Thing of the Week: Sea Anemones & Lana Del Rey, A Salt Lamp

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Sea Anemones & Lana Del Rey

Before I fell in love with Alex Chilton, I had a couple of days of thinking that maybe my new thing would be Lana Del Rey + sea anemones. A few Fridays ago I went to El Matador beach and took this picture:

And a few nights later I was looking at that picture and listening to "the Paradise edition of Born to Die," which I'd just bought on iTunes. I had a good half-hour to 45 minutes of listening to Lana Del Rey while looking at pictures of sea anemones and reading about sea anemones; it was all very dreamy and creepy and spellbinding. I learned that sea anemones are predators, that they like to eat shrimp, that they get around by somersaulting. I read this cool/horrifying sentence: "The mouth, also the anus of the sea anemone, is in the middle of the oral disc surrounded by tentacles armed with many cnidocytes, which are cells that function as a defense and as a means to capture prey." And I found out that sometimes sea anemones let clown fish live inside them, and in return the clown fish fight off anemone enemies and let the anemones snack on their leftovers. Overall, my review of sea anemones is that they're cute and disgusting, and also totally beautiful. Here are a few more pix, from Tumblr:

And I'm still listening to Born to Die pretty often and it still sounds good: sexy music that feels like being asleep is one of my favorite genres right now. I'm also into that "Chelsea Hotel #2" cover that was a big deal on the Internet yesterday, and I think it's nice that she changed the "babe"s to "baby"s. Basically the whole reason I brought up sea anemones and Lana Del Rey in the first place is that hearing her version of "Chelsea Hotel #2" was the first time I realized that the last line of the song is "That's all, I don't even think of you that often." I'd always thought it was just "That's all, I don't think of you that often," and now I'm annoyed at Leonard Cohen for putting that "even" in there. Wouldn't it be so much more powerful without the "even"? The "even" seems like overkill, but in a way that somehow softens the sting of the whole thing. And I don't want the sting to be softened - so I think I'll probably just pretend he's singing it my way, every time I hear that song for the rest of my life. I just want the last line of "Chelsea Hotel #2" to be mean as mean can be. 


I am finishing my taxes today and I want a salt lamp.


Everything I Love About Marc Bolan, Pt. II


8. He wrote a song 
called Woodland Rock, which includes the gorgeously Joycean lyric Ally bally bash bam rockabilly boom. I feel like James Joyce would be very proud of him for figuring out that word-sequence and I feel like Marc Bolan would be very proud of me for feeling as spiritually connected to the woods as he's recently helped me realize I do. I do! I've never given it enough play in my writing, because the sky and the moon and the ocean make stunningly bigger deals out of themselves and I fall hook, line and sinker every time. 
        I love Woodland Rock because it's a rock and roll song that I imagine takes place in the ravine I grew up a couple blocks away from, there was a stream in that ravine and I'd ask my parents for permission to go for a walk alone and I'd walk down a hilly path made of gravel and hop along the stones deep into where the stream stopped being a stream anymore, I'd lose myself in the woods to scare myself into being lost in the woods and wondering if I'd die or become a feral wolfe childe and nobody'd ever find me. But of course I always found my way.     
         So that's what Woodland Rock sounds like, Marc Bolan in the middle of the clearing past the stream and all the little animals as his back-up band. Badgers. Marc Bolan and a bunch of felt chipmunks playing electric guitars made out of bark and bear cubs in elf caps scratching pussywillows across cat ribs as xylophones and raccoons plucking leather basses featuring a pine marten on the drums, which are acorns. 

9. 75% of T.Rex lyrics are successions of rhyming couplets about What A Given Girl Is Like, and the fictional girl who is always the one thing that rhymes with the other thing is always the cutest coolest-sounding girl I'd ever wish to be, which I guess means that Marc Bolan is the #1 dude I'd ever wish would write songs about me. There's 
"She's got legs like a railroad, face like a song" (from Woodland Rock), "She lives by the coast, and she's faster than most," from Hot Love, which sounds like the first day of spring, "I'll call you Jag-u-ar, if I may be so bold" from Jeepster and almost all of The Motivator, which I encourage all dudes who have crushes on me to listen to while they're thinking about me. I like the idea of the person you love being called a motivator: one who motivates you to do things. It's a way sexier concept than dull old Muse. Muses are benign; Motivators are alive

Girls in T.Rex songs are named Baby Boomerang and Baby Strange and they're built like cars. "You're dirty, sweet and you're my girl" from Bang A Gong is the most important. All the best stuff is dirty and sweet at the same time: James Joyce's letters to Nora Barnacle, Scout Finch, Manhattans the drink, wearing pigtails with sneakers, etc. 

10. I'm really into traditional gender roles, and Marc Bolan is a manHe's a man the way I want all the men I spend my time with to be. I want them to build motorcycles in their bedrooms and have to sleep with the window open all year round so that the motor oil doesn't asphyxiate them to death. I want them to be preternaturally amazing at climbing trees and catching baseballs, own three-legged and/or David Bowie-eyed mutts named names like Skip or Chip or Champion, have a favorite item on the Taco Bell menu and a second-favorite item on the Taco Bell menu, order bacon on the side and drench that shit in hollandaise- 


Thing of the Week: Marc Bolan & A Cat, Seeing for Miles & Miles, Female Trouble

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Marc Bolan & A Cat

If I'm going to be honest with all of you, my Thing of the Week is actually not this picture of baby Marc Bolan with a cat. This picture of baby Marc Bolan with a cat, while great, was my Thing of the Week last week. However, last week I spilled a bottle of water onto my modem and broke my modem, and then I didn't have the Internet for an entire fucking week and it sort of sucked but whatever. I'm a very clumsy woman and I spill liquid on my modem approximately twice a year every year, and this was one of those times. It's fine. I'm used to it. 

So yeah. To give credit where credit is due: this is a great picture of Marc Bolan. I loved it so much last week! He's fucking adorable, probably sixteen years old, and has a really great look in his eyes, a nice mix of fear and resolve. "Don't worry, Baby Marc Bolan!" his eyes make you want to say, "It all works out for you! You become a famous rock star!" 

But on the other side of the coin, he dies very young, so I suppose that fear is founded in something. Ah, the flames that burn the brightest burn the fastest or whatever. What's more, he's hanging out with a black kitten! That's my spirit animal. And I feel like this black kitten is even more my spirit animal than most black kittens. It's so curious, and it appears to be pawing at either a compass or a roulette wheel. There's a metaphor in there somewhere!

Anyway, my actual Thing of the Week is a tie between 1) The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, which proved to me, and I jest, that a book can be as engrossing as the Internet, and also made me care very deeply about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a passion I suspect will be fleeting, 2) Snapchat, 3) the part in the season finale of Season 6 of Friends where Joey is trying to convince Monica that Chandler never wants to get married so that she doesn't figure out he's about to propose and says "Chandler's a complex fellow, unlikely to take a wife," and Monica says, "Is that boat talk?" (because it's also the episode of Friends where Joey accidentally buys a boat) and Joey says, "I don't know, I haven't really figured out how I'm gonna talk on my boat yet" and 4) the time I tweeted, "Can everybody just tweet at me their lists of the Friends fav to least-fav? I have no Internet til Monday & I need something cool to look at" and EVERYBODY pulled through and my phone was veritably EXPLODING with all my pals' lists of Friends fav to least-fav, it was so informative and beautiful and as it turned out, I had no Internet til Tuesday. (PS: Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica)

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Seeing for Miles & Miles

I had a nasty experience yesterday. Some very wealthy people I did some work for tried to weasel me out of some money; it was gross and insulting and pretty pathetic. But the cool part, the reason I'm writing about this in "Thing of the Week," is that I stood my ground and showed them up and ultimately got what I was owed. I was all, "This is the amount of money I was promised and that’s exactly the amount I'm going to get," and it worked. I felt really proud of myself. Immediately afterward I tweeted something about feeling like Pete Campbell when he tells Don Draper "I will shoot you" - which doesn't quite make sense but whatever, I was high off my victory. I drank an iced coffee and ate some almonds and gave myself the present of watching this really boring video of Alex Chilton for like the zillionth time this week (seriously, don't bother watching unless you're obsessed with and/or deeply curious about Alex Chilton - but I'm so crazy about the last 40 seconds, when the MTV dude asks that stupid question and Alex just refuses to play along, in a way that's sorta antagonistic yet somehow completely chill, and the sarcasm of his response to the final question is sooo hot and amazing - bravo, babydoll) and then I went running. I had my iPod on shuffle and one of the first songs to come up was "I Can See for Miles" by The Who, which is one of my favorite songs lately. I made every lyric in the song about how I totally faced those shady people and I felt so unstoppable and it was all just perfect.

So I took this picture two Sundays ago, aka the weekend I fell head over heels for Alex Chilton  - it's a picture of me seeing for miles and miles. My shoes are good and Los Angeles is beautiful and disgusting and there's magic in my eyes. "I Can See for Miles" is the song that made Paul McCartney write "Helter Skelter", and that's very important to me too.


 If 2012 was my Lynch Year, 2013 is shaping up to be My Waters Year. I just finished reading Crackpot, which was hilarious, demented & genius, obviously. I have been wanting to see Female Trouble, I think mostly because of the excellent title. I rented it and was kind of bummed to see that it came as a little combo DVD with Pink Flamingos, because that meant I had to watch Pink Flamingos and I wasn't in a huge rush to go there. I watched Female Trouble first and instantly it was one of my favorite movies. I mean, truly instantly, from the second it started, and that's because the opening credit sequence is FLAWLESS. It's perfect. There is NOTHING wrong with it. That font! The colors! The images! The song, "Female Trouble", sung by Divine is my new favorite song. I've probably listened to it at least 30 times this week. Maybe, like, 45. The Melvin's covered it but I've only listened to that version like 4 times. It is a beautiful groove. If I'm listening to it, I have it in my head. "I've got lot's of problems.."


Everything I Love About Marc Bolan, Pt. I


1. There's nothing I don't love about Marc Bolan, I realized at the gym this morning, working out to Jeepster and trying to think of a thing I don't love about Marc Bolan. I mean I'm sure if he and I were for some reason forced to spend an extended period of time in a high-pressure situation together some trait of his would emerge as being my least-favorite, but I get the general impression that he wouldn't ever annoy me very much, which is more than I can say about most sixties rock guys I absently idolize. In real life I can't deal with 95% of people and can totally see myself being all "Ugh, John Lennon's such a drama queen," "Ray Davies feels so unnecessarily sorry for himself," "Keith Richards is late for EVERYTHING," etc. 

2. Today it was sort of semi-warm out, I was really proud of the weather for stepping up to the plate and being like "WHAT'S UP I'm March now, and I'm going to act like March, the interim month between winter and spring, and not just be all lame and winter about it like I usually am." So I went for a nice meandering walk down my soggy grey street, impulse-bought a gold-and-blue Missoni-striped cardigan and  listened to the twenty-minute-long interview with Marc Bolan that comes as a bonus track on whichever luxury edition of Electric Warrior I happen to own, I guess it's from 1971- I just wanted to make double-sure that there's nothing I don't love about Marc Bolan. I knew that there wouldn't be and I'm happy it's official now; Marc Bolan is fucking delightful. Over the course of the interview, he: 

exclusively refers to money as "bread"
reveals that Cosmic Dancer is about reincarnation, which is the obvious best case scenario outcome of what Cosmic Dancer could possibly be about
- says the word "jive" an insane amount of times and
- "boogie" almost as much and
- "heavy-headed" to mean "thoughtful," which is really cool and I'm gonna steal it from him, and
- "headless" to mean dumb.

3. He's very polite, somewhat soft-spoken, and refers to a bunch of different people, such as Randy Newman and Cat Stevens, as being a "good guy" or "good person," which is a trait I really admire in others and am presently trying to cultivate in myself. I never notice if anyone's "good" or not; it's just not built into my nature to care. I think Marc Bolan is maybe the first person I ever noticed was good or not. He's good. 


Playing The Friendship Game With Kathleen Hanna & Kathi Wilcox (Plus: The 5 Bikini Kill Songs That Mean The Most To Me)

Hi! So our beautiful buddy Laura Fisher did this thing for the Huffington Post where she and her friend Kathleen challenged Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna and Kathi Wilcox to "The Friendship Game" (basically a twist on The Newlywed Game, with BFFs answering intimate and important questions about each other). It's really sweet and funny and I love Kathleen Hanna's sweater and Laura's lipstick and luminous hair, and also the Annie mug and cute Christmasy cookies. Watch the video here, because Blogspot suxxx and won't let me embed it. Oh and you should also watch Laura and Kathleen's Friendship Game with Wild Flag, including the amazing genius Mary Timony and her adorable lisp. 

I don't listen to Bikini Kill much anymore but Laura's video made me a little nostalgic for when I loved them. Here are the five Bikini Kill songs that still mean a lot to me today:


I can't remember if it was me, my ex-boyfriend, or some dumb rock critic who once said that that "Feels Blind" has the same epic vibe as the Patti Smith Group's version of "Gloria." Whoever it was, I kinda get the point. "Feels Blind" isn't nearly glorious as "Gloria" but it's got a similar power to make me feel unstoppable: I can't listen to it and not rise above whatever bullshit might be getting me down at the moment. And remember the issue of Sassy where "We eat your hate like love" was written on the spine? I do - I remember that. I still use "I eat your hate like love" all the time, especially when people are being assholes about Los Angeles. Los Angeles so eats your fucking hate up like love. 

ii. "OUTTA ME"

Oh man: such a killer breakup jam. At the coffeehouse in high school my friend Dave (whom I wrote about when I wrote a big thing about Nirvana) used to play a cover of "Outta Me" and it was a real heartbreaker. Later on Dave and I were roommates in Boston and he kept his drums in the living room and sometimes he'd randomly break into the "Dog Show" theme. That was pretty killer too.

iii. "TELL ME SO"

It's just a bitchin' song and the bassline is like whoa. Its lyrics make me think of math paper and then weirdly miss tenth-grade geometry. It's funny how you never see math paper again after age 18. I'm so nostalgic for math paper and "Dog Show" right now.


"Jet Ski" is probably my fave song on Reject All American but I'm more sentimental about "False Start"; it's softer and sweeter and more easily sweeps me back to the Friday afternoon in autumn 1996 when my then-boyfriend and two of his besties (including a really good-looking dude named George Harrison!) and I drove half an hour to the nearest good record store and I bought that album. It was so ugly and gray and Rhode-Island-in-November-y out, and I think we maybe also went to Burger King, or McDonald's, and afterward went back to the dorm and listened to our CDs and had a typically boring "sophomore-year Friday night." When we got to my CD everyone laughed at me at the part in "R.I.P." where Kathleen starts shouting, the part that goes "And I wouldn't be SO FUCKING MAD, SO FUCKING PISSED OFF, IF IT WASN'T SO FUCKING WRONG, IT'S ALL FUCKING WRONG! IT'S NOT FAIR, IT'S NOT FAIR, IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!" - which I can't really blame them for. I mean, I'd laugh at me too.


Obviously! Did you ever see that video where Kathleen Hanna's talking about getting drunk on Canadian Club with Kurt Cobain and vandalizing a "fake abortion clinic" and she sings "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and then "Rebel Girl"? It's beautiful and inspiring and makes me cry about "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and I don't even like that song. Watch it; it'll exhilarate you and maybe you'll cry too - a nice, joyful, cleansing sort of cry:

P.S. After writing this entry I got up to make popcorn and looked in the mirror and my hair had magically rearranged itself into this side-pony/updo thing that I never would have thought to attempt on my own. I'm so into it. Thanks, Bikini Kill. Thanks, Laura Fisher! See you soon, I hope. xo Liza


A little goodbye to sweet Jason Molina

Jason Molina from Songs: Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co. died over the weekend. I didn't know his music all that well, but the album Magnolia Electric Co. came out just before I moved to Los Angeles and I reviewed it for a magazine and fell deep in love with "Farewell Transmission." Along with Elephant by the White Stripes, that song was my leaving-Boston-for-L.A. soundtrack; I'm sure I played it a thousand times while driving home along the Mass Pike, from my office on the Charles River to my parents' house where I was living for the summer. Massachusetts in summer is so hot and green and when I hear "Farewell Transmission" now I can feel the nasty/perfect July air exactly as it felt in my little red Honda with no air conditioning in the summer of 2003. It feels good and it makes me sad.

Moving to Los Angeles is possibly the bravest thing I've ever done in my life but at the time I had almost no fear about it: I just knew it was going to be really good. But even though I wasn't scared I was heartbroken to leave behind everyone I loved. Listening to "Farewell Transmission" intensified the heartbreak, but the lyric "I will be gone but not forever" made it all right. That's my second favorite line from the song, and my first favorite is the part that goes:

"The real truth about is, no one gets it right/The real truth about is, we're all supposed to try" 

I like music because you can use it to turn all the little things you feel into something big and important and beautiful in an incorruptible sort of way. One of my favorite kinds of music is the kind that pulls off earnestness with zero fear of coming off all hokey and sentimental; it's just totally unembarrassed about its big messy heart. I woke up in a rotten mood this morning and then I read about Jason Molina and then I listened to "Farewell Transmission" for the first time in maybe five years and it felt good and made me sad all over again. So I just wanted to say thank you to Jason Molina here, for being sweet and earnest and so completely brave. Here's that beautiful song:

xo Liz


Thing of the Week: The Book of Symbols & Julie Delpy

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Book of Symbols

I saw this book in the Met gift shop a few weeks ago and almost passed out. It looked exactly what I would want to exist in the world. My perfect resource! I obviously did not buy it since I am a bad shopper and tend to wait a month to a year before buying anything I know I want. After a month or so I ordered it online with my dumb credit card "points". It showed up last Saturday. I was sick al weekend/still am/forever. On Sunday I dragged this massive tome over to me on the couch and looked through it. It's what I needed. I love it. The book is divided into 5 sections, of all the important things in life: 1.Creation & Cosmos, 2. Plant World, 3. Animal World, 4.Human World, 5. Spirit World. Ok, so just with those sections printed on the backdrop of a BLUE SKY as the table of contents, this is the best book ever. There's a write up of all of the things, the symbols to us in each section. Like, water. FLOODS. waterfalls. the sky. DARKNESS. lotuses. flowers. SCORPIONS. Scorpions are older than dinosaurs & spiders, did you have any idea?! They are also naturally drawn to darkness aka summer goths, like me! I am such a Scorpio. In the Human World there are entries for peeing & hands & MOVEMENT AND EXPRESSION. It's a beautiful, gigantic resource and I am in love with it.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Being In Love with Julie Delpy All Over Again

I watched 2 Days in New York last weekend and at first I was scared cuz the trailer looks kind of stupid, but turns out it's awesome and adorable and way more fun than 2 Days in Paris. Julie Delpy is my favorite because I love how beautifully she plays "slightly unhinged," how she can be lovely and messy and hilarious and sometimes maddening in a way that's totally real and a million worlds away from manic pixie dream girl or whatever the fuck. The movie and her performance are so smart and so warm and I appreciate that intensely. Smartness and warmth! Let's have more smartness and warmth in cinema and in the world.

My other fave things this week include a bottle of Moon Juice (in Spiced Yam, and it was exciting and I wish all drinks contained red apple & cinnamon):

and going to Canter's at 2 a.m. for chocolate rugelach and meeting this cute banana bread:

and also how it's hot out every day now and I can wear my Lelaina Pierce dress all the time. Although of course I'm lying and all I really care about is Alex Chilton Alex Chilton Alex Chilton Alex Chilton Alex Chilton Alex Chilton Alex Chilton x a zillion forever. That's really it. Alex Chilton. 


4 Reasons Why I'm In Love With Alex Chilton


This is Alex Chilton. You've probably been hearing his voice your whole life, if you've ever heard that song that goes Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home/My baby just-a wrote me a letter. That's "The Letter" by The Box Tops, which Alex was in when he was a baby/teenager. When I first started getting into Big Star I figured someone else in The Box Tops sang on "The Letter" 'cause Alex's voice is usually all high and sweet and weird - but turns out it's totally him, he's just using some growly big-man voice. I like his weird voice about thousand times better, for whatever that's worth.

Anyway I'm desperately love with Alex Chilton now and it's so heavy. Here are four of the things that contributed to his becoming my everything:


Alex Chilton and I have the same birthday (December 28th), which means a lot to me. A cool thing about Alex is that birthdays meant a lot to him too. I learned that from this book called Big Star: The Short Life, Painful Death, and Unexpected Resurrection of the Kings of Power Pop, which I read over the past few weeks. Here is a page I love (just read the underlined part):

Haha, my nails are so trashed. Alex is so cool. I love how he didn't share his weed and I love how he's so enlightened in his misanthropy. He cares so much more about the heavens than all the jerks on Earth.


I'm not going to write about his music in this post (I'm not ready for that), but it's worth noting that my favorite Alex Chilton solo song today is "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It" (whose title Liz Phair ripped off for the lyrics to "Flower," in that "genius steals" sort of way):

I have so much to say about "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It," but for now I'll just tell you that it's the best mix of fun and fucked-up and perfect I can ever remember hearing in a song. Alex Chilton is the most beautiful sicko.


At first when I started reading the Big Star book I was like, "I hope I don't learn anything bad about Alex Chilton, I hope Alex Chilton doesn't turn out to be a jerk." SPOILER ALERT: Alex Chilton was a total jerk! He was "difficult" and mean and sometimes violent - or at least that's true of what we know of him from the Big Star book, which of course is hardly very much at all. There's this one part where it's 1981 and some fan takes a bus from northern California to Memphis just to try to track down Alex, because he loves Big Star so much, and ends up finding him in a bar and Alex agrees to hang out with him as long as the guy buys all his cigarettes and booze and doesn't talk about music. And they hang out for a week and one night go to the hospital where Jerry Lee Lewis is rumored to be dying and drink beer and eat Taco Bell on the front lawn, and then the dude tells Alex he can't afford to keep paying for his shit, and Alex is like "All right, see ya" and then that's that and the guys gets back on the bus and goes home.

There's also this part earlier in the book where it's the Box Tops days and Alex is hanging out at Dennis Wilson's house and the Manson Family's there, and they send Alex out to buy groceries and he forgets the milk and the Manson Family bugs out, and Alex gets "strange vibes" and decides to leave. I don't know what that has to do with enlightened misanthropy, but I think it's kinda amusing that it took getting yelled at about milk for Alex to realize something a little off about Charles Manson.

Anyway the point is I don't care, even if Alex Chilton was a rotten human being every second of his life. People who put greatness into the world have every right to be ridiculous assholes whenever they feel like it. This is an important truth.


I mean look at him for god's sake:

And his voice, his beautiful weird angelic heart-killing heart-saving beautiful beautiful voice. I bet in heaven you just hear "Stroke It Noel" all the time, it just plays from the air.

And speaking of "The Letter" and of gracefulness and beauty, I'm currently addicted to watching this video of The Box Tops lip-synching the letter on some TV show in 1967. Alex is 16 here and it feels a little gross to be in love with a 16-year-old boy but I can't help it, he's perfect. I love his tie, plus his general "tie approach"/style/hotness/legs/self. I love his hair, and how for most of the song he alternates between looking he's about to cry and looking like he hates everything. I love how stoned his eyes are when he's trying not to laugh. I love how he basically has no moves, but then in the last few moments he has ALL THE MOVES. I love his "pointing move," and above all I love how he keeps up the "I hate everything" look even while dancing.

Beautifully dance your way through hating everything, is one of the four best things I've learned since falling in love with Alex Chilton last Friday. I love you Alex, so much.

(P.S. All of the pics in this post came from here.)


My Imaginary Soundtrack to the Beautiful Book 'Uses for Boys'

This me and my copy of Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt, who also does the wonderful blog Royal Quiet DeLuxe. Uses for Boys is the story of Anna, daughter of a single mom who's too caught up with the men in her life to really take care of her kid. By the time Anna's thirteen she's all caught up with boys too, but it's all loveless and joyless and after a while Anna's loneliness is almost unbearable. The book's a goddamn heartbreaker but the dreaminess of Erica's writing sort of sweeps you up and lulls you; it's practically narcotic. I got lost in reading it and now I'm so nostalgic for that feeling.

So I made this playlist of songs for Anna - it starts with "Psychic Hearts" by Thurston Moore because Anna's mom is a mixed-up jerk and the kids at school call her slut and cuz I want to kill all the boys with their fucked-up noise and cuz Laugh all the time, try to get high is good advice for Anna, and for everyone in general. I went to a weird place in putting these songs together, some sad and creepy corner of teenage-girl-dom that I don't access much anymore but felt good to sink into again for a little while. The strangest surprise in all that was remembering how "Sleeping Where I Want" by Veruca Salt is a big ripoff of "Shatter" by Liz Phair but also pretty great. Also also also, This Mortal Coil's cover of "You and Your Sister" by Chris Bell (of Big Star, AKA THE GREATEST BAND IN ROCKANDROLL HISTORY) is gorgeous and perfect and Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly sing it and I'm dying, I'm dead.


Benjamin Mach Is My Dream Best Friend


Benjamin Mach got voted off Project Runway two weeks ago, and I can't deal with it. He was my favorite Project Runway contestant of all time, which is a shocker in itself. I thought my fav Project Runway contestant would always be Mondo. 

I started watching Season 11 of Project Runway a little bit after the fact, because in February all I did was watch 30 Rock. It was my everything, and I didn't have time for any other TV shows. I am just going to take this brief moment out of my life to admit to the Internet that I watched the entire series of 30 Rock in twenty-eight days, which averages out to being 4.92 episodes of 30 Rock per day. So how's that for a wake-up call, Laura Jane Faulds? 

It's fine, thank you. It's a very good wake-up call. I put an "all TV except for Project Runway" ban on myself for March. I bought myself a little air organ and in the morning I play T.Rex songs on my air organ. Today I am going to telephone two of my old employers to ask them document-related questions about taxation. I am reading a book about James Joyce. 

Anyway, pre-TV ban, I watched the first seven episodes of Project Runway Season 11 in four days; around halfway through, I started becoming legitimately anxious about the possibility of Benjamin Mach getting voted off. I was like, "How will I even be able to watch this show without him?" I honestly wasn't sure if I'd be able to do that. 

So I Googled Benjamin Mach, and found out that he was RIDICULOUSLY voted off the show for designing a reasonably cute dress for a sassy old lady who loved both Benjamin and her dress. So that's really "fair," Zac Posen and Nina Garcia. That makes all the sense in the world... if you're on DRUGS. Boom! Maybe they're on drugs. Maybe Nina Garcia and Zac Posen dropped acid, and then they went and judged the old lady challenge. Bold move, you two. (Also: Zac Posen looks exactly like a character in a JD Salinger short story! I Tweeted and deleted that statement a few days ago because I don't think it makes any actual sense. But to me it's uncanny. He could be Boo Boo Glass' husband! Nah, fuck it. Go there, LJ. He could be SEYMOUR.)

Seen above is a picture of the dress Benjamin Mach made during this season's "flowers & hardware challenge," in which the designers had to make dresses out of flowers and hardware. Speaking of acid, do you think the person who thought of the idea for the flowers and hardware challenge was on acid? I sort of do. One last thing about acid: wouldn't it be great if Tim Gunn waltzed on into the workroom and was like "Hi, Designers- this challenge has a twist," and the designers would be all "Aw, man," thinking the twist would be, like, having less time or having to make another garment, and then Tim would say "You'll have to completely the remainder of this challenge high on acid," and then they'd all drop out of the competition because thinking about the concept of reality TV on acid while on a reality TV show is obviously too much for the human mind to handle. Also, why was Tu on the show? He didn't speak English. It was really weird. All of his voiceovers were just a bunch of strung-together prepositions accented by the occasional "girl" or "hot mess." 

Point being, Benjamin's flower dress was fucking adorable, one of the Top 5 Project Runway dresses of all-time that I'd actually pay money to wear in real life. I want to wear it! I want to wear it to work tonight. I want to bartend in this dress. OH and the coolest part of the dress is that Benjamin constructed his own LOOM to make it. Great time management, Benjamin. Very efficient loom-making. God! Loom-making. "Making your own loom" is such a cool thing  for a human being to do. It's so Vashti Bunyan. 

Benjamin also has killer personal style. Sometimes he'll wear a fancy tailored suit with a bow-tie but not in a prissy way that makes you feel like he'd ever judge you for wearing the same exact black stockings thirteen days in a row. Fashion people are so often unbearable but Benjamin Mach is really chill about it. Most days of my life I wear a giant Kinks or Rolling Stones t-shirt with a short skirt and lace-up boots and I think Benjamin would GET IT, unlike Richard Hallmarq or Stanley Hudson who would obviously want me to do an Old Hollywood glam thing. Sometimes Benjamin wears a floral t-shirt that looks like it might be made out of sweatshirt material and sometimes he wears a t-shirt with hearts all over it. Either way, Benjamin has great taste in t-shirts. He also has the best accent I've ever heard in my life.  He's from Australia but lived in London for eight years and speaks in dazzingly perfect received pronunciation which occasionally takes a turn toward the1964 Paul McCartney. He also makes these very lovely Japanese glass bead necklaces: 

I am totally going to buy one next time I get paid, because supporting Benjamin Mach is very important to me. I love him dearly. In one episode, there's a little bit where he talks about how he used to be in an emotionally abusive relationship, and starts to cry. I started crying watching it! I don't want Benjamin Mach to ever feel any pain ever. I hope the person who emotionally abused  Benjamin Mach never crosses my path because I swear to God I will fuck that jerk's face up. Oh and of course Ben was SUPER-elegant about getting voted off Project Runway. What a mensch.

Anyway, Ben, if you're reading this (which I hope you are because I am definitely planning on Tweeting it at you), I just wanted to let you know that I am moving to London next year, so hopefully we can hang out and set this whole "being best friends" plan of my mine into motion. Let's drink hella white wine, talk about what life is like, and dance really stupidly to "Freaks". 


When Life Gives You Lemons, Listen to 'Come On Feel The Lemonheads'


It was Evan Dando's birthday on Monday. Happy birthday, Evan! Here are four little stories about some kids and a supermodel and a cute jar of juice:

i. I went to Laurel Canyon Country Store a couple Tuesdays ago - I was coming home from the Valley, and you can't drive down Laurel Canyon Boulevard and not stop at the Canyon Store. I bought a bottle of Canyon Store wine and a bag of mini-marshmallows, and also some nag champa incense. There was a little boy in front of me in line and his name was Jagger, he looked like if Thurston Moore was blonde and a five-year-old. Jagger couldn't decide between M&Ms and Starburst and his mom was trying to hurry him along, for my sake, and I smiled at her like "No, it's cool, I am more than happy to stand here forever and watch your adorable child pick out his candy," which was true: Jagger seemed like a great kid and had such good energy; he was genuinely torn between the M&Ms and the Starburst and I identified with that. In the end he got the M&Ms, and as they walked out he turned to his mom and asked, "Do you know what size these M&Ms are? SHARING SIZE." And then I died, and smiled at the mom again, like "Seriously? Your child is FUCKING DELIGHTFUL" and felt really happy about everything for many minutes. Then I took this picture in the mirror outside the store:

ii. A few Fridays ago I went to Venice after class and I got lunch at a new-ish health-food place on Abbot Kinney. My lunch was a plate of grains and greens and beans and beets and a sauce made of yellow bell pepper, which was a weird choice; I kind of impulse-ordered it. After lunch I was walking to my car and there were three little girls (about ten-years-old, I think?) hanging out on a bench on the corner and they asked if they could sing me a song. I said sure in a drawl that was such a ripoff of the way Evan Dando said "sure" to me, on that night I already told you about. So the girls started the song and two of them sang while the third played drums on an overturned plastic cup - every few beats she'd pick up the cup, slide it to the edge of the bench, flip it over and start drumming on it again. The song was a breakup song and there was a line like "You're gonna miss me by my hair, you're gonna miss me everywhere" and there was another lyric about leaving town with nothing but two bottles of whiskey. The drummer had crimped white-blonde hair and the lead singer had a retainer and they were all wearing babydoll dresses and leggings. When they were done I gave them two bucks, which wasn't nearly enough, and asked "How long you guys been doing this?" - meaning, like, how long had they been a singing group? They all yelled "HOURS AND HOURS!!" and then told me how they lived nearby and they loved to sing on the sidewalk, it was one of their favorite things. I told them to keep it up, and once I left I instantly regretted not inventing a label and signing them right there, like Rob did with the Kinky Wizards in High Fidelity.

iii. The Saturday morning/afternoon before I left Los Angeles for Christmas, I walked down Sunset Boulevard for a really long time. I had no idea where I was going, but I walked and walked and after about four miles I peeked into the window of a restaurant that specializes in locally grown foods or whatever the fuck. In line there was the woman whose physical appearance I stole for the main character in my book, back when I first started writing my book. That woman and my girl don't look that much alike anymore, but they’ve got the same general facial structure and hair and willowiness. The woman’s kind of famous, I met her twice in 2007 and she’s so cool and so I went into the restaurant just to stand next to her. She was wearing a cashmere trenchcoat and Lakers sweatpants and she was by herself and dancing to "The Little Drummer Boy." She looked gorgeous and awesome and I felt so grateful and charmed, that I happened to be walking past the restaurant right at that moment. I got a ham and cheese croissant and ate it while walking down the street, and as she drove past me in her silver Porsche I thought how she's one of the two most beautiful people I've ever met in my life, the other being Evan Dando.

iv. Last Monday I bought a jar of juice for 10 dollars. I had a doctor's appointment in Santa Monica and I ended up waiting in the waiting room for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was lame but I dealt with it, I used my phone to read a Bullett interview with Cat Marnell and look at pictures of Ben Affleck decorating tiny cakes with his wife and daughters. After the doctor I went to Venice, to a place on Abbot Kinney called Local 1205. I got an iced coffee and did some work and on the way out bought a jar of juice because it was called Lush Meadow. Ten dollars is so much money to spend on juice, at least for me: I don't really care about juicing, I like to gnaw on my vegetables and fruits, I like to use my teeth. (I'm also of the opinion that smoothies are bullshit, although of course milkshakes are wonderful and heaven.) But anyway the juice was in a jar and it was named Lush Meadow and that's a really pretty name for something you're going to drink, and to be honest I was kind of already sold at "jar of juice": so many things in my life I'm drawn to because they sound cool, because I like the way the words and the syllables go together in my mouth. "I'm going to drink a lush meadow" - that sounds so sweet and magical.

Lush Meadow is made of turmeric, cucumber, kale, green apple, celery, and parsley. It tastes like grass, of course, though I can kinda taste the apple. Here is a picture of my Lush Meadow jar and a bottle of bear wine:

Basically I just wish Lush Meadow were a lemonade, maybe lemonade with green apple, or maybe Green Apple Lemonade with Strawberry and Other Things. On Sunday I bought lemonade from a little boy's lemonade stand down the block and it wasn't very good, but it was nice just to give some kid some money and then walk down the street drinking lemonade from a big red plastic cup. Maybe I should go into business with that kid, and we'll call our lemonade Lush Meadow, and it will be The Most Lovely and Lemonheadsy Lemonade In The Land.