BREAKING: Chris Martin Consciously Coupling With Costco-Sized Bags of Cheetos

My #FreeChrisMartin movement never really caught on the way it should have but it doesn’t matter now, does it? As you’ve no doubt heard, Chris and Gwyneth are “consciously uncoupling”.

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What’s that? You say “consciously uncoupling” sounds like “divorce”? Wrong! Divorce is for Normals. Divorce is for lazy failures who probably feed their kids breakfast cereal from a box instead of artisanal, locally grown spelt in Malabar chestnut milk, hand-milled by indigenous women. Divorce is for people with office jobs and minivans who drink non-premium beers. Divorce is for people who cook their pizzas indoors. Basically: farmers. (The type Jack Donaghy refers to; not the “young hippies who sell arugula at the market” type.)

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All joking aside, divorce – sorry, “uncoupling” – pretty much sucks. There are bad feelings and painful conversations and months spent wondering how you got from “I do” to “Get the f*** out”. It’s no fun, no matter how well both parties try to behave. There are silver linings, though. One of them is that divorce is sort of The Great Equalizer. No matter how perfectly you try to live your life, when your marriage fails, you’re in the same boat as everybody else.

And that’s exactly where Gwyneth Paltrow heard opportunity knock and told her maid to tell it she wasn’t home. Because announcing the end of a long (by Hollywood standards) marriage was her shot a relatability, something she desperately lacks. It was her shot at erasing statements like “Some days I feel like everyone in the world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I’m so tired” from public memory.

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Still mad at Bey for this.

But nooope. Gwyneth had the chance to come across like the normal working mom she constantly claims to be and what did she do? She turned the smugness up to 11 by using her lifestyle blog to announce not run-of-the-mill divorce, but organic, expensive, better-than-you “conscious uncoupling”. That’s the reason the Internet exploded in Schadenfreude yesterday. She just makes it impossible to feel for her. She tried to build an empire on telling other people how to live like she does. Gwyneth Paltrow attempted to “curate” a perfect life and found out – like we all do – that life is messy as hell.

So back to Chris. I’m sure he played an equal role in whatever happened between them (no I’m not). But he’s not getting the hate she is. A friend of mine suggested that the marriage ended because she’s an awful person and he’s gay. Nah, I don’t think Chris is gay. I do think Chris Martin is the type of guy who isn’t all that into sex and probably prefers stuff like giving you back rubs and looking meaningfully into your eyes while he strums his guitar for you. He seems like a mellow dude and frankly, it’s very easy to see how a person like that would get completely fed up with the quest for perfection that is Gwyneth Paltrow’s entire existence.

So, Chris? Get INTO it, man. Smoke a blunt, buy gallons of that cheap, foamy ice cream that comes in huge plastic containers. Grab enormous bags of Cheetos! Better yet, buy generic Cheez Puffs. Get some bottom shelf liquor and lose a weekend watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. You deserve it. You’re free.

 

10 Things That Happen In Your 40s

I don’t generally enjoy reading things about getting older. They usually fall into one of two categories: relentlessly upbeat, as if it’s all one huge menopause party, or a complete horror show (I was nearly on suicide watch after reading Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck).

Based upon my comprehensive and exhaustive research (i.e., drinking wine with my friends), I’ve drawn some conclusions about what really happens to us in our 40s.

1. All young women look pretty to you.

I’ve really noticed this over the last few years. When I see a woman in her 20s or even early 30s, I automatically see her beauty. I look without envy because God knows I wouldn’t want to be back where she is just to have that young pretty face. But when I hear one of them complaining about their looks, I want to say, “Shut your mouth. Every last one of you is f***ing beautiful. Go read a book.”Jersey-Shores-Sammi-Waves-You-Away-In-a-Club-Reaction-Gif

 

2. Your dancing looks really stupid but you have absolutely no f***s left to give. 

There are times – even vodka-free times – when I feel like I’m a legit really good dancer. I have rhythm; I feel the beat. Sometimes I feel like I’m such a good dancer that I bust out my professional grade moves in front of a mirror just to confirm. SUCH A BAD, TERRIBLE, BAD IDEA. elaine-s-dance-o

But here’s the thing: I would actually pass out if I cared any less. I will seriously Dougie my way through cleaning the kitchen, wop while I fold laundry, and Tootsee Roll while I vacuum. My children are horrified. And I do not care in the slightest. How did that happen?

3. Your body makes weird noises.

When I was a kid, I heard people like Johnny Carson make jokes about their joints creaking and their bodies making noises when they got out of bed in the morning. That shit seemed so stupid and corny. I also never thought it would happen to me. Wrong! When I come down stairs in the morning, I hear clicks and squeaks that don’t sound entirely human. All my parts are OEM so it’s not like I have a store-bought knee or something. It takes some getting used to, you guys. tumblr_lzjmucFcTz1r6394xo2_250

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Southern Charm: New Favorite Hatewatch?

If you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me. We need to talk about Bravo’s newest offering, Southern Charm.imgres

Last night the series premiered with an episode titled “Peter Pan Sin-Drome”. (I see what you did there, Andy Cohen.) As expected, the episode was little more than a “meet the cast” showcase, but it gave me some thoughts about what we might see on this show.

It’s hard for a reality show to find the perfect balance between genuine interest in the cast, and genuine interest in slapping the cast hard. I may be speaking way too soon here, but I think Southern Charm looks like a winner. So let’s meet the cast, shall we?

 

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Shep ::

Shep is basically a giant human puppy.  He takes leisure very seriously and spent 5 years at UGA because of course he did. I (grudgingly) give him credit for using the word “tomfoolery” in his bio. Shep is cute and seems 10 years younger than the 34 his bio says he is. I enjoy thinking about how his sixth generation South Carolinian family members feel about seeing him on the show, blowing the family fortune on trucker caps and fun socks. 

 

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Seven Great Things About Justin Bieber’s Move to Atlanta (Seriously!)

It’s happening, ATLiens. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking they’re just rumors. Word on the street is that Justin Bieber is on his way to the A – and not as a visitor. He’s been seen all over town partying with various full-grown adults who oughta be ashamed of themselves

Sshhh. Be still. Sit with your feelings for a minute. It’s normal to feel this way. The first step is acceptance. Let me help you make peace with the inevitable. Here are seven things that should make you feel better about it.

1. Nene will have a word with him.

In many ways, Atlanta is still a small town. It’s especially small for famous – and “famous” –  Atlanta residents. It’s why you see Alton Brown hanging out with T.I. (I made that up, but it seems believable, right?) If Justin moves here, there is no doubt he will eventually make the acquaintance of Ms. Lennethia Leakes, whom you may know as the larger-than-life Nene from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Say what you want about Nene, but she does not tolerate foolishness and f**kery. A few minutes with Nene and Justin will be “yes, ma’am”-ing and “no, ma’am”-ing around this city, and getting the home training he obviously lacks.

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Get into it, Nene. Dismiss him when you’re done.

2. Strippers will make a killing.

Our strip clubs are legendary. So many deals are made among the hip hop elite Justin is striving to become a part of that Magic City is like a second office for these guys. Wee Justin will be working overtime to impress and that can only be good news for Atlanta’s single moms.

3. Buckhead Betties are not residential drag race enthusiasts.

Even though JB is working on thugging out his image, with the tattoos and sippin’ lean shirtless in da club (barf), I’m pretttty sure he won’t be moving to Bankhead or Peoplestown, where the real thugs are. Curbed Atlanta has a round up of some of the properties Bieber’s people are looking at and early reports indicate Buckhead will be the lucky winner.

Hollywood tolerates all sorts of hijinks from famous people. Atlanta does NOT. (Remember what happened to Reese?) Most of Atlanta’s new rich live in the far southern and northern suburbs of the city. But people with old money – people who prefer to be described as “wealthy” rather than “rich” – still live in Buckhead and they are not known for their tolerance of bratty pop star shenanigans.  I’d love to see Justin try something like egging the Swan Coach House. SCANDAL. Continue reading

Slut Shaming Kandi and Phaedra? Have A Seat, Chuck Smith

Heeeeeyy! Happy 2014, dolls.

It’s been awhile since I felt inspired to write something reality TV-related. I suppose there are lots of reasons for that. At least one reason is because – just like an actual housewife – the whole “housewives” concept is getting tired. The staged fights, the endless “let’s get all the girls together with no drama!” road trips, and the general fakery makes for boring and predictable TV. But last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta really got under my skin.

Let’s get into it.

The episode opened with Kenya Less (™ Awesomely Luvvie) meeting Ms. Lawrence for lunch to spill the tea on the “Sa-VAHN-nah” trip. Ok, really, Kenya? The talk in ATL is that Kenya doesn’t even live here. Given the fact that she has a new place every couple of episodes and can’t even pronounce Savannah, I’m thinking she does, in fact, just come here to pick up a check. (Also, why does she never have any furniture? At least Sheree had a blow up mattress for her kids.) Funky Dineva‘s theory is that Kenya and Ms. Lawrence are both just working together to cling to relevancy and that no one at Bravo cares about either one of their uninteresting asses. Seconded!

Me describing Kenya.

Me describing Kenya.

So. Chuck Smith – husband of boring Monique with a ‘y’ and retired NFL person – wants to meet Nene and Phaedra. N and P naturally assume this is some kind of fallout from the dustup in Savannah. Remember? When Monique with a ‘y’ learned that her hubs not only dated both Phaedra and Kandi, but also paid Kandi’s bills when her credit was busted and bought a Louis bag for Mama Joyce? But it turns out Chuck just wants his old Athens buddies to accompany him to speak at the Boys and Girls Club over in Clarke County. Ok, cool. (See this fakery I’m talking about? These supposedly “crazy busy” people meet for lunch and then take off for a spontaneous 5 to 6 hour day trip. Gettin’ sloppy, Bravo.) Continue reading

To Me, From Me :: 46 Things I Loved About Turning 46

First of all, apologies for the second post in a row that’s basically a listicle.

But the form is just right for what I want to do today, which is to share with all of you the best things about this day.

I decided a few months ago I wasn’t gonna celebrate this birthday the way I celebrate most of them. Forty six was the last birthday my dad ever had. My heart just kept talking to me about that whenever I thought about this birthday. I’ll celebrate 47 in the usual way – including my helpful emails to friends reminding them IT’S COMING! – but this one has been special in a totally different, much more quiet way. Having low expectations often works in our favor and today just proves that. So, I’ll tell you about my day in a form best exemplified by the inimitable John Waters in one of my favorite essays of all time, “Puff Piece (101 Things I Love)”. I don’t know if I could link to it even if I wanted to, but I don’t want to because I want you instead to buy his book Crackpot.

My gift to myself: the back porch sign of my dreams.

My gift to myself: the back porch sign of my dreams.

I slept late (1) – really late – and woke up to find a table already set with a breakfast that included strawberries (2) and sausage (3) and a hot cup of coffee (4). My sweet little girl (5) prepared this unexpected feast for me because she knows I love a good breakfast (6).

Alongside my treats were a couple of beautifully wrapped presents (7). The only thing better than a good breakfast is a good breakfast WITH PRESENTS so I opened them right up! Lucy gave me a little packet of blueberry face wipes – they’re called “Age Refresh” and I don’t even care – along with eucalyptus scented votive candles (8), sparkly votive holders (9) and some lovely chocolate spoons from Alon’s (10). Great start to the day.

Once Hannah (11) got up, she presented me with her gift, which was handcrafted, fancy-schmancy dark chocolate sticks. These chocolate gifts sort of crack me up. Because I don’t even really care that much about chocolate. But I guess in pop culture (12), moms go bananas for chocolate and this is where my kids got the idea to get me expensive candy. No complaints.

For weeks I’ve been wanting to pressure wash my front porch (13) and when the girls asked me what I wanted to do today, I told them I wanted their help with pressure washing. Their confused faces (14) told me this wasn’t what they expected but they couldn’t say no (15)! We pressure washed the damn thing so thoroughly that I even took off some paint, but I don’t care because it’s all fresh and clean (16) and pretty now. Lucy rode her bike to pick up lunch from the coffee shop and we experienced the singular joy of eating outdoors (added after, too lazy to reorder all the numbers).

We finished our chore around 2 o’clock and I decided to take a mid-day shower (17). Just like day drinking, a daytime shower is basically a declaration that you are a BOSS (18) and can do what you want (19) when you want to (20). I took my time lotioning up at a leisurely pace (21) and used my favorite hair product (22), Moroccan Oil Curl Control. That scent (23)!

My fingernails were looking a little ragged after the hours spent on the front porch so I decided to treat myself to a cheap mani (24). I went to a local (25) chop shop and got one of my all-time favorite colors, Essie’s “Ballet Slippers” (26). I left the salon too early, so of course one nail is already jacked but who cares? I came home to find that my Lucy had DVRed “I Love Lucy” (27) so together we watched the episode titled “The New Neighbors” in which Lucy thinks the new tenants are murderers. Naturally, hijinks (28) ensue. By the way, Nicki Minaj, you owe the estate of Lucille Ball Arnaz a check because every face you make was on “I Love Lucy” way before you were born.  Continue reading

12 Things Sexier Than Paris Hilton’s New Music Video

I’ve been under a sort of rock the past few weeks. I generally spend an embarrassing amount of time poring over news from the Celebrity Industrial Complex but there’s just been a lot going on, been busy, haven’t felt inspired, blah blah blah. So I want to extend my thanks to Paris Hilton and Lil Wayne for inspiring me to write words on this blog again.

If you haven’t seen it (and that will presumably be most of you), Paris Hilton released a “teaser” video for her “song” “Good Times.” It appears to be a song about partying with a 32-year-old hotel heiress. Sample lyrics: 

“I might be a bit tipsy … 
but that’s OK ’cause you’re with me.
Are you having a good time?
cause I’m having a good time.”

Based on the preview, the video contains a seemingly random collection of what I guess are supposed to be sexy images? There’s lots of skin, lots of swimwear, and lots of attractive young people having “good times.”  There are hot tubs, wet t-shirts, vodka bottles, dancing, hair flipping, and sexxxy sexxxiness. Check it out.

WARNING: NSFW words come out of Lil Wayne’s mouth. (Lil Wayne who, by the by, should be ashamed of himself. Not just for the stupid lazy rap but for signing Paris Flippin’ Hilton to his Young Money Cash Money record label.)

Ok. Yeah. Sure.

One wee tiny problem: it is thoroughly and completely UNSEXY. In fact, here are 12 things that are sexier than the video you just watched. Continue reading

What I’m Too Polite to Say to Customer Service People

tumblr_inline_mqeany5TFX1rlb7z7Gah! In the last 10 hours I have been on the telephone for extended periods of time with both Comcast and Aetna.

Both of the people I spoke to made me want to be rude as hell; made me want behave like I had no home training. (“Well, I can certainly understand your frustration, Elisabeth. I will be more than happy to assist you today.”) I remained cordial. But my interior monologue sounded just like Antoine Dodson.

Consider This A Verbal Selfie

Five Things I’m Thinking About Today:

1. Ever since we got back from the beach last week, I’ve put Sublime in heavy rotation. That one album – Sublime, the one that came out right after Brad Nowell died – so perfectly captures the laid back feeling of summer days. Love.

2. Even though I binge-watched the entire series two weeks ago, I can’t stop thinking about Orange is the New Black! I keep Googling stuff about the show, checking the cast’s Facebook pages and stalking them on Instagram. My favorite of the OITNB Instagrammers is Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee on the show. SHE IS SO ADORABLE I NEED HER TO STOP! (click the pic for a darling video)

It's my girl @tayjuly bday!! Showing her some love! Make sure to hit her up too! Happy Birthday Boo!

3. I am an occasional smoker. There, I said it. Especially when I have a lot on my mind. (Or have had more than a couple cocktails.) I like the feeling of pausing and just watching the smoke for a few minutes while I take a minute to think. I have also heard – and I think maybe it’s true – that smoking is not considered a healthful activity! So I recently decided to switch to e-cigarettes for at least the majority of my smoking occasions.

My review: not as great as actual cigarettes but considerably less likely to kill me, so, ya know, sticking with it ’til I decide it’s just too weird and that smoking actually sucks and I stop all together.

It’s weird how there’s no set end time with an e-cig. With a real coffin nail, there’s a period of time when you’re smoking and then you’re done because you’ve burned it down. Not so with the e-variety.  An I never thought it mattered to me, but the awkward size of the e-cig is, well, awkward. Instead of feeling like this:

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E-cigs feel more like this:

allisonstopalready(Fans of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will recognize this as the awesomely horrible Allison Dubois at Camille’s Dinner Party from Hell. I could watch that episode over and over and over.)

4. I <3 cover songs. I have devoted ridiculous amounts of time to creating playlists made of nothing but covers of great songs – the more unlikely the cover artist/song combo, the better. (Katy Perry’s cover of MGMT’s “Electric Feel”? Perfection.) So I really enjoyed this list of 21 Cover Songs That Make You Realize How Amazing the Originals Were. 

5. Being tan feels so good, you guys. Like smoking, it’s not great for longevity or the long term appearance of one’s skin. But I love having a real true SUN tan so much! I’ve tried spray tanning and it’s a decent substitute for the sun that first April day you decide to rock a skirt without tights. But honestly: nothing beats the freckly golden glow you get from spending a few hours relaxing in the sunshine.

Preferably with an icy Michelada and Sublime bumpin’ on your system.

 

My Eyes Are Just A Little Sweaty Today: Remembering Amy Winehouse

It’s been two years since Amy Winehouse’s shocking (not shocking) death at age 27. I still listen to her music ALL THE TIME and imagine what it would have been like if she had lived a longer life. I mean, damn: even hanging on til 45 gives you a hell of a lot more material to work with.

So I’m reposting the piece I wrote on Intown Confidential right after she died. Even if you don’t read it, take a minute and watch her sing one of my favorites. When she breaks at around 1:20 – well, just watch . . .

July 23, 2011
So, Winehouse didn’t make it. Couldn’t keep up the fight any longer. Since she was such a tabloid dream, we all saw the dangerous signs of a life in total chaos, but somehow her early death still shocks and saddens. Her music was so meaningful to me and I want to remember her here.
I first heard her sing when “Rehab” was offered as a free iTunes download. I knew nothing about her, and I don’t make a habit of using iTunes to discover new singers but she intrigued me. I admit at first it was her look more than anything else that made me pay attention. That insane beehive, those crazy tats, the pencil skirts? I liked this girl’s style so I gave it a listen. It seems ill-timed to describe my feeling upon hearing her sing as something like addiction but it really was like what people say that first hit of meth is like: “I want more! Now! Again!” I couldn’t get enough of her and I felt something I hadn’t felt since I fell in love with Joni Mitchell in junior high.
Mark Ronson was the perfect producer for her; their relationship reminded me of other explosive artist-producer pairings that brought out the best in both. Her sultry voice with his 60s soul style production – mixed with improbably modern lyrics about her lover making her miss the Slick Rick gig – were intoxicating to me.
I remember throwing around her word (“fuckery”) all through the fall of ’07. Despite what were seemingly enormous differences between us – an about to be 40 mom of two and a superstar trainwreck – I felt like we knew each other in some way. Despite outward appearances, I heard her and knew I had some Amy in me. The way she sang about love and life felt so true and courageous. I admired her recklessness and tattered beauty. Like everyone else, I was sort of fascinated at the paparazzi photos of her in her grimy ballet slippers and running makeup. I wasn’t clutching my pearls, though. In a weird way, I loved her refusal to be anything other than her messy, raw self. In a world in which stars don’t even wear crazy get-ups to the Oscars anymore (I miss you, Cher!) there was something exhilarating about her unwillingness to hide her pain. Continue reading