Things of the Year: All Our Favorite Stuff from 2012

Some of the Reasons Why 2012 Was Good as Gold (by Liz)

I made this playlist of the songs that meant the most to me in 2012. Here's my partial explanation of why "2012 was good as gold":

1. I took a writing class with one of my favorite writers. Actually, I took four writing classes with her, and I'm taking another one that starts Friday. Signing up for that first class was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life and I'm so happy I did it. I'm writing a novel and last night on my flight from Boston to L.A. I wrote a cool part about Neil Young and elephant funerals and coloring in coloring books with little kids while being stoned on Thanksgiving night.

2. Speaking of my book, in August Storychord published a story that's kinda like backstory to my book. The story's called "Long Hot Winter." I don't know what my book is called yet.

3. Also writing-related, in January I did my first reading, at my buddy Sarah Tomlinson's bday party at Bar Covell. I read an excerpt from my Like Dreamers Do Beatles zine and I killed it. I have the most intense stage fright and up until the moment I stepped up to read I was basically like "This is not actually happening, of course it's not happening," but somehow everything was great and awesome. I loved that night a lot.

4. I went to Buenos Aires! It was my first time leaving the country! How crazy is that? My brother and I went to visit our little sister, who was studying abroad. We were there for a week in February and stayed at a swank hotel right near Evita's grave and Buenos Aires is beautiful and very Italian (I love everything Italian). Here are some of the best things I ate:

It's dulce de leche pancakes ("panqueques") and a glass of wine (aka my last meal in Argentina), some amazing pasta I had at this wonderful restaurant called Il Ballo Del Mattone, a "Campari Naranja" from the same restaurant, and a giant piece of apple pie that was my breakfast appetizer at some chain restaurant we ate at our second day in town. That's my sister, enjoying a Coke and being cute. It's so chill how Argentines drink their Coke out of wine glasses.

I also drank the most adorable cocktail, called Apple Bubbles -- it was big hunks of green apples and club soda and maybe rum? I also listened to "Porpoise Song" by the Monkees while flying over a lightning storm in Bolivia. Oh my god. 

5. I saw Bruce Springsteen, I saw Patti Smith, I saw Neil Young. That all happened within a three-month span and was really fortifying.

6. And here's just a bunch of other favorite things from 2012:

-the day Laura Fisher and I were walking through Boston Common and a flower blossom blew off a tree and into my mouth
-the day I swung on a swing while drinking pink wine at a cool person's gorgeous house in Laurel Canyon
-the day LJ and I went to the Inn of the Seventh Ray (she talks about it in her part of this post) and we ate the Potato Egg Jar and the waiter made sure LJ realized that the vegan duck she'd ordered was a vegan version of duck meat and not "a duck that was vegan when it was still alive"
-Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (especially the Larry David and Alec Baldwin ones; they make me so happy); the part in Moonrise Kingdom where Sam pours out his milk into Bruce Willis's ashtray and then pours his beer into his milk glass; Argo & Magic Mike, Mike D's thing at MOCA and the two times I got to stand next to Mike D at MOCA, this weird place Anthony Bourdain loves in Koreatown, David Lynch on Louie, other things I'm forgetting
-my wonderful new house that I love, it's so much better than my old house, I'm so much happier there, I got a trampoline for Christmas!
-In March Sarah Tomlinson and I drove up to San Luis Obispo and did hot-springs tubbing and in my tub I drank a can of Sofia Coppola pink champagne and listened to Ram by Paul McCartney and decided my whole life should be pink and then we went to the Madonna Inn and I got a piece of beautiful pink cake and they let me take a giant pink cake box and I love my pink cake box so much

7. STRAWBERRY FIELDS WHATEVER. I love it, I love us. To me Strawberry Fields Whatever is about all the ways you use music to get by and make life good and extraordinary and fizzy and dazzling instead of fucking boring and stupid and lame and flat. I can write about that forever, I think. THANK YOU FOR COMING ALONG WITH US ON THIS MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

Jen's Top 20 of 2012 (by Jen)

(film still from Celine and Julie go Boating)

1. I got through the weird neck hair grow out phase post pixie.
2. Paris, France. I went there. Also I watched Paris, TX and liked that too.
3. How Should a Person Be? By Sheila Heti
4. Becoming a witch in Salem.
5. Transcendental Meditation
6. Finding my kindred spirit, David Lynch
7. Twin Peaks Day
8. This blog
9. Reading that John Waters said he loves Justin Bieber because he " just makes him laugh so much" on Rookie
10. Bagels and caps on Saturday Mornings with LC & TC.
11. Every Goldblum night with a special shout out to meeting Jeff.
12. I saw Celine and Julie go Boating at Film Forum and LOVED it.
13. One time Muncho the stray cat that lived on my block walked next to me the entire way down the block.
14. Cape Cod Chip Factory
15. I popped popcorn in coconut oil and gave it to Michael Ian Black at his book reading. He ate it and said he liked it.
16. Therapy!!
17. I moved out of my shitty apartment hell and into a better space.
18. Talking at Champs & drinking coffee.
19. I'm glad the Abe movie happened but I think he should have been more depressed in it.
20. Sanja Ivekovic's show at MoMA. 

2012: The Year of George Harrison (by LJ)

In 2012, I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist. 

And now my arm looks like this:

I love my George/Paul arm so much. It's such a great arm. 

Four days after getting George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist, I quit smoking. What a game-changer of a week! I wanted to make myself a t-shirt that says "CIGARETTES KILLED GEORGE HARRISON," but I never got around to it. But life is long. It'll happen one day. And in 2012 I did get this really sick other George Harrison t-shirt, which more than compensates:

A lot of very amazing and equally excellent things happened to me in 2012, but quitting smoking is my favorite part of the story because it's not a thing that happened to me, it's a thing that I made happen. Since quitting smoking I've become a very wealthy man. I save all the money I would have spent on cigarettes and put it in a chipped brown and beige cup that says "Irish Coffee" on it. That cup is my "moving to London" cup. I don't want to say how much money I've saved because I don't want any robbers who are reading this to come and rob my cup. And I have a lot less insomnia about dying than I used to. I sort of still like being around cigarette smoke, it's cozy, but I pity smokers and feel very distanced from all romantic associations I once had with smoking cigarettes. At best it's the worst possible vice, at worst it's trashy as fuck and kills you. 

In the middle of October I visited New York and lived a very cool night where Jen May and I read each other's Tarot cards and I figured out my entire life. The picture on the left is me with Jen's cat Sadie, who curled up next to me while I slept and it was so sweet. I love girl animals. They really get it. The picture on the right is the Celtic Cross of me. That was the night I figured out I am going to work very hard and save up all my money and move to London. I figure 2013's going to be a pretty boring year in my life. I'm just going to work very hard and save a ton of money. Eyes on the prize, babydoll. 

The day Jen and I ate Thai food and read each other's Tarot cards was the second-best day of my year. I also ate these crazy pancakes with Lexy:

I love Lexy. Holler at Lexy. Those pancakes are from Le Barricou, my #1 favorite restaurant with the best vibes ever. If there is a heaven one day I will wake up dead drinking a Bloody Mary out of a Mason jar at Le Barricou and death will be so chill forever. 

The best day of my year happened at the beginning of March, when I was in Los Angeles visiting Liz. That trip was when we decided that Strawberry Fields Whatever was going to be a thing. It's insane to think how there was no Strawberry Fields Whatever a mere year ago! Ew. What a gross, dirty world that must have been. Good riddance, that world. 

On the best day of my year I hung out with my friend Andi for the first time. We were Internet friends when we were teenagers and stuck Internet-together for TEN years before finally meeting in person. It was so lovely and easy. I thought I lost my passport, but then Liz found it for me, which was really John and Paul of us (John Lennon goes to visit Paul McCartney and John Lennon loses his passport. Then John Lennon goes and hangs out with his friend while Paul McCartney looks for John Lennon's passport and then finds it in John Lennon's makeup bag.) I bought Sandinista! by the Clash and Wild Tales by Graham Nash at Amoeba Records, Andi and I ate Babycakes, and while we were driving home I was like "Look! A zebra!" and then we pulled over and hung out with the zebra for a bit. It was the closest I've ever been to a zebra. 

I don't really know why it was the best day of my year, but it was. It just was. Another thing that happened while I was in LA was Liz and I played Beatles Trivial Pursuit against each other. It was the most evenly-matched game of Beatles Trivial Pursuit of all time. That was maybe the fourth-best day of my year. I was crazy losing at the beginning, but then I found my strength and hella came up from behind. Which was so John Lennon of me! 

In the end, Liz let me win because she was tired and wanted to go to bed. Which was so Paul McCartney of her. 

A very beautiful thing that happened to me in the second half of 2012 is that I started loving Paul McCartney more than I've ever loved Paul McCartney. Sometimes people ask me "What's up?" and all I can think to say is "I love Paul McCartney!" 2012 was my George Harrison year because in 2012 I chilled the fuck out, and 2013 is going to be my Paul McCartney year because in 2013 I'm going to be a pragmatic and positive active doer. In 2013, I'm only going to make life choices that Paul McCartney would be able to stand behind. In 2014 I'll maybe go back to having a John Lennon year again. Before 2012 John Lennon years were the only type of year I'd ever known. They're definitely my safe space. 

Another very beautiful thing that happened to me in the second half of 2012 is that I started working in a restaurant and realized that I want to work in restaurants forever. Paul McCartney and eating a good meal are the only 2 things I can think of that in no way suck. Even puppies sometimes suck. They have diarrhea all over your belongings, and eat your shoes. Paul McCartney never does that. A meal can make you sick, but if a meal makes you sick, it's not a good meal. So that doesn't count. 

Last but not least, here is my tribute to all the best foods I ate in 2012. The pancakes shown above are most definitely included in this list. 

This is POTATO EGG JAR. Liz Barker and I ate POTATO EGG JAR at The Inn of the Seventh Ray in March. I've thought about it every day since. It's truffle potato foam, toasted bread crumbs, and a "63 degree egg." 63 degree egg, like I know what the fuck degrees mean in relation to eggs. Are you kidding me

On the first really cold day of the year I was wandering around running errands and I was starving. I had a stupid peanut butter Dipps and baggie of yogurt raisins in my bag and I was like "Just eat your snacks, Laura. Don't spend money on food. Eat your snacks and then eat some free food once you get to work. You can do this" but I was like "NO. I CAN'T. MY GRANOLA BAR AND YOGURT RAISINS SUCK TOO MUCH AND I DESERVE BETTER." I literally threw them in the garbage. Maybe that was overdramatic of me but whatever. It happened. I went to Feel Good Guru, which I thought was irritatingly-named until I ate there and left feeling tons more "good" than I did when I arrived, and bought a thing of 1/2 Make Kale Not War (irritating name) and 1/2 Bangkok Doc (less irritating but still lame). I ordered it as "half  kale, half Pad Thai" because I am incapable of saying embarrassing names of things. The Pad Thai is off the chain gorgeous. It is so much better than the ketchupy mush which is actual Pad Thai. It's kelp & zucchini noodles with sunflower sprouts, garlic chives, coriander, and "creamy zesty almond lime sauce." It was an intense and intensely beautiful flavor explosion. $14 well spent except hey guys maybe can it with the cutesy pun names. 

2012 was the year I discovered brunch. I'm really into brunch now. That's how you can tell I'm growing up. 

The thing on the left is Eggs Maradona at Bristol Yard. It's fried bread with a piece of thin steak, two poached eggs, and crazy chimichurri sauce on top. I can't even. This changed my world. Bristol Yard is British food in Toronto and there's even a picture of George Harrison on the wall! Plus the coffee is REALLY good and I never notice whether coffee is good or not. 

The albacore tuna sandwich at The Whippoorwill is my favorite new food of 2012. I haven't stopped talking about it since I first ate it two weeks ago. Every single person in my life knows that I ate the albacore tuna sandwich at the Whippoorwill and loved it. I am going back to the Whippoorwill tomorrow to eat it again and I plan on eating it minimum 12 times in 2013. Once per month. Done. If the Whippoorwill closes down in 2013 I'm going to die. Please everyone go to the Whippoorwill constantly so it can stay open forever and I don't have to die. This is very important to me. 

Anyway, that sandwich is a sort of weird and boring way of ending my 2012 wrap-up; I'm not so cool with it. So here's a picture of George and Ringo and a little dog. 

Peace, friends. 


Happy International 'Like' Strawberry Fields Whatever on Facebook Day!

It's my birthday today! And it's Alex Chilton's birthday too! It's also the day after Lenny Kaye from the Patti Smith Group's bday, the day before Marianne Faithfull's birthday, two days before Patti Smith and Mike Nessmith and Davy Jones's birthday (hi, how cute is it that two of the Monkees were born the same day?), and three days before Paul "My Dream Boyfriend" Westerberg's birthday. We were all born in the Week Of The Ruler, which means we are tyrannical yet super-trustworthy and highly capable of getting shit done. In celebration of all of us, we invite you to love (i.e., "like") Strawberry Fields Whatever on Facebook. For those of you who already Facebook-like Strawberry Fields Whatever, other ways to celebrate include:

-telling everyone you know and love to like Strawberry Fields Whatever on Facebook
-having lots of tea and mai tais and Chinese food, which is what I'm going to do in 28 minutes
-not seeing This Is 40
-and if you do see This Is 40, seeing it only for the parts where the Paul Rudd eats cheeseburgers in the car while singing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with his mouth full and the part where Chris O'Dowd is cool about Van Halen
-being cool about Van Halen
-finding and buying me a Patti Smith shirt just like the one Jen May is wearing in the above photo
-getting a Bruce Springsteen tattoo

-looking at pictures of Mary Timony and young Mickey Rourke and oceans and beautiful cake, like this beautiful cake, which I wish I could share with all of you:



The Music We Loved Most in 2012

I'm so fucking tired! And was having gross writer's block on the evening and morning I designated as being my "2012 music wrap-up writing time." It was stupid. I wrote like 3000 words of nonsense about "Song of the Viking" by Todd Rundgren and then went to bed and had a scary dream about visiting a malfunctioning Led Zeppelin-themed amusement park that was also a gym with a dude I had a crush on in high school. He was being really unhelpful about dealing with malfunctioning amusement park issues. Then I was like, "I wish I lived closer to this amusement park! I would really love to work out at this gym," because I'm boring.  

I woke up and deleted the Rundgren garbage. I decided to be very good to myself/lazy. No more words-writing you poor words-writer! So this is what you get. An extremely uncomfortable and awkwardly paced mix CD composed of songs most evocative of such utterly fascinating moments from my 2012 as "walking to the gym in March," "walking to Starbucks in June," "sitting at a Starbucks in May," walking to the liquor store in September," and "walking to the bank in October"!  I also stapled two sheets of Korean stationery together, scribbled in colored pencil, and stuck a Letraset of the letter X to a glittery lion sticker's eye. 

In 2013 I would like to write some cooler and more interesting words about Todd Rundgren, Graham Nash and Paris 1919 by John Cale for SFW. Those are three of my New Year's resolutions. My other New Year's resolution is "be a shittier person," which I may or may not blog about ever. I have started being a way shittier person than I used to be for the last few months of 2012 and it's seriously revelatory and has saved me a ton of boring trouble. 

Anyway! If you are interested in entering the sweepstakes to win a copy of my awkward (that is really the only word that can be used to describe it) "best of 2012" mix that doesn't flow naturally and/or at all, complete with the exclusive and limited edition strawberry-bear-and-lion-themed "CD case" seen above, please email your response to the question What is your favorite section of the song "Band on the Run" by Wings? to laurajanefaulds at gmail dot com by December 31st as the clock strikes twelve. The winner will be based on criteria I have not yet decided, so wow me. 

the only person who ever put Azealia Banks after Sparks on a mix CD ever, probs

Jen's Most Loved Songs & Records

Grass Widow  - Internal Logic. I think Grass Widow are an amazing band. I go to see them more or less every time they play New York.  When they stop playing I’m always like, “No! More!”, but also impressed with the way they leave you wanting more and kind of refuse to over do it. Internal Logic is, to me, close to flawless. Here is a list of words that are evocative of this beautiful record : outer space, light, brains, feelings, dimensions, harmonies,  acceptance, the future, star trek the original series, emotional intelligence.  Go there.

Theme song from LouieProbably this TV show theme song has had a more profound effect on me than most albums have. I know that It is originally a song by Hot Chocolate that was covered a million times.  Unfortunately, the original and the covers don’t really do it for me. What does is Theme Song Version. When it starts my whole body relaxes. It’s easily the best song I’ve ever heard. The music video (aka opening credits of the show) is perfect - Louis walking and eating pizza oh my god. Changing the second “cry” to “die” is genius because guess what Louis is going to die and actually all of us are too.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill. I deeply love the first song on this album, "Driftin' Back." It's essentially 30 minutes of Neil saying, “hey now now hey now now/ I’m driftin’ back” alternating with thoughts on his life. I find this incredibly comforting. I get super psyched when he talks about meditation. He has a different understanding of TM than I do but whatever, Neil does his own thing. When the 30 minutes of Neil’s Thoughts end I hate it. Luckily I like most of the album a whole bunch too. “Walk Like a Giant” is beautiful and makes me want to cry sometimes. I hate “Twisted Road” and wish it wasn’t on the album. For the most part the album is Neil & Crazy Horse riffing on Neil’s past and also ravers & girls that like dancing. I need nothing else.

Hole - Live Through This with a special shout out to "Violet." I listened to this so much this year and I don’t really have anything to say about that besides, AND THE SKY WAS MADE OF AMETHYST.

Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express. Remember how when Kraftwerk at MoMA tickets went onsale and the internet broke and we were all stuck inside the internet on a virtual queue and living out a Kraftwerk song? That was so annoying. I entered this contest to win tickets after being disheartened by staying in a digital queue for 2 hours for nothing. I WON!! Isn’t that crazy? I thought I was being punked. It turns out pretty much everyone that entered won. But, whatever. I won! I saw Trans-Europe Express. It was really cool. Way cool.  When I was watching them in my 3-d glasses I thought, “oh my god, they were/are geniuses”. Also it was fun. I used to mostly just want to listen to The Man Machine on repeat, but after this show I started listening to Trans Europe Express more than my beloved “We Are The Robots.” I went to Europe for the first time this year also so probably I, like, totally got it.

"Good Day Today" by David Lynch & also all music from Twin Peaks. 2012 above anything else for me was the year of Lynch. I got SO into this song. I hate this video I don’t know why he picked it to win in the contest. This song makes me feel such joy. If you’re feeling so tired of fire & smoke and want to have a good day today this is the song for you.  He’s so positive & weird! Positively weird. Also, obviously I love every second of music in Twin Peaks & basically everything with Angelo & David together. The end.

2012 Was As Good As Gold by Liz

I made a Spotify playlist of the songs I loved best this year. It's called "2012 was good as gold," because that's mostly true. Here are the songs:

"Gold" by John Stewart. I heard this song for the first time one morning at the beginning of the year, it was playing on the radio and I assumed it was a disco song that Johnny Cash recorded with Stevie Nicks in 1981. But really it's by this John Stewart guy, about whom I know nothing except that he made a weird and gorgeous song about loving Los Angeles and believing in rock-and-roll. It's an ideal anthem for me and I'm so grateful I happened to be listening to the radio at that very moment. My favorite lyric is "California girls are the greatest in the world/Each one a song in the making." A good one for the gravestone.

"I Shall Be Released" by the Hollies. In February there were like two weeks where all I listened to was "I Shall Be Released," mostly the version from The Last Waltz. I was going through a thing of being torn up and ruinously angry over a dude I never even liked that much in the first place, which is the worst, and a waste -- at least real heartbreak has some sort of beauty to it. I watched that part of The Last Waltz over and over all the time and pretended Neil Young and Bob Dylan and Van Morrison were all my buddies and helping me through my shit, and it made me feel better and cool and all right. The Hollies version is a lot more chill and prettier and suited to fairly low-pressure end-of-the-year self-reflection, but this one means so much more:

"Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)" by Van Morrison. I got way into Van Morrison this year; I love how he's a total bastard but such a romantic. This song's so happy and the best is the "BOOM BOOM BOOM" of the second verse. If you're dancing to "Jackie Wilson Said" in a room full of people, like at a wedding or something, you have to tap your hand against your heart in time to that part. I think that should be international law.

The Lemonheads cover of "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon. Apart from most of the years in my adolescence, 2012 was the year I cared most about the Lemonheads. More than ever before, I appreciate Evan Dando for being a crackerjack songwriter and a beautiful goofball. I love how ragged and ruined his voice is here, and how the piano + drums + vocals arrangement has a scrappy junior-high-music-recital sort of feel to it. I also love the surprise ending, and when he sings the word "meant" as "smeant." Evan and I became Twitter friends earlier this year and that makes me feel really special.

"Hey Jane" by Spiritualized. I always take Spiritualized for granted. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space is one of the most important albums in the history of my life but most of the time I forget it even exists. J. Spaceman's just this weird skulky presence and it's easy to let him slip by unnoticed, but I'm so thankful I remembered him enough to get the new Spiritualized album. In my book there's a girl named Jane who's kind of an asshole but when J Spaceman sings "Some say you got a rotten soul, but I say Janie loves rock-and-roll," I feel for her and I love her. 

"A Year and a Day" by the Beastie Boys. For a while after MCA died there'd be moments when I'd stop and say to myself "MCA is dead. One of the Beastie Boys is dead" and it seemed unreal and the younger me couldn't process it. It seems real that MCA is dead now, and now that seems unreal to me, so yeah: I really just don't know. But the good news is I found this "Year and a Day"-era picture last night and I love it so much, they're such cute kids:


John, Paul, George & Argo


On the night of December 9th, we held a teleconference to plan end-of-the-year content for Strawberry Fields Whatever. After about ten minutes the conversation turned to Ben Affleck, and from that point on pretty much all we talked about was Ben Affleck and how much we love him forever and ever. What follows is a partial transcript of that conversation; it's our favorite thing in the world right now and the best Christmas present we could possibly give you.

P.S. If Ben Affleck were a Beatles song, he'd be "A Hard Day's Night." 


We consider the possibility of doing a list of our favorite non-music things from 2012, such as movies and other pop-culture events.

LJ: Are you gonna write about Argo?

LIZ: No, probably not. Did you see Argo?

LJ: Yeah, I loved Argo. I think about Argo every day. Literally, I never stop thinking about Argo. Maybe in like five years we can blog about Argo.

LIZ: That would be very us, to blog about Argo in 2017.

[Both laugh for about nine hours]

LJ: That's so happening. Here's our favorite Argo moments, five years after the movie came out.

LJ: I feel like I wanna write about Paul McCartney. Or maybe I'll just write about John, Paul, George, and then Argo.


[More laughing, for nine more hours]

LIZ: That's so good. That's, like, my favorite thing. I want someone to make the Let It Be cover with Argo Ben Affleck instead of Ringo.

LJ: I'm just gonna do that. I'm just gonna Photoshop that and not write a single word.

LIZ: Do it.

LJ: I'm gonna Tweet "John, Paul, George, and Argo" now. Probably nobody will favorite it. But I bet Ben would like it.

LIZ: Ben who? My friend Ben?

LJ: No, Ben Affleck. 

LIZ: Oh. Right.


Liz starts to talk about what she's going to include on her "Best of 2012" list.

LJ: No, wait, let's just talk about Argo for a few seconds. Do you feel like Ben Affleck in Argo is the best Ben Affleck ever looked? 

LIZ [after thinking for years]: Yeah. Yeah, probably.

LJ: Me too.

LIZ: But I feel like I'm biased because of his hair. Like, obviously I'm going to like him more with that hair than in anything where he doesn't have that hair.

LJ: Yeah, that's true. I love Ben Affleck in Argo.

LIZ: God, we should totally post about our favorite Ben Afflecks.

LJ: Yeah, we should. Our blog is so weirdly much about Ben Affleck, for a music blog. It's not even something that we've really ever talked about. It's just this quiet, unspoken thing.

LIZ: My favorite Ben Affleck, apart from Argo Ben Affleck, is the part in Good Will Hunting where he has that big speech toward the end --


LIZ: When he's like [speaking in shamefully inaccurate Boston accent] "I'm gonna wake up tomorrow and I'm gonna be 50."

LJ: Oh, wait, no, I thought you meant when he's in the office pretending to be Will. I might even love that Ben Affleck more than Argo Ben Affleck. Wait, what does he look like in the part you're talking about?

LIZ: He's got like, dirt on his face and he's smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. And he looks really, like, slim.

LJ: I like how his weight fluctuates.

LIZ: Yes. Just one of the many wonderful things about Ben Affleck.


Liz gives an LJ a progress report on sticker-ordering for Strawberry Fields Whatever.

LIZ: I researched stickers and I got a quote from some company but then I realized that the quote was for stickers that aren't suitable for outdoor use, which is stupid, and then I forgot to get a new quote. So I don't know much about stickers at this point, is what I'm trying to tell you. I really wish we had a benefactor who'd just buy us stickers.

LJ: Yeah, right. And tote bags.

LIZ: I wish Ben Affleck would be our benefactor.

LJ: Yeah, he would love us. 

LIZ: He would! He so would!

(Note: Jen May made this picture)


Top 5 Fave Moments from the Martin Short + Paul McCartney Skit on Last Week's 'Saturday Night Live'


At first I resisted writing this post on account of the fact that it seemed excessively self-indulgent, but whatever -- it's my birthday month! I love Paul McCartney! I love Martin Short! They are both lovely humans and these are my favorite moments from the above video:

5. Paul's vest. Seafoam-green! Sequins! He looks so good. Nice jeans too, Paul.

4. Paul's exquisitely understated comic genius. He so beautifully plays the straight man/sad clown. So subtle, so tender. I think this outshines his performance in A Hard Day's Night, possibly.

3. When Martin Short sing-asks "Holiday where?" and then sing-answers "Holiday here!" In the Vanity Fair with the amazing Freaks & Geeks spectacular there's a really great feature on Martin Short, who is probably the second most lovable man in the history of mankind, after Paul McCartney. I really wish I could just ditch work and watch Innerspace right now, and maybe all the Fake Uncle Jack episodes of Arrested Development.

2. The thing about Paul getting stuck in a tree after chasing a bird. Poor Paul! Paul and his little triangle, and all those sweetly exasperated facial expressions. When Martin Short screams at him, I want so badly to protect him from everything mean in the world.

1. When Paul and his band actually play "Wonderful Christmastime." The other night at the Glendale Galleria I listened to "Wonderful Christmastime" while shopping for "Christmas morning PJs" and found these really cute red flannel pajamas that make me look like a baby emperor, which I'll explain later. And I wish Paul hadn't let the other dudes in the band sing -- but it's all right! The kids in the choir are so sweet and smiley, I love them. I watched this episode in bed yesterday morning, wearing my baby-emperor PJs and drinking Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee and feeling like the snuggest bug. I also really dug the "You're A Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown" bit from this episode, and how Pat Smear looked like the happiest person ever during the encore performance of Paulvana. Paul and Pat, buddies forevs. 


Thing of the Week: All Liz's New $5 T-Shirts, Highbrow & Lowbrow Baked Goods

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: All My New $5 T-Shirts

On Saturday morning I went to a sample sale at Blood Is The New Black. It was happening at the same time as the Echo Park Christmas parade, which meant that there were lots of Christmas clowns dancing down Sunset Blvd to "Sexy & I Know It" as we shopped. I got four t-shirts for five bucks each: a shirt that says "Good Hearted Woman" (from the Waylon Jennings collection), one of Sterling Bartlett's Metal Bears tank tops, one of Sterling Bartlett's Punk Birds tank tops (v. similar to this muscle tee), and the Jane & Serge muscle tee which is the only one I haven't worn yet. Right now the Waylon Jennings one is my fave:

I don't really know anything about Waylon Jennings, but I love the part in Walk The Line when Johnny Cash is living with Waylon Jennings and they're really down-and-out, and Johnny asks Waylon why the phone's disconnected, and Waylon says the phone company turned it off due to "insufficient fundulation." I always mean to say that whenever I don't have enough money for something, but then I always forget.

Also on Saturday I went to my friends' wedding and it was the raddest wedding ever. The bride walked down the aisle to the music that plays at the end of the original Star Wars:

and at the end of the ceremony they danced back up the aisle together to "Silly Love Songs" by Wings -- so cute! And then later that night I went to a tree-trimming party and ate several of those cookies that're sugar cookies with a Hershey's Kiss pressed into the center, which are definitely the top three holiday cookies of all time. I wore my Punk Birds shirt and it was a hit, and the punch was made with really big slices of green apples. All in all, a very chill and fruitful Darby Crash Death Day.

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Highbrow & Lowbrow Baked Goods

My mom and I went to Nadege. I guess it's fair to point out that these are the highbrow baked goods I'm referring to, in case you're fucking dumb and suck at contextualizing. She had the lil guy on the right, which is adorably named "the Beatrix Potter." Just as everything should be! (I'm naming my kid Beatrix Potter and I'm also naming my dog Beatrix Potter, not to mention my cat. And my bird.) It's hazelnut carrot cake with layered with hazelnut buttercream. I love the way the frosting shines like enamel. I had the La Mancha: saffron creme brulee, honey mousse, blackberry coulis, and a shortbread biscuit. I feel kind of stupid saying "It was delicious" because OBVS! Imagine if it wasn't? "Yeah this delicate yet complex petit-four made out of exclusively delicious ingredients that I bought for $8.50 at a renowned patisserie was fucking revolting. Inedible. Slop, basically."  

Amanda and I went to Glory Hole. A couple weeks ago I met Jenn for brunch at Easy and after eating we walked past Glory Hole and I wanted a donut so bad but I'd just eaten so much brunch and had to go to work kind of soon and I knew that a donut would push my stomach over the edge into really unpleasant territory and I just couldn't do that to myself. So I didn't eat a Glory Hole donut that day; instead I became obsessed with looking at the Glory Hole website like ten thousand times per day. All I wanted in the world was to eat a toast & butter donut, but I also wanted a black forest cake donut, and an Elvis, so I made a plan to go to Glory Hole and try a zillion different flavs with Amanda, my pal who is always game to eat as much food as me. You don't want to go out for donuts with a "light eater." 

The thing with the egg in it was called a breakfast bun and I could eat one of them for breakfast every day for the next ten years probably. There was salami baked into the bread. We ordered the breakfast bun because we wanted to give ourselves some "nutrition." 

They were out of toast & butter donuts, so I a bit wanted to kill myself for a sec, but then I ate a bite of a different donut and then I wanted to live. It's hard to describe the tastes of things. The Elvis is under the breakfast bun. It had peanut butter frosting, chunks of peanuts, banana chips, bacon, and a marshmallow. Amanda asked the Glory Hole employee if the marshmallow was home-made and he said, "I *wish* this was my home!"- it was adorable. And yes, it was. The donut was incredible. The pieces of peanut really pushed it over the edge, texturally. The maple was perfect. I wrote a big part about a maple donut into a story I'm writing because I can't stop thinking about it. But black forest cake was my fav. Just look at that thing! We ate it on stone church steps. I feel so put out, in life, by my always having to eat foods that don't have maraschino cherries on them. I call bullshit on every single thing in the world that isn't a maraschino cherry.


Ravi Shankar & George Harrison Are Both Dead & That's The World We Live In

It is 12:16 AM on Wednesday night or Thursday morning and I am writing this instead of working on the short story I'm supposed to be working on but I'm okay with that about myself. Tonight I had a terrible night at work. I was stressing out about how I was stuck at shitty work instead of working on the short story I'm supposed to be working on and I felt like I was dying and like I couldn't be real with anybody. I was not myself. I've had staggeringly bad headaches all week, headaches so bad you can taste them all gristly at the top of your nose like you just got punched. On the subway home I didn't read and I didn't listen to music, and I thought my feet were going to fall off. 

I came home and took my shoes off. It was one of the most beautiful "taking my shoes off" experiences of my life. I might go bathe my feet in hot water. I poured myself a glass of Sangiovese and found my copy of The Sounds of India on LP. I stole it from my father, P. Faulds. He bought it in 1967, as you can surely see. It's weird to think about my dad making the choice to buy that record 45 years ago and then 45 years passing and Ravi Shankar dying and his daughter blissing out to the very same copy. Though I am 100% sure my dad doesn't find it all as sentimentally gorgeous as I do. My 2012 dad is generally pissed at me for stealing all his records and taking shitty care of them.  

I sat cross-legged on my bed drinking my glass of wine and listening to Side B because there's less of Ravi explaining scales on Side B, more of Ravi playing songs. This music sounds like the sky. The sitar is the sound of the sky; that's my big "sitar opinion." I think it's a little bit sad that the record is called The Sounds of India, since Ravi Shankar was from Bangladesh. He was George Harrison's sitar teacher. Ravi Shankar being from Bangladesh is such a big part of why I have George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist. I want to be serious like they were serious. 

I felt so warm. The wine was warm and the music was warm and my headache went away but now it's back, obviously, because I'm looking at the staticky abrasive white of a computer screen. I don't know why I'm so stupid that I forced myself to come to my computer and write it down instead of keeping on living it, I guess because it felt like a solid compromise between doing nothing and working on that story, and also because I wanted to remember it. I knew if I saved it writing this down for tomorrow morning it'd be crappier and I probably wouldn't even write it. So here you go, Laura. Always remember sitting on your bed drinking a glass of Sangiovese and listening to Ravi Shankar the day after Ravi Shankar died. You were warm and you thought you might cry but you didn't. You wished you could trap yourself in that moment forever. Then you blogged.