Friday, April 24, 2015


Weekend Roundup/Open Thread

I was thinking about From Justin To Kelly. What's Justin up to?

What did we do this week? What didn't we do this week! Well, lots of things, but the biggest thing we did do was welcome Alexandra Molotkow into the 'Pin family. Holy crap, this is going to be great, so go back and read her interview and get ready for May 4 where this will become a scary 70s pattern design blog.

I have to say, this week was just killer. We dove deep into Ani DiFranco and the existential pain of wearing heels. Susan Blue told us about going to Christian charm school and provided us with an amazing chart for both counting calories and tracking bible chapters. We talked about pole dancing and minor passions, and how a name can mean everything. Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite interviewed Elisha Lim, and is it just me or are we all buying Lip Venom again?

Did you see this roundtable about TV on the internet? It features Monica Heisey (wooo), Katie Nolan (wooooo), and Jazmine Hughes (literally who). Also here's a great interview with 'Pin friend Natalie Eve Garrett, and if you haven't read Kathleen Hale's "Human Repair Shop," just go, right now. And then to read about Rube Goldberg machines.

One of my favorite bands, Shark?, came out with a new EP this week and it's fantabuloso. What music are you guys listening to? Also, how excited are you that it's almost SUMMER JAMZ season?


A Definitive Ranking of Every Kurt Cobain Movie Ever Made*

Montage_of_Heck_posterIf John Waters is the Pope of Trash, Kurt Cobain is the Pope of Teen Angst. My early punk days were spent loading quarters into the high school cafeteria jukebox just to hear the opening chords of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Years later, I forwent Klimt’s "The Kiss" as my dorm room poster of choice in favor of a black-and-white photo of Kurt Cobain pensively smoking a cigarette and holding his guitar.

Nirvana is an important part of the starter pack for entry-level punks. Nevermind is one of the best-selling records of all time, the extreme popularity a testament to it's relatability. But rather than being labeled a “sellout,” Kurt Cobain remains an enigmatic figurehead to every upcoming generation of teens, in no small part because of his tragic suicide in 1994.

We still search for deeper insight into the man who once said that “People don’t deserve to know. It’s none of their goddamn business what my personal life is like now. Fuck them, they don’t need to know everything about me.” And yet there have been countless movies, documentaries, books, and suspicious homemade videos eager to analyze Kurt Cobain’s legacy.

As someone who has read at least 9 different books on grunge and bought the Kurt Cobain Journals from Urban Outfitters, what I am trying to say here is that I am most definitely qualified to rank this list.

*Note: After multiple attempts to scrape an illegal download link off the web, as well as IRL trips to indie video stores across Toronto, a watchable copy of The Vigil (for Kurt Cobain)—a 1998 road trip movie about a group of teens who hail from the same city where Marilyn Manson was recently punched in the face in a Denny’s travel to Kurt Cobain’s memorial in Seattle—still eludes me. As such, it has not been included in the ranking.


The Cost of My Relationships

meg ryan you've got mail

It is Relationships Month here at The Billfold, and—with just one week left—I decided I would share a bit about the costs of my own relationships.

Dating: The act of dating, or, more specifically, the act of finding and communicating with various prospective dates across a variety of online dating services, continues to take up a significant amount of my time—maybe an hour a day, because I am both hopeful and persistent, and because I know that new men open accounts on these online dating sites every evening.

The actual dates—and I do go on a decent number of actual dates—rarely cost me anything but time. I feel awkward about not paying. I'd prefer to split the check. There are things I want men to do for me, but they're mostly along the lines of "communicating honestly" and "not pulling that line about how you just got so into whatever you were doing that you forgot I existed." I don't want men to pay for me, but they nearly always do.

Right now I only use the free dating services, but I also pay to attend events or take classes where I might simultaneously educate myself while being exposed to eligible men, as if eligible men were a rash you could catch by going out in public. In April, I paid $91.87 for these events/classes.

Friendships: I continue to invest in my friendships, mostly through the cost of travel and of buying food/drink. I did buy a friend a one-way gift this month, although it feels less like me saying "look, here is a unidirectional token of our friendship" and more like, well, just being friends.



A Celebration of the Best Ella Fitzgerald Songs


Here is an indisputable Hairpin fact: Ella Fitzgerald is better than everyone. She is perfection in human form, "the tops," and everything wonderful. I’m not sure how often you listen to Ella Fitzgerald, but her music takes up most of my listening hours.

Quite simply, her voice is transcendent. I’m pretty sure it’s both the sound of joy and sorrow, but most often smile-inducing happiness. I like Frank Rich's explanation:

“It’s not just that her singing in beautiful. It is also liberating, transporting us into a realm of pleasure beyond all barriers, whether of race and age, of jazz and pop, of high art and low, or even, when she floats into scat, of language.”

Ella is above us all. Her voice uplifts and I’m not quite sure what it is, but whenever she hit certain higher notes, there it is—this moment of pure transcendence.

Here's a list of my favorite Ella songs, and the moment of pure magnificence in each. (And here's the Spotify playlist.) READ MORE


We Are Watching Vin Diesel's Acting Debut

Just...just take twenty minutes to watch this. There is so much. I know it's called Multi-Facial but I swear it's not a porn. This is a film Vin Diesel wrote, directed and starred in in 1995, and it got him noticed by Steven Spielberg at FUCKING CANNES. It is about a young, sensitive, ethnically ambiguous actor struggling to get cast in a world where he is told his "look" is wrong for everything. He has one earring, and is concerned about coming off as a "misogynistic, homophobic guido," and you guys I am going to cry. VIN KNOWS MY STRUGGLE. VIN CONTAINS MULTITUDES.


"Other Lessons Learned"

Recently the ten-year-old in me was delighted to discover this fact:

The computers NASA uses now for missions are much smaller and more powerful than the computers used for Apollo missions. Your cell phone has more computing power than the computers used during the Apollo era.

Ha, I thought to myself childishly, an actual rocket in our pockets.

I suppose if we were to take this analogy further the Apple Watches shipping out today (pictured above) are an actual rocket on our wrists, but that doesn't have the same ring to it or the same immature sexual allusions, so, pass.

Anyway here's a story about a young woman who did a reasonable thing to a bad boyfriend. "Men, watch your rockets" etc.


Sia, "Fire Meet Gasoline"

It's a metaphor.


Don't Ever Let Famous People Tell You What To Do

This is an inscription I have in a book from John Hodgman. I was not actually there to get it, I was busy farming in New Zealand (as the inscription hints). While I was there, my now husband/then "it's complicated" went to a book signing, where he was apparently very nice and spent a long time talking to everyone who went up and got their books signed.

My man told Hodgman the second copy was for me, that I was busy farming and fiNdinG mYseLF across the world, but that I was an aspiring writer and maybe he could write some advice for me. I got "Give Up + Farm," which is perfect, Hodgman-y advice, but I didn't take it and now I have two book deals so the moral of the story is don't ever let anyone tell you you can't follow your dreams fuck you John Hodgman you don't know me!!!

(I would very much like to know you John Hodgman, you seem like a cool dude. And this has actually been fantastic advice because even at our most successful we should all remember to give up and farm once in a while.)

“They are having sex and noise is unbearable,” the resident wrote in a March 14, 2014, complaint to 311. "This is a chronic issue. I am a very sick senior that needs assistance with this matter.

[via @damsorrow]

| April 23, 2015

Tommy Wiseau Discusses Americans, Chickens, and Questions He Hates

TommyWiseauHeadshotTommy Wiseau and his cult-classic film The Room are two of the greatest mysteries of the entertainment industry. Since its release in 2003, traditions have formed around midnight screenings of The Room that are similar to those that surround The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Most notably, at each viewing, fans come dressed as their favorite character, bring along with them an arsenal of shoutouts, and engage in various act-outs such as throwing spoons at the screen. Wiseau and his origins are the subject of great debate, to such an extent that co-star Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell teamed up in 2013 to publish the widely acclaimed book The Disaster Artist, which  documents the development of Wiseau’s enigmatic six-million dollar film and posits some theories with regards to Wiseau’s history. Fans can look forward to the film adaptation of this book by Seth Rogen's production company, Point Grey Pictures, with none other than James Franco portraying Wiseau.

More recently, Wiseau has been developing his new sitcom, The Neighbors. The series is available on Hulu, and follows the mishaps of various tenants in an apartment complex. Wiseau portrays two of the show’s characters: Charlie, the protagonist and ‘manager’ of the complex, and Ricky Rick, the show’s main antagonist. The other characters in the series range from a woman who spends much of her time screaming and running around the apartment with a live chicken, a stoner, women in bikinis, a muscular repair man, a basketball-loving youth who rarely makes good on his debts, and countless others that could only be born from the mind of Tommy Wiseau.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Wiseau about the significance of some of the elements of his series, his expectations, and the questions that he wishes people would stop asking. Wiseau promised to award me with medals for my final two questions. READ MORE


Your Place, Your People: An Interview With Elisha Lim

Elisha Lim has a lot to say. The graphic artist, illustrator, and filmmaker has spent years telling stories of queer and trans people of color through pin-up calendars, comics, short Claymation films, and writing. In their new anthology, 100 Crushes, Lim explores the complexities of queer life, from monogamy to buying a suit to changing their preferred pronoun to “they.” 100 Crushes has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, which celebrates the year in LGBT literature.

Lim is an artist and an activist, and much of their work is in pursuit of increased visibility for queer people of color who are relegated to the margins of mainstream and activist circles. Their artistic work deals with racism, mixed-race identity, gender performance, and queerness. Lim has held film screenings in North America and Europe, curated art shows in Toronto and Montreal, and shown work across the U.S. and Canada. In 2013, they were named Best Emerging Director by Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival for their short film They.

In 100 Crushes, Lim speaks to their specific experiences, as well as the universal sigh of relief that comes when you find your place and your people. In The Illustrated Gentleman we see them go shopping with their queer friends; Sissy pays homage to the “sissies and the femmes that inspire us,” a set of profiles in which Lim brings the voices of queer and trans people of color into conversation with one another and the reader.

At the same time, many of their comics are about the joys and struggles of everyday life: seeing a sexy construction worker on the street in Spain, reflecting on the influence of 1980s television in their sexual awakening, and realizing they might be a jealous person after all.

I spoke to Lim about their book, their favorite feelings, and how to navigate a constantly evolving queer community. READ MORE


"House Half Full?"

Is the House half Full, or is it a House half Empty? Some surprisingly philosophical questions about the Full House spinoff.


Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Give Fewer Fucks?

Baba fewer fucks
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE


Waka Flocka Flame, "Hard in Da Paint"

Well now I'm looking forward to living in America during an election year.


My 90s/00s Beauty Trends: Where Are They Now?

this is a copy of Seventeen I have from september 2001 IT'S ALL REAL
We've already addressed Black Honey, but what happened to all the other makeup in our (my) makeup kits in the late 90s?

DuWop Lip Venom: Still under all my other lipstick in my makeup bag, and still effective! Somebody needs to remind the teens DuWop still makes this before the shot glasses ruin their faces. They should also probably know that it's fun to prank your boyfriend by giving him a blowjob while wearing it.

Gap Dream solid scent: I used the last of the solid scent around 1998, before moving on to a Demeter scent (Madeline), and then, Clinique Happy.

Bonne Bell Flip Shades: Definitely a precursor to being that girl who carried a Zippo everywhere even though she didn't smoke.