LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: My Boyfriend's Birthday (& Snoopy)
My boyfriend's birthday was on Tuesday. He spent his birthday and the two days preceding it at his parents' house up north. At first I didn't mind terribly that he was away; I did exercise videos involving burpees in my kitchen with no fear of another human being seeing me do a burpee, and watched the terrible romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever on Netflix. It was extremely bad, but I loved it anyway. I love every romantic comedy, even the one where Reese Witherspoon returns home to the deep South and falls for a straight-shootin' sparkly-toothed blond man, reflects upon her fast-paced big city life and crappy relationship with dead-inside Patrick Dempsey whose mother, Candice Bergen, is the mayor and wonders "What is it all for?"- I literally think that movie is better than, like, every other movie that isn't a rom-com.
On Monday morning Celeste and Jesse Forever ended and I went to work and came home from work and had nobody to talk about work to. I felt sad and alone and ate a sad little apple at my kitchen table and played Candy Crush on my phone until my self-discipline caved in upon itself and I spent money on Candy Crush. I bought myself a new set of lives and one of those chocolate truffles covered in multicolor sprinkles that eliminates an entire style of candy from the level. Soon after, I deleted Candy Crush, just as I always swore I would the moment I ever spent money on Candy Crush. It's crazy how short of an amount of time it takes for "absence makes the heart grow fonder" to kick in.
After work on Tuesday I was so excited to see Mark on his birthday that I drank a margarita while closing up my restaurant. Well probably I just drank a margarita because margaritas are delicious and I love them, but used Mark's birthday as an obviously solid excuse to justify my disobedience. Then I went and met Mark at a bar by my house that has a picture of Bob Dylan's face graffitied on the building's facade. It's not really the best-case-scenario graffiti of Bob Dylan's face that I could imagine existing, but I try not to judge it too hard because really a shitty picture of Bob Dylan's face being painted onto the building you are drinking in is still preferable to no Bob Dylan's face being painted on the building at all. Which happens quite often.
At the bar I drank two bottles of Heineken. Mark and I were being very affectionate with each other, which is something I value a lot about our relationship. Mark and I make out in public, and we don't care that we make out in public. What's the big deal? I really like kissing my boyfriend- he's hot, and I'm in love with him. It's not 1875 or whatever. The Industrial Revolution is not going on outside our front doors. Why is this crazy world of ours so obsessed with their own obsession with loving gross surfbort Drunk in Love but simultaneously so prudishly offended by my boyfriend delicately kissing my forehead on public transit? That sentence is dedicated to the frumpy teen who sassed my boyfriend for kissing my forehead on public transit last November and probably loves Drunk In Love. (And while I'm here, please let it be known that I personally think Drunk in Love is silly and uncool. All my friends are so in love with Beyonce and it weirds me out; I always thought a really nice thing about being smart is how it prevents you from buying into mainstream culture. She's not actually our Queen.)
I gave Mark this card and then nicknamed him "Kangaroo Man" for the rest of the night, because I think those little illustrations are probably kangaroos. We ran a whole lot of the way home from the bar because I'm really into fitness these days and it was cold. While he was at his parents', he found out from his mom what time he was born at (1 in the afternoon), so when we got back to my apartment we consulted my astrology book and discovered that his Rising Sign is Leo! Same as mine! Additionally, Mark is a Pisces with his his moon in Pisces. After reading about Leo Rising and learning that we're both very ostentatious and have nicely-shaped heads, I read him a bunch of information about being a Pisces. It all wrung very true, and we had a nice little mini-celebration of his Pisces-ness, and of Pisces-ness in general, which is definitely something worth celebrating. Pisceans are intricate like a crazy tapestry or sand underneath a microscope. They are complicated and don't care if you know they are complicated. My boyfriend is what people mean when they say "still waters run deep," the most selfless and giving human I've ever known, and really weirdly smart in an unexpected and unpredictable way. At the end of the night we were lying in bed being cutesy and in love and Mark asked me, "Since animals are nice things, do they get to have astrology too?" Awwwwwwwwwww! God I fucking love that guy.
PS: I found that chill & gorgeous Snoopy-Pisces illo this morning after watching the preview for the new CGI Peanuts movie coming out next year, which is just like okay cool but Seriously?!? Can we maybe not make every single thing that ever happened into CGI? Like, could we maybe just keep Peanuts sacred? Peanuts?!?!? Just Peanuts, guys. That's all I ask. But anyway, after watching it I zoned into this weird head-world where I actually teared up a little bit because I am so endlessly charmed by how cute Snoopy is. And then I was like "What's Snoopy's Zodiac sign? Is Snoopy a Gemini?" I Googled it, but no dice. As it turns out, Snoopy is no Zodiac sign, at the same time as being all the Zodiac signs.
Sometimes he's a Capricorn, like Liz Barker:
Sometimes he's a Scorpio, like Jen May:
And sometimes he's a Cancer, like me!
LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Meeting Kristin Hersh
This is actually Thing of Two Weeks Ago. On March 4th I flew home to Massachusetts so that I could see Throwing Muses (with special guest Tanya Donelly!) at the Sinclair in Cambridge. Tanya Donelly's always been one of my favorite songmakers, but my Throwing Muses obsession is mostly new. It didn't happen until last year; it came on fast and furious, and was intensified by my interviewing Kristin for Popdose. I read Rat Girl twice and the Purgatory/Paradise book twice and they each changed my life, a total of four times. For 2014 my new year's resolution was to stop jerking off, metaphysically speaking, and Kristin Hersh is absolutely my hero in that. In Kristin's hands I always know exactly what to take seriously and what not to take seriously, because hers is a world that's both magic and no-bullshit.
So yeah, the show. Tanya opened and played "Honeychain" and "Acrobat" and some Belly stuff ("Slow Dog"! "LOW RED MOON"), and toward the end of her set Bill from Buffalo Tom came out and sang a couple songs with her and it was gorgeous. And then the Muses happened and I don't want to write about it; all I can say is that resting my chin on an amp and drinking a borrowed beer and watching Kristin Hersh scream and play guitar is probably my natural habitat. Afterward I went up to Kristin to say hi - I was all, "Hiiiiiiiii...I interviewed you a while ago? It was Halloween? I live in L.A.? We talked about L.A.?", and then finally she remembered me and told me I wrote cool stuff, and then I died and asked her to sign my t-shirt like a 14-year-old. It was the best. I don't know how you get up in front of thousands of people and sing songs like you're ripping your own skin off, and then get off stage and just be totally nice and chill and lovely, but there you go. Kristin Hersh, guys.
Besides meeting Kristin, my fave part of the night was when Tanya came out during the Muses' set and they played a bunch of songs, including "Red Shoes" and also "Green." "Green" was entirely worth my flying across the country, all on its own: I would've flown around the world 10 zillion times just to have that. I took that picture up there of Kristin and Tanya playing "Green" and Tanya really singing the hell out of it, but the whole thing was definitely a dream.