Wednesday , September 9, 2009
nogoodforme superlatives: Our Celebrity Spirit Animals
Exactly one year ago, it was Spirit Animal House day, and Kat Asharya, Elizabeth Barker, and Laura Jane Faulds were collectively having the nervous breakdown of the century. It rained a bit in the morning, Kat wrote a checklist as long as the Bible, Laura dazedly hung t-shirts on a wall, and Elizabeth Barker mysteriously disappeared for, like, eight hours, prompting Kat & LJ to scream "Bar-KER!!!" to the heavens 'til Liz returned with hundreds of dollars worth of candy, which nobody can say no to. As expected, Spirit Animal House was a smashing success, and we- along with our fabulous guests, of course- lived the Tuesday night to end all Tuesday nights. Kat wowed us with her mad "Making Origami Spirit Animals" skillz, Liz demonstrated what a dashing bracelet a skein of raffle tickets can make, and Laura Jane's drunk raffle-emcee performance ended up being one of the crowning accomplishments of her entire life- particularly when she chewed out the Piano's DJ for playing "Island In The Sun" by Weezer, which was actually "The Passenger" by Iggy Pop. Oopsies!
As much as we can all be safe in knowing that "Spirit Animal House Party 2: Pajama Jammy Jam" will one day go down, and be the actual best party EVER, isn't it so much nicer to be here today, safe at our computers, doin' what we do best? We're not the MisShapes, we're the Beatles of 2009! Kat/George, Liz/Paul, and Laura Jane/John would like to thank all of our readers for your continued acclaim and support; we'll see you all in one years' time at our book launch party, of course. And, until then, here we will be: rockin' the Helter Skelter out of our sexy new re-design, challengin' the notoriously lame Fashion Industrial Complex, smilin' cuz we're stylin', grinnin' cuz we're WINNIN' and writing the words that make the whole blogosphere groove. The nogoodforme troika: the calmest, coolest collective this world has ever known.
In honor of the second annual Spirit Animal Day (now an intergalactic holiday), here's a look at what our spirit animals would be if they were famous people instead of a wolf, a sea turtle, and a scrappy black cat.
TILDA SWINTON IS THE MAGIC UNICORN OF HUMAN BEINGS
Normally I think it would be slightly lame to have some famous actress as your spirit animal, but Tilda is no mere starlet. A maverick and independent spirit, she has a penchant for wearing Viktor & Rolf, dating younger men, saying "dude" in interviews and lives in a faraway place in Scotland called Nairn when she's not brilliantly playing archangels, alcoholics or the White Witch of Narnia in the movies. She's also a genuine cineaste, a true lover and supporter of film who started a film festival in her hometown -- the first year, the price of admission was cupcakes, and this year she and a whole bunch of people created a mobile version of the film festival, where they dragged a movie truck by foot across the Scottish countryside to places that normally don't have access to an arthouse theatre. In the industry she has a rep for being enthusiastic as a collaborator, throwing parties for the crews on film sets and generally going above and beyond to help get a movie made. (Word on the street is she dug up Keanu for Thumbsucker, which is probably my favorite Keanu role of all time -- and, by the way, the New Age orthodontist he plays is the origin of the original nogoodforme obsession with spirit/power animals. Bringing it full circle!) But Tilda is magic not for her doing or having, but for her very being, which is genuine, kind, open, distinctly brainy, nonpretentious, and adventurous as fuck. It's kind of a huge nogoodforme error that she hasn't been mentioned here more often, but there's nothing like a new Spirit Animal Era to make things happen. (Kat)
DEVENDRA BANHART IS SPIRITUAL JELLO
(L to R: My spirit animal guest-blogging for nogoodforme.com; my spirit animal replenishing his fluids; my spirit animal beardless and beautiful.)
The best unpublished nogoodforme.com piece I've ever drafted is titled "Why I'm Giving Up Devendra Banhart and Reclaiming Jack White as My Spirit Guide," or something kinda similar. It wrote it in a Coffee Bean on a really overcast day in Hermosa Beach last summer, and this is probably the most important paragraph:
So Jack came back, and it's right as rain. Jack doesn't make me feel bad about being messy and cranky - I mean, is there any other boy in the universe whose vocals so consistently might be described as "cranky" themselves? I can put feathers in my hair, or maybe ride my bike to the health food store for bulk red rice and dried rose petals and raw honey, then ride home to play Incredible String Band records and drink bottled beer with lime on the front porch while wearing a poncho, and I might even feel completely myself like that. But I will never be some floaty creature or some precious little canyon-frolicking imp. I'm generally a sweet and smiley girl, but I'm also hot-tempered and I don't suffer fools gladly. I know I've got some hippie in my heart, but that's really only one chamber.
So I guess the idea was that I'm too uptight and bitchy to be a Devendra, so I might as well try to be a Jack. Which is so stupid and self-limiting! Jack's a class act and I'll probably need him forever, but there's always room for Devendra. Devendra is spiritual Jello! Devendra gives me joy and can always get me to calm the hell down, and the latter's no small feat. Plus I like that he's lovely-looking and wears feather headdresses a lot, and keeps a tin of stick-on googly eyes in his jewelry-making studio, and made Lindsay Lohan a mix CD to take with her to rehab. Exuberantly stylish, kooky and crafty, and a real good pal to boot? It makes my soul grow just to think his name.
Also, and this is maybe the biggest thing, Devendra's "Long-Haired Child" is the song of my heart, the song I most want life to be like sometimes - my spirit song, if you will. Listen and love. (Liz)
THE WOMEN OF MAD MEN, AND ALL MAD WOMEN EVERYWHERE
I am so sick of having dudes be my muses! The bros may be hot, and occasionally non-creepy, but they don't know shit about shit about being Laura Jane. Ray Davies, Keith Moon, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Grigori Rasputin, Robert F. Kennedy, John Kenneth Galbraith- y'all are great guys, but you'll never know how tough this Magical Misogyny Tour we call "womanhood" can sometimes be.
My spirit animals are two fake employees from a fake advertising firm in 1963- Joan Holloway (the hot redhead at right; probably a Leo, with her moon in "fucking hot") and Peggy Olson (the mousy brunette at left; definitely a fellow Cancer) of Mad Men, the greatest non-Friends television program there ever was. Besides being hot babes employed by the same fictional ad agency, Joan and Peggy have nothing in common. But, when you combine the best parts of both of them, you get the perfect person, who, by the end of fiscal 2009, will probably be me. I look to Joan in those trying moments when being a "good person" is not enough, or when I need to justify my own sluttiness. It's not sluttiness, Laura Jane, it's "babe-age." And Peggy? Peggy Olson? Peggy Olson is my hero. Being a babe in a dude's world is tough breaks, but Peggy's a champ about it, through and through. You know that scene from two episodes ago when Peggy gets mondo-baked and tells Olive, "You're worried about me! Don't worry about me. I'll be fiiiine"? I cried at that scene. That Mad Men moment was as much me as is "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by the Beatles. Oh, and by the by- it's 1963 on MM right now. Season Four? PEGGY AND JOAN DO BEATLEMANIA!!! (LJ)
Tags: astrology, babes, Devendra Banhart, dudes suck, feathers, googly eyes, intergalactic holidays, Jack White, Joan Holloway, Keith Moon, Lindsay Lohan, Mad Men, nostalgia, Peggy Olson, smoking pot, Spirit Animal Day, Spirit Animal House, Spirit Animal House-a-versary, spiritual Jello, The Beatles of 2009, Tilda Swinton, unicorns
Wednesday , August 26, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Famous Losers We'd Make Out with for Weird Reasons
DON'T ASK 'CAUSE IT CAN'T BE EXPLAINED: TIMOTHY GEITHNER
I actually don't think Timothy Geithner is a loser. I'm sure he's a very smart man and I'm sure he's up to a lot of important things as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. But one can't deny that he's pretty much the oddest jewel in Kat's collection of hypothetical makeout dudes. I mean, I don't usually go for dudes who 1. are older; 2. wear a suit to work everyday; 3. have curly hair; and 4. are tax evaders. Perhaps it's the fact that his middle name is Franz, which is something I find kind of awesome, and he is kind of nerdy, which is something I really love in a dude. But it's all very inexplicable, really. I mean, what in the world could we possibly have to talk about? Maybe we'd talk about Thailand (where he grew up partly) and maybe we'd rank on Ben Bernanke and maybe we can talk about how TurboTax can suck it? Maybe this is a sign that I read too much of The Economist? (Kat)
SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF MARILYN MANSON IN A VON DUTCH TRUCKER HAT)
(I think he's hotter in the photo on the right, but it's really a toss-up.)
One time my friends and I found this book called Treacherous Love in the free bin at the farmers market. It's a Go Ask Alice-esque "diary of anonymous teenager," about a 14-year-old girl named "Jennie" who falls in love with her substitute math teacher "Mr. Johnstone" (who's "sexier than Ben Affleck," seriously). On the drive home we read the book out loud, and our favorite part was when the narrator-girl exclaims of her pedophiliac paramour: "HIS CONCEPTS ARE SO WONDROUS!"
So, the way I feel about Marilyn Manson is like the exact opposite of how "Jennie" feels about "Mr. Johnstone." I do not find Marilyn Manson's concepts to be so wondrous. In fact, one time in the midst of an MM-focused kitchen-table chat with my ex-roommate, I actually shouted the words "HIS IDEAS ARE SO BORING!", and then my roommate made fun of me a lot, which I deserved.
But, truly: Marilyn Manson is so goddamn boring, in an amazing way. It fascinates me that someone can build their entire persona on Satan-lovin' and sexual deviance and rampant drug use and still come out totally dull. He's written some catchy tunes that are real fun to jog to, but beyond that I have zero use for Marilyn Manson, except for this weird thing of wishing I could tongue-kiss with him for just a little bit. I don't want to spend all night drinking absinthe in his mansion in Chatsworth, blowing lines off of the femur of a human skeleton, shaving his eyebrows while listening to Fiona Apple records. Ideally what would happen is I'd be hanging out somewhere and Marilyn Manson would show up and then we'd suck face for no less than five but no more than ten minutes, and then he'd leave and I'd brush my hands against each other with the sweet satisfaction of having crossed one more item of my lifelong "To Do" list. That's all.
I can't explain it, really. If I think hard, I can intellectually recognize that Marilyn Manson is a very unsavory-looking human, but that's got nothing to do with my wanting badly to swap spit with him. In that feature on Buddyhead LA Weekly ran a while back, Travis Keller told a story about going to hang out at Marilyn Manson's house on Christmas Eve and being so grossed out by MM answering the door in a Von Dutch trucker hat and a stain-covered t-shirt. "That actually sounds kinda hot," I mumbled to myself as I read the article, chewing on the end of my bendy straw and negating everything I believe in. It felt good. Imagine if you only ever wanted to make out with dudes who look like John Krasinski or James Franco in Pineapple Express or James Taylor in 1971? Who'd be the boring one then? (Liz)
WANTING: A ONE-WAY TICKET TO TOMMYLAND
Once, when I was in high school, I fell asleep, and, as I tend to do: I dreamed something. I had a "Tommy Lee dream." Surprisingly, It was not a sex dream. It was a love dream. It was the greatest dream I ever had. I am fully confident that I will never know such love again. I am fully confident that a love so grand, as Tommy Lee and I's in my dream that time, cannot exist in real life. It was the love that dreams are made of.
In my dream, Tommy Lee and I were both cashiers at the supermarket in the strip mall nearest to both of the two houses I grew up in. In my life, that supermarket has been: Miracle Food Mart, Ultra-Mart, one other one, Dominion, and now it is probably "Metro," as all Dominions are. My dream took place during "one other one"-era that supermarket. The plot of the dream was that Tommy Lee and I worked at perpendicular check-out lines, and our respective abilities to hold down our respective "forts" were disrupted by the intensity of our respective love for each respective other.
"I shall NOT ring through your bunches of bananas or your Honey Bunches of Oats, Customers!" thought my teenage dream self. "I must go over to Tommy Lee's cash, where I will be held by him, and where I will whisper sweet nothings into his multiply-pierced ear!" And Tommy Lee reciprocated. So dearly, he loved me too. I arose entirely smitten, and the ferocity of my love has never dimmed nor waned.
Actually, that's a lie. It waned once, in October '07, at St. Mark's Bookshop, where I leafed through his autobiography, Tommyland, and came upon a passage wherein he likened a particular component of the female anatomy to Gummi Bears (YOU DO THE MATH). Gross!!!!!! So gross, in fact, that I vowed, I swore, I would never love Tommy Lee again. But then I woke up the next morning, right back where I started: in love with Tommy Lee. Who woulda thunk it? Tommy Lee is the great love of Laura Jane Faulds' life. I've always wanted to end up with another "artiste," and Tommy Lee's the juice "sexy geniuses" are made of. I am immensely supportive of ALL Tommy's creative endeavors, even Rock Star: Supernova, EVEN Tommy Lee Goes to College. I watched both programs religiously. Semi-religiously.
Oh yeah, and have you heard? Dude's hung like a goddamned horse. (Laura Jane)
Tags: cocaine, dreams, Fiona Apple, Gummi Bears, James Franco, James Taylor, Marilyn Manson, sexier than Ben Affleck, sexy geniuses, skeletons, Tommy Lee, Tommy Lee dreams, Tommy Lee Goes to College, Treacherous Love, wondrous concepts
Tuesday , August 18, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Our Favorite Candy Bars
BUTTERFINGERS, SINE QUA NON
The thing that intrigues me most about Butterfingers is that it mimics no known canonical flavors found in nature. The chocolate may be chocolate, but the Butterfinger really just tastes like itself and nothing else. While so many candy bars are made up of recognizable elements like peanuts, salt, caramel and so on, a Butterfinger is simply just "Butterfinger," a singular entity unto itself. (Perhaps it's meant to evoke butterscotch crossed with peanut brittle, but no butterscotch or peanut brittle I have ever had in my life has ever tasted like a Butterfinger.) I have super-fond memories of being little and my dad coming home from work with Butterfingers on his person, and my sisters and I would ransack him every afternoon to find them. Now I'm slightly weirded out by the name, but it doesn't stop me from having one every now and then. (Kat)
"I NEVER MET A MARS BAR I DIDN'T LIKE" - ELIZABETH "BLACK EYES" BARKER
This photo is a lie: "Lion" is not my favorite candy bar; I'd never even heard of the damn things before last night's trip to India Sweets and Spices. But I love lions, and sometimes Kat calls me a lion, and I used the word "lion" in the headline of the first post of my L.A. Life Lessons series that I swear I'm gonna finish someday soon, so I really wanted to pose with the packaging. Also, I'm proud to report that Lion bars are grrrrrrrrreat, wafers and caramel enrobed in the milkiest milk chocolate, and now I'm so in love.
But: "Lion" is not my favorite candy bar! I don't actually have a favorite candy bar, because there are so many bars that bring me such joy in all these wonderful ways. Like, Milky Ways are so good for sticking in the freezer and eating with a giant white peach and a glass of pink wine to celebrate your sixth anniversary of living in Los Angeles. And 3 Musketeers rule cuz you can peel off the chocolate, eat it all up, and the nougat-y center leftover is like "second treat" (to semi-quote Pam Beesley). And I love Snickers because they remind me of those commercials in the '80s where someone would have a handful of peanuts, close their palm, then reopen it and the peanuts would have turned into a Snickers bar! Sometimes my cousins and I used to pour peanuts into our hands and then sit around opening and closing our palms, waiting for a Snickers to appear. Such sweethearted fools we were.
So, those are all Mars bars, but I've also got big love for Aero bars, which are made by Nestle and all British and shit. I'll never forget when my exboyfriend first introduced me to the British-candy aisle of the grocery store: It was a starry night at the Star Market in Porter Square, the moon shone like silver. We got an Aero bar, and a Flake bar, and maybe a Crunchie bar too. For a while all I did was eat Aero bars all the time, and it was heaven on earth. Why is British chocolate so much better than American chocolate? Why is my Lion bar already all gone away? (Liz)
CARAMILK BARS- THE OFFICIAL FOOD OF "BEING LAURA JANE FAULDS"
What a wretched fate it would be, to be the type of explainer who can only express the extra-wow!- good things of life by likening them to having an orgasm. Really?!? Does "Helter Skelter" build up to a rollicking sonic climax? NOT AN ORGASM. Oh and was your last week's rich-chick back massage totally relaxing? STILL NOT AN ORGASM. Did you have a great workout? Did you watch a movie with Clive Owen in it? Is cake decadent? THESE THINGS ARE ALSO NOT ORGASMS.
But like yeah OK if there was like one moment I've ever lived that like was totally comparable to &/or good in the same way as &/or physically reminiscent of having an orgasm but, like, wasn't, it would definitely be the moment when I took my first bite of a Caramilk bar after a horrifically depressing minimum seven-year-long "eating Caramilk bars regularly" drought.
Fuck not eating Caramilk bars regularly. Two weeks less one day ago, I ditched veganism forever, and am now on an eating rampage. I have the voracious appetite of Jughead Jones. Every meal is a holiday. It is just so rad not having all these fucking annoying fucking dietary restrictions fucking my shit up! I'm so into being "a vegetarian" and not "an anorexic vegan." A lot of people who ditch veganism (such as Kat Asharya) have their minds blown by cheese. I'm kind of over cheese; I just don't think it's that amazing. What I think is amazing are: Caramilk bars. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be: Caramilk bars.
I can still remember the first bite I ever took of a Caramilk bar. I might have described it as "orgasmic," except I was three years old. Some asshole motherfuckers can't "handle" Caramilks, because they're "too sweet." These people are pussies. Suck it up, you babies. Eat Caramilk bars. I do. Eating Caramilk bars is like watching my entire life flash before my eyes; apparently, I have never not been eating a Caramilk bar. Eating Caramilk bars reminds me of the time I listened to "Wherewithall" by Clifford T. Ward on acid and genuinely could not fathom how there was ever a second of my life when "Wherewithall" by Clifford T. Ward was not playing in the background.
I eat a Caramilk bar a day. This has been true of me for six days straight. Once, I even ate two. Today, I may very well eat three. Or maybe I'll get myself one of those Caramilk Klondike cones. Perhaps it will be "better than sex." (Laura Jane)
Tags: being Laura Jane Faulds, candy bars, Caramilk bars, chocolate, Clifford T Ward, Clive Owen, eating disorder recovery, helter Skelter, India Sweets and Spices, lions, pink wine, The Office, things that are not orgasms
Tuesday , August 4, 2009
nogoodforme Anti-Superlatives: So-Called Beauty Products That Wreak Havoc on Our Pulchritude
SAY NO TO NEUTROGENA (WELL, AT LEAST THIS PRODUCT)
I have really persnickety skin -- it doesn't like heavily perfumed things, it doesn't like expensive French things, it doesn't like pure Icelandic water-based things, it doesn't like organic all-natural products OR it likes something for about three months and then starts hating it with a vengeance. (I'm starting to think my body's largest organ is like a cross between Goldilocks and a relationship commitment-phobe.) And it especially hates the Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Cleanser by Neutrogena. I picked it up awhile ago while I was traveling and forgot my own cleanser at home. I thought, Hey! It tackles everything! and bought it. Then I used it for two days and my skin freaked the hell out. Anti-blemish, my ass! Of course, did I learn my lesson? NO. Because I hate wasting stuff, the last time I was home I tried to use it again, and again -- BLAMMO! Argh! (Finally now I just use it to shave my legs on a half-hearted, semi-regular basis.) I've since come to the conclusion that it's best for a cleanser to do one thing only, and that is just clean. So now I just use Cetaphil and Jan Marini Bio-Glycolic Cleanser (which is basically Cetaphil with tons of glycolic acid, judging from the ingredient list) and leave the heavy lifting to my moisturizer and cream. (Which are, ironically enough, Neutrogena products...so far so good.) So now I'm curious as to what beauty products provoke distinctly non-beautiful reactions to everyone else. Thoughts? (Kat)
NAIR FROM 1982, IN 1996
One of the great mysteries of my life is how I've made it to being twenty-four without dying somewhere along the way. Not only am I the gnarliest klutz of all time, not only do I have the fine motor skills of a retarded mutt who just smoked crack, but- I have never encountered another human being with such complete disregard for his or her own safety. I narrowly avoid getting hit by a car about twenty times a day. I pay no attention to things like "tables" and "trees" and "mailboxes," and constantly walk straight into them, and hurt myself. I do things like stand precariously on broken ladders and use power tools I don't know how to use. I am incapable of using a knife without cutting myself. I am the stupidest smart person this world has ever known.
I was born this way! My body, like love, is a battlefield. When I was eleven years old, I attempted to shave my legs for the first time, and chaos ensued. It was a dumb idea to begin with- eleven-year-olds should keep their legs hairy; better traction, for climbing trees. Twenty minutes later, the blood was pouring profusely, and I was crying to my Mommy. She was appalled. The ramifications of my razor-oriented carelessness are ingrained into my shins for life. Seriously- I am looking at the scars right now. A couple weeks later, I came to terms with my being too stupid to shave my legs, and so decided to give "Nair-ing it" a go. Great call, you dumb fucking idiot 11-year-old dimwit! The only Nair in my house was a relic leftover from the early 1980s. The rotten chemicals coalesced with my scabby shin skin, and I spent the next fifty thousand trillion weeks walking around with legs that looked both Poison Ivied and axe murdered.
I think the first time I ever shaved my legs without nicking myself was, like, last week? I drop cigarettes on my lap a lot, too. Scrappiness hurts. WILL I EVER LEARN?!?!?! (Laura Jane)
Tuesday , July 28, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Our Favorite Lame Starbucks Drinks
KAT IS...THE SIMPLICITY OF A COFFEE FRAPPUCINO
I will keep this very, very simple: my favorite lame Starbucks drink is the tall coffee frappucino. I try all the fancy lattes and everything with a fancy faux-Italian name, but I always go back to the plain ol' frappucino. It's like drinking coffee ice cream, the idea of which is just dandy to me. I don't like them premade in the little glass bottles, because to me the real pleasure is that shake-like texture that you get when they grind it down all fresh when you order. I like the autumnal variations of the frappucino (toffee nut and maple being two that I loved) but one of the few things I genuinely love about summer is the part of my brain that lights up and sings, "It's frappucino season! Doo da da doo!" because the frappucino is like the hot weather version of a coffee drink -- it's at its best when it's gross outside and you're inside all happy with your espresso-laced frozen drink. Oooh! I'm going to stop writing and get one RIGHT NOW 'cause it's hot, I already went for a run today and I live in a city where there is a Starbucks on nearly every corner. Life works sometimes. (Kat)
ICED SOY CARAMEL MACCHIATOS ARE BOGUS, LET'S ALL GO TO COLORADO
Ever have one of those luv relapse things, where you somehow end up swapping spit with some wickedly irresistible dude you long ago cast aside for the sake of preserving your then-precarious mental health? Yesterday I drank a Starbucks iced soy caramel macchiato for the first time in at least two years, and it was exactly like that - except way more emotionally scarring. Not really. But it was totally shitty nonetheless. And I promise I'll never do it again.
See, iced soy caramel macchiatos were the first Starbucks drink I ever drunked; the inaugural sip happened on Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, probably sometime in the fall of 2001. I sucked up that icey caramel-y espresso-y soymilk from the big green straw, and from that moment on I had to have iced soy caramel macchiatos all the damn time. That's SOOOO STUPID, and here's why: Iced soy caramel macchiatos are basically just a glass of soymilk drizzled with caramel that mostly ends up gobbing up around the edges of the cup; there's also a shot of really subpar espresso dunked in. The best part's those aforementioned caramel gobs, but in order to get at them you have to slurp like hell, and the straw makes that awful sound and you feel so obnoxious and ill-mannered. I slurped my head off yesterday and the caramel wasn't even that satisfying, and the espresso was 87 times more terrible than I remembered. I got a big headache, then prissily marched myself back home, took out a Sharpie and wrote "LAME!" on the cup to express my deep psychic upset. See that face to the left? That is not the face of a girl stoked on her first iced soy caramel macchiato since 2007. That is the face of profound existential turmoil.
Here are some places where the coffee is so much better than any bullshit coffee drink you'll ever buy at Starbucks: Dunkin Donuts, Groundwork, Abbot's Habit in Venice, Coffee Bean, MCDONALD'S, Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, the weird little cafe/home+garden store across the street from my parents' cottage in Maine, the bakery I worked at in high school that doesn't really exist anymore, the coffeehouse in the student union of my college, and the place on Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn that I went to the morning of Spirit Animal House but will probably never remember the name of. And the creme de la creme, if you will, is the soy latte at Dot's Diner in Boulder, Colorado. If you haven't sat at the counter at Dot's with a big steamy cup of soy latte, a plate of hot-saucy eggs and buttery toast, and a copy of Dorothy Allison's Cavedweller on a hotter-than-a-billy-goat-in-a-pepper-patch August morn, then, brother: you haven't lived. (Liz)
LAURA JANE IS... THE SOY ICED LONDON FOG LATTE PRESERVATION SOCIETY
Once upon a time, I used to "hate" "people" who "drank" "lame Starbucks drinks." Then, something monumental occurred: Starbucks debuted a drink called the "London Fog Latte." "Hoppity Skipperloo!" I thought, "London! England! That's so cool! It's like the Beatles, only Starbucks!"
I bought one, because I thought it would make a kicky anti-accessory, gorgeously-suited to the "Anglophilia" component of my aesthetic sensibilities. I found the drink itself merely okay, because I don't like Earl Grey tea, which is what it is, but I really liked how ordering one made me feel: "cool." Another awesome thing about London Fog lattes is that they have the same initials as me. London Jane Fog. If initial-sharing isn't a killer reason to have brand loyalty to a beverage you don't like the taste of, I don't know what is.
Then- tragedy struck! For some unthinkably retarded reason I will never understand, Starbucks changed the name of this drink to the comparatively boring "Earl Grey Tea Latte." "Bonersville, USA!" I thought. Then I started drinking iced soy Chai and/or Green Tea Lattes instead, which I like for real. They are the honest answer to this question. But like whatevs, you know? I'm just biding my time until the day Starbucks busts out the Strawberry Frappuccino Forever. That will be absolutely jackadory! Cheers! Ta! Cheerio! (LJ)
Wednesday , June 17, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Our Dream Weddings
Hooray! It's wedding season! The nogoodforme.com troika is proud to invite y'all to all three of our fake weddings, which are a great alternative to real weddings. This betrothal-themed edition of nogoodforme Superlatives is dedicated to longtime ngfm pal and Inner Circle member Teri V, who is getting married in Greece this very weekend! Congratulations, Teri! We wish we could be there! Much love from Kat, Liz & Laura Jane
THE OFFICIAL NOTE OF AMBIVALENCE
Emotionally, I get the idea of weddings and marriage; I love most weddings, in fact, especially the ones that I have been in. I love really personal, intimate ceremonies that really reflect the two people that they're celebrating. But socially, intellectually, politically, just as a human being aware of history, politics and power -- I find the whole kaboodle a bit suspect, especially since marriage is denied as a right to a whole group of our human brothers and sisters here in a country that's supposed to be all about "the land of the free" and "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and all of that. If marriage is about love and commitment, creating a home and/or family and sharing the adventure of life together, then why not let all humans who are so inclined get married? So I want to acknowledge the irony of writing about a dream wedding when the dream is out of a lot of people's reach; it seems like the decent thing to do. (Oh, and California: WHAT GIVES?!!!!) The really ironic thing about it all is that I'm pretty much the most marriage-averse thirtysomething straight girl in America; I have no eagerness to walk down an aisle, unless it's to collect an Oscar or ease on down the yellow brick road or something. (In fact, being the nogoodforme bolshie, I kind of think all marriages should be abolished as a legal status in favor of civil unions for everyone. Either everyone gets marriage or everyone gets civil unions, but everyone gets the same dang thing. Can you tell I come from a many-siblinged family where everything had to be shared equally?) But in the interest of playing along, my DREAM CIVIL UNION CEREMONY would be a very simple, timeless, classic thing. The ingredients: a great dude in a sharp suit, autumn weather, a lovely cream-colored coat (a la Audrey Hepburn below), City Hall ceremony with family and a very few close friends, and then a great decadent dinner at Nobu or Indochine or one of those classically glamorous New York restaurant institutions. If this were really a dream, we'd be off to Iceland to see the Northern lights for a honeymoon. Does such an adventurous soul really exist? Will you marry me? No, wait, on second thought...(Kat)
Hotness from the 60s, left to right: Audrey Hepburn marrying Andrea Dotti wearing my ideal outfit; I think this is Catherine Deneuve marrying photographer David Bailey, but who cares who it is -- I just love this picture.)
IN THE APPLE ORCHARD WITH ELI CASH
I took a MASH-esque approach to divining the two most important elements of my dream wedding: First I listed five dudes I've crushed on at various moments throughout my existence (in chronological order: Han Solo, Andrew McCarthy in Weekend at Bernie's, Keanu Reeves, Eli Cash, and Aziz Ansari), then I ticked off five places at which I'd be down to tie the knot (by the beach in Malibu, the rings of Saturn, an apple orchard, a ranch in Colorado, and by the beach on some tropical island where the air tastes like mango). I ended up with Eli Cash and apple orchard, which is awesome, partly because now I can sing the song that goes: "E my name is Elizabeth, my husband's name is Eli, we live on the EastSideOfLosAngeles and we sell elephants!" Or something. Maybe we sell eggs, or elm trees. Egrets? Emus? Anyway.
(My dapper husband, reflecting on his final moments of singlehood; an apple orchard; the corny dress. And please note that I'd never get married in the snow; there's just a surprising lack of beautiful apple orchard photos available for easy grabbing on the Internet.)
DRESS. Like Heidi Pratt says, every girl should be a Goddess Princess Amazing Person on her wedding day. This Oscar De La Renta gown would so make me feel like a Goddess Princess Amazing Person, and it's made of hemp and corn! What dirty hippies the Barker-Cashes are. And it's tacky to pick your own ring, but I want this one, by Erica Weiner.
MUSIC. Ione Skye will DJ my wedding reception (not the actress, but my iPod, whom the actress is named after). There's a 97 percent chance that "wedding DJ" is my true calling in life; whenever anyone I love gets married I share with them the grand secret of the two songs that must be played at every reception, and they never listen, and it's annoying. (I can't tell you both, but I'll let it slip that one of the songs is "I Only Have Eyes for You" by The Flamingos.)
FORMALITIES. Kris Kristofferson will give me away. Or Barack Obama.
THE WEDDING PARTY. Along with certain family members and friends, my bridesmaids will include late-80s Sarah Jessica Parker, Mindy Kaling, and Anna Faris. Of course Eli gets to pick his groomsmen, but I'm hoping that, in addition to Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Danny Glover, he'll go with the Stella dudes, Charlie Watts, Jack White, The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Zephyr skate team, and Bono. (Actually, it would cool if Eli could turn Bono into his dad, somehow. Wouldn't Bono make such an amazing father-in-law?) And the ring-bearer would be my cat, a la Jinxie in Meet the Parents.
BOOZE + CAKE. Of course, my Eli needs his Bloody Mary bar. And I want ice cream + cake! The ice cream will be provided by Scoops, which is actually gelato, but whatevs: Lavender Avocado for the vegans, and Oreo Marscapone for us heathen dairy-eaters. And for the cake, I want a planet-sized seafoam-green Princess Torte, preferably from one of the bakeries at the 3rd & Fairfax Farmers Market.
EVERYTHING ELSE, SORT OF. Flowers, flowers everywhere! Apple blossoms of course, but maybe bougainvillea too, in tribute to my fair city. Speaking of flowers, I'd love to send all our guests off with bottles of Strange Invisible perfumes, custom-blended on the spot. And I want to honeymoon in Italy, but of course Eli would rather go gold-panning in Deadwood, South Dakota. Oh, and we're registered at Forever 21, Drydale's Western Wear, Restoration Hardware, and Dylan's Candy Bar. Especially Dylan's Candy Bar.
P.P.S. Actually, never mind: I just rethunk it, and "Lizzie Cash" is the best name ever. Thanks anyway! (Liz)
LAURA JANE FAULDS: SURPRISINGLY A NORMIE WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDINGS
As they say: when in Rome, do as the Normies do. If I'm ever going to make a choice so boldfacedly Normie as becoming some dude's wifey, I might as well just GO FOR IT: hold a big a fussy ceremony, participate in all the dumb weird rituals ("A small child walks down the center of a church holding a band of gold"; "Your friends throw handfuls of dry rice at you"), and do it up right. Before I host my Weddingstravaganza, however, I want to rashly elope (mostly because I think I would derive a lot of satisfaction from saying, "My parents are gonna love this one!") Six months to a year after rashly eloping (it's always smart to give yourself an "annulment window"), it will be time for the elaborate girlhead chickfest wedding I am about to describe.
1. NORMIE IN NATURE, BUT NOT IN NOTION: I will not marry in a church. I will marry in a haunted mansion in Savannah, Georgia. There will be no talk of God, unless Dream Dude says , "Oh my God, Laura Jane, you have such fucking amazing fucking Wedding Style I can't even deal with it." Like Normies, I want to have bridesmaids (Liz, Kat, Emily Richmond, Ally, Jenn, Lexy, LFG); unlike Normies, my Maid of Honor is going to be a dude, since my best friend is a dude, so what else can I do? Like Normies, I will marry. Unlike many Normies, I will be marrying for love. I will get married like how John & Yoko got married, only not in Gibraltar, and with no Peter Brown Involvement.
2. DE-LAME-IFYING THE AISLE WALK: I can't imagine anything in all life stupider or more humiliating than having to uncomfortably walk down an "aisle," at a slow pace, to a corny song played on an organ, linking arms with my Dad (probably the only person in the world who would be more awkwarded out by the Aisle Walk than myself). My strategy for making my Aisle Walk cool is that "Long, Long, Long" by the Beatles will be playing (AW!), I will be drinking a Big Gulp of pink champagne (because everybody looks cooler drinking a Big Gulp, even a bride) while linking arms with The Ghost of John Lennon (I am NOT going to be "given away," because I am NO MAN'S LAURA JANE) and holding a Black Cat, my Spirit Animal (if I don't have one of my own, the cat can be my "Something Borrowed"!) Dream Dude will have his Spirit Animal with him too. In addition to our own wedding ceremony, our Spirit Animals will get mock-married, after us. Life will feel exactly like the His Dark Materials trilogy, only with Big Gulps.
PS: You know that scene in Love, Actually where Keira Knightley is marrying that dude who isn't a famous actor, and dude's best friend pulls that Tricky Dick Nixon shit on him and after they say their "I Do"s, all these flautists and saxophone players and trumpeteers and etc. pop out o' the pews and start playing "All You Need Is Love," and there's even an electric guitarist?
I am terrified that someone is going to do this to me at my wedding. Please don't! DON'T DO IT.
IT IS THE MOST HORRIFICALLY EMBARRASSING AND CRINGE-INDUCING THING I COULD EVER IMAGINE HAPPENING TO ME. IF YOU SPRING THAT GARBAGE ON ME AT MY OWN WEDDING, YOU ARE CUT OUT OF MY LIFE, LIKE, FOREVSKIES.
3. FURTHER WEDDING SPECS: The flowers will be Calla Lilies. The general concept will be "The Magickal Southern Gothickal De-Mystification Tour." It will take place at the end of July, because summer's my season. The reception will be held 'neath the weeping willows in my haunted Savannah garden, and guests will be encouraged to pick flowers and put them in their hair. My bridesmaids can wear whatever cute dresses they want. We will all dance to '60s bubblegum 45s, and that song by Friedberger that goes "I was listening to the radio." The drink menu will be: strawberry slushie margaritas, Sazeracs, Mint Juleps, Big Gulps of Diet Cherry Coke, nice bottles of Sauterne, Bloody Laura Janes, and Fizzy White Sangria. The food menu will be: vegan nachos, sticky rice & peanut sauce, grilled almond butter & jam sandwiches, vegan cinnamon buns, garlicky greens, something that is protein, kimchi sushi, and strawberry wedding cake. There will be free packs of Marlboro Reds and pre-rolled joints (of medicinal quality!) on every table, and also red telephones, so you can drunk dial the table next to you!
4. OH BUT WHAT WILL SHE WEAR???: Well: red patent Brogues, a Thelma Design headpiece, pink lipstick, hella false eyelashes, and Chloe Eau de Parfum. Also: My Wedding Dress! Conveniently for me, I already have my wedding dress. I found it in a Goodwill last summer. It travelled through time to become mine. There is a picture of me wearing it behind the jump, but I need to say:
IF YOU THINK THAT THERE IS EVEN THE TINIEST PERCENT CHANCE THAT YOU MAY PERHAPS ONE DAY MARRY ME, WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK BELOW! YOU MAY NOT LOOK AT ME IN MY WEDDING DRESS, OR ELSE WE WILL HAVE BAD LUCK FOREVER & YOU WILL RUIN OUR CHANCES OF EVER HAVING A HAPPY MARRIAGE!!!!!!!
+ Continue reading "nogoodforme Superlatives: Our Dream Weddings"
Tags: Andrew McCarthy, Aziz Ansari, Barack Obama, bougainvillea, civil unions, drunk dialing, Eli Cash, Erica Weiner, Goddess Princess Amazing People, Heidi Montag, His Dark materials, Ione Skye the iPod, John & Yoko, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, MASH, Normies, Pillz the Cat, Rome, Savannah, Sazeracs, spirit animals, SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE, Thelma Design, Tricky Dick Nixon, weddings, Weekend at Bernie's
Tuesday , March 10, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Beloved Books We Totally Loathe
LAURA JANE: "IF I WERE SET UP ON A BLIND DATE WITH JACK KEROUAC, I WOULD FEIGN ILLNESS"
Seen above is a composite image of what it would look like if Jack "Whiny-Baby-Crappy-Writer" Kerouac and I went out for dinner. He would be bored, disinterested and too cool (read: too LAME) for me; I'd be grimacing and giving him the thumbs down sign, though I'm sure he'd be too caught up in the complexities of his distress/malaise/childishness to even notice the cute babe sneering and snarling at his losery self across the table.
The only thing worse than getting stuck on a date with Actual Jack Kerouac would be getting stuck on a date with a Jack Kerouac Wannabe. There are tons of them; they are everywhere; I hate them all. Before today, my only two dude dealbreakers were 1) I don't date Virgos, and 2) I probably wouldn't date a huge Bob Marley fan. Now there are 3. I'm serious, G: if a dude claims that On the Road is his favourite novel in my presence, I will be on the road.
The real kicker of "loving On the Road" is that it is a logistic impossibility. Nobody actually loves On the Road. People just pretend to because they think it's cool to like, thus proving that they are even more of a loser than they would be if they loved this novel genuinely, which they wouldn't, because, as I stated earlier, such a condition does not exist.
To further validate my claim that On the Road is a bad book whose extreme badness has confused Normies into thinking that Bad=Cool (because they can't wrap their poor little Normie heads around how anything so bad could actually get published; for once, Normies are right), I am now going to open my copy of On the Road (a remnant from when 14-year-old Laura pretended to like On the Road to be cool) to a random page and sentence:
Heeby-jeebies, I'm classification three-A, jazz-hounded Moriarty has a sore butt, his wife gives him daily injections of penicillin for his thumb, which produces hives, for he's allergic.
Yeah. That's definitely "great writing" right there. Seriously radical, genius stuff. Yowza. Mind officially blown- NOT!!!!!!! A word to the wise: if you truly feel like you cannot exist in this world without naming a Beat classic as your #1 novel, trash On the Road and at very least pretend to love Naked Lunch in its place. The ladies can't resist a William S. Burroughs fan. Comparatively. (LJ)
KAT NEVER GOT THE BIG DEAL ABOUT DAVE EGGERS' FIRST BOOK
I have made myself read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers two and a half times, and you know what? I don't get it. The first time I felt it was nice enough of a book but could not suss out why people loved it so much, so I made myself read it again. The second time I started to really get irked by the book and really pick it apart in a super English major/book editor way, noting the boring rambling, the smug tone, the irritating attempts at "wit." The second-and-a-half time, I wanted to torture the book with fire and a barbed wire noose because I despised it with the intensity of all my being; instead, I gave it to a homeless guy on the train, telling him, "It sucked for me, maybe it'll be better for you." I'm sure Dave Eggers is a nice enough fellow: he seems really community-minded and philanthropically-oriented, and he's married to a cool novelist whose books are way more elegant and fun to read than his. He kind of represents the best of San Francisco white dudehood in those ways. But this book also represents the worst of San Francisco white dudehood as well: overtly clever, preoccupied with post-adolescent stupidity and way too impressed with himself and his aforementioned dudeness. People always talk about his clever use of form and what not, but whatever, man -- Sir Laurence Sterne was doing this shit in Tristram Shandy in, like, 1759. (The third time I looked at that famous "Here is a stapler" drawing, I wanted to scream, "God, I want to fucking staple your ass, motherfucker!") People also like to point out this book is supposed to be funny, but reading it was like being on a bad blind date and I was just rolling my eyes the entire time, being completely unamused. "Don't you find their predictament moving? Don't you love its honesty?" is always the last entreaty I get from the book's fans. Here are my thoughts: I do find the central situation of the book moving when I think of it in abstract terms, but the book had the weird, alienating effect of making me not give two shits as I read it. If the author can't seem to take it seriously enough to be sincere and honest in a way not masked by relentless self-absorbed "cleverness," whining-disguised-as-"emotion" and smirking allusions to pop culture, then why should I? When I read a book about death, family and other such weighty situations, I want to feel a little wiser at its end. Even the slightest, most comic novel has a bit of a pearl at the end of it, you know? Instead, I felt upon finishing this book twice that I wasted two weeks of my life that could have been spent reading something genuinely beautiful and aspiring to something other than being a showcase for someone's narcissism. Reading this book was like being at a party with that annoyingly smirky dude who talks about himself all the time, never lets you finish a sentence and generally is so attention-seeking and whiny that it's completely unattractive to even get through a polite conversation with them. There's no doubt that Dave Eggers can be a fine writer; when he's not being himself, he's great, which is why I like his What is the What about ten times more. Please, someone bring me that barbed-wire noose RIGHT NOW, I'd rather hang myself with that than spend another word trying to figure out why I think A Heartbreaking Work sucks the most tedious balls ever. This book is just so stupid, really. I hate it more and more as I write about it! (Kat)
LIZ: I'LL TAKE ANGELA CARTER OVER KATHERINE DUNN ANY DAY OF THE WEEK AND
TWICE 8 ZILLION TIMES ON SUNDAY
First off: Katherine Dunn is a real crackerjack writer; bully for her. That said, I fucking hate Geek Love so much, and I desperately want to get back all the pukey hours I wasted forcing myself through it, especially those that passed on a hotter-than-hell summer Saturday afternoon in 2004 when I was very hungover and playing Sonic Youth's ickily subpar A Thousand Leaves on repeat. Of all the stupid ways my 26-year-old self chose to spend her time, that was STUPIDEST.
Let it be known: I like twisted, I like grotesque, I like fucked-up. Dude, Angela Carter is my favorite writer, and she's not exactly a ray of wholesome smiley sunshine. But I don't like hating the world - in fact, I hate hating the world! Probably this is because I'm a total Pollyanna Jerkface, which is awesome. Like, I just checked my Netflix and found out that Happy-Go-Lucky is shipping to me today, and then I did a cartwheel and an electric-purple daisy sprouted from my head like Athena springing from her dad's skull. Now I'm gonna go try to sell my copy of Geek Love on Half.com; maybe it'll get me enough to buy half a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. That would be beautiful! (Liz)
(Above: Instead of reading Geek Love, read these.)
Tags: Angela Carter, bad books, codename: Pollyanna Jerkface, daisies, dude dealbreakers, Greek mythology, hypothetical dinner dates, Jack Kerouac, Jack Kerouac sucks, Juicy Fruit gum, Laura Jane hates Jack Kerouac, losers, Normies, On the Road, On the Road blows, Sonic Youth's lesser efforts
Tuesday , February 24, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Best Best Pictures
LAURA JANE IS GRUMPY; AMADEUS IS PRETTY GOOD, SHE GUESSES
I am in no way a cinemaphile. Actually, I am a cinema-philistine, which always surprises people, since my taste in other things can be kind of refined sometimes. But, when it comes to the silver screen, I like stoner movies and romantic comedies and kids movies and Beatles movies- definitely nothing French or smart. Amadeus, Dog Day Afternoon and Papillon are some of the only "good" movies that I genuinely love. Of these movies, Amadeus is the only one that won an Oscar for Best Picture. It is also the only Best Picture (besides Gigi, Rain Man and West Side Story) that I like at all. I even thought Oliver! sucked, which is weird, since I usually love orphans.
It is apt that I am writing about Amadeus today because Amadeus is the story of how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died a penniless failure, just like Van Gogh and all those other poor people who lived miserable lives and attained fame and notoriety posthumously. It is apt because I am presently terrified that I am going to die a penniless failure with an annoying laugh, just like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I hate my job and don't understand why I can't do whatever I want whenever I want. I feel misunderstood. I am paranoid that everybody in my life is a snot-nosed Salieri and are collectively scheming to ensure my demise. I also really hate my job. This is not a very good review of Amadeus. It is mostly just me talking about how much I hate my job. I'm sorry, Amadeus. Amadeus is a great film and deserves better. I wish Smiley Face had won Best Picture. (LJ)
Because Amadeus is not exactly the type of film whose brilliance could best be expressed via a Youtube clip, here is the music video for "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco (which, for the record, is NOTHING compared to "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Taco):
And, as a bonus treat, here is a semi-funny video of two brothers spoiling the ending of every Best Picture winner in Oscar history (WARNING! CONTAINS SPOILERS!):
TITANIC + THE SOUND OF MUSIC + ANNIE HALL (AN EXCUSE TO TALK ABOUT DUDES SOME STUFF I REALLY HATE)
First off, isn't it weird how American Beauty actually isn't very awesome after all? When it came out I saw it like 85 times in the theater, and then a couple Octobers ago I was watching it in a hotel room in Denver and realized, "Wow, a lot of this movie is really boring and annoying." The whole thing should just be the dinner-table scenes and Kevin Spacey getting stoned in his car. Then it would be my favorite film of all time.
Anyway, these are my three most adored Best Pictures:
1. TITANIC. One of the things I hate most in the world is when people are all attitudey about Titanic. If I've ever told you, "I love Titanic!" and you replied, "Eww, really?", rest assured I've never forgotten it and will probably hold it against you forever. (Soooooorry!) If you legitimately hate this movie and can't find anything to enjoy about it, I guess I can kinda deal. But if you hated it before you saw it, or you hate it even though you've never seen it, or you hate it because it made 80 gazillion trillion dollars at the box office and was in the theater for like nine years, then that's just unforgivably lame.
Also, one of my favorite impressions to do is Kate Winslet calling out to the lifeboats in her creeky frozen voice. It's so good.
2. THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Another thing I hate is when people ask me to explain why The Sound of Music is my favorite movie ever made. It's like asking, "Why do you love Christmas, or sunshine, or homemade strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream, made-from-scratch biscuits, and farm-fresh strawberries?" I LOVE IT BECAUSE I LOVE LOVE. And the part when the nuns fuck up the Nazis' car? Gives me the chills, everytime. I just got the chills typing those two sentences, even.
3. ANNIE HALL. A couple years ago there was this Monday morning when I'd just had a really killer first date with the smokingest-hottest surfer guy the night before, and instead of working I chose to bask in post-date awesomeness by eating strawberry pancakes in bed while watching Annie Hall. Then later in the day I went to pre-shark-jumping Downbeat Cafe and ate the best peanut butter cookie, and it was TRANSPLENDENT. By the way, Annie Hall is so not my favorite Woody Allen movie: That's either Hannah and Her Sisters or Manhattan. (Liz)
NOGOODFORME'S RESIDENT CINEPHILE/BRINGER OF DARKNESS LOVES "IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT," ACTUALLY
I love movies, dudes. It's what I do for a living and with the vast majority of my time, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I honestly like everything, from the cheesiest romantic comedy to the most austere, intellectual French movie ever to the scrappiest, most awesome Slavic gangster comedy. (Such a movie does exist, and it's called Black Cat, White Cat, directed by the awesome Emir Kusturica.) Maybe you'd expect me to pick one of the more artier Best Pictures as my Best Best Picture, and I'm actually sorely tempted to pick The Silence of the Lambs because I do think it's a great piece of filmmaking and utterly riveting every time I see it, and it's kind of the most perverse thing to pick. But actually, out of that great, vast list of Best Pictures, the film I have the most affection for is the 1934 screwball comedy It Happened One Night, directed by Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. These days romantic comedies are, for the most part, sexist, classist pieces of cinematic excrement with no soul or genuine wit, but in the 1930s they were often great, full of beautiful clothes, dashing dudes, rat-a-tat dialogue and spirited heroines who had other things going on inside of them besides a desperate desire to be in a relationship. I saw It Happened One Night when I was six on a day I was home sick from school, and it totally charmed and entertained me. I've seen about a million movies in my life since then (including most of the Best Picture winners, actually) but I always go back to It Happened One Night for its knowing yet innocent charm. (And just for the record, I was also thinking of picking Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter or Midnight Cowboy because I effin' love those films pieces to pieces, but when else am I going to be able to write about 1930s screwball comedies except in class? And I also think most of the Best Pictures since the 1990s are travesties. Who the hell watches Braveheart anymore? Gag!) (Kat)
Tags: cinema-philistinism, hate, job hatred, Kate Winslet, Laura loves The Beatles, love, Oscars, penniless failures, Smiley Face, strawberries, surfers, The Sound of Music, transplendence, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Woody Allen
Tuesday , February 10, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Most Epic Bromances Ever
JOHN WINSTON ONO LENNON & SIR JAMES PAUL MCCARTNEY'S "ANTI-BROMANCE" BROMANCE: SOME SERIOUSLY SERIOUS BEATLES-DRAMZ PSYCHOANALYSIS FROM LAURA JANE
Like many women, I get along better with dudes than I do with girls/chicks/babes/broads/dolls. This is because dudes are chill. Don't get me wrong- dudes are mad flawed, and I often hate them, but they generally shun cattiness, dramz, resentment, competition, and other such negativity (which rules). I have observed many a bromance in my time, and they're always so sweet! Bromances remind me of the lyric "I wanna play cricket on the green/Ride my bike across the street/Cut myself and see my blood/I wanna come home all covered in mud" from "I'm A Boy" by The Who- when two cute dudes who love each other unite, they turn into scrappy, impish lil' men-children, like a double dose of Dennis the Menace, only with beer.
The legendary and complex Lennon/McCartney bromance is exciting to me because it was SO not like that. Obvsduh John & Paul loved each other madly, but, as bros' respective egos quadrupled in size and the Beatles were forced to spend appalling amounts of time together, their bromance rotted and soured, ultimately becoming what will heretofore be known as "The Anti-Bromance Bromance".
(I was going to preface all this by stating that I could devote my entire life to psychoanalyzing John Lennon & Paul McCartney's relationship, then realized that I actually have and am. This shit is merely the tip of the LJ ON JL & PMcC iceberg.)
I often wonder how much of my schtick has been crafted in subconscious mimicry of John's; similarly, I wonder if Paul McCartney ended up the way he did (I would mostly characterize '67-'70-era Paul as a man obsessed with being objectively right, whereas JL was more into being objectively wrong and owning it) because of an intrinsic urge to oppose John's brash, aggressive and antagonistic take on pretty much everything.
I relate to John Lennon a lot. He is my Yang, and Paul is my Yin (hence the underlying meaning of my Lennon/McCartney tattoos). Not that I know John Lennon personally (I'm sure I would if he were alive, though), but I feel our most fundamental similarity is that we are both people who our friends need to talk to their therapists about. Because I totally get why my own actions irritate/confuse the Helter Skelter out of my inner circle, I'm pretty highly attuned to how annoying late-sixties John must have been to poor Macca. From Paul's perspective, JOHN GOT WEIRD. But, from John's perspective, PAUL GOT LAME. Each argument is equally valid.
Both of them are right; both of them are wrong. John's weird; Paul's lame. John was a genius and a great songwriter; surprise surprise- so was Paul! When it comes to rocky relationships, equality is the gateway to toxicity. It's no wonder J&P were total bitches to each other. Can you imagine how damaging it would be to write "Strawberry Fields Forever", then only be allowed to feel good about it for, like, ten seconds because you were one-upped by HEY FREAKING JUDE? Ouch. Just as I am Laura Jane: The Dude of Chicks, John and Paul's intense/fractured/intensely fractured relationship was the Girl-Dramz Shitfest of Bromances. Don't worry, lads- I'll never get over it either!
PS: This entry is dedicated to Jackson McIntosh and Trevor Stark, two really fantaberrific dudes whose nontoxic, "I'm A Boy"-style bromance is one of the cutest I've ever encountered. I miss observing it on a semi-regular basis: one day, Boys, one day! (LJ)
NATE ARCHIBALD + CHUCK BASS, "GOSSIP GIRL"
I will do my best not to spoil those who haven't caught up with this season of "Gossip Girl" by writing anything specific in white so you can't read it. But it must be said: WTF is going on with this season of GG? I know GG is a soap opera at its core, but the whiplash, slapdash, utterly pointless storylines have got to go -- it's like GG is suffering from narrative ADD or something. There are some cool stories going on that are always enjoyable to see (Chuck-and-Blair, Blair-and-Chuck, and of course, the upped Dorota factor.) But one severely lamentable thing is the lack of the Nate Archibald/Chuck Bass bromance. (As well as more Dan/Serena action -- please, spare us any more of this pointless relationship!) I think it's always fascinating to watch the very beginning of television series, just to see what the creators' original intent for characters and storylines were -- there's always a bit of a warm-up feeling before the writers and producers realize what kind of actors they have and what they're capable of. In the case of one Chuck Bass, who originally was an irredeemable villain of sorts, they probably thought, "Holy hell, this actor's pretty good!" (Well, outside of the constant tripping during his season 2 breakdown after his dad died. Most drunk people I know just stay tripped, you know?) And of course, the one thing that redeemed Chuck Bass at the very beginning was his unquestioned loyalty and love for his best friend, the good-looking but perpetually vaguely confused Nate Archibald -- the only times C.Bass revealed his rare humanity were the times he bailed out his dude-in-distress. You can imagine these two sharing both doobies and hair products -- if that's not bromantic, I have no idea what is. And aren't they just so pretty together? It's kind of insane. Writing up my portion of Superlative this week was worth it just to be able to post this picture. (Kat)
FLEA & ANTHONY: THE PIGGYBACK CHAMPIONS OF L.A. COUNTY
When I was 13 or 14 and first started getting heavy into my Chili Peppers obsession, there was a moment when I was sure they had to all be secret boyfriends or something - no other boys in the world ever exhibited such unabashed bro-on-bro love, forever kissin' on each other, sometimes with tongue. It was real eye-opening to realize they truly were/are just hyperaffectionate besties, but there's some disappointment lingering from the discovery that not all grown dudes go around giving each other piggyback rides while wearing weird clothes and listening to Bad Brains and/or Fela Kuti all the livelong day. Oh wellskis; it's still fun to watch Flea and Anthony in cute little videos like this one from 23 years ago - the insane hats and hand-on-the-thigh thing just kill me everytime. Happy Heart Day, buddies! I hope you're together surfing and/or eating RFD takeout and/or giving each other piggyback rides all over Malibu right this very second. (Liz)
Tags: bromances, dudes, dudes are chill, dudes are hot, egomania, Flea, John Lennon, L.A. rules, Laura loves The Beatles, Paul McCartney, piggyback rides, psychoanalysis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, superlatives, The Who, Valentine's Day
Tuesday , January 27, 2009
nogoodforme Superlatives: Dream Musical Collaborations
BLASPHEMOUS RUMOURS, THE MUSICAL: FEATURING THE MUSIC OF DEPECHE MODE
If anyone has been privileged (or cursed) enough to have conversations about music with me on a regular basis, they'll probably have heard me advocate a Depeche Mode musical at least once. The idea is rather hilarious at first glance, but actually it's so genius that I'm surprised some asshole Broadway producer hasn't thought of it earlier: DM are bombastic, grandiose and infinitely melodic, and their songs have an innate sense of narrative and character that would make adapting their oeuvre into a Broadway musical so frickin' easy. It's so utterly logical that it kills me! My take would be to call the thing "Blasphemous Rumours," it would star the kid who played Silas in "Weeds" and completely bowled everyone when he starred in "Spring Awakening," and the big moment where everyone sings along at the end in a big old kumbaya of a song-and-dance would be to "Never Let Me Down Again" and the whole cast would pile into a car and drive off into the sunset to the big city. That's all I have so far, but I can tell you that it's already beyond awesome. (Kat)
THE ARCHIES: THE 2009 EDITION
There are not enough fake bands in 2009, and this is not okay. I am so over real bands; they're chock-full of unlovable, egotistical jerkoffs, and seem more focused on perpetuating the flawed myth of the artistic temperament than writing songs as good as "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies. Which brings me to the crux of my argument: The Archies are the greatest fake band of all time. They fake-wrote the best fake songs, and looked fake-great doing it. Since no fake band could ever surpass the fake brilliance of The Archies, we might as well just consider all bets off and reform The Archies! They, I mean, we, can be called The Archies: The 2009 Edition. Because I moonlight as Simon Fuller and/or Cowell, I have taken the liberty of casting an updated Archies lineup that I feel does justice to The Archies' storied and portentous legacy.
Starring THE DUDE FROM FRANZ FERDINAND as ARCHIE ANDREWS: I don't really know why I picked him. It just seems like (with the help of a little ginger hair-dye) he could be a proper Archie. Plus, he's a charismatic frontman, and I want The Archies: The 2009 Edition to be ace, because a) it's a killer concept and b) I'm in The Archies: The 2009 Edition, and I want to get really famous.
Starring MATTHEW FRIEDBERGER as REGGIE MANTLE: Unlike Reggie Mantle, Matthew Friedberger is neither moderately sociopathic nor problematically obsessed with capital acquisition. Matthew Friedberger is, however, a gifted songwriter- but that ain't really gonna fly in this context, since The Archies: The 2009 Edition's entire recorded output will consist of note-for-note covers of original Archies songs. Nevertheless, Matthew Friedberger does have brown hair, making him an ideal candidate to take over Reggie's fake bass-playing duties.
Starring MARY TIMONY as BETTY COOPER: Betty Cooper sucks. She is an entirely inadequate female role model; excepting the fact that her character is an accomplished auto mechanic, Betty exemplifies the mid-20th-century archetype of Happy Housewife (or, Happy Housewife: The Teenage Edition) Betty is a total pushover for Archie, always there to fix up his stupid jalopy so he can take Veronica out on a hot date. Mary Timony is nothing like Betty Cooper, but she is a female vocalist who I like and would be honored to back-up vox-collabo with in The Archies: The 2009 Edition. And, if it so happens that history repeats itself and Franz Ferdinand Dude falls in love with both of us, she can have him; he's not my type. No girl-dramz here!
Starring LAURA JANE FAULDS as VERONICA LODGE: Sure, my hair may be blonde right now, but that doesn't mean I'm not still a brunette. Actually, I am more than just a brunette, I am An Ultimate Brunette. Veronica Lodge, howevs, is The Ultimate Brunette. Maybe once I become the Veronica Lodge of The Archies: The 2009 Edition, then 'llI be The Ultimate Brunette!
Starring JUSTINE FRISCHMANN as JUGHEAD JONES: Jughead is The Archies' drummer, and Justine Frischmann is not a drummer. But that's okay! Justine Frischmann is the ideal neo-Jughead because she is lanky, black-haired, and regularly consumes twenty-five Pop Tate's cheeseburgers in one sitting. Plus, there is already an Archies song called "Justine", so that's really convenient. Franz Ferdinand Dude can serenade her onstage!
In the oh-so-succinct words of our predecessors: Bang Shang A Lang, Bang Bang! (LJ)
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: MARY TIMONY & JOHN FRUSCIANTE
For a long time I was really stoked on the idea of Mary Timony joining forces with John Frusciante - not just to make a song or record or rock opera, but maybe to fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. "Think what weird babies they'd have!" I'd exclaim to anyone who might halfway give a damn. But the dream eventually faded, which might've had something to do with my finally meeting John Frusciante and finding out he's so not nice enough for our Mary (who's never been anything but sweet as pie every time I've fawned all over her at a merch table post-show). Nonetheless, I'll allow that maybe Old John was just in a cranky-pants mood that day and he's actually quite worthy of the Timonyster's charms. And if we ever happen to all be at the same Fugazi Fan Club ice cream social some night, I'll be sure to introduce them to each other and say something like, "You're both totally nutso for Joy Division!" so they'll have something to awkwardly chat about before I slyly slink away and help myself to more Heavenly Hash.
Anyway, if those two weirdos every made a song or record or rock opera together, I'm certain it'd be the most soul-ruling thing I'd ever heard in my life, and I'd go so crazy for it I'd probably end up absentmindedly driving my car off the PCH and into the beautiful briny sea, which would only make it sound even more epic. They're my number-one guitar gods of all time, and right now I'm kinda relieved that my lack of knowledge of Mary Timony's birthday is keeping me from devoting way too much of my precious time today to figuring out their astrological compatibility (both onstage and beyond). (Liz)
Tags: cheeseburgers, fake bands, Franz Ferdinand Dude, guitar gods, Heavenly Hash, ice cream socials, John Frusciante, Justine Frischmann, Laura Jane Faulds, Mary Timony, Matthew Friedberger, sociopathy, The Archies, ultimate brunette-dom, Veronica Lodge