I Want To Take Acid When I'm 90 & Then Die


I like waking up the morning after I got really drunk and watching the hazy pictures of what happened in my head like when we were kids and there were still photographs, they were glossy and the paper had a bit of a snap to it, you’d shuffle through the pack of them really fast one by one and even as a kid when your fingers were crayons it was like slight of hand the way they moved. You did it elegant, like when you have to count money for your job and you start off pretty awkward but two months later your fingers know how to move around the weight of that paper. Fingers are good at paper. I want to be that lazy kind of elegant about everything.
        I like aging. I used to wake up the morning after getting really drunk and I’d watch the hazy pictures shuffling and I hated them, I’d done a bunch of stupid shit and I regretted it. The truth was heavy, it was trash, I didn’t want it. It was a dumb person’s body pressing down the back of my ribs and I hated everyone and I hated myself for hating them. Life was something I looked forward to, not the thing I did.
        I’m older now. When I wake up and remember what I said and did the pictures make me laugh. They were the cool kind of stupid. I had a great time and I liked my friends and I still do. I said everything I wanted to say and I did everything I wanted to do. I represented myself perfectly.
        There’s no song about what it feels like. I’m not depressed. I eat whatever I want and I grew my hair out. I can run really fast, I run every day, I don’t want to run away but I’m leaving. I haven’t lied in a million months. The only thing that bums me out is other people lying. At the gym there’s three TVs playing three different 24-hour news stations and the news is always people dying. Death is the news’ favorite news and I get why- because it’s spooky, but it’s also so boring! The news is all, “Who died in the most interesting way today?” or “Who is the most interesting person that died today?” when it could just as easily be “Who lived in the most interesting way today?” or “Who is an interesting person?” but I think maybe the dirty logic behind it is that the news is there to remind people no matter how crappy their day was at very least they’re not DJ AM or Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend. People feel so fucking sorry for themselves for not being a statue at the Louvre carved out of sapphires draped in chiffonade and jellied lilac leaves while their favorite band drinks champagne cut with lemonade and plays their favorite song at their ideal volume as their statue self gets fucked by the 1950s movie star of their choice and they are twenty pounds skinnier than they actually are and also billionaires, and then they watch the news so they can feel guilty about it and feel sorry for themselves for feeling sorry for themselves! Which is such an interesting and useful way to live your life.


I love Enlightened


I really love the show Enlightened. It’s on HBO, after Girls (or before-- I’m not sure actually), and apparently no one watches it. It seems like there won’t be a 3rd season. It’s sad because the show is amazing. 

It took me a few episodes to “get” it. I wasn’t sure if I was into it or bored or what. I loved it.  It’s kind of a lot to take – super emotional and honest and earnest. There’s not really any sex and if there are drugs they’re sad, not cool. Laura Dern, who I believe is a national treasure, is as usual, incredible. She’s so bad ass! Is that lame, to say bad ass? I think so.  She’s the best actress ever and her character is both insufferable and loveable.  I feel like every character on the show sort of forces you to recognize some uncomfortable elements of yourself. It’s like reading your horoscope or going to therapy.
Enlightened is based more on the limits of connection and relationships than actual connections. One time I was watching it alone while eating udon noodles and I actually covered my face and said,“Oh my god no," out loud. It was too sensitive. I was feeling too much. You (I) want to protect all of the characters even if they’re being really selfish or whatever. They’re fragile.  Amy (Laura Dern) does a lot of voiceovers throughout the show. At first I felt like it was a really cheesy device until one of them made me cry. It’s effective and honest and about her being alone. Hey, guess what? We’re all alone all of the time.

I don’t really want to go into plot because I feel you should just watch it. But basically, the show is about Amy, who worked at a pharmaceutical company, had a mental breakdown and went to a spiritual rehab place in Hawaii. She’s meditated and "found" herself. She was on a journey and now she’s back. Amy is living at her mom's house and working at the same company, this time in the basement with all the freaks. She wants to change the world, connect with people and save the environment. It’s sort of all about the fall out of that way of thinking being confronted with reality. There's more to it than that.

In the first season there’s an episode from the point of view of Amy’s Mom (played by Diane Ladd, LD’s real mom obvs), that deals with the emotional aspect of grocery shopping! You will cry. I cried.

All of this and there probably isn’t going to be another season! Can you believe it? The creator of the show Mike White (who also stars in it as my fave character Tyler. Shout out to Tyler!! LYLAS) wrote for Freaks & Geeks.  What a total bummer it would be if Enlightened ended up like Freaks & Geeks – something people binge-watch years later and say what a shame, there should have been more seasons! What would Amy Jellicoe do if her favorite TV show was in danger of ending? She’d probably go to the HBO offices, walk into a meeting, kneel down next to the CEO or whatever and demand Enlightened  be renewed. What should we do? I think probably just like, tweet at HBO or something. We should do something.


HOTTEST TO LEAST HOT: The Rolling Stones


Hi! Welcome to HOTTEST TO LEAST HOT, a new feature on Strawberry Fields Whatever where we rank members of different bands from hottest to least hot. I know double standards are a generally shitty thing or whatever, but I'm personally really into the double standard that allows me to rank mens' attractiveness levels in a public forum and not have it be completely revolting. I've been blogging for six years and have always done my best to use it to bring joy and laughter into the world; I would like to carry on in this wonderful tradition for years and years to come! There are so many groups of attractive-to-not-so-attractive men that I feel would benefit from being ranked by me. For instance, Bob Dylan is the hottest and least-hot Bob Dylan. And then there's the Clash! Let's face it, ladies. Topper Headon is really ugs compared to Paul, Mick and Joe. Somebody needs to disseminate that information and then riff on it. 

I started out by ranking the Rolling Stones from least to most attractive because the Beatles are all perfectly and equally beautiful (except Ringo; he's a little uglier), and the Rolling Stones have obviously said a lot of sexist shit in their time and this is their punishment for saying it. So there I go proving karma is real yet again. 

LEAST HOT: Bill Wyman 

Bill Wyman looks like a grandmother. He was born a grandmother, and he'll die a grandmother. He also has one of those weird muscly faces that forces you to super-consider that old adage of "It takes x amount of muscles to smile, and x+100 muscles to frown," but not in the way the adage intended. It's not positive. 

But he has his moments. But I have terrible taste in men. Once, when I was eighteen and lived in a dormitory, I forced my friend Chelsea to watch this video on The Strokes' official website of Nikolai Fraiture wheeling a suitcase through an airport. That video was literally my favorite thing on the entire Internet at that point in my life. I was making her watch it because I was trying to prove to her how beautiful Nikolai is, which he is. But only I think that! Only I, and Nikolai's wife maybe, think that Nikolai is the most beautiful man in the world.

Point is, Chelsea said: "You're attracted to awkwardness, and that's really sweet," and it's true, and it's sweet, I like that fact about myself, and Bill Wyman is totally the Nikolai Fraiture of the Rolling Stones. He'd probably be #3 on this list if he hadn't married an 18-year-old when he was 52, which is revolting. Sorry! He didn't marry that woman for love; he married her so he could have sex with her. There, Bill Wyman. I said it. Also, Keith Richards shit-talks the fuck out of him in Life, and I'll take Keith RIchards' word for just about anything. I trust Keith Richards in a very deep and important way. There's this part where he talks about how Bill Wyman makes a very weak cup of tea, it's barely even tea, just a cup of hot water that he dips a teabag into, and Keith's so disgusted by Bill's stupid approach to tea-making, and I think about that part of Life almost every single day of mine. It rings so true! I know exactly what it feels like to hate a person so much that even the way they take their tea makes you squirm. 

That being said, I think it would be really fun to drive down the Autobahn while listening to "I Wanna Get Me A Gun." 

2nd-LEAST HOT: Brian Jones

Brian Jones is a clayface, and that's a shame. A clayface is my new name I just made up for people whose faces look like they are made out of clay. Brian "Clayface" Jones. (That's a Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds joke). He also has no neck. However, one July evening three summers ago, my friend Ally and I were drinking sangria on a patio. We ended up sitting next to this wacky old semi-homeless woman named Monica. Monica and I formed a very deep connection in a very intense and important way. She told me that her soul used to belong to the Rolling Stones but then she realized that Mick and Keith were Satanists who killed Brian Jones, which I definitely don't agree with. But while she was explaining her crazy Satanism conspiracy theory she happened to utter the sentence, "I always try to err on the side of God," which is easily one of the top 5 most life-changing sentences that have ever been spoken in my presence. So yeah, Brian Jones was definitely short and had oddly pronounced bags under his eyes and really bad bangs, but for the entire rest of my life every time I ever think of him I'll think of trying to err on the side of God, and for that reason in my mind he's become an angel. A hotter-than-Bill-Wyman angel. 


Three Dresses I Guess I'd Die For

First things first, I feel like it's important to tell you all that I am listening to Beethoven's Grosse Fuge and having an out of control tinnitus attack at the same time as I'm writing this, so all in all, it might end up being a pretty dark and intense post for being about dresses. 

I originally named this post "Three Dresses I'd Die For" sort of absently, but then on the subway to work I fell into a thinking needlessly deeply about things on the subway thought-zone about how creepy the concept of dying for a dress is. And then I was like, maybe I should make the post about how these three dresses are all dresses that I'd want to get buried in, in my coffin, and then I started thinking about how maybe that's the ultimate mark of whether a dress is Great or not, and then I thought it might be cool to ask a bunch of people what outfit they'd like to be buried in and then blog about it. So maybe I'll do that! 

I added the "I guess" to the title to chill it out. I just paused the Grosse Fuge and now I'm back to being my regular chill self again. The other night I was out drinking with my co-workers (s/o to my co-workers! I love them so much) and we were talking about which restaurants in the world we'd most like to work at and I said, "Someplace really chill!" and then I was like, "I honestly don't know if there's a restaurant in this world chill enough for me," and then I thought about it and said, "Maybe a fish shack on the beach in Australia," and now I can't get this idea of "Fish shack on the beach in Australia" as being my Ultimate Chillness Locaysh out of my head. You know how tacky women's mags are always trying to help you find looks that can transition from day to night? Well my version of that is, here's three fabulous dresses that can transition from getting drunk at a fish shack in Australia to being buried in a coffin at your own funeral. 


1. Gilbert Adrian evening dress from 1942

Lifelong pal-of-Strawberry Fields Whatever and co-proprietor of the wonderful (and this is coming from a person who thinks everything sucks) No One Can Sing The Blues Like No One Liina posted a link to this dress on my Facebook wall and now whenever I imagine myself doing anything cool in my head it's the dress I'm imagining myself wearing. Earlier today I was imagining myself, or a person in a story, being married to a concert violinist and living in Germany but really hating it and saying "Well I guess I'm going to go drink some fucking Riesling" while wearing this dress of course. Gorgeous. It's apropros of my life these days in that I've recently discovered that lamb is my favorite meat. I really like eating lambs. Dead lambs. (Grosse Fuge is back on!) A few weeks ago I was eating lunch with my mom at a Middle Eastern buffet yelling about how great Argo is while shovelling forkfuls of lamb into my face and it was a really beautiful moment in my life. I was like, "This is who I am." 

2. Bernhard Willhelm Jachooy dress

I don't know I guess if I really wanted this dress bad enough I could just buy it, since it's $132 on the Creatures of Comfort website and that's honestly not that bad of a price. It could be $232! $332! $432! I kind of wish it was. I fall in love with $432 dresses all the time but then forget about them really fast because there's no chance in the world that I could ever afford them so who even gives a shit. But $132 is such a weird amount of money. It represents all other potential prices somehow. I can afford it but I can't afford it. I could swing it if I really wanted but I'd definitely feel that $$$'s absence. I keep thinking about it like, "This Dress vs. 11 bottles of wine" and then I'm like "Well come on now Laura. That is SO MANY bottles of wine!" and the decision has already been made. I choose the wine.

3. The dress Gwen Stefani's wearing in the video for "Don't Speak"

A fun fact about my "process" is that while I was making this losery infographic out of 8000000 screen-caps I took of the "Don't Speak" video and kept x-ing rejected screen-caps, Photoshop would give me the option of "Save," "Cancel," or "Don't Save," and then I started singing "Don't Save" in my head to the tune of "Don't Speak," and it was soooooo stupid. I felt the same kind of low-impact embarrassed as I do when "You Sexy Thing" comes on at work and the restaurant's mostly empty and it's just me and one co-worker alone in a mostly empty restaurant listening to "You Sexy Thing." Ew. Certainly one of life's grosser moments.

Anyway, my major point about this dress is "Which woman's body wouldn't it flatter?" and the answer is "None of the above"- it's a trick question! It would flatter every woman's body. It's also the one out of the three that translates most coolly from fish shack on the beach to my own funeral. Also there's one part of the video where she's leaning over and you can see that the seam has burst down the side. It's pretty darling, and reminds you that Gwen Stefani used to be a chill normal person, and it kind of bums me out that she turned into this weird matriarch of her confusingly & seemingly aimed at nobody/gaudy/gold-sequinned L.A.M.B empire (the lamb and L.A.M.B of this post are a weird coincidence), because I feel like, had she been given the opportunity, she probably could have done a pretty cool job of being a chill normal person. I'll probably never write about Gwen Stefani again in my life so I just wanted to state for the official Gwen Stefani record of me that 1) Tony Kanal is a very beautiful man, 2) Kingston is a cooler name than Zuma, 3) I work out to "What You Waiting For" quite often and it really gets the job done & 4) Score for Gavin Rossdale that he married Gwen Stefani and now gets to just chillax and be a billionaire stay-at-home dad and do nothing but take Kingston and Zuma to the playground (they're ALWAYS at the playground) for the entire rest of his life. Gavin Rossdale's is the fish shack on a beach in Australia of lives. 


Thing of the Week: Kenneth the Page, Patti Smith's Advice To The Young, A Day Off From Work

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Kenneth the Page

A few weeks ago, I started watching 30 Rock. Yes, I'll admit it: 30 Rock is a party I am extremely late to. But I regret nothing! I would always pick obsessively binge-watching an entire TV series in a creepily short period of time over watching it the shitty regular way, always having to wait a whole week, or summer, for the next episode. Boooooooring! I have better things to do with my time than sit around waiting for life to happen. 

I've seen a handful of 30 Rocks here and there over the years, but I never stuck with it, because I didn't think Liz Lemon was funny. I'm still not super-into Liz Lemon the way every other woman I've ever met seems to be, though she's grown on me. I like how she watches Top Chef. Mostly I relate to Jack Donaghy. My second-favorite moment of all 30 Rock ever was when Jack Donaghy told Dot Com, "Dot Com, your need to always be the smartest person in the room is off-putting." I don't know why I loved that so much. Here is young Alec Baldwin looking very hot in a whimsically-striped button-up:

I guess it's pretty obvious that my first-favorite moment of all 30 Rock ever is going to be a Kenneth the Page moment, since my Thing of the Week is Kenneth the Page and this is my Thing of the Week. I've only watched the first three seasons so far, though; I use the term "all 30 Rock ever" loosely. Anyway, it's when Kenneth the Page says: "There are only two things I love in this world: everybody, and television." 

I'm also really into Jack McBrayer in real life. I watch the clip of Jack McBrayer on Conan I've posted above at least once per day. The best part's when Conan says, "I don't worry about you at all; I think you're going to work constantly," and Jack McBrayer says, "At a restaurant!" Boom. I'm going to write a part into the new book I'm writing about how much I'd like for Jack McBrayer and I to be friends, so that when my book comes out somebody will tell Jack McBrayer about it and then he'll ask me to hang out  and my heart will thump the hell out of my chest but I'll say "Yes! Yes, Jack McBrayer, of course!" And such will begin a very exciting little chapter in my life, chock full of "Oh, I'm just meeting Jack for brunch" kinds of things. 

My two last 30 Rock/Kenneth the Page-related things I wanted to say are that 1) I was sad to find out that Wreck-It Ralph is a Pixar movie. I wanted to get to watch Jack McBrayer act in a REAL movie, and I hate Pixar movies more than anything in the world, they're so ugs, & 2) Last Friday was the day of the crazy blizzard and I spent the entire day lying on my couch watching 30 Rock, I probably watched about 20 episodes of 30 Rock, no jokes, until around 6 PM when I left my house to go buy a cheeseburger and fries and then I came home and sat cross-legged on my couch eating a cheeseburger and watching 30 Rock. It was SO CHILL. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Patti Smith's Advice To The Young

My friend Maria Cristina posted this video on Facebook the other day. It's six minutes long and I've watched it five times so far, which was a really solid way to spend a half-hour of my life this week. Patti talks about making art and how life is hard and beautiful and how we should all just do what we want and be happy, and she's wearing these cool fingerless gloves and there's this part where she says "Fuck you" and it's super-funny. I watched it for the first time soon after posting my big thing about Belly and was just like "Yes! That's totally what I meant!", which was comforting and encouraging. Sometimes I can't even believe Patti Smith exists because everything she says means so much to me and it's sort of overwhelming to have someone be so consistently wonderful. But she does exist! Patti Smith exists, you guys. Life is pretty all right.


I have a day off from work today. Friday. This is me:


Every Song On 'Star' by Belly Still Belongs To Me


The album Star by Belly came out 20 years and 11 days ago, when I was 15-years-old. I bought it on cassette soon after I first heard "Feed The Tree" and I played that tape all the time, especially while half-asleep on the bus on the way to school at some hideous hour of the morning. Star was one of the first albums I ever identified as "one of my favorite albums," but at the same there was a fear that I'd outgrow it someday. When I was a teenager I was terrified of outgrowing all the beautiful things I loved -- I suppose I was worried I'd get older and sell out to Corporate America and my soul would slowly shrivel up and turn to dust. It's a pretty legit fear, at least in my mind. To quote half of a line from High Fidelity: only people of a certain disposition are frightened of no longer loving their favorite records as they get older. I am of that disposition.

Anyway, I never stopped loving Star. I still love so many of the records I loved when I was 15; a lot of them are still in my life all the time (Belly, Nirvana, Lemonheads, etc). In a way I want to go back and tell my teenage self, "Don't worry, man, you're totally gonna be weird forever," but then I also think it's good to be aware of the possibility of losing something you love. I think it's good to protect your weirdness and dreaminess and whatever else makes up the parts of you responsible for loving beautiful music. You should always be intensely, ridiculously vigilant about not letting anyone or anything rip the beautiful-music-loving parts out of you.


Every song on Star still belongs to me, but I think "White Belly" might be mine the most. When I was a teenager "White Belly" seemed so creepy and sexy, like some bad shit had happened but it was glamorous too. The chorus is about a dress, and in the first verse Tanya sings the cities San Francisco and L.A. When I first heard "White Belly," I'd never been to California. I'd been to Florida and that's about it. When she sang "Made a mistake on a fire escape in San Francisco/Worked my way back in a hallway in L.A.," I pictured a hallway that was a little Less Than Zero-y but in a Belly sort of way -- which is a really cool concept, actually: the evil/fucked-up nowhereness of Less Than Zero but all dreamy and gorgeous and lovely, like if the italicized flashbacks of Less Than Zero were the entire book and told by a hypersensitive girl who worships Siouxsie and the Banshees or Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians or something and has definitely read Wuthering Heights like eight thousand times. God! That sounds so good. I wish Belly had stayed together and made their L.A. record, like how Uh Huh Her is PJ Harvey's L.A. record and Whip Smart is Liz Phair's L.A. record and Celebrity Skin is Hole's L.A. record even though Hole are actually from L.A.

But they didn't, they broke up, and if there's any L.A. Belly record I guess I'll have to make it myself. Maybe not in a story (I never feel like writing fiction set in Los Angeles, for some reason), but just walking around and living life as a neverending Belly record. When I think about it, there aren't many other albums I'd rather live inside. My favorite records are In Utero and Horses and Ritual De Lo Habitual and Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and By The Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and John Frusciante's first solo album and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Abbey Road and Exile On Main Street but -- for wildly varied reasons -- none of those makes sense for me as a way of life. There's something sustainable about living like a Belly album though -- there's a smallness to Star that I very much understand. The world of the album is small but it's full of so many strange things and they keep you charmed and turned on because there's this deep sense of wonder. The word wonderment doesn't exactly get me high but I think it's good to exist in a state of wonderment as often as you can, to not be fucking bored or fucking boring, to just do what you need to do to keep life gorgeous and exciting for you and for everyone else too.

Another thing that appeals to me about living like Star is its sweetness. The songwriter I relate to most is Mary Timony but I don't want to live inside any of her albums, which is interesting for me to realize. Mary Timony and Tanya Donelly both sing about witches and moons and trees, but Tanya also sings about beaches and dresses and dogs and frogs in a way that's sometimes cute but never cutesy. Mary Timony doesn't put too much sweetness into her songs, and I love that about her, but sweetness is so important to me: I'm hopelessly attracted to it and I like to create sweetness in my life, whether through songs or candy or books or pictures or perfume. For me, sweet can mean the opposite of ugly and nasty and even boring. I think it's boring to be nasty and ugly-hearted, I think it's unimaginative to not try to find a way to be sweet. And the older I get the more I value art that is unabashedly romantic and sweethearted in its own twisted way, and Star is so completely that. That's the kind of art I want to make, the kind of story I want to tell. I like to write about food and sex and dudes and streets and rock music, and I always want to do that in a way that's sweet and dreamy, so I guess I always will.


Looking back, I don't quite know what it was about Star that I was so scared of losing. The record's all these storybooky songs and there's an innocence to them so maybe I was worried about not being innocent anymore? The funny thing about that is, listening to the album now, I'm most struck by how dark and death-obsessed Tanya Donelly is in her lyrics: the songs are all about dying and dead people and dead animals and drugs that make you die; the name of the first single is an idiom about dying and the second single is about a woman walking around with a decomposing dog on her back and the third single has that line about the boy who murders all your dolls. It's all DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH but then songs are so, so bright -- not like sunniness, but like big blinding daylight coming through a cracked shard of glass in the shape of something pretty, like a Valentine heart, or maybe a star. 

Lately it's so energizing for me to put everything in the context of death, even stuff that seems totally inconsequential. Like, for example, last week I got stuck watching an hour-and-a-half-long set by a band whose music entirely lacked sexiness or at least any kind of sexy tragedy/pain, and about 10 minutes in I started thinking, "This is deadening. This could all quite possibly deaden my very soul." So to keep that from happening I shut everything out and thought about the story I'm writing, and then I felt so much better. Being a writer is a reliable mechanism for protection against psychic death, and I bet that's true for any kind of art-making, or any sort of earnest but joyful dedication to something you love/give a fuck about.

I heard Star for the first time when I'd just started to get obsessive about writing stories, and I'm endlessly grateful to it for legitimizing my urge or need to invent strange and tiny worlds sweeter than real life, and for letting me know it's all right to slip into that made-up world whenever I want. Being a dreamy weirdo makes things sad and painful sometimes, but in the end I really can't be any other way. I'm going to just love everything I love forever, and never ever die.


Something Called "Les Petits Beatles" Exists & It's Everything You Want It To Be!

Society 6 is a great website, and that's high praise coming from me (Laura Jane Faulds). As a rule, I hate websites. They're ugly, and often greyish. Hyperlinks are usually blue! A really flat, tacky blue. Yuck. I hate the word, web-site, and I hate that this is a website. I hate that we call the Internet a "web." It's not a web. A web is a thing a spider knits. There's often dew on a real web. It glimmers.

A lot of shit on Society 6 is lame, but welcome to the world! I think Society 6's deal is that artists/illustrators/graphic designers pay Society 6 I'm assuming a shit ton of $$$ to turn their art into such frivolities as: iPhone cases, t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, something called "skins" which I believe relate to iPads, and so on and so forth. It's like a classier Zazzle that doesn't blow. These sentences are very boring for me to be writing. I bought my iPhone case from Society 6 a year ago and it looks like this:

It's one of the most heavily-complimented material possessions I've ever owned. What do you think "Society 6" means, by the way? Nothing, right? I'm pretty sure it means nothing. Though I'd be interested to know which are the first 5 societies. I'm assuming actual society is Society 1. Maybe Societies 2 through 5 are cults. 

Recently, I was thinking about maybe buying myself a new iPhone case. I Googled "james joyce iphone case" but the results were all extremely lame if you can believe that. Sad, sad, and bleak. And of such poor quality! So then I just called a spade a spade and looked up "beatles" on reliable ol Society 6, and I found this art a person makes called "Les Petits Beatles." What really drives me crazy about all of this is that I've been alive for twenty-seven years and never once thought up the phrase "Les Petits Beatles" on my own! Sad, sad and bleak. I suck at YOLO. 

Les Petits Beatles is a sweet little shop- no, shoppe- filled with weird/adorable drawings of kiddy-looking Beatles with few or no facial features doing cutesy kid stuff. I like how Abbey Road stretches on forever in the photo ("photo." I think this is a "photo."), although I hate the way the artist represented Ringo. He reminds me of the character Barney from The Simpsons and I feel like that elbow patch is way too high up on his elbow. But it's very cool how George has that balloon and Paul has bunny slippers but John has NOTHING, because even Le Petit John is too cool for petit shit.

A true story from my life is that the other night I dreamed I had a daughter and named her Paper. Paper McCartney Faulds. I was going to try and relate that to the paper cap Paul is wearing in this illustration, but I think the one in the paper cap might be George? Maybe Paul is hanging upside down from the branch and holding a ukelele. Anyway, none of this matters, and we're all going to die one day. 

Now here's one of Les Petits Beatles and Les Petits Rolling Stones standing in front of a Union Jack. Ringo's like "What the fuck?", and John Lennon is a Womble. Is Paul the one in the red turtleneck, or is that George? What is Ringo so confused about? Keith's cheeks are stuffed with acorns. "I've rolled my sleeves up!" cries Ronnie Wood. Charlie Watts is old. 


Let's Start A Line Of Feminist Rock & Roll Candy Bars

I bought this goddamn candy bar the other day at Gelson's. I don't usually shop at Gelson's but I'd heard a rumor that they've got this line of ice cream called Jeni's Splendid Ice Creamsand one of the flavors is Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows, and I really wanted to eat that. I wanted to eat it for lunch. But there was no Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows at Gelson's and none of the flavors made my heart sing enough to spend $11 on a pint of ice cream, and so I ended impulse-buying that stupid candy bar with the terrible packaging that confuses me.

I guess it's for girls who refer to their girl friends as "girlfriends" to give to their girlfriends as some girlfriendy Valentine's gift? Because if there's one thing that girls love more than dudes it's chocolate, so let's just roll the two into one and put some cartoony drawings of sports cars and boxer shorts on the package and semi-ironically use words like "beefcake" and "tiger" and call it a day. I think that's insulting to men, and also to women. I took the above photo in recognition of how very little the most sketchy-about-women Rolling Stones lyrics bother me, compared to the existence of the Cinna-man bar. Plus "cinnamon" is such a beautiful word and why would you ever want to turn it into "cinna-man"? "Cinna-man" is awful. I'm going to say the word "cinnamon" a thousand times this week, to honor its loveliness and expunge "cinna-man" from my brain.

Anyway I'd never had a chocolate bar with cinnamon candy before, and I was intrigued, and I bought it and ate it and it was good. But not nearly as good as the cinnamon chocolate bar I made up in my head, which is a Neil Young-inspired chocolate bar called Cinnamon Girl. The cinnamon candy is heart-shaped, unlike the Cinna-man bar, which just has these dumb little shards of cinnamon candy (total missed opportunity, in my opinion). And the chocolate is still dark chocolate but with a really low percentage of cocoa, whatever the lowest percentage is to still qualify as "dark." And the packaging is chill and gorgeous and a much more elegant shade of red, like crimson or carmine or ruby, and instead of bubble letters there's the same font as the font Neiler's name's in on the cover of the "Cinnamon Girl" single. Maybe there's no illustration or maybe there's a picture of Neiler in 1969, being wonderful and beautiful and cool about girls.

I sort of want Cinnamon Girl to be made by Compartes, which is a chocolatier in Los Angeles that makes truffles with flavors like Raspberry Pink Pepper and Browned Butter and Caramelized Plantain and Huckleberry Balsamic, but I'm also open to launching my own line of feminist rock & roll candy bars, with funding from someone filthy-rich (my email's lizbarker77 at gmail.com). We will also make lots of Beatles chocolate bars, like Wild Honey Pie and Strawberry Fields Forever and Strawberry Fields Whatever, and I guess a Rolling Stones chocolate bar called Brown Sugar, and a Paul McCartney chocolate bar called Monkberry Moon Delight. Monkberry Moon Delight will have some kinda of weird and exciting berry, like jostaberries, and the chocolate will be way milky, because "monk" means "milk." It'll be thick and tall, like a Snickers bar, not flat and svelte like one of those self-righteous chocolate bars you get at Whole Foods. Maybe there's also banana and somehow the banana stays fresh forever, all mushy and moist and soft, and maybe there's also caramel or marshmallow or both. The marshmallows would be purple, because "Monkberry Moon Delight" by Paul & Linda McCartney is the purplest song in the whole wide world:

xo Liz


Thing of the Week: Frito Pie & The Rolling Stones, The Best Show

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Frito Pie & The Rolling Stones

On Sunday night I went to my buddy Sarah's bday party at this newish bar in Highland Park called The Hermosillo. For dinner I had sparkling rose and Frito Pie, which isn't so much an actual pie as just a big dish of Fritos and beans and chilies all glopped together. It was so good! We also ate some fried pickles, and there was this dude there who told me the story about the time he saw the Rolling Stones play a secret show at a dive bar in my hometown in 1981. I've basically been waiting a thousand years for someone to give me a firsthand account of seeing that show, so it was way exciting. My favorite part was when he was like, "I was there with my friend Elliot, who was in this band called The Cars." (OH MY GOD: I love The Cars so much.) I asked the dude if he remembered which song the Rolling Stones opened with and he didn't but thanks to this website I learned it was a cover of "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" by Solomon Burke. I also learned that they closed with "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and that they played "Let It Bleed," "All Down The Line," and "Under My Thumb" - holy cow! I went to that same bar on my 23rd birthday and saw a killer all-girl Black Sabbath cover band, but I'm guessing they probably weren't quite so good as the Rolling Stones.

Speaking of Keith Richards, another cool thing that happened Sunday was Sarah gave me a belated birthday gift of a Patti Smith postcard and a gigantic ring. This is them:


This week marks the week in history in which I became completely obsessed with the Best Show on WFMU. I'm so glad it's called The Best Show because it's the best show. I don't even want to say/think about how many hours I spent listening to Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster's voices this week but I will say it's definitely over 6. I had thought/known they were funny before. I had listened a bit. I saw them live at the How Was Your Week thing. I think Gary the Squirrel is really funny and can't even look at his twitter without laughing. This all reached a boiling point for me. I'm now in love. I listened LIVE on Tuesday while drawing coffee cups, how cool is that? Magical. I don't just love this show, specifically the Wurster/Scharpling calls just because they are hilariously funny. They are though, it completely cracks me up. There's a warmth to the show that I can't turn away from. Once it's on I'm there- I hear the intro of a Best Show Gem and there goes an hour. I don't know exactly what it is but here are a few things i think it might be - I think I really like them as humans, I don't feel like there's any misogyny involved at all- my existence is not the butt of any jokes here (which is kind of rare!!!), I like the voices, I like the jokes, I like the anger, I like the love, I like the world of Newbridge, I like the squirrel, I like snacks and I also do really like that it's hilarious. On Tuesday I had a hormonal/existential crisis which I feel like was in some part brought on by my new obsessive love for the Best Show. I feel like this comedy and music radio program makes me want to strive to do better things.


The Cutest Day of Ringo Starr's Entire Life


This week, good old cnn.com posted a really cool article entitled "The Beatles in color: Unseen Photos." I probably would have chosen to capitalize the word "color" in that title, myself, but I guess that's the difference between me and CNN. The sole difference. 

"The Beatles in color" is chock-a-block with myriad colorful and adorable gems of Beatles photos. The colors are particularly beautiful- dull and weird and washed-out in that fabulous 1960s way we all know and love and are nostalgic for even though we didn't exist when colors looked like that and most of our parents probably hadn't even met yet. Tragically, "The Beatles in color" is one of those annoying photo-stories where you can't link to the individual photos, or save the images. I hate when corporations do that! Chill out, CNN. Let me use the photos. Trust me- I am making literally no money off of putting this screen-capped and Photoshop-cropped picture of Ringo Starr on Strawberry Fields Whatever. I'm probably even losing money, somehow.

Anyway, like I said, there's some real gems in this photoset. We've got a nice one of Paul McCartney's upper nose freckles (#3). There's Paul McCartney fake-punching the camera all sly-like with a pink towel wrapped around his neck (#8), Paul McCartney skiing in sunglasses (#12), and Paul McCartney pursing his lips while "venturing into town" (#13). George in the ocean, being the same color as the ocean (#15). Ringo Starr on the 3rd-cutest day of his life (#18), and Ringo Starr on the 2nd-cutest day of his life (#21). But obviously the real starR (I'm dumb. I'm fucking dumb) of "The Beatles in color" is Orange Blanket Ringo, Ringo on the cutest day of his entire life, the snuggest little pal you ever wanted to have playful sex with ever. Like, I want to have sex with him, you know? For a second I just thought "That's kind of gross, Laura. That might qualify as 'TMI' to these people. Maybe change it to 'playfully make out with'?"- but I couldn't, because that would be a lie. I barely even want to playfully make out with this guy at all. Let's just cut to the chase, Ringo. Orange Blanket Ringo. Let's bone and then eat something awesome. Either Eggs Benedict or chicken wings. 


Look At All These Beautiful Pictures Of The Sky

Yesterday Boston.com posted a thing with 23 pictures of the sky and I love them all. They're weird and wild and beautiful and the captions teach you some cool sky trivia -- in picture #7, for example, I learned about noctilucent clouds, which are "a rare super high altitude cloud barely visible from Earth." That's such a pretty word, noctilucent. I just further researched noctilucent clouds and learned they are made of ice crystals and only visible in "deep twilight" and possibly partially caused by frozen exhaust emitted from spaceships*.

Anyway, I wish we were still selling LJ's Because book in our Beatles Etsy Shop so I could tell you to buy it; it's my favorite sky story ever told and it includes the phrase "a babe of skies," which I think about a lot. I love skies and babes and Beatles. They are all my best things. Here are some of my favorite sky pictures from Boston.com:

1. Apparently this is a "storm formation tinged with red dust travel[ing] across the Indian Ocean near Onslow on the Western Australia coast." I don't quite understand what "storm formation" means. It looks like a big peachy-red tidal wave, but apparently it's air? Is that air? I went to pet the air in the top layer of the storm formation. It looks like an angora cat, or "an angora abominable snowman."

2. The aurora borealis, near Norway: 

3. A sunset over the ocean in Mazatlan, Mexico, on my birthday eve last year:

4. The San Gabriel Mountains "looming" over Los Angeles:

That one's my favorite because it's Los Angeles. Taking pictures of the Los Angeles sky is one of my favorite hobbies, although I actually wouldn't identify myself as a person who has "hobbies." Here is the prettiest L.A. sky picture I've taken so far in 2013 -- I call it "Fuck Tha Police":

(* "space shuttles," I mean. Whatever.)

xo Liz


I Am A Picnic

(ABOVE: Picnicky on Picnic Day)

I wore this dress to work the other day. It's periwinkle with peach flowers. It looks tremendously bad on me- I'm not kidding. It's an extremely unflattering dress. That's why I'm only putting up a picture of my face and shoulders, because I am in control of my own image and I don't want to look dumpy on my own blog.  But I like to wear light colors this time of year, to cheer myself and the world up. 

My co-worker came into the kitchen and told me I look like a something summer day. I forget what adjective he used. Maybe "brilliant"? I'm like 70% sure it was brilliant. I'm a little bit sorry to be so braggy, but he's a flatterer, this co-worker of mine. 

"I feel like an Australian housewife," I said, because I did. I always feel like an Australian housewife in that dress. A frumpy Australian housewife with sinewy limbs and leather skin. She'd be chill, though, the Australian housewife I sometimes am. 

"That too," said my co-worker. It's truly undeniable. But there's only so much one can say about their co-worker looking like an Australian housewife, so he went back to the summer day thing, and told me I reminded him of a picnic. I was in a terrible mood, so I appreciated that. "A chill picnic," I said, which I guess is a little redundant. There's not too many aggro picnics, I don't think, but there's definitely ostentatious rich people picnics, which are aggro to me. A picnic is the last place where a rich person should be flaunting their wealth around. Rich people should go eat in restaurants at hotels. Leave the fields for the rest of us. 

I made a point about how I wouldn't be a rich people picnic, and I listed off some names of foods that wouldn't be available at the picnic that I am, such as "like, brie." And "like, oysters."In addition to not wanting to be an ostentatious rich people picnic, I even LESS want to be a HEALTHY picnic. Kale and quinoa are fine for a weekday evening, but a picnic deserves better. My co-worker saw my point. He said that there would be fried chicken at my picnic, the Me Picnic, and I said "YES." A yes both capitalized and italicized; a loud, strong YES. He said "homemade fried chicken," and I said "fried chicken eaten off a paper napkin." 

So, I've decided that that's what I'm going to be from now on. That's the experience I want to give to the world. Talking to me will from now on be the talking to a person equivalent of attending a chill picnic where the main course is homemade fried chicken eaten off of a paper napkin. 

I like self-identifying as this kooky idea because, you know, picnics are a little whimsical, a little cutesy, but the fried chicken grosses it up. It's dirty and nasty. It's actually good, not just the idea of good. It would look blah on Instagram. It's REAL.

PS: There would also be pink champagne at my picnic.

Laura Jane