Sunday, December 31, 2023

‘Old’ Lang Syne

Twenty-FOUR? Now you’re just f**king with me. Happy new year, kids! 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Remains of the Day (12/29)

KIT212: I've written about the downfall of Tempe's Mill Avenue, which was once a hotbed of eclectic independent businesses (thrift stores, restaurants, record stores, book shops, bars and live music venues). Turns out Nicholas Holthaus and Chris Valentine released a documentary about this very subject in 2008, "Mill Avenue Inc.," which already seems kind of quaint now that even a misguided attempt at corporatization of the area has largely gone bust (The Gap, Ruby Tuesday, Barnes & Noble, Hooters, Pizzeria Uno, Bath & Body Works and Chili's have all come and gone.). Still worth a watch, though, for its great footage and interviews, including Gayle Shanks (owner of Changing Hands Bookstore, where I bought my copy of "The Joy of Gay Sex"), Kimber Lanning (owner of Stinkweeds Records) and Megan Irwin (Phoenix New Times). Watch HERE.

The Root: First HBCU football player to come out as gay entering 2024 NFL Draft

Saturday 'Stache: "Ass you like it …"

Hot Cat of the Day: "What??? I thought you said you wanted helping taking the tree down."


Thursday, December 28, 2023

P.S. I Hate You

I've been really tickled since discovering this in a box of old papers, which ironically came the day after I'd been admiring a bitchy letter written by Frank Sinatra (and the way Mike Royko responded).  

After marveling at my pen pal's craftsmanship, I immediately looked up Darren -- with whom I have had no contact since receiving this gem of a (dis)missive -- and sent him a photo of it with the note:
 Merry Christmas, Darren! 🎄
I then took great delight in sharing it with virtually everyone I know, garnering responses such as:
"What did you do to Darren?! With that Best Western stationery I wasn’t sure if he’d offed himself after the trauma."

"What did you say back in 1991??"

"I need to hear every goddamn detail about that day. And what came after!!!"
Sadly the funniest part of this story is how comically proud I am to have received the letter -- and that I have it decades later. 

Essentially I have been known to get frustrated with myself on the tennis court -- so might scream at myself when I miss a shot -- and apparently Darren couldn't differentiate between my attacking him versus self-hatred. (Did anyone actually think John McEnroe was berating his opponents???) 

Still, I'm content with the way things turned out  -- I'm nothing if not self-aware enough to know that I'm not for everyone -- and think a friend put it best when she said: 
It sounds like Darren had just started therapy when he wrote that.
Game, set, bitch! 

UPDATE: Just received this from a pal in San Diego! 

He goes on to say: it's mostly funny to me because it sounds like something I would do as a Virgo, to be unnecessarily formal 😅


With thanks to a sleuth-y reader, who tells me Darren has had a whopping nine run-ins with the law, including this. What were the odds that someone who would compose a letter like that would go on to be charged with making a "threat over phone"? (LOL) Sounds like I got off easy! 

A friend responds to the latest revelation! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Remains of the Day (12/27)


Wrestle Wednesday: Oil check in progress

In 2015, the Washington Post copy editor Bill Walsh asked, “Allowing ‘they’ for a gender-nonconforming person is a no-brainer. And once we’ve done that, why not allow it for the most awkward of those ‘he or she’ situations?”

The Randy ReportTom Smothers of "The Smothers Brothers" dies at 86; I'll always remember him as one of Eunice's (rotating cast of) brothers on an episode of "The Carol Burnett Show" (RIP)

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Weekend Tennis Roundup

With tennis largely on pause, this week is almost nothing but gratuitous ATP beef. See for yourself BELOW.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Song of the Day: ‘Christmas at the Airport’ by Nick Lowe


Leave it to the guy who knew you've gotta be "Cruel to Be Kind" to make getting stuck at the airport on Dec. 25 entertaining -- something I experienced at JFK in 1985. 

These days I like to avoid long-distance travel altogether … 

Preferring to spend Christmas Eve with my hubby and the rest of the Veron bunch!🎄

A New Wave Xmas


Hope you're all having a Merry Christmas! I'm actually working today -- the news never stops -- but I had a wonderful time with my in-laws last night celebrating the birth of Christ. (That's what this is about, right?) While I was in Arizona for Thanksgiving I came across a bunch of old photos I didn't even know existed, mostly from the early '80s when I segued from Oliva Newton-John into my Debbie Harry phase (I'm holding the Blondie singer's official 1983 calendar, above) which continues to this day! More BELOW.

My mom really went cuckoo that year, shopping at the "punk" store called Roads to Moscow in Old Town Tempe!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

¡Que pases una feliz Navidad!

Merry almost-Christmas, everyone! Our weekend got off to an emotional start when hubby and I took his 84-year-old mother and four sisters to see "The Gardens of Anuncia" at Lincoln Center yesterday. That it was the true-life story of a woman also born in 1939 growing up in Peronist Buenos Aires -- and the strong women who raised her -- might have strongly resonated with our brood. (There wasn't a dry eye among us!)


The musical was followed by an equally wonderful dinner at P.J. Clarke's -- the only thing more festive than the decor was the bottomless Sancerre -- where we toasted the woman of the hour! 

Lincoln Square

Then we headed back to our place for Christmas music and dessert, capping off an unforgettable outing that will pick up tonight at Mom's in New Jersey! xo 

Song of the Day: ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Ben Taylor & Sophia Hiller, Featuring Carly Simon


I finish my list of holiday gems you may not know with this aptly titled number, written by Carly Simon and performed by her, son Ben Taylor and Sophie Hiller, I sure hope you have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are! xo 

The original first appeared on the soundtrack for Nora Ephron's "This Is Your Life," a film that wasn't nearly as good as the ex-Mrs. Taylor's accompanying soundtrack, and was my Song of the Day in 2012.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Song of the Day: 'Christmas Day' by Dido

Day 5 of my holiday gems you may not know: Today's pick appeared on the fifth edition of "A Very Special Christmas," the iconic holiday album Jimmy Iovine put together in 1987 as a way of coping with the death of his father. To be honest, I don't think I even knew they'd made more than two of these, but the 2001 edition ("A Very Special Christmas 5") featured Macy Gray, Wyclef Jean, Eve 6 as well as established acts like Darlene Love, B.B. King, Tom Petty, Jon Bon Jovi and Stevie Nicks. 

But it was this contribution by Dido, who was on top of the world with her quadruple platinum debut, "No Angel," that subtly stole the show. 


Year in Review


Although Hamas and Russia put a catastrophic damper on the global scene, my year was filled with lots of laughs and lots of love. (Something it took me 40+ years to truly learn: You can only control what you can control -- and your ability to be happy is one of those things.) Here's hoping 2024 doesn't pull a fast one. Follow me on Instagram HERE and Threads HERE.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Remains of the Day (12/20)

Page Six: The five saddest words I've ever heard: Sam Asghari has lost 40 pounds

The NationThe new “Lavender Scare” in America’s schools

Los Angeles Times: "All of Us Strangers" is a ghost story, a gay romance and the year’s best movie

Hot Cat of the Day: "Oh, we're hanging out on the couch?" -- Harvey

Song of the Day: 'Just Like Christmas' by Low

Day 4 of my holiday gems you may not know: First off let me say THANK YOU to everyone who has written me with suggestions for this series. So many great songs that I indeed did not know. Today's selection is especially poignant in that it's both a song and a group I was not aware of -- whose singer/drummer Mimi Parker died at 55, the same age my brother was. (And honestly, sometimes what you really need is a melancholy Christmas song.) 

My pal Brian writes:
Do you know the band Low? I didn't. They were around for 30 years -- the lead singer/drummer died of cancer last year. They did a Xmas LP in the late 90's that I never heard of. This song has become a favorite of mine -- I thought it was Aimee Mann. Their Xmas album also has "Taking Down The Tree" that Tracey Thorn covered on her Xmas collection.
I've had it on all day and it's just like Christmas over here. xo

Her version of "Blue Christmas" is really something, too. Listen HERE.