A friend emailed yesterday and said she needed a boost, and wanted an infusion of life, of info... Pop Culture!

I don't know what the exact motivation was for her (but I'll find out), I do know there is a certain quick flash, like the jones of a shopaholic, that is triggered at the lowest points of getting down with the New Now. In my early twenties in San Francisco, my roommate and I could mark each other's mood and heartbreak, the lowest of 20's lows, when we got the call to meet at Virgin Records - nothing beats life's dissatisfaction like brand new music.

Whether we know it or not, we have a soundtrack playing, all of us, and when the ride gets uncomfortable, we have to change the station. The newer the better, though don't ignore the call of the past, for us it was for Karla Bonoff or Neil Young. (Have to have these playing as I finish writing, so please listen while you read.)

Late January 2012 brings this kind of discomfort, like clockwork. Christmas has us sucking wind and Tax Day makes me think of Hitchcock's birds. In our 40's, it's not just moods or heartbreak that signal a soundtrack change, it's the Austerity Program. Some people go buy lipstick, I'm out getting music. Here's what's playing for me right now:

And when we're not out popping corks and waxing fortunate, we're watching:

The Big C, the smartest, funniest and most creative account of coping with Breast Cancer, talk about the New Now
The Tudors, late middle ages, still my passion because these people get passion. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is smashing as Henry VIII
Downton Abbey, surely you've heard about it, love class warfare when the bottom gets to come-up on the top
Modern Family, surely you all watch it already, go back and see the episodes you missed
And Episodes, Matt LeBlanc is outstanding, who knew?

Now you can click on those, watch and listen, it'll help to change the station --

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