Thing of the Week: Drunk-Listening to "Don't Worry Baby," Cake with Coffee Poured All Over It, Regina

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Walking Home Drunk & Listening to "Don't Worry Baby" on Headphones

This week it was summer. It was that week when you remember what summer feels like, and it stops being a dream. Every wonderful thing you remembered summer as being is better than you remembered but then there is also some annoying shit about it that you repressed all winter, such as how crappy your hair will look/ all sweating-related aspects of summer in general- but it's a small price to pay, really, for how good the air feels. The air just feels so fucking great. 

On Wednesday night I met my dad for dinner at
the Whippoorwill; I ate the vanilla cheesecake with wild ginger syrup and marcona almonds, it looked like this:

and it was really just, something else. It was so light and herby and green. It tasted like if the concept of "a novel about an eccentric Baroness set in the English countryside" exploded into the most beautiful dessert you've ever eaten. After din I went out for drinks with my ex-sous-chef and her girlfriend and we had the loudest blast ever. Cooks are my favorite people in the world. Front of house, we're comparatively dorky. 

We said goodbye and I decided to walk home, all the way across the city, because it's summer, and nothing- nothing- is better than walking home drunk and listening to headphones in the summertime. It is literally my ideal state of existence. Usually during the winter I remember that, spend a lot of time mooning about how bad I wish I was doing it, but this winter I forgot, so I was beautifully surprised by finding myself doing it and then realizing how happy it was making me only after becoming that happy organically! Those summer-specific walks are when I figure it all out, when songs sound the best, when the truth is so easy and I'm having so much fun, a heavy kind of fun. It's definitely when I feel most me to myself, when the words my head is saying make the most sense. 

I listened to the Rolling Stones and took pictures of the moon and tweeted a bunch of weird shit about the Rolling Stones and kept thinking about my Free Will Astrology this week, which was all about opening doors you didn't know weren't locked. So I was just Tweeting and Snapchatting all this wildness and thinking "It's a door! I'm opening a door!"- I felt very free. I played myself Don't Worry Baby, and it was perfect, and I told myself that I had to make Don't Worry Baby be my Thing of the Week this week, even though I already had this very clever other little thing already written in my head- but it wasn't true. I think if my Thing of the Week was ever a lie I'd die on instinct. 

I don't know if I've ever written about how much I love Don't Worry Baby- I've always thought of it as a given, kind of, that every human loves Don't Worry Baby, and that I am merely one of them. But nope. I think I love Don't Worry Baby more than the average person. I think it's the second-best song ever written, after You Can't Always Get What You Want; I'm even tempted to say that it's better than You Can't Always Get What You Want, but You Can't Always Get What You Want is longer and way more complicated, and I think that long and complicated things should be rewarded for being long and complicated. 

I'm thinking of a bunch of thoughts about Don't Worry Baby right now, staring at the computer and thinking them, but I don't want to write them down. They're personal. The only thing I really want to say about Don't Worry Baby is that "I guess I shoulda kept my mouth shut when I start to brag about my car" is my favorite part of- well, I was going to say it was my favorite part of Don't Worry Baby, but then the bourbon kicked in, and now I've decided that I'd like to say that it's my favorite part of life. Which is not true, but it's closer to being true than it is to being a lie. And I also wanted to mention how much I love: "And if you knew how much I love you, baby, nothing could go wrong with you"- I like the idea of having that much confidence in the power of your own love. I think, in addition to a lot more door-opening, I'd like to spend this summer acquiring that particular confidence. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Cake with Coffee Poured All Over It

On Saturday I went to Canele for the first time in my life. It was so nice! I had lamb hash and a thousand cups of coffee, and for "breakfast appetizer" my friends and I shared a piece of the ricotta coffee cake. The waitress came by with the cake and set it down on the table; in her hand was a little silver pitcher. "May I pour the coffee?" she asked. "Please!" we all said -- AND THEN SHE POURED HOT COFFEE ALL OVER OUR CAKE. Oh my god it was breathtaking. The cake was this gorgeous spongy pound cake stuff, and it soaked up the coffee and there was a gigantic dollop of ricotta whipped cream on top. The coffee was really rich and the cake was really rich and the ricotta whipped cream was really rich; I'm really into things being "rich" right now. Not just foods but, like, life experiences - you know what I'm sayin? I'm also really into the idea of taking a perfectly pretty little piece of cake and drowning it in superstrong hot coffee and then eating the shit out of it. There's a metaphor there but I'm still working it out, and will be sure to keep you posted on whatever I come up with.

My other, lesser thing of the week is Nico's version of the song "I'm Not Sayin'" by Gordon Lightfoot. I heard it for the first time on Saturday night, at a screening of The Party at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The song was playing and I tried to Shazam it but Shazam wasn't working. I asked Shane, "Shane, is this Nico?" and Shane was all, "No, I don't think so," and then I was like "WHATEVER SHANE IT'S SO OBVIOUSLY NICO WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?" - which would be funnier if you knew Shane and how he's like the sweetest and most mild-mannered dude on the planet.

Anyway, I mostly appreciate "I'm Not Sayin'" for its jauntiness, how it's so uncharacteristic of Nico to happen on a jaunty kind of level. I'm all for everybody breaking out of his comfort zone these days.


Regina is one of my most favorite people on the planet. Actually, in the universe. She's moving to France for the summer (I know, right?) so this week was our last week to hang for a few months. We got some really good hang time in. I'm going to miss her IRL presence dearly but we will snapchat pictures of cats and coffees and we'll send each other mail. Lots of mail. Regina is the best person you could possibly have sending you anything in the mail. Nothing but treasures. This week we went to my two favorite places: Cobble Hill Cinemas and Champs. We saw Frances Ha. We ate sandwiches and fries and drank lemonade with muddled berries and coffee with a cookie and a peanut butter rice krispy with chocolate on top thing. I liked Frances Ha a lot. Greta saved Noah from being an eternal snoozefest. I'm going to google image search pictures of her now. Anyway Regina is the best and she's going to spend the summer in lavender fields (really) and I'm going to spend the summer drawing pictures of bats & witch hats and mailing them to her in a lavender field. In the fall we'll go to Salem.


Seven Good Reasons Why Gram Parsons Is My New Number-One Dream Boy of All Time


On Monday I had a really cool experience that involved swinging on a swing while telling the story of Gram Parsons's life and death to two strangers and two of my friends. We were in Laurel Canyon and my audience was sitting before me on a wooden bench; I was drinking champagne from a jar and wearing my new Gram Parsons shirt that looks like this. It all started because someone asked me to explain the plot of the movie Grand Theft Parsons, which I've never actually seen. "GRAM PARSONS WAS BORN A REALLY LONG TIME IN SOME TOWN IN FLORIDA I CAN'T REMEMBER THE NAME OF," I began, logically. "His family was very, very rich! They owned citrus orchards or something." I took them through Gram's dad's suicide and his mom's drinking-herself-to-death, all the way to Gram's overdosing at the Joshua Tree Inn when he was 26-years-old. A funny part was when one of the stranger-dudes was all, "Why do you keep smiling about everything? THIS STORY IS SUPER-SAD," which is a great point. But I'm a smiler, I smile my way through most sad stories. 

Anyway the point is love Gram Parsons more than anything right now and I want everyone else to love him too. And I know you can't force that kind of love on anyone, but here's seven good reasons why you should maybe consider making Gram Parsons your new number-one dream boy, at least for the summertime:

i. UMMMMMMMM CUZ HE WROTE ALL THESE GREAT SONGS THAT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART FOREVER IN THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY FORTIFYING WAY? Duh. Last year my friend Tim made me a Spotify playlist cutely titled "Liz Parsons," which is a pretty solid Gram Parsons primer. It's missing some of my faves by the Flying Burrito Brothers, like "Just Can't Be" and "Older Guys" and "The Train Song," but whatevsies. If you're really deeply curious about Gram Parsons though, or if you're a person who's generally into gorgeous music, then you should absolutely buy the album Another Side of This Life. It's just Gram and his guitar, and he covers "Cod'ine" by Buffy Sainte-Marie, my second-favorite "Cod'ine" cover after the one by Ver Sacrum (a now-defunct band starring Laura Jane Faulds). My second-biggest triumph of Monday, after Gram Parsons champagne swingset storytelling hour, was telling this famous musician dude to listen to Another Side of This Life. I feel like he's not gonna follow through but what I can I do about that, I'm only one woman.

ii. HE WAS THE CUTEST HAM. Gram the ham! I'm talking about the handful of music videos the Flying Burrito Brothers made, including:

a. the "Older Guys" video, where Gram is dancing up a storm, on a boat, in tight white pants:

(BTW there's a part in the documentary Fallen Angel where someone makes fun of Gram for dancing like Mick Jagger in the "Older Guys," but I don't know, I think it's just the most adorbs thing I've ever seen. Kind of a gross thought, but I wonder if Gram would have gotten by a little better if he'd existed at a time that was more conducive to his becoming "a video star.")

b. the "Christine's Tune" video, where Gram does this cutesy 'Ladies and gentlemen: Chris Hillman!!!!" gesture right when it's Chris Hillman's turn to sing (aka at 0:26).

c. the "Hot Burrito #1" video, where Gram puts his sunglasses on halfway through the first verse, sings the next few lines, then takes his sunglasses off again. That is such a good move. If more dudes in my immediate universe had even half the wherewithal displayed by Gram in that moment, then, I don't know - I'd probably be into way more actual dudes instead of falling for dead rock stars all the time.

iii. THE GRAM/KEITH RICHARDS BROMANCE IS SO ENDLESSLY ENDEARING TO ME. I don't have much to write about this at the moment, on account of the fact that I just got an idea for a short story mega-loosely based on said bromance. For now I'll just tell you that whenever you get to the part in any Gram Parsons-inclusive rock history where it's time for Gram to get kicked out of Nellcôte, it's always epically sad. This is my fave pic of those two crazy babies:


Thing of the Week: Laura Jane's Bed, Rose Jam Etc, Can't Decide


Hey what's up you clowns, this is LJ coming at you LIVE from my beautiful new bed. That's right, I am physically in my bed right now. I have a cool little nook set up that functions as a desk, and also living room, and kitchen. There is no reason for me to leave my bed right now so why would I. Tomorrow I am going to have to wake up in the morning and get out of my bed and go to work and be away from my bed for like 13 fucking hours. It's going to be atrocious. 

Here's a picture I took out my window when my bed arrived at 6 PM yesterday. I was as excited as if Paul McCartney were rolling up to my apartment in a black Lincoln towncar to come split a magnum of white wine and tell me John Lennon secrets. My bed was supposed to arrive between 5 and 9 so I was really stoked it came more on the 5 end of the spectrum. But of course it did; that's so my bed's style. It's perfect and always does the best case scenario thing in every situation. 

The bed delivery men were angels, basically. One of them was kind of old and he was like "Who is this beautiful bed for?" and I said "Me!", grinning uncontrollably, and he said, verbatim, "Damn, girl- you gonna sleep like a princess tonight!" and I said "Hells yeah I am!" and I should have high-fived him, but I didn't. That's my only regret. It was kind of gross and sexist how he said "sleep like a princess," like he probably wouldn't have told a dude he was going to sleep like a prince, but whatever. I'm over it. I did sleep like a princess, a rich 2013 princess with a baller freaking bed that feels like a cloud or Cottonelle kitten. It was such a fun sleep. I would periodically wake up to curl into a new position and then cry tears of joy over the insane comfort levels I was experiencing. 

I am playing around with the idea of maybe nicknaming my bed "Cloud-Bed"? A bit dorky I know, but I'm thinking it could potentially sound snappy in like a "Hey Laura, what're you doing tonight?" "Oh just chillin out in Cloud-Bed" kind of context. Tonight I ate Subway and watched Mad Men in Cloud-Bed, which was the whole point of my day. It was all just leading up to that. And oh my God. It was literally the best thing I've ever done.  #bedpeace


1. Ro's Argan Body Conditioner by Lush. I mostly love it for the scent, which is named "Rose Jam." It's like if you drizzled a nice fat spoonful of rose oil into a jar of strawberry jam and let it sit in the sun and bake and bubble all afternoon, when it's at least 97 degrees out. Rose Jam may very well may be my "signature scent" of summer '13.

2. Ted Nugent jokes. Yesterday morning there was a stranger-cat in the tree outside our kitchen window and my own adorable cat responded by bugging the fuck out and jumping up onto the table and then clawing my face off when I tried to shoo her away. She ripped the skin and I bled a lot; it was so fun. Later on I asked my housemate John, "How do I tell if I've got cat scratch fever?", to which John replied "If you start having sex with Hawaiian teenagers, I suppose." Zing! Ted Nugent joke! (It's a reference to this. And to the song "Cat Scratch Fever," which is my third favorite song by Ted "Worst Person in the World" Nugent.)

3. Tina Turner's Gimme Shelter dress. Tina Turner in Gimme Shelter is the queen of everything. I want to find a dress that's my version of her sparkly-blue longsleeve minidress, the most beautiful balance of foxy and majestic:

4. Jacaranda. It's jacaranda season! Look at this goddamn jacaranda:

5. Some songs. Speaking of purple, the other day I heard "Purple Parallelogram" by the Lemonheads for the first time in like a thousand years: it's so good! So twisted and jaunty and adorbs. And I'm really feeling Sonic Youth's cover of "Within You Without You"; I'm so happy that Lee sings it and the drums really own me. And Alex Chilton and Teenage Fanclub covering "Older Guys" by the Flying Burrito Brothers is cute as hell and a dream and makes me even prouder of the Flying Burrito Brothers t-shirt I recently acquired, this t-shirt right here, which I suppose is my 6th best thing this week:


One of the following three things is my Thing of the Week but I can't decide which.

1. On Monday I tried to rent Witchboard from my trusty local video store. They didn't have it! They have everything! I think the only other movie they've ever let me down with is the Jeff Goldblum movie The Tall Guy which ended up being horrible. He has extremely bad hair in it so I can't blame them for not carrying it. I had no back up plan and Claire was coming over to watch a witch movie. I asked the guy working for a recommendation for a witch movie recommendation. He couldn't remember the name of his favorite one and I was there for a while just starring at him and saying "It's ok!" Eventually he pulled out a gigantic phone book that I guess is not a phone book and actually massive tome of every movie ever. I was looking through the witchcraft section when he remembered - BURN, WITCH, BURN! I rented it, obviously, and it was good! He said it was a witch classic with some interesting feminist issues and you know what, he's right. There's also a lot of grave dirt mentioned/seen which I loved. It's almost like an X-Files episode in that the shitty husband is like Scully, refusing to believe. I will say no more for fear or spoiling a 50 year old movie!

2. On Tuesday Weed Hounds played at Silent Barn. So many pals where there I felt like I was surrounded by every person I knew and loved at a sweet party. It was really fun. The new Silent Barn is way cool. The hounds were, obviously, excellent! They are the best band and I am their #1 fan (old news).

3. On Wednesday I GOT A FACIAL!!!!! I have been kind of obsessed with maybe getting one for the last 2 years. I feel very clueless when it comes to "products". Like, how in the hell are you supposed to know your skin type? And seriously how in the hell am I supposed to just intuit what will work on my face?! I also believe the more you fuck with your face with products the worse off it is. I'm have no idea what I'm doing. The facial ruled. I have oily skin, FYI - I learned that. I'm really bad at relaxing so I was kind of nervous I'd hate it. I liked it! About 10 minutes in I started worrying about what word I'd use when I thanked her at the end - thank you, that was wonderful? fabulous? great? amazing? I have no idea what I ended up saying. I also stressed about how relaxed I was! Haha! Anxiety! It's important to mention I picked a place to get my first facial with the best possible name ever, MOON FLOWER. Also important to mention I went to Kinokuniya Bookstore before the facial and spent a small fortune on Japanese stationary and stickers and gifts for Regina. There were so many perfect Regina items. I couldn't resist!


Erin & I Ate At Bar Isabel & It Was Pretty Awesome


Last Thursday was a terrible day. I felt so nervy and sullen and obsessed with being a total dick to every person that crossed my path that I just assumed I was getting my period the next day. But I didn't! I was just in that bad a mood. 

But let's not get too hung up on negativity. The cool part of the story is that it gets a chill denouement: the protagonist (me) and the protagonist's friend (Erin) eat dinner at Bar Isabel & have a pretty awesome time. 

But yeah just to give you a little insight into the bullshit kind of day I had, I went to get my eyebrows done in a hurry and in the middle of the "procedure" I heard the stupid and obviously inexperienced eyebrow-waxer say "shit" to herself and then I broke out in a cold sweat and lay on the bed FLIPPING THE FUCK OUT internally as this idiotic posterchild for the concept of "tense anxiety attack energy" waxed and plucked away half my beautiful eyebrows. It felt as close to the scene from A Clockwork Orange where his eyes are being held open with the metal spider things as I can only hope my life will ever feel like. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and demanded to see a mirror. The idiot complied. I looked at my new face: it was a truly horrifying sight. My eyebrows were approximately one inch long each, with like a fucking year of space between them. I started crying and, unfortunately, hyperventilating. I ran out of the salon. The eyebrow-waxer, weirdly, ran after me. It was very romantic/ I hope she got fired.  

The next hour was a weird blur of me sobbing and screaming "SHE FUCKED MY FACE UP" to my mom on the phone beneath a tree. An elderly Indian man sitting with his three miniature poodles, one of each poodle-color, watched the whole ordeal intently and unapologetically. I couldn't blame him.

And so begins the "making lemonade out of lemons" section of my day, when I remembered my favorite lame "I went to business school" adage, "It's only a problem if there's a solution," and, as it turned out, there was totally a solution! (It was definitely a problem. I'd never doubted it.) I washed my face and skulked on over to my friend Taraleigh's salon Barberella, where she cut me some very cute bangs. So now I have bangs, and I love them, and everyone loves them. I get told I look like Zooey Deschanel twice a day minimum which I could pretend to be annoyed by but to be honest it makes me feel fucking awesome about myself. Here is a cool loosie-goosie bangs selfie I took while eating my fav Bento box lunch option at New Gen two days ago: 

And here is a neater-bangs selfie I took while drinking a Heineken at the Done Right Inn half an hour after engaging with all that trauma: 

So great! It's official. My bangs are cute. I'm so fucking stoked out to spent the next four months being inconvenienced by an atrocious growing out my eyebrows process and sweating through my bangs all July and August. If anybody knows about any good "how to apply that Benefit eyebrow powder product that everybody keeps telling me will save my life" Youtube tutorials please throw them my way. 

Anyway, Bar Isabel. You may remember Bar Isabel from the part in my last Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet where I didn't eat at Bar Isabel. To clarify, Bar Isabel is  cool and good restaurant owned by cool people who own other cool and good restaurants that recently opened up in Toronto. A popular thing to do in Toronto right now is eat at Bar Isabel and then talk to other people about what eating at Bar Isabel was like. I'm sure you have all lived through this exact same cool-restaurant-opening experience in any and all of the cities you live in and will continue to do so again and again. As will I. 

I guess Bar Isabel is meant to have kind of a Spanish tapas flava to it.  We started out with some plain old bread and olives. I coolly dipped my bread in the empty vessel located directly to the left of the olive bowl because I thought it contained some sort of clear oil. A wildly fascinating moment. The bread was pretty good. The olives were weird. It was one of those times when you're eating a "elevated" version of something and it's so much worse than the regular kind. Like I'd way rather just be eating shitty bar olives out of a plastic tub at, like, a pub. A bad pub. But one of the kinds of olives was the most magnificent color. It was like a duller, darker pea. I was saying words but mostly just focusing on the color of the olive.  


I Like To Live Inside Kanye West's Anxiety Attack


Yesterday I ate brunch at Millie's with Eleanor, who was in town to do some events for her rad book Grow; we both had coffee and hot biscuits with raspberry jam, and I got a big egg scramble thing made with cream cheese and scallions. After brunch I'd planned to have a superlatively chill Sunday of driving around and listening to Rilo Kiley (I'm minorly obsessed with Rilo Kiley right now, after reading Alice Bolin's This Recording essay about how "the music of Rilo Kiley wakens the inner Livejournal user in all of us") and also to "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" by Kendrick Lamar, which I bought after hearing it Saturday afternoon while buying a pretty gorgeous beige silk dress for $18 at a secondhand shop on Sunset. I was looking forward to playing "Pictures of Success" and "Science vs. Romance" and "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" like six times each and feeling the sun on my knees through the window through my jeans, and maybe drinking some iced coffee, and maybe going to the ocean and taking pictures of the ocean and listening to more Rilo Kiley, on the beach.

Instead I basically just listened to "Black Skinhead" like six thousand times, painfully loud, through a shitty mp3 ripped from the SNL broadcast. It's my favorite song now:

Before I saw the broadcast I saw a tweet from Thierry Côté, saying "Welcome to your Marilyn Manson years, Kanye" and I was excited by that: I have a weird fascination with Marilyn Manson, partly because I grossly think he's hot, but also because I find him "interesting" as a "cultural figure" or "whatever." With Marilyn Manson, at the height of his fame, I really wanted to give a fuck. I was in college and it was the late '90s and everything was dull and over and I wanted to fall under his spell, I wanted him to be scary and evil and fucked-up and dangerous, I wanted him to poison the minds of the youth and maybe my mind too. But really Marilyn Manson was superboring and never made me feel anything. The big problem, I realize now, is that I never bought that he completely bought it, that Marilyn Manson actually believed in the myth of himself. And that is such a depressing and pitiful failure for a rock star - or maybe for any kind of person at all.


Thing of the Week: Buying A Bed, Being In Love With Chris Bell, The Coffee Candle


On Wednesday afternoon I bought a bed. In the morning I called my dad on the phone to ask him how to buy a bed, like, I don't fucking
know. He asked me where I wanted to go and I said "Sleep Country Canada, because..." and he interjected, "Why buy a mattress anywhere else?" 

"That's what I'm
sayin'!" I exclaimed, and, had it been real life and not over the phone, I definitely would've high-fived him. (That whole interaction doesn't make sense if you're not Canadian. Sleep Country Canada's slogan is "Why buy a mattress anywhere else?" and there's a catchy jingle about it. I think it's a brilliant slogan, personally. There is literally no good reason to buy a mattress anywhere else.)

Later on I took a streetcar to my dad's house and I put my whites in the washing machine and then I walked to the Sleep Country Canada on the corner of King & Yonge and I bought myself a bed. The salesman was named James and he was extremely helpful and informative. I got very personal with James. I let him in on a lot of information about my life, my job and my feelings and what-have-you. I told James that, my whole life, I always knew in my heart that as soon as I started making money, the first thing I was going to do was buy myself a bed. Right now my bed is so crappy I can't even tell you. It's a
twin. Like, who the fuck has a twin? Besides a kid. Not to mention the fact that it's held together with bungee cord. Anyway, it was really, really heavy and gorgeous to be myself having finally achieved that goal. At Sleep Country Canada. I was wearing a leopard-print t-shirt. 

I definitely spent more money on a bed than a normal person might have. But I suck at sleeping and I just kept thinking about the movie 
Smiley Face. I want to be like Jane F. in that movie and care about my bed more than anything. My beautiful bed! I'm Laura Jane F. and my bed game is about to get so tight. So soft. My bed is arriving on Wednesday, May 22nd between the hours 5 and 9 PM, which means that next week my Thing of the Week is going to be ACTUAL SLEEPING IN MY ACTUAL BED! I am so excited for my one week from now self. She is the luckiest Laura there ever was. 

PS: My Thing of the Week is accompanied by a picture of Ted Chaough because Ted Chaough is my sub-Thing of the Week. I love him. I have this butterscotch Faber-Castell that I call my Ted Chaough pen because Ted Chaough is always wearing butterscotch- or mustard, if you will. I'll probably write more about Ted Chaough in the future so I don't want to blow my Ted Chaough load right now. Let's just say that I
really wish I owned a "WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT TED CHAOUGH" tote bag. Chaough. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Being in Love with Chris Bell, For a Change

On Monday night I went to a press screening of the Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me. It was so sweet! Just a really sweet and lovely movie. I got goosebumps about 97 times and I cried, once, for Chris Bell. Chris Bell was in Big Star but left after the first album, and he died when he was 27. He was a sad boy, it seems; it must've been really hard to be a born-again, probably gay, hypersensitive songwriter with drug problems in the South in the 1970s. There's a part in the movie where the owner of Ardent Studios talks about being at Ardent late at night and hearing all this crazy noise and going into one of those studios and seeing Chris Bell working on I Am The Cosmos all alone, doing everything by himself. That really got me, and I also loved the part where some dude says something about how Chris Bell would always have a "full-body purple aura whenever we'd take acid together." I think it's pretty likely that Chris Bell was an actual angel. 

So yesterday evening I went to the bar where my housemate John works and drank a beer that tastes like roses and finished reading the first draft of my book and inserting notes like "a little more 'Big Black Car'-vibey here." On the walk home I stopped at the hamburger stand and got a grilled cheese sandwich for supper; in front of me in line there was this boringly hot scenester boy in his 20s, talking loudly into his phone while the counter dude was trying to take his order. The boy was meeting up with a friend, apparently, and at some point he shouted into the phone, "Head west? Dude, I don't know what the fuck direction west is." Which is so dumb! The thing about L.A. is there are mountains and, for the most part, the mountains are either in front of you or behind you or to your left or to your right, and you can tell which direction you're facing by where you are in relation to the mountains. We were in Echo Park and the sky was dusty-pink and dusty-purple and the mountains were in front of us; west was to the left. The only way you couldn't know that is if you were just weirdly out of touch with L.A./possibly spiritually diseased/totally not the cosmos. I made fun of the boy in my head and then I got my grilled cheese and walked home eating the grilled cheese, listening to a "genius" playlist based on "My Life Is Right," which was written by the beautiful angel Chris Bell:

"My Life Is Right" is my spirit song right now. I figured that out on my walk home, and also yesterday I figured out that my Rolling Stones spirit song is "It's Only Rock & Roll," and my Beatles spirit song is "Back in the USSR." Everything is pretty cool.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Coffee Candle

Look at this perfect Coffee Candle I bought at the witch store yesterday with the perfect Witch Store Cat sleeping behind it. I snapped this pic while paying so I would never forget I paid 5$ for The Coffee Candle and handed the money over a sleeping black cat. According to the candle once you burn it you're pretty much set for life. Any spells anyone put on you will be broken, you'll have good luck and money. There's a lucky horse shoe on the bottom of the glass, obviously.


Thing of the Week: Adam Yauch & Itchycoo Parks, A Story About Mary Timony, 'Jurrasic Park' 3D

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Adam Yauch Park & "Itchycoo Park"

This past Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the day Adam Yauch died, which means it was also the one-year anniversary of the day I bought an iPhone and named it Dan Humphrey. I named my cellular phone after a character on the TV show Gossip Girl because I felt similarly ambivalent toward both of them.

I bought Dan Humphrey within forty-five minutes of finding out Adam Yauch died. I wondered if maybe the circumstances of the afternoon were too grave to justify my making such a frivolous purchase but my Internet was broken and had I not bought that iPhone I knew I would've been really bored all night so I went ahead and did it anyway. 

On the day Adam Yauch died I was in shock and couldn't wrap my head around it. I couldn't accept it then, I can't accept it now, and I honestly don't think it will ever happen. Nobody was there the summer I turned fourteen and my family took a trip to Alberta for the Faulds family reunion, when I climbed up a very craggy hill and once I made it to the top realized I could see for hundreds and hundreds of miles across the prairies, all the way to the Rocky Mountains (it's this kind of thing). There were silos and tremendous bales of hay which were almost more magnificent than the mountains to me. I thought about how the land probably looked almost exactly the same as it did when dinosaurs roamed Alberta, which is the coolest thing to think about when you're in Alberta, the whole dinosaurs aspect of it, and I listened to Hello Nasty on headphones and swore to myself that when I grew up and married Adam Yauch I'd bring him back to this exact spot and it would be the most peaceful, romantic time. 

But I'm happy, at least, that now Adam Yauch Park exists. It's the second most wonderfully-named place in the world after John Lennon International Airport. I've written approximately five songs in my life, and one of them was named John Lennon International Airport, which I remembered about myself as soon as I found out Adam Yauch Park existed and tweeted "I want to write a song called Adam Yauch Park that'd be more like Waterloo Sunset & less like MacArthur Park but a little like Itchycoo Park." It was a very unpopular tweet, but it motivated me to put Itchycoo Park on my iPod and listen to Itchycoo Park on my way to work that morning. 

Because I'm a human, I've always liked Itchycoo Park, but this past week marked the first time in my life I ever loved Itchycoo Park, and it's also the first time in a long time that my loving a particular song has meant anything about myself to myself. I was just sort of skipping down the street in the sunshine when it got to the "... feed the ducks with a bun/ they all come out/ to groove about/ be nice and have fun in the sun" bit and I totally swooned over it, to a point where I needed to rewind the song and listen to it again, and I thought, "I must be very happy"- had been a year ago, I would have felt embarrassed by the phrase "fun in the sun" and resented Steve Marriott for thinking it was all too beautiful, since one year ago I thought that absolutely everything was in no way beautiful enough. It's kind of nice these days, how every time I consider what my life was like one year ago (shitty) vs. how it is today it's seriously insane how comparatively excellent things are, and my feelings toward Itchycoo Park are emblematic of that excellence. I think that "the sky" is definitely the coolest and most exciting possible answer to the question "What will we touch there?", but I don't want you to think I'm stupidly frolicking around feeling like it's all too beautiful, because it's not. What's especially excellent is that I feel like it's all the exact appropriate amount of beautiful that it should be.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Mary Timony Profile in Yesterday's Washington Post

She's just my favorite. Here's the article. It's the most I've ever learned about Mary's life and it's still not very much, but I'm grateful for it. She talks about going to see Fugazi as a teenager and sweat condensing on the ceiling and dripping onto her head, she talks about depression and how after Helium disbanded she was so broke that there was a month when all she ate was string cheese. She talks about how she writes her songs and about using music "to deal with my brain," and she says something about music as a tool for connection and it's so devastating and beautiful, kind of like a lot of Mary Timony songs. I want to quote like every other paragraph of the profile but instead you should just read it, while listening to The Golden Dove, on your headphones, ideally outside in the sun or the shade.

Plus look how cute she is standing in her backyard with her guitar. Look at that dress! It is just so very Mary Timony-y.


I saw Jurrasic Park 3D and it was amazing. I went with the Goldblum Gals, obviously. We laughed a lot. We bought the gigantic tub of popcorn and finished it. Joan brought it out to the concession stand and asked if there was a free refill. They said sure, this is ridiculous. We ate most of that one too! The giant popcorn came with a gigantic soda which made me laugh every time it was passed to me. It was so heavy and sweet and gross and also good. We had so much fun. We maybe had more fun than when we actually met Jeff Goldblum? This was on our one year anniversary of meeting him/starting all of our relationships with Jeff. Oh, and we were in Times Square, obviously. The last time I was at the Times Square AMC theater Joan and I saw Bachelorette. After the movie I had to pee of course and Joan came into the bathroom just to wait online with me, still eating popcorn. The image of Joan in the bathroom, surrounded by stalls eating popcorn is one of my favorite images. I tried to take a picture but I was laughing too much so it's all blurry. We relived that experience and brought the gigantic tub into the bathroom and hung out in there for like a half hour like high school.

I totally forgot about how the first scene in Jurrasic Park is scary. The movie is really good. So fun. The combination of Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum is truly a gift. Sam Neil too! I like him. I think it's really cool that Laura Dern is in Jurrasic Park. Of every actress, she's the one that got the part, like, thank god. (This is a spoiler but I kind of feel like if you haven't seen Jurrasic Park yet that's your problem) It's so beautiful that in the end a vegetarian hacker teenage girl saves everyone from the dinos.


Pancakes & Gram Parsons & The Spectacle of Intermittent Glory: My Beautiful Weekend in Memphis & Nashville


I went to Tennessee over the weekend: Memphis and Nashville. The trip was originally meant to be reward/motivation for finishing the first draft of my book, and also an opportunity to commune with Alex Chilton's ghost. In the end it was all that and so much more.

I flew into Memphis, arriving on Thursday evening. My buddy Alissa and I were supposed to meet at the airport but Alissa's flight was delayed so I drove to the hotel, listening to a CD of Big Star songs. My favorite Big Star song right now is "You Get What You Deserve"; lately I'm really into songs that are bad-vibey in a sweet way. When I got to the hotel Alissa texted again and said her flight was delayed a thousand more hours, so I decided that was a good opportunity to go do weird Big Star things. 

I drove to Ardent Studios, where Big Star and Alex Chilton made lots of records. It was all locked up for the night and I took pictures and peeked into windows and thought about Alex Chilton. It was dusk and it had been raining all day and everything was blue. I drove around for a while and tried to absorb some Alex Chilton energy from the trees and it definitely worked. Then I stopped at a barbecue place and ordered food because I once saw a picture of Big Star hanging out there. I got a brisket sandwich, some gorgeous crinkle-cut fries, and a gigantic fountain Diet Coke with a shot of strawberry soda. I went back to the hotel and ate my food and drank some wine out of a plastic cup I got when I poured myself some pink lemonade from the cute jug in the lobby earlier.

Alissa got in around one or two in the morning and that was the best thing 'cause I hadn't seen her since Christmas 2011, and that it is way too long! I love Alissa. Pretty soon we're coming out with our debut album, which is called She's the Swordish, I'm the Cowboy.

Friday morning: we woke up! It was raining. (A fun/actually kind of annoying/ultimately totally okay thing is that it rained every day we were in Tennessee. I live in Los Angeles and Alissa spends most of her time in Florida and the Bahamas and we are not accustomed to the cold rain; poor, poor us.) We went to Beale Street and ate breakfast (fried chicken and waffles for Alissa, ham and eggs and toast and 97 cups of coffee for me), then walked around Beale Street a little while in the rain. I bought some Elvis Presley lip balm and then we went to Sun Studios and stood in the studio, where Johnny Cash and Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and U2 made records. We hung out there a while and then we drove to Graceland.

Oh my god, Graceland. Graceland changed me, man. Before Graceland my main thing about Elvis was "The Beatles loved you, so I guess that means something to me." But being in his house made me love Elvis. Partly because I'm way into his style, the joyful over-the-top-ness of it. Here's a view upstairs from the foyer or whatever you call it:

And here's the ceiling in my favorite room, the billiards room:

And here's a shot of "the jungle room" (kind of a den/second living room): 

Alissa made a really good point about how each room had a very distinctive mood and how, if you lived at Graceland, you could just go to whatever room fit with your mood. Like, "I feel like a jungle right now." Or: "I'm feelin' kinda disco." I hope I have a jungle room and disco room in my house someday.

The thing that got to me the most at Graceland, the thing that made me fall in love with Elvis a little, was how - in "the racquetball building" - they had this display with a bunch of Elvis's jumpsuits and they were playing a video of Elvis singing "Can't Help Falling in Love" in Hawaii in 1973. The video's great and ridiculous and wonderful and depressing and perfect, and I think that's an inspired combination. Very little's more inspiring to me than a once-beautiful man who's gone to seed and still trying to be beautiful, and mostly failing but still sometimes getting these tiny little moments of total glory. The spectacle of intermittent glory is a powerful thing for me, is an important lesson I learned in Memphis.

It was weird seeing Elvis's grave. I took pictures but I feel weird posting them. Next to his grave there was a fountain and I threw a quarter in and said something to Elvis in my head, but of course I can't tell you what that is.

Here's the most beautiful of Elvis's jumpsuits. After Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, he is definitely my third-favorite beautiful dead Capricorn from Memphis: