holly was flipping through our endless comcast cable guide and i saw poltergeist was listed.

oh poltergeist! i said, half-kidding. let’s watch that!  and you know what? she turned it on.

watching it was a mistake. i knew it would be a mistake the moment we turned it on and yet…we watched it anyway. even though the “special effects” were 80s and therefore sub-par, it still shook me to the core.

DON’T LAUGH I HAVE A VERY SENSITIVE SYSTEM. PLUS THIS WAS A VERY SCARY MOVIE BACK IN 1982.

shortly afterwards i heard a kid yelling outside (there are a ton of kids where we live) and i was like sh*t! is she stuck inside the tv? WHAT IF THAT IS ACTUALLY NOT A KID OUTSIDE BUT A KID STUCK IN OUR TELEVISION.

i managed to calm down but then i kept thinking about that weird little old lady. the ghost-fighting lady? the one they call in for help when they’re desperate to get the little girl back and rid the house of ghosts? i kept thinking of how she looked and her voice and her huge glasses and the things she said and i was like shit! that was really freaky! she was really freaky! also: why did she say the house was “clean” when it clearly wasn’t?!! if she knows everything there is to know about ghosts wouldn’t she, like, know? that the house wasn’t clean like she said it was? that freaked me out for some reason.

then when it was quiet in the house (our house) i started thinking about all those decayed old bodies, you know, the skeletons? with the hair still on their skulls? popping up in the rain…when the mom’s stuck in that huge hole with all the water in it? while her kids are upstairs, like, being attacked by that big ghost and it’s trying to suck them into the other side? and coffins keep popping up from the ground? and they swing open and bodies fall out?

and the DAMN CLOWN. that damn clown toy in the kids’ room! that is burned into my brain now. i need brain bleach! do they make that??

i also thought about the weird red jello-type stuff that was stuck to the mom and the little girl when they fell through the ceiling. what was that anyway? ew!

and THEN, then i kept hearing the dad shout at the evil boss:

YA MOVED THE HEADSTONES BUT YA DIDN’T MOVE THE BODIES! WHY? WHHHHHYYYYYY?

after it was over, i had to sun myself outside for 15 minutes, which, as you may know, is the minimum amount of sun needed for your body to produce mood-enhancing vitamin D.

i have no memory of the rest of the day because i blacked out. but i’ll tell you what helped me a couple weeks later:

watching st. elmo’s fire. which i had never seen before. it’s a pretty good movie! here are some reasons why:

1. a young rob lowe.

A headshot of actor Rob Lowe in the 80s.

look at that bone structure! gorgeous!

2. a young rob lowe playing the sax!

Rob Lowe playing the saxophone in the hit 80s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

hey now!

some good 80s sax really calms the soul. and when i say calms the soul, i  actually mean makes you stop thinking about that weird red poltergeist jello sh*t.

3. a young demi moore. again: the bone structure.
4. a young demi moore smoking at her desk. i know, right?! the 80s were crazy!

Demi Moore smoking at her desk in the hit 80s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

what’cha workin on there demi?! looks important!

5. the nerdy girl GETS THE GUY!

Wendy from the hit 80s movie,  St. Elmo's Fire.

YOU GO GIRL.

6. i googled where it was filmed while i was watching and some of it was filmed at my alma mater, university of maryland, college park. HOLLA CLASS OF 2000! SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM WHAT WHAT. look at me now! i blog in lowercase! WHAT!

7. the theme song. hello. that’s some good instrumental sh*t! if that can’t make you forget about the damn red poltergeist jello, the clown, and the little girl in the tv, i don’t know what can.

The cast of the hit 1980s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

thanks for the memories, guys! i’ll never forget you. if i had your yearbooks, i’d write, “never change!” in each one of them. except you, demi: you need to stop smoking. and the cocaine. thanks for that sweet sax, billy. rock on, nerdy girl. if you wanna be a social worker, you go ahead and be a social worker. your dad will get used to it.
always ‘n foreva, jessica

holly, i’m sorry i told you to buy those sweatpants in petite

as a spouse/significant other, you are depended upon for both a) tasks and b) opinions.  in our household, one of my tasks is that i make the coffee because you’re so good at it, holly says, batting her eyelashes. (i need to note here that she’s actually pretty good at making it, too, but she’d rather i’d do it, which is totally fine, as i’d rather her take the recycling and trash out to the black hole that is our alley.)

anyway, sometime within the past six months or so we were perusing our local jcpenny’s–wait, no: JAYCEEPEE–perusing the aisles of our local JCP, when she stumbled across a pair of particularly comfy looking grey sweatpants.

ooooh these are nice, she said.

yeah, i said. nice.

now, you may or may not recall this, but i’m not much of a shopper. it’s like, the “gayest” thing about me (besides, you know, the obvious). i mean, i love a trip to target, but at least there i can make a quick getaway into the greeting cards/ cleaning products/make-up aisle to get away from all the clothes.

holly loves to shop. oh she loooooves to shop. (“i DO NOT love to shop,” she just said. whatever, she likes to. i don’t care what she says.) and she loves to get my damn opinion on everything. so that’s the context here. as i was saying:

do you think i should get them in a regular or petite? she asks me as i walk behind her, distracted and instagramming (is that a verb? i’m making it a verb.)

you’re small. get a petite, i say. otherwise you’re gonna havta get em hemmed and that costs as much as the pants. 

so i should get the petite?

yeah, get the petite.

ok, i’ll get the petite.

great, can we leave now?

no, not yet, i want to look in the kitchen section. where’s the escalator?

at which point i groaned and we had our usual but-i-don’t-want-to/pipe-down-babe-it’ll-just-be-a-minute,-if-you-want-me-to-cook-for-you-i-need-kitchen-tools exchange.

after a couple of washes the pants shrunk. holly noticed first. i looked up from words with friends and agreed that yeah, they were a little on the short side.

now, weeks later, i see that they’re actually not just a little short, they’re painfully short. she likes to wear them, because they’re a great color and they are indeed comfortable, but, like an inside voice or an inside cat, they are inside pants. she’ll occasionally wear them for a walk to the park and immediately regret it, saying she feels like rocky balboa (see below).

Rocky Balboa runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum in the first Rocky movie.

rocky balboa’s short pants in the first rocky movie. i guess it was ok because it was the 80s? anyway, holly’s aren’t quite as short, but it’s close. it’s really close.

anyway, now i feel kind of guilty. even though i laugh and call her “short pants,” i really do feel bad. she depended on me for input and i lead her astray. she should have never gotten the petite. babe, i should have never told you to get the petite. i’m sorry and i love you, even in your short pants. especially in your short pants.

i’m also sorry i was accidentally making you caffeinated coffee instead of decaf for like a week last month and you kept feeling anxious and we didn’t know why. i didn’t properly label the ground bulk coffee we got at whole foods. completely my fault. it was my task and i failed. i’ll take the trash and recycling out to make up for it. wait no. i can’t because i’m scared of our alley. but i love you and i’ll be more careful from here on out.

in other news: we’re getting MARRIED this weekend. THIS TIME RIGHT HERE IN OUR HOME STATE OF MARYLAND! on st. patty’s day (sunday!), the three-year anniversary of our first legal wedding in dc.

it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision. we ran over to the baltimore city courthouse earlier this week and were like HOLLA! we’re here to get our marriage license! (well, we didn’t say “holla” but we could’ve) and the lady was like HOLLA! here it is! (well, no, not really but she was nice). anyway, the rabbi that married us the first time will do it again, except this time she’ll be able to sign a license. full circle right? and this time in jeans! (if you’re new to this blog and you’d like to read about our nuptial adventures–and oh, we’ve had many–in one fell swoop, check out this essay i wrote for the current issue of baltimore bride.)

until then, folks, take your spousal/significant other-ly duties seriously! if your partner’s pants seem too short, for crying out loud, pay attention and speak up. and if s/he can’t process caffeine, don’t confuse the bags. you know it can only end badly.

not taking xanax on my 30-minute flight to pittsburgh was a really bad idea

the third installment of what i did this summer.*

*(two to three more installments to follow.)
**(part 1 is over here. part 2 is over there.)
***(can we start now? good.)

if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall that just over a year ago, i bought a holiday sweater from chico’s, got a prescription for xanax, and boarded a plane to san francisco for my dear friend nicole‘s wedding.

(then i proceeded to wear that sweater–which was both unseasonal and inappropriately sparkly–to her pre-wedding party, burning out several people’s retinas in the process. SORRY ABOUT THAT.)

anyway, a couple weeks before leaving, i called my doctor saying i was nervous about the flight and could she prescribe something gentle and extremely low dose to help calm me down before and during my trip.

“xanax,” she said without skipping a beat.

she explained that it was the lowest dose available on the market, and i could even just take half.

i picked up the little white pills at the pharmacy later that day and stared at them. LORD, i thought. i must really love nicole because i do not want to take these pills nor do i want to take this flight. 

(and i do love her!!! hi, nicole! mwah!)

i decided to do a “test run” at home, and took one (well, half, ok i’m a sissy and actually only took half) on a sunday afternoon as holly and i were watching a movie on the couch.

my immediate urge was, of course, to gag myself and throw it up. but alas, as a neurotic jewish control freak, i avoid throwing up at all costs, so gagging myself was not an option and i was stuck there on the couch with the xanax melting in my stomach.

i immediately started to panic. kind of like that one time i took caffeine pills i found in a freebie welcome-to-college pack when i was a freshman and collapsed on the floor next to my sleeping roommate.

“it’s ok, babe,” holly said, her eyes fixed on whatever annoying action-comedy she had chosen. “you’ll be fine.”

and…i was fine. i was actually fine! it felt more like my old migraine medicine, but better. it just sort of…took the edge off. and it worked perfectly on my flight. except for when it wore off somewhere over colorado but we’re not going there right now.

so when holly bugged me til i agreed to let her mom book me a flight to pittsburgh a couple months ago–while holly was there helping her gram–i was like, ok, yeah sure. i can do this. i’ll take a xanax, i’ll be fine. 

but then i started thinking stupid things like: wait. do i really want to use xanax as a crutch like this? it’s just a half-hour flight. i can do it. i want to see how i actually am on a flight. maybe i’m not that bad anymore. it’s just half an hour.

folks, this was deranged thinking. a half-hour flight is still a half hour flight! you still have to board the friggin plane, sit the hell down, wait a long time for it to take off. then you have to take off (omg i hate taking off), fly and land.

i woke up at 5am nervous as hell, even though my flight was at 4pm,  so i started off my day by downloading a bunch of songs from itunes on my new iphone to calm me down on the plane. they were what some might call comfort songs. the musical equivalent of…toast with jam. a slice of your favorite pizza. birthday cake. ok carbs. they were the musical equivalent of carbs.

here’s what i purchased:

(i’ve had) the time of my life (yes, from dirty dancing)
waiting for a star to fall (yes, 80s)
so emotional (yes, whitney houston, yes, 80s)
i wanna dance with somebody (yes, whitney, yes more 80s)
bette davis eyes (and yet…more 80s!) (that is one DAMN GOOD SONG btw)
hammer and a nail (yes, indigo girls; yes, very lesbionic of me, i know)
now or never (gotta throw a little dance in there, too) (also a GREAT SONG)

so. i get on the plane. and i get a seat right in the middle on the wing like i wanted. and this businesslady is sitting next to me. she’s in sales and flys all the time and i’m totally making her talk to me even though it’s clear she’s really not interested.

i mention that i’m a nervous flyer but decided i didn’t want to take xanax.

“i just don’t want to use it as a crutch, you know?” i tell her.

she looks at me and smiles politely, as if to say: lady, i really wish you would have taken your xanax. i’m really doubting my decision to sit next to you.

she assures me that the flight is short. you’re up, you’re down, you’re there.

then it starts to rain. hard. and i fear there’s lightning. there’s only one thing that scares me more than flying and it’s lightning. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

anyway, the storm passes and we finally move onto the runway. convinced the roar of the jet engines will cover it up, i start doing deep breathing exercises. we lift off the ground and suddenly i realize:

THIS WAS THE STUPIDEST IDEA OF MY LIFE. I REALLY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN XANAX.

i start frantically searching for my homeopathic stress spray and dammit i’m out! i’m spraying it in my mouth and…NOTHING. JESUS MARY JOSEPH WHY DIDN’T I BUY MORE OF THIS WHERE THE HELL IS MY XANAX.

and then, out the window, maybe a few hundred feet from the plane:

LIGHTNING.

HOLY G-D GET ME OFF THIS PLANE I AM GOING TO DIE.

at this point, i think the grumpy-ish sales lady begins hearing my deep breathing exercises and so she starts to make conversation with me. this helps a little. i thank her and start to calm down.

they make an announcement that we can turn on our electronic devices so i bust out my new iphone and my brand-new, never-before-used earphones.

i decide i’m more in the mood for dance music, so i choose “now or never.” (don’t ask me why, sometimes pounding dance music calms me down.)

i put in my earphones and crank up the tunes except for…i can barely hear it.

man these damn jet engines are loud, i think as i turn it up. and up. and up. til it won’t go up any louder. DAMMIT I WANT TO HEAR THIS SONG WHAT THE HELL.

a guy turns around in the row in front of me and gives me a dirty look. i glare back at him as if to say WHAT MOTHERF*CKER?! YOU NEVER HEARD A JEWISH GIRL FROM JERSEY DO DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES ON A PLANE BEFORE? I JUST SAW LIGHTENING I’M ABOUT TO FLIP MY SH*T DON’T TEMPT ME I LIVE IN BALTIMORE NOW AND I WILL CUT YOU AND PULL OUT YOUR WEAVE.

never mind that he wasn’t wearing a weave. but if he was i would have pulled it out to set an example for the plane.

i feel a tap on my shoulder. it’s the grumpy-ish saleslady.

she leans towards me.

“we can hear that,” she says, smiling.

i look around the plane. everyone’s looking at me. this one lady across the aisle, she’s looking at me, smiling as if to say, sweetie, it’s ok. we all know you’re nervous. you obviously don’t know how to use your iphone yet. 

my face gets hot. ohmygosh. i didn’t have my earphones plugged completely in my iphone. MY PHONE WAS BLASTING DANCE MUSIC AT FULL CAPACITY.

it was really loud. i can’t emphasize this enough.

i quickly hit pause, take out my earphones and explain to the saleslady that i got an iphone like a week ago and i was still figuring out how to use it. there are still a lot of people looking at me. i suddenly feel bad about thinking how i was going to cut that guy and pull out his non-existent weave.

i thank her for alerting me, push the earphones in and start listening to “waiting for a star to fall,” wishing i could disappear.  i’m suddenly extremely grateful i hadn’t been blasting “i had the time of my life.” i mean, can you imagine??

not even five minutes later, they announce we’re starting our descent into pittsburgh and to please turn off our electronic devices.

the grumpy-ish saleslady has her eyes closed with her head back and she’s still laughing. i kind of want to pull out her weave but her hair looks real.

we land in pittsburgh. my half-hour ride is over. i’m chilly with sweat. i vow to myself: never ever again without xanax. never. again. without. xanax.

i’ll be eating grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch & dinner from now til october

except for breakfast it’ll have an egg in it with only one slice of cheese (see: egg & cheese sandwich). this is because holly’s away in western pee-ay mon-thurs from now til the end of september taking care of her gram, who just had hip surgery.

what i’ve come to see is that, when holly leaves and i’m left to my own devices, i promptly forget we have an oven and thusly only cook things a) on the stove b) in a frying pan with c) melted butter. and if i’m not cooking with melted butter, it means i’m making a quesadilla. before you turn up your noses please note that i add spinach which makes it healthy.

it’s not that i can’t cook, it’s that i’m spoiled and now lazy. you see: i married a fabulous cook. no no, i married a fabulous gourmet cook.

i mean, she’s so damn fancy these days she can’t even make a freakin tuna sandwich without making it a spanish tuna melt with smoked spanish pap-freakin-rika, garlic powder and who knows what else. then she goes and adds manchego cheese, made from sheep’s milk from organic sheep living in the spanish alps. (hah. just totally made that up. also there are no spanish alps but you knew that right? of course you did!)

here’s what i bought at the store today:

hot dogs
fries
american cheese
two frozen dinners
an amy’s pizza (mushroom & olive)
smoothies
english muffins
milk (yes milk)
eggs (yes eggs. see: egg & cheese sandwich)

i didn’t buy peanut butter because we already have some here. same goes for butter.

yes, folks, i am really living the life. i am also sleeping with my diva defense (“pepper spray with style!”) next to my pillow. see below.

Leopard print Diva Defense pepper spray with sparkly blue jewel.

as i always say, if the pepper spray doesn’t blind you, the bedazzling jewel will! i have the one in green leopard print w/the lime-green gemstone, however i think it might be discontinued.

i’m also sleeping with a police baton from holly’s days with the military police in the navy next to the bed and i will bash your skull in after i blind you with my gemstone.

i’m also blasting madonna day and night because holly’s not here to say BABE MADONNA AGAIN?! (to which i always reply: YES BABE MADONNA *AGAIN*) also i’m going to do my nails with these, which my mom happily purchased for me with her $10,000 worth of “cvs bucks” while i visited my parents in philly a couple weeks ago.

not my hand or nails. some random person’s hand from the internet.

when i showed my new fabulous sally hansen salon effects nail strips in yes, houndstooth (see above), to holly at her parents’ house last week she promptly rolled her eyes and told me she “didn’t want to date a teenybopper.” to which i promptly replied that “we’re not dating, we’re married. and i don’t want to be married to someone that doesn’t like me to have fun with my nails and get over yourself, have a sense of humor and you don’t know anything about fashion or style and etc.”

then she told me to move my morroccan oil because it was blocking the tv. then i told her i was going to blog about all of this, which, true to my word, i am now.

if she says anything about my houndstooth nail strips again i will divorce her ass in multiple states. then blind her with my gemstone.

except for i won’t because dammit i miss her already and she’s only been gone since sunday! (sniff)

now i’m actually getting a little emotional, tho it might be because i’m listening to roxette’s epic ballad “it must’ve been love,” as featured in the 80s hit movie pretty woman. (oh shuddup, you know you totally got emotional when she leaves and richard gere goes after her.)

anyway, if any of you want to cook for me, please, be my guest. or if you want to do your nails with me. or take me to the store because holly has the car. otherwise you will find me here, at our house, eating grilled cheese at approximately 11:30am (lunchtime, duh) and 6-ish. sometimes alternating with quesadillas. and eggs, if it’s breakfast.

xox
jessica

“well i don’t like your moccasins” aka jessica gets lost in the woods part 2

by now, you know me. you know that, despite my best efforts not to (and holly’s unreasonable aversion to them), i like the jeggings. you know holly’s from western pee-ay and that once i got lost in the woods (by myself) behind her twin sister’s house while on a quad, got stuck between two trees b/c i didn’t know how to do a k-turn and then thought i heard a big brown bear that would inevitably maul & kill me in my low-blood-sugared state.

in other words: yes, i am a city girl. (and there’s a reason i brought up the jeggings.)

so we went to pee-ay for thanksgiving. one of holly’s family’s traditions–at least among the women in the family–is to go out shopping at the local mall the day after thanksgiving (Black Friday; just the thought of it makes me shudder). if that’s not bad enough, they go out at the crack of dawn. literally. actually they went earlier than dawn this year–at 4am. (i know. i threw up a little when i heard that, too.)

shopping in general is not something i love to do. perhaps it has something to do where i grew up–in north jersey, home of the eff-you eye socket punch THAT’S  THE LAST ONE AND IT’S MINE (ok, maybe i was never punched in the eye socket but it sounded funny and i’m basically trying to tell you that ppl are rude there). it also has more than a little something to do w/where i live now–baltimore, maryland, home of I’M ON MY BREAK cashiers/salespeople that throw daggers at your from their eyes (again w/the eyes) and give you looks that say why are you bothering me? i’m sexting my boyfriend right now and if there weren’t security cameras in here i’d totally cut you. (ppl can be pretty rude here, too. the difference is that they’re armed.)

yeah so i’m not so into shopping. i have zero patience for crowds, dressing rooms and food courts. so i didn’t go w/the rest of the girls friday morning. holly did, however, convince me to go later in the day. i was frozen w/black friday fear from the looks of the packed parking lot. but for whatever reason, the mall wasn’t even that crowded. and hot damn! the salespeople are really nice in butler, pee-ay. even the other shoppers are nice. it’s very disarming. and i actually found myself…(gasp!) having fun (!).  

soon i was in a poorly ventilated dressing room surrounded by at least 15 variations of these new-ish strategically droopy yet strategically clingy sweaters and sweater dresses. i haven’t truly shopped in a very very long time (despite my two entries on going to one of our local malls–total blip) and, must admit, was pretty jazzed to try on any and all 80s throwback sweater gear since my tomboyish ways back in the day kept me from wearing them the first time around (well, that and the fact that i was like, 10).

i decided on one that i liked, proud to have zeroed in on a good buy in less than 10 minutes. holly was with her younger sister and her new niece. when i found them, i mentioned my new buy to holly and she was happy that i was happy.

“can’t wait til you see it on me!” i said.

“i can’t wait either,” she said.

all smiles, hugs and butterfly kisses, right? sure. (ladies, you know what’s coming next.)

when i tried it on for her later that night, she was pretty much half asleep from waking up at 3am (!!??) that morning. she told me she liked it, but didn’t seem elated (and she *must* be elated when she sees me in something new–ladies, do you feel me on that one?) or anything. i blamed it on her exhaustion. it had to be the exhaustion, right?

the next day (saturday) holly announced that she and i were going to make a special trip to a local tree farm, a christmas tree farm, to pick out a fresh tree to bring back home. not only b/c it seemed like a fun thing to do, but b/c they’re about three times more expensive in baltimore. if they didn’t have one in the lot that we liked, we could actually go and chop it down, she said.

chop it down! woah!

“bundle up!” she said with a smile. “it’s cold out there!”

oooh! i thought! how rustic! bundling up to go tree-hunting! i buttoned up my most rustic flannel (western-ish; purple with pearlescent buttons) and added a multi-zippered black vest under my pea coat for good measure.

we jumped into holly’s stepdad’s red pick-up (ok i didn’t so much jump as gingerly step into it–but “jumped” sounds so much better) and started down the windy road to the tree farm. holly took  my hand in hers and looked at me.

“babe,” she said.

she’s going to tell me how much she loves me and how excited she is to go to the tree farm with me, i thought. the only thing that could make this more perfect is a thermos of hot chocolate.

except for she didn’t tell me she loved me.

“babe, i don’t think i like your new sweater on you so much.”

what?!

was she KIDDING?! this felt like a repeat of our ill-fated “perfect ten” episode. (if you’re unfamiliar w/the whole “perfect ten” debacle, i strongly suggest you read it.) my first instinct was to elbow her in the mouth or kick her in one or both shins. but she was driving. safety first, i thought.

instead i took a deep breath and told her that i actually thought it looked good on me and i couldn’t believe she was ruining a potentially perfect afternoon by dissing my new sweater that i was really excited about.

“you had to choose now to tell me that? thanks. a lot.”

“honey! i just…i just wanted to tell you! when i ask your opinion on something i’m wearing i always want to know what you really think.”

“yeah but i don’t randomly bring it up out of nowhere when we’re going to do something new and fun like go to a tree farm!”

“but you tell me when you don’t like something and i don’t get offended.”

i was silent for a moment.

“well, i don’t like your new moccasins ,” i said flatly. “i wasn’t going to even say anything b/c they make you so happy but i’m saying it anyway.”

she started laughing like she does when i’m being ridiculous, which is often, according to her.

i told her that this wasn’t funny and that she had ruined everything and let’s just go pick out a damn tree and i’m wearing the sweater anyway and i’m going to get more jeggings while i’m at it and wear them all the time whether she likes it or not. afterall, they make me happy like her friggin moccasins make her happy.

i dropped it when we got to the tree lot b/c damn, it smelled so good there. (“like candles except real!” i told a bewildered tree farm lady who smiled at me politely.) within about five minutes it became apparent that we’d have to go out into the wilderness (ok, the tree farm but still. it’s really big) and chop down our own tree. which would prove, of course, to be an adventure.

and b/c i just realized this entry’s already long enough, i’m going to have to leave you hanging and finish the rest tomorrow. in the meantime, pls feel free to express your annoyance with or at holly that she chose our special tree farm experience to tell me she didn’t like my new sweater.

happy birthday, madonna!

52 today! how about *that*!

we love you today as we have loved you always! (i, perhaps, more than others)

to all my madonna fans, once again i share w/you an essay i wrote years ago: “my life with madonna.”

(enjoy the ittybitty video below; behind-the-scenes of her photoshoot for the big madonna article that ran in the may issue of interview magazine. it’s random but it’s awesome.)

the radio’s about to do it again

lady gaga: her jazz hands can beat up yours.

since i’m basically a gay man, i’m really loving on lady gaga lately. (add to this to my undying love for both madonna and cyndi lauper–oh, and the golden girls. mark my words: in our next house, i will have an office with an authentic autographed cast photo on the wall. not that i’ve looked them up on ebay or anything.)

remember how i waxed poetic about gaga back in the fall? this was just after “the fame monster” came out (if you’re unfamiliar, that’s her new album with “bad romance” and “telephone” on it). oh G-d bless her and that album, it got me thru some rough times. i really really needed the pick me up. i don’t think i needed music so badly since i was a closeted high-schooler.

well i’m sorry to report that i’ve now started changing the radio station every time either one of those songs come on. and a new one’s just starting to circulate: an awesome little madonna-esque (circa ’90/’91) ditty called “alejandro.” and it’s occurred to me: the radio’s kind of ruining gaga for me! [*gasp* the horror i know; i am sitting on my jazz hands right now out of the sheer shame of it all. well i did for a moment, otherwise i wouldn’t be typing right now, ha)]

so in light of all this, i have a new theory: if you love love love an artist and loved a song before it even debuted on the radio, change the station when you hear it. i know. i know. it’s going to be hard in the beginning but it’s going to help you in the long run! really.

i am not one of those ppl that gets all tied up into knots when an artist–whether it’s a singer/musician, actor, visual artist, writer, etc.–hits the mainstream. not at all. more power to em. it’s just that when it comes to music, the radio can play the hell out of songs you love and then you wind up never wanting to hear them ever again.

so i’m curious. share with me: what songs (or artists, even) has the radio ruined for you??

oh and if you love gaga, share that, too.

to them, they’re light-colored jeans. to us, they’re acid-washed.

is it just me or are you overcome with a wave of nausea upon seeing these jeans? one word for you kids: don't.

in keeping with my i’m-old-now theme, i’m going to rant a little bit about today’s jeans.

i saw a girl on the street today wearing the worst jeans. she was probably a teenager. it wasn’t the cut (skinny, of course) so much as the color. ew, acid-washed jeans, i thought. barf-o.

i have a visceral, knee-jerk reaction to acid-washed jeans (see above). i’m not saying middle school was the worst time in my life, but it certainly wasn’t the best. and being in the presence of acid-washed jeans. no no no. let me rephrase that: being in the presence of actual people wearing acid-washed jeans–versus, say, seeing them balled up in the corner of a dirty thrift shop–makes me feel a little…well quite frankly it makes me feel nauseous. i take one look at them and i’m whoosed back to 1980s north jersey. it’s like a friggin time warp and it ain’t pretty.  some things are meant to leave in the past. acid-washed jeans are one of those things.

then suddenly it dawned on me: that girl probably has no idea she’s wearing super-cheesy jeans. to even be familiar with acid-washed jeans (unless you’re in fashion school or something), you need to be in your late late 20s and over.

“babe,” i said to holly. (we were sitting at a red light.) “see that girl in the bad jeans? she has no idea she’s wearing acid-washed jeans. to her, they’re just light-colored. but to us, they’re acid-washed.”

“i hate acid-washed jeans,” she said.

they were bad enough the first time around. oh and do you guys remember “tapered” jeans. that you pegged? today’s skinny jeans are just tapered jeans on steroids. now if people start wearing pouffy socks over them, then we have a real problem. and speaking of bad 80s fashion…if those stores that spin the paint around the t-shirts start coming back, i’m leaving the country. that and sarah palin in office. we’re outty here.

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i know i’ve been quiet lately

and i’ve hated it. and one day, i shall tell you all why. but in the meantime, i felt i needed to take to my trusty old blog to pay homage to michael jackson. i’m sure about a trillion other ppl are doing the same thing today, but i don’t care. i am heartbroken over it. i never thought about this happening, and suddenly, it has. and i think most of us affected by the news never really thought about michael jackson…dying. be he did. and here’s what i have to say about it:

when i was three or four years old, i forget when, exactly, but my dad brought me to a record store in the short hills mall, i think, in north jersey. and i bought my very first 45 (that a 45 record single for all you kiddies out there, before casette/cd singles and way before itunes): “beat it.” i swear, i listened the hell out of that record. i would fall to the floor, probably in full view of my parents, or maybe i hid?, i have no idea, but i’d play air guitar during the electric guitar solo, leaning back like i was limbo-ing (just as i would at bar and bat mitzvahs a decade later)…i’d have goosebumps. i loved that song. i loved him. it was inexplicable and it was raw and mysterious, but i loved him so.

i found a red vest covered with zippers and had my parents buy it for me. i rode my red bmx ride around the neighborhood and my driveway, hoping just hoping, someone would tell me i looked like michael jackson. or at least think i was him. (me, the little white girl in new jersey) when my neighbor finally said that i looked just like him, i was elated.

i bought a michael jackson hologram sticker. and not knowing anything about holograms–perhaps they were still new-ish in the 80s? or perhaps i was just a hopelessly clueless kid who couldn’t tell time til she was in third grade. yes, true. sadly–i put it on my window across from my bed. of course no light ever hit it like it was supposed to, but i could see the shadow of his curly hair. there was a rainbow arching behind him, i remember. and he looked so kind in my little-kid eyes. i truly thought he was the very best. (and yes, i tried to moonwalk just like him. but didn’t we all?)

the thriller video scared the beejezus outta me. (still does) and yes, he got weird. (even iwondered about his nose-job, even as a four-year-old, that i guess he got before the thriller album came out?) and we all watched him get weirder. i bought the reissue of thriller last year, and i’ve been throughly enjoying it. listening to it when i need a boost. it’s only lately, what 26 years later??,  that i see his musical genious. “human nature”  (above) is one of my favorite songs *ever*. it is. amazing.

i heard that jackson was rushed to the hospital when i got into my car last night after leaving the office. by the time i got home and crawled into bed (i had a terrible headache), i heard the news: he had died. it’s all i could do not to throw up. i fell asleep watching movies on-demand, trying to put the whole thing out of my head. when i woke up, i knew it wasn’t just a bad dream. watching, disbelieving, his body transported via helicopter, then coroner’s van…i’m shaking my head now. it’s just…sigh. it’s terrible.

what’s even more terrible, in a way, is how it’s all coming outnow is truly how eff’ed up his life may have become. i’ve never been one of those ppl who thinks money can cure anything (tho it can certainly help ease stress, which could, in turn, make you feel a whole helluva lot better, and hence, happier) but his is the perfect example. here’s someone that had all the money, the whole world, at his fingertips. and he just faded away. i mean, he did, but he didn’t. even tho he had this “king of pop” title, he became a whisp of a man. while a lot of ppl made fun of him, i mostly just shook my head, sad, feeling a little ashamed for gawking along with the rest of the world at photos of him.

what i realized as i was driving to work today is this: we don’t think about these iconic-type ppl dying. it’s like they’re larger than life. bigger than life, bigger than death. and when one dies, suddenly, especially, it’s like the rug has been taken out from under us. but they’re not larger than life. they’re not larger than death. in the end, they face mortality just the rest of us. no amount of surgery, money, painkillers or anything else can change that.

this is someone who’s been “with” me my entire life. yours, too, if you’re close to my age (30). you all know how i feelabout madonna. well, while i may not feel the same way about  michael jackson, it’s similar insofar as: he’s always been there. we expect these larger-than-life ppl to be there–until they’re not.

i can’t help think that…well, he seemed to be struggling for so many years. he’s at peace now. my friend john sent me this articlethat really sums it all up. it’s written by a rabbi that was close to jackson–and tried to help him. here’s an excerpt:

In many ways his tragedy was to mistake attention for love. I will never forget what he said when we sat down to record 40 hours of conversations where he would finally reveal himself for a book I authored. He turned to me and said these haunting words: “I am going to say something I have never said before and this is the truth. I have no reason to lie to you and God knows I am telling the truth. I think all my success and fame, and I have wanted it, I have wanted it because I wanted to be loved. That’s all. That’s the real truth. I wanted people to love me, truly love me, because I never really felt loved. I said I know I have an ability. Maybe if I sharpened my craft, maybe people will love me more. I just wanted to be loved because I think it is very important to be loved and to tell people that you love them and to look in their eyes and say it.” One cannot read these words without feeling a tremendous sadness for a soul that was so surrounded with hero-worship but remained so utterly alone. Because Michael substituted attention for love he got fans who loved what he did but he never had true compatriots who loved him for who he was. Perhaps this is why, when so many of his inner circle saw him destroying his life with prescription medication – something he used to treat phantom physical illnesses which were really afflictions of the soul – they allowed him to deteriorate and disintegrate rather than throwing the poison in the garbage.

Michael’s death is not just a personal tragedy, it is an American tragedy. Michael’s story was the stuff of the American dream – a poor black boy who grows up in Gary, Indiana, and ends up a billionaire entertainer. But we now know how the story ends. Money is not a currency by which we can purchase self-esteem and being recognized on the streets will never replace being loved unconditionally by family and true friends.

i can’t stand the fact that we all had to watch him turn into, well, what he became towards what would become the end of his life. and i can’t stand the fact that people in their teens and 20s now will never remember him the way i do. but for me he will always be the gentle soul in the hologram on my childhood window. despite the allegations and the face masks and the painkillers. he’ll always be that cute guy holding the baby tiger on the thriller album. the tough guy battling the zombies. the guy in the zippered leathered jacket telling those crazyass gangbangers to just beat it. michael, i’m sorry your life turned out the way it did. but you gave us all a gift, you gave the world a gift. hopefully you see that now.

michael

me vs. slash

slash1

i’m in the middle of slash’s autobiography (that’s the slash, guitarist for guns n roses). i don’t know how much of it he actually “wrote.” i’m imagining he mumbled most of it to co-author anthony bozza, but regardless, i am learning many interesting, scandalous things about him and the band. namely sex, drugs and rock n roll, that sorta thing.

it’s very entertaining, but the only real surprise thus far is that the guy is still alive (!). srsly. the sheer amount of drugs and alcohol this man has put in his body over the years is unbelievable (not to mention all the sex w/strangers; whole nother can’a worms there).

anyway, as i’m reading i can’t help but feel a little jealous. it’s not like i want to live like he has. definitley not. it’s just that i can’t believe how ppl can abuse thr bodies and still manage to make it day-to-day. so i decided to draw up a little comparison sheet: me vs. slash. here we go:

me:
get headaches when the weather changes. also the seasons. probably pollen, too, tho i don’t know for sure.
can’t oversleep on weekends, get headaches.
can’t skip meals, get headaches.
can’t skip a.m. coffee, get headaches.
rarely drink alcohol, get headaches.
must sleep on certain kind of pillow, otherwise, um, get headaches.
must stay hydrated or…get headaches.
must exercise at least a little or, yeah. get headaches.

slash:
lived in a storage unit.
regularly didn’t sleep on beds. doubt he used a pillow other than a new set of boobs every other day. (ha. did i really write that? ha.)
didn’t eat, seems like.
doubt he stayed hydrated.
drank. a lot.
many drugs. mostly heroin.
no notable exercise except for sex (ok, there’s some cardio. but still) and guitar playing.
no mention of headaches except for those related to hangovers.

srsly. the wind blows the wrong way and my neurons fire off migraines so bad that i’m stuck in bed sometimes for 12, 13 + hrs straight. (now that spring has finally sprung, i’m getting a whole helluva lotta them, which accounts for my recent absence. i try not to go on and on about it b/c what fun is reading a blog where the author is bitching and moaning about headaches all the time?! exactly.) this guy probably hasn’t drank a glass of water since he was 11 yrs old. i just don’t get it.

we all have our “things.” mine’s an acute sensitivity to everyday stuff that most ppl don’t need to think about it. (in fact, i often find myself amazed that i get anything done at all; and thank goodness for my understanding boss and lots of cool editors i work with) some of us have severe food allergies. diabetes. i mean, a ton of sh*t. but when you’re generally ok and you abuse the crap out of yourself and still manage somehow (tho he does have something serious implanted in his heart from all the drugs and alcohol)….it just blows my mind.