Recommending TV shows

Scene from “Arrested Development” pilot

Though I know that it’s not true, I feel like I have seen a touch of every TV show out there. Like many people, I feel as though I spend too much of my time watching TV, even though I never used to. Despite this, there are plenty of shows that I have not yet watched (I have not seen “Friends” for instance, nor do I intend to). 

I feel bombarded by all of the TV show options out there. Even good tv shows don’t feel that special, because there are so many well-made shows out there, that make it so that even great shows can’t stand out. But whenever I do see a show that I really like (or really loathe) you can count on me to have hard opinions on them.

Here is a list that I have compiled of current TV shows that are most likely in your Netflix queue. Glean from it what you will:

Criminally underrated: Bojack Horseman

“Bojack Horseman” is surprisingly gritty for an adult cartoon since it fleshes out the dark, depressed mind of a washed up celebrity from the 90s. The show starts off as a dark comedy but eventually evolves into a story about a guy (actually a horse) battling his inner demons. This Netflix original series takes place in a world that is half-human and half-animal. That might not appeal to you, but it does garner some praise for its accurate depiction of mental illness, something that Netflix previously failed at with its controversial, and irresponsibly negligent, show “13 Reasons Why.” The show has some zany characters but when it dives into more emotional terrain it does so with grace. Sometimes, it is a character going through a divorce or a character hitting rock bottom. Either way, it does show how soul-sucking these character’s lives can be in a way that can still be upbeat. 

Entirely overrated: Breaking Bad

I’m sorry but it’s true. I watched the pilot with the promise of being hooked from the start, and while the stakes were definitely high, I didn’t find it to be the thrill ride that others seemed to think it. I feel like one of the only reasons that people continued to watch this show was because each episode ended on a hook and they were curious to see where it lead, so they started the next episode. Otherwise, I wouldn’t feel very attached to the main character or his plights. I will however state that it had a great production value and the actors were great, it was just the overall story that I did not particularly enjoy. 

Guilty pleasure: Sex and the City/How to Get Away With Murder 

While it might be a bit of a cliche pick, “Sex and the City” redefined what could and couldn’t be considered guilty pleasure television. I watch the show, relate to the women, judge their outfits, agree with their commentary on male-female relationships and call it a day, but since calling “Sex and the City” my guilty pleasure is kind of a cop out, I’ve also added that “How To Get Away With Murder” is the best guilty-pleasure show I’ve seen in a while. Personally, I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, I really only believe in pleasures; the shameless things that we like and the natural reasons why we like them. But since “guilty-pleasure” is a real concept, there are some pretty great shows out there that fit the profile. “How to Get Away With Murder” has all of the fixings of good guilty-pleasure TV: murder most foul, sex, courtroom drama, and unlikeable conniving characters. Watch and enjoy!

Go-to feel good: Arrested Development

If you enjoyed a family farce like “Modern Family” then you’ll love this show, since it is “Modern Family” but with the volume turned up. It’s a show about a wealthy, dysfunctional family of assholes, in which Jason Bateman’s character is the only sane one. When the patriarch of the family is arrested for his fraudulent business practices, Bateman’s character must run the family business as well as the family, and hilarity ensues. The storylines can get quite ridiculous, so be sure to suspend your disbelief. The show was cancelled after three seasons (a mark of its authenticity, in my opinion) only to be picked up by Netflix over a decade later. The show’s ability to wholeheartedly commit to a running joke is exceptional and part of what makes it so excellent. While it does have some subtle commentary on the American family that they heavy-handedly parody, this show does not need to be taken seriously and will induce some serious belly-laughs.

Good but not great: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is Netflix’s sleek and stylish revamp of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” The show does take its cues from other YA fictions out there: a teenager must live with her aunts after being orphaned in a tragic accident, learns to study magic, goes to school to study magic, and despite growing up in our human world, our character is special in her magical world for some reason (Harry Potter much). The show does have some good elements to it though. Kiernan Shipka was the perfect choice to play Sabrina Spellman, the action of the story keeps you engaged, this series’ version of magic is interesting since it blatantly involves satanism, and you’re always curious as to how the teenage heroine will balance her old world with her new world and all that entails. It could be a bit stronger and less derivative, but overall pretty entertaining. The series just entered its third season and is apparently still going strong. 

Show that is constantly recommended to you, but take it from me, isn’t really worth the watch:

Big Mouth

Since I love everything John Mulaney does, it breaks my heart to have to say that this show just isn’t cutting it. The show is an honest and introspective look into puberty, but unlike “The Wonder Years,” this show can get pretty gross, pretty fast. With it being animated, it gets away with its adult humor, but if it were live-action the show’s creators would be in some serious trouble for sexualizing children. Many of their running jokes long overstay their welcome, unlike “Arrested Development” where the running jokes are executed flawlessly, and often times it is difficult to understand the rules of the world that these characters live in. It has been renewed for three more seasons, but I would just skip it all together.

Dark and complicated: Russian Doll

“Russian Doll” is a Netflix original show in which a woman must relive her 36th birthday after continuously dying and restarting at her birthday party. It has a flawed character, who you might find unlikable, unless you’re like me and you like that sort of thing. Like many of the shows that I like, you get a glimpse into her emotional state and what it all means. Natasha Lyonne was born for this role and is a large part of what makes this show so good. The show is not super dramatic, but might fill you up with some existentialist dread. I have absolutely no idea how the ensemble of all-female writers intends to continue the series, but they do have plans in the works for a second season. 

Show that everybody needs to see a little bit of: The X-Files

It was recently brought back for a reboot, but the series was at its best when it first aired in the 90s. Mulder and Scully have been labeled the perfect duo, and quite rightfully so. The show even is credited with creating the “Scully Effect,” which is when women pursue careers in STEM after witnessing Agent Scully kill it on the X-Files. Being cool and spooky, it not only supplemented your lust for spectres and aliens, it also made it acceptable to have conspiracy theories against your government, and if it didn’t have all of that, it still would be an excellent piece of television.

Shows that I just want to recommend:

The West Wing (not current but still topically relevant). 

For those of you who don’t know, “The West Wing” is a fictional political show that depicts the lives of White House staffers working in the west wing and opened up the floodgates for every political show you know and love: “Veep,” “House of Cards,” and “Designated Survivor.” You can start this show and witness the characters discussing things that we are still being discussed today: statehood for Puerto Rico, abortion rights, gun control, the death penalty, prison reform, public school education, police brutality, college debt forgiveness, and a whole smattering of others. It might not be the escapism you’re looking for during an election cycle, but it still is a well-written and well-acted TV show for the ages. 


Fleabag pulled off the impossible task of garnering both critical acclaim and mainstream appeal.This might be because Phoebe Waller-Bridge adapted it from her one woman show, starred in it, wrote it, and created it. She also makes artistic choices such as constantly breaking the fourth wall, with reasoning behind it, which is something that critics ate up. Being a dark comedy, the show is both serious and light hearted, by swinging back and forth between the character’s grief and her amazing sense of humor. The show has mainstream popularity because it manages to never take itself too seriously, while being genuinely funny. The show also goes in depth with her sexual escapades but is not salacious just to be salacious.Overall, the show is an amazingly written look into a young woman’s life that may get to be too real at times. 

How do you feel about these shows? Be sure to discuss them in the comment section afterwards.

The Tragic Queen,


Galentine’s Day

So, Valentine’s Day is shaping up to be my favorite holiday. As a board certified single girl, Valentine’s Day could very easily become a day in which I face my own inadequacy or a day of inescapable hell. Thankfully, it was neither. Last year, my Valentine’s Day consisted of me eating chocolate cake and taking a hot bubble bath and if anything, I did nothing but double down on that energy this year. 

“…packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.”

The day started as any good day should: with me being productive. I woke up and went to my restorative yoga session for my psychology class, as I do every Friday. At the end of class, my professor said “Happy Valentine’s day! How’s everybody feeling?” to which I jokingly replied, “Single.” Everybody laughed and my professor assured me that Valentine’s Day is about having more than just a date for the day, but I was already way ahead of her. Anyone who has studied the teachings of the prophet Lizzo knows: 

True love ain’t something you can buy yourself/ true love finally happens when you’re by yourself/ so if you’re by yourself then go and buy yourself/ another round from the bottle on the higher shelf.” 

Words to live by. 

You see this place on Valentine’s Day. What are you going to do, not go in it?

It was in that spirit that I donned a ruby-red Valentine’s Day dress, white knee-high boots, a matching white leather jacket, and a white overcoat, and planned a perfect day for myself. I wanted to celebrate Galentine’s Day, where I hang out with, and subsequently spoil, my gal pals, most likely by taking them to my favorite coffee shop and bakery in town. Valentine’s Day is about love, and friendship is, of course, one of the best kinds of love. 

Unfortunately, my three friends had their own plans going on, (one was swamped with school work, one had class and one was in Los Angeles) so I exercised a different type of Valentine’s Day love: self love. I did everything all by myself.  As if more than an hour of yoga wasn’t productive enough, I went into town and registered to vote, making me eligible to cast my vote for the Democratic nominee in the upcoming New York primary. (Sleep tight America). 

Then, with that big dick energy fueling my every move, I pranced into Bronxville in my white go-go boots. For those of you who have never been to Bronxville, just know that it is a clean and cozy affluent nook of the north east. 

I started first at “Slave to the Grind,” the greatest coffee shop I have ever been to, and had their insanely divine chai tea. I worked my way down the street, dipping into every store and swiping my card in almost every one. I went into a bookstore, a shoe store, a candy store, a papyrus store, a florist shop, and a bakery. It did not take me long to buy $80 worth of jewelry for myself although if you’re looking for me to express any regret then you’ll be disappointed. 

A succulent for a gal pal

I pressed on to the florist across the street and bought some gifts for my funny galentines. I bought them miniature plants; the idea being flowers for significant others and plants for significant friends, and unlike a long-stemmed rose with baby breath, their potted Echeveria succulent will last for as long as they let them; not unlike our friendship. 

As a final Galentine’s Day treat for myself, I stopped by “Topps Bakery,” another one of my favorite Bronxville landmarks and bought myself some of their black and white cookies, cleverly dyed to be black and pink for Valentine’s Day. With my arms draped in shopping bags, I strutted into campus, feeling like the epitome of the phrase “living my best life.” I dropped my stuff off at my dorm and began watching “To all the Boys: p.s. I love you,” since I was obsessed with the original. The sequel had all the things I loved about the original like it’s aerial shots and quirky soundtracks, as well as of course, the escapism of a wholesome teen romance. 

That night, my friend Anahat and I attended a party on campus that was so Sarah Lawrence that it was actually a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. According to them sex/valentine’s day= planned parenthood. Since it was all going to a good cause, we both paid our fair share and partied hard. The whole place was so jammed packed that it felt like a mosh pit. We were all being pressed up against each other’s bodies and being jostled around so much that it honestly is the closest I have ever come to sex on Valentine’s Day. Afterwards, Anahat and I kicked it with some others of New York’s finest college students. Girls from Barnard, Columbia, and Pratt had come for the party and stuck around with us afterwards. 

These didn’t make it longer than a day

Overall, I loved every part of my Valentine’s Day and although it put a dent in my bank account, my shopping spree felt amazing. There’s something about having disposable income and putting it towards whatever you want that just feels right, like when you open up your closet and put together a flawless outfit just for yourself. It’ll give you some newfound zeal. 

But Valentine’s Day did get me thinking about why I don’t treat myself like this on all the other 364 days of the year. Granted, I’d probably be broke if I shopped til I dropped on your average day, but going into town and buying myself some immaculate chai tea? That seems doable and I won’t have to break the bank trying.

Love always,

The Tragic Queen

Double, double toil and trouble

I just saw an all female “Macbeth” in the city at Hunter College, and can honestly say that a female Macbeth being a distressed human disaster is the most relatable thing I will probably ever see. 

This version of Macbeth, cleverly titled “Mac Beth,” features an all-female cast of school girls reenacting the bard’s play throughout their daily lives. I didn’t know that I needed to see Lady Macbeth throw a bunch of tampons into the air whilst denouncing her femininity, but that was exactly what I needed to see. Water poured down onto the stage as they brewed their potion, getting everybody soaking wet, and I was having fun living vicariously through them as they galavanted in the pouring rain. Overall, the whole play had me wanting to brew some potions, cast some spells, start a few wars, and topple the patriarchy. In other words, it was a quality theatre experience.    

The play had been adapted and directed by award-winning playwright and director Erica Schmidt. In Schmidt’s version, the Scottish play has been abridged, excising all fight scenes except one; a bold move seeing as how Macbeth has a reputation for having the highest death count. Despite using the original English, this version flips the script in many ways. Although it is established that no man of woman born can harm Macbeth, and that MacDuff and MacDuff alone fit this description, it ends up being the weird sisters who slice Macbeth up, drown her in a pond, behead her, and then take a selfie with her severed head. The reason for this change was because the school girls in this production were well aware of the fact that they were just acting out the play Macbeth and not legitimately living it. It wasn’t until the end, when the weird sisters took it too far, that they murdered someone for real.

The stage is set

Oddly enough, this sociopathic look at reckless teenage girls, didn’t feel too far-fetched. In recent years, there has been a growing trope in YA films where teenage girls are secretly murderous and their actions are framed as being necessary for surviving adolescence and, above all, high school. Their violent actions come about due to their pent up anger towards a patriarchal society and how they’re not allowed to express their feelings in a constructive way. 

While this theme of conniving teenage girls could date back to “The Crucible,” it also can be observed more recently in “Jawbreaker,” “Heathers,” “The Craft,” and “Jennifer’s Body.” These films fit the stereotype that men are violent just for the sake of being violent, whereas women are more methodical with their cruelty. “Macbeth,” with its lofty assertions about masculinity makes it the perfect choice for an all-female cast to deconstruct attitudes towards women. I wholeheartedly approve of aggressively feminine works of art.  

The Tragic Queen,


Cast photo

The Painted Canvas

Over winter break I took part in a painting class in my hometown Valdosta, entitled “The Painted Canvas.” It was being held at our local art gallery and my former place of employment “The Turner Center.” I love that place and attended an art show there the week prior. The art show was stellar, with several local artists showcasing their works for the town to see. 

The painted canvas

The painting class was held in a vacant building across the street. Easels were laid out in a row up front, cups of water were placed in front of us for different functions, and hair dryers were at the ready in case we needed to dry a canvas. I was the youngest by far, since I will not be eligible for retirement anytime soon, and learned some valuable lessons that I would otherwise not have learned in my younger and more formative years, particularly when it comes to motherhood and alcohol. As it turns out, red wine is good for your heart and you should drink as much of it as you can in the aftermath of a heart attack. At least one woman there had previously had a heart attack, and knew what she was talking about. The more you know!

Baby steps

One woman was also pondering the reasons why she would have one paint brush in her mouth, one in her left hand, and one in her right hand that was actually doing the painting. The woman teaching the class said that it was because when you’re at home you’re used to multi-tasking. You’re beating one kid for their behavior, berating your other kid for raising hell, and folding all of the clothes in your house all at once. Multi-tasking.

More importantly from this seminar, I learned that the actual artist rarely likes their own artwork. We were all much harder critics towards ourselves than anybody else was, despite the fact that everybody’s looked fabulous. Starting over and over again until my painting had ten layers of paint on it and was starched and ironed to perfection was inevitable. 

It was surprisingly peaceful to paint my flower for four hours, even in the moments when it was frustrating. Staring so intensely at the contrasting colors made my head spin and I had to step back to see how it looked. I started by lathering the canvas in dark green paint and then free-handed my flower with a red colored pencil. Blending paint while still maintaining the finer details was trickier than I thought. 

The finished product

I applied a few layers of paint and felt like Amy in “Little Women,” making me suddenly wish that I was painting and doing yoga all across the world. 

The finished product was a resplendent concoction of vibrant colors and, given its size and subject matter, I’m sure it will make a solid bathroom painting; the kind that you would set on the back of a toilet in a half-bath. According to my teacher, my flower was impressionistic with a leaning towards abstract and therefore, completely “New York” of me.

The class gave me a newfound zeal for painting and has me wanting to harken back to my old-school days of starting a new art project on a whim. Even though my dorm room is too cramped for full-fledged art projects, a girl can still dream. 

Raquel goes to the grocery store

Winter break is upon me and I have over a month off, a fact I plan to exploit in everything I do. I got into South Georgia five days before Christmas and then two days after Christmas I went to my grandparents’ house In Virginia for New Year’s. Now, in the new year and the new decade, I am back in my hometown of Valdosta, where I sleep in as late as I want while my parents go to work.

I’ve spent the break watching “Russian Doll” on Netflix because I love watching dysfunctional-woman shows, where the main character is a thirty-something year old wild, debaucherous woman who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, and sleeps around like she’s at Woodstock. “Fleabag” and “Russian Doll” make me want to chainsmoke, playfully ruin people’s lives, be the family black sheep, and have a dark past. 

Instead of doing any of those things, I have been running hot bubble baths, lighting my Freddie Mercury candle, and playing Billy Joel in the bathtub. In other words, I’ve been spending my winter break partying like a 35 year old woman who has just sent her kids to her parent’s house for the weekend. I have to take advantage of the bathtub I have while I am here in Valdosta, because I don’t trust the one in my communal dorm up at college. I could bleach that bathtub before using it and still get HPV. 

Normally, I listen to Prince in the bathtub so that I can feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” but now I’m going through a serious Billy Joel kick. I’m also going through a Britney Spears phase, but I’m just going to pretend like I’m not.  

Instead of sitting around all day listening to “Uptown Girl” on repeat and watching shows about women who don’t have their lives together, I decided to cook dinner for my family. The idea was to cook dinner using a recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook “Cravings”, the only cookbook a gen-z-er can name with any certainty. It seemed like the perfect way to be productive while still relaxing. Cooking recreationally is a constructive and enjoyable task. Cooking because you have to is just a monotonous chore. 

The plan was to cook a well-balanced meal, that consisted of zero vegetables, and was just steak tips and pasta. The first thing that went wrong was the fact that I could not find the shopping carts. I went straight to where they were, saw that they weren’t there, thought I was in the “Twilight Zone,” and then found them a few feet away. I had to turn around an entire corner to find them. Ridiculous. You move away and they move everything. The next thing that went wrong was that I realized that I left my grocery list at home. I filled it out the night before and consulted with my mother to make sure that we already owned ingredients such as salt and butter. As it turns out, we did. 

First, I went around to the meat section and asked a woman who did not work there, which one was the New York Strip. She found it for me and I explained to her that I was cooking dinner for my family that night and only acting like I knew what I was doing. I trotted over to the dairy section and asked a woman who actually did work there where the creamy, not crumbled, bleu cheese was and where the block, not grated, parmesan cheese was. She said that if those were anywhere, then they’d be in the other dairy section, on the other side of the store. I went to that dairy section and asked another person who worked there where the cheese was. In the pasta aisle, held up a package of pasta and asked a random guy, who also didn’t work there, if he thought that there were 12 ounces of linguine in there. He pointed out to me the fact that the box said it had 16 ounces in it. 

Then I tried to find the bacon, which was the biggest dumpster fire of the day. I lurked around the seafood counter, the one place I shouldn’t have been due to my potent seafood allergy, and I asked the man operating it where the bacon was. He pointed further on down from where I was standing. I scanned the area for longer than I am proud of, and still didn’t find it. 

Then I bumped into some of my old friends from high school, who helped me find it, but it was pre-cooked Jimmy Dean bacon and I did not know how to say that I was looking for something else. I gave up and went to the vegetable aisle, where I bothered yet another man who did not work there by asking him, and I quote, “so which of these green things is the arugula?” He told me that that was probably in the salad aisle right beside us, and he tried to help me look.

It wasn’t there so I asked a person who worked there who straight up said “I don’t work in this section.” I then strolled over to a different section, where I creepily maneuvered behind a different guy who worked there, and debated whether or not I should stop and ask him a question; the first ounce of restraint I displayed all day. When I did finally ask the question, I probably could not have come up with a weirder way to do it. I held up the bacon box and then I held up the packaged steak.

I said, “Can I get bacon that is packaged more like this (the steak) than like this? (the bacon).” Raw. The word I was looking for was raw. He pointed me to the same direction that I was in the last time. I also asked him if he knew where the baby arugula was. He had no idea what that was. I went back to the bacon section, where I met the girl who told me where the cheese was in the beginning, and she asked me, “Did you find what you were looking for.” I said, “Yes but now I am looking for the bacon.” That was when she reached out in front of her, grabbed the bacon, and handed it to me. I had been staring at it the whole time.

I left after that with a store-bought cake and no arugula, because who needs vegetables anyway? There is absolutely no way that those employees didn’t all talk mad shit about me. I could honestly hear just one of them saying, “Hey did you see that girl in the leather jacket who looked about eighteen and acted like she had never been in a grocery store before? She doesn’t have her life together.”

It’s true that I could have bought the six things that I got in under an hour had I just looked at the signs and read the labels on the food, but I prefer to go straight to the experts. It’s like how men don’t want to ask for directions because they insist that they know where they’re going. If you just asked for directions in the first place, then you’d get where you’re going faster. In the end I went home and made my pasta and steak, both of which blew my family away. Then, as we ate, we watched You’ve Got Mail for the hundredth time. It was all a rare fleeting moment of productivity from yours truly.

The Tragic Queen,


New Year, Same Me

You are getting no New Year’s resolutions from me. I intend to remain the same foul-mouthed, awkward, anti-social, self-oriented perfectionist that you have all come to know and love. But in the spirit of New Years, I would like to reintroduce myself. 

I am sensitive and dramatic so I cry shamelessly at everything. This could be because I am a cancer. Alternative theories could be that I am just sensitive and dramatic. I like chai tea and chocolate cake donuts. I am pretty sure I have hypoglycemia and I don’t handle it well, due to my copious consumption of all things sugar. I have often regarded myself as a work in progress, so I might as well work on this as well. I consider myself to be a writer, first and foremost, and then a painter, a recreational swimmer, an occasional baker, a decent reader, a one-time gardener, a die-hard recycler, and your basic movie fanatic. 

I have zero sense of direction and the most dramatic motion sickness of anybody I know. My math skills are nonexistent. Every year it was a battle to work my math grade up to a C and then charm my grade up to a B. I still count on my fingers but that’s only because I am more concerned with getting the answer right, than I am with my pride. I live and breathe the feminist agenda, which was not always a popular hill to die on at my high school, since feminism is often associated with bra-burning and unkempt underarms. My favorite type of cars are soft-top Jeeps of the Wrangler stick-shift variety, due to my possessing only that type of car.  

I believe that German Shepherds are the best sentient beings and I regard them as nothing less than the greatest of God’s creation. They are smart, strong, beautiful, social, playful, and protective; making them better than most humans. For some reason I can’t explain, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay is my favorite song. “Vienna” by Billy Joel has to be a close second. I am a modern woman with modern tastes. My favorite one-woman show is Fleabag. My favorite stand-up comic is John Mulaney. My favorite talk show host is Graham Norton. My favorite musician is Lizzo and my favorite musical is Hamilton. I am a testament to my generation and its greatness. 

My first words were “chocolate milk” so I have had my priorities straight since the beginning. Like most people going to a hippie-liberal college, in order to learn how to write, I always speak the truth. I am striving to be more rebellious than straight-laced, not that it is usually a conscious decision. My goals in life consist of me being a great writer and then taking my money and opening a Women’s Crisis Center.

I have my work cut out for me. 

Happy New Year and Happy Holidays.

The Tragic Queen,


Ice Skating at Bryant Park

My friend Anahat and me skating at Bryant Park

Right before I left town for the holiday break, my friend Anahat and I ventured into the city to go ice skating at Bryant park. We were hoping that it’d get us in the holiday spirit. For those who haven’t been, every Christmas season, you can go shopping at a Christmas village and ice skating at the rink. All of the vendors sell their products in glass houses, the type of buildings you conjure up when you hear that proverb about throwing stones. 

We began our evening by milling around the shopping village. I’m always interested to see what vendors deem worthy to sell at a place where you can literally sell anything. There was the usual jewelry, New York-themed paintings, leather-bound objects, wood carvings, pottery, and a whole smattering of others. There were also food vendors serving us up our dinner of $9 dumplings. After soul-crushing line after soul-crushing line, we finally made it onto the ice. I didn’t fall down once, but that is only because I didn’t move very fast. Lifting or moving my feet wasn’t exactly my forte. I had pegged Anahat as the clumsiest person I knew but she practically glided across the ice in comparison to my comically terrible ice skating. 

My ice skating didn’t remain terrible. Eventually, I managed to speed up and maneuver my way around the rink. The blades were so thin and offered such little support that it felt like an evening in heels, but it was the good kind of pain, where you feel like you exhausted yourself in the name of fun.  

I kept looking down at my feet, but every now and then I would look up. There was something beautiful about the synchronized blur of people shuffling across the ice. I had never seen such organized chaos before. There were couples clinging to one another and others stopping for a photo. Expert ice skaters were weaving in and out of the crowd, whizzing past me just to flex.

The Christmas tree was nothing more than a dotted blur that gleamed imprecisely in my impaired vision, but was still, nonetheless, a beautiful and all-important tree. The best part was when I looked straight up at the skyscrapers at just the right moment. As you come around the curve, just past the Christmas tree, and look up just for a second, you catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers. Then you have to look down again before you bump into someone. If you look up at just the right moment, you can see the Empire State Building. Ice skating with a view.

Christmas carols seamlessly blended into the best hits of the 80s. I could barely skate in general, much less in sync to “Thriller.” My favorite part of the evening was when I was clutching onto the railing and passed by a trio of drunk girls. The first one said to me, “That looks hard. Is it?”

“Yeah, it’s hard.”

“Are you from here?”


“Where are you from?”


“You’re from the Bronx? Like Jlo?”

“No, I’m not Jenny from the block.”

“You look like Jlo.” 

“…thank you.”

I moved on, towards her friends who were moderately less drunk and laughing their asses off at their friend. 

“You’re friend is fun,” I told them. 

As I moved along, I am pretty sure that she asked me if I knew JLo.

Happy Holidays!

The Tragic Queen,


A Night at the Opera

Recently, I had been given the most delicious offer that I could imagine; an offer that played right into my desire to do thrilling, cosmopolitan things. My Italian class was taken to go and see “Madame Butterfly” at the Metropolitan Opera. 

I was excited, not only because I was going to see a high-end work of art, but also because this sounded more like the sultry beginning to a romantic-suspense novel, in which an eighteen year old girl goes to the opera and it changes her life. I showed up ready to feel cultured as hell. I was going for chic, fashionable; trying to be one of those interesting New York women who makes people turn their heads so fast that they get whiplash. Using professor youtube as my guide, I put my hair in a bun and mentally-prepared myself for when my updo would fall through. After squeezing myself into a dress that I can only fit into if I force it over my head and not my hips, I jammed my feet into a sassy pair of bows-on-toes, super-high heels that would have made Carrie Bradshaw weep tears of joy. I have had the dress since the sixth grade, which might explain why it was cutting off circulation in my armpit. 

The Metropolitan Opera

My class and I experienced “Madame Butterfly” and I petition that we change the title of the opera to “men are trash,” since that is the overarching message. For those of you who don’t know, the opera is about a teenage Japanese geisha girl who marries an American soldier, only to have him leave her. She marries him for love, because she is a wonderstruck child who still believes in such concepts, whereas he marries her mostly because it was fashionable. Everybody insists that he has left her for good but she is in denial due to her naivety, despite the fact that he has been gone for three years. When the soldier’s friend, the counselor, tries to explain to her that their marriage is no more, she exposes the fact that she has a child. Her husband comes back and she is excited because she thinks that her husband is finally returning to her, but in reality he is bringing his new wife in order to collect their child. The woman is devastated and, in proper opera fashion, she kills herself.

Blush-pink rose petals being showered down on opera singers, may have been the most resplendent aesthetic I have ever seen, and made every unmarried person in the audience plan their wedding. Above the stage was a large mirror that showed the audience what was going on behind all of the set pieces and created a bold reflection whenever there was an elaborate costume. The opera singers hit such high notes that it didn’t sound like human voices anymore. My limited Italian came in handy, but I was also guided by the subtitles on the backs of the chairs in front of me. 

Chandeliers inside the theater

I obsessed over every aspect of that night, but one of my favorite parts of any posh night is the dressing up part. I was proud of the sleek look that I put together, even though it did not take long to fall apart. Later that night, once I was no longer around anybody who had seen me prior to, I really let myself go and a girl from my writing class saw me walking barefoot through a cold parking lot, wearing only one earring, and appropriately asked me “ya, good?” I was definitely fine, but was craving that post-outing decompress, where you let your hair down and put on sweatpants after an eventful night. Back in my room, surrounded by some much-appreciated warmth that I had been deprived of when walking around in a short dress and heels, I scrubbed off all of my makeup and unwound. 

Molto bene!

The Tragic Queen,


A bag of fleas

A photo of my beloved Waller-Bridge that I took from the internet

I am a modern woman with modern tastes. I am a testament to my generation and its greatness, so it should be no surprise that “Fleabag” is my favorite show, aside from the West Wing. Since “Fleabag” is my favorite TV show it should also follow that “Fleabag” is my favorite one woman show. “Fleabag”, for those of you who do not know, is an Amazon original, based on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one woman show. Phoebe Waller-Bridge holds the distinction of being the writer, creator, and star of the Prime original, as well as the writer/producer of “Killing Eve,” and, of course, she’s a down-ass bitch. Aside from being my woman crush everyday, Waller-Bridge sold out theaters in the West End, was nominated for eleven Emmys, and hosted SNL. 

Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was when I scored two tickets to a screening of Phoebe Waller-Bridge performing her one woman show in the West End. A movie theater that specialized in airing pre-recorded plays, was selling the tickets. Having purchased two tickets, I decided to make a friend and invite them. I bought the tickets in September, giving me ample time to make the cuts in my friend collection, and by that I mean I picked from a group of three people. I decided to invite my good friend Sofia from my creative writing class, who I thought would appreciate the one woman show.

She was really excited for it, as was I, but she had actually not seen the “Fleabag” TV show. I still do not understand the mythical ways of the subway system, so she planned the logistics of the trip. I do not know when to get off, which subway to take, how to know when you have reached your destination, how many blocks each subway goes and so forth. If I take the subway, there is a very good chance that I will end up in Nova Scotia. 

Fortunately, Sofia is the type of person who knows when to get off the subway and which subway you must take from there. Me, being the girl who got lost in her one story house as a child, let her take the lead. So with Sofia as my sherpa guide, we ventured into the city. We were delivered to the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Symphony Space Theater safely, and found some good seats.

As we were sitting there, waiting for the production to start, it occurred to me that I might not have pregamed her for the raunchiness and the obnoxiously oversexed humor of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. For those of you who think that this is no big deal, I would just like to state that the line I remembered the best from the show was “there is a hand print on my wall from when I had a threesome on my period.” I later learned that Sofia’s favorite film was “Inglorious Bastards” and was glad to discover that our taste in performing art was more distatesful than wholesome. 

The play was excellent. I can’t get over how talented and witty Phoebe Waller-Bridge is. Her monologue was exceptionally written but it was enhanced by her impeccable line delivery. She completely commits to the joke as shamelessly as her character believes the things that she says. Naturally, I also love the intensity of her female-perspective, which she spouts without alienating her male audience. A one-woman performance seems unfathomably hard, but Waller-Bridge made it look easy.

I was also surprised to see how many 50 and older people came to watch the show, since much of it was just stuff that you would joke about with your friends inside your living room. Yet there was an ornery old woman, doing a decent Methuselah impression and shushing people before the show even started. This isn’t to say that there was no depth to her work. It is actually a dark comedy about a depressed woman in the wake of her friend’s death, with a plot twist at the end. 

My friend Sofia, isn’t she cute?

 I 10/10 recommend watching it. After the show, we went to “5 Napkin Burger,” a restaurant that we had both been to before. If you like eating a burger that is almost the size of your head and drips burger juice down the length of your arm, then this is the place for you. We ate and then thanks to Sofia, we took the right train back. We sprinted across Grand Central Station and reached our train right before it pulled out, and we were way too proud of that fact. All and all, I had a great time with my friend, watching Waller-Bridge crush it in a pre-recorded live performance.

Me eating a s’mores milkshake that I want right now

Hoping for more of this energy for 2020.

The Tragic Queen,


Am I a princess locked in a tower or a Jeopardy wiz who never leaves her room?

Some pics of me doing some normal human things

A few little updates about how I am doing:

In an attempt to save my money, I have not gone into the city these past few weekends, making me feel like a fairy princess that has been locked in a tower. Since I have nothing but downtime, I have caught up on my sleep and schoolwork and therefore am doing better in my classes, not that I was doing poorly before, mind you.

One of the ways that I find joy is by dressing up for my classes, easing any dullness that could be afoot. Some days I want to dress like a fashion icon, so I play “Vogue” by Madonna and practically shadow box across my room as I dress. I then leave my dorm room, channeling my best Carrie Bradshaw in my leopard print coat, listening to Lizzo through my Beats so that I can have confidence oozing out of every orifice. I walk into town to my local bodega, pretending that I am in the opening sequence of “The Devil Wears Prada.” One day for class I dressed up like Miranda Priestly, only to go back to my dorm room and watch Jeopardy!, the very definition of all dressed up with no place to go. Netflix put on more tournament episodes of Jeopardy!, giving my life meaning again. I am fully convinced that I would make the ideal Jeopardy! contestant: wit, charm, astounding intellect.

What is the prim-rose path, Alex? Who is Midas? What is paraffin?

Christmas is in sight and I am trying to hold off on being cheery until Thanksgiving is in my rearview mirror, although admittedly unsuccessfully. In the past, Christmas has come and gone so quickly that I felt like I almost missed it. I was shopping on Christmas Eve, phoning in gifts, and buying last minute Christmas decorations. 

I already feel like I have missed out a bit on Halloween and am now feeling the belated urge to watch “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and cast spells at midnight. To avoid those feelings, I am checking in early for Christmas. It is officially cold outside and it gets dark early in the day. That makes it Christmas season.

I need to start saving money soon so that my loved ones get more than just my thoughts and prayers for Christmas. Every year in the past, I have had a surplus of money in my bank account come Christmas time, and in some cases an actual comma in my bank account, but then Christmas happens and I spend it all. Now, losing my money after the holidays seems like a nonissue since I am going into the holidays with no money. Problem solved. This is because God knew that I would be too powerful if I could actually hold onto my money. All and all, everything is going swimmingly. Christmas is upon me, my bank account is dismal, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that I would kill it in Jeopardy!