Wednesday , November 4, 2009
A Day In the Life: Clothes That Make Us So Sentimental
ARMY PARKA OF DARKNESS
Not to brag (but yeah, to totally love up the things I have), I'm really happy with my wardrobe. I have just the perfect amount of stuff and everything is pared down enough so that I can honestly say that I love, adore and wear everything in my closet. The nice thing about getting older as a lady who loves clothes is that you finally collect enough awesome shit that you finally understand why "investment" dressing works. But true to my punk/zinegirl/alternateen roots, my most beloved garment is not a Balenciaga dress (although I love that) or a Maison Martin Margiela sweater (although I wear it all the time), but a humble army green parka that I impulsively picked up from H&M about three or four years ago and still wear to death. It's part of a long tradition of army-type parkas throughout my life. The very first army parka I wore was my dad's own Thai army one that I filched from him when I was 15, and I wore it everywhere till it fell apart. It made me feel rebellious and tough and ready to take on the armies of suburban darkness. The next one I snagged from a boyfriend in college; I have to say that it fell apart long before the relationship did. (I kind of wish the reverse had been true...that parka was awesome, the relationship--not so much.) I had another one when I first lived in NYC and wore it when working on film sets, only to have it lost somewhere in upstate New York on the set of a crazy thriller shot for Italian television. Then it was a wilderness of parka-less years, during which I kind of became an "educated" "fashionista" and got picky about materials, silhouette, cuts and all that fun stuff. Such was my transformation that I had a hard time finding a garment that combined both the swagger and self-sufficiency of army parka-ness with a type of fit more akin to the Chanel-like narrowness that I love. And then, one day during my first year at film school, I impulsively tried on my current parka at the H&M in Harlem. Love at first sight! Magic! Yay! It's almost like a perfect bridge between my earlier and present fashion selves: it has the practicality and authenticity of the punk rock parka but with a sophisticated fit and structure. I am always so happy when it gets cold outside, because it means I can wear it all the time again. I've taken it with me to Lisbon and London (it couldn't go with me to Thailand 'cause it's too bloody hot, and to Iceland 'cause it's too bloody wet.) I'm hoping it'll come with me when I hit Berlin hopefully in February. It's just my favorite thing ever, and I hope it stays with me for a long, long time. Army parka, I love you so much! (Kat)
(Yes, it's a rare picture of Kat, wearing her jacket)
THE SKATE SHOP SHIRT FROM FROG AND TOAD NIGHT
(L: me and my shirt. R: Frog and Toad.)
So this is my "Foundation Super Co." shirt; it lives in my Bag Of Emotional T-Shirts in the back of my closet, along with two Tom Petty tees my parents bought me when they went to see Tom Petty, a handmade wifebeater Mary Timony sold me half-price because she's a sweetheart, my Lemonheads t-shirt and some other stuff I can't remember. I bought it at a skate shop on Thayer Street in Providence on a Friday night when I was seventeen: I'd been in college about a month or two and took the bus up to the big city with the girl who'd become my first university BFF after we discovered we both liked doing stuff like watching Mary Poppins drunk and making our stuffed animals talk in British accents. We went to the skate shop, and I bought my shirt, and we went to a store that sold whimsical clocks and strange bubble baths. We ate dinner at a fast food Indian restaurant called Curry In A Hurry, and maybe after that we ate pie or cake and coffee in a cafe on the corner. We read Frog And Toad Are Friends to each other in the Brown bookstore and record-shopped in two different record stores. And then we took the bus back to school and probably did something like really adorable like color in our Hello Kitty coloring books and listen to Tori Amos and talk about the many different boys we liked.
That night's one of my five favorite frosh memories, maybe it's even in the top three. Freshman year was full of stuff like drinking punch with malt liquor at frat parties, drinking ice beer and then screwdrivers on the floor of someone's dorm room, getting stoned on the roof of the biology building, eating cheese fries, reading letters from boys from home I pretended I was in love with, mailing poems, lying in piles of girls in bed while watching movies instead of studying, spending most of journalism class writing stories about the stupid boring shoes on the feet of the boy in front of me, whom I badly wanted to be my boyfriend, and all that other generic freshman-year stuff. Some of it was so disappointing, some of it was so much fun, and all in all there's not much I'd ever want to relive.
Except, maybe, for the night I bought my Most Emotional T-Shirt, and a few other nights with that girl, like the time we made chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from scratch at her parents' house while her dad sat smoking cigarettes at the kitchen table and laughing at us when we got into some evil vicious monster-girl fight about how best to cream the butter. We weren't friends very long; so much bad soap-opera stuff happened and changed my heart forever; it was all very "Bells For Her". If I thought about it for long enough I could probably get very sad, but who has the time for such a thing? My memories of Chocolate Cake Fight Night and Frog And Toad Night feel more far-away than nights or days that happened when I was a tiny little girl, and I like that, because they're dreamier that way. Also this shirt doesn't look nearly as good on me as it did when I was 17, and I guess I like that too: I'm really happy for my 17-year-old self that she got to look kind of adorable in some skate-shop t-shirt she didn't actually understand. That must've been so sweet for her. (Liz)
LAURA JANE GETS SEMI-HEAVY, ABOUT SWEATERS
This sweater is coral and has wooden buttons. It is warm and I wear it around the house. It was once my grandmother's, and then it belonged to my mother for a bit, and now it belongs to me, because I stole it from my mother.
Your family existed as a family before you were born. It was 1965, and all those people (grandparents, uncles, Mom) hung out together, younger versions of those people I know now, like the Muppet Babies of them. My Dad told me the other day that he and my grandmother ( my mother's mother, who I love very much) were "quitting smoking" buddies in the early 1980s, which cuted me out. There is nostalgia for the way the world was before you were born, and there is the nostalgia you feel for all the things you ever wished could've happened but didn't; thinking about your family existing before you came along to steal the show is their pithy midpoint.
I have no idea what the circumstances of my Grandmother's purchasing this sweater were. I don't know if she wore it in Morocco, France, Canada, or all of the above. Maybe she hated it and wore it around the house on off-days like I do, or maybe it looked really good on her and she had a blouse/skirt/brooch combo she'd pair it with, for the movies or meeting her sisters for lunch or attending a parent-teacher interview. Maybe it was 1965 and she was thirty-seven years old. My mom and her brothers were teenagers, and my grandfather was two years younger than she. Their Muppet Baby Selves sat around the kitchen table and told each other stories about what they did that day. They had a black dog named Fifi. Somebody fed Fifi scraps under the table. They watched television, and the Beatles were on it. I will never, ever know my Grandmother's Beatles Opinions. This is the only kind of "not knowing" I am comfortable existing within.
I just realized that I am writing this while wearing the exact sweater I'm writing about. That's a nice detail; I appreciate the lightness of it. I'm wearing this sweater because I'd be wearing this sweater even if I wasn't writing about this sweater. Time travel back to that dumb nothing night in 1965, and my grandmother has no idea that, one day, her only daughter will have another only daughter. There is no way she can know that her sweater will one day become Laura Jane's, Laura Jane's dumpy pre-shower writing sweater.
It is November, and I now disagree with my early-October self's assertion that
coziness sucks; I was only being contrary. I have a lot of use for coziness, and this sweater is very utile. Speaking of things that are cozy: Starbucks cups turned red this week. Merry Christmas, Everyone. (Laura Jane)
Thursday , October 29, 2009
A Day in the Life: What We're Gonna Be For Halloween, Maybe
GARDEN VARIETY SLUTTY VS. S&M SPECIFIC? OH, DECISIONS!
I'm in such a dilemma for Halloween 2009. I decided awhile ago that I was going to be Little Red Riding Hood this year 'cause I've had big bad wolves on the brain. I've been writing the "teen werewolf story to end all teen werewolf stories" for what feels like fifty years now and thought it'd be nice to pay tribute to my muse. Plus, it's about my favorite costume ever -- I actually was a pretty classical Little Red Riding Hood a few years back when I still lived in San Francisco and it was totally fun and I don't care if I'm repeating myself! I love wearing a red hooded cape and I don't want to be Superman, okay? I actually made my own red hooded cape ages ago and was excited to wear it again, but then I discovered that it was lost somewhere in my transcontinental move back to NYC. Damn it! Wah! So I went out to one of the THREE Halloween costume shops within a three-block radius in my neighborhood and got one of those slutty Red Riding Hood costumes just for the cape. But then I made the mistake of actually trying on the dress that it came with and now I want to wear it! It's got a poofy skirt! And a corset! It's kind of Alpine-slutty! Maybe I can wear it with vinyl leggings and crazy bondage-y heels and be S&M Red Riding Hood? Or make it more Quirky-Slutty by wearing it with striped leggings? Decisions, decisions! (Kat)
NEIGHBORHOODIES, GET YR ACT TOGETHER AND GET LIZ HER T-SHIRT SO SHE CAN BE CHRISSY SNOW FROM "THREE'S COMPANY"
(What has been and what may never be: Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66, Nancy Sinatra, me, Suzanne Somers)
I don't know what I'm gonna be for Halloween, OKAY??? I was supposed to be Christmas Noelle Snow from the classic comedy series Three's Company; I was supposed to wear a t-shirt that awesomely reads BLONDES PREFER GENTLEMEN (a la Chrissie/Suzanne Somers in the opening credits), plus short shorts and some kind of ridiculous high-heeled shoes with knee-high athletic socks. I was even going to put on nude nylons under the short shorts, because I've always wanted to dress like I work at Hooters. It was going to be brilliant, adorable, and just a wee bit American Apparel-skeevy. But stupid Neighborhoodies hasn't mailed me my shirt yet, and I'm sort of losing faith that it's ever going to get here in time, which makes me want to cry a little. So, Neighborhoodies, if you're reading this: Here's your last chance to rush-deliver the Chrissie Snow shirt I ordered damn near a month ago, thusly saving yourself from a whole lotta badmouthing on nogoodforme.com. I know you can do it! Why on earth would you want to ruin Halloween for everybody?
Anyway. Chrissie Snow was going to be the latest in my "Quirky Iconic Blondes" Halloween costume series, made possible by the trusty platinum wig I bought on Hollywood Boulevard a few years ago. These be the dames of my Halloweens past:
CHRISTINA RICCI AS LAYLA/WENDY BALSAM IN BUFFALO 66. Oh this was amazing, and weird. I wore a baby-blue slip dress, and a white cardigan, and sparkly tights and silver high heels and my wig and lots of blue eyeshadow. As a result, pixie-ish hipster boys (whom I never, ever attract in real/non-Halloween life) kept scampering up to me and giggling creepily and scampering away again, and then this crazy ex-footballer guy begged and begged me to let him hold my feet "just for a few seconds." Those are the only two dude-related things I feel comfortable talking about here; shit got even more b-a-n-a-n-a-s than that. Oh Mr. Vincent Gallo: You truly are an evil genius.
NANCY SINATRA. I don't remember much about my Nancy Sinatra Halloween, except that maybe somebody asked if I was supposed to be a Fembot. The best thing about that costume was that the day I bought my go-go boots and the rubbery sleeveless black minidress that I now use to help me open honey jars, my friend and I went to see Marie Antoinette and ate rose petal macarons from the tragically deceased fancy candy store Boule - which is a story I've told about 8 million times on nogoodforme.com, but truly: it was heaven. And afterward we went to In 'N Out! Perfect Day!
JANICE FROM THE MUPPET SHOW I did this last year, and the costume came out more like "Nonspecific Blonde French Flower Child Or Whatever" (see above), but it was still superfun. It was a mellow Halloween; I met this cute boy and he was my snugglebug till last summer, awwww. And then the next day I was still feeling all Janice-sassy and spit on an anti-gay-marriage protester at Sunset and Alvarado, and later that night I sat next to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher at a restaurant in Laurel Canyon. Perfect Day Part Deux!
So yeah, now I have zero clue as to what
action-getting device Halloween costume I'll go with this year. Hints? Leads on super-speedy screenprinting services? I'm all ears! Come and knock on my door! Take a step that is new! I've a lovable space that needs your face! Happy Halloween from nogoodforme.com, living proof that "three's company too"! (Liz)
STARRING LAURA JANE FAULDS AS... THE UNIVERSE'S SLUTTIEST BABY!
As much as I totally love Hallowe'en, I totally suck at Hallowe'en. I am always too lazy and broke to bother with engineering a high-concept costume that looks anything like what it's supposed to be. I'm also vain, and can't deal with sacrificing my October 31st hotness in the name of looking like a really realistic Jeanne d'Arc or whatevs. As such, I am a big fan of abiding by the Textbook Chick Hallowe'en Costume Postulate: think of a generic costume idea, and then slut it up to the power of a billion. When in Rome, you know?
When in Rome, dress up as a slutty baby. This year, I was torn between Slutty Baby, Slutty Schoolgirl, Slutty Rooftop John Lennon, and Slutty Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, but I opted for Slutty Baby, so that I can shout "Goo Goo Ga Ga! Let's Bang!" 'til the slutty cows come home. Hopefully other people will like it too. I bought a Baby Bugs Bunny baby-bottle for a dollar at Honest Ed's yesterday. I'm going to put booze in it. It's not in the photo at left, because in the end, I decided that putting a picture of myself jerking off a baby-bottle on the Internet is taking it a bit too far, even for me. Otherwise, my costume is: a little girls' nightgown with pictures of breakfast on it, pigtails with those wiggly bobble-ball elastics, some baby barrettes, a pacifier, and red lipstick smeared all over my face. Cuz you know how sluts are! Sluts just cannot keep their lipstick on their mouths! Babies are also wont to get crap all over their faces.
A cool perk of the Slutty Baby costume is that it does double-duty as a Courtney Love circa 1992 costume, so if I tire of making dirty jokes in baby talk, I can just start singing, "Killll Meeee Pillllsssss", and then attend the Academy Awards with Amanda de Cadenet a couple years down the road. I think maybe I actually totally rule at Hallowe'en. (LJ)
Tuesday , September 22, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Fall
EMBRACE REALITY AND IT WILL EMBRACE YOU
These past few seasons I have really not felt a need or desire to come up with a fashion concept. I used to worry that this meant that I was becoming an unimaginative, boring drone of adulthood -- shouldn't I want to be a "Fierce Warrior Robot Straight Outta Compton" or "A Louisa May Alcott Heroine Transplanted to a Kafka Novel"? But it boils down to this: the only fashion character I am interested in is myself as it exists in this set of realities. I don't mean this in a egomaniacal, self-absorbed way. (Okay, maybe it is that way slightly, just because it is yourself and fashion, you know?) But I'm a girl who's no longer a girl living in the 21st century. I have things I want to do: ambitions that need accomplishing, boys that want bewitching, and epics that want to be written. Places to go, pieces to put together! Love to make, justice to administer!
At some point in life you make a decision to be a verb instead of an adjective, and you run with it -- especially when you realize what it is you are running towards and not away from. It doesn't mean you lose your poetic nature, your fanciful imagination or your freedom, but it does mean you're all systems go and anti-autopilot. Clothes can either enable or disable you; I'm firmly of the camp that they should be part of your mission and it's perilous to ignore them. Because clothes have such an intimate relationship with your body, I try to make my sartorial decisions primarily on how they make you feel: Will it help you in your life as you're living it? Will it help you stand tall when life's conditions make it feel like you're beaten down? Will it bring you joy and strength when you hit the inevitable set of obstacles? Will it bring beauty and truth to the world instead of pain and sorrow? The reality principle in fashion is about action, self-knowledge, self-acceptance and being a real superhero in your life, and not trying to cobble a sense of self through the remnants of some other entity's imagination or marketing team. In that spirit: these are the clothes that I have actually bought so far, and why. (Kat)
(1) Acne bat sweater: this is my one "investment" piece. It keeps me warm and soft so I don't harden into an overly self-protective NYC femmebot covered in layers of cynicism and weariness. Love is hard sometimes, but you have to be fiercely protective of keeping your tenderness intact if you ever want a fighting chance.
(2) Frye harness boots: I actually didn't buy-buy these, I traded a bunch of stuff in for them at Beacon's Closet. I had been wanting them for a long time, so I wear them to remind me of the value of patience and the existence of fortuitous luck. They also are good for kicking obstacles out of the way and keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.
(3) Heels from Payless: I was really against these. But then they caught my eye when I was darting into Payless to buy those comfort insoles (where, btw, they sell for a lot cheaper than at shoe stores or Target.) I tried them on and they felt comfortable. I have no justification for these, other than I can walk 20 blocks in them for some reason, and as a short person, it's nice to feel taller every now and then.
(4) Fletcher by Lyell dress: I was against this as well. But I would visit it everytime I walked past the UO on 72nd and Broadway and I realized it was not going to let go. It makes me feel swishy and happy; I can't really argue with that. There's always going to be a need in me to wear a schoolgirlish/convent-type dress; it's the eternal student in me that likes to buckle down and write.
(5) A blue and white striped oxford shirt from Old Navy (not pictured 'cause I can't find a photo of it): last year I realized that oxford shirts and skinny jeans with boots were my uniform and guess what? It still is. My uniform makes me feel cute and sturdy. That's a great combination to feel. This is to replace an old Brooks Brothers shirt that I spilled wine on.
(6) On the horizon: I lost my favorite grey hoodie on a film shoot and I really miss having one. Any recommendations (outside American Apparel)?
EVERYTHING GREEN AND GOLD, BUT NOT IN A ROBERT FROST KIND OF WAY
8 Things About Me & Autumn '09:
1. I was sure there was a Neil Young lyric about "green and gold," but there's not, unless it's a secret lyric. But still: my green and gold's for Neil Young, in the same way that last winter's blue and silver was for Neil Young. Only it's completely different, possibly.
2. A couple Fridays ago I went to Crossroads and bought the $4 green jersey dress I'm wearing in the photo at right above, and the itchy brown zebraface top I'm wearing in the photo at left above. I also bought a forest-green braided-satin headband, at Forever 21, and I wear it all the time. And at Target I got these zebra-striped flats that are kinda metallic-y but mostly silverish and not gold at all.
3. In a shoe box I found this mix CD I made myself when I went to Colorado for the first time (three autumns ago) and it's got many green and gold songs but I can't remember any right now, except for "Valley" by Doves, which is deep-blue and slate-grey and black-black and not green or gold at all. Also: "We Float" by PJ Harvey, which is just black and nothing else.
4. I want all these things you see here: the forest-green sateen Tbags dress, the Paola Frani dress I can't find online anymore, the BeSomethingNew headband, the Rodarte cuff, the Miu Miu emerald sequined satin ballet flats, the Luxury Jones boots I've wanted forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver. Please can I have them???
5. Maybe I'll never wear my hair in pigtails again?
6. When I think about the boy I sometimes I have a crush on, it's all green and gold all over the world.
7. It took me too many years to figure out, but the Rilo Kiley lyric "I was your silver lining but now I'm gold" is absolutely about me!
8. I'm from New England; I'm not from California. But I live in California and love it like a fool, and New England + California = Green + Gold. Also: Brown, like chocolate bars and puppy eyes and dirt and mud and mud pies, made from New England soil or California soil or both, ideally. I love them both the same, at long last. (Liz)
EXISTING IN THE RED AREA
LEFT, RIGHT, AND BELOW: If there's one thing you can say about Laura Jane Faulds, it's that SHE LOVES FUN!
I like sounds better than songs, moments better than music, and colours better than clothes. This fall: I've chosen fun over fashion, style over skinniness, and happiness over hell.
On the day my Dad and I went to see a string quartet at the Music Garden (white shirt; peekaboo of red belt; sailboats), I saw my "Dream Son." He was maybe seven, looked like Paul McCartney, ate an apple, and ripped up grass-stems. He wore an olive green sweater, brown trousers, one olive green loafer, and one brown loafer. Isn't that brilliant?
I found the red dress I'm wearing while laughing by a parade at a very thoughtfully curated vintage store near my house called The Refinery. The same day, I bought a black velvet handbag and a bluey-purple shirt-skirt combo that reminds me of 101 Dalmatians (here's the top). Mind-blowingly, I learned that all of my purchases belonged to the same dead woman. Her name was Rose, and she was French. We have the exact same taste, and her clothes traveled through time to become mine. Isn't that brilliant?
There is the beauty that comes from having good genes, and the beauty that comes from having good jeans-
For me, "fashion obsession" is intricately and inextricably linked to the anorexic experience. When I was sick, I would use things like "nogoodforme Seasonal Fashion Concepts" to validate my anorexic body; a painful, punitive, and pointless approach to self-verification. I am now interested in how I can re-establish my relationship with clothing in a way that makes me feel beautiful for real.
I favor wearing low-waisted drainpipes and killer t-shirts with the sleeves rolled-up. Beatle boots and ballet flats; minidresses, tote bags, minimal jewelry. I'm a "hat person," and I have a Kinks tattoo. I try to wear something red every day, even if it's just my underwear. Red's my favourite colour, and it's the also the colour that looks best on me- it matches my Southern European ("SoEuro") colouring perfectly. Red is the colour of roses, strawberries, cinnamon hearts, love, sex, and Satanism. Red is the Official Colour of Being Laura Jane.
According to my therapist, my tendency toward extremism is problematic. I am inclined to perceive life in terms of blackest blacks and lightest whites: elation versus misery, tiny versus huge.
"You need to learn to exist in the grey area," says my therapist. But I don't want to exist in the stupid grey area! Grey sucks. I never wear grey.
So I thought, "Why does the midpoint between black and white have to be boring old grey?" Black and white aren't colours, so, logically, their middle-point should be. The middle of black and white is whatever colour happens to be your favourite; in my case, it's red.
This fall, my Fashion Concept and my Life Concept are one and the same. Red is a very extreme colour: sartorially-speaking, it's the only neutral that's louder than a print. And, on the whole "How To Live" tip-
I am extremely pleased with myself for figuring out the most extreme possible way to be non-extreme. (Laura Jane)
Tags: 101 Dalmatians, anorexia, California, cinnamon hearts, Colorado, crushes, eating disorder recovery, extremism, gold, green, Jenny Lewis, Laura Jane Faulds, Neil Young, New England, pigtails, PJ Harvey, puppies, red, Satanicism, Satanism, self-acceptance, therapy, vintage, zebras
Friday , June 26, 2009
A Day in the Life: Where We Were When We Found Out Michael Jackson Died
WE ARE THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD IS MORTAL
I'm on this web development job that basically is taking over my waking hours for the past and next few weeks, so I was sitting in an office in DUMBO in front a computer, coding like a fiend and thinking about whether or not I was going to walk over to the Brooklyn Bridge and throw myself off. I think I was listening to the "South Park" episode, "Timmy 2000," and suppressing the urge to shout "Livin' a lie!" really loudly in the middle of the office. (You won't get that reference unless you watch "South Park" on a semi-regular basis. And if you do, God bless you!) Suddenly the woman next to me tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up at her, thinking it was something about our work and getting ready to feel annoyed and frustrated. Instead, she said, "Michael Jackson died." I kind of blinked for a moment, then said, "What? Are you for real?" She looked at me and nodded, and I looked further down the aisle and other people were nodding at me. I was kind of stunned. "Michael Jackson? The Michael Jackson?" More nods. The office was filled with streaming bright late afternoon sunshine, I was just starting to get hungry for some dark chocolate and I had another two hours to go before I went home.
But of course I went on the Internet and checked the LA Times but it was down, and then I went on Twitter, which was down. Then I sent a text to my Twitter, asking if he really did die. And then I went back to my work, trying to remember where I left off in my code. But I couldn't concentrate at all -- suddenly I got hit with one of those visceral memories you have of childhood, of a summer afternoon I spent with my sisters trying to figure out how to moonwalk like Michael Jackson. It was the 80s, we had a crappy little tape recorder with a Play button that fell off all the time, we had a vinyl copy of Thriller , we had just seen him on some tv show where he debuted the moonwalk and IT WAS THE COOLEST THING ON THE PLANET. We were in the pre-cool awareness phase of childhood, but we all knew something about the awesomeness of MJ's music and dancing. My little sisters and I were determined to master the moonwalk, so we played "Billie Jean" over and over again and tried to moonwalk all over our yellow shag carpet. It didn't work, but we spent ages trying and inventing other dances, like "The Fish" and "The Soda Pop." This whole memory had always felt so joyous and light before, but suddenly it had this strange weight, due to the fact that the person who inspired it was now irrevocably gone.
There are personal and political tragedies that happen everyday and there will be lots said about his personal eccentricities, peccadilloes and troubles, as well as his real importance as a music icon. But Michael Jackson dying feels like the first movement in the inevitable fading of my childhood, in which all of my memories of being young become more and more ghostlike in their re-experience. When we look back at the past and connect it to the present and future, we take for granted the feeling of continuation between these aspects of time. We know somehow that your third-grade crush grew up and is living a life, removed from yours but still flowing. We know that dude who wore the trench coat in 9th grade became uber-hot and lives in some big city and rides a motorcycle. The cool girl from 8th grade is a housewife who lives on a farm. The boy with a thorn in his side writes for a newspaper in Chicago. That girl from "The Wonder Years" went on to become some kind of math genius, and Blossom grew up, had kids and got a makeover. All this happened while you were swimming through time in your own way. There's something comforting and fascinating about believing that no matter how disparate our experiences, we all move through time together, even if some may be no more than peripheral figures to one another in our actual lives. To get all hippie, "We're all on the same journey, man." But that's not true, because some journeys end before others. Michael Jackson died, and when you think back on your years of bike rides, inflatable swimming pools and jump rope--and listening to Thriller and Off the Wall through it all--you know someone with a dear spot in that set of memories has reached the end of their movement through time. You think back on trying to learn how to moonwalk and suddenly the memory acquires the weight of sadness: the song has stopped and the music has comes to an end. Which it does for all of us, of course.
Once, when my nephew was very small, he asked me not to have my 30th birthday and "stop where I was." I asked him why, and he very charmingly and naively explained, in that way that small children have, that he wanted me to wait for him to turn 30, and together we would be 30 together, all at the same time, and then go forward at the same pace. I think he liked the idea of all the people who made him happy marching together towards some destination and ending up there at the same time. In a primitive way, no one wants to go ahead alone, and no one wants to be left behind. We all march towards the unknown, and it is so comforting to imagine us all getting there at the same time, finding out what really lies beyond together and, I don't know, high-fiving or something. (My nephew seemed to think heaven involved lots of cake and flowers; if there's a heaven, I hope there are french fries, horses and bowling.) I'm really kind of bummed that Michael Jackson isn't sharing my movement through time anymore in a strange, strange way. It just makes me sad in that primal child-nephew way that someone who made songs I loved as a kid won't be able to high-five me as we cross the great existential finishing line. I want everyone to get there all together, holding hands like in "We Are the World." (Kat)
ELIZARDBREATH: Yesterday was one of those days when everything made me excessively sad - like, I was sitting in a cafe when I found out Farrah Fawcett died, and I almost started crying into my coffee. Then, while making my lunch I listened to an NPR story on Yonlu and got so worked up, I practically sobbed all over my tofu salad. Then "Kodachrome" came on the radio and I went "Gah, Kodachrome's dead too! Everything is dead!" but somehow managed to hold myself back from what my mom would describe as "weeping copiously." And then I checked Twitter, and everyone was Tweeting about Michael Jackson having had a heart attack. I typed "Don't die, Michael!" and some other stuff, and then I left to go get a surfboard at Emily Richmond's houseboat.
Halfway down the 10, I got a text from my buddy that read: "Omg! Michael Jackson!" and, like a very bad motorist, I texted back: "Did he die?" and she said yes. Then I turned off the stereo for a while and drove and drove with no sound. Then I turned it back on, to the radio, and the classic rock station and "Beat It" was playing the CD started to skip and they cut it off early and went to "Jamie's Cryin'" by Van Halen, which I found crass. Then I went to Emily Richmond's houseboat, got the surfboard, and drove to Venice Beach for an MJ Memorial Solo Sunset Surf Sesh, and the water was rough but the waves were good. After surfing I drove home, listening to Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 songs on the radio, then went to a birthday party on a pretty patio and talked about Michael Jackson a lot. On the way to the party I got a gross veggie burger and Diet Coke at Burger King; on the way home I got a caramel sundae at McDonald's. WHEN MICHAEL JACKSON DIES, I GET TO HAVE BURGER KING AND MCDONALD'S is something I could've probably Twittered at the end of the night.
So, yeah, like a million girls, Michael Jackson was the first pop star I was ever in love with; I wanted to marry him but figured he'd probably end up marrying Madonna. I also really wanted to go see him in concert, but I had this idea that at all concerts, everyone headbanged the whole time, did lots of drugs, threw up all over each other, and lit each other's hair on fire. How sad that that's not actually true.
I think maybe Thriller was my first record but I'm not entirely sure, because in my memory Thriller and Like a Virgin and Purple Rain and She's So Unusual all came into my life at the same time, and they were all I ever cared about, apart from Return of the Jedi. Somewhere around then, my dad taped a special for me about the making of the "Thriller" video, and I watched it at least 1,001 times. I was really scared of the actual video, so whenever that part came on I'd either make my dad watch it with me or - not understanding how to use the fast-forward button - just leave the room until I knew it was over. (God! Could I have been any dumber when I was six? Cripes.) Anyway, the best part of the special was this clip below, which I've played 87 kajillion times between last night and this morning. This is my very favorite Michael Jackson, shy and giggly and little-kid-like. I'll never not be in love with that Michael, and I'm so happy I got to have him.
LAURA JANE: On the evening of June 25th, 2009, I was semi-stoned at the Hazelton Lanes Whole Foods. It was the day after my 24th birthday, and I was in an unstoppably great mood. The "5 Items or Less" cashier's diamond earrings were beautiful. So was his face. He asked me how my day'd been; I said "Amazing!" I told him that yesterday was my birthday (he wished me a Happy Belated, being a perfect gentleman and all) and that I'd been celebrating for the past nine days straight, was kind of "birthdayed out," and was planning on staying in tonight and making myself the rice-cream sundae of my dreams, which I was presently buying ingredients for. He told me I'm allowed one more weekend of celebration, and I said "Saturday, Dude!" and he warned me not to party too hard.
Next thing I knew, a mousy cashier ran up to our checkout and hollered "Michael Jackson died!," then ran away screaming "It's true! It's true!" to everybody, or nobody. What a legendary moment. There I stood, shocked, elated, grinning dumbly, my eyes darting back and forth between Diamond Earrings and the wispy blonde in line behind me. I loved this moment because it seemed as though all three of us were attempting to cultivate a deep significance within it, and were succeeding. We were all intensely aware of each other's presence, our now lifelong intertwined-ness, adapted as a unit to the understanding that, now, this day would always be this day. We were in it together. We loved each other. I loved them, at least. The blonde and I traded off on saying "Whoa!" She had a cherubic face, red lipstick, a messy bun I found darling. I made sure to stare directly into her eyes, to impress my countenance upon her memory forever, taking extra precaution to make sure that, when she recalled the moment over and over again for as long as she lived, she would not remember some faceless girl there at Whole Foods, but would remember me, as I will her.
Honestly, I could not have asked for a more epic conclusion to my epic 24th birthday festivities. I have close to no attachment to Michael Jackson as an icon, musician, or anything, except for I really like "Ben" and "The Love You Save" (and "Dancing Machine" and "I Want You Back," obvs). I have been thinking for months now that the world is long overdue for some sort of earthquaking "John Lennon's death/JFK's death/Princess Diana's death" celebrity tragedy; this one's more fantastic than I ever could have imagined! Michael Jackson lived a cool life. I honor its weirdness. It was an exuberantly grotesque escapade from beginning to end- stay tuned for 45-year-old Laura "James Joyce" Jane's tetralogy of novels about my imagined version of MJ's fascinating existence. They'll be so epic, they'll make yesterday seem like the day nothing happened and nobody died.
PS: After exiting Whole Foods, I immediately twittered that "Farrah fawcett is the darby crash of today," which is the smartest thing I ever thought of. RIP Everybody.
Tags: Michael Jackson
Thursday , June 11, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Summer
KAT VERSUS THE SUMMER GRUMPS
Even though I was born during high summer, I pretty much actively dislike summer most out of all the seasons possible on the planet. Theoretically it's great with all that sun-kissed warmth and long, lazy days and blah blah blah. But the sun is poisonous now, and I hate sweat, dirt, heat, body odor, icky toes, greasy skin, bugs and humidity with a passion. I also hate that I can't wear my favorite things -- boots, skinny jeans, coats, sweaters, blazers and jackets -- with any real comfort. It makes me so unhappy to be parted from the clothes I feel most at home within, even temporarily! I'm always at a loss on what to wear that would replace the happy, cozy, snuggly yet sturdy feeling that fall/winter fashion gives me -- which is the feeling of being myself, being a happy, cozy, snuggly yet sturdy kind of person despite my Bringer of Darkness affections. Since dealing with summer fashion pisses me off in general, I thought I'd go the Cayce Pollard route and be all minimal and sleekish and just forget about it. But deep down I know that my favorite summer things are pretty patterns like stripes and florals -- not wacky, abstract ones, but really sweet, clean, almost innocent versions, like the kind in country homes or 18th century French textiles. This has been surprisingly difficult to find, because I am picky and want the patterns to be almost fragile or delicate. Most florals are very heavy-handed and feel like sofas, and most stripes can be mediocre or too prison-convict/Hamburgler-y in proportion. But yes, stripes and florals: I've decided to just go with that in as simple of a manner as possible. It's not high concept, but it feels happy and sturdy enough. Now, hmmm, how to get cozy and snuggly in there? Where is the proverbial hot dude when I need him? (Kat)
LIKE IF ZEBRAS AND MARK ARM FROM MUDHONEY WERE MY TOP TWO STYLE IDOLS
(Me and my $8 summer outfit; Mark Arm with his old band Green River. He's the sassy blonde.)
Lately I've had a crush on Mark Arm from Mudhoney, mostly because he's the only Seattle-band guy who kinda looks like like a surfer, but also cuz he's a wiry sexy beast who wrote a lotta fuzzed-out rock songs you can dance your face off to. Two weekends ago in Massachusetts I drove to the Salvation Army thriftstore with Mudhoney playing really loud in my nana's car, and then I found myself the $5 zebra-striped skirt in the above photo. If Mark Arm asks me out this summer, I'll wear that skirt, maybe with the ripped-up tank top at the bottom left, those weird black-suede heels to its right, and some sort of aggressively cherry-red chunky/clunky necklace that's yet to find its way into my life. If Mark Arm doesn't ask me out this summer, for some stupid reason, I'll probably wear the $5 zebra-striped skirt a lot anyway, maybe with the $3 blue tank top I bought at the same time, and ideally with those creepy Vans slip-ons (center) I fell skull-over-boots for sometime last week. The skirt'd also be way cute with ModCloth's Nomadic Ninja tee (second from right), and/or some lame-o faux vintage t-shirt with the Periodic Table of Elements. I'd never wear my $5 zebra-striped skirt with that black-and-white bag at right, but I'm really crazy about that claw poking out at the bottom.
So there you have it. Surf + grunge = zebras. Surf + grunge also = plaid flannel and a beanie, which is cool, since that's exactly what I'm wearing right now. But zebra stripes are funner cuz they're kinda trashy - odd, considering that zebras themselves aren't very trashy. In fact, I've never met a zebra who wasn't a total class act.
P.S. Sometime between yesterday, when I started writing this post, and today, when I finished it, I decided to change my summer fashion concept to "SOME RANDOM CHICK WHO'S REALLY INTO FOGHAT." The truth is I'm always really confused about how to work seasonal fashion concepts, the same way high school English teachers are always really confused about how to work the
VCR DVD player. But, Mark Arm: You're still my number-one babe. Now let's all dance to your hit song "Overblown," from the goddamn Singles soundtrack. (Liz)
LAURA JANE PRESENTS...
I had the harshest awkward phase known to man. I was a very stressed-out eleven-year-old, and justifiably so- I was nervous that my awkward phase was not a phase. I was chubby, bespectacled, and the class clown. Dudes weren't that into me, not even ten-year-olds!
Then, on the most Martin Luther King-esque night of my life thus far, "I Had A Dream." I dreamed that I met Grown-Up Laura in a hotel room. She was wearing a short-sleeved red shirtdress with white polka-dots. She was neither short-haired nor emaciated. She was a woman, and she was beautiful. Dream Dude was there too, but his face has been lost to time. "It's all gonna be okay," Grown-Up Laura told Awkward-Phase Laura. It was a true moment. One day I will find that dress, and I will re-dream that dream, from Grown-Up Laura's perspective. It must have all happened in Savannah, Georgia.
I am not allowed to look like a seven-year-old boy anymore. It is time for me to suck up my dysmorpho-bullshit, accept my womanhood/stop being a crappy feminist sometimes, and embrace my femininity, SOUTHERN GOTHICKALLY. It is time for me to grow up. It is time for me to become her.
I. SCARLETT O'HARA ON HER WEDDING NIGHT:
Shopping is really easy for me. I only buy clothes that have already been worn by people from the past; my motto is "Vintage is the midpoint between destiny and capitalism." To figure out if something is worth buying, all I have to do is ask myself "Did this item of clothing travel through time to become mine?" If the answer is yes, I buy it. If the answer is no, I do not. It's that easy. This dress is my favourite dress I've ever had. It is Savannah. It is a Mint Julep, a Pink Lady. It is the Ray Davies' Front-Teeth Gap of Dresses.
II.I. NOUVEAU CARSON McCULLERS: I'm so hot! My kitchen floor was slobbering all over me, with lust. How dumb was I not to pick Carson McCullers as one of my Style Icons this round? My entire summer will be spent overcompensating. If I'm not being SUCH A CHICK about Embracing My Femininity Southern Gothickally, I just wanna be this.The rule of those kicky black trousers is that they must only be worn with these ugly flip-flops I bought because I needed comfortable footwear to take acid in; Real Carson McCullers would think anything else was stupid. It is.
+ Continue reading "A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Summer"
Tags: a day in the life, awkward phase Laura, Carson McCullers, darkness, dresses, embracing my femininity, embracing my feminity Southern Gothickally, fate, flip-flops on acid, florals, Foghat, Frankie "F. Jasmine" Addams, grunge, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, Kat hates summer, Laura Loves Summer, modcloth, Ray Davies' front-teeth gap, Savannah, Southern Gothic, stripes, summer, summer fashion, surfers are hot, surfing, The Member of the Wedding, vintage, womanhood, zebras
Tuesday , May 5, 2009
A Day in the Life: Our Dream Celebrity Entourages
LIZ BARKER IS NOT, NOR WILL SHE EVER BE, SAMUEL BRODY JENNER
First and foremost, I'd like to distinguish myself from Brody Jenner - cuz people constantly confuse me with Brody Jenner - and note that my entourage is more of a brunch-and-beach kind of crew and not so into hitting up Hyde and/or Les Deux and/or any other club that I'm not sure actually exisits. Excepting the occasional trip to the discotheque, nightlife would be all about mellower ish like heading to Canter's late night for matzo ball soup, and playing Guitar Hero at Leonardo DiCaprio's house, and maybe checking out a Lakers game every now and then - which might be slightly tricky, given that one of us is probably a Knicks fan, another has pretty heavy security demands, and two are technically nonexistent. Oh well.
DUFF MCKAGAN: Once upon a time, Duff McKagan drank and drugged so much, his pancreas blew up. Which is awesome and disgusting, and definitely qualifies Duff as Entourage CPO (Chief Party Officer, duh). For "make-believe entourage" purposes, I'm gonna pretend that Duff has yet to get clean, and that we probably wouldn't spend all our time together geeking out on Stooges bootlegs or some other stupid shit like that. Also, I have such a great Duff McKagan story, but I'd feel really weird telling it without permish from the person to whom it actually happened. That's kind of the saddest thing in the world to me right now.
YOLANDE MARTINE GABRIELLE DE POLASTRON, DUCHESSE DE POLIGNAC (as portrayed by Rose Byrne in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette): It's always good to have a pal who's the consummate girly-girl, who's aces at discreetly playing matchmaker when you spot some hot Swedish count at the bar/masked ball, who'll stay out boozing with you till dawn and then spend all the next day watching The Hills and eating rose-petal macarons in bed. Her voice might get a little annoying sometimes, but mostly whenever she sozzedly rambles on and on and on (as in 1:44 of this bit here), you'll probably just gaze adoringly at her and sigh, "Oh, Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac: You truly are the most darling BFF a girl could ever ask for."
BARACK OBAMA: As I was telling a friend coupla weeks back, it hardly ever occurs to me that I might never get to be buds with Barack Obama. I always unconsciously assume that we'll hang out at some point, like we did in that dream where I went out for sushi with him and Michelle, and the Barryster told me all about his caddish ex-boyfriend whom he'd never really gotten over (so sad!). I bet that's pretty much what it'd always be like to hang out with The Prez for real: Everyone else would be getting all crazy, and he'd wanna huddle up in some corner and talk about some mega-serious shit (ex-boyfriends, the crackdown on offshore tax havens) until you gently lured him back out onto the dancefloor with promises of Jager Bombs or whatever. But then once you got to the bar he'd totally buy, cuz dude's ALL CLASS.
DEBI MAZAR: Cuz we all need a tough-talking broad from Queens to keep us line. Plus, it'd be kinda great to hear her tell the duchess to shut the fuck up (repeatedly, at least five times per night) in that charmingly obnoxious voice of hers. And maybe sometimes she'd invite "Papa Don't Preach"-era Madonna to come with us, and I'd get to borrow her "Italians Do It Better" t-shirt. Yeah.
PATRICK SWAYZE CIRCA 1991: At first I felt real usey, 'cause I mostly picked 1991 Patrick Swayze for what he can give me (i.e. SURFING LESSONS, and maybe also an introduction to Point Break co-stars Keanu Reeves, Anthony Kiedis, and the dude who plays "Warchild"). But then I realized Bodhi-era Swayze would so perfectly fill the role of soulful confidante, and he'd make a great dance partner to boot. Oh, and: Who knew Brody Jenner's real first name is "Sam"? Weird! And if you crossed Bodhi with Brody Jenner, you'd get "Bodhi Jenner," which is totally my codename from now on. Use it.
WHEN IT COMES TO LAURA JANE'S TASTE IN CELEBRITIES: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
1. ZAC EFRON: In real life, the gaucherie of Tinseltown celebrity makes me want to ralph, unless it is 3 AM and I am drunk in a 7-11, in which case all I want to do is loiter and read Life & Style. However, if I ever do attain Zac Efron-style fame, I think I would (in the words of Michael Ian Black) GO FOR IT, and think, "When in Rome, Laura Jane Faulds, When in Rome." And by "Rome" I of course mean Hollywood, and by "Do as the Romans do" (which I never said, but it was implied) I mean "Date Zac Efron, because he's foxy, and it would make you famouser." Tragically, real-life Zac Efron is probably vapid, not to mention a raging Normie. But on the other hand- the better hand- Zac Efron is hot enough to be forgiven for all issues of personality suckage. Bro is the paradigm of teen idolatry, a serious gift to this world from the patron Saint of Saccharine Salacity (which exists, you know). At very least, there is no way Zac Efron's a bad kisser; also, according to his IMDB bio, he's a big Flight of the Conchords fan. Getting drunk and watching FotC with Zac Efron? SIGN ME UP.
2. JENNIFER ANISTON (NOT GWYNETH PALTROW):
Oddly enough, last night I dreamt that I met Jennifer Aniston on the meal car of a train. She looked like Friends Season One-era Jennifer Aniston. I let her know that I was due to write a nogoodforme post about how I wish she was my buddy. She was flattered. I told her I liked her performance in Friends With Money; she crinkled up her nose said she thought she'd done a terrible job, which really goes to show you how hard people are on themselves. I specified that I chose my homegirl Jen over Gwyneth Paltrow because, in theory, I would pick Gwynnie over Jen; in practice, howevs, Gwyn has a nasal speaking voice, an ego the size of Texaco (or so I have inferred from reading GOOP) which she is completely oblivious to, and writes sucky blog posts that suck. Jen is chill. My favourite thing about her, besides that she is unlucky in love (like me!) and loves smoking weed (like me!) is that she's always eating cheese and crackers in interviews, and talks about how she loves eating cheese and crackers. She also goes to Cabo a lot, which is smart.
3. MATT DAMON & BEN AFFLECK (TIE):
Despite the fact that both of their wives are Normie bitches, I will never stop loving Matt & Ben. I have loved Matt & Ben since I was twelve years old and had my "life changed" (to the greatest extent that a twelve-year-old's life can be changed) by Good Will Hunting. On Sunday, I was waiting for Thai takeout at my local Thai place, and they were playing The Talented Mr. Ripley on one of the two television sets that hang from the ceiling (side note: my local Thai place is weirdly sports bar-ish for being a Thai place), and I realized that Matt Damon as Tom Ripley is just about as hot as a dude can possibly get in this life. Matt & Ben are two chill bros who I would feel really comfortable being myself around. I'd like for the three of us to have weekly hang-out dates at an Irish pub-type location. We'd talk about our opinions on Dog Day Afternoon, and they would feel very warm towards me. If a nasty dude ever hit on me, Matt & Ben would say "Yo, Dude. Back off. Back off our Sweet Laura Jane," and I would feel so safe.
4. QUEEN LATIFAH:
I've known for a long time that I need Queen Latifah in my life. I discovered this back in 2004, when my old roommates and I went through an "obsessively hating on Sonic Youth" phase. We believed that, in order to realign their souls and rid them of their egotism issues, Thurston Moore should be forced to shadow Bono for a month, and Kim Gordon should be forced to shadow Queen Latifah for a month (while this all went down, Coco Hayley Gordon-Moore would be placed beneath the loving care of Jim O'Rourke). We also smoked a lot of bong hits, and ate White Castle every day. Our White Castle was attached to a Church's Chicken. We ate a lot of the biscuits you can get there. Dare I say YUM??? Anyway, Queen Latifah has obviously seen shit, but unlike Mary J. Blige, who's all uppity and condescending about it, the Queen is just wise, and understands life. Take me under your wing, Queen Latifah. Knock some sense into me.
5. SIENNA MILLER (NOT LAUREN CONRAD):
SISI!!!! I love Sisi! What is Sisi up to these days? I wish I knew. She seems to have dropped off the face of the planet, and her media presence has been replaced by that of stupid Agyness Deyn, who I envy for being two months ahead of me in our "race to grow our hair out." But, as per usual, I digress. For some reason, I sometimes like to convince myself that Lauren Conrad and I would totally love each other and have an amazing friendship, but I recognize that this is an irrational belief, and is all just me displacing my "wishing that Sienna Miller and I were best friends" shit onto Lauren Conrad for no reason. OMG, SISI + LJ!!!!! What a saucy pair we'd be. We'd get drunko, shop in each other's closets, and gab a blue streak (probably about clothes, dudes, and the perils of fame). It's tough to make Laura Jane Inner Circle, but Sienna Miller: if you want the slot that opened up last time I cut some vicious loser out of my life, it's all yours, babe.
Tags: Agyness Deyn, Barack Obama, Brody Jenner, Canter's Deli, cheese and crackers, Debi Mazar, Dog Day Afternoon, exploding pancreata, Going For It, Guns N Roses, Jennifer Aniston, Keanu Reeves, Laura, Lauren Conrad, Los Angeles Lakers, Madonna, Marie Antoinette, Mary J. Blige is uppity, Matt Damon, Matt Damon & Ben Affleck, Point Break, Queen Latifah, Sienna Miller, Thai food, Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Tom Ripley, weed, White Castle, Zac Efron
Tuesday , March 31, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dream Prom-A-Rama
KAT BASICALLY REIMAGINES "JULES ET JIM" AS AN AMERICAN PROM NARRATIVE, MIXED IN WITH A BIT OF "BUFFALO 66" AND FREEDOM ROCK
This is a hypothetical day in the life, and not really a real "day in the life" since neither of us have been to a prom in a very long time, if ever. However, this is a hypothetical "Prom Week" for nogoodforme, mostly because we are always game for a theme, particularly if it allows us to dwell in a state of perpetual yet theoretical adolescence. Naturally, we all got to wondering, "If someone put a gun to our heads and made us go to prom now, what would be our ideal prom?" This begs the question of what prom is about. I mean: fancy dress, hot dude, dinner and dancing? Sounds kind of like an old-fashioned date, right? But what makes prom the object of such pop cultural fascination is the whole "rite of passage" element -- it marks both the culmination and celebration of one's place within one's social hierarchy just as about you're ready to leave it. A prom therefore has both an intimate, even romantic dimension -- but also a performative social element. And the two, of course, amplify one another to the point of neurosis. Combined with the timing of prom, this seems to exacerbate the "do or die!" tendencies of so many prom narratives.
Happily, a hypothetical nogoodforme prom avoids all this nonsense. At our theoretical high school's prom, the best bands and DJs play, everyone rolls up in a Vespa instead of a cheesy limo and everyone's making out in some dark corner somewhere instead of getting dorky pictures taken. You would be entirely free to concentrate and enjoy such matters as your dress and your date instead of worrying about some evil mean girl saying something petty about your attire. You would also be entirely free to enjoy the dorkiness of prom tradition while fluidly being able to subvert it at the same time. Doesn't that sound nice? Come to our virtual nogoodforme prom! You can meet me and my hypothetical dream prom date, a witty, mischievous gentleman who looks like a combination of Andrew Bird and the Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser. Actually, if we're talking dream, I would be slightly scandalous and come with two dates: Andrew Bird AND Hamilton Leithauser! Why not? A girl only has one nogoodforme prom! Let's pretend I've existed within a Jules et Jim love triangle type of scenario through most of high school, and the question of the night: who will be the swain who wins my heart?
It's the start of a beautiful late spring evening, and they both come pick me up in Hamilton-Jim's snazzy little English sports car, an olive-green roadster that is both sleekly modern and adorably retro. The sweetly awkward yet incredibly witty Andrew-Jules is in a dapper vintage Savile Row kind of suit; because he's kinda brash and full of brio, I'll let Hamilton-Jim wear something by Harmon. Of course, I'm wearing a nonchalantly elegant yet swishy dress by my new favorite Parisian label, Heimstone, which, when paired with a pair of very "sex is death" pair of Balmain heels, leaves both dudes' jaws hanging. I pretend I don't notice and we jump into our chariot and head to some guerrilla restaurant on a lovely rooftop or perhaps in the romantically overgrown backyard of some old Victorian manse -- because in my ideal world, guerrilla restaurants are everywhere, not just in Brooklyn and other urban areas. Over a lovely candlelight repast of moules frites and lavender lemonade, we talk about the very first time we all met one another (study group for freshman year English class) and how much we've all changed, and maybe a bit about our plans for the summer. The subtext underlying the conversation, of course, is: Are you spending the summer with me?
Not a word is said on the matter, however, as we jet to the actual dance itself. It's already halfway over, but no matter. Somehow the DJ is miraculously good (this is a dream, after all) and plays the perfect combination of 60s psych, Motown, northern soul, booty bass and reggaeton. Andrew-Jules doesn't dance but Hamilton-Jim does, which causes the first real moments of friction in our little triangle. (Hamilton-Jim is a great dancer, by the way.) To appease Andrew-Jules, I ask him to a lovely slow dance to "Wild Horses," during which he confesses how much he will miss me in the fall when he's off to some small New England liberal arts college to study Near Eastern languages. I say nothing, because over Andrew-Jules' shoulder I can see Hamilton-Jim kind of brooding on the sidelines, watching us darkly. Glossing over the moment, I suggest we bail and do something really fun instead of letting this whole dance business get us down.
Which is how we find ourselves at the all-night bowling alley for our after-prom activity. (Because in my dream world, there is always an all-night bowling alley nearby.) We order wings and potato skins, and I demonstrate my bowling prowess, not to mention my intimate knowledge of the 1987 compilation Freedom Rock. This manages to focus their simmering rivalry away from one another towards a set of meaningless objects -- that is, until Andrew-Jules and Hamilton-Jim begin to argue over bowling's similarities to pétanque. They nearly come to blows, and in order to avoid being kicked out by the management of Heaven, i.e., the all-night bowling alley, I haul both gents out of there, where we head to a deserted beach and share a bottle of champagne while listening to a boom box playing Neil Young. We have many philosophical discussions and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing. (I secretly hope Andrew-Jules and Hamilton-Jim make out with each other, but alas, you can't have everything, even in a dream.) We wake up, a bit disheveled, and decide to join the rest of our senior class at the local Six Flags amusement park. No one says anything on the ride there. Of course, Leonard Cohen plays on the car stereo.
We wander the amusement park together, wary and tired but giddy from the noise and spectacle. Hamilton-Jim wins a stuffed animal. Andrew-Jules gets his picture taken as a gunslinger at one of those photobooths. I insist on riding every roller-coaster. It's the last roller-coaster ride, in fact, as I sit between these two young, intelligent, lovely gentlemen, that they begin yelling at moi about being so ambivalent and indecisive. "You're impossible!" "This is ruining our friendship" and "I am going mad!" are all flung at me as we go up the climb towards the roller-coaster drop. "WHO WILL IT BE?" they both demand as we reach the top. I say nothing as the roller coaster propels itself down the steep incline. Instead, I scream and scream as the roller coaster whirls through a stomach-churning set of corkscrews and loop-di-loops.
At the end of the day, I take up with a really hot Mexican skater dude I meet at the cotton candy machine and avoid the question altogether. Andrew-Jules and Hamilton-Jim call it a weekend and go see "I Love You, Man" with one another. This repairs their friendship. The end. (Kat)
Soundtrack by FREEDOM ROCK:
LIKE IF "GOSSIP GIRL" DID A PROM EPISODE STARRING DEMI MOORE FROM ST. ELMO'S FIRE, AND LIFE WAS ALWAYS 1987
In sooth, '80s nostalgia doesn't turn me on in the slightest. Whenever anybody squeals "I love '80s music!" or "I love '80s movies!" my eyes wanna roll right out of my skull - partly because it's so illogical to try to turn an entire decade into some neat little pop genre, but mostly because it's all just so overdone and boring and totally misdirected. Like, why does every "Retro Lunch Hour" on every pop-music station in America play "Take On Me" by A-Ha at least once a week? No one misses "Take On Me," 'cause we've all accidentally heard it at least 8 zillion times since it was released 24 years ago. In fact, if I never hear "Take On Me" again, it'll be 84 years too soon. Bah!
All that said, I'm pretty sure an imaginary prom would be the perfect opp to get '80s nostalgia done right, once and for all. The elements:
DRESS. Dream-prom style idol = Demi Moore as Jules in St. Elmo's Fire, especially in the party scene when she's twirling around in that shiny skirt that's just the right amount of poofy. Jules is superglam but sorta tacky, and she's real fond wearing half-up/half-down hair and way too much jewelry (two things of which I too am real fond). But if the St. Elmo's Fire costume designer wasn't available, for some reason, I'd probably ask Jenny Humphrey to dress and style me for prom. Sometimes I hate her clothes, but the guerrilla fashion show (see vid below) was maybe Gossip Girl at its most exhilarating, and I almost halfway adore that dress psycho model girl Agnes is wearing in the above photo. Well done, Little J! Except I can't get with those shoes. Would wearing black Chucks be way too Avril?
DATE. Andrew McCarthy was the love of my life from about 1984 to 1989, so: Andrew McCarthy. Preferably the version of Andrew McCarthy that was once hotly photographed wearing a faded-to-hell t-shirt with the album art for The River by Bruce Springsteen. SWOON.
VENUE. Somewhere in L.A., 'cause I like L.A. Maybe one of those fancy Hollywood clubs they're always going to in the movie version of Less Than Zero, only without Robert Downey Jr. freebasing in the corner. (By the way, this is the weirdest trailer you will ever see in your life. It's like some drug-awareness video you'd watch in health class in seventh grade. Mind-bottling!)
MUSIC. Since it's 1987 and we're in L.A., the only acceptable entertainment would be a live performance by the original lineup of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But if they were too busy I'd settle for some DJ who'd play lotsa Adam and the Ants, especially "Kings of the Wild Frontier."
MODE OF TRANSPORT. Since it's 1987 and we're in L.A. and Andrew McCarthy's my date, I'd like to roll up in his little red Corvette from Less Than Zero. Afterward we'd drive up to his mommy's beach house in Malibu and raid the liquor cabinet and then jump into the pool with all our prom attire still on 'cause we're so carefree. Oh to be young in L.A., in 1987, with the not-yet-born Jenny Humphrey as your personal stylist. High school rules sometimes. Especially when you're a way funner prom date than that wet blanket Molly Ringwald. (Liz)
DEAD LAURA JANE AND THE TALE OF THE HAUNTED PROM NIGHT
As I mentioned in yesterday's Cheapie-Deapie Prom Guide, I skipped out on my senior prom (which is called "formal" in Canadian, or Ontarian at least. I can't speak for Alberta or Nova Scotia or Nunavut or whatevs) This is because, at seventeen, prom seemed way too tame for my annoying, uber-rebellious little self. I was thinking that I might use this post to compose a Dream Prom for seventeen-year-old Laura Jane, but then it hit me: for my teenage self, there was no such thing as a Dream Prom. My teenage self's Dream Prom would be: Getting Really Wasted With A Member of The Strokes (probably Nikolai Fraiture; maybe Nick Valensi), which is not a prom at all. It's just a shitty, depressing night.
At twenty-three (practically a senior citizen; 161 in dog years), the idea of attending a promlike event sounds stressful and inconvenient. 23-year-old Laura's Dream Prom would be: Drinking Wine and Doing a Crossword Puzzle, which, again, is not a prom at all. It's just a chill, relaxing evening.
Then I realized: I might not be Prom Material, but I'm definitely Haunted Prom Material. The only prom you'll ever catch me at is a Ghost Prom. My date would be dead, the other attendees would be ghosts, it would take place at a haunted mansion, and basically just be a grandiose, spooky, misadventurous affair from start to finish. I skipped my prom because it sounded boring; when my pals bugged me about my being AWOL, I'm sure I said something along the lines of "I'd rather die than go to formal." But really, what I should have said was, "I'd rather die and go to formal."
Step One for having the Haunted Prom of your dreams (or nightmares) is dying. If you can't handle dying, you can't handle a Haunted Prom. Personally, I want a Haunted Prom so bad that I've decided it's kind of worth it. In this life, you win some and you lose some. In death, you win 'em all, especially if you go to a Prom. I'm a fan of gruesome, dramatic deaths (dying of "natural causes" is for wussies)- in my case, driving a baby-pink T-bird off a cliff (and hopefully getting decapitated in the process!) sounds ideal, if not idyllic. As soon as I die, the Haunted Clock strikes twelve: it is now HAUNTED PROM O'CLOCK.
My Dead Prom would take place at Savannah, Georgia's Kehoe House, a sweeping, Southern Gothic and allegedly haunted inn erected in 1892. Well, when the Haunted Prom is going down in its ballroom, it will no longer be allegedly haunted. It will be haunted-haunted. Dead Laura will roll up in what is now my haunted baby-pink T-bird, where I will be greeted by my Dead Prom Date, The Ghost of Cary Grant. He will open the door of my Ghostmobile like the perfect Dead Gentleman he is. Together, we will enter the Kehoe House, and greet all the other ghosts attending my Dream Haunted Prom: John Lennon, John Updike, Katharine Hepburn (she could be Dead John Updike's date! They'd be a hot Dead Couple), not-Audrey Hepburn (she'd make me feel uncute), Brian Jones, other dead people, Isaac Newton, Hannah Hoch, Beethoven, etc. We will drink Bloody Marys (getting Dead-Drunk rules!) and eat Red Velvet Cake, because it's the South, and red is the color of blood. We will spend our evening dead-dancing to The Beach Boys, Cab Calloway, George Gershwin, & Beethoven (in honor of Beethoven's presence). We will dance forever. We will never sleep, since we are dead, and you don't have to. Like life, death is what you make of it. You can have it be your Eternal Slumber, or you can do it up Eternal Prom steez. Y'all know what I choose. PS:
Tags: Adam and the Ants, amusement parks, Andrew Bird, Andrew McCarthy, Cary Grant, dancing, Dead Laura Jane, death, ghosts, Gossip Girl, Hamilton Leithauser, Harmon, haunted houses, Haunted Proms, Heimstone, John Lennon, Jules et Jim, Leonard Cohen, Maison Martin Margiela, morbid chic, morbidity, my own death, petanque, philosophical discussions, prom, prom dresses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, rites of passage, Savannah, Savile Row, St. Elmo's Fire, T-birds, Taylor Momsen, The River by Bruce Springsteen is a really great album, the Walkmen
Tuesday , March 24, 2009
A Day In The Life: Dopest Shit We'll Wear This Spring
SWEETHEART-ISM/PRETTY IN PINK (AND PURPLE)/STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CHIC
As far as colours go, pink has gotten stuck with a pretty raw deal. Most adults (excluding Georgian sorority sisters and Paris Hilton) tend to eschew it for being frou-frou and immature; really, the only demographic man enough to embrace and believe in pink's potential is four-thru-seven year old girls. And me. As of late, all I want is to be a sweetheart from tip-to-toe, and the only people I want to interact with are other sweethearts and our Sazeriacal dude counterparts, Gentlemen (you know: the near-extinct ilk of dude who buys you every drink instead of just the first, or none, kisses you on the cheek, and regularly visits a tailor). The springing of spring always makes me want to wear loads of colour; this year, I want to pounce around primarily in berry tones. This spring, I want to pin down The Sazerac of Gentlemen, and I want to be his Pink Champagne of Sweethearts.
1. DE-BORIFYING BLACK/HOLY GHOST LANGUAGE STUDENT, PT. IV: My grape and raspberry plaid A-line mini may look like mid-sixties vintage, but it's actually from H&M! Kablammo! I have worse style than you thought I did! Ba-da-bing, Ba-da-boom, Ba-da-spring-is-in-bloom. This skirt is a real jerk. It is finicky, and matches nothing, except for a plain black leotard. I am not exaggerating- it even looks kind of stupid with a plain white wifebeater. I initially interpreted the fickleness of my jam-plaid skirt as a huge drag, since I hate black, especially in springtime, unless you are attending a springtime funeral (if you are, I'm sorry for your loss). But then I realized that my alleged "fashion dilemma" was actually just further proof of pink's awesomeness: look how "non-black" this almost all-black outfit looks! The innate sweetheart-ism of the colour pink is unbeatable. Good has triumphed over evil. This is another one of those outfits I sometimes come up with that I think should be what school uniforms look like.
2. HOPEFULLY MY INTELLIGENCE SHINES THROUGH: How can you not feel totally awesome about every single aspect of your life when you're wearing a tank top with a picture of a Chef Raccoon on it, Bazooka Joe-coloured jeans, and a purple-on-purple Mad Hatter cap? (this photo does not do the hat justice; HERE is a cooler picture of it) The answer is: you can't. This outfit would be really fun to get Asti Spumante-drunk in. I don't always want to look this stupidly childlike, but when I do, I'll wear this. I just wish I still had this purple plastic Babs Bunny purse I used to wear when I was a kidlet; it's the missing link of this Look. BTW, the raccoon tank is by Insight, they also make a killerly cute coin purse of it. What should I name the raccoon!?!?!?! Maybe "Spencer".
3. SCARLETT O'HARA WITH A CHERRY ON TOP: This one's all about pushing Sweetheart-ism to the most extreme possible extreme: pink flowery beret, pink lace dress, pink pearls, pink flowery flats, pink wine, pink lipstick, a kitty-cat. Everything changed when I wore this outfit. My posture improved, I had better manners, I said "like" considerably less. After a lifetime of tomboyishness, it's refreshing to be a bit ladylike from time to time, especially since I am growing up and all. The cat I am holding in this picture is my new roommate/BFF; his name is Blake, and I think that him and Pillz should date. It would be decidedly TOO FELINE FOR YOU.
4. IF YOU THINK PINK CAN'T BE BADASS, THINK AGAIN, LOSERS: This outfit proves that, even while wearing an outfit that is two thirds pastel pink, I can still be scrappy, rebellioso, and punk rock. Pink is so misunderstood! It ain't just for babies anymore, you closed-minded pink-haters! On a non-pink tip, isn't it amazing for me that I found a pink hooded t-shirt with an illustration of the cover of Let it Be with skull-Beatles in place of actual-Beatles? Isn't it amazing for me that I am now the proud owner of not one, but two t-shirts featuring Beatles/skull imagery? (the other one can be seen on Day 18 of the UFC) This spring, everything is coming up roses for Laura Jane Faulds.
PS: DUDE, WHERE'S MY STRAWBERRY HILL BOONE'S FARM? (Laura Jane)
SURFIN' NERD + SKATE HIPPIE x MISS PRISS = LET'S JUST MAKE THIS UP AS WE GO ALONG
At first my spring fashion concept was "Surfin' Nerd" (kinda like the Trashmen song, but nerdier): I was gonna tell you about how Emily Richmond and I are going surfing on April 18, and how even though my soul is basically the same as the non-criminal part of Patrick Swayze's soul in Point Break, at the end of the day I'm a total four-eyed dork whose mellow is generally harshed real easy. I had ideas about surf + nerd, like really fly tropical-print boardshorts + some amazing vintage R.E.M. t-shirt that I can't find to save my life - which still sounds fantastic, but it's so constrictive. So then I opened it up to "Surfin' Nerd" + "Skate Hippie" (cuz boy skate hippies are the apex of hotness in my book, and why can't there be girl skate hippies too?). But that all seemed a bit more tomboyish than I can deal with, so next it became "Surfin' Nerd" + "Skate Hippie" x "Miss Priss" = I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT ANYMORE, STOP PRESSURING ME!
Probably all the time this spring I'll wear my Iron Maiden Vans that LJ pretend-bought me for Christmas and that I for-real-bought myself last week. They are life-changing and the best thing anyone's ever pretend-bought me in my whole sweet existence. And some good jeans, and good t-shirts (like my very favorite tee right now, that Amsterdam one above, which I bought Saturday at Buffalo Exchange along with this Paul Frank top and this lame-ass faux-vintage Black Crowes shirt I'm in love with). And some kinda knit hat, mostly so I can get away with going longer than 6 weeks before touching up my highlights. Switch up all that with some cute little spring-y dresses (like that hot-pink number seen above, another Buffalo Exchange find), and we're pretty much good to go, except I also want all these things real bad:
-a lightweight cerulean-blue beanie to replace that knit hat above, which'll be way too toasty once the weather warms up
-the elusive & amazing vintage R.E.M. t-shirt, at long last
-hot-pink nail polish, which I probably wouldn't wear with the hot-pink dress
-more sundresses, preferably in white even though I'd be scared of spilling on them
-Hellz Bellz's Agent Bellz jacket (below, at left)
-Lizzie Fortunato Jewels' Electric Kool-Aid necklace (below, at center)
-Madley's crochet tank (below, at right)
And a surfboard, and a wetsuit, and a house within biking distance of the beach. Oh, and a bike. That's all, I think. Happy spring! (Liz)
I usually love a fashion concept. Being narrative-oriented, I love making up stuff like "1920s chorus girl meets space-age librarian" or "Little Drummer Girl as styled by Courtney Love circa 1992" or "Fran Lebovitz got wasted and went shopping at Forever 21 instead of Comme des Garcons" or whatever. But a few things happened on my way to a spring fashion concept:
1. The longest winter-feeling ever. I feel like it's been cold and dreary since October!
2. My eyes becoming a little tired with visual cacophony. The visual landscape feels really cluttered to me these days; is there such a thing as too much fashion in the world? I didn't realize this till I went home a week ago and felt myself go "ahhhhh" as I looked out at a relentless flat Illinois countryside at sunset, full of clean lines and beautiful, muted colors of grey, green, tan and just a bit of blush pink.
3. Having no time for fashion and shopping. I used to wonder what women in their 30s were talking about when they went on and on about how busy they are and how there's no time for anything, including clothes. Now that I am in my 30s...whoa. It's true.
4. Defaulting to the "indie gamine" thingie I did during lots of college for my daytime uniform, which is just skinny jeans with either oxford shirts or t-shirts, and either boots (usually my riding ones) or Converse. (And also my Veja trainers; gotta keep waving that eco-friendly flag.) It just feels really mobile, requires not a lot of thought, but feels true to where I'm at.
4. Generally feeling stable and committed to the idea of "more quality, less quantity" because I find that it's working in my particular life.
With all of that, I realized that fashion concepts are fun and enjoyable on the cerebral level, but lately I like a sense of looseness and clarity around fashion. Spring fashion for me in 2009 is not about concepts. Conceptualizing is an intellectual, broody winter-type activity -- spring is about bodies being free, fresh air and pink cheeks, the delicious feeling of wind and sun on newly bared skin. It is about instinct, emotion and sensations, being responsive and spontaneous and clear-eyed. All I want from fashion this spring is a bit of austerity leavened with moments of brightness and lyricism. I'm not sure how this plays out, but right now it means lots of dove grey, really simple lines and shapes and fabrics that feel beautiful and substantial against the skin. Oh, and I'm looking to get a new pair of glasses, too. The hightly ironic thing is that I've already done my spring shopping for the most part, but the stuff is really unexciting from a fashion blog standpoint. (Jeans, a grey striped oxford shirt, a grey dress from American Apparel, that one dress everyone got from the Alexander McQueen collection for Target but somehow makes nearly everyone look amazing, a pair of shoes from Aldo. I love it all.) Sadly my camera is dead, but here is a compensatory collage of things I like and would maybe buy if I were ceaselessly rich and had a bottomless closet. (I actually own one of these items, and if you are the first person to guess what it is, I will send you a mix CD for spring just for kicks.) (Kat)
1. Bvlgari Pour Femme eau de parfum: floral, subtle, elegant, classic
2. A Zero Maria Cornejo dress
3. A Foley & Corinna City Tote in glossy black
4. An American Apparel oxford shirt dress
5. Miz Mooz "Heroic" oxford flat
6. Angg navy silk dress, avail. at Oak
7. Mirror/Dash abstract print top, avail. at Urban Outfitters
Tags: anti-fashion, austerity, Beatles skulls, Blake the Cat, gentlemen, girlishness, indie gamine, lyricism, minimalism, non-scrappiness, Pillz the Cat, pink, R.E.M., Sazeracs, skaters are hot, springtime, Strawberry Hill Boone's Farm, Strawberry Shortcake Chic, surfers are hot, sweetheartism, The Pink Champagne of Sweethearts, the Trashmen, Vans
Tuesday , March 3, 2009
A Day in the Life: Where the (Blogging) Magic Happens
LIZ'S FAVE SPOTS WITH DECENT COFFEE AND THE OCCASIONAL HALFWAY-DECENT CELEBRITY
(l to r: Cow's End in Venice, Intelligentsia in Silver Lake, Rob Lowe in St. Elmo's Fire. When I saw the Robster at Starbucks I happened to have the above glossy photo in my backpack, and he so graciously autographed it for me. I'M LYING.)
I'm a freelance magazine writer and work from home, which means most of my blogging magic happens on the floor of my studio apartment. Since you already know what the floor of my studio apartment looks like, thanks to Laura Jane, let's talk about the coffee-peddling places around town where I most like to type beautiful words onto my lovely little MacBook:
1. The best thing about COFFEE POT is it's exactly 0.1 miles from my front door, so it's a really sweet option on those days when I'm feeling like a big lazybones. The coffee's pretty all right and I'm always amused by the weird collage-o'-magazine-photos-of-famous-people that covers the wall opposite the register (pregnant Stella McCartney! Brad Pitt and his 87 kids! John Malkovich!). I wish they sold their rose petal lemonade more often, but I know I can't ask for the world.
2. STORIES is a newish cafe/bookstore in Echo Park; I'm already so attached. It's exactly 0.5 miles from my front door but totally worth the extra effort, as there's free refills on coffee and it's so nice to browse the fiction section instead of actually working. DEAR STORIES: DON'T EVER CHANGE.
3. The STARBUCKS AT MALIBU COUNTRY MART is a major hike (approximately 29.7 miles from my front door) but even way more worth the extra-extra effort than Stories. The Country Mart is my Neighborhood of Make Believe, and the soy London Fog just tastes sweeter than it does at the Starbucks in Atwater Village (aka my Backup 'Bux, I guess). One time I saw Rob Lowe here; it was magical magic and everyone in the place bugged the hell out as soon as he left. We all lose our cool for Rob Lowe.
4. ABBOT'S HABIT in Venice has great coffee and it's perpetually full of total weirdos and I always feel supernerdy with my stupid laptop but oh well. One time I saw David Wain here.
5. I hardly ever go to INTELLIGENTSIA anymore, albeit for no particular reason. I do not believe the coffee to be the BEST COFFEE EVER as so many East Siders seem to claim, but it's still a nice space. One time I saw Giovanni Ribisi here.
6. I hardly ever go to CHANGO anymore either, but the chai soy latte I had Sunday afternoon (after visiting Show Pony's going-out-of-business sale, sigh) was a dream. Plus it's great for people-watching all the bearded and/or hippie-ishly costumed creatures who crawl down from the Echo Park Hills. One time I saw the dude who played Wallace's mom's psycho neighbor on Veronica Mars here.
7. GROUNDWORK is probably the best coffee I've ever had in L.A. I go to the one at Sunset & Cahuenga and they always play really good music and the "baristas" (ewww, sorry) are wicked nice and I'm fond of their big wooden communal table. Nine thumbs up.
8. And COW'S END is my new favorite coffee place to loiter for hours and hours in the midst of the workday. It's a hop, skip, and a jump from Venice Pier, which means you're never far from my favorite surfer-spying spot and there's always lots of kooky characters around. The other day a dude sitting out front had a parrot on his shoulder; it was distracting but I so appreciated the wackiness of it all. (Liz)
LAURA JANE: BEFORE TWO WEEKS AGO, MY DESK WAS A TUPPERWARE BIN
Unlike Liz & Kat, I blog only in my bedroom. I'm really "traditional" that way. This entry is proof that BLOGGING HAPPENS IN REAL TIME, BITCHES- as I write these words, I am sitting at the exact desk you see at left! I am even drinking a bottle of Diet Coke! Whoa! TRIPPY!
1. WRANGLER & JOBRIATH: Wrangler is a lucky-bunny friend of mine with a penny baked into his tummy. He was made by Sonja Ahlers, and is a very grounding presence in my life. Seated next to Wrangler is his best friend, Jobriath. Jobriath is a member of the String Doll Gang. He is only a baby-devil, so he's not very evil yet. God, Laura Jane, you really need to grow the fuck up.
2. DICTIONARIES & THESAURI: I have like fifteen different dictionaries atop my desk, but I ignore all of them in favor of dictionary.com and thesaurus.com. Except for my Penguin Pocket Rhyming Dictionary- that one I consult all the time. It comes in mega-handy when I'm writing rap songs.
3. BEATLES '65: There always needs to be some sort of Beatles focal point in my line of vision; this one is my desk's. The cover's cute 'cause it features the lads screwing around with umbrellas, which is always a charming thing to do.
4. THINGS SHAPED LIKE CATS: The big silver kitty is an ex-wine bottle. If you are obsessed with me, you may remember it from my Best of Five: Battle of the Cutesy Animal Wines post. To its left is a pink staple-free stapler, also shaped like a cat. My mom gave it to me for Christmas. It was one of those unprecedentedly validating moments when you realize, "Hey! Maybe my parents understand me after all!"
5. EVER-PRESENT BOTTLE OF DIET COKE: Does it gross you out that the vast majority of my nogoodforme posts are written as I swig backwashy Diet Coke straight out the (1.5 litre) bottle? Well, it should. It even grosses me out, and I'm the person doing it. I occasionally make the effort to drink Volvic in lieu of fizzy brown Aspartame juice, but comparatively, it just sucks.
6. SCRAPPY COMPUTER SITUATION: My computer is a PowerBook G4 with a broken screen. My dad rigged it up to a Dell monitor so I don't have to write blog posts while having flashing pink screen-induced epileptic fits. It really pays to have a computer-savvy dad sometimes; if I didn't, I'd be having a seizure right now! That would be no fun at all. (PS: My laptop is propped up with a copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad, in case you're dying of curiosity)
7. BOX O' WINE: For those days when Diet Coke just isn't enough. (LJ)
KAT: WHAT'S BLOGGING WITHOUT THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF ECHO-Y AMBIENT NOISE?
Being a freelancer/film school grad student type with a million different other gigs going on, I am awaiting the day where I can blog for nogoodforme entirely from my mobile phone. I'm pretty much waiting for the day where I can do just about everything through my phone, to be honest -- I do love my phone way more than my laptop. Till that blessed day, I'll just have to make do with my trusty but clunky HP, which I lug to various places to stave off monotony and the impression that I am actually and unfortunately doing work. These various places tend to be anonymous, corporate affairs -- for some reason, I find really bland, light-filled environments to be the best places where I can just focus and crank out work, instead of fixating on the shoe choices of hipster undergrads or whatever. That said, I find myself occasionally at Hungarian Pastry Shop, which is just around the corner from where I live. Lately I have also discovered Max Caffe, which I am purely fond of on a foodie level, and they seem not to mind when you hunker down with your laptop for awhile. When the pretentious Columbia student quotient gets too high at Hungarian or Max, I hightail it to the neighborhood Starbucks, which is brighter, sunnier and less claustrophobic. Competition for a seat gets pretty fierce at this Starbucks, however, and I often prefer the food and drinks over at Cosi at 81st and Broadway, anyway, although recently management removed all the power outlets, which puts a cramp in my blogging style over there. When I don't feel like buying anything or taking the subway anywhere (a desire that increases as the winter goes endlessly on), I just go over to the glass-enclosed Lerner Hall at Columbia University and sit in the lounge and work while people practice the piano in one of the many student lounges. Lerner Hall has tons of food options, a good amount of echo-y ambient noise, mucho light and scroff holes you can hide out in and nap if needed. And of you're lucky, you can snag a free copy of the New York Times as well. So there you have it...pretty magical, right? (Kat)
Tags: alcohol, blogging happens in real time, cat wine, coffee, Cosi, David Wain, diet coke, echo-y ambient noise, getting to know us better, how we roll, L.A. rules, Malibu Country Mart, New York City, Peter Pan Syndrome, Rob Lowe, things shaped like cats, Venice Beach, wine
Tuesday , February 17, 2009
A Day in the Life: TOO "LAURA JANE'S BOOKSHELF" FOR YOU
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LAURA JANE'S MASSIVE IKEA SHELVING UNIT, BY LAURA JANE FAULDS
Everyone in the world has this shelving unit. If you don't have this shelving unit, I'm sure you can think of two members of your inner circle who do. This shelving unit rules. I highly recommend it. If you're interested, it's called the EXPEDIT (isn't that a subpar IKEA product name? So boring compared to winners like FJELLDAL and MALM). My EXPEDIT is the focal point of my day-to-day life. I am looking at it right now. It holds/highlights the most beloved of all my "stuff", and looks like the deepest depths of my soul exploded into a packratty EXPEDIT shelving unit (which it did, kind of). Plus, I have tons of awesome shit, and it's cool how when I have people over, proof of my great taste in awesome shit is made immediately accessible.
1. PAUL RAND MEETS JOHN UPDIKE IN A 23-YEAR-OLD GIRL'S BEDROOM: The numbered cubby is my "Art & Design" section. The fifth book from the right is Light From Within by Linda McCartney. The cubby beneath it is the final cubby of my "Fiction" section. Both sections are arranged in alphabetical order.
2. I WISH I HAD MORE, THOUGH: Here are twenty-five books about the Beatles. The best is Here Come The Beatles, which is chock-a-block with pictures of weird Beatlemania merch, collector's items, posters, and record covers from places that are not America or Great Britain.
3. THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF LJF: I wonder what it would be like to be so incredibly egomaniacal that you'd organize your entire written output chronologically, then insert it all into plastic sleeves and store it in giant binders marked "Collected Writings". I guess I'll never know, though. The binders pictured are totally somebody else's collected writings. Not mine. Laura Jane Faulds would never do anything like that. She's humble.
4. YOU CAN EVEN PUT YOUR HATS IN YOUR EXPEDIT!: I wish I could go back in time and tell all the olden-days people about how wild the future is. I'd say, "In 2009, there exists a Swedish bookshelf so versatile and intelligent that it also holds hats and belts- can you imagine??" and their simple little 1800s minds would be BLOWN. Then I'd try to tell them about iPhones, but inevitably give up. There is nothing in the world harder than trying to explain what the Internet is. I don't get it. What's the Internet?
5. I BOUGHT THESE OFF EBAY: I went through a three-week phase last spring when my preferred pastime was bidding on aesthetically-rad editions of The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers on eBay. This sort of behavior is exactly why I don't let myself log onto eBay anymore.
6. FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF LAURA JANE FAULDS: I own eleven books by E.L. Konigsburg. Statistically, this means that I like E.L. Konigsburg (approximately) 60% less than I like the Beatles.
7. PRETTY SWEET, HUH?
8. GENERATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED PROOF OF COOLNESS: Just so everybody knows that I'm really cool, and not just kind of cool- I own way more rekkids than this photo implies. Another way you can tell I'm cool is that I say "rekkids" and not "records", just like somebody who works at Creem magazine!
9. COLLECTED WRITINGS CONT'D: My egomaniac friend that stores her Collected Writings binders in my EXPEDIT is even more self-obsessed than you might have guessed! Three cubbies of my entire EXPEDIT are devoted to storing every notebook she's ever kept! They are also arranged in chronological order.
10. THEY REALLY DO MAKE ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE: This is the best shelf of my whole EXPEDIT. It is devoted to storing all my Muppet Babies paraphernalia/memorabilia/literature. Right now, it also holds VHS tapes of Backbeat (OMG STEPHEN DORFF SWOON), an episode of The Babysitter's Club TV show, and The Spice Girls Live at Wembley Stadium.
Let me know if you feel like coming over and checking out my EXPEDIT sometime. You can even borrow my copy of "The Secret Language of Birthdays" if you want!
Tags: Carson McCullers, egomania, EL Konigsburg, EXPEDIT love, home decor, John Updike, Laura Jane Faulds, Laura loves The Beatles, Muppet Babies, Paul Rand, rekkids, Spice Girls, Stephen Dorff, The Babysitters Club