Happy Birthday, Mick Jones! With Love, Liz & LJ


I don't ever want to objectify the Clash, but I can't talk about why I love Mick Jones without talking about his body, his face, his teeth, his hair. I love Mick Jones and I love the way he looks, the kind of skinny that I bet feels bad on his bones, his pasty bug-eyed face, his snarly black hair-cloud, his mouth that's usually hanging open, like he's some goofy kid whose mom or grandmom should have told him a long time ago: Close your mouth, Michael; we are not a codfish.*

By and large, codfish-mouthed is not a great look for a man, or for anyone: it's unbecoming. But for Mick Jones it really works, it suits him. From Viv Albertine's book Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys and from the Slits song "Ping Pong Affair," we know that teenage/just-past-teenage Mick Jones loved glam rock and comic books and got picked on by other boys for his weird clothes and weird hair. And while I know that glam rock and comic books probably weren't very unique things for odd boys to escape into back in the mid-1970s, I like the idea of Mick's codfish mouth having lots to do with his dreaming other worlds, hearing songs in his head, semi-forgetting everything around him. He's happily lost in himself but also looking out for anyone who might mess with him; he's fanciful but scrappy, a Dickensian orphan who bought a lot of Who and Yardbirds records and got really good at guitar. So to me the codfish mouth gives Mick kind of grace and magic power.

It's totally hokey and disgustingly romantic, but I love the idea that the thing that makes you a misfit can also make you lovely. And I think Mick Jones is lovely. I think it's so cool, in an almost completely uncool way, the way he moves around. The way Mick Jones "comports himself." So much of what I love about him is encapsulated in that video of the Clash in Munich in 1977:

Everything about Mick in Munich is perfect to me, but I'm especially passionate about:

-his dance move of marching/stomping up and down the stage, sometimes while making his shoulders shimmy

-that goofball stag-jump he does on the last note of "London's Burning"

-awkward finger-snapping mid-"Police and Thieves"

-stupid Pete Townshend-y whatever-y windmill thing

-every single second of the backstage scenes, which mostly involve Mick complaining about hating Germany, just bitching away in his cute quacky voice. He looks so good drinking his Coke, lighting his cigarette, messing with his hair, handing out plastic forks. Holding up his own plastic fork and staring into the camera, hatefully. I don't relate to having lots of important points to make and being really tough and fastidious about making them, and I don't relate to being one of the best-looking people in all of world history, and I definitely don't relate to being a drummer with a crazy name like "Topper" - but I do relate to being the kind of person who smiles easily but also has total bitch tendencies, so I guess that's a huge part of why Mick's always been and always will be my very favorite.

More than that, I love Mick for writing lots of songs that I would rather die than live without and for singing in what Viv Albertine always calls his "sweet, soft voice," for being one of those boys who sings without ever losing his accent.

My favorite Mick-sung Clash song is probably "The Card Cheat": the melodrama of it all speaks right to my heart. "Up in Heaven" and "Hate and War" are runners-up, though they both come in after "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and "Lost in the Supermarket," which I've loved since I was a cutely and luckily Clash-aware child so they automatically beat out everything else. And a few months ago I changed my alarm clock to wake me up to "Jail Guitar Doors," because I really liked the idea of Mick Jones counting off the start of my day - but then it turned out to be way too aggressive, and so now I wake up to "Strawberry Letter 23."

And "Train in Vain" is somewhere in my "Mick Jones-Clash top 10" too: I think it's fantastic that Mick Jones responded to the lyric "Typical girls stand by their man" in a way that ignores the joke and takes on this sulky attitude that's saved from being repellent by virtue of the fact that it's Mick and he's not sulky, he's sensitive. He's a Cancer and a cute dad and when I was 13 I bought a tape of The Globe by Big Audio Dynamite and it was the first weird music I ever loved. Mick Jones was such a nice ambassador into loving weird shit; because of him I knew that you could get into something different and strange and sometimes dark and still be a goof, an easy smiler. The awareness of that still means everything to me today.

*This is actually a line from the movie Mary Poppins, but it works because Mick Jones's name is Michael! I love at the beginning of "Rudie Can't Fail" when Joe Strummer says, "Sing, Michael, sing," and then Mick Jones sings. Do you think Joe called Mick "Michael" a lot, but only in certain important moments, and no one else ever called Mick that, and it was this cool special thing about them? I hope so. I hope that's true. I really get so romantic about the Clash.

LJ: Unlike Liz, I relate very much to having lots of important points to make and being really tough and fastidious about making them, and I even kind of relate to being a drummer with a crazy name like "Topper"- I mean, obviously I'm not a drummer with a crazy name like "Topper," but if I woke up tomorrow and was, it wouldn't really surprise me. I relate to Mick Jones only slightly more than I relate to being one of the best-looking people of all world history, but that has ever stopped me from deeply appreciating Mick Jones. You can't only love people you relate to. That would be so boring. 

It was my thirtieth birthday two days ago, and I decided to spend my birthday afternoon wandering around my neighbourhood and listening to music on headphones (because what else really is there). I made myself a birthday playlist named "dirty thirty," which included: every single Buddy Holly song, Zanzibar by Kritty, Miss O'Dell by George Harrison, and all the Mick Jones-i-est Clash songs I love best. I put Magnificent Seven on my mix, which isn't very Mick Jones-y as far as Clash songs go, which helped me have the very important thirtieth birthday revelation that my new life concept for being thirty is to be the human embodiment of the part in Magnificent Seven where Joe Strummer yells out "What have we got?" and then the rest of the Clash yell back, "MAGNIFICENCE!"- actually, I think it's Joe Strummer himself who yells back "MAGNIFICENCE," but in my head I like to imagine that it's Mick. I think if I could make up any dream relationship for myself and Mick Jones to share, it would be the two of us existing in an eternal state of me asking him what we've got and him yelling back "MAGNIFICENCE!" 

(Awww! It fills my heart with joy just imagining it.)

A few months ago, when my boyfriend (who is definitely A Mick) and I were looking for a new flat (but mostly I was looking for a new flat, because looking for a new flat's the exact kind of thing I live to be a control freak about), I thought we were going to move to south London, which is where Mick Jones is from. My first flat in London was near Holloway, which is sort of close to where Ray Davies grew up, and while I was living there I felt like every moment of my life was imbued with a really Ray Davies-y spirit, which was cool but sort of dismal, really, since The Ray Davies-y Spirit falls dangerously close to the most depressing aspect of The Laura Jane Faulds Spirit on the A Given Person's Spirit scale. So I had this idea in my head that when I moved to south London my life would become very Mick Jones-y, very boppy and pragmatic and positive, and I was really excited about that. I looked at a flat on a street called Adelaide Avenue in Brockley, across from a gorgeous sprawling park, and in my head I wrote a song called Adelaide Avenue from the made-up perspective of the main character in my novel, and felt really stoked about how cool my new Mick Jones-y life on Adelaide Avenue was going to be. But then we never moved to Adelaide Avenue, because the flat was dingy and out of the way and not very good value for money. "Cute street name" and "reasonably close to the neighbourhood where Mick Jones grew up" are just not solid enough reasons to justify moving into an expensive shithole. 

Around that time, I too read Viv Albertine's memoir, which I didn't like very much. There was this really excruciating part set in, like, 2004 (such an unromantic year!) about how she almost cheated on her husband with Vincent Gallo but then didn't; it made me feel like the world was a really terrible place. I was only really in it for the Mick Jones anecdotes, which were plentiful, and beautiful. My favourite Mick Jones part of Clothes Clothes Clothes Blah Blah Blah Etc. goes 

"Mick is that person in a band- and there's always one- who does all the organising, who takes the pain and the losses of the band to heart, who lives, breathes, and would die for the band."

Viv then goes on to describe Mick Jones as being "in the hall, on the phone for hours and hours every day"- she thinks that he's "having relationship problems, probably breaking up with someone," but it turns out he's just, like, sorting out gigs for his band. I really, really love that detail. It's very Paul McCartney-y of Mick Jones. I love Mick Jones so much for being the Paul McCartney of the Clash, because where would the Clash even be if they hadn't've had a Paul McCartney? Certainly not world-famous, that's for sure. 

All in all, I fucking love Mick Jones. I guess if I had to pick one Mick Jones song to be my Mick Jones song to end all Mick Jones songs, I'd have to go with Stay Free; it's so sentimental, and I love sentimental art. The other night I was Skyping with my Dad and drinking the most gorgeous Mercurey Blanc in the world as it turned into my thirtieth birthday, and I was talking about how I'd recently read and loved Boyhood by J.M Coetzee, which is one of the least sentimental books I've ever read. It impressed the hell out of me, but I definitely resent J.M Coetzee for being too cool to be sentimental about his childhood, which is exactly the opposite of how I feel about Stay Free by the Clash. There is nothing in the entire world that I resent less than Mick Jones' romanticisation of smoking mentholated cigarettes as a young teen. Literally nothing. 


Champagne was my drink in the spring



My mother came to visit at the beginning of May, and I took her to the place I used to work at. The fine-dining place. I’d made the booking back in March, back when I still worked there. I knew that I was leaving and I was looking forward to leaving but it was still my home then, or a home at least, and I wasn’t scared of leaving, but I wanted to know that I’d come back. And then time passed, and I moved forward very quickly. I didn’t care if I ever went back or didn’t go back. I wanted to cancel my booking- I didn’t want to force my mother to spend that money on something I cared so little about. And things with my sommelier, my enemy, had ended on an even sourer note than I’d expected. He yelled at me at three in the morning, it was a really dark emotional thing for him, just the two of us alone in the restaurant. He asked me a weird, negative question, I forget exactly what it was but I think it was either “Do I look like a fool?” or “Do I deserve to be treated like a fool?"
        I can’t remember what I said exactly. I think I just said, “No?”
        I haven’t spent a single moment of my life mulling over what might have been a cooler, sassier answer to his question. No point in forcing myself to remember it, remember myself wriggling out from the confines of his perfunctory goodbye hug. The point is that I wriggled out. The next morning I wrote him a text about hating him and then never sent it. And then I pretty much forgot.
        He made me feel small, he was very rude to me, the kind of sexist you can’t quite put your finger on; I think they engineer it that way, so you can never call them on it. He lived to question my palate; he never thought any wine I thought was off was off, even when it was off. Sometimes it was so obviously off. But what can I really do about it? Any of it? The older I get, the more I’m beginning to understand that no one’s really evil. Some people just hate themselves, and it’s too sad to think too hard about. Imagining how horrible it must be, scurrying about like a little rat in a cage, scratching things and eating wood chips and spitting out a wood chip. Squeaking and/or ralphing out or up any imbecilic bundle of rude words that happens to enter your mind, just to take the pressure off yourself. I’ve been on the receiving end of so many of those bundles, those furballs, more times than I could count. I hate a lot of things but none of them are me. And they can smell it on me.
        We went anyway. I was too lazy to cancel my booking, and there was nothing really else to do. Having people come visit tends to clarify how boring and pointless cities actually are. The only London-specific thing I’m really passionate about doing is wandering around and looking at houses but it doesn’t really translate. It’s an obvious one-person activity. When people come visit, all you can really do is shop and eat and drink and go on the London Eye. We went on the London Eye, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola. It’s formally known as the “Coca-Cola London Eye.” My mom was scared to go on the London Eye and I said “Come on, come on, please, it’ll be fine,” and then I turned out to be the one who got scared on the London Eye. I knew we weren’t going to die but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of just hanging there, and I felt stuck there, suspended in this cold little pod with nowhere to move or pee or buy a drink. I sat on the bench in the middle of the pod and listened to The Beatles sing Words of Love on my headphones and it calmed me down the way aromatherapy or clutching a crystal’s supposed to and the wheel hit its highest point and and I got over my fear; for whatever reason, going down went down way easier than coming up.


The Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet: Special Sisters-in-L.A. Edition


My little sister Carly came to visit in the middle of May; she was here for a long weekend, the main purpose of her visit being our trip to the Hollywood Bowl, where we saw Courtney Love and Lana Del Rey. Here is everything we ate during her visit. 

Carly got in at like midnight on Thursday and Friday morning we went to Republique for breakfast. For breakfast dessert - but the kind of dessert that comes before the actual meal - we split a chocolate bomboloni and a peach raspberry pistachio danish thing. The bomboloni was adorable, a perfectly spherical donut filled with chocolate pudding, but the danish was the true star. If you look at the photo above, you'll see that its center is basically an entire half of a huge fat peach. I don't know where Republique's getting their peaches from, since the peaches I've bought at the grocery store so far this year are all so puny. Probably Republique gets their peaches from peach heaven.

For my actual breakfast I ordered the Walter's Favorite: a hot baguette and a little pot of poached eggs, plus coffee and orange juice. I didn't even like the eggs that much - I don't like poached eggs, I don't get why I ordered them - but what's important is I loved them, just for being so weird and beautiful. My plan of attack was to tear off a chunk of bread and dip it into the egg pot; it was a nice little game to try not to run out of bread before the eggs were all gone. In Walter's Favorite and in life, I get a lot of inspiration from Albert the badger in Bread & Jam for Frances and his finesse in making "the sandwich, the pickle, the egg, and the milk come out even."

After Republique we went to LACMA, where we saw that fantastic Chris Burden piece with the miniature cars and lots of photos by Larry Sultan (including this picture from "The Valley" series, which was my favorite). Then we walked up Fairfax and went to Farmers Market for a little snack (chips + guacamole from Loteria, plus beer from the Farmers Market bar). The overall theme of this edition of the Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet is "Places I love but hardly ever go to + places I've always wanted to try but never have, for some reason," and Farmers Market fits into neither of those categories. I love Farmers Market and I go there all the time, ever since I wrote my "To Anthony on His 50th Birthday" post three years ago. One of my favorite things is to go there on a Sunday, get a pint of strawberries and a pint of beer, go up to the secret little room in the upstairs eating area, and then drink beer and eat strawberries and write. That is me in my element.


Thing of the Week: The Day LJ Went to Marc Bolan's House, The Vegetarian Epicure, Fabulous Fake Food

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Day I Went To Marc Bolan's House

I went to Marc Bolan’s house on Monday. I was in a mopey mood for no real reason, just for love of the mopeyness game. I wondered if maybe I should save my pilgrimage to Marc Bolan’s childhood home for a less mopey day, but then I decided to just suck it up and be mopey on the day I went to Marc Bolan’s house. Whatever. I wore heels and a trench coat and big sunglasses and tried to throw some shade. I didn’t want to throw shade at people, and I certainly didn’t want to throw shade at nature. I guess I just wanted to quietly throw shade in general. And I think I succeeded.

Marc Bolan is from Stoke Newington, which is where I now live. He lived at 25 Stoke Newington Common from when he was born on September 30, 1947, until 1962. I don’t know what happened in 1962 that made him move away. I’m assuming his family just moved to another house, since that’s what people do. I moved too.

According to my Citymapper app, Marc Bolan’s childhood home is a twenty-seven minute walk from my house, but I made it in twenty-one. Citymapper underestimated me. I guess it doesn't want to make slow walkers feel bad about themselves. 

I listened to Electric Warrior and The Slider on shuffle as I walked. Telegram Sam came on, and I started to perk up a little. Then Life’s A Gas played, and I perked down, in a good way. It’s about as sad as a song called Life’s A Gas could be while still managing to successfully communicate the fact that life’s a gas. The first line, “I could have loved you, girl, like a planet,” really murders me, right off the bat. I don’t understand how any girl could ever have been stupid enough to reject Marc Bolan’s love. (Like a planet! What a cool way to love somebody.) During Life's A Gas, I realized that I am almost exactly the same age Marc Bolan was when he died. Marc Bolan died fourteen days before his thirtieth birthday, and that day was twenty-four days before my thirtieth birthday. I felt so sad to realize what a short and unsatisfying life length poor Marc got stuck with, but also grateful to comprehend the duration of his lifespan so accurately, so viscerally. Moments later I spotted a snappy green sports car, which I think Marc Bolan would have liked. It motivated me to listen to Jeepster and really hype out to “Just like a car, you’re pleasing to behold,” which is such a hot and creative thing for a jeepster to tell a girl he’s got a crush on. Marc Bolan had a lot of game, in my opinion.

Eventually I got to Marc’s house. It was meaningful, but not life-changingly so. It was medium-meaningful. I thought, I spent the first half of my twenties constructing meaningful experiences for myself to live out— I’m going to go to X place and listen to X song at X time while wearing X outfit and eating X and it's going to be soooooo X— and then the second half of my twenties condemning my early-twenties self for so desperately trying to create something out of nothing. I’ve spent the past five years of my life confronting the meaninglessness of everything and relishing in it, in doing so forcing meaninglessness to take the place of "meaningful-ness", which was defensive of me. Now I’m thirty (more or less) and I don’t expect anything to be meaningful, though if it is, that’s great. And if it’s meaningless, there’s not much I can do about it, so whatever. That’s maturity, I guess, for me: just letting things be. "Let It Be Medium-Meaningful," that's my new life-motto. 

It was a cute house, but nothing too special— Stoke Newington is basically the cute house capital of the world, and I would put Marc Bolan’s childhood home in maybe the forty-fifth Stoke Newington-house-cuteness percentile. I’d ripped a white flower off a bush to leave at Marc Bolan’s front door as a way of saying thank you to the Universe for giving me Marc Bolan but by the time I got there I’d forgotten about it. It died in my pocket and when I found it a few hours later I felt guilty for killing it for no reason.

I sat on a bench on Stoke Newington Common and listened to the T.Rex song Main Man. I got it confused with Ballrooms of Mars; I’d wanted to hear Marc Bolan sing “John Lennon knows your name and I’ve seen his,” but instead I got to hear Marc Bolan sing “As a child, I laughed a lot/ Now it seems I cry a lot/ Oh, tell me true/ Don’t you?” which was probably better. I imagined baby Marc Bolan frolicking around that very park, and decided that Marc Bolan must have been the kind of kid that grown-ups constantly congratulated for having "such a good imagination!" I was a “good imagination” kid too. Adults praise the hell out of little kids for having such fabulous fucking imaginations but once you grow up, they stop caring. All us good imagination kids are just supposed to convert our imaginations into business acumen or social media savvy or whatever, and it’s really unfair, because imagining things is my skill. Marc Bolan was the dreamiest, most poetic sweetheart ever to grace the face of rock & roll. He stayed a good imagination kid forever.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEKThe Vegetarian Epicure

My gym is next door to a Goodwill. Yesterday morning I was leaving the gym and saw that Goodwill had set out a bargain-book table, so I popped in to check it out, and ended up buying a copy of The Vegetarian Epicure for $1.25. It's a cookbook from 1972 and it's by Anna Thomas who, in her author's note, self-describes as "strongly committed to the women's liberation movement and involved in its activities." I love Anna Thomas. I love her book. It's very cutely illustrated, and overwritten in a way that I can really get behind. For example, here's a paragraph from her intro to the "Vegetables" section:

"The vegetables presented to you believe wholeheartedly in their own importance. They combine smartly with eggs, cheese, and one another; they are on intimate terms with herbs and spices, and you will find them frequenting the tastiest crusts and custards. Certain of them are capable of gently dominating the table, alone or in discriminating combination with other glories. All are prepared to please you."

She's such a poet about eggs too. A few months ago I listened to Brian Koppelman interviewing Ivan Ramen, and Ivan Ramen said something about how "People who don't like eggs need to reflect," and I've seriously thought about that sentence every day since I first heard it. Anna Thomas would agree with Ivan Ramen about eggs and reflection, I feel. Here's some of her cool egg thoughts:

"The humble egg astonishes us with its versatility. It binds together, puffs, lifts up, thickens, enriches, makes smooth, and makes strong - all this when its simple beauty would alone earn our admiration...To some great dishes, it is soul and substance: custards would not exist without it, nor would crepes, or mousse...a serious thought."

And, on souffles:

"It is its ephemeral nature that is responsible for the mystique of the souffle. Brought to the table straight from a hot oven in the full glory of its lofty architecture, it lasts only for a choice moment of drama and acclaim. Then it must be eaten at once or it will disappear of its own accord. Thus a sweet excitement climaxes the dinner, and not lasting long enough for reconsideration or ennui, the airy souffle leaves a more intriguing memory than sturdier fare."

I also like when she throws shade in the "Eggs" section recipe for Parsleyed Eggs on the Half Shell, writing: "I have known this elegant and simple dish ever since early childhood and, as a consequence, when I first was exposed to American-style deviled eggs, I found them painfully plebeian by comparison." Anna Thomas really tells it like it is.

I don't like this guy, the "Rice and Other Grains" guy. I feel like he's the stuffy, no-fun version of "France George Harrison" that I wrote about in our Top 5 Hottest George Harrisons Ever post earlier this year. When I first saw this drawing I was going to make a big deal about how "Rice and Other Grains" dude is the George Harrison of The Vegetarian Epicure, but I pretty quickly realized that (a) George Harrison's personal style is way too on-point to ever grow such awful facial hair, and (b) George Harrison is way too cool a human to ever pretentiously use chopsticks while eating a bowl of rice in lotus pose. This guy is maybe the "random Jethro Tull member" of The Vegetarian Epicure, at best.

But I love this guy! He's so terrible at eating his pasta. What a trainwreck. Imagine if you cooked a plate of spaghetti for a dude and that was how he went at it? I like how the woman's expression is all "Oh, umm...okay, yeah - cool." Maybe she's about to teach him how to twirl up his spaghetti in a nice little fat bundle, using a big spoon for support - a la Cher in Moonstruck, aka the most beautiful spaghetti-twirler there ever was.

Speaking of romance, I like this bit from the "Pasta" section intro: "It is well represented in restaurants, but most Italians, understanding the delicate nature of the art, wisely partake of their pasta at home. Follow their example. Remember how wonderful is the privacy of home, even when shared with friends, for such a voluptuous activity as the eating of pasta." That's a cool point, although I'm of the opinion that spaghetti should absolutely be eaten in public. On my birthday last year I ate spaghetti in a bar, and I think it'd be great if everyone ate spaghetti in bars all of the time.

The most exciting part of the "Curries and Indian Preparations" section is when Anna Thomas lists off potential items to include in the condiment tray for curry dinner, such as:

-apricot halves broiled with anise
-baked grapefruit with sherry and cinnamon
-deviled almonds
-peach halves stuffed with seasoned cream cheese
-stewed gooseberries
-spiced eggs
-pickled walnuts
-pickled mushrooms
-preserved ginger
-shredded coconut
-soaked raisins
-lemon, lime, or grapefruit peel
-green olives

Apricot halves broiled with anise! I haven't eaten Indian food in a thousand years. I want to go to Paru's and drink iced water from a copper cup and white wine from a carafe and get the Queen Paru for dinner and the Bombay Punch for a dessert drink. Paru's is one of my fave Los Angeles restaurants, I just decided. I love how you have to ring the doorbell to get in.

My main point about the artwork accompanying the "Sweets" section intro is that I'm really into how all the people in The Vegetarian Epicure illustrations have this melancholy air about them. Though maybe they're all just very much deep in thought, meditating on the splendor of their foods. As for the text, my favorite "Sweets" moment is in Anna Thomas's recipe for galub jamun. She describes the dish as "a very special sort of Indian sweetmeat, with an impossible fragrance: roses and saffron...It will always be greeted with a chorus of 'What is it?!'" I can't see these four duds speaking anything in chorus, but maybe the guy in the vest and ascot would pipe up. I also like the babe in the starry skirt, and of course that four-layer strawberry cake is just to die for.

In the intro to "Holidays, Traditions, and Some New Thoughts," Anna Thomas has lots to say about rethinking holiday meals. She tells this big long story about some Thanksgiving she hosted, which sounds crazy and like heaven:

"That meal began, amid genial toasting with a venerable, ruby-red Margaux, with Roast Chestnut Soup - a rich and mellow liquid, flavored with red wine and cognac, it emerged as instant tradition with us. Gracefully following it was Curried Lentil and Tomato Salad in pineapple boats. The third course consisted of crisp Almond Croquettes bathed in creamy Bechamel sauce, accompanied by Cranberry-Cumberland Sauce and Potatoes in Wine. Chilled Cider-Spiced Apples ended the first part of that debauch. Four hours later, in a mood of lackadaisical hilarity, we had some pumpkin pie, coffee, and a ceremonial pipe."

Potatoes in wine! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I like how Anna Thomas is all wink-wink about getting stoned on Thanksgiving. Classic Anna Thomas. And that's fantastic about the ruby-red Margaux - Ken Cosgrove'll have a snort!

And at first I just wanted to include this picture because the cat looks like my cat, but then I realized that the woman looks kind of like me, too. So, here I am, guys. Hi. I'm making a menu for dinner tonight. Come over for almond soup and potatoes romanoff and Russian vegetable pie and chestnut souffle and spoonbread and tomato rabbit and apple pudding and raspberry fool and everything.

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: Fabulous Fake Food

I had the opportunity to walk through Eclectic/Encore Props in Long Island City last night. I fell in love with the entire place, which is a warehouse/wonderland filled with props. Furniture. Cups. Armor. Crystal Balls. Abraham Lincoln busts. Religious statues. Chairs. So many chairs. Most importantly,a beautiful collection of fabulous fake food. Look at these glorious plastic and foam cakes, breads, ice creams. Surrounded by plastic meat and deviled eggs, I almost felt like I was in John Waters' home.