Join Vivian Manning-Schaffel and Christian Sanders on Soapbox Dirtyyour quick hit podcast about pop culture, media, LGBTQ, politics and talk about what everyone is talking about. Based in NYC and strictly NSFW, take a seat as they laugh out loud, dig the dirt and spill the tea about anything and everything, without an ounce of shame in their game. 


Tracks from Adele, 47

December 4, 2015

Send My Love (Because I'm Not Getting Off the Fucking Couch)
I Missed You (Even Though I Looked Right At You)
When We Were Young...and Thought We Knew Things
Remedy...for Reflux
Water Under the Bridge (Will Drown Your Sorry Ass)
River Lea (Cried When She Saw Her Shrink on Tinder)
Love in the the Only Way It’s Happening
Million Years Ago, Before Xanax
All I Ask...Is That You Don’t Talk for Just Five Minutes
Sweetest Devotion (to My Rockin’ Colorist)

8 Things You REALLY Learn In Your 40s: The "Normcore" Edition

Vivian Manning-Schaffel

March 4, 2014

Yeah, yeah, yeah…middle-aged women everywhere are nodding in unison at Pamela Druckerman's New York Times Op-Ed confessional about the knowledge she's gleaned by midlife. I threw a few nods her way, but also blinked at a few gaping chasms. I mean, what of us straight up plebeians who don't get invited to lunch with fashion people? She seems to skirt the surface without revealing the Spanx that keeps the fleshy reality beneath in check.

Seeing as I've got a few years (and a inches of girth) on the likes of the doe-eyed Druckerman, my take is that of the "normcore," okay? Here's what gets under our Gap sale-rack skirts.

You think twice before ordering that last drink of the night. You know, the drink that threw you over the edge and over the bowl in your twenties? There is no "whoops" to getting wasted anymore. Your innards have evolved enough to send your brain bright red flashing LED warning signals so if you still lunge across the bar to order that one last drink, you know exactly what you're doing. And if you can still do it without wanting to poke sticks in your eyes the next day, G_d bless.

You've stopped giving a shit about what people think about you. Give-a-shit-o'clock came and went with our collective feigned concern about Y2K. After decades of navigating the potholes of cliques, herds and their corresponding, shape-shifting regulations of social decorum, you've found peace in doing "you" the very best you can, and realize that where you are, is the place to be.   

You embrace what swam out of your gene pool.  At this point, you realize no juice cleanse or Living Social discount Botox will sufficiently alter the lump of clay you've been given enough to land you a spot on a Real Housewives franchise. You know exactly what you've got to work with and what you don't, and your decisions are guided accordingly. Hopefully, you've exhausted flagellating yourself in the name of vanity because the rigors of your mere existence are too time consuming.

You try to take care of yourself. The least you can do is make a moderate effort to give your lifespan a solid shot at its predestined trajectory without doing anything too stupid to fuck it up. We may not always succeed, but we try our best not to subsist exclusively on Fritos, shove our well-worn carcasses around the block a few times a week and mindfully squeeze our butt-cheeks together while watching TV, all in the name of good-enough health.

The warranties on our chassis are running out and we, literally and figuratively, have to pay for the wear and tear. You know when you walk through your doctor's door for a check-up, a host of uncomfortably invasive recommendations await you. In the very least, you can expect to have your tits squished to tears in a vice. Various diagnoses with complex names are bandied about, and the demand for a hose shoved down your throat or into your nether regions becomes de rigeur. Arthritis sets in to all your old broken bones. It's likely your hormones have teamed up with your neuroses to spawn ulcers, or insomnia, or migraines. And one after another, they need tending with prescriptions.

Mortality is really real. I'll never forget the conversation I had with my friend Lauren a few years ago. A few years older than I, she warned, "This is when it begins, you watch," she said, alluding to "the heart attacks, the aneurisms" that had recently taken a few of her friends. She wasn't kidding. A month later, I attended the funerals of two dear friends. Three months after that, I lost my father. Midlife forces you to realize there is a finite end to consciousness, and if you don't make the most of each day you get wake up and love your loved ones with all your might, you're a wasteful moron.

You already have it all. Or, at least all you've got all you're getting to work with at this time. Whether you choose to blame yourself or the fickle middle finger of fate, you now recognize every choice you've ever made has led you to where you are right now.  Change is always an option, even though it may require Herculean effort. By the time you get to middle age, you're able to realistically assess your reserves of strength to tackle any given situation. And you only have yourself to blame if you can't get it up.










Once, there was a blog. A blog in which I waxed poetic over the latest in pop culture and various amusing public travesties. It was called Soapbox Dirty and lo, it was fun.

A few devout readers of said blog have recently expressed a bit of sadness over its untimely demise. I didn't mean to kill it -- I really didn't. I just got REAL BUSY at work, which is ultimately a writer's objective in crafting these dang things in the first place.

So, for those reasons, I've decided to resurrect it here on special occasion basis. Forgive the archaic reference but it will appear, kind of like Charo on The Love Boat, as time, logistics and budget will allow. 

Time to twerk for chump change but remember...this dance ain't for everybody. Only the sexy people.