Thing of the Week: LJ's Tuesday, Liz's Sunday, & the Season of the Witch!


I work every night of the week except Tuesday and in saying that I don't mean to complain or complainobrag- I don't have to work six days of the week if I don't want to; it's completely my choice. Nobody ever has to do anything they don't want to, EVER. I just like my work a lot, so I work a lot. 

Tuesdays are a cool day to have off because nothing ever fucking happens on a Tuesday ever so I totally own that day of the week now. Tuesdays are crazy days because I do EVERYTHING on a Tuesday. They are jam-packed full of errands and social events and eating and drinking. Oh yikes for a split-second I just considered calling drinking "libations" in that sentence, EWWWWWWWWW #barf #nope #DRINKING

This past Tuesday was so good!!!! In the morning I went to the passport office, to get my passport renewed. I didn't have very high hopes for this particular event of my day but then I got there and I was like "FINE, WHATEVER, THIS IS A THING, FINE" and then I was sitting in a plastic chair playing a crossword puzzle on my phone when all of a sudden I heard a scratchy girl voice say "OH MY GOD" and I looked up and it was my new friend Naomi Skwarna! Crazy, right? All these weird coincidences are happening in my life lately which are making me feel like "things are going so right for me wowwww I'm so HAPPYHAPS!" but also like "Am I in Season 6 of LOST? Why is my life so much like Season 6 of LOST? Is the fact that I'm watching Season 6 of LOST while in the middle of a phase where all these Season 6 of LOST-y things are happening to me a SIGN? Am I Cop-Sawyer or Jack-with-Son? Am I DEAD?"

Anyway I'm not dead I don't think, and it was a really awesome coincidence is what it was. Naomi and I were fantastically LOUD at the passport office and annoyed everyone, especially while we were Instagramming the legendary photo of our passport photos seen above (it's called "Assassins"; C447 and C439 are now our spy code-names; PS we're spies!). These two fortysomething women who were also "friends at the passport office" (CUTE THING TO BE) in particular wanted to kill us, and then we all ended up eating at Subway afterwards! All four of us! It was so cute and Naomi and I shared a turkey sub and talked about sex really loud in the Subway and the women still hated us. Then I went to the gym and on my way home I saw a feral/black kitten in the park and really related to it and admired its body language. We made that crazy eye contact you sometimes make with an animal where you're just like "Ugh, stop looking into my soul but also NEVER STOP, nobody has ever understood me like you do and I can't get enough of it. This is weird."

Then I got home and tons of awesome shit had come in the mail: Jen's Bruce Springsteen comic, a LAURA necklace made out of vintage glass beads, and a ring shaped like a crab, because I'm a Cancer and subsequently have to believe that things shaped like crabs are cool. Then I saw a poodle with his hair shaved into a Mohawk. Or maybe her.

I met up with a pal and we got CRAZY-HIGH and drank pints of Tankhouse. I guess the low point of my day was when I thought something was wrong with my finger. Every time I get too high I think my extremities are about to fall off. We went for dinner at a really kitschy Korean place where they cut the noodles with scissors and I overdid it on the everything but that's what Tuesdays are for!!! Overeating and believing that your fingers are falling off!

After dinner I met up with Erin and it was so beauts since we hadn't seen each other in forevs. It's not like I lie to all my other friends but when I hang out with Erin I realize how elusive the truth is because I'm telling it; it's a combination of being on the same wavelength and having known each other long enough that you no longer have to waste your time explaining any backstory. Friends who already know every fucking detail of the backstory. At the end of the night we went to a bar and asked the bartender to make us something delicious- the most delicious thing he could think of! He was all UHHHHH UHHHHH UHHHH and I thought he was going to fuck it up, but then he made us glasses of grass-flavored vodka and apple juice, and they tasted kind of like apple pie, but mostly they tasted like autumn. They tasted more like fall than anything else has ever tasted like fall.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: My Sunday Night at the Hollywood Bowl, starring Donald Glover, Animal Collective, and a Really Good Cookie

On Sunday I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Animal Collective and on the walk up the hill Shazi and I stopped at Subway and she treated me to a Birthday Berry Cookie, which is available now for a limited time only. On the way into the Bowl we were talking about Donald Glover and then we got to the will-call line and guess who was a few people in front of us? Oh my god: Donald Glover, so supercute. And then we went to our seats and I ate the Birthday Berry Cookie and that was so cute too, it's got cranberries and blueberries and white chocolate chips. At first I thought the "Birthday" in "Birthday Berry" was the customer's birthday, kinda like "Every day's your birthday with the Birthday Berry Cookie!", but apparently it's for Subway's birthday. That's less delightful and a little bit selfish, but I guess it's all right.

Animal Collective was so good! My two fave songs off the new record are "Today's Supernatural" and "Pulleys," which reminds me of the story of Tikki Tikki Tembo-No Sa Rembo-Chari Bari Ruchi-Pip Peri Pembo, for reasons I don't quite understand. They played it during the encore and also the nice boys next to us gave us some "chocolate rum balls" that made my knees feel like they were air-conditioned. Here's "Pulleys" for you:

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Season of the Witch

Last night I went to see the Secret Rooms of Dirt Palace at soho20 gallery. It was fun & funny & sometimes witchy & i was into it. The narrator of the evening, Madame Von Malt Liqueur said something like, "It's September 27th, so you know what that means..it's almost October. October is the month of the witch". I am really feeling that sentiment right now. Last night I bought this silk screened patch I will hang on my wall so it will always be the season of the witch in my home. In my studio it's always the Season of the Bitch. While we are at it, why not listen to the Donovan song too?


The SFW Survey: Which Song Never Fails To Make You Cry?

Here's our deal: we're asking everyone in the world to answer song-related questions for us so that we can share your responses on Strawberry Fields Whatever and then all get to know each other so much better. Our next question is "Describe in detail the most perfectly soundtracked makeout experience of your life thus far." If you'd like to answer, please email your response here (letitbebeautiful at yahoo dot com), sometime before October 16th. Unfortunately, we will not be able to publish every submission we receive. (Our most sincere apologies go out to everyone who submitted to this week's round under the impression that all responses would be featured on SFW. We were overwhelmed with submissions and have decided to cap off all SFW Survey entries at 25 writers in the name of not crashing our blog. We loved reading all the words you wrote us and hope you will submit again.)


I relate to Ray Davies more than I relate to any person I’ve met or any other person I haven’t. I have an unfunny inside joke with myself which is that I should set up a fake Twitter account called “Only Ray Davies Understands Me” where I just Tweet the sentence “Only Ray Davies understands me” every time I think it which would be about a hundred times per day followed by long periods of silence followed by a hundred times per day again etc. Sometimes I have to take some serious time off The Kinks because listening to Ray’s words forces me to acknowledge some pretty dark and deep basal truths about myself that when I’m feelin’ easy I like to pretend don’t happen or at very least will never happen again. It’s always when I’m saddest that I fall into an all-consuming Kinks phase and it’s always the Kinks that save me from said all-consuming sadness. I’ve never met another human whose eyes I could look deep into while saying the sentence “I hate everything except the sky” and understand that they knew what I meant. And I would never want to test out saying “I hate everything except the sky” on any person that I love because the only person who’s allowed to tell me it’s not true about me is me.

I hate everything except the sky and running and writing and my friends and my family and the Kinks and some other bands but when I’m sad I only love the sky and only Ray Davies understands and so that’s why I go in for the Kinks when I’m bumming at my personal hardest. Only Ray Davies knows how to explain sadness in words and tunes in the exact way that I feel it, and I don’t know how I could ever feel closer to anyone than I do to the person who feels sad the same way I do. Happy’s the same for everyone, but sadness is subjective, and “Too Much On My Mind” is mine.

At my saddest I’m sad for no reason. When anything actually sad happens I just get weirdly exhilirated; God knows I love a tragedy. When I’m sad I think so hard my head hurts, and it’s awful. I hate thinking, because if I’m thinking it means I’m not writing, and if I’m thinking a lot, it means I’m not writing at all. I can’t sleep and I can’t turn it off. I get bad-up never solemn and the part that really kills me is the resignation, There’s too much on my mind and there is nothing I can do about it- it’s true, he’s right, that's exactly what it's like. There’s nothing you or anybody else can say and when somebody tries coaxing you into saying it the thoughts don’t know how to make themselves into words. You are only the inside of your head which you hate and your loved ones are a nuisance and you jump around your room and run as fast as you can trying to sweat all the life out of you but once you come back it’s all the same. Your skin is a dewy trap keeping your insides from falling out and your blood is some syrupy red stuff that keeps you alive for some reason you’ll never understand because ugh science and wouldn’t it be nice if it could all just be math and that would be you; you’d never have to know anything but the actual most boring though truest truth of it- you’d never stretch it anywhere, you’d never care.

There must be more to life than just to live it, he sings, and it gets me every time. That sentence is the point of me and the end of me. 

-Laura Jane


"Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. "What if you knew her & found her dead on the ground" really upsets me. The riff alone is triggering.



The 6 Best Donovan Songs To Listen To In September


Donovan is Scottish. He is the posterchild for the vibes of the month of September. I don’t love him more than I love anyone but I fear I might love him more than anyone else loves him. He’s not a very relevant guy, Donovan, in 2012. 

Donovan went to Rishikesh with the Beatles, so I trust him. If you’re a cool/”out there”/”spiritually aware” enough guy that the Beatles were like “Okay, yeah. Yes. We want you to join us on our meditation trip to an ashram in India PS we’re the BEATLES the actual BEATLES this is a HISTORIC EVENT and we want you, YOU- you, Donovan- to join us,” you’re definitely okay by me. That speaks very highly of a person’s character, as far as I’m concerned.

Since I was 7 no maybe 9 I’ve always kind of loved Donovan- for “Atlantis,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (But not “Mellow Yellow,” never “Mellow Yellow”- the other day Jenn and I were standing outside a church and a wacky old hippie wearing a chamois shirt unbuttoned down to his belly button told us about a bar we’d “dig” where the people are all “really mellow yellow” and that’s “Mellow Yellow” to me. YUCK)- but it’s only been a year since these songs have lived in my hands. 
          I talked to September about which Donovan songs are best to listen to inside of it and September nailed it down for me. These are the songs September chose. 


Joey Was A Babe


I don't remember much about that Ramones documentary; it made me sad so I blocked it out. But I'm pretty sure there was something about Joey being in love with a girl and Johnny stealing her away and then marrying her (right? I don't feel like Wikipedia-ing this), which is just so baffling to me -- why would you go for some mean crabby Republican* when you could have the sweetest strangest tallest boy in the world? Joey was a babe and I relate so much to his scrappy, weirdly/pervertedly traditional sense of romanticism. He was a lover and I love this snippet from some Creem article Joey's ex-girlfriend wrote about him a very long time ago:

"He always smiles and never lies, but makes up great stories about people getting hit by buses, girls turning into vegetables, and giant cockroaches breaking through walls. Joey sleeps in his leather jacket. He has a plastic bug zoo. Once he made me and Dee Dee catch a huge waterbug for him and he fed it bread until it died a few days later, then he kept it anyway."

          So these are a bunch of my favorite pix of Joey; a lot of them came from here. A few days after he died I went to see Patti Smith and she sang "Be My Baby" for him, which was so sweet. I think you should listen to the original version of "Be My Baby" as you look at all these photographs. Joey can be everybody's baby.

When Joey was little the kids made fun of him and called him Geoffrey Giraffe (his real name's Jeffry), but everyone knows it's a great thing to be a giraffe. Giraffes are so gentle, and so elegant in their gawkiness. Plus 6'6" is such a hot height, a couple inches past ideal but not quite Thurston Moore-level excessive. I mean, clearly Thurston Moore grew to 6'7" just to lord it over everyone all the time, but Joey's much too sweet and humble for that. 
          But what I really want to talk about is his jeans! Joey was so good at wearing jeans. The first boy I ever dated used to have these jeans with the most ripped-up knees and it was just too severe -- like, it was so obvious he'd ripped them up himself, and that's trying too hard and I don't approve. I wholly believe that Joey's knee rips happened naturally, that he never tried too hard for anything in his life. Plus he looks like Ric Ocasek here and right now Ric Ocasek is my other number-one favorite pop romantic of all time.

Oh my god, he's so cool. On his way to go surfing, flirting with some babe (Debbie Harry!) in a convertible, and some other guy (Dee Dee??)'s lying dead on the sidewalk. Also: is that Snoopy on Joey's shirt? Snoopy as the Red Baron, even?


Thing of the Week: David Lynch cooking quinoa, 'Taxi' & Its Tender Melancholy

JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: David Lynch cooking quinoa

 On Sunday I saw INLAND EMPIRE in a theater with no popcorn, which was really brave of me. I afterwards I wasn't terrified. I even liked it!  Laura Dern is amazing!! I had read that part of the "bonus features" on the INLAND EMPIRE DVD was David Lynch cooking quinoa. Obviously when I got to work on Monday the first thing I did was google "David Lynch cooking quinoa", and thank goodness I did. I think I love this video more than anything. It's fantastic. He uses sea salt from Whole Foods! He adds vegetable bullion and Braggs which seems like a lot of sodium but what do I know, I'm sure it's just perfect. David uses this great pot and it has really made me reflect on my pot situation. My pots suck and I deserve a fabulous pot to make quinoa in and then to sit and drink wine and think about all the little quinoas floating around my gorgeous pot. This video might be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Taxi & Its Tender Melancholy

One of my favorite things about "doing research" for my book is this Wikipedia page. The other night I watched an episode of Taxi on CBS.com and got completely swept up in its sweetness and tender melancholy, and then I downloaded a full-length version of "Angela (Theme From Taxi)" by Bob James and listened to it about 27 times in a row and it was beautiful. I think there's no other sound more wistful in the world, compared to "Angela ("Theme From Taxi"). And I'll probably always be in love with Jeff Conaway as Bobby -- what a babe and a dreamboat, what a great head of hair. And I'm in love with Latka too, though the purity of that love is corrupted by learning (via Milos Forman, I guess) that Andy Kaufman fucking hated Taxi. Also, the episode I watched the other night had Tom Hanks as Jim's roommate  at Harvard, during a flashback sequence where Jim eats pot brownies for the first time. I'm not in love with Tom Hanks, but I'm awfully fond of him.


LAURA VERSUS POWERMAN (A Story About How Gross Bureaucracy Is/ "This Time Tomorrow" by The Kinks)


June 21st, 2012 

 I was meant to fly to New York on the afternoon of Ray Davies’ 68th birthday and fly home on the evening of Mick Jones’ 57th. I borrowed a light brown leather travel bag from my father that looked wrong with the strap hanging over the crook of my elbow. I knew that bag and I knew it was meant to be shoved into the back of the Jeep Cherokee we drove to a cottage in Cape Cod that wasn’t ours twenty years ago, where and when it would rest by the foot of a strong kitchen table where at seven I sprayed I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter onto Entenmann’s blueberry mini-muffins- these were things we didn’t have in Canada, treats, which felt like stickers or painkillers or stickers of the Sailor Moon girls to me- and my dad bought a bottle of root beer and a jug of milk and mixed the two of them up in a glass and called it a Brown Cow. It was something from his childhood that he passed on to me and that bag belonged to that summer. 
       It was an Olympics summer, the first summer I was old enough to invest myself in the goings-on of an Olympics and it was the summer of a “Dream Team.” I remember my parents getting cranky being forced to watch exclusively American Olympics coverage, laughing at the bombast of US patriotism, explaining “We’re Canadian- it embarrasses us”; I remember the Olympics summer I lived in Brooklyn remembering back to that summer and trying to explain it to my American roommate until both of our faces went red, our voices shaky from the anger underneath- I’ll never understand the way Americans feel about America. 
        Olympics summers stay in your memory differently. World Cup summers are even better because they happen every eight years instead of every four. Two summers ago, when for a June of our lives the world was united by its knowledge of “what a vuvuzela is,” a feeling that was born to be forgotten. Vuvuzelas blowing at all hours of the night; at first you kept thinking a deer was getting shot to death and moaning and dying outside your window but it was always just a vuvuzela and then you got used to it. The world’s relationship to vuvuzelas is one of the most interesting things that ever happened, in my opinion. I swore to myself I’d never forget about vuvuzelas and I haven’t. They are proof that nothing matters.


Wings for Wheels: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen

There's this new cool Bruce Springsteen comic anthology out and I'm (I'm Jen) in it. I don't make comics, but I do make weird images, so I did that. Here is one from the collection about Bruce and Patti Smith being from New Jersey and being Best Friends Forever (& Beyond). 

The Collection was put together and edited by Nomi Kane and she really did a phenomenal job. I mean, look at how cool it is! Wings for Wheels features work by Nomi Kane, Pat Barrett, Todd McArthur, Jen Vaughn, Josh PM Frees, with cover art by Dan McCool. If you want to buy one, you can do that here for $6. I also added some older prints to this etsy page because I have them so why not.

Here's a special bonus Bruce thing that is not included in the anthology. Strawberry Fields Whateves exclusive!!!!!!!!!!!!!


'Moon Pix' By Cat Power Is For Missing Everyone You've Ever Met


A line from Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore, which is a beautiful book you should absolutely read if you haven't already:

"It is unacceptable, all the stunned and anxious missing a person is asked to endure in life. It's not to be endured, not really."

This Saturday it'll be fall and in early fall it's good to listen to Moon Pix by Cat Power and sort of sink into its sultry melancholy and embrace the impending loss of light -- it'll make you feel really deep. Moon Pix is a deep record and it stirs up deep feelings, like feelings about missing people, especially people you used to love. When I listen to it, I feel like I miss everyone I've ever met. These are the people it makes me miss the most:


My first L.A. man was a drummer and I liked to listen to "American Flag" and think of him, changing the "her" to "his" and the "she" to "he" ("My new friend plays drums all the time/his magic heart feels everything/He plays the difficult parts and I play difficult"). I actually never played difficult, I faked my way through being easy about everything. We lived in the same building and I'd see him all the time and always want to be near him, touching him, probably because of oxytocin -- being easy turned out to be really hard. But I was 25 and in a new town and I wanted to have a gorgeous adventure with this wild boy nine years older than me. I listened to "American Flag" and liked the idea of him being the friend in the song, and I decided he was going to be my friend forever no matter what.
          My friend was from Massachusetts too, he grew up in a fishing town way up north. He was totally classic about believing in rock-and-roll and that's what I adored most about him. The first night we met, he made a really chill/genuine Stiv Bators reference and looked so good rolling a joint on an AC/DC record cover, wearing a wifebeater and jeans and shitkicker black boots. He had the ragged-est, raspiest, most ripped-up voice and there was this one t-shirt that showed off his drummer arms so perfect, it was deep-purple and the sleeves were kinda too short and no other man in the world could ever pull that off. One time I was giving him a ride home and we were listening to "Black Math" and he was reading a music magazine he'd picked up off the floor of my car. I made a wrong turn and I apologized and he said, "Fuck it, man, let's go to Venice," still flipping through the magazine, not looking up. He looked good then too, so I-don't-give-a-fuck. He looked best clamping a cigarette between his teeth while pulling his hair away from his face, grabbing his dirty curls up in his fist and narrowing his eyes at whatever I was saying, his "thinking hard" expression. He had really pretty eyes, blue-blue-blue. We had the same eyes and the same hair texture. We were both really passionate about radio, and about soy mocha lattes with too much whipped cream.
          So it went on a while and eventually got pretty dumb; he liked somebody else and I didn't like anybody else, until one day I did. This boy came along, The Boy Of All Boys, who neither believed in rock-and-roll nor had amazing hair. The first night the new boy broke my heart, I was being all dramatic about it so that everyone would pay attention to me and so that my friend from "American Flag" would know that I'd moved on -- I wanted him to have that relief, but mostly I just wanted him to be jealous. We had this couch that we set up in the parking lot behind our building, for hanging out and drinking; it was disgusting and moldy and rained-on and probably had lots of things living inside it. I was lying on that couch, curled up like a sad baby, using my hands as a pillow, and the boy from "American Flag" was sitting on the couch arm and trying to make me feel better. At one point he leaned over and touched his big bony hand to my forehead like he was checking for a fever, then said something about how I was the first person he'd met in a really long time who really loved the hell out of rock-and-roll. It was non sequitur but I cherished it, I loved it so much, it meant so much to me and it still does.
          My "American Flag" friend doesn't live in my town anymore, and that's mostly all right with me.


Misty Day, Pearly Gray, Silver, Silky-Faced, Wide-Awake, Crescent-Shaped Smiles

This is a blog post about being a Cancer! The wacky title comes from "Child of the Moon" by the Rolling Stones, the song Mick Jagger wrote about how Cancers are wonderful. Thank you for that, Mick Jagger. We (Cancers) think you are wonderful too. 

This is a picture of me (Laura Jane) and my friend Chelsea at Anabela's wedding on Saturday. I'm so in love with our scamp-y cuteness! It's relevant because Chelsea is also a Cancer, so this is basically a photograph of that lyric from "Child of the Moon" come to life. The craziest thing of all is that these crazy smiles are real! It was a very happy day. My favorite part was a tie between 1) all the times Erin and I hit on the DJ, whose name was "Indie Wedding DJ" (he liked the Kinks!), 2) when Indie Wedding DJ played a Portuguese song where every second lyric went "Ay-yi-yi" and we all sang along to the "Ay-yi-yi" parts and 3) when the song after "Ay-yi-yi" came on and we were all bummed that it wasn't an "Ay-yi-yi song" and Ryan was all, "We can make it an Ay-yi-yi song!" and then started improvising Ay-yi-yis along to the melody and it was EXTREMELY hilarious to me and I forgot all about until I was EXTREMELY hungover at work yesterday and I started laughing really hard in the middle of setting a table and a customer saw me and it was weird. 

After I got off work last night I checked my phone and had the best post-work phone-check of my life and it was all thanks to my wonderful pal Chelsea. In addition to the adorbs crazy-smiled photo seen above she sent me a link to this beautiful perfect dress that all Cancers should own forever. 

Here is a picture of my favorite Cancerian-themed thing I own. It's from Nasty Gal and I have it as a friendship bracelet with another wonderful Cancer friend of mine, Kritty. 

I think next up I would like to have this Cancer ring. You know, sometimes it really does kind of suck sharing the name of your zodiac sign with an illness that often kills people, but what can ya do. At least I'm not one of the shittier zodiac signs! (You know who you are.) (hahahaha j/k ALL the zodiac signs are cool! I love people.)

MOST IMPORTANTLY: last night, Rihanna Tweeted the "Potascope" for every single zodiac sign, which was really awesome and thoughtful of Rihanna. Rihanna is a Pisces, BTW, and also RTed the following Tweet from "ZodiacPosts": A Pisces will find it easy to get lost in thoughts, almost blocking out the real world. I think it's neat to find out that that's how Rihanna sees herself. 


Thing of the Week: Lucky Leif and the Longships, The Girl with the Paul McCartney Tattoo, The Best TGIF Dog

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Lucky Leif and the Longships by Robert Calvert 

Lucky Leif and the Longships by Robert Calvert (who is the singer from Hawkwind) is a concept album produced by Brian Eno about what America might have been like if it were colonized by Vikings. A BRIAN ENO-PRODUCED CONCEPT ALBUM ABOUT VIKINGS FROM THE LEAD SINGER OF HAWKWIND?!?!?! Are you kidding me?!? That shit has my name written all over it. It's the exact sort of thing I would love- and I do! 

Lucky Leif sounds like Something/Anything? by Todd Rundgren mixed with Sides 5 & 6 of Sandinista! by the Clash mixed with that very tidy waterfall of shimmering light that only Brian Eno knows how to make guitars sound like. Last night I was stoned and cleaning my room and listened to Here Come The Warm Jets followed by Let It Be and got really into imagining what Let It Be would have sounded like if Brian Eno produced it. Probably awesome! Anyway, that's an aside. (But definitely one worth thinking about.)

My favorite song on Lucky Leif is called "Magical Potion." It sounds like "Blank Frank" by Brian Eno on Percoset on a beach, and also on Quaaludes. Mr. Calvert's pronunciation of the word "California" is very thrilling to me. My second-favorite song on Lucky Leif is called "The Lay of the Surfers," and guess what??? It's a Beach Boys pastiche!!! There are few things in this world I love more than a good Beach Boys pastiche; I seriously don't relate to any/all musicians who ever made a record that doesn't have a Beach Boys pastiche on it. Like, get it together, fun-haters. "The Lay of the Surfers" might be my second-fav Beach Boys pastiche EVER, after "Back in the USSR" (obvs). It says the words "watery grave"! "We're gonna rock it to our watery grave," to be exact. Cool sentence. Then there's this really embarrassing "Barbara Ann"/"barbarian" pun part that makes me want to kill myself/is so awesome. 

The last track is called "Cricket Lovely Reggae", a title that would bring ample charm and intrigue to any mix CD tracklist, in my opinion. It's about becoming a cricket star, and it's a reggae song. "A cricket star is something to be," sings Robert Calvert, and it's definitely the weirdest "Working Class Hero" reference to ever have existed.

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: The Paul McCartney Tattoo On The Right Arm Of The Rad Girl I Met At Native Foods On Tuesday

Tuesday was my last day of my UCLA class with my amazing teacher and afterward I went to Native Foods for a Sesame Kale Macro Bowl, which looks like this. I was wearing my Paul McCartney shirt and the girl waiting on me told me how she loved my shirt and loves Paul McCartney and how she's met Paul McCartney twice, and one of those times he signed her arm and then she got a tattoo of his autograph. So we cutely bugged out a while about our mutual Paul love and I asked if I could take a picture of her tattoo and she said sure and I Instagram'd it and everyone loved it so much. And then the girl found me on Instagram! And commented on my pic and it was adorable. Then I went to her Etsy page and now I want this necklace and also this Ringo pic. And this morning I listened to the bonus tracks on the 2012 remaster of Ram and stared happily at that picture of Paul at right above and named it "A Paul for Fall," and everything was fun and sparkling and perfect and good. Paul McCartney is my thing every week, but especially this one.


Joan got a job! A good & cool one, even! We were out having some celebratory prosecco-on-tap when this overwhelmingly adorable dog was spotted. Joan has a new Dog of the Day blog so she introduced herself to Maisey  (the dog). Then she took the best TGIF dog photo ever. It’s perfect - I can’t get over it. TGIF Maisey.




(Archives: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4)

I quit smoking one week ago yesterday. It's true that cold turkey's the only way to go- if you really want to quit smoking, you'll be too fed up with smoking to fuck around with quitting smoking aids. If you want to quit smoking, there's nothing you can do to stop yourself. It's really cool and easy. 

Two weeks ago, I fell off my "cutting down" wagon, and it was terrible. I hated the cigarettes I hated myself for smoking more than I've ever hated anything in my life. I cried so much that week. I smoked and cried. 

Last Tuesday, I showed up to therapy and said "Today I only want to talk about smoking" and so we did. Forty minutes into the session my therapist asked me why I always insist on drawing a black line straight across the painting of my life and I started to cry and I'm crying again just thinking about it. She asked me why I was crying and I told her "Because I don't want to do that anymore." She told me to quit smoking that afternoon and I told her there was no chance that would happen but when I walked outside I pulled out the pack of Marlboro 100s Liz had sent me and there was only one left. I lit up and thought about how the rest of my day would unfold and since I was now out of cigarettes started wondering when and where I could fit in buying a new pack, and then I thought, "Am I really going to go and buy another fucking pack of fucking Belmonts?" and I realized that I couldn't. That was the moment.

The last cigarette I ever smoked was a Marlboro, in the rain, wearing leopard-print- so that's cute. While I smoked it I tried to remember why I'd once thought I loved this but all I could focus on was "This is nothing" and tossed it away- I didn't even smoke it down to the quick. I started crying tears of joy and bought myself an iced latte and breakfast sandwich to celebrate. Hours passed and I started feeling weird- nicotine withdrawal- but I toughed it out. I looked forward to the withdrawal period passing so that I could go back to being my normal self again, my normal self only even BETTER because she wouldn't smoke then!!! That's me today. I woke up the second morning and the withdrawal symptoms were so vicious I thought I might vomit but I got through it. Work was crazy-busy that night and it distracted me and by the time I got home I was in the clear. It stopped being hard. 

I had my first really difficult day a couple days ago, on my sixth day- I was feeling anxiety about a number of things and it made me think I WANT TO SMOKE A CIGARETTE NOW, since I'm used to lighting a cigarette anytime I ever feel anxiety about anything. But then I thought of all the times in my life I've smoked to alleviate anxiety and asked myself if a cigarette had ever really fixed it, and the answer, of course, was "Of course not." 

My dad told me that when he quit smoking he kept a full pack of cigarettes on his bookshelf and derived strength from his being able to ignore them. My therapist told me to stick a twenty dollar bill in a jar every couple days so I can watch all the money I'm not spending on my own death and chemicals add up and then treat myself to a facial or whatever. I thought about maybe doing both of those things but the thing that became mine happened on its own- I've left my shitty old tin Canada flag ashtray out on the white plastic table on my patio. Every time I come and go I look at that empty ashtray and think about the shame I used to feel every time I noticed how fast I filled it up. Now there's no cigarette butts in it ever, because I don't smoke cigarettes. 

I really have nothing else to say about this. Before bed I sit outside and feel the air and hear a song. When I walk down the street instead of hunching into my cigarette I look at the clouds and the buildings. I hate smoking and I hate cigarettes; I quit smoking because I smoked until I hated smoking and then I quit. The Allen Carr book didn't work for me and neither did cutting down and I didn't take Zyban and I never had a patch or chewed Nicorette or smoked an e-cigarette. If you want to quit smoking, you'll quit smoking, and if  you don't want to quit smoking, don't force yourself. It'll either happen or never happen and that's your story. This was mine, and this is how it went for me, and now I'm bored of writing about it.