Salty Stories

10 Things I Would Go Back and Tell Myself at College Graduation

I have a real obsession with matching. Some may call it unhealthy. I love to accessorize and all accessories MUST be color coordinated. My hat has to match my sweatshirt which of course matches my sunglasses and sneakers and oftentimes fanny pack. So that’s how I found myself going to the beach a couple weekends ago with a red and grey Marist College sweatshirt and a matching red Marist hat. Because obviously the only red hat I own is my collegiate color and none other than the color of Shooter that wily Red Fox of a mascot. #PutYourShootersUp. What I didn’t realize is that this outfit choice made me look like an overzealous 18 year old who just decided where she was going to spend the next four years and went crazy at the bookstore to stunt that new school pride all over the joint. And that’s how I found myself in a predicament with an actual child (graduating high school senior) asking me if I go to Marist because that’s where he’s going in the fall and I had to reply I did go there…10 years ago.

So after struggling to answer far too many interview-style questions being lobbed at me about my what dorms I lived in and my favorite thing about campus, I wanted to reflect on this ten year anniversary. It feels like a big thing…it’s been a decade since I finished schooling and although they tell you you’re a grown-up in the real world when you leave college, I’ve come to learn that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I look back on baby 22-year-old Ju, I want to pull a Scar and tell her to run. RUN AWAY AND NEVER RETURN! Just kidding, sort of. I just want to do that fun thing you can only do when you have more years of life experience under your belt…look backward and share some perspective with the girl who was so clueless she didn’t even know how her college was paid for until her exit interview a week before graduation when she was handed a packet of info from Sallie Mae on paying off 4 years of loans. What a sweet, sweet idiot.

Disclaimer for all who haven’t heard or experienced it for themselves, May 25, 2013 will not only forever be remembered as my college graduation, but more importantly, as the day that there was such horrifically bad stormy weather from top to bottom, and yet the geniuses that planned my commencement decided to FORGE AHEAD with an outdoor ceremony. To say it was a miserable shitshow would be the understatement of the G-D century and yes obviously I’m still bitter about it and I was even more bitter when the following year it was 75 and sunny. To sit facing the Hudson River while you get pelted by rain, soaked completely through, can’t hold an umbrella because it will blow inside out and also have to hold your graduation cap in your lap with a death grip because if you don’t it’ll take flight in the hurricane winds whipping is not a milestone moment I wish on anyone. Shout out to the do-do brains who decided everyone should suffer through that for hours instead of just putting everyone in the dry and warm gym. Hope that gametime decision doesn’t keep you up at night.

For anyone who wants to visualize the soggy crapfest that I was still shivering from a week later:

10. Stop looking backward so much. I realize the utter irony of kicking off a blog that is completely centered on looking backward and telling myself to stop looking backward. It’s something I definitely struggle with, and I’m always hard on myself with my struggles. But I have noticed throughout the years that I’m always looking into the past and romanticizing how I was happier then or had XYZ then that I don’t have now. And then I do it over and over again as the years go on. And if you think about it, if I’m always looking back and saying wow look how great that time in my life was, then my life is probably great pretty often and I should maybe cherish those moments as they’re happening instead of reminiscing or comparing the past to the present so much. So this is a solid reminder for Lil Ju AND Big Ju (big refers to my age and not my size because obviously as you can see, I’m basically the spitting image of 22 year old me. Haven’t gotten chunkier due to a slower metabolism AT AWL.)

9. Take more road trips. I absolutely love to travel and have always kept a running list of places to visit and trips that I want to take. However, it’s been a rare occurrence that I’ve had the budget for traveling. In college, I was able to make the most of studying abroad, checking out different spots in Europe while I was in Italy, boarding Ryan Air with a prayer that the wing wouldn’t just dislodge itself mid-flight because with the prices they were charging for that airline and the state of disarray the planes were in, it’s honestly a miracle that so many broke students have survived to tell the tale. But once I was stateside again, I couldn’t really afford flights (US doesn’t give you the poverty option to fly barley legal aircrafts for cheap) and I wish that I got craftier in planning trips. There’s so many states to explore and I should’ve just gotten some friends together, hopped in the car and made it happen. Road trips can be just as fun and splitting gas costs and stopping at cheap motels with a gang of buds could’ve been cost effective and some great travel memories. Now that I’m old, most people don’t have flexibility with their jobs or time off from work or even day to day family responsibilities to be able to just take a frivolous trip just because. My go-to travel buddy is my retired dad right now. And while that’s pretty great, I also wish just once I could’ve done a coming of age style cross-country road trip with buddies fueled by junk food and mix CD’s, stopping at all the stupid roadside attractions documented by my Nikon Coolpix dusty pink digital cam.

8. Don’t think about building a career at 22. HEY YOU, YEAH YOU! You’re not going to graduate with a degree in Radio/TV/Film and start working on a TV show or film set within the first year of graduation. The unrealistic expectations I had with this were bonkers mad. I spent my first summer post-graduation sending my resume NON-STOP to any production assistant opening that came through on Media Bistro or whatever dumb job search engine was hot in the streets then. I had two resumes, one with a fake NYC address on it, and one with a fake LA address on it. I had worked connections on both coasts and asked to use their address to get my foot in the door because I didn’t think I was going to land a TV gig in Upstate NY. Which turned out to be very correct. Also, don’t really recommend lying about your address because all it got me was an interview for the Steve Wilkos Show in Stamford, CT and I had to pretend I just breezed on over from my apt in NYC when in reality, my dad chauffeured me 3 hours each way to make this interview that was a real bust. I was so laser-focused on my “dream” and how bad it would look to have lots of jobs and to work at places that I knew weren’t connected to my goal of being a TV producer that I didn’t think about the big picture, which was that I was 22 years old and no one gives a shit.

Every experience that you say yes to, you’re going to take something away from it. And maybe that leads to a career, but you’re never going to have a career right out of college. Some people never have a career at all. Sure, you just graduated with $27,000 in debt that’s about to accrue a buttload of interest for the next ten years, and the entry level entertainment positions pay $10-$12 an hour, and you just want to be a big TV exec rolling in it…but that’s not the journey you’re on, kemosabe. You’re on the get laid off 3 times by the time you’re 30, work in 10 different industries, string together some restaurant and temp jobs, barely scrape by in a small town journey. And you know what? That journey will lead you to a little thing called covid with a lump sum of pandemic unemployment assistance to pay off that student debt you didn’t know you’d have until you graduated because you never thought to ask your dad who was footing the bill for college. Most of my friends were still working at restaurants in their mid-twenties trying to figure out what was next. Career Schmareer. It all works itself out so take the ride, kid, and maybe try harder to get free drinks at the bar. Cut costs where you can, yanno?

7. Do social things other than going to bars. I was fortunate to spend my prime drinking years in a party town. Caroline St. was in its heyday in my twenties (I can say this for sure now because I just galloped down it once again for a throwback night and learned that it’s gone all the way downhill since then even changing closing time from 4am to 2am because the riffraff that’s drinking there these days are exploring knife and gunplay while blasted. FUN!) So obviously I had my fair share of debauchery. I knew most of the bartenders and bouncers and was no stranger to the happy hour that turns into going home at 4am with a doughboy. (Even those are trash now, called OBoy’s and tasting worse than a frozen burrito.) HOW-EV-ER, once I hit 25 I got sick of exclusively going to the bars every single weekend and was looking to expand my portfolio of fun adventures. I dabbled in a kickball league (if you spit out your coffee while reading this trying to picture me existing in an athletic environment pls know that I did this exclusively for my boyfriend and we broke up mid-season and I was so relieved to not have to go anymore…but an effort WAS made), local hockey games, comedy shows, plays, game nights, and tubing–river in the summer, snow in the winters. And I can’t recommend it enough. It’s easy to get stuck going to the same bars you’re comfortable with and getting fuzzy on the deets, but there comes a time (or at least with me specifically) where it started to get a little embarrassing to be getting older and still drinking like it was college. Sure, these are the years to get after it like a bunch of boozehounds, but also know when it’s time to start suggesting new things for the friend group and also potentially mix it up and meet new friends! And not for nothing, I believe booze was incorporated in every single one of those other activities. But as long as it’s breaking up the “let’s black out and dance at the bar and see what guys try to smooch us” monotony, then it still counts.

6. Explore Solo Dolo. Don’t feel embarrassed or weird about doing things that you want to do on your own. As you can tell by the fact that I do the majority of my activities alone these days, I’ve gotten much more comfy with it. I wish I was as into it back then. I remember the first Boston Marathon that I was living in Boston for, I had no one to go check it out with. So I just went. I took the train in and walked around Copley Square and took pictures and felt the palpable energy of the crowd. I definitely cried a little because I was lonely and couldn’t drum up a friend to join me, but it’s a memory I still often think about. It was one of the first few marathons post-bombing and it was a little scary to just rock out on my own after knowing what happened in 2013, but the atmosphere was so positive and uplifting and then I met up with my sister and her co-workers and got trashed on a Monday, making true Bostonians proud. I think I stopped myself a lot in my twenties when it came to doing something on my own because I felt like everyone was judging me for being a loser. I’ve seen itty bitty teens stop in a grocery store, prop up their phone on the shelf and do a TikTok dance. No one is judging you for being solo, and as a matter of fact, we should all be redirecting our judgment to the TikTok generation cause that shit is embarrassing. Grow up and do your weird TikTok dances in the privacy of your own home like I’ve learned to do.


How I’m coping with Netflix pulling a Ticketmaster for the #LoveIsBlind Live Reunion. #LIB #LoveIsBlindReunion #holdmusic #CharleeisUnbothered

♬ original sound – The Salty Ju

5. Don’t be a jelly belly. This is something I’m DEFINITELY still actively working on, but I can always recognize when I’ve fudged up with it pretty quickly after the fact, so self awareness is key. Everyone is in different seasons of their life and that starts to become more and more apparent in your mid to late twenties. You’ll have friends who are single, friends who can’t find their footing with jobs, friends who are living at home (yes the last three are referring to yours truly), friends who are getting married, friends who are having kids, the whole damn spectrum. Don’t be jealous of other people’s milestones. Support them, be happy for them, and hope that eventually your time will come. This is a little bit of a twofer for me personally because not only was I a little bit envious of everyone’s happy celebrations of love or baby or buying a home, but I’ve also typically been toeing the poverty line. And these big ole celebrations cost a lot of money! Showers (baby or bridal), bachelorette weekends, weddings in a different town where travel and hotel are required, that shit definitely adds up quick when you’re going paycheck to paycheck or having to ask your parents for a handout to make rent that month. There were times when I just plain couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a bach weekend, but there were other times when I probably could’ve made it work but I was being a bitter little betch. That’s on me. There’s a couple of life stage celebrations from my early twenties that I definitely regret missing out on because I was being a brat and didn’t want to be flexible to make it happen or I felt like I couldn’t take time off from a job that I’d just started since I was perpetually job hopping for a solid decade. So the bottom line is prioritize your friends and their special occasions. Show that you’re happy for them and you care about them and that you’re not green with jealousy because when your time rolls around (God willing) you don’t want people being like thanks but no thanks, ya dirtbag.

4. Say YES to all theme parties. I’ve always been a big booty big ole lover of themes and costumes. And as someone who had to abruptly stop celebrating Halloween because she was no longer in a relashe and had aged out of the Halloweekend bar scene, I long for the dress-up days. Shouts to my group of gal pals in Saratoga who were always down for a group activity or a costumed extravaganza. Though I’m very much not a fan of “girl gangs”, preferring to have deeper connections with each of my friends and bonding one on one, giant squads are GREAT for doing silly things. I loved that time in my twenties when any whisper of an occasion could turn into a themed banger. One fall Mercury was coming out of retrograde and my friends organized a galaxy-themed party to celebrate. After I went to Hawaii and wouldn’t stop hanging loose in everyone’s grill piece I planned my own birthday party around a floral shirt and backwards hat I had brought back to the mainland. When I was FRESH out of college I invited friends over on a night when my parents were out of town to watch the Winter Olympics and dress up as a country. So this little tidbit isn’t necessarily a “do better at this, younger Ju” piece of wisdom but more so a “cherish these goofy ass parties because they end and then it’s depressing” note. I can no longer just gather with a bunch of chicks to paint pumpkins, decorate a gingerbread house, or hit the town in Halloween costumes. This is probably also why I cried about the lack of participation from my mom and my sister on my “wigs night out” birthday last year. (Check out my birthday blog if you missed that sob story.) I miss these moments! I don’t miss the inevitable drama that comes with having a large girl group who gets sauced every weekend and talks smack behind each other’s backs. I DO miss rolling deep in Hawaiian shirts and backwards hats and sharing lots of giggles and photoshoots. In retrospect, this is probably why I’ve never had a large circle of friends for very long because I like to stay on the outskirts of the dramz but dip in for the funz. I also can be somewhat of an instigator because I love goss more than life itself (except when it’s about me.) So sue me. Jk pls don’t. Bottom line, every young girl should have a party crew on standby in her twenties.

3. Go on actual dates (So you’re not 31 going on your very first date with a boy). UGH this one is rough because the apps pretty much ruined dating over the past ten years. I remember when Tinder came out I was a junior in college and thought it was HIGH-larious to download and ask random boys how many pushups they could do. I never actually took it seriously and I used to just get drunk and surf through, much like I would get sauced and smooch boys at the bar then tell them to have a nice life. I guess that doesn’t constitute dating. Who knew. So, after being the kind of girl no guys looked at romantically in high school, moving onto a hookup culture college, and then having the apps take over didn’t really set up a dating environment for me. I didn’t go on a proper date until I was 26 and at that point I had already been working with the guy and texting him every second of every day for about 3 months, so it wasn’t really what we would call dating because I think by the end of the night we were both already all in. And then by the time we broke up for good after years of on and off, I was already in my thirties and had never dated. I’m very set in my ways at this point and forcing myself to do small talk with strangers to find a life mate is enough to make me want to saw both of my arms off with a butter knife. So, young, fun, hard crop-top wearin, 22 year old Ju: GO ON DATES. Learn how to socialize with men in a normal way and I don’t mean by exploring their tongue with your tongue after a tequila shot and then scampering into the night keeping your virginity firmly intact well into your twenties. Maybe if I had seen what was out there in the low pressure days, I wouldn’t be so turned off by the notion of networking to find a huz in my older years.

2. Figure out what you enjoy and keep it as a hobby, apart from work. We’re getting to the end of the list and these last two are very recent realizations. As you might’ve assumed after reading #8, I was dead set on finding a job that I was passionate about and really truly loved. I always figured, you spend the majority of your life working, 40 hours a week from 20-65, you should probably enjoy that job. I spent MANY years chasing that. And then after two whole years of unemployment, a desperate thirst for ANY job happened and I decided it was time to throw in the towel on that far-fetched dream. Sure, there are people that love their job. But I could argue that they’re the minority. Most people do a job to make the money to live the life they want. All of the jobs that I had that I truly loved, paid me in actual dirt. Like if they could’ve gotten away with turning my position into an unpaid internship, they would’ve. I literally couldn’t afford an apartment on their salaries and as an extra junk punch, they were also in an industry that likes to lay off employees every few months just to keep things spicy. Now I work for the state, I’ve got job security, ample time off, and I’m not asking my parents to help me pay rent every month (yet…the way inflation is going, I’m not ruling it out.)

Moral of the story: a job is a job, and it’s probably going to suck. Learn to deal with the suck to afford the things you want and do the things you love as a hobby to stay sane. I love writing these little blogs, I love making little stupid social media videos, I love walking around cute little towns and taking pictures like an amateur iPhone photographer. A few weeks ago I stayed up past my bedtime, completely schnackered writing hot takes on what celebrities wore to the Met Ball and then woke up the next morning to edit it and finish that monster blog to meet my own deadline of posting it by 9am. Do I get paid to do that? Absolutely not. And honestly, if I did, I probably wouldn’t love it so much. It would become a job and therefore it would lose its luster and become another boring task to complete. Do you see a pattern here? Work is stupid. Figure that out MUCH quicker and find the things you love, then put your energy into that in your free time. And if you stop loving it, find something new to love. Cause that’s the only way I’ve learned how to justify spending hours of your life doing a boring job. Also, PERHAPS the hobby will open doors for new opportunities or cool people to meet! (Still waiting for that to happen as I actively join every writing Zoom class or group that I can afford. Will report back in another 10 years if there’s progress.)

1. Give a new place AT LEAST a year before moving away. You know how hard it is to stay living in a place when you have no friends and you still have to use a GPS pretty much every time you drive somewhere? Supes hard. It’s WAY easier to just skedaddle back to the place you know where you still have a few friends to grab drinks with at your regular spot and it’s comfy and feels like home. I’ve got a real flight mode tradition when something stinks and it usually kicks in around 8 months. A year really isn’t a long time if you think about it, it flies by. But when something is awful, it feels like forever. So whenever I’ve hated a job or hated being lonely and uncomfortable where I was living, I’d kick it into gear at that 8 month mark that I needed to make a change. Realistically, if a job stinks after 3 months it’s not going to get better. Living somewhere new on the other hand is quite the opposite. It takes FOR-EV-ER to put down roots in a new place. And I’ve never really had the patience for that because a year or more is a long time to feel out of place somewhere. When I lived in Boston, month 8 rolled around and I hated my job, could barely afford my apartment, and had a couple of friends living there that were mostly busy doing their own thing or in different life stages than me. So I made the decision to split and head back to my comfort of Saratoga. The *minute* I made that decision and got the ball rolling, I started to become friendlier with my co-workers, even hanging out with one outside of work. That was the first time I realized it really takes a LONG time for people to warm up and things to start happening when you’re the new girl in town. Luckily, I didn’t have to remind myself of that lesson when I moved to New Jersey, because once you march through the hellfire that is switching everything (car, license, insurance, etc.) over to a different state, you’re not as tempted to move back home so quickly. But it is important to note that I didn’t make a real new friend until well into my second year of living here. And I am proud to say that I use the GPS less and less and have really started to build a life for myself here. It just takes WAY longer than my impatient ass can handle.

BONUS: Go to therapy sooner. I’m only adding in this last little chirp to my younger self because I talked about writing this blog to my therapist this week. It was my first in-person appointment in a whole year and I could’ve kicked back on that couch and talked to my homegirl Jill all damn day. Unfortunately, she’s a professional and she told me to get the hell out at the 50 minute mark. But before my rambling was cut short, I shared with her that it’s some real rich shit that I think I’m in any place to be writing a blog that gives my younger self advice when I’m zooming with her weekly crying about how I’m so lonely and stuck looking back and romanticizing the past and never feeling happy, etc. etc. And J-Money said, “Don’t you think that seeing me every week and talking about these feelings and thoughts that you have and trying to be better and work through them is exactly WHY you’re in a position to talk to your younger self?” BOOM. And that’s why you go to therapy, folks. To feel like a superior human being. Just kidding, that’s not the *only* reason, but I cannot praise therapy enough. I think every single person should be required to go. I wouldn’t be exclaiming that we need a new plague every time I have an interaction with an insufferable human if we were all in therapy talking about our traumas, working through big feelings and learning how to stop being a*holes. So, I wish I went the second I stepped off campus. I wish I had the Jillybean with me through ALL the job hopping and moving all over the Northeast and the changing of friend groups. Because having her as my constant for the last five years has been amazing, but I would’ve loved even more years with her. EVERYONE could benefit from therapy, and staying consistent with it, especially in your twenties which is such a weird time of finding yourself and feeling lost and confused. A sentiment my therapist was able to confirm for me as she had many patients around my age at the time I started seeing her. Feeling heard and seen and having someone want to learn about all of your experiences and feelings and be there for you to work through them is a powerful thing in some pretty crucial life development years. Even if that means paying them for that service. MONEY WELL SPENT! Ok now I’ve rambled too much about therapy and this is why I need a 50 minute cutoff.

So there you have it. I started writing this 32 year old to 22 year old real talk blog around my birthday but as it turns out, it all started flowing out of me when I took a road trip back to Saratoga, which was where I lived for the majority of ages 18 to 30 (with stints in Syracuse and Boston mixed in.) While I was on my way back to one significant place from my past, I passed by another on the Marist College Class of 2023’s graduation day. And as I came up on Exit 18 for New Paltz/Poughkeepsie under overcast skies spitting rain, it felt like I could literally blink and put myself right back on that final grey drive over the Mid-Hudson bridge into adulthood. Also rain AGAIN? Really? Is it a 10 year God smites the grads thing? Hope the administration wrote a similar blog to themselves from 10 years ago and their advice was to move the ceremony inside at the first whisper of inclement weather. Anyway, back to me painting the scenery of my meta light bulb moment. As I drove past Po-Town feeling incredibly nostalgic, scream-singing Taylor Swift and tearing up a little bit, just like I was a decade ago as I peeled out after the most sopping wet and disappointing day, it hit me. I may have thoughts and words of wisdom for 10 years ago Ju, but the truth is I still don’t really have it figured out and you know what? I don’t know if anyone actually does. Hindsight’s always going to be 20/20 and all we can do is seize every experience, feel all our feels and learn from our mistakes. And of course…go to therapy and try to be the best version of ourselves.

Salty Stories

Thirty-Two Out of the Blue

*Editors Note: This is a disgustingly long blog and I certainly didn’t intend for it to be this lengthy but about halfway through I realized writing out my experiences (good, bad, and ugly) was more cathartic for me than anything else so I’m gonna let it rip anyway. No offense taken if not a soul reads this. I also learned in a memoir class last winter that everyone’s story is unique and worth telling, and you never know who it might reach. So, YOLO.

I’ve been going through a rough season of my life. I’m calling it a season, even though it seems to have lasted much longer than a season because I’m hoping that if I say it enough, we’ll get closer to those dead ass leaves of sadness and loneliness falling off and a new season will bloom. Metaphors, BB! As a side effect of these challenging chapters, every time my birthday rolls around, I tend to hyperfocus on the fact that I’m another year older (greyer, fatter, & wrinklier) and yet have not gotten to where I pictured myself to be at this age. As it turns out, pointing out your failures on a celebratory day, does not create a let’s pop off party atmosphere unless you count pity parties as real bangerz. For several years in a row now, I’ve ugly cried on my birthday. It has become somewhat of a new tradition. Expectations are high for the day itself (how it’s celebrated, who is willing to celebrate it with me, what makes the day special, who I hear or do not hear from, etc.) and I blame my mother exclusively for this. I was raised with a great deal of hoopla for my birthday, coming down the stairs in the morning to a custom poster that she or my sisters made, flowers, balloons, themed decorations, fanfare at school, family dinners at my favorite restaurant or fun parties with friends, gifts, and desserts. In my college and post-college years, my birthday became the unofficial kickoff to summer and was rung in with a big ole Beer-B-Q full of lawn games, wieners & sunshine. Soon after, the social media era shuffled in full blown Instagram collages from all your besties. And then once I started moving around and making different friends (losing lots of friends) and becoming a real adult, that all stops. It’s a cold, harsh day when you don’t stumble down the stairs to a fresh birthday poster complete with curling ribbon. (Peep my birthday celly’s through the years below for a little taste of the spoiled life)

Once I made it past the quarter century epic boozy scav hunt, I started to be coy about my birthday, making it seem like I’m easy breezy and don’t care that much, but really just wanting someone to plan something fun and cool for me. JUST CELEBRATE ME AND PRETEND I’M NOT INSUFFERABLE, GAWD. Welp, that pretty much only works when you have a significant other who loves you so much that they’re willing to smother you to death with birthday affection and festivities. Or in some cases, not even then because perhaps your boyfriend buckles under pressure and feels like he doesn’t really know how to plan things and pretends you’re out of pancakes so he couldn’t make you breakfast and then takes NyQuil before dinner because he has a sniffle and doesn’t even notice when you’re literally choking from a raw veggie tossed down your throat by a Hibachi Chef who should have his veggie table play certification revoked. Just you know, as a general example of how things could maybe go on a birthday as an adult, definitely not based on real events and certainly not the reason I’ll never do hibachi again for any sort of celebration.

So, I’ve got sky high expectations for the day (again, thanks a lot, MOM) but also for my life in general. I think you might have realized from reading this blog, I’m a real judgmental and snarky B. I mean, you can’t give yourself the moniker “The Salty Ju” without being saltier than movie theater popcorn. But what you might NOT realize is that as quick as I am to dole out harsh judgments for everyone else, I’m even quicker to hammer on myself. Although it may seem like I’m constantly yapping about myself and my accomplishments, that’s something I force myself to do in order to look at the positives and how far I’ve come instead of harp on the things I haven’t achieved yet. And guess what? Life is a balance of both. There will always be moments that will make you want to sob your eyes out and give up, and moments that make you feel overjoyed, grateful, and fully present. I think the goal here, is to get to a place where the joy outweighs the sads.

First order of business: I’m going to actively try NOT to cry on my birthday this year. WE BREAK THE TRADISH AT 32. (*Hopefully*) I’m also going to cut myself a break. Three birthdays ago I was unemployed and living at home with absolutely no clue what was next other than that it had to be getting out of my parents house and standing on my own two feet again. Two birthdays ago I could afford my own apartment (on unemployment, shout out to the govvy on that one) and was able to swing a trip to LA for the occasion. And on my last birthday, I could afford a two bedroom apartment (UPGRADE! Shout out to my stable state job that I got on my own merit after grinding and interviewing for 2 years) and I was able to adopt a dog to give me all the birthday smooches. So maybe I didn’t have any friends to take me out on the town, but I also picked up my life and moved to a completely new state without knowing anyone and work remotely the majority of the time. Overall I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and put myself out there more in the past couple of years than ever before. And that’s certainly something worth celebrating. But, I also can’t call myself a #NoFilter blog without revealing the dirt as well. I hate that we only see highlight reels in this social media generation. So here’s an unfiltered peek at what made me a blubbering mess in my 31st year and what brought me joy. My wish for my 32nd year is more smiles, less tears, and honestly when I look at the breakdown, I’m already on the right track.

Things That Caused Waterworks:

The movie Dog with Channing Tatum – it has a happy ending and yet I was laying on the floor with Charlee SOBBING every time this dog so much as whined. Netflix series From Scratch – I was unwell from this one, literally didn’t know if I could pick myself up and go on from a fictional television series yet somehow I found the strength to stop scream crying and move on with my real life. Shockingly for how much my eye sockets leaked throughout, I still would recommend it. Hulu’s Tiny Beautiful Things…it’s one of those messy series where you don’t really want to root for the main character because she’s such a disaster, but ooh baby this one snuck up on me as a real doozy. These are the three things that stick out that I cried an abnormal amount to. Like, these meant for entertainment pieces of art produced an alarming amount of sadness and tears for me, which is why they’re being listed. There were many other shows, commercials, movies, books, etc that made me tear up a normal human amount that was appropriate for the circumstances.

Giving $20 to a Facebook crackhead scamming me for Taylor Swift tickets. Not one of my finest hours and since it was a particularly low point, I’m obligated in full transparency to share my tale so that we can laugh at it after the fact. Obviously I desperately wanted tickets to Taylor Swift’s Era’s Tour, like every other human on the planet. I’ve never seen her live in concert, I’ve been a devoted fan since I was 16, I’m probably on my last leg of super fandom with her and I loved that this tour is a highlight reel of her career, so to speak. Natch, with things that I want so desperately, it all had to go to shit when she crashed Ticketmaster and allowed all of the scalpers in the world to scoop up her tickets and put them back on sale for quadruple the price. Since I’m not willing to drop a down payment for a house to sit in nosebleeds that were initially valued at $80, I accepted the crushing of this dream. UNTIL, a Facebooker posted in the Asbury Park Neighbors group (which I had only joined for apartment hunting purposes) that they were selling a couple of tickets. I inquired via private message how much and where they were located. They were selling the tickets for $200 a piece (unheard of), sent me a screenshot of the stadium layout and the seats were good, then asked me to send my email so they could transfer them from Ticketmaster and the full amount. Obviously, I’m not stupid and I would never just send a stranger $400. I told them I’d pass because there was no way to do this in a fair way. The next day they messaged me again asking if I was still interested. It seemed weird to push someone to buy tickets and there were certainly red flags here but I’m also hopeful to a fault. And on the RARE chance that these were actually legit tickets and I passed up the opportunity to have them, I knew I couldn’t live with myself. That’s why I set a budget of $20, something I’ve blown on far worse things to find out if it was a scam or not. The back and forth leading up to the exchange of money was full of “??” and grammatical errors and was somewhat erratic. I ignored it. The Zelle username was a completely different name than the Facebook profile, different gender, and the email was a third different name. I didn’t ignore it, I laughed at it and said wow this is probably a scam. I was strongly advised by my two friends who I was with at the time of transaction, not to do it. And yet my stubborn when I set my mind to it, hopeful that there’s actually good people in the world ass hit send on that Zelle transfer anyway. And wouldn’t you know it, it was very much a scam and I IMMEDIATELY felt like an idiot. I was fully prepared to insert screenshots of the entire exchange below for extra laughs but the scammer ended the exchange with “Your Papa” (his dirtbag calling card I presume) and deleted his Facebook profile probably so I couldn’t report him, thus deleting the message thread. I cried for the rest of the day. Since then, I have entered multiple radio and social media contests, followed a Twitter account that sells LEGIT tickets and check third party sites regularly to see if the prices have come down. As of publish date, I will not be seeing Taylor Swift live this year or probably ever.

My wig party was cancelled. Last year’s birthday was a real doozy of snots and cries. I had planned to go home so I didn’t have to be alone on the big day, and have always wanted to do a Bachelorette style night out with funky wigs (it has been on the bucket list for ages.) So I recruited my sister and my mom, we all ordered Amazon’s finest wigs and planned to go to the local pub and look like idiots and share some laughs. This plan fell through probably because my sister never had any desire to put a colored wig on and go out in public but also because she has a lot on her plate right now with two little needy grubbers AKA children. And I handled it like a champ. If by handling it like a champ you mean having a tantrum fit for a 4 year old and crying so hard that my mom asked if I should be on medication. It can only go up from here, folks.

Dating. I have for the first time in my life joined a dating app, it is as grim as everyone says it is, and yet I forced myself to at least go on one date from the app to dust off the ole cobwebs. Believe it or not, ya girl has never dated. I’ve had exactly one boyfriend and I met him through work. And ya know what I realized? Ya girl does not WANT to date. Swiping through profiles of men that are doing their absolute best to market themselves and they still look like disasters? No thanks. I’ll take organically meeting, forming a crush, texting all day everyday and building the basis of a friendship THEN finding out your red flags and deciding I’m already too far in to reject you over looking at a profile and seeing all of your red flags proudly displayed ANY DAY OF THE WEEK AND TWICE ON SUNDAY. Dating apps are not for me. I also don’t want to kiss strangers. I’ve been there. I dabbled in the making out at bars after a brown-out phase of my life real hard in college. I smooched a lot of strange. And I usually regretted it the next day. I’m too old for that shit now. I do not want a strange man’s mouth near mine. And as it turns out, that’s exactly what men want after they buy you dinner. So after a first date off of Hinge where I learned the gentleman in front of me was my age and has never lived anywhere other than with his parents, I took a breather from Hinge. And then a friend of mine set me up on a blind date, and on the second date, when I realized that I absolutely did not want a smooch from this individual, I bolted to my car and sobbed the whole drive home. And that’s it for me on dating, y’all! Call me an Old Maid because I will absolutely die alone probably wearing a hat.

My first ever interaction on Hinge. ‘Twas an omen.

My shower going cold every single day this winter. I pay an ungodly amount in rent to be having hot water issues. And yet, after getting 2 new hot water heaters, a third larger hot water heater, having a plumber come, changing the shower head, having the hot water heater adjusted, having an electrician come, and finally having the faucet taken off and dabbled with, the conclusion that my apartment maintenance came to was “we don’t know what the problem is” with a heavy side of “we think you’re making this up.” Nothing like being gaslit about my hot water sitch! I have hot water for exactly 10 minutes. And then it’s freezing cold. Guess who takes a 15-20 minute shower? This girl. So for an entire winter, I’ve started my day RUSHING to get the conditioner out of my hair or finish shaving in ice cold water. Many tears were shed, which actually helped as they were warmer than the water coming out of the shower head. Please pray to the apartment Gods that I find something else by July 31st because I cannot do another year of the shivers.

Not having anyone to watch Christmas movies with. Christmas is my favorite festive holiday season and I love getting in the Christmas spirit by decorating the tree, walking around looking at twinkly lights and of course, watching every trash hometown holiday movie that I can get my peepers on. This year hit extra hard that I had no one to share the joy of roasting Hallmark movies with. It’s like how can I even enjoy a spontaneous Christmas singalong at a hometown pageant if I have no one to look across the couch at and burst into laughter while simultaneously cringing out of my skin?

My ex-boyfriend coming back into my life, apologizing for blocking me, saying he’ll never do it again, telling me I’m his best friend and basically family at this point then a couple months later telling me to fuck off forever and blocking me again. I mean this one seems pretty self-explanatory (sorry but also not really that sorry for cursing.) Nothing like having a soft spot for the only guy you’ve ever loved and letting this exact scenario play out on a seasonal cycle for the past three years! Why? Feel free to scroll back to the aforementioned “hopeful to a fault” personality trait. I’m a work in progress. But also, the whiplash from being pulled in for a warm hug of comfort, ease, and best friendship when you’re in a place where you don’t really know anyone else to suddenly be dropkicked off the top of that rollercoaster? Big fat tears are pretty justified, so this was one of my more legit boohoo’s. And for those of you reading who are like damn, she really went there…

Having no one that lives nearby to take me to a colonoscopy. No one wants to have health problems, it’s always going to suck to have procedures done or not be sure what’s going on with your body. But I’ll tell you what, it definitely makes the situation a milli times worse when you have to calculate the price of taking an Uber home post-butthole examination. Realizing that in order to not Uber home while coming off of anesthesia, I’d have to as a grown adult ask one of my parents to drive 5 hours to take me to the procedure was a tough moment. Even tougher was how stubborn I was about trying to do it by myself and getting halfway through the fasting day before finally calling it knowing that even an over the counter cough medicine makes me ill-suited to operate a motor vehicle and there’s no chance I would’ve been able to get myself home afterward. I snotted all over my plain cheeseburger, chicken sammy and medium fry as I attempted to re-nourish my body and also work through the feeling of having no one to call. (Of course if you’re a loyal reader, you’ll know I had a lot of big feelings about this particular issue and ended up writing a blog about it to laugh away the tears.)

Anytime I had a whole weekend by myself with no plans. I think what’s so interesting about life is how everyone is in a completely different place. Anytime I would text my sister and say I’ve got a wide open weekend to fill with everything Netflix has ever produced, she’d quickly reply that she was jealous. To a mom with two young kids, that is the ULTIMATE dream of a weekend. To a young(ish) single gal, it’s boring and torturously long. I know, I know, you get the point, I’ve got a real case of the lonelies. You try moving to a different state as a grown up and making grown up friends who have time to hang out and also have similar interests as you…YOU WON’T. There were many a weekend (mostly in the dead of winter) where I saw those two free, uninterrupted days as something to get through. Sometimes I slept more to fill up the empty time (I realize that is basically the pure definition of depression) but shout out to our Mother Earth for going into meltdown mode lately because the mild weather this winter meant many more beach trips when there was nothing else to do.

Constructive Criticism. After two years of non-stop rejections, I thought I had grown thicker skin and could get down with any critique to be tossed my way. I learned that was not the case when I took my first ever month-long humor writing course. After introductions were made in week 1, I realized that I was way out of my league. I felt like a kindergartener who stumbled into a college course. Everyone else was more experienced, the jokes they pitched were all hilarious, their drafts were crushing it effortlessly, and when it came time to read mine it felt like everyone was like you can go shave your back now. They weren’t, but I had a bad case of imposter syndrome and rather than getting energized by this class to start kicking ass and getting published more frequently and move my way up the ladder to websites that are harder to get accepted at…I crumbled and wah wah’ed about how I have no business calling myself a humor writer. Apparently people who are *good* humor writers, go through SEVERAL drafts and iterations of a piece, getting feedback from all sorts of people before even submitting. YIKES am I amateur hour. Even the feedback that I gave, the instructor of the class would completely contradict. So I’m not even good at that part! Naturally, I’ve handled all of this really well by avoiding writing satire since then.

Giving my dog a bath and barely surviving as she clawed at me in fear. I have a small bathroom and I weigh twice as much as my dog so I was really confident I could give her anxious ass a bath on my own. I figured you gotta fake it til you make it (much like I faked being a comedy writer for the past few years) and if I was strong-willed enough to hold my dog down in the tub WWE style, we’d make it happen. After just shutting her into the bathroom caused her to have a full blown shaking-like-a-leaf panic attack, I knew I was fucked. What ensued after is a nightmare that I never want to relive again. What followed was bringing her to Petsmart every week for a month after that for “happy visits” to “let her walk around the grooming area, get treats and get comfortable with the idea” which is code for tipping a chick each time who never actually gave my dog a damn bath. I finally found a groomer who’s up to the task of working with my melodramatic little woofer who howls and shakes while being hosed down but is perfectly content to splash around in a dirty puddle like it’s her own little spa oasis. I learned my lesson here. Also that scratch hurt like a bitch.


Somehow convinced myself that I could conquer Charlee’s debilitating bath anxiety. It..did not go well. #DogMomFail #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark

♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Getting told by a Walmart tax guy that I owed $1200 and another $400 to him for telling me so. Again, when something is shocking and a real tearjerker in the moment, often I am able to take a step back and find the absurdity in it for some laughs. Having my most expensive tax return come from a blue tent across from a Subway in Walmart checks all the boxes for a highly entertaining blog. And I can laugh even harder now that I’ve actually received my tax return, it was the opposite of what this jabrone told me and a fraction of the cost for someone who’s not a complete quack to do it.

Finding out what egg freezing costs these days. My biological clock started ticking so loud I couldn’t ignore it when I hit 30. So by 31, I felt it was time to ask my Gynecologist what she thought. She handed over some pamphlets for specialists that do egg retrieval and freezing procedures and told me to call and find out more about it if I wanted to. She also reassured me that the average age that women are when they have their first child has increased over the years and she’s delivered many healthy babies to women in their forties. Isn’t it some ripe shit that women were created to dry right up, with their most fertile years and healthiest shape for child bearing occurring in their early twenties. EARLY TWENTIES. I didn’t have sex for the first time until I was 23. I literally was PASSING MY PRIME PREGNANCY YEARS the first time I even did the thing that makes a baby. And don’t get me started on how men can reproduce until they’re 6 feet under. Robert DeNiro just had his 7th child at 79. BARF ALL OVER ME. Hey, let’s make men immature and not really looking to settle down until late thirties/early forties and women dried up old cactuses unable to make a baby at that same age. MAKES PERFECT SENSE. Anyway, long story short I waited an entire year to call that specialist because I was afraid to know the truth. And the truth hurts: “The current cost for one cycle of egg freezing at our center is $7,150 plus the cost of medications at a pharmacy which can be between $4,000 – $8,000.  The first year of storage for the eggs are included and after that you the fee is $750 per year.” So even if I had a kewl $15K lying around, I’d also need to cough up another $750 for every year that my eggs sit in some laboratory’s Frigidaire chest. Can’t I just toss those bad boys in my own freezer free of charge? I’ve got the perfect spot in between the Trader Joe’s hash browns and the thing I got at a craft fair that you shove into your cleavage to cool down when you’re a sweaty betty.

Things That Made Me Smile:

Watching Charlee run full speed off leash. It’s a good thing I had so many open-ended boring weekends, because I decided to unleash (pun intended) my inner Cesar Milan and train my dog to be let out into the wild otherwise known as the beach. Starting with a 20 ft leash that in hindsight was a pretty stupid purchase (I was going for a baby steps approach) because it gave me a bitchin leash burn when she took off running and I only used it one time before just switching to trial and error. Working with her on something and seeing her not only get better each time with her listening and recall but watching the happiest dog in the world let it rip full speed after a flock of seagulls was rewarding AF and gave me all of the smiles. Although we’re still working out the kinks and can’t walk the beach when it’s crowded (too many people she MUST say hello to), and after an incident jumping on a Hasidic Jewish couple and terrorizing them in what some may unfortunately categorize as a hate crime (she truly thought they were playing and she’s sorry), I promise we HAVE made major progress.

Watching Charlee learn to love the ocean. There will be many dog-related joys here because THAT’S WHY YOU GET A DOG…to smother it with unconditional love and think everything it does is adorable and perfect. When I brought Charlee to the beach for the first time a month after I adopted her, I walked her closer to the water and she immediately backed away as if the ocean was trying to swallow her whole. I get it, as someone who has recently become too scared to swim in the ocean, I wasn’t going to force her to be a sea lion. But I knew I wanted her to be comfortable at the beach because it is the place I visit the most and so each time we worked on off leash training, I got closer and closer to the water. And each time she got more and more comfortable until she was letting it touch her feet. Last weekend she graduated from a wet paw to a full head dunk and I nearly cried tears of joy. MY BABY IS ALL GROWN UP! Look at her frolick her face off in the sea. Bitch will be surfing by end of summer, mark my words. (Yet still afraid of baths…makes total sense.)

Forming a VIP dog park circle. All it took was about 8 months of small talk with my neighbors in the dog park every night after work and one power outage in January to form a VIP dog park circle. If I’m going to be involved in anything, obviously it’s going to get a stupid nickname. The power went out, I was too scared to sit in the dark in my apartment, so my neighbor started a group text asking if I wanted to meet at the dog park and the rest as they say, is history. I made two besties that I don’t have a whole lot in common with other than dogs and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ve been more willing to hang out, talk, or listen than any of the other casual acquaintances I’ve made since I moved here. They even witnessed my vacation from sanity when I wire transferred money to an obvious scammer while we were all taking a nice long mental health walk at the beach and then broke down in tears afterward. And guess what? They’re still my friends! (For now.) We’ve laughed, we’ve I’ve cried, we’ve talked shit about the weirdos at the dog park, cause nothing bonds humans like hot goss. I’ve been envious of Charlee’s ability to make friends wherever she goes, but in this case, homegirl helped me out and it made a huge difference this winter to have pals to lean on and get me out of the apartment to socialize.

Spring Training Redemption in Florida. When I was 23 at my very first full-time job working side by side with my dear ole sis, we came up with the grand idea to take a long weekend in St. Jetersberg to watch that toight ass play in a Spring Training game. Realistically, my dad wanted to go and we invited ourselves and made it about Jeets. I hadn’t even earned vacation time yet, so I asked my boss if I could use sick time instead and he approved. Then I went to Parade Day, did Irish Car Bombs from what I can only assume was a dirty glass and got Mono. (I know, I didn’t even get it from a solid Irish tongue sesh.) Unfortunately for all, I didn’t know I had mono, I just knew I felt and looked like death, so off to Florida we went. I thought it was a little sus that I got off of a 3 hour flight and then felt so drained and exhausted from sleeping on said flight that I put myself down for another 4 hour nap and barely had the energy to get dinner. Yet we soldiered on. On day 2 we sent photos of the gang grabbin mad sting rays at the Clearwater Aquarium to my mom and her reply was “Julia looks rough.” Understatement of the century. Shoutout to my dream team for pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s to get me through the weekend. This year, I finally got to run it back without a contagious disease ravaging my body and making me look like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson. Although I missed my twin dearly, it was banger of a redo as I attended 3 games, nearly sizzled the skin off of my upper knee to mid thigh region, and got clocked with a softly lobbed ball by Yanks player DJ LeMahieu. Don’t call it a comeback, call it a glowup. (Also used real vacay time, cause I got plenty of that to go around now.)

The Year of Ballparks. This is somewhat piggybacking off of the last one, but still counts as it brought me joy this year. My dad always tried to take us to a ball game whenever we visited a new city. Since I’ve been to most of the parks in the Northeast, I suggested to my dad that we start mixing it up and visiting new ones to add to the list. Of course I was quickly humbled when we sat next to a woman at a Yanks spring training game and she told me she was on her way to Miami for opening day because it’ll be the grand opening of their “new park” and therefore it was one she hasn’t visited yet. Naturally she has been to the rest. But now we’ve got a father/daughter goal and boy do I love a damn checklist. This year I added Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, Baycare Ballpark & Cool Today BallPark to the list of parks I’ve seen a game at and in a month I’ll tack Wrigley onto that. I also annoyed every single IG follower I have by never letting a “baseball hot dog selfie” bit die and for that I am truly grateful. But seriously though, there’s absolutely nothing better than a beautiful day, the crack of a baseball bat (preferably when the ball isn’t heading toward my body), an ice cold beer, and a juicy wiener. I’ve gone to games with different friends and family each time and it has been one of my new favorite fun activities now that I live within train distance to the city and decided to become a Mets fan because who doesn’t love an underdog story and also because I spent 3+ years getting Mets superfan facts spit at me all hours of the day and night and it would be a shame for all of that to go to waste much like my prime child-birthing years did.

Sunrise at the beach. Simply put, I am a #1 fan of the sun waking up at the beach. Whether I’m taking a walk with the dog or biking the boardwalk, there’s no other feeling that matches watching the sun rise over the water and seeing all of the different variations of colors. It’s the same every damn day and yet it’s a unique view every time. Now all I gotta do is get that beach apt and I can watch that big fiery tamale ascend into the sky until my eyes fall out of my head.

Being the cool aunt. This year my niece has been all about declaring that she wants to come live with me in my “compartment” when she gets older. And I take that as the highest compliment. I’m cool Auntie Juj who lives on her own near fun things at the beach. Watching her live it up on her first shore vacation here was fun as hell and I love that through a 5 year old’s eyes I’m giving off cool roomie vibes. Of course I told her Auntie Juj doesn’t do roommates, but we’ll cross that bridge when she runs away from her parents house for the first time and I take her to Bar A for Beat the Clock.

Climbing a donut wall meant for toddlers. My second favorite thing about being an Aunt, other than having street cred and being able to tell the kids to get away from me when they’re being annoying, is doing things that are completely geared toward small children and pretending it’s all about them. I can assure you that as the below video was being taken, my niece was whining the entire time that I was ruining her day and she was over rock climbing and just wanted to go home and I HAD to climb the donut wall. Tough shit, kid. I went from not knowing how to clip my harness and getting one step up on a bumblebee before crapping myself and giving up when I first got there to scaling this entire wall of do-do’s. GROWTH. Also it was super fun and if anyone wants to lend me their child for a Saturday so I can work on getting up a level 3 without looking like a real creep, I’d appreciate that.

Entering my Shania Twain era. On a real whim, I happened upon a pair of acid wash, high waisted, mom style jorts (the tag said mom, I SWEAR.) They fit like a glove and were on clearance for $11 and without a doubt were the item of clothing I treasured most this year. Everything tucks in nice and tight, my bits are very conservatively covered, and most importantly, my sister HATED them and roasted me the hardest for buying them. Which only made me want to wear them around her even more. Get me a Dodge Caravan and a box of Hamburger Helper because I’m a 90’s mom in these shorts and I’m not afraid to admit it. If the waistline on a pair of jorts doesn’t hit the bottom of my bra from now on, I don’t want it. Say it with me now, LET’S GO GIRLS.

Christmas in NY. There’s a reason so many songs, movies, and books are written about Christmas in NY. It’s MAGIC. I’d never been able to make it to the city during holiday season, mostly because the season lasts about 5 seconds and I’m busy spending all of my money on getting gifts for other people. Also, I was never conveniently adjacent to the big Apple. This year I finally got to see the Rockefeller tree which hailed from good ole Queensbury, I watched light shows and looked and window displays and literally gasped at every block when there was a new tree or decoration to take pictures of. I may not have had anyone to watch Hallmark movies with, but Christmas in NY made up for that in a big way.

Finishing a puzzle. Again a real depends on how you look at the glass moment. Was I sad about not having people to socialize with on the weekends? For sure. But was it also satisfying as hell putting the last piece of the puzzle in as I ripped through a new 500 piecer every weekend? Hell yea.

Hearing Grayson finally learn how to say Jujy. How can you not love a tiny little voice taking attendance of everyone at the dinner table once he’s finally learned how to say all of their names? Since his yappy older sister did all of his negotiating for him, he really didn’t need to learn how to talk as early as she did. So we’ve had a slow simmer waiting for him to learn words and it was music to my dang dong ears when he finally nailed “Jujy.”

Getting buzz lightyear with my sister and taking 100 Snapchat’s with stupid filters. Don’t know how it started or why, but every time my sister and I are tossing back adult bevvies, we’ll open up Snapchat and see what’s cooking in the weird filter department then sit there and fire off 16,000 photos to take them all for a test drive. Slays every time.

Touring the Jersey Shore house solo dolo. Driving down to Seaside I was on a mission to buy a future guido his first Shore Store onesie. I didn’t anticipate being completely overwhelmed in the store and lurking for far too long. Luckily this gave plenty of time to be talked into a private tour of the house from Shore Store Danny’s childhood BFF, who assured me it wasn’t weird to do it by myself and understood the assignment to snap 100 pics of me doing so. $10 well spent. It wasn’t a coincidence that I was wearing my mom jorts, or leopard.

When the children accepted my child (the dog) and stopped being terrified of her. Banner day for me when the sight of my dog didn’t illicit shouts of terror from Mackenzie. Took a solid 5-8 months but we made it to the other side and all of the children get along now (mostly) so looks like we’re going to keep them all.

Seeing whales frolicking in the water off the beach. If you missed it, I paid $90 for the shittiest whale watching experience of my life and I’ll never let anyone forget about it. What I should’ve done was walk the beach every single morning because guess what hangs out at the beach? FREAKING WHALES. Got my peepers on a pack of blubbers just having a grand ole time one October morning in Belmar and what a way to start the day! I turned around to say DID YOU SEE THAT?! And realized no one was near me and I was talking to my dog.

Wall Murals. That’s it. That’s the tweet. I love the shit out of a painted wall and I’ll never stop getting wide-eyed and running toward one for a selfie. Thankfully Asbury Park pops out new ones on the reg, and most cities feature an array of them because the world loves an Insta moment!

Getting Published. After crying from my humor writing class and feeling like I was the charity case of the group, I did manage to get published from a piece I worked on in that class. This made me happy mostly because it’s based on a real running list that I keep in my life. Here’s the satire version that seasoned comedy writers thought was funny. If you want the real version, you’ll have to wait until I croak as my sister has strict instructions to release it at my funeral like it’s the latest edition of Lady Whistledown. I want my funeral to be ABSOLUTE mayhem of people wondering if they’re on the list and finding out as they’re mourning me that I actually hated their stinkin guts for some minor (or major) inconvenience they caused in my life. PS if you’re wondering if you’re dead to me…you probably are.

Flower Hangs with Cin. Tulips, Sunflowers, what have you, if I’m able to appreciate fields of colorful flowers with the woman who taught me to take an abundance of flower pics everywhere you go, it’s gonna be a great time.

Pulling off the Thanksgiving charcutes masterpiece. I felt a lot of pressure to perform when my sister went on and on about her new friend Kim and how she makes the most bangin charcutes boards that look like an influencers and then asked me to step up and create one for Turkey day. I bought all of the bougie meats cheeses nuts and crackers Aldi had to offer and then almost buckled on the day when I realized I’d be happy as a clam to shove salami into my salami hole straight from the package and didn’t know a thing about presentation. BUT TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK. Gotta love cousin Ray Ray, Aunt Wendy & my sister for all stepping up in the time of need and accomplishing this beaut. The men were not allowed in the room as we tinkered with placement and barked at them to keep their hands away until we’d properly photographed it. Honestly we made everyone terrified to even eat off of this board and that’s the sign of a true success.

Going back and forth with a Facebook cr33p bartering a price for my feet pics. Facebook taketh and Facebook giveth away. I should’ve known I’d be scammed for Taylor Swift tickets after taking such pure delight in an exchange about selling feet pics after I posted a pair of wedges for sale. I posted the breakdown at the very end of my One Year As the Jersey Ju blog, so I won’t repeat content. But I did really love dabbling in the foot game and even went so far as to consider joining Feet Finder as a supplemental income. Mostly because I want to live at the beach and that shit ain’t cheap, yo.

Going to more comedy shows. Wanna know what combats the sads? Going to see professionals who have made their sads into hilarious jokes. I love standup comedy and I was able to see a handful of shows this year, including a local basement show that I took my mom to where we got called on and both immediately tried to burrow into the ground to make the attention go away AND a preview of someone’s taped special in a Vegan bakery with an *intimate* crowd. I’m basically Lorne Michaels now.

Charlee acting like the mayor of the beach, visiting with everyone, shaking hands and kissing babies. May we end on the greatest joy and source of laughter and smiles in my 31st year. My perfect angel baby pup. My first month with her was such a tear-filled nightmare and I specifically remember telling my therapist, “I adopted a dog to enhance my life and she’s currently making it worse.” Sorry, Charlee. Thankfully she only wreaked havoc for a month to make sure I was really going to keep her. And boy am I glad I did. She’s the most social butterfly I’ve ever known and the beach has become her favorite place to greet the masses. We can’t walk the boardwalk without people stopping to tell her she’s like, really pretty, and at the end of our visit to the dog beach people know her by name and are offering to dogsit her if I ever need it. There’s a reason that homeless drifter wanted to keep her around and I bet she’d make a killing for me if I ever decided to panhandle. Obviously I’d never stoop that low if I needed quick cash, I’d just hit up Facebook marketplace with some well-lit shots of my tootsies. But anyway, back to my dog (not to be confused with my dogs), she’s a ray of sunshine that has connected me to so many people this year and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

For anyone who has gotten a lengthy birthday text from me slobbering them with compliments and how lucky I am to have them in my life, you can blame Bob Saget dying unexpectedly and EVERYONE saying what an amazing and great guy he is and how he always told people what they meant to him and how much he loved them. WE NEED MORE BOB SAGETS IN THE WORLD. We also need to stop waiting until people die to tell all these great stories about them. So henceforth, I’ve declared the birthday rule. Make people feel special and loved on their day of birth, not their day of death when they’re already a ghost and can’t talk back. Kthxbye.

Ed Sheeran – Subtract

Ed went 5 years without releasing new music and then dropped albums b2b, which means I get to jump on in for another installment of the highly anticipated track by track breakdown. I don’t mean to toot my own horn (even though I was born to toot), but in the review for Equals, I mused that though it SEEMS like that would’ve been the coda to his albums, we had yet to get a Subtract moment, except I called it minus because I’m forever 7 years old. And I’m assuming Ed saw that on The Salty Ju and was like here you go, babes. That’s how this album came about. I’m joking, obviously. We know how this album came about because he has extensively poured his heart out via social media and a 4-part docu-series on Disney +. I recommend you diving into that when you’re prepared to sob your eye sockets out, as I did on Friday. In short, if I may summarize the push behind this album, Ed had spent many years writing songs for what would be Subtract, and then had one of the worst years of his life when his wife found a tumor while she was 6 months pregnant and then his best friend died unexpectedly at 31. So he scrapped all those songs he was planning on having on the album and instead wrote new ones about the feelings he was having during this rough chapter as sort of a diary. As you can imagine, this album will not be full of bops, but might be more relatable than he thinks because life can be a real shitstorm sometimes.

1. Boat*. Starting things off with a simple guitar song about getting back up after you get kicked in the teeth by that fickle bitch called life. Did he say it more eloquently? Hell yea, it’s Ed Sheeran, master lyricist and voice of an angel. This song is a melodious reminder that you can feel both hopeless and also refuse to give up at the same damn time. I’m pretty much the Mayor of that town so I can say that this ditty particularly speaks to me. Things can be craptastic for a while but if you don’t let those craptastic waves sink your boat, maybe you’ll float on into some less craptastic waters? FINGERS CROSSED!

2. Salt Water. Fun fact about me (gu’head and roll your eyes, it was only a matter of time before I started yapping exclusively about myself and briefly attempting to relate it back to the song) I’ve always been an ocean lover. Grew up visiting the beach on family vacation and never had an issue going for a swim in the ocean, even overcoming the summer we went to Cape Cod and my brother in law swam up and grabbed my leg pretending to be a shark. That should’ve ended my affair with oceans immediately as it is not only traumatizing but also hits a little too close to home as Cape Cod has shark incidents multiple times every summer. But it didn’t. I took a vacation at the Jersey Shore and was one with the sea, even learning how to pee in the ocean for the first time. But then, I moved to the beach. I was very excited as a beach babe to finally live 10 minutes away and be a card-carrying member of a season beach pass. And suddenly I got a bad case of the yips. Cannot go in the ocean. We’re going on two years now and when I go to the beach (which is essentially 2-3 times a week from May through mid-October), if I get hot, I go down to the water and stand with the toddlers and splash water on myself and then head back up to my perch. I don’t know why I’m suddenly terrified of the ocean but from what I can gather, it’s a combination of the rough surf, the murky water, and the fact that I’m typically by myself and if I were to slip into the abyss, not a single soul would be looking for me. Fun stuff, right?! I came to this conclusion after I swam in both Jamaica and Siesta Key with my dad without any anxiety. Well, there was a moment where someone pointed at the water in Florida and I almost shit a brick. Pointing should be banned in the ocean unless a shark is actively chomping on you. The key to swimming in the ocean is not thinking about all the things lurking around you. Or in my case, the key to dipping your ankles and giving yourself a sponge bath because you’re too afraid to get womped by a wave, die, and wash up on the Jersey shore like all these humpbacks. All that to say, I can’t relate to this song at the moment. Salt water is not fixing my troubles, it singlehandedly IS my trouble. It’s also got a little bit of a let me drown my sorrows in the sea suicide vibe to it and it seems conflicting after just saying the waves won’t break my boat. Mixed messages from Ed if you ask me. Not my favorite track on the album and obviously you won’t find me being kissed by salt water anytime soon.

3. Eyes Closed.* Ed’s first single off the album and hands down my favorite. It is pretty much equally as depressing (content-wise) as the rest, yet surprisingly upbeat! I learned from his doc that he started writing this song years ago as a breakup tune, then revisited it after his friend Jamal died and made some changes so it was more about his grief. Let’s call a spade a spade though, breakups are also kind of deaths. That person is dead to you now, so tomato, tom-ah-to. I like that he used the original recorded vocals from many years ago and threaded it together with his new lyrics that he recorded more recently. That’s the nerd in me thinking HOW COOL that it took him this long to figure out the song and get it to what it is now, which is a banger. Also there’s nothing more relatable to the general public than memories being a double-edged sword. It’s all well and good when that person is still around, but when memories hit and that person isn’t around, it’s painful AF, especially if you’re sauced. Good thing Ed gave us that boppy “eye eye eye eyeeeeeees” joint to sing along to and help us forget.

4. Life Goes On. Back down in the dumps focusing on that garbage feeling after someone dies when life just goes back to normal but anyone in the grieving process feels like nothing will ever be normal again. Ed’s vocals are really strong in this song, hitting real hard on the “SO TELL ME HOW,” which I think will make it a phenomenal belting song for solo road trips when you’re in your feels. Unfortunately, that’s the only positive thing I can say about this song that is the epitome of “everything hurts and I’m dying.”

5. Dusty. Although I love the fact that this has a funky little beat to it and seems to be the much-needed pick-me-up after that previous track, which was a real doozy…I CAN’T with the word dusty. I went through a very long phase where I declared anything I didn’t like as dust (Ex: That iced coffee was DUST.) And on top of that, I’ve very much enjoyed and hopped on the bandwagon of calling people that suck “dusty.” Please note that this most universally applies to men. I don’t make the rules, I just agree with them. (Ex: That dusty ass guy asked for my number after he spilled his drink on me.) That being said, I cannot take a song called Dusty seriously. In my research (reading Genius Lyrics) I learned that Ed is referring to Dusty Springfield records he would often play in the morning with his daughter. It’s sweet and cute that starting the day listening to records with his daughter gave him hope and got him through hard times. BUT DUSTY…DUSTY LEE?!

6. End of Youth. Gotta hand it to Ed, he knows how to take some dark subject matter and let it rip. The chorus of this song is a real head-bopper. And this part? This part right here cuts deep: “We spend our youth with arms and hearts wide open / And then the dark gets in and that’s the end of youth.” WOOF. I especially love the addition of violin on this track to further gut you.

7. Colourblind. Clearly a love song, and one full of colorful metaphors to boot, I’m going to take this opportunity to slobber all over Ed’s wife. I’d seen pictures of her here and there but Ed has kept her, their relationship, and their kids completely private and off the grid…up until this documentary. Cherry was just as much a part of it as Ed was and I was delighted to find out that not only is she as cute as a button, but she’s cool as hell too. When talking about getting a tumor and wondering if she was going to die and what legacy she would leave behind, she was holding a beer in one hand and was explaining it to the camera so casually that Ed had to interject and be like you don’t need to downplay almost dying, it’s ok to say it was terrifying. That’s one tough chick. I also very much enjoyed learning that she calls him Eds, he calls her Chez, and they call their second daughter “Jupes.” Is adding an S to everything a British deal, cause I think I want in. Sucks to suck for their firstborn Lyra, who has no cutesy S or Z nickname. I guess Liez doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely. Anyway, Eds and Chez were besties in high school and reconnected and rekindled after she graduated college and now that I’ve gotten a glimpse of their relationship, I can’t get enough. Chez deserves all the beautiful love songs (like this one) that he’s penned for her. Including Perfect which he wrote for her after like 2 weeks of dating and it took him about an hour to create that masterpiece. What would it be like to have one of the most famous love songs written for you? I’ll have to get back to you on that half past never.

8. Curtains.* It’s trendy to chit chat about mental health these days thanks to my generation of headcases, nbd but KBD. You’re welcome, America. So I’m down with any song that can bottle up how it feels to be anxious or depressed and package it into a catchy tune. I praised Tay’s Anti-Hero and I’ll praise this song for the same reason. More people suffer from depression than you know, and I’ll even go out on a limb and declare that EVERYONE suffers from seasonal depression. Once you walk the boardwalk on a 70 degree day in January and see HOARDS of people smiling and chirping to each other about how amazing the weather is, you don’t need a scientist to declare that winter=a case of the sads. I dig the beat of this song and I’m dangerously close to getting “Let me see the sunshine, shine, shine” tatted up on my forehead cause that’s my damn life motto. Show me the sunshine, baby! Get me out of the blues and gimme dat VITAMIN D.

9. Borderline. Ope, right back down. Going from letting me see the sunshine to “sadness always finds an in” is a real drop down into the dumps and I wasn’t prepared for it nor will I ever be. I don’t want this song, plain and simple. Look, I get that when you’re grieving there’s very few rays of light that peek through. And I get that this song is about finding a balance between the light and the dark. But I also need a little more light now. We’re 9 tracks in and I feel like I’m watching Titanic, if Titanic were to kill someone off every 20 minutes instead of the entire ship dying all at once at the end. Yanno what I’m saying? I really am a sucker for the violin (must come from my hardcore days of headbanging to Yellowcard and watching their violinist do backflips off the amp on their live concert DVD) but it’s kinda like we’re listening to the string quartet as the ship is sinking. And for that reason, I’m out.

10. Spark*. Hey you know what’s hard to keep alive in a marriage that’s supposed to last FOR-EV-ER? The spark. Everyone knows it. As you say your vows with heart eyes beaming at each other you probably don’t picture yourself 40 years down the line wanting to literally pluck your husband’s teeth out one by one if you have to hear him chew a banana one more time. If that sounds oddly specific, please know it’s because it is an actual observation of my parents, whose every movement irritates the other to their very core. SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN MARRIAGE, FOLKS! But it’s chaps like Eds who give us a beacon of light showing that men can be romantics too! He wants to keep the spark alive with Chez and in their doc, they shared how they have scheduled date night into their routine so that they can keep reminding each other why they got married in the first place. How stinkin cute. Also, the orchestra backing during the bridge of this number was *Chef’s Kiss*.

11. Vega. Insider info that anyone who watched the Disney + doc now knows, Ed wrote this song the same day they got the test results on Cherry’s tumor and were told things weren’t looking good. Not for nothing but if my huz found out I had a cancerous tumor and shut himself away to write a song, I’d be PISSED. Luckily the song is all about how she’s going to be fine and it’s very hopeful and lovely. So all’s well that end’s well, and I learned something new about astrology because it was bugging me that I didn’t know what Vega was. It’s the brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra (Their daughter’s name) and the 5th brightest star seen from Earth’s night sky. Insert ‘the more you know star’ here. Love when I re-learn something I probably learned in middle school from a pop song! Also Ed is a figurative “star” so the meaning here is xxxtra META.

12. Sycamore. I gotta be honest I’m running out of steam here. I know this is a cathartic release for him to write through these terrible life experiences that many people go through (but most don’t have the talent to turn their feelings in the moment to songs.) And yet, I haven’t specifically experienced this and therefore the relatability is low and it’s feeling like a real Debbie Downer of an album. I almost didn’t do a track by track, but I’m a slave to tradition and as long as I have The Salty Ju, I must continue album reviews of everything Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran ever release. Leave it to me to attach my cart to the two most prolific horses in pop music history. Anyway, this song is about not knowing what’s going to happen to your wife or your unborn child and having to rely on doctors to tell you what’s up. At one point in the doc, Ed said if a fan told him they didn’t like this album, he doesn’t really care. And that’s what I like to call fuck you money. He’s making music exclusively for himself now, as is Taylor. If they wanna hold Aaron Dessner hostage in the studio and write a bunch of heavy songs with pianos and strings, they damn sure will and my salty takes aren’t going to stop them.

13. No Strings. The first lyric of this song is “if we make it through this year, then nothing can break us” and I do have one note. I think the lyric should be “if I make it through this album, then nothing can break me.” I will celebrate heavily at the end as I’m sure Chez and Eds did at the start of a new year. All jokes aside, declaring: “‘Cause this is no strings, you are who I love / And that won’t change when we’re fallin’ apart” is couple goals on a billion trillion. Also, trauma bonding is real.

14. The Hills of Aberfeldy*. Oh HELL YEA gimme an Irish lick to end on. It’s no secret that I get AWL the way down to Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan of the Divide era, so much so that when I set Galway Girl as my ringtone for a solid 2 months after the song came out, my boyfriend at the time NEARLY murdered me having to wake up to an Irish jig every damn morning. OBVIOUSLY read the room of this album, we’re not getting a jig here, it’s more of a solemn loves lost drinking song, but it still has TWINKLE with that music, baby. I accept and I want to just twirl barefoot in a dark countryside bar. Kewl fact (another one from Genius Lyrics) this song was written over 10 years ago and was always meant to be the closer on Subtract. I’ve been working on a humor piece for over a year, does that mean if I let it simmer for 9 more, it’ll be published one day? Asking for myself because working is a generous term for opening the document every few months and then closing it 3 weeks later when I realize I haven’t made one edit to it. WE ARTISTS ARE SUCH TORTURED SOULS. I’m all about sticking with the OG ending even when the album took a sharp left turn from what it was originally supposed to be.

15. Wildflowers (Bonus Track) You know what’s fun about the state of the music industry today where no one is looking to release radio-hits one at a time? You get bonus tracks out the G-D wazoo because nothing needs to be cut anymore when you can just release all of your work via streaming platforms. Looking at you Morgan Wallen and your THIRTY SIX SONG album. Seriously, I smashed play on Morgan’s album while driving my dad to JFK last week knowing that I’d be stressed in traffic and not want to pick new music and that sucker lasted me the whole trip there and half of the way back. Morg-Dawgz is out here dropping RT JFK airport dropoffs like it’s no big thang. UGH sorry I got heated, guys. This new era of music is a little overwhelming. We don’t need a release of every song ever written. Some can be kept for personal enjoyment. That being said, I like the lyrics of this song but it’s boring AF. I feel like we could’ve gone in another direction here to spice it up a little, or just left it on the cutting room floor. They can’t all be winners.

16. Stoned (Bonus Track) I know this song was written by Ed Sheeran but I can’t help but wonder if maybe my ex-boyfriend was a ghost writer on the chorus? Oohh sick burn, Julia. I have to imagine this song was written for the original Subtract many moons ago, as Ed is married with kids and not crying himself to sleep stoned out of his gord.

17. Toughest (Bonus Track) THANK GOD we get a little pep in this chorus. I’m all for this song not only because I can finally bop my noggin again, but because it’s about his wife being tough, which if you’ll remember way back to the beginning of this blog, I called her one tough chick. And if I’m saying that after seeing a canned version of her on a documentary, imagine how tough she is IN REAL LIFE. Cheers to tough chicks (all of them, have you seen how big a baby’s head is? Men could never.) Who run the world? GURLZ.

18. Moving (Bonus Track) Another song completely out of left field in context so I’m guessing it was an old one. I kinda dig it, it sounds completely different than the rest of his songs like he’s trying something new. You know when it’s a great time to try something new? After I just listened to 17 tracks that were depressing as hell. Solid change-up at the very end.

Overall Notes: This was a cave of darkness (not to be confused with a cave of wonders, boy) and I’m about ready to demand Ed open those curtains and show us some sunshine. As always, beautifully written. Because as Ed said himself when explaining how obnoxious these court cases challenging his songwriting have been…why are you punishing him for being good at his job? If he can sit down and write a magnum opus of a song in a half hour, does that mean we should sue him and accuse him of stealing another person’s work? No we shall not. But can we sue him for damages after my tear ducts crap out from listening to this album/watching the doc? LMK, cause I’d like to collect on that. I’m ready for some happier trails ahead from Eds! Perhaps with more Irish flavor?

Updated Official Salty Ju Ranking: 1. Divide 2. Multiply 3. Plus 4. Equals 5. Subtract

Red Carpet

Met Gala Red Carpet 2023

Ok, here’s the deal. On Valentine’s Day the Mets emailed me and were all like “Ooohhh I bet you’re lonely and have a touch of the seasonal depresh, here’s a deal marketed JUST TO YOU.” And I’ve never felt more seen. I didn’t skip a beat in drawing out that ole CC and buying 4 tickets in lower level seats for a discount price just because it was winter and I didn’t have someone to snuggle with. Which is how we ended up here, with me a little sauced (understatement of the century) on Met Gala Monday after having already observed Met Monday. In fact, I made the joke, what if I showed up at the Met Gala in my Mets hat?! It bombed. No one laughed. These are the hard truths one has to overcome when you have a casual personal blog that you take way too seriously and also try to do excursions at the same time. I also tried to make “It’s gonna be Mets” happen. Regardless, that’s how I found myself over-served on a Monday doling out my typical (but maybe a little drunker?) Met Red Carpet observations. ‘NJoy. My first un-prompted thought: Why is everyone trying to be Wednesday Addams?! Follow-up thought…when my friend was like there were literal cats on the carpet, I SOUNDLY replied “oh yeah, that’s for Choupette.” So let the records show that even though I double booked baseball and fashion, I did NOT forget that this year’s theme was: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” aka a tribute to his fashion forward (but definitely asshole) cat would not be out of line. PS I don’t care how famous you are, your cat is still an asshole, that’s just a fact, JACK.


I was literally on the train home when my BFF texted me “I hope you’re dong a met recap” to which I obviously replied with a drunk train selfie, but don’t let that boozey pic fool you because nothing and I MEAN NOTHING will stop me from judging celebs, especially whilst wearing an oversized Mets PJ shirt that was clearanced out at a whopping 3 dollars last season at Marshall’s. When I arrived home and this was the first outfit I saw it was ON like DONKEY KONG. Jenny. Jen. Lo. Baby. Whatchu doing girl?! There is no Met theme on this planet that would justify a 50’s pillbox hat, facial net and a side of tits out for the boys. This is a SWING AND A MISS. (Using baseball references cause I’m so into baseball these days and that’s obvious.)


We followed up Jen’s nipsy doodle with this Kimmy K pearl quartet and GAUGE MY EYES OUT STOP INVITING KARDASHIANS TO THE MET BECAUSE THEY EMBARRASS US EVERY YEAR. Kim is trying so hard to be Marilyn Monroe she’s about to pop an implant from how hard she’s trying to squeeze into Marilyn’s bombshell shoes. Give it up, girl. You can be hot and cool in your own identity, you don’t need to live up to these iconic American fashion staples. It’s ok, bbgurl. Relax.

Anne Hathaway

I get that it’s been trendy to hate on Anne Hathaway for absolutely no reason which is exactly why I’ve always advocated for her. But I can’t here. This Elvira hairstyle with a pinned together dress is woof city, population: Annie get your gun and get the hell out of here. Sorry, not sorry.


Honestly, sure why not. I feel like I’m coming across like a real Negative over-served Nancy, and I’m not trying to bring your Tuesday down. Does  a latex number salute Karl? Probably not. But if you’re going to go AWL OUT for a red carpet, Met Gala is the place to do it. So guh’ head Cardi. Get down with your black condom florals and tie and silver “wig” sitch.


Honestly, what’s the point of being a VS angel if you can’t just strap on a pair of damn wings whenever you please?! She’s freshly single and just wants to walk the catwalk as an angel no matter the time of year and I’m here for it.

Kerry Washington

I fully support a strong ab midsection and a spicy blazer, I will NEVER EVER (NOT EVEN IF THERE’S A FIRE) support a mermaid bottom. MER.MAID.BOTT.OM. GET LAWST with that. Toss your “I only eat kale” mid section in my face ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY but do NOT think you can slip a peplum skirt by me, KERRY.

Margot Robbie

This is our new Barbie, and with all due respect, this is boring as hell. You can’t be in a movie with ICONIC hot pink outfits and then be like ho, hum, lemme just toss on a basic black gown for the Met ball. Sure, she looks great, but YA GOTTA STUN ME. There were years that celebrities LITERALLY dressed as Barbie and we’re gonna just do a black gown when you ARE Barbie?! NO, babes.


This is right around the point where I was like oh ok, we’re all just doing Wednesday Addams. Like the theme was Karl Lagerfeld, a fashion designer ICON, and everyone was like I’ll just wear black and be emo. Kewl. Sick effort. Karl is R-O-L-L-I-N-G in his grave. Kendall looks cool and all but I’m bitter about this stupid and lazy approach to the theme.


Again, Lizzo looks fre$h but black and pearls is BOOOOOOOOOORING.


Check out that one flap of hair just dangling in her eye line. I’ve never been more infuriated by a patch of hair. Bye.


Since we’ve apparently interpreted “Karl” as darkness becomes my soul, Billie really nailed it. True story, this is pretty much her aesthetic and it really suits her.


I take back everything I said about Priyanka’s hair because WOOOOWWW. What’s the happs here?! Other than obviously a flood with those pants and loafies.

Jared Leto

Even Choups took one look at this costume and was like NIGHTMARES. Better luck next time, Jared.

Gigi Hadid

Gigi is the classic Abercrombie girl who goes to Hot Topic and is like I’m punk now, guys. Stick to jewel-toned horse logo sweaters with a popped collar underneath, booboo.

Olivia Rodrigo

Things that clean your car in a car wash for 400, Alex.

Lil Nas X

Sure, bub, let’s just use the Met Gala as another avenue for you to push this “I only wear things that shock Conservatives” agenda. You win, you always do.

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle is having an awards season moment, so I’m not here to shit on that. She’s following the unspoken black and white rule and she looks good so get after it, mama.

Gabrielle & Dwayne

Not gonna lie, I love a couple that commits to a fashion statement. Dwayne is just as into this as Gabs is, if not more. 

Nicole Kidman

Honestly how did she even snag an invite to this ordeal? No one correlates Nicole Kidman with high fashion. But here we are. She looks dece (more dece than she does on a red carpet) but still odd to see her. It’s like when  a friend no one invited just casually showed up and you all had to pretend you invited her all along cause you’d look like a big ole group of heartless bitches if you didn’t. If you’re reading this and wondering if your girl gang ever did this to anyone, it’s you. They didn’t invite you. Sarry.

Viola Davis

Sure, Barbs pink and feather are always accepted no matter the occasion.

Stephanie Hsu

It’s slowly starting to click (alcohol is a scary drug, folks) that everyone in H-wood just decided to dress EXACTLY like Karl for this evening’s events. On the one hand, Steph nailed it, on the other hand that I’ve leaned into A LOT, it’s so the OPPOSITE of creative. Ooh, the theme is Karl? Can I borrow on of his ties and pull my hair back to look like a man?! Insert the deepest of eye rolls here. I want FUNKY, not copy an 85 year old man who hasn’t changed his red carpet outfit in 59 years. Lookin at you for a wake-up call on this matter, Anna Wintour.


BOOOOOOOOOOOoOOOOoOOOOOOOOOO. You lived through the worst decades of fashion in the early aughts with baby tee’s and baby purses. You should be SLAYING at the Met Gala every year!! Triple decker platforms and a choker that spans the width of your body AIN’T IT, SIS.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie took the Kimmy K pearls memo and repurposed into a belt and for that reason, I’m out.

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda looks like she was straight up electrocuted. And not in a chic way.

Pedro Pascal

I don’t get it. I’m sorry. I know this is the most unpopular opinion because girls are creaming their jeans over this guy and yet, a high biz sock and a bare calf will dry a girl RIGHT UP. This is horrifying.

Salma Hayek

Red is making an appearance here and there on the carpet and I’m so desperado for a pop of color that I’m thirsty as hell for most of the red hot lewks. This is sex pot 101 with the latex corset and lace legs so snaps for Salma.


Cause nothing says bless us o’lord for these are thy gifts like a body chain rosary diving down your exposed cleavage and thigh high’s. God Bless the USA.


Is that a neck guitar?! Whatever, her hair and makeup looks good so this little topless guitar cape can slide on by.


10/10. No Notes.

Florence Pugh

Imagine throwing on a double decker head piece like this and thinking you won’t look stupid? I want that kind of confidence.


Simple but elegant and I’m always on board for a sparkly tassel.

Jessica Chastain

Another carbon copy, I’m just gonna wear Karl’s skin as a suit move. Eyes rolling down the white and red carpet.

Alex Daddario

Cake ruffles…we all know where I stand on that trend. Also not for nothing but pink eye shadow should be banned, it forever makes people look unwell for wearing.

Emily Blunt

I would like this look a bajillion times more if we eliminated the neck bow/fake flower. I do love the lace and sparkle combo though.

KeKe Palmer

This is BODACIOUS. Sure, it’s stupid to basically drag a comforter behind you but at least it’s a nice soft blue and complements the pastels in the dress.


This is bad prom 101. So tacky and unflattering.


It’s so great that we live in a society where the Bradley Cooper’s of Hollywood just show up in a plain ole tuxedo and people are like yes, he nailed it. Throw on some shades and a little hair tousle and women are fanning themselves.



Phoebe Bridgers

I know she has silver hair regularly and not just for this event so I’m not going to come at her for copying Karl. See? I can be rational. 

Penelope Cruz

This is the kind of shit I like to see. Over the top, I’m a Real Housewife of Dubai Queen. Bow down, bitches.

Naomi Campbell

From Dubai to Ancient Greece. This look isn’t moving the needle for me. It’s random and out of place and the color is off.

Sydney Sweeney

The bows are suuuuhhhhhh STUPID. She literally looks like a five year old with a bow just tied into her hair like that.

MJ Blige

Have we seen a blue number yet? Honestly, I don’t even remember because there were 124 photos on That is too many photos. We’re really pushing it here and I’m running out of steam BIG time. Will I ever be done with this blog? Probs not. I’ll be clacking away as a skeleton six feet under. Oh no, we’re getting loopy. I’m laughing the most at picturing myself as a skeleton. At least my figure would be top notch. Could eat all the hot dogs I want cause they’d just fall right out. Anyway, her legs look bangin and matching boots to the dress? OKURR.

Miranda Kerr

Stunning. That dark lip contrast is Chef’s Kiss.

Alison Williams

WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?! I’ve never hated anything more. A black “my hair is dirty so I’ll slip this on” headband and peach satin?! Woof.

Suki and Rob

I never put two and two together while watching Daisy Jones & the Six that this is Rob Pattinson’s latest piece. Seems like an odd match-up. Digging her little fairy dress but the PINK EYESHADOW DAMNIT. It makes women look sick.

Bad Bunny

I’m into this whoutfit with flower dangles. I also like a man who commits to the theme and doesn’t just roll up as himself, BRADLEY.

Aubrey Plaza

I very much do not like this.


Bangs?! BANGS, EM?! I cannot focus on anything else.

Lily Collins

This is so Emily in Paris Pierre Cadault meta and if you don’t understand that reference then you’ve OBVIOUSLY never been to Paris. Like LC. BAM BAM, double stupid show reference. I’m FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS.

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This one grew on me. It’s like a mother and daughter Peaches and cream duo. I like the contrast of the fur and silk togets. Well done for Mommy & Me!

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We get it, Maude, you’re skinny.

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Ahh, the ole butt bow. Tried and true every major red carpet event has to have one.

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If this were a standalone look I’d genuinely wonder if this was a Michael Jackson tribute instead. 

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This is a little too on the nose for me, Doja Cat.

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An effort was made here, so we accept.

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I’m into this, especially that GIANT rock she’s sporting around her neck. I mean damn, girl.

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Hate tweed the most. And a chain belt is literally making me puke a little in my mouth. That could be the mixture of beer, wine, gin & vodka I tossed down my gullet. But more likely, it’s the belt.

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Alright who was on wiping duty for Rita last night?

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I’m weirdly into this. Maybe it’s the cocky hand in the pocket pose? 

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Rami looks like he’s going to the grocery store to pick up eggs.

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Yup, I’m 100% all in on this. This is a moment.

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Two contrasting dramatic looks b2b and I love it a lot. This pearl crown is

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I mean he wins, right?! Like you show up to a Karl tribby with a 10 ft train in his likeness you’ve just essentially told everyone to suck it hard. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

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Yoikes this is bad. 

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Gotta be honest, this looks cozy as hell.

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No. Nope. Not happening. No sir you will not just throw on a leather trench and oversized shades and call it a day.

Kylie Jenner

It’s giving boxer about to enter the ring.

We’ve got a twofer here. Weird big coat over hoop and TA-DA I’M JUST WEARING UNDIES AND A CONE YOU PUT OVER TREES YOU WANT TO PROTECT FROM SNOW! Sure babes, whatever. If not at the Met, when can you hula hoop it up in your skivs. Body looks bangin.

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What a punchable face. That closed mouth smile and peace sign in a bucket hat. Pete’s just asking for a knuckle sandwich.

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The way that people wait with bated breath for a RiRi appearance. Events like this were made for the Rihanna’s and Gaga’s of the world. What outlandish thing can they stunt all over the carpet. And you know what? I like it. Like I said 100 years ago when I started writing this blog, I love a couple that goes full send together. ASAP with the kilt, Rihanna with the coordinated red lip and cool Hollywood starlet shades. I’m even down with this flower bubble. And that’s it, folks. That’s a wrap on the Met. Now excuse me while I take a long winter’s nap because whipping up this blog at 10pm after a booze-filled day was basically my Jordan flu game. If you made it to the end of this blog that I will absolutely not be proof-reading, you also deserve a nap. LET IT RIP.

Red Carpet

CMT Music Awards Red Carpet 2023

The CMT Music Awards are a fan-voted awards show so it’s a popularity contest and about four A-List country stars showed up to Austin, Texas for this shindig but oooh baby that don’t stop me from rippin a red carpet! (Since there are so few to judge, we’ll just let em all hang loose in one list…if you think by eliminating a worst dressed list, I’ll spare the snarky commentary you are sorely mistaken.)

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I looked at this picture first when browsing last night’s arrivals and literally checked the link to confirm this was a 2023 photo and not a throwback to a 90’s country awards show. Hot diggity damn Shania looks great for me to do a double take and wonder if it was 30 years ago. Sorry, let me clarify, this outfit is downright atrocious. But face/hair/bod is the FOUNTAIN of youth.

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It’s not a country night unless Carrie trots those billion dollar legs out. Folks, these stems peeking out of her blinged out spanky pants are stealing the damn show. I can’t look anywhere else. Love the outfit, but honestly who cares what she’s wearing when you’ve got a set of gams like this and she’s known it since she strutted them onto that American Idol soundstage 18 years ago. And that’s coming from someone who knows a thing or two about hot legs. (s/o to the sun.)

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From hawt legz to this catastrophe. What a massive letdown. I think we can all safely say that Avril Lavigne trying to make ties a cool punk rock thing in the early aughts belongs firmly in the rearview. I never need to see a couple wearing matching skinny ties. In fact Gwen stepped right out of 2002 from boots with the fur, fishnets, mini skirt that barely covers her snatch and a white button down. Go home, Gwen.

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Kelsea’s living her best damn life. She’s dating a babe soda, she got her mic drop moment spilling the tea on her divorce, and she’s dressing to impress. Guh ‘head gurl, get down with your bad self in your pastel corset.

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Imagine being a total rocket, being married to a country superstar, and then just casually having the voice of an angel as well and hopping on a track with your husband that blows all the way up? That being said, you’re better than lilac tights and kitten heels with a rhinestone bow, Katelyn. And the gloves?! Are you Mia Thermopolis, PrinCESS of Genovia? The fame has gone straight to her head. 

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THE DUBS THUMBS UP. gEeEEeEk aLeRt! I don’t even hate this outfit because as I’ve mentioned about 900 times to anyone who will listen, I’m all about that beige lifestyle lately. But I cackled at those dad thumbs. Surprised he didn’t pair them with a couple of fresh white New Balances.

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I absolutely need to know if Megan realizes that by posing at an angle with a leg popped, that white ameoba cutout is giving us a straight-shot view of her labia.

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OH HELLO, GRANDMA! What the hell is this sack of tinsel? It looks like she tied a matching sweatshirt around her waist, except it’s actually a tablecloth instead. Don’t forget your tablecloth, Dixie, it might get chilly tonight! 

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Look at this little lime green popsicle! I love a coordinated Keroppi.

(That reference will only hit with the real 90’s girliepops)

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I don’t just want these boots, I NEED THEM. I can’t say I love a good bloom until I have bloomin’ bootz, chaknow?! I also love that this chick knew what a statement these shitkickers are and went simple black for the rest of her outfit so they had their moment to shine. It’s country but elegant and I’m here for it.

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This is the most appropriate event to rock this look at. Anywhere else you try to pull off a denim jacket/dress combo with leather boots, leather hat, velour gloves & bright red hair and you get laughed right out of the joint. But a fan-voted awards show in Austin on a seafoam green carpet? Yes, booboo. She is the moment. 

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I may never get over a gentleman of this size being named Jelly Roll and of course we can’t forget his bride, Bunnie XO. And honestly now that I’m taking a better look at his tatted up face, is one of those just a straight line from his hair down through his left eye? What’s the meaning behind that little ditty, I wonder. To top it all off, the prayer hands are giving real DJ Khaled vibes, BLESS UP.

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I’ve been catching up on Abbott Elementary and it’s no coincidence that just before I tuned into this awards show, I watched the episode where Gregory tries to become a trendy hat guy (not for the faint of heart as I too faced ridicule when trying to elevate my hat game) and every single zinger that the other teachers lobbed at him applies to this monstrosity of a dome cover. So at the risk of this clip being removed from YouTube…watch & giggle.

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The Lavender silk shirt is really giving ice dancer but I’m a sucker for Chucks and a fun jewel tones duo.

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This may sound judgmental but hear me out. Are we at a Walmart  in Sequoyah, Oklahoma? My jaw DROPPED at how much hick is in one photo here. It’s like they’re reenacting the Natalie Portman classic “Where the Heart Is.” Homegirl is seconds away from her water breaking in that green polka-dotted dress that looks like it was pulled out of the bottom of the hamper where it was crumpled up for weeks, then stuck in the wheel well of the pickup truck that they certainly drove to the show. And while we’re at it, why don’t we cruise on over to the mullet hanging onto that big ole belly for dear life. Is that a pearl necklace he’s sporting with ADIDAS SAMBAS?! WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE, YOU TWO?! IS THIS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE?! This is the exact costume one might wear to a white trash bash themed college kegger. All that’s missing is mullet gripping a can of Bud heavy and rippin a butt in his other hand. My ‘lanta.

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Big time fan of Russie and his lady Kailey and gotta serve up a cold hard glass of truth, I expected more from them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no chartreuse polka dot dress and SAMBAS (still not over it). But at the same time, they’re not knocking my damn socks off either. They’re gonna have to step it up if they’re gonna make it to the big leagues. And by the big leagues, I obviously mean Best Dressed on this highly-esteemed fashion blog.

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Despite a mean case of the crazy eyes (or for all who celebrate, ‘Shane from Love is Blind’ eyes) Lainey’s killin this outfit. Much like I imagine her low budget Hannah Montana accent kills a lot of boners. I’m sorry, but it had to be said. She did a lot of talking and I spent the entire time wondering if she was doing a fake twang like ole Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift used to do in her early days. It is *very* hard to listen to and I hope she shakes it off as quickly as Tay did.

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Oh ok, Cole showing up with some arm candy! I live for the dichotomy of a simple country boy like Cole who always wears a baseball cap and solid colors next to Princess Sparkles over here. I wonder if she’s hoppin up into his Chevy to go shootin.

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Carly’s poppin that rack and that leg at the same damn time and I got hella respect for it. Why? Cause it’s subtle and sexy and I’m not staring down the barrel of her belly button, nips or lady curtains. PRAISE BE! 

Red Carpet

Oscars Red Carpet 2023

We’ve arrived at the big one, that means spring is just around the corner! F that groundhog looking for his damn shadow, all we need is a 7 hour stuffy as hell broadcast with a bunch of A-list actors and a host making PC jokes to know the long winter is almost over. Unfortunately when last year’s show includes Will Smith bum-rushing the stage and bitch-slapping Chris Rock on live TV, the one that follows is gonna be tighter than a butthole. This was one of the most boring awards show ever broadcast and that includes their color choice for the carpet, which was “champagne.” It’s beige, folks. Just call it beige. Not sure why they decided to switch it up from the infamous red, but for anyone in my close circle of friends (my Twitter followers) you know that I’m currently obsessed with neutral tones and have been on an aggressive hunt to transform my entire wardrobe into exclusively Oat Milk articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories. So what I’m trying to say is that I can’t really knock a beige carpet when I just purchased a “Vanilla” sweatsuit to really commit to my NUDE era. So without further ado, all the looks from a carpet that will immediately turn brown from people traipsing all over it.


Florence Pugh

Did Florence turn her ponytail INTO micro bangs? It looks like a choice was made here and that choice was to flip her ponytail onto her forehead and superglue it there. Although I could probably spend this entire commentary discussing how that was a terrible choice, it’s important for me to also point out the bedsheet wrapped around spankypants look she’s rockin below the fringe. Nothin like rolling yourself up in a Duvet and hitting the show!

Jenny Slate

I’m never going to support a slicked back updo. ESPECIALLY from someone who has curly hair like me. Rep us curly gurlz on that champagne carpet, WHAT ARE YOU ASHAMED OF?! Yea that’s right I just took one look at this hairstyle and crafted a clickbait spin that Jenny was ashamed of her natural curls. Get on my level.

Molly Sims

Can you imagine showing up to the biggest awards show, not being an actress, and wearing feather boas? Let’s take it down a notch, Molly. This ain’t your show, honey. Save it for the Paris catwalk.

Antonio Banderas

If you’re the arm candy of Antonio Banderas at the Oscars, you’ve gotta do better than this Fabletics lookin coordinated set. I mean is she walking a red (beige) carpet or leading an at-home workout on Youtube for all of her followers?  It’s even more ridiculous that Antonio is in a tux next to Barbie Burpees.

Kate Hudson

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed in Kate. This isn’t the ugliest dress on the planet but it’s certainly not doing it for me. More importantly, it is the 20 year anniversary of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days this year and HOW DO YOU NOT WEAR THE ICONIC YELLOW DRESS WITH THE CANARY ISADORA DIAMOND TO THE OSCARS?!  I mean people would LOSE THEIR SHIT. That was a huge opportunity missed and I’ll be irrationally peeved about it for a little while. Do better next time, Andie Anderson.

Elizabeth Banks

This is a Free Willy nightmare. I don’t know if it’s the actual Orca fin of taffeta hanging off her back that’s making her posture so shitty or if she just knows this look sucks and is posing like the Hunchback of Notre Dame Humpback of the Pacific admitting defeat.

Salma Hayek

I hate this color. I hate the tie top halter and keyhole cleavage. I hate the bottom half looking like doorway streamers you buy on Amazon for decorating an Airbnb for a Bachelorette. HateHateHateDoubleHate…LOATHE ENTIRELY.

Cate Blanchett

Not into the drapey fabrics style. It’s always the type of dress you trip over (because where are your feet) and also end up dragging your sleeves through the sauce on your plate or knocking over your wine glass making a real mess of things. I wanted to be a part of the poncho trend years ago when it was cool until I wore one to work and knocked my pencil cup off my desk every time I moved my arms.  A lesson was learned. Just because it’s “trendy” doesn’t mean it’s practical. Also, not for nothing, but shapeless as hell.


I love following along when people get thirsty AF for male actors and then watching as they all come back down to earth and put their boners away. This should be a sobering moment for all because the guy people have been calling DADDY for weeks on Twitter is wearing suit pants that are SO long they look like JNCO jeans bagging up around his ankles. REAL Daddies wear a tailored suit.


Slicked ‘do, clown makeup and a tiny belt resting atop her labia. Need I say more?

Lilly Singh

This is a really fun color and I don’t hate a suit moment but it has to be fitted right or a flattering style. Wearing a floor length business duster ain’t it, chicky. Waist-length jacket open to the bustier underneath would’ve slapped way harder.

Ashley Graham

This triggered me. Although a MUCH classier version, all I could think of when I saw Ashley was a recent episode of Love is Blind (S3, After the Altar) where Alexis wore the below number to her birthday party, which her dad attended. I repeat, her father was at a party where she wore this:

Sure, this is an extreme comparison. But also, is it really? When are we going to stop doing see through numbers with briefs (or lack thereof) underneath? Also perhaps I just really wanted the world to set their peepers on this birthday suit a reality TV star wore for realz and felt good about. Wanna know how I know LIB isn’t matching people with their true loves or “their person” as is gagworthy repeated time after time on this show? Cause her PERSON would’ve taken one look at that atrocity of a lace stocking stretched over her tits and bits and said “go change.” Instead her man told her she looked amazing. I give the marriage 5 years tops. And that’s being generous.

Ana de Armas

Ana’s a bangpiece and I’ve seen her knock it out of the park plenty of times but tonight wasn’t one of those times. There’s something so meh about this look and I’ve never been real rah-rah for ruffles or in this case, scales. on a dress.

Eva Longoria

THE SKINNY SCARF. Guys. If those are coming back put me in the G-D ground. The worth nothing, completely uncoordinated skinny knit scarf tossed over a t-shirt HAUNTS me as much as Gaucho pants and kitten heels do. YIKES ON BIKES. Speaking of horrifying trends coming back…I found myself in a Forever 21 this weekend (don’t ask, I’m not willing to admit why a 31 year old found herself scouring a Forever 21 and also making a purchase) but my jaw was on the ground the entire time as it looked exactly like a Delia’s catalog from 1996 come to life. The spaghetti strap crop tops with stupid bedazzled phrases, smiley faces and flames. I GASPED when I saw these bad boys:

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Fashion is not real.


It’s gonna be a hard no for me, bub.

Paul Mescal


Ariana DeBose

Ariana usually does something trendy and quirky and this fell flat. Plus, fabric shooting out of your butthole tail style…two thumbs down.

Lennie Kravitz

Lenny, you’re way too old to be going chesties out at a black tie event. Not a good enough reason to let the breeze hit your nips.

Zoe Saldana

It’s giving grandma’s curtains/tablecloth/nightgown all rolled into one vibes.

Jennifer Connelly

Is that a bedazzled rhombus on your chest or are you just happy to see me?

The Rock

Silk AND peach?! Bruh. Come on.

Nicole Kidman

“I’ve got the best idea! Let’s just forget the sleeve on one side but in it’s place we’ll do a couple of one foot wide glitter flowers hanging off the dress.” – The designer of this dumpster fire gown, probably.

Halle Berry

There’s never a circumstance where I need to know if you’ve recently gotten a bikini wax by seeing it with my own peepers for an awards show. 

Angela Bassett

Say it with me now y’all, TOO MUCH FABRIC!

Sandra Oh

And in the same camp…why are we ADDING layers to the hip area?! I love the color and the bold lip but this drapey sitch is OUT.

Marlee Matlin

When I first saw this I was like HELL YEA, MARLEE. Get down with your bad self. And then something that inevitably happens every time I do a red carpet blog, by the time I got back ’round to doing commentary for it I flip-flopped and suddenly hated it. She basically has the same hairstyle as Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama and I can’t razz all over Molly Sims for her boa arms and not also throw stones at Marlee for her feather cake bottom gown. EQUALITY FOR SHITTING ALL OVER BOA FASH.

Elizabeth Olsen

This is an MK or A witchy simplistic lewk and I expect more from E. We know your sisters dress like this at every public outing (usually baggier and with more layers) but you’re a rising star at the beginning of your career that didn’t start on straight to VHS short films with original white girl rap songs. GIVE US SOMETHING SPICY. Take a chance, boo!


Unpopular opinion but I don’t worship the ground Rihanna walks on for literally no reason. She made some catchy pop beats like 10 years ago and she seems cool and all but this Beyonce-level obsession that people have with her and thinking she is a fashion icon is a little much. I thought her super bowl outfit that had people questioning if she had a pregnancy announcement or just hadn’t pooped in a while kinda sucked and the same goes for this sheer/leather thang. Sorry…not sorry.

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DID SHE TIE THE BOTTOM OF HER DRESS INTO A RAT TAIL? Get the hell out of my face with that.

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A very public Kelly Ripa H8er (Rege & KLG 4 LIFE), I rolled my eyes out of my damn head when she announced that Ryan Seacrest would be leaving the show and her husband would be taking his place. I’m a firm believer that she’s a real twat and difficult to work with so it checks that she’s now choosing the one person who doesn’t get paid to tolerate her on the daily. I smelled drama with this switcheroo and I know she’s trying to get ahead of it by showing up with both like there isn’t bad blood but WE KNOW YOU KELLY. THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING. And that’s my unrelated bitchy rant to close out awards season. Also look how far those three clowns are standing apart. I’ve never seen a more uncomfy trio. Ok, now I’m done. Is Mark wearing a jean shirt? KByeeeeeeeee.

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What an asshole move. Every time they panned to the audience and I saw this skyscraper hood levitating above her head I felt bad for everyone sitting behind her. If I was running the show and saw her roll through I’d tell her she had to sit in the nosebleeds. It’s only fair.



Kerry Condon

Love a pastel moment and we didn’t get too many of them tonight. SPRING HAS SPRUNG LITTLE CHICKADEES!

Idris Elba

Idris lookin like a stone cold fox in that blue patterned jacket but unfortunately for us all he chose to bring Kermit the Frog as his date. There’s a reacher and a settler in every relashe and I think we’ve solidified who is who here. 

Seth Rogen

I’ve come to accept that Seth exclusively wants to look like he’s going to prom and out of the many quirky pastels he’s tried to pull off in the past, this ivory and steel blue combo is his best. His wife wore a much less offensive shade of green than ole Kermie above, which was nice.

Barry Keoghan

I could not be more obsessed with not only a periwinkle suit, but a periwinkle suit with pearl starburst buttons. Grey shoes would’ve been the obvious choice here instead of a chunky black loafer but I’m guessing he was somewhat trying to coordinate with his lady friend, so we’ll let it slide.


What a fun take on crop separates! Bustier top and a hot orange bottom keeping it sassy as hell.

Gregory Mann

This kid knows what’s up. Sick kicks and a sparkly jacket. I respect starting strong right out the gate. Keep up the good work, Ginger Snap.

Vanessa Hudgens

I don’t know how Vanessa became a key player in red carpet fashion but she’s been throwing heaters for the past few years now and I accept.

Paul Dano

God, nothing makes me smile like a finger gun pose at a black tie affair.

Melissa McCarthy

One of the few red numbers of the eve and she looks great!


Dubs hands on hips and some midsection lacies is fierce. WERK.

Samuel L Jackson

Only thing more cool guy than a shimmery silver jacket would’ve been matching bottoms but something tells me Samuel L. doesn’t need anymore street cred.

Stephanie Hsu


Michelle Williams

Michelle almost snagged the best dressed honor because she is an angelic beauty in this.

Mindy Kaling

I can’t stand phantom sleeves attached to nothing but I need to commend Mindy for stepping outside of the box. Her show The Mindy Project featured some of the quirkiest and fun bold outfits episode after episode and then when I see Mindy on the red carpet it feels like she’s always in blacks, navy blues, and basic styles. More of this good shit, please! She looks sexy and fashionable even though her upper arms are probably cold. Seriously, what’s the point of forearm sleeves? But I digress…

Miles Teller

HOT COUPLE ALERT. (They’d be hot even if they showed up in athleisure, but that’s why Hollywood is unfair and exists to remind us that we’re all a bunch of poor, ugly, slobs.)

Jessica Chastain

Speaking of unfair, Jessica literally looks like a painting.


Let’s be real, it’s the pocket for me.

Emily Blunt

Another cut sleeve thing which really burns my biscuits but hot damn that dress fits her like a glove. You know what it is? I think the sleeves are giving me flashbacks to the fishnet cut-off girls would get from Hot Topic and slide over their pasty arms with an American Eagle graphic tee. Glad you could join me on this journey to find out why I’m personally triggered by a trend. Always a pleasure working through things with you.

Michael B Jordan

A real daddy, if you will. A well deserved thirst trap.

Austin Butler

Now that awards season is over, let’s all stop making fun of his Elvis accent. Pinky swear?

Michelle Yeoh


This is the unhinged part of the blog where I declare that Michelle and Jamie Lee must’ve been keeping up with The Salty Ju because I knocked them down a peg at the Globes and they stepped it UP for the Oscars. Has everything to do with me and my highly valued opinions and nothing to do with the fact that this is the biggest awards show and the final one of the season. These light sparkly gowns are flattering and goddess-like which is much more fitting of two first-time Oscar winners. Well done babes.

Halle Bailey

Another pastel princess moment for the new Princess Ariel. BTW that trailer sucked. Don’t turn an UNDERWATER move into live action. It looked fake as hell. Some things just BELONG in animation. Whoops, got a little hot under the collar about a Disney Vault Classic. Sorry bout it.



Cara D

Honestly Cara was at every awards show this year and I don’t even know what she was in to warrant an awards season tour but also I don’t really care with a stunner like this. She crushed and she knows it. Anyone who’s still comparing this to “Angelina Jolie’s leg moment” is stuck in the past because if you’re asking me she blows big Ange outta the water. I would say more about why she’s the top contender of the evening but I can’t stop staring at that sleek gam. I’m rendered speechless by stem. Snaps for you Cara. Ya did the damn thing.

Red Carpet

SAG Awards Red Carpet 2023

We are in the future! How many years did I biiitch about the fact that awards shows (and basic cable) should be available to all?! Cut to 2023 when the SAG’s (arguably one of the least watched awards shows as it used to air on TBS) was streamed on YouTube via the Netflix channel. The me that bought an antenna three years ago and spent an afternoon holding it up in different areas of my *brick* building of an apartment only to never get a sig for an awards show and have to return that bad boy to Best Buy is VERY pleased about this recent development. Petition to move ALL awards shows to the free to all channels by 2025 or WE RIOT. No shitty commercials, no crafting new emails for free Live TV trials, and best discovery of them all…no censoring! Those celebs were dropping F bombs left and right and I was sliiiiiving for it. UNCUT, BABY! Imagine what the Will Smith slap rant would’ve looked like had network TV not scrambled to bleep it out and cover our eyes?! LET US SEE IT ALL! Judging by the post-break wrangling that presenters were doing onstage, people were beebopping around and getting rowdy out there. Give us an audience cam and let us watch celebs hobnob in between awards instead of commercials. Did I just singlehandedly make awards shows watchable again by changing a few minor key deets? YUP.


Laura Linney

The pushed back hair and shoulder ruffles really turned me off here. Honestly it’s mostly the hair. Like, how is it just staying back like that. It’s as if she ran her fingers through her hair with super glue so it wouldn’t fall forward again because it’s certainly not wet or slicked or gelled. MYSTERY.

Carl Clemons Hopkins

Look, if it was just the plaid jacket, I’d be like ok that’s a little off-beat but I can get down with it. THAT HAT THOUGH. What IS it?! A cross between a captain’s hat and a beanie?  I’m operating under the assumption that this hat is for fashion and not for any religious purposes but I’m sure I’ll swiftly be cancelled if I’ve misjudged this sitch. If it was a style choice, I want nothing more than to knock it off his lil head.

Patricia Arquette

AH MY EYES! This is offensive on so many levels. The color, the silk/lace combo deal, the bolero and the tiny beaded purse. Holy hell this is a matronly number straight outta 1997.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt looks snatched as hell considering she’s got multiple children, but this dress is way too much for me. If it was just the flowers, or just the cutouts or just the bright red, fine. But all three? Sensory overload, homeslice.

Eddie Redmayne

When I tell you I BURST out laughing when I stumbled upon this. Show up to the awards show where actors are their DOUCHIEST talking about the craft of acting, wearing doucheroni from head to toe. Seems about right.

Amy Poehler

I’ll never understand the ‘toss a circle at the top’ design. This is so boring and Amy is WAY too young to be pushed into the women of a certain age black gown category.

Julia Garner

I think she was maybe going for a glam sea urchin vibe? The result was terrifying.

Michael Imperioli

Bold of me to put these two on the worst dressed list when they’re mean muggin the camera this hard. Looks like they might reach right through this picture and give me a swirlie. But I like to live on the edge and this King and Queen of darkness act is not fitting for a joyous awards show. SO COME AT ME, BROS.

Jenny Slate

Sick bejeweled bra. This looks like when Phoebe was trying to seduce Chandler to get him to admit he was schtupping Monica and she just showed him her bra to make him flustered and confess.

Jamie Lee Curtis

I gotta be honest I did not know that JLC was packing this heat in the chestal area and yet at the same time it’s certainly something I didn’t need to know. Way too much cleave for a Sunday night. Also, kind of irked me that she called herself a nepo baby twice like she’s in on the joke, then essentially mounted Michelle Yeoh in front of everyone and wouldn’t stop slobbering all over her during her acceptance speech while not even MENTIONING Stephanie Hsu who was nominated in the same category for the same damn movie. RUDE. I didn’t think I’d ever be coming for such a Hollywood Heavyweight but she really starting asking for it when she genuinely guest-starred on an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to hawk her charity merch. So clearly my feelings of disappointment toward her have been festering for quite a while. Do better, Jamie Lee.

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This is atrocious and there really is no other word to describe it. BROWN AND BABY BLUE CHESS BOARD on a dress, with a bell bottom silhouette. Woofsicles.

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This foreign fella is the apple of many women’s eye if I had to judge based on all the thirsty tweets and yet I don’t get it. It’s like Harry Styles, actor edition. He’s got a mullet and he’s wearing an embroidered skirt…why are we acting like this dweebosaurus is a panty dropper?

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NIGHTMARE FUEL. I saw this and was like wait I thought Evan Peters played Jeffrey Dahmer. Color me confused that the guy who showed up dressed like a creep monster was not attending in character but rather just looked at this head to toe whoutfit and thought, I will be irresistible in this.

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I didn’t like this look to start and then Aubrey went onstage to present and I audibly gasped at how unforgiving the cut is. I imagine like 99% of Hollywood, Aubrey is a size zero and merely exists on a deep gulp of fresh air whilst hiking, grilled chicken and the occasional wheatgrass smoothie (with oat milk, obv.) And yet, due to the way this fabric is wrapped around her body, she looked fat. If I were her and I peeped the photo below, I’d immediately fire my stylist and anyone else who had a hand in this criss cross applesauce of a fashion choice.


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A lace peacock. HOW BOUT NO.

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At first glance I felt like Michelle resembled one of those giant swiffers your car cruises by in a car wash, but then she took the stage for her win and I saw the up close and personal deets of this unfortunate dress accessory. Those are literally the crinkly paper fillers you find at the dollar store and stuff in gift baskets. SHE IS WEARING EASTER BASKET FILLER GLUED TO HER FRONT. And even worse, she was NOT self-aware of her frazzled paps dress and let it rustle into the mic for a consistent fuzzy feedback sound that made me want to rip my ears clean off my head for her entire acceptance speech. HOW DO YOU NOT HEAR THE STATIC WHILE YOU’RE SPEAKING?!

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I love the headband. Her hair looks amazing. And more importantly, I love that she won and boldly waved her hands around with one of her long black nails just straight up missing from her hand. Jennifer Coolidge is white trash personified and she’s a woman of the commoners. She shows us that we all can have a winning year after a lackluster career of doing a bit character and just haphazardly tossing red carpet looks together. As someone who has dabbled casually in the press-on nails game because my sister is an avid presser, I know how easily one of those guys can pop right off and get lost in the crowd. I can only hope that Jennifer was having herself a night and didn’t even realize one of her talons fell off, reppin gals everywhere who can’t afford to get an ANC mani every 2 weeks but still want fresh digits they can tap on a hard surface. Let’s normalize ratchet nails. (Related side bar, I’ve been vocal about wondering how girls with the long pointed tips wipe without stabbing their buttholes and I have a new question to add to that list…after going to a rock climbing gym for children this weekend and noticing that each employee had Cardi B nails, how exactly are y’all popping harnesses in and out and assisting children as they scale walls with 10 inch plastic daggers attached to each finger? We might have underestimated the next generation because if they can manage that without an oopsie stabbing or ripped finger, they can do anything.)

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Head to tail floofs and of course…MER-MAID-BOT-TOM. 

James Marsden

I typically shout out any man who wears something different from a black suit but POWDER BLUE?! Really?! ANY other shade of blue would’ve slapped but we had to go with the stereotypical 80’s prom choice…Also, is there a flood coming? James coming off like a real Geekburger here.

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What in the actual fuck are we looking at here. I’m speechless.

Michelle Williams

I think the style of this dress is different and definitely flattering but Michelle looks like she’s 900 years old and I can’t stand for that. The combination of a black gown, pearl necklace, and her hair ripped back in a low library bun is aging her THE MOST. Even her pose looks stiff as hell. I want Jen Lindley back and I wanted her back yesterday. Loosen up, gurlfran!

Andrew Garfield

He was on the best dressed because he’s cute but after hours of hacking away at this list I decided that NOT ALL CUTE BOYS CAN GET AWAY WITH BEING A SNOOZERONI. We need more.


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Beautiful gown topped off by a teeny tiny little bun that is just downright adorable.

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Really love that this dress is centered around pulling back all of the fabric to show off your stems. And she’s rockin a pair of gams so I’m glad they pulled back the curtain to reveal ’em.

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Honestly probably would’ve loved this blazer as a dress (because it’s long enough, key deet) but this hot pink Barbie power suit is doing it for me.

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Curly headed f*ck is still serving in a basic black tux. Rounding out awards season as a thirst trap and reeeealllyyyy making me question why The Bear was considered a comedy because it was most certainly not.

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Love this splash of design but not too over the top, also love that he was the only one bold enough to try a bit during his nomination and he crushed a burger. Respect.

Fran Drescher

Fran has crossed the threshold of the aged Hollywood black dress requirement but the sparkles suit her and she’s rockin that hourglass figure.

Adam Sandler

Mrs. Sandler looks like a knockout. Adam looks better than when he dons cargo shorts and a double XL grey tee, but still giving schlubby dad vibes with the oversized suit and carrying his cell phone on the red carpet like he’s about to put his readers on and send a size 14 font text to his daughters.

Elaine Hendrix Lisa Ann Walter

This past weekend we introduced my niece to the MAGIC that is The Parent Trap. About a half hour into the movie when they show an 11 year old stabbing another 11 year old with a raw needle at summer camp, it seemed like maybe this was a little advanced for a kindergartener but that’s why I’m the auntie and a bad influence. The important takeaway here is that The Parent Trap got a new fan in Gen Alpha (yeah I just googled that) and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Fresh off watching, this reunion hit a little harder especially because Mer and Chessy are polar opposite characters. One is a gold-digging twat, the other a nanny with a heart of gold. Both clean up well TWENTY-FIVE years later.

Tyler James Williams

Now that we’ve done a full awards season with the Abbott Elementary cast, it’s clear Tyler is into stuntin a look. I fully support any man who wants to step out of the box in the suit department but not into a skirt. Try to spice up formal wear without stealing our bag. Tyler did a gr8 job.

Janelle James

Damn this is sexy without being overtly revealing.

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Dig the dark frames on Brendan.

Danielle Deadwyler

This gown is fishy in a glam way. Bet you’ve never heard those two things together before. Also, ever the one to push my own agenda, now that we’re on the topic of this actress, let’s talk about her role that wasn’t nominated but should have been…Zora in From Scratch on Netflix. First of all, 10/10 recommend if you want to feel like you’ve transported to Italy and also want to cry your eye sockets out of your damn skull, second of all #JusticeForZora who spends the ENTIRE movie bending over backwards to cater to her sister while her sister never once takes a minute to appreciate it or ask Zora if she needs anything. Grazie for coming to my Ted Talk.

Ashley Park

Apparently the gown was artfully placed in this shot to cover up her ankle bracelet of the law enforcement variety which is laugh out loud funny to me. Also I think she looks great and wanted to give her a shoutout because everything she wore in Emily in Paris made me literally want to puke in my hands so it’s good to see she can wear normal things.

Damian Young

I’m assuming this jabrones is Italian and if he’s not, I wholeheartedly support the Euro-chic effort here. This is what you would see a gent wearing on a regular day in Florence and it makes me happy. Pastel pink pants, royal blue loafs and a velvet blazer. Pretty much has no place at a black tie event but I like to keep everyone on their toes and toss in one ‘committing to the bit’ accolade. Ciao,ciaociaoCIAOOOOO.

Cara Delevigne

Bold red lip and a pants moment, YES PLZZZZZ.

Sally Field

Sally won a lifetime achievement award, presented by Andrew Garfield which could not have been more random and cringey but she’s werkin this lace gown and looks fab.

Kathryn Newton

You don’t see a lot of pastel purple on red carpets these days and I really enjoy this change of pace. The black contrast is fun and makes it a scooch more edgy.

Meghann Fahy

I have a raging girl crush boner for Meghann ever since she played my favorite character Sutton on The Bold Type and therefore she can do no wrong. She looks like a Grecian goddess.

Quinta Brunson

SHELL YEAH. It’s giving Ariel goes to a black tie event and naturally I’m obsessed.

Ana de Armas

Metallic and sultry and I’m running out of things to say because so many people looked lovely this evening or maybe I’m just taking a night off from being a judgy lil betch but either way, good job Ana.

Amanda Seyfried

I’m torn on this one and I decided to be nice. (Seriously, what’s going on with me?! Am I alright?) I think her hair looks amazing and the color is very complementary to her skin-tone, but the tail’s gotta go. It’s like wearing a table runner tacked to the back of your dress. Has absolutely no business trailing after a sixties party frock like this. But the pony and the perfectly winged liner? OoOohhh YEAH.


John Krasinski

I’m about to directly contradict what I said about Andrew Garfield but it wouldn’t be a red carpet blog if I didn’t declare something as Bible and then walk it back just because I liked another celeb better. But it’s JOHN KRASINSKI. Or Kraz, as Will Arnett calls him in his deep raspy commercial voice. Pinstripes and a pocket chain? Kinda rough. But it’s Kraz. He’s such a babe soda. Shh, just let it happen.

Jessica Chastain

Her lipstick matches her dress perfectly and you know I have a weak spot for that. All around looking elegant.

Jenna Ortega

Fun, young and edgy. If my old eyes aren’t betraying me those look like shorts underneath the skirt and nobody ships a skort like me. Functional and you never have to worry about your bits being covered when you’ve got shorts underneath, which is why I still wear bike shorts under all my dresses in the summer. BEND OVER FREELY WITH SPANKY PANTS!

Niecy Nash

There’s two neon moments that made my best dressed (and one that didn’t, you know what you did, Angela.) Bright colors bring me joy and this is a funky highlighter princess gown.

Austin Butler

Austin took a lot of heat for trying to talk like Elvis forever but he can talk in any accent he’d like lookin like maroon sex on a stick.

Viola Davis

There’s lots of things that are working here: the long sleeves, the wavy neckline and the matching neon clutch. Also no outfit is complete without a statement hoop. Top contender for best dressed.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Really love this sparkly blush number on Sheryl.

Hailey Lu Richardson

The straight spiky bun is giving me hard flashbacks to me trying to replicate that out of a Seventeen magazine with chopsticks stuck through it. Spoiler alert: my hair type will never be perfect bun with sticks and for that I am sad. Bunz aside, I’m all about this chunky pearl of a dress.



No stranger to a best dressed list, Zendaya usually pulls out all of the stops and often has many quick changes throughout the night so she can shove her impeccable sense of fashion down our little peasant throats. A moment of silence for a gown that is covered in intricate satin roses. She looks stunning and she knows it. 

Salty Stories

Death & Taxes at Walmart

“The Only Two Certainties in Life are Death and Taxes…and you don’t want to have either event occur at a Walmart.” 

Benjamin Franklin, probably

This is a cautionary tale for tax season. A real ‘do as I say, not as I do’ number. And seeing as the general public isn’t as neurotic as me trying to file their taxes before February is over, I’ll be able to save a few of you from thinking the very thought that struck me just a few days ago. And that thought was: should I file my taxes at Walmart? You most certainly should not. And this is why.

I’m a big believer that any Joe Blow can file taxes. Most people fire up TurboTax on their own and if they don’t, they’re just paying someone to enter the numbers from their W-2 into the very same software. Taxes are stupid as hell. They’re in that grand scope of things that I probably should’ve learned something about in school rather than spending several years studying geometry or memorizing the periodic table of elements. Guess how often I’ve used the Pythagorean theorem in real life? I’ll take NEVER for $1,000, Alex. (RIP) And as with anything that I have no knowledge of, I’m happy to pay someone else to do it for me…minus the happy part. The year during Covid when I was unemployed and living with my parents, I took a stab at doing my own taxes and upon answering their little pre-screening questionnaire I was informed by the Turbo Robot that I’d need to purchase the “Full Service” version in order to file. So like everything else in this cruel, cruel world…FREE was a big ole lie. And thus it was back to paying an older gentleman who knows how to enter numbers into a computer hundreds of dollars to type in those lil numbers and tell me that I owe more numbers. Yay! ADULTING!

So, as my first full year in New Jersey comes to a close (and my accountant being a New Yorker), I thought it was time for a fresh start. Last year I had to file federal, New York, and New Jersey. I owed all three, thanks for asking. You know what’s fun about moving out of state mid-year after collecting unemployment and also having an un-taxed side hustle? NOTHIN. NOTHIN I TELL YA. I also had to find a way to send all of my secure documents to my accountant in Central NY who told me email was cool. I know how Nigerian Princes steal your identity, my guy. After googling “secure portals” and texting him a password to access the docs, then paying him and all branches of the government all of my monies, I told myself 2022 was going to be my year. THE YEAR OF THE THICC TAX RETURN! How many times have you read this blog and cackled out loud when I declare that things are looking up for me? Be honest.

For reals though, I was super financially responsible last year. I paid off my student loans, bought out my car lease, managed to hang on to my state job, and hustled as a marketing maven on the side for straight cash, homie. And after the harsh realization that when you don’t have taxes being deducted from a self-employed paycheck, you still have to pay those…I PRE-PAID taxes. That’s right, baby! On four separate occasions last year I cut the IRS a Monsters Inc check. All signs were pointing to a meaty tax return and I was very excited to see those dollar signs cha-ching in front of my very eyes. Did that mean I was willing to pay a lot to file that return? Absolutely not. So when faced with the challenge of finding a tax guy here, I thought, wait a minute…don’t they have a jabroni stationed in the front of Walmart for all of tax season?! If it’s good enough for the people of Walmart, it’s good enough for me! And let me be clear, as I dive in to the stereotypical creatures of Wally World, this is very much coming from someone who loves shopping at Walmart. Those rollback prices *speak* to me and anytime I’m popping in for coffee creamer or dog food, I often find myself perusing the clothes department and leaving with a little treat for myself just for being alive and finding all of the deals. (DISCLAIMER: Even though I’m a woman of the people, I still feel it is my duty to warn you to never go to a Walmart on a Friday night. It’s House of Freaks up in there. I don’t know why Friday night specifically is the “don’t feed them after midnight” crowd but once you happen upon it one time, you’ll never want admission to that circus again.)

Now that we’ve established that I’m not above Walmart, let’s just go ahead and say what we’re all thinking here…there’s no way a tax professional doing business in a pop-up tent 10 paces away from the front door greeter is going to be charging an arm and a leg for filing the return of any commoner who happens to zip on by with their paperwork. And that’s how I found myself making a 4PM appointment on a Friday to file my taxes at the Walmart on 66. It was a little uppity of me to make an appointment but I was immediately humbled when I decided to sneak a return in beforehand. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate luck of visiting the customer service counter at a Walmart, you know that you will wait in a line of no less than 10 people, there will be 1 cashier, and the 3 people in front of you will most certainly always be wiring money to another country with minimal deets and a heavy language barrier. Bonus points if someone gets off line, asks the cashier if they can use their phone and stands at the front gabbing with their friend about how they’re waiting in line. (Shout out to East Syracuse for providing me with that very special experience.) I got there 15 minutes early and after waiting those entire 15 minutes to return an electric can opener that didn’t work, I rolled up to the tax tent right at 4 on the dot. Which meant nothing, as this fella had absolutely no clue I made an appointment and thought perhaps I took a number at the deli counter and it struck me that maybe I should also file my taxes while I’m here.

I’d like to paint a portrait for you, if I may. The man that was behind this blue curtain was quite possibly the most disheveled creature I’ve ever seen. If you had told me that they went out into the parking lot, saw someone living out there and asked him if he would perhaps like to type numbers into a computer, I would’ve absolutely believed you. He had dirt under his fingernails, bruises also under his nails, was wearing many many layers of clothing and had a real chaotic energy about him. Never judge a book by its cover but if we were to be in the book cover judgin game, this one was a scooch concerning. And instead of my internal sirens blaring, I pulled up a chair and handed him a folder of secure information about myself. Classic Salty Ju. I was planning on asking many questions before we kicked things off, one of them being, “how much is this going to cost?” and then I got flustered because stranger human interaction. The website said filing would start at $70 and seeing a number that low on top of the fact that this makeshift office was stationed directly across from a Subway, I anticipated this would cost $100 AT MOST. So I let her rip.

This chooch pawed through my paperwork, licking his fingers and tossing sheets back at me that he “wouldn’t need” at an alarming speed. He then manically starting throwing them in a scanner. We were about thirty seconds in and my papers were strewn all over his desk, dangerously close to his Mountain Dew and grease-stained five dollar foot long. He wrote down my social security number on one of them like he was adding milk to a scrap grocery list on the kitchen counter. Papers were flying as he fired questions at me–Are you filing jointly? Single? Any dependents? Seems like a touchy inquisition for a stranger to ask right on the heels of a holiday full of “my forever valentines” husband and baby Instagram posts shoved down my throat but ok sir, I’ll play along. Let’s just address all of my shortcomings up front: I’m single, I’m sure you peeped my DOB on my license, and I also rent, so no tax break for being a first time homeowner either. We then moved along to the tapping portion of this little sesh where the man with visibly shaking hands aggressively tapped the enter key over and over and over again. Another couple of shoppers lurked near the tent flap and he told them he’d be with them in 10-20 minutes, which is honestly a quicker turnover rate than the customer service line so look at him showing off!

Then we hit a snafu. “Enter” was not being finger-blasted and now he was looking up a number on his cellphone to call from his desk phone. Yeah that’s right, this folding table was decorated with not only an office-grade printer/scanner combo deal but ALSO a landline! If you’re impressed, feel free to take it down a notch by learning that his corporate office screens the Walmart satellite office phone calls. No answer so he called from his cellphone, which was immediately answered. As it turns out, bro needed to phone a friend. The software wasn’t behaving in the home office square footage portion of the entertainment. Through moral support and some more hammering of the ole enter key, we arrived at the grand finale. And wouldn’t you know…I OWE.

I asked him how this could be possible as 2022 was MY YEAR. The year of the juicy return! (And the return of the Juicy sweatsuit. Coincidental? I think not.) Where shall I vacation on my bonus money?! Evidently I should take a little day trip to the bank to make a hefty withdrawal from my savings to pay the gov. The same gov that’s in trillion billion million dollar debt and keeps porking us with inflation as a big bad recession looms overhead. Do I sound bitter? GOOD. I was beside myself at this little revelation that for yet ANOTHER year of just snaking by on two jobs, I’d be forced to fork even more over. My dude obviously did not care that I was about to turn on the waterworks in a Walmart and felt that this would be an ideal time to drop another bomb on me. He confidently declared that I owe that, PLUS the $500 for his services. Ex-squeeze me, hombre?

You mean to tell me that in 15 minutes of rat-a-tat-tatting, you earned FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS?! The math ain’t mathin, homeslice. And folks, it deserves to be repeated (forever and ever times infinity) that he is at a WALMART. Bananas to his left, cashiers on his right, a blue curtain separating me from staring right into the burner phone storefront. I’m sure there’s an actual business name for this little spot but we all know this is where drug dealers and thieves stock up on their un-traceables. My jaw resided on the sticky floor. I’d been bamboozled. By a very unsavory looking character nonetheless. I told him under no circumstances could I afford to shell out $500 for this ordeal and he phoned his friend again to “see what they could do.” Friend of the program said he could lower it to $400. I’m sorry am I in a furniture store negotiating the price of a sofa sleeper or filing my taxes? If haggling is on the table, does that mean I can call up the President of this godforsaken country and do the same for my return? “Sup, Bides! While you were busy spending all my dough on flying spy balloons over China (yea that’s right, we did it too) and taking face-first diggers off your bike, I was working hard and I deserve about 2,000 buckeroos to take a tropical vacay at a time when my skin is translucent and my mental health is below sea level. Thanks so much, babes!”

Since neither the unpolished turd in front of me nor his slimy compadre on the phone would go any lower that four hundo OR give me a direct line to Pres Biden, I knew it was time for me to get the hell out of dodge. For once I could use my ignorance to weasel my way out of this kerfuffle. I recalled that price was never discussed up front and I imagine he saw my income and got creative with the quote, so without agreeing to anything, I didn’t think he could hold me to it and force me to file. I dug my heels in and firmly told him I wouldn’t be completing any transactions today. AKA I squeaked out no thank you while dripping in a flop sweat. He then told me he could put my return on hold and I could come back closer to April 18th because “it’s not like I was getting any money back anyway, so it didn’t matter when I filed.” Thanks for the reminder, Tax Satan. He also pointed out that by then, their price will go down even more. SCAM. SCAM I TELL YOU. He didn’t skip a beat in admitting that they’re gouging lovely people like myself to do about 15 minutes of work but if you wait it out a little longer, they’ll gladly give you a hefty dissy. He should’ve just outright said: Come back in April, bring me a liter of Cola and a fresh pretzel from the Philly Pretzel Factory next to the Patio & Garden department and we’ll call it even, hon.

I gathered my highly sensitive docs that he already had digital copies of (damn you, modern world), my dignity, and moonwalked out of there and right into the Subway where I got a FL Chicken Parm, Baked Lays and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. Just kidding, I shamefully scampered past the receipt checker out to my car where I immediately speed-dialed my parents and cried. They told me to get my stuff–especially my social security number back from this hack and call their accountant. Nothing puts the fear of God in olds quite like my generation handing out our social security number like candy. My hopeful visions of skipping out of Walmart with the promise of an Italian Job level payout on April 18th and a cocky “I took care of it all on my own” vibe were trampled to death by a guy who could be mistaken for a meth dealer but apparently was a CPA. So in conclusion, if you’re thinking about boot scootin over to your local Walmarts for some budget-friendly accounting…maybe do anything but that.

Editors Note: Having my own blog has become an unruly monster of an excuse to demand family and friends take my photo wherever we go, because you never know when it’ll apply to a ridiculous salty story I’ve decided to tell and come in handy. I was stuck on what should be the feature photo for this little ditty when I remembered that in 2019, my family and I went to Walmart at midnight on Thanksgiving in our pj’s to mix and mingle with the Black Friday deals. I knew I looked like a trash panda and therefore said SNAP A PIC CAUSE I LOOK EMBARRASSING. And lo and behold, it was the perfect photo for this blog. I also wanted to make the clear distinction that although I’ve gone to WallyWorld in pajamas on many occasions, I was wearing my dressy sweats when I went last week to file my taxes. Had I gone to see an actual accountant I would’ve worn hard pants. I honestly felt like even sweats had me overdressed for the occasion, but I’m self aware enough to not insult the process by wearing Men’s Christmas punchbug fleece jammies for such official business.

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?


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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.


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.


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 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.


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)


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.


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.


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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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



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:

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.




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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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.


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.


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


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)


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


Eddie Redmayne

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


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.


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




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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.



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.