Archive for January, 2010

I Don’t Want to End Up Like My Mother: Reading Obits and Talking About People I Should Remember

January 11, 2010 10 comments

I fear growing old. Truth be told, I’d rather die now for the obvious reasons: to avoid nursing home abuse and incontinence. Die young stay pretty, right? Another reason I don’t want to grow old is that I never want to start that annoying thing my Mother does called: reading the daily obituaries and talking about people from a long time ago that I should remember.

She began this in her 50s. Isn’t it bad enough that as you get older, you’re surrounded by more and more death? Why seek it out? The more people you know who are dead, the greater the odds are that your number is next. And I thought wisdom came with age. Sicker still, why shove the obits down the throat of your vibrant young daughter trying to enjoy the prime of her life?

Do you remember Karen Stento?


You played softball with her. They lived on Tamara Lane. Her brother was Joe. Doesn’t ring a bell?

No, not really.

Well, her Mother died. [said with a tone that somehow implied my forgetfulness had something to do with Mrs. Stento’s unfortunate demise.]

Oh, that’s a shame. How did she die?

You really don’t remember her?  Karen Stento? Her Mother died Friday. Complications related to lung cancer.

No, Ma, I don’t remember her.  I’ve been gone for 20 years.  I’ve lived in many other places and met a gajillion people since then. My memory has a limited capacity. [this is true: i need to purge old information to make room for new stuff.]

Well, Miss Big City Girl, I moved to Florida but I still read the obituaries from Binghamton on PressConnects. Your hometown is important. That’s where I raised you. 

I just don’t remember her.

Hmmph. John and I read them everyday. Pressconnects on the internet. Don’t you ever read them?

I don’t have time Ma.

I’ll send you the clippings.

One Week Later

Did you get the stuff I sent you from the Press and Sun-Bulletin?


What did you think?


Did you see Karen’s daughter is into soccer just like Kendra? [now we’re solidly re-connected?]


You couldn’t be any less interested, could you? Whenever I tell Lori about these things, she is always intrigued and we end up talking on the phone for hours about who knew who and what a small world it is.

AAaahhh — talking on the phone for hours. That’s a “I Don’t Want to End Up like My Mother” story for another day.


Top 10 TV Shows of the Decade

January 8, 2010 8 comments

i know my gritty shit and i’m a list dork.  so here are the top 10 tv shows for the decade:

10. entourage – every single person on this show has the sexiest swagger eva. when marky mark produces, you’re guaranteed mind moonshine. bonus points for great soundtracks.

9. chelsea lately – chelsea handler is my own personal jesus. (see girls bore me.) amen sista.

8. 30 rock – when writer and player, tina fey (the lady gaga of television humor) and alec baldwin (the president of in-your-face television humor) get together the result is the best comedy you’ll ever see on network television. 

7. united state of tara – diablo cody (see girls bore me) and toni collette deliver us some very memorable characters: buck the kickass redneck, T the teenage twat, alice the happy homemaker (i want what she’s smoking!), and of course tara an awesome mom who came clean about her multiple personalities.

6. dexter – original premise is brilliant and remains solid: homicide blood spatter analyst is a serial killer himself and kills the serial killers in his cases. talk about a decent mind fuck.  john lithgow was totally compelling as a serial killer in the last season.

5. house – a little opiate does wonders for a doctor’s diagnostic skills.  love me an arrogant oxy-fed doc with a limp.

4. mad men – cigarettes, martinis, girls who wear dresses, gloves, hats and beehives, men who wear hats, and the ad game during the ogilivy era. what a wicked game they play. best hairdo of the decade at right.

3. californication – this story chronicles the life of hank moody, the author who penned “God Hates Us All” and “Fucking and Punching.” need i say more? ok, then: david duchovony, david duchovony, david duchony.

2. nurse jackie — a little opiate does wonders for a girl’s libido. plus she’s edgy enough to be one of the girls i could be tight with. see girls bore me.

1. six feet under – you can’t go wrong when you combine the morbid, morose, pursuit of art, and heavy drama among quirky people. my heart raced and i cried like a baby at many an episode. plus driving a hearse as your personal vehicle is so badass. amazing soundtracks to boot.

Girls Bore Me

January 7, 2010 13 comments

girls bore the living daylights out of me. that’s why i don’t have many girlfriends.

first of all, they’re not into the stuff I’m into to: 


live music

gritty entertainment

occasional recreational drug use

regular or heavy drinking

wacked art

political incorrectness

chronic cursing

generally the girls I know are more into shit like:

smothering their kids

preparing healthy meals

running, cycling, and skiing

starving themselves

oprah (yeah i said it. i dissed O)

and the worst offense of all: chick-only parties. these include candle, jewelry, bag, pampered chef,  wedding and baby showers, and even sex toys (this one wouldn’t be so bad if men were involved).

secondly, girls have been raised to be sweet and charming. to be liked and keep their mouths shut. therefore they play little mind games. say, a girl is pissed. she will give you the silent or short treatment and she won’t tell you why.  she expects you to guess because she’s too nice to tell you the nasty things she’s thinking about your behavior. in fact, if you do guess, she will deny it, but still expect you to change your ways pronto.   now a man, he either accepts things as they are (not nearly as judgemental) or he tells you straight up what is wrong. men like to get it fixed, but only if it’s broken. if only girls could do this.

however, there are some girls i think i could be tight friends with. they include: chelsea handler, sarah silverman, diablo cody, the bloggess, frances mcdormand, rosanna and particia arquette, holly hunter, nurse jackie, drew barrymore, patricia clarkson, any chick bass player, and my friend linda.

Top 50 Rock Albums of the Decade

January 6, 2010 4 comments

Making lists energizes me.  I get a rush each time I come up with a new item for my list. I can’t rest until my list is complete. Then once it is, I’m pacified and relaxed. I can’t help thinking my body must crave list making because it’s so much like a street drug. Addictive.  I get up.  I get down. And need to continue the cycle.

The best way to explain my dirty little habit is to list the lists I keep on an ongoing basis: To Do (daily, weekly, and rainy day versions), Gift Ideas, My Wish List, Places I Want to Travel, Restaurants I Want to Try, Music I Love, Movies I Love, Names for a Pug (Baby was earlier), Stocks I Should Buy, Photographers I Love, and the list goes on.

Anyway, here are the Top 50 Rock Albums of the Decade (cuz I am a list dork and know my music shit):

50. arctic monkeys – whatever people say i am, that’s what i’m not

49. xx – studio album

48.  the shins -oh, invented world

47. the strokes – is this it

46. blitzen trapper – wild mountain nation

45. black eyed peas – the end

44. the postal service – give up

43. grizzly bear – veckatimest

42. interpol – antics

41. rogue wave – asleep at heaven’s gate

40. kings of leon – because of the times

39. editors – an end has a start

38. lucinda williams – world without tears

37. sonic youth – rather ripped

36. sonic youth – the eternal

35. shout out louds – our ill wills

34. sigur ros – hvarf-heim

33. sigur ros – takk

32. interpol – turn on the bright lights

31. frightened rabbit – the midnight organ fight

30. pinback – autumn in seraphs

29. clap your hands say yeah – clap your hands say yeah

28. thurston moore – trees outside of the academy

27. raconteurs – broken boy soldiers

26. dresden dolls – yes, Virginia

25.  avril lavigne – let go

24. freelance whales – weathervanes

23. fanfarlo – reservoir

22. modest mouse – good news for people who love bad news

21. hold steady – boys and girls in america

20. regina spektor – us

19. rogue wave – descended like vultures

18.lucinda williams – essence

17. yo la tengo – prisoner of love

16. wilco – ghost is born

15. the walkmen – hundred miles off

14. okkervil river – black sheep boy

13. red hot chili peppers – by the way

12. my morning jacket –z

11. flaming lips – yoshimi battles the pink robots

10. coldplay – parachutes

9. pete yorn – music for the morning after

8. sigur ros – (   )

7. the national – the national

6. the national – boxer

5. the national – cherry tree

4. the national – sad songs for dirty lovers

3. wilco – yankee hotel foxtrot

2. radiohead – kid a

1. the national – alligator

Don’t Be a City Dwelling Snob

January 4, 2010 6 comments

I love cities. I work and play in the city (Philadelphia). But I live in the burbs.  I still may live in the city someday, but not a city in the Northeast because I hate the extreme cold in the winter. I’d have to have a place to summer.  Maybe San Fran or Austin though. I chose to live in the burbs to raise a child. Not that there’s anything wrong with raising a child in the city. It’s just easier in the burbs and private school tuition isn’t necessary.

Many of my friends and coworkers live in the city. Sometimes I am hulk-green with envy. Then I get one of those snide comments about suburban dwelling and become defensive. You know the comments I’m talking about:

“I couldn’t live in the burbs. Everything’s vanilla.”

“It’s all the same no matter what town you’re in.”

“You have to drive everywhere. I’d miss walking to a restaurant or pub.”

” There are no indie places, just chain stores and restaurants.”

Oh yeah? Like Philadelphia is absent of Chili’s, The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Starbucks, Papa Johns, Manhattan Bagel, The Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria’s Secret, and Williams & Sonoma?  In the burbs, there are plenty of Indie places. A few of my local faves include:

Cous Cous– Moroccan cuisine and hookah lounge in Cherry Hill, NJ. Lots of pillows and the best mango smoke this side of the world.  Plus the weekend DJ plays some tripped out house that just makes your shisha head feel like you’re dancing like a sugarplum fairy.

Myung Ga – Korean restaurant in Cherry Hill, NJ that even invented the Koagie[TM], a Korean hoagie. I heart the Chicken Dolsot that comes in a piping hot stone bowl and if you leave the rice on the bottom undisturbed it caramelizes and forms a crispy crunchy rice cake sorta thing.

Melange Cafe –  Louisiana cuisine with a touch of italian thrown in.  Who needs Emeril’s or K Paul’s when you have Chef Joe Brown in the hood. The best gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice are really found in Cherry Hill.

Grooveground – Totally rad coffee shop/art gallery/music venue/gift shop in Collingswood, NJ. Spend a weekend morning or weekend evening here. Arresting ambiance. Great Bean. Good vibes. (PS: if you live in Collingswood, you can walk to Grooveground and all of your favorite stores and restaurants. Just like in the city.)

Joeys Boutique – Clothes, jewelry and accessories for chicks who rock. Very Cali. In fact, the merchandise is like the stuff worn by Karen on Californication but found here in Marlton, NJ.  So hip they don’t have a website yet, but I’m linking to a couple reviews.

Moore Brothers Wine Company– Unbelievable selection of Euro wines. All hand chosen by the owners. The incredibly grape-savvy staff are eager to help and don’t oversell. Moore Bros.  even lets you set up your own wine portfolio so you can track what you’ve bought and liked. But my favorite place on their website is “BYOB.” It gives you a list of Philly BYOBs and the wines they recommend you take with (for those like me who dig playing in the city).

Speaking of shopping for food and wine … guess where some of my snootiest city friends buy their groceries and spirits. They pay the $4 toll to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge in their Zipcar just to come to our Wegmans, Whole Foods, Total Wine, and Moore Brothers.  Face it, state stores suck and we have plenty of parking.

City living is the coolest; I would never knock it. Just don’t cop an attitude about the burbs. It’s not all that ticky tacky.