Red Carpet

Grammys Red Carpet 2023

Welcome back! I feel like it’s important to really emphasize my fashion expertise. I’ve found that my red carpet blogs sometimes get looks from strangers who think they’ve just stumbled upon a lovely roundup of what the celebs wore and instead they’re treated to Joan Rivers reaching up from beyond the grave to punch you right in the face with snarky and critical commentary. So I gotta be candid with you. I put on an outfit yesterday, looked at myself in the mirror and thought wow I should be arrested for looking this good.

I mean come on. From the Men’s Walmart raglan that absolutely doesn’t match, to the swoveralls to the slipper socks, THIS IS FASHION, BABY. I’ve never felt more qualified to do this work. It is my calling to inform the world on what looks good and what doesn’t and then draw conclusions about these people as human beings based on the clothes they’ve chosen to wear for one evening. Please join me on this journey, won’t you?

WORST.

Laverne Cox

Kicking things off with a bitter bitch take you will feel in your bones. I cannot watch another second of another red carpet with Laverne Cox. Someone needs to put her out of her misery before I throw my TV off of my balcony. This woman does not belong anywhere near a mic in any sort of ad lib profession. It is BRUTAL. When she doesn’t know what to say (always) she just shouts WERK IT. I heard that phrase about 6 zillion times. She stumbles over her questions, she doesn’t know how to fill dead air, she says the same 4 phrases and she rips the mic away to talk when the person isn’t finished. Red carpets are awkward as hell. You have about 15 seconds to get a soundbyte and even the most seasoned hosts can get a cringe interaction. WE CAN NOT BE OUT HERE JUST SENDING ANYONE TO A RED CARPET WITH A MIC. BOOOOoooOOOOOOOOOoooOOOO. And that’s it. I don’t care what she’s wearing. She will land on my worst dressed forever and ever until they get her the hell off my TV. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Rita Wilson

This is so caberet and old and boring and WHAT is that amoeba on your neck?! Rita you’ve got a damn bod on you and I don’t want to see it draped in a sequined garbage bag ever again.

Bros Osborne

What are we looking at here, good sirs? Are those dandelions? Mushrooms? A weird trippy hybrid of both? No gracias. 

Heidi

I have a strong gut feeling that the designer of this dress ripped up the carpet at the Borgata in AC and tossed it on Heidi. I can smell the cig smoke and hear the slot machines just from looking at it. 

Ashley McBryde

I am astonished at the amount of work these two pointy tabs of fabric are putting in to keep that rack above sea level. Hot damn, if you zoom in you can see that each side is breaking a sweat from the sheer weight of those bazookas. Ashley, bbgurl, you’ve got a strict thick strap top half, take notes for next year.

Mary J Blige

Mary, I wanna give this one to you, I do. Who doesn’t love a disco ball dress? And yet, you had to give me all the uncomfies with those cutouts. If you need a bikini wax for your red carpet dress, it’s showing too much. I never want to risk peeping a cesarean scar in an evening gown.

Doja Cat

Doja Cat is known for being an edgy fashion risk-taker. She was just at Paris Fashion Week with red crystals glued all over her entire body. So it’s not surprising in the least that her style and my style don’t exactly mesh. Wrapping herself in latex Hefty and having bangs that give me sweaty flashbacks to Jen Lindley in Season 5 of Dawson’s Creek is gonna be a no for me, dawg.

Bebe Rexha

Pornstar Barbie! I’m usually blindly Team Bebe because I’ve seen her shake that magic ass live and I support her ‘F Off For Calling Me Fat, Hollywood’ mentality but I cannot turn a blind eye to this. This is a Hugh Hefner original and we all know what a perv Hef was so we’ve gotta do better than this, ladies.

Harry

You may hate my distaste for seeing areolas on a red carpet, but at least I’m equal parts boobie hater. Don’t care what your gender is, a formal event is not a good enough reason for me to see your nipples. I truly from the bottom of my tits, do not understand the obsession with Harry Styles. I had a brief love affair with him in his later 1D years because he had swagger and a sense of humor. And then I grew up. And suddenly Harry goes solo, starts painting his nails and wearing literal clown outfits like this and everyone is SOAKED for him. He’s a subpar singer and dancer at best. MAKE IT MAKE SENSE. 

Maren

I thought we had finally escaped the I got a swirlie before I left the house trend. And obviously as someone that is 99% of the time wearing a baggy onesie, belly buttons out is always gonna be a hard no for me. 

Jack Harlow

Is Jack Harlow committing a heist? What’s with the leather gloves, homeslice? Really killing the Khaki on Khaki vibe here and making that sweater vest REAL creepy. That is a man who wants to hide a fingerprint if I’ve ever seen one. 

Julia

Gotta be honest it’s been a whole minute since we’ve seen the tried and true vag flap. That was real hot a few years back. Everyone was courtesy flappin their lady parts. And this one, this one is really special. We’ve got a flap AND the luhh-handles cutouts. (I use that term with the MOST sarcasm because there is no handle there, she’s skinny AF.) If this dress wasn’t attacked by scissors, it’d be a home run. But we just HAD to show all of the skin! Insert the deepest eye roll here.

Shania

What in the cow fuckery is this, Shania? This is Elmer Fudd meets Cruella. It pains me to come at a queen like Shania, but let this be a lesson to all…no one is safe. Not even the legend who created the most party-startin phrase of all time, “Let’s Go Girls.” I get that she’s having a moment right now. She’s got new music, back on tour again, riding that Harry Styles wave, Queen of the Gays, and yet we don’t need to be going this far. Save the bold wigs for drag brunch and your Vegas show. Strut the Grammys carpet in a classic leopard and call it a day, booboo.

Miguel

I’ve said it EVERY SINGLE awards show…STOP TRYING TO BRING BACK THE JT & BRITNEY DENIM THROWBACK. It is ICONIC. It will NEVER be recreated. This is stupid and embarrassing. What are those on your feet? JOOTS?! Beat it, nerd.

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Speaking of losers. I’m surprised they didn’t come in a conjoined costume with their tongues attached. Here’s another submission where I don’t have a bone to pick with the outfit as much as the person (see: Laverne Cox). MGK is a polarizing personality and apparently he’s taken the temperature of the room and realized everyone finds him insufferable so the persona he tried on last night was humble bumbling idiot. Between him not being able to complete a sentence, and Laverne Cox interviewing him, I nearly dialed 911 to see if they could send an EMT to put my skin back on my body because I had CRINGED OUT OF IT. He was trying to say that he’s just grateful to be able to make music because that brings him joy and awards don’t matter but what he said instead was “I was thinking about things in the car and um…I um…I don’t…” BLOW MY BRAINS OUT. GO AWAY. BOTH OF YOU.

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I hate everything about this. The half up half down top knot with the stupid 90’s pieces in the front and the keyhole spaghetti halter. Woooooooooof. You’re a mom now, Paris. Do better than recreating an outfit you probably wore to the club as a teenager.

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Selenas is the only singer who can pull off a bedazzled bra and anyone else is just trying too hard. I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them. This is one step up from pasties and it is downright trashy. Sorry not sorry.

Kelsea

I love a bold color and I feel like we definitely didn’t have enough of that last night but I loathe the style of this dress. Hatehatehate, double hate, LOATHE ENTIRELY.  It is the 2000’s prom dress and there is no rhyme or reason to the direction of the chiffon or the random lines of beading. 

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Peplum needs to be brought out back and shot.

Diplo

It’s giving dad goes to pick up his kids from a high school dance and tries to toss a piece over his work clothes that he thinks Harry Styles would wear.

Khaled

No. Just no. If Snooki were to win an award at the height of the Jersey Shore in 2011, this is what she would’ve worn and for that reason, I’m out. You sir are one of the richest people for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON as all you do is shout area codes and city names and BLESS UP over other people singing and yet your family shows up to the Grammys in matching Tiger King getups?! Get LAWST.

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What was the vision here? Because if it was vagina-shaped crow, then you really nailed it, sista.

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This is all-around bad. Miranda looks rough without adding a thrift shop rhinestone bedazzled gown into the mix. Also, not related but kinda related…I texted my sister yesterday that her sham of a marriage to that infant cop who left his pregnant wife for her has already lasted WAY longer than I ever would have predicted and I’m actually mad about it. Either they’re trying to prove a point by staying together or he’s a shell of a human who just rides her rhinestones and hopes she never kicks him loose. 

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I quite literally almost yakked in my hands at the sight of this atrocity. WHY ARE WE DRESSING A GROWN ADULT MAN LIKE HE’S IN FIRST GRADE IN 1996?! WHAT ABOUT THIS IS OK? I had those socks and those shoes when I was a small child. But even as a stupid 7 year old, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in an embroidered joutfit. Jorts and a joodie? I mean, are we ok here?! I wish I could unsee all of this. But since I can’t, I felt it was necessary to include so that everyone else could suffer with me. Cause that’s what I do best, make others hate their lives just as much as I do. YA WELCOME.

Yonce

Sic the Yonce police on me but this mixed media foil dress stinks. And the wet hair. UGH. If you were an hour late to the ceremony because you were “stuck in traffic,” there is no excuse for looking like you just hopped out of the shower. Also, not to bring it back to me (but 100% to bring it back to me) I had this hairstyle EVERY single morning for the past 20 years of my life. I’d hop out the shower, flip my head upside down, spritz John Frieda Dream Curls, scrunch and then roll out for school or work letting my sopping wet curls dry at their own pace and however they felt like drying would determine if it was a hair up or down day. FINALLY I have matured. I bought myself a diffuser and a little curl cream and ya girl is learning how to style her naturally curly hair for the first time in her life at age 31. And might I say, on the mornings that I have a whole hour to devote to this process, it is OVER for you hoes. The Salty Ju’s got her Curl Back. Take notes, Bey.

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BEST

cardib

I was ready to rip this shit and then I was like yanno what? This ain’t that cray. She looks good, there’s no near flashings, good color and it looks like this top part stands on its own, which is like hoods up, regal style. Maybe if I had this contraption my parents wouldn’t have banned hoods in my teen years. So chic.

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Smokes with a teal suit. Get it, Gramps! 

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10/10 for couple coordination. Silver and gold? Adorable.

Anderson

I’ve razzed this fella’s 70’s schtick before but this is one of his more digestible retro outfits so I’ll give it to him. Grandma’s curtains for sure but no one can deny a set of jazz hands like that.

Sheryl Crow

It’s the women of a certain age uniform but Sheryl looks great and that lil leg pop seals the deal.

Shaggy

White before Memorial Day? Wasn’t me.

Daryl Hannah

I dig Daryl getting after Wednesday Addams with these bold tights and combat boots. She followed the 50+ wears black rule carried a scooch too far at the Golden Globes but made it fresh and funky and her own. 

Carly Pearce

This is playing it real safe but Carly looks good so no harm, no foul.

Lizzo

Lizzo has worn some REAL weird shit and as someone who gets hard for a flower of any flavor, I very much loved her being draped in a red garden here. Sure, it’s obnoxious, but it’s also kind of elegant to be drowning in fabric on a red carpet, makes me think of Bridgerton-esque mating season. You wanna marry me? FIND ME UNDER THE LAYERS OF FLOWERS, DUKE.

Sam & Kim

I fuck with a coordinated look. Don’t get me wrong, this supporting cast of characters will absolutely give me nightmares. However, Kim and Sam are SERVING here. Veils and pimp hats and canes, oh my!

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That is a MF’ing topknot right there. That thing has LEVELS. I’m also into this witchy cloak the Queen is rockin.

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That is a jacket fit for a gentleman with the ability to spit straight bars without taking a breathe.

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I love the fact that Bonnie came to the show in probably the same sassy blazer and black skinny combo that she’s been struttin for years and walked home with Song of the Year ripping it from all of today’s biggest pop stars. What a boss move.

Luke Combs

Not as coordinated as the Rock and his lady but each look amazing in their own right.

Nelly

Remember when Nelly used to wear a sweatsuit, fitted and bandaid under his eye? HE GROWN. Look at him now! Damn. (No worries…he revisited the good ole days for his performance so never forget he can do BOTH. Sweat AND suit. #tbt)

Pharrell

Red seems to be the color of the night and I can groove with this studded leather set. Plus I actually own that leather hat.

Michelle Branch

I’d give you a million dollars to guess who this is and there’s NO SHOT you’d win it by guessing Michelle Branch. She hasn’t hit the age threshold for a black dress requirement yet but she looks cool as hell in it. The shades really add an air of Fuck All the Way Off. It’s funny how Pharell’s shades make him look like he gets an Oat Milk Latte every morning and Michelle’s make her look like she’s hungover from closing down the club last night and only showed up as a favor to us all. Sunnies can make a statement, folks. That’s why I have a whole wall of them.

Babyface

Never love a bare chest but a sparkle bomber is always going to get a stamp of approval from me. And a quarter-zip no less? My lord.

Fat Joe\

Fat Joe not lookin so fat anymore! Good for you, man. What I am confused about is why this trim, trendy lookin MF’er did not get his 30 second spotlight during the History of Hip-Hop to lean back. Fat Joe WAS Hip-Hop in the 2000’s. To not feature him in that segment is pure robbery. At least his geometric Barbie shades are cool as hell.

Tay

I will forever bow down to a Crop Coords Tay. When she rolled out the 1989 era in 2014 and exclusively wore crop coordinates for 2 solid years, I scrambled on out to Target and bought my own set. And you know what’s some real shit? I had the PEAK body for a crop top at this time and I only wore that outfit twice. I should’ve been wearing it to work instead of a drunken night that ended in a gas station photoshoot. Here’s me getting snagged by the paps. TYSM to Taylor for inspiring a movement of upper mid section flashing, making being a girl who doesn’t want to flash all her bits, just as sexy.

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Kacey

What a lovely pink feathery exploszj. It’s a little off-putting that she’s wearing the same motion capture suit they make you wear when they’re turning you into a video game. That floof of soft pink really distracts from it though and all I could think was FUN AND SOFT! (It’s possible I was accidentally overserved this evening…by myself.)

Myles Frost

GIMME THIS JACKET, BUB. 

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

Threw you for a curveball here, huh? Apparently all we needed to do was pull Hillary Scott away from Lady A and she’s dressed to the damn nines. I’ve never seen her look this chic. Usually we see the jacket and shorts or jacket as a mini dress angle but full-length tuxedo jacket? Yes ma’am! I find this soft white look with minimal makeup and jewels to be elegant as hell and stood out to me among the rest.

Not at all red carpet relevant but my only tweet from last night that got any attention was this one…

And if you need a good, deep belly laugh to get you through this Monday, might I suggest you cruise through Ben Affleck at the Grammys twitter. From just a few photos/video clips, the world gathered that Ben Affleck was basically on suicide watch as JLo’s arm candy and it was the most unexpected goss of the evening. I also happened to stumble upon a TikTok of Ben and Jen at a party and if you read Ben’s lips it looks like he’s shouting “I didn’t have a drink” and then “JEN” and she looks pissed. And to that I say, she should’ve read my letter before she married him. No but seriously though, all jokes aside, I give them 2 years before this implodes. I even texted my sister about it after all the hustle and bustle of last night. So it’s official. My prediction is out in the world and I guess we’ll just have to wait for the text (or the email, on the JLo) when it crumbles. But until then, we will joke about Ben wanting to be at Dunks instead and make more memes of his displeased face.

(Obviously I followed up that psychotic response with a gif of the movie the problem child where the kid is dressed as a devil and laughing, because taking pleasure in other people’s pain is truly terrible behavior. At least I’m self aware.) Here’s some Twitter highlights:

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Red Carpet

Golden Globes Red Carpet 2023

I gotta be completely honest, when the host, Jerrod Carmichael, got on stage and was like obviously last year’s Golden Globes were cancelled because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is racist as hell and I’m here because I’m black…I was genuinely shocked to hear this information. Not the racism part, the cancellation part. It’s only been a year since they got cancelled and it was as if I was hearing this announcement for the very first time. My brain is absolute mush in my old age. So I guess welcome back, Golden Globes!

I would be remiss not to make the one comment no one seems willing to make that may ruffle a few feathers but what’s a blog for if not to ruffle some feathers. The opening monologue called out the hypocrisy of an association that didn’t have a black member until the death of George Floyd and then hired a black director and a black host for its comeback…and then BAM BAM BAM the first three awards given out went to people of color. And I’m not questioning the talent of any of these actors, but I do wonder how legitimate these awards are when it’s clear the Globes are trying to make up for lost time and stop actively looking racist. The thought HAD to have crossed these actors minds. And that sucks. That’s gotta take away from their win. I knew we were really digging in deep in the ‘let’s show we’re NOT RACIST AT ALL’ front when Taylor Swift, Rihanna & Lady Gaga were all nominated for best original song for a movie and a song called “Natu Natu” all in Indian won. They weren’t even trying to hide it. So anyway, I’m not sure what’s better, an awards show that only awards whites, or an awards show that only awards people of color to make up for only awarding whites. All I know is I support Abbott Elementary getting the recognition it deserves because I haven’t loved a sitcom this much in a VERY long time.

But back to the real reason I’m here, not to drop some uncomfy cultural observations on Hollywood (which is still racist, btw) but to tell you if an outfit is eye-burningly hideous regardless of the gender or ethnicity of the human wearing it, the way God (Joan Rivers) intended.

WORST

 

Selma

Kicking things off with a classic pair of Golden Globes, heyyyyooooo. You knew I had to make that dad joke AT LEAST once and I’m glad I got it out of my system right at the top of the hour. Besides being punched in the face by Salma’s hooters, I think black straps on a nude gown is really tossing a “ma’am your bra straps are showing” trashy vibe out there.

Clare Danes

Honestly she had me right up until the bottom and for that reason I’m out.

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Laverne

This is something Samantha Jones would wear to one of her PR parties back in ’97 and even though every woman wants to be like Oh, you like Sex and the City, I’m totally a Samantha, in this case it’s really not something to brag about.

Jenny Slate

This is a tacky cheap prom dress. The color is horrendous and that flower accented by a spaghetti strap halter top, my lanta.

Clean it up, Jenny. 

Nicole Byer

Tonight’s edition of sparkly Hefty bag.

Daisy

It’s giving French maid and honestly if you’re going to a major awards show in peak season, this ain’t it. Even if that awards show is on a Tuesday.

Glover

Respectfully, no. Head to toe pervy 70’s strip club owner.

Heidi Klum

Is Heidi OK? What is happening here? This is Vegas showgirl in a sad way, not a fun way. Even her makeup and hair…who did this to you, bbgirl?

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Legit question, what is holding this dress up?

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We’ve always got a trend that everyone is jumping on for each red carpet and last night’s was all of the fabric. Between big ole skirts and trains and shawls and fabric dragging every which way, it shouldn’t be shocking at all to learn that I hated it.

Do less, God Bless.

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Ok, so do less than swaddling yourself in taffeta and do more than wearing lingerie. This should be self-explanatory but celebrities are a whole different animal.

Quinta Brunson

UGH I’m mad about this. She had to scuffle up that mermaid tail and drag it all the way from the cheap seats in the back, thwacking the chairs of A-list celebs along the way to accept her award. I hope this taught Quinta an important fashion lesson that every woman must learn on her own…a mermaid bottom is never the choice.

Lily Taylor

THERE IS SO MUCH FABRIC. 

Selena Gomez

Ditch the sleeves with rattails, buttercup. They’re stupid. (What I would say if I worked for Selena and she asked me what I thought of this outfit)

Julia

Right in line with the mermaid tail, we can tack cupcake bottom to the no-fly list as well. I mean, have I been screaming into the void for 8 years of red carpets now?! IS ANYONE OUT THERE LISTENING?! Unless you’re attending a theme party twirling a parasol, this is not a good enough reason to be dripping in ruffles.

Michelle Williams

MICHELLE. WHAT THE HELL. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS.

Eddie Redmayne

The sheer shirt and giant fabric flower made my panties dry RIGHT up.

Viola

Are you even rich and famous if you show up to a red carpet with the bottom of your dress sopping wet because it dragged through puddles on a sidewalk? I mean, that’s some poor people shit right there. You’ve gotta have assistants SPECIFICALLY paid to carry your train for you. I would have an epic Naomi Campbell meltdown if this happened. Anywho, regardless of her swamp hem, the tank on the left and tee on the right was a no for me. Either let your pits breathe or cover them up. There’s no “either, and” option here.

Michelle Yeogh

I’m not going to rip a fresh rant on peplum because you already know what it is. Mermaid, cupcake, peplum. If the style has a stupid name, DITCH IT, MAMA.

Babyface

Seeing Babyface’s bare chest under his suit coat truly gave me the ick.

 

BEST

Jeremy

Yes, CHEF.

Adam Scott

Had to make a real concession here with that stupid bow but A TWO-TONED TEAL SUIT?! OH, OK.

Andrew Garfield

Oh shit that is fresh.

Tyler

My obsession with a tie dyed jumpsuit (I own far too many) translated over to this jazzy number and might I also add this pose is cocky as hell. One hand in the pocket, the other showing off your bling. Gonna pose like this from now on, just need some bling.

Janelle

DAYUMN that body-ody-ody-ody-ody.

Rogen

Wildly different approaches and I love them both. 

Abby Elliot

Adorbsies lil bump and top bun in a color we don’t see a whole lot of.

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney took a page out of the “older women wear a sleek and traditional black gown” book and it’s a popular pick for a reason. Flattering and timeless.

Margot Robbie

Great wavy hair, lovely soft pink tone and fun little twist with the lace bottom.

Chloe Flower

Don’t get me wrong, this falls into the too much fabric category and overall is stupid HOW-EV-ER, to be fair, if you’re going to hop on a dumb trend that you’ll regret in a year, one thing you’ll NEVER regret is showcasing your stemz at their peak. I support this move wholeheartedly. Let those gams breathe! (As it turns out this was the show’s pianist and she probably wore this style so she could have legs free to shove under a piano and pump those pedals but I hope she reads this and knows how hot her legs are and they shouldn’t be hidden under a piano.)

Ana Gasteyer

I kinda feel like they did Ana dirty with this picture as it looks like a low angle, which we all know should be illegal. But shocking to no one I would die for this color combo. GIMME ALL THE OCEAN TONES. SUFFOCATE ME WITH THEM. Too far? Probably. Nothing new here.

Kaley Cuoco

Another bun/bump duo! Was this a requirement? Hey if you’re pregnant you must also do a top bun to accentuate that you have a BUN in the oven. Get it?! Props for the purple princess gown. 

Jeremy Pope

Ohhhh yeah this is FIERCE.

Jessica Chastain

Kinda suprised myself with liking this one because on more than one occasion, I’ve spent weeks getting in my car and discovering new spiderwebs on my dashboard and in my windshield. And I’d clean them off and then come back to more the next day. There’s nothing more terrifying than discovering it’s an inside job but never finding the culprit of these sticky butt-string houses. I seem to be a real magnet for spiders wanting to ride around with me like I’m some sort of arachnid Uber. And every single time it happens I consider setting my car on fire and hoping the insurance covers spider arson. All of that to say, I hate spiderwebs but make a bedazzled spiderweb on a dress and I am SLIVING FOR IT, HONEY.

Ana De Armas

ADA was here for her role as Marilyn Monroe and she could’ve easily fallen into the Marilyn trope and had those yabbos on display but I respect even more that she didn’t. She went as herself and looks chic AF. (Unlike Kim Kardashian who starved herself then wedged her too big body into Marilyn’s historically famous gown, ripping it along the way, just so she could have a ‘look at me’ moment at the Met Gala. #PeopleDon’tForget.)

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I have a real boner for the floral details on this dress.

Sheryl

THIS IS A MOMENT. Hair, makeup, majestic purple glamour all on point.

Glen

Obviously all of the love is for that babe soda Glen for wearin’ that suit. The ruffle skirt on his arm candy can die away from me.

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I’ve never seen a more perfectly fitted gown. 

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee spicing up the ‘women of a certain age’ look with some lace

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Great red gown and matching red lip. No clue who this is but you nailed it, booboo.

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HELL YEA pastel suit from this young chap. Off to a great start with your style career, junior.

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Another young’n, (no fact checking she just looks young) in a regal curtain-y dress.

Angela Bassett

Angela’s been around the block a time or two and knows how to give hand on hip ‘TUDE on a red carpet. I’m afraid to ever be on her bad side and also in awe of her glam. Mission accomplished.

Niecy Nash

Easily one of my top looks of the night. I really love this eggplant color, not so into the fitted sheet she’s schlepping around but it is what it is. The dress fits her like a glove and that makes up for the fabric ‘splosion accent.

Anya

Rocking this alabaster skin with a color like this and pulling it off is almost enough to make me stop baking my skin off in the sun every chance I get to achieve an optimal skin tone for neon colors. Almost. 

Jennifer Coolidge

Honestly Jennifer Coolidge can wear whatever the hell she wants because she’s an icon and was easily the funniest person at the show last night and she wasn’t even trying that hard.

Billy Porter

The tux dress is Billy’s signature and I’m down for the magenta version.

Hilary Swank

A BUMP WITH A BUMP. Ok, I’m not imagining it here, guys. Pregnant women were exclusively told to have one hairstyle on this red carpet and I’m not being dramatic. She literally has a bump-it in her hair. The inconveniently long ribbons pulling behind her are dumb but she makes up for it by stuntin those pockets all over you hoes.

Hannah

What an all-around fabulous look and another fave of mine from the night.

Jean Smart

I don’t make the rules, I just point them out to the world and occasionally laugh at them but for realz every actress above the age of 55 was told to wear a black long-sleeve gown. On the one hand, you can’t possibly look bad in that and on the other hand, I feel like they should be offended that they reach AARP age and suddenly have to dress like they’re attending their own funeral. Regardless, Jean looks gr8. 

Seeborn

We’re starting to lose it here, folks. Fun peek behind the curtain that is The Salty Ju, although these blogs are read and appreciated by a very small sample sale of people, I put more effort into them than I do my full-time job. When I do a red carpet I start collecting pictures when the show starts, work on it while I watch, sipping wine to keep me awake past my bedtime, and I don’t finish writing these stupid lil captions until the awards show has concluded. That’s about three and a half hours for the mathematicians at home. And then I wake up the next morning and edit to correct any of my sloppy mistakes before publishing it by 9am. So, next time you make fun of my blog, make sure you laugh extra hard at how many precious minutes I spend crafting these silly words that nearly no one reads. I may devote way too much time to a red carpet but I ALWAYS appreciate a bold floral and lip.

Odenkirk

Ending on a REAL high note because if you don’t root for a guy who gives a strong point as his red carpet pose then you must have a giant dump in your pants. This makes me so happy and the cherry on top is that he looks fresh to death while he cocks that finger gun, locked and loaded. Hoping for dubz gunz at the Oscars.

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

Ortega

Let the records show that I was a fan of MANY looks on this red carpet (for anyone who dumps all over my harsh fashion dumping…say dump again) but this one stuck with me throughout this very professional fashion critique. Jenna is just twenty years old, a lil baby, and she’s crushing this very mature look. Great color for her skin tone and hair, minimal jewels so as not to take away from her ROCKIN bod. If I could go back in time to 20 years old I would also be poppin my midriff all over the joint. I’d smash my 20-year-old body in everyone’s grillpiece. Cause little known trade secret, your body just gets WORSE AND WORSE with each year that comes until eventually it’s a flabby and wrinkled outershell of what it used to be. Women should be required to take all of the nudes in their early twenties to document that shit. It’s all downhill from there! But I digress. CONGRATS ON YOUR ABS AND BEAUTY AND FASHION CHOICES, JENNA! Proud of you.

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Television

Best of the Worst Hallmark Holiday Movies, 2022 Edition

It’s 2022, baby! We’ve got about 6 zillion streaming services and FINALLY they’re all making original Christmas movies. We are no longer SHACKLED to a network geared toward the middle-aged female demo making four of the exact same movie starring Candace Cameron Bure each and every year with the grand finale being a Sahara desert dry brushing of lips. We’ve got OPTIONS now! When I sat down to make my list of preferred flicks to watch, I clicked through 174 BRAND NEW original Christmas movies. And from that monster list (shout out Entertainment Weekly), I narrowed it down to a conservative 33 movies as a guideline, adding and deleting along the way. Let the records also show that CableTV.com put out a call for one person to be the “Chief of Cheer,” watch 25 movies in 25 days, submit commentary and get paid $2,000 for their services. I nearly broke my keyboard whipping up a lengthy rambling of a submission PLEADING my case that I’m already the Chief of G-D Cheer and I deserve compensation for it for ONCE. Spoiler alert: I did not get the job. Big mistake, CableTV.com, HUGE.

For anyone who cares, here was my submission that was so unjustly overlooked. I hope everyone at CableTV.com gets coal in their stockings this year.

There’s truly nothing better than pouring myself a glass of wine, snuggling up on the couch in my sherpa-lined red truck blanket, staring at the twinkling Christmas tree in the corner & smashing play on a holiday movie. It is the true meaning of Christmas.

Not only do I enjoy consuming a sleigh-load of holiday movies each year, but for the past 8 years I’ve maintained a pop culture blog (thesaltyju.com) and each year I recap the newest Hallmark & Lifetime holiday movies and share my opinions with the world (whoever stumbles upon my blog.) Considering each streaming network is now competing for who can release more original holiday movies each year, this is quite an undertaking and I feel as though my fervor to watch each one and record my thoughts before Christmas Day is impressive. I’m dedicated to watching overworked corporate girlbosses return to their sparsely populated hometown and fall in love with the local carpenter as they harmonize at the church Christmas pageant that they managed to cobble together after many holiday hijinks, sharing one chaste kiss under the mistletoe as the credits roll. And if I’m that dedicated WITHOUT pay, imagine the effort I’ll put in with a little incentive?!

Even though I make time for 20-30 new holiday movies each year (while keeping Hallmark running in the background as I “work” from home so I can rewatch old ones as well) I always make sure to revisit the classic Christmas movies I grew up on. Each Christmas season *must* include Home Alone (1 & 2), Elf, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, The Santa Clause (1&2), Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation & The Grinch. Of course, I’ll make room for new classics to be sprinkled into the mix, most recently Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles has become a fan favorite in my household of one. Kurt Russell gave Santa an edge that we haven’t seen since Tim Allen in the early 90’s and I can always get down with a cool Santa sax solo.

Anyway, as you can see, I’m already crushing it as a Chief of Cheer every holiday season like it’s my J-O-B, so why not get paid for it?! I would LOVE the opportunity to watch Christmas movies and share my feedback with CableTV.com. Thank you so much for your consideration and keep the change, ya filthy animals!

Anywho, back to the matter at hand, Hallmark has really jumped the shark since the aforementioned CCB left and now that the streaming services are releasing their own Christmas movies, pumping a fraction of our ungodly subscription fees into the production value, there really is no competition. That’s not to say I ruled out the OG giants of Christmas (Hallmark and Lifetime), but I will give you fair warning that in the world of streaming cable, you can’t have both. You either get Hulu Live TV with Lifetime or YouTubeTV with Hallmark. There’s a special place in hell for ex boyfriends who cancel their Hulu Ad-Free Live TV that they know you’re using, in PEAK Christmas movie season, without even a courtesy warning. Which is how I found myself scrambling to get a YouTubeTV subscription and therefore had no option but to F with Hallmark exclusively this year (Sorry, bout it, Lifetime.) So without further ado, I’ve divided by network–in alpha order–so you can roll right past the networks you’ve chosen not to pay for (or steal logins for.)

AMAZON PRIME

Something From Tiffany’s

A product of Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, the plot of this one is a wee bit of an engagement ring mixup. Ethan gets a big ole rock to propose to his LA girlfriend, Gary gets his girlfriend diamond earrings, their bags get switched and each woman opens up the wrong gift on Christmas day. Except instead of correcting the mixup, Gary goes pedal to the metal and proposes anyway with a ring he certainly doesn’t have the coin to pay for. We all know they have to make the current partner hateable so we don’t feel like it’s cheating when there’s a spark with someone else…but I feel like they went too far here. Gary the tattoo artist is a thieving scumbag. And word on the street is it’s ok to leave your fiance when he’s a poor dirtbag with no morals. This movie was kinda boring overall save for BFF Terri who provides comic relief and rips on the shitty boyfriend, but it’s a nice Christmas in the city story overall. Definitely can tell its got that Reese cashflow.

Your Christmas or Mine?

I guess this one was geared toward the younger crowd as it featured two college students. Ah, to be young and in love at Christmas with a posh accent. Leaning on the “let’s surprise each other” but do it at the same time and completely miss each other trope, James ends up celebrating Christmas with Hayley’s family in one town and Hayley ends up suck with James’ dad in another. Obviously neither one has told their family about the status of their relationship because they’ve been dating basically five minutes. Secrets are revealed, families are the worst, and the ONLY time I chuckled was when Hayley’s family shows up at James’ mansion (he’s a Lord) and make a comment about how she could’ve pulled a proper Meghan Markle. Otherwise, this movie is a dud and you couldn’t PAY me to spend a holiday with a brand new sig oth’s family WITHOUT THEM THERE. Pure torture.

CBS

When Christmas was Young

This is primetime. The big leagues. This movie premiered after 60 Minutes! What a lead-in. You know it’s good shit when it’s getting the Sunday night feature like it’s awards season. Happy to report it did not disappoint, especially since it was the last movie I viewed this season and I already had quite an ear full of “original Christmas songs” that made me want to scoop out my ear drums with a butter knife. With Sheryl Crow as an EP, you can trust the music will be legit and it sure was. Luke Dawson (hot name) is a doucheroni country music agent who gets fired and his last Hail Mary to keep his biggest client is to get the rights to a song written by Melody. Tale as old as time, Melody shows him the charitable and family side of Christmas so he stops being such a turd and Luke repays her by giving her song away anyway so he can keep his job. All’s well that ends well though, obviously in song. I really don’t have a lot of snark for this one because it followed the holiday movie formula to a T and it didn’t have any weird actors overdoing it in the background or terribly cringetastic scenes. Round of Applause for the Canadians here, they know how to make a solid Christmas movie.

GREAT AMERICAN FAMILY

Catering Christmas

Molly is the chipper go-getter of a business owner trying to land a catering job for a rich family and Carson is the privileged nephew photographer of said family who has a boner for her. This movie was the equivalent of a Christmas cutout sugar cookie, sweet and basic. No major conflict, no exes to get rid of, and even when Carter had to pick going to Milan over staying in his hometown to be chairman of the family biz, it was *very* anticlimactic. Bonus Points for an opening scene of Carson sneaking up on his aunt and taking a picture of her before even saying hello…stalk, much?! And a suuuuper random side love story between the butler and the aunt that escalated very quickly. We went from sidelong glances to a proposal in RECORD speed.

HALLMARK

Haul Out the Holly

Holly’s parents run the neighborhood Christmas festivities every year and basically have been ruining her Christmas since she was born because instead of getting to open presents at home she has to be free labor for their festival. Less than 5 minutes into the movie we’ve got a “I’m not happy in this relationship” and Holly will be returning home for Christmas with her overachieving parents. Except this bitch has the worst parents in the world. Like someone commit these two clowns to a mental institute. Who invites their daughter home and is like, “Bye babes, Happy Christmas we’re moving to Florida right now! Sorry about your breakup, please watch our giant house and make sure it’s decorated up to HOA code!” There are no redeeming qualities to this movie as everyone is rude and weird & sketchy and she’s an ADULT. Say no and get the hell outta there! And the lead male HOA president nerdbomber is a fucking loser. I don’t care if he’s an architect, he’s giving citations for not having a porch nutcracker, someone needs to give him a swirlie and then stuff him in a locker. And OF COURSE he plays the guitar. Extra cringes for the classic bludgeoning of an all-time great Rom Com line with: “Just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to be Santa.” WOOF. MAKE IT STOP.

A Cozy Christmas Inn


I only stomach’ed like 45 mins of this and I was barely paying attention but I knew the minute I heard two old biddies in a town with a stupid name say “Believe in the magic!” that this was very much not the movie for me. I dig Jodie but we all have to have boundaries and a movie where Santa is the main hunk’s dad is mine. I don’t know exact plot deets here but I know Andy is the ex and Erika is there to buy his B&B leading to the often predictable “PROMOTION OR LOVE” decision…but with lots of twinkle sound effects and lines like “stop listening to your head and start listening to your heart!” From someone who thinks exclusively with her heart this is BAD advice from the friend of the program. Extra cringies for Erika asking Santa (Andy’s dad) for Andy for Christmas. I almost puked in my hands typing that. And it wouldn’t be a “one of a kind town” without annoying AF side characters trying to bring main character energy. I don’t care about your small town life in Garland, old diner people, kick rocks.

Christmas Class Reunion


As a Julie Taylor fan (yes I’m using her character name instead of her real name) I had high hopes for this one. She’s cute, the lead guy is a babe, what could go wrong?! Everything apparently. The opening scene is a complete rip of the Carrie pig’s blood dumping but Hallmark style. Then we fast forward 15 years later to all of these goons and where they are now. The over-acting in this one is next level and the way that each character acts like where they are in life is the END OF THE WORLD. (I was unemployed and moving back home right around the time my high school reunion took place so let’s cool our jets with pretending life sucks when you’re all gainfully employed.) The couple that was soooo in love in high school is separated now (color me shocked) and is hoping the reunion would spark their magic again. Since Hallmark isn’t about showing divorce, I think we can safely assume nostalgia will trump couples therapy in the end. None of these fools have talked to each other in 15 years but doesn’t stop them from acting like they’re besties when they’re reunited and also I HAVE A BONE TO PICK. When will Hallmark learn to fill the coffee cups with at least water so everyone stops tipping obviously empty cups toward their dome piece and pretending to sip. Shout out to random unnamed co-worker of Julie Taylor for the most memorable line of the whole damn thing, “They’re saying it’s a federal investigation…as in the FBI!” Oh, is that what that is?!

#Xmas

Jen runs a home decorating shop with her sister and makes lil videos and Max is her BFF from college who helps photograph and film her. They decide to enter some sort of HGTV knock-off celeb couple contest for influencers posing as a married couple with a baby. Obvs they become finalists and let me be the first to say this Hally threw me for a loop. It didn’t really follow the formula and everyone pretty much hated Jen for most of this movie. Her mom, Max who has been in love with her forever with her friend zoning him HOARD. Jen was not a fan favorite and not to pile on but she still hasn’t gotten any better at doing an American accent since her days starring as Scarlett on Nashville. But as we’ve learned, if anything can make you stop being an asshole, it’s Christmas…and also pretending to be your nephew’s mom on a stage in front of tons of people when he says “mama” for the first time and he ain’t talkin to you. Pro Tip: If you want to make this movie more fun, drink every time Jen pops into “influencer” voice and worry about the future of our youth who live in influencer voice 24/7. For realz, I saw a middle schooler prop her phone on a shelf at Wegmans and start doing a dance in the aisle. #We’reAllFucked.

A Tale of Two Christmases

It’s on me that I didn’t read the description (or the title) with any sort of common sense and still chose to watch this. I can’t get down with groundhog day or magical alternate universe movies so as soon as Santa “granted a Christmas wish” and the clock stopped working I knew I was screwed. Not only that, but I was confused. When this parallel Christmas first started I had no way of telling which was which. I guess what I’m trying to say is I think I’m finally too stupid for Hallmark? Also ain’t that some shit that you tell some fat guy ringing a bell that you “just want something to work out for once” and you get to live out two Christmases to let you know which man candy to choose and how to crush it at your career. WHERE’S MY FAT MAN?! I’d love an insider tip, homeslice. I want to help my middle school bully sensually strip his chunky knit Christmas sweater off after declaring it’s hot in here! Anyway, no spoilers but Emma’s Christmas with fancy lawyer Max and her promotion to lead architect ends up being a real disaster and as it turns out moving home to Vermont and starting a biz with her dad and smooching the guy she grew up with is THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. “You know I’m not perfect, right?” “You are to me!” AWWWWWGagggmylifeawayAWWWW.

HBO MAX

Holiday Harmony

Homeless chick Gail drives around the country in a van and does open mics, but she’s keeping her followers up to date on the journey which is high key obnoxious to watch her be an influencer who can’t afford an apartment but can afford to overshare. And wouldn’t you know her van/home gets totaled by a goat or something on her way to LA for her big break. The man, the myth, the legend, JD McCoy (clearly the Friday Night Lights characters are a HIT in the Christmas movie scene), is the mechanic who will fix her van and then make it rock if ya know what I mean, WINK WINK. Not gonna lie, grown up JD was doing it for me in this movie and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sure, the movie took an emotional turn that I wasn’t prepped for but we got a sex scene. HELL YEA. HBOMax has no rules and I DIG IT. Unfortunately that’s immediately followed by children singing which is a big HELL NO. Overall dece movie but I’d be remiss not to shine a light on the worst part…the hispanic actress that I saw in THREE movies so far this year and she was playing a loud obnoxious caricature in all three. Was she running a special on “annoying over-animated screecher” as a character?! I was mega embarrassed for her every time she graced my TV this year.

A Hollywood Christmas


Jess is directing a Christmas movie about a lawyer shutting down a bakery and as it’s shooting, Christopher, a finance bro from the network, comes to shut down the Christmas movie division, Omg SO meta. A few minutes later I discovered that Jess’s assistant has a cartoon baby voice that made me want to blow my brains out and I PRAYED that her speaking role would diminish as this flick progressed. That was my one Christmas wish this year. And that Christmas wish was quickly shattered because this girlie was basically a main character flapping that squeaker of hers to point out all of the ways in which Jess’s life was playing out like a Christmas movie. It certainly didn’t help matters that I was already cranky and starving as I watched this movie on my colonoscopy prep day. The treat your real life like a Christmas movie WHILE filming a Christmas movie that has almost the same plot all voiced by lil miss helium pipsqueak was a hard no for me. I paused it several times and it took everything in me to finish it. Then it ended on a musical number to really seal its fate as worst movie ever. PS: STOP TRYING TO MAKE THE “IS DIE HARD A CHRISTMAS MOVIE” ARGUMENT CUTE FLIRTY DATING BANTER. IT IS NOT.

HULU

Merry Kiss Cam

Jess (clearly a hot name choice this year) is an artist and Danny owns a hockey bar that was passed down from his dad. Danny is also the hottie from Bring It On and dayumnnn he aged well. Anyway, the initial attraction between these two crazy kids is they both are adults who eat snow. And honestly I can see that being listed as a kink on a dating profile. “We’re the same kind of weird if…we both eat snow.” I really need to get off of the apps. But I’ve got nothing but love for this movie. I liked both of the leads, they had the most adorable couple banter and I love a good falling in love montage, which this gave in the form of smooching at college hockey games so they keep up their winning streak. My only snarky comment is that I wish she would’ve gotten those godforsaken bangs out of her eyes. If anyone is on the fence about cutting bangs, watch Jess spend the entire movie pushing them back so she could actually use her eyes while painting.

My Christmas Fiancé

This was so bad that I honestly double checked to make sure it wasn’t a parody and I didn’t fall for it. As it turns out, the creator of this movie was serious and for that I am so sorry. When the movie started and we were getting artsy shots of food in a prep kitchen I thought wow, these TV movies are really trying to make it to Cannes these days. But then as I kept watching it became clear that there is no shot this wasn’t a student-made film. Besides the next level bad acting that reeks of volunteers from class, the camera was constantly moving like a dad behind a camcorder. At one point, a waitress comes into the kitchen probably trying to do a different accent then her own and goes, “what are you guys doing here” and I swore I was losing my mind and/or tripping on shrooms because I thought somehow my TV switched to slow motion cause it took so long for her to get that sentence out. And the CHERRY ON TOP is that this abomination to the term movie actually had a recognizable name in it with Denise Richards. I watched the whole damn thing and I still have no idea what Denise Richards’ role was other than to pop up and watch the main characters cr33p style or say a few incoherent words here and there. I don’t think even she knew she was on a movie set. She probably thought it was for her OnlyFans. I would say skip this movie but I also kind of want someone else on this earth to have gone through the torture that was watching it so pls report back so we can commiserate.

LIFETIME

Steppin into the Holiday


Billy Holiday gets fired from his dance show with his wife (IRL) because what is a holiday movie without Mario Lopez’s entire family making a cameo. He goes home for the holidays and sees an opportunity to keep twirling with his nephew’s dance teacher Ray. It may be disrespectful to critique the children in movies but this one deserves to be knocked down a peg or two. Billy’s nephew is the most annoying little shit in the history of annoying little shits. He’s a TikTok dancer who thinks he’s going to be famous so he stops studying at school so he can record himself shimmy shaking. As my sister and I noted out loud anytime he graced the screen, “what a cocky little fuck.” Besides CLF, the aforementioned obnoxious side character actress from Holiday Harmony also plays Billy’s sister (annoying shit’s mom, go figure) and gives off a REAL weird sibling energy. It goes from immature to flirty real quick when she tells him they should wrestle for the bed closest to the door. It gave me all of the ickies. Thank GOD for Cheri Oteri popping in throughout for a much-needed case of the giggles.

Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas


No. Just, no.

NETFLIX

Falling for Christmas


Sierra is a rich, spoiled asshole with an obviously gay influencer boyfriend Tad. Mid-proposal, they both fall in an avalanche or something equally as ridiculous and Jake, the small resort owner that’s about to go under, claims Sierra because she doesn’t remember who she is. Since they had a not so pleasant run-in while Jake was asking Sierra’s dad for funding to stay afloat, I thought we were watching an Overboard remake where Jake was going to punish Sierra by making her live like a commoner and learn the value of a dollar. But it turns out this guy is really dumb enough to not remember someone yelling at him one day prior and had no clue who she was until the end. There’s a magical Santa that plays absolutely no role in the greater plot other than appearing with sleigh bells music every once in a while and giving a creepy smile. Most importantly, we are served with the most horrible hair in the history of men’s hair that I was so disgusted by I got right up on my TV and rewound to snap some pics for proof.

IS HE PULLING THAT FACE BECAUSE HE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF HIS OLE PLASTIC HEAD ASS IN THE MIRROR?! BOOM. ROASTED. Shout out to my girl LiLo for a solid comeback and one of the few somewhat enjoyable movies this year.

Christmas with You

If I had a dollar for every time I typed the sentence “this is next level bad” into my notes app during a holiday movie viewing, I’d be able to afford the houses that all those cool kids my age are getting. Angelina is a popstar who needs to write an original Christmas song for her label and Miguel is a music teacher whose daughter is obsessed with Angelina and makes a TikTok that she notices. And that’s how two sassy ladies (Angelina and her comedic relief assistant) end up hitting up a 14 year old and her old ass dad for inspiration. Seriously, there’s no planet where I believe this hot tamale of a popstar is getting sucked in by a 46 year old man. Oh shit, nevemind, I just IMDB’ed her age and she’s 44 proving the theory VERY wrong that men age better in this scenario because I thought for sure this chick was 30 tops. Hand up, I judged the age difference here and there is none. Whoopsie. Anyway, it still doesn’t justify a very sensual dough-touching scene for these two to have while the rest of the fam makes ‘let’s get it on ‘eyes at them, INCLUDING THE TEENAGER… CRINGE MY LIFE AWAY. Unfortunately, this was also hands down the worst original song I’ve ever heard and that’s saying a lot considering I watched the Netflix original Purple Hearts where they pounded their original ditty into your brains by performing it 16,000 times. She even switched into Spanish for a hot second too so this song could blow in two languages! Feast your ears on this fiery hot garbage that somehow even fictionally got a slot on SNL. IS LORNE DEAF?!

The Noel Diary

My mom and I sat down to watch this one together and I had to run an errand and she asked if she should pause it. I told her I’d catch up. Came back with a half hour left and had the whole thing figured out so I guess I’m not too dumb for Netflix, which is comforting. This movie is obviously made for moms all over the world who think Justin Hartley is charismatic and dreamy. I’m not sellin what he’s buyin, so I could really judge this movie without falling for his movie star smile. Leaning a little more on the dramatic side, Jake goes back into his family history after his mom dies to reconnect the maid with her long-lost daughter who he obv can’t resist. My bone to pick here is that this girlie full-on cheats to be with him. Clearly no one at Netflix is doing their research cause that’s a hard no in holiday movie-land. You don’t cheat, you just emotionally connect with someone better and then your partner does something horrible and inexcusable and you don’t have to feel guilty that you don’t actually love them. DUH. But don’t ask me what I think of this movie, ask my mom who was sobbing on the couch as the credits rolled.

I Believe in Santa


Magazine writer Lisa says the word wiener to her boss within 5 mins and I was sold…until I laid eyes on Tom. This is the creepiest male lead I’ve ever peeped and I am not exaggerating when I say that this guy would be much more fitting for a serial killer / stalker role in a Lifetime movie. How quickly it can go from wiener jokes to the cringiest movie alive. Lisa hates Christmas and Tom is so obsessed with it that he should be on a watchlist. Then she discovers he genuinely still believes in Santa and judging by her sticking with him in the end, they probably both could benefit from therapy. As much as this movie gave me the uncomfies every time Tom’s face graced the screen, what really jammed my glock was the way Netflix was trying to hide deeper lessons about religion, race, and humanity into arguments about Santa. That was more than I was willing to learn from a low budge Christmas flick. Not trying to contemplate the existence of God in my pjs while I wrap Barbie’s on a Saturday morning, guys, so let’s cool our jets here. I do suggest taking this one for a spin if you’d like to have nightmares that feature Tom’s terrifying face for the foreseeable future.

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Salty Stories

Bend Over and I’ll Show Ya

I haven’t written a probably *too* personal essay in a while and what screams “holiday season” quite like some buhhole talk? As I’ve divulged before in blogs here and there, I’ve had stomach problems my entire life. Self-diagnosed as IBS, I’m either going an alarming amount of time without pooping or I’m having an emergency mad dash before you crap your pants situation. There is no in between. Hence, why I’ve pooped my pants 3 times as an adult. After years and years of trying different pills and powders and probiotics. Eating more fruit, drinking more water…you’ll recall what a big pile of nothing that did for me. Keeping a food diary. Wearing a diaper. Just kidding. It hasn’t gone that far although I have seriously considered it on days when my cheeks never leave the seat. Oh how nice it would be to just be able to go while I lay on the couch or run errands. And then I’m hit with the cold harsh realization that festering in your own poop as an adult is not something to daydream about. So after 30 years I finally decided my PCP telling me to “try to work more fiber into my diet” wasn’t cutting it and scheduled my very first appointment with a gastroenterologist. I was excited and hopeful to find a solution that didn’t involve removing cheese from my daily intake. As a firm believer that life without cheese is not a life worth living, I was prepared to tell any doctor that suggested that right where they could stick that suggestion.

I scheduled my appointment with a female GI (sure, I’ll share my poop stories with the whole world, but talk to a male doctor about them face to face? YUCK.) and made a detailed list of the years of trials and tribs that I wanted to share with this specialist to be thorough and make sure she knew my butthole inside and out to give me a proper diagnosis. Within 2 minutes she had diagnosed me with IBS-C (for constipation), told me she didn’t need to hear all of the things that I’ve tried as this is very common, touched my tummy for about 45 seconds like I was the Pillsbury dough boy and slid over a prescription for Linzess. Big Pharma, baby! Why get to know your patients when you can just push the latest expensive drug that you’re getting a kickback on? I asked if it made sense to maybe do a colonoscopy to rule anything more serious out and was met with a hard no because I’m not shitting blood. Mmmk, doc. Drugs it is. I was warned that these pills could cause cramping and diarrhea “at first.” Not knowing what the scientific definition of “at first” is, I went an entire week spewing out of my blowhole. 7 days and 7 nights of explosive diarrhea. For anyone who’s opinion is “better out than in”, you obviously have never almost busted down your bathroom door Kool Aid Man style to make it to the toilet in time once, let alone every damn night. When I finally got ahold of the nurse (several days of phone tag later), I was told to take a lower dose of the drug. Guess what the lower dose did? The same damn thing. Order up! One more week of Hersey Squirts, coming right atcha! I kept a note in my phone of the happenin’s of my bowels. Here it is for your entertainment. If you laugh out loud at the word diarrhea like my sister and I do, you’ll enjoy. If you’re a grown up who doesn’t enjoy potty humor…what are you even doing reading this blog?

As someone who’s never desired to have a remote office from the commode, it was time to lay down the law. No more Ms. Nice Butthole. (How many times can I insert butthole into this story? The limit does not exist.) I ditched this doc who clearly didn’t give a shit about me and went for a recommended GI. Unfortunately, this one was a man and I was forced to face my fear of letting a male doctor all up in my biz. Obviously I was really desperate for solutions other than taking expensive laxatives on the daily. The good news is this doctor actually did care, the bad news is caring also means a full examination with a side of casj butthole fingering. After some light getting-to-know-you conversation, my new doc showered me with compliments about how I’m too young to be having these sorts of problems. He also added in that I’m beautiful and look just like Sophia Loren. I would’ve preferred a movie star from this decade but who am I to split hairs when I’m being complimented for my youth and natural beauty? And then he told me to pull my pants down just enough so he could have access to my “sphincter” and jammed his digits right up in there. WHAT A TACTIC! Lubricate the patient with a healthy dose of flattery before literally lubricating your gloved fingers and diving right in. So now I’ve got a new life motto: if you’re going to wedge your fingers in my asshole, at least tell me I’m pretty first. Stick THAT on a t-shirt. The downside is that after ole poop fingers finished the exam, he announced “you’ve been pooping wrong.” Ex-squeeze me? Is there a wrong way to poop? Jury’s still out on that. His reply was inconclusive but he did recommend using my Squatty Potty more, which has become a real chore in such a tiny bathroom. Hopefully by my 32nd year I’ll have learned how to poop. He also pressed on my stomach and goes, “hmm, full of gas.” DON’T I KNOW IT, DOC. I’ve had a slow gas leak since ’91. My work from home days are scored by a steady symphony of toots that my dog has learned to sleep through. But I digress…the Doc then shoved me a paper towel and told me I wouldn’t want to go to the grocery store after this and have everyone see it all over my pants. I don’t know what “it” was but mopping up my backside with a Brawny post-plunder while he watched was truly a humbling moment for us all. I was forced to overcome my fear of male doctors and butt stuff all in one appointment. Baby’s first rectal poke was almost as traumatizing as the time my gynecologist gave me a pap smear with my jean skirt still on. ALMOST.

New doc told me to start from scratch with over-the-counter remedies for 2 weeks and report back. So every day I was taking 2 stool softeners, fiber powder 2x a day and Miralax 2x a day. My insides probably looked like this:

True to my Type A personality, I created another list to keep track. This one didn’t have as many “diarrhea” notes but after a few dicey days in my office with a plumbing system created by the original settlers of New Jersey and an incident where I was driving to meet my friend for brunch and dared to sneeze and nearly had a real messy poopsie daisy, it was safe to say the concoction of powders weren’t helping matters either. I’m genuinely shocked I didn’t shart once during this two month period of GI experimental diagnoses. When I went back in for my follow-up, it was clear that the next logical step was to do a colon invasion and rule anything major out. AKA the thing I suggested on the very first day of seeing a specialist. But what do I know. On the spot, my doc suggested the day before Thanksgiving for my colonoscopy. I was weary but he assured me that this was the BEST time to do it as I’ll go into the holiday empty and ready to fill up on turkey. Since he’s the expert, I agreed, mostly just wanting to get it over with. My plan to pregame turkey day with a colon cleanse went sideways when I realized that I didn’t have one soul on this earth to drive me to said colonoscopy and also I would have to make the 4.5 hour trek home for the holidays in the same day. For someone who feels the effects of NyQuil a full 12 hours after taking it, I assumed the hard stuff they give you to go lights out would probably render me disabled. Unfortunately, I didn’t come to this realization until I was halfway through the prep day of fasting. With a belly full of chicken broth, STARVING, and sobbing on the couch because I’m 31 and don’t have a huz to take care of me and my b-hole, I had to reschedule the procedure for a time when my parents could come into town and take me. #RockBottom. I obviously coped by driving straight to McD’s and shoving a mcchicken, cheesburger and medium fry down my gullet as fast as my body would allow. If I could have injected it right into my veins, I would have.

Finally, the day had arrived for the real deal with my dad traveling in to be my escort to this very special occasion. I knew the hell that I was in for as fasting from 8AM to 1PM the last time nearly sent me to my grave. Everyone told me my insides vacating my body would be the worst part of the process. Joke’s on them because that shit’s a walk in the park for me, literally. I’m prepped for a probing on a regular Wednesday by the amount I’m rushing to the potty. The ACTUAL hard part is the liquid diet. As a big believer in three full meals a day and snacks every hour, fasting is very much not for me. I am a shell of a human when I skip my mid-morning snack and have been known to get the shakes or even pass out in the shower when my blood sugar is low. I used to bring snacks into gym class with me in high school. Needless to say, by lunch time I was in DESPAIR. My dad was on his way into town and when I told him not to call me again on his drive as I’ll be putting myself down for a nap because I can’t bear to be awake and not be eating, he reminded me that there’s people who feel like this every day and to put it into perspective. Dear ole dad always knows just what to say to comfort me. Because as I’m considering what Charlee’s dog chow would taste like, my stomach growling ferociously, thinking of starving homeless people really gave me the reality check that I needed. NAHT. I was able to snooze through the afternoon dreaming of hot dogs and cheese fries and woke up at dinner time to begin the real treat, my toxic sludge that would stir up quite the poopstorm. Always looking for a way to make laughs out of a grim sitch, I made a video of me mixing it like a cocktail.

Then I took my first sip of the 64 oz I was supposed to consume over the next hour and the joke was very much over. Opting out of the additional lemon flavor so as not to feel like I was downing Pine Sol for an entire evening, this cocktail tasted like metal and oOoh baby she was thicc. I was not expecting that consistency and almost projectiled it straight across the room. Things started moving almost immediately and I was shocked at how easy breezy this process seemed. That was until the taste of this bevvy clung to my mouth for the rest of the evening and made me the most nauseous I’ve ever been. When it came time to finish that MF’er, I would’ve rather drank actual poop than saddle up for another half gallon of this poison spritz. I gagged down the first few sips of round two and ran to the can at lightning speed. From 10pm until 1am, I was the queen ogre of my swamp, sitting atop the porcelain throne, taking gulps, feeling those gulps immediately blast through me like hot lava and dry heaving into the sink whenever I reached the last sip of the cup. It’s important to note that I’ve never been the gal who could just toss a shot down the hatch without tasting it. Everything takes a spin on my taste buds before cruising on down my throat and I hated it when I was doing shots of warm Svedka in high school and I hated it even more on this particular night. By some cruel twist of fate, the second half of the gallon was like a bottomless mimosa pitcher…if mimosas tasted like lighter fluid. Every time I thought I was pouring the last glass, by pure magic there were 3 more glasses still left. After tossing the last few drops down the drain because I physically couldn’t do it, I crawled into bed, wrapped my shivering body in flannel sheets, only to have to bolt back to the bathroom several more times throughout the night and again as soon as I woke up. And twice more after I showered. And again when I got to the doctor the next morning, clenching the whole car ride there. I THINK THE GALLON PLUS 4 LAXATIVES WAS OVERKILL, DOC.

The next morning I dressed to impress in my most festive sweatsuit. Just because I was about to be violated doesn’t mean I couldn’t stunt on em with a lewk. I requested my father take a before and after pic. It took three tries for him to get my sick ‘fit AND my head in the same shot. It’s important to note that my dad is not here for the nonsense. He’s here to call me a baby bitch and roast me for how long it took me to choke down that half gallon and remind me of my privilege when I tell him I might die of hunger.

Lucky for me, the Home Alone jumpsuit was much appreciated and complimented at the doc’s office. More importantly, it added quite a sassy accent to the paper shorts they told me to hop into pre-procedure. What a fashion statement those bad boys are and tearing a hole in the crack for easy access was the cherry on top.

After the exorcism of my bowels and gag reflex for 12 + hours the night prior, the probing itself was really just a solid nap where ripping farts immediately afterward was not frowned upon. As I recounted the tale later that day to my mom, I told her how embarrassing it was for me when they walked me in my ripped paps shorts through the open waiting area to get to the room where I could eat my little snackie. My dad quickly interjected to share that under no circumstances did they walk me out with my buhhole flapping in the breeze but rather wheeled me out with my eyes half shut. I guess that was some good shit they gave me. Not as good as the paper shorts, tall red buffalo check socks and white high-top sneaks combo that I was rocking. Woo baby, I looked HOT. Again, I demanded Den document this peak babe moment for me so I could immediately upload it to Hinge to lure a lifetime mate and natch dear ole dad left the footwear completely out of frame. Maybe one day he’ll learn that my life is merely lived for others to laugh at me and HOW CAN OTHERS LAUGH AT ME IF IT’S NOT DOCUMENTED PROPERLY?!

So I survived my first butthole invasion and I’m here to share the gory deets for any fellow ladies who also have IBS and have been avoiding getting this procedure done like the plague. If I can do it, so can you. To all you regular poopers, I envy you and your ability to just shit on command. But your time shall come…it might not be for another 20 years, but everyone must succumb to the anal plundering (of the medical variety, I’m not here to kink shame) at some point. As for me, my colon was clean as a whistle and therefore I face the cold hard truth that since there’s nothing “wrong”, I’ll just have to continue with the alternating belly full of rocks and surprise trots when I least expect it forever and ever until I DIE. So the butthole saga continues. And remember, Gentlemen, I am available. 😉 I may not know how to poop, but at least I’ve got jokes!

PS Special shout out to my dad for driving 5 hours through the snow and the rain to put up with my dramatics. And also for picking up the tab on this juicy life-changing steak that I mowed through at record speed. I told you, girls gotta eat!

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Red Carpet

AMA’s Red Carpet 2022

Gonna keep it real witchu, I thought FOR SURE these awards would have a Taylor performance or at the very least, appearance, and that is exclusively why I tuned in. I had to wait about an hour to even set my peepers on her when she won for Red (Taylor’s Version) and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation for a CLASSIC Taylor dose of acceptance speech truth. Never one to shy away from addressing the elephant in the room, I figured it was a guarantee we’d get a little tidbit about Ticketmaster exclusively ruining my life this week and crushing all of my dreams, even if she said it in a cryptic coded way like she’s known to do. And what did we get instead? NOTHIN. Just a bunch of boring thank you’s for Red. After that, my interest drastically plummeted, unlike the ticket prices for The Eras Tour on StubHub. Since I went through all the trouble of turning on the TV and looking at the “fashion” choices, figured the least I could do was roast them…even though there was absolutely no one noteworthy there. I mean even the host–Wayne Brady?! You serious, Clark? What is going on with awards shows lately that we can’t even drum up a big name celebrity to host, let alone attend.

PS She didn’t walk the red carpet because it would probably ruin her street cred since this awards show guest list was such a stinky loserfest…but she did look like a 70’s disco glam babe and this jumpsuit was backless, so clearly she observes Bovember (Backless November) like I once did in my fun youthful bar-hopping days (may they rest in peace.) You’re welcome for this ratchet TV screen pic.

WORST.

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STOP TRYING TO MAKE DENIM A THING, EVERYONE. My God I’m so sick of this tongue in cheek ode to Britney and the early 2000’s jown. We get it, the most HORRIFIC styles of the early aughts are back in style. Distressed denim, chunky belts, ginormous crosses reminiscent of True Faith by Ramona Singer and french tips. BARF ALL OVER ME. THIS DOESN’T MAKE YOU LOOK COOL IT JUST MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE 20 YEARS AGO PARIS HILTON WITHOUT THE SOCIALITE STATUS. Also those extensions immediately transported me to Laguna Beach circa 2005 when Kristin and all of her cronies got extensions for winter formal and it was the most obvious ratty clip-ons that they probably paid thousands of dollars for. Die away from me millennium trends.

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I truly don’t know what’s happening here. Did she tie a puffer jacket around her waist and tuck her front braids into it?

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I’m usually down with my girl Bebe shaking that dump truck all over the red carpet in a fitted gown but this is a G-D mess. Girl is a walking loofah.

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 I actually puked a little bit in my mouth when I saw Grey Suit’s hairy thighs. This is an appalling group outfit choice and it became even more jarring when they won and I had to see everyone’s thigh meat up close and personal on my 60 inch.

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Super weird grandma’s coffee-stained curtains/bodysuit combo but also I just want to put it out into the universe that I hate hate hate double hate LOATHE ENTIRELY the two toned hair trend. Why is half of your head red and the other half black? Pick a lane.

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Ah yes, my fave two pieces in the face hairstyle…there’s always one! Also this dress makes me dizzy.

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This was the only look I had to include a rear view on because VIEW THAT REAR. Holy guacamole. Jessie. WE KNOW YOU HAVE A HOT BOD. WE KNOW THIS. I will never ever ever ever think a dress with a BUILT-IN WHALE TAIL is cute. Trashcan 101.

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MGK is such a worthless idiot I don’t even like giving him or his leech of a twin flame the time of day because all they want is for people to talk about them. This is the stupidest “look at me” outfit and I hope when he sat down one of his suit protrusions slid right up his buhhole.

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Not a good enough reason to lose the shirt.

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I do no support a Miami Vice look in November. Or ever from Charlie Puth.

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This is lowkey an ice dancer outfit.

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Host of the whole damn thing and he showed up in his jammies. He proved he DOES have fashion sense by popping off many spicy outfit changes throughout the show but YA GOTTA have a better fit for the carpet or you don’t deserve to host.

BEST

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RAWR this look is FIERCE.

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I dub these two the Leopard King and Queen of the night. They didn’t arrive together and have no affiliation other than great taste in animal print. Jimmie is WERKIN these pants, baby.

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Always jivin with a Barbie power suit. Could definitely do without the full teeter totter view but VERY happy to report that after the CMA’s red carpet slops yabfest, everyone took notes and this was the ONLY boobage I saw.

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I don’t think there is anything more adorable than this father/son matching pineapple top hairdo. Just some wholesome red carpet content with these two holding hands and looking adorbs.

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Very dazzled by this discoball two piece. Mostly I just want to see it in action. Give us a spin, girl! 

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Just the right amount of sheen for this country stud.

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Classic black mini without edgy cutouts, I APPROVE.

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I think this screenshot was an accident because I have no clue who these guys are but let’s go with it. I love the floral suit the best but all three look great and you can’t beat a geekburger wave at the camera pose to look the LEAST cool.

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Oh shit this is fresh. This is some Hamptons beach party crisp white vibes and I’m here for it.

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Pretty sure they wear the same exact thing to every awards show but I still want those luscious curls so they can get away with it.

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Great color and really economical use of the same fabric here.

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Listen if ya gotta show up to an awards show chock full of youths who have no clue who you are until you point out that Sofia is your daughter, ya gotta pull out all the stops and a smoking jacket like this with the chesties poking out is just that.

 

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

Obsessed with these colors, just the right amount of leggage and her hair is mermaid wave perfection. 10/10, Carrie.

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Red Carpet

CMA’s Red Carpet 2022

HEY Y’ALL! We’re getting back into the groove of awards season, gearing up for a long winter of yours truly clothed in oversized sherpa-lined men’s flannels adorned with crumbs asking celebrities if they dared to look in a mirror before they left their mansion to walk this red carpet. An age-old tradish. If I may make a blanket judgment about last night’s event it would be: TOO MUCH BOOB. Let’s be a little more tasteful with our cleavage going forward, ladies. Or just take a page out of my book and exclusively wear baggie tees with no bra. Now that’s CLASS and I think everyone at the dog park where I regularly rock this look would agree. Slops Yabs or Bust.

WORST.

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This bitch took a spin in the drapes and walked out the door and I’m sorry but we cannot call this fashion. It’s what you do when you’re indecent and you have to walk by the window when the landscaping crew is outside, you wrap yourself in a sheet. And not for nothing but I always wonder when someone wears something like this do they ever think about how no one can walk within a 12 ft radius of them or they’ll be stompin all over their ridiculous flailing wispy dress bits? Counterpoint: if you hate someone and they wear something with a tail, all you have to do is stand on it to ruin their night. #DeepThoughtsWithJu

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Kicking off my bubby-hate for the evening, I just never ever feel like I need to see what someone’s underboob looks like up close and personal. This keyhole peep is far too girthy and so unnecessary. If that hadn’t set me off, I’d be down with this look but alas I see red when I’m getting knockers shoved in my grillpiece at a classy event. (Stay tuned for more ranting about this and a fun little game I like to call how many nicknames for breasts can I shove into this blog.)

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Usually Dierks slays with a trendy and funky-colored suit but I cannot climb aboard the ribbons, bows & embroidered flowers angle here.

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My general distaste for Lady A’s music (which all sounds exactly the same) may have bubbled over into their red carpet choices because my first thought was UGH they’re so boring. So obviously I’m being a real Judge Judy here. But also, bleh.

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I’ve kicked this blog off on a real snarky tone so we’re gonna go balls to the wall here and point out that you cannot have a hairline like Luke’s and not wear a hat. Your GO-TO move should be a cowboy hat. I’ll also accept trucker hat, which I think is what he’s usually sporting. No need to get fancy, Luke! If there’s any red carpet where headgear is welcomed with open arms, it’s every country awards show.

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These two are called Bunnie & Jelly Roll and I really don’t think I need to say much else here. Except maybe, sir are you lost? VMA’s were months ago.

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Is this a Vegas bachelorette pool party or the CMA’s cause bbgirl looks confused. Part 2 of 1000 of WE DON’T NEED TITS OUT FOR THE RED CARPET. I don’t care if you’ve got itty bitties or big honkers, I don’t discriminate on size, I just don’t want to see ’em.

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OMG DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT KATY PERRY HAS BIG BOOTY BIG OLE YABBOS?! Cause I for one had no idea due to the fact that she definitely hasn’t been jamming them down our throats for the past 15 years. Katy, take your over the shoulder boulders and get lawst with this Britney denim knockoff. That was an OG magic red carpet moment that will never ever be recreated.

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Before I took a closer look I actually thought this was denim and I was also annoyed with Carrie for the same reason I just roasted Katy. Even though it’s not actually denim it’s still giving Britney vibes. Also it’s kinda just a smorgasbord of fabrics and I’m over it.

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You know I’ve had enough of my eyeballs getting poked out by nipples when I put my girl crush JJD on the worst dressed list but seriously ENOUUUUUGHHH with the boobs. I’m literally beginning to question if it was a requirement for your hooters to be busting out of your dress to even attend the CMA’s. This looks downright uncomfortable. Like, props to your plastic surgeon but we don’t really need proof that your hard as rock implants stand at full attention without any assistance. Y’all sick of my boob jokes yet? Too bad. I’m sick of getting poked in the eyeballs by them.

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Alright, 80’s Dad. Are those New Balances?

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This is like tacky lingerie and probably the least flattering dress I’ve ever seen Miranda rock. So there’s that.

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Oh, GREAT! MORE AREOLAS!!!!! JUST WHAT WE NEEDED!

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John looks like he went back to 2013 poppin tags with Macklemore at the Salv.

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This is a bellhop and/or Regal Cinema attire and you just CAN’T be strollin a red carpet lookin like this. ESPECIALLY when you’re hanging on by a thread in the country music world like Jake Owen is. How did not one person on his team look at this deep red smoking jacket and go, you’ll look like the help, dude, pick something else.

BEST

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I really went back and forth on this one. On the one hand, it’s giving REAL hardcore stripper vibes and it’s a scooch hypocritical of me to boob-shame and then allow a sequined leopard lace-up number to sashay right onto the best dressed list. On the other hand, LEOPARD. I love leopard so much and I don’t care who knows it, so THERE.

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Nice fall color, love the bow heels and WHAT WITCHCRAFT IS THIS SKINTIGHT SILK DRESS WITH NOT ONE CRINKLE OR FAT LUMP? I truly need the link to what kind of spanx/shapewear she’s slurped into because HOT DAMN I stared at this picture for an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to find one little panty line or even just the outline of her belly button and NOTHIN. Definition of fits her like a glove! (Also to stay on brand, full coverage on the tots would’ve been preferred, obv.)

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Everyone looks sharp except for the guy all the way on the right who looks like he borrowed his dad’s Sears double breasted jacket because he forgot the event was tonight. Not to put him on blast, but also, clean it up.

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I love how cocky Cole is that he wears a hat with his own initials on it. And also I just really want this suede number. Love a subtle bedazzled jacket.

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Lauren with the big hair. I LOVE IT! What a babe soda. Thomas looks alright, one time.

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IN ALL MY YEARS, I’ve truly never seen a Pete and Repeat on the red carpet at the same event. YOIKES this is embarrassing. I mean I imagine most stylists are on the same circuit because this faux pa NEVER happens but I really wish these two would’ve embraced this twinsie moment. One time I was at the bar and the girl next to me was wearing the same exact bright yellow floral top from TJMaxx and I elbowed her and said I see you’re a fellow maxxinista (obviously I was overserved) but we laughed and took a selfie. AND THAT’S how you handle who wore it better like a PRO. Sure, I’m not famous and I’m not wearing the same designer dress as someone who is infinitely more famous than me (literally don’t know the other girls name, sry not sry) but I WILL say, I love the color and they both look downright fabulous in it.

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Riley is kind of giving off grandpa vibes in this jacket which is fitting for having a hit about grandpas never dying but really I’m just loving on his arm candy’s classic nude.

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We love a red carpet pregnancy announcement in granny’s applique florals!

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If we’re being honest every single time I’ve seen a photo of Maddie and Tae in the past 5 or 6 years they’ve been around, I genuinely wonder if it’s the same two girls. They look different EVERY time I see them. But regardless of if we’ve gotten sub-in Maddie’s or Tae’s through the years, this black and white combo is FIERCE. The big bridal skirt paired with the dominatrix patent leather thigh highs? YES please!

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Might be ~*~controversial~*~ to say but this silver look is majestic.

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Wynonna looks like a disco ball! Get it girl, give us a spin!

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Normally I’d go IN on this turquoise-weighted velour flare-fest but you know what?! Get down with your bad self, Lainey! I’m a strong supporter of wearing an obnoxious trendy hat and usually I do so under circumstances that certainly do not warrant a brim that wide. Well babes, this is a circumstance that warrants a brim as wide as the red carpet. Hats off to you and your 600 precious metals weighing down your hands and neck.

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The men were a little disappointing tonight so I really savored this maroutfit with smoking slippers from country music’s resident racist hot mess.

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Reebsies knows what works and it’s a jewel tone to really emphasize that Red Ragtop.

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Luke ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ Bryan, ladies & gents.

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

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A group award! SLAY Runaway June SLAYYYYYY. I love that they color coordinated and then popped OFF with their own emerald interpretations. The country girl belt mixed with chain heels, sparkles, feathers and a whole lotta leg! Look out, Carrie! These chicks know how to party.

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Music

Taylor Swift – Midnights (3am Edition)

Taylor Swift is taking a break from re-releasing every song she’s already released and a million more “from the vault” to bring us her 10th album (for the first time.) And you know what that means, I am obliged to word vomit my opinions on each and every track. As an elder millennial (and I would argue, her target demo since we are the same age) I have outgrown her drop everything for a spur of the moment surprise antics. I full-on missed this album announcement because it happened at the VMA’s, an awards show for Youths that I’ve fully accepted I’m too old for on the same year that she bombards us with this. And when this album came out at midnight and then another 7 songs were dropped GOTCHA style at 3am, I was snug as a bug in a cozy Queen in a blissful state of REM. I woke up, walked the dog, and listened to the album for the first time in the shower while I got ready for work like a G-D adult. No more nonsense for me, Tay! Although I stand by the fact that this woman is a lyrical songwriting genius and deserves her megastardom because of it, I can also admit that releasing every song she’s ever written is getting to be a little overwhelming. Thirteen was a solid album and a feasible amount of tracks for me to pull original commentary out of my ass for this blog. Twenty is really pushing it and we might have to pop open a bottle of wine to get through it. But I have a job to do here, one that I created for myself nearly 8 years ago with 1989 and by God, I’ll continue to fulfill this duty for the loyal Salties.

1. Lavender Haze. In the spirit of being brutally honest, this song was a poor choice for an album opener. Other than the fact that she says “meet me at midnight” at the very beginning, I’m assuming because she wanted to introduce this album, it kind of all around stinks. As she revealed in her little gimmicky “share the track titles through a TikTok each night” bit, the phrase Lavender Haze she ripped from an episode of Mad Men because she liked how it sounded. Intentions are good because she just wanted to sing about how great it is to be in love and how everyone brings you down with their judgements. When this song started, I immediately thought oh I’m going to hate this album because if all the songs sound like this I should probably be on LSD to enjoy it. Luckily, I don’t fully hate the album and this song was just a poor lead-in. Also for all my RHONJ stans out there, this speaks directly to Teresa’s LOVE BUBBLE. So if your’e going to jam out to this song, please jam out to it with this visual because this is the happy ending that you get if you live in that lavender haze. You know what they say, the higher the hair, the more it rubs against your love bubble.

Best Lyric: I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say (Hell YEA, Live your life for yourself, QUEEN.)

2. Maroon. I heard the beat of this song through my shower speaker and was CONVINCED that Spotify did some weird shuffle thing and tossed me over to Taylor’s song with Zayn for 50 Shades of Grey. Like did they use the same track? Did she sample her own song? Is this a part 2? I had so many questions and I guess the only real answer here is that when you’re in your thirties and you’ve been a popstar since 15 churning out hits every single year, at some point they’re bound to start sounding exactly the same. (Most people would suggest that’s when you throw in the towel but I won’t suggest that because I don’t want to anger the Swifie mob.) For an ear refresher, here’s the old sexy 50 shades beat and tell me they’re not identical (not the oh’s in the beginning, obviously):

I like this song. This is more vintage Taylor and probably should’ve been track 1. Visceral storytelling lyrics about love and heartbreak with a killer bridge. That’s the gal we all know and love. Also important to note: our first F bomb of the album. And might I add, the first of many. As an avid F Bomb Thrower, normally I’d be very supportive of adult Taylor deciding to say F it to her younger fans and cuss up a storm on an album. Except that the F bombs that float throughout Midnights are the F bombs of a girl who just discovered F bombs and therefore force them into every sentence whether it makes sense or not. (Say F bomb again.) I know this girl well because I was her in middle school. And no, I’m not trying to sound cool because I realize that a 12 year old popping F bombs into every sentence is trailer trash as hell and I’m sure my parents would’ve been mortified to discover this is the language I was using in the lunchroom with my equally as foul-mouthed friends. But to be in your thirties and just entering your F-Word era is weird and embarrassing. You should know the art of a swear now and when to insert it to make something funnier or angrier. Otherwise, don’t use them at all. “That’s a real fucking legacy to leave” just doesn’t do it for me.

Best Lyric: And I wake with your memory over me

3. Anti-Hero. Her first “single” off the album if we can even call them singles anymore when you release every song you’ve ever written in a journal to the entire world and radio is essentially dead. But that’s neither here nor there. This song is PEAK genius Taylor. Pretty much every female ages 25-35 has or is currently dealing with some type of anxiety, depression, insecurity and is actively in therapy or has been or should be. And Taylor writing a song about the exact intrusive thoughts that every female battles with every single day is just good business on her part. She knows her audience like nobody’s biz and this song caters right to it and has them eating out of the palm of her giant monster hand. “It’s me, Hi, I’m the problem it’s me” will be seared into pop culture history and she damn well knows it by immediately releasing a music video and fanfare over this song. The music video was pretty weird but top cinematic quality that has come to be expected from her productions these days. Bonus points for a little comedian bit to break up the unicorn blood and hijinks.

And now I must address the elephant (monster on the hill) in the room. When I first heard her sing “sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby”, this was my reaction:

I mean I get it. According to the selection of Snapchat and TikTok filters, guys only want to bang babies and cartoons…but still, this wasn’t a visual I wanted painted lyrically. After a few more listens it’s more digestible and makes me want to puke less. Plus, I actualy am a monster on the hill who towers above everyone else. See: every single time I’ve worn heels out and been asked if I was a basketball player. Unfortch I’ve taken my first go-around on Hinge and found that every single male is averaging 5’6″ for height so I guess I’ll continue to monster on the hill alone for the rest of my life while all the sexy babies get married. (I’m the problem, it’s me.)

Best Lyric: When my depression works the graveyard shift, all of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room

4. Snow On The Beach (ft. Lana Del Ray). Apparently snow at the beach is rare just like falling in love at the same time someone else is falling in love with you. Tay Tay, girlfran, come on over to the Northeast, snow at the beach ain’t that rare, it’s called winter. But I digress, this song is light and airy and is Lana Del Ray even on this song because methinksnot. It’s like when Chris Stapleton was featured on “I Know You Think About Me” and was allowed to duet on the chorus and that’s it. No one runs the show like T.Swift. Gets top artists to come sing backups on her album. Also, it would be wrong of me not to point out another stupid use of the F word. “Rare but fucking beautiful.” Are you a stoner now, ma’am? Yooooo, look at those waves, they’re fuckin beautiful, man!

Best Lyric: Life is emotionally abusive / And time can’t stop me quite like you did

5. You’re On Your Own, Kid. This one hit hard and I wasn’t expecting it to. Buzzy pop beat with lyrics that are a real throat punch. Hey, you’ll always be on your own so get comfy with that. WOOF. This song is loneliness as an art form.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned / Everything you lose is a step you take

6. Midnight Rain. I’m incredibly weirded out by this synth voice that is either her voice very manipulated or Jack Antonoff’s and for that reason I’m out on this song. Also can’t really relate to a song about focusing on making a name for yourself in Hollywood instead of getting married and popping out kids in backwoods Pennsylvania.

Best Lyric: And I never think of him / Except on midnights like this

7. Question…? Big fan of asking questions over here so I appreciate Taylor trying to normalize the annoying female phrase “can I ask you a question?” Does that justify the use of “Fuckin’ situations”? Nope sure doesn’t. BUT “Fuckin politics”? YES MA’AM. FINALLY! Using the f word as an adjective in an appropriate manner. Because FUUUUCKKINNN POLITICS, BRUH. I’ll also fully support the lyric “some dickhead guy” because calling a guy a dickhead will always slap. So even though this song isn’t a 10/10, we got fuckin politics and dickhead guys and sometimes it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause I don’t remember who I was Before you painted all my nights A color I’ve searched for since

8. Vigilante Shit. Alright I know I’ve mostly sounded like a hater so far (I mostly am), but this Vigilante Shit is Good Shit. I SCRAMBLED to get to my phone to type “I don’t start shit but I can tell you how it ends.” That line has some STANK on it. Sheesh. I felt like I got knocked right back to 2017 black lipstick wearin, hood up, I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me, Taylor. I love it when she gives us badgrrl ‘tude. Get your revenge, BB! I’ve read two theories here. One is that she’s singing about ruining Scooter Braun’s life and teaming up with his ex wifey and the other is that she’s singing about ruining Kim and Kanye. I think she’d sooner saw her arms up with a butter knife than team up with Kimmy K so I’ll go with the Scooter theory because I can see her being besties with Yael. “While he was doin lines” (Scooter seems like a real big coke guy) “someone told his white collar crimes to the FBI” (she sued Scooter over selling her masters and not letting her buy them back) and apparently Scooter cheated on his wife with Erika Jayne from RHOBH (WORLDS COLLIDING) and that’s what ended his marriage. I will laugh my ass off if Taylor had a hand in his wife finding out that little nugget. Of course we will never know the truth but at least we have this badass revenge song to jam to foreva.

Best Lyric – Every lyric in this song is an A+ cold hard burn but obviously the best one is: I don’t start shit but I can tell you how it ends.

9. Bejeweled. Don’t ask me to explain this because I truly cannot but this song makes me think of the Nick Jr. show Shimmer and Shine. A flash in the pan obsession for my niece but it features some middle eastern cartoon princesses with bright jewel tone ponytails. ALL of the words in this song and the kind of peppy childlike beat to it is eerily cartoon-like.

Best Lyric: Didn’t notice you walkin’ all over my peace of mind In the shoes I gave you as a present (the only one without a reference to sparkles, jewels, diamonds, gems, etc…)

10. Labyrinth. Full disclosure I had no clue how to spell that word and when I looked at Spotify to cheat I said out loud “labby-rinth” so I would remember where to put the Y. STOP MAKING ME LOOK DUMB, TAYLOR. Obviously a real breathy number. I’m fine with it mostly because I’m scared to say I hate so many of these songs. If it hasn’t become clear to you yet, Midnights is not a top album for me overall. Plus, we get weird synthy-man voice again in this song. I wish that voice would go away. It makes me think of when a movie wants to show the character is high as balls and distorts everyone’s voices as if all of us watching the movie at home are not smart enough to notice when someone is tripping their face off without that detail.

Best Lyric: I’ll be gettin’ over you my whole life.

11. Karma. If you thought I was being a bitch on this track by track so far BUCKLE YO SEATBELTS because I’m about to throw hands over this song. Karma is listed as about 100 things in these simpleton childish goofy ass lyrics but not once does she tell the truth which is KARMA IS STUPID. This song BLOWS and of course it’s the song most likely to get stuck on a loop in your brain until the end of time. Much like the 30 second refrain from Hocus Pocus 2 that my niece wouldn’t stop singing last weekend…the only lyrics were “the witches are back” and thankfully that is now out of my head but unfortunately this trash took its place. I’m not even holding back how much this song made me want to rip my ears clean off my head. We can’t have Vigilante Shit and Karma exist on the same damn record. Vigilante Shit is BADASS we ride at midnight and kill every single man who has wronged us. Karma is pigtails and suckers skipping through the mall giggling about Steve from Language Arts passing the note to Jennifer B. when it was meant to go to Jennifer L. to ask her to the homecoming dance. Karma is my boyfriend! Lolz. BOOOOO THIS SONG. BOOOOOOOOOO. And the part where she says “Karma’s on your scent like a bounty hunter” the idiotic way she sings bounty sounds like bouncy and for probably 4 rotations of this song I was like WHAT THE HELL IS A BOUNCY HUNTER and kept picturing Elmer Fudd bouncing through the forest with a rifle and his big ole hat bopping atop his head.

Best Lyric: NONE. Every single word in this song makes me want to bang my head against the wall because me and walls vibe like that just like Taylor and Karma vibe like that EYE ROLL OF THE CENTURY.

12. Sweet Nothing. Thank the Lord we came back down to earth and got off of Bubblegum Planet for this one. Back to the basics with warm hug relationship storytelling. Taylor is in her forever relationship so we’ve been getting a lot of wistful “I finally know what true love is” types of songs. She found herself a mans who wants nothing from her but looooooooooove. Happy for her but also she can stop acting like she went through hell and back to find a man because she found her LP at 26 while us women in our thirties are fighting for our lives to get a guy taller than them who won’t send a creeptastic pervy first message. But seriously tho, happy for her.

Best Lyric: I find myself runnin’ home to your sweet nothings (this song was a whole lot of sweet nothins for lyrics so it was slim pickins)

13. Mastermind. TOTAL SPIN MOVE to go from lalala we love each other and he’s my home and it’s sweet nothings to I manipulated all of this so we ended up together. Listen this song could be fiction and playing into us thinking she’s a real witchy mastermind, but I wouldn’t put it past her to also have set her sights on Joe and MADE.IT.HAPPEN.MAMA. The best part is she waited 4 years into the relationship to drop this little nugget and now it’s TOO LATE FOR JOE TO THINK SHE CRAZY AS HELL AND LEAVE! MUHAHAHHAA. That is the work of a mastermind. Anyway, this was the end to the album until 3 hours later on Friday when Taylor was like but wait, there’s more! If I had to judge the album solely on these first 13 tracks I’d give it a thumbs down. I basically only loved two songs. Not great. But let’s dive into the extras because it might help her chances on getting a Salty Ju stamp of approval.

Best Lyric: ‘Cause we were born to be the pawn In every lover’s game

14. The Great War. Good start to the bonus songs because I like this better than half the ones that made the original album cut. Groovy beat in the chorus and the sassy uh-huh really gets me goin. Fighting that brings a couple closer together, love that journey for them. (Spoiler & self promo alert: I’m about to drop a new humor piece that directly references that. Cause what says true love like fighting?!)

Best Lyric: Spineless in my tomb of silence (There’s so many lyrics that just sound cool in this song. It’s chill of Taylor to write a song about fighting about petty shit and make it poetic as hell.)

15. Bigger Than The Whole Sky. This one pulls at the heartstrings because it’s most likely about a miscarriage, essentially losing something before you’ve even met them, mourning what could have been. It’s sweet in a ‘cry your eyes out’ kind of way. Once again, would’ve happily taken this song over any of the others on the original album, jus sayin.

Best Lyric: Salt streams out my eyes and into my ears (Could’ve said tears here but “salt streams” is just, chef’s kiss. I have no notes. )

16. Paris. Another bop, TBH. Who was advising her on what tracks would make the cutting room floor? I mean I know it’s a moot point because she releases every word she records anyway, but I’m digging the bonus tracks WAY harder than the album tracks. Not only is this fun but it also makes me think of Lauren not going to Paris and also at the same time just makes me think of studying abroad and actin a damn fool in a foreign country but calling it an education. Kicking off the song with this little ditty: “And all the outfits were terrible – 2003, unbearable – “Did you see the photos?” – No, I didn’t, but thanks, though” was nostalgia in the best way. No one wants to remember 2003 fashion and yet we’re all reminded of it BECAUSE IT’S ALL COMING BACK NOW. But seriously though, I laughed out loud at that and pictured Lizzie McGuire traipsing around Rome in her corduroy newsboy cap and low rise bell bottoms. Terrible. Cheap wine make believe it’s champagne? That sums up my entire study abroad experience. Cheap wine and kebabs. This song has transported me to so many different places (none of them, Paris)–Bravo, Tay!

Best Lyric: I wanna brainwash you Into loving me forever (We’ve all been there amirite?! Just me?! Coolcoolcool.)

17. High Infidelity. Cheating Tay is back! After a dalliance in Folklore’s Illicit Affairs, she’s dabbling again and has risen the question that EVERYONE IS DYING TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO. Where the hell was Taylor Swift on April 29th. Inquiring minds NEED to know. Honestly by the time this is published I have absolutely no doubt that her psychotic sleuth fans will have video footage and timestamped photos from that date for every single year Taylor has been alive curated into a powerpoint presentation on TikTok. (Immediately as I typed this I went back to Lyrics Genius to copy my favorite lyric of the song and found a lengthy description about how she was dancing with Tom Hiddleston 3 days before the Met Gala on April 29th, 2016 and was still dating Calvin Harris at the time.) I don’t think ya girl has it in her to be a cheater but sure we’ll play along. (I stand corrected.) Another catchy little beat. I feel like it’s important to note that I dusted the ole bike tires off this weekend and took my teal lady for a spin on the boardwalk twice since the weather finally allowed it and both times my bike ride was scored by this album. So if we’re rating these songs on ocean breeze cruising down the boardwalk vibes, they get a 10/10. What doesn’t get a 10/10 were the two wedding parties spread out taking photos mid-boardwalk and the number of families who walked five across as if they own this public stretch of wooden planks. Nothing kills a T.Swift Groovin Bike Vibe like coming to a screeching halt and having to walk your bike behind someone who has zero self-awareness and won’t get the hell out of the way.

Best Lyric: You know there’s many different ways that you can kill the one you love / The slowest way is never loving them enough (THE TRUTH IN THIS. YIKES.)

18. Glitch. My first NOPE of the bonus tracks. Can’t get down with this one. It’s slow and clunky and I gotta be honest I’m not a big booty big ole fan of when Taylor goes into her highest octave. Sounds kinda whiny. So I’mma go ahead and pass on this friends with benefits tune.

Best Lyric: I’d go back to wanting dudes who give nothing (Oof hits a lil close to home to probably every girl singing “I’m the problem, it’s me” with their whole soul.)

19. Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Last year was Jake’s reckoning to be dragged in 10 whole minutes of brutal and apparently now she’s firing shots at John Mayer? As Swiftie Sleuths pointed out, Taylor was 19 when she was with John Mayer (track 19) and she’s 32 now, which was how old he was at the time of their *affair*. Look, I think it’s cheap shots to double back to a relationship that happened 13 years ago (oh, I see what she did there) just to drag the guy but also I’m not going to not sit here and pop my popcorn. John Mayer went through a REAL asshole phase and has probably had to answer to that a lot in his elder years where I think he’s calmed down quite a bit but releasing brand new music (not from the vault) about a guy who probably just wanted to get laid at the time is a scooch overdramatic. I think maybe it’s time to let sleeping dogs (Jake & John) lie. Good song though for being a giant F U to Johnny. PS This would’ve been an IDEAL time to drop a real F bomb. For example: “The tomb won’t fucking close.” Now THAT packs a punch. Not saying Taylor should have me in the writers room with her but not not saying that either. If there’s one thing I have an eye for it’s where to insert a swear for dramatic effect… for proof look no further than the time I broke up with my 6th grade boyfriend on AIM and said “I’m so fuckin sorry” when he wah-wah’ed about it. Then promptly got grounded and internet was ripped from my little trashmouth fingers for MONTHS when my sister narc’ed on me. So long story short, I’ve been through the trenches and would’ve happily weighed in on how to achieve the best Parental Advisory for this album.

Best Lyric: Memories feel like weapons

Best J.May Burn: I miss who I used to be / The tomb won’t close / Stained glass windows in my mind / I regret you all the time (OoF, Johnny Boy that can’t feel good to hear)

20. Dear Reader. Honestly what the hell is this song. Respectfully. She’s trying to close out with sage life advice I guess, but if we eliminated Dear Reader in every aspect of this song I’d like it 1 zillion times better. Like we don’t need to feel like we’re reading Dear Abby while listening to your music, booboo. It also makes me think of Britney’s song Dear Diary where she literally sang “Today I saw a boy” and my God if I knew I could make millions and become famous off of the garb I wrote in my diary, I would be laughing all the way to the bank. That’s why I can’t support this lazy trope for a song. You’re better than this, Taylor. You have the ability to take an emo journal entry about a boy breaking your heart and spin it into lyrical gold. Dear Reader is beneath you.

Best Lyric: Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart (I think this is why no one comes to me for advice.)

Overall Album Notes: I mean it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out from this rambling betchfest that I’ve fallen off a little bit with Taylor and this album wasn’t really hitting for me. She’s really been inundating us with new music and I think I’ve finally reached my breaking point. I’ll say it until I’m six feet under that the chick is BEYOND talented in songwriting and taking either a simple premise or experience and telling it in 100 different relatable ways through words that just seem to roll of the tongue. HOW-EV-ER, there’s also a limit to the amount of times we can draw from the same well before it gets a touch overplayed. I don’t think I realized how eh I was about this album until I started this blog so thank you for joining me on this lengthy journey of discovering that I might be aging gracefully out of my Taylor stan era. I mean, shit, 5 albums in two years is a lot. (Yes, I’m counting Taylor’s Version albums as well because they all had new tracks on them.) I’m tired, BBGirl!

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Red Carpet

Emmys 2022

I gotta be honest I didn’t know the Emmys were last night until I did my typical dinner-time IG scroll and saw red carpet looks. I’m embarrassed to admit that but I like to always keep it real here and the truth is I think I’m getting too old for this shit?! These days Taylor Swift drops a brand new album announcement at midnight after an awards show that I finally realized I’ve aged out of (VMA’s) and I don’t know about it because I’ve been snug as a bug in a rug fast asleep since 10pm. I am ashamed that I’ve fallen off and I will spend this awards season clinging on for dear life. IT’S NOT MY TIME TO GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT YET.

WORST.

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I love mint as much as the next basic bitch but this pastel cupcake gown is TOO MUCH. It’s like when everyone in the 80’s thought it was chic to wear a hat and white gloves on their wedding day. The time has passed, bb.

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This hair is unforgivable. Jean Smart looks great and has kept it TOIGHT, but my god is that an old lady updo. I can literally smell the aqua net just looking at this photo.

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Oh honey, you get that on SHEIN? Use that free shipping code?

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I’m gonna be real contradictory when you get to the best dressed and see some white lewks on there but this screamed geekburger to me. I know he’s trying to be chic with his bleached hair and clear framed glasses but it’s all just making me wanna scream NERD. And black loafers to finish it off. Woof.

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AH MY EYES! MY EYES!!!! This color is loud and puketastic to begin with and then a translucent human being was like lemme give it a try though, bet I can make it work. 

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What fresh hell is combining black tights & heels with a cream gown? And the JoAnn Fabrics flowers hot glued to it really are the pièce de résistance.

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Alright Julia is trolling a fellow Julia here, right? Like this is a perfectly crafted prank for my red carpet blog. Setting up a BELLY BUTTON DIAMOND HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF A DRESS. I repeat, A DIAMOND CUTOUT WITH THE BELLY BUTTON DEAD CENTER AS THE MAIN EVENT. ARE YA KIDDING ME, HOMEGURL? I literally cannot even begin to break down the rest of this outfit because BeLLy BuTtOn.

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Oh get the hell out of here ole placemat over your shoulders lookin’ ass.

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Those hard flares really threw me for a loop, I’m not gonna lie. And the tiny jacket.

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I hated this when I first saw it and then it caught the light when she was onstage and the top loofah ruffle has a plastic shine to it and that reignited my hate.

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This is a preschool ballet recital costume and you will never be able to convince me otherwise. Grow up, Kaley.

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There is a time and a place for this outfit and that time is never and that place is nowhere.

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It’s the v-neck of feathers for me, dawg.

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I’ll give a million bucks to the person who can locate this good sir’s legs and/or ankles somewhere in this sea of pantaloon fabric.

Look, if your outfit compels me to google “pink outfit lady from Harry Potter” ya know it’s gonna be on the worst dressed list.

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Peplum and tiered skirts need to DIE AWAY FROM ME because they are HIDEOUS.

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No thanks to the pinned and curled hair and her cape/gown situation looks like a vagina. Sorry, not sorry.

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Connie did us all REAL dirty by pulling those luscious locks out of sight. Gurlfrand, your hair is PERFECTION and you’re gonna hide it from us?! RUDE. Also, the dress and cape look cheap AF and we know Connie is TV royalty and will spare no expense for a red carpet look so this is really an off year for her.

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Please scroll up and see my fury for peplum and tiered ruffles because THIS DRESS WENT AND DID BOTH. Puke city, population: me.

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Black and white gowns will not hesitate to liken you to a killer whale even if you’re the skinniest person alive and I don’t know how no one has learned this yet. Also she’s about 4 inches from a belly button cutout and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WITH THE MIDSECTION PEEPHOLES.

 

Not Worst But Also Not Best

I was conflicted on enough looks to create this fun middle category this time around. (AKA something pissed me off about each look to disqualify from best dressed, but they weren’t diamond belly cutout status.)

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This is super boring but she looks good. And LOLZ to the Kristin Cavallari 2004 black choker.

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I would L-O-V-E this dress if it didn’t have a lumpy butt cape attached to it.

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She looks good but we can definitely just snip snip that netting at the top because it is supes unnecessary. Also kinda would’ve respected her more if she showed up in a white button down with sloppy hair & red lip and spoke in the Elizabeth Holmes low octave monotone in her acceptance speech. 

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Very into the color of this dress and the way her boobs stand at attention perfectly as if she’s got a wax figurine rack. Very not into the slicked back bun and whatever jingle jangles were glued all over this dress.

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This is kind of a bitchy post (what’s new) but if everyone is going to SLOBBER all over Zendaya and her fashion sense, wearing a plain black gown with a high pony is a real low-risk snoozeroni. Naturally she looks beautiful and you can’t go wrong with a classic black ball gown but also not impressed and I better not see ONE SINGLE think piece on Zendaya’s high brow fashion choices here.

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She’s not posing at a great angle here but I’ve always had a “that’s enough” attitude toward unnaturally high slits. A rhinestone pony though? Hell yea, chick! My humble opinion on her look went right into the trash when she won and got up onstage and BELTED. Queen owned the stage and she can wear whatever the hell she wants.

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I’m obsessed with a Barbie pink as much as the next Elle Woods but haven’t been a fan of the variations of matronly blazer dress that we’ve seen in this shade so far this year.

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A Jessica Rabbit moment that would’ve KILLED with soft waves and WHY IS EVERYONE PULLING THEIR HAIR BACK HONESTLY MIDAS WHALE JUST WEAR A BASEBALL CAP IF WE’RE GOING TO KEEP SLICKIN IT UP.

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SEE ABOVE HAIR RANT.

 

BEST

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God I hope this material is like shapewear and slurps it all in because I can’t even imagine having a midsection that cinched. Lily probably doesn’t eat cheese.

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S’cute for Chris to bring his daughter and for that daughter to not ruin this special moment by dressing like a hooch. Supes heartwarming in this day and age.

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Purple is having a moment right now ever since Miss Flo blew up Venice with a sassy poutfit so let’s all get down with this sparkle suit.

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Obviously we need to address the areola(s) in the room first. I can really only see one, but I imagine both are peeking out. I encourage nipple coverage when there is flash photography involved but I’d be a real a*hole to throw this one away over a little highbeam situation. Dress, hair and red lip are stunning but maybe slap on some pasties next time.

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Amy wears a basic primary color dress pretty much every year (much like Reese) and still looks like a babe soda so I accept.

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Ooh YES I live for a coordinated handbag moment.

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Chessie is an American Treasure and she could’ve worn a curtain from the parlor of the East Wing with a bejeweled belt and a seashell clutch and I’d still bow down. Cause that’s what she did. But damnit if she’s PULLING IT OFF.

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Love the colors of this dress and the longsleeve curveball. Plus ever since I unfollowed Chrissy on all social media, I’ve become much less hostile toward her. 

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Don’t know what the hell this side tie is but it’s working for him.

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I mean, come on. It’s actually unfair how hot she looks. DAYUMMNNNNNNN.

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This is a restitution pick. For the almost 8 years (yoikes) that I’ve had this blog, I’ve ripped apart Maggie Gyllenhaal on the red carpet each and every time. And it’s time for me to throw her a frickin bone. She looks good here. Her brother is still a butthole and I’ll remember it all too well forever, but Maggie, good job.

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Reese kills it every time but I’m loving this little spice in the dress pattern. Get down with your bad self, Reese, branching out from the plain gown.

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I am mesmerized by this dress. It’s not the most flattering shape but I can’t stop staring at it. Really wish I could get my digits on it for a pet cause I gotta know what the texture is like. What it looks like is a hard shell that she’s clunking around and we really should be allowed to just show up to the red carpet and get a grab in for research purposes.

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Can’t explain it. Don’t know why. But this look is doing it for me. He’s essentially wearing the black version of the outfit that I roasted on Seth Rogen but WHAT A DIFFERENCE color and a cool sexy stare with tousled hair makes. Oh yeah you put that hand in your pocket, Adam.

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Equally as into the nude and black combo. Basically the next portion of this list is just me horning it up over men’s fash.

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Andrew’s giving off real Malibu Barbie hits Hollywood vibes in this casj cream suit.

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Host of the show got the purple memo.

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Sexy lil snakeskin coat.

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Again, TOTAL CONTRADICTION cause Seth in this trend is yucky, but Cousin Greg looks suave as hell and I don’t even care that he tossed on black shoes with a whoutfit. 

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SERVING that pattern.

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Bob was literally at death’s door like 4 months ago and he’s really lookin chic here.

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GORGE.

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This man wears a classic black tux like nobody’s biz.

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Wooooo buddy, the cast of Ted Lasso sure knows how to dress.

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V. flattering style and just enough pizazz not to make it boring. The queen of TV really nailed it.

BEST LOOK OF THE NIGHT:

I guess I’ve matured out of the days when my sister and I would see a brown outfit and call it a poop suit because Quinta was the clear winner of the night for me. Not only am I a fan of Abbott Elementary and was excited when she won, but my girl ate that. (For those of you OLDS, that’s what the kids these days say when someone looks good, according to my sources.) Makeup and hair on point, coordinated shoes and jewels, plus a leg moment and I’m very captivated by that candy wrapper shiny texture on the bodice. Top to bottom beaut.

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Salty Stories

A Blubbering Whale of a Tale

Whale hello there! I’ve been chugging away at my New Jersey Bucket List, just trying to earn my stripes as a Jersey Girl and my next big check, my white whale so to speak, was peeping some big booty big ole humpbacks. My affinity for sea mammals begins and ends with my obsession with the cult classic, Free Willy. Ever since 1993, I’ve made it my life goal to become besties with a killer whale, set him free from greedy waterpark captivity, only to call him with my harmonica anytime I want to grab onto his fin for a quick ride or just talk through my hardships while I pet his smooth rubbery back. As it turns out, my life is not scored by Michael Jackson, and orcas don’t make great pets. So, I had to settle for taking a spin on The Royal Miss Belmar to feast my eyes on what guido and guidette whales are cruising around the Jersey Shore.

I had been casually slipping whale watching into conversation for a solid year, hoping someone would think that sounded like a krill-iant time. I had no takers and I finally decided to seas the opportunity and stop feeling so tide down. My sister (who went whale watching in Cape Cod) confirmed that it wouldn’t be weird to go by myself because everyone is looking at the water anyway and not the loser with a fanny pack full of snacks. So I decided to take the day off Monday and have myself a breachin’ time. Alright, I’m done with the whale puns…OR AM I? I found the top-rated whale watching tour in my area and when I went to purchase my ticket I saw the options were: general admission for $55, reserved seating for $85 and a “best view of the house” upper deck seating for $125. I wanted to guarantee as best as possible–within budget–that I’d have a banging view for ample pics and vids. After texting with the company (their only form of contact, big yikes) they advised me that there’s still an opportunity to get good seats with general admission but you’d have to arrive early, whereas the reserved seats are all at the front of the boat. I decided to splurge and laid down that extra cold hard cash to get myself those tip top seats. $95 later, I was ready to see some mother-F’in whales on a mother-F’ing boat.

I got to the marina, circled twice looking for a parking spot and finally found one under the bridge at the train tracks…the furthest away. I was *very* excited for this fancy whale watching experience that I paid top dollar for and kicking things off by emerging like a troll from under the bridge, huffing and puffing on a 10 minute walk to the boat ain’t it. A precursor for what was to come. I was met with the crew upon boarding and when I gave them my name, the Captain started to tell me to follow the rest of the general riffraff but then stopped and went, “OH, you’re VIP.” Yes, sir, I most certainly am. I sit VIP or I don’t sit at all. I’ve never felt more elite than that very moment. I sauntered up to the front of the boat behind my whale watch escort and he pointed to the roped off section and told me to take my pick.

I sat down with a healthy distance from the next group, thinking I was being polite, then promptly said F that and scooted as close to the bow of the boat as I could get, remembering that my sister told me that’s the hot zone for prime peeps. Then I sat in the direct sun for 30 minutes and roasted, sliding all over my VIP seat before the trip even blasted off. I’ve never felt like a bigger dirtbag imposter than when the deckhand came around to collect the reserved flags off the seats that I had accidentally been sitting on top of and I pulled it out of my swamp ass and handed it to him sopping wet. At least I managed to face my fears and ask the couple next to me to take this adorbs pic of me on the bow pre-swass, so the image I curated was very shi-shi even if my slippery limbs couldn’t cooperate.

We set sail and the ocean breeze was life changing for my overactive sweat glands. A woman sat down on the bow of the boat and declared that she didn’t show up early enough to get a good seat so she’ll just make her own. Ope, ok. This was my first indication that my expensive reserved seat meant absolutely nothing. That point was hammered home even further when the boat suddenly turned into a zoo of activity. I don’t know what it is about moving vessels or confined spaces that make people feel like they need to get up and jazzercise but it is downright infuriating. As we were on a modestly sized boat, the seating was similar to a row at a concert or the aisle of an airplane. Every time someone wanted to get through I had to shove my knees up into my eyebrows so they could scoot on by. No exaggeration, I spent an hour crunched in the knees to chest position as every passenger on this boat bee-bopped back and forth because they couldn’t possibly just SIT FUCKING STILL IN THE STUPID SEAT THAT THEY PURCHASED. At one point a guy stopped and stood directly in front of me and leaned over the boat, not only obstructing my view of the water, but putting his butthole in my face. That’s when I finally had enough and stood up to stretch out my legs which had been slung over my shoulders like a continental soldier to accommodate the “I just want to feel how the air is on this side of the boat” general admission crowd and stake my spot for prime blowhole views, not to be confused with prime butthole views.

Was there a ticket option for “I’ll sit where I’m not supposed to and you can’t stop me?”

We were an hour in and still hadn’t seen no stinkin whales and our naturalist (a PhD student from Rutgers) had been eerily quiet on the mic. Knowing that they don’t guarantee a whale sighting, but they offer a free trip if none are seen, I didn’t have a GREAT feeling about it. Finally with the NYC skyline in sight, the naturalist got over the loudspeaker and told us to keep our eyes peeled because 80% of the whales they see are in this area. Why humpback whales would kick it near a large city is beyond me, but I’m no expert. More time passed with no whales and she popped on again to say that we’re approaching a busy shipping channel and the whales like to hang here because it’s deep. Again, an area with tons of big-ass boats cruising through doesn’t seem ideal for a 30 ft whale to sunbathe. At this point the jig was up. I knew these fools had no idea what they were talking about or where they could find us some whales. I had been duped. I mean I could’ve cupped my hands to my face and spoke “whale” into the breeze like Dory and attracted more whales than this crack team could find with all their fancy boat equipment and the eyes of 100 amateur passengers searching the waters. They slowed the boat down and started circling a certain area and that’s when the naturalist nervously announced, “Obviously we don’t know where the whales are on any given day,” to which I laughed and replied out loud “NO SHIT.” But they decided to lurk near the shipping channel hoping to catch one, Chris Hansen style. Since they changed direction to go against the wind and try a different angle, they told the left side (my side of course) to be careful of waves. Not two minutes after I snarked the naturalist, I caught a little sea spray to the face. It was enough spritz for me to decide it was time to sit my ass down.

I wiped off my glasses after taking this silly little splish-splash selfie and no sooner did I put my phone back down that I got full on waterboarded by another wave. I was securely in my seat and looked like I got dunked under water. And then another one hit. I paid $95 for a VIP super-soaker seat.

After getting womped about 3 times, and one particularly spicy wave getting past the barrier of my sunglasses and hitting my eye, making it burn so badly I basically went blind, I decided it was time to find a new location. The boat had now been put in neutral and was rocking back and forth quite a bit, so with my one good eye, this disabled drowned rat hobbled over to the bow of the boat and latched onto what I believe was an electrical post. I turned to the couple who snapped my pic and told them “this is not a fun time.” They uncomfortably laughed, probably wondering why a sea urchin in need of an eye patch was speaking to them. It was at this point, drenched and blind that my sea sickness decided to turn up full blast. The bow where I was clinging for dear life was slapping up and down and we still had yet to see anything other than some crusty old balloons floating on the surface of the water. Don’t need binocs for those! As I tried to dry off and also not throw up or fall over, the naturalist continued to urge us to do her job for her and find us a whale. KEEP LOOKING! THEY’RE OUT THERE! It’s as if she wanted to rub it in that I only had one working eyeball.

We start to creep back to shore, already late for our 4pm return time, when finally the lady who made her own seat on the way there pointed out a whale off in the distance. Credit where credit is due, at least she was pulling her weight cause I was 100% over scouring the sea for a spout. We got all up on that whale and stalked it like their “complimentary next trip if you don’t see whales” policy depended on it. This company was not about to lose another cent. I learned that several people on this boat were on their second trip after not seeing any whales on their first so clearly this is much more common than they lead on. Shocker. We rotated around this whale who was lunge feeding and took turns with each side of the boat having a view. In my fake world brain, I was imagining I’d have a front row seat to whales flopping around the boat and I’d leave with amazing pictures. The reality was incredibly underwhelming. I had finally regained vision in both eyes but 20/20 really wasn’t necessary here. Everyone was crowded around each other, pushing to see, while also playing bumper passengers trying to keep balance. My phone almost fell overboard every time I snapped a picture and every picture that I took was of the water with a teeny tiny glimmer of a whale blending in with the waves. You could never tell when it was going to pop up and when it did (usually not where your eyes were) it dipped back down 3 seconds later. I’ve never been more unimpressed with something in my whole life, but that didn’t stop me from taking 100 pictures and videos of nothing, hoping for the miracle money shot that never came.

As the whale got closer to the boat (still not close at all), the naturalist chose that moment in time to share that this year in Plymouth a humpback flopped onto a fishing boat out of no where. She emphasized that whale was a juvenile just like this one and you just never know what could happen as the whales are only focused on getting fed. READ THE ROOM, LADY. While I’m on a boat choking back pukes trying to stay upright, the absolute LAST thing I want to hear is that the whale we’re trying to get closer to could just come aboard and launch us into the bowels of the ocean. Did I laugh at the YouTube video of this incident in Plymouth? SURE DID! But I was cackling because I was safely on land and the possibility of this ever happening to me was almost nonexistent. There is a TIME AND A PLACE for sea monsters can kill us without even trying stories. Gawd.

After we spent far too long watching this whale do virtually nothing but eat fish underwater, we found a second whale to creep all up on. This was one they’d seen before. Whale #91 to be exact. Y’all can’t even name your whales?! Come on. We watched him also do virtually nothing but eat fish underwater for another half hour (now an hour off schedule) and I counted down the minutes until I could get back to my seat for the hour ride back and hopefully eat my Ritz bits snackpack to stop myself from hurling. As someone who went on the Himalayan at the boardwalk last month and QUICKLY learned that I’m way too old for rides without getting motion sickness, I’m not sure why I thought being a first mate for the day would be kewl and not stir up my insides. Ya girl may be called The Salty Ju, but she was not cut out for the boat life.

I sat down for our journey back, relieved that we were in the final stretch, and my seatmate turned to me and genuinely said, “That was worth getting wet for!” Uhh, no ma’am. Without a doubt it was not. Did she also get salt water in her eyes because there is no shot anyone could’ve been impressed with what we saw. And as if she manifested that same fate into the air just by speaking it, within 1 second of the boat going full speed, I got the dunk tank treatment again. One little girl was standing in front of my seat with her head over the side of the boat LOOKING to catch waves to the dome and this is why kids are beyond stupid. (PS there was not a safety speech or lifejacket in sight on this ride and all of the children on board were running RAMPANT without parental supervision. Almost made me wish one got tossed over the side on a rough wave to teach those parents a lesson. ALMOST.)

This is it. This is the best whale picture I got.

Obviously there was no chance I was going to sit underwater for an hour and everyone else had already gotten the memo to get the hell away from that side of the boat. Unfortunately, the combo deal of high speed boat and lack of balance pretty much guaranteed I wouldn’t be making any big moves. I was able to essentially run/crawl to the dry half of the bow, lean my body weight into the side and get a two-handed death grip on the edge. Picture “I’m the king of the world” positioning but instead of a majestic cruiseliner gliding slowly through the air, the wind was whipping in my face and I was bruising from the amount my body was slamming into the side trying to stay upright. F-U-N! I somehow managed to “stand” this way for about a half hour. There was no one in sight, as they had all figured out a better way to endure this ride. All of a sudden, the boat went from full speed back to an even more nauseating halt and the naturalist hopped back on the hot mic to tell us they’ve spotted another whale and they want to photograph it for their own records. Oh ok, sure, babes! I guess I’ll just live at sea now while you do research and find another whale to assign an inmate number to. A three hour tour, indeed.

Now that the boat had somewhat stabilized, it was time to try and find a seat since the one I overpaid for I was only able to sit in for about 10 minutes. (In case you somehow forgot I got ripped off hoard.) I went to the inside part of the boat where some of the staff took one look at my about-to-Ralph face and said everything ok? Certainly not, Skipper, thanks for asking! I told them I was feeling a little nauseous and was looking for somewhere to sit. They directed me to the back of the boat, said it was less rocky there and told me to look at the houses on land to feel better. I told them it probably didn’t help that I was sitting in the splash zone and the deckhand goes, I did notice that. SIR, IF YOU NOTICE A PAYING CUSTOMER GETTING BOMBED WITH SALTWATER AND VISIBLY NOT ENJOYING IT DON’T YOU THINK IT WOULD BE NICE TO HELP HER TO ANOTHER SEAT?! Guess not. I thanked these two jabronis for absolutely nothing as they were about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop and wobbled to the back of the boat, where everyone else had already migrated long before me. I found a seat on the very end and dropped into it, met by an incredibly dirty look from the lady next to me, even though I left ample space in between. Oh, exsqueeze me, is this real estate taken?! God forbid I take your precious buffer away from you for the last 20 minutes of this shitstorm.

My ass hit that plastic seat and I’m about to focus on the shore and take a deep breathe when I’m distracted by the woman two seats down launching into the air and projectile vomiting off the side of the boat like a velociraptor. Not only did I get to see her red puke soar through the air, but I also got to smell it! Then I got to jam my thighs into my brain so she could get by me and probably go upchuck some more. And it was in that very moment, as I tried not to start a chain reaction of vomz, that I decided this blog must be written. The rest of it could be chalked up to a crappy experience, but this horrible day being capped off by moving locations and sitting down in the exact right moment to catch the backsplash of an off-boat gommick?! PURE GOLD. That’s sitcom-quality no good, very bad day right there. There is no other way the experience could’ve ended. After the crew selfishly got their pictures of the whale (that they didn’t even tell us where to look for), they sped us back, making sure to hawk their merch and shove their tip jars in my facehole. Everyone on the beaches waved as we passed by, probably smiling and saying “what a bunch of IDIOTS” under their breathe. But I didn’t care because LAND HO, I finally got off that damn boat from hell. I would’ve kissed the ground if I thought I’d be able to without crashing into it.

This wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last time my unrealistic high hopes for a mediocre activity gets the best of me. The good news is that I’ll always turn my disappointments into entertainment for the masses (family members that read this blog) and the even better news is it wasn’t me who red wedding retched all over the Royal Miss Belmar. I’m proud of myself for going alone especially because if anyone went with me I would’ve had to tell them to shut the hell up because I was so naush anyway, which probably would’ve been less than enjoyable for them. But at the end of the day, I went whale watching and all I have to show for it are 75 identical mediocre pictures of the ocean, some of which also include my own finger. If I ever get the mermaid urge to go under the sea again, I’ll just stick to a Free Willy 1 & 2 dubz feature, pretend my BFF is a killer whale and call it a day.

My hair was straight when I boarded this vessel.
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Salty Stories

One Year as The Jersey Ju

For anyone who read the angry novella of the worst moving experience of my life, not only did I somehow make it through that, but it was ONE YEAR AGO! I survived a whole ass year in New Jersey. And let me tell you, after almost dying every time I dared to get behind the wheel in my first few months, I did not think I would live to tell the tale. Luckily for all of us, not only did I survive, but dare I say THRIVED? I dare not. I’m totally kidding. I did not thrive in my inaugural year as The Jersey Ju. I waffled at best. And even though I believe I’ve become a more aggressive driver, and grown thicker skin (just a touch) like the combative people of my new home state…I have not forgotten my roots. And if there’s one thing I’ll do no matter where the hell I live, it’s create a bucket list in order to force myself (and unwilling victims around me) to explore and take a bajillion pictures. Since I haven’t blogged about my life in a hot minute, I decided to chit chat about all the things I’ve done in my first year as a Jersey Girl!

Can we call me a Jersey Girl now? That’s for you to decide and me to find out. I suspect no one truly becomes Jersey until they’ve completed a “locals only” journey of experiences much like Robin on How I Met Your Mother became a real New Yorker. What Maury Povich is to NYC, The Boss is to New Jersey and I trust that as soon as I catch that sweet goatee trolling around Asbury, I’ll be well on my way to being a true New Jerseyan. (Good news I have this hilarious Bruce shirt I got at a boardwalk tourist shop that definitely doesn’t scream BENNY and one can only hope I’ll be wearing it when I see him.) But for now, please accept the fact that I embraced my new home state in bucket list form as a giant first leap to becoming JERSEY STRONG.

Since I am nothing if not extra, I split my list into 4 categories. The first three categories I ripped EXCLUSIVELY from an NJ.com series that was published when I first moved here where Peter Genovese pointed out *the* thing to do in every county in New Jersey. I furiously scribbled down the ones that were up my alley (wine, food, biking) and then let friends and co-workers add in their own recommendations.

Obviously you have a set of eyes and can see that these two lists remain largely unchecked because both eating and boozing in public require an iota of a social life. I’m fine going out alone when I’m traveling because I’m moonlighting as a work jetsetter AKA #TheCorporateJu. Going out alone because I have no friends to join me?! MORTIFYING. There will never be a time where I’m out solo dolo and do not think every single person in that establishment has turned their chair to stare at me and wonder why I’m such a smelly loser. This is a hump I am yet to overcome and it would be cool if you could just support me in my insecurities here. If you recall, I did boldly show up to Taylor Swift Trivia alone. And it didn’t go well so that really set me back on my progress. Regardless, here’s a highlight reel of the Eats and Booze bucket list items.

Pete & Elda’s (Neptune City) Staring out hawt by ruffling some Jersey feathers…WHAT THEY SERVE HERE CANNOT BE CALLED PIZZA AND I WILL THROW HANDS WITH ALL OF THESE CENTRAL NJ NUTS WHO TOLD ME I JUST HAD TO TRY PETE AND ELDA’S IF I WANT TO KNOW WHAT REAL PIZZA TASTES LIKE. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The sauce was weird, the crust tasted like a sweet croissant with flaky pastry consistency and I honestly could barely choke down my normal 2 slices that at a good pizza place I can delete in mere minutes. Sorry, not sorry.

Laurita Winery (New Egypt) is bumpin with events. I attended 90’s night in the dead of winter where I dressed like it was ’97, drove 45 mins with 2 brand new friends only for them to promptly tell me upon arrival that they actually don’t really like 90’s music and we should split. I drove more than I grooved in my overalls that evening so we’ll guh ‘head and take an L there. Still looking for any takers who want to attend line dancing night at Laurita so I can check line dancing off of my master bucket list (much alcohol will be involved.) Hit me up if you want to boot, scoot, & boogie.

Windmill Hot Dogs is the Hoffman’s/Heid’s of the Jersey Shore. If you know me, you know why I absolutely NEEDED to go there. A hoffies hot dog, cheese fries and a medium birch beer is my death row meal and I don’t think I’ve ever gone more than 3 weeks without tossing that five star cuisine down my gullet.* So it was time to see how the Jersey version fared and folks, it was NOT good.

*I just received my routine bloodwork results from my annual physical and my cholesterol was high. Can’t imagine why. My doctor noted that perhaps I’d had a greasy meal or alcohol in the days prior to the test. Uhh…yeah babe. All of the above. She also suggested I eat more leafy greens & legumes. I’ve never laughed harder at a doctor’s note in my entire life. A LEGUME?!

Not only was the hot dog about a solid foot longer than the bun, but this wrinkled ween looked like it was not a day under 100 years old. That dawg was on the rollers for a cool 8 hours just shriveling out of existence yet ironically, not getting any shorter THUS CREATING MY NIGHTMARE OF A HOT DOG. What am I supposed to do with that? Just take a raw dog bite until I hit bun a foot later? Get outta here with that trash. This wiener was so hard to stomach that I did something I’ve never once done during feeding time, I shared. Charlee Girl got to try her first two bites of hot dog (after I bit it off and peeled the skin because I was terrified she was going to die eating it) and you know what? She approved. So at least someone liked Windmill. Wasn’t a total loss but rest assured I will not be returning (sober.)

Alright, now we’re cooking with gas, a list exclusively of things I can do without companions! Although, the most disappointing discovery this year: both climbing activities have been ripped from my greasy little paws. Barnegat Lighthouse AND Lucy the Elephant are currently undergoing renovations and will not be open for climbing in the near future. My legs thank them, my excitement for taking a photo from the inside of a metal elephant trunk does NOT.

Manasquan Reservoir is not for casual bikers who take their beach cruiser out for a stroll as my vagina may never recover from the uneven gravel and overgrown tree roots for all 5 miles of this trail. Also I had Covid when I went so I really deserve bonus points.

Mantoloking Bridge County Park is actually just a boat slip (Thanks, NJ.com 🙄) and I really wish I hadn’t driven 40 mins with an over-eager pup looking for a walk to learn that. Even Charlee was like this place stinks.

Ocean Grove is the cutest G-D Victorian house beach town and I creeped the HARDEST on all of the adorbs porches and front yard gardens. (I’ve also been touring each beach town with Miss Charlee Pervs and so far Ocean Grove is #1 for quaint views & vibes.)

Thompson Park (Lincroft) became one of my go-to bike routes in the fall except for the fact that I still never figured out how to loop around it and got lost in it more times than I’d wish to admit. One time someone stopped me as I was putting my bike away and asked me which way to go on their bike and the jig was up. I was forced to confess that even though it was maybe my 5th time there I am directionally challenged and shouldn’t be allowed to bike without a GPS guiding me every step of the way. Gr8 golden fall views though.

Visiting Cape May Historic Lighthouse was the byproduct of REALLY wanting to see NYC at Christmas for the first time ever (an unchecked item to come in the next category) but Omnicron taking a giant dump on those plans. I settled for Christmas in Cape May instead and of course had to squeeze in a beach visit for lighthouse views on a freezing December day (after warming up with espresso martinis first obvs.) 10/10 would recommend taking the trip to Cape May regardless of the weather. Their downtown area was beautifully decorated for Christmas, they had lots of cute restaurants and bars to pop into and catching the sunset at the beach was the cherry on top. I took about 15 billion photos in the 6 hours I spent there and *not to brag but definitely to brag* my shot of the lighthouse from the sand has been posted on Cape May Point’s Insta & a random Cape May fan account no less than 3 times. So I am basically a Cape May legend. I mean this was their Christmas social post:

Not sure why they didn’t want to post this Buzz Lightyear selfie with the lighthouse instead, but whatevs. I accept.

Here’s a small sampling of photos I snapped that day:

Holland Ridge Farms (Cream Ridge) found itself a new seasonal sucker in me. A farm full of in-bloom flowers and photo props? SIGN ME UP. Fall gave us a Salty Ju birthday sunflower photoshoot (and a lesson learned that cutting your own sunflowers is basically an arm workout.) And Spring transported us right to the Netherlands with Tulips as far as the eye can see and a full day of Mother/Daughter flower bonding and modeling.

Mt. Mitchell Scenic Overlook (Highlands) has a nice view of New York City across the water (I confirmed this after texting a fellow Jerseyan because I would’ve hated to be the nerd who’s like check out those city VIEWZ and it was a peek at Red Bank or something.) There was also a 9/11 memorial and patriotic flower arrangement that I especially thought was cool as I was exploring it near the 20th anniversary of the attacks. I took about seven thousand pictures for such a small spot so clearly I enjoyed it.

And last but certainly not least, the bucket list that I created from my own brain, the experiences that I decided were vital to becoming a Jersey Girl AKA shit that I wanted to do now that I live 15 minutes from the ocean and one hour away from two major cities.

Eat a Philly Cheesesteak in Philly was my first check off the list at a social media summit last August, and it felt right to kick things off with a greasy food item. It felt even more right that after INHALING this cheesesteak, my boss witnessed a mouse scurry across the floor behind my chair. We were just starting to get to know each other and she got to learn real quick how afraid I am of creatures as I played can’t touch the ground and Usain Bolt’ed right down the stairs and out onto the street without a backward glance. Grateful the rodent waited until AFTER I finished my meal to show himself. Could’ve really ruined the experience at Jim’s South St.

See a show at The Stone Pony, a seedy rock club known for its affiliation with Springsteen. I knew I wanted to see a live show there but the usual suspects who perform there are *much* cooler than I will ever be. So all I had to do was wait for my middle school crush and favorite musician (former lead singer of Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin) to swing through. Happy to report I didn’t have to wait long because Andrew McMahon stops at the Stone Pony on every tour. I got to see him stomp all over his piano for the first time in four years and also learn that this historical music venue looks and smells like the basement of a frat house.

Place a bet in AC. Pretty spicy of my job to send me to both Philly and AC so that I could mix business with pleasure and accomplish two items on the BL. Knowing that AC is the epicenter for white trash gambling addicts, I was not all surprised to walk into Harrah’s on a Wednesday afternoon and instantly be smacked in the face by a cloud of cig smoke and a bunch of degenerates placing bets. Other than my tried and true $1 WPS bet at the Saratoga racetrack, I was a gambling virg and wanted nothing more than to have a very main character-esque on a heater at the blackjack table movie scene. I recruited my boss to document this which resulted in walking around looking for the easiest game to play but having no clue what we were doing and eventually asking a pit boss to direct us to a table for baby’s first gamble. He pointed us to craps and said they would explain it to us because there wasn’t a big crowd. They did not explain it but thankfully a fellow gamblin librarian held my hand and told me what to do. Within seconds of a stranger rolling the dice, I lost $10 and was frowned upon for bringing a paparazzi with me to the table. (Peep the pit boss holding up his hand, the universal sign for “cut the shit.”) If there’s one thing that I know about gambling, it’s to always walk away on top. I had a taste of the juice and I needed to finish my glass. So we found the ever-classic slot machine so I could feel the rush of pulling a lever and seeing dolla dolla bills, y’all. And lo and behold, I won $22 on my third spin. It’s a miracle I didn’t quit my job right there, saddle up to this machine for the rest of my visit and yank that lever on repeat with a fag hanging out of my mouth. Instead, I collected my cash (to be spent on a rubbery bagel and a water the next morning) and rode the high of being a winner for the rest of the week. See below for my US Weekly, Stars They’re Just Like Us photo spread.

Also important to note that I talked MAD shit about how boring this conference was going to be because there’s no way librarians get turnt, and then was proven very wrong when I took advantage of the awards ceremony open bar, got fuzzy on the deets, made a bunch of new work friends and stayed out until 1AM. Took me two days to recover. #IssaVibe AC, BAYBEEEE!

Go blueberry picking. Once I found out that the NJ state fruit is the blueberry, I knew that plucking my own was a must to become at one with my new roots. Turns out no one cared to share this experience with me, so I went ahead and did it by myself on the very last day of the season. And it showed. Pickins were real slim. But I got to dress like an actual blueberry, saunter around a farm on a Sunday morning and pick a healthy snack for the beach later. Win, win, win.

Try pork roll sammy. I learned immediately upon moving here that one of Jersey’s greatest and most fiery debates is over a piece of meat. South Jerseyans (and most of Central) call it Pork Roll, North Jerseyans call it Taylor Ham (a brand of pork roll.) It’s basically like calling those things that hold your boogz a tissue or a Kleenex. As a tried and true crispy bacon lover, it was going to take a lot for me to invite in a new breakfast meat…especially one that looks exactly like Canadian bacon. (Yea I got a lot of dirty looks for that, but I stand by it, COME AT ME BRO.) I asked several people how to order my pork roll and practiced it in the mirror so I didn’t look like a noob at the deli and there was literally no reason for me to get so worked up because the second I stammered out “pork roll egg and cheese on a bagel,” the guy behind me ordered a Taylor ham egg and cheese and the owner goes “A WHAT?!” The guy immediately apologized and said he just moved down this way and hasn’t adjusted to calling it pork roll yet. I giggled nervously thinking the owner was just messing with him. He WAS NOT. The owner legit almost kicked this poor soul out of his shop for ordering his breakfast sammy wrong. He shouted, “TAYLOR HAM IS A BRAND, YOU KNOW, SO IT’S JUST WRONG.” And before I could bear witness to a pork roll slapping, my sandwich was ready. I scurried out of there to enjoy my first PR with a side of fisticuffs over the name. I’ve grown to love a good pork roll egg and cheese, salt and pepper on a roll (bagel is too thicc) so I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Find Jersey’s best espresso martini. I got the best espresso teens on LOCK in Saratoga, so it was only natural that I begin the quest for the best in New Jersey. Since spressy marts (workshopping some sassy names here) are all the rage with the millennial crowd right now (may I remind you, I’ve been drinking them since I was in college, trendsetter 4 lyfe) NJ.com curated a list of the best spots. This was a good start for my list (see below) but I also like to go off the cuff and just order one anywhere I go for a full rating. This bucket list item is checked off because it’s a work in progress. I won’t stop until I reach the top, but trust that I’m working on it every chance I get. Very sorry to report that I got lost in the sauce and forgot to formally review at Wharfside, Birravino, The Shrimp Box or the second bar whose name I don’t remember in Cape May. Guess I’ll just have to go back and get anotha.

Eat crab legs. This one got added to the list after I admitted to my boss that I’d never tried a crab leg because I was intimidated by all of the tools needed to eat it and never want to be stressed while eating. Shouts to my girl Tiffany who was like oh we’re going to getchu some crab legs and I want to walk you through this v. buttery experience. So that’s how I found myself having a big ole plastic bag full of crab legs and shrimp for lunch on my birthday and then going back to the office with butter stains on my dress, smelling like a crustacean. Did it taste like buttery garlic deliciousness? YUP. Did I struggle the most to get even a morsel of meats? Also yes, which is why I don’t think I’ll be a regular crab-eater. If I can’t toss food down my gullet at warp speed, I don’t want it.

Mets Game @ Citi Field. Having been to a game at four major baseball stadiums, but not having checked both NY teams off the list, I knew seeing the Mets at Citi was a must and waiting until they were having a hot streak of a season really worked in my favor. Despite my dad peeling open a nanner on our drive to the train station and almost ruining the day completely with this stench-filled car snack, I’d say my first Mets game was a great success. Even though they lost, they held their own against a top MLB pitcher and I got to see what Mrs. Met is twerkin’ with when they brought in the trumpets for Diaz. Also GREAT game day dawg. WAY better than Windmill’s trash wiener. Next up to round out the Northeast: Citizens Bank Park in Philly.

Nascar at the Wall Speedway. Never even knew what the Wall Speedway was until I switched up my route to work and passed a sign that said Nascar was coming soon. As a born and bred people watcher, I knew this was a can’t miss and just needed to rope someone else into it. Luckily, I made a new friend from the South who was itching to watch cars spin around a track and we got ‘er done. Before I even entered the stadium I saw a gentleman wearing jean cargo shorts and I knew I was about to be in for a real visual treat. Follow that up with a kickoff prayer over the loudspeaker (because, and I quote: we put God before country) and 5 hours of cars driving in circles and spinning out, it was surely a sight to see…one time and one time only. Unfortunately I didn’t do my research and learned when I got there and looked to buy a beer that the speedway is BYOB, so I had to raw dog this night on pure exhaust fumes with no alcoholic lubricant. Fear not, I channeled my inner Ricky Bobby and got through it. SHAKE N BAKE, BABY! I saw a wife lap her husband in a race (who run the world? GIRLS) and this guy pictured below in a wheelchair yelled at my friend and I for standing too close to him. A true Jersey night.

Oh, did you think this marathon blog was done? YA RIGHT. Those were my formal lists so that I could get that orgasmic satisfaction of physically checking a box every time I accomplished something. But OBV I haven’t lived exclusively by a list for the past year. So here’s noteworthy things I did that didn’t come from a list! Honestly if you’re still reading at this point, God Bless.

See a show at Starland Ballroom. This venue has no historical significance and it’s on an old country road across from a VFW (I’m not sure if that’s true or if that was just one of the many jokes my sister and I made when she asked me where the F I was taking her because it looked like deliverance out there.) We caught Breland and Russell Dickerson on a cold wintery night and it was without a doubt the most fun, high energy concert I’ve ever been to. If you ever have the chance to see Russell throw it down onstage, GO. There’s a reason he calls his shows the RD Party. Also FWIW, this venue was way better than Stone Pony–ample parking, space to stand, and multiple bars for booze refueling.

Do a Jersey Shore Vacation fit for a 5 year old. The last time my family and I did a beach vacation was the summer before I went to college where I was fresh off of my wisdoms being pulled (still swollen) and we all wanted to murder each other on day 3 of sharing a rental. So it’s been a minute since I’ve seen the magic of a beach vacay, which I got to do when my niece came to visit. It was her first vacation and pretty much first time doing every single thing we did. We quickly learned that she’s a woo girl in training by all of her excited outbursts for each and every activity. It’s cool when you get to do childish things but no one gives you dirty looks because you’re with a child. From finding treasure in the Metedeconk River (not worth the $25 ticket price if you’re over the age of 5) to almost ralphing on the Himalayan and learning that I’ve finally aged out of theme park rides, this viz was easily the most jam-packed 3 days of activities since I moved here. If you want to see pure baby’s first vacay joy, check out the home video I made like it’s 1993 and I’m Uncle Joey carrying around a camcorder to document everything my nieces and nephews do. Honestly there’s never been a better description of me, so whatevs. Everyone will thank me someday, probably not after wasting 14 hours getting through this blog, but SOMEDAY.

PS save yourself from Jenks Aquarium…I’m not sure we can officially call this place an aquarium as it was giving basement apartment of a guy who lives with his mom and keeps a bunch of snakes vibe. I should’ve known from the second I walked in when they had a guard at the stingray tank and told everyone they could only go wrist deep and only touch the rays that come to the surface. BRO. What stingrays are coming to the surface at a crowded boardwalk aquarium? Ya gotta get your grabbers down there and rassle em up. Amateur hour.

Beach it up at least once a week…even in the dead of winter. Look, you can’t talk a big game about how you’d be infinitely happier if you could just live near the beach and then get here and not take full advantage of that. I specifically chose to live 45 mins away from work so I could be as close to the beach as my bank account would allow and even that hasn’t been satisfying. That 15 minute drive is a real boner kill when there’s people who can just walk outside their home and hit sand. I couldn’t manifest living at the beach harder if I tried. Anywho, I walked, biked, lounged, swam, peeped many sunrises and photographed the beach like nobody’s biz this year and if you don’t believe me, here’s proof of my love affair with all things sandy and salty. (For the elite few who received a Christmas card from me, I wasn’t kidding, I basically lived on the beach like a crab this year.)

P.S. When I went in January and the only other soul on the sand with me was a seagull that was keeping pace with me on a walk, I legitimately questioned my sanity. I also may or may not have cried because that was the terrible day that I got my mugshot NJ license photo and Roz from Monsters Inc wouldn’t let me smile or switch my registration over and my only companion was a damn sky rat on a deserted beach. Real talk though, this was easily the loneliest year of my life so big ups to that salty bitch the sea for being there for me on good days and a whole lot of bad days too. Yup, sure did just personify ocean water like a total looney toon but there’s a reason waves crashing is auto-programmed onto every sound machine…it’s soothing as hell. It’s also super loud and great for drowning out the sounds of an ugly cry, jus sayin. All in all the beach is my favorite place on this earth and is probably the main reason why I’ll be sticking around here for years to come.

Champagne spray on the beach. Seems fitting to address this activity after yapping about how I pretended to own beachfront property all year rather than shoving a beach cruiser into my car and driving into the land of the rich from sketchy Neppy. I paid off my student loans this year which means ya girl is 100% debt free and ooh baby is it sexy to be financially stable for the first time in my life. So I celebrated by tossing on a tutu, buying a bottle of champs & hitting the beach to give myself a little extra in a rap video booze-soaked dance. Best part about the beach in the winter? No one else is there. So I got to take a bunch of champagne spraying videos and sashay around like an idiot without any witnesses. It was a good time until my hands were sticky and frozen so I scampered back to my heated vehicle to regain blood circ.

See the Twin Towers Lights on the 20th Anniversary. As someone who grew up 6 hours away from NYC, I had a very distant perspective of 9/11. I was 10 years old and I couldn’t quite grasp the magnitude of what had happened and instead of observing and shutting my yapper, I decided to ask my parents to take me out to dinner that night to celebrate. Before you can compare me to a terrorist, I quickly backpedaled when I saw the look of horror on their faces and added “you know, to celebrate the people that survived.” I’m not gonna try and dig deeper on what was banging around that middle school brain of mine but it was obviously nothing profound. Regardless, I was able to go to a park in South Amboy that overlooks the NYC skyline and see the lights of the twin towers and talk to someone who had a much different perspective of that day, which really opened my eyes to how people were affected far beyond the site of the attack. It was a very cool night and although my pictures are absolute dogshit, and it wasn’t the clearest of views, it was nice to step outside of my idiot child brain and see the bigger picture. I’d still love to go to ground zero and walk through the museum, so maybe that’ll be on my list for this upcoming year.

Drink out of a stein at Oktoberfest. I always wanted to go to the real Oktoberfest but also didn’t have any friends that could be trusted to control themselves and not die of alcohol poisoning, so I’ll settle for a local version at a biergarten. Mostly, I’ve just always wanted to drink out of a honkin stein while wearing a trendy Euro hat and I feel like the extra I paid to get said stein of a beer that I didn’t even like was well worth it for the photo opp. PROST!

Get solicited for feet pics on Facebook marketplace. This one is really a reward (happy ending, so to speak) for the few, possibly none, that read this entire blog which pretty much turned into a scrapbook of my entire year. It doesn’t surprise me that it wasn’t until I moved to New Jersey that an innocent posting of brand new Sperry wedges catapulted me into the seedy underbelly of foot fetish internet.

And since I’m me and I live for content, rather than immediately blocking my podiatry perv, I played it through.

I’d like to say I’m a comedian who’s committed to a bit, but realistically, if I can snap a well-lit photo of my tootsies in a pair of trendy wedges and cash in on $50 without even leaving my couch, I’mma do just that. As it turns out, my man Tito decided after looking at my profile picture, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. What I thought was a tasteful sneak peek (the first one’s always free, it’s the next one that’ll cost ya) apparently was enough to get the job done without exchange of currency.

I’ve changed my profile picture to one with closed toed shoes and going forward, I’ll drive a harder bargain. YOU WANT A SHOT OF THESE POINTED PEDICURED TOES? WIRE ME $100 OR KEEP IT MOVIN, FREAK. DON’T PUSSYFOOT AROUND THE DEAL. So whatdya think? Am I a Jersey Girl yet?

If this ratchet flip phone shot circa 2011 of me in my authentic Seaside Heights Shore Store pinny (personalized with my last name on the back) tells you anything, then yeah I’m JERSEY, bitch.
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