Thing of the Week: Manhattans & Justin From Tulsa & More, 300 Feminist Sand Witches, I am Divine

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: It's A Tie Between A Bunch of Different Things

1. Last Sunday I had to run to the Summerhill LCBO in the middle of work to pick us up some fancy tequilas. The Summerhill LCBO is a very fancy place which comes as close as a liquor store can get to feeling exactly like the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Christmastime. While I was there I bought myself a four-pack of mini-bottles of Spumante Bambino. Mini-bottles of Spumante Bambino were what I used to buy from the LCBO near my old house in the dull suburb I was living in the summer I participated in the Ultimate Fashion Challenge. Every Sunday night I would drink three mini-Spumante Bambinos while writing my weekly UFC update and they were perfect then and they are perfect now. On Tuesday night my boyfriend and I chilled on my couch and watched the episode of Mad Men where Abe tells Peggy Olson her shoulders look like an Olympic swimmer's. He drank a can of Stiegl, and I drank a mini-bottle of Spumante Bambino. Life is so fun! 

2. Before my boyfriend and I chilled on my couch and watched the episode of Mad Men where Don Draper grossly bones Megan Calvet for the first time and it's the beginning of the end for old Don Draper, we met for a cocktail at the Hoof Cocktail Bar. I had a Manhattan. Under the menu listing for the Manhattan their cutesy little write-up reads: "Ruins you for other Manhattans," and it's true. I've drank an extremely high amount of Manhattans for being a 28 year old living in the year 2013, and the Hoof Manhattan blows them all out of the water. Today I was walking down the street and I started thinking, "What if this is it for me? What if I'm twenty-eight, and I've already had the best Manhattan I've ever had?" and then I thought, "These are your problemsLaura," and like clicked my heels together in the air or whatever. 

3. Today I was on the phone with iTunes Customer Support for two and a half hours. My customer service representative, or whatever that job is called, was a guy named Justin. He was from Oklahoma- from Tulsa, just outside of Tulsa. I asked him what Tulsa is like, and he said "Not really much of anything," which I thought was cool. But he said that they have a decent music scene, and that a "Hard Rock" was opening soon. When Nadine and Charlie visited me in March we went to the Hard Rock, and I learned a valuable lesson in GENUINELY LOVING Hard Rocks. So I was happy for Justin, about that. Hmmm. What else did I learn about Justin? Well, he's super-polite. He likes working for Apple. His little sister is always trying to encroach upon his employee discount. He called me "Ma'am," and laughed at all my jokes. He asked me a lot of questions about Canada's relationship with the French language. It seemed like "Do all Canadians speak French?" was a question that had been plaguing Justin for his entire life, and today, I answered it for him. While waiting for my computer to reboot after I did a bunch of weird tech support-y shit to it and had recently drank a ton of coffee on a relatively empty stomach, I explained every single detail of the role the French language plays in Canadian culture. No stone was left unturned. I also learned that Justin is working a double today, and as I write this sentence, will be getting off work in exactly nineteen minutes. Bonne nuit, Justin! The excellent customer service you provided was one of the highlights of my week. 

4. Yesterday I read my mom's Tarot cards (I killed it you guys!!!), and today I read my best friend's Tarot cards. It makes so much sense that I do this now. The picture accompanying this article ("article") was taken by my best friend at a Starbucks, earlier tonight. Before I read her Tarot cards in a Starbucks, we went out for dinner at Terroni, where I ate al dente spaghetti with mussels, shrimp, little octopus babies, and squid. Before we ate dinner at Terroni, we sat in the park and drank white wine out of an orange plastic mug and I told her that I want to be a millionaire. She's the King of Swords, and I'm the Queen of Cups. 

5. The scene in the episode of Mad Men called "Tomorrowland" when Peggy finds out Don and Megan are engaged and bursts into Joan's office and Joan asks "Whatever could be on your mind?" and is SO COOL TO ME. Then they talk about some other things, and Joan says "Well, I learned a long time ago not to get all my satisfaction from this job," and Peggy says, "That's bullshit!" and then they laugh together. "Women laughing together" is one of my favorite things in the world. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: 300 Feminist Sand Witches

Someone posted a link on Facebook to an article with "300 Feminist Sandwiches" in the headline and I saw it like three different times and every time I misread it as "300 Feminist Sand Witches." I wish it had said "300 Feminist Sand Witches" - feminists who are not only witches, but witches who live at the beach. Beach witches! What a beautiful concept. But whatever, instead it's a Twitter thing that's a satire of the woman who's making 300 sandwiches so her boyfriend will marry her, and that's fine. There are so many different things to do on the Internet
         Yesterday I finished a really big project and felt great about it, a little worn out but in a satisfying, athletic sort of way, like how male rock critics are always saying The Who make very "athletic rock," which I never understood until writing this sentence. In the afternoon I had an appointment in Santa Monica with a doctor I love so much; I've been going to him since I moved to L.A. ten years ago and he's like if Larry David were a nice, chill, kinda goofy grandpa. Dr. Alfred told me how he'd been very sick ("It almost killed me, kiddo") but now he's on the mend and I'm sad he was sick but so happy he's okay now. After the hospital I walked around a while to wait out rush hour and ended up going down to Santa Monica Pier for the first time in years. My iPod shuffle kept playing Mary Timony, early Madonna, The Stooges, and John Lennon, and it was so windy and the water looked green. Some guy a little or a lot younger than me walked by and held out a rose and asked me for my number but I just took the rose and thanked him and kept walking, which I think was a smart move. I sat and watched the carousel a while and was stoked to see that instead of just all horses there's also a goat and a bunny you can ride on. I love the goat the most since I'm a Capricorn, who are goats that come from the ocean. Then I went to a fried-seafood place and had a plastic cup of wine and read Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle, which is a gorgeous book about poems. My table had a nice view of the roller coaster and I read the words "Painfully shy but with an extraordinary passion for the moors around her" right as "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper came on the jukebox. I liked that. It didn't feel ironic or anything, it just felt sweet and true. A cool day for beach witches.


I saw the documentary I am Divine on Wednesday. It was the New York premiere and it was at BAM. I bought tickets a week in advance, which I felt kind of crazy about since it's a movie. Usually when I buy tickets super early for something no one is there. If I chance it, it sells out. It was so totally sold out by Wednesday morning. I did the right thing! The film was fabulous. I loved it. Divine was/is a national treasure. Like Divine, the movie was hilarious, super fun, outrageous, heartwarming and sad. Divine's death shortly after he received mainstream success in Hairspray and was about to start filming Married with Children (!! I did not know this !!) is so deeply tragic. So unfair! Total bummer. I'm going to continue celebrating Divine this weekend by going to see Female Trouble at BAM on Saturday and listening to the song "I'm So Beautiful" on repeat while I hang up curtain rods on Sunday.


Thing of the Week: Guu, Kims & Swims, Jen's Heroes


Guu is the name of a restaurant located very, very close to my house. It's an izakaya. It's as loud as a place could possibly be without making you want to kill yourself, unless you are a Jersey Shore type person who likes to go dancing at very loud nightclubs, or a person who is into noise music. Noise fans and Pauly D would probably walk into Guu and think, "Hmm. What a reasonable volume." 

For no reason other than "I'm stupid," I'd never been to Guu until two weeks ago. It's been open for, like, two and a half years. Very, very weird of me. Very weird choice. 

A cute thing about Guu is, every time a person walks into the restaurant, they cheer for you. Every single staff member. They holler very jovially in Japanese. You have no idea what they're saying, but you can be safe in assuming that it's celebratory. The first time I went to Guu, two weeks ago, was with my Dad. He arrived while I was in the bathroom, and since he can be a little bit gruff sometimes, I was worried that he'd find the greeting obnoxious, but he loved it more than I've ever seen my Dad love something that isn't related to world music, subwoofers, or Breaking Bad. Go Guu! Go Dad! 

The first drink I had at Guu was a sake mojito that comes with a bottle of housemade Guu sodapop. The sodapop tasted like one of those fluoride rinses from a dentist's office, so I switched to Asahi Black, which is now my signature drink (at guu). Asahi Black bottles are made of a very thick black glass. They are a very pleasant weight to hold in one's hands.

My dad and I ordered a set menu plus a side order of the deep-fried octopus balls. One of the first plates we tried was the fried chicken pictured at top left. The batter has soy sauce in it, and it comes with Kewpie mayonnaise for dipping. Not that I'm any huge fried chicken expert or anything, but it's definitely the best fried chicken I've ever eaten. If some Southern-style fried chicken place opened up in Toronto and served Guu's exact fried chicken, everybody would be raving about how it's the best fried chicken in Toronto. Nobody would ever shut up about it. But it kind of flies under the radar at Guu. 

I went back to Guu with Amanda two weeks later (it was yesterday), and we ordered the thing on the right which looks like a candy apple that one of the Lost Boys from Hook would eat. During my Dad and I's Guu experience, the two girls sitting next to us ordered it, and we got really involved in figuring out what it was. We talked to the girls, which is very out of the character for both my father and myself. He's an introvert, and I'm a lone wolf. 

Anyway, it's a deep-fried pumpkin croquette stuffed with a hard-boiled egg and covered with thousand island dressing. I know!!!!

 Here is something called KakiMayo. It is an oyster stuffed with mushrooms, cheese, spinach and garlic mayo. My favorite thing about it was how you could never tell if you were about to eat a mushroom or a chunk of oyster. 

When my dad and I ordered the set menu, it came with a seaweed & tofu salad- the server set it down in front of us and I was like "Boooooooorrrrring," but then I tasted it and realized that it featured the best fucking salad dressing I've ever tasted in my life. I feel like salad dressing at Japanese restaurants is consistently 1 billion times cooler and more delicious than mediocre North American balsamic fucking everything. Can some dipshit at Kraft please figure out that it's time to bottle this shit and then sell it to me? 

My dad and I also had a tuna sashimi that was just so tiny and perfect and elegant that it made me feel comparatively oafish. I feel like a person with more chiseled features should have been eating it. 

And then Amanda and I shared the weirdest thing ever- it's called a Kakuni Pie, and it's a pie, like the little kinds of pies that British and Australian people eat, stuffed with a pork belly that tasted like brisket, served with a gloppyish soy sauce and a little smudge of straight miso paste. While I was eating it I was kind of "Whatevs" but now that it's gone I can't stop thinking about it. The miso against the flaky pastry was one of the least logical flavor combinations I've ever consumed, and I mean that as a compliment.  

The miso black cod on the bottom here was rich and odd as you'd expect. But the sushi on top, which is called Saba Oshizushi, is the real star of the show. It's cured mackerel, pressed and blowtorched. It tastes like ginger and fire and fish. It's light as sunlight and smoky like the smell of a hot dude's leather jacket. And the pressed aspect of it makes the rolls such a joy to eat! They are like little packages, little gifts. My new goal in life is to have tried every single item on the Guu menu, but I'm also going to have to eat the mackerel sushi and fried chicken every time I go. I feel like eating the chicken and the sushi at once, by yourself, would be the most perfect meal known to man, but all the loudness and hijinks are not really conducive to solo dining. 

PS: They also holler when you leave, like they're so sad to see you go, but it's overridden by how INSANELY FUCKING STOKED they were to have had you once at all. 


On Wednesday last week I saw the Pixies and then on Thursday I saw Body/Head. Both shows were totally killer. I probably never would have gone to see the Pixies but then this guy I'm working for opened up for them (and he was great - he's so great!!) so I went and boy am I glad I did because the Pixies are unstoppable. They just sound really good, like really weirdly good, and this girl next to me brought her dog and another girl held up an actual cigarette lighter during "Hey." I also appreciated that Kim from the Muffs looks pretty much exactly the same now as she did the last time I looked at her, in 1996. Like I think she was wearing the same dress even.

Body/Head was a different experience, more about just leaning against a wall by the side of the stage and drinking this really good/trashy/ice-cold white wine from a plastic tumbler and staring at Kim Gordon and her legs and hands. That's her in that picture, being heavy with her guitar. And here's another picture I took of her. Body/Head was the most intense combination of super-boring and hypnotizing and amazing, I was anxious for it to end and I also wanted it to go on forever. I took like a 17-year break from caring about Kim Gordon but now I just love her more than ever and agree with everything Jen said when she wrote about Kim Gordon in this very space two weeks ago

Other things I love right now are chili-powder-dusted watermelon lollipops, the book Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle, Tanya Donelly's new EPs, the grilled cheese + tomato + avocado sandwich at Hermosillo in Highland Park, the spiced peach cobbler at the place next to Hermosillo, and swimming in my pool. I love swimming in my pool, and I love having people over to swim in my pool and drink champagne and making them listen to Helium and Big Star and Devendra and ELO. My friend Anne took this picture of me drinking a cucumber jalapeno margarita after a post-pool shower and I feel pretty encapsulated by it. Summer forevs/JK I'm totally ready for summer to end.


I've been seeing a lot of my heroes lately. Last Friday I saw Tom Scharpling, Julie Klausner, Molly Newman & more reading from music autobiographies. On Sunday I saw YOKO ONO AND THE PLASTIC ONO BAND. I was tearing up before Yoko even got on stage. There were projections of her art films and performances being played before hand. She is such an  inspiration. We are all water. Tonight I'm seeing Patti Smith at the Metropolitan Museum. Next week Divine movies are being played at BAM. I'm absorbing all of this beauty like a sponge or a mushroom.


On Sunday Morning I Watched Lots of Sonic Youth Videos & Made Fun of Sonic Youth & Loved Sonic Youth So Much


Sunday morning I dug up my DVD of Sonic Youth videos and watched the whole damn thing, in bed, and took lots of pictures and wrote in my notebook and stuff. It was a nice way to begin the end of my weekend: chill and lazy and dreamy, with a little poking-fun. Sonic Youth are an easy target, but obviously I love them. They made beautiful songs and beautiful little movies to go with those songs; they're one of the most consistently beautiful bands I've ever been obsessed with. Watching all those videos in one big chunk, it finally started to hit me that they're gone, that I'll never get to see them again. I saw them eight times and they were always great, even when they were being impossible - like the show on the Brown University quad in spring '98, when they played all of A Thousand Leaves, which hadn't even come out yet and is actually kind of boring anyway.

But yeah the DVD is called Corporate Ghost, because of course it is. It's all the videos they made from 1990 to 2002 and apparently you can buy it on Amazon for about two dollars. It is so worth those two dollars, plus many more dollars. Here are the highlights, according to me:

i. 100%

Thurston has huge hair in the "100%" video. Or it's super-fluffy at least, the kind of fluffy you might call flooffy. And Kim's wearing that "Eat Me" shirt that she's also wearing in a picture I had up in my locker in 11th grade, only it's cooler than I remember, with the Rolling Stones logo and all. Given my memory of my high-school self, I'm really surprised/impressed that I was brazen enough to have put a picture of Kim Gordon in her "Eat Me" shirt up in my locker. Way to go, 15-year-old me.


Here's just Kim being awesome in "Kool Thing." You know what I want? A thing of the cover art for Fear of a Black Planet that's Photoshopped to say Fear of a Female Planet instead. I mean I found one through Google Image Search, but it's not very good. Someone should make another one.

iii. "TUNIC"

And here's just Kim being awesome in "Tunic," which is the weirdest video. I love when the guys all wag their fingers at Kim. I don't love it when the panda bear has lipsticky lips.


Here is teenage Sofia Coppola in the "Mildred Pierce" video. Cool eyebrows, bro.


Thing of the Week: Tsuki the Shiba Inu, Bradford from Deerhunter, Kim Gordon Everywhere

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Tsuki the Shiba Inu 

I am obsessed with wanting to buy a black Shiba Inu named Arthur. I mean, I would name him Arthur. I don't care if he came named Arthur or not. I doubt that anyone has ever named a black Shiba Inu Arthur besides me, I mean future-me, anyway; everybody always names their Shiba Inu something Japanese-esque i.e. Tsuki. Ugh. How basic. Why don't you go feed it some okonomiyaki and then name a poodle Fifi while you're at it? Just kidding. You are obviously too basic to have heard of okonomiyaki before this second.  

Anyway, I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that I'm
obsessed with wanting Arthur. Whenever work is slow (I really hope my boss isn't reading this!) I stand around and look at pictures of black Shiba Inus on Google Image Search and then I save the pictures of the Shiba Inus who look most like what I want Arthur to look like to my Camera Roll, and then I look through my Camera Roll and pretend that it's the future and I've just asked someone if they'd like to see a picture of my Shiba Inu, Arthur. (I'm just kidding about really hoping that my boss isn't reading this. My boss has an uncanny ability to walk in on me Google Image Searching Shiba Inu puppies on his own. As far as my boss must be concerned, I have never done anything else.) 

My Shiba Inu obsession really took a turn for the more psychotic once I remembered about the website
The Daily Puppy. I allowed myself to get to a point where I know the names and individual identities of every Shiba Inu that has ever been featured on Daily Puppy. Obviously they're all winners, to some extent, but Tsuki really brings it home. She's so spritely and alert-seeming. 

There's also this other guy, named Hachi, who I like a lot:

Hachi is disturbingly cute, obviously, but you can tell he's going to grow up to be a bit of a dullard. Just a lumpy old chewer of rawhide who stinks the car up. My Arthur's got to be of above average intelligence levels, one of those dogs who can open a door with his paw and howl the word "Hello." He'll know fifty tricks and won't require a leash. He'll never do anything embarrassing like eat rabbit shit or hump your houseguest's leg. Like my homegirl Tsuki, he'll bring only positive energy to the table:

Unfortunately, I found a very disturbing comment on Tsuki's Daily Puppy profile just now. Tsuki's not
actually a puppy- she was rescued by her owner, Jaeby, at age four or five. A man named Steve wrote in saying how he lost a Shiba Inu named Bella on April 11th, 2008, when he was attacked by a pit bull! To make a long story short, he thinks Tsuki is Bella. Then, five years ago, he posts all this sad information like the link to a website he made called Bring Bella Home, and information about Bella's microchip. IS TSUKI BELLA? No more pictures of Tsuki were ever posted after the date Steve left his comment, so probably yeah. Hopefully Tsuki's owners did the right thing and gave Bella back to chill Steve who didn't name her something pseudo-Japanese like an imbecile. Anyway, this is one Shiba Inu-related mystery I sure never wanted to uncover. To end things on a more positive note, here's some really cool motivation for me to end up owning two Shiba Inus:

He ate spices! I love dogs so much! 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Bradford from Deerhunter

The first time I saw Deerhunter they were opening for the Ponys sometime six years ago. They came out and Bradford was wearing a dress and kept stumbling around the stage, saying, "Darby Crash...Darby Crash...DARBY CRASH..." over and over again for a really long time. I liked it. I was like, "YOU ARE COOL," in my head. And then I didn't see Deerhunter again until FYF a couple weekends ago, and I missed most of their set because I was watching Devendra Banhart, which was a bad choice. (Not bad because he was bad - I love Devendra, his music is gorgeous and so his face. It was just the wrong venue for him. His songs are very quiet and he probably should have just played in my living room instead.) But the little bit of Deerhunter I saw was terrifying and hypnotizing and amazing, and I was in love with Bradford's wig and crazy dress (as seen in the above photo, which came from here). He's just got this weirdly angelic presence. He's a weird scary angel.

(Also, during the Breeders's set at FYF Bradford came out to sing the chorus to "Saints," and for the verses he crouched down on the stage and stared up at them adoringly, looking like this. So cute. And for the rest of their set he sort of lingered at the edge of the stage and chainsmoked, watching the band super-intently. I took lots of pictures of that too.)

So the next morning I read that BuzzFeed interview where Bradford shit-talks Morrissey the whole time ("Anybody who says they dislike The Beatles is a pretentious jerk. Like me. But I actually like them, I like The Beatles. I like all music, really, except The Smiths") and I loved it, and then I bought Monomania and watched Deerhunter playing "Monomania" on Jimmy Fallon. I watched it like eight hundred times. I love Bradford's bloody mouth and bloody fingers, I love his drama and use of hand movement and how he's always touching his wig. I really like his commitment to the performance. Bradford makes me feel like Commitment is Cool. The last minute of this video's the most exciting:


JEN'S THING OF THE WEEK: Kim Gordon Everywhere

Kim Gordon has been everywhere the last few months and I'm loving it. After the Elle article, there was the New Yorker profile. I wish that profile was the length of the entire magazine and the photo was a full page. When I saw there was a profile with her I thought I'm going to hang the photo above my desk before even flipping to the page. All hail the Queen. Unfortunately it was a smaller-ish picture which is NOT what I had in mind. She's cool and smart, we all knew this, but the new info was she has an astrologer and watches TV. She grates beets into salad and dances around. Her new band Body/head has an album coming out next week. You can listen to it online and I have. I love it. I really do. It's my Kim Songs dream come true. I agree with and love Jessica Hopper's gushing  Spin review.  I missed the body/head show that the Julie Ruin ended up playing. Total bummer. I'm also missing the one next week at Union Pool because I guess I forgot to make note of when tickets went on sale and now there are none. She has an art opening on Saturday though, which I will go to. I'm also going to miss her at the New Yorker Festival, but I will try and go to the Kim tribute at Issue Project Room. She's everywhere. Kim Forever. 


LEE IS FREE: Our 10 Favorite Lee-Sung Sonic Youth Songs


Lee Ranaldo and his new band Dust have an album coming out next month, it's called Last Night on Earth and you can listen to the song "Lecce, Leaving" here. But really this post has nothing to do with Last Night on Earth and we're just writing it because WE LOVE LEE RANALDO and all the great songs he wrote in Sonic Youth. Here are our ten faves.


Last week I read a Pitchfork thing about Daydream Nation, and there's a line about how "Lee, being Lee, exists on some more mystical future/past plane, located in dreams & open fields instead of on the Bowery," which is a very lovely and true sentence. It's fun to make fun of Sonic Youth, but I never want to make fun of Lee: there's so much generosity in his voice and lyrics, and I can't think of many other singers who so consistently communicate wide-eyed-ness in their delivery. Lee is never impressed with himself, and that's a great thing to pull off as a guitar player for Sonic Youth.
       But maybe my favorite thing about Lee is he sings in exclamation points. He sounds so truly excited about everything he's singing! It's very sweet, and it makes me excited too! When Lee sings "My head's on straight! My girlfriend's beautiful! It looks pretty good to me!", I become that boy and I'm also stoked about my mental clarity and my beautiful girlfriend. Lee and his groovy optimism, I'm so eternally into it.

WISH FULFILLMENT was the first Lee song I ever heard. I was sitting on the floor at my friend Pat’s. I picked up the Dirty CD off the floor and sort of absentmindedly looked at it, unfolding the insert. I stared at the Mike Kelley sock people and stuffed animals and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I think I imagined Sonic Youth as something different. The next day in school Pat gave me the CD to borrow. He saw me looking at it and thought I should listen to it. It’s not an exaggeration to say it changed me as a person. Or maybe it was more like as I listened to it on headphones that night I realized OH MY GOD THIS IS WHO I WANT TO BE. I was already sold listening to "100%". It was so cool. Then "Swimsuit Issue"! Kim! Kim was my everything. I would read interviews with her and seek out whatever she liked and learn about it. I feel like on my first listen "Wish Fulfillment" must have gotten lost in the mix of my unquenchable thirst for more songs by Kim/women in general. I grew to love it.
        Obviously, "Wish Fulfillment" is about a relationship. Maybe it's a romantic one. I associate the song with friendship. I'm still friends with Pat. It was his birthday last week. He lives in Louisville now, not on Long Island.
       As a teen baby I think I thought about movie stars and dream lovers when I heard this song. When I hear it now I think of friendships that don’t exist anymore and also vaguely of the Steely Dan song “Peg” (I think it’s ‘see your face in a magazine’/ ‘your name in lights etc’). I can’t remember exactly who was sitting in Pat’s room when I was looking at the CD, but I have an idea. I don’t talk to my high school BFF anymore. We drifted away from each other in college and I tried to give the relationship a refresh after hearing she was married and feeling so strange that I had no idea. It was very awkward and unfamiliar. It was over. Someone else in that room isn't alive anymore. Another I recently fell out of friendship with for reasons that aren't exactly clear to me.
       Lee's talk/yells to me are all about the heartbreak of being a social being, of loss, of change. It makes me think of missing people you don’t know anymore. (Jen)


Laura Jane's Quitting Smoking Journals: I Quit Smoking One Year Ago Today


On September 1st I told my co-worker to guess what day it was. He said he didn't know and I was like "Imagine if I made you stand here and guess forever?", but then I just told him- it was the one year anniversary of the day I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist. (You can see a cool pic of my fresh and pink George tattoo here). He said, "Wow, that's pretty important, huh?" and I said, "Mostly I can't believe a week existed in my life where I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist on a Saturday and then quit smoking three days later"- it truly is crazy to think about how much positive energy I must have been swimming inside. Feeling real happiness for the first time, knowing true peace and balance and hitting it. All these wonderful concepts which once were clouds were bones now. I could wrap my hands around them. 

Here is the Quitting Smoking Journal I wrote about quitting smoking one year less five days ago. I am trying to read it so I can write about it but I don't have very much fun reading my old writing. No matter when I wrote it, it's always overwrought. I'm catching snippets of it while skimming it: I definitely remember that I was wearing leopard print on the day I smoked my last cigarette, but I forgot that it was raining. I remember that trying to quit smoking was hard for me and I remember that quitting smoking was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I remember the only time it was hard- when I got promoted in April, I felt very stressed out about a lot of work-related things and I started thinking about cigarettes again. I came very close to smoking one, but put it off because I had to go focus all my energy onto some stressful work-related thing, and then I forgot about it . And then once I zoned back into myself I was all "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?", and then it was gone forever. I never cared again. 

It's weird how easy it all is. I feel like I never smoked. I went into anorexia recovery five years and five months ago yet something eating disorder or body image issue-related still comes up for me at least three times a week, if not day- but I guess the difference is that my eating disorder came from within myself, whereas smoking cigarettes, no matter what kind of lies you tell yourself, is external: you smoke because some corporation told you to do it, because the people who work at cigarette companies or the advertising agencies that work for cigarette companies are all excellent at their jobs. I never believed that when I was a smoker. I thought it was a part of me- I thought I smoked because there was something about me that made me a smoker. But it was only my central nervous system. 

But that doesn't mean that I ever want to be the judgy kind of ex-smoker who cares whether any other person ever does or doesn't smoke. I actually really love it when phonies and assholes smoke; it provides me with some very solid fodder for extra-hating them. And I adore a good passionate smoker- I was a passionate smoker once, and I think that passionate smokers are a faction of society that definitely needs to exist. I like when people arbitrarily stand up for stupid shit for no reason. I'd take an unapologetic smoker over a judgy non-smoker in a heartbeat- judgy non-smokers need to get some cigarette smoke blown in their faces every now and again so they can fake-cough like the delicate sons of bitches they are and remind every cool person in the world how important it is to stay chill. 

Willingly addicting myself to smoking cigarettes was one of the worst decisions I ever made, but I was very young when I made it, and then ended up quitting at twenty-seven anyway, so who even cares. I feel too far away from ever having smoked to be able to explain exactly what I've gotten out of quitting, and that's weird, because I smoked a lot of cigarettes! For a lot of years! And now it's all just become the sentence, "I used to smoke." I suppose I could try and figure out what this past year might have looked like if I was constantly ducking out of work and sex and eating killer dinners to go light some shredded wood, chemicals and paper on fire and then inhale their fumes like I'm the hugest psychotic idiot there ever was, but I don't know. I guess I'm just too busy living. 


Being Totally Crushed Out on Kelley Deal & Sarah Silverman Is a Really Good Feeling


I saw the Breeders two Saturdays ago! It was my first time seeing them since they opened for Nirvana, 20 years ago this November. They played all of Last Splash and were glorious, just so on and obviously having a really cool and awesome time. They looked happy and it made me happy (did you read that super-sweet Buzzfeed thing that Matthew Perpetua wrote about "being a music fan in your 20s vs. your 30s"? The second half of #4 is absolutely how I feel about the Breeders and so many other bands/musicians I've loved a long time), and every song sounded perfect and better to me than anything on Last Splash had ever sounded before.

And never in my life had I really been like "Yeahhhhh, Kelley Deal!", but now I'm just crazy for her. She was radiant and wearing that goofy "USA" t-shirt with dangly earrings, a sort of jock/middle-school-art-teacher hybrid thing that was very inspiring to me in its what-the-fuck-ness. Kelley was all smiles the whole set and got all dramatic with her hand gestures and vocal delivery when she sang "I Just Wanna Get Along," really acting out the lyrics, really committed. Plus her head-bopping at 0:53 is divine.

P.S. Amazing fact, as semi-recently tweeted by Leah Petrakis who always has amazing things to say about good music: "Kelley learned guitar two weeks before they recorded Last Splash whilst working a full-time job and balancing a heroin addiction as well." Total superhero.

Another rad thing I experienced recently was seeing Sarah Silverman and Jen Kirkman and Jenny Slate at Largo last Thursday night. (Doug Benson and Todd Glass were also there, but the girls were just the best). I'm still as in love with Sarah Silverman as I was when I wrote about her Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode in June, only about a thousand times more so, since I've now sat in a small theater and gazed upon her as she told jokes about periods and Annie and sex emails and Zach Galifianakis. She was wearing these tight jeans and near-knee-high lace-up boots and a great grayish-white t-shirt and a red plaid flannel and the most majestic hair poof that I really want to copy. Sorry to be all focused on "looks" but what am I going to do, sit here and try to type up all her jokes for you? No, no way. Although I will say that she told a story about going out to lunch with Kanye West and how they both use the "Notes" app on their phones and ended up sharing their "Notes" notes with each other, which is pretty adorable.

Anyway, isn't this picture of Sarah Silverman and Tig Notaro so beautiful? It is.

Jen Kirkman was so tough too and I just rewatched her Frederick Douglass Drunk History and it remains the best Drunk History and I feel compelled to report that she now has black hair and the freshest bangs. At one point she did an impression of her mom and her Massachusetts accent was brilliant, like the opposite of Jack Nicholson in The Departed/every Hollywood actor who's ever attempted a Boston accent ever except maybe Matt Damon although the jury's still out on that.

Oh and Jenny Slate! One of her opening lines was "Like many Americans, I come from a haunted house from Massachusetts," which I really wish I could say every day and claim as my own. And if you've never seen the Bestie x Bestie episode about "what is wrong with books," it's a real treat. The first 46 seconds are unremarkable but the remaining 55 seconds are gold.

All these magnificent women from New England, and from Ohio, to bring it back to the Breeders. They make me feel like you can just have fun forever, if you're smart and thoughtful and tough about it, and that's a really good feeling.