Happy First Birthday, Strawberry Fields Whatever!
LJ: On Monday, Strawberry Fields Whatever turned a cool ONE YEAR OLD!!! I say "cool" in that sentence to mean the same as when people say "a cool million dollars." A cool one year! Also, Strawberry Fields Whatever is a Gemini, which is very cute of it. It is a smiling, apple-cheeked baby girl.
I haven't been blogging very much lately- I know it kind of seems like I "stopped writing," but really I didn't, even though I did. Mostly I just work a lot, and am always at work, every single second of my life, so a big part of it's that I just don't have the time. And part of it's that I'm really into LIVING right now, like, the actual act of being a human being who is alive, and writing's a touch passive. And then there's the fact that I like to write the truth, the straight boring truth of it, the truth and nothing but so help me God & if I'm not writing the truth then there is truly no point in me writing, but if I were to fully do that right now- tell the truth, I mean- I'd end up writing about work a LOT, which does sound like a treat, but would be very weird for all the people whose manager I am. Nothing I have to say about work isn't inappropriate. There is no doubt in my mind that I would get myself fired.
One day I'll write a cool and weird novel about my restaurant, like a restaurant Ulysses or whatevs, but for the time being, it's chill to not always be forcing myself to reflect upon what I did and how I did at it, then translate those reflections into wacky-grisly prose communicating some larger sort of lesson to a group of strangers. And I guess my favorite thing about Strawberry Fields Whatever is that Strawberry Fields Whatever is totally A-OK with letting me be quiet for a bit. Strawberry Fields Whatever doesn't judge! It's pro-LJ. "Whatever's best for you, my Darling, Lovely, Pet," says Strawberry Fields Whatever, to me, in a soothing whisper, even though it's a baby. It can't choose between Darling or Lovely or Pet, so it said all of them- that's just the kind of stand-up guy Strawberry Fields Whatever is.
When I used to write for our old blog No Good For Me I loved a lot of it but it never felt quite right. I felt like I was a puzzle piece being jammed into the wrong space. I never liked the way it looked; it didn't look the way I thought my blog should look. It didn't feel like a home. My whole life- in blogs and out of blogs- I was always pretty sad; it seemed like I never had a home even though everybody else did, so easy, without trying. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I'm turning twenty-eight in two weeks and I just lived a really great year of my life- I used to have zero homes, and now I've got two of them! My job's not always the greatest thing in the world, but whenever I'm there, I definitely feel like it's the place where I am. Usually I feel like I'm somewhere else, off in my head. Even in my house I'm not here.
But Strawberry Fields Whatever- it's something pretty amazing, it's the place in my head where I've always been. People work really hard to convince themselves they're safe when they're not and Strawberry Fields Whatever has cured me of those delusions- it's the one place in the world where I'll always be safe, and you need that. You need to be safe somewhere. It's a warm pink hug that I live inside with two of the best people I've ever known- Jen May knows how to make the inside of my head look like something real and that's something most people don't get to have in their lives. Liz and I's bromance has been going on for nearly fifteen years now and if I were to discuss it sentimentally it would be extremely sappy and not our style so let's just leave it at that.
I'm proud that Strawberry Fields Whatever has existed for a year, and I'm proud of the ways I've changed and grown in the first year of its life. I am confident that Strawberry Fields Whatever will exist for the entire rest of my life, which makes me feel even stokeder than I already am about how much more life I have left, how awesome life is, all the things I'm going to get to do and keep doing, and etc. So yes- thanks for reading, everybody. As always, I'm just happy to be here.
LIZ: I celebrated Strawberry Fields Whatever's birthday on Friday, by getting Alex Chilton's name tattooed on my ankle and going to Pie & Burger and eating a sandwich and getting a piece of blackberry pie and then going to the movies and eating the pie while I watched the movie. Later on I went out to a Mexican restaurant to drink sangria with my friends (the "sangria" was warm red wine poured into a glass of ice, with a shot of orange juice on top), and then I stayed up all night listening to Big Star and taking pictures of my ankle. It was a good day and my favorite parts were the ones I hadn't engineered to be perfect and beautiful and edifying or whatever, like when I put my foot on the table at the bar and everyone paparazzi'd my ankle, or this cool picture I took of my window reflection when I was jumping up and down to the jumping-up-and-down part of "Daisy Glaze."
My favorite life lesson I've learned from Strawberry Fields Whatever is that trying to make everything beautiful all the time can end up making you sick, so it's way better to just do whatever the hell you feel like, as long as it feels good and electric once you're actually doing it. And if it doesn't, just stop and go do something else. Just keep doing whatever until you find the thing that makes you feel awesome and excited, and alive instead of dead.
My tattoo is also a Replacements tattoo and my favorite Replacements song is "Unsatisfied" and "Unsatisfied" is still one of the most major spirit songs of my life. Shit's unsatisfying and then it's not, it's perfect and amazing and nothing you ever could have ever counted on or thought up on your own. That's a pretty obvious statement but I didn't really know it in my bones till almost a year of writing here and reading LJ's writing and just being a part of the whole Strawberry Fields Whatever thing. We're such a chill and benevolent thing. STRAWBERRY FIELDS WHATEVER FOREVER <3 <3 <3
JEN: I guess I think of Strawberry Fields Whatever as a pink cave that exists in (on?) the internet. It's a beautiful cave filled with Laura Jane and Liz's words, our favorite things, cake, coffee, beautiful songs, weird images I've made/assembled, film stills, popcorn. I have loved making this place with them over the last year. I have learned to work quick. I have learned to work more regularly. I can quickly find specific images in anything I'm reading now. I cherish getting to read whatever Liz & LJ write in early stages, finished, as vague ideas. They are both geniuses I am endlessly inspired by. There's always everything else in the world, it's all always happening. It's nice to have this space existing. It's not on the side, it's just it's own thing. It's Our Thing. I think we make sense together and to each other and I'm glad we built this Pink Gemini Internet Cave.