Hey Ladies!! How do you feel Re Photoshop?

I’ve been holding something in for months. Being told that, at age 59, I should photoshop my wrinkles completely out of my social media images. Dye my hair blonde again, that kind of stuff. Here’s my Haute 90’s Riot GRRL Reaction.

Also, I recently came across a Kathleen Hanna/Adam Horovitz interview where Hanna shared that her first band, Bikini Kill plans to reunite and tour in 2021. Kathleen, I plan to travel…are you coming to South Florida?

Happy B-Day Kim Gordon

Dear Kim,

Yesterday you turned 68, and I’m so glad you’re still around. Back when I was in alternative rock radio and bugging my bosses to add Sonic Youth songs to our playlists, you were a beacon of light and you still are. Thanks for being, by example, that non-photo shopped rock star willing to face your fifties and beyond, with courage dignity, and artistic integrity. Thanks for Sonic Youth, your gender fluid “Xtra Large” clothing line, making oversized shorts and T-shirts accessible and cool to women even before saggy shorts became a “Thing.”

If it weren’t for your support of Kathleen Hannah and the rest of the Riot GIRRLS, there’d be no pro-slut songs like WAP. Thanks for your brutally honest memoir of what really happened between you and Thurston. That couldn’t have been easy for you but you did it anyway.

Look forward to hearing more of your solo work and seeing more interviews like the one you did for New Music Express (Youtube) talking about the NoWave Scene and the difference between Art school in the US Versus the UK.

Most of all thanks for showing us all how to be ourselves.

Your fan,

Allison Strong

Paying Forward Prince’s Gift to Me

You know what? I don’t know where I’m going with this post. That’s because in the oddest way, I owe the last 6 years of my life to Prince, and it’s kinda a gory story, so I did a video about it…but even now, I’m cringing…did it do it right? Or does it totally suck? I feel such a debt of gratitude that this is really hard to talk about. We miss you, Prince. It shouldn’t have happened this way.

https://studio.youtube.com/video/8YTbporbMKA/edit

looking for online writer’s group, how to find’literary minimalism’ ones?

Lately there have been lots of Youtube Videos, article in New York Times, blogs, and other places about the value of writer’s groups. I agree, but I’m not in the right group. I LOVE my people, but my rock and roll references either annoy them, or go right over their head. What I’m looking for is an offshoot of Tom Spanbauer’s “Dangerous Writers” writer’s critique group…where you write the way people talk and think and are free to break overly stiff ‘writerly’ rules if it serves the purpose of the prose.

In my group, at 59, I’m youngest by 10 years, and because I was in alternative rock radio, my rock references (Steely Dan, Nirvana, Riot GRRL, The Pixies, Fugazi, Beck) are even younger than I am. My book is a medical memoir about opiate dependence and has a rock and roll weave of redemption woven through it.

I’ve looked online and on Youtube to find articles about how to look for different types of writer’s groups…I’ve even gone on Reddit and asked around. Nothing comes back. Just thought I’d shout out to you guys and see if anyone knows how to do this. My social media skills can be quite subpar.

Does anyone know the Google search terms for finding types of writer’s groups?

Find a Shrink to Fit…you know…a therapist.

So many people are having mental health crap happen to them for the first time. Or maybe their therapist or psychiatrist wimped out and is still not seeing patients in person, in the office. Either way this involves finding a new mental health professional, and after 31 years of being in treatment for bipolar disorder, I’ve finally struck GOLD and gotten skeletons out that I didn’t even know I had. It’s like ….my family is saying “Allison, you’re like a new person…what new medicine are you on?”….It’s not medication, here’s what it is, finding mental health care in the most surprising location.

Peter Berg’s “Dare Me” on She side of sports.

OMG…I’ve always liked Peter Berg, as an actor, director, and producer. First noticed him as an actor in John Dahl’s neo-noir “The Last Seduction,” and in “Cop Land” and The Great White Hype, he was terrific. Have tried to find the series”Chicago Hope” but can’t find. As a director, Berg has even more range, with his dark-ass comedy “Very Bad Things” to “Friday Night Lights” both film and TV series, “Patriot’s Day” and HBO’s “Ballers.”

So I was more than delighted to see Berg feature cheerleaders in his new streaming series “Dare Me.” Lots of flip flop in the power struggle, I don’t think many people realize just how cut-throat competitive and physically demanding Cheerleading can be. It’s almost like the Ballet World, or if you want to go back further, Gladiators or soldiers on the battlefield. Even though the girls speak in their own kind of code, this is worth seeing.

The soundtrack features indie artists, lots of feedback noise and bass noodling, am going to look of the lyrics.

Looking for a writer’s group.

So…I”m halfway through a book, an opiate recovery memoir. My work is very Riot GRRL, in your face, sorta like “Fight Club” …edgy. The group I’ve been in for a year is full of nice people, but when I mention Rage Vs the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, it sort of annoys them, and they say it knocks them right out of the narrative.

Ideally, my writer’s group, either online or in person, would be a balance of men/women and younger age range. A couple of them would also be working on a full length book. We’d be studying craft so we could have similar points of reference/speak the same language.

My current group is age 65 and older, mostly women. Because I was an alt rock radio person, music is a redemptive, defiant weave throughout the book. (Mostly rock) The women in my group say they find my ‘in your face,’ gritty and sometimes gruesome content and especially my MUSIC references kinda annoying, they’ve told me. Like I’m speaking in a code they don’t have time to decipher. But in a way, that’s sort of the point!…I’ve seen this done really effectively (Chuck Palahniuk, Lidia Yuknavitch, Tom Spanbauer, Amy Hemple, even John Grisham and Michael Connelly) where at first the slang/lingo is distracting, but soon, I am fluent and feel included in a hip little club.

For the last year, I’ve strived for 80% rule, but this Youtube video I’ve just watched (and dropped the link to) makes me REALIZE there’s not one person in my group that in my target readership I’ve done a year’s worth of rewrites to make it accessible to them, but in some chapters, I dedicated 2 whole paragraphs to explaining to Rage Vs the Machine is…and all I was trying to do was convey ANGER.

Doing this for one year has made my book rather pedestrian. I recently realized that people in my target readership (people with mental health/opiate problems or people who just are frustrated with the healthcare system)…..if someone in my demographic read this book, they’d become impatient. They know what alternative rock means.

Here’s what’s really wierd: Back before Covid, we met in person. Back then, the group was more balanced, age and gender. There were a few men, age 35-60 in the group, published writers all. Four of them said my work was like Chuck Palahniuk, but I had NEVER seen or read “Fight Club” or read any of Palahniuk’s other works. (Of course now, I have read his books on writing and several of his novels. His work, and my work, I think, is more appealing to men)

But I’m getting off track. I’m seeking an online writers group, a mix of men/women, and a healthy sprinkling of people age 60 and younger. Anyone have any ideas? email them to me at biszanta@hotmail. com or go to my Youtube Channel and leave me a comment there.

The Radioactive Patient. Where Music Meets Mental Health. Where humanity Returns to Healthcare, starting with us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICRSJQVpoK4&t=41s

Or, if you’re in the same boat as me and looking for a writer’s group, you might watch this short video. I learned a TON in this and subscribed to her Channel, the Nonsense-Free Editor.

Signup for Vaccine at CVS but sent 2 Navarro Pharmacy? What gives?

Ok so this is trippy. On the computer, my husband signed me up with CVS and we got an address. All of our reminders, email confirmations had the CVS Red Heart Logo on them, but when we drove to the address, it was Navarro, a supermarket chain we’ve never been to before. Turns out that CVS purchased all the pharmacies within the Navarro Supermarket chain. And that’s not all that CVS/Aetna owns.

CVS is also owner of Aetna Medicare, a health insurance company, and as a large Pharmacy Benefit Manager, PBM, controls and administrates over 1/3 of the prescriptions sold in this country. Does this sound a little like a monopoly? Yes, it does and yes it is.

The Medical Monopolies in this country are not “BIG PHARMA,” but “BIG PHARMACY! CVS Aetna and the other two Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM’s) are Express Scripts and United Health Group’s ‘Optum RX.’ You’ve heard of them, right? These “Big 3” PBM’s are the middle men who between them control 88% of the Rx drugs sold in the US. They broker all the deals between the drug companies, make the decision what a drug is going to be covered, what it costs and what your Copay is.

The “Big 3” PBM’s have so much more power over the drug companies, that the drug companies give them huge fees called “Rebates” to make sure that their medicines are on your insurance plan. The only problem is…the customer never sees any of the money given as Rebates, the PBM’s keep it all.

President Trump made this illegal right before he left office under an antikickback statute, but then the PBM’s trade organization filed a lawsuit in Federal Court.

What do you say when a loved one is suicidal?

It’s so scary, in a way, to have survived long bouts of suicidal ideation, and to be asked what my opinion is. My key survival mechanism is music (by Filter, Tame Impala, Megan Thee, Prince, Nirvana, Cop Shoot Cop, Faith No More, The Pixies, Rage Vs The Machine) that work for me…but what do you say when someone asks your advice? I mean, what do you say? How will it be received?

I mean, what works for me might not work for this young person, although one thing my relative and I have in common is….We Both Love Rap! Sometimes a goddamn good Rap is all you have to go on.

South Florida and Spring Break.

We’re a red state down here, and open for business, never was a mask mandate. Can’t figure out why not! Now there’s all sorts of spring breakers and residents, maskless, swarming the beach and Hollywood boardwalk, huddled elbow to elbow drinking in bars. Instead of walking on boardwalk, I’m walking on the street where hardly anyone is! Getting Pfizer vaccine on Friday. It can’t come too soon!