All posts tagged: Margit’s Note

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Margit’s Note: Tattoo You (Not Me)

(Photo: Farrah Braniff/SusanGoldberg.com) I’m on a fast track to 50 and yet… when I half-jokingly ask my mother, as a preface to this issue, how she would feel if I got a tattoo she swiftly responds with a “No.” Okay, Mom. What about a commemorative, post-chemo… “Nope.” Despite Mom’s protestations, I’ve considered it. I just have zero idea of what I’d get. What’s worth a perma-doodle for my forearm? What witty, sums-it-all-up phrase could I see peeking out of a backless dress? (If I wore backless dresses.) There are plenty of tattoos I see and think, “Now why didn’t I think of that??” See this week’s theme image for the perfect example. Yet, nothing has me rushing to get needle and inked. More than likely, I’d get a tattoo, tire of it and end up with a Johnny Depp “Wino Forever” travesty. I have a poor track record with body modifications in general — a heavy, dangling feather earring in 10th grade resulted in a torn earlobe. I’ve been a clip-ons wearer ever since. But never …

Margit’s Note: Are You Up?

I am too tired to write this editor’s note for our second SLEEP issue. So I decided to delegate. You fancy folks call it “crowdsourcing.” To that end, I posed seven very important questions on Facebook: The respondents numbered 50. Forty-seven women and three dudes. I cut it off there because it’s a nice number and time’s a-ticking. You snooze, you lose. To outsource this even further, I enlisted FancyHands.com to turn my Facebook post into a spreadsheet so I could easily sort the data. Perhaps this issue should have been called LAZY… Nonetheless, the answers were fascinating-ish. Here’s what we uncovered: Favorite Sleeping Position: Thirty-three (66%) of you are side sleepers. Six (12%) of you noted “always on the left,” and four (8%) of you noted “always on the right.” You four might want to read this article because apparently you’re doing it all wrong according to this very reputable site called OMGFacts. Seven (14%) of you are back sleepers, and one of those described her prone position thusly: “Flat on my back arms …

Margit’s Note: What a Mess

Spring cleaning! One of my favorite times of year — no joke. It’s when I go all Kondo on my apartment, roll up my socks, fold them ever so nicely into drawers, parse out items designated for donations or the annual stoop sale and generally de-clutter my world. Of course this year I haven’t exactly felt up to the task, but I’ve enlisted a friend Stormy (aptly named — to tackle a whirlwind of mess) to help me out. Stormy’s been coming twice a week to help me with some basic tasks as I go through chemo (making freezable meals, running to the post office and dry cleaners etc) but on the weeks I feel better we’ve been organizing. It’s truly her strength and something that genuinely gets me focused on the future – and excited. Watching stacks of old magazines get the boot. Witnessing a pantry filled with expired cans of beans get transformed into a thing of useable beauty. “This shelf is for cans, this section for cereal and snacks, here are your towels” …

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Margit’s Note: The Prince Issue

Over the weekend, I watched the MTV broadcast of Purple Rain (more than a few times). Listening to the song, “Beautiful Ones,” I was thrown back to my shag-carpeted, high school-era bedroom, lifting the needle to play the song over and over, tearing up over an unrequited crush, caterwauling along with Prince. “Do you want him? Or do you want me? Cause I want you…Baby, baby, baby listen to me…” Prince was passion. Purple, ruffle-sleeved passion. He evangelized it. Over-the-top emotion infused his lyrics, music, guitar licks and that knowingly seductive glare (that Fred Armisen hilariously captures in his SNL impression). And as impressionable youngins, we learned everything we ever wanted to know about sex from Prince. Wendy? Yes, Lisa. For me, along with Bowie (stop taking them away!), Prince was a musical vanguard who launched my own fascination in the possibilities of music and sound. Like any true artist, he’s given us a gift that will outlive his time on planet earth. And, guaranteed, if we’re all still here we’ll be dancing to “1999” in …

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Margit’s Note: Nothing to See Here

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) Chances are when you hear the word “Censored”, you think of the PMRC, 1985, Tipper Gore, Frank Zappa, 2 Live Crew and the beginning of parental advisory labels — if you’re a Gen-Xer. If you’re under 35 you’re probably like, huh? It’s funny to think back on how little effect the PMRC ultimately had on shutting down artistic expression; you just have to watch a tv zombie get a spike through its eye or sing along with the “explicit” version of Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” to know we’re in a brave new world. We spent the night inside Sheena Easton’s coulda-been-censored  “Sugar Walls” and never looked back. Or, did we. (I mean, I didn’t. But anyway….) Censorship may have a shiny new banner. It was reported recently that Apple has developed new technology that automatically scans and removes swear words from music — and books. Of course that’s by choice, for now. Stand-up comics at colleges are being required to “keep it clean.” And as we watch social media grow in influence, we …

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Margit’s Note: Are We Halfway to the Rainy Day?

I don’t plan on retiring. Or maybe I’ve just never put much thought into it. Ok, let’s be honest. I actively avoid thinking about it. My mom, a septuagenarian, still works and my Dad, just a bit older than that (though he’s told me he’s 29 for as long as I can remember) only recently retired in the last few years. He still does volunteer work at such a clip that it might as well be a full-time job. They love what they do, it isn’t exactly work, it’s a livelihood. I feel the same way about my work — writing, editing and making fabulous web sites. So why retire? I know — life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans. I’m hopeful I can do what I do until I keel over and, ideally, get paid for it. It’s a terrible course of action. It’s the classic Gen-X approach to retirement: “Gen-X is sleeping through its retirement wake-up call. Starting to turn 50, they’re acting like they’re 30.” Who, me? Don’t get …

Margit’s Note: How to Get Away With Bingeing

I’ve watched everything. All of the shows. Jessica Jones, Episodes, Billions, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (genius), House of Cards (finally)… you know what, I’m not even going to list them. You know what they are, and it’s all of them. As I’ve had up days and many more down days lately (due to this stuff), I’ve spent a lot of time streaming TV, movies, podcasts and anything else that is entertaining, distracting and pleasantly sedative. I’ll admit, it got kind of strange when I started DVRing The People’s Couch on Bravo, an actually hilarious show where you watch real families, best friends, sisters, etc. watch must-see or cringe-worthy TV like Scandal, Jane the Virgin, Grease Live or #HTGAWM (and if you don’t know what that is, well, maybe it’s time to close this issue.) Seriously. I’d never heard of the People’s Couch, but it’s been on for like four years, so clearly I’m not alone in being entertained. Although my fellow TV addict and our social media manager Karen Gerwin chides me, “I feel bad enough about …

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Margit’s Note: Votes, Valentines and Vuitton

This week we’re going for a 3-for-1 theme: Politics, Love and Fashion. With the primaries in full swing, Fashion Week taking over NYC tomorrow and Valentine’s Day around the corner, they all kinda go together in some strange way, don’t they? Just ask Derek Zoolander and Hansel who explained this eloquently on Weekend Update (“Bernie’s a big fan of the 99%. 99% off at J.C. Penny.”). We love — or love to hate — our candidates, and we are so wrapped up in the way they present themselves. A comfy mauve pantsuit, a stacked high heel cowboy boot, a fluttering orange toupee. One minute a candidate is in vogue, the next she’s yesterday’s SNL skit. But we do our best to avoid the 24-hour Twitter-induced panic and remember who really deserves our vote. We travel to far-flung places to do the right thing, buck trends to stay true to the styles we love and share a stylish obsession with a candidate we’d never vote for. Hailing from a family of staunch Republicans, I left for …

Margit’s Note: Altered States

As someone who is going through a crazy mixed-up illness, drugs have become my lifeline and a new curiosity. The last time I smoked pot in earnest (am I sure I’m not running for president ever? No? Oh, it doesn’t matter anymore? Ok, continue…) was several lifetimes ago, but with New York now making medicinal marijuana legal, my interest is piqued. Also, because a friend told me her chemo treatment was saved by smoking pot, that the opiates her docs prescribed made her ill. While legal for medicinal reasons, it’s still not easy to access — there’s only one dispensary and there are convoluted protocols and an online course you have to take before your doctor can write that particular prescription. Not easy. In lieu of that, friends have offered to hook me up. One pal texted me that she’d happily drop off some “special legal chocolate… if I like that sort of thing. I was like, “sure, I looove chocolate. But um, isn’t it always legal?” not getting her gist for the first five …

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Margit’s Note: The C Word

Hey you, it’s been a while. I’m back and back with a bang. You can see why here. Spoiler alert, though, this week is all about the C Word. That word we hate to hear, to utter: Cancer. It’s a big, spreading, ugly black mass of a concept, and something we know very little about — until we have to know something about it. And then we Google. A lot. As we get older, we know more and more people who have it — our friends and loved ones, our freaking musical heroes. We harangue our doctors to check out every inch of our bodies (justifiably, I might add), we have elective surgery to prevent any possible sightings. Something I’ve learned in the last month: Cancer is a big thing, but it’s also just a thing. I used to look at people who’d experienced cancer from a distance. If I’d met them at the same time that I learned they had cancer, it was the cancer that overshadowed them, walked into the room first. But …

Ann’s Note: Honor Your Inner 25-Year-Old

Once a month for the last year, I’ve hosted a series of dinners at my place with young women in their 20s. Dinner is overselling it; it’s fancy frozen pizza and many bottles of rosé. We talk about the itchy emotions you feel around being young, hungry and ambitious — it’s a continuation of the conversation I had with young women for more than a decade as editor-in-chief of Seventeen and, before that, as one of the founding editors of CosmoGIRL. The young women are from different parts of the country and work in different industries (but they all have the most amazing hair I’ve ever seen — truth!). Some are paying the bills with crappy by-the-hour jobs, hoping that their side-hustle start-ups will pay off. Some are forging new territory in digital jobs that didn’t exist five years ago. Some have finally found the gig that allows them to marry their passion with getting paid, and now they want to know when the relationship part of their lives will get sorted. The details of …

Adrianna’s Note: I’ll Be Seeing You

Why are we competitive over our bad eyesight? People who are slightly nearsighted swap glasses, laughing, “Oh my god, I’m so blind!” Those of us with more serious numbers turn a gimlet eye toward the amateurs. We’re a different club, and our humor is grim. “Nice coke bottles, Johnson. Seven? Eight?” We recognize the natural selection implications behind the plastic frames: teasing, problems playing group sports (anything with a ball is potentially traumatic) and a likely dose of self-hatred. Our lack of visual acuity is our cross to bear. (Mine is -8.50 in both eyes, if you think you’ve got me beat.) And let’s not even start with bifocals, or progressives as they’re called now for us vain Gen-Xers. Going out to dinner post-40 means grabbing a candle from the next table just to read the menu. Did you increase the font on your phone? For nearly two decades, I read newspapers, books, magazines, prescriptions and mail (everything) to James, a partially sighted man. I learned a lot about the complicated world of the visually impaired. There are levels of blindness, and those …

Margit’s Note: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) Last weekend, I stood in front of a slew of bulb-emblazoned items and felt the rush of retail — I wanted it all. A tinsel pig. A glowing paper lantern. A stormtrooper tree skirt! (Seriously, so cool and actually quite tasteful.) I purchased the latter two, though I still covet the pig. Turns out my brother who lives in Philly bought two tinsel pigs. Weird sibling serendipity. I can’t remember the last time I stayed put for Christmas. Maybe never? My husband and I are usually on the road to one of our family homes. Our own apartment decorations have only ever been teensy little Charlie Brown table trees and holiday cards on the fridge. This year, however, because of some unforeseen, aforementioned health-related snafus, I’ll be Brooklyn-based. And I figure if I’m going to feel like crap, I might as well Santa-up my surroundings. This means, finally, a real TREE. The hubs and I nabbed the biggest we could find from one of those French Canadian guys who sell …

Margit’s Note: Let’s Go Shopping!

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) It’s our third annual, two-week extravaganza called the TueNight Gift Guide! Hard to believe we’ve hit year three. Whee! As per usual, our quirky little gift guide is different in that it’s personality-driven. Our contributors select the gifts of a particular type (books, home, beauty) or for a finicky recipient (the urban outdoorsman and even well, um, a few passive aggressive suggestions). We know how to please. Speaking of giving, today, December 1, is still #GivingTuesday. Consider this your friendly evening reminder that there’s still time to give to the charities that are important to you — and maybe even break a world record for gratitude. Here are just a handful of our favorite charities. You could: Save the lives of refugees at sea [Moas.eu] Plant a virtual tree in Paris [1heart1tree.org] Support girls’ education in Sierra Leone [ShesTheFirst.org] Help NYC students become better writers [826NYC.org] Feed children, the homeless and seniors [FoodBankNYC.org] Help fight for laws and policies to protect women’s rights and health [PlannedParenthood.org] There are so many …

Stacy’s Note: Breaking the Habit

This is not particularly good news for many of us, as we teeter-totter on the seesaw of Good Habits and Bad Habits, trying to adopt the former and shed the latter in a way that will balance out, making us one step (or, okay, 375 FitBit steps) closer to our imagined ideal. The data we collect may tell one story — such as the symbiotic relationship between my recent weight gain and my also-recent inability to go more than one night a week without a drink or two with dinner — but it’s the other stories these habits tell that we are after this week at TueNight. The stories we tell ourselves as we wrassle with these habits. Such as… Lindsay Bell-Wheeler on never quitting…on quitting. Rita Arens on using the very mental tricks that pulled her to anorexia to keep it forever at bay. Alice Bradley on the bad habit we all need to ditch. Amy Barr on the other bad habit we all need to jettison, pronto. And Alexandra Rosas and Vikki Reich …

Margit’s Note: Stories Out of Office

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) One of the nice things about working for myself, as opposed to working for Le Man, is that I can navigate my own schedule, all while wearing yoga pants. So when something pops up—oh, say, like, maybe a tennis-ball-sized ovarian cyst?— it’s a bit easier to schedule surgery. Well, at least logistically it is. But independent or not, I still have to find coverage for all manner of TueNight and Gyrate Media-related tasks. Consider this my out of the office message (or OOO, for you corporate bingo types). I’ll be offline for two weeks, recovering and — hidden bonus! — finally getting to watch House of Cards. * I’m sure I’ll eventually write about the departure of this little blob that has been hitching a ride on my right ovary for who knows how long. By that time, I can share whether I tossed out a few other things while my doc was poking around in there. “We’re going in anyway; you don’t need those tubes, right?” Ah, the indignities of …

Margit’s Note: We’ll Be Your Bae If You Tell Us What it Means

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/ TueNight) Long before Mean Girls tried to make ‘fetch’ happen, a coworker of mine was determined to make us all say everything was ‘box.’ “Huh? That is the worst word ever. No one will say that,” I said. “Yes they will. You are so ‘box.’ It is so ‘box.” “First of all, box already means like three different things,” said another coworker. “An actual box. The shape of a dress is, say, boxy. And I’m pretty sure it’s already slang for lady parts.” “Whatever. Box.” Here we were in our little Philadelphia cubby of an office, and my coworker had such lofty, zeitgeisty ambitions. Needless to say, it never took off. Over a decade later, I asked him about his botched box: “I realized the word had to be fun to say.” Slang is nothing if not fun to say. You’re part of the “in-crowd” (’50s slang!) when you know what bae means. (By the way, what does it mean?) And it’s typically the marker of the young. Sadly, you won’t …

Margit’s Note: Stumblebrag

I’m thrilled to announce my honorable awesome. I’m humbled to be nominated as the greatest. I did it first, best and before all you bitches. #Blessed. Bragging has become a regular part of our everyday. Your promotion to VP of everything, your landmark book (which Joan Didion praises as her favorite), your incredible baby who has her own YouTube channel. Mazel. If you don’t brag about it, did it happen? Every day we publish the newspaper of me; social sites curated with the very best of our brand. We subconsciously rank each other’s accomplishments — your selfie at Sundance beats my selfie with sunchokes. Studies have shown that we’re living in an increasingly narcissistic society. We’re even considering electing a Braggart in Chief. Make America great again; we’ll be UUUUUUGE. I’m on a few different listservs where it’s a regular practice to draft a “click to tweet” so others can easily share your self-promotion. Not only are we bragging, but we’re asking others to brag our brag! (That being said, click to tweet!) Yes, I am …

Margit’s Note: What’s Your Signature Look?

About a month ago I spied Patti Smith standing outside the newly revamped Whitney Museum. Talk about a New York moment. The rock and roll icon was exactly as you’d envision — the menswear blazer, long white shirt, black jeans and the same engineer boots she’s worn forever (save for those early years). Her simple look, carefully crafted — and seemingly effortless. I was too star-struck to say hi (my husband was like, “What’s wrong with you?!”), but hastily snapped this photo of her walking up the Highline stairs. A legend in her own capsule collection. This week we’re taking a look at our own “Look” — that signature style we’ve pieced together from decades of trial and error. How did we get here? We spent our younger years emulating our heroes and what our best friends wore. We’ve sifted through our history and winnowed down to what works. We built a wardrobe as a reaction to our lives. My own history of “Looks”: 1983: The “Hey Muffy!” An explosion of pinks and greens, patchwork …

Margit’s Note: RIP Alt-Weekly

(Photo: Bruce Schimmel) I can still see our publisher doing a shoulder stand in the middle of the newsroom. An enforced “siesta” he called it. 2 p.m. Lights out. Phones turned off. Do something quietly. The sales people hated this and, at 1:59, would scramble out the door. No one would be able to phone in an ad. The siesta concept lasted for a month or so until the staff essentially revolted. That was the Philadelphia City Paper back in 1992 (or so), my weird and wondrous workplace on 13th Street filled with a Whitman’s sampler box of characters. As staffers, we embraced the quirky, and we took our fun as seriously as our work. The two were impossible to separate. Last week after 34 years, the City Paper closed up shop, the next to fall in a line of alt-weeklies including the Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Bay Guardian and many others. Alt-weeklies are on their very last legs (somebody make the documentary, quick!) and they are/were their own brand of publication unlike any other — …

Margit’s Note: Let Me Hear Your Body Talk

(Photo Credit: Helen Jane Hearn) In last week’s Body issue, we took a peek in the mirror and said, “Hey! You’re kinda hot, you. This week, in Body “part deux,” we are talking about our health — finally scheduling that checkup, getting our health in order and paying for a damn good massage. (As I write this I am literally on my way to the doc. Aren’t you proud of me?) Sometimes all the other priorities on our to-do list (kids, conference calls, just about anything else) trump our own well being. Let’s not do that anymore — ok? To encourage us all to take better care of our bods, we are introducing a new health feature from Dr. Anatasia Liapis, a plain-speaking scientist with expertise in genetics and immunology. Think of her column like that What’s Happening to My Body? book your parents handed you during puberty — only now, we’re watching our bodies change in brand new ways. Wheee! For the inaugural edition, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Anastasia is debunking myths …

Margit’s Note: Love That Body

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) My body and I have come to a comfortable agreement. We tolerate each other. We still fight on a daily basis, but we’ve learned to agree to disagree. Do I love my body? Tough question —sometimes yes and sometimes no. I am round and large and overweight and strong and curvy and beautiful and a work in progress and meh and all of these things. I try never to utter the “ugly” word, but let’s be Real (I’m looking at YOU body wash brand), there are days when I feel downtrodden, when a dash of lipstick just can’t hide the stress and the angst and the unwashed hair. I still battle the bullying voice of a few 1979 seventh graders who’d leave nasty “fat butt” notes in my locker. Then I look back at photos and think, “holy hell, I was a regular looking kid!”  Awkwardly tall with thick brown hair, a chubby-cheeked smile, a Phoebe Cates wannabe. (Was she not the shizznit?) But perception is potent. Later on, I learned to …

Margit’s Note: The Language of Siblings

There we are: a trio of Detweiler kids, rolling around in the back of a Ford Country Squire, seatbelt-free, chanting nonsense-filled songs we’d make up on the fly: “Apple tree, apple pee!” Potty talk makes everything better. We pinch, kick, cry shriek with laughter until one exasperated parent yells, “Stop your blather.” Which makes us laugh even harder. BLATHER?? We repeat in a fancy pants voice,  “BLAAAATHER?” Stifling our hysterics is impossible. Hopefully this doesn’t result in the car being stopped. Because after all, I’m the oldest, and the one perennially, “in charge.” *** I read somewhere that when you have one cat, the cat bonds with its owner, but with two cats, the cats bond with each other —the impact siblings have is something like that.  My sister, brother and I speak a language we share with no one else — words and memories to make us gasp with laughter, innocuous-seeming phrases that will turn us red with anger.  No one else can get under your skin quite like a sibling. One of 1,000 examples: I used to joke …

Margit’s Note: How Are You Getting There?

(Photo Credit: Helen Jane Hearn) “Down below the street can you dig the steady beat it’s the subway. Subway!” There’s this groovy Sesame Street musical bit with muppets-as-straphangers that still plays in my head, some 40 odd years later, as I venture underground. There’s still a whiff (and I do mean a whiff) of novelty to the journey. Most days I loathe the commute, but on some special days — when someone’s not manspreading into my business or I haven’t entered a car where a kindly human has left a package of smell — I get a seat, pop out my Kindle and it’s actually quite pleasant. But let’s be honest: more often I feel annoyed, I’m wedged in someone’s armpit and am just trying to find a wall to lean on so I don’t get kicked by the kid doing a backflip next to my head. What time is it? Showtime folks, showtime. As New Yorkers, we love to discuss our routes and travel methods. I could take the F train, but then do I …

Margit’s Note: The First Rule of Book Club…

(Illustration: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) At least skim the book. 2nd rule of book club: Drink copious amounts of wine. 3rd rule of book club: Try not to disband after a few months. I’d bet that each one of us has attempted, loved and probably struggled with a book club at some point in our lives. Getting together with good or new friends to read and discuss a book sounds delightful in theory — and sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s a failure of messy schedules and pressure to get to the last page in time. But we try it because we love LOVE to read a good book, we want to absorb it, share our joy (or pain) and live inside its pages while we can. Right now I’m slowly tag-teaming two books — the surprisingly subversive Dietland by Sarai Walker and the graphic novel (easy reading!) prequel to Fun Home, Are You My Mother by Allison Bechdel — and, yet, not spending nearly enough time reading books. Somehow buzzy Facebook-shared articles, zombie television, time-passing games (a …

Margit’s Note: The Rebirth of Cool

The dashing, leather-jacketed Arthur Fonzarelli pulls up on his motorcycle, pre-shark jump. He takes meetings in the bathroom at Arnold’s, hits the jukebox to play a song and tells the naysayers to “sit on it.” To me, age 12, that was cool. So cool that I plastered his face all over my wall, drew his name all over my penny loafers and asked people to call me Fonzie. Not cool. And now, of course, these days, Fonzie hawks reverse mortgages. Cool is in the eye of the beholder. Sweltering in the August sun, we thought we’d get cool this week — and cool. We’re mashing up stories of frosty drinks and artic adventures along with the other kind of cool — the one that wears Ray Bans, listens to Nina Simone and knows everything before you do. Whilst on a family beach trip last week, I surveyed a few different generations for the definition of “cool.” We couldn’t agree on a person or thing that defined cool. “It depends on the receiver. A nerd might …

Margit’s Note: Mad for Madge

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) Bold, brave, annoying, cool, fierce, trend-setting, trend-following, kooky, tired, inspired, diva, mother, lover, talented, hack. In short, Madonna is just like us! (With a little more cash and a gold tooth.) We’ve brought Ms. Ciconne along for our ride since we were teens, and she provided the soundtrack, the raunchy stunts and the idea that anything is fair game in love and fashion. Tear up that sweatshirt, wear your pointy bra on the outside and pile on the rubber bracelets. Express yourself. These days, we want to shame Madonna for not acting her age (she’ll be 57 on August 16), for overly sinewy arms, for trying to be a comedian when she should stick to music, for dating younger men. She gets it harder because she constantly puts herself in the spotlight. She won’t go quietly. The tone of her latest single, “Bitch, I’m Madonna,” is a bit “Hey, don’t forget about MEEEEE.” It’s a feeling that, as we grow older, we all have to combat. When people tell Madonna to chill out and …

Margit’s Note: Woman’s Best Friend

Here at TueNight.com, we’re a bit pet-obsessed. Dogs, cats, even rats — if they’re furry, feathered, or scaled, they’ve probably earned a place in our hearts. As I write this, my cat Alice sits under my desk, one paw over my foot, snoring loudly. At 17-years-old, she’s a relic from the late ‘90s and more beloved than ever. I’m reminded how lucky I am to hear that raspy wheeze, because earlier this year, she almost exhausted her 9th life. A long haired wisp of a kitty with brown, mottled markings and a scratchy, Marge Simpson-like meow, I got Alice in 1998 from the Camden, NJ SPCA. I’d been seeking a companion for my other cat Moby, and a friend-of-a-friend, a volunteer from the SPCA, brought over two cats to my apartment. One was white with black spots that made her almost a twin to Moby. The volunteer thought that would be the one I’d want. But the other kitty was so tiny, she fit into the palm of my hand. A pile of fur. I couldn’t resist her. Her new …

Margit’s Note: I Break With Thee

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) As kids, my sister, brother and I used to listen to Steve Martin’s Wild and Crazy Guy album nonstop. (Thank you, Columbia Record and Tape Club.) One of our favorite quotes was his Wild and Crazy Guy Czechoslovakian character from SNL who described breaking up with his girlfriend thusly: “You just walk up to the girl and say, ‘I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee’ …and then you throw dog poop on her shoes.” We’d fall onto the floor in hysterics. Poop humor never fails. But to this day, when I hear the phrase “break-up“ I think of that sketch every single time. (Those were some formative latchkey years). And, for a minute, I think, if only it were so easy. So final. So stinky. More often, there’s ambivalence and avoidance and anything but a definitive doo-doo drop. You wait and mull and consider whether you’re making a colossal mistake. Or you wonder if there’s something better or simply different out there. But you’re safe here. …

Margit’s Note: Fight the Power

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) Jim Jarmusch’s quirky, black and white Stranger Than Paradise. David Lynch’s bizarre (Dennis Hopper!) Blue Velvet. Robert Townsend’s hilarious skewering of the movie industry, Hollywood Shuffle. Offbeat and entirely unique, indie movies of the ‘80s were the films that fueled my early passion for cinema. The same could be said for the indie music of the ‘80s — the bands on small, independent labels that filled up our mixed tapes. We’d emblazon them with “death to corporate rock” stickers — this was when indie actually meant independently produced, instead of just being a moniker for a genre of sound or style. That independent sensibility defined our 20s and allowed us to feel like we could be and do anything, too. Starting this week, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is launching a series featuring some of the amazing films of the ‘80s era, dubbing it “the neglected decade” of cinema. I’m not quite sure I know anyone my age who neglected that era, though; for most of us these were the movies that …