Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Gen X’s having kind of a shit week. The death of our generation’s quintessential teen crush, Luke Perry, was just too much, too soon. And even though that alone was all it took to break my heart, on The Facebook and in conversations with my way-too-young-and-hip-to-be-in-their-forties friends, I realized the dawning of our mortality was closing in from other angles as well.

Somehow in an attempt to block out an Academy Awards I wasn’t invested in, I missed the whole Selma Blair chronic illness reveal in her gorgeous Ralph & Russo gown and custom monogrammed cane. Now that I’m caught up, I see she announced her MS diagnosis back in October and in doing so told a very familiar story of doctors explaining away her 2011 flair up as exhaustion and typical postpartum / mommy / women-y problems. I have been hearing tales such as these over the past couple-few years from friends and colleagues (all female, strangely enough, hmmmmm….) who have been lugging their undiagnosed and routinely belittled illnesses in and out of doctor’s offices. Treated as if their aches, pains, and debilitating fatigue was more emotional baggage than medical reality, they are slowly driven mad questioning their ability to effectively communicate what is happening to them. If they are lucky, the gaslighting stops once they get a diagnosis that makes their once vague symptoms finally seen for what they actually are.

But as members of Generation X, we’re a cynical lot, and so it’s not surprising that the actress who won an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss in 2000 (with Sarah Michelle Gellar for Cruel Intentions — I’ll wait while you rewatch that) had to air her medical woes on GMA to highlight this disturbing issue of middle-aged properly-insured women having to go into battle over their health care.

So, now America knows, but still we can’t help being pissy — and skeptical that things are going to change — but at least we’re starting to be heard.  Maybe.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week”

Beat JENeration #027: Get Well Luke Perry

Beat JENeration #027: Get Well Luke Perry

As I write this (around 1:30 am Pacific Standard Time, Friday), I don’t know the status of Luke Perry. I’ve been thinking about him all day — even though I had plenty of pressing IRL stuff to deal with.

This isn’t to say that this isn’t serious real life business for Luke Perry or his actual friends and family. And while it feels a little silly when I write it — it actually feels bizarrely real life to me personally.

For those living under a rock without wifi, let me catch you up. Luke Perry, 52, who skyrocketed to fame Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210 and has had quite the resurgence in recent years as Fred Andrews on Riverdale, has been in the hospital “under observation” after reportedly suffering a massive stroke. He was responsive when the paramedics arrived, but then his condition quickly deteriorated.   

Entertainment media has been rather dickish about the whole thing using it as a vehicle to drop the news that Fox had just announced their 90210 limited summer series — of which the door was being left open for Perry and Shannen Doherty (the show’s real stars) to still join the line-up. And then there were also quite a few stories about what the other 90210 “stars” were tweeting, etc.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but did the fine folks in Fox PR will this happen — if not actually slip something in the man’s drink? Timing’s…odd. Riverdale was just renewed, as well. I hate that this is the way my mind works. I process emotional distress with diversion — usually humor, but sometimes with outlandish plots to explain the irony.

Tragedy befalling one of my TV boyfriends hits me hard. I am willing to not only admit this, but also refuse to apologize for it. For a lot of us, TV is intimate because it’s in our home, sometimes actually next to us in our beds. It’s what we turn to when we are alone, when we are sad, when we need to escape. It never judges us for eating the whole pint of Cherry Garcia between Hulu commercial breaks.

We know the people on TV are not real, but sometimes they can feel a little real in the moment. And I have found that one of the best methods of bonding with other humans has come from talking about the storylines on our shows and our TV crushes.

And it’s just not the same with movie characters or in books. In my experience only the nerdiest among us seem to translate the same emotions with literary boyfriends — and when I’ve found a kindred book geek that actually reads all the same things I do, we usually end up talking endlessly about the female characters.

Now, Luke Perry/Dylan McKay isn’t my top ranking pretend TV boyfriend, but he held that title through most of the 90’s (sometimes flip-flopping around the top 3 with Kyle MacLaughlin/Agent Dale Cooper and David Duchovny/Agent Fox Mulder — meaning he was the ranking non-FBI character for at least a decade). Currently, he’s still in the Top 10, thanks to being in slobbering distance from me in a Comic-Con press room during the Riverdale launch. He looked in my direction (PCS boss lady Adriane was there too, but I want to pretend he was really just looking at me alone) and said, “Hi Ladies” or something like that (it was kind of a blur) and then he gave the Dylan look — right there in person, into my eyes. He knew his target audience in that room. Just thinking about it now my stomach is infested with butterflies. I know I giggled and blushed in the moment, but it’s a miracle that I was able to stay standing and take pictures.

This is the power of Luke Perry.

Plus if you read the #LukePerry bits of Twitter you will find out that he’s a helluva a nice dude. (And you’ll also see lots of doctors pointing out that strokes happen to lots of people under 60, so you need to be aware of the signs).

And this just makes me more angry that the media has been focusing on the 90210 series announcement. And not been giving more updates.

Get well Luke Perry. Please get well.

Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic

Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic

Well, of course I spent Valentines Weekend watching Dating Around on Netflix.  Duh.

I have loved hate-watch competitive dating since the dark days when it was relegated strictly to game shows. Knowing reruns of The Dating Game or Love Connection were waiting for me after school, I didn’t dilly-dally on the walk home. And one day, maybe, I will tell you about my borderline obsession with MTV’s Singled Out. Curiously, however, this did not translate into much enthusiasm for The Bachelor. I like to think I only made it through one season because I evolved into a better person, but between you and me, there just wasn’t enough of a romance to cringe ratio.

Those wanna-be-bridezillas lining up to fight over some rando dude bro they just met is all cringe. Plus I could never suspend belief enough to buy into an attractive and normal-ish enough guy resorting to on-camera courtship in order to snag a spouse. Premise, is everything. Which is why something like Joe Millionaire actually worked for me. It’s completely plausible that 20 gold-diggers would scratch, claw, and scheme over a wealthy hottie and that a construction worker/underwear model would sign up for the paycheck and an IMDb credit. 

Which takes me to the premise of Netflix’s Dating Around.

Six singles in New York City are followed on a series of blind dates. There’s no prize at the end, just a final shot of that show’s star single and the person they have selected to go out with a second time. As a game show, it sucks, but in my opinion, it is the new pinnacle in competition dating reality.

Continue reading “Beat JENeration #026: Dating Around is Schadenfreude-tastic”

Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.

Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.

Leaving the house without a bra on is never a good idea.

Not that I do it often, but it’s happened. And it’s just really playing with fate.

Some of you are shocked (a few of you pervs maybe even titillated,) but the moms out there know this is just a thing that happens. Motherhood is a helluva lot of personal growth bringing many joys, blah, blah, blah, but let me tell you a secret — it also makes you stop giving a shit. It’s partly because you realize what’s really important in life, but mostly it’s because you spent a great many hours showing your junk off to many, many strangers, while in the worst shape of your life. And it’s not like ridiculous pain or fear or heavy-duty drugs were the gateway to flashing your nethers to every person in scrubs (and maybe your mother-in-law too), it’s because modesty isn’t as important as getting the pregnancy over with.

“Yes baby, I want to meet you, but mostly I want you off my fucking bladder….and I want to sleep on my stomach again”.

(BTW, sleeping on your stomach is something I was never able to get back AND it’s been 16 years).

This isn’t a mommy blog, so don’t worry, I’ll wrap it up.

Long story slightly shorter, moms may seem to regain effort in their outward appearance by the time the shorties reach school-age, but fatigue is clearly a long game and when given the choice between getting yourself or your spawn out the door in a timely and presentable manner, it sometimes makes the most sense to just throw on a sweats (more than likely the stained loungewear type rather than some sort of sporty athleisure pre-meditated errand-running selection) and throw everyone in the minivan. We all know sweatshirts make bras optional in situations where you won’t be jostling around too much in public.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.”

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

I spend an inordinate amount of time out in the world calculating when I can go home, get in my pajamas, and sit in bed watching Netflix.

I am not proud of this, but I’m also not un-proud of it either. Take me as I am – a gal who envies anyone who can decadently put on a sweatshirt and decade-old soft yoga pants, then hop under the covers with a book or an iPad, especially during the weekday daylight hours. Living THE DREAM!

But, why Netflix and not another video streaming platform? Because its queue is the easiest. The watchlist on Prime has to be shared amongst the whole family, going to individual network sites is bothersome, and Hulu’s commercial model is ridiculous (don’t even get me started on their new ad concept when you press pause), so Netflix wins my loyalty by default. Not exactly the highest praise, but they locked me in enough to consider their monthly content changes some of the most important news/click-bait in my social media feed.

Here are February’s in-coming titles (and my reaction).  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb”

Beat JENeration #023: Tidying Up with Jen is not nearly as cute

Beat JENeration #023: Tidying Up with Jen is not nearly as cute

As promised last week, I embarked on applying  Marie Kondo’s KonMari tidying up principles to my own life. 

If you haven’t watched her Netflix series (you should) or read last week’s column (you should do that too) here’s the basics of KonMari:

  • Commit yourself to tidying up (because there’s a lot of time and effort involved. “Tidying up” sounds like a passive, casual exercise in housekeeping, but it’s not).
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle (like a mental vision board — oh and don’t forget to thank your house in the beginning because you’ll probably say some mean things to it during the process).
  • Finish discarding the things that don’t bring you joy first (because once you put stuff in storage containers or adorably fold them into your dresser drawers you won’t properly assess them for their joy factor — and you’ll probably relapse).
  • Tidy by category, not location (because gathering all like items into one spot allows you to see all the shit you have and the volume alone will inspire you to be more selective in what brings you joy).
  • Follow the correct order: Clothes, books, paper, komono (misc) and sentimental items (because we just have to trust the method in her madness).
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Beat JENeration #022: Tidying up was never so goddamn cute

Beat JENeration #022: Tidying up was never so goddamn cute

I am not a joiner and as such generally am too detached (lazy) to suffer FOMO. This is why you will not find me participating in the latest shit collectively stirred up on the internet. Birdbox…yeah, even as a devoted Sandra Bullock fan, I’m sitting this one out. Gillette Toxic Masculinity ad…haven’t seen it.

I am also not what you’d call a tidy person. I don’t love my clutter, but I learned to live within it. Though, occasionally, I have been known to make a half-hearted stab at improving my surroundings. There were a couple years were I went full-on Fly Lady for up to at least a month at a time. But generally, as long as I move house every decade and quarterly need to ransack my desk or nightstand for an important document, gift card, passport, or some other misplaced suddenly important item, I will keep myself out of contention for hoarders.

You know where I’m going with this, right? Tidying up with Marie Kondo Continue reading “Beat JENeration #022: Tidying up was never so goddamn cute”

Beat JENeration #021: 9021, Oh why would you even bother?

Beat JENeration #021: 9021, Oh why would you even bother?

In late December, when a picture surfaced of Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, and Jason Priestly, together in public I was intrigued. And as the rumors started circulating about CBS shopping a Beverly Hills 90210 revival/reboot, I have to admit I was very excited.

Of course with Luke Perry and Shannen Dougherty not signed on, I was less excited.

Though now that the truth has surfaced that it’s not a revival at all, I’m actually kind of pissed that I was put in a nostalgia TV tizzy for nothing. This project is (deep breath) an hour-long mockumentary-esque dramedy with the former teen stars playing themselves (or a version of such) chronicling their efforts to get an actual 90210 revival going.

I mean honestly, would I even add such a thing to my endless queue, let alone watch it?  Well, certainly not without Luke Perry or Shannen Doherty.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #021: 9021, Oh why would you even bother?”

Beat JENeration #020: If you really must make a New Year’s Resolution

Beat JENeration #020: If you really must make a New Year’s Resolution

Resolutions are bullshit.

Over half of them don’t see February, and honestly everyone sounds like a douche when talking earnestly about theirs. Just like veganism, carb negativity, crossfit/rock-climbing/SoulCycle/hot yoga, sugar shunning, sobriety, and juice cleansing normal people don’t want to hear about it. Intended or not, talking about all the good you do for yourself always comes off as passive aggressive.

Self betterment is best when you keep it to yourself, but I can’t deny that it has its place. Until the world decides to be Mark Darcy to our Bridget Jones and like us very much, just as we are, many of us will feel the pressure of peer perfection. And as such, one shouldn’t be shamed for making New Year’s Resolution.

Maybe we can make your resolution a little less bullshit together.

There’s no crime in editing your resolution in the first week to something that is as doable as it is meaningful. Though for god’s sake, if you declared to make a life change because of some  soulful post on a celebrity style guru’s IG or a whimsical Ways To Improve Yourself Lifehack I cannot help you refine. Just start over and concentrate on the three keys to living one’s best life.

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Embrace being basic. Don’t play into what society wants, man.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #020: If you really must make a New Year’s Resolution”

Beat JENeration #019: Five Predictions for Twenty Nineteen

Beat JENeration #019: Five Predictions for Twenty Nineteen

2018, not a fan. So I prefer to look forward.

While I do not possess powers or abilities to actually see the future, I have paid attention to the past and so I know these five things to be true.

Predictions

1. Those people will still be assholes

More arrests and a final  and ugly fall from grace will unfold through the year prompting thousands of people to reconnect with their red MAGA-hatted friends and family. Mostly to gloat. But they will soon realize that the estrangement was no loss.

2. Low-Rise rises again

Fashion is cyclical. And yet no one in that industry seems to learn from their mistakes.

Young ladies of 2019, back in the day of OG Mom Jeans, we, too, had the same arguments. We pleaded that at least a mid-rise jean was needed to tuck all our stomach issues in, but low-rise was actually a good thing (to an extent — as we know it went way too far and way too many ass cracks had their day in the sun). Just remember that you need to add another $20 to the price of those new low-rise jeans in order to have a tailor custom fit the waistband and hem them. Yeah — we’re going to be seeing less of those cropped skinny pants too.

And you shouldn’t be surprised if vintage Juicy tracksuits start showing up on the truly fashion forward. Also, for some reason I strongly feel that Paris Hilton will become an ironic folk hero to the Gen Z set with stacks of graphic tees in her honor at Forever 21 by year’s end.

The future isn’t always pretty — especially when it’s an echo of our past.

3. Women will turn 40 and while many will stop noticing them, they will indeed continue to exist.

These women will complain to their friends over Rosé (which will not go away quietly) about hard black or clear chin hairs that suddenly spring up an inch long overnight and genuinely not understand why no one in the beauty industry warned them. 

4. Emo Kid Come Back

This will partly be due to Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s comic The Umbrella Academy bringing its blend of weird family drama, super powers, black comedy into homes via the new Netflix series. But there will also be a 4th Wave shoegaze-y musical component coming forth from the garages and indie clubs to the mainstream. We all wanted some angry punk rock made by the kids in the age of Trump. But what we’re going to get is emo (though they’ll probably sulk and snarl at being called emo).

5. They’ll figure out a way to ruin doughnuts

As the fly-over states really dig into the artisanal doughnut trend that killed the cupcake shop on the west coast over the last five years, we’ll have to suffer through the foodie’s trying to step up their game and thus screwing up a good thing with savory fillings and experimental fusion cross-overs. But there will be safety in going to the dive-bars of donut shops and hopefully, they will move onto pancakes by the end of 2019.