Of Homographic Utopias and Dowager Chic (The Sound Inside, Terminator: Dark Fate)

Critic drag with co-panelist Jack Rico.

Yesterday was kind of brilliant. The boys and I taped an episode of Talking Pictures, and for the first time since the show migrated from Spectrum to PBS achieved the right balance of jocularity and specificity. Which is to say: I got my points across with some style and minimal manterruption, and we all laughed a lot.

Link to come shortly.

Afterward I had enough cash in my pocket to eat out properly, so I joined up with my friend Little Lisa. In generosity of spirit and strength of mind she is no way little, but as we share a first name and I grew up in an Italian-American neighborhood where people of the same name are distinguished by the prefix “Big” or “Little,” Little Lisa she is. To be fair, LL is 7 inches shorter than me and a good 16 years younger.

Big of heart, though, believe me.

Once upon a time we worked together at NY1–she was often the only other broad in the studio when I was on set–but these days she’s a fancy lady producer at a major network and I’m, well–that’s a good question. What am I right now? Continue Reading →

The Coldest Home Is Memory

I woke on a whole river of sadness–an ocean, even. My apartment cold, my permakitten anxious, my heart heavy. Still not cast ashore.

In October we are capsized by abruptly cold weather no matter how much we long for it. The veil between this world and the next lifts just as abruptly.

I’d been dreaming of all the couches where I perched in my childhood–all the family homes where I briefly ingratiated myself, not because I craved the companionship of peers or the comfort of uncomplicated adults, but because I’d craved order and cleanliness. Coziness.

Even now, though my mother and I rarely speak, I hesitate to write about the disorder of my family home. It is sexist that the blame landed so resoundingly on her shoulders but the truth is it was mostly her fault. She and my father had one of those fucked-up divisions of labors that a creative person like her should never have attempted–he made money, she kept house. I knew she was bored, I knew she was unhappy, I knew she was profoundly ill-suited to this suburban pathology masquerading as mythology. I also knew she couldn’t think of anything else to do so she sat at the kitchen table day in and day out, drinking cold coffee, slowly reading the paper, looking out the window.

And, you know, not keeping house.

Keep in mind it wasn’t the 1940s but the 1970s. Women’s liberation was happening all around her. It just came too late for her purposes. Continue Reading →

Peri, My Ass

Peripussy

If I had to capture perimenopause in one image, it would be me on this frosty October morning, clad in a nightgown, ratty fur, reading glasses and rubber gloves, weeping copiously and sweating profusely as I rifled through the garbage can in front of my building because I absent-mindedly threw out Grace’s favorite toy while cleaning up. Brain fog: check. Sudden sweats: check. Major mood swings: check. Cat mind control: always.  This stage of life requires a very specific aesthetic–and sense of humor. I call it dowager chic. (PS: I found said toy.)

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy