A collaborative, interactive web series

Gen X File #002: Kenneth!

Kenneth! gets a big exclamation point because WOW! It's been forever since we've been saying we'll get together. And we ...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

#ThrowbackThursday: 2015

This is an old Joe Show webisode, the first one we did featuring a guest, in the form of one Ian Adams. I love this one, even with all the flubs and silliness!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Get Yourself A Fairy Godmother

Today I talked with Sharon for nearly three hours. 

"AUNTIE Sharon" is what she'll say to that sentence. Yes, Aunt Sharon, in that she is one of Louie's little sisters (there's five other aunts). But Lou is my mother's husband, not my "bio dad" nor my "on paper" father at all, and regarding that fact, the Lombardi family (including those other five aunts) never let me forget it. Not for a day. Except for Sharon. Beautiful, sweet-smelling, musical and creative, Sharon was the first "grown woman" that I knew, besides my mom, that carried a kind of tanglible energy. I don't know if there's an English word for it, but it's like a light...it's a kind of light of love...it's a luminous energy that women know how to exude, and receive, and carry forward to other women. It happens when we hand someone a tampon in the ladies room, or when we catch each others' eyes across a crowded train whenever one of these guys starts acting up (y'all know what I'm saying.) It's how your friend takes your kids after school so you don't go insane if you hear "mom? mom? mom?" one more time, and how your sister-in-law instinctively knows you will take care of her baby. It is like a luminous energy river flowing. So when I was a little girl, Sharon is the first female person, who wasn't my mom, and in fact bore zero relation to me in any way at all, whose flow joined mine, wordlessly. She danced with us, she colored and drew pictures with us. She introduced me to music, art and books that I still own today. Even though I was just the deformed, unwashed little runt that Lou's latest "girl of the week" brought around the house, Sharon had my back, even though she was, actually, just a girl herself.  A teenager when her big brother knocked up my mother, who herself had been a teenager when she'd had me. They were all so young that it boggles the mind to consider what life was like? When Michael was born, Sharon became his cummari. That's pronounced "goomba" and it's Sicilian for "godmother." Michael called her Auntie Sharon. I called her Sharon ("AUNTIE!") but what she won't know until she reads this is that I thought of her as my godmother, too. Because her flow of strong energy was so tangible to me, I knew, if anything ever happened to my mom, Sharon would have taken care of me, too. The Lombardi family made sure I didn't forget I was not a blood relative, but the covenant of a woman's love has nothing to do with blood. Thank you, Sharon. ("AUNTIE."). 

You May Also Like: If It Ain't One Thing It's Your Mother

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Really Should Have Moved That Tee-Shirt First

So I was exchanging Christmas decoration photos and video with my friends, and this is what I sent, you guys. I snapped the pic, sent it to our chat, and then I saw the tee-shirt Joey got from his friend at work, draped on the chair right there. Doh!


 "Merry Christmas! Fuck off!"



Friday, December 14, 2018

You Know What My Library Really Needs? Coffee.

Because this is gonna require coffee. 

I'm at the Honan-Allston Library again today, doing research for a possible new client. One of my favorite things about freelance work, even if it's only writing a simple Artist Statement for a graphic illustrator, is the prep work. Freelancers learn a lot about a wide range of subjects. That's why we're all such strange people. That's my theory, anyway. 🤓

"Ratboy: It's so hard being different"

You guys, Sondra Locke died yesterday. Here's the trailer for Ratboy, how I'll choose to mark this day in Gen X history.

Sure, yeah, she was in all those Clint Eastwood movies, but Ratboy? She directed and starred in it, and come on, this is the 1986est thing I have ever seen.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

#ThrowbackThursday: 2001

This #Throwback is so old! Diaryland entry from April 16, 2001

Just How Big We Talkin'? And How Easy?

I can't focus on work today. How the shit am I expected to focus on work today when tomorrow at this time I'll be in New Orleans, a whole city I've never visited and always lusted after? New Orleans. N'awlins. The Big Easy. With my fascination with death and penchant for the unexplainable things that lurk in the dark corners of the world, I am of course drawn to the history of the place, the "real" city that makes it unique from any other city. I don't want to see the stuff that's already been in syndication, in other words. It's kinda like when my distant friends come to Boston, and they immediately want to go drink at the Cheers bar while I want to take them to The Middle East for indie rock & falafel. The Cheers bar is crap. It was a bad show, they only shot the OUTSIDE of the bar, and nobody needs a T-shirt that might as well say "look how dumb I am, I actually gave somebody money for this shirt." 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Hey, it's my 8th day free of Facebook!

RIP Michelle's Facebook Account (2008 - 2018)

Facebook self-disrupted for three reasons, in my opinion. I'm out, at least for having a personal profile on the platform. At some point I'll likely create a page (or whatever the new definition will be, by then, as they keep changing it for no reason). Since December 1st, my personal account is Deactivated, not Deleted. I went with Deactivate because that allows you to keep using Messenger. Simone told me that in October, and that's when I decided that it was finally time to get the hell outta there. (Always keep your friends who are way smarter than you are, thank you, Simone). Today Jenny messaged me with the video below. It is a musical number about the unfortunate devolution of Facebook. "This made me think of you,"Jenny wrote. "Love it," I replied. And I do.

Thrift Stories: "And I Thought I Have Trouble Finishing Thi--" Edition

The funny thing about this barely-begun canvas I saw at the thrift store? I almost bought it...because I need something else to hoard in my studio? I pick up too much random shit thinking I'll make something cool out of it. I have too many things in my studio that I need to finish making, and too much writing left unfinished! I resisted the urge to get "Once Up..." but snapped this photo as a reminder: I have a book to finish!

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Holiday Tradition: Watching the Emmet Otter Outtakes Reel

"Who are they, ma?"

This is a reel of bloopers. It is very funny.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

#Throwback Thursday: 2015


That Time I Met Peter Sagal

I was recently at a marketing conference here in Boston, and to my utter delight I found out that Mr. Peter Sagal was going to deliver the final keynote. Peter has been hosting NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" for about fifteen years or so. Every week for half a lifetime, the NPR listener-ship tunes in to this news-based radio gem with its rotating panel of players, call-in listener challenges and celebrity guests. Me 'n Joey never miss it." MORE...

#Throwback Thursday: 2008

Ten years ago this week! Seems like only a hundred years ago this week. (I'm so tired).
...click to


Y'all, it is the Feast Day of our only Klingon saint! Here's the deal...when I wrote the post titled "Smile When You Bless The Gagh!" in order to explain how I am sure that Santa is definitely a Klingon, I hadn't realized that many other me's agree! So here's an illustration by graphic artist Brandon Carr that pretty much nails it. Don't you just love it when you find your fellow travelers?


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Currently Reviewing Business Ideas Like

Underpants Gnomes

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hold Your Antasy Draft Here

Cool cool cool cool cool. I din't have a single F left to give. Here's one on the ground. Ⓕ

"While you were sleeping..."

I woke up to this photo Joey took just before he left for work today. He texted that he wanted to show me how cute I am all snuggled up with my bear on cold mornings. 😴 I love him so much. If you can marry your best friend, I highly recommend it.💖

Sunday, December 2, 2018


Pandora sent me an email. I like it, Pandora.

Give a raise to the person who thought of this.

I think I even like the toxic green & pink color scheme maybe.

I clicked the thing and Tweeted it, as suggested. But I had to change the auto-gen line. I'm not saying "Sharing is caring" for the love of all that doesn't suck. That's like "spring has sprung" and "it's all about the ________" and other such drivel. Like I'ma put my name on "sharing is caring, here's my Pandora station." What does it even mean. GOD I hate lazy writing so turkducken much.

And, yes I did guess my go-to station for November! There's one I put on quite a lot lately. I've been listening to a lot of electronic artists, older like Bill Laswell and a lot of guys like DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo, also Skalpel, Villain Accelerate, Prefuse 73. Joey bought a few of the albums that we discovered through this station. We love Pandora! ♭

Saturday, December 1, 2018

This is how lucky I am

Joey brought me a second mug of his delightful French press coffee, but he wouldn't put it into my hands because it was so piping hot. He waited while I cleared a space on my messy desk, then he put down the coffee mug. "Did you not want me to burn my fingers?" I asked, "But what about YOUR fingers?"

"My fingers have callouses from playing," he said, kissing me on my head. "The heat doesn't bother me."

Awwww, what? That's like the most romantic thing I've ever heard. You guys. I love him so much.😍


Total happenstance...I picked this photo of me 'n Joey and then realized this was snapped by Terence  Burke at a World AIDS Day charity concert in 2007. Eleven years ago tonight.

That was a great event. Our dear friend Trish had gone to Africa to work as a volunteer, and when she got back, the following year, Trish sought out Low Budget Superhero for help organizing a fundraiser. I was happy to do it. I gathered a small but energized team, booked the venue (Harpers Ferry) and called some stellar bands (Ramona Silver, John Powhida International Airport, Specimen 37). We called around and got cool raffle prizes donated, other event promoters like me (Sue and Anderson) came to help, and all my people at newspapers promoted the event, as did the club. Trish herself, despite being a little nervous, told her story. Together we put on this wonderful World AIDS Day event to raise money for the kids Trish had met on her mission. I think we raised some good cash for the charity. Trish is amazing, right? I think of her every December 1st, honored to have helped with her wonderful event. 💞

Sunday, November 25, 2018

You Can "Take" Classes Online With Me If You Want To

I write a lot about the pure drivel that stood for "education" in the 1970s. That's because the rest of my life has been preoccupied with un-learning all of that baloney. Last month, over a reunion weekend that we try to do every-so-often, I consulted with my three girlfriends (great loves of my life!). These are the lifelong friends, and Michelle, Colleen and Simone were there with me from Grades 1 through 8 when we were at the mercy of some old nuns for showing us how the world works. But here's the thing...the old nuns didn't actually know how any of it works. And they didn't like questions. So they didn't like me. They gave us this Bible as big as our History book, and both books contained names and stories and dates, and it was all presented in the same way, more or less. So George Washington and Jesus and Santa all figured into the narrative about the same, more or less. They sent us off to high school with a right proper disaster of a world view. High school and college had a big job to do, which is UN-learn us and try to point us in the right direction. Every time I think about it, I'm staggered anew by the gall. It is so galling.

Of late, I've been availing myself of the great universities who've kindly posted full semesters on YouTube, with particular interest in history and literature. Right now I'm "taking" two classes, should any of you find yourselves seeking something better to do than poke around Facebook. At Harvard, Dr. Marjorie Garber knows a lot about every Shakespeare play, and at Columbia, Richard Bulliet knows a lot about how come my early education was such a load of crap. 

Course: Harvard, ENGL E-129
Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays 

Course: Columbia, W3902 
World History to 1500 CE

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Currently Listening: Must

Record: Androgynous Jesus

This is The House That Carpenter Built

[Thing or Stranger Thing?]
Inspired by #JacobsMovieParty, I watched John Carpenter's The Thing last night, for the first time in decades. Then I got on a whole "fan fiction" thing, about The Thing and Stranger Things. I'm like one passionate discussion away from Reddit-land. Let's just say that in my version of fan fiction, I'd have a character say "The Thing IS the Demogorgon, dude!" - md

I hadn't seen The Thing in years. Although I'm kind of surprised to find it's been so long, there's an unexpected side effect—the perspective granted anew, courtesy of "time." Not only is the movie better than I remembered, but all these years later and so many of my favorite creators call John Carpenter a big huge major influence, including the Ross and Matt Duffer, the Stranger Things guys. Well yeah, in fact...

Thursday, November 22, 2018

In a column dated November 17, 1928

“I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives' tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock around a brilliant one. It is but fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I had never seen this happen."
 —Dorothy Parker

Currently Listening: XTC

Song: The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Global Warning

"I'm one of those people who doesn't believe in global warming, but I'm pretty sure Noah's Ark was a true story. You know, where the guy was warning everyone about the insane change in the weather and everyone was like, shut the fuck up, Noah." - Rory Scovel

Allston Christmas (*actual)

The tree is up at Jackson Mann! I think it gets all gussied 'n lighted up this weekend. That means the Harvard Ave lights are about to flick on for the season. I'll go picture-taking next week. I love Christmas in Rock City!

*This post is about actual Allston Christmas, like when the tree goes up outside Jackson Mann school. The kids at the school make ornaments and there's a lighting ceremony. Allston Christmas is what Allston Rock City's genial citizenry calls late August/early September. It is a neighborhood-specific season, short but chaotic, as the Sun gets less intense about his work, and single flip-flops begin to materialize in the streets, discarded during some end-of-school-year walk-of-shame just before the students all clear out of Rock City for another year. Year-round residents navigate chock-a-block Uhauls and Riders and out-of-state SUVs piloted by bewildered parents. At all hours the members of this honking horde finally find the Mass Pike entrance and get the hell outta here, and they leave behind their security deposits along with towering piles of books, kitchen appliances, musical instruments, furniture, toys, clothes and whatnot, through which the locals go "picking" or "junking" for what treasure they may seek. I'm pretty good at it. Mark your calendar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Currently Listening: Jobriath

Record: Jobriath

Don't You Just Love Your Lifetime Friends?


Currently Listening: Voodoo Screw Machine

Song: Lotion (cover of Greenskeeper's song)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Currently Listening: Fish

Record: Sunsets on Empire

Friday, November 16, 2018

I Don't Think Prince Poppycock Gets Enough Love

John Quale is a gift from another realm, 
a real live magical being right here on our gritty little planet.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

#ThrowbackThursday (Blogcast: April 10, 2018)

Here is one of my "Blogcast" posts from earlier in the year. Regular followers will know that I made an attempt to convert my blog to an audio-only format...no edits! But it didn't work. Because that was a truly terrible idea. And I am sure I'll try it again anyway, because I never learn, do I? This Blogcast, titled "We Got The President We Deserve," is about how digital marketers have been utilizing the data we all put online, that it was never a secret, how all of you opted into participating, and I give some examples in the retail world, and then I show how the same principles apply to CAMPAIGN MARKETING, which in the case of Election 2016 included Russian manipulation of public sentiment against Clinton. Because of the "no edit" rule I foolishly made, I ramble. I'm way better in printed material, guys.

I recorded this Blogcast while Mark Zuckerberg was testifying before Congress on April 10th, right after I heard some old fart politician ask Zuck a question and pronounce "content" as "conTENT," proving once again that these old farts have zero idea what they're even talking about because they're analog thinkers in a digital world, y'all. 
They don't get it. They gotta go, man.

Listen as SuperLowBudge explains how some of this shit works. 
If you don't know what you're doing, just get offline and go do something else. 
Otherwise, you in danger, y'all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

President Trump accuses people

President Trump accuses people of changing their clothes and returning to cast additional ballots in disguise.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thank you for your service, and your sacrifice

I carry my mother's maiden name, DiPoala. The family is not close-knit, to say the least. My whole life, my family had never told me about grandfather James DiPoala; not about his years in service nor anything about his personality. All I knew growing up was that Grandpa DiPoala was "shell shocked" in the parlance of his time, and that he became violent when he returned from service, then deteriorated to the point where he no longer recognized my grandmother or his children. My mom was born in 1952 and says she has no memory of her father at all, because she was just a baby when he went to live in a Vet facility. He died in 2001.

I wrote to a guy who has done a ton of research and he wrote me back! He said "The 14th AIB was part of the 1st AD." 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Spell check always wants to change my last name to "dipole."

"...a molecule in which a concentration of positive electric charge is separated from a concentration of negative charge."

Thursday, November 8, 2018

#ThrowbackThursday Election Day 2012

Today's #Throwback is a photo snapped by Joe at our polling place, as he does. I think I have a photo of myself at most polls for the past 16 years since I got myself a Joe. 

Speaking of 2012, is anyone else wondering just how strange it will be to see Mitt Romney as a Senator now? I actually think he'll do okay as soon as he uploads the Senator program into his central processing unit. Fucking Mitt Romney, am I right? 𛱠

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I almost bought 3 little pizza pans at the thrift store today...

...but I didn't.
And then later, I really wanted to make 3 little pizzas. 
Goddamn it. Why is pizza so...

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What Lies Beneath (Movie Summary and Review)

(2000) 2h 10min
It's weird that I didn't see it when it first came out. I mean, it's got Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford in the lead roles. One does trust A-Listers such as these to pick good scripts, doesn't one? After all, Pfeiffer and Ford have each been outstanding in everything, from comedy and adventure to dramatic roles. Moreover I can't think of a single clunker starring either of them, can you? And yet, whenever the conversation turns toward ghost stories, I'm always surprised at how few people have seen What Lies Beneath. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Hey, required viewing, okay? All I ask of you today. Please.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Try 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner, They Said

This one works great for me!, they said. 

Yeah, that's gonna be another "no" from me, dawg. Imagine if this were August? My hair wouldn't fit through the door. This is pure Sicilian lockage, folks. If you don't know, the Sicilians hail from Arab and African cultures colliding and merging. Then invaded by Vikings. I looked it up, having always wondered why these green eyes and light brown hair when the rest of my family is so olive-skinned, dark-eyed and chestnut-haired. Because, invaded by Normans. Apparently I come from a long line of ice cream, spicy pasta sauces and religious tolerance as an ethical ideology. And that's how come this ghostly spectre half-lifer has got to have pistachio, fra diavlo, and zero assholes in my life. And, yes, a serious no-foolin'-around conditioner. Graci,


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

#Throwback Thursday: February 2006

I remember that night! Joe had just installed an editing tool on his Mac. I was cooking and he said "Come here and look at this!" 
So I came over to see. He had his webcam set to this Warhol mode, and he was laughing. Just as I was saying, "Whaaaaat?" he snapped this frame. We don't remember what tool that was and this is the only time Joey took a screen shot. There's a printed version of this framed, on the wall in his studio. He's the best, I love him so much.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Being At War With Each Other

Barbra Streisand was my first punk when I was little.
Songwriter: Carole King
Being at War with Each Other lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Everyone comes from
One father one mother
So why do we complicate
Our lives so much
By being at war with each other
Maybe I'm crazy
But I don't understand it
Why do we seem to vote
To dig more holes?
It's such a waste of a planet
There must be a reason
That I can't see
Maybe somebody else knows
better than me
All I know is
Everyone else is
A sister or a brother
So we've got to look around
Again and stop
Being at war with each other

Maybe I'm crazy
But I don't
No, I don't understand it

There must be a reason
That I can't see
Somebody else must be
Better than me
All I know is
Everyone else is
A sister or brother
So we've got to look around
Again and stop
Being at war with each other

Thursday, October 11, 2018

#Throwback Thursday: 2007

On "Performing Monkey Syndrome"

Throwing back to my 2007 interview with Jonathan Spottiswoode. - md

Spottiswoode: Ah, the performing monkey syndrome. Lexi, it’s all about feeling alive. We all go through life in a numb state most of the time. Some of us more happily than others. Artists do what they do for various reasons. But mostly just to feel alive, to feel that they are expressing themselves in the moment, transcending their troubles. Of course, attention from fans can make you feel alive too. Everyone likes attention. It is incredibly rewarding to hear strangers ask you to play a song you’ve written, especially when you’re starting out. It’s a dream come true. I understand if folks in the audience feel that the artist is ungrateful if he or she doesn’t grant a request. Okay, here’s the other side of the coin…you’ve played a particular song in many places. You’ve had magical moments with that song, unforgettable even. The song is like a lover. If you play it too often, especially when you don’t feel like it, it can dilute the memory and the affection you have for it. The other thing is this: every set of music is an emotional journey for an artist, especially an artist playing their own songs. Each song you play means something significant to you (even the so-called “novelty songs”). And they mean something different to you on any particular night. This is the part about feeling alive.

SuperLowBudge: So it can be like a restaurant patron asking the chef to please pass the salt.

Spottiswoode: Perhaps you have played a few soulful songs and a few songs about past relationships. Perhaps that combined with the weather and the lighting etc. has taken you to a raw and melancholy place. At which point someone requests a funny song or an angry song. On a particular night, that song may be the perfect prescription for you to snap out of where you are and take the show to the next place. But on another night, it just feels wrong and dishonest and abrupt. Not to the audience, I understand. But to the artist as an individual with his or her own tired bag of emotions and memories. Each song in a set is an antidote to the song that came before. The wrong combination and you can poison yourself.

SuperLowBudge: That's quite deep.

Spottiswoode: Call me a low budget drama queen. ∎

[Go to full interview]

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I will never

ever, ever forgive any person(s) who is still supporting this lunatic. Where. Is. The. Goddamn. Cavalry. For the love of all that doesn't suck, somebody do something.
Related: Dude, I Told You

I Went Away For Five Nights

This is the list that I left Joey 
when I went away for five nights. 
He did a great job.

We Lived In A Haunted House

Today I got back from a long weekend visiting friends and family in Connecticut, and my mom reminded me of the time she startled a ghost in her room. - md

Tales From Connecticut 

When I was sixteen, my mom woke up one morning and announced that our house was haunted.

Monday, October 8, 2018

"Open Letter For People Looking For Open Letters"

by Robin Sokoloff

I sat down at a sidewalk cafe today, popped open this laptop - ready to send some words to anyone who’s looking for perspective and support out there.

And just like clockwork, when I try to go anywhere or do anything as a woman by myself, I am interrupted.

I am just sitting here, trying to write you these words. I’m typing away. A shadow blocks out the sun above me. Someone is looming above. This is not the first time in a lifetime of men shaped looms.

“Excuse me miss. Hey miss.”

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Conjuring (Movie Summary and Review)

(2013) 1h 52min

The Conjuring opens in the apartment of two nurses who have knowingly invited a lonely child's spirit to inhabit an old novelty doll. But soon after little "Annabelle" inhabits the doll, things go very wrong. Tormented beyond terrified, the young women seek help from paranormal investigators. "You did what? It was a big mistake acknowledging this doll," scolds Ed Warren. Lorraine Warren explains there was never any little girl ghost named Annabelle, but rather a diabolical non-human entity.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Right Through You

Wait a minute man
You mispronounced my name
You didn't wait for all the information
Before you turned me away
Wait a minute sir
You kind of hurt my feelings
You see me as a sweet back-loaded puppet
And you've got meal ticket taste
 You took me for a joke
You took me for a child
You took a long hard look at my ass
And then played golf for a while
Your shake is like a fish
You pat me on the head
You took me out to wine dine sixty nine me
You didn't hear a damn word I said
I see right through you
I know right through you
I feel right through you
I walk right through you
Hello Mr. Man
You didn't think I'd come back
You didn't think I'd show up with my army
And this ammunition on my back
Now that I'm Miss Thing
Now that I'm a zillionaire
You scan the credits for your name
And wonder why it's not there
I see right through
I know right through you
I feel right through
I walk right through you

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Draw Your Sword