Thing of the Week: Binge-Drinking Adorably, Summertime Foods

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: A Very Special Night Spent Binge-Drinking Adorably

I was in New York last week, which is where the story of my Very Cute Night Of Excessive Drinking takes place. In Brooklyn, to be exact. The evening got off to a life-changing start with me celeb-spotting Penn Badgley AKA Dan Humphrey walking down Bedford Avenue while listening to Get Ur Freak On on headphones. I mean, I was listening to Get Ur Freak On. Dan Humphrey either was or wasn't, but most likely wasn't.

It was an obvious excellent omen. I kind of wanted to tell Penn Badgley that I named my old iPhone after his old Gossip Girl character Dan Humphrey but then didn't because a) that's something I would never do and b) Penn was doing a really solid, earnest job of trying to blend into the Williamsburg population with his ochre tank top and short on the sides, long on top curly mop and I didn't want to ruin it for him. You could tell he really got off on coming off like your average run-of-the-mill Williamsburg guy. 


I walked from Williamsburg to Greenpoint and decided that if I lived in New York City I'd live in Greenpoint. It is clean and there are a lot of trees and I feel like most of the buildings and houses are, if painted, a soft pale yellow. 

I met Jen May at a beautiful Balinese restaurant called Selamat Pagi, which you may remember from the part of our most recent instalment of the Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet where Jen May eats at Selamat Pagi and employs the wonderful phrasing "shmoe boyfs." I was obsessed with being at Selamat Pagi from the very first second I sat down. We sat outside at a little table surrounded by a lot of greenery. It had a dreamy woodland feel to it that I got the impression Marc Bolan would have enjoyed. We saw a baby Boston terrier and a weird pug that was either pregnant or bloated and a couple of weird Gremlin-y terriers that accosted the Boston but the puppy held its own. We ate the beautiful fluoro salad seen above and I only got a tiny bit of the turmeric-y sauce on my shirt. Conveniently for me, I keep a Tide-to-go pen on my person at all times. I know who I am. 

We also shared a side of coconut kale which was really delicious but less physically beautiful than the other food. And for my main I had the fish curry seen above which is my new answer to the question "What would you eat if you could only eat one thing for the entire rest of your life?" There were chunks of sweet potato in it. You probably wouldn't have guessed that about it but it's true.

One thing I found really endearing about the drinks menu at Selamat Pagi was that a good 40% of it was devoted to bottled cider. I recently had a cool life hack-y revelation about cider which is that drinking cider is basically the same as drinking really, really, really cheap champagne. If champagne were ever $6, it would taste like cider, but it never is, so cider is all you've got. Take that information and run with it, myutes.  

I drank two bottles of this German cider with dinner. The label was clearly designed by someone under the age of thirty-five with a strong background in graphic design, which happens less in Toronto than it does in Brooklyn and therefore is somewhat cool to me, and I loved that they gave it to me not only with a glass of ice but also with a straw. The other night I was drinking cider at my birthday party and stole the straw out of Anabela's Diet Coke to replicate the experience but then when they cleared that glass away I was too shy to ask for another. I decided over the course of writing this sentence that I'm always going to ask for a straw with my cider from now on, and if anyone thinks I'm tacky and calls me on it I'll be like, "Oh hey guess what judgemeister, as it turns out I'm a sommelier," since before I know it I will be.

After saying bye to Jen May it started raining like crazy so I bought a $3 umbrella at a corner store from a guy who liked my Coke shirt because usually Coca-Cola things are red but this time it was black. That was the reason he gave me. I walked to a place called Pinkerton wine bar that I'd walked past earlier and went back to because it looked chill and had a Hungarian white on its wine list and I'd never had a wine from Hungary before. The magazine describes Pinkerton wine bar as "look[ing] like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. If the Kinks started playing, I would fully expect Owen Wilson to walk into the bar in slow motion," which is basically the best thing that could ever happen to anyone anywhere, so stop being too cool for everything, everyone. The wine was called a Furmint and it tasted like the fruity candy that is called Rockets in Canada and Smarties in America only with a stoner big sister edge to it. Lexy came and met me and we did what any two humans in their right mind would do: split a bottle of Cava. Sometimes I feel like I could just consistently be drinking sparkling wine for the entire rest of my life, like, literally never stopping, and nothing bad would ever happen to me. I'd be PDF. That's my new thing I just invented. Perfect Drunk Forever.

The night is only getting started! We finished our Cava and then walked over to a really gorgeous cocktail bar called Hotel Delmano. Lexy was worried that I might think it was douchey but I did not. I worry that people who live in New York might have a skewed perception of things. I feel like it's a big part of the culture there for people to not think good things are good, or to worry that things that are good might not actually be good. A sentence I said several times over the course of my visit was "We're staying at North Six and Bedford, but we're not from here, so we don't think it's lame." 

In conclusion, I loved Hotel Delmano. No: I loved Hotel Delmano! WIth the italics, with the exclamation point. The server told us that they were having a special on $14 TIkis. When I told that to my boyfriend, he was like "$14 is not a special," which is certainly a point worth contemplating. But the point of the TIkis was that the mixologist bartender just mixed you up whatever he damned hell felt like, and then presented it to you in a Tiki glass, a service that a bar could realistically charge $16-$20 for. I made Lexy order the Tiki special because I was really gung-ho about drinking a Daisy Glaze. 

The Tiki tasted good but we thought it was weird and annoying how they didn't tell us any information about what was in it. I realize that the bartender was busy and the server was busy and they had better things to do than tell us very slowly and methodically that the drink contained so-and-so rum and so-and-so infused bitters and a dash of blah-di-blah syrup with some this-and-that liqueur and, like, some herb, but they could have at least been like "Here's your Tiki with pineapple, rum and basil," instead of just being like "Nothing/Silence," and leaving us alone with the mystery of what was in Lexy's TIki drink to carry around with us for the entire rest of our lives. It tasted sort of "tea-y."  

I had a Daisy Glaze. Here is my Daisy Glaze. Fuck it. I'm just going to put it out there and say it- when you know, you know. It was the best cocktail I ever had. It was like kissing a guy who isn't going to fuck you over. 

I ordered the Daisy Glaze because Daisy Glaze is my favorite Big Star song, one of my favorite anybody songs and the words Daisy Glaze are so perfect together I can't stand it AND also the ingredients in the cocktail sounded good to me anyway. I probs would have ordered a Daisy Glaze even if it sounded only meh but it was: rye, absinthe, chamomile IPA syrup, amaro montenegro, shaken and served over crushed ice. That combination of cocktail ingredients would have appealed to me even if the cocktail was named Working At The Gap or Being A Giant Phony or something else I really obviously hate. I drank two of them because I couldn't bear to only drink one and then have it be over forever. The Daisy Glaze was on the specials menu and I'll never have it again as long as I live. For her second drink Lexy had a cocktail called the Fogerty which was: bourbon, islay scotch, sage syrup, angostura bitters, stirred and served on the rocks. If a magical witch from a fairy tale came and turned us both into cocktails, I'd be a Daisy Glaze and Lexy would be a Fogerty. They were truly our exact selves.

After our cocktails were tragically over we walked to the Radegast biergarten. We ordered a bottle of this crazy French cider which came in a plain brown bottle printed with a very bare-bones label, just a bunch of orange text in a serif font on white plain paper that these crazy French cider-makers had obviously just printed out of a twenty-year-old printer at their scratchy old cider plantation or whatever. I mean to say, it was legit. The cider tasted like black olives and the concept of fermentation. Mark met up with us and I read Lexy's Tarot cards. Lexy and I told each other we loved each other and we said goodbye. I can't remember anything else. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Some Summertime Foods

In lieu of a proper "Thing of the Week" entry, here is a list of extraordinary foods I've eaten lately:

i. The grilled peanut butter/honey/bacon sandwich at Nick's party two Sundays ago. I first learned of the existence of grilled peanut butter/honey/bacon sandwiches when Nick asked me, "Hey Liz, if I made a grilled peanut butter/honey/bacon sandwich, would you have some?" And I was like, "I DON'T KNOW, NICK-- IS THE POPE CATHOLIC???!!!" (Not really - please don't think I talk like that.) The sandwich was melty and dreamy-creamy and salty-bacon-y and crispy and gooey and everything you could've ever wanted after standing around a green backyard and drinking wines and beers all day. At Nick's party we also had some gorgeous Momofuku layer cake that one of Nick's friends made from scratch, many kinds of cheese, grilled oysters, grilled corn, lavender lemonade, white-wine sangria, and other things I'm forgetting. Here's a nice picture of the cake and some cheese:

ii. Hot cornbread with lavender/violet butter. We had this at some restaurant next to Largo that's so unremarkable, it's not even worth trying to Google my way into figuring out what the name was. But the hot cornbread + lavender/violet butter was heaven. Weirdly (but maybe not weirdly?), the lavender/violet butter was listed as its own separate item on the menu, with no indication as to how to use it. So when the waiter came by to take our order I asked him, "What happens with the lavender/violet butter? Like what are we supposed to do with it I mean?" (There: that's a way more accurate representation of what I talk like.) And he laughed at me and said "Cornbread!", and I ordered some cornbread and it was so steamy-hot - piping, even. The butter melted all dreamily and I don't really even remember the taste all that vividly, but as an overall sensory experience: A+++++

iii. The Pash. "The Pash" is a drink at the Roger Room, where we went between the unremarkable lavender cornbread restaurant and Largo (where, by the way, we saw Kristen Schaal who was boring, Maria Bamford who was mostly amazing, and Busdriver who is better than everyone). The Pash = passionfruit juice and champagne and aperol, which is some kind of rhubarb liqueur or something. It was very frothy and cold and tasted vaguely like mauna lai, that cloudy-pink Ocean Spray juice we used to always drink on Cape Cod when I was little. Anyway here's a food-related Busdriver video I'm into, called "Barbs Over Breakfast Scones": 

iv. The homemade raspberry pop tart I ate on Wednesday. It was from Romancing the Bean in Burbank, which I never not misread as "Romancing the Bear" and then get sad/annoyed that the cafe's not really called "Romancing the Bear," since that's a pretty cool/insane name for a coffee place. Romancing the Bear has good iced coffee and you can get it with ice cubes made of more coffee, but I advise against that. I like when real/non-coffee ice cubes melt into your iced coffee and water it down and it's not delicious, but it's just the natural order of things. I don't want some "second iced-coffee surprise" happening at the bottom of the cup when the real iced coffee's gone. Let iced coffee be.

v. Beer and strawberries. Last Friday afternoon I met with some cool ladies and we gave each other notes on things we're writing, and instead of going back to work after that I went to Farmers Market and bought myself a pint of Sam Adams Summer Ale, a pint of strawberries, and a copy of the July issue of Vanity Fair. Then I sat at a table near the bar and drank my beer and ate my strawberries and read the Vanity Fair article that's an excerpt from the memoir by the woman who ran the secret poker game at the Viper Room in the mid-2000s. My favorite part of that article was it confirmed that Ben Affleck is a cool, wonderful, no-bullshit human being. Love that guy. I retroactively drank my Sam Adams in tribute to him, then later on I got a banana ice cream.

vi. A ice cream cone filled with brownie and ice cream. On Saturday my friends had a summer solstice party in a park on a big hill (Barnsdall Art Park, it's called), with many puppies and a strawberry pinata. I brought strawberries and mangos and a bottle of pinot grigio, and ate lots of strawberries and mango, and then a nice person came over and gave me a wafer ice cream cone with some way-underbaked brownie packed into the bottom. I scooped some vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie and ate it all and felt very lucky to know such sweethearted geniuses. Here's the pinata:

vii. First Scoops of the season. Last night I met Sarah at Hermosillo and got a glass of rose and a plate of avocado toast, and then we went to a reading at Pop-Hop and then I left the reading and went to Scoops and got a cone that was Banana Butterscotch Brownie + Maple Cap'n Crunch. BTW this paragraph is partly me fact-checking an Instagram I posted last night, which identified the cone as Maple Cap'n Crunch + Cinnamon Roasted Sesame. I have no idea why I thought that. I regret the error.

viii. A banana at Chateau Marmont and a pina colada on Sunset Strip. On Sunday afternoon I went to Chateau Marmont to interview this guy I really want to tell you about but I don't think I'm allowed. He was so cool, and when his beautiful record comes out you're gonna be like whaaaaat OH MY GOD, I swear. His suite was really beautiful too and had flowers everywhere and a piano and smelled like roses burning. After the interview I went down to the valet and ate a banana while waiting for my car, and then I got my car and went over to this really pretty restaurant called Eveleigh and had a pina colada and read an article about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in Rolling Stone. I pretended I was one of the people reading Rolling Stone in "California" by Joni Mitchell, and I drank my pina colada in like ten seconds because it was so pineappley and icy and perfect. The cherries on top were really fat and heavy. Plump, to be exact. I love a plump cherry. I like L.A. summer.


Everything You Learned When You Were 28


Hi guys! Today (June 24th, 2014) is my 29th birthday. Last year around this time I wrote a thing called "Some Lessons I Have Learned" about everything I learned while I was 27 and I wanted to do the same thing this year because well why the heck not. For my 28th year I wrote it as a letter to myself because I wanted to give myself a nice birthday present. Usually I buy myself a massage at a fancy spa for my birthday but this year my life is pretty low-stress so I didn't think the massage was applicable. It's a letter to my future self and also my today self at the same time. And also to you. 


When you were twenty-eight you learned that when you’re an asshole to your boyfriend for no reason, when you don’t slam but very firmly shut the bedroom door and you brush your teeth and take off your eye makeup and look at your drunkass eyes in the bathroom mirror while loosely considering how you’ve been an asshole for no reason, and you walk back into the bedroom where you have vaguely planned on vaguely apologizing, he will be gone. You will be by yourself in the room.
        You’ll call his phone, which he will have turned off. He’s in no mood to deal with any more of your “asshole for no reason” energy, which is reasonable. But he’s drunk, which is scary. He could pass out drunk in the middle of a road and a truck could run him over. So you decide to go save him. You wander around the neighbourhood in a trenchcoat over your pyjamas and for some weird reason decide to call your father. It’s like two in the morning. You end up forgetting most of what you told him.
        He’s nowhere. You cry a lot. You make some more phone calls you forget about. You write him a series of text messages in which you forget to apologize, which will become a cool fight sub-issue once he reappears via text the next morning.
        You take a cab to his apartment. You cry in the cab. The driver is concerned for your well-being. Outside of his apartment you slam on his door and call his phone and write him text messages saying i'm outside and you holler his name and scream I'm sorry and then give up and get back in a cab and take a cab back to your apartment. You cry in the cab. The driver is concerned for your well-being.
        You sleep like shit, obviously. You wake up when the sun does and for a second you’re cool but then the truth of it falls down your body like a shudder or an ache from your brain to your toes. The truth of it falls through you like a beer keg dropped off the top of a skyscraper. You fall back to crappy sleep and when you wake up properly you’re convinced that he’s dead. You call your mom and then the police to ask them if they came across any dead blond guys last night. They want to turn your night into a domestic disturbance investigation but you somehow talk your way out of it. Your boyfriend texts you back. He hates you. You make popcorn. You send him boring and pathetic texts that say things you’d never say like please don’t break up with me and I need to hear you say you love me. Your eyes are puffy from all the crying and you think of the sentence you wrote five years ago about your eyes going puffy from a different round of all the crying: “I looked the alien Mac from the movie Mac And Me, only way less adorable”— despite everything, you take a moment to give yourself credit where credit is due. You will always be very proud of that sentence.
        You go to Urban Outfitters for no reason. People look at you weird because your eyes are gross. When you get home you eat the rest of the popcorn and write your boyfriend a 1500 word epic about You could say any old thing to the server you want and all I would do is love you. I love looking across a table and seeing your perfect smiling face and then sit around counting down the seconds until midnight, when you’ll send it to him— he told you during “mean text message era” not to text or call him for the rest of the day.
        By six PM he cracks and comes home. His face looks like all the following words at once: ghostly, ashen, sullen, sunk-in, chiseled, hollow, sallow, older, shadowy, jaundiced, waxy, gaunt. You fall into him like he is your soldier husband who has just returned home from war. You fall into him like you thought he was dead for fifty years and now you are old and your life was a wash but he’s back and it’s better than nothing. You quietly sit on the couch while he reads the epic. He likes the epic. It’s warm out and for dinner you drink lemony beer and mash bone marrow into a fish cake. When you were twenty-eight you figured out: if you don’t behave like an asshole for no reason, you can go straight to mashing the bone marrow into the fish cake. It’s only the marrow and the fish cake. The rest is so boring it gets lost to time.
        When you were twenty-eight you learned how to read Tarot cards and a lot about drinking wine. When you were twenty-eight you were the Queen of Swords and the Five of Swords and the Seven of Swords and the Nine of Wands and the Eight of Cups. You learned Furmint and Sancerre and Gewurtztraminer. You learned you liked pork carnitas and miniature whippets, which are sometimes called “miniwhips”- you learned that too. You learned the phrase “As the crow flies,” which means “in a straight line.” You learned that it is very easy to roast cauliflower in a toaster oven.


Thing of the Week: Paul & Martha & Beatles-Pets In General, An Imaginary Movie Starring Stoner-Baby Louis C.K.

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: All-Purple-Wearing Playing Bocci Ball With Martha-Era Paul (& Some Other Cool Opinions About Beatles-Pets)

On Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of my drinking a Dark & Stormy with a shot of espresso in it, my boyfriend asked me, “Did the Beatles have any dogs?” which was the number one question I’ve ever been asked that I was most excited to answer. I pulled out my phone and immediately started showing him pictures of Paul McCartney hanging out with his adorable Old English Sheepdog Martha, AKA the Beatles-dog to end all Beatles-dogs. We came across this super-charming photo of double-lavender Bocci-ball Paul (PS look how ripped his THIGHS are; thanks to Andrea for calling his THIGHS to my attention), which very well may be the only picture of Paul McCartney in the public domain that I've never seen. Seriously- it's been about seven years since the last time I saw a picture of a Beatle I hadn't seen before, not counting pictures of Paul or Ringo that are taken in the present. 

Anyway, every time the subject of Martha the Sheepdog comes up in life I always use it as an opportunity to tell this really heartbreaking story about Olde English Sheepdogs (I don't think there is actually an "e" in the Olde of Olde English Sheepdog, but I think it would be cool if there wasso I'm just going to be the master of my own fate here and write Olde exclusively) that my dad told me when I was a kid. SO: I guess when Paul first bought Martha and that information circulated throughout the media, Olde English Sheepdogs became the big "it dog" of 1967 or 8, like pugs in 2005 or Boston terriers in 2007 or Shiba Inus in 2013. But the tragic part is that Olde English Sheepdogs are a really high-energy and high-maintenance breed that all these lame hippie posers copycatting Paul McCartney couldn't commit to in practice, so, for some reason, in this story my dad was hanging out at an animal shelter, or maybe just walking by an animal shelter, and all these hippies were walking into the animal shelter giving their Olde English Sheepdogs away- I feel like maybe my dad was exaggerating this part of the story. I feel like it was probably only one guy, with one Olde English Sheepdog. Or maybe he lived close to an animal shelter, and it was several guys with several OESes spread out over a period of several months. But yeah, so this one mean hippie who I am picturing as being Ginger Baker from Cream, gave his OES away to the animal shelter and the OES was such a good and loyal pupper and was so HAPPY and LOVING, jumping up and down and licking his owner as his dick owner GAVE HIM AWAY. So I think that tale calls a really important amount of attention to what a legendarily responsible human being our Paul is. Leave it to Paul McCartney to balance taking excellent care of an extremely high-maintenance dog breed with being the bass player of the most famous band in the world. I mean, he was more than just the bass player. 

To further answer Mark's question: Ringo had a curly little white-haired dog which was an extremely appropriate dog choice for Ringo. John Lennon was a crazy cat lady, which makes a lot of sense. I feel like the last thing John Lennon ever needed was to deal with a dog. I bet sometimes Paul would "bring Martha round" (that was in quotes because it sounded like something a Beatle would say. It's only an imagined quote, though.) and Martha would probably smell a little bad and slobber all over John Lennon and it would be hot out and John would just be so over it and maybe, like, say "GIT" to Martha, and Paul would be SO judgey about it- he might even whisper a snippy little comment to his fellow Beatles-dog-lover Ringo. And I support Paul in that. Dogs are the best, and John Lennon's kind of an asshole.

Lastly, I can totally see George as being one of those people who is nonplussed by pets in general but kind of likes horses, though I do know that in the seventies he had a cat named "Joss Stick." So congratulations, George Harrison! Cool job on picking out the WORST NAME FOR A CAT EVER. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Stoner-Baby Louie

This week's episode of Louie meant a lot to me. It's called "In the Woods" and it's mostly set in the past, in a year that I'm assuming is 1981, when Louie was an eighth-grade stoner in the suburbs of Boston. The actor who plays stoner-baby Louie is amazingly named Devin Druid, and I deeply appreciate how he's such a perfect mix of "what 12-year-old Louis C.K. probably actually looked like" and Mitch from Dazed & Confused. He's got serious Mitch Kramer-y vibes in general; he's nervous and sensitive but there's some sense of self-assurance underneath all that, a quiet kind of courage. He's also a little bit Sam-from-Freaks & Geeks-esque, especially when he's getting dressed for the dance and trying to make his V-neck happen:

I loved watching junior-high Louie and his mom, who is the coolest and realest single mom on TV since Bill Haverchuck's. I love when she gives Louie ten bucks so he can go get Chinese food after the dance - I'd forgotten the whole aspect of early adolescence, how going out for Chinese food kinda-late-ish on a Friday night is pretty much as glamorous as it gets. Remember the Freaks & Geeks when the geeks take the cute new girl out for all-you-can-eat-ribs? That was so real too. I like to see sweethearted and awkward children trying out grown-up things and feeling overwhelmed by them, but also excited and so proud of themselves.

AND WHOA, JEREMY RENNER. I want Jeremy Renner to win an Oscar for his performance as "Jeff Davis." I never cared about him until the big dumb movie American Hustle, which I loved, especially the part where he's smoking a cigarette and talking to Christian Bale and says, "The clams, the spicy clams!", and his eyes go all dreamy and you just want to pinch his pasty cheeks. His face was built to play a dirtbag with a heart of gold on the outskirts of Boston in 1981: he's so convincingly terrifying (the part where he asks Louie, "You think 'cause you're a kid I'm not gonna hurt you?" made my stomach hurt), but then he's so truly a big cute lug who just loves his cat. And I very much want the bits where he's singing "Brother Louie" to be ad-libbed, even though apparently Louis C.K. doesn't allow much improvisation on the show. Hmm.

And yikes, Jeff Davis's creepy girlfriend. Her Boston accent was perf (as was the bully kid's - shout out to his wearing that cross-pendant necklace over his turtleneck, btw).

But you know who's not creepy is the science teacher's daughter! What a cutie. The science-teacher storyline was heartbreaking, and beautifully done. 

And then the present on top of all the other presents is Josh Hamilton showing up in the last few minutes of the episode. I feel like it's my responsibility to Internet-ramble about how wonderful Josh Hamilton is at least once a year, and I haven't done that since October 2012, so here we go. Casting him as the social worker in "In the Woods" was so genius: he has such beautiful and sensitive early-'80s-social-worker-y eyes. I also think it's fun how we're pretending Josh Hamilton didn't already play an entirely different character in another pot-themed Louie episode, the one where he wore that fantastic T-shirt I still desperately want to make my own.

If you don't know Josh Hamilton: he's in the underrated/underseen Big Star-y movie Diggers, he's in Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach, not Will Ferrell + soccer), he was on American Horror Story which I've never watched, he's in the dinner party scene in Frances HaWhen I saw Frances Ha for the first time I detested it up until the dinner party scene, and at first I thought it was because the movie takes some cool turn at that moment. That's probably true, but it's also got to do with how Josh Hamilton softened my heart with his warm and lovely and elegantly rugged presence. Josh Hamilton is psychic corduroy. 

In her book I Love You and I'm Leaving You Anyway, Tracy McMillan writes about how marijuana is for "sensitive fantasists," which I mostly agree with. Of course Louis C.K. is going to have a mostly grim take on adolescent stonerism, and of course it's going to be pretty heavy-handed and there's going to be tragedy, and I totally value that. I'm just really compelled by the "In the Woods" universe, and think it would be neat to see it through the sensitive-fantasist lens. So what I want is for Devin Druid, Jeremy Renner, Josh Hamilton, and the science teacher's daughter to all star in a movie that's a spinoff of "In the Woods," written and directed by someone who tends toward a more romantic temperament/vision - ideally Richard Linklater, or maybe Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling could team up again, and Jeff Spicoli could be in it too. There'd be more time actually in the woods, and an elaborate Josh Hamilton-centric subplot (maybe he can go out with the mom!), more Jeff Davis and more Jeff Davis's cat, and a billion-dollar soundtrack budget: all the Led Zeppelin our hearts desire. That is definitely my favorite imaginary movie of all time.


All The Songs We Loved In May



I remembered that Can I Kick It was a song that existed back in February, when at the end of Tuesday night service one of my co-workers and I would play as drab and weird of music as could possibly be deemed appropriate in an appeal to get all the customers to leave. One night I was like “Oh, I’ve got it”- the grim opening chords to Cat Power's I Don’t Blame You sounded unthinkably hilarious. We started referring to that point in the evening as “Cat Power time.” Either before we figured out about Cat Power or after we couldn’t take another night of listening to Cat Power as a group of negligent losers nursed the glasses of water we’d poured them several hours ago and couldn’t take a hint we played a Best of Lou Reed album and when Walk On The Wild Side came on my line cook Johnny said “Oh, that’s where it’s from,” and I said “Where what's from?” and he said “Can I kick it?” and it would have been really cute if I’d said “Yes you can!” but I didn’t. I just said “Oh, yeah,” or whatever.

One weird night at the beginning of April I came home drunk and accidentally deleted my entire iTunes. Most of it was backed up on my external hard drive but before I remembered about my hard drive I freaked out and started buying a bunch of albums off the iTunes store. Just whatever albums I felt I couldn’t live without that happened to hop into my head. I bought the Tribe Called Quest Anthology and the next day I listened to Can I Kick It on the subway and it sounded the same as every other time I’d ever listened to Can I Kick It but for whatever reason I liked it better now. I don’t know why all the life decisions I’d made and events that had taken place since I last listened to Can I Kick It on a regular basis, in 2005, made Can I Kick It sound a thousand times better than it used to. I wonder if maybe it’s because I used to smoke a ton of pot and therefore was a chiller person. And now that I’m a career-oriented liquor-drinker AKA not a very chill person the chillness of Can I Kick It means more to me. Does more for me.

I wonder if I’ll ever get into smoking lots of weed again, I wondered. Maybe once I get a dog, I thought. There’s nothing much better to do when you’re stoned than look deeply into a gorgeous dog’s soulful eyes. It makes me so sad when people get their dogs high. I feel like a dog’s natural state of existence is way more pure and beautiful than our sloppy dirty stoned and a high would just sully it. Dogs don’t pick up on a ton of nuance in the world like humans do and that must be pretty confusing in itself. Throw pot on top of that haziness and it just sounds like a pretty sad place to put your dog in.

I would like to smoke pot in my dog’s vicinity but definitely make sure to blow the smoke out the window. I would like to keep the window open. And it would be the kind of weather where you could wear a hoodie and shorts. I’d be wearing my new Nike Frees and no socks. I’d be lying on a couch. I’d look over at my dog and I’d tell him he’s cute or he’s my best friend or whatever. Something nice like that. I’d play this song and either I’d ask him “Can I kick it?” and then I’d pick up his paws and mime like he was saying “Yes You Can!” and I’d feel so cool about myself for having received his approval. Or I’d pretend that he was asking me if he could kick it. And I’d point at him with both of my index fingers in a cool, sly way like a rapper would. It would almost break my heart to imagine him ever thinking that he couldn’t.

SHAKEY GRAVES, "Halloween" (Liz)

Shakey Graves is this boy Ali who's friends with Emily. A few times in 2009 the three of us went surfing together at nighttime in Venice; I remember Ali being a very graceful surfer, "a natural." When The State of Texas Vs. Alejandro Rose-Garcia came out I bought it to be a bro, and then I sort of forgot to listen to it. But a little while ago I put my iTunes on shuffle and "Halloween" came up and the creepy/creaky guitar me stopped me and I listened close and loved it. And I still agree that the guitar's creepy and cool, but the words are what got me: he sings about drinking too much and being stuck in your hometown forever in a way that's romantic but lazy or maybe insouciant, there's lines about living in the woods and the chorus has lyrics about liquor stores and crocodiles. I really like that boys can sometimes think about crocodiles when thinking about liquor stores. That's so encouraging.


I think I hate the LCD Soundsystem version of "Jump Into the Fire." I mean it's great and amazing, but I hate it, because it leaves out the best lyric. My favorite part in the original is when Harry Nilsson sings "We can make each other happy," but James Murphy changes it so he's just singing "We can jump into the fire" again, and it's such a tease. I've listened to the LCD Soundsystem cover of "Jump Into the Fire" about a gabillion times over the past month, and every single time some dumb part of me thinks James Murphy's going to sing the lyrics right, and he never does. That's always so frustrating to me, in a way that's almost physical. "Does James Murphy not believe in making each other happy?" is something I usually joke-ask when that happens. I just don't get the point in getting rid of what's maybe the most hopeful lyric in the song - but at the same time I don't really care about "getting James Murphy's points" in general, so ultimately it's okay. I'd much prefer to get Harry Nilsson's points, partly because during Moonlandingcon last week LJ made the cool decision that if Mad Men were the Beatles, then Stan Rizzo would be Harry Nilsson. Also, here's a photo that LJ's friend Matt found of Stan Rizzo wearing a headband and watching a hockey game. Perfect.