Our Favorite Witches in Rock & Roll, Cinema, Books & Real Life



One of my favorite Mary Timony songs lately is "I'm a Witch," from the Superball EP by Helium; it contains the line "Did I tell you I'm not your bitch on loan?" which is a lyric that used to mean a lot to me and sometimes still does. After that line Mary sings the words "I'm a witch, an ugly hag, a crone" and part of me's like "LIAR, you're the prettiest girl in the world!", but I'm also into it. Superball/The Dirt of Luck-era Mary Timony is Mary Timony at her witchiest: she sings about skies and moons and dead things and black lakes and Satan and stars, always sounding like she's casting spells. She's neither a good witch nor a bad witch; she's just the dreamiest witch of all.


I don’t completely love The Witches of Eastwick, but I do love Cher. I wish The Witches of Eastwick could be a different movie without Jack Nicholson. It would be amazing. Still, we must accept the reality of the situation and just appreciate what we have here – a movie where Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon are witches together. Yes, we have to sit through all the repulsive Jack sex stuff (I really can’t stand him), but we also get that scene where the witches are literally standing over a cauldron together and sticking pins into a voodoo doll of Gross Jack. Thank you pre-Christian goddesses for granting me this.  It’s also worth mentioning that for a brief period of time Cher wears my ideal outfit in this movie. If I had these pants I would wear this everyday.


Is This Desire? is the witchiest PJ Harvey record, and "Catherine" is the witchiest song on Is This Desire?

My favorite place to listen to it is this road that leads from the woods to the ocean in a town called Avila Beach, on the Central Coast of California. One time I was there early in the morning in late October and the light was creepy-blue and the trees were bare and there were so many spiderwebs spun between the branches. I walked up a big hill and thought of some story Polly Harvey told in a magazine once, about being a girl and wandering through the hillsides in Dorset or wherever and happening upon the remnants of some satanic ritual. I feel like there was a dead goat in her story, but I might be making that up. I hope there was a dead goat.  


The album cover to Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath is hauntingly beautiful. It’s kind of perfect. It is so scary! It is so lovely! OK, so it’s not 100% certain that the figure on the cover is a witch, but…come on. It is. If you play the song “Black Sabbath” from Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath you invoke that witch and she gets you super stoned.


Four Scorpios in Spooky Salem


Earlier this month I spent a weekend in Salem, Massachusetts with 3 other Scorpios. We arrived in town just your average Scorps looking to have an autumnal witchy weekend and left full on Wiccans with A LOT of candles, sage, witchcraft books, hats, pentagrams, bookmarks, pencils, mugs and anything else you can put an image of a witch on.  Here is my "Photo Essay" to help get you in the Halloween mood, despite being trapped inside by the Frankenstorm (if you happen to be on the east coast, of course.)

We stayed in this beautiful purple house.

We made dinner there & drank pumpkin beers.

This is at a sports bar called The Witches Brew. I drank a martini called the Witch's Kettle and couldn't finish it because it was so potent with witch alcohol.


Thing of the Week: Dub From The Roots & The Roots Of Dub, 'Paris, Texas,' Being In Love With Paul Westerberg

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Dub from the Roots and The Roots of Dub by King Tubby

There's no way to tell it any better than how it tells itself. This song, from Dub from the Roots, is called "Double Cross," and I wish I could know how to describe what my own face looked like the first time I heard it but, sadly, you rarely get to see your own face. But I know what I felt, and I know my face did a crazy thing and my heart did a crazy thing and I had to stop walking for a second and stand outside a Starbucks pretending I was contemplating buying a coffee (I bought a coffee) and then the whole bit ended with me grinning wildly at a stranger walking a dog (a skinny beagle-mix in a plaid jacket) like because he was walking a dog and dogs are beautiful and good and I was listening to THIS SONG for the first time we were in on some sort of secret relating to the beauty of the Universe together. 

I guess it must have been a look of "elated surprise/ semi-religious hysteria." 


I think that what I love most about is dub is how it is like a story. The songs meander; you never know what's going to happen next. It feels like things are moving forward instead of back inside themselves like pop songs, verse/chorus/verse. I love how every single song on Roots of Dub has the word "dub" in the title, like a Solex or Delia Derbyshire album. This next one's called "Dub You Can Feel" and it's quiet, but he's right- I definitely feel it. I've been brought to tears by music more times this week than I have any other week of my life, possibly. 

My new self-reflective thing I like to think about is "being the dub version of myself"- like I used to be the regular song, but now I'm Laura Jane Dub, The Dub of Me. The words I most closely associate with dub are subtle, weird, and cerebral- I think that exclusively listening to dub is making me a smarter and chiller human on the whole/real, and more than anything I think I'm in so in love with dub because loving dub means that I'm capable of loving dub, that I'm beyond being buoyed by melody and flash, two great loves of my life which I now keep finding myself thinking are "trite," which sounds so lamely judgy of me, but fuck it. I'm not going to lamely judge myself for thinking something I'm naturally thinking is lamely judgy just because it happens to sound like something a person I no longer am would have thought sounded like something it isn't. Oh my God. I'm just so fucking happy to be alive.


I watched Paris, Texas this week for the first time. I loved it. I actually fell asleep during the hugely major confessional scene at the end. You know, just what the entire movie was building up to, no big deal. I was really tired, OK? I re-watched the last half hour the next day and have been thinking about it all week.  Walking onto the subway and just being struck by the heart breaking sadness & beauty of the film. Sitting on a couch thinking about how Nastassja Kinski is my current style ideal in it. I want to get giant cardigans and wear them backwards. Probably Netflix would categorize it as “Visually Striking”, because it’s really striking visually.  The landscape and the colors are gorgeous and super American (though it was made my Europeans, I know!). K, I’m going to go walk in a straight line at a slow pace, drink coffee, and cry thinking about it all.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Being In Love With Paul Westerberg 

I stopped being obsessed with the Replacements for like three days and then Wednesday night I went to Verdugo Bar and wore my Replacements shirt with my fake-leopard-fur coat and drank some pumpkin beer and went home and slept and had a great dream. In the dream I lived in a loft that was in the middle of a parking garage, and the Replacements all lived in the actual garage, in the concrete stairwells, like stowaways. I was going home to my loft and ran into Paul Westerberg from 1984 and he asked if I wanted to hang out and I said yeah. So we went to my loft and climbed to the top bunk of my bunk bed and Paul had a guitar and was all, "I wrote a new song, wanna hear?" and then he started playing me "Unsatisfied." I helped him with the lyrics and wrote the lines "Everything goes/Well, anything goes/All of the time" (whoa, so good!) and this magic thing happened where we turned into a movie and real "Unsatisfied" started playing and we fooled around and it was beautiful. Then it was the next morning and we were going to breakfast and Paul put some beer in my bag to sneak at the restaurant. When we got to the restaurant there was a TV above our table and the Jeff Goldblum PayPal ad was on and we watched it and I loved it. Then I woke up and listened to "Treatment Bound" a bunch and now I'm 100 percent still obsessed with the Replacements. I love the Replacements and I'm in love with Paul Westerberg, even though in the dream he had these weirdly small hands.


Paul Simonon, The Skinnier Crayolas, and Dreadnought Volumes 1-3

Here is a picture of Paul Simonon's tape collection. Paul Simonon, if you don't know, is the bass player of The Clash. He is a very beautiful human being, and the last four letters of his last name are a real good time to type. 

Obviously it's really cute to imagine Paul Simonon lazing around his apartment or backstage/ whatevs painstakingly/adorably coloring in the spines of his wonderful homemade tape collection, intuitively understanding why the essence of dub is most clearly represented by the colors blue and purple. But the real unsung hero of making up fake daydreams pertaining to Paul Simonon's tape collection is imagining Paul Simonon BUYING THE MARKERS. 

Can you imagine??? This death-defyingly good-looking punk rock angel-hunk venturing out of his gnarly Clash apartment on a grey London afternoon with the sole intention of purchasing a pack of felt-tip markers so he can color in the spines of his Dreadnought mixes, volumes 1 through 3. Paul Simonon loping up to the cash register at an art supply store grasping a couple packs of the skinnier Crayolas, reeking of cigarette smoke, digging through his back pockets for wads of cash and loose change, Paul Simonon counting change, Paul Simonon OWNING THE MARKERS. Paul Simonon walking home holding two packs of markers. "Whatcha got there, Paul?" "Oh, just some new markers." The markers spilled out all over his coffee table or whatever his Clashy approximation of a coffee table was- stacked up milk crates, or just the floor. Paul Simonon sprawled out on a hardwood floor coloring! And did the tapes have covers, too? Are the spines only the tip of the Paul Simonon-cassette-marker iceberg? I remember being a kid and if you left your markers out for too long the tips would start to bubble out and get kind of a leprosy effect going on. I want to know if that ever happened to Paul Simonon's markers. I want to know everything in the world about Paul Simonon's relationship with his box of markers and I want to hear every song on every reggae mix Paul Simonon ever made.



The 16 Most Beautiful Moments in the History of Jeff Goldblum


Today is the sixtieth birthday of Jeff Goldblum, also known as The Most Beautiful Man Who Has Ever Existed And Will Ever Exist As Long As The Earth Is Turning. Here is our amazing compilation of what we perceive to be The Most Beautiful Moments in the History of Jeff Goldblum, presented with the caveat that what's listed here is but a tiny sampling of Beautiful Moments, since everything Jeff Goldblum ever does is so deeply beautiful.


The 3 seconds that Jeff Goldblum is in Annie Hall are the best seconds of the movie. OK, that’s definitely not true but it is really exciting and Jeff manages to steal the show! It's definitely the best part of the party at Paul Simon’s scene. 100%. The second best part of that scene is when Alvy says, "I'm into garbage. It's my thing." 


You read this blog so you know what Goldblum Night is right? If not, it's watching a Jeff Goldblum movie more or less once a week forever or until we've seen them all. His IMDB used to say he was an actor in 100 titles, which was really great for us. When people would say, "How many movies is Jeff Goldblum even in?", we could say "100. Exactly." Now IMDB says he's in 99 which I am less into, but I'll deal. This year Jeff did a BROADWAY PLAY called Seminar. Clearly we had to go. The play was good. Not phenomenal, but solidly good. Watching Jeff's mannerisms in person (crazy eyes, face rub, exaggerated hand movements, finger pointing) was a treat. As soon as the play ended an usher came up to us and was like "You know you girls can meet him right?" I guess she could tell we were psyched out of our minds to be in the same building, breathing the same air, as Jeff Goldblum. The problem was we all really had to whiz. The line was so long. We had no choice but to wait because seriously we all had to pee so badly. I became despondent on the line because I felt like our bladders were keeping us from Jeff and when were we ever going to get a  chance to meet Jeff again? We whizzed. We went outside and there was still a huge crowd waiting. We asked these women in front of us who had a Long Island Mom/Girl's Night Out thing going on if Jeff had come out yet – HE HADN'T.
Eventually he appears! He’s so tall!!!!!!! We make a deal with the Moms in front of us that if we take their picture with Jeff, they'll take ours. They go first. It's our turn and then other people start totally cutting us! We're freaking out because Jeff is standing there and what can we do!? The moms tell us to hold up our Playbills. We do. It works. We bombard Jeff immediately telling him/screaming out how we have Goldblum Night every week! We watch your movies! We eat snacks!!!!!!!!!! Jeff is so into this. He's Goldblum so he's a total perv and starts saying in a weird sexy way, "What is this night? Oh wow I wish I could come." He starts miming eating snacks. Someone screams that we just watched him on Glee. He says, "That's a purple shirt!" He asks if we're actresses and in a really dramatic way I say "NO! WE'RE ARTISTS!" and he's like, "Oh of course, I should have known." Flirt flirt flirt, JEFF GOLDBLUM IS FLIRTING WITH US. One of the only other things I can remember saying is "This is the Ultimate Goldblum Night." I think I said it 5 times. I touched his chest weirdly. His security guard guy starts telling him he has to go and he's so bummed because he wants to stay forever with gals in their mid to late twenties who are ecstatically in love with him. We start to leave and then Joan remembers she wanted to measure her hand to his. We turn around to measure hands. The thought was he's so tall- his hands must be huge! They weren't. They were not much bigger than Joan's even though he was trying to be cute and pull his hand down low so it looked like they are the same size. The security guard gets his way and pulls us apart even though we're all in love and dating at this point. Jeff was wearing a scarf and winter jacket and hoodie and it was about 68 degrees. I love him.


There are so many extraordinary things happening in this video, but here are the extraordinary things I love the most:

-Jeff Goldblum's legs
-Jeff Goldblum's hair
-Jeff Goldblum's skin
-the danseur-esque gracefulness with which Jeff Goldblum moves at every moment
-when Jeff Goldblum speaks French
-when Laverne addresses Jeff Goldblum as "Gorgeous Jeff"
-that Beatles cutout thing in the background
-how Jeff Goldblum looks like a teenager but is actually 30
-everything else about Jeff Golblum

Also, "I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for mistaking passion for violence" is such an odd piece of dialogue for a Laverne & Shirley episode. Oh and if we ever hang out, remind me to tell you the story about the time I got into a car accident with Carmine from Laverne & Shirley (aka The Big Ragu). It's one of my best.


Thing of the Week: Moving & Swimming, Meditation & David Lynch, Dub & Rocksteady

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Moving & Swimming

I'm moving on November 3, to a house that's in the hills/woods of Echo Park. My friend Alisa bought it and it's got a swimming pool and a killer view of Mount Washington. Yesterday I looked it up on Google Maps and the trees in the side yard look so majestic in the "Google Street View":

I'm really excited about the luxuriousness that's going to come with "being a self-employed person with a swimming pool in Southern California." I hope there'll be lots of days when I wake up, have some hot-saucy eggs and grains and tea, walk down to the stupid coffee place with the fucking "single-origin coffee" (OH MY GOD I DON'T CARE, I DON'T CARE, JUST GIMME MY GODDAMN DUNKIN DONUTS), buy myself a fucking "single-origin coffee," walk back home, get in the pool and then do a thing of swimming a little bit and then stopping to drink my coffee and swimming more and drinking more coffee and on and on till the coffee's done and it's time to get to work.

Also Alisa's having the pool drained and I'm really looking forward to when there's no water in the pool and I can sit on the floor of the deep end and take lots of pictures and Instagram them and stuff.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: David Lynch, Meditation, Creativity, Peace

I have been obsessed with both meditation and David Lynch for the last few months(more on this soon). I've tried meditating on my own a bunch with minimum success. I've read books. I've even gone as far as emailing the TM center in NYC to find the TM teacher closest to me. I got added to the TM mailing list because of this and THANK GOD I did! On Sunday after an especially annoying laundry session I looked at phone phone and checked my email for probably the 400th time that day. "ALAN YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THE E-MAIL I JUST GOT!!!!!!" - that is what I really said. The subject: Free screening of David Lynch documentary on Meditation. I was so excited I basically passed out. I immediately reserved tickets and they were really free. I went last night. Hey, guess who was there? DONOVAN! He was sitting in the row behind me eating popcorn!! He was awarded this award David Lynch made up for him - "The Transcendental Musician Award". David recorded a message to play about Donovan/the award and Donovan's face was SO excited and psyched while they played the message. Donovan also did a really great David Lynch Impression.

The movie was what I wanted it to be - David Lynch talking for like an hour. It was footage of his 16 country tour speaking to film students about meditation, creativity and peace. It's called Meditation, Creativity, Peace. He was totally charming. He doesn't do lectures, just Q&A's so the film is basically just people asking him questions/his answers/images of him drawing this chart with trees about how TM works/molecules. There were quotes and David Lynch Music. I was so into it. I'm going to my TM intro talk thing next week.

Another vaguely related thing of this week was I saw Ted Leo sing "Season of the Witch" while dressed up as Frankenstein. Donovan surrounds.

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: This Awesome New Version of Myself Who Listens Exclusively to Dub & Rocksteady

On Monday I was listening to the Clash in Nadine & Charlie's living room and Nadine was like "Your favorite Clash songs are all reggae-Clash-songs; you should listen to more reggae," and I was like "That's a really good point about me; I should," and then I plugged my iPod into Nadine & Charlie's computer and deleted the contents of my entire iPod (it's really freeing to do that- the Apple software keeps asking you, "Are you SURE you want to do this?" because it's obviously a pretty rare occasion that someone would want to delete the contents of their entire iPod and replace it with a stranger's but you're so cool about it and decisive), and made it so my iPod was just the Clash's entire discography, the Trojan Records Rocksteady box set, the Trojan Records Ska box set, the Trojan Records "Roots" box set, and then a couple other albums that don't really pertain to what I'm talking about so who cares. 

Then I went to the airport. I'd had two bottles of an IPA entitled "Raging Bitch" and two glasses of Prosecco that I was drunker from drinking than usual, because Clash. I was sitting at Gate C3 reading a stranger's abandoned issue of People StyleWatch when I decided I needed my iPod on shuffle to answer some questions for me- I'm super-obsessed with playing "cosmic iPod" games with myself where I put my entire iPod on shuffle and then ask it questions and let the songs it chooses answer my questions, like the I Ching ("iChing"), but it was weird because my whole iPod was different now. I remembered that I'd put "Judy Is A Punk" on my iPod because I've been wanting to hear it all October, so I put my iPod on shuffle and while the first song was playing I was like "I have ten times to press forward on my iPod, and if 'Judy Is A Punk' happens to be one of the ten songs it plays then everything in my life is perfect and all of the life realizations I've recently had are true and this is the proper journey for me to embark upon," and then I pressed next and "Judy Is A Punk" came on and it BLEW MY FUCKING MIND obvs. 

Then I boarded the airplane, and someone asked me to trade seats with her and I said "I'm sorry, but I have a very strong preference for the aisle seat," and I was super-proud of myself for properly representing myself instead of just deferring. Plane windows fucking terrify me. I was drunk still kind of. 

The plane took off and I read my dumb book and then it became the time when we were allowed to listen to electronic devices again so I put on my iPod and listened to the first four songs and they were all great/fine and then the fifth came on and it was one of those things that happen to you where you're like, "Oh, right. I exist. I was born for a reason. Everything has always meant something, and will continue to do so for as long as I'm alive. I will believe, again, that it doesn't, that it's all coincidence, and that'll be fine or whatever, but I'll be wrong, and this is me existing in a moment when I know that it all means so much, and I understand what a privilege it is to be an artist inside of this wildness. And I know why I was born." 

My eyes were closed and there was crazy turbulence going down but with my eyes closed it just felt like rollercoaster swoops and I wasn't scared that I would die. I thought for a second how funny it is that I'd come back to Toronto and spend the next week of my life everybody asking me how New York was, what I did in New York, what New York was like, but once I lived that moment, it all got overshadowed- all New York, and even all my people. In that moment I learned that it doesn't matter how old you get or what things are like or anything, really, about you. I learned that music will always be capable of sounding the best it ever sounded. And then my life became a different thing. 

I woke up the next morning and ate a gorilla granola bar from Lifethyme Natural Market and found the Trojan Dancehall box set I'd bought the first winter I ever lived in New York. When I was breaking up with my ex-boyfriend and we were separating all our material possessions he held it all pink in his hands and asked me if he could have it. "What? No. Why?" I said-asked, and he said "You never even listen to it," and I said "I listen to it as much as you would, and besides, it's mine," and he said "I see your point," and then I never listened to it again until last Tuesday morning when I added it to my iPod. Then I downloaded Action and This Is Desmond Dekkar by Desmond Dekker and added them to my iPod, deleted "Judy Is A Punk" and the Clash etc, everything except the four Trojan box sets and two Desmond Dekker albums, and my iPod, then, became complete. This all was happening in the middle of the afternoon and when it came to be the time when I needed to go put on mascara in the bathroom I freaked out because I didn't want to leave the reggae all by itself in my bedroom. I couldn't imagine doing anything without it. 

I put on mascara with my iPod on listening to Desmond Dekker and then ran some errands listening to Desmond Dekker and everything in the entire world was GREAT because Desmond Dekker, oh my God, he GETS IT. It's only partly because I love it, though, to be honest. The other part is: because I wanted to snap myself out of my tired old safe-zone of Beatles-Sparks-Stones-Kinks and have music be something new for me. I wanted to recalibrate my entire brain and have beautifully and successfully done so. This is the first year of my life where I became an entirely different person over the course of it. And it's only October! 

That night I went to work and asked Diamond the line cook- she's from Jamaica by way of Harlem- what "irie" means, and when she told me I realized that I believe in the concept of "irie" more than I've ever believed in any other concept, I guess. After work we got high and I told her all this wild shit about writing I've never told anyone I work with and she totally got it. I rode the subway home having my mind blown by King Tubby's "Shank I Sheck"- 

and wrote down the sentence "I believe that through DUB I will unlock all the secrets of the Universe" as I felt this wild fullness come into my chest, like I would cry if I could breathe but couldn't because my lungs were all filled up with honey, and I didn't even think my lungs were all filled up with honey until I pictured my lungs and saw that there were bees hanging out inside of them, not biting me or anything, just swimming. 


For Dogs Who Flew In World War I & Understand A Little French


Hi guys. This is LJ, and this is a short story. I've decided to start posting my short fiction to SFW sometimes because 1) YOLO and 2) I recently had the revelation “I don’t need an INSTITUTION to LEGITIMIZE me” so I live my life in accordance with that sentence now. This story is about my beloved Samantha Silver (most of my stories are about her) on her twenty-seventh birthday and it’s my favorite story/anything I’ve ever written. A fun fact about this story is that I wrote it on the actual day of Sam’s birthday so that if she were real and not just a figment of my imagination the final scene would have been happening in real time as I wrote it. Another fun fact about Samantha Silver is that I changed her birthday from July 3rd to July 18th so that she could have the same birthday as Chace Crawford. They are literally born on the exact same day. The title is the name of the cartoon character Snoopy’s fictional brand of dog food. Dogs factor heavily into this story. There are two more Jen May illustrations as you work your way through.

This is the kind of thing that I enjoy writing the most. I hope it gets the job done. 


Like Patti Smith, I Am Passionate About Surprises

Last Friday I attended my tenth Patti Smith show; it was life-affirming and spectacular. Before playing "Beneath the Southern Cross," Patti told a story about how she and two of the dudes in the band had gotten the same fortune in their fortune cookies at dinner, something about there being surprises in store for them. Then she talked about surprises a while, and how surprises are cool, which I absolutely agree with. Here are some cool surprises that have happened to me over the last few days:


He was dressed like a cross between Lemmy and Captain Jack Sparrow, but with jeans that were baggy and unflattering. That's him at the right, next to Lenny Kaye, aka the true love of my life. To the left of Patti is Flea, whose presence I'm not counting as a surprise, since Flea's played with Patti three out of the four times I've seen her in Los Angeles. But it was still so wonderful to see him, as he's totally my hero, and I was so delighted when we all got to sing "Happy Birthday" to him. (It's his 50th birthday today! Happy birthday, Flea!) I ganked this picture from fanpop.com, btw.

The last song of the night was "Rock n Roll Nigger" and both Flea and Johnny played on it and it was transcendent, even more transcendent than "Rock n Roll Nigger" always is. Here's a video of that; when the guitars get going around 1:10 it makes want to run nine million miles per hour and throw shit all around and smash everything but in a really positive way. I love when she throws rose petals or something all over Flea and Johnny, and then blows them a big kiss. Her little message at the end is so nice too.

My other favorite part of the night was when she played "Distant Fingers" (which I don't think I'd ever seen her play before?) and started it off by telling a story about smoking cigarettes outside CBGB and looking for flying saucers in the sky with her boyfriend Tom Verlaine. And she played "Because the Night" too and that's really great for me, that I got to see Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith play "Because the Night" in the same year. Lucky duck.


Satanism + witches + pumpkin iced coffee + my home state = SO MUCH LOVE


Thing of the Week: Courtney Love Singing The Replacements and a Bagel in the Future with LJ

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Courtney Love Doing Her Makeup & Singing The Replacements

I really only care about The Replacements, and Courtney Love singing The Replacements. So here's a video of Courtney Love singing The Replacements and doing her makeup, in a hotel room on New Year's Eve about three years ago -- I found it the other day while "researching" the story thing I wrote about "Unsatisfied"; it was featured in a Village Voice post that's mean about Courtney in the laziest and tritest way. (Yup! Courtney sings crazy, and she's got substance-abuse problems! Great job grabbing that low-hanging fruit, Village Voice.) But yeah anyway: I really like Courtney's slippy thing, and I like how she's so efficient about her makeup but totally inefficient about coming in on the song at the right time. Something about the view out the hotel window makes me really nostalgic for New Year's Eve in New York City, a nice and warm and sweet-feeling kind of nostalgic, so I like that part too. And I like how Courtney says "Cha!" at the part in the song where Paul Westerberg says something that sounds like "Go!" (although maybe he's just shouting nothing). From now on I'm gonna say "Cha!" whenever I'm ready for things to get going.

Also: I'm going to my tenth Patti Smith show tonight! Cha!

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: A bagel with LJ in the Future 

Laura Jane is coming to New York TODAY! In the near future we're going to hang out and we're also going to have bagels together at some point. We're going to read each other's tarot cards and discover our futures. I think we'll probably talk about our feelings and projects, too.


Everything I Love Right Now

1. My dream winter coat, as worn by Keith Moon while playing pinball:

2. The Nutella Panino at Little Dom's, which is Nutella and mascarpone cream on a toasted sandwich; I ate it last Saturday and it was so perfectly melty:

3. This hot recording of Cat Power playing "Silent Machine" live in 1998, via our buddy Suzanne:

("Silent Machine" is my third favorite song off Sun. My first is "Nothing But Time" tied with "Peace and Love," my second is "Ruin.")

4. Assembling my Halloween costume! I was going to be an Enchanted Forest, which would have involved these tights:

but now they're out of stock at ModCloth. So I'm going to be The Ocean, and wear this slipdress:


Laura Jane's Quitting Smoking Journals: ONE MONTH LATER


On Saturday I was late for work for no reason; sometimes, you just happen to be less efficient at living your own life than usual. You do all the things you normally do only with a slow weird bent you don't really notice until it comes to be the time when you're normally scrubbing last night's guacamole stains off your service apron but instead you're only at "trail mix assemblage" (I assemble my own trail mix), and then you start rushing around and it's so tragic because it means you're not going to have time to buy a coffee; you're going to have to settle for stopping into the Village Market for a sugar-free Red Bull, which you hate- the Korean cashiers always talk to each other in Korean while I'm buying it (k I'm switching to the first person now) and it's so obvious they're saying "This poor girl drinks so much sugar-free Red Bull, what an idiot loser, her health is probably suffering for it, ew, she just knocked some gum over, she buys cereal a lot, she's out of control and I pity her," which is rude of them. Also, why is Red Bull so expensive? It's CRAZY! The worst deal in the world! Why do we put UP with that? Is taurine made of DIAMONDS? 


A Concise & Ecstatic History of How The Replacements' "Unsatisfied" Came to Be My New Theme for Autumn/Life


1. On July 12 the wonderful Tumblr named "somehillbilly" posted this post with links to a whole mess of Hole rarities. I downloaded them all, because I love Hole. I didn't listen to all of them right away (mostly I was preoccupied with the "cheerleader version" of "Rock Star," and with that late-'90s live version of "Teenage Whore" that Courtney stops after 30 seconds and tells the audience "I might have Meg Ryan's hair, but I've still got the touch"), but last Thursday or something the Hole version of "Unsatisfied" came up on my iPod and I let it play (or let it be, if you will).

2. This is the version of "Unsatisfied" that's from somehillbilly's Hole rarities thing:

I like how the beginning sounds like it's an actual Hole song, like a fetal version of "Boys on the Radio," all orchidy and tea rose. It's not a song that Courtney wrote but it's classic Courtney anyway; she was born to fuck up those lyrics. Hole and Nirvana both mean a lot to me because -- at their greatest -- they make feeling like shit sound really glorious, and that's absolutely what's happening in this version of "Unsatisifed."


Thing of the Week: The Holiday Where Ghosts Make Candy, Laura Jane's New Couch (Which Is A Metaphor), A Tie from Jen

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Holiday Where Ghosts Make Candy

I'm really Halloween-candy-obsessed this year, probably the most Halloween-candy-obsessed I've been since six Halloweens ago, aka the Halloween I got assigned a story about rich-people candy for a big-deal magazine. The magazine paid me to go over all town and try all different candy and talk to people about candy and then write about the candy -- they even paid for the candy itself. What a dream that was. The best was a place on La Cienega that doesn't exist anymore; they had giant candy corn made of marzipan, and blood orange/lime pate de fruit gummy worms, and this thing called Bag Of Dirt which was just crushed chocolate cookies but soooo yum. I haven't found anything that exciting this year and yesterday I went to Dylan's Candy Bar in search of creme brulee candy corn, but apparently we don't get to have that here in Los Angeles. And no Candy Corn Oreos either! And I also still haven't found any goddamn pumpkin iced coffee, so after Dylan's I went to Farmers Market and bought pumpkin iced cream and iced coffee, and dunked a spoonful of ice cream into the iced coffee and swirled it all together, and it was so cinnamon-y and pumpkin-y and creamy and perfect. I make do with what I got.

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: My New Couch & Nook

(At left: Out with the old! At right: In with the new!)

The week I quit smoking, I couldn't sleep. I lay up all night every night switching my pillow from the head to the foot of my bed downloading free relaxation-hypnosis apps off my phone and crying while trying to count backward from a million and boiling water to pour down my ear canals because if you google-search "how to get rid of tinnitus" that's the ONLY practical suggestion it gives you.

It was dark but not really that dark. People were like "What's up?" and I was like "I'm having this really chill existential crisis right now," and then time passed and I could sleep again. Point is, on one of those nuts gross insomnia nights, insomnia that lasted so long I'd have to watch the sun come up which is such a depressing thing to have to do if you weren't just doing drugs or having sex for tons of hours, I had this totally NOT chill emotional breakdown about my COUCH, the monstrosity with so much foam and stuffing barfing itself out of itself seen above. I hate that couch and, on that one horrific night, it became a metaphor for everything I hated about my life. It made me so sad about myself, my not owning anything high-quality or nice, my being too poor to afford nice things. (In addition to my couch sucking, my bed sucks.)

Two days later, my dad impulse-bought himself a new leather easy chair and asked me if I wanted to take his old couch because karma is real and I'm a good person and I was all "YESSSSS PLEASE DAD" and then helped my dad move in his new chair to amp up my karma even more. I looked extremely forward to New Couch Day for the entire month of September and talked about it SO MUCH- "I just want to have, like, nice things. You know? Like, I really want to not have Venetian blinds anymore. How much do curtains cost? I think I'm going to buy myself curtains for Christmas," etc. The day before Couch Day, I bought myself 2 Kobo scented candles because I was so stoked for my room to start being $$$HEAVEN$$$, and smelling good is part of heavenliness ($$$). On Couch Day I drank an Iced Venti Soy Latte and ate an avocado out of its shell. I tipped my couch onto its side and sat inside the bare-bones frame of it like it was a prison cell made of a ribcage. Later on I took the streetcar to my Dad's and had a cool convo with my dad's doorman- he told me I'm a superstar!- and then my Dad and I carried various couches up and down various flights of stairs for several hours until finally the story ended and I became the proud owner of my new beautiful little nook (seen above)! It's a metaphor for everything I love about my life. I saved the old pillows from barf couch because NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM.

The next morning, I woke up and drank my coffee while watching the second episode of season 3 of Downton Abbey on my CHIC new couch with no soul being sucked out of me or FOAM rubbing against my leg, everything about it was perfect except for how INSANELY FUCKING BORING Season 3 of Downton Abbey is so far. I digress but like basically the ONLY reason I've stuck it out for the past 2.2 seasons is because of my DESPERATE OBSESSION with hoping for a storyline about Thomas' gayness!!!!! Even in the preview for Season 3 there was a Thomas' gayness teaser but NOPE it's just like "Oh, they had a picnic-themed party at Downton and a character named Alfred no one cares about burned a hole in Cousin Matthew's dinner jacket and then some other people expressed opinions about dinner jackets!" Like honestly Julian Fellowes, GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT: at least five minutes per EVERY SINGLE EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY FOREVER to be about Thomas' gayness BEGINNING NOW. But seriously though oh my God, remember how sad it was when Thomas bought all that sugar and kept it in a shed and then realized it wasn't really sugar and destroyed all the sugar and it was all because he's so fucked up about how he wants to have sex with men but it's 1920??? That was so sad. 

 JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: Too Many Things, It's A Tie

#1. I had heard about this dance party in the dark at a church in Greenpoint a while ago. I was kind of like, “oh, cool..maybe?” and immediately forgot about it. My friend Matt went and told me about it and then on Tuesday I went. Matt had told me it was truly weird and really fun. It is! I love it! It’s called No Lights No Lycra and I want to go all the time. It’s in a huge rec room type deal in a church and it is dark. The lights are off and there are green star lazers everywhere and everyone is there to just dance and have fun and no one cares what you do and no one will touch you or perv out on you. They played Get Into the Groove! And Mariah! And Green Day! And Robyn! At some point I was dancing/spinning around to this song that was hard to dance to in a challenging good way and I felt like I was in the dance scene in the Virgin Suicides. Happy Haps.

#2. My 8 course meal at Kajitsu that was so beautiful and delicious.  Kajitsu serves the Buddhist shojin cuisine. It’s based on the principle of not taking life and reading those words on the website made me cry once. I discovered that I really love ginkgo nuts and the hand etched sake glasses were devastatingly beautiful.

#3.  SARA was in town from San Francisco for a day. Sara is the best. I took a break at work and we had a mid day hang/Upper East Side thrift store session. She was a surprise guest  at Goldblum Night and we ate an incredible amount of snacks for dinner.

#4. Tonight I’m hanging out with Rachel & Mimi & I like them a lot so I’m really excited about that.

#5. Tomorrow I’m going to Salem to have a Witch Weekend which is I guess technically next week’s thing maybe but I’m feeling good about it right now so whatever.